Riding Around: America On Tour – U.S. Tour Operators Directory 2006

Looks like 2006 will be a great year out on the roads. Rider’s 2006 list of domestic tour companies is the longest ever, and most say that bookings for 2006 are piling up fast. So don’t wait too long—if you see any tours you like, call ’em up!

Guided motorcycle tours are more popular than ever. “Motorcycling is a social activity. Organized tours are about the people who share an interest in the excitement of motorcycle travel,” says Rick Patrin of Adventure Cycle Tours. Tours are getting longer, too, as riders clamor for more miles. Several companies now offer a coast-to-coast tour (you decide which way—east or west).
All of the tours listed below are guided, with a person on a motorcycle leading the group. Do you have to follow? Depends on the tour. Usually, you’ll be given the option to make your own way, or choose to share the road with others in the group. Cell phones have made guest-to-guide communication easier, although phone coverage is often spotty on many mountain roads.

If you don’t see a tour you like, ask if you can create your own. Many tour companies, especially the smaller ones, will happily create a custom tour for a small group of people (sometimes as small as three or four), and even send a guide out with you.

Before booking any tour, check what’s included and what’s not. On most tours, you’re responsible for your own lunch, fuel supplies, national park admission tickets and sometimes dinners, too. You’ll usually always get a free breakfast, often buffet-style (a good place to carbo-load for the day). The list includes companies with a fleet of rental motorcycles or who use rental motorcycles from a rental agency (many companies will also allow you to take your own bike). The typical prices, listed below, only include motorcycle rental if the company offers its own motorcycles for rent.

Wherever you go, think of this: Out on the road with a motorcycle for a week or two, without having to worry about hotels, or anything much else, can you avoid having a good time?

Tours: (Street) Buckaroo Bonanza, Central California, Wild West, Golden California, Coast to Coast, Laguna Seca MotoGP,
(Dual-sport) Grand Canyon, Alaska
Accommodations: 2- or 3-star hotels,
Length of Tours: 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, 22 days
Rental Options: BMW RT or GS, H-D Sportster or Big Twin, Honda cruisers or tourers, own bike
Equipment: Daily map printout,
support vehicle
Dates: May-October
Typical cost per person: From $2,410,
7-day tour H-D Sportster or Honda Shadow to $7,728 for 22-day tour on Gold Wing
Age requirement: 21-25, varies with tour
Address: P.O. Box 1803
1253 Evergreen #1
Wrightwood, California 92397
Tel: (800) 944-2356 or (760) 249-1105
Web: www.admo-tours.com
Few U.S. riders ever accumulate enough vacation days to appreciate the longest AdMo-Tour—that would be the 22-day, 3,800-mile Coast-to-Coast, but AdMo-Tours operates several shorter tours that give plenty of riding thrills.

Adventure Cycle Tours
Tours: Colorado Rockies
Accommodations: Hotels, motels
Length of Tours: 4 days
Rental Options: Harley-Davidson range
Equipment: Varies
Dates: June
Typical cost per person: $489 for 4-day tour, plus mc rental ($120-$200/day)
Age requirement: 21
Address: 15820 16th Place
Plymouth, Minnesota 55447
Tel: (763) 449-4908
Web: www.winternet.com/~act
These days, Adventure Cycle Tours is focusing on the self-guided tour business (which it operates from its base in Minnesota during the riding season) and runs just one guided tour per year, but it’s a good one, through the mountains and milestones of the Colorado Rockies.

Alaska Rider Tours
Tours: Ladies Tour, Northern Expedition
Accommodations: Hotel or camping
Length of Tours: 6, 7, 9 days
Rental Options: H-D, Buell Ulysses, BMW GS, Suzuki V-Strom, Kawasaki KLR
Equipment: Camping gear, gasoline,
support vehicle
Dates: May-September
Typical cost per person: $2,675 for 7-day ride
Age requirement: 25
Address: P.O. Box 1392
Girdwood, Alaska 99587
Tel: (800) 756-1990 or (907) 272-2777
Web: www.akrider.com
Alaska Rider Tours offers a variety of choices for adventure tours during the short northern tour season. You can travel deluxe, sleeping in a bed at night, or go the vagabond route, camping next to the trail. You can even bring your own bike, though how you get it to
Alaska is up to you!

AMA Tours
Tours: Canadian Atlantic Maritimes (Nova Scotia/Newfoundland), Conquer the Canyons (Southwest), Chasing the Colors (Blue Ridge), Raising Route 66, Rule the Rockies
Accommodations: Hotels, resorts, motels
Length of Tours: 9, 10, 14 days
Rental Options: Eaglerider rental,
own motorcycle
Equipment: Maps, yearbook
Dates: May-October
Typical cost per person: Starting at $2,255, not including mc rental or airfare
Age requirement: Experienced riders with current mc license
Address: 13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, Ohio 43147
Tel: (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646), ext. 1190
Web: www.amadirectlink.com
Here’s a new wrinkle in the touring business: AMA Tours now offers commemorative tour yearbooks for each tour, giving you the chance to relive your adventure when the snow has piled up outside the door. Want to take your own bike? Talk to the AMA about its recommended shipping service.

Bikers West
Tours: Western Grand Tour, Death Valley
Accommodations: Hotels
Length of Tours: 6, 11 days
Rental Options: Honda Magna, Shadow, Gold Wing, Yamaha 1100 V-Star, own motorcycle
Equipment: Support vehicle
Dates: March-October
Typical cost per person: $3,250 (11-day tour)
Age requirement: 25
Address: 8131 Lincoln Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90045
Tel: (310) 645-3275 or (310) 649-2735
Web: www.bikerswest.com
Ride master Mike Higgins operates tours originating from Santa Monica, California, ranging over the vast horizons of the American West. Tours are decidedly informal, and you get the chance to ride the Santa Monica mountains and dine with Mike at his home before the tour officially starts (now, that’s a great way to make sure everyone can ride!).

California Motorcycle Tours
Tours: Desert and Park, Best of California, Day Tripper, Sierra Passes
Accommodations: Hotel, lodge, B&B
Length of Tours: 3, 7, 10 days
Rental Options: Harley-Davidson range, own motorcycle
Equipment: Maps, paid gasoline, saddlebags, windscreen
Dates: April-October
Typical cost per person: $2,675, H-D Sportster on 7-day tour
Age requirement: 21
Address: 5838 Agee Street
San Diego, California 92122
Tel: (888) 408-7631
Web: www.ca-motorcycletours.com
Seven riding days with eight nights hotel accommodations—one of the pluses of California Motorcycle Tours (sometimes seven days means six, or even only five riding days). And even more chances to see the sights of the West the best way—from the saddle of a motorcycle. All tours begin and end in San Diego, so you know the weather is always going to be perfect.

Tours: Route 66, Wild West, California Dreaming, Gold Rush, Rocky Mountain, Florida/Key West, Kilts & Bagpipes
Accommodations: Hotels
Length of Tours: 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 16 days
Rental Options: Harley-Davidson range,
own bike
Equipment: Helmets, chase vehicle, saddlebags, luggage rack
Dates: Year-round
Typical cost per person: 10-day tour, $3,600
Age requirement: 21 minimum, no maximum
Address: 11860 South La Cienega Boulevard,
Los Angeles, California 90250-3461
Tel: (310) 536-6777
Web: www.eaglerider.com
“We rent dreams,” says Eaglerider. The company began renting Harley-Davidson motorcycles in 1992, and now have locations almost everywhere you’d want to ride. Tours are offered coast to coast, and include the fabulously named Kilts & Bagpipes, which visits the Gathering of Scottish Clans at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sign us up, mon!

Edelweiss Bike Travel
Tours: Best of Pacific Coast, Alaska, America Coast-to-Coast, Grand Canyon
Accommodations: Hotels, motels, lodges
Length of Tours: 4, 6, 9, 14 days
Rental Options: BMW range
Equipment: Saddlebags, support vehicle
Dates: March-November
Typical cost per person: 9-day tour (7 riding days), $2,440-$4,420 depending on bike and rooms
Age requirement: 21, doctor’s note required over 65
Address: Tri Community Travel & Cruises
P.O. Box 1974
Wrightwood, California 92397
Tel: (800) 507-4459
Web: www.edelweissbike.com
This Austrian-owned company has been touring for decades and offering tours in the United States for many years. In addition to its four organized tours, Edelweiss also operates its own Arizona and California touring centers (a good place to take the family and ride, too) and offers two rider reunions per year. This year’s reunions are in
Death Valley, California, and Lake George, New York.

FlyRide-USA (formerly RoadTrip-USA)
Tours: American West, California Dreaming, American Rockies, Northwest Discovery, American Southwest, Big Sky Tour, Oregon Outback, U.S.A. Coast-to-Coast
Accommodations: High-quality lodging
Length of Tours: 7, 10, 15, 16, 22, 29 days
Rental Options: Select BMW, H-D, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha
motorcycles and super-scooters
Equipment: Windscreen, luggage, tire repair kit, maps, AAA membership
Dates: June-October
Typical cost per person: From $2,092,
15-day tour
Age requirement: 21, 2 years experience in saddle of 600cc-plus machine.
Address: P.O. Box 8700
Bend, Oregon 97708
Tel: (888) 317-1313
Web: www.flyride-usa.com
Based in what the company says is the “weather-perfect” city of Bend, Oregon, between the spectacular Cascade Mountains and the expansive High Desert, FlyRide-USA says it is situated in the middle of the American West, and is therefore ideally located to provide tours of the entire region, with visits to the most amazing places.

Freedom Tours
Tours: Colorado Rockies, Land of Enchantment, The Canyon Roads Tour
Accommodations: Small-town hotels, lodges
Length of Tours: 8, 9, 12 days
Rental Options: Select BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki and Triumph models, or own bike
Equipment: Maps, support vehicle
Dates: June-September
Typical cost per person: $2,945, 9-day tour
Age requirement: None
Address: 44 Cheyenne
Lyons, Colorado 80540
Tel: (303) 823-5731
Web: www.twisty-roads.com
Freedom Tours has been offering its own brand of mountain and canyon touring for more than 15 years now, so it must be doing something right. The company claims that mountain riding erases work worries or other mental clutter, at the rate of one per minute on mountain passes!
Great American Motorcycle Touring
Tours: Sunshine Highways, Canyons of the Southwest, Northern California/Tahoe, Glacier National Park/Canadian Rockies, Sea to Shining Sea, Yellowstone/Tetons—plus custom tours
Accommodations: Smaller hotels and inns
Length of Tours: 8, 10, 21 days
Rental Options: H-D, select BMW and Honda models
Equipment: Support vehicle
Dates: April-September
Typical cost per person: $2,795, 8-day tour
Age requirement: Under 18 accompanied by parent or guardian
Address: 34208 Aurora Road #254
Solon, Ohio 44139
Tel: (800) 727-3390 or (440) 349-1201
Web: www.greatamericantouring.com
Steven “Skip” Schippers of GAMT says, “The main things to bring are a spirit of adventure, a love for motorcycling, and a willingness to have fun and meet new people. Our tours show you the best of both worlds—fantastic riding, plus an upscale vacation with unique lodging and fine dining.”

Iron Horse Touring
Tours: Adventure Tour, Lighthouse Tour, Budget Tour, Cedar Key Tour, Forest Tour, St. Augustine Tour, Young at Heart Tour
Accommodations: Motorcycle Lodge, Hotels
Length of Tours: 1, 2, 7 days
Rental Options: Select H-D models, own bike
Equipment: Chase vehicle
Dates: Year-round
Typical cost per person: $2,495 for
7-day tour
Age requirement: 18 and older
Address: P.O. Box 10417
Brooksville, Florida 34603
Tel: (352) 428-0617 or (386) 956-8220
Web: www.ironhorsetouring.com
Operating from Central Florida, with its mild riding climate, the company offers numerous two-day guided tours year-round, and one seven-day “Adventure tour” (May-October for this one), with the chance to sample whitewater rafting or mountain ATV riding.

Northeastern Motorcycle Tours
Tours: Northern Lakes (Adirondacks), Escape to the Mountains, Maine Maritime, Best of the Mountains, New England Fall Foliage
Accommodations: Inns, hotels
Length of Tours: 3, 6, 7, 10, 13 days
Rental Options: Select BMW, H-D and
Honda motorcycles from rental agencies,
or own motorcycle
Equipment: Chase vehicle
Dates: May-October
Typical cost per person: 6-day tour, $1,995
Age requirement: None; licensed, experienced riders only
Address: P.O. Box 574
Saxtons River, Vermont 05154
Tel: (802) 463-9853
Web: www.motorcycletours.com
What’s to do in a New England spring? Well, luxurious accommodations, excellent food, twisty roads and gorgeous scenery are definitely the attractions. Northeastern Motorcycle Tours has been running tours for 10 years now. You can stop in at the Indian factory museum, visit Norman Rockwell’s studio or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory (samples, anyone?).

Pashnit Motorcycle Tours
Tours: Northern Coast Tour, Central Coast Tour, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Circle California 4-Day, Wine Country 7-Day,
Moto-GP Race Week 7-Day
Accommodations: Motels, hotels
Length of Tours: 3, 4, 7 days
Rental Options: BMW, H-D range, own bike
Equipment: Chase motorcycle
Dates: April-October
Typical cost per person: From $280
Age requirement: 21
Address: 5999-B Madison Avenue
Continued on page 30
Carmichael, California 95608
Tel: (530) 391-1356
Web: www.pashnittours.com
A sign of the times: Pashnit Tours (from “Passionate”) grew out of the hugely popular “California Motorcycle Roads” Web site, and the company now operates several tours over the Golden State’s best backroads. Amazingly enough, most of the clientele are California locals, surprised to find such great riding in their own backyards.

Rebel USA
Tours: Route 66, Apache Trail, Highway 1, Great Parks, Blues Cruise, Gold Rush
Accommodations: Hotels
Length of Tours: 14, 17 days
Rental Options: H-D range
Equipment: Chase vehicle with spare bike
Dates: April-October
Typical cost per person: $4,700-$5,700
Age requirement: 21
Address: 5600 Kearny Mesa Road
San Diego, California 92111
Tel: (888) 737-3235 or (858) 292-6200
Web: www.rebelusa.com
The name is Rebel USA, but the tour
company is Swiss, operating out of San Diego and Los Angeles, with 10 years experience
in the market. The motorcycle fleet is all-American, and the sights you will see are also all-American, on tours that show the best the country has to offer.

Reuthers Tours
Tours: Highway 1, Wild West, Route 66
Accommodations: Middle-class hotels
Length of Tours: 8, 12, 15 days
Rental Options: Select BMW, H-D, Honda and Triumph models
Equipment: Tourbook, escort van
Dates: May-September
Typical cost per person: from $2,149 for
8-day tour
Age requirement: None
Address: 3351 McNab Avenue
Long Beach, California 90808
Tel: (800) 838-3162
Web: www.reuthers.com
Based in Germany and New Zealand with a service center in the U.S.A., Reuthers offers guided tours all over the world, and includes several U.S. tours as part of that service, starting from its Los Angeles area base or from Chicago on the Route 66 tour.
Ride the Dream
Tours: Amazing Canyonlands, Ride the
Wild West, Harley-Heli tours
Accommodations: Hotel, motel
Length of Tours: 6, 7, 9 days
Rental Options: H-D
Equipment: Chase vehicle
Dates: Year-round
Typical cost per person: $3,995 for 9-day tour
Age requirement: 25, experienced riders—MSF course completion for riders with less than 2 years experience.
Address: 134 Camino Acote
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508
Tel: (505) 660-3684
Web: www.ridethedream.com
Diversity, seclusion and beauty is what Ride the Dream promises for its Southwestern tours. New for 2006: Harley-Heli tours, a group of 10 is divided into two groups, one group rides from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Moab, Utah. The other group travels by helicopter via Monument Valley, then the groups switch!

Ride Free Motorcycle Tours
Tours: Sunset to Las Vegas, Route 66 to Grand Canyon, Christian Spirit Ride, Hollister, Sturgis, California Coastline, Love Ride
Accommodations: Country inns, cabins, hotels
Length of Tours: 5, 8, 15 days
Rental Options: Harley-Davidson range, own motorcycle
Equipment: Luggage, windscreen
Dates: March-November
Typical cost per person: $2,940 for 7-day ride
Age requirement: 21, 2 years experience
Address: 4848 W. 136th Street
Hawthorne, California 90250
Tel: (310) 487-1047
Web: www.ridefree.com
Want to attend one of the iconic motorcycle events, or ride one of the iconic motorcycle roads? Ride Free offers tours to do all of these, plus the Christian Spirit Ride, which
is a non-alcoholic tour allowing plenty of time for meditation (yes, you can do that on a motorcycle).

Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Holidays
Tours: Coast to California, California Sea to Sky
Accommodations: Resorts, Inns, hotels
Length of Tours: 10, 15 days
Rental Options: Triumph and Harley-Davidson range
Equipment: Support vehicle
Dates: September-October
Typical cost per person: $4,900 for 9-day tour
Age requirement: 21
Address: 102-4369 Main Street, Suite 124
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada VON 1B4
Tel: (604) 938-0126
Web: www.rockymtnmoto.com
Here’s a California tour with a difference:
It starts in Canada. From Rocky Mountain’s base in Whistler, British Columbia, the tour group winds through the Cascade Mountains and passes Mount St. Helens on the way
to the California coast, and an eventual
destination in the Wine Country. Don’t
want to travel that far? The Sea to Sky tour starts in San Francisco and heads for the Gold Country.

Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Tours
Tours: Best of the West, Best Five-Day Tour, More of the Best, Silver and Gold Tour
Accommodations: Small hotels, inns, B&B
Length of Tours: 5, 8, 12 days
Rental Options: Local rental agencies, own motorcycle
Equipment: Support vehicle
Dates: June-September
Typical cost per person: $2,800, 8-day tour
Age requirement: 25
Address: P.O. Box 1028
Crestone, Colorado 81131
Tel: (719) 256-4527
Web: www.rockymountainmotorcycletours.com
Colorado is a motorcycle paradise, says this company, but it’s also a land rich in history, geology and culture. You can see all of the above on one of its several tours, which average 200-mile days and don’t include
2-hour lunches or shopping sprees—the ride is the thing!

Turkey Creek Tours
Tours: Spanish Creek, Trail Ridge, High Road, Peaks and Canyons, Grits to Glitz Women’s Tour, Colorado Outlaw Trail
Accommodations: Hotels, B&B, Lodges
Length of Tours: 5, 8 days
Rental Options: Various from local agencies, own motorcycle
Equipment: Support vehicle
Dates: June-September
Typical cost per person: $2,275 single
occupancy for 5-day tour, $3,470
double occupancy
Age requirement: 21, no maximum
Address: 30001 Kings Valley East
Conifer, Colorado 80433
Tel: (888) 763-6185
Web: www.turkeycreektours.com
Motorcycle tours with altitude is Turkey Creek Tours proud boast, as the company operates several tours in the mountains of Colorado. The High Road tour means what it says: elevations comfortably above a mile high, over 2.5 miles (14,000 feet) in places. You’ll be ready for a soak in one of Colorado’s hot springs after that!

West Virginia Riders
Tours: Day tours, Sea to Shining Sea
Accommodations: Hotels, motels, cabins, B&Bs
Length of Tours: 1 day, 2 weeks
Rental Options: Select Kawasaki models,
own motorcycle
Equipment: Maps, luggage, camera mount
Dates: March-October (Sea-to-Sea June only)
Typical cost per person: $200 for day tour, $5,000 for 14-day tour (no extra charge for passenger), not including motorcycle rental
Age requirement: 24 for rentals, none for tours
Address: P.O. Box 932
Morgantown, West Virginia 26507
Tel: (304) 692-1463
Web: www.wvriders.com
Roads are meant to go somewhere, says West Virginia Riders, and motorcyclists are meant to find out where they go. And you will, if you take the Sea to Shining Sea tour, which crosses the continent from the Delaware Coast to California without ever using an interstate highway. Content with a day tour? There are several available from West Virginia Riders’ Morgantown base.


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