Author Topic: Touring Abroad  (Read 7017 times)

NH

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Touring Abroad
« on: November 30, 2013, 07:21:01 PM »
People often ask for advice on what to do to prepare, and take, when planning their first bike trip abroad. Therefore it's a good idea to have a permanent thread where those that have done it can pass on their advice. It can be a library of good advice for people to draw on.

If you've ridden abroad please pass on some of your experience here for others to benefit. It all helps to make things easier for those planning a trip.  :cheers
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.

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NH

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 07:40:30 PM »
Here's a few to start off with.

Make sure your tyres have enough tread left to do the trip and get you home.

Carry a spare set of bulbs.

Carry a few feet of washer tubing for siphoning petrol.

Use the vacuum pack bags from Argos etc to pack clothes, then they only take up half the space. They will also keep them dry.

Carry more than one credit/debit card.

Lubricate your chain at the end of every day. If you're in hot dusty countries like Spain use dry lube as normal oil will attract dirt and grit and damage your chain.

Take spare keys.

A personal opinion but I think a textile jacket is better for touring. More comfy, more pockets for carrying bits and pieces, waterproof if it rains, warm in the cold, vent zips to open if it's hot (they make a BIG difference when it's hot !). I'd recommend carrying a one piece waterproof as well just in case.

A tank bag is very useful for carrying documents, camera, visor wipes, pen & notebook, sunglasses, bottle of water, etc... all the things it's good to be able to put your hands on quick. You don't want to have to keep opening panniers/top boxes etc.

Also always carry some change in the tank bag pockets for quick access for toll roads, saves you struggling to find them in your pockets

Fuel can be bought at many petrol stations on Sundays but in some countries like France you have to pay by card as they're not always manned.

Carry a few assorted nuts, bolts, and cable ties, as things can vibrate loose over a long trip.

A few small self-seal polythene bags are ideal for putting mobile/wallet etc in to keep them dry in pockets. Also perfect for carrying small items like nuts/bolts, and anything else that become hard to find in your luggage. I have a large quantity of these small bags and so anyone needing any just let me know and you're welcome to have some.   :)

Useful to print out a credit-card sized card with your insurance telephone number, policy number, breakdown number and policy number etc and then laminate it to keep it dry. I have the UK telephone numbers on one side and european numbers on the other. 

If using throw-over panniers use some packing tape or similar on the bodywork where the straps/bags are in contact with paintwork. Otherwise over a tour they will most likely mark the paintwork

Remember to change your speedo to read in kph if touring abroad.

If using a satnav make sure you have the latest mapping update. Even then don't assume all the latest roads/junctions will be on it. And don't assume your satnav will agree with your mates satnav if it's a different make, it won't. I think TomTom's are male and Garmins are female as they disagree and argue all the time ! :rolf

If setting your route in Google maps and then downloading it into a satnav do some test runs before you go. This way you'll learn all the little things NOT to do, like setting waypoints on junctions etc. There are various things that can throw the satnav out and have you riding around in circles.

Remember your satnav can find the nearest fuel station if you ask it to. Very handy when you are low and can't find one, or are in the middle of no-where.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 07:43:42 PM by NH »
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freep

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 11:50:32 PM »
If it's hot or particularly dry, fill a camelback bladder with ice and stick it in your tank bag.
This does several things. Allows you to hydrate without stopping. Seeing the hose there reminds you to take a drink in the first place. Finally, if you are riding down the road with a bluetooth headset on the side of your helmet, a GoPro on top and a blue hose coming out the bottom of your helmet you get the damndest looks from people. And isn't that what it's really all about?  :nahnah
Freep

'99 Valkyrie, "The Valley Girl."
'92 Nighthawk 750, "Joanie the Black 'Hawk."

Calling upon my years of experience, I froze at the controls.  ~Stirling Moss

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 08:11:18 PM »
Having suffered myself abroad, I would add to 'carry more than one credit card' - make sure that they are packed separately, maybe one under the seat, the other in your pocket.

If you lose one, make sure you haven't lost both. It can really put the downers on a holiday.

My car was broken into in France, my cards were nicked. Luckily I had all my spare cash hidden under the spare wheel so I was able to get home.

I always carry a small roll of sticky tape, a multi-tool and a puncture sealer/re-inflater device.

It is better to ride too slowly and wish that you were going quicker than to be too quick and wish that you were going slower.

NH

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 09:10:20 PM »
I'd mentioned two credit cards but worth repeating.

For sticky tape I'd recommend duct tape as you can repair all sorts with it. 
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.

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freep

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 05:57:44 PM »
I'd mentioned two credit cards but worth repeating.

For sticky tape I'd recommend duct tape as you can repair all sorts with it.

Huh.

Thought you guys called it 'gaffer tape?'

Desperately disappointing if you've dropped that for the American version.
Freep

'99 Valkyrie, "The Valley Girl."
'92 Nighthawk 750, "Joanie the Black 'Hawk."

Calling upon my years of experience, I froze at the controls.  ~Stirling Moss

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 03:20:05 PM »
All of the above that has been mentioned.
If your using throwover soft panniers, INDIVIDUALLY wrap each item of clothing so that it's waterproof and then put it into a DRY-BAG such as an Ortlieb or similar.
Gaffer tape...definitely, take cash that you can easily access, I have an old camcorder bag that fits nicely around the wife's waist, as we approach tolls etc, she can get everything ready while I concentrate on traffic.

Keep Emergency cash and a card somewhere on the bike itself just in case.
DON'T take shower gel etc...use whatever the hotel has OR if camping buy one bottle between 4 of you..
TESCO in Risca sell the little bottles of toothpaste and deodorant as well..always handy if your a bit sweaty, give a quick squirt before going into a café.

And REMEMBER which side of the road too ride on, especially first thing, I made this mistake myself , then the wife yelled, slapped me in the head and called me rude names , I got onto the correct side of the road PDQ after that.. :fight

Above all, if its your first time, just be careful but above all, ENJOY it, different people, different food, different cultures. BRILLIANT EXPERIENCES. :ride

NH

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 07:24:12 PM »
One tip about what not to pack.......aftershave !   :sad

My missus saw me pack some and it became a big issue... oh yes...!   :o

Long story short the aftershave came back out again.  :rolf
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 07:47:24 PM »
One tip about what not to pack.......aftershave !   :sad

My missus saw me pack some and it became a big issue... oh yes...!   :o

Long story short the aftershave came back out again.  :rolf

Silly boy...IF you tour on your own, buy it out there!!!!!!! Just a small bottle though.

NH

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 07:49:11 PM »
I wasn't touring alone, that was one of the issues....  :rolf

Topic closed !  :Tongue
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 07:55:22 PM »
 :rolf :rolf :rolf :rolf :rolf :rolf :rolf :rolf

Hmmm, were you after Manuel..or Mrs Manuel....or one of those French girls... :lol

NH

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2014, 08:06:25 PM »
Let's talk about the weather again now... :rolleyes:
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 10:03:18 AM »
At least if you go down into Southern France or Spain, you're more or less guaranteed tidy weather.

freep

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014, 01:57:10 AM »

And REMEMBER which side of the road too ride on, especially first thing, I made this mistake myself , then the wife yelled, slapped me in the head and called me rude names , I got onto the correct side of the road PDQ after that.. :fight

Not sure where I saw it but someone going someplace with confusion as to which side of the road to be on put a piece of tape across the bottom of the tach like, "Stay Left Stupid."  :Excited

I shall do that when I get over in May.  :Jump
Freep

'99 Valkyrie, "The Valley Girl."
'92 Nighthawk 750, "Joanie the Black 'Hawk."

Calling upon my years of experience, I froze at the controls.  ~Stirling Moss

freep

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Re: Touring Abroad
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2014, 02:00:26 AM »
At least if you go down into Southern France or Spain, you're more or less guaranteed tidy weather.

Same with the Southwest U.S.

 :Tongue :Tongue
Freep

'99 Valkyrie, "The Valley Girl."
'92 Nighthawk 750, "Joanie the Black 'Hawk."

Calling upon my years of experience, I froze at the controls.  ~Stirling Moss