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Old 03-09-2014, 08:59 AM   #16
agent of orange
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Looks like an amazing trip you have planned. I have only had the opportunity to ride around switzerland but would love to ride everywhere in europe. Clearly your friend you lost affected your life immensely. But it is good that you carry a bit of him with you to leave all the places you travel. strange how sometimes the people that continue to affect our lives can be the ones that are no longer in them. ride safe and I look forward to seeing how your next adventure plays out.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:59 PM   #17
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Thanks guys

The bike indeed has heated grips, couldn't do without them to be honest. I'll probably be needing them again the coming Summer
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:29 AM   #18
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After the Beast getting some good open heart-surgery the prep is chugging along quite nicely once more. This weekend in fact, I'll be going to central Germany to shakedown some of the new gear.

One possible addition to the fold might be the widely appraised 'can stove', which I'll put up against my Primus this weekend.



It'll be interesting to see whether a top dollar camping stove can be beat by a can of cider and a pair of scissors... initial tests were promising.

For this Summer, there's still quite alot that needs doing, and as per usual it's the little things that I find the most cumbersome to deal with. Changing out a gasket? Fine. But ordering a spare cam battery... meh, that can wait. Accommodation, visa, vaccinations... all are required, but I just keep postponing them. Guess I need a self-slap on the back of the head

Stay tuned
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:52 AM   #19
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Test Trip April 2014 - Harz Germany



Oh yes, time to get busy already! Together with my compadre for Iceland Heiko Spaans I set off to central Germany, to test some of the new kit for 2014 and get some good riding on in the process.



So on Saturday-morning the 26th of April, we set off in an easterly disposition. The first ride was admittedly the hardest - over 450 km of gutwrenching ass-numbing highway, with a few B-roads at the end to finish it all off.



But we got to see an oldschool Fiat Panda with a trailer, so that was nice.



And progress was pretty quick. Admittedly, the B-roads at the end were quite hard after hundreds of kms of tiring motorways, but before long we entered the Harz.

And with it, also a rainstorm of sorts. That was not the deal!



After it had finally calmed down, the camp was set up. I'm not going to say who was the fastest ofcourse, but let's just say my victory dance is in the compilation. Hardened tent pegs rule!

Day 2

The second day brought us to the south of the Harz area, where we'd planned to see a monument of some kind. I was apprehensive of the day's schedule - over 300km of twisties was to be clocked up.



But the riding itself was pretty good - I could see why there were alot of bikers coming and going. Even the weather cleared up - very nice!



The chickenstrips were shrinking by the minute.



We even took a nice semi-offroad detour, pulling a dust cloud behind ourselves. All was well.



When we made it to the monument though, we were in for two surprises:



1. We were not the only bikers



2. A Bratwurst sandwich was just 1 Euro. For that kinda money, we'll take several please!



When we returned to the Harz natural reservation however, things predictably took a turn for the worst. We arrived in the rain at 3pm, but late at night it was still coming down.

And I do not mean the "Oh deary me it's getting a bit moist here" kind of rain, more the "HOLY HELL ARMAGEDDON IS UPON US" kind of rain. It was akin to a flashflood, but then from the sky.

The strangest thing was that when we went to the reception house to get our clothes (and ourselves) warm and dry, the heating had been turned off because they'd be closed in the evening, and the proprietor didn't feel like heating the house for nothing. Customer service, it's such an underrated concept.

Alas, we took it all in good stride - our tents were on a hill anyways. I decided it was as good a time as any to see whether the can-stove could do anything else other than provide me with a meal.



And wouldn't you know it, it did! Together with one of the pannier lids I set the thing up to heat the inside of the tent. I know, it might seem a bit precarious having a two foot flame in the middle of a plastic cocoon, but as long as you keep the thing away from the sidewalls (and keep an eye on it) there's no real issue.

Also, the rain outside probably helped as well.

In fact, within seconds the thing had heated up the tent to such a degree I felt like getting out of the sweater I had put on so-hastily a few hours earlier. It was positively subtropical all of a sudden.



So I took it a step further, and decide to open up the can of soup I'd brought along... and before long, I found myself eating some hot soup whilst reading a good book in my heated tent. Rain was still thundering down outside, but I couldn't have cared less.

It was one of those truly blissful moments.



Day 3

Waking up, the weather finally seemed to have calmed down. It wasn't dry (yet), but at least it wasn't raining anymore.



We'd agreed to take it slow today, and just go to visit the nearby city of Goslar.



It was to be Walpurgisnight in a few days, so the streets were lined with witches.

And witches like riddles... so let's see if you can find the project sticker on the pic below!



After a walk around the city centre, we bought some beer and went back to camp... where the sun finally seemed to have zeroed in on our HQ's location. Time to chill the beer, and relax!



(And yes, that's how we chilled the beer. Plastic bag + piece of string + reservoir = cold booze!)

I took the opportunity to pit the Primus and can stove up against each other, but the wind seemed eager to throw a spanner in the works. Comparing the two though, the Primus can get stuff warm the quickest, but it is (besides expensive) immensely fiddly to use in a pinch.

The can stove is probably as lo-fi and reliable as you can make it. It might not be the fastest stove out there, but it will always get the job done. Considering how easy and cheap the can stove is to make and use (not to mention its awesome central-heating properties), I reckon I'll be leaving the Primus home this Summer.



The next day, we left at the break of dawn.



It'd been a good test for this Summer. Let's just hope that it won't rain as much then.

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Old 05-02-2014, 10:11 AM   #20
Blader54
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Nice one, Deks! That beer can stove is amazing. I think yours is the first report I've read where the author was relaxing with a hardcover book at the end of the day. Very cool!
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Nice one, Deks! That beer can stove is amazing. I think yours is the first report I've read where the author was relaxing with a hardcover book at the end of the day. Very cool!
Ha! I gotta admit I'm not sure whether I'll be bringing this particular book along this Summer though - it's quite on the large side
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:50 PM   #22
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I reckoned it would be useful to further elaborate on some of the tracking I take along. All for future reference!
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:30 PM   #23
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And no GPS?

BTW, you reminded of what I forgot to ask earlier - is about your home made can stove.

I'm interested to read about it, can you give some more pictures or a link?

I'd hate to lug around a huge cooker and pans and crap and fuel too, but that one day when I had to rush to leave Landmannalaugar on one of the most perfect riding days because of simple hunger.... Gets me thinking...
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:07 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bli55 View Post
And no GPS?

BTW, you reminded of what I forgot to ask earlier - is about your home made can stove.

I'm interested to read about it, can you give some more pictures or a link?

I'd hate to lug around a huge cooker and pans and crap and fuel too, but that one day when I had to rush to leave Landmannalaugar on one of the most perfect riding days because of simple hunger.... Gets me thinking...
Just take a look at this post, the video explains it all

The Sonim is also usable as a GPS by the way, though I have never used it as such.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:33 AM   #25
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Hi Deks! It has been awhile....are you on the road to Norge?
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:00 AM   #26
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I'm scheduled to depart in 1 months time actually 25th of July to be exact. The Beast still has alot of surgery to undergo until then though.

Will post an update in the coming weeks!
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:35 AM   #27
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Good to hear! Looking forward to your next update!
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:51 AM   #28
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With the visa in possession it's only some final work on The Beast until the North awaits. Quite alot needs doing, but I'm just going to take my merry time with it next weekend.

Normally I have my doubts doing major surgery getting close to a big trip, but in this case (besides it being necessary) I felt it's also a piece of experience I can take along on future endeavours. The clutch is one of the weaker things on an Alp when the going gets tough, so with Iceland next year, I reckoned it's probably useful to know how to change it.

4 weeks remaining!
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:44 AM   #29
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Finally done with the clutch. It took some hard labour, but I feel it's been worth my time - it's once again a valuable addition to on-the-road knowledge should there be any mishaps.

Detailed report of all the greasemonkeying can be found over here! Thought it might be useful for future reference

Less than two weeks remain. Next week the bike's off to the garage for new tires, wheelbearings and valve-adjustment, and then it's Panic Week to go.

I was rather doubtful whether to change out the chain and sprockets (current set has done about 15000 miles), but when removing the front sprocket cover everything looked pristine; no shark teeth of the like, chain looks good, so I'll probably leave it. Only the brake pads in the front and back will be changed.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:20 PM   #30
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There we go, onwards to the North of Europe! You can follow the whole she-bang through Facebook - if circumstances permit, that's where I'll post on the road updates!

For further info and backgrounds, just have a look at the website. Cheers!
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