14 Tips For Renting A Bike In Leh Ladakh

Tristan Balme my tips for renting a motorbike in leh ladakh

Renting a bike in Leh Ladakh is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of the region. The stunning landscape and the challenging terrain make it an adventure of a lifetime. However, before you embark on this journey, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. In this article, I will be sharing 14 tips for renting a bike in Leh Ladakh that will help you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

  1. Choose the right season to visit Leh Ladakh.
  2. It’s better to hire in Leh
  3. Pick a good bike for the journey
  4. Go to a registered rental agency.
  5. Check the condition of the bike before renting it.
  6. Make sure that the bike has all the necessary documents.
  7. Make sure a helmet is included riding the bike.
  8. Rent any riding gear you need
  9. Negotiate a fair price
  10. Carry a valid driving license and other identity proofs.
  11. Get an inner line permit
  12. Fuel Up and consider renting spare tanks
  13. Carry a repair kit and necessary tools with you.
  14. Keep your phone charged and carry a power bank.
  15. Always carry some cash with you for emergency situations.
  16. Respect the local culture and environment.
  17. Do not overspeed and always follow traffic rules.

1. Choose the right season to visit Leh Ladakh

The best time to visit Leh Ladakh is from May to September when the weather is mild and the roads are open. However, if you are an adventure enthusiast, you can also plan your trip during the winter months when the region is covered in snow.

MonthsClosed Roads
JanuaryRohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass, Lachung La Pass, Tanglang La Pass
FebruaryRohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass, Lachung La Pass, Tanglang La Pass
MarchRohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass, Lachung La Pass, Tanglang La Pass
AprilRohtang Pass
MayNo road closures
JuneNo road closures
JulyNo road closures
AugustNo road closures
SeptemberNo road closures
OctoberRohtang Pass
NovemberRohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass, Lachung La Pass, Tanglang La Pass
DecemberRohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass, Lachung La Pass, Tanglang La Pass

2. It’s better to hire in Leh

It is always advisable to rent a bike in Leh rather than in other parts of India. The reason being, the bikes available in Leh are better equipped to handle the harsh terrain and the altitude.

If you plan to ride a bike registered outside of Leh Ladakh, you will need to get a permit from the ARTO (Assistant Regional Transport Office) in Leh. This permit is called the “self-drive” permit, and it allows you to ride a bike that is registered outside of Ladakh. You need to submit the following documents to get the permit:

  • Copy of your driving license
  • Copy of your bike’s registration certificate (RC)
  • Copy of your bike’s insurance papers
  • NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the bike’s owner
  • Pollution under control (PUC) certificate
  • Passport size photographs

The permit is valid for 3 weeks and costs around Rs. 400.

Tip: In general, unless you live in india and really want to ride your own bike, it’s best just to rent a bike when you arrvie in Leh.

3. Pick a good bike for the journey

Choosing the right bike is crucial for a safe and comfortable journey. You need a bike that is sturdy, reliable, and can handle the rough terrain. The most popular options are Royal Enfield, Himalayan, and Bajaj Avenger.

BikeRental Cost (per day)CC RatingRecommendation
Royal EnfieldRs. 1000 – 1500350 – 500Highly recommended
Bajaj AvengerRs. 800 – 1200220Recommended for experienced riders
HimalayanRs. 1500 – 2000411Recommended for off-road terrain
KTM DukeRs. 2000 – 2500200Not recommended for Ladakh terrain
Honda ActivaRs. 500 – 800110Not suitable for Ladakh terrain
Yamaha FZRs. 1000 – 1500150Not recommended for Ladakh terrain

For this journey, we highly recommend renting a Royal Enfield Himalayan. These bikes are sturdy and reliable, and can handle the rough terrain of Ladakh. Additionally, they are popular choices among riders in the region, so it may be easier to find spare parts or repair services if needed.

The newer models are specifically designed and tuned for running at high altitude, so even at the lower 411cc rating, they can provide more real power that a 500cc classic on the passes.

Tristan Balme the royal enfield himalayan is the best bike for leh

4. Go to a registered rental agency

Always rent a bike from a registered rental agency. This will ensure that the bike is in good condition, has all the necessary documents, and is insured.

Here are three rental agencies in Leh that we recommend:

  1. Ladakh Bike Rental – We like this agency because they have a wide variety of bikes to choose from, including Royal Enfield, Himalayan, and Bajaj Avenger. They also offer free helmets and riding gear with every rental.
  2. Mountain Trails – This agency is great because they offer customized itineraries and packages, so you can plan your journey according to your preferences. They also have a workshop where you can get your bike serviced or repaired.
  3. Dreamland Bikes – We recommend this agency because they have a fleet of well-maintained Royal Enfields and Himalayans. They also offer free pickup and drop-off service from the airport or your hotel.

Please note that we are not affiliated with any of these agencies and recommend that you conduct your own research before renting a bike.

5. Check the condition of the bike before renting it

Before renting the bike, inspect it thoroughly for any damages or defects. Check the brakes, clutch, gears, and tires. If you notice any issues, report them to the rental agency and get them fixed before you start your journey.

6. Make sure that the bike has all the necessary documents

The bike should have all the necessary documents, including registration certificate, insurance papers, pollution under control (PUC) certificate, and road tax receipts. Make sure that you have copies of these documents with you during your journey.

Tristan Balme Signing the motorbike rental paperwork in leh
Tristan Balme Royal Enfield Himalayan Leh Ladakh number plate

7. Make sure a helmet is included riding the bike

Wearing a helmet is mandatory in India. Make sure that the rental agency provides you with a helmet that fits you properly.

Tristan Balme make sure to wear helmet

8. Rent any riding gear you need

Leh Ladakh is a high-altitude region, and the temperature can drop significantly, especially during the night. Renting riding gear like jackets, gloves, and boots will keep you warm and comfortable during your journey.

9. Negotiate a fair price

Always negotiate the price before renting the bike. Do some research beforehand to get an idea of the average rental price.

There are no specific government pricing rules for renting bikes in Leh Ladakh. The rental prices are generally determined by the rental agencies and may vary depending on factors such as the type of bike, the duration of the rental, and the time of year. It’s always a good idea to negotiate the rental price with the agency beforehand to ensure you get a fair deal. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of any additional costs that may be incurred during the rental, such as fuel charges or charges for any damages to the bike.

10. Carry a valid driving license and other identity proofs

Carry a valid driving license and other identity proofs like Aadhar card or passport with you during the journey. It is mandatory to carry these documents while riding a bike in India.

For international tourists, it is important to note that a valid international driving permit (IDP) is required to ride a bike in India. Additionally, it is recommended to carry a copy of your passport and visa with you at all times during your journey.

11. Beware of the altitude

It is also important to be aware of the altitude sickness that can occur in Ladakh due to the high altitude. It is recommended to acclimatize for at least two days before embarking on any adventure activities. Drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and smoking, and take it easy for the first few days to allow your body to adjust to the altitude.

Tristan Balme leh ladakh high desert

12. Get the right travel insurance

I highly recommend you purchase travel insurance that covers adventure activities like bike riding, as well as emergency medical expenses and trip cancellations. Make sure to read the policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not.

One travel insurance product that covers adventure activities like bike riding is World Nomads. They offer flexible plans and coverage for emergency medical expenses, trip cancellations, and personal belongings. You can learn more and purchase a plan at their website: https://www.worldnomads.com/

13. Get an inner line permit

If you are traveling to certain areas of Ladakh like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, or Tso Moriri, you need an inner line permit. You can apply for the permit online or get it from the DC office in Leh.

Tristan Balme Example of the inner line permit ILP in leh ladakh

14. Fuel Up and consider renting spare tanks

Fuel is scarce in Ladakh, and you need to plan your journey accordingly. Fill up your tank before starting your journey and carry spare fuel in jerry cans if necessary.

If you are planning to travel long distances, it’s a good idea to carry spare fuel in jerry cans. Most rental agencies will provide you with an extra fuel tank for a small rental fee. The cost of renting an auxiliary petrol tank can range from Rs. 150 to Rs. 300 per day, depending on the rental agency and the size of the tank.

Tristan Balme make sure to fuel up before the trip

15. Carry a repair kit and necessary tools with you

Carry a basic repair kit and some essential tools like screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches with you. This will come in handy if you need to fix any minor issues with the bike during your journey.

One basic motorcycle repair kit on Amazon is the Tooluxe 50002L Universal Tire Repair Kit. It includes pliers, screwdrivers, and a variety of patches for repairing tires.

16. Keep your phone charged and carry a power bank

One highly rated power bank on Amazon is the Anker PowerCore 10000. It has a capacity of 10000mAh and can charge most phones up to three times. It also has two USB ports, allowing you to charge two devices at once. You can find it here: Anker PowerCore 10000 on Amazon.

Here’s a photo of me trying to find somewhere to stay after my phone died! Big L right here..

Tristan Balme make sure to charge your phone before the trip

Avoid The Cows

Well, this goes without saying, but they are a real danger on the roads!

People move

Cars and trucks move

Cows don’t moove

Tristan Balme Avoid the cows on indian roads

Conclusion

Renting a bike in Leh Ladakh is an adventure of a lifetime. However, it is essential to keep these tips in mind to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Always respect the local culture and environment and follow traffic rules. If you are planning a trip to Leh Ladakh, make sure you do your research and plan your journey well in advance.

For more information on travel to Ladakh, visit the official website of the Ladakh Tourism Department.

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