Europe is big and there are many countries to see but if you are planning a motorcycle trip, there are few things to know about beforehand. Signs, roads and road rules change vary from country to country. Beware of the rules or you must bear heavy fines. The following are some things to look out for and this is the expert tips and tricks for motorcycle touring in Europe. Before starting here is a tip, do detailed research on where you would be going.
First and foremost, whether in Europe can change especially in hilly areas, the alps and northern areas of Europe are known for it. So, you should always keep a rain suit with you, even better if you can ride with that on, or just get yourself gear that is waterproof or at least water-resistant. Motorcycle jackets, pants, etc. found here are quality gear, our UK brothers and sisters must check this one out.
Roads and signs here, are tricky. It is best to have a GPS with you, or you can use your phone with a local SIM. Paper maps help but not like a GPS. So, GPS or phone navigation is much better and recommended. Usually, a 5GB data SIM costs €25 and if you just use it for navigation it will last a month.
Usage of signals is mandatory, especially when entering and leaving the roundabout, changing lanes, and overtaking, in Pairs. European riders seldom use indicators though. Driving sides of the road also change so you better observe. Alcohol tolerance is zero and no relaxation will be given if you are found driving drunk, the blood alcohol level is 0.05. No license under the age of 18, it’s pretty common and knows. In France all riders must be wearing night visible colored jackets and helmets, failure to do so can cause fine. In Europe, most of the rides wear these too! If you want to purchase quality gear and most importantly buy it all from one place then why don’t you have a look here. Prices are economical whereas the quality is great.
Documents and License
An international license is required if you will be joining motorcycle groups or guided motorcycle tours. Make sure you pack your license before everything else. Bike’s registration and ownership documents along with any other documents like passport and taxes you have paid should be available and given to authorities on demand. It comes in handy and is useful to have the bike and travel insurance for tours and trips, check if your insurance offers this. Have all your documents ready at easily quick access location, you’ll have to provide them at the border.
If you want to avoid tolls and taxes, heavy traffic, road turbulence, go economic on the fuel then Avoid Motorways, Autobahn, Autoroute or Autostrada are the roads to stay away from. Going at high speed might attract you at first but it is dangerous, grueling, and gets the fuel tank empty quickly. On top of all that you would not be able to enjoy, the countryside, provisional roads are scenic. But if you are determined to do so, just keep in mind that do not stay in the fast lane, just go there when crossing or overtaking vehicles.
No matter how fast you are going there is always someone faster. Whatever you do, if you are on motorways, do not stay in the left lane! Motorway police are always patrolling and you can be fined if not following the law properly. Observe speed limits no matter where you are, they tend to change with the area you are in.
Tools and Taxes
At most of the places, you must pay the toll and tax so it gets expensive because of that. Carry change with you all the time. However, the parking scene is easy you can park almost anywhere where parking signs are placed. Things can get a little tricky so make sure if other vehicles are parked there, on the other hand, some places only allow residents to park. Do not block any sidewalks, footpaths, roads, and pedestrian blocks.
Transponders do not work cross borders, weird right, so there is no point in getting one if you would be traveling across the border! Vignette stickers are necessary if you don’t want to be fined. Police cars can detect these even at high speeds. If you want to enter a green zone then having a green zone sticker is also necessary, your motorcycle should be according to Euro 3 emission standards or you will be fined, in low emission zone.
Splitting and filtering lanes
Riding between lanes of slow-moving traffic is known as lane filtering. Some European countries allow you to do that and you will often be honked at if you are not filtering to the front and taking filtering space. Mostly lanes are narrow, even at single-lane you can drive in between or oncoming traffic for overtaking. Just do not try this type of adventure in France and Switzerland.
Speed cameras are in action all over and some countries are very strict about those, fines could be expensive. Countries like Switzerland, Finland, etc. won’t let you go and you can end your emptying your pockets. Observe speed limits carefully and especially for tunnels. The sings are in km/h where the driving side is right whereas they are in m/h where the driving side is left.
Speed limits also change with the weather, bad weather conditions can limit speeds for motorways to 110 km/h and 90 km/h otherwise. During winter speed limits are also reduced, just be careful of that.
Filling up the tank
Mostly you can fill up with automatic browser machines with notes and cards. I refrain from using my card mostly to stay safe from scams and skimmers. Some stations don’t have that so you’ll have to instruct the person what and how much you need and they will fill it up for you, while you sit on the bike. If you are instructed otherwise act consciously and know what you are doing, don’t just give anyone your bike.
Stay safe, ride safe, enjoy and have fun.
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