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MCN  says:

You ask/answer What do I need to take for my first foreign road trip?

I'm doing my first trip abroad this summer and am uncertain what stuff to take. I'm riding round France and Italy for two weeks and hope to do 2500 miles, so should I bring tools, warning triangles, oil etc? What are the bare necessities? •   Your advice could help. Leave a comment below and we'll publish the best in MCN. Got a...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (02 May 2012 15:47)

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Jan 10

Posts: 1

Higgy636 says:

Travelling abroad

Travel as light as possible , the only heavy thing to bring is wet gear (especially in France) . Always have loads of easily accessible change in your tankbag for tolls . Bring all  your documents , leave the stress at home and enjoy every minute and take the time to smell the flowers .............

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Sep 09

Posts: 898

Rogerborg says:

Buy lots of copies of your license

And give them away as sacrifies to Le Rozzers when they stop you for Riding While Foreign.

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Jul 07

Posts: 48

Stritchy says:

Travelling abroad

Golden Wing did an article on this subject in the Winter issue go to page 8 It'll give you lots of pointers and tips HTH

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Feb 12

Posts: 162

plumber01 says:

travel gear

Hi I do similar trips every year, share a tool kit with mates or group, but esentials are, basic pliers screwdrivers . strong cable ties, puncture repair kit, and emergecy inflation mini canisters, small roll gaffer tape, 6inch long copper pipe, ( make emergency brake/clutch lever, gear shift.

And I/mates have used all of the above at some time.

Other than that waterproofs/ clothes spare gloves, dark vissor/pin lock clear one.

most importantly plenty of cash ,2+ credit cards, docs, a good atitude and an open mind with a big smile

PS european breakdown isnt dull, although I nave never needed it.




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May 08

Posts: 45

mickra says:

Long trips

Require a can of chain lube or a scottoiler.

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Jul 08

Posts: 179

Fomancu says:

Indeed--in France a high vis jacket would be a good idea--I did read they have gone ahead with that legislation: Also from 1st July you MUST carry a Breathalyzer- + all vehicle docs(not copies) and passport The local  Police tend to be quite anti UK drivers and bikers.Also a word of advise. on the toll roads--stick to the max speed limit--the ticket is time stamped: When you pass through the end  booth and you have broken the speed limit it will show up. In Italy-a mate has advised me you must wear a lid and carry your bike docs(not copies) + passport.

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Jan 11

Posts: 8491

snev says:


Bloody hell man ....what happened to France ? I used to love going there riding around at stupid speed, sticking my two fingers up at the local car drivers , drinking wine at every shack , taking a dump in their ....oh so basic Toilets..Waving at the traffic cops as they egged me on... wow those were the days. Is this something to do with the euro or human rights??? or does France have the same do gooding twats as us????

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Aug 02

Posts: 8

stonesi says:

France trip

I'd pretty much go with what plumber01 says, spare gloves, waterproofs, chain lube, tape. Plan your kit with others on the trip so you don't have 5 13mm spanners and try not to put them at the bottom of your luggage. We take a socket drive with sockets for rear wheels in case you need to adjust a chain (you have to guess the torque tho). We've had various mechanicals in France,Germany, Italy and the bike shops have all been excellent, as are other local bikers when it comes to help. Just don't expect to get anything on a Sunday! As for the breathalysers, you don't need them until 1st November (French law is confusing around the dates they are passed, enacted and enforced). You can get one for about £3 - a single disposable one is fine but it must be 'NF' approved. You'll have the time of your life. You don't need to travel rounds the world to get the real a feeling of adventure. Enjoy.

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Feb 09

Posts: 515

If your French is a little rusty, a phrase book can be very useful / when if les flics pull you over for "speeding". As for breathalysers, you actually need to carry two, although  there is conflicting information as to when this requirement actually comes in over there. Take an open mind and enjoy (on the whole) well surfaced roads and a nation which isn't completely anti - bike! Watch out for locals on their favourite roads though, they do like to pull you along with them on roads they know well and watch you outbrake yourself......ahem.

Well, that's what the bloke down the pub told me!

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Dec 03

Posts: 317

hairyMuppet says:

Check the local laws


There is the new French law about hi-vis, but I am not sure if this applies yet and if your jacket has reflective panels (most do) it may be enough.

Carry a full set of spare lights and fuses, warning triangle, have a hi-vis in case of breakdown (if not already wearing one, reflective panels on your jacket are not enough in this case), first-aid kit, ownership docs (originals), license (original), passport (original), insurance docs (original), afix beam deflectors, make sure your plate declares "GB" and is 100% legal (afix a "GB" sticker to the bike if the plate is not new-style), if you have a radar detector (or something that could be confused with a radar detector) remove it and ride with dipped beam on during the day.

AIUI the above are legally required and you could face penalties (including having your bike seized) if you do not comply.

General advice

DO NOT drink ride. Not only is it bloody stupid, but the French limits are stricter and the fines severe.

Afix a "Keep right" sticker to the yoke, and learn about the road use differences; if "priorite a droite" means nothing to you, you'd better do some research!

Make sure your driving insurance covers you in Europe (some don't), make sure you are not going to massively exceed your annual mileage limit (contact your insurer), carry breakdown information (this may be in your insurance, make sure it covers Europe; many don't).

Have the bike serviced before you go, probably fit new tyres too if they will need changed during the trip (all depends on the bike really).  Carry some chain lube/oil, gaffer tape, cable ties, puncture repair kit, pressure gauge and make sure your tool-kit is compete (you can carry less if in a group, spreading the weight around).

A phrase book is a good idea, as are up-to-date maps (even if you have GPS, maps don't need batteries).

Make sure your mobile will work, credit-card too.  Consider a pre-paid credit-card.  Medical insurance (make sure it covers motorcycle use, most do not - ask explicitly and get it in writing; check it provides evacuation back to a UK hospital too).  Get your EU health-card (your insurance may require this).

Wear decent gear and take good base layers.  High elevations are cold, even in summer.

If in a group, know how to convoy ride and if one person stops for fuel; all stop for fuel.  Drink bottled water/juice, not coffee/carbonated-sugar-drinks.

Will your arse cope?  Consider something like an "AirHawk" pad; note that gel can get very hot in direct sunshine.

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