Motorcycle touring through the Himalayan mountains provides breathtaking views around every corner, unique cultural experiences with the amazingly friendly locals and motorcycle riding to dream of.
We’ll take you through sunny pine forests, snow capped mountains and red rocky landscapes that look like they’ve come straight out of Star Wars.
Our Himalayan motorcycle tours aren’t about racing around mountain roads – you might just fall off the edge if you try – it’s about cruising through the hills with a group of like-minded riders and taking in the incredible surroundings of the beautiful Himalayan mountains. Sitting aboard your thumping Royal Enfield is the only way to travel India’s mountain roads as you pass beneath cascading waterfalls, alongside fast flowing rivers and weave around the occasional yak!
You’ll be met at the airport in New Delhi and brought to your hotel – ideally located, it is the perfect base from which to explore this chaotic and stunning city.
Yes, the traffic is INSANE, but thankfully you will not have to ride in any of this! We will all meet in the afternoon where your tour leader will give a full briefing of the adventure that lies ahead. We’ll all then head out to an excellent restaurant for a welcome dinner.
After breakfast at the hotel we will board our private coach/minivan and head for the hills! The journey to Shimla is a comfortable 9-10 hour trip on good roads. Sit back and enjoy the views as we begin the climb into the Himalayas.
Shimla is simply a beautiful and fascinating town that was the old summer capital of British India. We’ll arrive at the hotel mid-afternoon where our support team will be waiting with welcome drinks on the front lawn.
The first day of riding on this Himalayan motorcycle tour and boy – is it a good one! We leave the chaos of Shimla behind and quickly find ourselves on beautifully paved winding roads that are simply a joy to ride! Next you descend into a river valley where you’ll stop for lunch in an air conditioned restaurant.
In the afternoon we will steadily climb on winding roads that cut through pine forests up to our first high pass of the trip – the Jalori Pass at 3,100m above sea level. We will stop at the top outside Mahakali Temple for a cup of chai before riding the newly paved road down to our hotel, perched on the hillside offering spectacular views over the trees. Sunset beers followed by a big meal and a roaring campfire: a great end to a great first day of riding!
We’ll ride down into the Banjar Valley, through the pine forests and quaint rural villages. We’ll descend until we meet the Beas River which we’ll then ride alongside all the way to Manali. The traffic gets a bit manic so you’ll need to keep your wits about you as you weave around trucks, rickshaws, dogs and cows! We’ll escape this as best we can by crossing to the other side of the river and riding tiny winding roads through small villages, all the way up to our excellent hotel.
Manali is a beautiful ski resort style town sitting at 2,000m. We’ll arrive mid afternoon, giving you the chance to do a spot of shopping in Old Manali, explore the village of Vashisht, or even hike up to a nearby waterfall.
In the evening we’ll go out for dinner at Johnson’s Cafe where we strongly recommend you sample the trout from the local rivers – it’s delicious! After dinner we’ll enjoy drinks around the fire pit.
Leaving Manali, we continue the ride alongside the Beas river before starting our climb up to our second high pass of the trip – Rohtang La at 3,876m. The roads up to the top are incredible, with countless hairpin turns and spectacular views across the hills.
As we descend into the Lahaul Valley the roads get a bit rougher, but with its cascading waterfalls and rugged terrain, the scenery is no less impressive. Tonight’s destination is the small town of Keylong… if your beard needs a trim, we recommend the local barber experience!
We’ll ride smooth tarmac in the morning that curves its way up to the scenic Baralacha La pass which sits at a whopping 4,883m above sea level. We stop just on the other side for lunch and there are three things that might now happen:
Don’t worry though, this is just your body acclimatising to the high altitudes and it should not last long. Our medic will be on hand to monitor your blood oxygen levels and we have oxygen bottles to hand if required.
Back on the bikes, we’ll descend onto the Sarchu plateau where our campsite awaits. After enjoying a buffet dinner in the food tent we will light a bonfire to keep our toes warm and toast marshmallows! Perfect.
After breakfast we will saddle up for what might well be the most beautiful days riding you’ll have ever experienced – this is certainly the opinion of Toby, one of the Ride Expeditions owners!
A great start to the day as we ride up Gata Loops – 21 hairpin turns that snake up the mountainside. Riding towards the Upper Indus Valley and over two more of the world’s highest passes – Lachalung La at 5,085m and Tanglang La at 5,330m – the winding roads are joyful to ride and there are breathtaking views around each and every corner.
We do have a larger distance to cover today, but the road conditions are excellent – with exceptions of course – we’re still in the Himalayas – so we’re able to increase the pace.
Enjoy a day of rest, local sightseeing and exploring the fascinating mountain town of Leh – the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Ladakh. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, cafes and markets. There are many monasteries and ancient temples that are well worth a visit, as is the impressive 9-storey abandoned Leh Palace that overlooks the town.
If you can not bear to be separated from your steed then we will arrange for your tour leader to ride the awesome roads out to Alchi Monastery – Ladakh’s oldest monastery – for lunch.
Riding over Chang La pass at 5,280m we’ll cruise over towards Pangong lake – the highest salt water lake in the world. Watch out for the huge Himalayan Yaks that patrol the valley! We’ll stop for a picnic lunch alongside a stream in this beautiful valley, before continuing down towards the lake. Careful because the horses will try and eat your sarnies…
The lake, shared by both India and China, is 134km long and a spectacular sight with snow capped mountains and orange rock faces reflecting off of the perfectly clear blue waters.
After enjoying breakfast and a couple of cups of chai tea down by the lake, we’ll saddle up for another days fine riding through the mountains. We’ll travel through an incredibly remote region along an old military road alongside the Shyok River. The smooth road surfaces cruise us down into the beautiful Nubra Valley.
Today we ride out to have lunch in the small village of Turtuk, located just 7km from the Pakistan border. You might’ve thought that you’d already seen all the different types of terrain the Himalayas has to offer – think again! This road is an incredible ride and the views are smack-in-the-face amazing.
After arriving back at the camp and sinking a cold Kingfisher or two, it’s into the support vans and out to the sand dunes to visit the camels and enjoy a spectacular sunset.
Back at camp – you’ve guessed it – another camp fire awaits!
We’ve saved the big one ’til last – Khardung La Pass! Join the elite handful of motorcyclists that have stood on top of the world with their motorcycle by their side. Reputed to be the highest motorable road in the world (actually, it isn’t, but it’s pretty damn close!), Khardung La pass sits at 5,380m above sea level – that’s the same height as Mt. Everest base camp!
We’ll ride down the other side on rocky dirt roads until we reach our final destination. We’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant and say goodbye to the support team.
After breakfast at the hotel we will say our goodbyes and transfer you to Leh airport (airport code: IXL) where you can fly back to Delhi (airport code: DEL), or other major domestic airports. Buckle up for an exciting flight – no fighting over the window seats – which passes over numerous mountain tops and glaciers.
Quality twin-share accommodation as per itinerary is included as standard on this tour. Please see ‘Optional Extras’ for the single room supplement option.
Please see the daily itinerary details for more info on each nights accommodation.
The accommodation on this trip is deliberately varied to give you a wide experience of the region. Sometimes we’ll be in top end hotels with all the facilities you’d expect, sometimes we’ll be in individual yurts at campsites miles away from anywhere. But wherever we stay, please bear in mind this is India and standards are not necessarily the same as back home.
You’ll be collected from Delhi international airport (DEL) on the morning of the first day.
At the end of the trip we will arrange transfers to the airport in Leh (IXL).
A private coach/minivan transfer from Delhi – Shimla at the start of the ride.
All entrance fees and riding permits needed for the tour.
Your tour will be led and managed by a highly experienced member of the Ride Expeditions team (trained as a wilderness first response medic).
Ride Expeditions Ltd is 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 Evolution Insurance.
During the COVID-19 crisis, every rider that requested a refund was issued a cash refund.
All fuel for your motorcycle is provided by us and we carry spare fuel in our support vehicle for the sections of the route where fuel stations are scarce.
Your motorcycle tour in India will be guided by an experienced local.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided on most days.
Please see the daily itinerary to see what meals are included on each day.
A mechanic will be riding at the back of the group, ready to attend to any issues that may arise.
At least one member of the support team will have been trained as a Wilderness First Response medic.
An extensive medical kit including a defibrillator (AED) & stretcher is carried in the support vehicle.
We also have consulting doctors on call, 24/7, who are always ready to assist in the case of an emergency. Our doctors are fully briefed on all riders medical info prior to the tour, they know what we do, where we are riding, exactly what we have in our medical kit and what training our medics have.
Tours are accompanied by GPS trackers and a satellite messenger device so our doctor and office can see exactly where we are and can maintain communication.
If you have you your own suitable & reliable motorcycle at the start point, you are quite welcome to use that for this trip. If not, we will provide a rental motorcycle for you… Please see the Dates & Prices section for available bikes.
The cost of shipping the motorcycle to and from the start and end destination is also included.
Since the day Ride Expeditions started running tours in Cambodia back in 2012, we have been dedicated to supporting the local community.
Part profits from every motorcycle tour are donated to M’Lop Tapang – a local Cambodian charity dedicated to bettering the lives of young children & their families.
A Ride Expeditions jersey with your name printed on the back.
Our Himalayan motorcycle tours are accompanied by at least one support vehicle. There will always be space for any of the riders to sit inside should they need a rest at any point throughout the tour.
These backup vehicles will also carry all of your luggage, spare parts, tools, extensive medical kit (in addition to the kit carried by the tour medic), defibrillator (AED) & stretcher.
Our support vans will usually be no more than 5-15 minutes behind us on the bikes & meet with us at the rest/ drink stops & lunch. The drivers will hand out water, fruit juice, chocolate bars & fruit etc at each of the rest stops.
The truck will follow behind us all the way to our accommodation where the driver will have your bags sent to your rooms.
We’ll welcome you with a bag of Ride Expeditions goodies which will include:
You’ll need to book a flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi (airport code: DEL) on or before the morning of Day 1 of this trip. You will then fly out of Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport in Leh (IXL) on the last day of the trip. From here you can fly back to Delhi or other major domestic airports.
The Leh-Delhi route is operated by GoAir, SpiceJet and Vistara. Flight costs vary from £38 – £160 depending on when you book… earlier is of course better! Flight departure times vary from 7am to 12pm and the duration is approx 1 hr 30.
It is important you either:
Please be aware that you are liable for all damages caused to the motorcycle.
If you don't want the potential hassle of being charged for motorcycle damage at the end of the ride, we offer our own damage protection plan. Please see the 'optional extras' section for more information.
It is a condition of booking that you obtain appropriate travel insurance that covers you for riding the same capacity motorcycle that you’ll be riding on this motorcycle tour.
The insurance must cover emergency evacuation, medical bills, repatriation etc.
Road / adventure style kit is the way to go on this motorcycle tour, rather than off-road or enduro gear. So that means a good helmet, protective riding jacket and trousers, ideally with CE or equivalent approved armour on the pointy bits – elbows, knees and shoulders.
You are also going to need good leather gloves, a neck tube, thermal base layers and a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots.
Please bring waterproofs if your kit doesn’t keep out the wet stuff.
Yes, unless you are a national of Nepal, Bhutan or the Maldives. If you are from an eligible country, the easiest way to get one is to apply for an e-tourist visa online, but make sure you visit the official site… Here’s the link.
Assuming you live in an eligible country / territory you can apply online up until a minimum of 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 120 days. So for example, if you are applying on 1st Sept you can select arrival date from 5th Sept to 2nd Jan.
For peace of mind, we recommend you do this nicely in advance to avoid any delays or issues. The visa lasts 60 days so unless you decide to extend your trip for vastly more than the length of the tour, then this should be plenty. When you arrive at Delhi airport, there is an immigration form to fill in before you queue up to show your visa. Now we all know Brits love to queue but don’t wait to get to the front just to have the man send you to the back past everyone to fill in the form, it’s just embarrassing.
Follow this link for the most up to date entry requirements. This is a link to the UK foreign office website – if you are not a UK resident, please search for the equivalent info from your home country’s foreign office.
Visa costs, if applicable, are not included in the tour price.
To secure your place we simply need a 20% non-refundable deposit (subject to a minimum of £500). The remainder does not need to be paid until 60 days prior to the tour start date.
This Royal Enfield motorcycle tour will be followed by either one or two support vehicles depending on group size. This means that all your luggage goes in there rather than having it bounce around on the back your Royal Enfield for miles on end. You just need to take either a tank bag or small rucksack for your camera and any travel essentials.
Yes. Here at Ride Expeditions, we take the necessary precautions to ensure that we protect both ourselves and you as the customer, with insurances covering financial failure, public liability, professional indemnity and employers liability (you will need your own travel insurance).
To obtain this insurance we must meet strict safety standards and local regulations. We must also carry out thorough risk assessments about all aspects of a tour before tyres can hit tarmac (…or dirt!).
NO! Although the locals may be drinking tap water, doing the same has a strong possibility of playing havoc with your insides. It’s called Delhi Belly for a reason.
We recommend that you drink only bottled water and that you check the seal before drinking. If you choose canned drinks, give the lid a good wipe beforehand just to be sure. And when brushing your teeth, rinsing with bottled water is a good idea too.
Yes. 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 Evolution Insurance.
Not riding the motorcycle, no (although this will of course depend on the extent of your limited mobility). However, we may be able to accommodate you in our support vehicle. We advise you to give us a call and we can discuss.
In theory yes, although in practice, Wi-Fi coverage can be slow at best, slower on average and non-existent on many occasions. We advise you activate your ‘out-of-office’!
This one is both simple and complicated. The local currency is Indian Rupees – INR. However, unless you are a resident of India, importing rupees is prohibited so you cannot actually obtain the notes outside the country itself like you can for other countries.
You can either bring in other currencies to exchange when in India, or simply withdraw rupees from ATMs as you would back at home. Well we say that, but if you are in a remote village with only three residents, a yak and an elderly donkey, there may not be an ATM, so don’t expect universal coverage throughout the trip!
If you do bring cash, US dollars are universally welcome. Bitcoin, coloured buttons and belly button fluff are not. Whatever you bring, try not to exchange too much at the arrival airport – the exchange rate is terrible! There are ATMs at the airport too.
To be legally riding in India you are required to carry your local driving licence, which must cover the size of bike you will be riding. This will also be a stipulation of any travel insurance company too.
You will also need an International Driving Permit (IDP). An IDP is basically an official, multi-language translation of your driving licence.
Average group sizes are 8-9 riders and we limit the groups to 12 riders.
If you cancel your booking before departure, cancellation charges will be applied as follows:
Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for further info regarding cancellations, changes and transferring your trip to a friend.
For the most accurate and up to date info on travel advice for India, we advise you to visit the foreign office website.
Follow this link for Indian advice from the UK foreign office. As we are a UK company, this is the official government advice we follow. If you are not a UK resident, we advise you search for the equivalent info from your own country’s foreign office, as travel advice may differ.
The minimum required number for this trip to run is 6 riders. We reserve the right to cancel the tour if this number is not met and we will provide you with a minimum of 56 days notice. Please know that this is an absolute last resort for us and we will always do everything in our power to avoid this happening.
We accept GBP payments by Visa, Mastercard & American Express and direct bank transfers. Please get in touch if you would rather pay in another currency – we’ll do our best to accommodate!
There are 2 types of sockets in India – 3 Pin connections – Type D, or 2 pin connections -Type C.