Himachal Pradesh is one of the most diverse and peaceful state in India with bikes being the best mode of transportation in the area. When it comes to bike riding himachal has never failed to attract the riders to complete ‘The Ride of their life’ experience, there are various reasons for this experience as this is the place which can offer the best earthly views while riding. Recently I have got number of mails in which people ask me to recommend best bike to ride in Himachal Pradesh so I thought of writing this article.
Himachal has lot to offer, One can have the experience of riding just along the gushing rivers in the beautiful valleys and just within a few hours ride you can reach some of the many high altitude passes snow capped even during the peak summer months of May and June, this experience is pretty similar to being on the top of the world.
- This experience can be changed soon as only a few hours of more drive can lead you to the cold desert regions which is truly a treat to the eyes. This state has so much to offer to you varying from high peaks of Dhauladhar ranges to cold desert regions of Spiti to breathtaking views of Such pass, and many others in just a small hilly state of Himachal Pradesh.
- Now when it comes to the mode of traveling by which you can witness the beauty of these amazing places, the best one is by a motorcycle and specifically by a Royal Enfield bullet. I have an experience of traveling these places in all possible modes varying from bus rides, to cab rides to 4*4 gypsy rides but I prefer traveling on my Bullet 350cc after analysis of various factors.
- Himachal Pradesh although being a hilly state has a good road connectivity but its roads face the problem of regular maintenance. The road up-to Manali is maintained by the H.P.P.W.D. and further by the border roads organization which works even in extreme weathers to keep the roads in good tone in all weathers. All the major roads are still two lanes while others are undergoing four laning process which is likely to be completed in a couple of years. During the peak season months these roads face traffic more than their capacity and a scenario of traffic jam is most common but the bike riders can save this time.
Why 2 wheelers are the best mode of transportation in Himachal Pradesh
In the latest years traffic in Himachal Pradesh has increased at an exponential rate making traffic jams a common affair in the region. The current scenario is such that all the popular places in Himachal like Kullu, Manali, Shimla and Dharmshala are stagnant with long queues of vehicle during the peak season.
I last year was myself stuck in a traffic for around 8 hours on my journey from Manali to Rohtang with group of 6 people. So if you are planning a trip to Himachal Pradesh try to make it around March, August, November or in October because these are the most pleasant months to travel around Himachal Pradesh with less crowd.
Still if you are planning to visit Himachal during the peak season then you can go for renting a bike from Manali or Bhuntar in order to save your time. Bikes or scooties can easily move from one place to another without being stuck in long queues.
Renting a bike or Scooty from Bhuntar than Manali is probably much better idea as the roads from Bhuntar to Manali are the busiest routes during the season and getting to Manali on bike or Scooty is the fastest method one can go for.
Over priced cabs
If you are traveling to Himachal Pradesh during the peak season the most annoying thing for you guys is going to be the overpriced cabs. Let me give you a simple example if you plan to visit Rohtang pass during May end or June then a cab will charge you around 7000Rs for approximate 50km, yes you heard it right it’s that expensive on the other hand bike will charge you only 1000 to 1100 Rs per day.
So that is the second reason why I think that bikes or two wheeler are best way to commute in Himachal Pradesh.
Uneven timing of buses
Himachal Pradesh is more of a rural region than urban making bus transport a timely affair. If you miss one bus your entire schedule can mess up. Places like Kinnaur, Parvati, Rohtang, Barot or let me say that all the less explored and serene destinations can be covered either by cab or by government buses which run on proper timings. So here bike or any vehicle can play a major role in covering the less known side of Himachal Pradesh.
Scooties or bikes?
People often ask me whether to take Scooty or bike on rent in order to travel in Himachal, answer being very simple.
If you are planning to explore entire Himachal covering all the major destinations then surely your choice should be a bike but if you are planning to explore a town or else just want to rent something for a single day travel then scooties can be a great option.
Scooters are good for 20-30km ride but if you ride longer, it may leave you in tiresome condition when traveling in Himalayan roads. As the roads being curvy and bumby it becomes really difficult to cover long distance on scooters and hence here bikes come into play.
So probably if you ask me I will always suggest you to go for bike rentals instead of Scooty rentals unless budget is your concern.
Why RoyalEnfield 350cc classic is Best bike for Himachal Pradesh
Interior parts of Himachal have very rough terrain and riding scooters in those part can never be an option. Bikes are probably the better choice for those places and bullet 350cc classic probably the best.
Bullet 350cc classic is a powerful and all terrain bike when it comes to riding. If you ask any rider traveling to Leh Ladakh about the best bike to visit Leh, 70 percent will say RoyalEnfield than that can be 500cc, 350cc or the Himalayan.
Average and power plays a key factor while renting a bike for Himalayan roads. You can also visit Himachal on small engine bikes like splendor or any other mid range bike but the power those bike will provide will not be enough to ride up to Tosh or top notch passes like Rohtang LA or Saach pass.
Note: Now some people will say that 500cc should be the much better option than 350cc, yes it surely is but the only thing that 500cc lacks is in the average per litre. Hence I recommend all my readers to choose 350cc classic bullet for planning trip to Himachal Pradesh.
Bike rental rates
Another advantage of choosing bullet 350cc classic over 500cc bullet or Himalayan is the bike rentals rates in the valley
350cc classic 1000-1300Rs per day
500cc classic 1500-1800Rs per day
Himalayan 1600-2000Rs per day
So probably 350cc is among the best bike to choose for your next trip to Himachal Pradesh.
Rented bikes in Manali or Bhuntar comes with extra carrier which helps you in carrying additional load without damaging your back with huge backpacks.
So I hope this article gives you enough knowledge on choosing a bike for your next trip to Himachal Pradesh and still if you have some doubt regarding the trip you can pen down that in comment section