EDSBK is a blog about a small group of sports bike riders, the places we go in search of our ultimate road and the motorbikes we ride..

..Welcome to Everyday Superbikes

Tour Guide

Pre ride Checks

Just before any ride I check the bike over using the (B.O.L.T.S.) routine, Thats

What to look for..

Brakes.. check the brake lever and brake disks for signs of any leaking fluid,then check the pads still are above the wear mark and check they work.
Oil.. check the oil level is between the marks.
Lights.. Check the main and dip beam, indicators and brake lights.
Tyres.. Check the tyres are legal and the pressure is good.( tyre inflation makes a huge difference to handling, check it regularly)
Suspension.. Check its damping by pushing down on the front and then rear, it should rapidly spring back into the normal riding position. (getting suspension setup correctly is a serious job to undertake. My only advice is if attempting it yourself is to firstly find out what the factory settings are note them down, set suspension to factory settings and test it, then read as much about it as you can before making further adjustments as there is alot to consider and note down what you did before testing it.)
Chain.. I like to oil the chain the night before we go out as it has longer to soak in through the o rings. Its worth checking that its adjusted correctly when oiling the chain.


We all use OXFORD HUMPBACK SOFT LUGGAGE. Its big enough to hold a change of clothes, trainers, overnight pack, a camera and gadgets like an mp3 player and phone and theres a place for any documents you need and a pen.
It can be used as a tank bag or on the rear seat and is a ruck sack or suitcase with a strong handle. The main compartment can be expanded to a size big enough to hold a helmet, and there are 3 outer pockets and 1 inner. The newer versions have got a map window. It comes in a range of colours a clear water proof cover, 4 strong bungees,a shoulder strap and a lifetime gaurantee. Excellent value. On a journey we ride with the humpback on the back seat as when its expanded its quiet tall as a tank bag and we ride with the rain cover on so it frees up the space in one of the pockets, and saves you stopping and putting the cover on when it does rain! (apart from Jon, whos pants gets wet)
We have found if you roll your clothes they arrive with less creases, and trainers can have a few pairs of socks stuffed inside them. You dont need as much as you think of your everyday stuff and you will always take something you dont use.

Travelling in a van.

Since only 2 of us have been going on the trips abroad we have decided it makes sense to hire a van and transport the bikes and luggage in comfort.  A transit sized van easy is big enough to get 2 bikes side by side, they need to be rachet strapped to stop them moving as you go around corners, we use 3 straps. We had to buy a ramp to get them on and off which folds in half to make storage easier.  We then put our leathers, helmets and luggage in the back.  Then travel in a pair of shorts and tshirt with the aircon on to warmer climates. We can travel 800 miles in a day sharing the driving, have a chat and only need to fill up once.
 The difference in time is massive, we do the extra 300 miles in less than it would take to do 500 on the bikes. The cost is a little more, but if you consider a set of tyres each would cost roughly what it costs to hire the van, the fuel for 2 bikes, the extra night in a hotel for 2 people, breakdown cover  and ferry/train fees the van cost about £100 each more.  Good things is once at the hotel, we leave the van and use it to store damp clothes and lock the bikes inside for safety. Plus if one of the bikes was to break down we have our own rescue vehicle.

Travelling on the bikes.
We are learning from past journeys that on these style bikes the longer your on them the more uncomfortable they get. The pain starts around your knees, wrists and neck, so you need a rest stop after a couple of hours. We have recently decided that between 2-3 fuel stops or 250 and 300 miles is far enough in a day especially if its the 4th or 5th day you've been riding. As yet none of us has come up with a good solution to deal with the problem so all future rides on these bikes will bare that in mind.
Its worth remembering that the bike dosent hold much fuel, so it may be worth planning your refueling stops before going somewhere new. We use a maximum distance of 125 miles as our safe figure. Click here for fuel calculators
If your travelling into Europe remember they use KPH rather than our MPH, If you have a digital display for your speed it is worth noting down how to change the read out from one to the other. (The info is in the owners hand book)

What you need to take
It is well worth investing in a good map. We have a map that is small enough to fit into the clear windowed pocket on the luggage and on the long journeys use a handlebar mounted bike GPS system which is useful to find serivce stations and gives you a rough idea how long it is until you reach your destination.
If travelling in Europe make sure you have everything to be legal. Last time we went this was things like a hi-viz vest, a GB sticker, spare bulbs, driving licence, passport, vehicle log book, vehicle insurance, breathalyzers  and breakdown cover. We always arrange health insurance and take our EHIC (European Health Insurance Card, its free and you can apply online, here) The card saves you money if you require any medical assistance.

Group Riding
When we ride in a group we try to be in a formation that allows you to see the bike infornt and the one behind. We try to stay together on long journeys but thats not always possible so we arrange to stop and wait at selected meeting points.
We have tested a bike to bike walkie talkie system, however we decided its got a few problems, mainly as none of us can tell what the others are saying above 50mph, I think its the wind noise on the microphone thats the problem.
On motorways it pays to be close together as it makes you more visable to cars, we like to travel at a similar pace to the other traffic, as it keeps the law from focusing its attention on us.

Places to go and things to see
When we are away we like to see what the area has to offer, unfortunately if you go to visit them on your bike the weather will do one of two things, either throw it down with rain or be far too hot, neither of which is what you want when your in a padded leather suit.
Its worth remembering to check the main attractions are going to be doing what you expect them to be on the days that your going there, eg. Nurburgring is only open to the public on the days its not been booked up for testing, so check their website from here.

You can guaruntee when your away its going to rain, this is normally when on the way and your still in England. We always take a waterproof suit to put over the top of your leathers. It keeps the rain and wind out but is a chore to put on at the roadside.
On the motorways remember when the roads are wet, that spray from the rear wheel makes the bikes almost disappear to vehicles following,so do what you can to make yourself stand out. Use hi viz and headlights and ride leaving a bigger distance between bikes when in a group. In heavy rain its best to pull over for a break as visors mist up, there is alot of spray and the brakes dont stop so quickly. Also watch out if its windy as you can be blown across the carriageway if its gusty.

Problems encountered/ breakdowns
On the odd occasion we have had trouble when miles from home. So far all the problems have been fixed by using the tool kit supplied with the bike a pair of pilers a pen knife and a roll of electricians tape.
We all take out breakdown cover from a company that does european cover this can be supplied as a freebie from the insurance company when negotiating the deal, and have only ever needed to buy a puncture kit to get us home.
We have encountered a few electrical problems, a hydraulic problem,and a puncture.
The stator went on my R1 in germany, the full package with RAC didnt include repatriation for the bike, so I payed for a man with a van to take me to Calais and another to pick me up and take me home... A friend at work.  I dont rate European cover....