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Old 08-08-2013, 07:22 PM   #1
Bert Track OP
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen
Oddometer: 23
First French Diesel motorcycle meet

1st French Diesel motorcycle meeting 2013.
Royal Enfield motorcycle meeting.
This is an organised event mainly around Bernard and his shop. Though it's held every time in another part of France.
Bernard sells Royal Enfield motorcycles. Including Diesels in France. http://www.moto-vintage.fr/shop/page...5F&shop_param=

Taking place during the weekend of 3 and 4 Augustus.

With plenty of time to spare I started to pack the bike late in the evening of the 1st of august. As usual it turned out I forgot some essential items like phone chargers etc. But! Never mind that.

I started the trip to the meeting on the 2nd of august riding on highways mainly except around Paris and the last 100km. With 800km it was a nice day's ride. The sun was beating down on me. And the Track was eating tracks.

Late in the afternoon I arrived at St Julien Le Petit. I quickly found the sign pointing to the beach and arrived at the site. Rolling straight on in with the help of Bernard to the possible camping spot and parking the Track against a tree because I wasn't sure if I was able to demount in an orderly fashion. I was in France after all and fashion is important!

I met Larry who rode over from the west of France on his diesel Royal Enfield. And as I was pitching up my tent Andre arrived. A face I’ve seen before on at least 2 diesel motorcycle occasions previously. His Diesel decided not to participate or play nice. So he had to take the Deauville.

Impression of the camp site and bikes to be seen: http://youtu.be/dBb44qv4TjE

For dinner breakfast and lunch it was possible to ride back into town at the local hotel/restaurant. A short and nice ride. That evening we all drove up to the restaurant and I got a chance to practise my non existent French. The people were very friendly and considerate for my lack of the language. I got someone appointed to me to translate and interact with and through him (I apologize for not remembering names well) I had a chance to get to know the people around.

After a wonderful desert and some coffee we headed out and I found to my surprise that the Track had eaten it's way into the asphalt. The side-stand was buried in the stuff.

I got to my tent in time to see the light show that the clouds were giving and it promised to be a spectacular night. It started with some rain. Not too bad. Enough to lull you into sleep. Followed by a worrying amount, enough to make you consider if the tent floats. One of the Enfields was considering that option as well and decided to inform us of it's worries by sounding it's horn continuously. My Track was parked near my head and it lacks the pleading that could be heard from across the field.


The 3rd of august was started early. Though the lake was invitingly giving of clouds of water I decided against going for an early morning swim. We drove up to the hotel to get breakfast and I found to my surprise why it's called a petit-déjeune. But it fits the rest of the day very well. The rides were all to start at the hotel so once done with breakfast if was easy to join the group. I was pleasantly surprised by the organisation of this all. The only flexible thing was the time at which we left. Giving everyone ample time to finish what little was left (word play) of the breakfast and get ready. I had to lift my bike out of the thick goo again and was considering the state of my side-stand since it seemed to tilt more than it should have.

The ride was very nice, the speed was kept around 50km/hr roughly and there were people keeping an eye out in the rear for the slow bikes. I tried to sometimes fill in the holes that were left when a slow bike was blasting it's way up a hill. The immediate thing I noticed was the lack of serious traffic. Things are very quiet in the region and it suits a group like us very well indeed. The traffic that we did meet plied to suit us more than the other way around, and it didn't feel like there was pressure to change that situation. Apart from the occasional foreigner (Dutch!).

When we arrived back, there was time to eat something. Some went up to the hotel to get lunch.
I noticed more and more bikes and the tents were growing in numbers as well.

The after lunch ride took us to a hill with a lovely view of the surrounding countryside.
It looks like a docile region hill wise but it has very lovely roads, apart from the gravel that they like to pour on.

On arrival at the camping there were several journalists waiting. The Track was photographed and I got to give a few interviews.

That evening dinner was in the hotel. Again very nice food and I made it down to my tent in one piece. This night was only interrupted by the occasional snore.

The rideouts:

http://youtu.be/U4I31stDn6E
http://youtu.be/AeKx0day5Xg
http://youtu.be/wOAtJuXUJ6E

Sunday the 4th of august started for me and Arno with a swim in the lake. A lovely way to wake up. Luckily followed by hot coffee in the hotel with breakfast.

The trip following breakfast was going to be a long one. A lovely long one! 90Km's of it.
Somewhere in that trip we visited an old tannery production facility. Beautiful buildings left to rust. Greens taking over the place, giving it a very nice atmosphere. Cheap labour and an old rail road next to it allowed it to become the biggest production plant at the time.

After another run in the afternoon were we went to the lake for a nice ice-cream(Bernards very good choice!), we went for dinner again in the hotel. Upon returning to the camping I was in invited into the French group surrounding Bernard. It was a first for me.
I finally got a look at the way the French love food. And with good reason. A shame I had already stuffed myself. What followed was a lot of enjoyment, drinking games, dirty jokes oh yes! And I got the gist of them most of the time.

With an invitation for breakfast on Monday morning from Bernard before leaving I went to bed comfortably. With the obligatory light snoring in another tent it would be a quiet night. Except that I dreamed up some funny situation with a motorcycle riding through a front door of a house and quite possibly with the help of the jokes earlier that night I broke out in a laughter so loud that I woke myself up. Soon I heard that there were others affected by my laughter. A good night!

Monday caught a hold of the “camp” with more people packing up to go and leaving. I packed everything, followed by a French breakfast. I said my goodbye's to the very friendly people all around and always an awkward moment left on the Track.

The return trip was nice again. A lot of people returning from holidays along the way. And I got home safe and sound in the evening.
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Bert Track screwed with this post 08-08-2013 at 11:01 PM
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
Psycho18th
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Do these bikes start out as diesel from the factory, or are they modified to run Diesel engines?

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Old 08-08-2013, 08:17 PM   #3
Bert Track OP
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The Royal Enfield Diesel's have been build in India in the factory. Modified old Enfield's. With a new finish.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #4
rhino_adv
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That is quite interesting!!
Thanks for sharing!!


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