Soooo… we purchased the Bike (Honda pc800) and after a very well deserved service and check over … we were almost ready to ride our motorcycle in France.
We added some “MUST HAVE” items:
- A 12 volt power socket, needed for most modern day accessories that we need to travel with eg: satnav, phone charger, camera charger, kindle charger etc etc … you get the drift!
- A tubeless puncture repair kit because you never know …and waiting on the side of the road sucks!
- A basic tool kit – in case you need to fix something on the side of the road. Ours came in handy helping our buddy out a couple of times!
And then don’t forget Break Down recovery, in case of the worst situation that you can’t fix on the side of the road.
And … we were ready to go! (Well, so we thought … haha)
Now, did I mention that we hadn’t travelled on a Motorcycle in another country before?? Ok, so we thought you loaded the bike, threw on your bike gear, grabbed your passport and hit the road to the ferry port! Haha, we couldn’t have been more wrong. After talking to some friends who enlightened us to the need to do some research, we found out that France have some pretty strict laws and regulations that you must follow so as not to get the Gendarmes following you! The RAC website was very helpful in this regard but below find a short Checklist giving the basics.
DRIVING A MOTORCYCLE IN FRANCE CHECKLIST – WITHOUT THE FRILLS
- A valid full driving licence
- The Original Vehicle Registration Document (V5C)
- Your Motor Insurance Certificate
- MOT Certificate
- Hi Vis Vest for both driver and pillion (these must be worn in a case of emergency and if you pull over and stop on the side of the road for any reason really)
- Your Passport
- If you drive with prescription glasses then you have to take A spare pair of glasses
- A GB sticker (or ‘euro’ registration plates featuring the GB initials)
- A Spare Bulb Kit
- A first aid kit
NB: DO NOT TAKE OR USE: Speed camera detectors or phones/satnavs with camera locations. If your satnav/phone navigation system has a detector built in you will have to disable this feature!
OTHER ITEMS THAT ARE RECOMMENDED YOU TAKE:
- Two NF Certified Breathalyser kits
- Headlamp Beam Deflectors ( if they are needed for your vehicle)
- Helmet Reflectors
You can buy all these items individually or you can purchase a full European Driving Kit!
SOME NEW REGULATIONS THAT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF:
- All drivers and riders are prohibited from wearing headsets and headphones whilst driving, be it for music purposes or for phone calls. However, this does exclude motorcycle helmets that have integrated systems. (Yes, so no in helmet speakers to converse while you ride -you have to go back to shouting into the wind)
- Both Driver and pillion rider must wear PPE approved gloves (with hardened knuckles) at all times when on the motorcycle.
ADD SOME COMMON SENSE
Well, now that you have all the gear … add some common sense eg.
DON’T drink and drive and be aware that the alcohol limits are much lower in France than they are in the UK.
Drive withing the speed limits and make sure you know what those are. They are not always clearly marked on the road signs.
Be aware that the Gendarmes are around and they are strict when enforcing the laws. Also they will usually hit you with spot fines that are quite high and you stand the chance of having your vehicle confiscated if you can’t pay or if your “crime” is considered severe!
Right … you can now hit the road and enjoy the ride! There are some great roads to ride with stunning views and you can enjoy almost having the road to yourself. No or minimal traffic if you avoid the toll roads (they are expensive too) and stick to the lesser travelled eg D roads or farm routes eg the Bordeaux farm route … Beautiful!!
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