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Tour Grading

We want riders to have a fantastic biking holiday and we describe our tours as accurately as possible so that everyone can enjoy the experience. Included in the description of each tour is a grading of difficulty to help riders decide what tour is suitable for their level of riding. This helps with the decision process and if you follow our guidelines, you will get a holiday that best suits your ability and needs.

We believe we have a tour to suit everyone, choose from our easy going Normandy and Ardennes tours, through to the more challenging tours of the Alps.

If you (and pillion if applicable) are not ‘bike fit’ you will struggle on any motorcycle tour. What we mean is if you only ride very occasionally and only for short distances it’s only natural it will come as a shock when you start riding hundreds of miles day after day. So it may be prudent to get out and brush up on your skills on some longer rides.

It’s difficult for us to judge what tour might be suitable for a particular rider before meeting them, so we’ve summarised the rider/pillion expectancy of each grade of tour. We expect everybody that joins our tours to be a competent rider and to understand that you are booking a motorcycle holiday. Our tours are not a race, we always stop for lunch and regular coffee / rest stops throughout the day and there will always be time for photo opportunities!

Whenever there is a group of riders, you will inevitably get a wide range of experience and riding abilities, no matter what grade of tour is chosen. Participants are always encouraged to ride within their own abilities. On our guided European tours we use a simple drop-off system which is explained here and again in our tour pack, allowing every rider to ride at their own pace without holding anybody up.  However, if you prefer to make your own way, riding alone or as part of a smaller group, our comprehensive tour pack contains everything you’ll need to self-navigate.

If you have never been on a tour outside the UK, or if you have little or no experience riding extremely curvy mountain roads, we recommend you stay with the suitable for all & easy tours.

SUITABLE FOR ALL

These tours are suitable for anybody, from the rider who has recently passed their test, right up-to a seasoned tourer. These tours are also very pillion friendly and make a perfect introduction to riding on the Continent. They are very easy going and the daily mileages will be fairly low with plenty of rest/coffee stops throughout the day. These tours are part motorcycling and part cultural as we allow plenty of time to fully explore the culture and history of each country. All types of bikes over 500cc are suitable on these tours including modern maxi scooters.

EASY

On these tours the daily mileages will be slightly higher and the roads will be a little more technical in nature, including hairpin bends. We believe they are still suitable for a broad spectrum of abilities and are still pillion friendly. On these tours, there may be a cultural side to the tour including visiting tourist sites or sightseeing etc. but you can still expect to be on the bike for up to 6 hours a day. All types of bikes 500cc and over are welcome.

INTERMEDIATE

These tours are for those who want to ride their motorcycle on more challenging roads and that the emphasis of the tour is about riding your motorcycle on fantastic roads through stunning scenery. Although we take a fairly laid back approach, stopping for regular coffee/rest stops and we always stop for lunch, you can still expect to be on your bike between 6 to 8 hours a day on these tours. You should be a confident rider and your pillion (if applicable) should be comfortable with the daily mileages.

We welcome sports bikes, tourers and adventure style bikes on our intermediate tours. Cruisers may find these tours more difficult because of the technical nature of the roads (many hairpin bends etc.) We would be more than happy to accept cruiser style bikes on the understanding that if you couldn’t keep pace with the main group you would split off and make your own way to the hotels, (our tour pack contains everything you need to self-navigate).

EXPERIENCED

These tours should be looked upon as a biking adventure. They are designed to be challenging and the emphasis of the tour is purely upon riding your motorcycle on some of the most technical roads in Europe. You should be an experienced rider, know how to corner properly and be confident about riding in the rain on all types of road. You can expect to be on the bike between 7 to 9 hours a day. With regards to bringing a pillion on these tours – The pillion needs to be experienced and should regularly go as pillion otherwise they are not going to enjoy the tour.

We welcome sports bikes, tourers and adventure style bikes on our difficult tours. We do not feel that cruiser style bikes are suitable for these tours but we would be more than happy to accept a booking on the understanding that if you couldn’t keep pace with the main group you would split off and make your own way to the hotels, (our tour pack contains everything you need to self-navigate).

GUINEA PIG TOUR

We sometimes run these tours and what we mean by this is we may not have been to the country or area before and we wouldn’t have ever taken paying customers. You would essentially be joining us on a ‘Recce’ trip of a new tour.

We run these tours for a few reasons:-

  • These tours are offered at substantially reduced rates, sometimes even at cost price. So it’s a great way to join a tour and save a lot of money!
  • We know that some people like the adventure of doing something new and exciting and enjoy the thrill that something may be a little ‘Off the Wall’ and not go 100% according to plan.
  • It allows us to get customers feedback and fine tune any potential new tour before adding it to our main touring schedule.

If you would like to discuss any particular tour in more detail please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

*DISCLAIMER: Our tour gradings have been given in good faith and to assist you in Tour selection. We have done our best to describe the type of roads and the ‘flavour’ of the tours as accurately as possible. If you (the customer) are in any doubt as to the tour’s suitability, choose an easier one. Ultimately, as fully licenced bikers, your safety is your own responsibility and Vale Moto Tours Ltd cannot be held responsible if the Participant is out of their comfort zone in regards to the grading and difficulty of the Tour