Consideration on Tours
Levels of Difficulty
Each itinerary is marked with a difficulty level and the detail will also give you an idea of the road conditions. The tours in the Himalayas, Nepal and Mongolia generally require more skill from the riders and are less pillion friendly. Our tours range from predominantly tarred to exhilaratingly off-road with some exciting mixes in between.
Should you be unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact us and enquire for more details.
To Pillion or Not to Pillion…
Southern India, Rajasthan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand are definitely pillion friendly.
Please contact us about the Himalayan, Mongolian and Nepal tours should you wish to bring a pillion on those, since these routes are more demanding for riders.
In Mongolia, the ability to take a pillion depends on the bike/tour you book, since the KTMs don’t have pillion fixtures, but the Royal Enfield’s do. For other tour destinations, contact Mid Life Adventures.
Family and Friends
On specific tours, Mid Life Adventures is able to offer family and friends the ability to travel with the riders in a suitable vehicle so that they too can enjoy the adventure. Please contact us for further information.
Speed of Travel
It’s a tour, not a race so please be considerate of the group and the laws, people and animals of the country while on tour and ride accordingly.
What to Pack
Please view our detailed list on the website for what items to pack for your adventure.
What happens on Rest Days
Once at a location, your time is your own, so please feel free to do as you wish off-bike. Your guide will be able to suggest some leisure activities.
Size of Groups
Although we have taken larger groups of 25 riders on tour in the past, our preferred group size is around 10 – 15.
See itineraries for specific numbers per trip.
A valid passport with an expiry date of at least 6 months after the end of the tour is required.
Visas are required for every country visited.
Please acquire a multiple-entry Indian Visa to be allowed into Delhi. Motorcycle Expeditions will arrange your Bhutan Visa with a photocopy of your passport and 3 passport photos. Confirmed reservations and funds are required due to Bhutan tourism laws.
To enter and travel in India, you only require a ‘single entry Indian Tourist Visa’. These are valid for up to 6 months and are obtained from the Indian Consular Visa Service http://vfsglobal.com/. Select your language, India and your country on the left of the screen, to obtain more information on acquiring an Indian Visa.
We do NOT recommend eVisa, since those do not guarantee permits required for your travels into the remote areas of India.
Riders need to apply for their own Mongolian visas beforehand.
On-Entry visas are valid for 60 days and can be renewed either in Kathmandu or Pokhara for an additional 1 month visa, up to 150 days (5 months) per calendar year. The charge at any of the border crossings is US$40 per month. The renewal visa will cost US$60 for 1 month.
ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) is a requirement and you can either acquire it online or for a bit extra, on arrival at the airport.Please visit eta.gov.lk for more details.
Visa policies are fairly open and convenient. Please consult your local Thailand and Laos embassies to establish the required steps.
For Tibet Tours originating in either Tibet or Nepal, we through our overseas partners, will arrange the necessary paperwork – Tibet Group Permit, Temporary Vehicle License, and any onward Visas for guests wishing to enter China from Tibet. Guests must submit the necessary documents for Tibet Tours two months in advance of a Tour Start Date.
Riders are required to hold a temporary local licence to ride a motorcycle of greater than 50cc in Vietnam. Therefore riders are advised to apply for a 3 month Visa from the Embassy rather than an eVisa or Visa on Arrival. Non riders require a 1 month tourist Visa.
Motorbike Licence (required)
It’s compulsory, please bring it.
International Driving Permit (required)
This is also a compulsory document. Apply at your local Automotive Association office. Please send details of the IDP to Mid Life Adventures before the time if you’re booked for a Sri Lanka tour, so we can assist apply for a temporary local permit.
Vietnamese Local Licence
Click the following link: https://vietnam.embassy.gov.au/hnoi/Driving_in_Vietnam.html
In short an International licence is not valid in Vietnam and to obtain a local licence requires a traveller to be a temporary resident. This is achieved by holding a 3 MONTH visa. A one month tourist Visa does not allow a non-resident to obtain a local temporary motor vehicle licence. MLA through our Vietnamese associates will assist riders obtain a local Vietnamese Temporary Licence. Riders are required to provide MLA with a copy of the riders Passport with stamped 3 month Visa 4 weeks prior to departure. Riders are encouraged to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City one day early for licence collection.
Travel Insurance required)
A valid travel insurance policy which covers your personal health, repatriation, belongings and covers you for riding a large capacity motorcycle for transport. Please print off a copy for safe keeping during your tour/travels.
Riders are requested to hand over the insurance numbers and addresses to our guide. Should your Travel Insurance not be adequate to cover you, please top up with Medical Insurance.
Please ensure that you are informed under your travel insurance policy document the level of cover provided for damage to hire vehicle e.g. motorcycle.
Note: you will not be allowed to join the tour without personal travel insurance.
Other Important Documents
Spare passport photographs, for Permits and SIM card purchases.
Photocopies of your Passport and Visa page, for Permits and SIM card purchases.
Important telephone numbers e.g. Credit Card Company contact number (in case of loss or theft).
Arrival and Departure
Planning to arrive a day before your tour starts, gives you time to rest and acclimatise to local conditions, especially the high altitude destinations, such as Leh in Ladakh and Nepal at 3500m. Onward flights to Leh normally connect quite well with international flights to Delhi.
Please let us know and we can arrange to collect you from the airport and book hotel rooms for you.
Arrivals at the Airport
Send us the arrival/departure flight details of each rider, so that we can arrange their transfers between the airport and hotel. Our provider representative will meet you at airport and transfer you to your hotel, even if you are arriving with different flights.
Independent Transfer to Booked Hotel on Arrival
Should you wish to make your own way to the booked hotel, we strongly advise you only use Government Registered Taxis, particularly when arriving in India.
Your luggage will be carried by the backup vehicle. Should you desire, you can carry a small backpack for your immediate valuables: wallet, camera, 1 set of clean underwear.
Extending your Trip
We are able to help with accommodation and travel plans should you plan to stay in the tour destination for some time after your tour. If you have questions about anything, please ask!
How Much Money Do I Need & In What Currency
Suggested Spending Money
The equivalent of about USD$250-600 for drinks, extra meals, shopping and tips on the way should suffice.
ATMs (cash machines/dispensers) are becoming increasingly popular in the cities and bigger towns, but ensure you have cash on you.
USD$50 per person at the end of the tour, presented to the crew and then will be split amongst them.
Currencies to bring
US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR) and Australian Dollars (AUD) are all valid currencies and can be exchanged in all main centres. Please be aware that once we go off the beaten track, only local cash will be accepted, so exchanges need to occur in the main centres.
Payment and Cancellation
35% – Deposit per person is required when booking as advance money to ensure that you’re joining one of our motorbike tours.
Bank transfer receipt is to be forwarded to MLA with the booking sheet to confirm your reservation on the tour.
65% – Balance in currency as advised is payable 90 days before departure. The deposit will ensure your place on the expedition.
For Himalaya’s Nepal, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Bhutan tours a USD$300 deposit is required prior to the motorcycle assignment and this deposit can be paid in cash or via credit card authorisation at the start of the tour. This is to cover accidental damages to the motorcycle. This amount will be returned or not withdrawn from your credit card (depending on payment method), should there be no damages to the motorcycle.
No security deposit is required for tours in Thailand, Laos or Vietnam.
All accommodation is on same sex twin-sharing (couples double-room) basis unless otherwise advised (depending on tour). Sometimes there might a single occupancy in a double room. Single rooms can be provided on single supplement costs (refer individual tour notes).
If you need to cancel your booking due to unforeseen circumstances, please do so in writing.
Refunds for cancellations are on the following basis:
Cancellation received more than 90 days before tour commencement – 50% refund of deposit
Cancellation received between 60-90 days before tour commencement – 75% refund of tour cost
Cancellation received between 30-60 days before tour commencement – 50% refund of tour cost
Cancellation received less than 30 days before tour commencement – no refund
If a replacement can be made by MLA or by the cancelling rider before 30 days of the commencement of the tour, MLA has the option at their discretion to refund 100% of the tour cost less 20% retained for administrative costs incurred.
If you are delayed or think you might be late, contact details will be available and everything possible will be done to make alternative arrangements in order to meet further down the road. Extra costs may be incurred.
No refunds given if a person(s) leave a tour on-route.
Supplementary tours and additional nights’ accommodation (e.g. Day tour of Agra and Taj Mahal) are at additional cost and payable in full on booking. There will be NO REFUNDS on supplementary tours prepaid as MLA is unable to recover these payments from international providers.
Food and Accommodation
Food and Beverages
We are very conscious about catering and aim to dish up hygienic cuisine on our motorbike tours. Sometimes we ride well off the beaten tracks, where we will eat local and as much as it’s incredible delight to the palate and an authentic and a wonderful experience, it might not meet European standards.
We will dine in hotels if that’s the accommodation for the night.
Our efficient kitchen crews are always ready to serve you five star cuisines at high altitudes, during the expeditions.
Should you have any special requirement e.g. vegetarian or food allergies, please discuss this with us in advance, so we can arrange accordingly.
Water bottles (1 L) are always provided by the backup Jeep during road trips
Consumption of high degree alcohol is prohibited during riding time and also not beneficial for oxygen absorption / levels at high altitude, but evenings are full of chit-chat and rum punch to knock out the fatigue of the day.
Accommodation on Tours
Accommodation ranges from luxury hotels and guest houses to deluxe camping, depending on availability in the area. All accommodation is on same sex twin-sharing (couples double-room) basis unless otherwise advised. Sometimes there might a single occupancy in a double room.
Single rooms can be provided on single supplement costs.
Wi-Fi and Connectivity
Wi-Fi, Internet and Phone Signal
There should be Wi-Fi in most hotels and guest houses. On some tours into the Himalayas, we may be off-line for a day or 2 though.
Mongolia is the exception since there is only Wi-Fi and phone signal in Ulaanbaatar. Once the ride starts, connection to the virtual world takes a back-seat… Welcome to sweet, breathtaking, reality!
Satellite phones and [2 way] radio transceivers (walkie talkies) are forbidden by law in the Bhutanese, Indian and Tibetan Himalayan regions, which incorporates all our Himalayan tours. For this reason, we keep basic medication to assist us in getting patients to the nearest army or public hospital in the event of an emergency.
A valid travel/medical insurance policy which covers your personal health, repatriation, belongings and covers you for riding a large capacity motorcycle (and high altitude in the case of Himalayan trips) for transport. Please print off a copy for safe keeping during your tour/travels. Riders are requested to hand over the insurance numbers and addresses to our guide.
You need to be fit enough. Bike tours are physically and mentally demanding, even the “easy” ones and especially the tours through the High Himalayas, Nepal and Mongolia.
No vaccinations are required for any of the tours, but for your own peace of mind and safety, please check with your personal physician or local travel clinic.
Tired or Unwell
If you are unwell on a riding day, you may ride in the support vehicle, assuming we have one with us. The mechanic will ride your bike until you are fit to ride again.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or Altitude Sickness
Acute Mountain (High Altitude) Sickness is a risk on the High Himalayan tours. Please check yourself for symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, dizziness or light-headedness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, rapid pulse (heart rate), shortness of breath with exertion. Your guide, being local, will be very knowledgeable on AMS and how to treat it and there will be Diamox and Oxygen Cylinders in the backup van, with the First Aid Kit. Feel free to bring your own Diamox.
Some ways to avoid AMS however are to drink plenty of fluids (water), avoid alcohol, chew coca leaves and eat regular meals containing carbohydrates. Riders with heart or lung disease have to check with your physician before attempting to go to high altitudes.
Mosquito’s have a presence in Southern India (Kerala, Rajasthan), Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. You can bring your own mosquito repellents, although there should also be some for sale at each of these destinations in the big cities and towns. There may not be time to acquire these though.
Age group of Riders
People of all ages are welcome to join our tours, but more important than age, is your physical health and strength. Please get a doctors’ bill of health, especially for the high passes – Himalayas/Nepal.
What do I do In An Emergency
Safety is always a foremost priority, which is why we always wear helmets and armoured riding gear and ensure a minimum ‘2 Second Rule’ keeping a safe distance between riders.
If you are unwell on a ride day, you may ride in the support vehicle, assuming we have one with us and even for 2+ riders, the mechanic will ride your bike until you are fit to ride again.
Nobody wants to get hurt or injured on a tour, but accidents do sometimes happen. You should have a travel insurance policy that is sufficient for your personal health/medicinal needs and covers hospitalisation or repatriation.
In remote locations, there will be no mobile signal and helicopter recovery service and ambulances may not be available. The tour leader will ensure that the best possible evacuation/services are provided according to local availability. Be aware that your insurance may cover helicopter rescue, but that we may have to send a messenger back down the road for one day to find a telephone that works in order to summon one, assuming the nearest helicopter is in working order – this would be the case on the more remote excursions in the mountains.
We request riders to provide an alternative emergency contact and in the unfortunate event that anything serious should happen to you, we will inform this alternative contact of your condition as soon as possible.
Damage to Motorcycle
The terms and conditions of the underlying tour company detail the conditions related to damage of vehicle under the control of the rider. Mid Life Adventures carries no responsibility in regard to equipment used during the tour.
Thailand (Big Bike Tours)
Any damage, mechanical or electrical failure on any Big Bike Tours motorcycle must be reported to the tour leader immediately. Included in the tour price is standard motorcycle damage insurance which covers you for incidental damages.
You will be liable for the first 25,000 THB in any claim and in the event of a write-off you will be liable for 100,000 THB (Thai Baht) The tour supplier does offer an upgrade to this insurance bringing the liability down to 10,000 and 75,000 respectively if you wish to upgrade it (500 THB per bike and day). Please note this is only applicable to tours within Thailand.
India/Mongolia/Sri Lanka/Bhutan (Motorcycle Expeditions)
Are bikes covered by insurance for damage by the tour provider?
From our Terms & Conditions, under point 8. Motorcycle Damage Deposit
The motorcycles are insured under Third Party as per legal requirements, but this does NOT cover anything. Accidents involving any humans, animals or vehicles (including our motorcycles) are not covered. The procedures are so cumbersome that insurance is paid as a legal formality and claims are never made or processed
If the bike fails due to no fault of the rider, who is responsible for the cost and is a replacement bike provided at no additional cost?
In this case, a replacement bike will be offered at no cost to the rider
If the bike is damaged due to misuse, who incurs the repair cost and is a replacement bike provided?
First of all, misuse will not be tolerated, this is a tour and we are in a group where others could be put at risk or at the very least, have their precious touring time wasted. Secondly, the repair cost will be covered in full by the participant. In this case NO REPLACEMENT BIKE will be offered and the participant will spend the rest of the trip in the backup van.
From our Terms & Conditions, under point 1. Prerequisites
“At our discretion, any Rider seen taking unnecessary risks en-route will have their journey terminated, thereafter travelling in the support vehicle for the remainder of the tour. No reimbursement will be given in this case. Your safety is our primary concern.”
From our Terms & Conditions, under point 9. Etiquette and Protocol
“Riding a motorcycle in Asia and the Indian sub-continent is a privilege. MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITIONS ADVENTURE TOUR Pvt Ltd is grateful to the Tourism Authority of the Indian sub-continent and Asia for permission to operate tours of this kind in Asian countries. Although some remote regions are opening their doors to the outside world and experimenting with new ideas for tourism, participants are reminded of the culturally sensitive nature of these trips and are urged and requested to conduct themselves in a respectable manner and show extra courtesy and riding style while encountering local residents! We further ask you to please show respect and courtesy to your fellow riders.”
In regard to question 3 if a replacement bike is provided, does the rider incur additional hire cost?
No replacement bike will be provided in case of misuse.
Is the $300 damage deposit the extent of the cost incurred by the rider in the event of motorcycle failure?
From our Terms & Conditions, under point 8. Motorcycle Damage Deposit
“A safety deposit of USD 300- is required as a prerequisite to motorcycle assignment to the Rider and this deposit can be paid in cash or via credit card authorization prior to the start of the tour. Damages sustained to the motorcycle are entirely the responsibility of the Rider and should the damages exceed the amount of the safety deposit, MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITIONS ADVENTURE TOUR Pvt Ltd reserves the right to claim the costs from the Rider separately. If no damages are incurred during your motorcycle expedition, then no charges will appear on your credit card or your cash deposit will be returned. In case of small damages, the remainder of the deposit will be returned to the Rider.”
Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia (Vietnam Motorbike Tours)
The motorcycle that Vietnam Motorbike Tours includes limited 3rd party damage cover limited that will not exceed $4000.00 USD.
The participant will be liable for the first US $200.00 worth or any damage to the motorcycle deemed by Vietnam Motorbike Tours to have been your responsibility. The term damage is to exclude reasonable wear and tear. Minor blemishes or paint chips caused by gravel, stones and insects are considered normal wear and tear however damage or scratches caused by an accident, dropping a motorcycle or riding it through bushes and flooding bikes is not considered normal wear and tear.