The statement above may sound oxymoron but it is already a reality to a great extent. It’s going to be even more true and common in the years to come thanks to road development in Nepal happening at breakneck speed since 2006. Improvement of facilities, ease and reduced cost of transport are beneficial to all but especially to travellers who do not prefer to hike for a week or more to see the biggest mountains and all the variety of things they offer. Given that there is a new option of seeing the Himalayas, it warrants an exploration.
This article is the result of a basic study conducted to forecast what the potential of this new trend is for tourism industry in Nepal. The history of motorbike tours in Nepal, like in so many places, actually began thanks to the few international bikers who toured the world on their bikes. Few that came over the decades though are nameless now but left behind the idea that people do travel long distances on motorbikes and ideas spread faster than virus. Some Nepali somewhere was bound to initiate the trend at some point and that person was Madhav Sharma who dared to attempt world bike tour on a Honda CZ125 in 1998. He made it till Portugal tallying 26 countries only to be stopped by rejected permits by officials in Canada.
The anthology continues with Mr. Pramod Shrestha and four of his friends. Disappointed with revelation that his recently purchased Royal Enfield bike was a nightmare to maintain, he took the initiative to travel to India and bring an Enfield mechanic to Kathmandu. Thus began Himalayan Enfield Club, the glue that held few motor bike enthusiasts together as a group that later played the most crucial role to begin the trend of touring the hills and Nepal on motor bikes. Although it started with maintenance, Enfield owners also started joining their club to participate in leisure rides. Safety, maintenance, good company and adventure were the main value the club offered to hundreds. The trend that started with Enfield exclusively has gone viral to include all kinds of bikes and literally hundreds of biking clubs within Nepal and probably thousands in India.
In the last few years the road expansion work is rapidly growing and it’s expected to continue well into the future making more of Himalayas accessible while improving the quality of recently made dirt tracks as well. Saurav Rana and AbinavRana are two brothers known for their love of motorbikes. Already established dealers of Ducati & Benelli in Kathmandu, they have set their sights on making Nepal one of the best-known destinations for bikers and adventure lovers. The Rana brothers seem to have the vision, the right passion and a bold business plan to set new trends in the tourism industry, evidenced by the bold investments.