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U.S. Guided Motorcycle Tours for 2011

Worthington Glacier, Alaska

Pausing at Worthington Glacier, on the way to Valdez, Alaska, on the 2010 Rider Alaska-Yukon Tour.

Photo Credit: Mark Tuttle

Andy Saunders
April 12, 2011
Filed under Guided Motorcycle Tour Reviews, Motorcycle Rallies + Clubs, Touring and Rallies

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by Andy Saunders • photo by Mark Tuttle

Interested in a U.S. guided tour? The good news is the guided tour companies with the best service and the best value for the money are still around. When you’re touring independently, the snags and pitfalls of the trip are part of the adventure. With a guided tour, they’re minimized—your room is reserved and your luggage is transported in the chase vehicle.

You also get to choose who to ride with. Hang with the guide, set out on your own or with a buddy or two to explore the day’s ride. And you can share the ride with several new best friends at the end of the day. If you have problems with your motorcycle, fixing it is somebody else’s problem.

All the companies in this list arrange U.S.-based tours that include rental motorcycles, either their own fleet, or rented from a local source, and most have a chase vehicle along to deal with mechanical mishaps en route. Some will also welcome you along on your own bike, but may have restrictions on the type of exhaust fitted, or age of motor­cycle. Oh, and do check what happens if it wears out a tire, gets a flat or breaks down!

Always check the fine print—you may have to come up with a big deposit, paid for by credit card, and it’s not always obvious how much this is going to be unless you ask before you show up. Check the fine print on your medical insurance, too—make sure you have appropriate coverage (a good practice for any tour, guided or not).

We’ve included tour operators who offer tours in the United States only. Several of the operators below offer other tours in various places around the world, but that’s raw material for another article. All of the companies below run tours with rental motorcycles, either from their own fleet, or through a local rental company.

AdMo-Tours

Why is the West so popular for tours, guided or not? Find out on Admo’s Golden California tour, which meanders from Las Vegas to San Francisco via the mountains, desert, beach and Gold Country. Oh, did we mention the Ghost Towns, the ride to the Valley of Fire and the optional Grand Canyon helicopter tour?

Tours: Central California Wonders, Buckaroo Bonanza, Wild West Adventure, Golden California

Accommodations: Two- and three-star hotels

Length of Tours: 14 days (12 riding days)

Rental Options: BMW, Harley, Honda, Triumph

Equipment: Support vehicle

Dates: May-October

Typical Cost: $4,850 for over-800cc bike

Age Limits: 21-65 (depending on physical condition)

Mailing Address: AdMo-Tours, P.O. Box 1803, Wrightwood, California 92397

Tel: (800) 944-2356 or (760) 249-1105

Website: www.admo-tours.com

Ayres Adventures

The emphasis is on Adventure with the Ayres team, and if you want to see Alaska on two wheels, Ayres offers several choices. If your idea of wheels going around is to spend time in Las Vegas, that’s available, too, on the Best of the West tour.

Tours: Alaska Splendors, Alaska/Yukon Adventure, Best of the West, Prudhoe Bay Excursion, Rider Alaska/Yukon Adventure with Clem Salvadori

Accommodations: Hotels, lodges

Length of Tours: 6, 9, 10, 13 days

Rental Options: Selected BMW models, Gold Wing and Harley-Davidson in Las Vegas

Equipment: Chase van

Dates: March-October

Typical Cost: 10-day tour $4,275 including motorcycle rental

Age Limits: 21, no upper limit

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 864018, Plano, Texas 75086-4018

Tel: (877) 275-8238 or (972) 635-5210

Website: www.ayresadventures.com

Azride.com

As the name suggests, Azride offers tours from its base in Arizona, one of the best places to tour, the company says—it’s not just the landscapes of mountain ranges, swift rivers, grasslands, sand dunes and cactus forests, it’s not just the storied past, it’s all of these things that make it a magnet for motorcycle riders.

Tours: Arizona Grand Tour

Accommodations: Historic hotels, quaint B&Bs and unique lodges

Length of Tours: 8 days

Rental Options: Selected BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph and Suzuki models

Equipment: Chase vehicle

Dates: April, May

Typical Cost: $3,404 per person (not including motorcycle rental)

Age Limits: Minimum 21, no maximum but must be actively riding

Mailing Address: 3007 N. 73rd Street #B, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

Tel: (888) 233-6371 or (480) 970-5530

Website: www.azride.com

Blue Strada

Blue Strada tours promise superior roads, chosen by industry veteran Bill Kniegge, and upscale accommodations, combining to make a tour you won’t forget. North Carolina roads are some of Bill’s favorites, and he’ll show you the best.

Tours: North Carolina Excursion, Grand Tour, Indy 500 Tour

Accommodations: Hotels, villas, lodges

Length of Tours: 5, 7 days

Rental Options: Suzuki V-Strom 650 or 1000, BMW GS

Equipment: Chase van

Dates: April-October

Typical Cost: 7-day tour, $3,855 including motorcycle rental

Age Limits: 25; 2 years and 8,000 miles experience required

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1336, Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173

Tel: (704) 292-8801

Website: www.bluestradatours.com

California Motorcycle Tours

Set out on blue highways with California tours, which promises tours on scenic, even beautiful two-lane highways on the way to interesting destinations. It’s not about going fast, or far, but touring according to CMT is about safe riding and having fun.

Tours: Desert & Parks, Daytripper, Wine & Gold Country, Northwest Adventure, Peaks & Passes, Best of California, Beach and Mountain

Accommodations: Hotel, lodge, B&Bs

Length of Tours: 3, 7, 10, 13 days

Rental Options: Rental agency Harley-Davidson

Equipment: Maps, paid gasoline, saddlebags, windscreen

Dates: April-October

Typical Cost: 7-day tour, $3,720 including motorcycle rental

Age Limits: 21

Mailing Address: 5838 Agee Street, San Diego, California 92122

Tel: (888) 408-7631 or (858) 677-9892

Website: www.ca-motorcycletours.com

Dubbelju Motorcycle Rentals

After 20 years of renting motorcycles, Dubbelju is in the motorcycle tour business with its seven-day Northern California tours. After two decades, these guys know where they are going!

Tours: Northern California Tours

Length of Tours: 7 days

Rental Options: BMW, Harley, Triumph

Equipment: Support vehicle

Dates: May-October

Typical Cost: $3,995 including rental of Triumph Bonneville

Age Limits: No

Mailing Address: 689A Bryant Street, San Francisco, California 94107

Tel: (866) 495-2774 or (415) 495-2774

Website: www.dubbelju.com

EagleRider

From the company that brings you motorcycle rentals around the globe, EagleRider also offers a selection of guided tours around the United States. Check out the Pacific Coast North tour for a left-side tour that’s different from the rest, and if you want to trace Route 66, you can do that in 15 days.

Tours: Route 66, Wild West, Pacific Coast South, Pacific Coast North, Florida Keys, Gulf Coast and Gumbo, Sturgis

Accommodations: Two- to four-star hotels

Length of Tours: 8-18 days

Rental Options: Harley-Davidson, Honda Gold Wing, BMW, Triumph, other brands vary by location

Equipment: Helmets, chase vehicle, saddlebags, luggage rack

Dates: Year-round

Typical Cost: 8-day tour $4,988

Age Limits: 21, no maximum

Mailing Address: EagleRider Guided Tour Department, 11860 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90250

Tel: (877) 557-3541 or (310) 536-6777

Website: www.eaglerider.com

Edelweiss Bike Travel

With 30,000 happy customers (by the time you read this), Edelweiss says it’s the world’s number one motorcycle touring company, and its selection of U.S. tours cover the West in style, showing you the best roads and great food and company.

Tours: Golden State Tour, Grand Canyon Tour, Southern California Backroads, Highway Number 1, Moto Grand Prix Tour Laguna Seca

Accommodations: Comfortable middle-class hotels and motels

Length of Tours: 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 days

Rental Options: BMW, Ducati, Honda, Harley-Davidson

Equipment: Support vehicle

Dates: May-October

Typical Cost: Tour prices vary from $2,790 to $7,790 per person

Age Limits: 21, doctor’s note required over 65

Tel: 011 43 5264 5690

Fax: 011 43 5264 5690

E-mail: worldtours@edelweissbike.com

Website: www.edelweissbike.com

Freedom Tours

Discover the less-traveled roads of the Rockies during your varied riding day and the clearer skies at night, as you relax in a hot tub and gaze at the stars. Like twisty roads? You’ll see plenty of mountain passes, and bends by the score.

Tours: The Colorado Rockies, Land of Enchantment, Canyon Roads

Accommodations: Historic hotels, cabins

Length of Tours: 8, 9, 12 days

Rental Options: Local motorcycle rental agencies

Equipment: Support vehicle

Dates: June-September

Typical Cost: 12-day tour $3,250 not including motorcycle rental

Age Limits: Experienced rider

Mailing Address: 44 Cheyenne, Lyons, Colorado 80540

Tel: (303) 823-5731

Website: www.twisty-roads.com

Great American Touring

First tour for the Great American folks was in 2002, so 2011 will mark 10 years of touring. Good news is, the sights are all as magnificent as ever, and if you want to experience the stunning grandeur of the West, after a decade’s experience, these guys really know where to go.

Tours: Sunshine Highways, Route 66, Sturgis Bike Week, Yellowstone/Tetons, Glacier/Canadian Rockies

Accommodations: Inns, lodges, B&Bs or cabins

Length of Tours: 8, 10, 12, 14 days

Rental Options: Late-model Harley-Davidson, BMW, Honda

Equipment: Chase van

Dates: May-September

Typical Cost: 14-day tour, $5,995 including motorcycle rental

Age Limits: None

Mailing Address: 483 Davis Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44907

Tel: (800) 727-3390

Website: www.greatamericantouring.com

Motoquest Tours by Alaska Rider

“There are two types of people: those who ride motorcycles and those who want to ride motorcycles,” says Phil Freeman of Motoquest tours. If you want to ride motorcycles in Alaska, check out Motoquest’s tours of the last frontier.

Tours: Alaska

Accommodations: Hotels, lodges

Length of Tours: 7-, 8-, 9-, 11-day paved tours

Rental Options: Selected BMW, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and Suzuki models

Equipment: Chase van

Dates: May-August

Typical Cost: 8-day tour $4,500 including motorcycle rental (double occupancy)

Age Limits: 25

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1392, Girdwood, Alaska 99587

Tel: (800) 756-1990 or (907) 272-2777

Web: www.motoquesttours.com

Northeastern Motorcycle Tours

Northeastern Motorcycle Tours is one of the oldest motorcycle touring companies in the USA—in business since 1996. Our own Clement Salvadori wrote in a 2001 article about the company, “The reason people pay Reid good money to go on his trips is that he knows the best roads to ride, the best places to eat, and the best places to lay your head at night.”

Length of Tours: 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14 days

Rental Options: Own motorcycle or Harley-Davidson or Honda from local agency

Equipment: Chase vehicle on some tours

Dates: July-October

Typical Cost: $2,295 (6 nights)

Age Limits: None, licensed and experienced riders, rider education preferred

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 574, Saxtons River, Vermont 05154

Tel: (802) 463-9853

Website: www.motorcycletours.com

Open Road Motorcycle Adventures

Do you want to ride the roads less traveled, and see Yellowstone, the Beartooth Highway, Glacier National Park, the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, Utah’s many National Parks and Northern California, all from the saddle of a motorcycle? Open Road Motorcycle Adventures provide this plus unique accommodations and dining along the way.

Tours: Grand Circle, Great Southern, Yellowstone National Park and Beartooth Highway, Great Northern, Grand Loop, Four Corners Wine Tour

Accommodations: Unique establishments

Length of Tours: 3-15 days

Rental Options: Late model Harley-Davidson, BMW, Gold Wing

Equipment: Support vehicle

Dates: May-September

Typical Cost: 7-day guided tour, $3,795 including bike rental, and 8 nights lodging, slightly more with a passenger

Age Limits: 25 years minimum

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 9062, Salt Lake City, Utah 84109

Tel: (801) 824-6762

Website: www.openroadmotorcycleadventures.com

Pashnit Motorcycle Tours

More impressive even than the sights you’ll see on Pashnit tours—which include vistas of mountain, ocean and twisty roads—is one simple fact: the company has a more than 50 percent repeat rider rate, meaning people just keep coming back. Bring a buddy, and he or she gets to ride free!

Tours: NorCal, Sierra Nevada, BackRoads California, Central California

Accommodations: 4 days

Rental Options: Local rental agencies

Equipment: Chase motorcycle

Dates: March-October

Typical Cost: $489 4 days

Age Limits: 21, 1-year experience

Mailing Address: 2941 Camino Heights Drive, Camino, California 95709

Tel: (530) 391-1356

Website: www.pashnittours.com

Ride the Dream

Unforgettable? What about a motorcycle tour from Santa Fe, New Mexico? Sounds like a great place to start. With all the great roads of the American Southwest to choose from, Ride the Dream promises to put together an unforgettable trip, with views of high desert, mountains and pine forests, and the chance to visit the oldest cities in the United States.

Tours: Amazing Canyonlands, Ride the Wild West

Accommodations: Hotel, motel

Length of Tours: 5-10 days

Rental Options: Late-model Harley-Davidson

Equipment: Chase vehicle

Dates: Year-round

Typical Cost: $1,995-$4,900

Age Limits: 25, experienced riders, MSF course completion for riders with less than 2 years experience.

Mailing Address: 134 Camino Acote, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508

Tel: (505) 603-2547

Website: www.ridethedream.com

Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Holidays

Newest tour from Rock Mountain Motorcycle Holidays (who are based in Whistler, B.C., Canada, but operate several tours in the United States as well) is the Sin City to Sea tour, starting, of course, in Las Vegas. For your escape from Vegas, the company promises a choice of fine motorcycles as your getaway vehicle.

Tours: California Sea to Sky, Sin City to Sea, Alaska

Accommodations: Upscale

Length of Tours: 7-15 days

Rental Options: BMW, Suzuki and Triumph

Equipment: Luggage, chase vehicle

Dates: May-November

Typical Cost: $600 per day including motorcycle rental

Age Limits: 21

Mailing Address: Metropolitan RPO, 126 West 3rd Street, P.O. Box 38672, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7M 3N1

Tel: (888) 299-5534 or (604) 983-0126

Website: www.rockymtnmoto.com

Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Tours

RMMT tours travel on scenic, lightly trafficked roads that go to places the tourists never see. Tour fees include all meals and lodging, professional tour guide and even fuel. The company specializes in small groups and can accommodate the special needs of vintage bikes.

Tours: More of the Best, Highest Roads Tour, All in the Altitude, Fine Roads in the Rockies (Colorado)

Accommodations: Small hotels, inns, B&Bs, camping

Length of Tours: 3-10 days

Rental Options: Local agencies, or own motorcycle

Equipment: Support vehicle with enclosed trailer

Dates: June-September

Typical Cost: 5-day tour $2,000 not including motorcycle rental

Age Limits: None, with valid motorcycle license

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1028, Crestone, Colorado 81131

Tel: (719) 256-4527

Website: www.rockymountainmotorcycle tours.com

Turkey Creek Tours

Covering the Southwest and beyond, Turkey Creek Tours have expanded for 2011 and now run up to 32 days, if you have plenty of time to tour. If the boss wouldn’t understand why you need a month off, then try the 8-day Grand Arizona Tour, with a trip down Devil’s Highway to reflect on your boss’ attitude.

Tours: Grand Arizona Motorcycle Tour Grand Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley and more, Colorado Ultimate Mountain Adventure Tour

Accommodations: Historic hotels, B&Bs and mountain lodges

Length of Tours: 8-32 days

Rental Options: Local rental agencies

Equipment: Support vehicle with trailer, radio communication

Dates: February-September

Typical Cost: 8-day tour, $3,404 plus motorcycle rental

Age Limits: 21, no maximum

Mailing Address: 2160 East Fry Boulevard #505, Sierra Vista, Arizona 85635

Tel: (888) 763-6185 or (303) 838-6505

Website: www.turkeycreektours.com

Twisted Trailz Motorcycle Tours

Twisted Trailz prides itself on finding accommodations of character to suit its customers. Of course, your route and the dining selections will offer the same character, reflecting the ambience of the old West. All this, and motorcycles, too!

Tours: Awesome Arizona, Canyons & National Parks, Monuments & Million Dollar Highways, Grand Canyons & Red Rocks, Cowboy Country, day tours

Accommodations: Historic hotels, lodges and motels

Length of Tours: 1, 3, 5, 7 days

Rental Options: Rental or ride your own bike

Equipment: Support vehicle on tours of 5 days or more

Dates: March-November

Typical Cost: 5-day tour $2,615 including motorcycle rental for rider, passenger additional $475

Age Limits: 25, experienced rider

Mailing Address: 3331 E. Escuda Road #111, Phoenix, Arizona 85050

Tel: (602) 795-8888

Website: www.twistedtrailz.com

Vineyard Riders

The most famous products of Napa Valley are best sampled after the day’s ride, but don’t worry, there’s plenty to see and enjoy while you are waiting for that moment. Twisty roads snake past the vineyards, giant redwoods are nearby. If wine isn’t your cup of tea, Vineyard Riders offers several other Northern California tours.

Tours: California Wine Country, Central California Tour, Street Vibrations Tour, Gourmet Tour, Norcal Tour, Napa Weekend Get Away Tours

Accommodations: Hotels, resorts or B&Bs, full travel agent support

Length of Tours: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7-plus days tours available, plus any length custom tour

Rental Options: BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha and Ducati through local agencies or own bike

Equipment: Chase vehicle

Dates: April-October

Typical Cost: 7-day tour $3,900

Age Limits: 21-75

Mailing Address: 304 Moonlight Circle, Cloverdale, California 95425

Tel: (707) 669-0619

Website: www.vineyardriders.com

[From the February 2011 issue of Rider]

Comments

One Response to “U.S. Guided Motorcycle Tours for 2011”

  1. Ride Free Motorcycle Tours on October 7th, 2012 1:19 am

    Ride Free started as a dream in 1993 to her friends on the road and hopefully cover the cost of their trip. Since then we have grown into a full operation, but we have not forgotten the dream. If you are looking for more then just a planned motorcycle tour, but a proper motorcycle adventure, RIDE FREE Motorcycle and classic car Tours and rentals might be for you. California Pacific Coast Highway, The Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Sierra Nevadas, Sturgis, Route 66, and even a South East BBQ and Blues American Music Tour.
    http://Ridefree.com

    [Reply]

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