The Himalayas is an old amazing, breathtaking mountain region well-placed to earn the title of the motorcycling adventure capital globally. It boasts many of the top mountains in the world. The Himalayas are a stunning mountain range crisscrossed by numerous paved and unpaved roads that meander across mountain passes, valleys and gorges, and high plateaus. Amazing views, rich cultural and historical heritage, fascinating regional cuisine, and sturdy local motorbikes make these Himalayas an ideal destination for adventure. In this region, a completely new world is revealed when you travel through the stunning scenery of mountains covered in snow, old Buddhist Temples, and mystical valleys.
Whether it’s riding along with us or renting a local motorcycle, we’ve put together a complete guide to touring on a motorcycle within the Himalayas. Here’s what you must know before your trip:
NEPAL, BHUTAN, OR INDIA?
The three major countries that offer access to motorcycle touring in the Himalayas include Nepal, Bhutan, and India. Although the two of them, Nepal and Bhutan, are exceptional countries worth visiting, India remains our favorite. This is because, unlike Bhutan, India doesn’t have a daily fee for tourist visas from abroad. Like Nepal, India offers several motorbike rental options right in the middle of the Himalayas.
Suppose you’re in the Himalayas region for the first time, so we highly recommend India for your next destination. Accessible, affordable, and safe for travel, India is the ideal gateway to the Himalayas.
MOTORCYCLE TOURING IN THE HIMALAYAS: WEATHER
Another reason for choosing India is the weather: Western Himalayas, in contrast to those in the Eastern mountain ranges of Nepal and Bhutan, typically have shorter rainy seasons and milder conditions. The ideal time to ride in the Indian Himalayas is June and September. Other times certain mountain passes could be covered with snow.
The whole Ladakh region is pretty dry all year long. However, the winters in this region are brutal, and temperatures drop significantly below zero. Our favorite time to climb in the Himalayas in India is in August when the weather remains warm; however, the crowds of tourists have already slowed down.
We recommend wearing full-on cycling gear and carrying thermals and base layers, as the high mountain passes can be cold even in winter.
Most of the time, Northern India is a secure area to travel on a motorcycle touring. Some riders experience a little discomfort when they are used to local customs and driving conditions, so we recommend avoiding short trips at the beginning of your journey. Making yourself comfortable with the local driving habits is always a good idea when traveling in India, where traffic could appear chaotic. But remember that even though Indian drivers might not always adhere to traffic laws, they are extremely aware of their cars and other drivers on the road, so you must remain conscious and vigilant and drive cautiously.
If you’re riding in India, ensure that you have a carnet de passage (if you’re traveling on the motorcycle touring of your choice) and your insurance is up-to-date.
In larger towns or cities, exercise common sense and avoid showing your money or expensive electronic devices when you are out in public. Like any other location around the globe, there could be pickpockets and petty thieves.
If your journey in the Indian Himalayas lasts between two and three weeks, you should only bring the essentials. Your riding boots, riding gear, and helmet, along with a change of clothes and walking shoes, a few thermals and base layers, and your personal toiletries, electronic devices, and travel documents, are all you require for a ride here. Be sure to bring sunscreen, any medication if you’re taking any, stomach medication for food poisoning, and an extra SD card. If you’re a photographer and with the Himalayan scenery, you’ll find yourself taking pictures every so often!
The most well-known motorbike to travel in the Himalayas of India is, without doubt, that of the Royal Enfield. Ideal for on- and off-road trips, tough and reliable, the Royal Enfield has become a symbol of the bike within the Himalayas. There are many Royal Enfield rentals available in Leh and Manali.
Large-capacity adventure bikes like the BMW GS1200 or the Honda Africa Twin 1000 are less sought-after in India and could be more expensive. We recommend you try the legendary Royal Enfield for your Himalayan adventure. After all, it’s Rome.
MOTORCYCLE TOURING ROUTES IN THE HIMALAYAS
There are many interesting routes to explore within Northern India, and if this is your first time in India, we suggest the Manali route. Leh route. Manali is an ideal base camp and a great place to start your Himalayan adventure since it’s accessible and has many accommodation and bike rental options. In Manali, one can travel North towards Leh and explore the beautiful highways, national parks, and high mountain passes. A little to the north of Leh is the world-famous Khardung-La Pass, the most motor-friendly mountain in the world.
MOTORCYCLE TOURING IN THE HIMALAYAS https://t.co/cgMe6mD6gk
— Guest Posting (@GuestpostingA) March 9, 2023
While traveling to India, you’ll experience one of the most breathtaking motorcycle touring in the world, visit the old Buddhist temples, and meet locals keen to chat. India is home to a wide and lively motorcycle culture, and riders on two wheels are appreciated in the country.