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Every year thousands of bikers gear up to do the famous Ladakh motorcycle tour that promises to be the ultimate riding adventure. And months before the Ladakh season starts, online forums are flooded with one particular question – Which bike is best for Leh Ladakh trip?
Now while there isn’t any right answer to this question, we try to bring out a list of the most desirable bikes that can be taken for a Ladakh motorcycle tour. Even though any bike is capable of going on the Ladakh motorcycle tour, we have picked the top 5 ones for you. Did I say any bike is suitable for a Ladakh motorcycle tour? Yes, as most of the roads in the Ladakh region are better than anywhere else in India!
But, which bike is best for Leh Ladakh trip?
If your bike doesn’t feature in this list, there’s nothing to worry about. Naah, we don’t want you rushing to the nearest dealer to get a new motorcycle. Take your own and make do with it. Trust me, it’s going to be enough.
However, to answer the question Which bike is best for Leh Ladakh trip here are our top suggestions.
Royal Enfield Himalayan
The 411cc engine churning out 24BHP and offering a torque of 23.6Nm should be enough even if you have a fully loaded bike with a pillion rider. The long, soft suspension is designed to tackle bad roads and this should be one of the top selling points of this bike.
The 373cc engine doesn’t quite match the one found in the KTM Duke 390 but it does seem to offer enough to handle the most difficult terrains found in India. There are plenty of mods you can do and the dual-channel ABS comes in handy at high speeds.
KTM Adventure 390
If I were thinking “Which bike is best for Leh Ladakh trip?” then hands down I would answer it with the KTM Adventure 390. Built to be a touring motorcycle, the Adventure 390 has everything to be the perfect touring machine for Indian conditions.
The 14.5-liter tank is a big improvement from the earlier Dukes and along with a bigger seat, longer body, softer suspension and amazing braking, it is a mean touring machine. One of the best bikes for adventure tours in India.
Hero Xpulse 200
If the power doesn’t excite you, then this might be a good bike to take on your next Ladakh motorcycle tour. The Xpulse is an off-roader motorcycle designed to handle bad roads and adventure rides. But where it lacks is the power.
The 199.6 cc engine churns out 16.45Nm of torque and just about 18 bhp. Now it’s not going to match the bikes above, but if you travel light it just might do the job. What it lacks in power, it makes up for in ride quality, a good suspension, and the overall economy.
BMW 310 GS
I am hesitantly putting this on the list even though the BMWs have been dogged by numerous quality problems since its launch in India. The bike promises to be a good tourer but sadly BMW and TVS have cut costs in the wrong places.
However, the bike is still a very good one to take to Ladakh as it is a good bundle of power, comfort, ride quality, off roading capabilities, tank range and economy. But I wouldn’t bet on it too much.
Motorcycle touring in the Himalayan regions has undergone a drastic amount of change in recent years. The road infrastructure in regions like Ladakh, Kargil, and Spiti regions has been upgraded to an extent that you can easily do warp speeds of over 100 kmph on these roads! The challenge only lies in crossing some of the high-altitude mountain passes found in the region. When you ride on snow or slush, more than the bike the rider’s skill comes into the foray. And this is something most riders don’t realize.
From the TVS Scooty to Tata Nano, every kind of vehicle has been to the Ladakh region. That should tell you that it is not only about the vehicle. It’s more to do with your skill and mental resolve. So, whatever vehicle you have, should do. So, still, wondering which bike is best for Leh Ladakh trip?