Posted: 14 Jun 2013
Now that the summer has well and truly arrived, many riders will be starting to think about that two-wheel road trip they’ve always dreamed of going on. However, with so many destinations to choose from and so many factors to consider, many people will give up before they’ve even got their adventure booked!
We asked touring specialist and H-C Travel founder David Grist, who has been professionally involved in touring for 20 years, to inspire us…
I've done some UK and European tours with mixed success
Before setting up H-C Travel in 1994, I’d been on a few UK and European tours with mixed success. My worst experience was suffering a broken crankshaft in Brentwood before I’d even got to the ferry, only for customs in Germany to rub salt in the wound by thoroughly searching my luggage when I walked off the ferry in Hamburg the next day (and all that neat packing was undone)! Since then I think I’ve got the hang of it a little more, fortunately, and want to bring my love of riding and discovery to anyone with blood in their veins.
Start a ‘bucket list’
If you’ve ever considered touring, my advice would be to start with a ‘bucket list’. If you don’t already have one, create one. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you need one of these otherwise you’ll always stay a dreamer!
These days it’s more complicated to tour, but it doesn’t have to be stressful
In the early days there was no internet and fewer touring companies and therefore fewer options for riders. However, it was also a lot easier to arrange travel and a lot more straightforward to tour. It doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think though.
Top ten trips
I’ve travelled all over the world on two wheels, and seen a lot of fantastic sites. If you’re looking to be inspired, check out my top ten touring trips to get you started. Ok, so all of these will take a bit of planning and will probably push your boundaries a little, but the world has got so many great places to ride a bike… don’t miss out on them!
Do I need travel insurance for a trip like this?
Just like any holiday, a trip on a motorcycle – be it in the UK, Europe or beyond – can be ruined by delays, lost documents, illness and more. There are plenty of travel insurance options, but you need to make sure you get a policy that includes riding motorcycles, and if it does, that it's for bikes of the engine size you'll be riding (many only cover up to 250cc). At its most basic, you should look for insurance that provides cover for the following:
In addition though, if you’re taking a motorcycle (or you're renting one while you’re away) be sure that your insurer will cover you for any medical expenses, should you have an accident. You must also think about where you’re riding – some policies won’t cover you if you’re trail or enduro riding, or if you’re on a race track. Remember – this isn’t about your bike being covered, it’s about your medical expenses, should the worst happen.
If you're only going away once, a single-trip policy will likely be all you need, but also consider an annual policy, which could extend to cover your family holidays too (a good insurer should also be able to offer cover for your whole family).
BikeSocial’s parent company, Bennetts, has a motorcycle-specific travel insurance policy – find out if it suits your needs by clicking here.