The location for the main Harley-Davidson European Rally in 2020 is the beautiful coastal town of Portoroz, in Slovenia. The rally was held there in 2016 and it proved to be a popular and busy rally.
The rally will host live bands, a custom bike show, dealer stands, demonstration rides and much more. The setting of the beachfront location next to a great range of the towns bars and restaurants is ideal.
If you want to ride wonderful and scenic roads, with someone else making all the arrangements, then riding with Tour1 is for you. We are hugely experienced tour operators having ridden all over Europe and we know where the best roads are.
The tour concentrates on riding terrific roads in wonderful landscapes. Many of the roads we have selected for the tour run through mountains, alongside rivers or through glorious countryside – our aim is to put a huge smile on your face as you ride east towards what promises to be one heck of a party.
Day One (Friday, 12 June)
The tour starts in Folkestone on the Friday morning when we catch the Eurotunnel train to Calais in France. We then ride across the flat part of northern France and so we take advantage of the motorway system to get onto more interesting roads.
We stop to see the old Reims Grand Prix motor racing circuit, climb the grandstands and remaining historical buildings, plus we ride our bikes along its famous high-speed straights.
Day Two (Saturday, 13 June)
The highlight for today is riding in the Vosges Mountains, in eastern France. There are some terrific roads here and are an early taster of the better mountain roads to follow. We stay the night in a small hotel close to the border with Germany.
Day Three (Sunday, 14 June)
Soon after departing the hotel, we cross the border into southern Germany and we ride in the southern part of the Black Forest before heading south and crossing into beautiful Switzerland. We first keep to small roads in the Aagau Jurapark, including Saalhöhe Pass before riding alongside the lake called Sempachersee and then onto the magnificent Lake Lucerne, with its splendid views of the Alps Mountains in the distance.
We stay the night in Andermatt, centre of the best riding in Switzerland.
Day Four (Monday, 15 June)
Today is a busy riding day, with many great mountain passes on our route including the famous Stelvio Pass. Before we get there we start with riding Operalp Pass and we pass close to the source of what becomes the mighty River Rhine.
We head through the ski towns of Chur and Klosters before riding Wolfgand Pass on our way into Davos.
Next is the lovely Fluela Pass. After briefly entering Austria we ride Norbertshöhe Pass and on heading south once more, we stop to look at Lago Di Resia and its flooded church with its spire showing above the water line.
To end the day, we ride the famous Stelvio Pass, the second highest pass road in the Alps. It has 75 hairpin bends – enough to satisfy the needs and any biker! We stay the night in Bormio, at the bottom of Stelvio Pass.
Day Five (Tuesday, 16 June)
More great roads follow today as we ride east across northern Italy.
First is the dramatic Gavia Pass, one of our favourite roads in the world. With its glacier and moon-like terrain, this is a wonderful road. Then it is onto Tonale Pass, followed by the stunning Mendola Pass, which clings impossibly to the side of the mountain as it drops down towards Bolzano.
Bolzano is at the western side of another favourite area to ride, the Dolomite Mountains. Its jagged craggy peaks and great roads make this an ideal place to ride motorcycles. We stay the night in a hotel with perhaps one of the best mountain views in the world.
Day Six (Wednesday, 17 June)
We start today by riding the best parts of the Sella Ring, a wonderful road that circles the Sella Massive, a huge outcrop of mountain in the Dolomites. After that we head east towards Cortina and onto the Parco Regionale Dolomiti D’Ampezzo, an area of forests in low-lying mountains.
Soon we cross the border into Austria once more and ride through the Gail Valley, a wonderful road with fast sweeping bends.
We then double-back specifically to ride the Gailberg Saddlebag, where we find our hotel for the night which caters for bikers.
Day Seven (Thursday, 18 June)
We continue east towards Villach before turning south to ride into Italy and then we cross our final border, into Slovenia.
We ride through the lower sections of the Triglavski Narodni Park, then we ride country roads in Slovenia before we reach beautiful Portoroz, on the coast.
At the Rally
There is always much to see and do at the Harley-Davidson main European rally. The rally site hosts bands, dealer displays, demonstrator bikes, vendors, bars and all shapes and sizes of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. On our arrival day of Thursday, or perhaps on Friday morning, we will have a group orientation ride / walk to ensure you all know where the various rally activities take place.
For most of your time in Portoroz, from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning, you are able to do as you please, whether that is ride in the local area, visit the rally site, watch some of the live bands on the beachfront main stage, or visit the custom bike show – it is up to you. If your partner wants to fly down to the rally and spend time with you, there is only a small charge for your partner to stay at the hotel.
On the Friday afternoon we are likely to ride to the location of the custom motorcycle show.
On the Saturday, if you wish, you can join thousands of others in riding in the parade.
On the Sunday morning, we will take our motorcycles to the We Move Bikes base and leave them there, along with any reasonable amount of helmets / luggage, ready to be shipped back to London on one of the WMB trucks. From that point, you are responsible for you own journey home.
For flying back to the UK, Trieste Airport is about an hour by taxi from Portoroz or Ljubljana is about 90 minutes away.
If enough people want to travel at the same time, we could organise a coach to take us to the airport. You are responsible for booking your return flight to the UK to whatever airport best suits you. Some people may choose to stay a few more days in the area before flying home.
Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles. Due to the likely popularity of this tour, we might run two groups.
Each day, we normally start riding at 8.30am sharp and cover in the region of 150 to 200 miles. We try to avoid motorways wherever possible and only use these when there is no real alternative. We take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and of course find somewhere for lunch. Our plan is to normally arrive at that evening’s hotel by around 6pm.
We use good quality hotels – not super luxury and not bottom end, but mid-range – normally 3 and 4-star.
We ride at a pace to suit all of the riders. We stick to all speed limits in towns, but in rural areas we ride at, let’s call them ‘more appropriate’ speeds. We generally ride in staggered convoy on straighter roads.
As we have pre-booked hotels and a schedule to stick to, we ride in all weathers. During any exceptionally inclement weather, we will pull over for short periods. We could experience a range of different types of weather, so bring waterproofs, just in case.
We like these tours to be about having a real adventure, riding on great roads with like-minded people. For that reason, we do not use a support van, but we always have a back-marker.
*Ride Difficulty Rating
Each of our tours has a difficulty rating and this tour is rated as ‘challenging’. That means this tour is for experienced riders only, with say, a minimum of three years of riding large motorcycles. You must have ridden on the right-hand side of the road before on many occasions and you must be comfortable with travelling in a group of riders and be able to keep a good pace within that group. We do not ride very fast, but at the same time, it is better if riders do not go too slowly.
The route will include many twisty roads, plus many high mountain roads with many tight hairpin bends / switchbacks. There will be some sections of road with steep drop-offs at the side and no guardrail. If you or your pillion are at all uncomfortable at riding at height, then this tour is not for you. If you are from the USA, please note some of the roads you will be riding are significantly narrower and have tighter bends than in the USA. All roads are fully paved. While there is not much motorway riding on the tour, as a guide, the group will be riding at speeds of 75mph+ on motorways. You must be confident of riding in rain and on wet roads.
Each day’s riding will be around 9 hours, with breaks. You must be able to ride all day. If you are at all unsure if your riding ability is good enough for this tour, then you must contact us by telephone to discuss.