How a two-day bike ride developeda brotherhood culture among Royal Enfielders and promoted adventure bike ride tourism in the country.
On a chilly Friday morning at around 8 am on December 15, a group of motor bikers who gathered at the Royal Enfield (RE) Showroom at Balaju Industrial Area were all excited about their two-day bike ride programme, titled the Exclusive RE Himalayan Owners’ Ride 2017. Among the riders, Mahendra Shakya, 57, a tourism entrepreneur by profession, was all geared up in a warm jacket and gloves. Shakya who is the owner of Hotel Heranya and MoMo King bought his Royal Enfield Himalayan bike some two and half years ago. Forgetting the December winter chill, he was looking forward to experiencing a ride of his life that would take him all the way to Bandipur and back to Kathmandu the next day. Hoping to have fun during the ride, he shared, “I am here to participate in the bike ride with all the courage despite my growing age.”
Organised by Vivek Automobiles, the authorised distributor for Royal Enfield motorbikes in Nepal, the two-day bike ride event, themed as ‘Ride More, Ride Pure’, kicked off on December 15 from Balaju. A total of 55 riders covered a 280 km ride. The riders took the Balaju-Swoyambhu-Kalanki-Naikap-Balambhu-Dahachowk-Nagdhunga Checkpost-Naubidhe-Dharke-Malekhu-Mugling-Dumre-Bandipur route and returned on the same route the next day.
After reaching Bandipur, a beautiful hill station surrounded by mountain ranges, the company organised some games such as helmet tower, tug-of-war and flip cup for its riders who were still animated after a 140 km ride. The participants were provided with certificates of appreciation by Megha Raj Poudyal, head of operation department at Vivek Automobiles. Similarly, Purna Singh Thapa, chief of Bandipur rural municipality awarded the winners of the games and expressed hope that such events will help promote tourism in Bandipur.
According to Poudyal, the company organised the ride to build up public relations with its customers and for their enjoyment as well. “We organised this event upon observing the immense potential of adventure tourism,” he dauis. According to the brand manager of the company Dipesh Shrestha, the company organised its first bike ride event to Ghyampedada last year where around 50 Royal Enfield Himalayan riders participated.
Likewise, the company recently concluded the second edition of its Royal Treasure Hunt Ride 2018. The ride was organised at Himalayan Motorland, Dhulikhel on January 6 with more than 140 riders and around 275 participants.
Manish Situala, a banker from Kathmandu and a passionate bike rider who prefers bikes over four-wheelers for his holidays and vacations, said, “I am thrilled to be one of the participants of this ride organized by Vivek Automobiles.”
Hari Gauchan who was participating for the second time with his wife expressed his desire to travel across the length and breadth of Nepal on his Royal Enfield Himalayan bike. Gauchan who runs an investment company in Kathmandu said, “I love adventure bike riding during leisure times.” His wife, Laxmi Gauchan also echoed, “It was my first experience as a pillion rider and I fully enjoyed the ride.”
For Rewat Tuladhar, too, it was his first ride with the company. An event coordinator at Sacred Summit, an adventure travel company, Tuladhar has domestic and international experience in organising bike ride events. He opined that the event promoted a brotherhood culture among the riders on the shared route and helped to establish good relations with the company as well.
Features: Royal Enfield Himalayan Bike
Royal Enfield Himalayan bike is a touring bike. The bike has a fuel capacity of 15 litres, a digital compass and mono suspension for a smooth off-road experience. The seats on the Himalayan bike are comfortable and suitable for long tours. Sharing his opinion about the pricing of the bike which costs Rs 561,000, Tuladhar said, “Looking at the pricing of the bike, it is amazing compared to other motorbike brands in the same segment.” Himalayan bike is a powerful bike and can climb up rough hilly regions. “I felt comfortable riding the Himalayan and use it on a daily basis. People of my age can enjoy a smooth ride experience,” Gauchan who is in his mid-forties shared.
The RE Himalayan Performance
While reviewing the performance of the Himalayan bike and the after-sales service of the company, everybody gave a satisfied answer. “I am satisfied with the services provided by the company and the bike’s overall performance,” said Shakya. He further mentioned that the company provides services quickly when any problem occurs in the bike and even provides spare parts services from abroad if needed.
Gauchan who encountered some problems in his bike few months ago said, “I was pleased to avail of the free service worth Rs 12,000.” Another participant said that the company maintains regular contact with him to know if there is any problem with the bike.
On the other hand, Tuladhar who organises bike rides across the country and abroad has sent the bike to Manang, Mustang, India, Bhutan and Tibet. In his words, the bike’s performance was amazing. “For passionate young bike riders like me, it is the perfect match,” expressed Sitaula, a proud owner of the Himalayan bike.
The event was successful in highlighting the prospects of adventure bike ride tourism and promoting domestic tourism. “The ride was organised to promote motorcycle tourism as well asBandipur city,” said Poudyal.
The participants (many with a lot of experience in adventure bike rides)agreed that the off roads of Nepal are some of the best natural tracks for adventure bike rides. Shakya observed that the tourism potential in adventure bike riding hasn’t been exploited yet and adventure bike race competitions can be helpful in attracting international tourists. Meanwhile, Tuladhar pointed out that most of Nepal’s places with immense natural beauty is untapped but accessible via two-wheelers like RE Himalayan.
Poudyal suggested that bike ride events like the Himalayan Owners’ Ride aresome of the best tools for brand promotion and have also helped in the promotion of internal tourism. “For many participants, Bandipur was a new place to be at and everyone was amazed by its scenic beauty,” he said.