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Old 08-13-2013, 06:25 PM   #1
kb123 OP
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tours experiences

thinking of trying a tour next year. any experiences? beach, edelweiss, how about albion?
thanks
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
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suggestions

come on guys someone must have done one of these?
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:22 PM   #3
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Not in the Ride Reports forum, moved to the Riding forum.

Edelweiss: Group rides, follow the leader, if you're a group rider, and don't mind many stops during the day, including extended fueling and eating stops, you may like it. It's a top notch operation and very efficient. You may ride solo too, but you're on your own, no route / gps support. Option of different brands of bikes.

Beach: You have the option of following the leader or going off on your own. Beach supplies riders with a GPS with 2 to 3 routes every day: short, medium and long, all leading to that night's hotel. You are also provided with a cell phone with the pertinent phone numbers. An all BMW fleet. For my riding style, Beach's suits me best.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
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Each morning over breakfast Edelweiss suggests a couple of alternate routes for the day. You can follow or go it without the guide. They want you to ride with at least one other bike of you decide to be without a guide.
They do a very good job overall.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
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Bikescape/Bike Round Oz

The wife and I did a week long self tour on a 1200GS in Australia a few years back through BikeRoundOz, who contracted with Bikescape for the actual bike rental. They handled hotels, suggested routes, we did the riding and had a blast.

They were extremely professional, helpful, and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend them to anyone.

A group tour was not for us, but to each their own.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Not in the Ride Reports forum, moved to the Riding forum.

Edelweiss: Group rides, follow the leader, if you're a group rider, and don't mind many stops during the day, including extended fueling and eating stops, you may like it. It's a top notch operation and very efficient. You may ride solo too, but you're on your own, no route / gps support. Option of different brands of bikes.
Not really. Edelweiss had 2 rules for us when I rode with them in 2006: Don't ride alone, and no drinking until you are done riding. (both reasonable to me) They actively discouraged riding in large groups. The tour I did went down to the MotoGP round at Mugello that year and was very well-attended - I bet there were 30 people including the 4 guides and I never rode with more than 4, and mostly with just one other - (you quickly find out who rides at your pace) . Each day there were multiple suggested routes ( direct, scenic, challenging) and while they DID provide maps ahead of time, I never kept to my intended route once - something always came up. Several riders brought GPS units, but I was fine with paper-tech.

One criticism is that touring with them isn't an 'adventure', but a Vacation, - and you know, for my first time riding in Europe, I was fine with having them make the hotel arrangements (great digs most nights), race tickets, routing suggestions, morning briefing on anything unusual coming up, etc. Further, riding with the guides was hardly boring - those guys hustled right along.

Kinda spendy, but NOT having gear on the bike was nice - they transport your bag on most tours, although on some they go support-van-less and charge less. Tour prices vary widely depending on location, type of tour and staffing needed. The other tour attendees were likewise enthusiastic riders and in general a really fun bunch to hang out with.

I'd book a trip with them again in the future.

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Old 08-14-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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.

So, just to make this thread a little more interesting, can you guys who have sprung for one of these tours give us a ballpark cost, qualifying that with how many days it was, and what bike you were on?
When one of you says, "relatively spendy," I have no idea what that means.
Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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Our MotoDiscovery tour of Mexico (Copper Canyon) was pretty weak. We didn't do the advertised mileage and our "guides" weren't fluent in Spanish. They were nice guys, but only very little in the way of guidance. Also, the guides got sick on the trip (most in the group did too but not me and a couple of others). Doing more research later, there was a trail out of Batopilos that our guides were probably supposed to take us on.
Just seemed not a very pro done tour, but we paid full boat :-)
I'll never use them again.

Now, Motoquest AK Tours are top notch. My next trip will be with them again.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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thanks mom and dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trespasser View Post
So, just to make this thread a little more interesting, can you guys who have sprung for one of these tours give us a ballpark cost, qualifying that with how many days it was, and what bike you were on?
When one of you says, "relatively spendy," I have no idea what that means.
Thanks.
My folks sent my wife and I on a dream honeymoon. Part of this was the week long (can't remember if it was 5 or 7 days...) tour on a 1200GS. This was in November of 2010, and I think that portion cost about $3500 or so. Spendy, yes, but it included the bike, insurance, unlimited mileage, maps, Zumo GPS, and accomodations for those nights in pretty nice places. Well worth it.

The only thing that we would have enjoyed about a group ride is a vehicle to haul our shit-we weren't light packers...
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:50 PM   #10
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Thanks, tweeder!
I agree, at first that seems spendy. But, those are not cheap bikes and how much would it take you or I to turn one loose to some strangers for that many days, while also booking nice places to stay and doing logistical work and providing insurance, etc?

I bet it was a lot of fun, and something you guys still talk about.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:06 PM   #11
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Edelweiss' "Best of Italy"

I did Edelweiss' "Best of Italy" tour this year. 8 days guided tour: Bologna, Florence, Siena, Assisi, San Marino, and back to Bologna. Stopped along the way at Mugello for the MotoGP race and went through other places. Backroads during the day and walking tours of the city at night. It was a fantastic experience.

The routes were great, things were taken care of, we were encouraged to "get lost" as well as follow the guides and while they discouraged solo riding, they didn't stop us either. Everything except lunch and booze was included, even the MotoGP ticket in the Ducati grandstands (175 Euros! ) and the Ducati factory tour. It was a Ducati afiliated trip and I was on a fantastic Multistrada 1200 Granturismo.

While you do pay for it -- and you can see the prices at EdelweissBikeTravel.com -- it allows you to really focus on the riding and not worry a lick about anything else. Well worth it in my opinion, especially if you have breakdowns or a crash or get sick...one person got a flat, and it was handled. I got sick and didn't want to ride one day, and we threw my bike in the van and I just rode to the next destination.

To me, things like that keep it a vacation but not an adventure. Adventure is nostalgic looks at hardship. They have adventure tours, and they'll tell you that up front.

I'll tell you though, I've been on adventures. This was just as fun with no hassle -- the riding was fantastic and I would have never found it on my own. I appreciated it so much I went home and signed up two weeks later for a brief trip to the Alps 4 months later. They were that good.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:37 PM   #12
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It was back in 2000 but the Beach tour the wife and I took in New Zealand was excellent. Well organized and good accommodations. Think we had the option to go off on our own but we had a small group of like minded riders so we never did.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:40 AM   #13
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Ride with the Aussies

Try Ferris Wheels. There is nothing like riding with a group of Aussies for three weeks. Best fun you'll ever have.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trespasser View Post
So, just to make this thread a little more interesting, can you guys who have sprung for one of these tours give us a ballpark cost, qualifying that with how many days it was, and what bike you were on?
When one of you says, "relatively spendy," I have no idea what that means.
Thanks.
I did the Darwin to Melbourne tour three years ago with this company: http://bikeroundoz.com/

Go to their website and it tells you exactly what it costs. Contact Mark if you still have questions - he'll answer them all very promptly.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:54 AM   #15
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Edelweiss - Patagonia Adventure

First of all, I've never been one to follow the crowd or take organized tours. I have heard good things about Edelweiss and chose them for a tour to Patagonia this coming JAN 2014. I'll let you know how the tour goes in a later post. I decided to go with the organized tour in this region of South America for a number of reasons. The main reason is that my time is quite limited due to a four letter word...WORK. Secondly, I looked into transporting my Super Tenere and because of the expense, red tape, and other uncertainties made this not a viable option due to my limited time. Lastly, this tour is for 21 days and rides in some remote areas of region. I had planned a solo tour but in the end opted for this tour because of the ground and mechanical support. My spanish is not stellar and if I crashed alone, how long would it take for a rescue team to reach me even if I was equipped with a SPOT? I expect that this will be a group of 8-12 riders. 8 was the minimum number and that was met in August.

I would suggest getting their 2014 catalog that outlines all of their tours worldwide. It's a colorful catalog and can be ordered online at www.edelweissbiketravel.com

Keep on ridin'!
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