The MoBed tent is designed to sit a top a BMW GS motorcycle and provide a quick and comfortable place to rest your head on a bike tour.
If you are worried about the whole caboodle toppling over on a gusty night, you can take some reassurance from the fact that the MoBed includes an extension for the bike’s centre stand as well as guy ropes to offer additional stability. If nothing else, the novel design offers an effective way of deterring the theft of your GS. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking your need an expensive or large tourer to undertake a trip in the first place. Ted Simon was the inspiration for Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Down. Simon spent four years travelling 126,000 km across 45 countries on a Triumph Tiger 100 500 cc motorcycle. He did it alone, with very little money and without the benefit of a support team. The lesson is, it doesn’t matter what you ride. Many a BMW1200GS rider has been passed on a mountain path by a local on a Honda Cub. And in 1980, two riders completed the gruelling Paris Dakar having ridden their Vespa scooters across 7 countries and 10,000km of brutal terrain.
If you don’t own a bike and decide to hire, there’s no shortage of companies ready to take your money. If you would prefer to avoid the cost, which ranges from less than £400 for a Honda NC700X to over £800 for a week’s hire of a superbike like the KTM RC 8R or Ducati 1199S Panigale, you can travel further afield to find cheaper prices.
At this time of the year, temperatures in Morocco hover between a pleasant 25 and 3o degrees, and, most importantly, the roads are near empty. Morocco offers the great roads, stunning scenery and predictable weather that make for the perfect motorcycle trip, but getting there usually involves a gruelling journey through France and Spain. Unless you hire when you get there.
Once in Marrakesh, a Honda XR250 Tornado will set you back £39 per day. If you stay away from the dunes, this plucky and lightweight bike is at home off road and can be specified with full knobblies for an optional extra. The film above documents a four-day tour of Morocco undertaken on XR250s with standard tyres.
Great value breakdown cover for your motorcycle tour in Europe
Euro breakdown cover from the ETA is available for motorbikes (and cars) up to 20 years old.
The cover includes motorcycle hire for up to 14 days (maximum £60 per day). If your bike cannot be repaired within 72 hours the ETA arranges for you, your pillion and your motorcycle to be repatriated to your home.
The policy covers travel to Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City.
The cheapest and most popular option is to cross the channel by ferry or tunnel, but the route from Plymouth or Portsmouth to Bilbao or Santander is a civilised way to get straight to the incredible roads of northern Spain. Alternatively, you can put your bike on a train and start your motorcycle tour in Italy. A Dusseldorf to Verona Motorail train operates from July to August. Düsseldorf is less than four hours from Calais, or less than 3 hours from Hoek van Holland, Rotterdam or IJmuiden (serves by ferries from Harwich, Hull and Newcastle).