Renting Motorcycles in India


New Member
Hello Yogesh / BCMT'ers,

I Just joined the group and am eager to learn from you all. My girlfriend and I would like to tour northern India by motorcycle and we a have a few questions. We would like to see Amritsa, Dharamsala, Leh and any recommended sites near/between. Our questions are as follows:

1. Which Bike? We will be riding on the same bike as my girlfriend doesn't drive and we are used to our 1000cc BMW here in the states. From my reading it sounds like the 500cc Enfield Bullets are the most readily available comparable rental in India. Are these Bullets large enough to carry two adults + gear over the large mountain passes in N. India? Are there larger bikes available for rent? If so how/where do I arrange them?

2. Departure city? I've seen conflicting posts regarding the best place to rent a bike in N. India. New Dheli, Manali and Leh all seem to be options but they all appear to have similar challenges in terms of finding quality, mechanically sound bikes that won't break down on the rough Indian roads. Can someone give some updated information regarding where to rent the most reliable/high quality/least likely to break down bikes in N. India? I'd rather pay a bit more for a newer/larger bike that is less likely to break down and can carry us both easily than save money and get stranded somewhere. I can make simple repairs but i'm far from a mechanic.

3. Timeline/route: Any advise regarding the most scenic route to take given the 3 key places we'd like to see. We're thinking of allotting about 2 weeks for this trip but could try to extend that if there was a good case for doing so. Also, what time of year would you recommend for this trip?

4. Acclimatizing: has anyone had trouble acclimating to the high altitudes? Any advise for mitigating this issue?

Any feedback on the above is greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,


Yogesh Sarkar

Jacob, welcome to BCMTouring and sorry about the late reply.

Royal Enfield 500s are about the biggest bikes you can buy in India, unless you are looking at import models, which cost twice the price they do in Europe and America.

Now there are three types of 500s available in the market, Std 500 (cast iron engines), Machismo 500 lean burn engine) and Classic 500 (lean burn, integrated gear box and fuel injection). While the first two models are no longer produced, they would likely be the ones easily available at the renters. All three in good condition would be more than enough to take you, your girlfriend and lots of luggage over the normal passes in Ladakh, while Marsimik La (if you attempt it) will need you to leave your girlfriend (unless she likes pushing the bike) and luggage behind and that would be the case with all Indian Motorcycles and even the import models.

With the Std500, you might have to fiddle with the carb to get the proper air/fuel mixture and pay attention while tackling sticky situations or steep gradient, so as to not burn out the clutch, since it is a dry variety and has been known to give-up, if pushed too hard.

With the Machismo 500, while you may have to fiddle with the carb, the real thing you need to watch out for is the sparg clutch (electric startor), which at least in the initial models, was known to break down. So if you get a Machismo 500 and it has a working electric startor, please use it as sparingly as possible.

With Classic 500, the main issue would be ground clearance and riding dynamics and you might not be able to carry as much luggage, as you would with other models. Additionally, all bullet mechanics might not be able to fix it.

Now if you don't mind paying extra to get good bikes, then from what I have heard (no personal experience so don't take this as a recommendation), Lali Singh and Bullet wallah have good rep and have online presence as well and both of them are Delhi based.

Based on your plan, Delhi and Manali would be good options as starting cities and it would be best if you have at least two and a half weeks if not more, to do this trip. Two weeks would barely be enough for Ladakh, let alone for Ladakh, Amritsar and Dharamshala, unless you are looking to speed through all these places.

Time wise, anything from July onward would be good, even though July is monsoon season in North India.

For acclimatization, start your journey from Delhi and head to Dharamshala, from there, head to Amritsar and from Amritsar, take the Srinagar route (if possible) to Ladakh. This would ensure gradual acclimatization for both of you.


Hey Yogesh!!

Great you're a true Travelo-Pedia!!! :cool:

1. Do you have reference of any folks Renting Bullets in Bangalore??

2. I am hitting the road for 3-4 Days and travelling from Bangalore to Gokarna(a reknowed beach in Coastal Karnataka)/ may extend to Goa. 80% of the ride is plains and 20% would be ghats (not extremes though). I had my own RE (a 1971 one) but I sold it last yr. Hence, desparately looking for an R-E-B, its like crazy buying one now, so i would prefer to hire it. I got INDi motors contact, but they seem to expensive.. I am looking for any options if available other than INDIMOTARD.COM

3. I am trying to understand from your response, about the clutch burning in CI engines. "Fiddle with Carb to get the proper air/Fuel mixture"??? Can you plese brief on this? :confused:

4. I suppose I ain't worry of this for my 3-4 day trip, right? But still curious to know about this Bullet Clutches!!!

As always, you response is highly appreciated.

Thnx a ton

Any BCMTians feedback is welcome. please!


Yogesh Sarkar

1. Do you have reference of any folks Renting Bullets in Bangalore?
No, will request Bangalore BCMTians to help you with this.

3. I am trying to understand from your response, about the clutch burning in CI engines. "Fiddle with Carb to get the proper air/Fuel mixture"??? Can you plese brief on this? :confused:
Since clutch plates in CI engines aren't cooled and lubricated by engine oil, as it is the case with newer UCE engines, they are more prone to clutch burnout than other bikes. Of course this mainly happens when one gets stuck somewhere or in case of excessive clutch usage, in particular lots of half clutching to keep the bike in motion.

Fiddling with the carb was suggested because the OP was planning to take the bike to high altitude, where air is rarefied and that causes some performance drop, even in FI engines. In case of older bullets, they didn't even have CV carbs, which are somewhat better at higher altitude, than the one originally found on older bullets (forget what they are called). Heck even the CV carbs aren't all that good and one usually loses quite a bit of power at high altitude.

4. I suppose I ain't worry of this for my 3-4 day trip, right? But still curious to know about this Bullet Clutches!!!
Not all, just make sure to carry a chain link, spare clutch/accelerator cable, spark plug, tube and a foot pump, OE toolkit and you will be ready for majority of the issues on the road.


Thanks Buddy!!

As I mentioned in my mesage, i was looking besides

Thanks for message!



Yeh Wolfy,

My last post for you! Thanks dude!!

Hi Deejay,
I replied to your message, I was thinking it will show up here in this thread.. but i guess its gone to your as separate message. Anyways, I have mentioned there that I contacted Hubert, but he is also referring to Indimotard guys.

Thanks for your message!!