Jammu - Srinagar - Leh (Ladakh) - Manali - Chandigarh on Yamaha RX-135


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Preparing the bike:

We had two 350 CC Royal Enfield’s – 1 classic and the other one Electra, one Yamaha FZ-R and I had Yamaha RX-135. We decided to get them checked / serviced a month before our trip. I had not used my bike extensively for long period hence servicing also was not done regularly.

I checked with a Yamaha specialist near my home and told him about taking the bike to Leh. He did a test ride of the bike and quoted high price for repair / servicing. He said suspension, bore, tyres and many other items are to be replaced in order for bike to perform in high passes since my bike is very old – 18+ years and 113000 KM on odometer (1999 Nov model). I was not convinced with the cost.

My friend Vinod had suggested a garage in Ulsoor called Ravi garage. I took the bike there, got it checked and decided to leave it there for servicing as the quote given was reasonable. I left the bike for servicing on 1-May and took it back on 16-May. He did an excellent job with minimal replacements and advised to re-bore the cylinder. Apart from re-boring, battery, clutch cable, accelerator cable and brake cables were replaced. This was the first re-boring for my bike.

There was front fork oil leak on right hand side and the leakage was arrested. Engine, 2T oils were filled. Ignition and other locks were replaced. Neutral lamp bulb and indicator bulbs were replaced. He said no need to change the clutch, tyres and tubes since they were in good condition. Even brake shoes were in good condition. Chain / sprocket was also not touched. I was happy with the test ride after repair / service.

My friends had also serviced their bikes and Narasimha had replaced both the tyres for FZ-R as they were due for replacement.


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Carrier for Bike:
We wanted to fix Ladakh carriers to our bikes and checked for the same in Shivajinagar and JC Road in Bangalore. Vinod was checking online for the carrier and it suited our requirement. We ordered 3 numbers of them and we spent INR 4800 for 3 carriers including delivery from Mumbai to Bangalore.

The carriers arrived by 10-May from Mumbai. When we inquired about fitting of carriers, the seller had told that we can fix them on any of the bikes but we had do little modification to the carrier to fix it on RX 135 and RE Electra. Other two riders decided not to use carrier but to use saddle bags.

I took the bike and carrier to Ulsoor for fitting it. The initial fitting was done with some additional welding of rods. Even width of petrol can holder was increased. But the fix was done such a way that there was no action from rear wheel suspension. Ravi Garage mechanic spotted it and the initial fixing was removed. He rearranged the carrier with additional iron rods & bolts and the fixing was proper. The carrier was fixed for Rajaprabhu’s RE Electra also with little modification to the carrier.

The web image of carrier that we ordered.


RE Electra with carrier fixed.


RX-135 with carrier fixed.



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Physical Fitness:

After reading blogs and talking to people who had visited Ladakh regions, it was understood that we need to be physically fit as we are travelling through high altitude areas where Oxygen levels are low. I have been doing long distance running for last 3-4 years but it was inconsistent due to small pains in the ankles. I decided to walk minimum 12000 steps a day for at least one month before our trip and take staircase to climb 10 floors in office building once in a day. Car parking is at below level 2 and my work area is in 8th floor hence I ensured I take staircase every day during office days from May 30th onwards. I use to track the steps using Garmin Vivoactive watch which counts the steps for the day.


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Items to carry for the trip :

We had prepared a Microsoft excel sheet for itinerary of our trip and we added a tab in that about the items to be carried during the trip. All 4 of us met in Shivajinagar to buy few of the major items like raincoat, sleeping bag, gum boots, air pillows and plastic cover for covering the bags in case it rains. We wanted to buy tent also but cancelled the plan since we heard that it is not safe to camp wherever we wish in Ladakh area as there could be possibilities of land slide, rain etc.

I bought bungee cords from D-Mart and additional pair of Bungee cords from Decathlon.

I bought some paper boat chikkis and Gokak kardant from D-Mart, first aid essentials from a medical store, a white rope of 5 meter length ( in case we need to pull the bike or person) and a plastic rope of 5 meter length (if bungee cords fail we can use it for emergency), M-seal and fevi-quick from a hardware shop.

I took my bike for a final checkup to Ravi garage before shipping it to New Delhi and asked him the spares I need to carry. He told me to carry a spare tube, spark plug and 2T oil. I purchased spare tube from JC road, 2T oil from Ulsoor and Bosch spark plug from nearby automotive shop. I just kept few puncture stickers for tube, a valve tube and solution to fix the tube in case tyre gets punctured. I had a tool set which I said I will carry and Vinod had a spanner set, Rajaprabhu would bring the tube removal spanners / tool.

I got a 4 GB SD card through amazon online for my Panasonic camera. I also purchased XL size pro-biker bike riding gloves from Amazon. We ensured that emission and insurance are renewed prior to shipping the bikes and kept 6 copies of RC, license, ID, emission and Insurance. Took some 10 copies of PP size photos too for any requirement for permits etc.


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Other items to carry:

I received a jacket as gift from my office which we had ordered in March and that came in May. It was a nice fit for riding and was very useful. I got couple of 5 liter empty oil cans from nearby garage for carrying additional petrol during our trip. I had one spare can of 5 liters which was also taken for carrying water. All 3 cans were washed with soap water and kept clean.

We also carried stationary like stapler, cello tape, safety pins, rubber bands, multi-function travel kit, torch, playing cards, small book, small carry bags and plastic covers. I had carried a steel plate, glass, tiffin box, a spoon and fork. This was to carry food parcel in case we wanted in Ladakh region. I used the plate and spoon couple of times apart from that it was not that useful. I had carried waste newspaper and some tissue papers too. Newspaper was useful to sit, keep the bag and other items in the room. Even I used the newspaper to clean the bag when the 2T oil had spilled.


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23-Jun-2018 (Saturday): Trial ride to Nandi hills before the actual trip

We wanted to do a bike trip from Bangalore to Ooty or some other place just to check how our bikes perform in hilly roads. But we could not do that as a group due to lack of time. However, I wanted to do the trip to Nandi hills at least as my bike’s engine had been re-bored. Also I wanted to check how I can carry the luggage and wanted to ride the bike with the new hand gloves on which I had never tried before.

Finally, I decided to go to Nandi hills which is near Bangalore a week before our trip i.e., on 23-Jun, Saturday. I started from home at 10:00 AM and reached Nandi hills by around 11:45 AM. Took some pictures and came back home by 1:30 PM. I had carried the bag which I had planned to carry to Leh trip with some items in it like rain coat, sleeping bag, gum boots etc. Tied the bag with bungee cord. Used my new jacket and hand gloves and wore shoes that I had planned to wear during our trip. I did not face any issue with the bike during this 121 KM round trip. This gave me a good confidence.

At Nandi hills near Bangalore


Bags tied with the bungee cord (I brought some items in the additional bag while coming back from Nandi hills :)



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27-Jun-2018 (Wednesday): Parcel of bikes from Bangalore to New Delhi

We had planned to send our bikes to New Delhi on 27-Jun-2018 that is on Wednesday from Bangalore Central railway station by Karnataka express train. We didn’t want to send it too early too since railways would charge INR 10 / hour as waiting charge beyond 6 hours of the bike reaching the destination. Even if the bikes are not shipped on Wednesday due to space constraints / overload, railways can send it on Thursday and the bikes would still reach New Delhi on Saturday morning. With this plan, we decided to reach railway station with bikes by Wednesday 5:00 PM since the departure of the train is at 7:20 PM.

Rajaprabhu and Narasimha had started from their home and reached Bangalore central railway parcel office by 4:30 PM. Vinod and I started from our office and went to Vinod’s home. He took his RE and we started towards railway station.

Initially we rode together however we were separated as it started raining and we had to stop. I waited for 20 minutes and we started back as the rain reduced. I had merely traveled another 200 meters and the petrol got empty in my bike. There was lot of water clogging on the road and I was trying to call Vinod as he had bought half a liter of petrol in a bottle as he had kept very minimum petrol in his RE too. But, he could not receive the call due to rain and as it was getting late, he went ahead to parcel office.

I pushed my bike to a petrol bunk in water clogged roads with no other option. I filled 250 ml of petrol and could reach parcel office by 6:00 PM. I had received 2-3 calls from Rajaprabhu and Narasimha Prasad by that time as they had already packed the bike and were about to pay the parcel charges.

I quickly removed the rear view mirrors by hand itself and handed over the bike for packing. Vinod had already given his bike for packing. Rajaprabhu and Narasimha’s bikes were already packed, they had filled the forms and had paid the parcel charges. The petrol from my bike was emptied and 3 of the helmets belonging to Rajaprabhu, Narasimha and I were also packed in the backside behind rear wheel on my bike on the carrier.

We filled the parcel forms while the bike packing was in progress. The bikes were moved inside the parcel office after the packing. I got a receipt once I paid the parcel charges. I showed the receipt to a person who entered the receipt number and other details like origin station / destination station, senders and receiver’s name, mobile number etc on the bike's packing. Finally bikes were pushed on the platform 1 where train was ready. Three of our bikes were loaded in a luggage coach in front side of the train. The other one was loaded in different luggage coach. They locked the door and sealed it at 7:18 PM. The train started at 7:22 PM.

The cost for shipping my bike came to INR 2672 + 1000 for packing and loading. For REs it was around INR 700 more. Good thing is that they accept credit cards for paying booking charges at Bangalore central railway station.

We were tracking the online status of the train to ensure that the train has reached New Delhi safely without any incident.

In a way adventure had begun for me – rains, water clogging, no petrol, pushing the bike and still making it on time.

Packing of bikes




Bikes being loaded into the train luggage coach.


Karnataka express train from Bangalore to New Delhi

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