New Zealand based motorcycle touring outfit, Planet Chopper, is getting ready to take a different approach to the local touring business with the upcoming Virus Buster Run.
Founded by father and son team Mark and Ben Van Leewarden, Planet Chopper operates in the USA, New Zealand and India with an extensive fleet of cruisers and custom motorcycles being their point of difference.
Their motorcycle fleets include custom motorcycles, Harley-Davidsons, Triumphs and Japanese cruisers while their big annual tours run to Sturgis, Route 66, and from the North to the South Island of New Zealand.
After cancelling their 2020 tours due to Covid-19 but has taken the situation in New Zealand and turned it into a positive by organizing the "Virus Buster Run" in 2021. They have pre-selected bars in 10 locations throughout New Zealand for riders to meet as they make their way to The Burt Munro Challenge in February.
People are free to join for the entire trip or meet at the nominated bars. The 'Gypsy Run' style means that riders from anywhere in the country can join in. It's not just for motorcycle riders though, everyone is welcome to come to the bars.
At each location the Planet Chopper team will run a raffle and sell custom-made t-shirts designed by Jeremy Bennett, Art Director for the Lord of The Rings Trilogy, to generate donations for the Salvation Army's Foodbank Project.
In the worlds of the Van Leewardens, the purpose of this run is to "twist the throttle on the economy" by bringing business to New Zealand's hard-hit hospitality and tourism sectors.
Since international travel is not currently an option for Kiwi riders, this tour gives the motorcycle community something to look forward to, bringing riders together in a new and meaningful way.
With over 1,300 people expressing interest so far, it seems to have resonated with Kiwi riders and hospitality providers alike.
The official tour is a 12-day affair setting out from Auckland on the 6th of February and touring down before arriving at The Burt Munro Challenge on the 12th. After The Burt, the tour then winds its way back north, concluding in Auckland on the 18th of February.
If the whole trip isn’t in the budget, you can rock up and join in the fun at any of the 10 predetermined stops with the organisers aiming to bring motorcyclists and local communities to come together and support everyone’s local.
Sounds like a great cause to get behind to us!