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  #1  
Old 4 Jun 2014
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Wwyg

Where would you go...?

'Bike paid for...
No experience beyond a weekend or 2 away in the UK
Basic spanner ninja skills
Tent, panniers, kit all sorted
Job quit and no hurry to return, with a budget of 3K...

Where would you go and why...?

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  #2  
Old 4 Jun 2014
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I'd go to a region that interests you. Read some current ride reports and see if any specific area sparks interest. A UK HUBB travelers meeting is probably one of the BEST places to gain inspiration and actual knowledge. Maybe start with that ... then work out details. Don't over think it ... Pick an area and head out before you meet a Bird, knock her up and are stuck for the next 25 years.

If you're used to traveling on your C90 then you have even more options.
Why not get on a plane to fly to Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia et al). Leave your bike at home ... or sell it off, buy another later ... if your pregnant wife will allow it!

In Asia, rent a local bike (most are 100cc to 125cc Chinese made bikes). With your budget ... you could go a long way and have an extended stay. The R/T flight will eat up the biggest chunk of cash. Lots of young guys do this, seems to be a lot of fun ... and you don't even wear out your own bike! (rental bikes are cheap-ish)

Other option I did when in the UK was to cruise down through France and Spain (expensive if you don't camp) then Ferry from Spain over to Morocco. Lots to explore there, big distances and some challenging routes. Do the research, see what you think.

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  #3  
Old 4 Jun 2014
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OK, just sit back and relax while I ask you a few questions, this won't hurt a bit -

Are you thinking of using the C90 for this trip? If so how do you feel about covering serious mileages on it? A couple of days may be one thing but a couple of months of being the slowest thing on the road? No criticism, just a question.

Easy option - Explore the UK while we still have a bit of what's laughably called summer.

If you head south it's going to get warm, then hot, then effing hot over the next few months. How are you with heat? I only mention it because "Bonnie Scotland", somewhere I lived for a number of years and love dearly, isn't that well known for its scorched desert like climate so endless sun might not appeal. Or it might. Or you might end up with sunburn needing medical attention (as I did).

Easy option - tour round northern Europe, Baltic, Scandinavia, Holland. Half and half option - head down to the Alps. It's warm low down but if you can't stand the heat go higher.


How are you with different cultures, or more specifically, how uncomfortable does the prospect of not being able to understand a word people are saying in France, Spain or anywhere else past Dover make you feel? It really gets to some people I've travelled with but others have been happy just to muddle along and it doesn't really bother them. In some bits of Europe (touristy areas mainly but also others like Amsterdam etc) English is the lingua franca but in more rural parts it'll probably be sign language.

Easy option - head for touristy areas = Med coast of Spain, Greek islands. It's a long way on the C90 but you've got time.


The EU has knocked the corners off of a lot of differences between countries so there is a lot of stuff in common (road signs as an easy example) so there is a degree of familiarity but if you're on your own for a long time you can feel a bit isolated.

Easy option - plan a route via Brits abroad BnB's, bike events (or whatever floats your boat) etc where you'll meet people.


You could just chuck all your stuff in a rucksack and head for the airport. Your budget will go a long way in some countries. I've done that a few times in my "senior" years so it won't be just gap year students and drug addled dropouts sitting next to you on the plane.

Easy option - check out the "adult gap year" market if you don't feel up to / like putting something together yourself.

Or just blow it all on a few bottles of Johnny Wonka and drink your troubles away. (that's a joke btw!)
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  #4  
Old 5 Jun 2014
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If your budget is only £3000, then I would suggest something in Europe as you won't want to spend money on flight or rental.

I haven't travelled in Europe, but I've read good things motorcycle riding in Spain and Portugal. That's where I'd head if I were you; spend some time in France along the way.
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Old 7 Jun 2014
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Nothing holding you back? Just go, and live cheaply. It's the only way to find out where you'll end up. Jammy bastard.


I like bikes.
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Old 7 Jun 2014
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Question

"Jammy bastard"? What the heck is that? Is this a good thing or a bad thing!
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  #7  
Old 7 Jun 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brclarke View Post
If your budget is only £3000, then I would suggest something in Europe as you won't want to spend money on flight or rental.

I haven't travelled in Europe, but I've read good things motorcycle riding in Spain and Portugal. That's where I'd head if I were you; spend some time in France along the way.
Europe is certainly good for a novice traveler. But you've got to watch costs, as mentioned above. I loved France, Spain and Portugal. Spent a couple months in the area touring round on my Tiger. If you picnic most meals, you'll do OK. Fuel is very high, but on a C90 not an issue.

English is spoken in places, unlike more 3rd world destinations ... and it's close to the UK. There are lots of "Biker" events in Spain and France, so check them out if you come across one. (I found two at random in France)

But 1st priority would be the HUBB UK meeting. Much to be learned.
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  #8  
Old 8 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
But 1st priority would be the HUBB UK meeting. Much to be learned.
I produced a long literary style comment on the function of the HUBB meeting but then scrapped it, deciding that a more direct version might be better. It was really about whether attending such a meeting is a good idea for someone looking to do their first serious trip (and to a certain extent what the function of meetings like the HUBB is).

Personally I think that MW2K8 would be better just getting on his bike and going. Head straight past Donnington and work out whatever problems you encounter in your own way. The only exception to that would be if you personally know people who will be at the meeting and want to see them. I think if he wants to go travelling he should go travelling and not spend his time somewhere talking about going travelling. Ok, you might argue that he'll get access to a wealth of knowledge that might save him from making expensive mistakes and he'll end up enthused by the plethora of hard core tales he'll hear when he's there, but he's equally likely to come away depressed by his lack of Touratech overhead underhangers and that his planned trip doesn't match up to the five year circumnavigation of Mars talks that litter meetings like this.

I'm sure MW will have his own opinion and I certainly don't want to talk for him but to paraphrase an old TV advert (can't remember the product), "don't talk, ride".

I'm sure other opinions are available and some of them will be along shortly.
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  #9  
Old 8 Jun 2014
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Fair points all ... but I feel the Positives outweigh the Negatives. This especially true since MW has never traveled outside the UK ... and possibly never far on a bike? Rather than blow his limited money making all the Novice mistakes, he may learn a few tricks on budget travel and save a few bob and some aggravation.

Sure, the Touratech booths are a distraction ... but if he manages to catch Austin Vince's talk he may be inspired and happy to know you don't need a fancy rig and £10K to tour round a bit.

But certainly "just going" has it's points too ... but of lot of the experience could be "... Boy, I'll never do THAT again!"

MW asked us to provide "Where" we would go but also the "Why". I feel the HUBB meeting may at least begin to answer that rather enigmatic query.
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  #10  
Old 8 Jun 2014
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I'm not dogmatically against visiting events like the HUBB meet and MW may well find the upcoming one beneficial. The ones I've been to have been enjoyable, interesting and for the most part sociable but usually I've come away with mixed feelings. On the up side they're a good way to spend a weekend, there's loads going on and generally you're amongst like minded individuals. On the down side you can find yourself overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all. Everyones trips are better, longer and more remote than yours, all the bikes are newer, classier, pricier and better equiped, the vendor stalls are all selling stuff that not only can you not afford, you don't even know what they do and all the speakers seem to be seven foot tall uber humans. Generally I come away put off travel rather than inspired to get out there.

A weekend in a field like that is closer to going to a race meeting or the TT or something. Instead of seeing Rossi doing 20 laps of Laguna Seca you're listening to 20 minutes of someone talking about fording rivers in Mongolia (or Tanzania or the seventh circle of Hades). It's enjoyable but not quite real compared to riding down the M20 to Dover in a rainstorm with the engine misfiring. I always end up feeling inadequate as most of my trips usually start off with me (metaphorically at least) dragging bits along behind me and hoping I get past the end of the street before the bike stops. And that's with 40 years of experience to put these things in perspective. To MW2K8 - if you go, don't take it too seriously, do your own thing.
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