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Tours Take a tour to get your feet wet, or when you just don't have the time to plan and organize it and ship the bike etc. NOTE: This forum is NOT for free advertising, but it IS for discussions by travellers on tours they have taken, or are interested in taking.
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Old 20 Jun 2016
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Bermuda
Posts: 163
Kickstart Dirtbike Tours, Cambodia

Earlier this year, I took a 10-day tour with Kickstart Dirtbike Tours, based in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I was very impressed with the tour and the company.

Dave at Kickstart was able to put together a customised 10-day bike tour for me after another company let me down by cancelling a booked tour at short notice. In the end, the other company did me a favour, as I'm confident that the tour provided by Kickstart was superior to the one I'd originally booked.

My tour started in Siem Reap and included a tour around Angkor Wat and surrounding temples. After leaving Siem Reap, we took a circular route that included nights in Kampong Thom, Kampang Cham, Phnom Penh and Battambang, before returning to Siem Reap for a couple more nights (and more riding/sightseeing).

I had booked to ride a Honda XL250 but I got a free upgrade to a Suzuki DRZ400, which proved to be a very enjoyable bike for the distance riding that we did. For my last day of riding (out of Siem Reap), I was given another free upgrade to a Yamaha WR250 which was much better suited to the tight trails that we rode up the Kulen Mountain. The bikes were excellent.

Dave was an excellent tour guide throughout the trip. He has lived in Cambodia for about 15 years and is married to a Cambodian, so he is knowledgable about local customs and culture. He also speaks fluent Khmer which was a tremendous bonus when on the road. Wherever we stopped, he was able to communicate with the locals, whether it was at a road-side shop, a restaurant, or when speaking with residents of the small villages that we passed through. Dave also knows Khmer food, and was able to meet my request to eat primarily local dishes throughout the tour. He was very customer-focussed and keen to ensure that I got the most out of the tour. He was a great companion and it felt more like I was travelling with a friend than a tour guide.

Whilst I have about 40 years of motorcycling experience, I had no dirt-bike experience before this trip. Dave brought me along gently through the tour, as we rode a variety of graded red dirt roads, sandy tracks, muddy sections and tight trails, ending with the more technical ride up Kulen Mountain.

The hotels throughout the tour were of a good quality - particularly the excellent 'home base' Moon Residence Hotel, situated next door to the Kickstart office.

When in Siem Reap, Dave's business partner La was also very friendly and helpful. He accompanied us for meals and also drove us on a sightseeing trip in his old Land Rover Lightweight.

I couldn't have asked for a better tour or a better tour guide/companion. I highly recommend Kickstart to anyone contemplating a motorcycle tour in Cambodia.
2014 overland adventure to Russia and Central Asia in Land Rover Defender www.bermudarover.com
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