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Motorbike holidays

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by halifax, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. hi all,

    ive got some leave saved up and am looking to take some time off work (max 4 weeks) around june/july.

    id like to do something on a bike (preferably in another country). What has everyone done and anything to recommend?
  2. Did the Ferris Wheels tour of the Himalayas last July, and would recommend them and the tour to anyone who asked.
  3. Tasmania (oh it's not a different country?) and NZ are great places to consider for your first biking holiday. Though not so good in the middle of the year obviously.

    Italy would be worth investigating. There's a number of tour companies dedicated to motorcycle holidays there too.
  4. Tibetan plateau in china is awesome, but you will need a dirt bike for some of it. Most of the road is sealed and in better condition then our roads, some is sand.

    There is a lot of boring straight stuff, but also lots of mountains and twisties.
    Plus lots of chinese families who try to make you take their 18 year old daughters with you.
  5. I went to Northern India with Ferris Wheels http://www.ferriswheels.com.au/ (their Himalayan Heights tour) the views were awesome and the people were generally friendly (though Kargill where the Kashmir war was was a little intense). We rode most days for a decent time though the speed was slow so we didn't cover many k's. I remember getting up to 60km/h and thinking that was fast as we had been putting along at mostly up to 30km/h for the last couple of days. Though once we got off the himilayas it was faster. We got to ride at our own pace and not in a group.

    It was expensive for India, but it was professionally run although I think that the owner (and guide) had done it too many times and lost his enthusiasm however the group made their own fun. Almost everything was supplied, and I spent very little (except souverniers) outside the trip cost. There were approx 15 customer bikes (about 18 participants) with a guide on his own bike and a tour manager and two mechanics in a support 4wd, for about $5K plus flights. This was in 2006.

    It was my first trip overseas so it was good to have an organised tour.

    I am hiring a bike and heading accross USA (and maybe Canada) in July this year. I figure at least I can speak the language and I wanted to do another ride overseas but not on a tour this time so America was best. The dollar where it is helped too.

    There are plenty of organised tour companies for almost every country in the world (I found one that does Iran which would be cool =D> but its like $11K plus flights). If you have the money to spend tours would be recommended if you have only a few weeks. There seems to be a fair few ones operating in Vietnam and Thailand for reasonable money if your budget is tighter.
  6. I did 8 days with Offroad Vietnam last month which was awesome fun, we didn't want it to ever end and will be going back this time next year for a longer trip and hope to get the same guide because he was heaps of fun. They use dirt bikes though, road bikes wouldn't be very practical in Vietnam.

    And Malaysia is really nice too, we went through Malaysian Motorcycle Getaways for a day of riding. Their bikes are really, really nice and in excellent condition and they're lovely people to deal with. Not to mention the roads are ace. I'll definitley go see them for a few days of riding if I end up in Malaysia again.

    Both companies were really professional (although quite different) and everyone had heaps of enthusiasm for their work which rubbed off on us a lot. I was never that enthused about the idea of a tour before we did them (my brother wanted it), but now I think they're the best way to go if you don't have oodles of time up your sleeve.
  7. At the risk of overloading you with India info...

    I did an independent trip across central and northern India over 3 or 4 months. Most of the tours seem to concentrate on Himachal Pradesh and over the pass to Kashmir, which is an amazing part of the country (though I missed Kashmir as the pass was closed). It's slow going and plenty of gravel roads, but it is an adventure and the scenery is spectacular.

    Uttarakhand is also beautiful (much lower / greener) and the roads are fantastic - many are sealed and wind their way through the foothills. Still, India does not lend itself to a fast-paced sports ride.

    Central India is mostly straight roads: still enjoyable but I wouldn't want to spend all my time on the plains.

    The west coast (Goa and Kerala) would be fantastic to cruise around by bike, but I haven't been there (yet).

    Having said that, four weeks is about as short as I would want to go to India for if I were organising my own bike - especially if it were my first time on the sub continent. It takes some getting used to, and things move very slowly. Navigation might be a bit tricky (assuming you speak no Hindi) but that's part of the adventure! There is at least one company in Delhi that will organise a hire bike (Enfield is the standard touring bike, though not your only option) ahead of time.

    Other suggestions (from places on my own to-do list) are Ireland or Scotland (just got back from there but couldn't hire a bike due to minimum age requirements), South America (romantic notion of the Motorcycle Diaries), New Zealand (close, great roads), SE Asia (close, cheap, culture).

    Have fun deciding!
  8. do what top gear did, head to vietnam, i thought it was always a dirty country but its bloody beautiful (from what i watched anyway)
  9. some good advice here seems india might be the go!

    Tas was mentioned and absolutely that was my first thought but o my would it be cold!

    as far as vietnam... that is my trip next year (with friends who do not ride)

    Cheers guys this is good!
  10. Highly recommend borneo biking adventures
    Did two weeks there last July and had a ball.
    It looks expensive but its all inclusive and the accommodation is very very good.
    Roads are generally excellent. No speed cameras!
    One of the guides was a British motocross champion and the other raced cars.
    Ride from 8am to about 4pm on riding days with the odd day off to recover and
    do tourist stuff.
  11. Northern India is cold, really cold. June/July isn't so bad up north but you risk the rains - southern India would be pretty damn hot. Adverse weather just makes the trip more memorable (that's what I kept telling myself as I held the cylinder head with my gloved hands, shivering uncontrollably, on a reasonably remote road in Himachal Pradesh anyway - but that was in Jan).
  12. why go with a tour? most of you acknowledge its expensive

    why not go to the country, buy a good condition used bike, ride it, then sell it to a dealer at the end of it?

    also time doesnt make one a safer rider, its the attitude. ive seen plenty of full license riders doing stupid things
  13. I am hiring a bike in USA as it is very difficult to get insurance if you are not a citizen. For a month long trip that I (and the OP) is going on buying and selling is time consuming.

    India and SE asia may be different but then you still have language barriers. Tours also have the added benefit of knowing where to stay, and having support for breakdowns, the mountains are tough on the bikes.

    Have you done it, not to comandeer this thread but can you say your experiences as I would be interested.
  14. I've used Edelweiss motorcycle tours a few times in the past and they were absolutely superb.


    I recommend the two week alps tour -- once in a lifetime thing to do. They set a nice pace ;)
  15. I think it just depends on how much time you have as well as mechanical knowledge.

    If I hired a bike and it broke down I'd be stuffed because I'm hopeless with mechanical stuff. Granted there are shit loads of mechanics in a place like Vietnam, but if you're in the middle of nowhere when it happens then it's a long walk to get it fixed.

    If I had a few weeks/months and learned a bit more about bike maintenance then I wouldn't do a tour, there's plenty of time to get lost and figure out where the good riding is. But if you only have a couple of weeks there's not much sitting by the roadside waiting for help or getting lost time to waste. I'd rather do a tour and know I'll get the most out of the trip.

    Also in Vietnam, if you go down the buying a bike path you'll probably end up with a crappy old Minsk or a scooter. The tour company gave us Honda XR250's which were several shades of awesome for the kind of riding you'd do over there and totally bullet proof.

    And I don't think that tours end up that expensive when you factor in accomodation, meals, bike rental, petrol, etc. In Malaysia it would have cost us AUD$100 just to rent bikes for a day and we only paid an extra AUD$50 for the guide, gear rental and meals. Worth it if you ask me.
  16. spot on huplescat i totally agree. Generally Daedalus I agree with you but or my purpose i.e. a 4 week get away i dont want to be concerned with buying a bike, id rather just have it all organised
  17. Ima going to shout for NZ as well, never been there and haven't ridden it, but motographer has given us the shots and roarin the ride diary. Search for threads started by roarin and it on one of the last pages.

    Plus its cheap, easy to get to, not to many issues taking your own bike and from all accounts very friendly.

    edit: sorry mate, just saw the june/july thing. NZ prob wouldnt be the best idea for riding. How about swiss alps and pyrenees?
    edit 2: just remembered that july is Tour de Frogs time, probably not the best time to be a tourist to france.
  18. I am off to Bali tomorrow, for a holiday and may rent a motorbike over there, just to get around, its not the main focus of the holiday. It is very cheap $12.00 per day. Will let you know and plan to take a few photos of crazy traffic over there.
  19. I did a 10 day tour around Turkey last year. Found the itinerary online and organised it all myself. Hired a BMW R1200gs and had an absolute blast with my girlfriend as pillion. There was also a 21 day itinerary online as well. I think the website was http://www.ommriders.com/t/01/