10 Tips For Your First Bhutan Motorbike Tour

If this is your first motorcycle tour of Bhutan, it’s essential that you’veadequately prepared for the ride ahead. Whilst you will be coming to the country as part of a tour group (who will handle a lot of the arrangements for you, from bikes to accommodation), there are still plenty of things you can do to have the most enjoyable experience possible.

Here are our top 10 tips for Bhutan motorbike tour first timers:

1. Choosing a Ride
Although a bike is provided on most tours, there is often a few different models to choose from. If you’re able to make the choice yourself, do your research and choose the model that best suits your skill and comfort level. If you’re assigned a bike by the company, ensure that you’re honest about your skill level so that the guide can allocate one accordingly.

2. Pack Light
You’ll often only have access to what you’re able to carry with you on your motorcycle, so packing light is recommended. Suitcases may be stored by your tour company for the duration of the trip. You won’t need a whole lot of clothes, for example, and opt for travel sized toiletries rather than full-sized.

3. Dress Appropriately
Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the conditions – wear proper riding pants, jackets and boots where possible, coupled with comfortable shirts. Don’t wear baggy clothes, as these may become caught and can become uncomfortable. Helmets are generally provided as a part of Bhutan motorbike tours and other gear can be purchased or hired affordably.

4. Stay Hydrated
You’ll often be having so much fun on motorcycle tours of Bhutan that you forget to keep hydrated. This can make you lethargic, as well as lead to illness. It’sa good idea to carry a large drink bottle or even a hydration pack so that you don’t have to stop as often to refill it – you just have to remember to drink!

5. Take Breaks
Sitting on a bike for long hours without breaks can cause something known as saddle sores, particularly if you’re not used to this sort of travel. Whilst your tour will have plenty of breaks planned through the day (stopping for meals, to refuel and sightsee), ensure that you listen to your body and your motorcycle to understand when they need a rest (and be sure to communicate this with your guide).

6. Don’t Lose the Map
Whilst your guide will know where they’regoing and have maps or GPS to help them get there, it’sa good idea for you to also have a map or GPS coordinates in case you get separated from the group. Make sure you keep these either on your bike or on your person so they can be accessed in case of an emergency.

7. Weather Preparation
You need to be more cautious of the weather on Bhutan motorbike tours, as you’re at the mercy of the elements. It could unexpectedly start pouring with rain or the temperature may soar without warning. Research what sort of weather to expect at the time of year that you are travelling. Carrying raincoats and sun protection is a great way to ensure that you’re prepared for anything.

8. Earplugs
It can get really loud when travelling down the highway, so earplugs can be used to avoid extreme pressure being placed on your ears. An alternative is to use headphones and play your favourite music, just ensure that you’re keeping an eye on your guide and on the traffic around you.

9. Eat at Off Hours
A lot of meals will be arranged by your tour company, but some (especially lunches) are left to be organised on the fly. To avoid long queues and wait times, we recommend eating at off hours (such as 11am for lunch and 5pm for dinner). Be sure to eat well but keep meals light – bouncing around after a heavy meal is sure to make anyone feel sick. Save big meals for the end of the day.

10. Stay Motivated
Keeping your spirits high will ensure that your trip is as enjoyable as possible. Being tired and frustrated can really mess with your mood and is infectious to the people around you. If you feel like you’re not enjoying the ride anymore, be sure to alert your guide that you need a break to get back in the groove.

By keeping each of the above tips in mind – particularly if you’re a first timer – we're sure that your trip will be an enjoyable one and that it will go as smoothly as possible. One of the best things about motorcycle tours of Bhutan is that the company you’ve booked through will handle most of the nitty-gritty – all you really need to do is turn up ready to ride.