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Old 1st April 2008, 16:57   #1
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Default Delhi To Leh - Possible on a Ford Ikon ?

Hi

I and my friend are planning a trip to Leh. The real question is whether we can make it till there on a Ford Ikon? Has any sedan ever made it?

Its important as we will be making our trip very soon.

Thanks
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Old 1st April 2008, 17:16   #2
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Default Manali to Leh? No!

You will not make it over the Manali-Leh road. Or, at least, it is improbable, a very high risk. Ground clearance is the problem. Rocks, landslides, stream beds and desert talc will probably get you. Do not know about the Srinagar route.
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Old 1st April 2008, 17:34   #3
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I have been to Leh twice in my Daewoo Matiz, 2003 and 2004. In 2003, the roads were non-existent in many sections - descent from Rohtang Pass to Gramphoo, Khoksar to Tandi, Kargil-Drass to Zoji La - and the Matiz coped up admirably. It not only took the Manali-Leh-Srinagar road but also went to Khardung la and Pangong. 2004 was a repeat of that trip, but roads were better. In 2003, the car did take a beating in the Kargil-Dras-Zoji La road which was all rubble (and had to be driven through only at night thanks to Pakistani security problems), and I had to repair suspensions, wheel bearings and exhaust pipes.

Any car can make it to Leh. However, in early June, it may be more difficult because of melting snows, seas of mud and rough river crossings. I did my Leh trips in September and October. In 2004, I also had to climb up Baralachala and Chang la in snow-fall conditions and in roads with 2-3 feet of fresh snow. And we all survived.

Having said all this, I thought Ford cars do appear to have low suspensions, but if a Maruti 800 (I saw one in 2003) can make it, why not the Ikon.

In 2003, we were 3 of us in teh car and in 2004, the car was full with all 4. Despite tyhe heavy load (we also carried extra fuel), we managed to climb up all the steep roads (including the steepest at Chandra Ta near Kunzum La). In the worst sections, I made the 3 get off the car - such as the difficult climb up the snowy slopes to Chang la - and the lighter car pranced up with difficult, but we did it. The only place where I could not get up was the highest road Marisimk la where I had to give up 22 kms before the summit (at Phobrang). I still thyink that if my tyres had been newer - and not so worn out - I may have made it up to Marisimik La that time.
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Old 1st April 2008, 17:38   #4
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Motoring to Ladakh

Here is a link to read the story of my 2003 drive from Bombay to Leh and back via Manali and Srinagar.
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Old 1st April 2008, 17:45   #5
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I have heard of Skodas reaching Leh via the Manali route. Shouldnt be a problem, until unless, as hv said, its the melting season - the gushing water eat away chunks of the road at places.
The ikon has a tendency to bottom out with 4adults + luggage. but if its just u and ur fren, i dont think there will be an issue
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Old 1st April 2008, 17:56   #6
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Agree with BunnyPunia - the safest time is Aug-Sep, and a light load will make things easier. All sorts of car drive to Leh nowadays, and you don't need any 4x4 capabilities. I had to drive through very muddy roads (with 1 feet plus high soft mud ruts) but with some skill and patience you can do it in any car. The snow sections (unlikely to have snow unless you push your drive to October - often, first snow happens in first week of Oct, in my case I had it on Oct 2) may also be difficult.

Ensure that you have tyres with good threads.
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Old 1st April 2008, 17:58   #7
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Take this! My colleague did this trip in a Skoda Octavia two years back. He did not have any problems with his car then. It is a different matter that he has sold his Octi and he now owns a Forrester...
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Old 1st April 2008, 20:35   #8
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Default Risk

Manali-Leh is too much risk. There are no mechanics and spares for 350 kilometers or so and no fuel either. You might make it. But if you do not? You are stuck for days and days maybe. Spring will bring much road damage. Rhotang pass above Manali will not open for awhile yet. I would not go in an Ikon and I certainly would not go this time of year. I have a Sumo. I consider this the bare minimum. I might add, I have been across that road 4 times in the last 2 years and I have never seen a car north of Keylong until approaching civilization up near Leh. Not one. Here is a picture of what I mean. This picture was taken in May of 2006 from the destroyed deck of a small bridge. The truck in the picture did not make it. Either will you. I made it because I took my time and replaced many of the planks on the bridge and got over the highest water that way, only to get stuck on the other side. I dug my Sumo out with the pick and shovel I carry over a couple of hours. An Ikon would have no chance here at all and would get stuck often if not damaged. Take your choice. Listen to them or look at the picture of just one small obstacle.
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Old 1st April 2008, 21:50   #9
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I agree with dirtydan, dont try and do it in a Ikon, would suggest you hire a Gypsy or a Gurkha.

That pic looks way too scary for me.

Last edited by Proxima : 1st April 2008 at 21:53.
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Old 1st April 2008, 22:05   #10
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Plan your drive in September when road conditions are best. If a Matiz can do it (when it had already run 160,000 kms at that time), why not a Ford Ikon?
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Old 1st April 2008, 22:20   #11
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I guess if you do not get any river crossings which require 4x4 or deep water fording ablity(read high GC) you can do this in an ikon too.
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Old 1st April 2008, 22:27   #12
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You can do it in car, but i prefer a gypsy or some SUV for a hazzle free drive.Any ways if you prefer a car you have to be more careful while negotiating those broken roads after rohtang pass.It will be better if you use some high profile tires for improving your ground clearance.Best of Luck..
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Old 1st April 2008, 22:48   #13
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River crossings only in end-May and June. Road conditions stabilise after that. EXpect some bad roads descending Rohang Pass till September, although that can be managed.
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Old 1st April 2008, 23:04   #14
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Don’t worry you will make it, just drive carefully. June would be slightly tougher than July-August.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 08:38   #15
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On a related note, how bad is it till keylong. If I just want to do Keylong-Kaza circuit, will a car take it, or is it as tough as the Leh route?
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