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  #1  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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european bike requirements.

me and a few mates are off to italy soon and i'm trying to find out what we legally need to take us as far as bike stuff goes.

do we or do we not require the following:

hi vis vest.
bulb set.
first aid kit.
triangle.
light deflectors.

we're going through france and switzerland as well, BTW.


cheers

rich.
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  #2  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Never heard of having to have a traingle on a bike.... yet . Hi Viz vest yes in many countries the rest are advisable options. Headlamp beam defelctors are a good idea especially if you are driving in the dark - more for the fact it will stop oncoming cars flashing you and blinding you with super powerful xenon laser beam powered search lights !!!
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  #3  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTS Rich View Post
me and a few mates are off to italy soon and i'm trying to find out what we legally need to take us as far as bike stuff goes.

do we or do we not require the following:

hi vis vest.
bulb set.
first aid kit.
triangle.
light deflectors.

we're going through france and switzerland as well, BTW.


cheers

rich.

I have never taken any of this stuff (through France, Switzerland, Italy and many other Euro countries) except the headlight deflectors. Don't buy the ones out of halfords for a tenner. They are a total waste of money. Just use some black insulating tape. Not only are the halfords ones a rip-off, they leave a manky mess on your headlights which is well nigh impossible to get off.

Pretty sure you don't need any of the other items. Drivers are meant to carry triangles, but on a bike this is impractical.



Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #4  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Light deflectors, bulbs and first aid kits are a legal requirement in most of Europe. Having said that the first aid kit is the only thing I ever carry (I don't ride at night, would consider deflectors if I did) and that's through choice not the desire to stay legal!
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  #5  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
I have never taken any of this stuff (through France, Switzerland, Italy and many other Euro countries) except the headlight deflectors. Don't buy the ones out of halfords for a tenner. They are a total waste of money. Just use some black insulating tape. Not only are the halfords ones a rip-off, they leave a manky mess on your headlights which is well nigh impossible to get off.

Pretty sure you don't need any of the other items. Drivers are meant to carry triangles, but on a bike this is impractical.



Matt
I agree with Matt's comments 100%. Just remember to carry your original VO5 and Insurance docs in France.No photocopies. Or they can, if they wish, keep your bike till you do produce them. You will however, find French cops friendly and easy to get on with. The Swiss can be absolutely pedantic and rigid. The Italians - dangerous driving will be your worry there.
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  #6  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
The Italians - dangerous driving will be your worry there.
Very much so. The average Italian thinks the stopping distance of a Fiat Bravado (or whatever they are called) at 120kph is 2 metres. They also think that pulling out into the next lane to overtake a motorbike is a ridiculous waste of effort and as long as their wing mirror clears yours by twenty centimetres, they are driving in a responsible manner. I have probably flipped the bird to more Italians than all the other nationalities of driver I have encountered put together!

Ride defensive and never assume an Italian is even fully awake, never mind in control of their vehicle!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #7  
Old 11 Aug 2008
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Hi

Just done a short tour in France and from a legal point of view you need:
Headlight deflectors
High vis vest for each person
Bulb set
Warning triangle - although no one could answer my question as to wether it applies to bikes

First aid kits are not compulsory in France - but I always carry one anyway

We heard on the grapevine over there that the police were fining foreign drivers if they had broken down/ involved in a accident and did not have the above on them.

Becky

PS If you are travelling on the Italian toll roads with other bikes, make sure you pass the automated toll booth with plenty of space between the bikes - I stopped next to my partners and brought the toll road to an abrupt halt!
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  #8  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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I've done about 20000 mls round Europe over the past few years and never taken any of the above
Been pulled several times and the only thing I've been asked for is my passport.
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  #9  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by mcgiggle View Post
I've done about 20000 mls round Europe over the past few years and never taken any of the above
Been pulled several times and the only thing I've been asked for is my passport.
It's weight versus risk. Imagine getting pulled for a blown tail light then cutting yourself on the pannier lid getting your documents out. Most European coppers will tell you to ride carefully to the next service station and sort it out. Sgt. Not-having-relations-with-the-missus will do you for the tail light (€30), not having the bulb kit (€50), not having the first aid kit (€50), breaking down without a Triangle (€50) and will then make you call a recovery truck to replace the lamp (€100 because RAC and AA don't cover this). You are now short of a hundred quid plus and have lost 4 hours.

Chances are this won't happen, but the first aid kit and bulb kit weigh nothing and are usful to you. The vest or Sam Browne thingy are no hassle either and could be wrapped round a helmet to double for your "lost" triangle. This hopefully avoids annoying the one awkward copper if you do meet them.

The lights are worth doing ith tape unless you really will never ride at dusk or in the rain. Even then carry the tape so you can sort it if plans change. The Halfords things actually have too settings, sticky headlight for life or fall off before you get off the ferry

I never had any hassle with the Italian drivers. They seemed very much in control even though their idea of traffic laws was more as guidance than a rigid system. Now if you want to be scared try any Belgian town on market day. Wet cobbles and hundreds of small Renault mounted OAP's who never took a driving test.....

Andy
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  #10  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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AA website now says:-

'the french road safety department has now confirmed that

"from the first of october 2008, all drivers of vehicles, including vehicles registered outside of France must have one warning triangle and one reflective jacket in their vehicle. this does not apply to two or three wheeled vehicles"

up to this point in time, apparently it is just "recommended" that you carry these items, as well as a first aid kit and a set of bulbs.

having said that, who wants to get into a legal argument with a french copper.
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  #11  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
They also think that pulling out into the next lane to overtake a motorbike is a ridiculous waste of effort and as long as their wing mirror clears yours by twenty centimetres, they are driving in a responsible manner.

Matt
That's the infuriating manoeuvre I was thinking of !- so many of them do it and it can be really scary how often it happens on a motorway...... So glad to get out of Italy.....
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  #12  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by UTS Rich View Post
having said that, who wants to get into a legal argument with a french copper.
They are only interested in your registration/insurance/license. If you have them and they are yours, its no problem.

Quads are also exempt from the triangle/hi-vis-vest nonsense.

John
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Old 12 Aug 2008
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by 'vehicles' the AA means cars, their target audience. I spend a fair amount of mileage in France and Spain, and warning triangles and hi-viz vests are not required for bikes in reality. Despite the ambiguous wording in the bits of info you find.

passport, v5, insurance doc and dipped headlights on in daytime are requirements for bikes. Oh, and not riding like an idiot helps too.

if you've ever ridden towards someone that has full beam on then you'll realise why you should use light deflectors.
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  #14  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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If considering headlamp deflectors consider your headlamp lens material.
If glass there is no problem.
But
If it is a plastic material, as on many bikes, the adhesive (or solvents within the adhesive) can sometimes interact with the plastic and leave a mark afterwards. Take advice from the deflector supplier/manufacturer.
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  #15  
Old 12 Aug 2008
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Reflective vests

I have heard it said it should not just be 'in the vehicle' but must be in the passenger area of the vehicle - not the luggage boot.

The principle being that you have it on before you get out of the vehicle!
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