Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > All Miscellaneous questions > Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else
Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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



Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 25 Jun 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London
Posts: 8
Question Please advice....

Hi folks,

Got some silly questions -

I'm hoping to tour Europe (starting in mid-July) for a month- will be sticking mostly to country roads with an occasional visit to a bigger city/town and will be wild camping most of the time or at a campsite (to do laundry etc.)

Tentative Route will be - Calais > Benelux (Ardennes) > Germany (Black Forest) > Switzerland & Austria (Alps) > Italy (Tuscany) > France (Provence) > N. Spain(Pyrenees) and Bordeaux & back

I apologies if these questions have been covered before, but I would appreciated your advice on following -

In past I've only done weekend trip to Europe/in UK, where, I just carried a backpack tied to the seat and stayed in B&Bs etc.
So for a month long trip, I'm planning to buy the canvas panniers from Silverman's -
It's the first time using the panniers and even though, all my valuables will be in a rucksack which I'll be carrying with me.... I'm wondering, what happens when I have to leave the bike? i.e. stop to go hiking / sight-seeing / coffee shop / toilets etc.
How does one protect the luggage etc. while touring / or at a campsite?
Do people tend to leave the panniers on the bike or take them with them?
Would you recommend I invest in Pacsafe protector for the panniers / Are they worth it?

I'm riding Bonneville EFI '07 - and have got tube tyres - Any recommendations on a light-weight pump and repair kit in case of puncture?
I've read about the electrical pumps in other discussions - but I'm not sure where would I get the power from (esp. if I get one in middle of nowhere) ?
Is there a way I can fit a Cigarette Socket thingy on my bike (like the ones they have in cars) ? If yes, any ideas where can I get it sorted in London?

Wild Camping - I know it's not legal in some most European countries, but people still do it - away from civilisation, discreetly…and even though I'll only be staying one night at a place (just to sleep) - I understand it's a bit risky! (but that’s the fun of it, hence, I want to indulge ) Has anyone ever had a bad experience in Europe …Any advice - for first timer?

Thanks!

Rv
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 25 Jun 2012
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,350
Your panniers will almost certainly be fine. Just use your head and take your valuables with you, as you are already planning, and leave the bike parked in a busy public ocation. Try to keep an eye on it where possible, but don't be paranoid. A pacsafe will increase your security, but they are bloomin' expensive. Depends on the value of the the contents I suppose...

I wouldn't bother with an electric pump for the extremely unlikely eventuality of a puncture. Any large volume bicycle pump with a schreader valve fitting will do. Puncture kits from any online motorcycle accessory dealer. Spare tubes the same. Wemoto would be one example.

Cigarette lighter scket:

12v Waterproof Socket Cigarette Lighter Accessory: Amazon.co.uk: Car & Motorbike

Very easy to wire up yourself to your battery, or any mechanic:- car, bike or washing machine, will be able to do it for you.

Have fun!

Matt

PS - I happen to have a set of those ex-military panniers that I bought from Silverman's and have never used. You can have them for £25 including postage to London.
__________________
http://adventure-writing.blogspot.com

http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 25 Jun 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: SW France
Posts: 304
Wild camping is legal in France but I don't know about other coutries. Getting away from civilisation may be your problem, especially in July. Fires are illegal, if you light one in France someone will know and they'll call the Pompier, the fine is 2500 euros (it may have gone up).

CO2 cartridges are another way of inflating your tyre after a puncture, quite compact and a lot quicker than a bicycle pump.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 25 Jun 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London
Posts: 8
@Matt , thanks for the advise.
Sure, I wouldn’t mind buying the panniers from you...can you I call (number please) you regarding them?


@Magnon – Thanks, I won’t be lighting any fires – but was worried about being myself in case something happens (I don’t know what) –
First time you see, just being cautious
CO2 cartridges – thanks for suggestion....will definitely buy them.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 25 Jun 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Leeds area
Posts: 22
Your panniers should be fine. When I toured Europe I got a couple of personal attack alarms. They go off when the tag is pulled out. I tied them to the bike frame and then to the back of the panniers so if anyone attempted to remove them it would have set them off. But really that was a bit extreme. And not needed.

All the same basic security measures should be taken. I colour photocopied all my documents including passport. and stashed the originals away. Passport and bank cards I always keep in a body pouch (like a bumbag but sit under your clothing.) A fake wallet with a couple of Euros and some out off date credit cards (preferably ones that you don't have accounts for) If in the unlikely event you get mugged just give them the wallet. By the time they realise they have useless cards and about 5 Euros cash the last laugh will be on you !

But actually I didn't at anytime feel vulnerable, I actually felt safer leaving the bike loaded up for a couple of hours in most populated areas abroad than in most areas in the UK. Sad isn't it !

Have a great time. I'm planning a trip for the end of August.

AL
__________________
Transport is the stem without which the bright bloom of victory could not flower. Winston Churchill.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 26 Jun 2012
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Als Dog View Post
But actually I didn't at anytime feel vulnerable, I actually felt safer leaving the bike loaded up for a couple of hours in most populated areas abroad than in most areas in the UK. Sad isn't it !

AL

Ditto. Don't really know why, as I'm sure us Brits are no more likely to be theives than anyone else, but I'm always more comfortable leaving my bike unsupervised when I'm abroad.

Chunchrik, I will send you my contact details in an email.

Matt
__________________
http://adventure-writing.blogspot.com

http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 26 Jun 2012
BlackDogZulu's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: West Wales, UK
Posts: 753
Triumph do a dedicated power socket which fits into a pre-wired connector under the tank, just above the carbs/TBs. Really easy to fit and works very well. I think about £20 from Triumph dealer. Only problem is that it is the Powerlet type (as used by BMW etc), so you would need either to put new plugs on your accessories or buy/make an adapter. Plenty of those on eBay for a few quid. The Powerlet socket is far better than the faglighter type as it's more secure and resists vibration. Worth the minor inconvenience.

Remember that if you are going to be changing a tube on the road you will need to carry the kit to remove a wheel and also the tyre levers to remove the tyres. That's some heavy kit right there. I'd probably go for some tyre gloop that will seal and re-inflate after a flat, enough to drive to the nearest town and find a bike shop. You're not crossing Africa, after all.

As for your panniers etc - don't worry about it. Have the stuff you cannot lose (passport, money, bike docs, camera are mine) in a portable form and take this with you whenever you leave the bike. The rest can stay attached. I have never had anything touched while I was away from the bike while touring in the areas you mention. As Als Dog says, it feels far safer to do this than in the UK. In terms of petty vandalism and antisocialness, Europe seems a far more civilised place than here.

Enjoy the trip. I am envious.

Edit: accessory socket part number A9938015 from Jack Lilley.
__________________
2006 XT660R daily ride, 1994 XT600E about to be reborn, Blog: http://goingfastgettingnowhere.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 27 Jun 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London
Posts: 8
Thanks guys, much obliged.

I'll vast Jack Lilly's this weekend and get the power sorted.


@Matt - just sent you an email - Please respond. Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 27 Jun 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: West Yorkshire UK
Posts: 1,785
The Bonneville is a great tourer (just sold mine after 8 years of abuse) and those panniers work just fine so long as you pack everything in plastic to keep it dry.

The tyres however need a little thought. To do a full and permanant repair you need:

Centre Stand
Means to hold the bike on the sump to get the front wheel clear (I used a fuel can).
17, 24, 8, 10, 12 and 13 mm spanners plus a 14mm socket to get the brake callipers, silencers, pillion pegs and wheels off.
Tyre levers (check the tyres are marked TT and were lubed on fitting).
Rim protectors (rims/spokes are weak)
19 and 17 inch tubes and/or patch kit
Means to inflate

A back end flat used to take me about 30 minutes. The first time I did it took 2 days as Triumph grease nothing and overtighten everything. Don't forget to jam a spanner in the brake calliper to stop it closing up. The spokes are made of toffee so take care and if the tyre won't budge give the rim plenty of support before you get heavy with it. There is a knack to getting the back wheel out past the mudguard, you need to slide off the brake slider then get the bottom of the wheel well over to the left before rolling out. Watch the chain adjusters as you put the axle back, they bend easily, better to line up the left with the axle and the right with a screwdriver. Some grease to hold in the wheel spacers helps and I used to mark these L and R as they drop out and get mixed up pretty easily. If you've never done this before I wouldn't suggest starting at the road side.

To be honest I'd leave all this stuff at home for Europe and carry an RAC card. I had one paved road and two gravel track punctures in 8 years and maybe half a dozen tyre changes.

The SE with the cast wheels and TL tyres is of course a different animal. Plug kit and off you go.

Enjoy the trip.

Andy
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 27 Jun 2012
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
To be honest I'd leave all this stuff at home for Europe and carry an RAC card.
Ditto.
__________________
http://adventure-writing.blogspot.com

http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 28 Jun 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London
Posts: 8
Thanks Andy,

I'm was worried about tyres coz recently had to wait for 10 hours (RAC recovery) due a puncture - up in Highlands...

But will give it another go...without a tonne of tools!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
european ride, panniers, pump, wild camping


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
Advice needed for Imilchil-Cascades d'Ouzoud route CaBRita Morocco 8 4 Feb 2014 17:28
Truck + motorbike 'attached' - need advice Tim_A sub-Saharan Africa 3 24 May 2012 20:51
Sydney to Bourke advice harrenz Australia / New Zealand 6 15 Feb 2012 20:13
Solo Russia advice muppet8mycat Route Planning 6 30 Jan 2012 11:59
Any advice for first international trip on two wheels? Black Hawk Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 6 24 Nov 2011 15:19

 
 

Announcements

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.

2024:

2025:

  • 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 02:29.