India is a country that one can either love or hate. Those who have been for the first time to India and were not disturbed by the strangeness of this undescribable culture, return again and again. I first travelled to this great sub-continent as a student, just equipped with my rucksack and using public transport. Years later and meanwhile as an IT-Manager of a German Internet company, I got the opportunity to spend a year in Gujarat. At the end of my business tenure in India, I fulfilled a long-desired wish. At Premji's in Bombay I purchased a Royal Enfield Bullet motorbike and travelled southwards for three weeks from Goa to Kerala.
As a result, the business idea "Wheel of India" was born. I switched from being an IT-Expert to becoming a tour operator for guided motorbike tours to India. Since that time I've been escorting my guests to the Southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These tours are, in comparision with the tourist-crowded Goa, personal tips. These are tours which bikers travelling overseas for a holiday dream of: sun-biking, culture, wildlife, history, breathtaking landscapes, serpentine roads till upto to an altitude of 2,500 mts. And last but not the least, the adventurous driving on Indian traffic roads
Motorcycle Riding in India
It's not all that easy for the foreign traveller in India. The contradictions which one confronts at every turn doesn't leave one unmoved. On the one hand there is this extreme poverty in proximity with the magnificent relics of the past. There is this deep religiousness on the one side and an apparent indifference to pollution and misery on the other side. If we look at India and compare it using our European standard values, there are bound to be misunderstandings and irritations. We can only advise every one going to India to at first experience unprejudiced this part of the world and then judge it on their own. Those who open up to this country and to its people and absorb the aromas, the colours and the sounds with all their senses, they will come home enriched.
"I honk, so I am"
This could be the motto of every Indian driver on the road. The noise and the chaos on India's streets surpass everything which orderly Westerners can ever imagine. There only exists one law - the law of strength. A clear and simple hierarchy is derived from it.
Trucks and buses rank completely above, followed by passenger cars and the numerous three-wheeled auto rickshaws. Then only, rather far down are scooters, mopeds and motorcycles. Bicycles and pedestrians are at the end of the scale, with essentially no rights, except the condemnation to jump out of the others' way.
India, the land for motorcycles?!
Nevertheless, India is the ideal motorcycle country. If one has learnt how the chaos on India's streets functions, and how to swim with the current and enjoy this new, unusual liberty then biking in the unending widths of this sun-soaked continent can become an absolute pleasure.
Whether one travels over the high plains of the Deccan, or along Kerala's white beaches, through the national parks or drive high up to the summits of the Western Ghats or the Himalayas, one can really dig deep into this country with a motorbike.