REVIEW: Klaus Mueller's Australian Trail Tours in the high country

Discussion in 'Australia' started by B1, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    A five day tour of the high country with Klaus Mueller from Australian Trail Tours. I was looking forward to the trip but then I started reading negative comments on the forums on this link and also this one. Injured riders being forced to continue riding. No EPIRB or support vehicle to rescue injured riders. Broken down bikes were just left behind for owner to somehow rescue later in the high country. Riders being yelled at or having things thrown at them. It was shaping up to be a very different trip to the norm!



    THE POSITIVES
    Australian Trail Tours and Klaus Mueller do have some good points. The lack of support vehicles and fewer support staff means these tours are cheaper than the ones available in the high country. The accommodation was good quality, so was the food. Also Klaus Mueller did not yell or throw food at anyone on this trip. A few guys said at 76 years old Klaus he's more relaxed now. And the fact remains there are guys who go back again.

    THE NEGATIVES
    The negative parts of the high country trip with Klaus Mueller and his Australian Trail Tours? The lack of support is still true. There was a car that took our luggage to the next stop but no backup four wheel drive. Klaus said hurt riders would be doubled out of the forest by another rider. We assumed a badly injured rider would just become the responsibility of the SES. No EPIRB or any communication devices so we figured it could take a while if needing to ride far enough to get phone reception to contact emergency services.

    Many of us were expecting a dirt ride with Australian Trail Tours, but we mostly stayed on easy fire trails and never did any of the reportedly amazing single track throughout the high country. And some days featured a lot of road too. One day we did 140km of highway with a lot of disgruntled dirt riders wearing their knobbies out for no good reason.

    Probably the most interesting part of Australian Trail Tours was having our bikes dragged down the road by Klaus Mueller! Each night in the high country we locked our bikes to Klaus' trailer, but on the fourth day he forgot and dragged them an unknown distance when driving to the petrol station. Total damage came to $2900 in replacement parts but Klaus Mueller said it wasn't his responsibility. After a few er discussions, he did give the other rider a $200 goodwill gesture at the end of the trip. . The other rider was not happy with this and after several months of correspondence and legal pressure Klaus finally gave him a further $470 toward the repairs. I had to give my loan bike back damaged and the owner absolutely refused to accept any money from me for repairs. It certainly livened up the trip but it remains to be seen if this bike dragging will become a regular feature of the high country tours. To read the full story and other complications it's all on the Dirtriderz forum.

    If you are looking for a budget tour of the high country then Klaus Mueller's Australian Trail Tours do provide this option and the accommodation is excellent. Just don't get injured, and make sure your bike doesn't break down as you'll have to rescue it yourself. Otherwise find one of the excellent fully supported tours which also do the excellent single tracks that Klaus avoids with Australian Trail Tours. And of course there are plenty of maps and GPS files for the high country, it's quite easy to tee up your own ride and do it far cheaper. If you are thinking of doing any tour, I'd suggest going through this checklist first!
    #1
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  2. Redback

    Redback Average aussie bloke

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    WOW he's still going and hasn't changed going on this, I've heard lots of horror stories over the years about Klause so this doesn't surprise me at all.
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  3. bigborett

    bigborett Hipster

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    I've seen this before I'm sure, or is it deja vu, with the bike dragging incident ect.
    How can it only be an hour old?
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  4. Datan556

    Datan556 2stroke a day keeps the doctor away

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    Pardon my ignorance, but all the perks of why you choose a tour is not there. So why go with them? Just do it yourself. Or cough up some more cash, no medics, nobody helping to fix your bike. Yet again, might as well go at it on your own with a Swiss army knife and bottle of Port!
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  5. JBtourer

    JBtourer Been here awhile

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    What I thought too.
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  6. bigborett

    bigborett Hipster

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    Could be promoting the newly uploaded Youtube videos.
    Oh well, good luck to him. Has some great videos.
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  7. Paul124ac

    Paul124ac Long timer

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    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/bike-tours-vic-with-bike-hire.938094/#post-34703591

    It's a hard thing organising just a handful of mates and trying to make sure every bugger is happy, more power to Mr Mueller. I'll never ever do a ride like this just cause I'm not a person who likes that kinda thing, but hey if it gets more people out seeing shit then great, too many latte sipping dog walkers who's shoes don't even see dirt let alone their tyres.

    Can anyone tell I've had to spend this week in Smellbourne?
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  8. Dr AT

    Dr AT Long timer

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    When I'm old( er) and cranky ( er) , I hope some people can look back at my possitive contributions and hopefully I'll have retired before it's too late.

    Those of us who lined up in fancy dress / with a pillion / on a road bike with a thousand other wannabees at the blue light in the 80's will remember klaus well. Big personality, big drive, and a big heart back then.

    Back in the 90's he was THE high country tour operator - nobody knew the trails better, and you just learnt to accept his way. His hattah tours were a fantastic introduction to sand riding and always filled out early with repeat customers.

    I still have a little chuckle every time I come across a group of horse riders. Is that still part of his pre ride briefing?

    Whilst I don't agree , I do wonder about his rationale for not carrying an epirb / offering a 4 wd backup. I remember discussing it over a very nice meal at dinner plains - essentially he saw the change in rider behaviour as we all started to expect instant rescue in the bush, and he wanted to retain the adventure / resourcefullness of an unsupported yet guided ride - problem solving / mates helping each other out etc. I'm not convinced that was a good thing for paid group rides , and I stopped using his services after the fourth eppisode, but ultimately it's his buisiness and still ticking along well after most people would have retired.

    Lots of good memories from trips with klaus over the years, and I'll stillstop and chat with him every time we cross paths on the trails, but I can't say I'd be in a hurry to do one of his tours now.
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  9. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    I agree, Datan. As per the last line of the original post.... "There are plenty of maps and GPS files for the high country, it's quite easy to tee up your own ride and do it far cheaper."
    Quite a few of the Victorian guys were saying this after they realised there was no support. They figured that's what they were paying for so were just going to do it themselves next time.
    #9
  10. bigborett

    bigborett Hipster

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    Yes. A big part of handing over the hard earned for a tour is support. Otherwise a survival course may be more appropriate.
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  11. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente #501 Team f5oolery

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    Good ol' "Bring 'em back alive... maybe" Mueller eh...? Lovely bloke if you are on the right side of him.

    He was involved in doing the "tag along" MC tour on the Safari back in the 90's... mostly for pre-matutely retired Jap entries... some of his stories are f u c k i n g funny... :rofl

    Seem's like (maybe) he is still doing thing's his (90's style) as Dr AT alludes to...

    For a hard core survival tour of the high country - probably not many that KNOW the country better...

    ... but in todays GPS and EPIRB generation, with all the info available on the web - there are probably ways to DIY it yourself - if so inclined. :1drink
    #11
  12. AUSSIEADV

    AUSSIEADV Long timer

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    Geez run your own trip. Read a map then ask on here re route info. PLB, Spot and a hip flask and you’ll be fine.

    I couldn’t hand over hard earned money to be a number in a flock of sheep. I just don’t follow too well.
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  13. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    The vid has only just been posted, but as per the first post there's this thread on the Dirtriderz forum started by another rider. I said to Klaus I'd be reviewing the tour before we started riding, but after the problems started I figured it wouldn't be fair to post the review in case things were resolved. E.g. He did eventually put something toward the repairs of one of the two bikes he dragged down the road when the other rider applied a lot of pressure.

    Also a lift pass to see the views at one of the ski resorts was cancelled and Klaus promised to refund everyone $38 to be used for lunch the next day but he never gave anyone their money back. One of the guys kept emailing him and eventually he emailed everyone a few weeks later and said he'd return the money if guys sent him their bank details. It would have been unfair to do the review early and say Klaus was ripping us off in that respect.
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  14. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente #501 Team f5oolery

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    Not much love for Mr Mueller in the drtrdrz or Thumptalk threads either...

    are the clientel getting softer... or the cranky old c¤%t gotten worse over the last 25 years...?

    There are plenty of then vs now perspectives on both those other threads... :lurk
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  15. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    How does he run tours without it being a registered business and no insurance?
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  16. Dean Ohlin

    Dean Ohlin Inner City Elite

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    … let alone no helicopter or private MASH !
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  17. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    Looks like some people recently enjoyed his style of ride

    #17
  18. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    Theres also interesting comments on the linked thread

    B2A47B41-57D8-4CBD-ADCE-49815DBFC65B.png
    #18
  19. bigborett

    bigborett Hipster

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    But what about the corner man system Al?:imaposer:imaposer:imaposer
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  20. bigborett

    bigborett Hipster

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    Looks like they had a good time.
    A couple of those guys were lucky to have some help available I'd say.

    Klaus isn't doing to badly for his age. Hope I'm still in the bush at that age, can't see it at the moment though.
    #20
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