TOP TIPS 8dream
Secrets of planning a motorcycle tour Top travel experts reveal their tips to the two-wheeled trip of a lifetime
1Pick your team and pick your bikes
“Everyone has different expectations,” says Geraint Hughes of dragonmototours.co.uk. “People on sportsbikes and cruisers have completely different ideas of the length of the ride, the speed and the length between stops.” Compatible bikes with compatible riders aren’t just important from a touring point of view, they’re key to staying safe. “If you are slower than the rest of the group it’s no fun constantly trying to keep up,” warns Alastair Mcfarlane of mcitours.com.
2Work out where youõre going
“I’d always buy a map of the country, or more likely, several maps, broken down by region, with a bigger scale to give more details,” says Bill Roughton. “Allow yourself some motorway sections, but mix in scenic back roads as well. And beware sat-navs, which default to sending you the obvious route.” Geraint Hughes recommends visiting www.bison-fute.gouv.fr for the flow of major roads and roadworks in France as well as telling you if mountain passes are open.
Don’t overstretch yourself with the daily mileage. Geraint Hughes says: “A couple asked us how many days they needed to tour the whole of Italy. I said three months. Pick a do-able area, focus on it and interrogate the web for everything you want to do.” Work out a realistic mileage per day – if you’re going into the Alps or the Pyrenees the distances will take longer to negotiate. 200-250 miles a day is reasonable, but you can do longer for the outward or return trip to the UK.