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Ducati Everest Challenge : The Himalayas- The Culture And Speed

Text and Photographs: Ducati Nepal

Scaling the roof of the world on a machine that will have you holding on for dear life is the perfect blend of adrenaline, exhilaration and exclusivity one can dream of. The silky smooth tarmac of the Tibetan landscape has served as an alluring temptation for motor-heads globally. Its endless stretches of tarmac and the fact that it is one of the highest motor able roads in the world make it a bucket list item for the masses.

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The Ducati Everest Challenge 2014 brought together the most alluring ideals into one special package. Riding a superbike to one of the most scenic locations of the world and experiencing a journey is not something many can boast of. Here is how the amazing ride fell into place.

The first 100 kilometers of the trip was accompanied with motorway challenges to Kodari until the ride turned truly adventurous as it began to chase the celebrated Friendship Highway which perfected the L-twin beasts. Flanking Tibetan landscapes, snaky rights and lefts, soaring passes close to the sky and the taste of Tibetan culture and hospitality at stopovers made the ride an occasion of a lifetime.

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The Ducati Everest Challenge 2014, started at the capital, Kathmandu, with a planned duration of 10 days. With a total distance of 1000 kilometers, the entire route ran on the Friendship Highway to the Tibetan capital, through Lhasa and then rallying back to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side. The 1000-kilometer stretch along the foothills of the Himalayas is a fantasy with unrivaled scenery— windswept Tibetan landscapes, magical highland lakes and the dramatic rise and fall of the winding tarmac of the highway.

Pramod Shrestha (Goofy), the Road Captain of the event and five other adrenaline hungry Nepalese riders took up the Everest Challenge 2014 on their L- Twin beasts – Ducatis. The convoy consisted of a Hyperstrada, a Hypermotard, two Monsters and two Diavels. The true power of the beasts were unleashed on the roads to Tibet over the Khamba La Pass which was very much anticipated.

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On the open highway, the Ducatis fared exceedingly well and did not succumb to altitude issues. The joy of riding was exceptional with favorable weather and swift speeds. The ride itself was already a larger than life experience, but the coincidental occurrence of a major celebration during the time was fortunate indeed. The riders were able to participate in the Shakadawa festival- year of the horse, a celebration that takes place once every 12 years.

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More challenges surfaced on the ride back to Kathmandu, and the riders took on the challenge head on. The team of adrenaline hungry riders arrived on the top of the famous Yam-drokTse Lake and traversed down to the bank of alpine beauty and daringly made it through. The adventure continued towards Shegar, a divergence from the Friendship Highway which unfolded over a 68 kilometers stretch on the way to the Everest Base Camp. The hard-hitting and unpredictable road was so challenging that the riders had to slow down, very uncharacteristic to the Ducatis. Despite the adverse conditions, the group rode on to the Base Camp of the World’s highest peak, Everest. The Ducati Everest Challenge 2014 was accomplished, an experience that the riders will be able to relive in the years to come.

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The Ducati Everest Challenge 2014 was supported by Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure and Turbo Motors Trading Pvt. Ltd. After the completion of the Event the Road Captain, Pramod Shrestha said, “It felt great to ride a bike worthy of excellent roads in Tibet. There was not much traffic and hence my machine and I had the freedom to fly across the Tibetan Plateau.”

ITINERARY

Day 1: Kathmandu-Naylam (158km)

Day 2: Acclimatization at Naylam

(free day)

Day 3: Naylam-Lhatse (300km)

Day 5: Free day in Lhasa

Day 6: Visit Potala Palace

Day 7: Lhasa-Gyantse (261 km)

Day 8: Gyantse-Segar (334 km)

Day 9: Segar- Everest Base Camp via Rongbuk and back to Tingri (133km)

Day 10: Tingri-Kathmandu (304km)

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