Michael Barnes part 1 “A ride to the MZ Club of Finland 2006 rally”

This is the first installment of Michaels write up on his trip to Finland. I have already had the privilege of reading this all the way through. I am very envious of him. What an amazing trip. So now it is over to him……

I had decided that riding my own bike to Finland to visit my friend Keijo, another MZ rider, was feasible and something I could manage.

I have another friend in the northern German town of Bad Bramstedt , Klaus and my plan was to ship the bike to the nearest port , Hamburg, 40km south of his house.

Klaus would help me collect the bike and we would then ride to the Finnish MZ Club annual rally on June 18th together. I have a 2000 model MZ Skorpion with 48,000km on it purchased new from Readford’s in Dubbo. Klaus has an MZ 250 ETZ model.

Michael's son Peter with his dad's Traveller.

Using a Garmin (global positioning system) we would ride the 1700km finding back roads where possible. Our route would take us from Puttgarden on the tip of northern Germany through Denmark to Sweden , then north up through central Sweden to Grisslehamn, then east across the Baltic Sea by four ferries through the Aland Islands on to Turku on the Finnish west coast . We would ride 270km north-east to the rally site outside of Ikaalinen in central Finland.
The ride as it turned out was fantastic and went pretty much as planned .

I found out about Get Routed www.getrouted.com.au a motorcycle shipping service run by Dave Milligan. Inquiring I found that the dates for Dave’s UK shipment were fairly close to the timing of my trip. The sea voyage takes 43 days leaving Melbourne in March 2006. At that time Dave was shipping bikes from Melbourne to the port of Felixstowe on the English Channel, in Suffolk, about 100km north of London. He now ships out of other capital cities.

Most of the bikes are ridden by their owners to race meetings on the Isle of Man, the North-West 200 in Northern Ireland or the Dutch TT at Assen. Dave chooses shipment dates to coincide with these events.

He charges $2,800 sea freight for most machines short of Gold Wing-size ex Melbourne to Felixstowe and return to Australia. Included in this price is the cost of secure storage while the bikes are awaiting shipment from Melbourne and likewise in Felixstowe, container hire, Australian & UK Customs paperwork and clearances, marine insurance, loading & unloading . I was assured that there would be assistance available at the shipping depot to pick up the bike during office hours. Dave arranges optional comprehensive insurance coverage for the both the UK & EU through Carole Nash for 80 pounds In transit the bikes are packed securely in their own container on individual cradles.

This was all good . Looking further I found a ferry runs from Harwich , just south of the Get Routed agent’s depot in Felixstowe to the port of Esbjerg in Denmark. Esbjerg is 300km north across the border from my friend Klaus’s house in Bad Bramstedt in northern Germany. So I changed my original plan of arranging shipment of the bike myself to Hamburg and chose Get Routed’s all-inclusive service to Felixstowe, UK. By choosing Get Routed I would also get to see the UK which I hadn’t really anticipated. As the crow flies Get Routed’s depot was only 6 kms from the ferry terminal however both are at northern and southern tips of a large bay, the round trip by road was 60 British miles of motorway and suburbs.

Other general customs agents that claim to offer a comprehensive service to any major seaport or airport ;
World Wide Customs and Forwarding Agents ;
World Wide Shipping Agencies ;
The Horizons Unlimited website also has first hand accounts of shipping bikes.

Part 2... Michael arrives in the UK and heads off to Europe..... Should be posted tomorrow night.


  1. looking forward to it!!! cheers! Sean


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