BMW Motorcycle Tour France & Corsica:
Only a few days into 2018, and it’s already off to a great start. We’ve got a lot of exciting tours & events to look forward to, this is just one of them.
This year the BMW Passion Days track event will be part of the Corsica Monaco Grand Prix Motorcycle Tour. For those of you unfamiliar with BMW Passion Days, it’s a track day featuring the full line-up of BMW bikes and automobiles.
There are six, 20 minute sessions for you to ride on the iconic Circuit Paul Ricard track. (The same one of Bol d’Or and French Grand Prix F1 fame). Two long straights will let you see just how fast these machines can go. The turns are technical and will let you appreciate how well the bikes handle & brake. You’ll find out how good your skills are on a range of machines.
Track sessions are arranged by skill level. Motorcycles and cars take turns for 20 minutes in alternating fashion. While you’re not riding, you can enjoy watching cars or other rider groups in a spectacular setting.
Once you’ve tried out different models, why not check out some of the BMW automobiles and go for some hot laps with a professional driver?
In between all the action on track there’ll be a catered lunch, entertainment and you can just spectate from the rooftop deck if you need a break.
This is a fabulous event that any petrol head will enjoy. Even if you don’t care to ride the track, you’ll enjoy the ambiance and watching.
This event alone is well worth attending. We’re glad we can incorporate it into our Corsica Motorcycle Tour featuring the Historic Monaco Grand Prix.
Quick refresh on Corsica: an island in the Mediterranean that belongs to France. Famous Corsicans-Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte himself. (sorry Cheech & Chong are not Corsican even though they were in “the Corsican Brothers”).
Corsica attracts thousands of European riders. For one, the roads are extremely fun…if you like turns. If you are a straight line boulevard cruiser, you will not enjoy the ride. There just aren’t many straightaways.
The diversity and scenery are just amazing. Corsica is known as the “isle of beauty” and it lives up to its reputation. Coasts, mountains, cliffs, forests, valleys, and yes, even a desert. The Corsicans have fought hard to preserve the natural beauty of the island. High rise building, garish hotels, big box retail and the like are non existent.
Once you’ve toured Corsica, you will find yourself strangely drawn to it. Each time you discover something new. Tt’s pleasant to return and see that it’s just like how you left it and the time before that.
Lest we not forget one of the crown jewels of motor racing: Monaco Grand Prix. This year we’ll see vintage race cars in the Historic Grand Prix. There’s nothing else left like it. You need to see, hear & smell the cars as they roar around the city streets of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
As if that’s not enough for you, crossing the Alps to get from Grenoble to the French Riviera and Monaco is necessary. That part of the trip can be a tour unto itself. Discover mountain pass after pass, and enjoy French wine & cuisine in the evenings.
If you don’t know us yet, we don’t do ordinary here at M2. We know that you’re coming from far away, and making the trip is a major investment, time & money-wise. We pack in as much goodness on every level as possible, so that when you depart you have one thing on your mind: coming back and doing it again.
While you’re here, why not check out the catalog with a complete listing of our BMW Motorcycle Tour France as well as our self-guided motorcycle tour offering.
Talk about putting “Grand” with a capital G into the Grand Tour Switzerland Motorcycle tour.
This tour was jam packed with mountains & mountain passes, many featured on the silver screen. If we weren’t charging up mountain roads, we were motoring through valleys passing postcard picture forests, streams, waterfalls, chalets and the like. Not only did we ride the best roads in Switzerland, we took advantage and did some in Italy & France.
The roads were challenging and were only asking to be ridden at a spirited pace. We were happy to oblige and indulge ourselves.
The riding & scenery were spectacular, but somehow we managed to dismount to enjoy some fabulous food. Meal after meal, the quality & variety was amazing.
Switzerland was the headliner on this tour, but we had to sample some of France & Italy while we were in the neighborhood.
The iconic Stelvio Pass went down hard. There were so many hairpin turns we lost count, so we just had to do it again.
After getting our fill of the Stelvio Pass, we toured the Dolomites. These mountains are so spectacular it’s easy to take your eyes off the road.
Now that our skills were sufficiently honed, and we were in mid-season form, we took on a number of “cols” featured in the Tour de France. Maybe not as well publicized as the Stelvio Pass or Grossglockner, but riding the French Alps is a favorite among European riders.
Galibier, Lautaret, Croix de Fer, Glandon, Ornon… we brought our “A” game to take on these monsters. All are top shelf roads and we were blown away by them all. Thanksfully we had delicious French cuisine to keep us fueled up.
The week passed almost as fast as we took on some of these phenomenal roads. Looking back on it we covered some serious ground and managed to accomplish so much that would make many fellow riders jealous.
What a day it was. Fantastic food, wine and thrilling auto-gyro flights.
Prior to departing on our BMW Motorrad Days Motorcycle tour, M2 MotoTours organized a special event for participants to get acquainted. It was a beautiful day for riding, flying eating, and wine tasting.
We took a short ride to our private aerodrome on the outskirts of Grenoble. Most of the group opted for an auto-gyro flight. They were treated to a thrilling ride with fantastic views of the mountains & valleys surrounding Grenoble.
Wilfrid, proprietor of Domaine des Rutissons vineyard pulled out all the stops and prepared a wonderful lunch. Everything was prepared using fresh, local ingredients. On the menu, diot sausages from Savoy, steamed in white wine on a bed of grape vines. The sausages took on a very nice flavor. Crosiflette which is a local dish of pasta, cream and Reblochon cheese.
Not to be forgotten was the wine. Wilfrid took the time to explain each vintage, the types of grapes and how he has resurrected abandoned vines, some of which are over a hundred years old.
Not to be outdone was William, ace pilot and instructor, (also Wilfrid’s brother). One by one he took the group seasoned riders on auto-gyro flights which everyone loved. William likens the autogyro to motorcycles. He explained that with the autogyro you have the freedom, the wind, the acceleration and the views you might not normally see in other vehicles, similar to a motorcycle.
Two Mustangs showed up and provided some high octane entertainment. They challenged William to an impromptu drag race. We think their tire choice wasn’t well suited for a grassy drag strip.
It was a wonderful afternoon spent eating, chatting, flying and tasting some very good wines. We’re glad that the BMW Motorrad Days motorcycle tour participants had the chance to get acquainted in a relaxed atmosphere. Those who were still getting over their jet-lag were glad they could take it easy before two weeks of devouring Alpine mountain passes and visiting the Motorrad Days fest in Garmisch Partenkirchen.
Special thanks to Wilfrid, William and their team for making it an unforgettable afternoon.
We took a slight detour on our Italian Lakes tour to stop by a ski resort in the French Alps to check out Punta Bagna custom motorcycle show.
Since 2009 Punta Bagna has attracted thousands of riders, visitors and partners such as W&W Cycles, Custom Chrome Europe, Victory & Indian Motorcycles, Vulcante, Frisco Choppers, Kustom Workshop to name a few.
Valloire normally attracts thousands of skiers every Winter. Every June bikers visit for the Punta Bagna custom event. Set high in the French Alps, it’s not your typical venue for a motorcycle show, which is what is so cool.
We met guys from Belgium, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy. We wanted to meet the owner of this bike to see if those gatling guns are a factory option? and fully functional? Fire off a couple of rounds and get tailgaters to back off quick.
Indian Motorcycles brought practically the entire fleet.
Chrome, leather, flake, fine craftsmanship were ever-present with the usual classic rock tunes filling the air. With temps in the low 90’sF (30’s C), we were dire need of some cooler air. We took to the bikes and headed for the Galibier mountain pass.
The cool breeze blowing across the snow felt like A/C. We needed to keep cool negotiating this amazing road. Punta Bagna was a great stop en route to the Italian Lakes. We saw a lot of cool, unique bikes & met some pretty cool dudes as well.
If you’re looking to rent a motorcycle, or hire a motorbike in Grenoble, Lyon or Geneva, well we’ve got good news for you.
Our on-line motorcycle reservation site is up and operational. Now you can reserve a motorbike day or night by the magic of the internet.
You can rent a BMW motorcycle such as the venerable R1200 RT , to the sensational S1000XR.
K-bike connoisseurs will appreciate the choice of the 6 cylinder K1600, offering superior comfort without sacrificing on performance. They’ll also like the option of the K1200R or K1300GT.
The K1200R or K1300GT offer high performance with stability as if they were on rails.
The F800GT offers lightweight, nimble handling for the intermediate rider or advanced rider. The F800 offers plenty of power for fun, with luggage while being a lot lighter and lower than the others.
All the bikes come with full insurance for the pilot & pillion, and are maintained according to the manufacturer’s standards.
If you want to go on a motorcycle tour, but the dates or duration of one of our guided tours are not convenient, check out our motorcycle rental option. We can provide you with an off-the-shelf self-guided tour or design one to your specifications. We’ll load it into a GPS and you can hit the road and tour at your pace.
The Monday following Easter is a holiday in France. You might think that’s perfect for eating fine food, wine & cheese. Our friends at BMW Motorrad France & BMW France had other plans for us…BMW Passion Days.
What better way to entertain the loyal following, attract new customers and cross-sell bikes to the car crowd & vice versa? Sounds like a very tall order indeed…
Not only did BMW Motorrad France undertake the challenge, they put on a tour de force.
First, they selected the iconic Circuit Paul Ricard race track in beautiful Southern France. (FYI, Paul Ricard hosts the Bol d’Or 24 hour endurance race, sports car racing and will welcome the return of Formula Grand Prix in 2018 after being absent for too long.)
Do you think BMW chose a race track so participants could sit and watch a product parade or some kind of live informercial?
Far from it. Instead riders and drivers were completely involved in the experience. Everyone had full access to the track to see how they and their 2 or 4 wheel products perform.
That’s an awesome start, but BMW had even more to bring to the table. What else you ask? A complete motorcycle & car model lineup, available for track & street use.
As if that weren’t enough, they even provided professional drivers to give passengers a thrilling “taxi” ride around the circuit demonstrating exactly what these cars can do. (They can do far more than you’ll experience on a test drive at your local dealer, trust us.)
The demonstration was nothing short of highly impressive. Turning out lap times is one thing. Doing it while explaining the features, advantages and benefits of the car at the same time is another.
Overall the whole event ran like a finely tuned machine. No one would expect anything less.
Riders were assigned to groups according to skill level. The groups took turns of 20 minute track sessions. Participants had at least 6 sessions which was plenty. When the bikes weren’t on the track, the cars were. Paul Ricard had a courtesy loge available right above the pit lane which was perfect for watching the action and having some refreshments.
Thanks goes to the BMW dealers in Southeastern region. They rallied their customers to give up a free day to partake in some high octane, unregulated pleasure. They didn’t have to twist many arms to get the troops to show up. Over some 220 participants were on hand for the second annual event. Based on some informal polling on our part, you can bet that it will be difficult to get a ticket for next year’s event.
As if product testing, getting a high speed ride wasn’t enough, there was a catered lunch and Big Jim and his motorcycle stunt show kept the lunchers entertained right on up to dessert and coffee.
Special recognition goes to Moto Speeder of Grenoble. Their expert mechanics were on hand preparing bikes for track duty. Their experienced team had a lot of helpful advice for first-time and expert track riders. We were thoroughly impressed with their NineT Racer build.
Give Mother Nature some applause for pouring plenty of sunshine down on the venue, without making it too hot. Even in full leathers the temps were ideal.
All the feedback we received was extremely positive. From the track experience, to testing various bike or car models, as well as making new acquaintances, we can only say that we were very glad to have participated.
2 or 4 wheel fans of the brand should make it a point to attend BMW Passion Days, guaranteed to get your pulse racing. We saw many owners of other brands in attendance. Following the event, many admitted they will be visiting their local dealer to make a trade-in on their current machine.
Would you like to test BMW bikes on a mythical race track in a picture postcard setting?
You can do that while touring Southern France with M2 MotoTours. We’re so stoked after the event, we can’t wait to go back. Now that the word is out, join us for a pulse racing event and unforgettable tour.
In 2018 the BMW Passion Days event is part of our Corsica Motorcycle Tour featuring the historic Monaco Grand Prix.
Spaces are limited, contact us with any questions.
Super Moto, Supermotard at the Alpe d’Huez
The Alpe d’Huez, 21 hairpin turns, average 8.1% grade, 13% maximum, 13.8km (8.6 miles). Climbing the Alpe d’Huez is a regular event on the Tour de France, and played host to the bobsled events during the ’68 Winter Olympics. Besides having a world class ski resort, what else can you do to attract summertime business?
Supermotard racing. Supermotard combines ashphalt & dirt sections requiring riders to display 3 skills: road racing, dirt track and motocross. Born in 1979 as “Superbikers” on the American TV show “Wide World of Sports” The idea was to find the best all around rider.
Supermotard (aka Super TT or Super Moto) has spawned its own class of motorcycles. (Think KTM Duke, Husqvarna, Yamaha YZ426F) These bikes are equipped specially adapted tires. Any other type of bike will not work and attempting supermotard style is not a good idea.
It also has spawned a particular riding style. Instead of leaning into the turns, stay on top of the bike and push it down beneath you. Result is the back wheel slides out in a drift like fashion. Put a boot down (appropriately called an ‘outrigger’)in the turn at redline to save yourself from disaster and soon enough you’ll be slippin’ and slidin’ with the best of them.
The racing is spectacular, drifting, passing, jumps, bumps, these guys go all out. We particularly enjoy Supermoto racing since the Alpe d’Huez plays host to a weekend of race action every August.
We never get tired of riding up the Alpe d’Huez, all 21 turns. The race is free, you can move to different parts of the track to see the dirt or street portion better. It attracts plenty of riders and motorcycles and all around makes for a good time.
Winter is here and so is Tartiflette season. Although the recipe may differ from place to place, it consists potatoes, cheese, lardons (bacon), and maybe cream [which is the ingredient that is subject to dispute]
The majority of our intrepid guests sample the local specialties while on tour. One dish that almost always gets top honors is Tartiflette.
Tartiflette is a hearty, stick to your ribs, comfort food, pure cheese goodness, food coma inducing dishes. Its origins are in Savoy (if your geography is a little rusty, think mountains, skiing, Olympics, Alps, France) The Savoyards are said to have invented this little piece of culinary heaven.
Unlike widely exported dishes, French Onion Soup, French Fries (technically Belgian Fries), Beef Burgundy, Coq au Vin, you will have a tough time finding Tartiflette on menus outside of France, or the Alps for that matter.
We’re not sure as to why. We surmise it might have to do something with the ingredients. Now you’re probably saying I have potatoes, bacon and cheese so I’ve got what it takes to make Tartiflette. Well, not so fast.
Potatoes & bacon are readily available most anywhere, but the cheese thing is another story. It’s not just any cheese. It’s Reblochon. It’s the cornerstone that keeps the whole thing together, otherwise it’s not really Tartiflette.
Reblochon cheese comes from Savoie. Supposedly the locals would make it for personal use as a way to dodge the tax collector. The curious can read about its origins here on this gourmet site. https://www.gourmet-food.com/french-cheese/reblochon-cheese-100457.aspx
Winter sports fans who flock to Alpine ski resorts ingest tons of Tartiflette each season to the delight of local restauranteurs. At local Christmas markets you can find giant casseroles of Tartiflette with their cheesy incense mixing with the scent of mulled wine filling the air. Frankly it’s hard to resist the Siren’s song of Tartiflette beckoning you to partake in its cheesy potato lardon goodness.
You will find Tartiflette on the menu in every French Alpine Ski resort. That’s a sign that there’s something good about it.
Once our guests have had the chance to savor a real Tartiflette, the choruses of superlatives rings forth: “the best…the most comforting….the tastiest…the cheesiest…” it goes on and on .
Quite often, we’re asked for the recipe. We issue the standard disclaimer, that if you don’t have access to Reblochon cheese, it won’t be the real deal. We think the best way of enjoying Tartiflette is after a long day of motorcycle touring. If you like motorcycle riding, join us for an Alps motorcycle tour and you can savor Tartiflette to your heart’s content.
This one dish wonder is a great way to recharge your batteries after conquering Alpine mountain passes. Those who’ve had an authentic Tartiflette will agree. If you’re looking for the recipe, here’s one take.
If you can’t get Reblochon in your area, consider a Brie, Camembert, maybe a Gruyere or just improvise.
Here’s a how to video on making Tartiflette. If you cannot view the video, here is the url: https://youtu.be/l3uc6xRDqas
For those of you unfamiliar with our “Motorcycle Camp” series of tours, here’s a little primer to get you up to speed.
Motorcycle Camp is a week of riding in France, Switzerland or Italy. Grenoble is the place of departure and arrival.
The underlying idea was to create a one week tour with the emphasis on riding first and foremost. For those of you unfamiliar with Grenoble and surroundings, you don’t have to go far to find great riding. It’s all around. Whatever direction we take, the riding is excellent.
In creating the itineraries, we threw down the gauntlet and asked our staff, and other riders “if you had one week of riding to plan, what would you do?” The constraints were: as much great riding as possible, with diversity, minimal highway time, ,returning to Grenoble every other night.
After receiving the submissions, we voted on which rides were best and assembled them into the various editions of Motorcycle Camp.
A few key points about what we call “Motorcycle Camp”
- It Lasts One Week. We’ve tried to plan the dates so that you can use a minimum of vacation days. The idea being you can arrive on a Saturday, start riding on Sunday and leave the following Saturday.
- There is one edition per month from May-August.
- Alternating Nights Out: Every other night we’ll spend away from Grenoble. If you bring a spouse who doesn’t want to ride every day, this could be a good option for them to visit the region, yet meet up every other evening.
- No ‘camping’ is involved. No tents, no sleeping bags…we’ll be spending the nights in hotels, or B&B’s.
- We cover a variety of regions, from Alps to Provence, the Vercors, Chartreuse, Mont Blanc, some editions go to Switzerland or Italy.
So if you’re short on time, and want to pack in some great riding during your trip to Europe, sign up for an edition of Motorcycle Camp, it’ll be the best riding week you have all summer.
5 route du Pontet
38770 Grenoble ISERE
Tel. +33(0)614 71 80 41
M2MotoTours - US
1 Goose Quill Lane
Savannah, GA 31411
Tel. (855) 366 6686