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Old 08-31-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
jorrizza OP
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: the Netherlands
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80010000: 10000 km through southern Europe on a Tiger 800 XC

Well, it's that time of the year again. Time for another solo motorcycle trip. This time it's across fifteen countries in southern Europe in one month. September 2013 to be exact. At the time of writing, I'm going to leave tomorrow. In the coming month I'll try to update this topic and the 80010000.eu site while my travels take me and the Tiger across the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Monaco, Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Germany. Hopefully. Heheh.


Brand new Tiger! Yay!
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
jorrizza OP
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Preparations

With the last trip more than a year behind me, I got the itch again. Looking at the world map hanging above my bed, the only obvious thing to do was to basically copy last year's trip southwards. I forked the old site, modified it a bit and got it up and running at 80010000.eu.

Getting a website up is one thing. Getting a new bike is another. I just decided it was time for an upgrade and to ditch the trustworthy Transalp. I got myself an ex-demo 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 XC. No ABS, but nicely farkled already. To save some money and hassle, I opted for soft luggage this time. Two dry bags and a tank bag. The entire luggage setup is complete for less money than a single hard pannier. It's lighter, narrower and it doesn't leave a single ugly rack on the bike. During a week long (muddy) camping trip everything held up nicely. I'm convinced this setup will do just fine for a month long trip.

I only had my new Tiger for a few weeks and Murphy struck. Hard. I was called early in the morning by a disgruntled colleague. Some important server was down. It's my job to fix it. After validating it had actually died and fallen off of the Internet, I was happy to get the new bike out for a spin again to the data center. I packed my usual geek tools, went to the garage and jumped on my bike. I stuck the key under the handle bars where I thought the lock was, but where did the lock go? All there was, was a gaping hole where the lock used to be. Shit shit shit shit. Some asshole has tried to steal my new toy! After cursing for ten minutes I started the long and tedious process of filing a police report, insurance report and contacting a Triumph dealer to come pick her up.

The day after, because mechanics don't work on Mondays, a friendly guy with a tow truck came to pick up my bike. I was worried because the bike still had its steering locked and I had no lock to unlock the steering lock. Right. The guy stuck a screwdriver in the hole, twisted a bit and removed the steering lock. I was amazed. That's all the thief had to do to roll my darling out of the garage. I helped the guy strapping the Tiger down on his tow truck and said goodbye to the helpless piece of British engineering that used to be my roaring beast of fire and death.


They're taking my baby away! Noooo!

Fast forward nine days. The insurance people finally sent their guy to confirm the lock was actually missing, so I was on my way to the dealer to be reunited with my bike. Almost a thousand euros worth of damage. A new set of locks and a new battery. They also fitted the new K60s I had ordered a week before. The Tiger looks much better now she's got teeth.

Saturday, today, is packing day. The day to make an ride report topic on ADVrider. The day to finish the last bit of fiddling with the bike. Tomorrow I'll leave for France. Or something in between.


Fully packed and ready to go
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:12 PM   #3
davey1212
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I hope you have a great time and I, although slightly biased, believe the Tiger is a good choice. You appear to travel light which IS great so hope the weather is kind and it should be slightly cooler in Eastern Europe now.

I look forward to reading about your trip when I get the chance as am travelling myself on your bikes twin !!
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:39 AM   #4
jorrizza OP
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Day 1: Disaster Strikes

From my home in Eindhoven to the Belgian border was just 30 kilometers or so. The real journey began when I crossed the border. Slowly the countryside changed around me, from flat farm lands to rolling hills with idyllic towns. I was just enjoying the lovely town of Namur, when disaster struck. 144 km from home.

While waiting in line in front of a traffic light, a car plowed right into Tigger's rear wheel. She launched me into the pavement and went to sleep on her right side. With the help of about half a dozen other bikers I got her back on her paws again. The driver stopped, luckily, and got out. It was an old, confused man. With the little Dutch he knew, and the little French I did, he apologized. Time for paperwork. Or so I thought. After giving me the damage papers to fill out, he got into his car and drove off. Or he tried to anyway. He plowed his car into Tigger's rear again, this time pushing her over on her left side. He backed out and totaled the mailbox and a part of the wall in front of a house. I urged him to stop with his carnage of course. After almost running me over he finally gave up. Bystanders helped me getting Tigger back up again, while others called the police. The police filled out the paperwork while I assessed the damage. Right foot peg bent. Rear brake lever bent. Front brake lever bent. Front right signal light broken. Lots of plastic scratched up. Clutch lever bent. Gear lever bent. Tank bag harness torn. License plate torn off. GPS body broken, but still functional. Camera body broken, also still functional. The exhaust is damaged and the steering is a little off. That's what worries me the most. The police finished up their report and went on their way. The old man did the same. Right after the accident I showed him his front wheels were angled a little funny. He was sure they were okay. When he drove off, with full throttle, his front tires were squeeling like hell. He didn't notice and powered on. I think his front suspension must have broken. I could see both his front wheels pointing inwards while he almost plummeted into the next car at the traffic light. A bystander ran to his car to follow the old man and urge him to stop. That's the last I saw of the man. I hope he doesn't get into a car ever again.


Filling out the paperwork. Friendly police officers.

The insurance company told me I basically had two options. I could go back to the Netherlands, or I could find a Belgian mechanic the next day. I opted for the second idea, so I booked myself into the first hotel I saw. I was too shaken up and angry to ride any further this day. But I must admit, there are worse places to get stranded. The Namur region is quite lovely, indeed.


Namur region is nice on the eyes.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:03 AM   #5
MuddySump
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Man, bad start, hope it gets better.

Heading over to Austria and Slovenia on my Tiger at the end of the month. Might see you somewhere on the way
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
jorrizza OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddySump View Post
Heading over to Austria and Slovenia on my Tiger at the end of the month. Might see you somewhere on the way
Awesome! You just might, if all the damage can be fixed that is. Haha.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #7
nogutsnoglory
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Wow - what a way to start such a great trip. Hopefully all the bad parts of your trip are behind you now. Good luck with getting the bike repaired.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:01 AM   #8
jorrizza OP
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Cry Day 2: Limping Back Home

The next morning I called my insurance companies. All three of them. They all denied responsibility of course, based on some obscure technicalities. I won't get a penny out of them. The only way I could get any money back is through a long process of lawyers and letters between me and the old man's insurance company. That will take ages.

I also looked more closely at the damage done that morning. I also noticed cracked welds at the right passenger foot peg and that the steering wasn't just a little off, the front forks were out of alignment. With a little luck the latter can be rectified easily. The former, I'm afraid, might become a problem.

Knowing this, I was sure the budget was shot. There was no way I could get the bike fixed in time and have any budget left for the rest of the trip. I tied the license plate back on with a piece of rope, mended the mirrors the best I could and set off. Riding with wonky front forks is a bit of a challenge, I must say. Two hours later I was home again, defeated.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:23 PM   #9
IslandMonkey
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That's rotten luck mate but at least you're OK.
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