Leh bike trip- Part III Prerequisites

10th Jun 2016

I have been to the most amazing experience of my life travelling solo on bike to Leh. I always want to motivate others to travel either by posting pics or through blogs. But I got so busy post- Leh trip that I didn't get any time to document my trip. Though I am posting pics on Instagram but you can't explain others what really goes during the trip. Each day of my trip was exciting and provided me with new stories. I got to know more about India, hardships faced by our army, and met new friends. I had to keep my excitement under control as when you are travelling solo you have added responsibilities. I had to constantly search for proper food, careful driving, arranging night stay option before getting dark, trusting right people, monitoring your health and bike. So my story goes as..

Day 1

Surat to Delhi (By Train)- So I was all prepared to start a unforgettable experience of getting Leh'd. The tickets were confirmed and the middleman was contacted in advance to arrange loading of my bike in the same train.

Night before leaving.. tickets check..bike check..packing check.. palpitations check..

Photo of Surat, Gujarat, India by Utkarsh Dwivedi

Pre-planning- I have already explained in my previous blog how come I was forced to go solo. Travelling on your own means you just can't take chances anywhere. I had absolutely no doubt in my driving skills but my mechanic skills were in question at that time. Nobody wants to get stranded on long isolated roads where the human existence is in question leave aside any automobile garage. I spent couple of days in nearby garage learning simple bike maintenance techniques. The bike was given for servicing and they were instructed to replace clutch and throttle cable and to keep the older cables tied on position only, the chain with drive sprocket was replaced (they didn't had rear sprocket thus they assured that the sprocket is all good) and the rear disc pads were replaced. Spark plug kit(set of 2), 5 nos 10A/ 15A/ 20A fuses, breather pipe and chain lock were kept as spare.

I was in 2 minds whether to go with the tubeless tyre or tubed tyre. Fixing punctures is one hell of a task in tubed tyre thus I was considering the option of tubeless tyres. Then I have to procure alloy wheels and tubeless tyres. Though spoke wheels have the advantage that the rim can be trued if somehow the rim gets damaged (I have already trued my rim twice!!) I decided to go with the OEM spoke rims and replaced both front and real tyres with tubes. The tubes were kept as spare and the air foot pump was bought.

Then my search began for proper biking luggage. I ordered a saddle bag and magnetic tank bag. For camera I bought lenspen and cable remote. Then hot water bottle was ordered keeping cold weather in mind. Bought a waistpack for carrying swiss knife, wallet and mobiles all the time.

Then I headed to Decathlon, Vadodara. I always wanted to camp under open sky. I bought sleeping bag, tent for 2, a sleeping mat and some typical travel related accessories like carabiners, quechua containers and power cord extension. I was thinking of buying a nice water proof ankle length boots. Found Quechua Forclaz 100 shoes worthy enough and combining them with gaiters can turn shoes into gum boots. Though I was carrying gum boots as well.

I made a list of specific tools which could be required during general maintenance. 20-22/ 24-27 ring spanner (front/ rear tyre open), large screw driver, 6mm allen key (grub screw of front axle), adjustable wrench upto 30mm (chain tension), small screw driver (to push disc brake pin), RE provided toolkit (spark plug tool/ chain tension spanner), nose plier (for chain lock), small hammer, electrical insulation tape(life saving tool during earthing) and some nylon cable ties (tying cables). Spare key is a must and should be kept somewhere safely so that can be retrieved in case of emergency.

The most essential prerequisites of the trip is the documents. It includes photo identity (DL/ Passport/ Pancard), RC book, PUC, passport photographs (8-10 nos) and bike insurance. At least 10 copies must be kept of the aforesaid documents.

I had heard of Karol Baug as the automobile hub in Delhi thus decided to buy riding gears, side carriage, additional high beam lights from there only.

I had to replace helmet visor but new one could have got scratches during train journey thus decided to replace that after reaching Delhi.

Keeping BSNL reputation in mind started postpaid sim procedure a week before. I don't prefer contact lens much thus ordered 2 sets of spects.

My beast ready to prowl

Photo of Leh bike trip- Part III Prerequisites by Utkarsh Dwivedi