5 reasons why A Royal Enfield is not the bike for a Ladakh trip
You may ask any person as to where he would want to go on a Royal Enfield and unarguably you could end up hearing just one place- LADAKH. So, ‘What is with the RE and the Himalayas that they are so synonymous with each other?’ you may ask! Let’s burst the bubble for you!
1.Summerhouse of the RE- If it’s in Chennai where hundreds of RE are churned out every day from the production line, it’s in the Himalayas that most of these bulls turn up coming to pay their respects. The name ‘Himalayan’ itself was copyrighted by the company because, even the head honchos at the helm couldn’t resist to encase the brand name of the mighty mountains. They knew that an average buyer of Royal Enfield envisions a dream to leave his tyre marks on the valleys of Ladakh. The high torquey engine beats in sync with the human heart as it conquers one pass after the other. However slow it may chug through the highways, the bull comes to its thumping best in the mountains! No, you don’t deserve an RE ride experience in the Himalayas!
2. Brotherhood- You may ride solo or be a wolf in the pack, there is no running away from the fact that brotherhood is what you take home with you. The stories of people finding help in most remote of the places are innumerable. It is only the charm of an all gear clad rider on a RE circling the mountains that captivates the people to approach them to offer or seek help, as the case may be. Brothers are united, marriages are made and some bonds are forged forever. The kids wave at you as you cross villages on the go and dance to the tune of its beat on these mountains. Yes it is definitely not the bike on these terrains if you want to miss out on these little BIG things!
3. Biking Heaven- If you want to race, you take it to the tracks and if you want to ride, you get Leh’d. It’s called the Mecca of biking for no other reasons. While challenging yourself to the dangerous off-roads of Zojila Pass, you realise that it was never for the faint hearted; one mistake and you could be off. It’s only when you hold the view of the infinite plains through your visor and the nimbus clouds curling into the blue sky in the rear view mirror, it strikes you that- it was never about the destination and it has always been about the journey! It is only in Ladakh that you will hear the term black ice whose tackling would be possible only with a special set of skills with the two wheels. One look at the RE at the helm, gives you the confidence, “Yes I can do it. Yes, with this steed by my side!” No, you don’t want that feeling in your life for you will forever be heart sick for the mountains!
4. Reliability – If you think reliability is same as quality then you can’t be more wrong. You enjoy every second of the time spent on getting your hands greasy with your ever troubling Bull. You know every flaw your machine has because you have spent time in rectifying it. When a machine has a flaw, it no longer remains inanimate. It has its quirks, it has its own share of imperfections which only you know of. While others fail to get your bike started, you flaunt by getting it roar back to life by a single kick. That is when you know it’s your beloved Royal Enfield. On these treacherous terrains, while you expect the reliable bike to work flawlessly, you are certain that you will somehow get RE back on track if it ever had to conk off. No, you don’t deserve your time of trust with your RE while you’re riding in the Himalayas!
5. Becoming a Vagabond- My good friend once said that, ‘It were the hermits and sages who took refuge in the Himalayas in the early era, this is the era of the Royal Enfield riders.’ While back then, the mountain dogs attended the sages as their guardian angels, now the riders trust their beloved Bull. Once you are in here, you fear losing yourself there. Its cold, yet a reassuring cradle of the Himalayas. You tend to become scared of the mundane 9 to 5 routine and constantly deem to take your bull back to the mountains. The chances of you catching the AMS may be high, but you are most likely to be infected with the wayfarer lifestyle. Yes, you can live without that feeling in your life!