Frequently asked questions

Is this an extreme sports holiday ?
Not at all. Live India is an unforgettable experience but is not a cross country race. The bikes are simply the best way to see this spectacular country close-up and at your own pace as well as being great fun too!

What kind of holiday is it ?
Live India is a relaxed adventure holiday with a difference. The guides who travel with you have friends all the way along the route, so you’ll not only be visiting places of exceptional natural beauty and historical as well as cultural interest, but you’ll be visiting real Indian family homes and getting to know India quite well from the inside. You will be taking quiet roads with little traffic through the countryside, having plenty of time to stop and look at the fascinating and unexpected scenes you come across. We’ll be visiting village bazaars, exploring the bustling back streets, checking out the local food and just taking it all in. It’s going to be fun and a real adventure as in India there is always something amazing and unexpected around the next corner, so bizarre sights and colourful people are guaranteed. The people of India have lovely and lively personalities so you will find it an absolute pleasure travelling through their countryside. As we are riding through remote areas that are little visited by westerners you will certainly be looked at with innocent wide eyed wonder in some of the places we stop at.

How fit do I need to be ?
You need to be reasonably fit. If you have problems getting up a couple of flights of stairs then these trips probably aren't for you. We will be doing a few hours of walking on one or two of the days but this, of course, is optional. We won’t be spending huge amounts of time in the saddle - around three hours per day, so most of the time we’ll be relaxing, enjoying the scenery and visiting local places of interest, as well as great places to eat!

How much biking experience do I need ?
Some motorcycling experience is necessary, and since you must be a valid license holder to take part it can be assumed that you have that experience. If you are a particularly nervous rider then the unfamiliar terrain may not suit you, but most bikers will have no problem with the roads on the Live India adventure. There will be no off-road driving and speed limits are low.

What will the food be like ?
Live India is a culinary experience. The Live India guides know the very best places to get real traditional Indian food - places that the average tourist or even tourist board would not know about. One evening you’ll eat from a leaf plate with expertly spiced beans, fresh fried chicken and dumplings, the next you’ll be regally seated in a colonial palace eating the latest in fashionable Indian restaurant food. Live India takes good food seriously. Whatever your taste there will be something that you’ll love and vegetarians will be in their element, just don’t expect Vindaloo - authentic Indian food is spiced but actually not spicy! Also if you fancy western fare, don't worry, there's usually a good selection available in most of the places we visit.

Will I get sick ?
Highly unlikely. There are some general rules to follow for a problem free holiday health-wise. Drink bottled water, which we provide during the day and is available everywhere. It is advisable to get into regular hand washing especially after using the loo. Talk to the guides before purchasing from roadside vendors. In the unlikely event you pick something up the support team includes a fully trained medic.

How safe is this trip ?
The Live India trip is safe. Many of the roads on the journey are no different from British country roads although they can get a bit rough at times. Since this is an adventure holiday, and not an extreme biking jaunt, feel free to go slow, stop, or take a break whenever you need it. If someone does become ill or have an accident we have systems in place to get you to hospital if necessary.

How large will the groups be ?
Live India journeys are limited to 8 travellers per trip (not including the guides and support team). Some biking holidays have many more bikers riding together, but at Live India we feel that this is noisy, dangerous and disruptive to the local people of India. We prefer to keep groups small and manageable; a family rather than a herd. With less people, the guides are more at your disposal to answer questions and give advice. Smaller groups also mean Live India has the pick of the best smaller hotels and other visiting places which cannot accommodate large groups. We can also take back roads with ease and gain access to tucked away views and beauty spots!

What is the Royal Enfield like to ride ?
It’s great! It’s a solid and maneuverable bike with a comfy saddle. The low centre of gravity and sturdy construction make it ideal for comfortable touring. A long wheel base and big tyres provide increased stability and road grip compared to other bikes, making it ideal for long distance travel. All in all it’s the perfect bike for Live India. The Royal Enfield is a classic 1950's bike with a great retro feel and as good old traditional bikes go this one is no different. This means a kick start, drum brakes (although we provide ours with front disc brakes) and a four speed gear box on the right hand side, yes the rear brake is on the left side! This takes a little getting used to but you'll have the hang of it before you know it. One great point about riding in India is that driving is on the left just like the UK although that is about where the similarities with English roads stop, but more about that later. The gear selection is upside down with first gear at the top, next down is neutral with the three further gears following that. There is a small lever behind the gear changer which allows you to find neutral whenever you need it. The tanks take around 14 litres of petrol that will get you around 350km depending on the terrain.

All of our Enfields are ready for touring with front disk brake, double horns, crash guards and touring tank.

What about pillion passengers ?
Yes, we encourage you to bring friends and partners, even if they don’t ride a motorcycle. We will be riding around three hours a day at most which is absolutely fine for a pillion passenger as we shall be stopping here and there too. A comfortable backrest will be provided for pillions so you will be in a kind of armchair from which to enjoy the scenery. We encourage you to bring your partner even if they don’t ride a bike. Furthermore, pillion passengers receive a £300 discount on the journey price.

Can I use the bikes in the evenings ?
Yes, you can use your bike whenever you like. See terms and conditions for details.

What makes Live India so special ?
Where do we start ? Live India has been designed to incorporate everything beautiful, exciting and special that the guides have experienced in their long years of travelling this diverse and enchanting country. Essentially, it is the best way to truly be in touch with the Indian landscape and people. We can’t think of a better or more comprehensive and captivating route though India, or a better way to travel it. We have thought of everything - from experiencing the highest standards of luxury available in India, to camping out under the stars in amazing out of the way places where you will discover the real India that few people ever get to see.

What is included in the price of the holiday ?
All accommodation, transfers and entrance fees in India are included. Breakfasts are included and depending on the journey we leave the choice of meals to you so you can explore and experience the diversity of real Indian food for yourself (with our guidance if required, of course). Also included are the bikes, the backup vehicles and the support team, all bike spares and repairs. We provide bottled water as necessary during the day and also cover the cost of all of your petrol for the journey too.

What isn’t included in the price ?
Insurances, visas, flights. Some meals, depending on the journey. Alcoholic beverages are also not included.

What about flights ?
The reason we don’t include flights is that people may be coming from a number of destinations and prefer to travel in different ways. The average economy return ticket price from England to India is usually between £300 and £500. Take a look at the following website to see the options and prices available. www.justtheflight.co.uk

Select your arrival date to be the day of commencement of the tour and your departure date from India to be the last date of the tour. For any further information regarding flights please call us and we shall do our best to help.

What about insurance ?
Live India has sourced a wide ranging medical and travel insurance package with our brokers for the cost of £67 per person for the duration of the trip. This incorporates full medical repatriation if necessary as well as regular travel insurance. We will provide details of our broker after you have completed the booking procedure and paid your deposit. This insurance package is entirely optional as you may have found one of your own but we hope you feel it gives you the peace of mind you require. The bikes themselves are insured fully comp.

About familial Contact ?
Mobile phone coverage and internet access are very limited, however there are landlines available at most stops. A list of the hotels and telephone numbers will be forwarded to you on request once booking has commenced.

What about visas ?
You will need to organise your visa at least 6 weeks before travelling. Be sure to obtain a multiple entry visa, which costs the same and will allow you repeated entries into India should you wish to return to India within the validity period. in.vfsglobal.co.uk

How can I pay ?
A deposit of £500 is payable as booking commences, the remainder is payable no later than eight weeks before the beginning of the trip (Please see T & Cs). You can pay by cheque or BACS transfer.

What about Vaccinations ?
Consult your GP/travel clinic for immunisation and malaria advice. Your doctor is obliged to recommend you take prophylactics. These anti-malarial drugs can often have marked side-effects that could affect your health and driving ability. Please make your own decision after assessing the risks. Bring enough of any prescribed medication you take regularly. A basic first aid kit is useful: plasters; antiseptic cream; bite/sting relief; plus insect repellent. If you forget anything, we’ll be able to get hold of most items when we are there, but please check the kit list in case you miss anything.

What do I need to bring ?
Some sturdy comfortable footwear is a must. Bring some that is already worn in rather than a new pair that might give you blisters. A pair of light shoes or flip-flops would be great for the evening. Light, quick drying comfortable clothing is advisable, and some smart-casuals for dining out in style! Bring a small, sturdy bag to keep on the bike where you can keep your camera ( is a successful travel photographer and will be more than happy to help you take some stunning shots) and other on-hand essentials. The rest of your kit will be in the van. For the full suggested list of what to bring, please refer to the kit list which also outlines all the relevant paperwork you’ll need to bring along.

What shouldn’t I bring ?
Live India suggests that you leave valuable items such as portable computers, jewellery and expensive clothing at home. You won’t miss your pc for a second when you are freewheeling through the cedarwood forests. If you intend to bring an expensive camera, it would be advisable to insure it prior to the trip.

What will the accommodation be like ?
Andrew and Nitin have explored the Live India routes thoroughly and have found the very best accommodation bar none. You will experience high luxury and comfort, and also some proper outdoors living. For details of accommodation particulars, please contact us.

Who will I share a room with ?
If you are a couple, then that’s simply answered. For single travellers - The trip tariff is based on a twin shared room of the same gender. We will rotate who you share with on a daily basis. If we are unable to find a same gender room share we will provide a single room at no extra cost. The single room will also be rotated through everyone on the trip. Single room supplements are also available at extra cost (see tariff list below each journey) which will guarantee you a single room each night where available.

Will we be riding in large cities or on major roads ?
It depends on the trip. On the Himalayas Tour we have planned the journey to avoid traffic congestion. The last two days of the journey are using train and private vehicles for that reason. The Malabar Coast and Goa Journeys involve sporadic riding in towns and on major highways but for the most part are along quiet stretches.

Are non English riders welcome ?
All nationalities are welcome. Some basic English is necessary. Andrew speaks French and some German.

Can you tailor make itineraries ?
Yes we can. If you would like an exclusive tour for a small group please contact Andrew by email or phone.

Will you pick me up from the airport ?
Absolutely. That’s all part of the service.

What if I am ill or need a break from riding ?
No problem. Just hop in the jeep and one of the mechanics will take care of your bike.

Does Live India travel responsibly ?
Yes we do. We donate to the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala in the Himalayas which you will also get to visit if you join the Himalayas Tour. Apart from that we generally stay in family run accommodation and enjoy our meals from local restaurants so your money goes directly into the local economy. We take the time to stop and chat with people which increases international understanding and bridges the gap between our cultures.

 

Why Live India? 10 top reasons to travel with Live India

Our group limit is 8 Max.
This is probably the most important benefit to travelling with LiveIndia.
Our small group size allows you to feel more like a group of friends on an adventure rather than a tour group. This exclusivity also allows us to provide you with a more personalised service and gets you right into the culture without intimidating the local people. Our team is a minimum of four and many tours we ride with four or five clients giving you an unprecedented level of service. We warm your bikes for you in the mornings, carry your bags into hotels, offer you individual information on whatever subject you are interested in, and take you out to discover more if we can. We fill your bikes with petrol for you and tailor your meals to your palate. With small numbers we can stay in people’s homes on some nights, often a highlight of the trip, as well as gorgeous boutique hotels with only a few rooms available in architectural wonders located in breath-taking locations. Small group travel is a whole different experience.

You have two expert guides with you.
One from England, one from India, both Andrew and Avneesh have extensive knowledge of the country. With a wealth of experience and a great sense of humour both will be on hand to ensure you are well looked after and get the most out of your incredible journey through this amazing country. They will always endeavor to make each trip unique by allowing time to stop and participate in the most exciting of the vast range of spontaneous events that may occur along your route such as weddings, festivals and markets as well as pointing out flora, fauna and sampling culinary delights that you pass along the way.

We don’t scrimp on luxury.
If you are coming all the way to India then you want to see the best it has to offer. If there is a fantastic place to stay, then we’ve booked it for you. Whether it is a converted colonial mansion, a Maharaja’s palace, or simply a traditional Indian home with a superb location and charming family, all of your accommodation has something very special going for it. We consider where you stay and where you eat to be highlights. You will always eat in the very best restaurants, from award-winning beachside, palm-fringed restaurants in Goa, to little known, but widely renowned Indian eateries in the Himalayas specialising in fabulous local delicacies, to the most delicious roadside snacks and fresh fruit drinks along the way, everywhere you eat has been carefully selected to introduce you to the spectacular panoply of Indian cuisine with no holds barred.

All inclusive.
This means that on all of our tours, all of your accommodation (in your own room), all meals, petrol, snacks, water and non-alcoholic drinks are included. All of your local flights, transfers, monument entrance fees and guides are also covered, as are of course the bikes, the backup vehicles, mechanics and doctor. We even pay all your tips to waiters and porters, so you can just relax and fully enjoy your holiday without ever having to dip into your pocket or worry about money at all. You only need to pay your flights (around £500 return from the UK) visa, and insurance, and have a fantastic time.

The Bikes are latest models.
We renew our bikes every two years to ensure you are always riding the latest model Royal Enfield in nearly new condition, if not brand new. The gears and brakes are the right way around and the bikes are maintained to the highest possible standard by our dedicated team of Enfield technicians who will adjust your bike to your specifications on your first day of riding, such as rear brake pedal, gear lever and clutch actuation, if it isn’t perfect for you already.

Medical peace of mind
Your safety and health is paramount at LiveIndia and for that reason we don’t just ride with just a but you will always have our fully qualified G.P. Doctor Avneesh with you during the tour. We rarely have stomach problems but on the occasional instances we do, Avneesh is an expert in getting people back to health in no time at all. Whether it is a cut or graze or something more complicated, having a fully equipped Doctor along who can diagnose and prescribe medicines is a luxury no other tour group has, and he has proved his worth many times over. Not only that, he lives in the Himalayas, has his own Royal Enfield and is passionate and knowledgeable about his country as well as having a great sense of humour and is a pure pleasure to travel with.

Rub shoulders with the locals.
We will get you into the country at a deeper level rather than just rushing you through. Expect to laugh and chat with the locals whether we stop in a village or a shop in Delhi. The reason we are called Live India is because with us you will get to see India live. We make sure that you feel right at home here and give you the cultural tips you need to get around and enjoy the country like it’s your second home. Our small group limitation allows us the flexibility to go into people’s homes for a cup of tea, join weddings, or just chat with a farmer about his oxen and the weather.

We ride the best routes
Andrew has spent 6 months per year for the last 28 years exploring and discovering the very best routes India has to offer as part of his search for antiquities for his previous retail business and as a contracted photographer for Lonely Planet travel guides and many other publications. In the course of his travels he has unearthed many unique roads and stunningly visual locations to ride through that nobody else has the slightest inkling exists. Using his hundreds of local contacts, we continually revise the routes to accommodate newly created roads traversing areas barely touched by modernisation to visit remote peoples and fascinating monuments where the ride itself is a work of art. For this reason, our maps on the LiveIndia website are deliberately vague, marking only main waypoints, as every other tour company is desperate to copy us because they simply don’t have the connections and in-depth knowledge necessary to plan such spectacular rides. To this end we transport our bikes hundreds of kilometers for each tour to begin in the very best countryside locations, so you avoid as many highways as possible and all large cities.

You have a top travel photographer with you.
If you would like to take some great shots then ask Andrew for some tips. He supplies images for many of the world’s most famous travel publications and will be only too happy to share his secrets with you.

Ride at your own pace.
With Live India you can ride as fast or as slow as you like. Our support team will patiently stay behind the last riders allowing you to enjoy the day as your own. Most days comprise around 3 - 5 hours in the saddle with plenty of stops along the way, and we take days off too in-between to relax in the most fascinating and beautiful locations you can imagine. If you have come all the way to see India, then the bike is a method of enjoying it to the maximum, so rather than having to ride from dawn to dusk at breakneck speed to get to a destination, we allow an easy-going schedule to give you the time to appreciate the wonderful places you stay in each night as well as properly take in the wonders you come across, as you ride through the incredible landscapes of India. There are some roads where the views dictate the pace and others where we make the most of the road and the riding. Whichever the case, those who wish to take it easy can go at their own speed knowing the vehicle is behind them and the others will be waiting a short way ahead at the next viewpoint or tea stop. This is another beauty of small group travel, and there are no clouds of dust kicked up by a dozen riders in front of you either.

M.Taylor
Roof Of The World - March 2019
Highly recommend this trip, its the most amazing experience.

Roger Turner
Bhutan Tour - November 2018
Just to say thank you to you all for your fun and cheerful company on what was an amazing and unforgettable trip.

Paul Hanson: Roof Of The World - August 2018

It's been about 6 years since I did this and it's still one of the best things that I've ever done.

Tom B. Little Tibet Tour - October 2018

Certainly, the highlight of my year was our Himalayan adventure! Still working on a return to India....Leh and Nubra Valley need to be ridden! (2020?)

Ben Williamson January 2018

What a trip we had though, I miss it everyday. Was the best trip I have ever been on.

Susan J. December 2017

Big big thanks Andy & LiveIndia for another amazing wonderful experience in India.

Chris Edmunds
Goa & Beyond - December 2017

Thank you, Andy, thank you India, t’was another amazing trip. I’m truly grateful for everything - it was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new! Love to you all.

Ciaran Gannon.
Goa & Beyond - December 2017

Thanks Andy, another awesome Indian adventure.

Philip Deacon July 2017

I'm struggling to decide which was my favourite place and moment. There isn't a day that goes by without us reflecting on where we have been and what we have seen.

R. Hine
Malabar Coast Kerala - Jan 2017

Thanks for pictures...was indeed a fantastic trip and thank you for making it a great experience...Hopefully we will meet again.

Peter Daniels
Roof Of The World - March 2017

I keep getting wonderful flash back images of our trip and that unique countryside

Peter Laws 
Rajasthan - October 2016

Thanks from Will and I for a fantastic trip. I can only endorse Roger’s comments below: It really was a very special time.

Ciaran G. October 2016

You did everything you could to ensure an amazing experience, always with the safety of the group in mind. The team of people you have built there, to cover all aspects of the tour, is superb. Awesome job!

Roger T.
Rajasthan - October 2016

Most of all it was lovely to share the experience with such good company. Many thanks for all your hard work which succeeded in making it such a success.

Michelle R.
Roof Of The World - July 2016

I have been on a lot of motorcycle tours in my life but I just wanted to tell you that this was the best one I have ever been on.

Valerie F.
Goa & Beyond - January 2015

India was never on my bucket list. And now I want to go back and see it all.

Nick A.
Little Tibet - November 2014

We often talk about our Indian adventure and have nothing but fond memories of the trip.

John Fisher
Himalayas Tour - October 2014

What a great time was had by all, I hope. A great adventure. Thank you all for making my birthday special.

Dick & Ruth B.
Himalayas Tour - April 2014

We still have to pinch ourselves when we think back to what really was a trip of a life time. Would we do it again – Yes.

David Armand
Goa & Beyond - January 2014

Thanks again for encouraging me to do this and taking care of a newbie. Was brilliant!

Jon Mitchell - Himalayas Tour - April 2013

Hi Andy, can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my trip, it has help me appreciate the life and challenges of the beautiful people of India, and hope to join you for your Bhutan trip in 2014.
Again many thanks for a life altering experience, something that I will never forget, and I think you may get a few interests from Aussie, on my recommendation.

Paul Kemp
Roof Of The World - August 2012

Dear Andrew,
I can’t thank you and all the boys enough for the great adventure
and the friendships formed during the trek was magic.

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