The Best Motorcycle Routes Around Nepal

motorcycle routes around nepal

Going through Nepal is an adventure itself. Doing it by motorcycle takes the trip up to a whole different level, and that’s meant both literally and metaphorically. It is meant to be a trip of a lifetime, but there are a couple of things to remember so that you’ll come prepared. First, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. It doesn’t have to be an international license, but you’ll need a regular one as checkpoints are common throughout the country. Other than that, you’ll also need travel insurance to ensure that you and your equipment (whether it’s been rented or you flew it in) will be taken care of in cases like special evacuations and such.

Lastly, whether you’re a beginner or veteran, always make sure that you have the right gear to make this trip. It always helps to have a good helmet and riding jacket. Nepal has a variety of altitudes and climatic regions that will take you from hot to cold in a span of minutes. Be prepared for all types of weather. The routes presented to you now are moderate to challenging routes that will take you through the most scenic spots in Nepal. You can do them individually, or combine them together. Without further ado, here are the best motorcycle routes in Nepal:

1. Take the scenic passage from Kathmandu to Bandipur

If you ride from Kathmandu to Bandipur without hitches, it will take you about four hours. The roads going to Bandipur are a combination of flatlands and ridges, but there are parts that are cracked as buses ply by this route every day to get to Pokhara. The highest elevation is at 1,030 meters (0.6 miles). To share with you some history about these roadways, Bandipur used to be an important stop in the India-Tibet trade route but it was bypassed in the construction of the Prithvi Highways in the 1960s.

Nevertheless, visiting Bandipur is a must as it’s a living museum of Newari culture. You’ll be surprised by winding lanes with traditional Newari houses. There are also a lot of cafes and lodges now. And there are very little motorized vehicles in the area. Mostly, there are a lot of traders and farms who do business alongside the tourists. You can also check out Bandipur Bazaar in the town of Dumre, which happens to have spectacular views of Manaslu, Dhaulagiri and Langtang. If you like adventure sports, you can also try a bit of caving, paragliding, rock climbing, and hiking.

8 Days Kathmandu to Pokhara Circuit Motorcycle Tour in Nepal

Website: 8 Days Kathmandu to Pokhara Circuit Motorcycle Tour in Nepal

2. The many winding roads from Bandipur to Pokhara

Going from Bandipur to Pokhara is a relatively short travel time. At most, without any stops, it will take you around two and a half to three hours. However, the reason why it continues to be a popular route is not just because Pokhara is a great end destination, but the view to and from these areas are also picture-worthy. There are a lot of routes to choose from. From Bandipur, you can go back down the town of Dumre and head to Pokhara. You can also start your trip from Damauli or Ramkot. Since no one really ventures in these areas a lot, expect to be flocked with children and villagers.

From there, you can head on to the Prithvi Highway which is full of local trucks, lorries, and buses, so be careful, as they go in both directions. If you’re a little nervous to take this highway, you can take the old one. The route is also prone to landslides although some say this risk is worth it because of the scenic drops, switchbacks, and agricultural scenery like rice terraces, water buffalos, sugarcane plantations and such. You can stop at the many roadside restaurants for lunch.

3. The road less traveled from Pokhara to Tansen

Tansen is about 120 kilometers (74 miles) from Pokhara. If you don’t stop, you’ll get there in around 3 to 4 hours. This is also not a typical route. Most people take the Pokhara - Chitwan route, and then head on to Tansen. That said, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that this area has so much history and has an amazing collection of Nawari architecture.

Going there, you’ll be met by good and winding roadways which is perhaps the reason why people think the trip takes longer. The altitude is higher than Kathmandu (at 4,600 feet/1,500 meters), so be sure to prepare for the hot monsoon weather. Tansen is a great rest stop. Depending on what your goal is, you can easily stay here for a couple of days to check out the traditional pagoda-style temples such as Amar Narayan, Bhagwati, and Tansen Durbar.

Pokhara Motorbike Rent Services

Facebook: Pokhara Motorbike Rent Services

4. End with the birthplace of Buddha from Tansen to Lumbini

Is Lumbini worth it? There have been mixed reviews about the place because it isn’t exactly a thriving tourist town. But if you’d like to see the birthplace of Buddha, which is primarily why it’s a significant crowd drawer in the first place, then, by all means, take the extra day or so to go to Lumbini.

From Tansen, you can make your way to Butwal. And from Butwal, it’s another 36 kilometers (22 mi) going to Lumbini. All in all, you will have travelled 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Tansen to Lumbini. It’s a relatively easy route. Head on to Maya Devi Temple where Buddha was born, the Ashoka Pillar, and the Holy Pond.

Check your equipment at your rest stops

The changing hot and cold weather can do all types of things to your engine. As it is your most prized possession in this trip, make sure to treat it nicely. Don’t leave it out in the hot or cold weather. Make sure your parking spot is well-shaded. Lastly, one of the best rewards of going via motorcycle is that you can make as many stops as your want, which is an advantage when you have views of the Himalayas as majestic as the ones found in these four routes. While you’re stopping though, make sure to check your engine every so often. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere for hours at a time, although quite frankly, with views like this, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Johanna Michelle Lim is a brand strategist, creative director, and travel writer based in Cebu City, Philippines. She swims in jellyfish-infested oceans, treks through mountains, rides rickety...Read more

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