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riding in france

Discussion in 'UK Riders' started by neil wheelhouse, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Darren

    Darren Member

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    Rode 6,000 km in France last June and gong back in about 3 weeks for another week befrore 3 weeks in spain in August

    Did not encounter a single problem in France. I dont speak the language, everyone was friendly. Police never bothered me at any point
     
  2. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    there's been a nasty incident in Paris this week and yesterday lunchtime there was a token presence at the Eurotunnel - bemused soldiers looking into the backs of vans and pick-ups but waving bikers through unmolested. I had 90 litres of luggage capacity that could have been loaded with something combustible. Gin maybe.

    There does seem to have been a sea change in compliance with speed limits in the last few years in France. Very few vehicles were exceeding the posted limit by more than a few kph. In the past, if you were hovering at the limit there would be a queue of cars waiting to overtake you. I set off a few static cameras but saw no speed traps like in the past.

    What has yet to sink in is using roundabouts properly. Despite signs, there seem to be a load of drivers who think they can drive into the traffic flow on a roundabout and any vehicle already in the roundabout with give way, the old "prioritié de la droite" thing. Even a car driven by a driving instructor thought I would stop on the roundabout so he could take priority. I hope he teaches his students better habits.
     
  3. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    That's France ruined then....
     
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  4. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    As long as the enforcement is largely electronic IDGAF as there is no reciprocal agreement for cross-border enforcement. You still risk a gendarme collaring you, but just like the UK, gendarmes are very scarce away from the perceived security hotspots.

    Most of the time it is easier to get past the locals as they are going a bit slower but sometimes you get a long line of cars at the 90kph limit on single carriageway where in the olden days there would be a game of wacky races to get past the one in the front, crossing solid white lines and using hashed areas. They still move over for you to get past down the middle as French bike riders are still much the same.
     
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  5. m1bjr

    m1bjr Active Member

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    Good intel here, and to resurrect it again - I remember on a toll south of Paris I saw my car registration on a very large roadside sign.
    No idea how or why, but I'm assuming it was to shame a speeding driver? Never heard ought... anyone seen this as nobody seems to know what it was about. My French is minimal...
     
  6. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    most sections are "take a ticket and pay when you leave" rather than fixed length, fixed fee types, although there is one of the latter at Reims.

    you can use the auto-booths that take card payment only but make sure the screen says Class 5, which is the bike rate, once you put your ticket in the machine

    I have had a) the bike not recognised at all by the road sensor and b) my Tiger Explorer recognised as a car!

    Simply press the button. Once the person answers repeat "class moto or class cinq" and wait for the screen to reset
     
  7. DJBee

    DJBee Active Member

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    I thought that it might be worth resurrecting this thread and updating it as necessary. What has inspired this is a tale that I heard from a friend of a friend who I met the other day.

    This was his story:
    He was on his Triumph Sprint GT near Calais when he was stopped by a police car. They immediately accused him of having a bike that was overweight. I have never heard of this one and he successfully argued his way out of it, bringing the specs up on his phone by googling the stats. relating to the bike. The police officer then gave up on the overweight accusation and accused him of speeding. He also denied this and eventually the police officer went away with muttered threats and warnings. I presume that he spoke French or that the Police officer spoke English.

    Now, some of this did not quite make sense to me and I cannot make much comment. The point though, was that he was very convinced that the French police were out to get UK registered bikes and if they could not find a genuine complaint they would just make one up. He also said that several friends of his have been similarly harassed and now avoid France, especially the North, altogether, going South via Belgium, Germany or Holland.

    I have not been on a bike in France for about four years now and none of his story has any similarities to my experiences there. However, there are now so many rules and regulations to do with clothing, equipment and specification (many of them unclear and ambiguous) that if a French copper is determined to nick you, he will probably be able to find something. Some of these requirements have also changed this year as far as I can understand. I also believe that from this year offences such as speeding will follow you back to the UK for points on your licence.

    I love France and would be very sad to think that I would be persecuted if I went there on a bike - as I intend to do next year. Does anyone else have any recent French experiences or comments on this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  8. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    As above
     
  9. DJBee

    DJBee Active Member

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    Hope not!
     
  10. Bunter

    Bunter Active Member

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    Yes, completely ruined, don't go there, you're almost certain to get your bike crushed if you drive 2 kph over the speed limit. Very crowded roads, terrible countryside and don't get me started on the whole silent T thing ;)

    LRG_DSC09384.jpeg

    LRG_DSC09395.jpeg

    Rode from Cherbourg to Toulouse area where I used it for the odd ride out during my 2 weeks holiday. It was an experiment to see how much I'd use the bike if I had it down there with me. No bother at all from French police but then it was August so they were probably all on holiday. You do not need to carry breathalyzers or have reflective stickers on your helmet unless you bought it in France. You do need a hi-viz tabbard to wear if you have a breakdown (I took one) and also a spare set of bulbs (I didn't take these). I got flashed by one roadside camera even though I was doing below the speed limit. These are so well signposted that if you get a fine from one of those you must be monumentally unobservant. They are so obvious that it makes a mockery of the law that you cannot use a sat nav with speed camera warnings switched on.

    Best thing about having a bike down there was a ride out to Milau bridge which I've wanted to do for a while, the general emptiness of the roads (well not the autoroutes but then it was August), the beautiful expansive countryside (compared to the UK) and the fact that in general French drivers spot motorcyclists way earlier than drivers from the UK. The worse thing was sticky tree droppings on the bike that I'm still getting rid of and Garmin bricking my sat nav before I went...

    What do you call a French rider riding in the UK? Fucking lost.
     
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  11. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently in France for the third time this year. I love the place. So cheap when you spend every other night in a police cell.
     
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  12. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's knackered my double bluff to put everyone else off going there
     
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  13. DJBee

    DJBee Active Member

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    Ha..... pretending it is a double bluff now so that we all go there and have a miserable time won't work. I am sure that I am not the only one to see through your cunning plan. All that stuff about the lovely landscape is just part of the subterfuge.

    Bunter has it right in his first paragraph. Definitely not going near the place.
     
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  14. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    Lost count of the bluffs now, can't work out if I want to go there or not:rolleyes:
     
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  15. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is they can chase you for the fine but the points won't be applied to your licence.
     
  16. mark g

    mark g New Member

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    Never had an issue in over 20yrs touring my way around France, sometimes with our lass and sometimes with the lads (a bit quicker ;) ), so long as you slow down through the villages, keep it down in the hot spots as previously said, you should be okay. maybe I've just been lucky, in which case I've probably jinxed it!
     
  17. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    I think you probably have o_O
     
  18. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they are getting the Bastille ready for your next visit
     
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  19. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    Great place....most of the police harassment stories are urban myths......ride with some respect and you'll be fine.

    We've got so used to an absence of traffic police and, in some cases, a cant be arsed attitude , that we get a bit of a shock when faced with foreign plod who (mostly) do a professional job and don't stand any nonsense (French, German and Dutch plod in particular).
     
  20. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    To be fair to our coppers, I have never personally had any conflict with any one of them at any time. I have found that they are reasonable. When a NSW cop asked me why I was exceeding the speed limit (130 in a 100 zone), my answer was "the speed limit is too low". I still got the minimum fine, even on a "double demerits points weekend". Some years ago when I had to present myself for a firearms licence (being an ex-Yank, I have always had one). At the Carlton station I stood at the counter when the officer took the particulars to fill in the form (a then "new" development). We got to the point "What is your reason for having a firearm?" I answered "Domestic tranquillity". He looked at me and he said "The form hasn't got that, I am just going to put down 'hunting'".
     
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