The Journey: Chandigarh –Nangal – Una – Ghumarwin – Ghaghas – Sundar Nagar – Mandi – Manali
Ideal Time to Visit: Summers are a good time to visit Manali, especially in the month of June. During winters you’ll be better off heading towards any place in Rajasthan.
Entourage Strength: I travelled with a group which we called ‘The Himalayan Chapter.’ A group of anywhere between 7-10 people are a manageable entourage to travel with.
Preps: Usual preparations before such a trip include taking the bike to the workshop. Check the brakes, tyres, engine oil and have the filters cleaned or replaced if necessary. See that your safety gear and riding suit are in good condition and as far as possible, try to avoid riding at night.
Assistive Gizmos: Among our group, we used Scala to communicate with each other. Other than that, there was a back-up van riding along with us which makes life easy on long rides.
Road & Traffic Conditions: Riding with the H.O.G brotherhood is a unique experience in itself and that makes all sorts of roads and traffic conditions bearable. Having said that, you may encounter some traffic as you ride through the towns and cities but you see lesser and lesser vehicles as you gain altitude.
Best & Worst Stretches: The roads are more or less good to ride on. As you ride from Kulu to Manali, the last 40 kms; and the drive along the peripheries of the Beas River prove be the best stretch to ride on.
Weather Encountered: The weather remained pleasant by day. It grew quite warm around afternoon and the nights grew cold.
Food Joints & Stopovers: Once you reach Una and ride approximately 150 kms, you’ll find the first dhaba. The food is not extraordinary, but hunger is the best sauce. Manali is where you can expect to find some delectable tidbits.
Bike Care: Make sure that your bike receives the care it needs. Concentrate more on the function and practical use of parts as opposed to loading a motorbike with fancy accessories. Pick up a pair of auxiliary lamps for when you ride at night; and a good windshield for your motorbike.
Locals: As compared people in Himachal, the folks at Manali are nicer and definitely more helpful.