I always travel light. Travelling with excess baggage is a pain at the best of times, but overloading your bike with heavy bags takes away from the pleasure of riding altogether. I like to keep my bike as light as possible, so I don’t have to compromise on it’s handling and power. I want to enjoy the ride.

Here’s what I pack in a single 25L backpack and a pouch above my fuel tank when I travel to mild climates like Ladakh in summer (4 – 25 degrees).

Royal Enfield motorcycle packed with luggage in Ladakh. And this nothing compared to how most bikes are overloaded. Photo by Nick Taylor.
Royal Enfield motorcycle packed with luggage in Ladakh. This nothing compared to how most bikes are overloaded. Photo by Nick Taylor.
My Royal Enfield Himalayan packed super light in Ladakh. Photo © Karl Rock.
My Royal Enfield Himalayan packed super light in Ladakh. Photo © Karl Rock.

Clothing

Cold nights, hot sunny days, sometimes raining, sometimes snowing. That’s the best way to describe Ladakh and it’s mountain passes. You have to prepare for 3 seasons in one day by dressing in layers you add and remove depending on the weather.

The clothing list looks long, but you’ll be wearing over half of this clothing during your trip.

  • 1 x warm pants
  • 1 x regular socks
  • 1 x wool socks
  • 1 x wool jumper
  • 2 x t-shirts
  • 2 x thermals upper and bottom (1 x if you’re not going to wash them at all)
  • 1 x riding pants
  • 1 x riding jacket
  • 1 x riding shoes
  • 1 x riding gloves
  • 1 x warm riding gloves liner
  • 1 x helmet
  • 1 x thin cotton balaclava for under helmet
  • 1 x riding neck warmer, if balaclava isn’t long enough
  • 1 x beanie
  • 1 x polarised sunglasses
  • 1 x microfibre travel towel
  • 1 x walking shoes
  • 1 x Rain Poncho

Medical Supplies

  • Mild Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) medication (Diamox: Acetazolamide 250 mg).
  • Paracetamol (500 mg).
  • Antibiotics for food poisoning (Nor-TZ: Norfloxacin 400 mg, Tinidazole 600 mg, & Simethicone 10 mg).
  • Diarrhoea stopper medication (Roko: Loperamide Hydrochloride 2 mg).
  • Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) sachets – helps you stay hydrated especially if you get food poisoning.
  • Any allergy or other medication you take.
  • Sunblock – minimum SPF 30.

Read our Medical Disclaimer.

Toiletries

  • Bar of soap
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Wet wipes (more portable and effective than toilet paper)
  • Hand sanitizer

Food & Drink

  • Energy snacks (biscuits, nut-mix, etc.)
  • 2L water pouch backpack

Bike Maintenance

  • 1 x front and rear tyre tubes, tools & repair kit (if tyres use tubes)
  • Tubeless tyre repair kit (if tubeless type)
  • 1 x clutch cable
  • 1 x accelerator cable
  • 2 x 2 L jerry cans for fuel
  • Fuses and light bulbs for your bike
Why you need jerry cans for petrol in Ladakh. Photo © Karl Rock, all rights reserved.
Why you need jerry cans for petrol in Ladakh. Photo © Karl Rock, all rights reserved.

Documents (For Permits and Police & Army Checkpoints)

  • 5 x copies of passport (foreigners) or Aadhaar card (Indians)
  • 5 x copies of driver’s license
  • Bike’s Pollution Under Control Certificate
  • Bike’s registration card
  • Bike’s insurance proof

Miscellaneous

  • Phone charger
  • Torch (if phone doesn’t have one)
  • Cash
The Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle. Ahhh how it's meant to be. Light. Photo by Royal Enfield.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle. Ahhh, how it’s meant to be. Light and nimble. Photo by Royal Enfield.

How do you lighten your load when riding? Post your tips in the comments.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Delhi to Ladakh, Kashmir & Jammu Motorcycle Tour Super Guide [+ HD Video] – India Survival Guide Blog

  2. Pingback: Super Light Motorcycle Packing for a Short Trip - India Survival Guide Blog

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