planning a motorcycling holiday
many of us will now be planning our holidays. some of us will be jetting off to warmer and sunnier climes while others may be considering touring holidays on the continent or perhaps here in the uk.
If you own a motorcycle have you ever considered combining your passion for riding with your holiday arrangements? Of course, if you own a touring bike then so much the better as these machines are obviously more comfortable on longer journeys but it's still possible to have a great time whatever type of motorcycle you ride. Dave King reports.
As a rider you'll know that when you're riding a motorcycle you feel so much more connected with what's going on around you than when you're driving a car. Your senses are heightened and you are so much more aware of your surroundings, and this can only add to your holiday experience.
You can either plan your own holiday choosing your own routes using a road atlas or computer, or there are any number of organisations that run motorcycle tours. Some hire motorcycles while others provide holiday packages where much of the booking of accommodation and other work is done for you in advance.
You may well frequent a particular motorcycle dealership and meet up regularly with other riding friends. Some dealers offer rideouts and tours through clubs and this is a great way to team up with other like-minded people who share your enthusiasm for motorcycling scene. Why not ask the staff at your local motorcycle dealerships for advice? Most will be only too pleased to help.
There are wide range of companies that offer motorcycle tours, from trips to the coast, beauty spots or places for adventure seekers here in the UK, to exotic destinations as far away as Morocco and even India. Of course, it very much depends on how much time you have and your budget.
What can be said is that when it comes to long distance tours to the more remote parts of Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, it's often best and safer to be part of a professionally organised tour. Canada, the USA and Australasian are great places in which to take a touring holiday, and generally safe. Just remember to monitor your fuel levels as you wouldn't want to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere!
Obviously, before you set out on your holiday it's essential to ensure that your machine is properly prepared for the journey. So make sure that it has been fully serviced, especially if your bike has been off the road during the winter months. Check its oil and coolant (where necessary) levels, lights, brakes and tyre pressures before setting off. You may well need extra storage on your motorcycle for the trip. If so, top boxes to fit your machine will be available at your local motorcycle dealer. Don't forget to take rider clothing to suit all weather conditions with you too.
It's also worth having travel insurance cover and looking into whether your driving license covers you for riding in certain countries. It may be that you'll need an IDP (International Driving Permit). If so, these can easily be obtained through your local Post Office.
Ride down to your friendly local motorcycle dealership for advice or check out the internet for information on motorcycling holidays. Type 'motorcycle holidays' into your preferred search engine, and you'll find any number of companies and organisations that will be able to help. Two helpful sites to check out are www.motorcycle.co.uk/lists/Holidays.html and www.travel-quest.co.uk/tq-motorbike.htm.
Biking holidays can be great fun and utilising two-wheeled transport rather than four can often lead to considerable savings. Prepare carefully and you should have a most enjoyable holiday experience.