Top 10 Tips to make it as cheap as possible!
Hello riders from around the world, I hope that you are well! Many of you asked me how I can afford to travel so much with my motorcycle? In this video I will give you 10 tips to make it as cheap as possible.
As usual, many people include some experience riders will advice you that it’s expensive hobby and you need to be rich man to afford it. As you know I never fully agree with anything before I really test it. The price if the trip depends from the destination and from your personal preferences.
Let’s go straight to the tips:
N: 1 – Buy affordable motorcycle.
I said affordable, not exactly cheap, because I still believe that the truth is somewhere between the words top expensive and super cheap. Ok, but someone might say:
“The topic is how to travel cheap, the price of the motorcycle itself it doesn’t matter!”
Sounds like not exactly on the place, but let me explain to you with more details:
- When you have expensive bike you will definitely expensive gear. For example: hard cases, tank bag, windscreen, better seat, tires, spare parts and many more. For new models all of that stuff is overpriced.
- The maintenance of that bike will be double price, because in many cases you will need a proper garage to do it and they charge about 100$ per hour.
- Most of the new and expensive motorcycle use only premium petrol, which usually about 10% expensive.
- From the security point of view in many places around the world you will need garage or paid parking. You cannot just leave it on the street even if you have disc lock or chain.
- Because of the fancy bike you have many of the prices will be higher for you. You will looks like bored millionaire and you cannot blame the people that they will want a piece of you.
On the other hand when you have just a normal looking motorcycle the people will know that you are adventurer and will automatically change their mind. You might disagree with this statement, but it doesn’t matter this is the simple human behaviour.
N: 2 - If you want to travel cheap you will need a tent.
It will be your mobile tent and could save you hundreds of dollars.
N: 3 – Travel as light as possible.
I said this many times, but I will say it again – The weight is always matter!
N: 4 – Reduce the speed.
I don’t have to tell you that when you ride fast your motorcycle consume more petrol. Fast speed also eats the tires much faster than you can even imagine. Again it is not much, but when you add it to the first few points it become a noticeable price.
N: 5 – Buy the food from supermarkets.
Is really depends from your budget, but f you want to do it as cheaper as possible this will help you a lot. The prices in the restaurants and the shops are usually very different
N: 6 – Use hostels instead of hotels.
Even in the hostels you can have a private room, if this is what you looking for, but over there you will be able to cook your food and this will reduce the price significantly
N: 7 – Always stop riding before sunset.
This will help you to have enough time to find a proper place to sleep. In the middle of the night, after all day riding, you will be happy to pay any price just to have bed to sleep. I am talking from my own experience.
N: 8 – Plan a head.
The logistic is something very important. Plan everything ahead. I really respect the people who travel without any preparations, but I prefer to be ready. By doing your route in advance you can minimize the km and time you need to spend on the road.
N: 9 – Prepare the bike before the trip.
Do everything before the trip. Change the tires, oils, filters, bearings, cables, basically you have to change everything what is possible to fail during the trip.
N: 10 – Think out of the box.
Be creative and try to find new solutions for every possible problem you might need to face. Remember: The bike is just a tool, the travel is what really matters!
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Just to make it clear - The topic of the video is "How to travel as cheap as possible" So please, do not attack me with commends how much better are the big and expensive motorcycles. I am not BMW or rich riders hater. I respect all riding styles and every body is free to choose the way he or she will travel.
I think the trend for andventure riding, especially with the BMW class machines, is really a new version of the touring motor bike especially since Europe opened up and the world got smaller mixed with the abundance of fresh tarmac. I remember in the 1980's when we rode Lambretta's and Vespas all around the country, there was a club who would only use 50cc Vespas and turn up everywhere. They would have to leave 2,3,4 days earlier to get there and the same comming home with all the road restrictions and breakdowns. Big respect to them for that. Like you saw Pavlin, you can do it on anything and it is more possible with a fatter wallet. Enjoy the UK we have good roads and scenery for bikes just watch the potholes as winter was bad.
I have seen a few videos advising a hammock for lightweight and cheap travel. Knowing how you like travelling light, have you ever considered hammocks if you are going through countries with trees? Not deserts, or plains, of course.
+Motorcycle Adventures I think it will be an interesting experiment for me in spring, when I start going somewhere more local, maybe not even overnight, but just to have a look at what it's like. I've heard a lot of good things about comfort and weight, but it's practicality does raise a few questions.
I’ll be doing my big trip to Mongolia on a Yamaha XT660R, purely as it was cheap and I know it is a reliable engine. The colour is black and looks nothing in a crowd. Truth be known I’d love a better bike but I feel it’s a good option. I have spent a few £’s on it, but I’ll sell all the none standard stuff when I return. I think your videos are absolutely brilliant, which I feel are fair and true. You seem to give advice that’s for all not just the BMW loads of money brigade. Thanks
Planned to travel by my bike to Hungary. Even I was born in Germany and live in Romania as a Turkish citizen heard that need visa for Schengen countries. So I went to Hungary embassy. Impossible that I can get visa. They asked for all countries that I will travel real hotel reservation and last 3 months salary transaction bank account. I don't have those because I quit job. So the biggest issue is unfortunately visa. Thank you for all your cool advises. I wish one day we will meet somewhere on the road Pavel.
How is it with camping in Germany and France? It seems like there are not many places to do wild camping and the parks and private paid campgrounds can be more expensive than hostels or budget Airbnb rooms.
I must say, this is one of the few videos I found so far that are really helpful and contain so many good tips. Everyone likes different things, but this video is about how to travel cheap. Thanks for all the tips.
New maybe you should make a video "How to travel expensive", so everybody is happy.
I like most of your videos, I agree on most of what you say, although I already knew it all due to my long trips lived experience on the roads alone since I was 20 years old. I admire the fact that you're honest and that you like to share your road riding experience and whatever it may concern but especially the down to earth humor that comes with it, you remind me a good old friend of mine from Bulgaria whose name is Niko, I wonder where the heck he is right now..
On the other hand, I can't say the same for your motorcycles reviews though, since saying..It's great and nice doesn't do justice to the in depth technical aspect of a Motorcycle..
I have been riding any sorts of motorcycles ( I mean any sort of motorcycles ! ) And scooters as from the age of 14 regardless of the weather. Unfortunately, I can't share any of it since I seem to be destined to ride always alone, I must emphasize that I don't like to ride with a group of bikers ..I'm fine to travel alone also because if you wait for others to join you, you may hardly ever reach your goals in life.
Don't think about it too much, just do it! Get out there and discover your inner self immersed in the nature and the elements, everything is alive and interconnected so whenever you feel scared, stop the bike and become acquainted with the surrounding nature and even talk to it and to yourself, sleep outdoors get that courage back and carry on son !
As an endurance solo rider, yes ' Solo ' rider because it's also difficult to find a good mate to ride with due to the time and the money that a long motorcycle trip involves, depending on your destination naturally.
I would strongly suggest to keep yourself light, fit and fast ( My cruising speed has always been within the region of 140 to 160 kph where allowed as it can get boring at much lower speed especially on your own) If you're on a budget, avoid motorways ( if you can..) Avoid expensive ferries, I personally don't see the need to go to any European northern rainy and depressing countries, apart from this stop by a local market instead of a wasting your time and money in a Supermarket..
Hence, try no to eat too much and especially no dead meats of any kinds which will only harm your body, no salty foods and definitely no sugary drinks, like fruit juices or whatever drink that may contain excessive sugar or salt, eat real fruits instead and bring along with you any kind of nuts and dried fruits, no alcohol and NO DRUGS ever !
Most importantly, get to know your motorcycle, learn how to fix it yourself, learn to speak at least 3 or more languages including English naturally !
Learn to do minor repairs at least as far as the exterior of the bike is concerned, like replacing the oil, filter and or repairing a flat tire or else then be a good observant, be vigilant and always alert..! Take your due rest time and do it all over again tomorrow :)
I hope I can be out there again soon, in the meantime, I can only wish you guys happy trails !
I've always wanted to take a bike around the Med, through Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt all the way up to the Ferry terminal in Morocco, back over to Spain then home (France). Due to Syria's struggle, this dream is on hold for the moment. One day...
I want to travel from Austria to Albania this summer. As you did a similar trip lately - how high is the chance that someone will steal the bike there? I own a sv650 (2017). Is it necessary to use paid parking?
Thanks for all the hints! They will be helpful in summer ;)
Can I add a few tips? :)
1. Cheap motorcycle = cheap maintenance, 1200 BMW and VersysX 300 are both adventure, both capable of traveling all day long, but the VersysX 300 will cost you 1/4th in everything of that of the 1200 BMW. (and yes its just as fun).
2. Being an adventure rider is all about the adventure, if you are too scared of adventure, don't do it then, get a cheap flight and a nice hotel instead. Going on a motorcycle tour is not for everyone, in fact most people wont enjoy it at all, ask yourself: Can you eat cold canned food? Can you drink hot water during a hot day? Can you sleep in an unknown and scary area like dark forests? Can you survive for 20 or 30 days without a shower? Can you survive wearing the same underwear for 2 weeks? If its all about YES, then you can enjoy the adventurer life, if not, every "NO" on the least = more money!
3. Before adventuring to an unknow country or cross continents, do some adventuring in YOUR country, you will be amazed how many places you never knew about just because there is no asphalt road leading to them and there is no hotel next to them. Sleep under the clear sky, eat whatever there is in your backpack, and mostly just enjoy the ride, do that for a week or so, my guess that after a week you will know if that is for you or not, and some other cool things, like that your motorcycle seat is the destroyer of butts, the nemesis of the spine, the angle of death himself
have fun :D
Pavlin you know that you add 600 km to Cherbourg ferry.Much closer to Calais.Ferry takes long time,18 hours I think.I did that on my bike last June.for such a long journey you want a cabin to sleep which cost another 70 euro.Maybe better to ride to Liverpool and take boat to Isle of Man,You will save a lot of time
Motorcycle Adventures You will arrive in my city of Cork.Take 2 hours to visit town of Cobh 20 min from Cork.You will have 250 km to Dublin with 2 tolls cist you total of 2 Euro.So cheap.If you need some work on your bike check out Leehonda garage,just in case.enjoy your trip
The main reason I am going to France is because I want to ride Sommeiller and see Omaha Beach. Actually I will take it from Roscoff. From Cherbourg they have line on Sunday. I will not take cabin, it cost me 73 euro.
Price of up keep on bike and availability of parts too. Cheap lodging for environment. Yes lighter the better less stuff less time wasted. I love roadside markets and roach coaches. Put good tires on so you don't need to carry them. Take the road less traveled. Ask about road conditions ahead. In case of bridges or roads being impassable or bug migrations.
You are right my friend. Greetings from mexico by the way. I'm a different kind of rider. My bike is a ktm 1090 adventure r... Expensive but all my gear is cheap. And I'm into true adventure. Not fancy hotels. I agree with you in many ways. Your advice is excellent. Keep up with the good videos
Basic rule about tents from a German perspective.
If you ride north,west or south, take a tent with you.
If you travel east, leave the tents at home, because you can usually find hotel for 15-20€s a night.
When campgrounds are 6-10€s, even in Poland and cheap hotels are 15-25€s, the price difference is just negligible.
In contrast if you are in France in the summer and hotels cost 70-120€s, a campground for 10€s is a much more sensible option if you don´t have unlimited money
I like to test the water a bit. I took a relatively low km old used bike a couple of borders away to a country that developed differently than my own. It can really reinforce things you have heard or read.
I love your suggestions and tips. I had forgotten that travelling is about the trip and not the bike. Thanks for helping me to re-focus my attention to what is important. Also I agree 100% with your "keep smiling" approach to travel, it really does make a difference.
I love these advice videos -- I'll watch them all no matter how much you repeat some of the advice from previous videos - there's always good nuggets in there.
I like the advice here about tires - on my recent trip to Death Valley California ~2300 miles - I didn't check my tire pressure until about half way and my rear tire is now severely cupped (!) -- what a dumb mistake.
Also, I learned from the trip that taking hard bags onto gravel roads is a no-no -- if you fall (like I did, at a low speed) they can break easily, for example the latch!. thankfully I brought a full role of duck tape.
Speaking about long trips and off road - would love to hear more advice and stories about riding off-pavement on this channel - not extreme riding - just gravel, sand, forest roads and what experience you had and how you prepared for the next off-road adventure.
If your coming back to eastern England on your trip, make sure you ride the Yorkshire dales (butter tub pass) plus the Yorkshire moors. You'll have to trust me it's stunning roads.
Some fantastic advice as usual.
Good solid advice, everyone travels in different ways and boils down to their own financial circumstance. Adventure riding for me is all about the adventure rather than the luxury. It is nice to experience a little luxury on any trip as a treat. By travelling the way you are suggesting allows for a little luxury with the money that you will save daily on the trip.
I agree with you almost totally. I have owned a Triumph Bonneville 650, a Kawasaki GPz550 Ninja, a Honda CB700SC Nighthawk, a Kawasaki KLR650, and a Yamaha XJ600 Seca II, all bought used and the most I ever paid for any one of them was $2,500, and the only problems I ever had were a few flat tires which I fixed by the side of the road. (Actually, I did have more problems with the Triumph, which is why I only kept it for a few months...) I always camped in my tent and cooked on a dual-fuel gasoline backpacking stove, everything packed into a duffle and soft saddlebags, with a night's stay in a cheap motel with a laundromat and a diner every 4-5 days so I could get cleaned up, and then it was back to camping. Other than my bikes my most expensive piece of equipment was my Aerostitch two-piece Goretex riding suit and an electric vest, which I bought so I could keep riding no matter the weather. And I was able to put tens of thousands of miles under my tires over the years traveling around the American West, from Mexico deep into British Columbia, from the Pacific Coast Highway to the Rocky Mountains. I wouldn't have done it any other way, and if I ever get a chance to do it again I'll do it the same.
The only part I disagree slightly with you is that I never did any detailed planning. Instead, I started with a destination in mind, but then left each day's ride up to what I had decided while looking at the map and reading guidebooks the evening before, and then I still left room to change plans during the day's ride. When my vacation was half over, I'd started heading back home, but still do my planning the same...which led to some long 12 to 14-hour, 750-mile rides on the last day trying to get home in time to get to work the next day. But I eventually learned not to do that anymore, LOL...
Thanks for sharing your adventures with us so I could relive some of my own.
The best bike in the world is not a BMs nor big capacity. It's the Honda cub. They're sold by the million of units. Put a snorkel,it can ride underwater and uses used cooking oil as lubricant. Throw the bike down from 3 storey high. The engine can kick start to life ! That's my friend is awesome.
The next generation of very popular bike is the Yamaha LC mopes. A little cheap mods, and it will go 200kmph !!! Currently now , it's the most popular bike in the Asian market. Anywhere U go in South East Asia, there's an LC
Thanks for taking time and watching the video. The route I have is just base and it could be changed anytime I want, bit it gives me the idea what I have to face and how much more I have to ride. Also it is good way to calculate the total price of the trip. All the best! Pavlin
Pavlin, I have been thinking of you wanting to replace your motor, If your current motor has no problems but has a lot of milage, just keep riding it and monitor the oil quality, you can send a sample of the oil away and get it tested for any engine issues, if the gearbox is changing OK then why replace the motor? Buy a good 2nd hand one and keep it as a spare at home, if you need it on a trip get one of your mates to ship it to you, then change it. There tenere motor is over engineered and under powered for a 660, thus it should last much linger than 130,000km, I have seen the way you ride, and you never rev the engine hard. Just to remember to check the hub drive sprocket bearings as they get a hard time, and change the oil and filters more often than the 10,000km service interval.
With the fuel injection buy a new injector or get the old one cleaned, EFI systems are very reliable now days. Check your throttle cables too see if they are still in good condition.
As you said pavlin, it's horse's for courses we're bikes are concerned.on our trip this summer, we're not taking a ferry to England then France. straight to France from cork.
If you're stuck on your Irish trip,then myself and many others will be there to help 👍👍
I love long trips, expensive bikes are out of my reach, yet I found long motorcycle trips affordable. First contact with different people around the world, different cultures and beautiful views that you can enjoy are far more better than airplane trips. Bike can go where cars cannot so that is a bonus as well. Bike do not have to be new or expensive, it must be luxury for the rider and in great (sound) mechanical condition of the bike. I am running old Yamaha XJ600S Diversion and I am happy with this bike. It is modified to suit my needs but is also reliable, cheap and easy to maintain.
When traveling in third world countries, sleeping in a tent instead of a hotel can save you from a LOT of health related trouble... See fleas, bedbugs, other parasites and catching something nasty from a local traveler... Don't ask how I know this. :-))
Great advice and a very useful summary. Thank you Pavlin. It's good to be reminded that a great adventure isn't only available to big spenders. In the preparation and planning stage, it would also be a good idea to learn how your bike works and to practise doing basic repair and maintenance. All good 👍
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