Ladakh Tourism: How to Plan your Leh Ladakh Trip

How to Rent a Bike in Ladakh

Introduction

With another season of the Leh-Ladakh circuit coming up, many seasoned riders would have already geared up and started the countdown of the opening date of the circuit. Not only bike owners but many hardcore adventure enthusiasts opt for renting a motorcycle for the Ladakh trip to slash down the extra miles and enjoy the entire journey at the same time. For past decades, Ladakh has always been a go-to summer destination for adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, seasoned bikers, and even families. Leh-Ladakh bike trips are one of the most enjoyed sports in the rugged mountains of the Himalayas.

With sheer beauty, panoramic landscapes, and amazing weather during summers, Ladakh equals and highly justifies its title of “heaven on earth.” If riding at daunting heights, on few rugged and unmaintained roads, some of the highest motorable roads are what you desire then Ladakh is the apt destination. Several offbeat attractions and challenging paths make motorcycle trips to Leh-Ladakh completely satiating for the adventure lovers. Ladakh not just intrigues people having their own bike but even those who don’t have one. This steers them to rent a bike for the Leh Ladakh trip. For those who are clueless on how to rent a bike for Leh Ladakh, or are facing any issues related to this topic, go through the entire travel guide for solutions.

Road Conditions in Ladakh

Those who are new to riding should highly avoid this trail because of the sheer challenge it throws to the bike and the rider. Irrespective of the fact that one has the best bike for the Leh Ladakh trip should visit a few other trails that are less challenging. This dream destination might intrigue people but being responsible is also of utmost importance here. Those planning on renting a motorcycle for their first Ladakh trip should be acquainted with the road conditions before choosing their ride. The road conditions here are not the same throughout.

There are two major routes that can be taken from Delhi to reach Leh. One route is the NH1 also called the Jammu-Leh highway where the road conditions are good enough until Leh. There are a few stretches of a few km where the road is a bit challenging but all in all, one can enjoy the entire ride even on rental bikes from Delhi. One has to be careful near Drass, Zojila Pass, Khardung La, and Nubra. The road is highly challenging at these points. Those who prefer taking the Manali route can either take the straight route or take a diversion towards the Rohtang Pass that eventually meets the Leh highway. This entire stretch is highly challenging and there are many points where the riders have to overcome several water-crossings. This might be adrenaline-rushing for a lot of riders. Apart from this always bear in mind that one has to cross high passes and the rented bike should be prepared for taking the challenges.

Bikes that can be rented for the Ladakh Trip (with tentative rate cards)

Trust this or not, one of the most preferred bikes for renting for a Leh Ladakh trip is Royal Enfield. KTM and Bajaj also offer some decent bikes but there are other perks with Royal Enfield. People prefer hiring a Royal Enfield bike due to several reasons. Some of them are:

  • It has a powerful engine.
  • It has a strong shock-absorbing design.
  • It has a comfortable riding posture and seats.
  • It is easy to carry a pillion along on these bikes.
  • Due to their popularity and easy-to-understand engine, if there is a problem it won’t be difficult to find a mechanic to fix it.

Those who wish to rent a bike for the Ladakh trip can opt for any of these for a comfortable ride with their tentative rates (All the tentative rates are for the bikes hired in Leh):

  • Royal Enfield Class (500cc): 1800 INR for a day
  • Royal Enfield Himalayan (411cc): 2000 INR for a day
  • Royal Enfield Electra (350cc): 1200 INR for a day
  • KTM Duke (250cc): 1000 INR for a day
  • Bajaj Dominar (400cc): 1400 INR for a day
  • Royal Enfield Standard (500cc): 1600 INR per day
  • KTM Duke Adventure (390cc): 1800 INR per day
  • Royal Enfield Standard (350cc): 1100 INR per day
  • Bajaj Dominar (250cc): 800 INR per day
  • Bajaj Avenger (220cc): 1000 INR per day

Note: The availability of bikes and their charges are subject to change from time to time. These are an estimate of all the bike models that are usually offered. So, do connect with the provider for more information and the final price.

Frequently Asked Questions/ Queries by ride who want to rent a bike

There are several doubts and questions that arise in a person’s mind whenever they start thinking about their Leh-Ladakh bike tour. Things like important documents for Leh Ladakh Bike Rentals, medicines to carry, map, and so on. Here are some of the frequently asked questions that can help in getting the solution to all major problems.

Can we use bikes from other states to visit destinations in Ladakh?

People have actively been using bikes from other states as they rent bikes from Manali, Delhi, Srinagar, and many nearby areas. But lately, the Leh authorities have restricted people from entering the South Pullu checkpoint if the rider used bikes rented from Srinagar and Manali. There have been cases where people had to go back to Leh and rent a bike from Leh itself and then go on their journey onwards. People coming on rented bikes from Delhi and Himachal Pradesh are still allowed by the checking officials at South Pullu. So, make a decision wisely.

From where can I rent my bike for the Ladakh Trip?

It is always advised that one should rent the bike from Leh itself which is the best way to enjoy the entire palace. Though people do rent bikes from Delhi and the cities of Himachal Pradesh.

What are the Terms & Conditions of renting a bike in Leh?

There are a few things that one should keep in mind before renting a bike for the Leh Ladakh tour, here are some of them.

  • One should have a valid driving license
  • Do check that the bike you hire should have a yellow number plate that shows it's a commercial bike.
  • The ideal split of the day is at 2 p.m. So if one needs a bike for a half-day tour in Ladakh the person will have to rent from 2 p.m onwards.

Are there riding gears available with the bikes?

No riding gears are complimentary, either a person has to buy them or rent them separately from the agency. If there is a pillion to carry, get all the riding gears for the person as well. Make sure you have everything right from a good helmet, riding jacket, knee guards, and riding boots. Riding pants and boots are optional though. What all documents are required while renting a bike? There are not many documents that one has to present to the agency. All you need is a valid license that will be submitted to the renting agency. It works as your ID and address proof.

Is the pre-booking option available for renting a bike?

There are several bike renting agencies in Delhi and bike renting companies in Himachal Pradesh where pre-booking is allowed but do that only after confirming it from the service provider.

Things that one should check in the bike before taking off from the renting place?

Since you are renting a bike for the Ladakh tour it is very important that the bike is in good condition. Though it won’t be possible to check the engine problems but do not miss out on checking the tires, chain, and seat comfort. Ensure that all these things are of utmost importance in the challenging trail of Ladakh. Is there a need to carry extra fuel on my bike’s carriage?

There is no need to carry any extra fuel cans or jerry cans but if you still want to, get the cans filled at the petrol pump in Leh. After that, there are no petrol pumps to be found either in Nubra or Zanskar.

What would be the best way to visit Ladakh on a bike trip?

The best time to visit Ladakh for a bike trip is during the summers between May and September. This is the ideal time because all the roads are cleared by this time and the entire circuit is open for tourists.

Will I have to take inner circuit permits as well?

That is essential, irrespective of the fact that you hire a bike for Ladakh tour or are traveling on a personal bike you will have to take the inner circuit permit at Leh itself. There will be multiple checkpoints where you will have to show or submit these permits. So, make sure to get a few copies of these permits and your IDs.

Tips to keep in mind before renting a bike for the Ladakh Trip

There are some general tips to keep in mind for a biker before hitting the road on the circuit. Here are some of them:

  • Keep all the necessary medicines in the backpack.
  • Keep a tab on the fuel meter.
  • Do carry multiple photocopies of the inner line permit and your IDs
  • Acclimatization to the reduced oxygen level and atmospheric pressure is very important.
  • If renting a bike for the Ladakh trip do ensure that safety checks are done from your side and the bike is in a good condition.
  • Try and negotiate the prices, the agencies do settle for less at times.

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