If you’re a beginner rider, should you go on a motorcycle tour? And is there such a thing as motorcycle tours for beginners?
If we’re to believe Google, very few motorcycle tour companies cater to beginner riders. A quick search revealed there’s a beginner motorcycle tour available in the Philippines (on scooters), an option of one-on-one enduro training in Romania, and an off-road tour in Kyrgyzstan, although it feels like there, the term “beginner” got thrown in by accident.
Most motorcycle tour operators aim at mid-level and experienced riders instead. Sometimes, that’s explicitly stated in the tour description: “min 2 years of experience needed”, “at least a year of experience riding off-road”, and so on. Other times, it’s not spelled out, but looking at the tour routes and distances, it’s clear the tour is designed for more experienced riders.
So if you’re just starting out but would love to go on a two-wheeled holiday, how do you find motorcycle tours for beginners?
Not All Beginners Are Created Equal
First things first: just how much of a beginner are you? The term applies to riders who have just gotten their bike license, but it also applies to people who have been riding for a year. Equally, you may have had your license for five years, but if you don’t ride much, you’re a beginner. Or, you may have ridden bikes in your teens or twenties, paused for a few decades, and are starting out again – in a way, that makes you a beginner, too.
Wherever on the beginner spectrum you may find yourself, your mileage and the time in the saddle aren’t the only factors.
Here’s what you need to consider:
How fast do you learn? Do you feel confident on the bike? How quickly are you progressing as a rider? On our tours, we’ve seen riders with a month-old bike license acing off-road trails and steep climbs. Technically, they were green beginners. In reality, they were so eager to learn, so excited to go for it, and so receptive to the training they improved by leaps and bounds in just a few days – and had a ridiculous amount of fun in the process.
At the same time, we’ve seen riders with two or three years of experience under their belts struggle with longer distances, harder trails, or curvier roads. So no, not all beginners are created equal – but we believe all beginners are destined for great things if they keep on riding!
Should You Go on a Motorcycle Tour as a Beginner?
Having all of this in mind, is motorcycle tours for beginners a good idea – or a really, really bad one?
If you’ve just gotten your license, you’re not used to your bike yet, you’re terrified of traffic, and you don’t feel confident and comfortable on longer distances, going on a motorcycle tour might not be the best decision right now. If you’re still feeling unsure on the bike, the added stress of traveling, riding with a group, covering the daily distances, and potentially dealing with unfamiliar traffic situations may be overwhelming.
The best option for you would be a training tour: that way, you’ll get to enjoy a motorcycle holiday and boost your skills at the same time. You’ll get coaching and support, learn new techniques, meet like-minded riders, and start feeling more confident on the bike, all while traveling somewhere new and exciting.
Beginner Motorcycle Tour Cheat Sheet
What if you’re fairly new to riding but feel like you could give touring a go? Look for shorter motorcycle tours. Going on a three-month adventure bike expedition in Patagonia will leave you exhausted, fatigued, and struggling. A five-day tour of the Alps, on the other hand, or a ten-day dual-sport motorcycle adventure in Belize might hit the spot.
Shorter tours are less exhausting, you’ll likely ride fewer miles per day, and this adds up to a great experience if you’re not 100% confident on the bike yet.
Finally, you can always reach out to the tour operator and ask them just how much experience they think riders need to enjoy the tour. And that’s key – not just to survive the tour, but to enjoy it. Most tour operators are happy to chat and accommodate beginners, especially if there’s an option to split the group in two so that both more experienced riders and newbies can ride at their own pace.
More: Women’s motorcycle tours
How to Find Motorcycle Tours for Beginners
Motorcycle tours for beginners are harder to come by since most tour operators prefer to have experienced riders.
The reason for that is safety. If you’re a complete newbie, you may struggle to keep up with the group, get tired faster, make more mistakes, and be less accustomed to different traffic scenarios. In addition, organized tours have set itineraries and pre-booked hotels, so the whole group needs to make it to the next destination each day and there’s no option to cut the ride short or look for alternative routes.
That being said, it is possible to find tours that would suit you – you just need to know where to look!
We love having newbies on our tours because it’s amazing to see riders progress. In addition, we usually have the option to split the group to make sure both beginner and more experienced riders are having a good time. Frankly, it’s just pure joy to see new riders tackling a river crossing successfully or overcoming their own fears! That’s why on our tours, beginner riders are always welcomed (and we’re stoked to have them!). We currently have an adventure motorcycle tour in Colombia and a dual-sport motorcycle tour in Belize on offer, and if you’re drawn to faraway places and two-wheeled adventures, we’d love to ride with you.
Choosing the Right Tour
However, if you’re looking for beginner motorcycle tours near you or someplace different altogether, here’s what we recommend:
-talk to the tour operator first and ask for their input. How difficult is the riding? How long are the distances? Do they feel their tour is suitable for beginner riders? Most tour operators are upfront about this, and they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction.
– look for motorcycle tours with several rest days and off-bike activities. Some tours are designed for the riding and riding only where you cover 300 miles+ each day and only stop for food and quick breaks. Other motorcycle tours are designed for the riding and the traveling in equal parts, and that’s a better option for beginners because you’ll have time to rest up and recharge in between rides.
-Look for Training Opportunities:
see if training tours are available. Most training tours are aimed at off-road riders, but it’s worth doing some research and seeing if you can find an on-road training tour, too.
-look for guided tours that have a chase vehicle. If, for any reason, you’ll find it all a bit much during the tour, a chase vehicle provides an option to take a break from riding for a day or two.
-ask for a custom tour. If you’re a beginner and have a few friends up for an adventure, ask the tour operator if they’d be willing to design a custom tour for you. Most of the time, they’ll say yes.
-as we mentioned before, look for tours with shorter daily distances. 250+ miles a day, every day, can be a bit much; 120-150 miles a day, on the other hand, is doable – and a lot more enjoyable.
-look for adventure or dual-sport motorcycle tours. Why? Adventure and dual-sport bikes are among the safest and most comfortable motorcycles. If you’re a newbie, going for a full-on dirt biking trip might be challenging. Equally, pure on-road experience may leave you struggling to keep up with faster riders on sports tourers. Adventure and dual-sport bikes, on the other hand, mean you’ll get the best of both worlds and ride comfortably and safely.
Zero to Hero
If you’re still unsure whether going on a motorcycle tour is a good idea right now, do a little experiment. Design your own mini-motorcycle tour! For example, plan a weekend ride with an overnight stay in your area: it’ll be a small road trip, an adventure, and a quick test of whether motorcycle traveling feels good.
Don’t overcomplicate things – just plan a 60-100-mile day, a nice biker-friendly stay, and another 50-80 miles to get back home the next day.
Get creative with your itinerary. Perhaps there are some interesting places to visit along the way, a cool restaurant you’d like to check out, or friends to see during your trip.
Better yet, invite your riding buddies to come with you. That way, you’ll test out whether you like traveling in a group.
Pack your essentials, hit the road, and see how it goes – we bet you’ll have a fantastic time!