A bike trip to Leh Ladakh tops the bucket list of every adventure enthusiast. No doubt, Ladakh which is flanked by the Himalayas on all sides, offers memorable experiences to all the travellers visiting from across the world. Even though the destination is accessible by all modes of transportation, exploring it by bike has a unique charm. Prepare yourself for Leh Ladakh Bike Trip to make your way through the barren mountain slopes, treacherous roads, rugged terrains, and ancient monasteries, alongside gurgling rivers. You can’t resist taking a picture of the unparalleled views offered on every turn....
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Now that you are all set to embark on the adventure-filled journey, there are a few things you need to consider before starting off with your Leh Ladakh bike trip. Let’s quickly take a look at them:
Packing is the second step once you have booked your Leh Ladakh bike trip package. Other than your basics, it is important to carry a few things to get a safe and comfortable experience which includes the following:
No matter what season you are travelling, make sure to carry light woollen and waterproof jackets, trousers, gloves, windcheaters and more. Ladakh’s weather is unpredictable which means the temperature can drop down to the lowest at night even during the summer season. Also, carry waterproof hiking shoes, slippers, and sports shoes.
Don’t forget to keep a first-aid box with all the basic medicines for common health problems including stomach issues, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, joint pain, etc.
Carry a good Sunscreen with SPF 50, sunglasses, a hat, lip balm, moisturiser, torch with chargeable cells, swiss knife, water bottle, etc.
Make sure to pack quick bites that will provide instant energy like glucose, dry fruits, protein chocolate bars, etc. Remember, bike trips are long ones and it is important to take halts during these breaks. These quick bites will keep you going for the journey ahead.
No doubt, the Leh Ladakh bike trip is challenging and we make sure that all our guests are safe throughout the trip. But there are certain circumstances that are beyond our or your control and to overcome such situations, it is important to follow certain safety guidelines that ensure a fun-filled and safe trip.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the Leh Ladakh trip is Royal Enfield. Apart from this, there are so many other best bikes that leave the riders spoilt for choice. However, what bike you choose also depends on various aspects like the number of days and distance you intend to ride on your Ladakh motorbike trip, the weight of your luggage, and also, if you have a companion with you. No matter which bike you choose, you must be used to long-distance rides. Let's look at some of the best bikes that can make your ride smooth and comfortable:
This versatile motorcycle can take the riders almost anywhere they would want to go. The masterpiece has dual-purpose tyres that make riding on all terrains smooth. Royal Enfield Himalayan is equipped with comfortable seats, a 15-litre fuel tank, a magnetic compass and upright handles that ensure comfort on a long journey. The motorcycle has a pillion comfort as well.
Yet another best bike for a Ladakh trip, Bajaj Pulsar F250 and N250 are the ones you can rely on for a long journey and you won’t encounter any single problem during the ride. Both F250 and N250 don't have a kick option to start the bike. The ignition of the engine depends wholly on the self-start system. Don’t worry about this part, the bike won’t disappoint you on your entire Ladakh trip.
A modern cruiser bike that is designed traditionally, Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 promises to make your ride a memorable one. Every feature of the bike speaks of comfort. It comes with a talk windshield, low seat height, extra wide handles, and forward-set footpegs which makes it perfect for road trips. It has a 220cc engine and a 5-speed gearbox that undoubtedly helps the bike to fit in all kinds of routes and weather conditions.
It is the simple classic design of the bike that makes it one of the most popular bikes among bike lovers. The motorcycle has a parallel twin 649cc, 52Nm of torque, air/oil-cooled smooth engine generating 47bhp and a 6-speed gearbox. As Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 has a powerful performance, it is apt for mountain riding.
Last but not least, Kawasaki Versys 650 is also the answer to your best bikes for a Leh Ladakh trip. Adjustable suspensions, adjustable windscreen, wide elongated seats, 21-litre fuel tank, and a modern 649cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine are some of the features of Kawasaki Versys 650 that make it perfect for long miles. Even though it is a street bike, it works best in all weather conditions and terrains of India.
The enthralling Ladakh bike trip can be done via two routes- Manali-Leh Highway and Srinagar-Leh Highway.
This route offers the best views that you can only imagine in your dreams. Of the two routes, the Manali-Leh highway is the most preferred by the bikers as it has a number of stunning mountain passes and gushing rivers along the way. The distance and duration of Manali to Leh is 427 km and 11 hr 20 mins. On this route, you get to make your way through the iconic Rohtang pass that connects Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti. Sarchu would be the midpoint in this route. However, Keylong is the most preferred point for an overnight stay. This route is open for travellers from May, but you may find road blockages due to heavy snowfall at Rohtang and Baralacha till early June. There is also a possibility of roadblocks due to landslides in the monsoon season. So, always check with the tour operator before embarking on the road trip.
Manali > Rohtang > Keylong > Jispa > Darcha > Zingzing Bar > Sarchu > Tanglang La > Upshi Leh
The Manali-Leh highway opens from May to September for tourists, with June to July being the preferred time for planning a road trip. The roads are in better condition for a drive and hotels are operational. Travellers planning to visit Ladakh in May or early June, usually opt to fly to Leh. For a road trip, September is also apt as the road conditions are improved and the crowds and the number of vehicles are considerably lesser.
You will find a plethora of hotels and guesthouses on the Manali-Leh route. However, as you cross Jispa and head towards Leh, the number of accommodations reduces drastically. Other than this there are campsites located on this highway route that offers all the basic facilities and is comfortable for an overnight stay.
This is one of the major concerns of all the bikers on their Leh Ladakh road trip. Tandi is the last petrol pump which is approx 110 km from Manali towards Leh. It is advised to carry extra fuel.
Even though the Srinagar-Leh highway is less preferred, it is equally beautiful. The distance and duration covered on the Srinagar-Leh route are 418 km and 10 hrs. This route offers a number of stay options and petrol refuelling when compared to the Manali-Leh route. A few major attractions of the route include Sonmarg, Zojila pass, Kargil, and a few monasteries.
Srinagar > Sonamarg > Drass > Kargil > Leh
The highway opens from May to October. However, the best time is between June to early July as the road conditions are favourable for a road trip. September is also considered to be the best month for a trip to Ladakh from Srinagar; you will hardly find any streams on the route and the chances of encountering landslides are also less.
There is no dearth of accommodation options on the Srinagar-Leh route. From budget-friendly to luxurious, you can choose to stay at any of the hotels that ensure you a safe and comfortable stay. Before embarking on the bike trip, you can even experience a houseboat stay.
There are more petrol pumps on this route when compared to the Manali-Leh highway. However, there are chances you might get some of them being non-functional. It is advised to refill the tank at the closest petrol pump before entering Leh.
Home to over 500 disciples, Thiksey Monastery is one of the best places to visit on your Ladakh bike trip. The monastery is a magnificent 12-storey Buddhist religious site and is one of the prominent monasteries in Ladakh. If you are inquisitive about the Buddhist culture, beliefs, and scriptures of the bygone era, you will definitely fall in love with this place.
Gateway to the beautiful Nubra and Shyok Valleys, Khardung La is one of the highest motorable passes in the world that offers an amazing riding experience. It is the prime spot for the bikers as they get to make their way through the high-altitude terrains. This place makes it to our itinerary of the best Leh Ladakh bike trip packages.
Home to the Bactrian double-humped camels and the famous Maitreya Buddha statue, Nubra Valley is no less than magic in itself. Come here to lose yourself amidst the wonders of nature. Head to Hunder village for enjoying a safari on the double-humped camel and to Diskit village to explore the popular Diskit monastery under which sits the famous 108 ft. tall statue of Buddha.
The largest high-altitude lake, Tso Moriri offers an unparalleled view of different shades of blue. If you take the Manali-Leh route, Tso Moriri is close to Sarchu at a distance of 220 km, which means it would be a great idea to head to Tso Moriri, and then proceed to Leh from there. Also, the Tso Kar Lake is located at a distance of 80 km from Tso Moriri, so you can even visit Tso Kar on your way to Sarchu.
Home to the Indian Astronomical Observatory which is one of the highest sites of astronomical observation in the world, Hanle is the most enchanting and calm village in the Changthang region of Ladakh. Apart from visiting the observatory, head to the Hanle monastery. You can stay at the guest houses or homestays to get the local taste of Ladakh.
Nestled at a distance of approx 150 km from Leh, Panamik village is a quaint hamlet where you can enjoy a bath in the hot spring. Hot spring water possesses medicinal properties as it contains high amounts of sulphur that can cure skin-related issues. Apart from this, you can reach the 250-year-old Ensa Monastery.
Enclosed by Nubra on one side and Baltistan on the other, Tuturk village is one of the offbeat places where you can indulge in trekking, and explore two beautiful monasteries and the Royal House. The main charm of the village lies in the locals and their culture. Don’t forget to try Balti cuisine and the delicious apricots that are locally grown here in abundance.
This place needs no introduction as it is the much-celebrated tourist spot of Ladakh. The blue waters of the lake in sync with the stunning deserted mountains appear truly magical. It is believed and has been witnessed by many that the lake water changes its colour at different times of the day. The sunrise and sunset views here look so mesmerising that will remain etched in your heart forever.
A hub for adventure enthusiasts, Zanskar Valley is the home to the famous Chadar or Frozen River trek which can be done only during the winter months of December to February. Other summer treks are Lugnak Trail, Padum to Darcha, Padum to Pidmo, Zanskar to Sham, and more. Other than trekking, you can indulge in camping or river rafting activities.
Even though the most convenient way to reach Ladakh from any part of the world is by air, there is something about the road trips to this beautiful deserted region. Owing to the varied landscape consisting of snow-clad mountains, pristine lakes, gushing rivers, and ancient monasteries, Ladakh is the most preferred destination in India for a bike trip. The winding roads of Ladakh are a true test for the daredevils. A bike trip to Leh Ladakh is the best way to explore the region’s beauty in the best possible way. Coming to the flora and fauna, in Ladakh, you get to catch a glimpse of something that you cannot find in any other part of the country. You can stop by and interact with the locals which give you an insight into their lifestyle and culture.
Here are a few offers from Go2Ladakh for bike rides in Leh:
This Ladakh tour package takes you on a 10-day journey from Manali to Srinagar. It costs 32,500/- per head. The itinerary is for 9 days and 10 nights. The route followed is: Manali – Jispa – Sarchu – Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Lake (via Shyok River route) – Leh (via Chang la) – Kargil (via Alchi, Lamayuru, Hall of fame, Zanskar river) – Srinagar (via Kargil, Zojila, Kargil war memorial, Srinagar) – Return
This Leh-Ladakh tour package includes 9 days and 10 nights of riding from Srinagar to Leh. The cost per head is 33,500/-. The route followed is: Srinagar – Kargil – Leh (Via Lamayuru, Alchi, Likir, Hall of fame) – Nubra valley (via Khardungla) – Pangong (via Shyok river) – Leh (via Changla) – Local tour – Sarchu (via Tanglang la) – Manali – Return
This is an 11 days/10 nights bike ride from Manali to Leh and back. The cost for this Ladakh tour package is 32,800/- per head. The route followed is: Manali – Jispa – Sarchu – Leh – Local tour – Nubra valley (via Khardungla) – Pangong lake – Leh – Sarchu – Manali – Return
All the above mentioned Leh Ladakh bike tour packages include meals, accommodation, sightseeing, transport, bikes and fuel, and a tour guide. Why should you not ride solo if you don’t do regular bike rides: There are a number of reasons why it is not recommended to do a Ladakh bike trip on your own, especially if you don’t do regular bike rides. However, if you have experienced riders with you, they will be able to guide you better.