Almost everyone who rides a motorbike dreams of a long Royal Enfield trip. The kind of iconic image Royal Enfield has created in connection with road tripping in the mountains is impeccable. So, it was easier for me to organize a group tour to Bhutan on a Royal Enfield along with another avid RE rider.
It was during my motorbike trip around South India that I met this crazy Bullet rider who had covered most parts of India on his Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet. It took us not too long to come to a conclusion that we need to organize a Royal Enfield trip! So we finalized a Bullet trip to Bhutan.
Bhutan is one of the easiest international destinations an Indian can visit. Riding a Royal Enfield through Bhutan can be an irresistible offer, we thought. And we weren't wrong! People signed up for the tour and on a sunny morning of October the team met their own rides for the trip.
Thus, the eight strangers became united through the REs and we all became a team of RE Trippers.
Ever since I have ridden my first RE, I've been a huge lover of its elegant looks and masculine exhaust notes. This love had planted the seed of taking a long Royal Enfield trip back then. Finally that dream was becoming a reality again, with this Bhutan ride.
The bike I was going to ride for the next 8 days was a Black Royal Enfield Classic 350cc, fitted with a dolphin silencer. It was a pure pleasure just to hear those dhak dhak notes while idling!
We started riding from Siliguri before noon. All our machines were in good condition, so we did pretty well in covering the distance in the daylight. As certain patches of the road became bad in some places, we had to slow down a bit. Otherwise it was a very smooth first day. By 9pm that night, we were able to reach the India - Bhutan border.
Phuetsholling was our first stop. As soon as we entered Bhutan, things started to change. The main change we felt was the stricter traffic rules. Since we were Royal Enfield riders, we were not known for our rash riding. So things were fine for us.
The next day after getting the required permits, we officially started our ride in Bhutan with Royal Enfield's characteristic calm but powerful demeanour. Kingdom of Bhutan roads were so perfect and our Royal Enfield trip really felt like a royal trip!
The destination for our second night was Thimphu. From there we went to Paro, Chele La pass, Dochula pass and Punakha. The powerful 350cc engine made negotiating the passes at an altitude of 12,454ft above sea level look easy. Due to this very reason, the ride through a foggy, cold day was a very enjoyable one.
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The Dochula Pass is a mountain pass in the snow covered Himalayas within Bhutan on the road from Thimpu to Punakha where 108 memorial chortens or stupas known as "Druk Wangyal Chortens" have been built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. Wikipedia Elevation: 3,100 m #Dochulapass #Punakha #Bhutan #Thimphu
Also taking this legendary motorcycle brand to places like Bhutan is a matter of personal pride too.
On the way, I could see many people waving at us, looking at us with a hint of jealousy. The admiration comes not only from the fact that we are having the time of our life, but also because of the fact that we are riding a legend, a motorcycle that started producing the same rhythmic thump for more than a century! The feeling of being part of such a grand legacy itself is an enviable feat by itself.
Our Royal Enfields lived up to the legacy. During all the 8 days of riding, our machines stayed in top class conditions and helped us to make beautiful memories of a road trip.
If anyone wants to recreate our Royal ride though Bhutan on a Royal Enfield, here is the itinerary you can follow.
Day 1 : Siligury
Day 2 : Phuentsholling
Day 3 : Thimphu
Day 4 : Thimphu
Day 5 : Punakha
Day 6 : Paro
Day 7 : Paro
Day 8 : Siliguri
A detailed Itinerary of the past ride can be found from this link.
Hope you will also have an amazing Royal Enfield trip yourself. Ride safe.
If you are still having two minds about visiting Bhutan, here is why Every Indian should visit Bhutan at least once.