Thursday, May 15, 2014

Helmet Stories 2014 Special Ride from Manali To Leh

Last year we ran a similar Barebone ride from Manali to Leh and it was lots of fun. We got a great crew together and had a great time riding all the way up to Leh. So we thought we shall organize another one this year and in time for Royal Enfields ReUnion North.

We will start early from Manali and start the steep climb over Rohtang Pass (3978m) leaving the lush green Kullu Valley behind us towards more arid landscapes and end the day at Tandi overlooking the confluence of Chandra Bhaga. This is one of our most favourite places in the world.

On the second day we ride passed Jispa and ascend Baralacha La(4890m) and make our way to Sarchu. It’s awe inspiring scenery all the way to our camp in the plains of Sarchu.  

Leh and ascend the world’s second highest motorable pass Tanglang La(5328m). We will take a short detour to our camp at Debring set up near the ‘

The Second day is another early start as on this day we cross the MorĂ© Plains—a flat stretch of 40 km, At an average height of 4200m. Stop at Pang for a bite to eat and then onward to the double-humped Lachulung La (5060m) and then the Gata Loops. 

On the third day we leave Sarchu and ride up the famous Gata Loops over the double humped Lachulung La (5060m) and make our way to Pang for a bite to eat. Then we ride across the More Plains —a flat stretch of 40 km, At an average height of 4200m. We will then take a small detour to our camp set up near the white’ saltwater lake of Tso Kar where you can sight migratory cranes from Siberia and the Kiyang—the wild ass of Ladakh.

On the fourth and last day we ascend the world’s second highest motorable pass Tanglang La and make our way to Leh. Where we shall end the trip with a celebration of many momos and cold beers.

The cost for the ride is Rs 25,000 per person. The cost will only include motorcycle rental, accommodation for four nights on twin sharing basis, Breakfast/Dinner and experienced tour leaders. If you can't ride and still want to make this trip give us a buzz we can figure something out.

The ride will be as follows
25th June Day 1. Manali - Tandi
26th June Day 2. Tandi - Sarchu
27th June Day 3. Sarchu - Tso Kar
28th June Day 4. Tso Kar - Leh

Check out the ride on our facebook events page or drop us an email at if you are interested.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mods in Kerala

I got on my Italian hand stitched suit a like Ska on my iPod and am in Kumarakom, Kerala to check out Vespas sweet new ride the 125S. You dig?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Time to Ride - 2014 Ride Schedule

When - June to September
Days - 7, 10 and 16
Ladakh literally means the Land of the Passes. This Holy Grail of motorcycling roads famed world-wide will take you through three mountain ranges, six passes–a dizzying 18,380 feet high at Khardung La, pre-historic salt water lakes of the Changthang Plateau and a 40-km off-road ride through a high altitude desert at the Moré Plains. Rich in natural beauty, the landscape in its silence, emptiness and unbelievable vastness is breathtaking. Lying off the beaten track, this mysterious destination once accessible only to professional explorers can now be easily done, taking you to hidden villages and an enlightened people who worked out a sustainable lifestyle centuries ago and have seen little reason to change.

When - June to September
Days - 7  and 10
The Indo-Tibetan regions of Kinnaur, Spiti, and Lahaul are the stuff adventurers’ dreams are made of, offering sublime mountainscapes, twisting roads, and fascinating Tibetan- Buddhist communities with atmospheric monasteries. The old Hindustan–Tibet Highway (built by the British as a invasion route into Tibet) runs northeast from Shimla through Kinnaur and Spiti, along mountain villages with slate-roofed temples and vast orchards of apple trees. The views turn even more dramatic as one negotiates the rough, drop-off ledges of the road —an action-packed art in itself—into the desert-like landscape of Spiti where tiny villages of whitewashed houses are dwarfed by the sheer scale of the surround- ing landscape. Although the spectacular scenery is undoubtedly the highlight of any trip through Kinnaur and Spiti, there are also marvelous monuments, including some of the world’s most intriguing Buddhist complexes (such as the 1000-year-old World Heritage Site of Tabo Monastery in Spiti), as well as high-altitude villages that seem to cling to the sides of mountains or balance on the edges of sharp cliffs.
Check Facebook for our June ride.
When - September
Days - 8
When you ride a motorcycle, and you crave adventure, you are always looking for that special road trip that challenges you and your bike to the core - a ride that resonates within you long after the ignition has been switched off and your battle-scarred bike finally silent. The champion of all adventure road trips is the Helmet Stories ride through the Pangi Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This gem of a little-travelled route — first pioneered by Helmet Stories in 2012 — is bookended by Rohtang Pass on one side and the almost mythical Sach Pass on the other as we ride along the ever narrowing valley of the Chandra Bhaga river through some of the most naturally beautiful locales in India. The roads are unpaved and narrow, hewed out of living rock, sometimes so high that the river looks like a shimmering silver ribbon below. The ride includes forays into abutting valleys and meadows, a route of seemingly endless twists, turns and elevation changes turning each day into a most excellent adventure on two wheels. There are no fast food chains or 5-star hotels on this route and it is so much so better for that. We camp below a thick canopy of stars, sometimes next to the river, or high up in the mountains with a scented mattress of pine needles below our sleeping bags. Before dark, the bonfire is lit, the grill fired up, the bar is open and it's time to exchange irreverent banter about the day well spent. The toughest day is the ride from the idyllic meadow of Sural Bhatori that crests Sach Pass, a road that crosses over the Chandra Bhaga and ascends through forests of bhojpatra, pine and deodhar before the terrifying switchbacks that take you to the summit. Beyond lies civilisation and the idyllic hamlet of McLeodGanj an easy two days ride away.
Only riders with a lust for extreme mountain roads, thin air and great food need apply!

When - September to November
Days - 7 and 10
Nepal is also where the ice – cold, mighty Himalayas meet the lush green tropical region of the Terai plains. For the past few years Nepal has become a popular destination for motorcyclist around the world as it offers views of the magnificent Himalayas, colorful and vibrant cultures, ancient temples and monasteries, jungle safari in search of the elusive tiger and more.
This ride is one of the ultimate rides in the rain shadow part of the wind-swept desert landscape of the Himalayas with views of implausible gorges, high passes and enormous vistas passing through authentic Tibetan villages, barren ridges, eroded cliffs and Moraine valleys. Its landscape is unrivaled for it has a stupendous wilderness, pristine scenery, snow capped peaks, spectacular monasteries and caves. This ride is only open for groups of 6 or more bikers who wish to go. There will be no fixed date rides this year.

Coastal Route 
When - All year round except in the monsoon
Days -  3, 4
This ride will start in Mumbai and we shall head south till Vadkal Naka, traverse the most spectacular coastal route in the country. Take in the views of hills and untouched beaches along MSH-4 all the way down to Guhagar. The road often stops abruptly, and ferries are the only way to get across. There’s more spectacular scenery further down, toward Ratnagiri and Tarkarli. A short boat ride takes you to Sindhudurg Fort and then we shall be in Goa in time to have a cold beer and watch the sun go down. There are no fixed date rides for this route open this year so if you are a group who would like to do this ride contact us and we will fix it up.

No this is not all we are working on a few more shall update this post once they are final. So what are you waiting for? Start planning and write to us at for more information.

So who is riding with Helmet Stories?

vir nakai, helmet stories
The passes shall soon be open and all roads will lead into the mountains. The Question is Who is riding with the Helmet Stories crew this summer? Write to us at for more details.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Introducing Garage 52 - The Motorcycle Collective

Garage 52 -The Motorcycle Collective. Home to jcMoto, Helmet Stories and Mario's Garage, we cater to all your motorcycle needs under one roof.

At Garage 52 you can come and rent a lift to work on your own motorcycles. The crew at Garage 52 will explain and show you skills like basic welding, electrical wiring and basic metal fabrication, so you can improve your motorcycle building/repairing skills in a fun, relaxed, conducive environment. If building and working on your bike is not your thing then come hang out with like minded motorcyclists, plan some rides to exotic locations or just come and hang out and have a cup of coffee. On the weekends Garage 52 is going to be a space for many other things like music, photography and art to start with.

The People Behind Garage 52
Mario has been born and raised in Bandra and some say he came into this world wielding a wrench in his hand. Mario’s father was one of Bombay most established Motorcycle mechanics, who ran Mumbai’s first Triumph and Lamberetta dealerships. And Mario and his brothers all followed in his footsteps. From working on the shop floor after school to having one of the most established workshops in Mumbai, Mario’s career as a motorcycle mechanic span over 35 years. He’s seen and fixed the insides of almost every single motorcycle on Indian soil, and his restorations on vintage and classic motorcycles is not short of perfect.

Helmet Stories an adventure travel company founded by motorcycle enthusiasts Harsh Man Rai and Vir Nakai. Vastly experienced travelers and motorcyclists who met while being filmed in Ladakh for "The Road Trip" a 10-part television serial on what compels different people to get on a motorcycle and ride off into the blue yonder. After spending many miles on the road together, we decided to focus our attention on motorcycle touring and adventure travel and thus Helmet Stories was born. The company provides premium guided motorcycle adventure tours in India characterized by premium-level accommodations and meals,impeccable Royal Enfield motorcycles-the bike de jour for adventure riding in India, a superior support team, and exciting "off-bike" activities designed to maximize riders' appreciation and enjoyment of the unique local culture in the areas in which we travel. Catch them at and

Joshua Crasto is an unusual hybrid of automotive journalist, bike and car road tester, airplane pilot, travel guide and motorcycle builder and go-to guy. He loves all things mechanical, and will take apart and rebuild anything that comes with a motor. His career has taken him down different paths, but the one thing that ties all those paths together is a set of wheels. He is a forerunner in an industry that has, for far too long, been shy of risk-taking. But he hopes to change that.

Rent a lift at Garage 52- 
So you have always wanted to work on your bike your self but you don't have all the tools or the knowledge to do so. No worries come to Garage 52 and rent a lift and tool bench compete with everything from a spanner to an allen key. If you need help with something give the crew a shout and they will come over and show you how to go about getting it done.

Rent a bike at Garage 52 - 
Need a bike for a friend so you guys can ride out for the weekend or need a scooter to potter around town. No problem. 

Store your Bike at Garage 52- 
Need a place to store your bike while you are away or don't have parking space outside your building? Well we do.

You can get in touch with Garage 52 on their Facebook page

This is just the beginning there will be more much more...