I’ve just ridden pretty much that route, but as it was our main holiday we spent 3.5 weeks doing it and had some long stops along the way. Drop me an email (in profile) with any specific questions, but number one priority for me has always been getting the bike spot on – tyres and brakes especially.Posted 4 years ago
Went Caen – Mliau – Caen a few years back, as they say it was more about the journey rather than destination 😉 10hrs per day does seem quite a lot but being on your tod you should make good time – depends on mileage & type of roads you are on i guess? Touring type roads (ie not mways) I recon 300miles per day but then I do ride a guzzi & have to allow er cough “maintenance time” coughPosted 4 years ago
Start early and finish at 4 pm every day, its supposed to be fun !
Was your time calc based on a car or a bike as you will bop along a bit easier on a bike..
Service your bike, take some tools and I found a tank bag invaluable.
Loose yourself on Horizons Unlimited web office … http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/Posted 4 years agobazzerMember
I love touring in the Alps and 300mile days on the sort of roads I go to ride is a lot.
8hrs from start to finish with a lunch stop and a couple of coffees works for me. So that’s probably 6 hours of riding.
Better to do less and have good quality than more and have to cut the good roads short and hit the motorway to make your ferry.Posted 4 years agoDaisy_DukeMember
Take a look at ADVRider.com if you have the wanderlust and watch the afternoon disappear. Motorcycle touring is just wonderful way to travel and see the countryside.Posted 4 years ago
I’d make sure bike is tiptop condition before you start and will make the journey home as well and the journey out! I speak from bitter experience! 😳
I know there’s a few people on here with motorbikes, so thought I’d try and gleen some tips from the stw hive mind.
I’ve booked a ferry from Plymouth to Santander in mid October, and then a ferry from Cherbourg to Poole 5 days later. Other than that, I have no idea what I’m doing!! I’ve been riding for 5 years and own an Aprilia Shiver. My basic plan was to stuff 5 t-shirts, sock and pants in a bag and head out with the idea of riding through the Pyrenees to Milau (obligitary viaduct shot) then join the route des grandes alpes, before heading from Geneva to Cherbourg.
Thing is, google maps is quoting 50 hours, so I think this might be a little long. Has anyone got any tips for a first time tourer? I’ve sorted ferry, insurance and breakdown cover. Planning to find B&B’s/hotels each night depending how far I get…
Thanks in advance!Posted 4 years ago
Thanks guys. Bike is just back from it’s 3 year service and has new tyres and brake pads fitted. Horizons and ADV look like great resources, bookmarked for when I have a bit more time to read through. 300 miles sounds like a good figure to plan on, I think I need to revise my route a little to get closer to this. Currently I’m around 350-400.Posted 4 years agoTrimixMember
Ive done a lot over the years, on things like Fireblades and now on a KTM Adventure (which is perfect for touring).
I would suggest not having an itinery. Just take a map and over breakfast pick a destination – not too far away. Ride a few hours, lunch then a few more. Stop early, find a hostel / B&B and enjoy the late afternoon.
I did one trip for several months like that. Stayed in hostels when I fancied some company and met lots of really great people, then when Id had enought I just moved on.
Ive just done some in Corsica and I took my bivi kit – that was the best.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve done a 2500 mile tour pretty much every year for the past 5 years. This is what I’ve learnt:
Buy a tomtom rider off ebay. Navigating off a damp map in a tank bag is a total nightmare. As are french motorway tolls on a bike (stop-gloves off-pay the monkey-stash change-gloves on-ride away-repeat every 100 miles. A credit card to get yourself a hotel when it pi$$es down is essential: the accor hotels iphone app is really useful for that
Irrespective of the forecast, take wet gear.
French Route Nationales are good fun & not heavily policed, though you will end up seeing a lot of lorries avoiding the autoroutes. Spanish roads are generally immaculate though you may end up playing the “we built that, we own that, we paid for that game on the motorways that lead to nowhere (Pamplona to half way to Barcelona is a prime example)
Plan your route as best you can. A lot of people are using an app called tyre (http://www.tyretotravel.com). Here you can fine-tune your planned route & get a good estimate of how long it’s gonna take. We’ve found that tomtoms in europe are far more accurate at estimating ETA than they are in the UK. Microsoft autoroute isn’t.
Once you’ve planned your route, don’t stick to it come hell or high water – go with the flow and be prepared to chop and change based on conditions, how the bikes behave and how you’re progressing: even “fixed” ferry tickets can be changed pretty easily.
Try and take a list of your bike brand’s dealers with you. Parts are a nightmare to source abroad but a franchised dealer might just take something of a display model to help you out – I’ve had this with my KTM before.
With that in mind don’t use disc locks as there’s nothing worse than setting off slightly hung over & feeling the clunk as your lock destroys your disc / caliper when your 800 miles from home in the middle of Germany on a Saturday afternoon.
Alpkit sell some great, cheap, dry bags to line panniers and tail packs with. Their tougher airlock extra bags are also fine for strapping down outside of a pannier for things like tents, sleeping bags and thermarests.
If you must use a rucksack, make it a small one like a camelback – let the bike carry the heavy stuff. Drink lots while riding in the heat.
Earplugs are the difference between being able to cruise at 60 all day or 80. They also make it much less tiring. Buy in bulk from Arco & take enough for two sets each day.
Learn how to use ratchet straps before you have to strap the bike down to the ferry deck. We now use one per side on each bike (the ship’ll have them) as we’re fed up of single ones cutting into the saddle.
You HAVE to carry two breathalysers each in france, and glasses (with spares!) if you need them. They were looking to force bikers to wear hi-viz. I’m not sure what became of this.
If you or your mates have a set of loud cans put the baffles back in. 2000 miles of WAAAAAAAAAA-WAAAAAAAA-WAAAAAAAAAA or THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD is terrible for the person behind.
Long stretches of motorway are boring and really tiring. To the point that I nearly fell asleep on the A1 while riding once. Try to do no more than 120 miles / 2 hours between breaks.
British credit cards still fail to work in French petrol stations for some reason so be prepared to take cash.
You riding jacket’s pockets are not waterproof, so put your phone and wallet in a freezer bag or proper aquapack.
I have gpx files (or tomtom ITNs) for that part of the world taking in some amazing twisties if you’re interested.
Wherever you go – remember it’s not a route march it’s a holiday.Posted 4 years agogearfreakMember
Don’t underestimate how big France is. Did pyranees (sp) > Milau > Fougeres > Ferry. Getting from the Pyranese (Sort) to Milau took a good days riding, so then had over 11 hours on the bike the next day to get to the inlaws near Fougeres, it pissed it down all day, I practically fell off the bike! Luckily I was handed a tea, then a beer, then a nice hot meal.
I would recomend a waterproof onsie unless you have a good goretex riding suit. Being cold and wet is miserable.
Keep off the motorways, D roads are the best. I took ages planning my route, then put planned route into satnav and followed that. Didn’t have a definitive plan, so just stayed in F1’s or other budget hotels. The area around the gorge’s du lot was beautiful, and great riding.
Have fun.Posted 4 years agoBustaspokeSubscriber
I agree with Trimix, try not not to have a itinery.We took the Plymouth-Santander boat the other year & spent a couple of weeks in the Picos D’Europa,only 70 odd miles from Santander,great riding on quiet roads,we were originally going to the Pyrenees..Posted 4 years ago
There’s a bike event in Santander you may be interested in,Moto Pistons rally http://www.mcitours.com/tours_detail_selfguided/?tourid=S12
and get one of those motorcycle tyre repair kits with the rubber plugs and CO2… worth every Euro with a flat well away from anywhere..
Interesting from the KTM guys, and a bit of a gratuitous pic fest, but selling this:
For this as Ms Rickmeister is not fond of driving the ZZR but loved bopping about while testing the SMT… Result !
Posted 4 years agotrail_ratMember
My dads contribution to touring on bike after 2 tours this year round different parts of france is make sure your seat and bike fit well
His deuxville apparently did not – saddle too soft and too low meaning his knees were up higher than he liked ( came from a zx6r previously but it did not like being 2 up.
New bike being researched now e knows what he wants.Posted 4 years ago
Really useful info guys. Especially hotfiat, appreciate your assistance.
Tyre repair kit, waterproof onsie, Tomtom rider and a waterproof rucksack are in the basket. List of Aprilia dealers on my route is being compiled.
That Tomtom rider looks great, being able to work out the twistiest route between two points looks like a great idea.
Baffles are still in my Akros. Although loud cans save lives, there’s a limit to what I can put up with, even with my earplugs in!!Posted 4 years ago
Ha ha Hot flat… I remember summer days in Hungary and Czech Republic, perforated leathers and the only way to survive was to wear a soaked t-shirt…
It was either die from the heat or do something else, so jeans and a shirt it was. Leathers rolled up and stashed on the rack…
I can’t believe people can be comfy out here with the full BMW Partner Look in 35 degrees…Posted 4 years agosuperfliMember
If it was me, I would have spent most of my time in Spain. Biggest race track in the world 🙂Posted 4 years ago
Advice from above (especially the wet weather gloves), plus always useful to take a cargo net or 2, they can be very handy -some things dont need to sit in the bags, just net them to the top. Also try not to use a rucksack, your back will ache. A tank bag is not only useful for storage and maps, but also for quick access to money/passport etc (resting weary head!). I use a bumbag – although it looks gaff, its great for change/cards etc.
Formula 1 hotels are your friend. Plenty of them on French roads and are extremely cheap.
Take 100euro change for the obligatory fine 🙂
I’m coming round to the idea of a tank bag. I’ve been considering a rucksack as I don’t intend to take much with me to be honest.
How are you finding the Shiver ?
I rode tested one a while back (750)and it went well.
Love it. I wanted a naked that wasn’t as aggressive as the big litre bikes, so it came down to this, a monster of the triple. I wanted something a little different, so the Ape it was.
The TPS has gone on it, so it’s in the shop at the moment getting a new one, and I’ve heard talk of the O2 sensors going as well, but other than that it’s done 3 years and 10,000 miles without a hitch.
Loads of aftermarket parts for them as well, so customizing is pretty easy.
Posted 4 years ago
tyre repair kit
tom tom rider v3 europe
pannier dry bags / liners [use them for the room instead of heaving panniers]
take a michelin europe book map and look for the green routes
forget about the cost
ride the B500 from Baden Baden and try to go to Andermatt
simply sublime holidays 🙂Posted 4 years agojamesmioMember
Not abroad (yet) but we’re building this little number up at the moment if you’re every looking for places to visit & stay in the UK, Ireland and Isle of Man…
Worth mentioning that almost all of the hotels & B&Bs on there have secure bike parking, which is also ideal for storing bikes without engines in too…
*Disclaimer – I’m part of the team behind it, nothing to hide here!! 🙂Posted 4 years agomuddyfoolMember
Some great advice here already.
Just a couple of things to add…
99% of the time your credit card will work in a petrol station, the other 1% will usually be an Esso one (in my experience, could be just chance) and will be on a Sunday when there’s no other way to pay. So don’t wait for the fuel light to come on!
Avoid motorways where possible. French roads are generally really quiet and you can make really good time on them. That said, I’d be looking at 200-250 miles a day (non-motorway) max for your first tour personally. Especially if you want to be able to stop off anywhere on the way.
Might be worth working out some alternate routes in case of really heavy rain. I’ve been drowned in Italy before and when that happens you just want to get there, and open a beer. I’d try to stay near cities if possible to allow a beer or two in the evening too, cheap f1 style hotels seem a good idea until you realise they’re miles from anywhere. Also waterproofs are essential!
Things like closed roads, pedestrian precincts, etc are purely advisory 🙂Posted 4 years agototalshellSubscriber
that last post just about sums it up for me ditch the cherborg poole ferry booking then your not timed to a time to be anywhere i ve always goone plymouth santander and ended up on euro tunnel at the time and day of my choosing ( usually the night before..)
France isn t that big and i ve ridden non stop chamonix geneva calais in one day on N roads no prob.. ( no toll on that last little bit brfore the tunnel)Posted 4 years agoOrange CrushMember
It seems that Les Flics are doing motorcyclists now for not having the regulation reflective patches on their helmets. I’m sure Google will reveal all, and there’s someone in Britain selling the required items.
Utter nonsense – if someone can’t see the headlight or reflective rear number plate then they are hardly likely to see a small patch on the helmet.Posted 4 years ago
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