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  #1  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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First European Tour - Help us plan!

After we finish uni, a mate and I plan to do a 2 or so week tour of Europe.

I'm getting a brand new Hornet 600. Will be doing my DAS at the end of May having done 3 or so months on a Varadero 125 and clocked up around 700 miles.

My mate who is doing an intensive DAS course in a couple of weeks plans to get a new Er-6n.

A member on here gave a really good route, which we are thinking of doing:

Quote:
I would take the channel tunnel, ride back roads thru France towards Besancon, then ride north along the Route des Grandes Alpes towards Evian on Lake Geneva. Then head across Switzerland and northern Italy to the Dolomites around Cortina d'Ampezzo (do yourself a favour and base yourself somewhere round here for a couple of days. Every road in the Dolomites is a winner). Then head to Ljubljana, across Hungary to central Slovakia, then head back via Czech republic (maybe southern Poland), Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. The large section of this route between Besancon and Ljubljana is fantastic for biking, though I generally love biking thru all of rural France and Germany too.
Firstly, do you think the distance is manageable in two weeks?

How would you change it and why?

Is there any advice you can give us, as it will be our first tour?
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  #2  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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And cheers for your help guys!
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  #3  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Yup, it seems very do-able in the timeframe you have. I did 2 weeks doing Provence (via Massif Central)/CinqueTerra (doing a days walking too)/Florence-Siena/Venice (day there too)/Cortina/Italian Alps to Sestriere/Chamonix/Rhine Valley to Spa for the F1.
Stick to the lumpy bits and it'll be sweet... sweet dreams!
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  #4  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garthunkle View Post
After we finish uni, a mate and I plan to do a 2 or so week tour of Europe.

I'm getting a brand new Hornet 600. Will be doing my DAS at the end of May having done 3 or so months on a Varadero 125 and clocked up around 700 miles.

My mate who is doing an intensive DAS course in a couple of weeks plans to get a new Er-6n.

A member on here gave a really good route, which we are thinking of doing:



Firstly, do you think the distance is manageable in two weeks?

How would you change it and why?

Is there any advice you can give us, as it will be our first tour?
Hornet is not a good touring bike from luggage and tank size point of view, don't know about ER-6n I'm afraid.
What total distance are we talking here ?
Do you want to include any sightseeing / strolling about / not using the bike days ?
Won't new bikes need some sort of early service after the first thousand or so miles ?
How are you going to carry your luggage ?
Do you want any long distance days in there ?
Will you be happy with long distance days ?
I think on your first trip you ought to try a smaller tour first to see what you think about it all and possibly consider something secondhand as your first bike and also consider something that can carry some luggage.
Having said all that I've used a 600 Hornet for a few small tours and it managed very well.
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  #5  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler View Post
Hornet is not a good touring bike from luggage and tank size point of view, don't know about ER-6n I'm afraid.
What total distance are we talking here ?
Do you want to include any sightseeing / strolling about / not using the bike days ?
Won't new bikes need some sort of early service after the first thousand or so miles ?
How are you going to carry your luggage ?
Do you want any long distance days in there ?
Will you be happy with long distance days ?
I think on your first trip you ought to try a smaller tour first to see what you think about it all and possibly consider something secondhand as your first bike and also consider something that can carry some luggage.
Having said all that I've used a 600 Hornet for a few small tours and it managed very well.
Hmm some valid questions.

the new Hornet has a stubby exhaust so I don't think there should be a problem with Luggage?

The tank size is deifnately a downside of the Hornet, the new one is 19 liters. How does that stack up to the rest?

I'm really not sure on total mileage at the moment as this isn't a firm route, but I would gestimate around 2000+ miles.

We would definitely like days off as this is much a chance to relax as well as adventure. I think we could stretch the time to around three weeks. We have no problems with jobs (they start in July). The issue is we have to find a flat in London and go to graduation ceremonies etc.

I think we would definitely want some long distance days as this would give us something to talk about! t the same time we want to be able to appreciate what we are traveling through rather than trying to get somewhere.

De to the type of work we will both be doing, there will not be much chance to do something like this again for the next few years. So whilst we may be 'inexperienced' and somewhat 'ill-equipped' it is the right time to do it and we are ready for the challenge.
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  #6  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garthunkle View Post
Hmm some valid questions.

the new Hornet has a stubby exhaust so I don't think there should be a problem with Luggage?

The tank size is deifnately a downside of the Hornet, the new one is 19 liters. How does that stack up to the rest?

I'm really not sure on total mileage at the moment as this isn't a firm route, but I would gestimate around 2000+ miles.

We would definitely like days off as this is much a chance to relax as well as adventure. I think we could stretch the time to around three weeks. We have no problems with jobs (they start in July). The issue is we have to find a flat in London and go to graduation ceremonies etc.

I think we would definitely want some long distance days as this would give us something to talk about! t the same time we want to be able to appreciate what we are traveling through rather than trying to get somewhere.

De to the type of work we will both be doing, there will not be much chance to do something like this again for the next few years. So whilst we may be 'inexperienced' and somewhat 'ill-equipped' it is the right time to do it and we are ready for the challenge.
Oh yes, sorry, new Hornet exhaust is different to my 1999 model.
I've done a few shortish (1200 / 1500 miles) trips on my Hornet using a tankbag and a rucksack and although I'm not a big fan of rucksacks it worked, but I wouldn't recommend it.
I averaged something like 180 miles a day with a longest day of something like 350 miles which was enough for me.
I did find I was constantly looking for petrol stations though and if I came across one I filled up whether I needed it or not.
But at the end of the day it worked.
If you don't know about it the Hornet's Nest site contains a wealth of information about the beasts at Honda Hornet - The Hornet's Nest - www.hondahornet.co.uk
Have a good trip and enjoy.
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  #7  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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doable yes, advisable ?

Hi

The route is certainly doable although whether you want to
do it does depend on your aims.

Given the relative lack of biking experience I'd recommend
chopping off the Slovakia bit and also omitting Poland.
Driving standards are lower in Central / Eastern Europe
and you're already up against the "wrong side of road"
and other continental driving issues which given you'll
be just through DAS are enough to be getting on with.

You're accomodation choices will have a lot to do with
the cost and timing.
Were it me I'd head for the Med, see plenty of the Alps and Dolomites
and not risk being on the wrong side of Europe with
little time to get back.

A common mistake is trying to bite off too much
daily mileage. Planning on more than 200-300 miles a day
needs to be considered carefully.
(Particularly if two such days would double the bike
mileage accumulated so far over your lifetime)

DF
Wroclaw, Poland
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  #8  
Old 21 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler View Post
Hornet is not a good touring bike from luggage and tank size point of view, don't know about ER-6n I'm afraid.

I think on your first trip you ought to try a smaller tour first to see what you think about it all and possibly consider something secondhand as your first bike and also consider something that can carry some luggage.
Having said all that I've used a 600 Hornet for a few small tours and it managed very well.
All good advice, especially on buying used.

The ER6 is a decent bike. I know a lad who races one. I believe the engine has a lot in common with the KLE so should be reliable enough.

I took the DAS route and IMHO, you just get taught the absolute minimum you need to get through the test and an intensive course would make matters worse. With this in mind, do it but make sure you get at least a couple of thousand miles experience on the types of roads you're planning to ride on before you go.
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  #9  
Old 18 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garthunkle View Post
A mate and I plan to do a 2 or so week tour of Europe.

Is there any advice you can give us, as it will be our first tour?
The first 2 posts in the link below has lists of motorcycle friendly accomodations and maps. You can even download the FREE ADAC maps showing suggested motorcycle tour routes.

Alps Motorcycle Tours - Priced Right, How to go about

The thread is basically aimed at those wanting to tour the Alps, but who can't afford those organized tours. There is lots of information provided by myself and others for anyone heading over there.
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All the best,
Alex

Alex's BMW Motorcycle & Global Touring Page
SmugMug Site
Alps Motorcycle Tours - Priced Right


- If motorcyclists claim to be individuals, why then do so many of them ride in packs?
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  #10  
Old 2 Jul 2008
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When?

When are you guys thinking about doing this trip? Im going to do a similar trip in August.

Beno
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  #11  
Old 4 Jul 2008
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The Hornet will be fine. A GPS is useful though, small tank or large (you run out sooner or later whichever you have). TomTom list petrol stations which takes the stress out of things (you can get it to route you to 'nearest' or 'along route').

On minor roads 300 miles is about all I can cope with. Physically I can do more but more than that and I can't remember what I've seen, which kind of defeats the object. Of course 300 miles on major roads isn't a big deal but it's not much fun either.

As for luggage and pipes. There's a couple of simple solutions. If you're using soft throw-overs you can make up a rack out of some thin steel bars to keep the luggage off the pipes.

Or... (my preference) get some aluminium sheet and a soldering mat. Rivet them onto the back of the throw-overs where they get close to the pipes. Job done.
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  #12  
Old 8 Jul 2008
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If you get stuck etap and Formula 1 hotels are a good fall back throughout the region you are travelling in .
Would have to agree about Eastern Europe - the Alps are worth a visit but they arent big mileage days due the the altitudes and small roads . The South of France is ok but stay away from the coast rd s as very heavy traffic .
300 miles a day is pretty sedate - it allows you to adjust either way - have done big miles in one hit when ive had to eg 700 + but dont remember anything about what i passed on the way so slow down , enjoy the ride dont be too ambitious . When you try to hit targets like " must reach the port by six " or similiar things go wrong especially in the mountains when one mistake can be very very final if you are unlucky
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