Mandatory rider equipment
In France, to ride a motorcycle, it is mandatory to wear a safety helmet and a pair of motorcycle gloves.
In terms of safety requirements, Europe has its own certification, called ECE 22.05. It is our equivalent of the DOT certification in the US, or the AS/NZS 1698 certification in Australia, for example. So, to be considered road-legal in France, your motorcycle helmet must have the ECE 22.05 sticker. Please note that helmets can have only one certification, or two, or three… which means that your helmet can be DOT certified only, or DOT & ECE certified, or DOT & ECE & SNELL certified, and so on.
As you always feel more comfortable wearing your own helmet, if your helmet is ECE-certified and does indeed carry the certification sticker, Totem Moto recommends you bring it with you for the tour. Most airlines will count your motorcycle helmet as a carry-on item, allowing you to also bring a backpack or other small personal item. Before departure, check your airline’s policy regarding motorcycle helmets to avoid any bad surprise at the airport. We do not recommend putting your helmet in a checked bag, as it is likely that it’ll get damaged during the transportation. If your helmet is not ECE-certified, or if you do not want to carry your helmet with you, Totem Moto will gladly lend you a basic ECE-certified helmet for the duration of the trip, for no extra charge.
Recently, gloves were made a mandatory equipment for motorcycle riders in France, and they do also have to be CE-certified to be considered road-legal. The certification appears on a label inside the gloves and bear a « CE » marking, along with a motorcycle pictogram. As with the helmet, if your gloves are CE-certified, please consider bringing them with you on the tour. If you do not own a pair of CE-certified gloves, Totem Moto will gladly lend you a pair of basic CE-certified gloves for the duration of the trip, for no extra charge.
In Europe, it is also required by law that any road user has at all times a hi-vis vest. That rule also applies to motorcycles, so any motorcyclist needs to carry a hi-vis vest in his saddlebags, and wear it in case of an emergency. Please note that Totem Moto supplies the hi-vis vests. They will be in your motorcycle’s saddlebags upon your arrival.
There is no European regulation regarding motorcycle jackets and boots (phew!), but that doesn’t mean you should consider riding in a t-shirt and flip-flops! The Totem crew recommends you pack your favorite motorcycle jacket and a pair of sturdy boots for the tour. When choosing the boots, remember that the riding days will be interspersed with activities and visits that will require you to walk quite a bit. Forget about the flashy, all plastic moto-GP boots, and plan for a pair of sturdy-yet-comfortable everyday boots.
Finally, the Totem crew recommends packing a light rain suit. In case you do not own a rain suit, the crew will gladly lend you one for the duration of the trip, for no extra charge.
Each Totem tour features a support vehicle, which does not only go from one accommodation to the other but follows the pack at all times. Beyond technical assistance, the support vehicle is also a great supplier of refreshments and snacks for breaks, safety equipment, and other things.
When on the road, your small and important personal belongings (such as passport, wallet, phone, camera, etc) can be stored on you or in your motorcycle’s saddlebags. The rest of your luggage is stored in the support vehicle and is accessible to you at every break during the day. As much as we like to accommodate all your needs, we, unfortunately have limited space in the support vehicle and can allow only one suitcase and one carry-on size bag per person.
Helmet picture by Camila Ferrari on Unsplash
Gloves picture by Kristian Angelo on Unsplash
Boots picture by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash