Frequently Asked Questions
We appreciate that if you have never toured before, you will be a little apprehensive about what to expect. We have therefore added this section to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any other queries, please feel free to call us on 01423 770103 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to put your mind at rest!
I have never been on tour before - will I hold everybody up?
No, this is a tour, not a race - whenever there is a group of riders together, you get a wide range of experience and riding abilities. We are quite used to this, and you will never be asked to ride beyond your capabilities. However, you owe it to yourself and the others on tour to be a competent rider and choose a tour within your riding capabilities.
Should we come on a UK tour before trying abroad?
It is not essential, but if you have never toured in a group before, it’s a great way to see if you like it.
I have never toured abroad before - how much experience do I need?
We include a brief description of how much experience we feel you need for each particular tour. This is not meant to frighten you, and no two riders are alike, but you should be comfortable with the mileages, and the type of tour. Having said that, there is no better way to gain experience than actually getting on and giving it a try - due to the better quality of roads and less traffic density abroad, many people find riding on the continent a lot easier than in the UK.
What difference is there between Guided and Escorted Tours?
Guided Tours have no maps to read, or route directions to follow - you will be led by an experienced guide whose local knowledge will ensure that you get to see all the right places and ride some great roads. We use a simple “drop off” system, which allows you to ride at your own speed. These tours are usually in the UK and offer an ideal opportunity to try touring for the first time.
Escorted Tours: mean that although the guide will be with you, you are responsible for doing your own navigation. We provide a Tour Pack which will include the relevant notes, suggested route directions and information for you to find your destination. This system suits many people, as it allows them to ride at their own pace and style, either alone or in small groups. However, if you it is your first time abroad, or you just prefer, you may ride with the guide, who will act as your escort throughout the tour. Garmin mapsource routes are also available for those with sat navs.
How many people go on tour?
Believe it or not, in the early days, we have toured with just one! We are pleased to say that those days are long gone and numbers now very much depend upon the bookings we receive. However, it is our policy not to run with a large number of bikes.
What is the average age of people on tour?
Mmmm… we are asked this a lot! What we suspect it really means is ”are there any knee-down merchants?” Our tours are open to everyone, but generally the people who come on tour with us are more interested in touring rather than racing - that’s not to say we don’t enjoy ourselves when conditions allow.
How far do we ride each day?
Mileages will vary every day, usually in relation to what we are trying to achieve. If riding in the Alps, it can be as little as 80 miles, whereas if travelling on French Motorways enroute to the Alps, as much as 320 miles. Whatever the distance we like to stop approximately every 100 miles to refuel or just to have a rest. Once at the location, we leave time to visit attractions, have a leisurely lunch, or just stop for a “brew”. You will find rough estimates of daily mileages and totals for each tour within the tour details on the website.
What happens on ‘rest’ days?
Once at a location, your time is your own, so please feel free to do as you wish. Within your Tour Pack will be information on local attractions, or your guide will be able to suggest some good routes. There will also be a number of guided tours, which you are welcome to join.
What documents/insurances do I need?
We supply a comprehensive checklist that will tell you exactly what you will need to take with you.
Do we need Travel/Breakdown Insurance?
Breakdown Insurance is never a bad idea, and many Insurance companies now include this within your policy, however, on all European tours (including Southern Ireland) we make it a condition (and will ask for confirmation) that all our clients take-out some form of Personal Travel and Accident/Breakdown cover. This is essential for repatriation of yourself and your motorcycle in the event of an accident or medical emergency. (see our Personal / Breakdown Travel Insurance page).
How do we book a tour?
Once you have made your choice, we suggest you ring us to ensure that places are still available. If you then wish to book, we will hold a place for you for 48 hours (to allow time for you to check whether you can get time off work, etc). You should then complete a Booking Form (see website) and forward it together with a cheque/Bank Draft for the deposit amount. Upon our receipt of your Booking Form and cheque, you will be sent a Booking Confirmation Invoice showing the remaining tour balance and when it is due. We do not send a balance reminder so please mark the date on your calendar.
What happens next?
Once we receive the balance for your tour, we will issue a final receipt, together with any relevant information. A full Tour Information Pack will then be sent 2-4 weeks before departure – however, please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you may have.
Can we pay by Credit card or Paypal?
I am sure you are aware that both these means of payment incur a charge which enevitably is passed onto the customer. Therefore for the present , we prefer to keep your costs as low as possible by only accepting cheques or Bank Transfers.
Can I pay in instalments?
We believe our tours are good value for money, however we do understand that any holiday can be quite a financial commitment. Although we do not have any specific system, quite a few customers like to pay in instalments, so give us a ring and we will be quite happy to come to an arrangement. All we ask is that the balance payment is complete by the due date on your invoice. We strongly urge you to take out some kind of holiday cancellation insurance in the unfortunate event of you being unable to come on tour due to redundancy or illness.
Is our money safe
In compliance with EEC regulation (90/314/EEC) all payments received will remain in a dedicated account until your tour is complete.
I am unable to make the dates for your tours - can you help?
We no longer run independent tours. However, we are always happy to give you what advice we can. Given sufficient numbers we would be willing to put together a tour package in the UK or Europe. As you will appreciate, there is a great deal of work involved in arranging these packages, therefore we charge £100 for putting the package together, which would be refunded once the booking is confirmed.
Do you do bike hire?
No, we don’t, but should you wish to come on one of our tours, we will try to put you in contact with an appropriate hire firm. All tour prices are based on you supplying your own motorcycle.
Do you have a limit on the type of motocycle/scooter you will accept?
On European tours we do not accept a motorcycle or scooter less than 500cc, neither do we accept any vehicle that will not do 125 miles to a tank of fuel or is more than 20 years old. On UK tours or short continental tours we can be more flexible and suggest you ring to discuss your request.
Do you accept non-UK clients on tour?
Yes we are now able to do this - providing the person is not a resident of the country we are touring in, for example, we can not accept USA citizens for a USA tour. Please note we do not rent or arrange rental of hire bikes.
Do you have a minium age for people on tour?
The conditions of our Professional indemnity insurance are such that we can accept no one (including pillions) under the age of 18 years old.
Do you have a maximum age?
No we do not, everyone is different, and providing they are a compotent rider they are welcome. However, we hope that riders will know when the time has come to 'hang their leathers' up.
Do any women come on your tours?
Yes - we have many women riders who come on our UK and European tours - sometimes with friends or partners, and sometimes on their own. We pride ourselves on the fact that women feel comfortable to come on our tours, whether they’re with people they know already, or are new to our tours.
What’s the dress code in the evenings?
The majority of accommodation we use is 3 star standard or above and whilst most hotels are 'bike friendly' it does no harm to set a good impression for future visits. Most people dress ‘smart casual’ that is, Jeans, polo shirts that kind of thing. All we ask is that no sleeveless T shirts, (gentlemen), tracksuit bottoms, shorts or baseball hats are worn whilst eating in the dining room.
How much money should I take?
With the odd exception, the euro is now the common currency of Europe (including Ireland) making life easier for anyone touring abroad. Credit cards are also readily accepted, especially at fuel stations. If you do run short of currency, there are numerous ATMs although most now charge you for the privalege. So, to answer the question, we suggest you look carefully at the description of what exactly is included on your tour. Every tour includes en-suite accommodation, breakfast, and some evening meals. Certain tours are marked as “value tours” which means all evening meals are included leaving you with only lunch, petrol and drinks to budget for. We also give you a rough estimate of the mileage you can expect to cover, which should allow you to estimate your total spend on fuel. With the odd exception, fuel in Europe is generally the same price as our own. Other costs that you will want to budget for are motorway fees, either in the form of tolls or buying a vignette, however more details will be given in your tour pack.
Do your customers all tend to know each other already? (Will we fit in?)
If this is your first time with us, it may seem that many people on tour already know each other (as invariably they do); this is purely down to our high return rate of (hopefully) happy customers! At first, this may seem daunting, however we feel sure that by the end of a tour, you will not only know everyone, but have made many new friends. Many of these friendships become permanent, with many clients keeping in touch with each other and book together on subsequent tours.