When one thinks about riding from Kanyakumari to Khardung La, they think twice because of course, it is not easy. Even if they do it, it takes a lot of preparation to start and a lot of determination to keep going. But what if one decides to do it on full-fledged litre-class superbikes? Outrageous? Not for these people. Manoharan aka MaxRider and his friends decided to take up this ride and that too on superbikes! They told us all about how this trip came to pass so read on to find out.
Manoharan was the one who came up with the idea. While a lot of people have taken up this particular ride and some of them have done it too, he wanted to do things differently. Therefore, he decided that they will take an MV Agusta F4 RC and 2 BMW S1000RRs on this trip. These 3 superbikes were accompanied by the BMW R1250 GS. They thought that taking these kinds of motorcycles on a trip where they have to ride for approximately 850 km a day would be challenging… and fun! But he told us that they love riding too much and that is why they got to the planning phase a month before the commencement of the ride.
After planning everything meticulously, they started the ride from Kanyakumari on the 16th of May at 11 am. Bangalore was their first halt and they reached there by around 00:30 am. They retired to their hotels soon after. The next day started at 9 am as they left for Mumbai. They reached Mumbai at 6 in the morning on the 18th of May. This day also served as their first rest day on this trip. They told us that while the condition of the bikes was perfect, they did not want to take a risk on a ride of this magnitude. So they decided to get their bikes checked in Mumbai on their rest day.
They left from Mumbai at 6 am on the 19th of May and planned to ride till Jaipur non-stop. A really long and tiring journey considering the distance and even more so, the kind of bikes that they were riding. They reached Jaipur at around 8 am on the 20th of May. 20th was again a rest day for our riders. They told us that the ride was just as fulfilling as it was tiring because well, the love for riding always manages to supersede the difficulties.
On the 21st, it was time to start towards Amritsar which was the next planned halt. The team started at 11 am and reached Amritsar at 3:30 am in the morning on the 22nd of May. 22nd was another rest day for the team. By this time, the team had encountered all kinds of roads one can ride on and varying temperatures too considering the time of the year they took this ride up in.
On the 23rd of May, they left from Amritsar towards Jammu which was also the unofficial end of their jaunt on relatively good roads. They reached Jammu by 2:30 pm as they made good time and had planned 24th of May as a rest day. They told us that they did that because this was where the difficulties were supposed to begin and they needed the rest and the time to plan the final run to Khardung La.
As they suspected, the condition of the roads was more or less good from Mumbai to Jammu but it deteriorated afterwards. They left from Jammu at 7 am on the 25th and while they planned to go further, they only made to Patnitop by 1 pm and had to halt. The team told us that the roads were blocked due to a landslide and therefore, they could not move any further. They waited till midnight for the roads to clear up.
But they could not leave from Patnitop until 1:50 am when the roads were finally cleared. They started immediately. The rode via Ramban and reached Sonmarg at 11 am. Because of the unforeseen halt at Patnitop, they decided to not stop and keep riding. A very long and tiring riding day saw them ride continuously through Zojila Pass – Srinagar and straight to Leh. The team managed to reach Leh at 3:30 in the morning on the 27th of May. They told us that this was one of the most tiring runs during the whole trip and they decided to rest on the 27th in Leh.
28th of May was a big day as they were to ride to Khardung La. For motorcyclists, the journey to Khardung La is one that is meant to test the mettle of both the motorcycle and the rider. And therefore, it isn’t wrong to call this journey rather… intimidating. And to do so on superbikes? That’s a whole different ballgame. But these guys had already made it to Leh and this was the final run so they started at 9 am from Leh. They told us that the BMWs were relatively fine but the MV Agusta did cause some trouble along the way. Yet, they managed to reach Khardung La by 1 pm and made it back to Leh by 6 pm. After taking a lot of photos of course, which they were kind enough to share with us so that we can do so with our readers.
They told us that they saw the temperature vary from 42 degrees in the south to -8 degrees in Khardung La!. The hottest temperature they got was in Delhi and where the mercury rose up to a sweltering 44 degrees. Imagine riding superbikes on a day that hot… They also told us that the 2 BMW S1000RRs and the BMW R1250 GS did not encounter any problems whatsoever despite such steep changes in the temperature.
But they did face some issues with the MV Agusta. They told us that it was able to hold its own during the majority of the ride but caused some problems in Khardung La. According to the team, the MV Agusta does not take kindly to temperature changes. It was difficult to get the F4 to move without applying throttle which is not easy when a motorcycle like that is off the tarmac. The low ground clearance and fluttering also plagued the MV Agusta during their Khardung La outing. And to be honest, the F4 RC is not meant to go to places like that and we believe any motorcycle would struggle in a place like Khardung La.
We, at xBhp, would like to congratulate the whole team on completing this very difficult ride and also for the stunning clicks that they sent our way.
- Harish Rossi
- Manoharan (MaxRider)
- Sasi Raja
- Vasanth Mani
- MV Agusta F4 RC
- 2 BMW S1000RRs
- BMW R1250 GS
In addition to that, they told us that they had 2 Toyota Fortuners for luggage, spares and tyres. They took a few friends to help with photography and videography in addition to their mechanic in case of a breakdown.