published at 18.05.2012, 12:29
Experience

Plan, go, explore, tour

Part of the fun of motorcycle touring comes with actually planning the journey itself. Where do you want to go? With whom? For how long? As fast as possible or taking the scenic route? Hotels or camping? All of these questions and many more are answered as part of the preparation that is essential to an enjoyable touring holiday on two wheels.

If you’ve never done a long-distance trip on your motorcycle before, don’t worry. There is a huge amount of information literally available at your fingertips, from online touring forums and clubs to dedicated motorcycling travel agencies, who will help and advise you plan the best trip to suit your needs.

Without a doubt, touring on a motorcycle is the best way to see the world, but you don’t actually have to go around the world to enjoy the experience of touring. Some of the best trips can be had simply by discovering what’s ‘on your doorstep’ or no more than a few hours ride away.

Seasoned motorcycle explorer Herbert Schwarz has travelled extensively through Africa, Asia and America, but recently found a gem of a destination – the Vosges area in eastern France – just 90 minutes riding distance from his home town in Germany.

“Although I’ve travelled far and wide by motorcycle I was interested to discover this area just 100 km away over the other side of the river Rhine from me,” he said. “This trip took us into another world, with an exciting blend of cultures, ancient houses, silver mines and some undiscovered riding delights in the hills. There was very little traffic and I’d definitely recommend it!”

Sometimes the inspiration for making a trip can be simple, such as finding an old map of an area you’ve visited many years ago and then retracing the route to find out what has changed since you first visited. This is what Herbert did when he found an old map of a journey he’d made to a place he believes is one of motorcycling’s best kept secrets – Scotland. He first went there more than 30 years ago and recently returned on a BMW R 1200 RT – a far cry from the old motorcycle and poor clothing he’d used over three decades ago. Being cold and wet on his old bike back then inspired him to improve the possibilities for motorcycle travel – and sowed the seeds for the beginning of the now famous Touratech company.

If travelling alone isn’t your thing, then how about a ‘guided’ tour with like-minded motorcyclists? If you love motorcycle sport, then why not make this the year you see a race live, but in another country? There are many tours which go to some of the most legendary racetracks in the world. For example, the World of BMW’s San Marino and World Superbikes Tour takes you down through France, the Vosges mountains, through the Black Forest and over some of the best Alpine passes en route to Italy and the Misano World Circuit on the Italian Adriatic Coast. Enjoy paddock access, grandstand seats and the full BMW hospitality package on both Saturday and Sunday, which includes a VIP garage tour, meet & greet with BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri and much more. Click here for more details.

Want to go even further? How about London to Beijing, via Tibet with BMW Motorrad Travel Partner GlobeBusters? This epic ride is demanding and rewarding, and that’s once you’ve left Europe… You’ll ride through Azerbaijan across the Caspian Sea and into Turkmenistan on this transcontinental expedition. Plenty of challenges lie in wait, including the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan along the Afghan border, the Tibetan Plateau and even riding your bike into Everest Base Camp. You’ll make new friends and gather enough stories to keep you going well into old age. More info at www.globebusters.com

If you’re feeling even more ambitious, then why not go all the way around the world in 2013 with BMW Motorrad Travel Partner Edelweiss? Having successfully run an inaugural ‘round the world’ trip in 2010/11, where a group of brave adventurers circumnavigated the earth, visiting six continents and 30 countries along the way – it’s time to do it again. There is an even more ambitious route planned for 2013, taking in eight sections, which can be booked separately or all at once. Exciting routes will lead you through North America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. Find out more – if you dare – at www.edelweissbike.com

Whatever your ambitions, bike and budget, there will be a tour to suit your needs, from a short hop to a long way round. BMW Motorrad’s Travel Portal is a great place to start, so find out more here and we’ll see you ‘on the road’.

Be inspired by Herbert Schwarz’s short trip to Les Vosges at www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEcW53OuCJ4

Watch his return to Scotland on the R 1200 RT at www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVainVblLgE

For highlights from the Silk Road with GlobeBusters, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTpbdC7Tdqo