We hope that the following sections will provide you the answer to your questions. If you are still looking for an answer or need some advice or help please contact us.
Yes. We are members of ABTOT and are a bonded tour operator meaning that any payment you make to us is protected in the unlikely event of our financial failure no matter where in world you are.
Yes and then No. The deposit you pay at the point of booking is refundable up until six months prior to the start of your tour. So you can reserve your place as early as you want to ensure you don’t miss out. After this date it is not refundable irrespective of circumstances. We advise you to take out travel insurance to cover you in the event that you need to cancel. For full details of payments see our Terms and Conditions page.
Yes. You must have travel insurance in place to cover you for medical treatment and repatriation to your home country in the unlikely event this is required.
Very few of the countries we travel to require visas. However please check with your home country foreign office to see if visas are required. It is each rider’s responsibility to obtain any visas required. If you need evidence of pre-booked accommodation or a letter of invitation we will happily provide them.
You must travel with the following original documents:
- Passport: Valid for at least six months after the end of the trip
- Driving License: Clearly showing Motorcycle Entitlement
- Travel Insurance: Policy details and telephone numbers
If you are riding your own motorcycle
- Motorcycle Registration Document: A requirement in many countries
- Motorcycle Insurance: Also a Green Card if travelling to Morocco or Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Road Tax / License: Your vehicle must be taxed and legal in your home country even if ridden abroad
If you are riding one of our motorcycles please see the Hire Bike FAQs
No, sorry! Air flights must be booked through a specialist Air Travel Agent or directly with the airline.
Over 75% of World of BMW Tours customers have returned for another tour since 2000. We have many customers who have ridden on over a dozen tours with us.
For tours starting in Europe but outside the UK, we can truck your bike to the start point and have it ready for you to collect on the first day of your tour. If you are from the UK and riding your own bike then we will give you a date when you need to drop your bike into your local BMW Motorrad Centre. Our transport company will pick it up from there and then re-deliver it after the tour.
Our transport agent is a specialist motorcycle shipper. All the bikes are shipped in special dedicated vehicles. The vehicles are always parked in secure locations when loaded. You should understand that there is always a small risk that very minor scuffs or strap marks may occur.
On each tour we give you a tour Polo Shirt, with your tour name embroidered onto the sleeve. The shirts are wicking, quick drying and are suitable both for riding and casual evening wear :
Mens (Inches – Chest) S 34 M 38 L 42 XL 44/46 XXL 48/50 XXXL 52/54
Ladies (UK Sizes) XS 8 S 10 M 12 L 14 XL 16 XXL 18
This varies according to the tour and the nature of the riding, so please check the individual tour itinerary. Typically it will be between 150-250 miles per day (250-400 kilometres per day)
No. Nearly every tour has rest days. Check the itinerary for details. Typically we plan days off in interesting locations so you can explore. If you are looking for tours with a more relaxed pace and plenty of days off use the search facility for “Days to Relax or Explore”
This varies with each tour and so it is important to chose the right one. If you are a new rider then the “Riding Focussed” tours might be a bit much. Try the “Easier Mileage” tours as a first trip. If you are in any doubt please contact us. We want to make sure that you get the right tour, love it and come back for more.
Yes. All our tours can be enjoyed by a rider and passenger. Some of the “Riding Focussed” trips may be more for the rider than for a passenger but we have had many couples ride them two-up.
No. Sorry we don’t have the facility to transport non riding passengers. That’s not to say they cannot fly in and meet you at the end of the tour.
We take a maximum of 12 customer bikes on tour. Typically the group is between 8 – 15 people. In our experience this is an ideal size as it is large enough for people to act independently and not wait for everyone else, but small enough to be intimate and friendly. It also means we can stay in some smaller boutique locations where possible.
The exceptions to the 12 bike rule are:
Motorrad Days: It is a big party and we take a big party! In 2012 199 bikes, in 2013 90 bikes to celebrate BMW’s 90th birthday, in 2015 100 bikes. We also take lots of Tour Leaders!
We reserve the right not to run a tour with less than eight bikes booked. However where there are less than eight bikes booked we will always review the numbers and try to ensure the tour still goes.
Each tour varies and you should look at the itinerary for details. In Europe we book mainly but not exclusively 4-star hotels. The things we look for are quality and comfort, security for the bikes and location. Sometimes this means that the hotel may be hard to find in a city centre or a remote location, but the location will be worth it when you get there.
In more remote parts of the world like Patagonia or Morocco the standards of accommodation may vary. Sometimes the parking arrangements will not be on-site (although we do try to avoid this) but exploring these great regions makes these little sacrifices worth while.
All breakfasts are included as well as some dinners – check each tour itinerary. We don’t want to restrict you by forcing you to eat where and when we want to. See the “Our Touring Style” page.
You must have breakdown cover to tour with us. We will do everything we can to assist you in getting the bike repaired or finding alternative transport and staying with the tour. However we must also recognise that the tour must go on for the sake of all the other clients on tour.
For European tours just the Tour Leader. For non European Explorer / Adventure Tours we will also have a driver / mechanic in the support truck.
All our Tour Leaders are
- RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Advance Rider Qualified: This is the civilian version of the test that Police Riders in the UK are required to pass
- FBOS (First Bike on Scene) First Aid Qualified: This is a specialist motorcycle first aid course developed in the UK and endorsed by the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh.
- Motorrad Tours Trained: Each year we put our team through a rigorous 3 day training session prior to the start of the season.
Prepare for anything! We try and travel when the weather will be good for motorcycling. However if we could predict the weather with accuracy… well we would be millionaires! Always have waterproofs no matter what the forecast.
No. You are welcome to ride with the Tour Leader or to ride independently. See the Our Touring Style page.
Not for European tours. We want you to enjoy the freedom of motorcycle touring and not be left waiting for your bags at the end of the day. Two panniers and a top box provide plenty of luggage space for a rider and passenger. We will have a support vehicle on certain Adventure / Explorer tours – check “What’s Included” for each tour.
Roads in Europe are very different to North America. Especially where we will be riding. For a start they are much narrower. Very few roads here have a shoulder unless they are motorways. The corners can be sharper, the climbs steeper, the descents more dramatic. I have yet to ride anything in the USA that compares to the passes of the Alps, The Vosges or the Pyrenees Mountains.
But don’t think all are riding is at the peg scraping end of the range. If you look at the Tour Tags / Characters you can find just the right tour for your style. If in doubt drop us a line and we will happily advise you.
Yes. The Rockies are fantastic and the Bear-tooth Pass in Montana is a great ride; but it is a big, wide, gently sweeping road compared to anything in the European Mountains. There is a reason that the US has big comfy cruisers and dressers as mainstream bikes. The USA is vast, the distances huge and there is no need to make the roads twist, turn, rise and fall. You could fit the entire Alps range into Texas 16 times over! Roads here need to twist and turn in a way they don’t need to in the USA. As a result Europe has developed bikes like the R 1200 GS, the F 800 GT and the R 1200 RT as a BIG tourer.
No. But for a limited range of tours we do have the amazing K1600 Grand America available. K series bikes are the ultimate mile muncher, but it is more than you need for most European Tours. At almost 700lbs on the more interesting roads we will visit, the downside of the added weight can far outweigh any gains in luxury.
All our European hire bikes come with a top box and backrest pad.
If you mean stuff you have flown in with that you don’t need for the motorcycling part of your holiday, then it can be left at our start hotel and collected at the end of the tour.
However if you mean the luggage that you can’t fit on the bike that you want to bring with you every day, then we can only say you may have brought too much stuff! Travel light and pack light and every hotel arrival and departure will be easier and smoother. On some Classic and Explorer Tours and on all Adventure Tours there is a support truck which can carry one bag per bike on tour if required. See each tour for details of whats included.
We are not going to be spending hours cruising on the motorway at high speeds. The range of bikes we offer have great protection and are ideally suited for our tours. A full fairing is not essential for European touring and the wind protection from even the small screen on an F 700 GS is fine for the riding you will be doing.
We would be delighted!
In English – In American
Hairpin – Switchback
Roundabout – Traffic Circle
Motorway – Highway / Interstate
Petrol – Gas
Pillion Seat – B…h Seat
Pillion – Passenger
Filtering – Lane Splitting (Legal just about everywhere in Europe)
Give Way – Yield
Road – Pavement
Pavement – Sidewalk! We never ride on the pavement!
Insurance Excess – Deductible
Tyres – Tires
Aluminium – Aluminum
There is no translation for the following
Dresser, Four Way Stop, Right (or Left) on Red as we don’t have them.
For many tours starting in the UK including a hire bike we add in two extra nights at the start of the tour. Why? The first night, because we are assuming you are flying in and could do with a night to recover. The next morning you will meet the Tour Leader and your bike. After introductions you can enjoy a familiarisation ride toward the start of your tour. There we will spend the second night so when we leave in the morning for your Tour, you are familiar with the bike, had a chance to pack a couple of times and to start getting adjusted to European riding.
All the bikes on our European tours are under 12 months old. For tours further afield they are under 24 months old. All are fully maintained and serviced to ensure they are ready for your holiday.
For tours in Europe the motorcycles are comprehensively insured with a £1,500 excess / deductible. This can be reduced to £750 for a fee of £12.50 per day. For tours outside Europe (including Morocco) the motorcycles have third party insurance and meet the legal minimum required. There often is an option to upgrade the level of cover, please see each tour page for details.
All our European tour bikes come with side panniers, top box, (both with inner bags) tank bag and a pre loaded GPS. The are also equipped with ABS and heated grips. For non European tours the bikes all come with side panniers and ABS. Other options may be available on request.
Yes. You need to be over 35 and under 75. If you are over 75 please contact us as there is some flexibility!
Yes. You need to have passed your test more than 24 months ago and have been riding regularly in the last two years. 36 Months for a pillion hire.
We cannot hire to people with certain jobs:
These include professional sport, racing, gambling, modelling or entertainment, hawking or general dealing, a member of the armed forces of any other country.
All driving offences must be declared prior to hire and must be acceptable to our insurers. You must have two years regular riding experience (3 years in respect of pillion hires). Failure to advise us in advance may result in the refusal of hire.
If you are unsure about whether you will qualify please contact us prior to booking a tour.
You must present your passport and driving license. If your license is not a photo license with your address as well then you must also have any two of the following. If your license is a photo license with your address on it you must also produce any one of the following
- Any major credit card or cheque book
- Bank statement (not more than 1 month old)
- Public utility bill (not more than 3 months old)
- Pension or rent book
Please note that you must present the originals. Copies will not suffice.
For European tours the deposit is £1,500 (or £750 if you have reduced the excess) which is taken by credit card or by bank transfer. This must be paid prior to arrival for the tour. The deposit for other tours is set by the local supplier – please see each tour page for details.