FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
As I receive questions from folks interested in the tour, I’ll add the question and answer to this page.
Q: Is the Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas a race?
A: No. There is no advantage for being the first person to make all of the tour stops. The tour is meant to be a fun way to explore the great state of Texas on a motorcycle. It will take you to interesting places all over Texas. Riders are given approximately eight months to ride to the tour stops. You ride to the stops as your schedule permits, ride to them in any order that you choose, and plan your own routes. The tour is definitely not an “iron butt” type ride. The tour is meant to be a “stop and smell the roses” ride. Explore Texas at your own pace and have fun. Speed does not matter. The main reason to ride on the tour is just have fun exploring and try to make it to Tour Finisher status (25 or more tour stops).
Q: Why does the tour have sponsors?
A: In order to keep the registration cost low for the riders, some of the tour stops are sponsored stops. The sponsors are businesses that are biker friendly small businesses who employ fellow Texas. They include motorcycle dealers, motorcycle apparel retailers, lodging establishment, restaurants, motorcycle accessory retailers, etc. While some stops are sponsored, many of the stops are things like historical sites, monuments, roadside attractions, museums, etc.
Q: When does the tour start?
A: Be sure to join the e-mail list so you will receive a notice via the the tour newsletter when registration opens and the tour starts. To join the constant contact email list, click this link. The newsletter is generally issued once or twice a month.
Q. Do I have to make purchases with the tour sponsors?
A. Absolutely not. You can earn additional points for purchases with specified sponsors that may result in winning a prize. But buying from the tour sponsors is entirely your choice. We have some great, bike friendly sponsors on the tour. So, you just may find that they have products you will want.
Q. Can I submit receipts from tour sponsors for purchase made before the tour starts?
A. No. Receipts from sponsors that were obtained prior to the start date of the tour do not qualify for sponsor receipts. Not all tour sponsors qualify for receipt points. Be sure to check the tour stops web page to verify which sponsor’s receipts qualify.
Q. Who can take part in the tour?
A. The tour is open to all types of motorcycles (bikes and trikes), except autocycles/cyclecars (such as Slingshots). Motorcycles with sidecars are welcome to take part in the tour. All participants must be at least 18 years old. You don’t have to be a Texan to ride in the tour. Anyone who wants to explore the great state of Texas on a motorcycle is welcome to register.
Q. What happens after I register?
A. A “tour flag” (placarxthat has your individual number on it will be mailed to you when registration closes. The tour flag is not made of cloth. Some folks refer to it as a placard. It is made of card stock, measures approximately 8 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches, and has a hole in each corner.
Some folks hang the flag on their bike by running a string through the holes and some folks attach it to their windshield via rubber tipped clamps clothespins. Some folks have their flag laminated. Just remember to take the flag off of your bike after you take the picture at a tour stop and stow it away in your saddle bag.
Your tour flag will have your individual tour number printed on it. As you arrive at a designated tour stop, you will take a picture of your bike and tour flag (be sure that your rider number is clearly visible) at the stop location. Also be sure that the tour stop feature (i.e. sign, statute, monument, roadside attraction, store front, etc) is identifiable in the picture. More details are on the Rules for Participation Page.
Q. What happens if I lose my tour flag?
A. Contact the tour coordinator as soon as you discover that you lost your tour flag. If you are out on a trip looking for tour stops, the tour coordinator will need to know which stops you plan to make before getting home. The tour coordinator can send you a replacement tour flag. There will be a small charge for the replacement flag (see the Rules for Participation for current tour year cost).
Q. Where are the tour stops?
A. To see the current tour stops, go to the Tour Stops page.
Q. How many tour stops are on the tour?
A. There are 50 tour stops. To be a Tour Finisher, riders must submit 25 or more qualifying pictures (in accordance with the Rules for Participation).
Q. How many tour stops do I have to make to be considered a Tour Finisher?
A. Registered participants will need to make at least 25 of the tour stops (properly documented) to be considered a Tour Finisher. Tour Finishers will receive a patch. See the Rules for Participation for additional details. Some riders decide to find all 50 tour stops, which is a great way to see a lot of our great state.
Q. Can I ride more than one motorcycle on the tour?
A. You may ride up to three different motorcycles on the tour.
Q. Do I get a patch for riding on the tour?
A. First year Tour Finishers earn a logo patch and a rocker patch for the applicable tour year. A Tour Finisher is a rider who submits 25 or more qualifying pictures. See the Rules for Participation for complete details. Riders who qualified as a Tour Finisher in a previous tour year will not receive the logo patch again (as they are received one), but will receive a rocker patch for their latest tour year (provided that they submitted 25 or more qualifying pitures).
Q. Do I have to ride to the tour stops in the order in which they are listed?
A. No. One tour stop will be scheduled for a specific date. The rest of the stops you can ride to in any order you choose, create your own routes, and ride as your schedule permits.
Q. Sometimes I ride my own bike and sometimes I’m a passenger. Do I register as a motorcycle operator or as a passenger?
A. If you will be riding to some of the stops as a motorcycle operator and some as a passenger, register as a motorcycle operator. You can use your same tour flag for tour stops when you are a motorcycle operator and when you are a passenger.
Q. Since the tour is chartered by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), do I have to be a member of the AMA to register for the tour?
A. No. Membership in the AMA is not required to register and take part in the tour. However, there are some great benefits to membership in the AMA. The AMA works to protect the rights of motorcyclists. With AMA membership, you will receive discounts on numerous products and lodging. Additionally, membership will get you the American Motorcyclist magazine. Click here to join the American Motorcyclist Association.
Q. Are the “tour flags” actual flags?
A. No. They are made from heavy stock paper and have four holes (in the corners) so that you can hang it on the bike to take your pictures. You can also use a clamp to (use one with rubber tips) attach it to your windshield for the picture.
Q. Do I upload the pictures all at one time or as I take them?
A. Do not wait to upload your pictures all at one time. You should upload your first tour stop picture within a week of taking it, then upload subsequent pictures within a week of taking them.
Q. When I submit a picture at a tour stop, will it immediately be reflected on the tour riders’ page?
A. No. Every picture submitted is reviewed to ensure that it was submitted under the correct flag number, that the flag number is visible in the picture, that the correct tour stop feature is in the picture, etc. The pictures are generally reviewed sequentially, in tour flag number order. However, the Tour Director will review your picture submissions upon request. Just contact him via the contact link on the Tour Riders’ page.
Q. Why do folks registering to ride two-up (rider and passenger) have to register separately?
A. There are safety and picture waivers as part of the registration. Therefore, each tour participant must register separately so they can confirm acceptance of the waivers to take part in the tour.
Q. If folks are riding two-up, can both of them submit the same picture?
A. Yes. As long as both the tour flags of the motorcycle operator and the passenger are both clearly visible and legible in the picture, they can both submit the same picture under their own flag numbers to the Picture Submission Portal (PSP).
If you have a question not answered above, contact the Tour Director with the contact button below: