|Roads / riding conditions / tips
Roads in Portugal vary from busy in and around the Lisbon and the
Oporto area to completely empty. The Portuguese have 3 main
types of highways:
Firstly, main toll roads, where charges are paid, these are very
quick, and are 90% empty, a complete pleasure to drive on, they
are even quieter than the French toll roads.
second type are main roads, these can be busy near cities and
major towns, as they are used by local people ö there are no
charges, and are used a lot by lorries. Even these roads,
however, can be very quiet outside of towns and cities,
especially in the central mountain regions.
third kind of roads are smaller B class roads, these are usually used by local people and are very quiet. They often
have the most stunning views, with great stretches of road with
amazing twists or just dead straight, all of which bring great
enjoyment for riding on.
Firstly remember to ride on the right hand side of the road;
this will be natural for some riders, others this will be a new
experience. Stick a label on the speedo for the first day or so
the whole, roads are well maintained, however, the edges of many
roads, except the toll roads are not always finished to the
highest standards and care should be taken if riding near the
Portuguese roads are a pleasure to ride on, they are stress
free, places and names are well signed, but you should be
prepared on toll roads to be in the right lane early when
exiting, as the junction can on occasions appear quickly.
Riders from the UK and America will find the roads completely
different from their country; no traffic jams and sheer joy to
ride on, with vast stretches of road with no vehicles on and on
occasions the odd few. Even riding around their main cities and
towns compared to the UK and the USA is relatively easy for any
one with some reasonable riding or car driving experience.
There are 3 kinds of Police forces in Portugal:
Garda ö they drive blue and white vehicles.
- City police ö drive green and blue vehicles.
- National, plain clothes - they drive unmarked vehicles.
police are OK with motorcyclists, however, they do have the
power to impound the motorbike and yourself if you are caught
speeding or can not produce the right papers for the motorbike
along with your licence.
- On the spot fines, we recommend that you carry at least 100
Euros in cash just in case. A receipt will be issued. If you have no
cash the police can impound the bike and take you to the bank to
- Police are rarely seen on toll roads or minor roads.
- Major ãNä roads are the places were police are most seen ö
checking vehicles etc.
- Routine stops are frequent around towns and cities, mainly on roundabouts,
police will mount roadside checks and will blitz vehicles for
a period of time in that area then move on.
- Motocadia does not encourage speeding on any roads.
Motocadia suggest that you are extra vigilant in and around
towns and at all times you must carry the following:
- Your driving permit
- Motocadia contract
- Copy of motorcycle insurance provided by Motocadia
- Motocadiaâs guide for the Police ö this is in Portuguese and
English, explaining to the Police you do not speak Portuguese,
and asking them to indicate why you have been stopped and what
the penalty is ö this should assist you and them.
We hope this will not happen as most of the week you will be
accompanied. However, you do have free time to ride
unaccompanied so please take your reference guide.
- Motorway ö 120 KPH
- Main and minor roads ö 90KPH
- Towns öSee individual speed limit signs
- Thickly populated areas normally - 60 KPH
Petrol stations and petrol:
- All Motocadia bikes take unleaded fuel ö ãsem chambo"
- Very few stations are self service and it is common to give
the attendant a few cents tip.
- Beware a number of stations will only take cash.
- Major credit cards are accepted at the larger national chains.
Credit card payments ö In most Portuguese outlets you have to
enter a pin number for your card ö in the UK some cards do not have
these pins yet, so you ãmust click OK on the key pad twiceä for the transaction to register ö some attendants know this,
others will say the transaction has been refused. This system
applies to shops, restaurants, etc as well.
- The legal limit is 0.05 per cent.
- Do not drink and ride.
- The best map is from ACP ö The Automovel Club of Portugal,
followed by Michelin.
- Road numbers change often.
- Leaving towns can be tricky as signs do not normally appear
till you get to a roundabout or main junction.
- If you plan to do any independent riding take the map provided