Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/travellers-questions-dont-fit-anywhere/)
-   -   Where do you start planning? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/travellers-questions-dont-fit-anywhere/where-do-you-start-planning-63094)

sirius-star 7 Mar 2012 03:51

Where do you start planning?
I know this might be a silly question, but I am a virgen motorcycle traveller and don't know where to start to plan a rtw trip!:innocent: I don't have anything yet, no bike (well, not the right one), no gear and no money (unfortunately my savings got a visit from the tooth fairy).
I already know what bike I need and I was going to practice riding around Australia before I take the big leap.:mchappy: I'm thinking of planning the route while I save and then organize everything based on places I'm travelling through.
Any tips would be much appreciated... where did you start planning?

MountainMan 7 Mar 2012 04:40


Originally Posted by sirius-star (Post 370298)
where did you start planning?

Here, on this site.

There is more than enough info here to keep a person occupied for months while they plan.

If you are at the first stages, read other peoples planning threads which will allow you to formulate which questions you need to ask.

Read blogs about actual trips to get a sense of where you might want to go.

From there you will narrow your very broad questions (which continents, which direction, what time of the year) to much more specific ones.

The good news is that you can find pretty much everything you need to know here. The less good news is that it'll take a lot of reading to find and digest it all. For many, the planning is part of the adventure.

Threewheelbonnie 7 Mar 2012 07:09

I think you start with knowing roughly where you want to go and see, how you want to get there ,how much time you've got and what annoys/ruins your trip. Everything else runs from there. I'm afraid the shopping and knowing which bike to buy should be pretty low on the list, buying a BMW and half the touratech catalogue just wastes petrol money at this stage and fixes whats easy and what isn't. If you don't know if you prefer belting along the main roads at 100 mph in order to tick off todays things to see, bumbling along at 40 to see who you meet or spending the day berm hopping even if you only cover 40 miles and end up sleeping in a tree, you can't really decide between that BMW an Enfield or XT225.

The trips round Australia are certainly the best way to start and I'd do it on any second hand 70 mph bike you can pick up in decent mechanical condition and fit some sort of off road tyre to. After that I'd hire a bike in Thailand or India or the USA on a fly ride thing, get a feel for how much you'll hate officialdome and places where things simply don't work against the balance of the beauty and vitality of the places. If you feel the urge to murder some uniformed prat who'll make you wait twenty minutes to stamp your passport and then realise Buddhist temples are all the same and full of annoying beggars you may want to rethink Africa and so on, Europe-Russia-North America might be your thing. The opposite may well apply too, but better to find out in a weeks trip than when your bike is stuck in customs.

The world is a big place and you can do it town to town on a Harley or race event to race event on a Ducati or in straight lines on a trail bike.


Magnon 7 Mar 2012 10:01

Start off having a 'what's realistic' discussion with yourself. Sadly it generally comes down to money - once you have decided on your budget along the lines of 'I won't go anywhere until I have the perfect bike all the kit and x thousand dollars in the bank' or more realistically, 'I'm off, I've got y dollars after I've paid to freight the bike to.... if I can live on z dollars a day so I can travel for however many months or weeks'

Assuming you have a passion for travelling (not just riding your bike) then you'll have an idea of where you want to go so identify the major costs such as freight, air tickets, ferries etc. then look around here and elsewhere and try and find out daily costs fuel, food accommodation etc. and, I think you'll find that a plan will evolve.

Focussing on the money side before you go will allow you to enjoy the travelling without stressing too much about cash when you're actually out there.

sirius-star 9 Mar 2012 00:02

Thanks for the insight. Yes I am expecting the headaches at borders, but I believe it is a small price to pay to be able to have the experience and visit countries not many people would visit. I am fully aware of all the headaches I am likely to encounter, but I'm willing to put up with them. It would be silly not to take the trip of a lifetime just because I'm worried about what could go wrong and what bad things will happen. It's part of the experience. Wouldn't it be a bit boring if nothing went wrong? I think I will start with a route, then a budget and then start with the practicalities.
Thanks for the help people!

BlackBeast 11 Mar 2012 03:03

Start with buying a cheap bike to get you travelling around your neck of the woods. Use whatever camping equip. you have for the first few trips as this will help you to prioritze on what you actually need and what becomes luxury.

Once you determine the countries that interest you, then you can plan around the seasons. Save as much as you can and again determine what is really important to you.

Have fun planning!

bushman_uk 11 Mar 2012 03:11

Think the first bit would be to get on a bike and go for a long ride just to make sure this is the way for you to travel .
Once that has beed decided get the maps out all over the floor and see what places you want to travel to .
When you know that then you will know what bike would be called for and visa's shipping etc
then you can work out roughly how much money you need !!
Good luck and have fun

Ride Far 11 Mar 2012 14:27

Planning is half the fun! My recommendation is to start a Word document that outlines your research and considerations ranging from bike, modifications, gear, routes, seasonal considerations (weather), visas, money/budget.

There's a ton of information to digest and consider, and a single document that breaks it all down can provide a good central reference point as your planning proceeds and help put all your thoughts and ideas in order. Good luck mate!

sirius-star 12 Mar 2012 02:49

Thank you everyone!! :D
I just made a few small steps towards my dream. :clap: First I got my wisdom teeth pulled out and a dental checkup to make sure my teeth don't give me any problems on my travels. A sore mouth would be a trip breaker!

Second I got a new, higher paying job that gives me an extra day off every second week so I've got more time to search for a good bike. I already do have a bike, but a sportster with an 8 litre tank aint gonna get me far in Australia lol

I'm happy I am making small steps! Thanks for the input everyone!bier

BlackBeast 13 Mar 2012 01:00

Trying to attend the HU Meeting in Australia should be your next goal. You will meet some great folks that share your passion. :scooter:

Bush Pilot 13 Mar 2012 08:58


Originally Posted by sirius-star (Post 370298)
I don't have anything yet, no bike (well, not the right one), no gear and no money (unfortunately my savings got a visit from the tooth fairy).

You need to budget time and money. Without that you aren't going anywhere.
Sell the Sporty and buy a Posty! A fellow made the trip on a Posty. I met another fellow in Argentina on a honda cl70 he got in Pakistan. Out of Oz I would get a rancher bike like the Suzuki Trojan. They're fairly cheap, you just need to put turn signals to make it street legal.
On my recent journey through South America I met many people travelling on bicycles. If you dont have much money that's not a bad way to go. Many advantages to bicycles; such low shipping costs, low maintenance costs, and no fuel costs. Fuel, air travel, and bike shipping are the big expences.
Figure out where you want to go and just start taking smaller bites, use the bike you've got now and gather up some second hand gear.
Planning rtw is a huge thing. We all learned how to walk by talking small steps.

brclarke 13 Mar 2012 15:42

Before doing the RTW thing, you should definitely do the "Round Oz" trip!

I spent a month looping around the eastern half of Australia years ago. It was the longest road trip I've ever made, and was terrific. Many posters here would love to do such a trip, and you already have a head start on most of us because you're already there!

Fern 13 Mar 2012 20:03


Originally Posted by bushman_uk (Post 370794)
Once that has beed decided get the maps out all over the floor and see what places you want to travel to .

yep, once done some bike trips, go buy a some giant wall maps. Beware. You will waste/spend many hours of each day staring at these.

That said about buying a bike and testing it out, some of the best stories i've read/heard are about people jumping on and going with no testing, no shakedown trips, no prior experience and that makes them more, er.. interesting!

sirius-star 13 Mar 2012 23:21

Wow you guys are so helpful
Thanks for all the encouraging support!
Yeah I do plan to travel Australia first. I'm travelling up to Cairnes for the solar eclipse end of this year, and that's no small ride!
I already have plans to sell the sporty but I'm not in a position to sell it yet.
Thanks guys and gals! bier

El Duderino 10 May 2012 13:56


Originally Posted by sirius-star (Post 371215)
Thanks for all the encouraging support!
Yeah I do plan to travel Australia first. I'm travelling up to Cairnes for the solar eclipse end of this year, and that's no small ride!
I already have plans to sell the sporty but I'm not in a position to sell it yet.
Thanks guys and gals! bier

Hi mate! I guess you could say I'm in a similar position to yourself, and thought my experience and planning thus far might be helpful. Sorry if this takes an eternity to read btw! :thumbup1:

I'm fairly new to the adventure/touring riding myself, having recently done a ride from VIC, through central NSW & QLD up to Bundaberg, and returned home via the east-coast. I spent 2 weeks on the road by myself riding a 2011 SV650S (stopped over at a mates place in Brissy for a few days), all in the name of sussing out if my ambitions of bigger and better rides were the thing for me. After touring up to Darwin a couple of years back in my old Land Rover, the outback travel bug bit me, so I figured why not combine my love of camping/travel with riding?! :mchappy:

I'd highly recommend doing something similar for a number of reasons. As mentioned in a previous reply, we're incredibly lucky to live in Australia, and is surely on most travellers "must do" lists. You will me amazed how much you never knew about your own backyard btw. Being locals, it's so simple, not having to worry about passports, carnets, currencies, language barriers, blah blah. :thumbup1:

It's also a great opportunity to try out your camping gear, routines, test your riding skills/stamina, decision making, what gear was useful/useless, etc. You can certainly do all of these things with a sportsbike. :funmeteryes:

After you've have a crack at doing that, you'll quickly know what adventures you're likely to want to do, which in turn determines which type of bike you will want to buy. Then it flows onto what accessories, modifications and riding gear you'll need, etc.

In my case, I was hooked on the idea of venturing into more remote parts and avoiding civilisation as much as possible (courtesy of a 4x4'ing background). This means selling the sportsbike and getting an adventure/dual-sports bike. I've only ever ridden sportsbikes, and have zero experience with riding off-road (cue laughter from the forum lurkers!), but this opens a whole new exciting challenge. I'm lucky enough to have a mate who races long-distance enduro and is prepared to teach/train me. In your case, it might be worthwhile doing some offroad rider training days which DECA, BMW Aust, etc conduct.

Talking at length with another one of my mates who's in the exact same situation, a shared dream emerged, and we've agreed on riding over to the WA next year, taking the path least followed (lots of detours to whoop-whoop in other words!) and making it a proper bloody adventure along the way. The exact route is still being discussed atm, but we already know the types of terrain, weather, etc, and above all, what we want to achieve from this adventure. :stupid:

After much shopping around we've agreed on buying BMW F800GS, plus have spent countless hours reading forums for opinions and reviews, so we now have a solid idea of accessories/riding gear needed. Most importantly, what equipment we intend on carrying. It's good to know what kind of budget we're facing, and are already plowing through our lists of things to buy and prepare. A fair few weekend trips will be done to build our confidence in a new style of riding over a variety of terrain, and getting to grips with the new bikes, not to mention doing a first aid course. All sensible ideas which will make the big trip more enjoyable. We're now all about fine-tuning details and saving the cash we're going to need to make this dream happen. With a deadline set, this is much easier to achieve. :smartass:

On a separate note, I've also set myself a timeframe to send my bike over to South Africa in 2-3yrs max, and ride it all the way to France, so for me this WA trip will be a practice run for that, in the safety of my own country with a mate, tackling similar terrain and challenges, all while not being left in the sh*t if something happens. Depending how much of a success it is, he may very well want to join me for the SA-France trip...now that'd be really something! bier

If you have any questions, or need help with anything feel free to ask and I'll do my best mate! Who know's, we might even catch up for a ride at some stage down the track... :mchappy:

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