trucks crossing - manali to leh road (india)

Trucks crossing - Manali to Leh road (India)

You can see the truck wheel just inches from the drop-off on the edge of the road.­ Truck drivers need to have nerves of steel in the Himalaya.­ Mountain roads have no fences, they are narrow (usually just one lane), often slippery, often not paved, very steep and bordered by very deep and steep ravines.­ There is no help, hospital, garage or mechanics hundreds of miles around.­

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Those are photos of my June 2009 Motorcycle road trip in the Himalayas (Manali, Leh, Kargil, Srinagar).­

I was riding a Royal Enfield "Bullet" 500cc Machismo, that I rented in Delhi.­

Photos taken during a 7-week, 7000 Km motorcycle tour across parts of India (Delhi, Rajasthan, Ladakh, Kashmir, Jammu and more) in May-June 2009.­

Photos of Royal Enfield "Bullet" Motorcycles.­

Royal Enfield are manufactured in India.­ They are rugged and simple to maintain and fix, which is why they are very popular in the Himalaya regions.­ The most popular model is 350cc, but there is also a 500cc version.­

Royal Enfield "Bullet" motorcycles are also heavy, sometimes unreliable and not fuel efficient, because they are based on a design that dates the 1940's, with only minor changes and improvements.­ But they are very simple to fix when they break down.­

I rented my Royal Enfield in Delhi, at a small shop called "Smart Motors" on Naiwala street in the Karol Bagh neighborhood.­ The owner, Mohit Soni, is a very nice guy, and they have good bikes.­ I recommend him.­

Other recommended shops to rent Enfield "Bullets" in Delhi are Lali Singh and Tony Motors.­