From eating bananas in a local gas station owner’s house, to having an Indian man say that meeting me was the most “incredible experience of his life”. This motorcycle trip could not have been better.

Throw in motorcycle accidents, trips to the mechanic, and many new Indian friends, and this is exactly what India motorcycle travel is all about.

I have spent the last 4 days driving through rural India from Hampi to Mysore on my motorcycle.

I had great company with 2 good friends.

Every day I fall more in love with my Royal Enfield.

If you missed the first part of the trip check out Goa to Hampi on my Royal Enfield to get caught up!

Royal Enfield India

Hampi to Mysore on a Royal Enfield Motorcycle

This 4-day motorcycle ride from Hampi to Mysore saw roads of all conditions.

I had spent the last few days exploring Hampi and had trouble leaving. Although my guest house was terrible, the area around Hampi itself is amazing.

Check out this list of things to do in Hampi to get a better idea of what it’s all about!

On the ride I would be cruising full speed down a newly paved road, the next minute I would come to an abrupt stop as the road just vanished, and I was left on a dirt trail with the biggest potholes I have ever seen.

This is India motorcycle travel at it’s best.

I chose a route that took me through central Karnataka, one of the southern states of India.

I love to go where no tourists go, and I did. This was very clear with the shock and awe that I received on this motorcycle ride from Hampi to Mysore.

I will now tell the story of the ride, and the characters I met along the way.

DAY 1: Koppal (Hampi) to Davangere

Leaving the B.A Pawar hotel was hard. This was my first taste of dirt-cheap, luxury hotels in India, and I was afraid that the quality of my sleeping conditions would deteriorate during the rest of this motorcycle ride from Hampi to Mysore.

Koppal is about 30 minutes from Hampi, and we chose this as our start point for the journey.

It was a bit of a rough start. My friend, who also was driving a Royal Enfield, got into a bit of an accident about 5 minutes into the trip.

Motorcycle Accidents and Welding Shops

There was a swarm of people yelling and shouting and the scene was pretty intense.

Royal Enfield India

It was clearly the other driver’s fault, but that wasn’t going to stand up in this roadside court.

After shouting and arguing the end verdict was a payment of 500 Rupees ($10) to the other driver and we were back on our way, but not for long.

After leaving the scene of the accident, my bike started riding funny. I looked it over and noticed my luggage rack was about to fall off.

Two friendly guys on a bike brought me to a welding shop and they spent about 15 minutes tacking it back together. This was at a cost of 50 Rupees ($1). Not a bad deal.

Royal Enfield India

This is Real India

Up until now, I have been on a tourist trail of sorts. Goa to Hampi on a Motorcycle is a well-driven route and a good warm up, but now it was time to really get off the beaten path; the Enfield’s specialty.

The first section of our Hampi to Mysore motorcycle ride took us through desert-like flat land.

We passed through small villages of friendly locals who would wave and shout at us. The looks on their faces as we drove past were always priceless.

No tourists come through here at all.

This is real India travel, double black diamond trails.

painted cows

We stopped for chai at a couple of dhabas, but after the mess in the morning it was more about making it to Davangere before dark and finding a place to stay.

We rolled into Davangere around 4pm and checked into a hotel that was above my usual price range, RS1600, but well worth it as it was pure luxury.

After dinner and some online work, it was early to bed to rest up for the next day of hard-driving.

We had no idea what was in store for us on the second part of our motorcycle ride from Hampi to Mysore.

DAY 2: Davangere to Kadur

This was an interesting day filled with randomness, and the kindness of strangers.

This time we set an alarm, as we would every day to follow, to get an early start and beat the afternoon heat. Good thing we did.

When I loaded up the luggage I noticed that my $1 welding job I had the day before had broken completely. It was worse than before.

I guess you get what you pay for!

We drove slowly through the town asking around for a welder and were directed to a little shop on a side street.

This welder did a better job; using rebar he cut with a hammer and chisel, along with some old bolts, he welded my luggage rack back on.

This was the fix it needed, and slightly more expensive, RS 210 ($4). It would hold strong the rest of the way from Hampi to Mysore on my motorcycle.

Check out this dude that was hanging out while the bike was being welded.

Royal Enfield India

Eating Bananas with an Indian Businessman

The first couple of hours were rough. The road was non-existent and the bikes were taking a beating, as were our bodies riding them.

We stopped for gas at a station in the middle of nowhere; this is where we met our new friend.

He was the owner of the station and invited us into his office for tea. We, of course, accepted.

We chatted for a while and drank tea. He told us that if we went off course just a bit, we would hit a main highway with great roads and it would shave hours off the trip from Hampi to Mysore on our motorcycles.

First though, we went to visit his home village.

Hampi to Mysore on a motorcycle

We sat in his living room, where his wife served us small bananas on a silver tray.

After we finished our bananas he sent one of his workers to guide us to the well-paved road. We followed the boy and were back on our way.

He was right on about the road conditions. The road was great and we made great time.

We rolled into Kadur around 5pm and checked into what would be the best value hotel yet. RS850 got us premium rooms with lightning fast wifi. If I weren’t on a schedule, I would have stayed there to catch up on work and just live like a local.

The story, however, must go on.

DAY 3: Kadur to Hassan

We left Kadur at around 9am with the goal of stopping at a 1000 year old temple on the way to Hassan.

The roads were smooth, the air was cool, and the ride was great.

Visiting the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu

If you ever find yourself driving a motorcycle from Hampi to Mysore this is a must see along the route.

The Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu is astonishing.

It’s 1000 years old and in near-perfect shape. You probably know I am not one for history lessons in my blog, so if you are interested check that wiki link to see what the Hoysaleswara Temple all about.

Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu

We wandered around the temple for about an hour before hitting the road again towards Mysore.

It was mid afternoon and the sun was beating down, I was in jeans and boots, but was not bothered by it. I am getting used to the heat here.

Walking around these temples it’s hard to believe their age. They blow my mind every time.

Cruising into Hassan

After we left the temple we rode for about an hour.

It was cooking hot outside and Royal Enfields do not like the heat. We pulled over in a field and had a rest on a secluded creek bed.

Hampi to Mysore on a motorcycle

It was a great escape from the madness of India, and luckily we weren’t bothered by anyone.

After this it was another afternoon of smooth sailing and another luxury hotel for next to nothing.

We arrived in Hassan early and hit the town.

I got a $1 shave and my motorcycle mate, Stu, got a $1 haircut. Both turned out very well.

The care the man put into shaving my my face was that of a mother nursing a newborn baby.

DAY 4: Hassan to Mysore

This was the last day of the motorcycle ride from Hampi to Mysore.

This was also the last day of our 3-person team. One member was off to Kochi, and the other member after a couple of days in Mysore, will be heading south to Kerala. I am here for work, and will be heading to Bangalore after.

We once again we left early to beat the heat. The roads were good, as was the weather.

I noticed that there was less trash around the side of the roads. From that, coupled with the general state of them, I could see that we were coming into an area with more money. It’s amazing how this really affects the areas I travel through in India.

Hampi to Mysore on a motorcycle

A mere 50km can make a huge difference in the quality of life here it seems.

Getting Denied at the Green House Dhaba

For those that don’t know, a Dhaba is a sort of rest stop on an Indian highway.

These are the perfect place to let the bikes cool down, and have a much-needed break. The green house dhaba looked great, but on arrival we weren’t treated with the usual Indian kindness.

I could tell we were getting back to where more tourists have been.

We were told that the kitchen was closed until 1:30 pm. It was only 11:00 am at this time.

We settled for some chai and dates and relaxed for a bit.

Just as we were leaving a couple of locals pulled up and were served food right away.

Definitely not recommending this place.

Meeting us was the most Incredible Experience of his life

After we left the dhaba and drove down a well-paved road for a while we decided to pull off into the shade just to chill for a bit.

We sat undisturbed at an intersection for a while before the usual crowd of people started to appear.

Of course they wanted to take our pictures, as all Indians seem to do.

This time I decided to ask a man why every Indian wants our picture?

His answer; “Because this is the most incredible experience of my life”.

How can you say no to a picture after an answer like that?

He went on to say that never has he seen westerners so close to his village, and this was mind-blowing for him.

Royal Enfield India

If we weren’t on a tight schedule to get to Mysore, to catch a bus, we would have gone to his village and checked it out; something that is now on my list of India goals.

The crowd started to grow bigger and that was our cue to leave.

Onwards we went to Mysore.

Living Like a Local in Mysore

The motorcycle trip from Hampi to Mysore was amazing.

When we pulled into Mysore, I led the way with my gps in my ear to the apartment where I would be staying.

I am living here with some locals that I will be doing a tour through the city with. Look for an upcoming post about it.

We unloaded the bikes, got settled in and went out to a great dinner with pitchers of beer (something I miss from home).

We ate good food, drank ok beer, and then had to deliver one of our members to the bus at 11:30pm, the other member went to his hotel, and I went home to bed.

It is now the day after and I sit in the apartment writing this story. I will be here for 2 more nights before I am back on the bike and the story will go on.

If you would like to follow along my journey through India on my Royal Enfield motorcycle please subscribe for the latest posts right to your email!

Are you interested in this sort of motorcycle trip through India? Step 1 is buying the bike. Have a look at Buying a Royal Enfield in India

If you enjoyed reading about my motorcycle ride from Hampi to Mysore then check out:

How to Live on the Beach for $500 a month

What Christmas is like in Goa 

Rules for Driving in India at Night

How to get a Sim Card in India to have GPS on your Phone

9 Responses

  1. The HeartBrokenBiker

    Wow $10 is a cheap get away.
    If you hit a hen/cock or a goat or buffalo … get ready to spend anything from $300 to $600

    If you hit a person and even if its their fault (read, jumped on the road in front of you), its gonna be anywhere from $20 – $1000 and it does not depend on how hurt he/she is, but how many people gather around and how many claim to be his/her son/relative or whatever.

    Pro Tip: Don’t let people gather around.

    • Alex

      Everything you say here sounds completely accurate! Best plan is not to hit any people!

    • Alex

      I bet it took them about 3 minutes to get it done too and cost next to nothing! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Saravana Kumar

    When you drive, always think the opposite person coming in is insane and doesn’t know to drive. This is how we drive in India. The people on the road side are waiting for these kind of incidents to earn their pocket money.. Hope you had a wonderful journey.

    • Alex

      Solid advice. I am still getting used to city driving. It is all about being aggressive here. In Canada we are taught “defensive driving”. I know how to forget everything I know and re-learn India style.

  3. dude

    dude love your biking story. Going to bookmark your like. BTW, you ride a bike, you don’t drive a bike. lol