Before you start reading our blog, do figure out a season in which you're planning to go for which we have curated a complete guide for the same - An Ultimate Guide To Leh-Ladakh, pick your favorite season and enjoy the beauty of nature at it's best only in Leh Ladakh.
If your bike is your first love and partner of your life, then you must take your beauty out of the city chaos, amidst the mountains and into lush greenery that some of the richest trails and ranges of India has. Considered to be one of the most difficult routes to attempt by bikers, Manali-Leh Ladakh is also known to be the most fulfilling one encompassing a beautiful valley in Manali and a magnificent peak in Leh. Your Leh Ladakh bike trip is incomplete without keeping these tips in your head as it will make your journey a successful one with the right key factors in mind. Here are the 17 Tips you've got to focus on before you schedule your bike trip to Leh Ladakh.
1. Choose The Right Bike
You'll be traveling through the toughest of roads, you can't afford to compromise on the quality of the bike so choose one wisely. Pay close attention to the features of the bike and make sure it's in a good condition. We recommend - Royal Enfield 350C or An Enfield Bullet, if not that then one can go for pulsar bikes as well.
2. Get Your Bike Serviced
Remember you're taking a long journey and if you're not sure that your bike is serviced enough to ensure a hassle-free journey then get it serviced as soon as possible. Get everything fixed as safety comes first before everything - ensure all parts are working fine to undergo a journey filled with several obstacles, rough routes and so much more.
3. Things You've Got To Keep Handy And Easily Accessible
Keep the First-Aid kit handy, like we say safety always comes first which should include Band-Aids, Antiseptic, Crocin for fever and body pain and Avomine for sickness. Weather changes have a huge impact on your body so keep your first-aid handy should always be your priority.
4. Decide The Route
Although there are two different routes to Leh, one through Manali and another through Srinagar and even though the former is preferred because of the dangerous terrains, it's advisable to take the latter route which passes through Rohtang La, Sarchi, and Upshi. Remember to decide the route according to your capabilities and comfort.
5. Not Be A Victim Of Acute Mountain Sickness
You can get rid of this either but reaching a higher altitude will end up making you a victim of Mountain sickness. If you don't have a strong immunity then your body might not be able to bear with the weather changes. Rather get a complete health checkup done before you leave for the trip. People with high blood pressure problems, heart ailments and asthma should refrain from this trip. Symptoms include a headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness - so stay hydrated and take breaks in between.
6. Pick The Right Season
You shouldn't undergo this journey anytime you feel like as roads get blocked due to unpredictable weather changes and becomes it makes routes extremely dangerous for any kind of transport. The best riding season is from Mid-May to Mid-October as the roads from Srinagar and Manali open from Mid-May. So do keep this time in mind before you schedule your bike trip.
7. Food Supplies
You should never rely on street vendors for food essentials while traveling, there can be times that there will be nothing on the way to provide you with food, so you should essentially keep extra food supplies like chips, biscuits, glucose and other small food items. Keep these food supplies in an easily accessible pocket on your backpack as these items should be easily accessible when hungry. We recommend - Carry a couple of chocolate bars, small packet of chips, easy to make noodles or oats and maybe protein chocolate bars as well for energy.
8. Halts ARE IMPORTANT
You've got to take intervals and halts to successfully complete your journey. You can't afford to be in a rush and deteriorate your body's capabilities to complete the journey. Don't over-exert or indulge in any kind of physical activity, which can give unnecessary exertion to your body.
9. Carry Extra Petrol
10-20 Litres of extra petrol is what we recommend as it's a pretty long journey and looking for petrol on the way is definitely not a wise option to go for. Petrol stations are pretty far from Ladakh so make sure your bike tanks are filled adequately to ensure a hassle-free journey.
10. Do NOT consume anti-depressants or Alcohol
It's a big NO to consume any sort of alcohol or antidepressants during the journey rather evening smoking and chewing tobacco should be avoided. When traveling through higher altitudes, one can face respiratory problems making it difficult to complete the journey.
11. Stay Hydrated
One advice you'll always get before leaving for your trip is: Stay hydrated! If you want to avoid the hassle of looking for places to buy the water bottle from, then just keep a reusable one which you can also strap on your backpack. Lightweight, leak-proof, filtered water bottle would be a great option. The filter in your bottle is necessary as it removes harmful bacteria like E. Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium oocysts and many other waterborne contaminants.
12. Spare Parts You've Got To Carry
A spare bike key, spare bungee cords, spare fuse, extra chain lock, spare clutch, and accelerator cable, chain lube, if tube tire then one spare tube, engine oil to top up and a spare headlight bulb.
13. Carry Cash
You can't rely on your cards since there're places where you might not find an ATM easily and cards might not be acceptable at all local shops and street vendors.
14. Protective Biking Gear For Safety
Remember to have your safety gear ready for the trip - helmets, knee and elbow guards, weatherproof gloves, shoes and proper riding jacket, reflective clothing, sunglasses to save your eyes from UV rays.
15. Phone Connectivity
Only post-paid mobile phone connections from other states work in Ladakh. Even from these only BSNL has a presence beyond Leh. Unless you are dependent on STD Booths, go for a BSNL/MTNL postpaid connection. It's important to keep your family or a few friends updated about your location every 6-7 hours as it's an unpredictable ride and difficult situations can prevail.
16. Essential Documents
Don't forget to carry your original Driving license and PUC along with bike papers, valid insurance, and registration.
17. Sleeping Should Be Avoided At Higher Altitudes
One should definitely avoid sleeping at higher altitudes as oxygen levels decrease in the air which affects the functioning of our brain. It is recommended that after spending a day at any higher altitude, one should move down to lower altitude in the evening. Hypoxia has adverse effects on body weight, muscle structure and exercise capacity, mental functioning, and sleep quality.
You should definitely be ready to conquer Leh Ladakh once you've reached the destination - Click here to explore the best of Leh Ladakh - 10 Breath-Taking Places In Leh Ladakh Which Will Leave You Awestruck
Q: Which are the most beautiful monasteries in Leh Ladakh?
A: Sankar Gompa, Spituk Gompa, Thikse Monastery, Phugtal Monastery
Q: Which are adventure sports are popular in Leh Ladakh?
A: Trekking, Jeep Safari, Camel Safari, River Rafting