Canadian Motorcycle Tour Companies Touring Europe?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Blueflame, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Blueflame

    Blueflame Adventurer

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    Does anyone know of/have personal experience with any Canadian motorcycle tour companies that do tours in Europe? I'm specifically interested in the mountains of Germany, Italy, Switzerland etc. There is a highly regarded American company called Beaches...but the exchange rate on the dollar makes the cost of their trips exorbitant. Any advice? TIA!
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  2. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    I am honestly planning on doing the same trip, but at a time when I want to change bike.. Maybe summer 2021. The plan is to sell my bike here, buying a good used bike in Italy and import it back to Canada... But you need citizenship there to do it.
    I'll be looking for a Multistrada probably, and those are abundant in Italy.
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  3. navi

    navi Been here awhile

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    I don't know anything ... but this might be a good thread to follow
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  4. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Beach run a great program, so if you do end up going with them, I think you'll be happy.
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  5. drrod1

    drrod1 Long timer

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    There is a fellow in Ireland that helps non Europeans buy, insure, sell bikes in Europe.
    Here is the site.
    https://motofeirme.com/

    Maybe contact him and see what he can offer.

    I have toured with Beach and he does a good job.

    All organized tours are going to cost fairly big dollars. Even if you find a Canadian $ based outfit, it is not really going to save you because their expenses are in Euros. If you are fairly self sufficient, it is not a big deal to go on your own. Went with Beach once but from then on (5 trips) I just planned it out myself. Not too difficult.
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  6. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    I agree, even if there was a Canadian tour operator it would still cost pretty the same since they all have to pay their expenses in Euros. If I were to recommend a Euro-based tour operator it would be MotoTrip Tours. I have done two tours with MotoTrip and plan to do more. The owner, Darko Novosel, is a BMW certified trainer and tour operator. He is an excellent rider and tour leader, is highly organized and knows how to run a fun, safe and interesting tour. He is also a pro photographer so you come away with some really great videos and photos of your experience. He makes a point of taking you down the most amazing roads and always has a few surprises to spring on you along the way. If you want to roll on your own he can set you up for that as well.
    https://www.mototrip-tours.com/
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  7. matt.the.ogre

    matt.the.ogre Fair-minded Villian Supporter

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    I agree with the sentiment that it’s the Euro currency driving the expensive tour, not the US-based operator.

    Many years ago I did the “Best of Europe” tour with Eidelweiss and it was fantastic. Great way to see Europe on two wheels. Next time I will probably rent bikes instead of going with a tour operator.
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  8. OntarioHawk

    OntarioHawk Been here awhile

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    I did a self guided tour with Edelweiss in September 2018 with my dad, and can wholeheartedly recommend the whole team in Meiming. The planning was superb, and we were spoiled for accommodation even choosing the mid-range hotels. It was our first organized tour and was nice to be on our own.

    Not exactly what OP asked for, but I would definitely consider Edelweiss!
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  9. Blueflame

    Blueflame Adventurer

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    Thanks for the replies and the info. I decided to just bite the bullet and go for it, on a trip with Beach's in June. I chose that one because the trip guide is Ken Condon, the motorcycle instructor/author whom I have met while doing a "nonsport" track day in Massachusetts a couple years ago. He will be offering some training if you want it, included in the tour.
    I realized that I probably wouldn't be able to afford a trip like this once I retire and that life is short!
    I'll do the self directed trips another time, once I have a little experience with more overseas travel. I plan to return to Scotland and rent a bike sometime in the future and do the North500 loop.

    So maybe I can pick the brains of you guys that have done a trip like this? How did you manage packing the gear required? Did it all fit in one checked bag/duffel? Did you carry your helmet on the plane and still be able to do a carry on bag as well? I'll have Goretex armoured textile coat and overpants, heated liner, boots, gloves.

    Any other advice, tips? I'll be flying in and out of Munich and spend a few extra days on my own after the riding tour.
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  10. OntarioHawk

    OntarioHawk Been here awhile

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    I packed everything into a MEC hiking bag duffel and checked it. These aren’t much more than protective sacks and pack down to nearly nothing when you aren’t using it.
    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5030-444/Skyway-Airline-Tote

    Inside was my Aerostich Roadcrafter jacked, Aero AD1 pants, two pair of gloves and a pair of low boots. I left my heated vest at home and just used a fleece jacket that I could also wear in the evenings. All my clothes were packed separately in the duffel in a pack I could stick in the pannier and take into the hotel at night.

    Helmet was taken as carry on and I had a lightweight backpack (similar to this: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5054-166/Travel-Light-Cinch-Pack as it also packs up tiny) as my other carry on item. Helmet went into the overhead. No issues at all from airline staff, but keep an eye on others, they were a bit rough throwing their bags into the overhead.

    We also flew into Munich and had an afternoon to fill. The BMW museum and BMW Welt (both at the factory) were fantastic. The BMW museum didn’t accept a BMW MOA membership as an official club membership for an admission discount unfortunately.

    I can recommend the place we stayed and a beer garden we went for dinner on our only night there, just have to dig the info out. They’re both north of the old town but the hotel is really easy to get to from the airport in transit.
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  11. drrod1

    drrod1 Long timer

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    I can manage with all my riding gear (including helmet) in a duffel and everything else in a carryon. You will find that you will only need about half the clothes that you take. So.....layout your personal clothes that you plan on taking and then put half of them back and you will be about right. There are opportunities for laundry most places.

    If you hit a weight limit thing, just wear your riding jacket &/or boots on the plane.
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  12. Blueflame

    Blueflame Adventurer

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    Is a Canadian drivers license accepted in Germany and Italy? Or do I need an international one?
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  13. OntarioHawk

    OntarioHawk Been here awhile

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    An international drivers license isn’t required in Germany, but is in Austria and Italy for sure and probably others. It’s just a formality at CAA, and a few bucks. I was in and out in less than 15 mins.

    The hotel we stayed at in Munich was this:
    Hotel Königstein
    https://goo.gl/maps/vUYC7hcsDiQanfKM6
    It’s basically right beside the subway.

    That beer garden is about a 15 min walk (maybe longer on the way back....) from the hotel:
    Ziegelhaus
    https://goo.gl/maps/sDBB5WGxdV8CyLiB8
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  14. Candubrain

    Candubrain Been here awhile

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    Not answering your question, but just a FYI; I did the Alps and when I returned I had a speeding ticket from Sweden. 63 KPH in a 60 KPH zoze, radar camera caught me.....$45.00 US funds.

    I Went with Ayres Adventures, as they were the only tour company at last years Toronto MC show, so I gave them my support.
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  15. Blueflame

    Blueflame Adventurer

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    Perfect! CAA found me the least expensive flight and I'll be booking that in the near future anyway...I'll get the international license while there.
    I'll check out the hotel...I will need a couple extra nights after the tour, before I fly home.
    Thanks!
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  16. Blueflame

    Blueflame Adventurer

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    Good to know...keep the throttle down! Thanks! I'll keep Ayres Adv in mind for the future.
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  17. Blueflame

    Blueflame Adventurer

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    :thumbup I've got the clothing thing down to a science after 30+ years of motorcycle touring and backpacking. All is technical quick dry clothing for easy rinsing out in a sink and drying overnight. I've worn hiking boots on the plane when flying to Colorado and Scotland. Just carry a little pair of slippers to keep in my pocket and put on once in my seat.
    #17
  18. lynxrat

    lynxrat 'not a pretty blonde european gal,with lotsa guts!

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    does air canada still offer cargo flights for motos?
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  19. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    Like others have said - helmet as carry on, wear your jacket if hitting the weight limit, pick up the international licence at CAA.
    #19
  20. drrod1

    drrod1 Long timer

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    Couple of other things:

    - the helmet as carry on will probably work but I have had it refused a couple of times. No way to predict so I just put it in my checked bag. Fill it full of socks and underwear and wrap it in my jacket. It has survived about 10 trips this way.

    - speeding tickets.....yes it happens. DAMHIKT!! You really don't have to pay them. I have had a few and didn't pay and it posed no problem on subsequent trips to the same countries. The biggest cost is that the motorcycle rental outfits will charge you about 45 Euros to give your information to the authorities and that you have no control over.
    Riding with a local in Italy and we were blazing through towns at very illegal speeds and I could see the boxes that supposedly contained the cameras. When asked, he said the vast majority did not have cameras and the ones that did seldom worked so he never worried about it. Have to say that I didn't receive anything from the Italian authorities:D
    #20