4,000k Himalaya Loop

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Scratchy Exma, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Scratchy Exma

    Scratchy Exma Adventurer

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    Hi All

    August - September 2018 3 mates and myself did a great 4,000k loop on 350 Bullets from Delhi to Shimla; Sangla Valley; Spiti Valley; Keylong to Leh; Leh to Diskit, Hunder and Pangong Lake and back; Leh to Srinigar via Zoji La Pass; Srinigar to Kishtwar; Kishtwar to Killar via The Cliffhanger; Killar to Chamba via Sach Pass; Chamba to Dalhousie and Dharamsala and then back to Delhi.

    I've finally got around to putting up detailed videos of parts of the trip on Youtube. Look up Scratchy Exma (search engine will want to auto-correct Eczema) if you want to see where we rode or follow the link below:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTENPajsta3N8Hn8GLlwa3A/videos
    #1
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  2. Scratchy Exma

    Scratchy Exma Adventurer

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    And a few photos along the way.

    Attached Files:

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  3. Lajning

    Lajning Been here awhile

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    Will for sure check out your videos. I did the Shimla- Spiti valley-Manali-Narkanda loop in September 2019.

    Great place to ride. I did my ride in a hire/group fashion.
    #3
  4. Scratchy Exma

    Scratchy Exma Adventurer

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    Hi Lajning
    Didn't know you could hire bikes in Shimla. What was the name of the company you hired from?
    We started from Delhi but want to avoid the highway when we go again in August this year.
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  5. Lajning

    Lajning Been here awhile

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    Hi. I went with a company called ABoriginaltours, after recommendations from a friend. It's a owner/operator kind of business. Atul has a great crew, well though out route planning and quite the sense of humor. Check out his website. https://www.indianmotorcycletours.com.au/about/

    I did his 2 week spiti valley ride. I flew into Delhi where we all met up at a hotel of his choice, very convenient. From Delhi we took the train to Kalka and from there minibus to Shimla. From Shimla we started actually riding. As this was my first time riding in India, it was great to "learn" on the not so crazy country roads!

    Over all, I rate this company and the trip I took 10/10. Everything is well catered for. Bikes are in top condition, always ready to go each morning. He has a 3 truck/6 man crew tagging along with all your gear, nothing carried on the bikes, and lots of spare parts to keep the bikes going. On one of the 500 bullets, they changed cylinder and piston twice during the trip. Flat tires are a replacement wheel fix, so you will never have to wait for long if someone breaks down.

    I could go on forever, do ask if you have any questions. In the mean time. Check out his youtube channel. The three interviews are with some of the guys I did the trip with.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/aboriginaltours/videos
    #5
  6. Scratchy Exma

    Scratchy Exma Adventurer

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    Hi Lajning
    Thanks for the information - they sound really good and I will definitely look them up.

    We will probably do our own organising and planning but if we can hire the bikes somewhere like Shimla it would be good.

    On the next trip, we are looking to go through the Spiti Valley again but this time will do more side trips to places like the Pin Valley and Hangrang Valley. We also want to do the new road to the Zanskar Valley from near Keylong and then either back through the cliffhanger and Sach Pass again or back around Pangong Lake but coming through the back roads to Keylong.
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  7. Lajning

    Lajning Been here awhile

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    That sounds like a great trip. Aboriginaltours only do guided tours as far as I know, but might be able to help getting you connected to a rental company. In Manali they where dime a dozen, there must surely be a few in Shimla as well.

    Having been there once in a group, I'd love to go back and do it self supported with some friends!
    #7
  8. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Keep this going
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  9. Scratchy Exma

    Scratchy Exma Adventurer

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    Hi Lajning
    Definitely a lot in Manali; however, it seems quite a few people get altitude sickness by flying in and then leaving the next day via Rohtang Pass. We avoided that by going through Delhi and gradually going higher with the approach from Shimla and Rekong Peo. I'd probably prefer to do that rather than getting sick although I guess we could either fly into Manali and then head south or spend a couple fo days there acclimatizing. Another alternative is of course to fly directly into Leh and go from there.
    Do let me know if you do find a hire only company on Shimla.
    #9
  10. Lajning

    Lajning Been here awhile

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    Flying in to high altitude and then riding even higher is not the best choice if you want to enjoy your time. We took our time gradually climbing higher, so I never felt anything. Others had trouble sleeping and lots of headaches.

    There seems to be quite a few rental places in Shimla, I've no idea about their prices or quality, but many of them have a large collection of different models.
    https://www.justdial.com/Shimla/Bike-On-Rent-Royal-Enfield/nct-11664378
    #10
  11. Scratchy Exma

    Scratchy Exma Adventurer

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    Just to let people know. We hired our bikes from Maitri Motors in Kharol Bagh. We got a bargain price at $10 AUD a day for 350 Bullets. They told us they would cover the cost of any repairs needed - not true. We had to replace sprockets and chains in Leh as they had totally clapped out - I was lucky to make Leh as I had zero teeth left on my sprocket (see photo) and the other guys had broken teeth all over the shop. I'm not saying they were thieves or anything like that but it is renter beware and t be honest the conditions were tough on the bikes even with us oiling chains every day. Fortunately the hotel we stayed at (Bijoo Hotel (see photos) - a great place that is a little more expensive but definitely worth it) were helpful, and organised a mechanic for the Bullets and hire for Himalayans while the Bullets were being fixed.
    We had to do other repairs as well but when we got back to Delhi he would only return half money we spent, and that begrudgingly. It wasn't a huge amount to be honest, at around $50AUD, but my recommendation would be to get it in writing or record it. We did have to pay for servicing the bikes but knew that up front.
    While on mechanics, this place in Keylong (see photo) was great - had all the parts needed in stock and cheap as chips. They mucked around with a carbie for two hours adjusting it for high altitude and would only accept $2AUD as payment when we insisted - it was probably more then a days pat for the young guy who did the work but we didn't care. There is also a welding shop down the road that fixed my racks for virtually nothing.

    Attached Files:

    #11