Leh Ladakh Bike trip is every biker’s dream road trip. It’s one of the most challenging yet beautiful road trip routes in India. In this article, we will cover all information about Leh Ladakh Bike Trip right from which bike to use, bike rentals, route, things to pack and every detail you would want to know. These notes are curated by our travel expert Chirag Joshi who has been on a 15-day bag packing road trip to Leh Ladakh. This article will act as a complete guide for your Leh Ladakh bike trip.
About Leh Ladakh
Leh Ladakh is literally a paradise on earth, on one of our Leh Ladakh bike trips, we met a German family and they asked us “ Why would you guys travel to other countries when you have such beautiful places like Leh Ladakh”.
Leh Ladakh offers a combination of rich Buddhist culture, the warmth of sweet Ladakhi host, beautiful landscapes and mesmerising scenery.
Best time to visit Leh Ladakh for a bike trip
The best time to visit Leh Ladakh for a bike trip is between June – August each year, By this time roads and routes, are fully operational and hence safer for bikers to travel in this region.
Ideal duration for Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
There are several routes that one could take to do a Leh Ladakh bike Trip, however, including buffer days, rest days, enjoying the Leh Ladakh weather and landscapes a minimum of 9 days to a maximum of 15 days is an ideal duration for a Leh Ladakh bike trip.
If you choose to let travel experts like Adventourist pre-plan your road trip you could cover the Leh Ladakh circuit in 7-8 days.
Best bikes for Leh Ladakh Road Trip
Leh Ladakh is also known as the land of high passes, the terrain is difficult. It is a combination of great tarmac roads, slushy Zoji-La to Shyok river crossings and tough Chang la pass.
In the olden days to cover such a terrain, one would require a high torque bike. In the olden days, Royal Enfield was the only high torque bike available at that time and hence heavy but people still preferred Royal Enfield because there was simply no other choice.
Nowadays there are a lot of options available for Bike trips which are good or even better than a Royal Enfield.
Following bikes are suitable for such bike trips
KTM Duke: Light and powerful, KTM Duke the best choices for a bike trip to Leh Ladakh. It can carry your luggage and still give you superior control over the bike.
Hero X-Pulse: Slightly underpowered but light and great for beginners, Hero X-Pulse could help you do such terrains smoothly. It might not be a great post mounting your luggage.
Royal Enfield Himalayan: By far the most practical and best bike RE has ever made. There are several quality issues however Himalayan is most preferred because of its easy availability and local mechanics can handle small breakdowns with this bike.
Bajaj Dominar 400: Great bike by Bajaj, which could do great in a Leh Ladakh bike road trip.
KTM Adventure: Newly launched KTM Adventure is the perfectly suited bike for such road trips like Leh Ladakh, Spiti etc. Tall + Powerful and made for adventure road trips
Renting a bike for Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
Bikes could be easily rented from Leh City, Manali and Delhi depending on the route you take.
Bike rentals vary from 800/day to 1500/day depending on the location you renting it from, season, number of days and make & model.
Leh City and Manali Rates: Rs.1000 – Rs.1800/day approx
Delhi: Rs.800 – Rs.1000/day approx
Leh City: Rs.800 – Rs.1000/day approx
Leh Ladakh Bike Trip Route
There are 3 main routes for doing a Leh Ladakh road trip.
Route 1: Srinagar → Leh → Manali
The benefits of this route is that you gain altitude slowly and hence fewer chances of AMS and fatigue. This is one of the most traditional routes to Leh Ladakh.
Because of disturbance in the valley, this route is now less preferred by tourists.
Srinagar → Kargil → Leh → Leh → Nubra → Pangong Tso → Leh → Sarchu → Manali.
Route 2: Leh → Nubra → Pangong Tso → Leh
This route is best suited for people who find it difficult to get more than a weeks holiday, if planned well one could do this route without any trouble. Directly fly to Leh, take a rest for a day and then start off with your bike trip to Leh
Leh Arrival → Leh Local Sightseeing → Nubra → Pangong Tso → Leh → Depart
Route 3: Manali → Leh → Manali
The most commercial and marketed route, because for locals in Manali Leh Ladakh trips are the main source of income. Easier to find travel guides, bike rental companies and mechanics.
Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Leh → Nubra → Pangong Tso → Leh → Sarchu → Manali
For explorers who have more holidays, you can explore going to Manali via Tso Moriri lake as well.
Important things to know
→ Ensure your bags and luggage is properly mounted and you are comfortable riding.
→ Petrol pumps are limited on the way from Manali to Leh and Leh Nubra pangong . You can buy petrol in black in Pang or Sarchu, however it is advisable to carry some amount of fuel along with you.
→ Carry cash, do not rely on ATMs
Things to pack
- Tool Kit
- Tyre Tube
- Bike Spare parts: Gear lever, brake lever, clutch cable,
Food and Snacks
- Energy bars
- Camel bags
- Dry fruits
- DOT certified helmet, don’t try to save cost
- Head to toe riding gears
- Riding jacket
- Riding pants
- Riding shoes
- Valid bike documents
- Valid photo identity documents
Clothes and Footwear & cosmetics
- 2 Woolen Jackets / Hoodies
- Trekking shoes
- 2-4 Pants
- 2 pair of thermals
- Petroleum jelly
- First Aid Kid
Accommodation could be easily found between Rs.500/day to Rs.3000/day. It’s ok even if you do not pre-book accommodation.