Real Cost

THE REAL COST BENEFIT OF A MOTO-CHARLIE TOUR

Everyone says that the cheapest way to tour the Alps is to do everything yourself.  That means that you find and rent the motorcycle, you find, book and pay for the hotels, you pay for your own food and gas and you find your own way through the Alps. That way you know the real cost without any profit or mark-up included for a tour operator.

You do the exact same thing on a Moto-Charlie tour, meaning that you pay for everything yourself – no hidden costs.

The only extra cost on my tour is a separate, clearly identified fee for my services. That fee pays for Moto-Charlie to make all the motorcycle reservations, hotel reservations and guide every tour. The amount of this fee is significantly less than the profit and mark-ups built into other tour operator prices.

The Moto-Charlie fee provides you with value and peace-of-mind because I’ve done all the research, leg work, route exploration and made sure it all works seamlessly to provide you with an excellent Alps Tour value adventure for your money. That includes:

  • Finding a tour base location that is easy to get to, has a good selection of hotels, restaurants and things to do

  • Finding a good motorcycle rental shop that provides a wide selection of motorcycles that are reliable, serviced properly and cost effective along with solid support in the form of gear, accessories and English speaking personnel

  • Finding good Alpine style hotels with consistent service, great locations, a biker friendly mindset and good food

  • Finding a way to assemble your gear and prepare for your trip with tour preparation info, train travel info, packing suggestions and various other information to make sure you arrive in Europe with everything you need to enjoy your tour – no guess work

  • Finding the best roads, passes, ancillary services like lunch and gas stations and routing them together every day to maximize your riding enjoyment and minimize your stress.

The whole point of my tours is to save you money, provide a tour-on-your-own with friends feel and allow you to spend all your free time enjoying the spectacular riding, outstanding views and wonderful culture that is the Alps. It just so happens that one of your friends has been there and done it ALL before, so there is no hassle, no stress and no guesswork. You get to just show up and pay your bill. There is no markup. With the other tour companies, you’re given an all-inclusive price that (1) is missing certain cost items so it really isn’t all-inclusive, and (2) gives you no way to tell how much their fee really is because their costs are bundled together.

For more info on why it makes sense to ride with Moto-Charlie click  here.

 

QUICK LINKS

How Much Will The Tour Cost
Cost Items Missing From Most Other Tour Company Prices
How To Compare Prices

 

HOW MUCH WILL THE TOUR COST?

TO keep things simple I show the MOST EXPENSIVE OPTION – The single rider in a single room

I show what the COST IS PER DAY.

I then take the cost per day and multiply it times the number of tour days (See tour costs posted per tour at the Tour Details Page)

The estimate below assumes a rented motorcycle similar to a BMW F800GT or F800GS, both great alpine bikes and both available with hard luggage.

 

AVERAGE TOURING COST PER DAY FOR A SINGLE RIDER IN A SINGLE ROOM PER DAY is $440/day:

+ Motorcycle – $135/day
+ Hotels (Includes Dinner and Breakfast) – $130/day
+ Incidentals (Lunch and Gas per day) – $65/day
+ Moto-Charlie Fee – $110/day

AVERAGE TOURING COST PER DAY FOR A PASSENGER PER DAY is $245/day:

+ Motorcycle – $0
+ Hotels (Includes Dinner and Breakfast) – $130/day
+ Incidentals (Lunch and Gas per day) – $25/day
+ Moto-Charlie Fee – $90/day

COUPLES SHARING A ROOM (or 2 riders for that matter) – As noted above my costs assume a SINGLE person in a SINGLE room – the most expensive booking. The fact is that SHARING a room can save $200 to $300 per person on average. For a couple riding 2-up that $400 to $600 savings is enough money to upgrade to a R1200RT or K1600GT and still stay within my cost budget.

 

COST ITEMS MISSING FROM MOST OTHER TOUR COMPANY PRICES:

  • RIDING DAYS – Be sure to pinpoint how many riding days there are. Some major tours advertise 12 or 14 day vacations but the days at each end really include air travel time and the first day is an arrival/orientation day. So your “14-day” motorcycle tour ends up being only 11 days of riding. Many 8-day tours end up being 5 days of riding, etc. My tours assume that every day is a riding day with the cost of the motorcycle rental built in.

  • SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENTS – My cost comparison above assumes a single traveler. Most tour groups charge a single room add-on of $300 – $750 over the cost of sharing a room with another tour participant.

  • EXTRA DINNERS – Most tours have free days where you are in the same town for more than one night. Frequently dinner is not included in the tour price for those nights in case you want to eat somewhere different than the prior night. I use an average of $40 per dinner (it costs a little more in Switzerland and a bit less in Austria, France and Italy).

  • GAS, LUNCH AND INCIDENTALS – Remember to add $60 – $70 per day to the tour price from other tour companies for incidental expenses to cover lunch, gas, etc. (the $65/day is included in my cost numbers above).

  • MOTORCYCLE UP-CHARGE – Some tours provide a 650cc or similar displacement motorcycle as standard and they charge extra for larger displacement bikes.

  • MY TOUR COSTS INCLUDE ALL OF THE ABOVE – With other tour providers you can expect to spend another $1,500 to $3,000 more than the published prices, depending on the length of tour.


HOW TO COMPARE PRICES

It can be difficult to compare tour costs from company to company. The number of days is usually different, the motorcycles can be different, there are single room supplements, low season pricing, etc.

One way to help you understand the cost difference is to figure the cost per day.

Take my 14-day TOP 10+ tour for example. The $6,160 covers all expenses for the motorcycle, hotels, meals, gas and my fee. We ride all 14 days. The all-in Moto-Charlie cost to tour per day is $440.

There are several big tour companies that offer the R1200R for a 14-day tour (days 1 and 15 at each end are for air travel) and 13 days of touring. The average “posted” price for these tours is approx. $6,000 (some companies charge more, some less) for a single rider in a single room.

Single Rider

14 – Day Tour

1200 cc Bike

Moto-Charlie

650 cc Bike

Big Tour Comp

Posted Tour Cost
$6,160
$6,000
Surcharge for Upgrade to R1200R
Included
$1,650
Surcharge for Single Room
Included
$500
Extra for Layover Meals on Free Days
Included
$120
Incidentals for Gas and Lunch @ $65/day
Included
$910
ACTUAL TOUR COST
$6,160
$9180
Extra Cost Going With A Big Tour Company
52% More >>>
$3,160
Cost Per Day
$440
$656

Now you have some basis for comparison. The difference in cost per day is $216 or 49% morewith some of the other companies. That means that on a 14-day tour like mine it would cost over $3,000 more to go with a big tour company. The total cost can be up to $4,600 more expensive when you travel as a couple.

 

If you think that your trip will be longer, or shorter, than my tour schedule or if you have some significant cost issue that is not part of the regular tour activity and you would like some assistance in calculating your cost, please let me know.

Obviously you should not pick a tour company based on price alone. On a Moto-Charlie tour you get more than 30 years of personalized Alpine experience, a unique riding mix of classic Alpine passes and local hidden gems, clean, friendly Alpine style hotels in great locations, and a wide choice of brand new reliable motorcycles all intended to give you the most bang for your dollar, or Euro, or Swiss Franc.