We aren’t famous, we don’t hold any world records or come from the motorcycle industry, in fact we didn’t even set out to start a business, let alone a motorcycle tour business, however the real desire to help our friend Cathy Maclean, who eventually died in 2012 from a rare neurological disease, led to the most unlikely of outcomes, one of the world’s leading motorcycle tour companies…Compass Expeditions.
We met the inspirational Cathy in 2004, became great friends, and organised a fund-raising motorcycle ride from London to Vladivostok, however at the completion of the charity ride the support dried up. It was decided to start a motorcycle tour company, run a couple of tours per year and donate a percentage of the proceeds to F.A.N – Friedreich Ataxia Network http://www.fan.asn.au/ – a charity that Cathy had founded. From the first tour sold in 2007 until today, we still support F.A.N and Compass co-founder Mick McDonald penned a book, “The Biggest Mistake of our Lives”, with all proceeds going to the charity.
Tours started to sell, happy clients returned wanting more Compass rides and before we realised it, we were a full-time motorcycle tour company. We never could have imagined Compass Expeditions would be where it is today.
Combined, we have over a quarter of a century of tour leading experience. No, we may not be able to get our front wheel in the air, charge fearlessly across a raging torrent or lecture people on how to ride, instead we offer real, on the ground, tourism experience that is unmatched in the motorcycle touring industry.
In June 2020, a couple months after Covid19 was declared a global pandemic, with a heavy heart Compass Expeditions was forced to close after 13 incredible years in operation. Fast forward to late 2020 and Compass was approached by Ben Willox & Brent Thomas expressing an interest in how they might revive the business and continue its legacy as they loved the back story of how we began and the amazing Compass family that has evolved, believing it was simply too good a company to be quietly consigned to the pages of motorcycle touring history.
So, like a phoenix from the ashes Compass Expeditions was reborn! With Ben and Brent joining as directors to work alongside Jerry (also director) and Mick, the original founders and with a great team behind them, exciting things lay ahead. Compass has big plans for the future and once again is offering unique, exciting motorcycle tours across the globe as well as an exciting new offering of 4WD adventure tours, coming in 2023.
Despite a couple years of tough times the world still remains an amazing place full of incredible people. The list of wonderful friends and experiences is endless and we look forward to exploring with our Compass family far into the future.