Brits Abroad 2020!

General discussion of the BMW R1200RT/R1250RT
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Dee Dub
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Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by Dee Dub »

So, during the transition period, British bikers and drivers can use the standard British driving licence (i.e. we don't need an International Driving Permit) and EHIC card in Europe. That's good news! I tend to rely on the AA's* website for information about individual countries, but I have some questions for our European members and experienced travelers:


1. The AA's France page talks about needing reflective stickers on crash helmets. I thought that the requirement was merely for helmet manufacturers to supply them, but it isn't compulsory for visiting foreigners to stick them on. Can anyone confirm?
2. The France page also says that driving in Lille requires a Crit’Air Vignette. Does that include the autoroutes A25 and A1 if passing through?
  - [size=78%]https://www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe/country-by-country/france-and-monaco[/size]
2. Both the France and Germany pages say that dipped headlights must always be on. Would any local members please confirm that Daytime Running Lights (our 'Angel Eyes') are also valid? It would seem odd for a German manufacturer to go to the trouble creating a feature that isn't usable in the home country!
  - [size=78%]https://www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe/country-by-country/germany[/size]


* The AA is the British Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous, for those in doubt!
DW
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David.
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by David. »

1. If your helmet and clothing were bought in an EU country and conform to the regulations where bought, you do not need to wear reflective strips.

Brittany Ferries (being French) might be a good source of information, https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/info ... ing/france

2. Prohibitions and restrictions will not apply to the main roads A1, A22, A25, N227 and D652.

Ecological zone Lille, https://www.environmentalbadge.com/ecol ... one-lille/

3. French law says that all motorcycles when moving must display dipped headlights.

Germany, motorcycles must use dipped headlights during the day at all times.

http://www.euroadlegal.co.uk/country/germany.html
Last edited by David. on Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by beemerboy9 »

I suppose that first of all, you have to give the policeman a reason to stop you.


I have been stopped only once (& in France) for not stopping at a STOP sign on a very hot day when fully loaded with pillion and luggage - I rolled slowly through the junction.


To answer your questions:-
1) I wear a white helmet with a single yellow reflective sticker at the rear. I might just add another one. I wear one of two bright red jackets when touring, so I really don't think I'm going to get into trouble on that score.
2) The Crit Air Zone includes the A25 Autoroute, but the police have better things to do than to flag down modern cars & bikes travelling at 130 KPH. I have a Crit'Air sticker for my bike in a old licence holder as they don't cost much.
3) I would not risk switching off dipped beam and relying on DRLs, to save my battery or headlight bulbs. They are not the same surely?
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by Casbar »

On the sticker issue, there seem to be different views. I took the approach of putting them on, then easily took them off when I got back. Reasoning, they are cheap and why give Police a reason to fine you. I also put my dipped headlight on and used to carry the reflective bib for breakdowns, but now have Helite hi viz air vest which is good enough if you breakdown.
gogs01
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by gogs01 »

When the requirement for reflective stickers on helmets was introduced, I was using a black Shoei helmet.  I obtained black tape which shone white when hit by light and I rode through France waiting for someone to challenge me. Of course, this never happened and I am now wearing a dayglo yellow helmet (not reflective but highly visible) and have never bothered with reflective stickers.
I carry a hi-vis vest on the bike and in the car because I think that's a good idea, likewise a warning triangle.
I thought briefly about carrying an alcohol-tester then decided against when I found they have a very short shelf life (and they seem utterly pointless).
Although I have no intention of taking the bike or car into a major city in France, I bought a Crit'Air sticker for the car - simple and cheap, so if there is any chance of wanting to enter these zones it would be well worth ordering a sticker.
My 4th R1200RT = 2016 (2017 MY) R1200RT LE
Dee Dub
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by Dee Dub »

David. wrote: 1. If your helmet and clothing were bought in an EU country and conform to the regulations where bought, you do not need to wear reflective strips.

Brittany Ferries (being French) might be a good source of information, https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/travel-advice/biking/france

2. Prohibitions and restrictions will not apply to the main roads A1, A22, A25, N227 and D652.

Ecological zone Lille, https://www.environmentalbadge.com/ecological-zone-lille/

3. French law says that all motorcycles when moving must display dipped headlights.

Germany, motorcycles must use dipped headlights during the day at all times.

http://www.euroadlegal.co.uk/country/germany.html

Cheers David et al, very helpful!
DW
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by MikeS »

The other thing to consider is the speed limits on priority routes which was reduced to 80kph. I was caught out and got a automated fine through the post after a trip last year. ( just a few kph over).  Never been pulled over for reflective helmet stickers or dipped beam but fell foul of the  automated speed cameras.


It was odd considering that I was constantly being overtaken by cars with French plates that seemed to have very little regard for the posted speed limits.



Last edited by MikeS on Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dee Dub
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by Dee Dub »

The national speed limit in France is confusing. The French government has since reversed that speed limit reduction, but said it's up to local mayors to decide whether to put it back up to 90 kph or remain at 80 kph. It seems the [EDIT] black  red slash road sign has indeterminate meaning; how do I know what a given mayor has decided?!?
Image [EDIT] Wrong image, sorry!
Last edited by Dee Dub on Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DW
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by 7vwh »

The sign above is not for a speed restriction, it relates to who has priority along the road, in this case traffic approaching a junction from the right will have priority and you will have to give way.
Dee Dub
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by Dee Dub »

You know what? I was driving down the road (in the UK!) today and that realisation hit me out of the blue!!! Durr! I believe it's the red slash through the town name that indicates 80 kph... or 90 kph... or...


Image


Interestingly, I read that 'priority to the right' has been introduced in Germany now as a way of slowing down traffic. Apparently this has resulted in an increase in traffic collisions as vehicles on the main road simply can't cope with all these vehicles pulling out of obscure side roads, especially in wet weather.
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by Dee Dub »

What travel insurance do you use the covers travel by motorcycle over 125cc? (Many policies cover only up to 125cc so are useless for motorcycle trips.)
DW
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David.
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by David. »

Dee Dub wrote:What travel insurance do you use the covers travel by motorcycle over 125cc?
This thread about "Breakdown Assistance & Personal Travel Insurance", may be helpful,  viewtopic.php?t=91.msg9931#msg9931
beemerboy9
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by beemerboy9 »

David. wrote: This thread about "Breakdown Assistance & Personal Travel Insurance", may be helpful,  /viewtopic.php?t=91.msg9931#msg9931

I am using the AA travel insurance.


I use Britannia Rescue breakdown insurance for the whole family which allows me to nominate one vehicle to be covered by European Breakdown insurance.
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Re: Brits Abroad 2020!

Post by Sharkfighter »

If travelling abroad try taking the European highway code test on bfgnet.de this is the test that British forces have to take before they can drive military vehicles abroad. There’s a reference section, the test is not easy!
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