Having participated in many of these amazing Retrotours, I can say emphatically, that they are well worth many times more than the actual fees charged, which are incredibly reasonable for what you provide, and for the level of exhilaration, and for the overall experience. I love these tours and will certainly be riding many of the other ones that are scheduled for this season. Every tour that I have participated in has been a valuable and invigorating experience that gives the type of adrenaline rush that becomes so much rarer as we age and become obsessed with the obligations and responsibilities on out adult lives. The only possible downside is that they do become addictive, and I find myself wanting to ride in every one of these Retrotour events.
Your knowledge of the motorcycles, and especially of the roads is nothing short of incredible, and your abilities as a tour guide and ride leader as amazing. You have an uncanny ability for finding the curviest and most satisfying motorcycle roads anywhere, and incredibly they tend to be almost devoid of Winnibegos and cops! You set the pace at an appropriate level to encourage less seasoned riders to strive for a bit more speed and exhilaration, while allowing the more seasoned riders to have a more aggressive pace and experience. The accommodations for our well deserved rest, and all of the wonderful stops for food and relaxation, as well as interesting destinations like Bill's Bike Barn, set the perfect balance between obsessive riding and necessary diversions. I don't know how you do it, but you make it work out just perfectly for all levels of rider capability, and tolerance in the saddle.
I love riding the old bikes, and they bring back such nostalgic memories. The machines are well maintained, and properly tuned and cared for, to ensure almost completely trouble free performance, and when the occasional gremlin causes a slight delay, I feel like "MacGyver" fashioning pistons out of styrofoam cups by the side of the road. On almost every single tour that I have ridden, we have gotten every bike home under its own power, which is a testament to the machines and your capabilities, and some of these machines were ridden quite hard through the length of the tour.
I'm always surprised when we make these machines do things that I never had the skills to do, back when these machines were contemporary motorcycles. The performance is impressive and exciting, and it certainly demands much more skill from the rider, to make an old bike go relatively fast, than it does to make a modern sport bike go incredibly fast. That allows for an entire weekend of skills development, and appropriate challenges, at speeds that are much more reasonable than would be challenging on a modern sport bike.
The routine of swapping bikes at each fuel stop (approximately 80 to 100 miles) is anything but routine, and allows for multiple rider's impressions of these great old bikes, and allows for comparisons that we might otherwise never be fortunate enough to experience. I am always fascinated by how much my impression of the same bikes, can be changed and influenced by the order in which I rode them, and by what I rode before and after any particular machine. It is also an invigorating mental exercise to change from unusual shift patterns, and engine characteristics, including two and four stroke machines, and (on tours other than this Japanese specific tour), to experience the differences which are inherent in the machines produced by each different country's approach to motorcycle technology of the period.
I also love that you include all of the riders in the proper care and feeding of the bikes, by allowing each rider to adopt responsibility for a particular machine on each ride, so that they are charged with checking fluid levels, and lubricating chains, etc. It is a great rider involvement that is also very satisfying.
Thanks for providing so many wonderful memories and experiences for all of us over the last several years. Looking forward to seeing you for the May vintage ride to Renovo, PA!
PS: I am hot on the trail of a 1937 Scott Flying Squirrel water cooled two stroke, which, as you know, is the predecessor of your incredible Silk motorcycle!
Matchbox Motors Microcar, Minicar & MotorcycleMuseum
c/o Charles Gould163 Country Club Road
Newton, Massachusetts 02459
Dear Lynn and Joel,
Thanks you so much for a fabulous weekend. I really had a great time. I really enjoy these RetroTours and I appreciate that you still include me and make me feel so welcome. The bikes and the company are wonderful, and the roads are unbelievable.
Lynn always puts out a fantastic spread of food for us, both before and after the ride, and she makes all of us welcome in your home. O slept like a log which is not common for me, and I ate like a horse which is more common for me!
I don’t get to ride nearly enough anymore, with work, kids, etc, and this is something that I look forward to every year. I recognize just how much work goes into preparing the bikes and keeping them running, and the research that you do to find these amazing roads and the sometimes thankless job of herding all of these ride4rs into a cohesive group that can actually ride together.
It was nice to see the expansion and all of the display bikes.
This is just a brief note to thank you for inviting all of us on the vintage tour. I had a blast. It was really great. I really hadn’t ridden for almost two years, and it was wonderful to get back in the saddle.
I just wanted to tell you that these tours are a great idea and you will draw plenty of European as well as American clients.
I think that 10 days for an adventure like this would be perfect, but I definitely think that you should charge more than $2,000. That’s less than $200 per day! I also think that the vintage bikes should be touted as a premium, not as a compromise. In other words, you should charge as much or more than Harleys or modern Japanese bikes which rent for over $150 per day.
The roads, the general area the scenery etc, is fabulous. The 1st little lodge we stayed at was fine, though tourists may prefer a little more charm like a real bed & breakfast type of place.
All the bikes worked fine. The minor breakdowns just added to the adventure. I felt like McGyver fixing things by the side of the road. I keep telling people that we fabricated a complete crank, connecting rods and piston for the Ducati using only a styrofoam cup, duct taper, and an old tampon. Everyone is really impressed! Keep the RD400. It is a perfect contrast and a lot of fun. Thanks again!