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Motorcycle road trip India / Himalaya - The Trans-Himalayan

Motorcycle road trip India / Himalaya

The Trans-Himalayan

An intense Himalayan motorcycle trip on challenging trails that lead to Ladakh, perched at several thousand metres altitude amid stunning, unspoilt scenery.

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Daniel will guide you!

Alex, Travel designer

He has set up Vintage Rides and has now expanded its presence in nine countries. An explorer by heart, he's always looking to discover new adventures around the world.

The Leh-Manali Highway, aka the Trans-Himalayan, is definitely the most beautiful motorbike raid in India. Your target: Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass (5,602m/18,379ft). Prepare for an extreme expedition on the edge of beyond. In this land of mountain passes, from verdant, mainly Hindu valleys to desert-like high plateaux where the Tibetan Buddhist culture is in clear evidence, you will cross bewitching lunar landscapes, only encountering nomadic goat and yak herders. A physical challenge for explorers seeking the ultimate, who will join the club of Himalayan motorbiking devotees. This new 2019 itinerary will take you through a less frequented, yet quite formidable pass, that we spotted in 2016.

Useful information
Period July to September
Duration 15 days incl. 10 days riding
Available extensions
Level Demanding
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Standard
From €2,560/pilot
Pillions unadvised

Photos and videos

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Your Motorcycle Tour in Himalaya 15 stages - 995 miles

gate of india delhi
D1 / Arrival in Delhi

You’re met at the airport and transferred to a hotel in Delhi city centre. Your room is available from midday. Overnight stay at hotel.

himachal pradesh
D2 / Delhi - Dharamsala - Domestic flight

In the morning, transfer to Delhi airport for your internal flight, in direction of Dharamsala. You may choose to take rest in the afternoon, or to stroll and enjoy this unique atmosphere.

royal enfield india
D3 / Dharamsala

We spend the day in Dharamsala for your acclimatisation day. And so your motorcycle circuit in the Himalayas begins. We get to know our Royal Enfield 500, by going for a small ride in the area. The Himalayan foothills in Himachal Pradesh is green and full of charm.

rothang pass himachal pradesh yack
D4 / Dharamsala - Chamba - 85 miles

A stunning first step to familiarize yourself with your motorcycle and way of riding in India. The mountain​ roads are in good condition, and very quickly we find ourselves on winding roads going up and down the green valleys, with a view on the glaciers up on the Dhauladhar chain.

sarchu camp ladakh
D5 / Chamba - Killar - 105 miles

We attack the mighty Sach Pass (4,420m), an​ unconventional passage through the Great Himalayas; not the highest, but certainly the most difficult!​ This road has ​kept its stony aspect before the modern roads era​. The descent down ​to our stop off of the day is just as impressive as the climbing​. Night in a ​very basic accommodation because, as ​we remind you, this part of the Himalayas is only ​visited by the most daring.

pang gorges ladakh
D6 / Killar - Jispa - 100 miles

How nice to wake up in the Pangi Valley! Our progress will be slow at the beginning - it was in very ancient days that the macadam was once laid. The stage ends with an easier and nicer asphalted road. We spend the night in the fertile valley of Chandra.

monastery gompa ladakh monk
D7 / Jispa - Tso Kar - 130 miles

The landscapes become more and more desert. We climb​ up​ the Baralacha La pass ​(4,900m), before discovering the ​Sarchu ​plateau and its curious gorges on the Tsarap River. Vertiginous, the road goes up to Lachulung La (5,060m), our first pass above 5,000m, and ​drops into the splendid gorges of Pang. Finally, we can ​ride faster on the high plain of Morey and ​we ​join the salt lake of Tso Kar at 4,600m, a ​dream for any photographer.

pass india himalaya
D8 / Tso Kar - Leh - 111 miles

We leave the incredible Kar hollow, to go back to the Tanglang La (5,315m), the second highest motorable pass in the world. We go back under the 4,000m mark and arrive in the Indus Valley, one of the 7 most sacred rivers of India, and finally in Leh, the capital of Ladakh.

lake himalaya motorbikes
D9 / Leh - 45 miles

Today we climb north up to Khardung La, highest motorable road in the world: 5,370 m! We’ll discover a magical panorama going from the Zanskar chain on the southern side to the great Karakoram chain on the northern side. We go back down for lunch, rest, shopping, walk and spend a second night in a comfortable hotel in Leh.

inde himalaya tso khar motorcycle
D10 / Leh - Tso Moriri Lake - 135 miles

We ride back up the Indus valley towards the Tibetan border. We stop at the iconic Thiksey Monastery. After Upshi, we continue along the river through stunning gorges. We reach the beautiful turquoise Tso Moriri lake through a small road and gravel tracks at a 4600m altitude. Camp along the lake.

inde himalaya gata loops horse
D11 / Tso Moriri Lake - Sarchu - 135 miles

Another big day is ahead of us, one where we will never go below the 4,000m mark. Ride on many tracks early in the morning, before getting near Tso Kar, where we previously slept. From there, we take the same road in the opposite direction, but the landscapes are so grandiose with a changing light, that you will ask yourself if you have already been there?

motorcycle trip himalaya
D12 / Sarchu - Manali - 135 miles

We leave the desert of Ladakh and find some greenery scenes and forests after the pass, down to the Kullu valley with a series of great twists. Arrival in Manali. The legendary hippie resort of Himachal which today, is much more visited by Indian tourists fleeing the unbearable heat of the plains.

motorcycle india
D13 / Manali - Delhi

Day in Manali. Possibility to visit and do some shopping. Night in a comfortable bus with A/C to Delhi.

children india himalaya
D14 / Delhi

An early morning arrival in Delhi. Transfer to the hotel. Free day in Delhi.

D15 / Delhi - International airport

Transfer to the airport, as per your flight-departure time. End of our services.

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the full program

Available extensions

le taj mahal
Taj Mahal / 2 or 3 days

You're taken to Agra from New Delhi in a private vehicle with driver. During 2 or 3 days, visit the fabulous Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and the Red Fort of Agra.

The riders' opinions

I would recommend Vintage Rides to any …

“I would recommend Vintage Rides to any rider contemplating a guided motorcycle tour. Right from my initial email with Denise, the professionalism and attention to detail was reassuring. Everything was organised for us and our tour guide Josh was fantastic from start to finish. The Royal Enfields were a lot of fun and suited the type of riding we did, the scenery was simply mind blowing and the tour was the best holiday and adventure ever. On top of all this, the value for money was excellent. I will be touring with Vintage Rides again. I did the Trans Himalayan in India.”

Spiti Valley - Absolutely fantastic!

“Absolutely fantastic. The pre-trip organization and communication was stellar. The itinerary and accommodations were well planned and our guide, mechanic, and support driver collectively allowed for a trip where any risk of stress was quickly replaced with nothing but pure delight. I took the Spiti Valley tour ("Gateway to Tibet") which offered otherworldly views and rich cultural exposure. The remote area was particularly enjoyable as even when compared to other Himalayan routes there was very little traffic... truck or otherwise (The last thing I want to do is to go to a remote location to be stuck endlessly maneuvering around slow trucks). I sing the praises of Vintage Rides at every possible opportunity. I've ridden motorcycles all over the world either independently or with a tour group and this trip was tops! I wish I had sooner discovered Vintage Rides and they will certainly be my choice again. Vive la Moto! (If you like to see the video of the trip it is at advmotorbike dot com under "global moto"... it will say in image more than my words can convey!)”

Symen Kromkamp
Himalayan ride to Leh

“I found the ride through the Himalayan Mountains to Leh from Manali excellent. Vintage Riders did an excellent job in making this ride a success. I would recommend them to an rider who would go with them.”


Upcoming departures

From July 7th 2019 to July 21st 2019
From July 14th 2019 to July 28th 2019
From July 21st 2019 to August 4th 2019
From August 4th 2019 to August 18th 2019
From August 11th 2019 to August 25th 2019
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From August 18th 2019 to September 1st 2019
From August 25th 2019 to September 8th 2019
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