Motorcycle Tour Frequently Asked Questions
Specifically referring to the “guided” tours, this means that a motorcycle-riding guide, a support truck driver, or some combination of specialists in the area you’ll be traveling will be guiding you along the way. Guided tours typically have the hotel package, meals, and other features included in the tour, so without a doubt, this is the most convenient type of tour to take. For guided tours, simply reserve your spot in advance, show up at the airport on the designated date with your motorcycle gear, and we take care of everything else for you then. Just relax, ride, and enjoy!
Just as it appears, this means that the convenience of a motorcycle-riding guide to show you the way is not included. Instead of having a riding guide or support truck, you would have some combination of a hotel package, a road book or route notes, GPS, maps, or possibly other ferries, national parks, or other train/bus arrangements that we prepare to make the trip easy for you. You would essentially be your own “guide,” which means it’s still possible to experience the same route that the guided tours go on, only it won’t be as convenient has having another rider or a group to follow along with. Self-guided tours typically cut your costs by 20-30% instead of a guided tour, by the time you’ve paid for all your fuel, hotels, meals, transfers, etc.
No problem! Please see our “Rentals” or “Self-Guided” sections to see how you can easily just rent and ride alone or with your own private small group. Don’t be concerned about routes and maps and such, as we are more than happy to assist customers in working out their itineraries and helping determine how much time is needed to complete a ride.
It’s exactly what the name implies: A group that consists entirely of just yourself, or just the group of friends, family, or coworkers that you’d like to share an great riding experience with. When you see a guided tour listed on our website with fixed departure dates, those trips are open to the public, so anyone from around the world could end up riding together to fill out the group. In between those “public” dates, we have many opportunities to guide your private group without allowing outsiders. Please keep in mind, the more people you have, the lower the per-rider cost for a private group tour. As there are common or “fixed” costs like the guide(s), their hotels, food, salaries, etc., the more people you have in your private group, the less of the “fixed” costs each rider needs to pay.
Very similar to a self-guided tour, this essentially means you just want the motorcycle to use for the specific dates you reserve for, and don’t need hotel packages, road books, etc. In most cases maps or route notes are still included, and we’re more than happy to help you plan a route, but a pure motorcycle rental includes the least amount of services, and therefore it is the lowest-cost option.
The answer varies between the many options we proudly offer, and is difficult to summarize in a few words. In general, none of the trips are meant for complete beginners who are new to motorcycle riding, but instead are for experienced riders who are quite comfortable around motorcycles, their controls, and have been consistently riding in the past year or two. You’ll need a specific motorcycle endorsement on your operator’s license, and in some cases need to provide us with a copy of the International motorcycle license that will be used during your trip. Take a look at each tour package and you’ll see a basic description of the terrain, duration, typical weather, hours of riding each day, and be sure to start a conversation with us so we can help determine if you’re ready for the ride in mind. Your safety and enjoyment are top priorities for us, so let’s make sure you’re choosing a trip you’re ready for! When in doubt, start a conversation with us about your interests, experience, etc. and we can help make sure you are “fit” for the RIDE ahead.
Riding days can vary from as little as 200km/124 miles to 650km/404 miles per day or possibly, depending on the trip you choose. However, we encourage you to think of this in terms of “riding time,” not the “distance ridden” as 200km in the twisty Andes Mountains or Alps of Europe can make for a very full riding day. Much the same, some days will include ferry crossings, side excursions, or other activities depending on the trip you choose, so just keep in mind that we design itineraries that make full use of your vacation time, and it would be difficult to get bored at any time.
Trip Difficulty Descriptions
Level 1 – These routes are the most basic we offer either as guided or self-guided trips. Such a route will be completely paved (accept for a possible gravel driveway or road construction spot,) and generally don’t have much in the way of complicated twists and turns. Factors like altitude, weather, wind, traffic, etc. are of a minimum concern to the average motorcycle rider.
Level 2 – These routes are typically either completely paved, or almost completely paved, but may contain about 1-5% or so of simple hard-packed gravel/dirt necessary to proceed in spots along the same itinerary. (Customization may always be possible in
order to avoid this, so inquire further.) The riding will likely have some twists and turns, and factors like weather,
altitude, wind, and traffic are typically not a concern, but may not be perfect of course during your trip.
Level 3 – These routes can be anywhere from about 25-75% off-pavement (see your specific route’s description.) A significant amount of gravel, dirt, light sand, or riding on rocks can be expected, so generally speaking, motorcycle riders who have ridden on this type of terrain previously and successfully on the same or similar motorcycles won’t have a problem when on the motorcycles used for these routes. However, these routes might be graded as a Level 3 due to factors like rough weather, altitude, high winds, or some long days that will test a rider’s endurance.
Level 4 – These routes will likely involve spending over half the time off-pavement, and the non-paved terrains can be “unconditioned” at times (ruts, rocks, deep sand, and mud are possible.) As such, a route like this should never be attempted with out a rider having spent a considerable amount of time in such conditions, on a similar size or type of motorcycle previously. While the weather and wind may be fine in these cases, factors like strong rains, temperature extremes, and winds are certainly possible, and a rider’s physical and mental endurance will be tested.
Level 5 – The most “extreme” type of tour we offer, these trips are only for the most experienced, capable, physically and mentally fit riders who can handle essentially any terrain found on paths, trails, roads, beaches,
dunes or otherwise.
This is another one that all depends on the month and location that you choose a trip in, as we have a wide list of options and are growing all the time. Keeping in mind that the seasons are opposite in the northern and southern hemispheres, and that sometimes, like in the case of southwest Bolivia and the High Andes of Peru, “summertime” is also the rainy season, there’s a wide range of weather possibilities on some trips. If you want to make sure you’re choosing a trip that suits your hopes for weather, please be sure to Contact Us and we’ll help you make a “statistically wise” choice.
In almost every situation, “YES,” you need to bring your own riding safety and protective gear, as most of our operations do not offer gear you can rent. Please confirm this with us as you’re selecting a trip, and also if you want some riding gear recommendations. You can download our free eBook on “Motorcycle Gear Advice” on this link, and this gives an excellent overview on how to prepare for every situation possible and make sure you’re well protected for riding.
If you’ve chosen a guided motorcycle tour, self-guided, or whatever the case, the things you’ll need to bring can vary by quite a bit. Be sure to confirm with us what’s included in your motorcycle trip, and download our free eBook on “How to Pack for Your Motorcycle Trip.” Guided tours for example will mean you don’t need to worry about tools, oils, lubes, etc. so you can eliminate accordingly. (Or see our “Motorcycle Trip Checklist” eBook that you can download for free. It’s a great resource the leaves little behind!)
This answer varies between each motorcycle rental or tour package you may be considering, so please refer to the specific details on the website per your interest.
Yes, a valid operator’s license from your home country specifically with the motorcycle endorsement is necessary, and will be confirmed at the starting point of your tour. This is not only for legal & insurance reasons, but also for the safety of yourself and the people on the road with you.
This answer actually does not vary from tour to tour, as we at RIDE Adventures hope you are in excellent physical and mental condition anytime you plan on riding a motorcycle. As with other topics, let’s discuss what shape you’re in and the type of tour you’re planning on to make sure there’s a match. However, our “approval” of your condition does not take the place of a trusted doctor’s evaluation, which is something we strongly encourage you to seek before any tour or rental.
The simple rule is: Anything’s possible, so prepare accordingly. Let’s talk about your specific tour before you decide because seasons and locations need to be considered. Check our RIDE Adventures blog for some recommendations on good riding gear to battle the weather, and always feel free to contact us to help be sure you’re prepared for what you might encounter.
This varies from tour to tour, and of course our custom & private group tours can pre-select the level of comfort they wish for on their group. In South America, generally speaking, we have plenty of 3, 4, and 5 star hotels available along all tour routes. Please see the description of each tour to confirm more about what is included.
Absolutely! Be sure to check the pricing and description for each tour to determine the costs and what’s included for someone to ride on the back of a motorcycle, or in the support vehicle.
Generally speaking, we keep a 10-motorcycle limit to groups to help keep a feeling of “togetherness” throughout these amazing riding experiences, so as to not make the trip so chaotic as other companies do. Only a few special circumstances or custom/private group situations would we exceed 10 motorcycles, and then it would likely involve a 2nd Tour Guide and Support Vehicle to follow.
It doesn’t happen often, because the motorcycles we use are less than 2-years old, professionally maintained with routine inspections, and of course BMW motorcycles are well-known for their incredible durability. The support vehicle will be equipped with tools and some of the more “obvious” parts and things necessary to keep a motorcycle running safely. In some tours, a spare motorcycle is included in the event your motorcycle can’t be repaired, but rest assured….no matter what the situation, we are absolutely determined to keep you on your motorcycle and enjoying the adventure as originally planned.
Without a doubt, many of the motorcycle trips we promote venture into some very “remote” territories. However, even the smallest of towns in Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile for example have internet and cell phone capabilities these days, so keeping in touch in the evenings at our destination is rarely a problem. (However keep in mind, this adventure is meant to be your opportunity to take a break from the normal world!)
These situations are few and far between, as we strive to travel at smart and responsible pace that helps us avoid accidents. In the event of an urgent situation, however, our support vehicle will be able to assist as well as the satellite phone that will be with us for extreme situations.
As in any international travel situation, you should consult with your home country’s website to determine the requirements for each country you’ll be traveling in on your adventure. Many citizens are able to just apply for tourist visas there at border crossings, but don’t rely on this! Take the time, do the research, and be very sure about this important part of the process and what you’ll need to arrange before your trip.
Please check to see what’s included with the specific tour you’re interested in, as the answer about flights may differ from tour to tour. If you need to arrange your own flights, we’ll be happy to help you select an itinerary that gives you ample time around the start and end of your rental or tour.