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  #1  
Old 1 Feb 2011
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Smile European Trip

Hi All,

I have a sneaky feeling that I will be laid off from work this year, so I decided to buy a motorbike and see if I can kill a couple of months soaking up the sights and sounds of Europe. I plan to set off from the UK, then travel through France, down the coast of Italy, across to the 'heel', then catch a ferry to Greece, then up through the Balkans and back to the UK, via whatever route takes my fancy at the time.

As I doubt I won't have much to rush back too, I was wondering if any of you have been to these countries and if you can recommend any places of interest, things to avoid - general tourist stuff really.

I passed my test in 1996, and I finally managed to get my first bike last weekend (seriously!), I brought a BMW R1100GS and after 10 minutes riding, I felt I had always ridden one (I'm sure it didn't look that way though!). Anyway, any advice would be appreciated, especially items to take and leave behind.


Many thanks - Will
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  #2  
Old 1 Feb 2011
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This might be useful:
Balkanology :: Overview :: Introduction
have a great time and drive safe
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  #3  
Old 5 Mar 2011
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euro tour

hi will,my first advice would be to avoid france,and go via germany and switzerland to get to italy.apart from buying a swiss motorway sticker,there are no toll's,so your not stopping all the time,and france can be pretty........my suggestion is to enter italy via the simplon pass/lake maggire route.if you follow the east coast down,the gran sasso mountain range is a great stop-over,also the abruzzo national park nearby.if you go to the `heel`,you must visit sicilli and mt etna,easy ride back up to bari and ferry's to greece.not been to greece for a while,but if your camping,try asking in remote bar's to camp in the garden!we've had some fantasic times when we've done this!!try karavostassi nr areopoli in the south,or when your heading for the balkans,arnissa nr edessa.we stayed at the paradise club,and still laugh.....at prossotsani nr drama.ask for yarni the russian.buy a map in greece.it help's really!hope this has helped,have fun.





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Old 6 Mar 2011
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Pay attention please.If its your first bike, its a mistake to buy 1100 at the beginning. A personal advice of age 56, better to start riding a smaller one at the beginning and never go abroad riding before having a 5-6 years experience in your home country. Every year we rescue about 10 unexperienced riders in natura. Safety first.

The reply to the question where to ride depends on your hobbies.The best way is to look at the map and feel which colors invite your souls.Browns and yellows are adventure, greens nature and blues seaside comfortable holidays.

Best Wishes
zeki avar
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Old 6 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Pay attention please.If its your first bike, its a mistake to buy 1100 at the beginning.
Got to agree .
I went straight on to a ZZR 1100.
With hindsight I was a bloody fool. Luckily I got off with it (so far ).
It would have been better to work my up the power ladder, I think I missed out on a lot of fun that can be had on the smaller more nimble bikes.
Watch your right hand, It can kill you.

But you have your "Big Bike" now so enjoy.

For your first trip to the Continent it may be an advantage to travel with someone else that has done it before.

As for things to take with you - Bring all your dreams and leave all your troubles

I'm going for a run in July ( Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain then back home via the Alps) Maybe our paths will cross.
Have a good one.
Rory
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Old 6 Mar 2011
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As a relatively inexperienced rider (planning on doing off road courses) inspired by lots of similarly inexperienced riders taking off on their big trip I would be interested if the more experienced riders on the HUBB agree with the minimum 5-6 years experience suggested above before you attempt a trip abroad.

A tad overly cautious or on the money?
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Old 6 Mar 2011
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I would say, one year and nearly every day riding is enough if you can control your right hand. 5-6 years.. I wouldn't even be sure if I lived that long

Be careful in Ireland, the roads are narrow, the surfaces are breaking down and every car driver is out to get you Rural France is fine for a starter, that's where I would begin a trip if I was only a learner.
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Old 6 Mar 2011
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Personaly I think 5 or 6 years is a tad over cautious ,whilst agreeing that nothing beats experiance.
The only way to get experiance is by doing it.
I would always tread on the side of caution, but , maybe that's me being an old fart

Rory
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Old 6 Mar 2011
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i agree with you rory.although a good bike,the gs put's out 80ish bhp so it's no animal so if your comfortable rideing in the uk,abroad should'nt be a problem.going to greece and back is a big ask for your first trip in euroland,and if you stay of motorway's you see more of the country of course,but what look's easy on a map can turn into a long hard slog.the d and n road's in france can be wonderful or an absolute nightmare if you need to get somewhere.two month's might be a bit optomistic.take the bare minimum with you,and if you need anything on the road just buy it!enjoy
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Old 6 Mar 2011
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oh,and ride on the right..........sorry





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Old 6 Mar 2011
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Will. No problem as long as you know your hand turn's both way's you should be OK. It look's like our path may cross as we are doing the same thing round about the same time.

Europe 2011

I'm taking a lap top. If you have one also. could keep in touch by mail. But I see you have only made the one post. So i have no idea if you will be back.
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Old 16 Mar 2011
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I am sure you are going to have a fabulous time during your journey and i just would like to wish you all the best for your journey and hope when you come back you will share your experience about the places and even the photographs.
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Old 18 Mar 2011
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if you fancy a practice run first in the company of other bikers have a look at this
Home - CHERNOBYL CHALLENGE 2011
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Old 18 Mar 2011
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Well I can't comment on new riding at your age, as i started riding before i was old enough to legally ride .
The only thing i would suggest is get out on your bike as much as possible with & without some weight on her as if your traveling just to get some practice.

may be if poss do some long / or weekend trips good practice, otherwise enjoy the bike.
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Old 18 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realmc26 View Post
As a relatively inexperienced rider (planning on doing off road courses) inspired by lots of similarly inexperienced riders taking off on their big trip I would be interested if the more experienced riders on the HUBB agree with the minimum 5-6 years experience suggested above before you attempt a trip abroad.

A tad overly cautious or on the money?
In my opinion the number of months/years is not relevant. What is important is putting in plenty of kilometres on the bike you will be using, carrying the luggage that you will be taking on the trip (so you are used to the impact on balance, steering, etc, and on roads and traffic conditions that are typical of where you will be going. After 4 or 5 thousand km, which could take as little as a couple of weeks, you should know yourself whether you are ready or need more experience.
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