First things first! Even if you can, you should not over pay. In case you are stretching to pay, you have the right to get your money’s worth.
To ensure this, do the following:
1. Go through the ‘included’ items carefully and consider their contribution to the cost. For example, does the company want you to pay for your meals upfront, or does it allow you to pay when you actually have a meal? So, ask if food is included. Similarly, check if facilities such as Airport Pick-n-Drop, Choice of Motorcycle, Mobile Oil Replacement, Motorcycle Safety Accessories, and other similar items are covered. A cheaper looking tour may actually be costlier!
2. Research the company’s publicity. How much of your money did they spend on publicity and how much on actually providing you best facilities? All those Google Sponsored Links, Facebook Ads, Magazine ads, DVDs and exhibits at motorcycle shows are paid for by you. For example, our company relies heavily on word of mouth publicity driven by good service. It is better to spend on riding than on talking about riding. Think better hotels, nicer meals and awesome mechanics alongside spare motorcycles and support vehicles.
3. Ask shamelessly about the quality of hotels, conveniences and qualities of meals. Even more important is to know about the policy on spare parts and the condition of the motorcycles you will ride. You don’t want to go on a motorcycle and come back in a truck and you will be surprised by the how many well-advertised companies cut corners in these expenses, compromising on your experience and risking your safety.
Road Captain/ Motorcycle Tour Guide:A rider may be skillful, courageous and cool but we can assure that the quality of your riding experience directly depends on who your Road Captain is. You as riders should enjoy the views, the bends, and the wind in your face. You should not have to think about logistics and daily planning. That should be the sole purpose of your Road Captain’s existence. God save you if the Road Captain is a first timer on the route you are riding! The roads are full of surprises. We have seen companies assigning random people with no experience or research to completely new routes. Bottom line: Experience matters! A lot!
The guy selling may not be the guy riding:Just as your food comes a long way from the farm to your fork, motorcycle tours are also traded in the market. It is of utmost importance to understand who is selling what to whom. People with deep pockets often approach our company, HMC offering to sell our tours in their name. Frankly, they give a damn to what happens to your life after they get the payment. We refuse because we will never compromise on your unique experience. So, use the good old golden rule. ASK! – “Which motorcycle touring company actually designed and organized the tour?” Prefer the one which did the hard work.
Network and Skill:All tour companies have to rely on “local operators” in guiding and organizing service, and this is for a good reason. However, you can tell if a company actually put the time, effort and money into directing the local operators to deliver a memorable travel experience. Do not pay a company for simply freezing your space on a low quality tour, operated by an insensitive operator. Even if the T-shirt and the logo bearing hat is free!HMC takes pride in micromanaging every aspect of our tours. We tell our clients upfront when we offer tours in partnership with long time partners. Our partners value our relationship, enjoy working with us, and respect our clients. They are trained to be caring and compassionate.
Company’s attitude:When you call a company to ask questions and in return, you face irritation or people avoiding questions, be sure that there is something fishy. It tells a lot about the general attitude of the company. Beware of people who are in riding business just for money! They might be putting your life in danger to save that penny by not investing in researching their routes well and training their staff well.
Look for a company with experienced support staff, hint of authentic adventure spirit in founders, and respect for local places, traditions and environment. If you ride with sensitive people, you are guaranteed a better experience.Hope this was useful in making your decision.
We really want to hear back from you and get your feedback. Remember it is not the destination but the journey that matters.
Wishing you all a happy ride!
HINDUSTAN MOTORCYCLING COMPANY, LLP