An essential guide to choosing perfect two-wheeled companion for your next Ladakh trip

Selecting the perfect riding partner for a long road trip isn’t a cakewalk. With countless varieties to choose from and an ever-increasing number of Top Ten lists on the web contradicting each other from all sides, the decision leads you to believe that ultimately it all boils down to the author’s subjective biases. And then one day you feel lucky and purchase a motorcycle based on pure whim. Later you discover that it is not comfortable at all for your height. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best of the best cruisers and categorised them based on the most important criteria for a smooth voyage to the Ladakhmountains.

Here’s how they compare:

  1. Torque

Perhaps the most crucial feature when it comes to mountain-side riding. In simpler terms, while Power is related to the “Top Speed” of the bike, the Torque is related to the “Acceleration”. The more Torque your bike’s engine generates the more quickly your bike accelerates, which is extremely important for climbing hilly roads. The Royal Enfield Himalayan, with its 411 CC air-cooled engine and a maximum power of 24.3Bhp@6500 rpm and a maximum torque of 32Nm@4500rpm is an excellent choice. KTM’s Adventure 390 also leads in this category with a 373 CC liquid-cooled engine, a maximum power of 42.3Bhp and a maximum torque of 37Nm.

2. Fuel the fire

A perfect bike needs to have good fuel efficiency and capacity because of the meager number of fuel pumps in the mountain regions. The Enfield Himalayan stands top with its 15 Litre fuel tank and a mileage of 30 Kmpl. The KTM also is a great option with a 14.5 Litre tank and a mileage of 29 Kmpl. If you’re looking for a little more mileage, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 with its 35Kmpl mileage is the alternative.

3. Have a (good) head for ˈheights

High ride height is helpful, especially when you’re driving on harsh or rough territory. With little ground clearance, the underside may scratch against a hindrance and possibly cause harm. But the comfort of the rider also depends on how tall they are. The Himalayan with a 220 mm ground clearance is clear of its rivals, but for somebody shorter than 5′ 6″ it will be a bit challenging.

Happy riding!

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