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 One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)

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steveR
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PostSubject: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:50 am

I have been given a pass out for late August/Early September and fancy popping across to the Mainland Smile Might do a Pyrenees, Alps and Vosges run, probably 3K+ miles or so. Else a shorter 2K run into Germany.

Just wondered what the experienced Swing rider does before such a trip and on the journey?

Oil will be swapped in engine and final drive, belt was swapped 1500 miles ago as were tyres. Usual walk around, kick tyres etc... What else? I checked brakes at the same time as I swapped tyres and they look OK. Coolant too I suppose.

I did notice the bike had a real strong rubber smell after prolonged high speed running when I was coming back from Scotland a few weeks ago, I haven't pulled the belt cover as it went away with some sensible speeds and I havbe not noticed it since Smile Anything to worry about?

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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:29 am

Having done a lot of miles in Europe in the 20 years I lived there, on bikes but also quite a few on my Vespas only think you need to carry spare belt and tire repair stuff and pump, and some tools. And some sort of Automobile club membership for towing.

Fill tank when it gets at the half mark....walking sucks.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:23 am

I'd research the area where you're going, book a decent ferry cabin, some accommodation, take T shirts, socks, and underwear, that's easily washed and dried, a big wedge of €uros, but you probably do all that sort of stuff already as you're not a touring novice.


Last edited by Meldrew on Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:35 am

I'm doing a similar thing about the same time, Vosges and the Black Forest (I'll be with two BMW motorcyclists !!). I'm not in the least worried about the SWing altho' I do have breakdown cover, my main concern is whether my plastic card will be acceptable to the French automated fuel pumps as we have had variable success on previous trips when I was a motorbike rider.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:07 am

The plastic card pumps are less problematical than they were but do be aware that petrol here is now more expensive than in the UK (on average).

Fill up before you cross the Channel on the outward trip.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:15 am

john grinsel wrote:
Having done a lot of miles in Europe in the 20 years I lived there, on bikes but also quite a few on my Vespas only think you need to carry spare belt and tire repair stuff and pump, and some tools. And some sort of Automobile club membership for towing.

Fill tank when it gets at the half mark....walking sucks.

Half full, that is a 60mile range..... Smile

Tyres have gloop already, but yep I take some Finilec too. I thought I think Imight find room for the old belt as a spare as you suggest.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:18 am

Meldrew wrote:
I'd research the area where you're going, book a decent ferry cabin, some accomodation, take T shirts, socks, and underwear, that's easily washed and dried, a big wedge of €uros, but you probably do all that sort of stuff already as you're not a touring novice.

I cheat and reduce the Euro wodge by camping Smile If I go N. Spain, a cabin is a must I reckon...The research usually entails many happy hours poring over maps, in recent years it is then off to Mapsource/Googlemap and dump the routes into my Zumo. However, I still have my maps with me, much more fun.


Last edited by steveR on Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:22 am

bikerboy wrote:
I'm doing a similar thing about the same time, Vosges and the Black Forest (I'll be with two BMW motorcyclists !!). I'm not in the least worried about the SWing altho' I do have breakdown cover, my main concern is whether my plastic card will be acceptable to the French automated fuel pumps as we have had variable success on previous trips when I was a motorbike rider.

I aqm not worried about the Swing at all, it is a Honda!! Carole Nash provide the breakdown cover as part of my insurance, but i always email them when going abroad/. Keeps them sweet and costs nothing...

IKWYM about the frog pumps, 2 years ago we were 4 bikes with 5litres between us and only one card from one of us with a French bank a/c that would work with the pumps. He didn't half hammer the card that morning... I have found that Visa is widely accepted nowadays which is good, as I have dumped my mastercard account.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:07 am

My take on fill at half mark......you might spend the rest of the tank looking for a pump. Small tanks suck.


I ran out once in a million and a half miles.....Hokkaido Japan, top of hill was able to kinda coast to station------but have had many close calls and nervous minutes hoping I could find some gas. Looking and worrying can ruin trip. In pinch camp stove gas will work, too. Italy don't they close at noontime for nap?
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:15 am

Italy, France, Belgium - indeed they do.....and some petrol stations are open 24/7 but permanently unmanned.
Here, the petrol is cheaper in them.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:53 pm

john grinsel wrote:
My take on fill at half mark......you might spend the rest of the tank looking for a pump. Small tanks suck.


I ran out once in a million and a half miles.....Hokkaido Japan, top of hill was able to kinda coast to station------but have had many close calls and nervous minutes hoping I could find some gas. Looking and worrying can ruin trip. In pinch camp stove gas will work, too. Italy don't they close at noontime for nap?

Small tanks do indeed "suck"! Bloody stupid I reckon.

I run my camp stove on Aspen petrol http://www.aaoil.co.uk/environment-Aspen-4T-alkylate-petrol which is fine in the bike if required, trouble is 1litre will not go far Sad A good satnav is a godsend in strange towns for locating fuel too, I find.


Last edited by steveR on Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:20 pm

I will have space under the seat for a gallon fuel can but I am not sure if this is a good idea especially as we are using Eurotunnel !!
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:23 pm

It's not illegal in the tunnel but check the rules about carrying spare fuel in France - it seems to be illegal here in Belgium.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:43 pm

German motorcycle accessories shops like Hein Gericke, Polo, and Louis all sell a 2 litre polyethylene reserve fuel can which give you extra range without taking up too much storage space.

I was a bit worried about not being able to find the usual 95 octane bleifrei in Germany when I was touring there in April, but I had no problems at all. I had read of the change over to biofuels, but it seems the motoring public are aren't happy with it and buying the usual stuff. I was in Munich all last week and I can't remember seeing a petrol station selling biofuel.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:29 pm

bikerboy wrote:
I will have space under the seat for a gallon fuel can but I am not sure if this is a good idea especially as we are using Eurotunnel !!

It gets very warm under the seat and does not ventilate.
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robert
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:35 am

Does anyone have a good idea on carrying extra fuel, such as in your top case.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:32 am

I've got one of those 2 litre fuel canisters and I've yet to use it, but I'd store it either in the top case or under the seat at the rear. I wouldn't store it in soft saddlebags as it's in a vulnerable area in a crash, if the scoot slides far enough it could wear through the can and ignite the fuel.

I can't say I've ever had a problem from loading up any size top case on any bike or maxi scooter I've owned either. I'm currently using the Givi E55 and if they ever bring out the Givi E60 I'll have one of those too.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:19 am

Is it illegal to carry extra fuel in some areas?
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:28 am

robert wrote:
Is it illegal to carry extra fuel in some areas?

Dunno about "over the Pond", my understanding is that Euroland Regs requires fuel to be stored in an approved and marked container.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:11 am

As I said in an earlier post in this thread, it appears that it is illegal to carry spare fuel here unless one is going to a vehicle which has run out - that used to be an offence in itself but may have changed.

One would need to be a bit inattentive to do so here as the furthest one can ride directly in Belgium is 193 miles!
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:17 am

robert wrote:
Is it illegal to carry extra fuel in some areas?

Not certain about the legality of additional fuel. Whit came up with a solution if you feel it is necessary. I'm with bigbird on this - Why?

http://www.silverwing600.com/t1878p15-aux-fuel-tank#22532
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:26 am

There are roads (paved) that have over 150 miles between gas stations in the desert South west.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:33 am

joncallihan wrote:
There are roads (paved) that have over 150 miles between gas stations in the desert South west.

Well within the limits of the two Silverwings in my garage. We typically get 170 miles by the time the last bar starts flashing.

If anyone is interested in the Auxillary Fuel Cell made by Whit, you need to contact him directly. I have no further information about the fuel cell.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:25 pm

bigbird wrote:
There's so many gas stations, even in the wild west, that no one carries extra fuel in N. America. Maybe if someone were going up into the Canadian Arctic, but otherwise not necessary on our side of the pond.

If that's the case why is there a topic on fitting Auxiliary Fuel Tanks on your side of the pond? I remember reading an article about a British bike journo who rode 1000 miles within 24 hours for an IBA award on a stock Honda NTV650 Deauville without any fuel problems. I used to have a BMW R100GS PD with a 35 litre fuel tank, it was good for 300 miles but my bladder was only good for 200 miles. I didn't know about 'pavement wetting systems' back then. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:43 pm

Are the weirdos and lunatics on your side of the pond doing that to avoid stopping to use the dirty bathrooms in Tennessee?
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:52 pm

I've just got back from France and found Leclerc took my Visa debit card but at Intermarche I had to use a Visa credit card. I'd advise taking both if you have them. As an aside, I averaged 50mpg (48-52) over 1300 miles running at 70-80 mph on Autoroutes and at a "fast pace" on the other roads.
My best was 156 miles before the warning light came on.

Ian
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:52 pm

Hmm... I guess I must be a weirdo and lunatic then. I had a 3.5 gallon Tourtank inside the topbox and it served me very well through several IBA rides and 1 rally. My buddies (also Silverwing pilots) have 2.5 gallon Tourtanks. I'm actually waiting for a 5 gallon Tourtank right now.

As for why? There's different rides for different riders. I don't like to stop. Simple as that. Then again, I try to do a lot of endurance riding where time is a major consideration. At interstate and turnpike speeds, my Swing also gobbles up gas, so I want to make sure I can go at the very least 250 miles before I start looking for gas.

I wouldn't recommend carrying your spare gas in saddlebags since it might get smashed if your bike goes down on the side.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:09 pm

If you're not going with an aux tank route, I have carried spare fuel in MSR bottles as well as a Rotopax before under the seat. How safe is that? I don't know. I've ridden all through 90+ degree summer days with that old setup and it was fine. With an aux tank, I don't worry about it.

If you're gonna just go on stock, just know what your range is like at different speeds. With my setup, I know that I get close to 50mpg if I keep my speed below 60mph (for back roads trips), if I maintain 70mph, I get 42mpg, and if I maintain 80mph, I get 37mpg.

Like others have mentioned, research the area you're going to, particularly if you are going to ride during the night. On a previous trip down and up the Atlantic (Pennsylvania to Georgia and back), I found that MANY of the gas stations along the interstate were closed after 8pm. That was quite a shock but thankfully I was told beforehand so I spent several hours the week before locating 24hr gas stations and programming them into my GPS.

Enjoy your trip!
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:31 am

goldwinger wrote:
I've just got back from France and found Leclerc took my Visa debit card but at Intermarche I had to use a Visa credit card. I'd advise taking both if you have them. As an aside, I averaged 50mpg (48-52) over 1300 miles running at 70-80 mph on Autoroutes and at a "fast pace" on the other roads.
My best was 156 miles before the warning light came on.

Ian

That was good MPG in my experience, how heavily laden where you?

Out of interest, how much were the tolls on the scoot? In my defence, I have never used peage roads in Europe and try to avoid the M6 toll here too! My satnav is programmed to avoid them too Smile

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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:28 am

Hi Steve
I had the topbox empty, so I had somewhere to stow all my gear when it was hot, the underseat compartment was full of clothes etc. I do have a pair of throw-over panniers but as I was riding alone, I didn't need the space. I also try to avoid toll roads but I slept for only an 90 min the night before I was due to leave, so I changed my Eurotunnel booking online from 6:30am to 3:30am. The weather forecast was very good with temps between 24c-29c all the way, so I planned a direct route, avoiding toll roads but with a second route including tolls, if the weather turned bad. Needless to say, it rained from Calais all the way for the first 400 miles, so I used the toll roads. It was a horrible journey, I was dog tired and those toll roads are so boring. I took 8 1/2 hours, including 5 fuel stops to complete my 525 mile France leg of the trip. The toll cost was about 60 Euros in all.
The return trip was so much better. Lovely sunny weather, so i rode in shorts and a T shirt until I got to Rouen, where the heavens opened up!!! lol The return trip took 9 hours, including 5 fuel stops, 470 miles, ( I visited family in the Montbron area, so a shorter trip back) with all D roads except from Rouen, where I took the A28 for the last leg. Toll cost about 6 euros.

Just a few asides:
My Givi Airflow screen was fantastic, the best screen of any bike I've ever ridden. In the torrential rain, with it fully "up", I hardly got any rain on my visor. The rest of the time , I adjusted the screen to either be very comfortable or to blast my face when I was extremely tired.
My Go Cruise was a god send, giving my throttle hand long rests on the toll roads.
The Hyperpro springs made the Swing feel very planted at all times, although the ride is a lot harsher on bumpy surfaces, I much prefer the ride overall.
As I use a Garmin Zumo 550, I like to plot not only 2 routes as I've mentioned, but also lots of waypoints, as the Garmin has a habit of getting itself confused, so I'm able to just switch to the next waypoint to get back on track.
The Hit clutch and DrP sliders (26gm) performed very well but I noticed a bit of clutch judder on takeoff, on my trip back. I'll be changing the pillow springs asap to cure that.
I was very pleased with the MPG seeing as I had ridden pretty hard all the way there and I am a tad heavy on the throttle by nature.

Ian
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:43 am

French petrol pumps are only a problem on Sundays. I carried a CaxtonFXCard with me. You can load it with money before you go. In the end I didn't need to use it as we used supermarket pumps on the Sundays we were travelling, but always good to know I had a backup plan. Checkout http://www.caxtonfxcard.com/
As far as I know they are part of Newcastle Building Society.

Are you using TomTom? I have the French autoroute aires all listed in two PIO files (repos and service) also the junctions PIO. If you want them (or if anyone wants them PM me with your email and I'll send them attached to emails.
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:33 pm

goldwinger wrote:
Hi Steve
I had the topbox empty, so I had somewhere to stow all my gear when it was hot, the underseat compartment was full of clothes etc. I do have a pair of throw-over panniers but as I was riding alone, I didn't need the space.

The return trip was so much better. Lovely sunny weather, so i rode in shorts and a T shirt until I got to Rouen, where the heavens opened up!!! lol The return trip took 9 hours, including 5 fuel stops, 470 miles, ( I visited family in the Montbron area, so a shorter trip back) with all D roads except from Rouen, where I took the A28 for the last leg. Toll cost about 6 euros.

Just a few asides:

My Go Cruise was a god send, giving my throttle hand long rests on the toll roads.

As I use a Garmin Zumo 550, I like to plot not only 2 routes as I've mentioned, but also lots of waypoints, as the Garmin has a habit of getting itself confused, so I'm able to just switch to the next waypoint to get back on track.


Ian

Sounds like quite a trip! It is always a hard call on what gear to take, especially when heading to the Med, like you I have had big temp differences in a day's travel. Trousers are usually Hood jeans and a waterproof overtouser, jacket can be mesh for summer, mesh and over jacket for warm rain then pukka bike jacket for crap weather with a fleece under for cold weather. bam, top box full Sad Gottadmit i always wear protective gear...

What make of throwovers panniers do you use, I picked up a cheap set, but they wouldn't fit the Swing seat? If only you could get proper hard cases off the shelf ? Smile

I've used a crampbuster for years, but recently invested in a GoCruise, not yet fitted, as I need to trim the essential Gripmonkey back a bit Sad Like you, I love my Zumo, I usually program a route in using Mapsource, but regularly alter it en route. I use lots of waypoints for each route, which as you say allows for deviations more easily. My real hate 20 odd years ago was getting across strange European towns and cities, now I just put an earplug in and let the Zumo navigate Smile
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:37 pm

steveR wrote:
I have been given a pass out for late August/Early September and fancy popping across to the Mainland Smile Might do a Pyrenees, Alps and Vosges run, probably 3K+ miles or so. Else a shorter 2K run into Germany.


Now on Plan B!

Catch a motorail from N Holland at den Bosch, then sleeper train down to Alessandria. £160 incl return ferry from Dover, then disembark man and steed and head off for the Italian/French border and 2-3 days in the Alps before heading North on a 3 day meander. Camping all the way...

Now if only I can get the damned Harvest finished soon to allow me sneak away Wink
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:45 am

Steve
Could you give me the web sites you used to book the ferry & train? I'd like to see what the options are to get to Bordeaux. On my trip, the tunnel return was £75, and I spent about £150 on fuel, so it may be a better option to go via your idea next time.
Ian
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steveR
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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:06 am

goldwinger wrote:
Steve
Could you give me the web sites you used to book the ferry & train? I'd like to see what the options are to get to Bordeaux. On my trip, the tunnel return was £75, and I spent about £150 on fuel, so it may be a better option to go via your idea next time.
Ian

This is an excellent site for research Ian.

Research

This is the Site i will use, IF there are any berths still free on the 9th!!

Here

Northern Italy may be a tad far from Bordeaux, but it is a nicer ride across than N -> S!

As you say, fuel is gobbled on the haul South and what it will do to a rear tyre is scarey...

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PostSubject: Re: One for the Big Trip boys (and girls!)   Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:45 am

Thanks Steve, very useful!!

It seems that they have stopped the Calais to Bordeaux service. Shame.

They do run from Paris to Bordeaux but at a price that's dearer than the straight run.

Oh well, back to the drawing board!!!

Ian
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