This Himalayan motorbike tour to will take you some of the most stunning parts of the planet! On your trusty Royal Enfield you will ride along epic roads, scything through the incredible landscape of the Himalayas. The Spiti Valley sits beautifully surrounded by an enormous collection of mountain ranges that cover Kinnaur, Kullu, Lahaul and Tibet. After Spiti you venture through the equally beautiful Lahaul Valley before finishing up in Leh, the capital of the Ladakh region.
Travelling over some of the highest roads on the planet, this Himalayan motorbike tour will take in everything from riding incredible valleys where the roads and rivers often share the same routes, to the bustling streets of Leh and camping in the ancient village of Nako.
If you want a truly jaw-dropping adventure – this is the one for you!
The first day of our tour gets everyone together in the vast and utterly unique city of Delhi. If you’ve never been to India before, the sights and sounds from the moment you leave the airport are a true assault on the senses. It’s frantic, noisy, fragrant, colourful and chaotic all at the same time and we love it!
After checking into the hotel it’s a chance to meet your fellow riders and for your Ride Expeditions tour leader to give you a full briefing of the adventure ahead. After that we’ll head out for a welcome dinner at an excellent restaurant.
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! We descend 1300m to a river valley for a delicious lunch in an air conditioned restaurant (it will be hot down in the valley!).
We follow the river upstream towards Sarahan, the gateway to the Kinnaur region. The road hugs the side of the enormous cliffs, with massive overhangs and tunnels through the rock. With a deep valley to the left of the twisting road, this is one of the roads you see on YouTube and wonder whether you would ever ride such a stunning road – and now you are right there!
Before dinner there’s time to chill out, visit the intricately carved Bhimakali Temple, do a bit of shopping in the packed and fascinating village shops, or even go for the local barbers/head & face massage experience!
Dropping back down into the valley, we follow the crashing river all the way to the vast hydroelectric dam at Karcham. Leaving the main road, we cross the river here for a truly awesome climb up the side of the valley towards our lunch stop at Sangla. After a delicious lunch of Tibetan mo-mos and noodles, we retrace our steps back down the hairpins in the afternoon, dropping down to the valley floor to follow the Sutlej River towards Kalpa.
It’s another climb to get to the Kinner Villa Hotel but again the views are worth it. After dinner the hotel will light up the altar fire on the terrace – perfect!
With such a scenic backdrop, Kalpa is a good place to spend a rest day. We also need to take a trip down into the town to get our permits sorted for entering the Spiti Valley region ahead of us, so it’s a chance to shop and try out the local restaurants while we wait for the wheels of Indian bureaucracy to turn. They turn, but sometimes they turn quite slowly!
The views across the valley from the hotel are breath-taking, with the sacred peak of Kinnaur Kailash piercing the skyline at 4,650m. A walk around the hills surrounding the hotel is a rewarding way to spend your time before resuming the riding the following day.
Refreshed and bushy-tailed, we’ll be on the bikes nice and early for the next stage of our journey. Following the river for a good while, it’s through the border check for those important permits before we then start to climb, and we don’t stop until we reach a staggering 3,600m above sea level, where the air is thin and pure, providing you are not behind an Indian truck!
The ever-present roaming cows that will have been a common part of your journey up to this point have now been replaced by wandering donkeys and goats, so it’s best to look well ahead as you take in the scenery. Our destination is the incredible village of Nako, a green jewel in a barren landscape and a place that feels locked in another time. Narrow streets are lined with ancient houses where the livestock live below the family dwellings and bright faced children play in the tiny lanes that dissect the village.
We’re staying in big safari style tents and after dinner in the cosy clubhouse we’ll sit around the fire pit under a vast star-filled sky.
Leaving this beautiful village behind, we hit the road and climb for an hour or so before plummeting down a set of hairpin bends to the valley floor again.
With beehives lining both sides of the roads, we head west through more epic scenery before stopping at Tabo. This village has the oldest recorded monastery in India at over 1000 years old and it’s an incredible building that is well worth stopping for!
Back on the bikes, we follow the river as it opens to an enormous flood plain, the water nearly half a mile wide at times. We’re heading for Kaza at 3700m, another village that gets snowed under in the winter.
We arrive at our hotel in time for lunch, but the riding day is not over yet… You are of course welcome to spend the afternoon relaxing or strolling the characterful streets, but the afternoon ride we have planned for you is an absolute corker!
The route is a loop up to Komic – the highest motorable village in the world and a chance to post a letter from the highest Post Office too (if time permits). The climb is incredible as we scythe up the valley walls before the terrain opens up to high plains scattered with tiny houses with their traditional buckthorn stacked roofs. The area is also littered with fantastic fossils, so don’t be surprised if the enterprising children are ready to sell you souvenirs! For a few rupees and those winning smiles – it’s hard to resist.
We’ll stop for a drink at Komic, officially the highest motorable village on the planet and then drop down again taking a different route that will take us past a huge Buddha statue that overlooks the valley. Selfie Time obviously…
Without doubt, this will be one of the most epic days of riding you will have ever experienced. We leave Kaza nice and early, cross the Spiti river and start heading west for the money shot of the trip. After passing through a tiny checkpoint, we start an incredible climb through a truly beautiful valley. As the altitude increases, the temperature drops, but the scenery keeps getting better.
At the very top of the pass there is a vast Buddhist shrine and, if we are lucky, Yaks for those selfies! The road drops swiftly down to the valley floor and a hearty lunch at a tiny stone café. But don’t be thinking the superlatives are over because in the afternoon we’ll be following an amazing route alongside the river, through water splashes, boulder fields and actual rivers are part of the road. Climbing again through a valley that could be straight out of Lord of the Rings’ Middle earth, by the time we reach the main road again you’ll know you’ve ridden something special.
After yesterday’s big ride we’ll depart a little later this morning. We do not have a massive distance to cover today but we are ascending to some big altitudes so, while you’re body should be fairly well acclimatised already, it’s a good idea for us to take things a bit slower.
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 for lunch on the other side before continuing to our campsite on the Sarchu plateau. It’s a gorgeous valley and, for the more energetic members of the group, we’d recommend a short hike up the side of the mountain to sit and admire the spectacular views.
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.
Our destination is the town of Leh which is the capital of the beautiful Ladakh region. It’s an incredible place to finish such an incredible tour. Celebratory beers and a farewell diner will round off this epic adventure!
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.
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.
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 your motorcycle to the start 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 riding 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 Leh airport (IXL) on the last day of the trip. From here you can fly back to Delhi airport (DEL) 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 1hr30.
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.