Pashnit Motorcycle Tours in California
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Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions

Why go on a guided tour? Who is this Pashnit guy?
What is a typical tour day like? How does bike rental work?
Do we ride like Ducks-in-a-Row? What weather should we expect?
Group riding makes me nervous. How far do we ride each day
Will my bike fit in? Is there a chase vehicle?
Does the tour ride fast or slow? What kind of places do we stay?
How much experience should I have? What type of riding gear should I bring?
Can you help with bike rental? I can watch Ride Video from the tours?
Can I see pictures from your rides? What is travel Insurance?
Why do people go on tours?

I always organize my own rides, why would I want to do a guided tour?
Pashnit Motorcycle Tours has a unique origin in that your tour is based off the research of tens of thousands of miles of riding in the local area by your tour guides. The Tim's combine nearly 75 years of riding experience. PMT has spent two decades seeking out the ultimate motorcycle roads within California. Along the way, we’ve discovered some exceptional places of lodging and dining. By taking the details off your shoulders of where to ride, stay or where to find the best food - you’re free to just enjoy your vacation. Your only job is to sit back, kick it into gear, and listen to the sound of your motorcycle as you float on down the road without a care in the world! During your tour, you’ll get to share this experience with other like-minded motorcyclists who enjoy riding as much as you do.

Since we love to ask our tour participants this question...
Read about their answers:
Click here...

There's a Leader & Sweeper?

You bet ! This is a Guided Tour. All you need to do is show up on Friday morning. Leave your watch at home. The Tim's have taken care of all the planning, lodging, routing, you name it. All you need to do is enjoy the ride, marvel at the scenery, and be in awe of our California Roads!

Who is this 'Pashnit' guy anyway?

Read Wikipedia page about Tim Mayhew

When Cycle World, Motorcyclist & Friction Zone Magazines wanted advice on roads- they called Tim (as have countless other riders over the years). The author of has written a voluminous encyclopedia, over 600 pages, of text just on California Roads cataloging and photographing California's greatest roads.'s 'California Motorcycle Roads' has gained an audience of over 2 million people per year becoming the definitive resource for rides in California. Tim is also the creator of the Pashnit Motorcycle Forum with over 20,000 members worldwide. Articles about Tim have appeared in RoadTrip, Sportbike, Cycle World, Friction Zone, Motorcycle Tour & Travel and other national motorcycle magazines.

Read more about the site here...

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What is a typical tour day like?

After a breakfast together- we'll mount up and head off for our ride. The route is pre-planned so you can just lean back and enjoy the ride. Yes, you're free to ride on ahead if you know the way. If you are the relaxed daisy-picker type- no worries the sweeper will be with you to guide you regardless of your speed.

We like to stop at pre-planned intervals to take a break, enjoy the scenery and get to know each other better. Mid-day we'll stop for a relaxed lunch and then set off for the afternoon ride. Later in the evening, a hearty meal and the hot tub will be waiting.

Group riding makes me kind of nervous.

Actually this is a very common thought- so you're not alone. Pashnit Guided Tours are set up with a strict set of tried-and-true group riding rules to ensure everyone's safety. It's not uncommon for this to be a tour participants very first group ride whether they are a new rider or have 40 plus years of riding experience.

I'm a sportbike/cruiser/Harley/Goldwing/standard/motard rider. Will I fit in?

It's an unusual question, but we learned surprisingly common! Pashnit is unique!! Pashnit is ALL bikes, ALL riders. In the Wonderful World of Pashnit, all riders are equals. You will be welcomed with open arms regardless of what you ride.

You will notice from our ride photography that bikes have run the gamate with a Ninja 250, DR400, FJR, GS, LT, Road King, R1 and a V-Rod all on the same tour. More info: Read Mark's comments...

Does the tour go fast? Does the tour go slow? Will I be able to keep up?

This is also a surprisingly common question and a big concern of newer riders. Rest assured, no one is left behind- the sweeper will ride with you no matter how slow you go. Nor are you expected to attempt to keep up with the more experienced faster riders in our group. The tour in general moves along at a steady relaxed pace with pre-determined stops to constantly re-group the tour. So no matter how fast or slow you go, you'll always be a part of the group and still able to ride your own pace.

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How much riding experience should I have?

These tours are not for beginners.You need to have at least several year’s worth of motorcycling experience. You should have logged at least a few thousand miles on your motorcycle in order to get used to the bike, the basics of riding, cornering ability, and handling the motocycle in varied conditions.

If renting: You must be at least 21 to rent a motorcycle. However, it’s essential that you have sufficient skill and experience to handle a large motorcycle in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures. And of course, you’ll need a valid motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. Overall, a motorcycle tour is not the place to learn to ride. We’d encourage a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course if you feel your skills might need some sharpening. Regardless, after you spend some hours in the saddle, you’ll quickly get used to the feel of your motorcycle. You must be 25 with 2 riding years experience to rent a BMW. In the Bay Area, you can also rent Goldwings, 600cc Sportbikes, and even Triumphs.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation can be reached at 800-446-9227 (US) or in California 800-227-4337 to learn more about their safety courses.

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I notice that most of the riders are on their own bikes. I'm from out of town, can you help with the bike rental?

Of course! Pashnit Motorcycle Tours has already established long-running working relationships with local rental facilities and can refer you to your bike of choice.

Most of our tours are all based from Northern California so there are several marques available ranging from Honda Goldwing, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Yamaha FJR, sportbike, or even a Triumph standard. Note that rental facilities will often stow extra gear you may have while traveling. Just ask. Click here to learn more about renting a motorcylce in San Francisco.

This rental thing is new to me. How does it work?

Once you've determined which marque of motorcycle you'd like to rent via our Motorcycles page, riders will pre-book the rental months in advance. You'll work directly with the rental facility to make the arrangements to get the bike you want. Once you fly into San Francisco, riders typically take a taxi to the rental facility and pick up the bike the day prior to the tour. While the facilities have gear to rent, it's encouraged to bring your own helmet and gear to ensure your comfort while riding. Commonly, the bike is returned the morning after the tour ends. Also note that it's commonplace for rental facilities to stow any excess luggage you may have as a courtesy to you.

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What weather conditions should we expect?

California is known for its great weather and year round riding, and we often experience over six months straight of blue skies. But as we’ll be riding through a great deal of terrain and elevation change, come prepared to ride in a wide range of temperatures, especially when riding over mountain passes that reach upwards of nearly 10,000 feet. Rain is very rare, but is possible during Spring months.

Is it Ducks-in-a-Row touring?

No. This refers to a formation of bikes where everyone rides the same speed in formation all day long. While there will always be a leader & a sweeper, the riders in the middle often are spread out as everyone rides their own pace. The faster riders will pull on ahead, while the slower riders will enjoy a relaxed pace with the sweeper knowing the rest of the group will be stopped up ahead waiting for them. You ride your own ride. I have a tendency to call it the 'Mosey Pace' as we often just 'mosey' on down the road.

How far do we ride each day?

Our tours average about 250-300 miles a day depending on the tour, sometimes less. Overall, it’s a very relaxed riding schedule each day. There’s a lot to see along the way, and the photo opportunities occur one after the other. You can stop as often as you like. On the other hand, if you’ve come all this way to rack up the miles and see as much as you can, your tour guides have already explored the area’s roads so they’ll be able to help you with exciting routes that’ll extend your riding experience.

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Is there a chase vehicle?

Not in the classical sense. We have discovered that we don't need or want a chase vehicle unless we have several couples traveling two-up or a custom tour requests one. Riders will travel very light on 3 & 4 day tours. If you have any additional luggage, it can be stored safely at the rental facility or even the hotel you arrive at prior to the tour will always be wlling to stow your gear for you to be picked up once the tour ends. This has been especially handy when tour particpants include one of our 3-4 day rides into a longer vacation.

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What kind of places do we stay?

Our nights are spent in Best Western - Holiday Inn type hotels. Costs average about $85-165 a night for single occupancy depending on the region of California we're in and the time of year. On our 3-Day Weekend Rides, we often spend two nights in the same place so you can travel light on Saturday. 4-Day Rides we'll be in a different place of lodging each night.

What type of riding gear should I bring?

Gloves, jacket, chaps, or riding pants are normal riding apparel of the motorcyclist on tour. We expect you to be fully geared up. SPMT strongly recommends you wear appropriate motorcycle specific protective gear for the duration of the tour just as you would when riding your own motorcycle. Our rental partners can offer a helmet with the cost of the rental bike, however we would recommend you bring your own helmet for its familiarity and comfort. Some rental facilities may also rent leather jackets (ask) and offer leather gloves for sale. But again, it's highly reccomended you bring your own gear if you rent a bike.



Can I see pictures from the Pashnit Motorcycle Tours?

You bet! Your tour guide has shot thousands of pics while on the tours and you can view them on the Pashnit Flickr. Just click through the webpages for this site, all the photos you see on the website were shot on the rides- much like the photo above shot on Turri Rd on the Central Coast Tour. Great ride!

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I can watch a Short Film about Pashnit Motorcycle Tours?

Click here to download the two short films with ride footage shot on our Sierra Nevada Tour. In addition, you can also watch an extended 12 minute Short Film with footage shot on the Sierra Nevada Tour and on our Central California Tour.

Extended Mix Version
video NorCal Tour PhotoStory

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How does Travel Insurance work?

Travel Insurance gives you options in case you've booked a rmotorcycle vacation & something unforseen prevents you from attending.

There are several types of Travel Insurance available and we'd reccomend you research this option as to whether you feel it is neccessary. The longer your vacation, and more money you pay, the more you might consider this.

Start with

What is Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance?

Think helicopter evac. Our motorcycle tours often take place in remote areas of California,and if there were an emergency, it will be at the disgression of the emergency responders to evac an individual to the nearest medical center via helicopter- typically a $10,000-$25,000 ride. We'd reccomend to purchase an insurance policy for a mere $40 per year membership.Log onto to learn more.

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Let’s get started! How do I book a tour?

Link over to the Reservation Page to reserve your tour today! We have a full range of dates to offer to match your schedule. If you have any further questions, call us and we’ll be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have. If after visiting Tim’s California Motorcycle Roads web site and discover there’s a road you’d like to know more about- feel free to contact us also. Submit your reservation on-line, use a fax or send by mail along with a check for your deposit. You can also call in your reservation to 530-391-1356.

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Photography c/o California Motorcycle Roads



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