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Anonymous

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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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snev

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Jan 11

Posts: 7842

snev says:

hairymuppet

god man I fell asleep for a bit.

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hairyMuppet

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Dec 03

Posts: 317

hairyMuppet says:

snev

Not my fault, I didn't pass the laws nor set the limits on insurance policies.  Would you rather someone follow the "toobthruch and underpants" advice and run the risk of fines, loss of bike or massive medical bills?

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SatNavSteve

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Sep 10

Posts: 1284

SatNavSteve says:

Hairymuppet!

I don't think a warning triangle is neccessary on a bike and neither is a reflective jacket if you are already wearing hi viz. You only need those with a 4 wheel vehicle which is stopped on the road, you should be able to put your faulty bike on the pavement or off-road somewhere out of the way. Your fuse box will already have spares in it, never seen one that didn't. And as for getting done for speeding coz your peage ticket says you have been going too fast, well I've never known that happen to anyone. Surely you would have to have a gendarme at every peage booth to enforce the law if that was the case. A few years ago, me and 3 mates did 200 miles in just over 2 hours on the Autoroute one Sunday morning coz it was empty and no-one penalised us when we paid the ticket so I think its an old wives tale. Also, French Gatsos don't work for us because the French don't have an agreement to divulge drivers details with the English so don't panic if you see one. I got zapped last year and I'm still waiting!

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snev

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Jan 11

Posts: 7842

snev says:

hairy muppet

sorry didn't mean to be rude. I guess there are an awfull amount of rules nowadays compared to a few years ago.

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SatNavSteve

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Sep 10

Posts: 1284

SatNavSteve says:

And two more pearls......

Fill up around every 100 miles even if you can go a lot further coz it can be a long way between garages, especially on Sundays when most are shut. Also, don't wait till around lunch time coz they shut for around 2 hours as well. And if you are navigating by map, remember that you are most likely to find the name of the next village on the road sign for the route you have to take, even if a major town is 25 miles up the same road and thats where you want to go. Memorise the road number you want, that should give you some idea of whether you are going in the right direction. Anyway, if you get lost, its all part of the fun. Just say you are taking the scenic route!

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hairyMuppet

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Dec 03

Posts: 317

hairyMuppet says:

snev

Nah, didn't think you were rude at all.  99.999% of the time nothing will happen, but it's the 0.001% one should plan for.

satnavsteve: I think in Franch the toll-booth speed check is a myth; not sure about Italy.  You may be right about the cameras (I thought that was changing), but if one gets pulled by plod it can be a different story.

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sar02

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Aug 10

Posts: 55

sar02 says:

europe travel

Bikers in Europe stick their right foot out as they overtake,its their hello gesture, travelling on the toll routes are expensive so have a good map with toll and free motorways marked up, highly recommended you get bike breakdown cover, such as provided by Carol Nash, watch out when approaching roundabouts and junctions, far to easy to forget yourself and end up driving on the left, puncture repair a must plus high vis jacket strapped on to luggage in case its needed and to show the cops youv,e got one and breathalizer kit just to be on the safe side, try going down to the south of France and see Monaco, very nice, have loads of fun.

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RoadTrekker

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Sep 11

Posts: 48

RoadTrekker says:

What to take with you

France seems to be the most difficult country on a motorbike as you need a trailer to carry everything that there laws require. To put it into perspective I would recommend the following for all countries. 1. First aid kit 2. Spare set of bulbs and fuses 3. Puncture repair kit with levers and Tyre guage all the garage ones are not accurate 4. High Viz jacket or slip over (no need for triangles they are for 4+ wheelers). France also requires high viz spots on your helmet!!!! 5. A good tool kit, including a small socket set, torch, knife, zip ties, rag, electrical insulation tape, 12volt tester/ screwdriver, molegrips. 6. Spare chain links 7. Good bike lock and chain(you never know where you will park especially in Italy) 8. Breatherlizer (French requirement) dissposable type get them on the ferry 9. GPS Sat Nav( In France it is illigal to have radar and speed cameras on your Sat Nav they can check it) 10. Good set of road maps and pocket compass if you do not have a sat nav. 11. Mobile phone with full European coverage and roaming.(12v charging cable to plug into your bike) 12. Helmet visor cleaning cloths and liquid and a spare visor 13. Headlight deflector for wrong side of the road at night 14. Second copy of passport or at least photocopies of your original. Embassies in Europe do not provide emergancy passports now, they are all issued in Germany (makes you laugh when you think about it!) and it takes 4-6 weeks. 15 Photocopies of your bike registration documents and insureance That is the minimium that I carry and it does not take much room most of it sits under my seat on my FJR1300 the rest is in my tank bag where it easy to get to. Keep plenty of loose change and notes in your tank bag or somewere where it is to get to when you are at toll booths and all your documents in case the police want your autograph.. Also be warned that a lot of garages close for 2 hours durring lunch 12-14:00hrs so you will have to find one with cash vending dispencing but most garages will be closed. The trouble is that they give out fixed amounts of fuel(5, 10, 20 Euros) and no change and most do not accept credit cards. I never had any problems with road tolls and speeding but that does not say it cannot not happen you could get pulled if the old bill are bored, best to stay within the limits. I once got pulled in Germany on the Autobahn by a police helicopter who radioed ahead to a police car to pull me in, it had photos of me with the speed!! The list can go on, it just depends on how old/reliable your bike is, where you are going and when. usualy you will not be far from help, house or passing traffic. Usualy the biggest problem is the languages. Just Go for it!

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SatNavSteve

Joined:

Sep 10

Posts: 1284

SatNavSteve says:

Roadtrekker!

If you had read the other comments, you could have saved yourself a lot of typing as most has been said already. However, you sound more like you are heading for the Road of Bones than France! Spare chain links are useless as most chains are endless and manufacturers don't recommend them as they fly off. If your chain snaps on the M way, I think a split link will be the last thing you need as snapping chains can often wrap themselves around the wheel/smash the crankcase etc or if you are lucky, just launch itself at the vehicle behind. Finally, if you have problems with the language, learn some! Any foreigner will have more respect for you and be prepared to help if you at least make an effort to speak the language rather than standing there and blabbing in English expecting them to understand every word. I've been to nightschool for French, German and Spanish. I only know the basics but it helps. And finally, finally, get good breakdown cover. Me and the wife have had cause to use it twice whilst abroad (with Carole Nash's wonderful cover). Last time, I had a puncture in eastern France and they had a pick up truck to me in 25 minutes!!

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Hedgehog5

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 2319

Hedgehog5 says:

Copy scans of all of your travel docs, insurance, breakdown cover, passport & send them to your web email account (in a passworded zip if you're completely paranoid)... then all you need is an internet cafe if it all goes wrong.

If you get wet split your kit into wet for on the bike, & dry kit for when you've stopped until you can get everything dried out... nothing worse than being permanently cold & wet.

Put some brightly coloured tape or similar around your right wing mirror (or prominently on the right side of your field of vision) to remind you to ride on the right... & take it off when you get back!

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