The long winding roads, the serpentine turns, soaring mountains, and an amazing bike to explore the hills. Sounds like the ultimate travel paradise, doesn't it? Whether you are a solo traveller or a group of day-trippers, exploring the alluring charm of the hills does call for a bike excursion.
Before you venture out in the hills of Manali with a bike in tow, here is everything you need to know. Sure, it will be the thrill of a lifetime. But, before going on an adventure, it's always best to go prepared.
Type of Bikes On Rent in Manali
Biking is a popular way to explore the hills, especially among the younger generation. To cater to the adventurous crowd with a knack for having some thrilling experiences, there are some portals which offer an entire range of bikes and scooters to choose from.
Some bikes for rent in Manali are:
Royal Enfield Classic/Standard/Himalayan/Desert Storm
Triumph Tiger/Triumph Explorer
Cost of Bikes for Rent in Manali
The cost depends on the type of vehicle and also the duration of the rental. Bikes and scooters are usually offered at a per-day rate. You can rent a vehicle for any number of days.
Only for bike rentals from Manali to Leh-Ladakh, the minimum duration is seven days for a one-way tour and nine days for a round trip. However, recently there have been some restrictions in Ladakh, and now bikes rented from outside may not be allowed there. You can read more about it in later parts of this post.
Also, keep in mind that you need to pay a refundable security deposit to the rental company which can range anywhere from INR 1000 to INR 18000, depending on the type of vehicle and the destination for which you are renting the vehicle. For outstation rentals, the security deposit is much higher than local rentals, usually between INR 10000 and 18000.
Confused about which vehicle to rent? Here is an easy reference rate chart for you to help you make up your mind in advance.
Rent (INR per day)
Security Deposit (INR)
Classic 500 Stealth
Desert Storm 500 cc
1500/1550 (depending on the day of the week)
Standard 500 cc
Thunderbird 350 cc
1400/1450 (depending on the day of the week)
Avenger/Avenger Street 220
1150/1200 (depending on the day of the week)
Classic 350 cc
Group Rentals You might get some benefits of travelling in large groups. Many dealers offer group discounts, and if you have a huge group of people travelling along, you can contact the dealer to check how much discount they can offer on tariff rates.
One Way Rentals When planning a journey, it is quite possible that you don't want to take the same while going and coming back but still want to explore the region on a bike. But, how do you return the bike then? One way rentals are just the perfect solution for this. You can rent the bike at its regular tariff per day and then drop it off at any location listed with the dealer. Please note that to avail this service; you need to pay a fixed charge per bike, usually ranging from INR 2,500 to 10,000, over and above the regular tariff rates.
Inclusions in Tariff All dealers give you one helmet free with each bike rental in Manali. Other than this, they will offer you free guidance on places to visit, how to plan your trip and detailed information on weather and the journey routes. They will also happily provide you with a customized travel plan if you ask.
Each bike comes with a built-in lock and dealers also provide you with disk locks and chain locks for long distance travels.
Exclusions from Tariff
The tariff rates do not include:
Extra helmets (they are provided on rent for an extra charge)
Luggage Carriers (Only the Royal Enfield models come with luggage racks and a space to hold jerry cans)
Documentation Required for Bike Rentals in Manali
This is where you need to pay close attention because these documents can make or break your trip. Always remember to carry your driver's license in original as it will be verified before renting out the bike/scooter to you.
If you don't have a driving license or don't know how to drive, the dealer can rightfully refuse to rent out the bike to you. Along with your driver's license, you need to carry other ID proofs as well. Your ID proof will be deposited before renting out the bike to you and returned at the time of returning the bike. Don't be alarmed! This is standard practice in most places offering a rental vehicle.
You can carry any of the following documents:
Voter ID Card
All dealers provide third party insurance with the vehicle. Most insurance plans cover problems arising due to any fault in the engine and not any other problems. However, in case of theft of the bike, most dealers will ask the hirer to pay full market rate for the bike. Also, dealers don't take any responsibility for personal insurance of riders. So, that would be your own responsibility.
Any fines/penalties due to reckless driving or increasing the rider limit on two-wheelers (seating more than two people) will also be the responsibility of the travellers and not the dealer.
Major Bike Rentals in Manali
To make bike renting even easier for you, here are some well-known bike rental places. Some only have an offline address, and some allow you to make a booking for their websites also. In no particular order, here they are. Also, many of them have similar names. So, don't get confused as they are different places.
The Bike Rental Manali
They have got reviews as the most reliable and helpful place to rent bikes in Manali and travellers have reported their bikes to be in excellent brand new condition. You can reach them at the below address.
Opposite Circuit House, Near Yes Bank, Hadimba Temple Road, Manali
Bike Rentals Manali
You can visit their website here and choose the model you like. They have a lot of options to choose from with both bikes and scooters on offer.
Address: Bike Rentals Manali, Above Cafe Digital Vashisht, Manali
They have their office in Bangalore and offer bike rentals in many places by partnering with different vendors. You can visit their website here and contact them on +91-8088-400-500. A word of caution, since they don't have a physical office in Manali, you will be connected with the vendor offering rental bikes. So, make sure to confirm all terms and conditions of the rental with the vendor who is renting you the bike.
Manali Bike Rental
You can visit their website here and visit them at their address below.
Opposite Tibetan Monastery Under L.I.C Office, Manali
They are very popular among tourists with some amazing ratings and reviews. They conduct bike tours to Leh and can be reached on their website here and address below. Due to the new restrictions in Leh, check with them before making biking plans from Manali to Leh/Ladakh.
Colonel Norbu Building, Near Bhutani Gompa, Naggar Road, Aleo, Manali
Phone Number: 08219960240
They don't have a website, but you can visit them at the below address.
Rohtang Road, Tibetan Colony near Nadhi Kinare Hotel, Manali
Phone Number: 070182 28829
Some bike rentals in Manali offer to store your luggage securely while you go on your bike ride and will even courier it to you at the destination of your choice if you opt for a one-way rental. Storage is provided free of cost, but you will need to pay courier/transportation charges if you need them to send it somewhere else. Not every dealer will offer this so always check with your dealer beforehand if they provide this facility.
Vehicle Recovery Policy
None of us wants it to happen. But, before going on a bike tour, it is important to know what will happen in case the bike meets a crash.
In case of a crash, the bike is transported to the nearest service centre where the mechanics will assess the damage caused to the bike. Almost all dealers recover the cost of repair from the hirer. So, if you crash the bike anywhere, be prepared to bear the cost of repairs.
If the bike is damaged beyond repair, then the general policy is to not offer any refund to the hirer. So, let's say, in a journey of 6 days if you crash the bike beyond repair on the 3rd day, you won't get any refund for the remaining three days. Also, the cost of transportation of the damaged bike to the original rental station will be added to your bill.
So, other than safety reasons, this is another reason to drive very responsibly and very carefully.
Best Time to Make Bookings
Most bike rentals in Manali allow bookings on payment of a certain sum. For peak season from May to September, it is better to book a few weeks in advance. For rest of the season, bookings can be made two weeks in advance.
Cancellation Policy for Bike on Rent in Manali
Cancellation policies vary from dealer to dealer. Usually, no refund is issued if you cancel anywhere between 0-24 hours of the trip. In other cases, the refund amount ranges from 20 percent to 50 percent.
If the dealer cancels due to unavailability of the vehicle, you will get a full refund.
Tips for Renting a Bike in Manali
Renting a bike is now so popular that you won't probably think twice before landing in Manali, choosing a nice looking vehicle and zooming on to explore the hills. But, like all other adventurous activities, it is important to be careful on this journey. Here is everything that you need to keep in mind, before and after renting a bike and during your expedition.
Most places require the driver to be 20 years of age or older. Remember this as the first thing before planning a bike trip to save yourself from disappointment.
When you opt for outstation bike rentals in Manali, it is always a good idea to spend a day in Manali testing the bike. The bike may be worn down due to repeated use and this way, if you encounter any problem in the bike, you can get it fixed before venturing out long distance or even get it replaced with another bike.
Even when most bike rentals in Manali allow you to make bookings over the internet, it is better to visit the shop and choose a bike personally. Explore, visit many shops until you find the right bike at a suitable price. Different dealers offer the same vehicle at different prices and exploring your options before settling down on one may save you a great deal in terms of money. This is the personal experience of many travellers, and it is a wise idea to believe what your fellow travellers are saying.
Even when making bookings online, you have the option to pay a certain amount in advance and pay the rest later. Always use this option.
It is one of the most crucial parts of a bike rental to make sure that the Registration Certificate (RC), Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, and insurance documents are valid and updated. Read these documents thoroughly and carefully when the dealer hands them out to you.
Make sure that you carry spare fuel with you. Mileage differs from one two-wheeler from other and dealers may exaggerate the mileage when renting out the vehicle. Be very very safe than very very sorry and carry more spare fuel than you think you will be needing.
You need to drop off the bike at the same location where you picked it up. You can contact the dealer if you have any special requests and they might assist you on a case-to-case basis.
If you think you are going to be late in dropping off the bike, always inform the dealer/field representative as they may charge you a fine if you are late in dropping off the bike without notifying them in advance.
This one is very important. Always make sure that you have a document stating the procedure to be followed if you crash the bike. Usually, the dealer asks the hirer to bear the cost of repairs. However, you should carry this agreement in written form to avoid any unpleasant exchanges with the dealer and any unwanted surprises.
Now, this one is just to make sure you cover all your bases, and we never wish for it to happen. But, if you have a medical condition, please do carry a medical information card listing out what needs to be done if you encounter a medical emergency and are not conscious enough to guide others about your condition.
If you plan to reach Manali, spend a day or two taking in the views and then hop on your bike to Ladakh, you need to read this very carefully. Due to some dispute between the Bikers Associations in Leh and Manali, rental bikes with a Himachal Pradesh registration number will not be allowed in Leh and vice versa.
What this means is that:
You cannot rent a bike in Manali and take it to Leh-Ladakh
You cannot rent a bike in Leh-Ladakh and bring it to Manali
Sarchu, at the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, will act as the midpoint in case you rent a bike from Manali/Ladakh and you need to drop off your bike here and hire another one.
This sure is an inconvenience for the avid biker but do remember to keep this in mind when planning your trip. Also, note that this applies to commercial (rented) vehicles and not private vehicles. So, if you plan on bringing your two-wheeler, make sure you have all documents handy to prove your ownership of the vehicle. If the vehicle belongs to a family member, then make sure it is only a family member to whom you can prove your relationship through an ID proof.
Manali is one of the most stunningly beautiful hill stations in India. Even though it is more on the crowded & touristy side, it is still a must-visit place and can offer you many offbeat experiences if you explore it at your own pace. Getting around on a bike in Manali is just the perfect way to do that. Remember these tips and keep this guide handy. You will be all set to have an adventure in the hills.