Dummies guide to Motorcycle Ride to Leh-Ladakh

  • RideIndia
  • May 1, 2013 1:55 pm
  • News

Kind of a Motorcycle to use

Now this section can easily attract a debate since everyone has their own taste for a ride. Though in India, Royal Enfield is considered to be the best tourer for terrains like Leh-Ladakh, still you do have lot of other options. By far, even we agree, RE is a preferable option. But, a big No No for old engines. If someone has lured you into a story where he/she has ridden the terrain using an old RE, just appreciate it and move on. You really don’t want to get into it. We recommend you go for an RE with a UCE engine. Hassle free, almost zero maintenance and better power which you will need in such a terrain. Why people here prefer RE is because of its load carrying capacity and easily available after market luggage carrier fittings. Primarily we believe, any motorcycle that delivers a descent 17+ bhp is sufficient. Whether cruiser or sports tourer or even a sports bike depends on your personal taste. Advisable is a cruiser or sports tourer.

RE Thunderbird is ‘the’ best model from a cruiser perspective. Comfortable sitting position, good power, good load carrying capacity and with ‘Ladakh carrier’ can even accommodate a pillion easily. Below is a list of motorcycles you can consider; arranged is an order of our preference:

  1. RE Thunderbird 500/350 (go for it)
  2. RE other UCE models (all good)
  3. KTM Duke and likes (rugged but bad with pillion)
  4. HH Karizma Type R (works wonders)
  5. HH Karizma ZMR (get a top box for pillion back support)
  6. CBR 250 (bad with pillion)
  7. Bajaj Avenger (mandatory saddle bags and no carrier fittings)

If you are rich you can even consider a Harley or Hyosung but we want to be more realistic. Some simple modification you can do to make your ride more comfortable.

  • Put on a windshield – True case of REs and Avengers. Windshield will reduce the fatigue by keep the air flow off your chest.
  • Use Saddle bags – Use proper branded saddle bags instead of made to order ones.
  • Use top box – Top boxes are available for some models. You will have to fabricate some fittings to attach it on your ride.
  • Using of a smaller rear sprocket – You might be advised to use a smaller rear sprocket. But this is only applicable for Old REs. New motorcycles do not require such modifications and better you don’t play with the stocks for any reason.
  • K&N air filer – Applicable for some, this is a good modification. It will help provide a better inflow of air giving the engine more oxygen for combustion in terrain like Leh where oxygen content is air is considerably low.

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2 Comments

  1. Deepak Kulkarni says:
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    excellent compilation of basic facts required.
    Helps in deciding and fine tuning the plan.

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