Get your bike serviced
Always have your bike serviced as recommended by the manufacturer, this will help prevent any breakdowns and ensure it runs smoothly throughout your trips. Obvious as it sounds, you’d be surprised how many people just go without keeping on top of regular servicing and wonder why things go wrong.
Insurance, Tax & MOTWhen travelling in the UK, or abroad your bike should have enough Tax, MOT and Insurance cover remaining for the full length of your trip; including a little left over to cater for any unexpected delays. In particular ensure you have evidence of “Green Card” for Europe and you have the relevant minimum cover required for every country you intend to visit. And make sure you know exactly what your insurance does and does not cover. Make hard copies of every document and keep them safe.
Driving LicenceIt’s simple – always take your driving licence and keep it on you at all times.
Breakdown CoverCheck with your breakdown provider that you are covered when riding abroad and what your policy covers. Don’t break down in somewhere like Italy and then find out you can’t get you or your bike back to the UK.
Spare BulbsSpare bulbs don’t take up much space and will ensure you are able to travel at night without running the risk of being stuck in the middle of nowhere because you can’t see where you’re going.
Spare Keys and Immobiliser
Take a spare set of keys and if possible an extra immobiliser remote.
LuggagePlease invest in luggage, even if it’s just a bike rack with a soft bag. Relying on cheap bungees to keep loose bags/equipment on your pillion seat is a disaster waiting to happen. (Don’t ask how we know)
Pack as light as possible, 2 or 3 t-shirts will do, one to wear on the bike, one to wear in the hotel/restaurant and one washed and drying. And you don’t need 14 pairs of socks, take 2 or 3 pairs. Take 2 sets of wicking base-layers you can wash them (and your pants/socks/t-shirts) in your hotel room and they’ll dry overnight.
Parts/ToolsPrepare for easy-to-fix eventualities by taking a small tool kit suitable for YOUR BIKE. Along with a bulb kit, fuses, zip ties, insulation/duct tape, 1 Litre of engine oil, warning triangle and a puncture repair kit.
Additional KitEarplugs are absolutely essential bits of kit, no matter how long you’ll be in the saddle hearing protection is necessary. And take a Hi-Vis for those rainy or low light days, in France you need one anyway if you breakdown.
NavigationAlthough Redee will provide you with gpx. files for your Sat Nav, we would encourage you to invest in a traditional travel map, great for getting you out of trouble if your Sat Nav fails.
FuelIdentify petrol stations along your proposed route before you start the journey. Even in some parts of the UK they can be few and far between if you’re travelling away from cities or in very rural areas. As a rule of thumb at all fuel stops cover all of your essentials in one stop; take a rest, go to the loo, get a drink, eat some food, and fill your tank. intend to visit.
Touring Tips for EuropeThe following tips will help you cover all the bases when going on a tour in Europe:
Complying with Road Traffic LawsSome countries require you to carry certain items by law e.g., Hi Viz; so prior to leaving the UK always make sure you check what you need to have with you for each country you intend to visit.
Motorcycle InsuranceCheck with your insurance provider and make sure you are fully insured to travel within the EU.
PassportMake sure you always carry your passport. This is not only useful to get back into the country but also required to register at many continental camp sites/hotels and useful to have if you are crossing a number of borders in your trip.
Vehicle Registration DocumentAll EU countries require you to have the original V5 document with you during your trip for proof that the bike is registered to you. In France the police can detain you if you can’t prove ownership of your bike. Make a copy just in case…
Travel InsuranceMake sure you are covered to travel abroad. It is best to use the EHIC form as a back-up to your existing travel insurance policy.
EHIC FormEuropean Health Insurance Card application forms are available at Post Offices and is useful to have if you are taken ill abroad. EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) application forms are available at Post Offices and is useful to have if you are taken ill abroad.
Now we’re out of the EU you must display a UK badge / sticker when travelling abroad.
Mobile PhoneCheck with your provider to ensure you can make and receive calls when abroad if necessary. Find out what the charges will be for the countries you intend to travel in, so that there are no surprises when your bill arrives! Find out about what, if any, roaming charges may apply and what countries you can use 3G/4G?
A very handy (if not essential) item to pack, it will allow you to charge your devices when abroad.
Security AbroadDo all that you can to prevent theft when travelling abroad by never leaving valuables with your bike when you leave it unattended. Please don’t leave credit cards, passports, travel documentation with your bike. Without them you really are in trouble. Rather than taking cash use traveller’s cheques. If traveller’s cheques are lost/stolen they can be replaced. Ensure to tell bank/building soc card provider you’ll be abroad.