My first bike trip, South of Portugal, Lisbon/algarve

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by xrotivx, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. xrotivx

    xrotivx Adventurer

    Apr 3, 2013
    Hello fellow riders, i am planning my first “long” trip on motorbike and I really appreciated if you, seasoned riders, could point me out some general guidelines. You see, I am newbie in every sense of the word, not only in this adv riding thingy, but also on the bike world in general.

    It was only a couple of months ago I got my driver’s license and brought a bike. I always liked driving in general and slowly become somewhat passionate about cars. But the thing is, cars are to dam expensive, at least for me and in my country, especially with the economic crisis that we are going trough right now. Its very difficult to live with any type of “drivers” car, even old ones. I am talking about something gasoline powered, rwd with decent hp that can take on a corner. The maintenance/parts are expensive because this type of cars are rare here, they usually consume lots of gas and in Europe everyone knows this is a major problem, the best thing you can hope for is a hot hatch but… well I digress.. So I turned my attention to bikes, maintenance is much simpler, parts are cheaper, the gas mileage is pretty decent even on high powered machines and if you really wish it, you can go after your dream bike, or something very close to it for the price off a small car and it can go as fast as a Ferrari if you are into that kind of thing, try that car world... And the best part is the fun factor, oh boy, this was expected but still surprised me. I will never forget the first time I drove the driving school bike. You could feel everything, you could see all around you and the acceleration on a bike is just exhilarating. I was driving a 125cc but it seemed something much faster at the time. And btw bikes are just cooler, period xD. The only problem is the safety side, this things are dangerous, it still baffles me how its illegal to drive without any seatbelt on, but you can buy this metal thing that puts a big engine beneath your god given balls without anything to protect around you besides what your wear and thank god for that :D

    With safety being a real concern I looked for something very user friendly in terms of power and handling with one major requirement ABS. I was looking for the new cb500 or the nc700x but money is a problem so I got away with a dirty cheap 2004 Honda cbf600 sa. The mileage isn’t that great, she’s a little bit heavy in the city but everything else is great, loads of power for a newbie and it’s a great all rounder, I definitely feel she can take me everywhere and iam counting on the famous Honda reliability…

    So i have a weak off work in the end of this month and I was planning to take some holidays abroad with a certain someone but the whole thing has gone south… So I thought this is perfect, it’s spring and good weather is finally coming. I can make my first bike trip!

    First I thought why not go around my country, which is Portugal, I always wanted to get to know it better and it’s a shame I don’t know it better. We all should get to know our own country to really value it and to get a better sense of what’s out there. Portugal isn’t that big, 2000 kilometers and you can easily go around it. But for a beginner this sounded a little bit too much.

    For a more easy trip, I decided to cut Portugal in 2. The North part of Portugal seems more dangerous with loads of mountains, more gruesome weather and maybe more traffic. The south side is much plainer with smaller mountains, warmer weather and lower population. I decided to take the south side first, it seems easier for me on paper and leave the upper part of Portugal for a latter day, maybe the summer.

    In the first day i am going from Lisbon to Moura ( ), in the second day Moura to Sagres ( ) and finally on the third day Sagres to Lisbon ( ). I am planning on sleeping in some kind of motel on Moura, in sagres my granddad owns a summer house there so problem solved. This is a good thing,I didn’t want to go camping on my first trip because you have to bring lots of stuff just to sleep and have a meal, this adds weight and that’s bad for a beginner like me.

    Btw the packing is a little issue iam having, I only have a one helmet sized givi case. Do you think I also should get a tankbag? Any special advice on clothes I should bring? And what about the gps. I am planning on getting those cheap chinese gps mounts put my phone in there and used it as a gps and somehow hook it up with the bike in order to keep it charged. For the photos, I’am planning on borrowing a compact camera for the trip. Later on I plan on getting a nicer camera.

    Well I hope this isn’t to big a of an adventure for a rookie like me, especially going alone, any comments will be appreciated and sorry English isn’t my native language.

    Ride Safe

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

    Aug 8, 2010
    S W France my little bit of paradise
    1st thing is enjoy it :clap as you're Portugese the language isn,t a problem and a paper map never failed me so no worries about the GPS

    Clothing'll only need light stuff in the top box as is shoud be warm enough and if it does get cool just put the bike gear back on.

    A tank bag is very usefull and worth having and you could always get a small rucksack/ back pack

    I see from you maps you've planed easy doable kms each day , normally new riders try to do much in one day

    The compact camera is more than good enough and its SMALL

    Lastly give the bike a good once over , check.......... oil ,chain,brakes ,lights and all cables it's worth carring a spare clutch cable , i thread one along side the one on the bike , if it brakes it's easy to fix

    Have a good one mate and lets see the pics

  3. xrotivx

    xrotivx Adventurer

    Apr 3, 2013
    First of all, thanks for the reply Phill ;)
    Well, iam starting to think that my top case will be more than enough, I plan on using my riding gear during the day and after all its only 2 nights which I will be sleeping indoors. I will try to burrow a tank bag from a friend but I don’t feel like spending money on one, will see. Anyway ,if I absolutely have to, I can take a nice comfortable backpack I own, although iam not to keen on carrying it all day, I will try to carry it around during my daily riding to test drive the idea.

    I only posted half the route maps by mistake.
    This is the whole trip:
    Etapa 5
    Etapa 6

    Its around 350 km per day, half in the morning half in the afternoon. I didn’t want to do many km per day because I want to see as much as possible in the towns, historical landmarks and the scenery I am passing by, take some time to eat well take some pictures and relax. After all I am on vacations, no need to hurry .
    About the gps, I plan on getting this little thing from Givi, for my mobile (with gps) phone although I will definitely take a map to.
    About the bike, she had a major service done around 500 km ago, so iam kind of relaxed about this subject. The only thing that’s bugging me is sometimes it’s a pain in the ass to get the engine going in the morning, I never had something with carburetors so this hole ritual of starting a cold engine it’s a little awkward for someone who always had injected cars. Sometimes it takes 3 to 4 tries to get it going, sometimes it’s on the first. Buy I will talk with my mechanic about this tomorrow, although difficult she never failed me in the morning.
    Ride Safe
  4. catweasel67

    catweasel67 Honda XRV 750 RD04

    Aug 18, 2009
    Vienna, Austria

    Years ago I rode down from the UK to Faro (for the Moto de Faro). Used nothing but a seatbag, a tank bag and my tent. Loved it.

    If you have the time, take a weekend, pack as if for your week's trip and go away for the night. See what's needed, what's not. Well worth it.

    Or pack, then unpack, and remove half :evil