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hrbarakov
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Joined: 08 Jun 2021
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PostPosted: 15:42 - 08 Jun 2021    Post subject: Novice rider - eurotrip Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I am planning my first big trip and I would like any advice I can get for it. I am riding a Yamaha Virago 250, I understand it is small motorcycle but I am not planing on taking it on the highways, only occasionally for an hour or two. Below is my draft on what I am planing to improve on the motorcycle and new gear that I am planing to buy. Please, feel free to give me indications for the most appropriate gear - I am going to be riding during summer (end of July - beginning of August ).

Initial trip plan -
https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/Ardennes,+Франция/Dijon,+Франция/Grenoble,+Франция/Nice,+Франция/Genova,+Генуа,+Италия/Florence,+Флоренция,+Италия/Rome,+Рим,+Италия/Naples,+Неапол,+Италия/Bari,+Бари,+Италия/Igoumenitsa,+Гърция/@44.2352051,3.3405145,5z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m64!4m63!1m5!1m1!1s0x47ea1160a97f248d:0x30a5fb99a3725f0!2m2!1d4.6285053!2d49.7624642!1m5!1m1!1s0x47f29d8ceffd9675:0x409ce34b31458d0!2m2!1d5.04148!2d47.322047!1m5!1m1!1s0x478af48bd689be6f:0x618c10cd6e995398!2m2!1d5.724524!2d45.188529!1m5!1m1!1s0x12cdd0106a852d31:0x40819a5fd979a70!2m2!1d7.2619532!2d43.7101728!1m5!1m1!1s0x12d34152dcd49aad:0x236a84f11881620a!2m2!1d8.946256!2d44.4056499!1m5!1m1!1s0x132a56a680d2d6ad:0x93d57917efc72a03!2m2!1d11.2558136!2d43.7695604!1m5!1m1!1s0x132f6196f9928ebb:0xb90f770693656e38!2m2!1d12.4963655!2d41.9027835!1m5!1m1!1s0x133b0866db7afaeb:0xd23a43cc658cb87e!2m2!1d14.2681244!2d40.8517746!1m5!1m1!1s0x1347e8f8f3078d6f:0x87254066a3908e1!2m2!1d16.8718715!2d41.1171432!1m5!1m1!1s0x135b7e5b559cf363:0x621a7ebb7b4f5f13!2m2!1d20.2655339!2d39.5061499!2m1!1b1!3e0

Stop every 250 km for a break - stretch and take gas

Motorcycle Improvements
Front sprocket from 16 to 17 teeth and back sprocket from 45 to 42
Mirror extenders
Saddle bags- extended brackets joined at the top that go to the bottom - move the blinkers -
Sissy bar bag -
Windshield
Tachometer -
Phone/GPS stand + GPS + Thick cover for my phone - USB charger - seperate battery
Hands free
Highway bar ?
Muffler modification ?
Improve headlights ?
GoPro camera
Chain Lubricant

Gear/Equipment
3 liters of gas to carry - I need to stop every 250 km
Backpack - to carry documents, money and small stuff
Rainsuit
Summer Jacket
Summer Pants
Summer Boots/Shoes

Thank you in advance for all advice !
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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Joined: 22 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: 16:56 - 08 Jun 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you camping? (no pun intended)
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Evil Hans
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PostPosted: 17:00 - 08 Jun 2021    Post subject: Re: Novice rider - eurotrip Reply with quote

hrbarakov wrote:

Front sprocket from 16 to 17 teeth and back sprocket from 45 to 42


I'm wondering if 1 up at the front and 3 down at the back might be too much? Especially with all the extra weight you're carrying.
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Arfa__
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PostPosted: 17:55 - 08 Jun 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see you're starting in the Ardennes, are you from the UK? If not, some of this may not directly apply.

Other stuff you should carry:

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) - replaces the old EHIC and gives you some medical cover in the EU.

A Starling top-up pre-pay cash card. Offers the best exchange rates and can be used contactless and in any ATM for cheap cash. Just note you have to manually enable the magstrip in the App for some machines, including the many toll booths!

Puncture Repair Kit - Will let you plug most punctures and get you riding again in 15-20 mins to a garage for a proper permanent repair. If you've not used one before, watch some YT vids on how to use them before you go.

Overall, don't overpack and over burden your bikes. Travel light, most stuff you may find you need you can buy on route. Otherwise, don't forget your credit card, some EU breakdown cover, cable ties & duct tape are often handy when thing break and keep up to date with current covid restrictions and rules along your route.
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davebike
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PostPosted: 07:21 - 09 Jun 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Puncture Repair Kit - Will let you plug most punctures and get you riding again in 15-20 mins to a garage for a proper permanent repair. If you've not used one before, watch some YT vids on how to use them before you go.


Not a lot of use on a xv535 it has tubed tyres need tubes and skill to change or very good recovery cover!
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hrbarakov
L Plate Warrior



Joined: 08 Jun 2021
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PostPosted: 08:17 - 09 Jun 2021    Post subject: Re: Novice rider - eurotrip Reply with quote

Thank you all for the advice.

Evil Hans wrote:
hrbarakov wrote:

Front sprocket from 16 to 17 teeth and back sprocket from 45 to 42


I'm wondering if 1 up at the front and 3 down at the back might be too much? Especially with all the extra weight you're carrying.


yeah, I have not decided yet. I think it will be better to leave them as they are.

trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:
are you camping? (no pun intended)


no, mostly sleeping at hotels.

Arfa__ wrote:
I see you're starting in the Ardennes, are you from the UK? If not, some of this may not directly apply.

Other stuff you should carry:

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) - replaces the old EHIC and gives you some medical cover in the EU.

A Starling top-up pre-pay cash card. Offers the best exchange rates and can be used contactless and in any ATM for cheap cash. Just note you have to manually enable the magstrip in the App for some machines, including the many toll booths!

Puncture Repair Kit - Will let you plug most punctures and get you riding again in 15-20 mins to a garage for a proper permanent repair. If you've not used one before, watch some YT vids on how to use them before you go.

Overall, don't overpack and over burden your bikes. Travel light, most stuff you may find you need you can buy on route. Otherwise, don't forget your credit card, some EU breakdown cover, cable ties & duct tape are often handy when thing break and keep up to date with current covid restrictions and rules along your route.


I am currently based in the Netherlands, but still most of the things you said apply Smile.


Anyone could suggest a nice fitting sissy bar bags I could buy ?
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pepperami
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Joined: 17 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: 10:12 - 09 Jun 2021    Post subject: Re: Novice rider - eurotrip Reply with quote

hrbarakov wrote:
Hello everyone,

I am planning my first big trip and I would like any advice I can get for it. I am riding a Yamaha Virago 250, I understand it is small motorcycle. !


Yay! Small bike touring rocks Thumbs Up .

In my humble opinion, I would leave the sprockets as standard.

I always take more money than I need, because you never know what might happen and you need to pay there and then.
If you’re going to use back roads and minor roads, you may not always get a WiFi/phone signal, bare that in mind .
It happened to me a lot in Scotland.

Plastic bags to keep things dry is a must! (Dry bags).
Go to any decent camping shop and they should have some.
I can’t say you’ll need it , but I ALWAYS take some string with me, it’s helped me out a few times when straps have broken or something has torn.
I also always take a small sharp folding knife.
Keep it on the bike in the luggage and not on your person.
That way if you get stopped by the Politi (Police) they can’t say you’re holding an offensive weapon.
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stinkwheel
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Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 14:25 - 09 Jun 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

A hydration pack. You will not feel yourself becoming dehydrated on longer rides because the air will evaporate the sweat. Put the amount of water you think you will need to have drunk in it before you leave, make sure it's empty when you arrive.

From experience of long term touring on a 350 bullet, about 150 miles a day with a visit en-route is a reasonable target. More than this and you will be exhausted when you arrive and will not see anything worth seeing.

A sheepskin saddle cover and good quality wicking underpants are very useful for your overall comfort.

You will take far too much stuff, have an address in mind you can post half of it back to after the first couple of days once you've decided you don't need it.

With clothing you need one on, one clean and one dirty/drying.

Re: bike modifications. The bike will ride round the world in its totally standard form with just normal servicing. Any mods should be for comfort/practicality.

Headlights... Are you riding in the dark?

Muffler modification? Is there a problem with it?

Gearing... Seems a very steep change. Most bikes are pretty well geared. I'd guess you could pull one more tooth in top gear on most but I'd really only mess with the standard gearing if your normal cruising speed is at an intrusive or awkward part of the rev range.

Your engine bars will probably work as highway pegs.

Tachometer.. You probably don't need one. If you are overrevving a bike like that, you would be losing performance.

I'd go for making sure there is plenty of tread left on the tyres, there is plenty of wear in the chain+sprockets and a service before you leave. Consider taking a spare tube or pre-treating with puncture gloop.

Invest in a cable repair kit.

Take some "emergency rations" with you. Just something to eat and drink in case you land up stuck in bumfuck nowhere with a breakdown/no accommodation and have to stay there for a bit.

Leave early, get the miles in, relax in the lase afternoon/evening and take in the atmosphere/cocktails. Leave super-extra early if you are doing Alpine passes/cols so you miss all the idiots.

A Scottish company called Lomo do a variety of motorcycle luggage. Good price point. Their main business is diving equipment (wet and dry suits) so they understand the meaning of waterproof.
https://www.lomo.co.uk/acatalog/Motorcycle-Motorbike-Dry-bags-Accessories.html

EDIT: Europeans tend to conform to their stereotypes with the way they drive. Germans are impatient but efficient, Italians are too fast and inattentive. Belgians are fucking inconsiderate and will tailgate you. Dutch are chill as fuck, as you know. French are surprisingly good drivers but are not above driving after an extended and wine-sodden lunch, especially in rural areas. They also don't care much about small bashes in their cars.
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I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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