After not riding for 10 years I've been talked back into it by a mate who wants company on a 12 day, 2500 mile trip around Europe next summer.
My only previoustry at touring was a 5 day trip to Spa about 12 years ago. Could have done with advice then as I did it on a ZXR400. At 6' I wasn't feeling my best when I got off!
I'm presently riding a CBR600FN, '92, to get my confidence back and could do with whatever advice folk can give me about a new bike, touring tips etc.
I've had a look at a few bikes and I'm fancying something like a 650 VStrom.
I think a V-strom stylee would be a good choice for doing reasonable distance on, comfortable, practical and easy going so you can enjoy the ride.
I think Gedge has got/had a versys and used it for the same thing so he'llbe along shortly to sing its praises.
Have a good browse of the VD Motorcycle Touring & Tours forum, especially look at some of the stickys- you will find lots of GREAT general info there.
For your trip, you are looking at an AVERAGE of 210 miles per day - are you up to that?? IF not, you either have to re-think, or had better start getting in some practice 'in the saddle'!
I'd be wary of changing your bike just before you go. Considering your current level of experience, you might be better off sticking with a bike that you are familiar with, rather than finding you have picked out 'something wierd'!! - HOWEVER, finally it IS up to you what you want to do, and I can't deny that a VStrom would be a good option, especially for a tall fellow.
IF you do decide to go for a new bike, be aware of the documentation that you HAVE to take abroad with you, including V5, MOT, Insurance cert - these are LEGAL requirements, so make sure that you get any new purchases done in good time to have the docs at your disposal.
After 12 days of touring, your confidence level will be increasing rapidly, riding in France et al is just much better than the beaurocracy ridden UK these days - definitely go for it, as you will be feeling much more natural on the bike on your return.
Finally, DON't get all 'macho' and let your mate push you too far out of your comfort zone (a bit out of the CZ is good but) - that is where danger could lie!!
Good helpful post EW. Well done.
Not much to add other than to take plenty of rests - when you want to. Here, a 100 - 120 miles-on-a-tank-full is very helpful.
What, not another jolly ?
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