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Planning 1


28 Nov 2004

I've been talking about this for a while now, but it's only in the last two weeks that things have really come together.
Work will give me 6 months unpaid leave, and looking at my savings I believe I can do this.

I've been doing the same job for the last 10 years and I need a break and this is the kind of hippy trip that I always thought about as a kid. Touring the US on a big motorbike. Obviously as a kid the image I had was of touring on a Harley - but now that I can ride a bike and have tried riding a Harley there is absolutely no way that I would trust my life to one of them - even if I did believe that it could carry me tens of thousands of miles (which it of course wouldn't).

So what is the plan ?
Sometime in June I drop the bike off at Stanstead airport. A couple of days later I fly to Canada. Within a few hours of landing I should be riding out of the airport. I'm going to go see my friend Doug for a few days to let the panic subside - then ... the next place I have to be is Grand Canyon in September.
In early October I'll put the bike of a plane for New Zealand.
I'll come home for Christmas.

Preparation 1

I've changed the bike. I traded in my 2000 'blade for a 2000 VFR800 at Honda of Salisbury. They will put a Givi wingrack on it (I still have the Givi hard luggage from the last VFR). They will fit the crash bungs - lets face it, in six months of travelling I am going to drop the bike and the position of the VFR indicators and radiators make the sides of the bike a little fragile. I will do a few thousand miles on the bike before I go partially as a shake down, partially to use up the tyres and partially to get it past the 16,000 mile service (one of the big ones on a VFR).

There is some paperwork to be sorted out. I need to get a 'Carnet de Passages en Douane' to allow temporary vehicle importation into New Zealand. The very helpful Paul Gowen at the RAC has sent me all the documentation I require for that. (Paul is a regular contributor to the forums on Horizons Unlimited - THE round the world biker web site). I will also have to replace my passport as it runs out in January 2006. I will have to organise insurance for North America (Insurance for NZ will be purchased on arrival)

Planning 2 ->