Adventure Travel Companies Offering Motorcycle Tours

Adventure travel is one of the most popular forms of vacation these days. Adventure travel offers a person the chance to get out of the mundane routine that they have in their daily lives and do something out of the ordinary, exciting, and unique. The main reason that adventure travel is so popular is that it offers the chance to make memories that will last a lifetime, but more so to “have a story” as well.

For motorcycle enthusiast there are no shortage of adventure travel opportunities. It has long been said that there is no better way to have the ultimate adventure than to jump on a motorcycle and hit the open road. While it’s true that the open road nomad adventure is exciting and can give a sense of freedom and open you up to the unexpected not everyone is ready or able to undertake that kind of trip. For those who are looking for something a little more organized choosing a motorcycle tour package from an adventure travel agency might be a more attractive option.

Why Choose an Adventure Travel Provider for Your Motorcycle Touring Vacation

Again it is true that you could just get on the bike and go on your own to have a motorcycle adventure vacation, but in doing so you may find yourself in deeper than you imagined. There will of course be unforeseen events and expenses that come up along the way, but more than that you may find that you are not getting the most out of your vacation because of lack of guidance. Using an adventure travel company to plan and execute your motorcycle touring vacation is one of the best ways that you can ensure that you will be able to enjoy your trip and get the most out of your time on the road. In addition there are some places and experiences that are not available to independent motorcycle vacationers that you can only take part in if you are part of an adventure travel touring group.

Choosing the Right Provider for Your Adventure

It is vital that you choose the right adventure group for your particular trip. Make sure that you choose one who has a long history of leading tours in the type of adventure that you are wanting to undertake and who is able to provide references. Make sure that you check them out with major agencies such as the better business bureau, the American Travel Agents and Tour Provider’s Council, the chamber of commerce at the federal, state and local level where they are located and with consumer watchdog groups.

To help narrow down your selection of a provider check with website services such as ripoffreport.com, makeitright.com and getsatisfaction.com. These services are a great way to get to the meat of whether a provider does business on the up and up and takes care of their clients. Services like Yelp and RateIt are good as well. You can’t be 100% sure of course so make sure that you check into their licensing and bonding before you sign on to a package with them.

What to Expect During the Motorcycle Touring Adventure

A motorcycle touring vacation with an adventure travel provider is not like any vacation that you have ever taken before. There are no fancy hotels, no five star restaurants, hell most of the time there might not be a place to shower or plug in your phone (not that you are likely to be able to get a good signal anyway) but to a degree that is the point of this kind of trip. This is true freedom, the freedom of the open road and the adventure of being “out there” without the restrictions of what is normally thought of as constrained society. You may have a cheap motel room at the start and finish of the trip, but many time’s adventure travel motorcycle tours include camping out. If they do provide lodging nightly then expect it to be lower end motels and campground facilities be prepared to let go of the cellphone, the tablet, and of course Facebook & Twitter. Bring your camera, but forget your notebook pc, trust me that email at the office will still be there. Be ready to open yourself up and remember what it was like to be a regular human being before society put you in your nine to five suburban box. Be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime, seeing and doing things that you would never think of in your daily life, but also be prepared to “rough it” along the way. If this does not sound appealing to you, then this is not the kind of vacation you should consider. If you don’t mind a little dust on your clothes, or on you for a few days, and you can live without your social media, and connection to your career for a weeks or so then this might be right up your alley.

Some Best of Industry Adventure Travel Providers who Offer Motorcycle Touring Opportunities

Below are a couple of the best of industry adventure travel providers that offer motorcycle touring opportunities. These providers have a proven track record of taking care of their clients every need, but also leaving you to your own so that you can grow and push your limits while on your vacation. These are just a couple of the great companies that are out there and below them is a website that lists many more top rated providers who have a proven track record of being among the best.

Eagle Rider Tours & Rentals

www.eaglerider.com

Eagle Rider has been the industry leader in motorcycle rentals and touring programs at some of the most popular destination cities in the world since 1992. Not only do they offer rentals and self-guided tours but they also have a wide range of guided tours to fit everyone’s interests. Eagle rider offers a variety of bikes to fit the riding style, experience and preference of every motorcyclist. Some of the most popular tour routes include Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, Denver, Washington D.C. and of course the most popular tour route in their system the famous Route 66 countryside tour.

Eagle rider also offers international tour packages to some of the world most beloved destination travel cities such as Dubai, Sydney and Paris. Check their website to see what international cities offer tour opportunities via Eagle Rider. You may also qualify for discounts on your motorcycle rental and touring package as Eagle Rider has relationships with many popular organizations. More details can be found on their website.

Back Country Discovery Routes

www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com

Backcountry Discovery Routes was established in 2010 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and continued access of popular tourism routes for motorcycle riders. The organization works with agencies to promote, preserve and maintain these routes and to offer guided tour experiences on them that allow motorcycle riders to have access to these places while still maintaining their beauty and the safety of the riders. Current project routes include backcountry routes featuring historically significant or naturally majestic places in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and others. Check with their website for more information about routes and packages and to find out about opportunities to become a member of the organization and help protect these precious trails for future generations of motorcycle riders to enjoy.

AdventureMotorcycle.org

www.adventuremotorcycle.org

AdventureMotorcycle.org is a website dedicated to the exchange of information about great motorcycle rental companies, tour program operators and destinations to travel and explore via motorcycle all over the world. The website offers a wide range of guides and boards to find information about motorcycle touring and adventure options on every continued as well as information about tour operators and other travel related providers that you will need to make the most of your motorcycle touring experience. It is a treasure trove of information about how to get the most out of your next vacation on two wheels.

With this tips you are better prepared for your next vacation if you choose to go on a motorcycle touring adventure trip. This kind of travel is not for everyone and it offers a particular set of challenges that are equal to the unique adventure that you will have. This is not the kind of vacation that you will show pictures to your friends and family when you get home, this is the kind of vacation that will having you sharing stories of the road, and the amazing things that you saw and did. Stories that will leave them jealous and leave you with unique memories that will last a lifetime.

Tips For Locking And Securing Your Motorcycle

Your motorcycle is not only one of your most prized possessions, but also a major investment. It is important that you take every precaution that you can to secure your bike and its accessories when you have to park it somewhere. Here are some simple tips that will help to ensure that every time you get off your bike, you’ll be able to get right back on and continue the journey.

Only park in established parking lots, near the front entrance to where you are going and if possible make eye contact with security and let them know that you would appreciate them keeping an eye on your ride. Most of the time they will be more than happy to oblige. People find motorcycles fascinating and bikers interesting. Take advantage of that to help protect your most important possession.

Park in well lit areas within line of sight of security cameras or in the patrol path of a parking lot guard. Thieves like to go after vehicles that are out of the main area of the parking as it keeps their activities out of the way of prying eyes.

Make sure that you take off any items that are of extreme value that are not built into the dash or body of the bike such as GPS units, Stereo units/CD changers, pod style speakers, laser/radar detectors, CB/Radio/Intercom. If you have a hard shell trunk on your bike put the items in there out of the line of sight of other people in the parking area (preferably remove them while pulled over on the side of the street before arriving at your destination). If you do not have a hard shell truck place them in the saddle backs and make sure that the bags are not only locked shut but that they are secured via the frame locks to the bike. Never leave anything such as a backpack, knapsack, brief case or luggage attached to your bike in a public parking lot without having the bike immediately visible to you or a trusted companion or security guard. Not always but many times a store or restaurant will allow you to park your bike near the front door on the sidewalk if you ask nicely and explain that you are about to spend money in their establishment but need to ensure that you bike and belongings are safe. They would rather you take up a little sidewalk space, as long as you are out of the way, that to have you go somewhere else that will accommodate you.

Consider replacing your regular ignition lock with a thumb print reader lock or a digital key or pass code locking system. Many of these systems not only use a regular key or a digital encoded key but also require the rider to either scan their thumb print or type in a 4-6 digit pass code to activate the ignition. Theses systems are highly effective at helping to reduce the amount of motorcycle thefts that take place every year due to easily crackable ignition systems. If your bike does not have an ignition key system at all (older kick start bikes often do not) then have one installed.

Have a reliable alarm that is designed for motorcycles. Take your bike to a speed shop or a motorcycle dealer such as a Honda or Harley-Davidson outlet and have them install an actual motorcycle alarm system. Do not try to use an alarm that you can buy from an auto parts store that is designed to be self installed in a car or pickup truck. Not only will the alarm be ineffective but it could damage your bikes electrical system which is far more sensitive than that of a four wheel vehicle.

If you are parking in a questionable area have a reliable D.O.T. Certified immobilizer and use it. These devices are not a guaranteed to stop a thief but they are very effective as a deterrent and can go a long way to causing a would be thief inconvenience by slowing them down in their attack

For securing your bike at night if you do not have a garage or an accessible backyard, use a heavy steel chain such as a lumber chain attached to an immovable object. Alternately use a Securing plate locking system that is installed in your yard or driveway. These systems are comprised of steel plates and long re-bar rods that are sunk into concrete in your yard or your drive. You use them by driving the front tire of the bike (or the rear tire on some models) into the “docking latch” and then secure the bike to the permanently installed plate. This makes the bike impossible to move without the system being unlocked with a special key that only you have access to.

Use a kill switch that is hidden but do not place it in obvious places such as under the tank or seat. Also do not allow the switch to be visible so do not put it on the dash. Make sure that it is far enough away from the engine however that you are able to easily and safely activate it once you arrive somewhere with no risk of touch the hot motor. Some kill switches are remotely operated now and work either in tandem or separate from your alarm. These systems are an additional level of protection that can greatly decrease the chances that your bike will be stolen. Immobilizers and chains, even the best of them, can be cut or broken by experienced pros. Those should be used but should only be looked at as a means to slow down a thief not stop them.

These use of these tools and tips individually will not prevent a determined thief from getting his hands on your beloved bike, but when used together and with common sense you can all but guarantee 100% that your bike will be safe no matter where you have to park it. Your bike is your most important possession, it defines you as a biker, protect it and enjoy the ride for many years to come.

How Much Do You Pay For Motorcycle Insurance?

Out of curiosity… How much do you pay for your motorcycle insurance?

Leave a comment below and tell me:

  • Where you live (State and Country).
  • What kind of motorcycle you have (be sure to include the year).
  • What kind of coverage you’ve got.
  • And how much you pay per month or year.

For example: I have a 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 (fully paid for) with $25,000 of liability insurance and $25,000 worth of bodily damage coverage. I pay $62 USD per month.

How To Rent A Motorcycle In A Foreign Country

You have made the decision to head over to a foreign country and rent a motorcycle while you are overseas. This is a great idea as it allows for a more in-depth experience for the person that has made the choice to rent the motorcycle. The problem may be now, that you have to find out all of the information that is associated with renting a motorcycle in a foreign country. There is nothing to fear though as the information in this article is designed to give you the needed tools that will let you rent without a moments trouble. The following are designed to help you along and to make sure you have very few problems along the way.

The first thing that should be looked at is the fact of do you have a valid drivers license from your country or the one you are looking to rent from? Many places will not require you have a foreign drivers license and will take your state issued ID along with a passport. Make sure that all of this is current with all the correct information. You may find a couple of places that will not ask for this information but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Select motorcycles will not be able to be rented. This is due to either the rental place is out of stock or it is a model that is not cleared to be rode on the streets of the country or city you are in. Others will only be rented to certain people as smaller framed people my not be able to rent a cruiser as it will be feared that you will crash it as you can’t control it. Talk to the rental place before hand to make sure that this is not the case.

Secure that your deposit is paid for in full. Depending on a list of factors, there will either be a 10% charge or a 100% charge that will be assessed to you for the rental. This is mainly due to the fact that you need to make sure that you account for your credit as well as the bike you are looking to rent. You can easily call the rental place and find out what their policy is on the amount due for the rental bike to be secured.

Once you have all of these steps out of the way, it is time to arrive at the place that you are renting from. It is advised that if you are coming from a long distance, that you take the needed time to arrive a day early to allow yourself time to rest from any possible jet-lag you may be experiencing. Often when you take the time to do this, you will be a lot more refreshed for the upcoming touring that you are planning on doing. Arrive an hour or so early at the rental place and talk to the person in charge about your rental and make sure that there are no issues with you taking delivery of the rental. If there is an issue then you can usually get this resolved in a short amount of time.

All of these tips about how to rent a motorcycle in a foreign country will come in handy when you want to tour the sights of the country that you are visiting. Taking all of this into consideration will help you to ensure that you know all the ins and outs involving the rental process. The more that you know up front, then the better that the end all process will be for you and the people that will be renting to you.

What have you experiences been like when renting a motorcycle in a foreign country? Leave a comment below and let me know what you have to say!

The Top 10 Destinations For Motorcycle Touring In North America

Without a doubt one of the best things about owning a motorcycle is the ability to go anywhere and experience life in away that most people can only dream of. There is truly no better way to get a full experience of anew place than to cruise its streets, see the sights, smell the food, and engage the people.

Here are some of the best places in North America that lend themselves well to the idea of being toured via motorcycle.

1: New York City

The Big Apple, The City that Never Sleeps, The Melting Pot, Gotham…no matter what you call “The City” one thing is certain, it is the tourism capitol of North America and there is no better way to experience it than on your motorcycle. While cagers rants and rave about the horrible traffic that there is to be had in NYC, bikers will find that that the city is all but custom made for them. You will be able to get through areas that are congested to those on four wheels and park in unorthodox areas that are out of the way and would never fit a car. This can save you a lot on parking fees while in town. There is no end to the things that you can do in New York City. There are endless lists of places to go and things to see including “alphabet city” the setting for the world renowned modern rock musical rent, The Bowery, Yankee and Mets Stadium, The Rangers, the Knicks and the largest collection of Broadway theaters and museums in north America. The best part is go ahead and get a hotel in jersey and take the ferry across every morning to do your sight seeing, you will not only save money on cheaper hotel rates but the ferry is free for 2 wheeled vehicles including motorcycles.

2: South Dakota Black Hills

This area of the country is usually known as the home of the annual world famous Sturgis Motorcycle rally, but there is much more to see and do all year round. With some of the most beautiful and interesting stretches of open road to be found in North America, you are sure to find that the best thing to do in the Black Hills is to sit back and throttle her out.

3: Florida Keys

While they are islands, most people do not realize that the keys are all connected by the inter-coastal waterway. Featured in the block buster film True Lies, this massive highway structure connects the keys to themselves and to the mainland of Florida. The best part is that it is a long stretch of uninterrupted highway almost a hundred miles long. Go from Island to island and make the most of your trip by spending time on the beaches (including some of the only few clothing optional ones in the United States) sip a tropical drink on a boardwalk before sitting down to a lunch of a Cuban sandwich and Cuban coffee, dance the night away at a club in Key West or just chill out and watch the sun glide gently down past the horizon in Key Largo.

4: Gulf Coast

the gulf coat region stretches from the tip of Florida all the way around the coastline of the gulf of Mexico to the tip of Texas. It includes five states and more than a hundred small town and a half dozen major cities. There is no single roadway that travels the gulf coast at this time, although one has been proposed but there are major highways and interstates that connect well and offer almost full uninterrupted travel. Take pit-stops in Birmingham, Biloxi and New Orleans before heading to Galveston (making sure to stop at college station and say hi to the Aggies of Texas A&M)

5: Upstate New York

This part of New York state, right where the beginning of New England is and directly across from Ontario Canada is rife for touring via a motorcycle. Most of the year is pleasant with mild weather and the area has a great deal of roadways offering long stretches of uninterrupted travel. A group of seven cities, known as the seven sisters, are found here and include Rochester, Poughkeepsie, and Buffalo. From Rochester a quick ferry trip or a short drive of only an hour and half will place you in Toronto where you can enjoy one of the most energetic and inviting cities in the world and all that it has to offer.

6: Northwest Pacific Coast

Running from Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC this area is alive with touring opportunities that are best enjoyed form the saddle of your bike. National parks, wildlife refugees and more are able to be enjoyed as well as a very long stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. Cultural enrichment experiences are all around you as you make your way from the campus of the University or Oregon to the Boardwalks of Vancouver and maybe tour the Olympic Village from the 2012 Winter Games.

7: Northern California

While most people would automatically assume that Southern California is the best place to tour with a motorcycle, but the truth is that the other end of the state offers more wide open roadways and better chances for breathtaking scenic beauty. Northern California is a great place to experience life in small town, find great tasting wine and craft beers, enjoy gourmet food at a fraction of the cost of the big city and more. Ion addition you have San Francisco to the South and Portland, OR to the North for even more options.

8: Memphis and the Mid-South

This area of the country offers near perfect weather for motorcycle touring all year long, even in winter things are pleasant and mild fro riding. There is a wealth of history to be found including the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll. A casino community known as “Tunica” is located only 30 minutes down the highway in Robinsonville, MS and there are countless places to eat some find southern cooking or some world famous Memphis BBQ. Traffic is light thanks to a very well planned out freeway system and drivers a friendly and courteous.

9: Chicago

The Windy City is one of those special places that is best seen from the saddle of your bike. History is everywhere and so are all of the great sights, sounds and smells of this one of a kind metropolis. Traffic lends itself well to a motorcycle tour of the town and there are lots of long winding streets that have a steady traffic flow all over the city. Make sure you go down to the waterfront and catch a ride on Lakefront Drive.

10: Las Vegas

To be sure there is no better way to experience Sin City than from the back of a motorcycle. There is so much to see and do in neon town that that you will find plenty of opportunities even if you do not like to play your luck at the casinos. In addition to the actual city of Las Vegas there are a lot of great things to see and do outside of town, including some of the best ghost towns and desert wildlife preserves to be found in north America. Cruising down the strip is just the start as you go from one resort to the next (most offer motorcycle parking free of charge unlike parking for cages) and experience everything that the oasis in the desert has to offer.

These are just a few of the most interesting places in North America that are best suited for touring via motorcycle. There are many more to be found if you take the time to look. That is after all one of the best things about having a bike, taking the time to find the things that are off the beaten path. Take the time to find more interesting places and make your own list to share with family and friends. The stories that you tell of how you found them will probably spur them to take a motorcycle trip of their own and that’s what biker living is all about, sharing the ride.

How To Store Your Motorcycle During The Winter

If you live in a part of the world where winter turns the roads to ice and snow falls on a regular basis, it’s probably a good idea to put your bike away for the winter season. That said, if you plan to store your motorcycle during the winter months, you need to take some extra precautions so that your bike starts right up once spring eventually rolls around. This article details the steps you should take when preparing your motorcycle for several months of wintertime storage.

Clean Your Motorcycle

It may seem obvious, but the first (and most important) step is to thoroughly clean your motorcycle. If you leave any dirt, mud or grime on your bike during the winter, it will do nothing but corrode your paint and eat away at the exterior or your bike. Before putting your bike in storage, be sure to give your motorcycle a total cleaning… and make sure it’s completely dry before putting the bike away for the winter.

Change Your Oil

When a motorcycle sits unused for a long period of time, the stagnant motor oil can become acidic and eat away at your engine’s inner workings. This isn’t good! To prevent this from happening, you should change your motor oil before putting the bike in storage and change the oil once again as soon as you pull your motorcycle out of storage in the spring.

Fill Your Gas Tank & Add Stabilizer

Moisture is bad for metal, and since your motorcycle’s gas tank is made out of metal, you want to do everything you can to protect the tank during the cold winter months. There are two different ways to do this. The more difficult way is to completely drain and dry out your gas tank. The easier way, however, is to simply fill your gas tank all the way up and then add some kind of fuel stabilizer to the gas. Filling up your gas tank prevents moisture from creeping in to the tank and doing damage  during the winter months… and fuel stabilizer keeps your gasoline from turning into sludge over the winter – something that is very important if you want to avoid expensive repair costs when spring arrives.

Remove Your Battery

During the winter, you shouldn’t keep the battery connected to your motorcycle. Letting the battery sit on your bike for months on end will do nothing but corrode your motorcycle at an accelerated pace. After removing the battery from your bike, check the fluid level in your battery and clean any corrosion from the posts. If your bike has the right connections, you may be able to plug a trickle charger in to your bike without removing the battery at all.

Lube Everything On Your Bike

Before you put your motorcycle in storage for the season, lube everything that needs lubing. If your bike has a chain drive, clean and lube the chain. Be sure to lube your throttle and clutch cables. And if you want to play it extra safe, lube all of your motorcycle’s pivot points, such as its shifter, kick stand and foot pegs.

Consider Using Anti-Freeze

If you are storing your motorcycle in a location where conditions are near or below freezing, you may want to consider adding anti-freeze to your bike’s systems. Anti-freeze will help to do exactly what its name implies – prevent any of the liquids on your motorcycle from completely freezing up.

Protect Your Motorcycle From Insects & Rodents

You also need to consider the possibility that while your bike in in storage, it may become the home for countless insects, rodents and pests. Do what you can to plug up any and all holes in your motorcycle so as to prevent these creates from making a home inside your bike or eating away at any exposed cables. Be sure to unplug these various holes before attempting to drive your motorcycle in the spring.

Elevate Your Bike If Possible

Depending on where you plan to store your motorcycle during the cold winter months, you should do what you can to elevate your motorcycle up off the ground. When storing your bike for an extended period of time, water on the ground can eat away at and ruin your tires. And the pure weight of your bike alone, can sometimes make the wheels and tires completely uneven and wobbly.

Protect Your Motorcycle With A Cover

Finally, after putting your motorcycle in storage and completing each of the various steps mentioned above, place a protective cover over the top of your bike. The cover should be big enough to cover all of the exposed parts of the motorcycle except for the very bottom portion of the wheels. This will allow the motorcycle to “breathe” while in storage. The thin cover may not seem to be doing all that much, but in reality, even a motorcycle that is stored outside in the winter with nothing but a protective cover over it can be ready to ride with little to no work being done to it once the spring arrives.

So there it is! 9 steps you should take when preparing your motorcycle for winter storage.

What other tips or pieces of advice do you have when storing your motorcycle during the cold winter months?

Is The Harley Davidson Electra Glide The Best Beginner Bike For Motorcycle Touring?

When a person is looking for a beginner bike that they will be able to use for touring, there are many options on the market for a person to choose from. In my opinion, however, there is really only one choice for the ideal touring motorcycle – that of a Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

You might disagree with me, but the reasons why I think this is a great choice for a touring motorcycle is so apparent simply with the name Harley Davidson attached to it, you will want to go to your local dealer and see one for yourself. Before you get to that point, I am going to give you a little information that will help to show you why this is a clear choice.

As mentioned before, the mere fact that the name Harley Davidson is attached to this bike means that you are going to have a motorcycle that will not breakdown easily and leave you stranded on the side of the road. Performance aside, there are two main reasons that this will be the motorcycle of your dreams to choose from. The first is price and the second is that of weight. Lets look at these two items together and see why this will be the best option for a beginner that is looking to tour this great country or renting one overseas to tour with.

Starting at a price of around $25,000 USD, it makes for an affordable motorcycle. While this price is for a bare bones no added features model, you will still be getting a great motorcycle for a fairly decent price. As you add features, this price will begin to climb, but even fully accessorized, the motorcycle will still be very affordable and will not set you back. Given some of the other models that are made by names that are not as well known, you are going to want to keep this at the top of your list.

Weight is an important factor that you will need to remember. Unlike the Gold Wing, you are not buying a hulk of a motorcycle that you can’t control. The Electra Glide is very much an easy to control motorcycle and one that can easily be picked back up in the event that you lay it down in a crash. This reason alone has been one of the main attractions to this motorcycle and why so many riders are eager to throw their legs over one of these bikes and take to the open road.

Let’s talk power. Many motorcycles will give you a weak power plant that will be strong enough to barely get you from point to point without it taking all day. Harley Davidson gives you more power than what you will ever need just because they care about their customers. You will never seem to have a lack of power that you can not get past. The motorcycle will perform every time that it is asked to and will give you the needed power when going up a hill while touring.

These are just the basic reasons why the Harley Davidson Electra Glide will be the answer to the question what is the best beginner bike for motorcycle touring? This will be the one and only bike that you need to look at, as the rest will just be a waste of time for you. Harley Davidson has a history of giving their riders a bike that they can be proud of for a long time. Even the most novice of riders can take this bike and feel like they have been riding for a very long time and will not have that beginner feel to their riding on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

Why I Purchased A Kawasaki KLR 650

When I first began the process of looking to buy a motorcycle of my own, I knew almost instantly what kind of motorcycle I wanted. I didn’t quite know that the Kawasaki KLR 650 was going to be the bike that I would ultimately select, but I certainly knew what characteristics I was looking for in my first bike:

On Road/Off-Road Capabilities

I wanted a bike that was capable of going anywhere and doing just about anything. Because I live in a mountain town surrounded by both dirt and paved roads, I wanted a bike that was street legal, but that could also be ridden on dirt and gravel roads.

Big Gas Tank & Made For Touring

For the last ten year’s I’ve been traveling all over the world with my bicycle. Not a motorcycle, but a bicycle! And on my bicycle trips, I’ve been carrying with me all the gear I need to survive for days, weeks and months on end. When it came to looking for a motorcycle, I wanted a bike that was capable of doing that very same thing – being able to go long-distances and carry a large amount of gear. With the KLR 650’s large 6 gallon gas tank, the bike is capable of traveling more than 300 miles on a single fill up. And with the purchase of a rear rack and side-cases, the bike will be ready for a trip around the world.

The Ability To Carry Another Person

While I live alone and don’t currently have the need to carry another person on the back of my motorcycle, I wanted to get a bike that was capable of carrying another person if there ever came a time in which I wanted or needed to carry another person. Again, the KLR 650 comes equipped to carry two people (as the foot pegs for the second rider come standard) and the bike itself is powerful enough to carry on with a second rider on it’s back.

Powerful Enough To Climb Large Mountains

Speaking of power. I needed a bike that was capable of climbing long, steep hills and mountains. My home is situated at an elevation of approximately 7,500 feet and to get to any of the neighboring cities or towns I need to descend a good 2,000 feet or more. Coming back up that 2,000 foot climb was something I was worried about when picking out my first bike, but I knew that the KLR’s 650 engine would be more than enough to get me up the long, step hills I knew I would be climbing.

When I told other, more experienced riders that I was purchasing a 650 for my very first motorcycle, they thought I might be making a mistake – as they believed it would be much too powerful for me. But to my surprise, the bike really doesn’t feel too big or too powerful. It feels just right and I’m super glad that I went with a 650 over a smaller engine size.

Good Looking

It goes without saying I guess, but I wanted a bike that was good looking. I love the look of BMW 1200 motorcycles, but for my first bike they were simply out of my price range (more on this in a minute). I also understand that the bike you ride or the car you drive says a lot about you. So I wanted a bike that represents who I am as a human being… and I think the Kawasaki KLR 650 does a pretty good job of that. As far as looks go, however, I don’t really like the neon green stripes on the side of my bike. If they were just white or gray, I’d like that a whole lot more. But for now, the neon green color is kind of growing on me.

Easy To Control

Because this is my first motorcycle, I wanted a bike that would be easy to control. For this reason, I wanted a bike that had a riding position very similar to that of my bicycle. I know that a lot of motorcyclists like the kind of bike where you lean way back with your legs up high and your arms held even higher. But I didn’t want anything like that! For my very first motorcycle, I wanted a bike that would be super easy to control.

Relatively Inexpensive

And finally, I wanted a motorcycle that was within my price range. I had about $5,000 USD that I wanted to spend on my bike, and the KLR fit just inside that price range. While I would have loved to have purchased a BMW motorcycle, I didn’t feel right dishing out that kind of money when I had infact never even ridden a motorcycle before. Even at $5,000 I was slightly fearful that I might buy the bike, learn to ride, and then discover that I hate ridding a motorcycle. That didn’t happen, of course, but I wanted to keep the cost of my bike as low as possible – especially since this whole motorcycling thing was completely new to me.

So there it is! Those are the reasons I bought a Kawasaki KLR 650 as my first motorcycle. It has on-road/off-road capabilities, it has a large gas tank and is capable of covering long distances, it can carry side cases which I would need for touring, it can carry up to two people, it is powerful enough to climb large mountains, it’s good looking, easy to control, and it was right inside of my price range.

What about you? Why did you decide to purchase the particular motorcycle that you did? What characteristics were you looking for when you purchased your bike?

What Kind Of Gloves Are Best For Motorcycle Touring?

When hitting the open road, the right type of gloves will be imperative for a person that wants to have the best experience on their ride and not be uncomfortable and wishing that they had not selected a certain type of gloves. There are really only two different types of gloves, the full fingered ones and the short fingered ones. Both have advantages as well as disadvantages, the trick is to find the ones that will be best for you and your needs. Lets take a look at both types and how and why you might want to choose them for your riding needs.

The short fingered type is what you see many of the macho biker types wearing. This is all part of the image of being a biker I guess. If you have ever rode a bike and took a spill, then you are aware of the pain that will often be associated with taking most of the meat off your hands. It is a common rule of physics that if you take a fall, your hands will be the first thing that hits the ground. Having some sort of leather on your hands will help to reduce the amount of damage that is done when you crash. The drawback to this will be the fact that your fingers are exposed and can lead to them taking some serious road rash. This can still hurt but will be greatly less than going it without any gloves

Full fingered gloves are a lot more protective and less likely to cause any issues in you take a spill. There are a number of these on the market and different makes have gone out of their way to create an item that will protect all of your hand in the event that you and your motorcycle should depart from one another. Go to a store that sells these and try a few of the brands that they offer on to see which ones feel the best for you. Make sure that you get a pair of gloves that are forgiving towards your fingers while operating the bike. You have to move your fingers a lot for various reasons and this is why you need to make sure that you have plenty of room to move without restriction.

One drawback to full finger models is that with the sun beating down on the black gloves, your hands can get quite hot and sweaty. This is one reason why these are generally reserved for riding when it is cold outside and not nearly as hot. The sweat inside of the gloves can actually pose a serious safety concern as this could lead to you not being able to reach the controls when you need to.

There are makers on the market that have started making the tops of the gloves with a lighter color fabric such as white as a way to help and reflect a lot of the heat that will beat down on you while you are cruising down the highway. Regardless of the style that you go with. The main important thing to consider is that of safety. The last thing that you will want to do is to wipe out on your bike due to a safety issue. There will come a day when you will have to be riding for a long time. This need for comfort and protection will be the secondary concerns that you will need to have when it comes to your choice of gloves. A riders gloves are often as important as the helmet or boots that a rider will make the choice on.

Renting A Motorcycle In Puno, Peru

Renting a motorcycle in Puno, Peru is not easy… but it can be done!

When I first began planning my travels to the South American country of Peru I knew that Puno and Lake Titicaca was going to likely be one of the best spots to rent and ride a motorcycle. I imagined myself cycling around the lake, hopping from one village to the next, and doing so rather inexpensively.

But once I arrived in Puno I realized that renting a motorcycle in this tiny lakeside city was not going to be as easy as I had initially believed.

Where To Rent A Motorcycle In Puno

The unfortunate news is this: There is nowhere in the city of Puno that you can legitimately rent a motorcycle. There are no businesses renting motorbikes out. And even the local motorcycle dealers who are selling motorcycles of all shapes and sizes won’t let you rent a bike for the day, week, month or year. Your options in Puno are either to buy a new motorcycle… or don’t ride a motorcycle at all.

Other Options For Renting A Motorcycle In Puno

But wait! Just because there aren’t any established businesses renting out motorcycles, that doesn’t mean that renting a motorcycle in Puno is impossible. In fact, renting a motorcycle in Puno can be downright simple – if you happen to run across the right individual at the right point in time.

You see, the only way to really rent a motorcycle in the city of Puno, Peru is to find someone in the city who has a motorcycle, and pay that person for your time on the bike.

The reality is, people in Puno want/need your money, and many motorcycle owners are happy to rent you their motorcycle for the day if you pay the right price.

What You Should Know About Renting In Peru

When you rent a motorcycle from an individual in Puno, Peru there are a number of scenarios you may encounter. Some people will only want cash money from you to cover the cost of the daily/weekly rental. Others will want payment for the daily/weekly rental plus a security deposit of some kind. And others will ask for all of the above, plus they’ll ask to keep your passport in their possession until you return their motorcycle.

My recommendations is this: Go right ahead and pay the rental fee and even the security deposit. But don’t fork over your passport. If you ride your motorcycle down the south shore of Lake Titicaca there are frequent police checkpoints (They’re usually looking for people smuggling drugs in from Bolivia) and having your passport on you if you get stopped by the police is priority number one. So never fork over your passport. Instead, get a photocopy of your passport made and give that to the motorcycle owner instead.

And there you have it! That’s how you rent a motorcycle in the small lakeside city of Puno, Peru. It may not be the best or even the easiest way to rent a motorcycle, but it works. And it can be done if you have time and determination needed to find a motorcycle owner willing to rent you his bike, negotiate a price, and then head out into the unknown to explore the Peruvian Altiplano. Good luck… and have fun!