When it comes to renting motorcycle for a Ladakh trip, it is definitely not an easy affair. A lots of things needs to be considered like which motorcycle to rent, where to rent it from, what to keep in mind before renting, where can you use the rented motorcycle etc. In this article, I will highlight a few quick points that you should take care of before you rent a bike for Ladakh trip.
Where can I rent a bike for Ladakh?
It actually depends on your personal preference and where you are traveling from but the most popular or common places are either Manali or Srinagar. Manali has way more and better options than Srinagar in this aspect and it is not a big deal to find a motorcycle on rent here. Take a look at the articles below providing more details on renting a motorcycle in either Manali or Srinagar with contact details of a few agencies. Details like the price range, available motorcycles are covered in these articles.
Also read: How to rent a motorcycle in Manali
Also read: How to rent a motorcycle in Srinagar
Can I rent a motorcycle in Leh?
Yes you definitely can and even in Leh, options are in plenty. The entire town is filled with mechanics or travel agents offering all kinds of motorcycles on Leh for local sightseeing. Depending on which motorcycle you chose, expect the rent to be anywhere from Rs. 800 to Rs. 2000 per day. Visit the links below for further details on renting a motorcycle in Leh and renting costs. I would advise against booking in advance before when it comes to motorcycle, you must first check in person the condition of motorcycle and then only close the deal.
Also read: How to rent a motorcycle in Leh
Also read: Ladakh motorcycle rental rates
Which is the best Bike for Ladakh trip?
There is no best bike as such for taking to Ladakh. Agreed that some motorcycles are better and have advantage over others, in the end it all depends on how well you have maintained it. You can take even a 100CC motorcycle to Ladakh provided that you have gotten it serviced, have not abused it, and the motorcycle is not way too old. If you are riding with a pillion, prefer taking a motorcycle with large engine like Royal Enfield so that the ride remains smooth even at those steep ascents. If you are taking a smaller engine bike, like 100 CC or 135 CC, ride solo. You also need to consider in the fact that it is not just you and your pillion but also the luggage; all of which a 100CC bike may not be able to handle at rough patches.
Also read: Which is the best bike for Ladakh trip?
Can I use a non-local motorcycle in Ladakh?
This is one of the most important factors you need to consider. Any motorcycle that was rented outside Ladakh, like from Manali or Srinagar, is only good enough to take you to Leh.
It cannot be used to visit nearby areas like Tso Moriri, Pangong or Nubra Valley. For this purpose, you must rent another motorcycle from Leh, a locally registered one. I strongly suggest that you do not take any chances and leave your non-local motorcycle at the hotel in Leh. You may be stopped at the barricades put up by the locals and if they find you riding a motorcycle registered outside Ladakh, you may get sent back to Leh. Worse, they may even damage that motorcycle. There is however no concern on riding these motorcycles on the two highways leading to Leh but once you reach there, you must leave it parked at the hotel.
Is there a minimum or maximum rental period?
It depends on the renter but some of them do have a 7 day minimum criteria.
Is there a security deposit involved while renting a motorcycle for Ladakh?
Yes there is. Expect the deposit to be anywhere between Rs. 15000 to Rs. 30000 depending on which motorbike you are renting and where you are renting it from. This amount is refundable at the time when you return the motorcycle with no damage.
What to check before renting a motorcycle for Ladakh?
I am not a mechanic myself but I will still list a few things. Check the condition of the chain set and ensure it is not worn out. If the motorcycle is electric start, try bringing it to life a couple of times and ensure that it doesn’t cough or give trouble when you press the start switch. If it is kick start, ensure that there is no starting problem and the motorcycle is a single or at most two kicks start. Check the condition of the tires if they are worn out. Sit down on the motorcycle to check that the seats are comfortable enough. Do a thorough inspection of the motorcycle for any oil leakage, either from engine or front shock absorbers. Check that the headlamp is bright enough and get it replaced if it is not. Also check the tail light and that both the indicators are in working condition.
Do I need a high powered motorcycle only?
It depends. If you are riding with a pillion, have a lot of luggage and are planning to cover some long stretches then it is better to go for a high powered engine. If you are just one person then you can rent a smaller engine bike as well like a 150 CC Pulsar for example. If your motorcycle is comparatively new, is very well maintained then you can take even a 100 CC motorcycle. If you are however doing so, then please ensure that you do not over do things. Riding a 100 or 125 CC motorcycle would mean that you will have to ride very carefully. If the motorcycle starts to cough at a certain ascent and refuses to go any further, do not try to push it too hard or ride in half clutch. Get down for a short distance and walk while accelerating slowly. At water crossings, stop, get down, inspect the crossing and cross through a spot that doesn’t seem too deep or doesn’t have too much of slush or stones where the bike may get stuck. If the motorcycle gets stuck, do not accelerate too much trying to take it out. Rather, get down and push the motorcycle out.
Can I do a Ladakh bike trip with pillion rider?
A lot of people do it and yes you certainly can. There are however several things that comes into consideration. As I mentioned above, when you ride with a pillion, you must consider in the fact that it is not just you but also luggage of two people. If you are planning to ride with a pillion, chose your motorcycle carefully. If you have a Royal Enfield then nothing like it. It is easier with Enfield when it comes to a comfortable ride and roping all that luggage around on it. If not however an Enfield, then at least have a 150 CC motorcycle, under that and you should ride solo. Even with a high powered motorcycle, you must make sure that it is well maintained and well serviced. You should be 100% sure that the motorcycle is not problematic and not at a risk of a breakdown in middle of nowhere. The most important thing however is your own riding skills. The motorcycle can be good but can you manage it well enough with a pillion and luggage on such challenging roads? Only ride with a pillion if you are 100% sure about it. Do not carry unnecessary luggage and ride as light as you can.
I hope this information on how to rent a bike for Ladakh trip was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I would be glad to answer.