Bike ride in Ladakh with rump or soil, if you ask me that question, a direct answer is that the soil is better. And by ground, I don’t mean that you ride alone, except one motorcycle per person. There are several reasons behind this. The entire Ladakh region and the two highways; leading here is difficult for man and machine. It is a test of the motorcycle’s ability and the rider’s skills. You will see that some of the roads here can literally be called a nightmare; and a heavy motorcycle with tons of luggage; additional fuel and a stud will be difficult to manage. However, if the Ladakh bike ride with rump is the only option you have, for whatever reason possible; mentioned below are some things you should consider and prepare?
The first reason why I say that walking alone will be better is convenient. Your bicycle will be lighter, easier to maneuver and you will be able to sit in a more relaxed way. The quality of the tour will also improve. Tying all the luggage of 2 people on the same motorcycle will also be avoided. Sitting all day on a motorcycle will probably be boring for the back; no matter how interesting or scenic the terrain is. On the other hand, riding a motorcycle and dealing with the challenging roads ahead is fun for the whole group if everyone had their own bike to ride.
Bike ride in Ladakh with Pillion
With that said, not everyone really has the option of walking alone and many people travel to Ladakh each year with a rump; especially couples. Here’s what you need to keep in mind as you prepare for this tour.
Several people, including me, traveled to Ladakh with a rump. I have a Royal Enfield 350 CC, but I saw people here with a co-driver even on a 150 CC motorcycle. It all depends on the age of the machine and the condition it is in. If your bike is old, say, 6 to 7 years or more and has 150 CC or less, don’t even think about taking it up with a stallion. This would only cause problems, refuse to climb steep climbs and you would end up getting frustrated.
There will be times when you have to get off the motorcycle and push it upwards; trust me, i’ve seen it happen. If you have a motorcycle with 200 CC or more, do a thorough check. Change the clutch plates and ask the mechanic to adjust your engine for a strong pick-up. After arriving in Leh, have your bike serviced before starting your journey home.
Going to Ladakh with a rump means that it will not only be you and your motorcycle partner, but also luggage, which will include your own suitcases and puncture kit, some tools and additional fuel if you are traveling on a bullet; therefore, it is extremely necessary that you travel light. Think twice before packing your bags about what you really need and what you can live for a few days.
There are places where you just can’t go with a rump, no matter what motorcycle you have and how excellent your condition is. Places like Marismak La, Wari La and several other passes in the Changthang region are too high, where the machine will simply refuse to run due to a lack of oxygen. If you have a rider with you, you may want to remove these places from your itinerary.
This is extremely important. The seats for riders on some bikes like Pulsar or RE Himalayas are a little too narrow for long trips every day. If your bike falls into the same category, visit a nearby mechanic; or someone who seats works; and add a little cushion to the rear seat. Otherwise, your rider will continue to complain about the rump throughout the journey.
Be very careful around curves and water passages. Walk in first gear, if necessary, but make the turns slowly. When crossing the water, ask your rider to go down and cross it on foot; while you go through the motorcycle. Don’t leave the track and walk on the land, unless you have no other choice. Don’t indulge in unnecessary conversation and stay focused on the road. If you are on a smaller bike, your riding skills on steep climbs will be tested. However, do not force the motorcycle unnecessarily. If on any climb, your bike starts showing signs of extreme stress, don’t force it. Just ask your stallion to walk a little while you handle the steep climb.
Leave Extra Luggage in Ladakh
Not everyone will be able to do this, but if you can, keep a hotel room in the city of Leh; and leave your extra luggage there while you are touring Ladakh. Just take some essential items and evening clothes to visit the Nubra and Pangong valley and leave everything else in Leh. That way, you will be able to carry light to rent these 2 places. As you start your journey back, just pick up the rest of the luggage in Leh and go on your way.
Also, learn to adjust your motorcycle a little, how to adjust to increase intake, remove the air filter, etc. at least for a while before meeting a mechanic. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the more weight you have on the rear wheel, the greater the chances of a puncture. Therefore, you must bring a puncture kit, spare tubes and know how to repair it yourself.
Make a reasonable judgment
Think about why you want to ride a Pillion and then decide whether or not to do it. Some reasons can be,
You want a rider because of a budget problem; so you can share the total cost of the bike with some. If that’s the reason, you can also consider traveling by public transport, which will be just as much fun and at a much lower cost. Read How to travel to Ladakh by bus and taxi services for details on how to do so.
You are going with Pillion because your lady accompanies you on the trip. In that case, hiring a private taxi for the trip can also be considered if budget is not really an issue.
The lack of another machine may be a reason; that you go with Pillion because there is only one bike available. In that case, a more sensible choice would be to reach Manali or Srinagar; and rent an additional bicycle for your stallion.
If you have a cyclist accompanying you, because the other person does not know how to ride a bike, they can both travel by public transport. In that case, if your motorcycle was a smaller engine, you can use it to Srinagar or Manali and rent an Enfield from there.
However, all four reasons are only applicable when you think your motorcycle is unable to take two people to Ladakh. If you’re sure it can last, take it with you.
Best Bike to Travel to Ladakh with Pillion
Without a doubt, a Royal Enfield will be the best motorcycle to ride to Ladakh with a rump; be it a 350CC or 500CC. The obvious benefit is, of course, the major mechanism; which will be a great advantage. You will have all the necessary juice to compensate for the steep climbs with all the weight. A major reason, however, is the overall seating position and the space for mounting luggage. You and the stallion have enough seating to sit straight, without leaning over each other. This is mandatory when you need to walk all day every day. Another benefit is that it is easier to assemble the luggage of two people and cans of Jerry on an Enfield than on other bikes like the Pulsar.