A bike addict’s escape from the cold – leaving Denmark, bound for Morocco…
After a long and cold winter with no motorcycle riding, I’m suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms and feel the needed for a proper 2 wheel fix.
To get that fix I’ve taken 2 weeks off from work and plan to spend the time riding.
As it’s an unusually cold spring here in Denmark I’m heading south to warmer weather – if everything goes as planed I intend to make it all the way to Morocco.
I have traveled all over the world since I was 16 and have been exploring Europe on motorcycles the last 20 years, but have never been outside the continent on 2 wheels, so this may well turn out to be something of an adventure.
I usually travel with my girlfriend and/or with my mates, but this time I'll go alone because I feel the urge to do a long solo ride – it adds another dimension to the adventure when you only have yourself to rely on.
I’ll be riding my 2012 V-Strom which I over the past year have equipped and modified to suit my taste and needs.
The bike is still sitting in the garage and slowly waking up from hibernation:
The countdown to take off is started and the rest of the week will be spend packing, making the final preparations and getting the last workdays out of the way.
I plan to keep you updated during the trip when I have the time and Internet access.
Bring on the Moroccan sunshine and adventure :thumb
Alright, finally going on a real ride. I see the V-Strom is nicely equipped, including the obligatory "sport" windscreen. Please review the mods as you get miles on these, I foresee another one of these V-Stroms in my future (a future in which I have a little more time to ride, that is... :stoned ).
Looking forward to the trip reports and pictures.
God tur,,,,looking forward to it.
Thanks for the feedback guys.
To those who are interested, here is a list of the Strom's accessories and modifications:
*2 cm higher OEM seat.
*OEM heated grips.
*Akrapovic titanium exhaust.
*Touratech radiator guard.
*Touratech neopren fork protectors.
*Touratech Zega Pro adonized black 38L top box with accessories.
*SW Motech center stand.
*SW Motech side stand foot.
*MRA Touring "T" screen.
*Front sprocket changed from 15 to 16 tooth.
*Touratech lockable GPS bracket.
*GPS: Garmin Zümo 660
*Handle bar mounted RAM mount for my GoPro camera.
- and of course some ADVrider decals.
Besides that I've invested in a new set of riding gear for the trip - HELD Carese jacket, Torno pants and a pair of Vanucci VTB 9 boots.
When I'm back from the trip I'll review the Strom, the accessories and my riding gear in relation to long distance touring.
4 days to take off... :norton
Hi Don T, good luck on your trip my man. Hope you have a good one and suffice to say I wish it was me. I´ve been suffering in the cold Danish winter aswell and my chance to head south has got to wait for another 8 weeks or so when I get to take a trip with my 14 year old daughter to Slovania and Kroatia.
Look forward to following your adventure....enjoy:lurk
I'm not much of a "subscriber" but I'm in on this one. A Strom in Morocco is something I really want to see! :clap
Have a safe one - looking forward hearing about this trip :D
Denmark – Vielsalm (Belgium) – 800 km.
Finally the day for departure arrived.
I got home from work after a 24 hours shift (I work as a paramedic) at 8 am. As I had only got a couple of hours sleep during the shift, I wanted to get a bit of sleep before taking off, but after breakfast with my girlfriend I was so eager to get going that sleeping was out of the question.
At 9 am I was dressed up, had kissed my girlfriend goodbye and was ready to hit the road.
After one hour of riding I got to the ferry to Germany.
The crossing time is only 50 minutes so before long I was cruising down the “autobahn” at 150 km/h. Normally I try to avoid the highways when riding motorcycles, but I wanted to get south to warmer weather and after 5 months with no riding even riding the highway felt great. On big parts of the German highways (autobahn) there is no speed limit, which allowed me to ride as fast as I wanted without having to check the clock all the time.
I had no fixed plan on how far I would go before calling it a day. The weather was perfect with blue sky, not too much wind and the temperature just kept rising – when I hit Hamburg around noon the temperature had already reached 26 degrees.
2 times during the day I got slowed down by traffic jams (“stau” in German) on the autobahn coursed by accidents. When hitting a stau it was great rideing a bike and be able to split lanes. The first stau was 10 km long but only slowed me down 10 minutes. The second was twice that and took a bit longer, because people had been stuck for so long, that many had left their cars and was walking around between the lanes which makes lane splitting a bit more tricky.
Here I got to the front of the first stau just 2 minutes before they had cleaned up and opened 1 lane to let the traffic pass.
I was doing good time and late in the afternoon I was nearing the border to Belgium. As I was still feeling surprisingly fresh, I decided to ride on to “Baton Rouge” a motorcycle-inn located in the Ardennes in the south of Belgium. I’ve stayed there several times before and Ben and Hetty who owns and run the place have become more like friends than just hosts. It’s still early in the season and I wasn’t sure if they were open for guests, so I shot Hetty a text message asking if they had a bed avalible for me – she answered that of cause they did and they would love to see me.
I soon got off the autobahn and the rest of the days driving was on bountiful small roads through the Ardennes.
I arrived at Baton Rouge just in time for dinner, and as always Hetty’s cooking was a real treat. The rest of the evening was spend in good company with a beer in my hand.
When I finally got to bed my sleep deprivation caught up to me, and the second my head hit the pillow I was out cold.
Vielsalm (Belgium) – Angouleme (France) – 860km.
After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast I said goodbye to Ben and Hetty and continued my journey south.
The view in the morning from the terrace outside my room:
Today was a mix of highways and smaller roads. The roads and the riding was nothing special, but I really enjoyed being in the saddle heading for new adventures. The experience was only helped by the fact that the weather was perfect and there were increasing signs of spring in the landscape around me the further south I got.
Early in the evening I started to look for a place to stay. It turned out that most places was fully booked, but finally I found a place to stay at a F1 in Angouleme in the south west of France.
When I arrived at the hotel I was greeted with a cold beer by 2 other guests who enjoyed an evening beer and a cigarette in front of the entrance - just what I needed after a long day's journey.
My room at the F1:
Nice to see your on your way and travelling light I see:evil. The bike looks nice and clean,but i bet it won´t by the time you´ve hit Morocco. Those are some serious kms you´re doing each day, remember to enjoy the trip and take your time...enjoy:lurk,I´m staying tuned.
Don T: You are the touring king of Denmark! :D
Can´t wait to see your next update - drive safe.
Angouleme (France) – Salamanca (Spain) – 850km.
I got up early and left the hotel at dawn. When I took off it was still a bit chilly – only about 10 degrees – but soon the temperatures started to rise in earnest. At noon when I arrived at the Atlantic coast just north of the border to Spain the temperature exceeded 30 degrees.
Besides warm weather and a blue sky, the route made this day the best so far. The scenery was beautiful and much of the route went along winding roads that inspired spirited riding.
At one point during the afternoon, I had a pit stop at an old roadside spring. It was a lovely place with shade and cold potable water - I can just imagine travelers in the old days taking a break at this location.
A short time later my riding style caused some unwanted attention.
As I was going through a village, I was overtaken by a motorcycle cop and when I looked in the mirror I could see another one behind me. The cop in front then turn on the blue lights and signaled me to pull over.
To begin with the officers were a bit gruff as they had been chasing me for nearly 10 kilometers before they caught up with me after I had overtaken a number of cars ignoring a yellow line.
Their mood improved when we started talking and they found out that I was not a criminal running from the law. In the end I got a 50% reduction on the fine, and it didn’t mentioned anything about speed violation, only crossing a yellow line when overtaking.
The Strom in good (bad?) company:
A story richer and a few euros poorer, I soon after arrived in Salamanca where I found a hotel facing a park located only 5 minutes’ walk from the city center.
The view from my room:
When I had unpacked the bike, I changed into something more comfortable and walked downtown to find a good place to get something to eat. I ended up at a sidewalk cafe that served tapas and cold beer.
Relaxed and with a full stomach I then took a stroll around town before returning to my hotel.
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