New Kit

New riding gearRoad trip planning for Europe 2017 continues apace and a deposit has been put on a shiny new motorcycle for delivery March / April 2017. Also purchased are two new Olympia Dakar touring jackets. We still both have our old heavy leather jackets from other trips, but have decided that the lighter and more weather versatile mesh style will be of greater utility. Yes I know we’ll both look like traffic cops, what with the three stripes on the sleeve (Wotcher Sarge) and everything, but my rough and ready ride-all-day-and-all-night days are long past, and I’m growing soft in my not so frail dotage. Two new HJC IS-Max II helmets have also been bought. Could have gone for Shoei or some other make, but the reviews and safety ratings for HJC are good and the ventilation is comfortable. Which in European Summer heat will be an essential. I know they’re expensive, but I don’t plan on ‘spoiling the ship for a ha’porth o’ tar’. A trip like this can be done on the cheap if you’re young and willing to rough it a bit, but when you are, shall we (Cough) say over the big Five-oh, you get to like your comfort. Hence the upmarket clothing and brand new top of the line motorcycle.

Then there’s languages. My French is adequate. My German mm, Ich spreche nicht Deutsch gut and my Italian sounds more like Spanish. However, I can get by, but want to be able to do more. So language freshen ups are required. Current route plan takes us via ferry from Foggia, Italy to Split in Croatia and via Slovenia to Venice, thence northbound. At the very least we need to be able to read road signs, count to a hundred, say “Yes”, “No”, “Please”, “I don’t understand”, “Thank you”, “How much?” and “You must be joking me old china” in Czech, Slovene, Polish, Dutch, Danish and Swedish rather than expecting everyone to speak much English. I think of it this way; it’s good manners to at least try.

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4 thoughts on “New Kit”

    1. Looks have little to do with it James. Although it is nice to have sharp looking kit. The Dakar jackets have decent body armour (Which is an essential – personal experience), they cover the hips, keeping out those chilly little waistline blasts of air at Autobahn speeds and the helmets have a high safety rating. Although after a few weeks on the road they will have attracted a certain ‘lived in’ air.

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        1. I’ve learned the value of good built in lightweight armour first hand. Got sideswiped by white van man once. I was overtaking him and the car in front, and he pulled out without looking. Made a mess of his mirror and front wing and only got two minor bruises on my left calf and bicep. Held the bike, and came to a safe stop a couple of hundred metres down the road. The leather jacket and trousers I was wearing at the time were armoured. I still have them.

          Good body armour, every time. Because there’s a lot of dickheads out there.

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