Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Going on a touring trip? please tell us all about it. Or do you have questions on touring feel free to ask away.
User avatar
David.
Subscriber
Posts: 7973
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:29 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Bike Model and Year: R1200RT (Camhead) 2012
Been liked: 328 times
Great Britain

Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by David. »

Do you use or have you used a Motorcycle Tour Operator to organise a trip for you or do you prefer to "do it yourself".

If you have used a MTO, why did you, who did you go with & what were your experiences etc.

In 2012, we went with Extra Mile Bike Tours http://www.extramilebiketours.com/ to Italy.
The reasons being that we knew the guy who was running the Tour (he lived locally) & a friend was also going on the trip.
We hadn't been that far before & were happy to let someone else organise the trip, particularly as we were staying in several different places on route.
It was a "Guided Tour" for a small group, we just followed the Tour Leader.

In 2013, we went to Ireland with a guy who has now set up as a MTO, Falcon Motorcycle Tours http://www.motorcycle-sport-touring.com ... tours.html
At the time, he came up with the Tour itinerary, he was camping, we did B&B, it worked out really well.

In 2015, we went with White Rose Tours http://www.motorcycletours.co.uk/ to Norway.
Again, it was a long way to go & wouldn't have organised it ourselves or gone on our own.
The Tour was "Escorted" with a Leader & Back Marker, however, because of the size of the group (35),for us, it turned out to be a "Self-Guided" trip.
GPS routes & Hotel details were provided, we rode on our own or with one or two others & met up at the end of each day.

Any comments or input would be most welcome, thanks.
Last edited by David. on Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
k9doc
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:37 pm
Location: Chesterfield
Bike Model and Year: Suzuki VStrom AK7GT
Been liked: 4 times
Great Britain

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by k9doc »

Always DIY for me, both for bike and car tours. It needs a lot of research on the routes etc but all the info is out there on the Internet, Google Earth etc.

The planning is a pleasure for me and you learn as you go. The freedom to choose when is a big plus and the booking sites which offer late cancellations all add to the flexibility. The daily mileage on a fixed tour is preordained and designed to suit most I presume but the law of averages would suggest that it won't suit all.

I suppose you can save money on the block bookings that the MTOs can arrange but then you give the savings back.

I understand from a previous thread that block bookings for larger numbers can be a headache but the ones I organise are usually for 3 or 4 and that's fairly straightforward.
Chris
Zebedee
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:02 pm

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by Zebedee »

We've tried an organised tour. Through Germany. Over the Alps, down through Slovenia and on to Croatia. Not for us I'm afraid. We like being able to spend more or less time in a place as it suits. Although I appreciate the time and effort planning routes and booking accommodation. The diy method works better for us. So I'm told anyway.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
David.
Subscriber
Posts: 7973
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:29 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Bike Model and Year: R1200RT (Camhead) 2012
Been liked: 328 times
Great Britain

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by David. »

Zebedee wrote:We've tried an organised tour. Through Germany. Over the Alps, down through Slovenia and on to Croatia.
Which MTO did you go with.
User avatar
Ganesh
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:13 pm
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by Ganesh »

Hi,
I've yet to use a tour operator for anything in Europe or the States, either car of bike. There is enough info out there to make your own one up and that adds to the build up. It takes a bit of effort trawling the various sites but quite manageable with a decent internet connection.
Also modern sat-navs make it much easier to venture off the main routes without having to resort to route plans. Although being a bit belt & braces I stick one on the tank bag and have a map for back up.
It all comes down to how independent you want to be and have the time  to plan.
Hope that helps.

thanks and regards, Ganesh
User avatar
David.
Subscriber
Posts: 7973
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:29 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Bike Model and Year: R1200RT (Camhead) 2012
Been liked: 328 times
Great Britain

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by David. »

Looking at the number of MTO's offering Tours all over the World, there must be a demand for their services, some have a huge take-up & repeat business.

Pidcock Motorcycles http://www.pidcock.com/pages/ride-outs/ride-outs.htm offer Tours in the UK & Europe.
RTman10 wrote:Our European tours are up to 60 strong and normally about 1/2 of them have been before sometime in the past.
Pidcock's have been organising these for over 30 years so they are well known about.
UK tours are smaller normally about 25 strong.
guest2360

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by guest2360 »

There are lots who just like to fill the panniers and go and not bother with bookings etc. The Pidcock tour to Orkney by the way sold out within a week but I would be very happy to get any member here booked to the other two.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
User avatar
richardbd
Posts: 1468
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:40 pm
Been liked: 2 times

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by richardbd »

Have done both but only used tour operator for places where a guide on the spot was going to help get more out of the destination.


I ride on decent tour every year with a group of South Africans, Americans and Germans.  We met a few years ago on an organised tour in South Africa.  Since then, we've travelled on our own in:


Bavaria, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and Luxembourg.
A lap of the UK
Alaska - including the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Ocean
A lap of Spain and Portugal
Corsica and Sardinia


In 2015 we did the Westfjords and Highlands of Iceland and for this one we used an operator (Biking Viking).  They put together a route, booked accommodation and provided a fabulous guide, who really helped us get great value out of the off-road, out of the way sections.


This year we're doing Cape Town, Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls but are back to self-guided.  We have cheated though and used an operator to help with accommodation and itinerary.


If you have the time and inclination to put your own trips together, it's not that hard and it's very rewarding.  The internet can help you find most things - or somebody that knows an answer.  It just takes time.


For all the trips we've done, we made tour books, with routes, accommodation, and ride highlights.  Happy to share them if anybody's looking for inspiration...
User avatar
adewhitmarsh
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:40 am

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by adewhitmarsh »

I have had a few diy tours with mates over the years & it's great fun,we have been to Belgium, Germany ,Scotland ,parts of Ireland, pyranees.on some off the trips we have included some road racing events  (Armoy road race & chimaera classic road race)booking hotels is easy on booking.com & if you have a satnav on your bike,great.im doing my first big trip next year with the wife,planned the route,northern France ( strasbourg,baden- baden black forest route ,up in to Switzerland furka pass & glacier ,then lake Geneva , Dijon,Reims.)can't wait .
Steve F
Posts: 673
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:56 pm
Bike Model and Year: R1250RT 2022
Great Britain

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by Steve F »

ade,
Sounds similar to our Euro tour this year - the wife and I went from N France into Germany (Trier), down to Black Forest, S to Switzerland via B500 (a must!), down into Italy at Lake Como, back into France via Mt Blanc, Bourges-en-Bresse, Troyes (lovely town) and Compiegne (N of Paris) and back home ! We had a fantastic time and look forward to heading back next year for something similar.
You'll certainly enjoy it. All the best ! :)
User avatar
adewhitmarsh
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:40 am

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by adewhitmarsh »

Hi Steve, thanks for info,how was it finding your way from baden baden down the B500 in to Switzerland ??
Steve F
Posts: 673
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:56 pm
Bike Model and Year: R1250RT 2022
Great Britain

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by Steve F »

Hi Ade,
From Seebach (our B&B location) in the Black Forest to Konstanz on the Swiss/German border, we took the B500 South to Freudenstadt, then the B294 & B33 to Triberg. Thereafter pick up the B500 again down to Titisee-Neustadt and East on the B31. We then took the A81* South to Konstanz (*to make up some lost time). All in all, a fairly easy (and scenic on the B roads) route to navigate. As I say, we opted to do the last leg by Autobahn just to keep to our schedule, and more importantly, to be able to sit by the lake afterwards sipping ice cold beer in the summer heat! Einfach wunderbar!! ;)
User avatar
David.
Subscriber
Posts: 7973
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:29 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Bike Model and Year: R1200RT (Camhead) 2012
Been liked: 328 times
Great Britain

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by David. »

On one of our DIY Tours, we did what I believe is the full length of the B500 between Baden-Baden & Waldshut, covering 130 miles.

This BestBikingRoads website, http://www.bestbikingroads.com/motorcyc ... 254c1.html shows the full route.
Jim
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 7:35 pm

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by Jim »

Never used a MTO, much prefer a DIY approach (I think). Have done many a tour across Europe, routes planned by myself, sometimes booking Hotels other times just plan the route, pack the bike and go. Did this when I went to Turkey, it was a fantastic trip. The route was for me down to the Channel Tunnel, France, Germany, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria into Turkey and down to the South East, on the return leg, Greece, ferry to Italy French Alps, Switzerland, France home, the only thing booked was a Villa in Turkey for a week. Best 3 week motorcycling I have ever had.
User avatar
David.
Subscriber
Posts: 7973
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:29 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Bike Model and Year: R1200RT (Camhead) 2012
Been liked: 328 times
Great Britain

Re: Motorcycle Tour Operators or DIY

Post by David. »

If anyone is new to touring or like me, just wanted an aide-memoire, this little book may be of interest,
https://www.marksmotorcycleparts.co.uk/ ... uring-book

Image

IMO, it certainly isn't for the seasoned/experienced traveller, but if you haven't toured before, it might just be worth a read.
Post Reply