If you are planning a Leh Ladakh trip for sometime in the near future, you might be wondering which motorcycle will be the best choice for you to hire. Whilst many tours now offer motorcycle hire as a part of the cost, others require you to source your own bike or are open to letting you provide your own if you wish. In this article, we have taken a closer look at some of the available motorcycles for motorcycle tours to help you reach an informed decision.
• Royal Enfield
Often the bike of choice for many travelling around India, there are a variety of models to choose from. The Classic, Standard and Electra all have a smaller rank, which means that you must carry extra fuel with you to avoid running out in the middle of nowhere. This isn’t, however, a problem with the Thunderbird. You also have a choice between a 350cc or a 500cc engine, both of which are quite powerful.
• Bajaj Pulsar
Known for being the best-selling motorcycle in India, you have a choice of 220cc, 200cc or 150cc. They have a huge fuel tank, which makes them ideal for longer journeys. The seating position, however, can cause your shoulders to ache when driving on bad roads whilst leant over – to help prevent this issue, always ride sitting upright. The seat is not overly comfortable, but this can be countered with a cover.
• Hero Impulse
The dual sport tires and long travel shocks of this motorcycle make it fun for riding on dirt tracks. Thanks to the upright riding position and comfortable seat will also help to lessen fatigue. The biggest drawbacks of this option would have to be its 12 litre fuel tank and its underpowered engine, which can sometimes cause issues when trying to tackle steep ascents (but only if the bike hasn’t been well-maintained).
• Royal Enfield Himalayan
As the newest off-road motorcycle in India, this model is perfect for riding through the rugged Himalayan terrain. The 400cc engine will carry you through any trail or ascent, though riders with experience with other Royal Enfield models may find that this one lacks some juice. The sitting position is upright and quite comfortable, and there is plenty of space to put all your luggage (including jerry cans).
• Yamaha FZ and Fazer
Both of these motorcycles are similar to the Pulsar and are both fantastic choices when going on Leh Ladakh trips.
• KTM Duke
This motorcycle has pretty much the same advantages and disadvantages as the Hero Impulse. It’s a great option if you’re planning to travel on bad and challenging roads, which the region is famous for.
• CBR 250
The stock Contigo tires can be a problem when riding on slush, ice, rain or gravel. If you can afford to replace these with better tires, this motorcycle can be a really great option with its amazing torque.
One motorcycle that is generally not recommended for Leh Ladakh bike trip at all is the Bajaj Avenger. It’s a great bike, but is prone to falls and has a large turning radius – both of which are not ideal in this hilly region. If you’re riding with a pillion (a passenger), we definitely recommend getting a Royal Enfield, as they are best suited for this purpose. If you are on a 100cc or 135cc model, you must ride solo as the engine cannot withstand the weight of two passengers.