Motorcycling in Timor at any age

In September 2014 we were privileged to tour with Denis and Michael, four of Denis’s adult children and his grandson. Here is what they had to say about the experience in their own words

I did an 8 day tour with my family & a friend -7 in all & it was a great success. Dave & Shirley looked after us very well & the trip exceeded our expectations in every way. The highlight was our interaction with the people which was facilitated by Dave’s Harmonicas. They are happy gentle people & we always felt safe. Valu beach & Jaco Island were so beautiful. The roads were challenging but that is part of the adventure & the Honda Mega Pros stood up to the test. Denis Appel

I’m a somewhat timid person and quite honestly would not have signed up as an individual, mountain roads scare me! However after my tour with Dave, I have a completely positive attitude to mountain roads in third world countries. Amazing what a good leader and the right sized and capable bike can do to one’s confidence. Gosh Dave has a ton of endurance leading another ride!
Best wishes, Michael A.


I must admit to not being overly thrilled about going to Timor at all. I have travelled to S.E Asian countries over the years and become increasingly disheartened by the destruction ‘Ist world’ tourism can reap. None-the-less, my middle aged siblings and I went ahead with it as was the wish of our crazy old dad. He loves motorbike riding and had met Dave from Timor Adventures at his Ulysses (Aged bikie gang) A.G.M Anyway, I can only relay how great a time we had. The trip was a joy and a real adventure – as this is a truly undeveloped country and not yet been exposed to heavy tourism. The people of Timor are warm and as keen to interact as were we. They are proud that we are interested in their country and way of life. I could only suppose they have had mainly positive exposure to Westerners thus far – with Australian soldiers in WW2 and following the Indonesian invasion and a steady stream of U.N and World vision vehicles – not to mention Aussie school kids who come to be part of various humanitarian projects. Dave and Shirley aren’t your average island tour operators either – they are clearly of a humanitarian bent too, with the emphasis well and truly on integrity and respect towards the Timorese. Riding with Dave means you also get a lot of info on the culture and history of the island as well as great food and excellent music nights as he is a good harmonica, flute and god knows what else player! Thankyou – I know I will visit Timor again Steve Appel

The group rode from Dili to Baucau, on to Jaco Island, then Loi Huna, Same and back to Dili through the mountain pass. They enjoyed rest days at beautiful Jaco Island and in the scenic mountain village Loi Hunu. Being on motorbikes they could not avoid the distinctly Timorese driving challenges and the constant surprises of chickens, potholes and high-fiving children in the villages at midday.

Other highlights mentioned from the trip were: the Baucau swimming pool, the rich and tumultuous history to be explored, the beautiful traditional houses (one of which we stayed in at Jaco), playing frizbee with local children, jamming in the evenings with the highly talented tour guide Dave, but most of all, the patient and friendly locals- always willing to smile and try out their language skills. David Appel