A couple of friends and myself are organising a round Britain trip on our scooters. The idea is to start on the Dorset coast, and then ride up the east coast of Britain as far as the Firth of Forth. We will then cross over to the West Coast and come down through the Lake District, around Wales and the West Midlands, all the way around the Cornish coast back to where we started.
It’s a long journey, particularly on bikes as small as 125cc scooters. This will be a practice run for us, and a couple of the lads have decided they want to be sponsored for it and raise money for certain charities. That’s fine, but I would rather not have that responsibility the first time, if I go again I will certainly consider getting sponsored.
However, there were a few things to consider before setting out on a scooter ride this long. Here are the three main bits of advice I could give to anyone considering a long scooter journey.
1) No matter how good a mechanic you are, send your scooter in for a full-service at your local dealership. As them to check every part of the bike, the exhaust brake blocks the chassis everything, even down to the hinges on the seat. From experience I know that it’s the silly stupid things that go wrong on these trips. A broken seat can ruin the journey just as much as running out of fuel or a problem with the exhaust pipe.
2) There are certain spare is that you should always take with you. It is difficult to carry a good puncture repair kit in a scooter, but you will need one. A tire iron for getting a tire off and a spare inner tube or image to prepare kit is essential. You don’t want your journey to be foreshortened by something as simple as a flat tire. I would also take a spare spark plug, and spare clothes and if possible spare waterproof trousers. In the past on long journeys I have found useful all of these things.
3) A membership to a nationally recognised repair breakdown organisation. I won’t name names, you can choose which ever breakdown organisation you prefer. There are even breakdown organisation specifically designed for scooter users. Just make sure you are registered with one, and have all your documents with you. While we’re on the subject of documents, make sure you have all your documents regarding the legality of your bike, your MOT certificate, your bike licence, and possibly even your insurance details.
Of course, there are hundreds of things you could take with with you on a scooter trip like this, I suppose it depends on whether you will be staying at hotels or camping and lots of other factors. It is better to prepare in this way then get halfway around the country and then have to stop because of something silly that could easily have been avoided.
Scooters are great little bikes, but you do need to take a little bit of extra care, it is normal for them to go on journeys as long as this. 1500 miles in 13 days. Wish us luck.