Prepare your Bike for Leh-Ladakh Trip

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Please insert your text here!For the bike riders over the world, Leh and Ladakh remains a challenging and memorable bike journey which should be undertaken at least once in their lifetime. However planning and preparing your bike for such an arduous and adventurous journey is always a big task in itself and if it is done correctly, it always goes a long way hassle free ride to Leh and Ladakh.

Prepare your Bike for Leh-Ladakh Trip

Things to carry out during bike servicing for Leh-Ladakh

Piston Rings: If your bike has been consuming engine oil lately; it is best to get the piston-cylinder kit checked for wear and tear and replace them if necessary. Also get the valves checked as well.

Clutch Plates: It is essential to have clutch plates in good condition, before starting a ride to Ladakh; otherwise you can end up with a motorcycle, which refuses to climb steep hilly roads Ladakh has to offer. So make sure to get your clutch plates check and replace them, if they have little life left in them.

Drive Chain & Sprockets: Check drive chain and sprockets for wear, if the chain and/or sprockets are on the last lease of life, change the entire chain-sprocket set. Else get them cleaned and lubricated.


Timing Chain: Another thing you need to pay close attention to is a loose/worn out timing chain, which can end up causing mechanical failure during the ride or make your motorcycle perform sub optimally.

Suspensions: Riding on the harsh terrain of Ladakh with a bike loaded with rider and luggage can take a toll on the suspension of your motorcycle. Get the front and rear suspension checked, and if the need be, get them repaired/changed.

Swing arm bush: Get the swing arm bush checked for slackness, change if needed.

Clutch & Accelerator wires: If your Clutch and Accelerator wires are over 10000kms old, get them changed and keep the old ones as spare. If they are not in need of a change then get them lubricated.

Air filter/spark plug: If your air filter and/or spark plug is over 10000kms old or approaching that figure, get them changed. Don’t throw the old ones out, keep them as spares.

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Con Set: Con set is an essential part of the bike and if it’s loose or worn out, it can affect the handling of the motorcycle. At the time of service get it checked and change it if the need be.

Brake shoes/pads: Get the brake pads and shoes checked for wear, if they can’t last for 5000kms, get them changed. Also get the brake fluid changed or top it up, if you had changed it recently.
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Electrical and battery: Get all the electrical wiring checked, check all bulbs to see if they are functioning properly. Also clean the headlight seal beam and brake light to ensure better visibility. Also make sure your bike’s battery is performing well, this is especially important if your motorcycle does not have kick start.

Engine oil/filter: If the engine oil is over 500kms old, get it changed. Also change the oil filter. In case your bike uses an oil strainer, get it cleaned.

Fasten all nuts and bolts: Get all the nuts and bolts fastened properly, in case any is missing, get it installed.

General check: Give everything a once over, ensure that everything is working properly and all the fluids are topped up, i.e. battery water, engine oil etc. Ensure all fuel lines are intact and there is no leakage anywhere.

Carburetor Tuning: Keep the Carburetor tuning as close to stock as possible. Running it rich will cause problem in high altitude areas and running it lean would lead to overheating in plains.
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Tyres: Check both tyres for wear and signs of cuts and cracks. If either of them is nearing the end of their life, get them changed. If you need to change tyres, get dual purpose tyres, since they perform well on and off road.

Wheel alignment: In case your motorcycle has spoke wheels, get them checked, and if the need be, get them aligned before your ride.

Try to Learn minor repair

If you have gone through the above routine, your bike should hold through for the entire trip, but it’s a good idea to ask your motorcycle mechanic to teach you minor chores like tightening rear brakes, adjusting clutch and accelerator play, adjusting chain, fixing puncture, replacing bulbs and changing accelerator/clutch cable/levers.

Final checks on the D-Day and beyond:

Now that you have prepared your motorcycle for Ladakh, and are ready to start your ride, there are a few checks you need to perform daily.

Check if all lights, horn and indicators are working.

Double check fluid levels such as engine oil, brake oil and coolant (in case of liquid cooled motorcycles).

Check tyres for air pressure as well as look for any signs of puncture or damage.

Check if chain is lubricated properly and isn’t too tight or too loose.

Check for any leakages.

In case you have any queries about preparing your motorcycle for Ladakh, please post a message here.

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