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  #1  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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Cheapest place in Europe and Which Touring Tires for a 2001 Varadero

My wife and I are planning on a purely 'on-road' trip around Europe this summer. UK->France->Italy->Greece->Eastern Europe->Scandinavia->UK. Estimating 10-15k miles. I have about 2000 miles left on my existing tires.

What tires would people recommend for the Varadero for Touring? And any idea where the cheaper places are to buy tires? I'm unlikely to ride across Europe just to save a few Euro on Tires... so if it's on our Route we should just change them then...

Any advice appreciated..

Chris

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Old 20 Mar 2008
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Mail order?

The mail order service of Motorcycle tyres - online shop - has always been very reasonably priced and promptly delivered. All you need to do is find a place to fit them to you bike. Loose wheels is cheapest. Cash in hand at a small bike shop may bring it down even further.

Tyres to recommend? A lot of people with big trailies swear by Metzeler Tourances. Personally I found them a bit hard, and not as grippy as I'd like, but they do last ages. personally, I would opt for the good grip/life compromise of BT020 Bridgestones or the Michelin Pilot Roads.

In actual fact I really rated the Pilot Roads. No they do not have the Bridgestone Dual compound but they did last very well on my R1150GS, gave good grip in the wet and were rimmed on both sides (almost the fonrt too) and never felt like they are under a lot of strain. I liked them a lot!!

These are your choices for a 2001 Vara...
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Last edited by Warthog; 20 Mar 2008 at 19:18.
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  #3  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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Hmmm.

Just read where you live.... OK, so if you do not know someone who can take dleivery and help you get them fitted (which is not a big headache if they know the area...), then Watling tyres in Catford, S. East London are a favourite (Watling Tyres::The No.1 Independent Tyre Dealer), as are FWR in SW London, near Vauxhall FWR LTD Britain's Cheapest Tyres! Avon Page . Scroll to the bottom of the page for other tyre manufacturer listings. For cheap, also think Avon, and Continental tyres (of TKC 80 fame: standard fitting on the GS adventures!)

Hope this helps.
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Old 20 Mar 2008
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thanks...

I'm hoping that we can get them replaced enroute in Europe and buy them enroute too. They have about 2000 miles left in them, so it seems a shame to replace them in the UK before I leave.. The bike is in England, but you're right my location is San Francisco. I'd buy tires here if I could, but from what I understand I can't take my new tires as hand luggage very easily...

As far as servicing.. we're planning on doing 10-15000 miles, which means along the way I'll need to get the bike serviced. Any ideas on where is cheap, where is expensive? I can do the work myself, but obviously I'll have limited tools on the road, so may go to the trusty Honda Dealer.

I'm hearing 240 GBP for a 14k service in the UK (100 of that is parts). That's WAY more expensive than the US, but the exchange rate is not helping. Obviously again I could do most of the servicing myself, but may feel better having a 'Honda' specialist give the bike a thorough checking whilst they have it. They may notice things I would not...

Cheers

Chris
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  #5  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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regarding cost. welcome to europe...

The UK still uses the excuse that shipping things over the Channel means everything is more expensive than in Europe! But, in general for the UK, ride away from London and things get cheaper. In London's main franchise dealers an hourly rate of £50 is not unknown. But an honest independent will be cheaper.

In Spain, to give an example, a chain and sprocket change on a DL1000 was €225 (last month). the hard parts were €134. hourly rate €40 x 1.5 hours.
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  #6  
Old 21 Mar 2008
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Spain

WOW... 225 Euro for a chain and sprocket change... how much would that be at a 'cheap' dealer in England?

In San Francisco, which is hardly the cheapest place, our local Ducati / Triumph Dealer has a rate of 90 bucks an hour.. .which is around 45 quid. So not so different...
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  #7  
Old 26 Mar 2008
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change them

I went round europe last year with a near warn back on my TDM. If I were to do it again i would set off with new ones.
What a pain it was looking for a new one, all I managed was a sporty grippy tyre for twice the price in budapest - buy now = less time wasted when on holiday.

when your new ones wear out bang back on the old ones
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