The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
The DVLA says that if a vehicle is permanantly (ie for more than 12 months)exported the UK registration ceases. Part 11 of the V5 should be returned to DVLA and the first page retained to register it abroad.
Technically, unless re-registered, there is no reciprocal rights to use the vehicle in other countries that arise under the Geneva Convention.
Although you may chose to still wear the number plate (having returned part 11 or not) it has no validity and could possibly hinder any insurance claim. But I think one would be very unlucky to fall foul of an over-zealous (and over-informed) policeman outside the EU who can spot this if you still have the rest of the V5 and all the numbers agree. Within the EU Registration Documents are uniform to comply with European Directive 1999/37/EC so M. or Herr Plod may be able to spot this or find out.
I have heard of people making high quality photocopies of all their documents (vehicle and rider), laminating them and producing these when confronted. How would someone running a roadside check in Mongolia know much different? It also makes 'doing a runner' easier too, as you still have the actual documents hidden away and possibly another set of photocopies for the next occasion!
As you may gather, I generally prefer the example of Lord Nelson.
A vehicle can be re-registered and re-assigned it's original number in UK if it can be proved to have been on the same vehicle before - this is common among classic vehicle restorers where registrations and records lapsed or got lost in the years of decay. If this cannot be proven they are assigned a non transferrable date related style suffix or prefix plate or, even worse, a Q plate.
...'there is no reciprocal rights to use the vehicle in other countries that arise under the Geneva Convention'.
Thanks Tony, does this means you can or cannot legally use the vehicle abroad? And, is your Insurance still valid in the EU?
Photocopies, even not warped in plastic are good for most cops, at least in all the former soviet republics. Only at the border between the Ukraine and Russia I was asked for originals.
I don't think I'll 'export' the bike.
I t looks like declaring it off the road in the uk is less bother and less legal trouble.
I think it will be easier to arrange all back to normal when entering back the UE.
Still, they could have some provision for our situation at the DVLA!
1) when tax runs out find internet cafe go online and declare bike SORN (which technically it is as you are not using on UK roads).
2) remove expired tax disc from bike and enjoy rest of your holiday.
3) couple days before returning either get a friend in UK or pick up 'phone yourself and book bike in for MOT at nearest garage to ferry port (probably easiest to find telephone number before leaving).
4) come home. MOT bike. If it passes go to nearest post office and re-tax (this will cancel the SORN automatically). If it fails. Ride home, if you get stopped you have a legitimate failure certificate allowing you to ride and if cops get funny coz of distance just explain exactly what you've done and they'll let you ride on home no worries.
Excellent advice.. the other possibility is to export the bike to France. No mot's for bikes or road tax either
do not send back the reg document. tell the dvla you have to keep it with you as it is a requirement of french law. they will send you an export certificate. Make sure the type on the export certificate is on the list of types in the french system. To do this go to any insurer and ask for a quote. pick the model nearest yours. be sure this type is printed on the export cert. then you will just sail through the french registration. Use you original log book to get the bike re-registered in the UK.
The Geneva Convention is an agreement by which signatory states agree to abide and covers many aspects of international behaviour. Best known is the treatment of prisoners of war during wartime, but this also covers many other areas including the use of road vehicles between states.
Under this any vehicle registered in one state has the right to temporarily be used in another state subject to certain conditions. It follows that if the originating state's registration is cancelled the use of such vehicle elsewhere is no longer valid or acceptable.
Cancellation of a registration is different to SORN where the registration continues but the vehicle is not used on UK roads.
One condition is that each vehicle carries national identification discs of certain size and style (ie. GB plate), which must be black on white background. Blair's government, cow-tow-ing to Europe, accepts the use of the little blue "EU plates" on the side of number plates for visiting vehicles from other EU states who in turn accept ours. Yet the Geneva Convention, as signed by Great Britain, does not allow any opting out of any part. It's all or nothing.
So Britain cannot accept or use the EU system of the blue National Identification on plates if it seeks to uphold and honours its obligations under the Geneva Convention. Yet it does. Interesting academic point!
I recommend a proper GB plate if going beyong the EU even if not used within the EU.
The legality of registration and use of a vehicle is different to insurers requirements. That is a matter of negotiation and written contract between Insurer and Insured. However the EU requires that any motor insurance policy issued within any member state automatically includes the minimum legal insurance required by each member state across all member states. IE. a fully comprehensive policy from (say) France or Poland only provides the minimum (Road Traffic Acts) insurance here in the UK, unless specifically mentioned otherwise.
We (I!) are getting bogged down in legality. Personally I am happy to follow the procedures suggested by Phil and OldBMW above, on the basis of common sence and what can be found out elsewhere.
Do ensure you Insurer knows the correct situation though, otherwise you could be in very deep financial and legal trouble should a serious incident occur.
Just to be pedantic on the points of legality even though it wouldn't bother me too much.
Although the DVLA do not care whether you are SORN or not if you are out of the UK, other EEC countries technically do. Your vehicle is only legal in other EEC countries if it is road legal in its home country. Hence your UK vehicle should be taxed and MOT'd for it to be legally driven in France, Greece etc.
I'm not sure about non-EEC countries.
So once your MOT and/or road tax runs out you are technically illegal, certainly within the EEC. Possibly also your UK insurance may also be void if your vehicle should not legally be on the road.
The chances of this being a problem to you are very remote as the average French/Italian/Greek policeman either doesn't know or care, so long as you have registration papers and insurance.
As someone above mentioned it would only be a problem if you had a major incident. If you were to have such an incident which involved a foreign country or your insurance company contacting the DVLA to check if you had road tax I think whether or not your bike was SORN or exported would be the least of your problems.
I would say most people who want to ride a motorcycle off the beaten track are not going to let themselves get too tied with formalities.
The issue here is trying not to stir up trouble for yourself when you eventually return to the UK and find several fines waiting to be paid for daring not to renew your road tax or informing Swansea your bike is off the road.
If I was going for a year or two I'd probably go the SORN route, for a longer trip I'd definitely consider exporting it.
Thanks to all.
I wil sorn the bike. It seems the best option.
It's just that, at least me, hesitate when falling into one of these holes of legaly forced into ilegality.
Maybe we should gather a few people and let the dvla know that enduro riders on long trips are falling into this loophole.
It is also possible for 'A N Other' (my father in our case) to take the SORN reminder document to post office and get it SORN'd on your behalf - but give the implicit instruction for them to say nothing and do it as if they were you (lets not worry about that legality!) It's likely anyone on road may have someone in UK checking post etc so this is an option. (Our bike wasn't out of tax on trip, but the others at home were SORN'd - what a PITA all round)
Slightly off-topic but still on the same lines.
Does anyone have any ideas for the best way to handle this one. Try file it on-line from an internet cafe. Tell the I/R you are leaving the country for a while.
Otherwise that's another automatic £100 fine for not filling in forms!
as I'm about to depart (couple of months) on a long-ish trip and likely not be bringing the bike back in a year, there's some very interesting advice here.
just one question, how would one export a bike to France to take advantage of their slack(er) laws regarding MOT, Tax etc without an address there to use?
If we have a viable answer to this, and I can insure it there, it's happy days.
Sorry, but you do need an address in France, even if it's just an acquaintance who can give you a letter to say you are staying there. To register or re-register a vehicle in France you need an address and something to "prove" you are living there or at least have an address where the bike will normally be kept. You would probably also need to be in France for at least a couple of weeks to organize it.
GOLDEN RULE: Insurers should be informed of everything - then they can't wriggle.
If the vehicle is to be out of the home country for an extended period they should be told. Most UK insurance includes the very basic minimum legal cover (usually similar to RTA) in other EU countries at no additional cost for up to a certain number of days a year. Some insurers don't need to be told, others do. Most UK Certificates of Insurance have foreign wording on the reverse confirming this and should be accepted by other EU police forces.
Check your policy, even if going to Calais for an afternoons shopping. If you want equivalent cover abroad as you have at home they must be told, and they will no doubt charge something.
Not having a current MOT is not in itself sufficient reason for Insurers to decline a claim unless the claim arose from an incident that could have been influenced by mechanical soundness. eg. No MOT for ineffective lights generally would have no bearing on a daytime crash, neither does a lack of an MOT influence a thief - but Insurers will try it on !
An MOT can be taken by Insurers as a possible indicator of mechanical condition (and therefore value) even though the certificate states it is only met the legal minimum standard on the day of the test - which could have been 364 days ago.
Being on an SORN, in my view, would not affect insurance even if you are using it on UK roads - insurers only concern about your honesty is with them !
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.