Being a motorcycle rider, it’s natural for us to go and explore places that are not familiar to us. For some, that adventure might be just a breakfast ride to Marilaque, while for others it might be a 2-day adventure ride deep in the jungles of General Nakar in Quezon.
For those who can and are willing to put their resources into it, the ultimate adventure ride involves riding the highest road in the world that a motorized vehicle can pass at 5.6 kilometers above sea level – Khardung-la.
“The mountain beckons, how will we answer?” says Jimmy Barinaga, an intrepid motorcycle rider and Himalayan Adventure Team ‘Pinas 2017 member, which is the first Filipino group of riders to ride the Himalayas. Barinaga is also the CEO of Royal Enfield Pilipinas.
Barinaga yet again heeds the call as he gears up for the Royal Enfield Moto Himalaya 2022, which is to be held from September 9 to 17 in Ladakh, India. He will be joined by his long-time friend and riding buddy Butch Llige.
“I was supposed to join Jimmy on his first ride through the Himalayas back in 2017, but I was tied down by commitments at the time” shares Llige, a Television and Events Producer/Director. “The regret of being unable to join has haunted me for years. That’s why when the opportunity once more presented itself, I grabbed it without hesitation” he added.
Barinaga and Llige are this year’s official Philippine delegates to this historical event with this Moto Himalaya being the first to be organized again after 3 years due to the pandemic. They will be part of a convoy of twenty motorcycle riders who will embark on an epic nine-day journey through the Himalayan Mountain range. The route will take them from Leh in Ladakh, to Khardung-la, where they will traverse the highest motorable pass in the world with an elevation of 5.6 kilometers above sea level. For comparison, the Philippines’ highest mountain, Mt. Apo, stands at just 2.95 kilometers above sea level.
The duo is not new to long-distance adventure riding. In fact, they have already ridden through the entirety of the Philippine Archipelago in the past but they took their four-month-long preparation for Moto Himalaya seriously. “We made sure that we are ready both physically and mentally because aside from altitude sickness, another big challenge is the terrain” shares Barinaga. “As I recall, about forty percent of the whole 1,200-kilometer route is rough terrain. That’s why Butch and I also took extensive off-road riding classes as part of the preparation” he added.
Fueled by patriotism and a profound sense of adventure, Barinaga and Llige will be participating in this year’s Moto Himalaya in a personal capacity, with help from the following sponsors: Ride Manila (main sponsor), Kriega Bags, Cardo Packtalk, Nexx Helmets, and Spidi Riding Apparels. You may follow their respective social media accounts for updates during the ride and they will also be putting out a post-event video of their adventure on youtube and other social media platforms.
The Royal Enfield Moto Himalaya is an annual event that is held by Royal Enfield in India between August and September. Riders are provided with Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure bikes for the duration of the trip. Aspiring participants may visit www.royalenfield.com to learn more about it.