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Motorcycle Adventures for Independent Travelers
Motorcycles rock, they are fun to ride, they keep you close to the action, get you places cars can’t and do it faster than walking. They are also relatively cheap. It’s worth learning to ride one. If you know how to ride a bicycle you are halfway there. Like learning to drive a car some [...]
Monday July 6 2009
Motorcycles rock, they are fun to ride, they keep you close to the action, get you places cars can’t and do it faster than walking. They are also relatively cheap.
It’s worth learning to ride one. If you know how to ride a bicycle you are halfway there. Like learning to drive a car some can pick it up very quickly while others will take much longer. It took me about 1/2 an hour riding around the footpaths in a park in Phuket, Thailand. Of course you can’t really learn to ride a motorcycle in half an hour but it was enough for me to feel confident in taking to the less crowded roads and really, it’s on those roads where the adventures happen.
Small scooters like the ones locals use in many Asian countries are great for learning, normally 125cc or less they are also perfect for getting around day to day and seeing the local sights. Blogging friend Ottsworld has been learning to ride one of these in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and has documented it in her Motorbike Diaries.
While Nomad4Ever has started with his Tricycle Diaries. He has purchased an old Honda and had a sidecar fitted to it for just over $500 USD and is now touring around the Philippines. These are some good examples of how you can enjoy seeing a country on the back of a motorcycle without paying big bucks for a BMW Adventurer or a guided tour. For touring places like China, India and Nepal the Adventurers might be better, but they are not always necessary, a popular choice for traveling in these countries is a classic like the Royal Enfield Bullet, although it is a classic it is actually still manufactured in India and might even by considered the bike of choice for touring across the Himalayas.
Motorcycles have a romance about them and they are the ultimate mode of transport for independent travelers. In cities and towns they will save you negotiating with motorbike taxis and tuk tuks. They are cheap to rent or buy and often you won’t even need to prove you are licensed to drive one. Simply having one available often results in more day trips with more stops and detours at anything you might find interesting along the way. It seems a foreigner entering a village on a motorcycle is often greeted with more of an excited welcome than one arriving in a taxi or bus, of course on a bike you are also more likely to go somewhere larger vehicles only pass through are rarely seen in at all.
Motorcycles are also one of the most environmentally friendly forms of motorized transport, while many people will travel to somewhere like Viet Nam notice the pollution and point to the motorcycles just imagine if they were replaced by cars. We can look to Beijing as an example of that.On the other hand when weather conditions turn against you, things aren’t so fun. Motorcycles are also more prone to breakdowns than cars although in Asia there is a repair shop on just about every corner and they are mostly also very cheap to repair.
If you are looking to be as free to go where you want, when you want as possible a motorcycle is a great choice. Don’t go overkill with the bike you choose though, many people have toured SE Asia on those small bikes the locals ride, it isn’t always necessary for a dirt bike or Adventurer to go off the beaten track a bit.
Get Inspired, Watch:
The Motorcycle Diaries (Widescreen Edition) The famous story of Che Guevara’s ride through South America, this one is more of a personal discovery story than a focus on a motorcycle adventure but it captures the romance of riding and tells the story of the famous revolutionary as well.
Long Way Round (Deluxe) Long Way Down (Deluxe) Race To Dakar – Complete 8 DVD Box Set Around the world, Ireland to South Africa and the famous Dakar race. An awesome documentary following Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their Motorcycle Adventures. I also recommend Charley’s new series By Any Means, and you can follow him on twitter @CharleyBoorman he is currently doing the second season of BAM.