Do you want to enjoy some of the best motorcycle tours in the Himalayas? Then, you need to familiarize yourself with the road, know what to bring and prepare yourself mentally.
Mind you this trip is for professionals, so if this is your first time, you might want to travel with a professional biker. The roads from Manali to Ladakh are high-risk motorable roads that cut through the Indian Himalayas. The Himalayas road is not your regular city road; fatal accidents occur yearly and there are no hospitals or medical close by.
However, the best means of traveling the Himalayas roads is with a British Royal Enfield motorbike manufactured in Chennai, India. This motorbike is rugged and travels the rough roads of the Himalayas easily.
The nature of the tour and what to expect
Assuredly, the motorcycle tours in Himalaya include a 475km road trip with a minimum altitude of 3000m and mountain passes having an altitude of over 6000m. The best time to tour the Himalayas is in May or June as the road is usually open during this period.
During the month of October, the road closes for winter, but this depends on the amount of snowfall. The Himalayan weather is very unpredictable – landslide and glacial-melt floods are common.
Furthermore, it takes up to three days to cover the 475km of the motorcycle tour in the Himalayas. Obviously, you will have to break, eat and get some rest before you forge ahead.
There are five major passes and the highest is Tanglang La – 5,328m, which is the last. For your first night rest, you will stop at Keylong, a small town, with an altitude just over 3000m which will help you acclimatize and prepare for other passes with higher altitudes.
Also, you can choose to spend your second night in Sarchuand sleep in a luxury tent with two-bed tents and a toilet or a cheaper tent made from old parachutes with no toilets or water. It will take you one day of riding to cover the distance between Sarchu and Ladakh and enjoy the beautiful scenery along this route.
After Sarchu is the Gata loops that ascends to Lachalung la in curves. Next is the Gorges of Pang canyons where you will get a surreal feeling riding through them. Afterward, you will ride across the Morey Plateau and climb the Tanglang la pass before making a steep descent to Ladakh.
Brace yourself because you will experience altitude sickness and there is no way to know who will suffer from acute mountain sickness. The symptoms include breathlessness, headaches, sleeplessness and dry irritating cough which then ignored can be dangerous. However, the way to prevent altitude sickness is to ascend the passes slowly so your body can acclimatize.
What to pack
Endeavor to park light and here is a list of what you will be needing for your motorcycle tour Himalayas:
- Warm and waterproof clothes
- Sleeping bag for the night
- Protection gear and helmet
- Sunglasses and sunscreen to prevent sunburns
- Petrol, an extra 25 liters
- Spare parts – an inner tube, spark plug, clutch, throttle, spare bulb, and front brake.
Definitely, if you can fix your motorcycle on your own you will have to pay to transport it to Ladakh which is very expensive. If you’ve parked all your motorcycle tour in Himalayas gear, then you are ready to embark on a challenging but, fulfilling road trip.