Best Motorcycle Gear For Touring In Ladakh (Indian Himalayas)
You have probably worked out a perfect itinerary for your Ladakh motorcycle trip and are now looking for dedicated motorcycle gear that will protect you in these treacherous Himalayan regions.
These days, it is not difficult to find suitable gear as it is available in abundance both online and offline. However, you have fewer options if you are looking for something that offers both style as well as protection.
So, regardless of the type of motorcycle you are planning to ride, if you are looking for the right motorcycle apparel that balances style, functionality, and protection, in today’s article, that is exactly what we are going to showcase!
So, let’s get started.
Best Motorcycle Gear For Ladakh Road Trip
Arai XD-4 Helmet
The first one to consider is actually one of the most important pieces of safety gear. Studies suggest that among the 3.4 million riders killed in motorcycle accidents between 2008 and 2020, 1.4 million would have survived if they were wearing a high-quality motorcycle helmet. This is why we decided to go with Arai – a brand known for providing the best crash protection possible.
And the reason for going with XD-4 is because it is slightly more refined than any other helmet in its price range. In addition, with its recent enhancements, it is more aerodynamic than ever before with a completely balanced shell.
One of the first things you will notice about this Arai XD4 is the brow vents that are located directly on the face shield of the helmet. These vents direct air straight to the forehead and allow for optimal air circulation, something you won’t see in any other motorcycle helmet and is really appreciated. Especially because this area accumulates particularly large amount of sweat that trickle down the forehead while riding in the sun.
But that’s not all, there are a total of 10 vents around the chin that promote air circulation and two ventilation channels at the top with clickers designed to open and shut these ducts. Also, there are huge air diffusers that cover a 10mm ventilation hole, thus promoting overall breathability by pulling out all the hot air from within.
It is also equipped with one of the most exotic shells which is both lightweight as well as durable.
When it comes to the visor, you get a full UV-resistant, lockable face shield. And while the visor doesn’t have any anti-fog lens or PinLock inserts like most of the other helmets featured in this price range, its multi-channel duct clears off the fog in no time.
Added to this is its multiple density foam used inside the cheek pads that create a more uniform seal around your face and jawline thus making it one of the quietest motorcycle helmets.
Not to forget, this XD-4 is available in 5 different shell sizes, giving you an option to choose between XS to 2XL (Please refer helmet measurement guide for details). So, you won’t be carrying around any additional weight that you don’t necessarily need.
Another aspect of the XD-4 worth mentioning is that although it is intended to be an adventure touring helmet, it is designed to look more like a dirt bike helmet. This makes it very efficient both on the road as well as off. Plus, it offers three different configurations for riders to choose from: the first without a visor, the second without a beak and the third sporting a standard factory look.
Last but not the least, it’s a Snell M2020 certified as well as DOT approved motorcycle helmet, making it completely safe for adventures such as Ladakh road trip!
- Removable & washable interiors
- Facial Contour Support (FCS) cheek pad design
- Dry-Cool technology
- Large side cowl vents
- Three distinct configurations
- Aerodynamic stability at high speeds
- Intermediate oval shell
- Snell & DOT approved
Sedici Alexi 2 Mesh Jacket
The second motorcycle gear we are going to discuss today is a great three to four season riding jacket. It has CE level 2 protection, tons of insulation, removable waterproof liner, removable thermal liner and a lot of versatility.
The Sedici Alexi was designed specifically with multi-day motorcycle touring in mind. It features a mesh outer shell lining to keep you cool in the lower Himalayan regions, complemented by a removable waterproof and thermal liner to protect you from both downpours and chilly winds.
In addition, the brand really takes into account any kind of feedback it receives from its customers. So, this latest touring jacket has implemented and worked into it all the reviews it received previously.
And while this jacket has been slightly improved over its previous generation in terms of features and design, Sedici made sure to keep the price consistent.
Moving on to the construction of this jacket, it is made of 600D dobby material (Dobby: textiles in which threads of different strengths are woven together) with 1200D reinforcements on the shoulders and elbows that feature CE Level 2 certification.
There are mesh panels on the inside of the sleeves for additional air circulation. Furthermore, you will find that there are snaps on both arms (forearms, biceps, wrists) to ensure a really good fit.
The upper body is also generously lined with mesh inserts to ensure maximum breathability and air circulation. On top of that, there are some stretch inserts in this area as well to accommodate different body types.
The jacket offers numerous comfort features such as accordion stretch on the forearms as well as around the elbows that provide more flexibility and freedom of movement. While at the back, it incorporates a very wide mesh panel allowing air flowing in from the front to escape out of this area.
Plus, strategically placed reflective stripes all over the jacket aid in visibility as well.
Moving on to the interior; the inside of the jacket is equipped with a waterproof and thermal liner. These can be easily removed thanks to the retrofitted zippers on the inside of the jacket. However, to accommodate the thermal lining, you first need to attach the waterproof liner. So, keep this in mind.
Besides, the jacket is insulated with 100g on the body and 60g on the arms to handle the extra weight.
As for storage space, there are several concealable pockets in the thermal lining as well as in the main jacket.
And you won’t be disappointed with the size selection either! The Sedici Alexi Touring Jacket comes in 6 different sizes for men (SM, MD, LG, XL, 2XL and 3XL) as well as for women (XS, SM, MD, LG, XL, 2XL) and is true to its size. So, what are you waiting for? Order one now for your upcoming motorcycle adventure in the Himalayas!
- Mesh construction for optimal airflow
- Equipped with waterproof & thermal liner
- 2 handwarmer pockets
- 2 inside stash pockets
- 1 zippered chest pocket
- Gender specific ergonomic cut
- Includes CE Level 2 protectors on shoulders & elbows
- Adjustable collar
- Full 600D dobby construction
Dainese Tempest D-Dry Long Gloves
Followed by the huge success of Tempest series, which consisted of Jacket, Pants and Boots, the brand finally decided to complement this range of gear with Touring Gloves to offer riders a complete package.
Also Read: Top 10 Touring Gloves
The Dainese Tempest D-Dry gloves are a great option to be utilized on your motorcycle tour both in the rain as well as in winter.
And although this particular model is available in two versions: long and short gauntlet, we opted for the long version as it can easily be wrapped around the aforementioned touring jacket.
The only difference between the long and short version is the suede reinforcement on the wrist of the shorter version. And while the long gauntlet version has no reinforcement, owing to its elongated cuffs, the wrist protection is already more generous.
So, depending on your riding style, you can choose either of the two gloves, since Dainese uses the same materials in both. But keep in mind that due to their design, the short gloves will not be able to protect you well in case of a downpour.
As for the construction, the primary material used in these gloves is a combination of Amica suede, Digital suede and elasticated fabric. While on the inside there is thermal padding that acts as an insulator against the cold and also makes these gloves really comfortable to wear.
In addition, these Tempest D-Dry gloves are equipped with tech tips on the index finger of both hands, allowing the rider to operate touch screen devices on the go.
Traditional leather finishes things off by being present around the flex areas, including the back of the hand and fingers. This leather also protects the seams in case of a fall, as well as from occasional wear.
And like we said, they are waterproof owing to the patented D-Dry® membrane. So, these gloves will not only protect your hands in the rain, but also ensure optimal breathability for a comfortable riding experience.
In addition, the gloves are reinforced in critical areas prone to abrasion, such as the pinky finger and the palm.
The knuckles are also reinforced and equipped with a sturdy Comfortech shield. This shield is located directly under the main fabric thus preserving the overall aesthetics and still delivering optimal protection.
The gloves are also equipped with an adjustable Velcro closure at the bottom and the wrist to ensure a perfect fit.
Other noteworthy highlights include reflective inserts, soft padding and visor wiper (a TPR strip that works like a windshield wiper on rainy days).
In short, with the Tempest D-Dry gloves, we get a waterproof glove that is surprisingly comfortable with a lot of attention paid to usability, as shown by the use of suede, visor wiper and tech tips. And the most amazing thing is that Dainese offers these high-quality gloves at an extremely affordable price.
- Waterproof motorcycle glove
- Thermal insulation
- Touch screen compatible
- Comfortech knuckles
- Reinforced palm
- Visor Wiper
- CE Certified
Alpinestars Belize Drystar Boots
A motorcycle boot is an essential part of your riding gear and should not be neglected so as to ensure a safe ride in the Himalayas. Which is why we are going with Belize Drystar from Alpinestars – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional motorcycle boots.
But that’s not the only reason we decided to go with them. Designed to be adventure touring boots, the Belize Drystar can also be used as a hiking boot. So, by opting for these multi-purpose boots, you’ll be cutting down a lot on your luggage.
And if you are familiar with the Corozal family of Alpinestars, you will find that these boots are technically identical to them. The only major difference being the height as these boots only extend to the bottom of the rider’s calf.
But, if you want to cover your entire calf area, we recommend you consider Alpinestars’ Corozal boots, which would provide about 4 inches more shin and calf coverage.
As far as features go, these boots are completely waterproof thanks to the Drystar membrane that covers the entire foot up to the top most buckle. In addition, the front and rear bellow, made of lightweight microfiber, provide additional flexibility and comfort to the ride. Plus, the base is equipped with a PU midsole enhanced with vulcanized rubber for optimal traction.
Another salient feature of these boots is their wide geometry around the toe, which makes them particularly comfortable on a multi-day adventure tour.
Available in sizes starting from 7 to 13, these boots are very comfortable to wear and fit true to their size.
Moving on to the design, the Belize Drystar is made of full-grain leather construction. You have a choice between black polyurethane coated leather and brown oil grain leather. And while both are identical in their features, it all comes down to which one suits you best.
Further, the toes are reinforced with TPU, which delivers both protection as well as durability as you move.
On the lateral side, you get a Bio-mechanical lateral flexi-blade system that provides excellent impact protection for the ankle while ensuring adequate flexibility both at the front as well as back.
The medial side is fully lined with leather, while around the malleolus there is TPU hidden underneath this leather, so you get complete impact protection on the underside as well.
And as you work your way up, these boots feature synthetic leather construction that provides a decent amount of flexibility just in case you decide to hike in them.
As for the closure system, it consists of two buckles and has the same design that you normally see on off-road or dirt bike boots.
This closure has a ratchet with memory function along with a quick release system. All you have to do is take your strap, slide it through the buckle, and it will self-align itself before you snap them down.
As far as protection goes, there’s a reinforced heel counter, TPU shin plate, calf plate, and polypropylene insole with steel shank to give you as much security as you can get in a quality motorcycle boot.
- Adventure touring + Hiking boots
- Lateral ankle closure with 2 buckles
- Waterproof Drystar membrane
- Bio-mechanical lateral flexi-blade system
- Polypropylene insole
- TPU shin plate and calf plate
- CE certified (EN 13634:2010)
Sedici Alexi 2 Mesh Pants
When it comes to touring pants, the primary thing you should look for while preselecting is the comfort they provide while riding, as well as the built-in safety features that protect sensitive areas like the hips and joints.
So even though you may come across a lot of options that fulfil these criteria, we chose Sedici to make your motorcycle suit whole. In addition, Sedici is particularly designed for long-distance touring, which is why its shell construction features 600D reinforcements.
Coming to the features; you get 1200D reinforcements around the knees and the seat of the pants, which eventually transitions down to mesh to offer increased breathability and comfort while riding. In addition, there is a YKK main zipper with rain gutter, a fully adjustable waist, accordion stretch around the crotch, knees and rear yoke, and a connector to pair with your Sedici touring jacket.
Now since these pants use the same material as their jacket, they also share the same CE certification (Level 2) in the knee area. Furthermore, the pants have a nice mesh paneling at the front that facilitates air circulation along with 360-degree reflectors that render the rider more visible from a distance.
As for the fit, they come in 6 different sizes both for men (SM, MD, LG, XL, 2XL, 3XL) as well as women (XS, SM, MD, LG, XL, 2XL) and fall true to their size.
All in all, these pants are absolutely fantastic and the price is unbeatable. They are breathable with a highly durable waterproofing and thermal lining, both of which are removable as well as replaceable. So, these pants can be used together with the jacket as an all-season motorcycle gear.
- 600D dobby construction
- Stretch panels at crotch and knees
- Full length waterproof liner
- 3/4 length thermal liner
- Includes CE Level 2 knee armor
- Pockets for hip armor
- 2 zippered pockets
- Jacket to pants connector
How To Choose Motorcycle Gear For Your Upcoming Ladakh Adventure
Motorcycle apparel have an important function: to protect the rider in the event of a fall. And since you will be riding in the most treacherous region of the Himalayas, it’s important to consider safety as your top most priority.
These tips will help you choose the perfect gear for your upcoming Ladakh trip.
- Never pick a helmet that does not meet or exceed European (CE) or American (DOT) safety standards.
- Boots should extend well above the ankles and should incorporate a robust heel and shin guard along with a non-slip sole.
- There is nothing worse than being drenched in your own sweat. If you have ever been to Ladakh in July, you will probably understand what we mean. So, while buying, make sure that the protective gear offers several ducts for ventilation.
- Since storage options are limited on a motorcycle, additional space is something everyone is happy to have. So, look for jackets and pants with multiple pockets.
- Most riders looking for a touring jacket consider black as their “go-to” color. Which is okay, provided it features multiple reflective stripes. Always keep in mind about how visible you and your jacket will be to other road users.
- Your touring pants should have room for armor.
- Leather makes for great protection, but it can become increasingly uncomfortable during a long ride, especially on a sunny day in Ladakh. Instead, opt for textile fabric as it provides excellent protection, visibility and ventilation.
- All the gear you wear must fit tightly and at the same time provide the necessary freedom of movement.
- When we fall, by reflex we try to support ourselves with our hands. So, remember to protect them with dedicated gloves made of abrasion-resistant material that extends over the wrists as well.
- The age and usage of the helmet also plays a role in its effectiveness. For this reason, replace the helmet according to the manufacturer’s specifications or after every five years.
It may come as a surprise, but in the Ladakh region, protective gear other than helmet is not usually required by law. Therefore, we often see riders risking their precious lives in these dangerous terrains.
Remember, a motorcycle has no advantages of crumple zones, seat belts or air bags. Even the smallest slip can have painful consequences. So, protecting yourself from head to toe with the right motorcycle gear is the best way to prepare for a Ladakh motorcycle trip.