Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

All | General |Guided Tours | Self Guided Tours | Motorcycle Rentals


Our head office is based in Nelson, at the top of the South Island, the geographic centre of New Zealand. We live here because the riding, the scenery, and the weather, are fantastic.. 🙂 All of our Guided Tours start in Nelson. Nelson is where Air New Zealand service their national fleet, so there are a ton of inexpensive, short flights to Nelson from Christchurch or Auckland. If booked in advance, a 70 minute Auckland to Nelson flight costs around NZ$120 per person. A 40 minute Christchurch to Nelson flight is approx $90 per person. We’re happy to book these for you.

You can pick up or drop off your rental bike in Auckland, Nelson, or Christchurch. You’ll get the best pricing if you pickup and drop off your bike in Nelson, but it’s no problem if you want to use one of the other centres – just be aware that the usual rental industry one way drop off fees do apply. We offer an airfare subsidy on certain rental bookings that start and finish in Nelson – please enquire for details.






A little background. She commuted for two years on a Yam 650 in the mid 1970’s. 80 miles a day rain or shine, April – Sept (our good riding months).
Not any riding until last year when she put 400 or 500 miles on my Trophy4, (tried a Yam FZR600 but it was taller than the Trophy).
Decided it was too tall (especially when stopped at an off camber uphill stop sign) just didn’t like being on her toes, she’s 5′ 5″. Felt it was also top heavy, which probably goes back to her height. She just wasn’t comfortable. Yes she’s told me to get rid of one bike and then she would purchase something that suited her. She does have a motorcycle license.
The question is would you allow her to use one of your bikes given the above and if so do you have a bike that would fit her, with a screen or fairing and either a tank bag or top boot to hold some camera equipment?

 

We had a recently retired ballerina from New York with similar experience tour with us last year with her husband. We put her on a cruiser with a very low seat. She was 5′ 2″, 100lbs. We’re talking Tiny with a capital T. We gave her a bit of time on the bike in a quiet area, and then asked us to show she could stop and turn well, and weave in and out of some cones that a confident rider could tackle with ease. She passed that and decided to ride. She was a little nervous, but rode well. There was the odd very windy day where she opted to put the bike on the rescue trailer and rode in the van with me. As long as your wife is feeling confident she can handle the bike, and that she can demonstrate to both us and you to our mutual satisfaction that she is in safe control we dont have a problem. If she has an unrestricted motorcycle licence, our insurance company is happy, so there’s no problem there either. Ellen (ballerina) went home a much better rider and learnt a lot. We hold advanced rider instruction days at our dealership (Thunderbike) and though we’re not trained motorcycle instructors, we feel we have a good grounding in motorcycle riding and survival skills and we enjoy passing these on to others. If we see somebody on the tour who we think can benefit from a bit of help (and they willing to listen) we’re quite happy to share our knowledge. Though we don’t recommend that a rider takes one of our tours to learn how to ride, it may benefit your wife to ride and hone up her skills again. There’s no doubt she’ll go home well practised in twisty roads 🙂 and a better rider.








Our aim is to make the time you spend on one of our bikes a real treat. We use a mix of prestigious makes and models from Triumph, Harley Davidson, BMW, Honda and Suzuki and we are adding to our fleet all the time. We try wherever possible to give our clients the choice of several different types and makes of motorcycles, all in as new, pristine condition. Once the mileage gets over 18,000 miles, or they start to show signs of wear and tear, we pension ’em off. We do keep a few 4 year old, excellent condition bikes for those who are prepared to trade off the need for the latest and greatest for a reduced daily rental rate, but most of our bikes are current models and are less than 18 months old.







Re your wife and the size of bike. We have just had a tour group of Americans through, and one of the ladies rode herself. She was 5’3″ and 110lbs, and we lowered one of our low seat, low frame BMW F650GS 800cc twins for her – this gave a seat height of 26″ and she found it very comfortable and quite manageable. The ride position is “sit up and beg”, for want of a better term. We will always have bikes in our fleet to ensure we have catered for everyone. Additionally, larger bikes like BMW’s R1200GS can be fitted with a low seat, so that even those with Duck’s Disease, like me (5’6″) can easily get both feet firmly planted on the ground.











Typically you will cover about 4500 – 5000 kilometres, or 2800 to 3215 miles. The bikes do an average of about 40 miles to the gallon (imperial), so you’ll use about 75 gallons of fuel, or 337 litres. Premium fuel costs about NZ$2.00 cents per litre, or NZ$9.00 per Imperial Gallon or NZ$7.00 per US Gallon. So you’ll spend about NZ$675/US$506/ UKP337 on fuel. You don’t pay for oil, and neither do the bikes tend to use any. I can’t remember when I last had to add oil to one of our tour bikes..









I’ll have a look at it again and see how much work is involved – it varies from model to model. If it’s not a big job there will be no additional charge, but if a bit of jiggery pokery is involved, there would be a nominal charge. How tall is the little critter who will need the footpeg mods? As for adjusting the height of the bike for you wife, this is no problem at all – no charges there.











What to bring …
Riding gear
Your full unrestricted motorcycle drivers licence
Your credit card with enough reserve to cover the insurance deductable at least 🙂
Full face helmet is recommended.
Earplugs if you like ’em
Protective/windproof motorcycle jacket & trousers – a 2 piece Goretex/Cordura Aerostitch or BMW type riding suit is best.
Rain Suit – just in case (if you’re using leathers/jeans)
Leather Gloves, (medium weight, Goretex lined if possible)
Quality Riding boots (Goretex lined if possible)
Swimming gear, swim suit & beach towel (esp. if you want to do the Dolphin Swim)
Hiking Gear walking boots or shoes
Small day pack (or bum bag) & water bottle (though you can buy bottled spring water everywhere…).
Camera Wildlife shots like whale watching require at least 200mm zoom lens.
Underwater disposable camera (with flash) for Dolphin Swim
Good film and processing is available in NZ (avoid taking high speed films through arport X-ray machines).
A spare large, soft “carry all” type bag for putting all the additional things you may buy in NZ (like woollen jumpers and T shirts) into. This will save you having to ship stuff home by post or airmail Clothing/Laundry
Please be aware that most accommodations allow us to use their laundry facilities – a typical load of washing costs about NZ$10.00 Dress for temperatures of 16C to 24C (61F to 75F), though in Feb March we can get max. daytime temps of upto 40 C (104 F)
Medium and light weight for under riding gear, something warm with long sleeves.
Warm pull over (sweater) for glacier hike & colder evenings
Leisure/Casual (not Business/Casual or Formal or) dinner clothes. NZ is a jeans ‘n T shirt sort of place.
Personal items toiletries, sun block cream (SPF24 or higher), sunglasses (a must!).
Casual shorts for hot days, maybe some flip flops to keep your feet cool.
A baseball type cap can be useful to combat glare and keep the sun off your head.
Light coloured clothing is best in Summer – you’ll cook in black… 🙂
Notebook and pen
A small flash light maybe.





What to bring …
Riding gear
Your full unrestricted motorcycle drivers licence
Your credit card with enough reserve to cover the insurance deductable at least 🙂
Full face helmet is recommended.
Earplugs if you like ’em
Protective/windproof motorcycle jacket & trousers – a 2 piece Goretex/Cordura Aerostitch or BMW type riding suit is best.
Rain Suit – just in case (if you’re using leathers/jeans)
Leather Gloves, (medium weight, Goretex lined if possible)
Quality Riding boots (Goretex lined if possible)
Swimming gear, swim suit & beach towel (esp. if you want to do the Dolphin Swim)
Hiking Gear walking boots or shoes
Small day pack (or bum bag) & water bottle (though you can buy bottled spring water everywhere…).
Camera Wildlife shots like whale watching require at least 200mm zoom lens.
Underwater disposable camera (with flash) for Dolphin Swim
Good film and processing is available in NZ (avoid taking high speed films through arport X-ray machines).
A spare large, soft “carry all” type bag for putting all the additional things you may buy in NZ (like woollen jumpers and T shirts) into. This will save you having to ship stuff home by post or airmail Clothing/Laundry
Please be aware that most accommodations allow us to use their laundry facilities – a typical load of washing costs about NZ$10.00 Dress for temperatures of 16C to 24C (61F to 75F), though in Feb March we can get max. daytime temps of upto 40 C (104 F)
Medium and light weight for under riding gear, something warm with long sleeves.
Warm pull over (sweater) for glacier hike & colder evenings
Leisure/Casual (not Business/Casual or Formal or) dinner clothes. NZ is a jeans ‘n T shirt sort of place.
Personal items toiletries, sun block cream (SPF24 or higher), sunglasses (a must!).
Casual shorts for hot days, maybe some flip flops to keep your feet cool.
A baseball type cap can be useful to combat glare and keep the sun off your head.
Light coloured clothing is best in Summer – you’ll cook in black… 🙂
Notebook and pen
A small flash light maybe.


There are a few options for payment, depending upon your level of paranoia… 🙂
1. Use one of our secure online booking forms
2. Fax us your cc details.
3. Pick up the telephone and tell us your cc number.
4. You’re not getting my credit card info – I’ll get my bank to wire you the amount in NZ funds.