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Old 11-30-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
pi8ikos OP
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Two overlanders on a 112cc bike across Europe!!!

Hello everybody. I am really glad that I can give something back to this wonderful motorcycle community called ADVRider. During the years Iíve picked up valuable information and lived vicariously through other peopleís reports. This trip is about me and my lovely girlfriend overlanding across Europe starting from Greece to the United Kingdom. My name is Damian and my girlfriendís name is Eleftheria which in Greek means freedom. So youíve probably guessed it, we are both Greek but currently living in the UK.

Iíve been dreaming, planning and longing about this trip for a long time(Not this actual small Ė shakedown trip but more about that later).
Due to the circumstances of life I wasnít able to actually go for it.
My main concern was what motorcycle was I going to ride? The first real bike I owned was a Honda CBR 600RR which Iíve travelled with a lot and figured that it isnít the best bike for my journey(I know some of you might not agree with me but thatís my opinion. And you know what they say that an opinion is like an asshole; everybody has one J). After that I bought a small enduro bike Yamaha WR200cc 2 stroke. That was good for me but after a short while my girlfriend came to my life and my beloved WR couldnít stand riding two-up. Let alone have any luggage on board.

I had to buy a big adventure bike which I didnít really fancy but I had to do what I had to do. So the Yamaha Tenere 660cc came into my life.










From the first moment I bought it I had mechanical problems which wasnít good. I didnít get a good vibe from the motorcycle. So on July 2014 we visited the HUBB UK.
There we met a fellow who rode from Malaysia to the UK on a Honda C90.
You might not have a lot of those in Europe or the USA but they are really popular in Greece and I have been riding one for a long time(Not an actual C90 but a very similar looking bike). So I thought if he can do it I can definitely do it as well. Good news was that I didnít had to buy a new bike as I already owned one. Let me introduce to you a bike called Modenas Kriss 112cc 1 cylinder 4 stroke.










We went to Greece on holidays and in order to prepare the bike for the trip.
As I hadnít use the bike for 2 years you can imagine it wasnít in the best state possible. I remember at the beginning of my first ride I said to myself ďIs this the bike that Iím going to ride across Europe?Ē
First I went and fitted brand new tyres called Metzeler ME22.










After that I went to my beloved mechanic. Let me just say that this man apart being an excellent mechanic being able to repair a motorcycle up to a space ship. He is a very special person to me and I trust him with my life.
Anyway I went into the repair shop and asked for my bike to be serviced. Nobody really moved and they were just interested in chatting up with me. After I told them that I was going to cross Europe with my little bike it was like an alarm went off and both the mechanics stood up and started making plans of what to repair first (It felt like that a Formula 1 pit stop was going on).










After the bike got sorted the only thing missing was how to load the bike.
So we bought some cheap motorcycle panniers on ebay.co.uk for about £40.
Iím really happy with this purchase since I really think I got good value for my money. Unfortunately the panniers arenít waterproof so we used large garbage bags as an inner waterproof layer(which worked really good).
Also as a top box we used a Givi 40 litre and a Givi GPS holder. For GPS we used a Garmin dezl 560.
For our food and water supplies we used a regular bag which we put on top of the top box using a strap to tie both of them together. I like using the strap but it is a bit old school so if anyone has a different setup in mind please enlighten me. The bad thing about our setup was that there wasnít any place left for our camping equipment so we had to use hotels-hostels throughout our journey. Not being able to camp had a major impact to our budget.
The very best purchase though was a Bluetooth intercom which cost around £60 on ebay.co.uk. This really helped on motorways riding long hours and we both enjoyed each otherís company.

Day 0(as I like to call the preparation of the trip) just came to an end so embrace yourself for some motorcycle riding.

Ps: As English is not my mother language please mind my mistakes.

pi8ikos screwed with this post 12-07-2014 at 08:52 AM
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:09 PM   #2
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:38 AM   #3
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:01 AM   #4
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This looks like it is going to be one really awesome ride report. I cant wait to see it !!!!

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Old 12-01-2014, 03:23 PM   #5
Jim K.
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Carry on!

I await this one with interest. Small bikes always lead to big adventures.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:06 AM   #6
pi8ikos OP
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Thanks all for for reading this. Will post a new thread hopefully tomorrow.



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Old 12-07-2014, 09:48 AM   #7
pi8ikos OP
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So here is the map of the first day of riding.









We would start from our homes (both in Athens Ė Greece) and would end our ride in Patras, Greece in order to embark on the ship towards Ancona, Italy.
So I started from my house in order to go and pick up my girlfriend from her house in Ag. Paraskevi.
The start was a bit tough because I had to say goodbye to my mother (who was crying at the moment) and my step dad. I said my goodbyes and off I went.
It was a 20 minute ride until I reached my girlfriendís house. There I had to face her mother which Ė let me tell you Ė wasnít really supportive of the trip. Hopefully I didnít face any grumpy faces just some anxiety which was OK. After all we had to ride across Europe doing approximately 2000 km on a 112cc bike.
This is us at the beginning of the trip









After we turned the first corner euphoria started to kick in. We were really excited. After all this time thinking planning and gathering money for the trip it got real. We rode Athens Ring Road where we paid the toll for 1.40Ä. The roads were all familiar as I have ridden them a million times. After that we hit the motorway ( or highway for the American readers). You all know how boring riding the motorway is but let put things into perspective. When I was planning the trip I figured that (since my tachometerís reading isnít accurate) I would be doing about 80-90 km/h. My first dayís riding would be 235km. So I thought it would take me around 3 hours to reach Patra. Before the trip I had attached a 12v cigarette lighter plug so I could use my GPS while riding. While I knew the way to Patra I used the GPS just for fun. The tachometer was telling me I was doing 100 km/h (max speed is about 120-130 km/h in downhill) and I wanted to check my ďtrueĒ speed via the GPS. What I saw was unbelievable. My ďtrueĒ speed was 66 km/h. I have to be honest; I freaked out. I couldnít grasp that I would ride 2000 km on a top speed of 65-70 km/h. No wonder the trucks were passing us this fast.









Another problem occurred. We would arrive in Patra to embark on the ferry at the last minute which I really hate. Iíve lost a couple of flights and since then I always do my best to arrive as earlier as possible in order not to go through all the hassle of getting another flight or waiting for a whole day in order to embark on the next available ferry.
Life on the motorway was slow!













As a result of our delay we didnít have enough time to have proper rest.









We stopped about every 1.5 hours. Mostly when we needed petrol. I have to admit that the first day was the hardest one mentally. Except than the obvious lack of speed we hadnít figure out how to make the intercom work. Since we were short of time we couldnít take the time to figure out how the intercom works.




One of my favourite photos of the day.





The good news were that we arrived 20 minutes earlier. The bad news was that the port was huge (being an international one) and didnít know where to go. So I stepped on it. The cost of the tickets for a small bike and two persons aged under twenty-six (Iím older than that but they donít know that ;-) ) including air-line seats were 145Ä.
While I was waiting for Eleftheria to pick up the tickets I kept watching the port police run (with any means possible including on feet with cars on mopeds you name it) after illegal immigrants who live inside or around the port area and try to embark on the ferry to Italy. Unfortunately in Greece we have a major problem with illegal immigration(due to its geographical position) and I have much to say about this matter but thatís not the scope of this RR.
Although the situation inside the port was weird nobody cared in checking our passports on embarkation and we didnít even had to take our helmets off. You can imagine our surprise having this kind of experience on our first day. And since neither me nor my girlfriend had passed through those borders again we were even more curious about what was lying ahead.

Ps: Sorry it took so long but I hadnít realise how much time writing this RR takes. Respect to all the people updating daily.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
pi8ikos OP
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Day 2

This is the map of the 2nd Day:






So we entered the ferry that would take us and our beloved small bike to Ancona,Italy.
It is very unfortunate for all the Greeks who want to access central Europe have to embark on this ferry (which let me say isnít really cheap) because due to itís geographical location you have to go through the Balkans to access central Europe which (in our case) would mean a detour of 1500km. Apart from that you had to go through some really nasty roads (which adventure wise is perfect) but for us who wanted just to cross Europe wasnít the optimum route.
This crossing is operated by two companies. Minoan sea lines and Grimaldi Lines. We embarked on a Minoan ferry because it was a bit cheaper. There are some other ferry routes between Italy and Greece including Venice(Italy) -> Igoumenitsa(Greece) -> Patras(Greece) and Trieste(Italy) -> Igoumenitsa(Greece) -> Patras(Greece) which lasts 36 hours!!!
Our ferry ride would last about 23 hours. I know it sounds boring but at least we got a free nightís sleep. You know what they say about always looking at the bright side of life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrdEMERq8MA).


The journey went passed amazingly fast. We both enjoyed its otherís company and slept as much as we could.









And enjoyed watching the endless blue of the wonderful Mediterranean sea.










Of course as every motorcyclist that respects himself we had a lot of staff and gear.










Our view from our seats.










Another photo of our ship breaking the waves.













The ship was due to disembark at 17:00. When planning our itinerary before starting the trip we hoped that we could reach Milan by night in order to sleep at our couchsurferís house. After the 1st dayís ride we figured that we wouldnít be able to ride 400km in about 4-5 hours. The ferry of course (as customary for southern Europeans) was about 2 hours late. So we needed a new plan. The moment we were near the port of Ancona and my mobile phone had reception I went online(God bless the Internet) and tried to find a town near by in order to find a room to sleep at. We had already researched using a paper map for towns near by so we had a few options. Of course the price was the most important factor in our decision making as we were on a badget. While I was on the internet Eleftheria was packing our bags.
Thankfully we found a cheap hostel for about 22Ä for both of us including breakfast and we said to each other Does it get better than this? The hostel was located in Rimini which was 110km away from us. It was perfect for us because we wanted to ride the bike before calling it a day.
We disembark the ship full of hopes and really excited about what was lying ahead.










Again we didnít get our passports checked just cruised through the port towards the city centre.
The sun had already set and our gear and clothes were the same as when we started the journey.
Let me just say it was a big mistake because the weather was different in Italy than it was at Greece. Typical of me to never check the weather report. In the beginning we both were happy and excited and had finally managed to make the intercom work. After a while as we kept riding we froze our asses off. At the first services we stopped to fuel the bike and of course to wear more clothes.
There we met a couple with their newly born baby and had a chit chat for a while. We wished each other to have a safe trip and carried on.
The first thing we realized on the Autostrada(Italian motorway) was that the Italians were as crazy drivers as the Greeks. Nobody really paid any attention to us and we tried really hard to survive the motorway. After a couple of hours we reached Rimini which is a lovely small coastal city. The moment we entered the city since we had already booked the hostel our mission was to find a place to eat.
Close to our hostel we found a lovely local Italian restaurant and we both had pasta. Eleftheria had penne with ham bacon and mushrooms I had papardele al funghi porchini. Porchini is a kind of mushroom which rules all the other mushrooms IMO but they didnít cook it properly so I didnít really enjoy it.
After the feast we went to our hostel.











The hostel didnít have secure parking (but who needs it when the cost of my bike is about 400Ä) so we took the top box and panniers off and went to check in. So I just tied it to a tree.









At the check-in we realised that we had our own room with two beds one of top the other and our very own bathroom. All this for 22Ä. Brilliant. After taking turns to the shower we had a chat about tomorrowís plans and fell asleep. Tomorrow was going to be a very good dayÖ



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Old 12-15-2014, 01:27 PM   #9
Melody
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I am really looking forward to reading the rest of your trip! I am new in this forum and very excited about my entering in the motorcyclists' world.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:38 PM   #10
Jim K.
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You are a brave pair, to take to the highway on 112 cc....and 2-up! I'm looking forward to the report & more pics. We don't see enough from the Hellenic riders & would love to see more.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:45 PM   #11
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Wow. I thought you meant a pair of 112cc bikes, then I saw the picture of you guys riding together!

I cannot wait to hear more.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:27 AM   #12
pi8ikos OP
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Cry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim K. View Post
You are a brave pair, to take to the highway on 112 cc....and 2-up! I'm looking forward to the report & more pics. We don't see enough from the Hellenic riders & would love to see more.

Thanks for reading this. We wouldn't call us brave...maybe a bit stupid(especially when you think that I am a professional driver) It's true that there are not a lot of hellenic overlanders. It's sad because motorcycle riding is in our culture. Unfortunately the economy is getting worse so we won't be seeing them anytime soon.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:29 AM   #13
pi8ikos OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preacherman View Post
Wow. I thought you meant a pair of 112cc bikes, then I saw the picture of you guys riding together!

I cannot wait to hear more.
I hadn't realised until you said it. In my defence I wanted to have a different thread title so we can all blame eleftheria about this .
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:28 AM   #14
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I look forward to rest of your adventure - thank you for sharing!

Also a quick hello and welcome to Melody - hopefully we will read about her adventures also.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:36 PM   #15
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Brilliant. Definitely subscribed and looking forward to more.
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