Touring Italy – Best Motorcycle Roads

Italy offers amazing motorcycle roads. We have first hand experience of riding in Italy since 2001 and can only recommend crossing the border from France. Beautiful views from mountain and coastal roads, delicious food and that feeling of “Italian flair”. But watch out for Italian drivers. Traffic can appear daunting. But rest assured, after a couple of days you will get the hang of riding a motorcycle or scooter in Italy. And remember, your motorcycle tour across Italy starts at Nice Airport in France.

We have put together a 6-day round trip to get you started. Using this motorcycle touring guide for Italy is easy. Just click on the images and the link will take you to GoogleMaps for further route detail. If you ask nicely, we will pre-program our GPS units with these routes.

French and Italian Riviera

We suggest you pick up your rental motorcycle in Nice first thing in the morning. We are happy to help setting up your GPS and luggage. Why not leave your suitcases with us during your ride. Obviously, our storage service is free of charge.

From Nice, you ride across Monaco and take the A8 to Italy. The A8 is called the Autostrada dei Fiori in Italy and offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean. There are nice turns on this highway. If you feel hungry, just take the next exit and head down to the coast for some fresh fish. Then continue to Genoa on the Autostrada dei Fiori and take the exit to Portofino. Portofino in Italy is the equivalent of Saint Tropez in France. One of those “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” places. Your last leg will take you to Levanto, where we recommend you stay overnight.

Tuscany

From Levanto, you travel across the winding country roads of Tuscany right to Florence. The rolling hills with their picturesque vineyards are breathtaking. You then arrive in Florence for a well-deserved break to discover the beauty of this historic city.

Florence

We recommend a rest day in Florence. Motorbike touring in Italy can be tiring – both from a mental and physical point of view. Always stay hydrated – on and off the bike.

Ducati and Ferrari

From Florence, you ride through the Emilia Romagna to Bologna. In Bologna, we suggest you tour the Ducati factory. Make sure to make an appointment by clicking here. After the factory visit its time to get on your bike again and ride the twisting roads to Maranello. The home of the famous car manufacturer Ferrari… The last leg takes you to Borgo Val di Taro in the region of Parma known for delicious food.

Apennines

You continue your Italian motorcycle tour across the Apennines Mountains and enjoy the beauty of the Piedmont region. Ride spectacular country roads to Acqui Terme and then ride up to Asta. Asti is a historic town known for its sparkling wine the annual Palio games. Well worth a visit.

French Alps

From Asti, you ride across the beautiful Piedmont. Why not stop for lunch in Barolo known for its exquisite wines. Then head on to Roccaforte and cross the border via the French Alps and the scenic Col Lombarde. The last leg takes you on a wonderful mountain road back to Nice. All you then have to do is return your bike at Motorbike Trip in Nice. You are then ready to catch your flight home. Nice Airport is just a 30 min drive from Nice.

Obviously, there are more spectacular motorcycle roads to explore in Italy. This is just a recommendation and there is nothing stopping you from modifying our route recommendation. Be it longer or shorter, you will have a great ride in both Italy and France.

10 Essentials for Your Road Trip Checklist

Road trips can sometimes be filled with awful surprises ranging from a flat tyre to breaking down on the side of the road at a time your cell phone’s battery is about to “die”.

I compiled road trip checklist of the top ten essentials that you should always keep in your car, which should help you to get out of your predicament quickly.

1. Jumper Cables

There are few things that come close to that awful feeling where you jump into your car, ready to leave – and it will not start. You try and try, but cannot bring your engine to life. Keep a pair of jumper cables in your car at all times. Count yourself lucky if you never have to use them. You never know, you might be someone else’s saving grace.

2. Spare Tyre Kit

You’ve discovered that your tyre has a puncture, it’s pouring with rain and you need to fix it. You pull over, and slosh through the mud to your trunk – only to discover that you forgot to inflate your spare tyre. It is important to make sure that your spare wheel kit is in good condition and that you have all of the necessary tools with which to change your tyre. This includes a jack, wrench and of course, a spare tyre. When checking the pressure of your tyres, look out for any bulges, rips or bald spots. Remember to check your spare wheel too.

3. Self-Charging Torch

For those who fear getting stranded in the dark, a self-charging torch is essential. Besides assisting you to not crush your fingers while trying to change your tyre in the dark, it can also be handy to warn traffic if you have broken down in a spot where it’s difficult to see a stationary vehicle.

4. First Aid Kit

Expect the best, prepare for the worst’ is why it’s important to ensure that you have a fully stocked first aid kit in your car at all times. Not only can it come in handy when you’re trying to ward off motion sickness but it is an essential tool for handling any minor accidents. Double-check that it is fully stocked and contains a manual.

5. Reflective Emergency Triangle

Not only is it handy, but by law, all South African car owners and users should have a reflective emergency triangle. A breakdown in busy traffic can be disastrous if you do not place the triangle at least 45 metres from your vehicle. There are no excuses when it comes to packing an emergency triangle – it is thin, compact and hassle-free to pack into the corner of your trunk.

6. Phone Charger

On a good day, a flat cell-phone battery can cause monumental levels of frustration. On a bad day, breaking down with no way to contact or call anyone can push one over the edge. Before you get into the car, ensure that you have a car charger in your cubby hole. This will avoid any nervous breakdowns that can be triggered by a flat battery.

7. Roadside Emergency Contact Details

Whether you’ve got it shoved into your cubby hole or stuck to one of your windows, roadside emergency contact details are imperative. Not only will this prevent you from spending the night along the side of the road, it will offer you peace of mind in the case of a severe emergency.

8. Map Book or GPS

In many cases, our cell phones act as reliable GPS devices. That is until we lose the connection and are left driving around in circles. A satellite GPS and map book is ideal for anyone who regularly travels the South African roads.

9. Emergency Kit

Different to a first aid kit, an emergency kit will ensure that you are prepared for the most extreme and bizarre events. Ensure that you have a small gym bag that can be kept in your trunk with the following items:

  • An extra set of clothing,
  • Towels and blanket,
  • A fire extinguisher,
  • An umbrella, and
  • An extra pair of comfortable shoes.

10. Owner’s Manual

There is nothing more confusing than pushing a multitude of buttons and knobs when trying to de-mist your windscreen in the pouring rain, or when a little light pops up on your dashboard and you have no idea how to decipher it. The solution? Ensure that your owner’s manual is always in your car. Keep it in a place that is most accessible to you, be it your cubby hole or in the side of your door.

If you run through this road trip checklist and realise that you are missing something, ensure that you place it in your car as soon as you can.

Ensure to Buy a Good Quality Shampoo for your Car

Your car that you so lovingly brought might be your most prized possession. It is assured that you must be taking utmost care of your vehicle and wash it regularly to keep both its exterior and interior looking like new. Unfortunately it is often seen that despite our best intentions, needless to say our hard work, the results produced are not entirely to our satisfaction.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings”, so quotes Cassius in William Shakespeare’s masterpiece Julius Caesar.  The situation being echoed here may not be too different from the results produced if we are not careful selecting the right shampoo for car.

Having the best quality shampoo that conforms to highest standards is imperative to keep your car looking all spic and span. Additionally, right maintenance and washing of your car protects the paint and overall décor along with adding years of life to your prized vehicle.  High quality car shampoos also help your car efficiently shrug-off the ill effects of pollution, harsh sunlight, lashing rain and other sundry vagaries of nature that it has to endure on regular basis.

As the weather improves and the harsh winters give way to mild summer, we think it is now the time to remove the ravages of driving in winter with all our windows rolled tightly shut. Winter is also the time when our zeal for cleaning the car on regular basis becomes a bit depressed owing to the inherent fear of going near cold water.

Anyways the summer is here and the time is ripe to get hold of your bucket, cleaning gloves, sponges, etc and get working on your car. First and foremost, you need to wipe away all the grimes that your car has accumulated. It is, however, important to note that household soaps can harm the paint, so it is better to do the job with a specialist car shampoo. There are some good shampoos available in the market that can ease your workload by drying the car after rinsing.

Heat Resistant Paint for Bike

Motorcycle exhaust looks good when the bikes is new, but as days and kilometres pile up, the wear and tear caused by the exhaust fumes and incredibly high temperatures begin to take its toll, marring the look of your entire bike. Fortunately there are some quality high-temperature paints that can do a marvellous job of restoration as well as decoration. You can also use these paint to colour your bike’s exhaust so that it matches the colour of your engine.

One thing to remember though is that you need to follow the right steps and procedures to get the desired outcome. You can visit the site of any quality manufacturer to find out the most appropriate way to paint your exhaust so that the exhaust looks authentic with the appropriate finish, and the paint does not peel off.

4 Driving Tips for Young Drivers on the Road

Driving is a skill that one has to adopt in the best way possible as it involves oneself taking their car on a road full of other vehicles. Improper driving skills would end up in being fatal not just for the driver but also the rest on the road. All countries around the world have strict traffic and road regulations that each and every driver is to abide by. It is made for the driver’s safety and thus to protect them from dangerous results.

While a person enrols himself in a professional driving school, he would learn all the basics of driving and the ways to handle an automobile while on the road. Amongst all drivers, it is noticed that those who are young are the ones who meet with frequent accidents due to several reasons like improper and unpolished driving skills, love for speed, etc. To prevent these accidents, here are a few tips you could consider if you are a young driver and love to hit the road with your car.

• Avoid distractions

It is often noticed that most accidents occur when drivers are distracted while they are behind the wheels. Distractions may include loud music, using mobile phones, texting, changing CDs or music on the music player, etc. Other common distractions are that when there is an involvement of too many people in the car. Too many friends chatting along loudly behind the driver can be a significant distraction.

• Sleep well before driving

If you are tired or haven’t had a sound sleep for a long time, it is better to avoid driving. While you haven’t had a good sleep, it is likely for you to fall asleep while you are driving. Elements like the air conditioner, the continuous breeze on the face; soothing music can allow you to fall asleep and thus causing accidents.

• Don’t drive after alcohol consumption

Young people love to have crazy adventures and thus often plan to drive while they have consumed alcohol. While you are under its influence, it is recommended to not drive. While you do so, you have high chances of losing control of the steering and on the other hand land you with a fine from the law enforcement officers. You could ask a friend who isn’t drunk to drive and thus keeping yourself safe.

• Avoid any other tasks

While you are driving, it is best to only concentrate on what you are doing. Do not eat, drink, apply makeup, shave or do anything else that you may find minor. These small tasks deviate your attention for a lesser time but keeping the eyes and concentration off the road can be fatal especially when you are taking sharp turns on a road.

8 Steps After You Get In An Accident

Chances are, either you or someone you know has been in a car accident. This can be a trying time, because you are afraid that someone may have gotten hurt, and are also worried about what is going to happen next. There are key steps you have to follow when in a car accident. These steps will allow you to make sure that your insurance company can help you as much as possible, while also protecting yourself by making sure you have a perfect account of what happened.

1. Pull Off the Road and Stay At the Scene

If possible, you should get off the road and away from traffic, so you make it safe for yourself and other drivers. Make sure you stay at the scene. If there are injuries to the other driver and you leave, you may get charged with a hit and run.

2. Make Sure Everyone is OK

After you get your car to a safe location, check yourself and anyone else in your car for injuries. If no one is seriously injured, put your hazard lights on and get out of the car. Check and see if anyone in the other vehicle needs medical attention. If anyone in either vehicle needs medical assistance then you should call an ambulance right away.

3. Call the Police

Then before anything else you should call the police. It is always good to call the police, even though you are not required to do so, because it helps keep documentation on the accident that can be corroborated by someone other than you. This helps protect you in case the other driver is injured or the insurance companies need extra documentation.

4. Exchange Insurance Information

You need to do this in every case because it helps your insurance companies figure out who pays for damages. If you misplaced your insurance card, there is no need to worry. In the event the police are called, you can bring your insurance card to them in a predetermined amount of time.

5. Take Pictures

You should take pictures of all the damage. This means to your car and theirs. This is evidence you can use to prove your side of the story if the other driver decides to take you to court. It will also stand as proof that can help your claim be accepted.

6. Inform Your Insurance Company

You should call your insurance company as soon as possible. You need to tell them everything that happened and you need to be honest. If the insurance company finds out you lied, they could deny your claim and you would be left with the complete responsibility of paying for the repairs yourself.

7. Get A Police Report

The police report will be proof of everything that happened in the accident. Because a police report is filled out by a completely ambiguous person, you can have a true claim of exactly what happened. This also means that the other driver cannot deny anything in the report, so they cannot lie and keep you from being covered for the damages.

8. If Your Car Needs Repair

If your car has been badly damaged in this accident, you will most likely need to get in touch with an auto body shop. Make sure you choose a reputable shop who can offer you the best service at a fair price. Find a body shop that will get your collision repair done right the first time. At this point, you’ve been through enough, make getting your car repaired as easy as possible by putting it in trusted hands.