Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

India to Europe Motorcycle Trip?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by jaguarfanster, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. I'll be completing my undergrad this year and decided to take a year off in 2013. I hope to use the time to travel, explore, and experience the world. Therefore I've been toying with the idea of an India to Europe motorcycle trip. I have not researched in depth as yet however this is the general plan,

    Fly to India. Then travel through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and the rest of Western Europe.

    Has anyone been on a similar trip? Any input would be appreciated.

    Also what would be more feasible? Shipping a known/trusted bike from Australia to India pnly to ship it back after the trip. Or buying a bike in India, for example a Royal Enfield, and disposing of it later. I don't think I'd be able to sell it whilst in Europe. Regardless would an Enfield survive the 10,000+ km trip? Which bike would be better suited. I'm assuming BMW however could a Japanese bike be trusted?

    I'd love to hear any thoughts, ideas, suggestions or experiences of similar journeys.

    Just brainstorming for now.
  2. You will need carnets for every country you will be passing through

    which would be easier to organise from here and as such mean a bike brought from here
  3. Any imported bike is going to cost a lot to buy in India, that is why Harley are setting up factory there, so a BMW will be cost prohibiive because of that unless you ship ne from Oz.

    So that leaves you a Enfield or a small Hero Honda, which wont be fun once you get past Turkey. Personally I would buy a dr650 here change a few things and then ship it over. You want something comfortable but chep enough to abandon.

    Check out Nathan the postmans blog maybe for some tips and inspiration.


    You also need to know that kijdnapping is a real possibility in Pakistan, I rode Kashmir with an organised group on Enfields in 2006 that was real enough (pull up next to an APC in traffic in Shrinigar and riding past machine gunners in pill boxes) by yourself over the border you will need to be careful.
  4. Might be easier going the other way?

    Buy a bike in the UK, do all the carnet stuff there?
  5. I did a similar trip in reverse about 12 years ago, but only parts of it by bike.
    The Quetta and the Pakistan-Iran border area was sketchy then, I'm pretty sure it will be much worse now. Taliban sympathisers sometimes stop vehicles looking for ethnic minorities to shoot - heaven only knows what they would think of an Australian.

    Pakistan back then was an amazing experience but I would no longer do it myself. I have climber friends who have said that northern Pakistan is still reasonably safe but they fly straight in and out rather than risk the roads and major down-country cities. To quote one: "99 of them will really be friendly but the 100th will try and kill you." Your choice but I wouldn't go there now (glad I went though).

    Once you get away from the border Iran would be pretty safe but good luck getting a visa in the current climate. Don't try and pick one up in Pakistan, the Iranian embassy there is notoriously difficult. Iran and Iranian people are worth it, if you can get past the belligerent government.

    Your best chance of finding info is on horizonsunlimited.com and advrider. If someone there hasn't done it, it can't be done.
  6. I would totally skip Pakistan If I were you. Not the safest place to be. Even a few Pakistani work mates tell me how bad/dangerous it has become these days.

    What are your thoughts on US/Canada trip? IMHO, that might be a better option.
  7. as others have said i would start in europe and ride home including south east asia, just because its so much easier to buy a bike, the quality of the bikes is better and so on. Personally i would just get a bike and some occy straps and say **** it and start riding. You dont need a full LWR spec 1200GS with panniers to go around the world. With enough time and determination you will get there on anything.

    as for carnets and so on, that is some complicated stuff, you want to talk to professional people about this stuff im fairly sure their are solicitors and such who can organize these things for you. (unless you want to take my advice fully, and just say **** it and bribe your way around the world)
  8. Cheers for the insight. So it seems that Pakistan is more dangerous than I previously anticipated. Also Iran has issues with carnets. I'm leaning against travelling through South Asia and the Middle East now. Starting from the UK and circumnavigating Europe alone seems more reasonable. I've been to the U.S before. I didn't find the culture drastically different to that in Australia. This as opposed to Indonesia for example. Europe seems to offer a greater life changing experience compared to North America. Although it's just my perception.

    Cheers for the dr650 suggestion. It got me searching through motard/dirt bikes instead of beemers now. Plus the price is far more appealing. However I've read that Suzuki doesn't offer the dr650 in England. True?

    What's the deal with fuel? Generally motorcycles seem to have a range between 200 to 300 kms max. Within Europe, particularly Western and Central, would there be a significant possibility of gas stations spaced greater than such range?
  9. ...or Just do a Europe trip. Lots there to keep you occupied for a few months! Just eat, drink and ride your way around all of Europe.
  10. That's what I'd do. Eruope!

    Cept it'll be a bit more dollars I'd reckon.
  11. Screw it. I'll just go through Europe. :)

    Health Insurance: do I have buy policies separate from country to country? Is there a motorcycle type package? How much do they charge generally? Don't want to crash somewhere only to fork out tens of thousands in hospital bills.
  12. A guy from work and his missus hired 2 bikes and did that a few years ago.

    I can get some info if you want. He said it was the best thing he did and though it was a tad expensive, it was worth every cent, according to him.
  13. Didn't want to put you off - maybe just find another route? The major obstacles are getting vehicles in and out of Iran or China, and warfare in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region. There are risks in other parts of Pakistan but not unsurmountable. If you're prepared to fly your vehicle over these hurdles it's still very do-able.
    Central Asia is a possibility, if not easy. Turkey onwards is definitely a practical option.

    Fuel range can be an issue but you would be an idiot to run out of fuel anywhere west of Ankara. You'd need to have a bike that runs on low octane crap in some places though.

    Have a look at KLRs as well. The thing about Enfields is that you can get them fixed almost anywhere in India but it gets harder as soon as you cross a border (and they DO need fixing).
  14. You could easily spend a few months in Turkey alone. Fascinating place....
  15. Shop around for travel insurance that doesn't exclude motorcycles before you leave. If you tell them the truth about what you're doing it may not be cheap but it's essential. It should cover your medical expenses and repatriation if required.
  16. every western country is pretty much the same, sure Europe has old buildings,
    be a man harden up do some shit hole thirdworld country. Iran u will pretty much get a army escort everywhere u go and get used to bribing absolutely everybody
  17. You don't need to do it all on one bike.

    Europe/Scandanavia loop buy bike then sell it. You could even add in Morocco.

    Fly to India, buy bike, sell it.

    Have you looked at

  18. Yeah fair I could just sell the bike. It might be a struggle finding a customer within a limited time frame.

    I've been through several developing nations; just not on a bike. I'd love to though but probably with more planning. Right now I just want to get out there,
  19. You cant really get from SE Asia to middle east very easily, China you need a guide which is exy and burma you cant get through.

    You can definately do Eastern Russia to Europe reasonably easy. I know guys who have done it and of course Charlie and Ewan did it.

    Not sure what is available and not in Europe, as others have suggested look at the klr as well, I do know the baby Tenere is available in Europe but is dearer.

    Fuel anywhere but here is not an issue, there really isnt the big nothing like Oz elsewhere (actually maybe Siberia you might need to plan).

    How much money do you have, that will decide where you go really, lots of distance and lots of countries is going to cost.

    I am saving up for South America myself though Patagonia, Chile to Prudoe Bay, Alaska would be awesome.