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  #16  
Old 29 Apr 2009
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Have you used VIAMICHELIN at all? Its great advantage for route planning is that it uses the same Michelin mapping as the err maps (the paper ones that is). You've got a range of different styles of journey you can pick too, which actually aren't too bad, sadly you can only put two stop overs in per trip, so you'll have to break your route down a bit. You can get it to give you hotels, restaurants or things to see too.

There's actually a vaguely accurate fuel/cost calculator on it too, and if you want to tweak it you can adjust the fuel price to match your consumption. Viamichelin's average bike gets 13.66 miles per litre.

So if your bike does 20 miles a litre, then the calculations would be:
13.66 / 20 = 0.683
0.683 * price at the pumps = fuel price you put in viamichelin.
And if your bike does 10 miles a litre, then the calculations would be:
13.66 / 10 = 1.366
1.366 * price at the pumps = fuel price you put in viamichelin.
It's obviously no substitute for the more sophisticated route planners, but to get a rough idea it's not too bad.
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  #17  
Old 7 May 2009
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Oh, thanks Alex. Didn't notice your above post. I'll look into that. The fuel calculator especially would come in handy.

I've just come across a few dilemmas. Seems like I'll probs be doing this trip after all as all the others are pulling out (friends eh...) so thanks to the guy who mentioned the Moto-camp link. Might be using one of them after all.

Also, I was planning to buy some new wheels for my DRZ as it's an SM model and most tyres don't fit the current size 17s I have. I've just lost a bit of money elsewhere so I won't be able to afford the £300-600 for these wheels.

Question is, for all those who've driven around France on a bike, do you think I could make it around the 10-14 days with just the original road tyres?

Another option I've been given is to put a Pirelli MT60R Corsa tyre on the front - Amazon.com: Pirelli MT 60-R Dual Sport Rear Tire - 160/60VR-17/--: Automotive and a Continental TK80 or Bridgestone TW302 on the back?

The dealer for the tyres was insinuating that whilst having road tyres may make the riding a little harder, it wouldn't make it impossible. But with a 27ltr tank on the bike + full panniers & duffel bag on the back I'm not sure it's such a good idea.
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  #18  
Old 7 May 2009
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Originally Posted by Terramax View Post
Question is, for all those who've driven around France on a bike, do you think I could make it around the 10-14 days with just the original road tyres?
I wouldn't have thought the 2500 (ish) miles that your route will cover would wear out a set of tyres on a DRZ although it will depend on how soft the rubber is. My heavier 600 CCM gets through a rear MT21 knobbly in about 4000 miles but a harder rubber Mich Desert lasts about double that and just about all the 30 - 40 bhp road bikes I've had would do about 10,000 on a mid range rear. Tyre wear wasn't a problem for me when I did your route as the Land Rover does about 50,000 on the fronts and 65,000 on the rears!

If you've got a 27L tank that'll sort out the other problem with touring - garages never seem to be open when you need them. There's loads of posts on here about UK credit cards not working in French automated pumps so just bear it in mind. It's not a big problem especially with a big tank but sooner or later you'll end up somewhere rural on a Sunday with an empty tank and only a UK card. We've all done it!

I've just been musing about my next two trips to France, trying to work out whether I can get my old 60's Lotus Elan down to our place in the Alps (and back, hopefully) when it hasn't moved more than the length of my drive (about 15 feet) in over 10 yrs. Failing that whether I could get my 1970 H1 500 Kawasaki to Reims for a meeting at the old Gueux circuit at the end of Sept. This one depends on whether I can carry enough spark plugs!
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  #19  
Old 7 May 2009
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Thanks. But what I mean is, would it be safe to use road tyres? Or should I really buy duel purpose tyres? If I'm not likely to have any problems with these tyres I won't waste the money - put it towards buying the wheels for the next, major trip.
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  #20  
Old 8 May 2009
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This may be the Motocamp site mentioned by a previous poster :

French motorcyle campsites

Phil
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  #21  
Old 8 May 2009
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Thanks mate. I sure will be looking into some of these campsites. Might see more likeminded people to hob-nob with and feel safer.
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  #22  
Old 10 May 2009
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I spent some time last year at the bottom part of Lake Geneva, Amphion le Bain near Evian, wonderful area take the bike round some great mountain roads up into Morzine and you can get Evian water FREE out of the fountain if you can get the restauranteurs out of the way!

Alan Rogers ROCKS!! you will not go wrong with this guide, well laid out and full of info.

Enjoy your trip
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  #23  
Old 10 May 2009
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Heard of this book? Cool Camping - Cool Camping France book meant to be great.

Carcassonne does get busy but there's some great biking to the south with an equally good campsite (in my link below - my neighbours) that a few HUBBers have stayed at & free 'Alet' water which is sold all over the region & further afield.

Kira
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  #24  
Old 14 May 2009
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I think I read that book before at a store and it seemed to be nothing that special. Not thorough enough information. I've bought one of their books before and, to be frank, half of it was a waste of paper.
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  #25  
Old 22 May 2009
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I cant help with suggestions as i was reading it to find out the best for me as well. Me and Mrs.X will be heading that way in July

So thanks every one
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  #26  
Old 5 Jun 2009
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... Looks like I'll be buying that Alan Rogers book
I have that book, and it's been quite useful in the past. One point to note; if it says "Camping Naturelle" it means that everyone's starkers, not that it's a very scenic site. Live n learn ...


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  #27  
Old 23 Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by Terramax View Post
Thanks. But what I mean is, would it be safe to use road tyres? Or should I really buy duel purpose tyres? If I'm not likely to have any problems with these tyres I won't waste the money - put it towards buying the wheels for the next, major trip.
What type of riding do you do normally? Are you a duel on-road off-road rider or are you on just on the tarmac the whole time? If your on the tarmac the whole time I wouldnt worry about the road tyres. If your doing a bit of offroading, these tyres wont give you alot of confidence and the likely hood of punctures would be greater. Not sure if you can get tourances for your bike? These would be a good comprimise between on and off road. Probably 80% road and 20% offroad.

Sambo

Edit: Also try this crowd The Visor Shop - in the north of Ireland. They have better prices for tyres and also shipping is free on anything over £100. You can then go to your local dealer and get him to fit the tyres for you. You should be able to save a few bob this way
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  #28  
Old 9 Aug 2009
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I have camped for many years in France, using the Green Michelin guide. I can honestly say that I have never been anywhere bad by using that book. The only really duff site I have ever been to in France (we didn't stay on it, we scarpered quick) was the one time we thought to ignore the Michelin and find our own. Some excellent, some merely OK, but never bad.

I rate the Camping Municipal very highly. They are usually run by the local authority, so they are a bit - well - municipal, but they are always clean and with good basic facilities, even if the locations are sometimes a bit naff.

If you don't want to plan ahead (and I never do), just start looking for somewhere about 4 pm. Using this method, I have never been without somewhere to lay my head. Travelling out of season, you might want to check which sites are open first, but otherwise just go with the flow and enjoy.

The French 'do' camping really well - there's no country like it.
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  #29  
Old 12 Aug 2009
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I'm off across France in early September so am grateful the advice on this thread. Have picked up a copy of the Michelin guide. Fear of communication problems has lead me to rush through France in the past on the autoroute, this time I intend to stick to the normal roads and enjoy myself.
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  #30  
Old 21 Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by Polo View Post
I'm off across France in early September so am grateful the advice on this thread. Have picked up a copy of the Michelin guide. Fear of communication problems has lead me to rush through France in the past on the autoroute, this time I intend to stick to the normal roads and enjoy myself.
Cool! How early? I'm going on the 12th... alone now. All 4 people on my trip pulled out... friends

Can't wait, although I'll find it a bit daunting as my first time travelling alone.

One quick question, what is 'unleaded' in French? Is it 'Sans-plomb' or have I got the complete wrong end of the internet french phrasebook? I just wanna make sure I don't completely mess things up by putting the wrong fuel in.

In fact, are there any other typical mistakes that people make that could have seriously consequences that people can think off (words or pictures that people missunderstand)?
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