Europe Tour on 1989 Honda (help please)

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Europe Tour on 1989 Honda (help please)

Hi

My brother works in Italy and I plan to take my motorbike to Milan to see him. I intend to do this this summer, however it'll be the first time i've left the country on my bike. 

Firstly I am a little worried my Honda CB-1 400Four 1989 model bike (30 000 miles) will blow up mid way. Im fairly handy with repairs but anything major will probably be beyond me while in the middle of Europe. Hence I have been looking at European breakdown cover, and have had no success as nowhere seems to cover bikes over 15-20 years old.

Secondly like i said it is my first time going on a very long trip on the bike. (I've done several 200-400 miles trips in England but nothing quite on the 2000 mile scale.  And so would you consider it a bit of a jump into the deep end as a first Europe tour?

If anyone could give me some advice, on whether I should go ahead with it, what I should do about cover, and any other helpful tips for a noob tourer, i'd be very grateful.

Am I mad for considering such a tour? I have ambitions of traversing the alps as I have done in a car, but is it too risky on such an old bike?

Thank you very much

Cameron.

(Ps my general route plan is from harwich to holland to germany to austria - grossglockner pass and then venice to milan. Getting back will be via interlaken and then france) 

(Pps sorry if this has already been covered on the forums, but i couldn't find anywhere discussing advice for a tour on an older motorbike)

I live in the UK by the way and Norwich area would be my starting point

Also, with regards to the breakdown cover issue, if anyone who has dealt with something similar could tell what they did or give any advice generally on getting cover it would be a great help. cheers

I used to go everywhere on a Kawasaki Z550 Zephyr. Provided that you accept that you will not be going everywhere at 90+ you should be OK! Breakdown insurance for bikes over 15 years old is a problem but not insurmountable. Just depends whether you are prepared to pay a high premium. Maybe the thing to contemplate is going back with a van if it all goes Pete Tong? 30,000 miles is not a lot on a Jap bike provided that you check compression ratios (easy enough on a conventional bike) get the carbs balanced, check for corrosion on the exhaust (they rot from the inside...) and fit new chain and sprockets, brake pads and check all hoses. Fit new tyres for the trip and put Punctureseal or equivalent in the tyres so you can forget about punctures (biggest show stopper on tour). You can email me mcitours if you want more help. But do it. Life is an adventure and it is something you will talk about for years no matter what happens!!!!

mcitours2 wrote (see)

I used to go everywhere on a Kawasaki Z550 Zephyr. Provided that you accept that you will not be going everywhere at 90+ you should be OK! Breakdown insurance for bikes over 15 years old is a problem but not insurmountable. Just depends whether you are prepared to pay a high premium. Maybe the thing to contemplate is going back with a van if it all goes Pete Tong? 30,000 miles is not a lot on a Jap bike provided that you check compression ratios (easy enough on a conventional bike) get the carbs balanced, check for corrosion on the exhaust (they rot from the inside...) and fit new chain and sprockets, brake pads and check all hoses. Fit new tyres for the trip and put Punctureseal or equivalent in the tyres so you can forget about punctures (biggest show stopper on tour). You can email me mcitours if you want more help. But do it. Life is an adventure and it is something you will talk about for years no matter what happens!!!!

Hi mcitours2. Thank you very much for your response. Yes I think if I went i would be happy to poodle along at 60mph most of the time and enjoy the new landscapes. What you have said about maintanance makes a lot of sense, there are some checks you've mentioned i wouldn't have thought of. I will perform the service jobs you mention before finalising the plan and maybe it is worth me saving a little excess money (i'm a student with a part time job) before going just in case disaster strikes and I have to get home without the aid of a breakdown cover. Thank you very much your response was very helpful. I will maybe update on here how everything pans out, as it might be helpful for people in the same situation as me in the future.

Some of what has been said make's sence. I would like to pick up on the sliming of tyres for puncture's. I take a couple of car puncture repair can's.  The slime is a one horse use. IE, if it's not used. When you come to have a new tyre fitted, it's just poured away. As with the can system. If they are not used, you can take them on your next trip. The break down cover for your bike will not be worth the money. Let me explain. The insurance company will have an excess on the policy, let's say £200. So for your bike. Market value is what £400? Less the £200 excess. They are in the hole for £200. Less the premium you paid. Because they already have your money. They will say dump the bike, and we will give you £200 pound. A lot cheaper that getting it back to the UK. They look at it as number's. Save your money and take the chance. There is a good chance that you will get help from someone local. If the bike is well looked after, it should do the trip no problem. On a side note, I have one of the same bike a long time back, It done it for me. never let me down, wish I never sold it. Any way I say that with all my bike's. If every thing look's OK. Have a garage have a look. Fit a Scotoiler. One of the best thing's for traveling. Apart from that. Wish you well. John933    

I've just done the Timmeljoch, Stelvio & St Bernard passes on a new FJR 1300 in August. There were countless scooters & bikes of all shapes & sizes there, many from as far back as the thirties. If your bike is well serviced, (don't forget throttle/clutch cables, they're often overlooked) then you have a great chance of a trouble free trip. I never saw anyone broken down. Do a walk around check each day before you set off, Tyres,lights, chain etc Enjoy Bulldog1100

carole nash gives full european breakdown cover on thier classic bike policy.cheap price.i have used it on 3 long europe tours.this year on a 98 transalp 5 weeks to nord capp.service bike and put some anti puncture goo in the tyres,it works.just go,problems have a way of sorting themselves out.

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