May 09, 2023
May 15, 2023 1:00 PM
MABDR® is a scenic ride for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles that uses dirt, gravel and paved roads to wind through remote parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Starting in Damascus Virginia, and ending in Lawrenceville, Tioga County, PA, this 1,080-mile route, primarily uses forest roads and rural country lanes, to lead riders through the Appalachian mountains, majestic forests, bucolic farming landscapes, Amish country, and locations that played pivotal roles in early American history. The plan for this ride is to begin in Damascus, Va (at hotel in Abingdon, Va) and head north finishing up in Lawrenceville, Pa at the New York border.
The plan is to bypass Antietam and Harper’s Ferry reducing the trip to about 7 days. Allowing about 150 miles per day.
If you have group that is interested, there is the option of doing the entire route which includes visiting Antietam Civil War battlefield and Harper’s Ferry, WV while also making a stop at South Mountain Creamery. This version of the tour should take about 2 days riding to the start in Damascus and 9 days on the ride itself. The pricing for this version of the tour will be higher due to the increase in the number of riding days and lodging. Your group would need to inform me at the time of booking so that we can arrange lodging for the extended trip.
We will meet in Abingdon, VA the evening before the start of the ride.
Cost for single occupancy per person: $3400
(Note: Costs are for the 7 day trip bypassing the Antietam/Harper’s Ferry Loop. Please contact us if you have a group that would like to visit these sights, extending the trip to 9 days.)
The ride will begin from Damascus, VA on May 09, 2023 and we will arrive in Lawrenceville, Pa on May 15, 2023. The tour group will meet at a hotel in Abingdon, VA on May 08th.
How Difficult is the MABDR:
The MABDR as the least technically difficult of of all the BDR routes. However, this route can change quite a bit due to weather conditions. Rain can create significant mud and can also swell the water crossings to the point of making them impassable. Loose gravel and crowned roads with drainage ditches along the sides can also be hazardous. There are also some optional “expert” sections that are rocky with some elevation changes.
You should be comfortable riding your motorcycle on dirt surfaces before electing to do this ride. Practice on gravel and dirt roads would be recommended. Just being proficient on pavement is not sufficient experience for this ride.
What type of motorcycle should I bring:
BDR routes in general are designed for larger adventure type motorcycles such as the BMW GS series and KTM adventure bikes such as the 790, 1090 and 1290. These bikes are suited to the MABDR terrain and can also handle the pavement stretches on the route. Smaller dual sport type bikes can be used such as the Husky 701, KTM, 350 or 500 along with Suzuki DRZ 400 or Kawasaki KLR 650 as examples. The handicap with these machines will just be handling the road miles on the trip but are certainly options for this ride.
Are there sufficient gas stops:
There are many options for fuel on this route with the longest stretch without gas being 115 miles. If your motorcycle does not have that range then it is advisable to bring along additional fuel. We will gauge gas stops on the machine with the lowest range. That said, the Adventure adage is always, “Never Pass Gas”.
Do I need a GPS unit:
As guides we will have the GPS tracks for this route and also supplement with a Butler map. If you would like to also have the tracks, you can download them at http://ridebdr.com/download-tracks/ or we can send you a copy of the file once you register for the tour.
What tires should I use:
My philosophy is to use as aggressive a knobby as I can on my motorcycles since my concentration is primarily off road travel. I then deal with the compromise of riding these tires on pavement. If you ride primarily pavement you might opt for a bit less aggressive a tire such as a 50/50 street/off road tire. Be aware that may of these type tires are not sufficient for managing mud or sand very well. If you would like some recommendations on tires please feel free to contact me.
Will my cell phone work on the route:
Do not count on it. We will be bringing a Spot Messenger unit for emergencies and will also have a Satellite phone along as well. There are spots where cell coverage is present but for much of the trip this will not be the case.
What about tools:
We will carry tools to allow basic repairs and tire changes in case of flats. We carry extra tubes and tire plugs for tubeless tires and a air compressor. I would suggest bringing at least one tube (if bringing one tube, bring a 21″ tube since it can be used in the front or back in a pinch) even if you have tubeless tires. Also bring any specific tools you might need for your particular bike, such as tools that might be needed to remove the wheels.
What about clothes:
PACK LIGHT!! The rule of thumb is to pack your clothes, then take them out and eliminate half of them. This is only partially humorous. Nothing hinders a pleasant, comfortable ride more than carrying excessive weight. 3 pair of underwear, 3 shirts, light pants and shoes to be worn at the end of the day, a couple pair of socks, toiletries and charging cords for your electronics. For your riding clothes include one pair of riding pants, riding coat, warm and regular riding gloves, boots (preferably motocross type), full helmet and eye protection (face shield or goggles). For the September ride it can get cool in the morning so a heavier layer might be wise as well as rain gear.
We will be carrying a First Aid kit but if you have any specific medical needs, be sure to bring along anything that you would need for that condition. For example, if you are diabetic, be sure to bring snacks to maintain blood sugar along with your other supplies. You might also consider bringing a hat to help decrease the effect of the sun on hot, sunny days.
What about food on the trip:
We will be having dinner each night with the first night being paid for by Emmaus. Breakfast will either be available at the hotel each morning or we will stop on the way out each morning. Lunch can vary between fast food stops, grabbing a quick bite at a fuel stop or a sit down lunch. You are encouraged to pack some snacks that you can eat during breaks each day. Bring water or some other type of rehydrating drink. You can carry this in a back pack type hydration unit or purchase water bottles and carry them on your bike.
Submitting a registration form does not confirm availability nor participation on a tour
Emmaus MotoTours requires a 30% USD non-refundable deposit at time of booking.
Rider is also subject to the the terms and conditions of any motorcycle rental company when purchasing a tour that includes motorcycle rental.
If a tour is canceled by Emmaus MotoTours ahead of departure because of lack of participation all deposits and balance payments are 100% transferable and refundable.
Cancellations initiated by the participant received in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org with more than 30 days notice before tour start date will receive their 30% USD deposit and all balance payments in full.
Cancellations initiated by the participant received in writing to email@example.com with 30 or less days notice before the tour start date will forfeit their deposit and any balance payments as a cancellation fee.
Emmaus MotoTours reserves the right to cancel a participants tour during the tour if the participant is disruptive or putting themselves or others in harms way. No refund or credit will be issued.
To download our liability release form, click here.
This was my third tour with Emmaus Motor Tours and John. The first day of the tour, section 1, was brutal for me. I did not have the practice needed for the gravel turns, and there were alot. However John and Jim were very patient with us three newbies and we made it through these sections. The pace of the ride was perfect, each rider could ride at their own pace without feeling pressured to go faster. If there was a spill, Jim was there is a minute to help you with your bike. Both John and Jim were very knowledgable of route and had years of practical knowledge with off road motorcycling. The rest of the tour was great, my speed in gravel turns improved, and Jim was always there for advice when requested. The food and lodging that was available was awesome, very relaxing after riding all day. John warned us in the pre-ride phone call that we should expect rain, and it did not dissapoint. We had a good day and a half, and it actually was fun and again improved my skills riding. The water crossings were great, well planned and videod. You couldnt ask for better guides than John and Jim, If you get the chance take a tour with them, you’ll enjoy the heck out of it.,
Great job by John and Jim from the organization, meeting and keeping everyone together from a variety of skill levels… Laughs, good food, beautiful scenario and awesome people made this a great ride. Thanks for a life memory, learned a lot, and never worried about anything along the way.