There are many aspects to rent bike in Leh – Ladakh which keeps coming in the form of queries from the many of us. In this article today, I would like to address some of the concerns or queries related to rent a bike in Leh and also will just touch upon some other aspects or tips for a bike trip to Leh – Ladakh (details of such tips will be covered in a dedicated article). This way in this article I will be collating most of the frequently asked question when it comes to rent a bike in Leh – Ladakh. So, let’s start !! 🙂 🙂
1. Can I Rent Bike in Leh – Ladakh?
Yes, you can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes in Leh. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 800 to Rs 1600. Rather than booking over phone, it is always much better to visit 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions. I will suggest you read this for sure to understand few tips on rent bikes in Manali or Leh: How to Hire or Rent a Bike or Motorcycle in Manali or Leh and also Points to be kept in mind while hiring rental bikes in Manali or Leh
In order to rent bike bike in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can also check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2015 – 16 & Reliable Shops
2. Are outside rented bikes allowed in Leh – Ladakh?
Effective since last year, that is 2014, bike union of Leh – Ladakh had floated a circular where bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing purposes inside Ladakh (much like outside Leh taxis) except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed and as per the rules it has to be either on your name or on your father’s name. In case, you are taking someone else’s bike then please carry a valid NOC from the owner of the bike which will help you in other circumstances outside Leh as well, if any.
You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley, you will need to rent bike in Leh only.
This year, as per reports, this rule is going to be stricter. Some of the Manali bike rental guys have formalized a deal that for the days Manali bike is parked in Leh and Leh bike is rented, they will charge 50% of the rent of their bike subject to display of valid rent receipts from Leh Bike Rental guys. So, confirm with Manali rental guys first about this signoff before you hire bike in Leh. For Srinagar Bike rentals, yet not sure but they claim that their bikes are allowed though I personally doubt because even Srinagar Taxis are not allowed for sightseeing in Leh so I suspect similar implication would be there for Bike rented in Srinagar too.
To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link in DoW Community: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh
3. Can I rent a bike in Leh and drop in Manali or Srinagar or vice-versa?
Well, the one way bike rental is quite costly and leaves a big dent in pocket for you, sometimes like 12K for just the pickup from Manali or from Srinagar apart from daily rent you pay for the bike. Hence, always be very sure if you are ready to make that investment/expenditure or not or if at all it is worth the money spent for you or not. My suggestion is that unless you are a hard core biker and cannot live up without the passion of biking or riding in Leh, it is not that wise to spend that much money just for the pickup of bike from Leh or Manali or Srinagar.
4. Can I do Leh – Ladakh trip on bike with pillion?
This is quite an important question and many a times people ask this but my reply is always in terms of trade-off of choosing between comfort of riding and riding with your partner to save cost OR feeling of riding together with your life or soul partner or best friend ;)…
There are lot of factors that drive a successful trip to Leh – Ladakh on bike with pillion which are as distance of travel each day in your travel plan, the condition and power of your bike, luggage you carry on your bike including extra fuel, size of your pillion or your own size ;), your own skills of riding bike and maintaining balance. Though each factor contributes towards to only one goal that is comfort of the ride you experience. I should have covered this topic under one detailed article but that can be done later 🙂 … Hence, talking about these here briefly:
Since you will be traveling or riding a lot almost every day in your Ladakh trip, on an average 7-8 Hrs per day, it is very important that you as well as your pillion are comfortable with such long rides together and do not complain about such long distances of travel. So, endurance and passion levels has to be high.
You have a very good condition of the bike that will not ditch you in the middle of no-where when put load on it and also enough power in bike, at least 150 cc, though preferable is 180+, so that your pillion does not need to get down at every other steep turn or rough patch which will be in abundance and then you asking him/her to run after bike on such high altitude with less acclimatized body 😀 😀
You carry as light luggage as possible or just enough to complete the 10-11+ ride to Ladakh may be in a single pair of jeans or riding jacket. Balance it out for you and carry only enough what is required bare minimum to reduce the load and increase every millimetre of comfort 🙂 … While riding within Ladakh to places like Pangong Tso or Nubra Valley, better drop all the unnecessary luggage at the hotel/guest house store room in Leh itself to shed more load for some days at least.
You need to also judge your own size as well as the size of your pillion to understand if you guys fit enough well without suffocating the bike power in plains as it will surely suffocate to an extent in Himalayas especially in high altitude. May be go for a test ride of 200+ KMs a day with it to get a feel of it before your Ladakh trip
Last but not the least, you have all the skills of maintaining the balance of bike on slippery roads, gushing water crossings, slush stretches, control on curves as your pillion moves, etc.. with a pillion sitting at your back with all that luggage you can imagine 🙂 🙂 …
5. Can I use low powered Bike for Leh – Ladakh trip?
Well though it is not required to have more powerful bike like Bullet/RE but always preferable to have more power to have much more comfort at times. Even 100cc or 110cc or 125cc, will be able to do a bike trip to Leh – Ladakh and many people have done in the past as well. But, it won’t be that easy always and there will be places where it might or will struggle where it will be required to push manually, especially I believe if you get stuck in some water crossing or in slush stretches. DO NOT push the bike beyond its limit in case your get stuck rather user your own physical power to get it out else you can get your clutch plates burnt. In the end, if you are determined, ready for the challenge and passionate enough then of course you can do a bike trip to Leh – Ladakh in a 100cc or 110cc or 125cc bike too as many people have done it in the past 🙂 🙂 …
6. Add On: How to prepare for Bike ride to Ladakh?
Well, in order to get yourself prepared for a bike trip to Ladakh or other remote corners of Himalayas including Spiti Valley, I will suggest that you go through the articles mentioned under the DoW Community thread link: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.
I hope above set of tips will help you prepare much more well for your Leh – Ladakh trip on bike. Have you encountered any of the situations described in the tips above? If yes, please do share your experience as well with all of us in the comments below or in DoW Community. You are also more than welcome to share any other tips for a bike ride to Leh – Ladakh you would like to share with us.