Table of contents
Organized motorcycle trips
Organized motorcycle trips
Not just for lemmings
The shorter the time and the more stressful the job, the more important the escape routes. Organized motorcycle trips are trendy. We not only name the most important operators and destinations, but also explain how to find the right tour.
Annette Johann, Eduard Schulz, Nicolas Streblow
+++ WITH DOWNLOAD OF THE PROVIDER OVERVIEW +++ You are probably one of the overwhelming majority of MOTORRAD readers who would never – never – take part in an organized trip, right? Bad food, rooms facing the street and just sneaking around in bulk – no, thanks. Besides, you could have done all of this much better and, above all, cheaper. But wait: how do you go on tour? Alone? With the buddies, the family? Where and for how long? And why are you reading this anyway? Is the desire for a very special trip slumbering in some forgotten corner of consciousness after all? In the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert or Cape Horn? What is completely daring? N / A? On closer inspection, however, the great destination often turns out to be one that is hardly reachable for normal Otto bikers on their own. Because you don’t have time for the organization, no real moped, no travel companions, just don’t dare. Or all at once.
In fact, there are few alternatives to organized tours in some parts of the world. It starts with the complex bike transport, with time-consuming border formalities, incomprehensible languages and signposts. And ends with countries like China or some Sahara states, which completely deny access to individual motorcycle travelers.
Organized travel organizers promise to take care of all the inconvenience. Arrive, sit up, drive off and in the evening fall into the reserved hotel bed. Socializing included. This is roughly the procedure for travel destinations in uncomplicated tourist regions such as Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Thanks to the availability of rental machines and a good tourist infrastructure, these countries could actually be easily traveled to on your own. So what can induce you to book an organized tour for such destinations anyway??
For example, the desire not to have to work out the route and highlights yourself. For example due to a lack of preparation time. Or because traveling alone is simply not fun and you can’t get friends or partners on board. Or you do not speak the local language and you feel uncomfortable when you are out and about. For real group fun, it is crucial to formulate your expectations precisely before booking. And then check out the offers. It is not only a question of finding a good organizer, but also the optimal offer for individual requirements. The questions in our checklist above help to put together the optimal service package. Anyone who talks about these questions with the organizers before booking – which is particularly recommended for longer trips – will quickly find out where their own ideas come from. And where not. Pay attention to your gut feeling!
The more exotic the destination, the more unconditionally the traveler is later dependent on the tour operator and his on-site team – ideally a crew of German and local travel companions. The questions on the checklist are all the more important. Free spaces such as independent driving are usually no longer possible, and the group becomes much more decisive. If you cannot cope with the rental motorcycle, alternatives can hardly be organized. If you feel the routes are too difficult or too long, you cannot simply shorten them on your own. Routes that would be considered enduro terrain in Europe often function as main roads in Asia, Africa or South America. That is why realistic ideas and appropriate training in advance are essential for a pleasant travel experience. Competent, informative contacts are a basic requirement for such trips. If doubts arise in the preliminary discussion, you should think twice about booking.
In our overview (see download) – which does not claim to be complete – from 128 providers, mostly from German-speaking countries, you will surely find a trip that meets your expectations. Have a look. And maybe a trip like this isn’t as dreary as you always thought.
Organized trip checklist
In order to find the optimal trip, you must first determine your own needs. And then it is time to check the offers. And not to overlook the fine print.
– Do I just want to have a nice motorcycle ride, no matter where? Or experience a certain country by bike? Regardless of the routes or machines.
– How much individual leeway does the tour guide allow on the way? In countries that are uncomplicated to travel to, you can sometimes separate yourself from the group and drive to the final destination in the evening according to your own plan.
– Some organizers offer free travel via road book navigation. I want something like that?
– Do the controlled sights correspond to my ideas?
– For tours with rental machines: Which types are available? Are the seat height and weight okay? Maybe try it out at your local dealer.
– What are the driving demands of the route? Those who constantly juggle along their performance limits have less fun and higher risk. Safety training is good before trips to the Alps; before tours with a high proportion of gravel, enduro training increases the fun factor enormously. And also with “suitable for beginners” stretch.
– How big are the groups? Ten motorcycles are considered the upper limit.
– How long is the travel time? For example, when do you start in the morning and reach your destination in the evening? Beware of distances: 300 kilometers are quickly unwound on an American highway, but a long day in the Alps or even on gravel.
– And last, not least: What is included in the tour price? Flight? Petrol, entrance fees, special events? Look closely for real comparisons.
Nobody wants to assume it, but it can happen – the tour will be a flop. Some precautions can be taken to ensure that it doesn’t get that far at all. And if there is still a crisis on the way, here are the tips from the lawyer.
– Inform as precisely as possible about the organizer beforehand. Who do I sign the contract with and what exactly does it look like? In the case of Internet providers, the homepage and imprint provide the basis. When was the last update? Only a PO box and a mobile phone number can be made out – be careful. The same applies to bank accounts where the account holder differs from the company name.
– Note company headquarters. The legal status is based on this. For example, a provider in Bangkok is subject to Thai law.
– Request travel insurance. Every provider is legally obliged to issue it. This insurance ensures that the customer does not incur any costs in the event of the organizer’s insolvency. In plain language: You will then not have to stay on site at the expense of a hotel, rental motorcycle or flight. Without a security certificate – hands off!
– Study the tour description carefully before starting your journey. The more precise this is, the more you have safely in your hand. Sentences like “with a little luck we will reach the xy pass”, offer no action if it fails. In the event of a definitive announcement, the organizer must provide a replacement.
– Report defects directly on site and not at home. The tour guide must have the chance to remedy the situation. If it doesn’t: Document defects.
– Insurance: Take out international travel health insurance and a cover letter with return service, even for organized trips. Consider travel cancellation insurance against cancellation fees.
– If rental motorcycles are used: How are the motorcycles insured and with what amount of coverage? How high is the deductible for comprehensive insurance? Can be up to 2000 euros, but can be reduced for cash.
– Check rental motorcycles on a short test lap before starting the tour. Are essential things like tires, brakes, clutch, lighting or engine power okay? The organizer can often provide remedial action on site, usually only repairs on the way. Document any previous damage together with the landlord / organizer.
The group’s psychology
Even pronounced individualists can enjoy a group trip stress-free with a few basic rules.
– Despite the tour guide, provide comprehensive information about the route and destination. Maps and literature create the necessary independence, especially in exotic countries “Game overview”. In the preparation phase, they help to optimally adapt to the conditions (e.g. climate / clothing, money, food, general living conditions) and to avoid later frustration.
– Single rooms are superior to the most common double rooms. The extra charge for a little privacy can be worth it.
– Not everything has to be done together and not every sight has to be explored as a team. Provide personal space here, provided that the local conditions permit.
– Pay attention to rest days and design them specifically.
– The main point of conflict on group trips is the speed: Inquire beforehand how individually you can drive. Whenever a group is the order of the day, the tempo must be geared towards the weakest.
– Weaker drivers can quickly come under pressure in groups. Especially on off-road tours. Therefore, inquire carefully in advance and show an honest self-assessment to the organizer. If things get difficult on the way: speak openly with the tour guide.
– Women usually have significantly less stress on group trips when other participants are also present. Inquire beforehand.
– Last but not least: get involved. Do not build up resistance from the start. And maybe experience completely new feelings of positive group dynamics and community spirit. You have to be a little adventurous and willing to get involved with other people, countries and circumstances.
– In the case of extensive long-distance trips, ask the organizer to exchange information with ex-participants. Reputable providers will arrange this.
Travel tips on the net
Travel forums can be a valuable help in finding the right tour operator. Here are a few interesting addresses:
Jo Deleker 22nd pictures Jo Deleker 1/22 Tips and tricks: Simply take better photos. Jo Deleker 2/22 Golden ratio: One of the most important design…
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Jo Deleker 35 pictures Jo Deleker 1/35 Jo Deleker 2/35 The man and the sea: the sun rises at seven in the morning from the Gulf of California near Bahia…
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