You should be in possession of your passport, driving licence, registration V5 document, and Form E111 (available from the Post Office and shows to foreign hospitals that you are in our NHS. This can save a lot of work if the worst was to happen!)

Riding on the right is not a problem and actually comes easy. Just beware when leaving junctions and garages etc. Motorists in Germany (France & Belgium for that matter) are ‘biker friendly’ as are hotels and café’s etc.

Take some ‘tie down’ long straps. Handy for tying down the ‘bike on the ferry, front wheel to stand etc. so can’t move. They also come in useful for tow ropes, for lashing down that purchase you made onto the back seat, or generally fastening the ‘bike back together!

Visa/Mastercard widely accepted. Normally stop on the motorways to re-fuel, pay by visa and buy a sandwich and drink with the petrol. I normally buy petrol with Visa and then towards the end of the trip if I’m going to have any money left I’ll use that.

Try a little of the language! No one laughs at you and you’ll get better service!

I could give you hints and tips on packing etc. but I’m not, tough life eh! Suffice to say…. “Put all the money you’re taking on the sideboard, and all your clothes on the bed. Now half the clothes and double your money”. Never found anyone yet able to contradict that statement!

You can parcel up mucky washing to send home, or dispose of the old clothes, knickers, socks etc. that you took, and buy new. You’ll get better goods at a cheaper price than here in Blighty!

Carry details of your hotel etc. with you at all times. If you get lost then someone will be able to tell you how to get back, and you’ll have a ‘phone number to ring!

Ride in a group, or alone… no probs. If you do ride in a group then ensure that the person behind you sees where you go at junctions, roundabouts etc. If the person in front of you turns left at a junction then wait to see that the person behind you sees you turn left also. The person behind will go straight on if they haven’t! Start the ride with a full tank and an empty bladder!

Drop Off System

If we use the drop off system at any time, this is how it works .... The leader will always remain the front ‘bike, and the ‘Tail End Charley’ will always bring up the rear and will always be the last ‘bike!

You may change places within the group to suit your riding style, preferred speed etc.  Any overtakes must be totally safe of course.

When coming to a change of direction, junction, roundabout etc. the leader will indicate to the bike behind to stay at that junction and indicate to everyone the direction we are taking. 

When the ‘Tail End Charley’ comes in to view the bike should move off in front of ‘Charley’. As each junction is taken the ‘bike behind the leader will then become the last person and should be ready to move off in front of ‘Tail End Charley’. At roundabouts it can get tricky... but best place is to position on the exit road being taken by the leader but clearly in view of those on the roundabout.  Same at ‘T’ junctions, turning off the main road, the marking bike must be clearly in view and not tucked up in the junction out of sight so that all the others trundle past.  The lead bike will normally indicate the best and safest place to position. The lead ‘bike will also take the responsibility of stopping on the motorway prior to leaving at service areas if ‘Charley’ isn’t in his view!

We won’t put a marking ‘bike down if it’s obvious where the road goes, where there are ‘give way’ or stop lines on the side junctions, but if it’s not clear then we’ll mark and direct the following ‘bikes. If the guy behind the leader sees an ambiguous junction he thinks should be marked, but the leader hasn’t asked him to, then please take it on your own back to do so.  The boss might be daydreaming!

The marking ‘bike, once he sees Charley come in to view may move off when safe, even if there are still bikes behind him. Be ready, don’t cause Charley to have to slow or stop for you ... because Charley will often have a car up his backside!

It’s simple and it works.  It enables a group of motorcyclists to travel many miles safely and swiftly.


Touring hints’n tips

“Knowledge speaks ... but wisdom listens”   Jimmy Hendrix