Compass Expeditions

About Us

Formed in 2005 off the back of a fundraising motorcycle ride from London to Vladivostok, Compass Expeditions have several decades experience in leading adventure tours in South America and various other continents. Our philosophy is simply “it’s not a race”, it’s a chance to mix the great pleasure of motorcycling with some of the most wonderful, stunning, varied destinations on earth.

We remain a small company with hand picked ride leaders and support vehicle drivers. Our passion is motorbikes and travel and we remain committed to not only riding, but experiencing something other than the road we ride upon.  Our combined experience, knowledge, expertise and passion will give you one the most rewarding travel experience of your life.

Expeditions

Our 2012-13 itinerary includes tours in South America, Australia, Southern Africa, Turkey, Eastern Europe and Cambodia.  Our tours range from 9 to 42 days.  In addition we offer major expeditions: The Road of Bones: London to Magadan (105 days) and South America: 360 degrees (125 days).

Excluding major expeditions, our 2012-2013 tours take us to 23 countries on 24 separate tour itineraries with a total of 31 tours and 518 tour days available in 2012 alone.  Our popular tours are fully booked more than a year in advance.  We are always adding new tours and new destinations so be sure to check our website regularly for updates.

Why Choose Compass Expeditions?

Simple really…You get what you pay for, and with Compass Expeditions that phrase has never been more accurate. We invite you to look at our competitors and see what they include in their prices and you will see that there is a reason that on some occasions they are cheaper. We firmly believe that when you have paid for a tour that should be the end of digging into your wallet. You will not have any more out of pocket expenses when you arrive, other than purchases of a personal nature and a small number of lunches and dinners. We include more sights and activities than anyone else, don’t take our word for it, look at our competitors inclusions. Our itineraries are unique; no other motorcycle tour company offers such a wide variety of tours in South America.

Our Equipment

Compass Expeditions uses the BMW F 650 GS twins exclusively for our South America rides. These bikes have proven themselves to be more than suitable for two-up riding with a 71 horsepower parallel twin engine. With its low weight (171 kgs dry) and low seat height (820mm) the 650 is a great motorcycle to tour the continent on and even the most experienced rider will appreciate its easy riding characteristics. Fuel injection is a necessity as we take the bikes up over 5000m on some of our expeditions and the twin engine gives us the extra power and reliability that we need. The F 650 GS is a wonderful all round dual purpose bike used for all our expeditions of South America.

Only in Cambodia do we venture away from our beloved BMW 650’s and use the most suitable bikes for the situation: the Honda XR 250cc. With so few bikes in Cambodia larger than 125cc this is still a standout bike and more suitable to the road conditions and general pace of the local traffic.

On our expeditions to Australia, Southern Africa, Turkey and Eastern Europe we offer the option to upgrade to a BMW F800 GS or a BMW R1200 GS (subject to availability).

Expedition Tech

To ensure the safety and enjoyment of our clients all our expeditions utilise  the latest in navigation and satellite communications equipment, including Garmin nuvi GPS’s, satellite phones, laptops, cell phones and a GS911 engine diagnostic tool –  very useful for clearing any fault codes that come up on a bike and may prevent it from starting!  BMW dealerships are sometimes 1000’s of kms away so this can be a real tour saver.

For our expedition guides, communication between the support vehicle and ride leader is critical.  In remote areas, cell phone reception is unreliable and the distance at times is too great for CB radio communications.  The ride leader carries a satellite phone at all times to ensure there is always contact with our guides and support vehicle.

Tech and gadgets are very popular with our clients who travel with all the latest products including smartphones, tablets, laptops,  spot trackers, intercom systems and GPS units.