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7 Day North by Northwest Guided Motorcycle Tour in California

12245 Topa Lane, Santa Paula, California, USA

Guided Motorcycle Tour in California, USA

The North By NorthWest Tour, our favorite location-specific, guided ADV motorcycle tour, will take you from the picturesque town of Ojai in Ventura County, through the Los Padres National Forest, the Cuyama Valley, the Carrizo Plain National Monument and then (depending on the the time of year) into the Southern Sierra mountains or along the Big Sur coastline, high above the Pacific ocean. Each night will be spent at a different location, featuring comfort-camping or in a guesthouse, ranch or hotel. The food is always fresh, organic and locally sourced. Beverages include world-class wines, craft beers, and cider from local vineyards, breweries, and farms, guaranteed to hit the spot after each day out in the wilds of Central California.

Key information

  • Terrain: 50% unpaved roads and 50% paved roads
  • Bike: rental bike (SUZUKI V-Strom 650 or upgrade to BMW F700 GS, BMW F800/850 GS, Honda CRF 1000L AT, BMW R1200/1250 GS)
  • Mileage: 1,610 kilometers / 1,000 miles
  • Daily rides: 322 kilometers / 200 miles
  • Riding gear: except for a basic helmet; not included but required: jacket, gloves, and boots
  • Meals: all meals, drinks, and alcoholic beverages


  • Starts and ends in Ojai, California
  • Ride high above and beside the Pacific coastline
  • Explore exciting dirt roads through the ranches & the desert
  • Enjoy the "twisties" through the mountains on first-class pavement
  • 6 nights' accommodation in unique locations, camaraderie & excellent company around the campfire
  • True ADVenture-style riding: half the time on paved and the other half unpaved roads
  • Fully catered and supported by an experienced crew and a 4-wheel vehicle
  • Airport shuttle pick-up and drop-off

Skill level

  • Intermediate


5 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: Afrikaans
Group size: 4-10 participants
Airport transfer included: Los Angeles International Airport
Airport transfer included: Bob Hope Airport
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In this tour, you will be accommodated at the Crescent Cottage, Songdog Ranch, Sleepy Creek Ranch, a camp in Carrizo National Monument or the Coast Range above Big Sur and the Flying M Ranch.

Wherever possible all accommodations are “Single Occupancy Private Room” with no additional cost. When requested, couples can be accommodated in “Double Occupancy - Private Room”. When it is an open plan, bunkhouse type of place, you will be accommodated in “Double Occupancy - Shared Room”. You will also be accommodated in “Comfort Camping - Single Occupancy in Tent”.


Day 1: Getting oriented - Los Angeles to Ojai

Ojai Motorcycle Club will arrange a shuttle ride for the guests, for the 60 to 90-minute drive from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Bob Hope Airport (BUR) to the company headquarters, at the Moondog Ranch, halfway between the Ventura County towns of Santa Paula and Ojai. The row of ADV motorcycles will stand ready and waiting for their riders to arrive.

In the late afternoon, you will ride around the nearby hills and valleys on some scenic, winding roads to get familiar with the bikes.

That first evening, you will chill out by the fireside under the shadow of the Topa Topa Mountains. Dinner will be a foray into authentic South African style “braaivleis” (barbecue grilled meat) and “potjiekos” (outdoor-prepared stews), as well as local craft beers and award-winning wines from regional vineyards. The new arrivals will sleep in comfort at the recently renovated Crescent Cottage, adjacent to the Moondog Ranch.

Day 2: The adventure begins - Into the Cuyama

The morning’s coffee, tea, and full breakfast will be just what you needed before hitting the road for your scenic California motorcycle tour: cereals, fruit, fresh yogurt, milk, and free-range eggs from the ranch, bacon, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes - all expertly prepared and served outside on the patio.

Ojai Motorcycle Club will throw the bulkier luggage into the support vehicle and keep personal essentials on the bikes, as you head west towards the Lower Ojai Valley. After a quick tour through the picturesque town of Ojai, it will be north into the Los Padres National Forest, along the famously curvy Highway 33, perfectly paved and cambered as it snakes through the Topa Topa Mountains towards the Cuyama Valley.

After about an hour's ride through the breathtaking twisties, you will drop into the valley below and get to play in the dirt. Ojai Motorcycle Club will guide the group to an extensive network of roads they know that has so much varied terrain. There will be something for everyone to explore and a chance to practice at whatever level of motorcycling skill felt right.

You will ride around the Cuyama Valley, exploring the top edges of mountains as well as deep into the valleys. It will be hard to shake that feeling of blissful solitude in an area where you can gaze around 360 degrees and not see another vehicle, anywhere.

For lunch, Ojai Motorcycle Club will choose a local watering hole filled with some very colorful characters. Then, it will be onto some of the favorite off-road and paved routes that make up the 50-50 split that you strive for each day of an adventure style motorcycle tour.

By late afternoon, you will get to the Songdog Ranch at the north end of the valley to get settled in. Some of the group will manage to snag queen beds in the two spacious rooms inside the main ranch house, while the rest of you will camp on the Mesa or sleep on comfortable camp cots in the speakeasy bunkhouse.

There will be enough daylight to leave the pavement for some dirt road riding, so, Ojai Motorcycle Club will review some basics such as off-road body position, balance, braking, acceleration, and how to safely lift a fallen bike.

Although it is no substitute for a full adventure motorcycle training course, Ojai Motorcycle Club always likes to insert this type of familiarization and a good deal of orientation throughout the guided motorcycle tours. It is great to see the fun-factor rise as participants improve their dirt-riding skills and their self-confidence.

There is nothing like that feeling of relaxing by campfire over the gourmet fare, savoring world-class beverages while reliving the day’s ride. The first full day of riding in the Cuyama Valley always seems to offer the California adventure tour groups just enough practice to prime you for the rest of the journey.

Day 3: Full on - The magic of the Carrizo

You will enjoy another great breakfast to get you going before riding north into the Carrizo Plain National Monument, where you will spend another day of spectacular riding which is crisscrossing the plain and traversing the mountains.

You will find the campsite in time for lunch, where the support team will be preparing a base camp for the overnight adventure on the plain. The crew will set up deluxe tents with the comfortable camp cots where you get the bonus of an hour or so to relax after lunch.

That afternoon, you will venture into the cattle country of the Red Hills to the west and also into the flatlands of the Kern County oil fields. Ojai Motorcycle Club plans it so the ride back to the campsite goes from west to east, so, you could witness the fantastic color saturation as the sun is setting behind you. The landscape ahead will be bathed in the most gorgeous shades of gold.

Dinner on the Carrizo Plain will be another culinary delight, serves up as you relax under the stars and if you get lucky, you may witness a full moon.

Day 4: That ribbon of highway - Above Big Sur and Pacific Coast

After another scrumptious breakfast, you will say goodbye to the Carrizo, dip down into some beautiful sweeping turns, and make your way to the Pacific Coast, cruising through the Central Coast Wine Country on the way to the famous Highway One.

It will be warm enough for you to lunch at a roadside cafe along Pacific Coast Highway. On the winter guided motorcycle tours, Ojai Motorcycle Club will favor lunch inland where temperatures can be 20 degrees higher. You will make good enough time to hit the beach and perhaps spend a couple of hours in the mineral hot springs of a famous Big Sur wellness retreat (by very special arrangement). That night we camp high up on the Coast Range Ridge, feeling the Pacific breeze as we look down to the East over the vast expanse of Central California and to the West over the Pacific Ocean.

Day 5: Big Sur and then onward to the Flying M

We explore the dirt roads high above the Pacific Ocean, practicing skills we've learned along the way.

You may have good visibility, so, once on the California coast, you will alternate between riding the asphalt on Highway One, along with the Big Sur coastline, and taking off onto the unpaved roads high along the ridge of the Coastal Range. You will be simply awestruck as you look down on the Pacific Ocean to the west and then onto the inland rolling hills in the east. This will be an adventure motorcycle riding at its best.

Afterwards, you will make your way to the guesthouse at the Flying M Ranch in the Red Hills of San Louis Obispo County and get there just in time for a spectacular sunset with a view out towards the California coastal range, where you spend most of the day. You will enjoy another amazing meal, great company, conversation, and some of the deepest sleeps anyone could remember.

Day 6: Carrizo

After breakfast at the Flying M, Ojai Motorcycle Club will lead the group over narrow broken-asphalt farm roads and then back through the Carrizo, this time going southeast, along with a different route than the one you take northward. After all the riding along dry desert roads, it will be amazing how good it feels to experience the speed and smoothness of the well-paved and nicely graded Highway 33 - this time going south.

By the time you get back to the Moondog Ranch and the Crescent Cottage guesthouse for the final dinner and overnight stay, there will be a palpable sense of achievement and also a little bit of melancholy like that bittersweet feeling at the end of all good things. In this case, the enjoyable camaraderie of a small group on a true adventure, together witnessing the incredible beauty of nature, while happily exercising body, mind, and soul.

Day 7: Departure day

Skill level required for this tour: Intermediate

  • can ride for four to six hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents


This tour will start and end in Ojai, California, USA. The journey will take you to Los Padres National Forest, the Cuyama Valley, the Carrizo Plain National Monument, and then along and above the Big Sur Coastline and more.

State Highway 33, the Cuyama Valley, and the Carrizo Plain form part of a wonderfully scenic region containing National Forest, Monument and wilderness terrain, with hundreds of miles of stunningly beautiful roads that run the gamut from asphalt, well-graded gravel, desert and mountain tracks, fire roads and even a world-class, off-road playground for motorcycles and other all-terrain vehicles.

However, the real jewel is the area surrounding the Ojai Valleys (Upper and Lower) and north of Santa Barbara. The tours explore this sparsely populated motorcycle wonderland, made up of ranches, public lands, and the fascinating people that provide the colorful culture and conversation.


Premium, farm-to-table, organic fare whenever possible, including fine wine, craft beers, cider, and spirits. Ojai Motorcycle Club's discerning clientele expect, and get, the best! Fantastic outdoor cuisine is the Ojai Motorcycle Club's specialty!

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 5-day motorcycle rental
  • Basic helmet
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Any meals and drinks
  • Airport transfer from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Bob Hope Burbank Airport (BBK)

What's not included

  • Riding gear (motorcycle jacket, pants, boots, and premium helmet)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Bob Hope Airport (BUR) on the Sunday before the tour begins and depart the Saturday after. Transfer from and to the airport via Airporter Shuttle is included.

Airport: Los Angeles International Airport Airport transfer included: Los Angeles International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Bob Hope Airport Airport transfer included: Bob Hope Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants


Start: Sunday December 6, 2020
End: Saturday December 12, 2020

Pricing information

The prices below do not include the 8.25% California Sales Tax.


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