Leod Escapes: 2018 Motorcycle Vacation Schedule
A Vacation with Track Riding on a MotoGP track… this is actually a thing?
It’s that time of year when people start considering what their next grand vacation will be. For many of us this means combining travel with our passion for two wheels. Exploring a new place, combined with throttle therapy is the perfect way to celebrate life. A trip that requires a passport, adds some sauce to the adventure and there’s plenty of fun destinations and organized tours that do it.
What if it included track time on a MotoGP circuit? For motorcyclists who know how much fun track riding is the thought of riding a famous circuit seemed outside the realm of possibility. It isn’t, Leod Escapes has been doing it since 2013. So if you want to sport tour a foreign country with fellow track riders and then ride where your MotoGP heroes ride, keep reading.
So how does Leod Escapes “Track & Tour” work? What’s included?
On the surface Leod Escapes “Track & Tour” trips look like your standard motorcycle vacation touring package with a bonus of track time. A 9-10 day motorcycle sport touring vacation with one or two days of track time. That includes rented sport touring bikes for the street and proper sport bikes for the track.
You’re provided, three and four star hotels, multilingual guides and a support/luggage vehicle when needed. All breakfasts as well as welcome and farewell dinners are always included, while some tours include more dinners. You generally just have to pay for airfare, lunches and motorcycle fuel… and of course celebratory drinks. Group sizes are between 5-13 riders and prices start at around $6500.
Okay so what’s under the surface?
The tour is made for and populated by track riders and this changes things. Track riders, male or female, are usually more independently minded, comfortable with uncertainty and game for adventure. This means, they don’t need a menu in English, so they eat more like vacationing locals.
They are more interested in riding the twisty backroads than going to the museums and tourist hot spots so they want to ride like locals. Their riding skills mean they want a spirited pace in the curves. A track rider wants a loosely organized adventure not a pleasant tourist trip. This free spirited attitude and intermediate to advanced riding skills, is the reason Leod often gets clients who are normally turned off by the concept of “organized” tours.
Sounds good, so what trips are offered and which one is the best?
For 2018 your choices are “Italian Dream to Mugello”, “Sachsenring & The Italian Alps”, “Spanish Pyrenees to Aragón”. “California Curves to Laguna Seca” and “Australian Curves to Phillip Island”. While the “Track & Tour “ concept is the same, the Leod Escapes tours vary wildly due to the destination as well as the character of the local guides. What’s best is a matter of tastes and sometimes it’s a matter of schedule so here’s a quick run down of how they differ.
Italian Dream to Mugello (May 2018)
Starting and ending in Rome, this tour is like riding through a romance novel. The little villages and hill towns you are riding through have existed for centuries. Italian passion for life comes through, particularly in the long festive dinners here with your fellow track riders.
Enrico is the lead guide and a 7th generation Roman. He is a key part of the tour’s authenticity. He gets you on the back roads that locals ride, gets you the best dinner choices and will help you understand the Italian character. Street bike selection is a range of BMW and Ducatis. The track portion of the tour is only one day but it’s on a Ducati Panigale 959s with coaching by Ducati champions.
It is pretty cool to get coaching from Andrew Pitt or get passed by Carlos Checa or Michele Pirro. Mugello Circuit is VERY Italian, natural beauty with sexy accessories. This is a great tour for couples. Exact dates available in mid December but you’ll want to lock down your reservation by mid January as Ducati slots sell out fast.
For more, visit Leod Escapes Italian Dream to Mugello
Sachsenring & the Italian Alps (August 28 to September 6 2018)
Gird your loins! The Italian Alps are the most challenging and visually stunning sport touring you will ever do. Sachsenring, while safe and freshly repaved, is a tricky circuit. This tour is the “Party Tour”. It starts in the German party town of Munich and just continues with 4 nights at the same chalet in the Alps. Dinners are included at the Alps hotel. German guides Norbert and Angela get you on the famous, as well as, the less known “rider” passes in the Alps.
The German guide Matthias will keep you laughing and create as many stories about the evenings as you have about the days. Street bikes available are the entire BMW line except the S 1000 R, because they go through too many rear tires. Track bikes are BMW S 1000 RR with slicks and tire warmers.
You’ll be joining German track riders for a two day track event with different riding groups according to skill level. This is the original tour that started it all and it’s still the most intense. This tour is Leod Escapes general manager’s favorite. Hotel space and rental bikes for the Alps get booked up early, get your reservation in by mid January just to be safe.
For more, visit Leod Escapes Sachsenring and Italian Alps
California Curves to Laguna Seca (September 10 to September 19 2018)
The best sport touring in the USA… Yes, that’s a fun argument to have. You have a variety of BMW, Ducati and Honda choices for the street. California has the widest variety of scenery that includes, high alpine passes, mountain river runs, redwood forests, rolling hill ranch country and coastal curves above the Pacific Ocean. Every bike on this tour has a GPS with all the routes.
You can ride at your own pace with who you want. This is Leod Escapes home turf so you’ll get local food tips as well. This tour is good if you are an accomplished street rider but have never ridden on the track before. California Superbike School is the worlds most successful track school. Two days with these highly trained coaches that can help riders of any ability get to the next level. Laguna Seca with California Superbike School is VERY popular, get your reservation in by February as they spots go fast.
For more, visit Leod Escapes California Curves to Laguna Seca
Spanish Pyrenees to Aragón (September 26 to August 5 2018)
Get ready for Tapas, Tinto and the best ham in the world. You’ll arrive and depart in the beautiful Catalan city of Barcelona. The Pyrenees rank just below the Alps in scenery but have much less traffic and less steep switchback turns. Local Spanish guides will route you on the best pass roads and navigate you though the variety of lunch choices.
Evenings are spent in restored historic buildings called Paradors and upscale dinners there are included. Aragon is a massive high speed circuit that is very impressive. You’ll be riding new S1000RR on Metzler K3 tires with a track school led by Troy Corser. When people were asked to choose the next Track & Tour destination this was the clear winner. This tour has been years in the making and a lot of past Leod Escapes clients are eager to go on it so get your reservation in by January.
For more, visit Leod Escapes Spanish Pyrenees to Aragón
Australia Curves to Phillip Island (November 2018)
Fly in and out of Sydney. It’s summer time down under so enjoy the warmth and sun. This is a curvy cross country adventure through untamed land. Mostly BMW GS models down the coastal curves and over the mountain twists to the our favorite MotoGP track, Phillip Island. You’ll stay in three star hotels and eat a variety of fresh tasty food. Commonly seen critters like Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats abound and yes we’ve even heard a few Kookaburras.
Track bikes are S1000RR on Dunlop Q3 tires. You’ll be riding at a local Australian track day separated up into groups according to ability. Yes we know about the poisonous critters. No we’ve never seen any after riding there for 4 years. This also features three nights in Cowes, our favorite little resort town in the world, with the best MotoGP fan shop we’ve ever seen. Dates for Phillip Island are generally released around April, so practice up at your local track days and then finish the year at speed! This tour is the favorite tour of Leod Escapes operations department.
For more, visit Australia Curves to Phillip Island
Okay I got a question
Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if your question isn’t about one of the tours and you just have an international motorcycle travel question Cat will try to help. He knows the best way to see the world is on two wheels and wants all fellow riders to get out and live.