Royal Enfield Motorcycle Himalayan Odyssey flagged off: 67 riders, 16 days and 2,700 kms (Photos)

Earlier today, Royal Enfield flagged off their 9th annual Himalayan Odyssey from India Gate, New Delhi. This year, 65 riders from different cities of India, and 2 riders from Uruguay have participated. These riders are now on course to cover 2,700 kms on their Royal Enfield Motorcycle over the next 16 days.

The route these riders will be covering for 2012 Royal Enfield Motorcycle Himalayan Odyssey is as follows: New Delhi  – Parwanoo – Narkhanda – Kalpa – Kaza – Keylong – Sarchu – Leh – Hunder – Leh – Debring – Keylong – Manali – Chandigarh – New Delhi. Once in the Himalayan range, these riders will be riding at an average altitude of 13,000 feet, covering three mountain ranges and 6 passes, including Khardung La – the highest motorable road in the world at 18,380 feet.

Apart from paying Rs 28,000 (bed and breakfast included, petrol, dinner and other expenses excluded) for this adventure ride, not only you need to be physically fit, you also need to own a Royal Enfield motorcycle in order to participate. The current line-up of Royal Enfield motorcycles include Classic Desert Storm, Classic Chrome, Classic Battle Green, Classic 500, Classic 350, Thunderbird Twinspark, Bullet Electra Twinspark, Bullet 350 Twinspark, Bullet Electra EFI, Bullet Electra Deluxe, and Bullet 500.

Scroll down for images from earlier editions of Royal Enfield Motorcycle Himalayan Odyssey. Read the press release below for more information.

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The 9th Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey flagged off from India Gate

67 riders cover 3 mountain ranges & 6 passes, including Khardung La in 16 days riding 2700 kilometers

New Delhi, June 23, 2012: Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey, the ultimate ride of adventure motorcycling in India, was flagged off early today morning by Dr Venki Padmanabhan, CEO Royal Enfield from the India Gate. The non competitive 16 day adventure will have 67 riders from India and abroad cover a distance of 2700 kilometers from Delhi to Khardung La on their Royal Enfield Motorcycles. This is the 09th edition of this prestigious marquee ride by Royal Enfield.

Addressing the group of Royal Enfield enthusiasts, and hundreds of people present to wish the riders luck, Dr. Venki Padmanabhan, CEO, Royal Enfield, said, “We are honoured that this band of riders have elected to come with us, on our motorcycles, on this epic bucket list ride, not just honored but deeply touched..”

This year the motorcycling pilgrimage will have riders will venture into the Spiti valley first and cover the Rohtang Pass on their way back which is unlike the earlier editions of the Himalayan Odyssey. The seasoned motorcyclists on their way to Leh will pass through Parwanoo, Narkhanda, Keylong, Sarchu via Kalpa and Kaza region. Kalpa and the Kaza region are considered to be the toughest terrains for riding not only in India but across the world. After relaxing for a day on July 01, the riders will set out for the sand dunes of Hunder and then start their journey back tracing Leh, Debring, Keylong, Manali and Chandigarh to finally reach back in Delhi on Sunday, July 8, 2012.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey is a dream ride from the beginning to end and is one of the oldest adventure motorcycling events in the country. This splendid two weeks challenge, takes the riders and their Royal Enfield bikes through the most beautiful yet, most challenging roads on the planet. Often considered as an achievement by motorcyclists, the ride involves every kind of terrain including rocks, mud, snow, rain and sand. The ride by no means is easy and checks the riders on physical and mental capabilities. The temperatures drop to as low as minus 30 degrees in certain parts and oxygen is extremely low, only the fittest dare to survive in such extreme conditions. In case of any emergency, medical help for the bikers and mechanical help for their machines is on?hand 24/7.

‘I love to hear their accounts upon their triumphant return in two weeks. The theme is often about transformation. Boys come back as men, men come back sages and sages come back as grinning boys’ Added Dr. Padmanabhan.

The flag off ceremony began with the riders seeking blessing of the Lamas- Buddhist Monks, who hold the spiritual thread of the Leh- Ladakh region. The proceedings culminated with the riders moving out in formation, the thump of their bikes vociferating through the premises of India Gate, as the crowd admired the motorcycles head off towards their ultimate adventure.

About Royal Enfield

The oldest motorcycle company in existence, Royal Enfield made its first motorcycle in 1901. A division of Eicher Motors Limited, it has been a pioneer of powerful four stroke technology since 1955 in India. With its manufacturing base in Chennai, India, the company offers a variety of models catering to the needs of the traditional segments, the enthusiasts, the leisure bikers and the urban youth.

Royal Enfield’s domestic line?up includes the Bullet 350, Bullet Electra, Classic 350, Classic 500, Classic Chrome, Desert Storm and the Thunderbird Twinspark. Royal Enfield operates through 11 brand stores, 180 dealers in all major cities and towns, and over 100 Authorised Service Centres. Internationally its motorcycles are exported to over 30 countries across the world including the USA, Japan, UK, several European countries and the Middle East.

Royal Enfield also organizes and supports many enthusiast activities, events and rides across the country, more prominently the Rider Mania – an annual gathering of Royal Enfield riders from all over the country and the Himalayan Odyssey, the largest motorcycle ride over some of the toughest roads and highest mountain passes in the region of Himachal and Ladakh.

About Eicher Motors Limited:

Eicher Motors Limited, incorporated in 1982, is the flagship company of the Eicher Group in India and a leading player in the Indian automobile industry. Its 50-50 joint venture with the Volvo group, VE Commercial Vehicles Limited, designs, manufactures and markets reliable, fuel-efficient commercial vehicles of high quality and modern technology, engineering components and provides engineering design solutions. Eicher Motors manufactures and markets the iconic Royal Enfield motorcycles. Eicher Motors recorded revenue of over USD 1 billion in 2010.