Leh Ladakh is every biker’s ultimate dream. Riding on some of the world’s highest roads is an experience every biker wishes of. For the bikers exploring Leh Ladakh for the very first time have to keep the following in mind before renting a bike or even driving their own.
Renting a Bike in Ladakh:
It is very easy to find a bike on rent in Ladakh. The prices are as minimal as INR 1200 to 1500 per day. You can find these bike renting shops in the Fort Road area of Leh. You should never book a bike on a phone call or online. One should always check bikes from 3-4 shops, and confirming with the locals; your hotel guy might set you up with a shop of his connections so asking locals is a better idea. Always give a test ride before finalizing your bike.
Rejection and Selection Criteria:
- Never take a bike that emits white smoke.
- Get air filter replaced if it is dirty.
- Reject a bike that makes weird sounds.
- Reject a bike if it’s self-start and battery has issues.
- Clutch plates should be working properly.
- If the carbonator’s plug burns/out of order, then ask the renter to change it.
- Check the tires and confirm that they are not worn out. If your bike’s tires don’t look in good shape then get them changed immediately.
- Only hire a bike if all the documents are in place and available with them.
Make sure that you pay the advance deposit to the right person. Also confirm about the pickup in case your bike breaks down in middle of your trip. Although, most of the renters provide pickup facilities, you should still inquire for your own confirmation. Go through your bike and notify the owner if there is a scratch or damage on the bike.
A lot of bikers plan to go on a road trip by hiring bikes in Manali. While it was possible to carry a bike from Manali in past, now bike unions of Leh have imposed a ban. Personal bikes are allowed if it is registered in name of the rider or rider’s father. If you are carrying someone else’s bike, carry a valid NOC from the owner of the bike. Rented bikes in Manali are not allowed in Leh, you’ll end up hiring two bikes and end up burning a huge hole in your pocket.
Things you need to carry on a bike trip:
There are a couple of things that a biker must carry before his drive to Ladakh. These items may save your life if your bike breaks down in the middle of nowhere.
1. Clutch Plates:
You must have new clutch plates when you are going for a drive in Ladakh. The world’s highest motorable roads demand the best quality clutch plates when you are traveling.
2. Drive Chains:
Drive chains go through the worst during Ladakh trip. Spare bike chains are the most important equipment and you must carry an extra set to avoid un-favorable circumstances.
3. Extra Tire Tube:
Any experienced biker would know the importance of carrying extra tire tubes. Just like chains, extra tire tubes are something that must be carried in spare during a long road trip. In case of small accidents like the one with bent rim, a tube can be used as a replacement for a while until you find a mechanic.
4. Tool Kit:
A tool kit is very effective when you are driving in Ladakh. Carry a kit and learn how to use it. With this kit, you can overcome minor problems during your trip with a standard tool kit.
5. Spare Spark Plug:
Spark plugs burn very quickly because of the lack of oxygen. It is always recommended to carry spare spark plugs to overcome this issue.
These are a few instructions that can make your Ladakh biking experience a memorable one. It is never too late to explore the mighty Himalayas. Drive safe, go slow, be responsible, help others and most importantly, don’t drink and drive. Enjoy your experience of lifetime at its best and return home with the exciting stories to tell and inspire others.
Important Contact Numbers in Leh:
Leh STD Code: –01982
Police Station: –100, 252018
Police control room: –254880
Tourist Information Office: –252297, 252094, 253462
Deputy Commissioner of Leh: –252010
Foreign Reg. Office: –252200
Indian Airlines: –252076
Jet Airways: –250132, 250638, 250512
Leh Airport: –250380