Support Vehicle & Hotels
On each expedition we take one of our dedicated support vehicles. We use Ford Transit LWB diesel vans. They have proven themselves on expeditions such as the Trans Am and London to Beijing. They are remarkably capable and, so far, unfailingly reliable. We have both two wheel drive and four wheel drive versions to cope with the differing terrain of varying expeditions. Our dedicated fleet of support vehicles are equipped specifically for our expeditions. We do not just hire a local pick-up truck and rely on local drivers.
We choose to use panel vans as opposed to 4x4 pick up’s and trailers for the bikes, because vans provide secure and discrete transport for bikes. A bike on a trailer is in full view and not nearly as well secured as one locked out of site in a van. This is also why we keep the branding of our vehicles to a minimum. They carry valuable parts and medical kit and potentially your bike so we want to be subtle. A big 4x4 may look the part but that’s all it does – look good, but we do not believe it offers the best solution.
Each vehicle is provided with secure storage for fuel, water, a comprehensive tool kit including diagnostics, a range of spare parts and medical equipment. They can also provide transport for up to two bikes and two riders in the event of any accident, illness or injury.
We carry spares that our extensive experience has taught us are most likely to be required when on the road, and we are adept at solving problems en route – but we are not a mobile manufacturer’s workshop! The parts we carry are those that will stop your trip. We don’t carry spare screens, or indicators lenses. We do carry rocker covers, levers, fuel filters, EWS units etc. We will always try to fix your bike on the road or at the next stop. However sometimes serious damage to your bike requiring major parts will mean it gets loaded into the van and carried to the nearest available town where we can source parts or have access to a full workshop.
Our support vehicles are also equipped with a comprehensive medical kit, including spinal board, sterile syringes, pain killers and splints. The support vehicle has a quad band GSM phone as well as a satellite phone to try and ensure that it can remain permanently in contact with the Expedition Leader and the outside world.
Our support drivers are the best available. Each one has supported a Dakar Rally Team in the past and has a wealth of real world experience in keeping motorcycles on the road on extended trips. They have also attended our Tour Guide Training, are Expedition First Aid Qualified and are independent experienced overland riders in their own right. With their motorcycle mechanical knowledge, their role is to assist you in keeping your motorcycle running throughout the trip and helping with repairs. They will do everything they can to keep you on the road, but cannot do the impossible, although a few riders have viewed their work as miraculous in the past.
We stay in a wide variety of accommodation en route, ranging from basic bunk houses in remote areas to top quality 5 Star hotels in some key cities. In small town locations we use the best hotel available but may not meet the Western expectations. The majority of the time we will use boutique local hotels and hostels, and virtually all will have en suite facilities. We try and stay in accommodation that relates to where you are in the world.
We avoid big chain hotels when we can that while efficient, clean and well run could be anywhere in the world. We do stay in Hacienda’s in Mexico, Estancias in Chile, Homestays in Tajikistan and along the way lots of nice local hotels and hosteria. On some occasions the best choice may still be a corporate hotel, but these are few and far between. The selection of hotels is always a balance between location, facilities, accommodating the whole group and bike security. There are times when you need to be at the heart of a town to experience it. There are times that the remote farmhouse is the right answer.
The cost of the expedition includes your room on a bed and breakfast basis. Rooms will largely be on a double occupancy shared basis. By the time we leave you will have had a good chance to meet everyone in the group and if you wish to share with any individual you can let us know beforehand and we will try and accommodate this.
We do strive to find a hotel with security parking for the bikes, however not every hotel can proved secure parking. Depending on the location we will try and find a secure solution. In some more remote locations this requires no more than parking outside the hotel. In one town location in Central America we pay an armed guard to stay with the bikes overnight!
Every hotel on each expedition has been researched and we will have checked the hotel’s rooms, facilities, the surrounding, location, service and parking for the motorcycles. So you can relax and enjoy the journey.