Dave Roper with replica 1911 Indian racer at the Isle of Man in 2011. Photo by Ken Richardson.
The countdown is on for the 2016 Motorcycle Classics Isle of Man Tour. If you’ve been thinking of joining us, now’s the time to start finalizing plans for a very special classic motorcycle tour Aug. 24-Sept. 2, 2016. We’ll start in London, England, then ride northwest to Heysham on the Irish Sea where we’ll catch the ferry to the legendary Isle of Man for the 2016 Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling and Classic TT races.
The 10-day tour will be led by seasoned tour planner and vintage motorcycle enthusiast Eligio Arturi of Mototouring in Milan, Italy, with Motorcycle Classics editor-in-chief Richard Backus riding shotgun. You’ll get to choose from a selection of motorcycles, and you’ll have the chance to ride most of the bikes available as Eligio encourages riders to swap bikes during his tours so they can get a taste of what it’s like to ride everything in the Mototouring stable. It’s a unique opportunity that makes a Mototouring tour very special.
Bikes lined up for our classic tour so far include a bevy of Benellis with two 6-cylinder 750 Sei models on hand, a pair of Moto Morini 350 Sports along with one of the last Morinis, a 350 K2, plus a BMW R60/5, Honda CB500 Four and CB750 Four and others.
Day One will be in London, after which we’ll spend two days riding across England, stopping along the way at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham as we head for the small town of Heysham on England’s west coast. There, we’ll catch the Heysham ferry for the three and a half hour sailing to Douglas and the Isle of Man.
Once we’re on the Isle, we’ll spend four full days living and breathing the Festival of Motorcycling, which includes a lot more than just the Classic TT races. We’ll watch the races, of course, but we’ll also ride around the Isle, checking out the different events (click here for the official IOM event schedule) going on during the festival and soaking up the scene.
The Isle of Man really is the heart of U.K. motorcycling, with tens of thousands of vintage bike fans descending on the Isle every year, bringing with them an amazing variety of vintage machinery. During the festival, enthusiasts ride around the course and through the coastal towns on bikes we’re lucky to see in museums, if at all, including brands like Sunbeam, Rudge, Douglas, Levis and more. When it’s all done, we’ll take the ferry back to England, then ride to Liverpool and Manchester for dinner and an overnight stay. The next day it’s back to London for a farewell dinner and overnight before heading back home.
Don’t miss this incredible chance to experience the Isle of Man for yourself. Cost for the tour is 4,500 euros — approximately $5,000 at press time — which includes your bike, hotels, ferries, a support vehicle carrying luggage and first and last night’s dinner in London. If you want to use your own bike the cost drops to $3,000, but you’ll have to make your own arrangements to get it there. Get the tour on your calendar and make plans now for the greatest motorcycling experience of 2016, a classic trip to the Isle of Man! To reserve your spot in the tour, head over to the Mototouring website.