We shipped our motorbikes from Mumbai to New Zealand. Not something we would suggest to anyone with a motorbike. Even with a car it would be better to go via Chennai as it is more straight forward. If you really need to ship via Mumbai let us know and we hook you up with a good contact.
For people with motorbikes we suggest to go via Kathmandu in Nepal as we met many people who flew their bikes from Kathmandu to Europe, Thailand or New Zealand and had no problems at all.
Problems / Breakdowns
XTZ: Overheating in Mumbai just before shipping, therefore no time to find the problem (we figured it out in New Zealand)
The tarmac roads in Gilgit are mostly built by the Chinese and are amazing, the rest of the country has either very bad tarmac roads or just gravel
Visa: Visa needed to get into the country. We got ours in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and it was pretty easy. We made sure that we have a multiple entry visa which is valid for 6 months.
Carnet de Passage: You need to have the Carnet de Passage to get into the country by motorbike or car
Insurance: We did not get one and we don’t think that there is a possibility to get one, would not help anyhow in case of an accident.
India is a special place. We both have never been in a country that is so diverse and that awakes so many different emotions. Its hard to just love India as it is sometimes really, really hard to understand how things work and why people behave the way they behave. We learned that even for locals, it is actually hard to understand some stuff. No wonder with so many religions, languages and cultures combined in one huge country. So best to have an open mind about things and accept that some days you will love the place and some days you really gona hate it.
Here some very country specific information:
Don’t be afraid of food poisoning. We have been eating everywhere and just made sure that it is always cooked and the local cuisine. The food is outstanding so don’t miss out on it!
SIM cards are not that difficult to get but it can be very complicated as some areas like Kashmir and Ladakh are not running on the same SIM cards as the rest of the country. We used Airtel India but changed to Vodafone at one point. It is probably the better choice to go with Vodafone.
In North India you will need permits, so make sure you have your informations and get the permits before you head off
Traffic in India lives up to its reputation. Be focused all the time and know how to use your breaks as you will need them a lot. Do not watch your rear mirror and forget about your indicators. If you do not use your horn, you do not exist….thats a rule in India!
If you come across an accident, even if you are somehow involved in it, it is important to leave the place as fast as possible. It can be very dangerous as people will make you responsible for it no matter what actually happend (just watch Ed Marchs video).
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