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THE Moto Ventura Tours Blog

News and updates from the Tours and plans for new Tours - come here first !

2019 - Baffled by Brexit? Then get away from it!

2019 - Baffled by Brexit? Then get away from it!
Happy new year everyone, and welcome to 2019 and if we didn't need enough to worry about already with the regular 'Carry On Members of Parliament' updates dominating the news we now have the added worries of riding in Europe during a 'Deal or No Deal' that would even make Noel Edmonds bite his perfectly kept nails.

But we don't want you to worry about all that, because that is our job! All you need to do is bring your passport (We will mention that in our next blog) and meet us at the RV point for some stunning mileage on your bikes with friends old and 'yet to be discovered'.

Our Highlander and 9-Länder tours are ready and we would like to thank you for your patience. We do make sure every detail is in place before publishing these tours and we had a few extras to arrange prior to putting them online.

9-Länder 2019 is a real treat! We have added a number of extras on top of previous years including a night in COLDITZ itself along with an extended tour of this historic castle. We have added a day off giving you two spare days in this 9-Länder, one in Salzburg where we give you the option of coming with us to visit the stunning Ice Caves followed by a trip up for coffee and cake at Hitlers Eagles Nest and a second day off in the beautiful Czech Republic capital, Prague where our hotel is centrally located for the old town delights.

Highlander 2019 is also published (see link above for our Highlander 2018 promo clip) and we have added 3 extra nights accommodation on top of last years Highlander so you are properly rested before and after your tour. We have included an extra day of riding with chance to explore the Isles of Skye and Raasay plus a wee dram of Whisky or two in some very special locations and it wouldn't be right if we didn't include a cruise on Loch Ness.

A more detailed look at these two tours is included on the links below along with a link to the booking page at Moto Ventura, but please hurry, spaces are already being taken.

https://www.motoventuratours.co.uk/2019-tours

The picture below is the Kylesku Bridge over Loch a' Chàirn Bhàin, site of WW2 midget submarine training on the North West Coast of Scotland

Our NY resolution is to get more info and news out to you lovely people so keep your eyes pealed. If you haven't already, like and share us on facebook, twitter and/or instagram.

We have some products to test and review for you and some laughs to share via our live feeds on facebook so look us up and say hi!

See you on the ice!

John
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Who Gives a 'Puc' These Days Anyway?

Who Gives a 'Puc' These Days Anyway?
I recently required our new tourer and was flipping through the extras catalogue, as you do, when I spotted something which always divides opinion. The side stand enlarger plate!

The logic is that the plate increases the footprint on the contact area and reduces the likelihood of the stand sinking on softer ground like grass making it an ideal ‘adventure’ bolt on... but wait! Hold your horses a moment...
If you have the genetic make-up of a hobbit like myself you’re probably not blessed in the inside leg measurement and this makes hopping on and off your favourite adventure bike a bit more challenging with some being quite high at the saddle. Adding a plate to the side stand adds thickness to the foot and actually results in your bike standing more upright when on its stand, only a tad but still enough to make a difference.

Okay, by itself that isn’t bad news but if you’re looking to park up on some ‘rough ground’ this can cause an issue getting the bike stable enough to then dismount. This is exactly the problem one of our riders found in the Alps once. Because the bike wouldn’t lean as much on the already 'sketchy’ parking area it became even harder to settle the bike and he struggled to dismount. (In response to the obvious ‘park elsewhere then’ comments, we were very limited to places to put the bike and it was already quite a slope)

While these plates look great and all 'Bear Grrrrrrrrylls’ bolted to the bottom of your stand why not simply invest in £3 puc which you can throw on the floor and drop your stand on to. Simples! it's about £25-£30 cheaper, quick to fit i.e. instant and if you have a nice smooth bit of tarmac to park on, which let's face it, is most of the time then you don't have to waste time using it.

Isn't it time to get the 'Puc' out?
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Motorcycle-Live, 2018 Tours and other chat. Big engines aren't always the way to ride...

Motorcycle-Live, 2018 Tours and other chat.  Big engines aren't always the way to ride...

The Motorcycle Live show is like Christmas for us at Moto Ventura Tours and 2017 was no exception. Just being surrounded by so many shiny bikes is bliss.

We had a chance to look at the latest offerings from every manufacturer and what is most obvious is the style of motorcycles we are buying these days. Exciting because now more than ever touring bikes seem to be taking a firm lead in the market. Not just the big ones, but surprisingly smaller cc machines. We had a good catch up with motorcycle adventurer and friend of Moto Ventura, Nick Sanders and were surprised to hear that his latest long distance journey was completed on a Tracer from Yamaha instead of his trusty 1200cc Super-Ténéré. We know that everyone runs out to buy the latest 1200 (or more) when touring but actually, wait a minute. Do you need to? I would suggest if you are riding all day with a pillion and 'packing for 2' then yes but as a solo rider then sub one litre surely has to be a consideration and the market opens out with some amazing options from nearly all manufacturers.

The other growing market trend is fashion bikes, by that I mean the less practical but more enjoyable and soulful additions to the range - last year we saw the scrambler have it's foothold with everyone including Yamaha, Triumph, BMW and Ducati all pushing big bore Scramble bikes but they seem to already be taking a role as support act to the mighty Bobber. I personally am hoping Bobbers run the distance as their coolness is undeniable though practical uses are. questionable.

Sundays look so much better on a Bobber!

If I had to pick Bobbers to race for pink-slips then it would be the Indian Scout Bobber and the Triumph Bonneville Bobber that would go head to head. Any thoughts on which would win the race for cool? US v UK? If only we had a TopGear budget to play with we could fly to LA and drag race them from stock.

Naturally when you mix cool and tour you get Cool Tourers and the big cruiser heavy weight Harley Davidson has some real nice iron this year and a favourite for us is the 2018 114 cubic inch soft-tailed Fat Bob though fitting luggage on would require work it still hit the spot. Harley purists will frown but it's aggressive lines and sharp handling will surely make it one of the biggest bikes in their range over the coming years. RIP FatBob Dyna, Long Live the new King Bob!

The big cruisers from HD and Indian have long had a band of faithful. Indian seem to be setting the bench mark without trying while HD are bringing out equally fantastic bikes to stay current but may inadvertently lose the faith of the Harley pure-bloods. Interesting times coming!

BMW have looked a little towards this 'cruiser' market as they did a few years ago with the R1200C and are pushing their K1600B (Bagger) with many drooling customers throwing their German made cowboy boots over the beastie at the show. It will no doubt sell, but will it drag riders from their GT's and RT's? The GS faithful won't budge thats a given.

This brings me on to the other touring option (we do run a touring company after-all). We've done small engine, we've done big engine, So where is the fun actually happening? It surely has to be the new one-litre sports tourers. Sports Tourer used to be an evolution of sports bike with panniers fitted like the Kawasaki ZZR and the Honda VFR but now Sports-Tourer seems to be the tag placed on the likes of the BMW S1000Xr and Ducati's Multi-Strada. Theses drew more crowds than any other bike at the show...

Are we excited? Hell yes!

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Nick Sanders Night

Nick Sanders Night
Thank you to all who came to our 'Evening with Nick Sanders'.

The night was a big success and Nick was genuinely amazed by the atmosphere and number of you who came along.

For those who did not attend, Nick gave a 90 minute talk from everything from his early days getting sponsorship to more recent times and his plans for the future including the 'Mach 2' festival in Wales.

The guys from Ocean BMW put a couple of tempting machines in the lobby and the Waie Inn provided wonderful food and beer to keep hunger away in the amazing Devon setting.

It was also great to see so many friends and also to put faces to names and voices.

We hope to announce some more similar events soon - watch this space.

Thanks again
John and the team at Moto Ventura Tours
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Guardian Bell - Superstition Scientifically Proven?

Guardian Bell

At Moto Ventura Tours we are supporters of having the right ‘kit’ for you, your pillion and your bike. There is no better way of keeping yourself ahead of the game and protected from the elements and from spills. Sadly, fashion for bikers isn’t always straight off the catwalk of Milan so the newest kits cant always protect you from the odd snigger from non-bikers as you walk in to a cafe for a break dressed like a Power Ranger. Oh the joys of being a ‘free thinking’ motorcyclist!

All the kit on the world however doesn’t stop some riders from taking part in their own little rituals and superstitions to keep them safe on the road.

This bring me on to the Guardian Bell. One of the most important pieces of kit on my own machine.

I’m not a routine subscriber to superstitions, often saying, “It’s unlucky to be superstitious” but my Guardian Bell is, as far as I’m concerned, scientifically proven to reduce risk and I’ll tell you why.

My Bell was a present from my two children via their Mum, and says on it ‘Worlds Greatest Biker Dad’. It is fixed to the handlebars hanging from one of the control cables much to amusement of the BMW techs at my local motorrad Garage, Ocean in Plymouth who write on their report. ‘Tinkling noise coming from bike’ each time it comes back from a service.

When I ride I focus on my riding, the road, the hazards, prioritising and dealing with then accordingly and as a red blooded biker I still like to open it up and have some fun and this is where risk increases. Risk increases and speeds increases, opportunities to ‘fly’ and make progress need to be calculated and thought through often in a very short space of time, often instantaneous and this is where the line between risk and reward start to merge, sometimes becoming blurry. How often are you out on the far side of the road for view and thinking, “can I just have the next one?” as you look at a car in the distance or even, “I’m late for work, I just need to get past this tractor and trailer/LGV/Caravan/Car”. The rewards for completing both are often small but the risk is often large.

My Bell gives a little chime as I rumble along the road and that tinkle is enough to remind me that sometimes the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.

Be late for work, it’s really not worth injury for.

So you don’t get to scrape past the slower moving car, so what. Make it a ‘Rolls Royce’ overtake next time, an over-take to be proud of.

My little Guardian Bell actually does work - It keep reminding me of the little ones at home for whom I am their Guardian Angel.
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Moto Ventura Tours Presents - An Evening with Nick Sanders. Motorcycle Legend

Moto Ventura Tours Presents - An Evening with Nick Sanders. Motorcycle Legend
Moto Ventura Tours presents 'An Evening with Nick Sanders.'

Nick will be our guest at the the Waie Inn, Zeal Monachorum, Devon on Saturday 8th April 2017.

Nick is a multi-record breaking motorcyclist and British Motorcycling Legend. As well as a former world record holder for bicycling around the world he is more commonly known for his motorcycle world records again circumnavigating the world on several occasions. He is famous for undertaking such challenges on a Yamaha R1 sports bike including numerous desert/mountain crossings on the R1 which would challenge even the most hardened off-road rider.

Nick's story includes taking two narrowboats across the English Channel to the Black Sea, piloting hot air balloons and establishing the U.K.'s first motorcycle festival 'Mach 1' at his exhibition centre in Wales.

All of the above he has achieved in his own style which is fast paced, exciting and often accompanied with many laughs and anecdotes.

Nick will start his talk (which includes movie clips etc) at 6:30pm for approximately 90 mins after which a buffet will be served and opportunity to have a Q&A session with Nick.

Please arrive in good time.

The venue has a bar for those requiring additional refreshments.

Due to the venue tickets will be 'first-come first-serve' basis hence the need to call/email direct.

For ticket purchase or further info email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or contact us on 07590 599662.

This is a ticket only event and tickets are available now from Moto Ventura Tours at £15 per person.

Ticket price includes:
90 minute presentation from Nick Sanders
Evening Buffet
Signed copy of Nick's latest DVD or Book (worth £12.99)
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Subconscious cruise control - Hypnosis on the road.

Moto Ventura Tours preach ‘Real Life Rider Skills’. While a firm believer in IAM and ROSPA based training packages, especially as they look to the police system for a foundation it must be pointed out that there are weaknesses in being too inflexible. A good example of that is which foot to place down. While learning to ride the DSA practise placing the left foot down then when going on to more advanced riding, the right foot is placed down instead of the left. There are reasons surrounding efficiency, safety and looking tidy for this, but in Real Life - which ever foot stops you falling over would be my personal choice and in a fully loaded touring bike with pillion - you would not criticised in putting down BOTH!

Mental attitude of even the most experienced rider is vital. We are ALWAYS learning - even the best of the best. No TT rider just arrives on the island and rides his or her lap without practise. It’s the same with real life riding. Remember to keep an open mind when riding. The same goes for familiar roads - Don't become complacent. While being familiar with a road can help a lot, being too complacent can hurt. I am often waving my arms frantically at motorists who are not expecting to see a stationary vehicle (even when signed and with blue lights lit) on their ‘normal commute’ and very often it takes a real last minute ‘extreme’ measure to get their attention.

Many people enter an entranced state when they drive or ride that only something of significance can ‘snap’ them back to reality. While I could go on forever the basic advice I want to pass is, don’t assume another person;
a) has seen you, or
b) will actually react to you or do what you expect.

Look out for you - because no one else is going to.

We are undeniably in the midst of winter and looking forward to several weeks of cold ’n’ wet yet to come. Our overwhelming advice at the moment is, don’t neglect your biking! If you are fortunate enough to have a winter hack then use it. If not, be gentle but ride as much as you feel is safe. No better training than riding in the winter (as we have said in previous blogs and newsletters).

Don’t let your skills lapse and then jump on your bike in the summer only to discover both you and your machine have a ton of gremlins to resolve.

Should you be tempted to get some help with your riding Moto Ventura Tours is offering a massive 50% reduction in ALL training packages in January, February or March 2017 INCLUDING RPMT Enhanced Riding Courses which, if you qualify, result in the issue of a DSA Certificate which can be used to reduce some insurance premiums.

Now, get out and enjoy the fresh air! It’s good for the carbs!

www.motoventuratours.co.uk/training 

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What are you plans for 2017? - Don't delay!

What are your plans for 2017? Treat yourself & your partner to a motorcycle tour you will never forget!

12th to 16th June - 'Five-a-Day'.
Five UK National Parks in Five glorious days of riding. Brecon - Snowdonia - Peak - Dales - Lakes.
Some stunning accommodation welcomes the team each evening with tranquil and peaceful locations sure to warm the soul and re-charge the batteries.
'5-a-day' is exactly what the Doctor ordered!

25th July to 8th August - 'Double-Oh-Heaven'.
Following in the footsteps of 007 on the Furka Pass in Switzerland (Goldfinger) - Monte Carlo - Vosges - Millau - Contra Dam (Goldeneye bungee stunt) - Devils Bridge - Little St Bernard Pass (Italian Job) - Grimsel Pass - Tremolo Pass - Lake Geneva - Lake Annecy - Lourdes.
With some very special accommodation booked we have really gone all out for the team. We take the ferry from Portsmouth to Spain and return via the channel tunnel 2 weeks later

Email for details of available spaces as 'Double-oh-Heaven' is very nearly fully booked.

18th to 24th September - 'Introduction to Battlefields'. - Experience a taste of World War 1 and 2 history with our introduction to some iconic battlefield locations - Normandy Beaches - Somme - Flanders - Verdun - Pegasus Bridge - Ypres - Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge) - Lochnagar crater - Douaumont Ossuary - Thiepval Memorial.
More amazing accommodation for the team as we travel around Northern France and Belgium visiting paying our respects to the true heroes of our time.

We are taking bookings on all trips so don't delay. We limit our tour spaces so the team get the maximum benefit from the tour.

Our lead guides are professional motorcyclists who ride with you all the way.

Click below for more details or, if you wish to discuss details further call 07590 599662.

goo.gl/XR5KXu

John Wilton
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The Curse of Fair Weather Biking

Winter is around the corner, so is it a case of, “biker hibernation” or “let’s get out there”?

Hopefully the later, and for good reason. The winter environment gives the perfect opportunity to dial in those skills. For me, after riding for a prolonged period in the rain, as soon as the sun comes out I feel like a new rider! Grip immediately feels better, my view is increased, my level of comfort rises and fatigue lessens. I genuinely feel an improvement in my riding.

It’s the same for winter riding. For all the nasties and perils that it brings I welcome it for a number of reasons. Primarily the chance to train and improve your skills. You have to be more alert, more vigilant and more disciplined in your system and your riding plan.

A good ride out on dry winter roads after a few days of poor weather is refreshing, uplifting and like a huge breath of fresh air.

But the main advantage has to be when the spring returns. It is painfully obvious which riders have had their bikes stabled for the winter - and by that I mean not just the bikes but themselves too. Early March and look at all the riders out gingerly blowing the cobwebs out of there baffles and picking the fluff from the fairings of the blankets which have covered there machines for the last 5 months.

While they look like Bambi learning to walk, a rider who has been on it all through the winter is equally as obvious. They are unfazed, in fact positively relaxed and laid back but smooth and tidy in their riding. A joy to watch.

Some riders opt for a ‘winter hack’. A bike which you are willing to abuse a little more than your main bike, but not everyone has this luxury. If you do lay up your main machine - please have it checked properly before jumping back on and charging down the road.

Over the coming weeks we will touch on a few subjects that will hopefully give you ‘food for thought’ over the winter but for now some things to mention early before the money gets allocated to the Christmas shopping list.

Kit - A good friend of mine reported on his RTTW experience recently, he was soaked to the skin (after spending some decent money on a jacket) during the 7 hours of downpour while his wife was completely toastie dry in her jacket etc. On the bright side his gloves kept the water out and his hands stayed dry.

Get good kit! I can’t highlight it enough and because you are spending a fortune on kit, shop around! There are plenty of good deals out there. My last helmet included free kevlar jeans! The internet is a great place to buy but has the disadvantage of being more laborious to return if it doesn’t fit. So be cheeky, pop into your nearest shop which sells the same gear you are looking at on the web and try a few sizes on. Alternatively you could try this, it has worked for me on a number of occasions. Ask if the store will price match the internet. Most will albeit rather reluctantly, as long as the website you are showing them is a UK based site (and they will expect to see it on your smart-phone).

I got a pair of Oakley glasses reduced from £144 to £90 just by asking the staff to price-match an internet price. Be prepared to walk away if that say no.

Read reviews - Bear in mind though that someone may love the product you end up hating so read a few and get an overall picture. Make sure your review site is independent i.e. don’t read a review for the phone from the shop that is selling you that same phone… There are lots of sites out there doing independent product reviews (hopefully we will soon be one of them).

What decent kit is needed? - Well the top three items have to be winter gloves, helmet and jacket.

Helmet - The most expensive isn’t always the best. Having had Arai, Shuberth, Shark, Shoei, BMW and many others I can confirm two things - 1) price doesn’t ensure quality and functionality and 2) everyone’s bonce is different. What fits and looks good on your mate/partner may not fit you.

Age, is it old/new? Strap, is it fraying, buckles and fixing working and rust free? Ventilation, does it have enough and are they working freely?

So you are happy with your helmet, then check the visor. Is it scratched, chipping and cracked? If it fogs get an insert, breath mask or visor wax/spray but do something to keep your visor mist free.

Jacket - If you are happy with you jacket, fit the liners in on a spare evening when you’re sat at home so you don’t have to do it last minute before you jump on the bike in a hurry and decide to give up half way through. Give your jacket and liner it’s annual wash. Is the waterproofing still up to the job? A can of waterproofing spray is always worth a squirt if not and if you can, get something reflective to help with the low light that winter brings. Reflective is good! Maybe, not cool but lying on a gurney is even less cool.

Gloves - If you are happy with your gloves - great, but are they proper winter gloves and will they keep your digits warm when the ice starts to form. As a naive youngster I rode from Somerset to Cornwall in a February on my sports bike and when I got home stupidly put my ice-cold hands in warm water thinking it would warm them up! The pain was incredible! The problem with winter gloves is the loss of finite feeling but hey, the problem with frost bite is the loss of fingers!

Sunglasses - shorter days mean more chance of hitting the dreaded low-sun at either end of the day.

So following on from those;

Trousers - Either textile or leather and brand-matching your jacket preferably. Zip together stuff is brilliant but some brands deliberately fit specific zip sizes so you are forced to buy the same brand trousers and jacket. This doesn’t cause a big problem if both products are what you want - otherwise you can add your own zip later.

Thermal Layers - I have tried Arktis thermal top and bottoms, Pro-Skins ‘wind shield’ (parachute like material) and I have recently acquired Pro-Skins inner layers which I have heard very good things about. I’m told they will keep me cool in the heat and warm in the winter - we will see! Any decent outdoor shop can sell you thermals at a good price - and thermals can make even the coldest ride more bearable. Oddly, you probably won’t notice their benefit - until you do the same ride without them on at a later date!

Neck warmer - I used to hate these. Couldn’t see the point and felt a little trapped having them around my neck. Oh boy I changed my outlook when I gave in to one on an especially cold day. I still prefer to ride without but it goes on much sooner when the temperature dips.

So your clothing is a massive factor into making your winter riding go well. It stands to reason your bike should be working and problem free all year but it is even more vital now. Tyres for example. The legal limit is 1mm but honestly, are you happy with that in the wet and dirt on the roads? Correct tyre pressures, yes please! Fluids and brake pads? Oil and coolant? Enough petrol? All the basics that should be scrutinised daily need extra attention - do not neglect any areas that need attention.

Battery - the cold weather will kill your battery but also a poor battery will kill your winter ride so invest and get something that will see you through.

Riding - slow up. Take your time, plan your journey and give yourself more time. With the elements already ganging up on you, the winter car drivers failing to clear their windscreens or concentrating too much on their heated seats, it isn’t worth giving yourself even more pressure by leaving late for work so in short - more time, less pressure. More pleasure, less risk.

Finally if all my advice above is a bit too much to take in or maybe you're already happy with your winter riding just remember what Billy Connolly said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, there are just the wrong clothes!”

John Wilton
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2017 Tours are here! Book your time off work now!

2017 ToUrS are HerE!
Summaries of our 2017 Tours including dates are now published! More exact details to follow

19th to 22nd May - UK
WILD SOUTHWEST
Our 3 day West-country tour is a perfect way to see some of the most dramatic and stunning roads and landscapes in the UK.

11th to 16th June - UK
FIVE-A-DAY
Take care of your health and well being with our ‘5-a-Day’ Tour. Ensure you get one of your five-a-day essentials by visiting 5 of Great Britain’s finest National Parks in 5 Glorious days of motorcycling.

29nd June to 2nd July - UK
WILD SOUTHWEST
Due to its popularity we visit our 3-day West-country tour a second time.

26th July and 9th August. European
DOUBLE ‘OH’ HEAVEN
We board a ferry from the UK to start our tour on the north coast of Spain from where we head to Pamplona, Pyrenees mountains, Millau Bridge, Gorge Du Verdon, Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, Monte Carlo, Italy, Contra Dam from opening sequence of GoldenEye in Switzerland... Pause! Breath! We ride the Furka Pass from another classic Bond movie, ‘Goldfinger’ where Tilly Masterson's attempts to kill Goldfinger are scuppered by Sean Connery in his Aston Martin DB5. We also ride on to the Grimsel Pass, Nufenen Pass and the stunning Gotthard Pass and Tremola then on to Lake Annecy via Lake Geneva. The Little St Bernard pass from the opening sequence of the ‘Italian Job’, where Roger Beckermann is killed by the Mafia while driving a Lamborghini Miura in the Italian Alps, Montreaux, Vosges Mountains and Ardennes in France to cool down those tyres then our final night in Ypres, Belgium where we witness the last-post played every evening at the Menin gate in respect of the fallen of World War 1.

4th to 10th of September. France & Belgium
BATTLEFIELDS
Introduction to Battlefields - Normandy, The Somme, Verdun, Bastogne & Ypres.

Join us!

http://goo.gl/XR5KXu
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Legend Nick Sanders and some updates on 9-Länder tour.

Legend Nick Sanders and some updates on 9-Länder tour.
As 9-Länder approaches we want to remind people that if you want to book one of the few remaining spaces then payment needs to be made as soon as your spot is secured! This is due to us now being within 6 weeks of the tour starting - so if you don't want to miss out on this brilliant tour, you need to be quick!

We have added a couple of extra surprises this year making this 9-Länder even more memorable.

Don't hesitate to email of call us to secure your place.

On a separate note, we had the pleasure of bumping into motorcycling's answer to Ranulph Fiennes and iconic British motorcycling legend - Nick Sanders at Damerells in Cornwall last week. A true gentlemen and his stories had us in complete stitches as is always the case. If you ever get chance to see Nick please do, and if you are in Wales on your bike then a visit and stay at his Exhibition Centre is a must! His new book 'The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man. Vol 1' is essential reading for anyone with a taste for adventure.

Good luck with 'Mach 1' Nick!

More exciting Nick Sanders news to follow in due course...
.
Details of our training packages will also soon be published so keep an eye on our website or, to be sure of getting the news first, subscribe to our newsletter.

John
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Over or Under? The Millau Viaduct - Moto Ventura Tours

Over or Under? The Millau Viaduct - Moto Ventura Tours
Taking 3 years to construct and opened one month ahead of schedule in December 2004 the Millau Viaduct is rapidly becoming one of the most recognisable bridges in the world. Even as a local to the area I imagine it would be impossible to pass by this construction without staring at it's sheer magnificence but here is an interesting dilemma, do you ride over or under to get the best view? From the images you find on google it is tempting just to ride over the bridge and continue on your merry way - but wait a minute. Yes the viewing platform is great and the view is breathtaking, the ride over offers a sense of accomplishment but to truly get the measure of the sheer size of this bridge you must ride underneath it. We do exactly that, we ride south OVER the bridge, exit the motorway then loop back underneath. The bonus is a staggering view, but take your time and don't rush - despite it's size, it's easy to miss!
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Toll Road Joy - Moto Ventura Tours

Toll Road Joy - Moto Ventura Tours
One thing toll roads can offer is a chance to adjust some layers and take your helmet off - Scorchio!!
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Climbing the Furka - Moto Ventura Tours

Climbing the Furka - Moto Ventura Tours
Not just the views impress - the versatility to the BMW and the Honda left us impressed - surely the Daddies ob motorcycle touring?
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Feeling on top of the World - Moto Ventura Tours

Feeling on top of the World - Moto Ventura Tours
BMW RT and Honda Pan in totally harmony! Just heading off after enjoying the view at the top of the Furka Pass, Switzerland. The way down the Grimsel was a real feast for the eyes (and the tyres). Our 'Bond Tour' for 2017 is really taking shape. Subscribe to our email and blog updates for hot info as soon as it is published.
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This touring lark is madness - Moto Ventura Tours

This touring lark is madness - Moto Ventura Tours
Toll roads drive us mental!! We avoid them where possible due to these kind of side effects! Laurie having a moment
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Lake Geneva - Moto Ventura Tours

Lake Geneva - Moto Ventura Tours
The view over Lake Geneva from Montreux. After riding the Furka and Grimsel Passes we dropped down to relax in this surprisingly rather quiet little town and met Freddie Mercury overlooking the Lake. Appropriately while a 'Bicycle Race' lapped the local park with the riders being cheered on by a very enthusiastic Kay!
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Furka and Grimsel Pass, Switzerland with Moto Ventura Tours

Furka and Grimsel Pass, Switzerland with Moto Ventura Tours

Our RT at after riding the Furka Pass. In the background the Grimsel Pass ascends to reveal more gorgeous roads and an amazing little place to stop for lunch. We stopped here for a well deserved Spag Bol! Happy days! Amazing roads and scenery. This was August 2015 as part of our tour down through France (via the Millau Bridge) to Monte Carlo, where we had a well deserved day off and chance to ride around the Monaco street circuit and take in some sites drooling over the huge yachts and power boats. Laurie and Mo had a flutter in Monte Carlo Casino and came out after doubling their money!! 5€ to 10€! Quit while they were ahead, it paid for coffee! After Monte Carlo we headed up to Milan and in to Switzerland where we rode these gorgeous roads over Furka and Grimsel. The Bondies among you will know that this is the road where Sean Connery tracked Goldfinger and Odd Job and we stop to admire the very views from the movie.

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Cheers! Here's to 2016 Tour Season! Many amazing roads and memories just around the corner.

Cheers! Here's to 2016 Tour Season! Many amazing roads and memories just around the corner.
Cheers! Here's to 2016 Tour Season! Many amazing roads and memories just around the corner.
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LEFT FOOT - RIGHT FOOT - BOTH?

So we have all at some point been riding in front of a motorcycle examiner and been creeping up to a stop thinking to ourselves 'Left foot down, left foot down...'

In direct contradiction some of us go on to do 'advanced' training and it's 'Right foot down. right foot down...'

So in reality - Which is it?

In the UK the riding schools teach left foot. There are different schools of thought as to why. I've had a police officer explain that it was done so in 'Ye Olden Days' when motorcycles had only a rear brake operating the brake light AND the brakes were all located on the left hand side of the bike (apparently a British thing?). Perhaps someone into old classics can confirm this?
Someone else has told me that as we ride on the left it was to keep your foot out of the gutter and slime at the side of the road.. Another thought?

Advanced 'practice' is to put your right foot down when you stop. The reasons are 'efficiently and safety'. With the right foot down you can pull in the clutch and slip the bike into neutral while waiting at the junction, release the clutch and rest. This relieves strain on your hand, the clutch, the clutch cable etc etc etc. Also reduces the chance of your hand slipping off and your bike getting a 'giddy-up' as you dump first gear and it drops you on your butt. Then re-engage first gear when you are about to move off.

We often see learners practising the hill-start, stopping, swapping feet, neutral, swapping feet, first gear, rub your head, pat your stomach or is it the other way round!?

So, right foot down may be safer and more efficient?

Then think of this, you have a pillion and full luggage... Just put both down I say, or the left one, or the right one, which ever one you feel works best for you. If it ain't broke why fix it.

Happy Riding

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