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Old 21st August 2007, 10:44   #31
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@cutdcrap : Camping is perfectly ok and safe in these parts of the hills. Not much to fear from man but you need to take care in certain areas where there is an infestation of the bears as they generally come around seeking food. One good way is not to leave any left overs in the open and leave a small fire burning. But the thing that might hurt you is the weather so be very well equipped if you plan to camp out anywhere above 9000 mtrs.
Puncture repair tubes are nothing but headache. Carry spare tubes and a pump. Will cost you about 900 Rs. Put a tube in the tyre itself alongside your inflated one and carry one as spare.
No permits are required for Indian Nationals for going to Spiti but you will require one if you plan to go to the border posts of Sumdo. Otherwise there are police posts along the way where you will be required to register yourself. Doesnt take more than 5 mins and its free.
Will let dada answer the rest of the queries. Want to know anything more about these trips feel free. I am sure there are quite a few of us here who have done these routes atleast once.
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Old 21st August 2007, 13:40   #32
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@cutdcrap : But the thing that might hurt you is the weather so be very well equipped if you plan to camp out anywhere above 9000 mtrs.
I guess you meant some lower number. Even Mt.Everest is only 8400mtrs+. :-)
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Old 21st August 2007, 14:50   #33
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1. What should be ideal stops when on a bike. Is a 10-15 minute halt enough for every 250 kms on plains. This is meant for bike, not overheating and does not include biological halts.
Unless you are ripping the motorcycle (not recommended), bike doesnít really need any rest; it is always the rider who is the weak link in endurance run and long tours.

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2. The biggest and most important question : Please enlighten me how did you persuade and most importantly convince your better half and family of the solo / bike trip? My wife seems to think otherwise.
Not married so cant help you in that department, but you might want to take your wife on a trip and you might just be able to covert her into a tourer. As for parents, well it was really hard to convince them in the starting; especially considering the first long trip I did was solo. But I promised to call them every couple of hours and when they saw that I wasnít about to budge they finally allowed me. I did keep the promise and even today I call my parents at least couple of times a day during my trips and in case I am going to place which doesnít have any phones, I tell them in advance.

Now they wait patiently for me to return from the trip to see the pics and hear the ride story. Now they have enough confidence, though they still prefer if I go with others, rather than riding solo.

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3. Is camping by oneselves overnite an alternate to guesthouses. I mean it would be real fun, but am concerned about safety, both from man and animals. What do you think and suggest?
In Himachal and Ladakh at least itís a safe option, just make sure you check with the locals that there arenít any dangerous animals in the area you are planning to camp. Also camp at places which are away from the road, so at night people canít really find you, unless they know you are there.

The biggest problem with camping is the time it takes to pitch and remove the tent, not to mention you have to carry food and water with you; which increase the amount of luggage.

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4. Are you experiencing anything abnormal, excessive wear and tear after this trip? How is the condition?
One thing that you have to keep in mind is the fact that if you use your vehicle for touring then at times, things will break and there will be a need to replace parts more frequently. It also depends on the condition of the vehicle, how you drive/ride it and you luck. Normally I spend any where between thousand to couple of thousand bucks before a trip to Ladakh to get my bike back into good condition, despite the fact that in city I use her for less than 600kms a month. In a motorcycle it is usually the chain, clutch plates and suspension that take the maximum abuse and you have to be ready to spend on them when the need arises. Because for a trip a bike has to be in a good condition and the last thing you want is bike breaking down in the middle of nowhere because you though the part would at least last the trip.

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5. Would you recommend carrying puncture repair tubes, or alternate tubes? Carrying foot pump is a necessity. How much does one cost?
Carry spare tubes for front and rear wheel and carry an electric pump; it doesnít costs a lot and is pretty easy to carry and use.

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6. My battery is working fine, though its draining. It is unable to start the self but else is great. Do you recommend a charge to battery or a new one? Its just 13 months old.
Get the battery changed, when you get stuck in mud or water crossings it is easier and safer to use the starter then try and kick the bike back to life.

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7. If going to Spiti through Shimla, are there any permits required. If yes, please tell which and how can we get them? What about the costs?
No permits are required, only in case of a town ahead of Sumdo it is required (forgot its name) and that can be obtained from the ITBP camp at Sumdo.
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Old 21st August 2007, 22:59   #34
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Inspiring pics to say the least.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 10:42   #35
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Sorry what i meant was feet not mtrs. I apologise.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 10:44   #36
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@Yogesh the place is Kaurik. Its the border outpost and hence the permit.
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Old 22nd August 2007, 13:02   #37
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wonderful pics there Yogesh.. A friend and I were planning a 15 day bike ride from Delhi to Leh via manali and return via Jammu this sept. but my plans got shelved as i had to drop my plans of buying the Bullet 500. May be i will do it next summer! Your website is very informative too, I picked up a lot of info and tour planning from your site. Keep up the good work.
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Old 24th August 2007, 16:55   #38
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Yogesh,

Great photos dude - a friend and i have been planning to do Ladakh this year.

some questions follow:

1) Can we rent bikes up north for this trip? What bikes are (if they are) available, and does anyone have any contacts?
2) What would be the typical cost for rent for these bikes?
3) Would a Ladakh Trip in late september be okay? I mean would a bike trip in that weather be advisable?

Regards,
Ravi
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Old 24th August 2007, 17:33   #39
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Fantastic photography, i am dreaming to be there ONE DAY !!!
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Old 27th August 2007, 10:27   #40
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@super. Yes you can rent the bikes at numerous dealers in Karol Bag. The deal how it works is like this. You need to buy the bike initially and it comes with a buy back guarantee. Approximate cost of buying varies between 35K to 45K depending upon the condition and the model.
Late September is not very advisable as most of the high passes will start to snow. Plus if they are still open the Army would be in a rush to send as many supplies in as possible. Prefer early September if you are serious about it.
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Old 27th August 2007, 14:01   #41
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lovely pics - i like the stark contrast beween the Blue skies and the brown earth!
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Old 27th August 2007, 22:34   #42
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Thanks every one

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Yogesh,

Great photos dude - a friend and i have been planning to do Ladakh this year.

some questions follow:

1) Can we rent bikes up north for this trip? What bikes are (if they are) available, and does anyone have any contacts?
2) What would be the typical cost for rent for these bikes?
3) Would a Ladakh Trip in late september be okay? I mean would a bike trip in that weather be advisable?

Regards,
Ravi
Lots and lots of options available at Karol Bagh, rent is normally Rs.400-700 a day, for more information check out Renting Motorcycles in India - India Touring Forum | BCMTouring.com

First couple of weeks of September are great, later it gets colder though the roads stay open till October mid/end. Like Wanderernomad said, its better if you start early September.
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Old 29th August 2007, 15:13   #43
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Thanks for the tips. Much appreciated.

Superavi
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