5 Best Bike Rental Companies in Leh, Ladakh (Revised For 2024)

Tristan Balme best bike rental in leh ladakh

There are several bike rental companies in Leh, Ladakh. But not all of them are trustworthy and professional. And the last thing you need is to end up with a faulty bike, hidden charge, or bad deal that can ruin your trip. 

I hired a bike during my trip to Ladakh and learned a lot about what to look for, and what to avoid (as well as how much you should pay!)

1️⃣ Top Choice: Ladakh Bike Rental
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2️⃣ Runner Up: Apex Adventure
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3️⃣ Ladakh Bike Hire 
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4️⃣ Ladakh Bike Tour and Travel Agency 
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5️⃣ Himalayan Rider 
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In this post, I’ll share the 5 best bike rental companies in Leh I found a few factors to consider before renting your two-wheeled ride.

The 5 Best Bike Rental Companies In Leh Ladakh

1. Ladakh Bike Rental (My Top Choice!)

Ladakh Bike Rental

This is a family-owned company with a wide range of bike tours and rental services in the region. I had a great experience with them and recommend them if you’re looking for a reliable and budget-friendly operator.

Features

  • Various bikes and accessories to choose from
  • Well-maintained and clean bikes
  • Flexible rates 
  • Convenient delivery and pickup options
  • Excellent customer service and support
  • Provides backup vehicles, mechanics, and guides for the tours
  • Fair terms and conditions

2. Apex Adventure (Runner Up!)

Apex Adventure Tours

Apex Adventure is a leading adventure tour operator based in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. I tried their services from Manali to Leh, because it was one of the most challenging routes in the Himalayas. 

Features

  • Fleet of modern and powerful bikes
  • Essential gear and kits included 
  • Competitive rates
  • Dedicated team of experts
  • High standard of customer service and support
  • Customized tours
  • Transparent and flexible terms and conditions

3. Ladakh Bike Hire 

Ladakh Bike Hire

This rental shop is a unit of Ladakh Mayul Travels. They have flexible packages and are great for exploring the city at your own pace and convenience. 

Features

  • Diverse range of geared and non-geared bikes
  • Affordable rates 
  • Easy and hassle-free delivery and pickup options
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Simple and clear terms and conditions

4. Ladakh Bike Tour and Travel Agency 

Ladakh Bike Tour and Travel Agency

Ladakh Bike Tour and Travel Agency is a local agency with diverse tour packages and services. 

Features

  • Wide and customizable tour packages
  • Tons of bikes and accessories 
  • Team of professional and qualified staff
  • Great customer service and support
  • Reasonable and transparent terms and conditions

5. Himalayan Rider 

Himalayan Rider

Another leading tour operator, Himalayan Rider is based in Manali. They are one of the few with premium, high-end bikes. 

Features

  • Range of high-end and premium bikes equipped with GPS, smart locks, and anti-theft alarms 
  • Personalized tours
  • Competitive rates
  • Dedicated team of experts
  • Fantastic customer service and support
  • Transparent and flexible terms and conditions

What Sort of Bike Should You Rent?

Royal Enfield models, such as the Classic 500, Himalayan, or Bullet, are top choices due to their strong build, comfort for long distances, and ability to endure tough conditions. These bikes boast a significant fan following and are well-acclaimed for their performance on the Leh Ladakh trails.

If you’re looking for something lighter, the Bajaj Pulsar is also a popular option. It’s known for its agility and efficiency, which can be quite useful on challenging mountain passes.

I opted for one of the new Royal Enfield Himalans. (I mean, it looked cool) but was also well designed for the high altitude Khardung Pass crossings.

No matter what bike you select, it must be in excellent condition. Double-check the suspension, brakes, tyres, and engine performance before setting out. Remember, your bike will be your companion throughout this epic journey, so choose one that resonates with your comfort level and riding skills.

A summary of Ladakh bike rental prices

Here’s a summary of common bikes offered by rental operators and the cost of each. 

MakeModelDaily Rate (Rs.)Half Day Rate (Rs.)
Royal Enfield 350cc18001000
Royal Enfield 500cc21001200
Royal Enfield Himalayan25001300
Royal Enfield Interceptor32001700
BMW GS/GSR 310cc35001800
BajajAvenger1200700
Bajaj Vikrant1200700
Automatic Bike/Scooty1000600

Can I Negotiate The Prices?

You’re not meant to, but you can. And only to a certain extent. The Ladakh government have set a price floor framework for all bike rentals.

But you can try to bargain with them and get a discount. For example, I was able to get the price down by picking a bike that had some cosmetic damage, didn’t have luggage or fuel carriers, and by doing a long duration hire.

Tip: When selecting a bike, don’t be too rigid or stubborn about your choice of bike or the duration of the rental. Be open to different options and alternatives they may offer you as prices will vary based on whats in stock, condition, and recent cancellations.

Renting riding gear

Rent from the same bike rental company

This is a convenient and hassle-free option that lets you get everything you need from one place. You’ll most likely get a package deal or discount for renting both the bike and gear. Be mindful that the quality and variety may not be the best, and you may have to settle for what is available.

Rent from a gear shop specializing in riding gear

This is a better option if you are particular about the quality and fit of the gear, and want to choose from a wide range of options. Although it can be more expensive.

Do you need a bike with a luggage carrier?

It depends on how much luggage you’ll be carrying. If all you have is a backpack or duffel bag, you may not need a bike with a luggage carrier. You can simply strap your bag to the rear seat or the fuel tank of the bike, and ride comfortably. 

If you’re carrying more luggage–tent, a sleeping bag, a camera, other essentials–opt for one with a luggage carrier. 

Do I need to carry extra fuel on the trip?

Ladakh is a remote and sparsely populated region. The availability of fuel stations is limited and uncertain, and the ones that are there may not be reliable. 

I advise you to carry extra fuel on your trip. Especially on routes with long stretches of no fuel stations. You wouldn’t want to run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere, now would you? 

Carrying extra fuel also gives you the flexibility to explore more places without worrying about running low. Refill extra containers at every station you come across. Don’t take any chances or assume that the next one will be open or available. 

Are helmets included with the rented bike in Leh?

Helmets are included as per the law and the policy of the rental companies. 

But I found that the quality and quantity vary from one company to the next. Some provide good quality and branded helmets, while others provide cheap, flimsy varieties. 

Which Months Are Best For The Leh Ladakh Bike Trip?

I embarked on my trip in September. The weather was pleasant and the roads were clear of snow. 

Ideally, visit anytime from June to September. These months also coincide with the peak season, so expect to see a lot of fellow bikers and travelers on the road. 

I’ve had other bikers mention that May and October are pleasant months to ride. It’s less crowded and peaceful, and the roads are still open. But the weather is more unpredictable, with cases of snowfall, rain, or landslides.

Documents That You Need to Carry in Leh

Permit

Certain areas, like Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake, are protected or restricted because of their proximity to international borders with China and Pakistan. You’ll need to obtain a special permit to enter these areas, called the Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Indian nationals and the Protected Area Permit (PAP) for foreign nationals. You can apply for these through the Ladakh administration’s official website or offline at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Leh. 

Government-issued Identity Cards

These include your passport, Aadhar card, or voter ID. Carry the original and a few photocopies. 

Printed Itinerary

Keep a few hard copies of your Ladakh itinerary. This will help you when you are applying for your permits and also act as a reference during your journey.

Medical Insurance Copy

Ladakh is a remote and high-altitude region. Having medical insurance will give you some peace of mind if an emergency arises.

Top Tips Before Hitting The Road

Be Mindful of the road conditions in Ladakh

The city has challenging and unpredictable road conditions. These range from steep, rough, and dusty, to sharp curves, blind turns, and hairpin bends. You’ll also encounter several bodies of water, landslides, and strong winds. 

Be extremely careful and alert while riding on these roads. Also, be prepared for any situation and carry puncture repair kits. 

Calculate how much fuel you’ll need, and where you can refuel en route

You need to plan your fuel consumption and refilling carefully. Fill up your tank whenever you get a chance, and carry some extra fuel. You can use this fuel calculator to get an estimate of how much fuel you’ll need for your trip. 

Organize your Inner Line Permit

As mentioned earlier, you need to obtain an Inner Line Permit or a Protected Area Permit to access restricted regions. Make sure you apply for these well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a bike that is rented outside Leh to cover Leh and nearby attractions?

The short answer is no. 

If you rent a motorcycle in some other city, you can take it only as far as Leh. Locals do not allow these motorcycles to be used to visit nearby areas (and you can tell by the number plate what state the bike is registered in!). They want to protect their own business and livelihoods. If you want to visit these areas, you need to rent a bike from a local bike rental company in Leh. 

What if my rented bike in Ladakh gets broken or damaged?

If your bike gets broken or damaged, you need to inform the bike rental company as soon as possible. Depending on the terms and conditions of the company, they will either send a mechanic to fix it or provide you with a replacement bike. In most cases, you’ll bear the repair or replacement costs.
Most Rental companies offer insurance and it’s a good idea to take this. Also remember personal travel insurance, as while the bike can be easily replaced, you cant, and you don’t want to risk a medical emergency in the middle of the Himalays..

India Travel Planning Cheatsheet

 

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance for India?

100% YES! — India has free healthcare and it works, but it's something you don't want to experience (Trust me - I did!). For the private hospitals you'll need travel insurance in case anything happens on your visit. Also be aware many policies won't cover high altitude hiking as it's a high risk activities like motorcyle riding!

(that's right, check the t&c's on your complimentary credit card insurance

I highly recommend World Nomads as you can get specific add-ons for high altitude hiking UP TO 6000m (Which most travel insurance companies don't offer!) and other activiites. 

🎫 Do I need a visa for India?

Yes, probably — India require a tourist visa for visitors from most western countires which allows you stay for up to 90 days. 

This Lonely Planet aritcle summarises the visa requirements nicely.

💉Do I need any vaccinations for India?

YES! Make sure you are up-to-date with all your vaccines. Common travel vaccines include Hep A/B + Typhoid, and Diphtheria + Tetanus.

Rabies is also an issue in India but the vaccine is expensive and ineffective as a preventative measure (it only lasts a few years and you'll need to get them again if you require treatment). If bitten by a stray dog (like I was!) seek immediate medical attention!

As always, talk to your GP or specialised travel doctor a few weeks BEFORE you leave.

💸How do you pay for things in India?

Cash is king in Indiaa, so you'll want to get some folding tender out from an ATM when you land. Larger businesses and hotels will take Debit / Credit Card but most resturants, and street vendors want cash. 

I personally use a Wise debit card for all my international money needs as they only convert the funds when you make payment, plus they offer a much better spread (margin on the true exhange rate) than the banks do. They work in all the Tanzanian ATMs I tried. .

📲 How do I get internet/data/wifi in India?

This one needs a whole nother article, but the short version is prepaid SIM cards are cheap and availible to tourists and locals alike (You don't need a pricey tourst SIM!)

Your cheapest option is buying a physical sim card on the street corner once landed and getting the shop assistant to help you set it up. I went with Vodafone and had generally good coverage.

Another option is the Nomad eSIM. This is a little more expensive but gives you connectivity in other Asian countires too!

The catch was travelling into Kashmir where out of state sims dont work, and you can't get a local sim without a phone contract and local ID! 

✈️ What’s the best site to buy flights to India?

For finding cheap flights, I recommend Skyscanner. Once you find the flight you're looking for, I'd then suggest booking directly with the carrier (even if it costs a few $$ more than with one of the agreggators/agencies).

💧Can you drink the water in India?

Safest not to — tap water in India in some areas (larger cities) may be OK (the locals drink it) but is generally untreated and not reccommended for tourists. Purchase bottled water for drinking and teeth brushing.

 

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