DIRT ‘n’ SECRETS, it does what it says on the tin. This motorcycle tour of Northern Laos kicks off with a visit to…
Witness and experience two different cultures during this 14 day adventure across the stunningly beautiful countries of Laos and Vietnam. Both countries are…
Our Colombian Trailblazer tour is all about the off-road – the dirt bikes enabling us to get far off the beaten track and…
Like most things the answer depends on your own personal preferences. If you hope to ride gravel roads and sandy tracks across endless steppe, desert, and rolling hills with no fences or any other human activity in sight for days on end, Mongolia is the best place to go. In addition to traversing wide open spaces and putting in some serious dirt miles, in Mongolia, you will also get to overnight with semi-nomadic locals living in yurts, see the awe-inspiring Gobi Desert, and get that coveted selfie with the massive Genghis Khan statue looming over the Mongolian plains just outside of Ulaanbaatar.
If you’re looking for a tropical paradise with muddy jungle trails, creek crossings, and rocky climbs, South East Asia is a fantastic destination for off-road motorcycle tours. Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are perfect for dirt bike adventures as off-road riding here is virtually unlimited, and you’ll get to explore different terrain ranging from rugged mountains to lush green tropical forests and beaches along the way.
Another one of our favourites is Colombia, a country seemingly made for off-road motorcycle tours. From the pristine shores of the Caribbean down to the Andes Mountains and the Amazon basin, Colombia boasts so many different off-road riding trails it’s impossible to see it all in just one trip. Sweeping gravel roads, mountain passes, the green rolling hills of the coffee region, challenging jungle trails – Colombia has got it all, plus incredibly friendly locals and world’s most delicious coffee.
To combine off-road motorcycle tours with otherworldly landscapes and unique wildlife sightings, head on over to Namibia, a country in South West Africa famous for its jaw-dropping scenery and free-roaming wildlife including elephants, lions, rhinos, buffalo, and much more.
For pure desert riding, Morocco has no rivals. Off-road motorcycle tours in Morocco focus on the mighty Sahara Desert, the giant dunes around Merzouga, the rocky foothills of the Atlas Mountains, and the old Paris-Dakar rally tracks crisscrossing the entire country. Out here, you can ride the open desert, tackle some of the dunes, and have the unlimited freedom to ride anywhere from the sands of the Sahara to the rocky trails of the Atlas passes.
While it may be tempting to rent a dual sport or an adventure bike for an off-road motorcycle tour, your best bet is a light, nimble dirt bike. This is because for off-road motorcycle touring, you need a machine capable of tackling any terrain and any road conditions, and you have to be able to easily pick it up if you fall (and, chances are, fall you will). Smaller dirt bikes such as Yamaha WR250, Honda CRF250L, or Honda 350 are excellent for dirt bike tours in South East Asia where you’ll be battling hot, humid temperatures and plenty of mud and river crossings. For places like Mongolia, something like a KTM 450 EXC will be an excellent choice, as this rally-style motorcycle will be more than capable of gnarly off-road sections while also comfortably carry you over longer distances across the steppe.
In general, most off-road motorcycle tours offer dirt bikes in the 250-450cc range. Anything less, and you may not have enough power, especially for hill climbs or longer distances; anything more, and chances are, it’ll simply be too heavy and cumbersome for the type of riding you will be doing.
Riding a dirt bike in a foreign country is a completely different experience than traveling the same country on tarmac roads. Smaller backcountry routes, local dirt trails, and gravel roads usually only used by locals will reveal much more of what the country is all about. You’ll get to visit small villages and towns, chat to the locals, see their ways of life from a much more intimate perspective, and discover all the hidden gems that highways simply won’t take you to. Think of your own country: would a foreigner better experience your homeland traveling freeways and stopping at Starbucks, or would they see a much more interesting picture taking small backroads, lunching at a mom-and-pop style eateries, and exchanging opinions about weather and road conditions with a small town gas station attendant? It’s the same when you ride off-road abroad: you’ll get to see, experience, and learn much more.
Culture aside, off-road motorcycle tours are all about the riding. Going on a tour somewhere you’ve never ridden before, you’ll get to try your mojo on different terrain, trail conditions, and surfaces: you’ll tackle sand, mud, gravel, rocks, water crossings, and steep climbs and ascends, all while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. That’s just not something you can do at home, which is why off-road motorcycle tours are so much fun.
Even if you’re an expert off-road rider, chances are, abroad, you will encounter something you’ve never done before. Crossing a rickety wooden bridge in Laos, battling the deep sand in the Sahara, learning to deal with thick, slippery mud in Colombia – whichever destination you pick, you’ll face and overcome challenges on a daily basis making you a better rider as a result.
Motorcycle tour participants make friends instantly – after all, you’re all there for the same reason and the same passion – but nothing creates camaraderie as quickly as off-road motorcycle tours. After you’ve helped each other get across a deeper creek, dragged each other’s bikes up a muddy hill, or shared zip ties to keep a runaway faring in place, you’ll become instant buddies both on and off the trails. Dirt riding is all about camaraderie, and there’s no shortage of that on any guided off-road motorcycle tour.
As they say, we don’t really grow up, we just get bigger toys: and when it comes to riding off-road, let’s face it, it’s all about the fun factor. When you’re riding dirt and tackling challenging trails, it’s like the entire world falls away and there’s only you, fully in the present moment, opening that throttle wide on a gravel road, chase mode on – there simply isn’t a better feeling in the world than this!