Motorcycle tours - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Motorcycle tours

I'm seriously thinking about signing my wife and myself up for a high end overseas motorcycle tour vacation, something I've mused about for years but never followed through because of the cost (probably about $18,000 for a two week and a few day trip, including the airfare). But none of us live forever, and I suddenly started really thinking about how if I am ever going to do this I better do it now before I am really too old to handle it. I'm hoping there are those on the forum who may have personal experience with one of the two companies I am looking at for a New Zealand motorcycle tour trip: Paradise Motorcycle Tours and Edelwiess Tours. Paradise offers the BMW K1600 as the closest thing to my Goldwing, Edelweiss would make me try out an R1200 (with a higher seat I'm afraid). Any comments or recommendations would be more than appreciated.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:17 PM
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I would be pretty worried about driving on the left side of the road.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycledude View Post
I would be pretty worried about driving on the left side of the road.
UK would be the only problem. Oops, just realized he was talking about New Zealand.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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I would be riding with a small group, which should make the left side riding a bit easier.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:06 PM
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My wife & I thought about motorcycle touring NZ but I decided to do it in rental cars mainly because of the Wrong side driving. In a car, with the wheel on the right side, you have a constant reminder and even after 18K miles of driving NZ & AU I still found myself coming out of roundabouts in the wrong lane. On a bike you have NO reminder and there is so much more involved in driving a bike.
You won't be disappointed in NZ, especially S. Island, but it might be more relaxing and enjoyable to enjoy the scenery instead of concentrating on the road. Also, I think in an emergency, you will revert to instinct and that can cause problems driving on the wrong side of the road. On the bike, tour America, there is limitless beauty right here.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:14 PM
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I have heard good things about Edelweiss in Europe. As you mention, not cheap but good. They have a number of options for tours; guided, GPS tours and roll your own. I don't know how well that transfers to New Zealand. BTW, here is what the transfer left side to right side looks like, leaving Guyana going into Brazil.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:32 PM
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In 1997 my wife and I visited her sister in Queensland, AU. While there her husband to be found a motorcycle rental company that rented me a nearly new GL1500 for just 1 day. Without any training/explaining I signed a waiver and off went for approx. 200 miles of touring southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. I don't recall any issues with driving on the left or getting confused in round-abouts.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:36 PM
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We have not toured with any of the companies you listed but the one that we have toured with were wonderful and we are going again.
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Your in a group, follow the leader, they are experienced on the roads your traveling, no problem.
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Edelweiss has an exemplary reputation, I do not know about the rest but with them I know you would be fine.
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There was a 60 minutes story on New Zealand last night about American x-pats flooding the country, slower pace, beautiful scenery and idyllic living conditions. Unfortunately, it seems we are pricing the Kiwi's out of their own country.
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We like tour groups the first time around because you see and do things that most tourist miss, have better insight on the local everything and make friends that you otherwise would not.
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I would not hesitate.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 02:43 PM
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I went with Edelweiss in Italy
. I would not go with them again. I was expecting to ride more and be able to go on my own but the houses seemed to be against that idea.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 04:52 PM
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There's lots of ways to skin the cat. I haven't done a mc tour like this but from doing some research for the future, and from some non-mc tour operations, my two cents are:

The tour companies are selling you convenience and their intellectual property (in putting together the trip).

Sometimes, I think the specific guide is more important than the tour operator. They all have their good and bad, ups and downs, and quality assurance issues.

Unless you're going way off the reservation (Pakistan, Darien Gap, Zimbabwe) to where a local operator is super worth it, e.g. some security, health, support, border crossing expertise and local knowledge is needed (and even then, you can often buy it a la carte), then it all boils down to:
- do you want to do the work of putting together the trip? Truly enjoy it, or maybe don't but want to save the money.
- are you happy enough to follow the group, or do you want to steer your own course? Note that some groups will be set up for more free play, and others less. And some won't tell you.
- or do you just want a turn key operation, and are willing to pay for it?

I have heard mostly good things about Edelwei$$, Horizons Ultd, and Ayres. I'd also be just likely (perhaps even a bit more) to go with a small operator and a by-name guide recommendation from some I trust, than I would to just say, oh, it's XYZ Company, and accept that at face value.

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