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Old 20 Feb 2010
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Special Equipment Requirements

I'll be riding from England to France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Germany, Pelgium and possibly Austria and the Czech Republic this summer. My Michelin road atlas tells me a hi viz vest is required for motorcyclists in France. Is this correct? Are there any other special equipment requirements in any of these other countries (other than a helmet)? I'm asking about legal requirements, not equipment recommendations. Can anyone recommend another online source of such information?
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Old 20 Feb 2010
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you don't need any special equipment for main Europe, part of a international driving licence and bike documents if you are from the states.
As far I know you need to carry a hi viz west under the seat or elsewhere on the bike in Austria, but only on the motorway !
Italy cops are keen to see helmets that got the "EC 22-05" approval, they can confiscate your bike if you ride around with a brain cap and declare you as a non responsible rider !
Same in France, but the cops are a bit more relaxed in this matter a DOT-2000 will do most of the time, they are happy if you got a helmet that looks like a proper bike helmet and not like captain America with a "Fritz" or a "show" helmet... and if you don't show off to much no one will stop you anyway...

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Old 20 Feb 2010
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For certain countries (Austria and France afaik) you also need an approved first aid kit. You can buy them (and the vests) at almost every bigger gas station, and most bike shops (Hein Gericke, Louis and Polo in Germany).
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Old 20 Feb 2010
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The best source for this sort of stuff is the UK's Automobile association.

A useful table of requirements:


Keep an eye on the footnotes as many of the requirements either don't apply to visitors or don't apply (quite sensibly) to two wheelers.

Other general info here:
Driving requirements by country : AA touring tips. Local rules and advice for European countries - The AA
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Old 20 Feb 2010
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Hi, travelled all these countries in the summer with no problems and never got stopped once. I did not carry a vest but did have first aid kit and spare bulb set (possible requirement). These are all very modern countries, for greater adventure consider the Eastern European countries of Slovakia, Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria. Andy B
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Old 21 Feb 2010
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Must ride with headlamp on during the day (certainly in France, probably others as well).

I found this out the hard way; got nicked and fined by Gendarmes at a roadside checkpoint last August.

Copper may well find other, possibly more serious stuff while they've got you. He had a good nose thru all my stuff; said the camping stove was illegal to carry on the bike.

Wanted to know why address on driving licence was different to address on registration document.

I remember a story about someone who ended up getting the whole bike confiscated cos he got stopped for a missing wing mirror.

Don't give them a reason to stop you!

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Old 21 Feb 2010
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Keep a vest and a fist aid kit within reach, under the seat might not do it because you'd have to get off the bike in order to put on the vest. I keep mine in my tank bag. Keep your headlights on at all times in all countries. Some countries collect tolls for certain roads (motorways) and for some, like Austria, you don't 'pay as you go' at a toll station but need to purchase a vignette beforehand. Make sure to have one your windshield if necessary, otherwise it'll get ridiculously expensive.
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Old 24 Feb 2010
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the vest & a triangle are obligatory for a CAR in france, but not for bikes.


sorry about the shouting but I seem to endlessly repeat the same things every year at about this time, either here or elsewhere.

Ride safe
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Old 24 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by Ben_CB500 View Post
Must ride with headlamp on during the day (certainly in France, probably others as well).

Wanted to know why address on driving licence was different to address on registration document.

for info, if they try that one again, it's not compulsory to change the address on your driving licence in france (the mairee's & prefectures will even dissuade you from so doing). The registration document IS obligatory to have up to date & should correspond to your ID card/ carte de sejour or other photo id.
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Old 3 Mar 2010
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Last year I found that by wearing a vis vest in France and in Italy the police would just wave me by, while everyone else was being stopped.

Maybe they think if you wear a vis vest that you are responible and know what you are doing. Whatever it is it worked for me.

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