- These rates cover motorcycle rental and standard accommodations. Fuel is not included.
- Each departure requires a minimum of 10 persons (including both rider and pillion). If the bookings fall short of this number we can either refund your payment (minus any bank transfer charges) or move you to another departure. We will inform you of any scheduling changes at least 3 months before your departure date.
- This tour starts and ends in Manali.
Manali To Leh Bike Tour - Itinerary
With terrifying mountain passes, ancient Buddhist monasteries and high-altitude deserts, the Manali-Leh highway to Ladakh is, or at least should be, the holy grail for any biker worth his (or her) engine oil. Winding Himalayan tarmac, punishing dirt roads, river crossings and thin air demand the best out of both biker and machine on the Leh Ladakh bike trip. You get to enjoy the hospitality of small, family-run guesthouses in Ladakh and camp out on desert plains under the Milky Way. From alpine forests in Himachal to the edge of Tibet and back, this Trans-Himalayan motorcycle journey packs in a wide range of riding terrain and cultural experience. Enjoy the greatest motoring adventure with us on our Leh Ladakh bike tour packages. Our Manali to Leh bike tour packages offer the best Himalayan motor experience.
The best time to do a Leh Ladakh bike trip is from June to September.
Day 1: Arrive in Manali
Day 2: Manali – Jispa
Day 3: Jispa – Sarchu
Day 4: Sarchu – Leh
Day 5: Leh - Khardungla - Leh
Day 6: Leh – Panggong Lake
Day 7: Panggong Lake – Leh
Day 8: Leh – Sarchu
Day 9: Sarchu – Manali
Day 1: Arrive in Manali (bus)
The bus from Delhi arrives in Manali by 7AM. We check into our hotel, grab some chow and relax till lunch - the bus journey is a fairly tiring one. A true biker is never far from his machine and we lose no time in getting to our Enfields, waiting in the hotel parking lot. We learn about this time-machine that has hung around India for the past 60 years in more or less its original avatar (only in India!). You get an introduction to the quirks of the modern Royal Enfield's low-end torque and a lengthy pick-up time that gives you time enough to contemplate the meaning of life (or write a book or calculate your taxes!. This day we will go on a Himalayan riding primer through a part-dirt / part tarmac road along the Kullu Valley. There are some tricky stretches of mud and bends that help you familiarise with the torque characteristics of the bike (its all in throttle-control, baby). The ride is a beautiful one right through to the end of Kullu Valley and we return to our hotel for an early dinner. This ride will get us ready and is important for our Leh Ladakh bike trip preparation.
Day 2: Manali - Jispa (ride 150 km)
A quick breakfast and we hit the road at 6AM. Our first challenge is Rohtang Pass (3978m). ‘Ruh-tang’ literally means ‘soul-torture’ and it is the worst of the passes we will cross on our journey. Unpredictable weather and incredibly bad roads and potholes make the Ladakh bike trip an ordeal. The fabled soul-suffering is compounded by the 2-million-odd tourists rattling up the pass in cabs and vans to catch a glimpse of snow and ice. This could have been a beautiful pass, but uncontrolled tourism has made it far more of a nightmare than the Rohtang’s original name-keepers ever visualised. We cross the pass into Lahaul Valley. There are hardly any trees here and the bare, mighty mountains are covered in scree and snowy run-offs. The contrast from the rest of India is striking – hardly any people and peace and quiet all around. Tiny villages lie along our biking route to Jispa, a pretty stopover near the district headquarters of Keylong. This is the last place you will get to see numerous shades of green, so soak it all in with a mountain dinner of steamed momos and thukpa – a traditional Himalayan soup made with vegetables and meat (we assume all scary bikers are non-vegetarian, unless you ride a Honda or something…).
Day 3: Jispa – Sarchu (ride 80 km)
Soon after Jispa we start getting into Greater Himalayan territory. All traces of greenery disappear and the mountains suddenly get bigger. Big is the keyword – bigger than the most awesome v-twin you have ever seen, bigger than the former Governor of California and certainly bigger than the Sydney Opera House. Yes sir, it does not get bigger than this. You can only ride slowly along and marvel at the creation of the bearded man in the sky (or bearded lady, we’re not sexist). We cross over the Baralachha Pass (5000m) toward noon.
For the first time you realise that you are on a different planet altogether, just man (or woman), machine, mountain and sky. A bit later we hit the plains of Sarchu, the border-point between the states of Himachal and Kashmir. It is here that we cross into Ladakh, and very soon we will be on the Tibetan Plateau in India. We check into our high-altitude tent accommodations at our Sarchu camp. Altitude-sickness might kick in later in the evening. The only solution is to drink lots of water and fluids and keep off the tobacco and alcohol. Some of you may have an uncomfortable night due to dizziness. But this is an awesome place to camp with miles and miles of open grassland and a clear night sky with millions of stars above. Sarchu truly is one of the most magical parts of the ride. We start up early the next day - the most awesome part of the Leh Ladakh bike tour lies just ahead.
Day 4: Sarchu – Leh (ride 215 km)
We set out from Sarchu and climb over the Lachulungla Pass. About 3 hours later we stop at Pang. After tea and an early lunch we ride up to one of the most awesome parts of the Manali-Leh ride. Forty six kilometres of sheer riding nirvana – the Morey Plains! A narrow bit of tarmac stretches across the immense flatlands and disappears into the mountain-range-horizon. Distant ridges form the borders of the plains as we race our bikes along as fast as our carburetted steeds will permit. No traffic lights, no grandmas crossing the road, just a long line of bikers with the odd truck coming down the other way. In the afternoon we cross the Tanglang-La (‘La’ means Pass), the second-highest motorable mountain pass in the world at 5300m. We cross the pass and get to see the first shades of Himalayan desert green at Gya village, an ancient Buddhist habitation on a tributary of the Indus river. Soon we come out of a narrow gorge and into the wide-open Indus valley and the first major stop in the route at Upshi. The roads are much better here and we have a broad, well-maintained tarmac road all the way to Leh, 60 kms from Upshi. On the way we can see the monasteries of Shey and Thiksey, perched on hilltops with desert oases at the bases where the local Buddhist populations live. We arrive in Leh late in the afternoon - this is where we finish the first leg of our Leh Ladakh bike trip. It is a busy market town, the heart of which is filled with the clamor and congestion of any other Indian market town. We check into our accommodations in the leafy suburbs of Changspa. A beer and the cool evening air is your prize for completing the most awesome bike ride on the planet. Over the next few days, we will explore this unique landscape and culture and at the end of it, do it all over again!
Day 5: Leh - Khardungla - Leh ( ride 80 km)
We start the day with giving our dusty bikes a well-earned washdown and fix all the little mechanical bugs that we picked up along the way (the Royal Enfield is remarkable at picking up bugs but like the Terminator, will never, never stop). After breakfast we will ride to the mighty Khardungla in the morning. Its around one and half hour ride and after spending some time over there we will return to Leh. Rest of the day we can take opportunity to explore Leh on foot and check out the old fort that looks over the city. Leh has a mixed Muslim and Buddhist population and has both a large Masjid and a Tibetan Gompa. The main central street is lined with curio shops and has many eating places serving a wide range of cuisine. The evening is spent lazing around the peaceful residential suburb of Changspa, in one of the many garden restaurants that thrive in the area. We enjoy a late night barbecue under the starry sky, with tall tales of motorcycling misachievements in far corners of the world, fuelled by even taller glasses of beer or the local hooch – chhang.
Day 6: Leh – Panggong Lake (drive 149 km)
Today we drive to Panggong Lake in a Tempo traveler/jeep, the largest brackish water lake in Asia is 149 km from Leh. Two-thirds of this gigantic high-altitude lake lie in China. We drive north from Leh and then turn left at Karu. The well-maintained Kashmiri tarmac gives way to patchy surfaces and dirt. We cross the ChangLa (5500m) and descend to an army checkpoint at Tangse. We drive along the lake for a while and spend the night at Panggong Resort, a comfortable but basic guesthouse run by the Ladakhi locals. The Panggong Lake is one of the best highlights of our Ladakh trip.
Day 7: Panggong – Leh (drive 149 km)
Breakfast and a few quick walks along the lake and we start our drive back toward Leh. It’s a relaxing drive today. Nothing more to achieve than to get into Leh on time. Tonight will be our last night in Leh so the rest of the evening is spent trinket hunting in the bazaar and visitng the Shanti Stupa – a huge structure overlooking Changspa – we ride to the Stupa and spend a half hour on the large terrace below the Buddha. A fantastic view of the Indus valley and the Zanskar Range before us. Too bad they wont let us bring our barbecue and beers out here….and just as well, for we need to hit the sack early for a long riding day ahead.
Day 8: Leh – Sarchu (ride 215 km)
Oh no, not again! It is time to backtrack over our great Trans-Himalayan adventure on the road to Leh – back over all the dirt-tracks, river crossings and terrifying mountain passes. The task may seem daunting but the ride is completely different from the one that brought us in. The landscape seems different on the way out, the perspective changes and we have more time to notice things that we missed the last time around. We will give Pang a miss and ride slightly longer to spend the night at Sarchu, exactly halfway between Leh and Manali. We camp out in the meadows, with a thick blanket of stars to mask out the same fuzzy headache we encountered in Pang - an incredible experience in an incredible place. The same high-altitude rules on fluid intake apply.
Day 9: Sarchu – Manali (ride 215 km)
The morning may find us cranking our machines over a few times to get the oil to warm up - an overnight frost may have turned all the lubricants into chocolate syrup. We ride on over the Sarchu plain and assault Baralachha at noon. We are welcomed into Jispa with shades of Lahaul green and the end of the great Himalayan desert. A cheerful ride up the handsome Lahaul ranges and it is time to face the great and wicked Rohtang Pass. We hit the tourist jungles over the other side and wind our way through them (or over them) with mild irritance – mighty Himalayan conquerors such as us have no time for squealing insects. We ride down the pass through potholes and mini-rivers of mud (and fog if we’re lucky), through to our hotel in Manali for a good hot bath. Dinner with our bikes, with stories of recent adventures and plans for the future. A long ride and much deserved sleep with dreams of high mountain lakes, monasteries and dusty motorcycle trails on a totally different planet. Next day, check up on all those emails and a walkabout through the backpacker alleyways of Old Manali. Load up the riding gear on the bus in the evening for a long drive back to New Delhi. No, you cannot take your bikes back with you. They’re not good for you. Really. Leaky old Royal Oilfields….
Our Ladakh bike tour package includes:
- 350cc or 500cc Royal Enfields for riders, tour leader and tour guide.
- Tempo traveler/Jeep for two days transportation from Leh to Pengong Lake and return back to Leh.
- All hotel, guesthouse and camping charges in Himachal and Ladakh on multiple-sharing basis with breakfast, and dinner included.
- Bungee cords for strapping on your day pack.
- Backup pickup truck with mechanic. All your luggage goes in the truck.
- First aid kit and oxygen cylinder.
- Food and lodgings for the tour guide and back-up crew.
- All taxes are included in the tour price.
- Tour price includes all permits and toll charges.
The tour does not include:
-- Alcoholic beverages and lunch
- Personal expenses like telephone, laundry, table tips, cold beverages (juice, alcohol ) etc
-Any damage/ change of spares done to the motorbikes are payable as extra
- All riders will be expected to pay their own fuel bills at petrol stations. The kitty will pay for spare fuel that we carry in the back-up truck - we will need to top up tanks in Pang and Sarchu and there are no petrol pumps in this area.
- Helmets, gloves, jackets, boots, strap-on luggage and other riding gear – riders are advised to bring their own.
- Please ensure that you have the appropriate medical insurance from your country of origin and that it covers activities of this nature.
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.will be charged extra.
-Transportation charges for a motorbike ( 10,ooo/- Rs) from Leh to Manali will be charged extra, incase a rider wants to end his/her tour in Leh.