Andreas W. Matthes photography ©

Trips on Bikes

I started driving little 50 cc Mofas back in Germany when I was 15 years old which I tended to customize early on. When I got my car and bike drivers licence in April 1981, just after I turned 18, I was in the market for a bigger bike.

During the decades that followed I went on smaller and bigger bike trips, on smaller and bigger bikes, either owned or rented, depending on time, the bike and money.

Germany - I took my Ducati SS 750 and a customized cafe racer style Ducati GT 860 on a number of trips to the Netherlands, central and southern Germany, into the Black Forest, the Elm just outside my choosen home town of Braunschweig or the Harz mountains close by.

ducati 860 cafe racer

Thailand - Quite frequently and during short vacations while working and living on the island of Koh Tao I rented a Honda Shadow 600 or Honda XLR 250 on the Island of Koh Samui, a Yamaha Virago in Phuket or a Yamaha TTR 250 in Koh Tao. I then explored the surounding areas for days and weeks on end.

koh samui bike

Malaysia - My frequent visits to the island of Penang resulted always in the renting of a Honda 50 scooter and the exploration of the island.

Indonesia - A visit to the Archepilago just south of Singapore gave me the oportunity to rent a Yamaha 150 and explore the countryside for a couple of weeks.

Zanzibar - A three month stay on the island of Zanzibar, located along the coast of Tanzania in 1990 gave me the chance to explore Zanzibar on a Vespa 150.

zanzibar vespa

A visit to the island of Zanzibar in July 2005 gave me the oporunity to revisit some of the areas and tours I did in 1990 on a rented Honda XLR 250.

zanzibar bike

Florida - I did buy a Kawasaki ZRX 1100 in Florida in April of 2006 to do some tours and finaly drive it south to Mexico. Florida is a beautifull state, I particular like the central and northern part of it. A number of trips where made to the Gulf and Atlantic coast. The area surrounding Lake City, Gainesville and High Springs where thouroughly explored.

Mexico - As I bought the Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster in Cancun I thought I might do some town cruising on it but thankfully she took me on a nice 1100 kilometer / 670 mile ride through the northern and central Yucatan peninsula, besides the town cruising in Valladolid, Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum and mostly off course in Playa del Carmen.

The purchase of the KTM 640 Adventure in the city of Chihuahua, located in northern Mexico resulted in a trip in itself, the drive back to Playa del Carmen took four days and 3300 kilometers / 2000 miles. Frequent day and weekend trips followed to Punta Allen, a nice dirt road leading to a small fishing village, or very frequent racing stints on the fast gravel roads surrounding Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Puerto Morelos.

ktm north mexico

Central America February and March 2007 - A three week and some 6500 kilometer / 3940 mile long trip with me on my KTM 640 Adventure and my brother on his Kawasaki KLR 650 led us from Playa del Carmen to Bacalar lagoon into Belize just crossing on our way to Guatemala enjoying Tikal, into El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica to visit the Volvano Arenal area. The return trip led us back through Nicaragua once more, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and into Mexico to visit Chiapas and then back home to Playa del Carmen.

arenal vulcan bike trip

U.S.A. and Mexico March 2008 - First weekend of March I was visiting Daytona Beach to have a look at the Daytona Bike Week. Awesome. Never seen so many bikes in one place. We where camping at the Moonshine campgrounds, walking and driving over Main Street, visiting the Iron Horse Saloon just to name a few. After Bike Week I went onto my long planned and anticipated cross U.S. and cross Mexico solo bike trip. Leaving Florida I crossed over to Texas and into New Mexico, lost a day in Texas to rain and another one to rear wheel bearings that needed to be changed in west Texas prompting me to scrap my planned visit to the Grand Canyon. I spend my 45th birthday in New Mexico while walking around Carlsbad Cavern cave, great cave, awesome. The trip went on to Copper Canyon in northern Mexico where I got snowed in for a day in Creel.

andreas w matthes pacific coast

Leaving the cold mountains and heading for the warmth of the lower Pacific coast I opted for the road following the Pacific coast leading to the Puerto Vallarta area to visit friends in Sayulita spending Easter here. After Easter I was enjoying the ride along the coastal road tremendously as the road is hugging the rugged and rocky coast line until Acapulco where I left the Pacific coast and crossed over through central Mexico, passing by Mexico City by a southern bypass road, coming through Puebla and onto the Gulf of Mexico Coast.

Veracruz was passed as I was hugging the road along the Gulf Coast, passing Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Merida and finally reaching Playa del Carmen exactly four weeks after I started the trip with 8500 kilometers / 5150 miles put on the bike. The Kawasaki ZRX 1100 gave me a stress free performance and besides the rear wheel bearings I got a tiny oil leak, a rock into the radiator resulting in a tiny leak, a worn rear tire and a streched out chain. Awesome trip.

alps bike trip muz

Central Alp's Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany August 2008 - During my summer vacation in August 2008 while coming back from Asia en route back to Mexico I made a stop over in Europe where I started my long planned and anticipated motorcycle solo Alp's mountain range trip. I did borrow a German made MUZ 650 Enduro from my brother that featured a 28 liter / 7.5 gallon tank, Touratech carrier boxes and a stiff racing suspension. The bike made in Germany's former East German MZ factory comes with a pleasant Yamaha 650 cc single cylinder engine.

alps moto bike trip

My trip started out in northern Germany leading south to Munich visiting friends, then on to Austria and Switzerland to cruise Sitzerland and Austria in a rented RV. During 12 days the bike was parked in Luzern (Lucerne). After the great RV journey to Austria and the Garda See area I jumped back on the bike on a trip that was leading me through the beautiful Swiss, Italian, Austrian and German Alp's camping along the way. I kicked of my trip with a visit to an open air concert in the Swiss area of St. Gallen featuring Metalllica passing the Klausen mountain pass in rain and fog.

I have heard peole rant about mountain pass riding but never had done it myself but became rather quickly adicted to the steep mountain sides where narrow roads lead up in never ending serpentines to the high summits for a short break before the equaly long descent on the other side of the mountain awaits.

I patricular liked the loop of St. Gotthard, Furka pass, Grimsel pass and Susten pass, Switzerland. The scenery was awesome riding through the central Alp's with all the high snow topped mountains and passing by glaciers. The St. Bernadino pass is worth a trip too. In the area of St. Moritz and Davos, Switzerland was another nice loop leading over very narrow roads in endless forrests and small mountain villages.

As it was time to lead on toward one of the high lights of this trip, the Stilfser Joch (Stelvio Pass) in Italy starting out in Bormio. This mountain pass is the real thing leading up a very steep mountain side with endless curves on both sides and as I was warming up in the mountain valley around Meran I jumped then onto the Timmler Joch mountain pass leaving Italy and driving into Austria. Very nice pass too.

The last mountain pass was the Fern pass leading me from Austria into Germany passing by the Zugspitze mountain and back onto northern Germany where I delivered the bike back to my brother with 12 mountain passes crossed and 3500 kilometers / 2125 miles more on the clock.

Mahahual and Bacalar long weekend trip February 2009 - In end of February 2009 I went onto a long weeked trip to first visit some friends in Mahahual and then onto the Lagoon and town of Bacalar. I took my KTM 640 Adventure for the trip and we both had a good time riding.

Mahahual got hit 1 1/2 years ago by a huricane and I have not been back since then. I was somewhat shocked about the change and devastation still visible. The town however is looking forward and installed a Malicon - Seawalk which is very nice.
Bacalar is always a treat with its tranquil atmosphere almost void of any tourism. Quite few visitors are coming during the weekend from the State capital of Q.Roo - Chetumal to hang out. When I look at the blue waters I wish I had a boat to cruise the Lagoon waters.

Central & Northern Yucatan coast long weekend trip June 2010 - After the exchange of my small Harley for a big one and having completed the changes and repairs needed I felt it to be time to go for a long weekend ride through the Yucatan Peninsula.

After fixing up the Glide I had to take her out for a spin. My ass was itching big time for a ride and she was screaming my name to go and ride ... so of we went for a 900 km / 545 mile two day ride through the Central Yucatan to Tulum, Valadolid, Sotuta, Hui, Acanceh and Merida where I stayed in the Tecnotel floating in the pool for a couple of hours. Next day of to Progreso, Dzilam Bravo, Itzamal, Valadolid and Tulum to hang out some with Heather, Steve and Sarah .... what a cool weekend. The ride went without a big hitch, only thing I lost was my front brakes between Itzamal and Tulum.
Great ride and great bike. Only thing that happend was the total loss of the front brakes but made it back ok.

Rio Lagartos long weekend July 2010 - Mid July I went with some biker friends on a overnite trip to Rio Lagartos on the northern shore of the Yucatan Peninsula. The whole trip was around 650 kilometers round trip. The only problem we had in a group of five bikes and eight people was the front wheel bearing of my Glide giving up. I was able to get spares on a Sunday morning in Tizimin and got it back on the road for the trip home.

bike trip mexico

Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize April 2011 - I went on a road trip with my old travel buddy Julie who was in the area and joined me. We went on the "Glide" and it was a dream to drive. Two up, heat, long hours, through the mountains of Guatemala, hot start in the plains, cold start at altitude no problem at all. Easy enough power to pass anything on steep uphill roads. A bit heavy I thought first but when in motion and rolling sweet. Eikka who came along at the beginning had to turn back early due to a paperwork hickup on the border, so we went on alone.

We went from Playa del Carmen by Merida and Campeche to Palenque in one day 995 km in 12hours, then San Cristobal de las Casas and into Guatemala. Lago Atitlan, Panajachel, Antigua, Chichicastenango and on to Rio Dulce, Flores and Tikal in Guatemala. On the way back we went through Belize, Corazol and back into Mexico, Bacalar, Akumal and back to Playa del Carmen.

harley davidson bike trip guatemala u

The trip turned out to be 11 days and 3341 kilometers long with no problem on the bike. The highest mountain pass we passed was 3008 meters high, with 10 C temperature and hottest temperature encountered with 44 C in the Central Yucatan. No problems with the bike, none. Add gasoline and oil and have fun. My nose peeled a bunch of times though but that was it. Great trip.

Germany 2013

I went with Jonathan to Europe to visit Amsterdam, Wolfsburg, Berlin and Prague for him to see. During that trip we went out with Jonathans Uncle Rob, his Cousin Nele and me on a number of country side rides to burn some rubber and see some Castles.

During one of the trips Jonathan s Uncle Rob and Jonathan wet 177 miles per hour on my brothers Gixer.

chacheurope444

Belize 2014

In April 2014 I went on a short trip to Central Belize to see Manatees and do a river boat tour. Awesome boat activities and awesome riding in Belize. If I would only have known that the Garifunda village of Gales Point does not have paved road access. But it made the trip so much memorable.

w belize harley

Mexico 2014

In May of 2014 I went for a couple of days into the Central Yucatan, to Rio Lagartos and the Las Coloradas salt flats. Awesome trip with friend and sail boat owner Herve.

Mexico 2015

In May of 2015 I went on the Harley to visit my old buddy Luca in Sayulita close to Pto. Vallarta, a 5000 km - 3000 miles round trip. What a beautiful country Mexico is. Whow !!

harleybw

Europe 2016 15,000 km bike trip

It all started with a call from my brother Rob as he looked for a buddy to go to the Isle of Man TT. Sure no problem I said and here we go. Buying a bike and all the gear. And as I was doing so I thought well if I fly over there might as well make good use of the bike and go for a little ride around the pond.

Isle of Man

In the end it was a two part trip. First to the Isle of Man with my brother starting in Germany through Holland, England, Isle of Man, France, Belgium and back to Germany.

Isle of Man

The second part took me alone from Germany to Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro back to Italy Sicily, Sardinia and France, Corsica back into the Alps of France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria and Germany passing through Czech Republic and Poland before going back to Germany. Awesome trip.

Corsica

French Alps

 Montenegro

2017 is planned Morocco, Gibraltar, Alps Baltic States and Scandinavia with Nordkapp.