We thought the 2019 tour was the best so far but maybe this one tops it!  A great group, fantastic weather & amazing sights – again no apologies for the number of photos which follow…

We start with a briefing

We ALWAYS regroup for any motorway

Charles rejoins us !!!

“Hi all, well this is my first feedback as it was my very first tour and what a experience! John and Jen – what a fantastic couple with so much experience and organisation for the trip and such patience and kind manners. If you are deciding on doing a tour, then BN European Tours are the company to use.

Hotels all organised in fantastic locations with great food provided on the nights that the whole group ate together. I did France, Italy & Switzerland on the tour – what an experience, views and roads to take in.

As I would class myself as a good rider, the advice I would give anyone is to make sure you can ride a motorcycle properly before doing a tour, as it is long days and you must keep up with the group. BN has a great system so no one is left behind, with a back marker who makes sure everyone is ahead…Fantastic experience, excellent time and what a nice group we had.

And you John and Jen, see you guys next year for my next tour with BN European Tours.”

[From Caimin’s 5* Google review – thanks!]

Caimin Bourne, 1st tour, BMW F850 GS Adventure, Berkshire

Morning coffee stop

Spotted at coffee stop

Dear John & Jen, after so many delightful trips with your company it is difficult to find even more superlative comments which it so richly deserves. Motorcycling in all it’s aspects has been my life so I say thank you for the encouragement that is showered on me by all your customers – they are all true motorcyclists. 

This year’s trip was no exception. The van in my eyes is so very appealing as riding free of luggage is so enjoyable and far safer. No other company to my knowledge has this. Hotels great, so many enjoyable evenings dining together as a group. If you have not experienced BN Tours you must – GO. Even if it’s only to learn about the World Expert on Wasps…!! Thank you BN and thank every one of you on this Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps Tour”

David “Stoner” Stone, 8th tour, KTM 790 Adventure, Cornwall

Local sights!

Approaching lunch stop

Lunch stop

John’s leading the tour

“Stoner” KTM 790 Adventure

Hi John & Jen, another brilliant tour! This trip had everything, good roads, varied riding – fast, slow, twisty and straight, good weather, good company and…oh yeah, good guides! The options of a toboggan and helicopter ride spiced things up nicely as well. Optional days out were great and well worth the indulgence, although locations always meant there was something interesting to do if you fancied a day out of the saddle.

As a single room rider the hotels were good to excellent, breakfasts were all very good and the pre-arranged dinners were all excellent.

With some demanding riding at times, it is important that you are an experienced rider. Or as Dirty Harry once said “A good rider always has to know his limitations!” Best wishes to all”

Reece Compton, 6th tour, Triumph Tiger 1050 Sport, Essex

Russ – Honda Africa Twin

Greg – Triumph Tiger 800 XRX

“Dear John, Jen and everyone on this amazing tour,
Honestly, the best trip I’ve ever been on, including previous Bike Normandy trips, those with other tour companies and holidays organised by friends. I particularly enjoyed the mountain passes in Switzerland and the cool, clean air with the opportunity to ride on the Bernina Express thrown in for good measure. Certainly memories I will treasure for a long while. The hotels were brilliant, from the first night with a swimming pool to Hotel Mxxx with it’s amazing views, simple and clean rooms and a railway station in the grounds; the lovely hotel in Stresa, overlooking the lake and the similarly stunning views from Hotel Lxxx in Bxxx, a gateway to the fun roads of Switzerland.
Booking such good weather was a stroke of genius too, I think we were all very lucky to see the mountain passes in all their sunlit glory. Finally a well matched group of riders, no one too fast or too slow, all there to enjoy the journey and have a enjoyable time every evening once the bikes are put away. Thank you. As always the luggage van and marker system worked well and no one needs to worry about getting lost or having to carry their heavy bags with them throughout the tour.
Thank you again, it was brilliant.”
[Hotel names redacted as top secret!]

Charles May, 11th trip, BMW R1200 RS, Wiltshire

Mick C – Kawasaki ZX12R

Frank – Honda Cross Tourer

Jeremy – BMW R1200 GS

Mark B – KTM 1290 Adventure

Mark Y-D – Kawasaki Z1000SX

Caimin – BMW F850 GS Adventure

“I enjoy long days and some challenging riding, however I was initially apprehensive about signing up for this guided motorbike tour. My potential concern was finding myself amongst a bunch of young track day boys with whom I had absolutely nothing in common. John spoke to me and quickly allayed my fears, assuring me that I would not be the oldest as that crown was already taken by an 83 year old, who subsequently turned out to be a complete superstar, a very fast rider and one of the loveliest gentleman I have ever met. 

Jen and John had the trip planned and organised to perfection, therefore all we had to do was enjoy the riding, the first class food, the fabulous hotels, and some stunning off-bike experiences, all shared in the company of new friends. Following an accident (non-bike related), I only have sight in my right eye and this makes it harder for me to read the road and judge spatial distance. The entire group were absolutely lovely and graciously took it in turns to guide me up the passes at an enjoyable pace that I wouldn’t manage if I had no one in front of me to follow. Thank you everyone. Throughout the trip I think that there was a point where each of us unintentionally gave John and Jen an issue to trouble shoot – [a long list!] – John and Jen took it all in their stride and graciously facilitated a solution to everything.

I can honestly say that there is nothing I can recall that could have been improved by John and Jen other than the turning the tour van into an ark during the relentless torrential rain on the last day. They run a brilliant tour company and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. I will certainly be signing up for next years trip if they have space for me.”

Sue Worthy, 1st tour, KTM Duke 690 R, Dorset

Sue – KTM Duke 690 R

Mick & Judy – BMW F900 XR

“How did we end up on this tour? Well, it was recommended to us by Jeremy Davies who had been with BN before. So after some research we booked it and went to Motorcycle Live to meet John Eggleton. After a long conversation we were convinced this was for us. We were not disappointed. The research that BN put into the tour is amazing. Hotels, routes, cafes and activities off the bike are all carefully chosen with a few surprises. When you first meet your fellow riders you wonder if you will get on with them, no need to worry. You all have one thing in common, bikes. And what a fascinating bunch of people we met from all walks of life. First time we had used the drop off marker system, no need to worry, no one is left behind. Charles our back marker sweeps up. Although this is a biking tour it is also a holiday so take some time away from the bike to explore the local towns. We hope to be on another tour next year and catch up with you all. Take care all and stay between the hedges.”

Mick & Judy Thompson, 1st tour, BMW F900 XR, Herefordshire

Charles as backmarker – BMW R1200RS

Quaint towns

Afternoon coffee stop

(Thanks Stoner)

Our first hotel

Jen & Charles in the pool

Charles doesn’t quite get it!!

John & others are in as well

Drinks before dinner

“Good evening John and Jen and of course to all who read these e-mails. I would echo the comments Reece left in that the tour was well organised with enough time off the bikes. The day by the pool at the Italian lake was very welcome – it is, after all, a holiday not one long motorcycle ride. Again, as Reece mentioned, the bobsleigh thing was fun as was the helicopter flight…My second tour with BN and not the last. Both times the group have been great company, the tours well organised, and enough to do off the bikes. I look forward to seeing the people from each group again, and of course hearing John’s jokes one more time😂 😂.

Greg Flatt, 2nd tour, Triumph Tiger 800 XRX, Suffolk

Charles gets his 10th trip t-shirt on his 11th trip!

Some more well-dressed men – thanks Jeremy & Stoner

Greg shows Jen how to play…

Stone, paper, scissors!!

For those that remember John and Jen Eggleton when they were WVAM members they have now moved back to the UK from France, and run BN European Tours. I have just returned from the above 12 day tour. I have over the years been with a couple of tour companies to take the strain and avoid the hassle of sorting routes/hotels and returned disappointed, usually because of the large group size, GPS routes, excessive motorways, and “do your own thing see you at the hotel” approach. This was the first time I used this tour company. Their touring set up is head and shoulders above the others that I have used.  If you apply to go on a trip that is “technically challenging” and they have never ridden with you before, they will phone you to have a chat so that you fully understand what type of roads you will be riding, this is for your own safety and enjoyment, as well as for others in the group. Group sizes are limited.

What is obvious is that they want riders to have a good, safe, and enjoyable time. The tour starts with a briefing explaining certain road signs and the “drop off system”. Once on the road you realize how much time, effort  and research, with the routes, cafe and fuel stops they have done. Motorway work is kept to a minimum and was never used in Switzerland so there was no need for a vignette. John leads, and there was one person employed to be the permanent back marker, whilst Jen followed in the van carrying every ones luggage [we usually alternate but Jen was not riding after suffering a broken wrist – J&J]  As John is an experienced advanced rider [we both are!] the pace was always spot on, and there were no wrong turns. The hotels were good, with secure parking, plenty of variety for food and bars away from the hotels own restaurants. There were “days off” to either take a boat across the lakes or take a helicopter flight to the see the glacier at the Eiger mountain, which I did.

I returned from this trip “all cornered out” and felt that I had been on a proper motorcycle holiday and then some. The group I was riding with was fast moving, non complaining and friendly. It is understandable why they have such a good reputation and have so many returning customers. I have no hesitation in recommending them

[Frank’s post on the Wey Valley Advanced Motorcycle club’s forum]

Frank Ojo, 1st trip, Honda Cross Tourer, Kent

Dinner is included tonight

John starts the joke telling

Judy can’t bear it!!

Greg takes a turn

The masseuse loves the bikes!!

Always a morning briefing

Morning coffee stop

Reece has come prepared!!

Leaving coffee

John’s leading

Greg marks the junction

Here’s Mark B

En route to lunch stop

Pavement parking at lunch

A riverside stop

Don’t all go in the same cafe!!

Parking afternoon coffee stop

By a lovely lake

Sue & Reece enjoy ice creams

As does Caimin

Jeremy , Stoner & John

Mick C with Mark B

Mick & Judy

Anyone would think you were on holiday!

Mick C with Jen

Our next hotel

Drinks in the hotel bar

Explore the back streets

Lots of restaurants to choose from

Busker with such an attentive dog!

A free night

Most dine in the same restaurant!!

Annecy by night

Fabulous street artists

Morning briefing & van takes luggage

Leaving Annecy

We ride round the lake

En route to coffee stop

Prettiest coffee stop

Caimin stops for photos

Lovely scenery

There goes Charles

You MUST be happy with hairpins

This is for competent riders only

Mick & Judy

Sue is following Charles

We’re NOT stopping here!!

Lunch stop

Top of the Petit St Bernard Pass

Stoner with Sue

Charles following Stoner

Lots of hairpins

Fuel & motorway instructions

En-route

We stop for a break

Judy’s bum needs a massage!!

Nearing our hotel

The pool at our next hotel

Drinks before dinner

Dinner is included tonight

The next day is a day off the bikes, with lots to do – either take a boat trip to visit the Borromeo Islands, visit the Palace, hire your own boat, explore the old town of Stresa or just relax around the pool.

Another lovely morning

Stoner arranges a boat trip

All aboard

Jeremy’s Captain!!

How relaxing

We sail round the islands

Sue

Great views of the Palace

Stoner’s loving this

So much so he’s stripping off!!

Amazing cliffside buildings

Everyone loves Stoner!!!!

A boat speeds past…

We get a soaking !!!

Matched Jen’s bikini!!

Drinks round the pool

Mark Y-D, John, Mark B & Frank…

Take a boat to the islands

Drinks first – Frank

Mark B

Lots of market stalls

Lovely views of Lake Maggiore

Visit the Palace

And the gardens

Peacocks

The boys are relaxing

John’s in the pool

A free night (thanks Reece)

We walk into town

Lots of restaurants

Another busker

A gorgeous evening

The Palace by night

Next day we take a ferry

Pavement parking at coffee

By Lake Lugano

Lunch is by beautiful Lake Como

Quaint back streets

Reece pointing the way!!

2 local girls join the group

Climb the Maloja Pass

Approaching St Moritz

Approaching our next hotel

Our next hotel for two nights

Drinks on the terrace

The Bernina Express passes by

Dinner was included this night but sorry no photos!

Amazing view from our hotel

Which way are we going?!!

Some of us walk to the Glacier

Jen at the 1960 marker

Simply stunning

We can see the ice…

We climb over boulders…

We got so close…

Greg, Mick, Jen & John almost made it

Mark B

Those who tried…

Mick & Judy took a leisurely pace

For comparison purposes…

This is the Glacier in 2015

Back then it was huge

Heading back

Train didn’t stop – so Charles…

Stoner & Jeremy are rescued by the van!!

Most then go for a ride-out

Super sweepers

Take the train up there

Ride alongside rivers

Jeremy leading the pack

Jeremy followed by Charles

Great roads

Tunnels

Charles followed by Sue

Charles is having a day off…

Sue

Jen’s view as pillion

Sue followed by Stoner

Ditto

More hairpins

We stop for coffee & cakes

A pretty tight fit!!

Greg followed by Mick

Caimin rides as back-marker

48 hairpins on the Stelvio Pass!!

Great views riding up

Caimin

We’re going up there

We catch up to Jeremy

And Reece

Reece

Reece & Jeremy

Russ (thanks Stoner)

Thanks Mark

Caimin at the top

Sue puts our sticker up

Those who did the Stelvio (plus Mark)

Stelvio buddies

There’s a Golden Eagle

Heading down

Greg

Charles & Reece

Charles

Mick

Mick again

Fab bends

Stoner’s loving it!

Mark B

We see the Bernina Express

Ride through tramlines

Heading back

Stoner & Greg

Stoner & Mick

Drinks before dinner

Dinner is included again tonight

Then the fun & games start

We want the tallest…

Most aesthetically pleasing…

& able to support a banana!!

Making progress

The guys are confident…

But it’s short lived!!!

Pretty but not strong enough!

The winners!!

Sue declines the courgette!!!

For more photos please click HERE

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