Sudipta Dev – Mumbai
Founded in 2006, Delhi-headquartered Vintage Rides conducts motorcycles tours for people coming to India. “In the last two years we have also seen an increasing number of people in the domestic market interested in such trips. There is a huge potential in the domestic market,” said Alexandre Zurcher, managing director, Vintage Rides. The last three months have seen 200 inbound tourists take the Himalaya motorcycle tours, along with 50 enthusiasts from the domestic market.
The destinations where Vintage Rides takes its clientele are – Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Nepal and Bhutan. “We are starting motocycle tours to Mongolia. We would love to have the first group of Indian motorcycle riders to Mongolia. We also have plans for outbound tours to USA and France,” said Zurcher.
For people going solo, Vintage Rides provides bikes, conducts mechanical classes for them and offers GPS itinerary. For those riding in groups, there is a complete package with itinerary, including the services of a tour leader. Zurcher pointed out that there is marked difference between the inbound and domestic segment. “The inbound market mostly comprises of people who are 40 plus, while the Indian riders are mostly young, middle class enthusiasts who do not necessarily want to spend on a professional organisation. Those Indians above 35 years of age are however keen to have more experiences and are willing to spend,” stated Zurcher, adding that, an increasing number of women are also interested in going for these tours.
Vintage Rides also organises one-day Sunday morning rides every month in Delhi. There are also customised packages for two to three days. Travel planning and search website ixigo.com has an application ‘On the Way’ that is very useful for motorcycle trips. Aloke Bajpai, CEO, ixigo said, “This is a useful application for road hippies. It aggregates all interesting things to do on the road and gives information ranging from ATMs to medical stores and dhabas.”