How to Plan Ladakh Bike Trip with Pillion?
We all know that Ladakh is the dream destination of every biker. any person who is very and the seat of riding a bike has ever dreamt of visiting Ladakh and if you are one of them and you are planning to visit Ladakh along with someone who will be riding on the back of your bike as a pillion rider.
So now you would you want to bring that can you visit Leh with a pillion rider on your bike.
Yes you can visit Leh with pillion Rider on your bike. the only condition is that if you want to visit Leh you can rent a bike from Manali or bring your own bike. if you are renting a bike from Manali then you can not visit place is beyond like nubra Valley or Pangong Lake. but this doesn’t mean that you cannot take your own bike if it is registered in your own name.
You are allowed to take your own by to and beyond leh
Visiting Ladakh means you should be aware of the conditions that you are going to ride your motorcycle on the road. Ladakh will test your capability on every turning of the mountains. so in order to be capable to write it on those Road you must consider these factors very seriously.
|Ladakh Trip With Pillion||Things To Note|
|Comfortable Posture||Choose a Bike where you feel comfortable riding it for hours|
|MotorCycle||The motorcycle should be well maintained and serviced before you start your trip|
|Control||A motorcycle is a powerful machine. You must have proper power with yourself to control on roads you have never experienced before.|
|Light luggage||Don’t make your bike look like a trick. Only carry that luggage that is essential. Carry heavy luggage will put you at risk.|
|Itinerary||Plan an itinerary that suits your needs and comfort.|
|Being Gentle||Be gentle on your mind and body. If you feel dizzy or exhausted, its better to take a rest or stay the night rather than risking and riding.|
|Attention||Ladakh means always attentive on roads, as it has curves with deep steeps and falls.|
|Hydration||Ladakh is situated at a very high altitude which means there is very little oxygen. Always stay hydrated and drink water in every hour.|
|Self Mechanic||Be a self-made mechanic. Learn to fix minor things on your bike. As it may come in handy at times of need.|
|FAQ’s||Check our FAQ’s for the most recent and popular queries by travelers like you|
the factors that you should account are as follows
Comfortable posture and riding on your bike
Most of the people rent their bike for their Ladakh trip, the very important question that arises is the comfortability while sitting on the bike and riding it for hours. A comfortable bike will allow you to enjoy your riding and also to write it for long hours.
So while choosing your bike you should be very careful about you are comfortability. A comfortable riding posture and sitting posture will help you to write with the bike with complete control and complete comfort of a body.
On average you have to write for 7 to 8 hours per day. so your pillion Rider also needs to be comfortable on that bike.
But you have to keep in mind that you have you must have the endurance level to ride it for nearly ten to 15 days from 7 to 8 hours per day
Well maintained and service bike
I personally took a Royal Enfield Himalayan to the Ladakh and never felt any problem with the bikes performance or its power. But Ladakh is a place where the nature takes extreme test of your body and the bike.
My Royal enfield himalayan was completely fine, until my last leg of completion when the radiator started leaking and the engine started heating up. I was lucky enough to get a litre of cooler’s liquid to keep pouring the coolant and trying to keep the engine cool.
I’m saying this because if your bike is 5 or 6 years old and the bike is less than 150cc than forget about taking the bike on those roads.
Your bike will not climb on those steep roads and will not be able to cross the rocky beds of the mountains and water crossing on the roads. For those, you will need a bike that is well powered and maintained.
So if you are taking your own bike or renting it, then get the bike completely serviced and check its maintenance records before taking the bike.
Completely in Control
While choosing a bike to travel to ladakh, you must choose that bike that you think you can control. Bike is just a machine with great power. If you feel uncomfortable or the bike extremely over powered or underpowered than its always better to change the bike and pick one that suits your needs.
Its always better to be opt for a bike that you can control rather than to be sorry.
I have seen people taking bullets and other Royal Enfield bikes that they can’t control, but just because others are using the same bike.
Don’t go for what other are using, always choose which bike you can control. You may have seen that there are a few bikers that are completely geared up with protectives.
Protectives like Jackets, Best helmets, Knee & Elbow guards and many help them ride confidently and also keeping them safe from any fall and small accidents.
You must always keep in mind that you are riding a bike not a Pickup truck. A bike is designed to carry and pull a certain weight in a certain way.
When you ride a bike with a pillion. The weight of both the person is on the back wheel and the center of gravity is towards the middle of the bike.
But when you put luggage the center of gravity shifts to the back of you bike. This means that if you overload the bike the center of gravity will shift to the back more and more and the front wheel may rise up or the bike may become totally disbalanced.
Moreover the weight of the luggage also impacts on the engine, as it needs more power to pull the bike on steep roads and also it has immense pressure on the brakes when you ride downhill.
Heavy luggage also means that you need more strength to keep the bike in control and in case of a fall, you can be crushed under the weight of your own bike. And to pick the bike up, you may need more than 2 person.
So travel with less weight. Keep the luggage light and let the bike fly.
Itinerary – Check the height
When creating a itinerary, people just names places that we can go from place A to place Z. But very few people take in account the height of the road, the steepness, the lack of oxygen and other details.
This means that no matter how new your bike is or how powerful your bike is. Your bike is not going to climb those places with a pillion rider. Because due to lack of oxygen, your bike will not be able to perform in its 100% and the steepness will make it worse.
The places that your bike is going to struggle to climb are Wari La, marismak and the Changthang region.
The seat of the Motorcycle
Just take a Seat, relax and ask your bum…. Are you comfortable.
Many bike seats are not comfortable for pillion riders for long rider. The pillion rider needs to face several problems becuase they don’t have any handle to grab which will help them to keep their spine straight or keep them comfortable long rides.
Also if you are carrying luggage then it becomes more difficult for the pillion to have a comfortable seat. Don’t make the mistake of asking your pillion to carry luggage on their back.
Bikes like KTM, Royal Enfield Himalayan seats are not comfortable for pillion riders and they are way narrow and harder. Try to customize the seat with the option of adding a extra cushion.
Like I have modified the seat of Bajaj Avanger 220 street for longer rider. Here is a video.
Riding with Pillion
If you are riding with a pillion then don’t get distracted from road while chitchatting with them. Be very careful on turnings and water crossings.
While water crossing, ask your pillion to get off and cross the water crossing on foot while you take the bike across. While water crossing, always try to be in the middle of the road and don;t get off the tarmac.
Water crossing are dangerous and the water is very cold. Crossing from the edge may result in a fall or even death as it has black ice formed on the edges.
The middle of the water crossing may sometimes have boulders and uneven roads, so it can become tricks to cross the road on the bike. Try crossing it with your bike on 1st gear and analyse the depth of the water crossing.
Don’t be an idiot trying to cross the water crossing with your bike on speed. Like this.
Be gentle on yourself and your pillion rider. If you or your pillion rider is feeling exhausted, tired or dizzyness then its better to make a stop or stay the night there rather than risking and riding.
Being gentle in those high altitude is always a good idea. Don’t risk just because you have to reach a particular place at a certain time or just becuase you are riding with a group and can’t keep up with them.
Just remember..Its your life in your hands.
Learn Minor Fixes
Learn small and minor fixes like fixing the puncture, replacing mobile, changing the brake shoes or cable. These small fixes can save time and from the tension of finding a mechanic and fixing your bike.
Learning minor fixes is a life saver for any traveler that is travelling with bike on roads like ladakh. Riding in ladakh, there are several stretches where you are not going to find any people
Make a Wise Judgement
Ladakh is a place of making wise judgement on every corner. You will be introduced with new problems on each curves, steeps, climbs and water crossings.
Making an idiotic judgment can result in severe harm or fatal loss. Some of the common judgments you need to go through are:-
- Not caring for the pillion riders will to travel
- Over speeding with pillion rider
- Chitchatting and not focusing on the road
- Choosing a better bike for both.
- Opting for light luggage
- Not forcing each other to travel longer
- Don’t pressuring on your body and mind.
- Care for proper hydration
- Have a good sleep.
- Don’t ride if you or the pillion is feeling sleepy.
Most of the people will talk about Enfield Bullet but I think 150cc or more than 150cc lightweight bike is better, easy to cross the water crossing, handling and if you stuck then easy to move out.