Offline Saurabh Soni

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Leh Ladakh or a Lahaul Spiti valley motorcycle road trip is always a dream tour for most of the riders and enthusiasts.

Both the tours feed you with lifetime memories but if not properly planned, these tours can become a nightmare for a rider. You may end up stranded in middle of nowhere. Based on my experience on few trips on the terrain and learning from other expert rider's experience, I am listing down Top things to remember while going on a Leh Ladakh or a Spiti Valley Motorcycle Tour.

1. Rider must be fit both physically and mentally: This is the most important tip for these kind of difficult tours. Terrain around Spiti Valley and Leh Ladakh will test your limits, it will challenge you and one must be mentally strong to overcome those challenges. Also keep in mind to give your body some time to acclimatize to high altitudes. You would be a sole rider and you have responsibility to take care of yourself and your machine. These Tours are a big no if you are seeking a comfortable Bike tours.

2. Even more fitter Motorcycles than yourselves: No compromise here. If your Bike is not ready for these trips, you should not take chances. Get your Motorcycle serviced well in advance and test it around few days to test if there is no problem at all.

 I have my own personal experience around this, where we took an unfit Royal Enfield with us to Spiti Valley tour and on second day we had to send that Rider back and he couldn't continue the trip. Read here on my experience when we had to send a rider back. Any fit Motorcycle would do, even 100 CC scooter or motorcycle can complete these tours but an unfit 500 CC motorcycle would fail to complete and become nightmare.

3. Carry Tubeless Tyres, Air Pump and Puncture repair Kits: You don't have control on keeping your Motorcycle from getting Punctured, you can't avoid it in such a terrain and if you are unlucky, you might get a puncture. You can always mitigate for such situation by preparing yourself if you get a puncture. One thing is if your Motorcycle has a tubeless tyre then you should carry proper tools to manually fix a puncture and also skills to do it. Otherwise get tubeless tyres and carry air pump, air pump would give you extra lease as tubeless tires can be refilled with air pump and cover extra distances. I made a mistake of not converting my front tire a tubeless one and that tire got a puncture, I was lucky that I noticed it well in advance and also found a puncture repairer in vicinity. Most riders won't be always lucky. Why take chances then?

Buy Airpump Online from Amazon
Buy Tubeless Puncture Kit from Amazon

4. Carry a proper tool Kit: Carry your Motorcycle tool kit and know a basic fixes about your Motorcycle. My Motorcycle Battery's copper wire broke and I had to manually find the issue and fix it. Without a toolkit, I wouldn't have been able to do it.

5. Make a plan and Stick to the schedule: This is very important, you must plan for each day of your itinerary, you must know in advance about what you are going to do each day, where you would be staying. Few chances are that due to uncertainties, you might not stick to the plan, but you must always plan for mitigation. Remember the plan or always keep it in your Pocket on a piece of paper

6. Start Early and reach before sunsets: This is always recommended and will also always help you to stick to your plan. If you start early in the mornings, you would be able to cover more places, you would not need to hurry and ride would be more enjoyable and Night riding should be avoided as these are uncertain terrains and visibility always helps and also you would be able to absorb your destination more if you reach before sunset. It would be easier to find an accommodation and food also.
Other advantage of starting early is that you would find less water in the streams and as the day progresses, more Ice melts and streams become more full and more difficult to cross.

7. Always wear Protective Gear while riding: How expert you are in riding, but you never know what's in the store. Always wear protective gears like knee guards, elbow guards, riding jackets, Full face Helmet, Gloves, Proper Shoes etc. Just to highlight, every part of your body should be covered, a full face Helmet is required to cover your face as well, a clean Visor. One more thing is to ride with Proper waterproof riding boots as when you cross those streams, it is generally inevitable to cross a stream without getting your foot down in that cold running water and normal shoes will get wet and will make you uncomfortable for the ride further.

Buy Full Face or Flip Up Helmets from Amazon
Buy Riding Gloves from Amazon
Buy Riding Jackets from Amazon
Buy Riding Mask from Amazon
Buy Riding Boots from Amazon

8. Proper Clothing: Keep a Tab on weather and carry proper woolens and keep yourself warm and don't get yourself sick

9. Download Offline GPS Maps on your Mobile or Carry a GPS device: Mobile network don't work mostly there, even if it is Airtel 4G :P , you should have a device that works directly with satellite and dont be dependent on Mobile networks.

Read here for top GPS devices in India

10. Carry Power Banks, Camera and Mobile Battery Chargers, Mobile/GPS Holder always: Photography is compulsory thing to do on the way to Spiti Valley and Leh Ladakh tours as on the journey you would be making memories of a lifetime. Carry Gadgets to charge your batteries.

Buy Mobile Charger for Motorcycles from Amazon

11. Carry First Aid Kit, Basic Medicines and eat enough before starting each day and carry food and water for the way each day: You would not find even smallest of the smallest road side vendors for many miles while on the way, thus it becomes very important to carry enough water and food for the way and things like first aid kits and basic medicines for emergencies.

Buy Travell First Aid kit from Amazon

12. Carry Bungee Cords and Tie your Luggage properly on your Motorcycle: This is also very important to keep your luggage safe and also for the Motorcycles balance. Avoid carrying extra weight and fit the luggage properly and securely.

I tried to cover most of the important tips to remember while going on a Motorcycle tour to places like Leh Ladakh or Lahaul Spiti Valley. If you think of something more, which I may have missed, please post in the comment section. Looking forward to read your Travel Blogs of your Motorcycle tours.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 02:24:08 AM by Saurabh Soni »


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