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sudolea

An unintentional off-road ride with a VFR

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Last september, my motorbike friend and I went riding in the Pyrenees. When preparing the route, I remember having struggled with BaseCamp which was unwilling to use a pass I wanted to do. Then I must have forced BaseCamp too much somehow. The result : unexpectedly and unintentionally, we ended up in doing some off-road. Fully packed (2 side cases, top case, and tank bag), this wasn't the most "inspiring" moment of the trip. Memorable, at least to me ...

 

(there are some GoogleMaps links in the video's description)

 

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Nice 🙂

 

I tried something similar in New Mexico in the mountains north of Albuquerque some 30 years ago after a visit to a ranch. Not on a bike, but in a FWD. I was so low in fuel when I finally found the road going south to Albuquerque... but that road (with asphalt) was some kind of civilisation. No mobile, no GPS, no proper clothing for the temperature, nobody to ask for directions and very little fuel. I never felt so alone. I wish I remember where exactly, but I forgot.

 

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See it's memorable ☺️

Low on fuel was none of my problems then, luckily : it took enough effort keeping the bike upright, I could've missed fuel troubles !

 

But when talking about "low on fuel" : I remember my Alps trip of 2 years ago, where switched off the engine in the descent (of the Alps' Col des Champs), to retain as much fuel margin as possible to reach the next fuel station. There's an (English-undertitled) video on my youtube channel about this "event" too. Now that I think of it : I seem to learn best ... only after having been in trouble 😨

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42 minutes ago, sudolea said:

See it's memorable ☺️

Low on fuel was none of my problems then, luckily : it took enough effort keeping the bike upright, I could've missed fuel troubles !

 

But when talking about "low on fuel" : I remember my Alps trip of 2 years ago, where switched off the engine in the descent (of the Alps' Col des Champs), to retain as much fuel margin as possible to reach the next fuel station. There's an (English-undertitled) video on my youtube channel about this "event" too. Now that I think of it : I seem to learn best ... only after having been in trouble 😨

Yep - same feeling watching that "no fuel" video. That little black Peugeot was a pain - I guess overtaking while coasting would have been stretching it 🙂

It is funny, as a Dane I can actually read a little Dutch and as I could read some of your descriptions, I would suggest Flemish? (forget trying to listen to it; it is like its pronounced in reverse or something odd - you and the Dutch must have a seriously malfunctioning tongue or some other common birth defect).

Just a question - does the gearbox get lubricated when engine not running and therefore no pressurised oil to bearings etc? I'm not sure it does... 

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20 minutes ago, RC36B said:

you and the Dutch must have a seriously malfunctioning tongue or some other common birth defect

LOL ! I'm Flemish indeed. Must be a birth defect, I guess, as I'm in no way aware that something's malfunctioning 🤣

 

Well, that gearbox was on my former bike (a K1300S), and I honestly don't know, but I didn't hear any strange or cumbersome noise, so I guess it was not too bad for the bike.

 

(I somehow remember a Danish joke making fun of the Norwegians - "Gammeldansk" and "new Norwegian" were the keywords - as I used to work with Danish and Norwegians in another life 😎)

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I keep wondering when Google Maps will figure out that there should be a way to identify gravel roads at a glance. Handy not just for motorcycles, but bicycles, classic car drivers... anyone who likes to take back roads but doesn't want to eat dust and dodge rocks! Is there another mapping app that does this that I'm not aware of? 

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Memorable, to me too! But i'm not doing it again for any reason...

 

DSC_1.thumb.jpg.848ce38103dcf636cf35be0f5014bda4.jpg

 

 

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12 minutes ago, nik68 said:

Memorable, to me too! But i'm not doing it again for any reason...

 

Indeed. Me neither. For me, the biggest stress was not knowing what would come next, because if after 15 kilometers, the road would have become unuseable, it would have meant that we would have to return this complete distance. So in the video, at 06:30, it was a real relief to know that we were not too far of civilisation on the other side of the pass/mountain any more. Note that that was after about 12 kilometers / nearly 40 minutes of off-road ... 😅

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A little bit of adventure!  I know the stress of keeping the bike upright and worrying about any damage to the bike. This where a proper adventure bike would have been so much better! 

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Thanks for sharing that video. Been contemplating a smaller adventure bike for such roads. I rode my 98 vfr down to SanFelipe in Baja California. Had to leave late due to work and ended up riding at night on a back highway. Gradually began to notice some vague sensation like a low tire pressure. I was doing 65mph on a compacted  gravel road. Luckily it was fairly straight and wide. I only had to slow for the turns. 

The rides where something makes it a greater challenge than expected always stick in our memories. I am definitely looking to plan some adventure riding.  Maybe start with a 650cc or 800cc. Been dirt biking since 1980. Why not?

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Me an my ST1300 got really lost in middle of nowhere and ended up doing 80km on mainly single-lane gravel through a native forest area. The unexpected bits of the ride are the ones that stick in your memory however. ST1100s and 1300s are actually not bad on gravel provided you never let them get away from vertical....

lOf6ABfhnkqIQZG-JlASaESPXpEqLeSX0oNhxxFW9OSiimCE0qjL-xp24n7_ub0skorniRdvk0ZiJR1id3nDW9uzdhbYgp3ogYmj8zEwQDv7hOxy6QTuEGG_ePZnopa8dOCOxRdKY1H9xyoXaH7z9Sc5dv5AgVRV2FBn1gEd3s4hdxgaWFzx5bs5O3IuiidatAZbr_uKft4sIdEjpy9KLEzjLSCRIT81vqkcXSQkQGbitgBgxuFnZiG18niR12l1-afsm8ofm8Whx4Qrl7yF_DoldOr1XCswhAugGHxgfjypzFy93Am2S-m1UG4TYRQ8Az7M2Kdkv_czLdRPExXRgtXtwVlJywqyezGbmdKtxmAWAwVz9VmUB2uqY-bAZik0eXAWthupO1mYE9m-eaqn9mUiN4lhYRiOwfPzvAnCU2lLm9UxB9hI0TWOSsY6jy6pdOujT8UVByb5cSY7JpzH0EEiFjvNS8VcgUUAJG8cixYfKzxTtYNDkDcjzNr03wTjutD_4LbBIpyhkCs0AlN_UsUiem4Nrp5RlcJALfM5DykTr6zFYThkB_5EDwnIlOf15pALKdC8WG5mcv6FO-ikQ9C7-8Ke6M2cJNfpelKf-4iGd_HeMlfmxTm1QJp1JVYE34PaSPG6wUCrpEeOB-gppfY6m60sh5hy1fADaXoIHJFA39oOniVnH7Dd0vFJx6mGfs32inBKCUawG029lApwL8pSDfd3QTg=w1263-h947-no

 

 

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4 hours ago, Terry said:

ST1100s and 1300s are actually not bad on gravel provided you never let them get away from vertical....

... which is the only thing to watch out for. But just do it the right way right away, as you don't have a second chance ...

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There's gravel and then there's gravel. I've done miles on gravel with no issues, but earlier this year I pulled off for a restroom break at an unoccupied boat launch. As I rolled into the lot I suddenly realized that it had recently been re-graveled with round river rock! Deep, uncompacted, and probably uncompactable. It was more work getting back out of that lot than all the other miles I've done on gravel put together! 

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IMG_6388.thumb.JPG.a9a613220d8d3144db1c81fade5ef031.JPG

SpringRide this year. They had just put down new gravel and filled all the tire ruts. The hill was so steep that we lost all forward momentum and the brakes wouldn't hold the bike on the hill. Only the Aaron on his XR1000 made it to the top. One VFR and a Versys down while attempting to turn around. That was gravel...the bad kind!

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A VFR laying down is not the best thing to look at. The fact that it comes with a costly bill makes it even worse.

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