The Italian Dream: sun, scenery and classic motorcycles
Picture this: the warm sun on your back; riding for the sheer pleasure of it; no rush to arrive at your destination; just enjoying the journey and taking in the stunning scenery on a beautiful machine from the golden era of motorcycling. Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
Ride 70s Experience offers exactly that. Based near Rimini in the Republic of San Marino, a stone’s throw from the Marco Simoncelli Circuit, the company offers accompanied group tours of Italy on its fleet of fully restored classic motorcycles from the seventies.
The project began back in 2011 when self-confessed petrolhead and classic bike aficionado, Pietro Pirazzoli, set up a vintage motorcycle club. It offered riders the opportunity to learn about and experience classic machines, without the need to own one.
Classic motorcycle ownership can often be a challenge, with restoration and ongoing maintenance taking a great deal of time, budget and skill. The club aimed to provide a solution, allowing members to ride multiple classic machines without the burden of care.
Fuelled by Pietro’s innate passion for motorcycles, which came from growing up in Imola at the heart Italy’s ‘Motor Land”, the club soon became well-established, with a clubhouse HQ, regular riding events and a fleet of bikes available for use by club members.
In 2022, Pietro shifted his focus and joined forces with fellow classic bike expert Fabio Affuso. The re-branded Ride 70s Experience is now a fully-fledged classic motorcycle club entirely dedicated to promoting, organising and teaching the sport of Mototurismo.
Its events are exclusive to club members, who can join from anywhere in the world for an annual fee of just 35 euros. This allows members to participate in all club events and use the fleet of motorcycles, along with training and personal accident/third-party insurance.
This year, Ride 70s Experience is running 13 accompanied motorcycle tours between April and November, following routes in and around the spectacular scenery of the Apennines, between Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Sardinia and Sicily.
While each tour has a slightly different theme, be it wine, racing, history or nature, every experience is carefully crafted by Pietro and Fabio to include amazing roads, magnificent landscapes, delicious food and copious amounts of Italian heritage.
Expect to get off the beaten track and away from traffic-laden roads, taking in hilly landscapes, unspoilt mountains, lush countryside and sea views. The tours pass through villages, castles, towns and cities with centuries-old traditions and rich in culture.
There are frequent stops to enjoy great restaurants and trattorias, where riders can take a break and experience the authentic cuisine of the given area. Overnight stays are spent in charming farmhouses or hotels, fully vetted by Ride 70s Experience.
The two co-founders do all the hard work on the behalf of their club members, taking care of the planning and logistics to ensure that all participants have to do is turn up, collect their machine and enjoy the ride. It’s a truly stress-free way to discover Italy on two wheels.
The season opener is for wine lovers, taking a route through the Chianti region of Tuscany via some of the most famous vineyards in Italy. This is followed by a collaborative tour with the Scandinavian Casa Etronia of Vasanello, in the region once home of the Roman Empire.
In May, the ‘Coast to Coast’ takes riders from east to west and back, beginning and ending in beautiful San Marino. The next tour is based around the 2023 Motogiro d’Italia, a non-competitive amateur re-enactment of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious motorcycle race.
‘Rider’s Valley’ in June is one for racing fans, with a full-on experience of the golden triangle of racetracks. Riders will watch a World Superbike race at Misano, a MotoGP race at Mugello and take a private tour and parade at Imola. A similar tour also runs in September.
The ‘Force of Nature’ tour in July and ‘The Forgotten Peaks’ in August are more sedate affairs, showcasing the flawless nature and wild beauty of the Apennine mountains. Riders will experience plateaus, valleys, forests, rolling hills and ancient towns and villages.
In September, when the summer tourists have departed, club members can discover the secret side of the beautiful and often unspoilt island of Sardinia. Likewise in Tuscany in October, the perfect time of year to explore when the roads and towns are less crowded.
The season concludes in November with the ‘Endless Summer Tour’, where riders navigate a 360-degree loop around the stunning island of Sicily and its abundance of art, culture and nature. Taking in seaside towns, salt flats, national parks and the famous Mount Etna.
While some tours follow loop-based route or an A-B trip, others explore a different area each day from a base location. The planned journeys generally cover between 100-250km a day, with the pace of riding dictated by the roads, riders and classic motorcycles used.
The roster of beautifully restored, original motorcycles that Ride70s Experience offers its members reads like a bucket list of bikes for classic enthusiasts. Fabio and Pietro, who carry out all maintenance work themselves, take great pride in their machinery.
The line-up currently boasts 16 motorcycles from the European, Japanese and American manufacturers, so there is something to suit every classic bike fan. Motorcycles are allocated on a first come, first served basis so book early to bag the bike of your dreams.
If Italian models are your thing, you can choose from a 1973 Laverda SF 750, a 1972 Bernelli Tornado 650 or one of three Moto Guzzis. There’s also a 1971 Ducati Scrambler and a 1972 450 version of the same model, plus a 1975 Moto Morini 3 ½ Sport.
From the British brands, take your pick from a 1971 750 Norton Commando Fastback or the much-celebrated 1969 T120 Triumph Bonneville. You might opt for the 1975 BMW R90S in iconic Daytona Orange or the Italian-American 1975 Harley-Davidson Aermacchi 350 SS.
Rounding off the impressive fleet are four Japanese bikes, marking the passage from the old to the new era, namely a 1971 Honda CB500 Four, a 1972 Honda CB750 Four, a 1981 Yamaha XT500 and the first real superbike of the modern era – a 1975 Kawasaki Z1 900.
Every participant is given a briefing on the specific motorcycle they will be riding to ensure they feel completely confident before beginning the tour. This includes areas that should be handled with care, such as drum brakes or the gearbox being on the right side.
It is not compulsory to borrow one of the club’s motorcycles and members are welcome to bring their own classic motorcycle along to the tours – just as long as they are roadworthy, well-maintained and able to keep up with the pace.
So, if you dream of long, warm days in the Italian sun, soaking up the culture during laidback rides along magnificent roads, delicious food, beautiful wine, stunning motorcycles and like-minded company, what are you waiting for?
Bookings for the 2023 tours are now open and there is a 10% early bird discount running until 31 January. To see the full list of tours, dates, motorcycles and prices visit https://www.ride70s.it/