Traveling the world by motorcycle. How much experience do I need? Will seeing the world by motorcycle give a different perspective on travel?
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Are you considering adding traveling the world by motorcycle to your buck list?
How much experience do you have? Lots! Perfect read on!
None! Still, read on.
1. License, motorbike, lots of practice.
2. Travel Insurance.
3. Am I good to go?
4. Why experience matters.
5. Group Tours Vs. Renting.
6. MotoDreamer motorcycle tours include.
7. What about going off-road?
8. Traveling the world by motorcycle will be life-changing.
MotoDreamer’s Rider in Chief Mike has approved this subject of traveling the world by motorcycle with you at the forefront of both his and Fiona’s (the Writer) minds.
With no physical barrier between you and the world around you. There’s a sense of absolute freedom and an intimate connection with the landscape that only motorcycle touring can achieve.
If you’re thinking of embarking on your first overseas motorcycle tour, you’re in for an eye-opening, exhilarating journey. Most likely, it will be the first of many – provided you come back in one piece!
We here at MotoDreamer certainly don’t want to scare anyone off with traveling the world by motorcycle – far from it. But that fact is, some travelers put enthusiasm ahead of experience and safety.
At some point in our lives, we all ask at least once. “What would be traveling the world by motorcycle be like?” But we rarely act upon our desires. Why? Because we just don’t have that experience, we all need to do it safely.
MotoDreamer Official logo.
Are you dreaming of two-wheeled adventures in far-flung, exotic lands? The journey starts from home.
I WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD BY MOTORCYCLE – GREAT.
FIRST GET A LICENSE, THEN A BIKE, AND FOLLOW UP WITH LOTS OF PRACTICE.
Any decent tour operator requires proof of a license from your home country at a bare minimum.
Some unscrupulous rental companies might rent you a bike, no questions asked.
If you have an accident without a valid license, your insurer won’t want anything to do with you. Also, being unlicensed and getting pulled over by police seldom goes down well.
Once you do start traveling the world by motorcycle, having proper travel insurance is a must.
If your tour agency doesn’t arrange insurance for you, purchase a policy that covers motorcycle activities. Some insurers only cover bikes up to a specific engine capacity, so ask if you’re unsure.
Spend as many hours as you can riding with experienced buddies until you feel safe and confident 99% of the time.
It takes considerable practice to familiarise yourself with your motorcycle’s control, feel, and capabilities. Not ignoring navigate traffic, and avoid hazards. From tricky corners to potholes to other road users pulling sudden moves without warning.
I RECENTLY GOT MY LICENSE, AM I GOOD TO GO?
In short, it depends on the tour company.
We believe letting a rider with just a few months of experience lost in unfamiliar territory is a recipe for disaster.
For most MotoDreamer tours, we ask that you’ve been riding a 500cc or larger motorbike for at least one year.
Our expert level” tours are restricted to experienced riders only.
WHY EXPERIENCE MATTERS.
If you’ve passed your motorcycle test. You’re probably competent enough to be safe if the exceptionally cautious rider in local traffic conditions. The learner’s motorcycle course can’t teach you how to adapt your riding style to out-of-the-ordinary conditions.
The more you ride, the more exposure you’ll have to deal with things like unfriendly to your body road surfaces. Then there are challenging weather and crappy traffic. As well as cool (but technically challenging) things like steep inclines and twisty roads with corners coming at you constantly.
MotoDreamer rider negotiating an active river crossing.
Honestly, whether you’re ready depends on how you can handle widely varying conditions. We recommend at least two years of regular motorcycle riding before you take on a new country on an unfamiliar bike.
Handling skills and the visual perception and spatial awareness. You’ll need to evade dangerous situations before they happen can only be learned through experience.
While skills gained at home can’t prepare you for everything. They will contribute to the calm but quick-thinking mindset and reflex-like control you’ll need to overcome unexpected challenges.
An adventure motorcycle rider should be comfortable but constantly switched on – not overconfident and not nervous and on-edge.
You might be willing to take the occasional risk at home. But once you’re outside your comfort zone, risks become riskier and consequences potentially more severe.
Author’s Note: While creating this article titled Traveling the world by motorcycle. I thought it right to bring to your attention the following:
GROUP TOURS VS RENTING
No matter how prepared you feel, in a new country. You’re bound to be hit with moments that catch you off guard.
Many popular touring destinations are in developing nations or remote regions. Where poorly maintained roads are the norm and traffic rules are often optional.
City motorcycle riding can be incredibly intimidating, chaotic, and easy to get lost and confused in. So having an experienced guide can go a long way to prevent getting overwhelmed.
While getting out of the city to remote places beyond the tourist trail is the essence of adventure riding. Being well away from civilization has its risks.
If you have a breakdown, an accident, or another medical issue, you can find yourself a long way from help.
That’s why we highly recommend an organized tour for your first adventure abroad.
Research every motorcycle tour company on your shortlist carefully. Press them on safety, and find out precisely what you’re getting for your money.
Apart from all in-country logistics, every MotoDreamer motorcycle tour includes:
- A professional tour leader on a motorcycle
- A choice of late-model, well-maintained motorcycles
- Small group sizes
- A chase/support vehicle for luggage, tools, and safety equipment
- Mandatory third-party and rider medical insurance
- Motorcycle liability reduction insurance
- All required permits
- Group activity and entry fees
With a quality group tour, you don’t have to worry about stuff that regularly stresses motorcycle riders out. Such as:
- Navigation (no GPS device is 100% reliable!)
- Language barriers (e.g., asking for directions because your GPS is driving you in circles)
- Getting stuck with a dodgy bike
- Being stranded alone on a desolate road with a flat tire or mechanical problem
Once you’ve done a fair amount of traveling the world by motorcycle. You might feel the urge to strike out on your own. Many experienced road warriors still find themselves drawn to group tours for the convenience, comfort, added safety, and of course, the awesome company!
WHAT ABOUT GOING OFF-ROAD?
Riding your motorcycle on dirt requires learning a whole new set of skills. The motorcycle will bounce, jiggle, slide, steer and brake unexpectedly compared to cruising along on smooth asphalt.
With a good group of riders and a tour leader to guide you, you should be able to tackle a little rough riding with minimal off-road experience. But heed every tour’s “difficulty rating” and check what conditions you should likely expect.
Will there be just a few gravel sections or days straight of…… …..rugged terrain and river crossings?
An off-road training course will undoubtedly teach you some valuable lessons. At the very least, spend time practicing (preferably with experienced companions. Somewhere that’s not outrageously remote) before you take on a long-distance off-road adventure.
Traveling the world by motorcycle will be life-changing. Just earn all the experience you can first to make sure it’s a good kind of life-changing.
Travel well, adventurer, and ride safely!
For more sound advice from the Motorcycling Adventure Touring experts, check out the following MotoDreamer links
Traveling the world by motorcycle was written by:
Fiona Davies (extreme pillion motorcycle rider and adventure travel writer.)
Edited for SEO optimization by Mike Bowley at www.mikedbowley.com