I recently did an amazing bike trip to Leh Ladakh from Srinagar where I rode my Royal Enfield Himalayan through picturesque mountains, over 10 high mountain passes, and through unique little towns along the way in just 3 weeks! This was one of the most incredible trips I’ve ever done and I’d love to show you some photos and share some tips on planning your own bike trip to Leh Ladakh from Srinagar!
Start preparing for your bike trip as soon as you get a clear date for your trip. Plan out how much time it will take you to reach Leh, know how many days you want to spend in each place. Know exactly which roads are open, when should they be open and what are likely weather conditions that time of year. For example, if it’s winter and you plan on cycling there make sure it’s always sunny but never goes below freezing point or something similar.
Bike trip to Leh Ladakh Planning the Route
Before starting off on your bike trip to Leh Ladakh from Srinagar, make sure you have a route planned out. While it’s always better to travel with an actual map in hand, you can easily plan your own routes and then share them with other people via GPS.
There are several options for software that will allow you to plan and share trips (and download routes already created by others), some of which are: Google Maps (this should be obvious, but yes—you can use Google Maps offline), Memory Map, OSMAND+, OSMOND/OSMandroid, and Endomondo Sports Tracker. Be sure to take advantage of online communities such as r/TripTik or Bike Route Planet when planning.
Planning your supplies
The first thing you’ll need is a bike, obviously. I started saving a year before my trip and was able to get a pretty good one in Bangalore for Rs 70,000. You’ll also need other equipment like handlebar bags, helmets,s, and panniers (I spent another Rs 20,000-25,000 on these).
The last item on your list should be special clothing – you will be riding in some pretty cold temperatures (even in summer) so make sure you buy thermals and warm jackets that can stand up to those conditions. In total, spending about Rs 1 lakh will get you fully equipped and ready for an amazing ride!
Getting the Bike Ready
Spend time before your Leh Ladakh bike tour making sure your bike is in great condition. Give it a good tune-up, take out any parts that aren’t working well and get new ones, and make sure you have all your gear ready.
Because even though you won’t be riding through a desert, there are still dangers on a bike tour of the Himalayas! Pack some spares like extra tubes, brake pads, and tires, fenders and racks, since they’re bound to break down along with your bicycle. Having backups means you can keep on riding when other riders might have to stop for repairs!
100000 INR Approx (Approx USD $1650 as of 3/2/19): To make your own bike tour through Ladakh, you’ll want to budget around $1,650. If you prefer a package deal, you can book with Go Discover India for $3,900 or with Beyond Bike Tours for £2,890.
Both tours offer hotels and food throughout and will pick you up in Delhi before taking you on a journey through Himachal Pradesh and into Kashmir before ending in Leh. You should be aware that bikes may not be able to cross certain parts of China due to terrain or visas; if your route is set up differently than these trips follow, plan accordingly.
Things to Do
The most important preparation for a long-distance bike trip is, well, preparation. Packing smart and choosing your route strategically can be some of your biggest allies.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that you’re riding with a full stock of supplies. Make sure to take enough food and water along with you on your bike ride, as these are two of the most basic needs that humans must replenish daily.
Though I have completed many bike trips till now, coming up with it a bike ride to Leh-Ladakh from Srinagar in the year 2022 has been on my wish list. I am planning to go during the winter season. The route would be through the Chenab river valley of Jammu and Kashmir via Kishtwar, Kathua, Rajouri, and Poonch.