Today i took Ecstasy on a mission. As you might know i’m a volunteer for the MAG who fights road closures amongst others. Yesterday i asked about their stands about dirt roads because all i always hear is dyke roads which we have many here in the Netherlands chasing the rivers coming from everywhere to end up in the North sea. Coincidences don’t exist she said because earlier this month he she talked with the linesmen from the TET Netherlands section about this topic. Dirt roads being closed for cars and bikes as if the signs are for free and i think…. no, i’m close to 100% sure the closures are for cars as well because nobody likes taking a car offroad so no harm for them and the bikers don’t feel excluded like when they only would close the roads for bikes. Thinking i’m this dumb is an insult so i went of to inspect some of these roads if there is a proper reason to close them off and the upcoming period i’m continuing to do this whenever i come across one of those signs.
Above is a nice example why i believe the closures are bullshit, both are the same sign each at the start/end of the same road but both with different exception signs under them. At one side it say that farmers vehicles are allowed and on the other side it says that destination traffic is allowed.
I also talked with pedestrians asking if they knew why the roads are closed and how they feel about motor-bikers and most of them didn’t have any problem with us when we take it easy passing them. Some said they have more problems with the mountainbikers . I’ve noticed before already that a lot of people gave me a nod as a thank you for slowing down and try to keep the sound low when passing them. On my regular route home from work there is at the start of a dirt road a horse farm where a lot of time they are training and after a few times passing they started to wave at me. Probably because they noticed that i do my extra best to keep the engine sound down (Ecstasy tends to backfire a lot, an XT660 habit). Only a few look at me like “what the hell are you doing on our road?”
In the process i also discovered some new roads where i’m allowed to ride and i took all the regular offroad parts to have some fun as well. I made a waypoint and a photo of all the roads i entered and made notes of my experience and/or the remarks from the pedestrians i talked to. Some roads i decided to ignore based on the talk. It’s no use to fight a closure if it’s no fun to ride anyway.
Back home i needed to check Ragnarok, yesterday i’d noticed some irregularity with the front brakes thinking i was too late with checking the brake-pads and having steel on steel. De disks felt like it was the case but after taking the caliper apart i was just in time but somehow the disks where destroyed anyway. I’m prepared for some costs for spare parts but this was not one of them… bummer… After some (re)search i ordered a new set, brake-pads i already had on the shelf. The OEM disks are ridiculously expensive so i ordered TRW/Lucas disks which are per set cheaper than the cheapest single OEM disk i could find. Tomorrow i’ll finish cleaning the calipers and placing the new pads. After that i’ll take the front wheel out to clean and prepare that for when the new disks are in. Don’t mess with brakes. For this reason i bought Ecstasy as soon as i did.
I never cared for names for a bike but i also never cared for blogs and now i have my own. Time change, people change… oh, okay. I don’t think i’m changed, at least not much. Maybe i should say i grew.
Just like i talked about in my introduction how i got single again but i have to be honest, she helped me grow. I was terrible with money. My motto was better die with a 100 grand debt than that amount in de bank. Still have the same idea but the reality is that it’s better to have a little savings for when something happens. Because of that i could buy the CT the same day i got the old bike back after i crashed it and decided that it was economical totalled. When i met her i also discovered that i like travelling, before i always thought it was a waste of money and now i already start planning the next trip before i went on the last trip.
Okay, back to the names. At the forum of the Honda VFR Ownersclub Nederland there is a topic about names for the bikes which got reanimated a few days ago. I’m a big fan of Itchy Boots (@ItchyBootsTrav) and she also names her bikes. The both together made me think that it might be nicer for a blog than the model markings.
The XTZ did name itself actually. When you speak those letters in English it says eXTeZe or Ecstasy. When you take a bike offroad you get in to trouble one way or the other which is scary for the one but exhilarating for the other, it brings you in ecstasy in other words.
The Crosstourer was not that easy and it’s a big black bike with a lot of power so it had to be a powerful name but still had some meaning. I’m not religious but somehow the Scandinavian mythology intrigues me and the north is one of my two bucketlist trips where i started with before it became possible to make a big trip every year. I decided to go with Ragnarok which means “Faith of the gods” or Twilight of the Gods” and to make it a bit more personal the first letters “Rag” can refer to the Dutch word “raggen” which can be described as a few things and one of them is driving/riding like crazy. So, from now on i will use Ecstasy and Ragnarok when i talk about the bike.
When i ride back from work i mostly ride the small roads and when i’m with Ecstasy i like to take some offroad to practice and get used to the behaviour of the bike in different situations. Sadly al lot of dirt roads are closed for bikes and cars but the reason of closing it for cars is a false one. When they exclude cars which wouldn’t be coming there a lot in the first place also it doesn’t show that it is to just keep us away. My number one thing for the next meeting with the MAG to get that on the agenda too. I had a few km’s of sand-road but not very difficult, even after rain but now i have a single track added to the route which can bring some challenges when wet or too dry.
Ending up with 6 parts this will be the last of the bucketlist 2020. The start of this part is the day after the one day break and for once something in the mortgage adventure had a perfect timing. We planned a daybreak in Pompeii to visit the ruins from the eruption of the Vesuvius in the year 79 and the 2 nights we spend in an apartment with a washing machine. It was a great apartment and a very friendly landlord living next door on the gated compound which was ideal because the bikes are safe that way. Due to Covid it was a hassle to get a mortgage and it’s already months waiting and trying to get it approved. In the quick check there should be no reason not to get it approved so i bought the house and the transfer date was set also but i had to wait for the quote to sign off to make everything official. Every-time they needed something new from me or my ex, it all had to do with the fact that my ex would keep our old house. She needed approval for the mortgage but i had to get out of that one and that was also the problem for my new mortgage but just after we arrived at the apartment i got a mail with the quote. The new challenge was to find a place where i could print, scan and mail. The Italian landlord was not very good at English so he called a tenant who also helps him with the maintenance of the property. Seemed there was a small book- and office supply store just 20 meters up the street where i could do that. Now that’s official i could stop worrying and enjoy even more starting with visiting the ruins the next day.
I only have to get one paper signed before the transfer day but more on that later. The next day we moved on with a short look at the Vesuvius and then going up north again with one more week to go. During that section we decided that the camping i had in mind probably was going to be a dead end due to the experiences in the past 2 weeks. We changed the route a bit and ended up at a campsite just north of Rome at Logo di Bracciano. At that campsite we decided that the next day we go our own way, i tend to go a little extreme. On this trip that was in the challenging roads through the inlands and the long days. In combination with the hot weather (30+C) that was getting a bit much for Michel and therefore we’d thought it was better he went home before it gets unsafe. That it’s not an issue for me is just that it was my trip to begin with and therefore my way of travelling, i’m more experienced with long days and i’m blessed with a ridiculous energy level (and sometimes it’s more a curse).
The next day i went to find the way back to the track we left the previous day and the first 2 hours i thought Michel could have done this day after all…. but then the temperature started rising… and rising… and rising with almost no shade. The roads where nice and smooth also only learning later that day it’s getting more challenging until the point where the asphalt was so bad that i had to use a lot of rear brake to back-up the bouncing front due to the potholes. The road was a Fiat Panda size with hairpin turns on a more than 20% slope and i was in my element but because of that i was going also pretty fast for that particular road with fading brakes as a result, time to slow down a little. Also not a bad thing because the view was just beautiful.
This section ended just south of Pisa. I overnighted at a agri camping but i didn’t get the “agri” in this. The only farmer related item was an old tractor parked in a corner unlike the place we stayed in the beginning of the second week, that was a proper farm. But at least the campsite was where it supposed to be.
I’m not a big fan of touristic places but the crooked tower of Pisa was just 15 minutes from the campsite so i’m early. A quick coffee with a view on the tower and quickly moving on, not sure how quit it would be due to the Corona limits and not very much tourists but i don’t like masses of people (hence the not a fan part). It was another great day of driving, little did i knew that the chaos would start at the planned campsite. The day was long but i had a good pace and didn’t took a lot of breaks. I have a 3L camelback to keep hydrated on the run. At the end the was indeed a campsite just like iOverlander said but they’re already closed. I started the next section and tried to find a place to stay for the night along that section starting at a B&B not far form the campsite but no room free. The owner went with me to another B&B just around the corner but the same so i went on. After another hour riding i found a place but it looked very fancy, let’s check the internet and yes…. €85 for a night… no way. Finally found something just over halve an hour further of the track. I had to give up the credit-card to get the mortgage (stupid rules) and therefore i couldn’t pre book the place and i had to take a gamble. It was i nice and quit town and they still had a room with a shower just for €20 and a safe place for the bike… fianaly, i was now 11 hours on the road with i think about 2, maybe 2,5 hours break.
Still had to eat but it was a simple place without a kitchen. The closest restaurant was a kilometre away but closed on Mondays, the only other in the region was 3km in the next town. I didn’t want to take the bike because i would like a beer also. You should’ve seen the faces when i said i go take a 3km walk and 3 back. Like i said, the chaos was about to start. When i came at the door there was a sign it was closed due to vacation (holiday season just ended in Italy). When i left the town i stayed i saw a café, maybe they have some snacks or at least something to eat (if not i still had some survival packs) so i went for the beer and they had lasagna… perfect so i took a second portion and another beer and went back to the B&B.
New day fresh start. Halve an hour on the road the first obstacle. the road from the big roundabout was a one way road in the wrong direction and the next exit didn’t exist, the first exit was a toll highway and i ended up getting back. That meant going over 2km back without an option to take an easy alternative route so turning around and reluctantly taking the toll road. I took a card and luckily after 5km i already could exit and get back on track. At the exit i had to pay for the distance but the machine refused my card. After several tries i went to the second and only other gate where i could pay with a normal bank card or cash but the same. I rang for help but i couldn’t understand the Engtalian of the clerk and the machine keeping to tell me i have to put he card in the slot didn’t help either. At last somebody came out and a good 15 minutes later i could finally continue.
I was on the way to the Swiss border and another hour later a message came on screen on the Garmin XT “The travel advice for Switzerland has changed”…. uh oh… Normally you can stop about everywhere in Italy but just now i couldn’t until a few km further. 2 regions of Switzerland where given a code orange (don’t travel unless necessary and a quarantine when getting back) and guess which regions! Indeed, the ones i was heading to. Quick new plan. Going to Austria and see from there but the place i wanted to go had a route from where i was going through Switzerland so just go in the direction in need. After one and a halve hour i finally found a coffee place and was trying to get the route to the place i wanted but still over Switzerland. Then i decided to go towards lake Garda where i took a lunch and plotted a route. I had about 4 hours driving behind me and 4 more to go and planned to go another 2 hours to the Austrian border and have a coffee while making the final decision for the day.
You thought the chaos was compleet? Think again. At the coffee break i got another email, remember i had to sign one more paper? This mail was about that. It had to be signed at the notary’s office but i could authorize the clerk from the office by signing the paper and make a selfy with the signed paper in one hand and my passport in the other showing both documents and my face. After signing they could register it and then i’m free to actually get the house transferred on my name. But now it seems that they can prepare the papers after that but for registering they do need the original signed document…..!!!!???? That was nice if it was still a week or more, than i could sent it by mail but by now i probably would be home sooner than the mail gets there and than it would be very close and possibly 1 or 2 days too late.
New plan. I was going to find a place to sleep and then take some small roads home but now it would be better to find another place to sleep on the fastest way home. Than i’ll be home in time for the signing appointment and have the original signed document there and in time. Finished my coffee and moved on to hit a closed road due to an terrible accident just 20 minutes into the latest plan. At least a little luck, another biker knew the region and had a detour (in the mountains there are mostly not many) limiting the delay to less than 15 minutes. I still had some nice roads before i get to the hundreds of kilometres of highway, let’s enjoy it.
The two hours driving i planned where about to end but i didn’t eat yet, better find something to eat first before everything is closed. I was trying to find a hotel already but not successful and by the time i found a place to eat i was already in Germany. The choice was a sandwich from whenever or a pizza. After 2 weeks Italy the pizza would be disapointing but could it be worse than the sandwich? Yes it could… They didn’t had tomato sauce enough so they sliced some watery tasteless decoration tomato’s over the pizza dough with some factory cheese… what the fuck… are you kidding me?? Got pissed and didn’t pay for it. And still no place to sleep, by now it was 23:00h and at this time the small B&B’s or pensions are not reachable any-more. Next door was a hotel but one you check in with an app. Another 45 minutes later i found a kind of hotel i was looking for, the kind you can check in 24/7… If there was no corona…. “Due to corona there is no night reception, check in is possible between 7 and 22”.
Last attempt another hour closer to home but also no success and now it was time for desperate measures, wild camping which is illegal in most parts of Europe. Now i was not checking for hotels but for green spots on the GPS map away form city’s but close to the autobahn. It’s not only wild camping which is illegal in Germany but also offroading almost everywhere, double challenge. Not much further i found an exit with most likely some forest. First track, no… back to the main road and a left turn a bit later, then a right onto a dirt track (hail auxiliary lights), another right more dirt and what looks like a nice spot for a tent… good enough. Just wanted a short rest so putting up the tent with the bare minimum parts. Even in the pitch-dark with a small camp-light it took me just a few minutes. Only taking my boots off i slept for 2 hours and within halve an hour later i was back on the road. First gas station i wanted to get a coffee but both machines out of order for cleaning… why not one by one like here in the Netherlands???
Just moving on and by now it was 22 hours after leaving the last B&B and time for breakfast. At least a place that is open early with a proper breakfast. 3 hours riding ahead until home. I was planning to get home that evening but at 9:30 i was home, 25 hours with 2 hours sleep and 1461km and a full day early for signing. That day ended at 1:00 at night. Was it crazy? Yes. Will you do it again? Whenever i can!!!!
The Ténéré is ready for now and took him most of the week to work taking the regular offroad sections plus an extra part which i didn’t want to do with the CT, especially when its wet. But mostly because i think it’s not meant to use the track and the exit back to the road is a bit narrow just fitting the CT but only with a bit wiggling to get the panniers trough the gate.
Now i had some time to get to the last footage from the missing SD card. In this part whe’re back on the mainland and going along the west-coast back up towards Switzerland with just a few detours inland to see some green and mountain roads.
Goal of taking that part of Italy was the Amalfi coast route. Normally that road is one big traffic jam where the scooters fly past on the left and the right but with the corona going on most tourist stayed at home and the Italian holidays finished 2 weeks before we arrived so we had some traffic but also a lot of moments to have fun. At one point a local overtook me, probably thinking that those fucking tourist would be slow an only looking around. Once passed at the first corner he hit the brakes and i hate that. I’ve been to the Amalfi coast before with my ex on a fly and drive vacation and now i’m back on the bike just for the road so time to tease the local 😛
After a bit pushing he went to the side to let us pass, i wonder what he was thinking at that moment. I didn’t let the free road ahead wasted and turned the throttle leaving the local way behind having fun on that winding road, high on the cliffs. At the end of the video i left some parts from the villages in for a change. Enjoy the video.
When you travel you need to take some stuff with you, such as clean underwear and a toothbrush. But when you make it a bit more adventurous a sleeping bag and a tent would also come in handy, even when you go for a luxurious adventure and sleep in hotels because on an adventure you can expect some surprises and might not make it to a hotel. This is my experience. In the past on the chopper and the sport tourers i used a speedbag, a 70L rollbag and a few trips i had saddle bags but went back to the speedbag. When i bought the CT it was fitted with a set of 30L Aluminium Hepco & Becker Explorer panniers and a 45L topcase and i thought it was perfect.
But when i started to take him offroad the first time i fell and my foot got under the pannier which i felt for about 4 months (Yes, maybe i should have gone to a doctor). I already read about it and now i experienced it the time had come to switch to soft luggage. At that moment i still had a relationship and we where saving up for a renovation of the complete downstairs of our house so i had a small budget and bought a set of Lomo dry bag panniers and a set crashbar bags from the same brand. It was OK for the price but with the relationship ended, my first big trip ahead and money on which i could decide the budget myself OK was not good enough.
After looking around for the options and possibility’s i decided it had to be Mosko Moto gear. Now i just had to figure out what would work for me. Back then i only had the CT and it’s a big bike and i went for the Backcounty 35L V2.0 panniers plus the Scout 60L duffle. I still had the Lomo crashbar bags but at the offroad training i crashed and the Lomo set was not crashproof and the straps tore off where the Mosko Moto only had some sand stain that could easily be wiped off. I had to get some Mosko Moto crashbar bags but sadly that was missing in their nice collection. In the pannier kit was one bracket faulty and after a mail they send off a new one right away, excellent service ans also great support i have to say, they really stand for the products and appreciate you as a customer so i contacted them again. They gave me some background about the bags i thought might be an option end ended up ordering 2 Aux pox 5L which actually are meant to screw on the panniers. The panniers come standard with 1 aux pox per side but they are prepared to be fitted with 2 per pannier when desired. I bought some straps and made my Own crashbar bags and shared the idea and the photo’s how i did it. In the end this was my set up for my first big trip.
The weight distribution was perfect like this, you can see it yourself by watching the video’s in the bucketlist blogs. There you can see the bike handles perfect. In the duffle is everything for camping like the tent, mattress, sleepingbag, jetboil, pots and pans, a folding chair, pillow and coffee with some snacks. In the panniers i have the clothes, toilet bag etc. All divided over different packingcubes to be able to organise things for easy finding and access.
Than the XTZ came and my first plan was to put some racks on and buy the mounting wedges to be able to hang the panniers on both bikes. That however would be stupid. I bought the XTZ for real offroad and i want to do TET tracks where it is best to have the bike as light and slim as possible and the panniers are light weighing as a set just a little more than 1 aluminium pannier but they are big for long trips and with the necessary rack the slim bike would end up very wide. I was very pleased with the set on the CT and the after sales so it had to be Mosko Moto again and a Rackless system would be ideal for this bike. They have a Rackless 80L, 40L and 10L. The 10 is nice for day-trips but not very useful for long weekend/10 day trips. The 80 would be ideal but i wanted to keep him slim and nimble so i choose the Rackless 40L V2.0.
This set comes with the Stinger 8L tailbag but the Stinger 22L which is standard for the Rackless 80L also fits under the beavertail of the R40 so i ordered that one also, and Roel (the international Sales Manager) made me a nice offer… thanks Roel! With my collection i can make a combination for any trip and for whatever i want to take. Big trips i can do with the CT with the setup like in the second photo, weekend offroad trips with the XT and the standard R40 set, midweeks with the S22 instead of the S8 and for longer offroad trips i always can choose to leave the stingers at home and strap the Scout 60L on the back. The fuel bottles and certain tools i can easily switch between bikes but both bikes have their own main toolset.
I made a walk around video of the CT set but i was not happy with it and i didn’t found the time at the right moment to make a new one. Now i’m almost settled in my new home and having the XTZ almost complete i will have some time but i’ll wait until spring to make a new and now i can also make it complete with both bikes and show you the different combinations. Until than i still have some footage from the trip for 1 or 2 episodes and i have to find a set up for the camera on the XTZ plus some different angles for both bikes.
The camera mount on the XTZ for the GoPro is still on the to do list so we have to do with some pictures. Today was the testdrive for the Power Commander and the rear suspension. It started easy but it sounded like the battery was having a hard time with it, but he was sitting for more than 3 weeks so let’s see after a few days normal (ab)use.
First an easy drive towards the gas station to fill him up, i had to take the gas tank of so i had him with just a little gas in it to make that easier. It felt good, could be a bit better with a custom map but good enough to ride on until i saved up a little to have a custom map made. The weather was nice and i decided to take a longer testride. Somehow i missed a turn and i ended up taking a shortcut for the long option but i had nowhere else to be. I drove towards the river Maas where i have one of my standard offroad tracks and from there i used the GPS to send me home the long way before. That was mostly because it was still a commute from work to home but today i had all the time and i took the same road without the GPS, now it didn’t matter if i went the wrong way taking me a bit further.
On the offroad part i noticed that i could go right at some point taking another offroad section i didn’t knew yet but it ended up at the Maas with only a bicycle path and a lot of pedestrians so better not risk it. I had a lot of thankful nod’s for slowing down when i came across pedestrians and/or animals and that’s very important to keep the tracks open for motorcycles, there is al lot closed due to the few who don’t care about others (bikers as well as pedestrians). Tracking back to the track i know and the rest of the curvy road option Garmin gave me before. The curvy roads in the XT are great unlike the ones from the 3XX and 5XX series.
Back at the final road home i decided to take the offroad part i planned in the first place. Not turning right but left and try to find the road i sometime take on which it’s a bit unclear if it is closed in all directions at the end of the road or only to the right. The sign there is tilted slightly to the right but coming from the other side it was clear it was for all the roads. I made a U-turn and went in from the other side.
Riding offroad is starting to feel a little more comfortable. slowly getting used to a bit of sliding. You can see the trail from the locked up rear wheel which i was a bit scared of at first. Not scared of falling though, because of my autism what i mentioned in the “about me” page i don’t posses very much fear because that’s an emotion and also not connected completely. This is a kind of scared caused by reasoning. I don’t care if i get hurt, not that i like pain, but i’m afraid of damaging the bike and that is a left over from when i was in a relationship. I was the big spender so i was afraid to say that i had to spent even more due to doing crazy stuff. That just has to wear off and learning offroad things when dry is also easier than in the mud like today in most places.
At the end of this track i took another road than usually, still not in a hurry and at one point i turned around because i saw a dirt track and i wanted to check that out. It was a dead end… now what? The end was in a meadow and the end of the track was a mudpit leaving me with the challenge to get the bike turned around. First i got off and try to push it but that was very hard in that soft underground. I did see some YouTube movies about offroading and one technique is standing next to the bike with the bike in first gear and let it powerslide around you. At this moment i felt comfortable enough to try that out. It was not a one slide turn around but i did it in a few parts but i was turned around and could get on the bike again and get back to the road.
There i decided to go home and took the same way back with only a little detour via a known road. It was a nice ride and it was clear i didn’t stay on the asphalt….
Finally the part where in. When i stated to take the bike apart to change the rear suspension i discovered some problems and needed parts, that you could have read in the previous blog about the Ténéré project. It’s in the blog with the title “Should i think international” from 20 December (I’l l do my blog in English but i refuse to use Imperial measurements and date stamping).
There i said i could order the parts on Tuesday, that was the 22nd, but at the bikeshop they said that Yamaha already closed and any orders after the 21st will not be processed until 5 January. I could try to order at CMSNL which is a big online warehouse with lot’s of stock for the 4 big Japanese brands. When i got home i put in the order right away and nothing had a note that it was not in stock so i confirmed the order. The next day it said it would be shipped on Thursday 29 December, that would mean that if the parcel company didn’t let me down again it should be in on Saturday which is the best option for that moment.
After checking every day if anything changed id did on the morning of the 29th… Now it was unknown when it would be shipped???? Bullshit! I put in a ticket to cancel the order and will be ordering at the bikeshop. I like to buy local to be sure that the shops can survive and a lot of people keep thinking the internet is cheaper but they’re wrong or they compare the cheapest shit against OEM parts at the dealership. Besides the parts for the linksystem i found out after a remark on the DTA (Dutch Ténéré Association) where i’m also a member that there was a problem with the breathers on the first line of this model (’08 and ’09) which was resolved on the ’10 model. It costs only just over €10 so let’s order that too and the side cover mounting at the bottom of the gas-tank in the front had issues with the tread inserts and needed to be replaced as well. They would order it firt thing on Tuesday 5 January.
6 January in the morning i got a phone-call that the parts where in… Yeah baby… Finally! Thursday i took the bearings, oil seals and linksystem to work where i changed those. I don’t have a workbench yet and no heating in the garage so it would be easier and more comfortable to do it there.
Friday i changed the breather which was not as easy as i thought. It was fixed with a pin in a hole kept in place by a rubber ring with two hoses clamped on. Problem was that i had no space above it to push it up the get the pin out but with some clever thinking, brute force and not to mention a great deal of luck i managed without having to take apart even more. Here you can see the differences and that change should prevent too much oil getting in the airfilter.
Today it was time to get on with it and it would be nice if i get him completely finished. Yes, different than a lot of guys i don’t see the bike as a “she”. Don’t know why they all want a female bike, maybe because they “ride” her but i just want to have some fun and not a relationship. Not that you can’t have fun with women but you know why women live longer… Guys like to do crazy shit and that’s why my bikes are male companions.
I started with putting the rear suspension together to get a rolling chassis again, then i put back the exhaust so the liquid gasket can cure (it has to set at least 24 hours). I took a bit more time than the first install after i bought it and have it positioned a lot better. Next was the Tooltube that should go at the place where the second exhaust would be. On the CT i also have a Tooltube and i learned that the original mounting points won’t survive so i cut them of and had ordered a pair of exhaust brackets to hang him on. The company where i got my exhaust also have a dual system and they both have the same replacement mounting bracket which was nice because i can use the other site for one of the two brackets from the Tooltube. For the front one i made something but after taking away the sidecover that part could go to the bin… assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups. Oké, not to the bin. I used it to make another mount, very convenient when you’re creative and be able to find a solution in a matter of minutes and have it made in about 10 more.
First lunch and after that i connected the gas-tank and started it to check if it was running since i connected the Power Commander without a installation guide. It started and i quickly shut him of again to prevent blowing out the gasket like after the first installation and i was not patient enough to hear him roar…. On with the installation of all the bits and pieces i had to take off to get to the parts and just after 17:00h i was ready.
Only the bags back on but that’s for after the test ride tomorrow, i might need to get to the Power Commander under the seat for some adjustments. I hope not because that would mean that i have to study first how to change things. Plan was to ride until i don’t expect any winter weather any more and than have a bespoke map made for this bike with the K&N air filter and this exhaust. I can sleep in, have to wait until about 14:00h. Than the liquid gasket should be cured as it didn’t mentioned a temperature like with most glues and paint. When all is good i can changes rides again and take the one needed or wanted and i will have time for the rest of the bucketlist trip.
Yessss, part 4 is ready and although in the end of part 3 i mentioned that part 4 was probably the last but i was missing an SD card which i found. More to come but now we stay with part 4. In this part we are in the southern part of Italy where we had a lot of change in the scenery and we also had some very unsuspected landscapes. I thought some parts would be more typically to the north and it also had a bit of a Montenegrin feel.
It was a great drive with not only changing scenery but also changing road conditions. In de video (you’ll get to it at the end) i put in a very small clip on the highway to show that we also had to make some decisions weather to risk not getting at the wanted turning point which in this version was Palermo or to take some highways to make up for lost time. After that section when we’re back on the twisties it looks like we lost out groove but that was only because we where avoiding the potholes.
I like the more technical riding, therefore i made a route through the centre of Italy away from the touristic places but that also meant we had a lot of bad to very bad roads. Not a problem on the Crosstourer and i also liked those challenges and because i was in my element i forgot mostly to start the video or didn’t stop it. The GoPro is set on a 20 minute loop in 5 minute sections. After 20 minutes he starts overwriting the first 5 minutes and when i stop recording it saves the last 20 minutes. This way you can keep recording al the time… if you don’t forget to turn it on… When you come across a nice section you stop recording to save the 20 minutes and start another loop. Now my life has changed it is no longer a wish to someday make the 2 bucketlist trips but it’s a complete new and extended list with only one question… which one will be crossed off this year? That new life is also the reason i started this blog and now i have to find a way to improve the set up and add some different angles plus i have to kick my own ass and think about the camera.
Back to part 4. We are getting close to the far south and eventually arriving at the ferry in Villa San Giovanni. I couldn’t find much information about the crossing to Sicily so we just drove to the harbour where we found multiple entrances but still not clear which one was going where, i just entered one and is seems that they all went to Sicily and the other islands or to Napels. Just missing the ferry but they leave every halve an hour the wait is on in 30 degrees Celsius. No need to book in advance for a motorcycle but due to corona at the moment it was also not needed for a car. It was just a good 20 minute sail and than we set foot on Sicilian ground to continue the ride to a campsite at the foot of the Etna where we would go the following day. Not sure if i have footage from that ride because the missing card was bought in Palermo, the endpoint after visiting the Etna. For now i leave you with the part 4 video. Not sure if part 5 will be this week or somewhere next week because i finally have the parts for the Ténéré, time to put that one back together. I think just in time for it seems it might get winter after all.
Happy new year!!! A new year, still waiting for parts for the Ténéré so time for editing part 3. Hoping to do the initially planned Balkan trip this year on the Crosstourer and a few sections of the TET with the Ténéré but i have a few loose ends from 2020. Part 3 is finished and with part 4 coming up i hope to button up 2020.
Part 3 is getting us through the mid section of the Italian in-lands. This time i also have a few parts to show some small towns and it ends with 5 minutes riding in a landscape which was the first real surprise of Italy. I didn’t check all the footage for part 4 but i hope i also have some material from the second surprise because there where 2 stretches of landscape i didn’t expect.
I’m someone who lives in the moment but i’ve noticed that if i want to share my experiences i really need to take more pictures and get some more memory cards so i don’t run out halve way of the trip like i did this time. I bought an extra card but i don’t seem to have any footage from the GoPro after the first day on Sicily. Better check if i didn’t forget a card, if that’s the case i probably need a part 5. I also decided that i need to figure out another camera angle to keep things interesting and i don’t have to forget to get some mounts on the Ténéré.
The blog from part 1 ended that i would tell you the rest of the story after splitting up in the next part but i think it would be a better time to tell it a bit more in sinc with the timeline of the video’s. We’re not even halve way and we split up after 2/3 of the trip. Just enjoy part 3 for now and know there will be more to come…