The motorcycle tour is surely and undeniably one of the most enjoyable aspects of owning and riding a bike. Built for bikers by bikers, bikerbnb makes that experience even more enjoyable. And, that's right from the inception of a road trip idea to realisation, by providing a platform that allows riders to book biker-friendly accommodation all with surprising ease.
Motorcycle Tour Booking Platform – bikerbnb
Hitting The Open Road on ‘Two'
Filled with romantic notions of adventure, self-discovery, fun and freedom at some point in the year you'll don your leathers, boots, load-up the saddlebags (remember waterproofs if you're in the UK) and hit the open road. Some of us have a final destination in mind; others play it by ear, though all embark with an eager sense of anticipation for what the journey may hold. If you're a follower of this site – the chances are,
you'll probably take to the road on a bike not necessarily built for long road-trips per se, yet you wouldn't have it any other way. Whether you ride a new wave custom, American Big-V bobber/chopper, a classic British twin or neo-retro café racer, a road-trip is likely to be the highlight of your riding each year. However, you might have a thing or two to say about your buddy's choice of road trip bike
Regardless of romantic notions, how you choose to road-trip and the bike you ride – there's one thing that is probably universal. That thing is, as a rider it's likely that you're not too enamoured with the process of booking accommodation for your moto-powered road-trip.
Being unequivocal; until now, booking accommodation for a road-trip (quickly and easily), could be said was designed without bikers in mind. Which mostly echos a rider's life in general. If you're touring on two-wheels, at best the process of arranging lodgings is super-tedious and at worst, downright difficult to the point of discouraging.
Endlessly Scour Booking Sites No More
We've all been there; endlessly scouring popular travel websites for suitable accommodation. Finally, one settles on accommodation, only to discover that it's lacking secure parking. Realising the initial folly; one applies a ‘parking' filter (not necessarily secure parking), one hits enter, only to see the results diminish into a measly few. And of course, mostly comprised of listings of which the prospect of parking one's cherished steel stead, appeals not.
“bikerbnb makes locating and booking motorcycle friendly accommodation quick and easy.”
bikerbnb's platform seems to negate the tedium of this rigamarole by pre-qualifying accommodation, using three fundamental criteria to assess a host's accommodation in its suitability for riders. Which simply means, you don't have to faff-about with the filters and can just crack on with finding a place to stay, along your planned route.
What do riders need on a road trip?
Plainly speaking, at the end of a demanding day's ride; aside from looking forward to uncurling clutch and throttle-weary hands and resting a helmet-fatigued head and tired eyes, reassurance that your bike is stored somewhere safe, is key to relaxation. We all know that parking your bike on the street, in an unfamiliar sometimes sketchy location is an anxiety-ridden experience. Pun, unfortunately, intended.
“I'm just going to check on the bike(s)” is a phrase that you and I both have uttered or more accurately yelled back into a room on many occasions, whilst abruptly leaving a conversation. The cause of this is a sudden overwhelming sense that your bike's not safe. Hot-footing it into the street at regular intervals to check on the prized possession becomes a mandatory and tiresome formality of an evening. Not conducive to rest.
The Basic Necessities
bikerbnb, evidently knows these feelings all too well. Naturally then, host security is paramount. The first criterion of host qualification is; a secure garage or secure off-street parking.
Unsurprisingly, gear-drying and cleaning facilities follow as bikerbnb's high-ranking criteria to assess a host's property for suitability. However, that's not where it stops.
Hosts are specifically selected for their proximity to good routes and some even have tools and equipment to clean and maintain the bike whilst you're on the road. Catering and restaurants or proximity to, or thereof is a key consideration too.
We all know that a hearty breakfast or a hot evening meal is not only welcome but the key to maintaining energy on the road. However, more so, it's a ritual requirement of the road trip to be performed with your ‘BRB' (Best Riding Buddies).
It's with all this in mind, that bikerbnb carefully selects accommodation, knowing that the combination of all of the above makes for the most restful night's sleep and places riders in an optimum position both mentally and physically to face the rigours of the morrow's riding. More importantly, it makes the road trip a completely stress-free experience. Insert, caveat obviously, for breakdowns and mishaps.
In Good and Familiar Company
“Many of the hosts on our website are bikers themselves.. “
The brand says that for riders there is “…reassurance in knowing that each bikerbnb host will have the appropriate facilities that meet a biker’s needs” and also, “…understand that knowing your pride and joy has its own secure spot puts your mind at ease, instantly making the biker getaway more relaxing.“
Additionally, bikerBNB states that; “Many of the hosts on our website are bikers themselves”and equally it suggests of the platform, that beyond host facilities and positioning near excellent roads, it's an “…opportunity to connect to like-minded locals.”
A WARM WELCOME FOR BIKERS
“Biker guests are hugely passionate about their travel and adventures, more interested in local surroundings and easy to talk to, they don’t linger in the morning… our biker guests want to get up and go and are also very clean and tidy”
With many of the hosts being bikers, bikerbnb says they’re all too eager to answer questions such as “..where would you recommend taking the bike?” and also point out local eateries and points of interest, “providing guests with a truly authentic motorcycle trip“. What seems to be key here is local knowledge, meaning that you don’t miss out on riding the best local roads and what the area on your route has to offer.
Additionally, many hosts have expressed “…their enjoyment having bikers to stay and some even go as far as to say that they are the best types of guests!” Which to me, is definitive enough proof, that you do meet the best people on two wheels.
bikerbnb – BEHIND THE BRAND
bikerbnb is the brainchild of the two-wheeled obsessed, Highlands-based Stevens family. Co-founded by Roy Stevens, 63, a Master Smoker and Chief Food Designer – whose produce, you'll find in various high street shops. Prior to that, Roy rode Enduro and raced go-karts in Australia for many years.
Roy's co-founders are his daughter Sally, 28 and son Tim, 32 – an antiques and property specialist and technology expert, slash music events organiser respectively. Unsurprising they're aficionados of motorsports and also equally as passionate when it comes to two-wheels. It would hardly be profound to declare that, Roy may have had a hand in sparking his brood's obsessions with motorised cycles (from an early age), would it?
The trio all went full-time on the platform in 2018 having seen the platform grow in stature. And so far the major highlight for the team has been the endorsement from Charley Boorman, by way of promotional video voiceover. Yes, that's his face and voice you see and hear on the video.
Inspiration for bikerbnb
Inevitably, comparisons will be made to AirBnB and Booking.com et al. In fact it was those sites back in 2015 that seeded the idea to create bikerbnb. While those large sites may have hundreds of thousands of listings, what they have in volume they lack in
specificity, regarding riders' needs. bikerbnb believes its advantage lies in this fact; its specific focus on bikers. Coupled with the fact of being bikers themselves, one rather suspects they may have an innate understanding of rider needs and are very much on to something.
The Spark Plug that Started The Engine
“We also know a lot of locals who run B&B's and people with spare rooms and pods, so we thought bikerbnb would be ideal”
In terms of the catalyst for creating the biker-specific booking engine. Roy was introduced to Airbnb by Tim in 2015. Though amazed by the ease with which he could book accommodation, Roy discovered that it wasn't a straightforward process to find accommodation to meet his needs as a rider.
Specifically, lodgings that provided secure parking at every stop of a planned road trip. Secure parking was especially important for that particular trip, as he planned on taking his shed-built custom, Triumph 1200 Bobber.
Knowing many local B&B and property owners with surplus rooms – alongside seeing thousands of bikers tour the Highlands to ride the NC500 each year, provided further motivation. The team correctly sensed that a platform designed to bring the two groups together could be beneficial to all.
bikerbnb – La Famiglia Guzzi
Between the team, there's an enviable collection of two-wheel machines with Triumph and Moto Guzzi featuring heavily.
Roy is a self-confessed bike nut. Most, if not all of you reading this were probably at the meeting too! Over the years he's owned numerous motorcycles, which is hardly surprising given his father Eric Stevens, raced the Manx Grand Prix, Tourist Trophy, on the Isle of Man.
Roy currently owns a 1974 Moto Guzzi 850, a Guzzi Stelvio and a Triumph Sprint. Tim follows family tradition, with a Guzzi V7 and a Triumph Bonneville. However, rebelling against the Guzzista grain and Triumph theme, Sal rides her own path – on two Hondas; a CB500 and a CRF150R
Trips around Scotland and Spain
Roy and Sal ride daily, and throw-in road-trips with friends every few months; riding mainly around Scotland, and sometimes further afield. Back in the day (the seventies), Roy completed a five-month overland trip from Inverness to Adeialade on the now-classic Moto Guzzi T3. Mind you, back then nobody called it a classic, just a beautiful bike.
If find yourself in the Highlands, don't be surprised if you see Sal throwing her CRF around the local fields.
Tim, who spends his time between Inverness and Barcelona, gets the best of both worlds. The glorious sun-lit twisty roads, in the hills of the Catalan capital and the raw beauty of the Scottish Highlands, replete with well-travelled twisty ‘B' roads too.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR BIKEBNB?
Exploring New Territories
At the moment bikerbnb operates across the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. In addition to developing the platform in the UK, the brand has an active programme of reaching out to new hosts further afield.
This programme is undertaken with the aim of expanding the platform to the US, Australia and New Zealand in the near future. That means that eventually, you may be able to plan an overland motorcycle tour to the other side of the world, just like the one Roy did back in the seventies.
Scrambling Around The Highlands
The team have just returned from the Highland Scramble which looks like an incredible amount of fun.
The Highland Scramble is an organised group ride on a pre-planned motorcycle tour through the striking Scottish Highlands – offering either three or five nights of accommodation with bikerbnb hosts.
Scrambles will feature heavily in bikerbnb‘s growth and already more organised group trips are planned. In fact, the brand sees these group trips as integral to the ongoing success of the platform. And indeed, hopes it will offer inspiration to riders, by giving a sense of the possibilities of the platform but ultimately the impetus to plan a bespoke road trip with riding buddies.
I'll be booking a trip via the platform at some point in the next few months, as well as watching how the platform develops over the coming years with keen interest. At some stage, I hope to grab a place on the Highland Scramble.
If your interest is piqued and you want to ensure your place on the next scramble, become a host or book accommodation, then be sure to check out bikerbnb‘s website for details. You can also follow its travels on Instagram