With the motorsport world on hold, and travel bans in place for Australia, you might be forgiven for contemplating a future escape.
Speedcafe.com has worked to develop a list of dream places, events and experiences for fans of motorsport and motoring for you to tick off your Bucket List.
HIMALAYAN HEROES: International destinations
If your Bucket List includes a trip to a wild frontier banging around on some of the world’s toughest but most scenic roads dodging cows on a Royal Enfield motorcycle, then we have the deal for you!
Created by Perth-based entrepreneur Rex Havoc, Himalayan Heroes is a multifaceted adventure company which explores out of the way places in countries like India, Nepal, Mongolia, China, Tibet, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
There are no Sheratons or sheets on these tours, but there is everything you need for some hard-arsed fun and experiences either as a solo traveller or part of your own personally-organised group.
Ironically, the company lists its tours under four categories including adventure, Cultural, “Find your Smile’ and Bucket List.
The death of a close mate saw Havoc make his first motorcycle trip to India to “find himself” in 2013 and after word quickly spread he was joined by no less than 15 mates.
The trip was such a success that he planned another trip the following year and from there Himalayan Heroes evolved into a serious on-going concern.
What was supposed to be a one-off holiday in India has turned into boutique motorcycle adventure business that explores the Mongolian Steppes, rides through Tibet and stays at Mt Everest Base camp.
It also discovers Bhutan, the happiest place on Earth, rides the length of the eighth Wonder of the World, the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan, explores 3000-year-old caves in Nepal and tours the highest road in the world in India.
“When a friend suddenly passed away from cancer, it was the catalyst for me to stop saying I was going to do stuff and actually start doing it,” said Havoc.
“Our time here is short and we don’t get a trial run so we have to make the most of our most precious commodity – time.”
The diversity of the tours means that riders can experience altitude changes from 2,000m to 5,600m in India and 800m to 4,000m in Nepal, which means a good clothing plan is required to handle temperatures from -10 to 30 degrees.
There are also cultural considerations for when riders are entering mosques and temples where shorts are not allowed and shoes have to be removed, especially if they are made of leather.
Himalayan Heroes also has a strong “Giving Back” project which all guests are encouraged to contribute to, according to Havoc.
“It is important that we enrich the lives of the people in the remote areas that we visit so proceeds of every adventure go towards our Giving Back project,” said Havoc.
“In 2019 alone, we were able to house two families in Mongolia, provide 12 months of school equipment to a monastery school in India and support an orphanage in Nepal.”
So for some basic background here is what is included for your cash: Transfers to/from airport and hotel, all internal transfers and other travel for the duration of the adventure, a low-kilometre Royal Enfield Motorcycle, fuel, and quality accommodation on a twin share basis (Comfort hotels/guest houses/Camps/tents).
All meals, english speaking guides, medical kit and Oxygen on high altitude adventures, mechanics with all necessary spare parts, support vehicles to carry all luggage (if riders are injured or feeling unwell they can take a break and jump into the back-up Jeep to relax), bottled mineral water, permits for restricted areas and all entrance fees en-route are included.
You will have to pony up for international flights, VISA, compulsory travel insurance, personal expenses, tips and alcoholic drinks.
You will also be required to bring all your own safety equipment including helmet, boots, jacket and gloves.
Being one of the founders of the Cafe Racer culture in Australia, Havoc has a soft spot for Royal Enfield bikes and it is no surprise they are the bike of choice for the tours.
Riders have a Royal Enfield Classic 500cc or a new adventure bike called the Himalayan and the good news is that there is a support crew of mechanics if anything goes wrong. What could go wrong?
While guests are not expected to have Mick Doohan-type skills, they are expected to have at least a couple of years of riding experience and a reasonable fitness level to handle the challenges the terrain and weather dishes out.
The tours are 10 to 15 days in duration and range in price from USD 3000 (AUD 4340) to USD 4700 (AUD 6800) for twin-share. There are also pillion, sidecar and ride-along packages, which can be organised.
2020 tours have been put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic but new unexplored routes are being designed so that a new list of tour options will be available in 2021.
Kate’s Himalayan adventure
Australian motoring and motorsport commentator, Kate Peck, was a guest on a Himalayan Heroes trip to India last year and her experience has appeared a couple of times on RPM.
Peck was booked to host a Mongolian Maniacs adventure this month, but COVID-19 put an end to that.
The trip has been rescheduled until next year and Peck is one of six women who have already signed up for the tour, according to Havoc.
This is a video that was put together showing the experiences of Peck’s group on last year’s adventure
|Address||All tours have varied start and end points.|
|How to get there||International flights to varied start locations|
Hours & Tickets
|2020 tours have been put on hold and a current batch of new rides is being finalised for 2021. Check the website for updates.The tours are 10 to 15 days in length and range in price from $US3000 ($AUD4340) to $US4700 (AUD$6800) for twin-share. There are also Pillion, sidecar and ride-along packages, which can be organised.|
|Phone||+61 8 70 888 333|
|Additional tip||Himalayian Heroes also has ambassadors in the US and UK and they can be contacted directly if you are in those regions.
Patrick Colleran [email protected]
Ben Saggers [email protected]