Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Europe
Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India

Like Tree6Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 29 Nov 2012
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Rockhampton, Australia
Posts: 868
Juts pay the money. My Aussie bike has to be registered and there is no way to get a refund for the 12 months while it is out of the country

You cannot turn in the plate so you will have to live with it.
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Dec 2012
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,134
Originally Posted by Stevethelocal View Post
We're Saltspring residents and shipping the bikes over in March to tour Italy to Turkey...

Uh, I'm a Sidney, BC resident (about 5 km from you, as the crow flies), and I have a much better idea: My moto is already in Europe, with Canadian plates on it - maybe you should just use mine, and while you are away, I can ride yours around the Saanich Peninsula...

Anyway, the way plates work is like this: In theory, you should keep the BC plate current (in theory - more on that later). As you point out, your ICBC coverage is useless to you in Europe (no North American insurance company, anywhere, offers North American coverage that is also good in Europe). So, you buy a European insurance policy. These are offered for "out of Europe" vehicles (vehicles plated outside of Europe) at quite attractive prices, however, they only provide liability insurance, not fire, theft, etc.

There is a discussion here in the forum about how to get this insurance - have a look at this link: Here is where you get the cheap european green card insurance. See posts #49, 83, 116, and 126 in that thread, I won't repeat it all here. I buy from Mototouring in Italy, you can trust those people.

Now, about the BC plates: You need to keep your BC plate (in other words, your ICBC coverage) current in Canada simply because it is required by law that you have insurance to operate a vehicle in Canada. However, there is no benefit whatsoever from keeping the ICBC coverage valid when your vehicle is in Europe - first, there is no law saying you need (non-existent) ICBC coverage while you are in Europe, and second, you are not riding on the roads of Canada - hence no need to pay any form of road tax that might be collected via the licence plate fee. Your licence plate is tied, in a way, to your ownership of the vehicle, and your ownership status does not change when the plate sticker is expired.

So, if you plan to have the bike out of Canada for a long time, just remove the ICBC sticker from the plate once you get to Europe. Most European plates do not have any kind of validity sticker on them, the police are not used to looking at or looking for such stickers. Just drive around with the 'naked' licence plate on the back, and the European green card insurance coverage in your pocket. I've been doing that for many years (with an Ontario plate), and have never had any difficulties.

On the other hand, if you only plan to have the bike in Europe for a few months, it might be more trouble-free to keep the ICBC coverage in place, so that you can throw a leg over the bike and ride it home after it arrives back in Canada. I believe that you can call ICBC and 'suspend' the coverage for periods of one month or more - this will prevent you from pouring money down the drain paying for Canadian insurance cover when the bike is in Europe.

If all else fails, cancel the policy today and hand in the plate, buy a new policy (with one month validity only) one month prior to your planned departure to Europe (gets you a new plate and lets you ride the bike to wherever you plan to ship it to Europe from), then let the policy expire the day your bike flies over to Europe. When the bike arrives in Europe, just remove the stickers from the licence plate using a hair dryer and a little bit of solvent. When you return to Canada, go to ICBC and renew the policy - that will let you ride the bike out of the air freight shed and get it home. Be aware that it is horribly expensive to leave a moto in an air freight shed (fees of $50 to $100 a day for storage are not uncommon), so perhaps take your paperwork with you when you fly home, to allow you to renew the ICBC coverage before the bike arrives, so you have the stickers to put on the plate when you go to the freight shed to pick it up.

Reply With Quote
Old 21 Jan 2013
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Esquimalt
Posts: 13
PanEuropean Thanks for the heads up Good info to know .
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Mar 2015
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1
Dream of motorbike riding in Europe!! :helpsmilie:


I am Swati, a 26 year old solo female rider from India. I always had this dream of riding motor bike in Europe, even when I had no hope of realizing it ever, being from a middle class family.

Well, out of nowhere I am coming to Bulgaria, Europe this summer!!!
Mmm I have to be on shoe string backpacker budget to survive from 18th May to 31st May, 2015 in Europe.

Can anyone help me by giving me details about cheapest possible deals of motorbike rental or if anyone can lend me their personal motorbike or accompany me on this Europe road trip adventure?
I know requesting for anyone's personal motorbike is a lot, but I wouldn't mind lending mine if it can help a young adventurer realize a dream

I will be grateful for any help, if anyone can join me for a little span, or help me plan my trip or if anyone could let me ride their motorbike even for a day..

A rider soul would understand what this dream means to me..
I believe in miracles.. Hoping someday your miracle becomes a reality!

Thanks for reading..
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Mar 2015
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,134
Hi Swati:

You might be able to find a company in Bulgaria that will rent you a motorcycle for a week or two. Bulgaria is not a particularly expensive country, and if you rent a smaller size motorcycle, the cost might be within your budget.

If this will be your first experience in Europe, and if you have not done any motorcycle touring before, I recommend you don't attempt to do a 'grand tour' (England to Moscow, then Athens to Oslo). Instead, start small... perhaps stay within one country (Bulgaria), and poke around there. By doing that, you will avoid all sorts of logistical issues such as currency changing, insurance requirements, etc., and you won't be accidentally 'biting off more than you can chew' so far as distance to be traveled is concerned.

I regret I cannot offer you my motorcycle (pictured above in the first post of this discussion), it is an 1,100 cc touring machine that weighs well over 700 pounds empty, it would not be suitable (or enjoyable) for a first-time rider. I suggest you look for a bike in the 250 to 500 cc range, that would be a perfect size for touring just one country, and a lot easier for you to handle.

Reply With Quote
Old 3 Jul 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 110
Turkey have trashed the majority of their accessible coastline with high rises and it is possible to drive the greece border (ipsala) around to alanya without spending a lira if you wanted. It is the mass market euro-trail - including many of the so-called discerning traveller spots - altho' you could kid yourself otherwise in the first flush of advanture.

Even unspoilt little spots like Gemiler (follow the road from the blight that is oludeniz through the dreary kayakoy then down the great twisty road to the cove opposite gemiler island) reek of tourist fleecing. Sure they are friendly with it but that is the Turkish way. They want your money which isn't surprising because it is a very hard economic reality for most people working in the service industry. 7 day weeks 12 hours a day is not uncommon from May on.

East of Alanya it picks up, turn right at the garage a few miles after and take the old coast to gazipasa rather than the new dual carriageway - there's a low shanty looking restaurant on a bend overlooking a cove, very scenic but they are rip-off merchants if you don't watch it. This is only a short stretch and you rejoin the dual carriageway at gazipasa. But from there to Anamur it gets more than interesting with the twisty coast road but that too is slowly disappearing with the building of the new road. Anamur & Bozyazi are the only out-of-it-main towns left on the coast. Stay clear of the yukky tourist area and maybe take the trail up the mountain that divides the alanya bay from next door bozyazi bozyazi bay to the east. preferably to arrive an hour before sunset or the dawn. (Turn left on the eastern outskirts of Anamur before marmuri castle and jink about a bit on roads until it becomes a dirt track. Avoid the over-priced restaurants near the castle for anything but a snack. If you are on a budget the lokanta by the river bridge in bozyazi is limited but affordable however the prices everywhere are creeping up year by year. There's a nice restaurant with a veranda of in bozyazi at the corner on the end of the main town road by the coastal inlet (turn right at the bank on the main crossroad lights if coming from anamur and follow it round). But get an exact price first, several times the charming two ladies who run it laundered our bill. Well, one lady is charming the other thinks she looks good is mercenary.

You can picnic in any campsite in turkey if you don't want to camp there - just pay the picnic fee. Dragon motel camping is right on the beach near the castle with many trees, likewise pulu camping (just east) which is municipal drive in there and follow the road to a small cove - avoid weekends particular sunday if you want some peace and quiet. This is out of season advice. I guess everywhere will be hopping most days in season.If you are vegetarian (i'm not) dragon camping is v good, pervin the likeable hostess speaks excellent english and her mother is an ace cook, they grow a lot of their own stuff. You get a table and chairs there for your picnic money or just visit the restaurant

It's also worth following the dead end inland road north from Anamur and keep going until you can't anymore. It follows the river up the valley.

If you want some sanity near selcuk for example go to the campsite on the coast and to the right in there are some trees you can picnic under. Then you can return to your digs. or i think they have some basic chalets to let (I didn't look at them) . the main camp area to the left is barren and usually full of dutch or german bloaterhomes etc, when we went (early one May)the area to the right was closed for camping but when we asked they let us go in there and camp, we're in a 4x4.

Bozyazi to Silifke is now a mix of stunning and new road, if you didn't see the old road you won;t know you are missing out on a roadside outfit that served snacks cay and had a hammock. These new turkish dual carriageways are great to get from A-B but there's a high price being paid in many other ways.

The expansion of the gazipasa airport in future and the completion of the coast road means that alanya will join up with silifke and more threateningly the often rude oblivious Adana (a big city) hordes who frequent the coast road as far as silifke now. More flights from europe will add to this and soon this little oasis will go the way of all turkish developments. para, para, para. The turkish rich get richer, the middle class become more americanised or european and bang goes the identity of yet another area under the guzzling corporate monster.

From kizkalesi on we're back to highrise blots on the coast road again.

I have a very dear old Turkish friend he's 92, he's seen it all, he's been a part of it all, he is resignedly disdainful of what he calls the "adana tourist"
with their rudeness, flash cars and rubbish dropping. Yes it is the national pastime. Visdit a scenic spot, take some selfies or pose provacatively for your boyfriend by the ocean, have a picnic, leave all your rubbish and waltz off back home to look at the shots you took. I'm not exaggerating I've spent many months at a time in turkey. i despair for the country. it is fundamentally split. There is a chism both in national and individual character.

~obviouly there are many exempt from this and they too worry greatly about where Turkey is heading.

Sorry I don't subscribe to this ecomomic powerhouse view, it is built on the sweat for no reward of many and worse. I won't go into the guy in power.

Just a few sketches hope some of it is useful.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bike storage in Bulgaria/Greece/Romania/Southern Italy? donpablohahn Europe 6 24 Apr 2013 06:24
Partner wanted to ride out to Kieve and back through Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Germ mblack977 Travellers Seeking Travellers 4 11 Apr 2008 19:25
Companion wanted to Ride out to Kiev and back through Bulgaria, Greece and Italy. mblack977 Europe 0 18 Mar 2008 21:18
London -> Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary... phoenix Travellers Seeking Travellers 8 20 Apr 2007 09:44
Romania to Bulgaria and on to Turkey greenfarmernick Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 8 19 Nov 2004 04:05



Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.



  • Queensland is back! May 2-4 2025!

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!

Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.

Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

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 all over the world with the help of volunteers; 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, or ask questions on the HUBB. 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.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 22:52.