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  #1  
Old 10 Apr 2023
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I want to ride from Netherlands to Morrocco. Is this practical?

American here planning my first Euro-Biking trip. Two weeks, leaving from Amsterdam and heading south into Africa via Ferry to Morocco.

From reading this board and others it seems like renting would be my best bet, right? Anyone have rental suggestions? I'm looking for something simple and cheap with two wheels to ride.

Just starting to put the details together so if you have any input, suggestions, forewarning, everything is appreciated.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11 Apr 2023
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Rental is probably your best bet, but it won't be cheap by any stretch. Also, you would need to make sure you can actually cross the EU-Morocco border on a rented bike - both that Morocco will let you in, and that the rental company will allow you out, and that's not a given.

There is also the fact that Amsterdam to the ferry is ~2500-2700 km each way, Google maps says 25-27 hours drive time, and that means something like three days of non-stop riding and seeing absolutely nothing on the way except gas stations and roadside motels. So that's half of your two weeks right there, spent completely uselessly.

Tbh if you already have your tickets to Amsterdam, then my best recommendation would be to connect on a cheap flight to Morocco directly and rent there. You can easily fill two weeks in Morocco alone. Maybe leave a day or two to see Amsterdam itself.
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Old 11 Apr 2023
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The problem I found while searching motorbike rentals in Europe is that you get a choice of a large/expensive bike or a 125 scooter. No options for a 250/300 or even a 125 trailie.

In order to "see" Europe you've gotta take the small back roads, to be meaningful it'd be at least a week to get from Netherlands to Spain and even then it'd be going on fast-forward - unlike the US you can't travel for a whole day in a straight line and not miss anything.

If you skip straight to Morocco you can rent something a bit more sensible there, ride about enjoying the desert, and then go back
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Old 11 Apr 2023
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I've never heard of anyone entering Morocco with a hire vehicle other than as part of a tour group led by a representative of the company renting the vehicles who is holding all the vehicle papers. To be able to enter Morocco the bike would need a temporary import document, for which the authorities would need to see the bike registration paper. In the UK you wouldn't be allowed to take this with you, I don't know about other countries.

In any case, if you only have two weeks you don't have time to do both Europe and Africa.

Amsterdam to Marrakech return by the most direct autoroute toll roads journey is 6,800 km which works out at 485km day in, day out. Miss one day, it's 970km the next.

I don't like to burst your bubble, but think some more planning and some realism is called for.
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Old 17 Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by TheOpenRoadCalls View Post
...Two weeks, leaving from Amsterdam and heading south into Africa via Ferry to Morocco.
Hello, and welcome to the HUBB.

I agree with Tim's comment above - you really need to reconsider your overly-ambitious plans. If you only have two weeks, and you intend to ride from Netherlands to Morocco and back, you are not going to see anything at all other than the yellow stripe on the left side of the road and the forecourts of motorway gas stations. It's going to be a 14 day "Iron Butt" ride, nothing more.

If this is your first time riding in Europe, and you have two weeks to spend, I suggest you confine your travels to Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and perhaps a little bit of north-west Germany. That gives you 4 very different countries and cultures to experience. Plan on riding no more than 200 km (about 120 miles) a day if you want to see the sights, enjoy the food, and learn about the culture.

If you really do want to ride 6,800 km (4,200 miles) in 14 days, do it in the USA on the motorways. Cheaper fuel, longer straightaways, and you won't need to worry about airfare or different languages.

Michael
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Old 17 Apr 2023
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In 2013 I went from my home in the Netherlands to Morocco. That is ten years ago so things may have changed but it will give you an impression : https://www.krijtenburg.nl/trips/n2g2.org/index.shtml
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Old 18 Apr 2023
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Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOpenRoadCalls View Post
American here planning my first Euro-Biking trip. Two weeks, leaving from Amsterdam and heading south into Africa via Ferry to Morocco.

From reading this board and others it seems like renting would be my best bet, right? Anyone have rental suggestions? I'm looking for something simple and cheap with two wheels to ride.

Just starting to put the details together so if you have any input, suggestions, forewarning, everything is appreciated.

Thanks!
Hi,
you don't say when you plan to travel. I would propose to "follow" the weather season.
For two weeks, you could spend them
Summer ( Juni-Aug): Nordic countries
Spring or autumn: Central Europe
"Vinter time": South of Portugal and Spain.

July and August have heavy tourism and very hot in Southern Europe.
High mountain passes are only open a short summer period...

My favorites are
Portugal in April-May + Sept-Oct
Sweden-Norway-Finland June-Aug.

Southern Portugal has so much to see and so many nice roads that you can stay one week in the same hotel. Lagos is one example. And make day trips in the area.
Bikes can be rented in Faro, close to the airport. (If you want BMW type)
https://europcarbikes.com/en/vehicles/motorcycles

Scooters, you can rent everywhere
https://www.algarveriders.com/en/scooters
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Old 18 Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
If this is your first time riding in Europe, and you have two weeks to spend, I suggest you confine your travels to Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and perhaps a little bit of north-west Germany. That gives you 4 very different countries and cultures to experience.
It doesn't, however, give much in terms of great riding roads, lol

I love the friends and coworkers I've had in those countries, but motorcycling across them was not exciting for me.
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Old 18 Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by Turbofurball View Post
It doesn't, however, give much in terms of great riding roads, lol
That's true, the roads in that region are not the same as the Alpine passes or the Black Forest area of Germany, but the OP did say that this would be his first European riding trip and that he would be starting out from Amsterdam.

Given that it is his first European trip, I think that the exposure to different cultures will be sufficient to keep him challenged and occupied. Plus it will probably be safer for him (and everyone else on the road) if he doesn't land in Zurich and start doing the mountain passes there on his 2nd day in Europe...

Michael
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Old 18 Apr 2023
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OP did not write to return via Amsterdam, though.
Maybe a bucket list thing no matter the costs, with the finger and imperial mentality on a metric map....

Anyway...a one way trip could work like this:

buy a very cheap used bike with temporary export plates > drive into south of France or further into Spain for a ferry into Morrocco > exit Morocco into Mauritania, get it stamped out of your pass and donate/sell/abandon it inside the no mans land between border posts (or damage it officially "beyond repair" to leave it un-taxed in M or officially sell incl tax) > hitch hike back towards Dakhla airport > return home.

Good luck

BTW: Did anyone yet tried asking a bike rental in Morocco, how much they would pay for a 4-5yr old, used bike of their choice? Or browsed such english speaking ex-pats classified ads, if a private person speaking your language is looking for a bike in Morocco? There must be ways to sell "in advance" to a trusted party in Morocco.
Buying such bike in Europe, drive/export it officially into Morocco (max 5yrs old, +50% import tax) and sell it to the rental shop or via classified ads. As they do not have their own vehicle production and high customs on everything, the M`s used market for vehicles in general has this priced in. Cars worth €2k in Germany are worth €7k in M. Since they only allow to import max 5yr old vehicles, a 4yr old 500ccm would not crush the bank at €3.5-5k. A rental would charge similar for the two weeks including insurance for Morocco.
Calculate this sharply through and look at the immense prices for used vehicles in Morocco. This could be a good deal, in case you manage to show up with low value buying contracts at customs. Margin is cost of fun if negative or worth the hassle if positive.*

At least it would be great experience in oriental negotiation techniques and habits.

Edit: Just quickly ran the numbers on a napkin :
4yr old 500ccm around €5k in Germany > dealer will be happy to invoice "2.5k€" on the export papers, if rest payed in cash > +50% of this invoice amount makes the bike cost 6.250€ legally imported into Morocco + export plates, + insurance during your stay, +fuel and food..

How much would a european rental charge for a 2 week bike trip with Morocco insurance?
How much worth would the 2-3 days long butt hard return trip be, in comparison of spending this precious holiday time in Morocco?

Last edited by TodoTerreno; 18 Apr 2023 at 13:28.
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  #11  
Old 19 Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by TodoTerreno View Post
...exit Morocco into Mauritania, get it stamped out of your pass...
That would be a very tricky task for a first-time rider to accomplish. Not to mention that it is a heck of a long way from Tanger Med port down to the border with Mauritania - as the crow flies, it's 2,000 km, which is the same straight-line distance as Amsterdam to Tanger Med.

I did that ride (Tanger Med to Mauritania border) a few years ago on a Honda ST 1100, a bike specifically designed for long distance touring, and I remember it was a real butt-burner of a ride, way longer than it appeared to be on a map.

Michael
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Old 19 Apr 2023
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I think a degree of realism might be called for on this one. An American planning his first Euro tour and we're suggesting he rides down to Mauritania, abandons the bike in a minefield and hitchhikes 200+ miles through the desert to a remote airport. Really! I've seen something like that done (they went to Nouhadibou rather than Dakhla) and it wasn't easy or on a deadline.

I've done London (roughly the same distance as Amsterdam) to Morocco (and back) in two weeks and while it can be done without too much difficulty you don't get to see much. You're always looking at the clock and just riding past places it might be interesting to stop and visit. In practical terms it means riding from one cheap hotel to another and spending your day mixing it with the trucks on the motorway. With two weeks and Morocco as the target, starting from Madrid rather than Amsterdam might be a better bet (rental issues notwithstanding). At least that's only 600 miles from Algeciras rather than 2000. If it has to be Amsterdam as a start point then anywhere north of the Pyrenees would be my practical suggested limit.
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Old 19 Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
...you don't get to see much. You're always looking at the clock and just riding past places it might be interesting to stop and visit. In practical terms it means riding from one cheap hotel to another and spending your day mixing it with the trucks on the motorway. ...
Exactly! Well said!

After 20 years of doing 3 or 4 week rides in Europe & North Africa every year, I have learned to apply the following guidelines to my route planning:

1) Except for "transit days" (see below), don't plan on riding more than 250 km (150 miles) a day. It's perfectly OK to actually ride more than 250 km a day, just don't base your plans on riding more than 250 km a day. Rain, crappy weather, and the occasional maintenance headache need to be allowed for, and 250 km a day allows for those unplanned lost riding days.

2) For "transit days", don't plan on more than 500 or 600 km (300-400 miles) a day, and don't schedule more than two consecutive transit days. After completing one or two transit days, plan an equal number of consecutive night stays in the same place to recover.

Is it possible to do more than the above? Sure, lots of people have. I've ridden cross-Canada in 5 days (about 5,000 km) when I was younger. But don't expect to have an enjoyable vacation if you exceed the above planning guidelines, unless your idea of a vacation is doing not much more than just riding your motorcycle all the time.

Michael
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