All you need to know about Ladakh bike trip
Leh Ladakh is well known for its appealing dessert-like mountains and challenging roads. Being in the end corners of India this place still manages to attract scores of tourists worldwide, and thanks to the tireless efforts of BRO ( Border road organization) Leh Ladakh is now accessible to the world for 5 – 6 months in the year. The improved road conditions have made it easier for Bikers in Ladakh to embark on the challenging roads and put a check on the Leh Ladakh bike trip. The Ladakh Bike trip has a certain catch to it, several factors require attention to curate a perfect Ladakh bike trip. Here are the tips and factors you need to plan a Ladakh bike trip.
Best time for Leh Ladakh bike trip
The Manali to Leh highway and Srinagar to Leh highway remain open from April/May to October/November, almost for 5 to 6 months so you can plan a trip in these months.
1. April – May: The roads are in process of clearing and reconstruction, so you will be surrounded by mounds of snow and maybe a bit of traffic because of construction and clearing. The tourist rush is comparatively less and homestays and markets will be partially open, so visits will be a bit offbeat.
2. June – July: The season time in Leh Ladakh takes a flight in these months, the weather opens up to sunny days, and festivities in localities began. Roads are fully reconstructed and cleared, but watch out for water streams gushing down on roads due to melting snow (it is recommended to cross these areas before noon). The homestays are fully operating and bike rental providers are also open for places like Pangong, Nubra, and so on. The drawbacks are – July brings monsoon and the tourist rush will be at its peak.
3. August – September: The monsoon in the lower areas like Manali and Srinagar will accompany you till Baralacha Pass, as in the High altitudes of Leh Ladakh rain is a rarity. These months bring greenery to the valley and you will come across many local festivals, and the tourist rush is almost finished. So it is indeed a good time to visit.
4. October – November: Winters began and the temperature is freezing low. During these months you might catch a glimpse of fresh snowfall covering the rocky mountains. The roads to high-altitude places are closed down due to snowfall, so they might be out of your reach, and also Manali / Srinagar highway closing dates will be around the corner, so if you want to visit Leh Ladakh in winters, make sure to visit in early or mid-October.
To conclude months from May to July are one of the best time for Ladakh bike trip, but September is also a considerable option for an off-season trip.
Best Bike for the Ladakh trip
You can either bring your own bike for the tour or rent it out from the rental services provider. The bikes rented from Manali/Srinagar/or anywhere outside the jurisdiction or Leh will not be allowed to operate in Leh Ladakh, as the Leh Taxi union does not allow the outer based rented bikes. So you will have to park your outside-based rented bike at your Leh accommodation and then rent another bike from Leh rental providers to explore Leh Ladakh. Read more about this in Bike rental rates Leh Ladakh 2022-2023.
Back to the topic of the best bike for Ladakh trip and their rentals are as follows –
Manali to Ladakh Bike trip
This is an ideal route for those who are beginning the Leh Laddakh bike trip from Delhi, they can first reach Chandigarh (243 km) rent a bike from here if they want, and then ride to Manali ( 304 km from Chandigarh). Thereafter take the Manali to Leh Highway (427 km) and reach Leh. Read the detailed description about this route at –how to plan a road trip on Manali – Leh highway.
Srinagar to Ladakh Bike Trip
This route is for those who want to cover multiple destinations in one trip. The itinerary for this one will be taking you toward Srinagar from Chandigarh (571 km), exploring the valley for a day or two, and then heading towards Leh from Srinagar (418 km). Usually, people take a flight to Srinagar from Delhi/Chandigarh and then rent a bike there for Srinagar to Leh’s journey. To know more about this route read Complete travel guide for Srinagar – Leh Highway.
Leh Ladakh Weather
Weather in Leh Ladakh is cold and harsh throughout the year, even in the months of summer the temperature is very low in places like Pangong. So for your trip to Leh Ladakh, carry warm clothes. Bikers should always be covered from head to toe while riding, as cold winds will make you shiver right down to the spine. The temperature in Leh Ladakh is summed up in the following table –
Ladakh bike trip cost
It costs 20,000 – 22,000 for 5 Days 6 Nights if you book a slot with a group tour of a travel company. If you individually the cost will range almost the same, but you will have to spend extra on the backup vehicle. The rent of your bike is also a big variable in your budget and there are many more factors that determine the cost. Read Bike rental Rates Leh Ladakh, for detailed rent of bikes and other factors.
Tips for Bikers in Ladakh
Here are some important tips for bikers in Ladakh –
1. Choose a suitable bike – Choose a bike that is capable of carrying the weight of your luggage as well as your pillion (if any). It is recommended to rent a bike with good CC.
2. Get your bike prepared prior to the trip – Get your bike serviced one week before the trip. Replace and repair all the ‘iffy’ parts of your bike, because the challenging roads of Leh Ladakh will test the compatibility of your bike.
3. Pack Spare parts – Carry spare parts for your bike and learn the basics of repairing and fixing the bike, because if your bike somehow broke down in between, you won’t find a mechanic until you reach Leh.
4. Pack the essential documents – Carry your driving license, identity proof, and documents of your bike, as you might get questioned around by local authorities of Leh to make sure you are not riding a non-local rental bike. Also, avail your Ladakh inner line permits beforehand.
5. Wear warm clothes and keep your body fully covered while driving – Hand gloves, Tough boots, and a face warmer are some important elements to keep your body warm and save them from Frostbite.
6. Save yourself from Acute mountain sickness – Acute mountain sickness happens in high altitudes, which makes a person nauseous, tired, weak and gives major head and body aches. So make a night’s stay in Lahaul valley to make yourself acclimated to high altitudes and stay hydrated.
7. Don’t skip meals and take enough breaks while riding – Eat good food at the right intervals to keep the energy up and take enough breaks while riding to avoid Fatigue.
Fast answer and questions (FAQ)
1. How much is the bike rent in Ladakh?
The rent of the bike is based upon its model. Go through bike rentals in Leh Ladakh to know the rents of bikes.
2. Are rented bikes allowed in Ladakh?
No, you cannot take outer-based rented bikes for the local tour of Ladakh. You will have to rent a bike in Leh for exploring the locality.
3. How are road conditions in Ladakh?
The roads are metaled and smooth in most of the places, but the weather places a significant role in road conditions as in rains and snowfall the roads go through major setbacks.