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How to Plan a Motorcycle Tour in Tibet?

Last Update: March 27, 2020

Undoubtedly, the most outstanding experience of any biker from around the world, the chance to ride across the World’s Highest Plateau is a temptation that none could resist. Taking your motorcycle and driving it on the highest roads in the world is the ultimate ride. And it is one that takes you through mountains and valleys, past lakes and monasteries, and often to the pinnacle of the plateau, Everest Base Camp. For anyone with a love of bikes and nature, there are few things that can compare to the feeling of the wind on your face and the Himalayas in your view. And while this dream may seem an impossible task, planning a motorcycle trip across Tibet is not as hard as you might think.

How to Plan Your Tibet Motorcycle Tour?

The perfect tour across Tibet, combining the ability of motorized travel with the freedom and views of a cycling tour, it is not hard to plan a tour across Tibet by motorcycle. And if you thought that such a trip would be impossible, with so many permits to think of, then think again. With the help of a decent travel agency, which is required for all trips to Tibet, you will soon see that planning this trip, while requiring some care and attention, can be done simply with just a few handy tips.

Tour across Tibet by motorcycleTouring across Tibet by motorcycle can be realized by following the practical procedures and tips.

Choose the best travel time

The first thing to do is choose when you are going to travel. Tibet is in fact a place that can be visited throughout the year, though there are certain times of year that are better than others. And there are also times when it is not always a good idea to ride a motorbike across the plateau. Ideally, the best time is from April to early June and September to October, when the weather is better and drier. Winter can be a little cold and icy at times, and the summer, while not having as much rain as some parts of the world, can get a little wet in the monsoon season.

Contact a trustworthy travel agency

Another concern for many riders when planning a trip of this magnitude is the travel agency you will use. Before deciding, you should do some research on the travel agencies available, and whether they will be able to handle your requirements. There are a large number that are not open for motorbike tours of Tibet.

Your chosen travel agency should be able to make all the arrangements for you, from helping you to choose your itinerary to arranging the documents you need and even helping you with which motorcycle to use. The travel agency should also be able to support your tour with their own support vehicle, which will travel with you and transport your additional luggage and any spares you might need to each day’s destination.

Obtain the required travel documents

The documents that you require for a trip across the plateau are plentiful, and often complex to obtain. And when you consider you will be driving yourself in China, the idea of all the permits and passes you will need for this trip is staggering and confusing. However, the requirements of travel to Tibet means that you are not actually required to obtain any of them yourself, with the exception of your Chinese Entry Visa. That you will have to get yourself, unless you are starting your trip from Nepal. Then, the Chinese Group Visa is applied for by us on your behalf once you arrive in Nepal.

Primarily, you will need to have the Tibet Travel Permit, which is required for all tourists traveling to Tibet, The permit allows you to enter the region and travel in the area of Lhasa. We apply for this permit on your behalf from the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa once you have booked your trip. It takes around ten days to process, and is ready at your hotel for when you depart for Tibet.

If you are traveling further afield than Lhasa, you will also need the Alien’s Travel Permit, which we will arrange for once you arrive in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. You may also need the Military Area Entry Permit and Foreign Affairs Permit to visit the region of Mount Kailash etc. We will also obtain this on your behalf ready for your trip, leaving you to relax and enjoy the ride.

Prepare the motorcycle for riding

Knowing what bike to use can be a tricky choice. Every biker wants to bring their own baby to the plateau, and a bike for a true biker is a personal thing. However, bringing your own motorbike to Tibet can be a little problematic. You are not permitted to drive in China on your own local license, or even an international license. You will need to get a temporary driving license for the trip, which can take some time and a lot of forms to complete. You will also need to apply for a Chinese license plate for your bike, so that you will be driving legally. This can take a couple of days to arrange, at the least.

Prepare the motorcycle for ridingPreparing the motorcycle for riding is one of the primary things you need to consider.

For those that do not want to spend a lot of added time in China arranging their licenses, you can rent the bike once you arrive in Lhasa, and choose the right type of motorbike for your trip. As a major tour operator for motorcycle tours of the plateau, we can offer a bike rental service, giving you a choice of several BMW motorcycles to choose from, including the BMW G310 300cc single, the BMW F800 800cc parallel twin, and the stunning BMW R1200 1200cc boxer twin. We will also make the arrangements for the driving permits you will need for driving in China, licensing of the motorcycles, and spare parts for the trip.

Pack necessary clothing and personal care items

Your packing list is something only you can do, and you will need to make sure that you pack the right clothes for both your trip and the time of year in which you will be traveling. If you are traveling in spring or autumn, the seasons are similar in their weather, and you should prepare for some chilly days, and colder nights.

You are advised to pack motorbike leathers, as these are the best form of clothing for riding on the plateau. And bring some warm layers of clothing to wear underneath, as well as sweaters to wear when you stop, so you can take the leather jacket off. Leather bike pants are recommended, though loose-fitting jeans are acceptable on the plateau. You may also want to include some thermal underwear, as it can get chilly riding on the plateau.

You should have a decent pair of bike boots, with protection for toes, heels, and ankles, rather than a pair of rubber shoes. And some good thick warm woolen socks to keep your toes warm. And if you are traveling close to or in the rainy season, bring waterproofs with you to stop you from getting too wet.

Recommended Motorcycle Tours in Tibet

Organizing the tour is nothing without choosing the trip you want to take. While there are no Small Group Tours for our motorcycle tours of the plateau, we do have some great private tours, which you can organize with your friends to make the experience even more special.

Lhasa to EBC Motorcycle ToursLhasa to EBC Motorcycle tour is recommended for a good riding experience.

Our 9-day tour from Lhasa to EBC in western Tibet is the most popular motorcycle tour on the plateau, and gives you an amazing experience that few people ever get to have. The tour starts with a sightseeing tour of the sights of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, while you acclimatize. After acclimatizing, you will head out of the city to pass through Gyantse and Shigatse as you ride over plains and prairies and mountain passes. The culmination of this amazing adventure lies in the shadow of the World’s Highest Mountain, Mount Everest, at the famous Everest Base Camp. The last days of the trip are spent in a relaxing and spectacular ride back along the G318 national Road, known as the Friendship Highway, to Lhasa.

Alternatively, our 12-day tour of Tibet from Kathmandu to Lhasa is also very popular, and takes you on an awesome and epic adventure over the mighty Himalayas and across the vast Tibetan plateau. The tour is an awesome adventure that takes you from the exotic capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, to the stunning high-altitude capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Starting in Kathmandu, after touring the amazing temples and shrines of this beautiful valley, you will ride out and up into the mountains to Syabrubesi and then Rasuwa Gadhi, to cross the border into Tibet. Then you follow the small roads to meet the G318, to take you to the road that leads to EBC. After departing the base camp of the World’s Highest Mountain, you will travel east to stop in Shigatse, the second city of Tibet, and Gyantse, before passing the sacred lake Yamdrok on the way to the Tibetan capital.


A motorcycle tour in Tibet is one of the epic adventures that is the pinnacle of bike touring around the world. The feeling of taking your ride across the vast Tibetan plateau, the highest plateau in the world, is unforgettable and unmatched anywhere in the world. So if you are thinking of planning a trip for you and your friends to ride across Tibet, come and talk to us, and let us make your biking dreams come true.

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