BELOW IS A LIST OF QUESTIONS MOST COMMONLY ASKED
HOW MUCH RIDING EXPERIENCE DO I NEED?
You must have a valid motorcycle license and ideally have had 24 months riding experience. We appreciate that all rider skill levels are different; therefore the two year requirement is not ‘set in stone’ but a guide only. Some off-road experience would be helpful as some of the sections we ride are of relatively easy gravel but can also have a few sections of difficult terrain; however the majority of the riding is on tarmac. For our UK, Australian, South African and Kiwi riders you will have to adjust to riding on the “wrong side” of the road. All rides are suitable for pillion passengers but we recommend the rider has had pillion, (Co-Rider), carrying experience.
HOW MANY KILOMETERS/MILES WILL WE RIDE PER DAY?
This figure varies greatly. Some days are as little as 150kms/93 miles while others are as much as 475kms/294 miles; only on the rarest occasions would we exceed 500kms/310miles. We try to allow as much time as possible for sightseeing and getting to a hotel mid afternoon to refresh, relax and enjoy a meal and a few drinks.
DO WE RIDE EVERY DAY?
No. While we appreciate that we are here to enjoy wonderful riding it is also important for us to be able to enjoy the incredible scenery, visit world renowned sights and immerse ourselves in the vibrant culture. We ride for a few days and stop for a day or more before moving on, depending on the itinerary. Some companies are more like an enduro event, we stop and “smell the roses”.
WHAT WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE WE LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER?
All our tours are timed to run in the best season for riding in that particular country, not too hot, not too cold and not too wet, but mother nature being as she is, nothing can be certain. Good cold and waterproof motorbike gear is essential for the high Andes and warm gear is especially needed for the Altiplano. On our major expeditions, ALL weather conditions will be encountered, this is the nature of this type of expedition. Our Australian rides also encounter both hot and cold riding conditions.
WHAT RIDING GEAR DO I NEED TO BRING ALONG?
As mentioned above warm yet breathable clothing is essential for the majority of tours. Your riding gear should have the ability to be altered as the day warms up, for example a jacket will have a good cold weather liner that can be removed. Two pairs of gloves, one winter and one summer, Riding boots and a good helmet are essential.
ARE THE TOURS SUITABLE FOR TWO-UP RIDING?
Absolutely, we have chosen routes that take in all the greatest sights and scenery without making them so extreme that carrying a pillion would be impossible. On a small number of days we may encounter a small section of road that could be difficult for two-up riding such as a creek crossing or sand, but these sections are rare and short lived (with the exception of our major expeditions and some sections of our Australian rides). When we do encounter these sections we have the option of pillion, (Co-Rider), passengers riding in the support vehicle.
CAN A NON-RIDING PASSENGER JOIN ME?
Yes. Our support vehicle can accommodate a limited number of passengers (4) Passengers who pay support vehicle only prices, same as pillion / Co-Rider prices are guaranteed a seat but of course are free to ride two-up when they feel like it.
HOW MANY RIDERS WILL BE IN THE GROUP?
In the spirit of real adventure we have limited the number of bikes to 10, (15 on our major expeditions). A unique experience loses its allure when you have to jostle with up to 25 other riders. It feels more like riding with a small group of friends than a “tour”. As mentioned previously, you are more than welcome to take off on your own and meet us for lunch or at the hotel at the end of the day.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY BIKE BREAKS DOWN?
Our motorbikes are new or near new and are in excellent mechanical order before they start each expedition. In the unlikely event of a breakdown we shall endeavour to get it repaired quickly. If a spare bike is available you will be provided with that or we will rent one at the first available opportunity.
HOW CAN I STAY IN TOUCH WITH HOME?
We have in our expedition support vehicle a satellite phone that can be used on a per minute basis. Each major city that we stop in you will be provided with a city fact sheet that clearly points out, amongst other things, internet cafes and call centres. Our knowledgeable staff will also point out these facilities en-route
ARE THERE ANY INCENTIVE PROGRAMS FOR TAKING MORE THAN ONE TOUR?
Of course! We reward any rider who joins us on more than one of our expeditions. We realise that a huge percentage of our custom is from repeat business and we will reward those riders and/or pillion, (Co-Rider) passengers with a generous rewards program. Please view our “frequent riders program” for further information.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Absolutely, in fact it is a requirement that you have medical insurance before you join one of our tours. When purchasing travel insurance it is important to make it very clear that you will be riding a motorcycle and that it will be over 250cc. Some insurance companies include motorcycle insurance coverage in their policy but it doesn’t include anything more challenging than a one day ride on a moped around Phuket. Please ensure that your policy covers you for personal accident, medical and repatriation costs as well as the usual loss of luggage, damage and theft. Compass Expeditions have relationships with 3 insurance providers and have obtained a 10% discount for our clients, please go to the “book here” for more info….
WHAT ABOUT VISAS?
It is the responsibility of the passenger to obtain the appropriate visas before joining the tour. We highly recommend the use of a visa agency who are adept at getting visas quickly and whose charges are quite reasonable. Compass Expeditions will provide any confirmation letters that may be required such as the letter that is required for Australians wishing to travel to Brazil. Compass Expeditions will provide complete visa support for our major expeditions.
WHAT ABOUT MEDICAL VACCINATIONS?
We highly recommend that you speak with your doctor and/or check out the World Health Organisation website at www.who.int/country and have a look at their excellent International Travel and Health book, available online. In Australia, check out the Australian Travelers Medical Centre at www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 65 88 44. For our U.S client’s checkout www.cdc.gov/travel/ and in the U.K, go to www.dh.gov.uk. For travel health recommendations in general have a look at www.mdtravelhealth.com
It is a requirement of many South American countries for all travelers entering their country to have a valid yellow fever vaccination along with the supporting document.
WHAT DOCUMENTATION DO I NEED TO BRING?
* Each rider must bring his/her original motorcycle license and an INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT or IDP, available at you nearest motoring organization. For example in Australia it is the RACV in Victoria, RACQ in Queensland etc (make sure they stamp the motorcycle section).
* A valid passport with plenty of pages and one that is still valid for 6 months after completion of the tour.
*Any visas that may be required.
* Most countries require an onward air ticket proving that you do not intend to live somewhere in the middle of the Amazon for the rest of your life. You must show proof of your intention to depart especially in South America and certain Central Asian countries.
*The original of your yellow fever vaccination certificate, if traveling to South America, and the original of your travel insurance document.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR AIR FLIGHTS?
All air flights to and from your point of arrival and departure is your responsibility. Please try to ensure that you allow a couple of days before the scheduled tour departure to get over jet lag or just to appreciate the joining city. Although we make every endeavor to stick exactly to the itinerary, unforeseen circumstances do arise occasionally and therefore we advise that you try and leave your flight a day or two after the scheduled finish of your chosen motorcycle expedition.
BOOKING AND PRICES?
WHAT ACCOMMODATION IS INCLUDED?
Accommodation is included on all nights of the advertised itinerary but it is not included if you arrive early or depart later in your joining and departing cities. All accommodation is on a twin shared basis and very occasionally multiple share hostels. For private rooms there is an extra charge (see single room supplement on expedition information).
You can book online following the prompts in the Bookings section using your credit card or PayPal account, alternatively you can call us with your credit card details and we can process your payment over the phone. You will be emailed confirmation of your place on the tour immediately; alternatively you can pay by money order, cheque or bank transfer.
When booking we require 10% of the total tour price at booking time and the remainder to be paid in full 90 days in advance of departure date to ensure all accommodations. If you have any problems with paying the remaining lump sum, speak with us and we can arrange a STAGGERED PAYMENT OPTION, individually tailored to suit your financial needs.
Because of the small size of our groups, it is a first come first served booking. With a limited number of each bike models available we suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.
ARE MINIMUM NUMBERS REQUIRED?
On all our tours we require the minimum of 6 riders; however on our major expedition’s we require a minimum of 10 riders.
HOW MANY CREW PER TOUR?
On all tours you will be accompanied by a ride leader and a support vehicle driver. At least one Compass Expeditions crew will have mechanical experience on our chosen bikes and at least one will be multi-lingual.
Nearly everywhere has ATMs that dispense the local currency; this reduces the need to carry a large amount of cash. Nearly every country accepts U.S dollars for changing. It is advisable to bring small denomination U.S notes no bigger than $50. All notes must be in perfect condition as no one will change even the slightest damaged notes. The South Americans are very particular on this. For our European and Turkish rides Euros are widely accepted and can easily be changed into the local currencies.
OUR ADVERTISED SCHEDULES?
Don’t panic we are just covering ourselves here. We do everything humanly possible to remain exactly as per itinerary; however travel is sometimes impeded due to political unrest, strikes, landslides and other events completely beyond our control. It is within the spirit of adventure travel that we accept these events and we will ensure that we are back on schedule ASAP. The final decision on what course of action to take remains with Compass Expedition crew.
ONCE YOU HAVE MADE A BOOKING WITH US YOU WILL BE SENT A COMPREHENSIVE PRE-DEPARTURE BOOKLET OUTLINING EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHAT ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF PURCHASING FROM COMPASS?
If the FAQ section doesn’t answer your question, please send us an email or call and we will get back to you ASAP.by