Was wondering if anyone had any advice on touring Morocco on motorbike? Me and a friend are planning to land in Casablanca and hopefully rent motorbikes going, in order, to Rabat, Meknes, Fes, a nice route through the middle and high atlas (seeing todra and dades gorges if possible), Marrakesh, Essaouria and then back to Casablanca along the coast. We were planning to go in October, but are worried that daylight hours might be a bit shorter (as explained in some guides). I dont know how easy it is renting motorbikes from local companies or the costs involved but the alternative of going through a foreign based touring company is not that desirable to us. Is it a good way of seeing the country over 2 weeks?
I had lunch with the 'two hairy bikers' of TV chef fame, and they rated Morocco amongst the best in the world for motorcycling; in particular the Tiz n Tischa pass, though there are other quieter passes they might have liked even more.
I would avoid Casa (limited interest, pollution, suicidal traffic) and wouldn't worry to much about Rabat, simply as there is so much to see elsewhere.
Daylight hours aren't much of a problem. It's still light for around 12 hours a day, and you can cover a lot of miles in a day thanks to the lack of traffic - though allow more time for the mountains.
I'm not sure about renting road bikes. Plenty of people rent off road bikes. I do know a company who have just acquired a Caterham 7 to rent - surely the best of both worlds!
Thanks for the info, Mark. Our plan was to stay out of the most developed cities as much as possible, as you suggested, but figured Casa would be the most likely place we could get basic bikes in relatively good shape. I would jump at the chance of taking a Caterham 7 but i dont think it'll be within our budget. If you know the contact details of any Moroccan based off road bike rental companies i'd appreciate it if you could message me them. And if you could also let me know the Caterham 7 rental company I might as well see if that's attainable (my only worry then would be it getting stolen!). Cheers mate.
The Caterham is rented by Compton sarl, in Marrakech; try the boss on james.w.compton at gmail.com. Don't know why, but it won't let me put his email in!
I imagine it's cheaper than two bikes, and suspect the insurance would be, too. Theft in Morocco tends to be petty and opportunistic. I think a stolen Caterham might stand out a bit, as to the best of my knowledge there's, er, one in the country.
I do know a British guy in Ouzarzate who hires bikes, but can't find his number. I'll look for it later.