Nestled between the Himalayan Range and the Kunlun Range, Ladakh is a land of extremes. Dry deserts roads lead to lovely lakes, cold wind join hands with sharp sunrays to make your life difficult, and divine beauty is underscored with severe hardships. The front seat of a moving motorcycle is the right place to be when travelling through such an enchanting terrain. The Indian government has built a number of new roads here, making it possible for bikers to enter the magical world of Ladakh.
A motorbike trip to Ladakh is the ultimate challenge for adventurous bikers. The high altitude, the harsh climate, the rough terrain, and the narrow roads make it very difficult to travel in Ladakh. Additionally, the area is sparsely populated, and the bikers are not always close to civilization. The treacherous roads and the high altitude demand a focused attitude and strong determination.
A handful of motorcycle clubs and groups in India organize a Royal Enfield bike trip to Leh and Ladakh every year. Royal Enfield is a powerful cruiser bike, and it works perfectly on the rough roads and harsh climate of Ladakh. A full-length motorbike trip to Ladakh lasts over 15 days, and the bikers cover more than 2000 kilometers of mountainous terrain. Over the course of years, this route has found favor with motorcyclists from all over the world. Consequently, several tour companies offer diverse Ladakh bike tour packages for travelers.
The tour starts from different Indian cities, and all the bikers gather at the Jammu railway station. The Ladakh bike trip starts from here. The reverberation of powerful Royal Enfield bikes signals the beginning of a long journey. Over the course of two weeks, the motorbikes will cruise over some of the highest mountain passes in the world: Zojila Pass (11696 feet), Fatula Pass (13,480 feet), Changla Pass (17,300 feet), Tanglang La Pass (17,582 feet), Lachungla Pass (16,600 feet), Baralcha Pass (16,040 feet), and Rohtang Pass (13,051 feet). They will also ride on the world’s highest road, Khardung La (18,380 feet).
The motorbike trip to Ladakh is considered to be the mother of all adventure tours in India. The riders need a lot more than a decent bike, support and money to complete this grueling tour – they need a strong body and an even strong mind. They need to know their bike inside out, and they need patience while traveling over long stretches of dangerous paths. The effects of high altitude make the Ladakh bike trip a lot more difficult than other motorcycle tours of India.
At the end of the day, the Ladakh bike trip is a long adventure that takes place against a backdrop of wild mountains, flat plains and cerulean skies. It is the test of the true biker: mere junkies cannot stay the course for such a long time.