Emily-Jane Brain rounds up the ‘who’s doing what where’ of the motorcycle touring world
Redtread España is the leading off-road Motorcycle-tour company in Southern Spain. Established in 2001 to satisfy the growing demand for ‘something new and different’, it has full official partner status with Honda UK and Honda Europe, so you know you’re guaranteed an all-round first-rate experience. Tours range from one-day have-a-go off-roading trail jaunts to week-long riding holidays and Redtread can provide everything from kit and steed (Honda CRF250/450X) to personal accident insurance – all you need is a full bike licence and your passport. Starting at Redtread Country Mansion near Malaga, you’ll ride unrestricted trails up high mountain peaks such as Maroma, 2,000m above sea-level where the panoramic views are stunning.
You’ll get to experience riverbeds (dry and wet), mountain trails, firebreaks, old smugglers trails and forestry sections. The wildlife here is diverse. Expect to see wild Andalusian horses, eagles, wolves, wild boar and Ibex. Tours last from 10am-5pm each day with an hour for lunch and breakfast is provided. Availability for 2011 is filling up fast, so start racking up brownie points now! For more, see www.redtread.com
BONE TO BE WILD
This epic London-to-Magadan ride covers a quarter of the earth’s surface in 105 days (22 May – 3 September 2011) taking in some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. You’ll ride through Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Romania (dropping in on Dracula), then Bulgaria and Turkey. Crossing the Black Sea, you’ll cover Russia, Central Asia, (dropping in on Ghengis Khan), and ride into Uzbekistan before rejoining the Trans Siberian to Mongolia, Siberia and onto the infamous Road of Bones. If The Long Way whet your appetite then this trip’s sure to sate it. Blazing deserts, inland seas, mighty mountains and stunning architecture form the backdrop for this 15,600 mile journey where you can take your own bike or hire an F 800 / R1200 GS. Accommodation varies from four-star hotels to wild camping. Not for first-timers. For more, see www.compassexpeditions.com
SA ON A HARLEY
Sound like your pannier? HC Travel’s Wild at Heart tours offer 12 days of pure Harley enjoyment taking in some of eastern South Africa’s most scenic roads, including the famous Long Tom Pass – 46km of white-knuckle rollercoaster trail. You’ll also ride south towards the coast of St Lucia and through Golden Gate National Park, accompanied by professional resident guides Artur and Elma. The tour ends with a spectacular two-day safari where you’ll get to see the big five (Elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino) and relax in the safari lodge. Prices include H-D hire, fuel and insurance; full bed and board, return flights and transfers, four game drives and support vehicles for non-riders, but at £4,610 per person this might be one to add to the Christmas list. Tour dates for 2011 are 3-18 March and 4-19 March. For more, see www.hctravel.com