How to Prepare Your Bike and Yourself for A Trip to Ladakh
Quick Jumplinks to Navigate
The most undiscovered road can only be conquered with your beloved beast. With its barren road and magnificent path Ladakh has been one of the most sought of destination by people all around the world. And if you are the adventure junkie then you might have definitely tick off Ladakh on your bucket list.
Be it for your first time or your second Ladakh will be always calling you to explore the place to its core. With the vibrant landscapes and the snow-covered mountains Ladakh passes offer some of the best sights of Leh which will be cherished forever.
It is said the best Ladakh road trips can be only remembered if you have taste its soil. The roads of Ladakh can be best tasted through bike trips. Lately we can see that people from around the world are taking bike trips to this magical land.
Be it the barren roads or riding through the highest passes you will never had enough of this place. As the name goes Ladakh where “La” means mountain passes and “ Dakh “ means in many, so it literally means the land of many passes. Tour to Ladakh not only gives you an adventure of a lifetime of riding at a 17582ft but also some incredible pictures which will take your breath away.
From best season to accommodation to things to do, there are numerous things one cannot ignore when planning to head out for that thrilling Bike Trip to Ladakh. And if you are in that dilemma then let’s make it easier for you with this detailed Guide on a Bike Trip to Ladakh.
How to Prepare Your Bike for A Ladakh Bike Trip
While you are planning for you thrilling bike trip a lot of you might be worried about your bike. Your bike will be your best buddies for all the 2o days while you are on this trip.
So it is very important for you to take care of your bike while you are heading out for a Ladakh bike trip. Preparing your bike for this all the coming adventure is in itself a great task. You will be going on a long journey and this journey should be a hassle-free ride.
1- Clutch Plates: Before starting your trip to Ladakh it is very essential for you to check whether everything is in its place or not. Clutch is an important part in your bike so always check whether you clutch is in a good condition or not.
As you and your bike will be climbing steep hilly roads you might face difficulty in between if your clutch is not smooth. Make sure you get some new clutch plate before you start with your journey.
2- Suspensions: As your will riding on very harsh rugged terrain of Ladakh and that too with your luggage as well as rider. You should be very careful while your ride on the rocky terrain and be sure that your ride is a perfect one. Always get your front and rear suspension checked, and if required get them changed or repaired before you start out.
3- Piston Rings: When you are riding on your bike there is always the requirement of oil. And long journeys mean consuming a lot of oil. While you are on your bike trip to Ladakh always check if your bike is consuming engine oil. Get your piston –cylinder kit checked properly. And also the valves ,which will help you for a smooth ride.
4- Timing Chain: There is another thing which is very important for you to pay attention to on your bike. Timing chain is an important part in your bike which can cause mechanical failure if it nit taken care of at its earliest.
5- Sprockets and Drive Chain: You should always check sprockets and drive chain every time if you are planning on a bike trip. You should either get them cleaned or lubricated.
6- Swing arum bush: You should also get you swing arm bush checked for any slackness in your bike.
7- Brake shoes/ pads: Always get your brake pads and shoes checked for wear. If your brake pads last for just 5000kms, then get them changed at once. Also get the brake fluid changed or top it up, if you had changed it recently.
8- Air filter/ Spark plug: If your air filter and/or spark plug is over 10000kms old or approaching that figure, get them changed. And for your safety don’t throw the old ones; you can keep them as spares.
9- Clutch & Accelerator wires: There is another important part in your bike which you should check upon while you are planning for your bike trip. If your clutch and accelerators were over 10000kms old, get them changed and keep the old ones as spare. If they do not require any change then get it lubricated.
10- Con Set: Con set is another part which is very important part of your bike for a smooth ride. Con set is an essential part of the bike which if loosen or worn out may affect the handling of the motorcycle. If it needs any change get it changed at once.
11- Filter/ Engine oil: While going on a bike trip always be aware of your filter or engine oil. If the engine oil is over 500 km old then get it changed at once. Also change the oil filter and in case your bike uses ild strainer then get it cleaned at once.
12- Battery and Electrical: It is important to get all the electrical wiring checked and also all the bulbs if they are functioning properly or not. As you will be riding through the serene night you should always check and clean the headlight seal beam and brake light to ensure better visibility. Also make sure that the battery of your bike is performing well or not especially if your motorcycle does not have a kick start.
13- Check all nuts and bolts: Before you head out on a ride fasten all the nuts and bolts properly and in any case if some of them are missing get it installed at once.
14- Carburetor Tuning: Keep the Carburetor tuning as close to stock as possible. As you will be riding your bike in high altitude in some criss cross running it reach might be a problem. And also running it lean might lead to overheating in the plains.
15- Tyres: Another most important part which is a must check for you for your Ladakh trip are your tyres. These are your legs till the end of your trip. So always get checked for any sign of wearing or signs of cuts and cracks in your tyres.
If either of them is nearing the end of their life, get them changed.Also, if you need to get your tyre changed then remember to get dual purpose tyres, since they perform well on and off road.
16- Wheel alignment: Always remember that if you are planning to ride on a bike which has spoke wheel then don’t forget to get them checked. If they require any alignment don’t forget to get them aligned before you start with your ride.
17- General check: Give everything all once over checked once again, ensure that everything is working properly and all the fluids are topped up, i.e. battery water, engine oil etc. Ensure all fuel lines are intact and there is no leakage anywhere.
18- Helmet: While you are going on your Ladakh trip always see to that you have a properly protected and ventilated helmet which will be your protection throughout your whole Ladakh bike trip.
Learn Some Self Repairing
Your journey to Ladakh will be one of your most memorable rides. A road trip which you will be cherishing your whole life. And while you are on that most awesome road trip of yours you should learn few repairing tricks which will help you throughout your trip.
There are few minor chores like tightening rear brakes, adjusting clutch and chain, fixing puncture, replacing bulbs and changing cables. Learn all these very properly before you hit the roads. Trust me guys you will thank me later for these.
List of Essential Tool Kit and Spares to Carry
1- Tool Kit: As this is about your bike and the harsh road condition which you are going to face your tool kit is the most important thing for you. OEM tool kit comes with motorcycle is an essential part of the tool kit that every biker should carry.
2- Puncture repair kit: Riding on a high altitude and rocky hilly roads increase the chances of your tyres getting puncher. Your puncture repair kit for tyres with tubes should consist of rubber patches, solution for pasting the patches on tube and tyre iron for taking off the tyre from the rim. In case of tubeless tyres, purchase a tubeless puncture repair kit.
3- Spanners ring size: For tightening of any nuts and bolts on your bike you should carry a ring spanner with size 8 to 10 which will come handy during your trip.
4- Screw Driver set:Carry a screwdriver set which has multiple attachments and a set which also includes set of Allen keys which is finitely a good choice. While purchasing screwdriver set, ensure you get one which is sturdiest of the lot and won’t break while you are tightening or opening something.
5- Steel wire:For your bike trip it is always good to be an extra cautious.For safety carry steel wires which can be later used to tie together bike parts in case of any breakage.
6- Electrical & Scotch tape: If you want to be a bit more careful then don’t forget to carry some electrical and scotch tape with you. This can be used for tying together various parts and insulating damaged wires.
7- Torch light: In case of break down in the evening or early in the morning you will need it to see your bike, even once you are off your bike it can prove quite useful.
8- Foot or Electric air pump:Since motorcyclists don’t have the advantage of conveying an extra tire, an electric or foot pump consolidated with a cut repair unit and extra tube can end up being a lifeline.
All Essential Spares Required for Your Trip
1- Engine oil:For your safety purposes carry at least half a liter of engine oil recommended by your motorcycle manufacturer, daily check engine oil level and top up if necessary.
2- 90w Gear oil: Can be used to lubricate drive chain, in case you prefer to use WD 40 or chain spray, please carry that.
3- Headlight and brake light bulb:Be a bit extra cautious to carry spare headlight and brake light bulb.
4- Chain links:There might be chances that your chain might break in between your trip so carry couple of chain links, in case your drive chain breaks due to something, you can fix it and ride on.
5- Clutch and front brake lever: In case of a fall clutch/front brake lever can break, which might be a great problem while you ride. Hence it is best to carry each of these as spare, to ensure you can ride with ease.
6- Clutch and accelerator wires: Clutch and Accelerator wires have a habit of snapping in the middle of nowhere, so please carry a spare clutch and accelerator wire.
7- Spare tube for front and rear tyre:In case of any puncture always carry spare tube for both the tyres. If you want to save some time on your journey you can simply change the tube instead of repairing it.In case your motorcycle has tubeless tyre, carrying a spare tube is still a good idea, since it can help you ride your motorcycle, even if the rim bends a little, causing air to escape from tubeless tyre.
8- Spark plug: Although spark plugs of modern motorcycles rarely give problem, it is a good idea to carry a spare one.
9- Spare key of your motorcycle: Always carry a spare key of your motorcycle and never put both the keys in the same place!
10- Bungee cords: This will be a great help in tying the luggage, always carry couple of spare ones since they can snap under pressure.
11- Electrical wire:There can be chances of faulty wires during your trip so carry electrical wire which you can easily replace it.
12- Spare Fuse: A blown fuse can leave your motorcycle without headlight and/or horn, so don’t forget to carry one with you.
13- WD40:This can be used to lubricate and dirt free various mechanical and electrical parts of the motorcycle.
14- Nylon Rope: Can be used for tying together various parts of your motorcycle or to help you tow your friend’s motorcycle or help someone else tow yours.
15- Few nuts and bolts of various sizes: Based on your motorcycles make, carry nuts and bolts which hold parts like exhaust, leg guard, foot pegs etc.
16- Petrol pipe: If you run out of petrol and come across someone who is willing to lend some petrol to you, you will need it to take petrol out of their petrol tank.
17- Coolant: If your motorcycle is liquid cooled, make sure to carry little bit of coolant with you.
If you own a CI Engine Royal Enfield Bullet, also carry 250ml clutch oil and a decompressor cable.In case any of your motorcycles parts have a history of ditching you in the middle of nowhere, it would be a good idea to carry it as spare.
How to Prepare Yourself for A Ladakh Trip
While you are heading out for the most adventurous trip of your life you would definitely want to take care of your physical fitness. As you will be riding on a very high altitude you should be aware of the weather condition and also take care of your health.
You should keep in mind that cardio exercises are your real friends for few days. The air is very thing at high altitude like Baralach La, and Khardung la so if you keep yourself fit by doing some cardio exercises it will be easier for you there.
When you are riding in Ladakh the most common problem faced by the rider are loss of appetite, acute mountain sickness, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, nose bleeding, shortness of breath and drowsiness. If the rider is suffering from such kind of problems it becomes very difficult to continue with the trip.
Most of the time while you are riding in a bike in high altitude there can be an attack on your lungs. Dr Amit Girey, Mumbai based physiotherapist and fellowship in sports and science says, “Breathing technique plays an important role for optimizing your riding and increasing your performance on the trail,” he says.
It is very important for a person to take care of your health before you start your ride. There are few physical activities which you need to follow to increase your stamina and strength.
1- Blow balloons:Well whether the trip is well planned or not, you can always do this exercise of blowing balloons anywhere and everywhere. This will help your lungs capacity with enough oxygen to meet bodily needs.
2- Mouth and nasal breathing:Individuals suffering from any nasal issues, for example, sinusitis or nasal blockage should take special care before breathing from your mouth.
Due to this problem at an increased height they will start breathing from their mouth. While breathing through mouth you will have the capacity to move air quickly and get a more elevated amount of oxygenation.
3- Aerobic exercises:There are a few activities which are a must do for you for aerobic exercise. Cycling and swimming are highly recommended to increase your breathing stamina.
4- Rhythmic breathing: Get your breathing in sync with the pedalling, in the ratio of 1:1. If that proves to be tough for you, you can try 1:2. You can also practice different combos, as riders say, it help a great deal.
5- Exercises:Try to increase anaerobic capacity through exercises like holding your breath for a little amount of time. One can practice this off bike. Let the body get used to being under oxygen deprivation for a period of time. This will help you late through your journey.
6- Clothes & Accessories
As you will be riding in a high altitude it will be a totally different climate than the usual. So before heading out for the trip, carry some warm clothes which will help you through your journey.
- Riding gear or Jacket, gloves, knee guards, helmet and balaclava
- Carry some extra thermal liners which will help you keep yourself warm in the biting cold
- Rain covers for all bags and rain clothes.
- Toiletries like Soaps, sunscreen, toothpaste and brush
- Extra pair of shoes
- Spartan Helios Riding Jacket
- Cramster TRG 2 Gloves
- Cramster bionic Knee guards
- Studds Ninja 3G dual visor helmet
- Viaterra Claw Bag
- Cramster Turtle Tank Bag
- Pollution under control certificate
Essential Documents for The Trip
On your Ladakh trip it is very essential for you to carry all the important documents with you so that you do not face any trouble during your trip.
On your trip you might come across various places where you will require pass as well as your documents for verification. So it is always better to be a bit more conscious regarding all your important documents.
- Driving license
- Registration Papers of the bike
- Insurance certificate
- Pollution under control certificate
- Photographs of yours
Always remember to carry two or three copies of the above-mentioned documents. It is better for you to have photocopies of your Registration certificate and also Insurance certificate while you keep your original documents safe.
Always try to produce all the documents required but also remember to keep your originals safe. In case of photocopies, they would have to be attested by a gazetted officer in order to hold any value. You should always have your original license and PUC certificate handy as well. Also it is advisable to keep laminated maps of all the places and highways you will encounter during your trip.
Best Time to Go On Bike Trips
Bike Trips are considered the best experience of your life. Nothing could be a better option than exploring the amazing landscapes along with your friends and that too on a bike trip.
As you ride through the rocky barren roads of Ladakh you will come across some of the best sites here. But for going on that bike trip it is important for you to know about the weather condition of this region.
The best time to head out for your Lakdah bike trip is around June to September when the climate is marvelous and the lovely blue shade of Ladakh Sky is sparkling with no clue of mists. The passes will be open at that time through which you can explore the real beauty of these grounds.
So guys get ready for that perfect adventurous trip along with your friends this time and make some good memories while you hit the roads of Ladakh. And most of all if you are going through a good biking company then you do not have to worry much as they will be providing with all the essentials.
There are different tour operators which provide you with the best of tour packages to Ladakh. Whether you are looking for a biking trip or a tour you will have the best of experience if you go through good tour operators. Your traveling will be hassle-free and everything will be well arranged from starting till the end of your trip.
If your are planning to visit Ladakh by road from Delhi then you will get emerged to two amazing routes options like Manali- Leh highway route or Srinagar- Leh highway route. Both of them will let you witness the beautiful landscape the place beholds. After reaching Leh take a break in one of the best Leh hotels and start exploring Ladakh’s attractions. You can also check out some of the best trek trails of Ladakh if you are a trekking freak and get some adventure.
Click here to book and customize your Manali to Ladakh bike trip