Words and pictures courtesy of Colin Stanfield

Well after the ‘beast from the east’ and the prolonged cold spring we were ready for anything that Scotland could throw at us in early May. As it turned out the weather, while changeable, was relatively benign for Scotland so we set off from Clitheroe in good spirits taking the scenic route to the Border with a big loop through the Dales in all their spring glory. Really, on a good spring day you can’t beat the UK for riding!

Nine bikes of assorted types (plus two pillions) made superb progress to our first stop at Orton, like a well-oiled machine with little need to ‘drop off’ but good use of the system when needed.

The M6 saw us rapidly to our turn off for Longtown and onwards to Gretna, shadowing the motorway for some distance until our next stop at Moffatt. The southern uplands are full of superb riding and we carved our way along mile after mile of sweeping bends before arriving at the central belt and the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Crossing the new QE2 Bridge was a highlight of the day and took us on towards the still, snow lined, mountains of the Highlands.

The Green Welly stop at Tyndrum was buzzing with bikers enjoying the Bank Holiday sunshine.

Now for the final awesome stretch to the Bridge of Orchy, across Rannoch Moor, past the Shepherd of the Moors, that huge monolith of a mountain (the Buchaille Etive Mor) that guards the eastern entrance of Glen Coe, and down into the stunningly impressive Glen itself before emerging out to Loch Linne and our destination at Fort William, which despite its iconic setting isn’t the most inspiring town you’ve ever come across. But tomorrow was Skye so no one’s complaining!

By the way, roundabouts in Fort William have some useful ‘warning’ names!

Now the coast road to Skye via Mallaig is such an icon of Scotland it should be included in any Tour but our Tour organiser (cheers Pino – nice one ) had intel’ that the ferry from Mallaig only takes 6 bikes at a time so we took the more northerly route to the Kyle of Lochalsh through Glen Garry, Glen Cluanie, and Kintail. Well, what a road! Simply amazing and in many ways more European than British with exquisite bends of consistent angle followed by long open stretches, relatively little traffic (just enough overtaking to be fun rather than frustrating) all surrounded by stunning Scottish scenery. Today was even a bit of a safari, with Red Deer, Buzzards, a Golden Eagle, and feral Goats to see and negotiate – the Goats that is!

So, ‘over the sea (or Bridge) to Skye’ and it’s weird geology and landscapes, from the huge bulk of the Red Cuillin to the spikey ridge of the Black Cuillin and the ‘Tolkeinesque’ rock formation of Stor and the Quirang.

Stretches of single track A roads (yes A roads) and the ubiquitous camper vans made for some slow going but gave time to soak up the scenery. Road surfaces were generally good though, as with any roads, there were potholes and sloughs of gravel to catch the unwary.

In all we did over 100 miles just on Skye itself and got a great sense of the island as a whole with its outlying fishing villages, crofts, inlets, and views across to the outer islands.

Stopping at the iconic Eilean Donan castle on the way back to ‘Fort Bill’ gave us classic photo opportunities before the joys of the Glen Cluanie road again.

 

Sorry – it just had to be done!

‘Go west young man’, was the order of the next day as we set off to Ardnamurchan point and its lighthouse, the most westerly point on the UK mainland. Setting off on the Mallaig road to Skye allowed us to sample at least some of the beauty of this classic road as it follows the Skye rail track alongside the Glenfinnan ‘Harry Potter viaduct’ and the numerous white sandy inlets and beaches.

Now the Moidart peninsula extends many miles out into the north channel and the narrow, often single track, roads made for slow progress, especially given the surprising number of oncoming vehicles, even a Dust Cart at one point. What an amazing area to provide such services to.

Given its coastal location and height we spent a lot of time in light rain and the hills were wreathed in mist but the route was nonetheless spectacular as was the rocky coastal outline as we finally arrived at the lighthouse.

Retracing our steps east we crossed Loch Linne at the Corran Ferry and took the scenic tour around Loch Leven to the ‘Ice Factor’ climbing centre at Kinlochleven, and enjoyed a welcome respite from the now somewhat heavier rain.

The next day was a big expedition north west to Wester Ross (yes, it is a real place and not just the area you all know from Game of Thrones), and then East and back via Loch Ness.

This gave us a chance to ‘play’ on the Glen Garry and Cluanie Roads again on the way to the Loch Carron.

Riding scenery doesn’t get much better than this!

However, my good deed for the day almost threw a spanner (literally) in the works. As TEC, I stopped to help a damsel in distress. Well actually a lady with two young children desperately jumping on the wheel brace trying to change wheels after a flat on her rather ageing Audi. No AA / RAC and no phone reception. I’ll soon fix that thinks I and catch up with the group – no problem. In good SLAM style Pete Cole, next in the line of bikers was keeping an eye on his TEC and also stopped to help. Offending wheel soon removed but then the rot set in. The disk and hub on the car were out of line which made locating the spare on the bolts a major two man task. Overcoming that problem, we then lowered the brand new spare tyre down onto the ground only to find that it too was flat, and no foot pump! There was nothing more that we could do. Taking her phone number I said I’d leave her details at the next shop / garage, whatever. Of course in this part of the world that was another 25 miles! Postscript – she texted me later in the day to say the Police had come to her rescue.

The group reunited we headed into Loch Carron to fuel up, which, with 9 bikes, takes quite some time, especially when other pump users don’t move their vehicles while they spend time on the phone, in the shop, or whatever else they are doing when they should be moving out of the way.

From Loch Carron it was a short but superb ride to Torridon and a stop at Sheildaig. Now for those of you who know the area this is where the famous (infamous?) Belach na Baa road can be found as it rises to 2500ft over the mountains to Applecross.

Pre tour intel’ had said that the road was closed for repair but as we passed the turning there were no signs suggesting closure, only those warning that, ‘ in winter conditions this road is always impassable’ – hey that sounds like my kind of road. Stopping at Sheildaig a couple of us decided to forgo a Latte and headed off anti-clockwise along the stunning coastal road to Applecross. Despite the very strong cross wind (Andy Hall’s panniers on his GS acting like a sail gave me ample warning of particularly strong gusts!) the road was fast and flowy and in surprisingly good condition. If you have ever ridden the Nochalmstrasse in Austria it’s like a single track version of that!

From Applecross the Bealach na Baa rears up ahead of you and today it looked dark and foreboding with an ever increasing cross wind. Rising from sea level (on the West side) to 2500ft it is a challenging but exciting route (despite the oncoming vehicles – there are numerous passing places) and is a must for anyone who likes this kind of riding. From the summit the road plunges East, down a series of Alpine like hairpins until the gradient lessens and the route becomes fast and flowy again.

The Bealach na Baa - Go do it now!

From Torridon we road east to Loch Ness where, despite the collective observational power of nine advanced riders, not a single siting of Nessy was to be had!

The roads to, along, and around Loch Ness and through the Great Glen were superb and, as is his way, Pino managed to link them all with quieter, twistier and even more scenic routes.

We arrived back at Fort William after a 270 mile day buzzing with the fun of it all. Could it get any better……………..read on!

Today was the ‘snow roads’ day and having been climbing in the Cairngorms just 4 weeks earlier I knew that these roads had recently lived up to their name.

Essentially we circumnavigated the Cairngorms National Park but that would be to underplay the whole day which consisted of much faster, flowing roads, often linking passes between mountain ranges. The classic Cockbridge to Tomintoul road, past the Lecht ski centre, was a highlight as it rises high along fast open roads with great visibility, and then drops steeply down towards the Dee valley and the Balmoral Estate. A favourite of car groups as well as bikers you’ll often see lines of classic and vintage cars on this road, or groups of Porsches and other classic marques enjoying the delights of this route.

A classic stretch on the ‘snow road’

Refreshed after a stop at Braemar we carved our way up the Glen Shee pass and on to Pitlochry. While today was our best day weather wise it had turned much colder as evidenced by the fresh dusting of snow on some of the higher tops and the occasional beat of hail on the visor.

Our route back to Fort Bill was becoming familiar now and bends which earlier in the week had been new to us could be taken with a little more pace.

All great things must come to an end someone once said, but I don’t know why! Anyway, our last day saw us take the Argyle Coastal route south west. This was unfamiliar territory to me so what better way to explore these classic roads than by bike. As we progressed south the roads became busier which presented the need for more care with overtakes. As TEC it’s interesting to see the ‘imagination’ that some people put into these manoeuvres. Take care up front I think to myself, we have a lot more miles to go yet.

The busy Dunnoon Ferry was a pleasant way to cross to Gouroch and allowed us to make good progress into the lush farmland of Dumfries and Galloway with a stop at Gretna to refresh for the final push home to sunny Lancashire.

Picking up the M6 we could up the pace to Penrith where the final highlight of the tour was the good old A6 Shap road – always an awesome stretch to ride.

So after 6 days and 2000 miles we all said our farewells and left with memories (and in my case an urgent need for a new rear tyre!) of the epic Scottish Highlands.

Thanks must go to Pino and to Jane for taking time out to organise such a fantastic trip. These things don’t just happen and inevitably as a tour lead, there is some added pressure on top of the normal need to ride well, safely and to enjoy the trip. So cheers Pino, nice one!

The "runners" and "Riders" were:

Pino and Jane Guarino - Yamaha Tenere
Pete Cole - Kawasaki
Ken Chute - Ducati Multi  Strada
Andy Hall - GS1200
John and Kath Know - GS1200
Martin Robinson - BMW 1000
Deborah Robinson - BMW 1000
Jane Dowbiggin - Honda  Crossrunner
Author and photographer - Yamaha Tracer 900

 

Heritage of Rajasthan on Motorcycle
Tour Highlights:
Ø Historic Delhi, India’s Capital city.
Ø Painted House of Mandawa.
Ø Experience the Camel Ride on Soft Sand Dunes of Jaisalmer.
Ø UNESCO World Heritage Site – JAISALMER Fort.
Ø Magnificent Fort & Palace of Jodhpur, the Blue city.
Ø Motorcycle Temple – Where motorcycle is God & being worshipped.
Ø  Romantic City of Rajasthan or City of Lakes– Udaipur.
Ø Great Forts & Palaces of Jaipur, the pink city.
Ø Visit to Village Schools
Ø Bustling bazaars & interaction with colorful friendly people.
Ø Staying in Heritage & Castle Hotels.
Ø Elephant Ride at UNESCO World Heritage-Amber Fort-Jaipur.
Ø Enjoy Ride of Royal Enfield through the unexplored rural route.
Ø TAJ MAHAL, Agra, wonder of the World.
Country & State: India – Rajasthan
Best Time: October to March
Tour Duration: 13 Nights / 14 Days
Number of Riding Days: 10 Days
Accommodation: 3 Star & 4 Star
Riding Level Required: Intermediate
Terrain: 85% Tarmac & 15% Gravel
Duration of Ride: Between 5 & 7 Hours a day on Average
Distance Covered on Motorcycle: 2200 Kms / 1370 Miles
Temperature: During nights & early mornings 10º C to 15º C & in day time 20º C to 30º C
Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI
Arrive at Delhi’s airport, our representative will personally meet you outside the EXIT gate of arrival terminal, holding a placard of your name. You will be transferred to your hotel & relax. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 02: DELHI – MANDAWA (130 Kms by Drive in Car & 140 Kms by Ride on Royal Enfield)
After breakfast, board in car & after 130 Kms away from Delhi, we start our first day ride to Mandawa. At Motorcycle Tour starting point,you will be introduced to your Royal Enfield 500cc Motorcycle and the road Captain who makes you aware of all the rules of driving in Indiawith all the gearing system of Royal Enfield bike & how to handle Royal Enfield 500cc Motorcycle in yourMotorcycle tour to Rajasthan.Today you will ride Royal Enfield 500 CC bike on country road & enroute you find some local markets. Mandawa is a world famous for its heritage Havelis and colourful fresco art. Mandawa was originally a trading outpost for the ancient caravans routes that stopped here from China & the Middle East. On arrival in Mandawa, check in hotel & relax.Later enjoy walk in colorful market & visit to many interesting havelis. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 03: MANDAWA-BIKANER (220 Kms / 4-5 Hrs Ride)
After breakfast, ride start to Bikaner. On arrival check into the hotel & relax.In the afternoon you will proceed for asightseeing tour of BikanervisitingJunagarh Fort, one of the most interesting forts in Rajasthan, with its sumptuously decorated interiors. Built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh it is unusual in the sense that it was one of the few major forts of Rajasthan that was not built on a hilltop. Later back to hotel & relax. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: BIKANER-JAISALMER (320 Kms / 7 Hrs Ride)
After breakfast, get ready to ride on awesome route forMotorcycle tripthrough small villages set among desert oasis with deep blue vast open skies above to the horizon of golden sands. Wild camels and caravans of gypsies drift by as we are virtually alone on the roads through the desert. Our destination for the next two nights is the fantastic Ali Baba“Golden Fortress City”on the Pakistan – India border in the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer.On arrival in Jaisalmer, check into the hotel & relax.
Day 05: JAISALMER-SAM SAND DUNES DESERT CAMP (40 Kms)
Morning after breakfast, start your sightseeing of Jaisalmer including the old town of Jaisalmer & visitJaisalmer Fort,built in the year 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. Perched on 80m high hill, housing the entire township within its ramparts, it is the only "Living Fort" in India. Later visit beautifully sculpturedPatwon Ki Haveliin the heart of the town & it is virtually the showpiece of Jaisalmer's legendary architectural wealth.Later we ride down 40 km away from Jaisalmer through huge sand Dunes on both side of Road which gives you awe inspiring experience of Motorcycle Tour in Rajasthan, enroute visit an abandoned village Kuldhara popularly known as Ghost Village. Later ride continue to Sam Sand Dunes. On arrival at Sam Sand Dunes ensuite camping site, check in camp & relax. After tea, enjoy camel ride in soft sand dunes of Thar Desert & the panoramic view of sunset from the middle of Sand Dunes. Later back to Camp & enjoy mouth watering Rajsthani Dinner with folk dance & music programme by a group of talented folk artists. Overnight in Camp.
Day 06: SAM SAND DUNES-JODHPUR (320 Kms / 6 Hrs Ride) 
After breakfast,start ride to Jodhpur through the panoramic country road. Enrouteyou will enjoy many activities like to visit the house of local farmers to know about their daily life style & also visit the school to see the how Indian village student doing their study. On arrival in Jodhpur, check in hotel & relax. Evening enjoy walk in colorful market of Old City of Jodhpur. Overnight in Jodhpur.
Day 07: JODHPUR-RANAKPUR via MOTORCYCLE TEMPLE (190 Kms / 5 Hrs Ride)
After breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing of Jodhpur on Motorbike toward to Hill to visit theMehrangarh Fort(Majestic Fort), one of the most impressive & formidable structures anywhere in India. View of the city from the Top of the Fort is just incredible; from here whole city looks Blue. Nearby visitJaswant Thada (also known as Taj Mahal of Jodhpur); a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in the year 1899 AD. It is an architectural landmark of Jodhpur. Later ride continue toward Ranakpur through panoramic village route.Enroute experience a must visit & an interesting place for every motorcyclist -the Motorcycle Temple (a place where Motorcycle Rider is God & being worshipped).On arrival in Ranakpur, check into the hotel & relax.Overnight in Ranakpur.
Day 08: RANAKPUR-UDAIPUR (90 Kms / 3 Hrs Ride)
After breakfast, get ready forMountainous Motorcycle RidetowardUdaipur,this place is full of natural beauty, abundant water & natural protection afforded by the surrounding forests & Aravali Mountains. It is also known as the "City of Lakes".Enroute stop to see the oxen are turning a water wheel for irrigation.On arrival check into the hotel & relax.Later enjoyvisit to City Palace a majestic architectural marvel towering over the lake & the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. At Sunset enjoy a boat ride around Lake Pichola, which offers spectacular views of the hills, palaces, temples & bathing ghats. Eveningtake a short walk in the colorful market of Udaipur.Overnight in Hotel at Udaipur
Day 09: UDAIPUR-GHANERAO (150 Kms / 5 Hrs Ride)
After breakfast, start ridetoward our next destination called Ghanerao. Enroute enjoy the visit ofUNESCO World Heritage site-Kumbhalgarh Fort, the walls of the fort of Kumbhalgarh extend over 38 km, the second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China. Later ride continue to beautiful & charming village Ghanerao. On arrival, check in hotel & relax. O/n in Hotel.
Day 10: GHANERAO-PUSHKAR (250 Kms / 6-7 Hrs Ride)
After breakfast, startMotorcycle rideto Pushkar. Pushkar is famous for its Temples, Lake, Ghats, Sand Dunes and Bazaar. There are small hills on the three side of Pushkar and the deep and beautiful lake on the other, which increase the beauty of Pushkar. On arrival, check into the hotel & relax. Evening enjoy the walk in Colorful Market of Pushkar. Overnight in Pushkar.
Day 11: PUSHKAR-JAIPUR (140 Kms / 4 Hrs Ride)
Today we ride to Jaipur, popularly known as Pink Citybecause many buildings are still washed in Pink, the traditional color of welcome. Jaipur is the flamboyant & colourful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich & colourful past, resplendent with tales of valour & bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. On arrival in Jaipur, check in hotel & relax. We finish our Motorcycle Tour here & take bid from crew members. Evening enjoy walk in market area of old town with your guide. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 12: JAIPUR FULL DAY LOCAL SIGHTSEEING
After breakfast enjoy the guided sightseeing tour of Jaipur including the16thcentury’s Amber fort with elephant ride, after that visit the Magnificent City Palace(Royal Museum)built in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Singh. The Palace complex consist an excellent museum, an armoury, sprawling gardens, buildings and several fine halls. Then proceed for Jantar Mantar(the Astronomical Observatory) & Hawa Mahal(Palace of Winds).Overnight in Hotel at Jaipur.
Day 13: JAIPUR-AGRA (250 Kms / 6 Hrs Ride) 
Morning after breakfast, drive to Agra. On arrival in Agra, check into the hotel & relax. Later drive to visit Mehtab Bagh to spot the Taj Mahal from other side of Yamuna during sunset. Later enjoy walk in colorful market of Agra. Overnight in Agra.
Day 14: AGRA-DELHI (210 Kms /4 Hrs Drive) 
Early morning visit the India’s most celebrated monumentsTaj Mahalin Sunrise built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz.Taj Mahal, the white marble tomb built in 22 years (1631 – 1653) by the Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved Queen Mumtaz. Over 20,000 craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy laboured for 22 years to build this masterpiece &its also known as symbol of eternal love & now regarded by many as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.Later drive back to hotel for breakfast. After that drive to visit UNESCO World Heritage site-Agra Fort & later drive continue to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, straight transfer to airport for your return flight to onward destination.
In our Fixed Departure we take maximum 12 Riders.
Book Now 18thOctober’2018 to 31stOct'2018
Book Now 9thNovember’ 2018 to 22ndNovember'2018
Book Now 20thNovember’2018 to 3rdDecember'2018
Book Now 7thDecember’2018 to 20thDecember'2018
Book Now 26thJanuary’ 2019 to 8thFebruary'2019
Book Now 10thFebruary’2019 to 23rdFebruary'2019
Below Discounted Rate is Valid for every Rider/Pillion confirming Spot 90 Days before in every Fixed Departure by paying 10% advance non-refundable amount.
Price-US $ 2470 Per Rider
            US $ 4275 Price for Rider + Pillion
            US $ 1995 Price for Car Passenger
            US $ 480 Single Room Supplement

PACKAGE COST INCLUDES
Ø 12 nights Hotel Accommodation on Dbl Sharing basis with Breakfast.
Ø 01 night in Desert Swiss Camp with attached European Style Toilet on Twin/Double sharing basis with Breakfast & Dinner on Twin sharing basis.
Ø All Ground Transfers from your arrival at Delhi Airport in India to till departure from India, sightseeing & overland journey by Air Conditioned Vehicle on non-riding days.
Ø Royal Enfield 500 CC Motorcycle on all riding days.
Ø Fuel (Gasoline) for Motorcycle.
Ø Experienced English speaking Motorcycle Road Captain for whole trip on his own Royal Enfield Motorcycle including his accommodation & food.
Ø Experienced Royal Enfield mechanic with all necessary spare parts for bikes including his accommodation & food.
Ø First-Aid Medical kit.
Ø Refreshment during rides like Packed Juice, Fresh Fruits, Biscuits, Tea, Coffee Etc.
Ø Back-up Vehicle (Support Car/Van) to carry your Luggage.
Ø Spares parts change in Motorcycle during tour. –Front tube/ Rear tube/Spark plug/Clutch and Brake Wire/Clutch and Disc brake pads/ Engine oil/Clutch Plate.
Ø Enjoy Farewell dinner with unlimited Beer on last day of Riding.
Ø The services of an English speaking guide on sightseeing days.
Ø Assistance by friendly, knowledgeable English speaking ground representatives from the moment you arrive in India until the time you leave.
Ø All Currently Applicable Taxes.
RATES EXCLUDE
International Flights, Lunch & Dinner (except where is specified), Monument Entrances, Video/Camera Fees, personal medical insurance (compulsory), Bike damage, extra drinks, visa fees, tips (no obligation) and items of personal nature such as, laundry, liquor, extra drinks etc & anything which is not mentioned in included section.
Bharat Singh....
Mobile:+91-9871483018
D-207, Vikas Chamber,
Central Market, Sector-14,
Rohini, New Delhi-110085.
Skype: legendarymotorides
 
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