Posted On 22 Mar 2024
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This entry is part 12 of 30 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#25

8 MORE FROM THE BEAR Unpacking outside a hotel on a Beach’s Top Tours & Travel


This is the year. In 2015, I’ll finally get the chance to ride some of the best motorcycle roads in the world – with you! I am inviting you, our readers, along on The Bear’s Best of the West ride in the US in August. With the expert help of Steven “Skip” Schippers of Great American Motorcycle Touring I was able to tweak one of his tours so that it covered the roads I want to ride.

If you’ve been reading my stories, you have probably realised how much I enjoy touring the western United States. Now I can show you why.

On my visits I’ve found some special places, and I really like the idea of sharing them with you directly, not just on paper.

This is a 16 day tour with 14 days of riding. Milestones along the way include well-known attractions like the Pacific Coast, one of the most iconic stretches of Route 66, and Monument Valley, plus national parks like Death Valley Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Zion. All linked by superb roads in weather that should be wonderful – although I obviously can’t guarantee that. On top of that you’ll have a chance to meet motorcycle design legend Craig Vetter, and share a meal with him.


The western US is possibly the most scenic part of the world. It just keeps coming.

Cost is very reasonable, ranging from $5,995 per person for two people sharing one bike and one room, to $7,195 per person and a bike sharing a room with someone else, and $8,995 per person with a bike and a single room.

Cost of air fares is not included, and all costs are quoted in US dollars. With a bit of luck, the Oz dollar will climb again, but even at the present rate this is good value! Mention my name when you book and you’ll get a discount of $300 per motorcycle.

Price includes Harley-Davidson rental; you get a first and second choice of model. Specific BMW and Honda models may be available at an additional cost of $40 per day.

You’ll need to arrive in LA on or before 15th August (by 2:00 PM) and you can plan to leave anytime on or after the 30th. Extra hotel days before or after can be arranged. Absolute deadline for booking is the 15th of June, but I would obviously suggest you get in before that; the maximum number of participants is 20. Members of the Bear Army are especially welcome, and will have the opportunity to share a pre-tour special evening with the grumpy old bugger – hey, who’s writing this?! – on the evening of the 14th at his favourite Tex Mex restaurant, the Baja Cantina.

For more information and bookings, please email Skip at, and copy me in at . Skip and I will lead the tour. Love to see you, and let’s fill the tour entirely with MOTORCYCLIST readers!



Rivers almost seem to take the place of roads in many SE Asian countries, and you can live on them too.

Of course there are other tours out there, and while we haven’t sampled all of the ones advertised in this magazine, we are certain that there is a lot of value to be had elsewhere too.

Take Edelweiss, for instance. Among their new offerings is a tour of The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, once known as Burma and now simply Myanmar. Yes, unbelievable as it may sound you can now actually ride through the place. The tour begins in Bangkok and visits places like Hpa-An, Taungoo and Inle Lake. It also stops in Bagan, where you can take an optional early morning balloon flight over the temple complex.

The tour ends back in Thailand in Chiang Mai.

They also have a new tour of Iceland with its frozen glaciers, steaming volcanoes, and vast and pristine scenery. The tour includes the most famous road in Iceland – the Ring Road or Hringvegur – as well as a visit to Vatnajökull National Park.

Take a look at www.edelweissbike.

com/en/ for more tours and information.


Dakar legend Simon Pavey recently returned to the Victorian High Country for the first time in ten years.

Simon and his UK based Off Road Skills team were there to conduct a weekend training school followed by a five day ride-out to put into practice was had been learnt.

“The terrain was both varied and challenging and offered all riders a great opportunity to hone their off road skills” said Simon, “the route chosen was simply stunning and was immensely enjoyed by riders and instructors alike.”

Simon also announced that the 2015 off road skills course and five day ride-out will be held in Tasmania early November. “It promises to be yet another fantastic ride experience with some stunning scenery thrown in,” says Simon.

Already 50% booked, from previous High Country event riders, the “Tassie” trip is sure to sell out quickly.

Simon would like to thank BMW Australia for supplying the superb R1200 GS LC for this event.

For more information on next year’s event email, visit or call 1300 887 327



Spain is a wonderful place for gravel roads.

Not completely, but somewhat different. The very best guided off road motorcycle trail tours in the dirt biking paradise of inland Andalucia, Spain – at least according to the operator, Riders of the Lost Trail.

“From aboard one of our KTM EXC-F 350 (2013) enduro / trail motorbikes, you will experience one of the most personally rewarding and exciting motorcycle adventures you can imagine,” writes Phil Wood, the founder and chief guide.

“We are based in Cortes de la Frontera, which is nestled within the mountains of Inland Andalucia, and yet is conveniently situated between the four major airports of Malaga,Seville, Gibraltar, and Jerez.

“We offer tours for all skill levels. If you are a complete novice, or an experienced rider, we welcome you with open arms.

Our off-road motorbike tours are FUN! Our guides have lived in the area for many years, and have an understanding and knowledge of not just the bikes and trails, but of the local flora and fauna, and of local culture.

Accommodation is in self-catering apartments, where the ‘after ride beer’ is always a welcome sight.

“Our priority at Riders of the Lost Trail is to provide all its riders with a chance to experience this wonderful part of Spain,” continues Phil, “while having a chance to re-kindle the spirit of adventure.”



Sombre sunset on a military cemetery

Orchard Farm is a biker friendly bed & breakfast located in the middle of the Great War battlefield of the Somme in Northern France. Kate & Martin Pegler visited France & Flanders for over 35 years usually by bike and decided to move there in 2005. They chose the Somme because of its rolling countryside and empty sweeping roads. It’s perfect

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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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