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  #1  
Old 13 Oct 2012
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Trip to Turkey

Hi new to this forum & looking forward to contributing & receiving information.
My wife & I are touring Turkey in April May 2013. We have planned a route & booked Hotels. But some hotels don't have secure parking. How do we safe guard our bike in such situation? Is a bike cover a good idea?
A bit worried about navigation. Is a GPS phone with its ability to access maps the way to go ? I like its portability.
Any advice good ideas very welcome. Our route is Istanbul ,Black sea coast. Capadocia, Med coast, Gallipoli , Istanbul. Starts Late April ends Late May.
Cheers Clive & Agi
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  #2  
Old 13 Oct 2012
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Welcome to the HUBB.

I do hope you will not regret pre-booking hotels as this will tie you to a fixed schedule loosing flexibility in your trip.

We found that all accommodation used in Turkey, the majority in the lower price bracket, had some way of providing security for the 'bikes. This was parking in Reception, just outside the front door (in full view of staff), a garage nearby (or in one case the other side of town where the owner drove us, collected and returned us to the machines the following morning), etc. Take a good quality disc lock with you as added peace of mind.

Although I believe Garmin now offers mapping for Turkey we found the Euromap map of Turkey (1:800,000) was more the sufficient for our trip and is readily available here in the UK.

I have ben to Istanbul twice, but never on a 'bike, no doubt others will be along to advise you on riding and where to stay there. I am certain you will have an enjoyable experience. It is my wish to return to Turkey in May/Jun of next year.
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  #3  
Old 14 Oct 2012
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Hi & thank you for your informative reply. Pre booking does restrict a bit but I dont like not knowing where I have a bed. We have made plenty of time on most days so I hope it works out.Thats good to hear about bike security I hoped it would be like that.Will check out the maps.In Australia we sometimes have a problem getting maps of Europe, I have one but would not like to be navigating from it. Thanks again Clive
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  #4  
Old 14 Oct 2012
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My wife and I toured Turkey a few months ago. See my blog www.oldfartsonabike.blogspot.com.au. There's lots of info that you might find useful.

We didn't book any accommodation in advance and meandered along minor roads through tiny villages as much as possible so a sat nav would have been useless to us as it would have taken us from point to point on the bigger roads. At several hotels I was able to negotiate the price down as much 25%, which wouldn't have been possible if we had pre-booked, and some hotels we walked away from after inspecting the rooms.

I gave no real consideration to bike security, leaving the bike in hotel carparks or in the street overnight with a disc lock on it and a bright yellow plastic coil from the lock up to the bars to bring attention to the fact that it was there. We did take a bike cover with us but it was stolen from the bike a month before in Marseille, France. We saw very few large bikes in Turkey outside the major cities, so our Honda ST1100 would have been almost useless to any thief.

We loved Turkey and had a great time.
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  #5  
Old 14 Oct 2012
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Doh, I missed the fact you were based in Australia. A major supplier in the UK for maps is: Maps, Travel Books, Guides and Travel Information - Stanfords who will no doubt deliver to you at home or wherever you are starting your journey.
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  #6  
Old 14 Oct 2012
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Mapworld at www.mapworld.com.au have the Hema map of Turkey which is one of the best. Another supplier I have used in the past is www.travellersbookstore.com.au.

Cheers

John
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  #7  
Old 15 Oct 2012
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Hi Clive & Agi,

Except Istanbul, your bike would be pretty safe in front of the hotel. I usually use secured parking lots in Istanbul. In most cities, it is okay to park your bike in front of the hotel onto pavement (and even sometimes encouraged by hotel staff) if pavement is large enough. In small cities, your problem would not be bike theft but curiosity. R1200s, DL1000s, Tenere 1200s are not common in small cities so people are curious about those bikes.

As for gps, for offline coverage, garmin and magellan are both offering routable and topo maps of the turkey. (Baytekin for garmin and Geomatics Group for magellan). If you have a Nokia phone with gps and Nokia's own maps application works offline has good coverage of Turkey. You can rely on online map apps like iphone or android ones for the most part but cell coverage at dirt roads etc. is not good.

Btw, if your route passes through Ankara, send us a message when you are near. I would like to buy you and meal.

Cheers,
Ozgur
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  #8  
Old 16 Oct 2012
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Thanks everyone for your invaluable advice.It all ads to the picture. I an feeling happier about bike security now.Also had planned to use a Nokia gps phone together with Hema maps so that sounds like a good combination from the advice given.Sorry we won't be in Ankara area so will not be able to take up your offer of a drink, Ozgur, next time OK. Would like to meet some bike enthusiasts while riding so let me know if interested can give you my itinerary. Clive
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  #9  
Old 16 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deolali View Post

We didn't book any accommodation in advance and meandered along minor roads through tiny villages as much as possible so a sat nav would have been useless to us as it would have taken us from point to point on the bigger roads. At several hotels I was able to negotiate the price down as much 25%, which wouldn't have been possible if we had pre-booked, and some hotels we walked away from after inspecting the rooms.

We did take a bike cover with us but it was stolen from the bike a month before in Marseille, France. .
I have empathy with this way of travelling, with or without a bike.
I am still experimenting with GPS which I have found to be useful when the wandering comes toward an end and it is time to get back onto the beaten track, find a hotel or a particular address in a strange city or in similar circumstances. So, it doesn't have to be used as a point to point device

I have also visited Istanbul and cash is king when negotiating with hotel staff; even more so in a "hard" currency, especially the Euro, which is favoured, but UK £ and US$ can be used quite freely - you just have to be aware of what exchange rates are being used by hotel staff, but there are lots of exchange kiosks in the main streets which give a good idea of the current going rates.

That is funny! Fancy stealing the anti-theft device!!
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  #10  
Old 16 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clivehalls View Post
Thanks everyone for your invaluable advice.It all ads to the picture. I an feeling happier about bike security now.Also had planned to use a Nokia gps phone together with Hema maps so that sounds like a good combination from the advice given.Sorry we won't be in Ankara area so will not be able to take up your offer of a drink, Ozgur, next time OK. Would like to meet some bike enthusiasts while riding so let me know if interested can give you my itinerary. Clive
Hi Clive,

Give me a shout if you plan on coming anywhere near Kas on the Med coast.

Cheers,

Dickyb

DickyB's Turkish Delights - ADVrider
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  #11  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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Hello Clive,
Şooks like you will see a large part of the country. I suggest you take a lonely planet or rough guides for Turkey with you. They will contain lots of good information about the locations food etc..

I prefer to call the advised hotels before arrival checj prices and availability. Usually it works. A practical tent may be nice and may give you even more freedom.

A gps would be nice to have. Samsung phınes which can access to the google maps could be even better. Download the maps to your phone and you will see lots of paths. I am not sure what type of bike you have but it could be ineteresting.
I see you mention Gallipoli, Med, Blacksea, İstanbul. Blacksea is beatifull fewer tourist and lots of green hills mountains plateus etc.. Blacksea alone can take 2 weeks easy. You need to plan in order to make the best of it.

When in Istanbul let us know via community pages of the HUBB. We meet every thursday at EMOK. EMOK :: Enduro Motosiklet Kulübü

Regards

Burak
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  #12  
Old 22 Oct 2012
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Hi Burack we are planning 9 days for the black Sea not enough but where do you find enough time? Your info much valued thanks for the reply we value all input. Have hired a Honda transalp which I think will be a good all rounder. Ride a Suzuki V Strom here in Oz but have now changed to a Bonneville for a change even though we will miss the off road ability a bit, always fun to swap around.
Thanks again Clive
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  #13  
Old 26 Oct 2012
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Bike security is not an important issue in Turkey. As said before be careful in big cities.

Have some Turkish maps for GPSes, no problem.

Booking hotel doesn't look sensible to me. Lots of hotels, pensions in Turkey. I f you like somewhere much but has a booking at the next town !

When you go to Black Sea Coasts, be careful about the season. April & May can be heavily rainy. I am not sure if you can enjoy there when it rains like cats&dogs.

You will have a lazy and enjoyful time in Cappadocia area. I can recommend you Goreme House pension there... You will like. You can google it...

Enjoy your trip...
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  #14  
Old 11 Dec 2012
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Thumbs up hello

i have been many times to Turkey I have a Garmin ZUMO 550 with Turkey on SD card i got the map from AMAZON much cheaper than Garmin shop i also got the Middle East maps from Amazon you need the Middle East maps if you want to go to Morocco last time i was over i went to Syria and Jorden too good job with the problems over ther, It is nice round lake van you will enjoy your trip a cover is good to keep eyes of your baby i ride a BMW K1200LT i have 54000 miles and still going strong have a good trip......Mike
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  #15  
Old 24 Dec 2012
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Hi Clive:

I toured Western Turkey (the 'Europe' portion) on my ST1100 18 months ago, and have spent some time in the country since for work purposes. I wrote a small post about my experiences, that post is here: Notes from a September 2011 ride through Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece, perhaps some of the information in it may be of use to you.

I would not be too concerned about security of the bike in Turkey, unless it is something really big and gaudy (such as a full-dress Harley). In the smaller towns, I just parked the bike near the reception area of the hotel (exactly the same as I would do in any Western European country), and in the cities, I either parked it in the hotel's underground parking, or in the hotel's secure parking area. I honestly had no worries at all about the bike going missing in Turkey. In Bulgaria or Ukraine, I might be a bit more worried.

Concerning navigation - I do highly recommend that you get a portable GPS. I have a Garmin Zumo, and have had many motorcycle-specific Garmin devices in the past, but if I was going to buy a new GPS (for Europe) for my motorcycle, I don't think I would buy a motorcycle-specific one again. I'd get one of the very small and thin 'Nuvi' devices, and just mount it on the handlebar or on the clutch lever bracket using a RAM-MOUNT base.

The reason for this change of heart - after 12 years of using half a dozen different 'waterproof' Garmins - is that the new Nuvi devices are so small and thin (about the size of an iPhone) that I could just remove it from the bike anytime I got off the bike and slip it into my pants pocket. Plus, it's not often that I ride in the rain - so, I could do without it for the 1 day every 2 weeks that it is raining. Finally, the new 'Nuvis' are so inexpensive (typically about $150, complete with cartography) compared to the motorcycle-specific ones, it's hard to make an argument for a motorcycle-specific waterproof device.

In smaller marketplaces, such as Turkey, Garmin sells the devices with only the Turkey map installed, which further reduces the price. They also offer simpler, less feature-rich units at prices below what you and I are used to paying in Australia, Canada, or Western Europe.

I don't recommend you even dream of using your phone as a navigation device while riding the moto. It's generally a bitch to try and touch the tiny little touch-screen buttons on a phone GPS with bare fingers, let alone with gloves on. And, if you drop the thing while riding, you are SOL (a Canadian Expression) for both the phone and the GPS!

Concerning hotels, I suggest you don't book ahead. Doing so will only increase your stress level because then you will have to be in a certain place on a certain day. Instead, get Trip Advisor on your smartphone - when you have finished riding for the day, you can look up hotels near you (or near anywhere you specify), it displays all the detail you want, and you can then phone the hotel to see if they have space and ask them what their 'best rate' is. I've been riding in Europe for about 8 weeks a year since 2000, never booked a hotel in advance once, and never had to sleep in the ditch, either.

Finally, a word of warning about Istanbul: It is HUGE! The traffic is beyond comprehension. It is a very stressful city to ride in. I had a couple of minor collisions while riding in Istanbul (folks sideswiping me), and, I guess because I never tumbled off the bike, the other drivers didn't think it was serious enough to warrant stopping. If you do plan to tour Istanbul, I suggest you drive into the city at a time when you are going against the rush-hour flow, park the bike at your hotel, and leave it parked for the entire time you are in that city. When it comes time to leave, hit the road at the crack of dawn (05:00) so you can get well out of town before rush hour starts.

Other than traffic issues in Istanbul, the country is delightful, I think you will really enjoy your trip.

Michael
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