The World’s Most Extreme Motorcycle Tour
• by: By Alison Godfrey
• From: news.com.au
• January 16, 2013 8:25AM
• Motorbike tour takes on Himalayas
• Tour includes highest road, highest lakes
• In pictures: Indian Army gets vertical
• Amazing snaps: World’s most incredible roads
Riders on the Extreme Bike Tour. Picture: Extreme Bike Tours
Riders take to the road on the Extreme Bike Tour. Picture: Extreme Bike Tours
THERE’S a reason why they call this tour extreme. This 1300km journey through India will take you higher than an aeroplane and if you don’t follow the rules you may just hallucinate.
Extreme Bike Tour’s 1300km-long Mighty Himalayan tour follows twisting roads – three of them the highest motorable in the world including Khardung La through India’s northern-most region and Ladakh, which is accessible by road only three months of the year.
Riders visit nomadic tribes, gushing waterfalls and ancient monasteries and camp in lunar-like, high altitude deserts surrounded by soaring, snow-capped peaks.
Gerard Crawley, 55, from Victor Harbour in South Australia has been on the tour twice. He liked it so much, he’s going back for a third time.
“The riding is extreme,” Mr Crawley said. “They go to areas where other tours just don’t go.”
In pictures: World’s most incredible roads
The only way is up. Ride this mountain on the Extreme Bike Tour
“It’s not the run of the mill ride, riding for 30 kilometres and staying at a luxury hotel. No, here you’re more likely to ride for 200km and stop and have magi noodles.”
Well, in fact the tour does have amazing cooks that go along with the riders. They also have support vehicles, mechanics and people to put up the tents. There are 14 staff and 10 riders.
Interested? One word of warning. Follow the rules and beware of altitude sickness.
Riders are told not to stay at the highest road in the world for more than an hour. Last time he went Mr Crawley spent an hour and a half there. On the way back down the mountain he experienced hallucinations.
Heading towards the mountain on the Extreme Bike Tour. Picture: Extreme Bike Tours
“I came across a river crossing that was fine when I was going up the mountain. It looked like it was strewn with huge boulders. I pushed on and rode through it then I realised those boulders weren’t really there. I just imagined it. “
Extreme Bike Tours director Zander Combe, 37, said most of the riders attempting the tour are Australian and they are aged from 24 to 74 years old. The tour uses 1959 designed English motorbikes originally built for the war and reconfigured for use in the Himalayas. They are now built new in India but parts are often brought out from the UK.
Mr Combe says while the tour may seem extreme it is suitable for people who hold a motorbike licence and are comfortable riding. Australians, he said, are the best riders.
“The extremity comes more from the landscapes than from the riding.
What a view! One of the many you will be amazed by on the Extreme Motorbike Tour. Picture: Gerard Cawley
The best part is the Morey Plains. It’s a high altitude desert surrounded by snowcapped mountains and the first chance for the riders to really open up,” Mr Combe said.
“It takes on some of the most dangerous roads in the world, riding through high altitude deserts and there are major river crossings you will need to get the bike through. It also takes in the world’s highest lakes and hedges close to the Pakistan and Chinese boarders.”
“Every time you drop into a valley there is something else to see.”