1) Why should I join
and organised tour?
In our busy lives with
family and work we have very little time to dedicate to our
passions. If motorcycle touring is one of your passions don't forgo
it. Rely on someone professional to organise it for you. If you'd
like to ride a motorcycle in Italy without any apprehension,
let us do the work for you. We've been doing this for over
20 years now and know where to ride, where NOT to ride, what to see,
where to eat, where to stay.
2) Why should I join a guided
In an organised and guided
tour you'll have two people of CIMT with the group all the time, one
on a bike and one in a support vehicle. Both will be bilingual
English/Italian and both very experienced riders which know their
way around and can assist you in making your riding so much more
enjoyable and trouble free. Think about this:
a) you will have the benefit of
a local rider with local knowledge. This does not only mean that the
route is planned with the best of knowledge, but that you also benefit
from the flexibility that a present knowledgeable rider can add in
tackling unexpected events without disrupting the ride for everyone on
If a tour member is sick, the guide can seek immediate help.
If a bike
breaks down a guide can fix it, or rely on local contacts to get it
fixed, or towed, in no time at all.
b) over the years a local guide
latches a personal rapport with local people and places along the route
which he's willing to share in presence. It will be like being
introduced to friends of your friends, and this can't be done on a road
c) You'll be riding with a
friend not a policeman. Safety is important, of course, but fun and
enjoyment also. You're on holiday!
3) Why do you always have a
support van with you? It makes it very expensive!
It's absolutely true! A van is
normally seen as a real luxury by bikers, and it is. It's expensive. It
means paying for someone's time, someone's food, accommodation, fuel and
equipment. Normal bikers just load up their bikes and go. This works
really well on a private ride, and when you have time to spare. On an
organised tour there's a small group of riders, who most of the time that
don't know each other from before the tour start, which have little time, want to enjoy the
ride, and want to minimise the event of anything spoiling this
A support vehicle that can take the load of the luggage off your bikes,
so that the ride is more enjoyable, and that can load up a bike for
whatever reason, from a puncture to someone feeling unwell, is a
blessing not an expense. It won't disrupt the ride of anyone for very long and the
group can continue on its ride without leaving anyone behind.
Imagine the following scenario.
As simple as a not repairable puncture (slash in the sidewall) or a
broken clutch lever. The group is without support van and no spares. The
guide and the group will have to wait for a tow truck to pick up the
bike (1 or 2 hours). What if the repair shops are closed at that time?
Where will the tow truck take the bike? It will go to its depot and only
later head for the tire shop. What if the tire shop opens in the
morning? The depot will be local and not in the tour hotel town. What
does the tour group do? Do they decide to leave the affected riders
stranded with the tow truck in an unfamiliar place? Do they all hang around and lose precious
riding time? What should the guide do? Guide the group, or stay with the
If there's a chase van, the bike gets loaded in the van with the
riders in no time at all. The group carries on with the guide on the bike. On the way to
the tour hotel the second guide in the van gets the problem fixed.
Everyone is happy. This can also apply for sickness. What if someone
drops a bike and injures his collar bone or an ankle? Or just gets a bug and is so
sick not to have the energy to ride safely?
The support vehicle plays a fundamental role in a guided organised tour,
especially when the tour runs over a weekend and in remote areas. Look
at it more as insurance with benefits instead of a luxury. Benefits
because it can take your luggage in your suitcases. You can ride a
bike without luggage and keep the extra space in the panniers for
shopping, etc. If a pillion gets tired of riding on the back they
can jump in one of the two available seats in the van.
4) I like to ride on my own,
take my time to explore and to see places of interest which are not
always on the itinerary. I can't do this on a guided tour.
This is not strictly true.
Whilst riding in a group is always a compromise and most people on guided tours simply enjoy following the guide
without thinking about anything else, you still can enjoy a great deal
of riding freedom. If you are more adventurous
and wish for more freedom in your ride, don't discard guided tours
immediately. There are still some excellent benefits for you.
(a) your luggage will be at the designated hotel - you just need to
ride with your essentials
(b) in case of
need our organisation will be at hand to help you out
(c) hotels are booked for you
(d) the guide will always be available for extra bits of information
(e) great companionship at dinners and breakfast even if during the
day you do your own thing and a different itinerary to the group
So apart from the general
itinerary and hotels, you are completely free. In fact you have more
freedom. You will be free of your heavy luggage and of constant
search for places to stay with a close at hand travel consultant.
5) I am a really concerned
about riding with people of different skill levels.
a) I really don't want to be stuck behind a slow rider
b) I am a really conservative rider and don't want to be holding anyone
up on the ride
These concerns very often
stop people from booking a guided tour with people they don't know.
So how does CIMT overcome this fear and offers everyone a fair ride
within their own comfort zone?
Safety is of utmost
importance to us, so everyone must have good levels of riding
skills before they come to Italy. This doesn't mean fast nor sporty.
A good skill level means that you have the complete command of a motorcycle
without endangering yourself or others in the process.
At the beginning of the tour
everyone will be given a tour handbook with the complete itinerary and a
map. Every evening there will be a briefing, over some drinks before
dinner, about the following day, so all tour members will always have a
idea of where we are heading on each day. An option is to split from the main group
if riding together really doesn't agree with you.
If instead you want to ride
together and take full advantage of the guide's presence, we normally let the fast riders run ahead of the group at their pace
with the only rule that they must wait for the slower riders following
suit at junctions, or viewing areas. The slower riders will be able to take all the time they need to
cover the route without the pressure of someone constantly filling their
mirrors and pressing them to go faster. The motorcycle guide will judge
stretch by stretch when to let the faster guys run ahead of him and/or stay
with the slower riders, and when to refrain the faster ones in places
where navigation gets more complicated.
Day 1 is the tricky day
where everyone gets to know each other's riding style. By Day
2 you'll have sussed out in which position you feel more
6) Will there be time for
Absolutely YES! The guide will
make sure to stop in places where there are good photo opportunities and
will make sure the group stays together when riders stop for pictures.
Pictures are important. Clearly,
within reason, anyone on the tour is allowed to stop along the route to
take a picture of something that caught his/her eye. In these cases,
they should signal what they are doing to the riders behind him and let
them overtake. He/She should also not take too long to take the picture.
A group ride is always a
compromise and it goes both ways.
7) What is the
difference between a guided and a self guided tour?
In the guided tour
you get a professional motorcycle guide that will always be present
through out the tour duration.
You will be able to follow a rider
with local knowledge and bilingual (English/Italian) skills. He will also give you
insights on local culture and history. And will be able to judge
possible ride extensions, or short cuts, depending on weather and group
On most of our tours your luggage will be transferred
for you in the chase van from hotel to
hotel. Welcome and farewell dinners are also included in the guided
advantage of our guided tours is the possibility of meeting new
motorcycling friends from all over the world. It makes a big difference
in sharing a trip with like minded riders even if you live thousands of
On a self guided tour
you will have to transport your belongings on the bike, no dinners are
included. You will have the same itinerary and maps as on the guided
tour, but essentially you will be riding on your own. If you like your independence
whilst riding this could be an alternative way to travel,
especially if you don't have the time to research where you want to ride.
8) How do I reserve
a place on one of your tours?
send an email to
asking for availability of places on any tour of your interest,
indicating your motorcycle of choice and tour date. You can choose from
the bikes listed in the rental section. CIMT will get back
to you with the requested information.
9) What type of
hotels do you use?
our aim is give you an
intense flavour of Italy, real Italy. We have chosen small 3/4 star
family run hotels, which offer comfort, friendliness and a welcoming
atmosphere. It will be like staying at friends. Something which is lacking in the big chain hotels.
We strive to stay in the centre of historical towns, so that in the evening you can sample
Italian nightlife by strolling around town and shopping at the local
boutiques and shops.
10) What level riding
ability do I need to have to take part in your tours?
Italy is a great place
to ride, but not a place to learn to ride. We are NOT looking for fast
riders, but confident and competent riders. You need to be able to ride any type of
turn with a touring bike, including tight switchbacks, and be prepared
to ride in the rain if need be. If you need some
tutoring come a few days early and ride with one of our
Always opt for a lighter
bike in Italy. The roads are tight and in some areas offer a great
variety of surfaces, from excellent to very bumpy. Huge levels of
saddle comfort are not really a prime concern as we take many breaks
during the day. On average we seldom ride constantly for over 45
minutes. Believe it or not a BMW F750GS can be a great ride for a
couple and an R1250RT can prove overwhelming at times. There's
really no need for a K1600GTL unless you're sticking to the
autostradas and superstradas, but then you're just going from A to B
losing out on the minor treasures Italy has to offer.
11) Should I be
concerned about traffic? We hear that drivers in Italy are crazy.
Traffic is hectic in
busy cities such as Rome, Naples, Florence and Milan. Cars, motorcycles
and especially scooters dive for any available space in the queue.
Although this can be quite unsettling for riders used to more
disciplined traffic conditions, it should not terrorize you. If you
don't let the madness get to you, you will sail through it chuckling to
yourself, amazed by some of the stunts you'll witness.
However, on tours, you won't have to deal with such madness. The tours
keep away as much as possible from the busy cities and the traffic outside of town on the
back roads is scarce and absolutely normal.
When the tours leave and come back out of Rome, Milan,
Florence or Palermo, we do
it on days and at times that have very low traffic levels.
12) What is the
timing for booking and paying?
Upon reserving a place
on a tour you will be asked a 15% fee.
60 days prior to tour start, CIMT will know if the tour has
If yes, the balance of the total will need to paid to
Freelance srl, CIMT's touring partners.
If the tour has not reached minimum numbers of participants, CIMT will
inform all riders who have reserved a place on the tour and offer the
a) cancel tour and refund booking fee
b) run the tour self guided at self guided prices
c) if we reach at least half the participants the tour will run with
only one guide and the group will decide democratically whether to
have the support van or the guide on the bike.
d) If we are over half attendance we can opt to include a small
supplement to have both guides. In this case all participants will
receive the tour supplement cost and it should be a unanimous
13) What if I have to
If you decide to cancel the tour for whatever reason, not depending by
CIMT, the rider will have the following penalties:
a) up to 60 days -
credit held for other tour.
b) between 60 and 30 days - 50% loss and 50% credit for the entire next
c) after 30 days - 100% loss
14) What happens if
we have a fault with the rented motorcycle during the tour?
During a guided tour
there is a support vehicle and a guide which will
offer all the help you need to get the bike going again. If the bike has
a terminal fault, you will be able to take the motorcycle guide's bike to
continue the tour, until yours isn't repaired.
If the support vehicle isn't present on the tour, we are never far away
from one of our CIMT bases, so help will be at hand really
Let us stress here that motorcycles used by CIMT are recent bikes which
are meticulously maintained by official brand dealerships, and have an
unblemished track record.
15) What happens if I
If during the tour, God
forbid, you crash the rented
motorcycle, the support vehicle (if available) and the guide will do all that is
possible to get the bike safely going again. In the event that this is not
possible, you can continue the tour in the support vehicle or interrupt
the tour. In this instance, no refunds to missed tour days will be
We'd like to stress the fact here that our motorcycle tours
are not races. You are here to tour not to do a road race, so there will
be a high attention on safety first, without obviously spoiling the
The guide on tour has the authority to take a rented motorcycle off
the hands of any participant, who is clearly endangering himself and
other tour members.
16) Do I need to wear
a helmet or other protections?
Helmets are mandatory
in Italy and all parts of Europe. It is essential that you bring one with you. CIMT
can also supply a full face helmet, but you will need to book one in
advance specifying the size.
CIMT also strongly recommends you to ride with motorcycle boots, jackets
with protections and gloves. Touring bikes are heavy. Even a drop in the car
park could prevent you from continuing your ride. Imagine a bruised
elbow or a swollen ankle.
17) What if I need
Italy has a huge
motorcycle and scooter community (2 million only in Rome out of 5
million people) and statistically there are many
motorcycle accidents, no more than in any other countries in proportion
to motorcycle numbers. Emergency medical staff throughout Italy are very
well trained to cope with this kind of situations. If, and God forbid,
this is the case you will be transported to the nearest hospital and
treated accordingly. The bike will be taken care of by CIMT staff.
Medical Insurance is strongly recommended. CIMT does not cater for this,
you should source independently.
First aid is guaranteed to anyone, even helicopter transportation.
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