Renting vs. taking your own motorcycle to Ladakh

Quite often I come across people, who are confused about whether they ought to transport their own motorcycles to North India for their Ladakh ride or rent a motorcycle from Delhi or Manali.

While both options have their own pros and cons, my recommendation most often than not is for the riders to bring their own motorcycles, even if they own 100cc 4st motorcycles.


This is due to the following reasons:

  • Majority of the motorcycles available for rent are in poor condition and at times struggle at places where even the 100-125cc motorcycles can ride at ease. This also means that they consume more fuel than a motorcycle in good condition.
  • Hiring a motorcycle even for 10-12 days turns out to be a lot more expensive than transporting your own bike through railways or courier companies.
  • One is generally accustomed to riding his/her own motorcycle and thus one would be able to handle it better in case of emergency, than a motorcycle they have just rented from a shop. Similarly, it is easier to know when one’s own vehicle is encountering an issue than it is to decipher what is going on in a motorcycle you have been riding for only couple of days.
  • Additionally, majority of the renters do not provide basic and necessary things like OEM toolkit, tyre iron, spare tyre tube, spare chain link, spare spark plug and clutch and accelerator cables. These along with a little bit of spare engine oil is something that every motorcyclist visiting Ladakh should carry with him/herself.
  • Majority of the rental motorcycles aren’t legally allowed to be rented out and thus do not have black and yellow number plate which is meant to signify a self-drive vehicle in India. While in majority of the cases, there is no real world implication, but at the end of the day it is illegal and can cause trouble if the cops decide to crack down.

At the end of the day, each person must decide for themselves whether or not they wish to take their own motorcycle or rent one for a trip, but before deciding either way, one must weigh these and other points, and decide which would be not only the easiest but also the more reliable thing to do. After all, riding a motorcycle to Ladakh not only requires a rider with strong will, but also a motorcycle with a good and reliable engine.


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  1. Ather Ansari April 17, 2012

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