Weather, clothes and packing for your motorbike tour in Ireland
Travel-Weather in Ireland (and Scotland):
Some people tend to think, that Ireland and Scotland are very rainy and cold places and can only be visited in the midsommer months - this is not the case. A true eye opener is the fact that Dublin and Edinburgh have - by far- less rain in summer than the german city of Munich - believe it or not! So, yes it can rain on your tour - but if you can ride your motorbike in Germany or other norther eurpean countries in spring or autumn, there is no reason to be afraid of rain in Ireland or Scotland either.
Did you know, that the warm Gulf-stream along the coasts of Ireland, England and Scotland ensures for mild weather throughout the year? Summers are not really hot and winters are not really cold compared to continental Europe. Because frost is not an issue in winter, you can actually see many palm trees and mediteranean plants growing well in many gardens from south Ireland up to the northwestern coasts of Scotland.
Actually spring and autumn are often quite mild, especially in the South and South-East of Ireland and flights and accomodation can be incredibly cheap off summer season. Temperatures in Ireland and Scotland can be expected to be at about 10-15 degrees Celsius in spring and autumn and about 15-25 degrees Celsius in summer, with 20 degrees being pretty average.
Tips for clothes and packing:
Keep it simple - less is more: Riding a motorbike is an outdoors activity - bikers feel the sun, the wind and rain more directly than car passengers and are more exposed to elemts. So if you think of backpacking or mountaineering now, you are about right: Like hikers, we need to prepare ourselves for a variety of temperatures as well as rain, but we don`t have much space to pack a lot of luggage. Therefore it is very important to take few, but essential items with you:
- A good quality all-year textile motorbike suit with a good waterproof membrane is a great allrounder, which we recommend for most tours, especially in spring or autumn.
- If your motorbike suit is not waterproof, add a waterproof rainsuit to it - they don`t cost much, but you should absolutely be able to protect yourself from getting soaked.
- Motorbike jeans and leather jackets are a nice option in summer - just make sure to pack your rainsuit.
- An certified motorcycle helmet is legally required on all roads in Europe. Full helmets are great in spring or autumn. In summer, a jet helmet may be a comortable alternative - but only with full visor- to protect you face and the inside of the helmet from rain.
- Don`t forget your feet and hands: Good protective motorbike boots and gloves are a must. Again, the waterproof option is recommended.
- Keep warm: functional thermal underwear is easy to pack and provides great comfort on cooler days. Ski-, sports-, and outdoor underwear and shirts work greatly for motorcycling. Cotton gets wet very easily and drys very slowly - functional plastic fabrics keep you warm and dry.
- A stiff neck can ruin your day: Take a scarf, buff or neckcloth with you. And don`t forget sunglasses, too!
- In Scotland in summer there may be midges - many people react with itching to the bite of these small flys - a good insect repellent may help. This is no issue in Ireland.
- ONE set of street clothes: Really, this is, where most people carry far too much stuff around: You only need one set of street clothes with sneakers and a light jacket for the evenings or your arrival and departure days.
- Luggage: Most of our motorbikes comes with panniers and a topcase, some with soft sidebags and a rear bag. You can rent an additional tankbags from us if you need. Excess luggage, e.g. suitcases, can be stored at our tour base during your tour (no valuables please).
- Passports: Passport is required for Non-EU citizens. EU-citizens can use their ID Cards for Ireland, but you should have a passport for Northern Ireland and Scotland (UK is not in the EU anymore). Non-EU citizens must have a valid passport.
- Money: The currency is Euro in Ireland (and the EU) and the British Pound in Northern Ireland and Scotland. There are ATMs available in all towns and citys. You should bring a variety of debit and credit cards. Some fuel stations are automatic stations and sometimes reject certain debits Cards. VISA usually works well.
- Electricity: British three pole sockets. Mainland-Europe plugs don`t fit, you may need to buy an adapter (e.g.at the airport).
- Cosmetics and medication: Keep your cosmetics bag small - get small sample packs of liquids if you can. Cosmetics can be bought almost everywhere on your tour. Medication: If you need special medication, make sure you bring enough, it may not be available everywhere.
- And don`t forget to bring your camera!
In a nutshell: Don`t bring too much luggage, you will not enjoy carrying it all on your motorbike and having less stuff to worry about is a relief!
A word of advice to guests coming from warm or hot countries: "Yes, you should definitely bring a full helmet, gloves, boots, a warm suit and proper raingear to Ireland and Scotland, even in summer!!!"
Climate is typically cool to warm in Ireland and Scotland, whereby the southeast of ireland is relatively warm and dry and the northwest of Scotland is relatively cool and wetter.