Support: Local guide | Trip manager / 1st response medic | Support vehicle | Consulting doctor | Mechanic
Comfort Level: 4 / 5
Average Daily Ride Hours: 6 - 7
Total Distance KM: 1410
Riding motorcycles in India, especially if it’s your first time traveling outside of the Western world, is an assault on all the senses: out here, you’ll discover some of the world’s highest motorable passes revealing jaw-dropping views of the snow-capped mountains and secluded valleys, ride paved and gravel twisties and experience a colourful mix of ancient Buddhist and modern Hindu cultures visiting vibrant towns and tiny mountain villages along the way.
A motorcycle adventure in India is a one-of-a-kind experience. You will ride the Himalayas Mountains at the very edge of the Tibetan Plateau, see the remote, rugged Spiti Valley dotted with ancient Buddhist monasteries & temples and traverse Khardung-La, one of the highest motorable mountain passes in the world. Along the way, you may just find your zen, hanging out with local Buddhist monks, discover what it’s like to ride motorcycles at a dizzying altitude and of course, sample delicious Indian cuisine everywhere you go.
Our guided motorcycle tours of India focus on the Northern part of the country where it borders Tibet and Nepal showcasing the best of the Himalayas. In India, the Himalayas are the most accessible: starting in Manali, the adventure capital of Northern India, you’ll enter Ladakh, the country’s most spectacular Himalayan region offering countless mountain twisties running off in all directions. Ladakh is sometimes dubbed Little Tibet because of its location on the Western side of the Tibetan Plateau and it boasts some of India’s most insane mountain roads.
If you’ve ever watched YouTube videos where riders tackle mind-blowingly narrow and steep Himalayan roads hewn into the living rock of the mountain with rocks hanging overhead, chances are, it’s all Ladakh and its notorious Himalayan passes guaranteed to induce vertigo even if you’re used to high altitude roads.
Motorcycling fun aside, Ladakh is also a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture – so much so that, we hear, Dalai Lama himself frequently visits local monasteries here. Past Ladakh, you’ll cross the world-famous Khardung-La Pass at over 17,500 feet in elevation – we bet it’ll take your breath away for several reasons – and enter Nubra Valley, one of the most beautiful and wildest landscapes of Northern India rivalled only by Tibet itself.
If you happen to go on a motorcycle holiday in India during the June-July months, you may also get a chance to see the Hemis Festival, a two-day carnival in Ladakh celebrating Buddha when the monastery of Hemis Gompa floods with dancers dressed in vividly painted costumes and masks. Northern India boasts a very distinct culture different from that of the South: because of the strong Tibetan influences here, Northern India is a country of friendly, peaceful locals, Buddhist vibes, and quiet little mountain villages compared to the much noisier, chaotic resorts and cities of the eastern and southern regions.
Whether you prefer riding big adventure bikes such as the BMW R1250 GS, performance enduro machines like the KTM 450 EXC or the smaller adventure bikes like the Royal Enfield Himalayan… if you’re looking for an incredible ‘off-the-beaten-track’ motorcycle holiday in some of the most stunning & interesting countries on the planet, you’re in the right place. Simply get in touch with us to discuss your preferred motorcycle tour and we’ll take care of the rest, ensuring you have a life changing experience, whichever tour you choose!
We at Ride Expeditions have a passion for doing things right, a passion for motorcycles and a passion for adventure travel. Our tagline - 'The World's Greatest Motorcycle Adventures' - is our mission. It's what we strive to be. It's what we want our riders to experience. We understand the ingredients that make an adventure... it's not only about the bike; it's not only about the routes; it's not only about the destinations. It's a combination of every element of your motorcycle holiday and we pay attention to every detail from start to finish...
Riding motorcycles in India is a challenge in and of itself: out here, the traffic is often unpredictable and the mountain roads do not boast silky smooth tarmac every mile of the way. However, rough road and off-road conditions mean you’re in for a serious adventure and the capable Royal Enfields (the #1 choice of motorcycle in India) will happily tackle everything and anything from paved routes to gravel trails. Finally, don’t forget to carry cash when you’re going on a guided motorcycle tour of India: while some upscale restaurants and hotels in the major cities will accept cards, cash is king in the more rural areas of India.
For Northern India motorcycle tours, the months of April through to August are the best as the weather is warmer and more pleasant than in the early spring and fall. Some of the high mountain passes may be snowed in as late as May, however, so prepare for all kinds of weather and temperatures!
In terms of riding gear, we usually recommend four-season gear as you will be crossing mountain passes at extremely high altitude, and even during the summer months, some of the mountain roads may see snow.
Need we say more? The biggest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas are so striking and so diverse in the landscapes they form and the cultures they host it feels like an entirely different world. In Sanskrit, Himalaya means “The Snow Abode”, but these mountains are much more than just snowy peaks: out here, the mountain roads twist and curl around jaw-dropping passes and gorges, shoot across windswept deserts at high altitude and dive down into lush green valleys isolated from the rest of the world. The birthplace of Buddhist religion and culture, the Himalayas are home to incredibly diverse nations, tribes & communities, and riding motorcycles in India, you’ll get to experience the best of it all.
The Himalayan routes are hands-down among the most spectacular motorcycling roads on the planet. Hugging the mountains with dizzying sheer drops, crossing some of the highest passes in the world and meandering through beautiful valleys and canyons, the roads in India are guaranteed to offer up a decent mix of challenge and pure motorcycling bliss as you lean into yet another corner swinging around a precarious cliff or skirting an edge of a gorge! Motorcycle adventures in India offer so many incredible sweepers, tight hairpins and countless switchbacks you may forget how to ride in a straight line altogether.
While the Himalayas in India are more accessible than in Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan put together, the riding here is adventure in its purest form. On a guided motorcycle in India, expect no two days to be the same as you will traverse wildly contrasting landscapes, experience different road conditions and immerse yourself in the Indian culture every step of the way.
Speaking of culture: Northern India is a vibrant melting pot of different communities, faiths, and influences. Unlike the busy resort towns and touristy beaches of Kerala and Goa or the pure mayhem and madness of Mumbai and New Delhi, the North is more Tibetan than Indian. The locals here are friendly and inquisitive, but Ladakh is all about the ancient Buddhist temples, monasteries and ways of life rather than the colourful chaos that is the rest of the country. During your motorcycle tour in India, you’ll visit some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world, experience the local hospitality and feel like you’re entering a different, quieter world where the traditions and heritage roots go millennia deep.
If you’re a fan of Asian food, your motorcycle holiday in India will offer delicious experiences on a daily basis. In Ladakh, the two must-try local dishes are the momos (a sort of a dumpling with meat and veggie filing) and churpe (a hard yak milk butter cheese perfect for snacking on the go). If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to try gur-gur chai, a butter tea locals drink to battle altitude sickness and to stay warm at high elevations: it’s an acquired taste, as the tea is literally a mix of milk, butter, salt, and tea leaves, but it’s a great way to keep your energy levels up as you tackle those mountain roads and passes aboard your motorcycle.
For all tours cancelled by Ride Expeditions, riders can choose to receive a 100% refund or to transfer all monies paid to any future tour.
Ride Expeditions Ltd is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. At no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ‘The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018’, all passengers booking with Ride Expeditions Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy also includes repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Ride Expeditions Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Travel through Zurich Insurance PLC.
Book your next tour with confidence with Ride Expeditions.
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