Guided Motorcycle Tour FAQS
I think RIDE FREE is the perfect balance. We are not one of the huge corporate travel industry tour companies, and we are not some guys just trying this tour thing out for a couple of years. While we are the oldest motorcycle tour company in the USA “since 1993”, and started before there was even a motorcycle tour industry in the USA, we have stayed small and true to what we are about. We are a professional company, but we have stayed a real USA mom and pop company. We have not grown out of our passion for meeting new people from around the world, making great friends, and riding on the road together. We care about each and every person that rides on one of our tour, does a self guided tour, or a rental with us. It is the personal touch that sets us apart. We want you to have an amazing adventure of a lifetime, and we will do everything we can possibly do to make that happen. As the owner, I am aware of every person on all of our tours. If I am not leading the tour, I am in contact with our guides and am personally vested in every day of your tour while you are on it.
# We normally have smaller group sizes. Averaging about 8 bikes per tour. This allows us to stay away from the big chain hotels and big chain restaurants like the big companies with the 20 bikes and 20 passenger tours. We can and do the large group tours no problem, but our specialty and most of our tours are the smaller personal touch tours. We stay in and eat in smaller more interesting “local” places than the huge companies can fit inside.
We also try to slow the ride down more than many companies on how far we go in a day. Most companies just whiz past things too fast. We have added some extra days on many of our tours / short days etc… These are often people’s favorite days. As we get to really experience the local culture and attractions versus just whizzing by without time to stop.
Sometimes our tours might not make the best “marketing sense” to the masses and tour industry. And some, but all might even cost a little more since there are more tour days for the same route, and we don’t have 40 people on the tour but probably 12 total to divide the cost of the tour up with… I set up the tours to be the best tour and experience first for you.
This is my first priority. Call me. Let’s talk about what your dream is, and how we can make it happen.
When you are on a RIDE FREE experience, it does not really feel like an official tour. We don’t have or want the uniforms etc.. We are just your new friends from America, with the local knowledge, handling all the problems we can instead of you, showing you best time we can. So you have an adventure and experience of a lifetime.
Just give me a call or contact me and we are happy to talk to you about whether RIDE FREE is the best fit for you.
These pages will give some insight: About US Testimonials Our Mission
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN GUIDED MOTORCYCLE TOURS?
Our standard tours come in the Inclusive option that is listed below. The Riding Light Option is for small groups.
For our standard All Inclusive Motorcycle Tours, this is what is included:
We provide the Harley Davidson or other motorcycle (other makes like BMWs or Hondas can have a surcharge )
Optional meal plan available on some tours, meals not included
Breakfast is not included. See why this is always the best option in our FAQ’s Page
Lodging, gas, park fees
We ride a Harley Davidson with you as part of the group
All you need to bring is a love of the open road and a free spirit.
We provide a group leader on a bike
Support Vehicle with second guide/mechanic to carry:
Luggage, drinks, snacks, supplies, emergency supplies, tools, etc..
To transport bike in case of breakdown to nearest Harley Dealer, or fix if possible.
We never leave anyone behind on their own.
Optional spare motorcycle and trailer for bikes
What does ALL INCLUSIVE Guided Tour mean?
Ride Free covers all the basics: One tour guide on the lead bike and the second driving the support vehicle, motel/hotels, gas, support vehicle for luggage, supplies ,water, planned National park fees as listed per tour, planning, your motorcycle or vehicle rental,
A spare motorcycle and trailer is an option for a small fee per person on small tours if you want it.
We can arrange extra days for you before and after the trip, and help finding other activities on your before and after tour days.
Possible meal plans available on some tours.
All you need to bring is a free spirit and the love of the open road.
All you have to do is show up at the start hotel.
We recommend the All Inclusive, the best way to Ride Free with no worries, just take the rare opportunity to unplug from the world and Ride Free! This is what it is all about.
SELF GUIDED – See Self Guided Tour Page
RIDING LIGHT GUIDED TOUR –
We can run a riding light tour for the All Inclusive tour price ( minus support truck and 2nd guide ) when we do not have enough people joining a tour to justify running the tour after spending the money on: support truck, 2nd guide, fuel and food for, etc.. This allows the customer to choose this option, and know that we will run a tour with only a few bikes. Which, can be an extremely special experience. Like your own small exclusive custom tour.
Customer has option to do Riding Light Option or not.
Rental motorcycle / vehicle, lodging, guided tour, fuel
Either one guide leading on a bike, or driving the support vehicle. This is up to the group.
Option of hotels pre booked like guided or self guided, or just book as we go, wherever we end up..
Nothing else included: pay for own food, park fees, etc
How do meals work?
On Regular Inclusive Guided Tours: no meals included. But we take you to great dinners and food options. We all go to meals together and have an amazing time together. Or, we can give you some suggestions to go off for a meal of your own.
On Chicago to LA Guided Tour: Breakfast Included on some days. Breakfast included at either: some pre selected hotels in the morning. #It is very important to understand that we don’t stay at the big chain hotels most of the time like most tour companies. The more interesting places that give the character of the area usually don’t have the continental breakfast included like the boring chain hotels. Instead we stop at neat breakfast places and have other better options than a boring small continental breakfast in a chain hotel.
If you Purchase the Optional Meal Plan: Not included on regular inclusive tours.
#We eat at these same types of places together without the meal plan, you just pay your way as you go.
On some days we have the Bike Breakfast. It is fun and scenic. We eat on the rim of the Grand Canyon for example, watching the sun rise. It also allows us to hit the road. For lunch and dinner we find real neat places to eat. Usually a great local spot so you get a real honest feel for the area and the people there. We always eat at places that I would eat if I was on the road looking for a great meal.
For every meal there is a dollar amount that covers your meal. It is at the higher end of where we eat for a good meal. You can get a great meal everywhere with that amount. If you decide you want 2 lobsters and prime rib etc and go all out, all you have to do at the end of the meal is to put in the extra to us.
NOTE – We very very rarely have anyone go over, this has always worked very easily and well.
Alcohol – You pay for your own alcohol always.
At Ride Free we want you to really experience the culture of the area. That is why we choose to stay in clean lodging with character, and to eat a local spots. Often we meet really neat people along the way at these spots.
It is about the unexpected people and experiences along the way. Not about point A to B follow the leader.
What do I need to participate in a tour?
To drive one of our motorcycles you need:
A motorcycle endorsed drivers license (from any country).
Riding experience to a competent level.
To be 21 years of age or older.
Contact us, I am very happy to answer any questions and to walk you through the process.
If you or a friend doesn’t want to or qualify to ride, you may come along in a new convertible Mustang on some tours.
What About Insurance?
Many Different Waiver Options. Motorcycle Insurance Waiver Options (click)
What kind of motorcycle can I ride on a tour?
RIDE FREE Motorcycle Tours has over 35 motorcycles tour participants can choose from. When you ride with us, take your pick from the following beautiful late model custom Harleys: Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, Dyna Low Rider, Road King, Electraglide, Sportster 1200, Sportster 883, and more. . Choice of bikes based upon availability. We also have Indians, Honda Goldwings, BMWs,Trikes, and other options available.
Can I bring my passenger on a tour?
Yes. Passengers are welcome on your motorcycle. Or, we can rent them a convertible Mustang to drive if you like. See rides for passenger cost. https://ridefree.com/rent-a-muscle-car-or-exotic
Mini Van / Passenger Van: We can arrange for the passengers to have their own passenger mini van that they can drive trailing the group if they want. That way they can either ride on the back of the bike, or they can all ride together in their party van depending on weather, and how much they want to be on the bike. They just take turns driving if the others are on the bikes.
Do I need to bring a helmet?
No, however most participants bring their own helmets. Small lid helmets are provided at the rental store. You can also buy full face helmets at the rental store starting around $100. The rentals are not full face. There is also jackets and gear that can be rented or bought when we pick up the bikes. We recommend you bring your own jackets etc.
What do I need to bring on a tour?
General riding gear. Jeans, long and short sleeved T-shirts, riding shoes or boots, gloves. For summer weather, some long sleeve white T Shirts are a great idea. You will have the opportunity to put a pack in the chase vehicle, so you have some room for error in how much you pack. We also stop by Harley-Davidson shops along the way, so you can purchase things if you want. A well-defined list of items to pack will be sent to you upon completion of your reservation; or, you can request a list from us.
There is plenty of time to buy jackets, gloves, helmets, and any gear you might need at the rental store. But if you want to really take your time buying it = more shopping than just buying, we suggest you visit the store before the group does together to purchase what you need.
Mornings and evenings can be brisk. Some warm gear year round for the early mornings on Coast trips, and Spring and Fall RT 66 trips. Some light windbreaker/gear is easy and great to have. The rental store sells a $39.00 foul weather gear that is great for a windbreaker with pants for early ams etc on certain times of the year. We can’t guarantee it will be in stock, so best to buy some and bring it.
Some common items include:
Long underwear for cold weather trips
Windbreaker / gear as needed per tour / season
Sense of adventure
SPF 50 Sun Block
How much money do I need to bring on a tour?
Your expenses will be Food, souvenirs, snacks, beer, extra activities, and film.
A lot of other items are already covered:
Motorcycle insurance waivers – You can pay for this ahead of time at booking of tour.
2 Park fees ( if the group ops while on the trip for some extra unscheduled park visits, then that is not covered )
tour guides, support vehicle if applicable on inclusive guided tour
Where will we sleep on the tour?
The choice of lodging is a huge part of a Ride Free Tour and experience.
Lodging ranges from hotels in Vegas, motels on old Route 66, to camping in the middle of nowhere ( Camping is ONLY on custom camping tours ). Most tours include a mix of hotels and motels. About 3 Star is the average.
When available we stay at the small places with the most character. I prefer the old vintage places from a bygone era with
lots of character. If we are doing a ride for your group, we can book any level of hotel when available.
We stay away from places more tours go to, the box chain hotels which are the same no matter what country or city you are in. We prefer the mom and pop small local places. Yes, these places are harder to book, not just click it on line like the big corporate companies do.. But this extra work and attention to detail of an authentic locals road trip, you will see in every aspect of Ride Free. This is what sets up apart.
The lodging we stay at are cool places that I stay at when I ride with my friends or wife. They usually strategically located in town, walking distance to dinner, pubs, and fun. That way you don’t have to drive after a long day. Also, they are picked to be motorcycle parking and motorcycle friendly.
See the Testimonials about our lodging: https://ridefree.com/testimonials
Cleanliness of a hotel in very important to Ride Free.
Individuals traveling by themselves will book the 1 person – 1 bike – 1 room and have a room by themselves. If you are traveling by yourself and want to reduce cost and have a room mate. Request that, and if there is another individual that wants to share a room, we will introduce both of you and you can decide whether you want to share a room. Often, it is fun to have a room partner, and people become great friends.
Hotels Before and After Tour – We can arrange your hotel before and after the tour for you in the hotel we stay in. We suggest arriving at least a night before the first schedule night of tour, and stay at least one extra night after the last day. The hotel in included on the first listed day of tour. The last listed date of the tour, does not include a hotel because that is the departure day.
You will want your rest before and after the tour. Don’t let a delayed flight ruin your trip, or expect to be able to catch up on your sleep once the tour starts.
When finishing the tour, the night where we arrive to final destination does include a hotel that night. We arrive in the afternoon, then have a last victory dinner together. The next day is the last listed day of tour, which includes no hotel and is the departure day is all.
If I have a motorcycle, can I ride it on one of your tours?
Yes, the cost is around between the cost of the normal rider fee and a passenger fee. This is great for Americans who want to meet other (and often international) riders, and for people who want to discover unknown riding locations that take a lot of time to find alone. My classic car dealership, www.sakowskimotors.com, can sell you a bike to ride on tour, then handle shipping home to you anywhere in the world. When you add of depreciation from mileage, tour prep, wear and tear from tour, new tires, insurance, registration, shipping, making the bike pass compliance for your country, etc, it makes more financial sense to just rent the bike.
Is airfare included in the tour cost / Hotels before and after tour / transportation?
No. Your tour begins in the start city the day of the tour. We have found that this is really the best option for you. Arrangements can be made for extra hotel accommodations, upon request. The hotels we use on the first and last day of tour are usually close to the airport. In most situations and tours, there will be a shuttle to shuttle you to or from the airport. We have a packet per tour we will give you that will let you know which airports to fly into for each city. We suggest arriving a couple of days early, and leaving a couple of days after the tour so you have time to rest before and after the tour. We can book these for you.
If I make a deposit, when is my final payment due?
If you reserve a tour with a deposit, your final payment will be due = received / cleared to Ride Free’s account at least 90 days prior to your reserved tour date. If you would like to change your method of payment, contact us prior to 90 days before your scheduled tour.
It is best to get your deposit in as soon as possible so we can provide you with the best tour possible, and to reserve your spot as well as your bike and rooms. The earlier you book, the farther we can make your money go.
How Do I Pay for and book the Tour? When should I book?
You can pay in full, or you can make a deposit A deposit of $1000 per week per person ( varies per tour). Contact us for particular deposit of each tour, and we can set up payment. When you contact us to book, we either have forms and waivers you can fill out quickly and easily online, or we can email your a PDF for you to fill out and mail or email back to us.
We have a number of different payment options depending on a number of factors. Contact us and we will give you the options. Final payment is due received and cleared before 90 days before tour dates.
A: We recommend booking at least 1 year in advance when possible. We are happy to work you in last minute, but it is in your interest to book as soon as possible. This will help us be able to give you the best tour possible for the money.
Can I get a refund on my deposit?
Yes. If you cancel a tour reservation prior to 90 days before a reserved tour, you will be refunded the full amount of your payment or deposit, minus a $250 processing fee, and any fees charged to us to return your payment. Full refunds will not be given to cancellations requested later than 90 days before a reserved tour due to booked hotels, tour guides, tours turned down because we had tour guides set aside for your tour etc, and motorcycle rentals. We must book hotels and bikes far in advance to be able to provide a great tour for you. It is a good idea to check in to travel trip insurance. That will cover you if you miss the tour last minute for any reason.
Please please please purchase tour insurance from a broker so if you can’t come last minute you will be reimbursed from the insurance company your loss of money. We will want to help you, will feel honestly horrible for you, but will be unable to help you.
Nathan Peach ( Overseal, Derbyshire, United Kingdom ) Just recently completed a Ride Free organised tour of Northern California, me and my buddy hatched an idea to go... read more
- Andrew H
Wil and Erin at Ride Free organised our whole trip along route 66 then the coast road to San Francisco. A self guided driving tour we did with our friends.... read more
What a fantastic trip. My friend and I spent 2 years discussing this trip and eventually settled on the fantastic team at Ride Free. What quickly convinced us... read more
"The Greatest Trip of my life!"
Hello Wil and Erin. Just a short note to thank you for the ‘BEST VACATION EVER’. Both Brian and Andy were exceptionally professional and it is fair to say that that trip would not have been as good without the professional and friendly banter between the group and the guides. They were well able to cater for the differences in the group and this aided the holiday. The locations, lodgings and roads traveled matched and, sometimes, exceeded our expectations. On at least two occasions the accommodations were part of our dreams. ( Log cabin on a lake ) Read More