Tag Archives: travel

Motorcycle tours become electrified

Range and recharging times may still be an issue for electric motorcycles, yet it looks like the motorcycle travel industry may become electrified.

A few years ago, Eidelweiss Motorcycle Tours in Europe started hiring electric Zero motorcycles, although it appears that is no longer the case.

Perhaps they had too many customers running out of charge a long way from home!

However, that hasn’t stopped Swedish company CAKE who make lightweight electric motorcycles.

They have formed a partnership with Skoj P Hoj to offer electric enduro and off-road test rides and guided tours using their Kalk models.

That makes a lot more sense than electric road bikes.Cake Kalk electrified bike tours

Electrified off-road tours

Off-road tours are usually shorter than road tours, although finding charging points might be more difficult out in the country.

Paris-Dakar and enduro race veteran and owner of Skoj P Hoj, Olle Ohlsson, believes “electric is the future” and says they have several benefits over traditional bikes.

Olle Ohlsson with the Cake Kalk electrified bikesOlle Ohlsson with the Cake Kalk electric bikes

“These bikes don’t disturb: there is nearly no noise, no pollution,” he says.

“And the ease of riding — with no clutching or changing gears — means that the addressable market is sky-high.

“It’s a whole new layer of business opportunity.

“We have had world-class athletes and beginners riding and with pre-set riding modes it means everyone has a blast.” 

Skoj P Hoj, can take groups of five for half or full-day explorations, on the trails north of Stockholm. The bikes being used are all CAKE Kalk, street-certified enduro/off-road bikes.

Cake Kalk

Cake Kalk electrified bike toursCake Kalk

The Cake Kalk weighs only 69kg and has a top speed of about 80km/h.

They say range is up to three hours, depending on “a number of different aspects, e.g. riding style, rider weight, weather conditions, temperature, road surface and tyre pressure”.

Charging takes 90 minutes from flat to 80% or 2.5 hours to full charge from a standard outlet.

Presumably riders could head out for three hours of enduro riding the trails, then stop somewhere for a long lunch where they plug in and then ride home.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Where to Visit on Your Bike Trip in Devon

If you want to ride your bike in Devon, UK, then you are surely in for a great time as you will view the countryside that is undeniably dramatic and gorgeous. That is why you will enjoy a great ride from Okehampton to Brent Tor. This trip will equate to 32 miles or 51km. 

This bike trip will take you primarily over a path that was formerly used for railways. This pathway is free of traffic for the most part. There will be a loop that will take you through some somewhat hilly lanes.

You will start at Okehampton. You will take an eleven-mile ride to Lydford over Granite Way. This is an amazing cycleway that will be within the range of three miles from High Willhays. This is the highest point in the area. In fact, this is known to be the highest point in England to the southern region of Peak District. 

You will enjoy exquisite views, such as the incredible viaducts of the Victorian era. There is also a wonderful loop of lanes that are hilly that will take you to your destination of Brent Tor, which is noted as being one of the most iconic landmarks of the region.

As you are about one mile from Okehampton, you will note the Meldon Viaduct. This is regarded as Victorian lattice that is crafted from cast iron. It is curved in a gentle manner and rises one hundred and fifty feet above the West Okement River.

Devon England UK, motorcycles, motorcycle travelModebury, South Devon, England

A few more miles into your trip, you will note the stately Lake Viaduct. It has masterful arches that are crafted of fine quality granite. The rail-trail then finishes at the region of Lydford. Lydford is a stunning village that was regarded as a notable region of power during the times of the Normans and Saxons. 

There is an impressive castle along with fortifications at Lydford, and there is no charge to explore the castle or fortifications. There is also a waterfall at Lydford Gorge. The waterfall is thirty meters in height. It is free to view only to those who are members of the National Trust.

You will experience a climb that is steady as you approach Bren Tor. This is a volcano that is extinct. It is notoriously capped with a chapel that dates back to the time of the fourteenth century. 

Then on your return, you will take a descent via Chillaton that will bring you to a bridge that rests over the Lyd River. The final significant climb is via Galford Down. There you will delight in terrific views of some of the highest tors of the region. As you make your return to Okehampton, you will ride along the Granite Way.

It cannot be denied that this is a fantastic bike route that will make you feel exhilarated and refreshed. This is a great ride to take along with a companion. Be sure to bring your camera to take some photos or videos. Also, bring some water to stay hydrated.

(Contributed article)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride with historic tunnel vision

We don’t usually recommend riders have tunnel vision, unless it’s an unused historic tunnel of which there are many throughout the nation.

If you’re a bit of a history buff, or you just enjoy something unusual on your bike trip, check them out.

You may be surprised to find that there are some close to you and some that you can even ride through like the Boolboonda Tunnel, about 35km west of Gin Gin, Queensland.

There is a short 2km of smooth gravel leading up to the tunnel on the eastern side that is easy to ride no matter what bike you have.

If you are coming through the farm gate on the western side, make sure you close it behind you.

The track is rough and should really only be tackled on an adventure or dirt bike. Try not to scare the cattle.

Once you get to the tunnel, it’s probably best to walk it first to check the condition of the surface.

Use a torch or your phone’s torch. It can be wet and potholed.

Look up and you will see it is also home to a colony of bats, although you will smell them long before you see them.

Put your lights on high beam, take off your sunnies and ride through slowly as it’s one way and there can be vehicles coming from the other end.

There can also be pedestrians in the tunnel.

They also ask you to not disturb the bats.

Search now for unused historic railway tunnels near and get out there and ride them. They’re “cool fun”.

Short history

The tunnel is 192m long which makes it the longest unsupported man-made tunnel in Queensland.

This engineering marvel was built from 1881 to 1884 to service the Mt Perry copper mines.

The line was deviated in 1960 and tracks removed the following year.

It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 24 September 1999.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riding around the world with no plan

Clinton Wood didn’t have a plan to ride around the world — but he did — and that’s how he likes to travel.

The 45-year-old cabinet maker and now Postie from Ipswich in Queensland says he has ridden more than 100,000km in more than 30 countries and three continents almost by accident.

He certainly didn’t plan it that way.

No plan

“I used to ride around Fernvale as a kid with dad and my cousins on riding holidays, but when we moved back to town I stopped riding bikes,” he says.

“I started riding again 10 years ago.”

He says his return to riding started on a slow bus ride up the Himalayas.

“I was going mad. I had travelled for 10 years relying on people driving me from place to place and it was enough.

“So when I saw a bike (Royal Enfield Bullet 350) for sale I thought I’d buy that and just ride that back down the mountain.

Clinton Wody and TransalpClinton in the Himalayas

“Well, I rode it back to Delhi and then I just kept on going. I eventually rode 18,000km around India on that first trip and then spent another six years just riding around India and Nepal.

“I was hooked.”

Shaking in Kathmandu

Clinton was in Kathmandu in early 2015 and had just extended his visa when the earthquake struck, knocking him and his girlfriend to the ground.

“Buildings were going down around us so I said let’s get back on the bike and get out before it goes crazy,” he says.

“I was riding against a tide of people escaping to open space in a park in the middle of town.

“We spent several days sleeping out in the open in the cold and rain.

“There were thousands of small quakes afterwards. It was the scariest time.”

He hadn’t planned it that way but he stayed for six weeks helping the locals recover from the devastating earthquake.

While in India and Nepal, Clinton says he kept meeting Europeans heading to Australia on their motorcycles; mainly Honda Transalps and Dominators.

“I didn’t know you could do that,” he says.

So when he returned to Australia in late 2015 he bought a 2005 XL650 in Sydney and rode it home to the Sunshine Coast.Clinton Wody and Transalp

Transalp to London

That Transalp also took him from Australia to London almost by accident in 2016.

He certainly didn’t plan it that way.

“I just wanted to do a camping trip for a few weeks up to the Daintree,” he says.

“When I got to Mission Beach I couldn’t turn back so I started heading west.

“Along the way I ran into a guy on a postie bike and he had no idea where he was going either so we made a pact that if we met up again in Darwin we would continue on to Asia.

“We did and I eventually ended up in London about 11 months later.”Clinton Wody and Transalp

Post-pandemic travels

That Transalp is still in London and his Bullet is still in India, waiting for the pandemic to end and for Clinton to continue his life of travel.

Meanwhile, he has another Transalp in Australia.

He was about to use it to start a motorcycle travel company, but then the bushfires hit, followed by the pandemic which ruined that plan.

When the overseas travel restrictions lift, Clinton will be off again.

Clinton wants to ride from London to Cape Town and he also wants to spend some time in Italy and other countries around the Adriatic Sea. Then there’s that Bullet in India …

He doesn’t seem to have a set plan and takes things at a measured pace.

“I don’t ride hard. Why go so fast on a motorcycle and not see everything?

“A motorcycle is a tool for pleasure. Take it slow or the bike will full apart.

“I didn’t travel the world to go fast.”

He also wants to write a novel about his travels when he finally gets time.

Judging by the tales he has to tell, it should be a good read.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Free ferry fares to Tassie after pandemic?

Tasmania wants to encourage domestic tourism with free or discounted fares for all vehicles including motorcycles on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry when the state reopens its borders after the pandemic closure.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO Luke Martin has called in the Federal Government to temporarily extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme that covers the gap between the true cost of taking a vehicle on the ferry and the ticket price.

That would make fares attractively cheap or even free.

Ferry proposalFree ferry fares to Tassie Tasmania

The proposal has been supported by Premier Peter Gutwein and the Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA) in Victoria who asks riders to email the Premier to show their support.

Luke says tourists spend an average of $2400 in the local economy.

Motorcycle tourists should be among the most desirable for local businesses, spending more than other motorists.

For example, Tourism Queensland estimates motorcycle tourists spend up to $160 a day in local communities on food, drink, accommodation, fuel and necessities, while caravaners are more self-contained and only spend about $40 a day.

A Spirit of Tasmania spokesperson says the current motorbike fare starts at $69 each way in the low tourist season.

It can rise to $99 in the high season or $109 for a flexi fare. Sidecars and trailers can lift the price to as much as $139 each way.

A discount or free fare would encourage more riders. Not that riders need much encouragement to head to Tassie. Charley Boorman rates it one of his favourite riding destinations.

Safe travels

The Tasmanian Government loves to welcome visiting motorcyclists, but also promotes important road safety messages about roads and riding conditions in Tasmania.

They have produced a Tasmanian Motorcycle Travel Guide video which is given to all motorcyclists when they board the Spirit of Tasmania.

It is one of many motorcycle-oriented tourism videos they have released.

In 2015, they produced a video featuring multi-Australian Superbike Champion Malcolm Campbell and interstate motorcycle club member Lester Knowles riding around the state and pointing out the features and dangers.

Each year the video is updated.

Road safety billboards and posters are also displayed on popular riding routes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

First weekend of eased travel restrictions

This is the first weekend that all states and territories have eased travel restrictions and we expect a lot of bikes out on the roads throughout Australia and the UK.

As we noted in our above meme a few weeks ago: “When the lockdown ends … You won’t see me for dust.”

The travel restrictions vary throughout the country. Click here for the latest details.

For example, in Queensland riders who were restricted to a 50km radius can now travel in a 150km radius (500km if you live in the outback), extending to 250km from June 12.

Coincidentally this weekend I pick a Harley-Davidson Road King for test which should be more than suitable for travelling 150km radius! 

150km radius from western Brisbane150km radius from Brisbane

Like many other riders, I am also planning a multi-day ride from June 12 when Queensland’s rules (and many other states) will allow tourist accommodation.

I will also be able to travel in a 250km radius and ride with a group of up to 20.

It looks like there will be seven of us and we plan to stay within the 250km radius which takes us southwest to the Granite Belt, west into the Darling Downs and north as far as Maryborough, an area that includes a host of great roads.

Unfortunately, the beckoning roads of northern NSW will have to wait until July 12.

TravelQueensland’s three-stage plan

We will also continue practising social distancing and safe hygiene.

That means:

  • Limiting stops along the way;
  • Carrying spare disposable gloves for refuelling, etc;
  • Paying by credit card, not cash;
  • Frequent hand washing and carrying my own sanitiser; and
  • Carrying a thermometer for a daily temperature check.

Official health sites

These are the official rules for your state or territory:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Five countries that love motorcycles

By Anthony Joseph*

Motorcycles are iconic and versatile vehicles that are loved all over the world. To some, motorcycles equal recreation and fun, others utilise these vehicles for sport and competition. Some countries have even adopted motorcycles as their primary form of transportation in many cities and consider them essential to daily life. It’s fascinating to see how motorcycle culture has expanded around the world, with many areas developing a style that is completely unique and their own. Here are five countries that are known for their love for different types of motorcycles.  

Slovakia 

Slovakia is a country famous for its beautiful backroads and countryside. This terrain is perfect for motocross riders and races. This European country has many young riders that aspire to be a motocross champion. There is a deep rooted culture here for the sport, and many racing leagues that provide a place for these young riders to prove themselves before continuing on to international tournaments. With so much beautiful wilderness that makes up the country, from mountains to forest passes, what better way to experience the country than on a powerful off-roading machine like a dirt bike? 

 ItalyEnrico Grassi Hear the Road Motorcycle Tours Italy Tuscany and Umbria: Heart of Italy

It should come as no surprise that Italy has a love affair with two wheeled machines. The European country has a long history with motorcycles and scooters, with cities like Rome and Venice being famous for the prevalence of scooters there. The compact and agile machines are a favourite for cruising around the narrow and winding streets. Scooter rentals are also very popular among tourists, and there is even a green initiative, with electric scooters growing in use every year.  

Italy is also well respected for several major motorcycle brands that it has brought to the world. Ducati is a world famous luxury motorcycle manufacturer that was started here. With Italy being revered for their expensive and ultra-high performance vehicles like Lamborghini and Ferrari, of course there had to be a motorcycle equivalent, and this is just what Ducati is. The brand is headquartered in Borgo Panigale, Italy, and consistently makes some of the most beautiful and sought after motorcycles in the world. 

Of course, while Ducati is well respected outside of Italy, no motorcycle brand is more famous in  Italy than Vespa. The brand is owned by the vehicle manufacturer Piaggio, and has been creating these iconic scooters for over 75 years. These compact and sporty vehicles are well known for their rock solid construction, and are often attributed with being the first mass produced vehicle in Italy, meaning they are not only favoured for their performance and aesthetics, but were also incredibly important for the everyman. 

Japan

Some of the biggest two-wheeled vehicle brands in the world were born and raised in Japan, a country known for its groundbreaking manufacturing and designs across many different industries. All over Asia and indeed the world, brands like Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki are well known and respected. Japan is credited with creating some of the first truly high-performance motorcycles, a tradition that is carried on with motorcycles like the Suzuki Hayabusa that upon release in 1999 was considered the world’s fastest production motorcycle, with a top speed of 300-315kmh.

Japan is a country that loves racing and vehicles that are both agile and fast, and this is reflected in the manufacturing of the top motorcycle brands here. Aside from these sporty motorcycles, they also have popular lines of scooters, cafe racers, dirt bikes, and quads, making up an impressive lineup of machines that can suit any need.  

USAVictory touring USA America Sturgis motorcycle rally european boycott

The United States may possibly have the biggest population of motorcycle enthusiasts and recreational riders in the world. Here, the love affair with these powerful machines goes back to popular media that set the trend early in the 1950s. In a time before the internet and hundreds of television channels, film used to be immensely important and left a lasting impression on popular culture. Films like The Wild One starring the exceptional Marlon Brando brought a glamorised tale of motorcycle culture that influenced generations of new riders. Indeed, motorcycle culture is intertwined with the history of the United States, with some of the first motorcycle clubs being made up of soldiers that had come home from WW2 with an interest in pursuing their newfound love for these two wheeled beasts at home. 

When it comes to powerful motorcycles of the chopper variety, most of the styles, manufacturing and trends are attributed to the United States. Some of the most iconic chopper brands of all time were built in the USA, like Indian Motorcycles, Boss Hoss, and of course the Ubiquitous Harley-Davidson. 

Vietnam 

With millions of these small motorcycles dubbed “motorbikes” in the country, Vietnam has been bestowed the title of “motorbike capital of the world.” Visitors to this southeast Asian country are often taken back by the sheer volume of these vehicles and the seemingly chaotic nature of the roads in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Here, motorbikes are absolutely essential to daily life, with the entire infrastructure of Vietnam being built around these vehicles. City streets and highways were specifically constructed with these vehicles in mind, meaning they are normally narrow enough to allow just a few motorbikes or one big truck through at a time.

Many of the picturesque mountain passes that are essential to life for farmers and country folk are only wide enough to allow a single motorbike through. Historically, Vietnam has been completely dependent on motorbikes, and the influence of this can be seen in everything from paintings to popular film and the result is a society that is completely unique and independent from any other Asian culture.

*About the author: Anthony is a writer who enjoys riding motorcycles and motorbikes through foreign countries. When he’s not on the road, he spends his time researching emerging technology and the financial sector. Originally from the US, he has lived in several different places around the world and continues to travel.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle Road Trip Through Australia: 4 Top Destinations

(Article by Mike Ray*)

Few countries promise such fantastic motorbiking opportunities as Australia. With endless kilometres of the open road and some spectacular vistas, it’s little wonder that many people come to the nation to enjoy the ultimate motorcycle road trip.

Recently we’ve seen an explosion in the popularity of motorbiking. Motorcyclists and their clubs have been frequently portrayed in movies and the media generally, giving rise to a “biker culture”. This has gone out to influence anything from the looks of other sub-cultures such as punk and heavy-metal to tv shows like Sons of Anarchy and legendary games like GTA. Its influences have even been felt in the iGaming industry too, where a great deal of online pokies in Australia feature slot games that are trying to embrace this feeling of liberty and give players a taste of adventure. So it’s no wonder that more and more people are answering the call of the open road to feel the wind on their faces and observe different sceneries zoom past their eyes.

But what are the must-see destinations in your Australian motorcycle road trip?

Western Australia – Walpole To Albany

We have already revealed that there’s no shortage of great rides in Western Australia. This vast state is packed full of beautiful destinations for a good bike trip. But there’s little denying the fact that the route from Walpole to Albany offers perhaps the best ride.

This trip takes you all the way down the South Coast Highway, and you’ll get to check out numerous quaint small towns on your way. Keep your eye out for oddities like the Denmark Dinosaur World, but ultimately this bike trip is all about the beach.

By the time you get to the coastal city of Albany, you’ll be ready for the perfect picnic on excellent beaches such as Middleton Beach or the quieter Little Beach. After all, you’ll have travelled well over 100 kilometres from Walpole, so you’ll need a break.

Queensland – The Lions Road

Lions Rd Summerland WayLions Rd

The Lions Road is one of the most famous motorbike rides in Australia, so there was no way that we were going to miss this road from our shortlist.

After all, it’s an endlessly enjoyable ride through nearly about 50km of the stunning scenery that takes you across the Queensland/NSW border. The Lions Road was initially built to help farmers move produce but now also serves travellers exploring the lush forests of the Scenic Rim.

There’s plenty of fun to be had in navigating the twists and turns as you pass through the Border Ranges National Park. Just don’t forget to stop off at top cafes like the Shed Cafe at Rathlogan Olive Grove or the Bean To Cafe in Beaudesert. 

New South Wales – Kangaroo Valley

If you are willing to take your motorbiking up a level, then you should definitely consider heading out to Kangaroo Valley. This twisty route will take you between the imposing Cambewarra and Barrengarry mountains, and the stunning rainforests and surrounding countryside will make the trip a ride to remember.

Some of the highlights include the Hampden Bridge that crosses the Kangaroo River but don’t forget to check out the 822-metre Fitzroy Falls. You can only get here by navigating through the single-lane Illawarra Highway, but it’s all part of Australia’s most beautiful valley and is perfect for a good bike trip.

Tasmania – The West Coast

Tasmania is one of Australia’s overlooked gems when it comes to motorbikes. But there are many reasons to head to the island, as everything from the agreeable weather conditions to the well-kept roads and relative lack of traffic make Tasmania a biker’s paradise.

There are many places to enjoy on this island state, but we’d recommend taking a trip down the wild and astonishing West Coast. As soon as you leave Hobart via the Derwent Bridge, you’ll be treated to magnificent waterfalls, old mining towns, and some seriously unique landscapes.

We’d recommend taking a slight detour through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. This is home to endless mountains, gorges and tranquil rivers, and would make for the perfect stopping off point for yet another relaxed picnic on the road.

About the author

(*Author Mike Ray is a motorbike enthusiast and adventure lover who grew up watching motorbike races and now is on a mission to travel the world and discover awesome places.)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Where will you ride when lockdown ends?

Riders may have to cool their engines for some time yet, but that doesn’t stop us dreaming of where we will go when the lockdown ends.

Protest groups around the world are demanding the lockdown ends now but we know that won’t be happening.

However, that doesn’t stop us dreaming of the day the travel bans are lifted and the borders are reopened.

Hopefully, you have hibernated your bike properly, had it on a trickle charger and have a full tank of very cheap petrol ready to go.

If you have, check this article to find out how to safely bring it out of hibernation.

Meanwhile, you can dream about where you are going to ride when the bans are lifted and how long you will be away.

Making ends meetHarley-Davidson FXST Softail Standard

I’m lucky enough to be able to continue to ride for my work, testing bikes (such as the Harley-Davidson Softail Standard above) and gear to make ends meet.

However, I have been responsible and limited my rides to short trips.

So my first ride after the lockdown will be a long trip with overnight stays … so long as that is allowed!

No doubt it will still be important to continue practising social distancing and safe hygiene.

That means:

  • Riding solo or in a small group;
  • Limiting stops along the way;
  • Carrying spare disposable gloves for refuelling, etc;
  • Paying by credit card, not cash;
  • Practising social distancing;
  • Maybe camping out rather than staying in hotels;
  • Eating takeaway or cooking my own meals; 
  • Frequent hand washing and carrying my own sanitiser; and
  • Carrying a thermometer for a daily temperature check.

Now I just have to stick a pin in a map of Australia and start planning the road trip.

No doubt anywhere will welcome the motorcycle tourism dollar after a tough period of drought, bushfires, floods and pandemic.

Where will you ride when lockdown ends? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Pandemic travel bans prompt depression

Travel restrictions that include a virtual ban on motorcycle riding could lead to a rapid increase in anxiety and depression that outlasts the pandemic, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

The company says the enforced social isolation rules, along with the death threat from Covid-19 and financial disruption are a catalyst for the increased prevalence of mental disorders such as depression across a variety of age groups.

GlobalData pharma analyst Magdalene Crabbe says sales of drugs for psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder are expected to reach $US27.4bn (about $A45bn) this year, up $717m from the previous year.

The effects could continue long after the coronavirus pandemic, she says.

Pandemic of depressionDrugs depression

“Sales are then expected to increase from $27.4bn in 2020 to $40.9bn in 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.4%,” she says.

Allowing people to pursue a select group of solo and duo pastimes and therapies will go a long way to helping alleviate anxiety and depression.

“Personalised treatment strategies are important for treating psychiatric disorders, which may be exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis,” she says. 

“It is important that people realise that depending on pharmaceutical drugs is not necessarily the solution to the negative impact that Covid-19 will have on people’s mental health.”

Happy riders

Clubs Sharon Ledger peerSharon Ledger

Psychologist and reborn rider Sharon Ledger says riding makes people feel happy because of the release of certain chemicals in the brain.

“There are more than 10,000 chemical reactions going on in the brain every second,” she says.

“The chemicals that make you feel happy – oxytocin, dopamine, endorphin and serotonin – are produced by the endocrine system.

“Not all of these chemicals are released at the same time and each has a different outcome.

“However, more of these chemicals are produced when we look forward to doing something we enjoy; we get up early, we go outside in the sunshine and fresh air, we challenge ourselves, we meditate, we concentrate on an activity that requires skill and generally do things that motivate us.

“That pretty much sounds like motorcycling to me,” she says.

Let’s hope it’s not long before we can again experience that happy feeling.

If you are experiencing mental issues, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or Lifeline Australia on 131114.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com