A Leh-Ladakh bike trip is one of the dream trips for most motorbiking enthusiasts. Known for its gorgeous natural scenery featuring rugged landscapes, snow-covered ranges, breathtaking valleys, and many more captivating sights, Leh-Ladakh is a journey worth taking at least once in a lifetime. But as this is not an easy route to traverse, you need to be careful about many things when planning a Leh-Ladakh tour. We have listed in this article some important tips for those planning their first Leh-Ladakh bike trip.
A road trip in the Himalayan regions means you would be riding through not-so-well maintained routes and in some cases, dirt roads. So, pick the right bike that can deal with any type of road. Weather conditions might also be not very apt for a road trip all the time, so make sure your bike is in the right condition before venturing out. Opt for durable bikes that offer good mileage and good ground clearance. The Royal Enfield, Royal Enfield Himalayan, and Bajaj Pulsar are three trustworthy bicycles that you can use for a Leh-Ladakh bicycle ride.
As stated, not all seasons are ideal for a road trip in the Ladakh area. This high-altitude region receives extreme snowfall in the winter season, because of which the roads leading to Ladakh from Manali and Shimla might get closed for travelers until the snow is cleared. Moreover, the roads get tricky during the winter season, and hence, a Leh-Ladakh bike trip during this time is a risky affair. The ideal time for your Ladakh bike expedition is between the months of Mid-May and Mid-October when the roads would be open and the risks of traveling are relatively less.
Acute Mountain Sickness is a condition that travelers tend to face when proceeding to higher altitudes. The rapid decrease in oxygen levels and air pressure triggers this condition, due to which one experiences a variety of health inconveniences such as dizziness, headache, muscle ache, shortness of breath, nausea, etc. If this is your first time traveling at higher altitudes, then there are chances that you might fall victim to Acute Mountain Sickness. You can avoid it by taking regular breaks while driving to allow your body to acclimatize to the new conditions. There is plenty of time for you to take in your surroundings. Drink enough water and carry anti-sickness medicines like promethazine. Do not proceed ahead if you do not feel better even after 24 hours of resting. You are advised against this trip if you suffer from asthma, high/low blood pressure, or any heart-related ailments.
Carry all your safety gear essentials and spare parts for your Leh-Ladakh bike trip. Few petrol pumps are located along the route, so carry extra petrol/diesel to avoid running into trouble mid-way. It may also not be easy to spot ATMs and all street shops and local vendors may not have the provision of accepting cards/online payments. Hence, it is safe to carry enough cash with you.
Lastly, make sure that you are carrying all necessary documents such as ID proofs, passport, and visa (if you have booked flights to Delhi from Los Angeles to take this road trip), Inner Line Permit/ Protect Areas Permit, driving license, and other vehicle documents, etc. And do not forget to add extra layers of clothing, heavy waterproof jackets, warm socks, caps, mufflers, medical kit, first aid box, hand tool set, toiletries, portable power bank, charger, extra batteries, and accessories to your packing list for your first Leh-Ladakh bike trip.