some good pointers please, may have a chance to tour europe for a week

Discussion in 'Europe' started by metlcutr55, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Having been overtaken more than once by European scooter riders on their up to 600cc scooters, anyone vertically challenged should at least have a look at what is on offer. All the comforts, low seat height, easy to manoeuvrer, automatic, more widely available and lots cheaper - the list goes on.
    You certainly will not be alone tearing up the Alpine roads or bimbling the more gentle parts. What ever bike you choose, your averages will be limited by terrain and your ball size. Most of us with a wide range of bikes end up averaging similar miles per day.
    Get your self to places like Nice, Monte Carlo or Menton and you will be left for dead by every local on a scooter (it will feel like they have imported a few thousand every rush hour), teenagers, millennials, middle aged, grandma's and pa's. You will be in the biggest group of two wheel riders. By far.

    As far as a licence is concerned, if you have a M/C permit, then you can get an International Drivers Permit - IDP - which is a translation of your domestic entitlement. Get one from your local automobile association. Make sure they check the motorcycle part.
    Only lasts a year, cost a little, but priceless if asked for and you don't have it.
    In over 40 years, I have only ever been treated with courtesy while on a bike, cars pull over to let you pass (unless tourists in hire cars and campers). Phone use while driving is outlawed, although the occasional miscreant may be around, they tend to be a bit more careful. Drink driving is heavily penalised, prison, confiscation of vehicle and its potential destruction tends to keep many drinks where they should be.
    Some countries have on the spot fines for speeding. A hire bike will not save you.

    In most of the places you are likely to be, finding food and accommodation is as simple as stopping and parking. More resources than you can shake a stick at to help you - both online or f2f. Even on here.
    I tend to use cheap chain hotels on liason stages, usually renting an appartment at our destination. Lots of both in most places or a short detour.

    There are more back roads than you can imagine, a lifetime is really not enough to try them all. Many are not mentioned in any of the guide books mentioned. Most are only used infrequently by locals. Googlemaps does not show them all, you have to be there - then make the decision which to take.
    #21
  2. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    Done Europe to death...


    You wont beat ride magazines web site, got to the 8 day tour in Spain... ready made! Tried and tested

    The routes download as gpx files, straight to your sat nav...by far the best roads and scenery in europe in my opinion, empty well maintained mountain rd some times you dont see another car for a hour!

    Spain its crazy cheap
    #22
  3. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Spain isn't in Europe? Who knew!
    #23
  4. LopezXC

    LopezXC Been here awhile

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    Nopes, we are north Africans
    #24
  5. Bovino

    Bovino Been here awhile

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    Mid-summer in the mentioned countries can be miserable as it is plain and simple stinking hot. Even more on the bike. You better stick to the coastal areas then.
    That aside, if MIL coughs up for a river tour on say Mosel and/or Rhine, fucking go for it. Beautiful areas and real good wine. Just rent a scooter on land days.

    Ye, that sure is the case.
    #25
  6. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    +1 - in the USofA they are the American AUTOMOBILE Association (AAA) and they do tend to think "Car" and not "Motorcycle". Verify before you leave. DAMHIK & BTDT.
    #26
  7. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    International drivers permit from AAA is worthless but not useless.
    You can fool ignorant corrupted official looking to extort some coins from foreign drivers. But that was long time ago. Now they are hip to it and would ask for a real thing.
    However it makes cool traveling souvenir.
    #27
  8. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    Not if you're driving in countries that require you to have one - such as Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, and Spain.

    And what is this "real thing" that you refer to? If it's your driver's license, it is required for you to have it in your possession in addition to the IDP.

    'Twould be a pity were you stopped not having one and not permitted to proceed on your trip. At least not with your vehicle.
    #28
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  9. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    IMT in Spain is very well organized company. You can do organized tour or just rent a bike. They work with BMW and have newer ones for rental.
    They have branches in multiple cities. Spain/Portugal is great ride but too hot during summer. May and Septemmber was good. I guess that's why people go to Alps during summer.
    #29
  10. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    The US is not a signatory to at least one of the Conventions on Road Transport. It could be that from a legal standpoint everyone using a US drivers permit should carry an IDP. And show a country identifier sticker. A white oval with USA, in bold.
    Being able to identify yourself and your entitlement to drive, right then, right there, is a thing in many countries.
    It is seen as your obligation to present such information in a form understandable by law enforcement - not part of their remit to be able to understand a foreign language.

    Since 1982ish, I have entered many of the western European countries over 500 times, most before Schengen, so stopping and showing passports etc was a frequent occurrence.
    In all that time, if you add in the latter, about ten years elapsed time travelling in foreign countries. Number of times I was asked for any ID on the road, about 3.
    First caused confusion, because it was so near to lunch time and sarge looked worried about missing his meal. In France, obviously. Yes I was guilty.
    Second was for an advisory, an earth fault had extinguished my obligatory headlamp - thinking back, I don't think he actually asked for documents.
    Third was at a road block/spot check in the middle of nowhere. A very nice lady Gendame flagged me down. I had forgotten to pick up the rucksac with the docs in, an offence in France. I gave her the rental agreement for our apartment. I offered to go back and get it. She smiled and waved us through.

    Add to this a sortie behind the Iron Curtain and points east before that in 1970.
    Actually there were a few more incidents going east. A scam just inside the Bulgarian border, cost "x"Levs. The time when I didn't see the barrier when night travelling through Afganistan - just a tribal "tax collection". Guns were waved, but by then, I thought it best to continue.
    Another scam in the then Yugoslavia, near Niss. A bit more serious, got threatened with jail at that one. Never waste time contacting an embassy.
    #30