Sunday, March 21, 2010

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 5 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6 2009

Today I recieved a copy of the movie that has been made of us by the undercover bike cop serveral months ago in Germany. Although it looks like we're riding not that fast, we were still 50kmh too fast ;)

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11 2009, 83,163km

And that concludes another motorcycling chapter: sold the Pan today for 8,500 euro.
The Pan has been a near perfect touring companion during 50,000km. Only the instability at higher speeds spoiled the fun. Maybe the wedges are a cure?
Now I'm aiming for the new Honda V4 (VFR1200) with automatic gearbox. It seems to me a very high tech and very interesting bike. I hope Honda will introduce it soon.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22 2009, 83,163km

Great news. It seems the high(er) speed wobble problem of the ST has been resolved by Dutch frame specialist Nico Bakker. He's made some wedges to put under the windscreen in order to place it a bit steeper. In this way more pressure is been put on the front which has a stabilizing effect. Or so it seems. I've read several reports of users who claim that the wobble is gone.
If I would keep the Pan I sure would have given this a try...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August 12 2009, 83,163km

The Pan got an extended small service job. Or something like that. New front brakepads, all the oils changed and new oil and air filters were placed. The new owner (anybody?) must be very happy with this.
As a loaner I got a Honda CBF600. Nice bike. It's been a while since I've driven an inline four and I must say I like the engine characteristic of a boxer or V4 (and V2, Pim?) better nowadays. I'd to rev the 600 quite high to get some decent performance. The torque of a boxer and V4 is much better.
BTW Found another ST1300 blog. Have a look at it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10 2009, 83,100km

Put the Pan up for sale... I think it's time for something else. I've had the bike for two and a half year and for over 50,000km now. I'd like to have a more sporty bike again, although I don't know yet which one. The new Honda V4? Who knows...

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3 2009, 83,077km

Pan is still asleep, waiting for another trip...
There are plans to built some new Van Veen OCR1000's from spare parts. I find this a very beautiful and interesting bike and would love to have one. But I guess the price won't be much less than 50,000 euro? And there are already a lot of other interested people.
Photo of the Van Veen's supplied by the nice people from Motoren & Toerisme, Belgium. Thanks guys/girls!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14, 2009, 83,077km

Removed the battery to keep it charged at home since I don't have electricity in my garage.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009, 83,077km

Saw today the first drawings of the 2010 ST1300 (1200??) on MCN. Looks very promising...

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 3, 2009, 83,077km

Ahem... Silly me... I just discovered the reactions on some of my postings. I always thought I would get an email when someone reacted. But for that to work I had to enter a *valid* email address... Sorry!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2, 2009, 83,077km

Pictures of a new Honda V4 appear on the Net. Interesting bike. If it's not too uncomfortable, can carry cases, has enough fuel range, who knows...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 30, 2009, 83,077km

Today Pim and I returned from a short vacation in the German Black Forest. A short report:

Day 1: Friday June 26, Going to the forest, 749km.
When I wanted to start the Pan this morning it didn't: flat battery after standing still for almost 3 weeks. With the help of my car I finally made it run. With a little delay Pim and I went asap to the Black Forest. First over highways to Karlsruhe, then over nicer roads to our final destination: the
Gasthof Salenhof in the South of the Black Forest. From here we'd discover the surroundings.

Day 2: Saturday June 27, Rain, Roads and Cake, 277km.
First real day of the vacation. We rode over great roads partly through pouring rain and fog. Not a nice start, but still it all looked promising. We rode partly over the
Schauinsland circuit.
At a stop we had the famous
Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte. Pim and I were both a bit disappointed, what was all the fuss about? It didn't taste that special...

Day 3: Sunday June 28, Black Forest at its best and worst, 265km.
The route of today led us over very beautiful and curvy roads. Even Pim as curve-addict had nothing to complain about. At a canyon we switched bikes and I could try Pim's Suzuki TL1000S. The bike felt very small, but wasn't too uncomfortable (for this short ride). I opened the throttle and with a nice rumble the TL speeded forward. At the first corner I tried to brake, but nothing much happened! Eeeeekkk!!! With more force I pulled the brake lever and at last the bike started to slow down. Happily I wasn't in full-attack mode, so I made it through the corner, no thanks to the brakes (what brakes?). Eventually I learned how to ride this bike and had quite some fun on this lightweight sportsbike. After a while Pim and I switched our bikes back and Pim told me how the brakes of the Pan surprised him, but than in a positive way. He almost lost his teeth on the handlebar when braking for the first time.

After a couple of hours we finished the route of this day and decided to do one of the next days as well. On one of the nice roads we approached a wide curve with good tarmac. I went first through it and found at the exit a trail of sand and stones across the road. I immediate put the bike straight, let it cruise over the rubble and after the sand and stuff braked and steered. I looked into my mirrors and expected to see Pim do the same. Alas, it seemed he cornered a bit faster and locked his brakes on the rubble. The bike and Pim went down and ended on the verge of the road. Pim hurt his shoulder and the bike had quite some left side damage. Happily both Pim and the bike were able to ride after this incident. We went back to the hotel and the owner took us to the hospital where they checked Pim's shoulder. It was badly bruised, but there was nothing broken. Back at the hotel after a couple of beers Pim started to feel a little better.

Day 4: Monday June 29, Bad luck continues, 253km.
This day we first went to a Suzuki dealer to have the gearlever fixed since there was a piece broken off what made changing gears a bit difficult. After that we started to follow a new route. We thought. The surroundings and roads looked very familiar and one way or another we were following the same route as the day before. Maybe I'd made an error while preparing the routes? I still don't know. Anyhow, the roads were great and we had a lot of fun. Even Pim with his hurt shoulder. At the end of the day we passed the spot where Pim crashed. The sand and stones were still lying there! This time Pim made it across :)
We visited the Triberg Waterfalls, the highest waterfalls of Germany. When we came back we saw that the Pan had a punctured rear tire. After some phonecalls and time a car of the German autoclub ADAC arrived and we put the Pan on the trailer and brought it to the nearest tire dealer. There I was picked up by the nice owner of our hotel, since Pim has a single seater bike.

Day 5: Tuesday June 30, Going home, not without bad luck, 1,068km.
The very, very nice owner of our hotel brought me with his fast Audi A6 station to the tire dealer to pick up my already fixed bike. As a Michael Schumacher wannabe he raced over the Black Forest roads and in no time we were at the dealer. Me pale and sweating after this torment, he jolly as ever. The Pan had a brand new Michelin Pilot Road 2 which cost me only 141 euro. I think we pay in The Netherlands almost 100 euro more!
At 11.00 hour we finally could start our trip home. After a couple of uneventful hours we approached Cologne. At some road works Pim and I got separated. I slowly rode on, expecting Pim to blast by me any moment. Which he didn't. I stopped at a gasstation and tried to phone Pim. What didn't succeed. After a while I went on, still expecting to see Pim soon. At a parkingplace I finally got hold of Pim and he told me that a fuse was blown and he was trying to fix it. At that time Pim and I were already seperated by 100km. I rode back to him what cost me an hour. When I arrived he'd already fixed the bike and we made another attempt to get home. This time I wouldn't let Pim out of my sights.
At a straight stretch of road we tried the topspeed of our bikes. With 220kmh the Pan was faster than the TL1000S. But at that speed the Pan started to weave terribly again. With great difficulty I could stabilize it again at 160kmh. Not something to be repeated...
After I'd brought Pim and his stuff home I was home myself at 22.00 hour, after more than 1,000km. Which concluded yet another fine vacation.

Go here for the pics

Little movie, showing the surroundings:

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009, 80,468km

Saw a bike like my first one for sale on the Internet: the Kawasaki 750 H2 (Mach IV). The current bid is 11,000 euro. I sold mine many years ago for less than 600 euro...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

June 7, 2009, 80,468km

Managed to replace the light bulbs. The trick was to depress the ends of the connector on the back of the bulb and than pull it. On the first pic you see left the stock bulb and right the Philips XP Moto, on the second pic both bulbs have been replaced. Seems I now have to change the city lights as well to make them a bit brighter too.
Added some oil to the Pan as well today.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6, 2009, 80,468km

Tried to install the Philips XP Moto headlights I've bought recently. But I was unable to remove the old ones. Gonna do some research on how to do this without breaking the stuff...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 24 2009, 80,456km

On this sunny day I drove a tour organised by the Suzuki SV Contact Club. Pim is member and asked me and a couple of others to come along. The ride was quite nice and I could try the new windscreen. I find the new screen just as good as stock. Which is good enough for me, because I mainly bought it for the color.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23 2009, 80,111km

Added two more farkles to the Pan. First two new rear light bulbs: high power leds in stead of the stock bulbs. The first pic above is one of the led lights, on the second pic you see left the led and right the stock bulb. Only drawback is that the leds don't illuminate the licenseplate. I don't care, but the cops might.
Second farkle is another screen. It's one from Clearview. It's a little bit lower and wider than stock (see third pic). Main reason for me to buy it was the fact that it is tinted. It has a flip up design too, so windflow might be better. I haven't tried it yet.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17 2009, 80,111km

Above you see the actual route we've driven. It's almost like planned, we've only skipped part of Portugal.
See here for the trip report!

Here for the pics

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16 2009, 80,111km

Home again! After almost 9,000km. Expect a trip report soon. BTW that Google Maps thingy didn't quite work: it's hard to find a decent internet connection in Spain. At least, in the places we have been...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25, 2009, 71,177km

All systems go! All's ready for the big trip tomorrow. Seems like we're gonna have some rain along the way but we'll survive ;)

Here's the planned trip. Looks a bit ambitious but we can always adjust on the spot since we haven't made reservations or whatever.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24, 2009, 71,177km

Got new rubbers front and rear (Michelin Pilot Road 2: 417 euro). Although the old ones were good for at least several thousands of kms more I wanted fresh rubber because of the mega trip ahead. I kept the old front tire because it must still be good for another 5,500km, so I can use it later. I guesstemate that the old rear was good for another 3,000km. I found that not worth the trouble of keeping it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009, 70,686km

Next Sunday Erwin and I will leave for yet another big trip. This time Spain and Portugal will be our destination. Plan is to stay away for three weeks :)

With Google Maps I'll try to keep track of our location.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18, 2009, 70,686km

Finally got around to stick the Bike-Quip frame protectors, I almost had a year lying around, on the bike. It was very easy to do and doesn't look too bad.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009, 70,326km

This second Easter day started foggy and chilly, but still I went for another trip to the German Eifel. I loaded this route into my Zumo and followed it almost completely. At some points the road was blocked because of road maintenance and I found that my old gps, the Streetpilot 2610, did a better job at getting you back on track again. Well, actually it didn't do much: it just kept the nearest part of the route always in view, thus abling me to ride back to it myself. The Zumo always want to recalculate the route, or you can decide to not do this, but in this latter case the Zumo will not show the correct route by itself. Of course you can zoom out and have the route in view, but with the 2610 this happened automatically.
On the whole the route was very nice and I saw only one German speedtrap. The route passed the radiotelescope of Effelsberg and of course I had to eat curry sausage with french fries and mayonaise at the imbiss there :)
This trip was about 750km in length which took me almost 10 hours.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 5 2009, 69,463km

A member of the Kawasaki 1400GTR Forum (with me as webmaster) organised a tour today through the Belgian Ardennes and the German Eifel. The weather was chilly, but the roads were very nice, especially in Germany. There were 24 bikes of which 14 were GTR's. Pim with 2 collegues and Ton and son joined me.

The Zumo GPS and Camos headset worked very good. I've found a trick to prevent the headset to go into powersave mode: I've made an mp3 with no sound and let this continuously play by the Zumo. I was afraid this would drain the battery of the Camos, but I could use it the whole day.

I led a small group on one of the nice roads in Germany. I expected speedtraps ahead, so I slowed down on the straights and went a bit quicker in the corners ;). What I didn't expect was an undercover policebike coming from behind, so I let this faster BMW pass without thinking twice. When he lit a sign stating 'Stop' - 'Polizei' I knew enough... Three of us were caught on camera doing 100kmh were only 50kmh was allowed. Of course as front-runner I was one of them. We had to pay 145 euro each and could ride further. Now a lot slower.

The tour ended in The Netherlands and after diner we went home again. For me this trip was 665km long.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25 2009, 68,798km

Finally sold the stock rear shock of the Pan I still had lying around.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 17 2009, 68,798km

Tried the Zumo and bluetooth headset again, now with the warnsignal 'on'. And that didn't help either. I still miss the first part of the instructions. What a crap. How can they make/sell such useless stuff? And why did I buy it? ;)

Halfway I hardwired the Zumo with my Etymotics earphones and used this instead of the Camos. This worked perfectly. The quality of the music was very nice and I didn't miss part of the instructions. Drawbacks are the wire that dangles in front of me and the Etymotics earphones are not as comfortable as my normal earplugs. I don't know if I can wear them all day.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8 2009, 68,649km

I beleive I've got the fix for the late reaction of the headset. The Zumo has a setting called 'warnsignal'. When 'on' you first hear a signal before the directions instruction. Mine was off, I think that when I put it to 'on' the headset will have the time to get out of powersave mode and be ready to receive the instructions. Gotta try this asap.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 7 2009, 68,649km

Today I made a testdrive with the Zumo 550 and Camos BTS-230 bluetooth headset. Even with my earplugs in I could hear the instructions quite well thanks to the good screen of the Pan. Negative point is that the headset reacts too late to the spoken instructions. Each time I missed the beginning and this is rather important since the instructions start with the distance to the next junction. I could solve this by playing mp3's through the Zumo, but firstly I'm afraid it will drain the battery of the headset too fast. Secondly I don't want to listen to music all of the time. Thirdly the quality of the music is quite bad (dunno if the Zumo is to blame, bluetooth or the speakers). And fourthly the music is mono. You hear only one channel of the stereo.
So I've got to do some research to find a fix.
All in all navigating was much more easy with spoken instructions than without. It takes away most of the uncertainties when you've got to rely solely on the screen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1 2009, 68,527km

Attached the Zumo wiring to the battery. The Pan is now ready to do some serious touring :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 14 2009, 68,527km

Got the Pan back from the dealer. They've done a 12,000km service job:

PartsNumberTotal Euro
Forte 1 Motor Power111.44
Brake pads rear141.64
Brake pads front141.64
Spark plugs Denso U24FER-9439.04
Oil filter112.51
Air filter136.54
Fork oil seals114.04
Clip panel12.41
Castrol RS oil152.26
Grease etc13.40
Cooling liquid16.39
Brake/clutch oil16.39
Grand Total:607.08

It's odd they had to replace the front brake pads again, since it's only 6,000km since the last change. But maybe riding in mountains wears them out extra fast.

Received a new batch of Howard Leight Max earplugs. The last one of 200x2 pieces lasted three years.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

February 7 2009, 68,368km

The dealer picked up the bike today to give it a big service job.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 3 2009, 68,368km

Used the Pan to go to work. It has been more than 3 months since I rode a bike to work. I must confess, I didn't like it a bit. It was dark, cold, wet, crowded with cars. I'd rather sit in my heated car with some music and follow relaxt the car in front of me. But since there's no parking space at my work, and I wasn't allowed to use the parking lot anymore because my little finger has healed, I had to take the bike.
Today I bought another commuter bike (see R850R blog) so I can spare the Pan in the future.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 31 2009, 68,290km

Wanted to start the Pan for the first time this year. With a little aid from my car it finally did. To lock the seating back in place I had to use the key, so I had to turn off the engine. When the seat was fitted I wanted to start the Pan again, but it didn't want to. So I removed the battery to charge it back home (don't have electricity in my garage).

I'm afraid I have to use the Pan to go to work the next couple of days, since my designated commuter bike, the XJ900F, kicked the bucket.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1 2009, 68,290km


Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12 2008, 68,290km

Due to a hurt little finger I won't be riding the Pan anymore this year. That means I've done about 22,000km on the bike in 2008. Thanks to 3 rather big trips abroad the kilometer count went up pretty quick. It has been a great riding year, let's hope the next one will be as good or even better.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 26 2008, 68,290km

Pim claimed the picture of his (our...) latest speeding offence. You see it above. It's strange they didn't photographed me, but I don't mind ;).

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 19 2008, 68,290km

Maybe the last decent trip of this year? Today I went -again- to the Moselle river in Germany. Did that already a couple of times, but it's still an enjoyable trip. First I went asap to Koblenz where the Moselle starts. At 11:00, after a 3 hours drive, I stood on the shores of the river. Well, first I stood on the shores of the Rhine river that flows through Koblenz as well ;). After I found the right river I followed the shores to Trier. The river itself goes on much further, but I had to return home again. The autumn colors (main reason for this trip) were beautiful. At 20:00 I was home again. Today I drove 945km, almost enough to qualify as a 1K-trip :).
During this trip I couldn't use my satnav, since I've sold it. So I had to rely on maps again. Which went rather well. When using a map you're more flexible in which direction to take (don't have to stick to the programmed route) and you got a more global view of the surroundings: nice roads, villages, etc. you might miss when using the satnav. A downside is that you've got to stop more often to choose the right direction, you don't have a compass and you don't have a 'show me the fastest way home'-button. Maybe next time I'll use both: the satnav for the general direction and the map for the details...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 11 2008, 67,355km

Today Pim, a collegue of his and I went ot the German bike show Intermot to see the latest models. Not by bike this time, but by car (did you know an old Volvo S40 is still able to do 210kmh on the German Autobahn? :) ).
For me the show had not much interesting news. There were no new touring models (except for the ugly -but technically perfect- BMW K1300GT). The other guys liked the new sportsbikes like GSXR1000 and RSV4.
I visited the stand of heated clothing manufacturer Gerbing to have a look at the heated jacket. Maybe I'm gonna buy that one of these days since winter is approaching...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 1 2008, 67,255km

Sold the StreetPilot 2610. I liked it very much, but I know now the latest models (Zumo, Rider 2) are better. In France I noticed that Erwin with his TomTom never hesitated when deciding which road to take, while the instructions of the StreetPilot were sometimes dubious. The 2610 uses 2D navigation, while the TomTom and Zumo have both 2D and 3D. It seems the 3D works better. Besides that the 2610 now and then looses the GPS signal, while nowadays the navigation systems are more sensitive to these signals. So I wanna buy a newer model. I'm considering the TomTom Rider 2 and the Garmin Zumo. One way or another I prefer the latter. One of the reasons is the route-creating software Garmin has, and TomTom hasn't (is dependent of others).

Monday, September 29, 2008

September 28 2008, 67,255km

Vacation Pyrenees 9/19 - 9/28

Next trip of Erwin and me, this time to the French Pyrenees.

Friday 19, 1115km
First we drove as fast as possible to France. Here we went to Alise-Sainte-Reine (
Alesia) to view the Vercingetorix monument and remnants of the Gallic/Roman city. Then we went to Clermont-Ferrand and had a look at the Puy-de-Dome. A little south of Clermont we found a nice place to sleep.

Saturday 20, 650km
After a visit of another Vercingetorix monument near the village of
Gergovie we went to Millau to see the famous viaduct. After passing the nice city of Albi we reached our final destination Barbet near Lombez. Here we would stay for the rest of the week.

Sunday 21, 165km
A rest day. Visit of
Toulouse, an amphitheater and a Celtic exposition.

Monday 22, 390km
Trip into the Pyrenees. On our way to the Pyrenees we had a look at the ancient cathedral of
St. Bertrand de Comminges. The Pyrenees are very beautiful. You do have to take care while riding there, because often cattle are walking freely and leaving their droppings on the roads.

Tuesday 23, 480km
Trip to
Andorra. The road to this tiny country is very beautiful. The pass to it is quite high and was rather chilly at the moment. Taxes are very low there and Erwin and I took the opportunity to buy a cheap Tomtom Rider 2. To find back home that it was an older version we'd rather not have. So now we're trying to sell it again.

Wednesday 24, 435km
A day I've been looking forward to: visit of Carcassonne. First we drove over beautiful roads to
Minerve. Yet another very beautiful and interesting village. Then we went to Carcassonne, the place with the medieval fortified city. Very impressive.

Thursday 25, 350km
Another trip into the Pyrenees and visit of
Lourdes. Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage and it is remarkable how moneymaking and devotion go hand in hand overthere.

Friday 26, 240km
For this day we had nothing planned on beforehand. I made a route on my Streetpilot, which I'd never done before without the routeplanning software on my pc, but which went rather easy. This trip lead us to the not yet visited NorthWest of our residence. Again very beautiful surroundings, it seems you just can't go wrong in the
Midi-Pyrenees. Along the way the Streetpilot steered us in a direction I thought couldn't be right. I took a right turn to leave the main road and have a closer look at the route. I stopped soon after the turn, thereby totally surprising Erwin who couldn't avoid me completely and ran into my left case with his right case. His case came loose and mine had some scratches. It seemed his was seriously damaged, but was still useable.

Saturday 27, 725km
Time to head home again. The route North took us through the beautiful
Dordogne and ended up at an hotel in the center of Orleans.

Sunday 28, 680km
Last stretch home. I lead the way. At Paris I somehow lost Erwin. Afterwards it seemed he found I was driving too fast for the situation (police presence and speedtraps) and let me go. My route led via Lille, Erwin's via Brussels. He was half an hour earlier at home, mainly because I took a detour to avoid the obligatory traffic jam in The Netherlands.

So, after a trip of 10 days and 5,220km we were home again. We'd seen a lot of beautiful and interesting stuff. The bikes were great again. I still like the ST, although irritatingly instable at the highway, it's perfect inland with it's good handling, brakes, comfort and range.

You'll find the pics here

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September 17 2008, 62,035km

Next Friday Erwin and I will leave for a vacation of a week in the Pyrenees.
We want to see more of the surroundings this time and don't ride as much as we did in May. Let's see if we can restrain ourselves.

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 12 2008, 62,035km

Seems I got lucky this time, still no ticket from the cops...
Had the front tire replaced today because of the trip Erwin and I are going to make next week. The previous one held for about 14,000km. The new one is again a Michelin Pilot Road 2.
The brake pads of the front right brake were replaced too, because they were unevenly worn.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

September 4 2008, 61,705km

Ohoh, Pim has recieved a speeding ticket for driving 20kmh to fast on the last stretch of our previous trip. I hope they missed me this time...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 25 2008, 61,705km

The 24th and 25th Pim and I went to Belgium, Luxembourgh and Germany to do some speed-touring, meaning we didn't went for the scenery :)
First we drove asap to Beaumont in Belgium to start my South of Belgium route which ended in Diekirch, Luxembourg. The route was nice, but better suited for ZX12R's, Busa's and the likes, seen the wide curves: made for highspeed cornering. In Luxembourg we followed another route that we've found on the net. Very nice. A certain piece was so great Pim had to ride it several times.
At the end of the day we rode to the start of a route that would lead us through curves in the German Eifel. We found a nice hotel near the river Mosel: Hotel "Brauneberger Hof": not expensive, good food and wine.
The next day started with a bit of rain. The route was mostly very nice, except for the part that lead us to the Nurburgring, that part was very boring. The Ring was occupied, so we couldn't make a run on the circuit. After the Ring we went to the starting point of another Eifel-route we found on the net. Along the way we passed an impressive radiotelescope: the one at Effelsberg.
When we'd finished our "currywurst mit pommes und mayo" we went further and drove along yet another curvy route.
At the end of afternoon we decided to call it a day and head home. After a while on the boring highway we were fed up with it and made a detour over some Dutch dikes. After this Pim was more or less broken on his sportsbike, me on the comfortable Pan was much less tired.
After about 1500km in 2 days we were home again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 30 2008, 60,250km

While climbing the Col de Galibier on my Route Des Grandes Alpes tour I got photographed by a, I thought, professional photographer. On the top of the Galibier you could get the address of the photo shop and back home I ordered the pics that had been taken. The preview on their site ( looked good. When I got the pics I was very disappointed, they were crap. See above.

I mailed them stating that I expected more of them for the 10 euro per pic. They still have to respond to my emails. I guess thats another 40 bucks waisted.

Friday, August 15, 2008

August 15 2008, 60,250km

Had a small service job done (oil and -filter). Had the rear tire replaced too by a brandnew Michelin Pilot Road 2. The previous one held for about 13,000km.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31 2008, 59680km

Route des Grandes Alpes

Yet another trip, this time to France to do the Route des Grandes Alpes.

Day 1: Sunday July 27, 1.037km
I left at 6AM to be asap in France. At 3PM I was already at Grenoble, the meant finish of that day. Because it was still early I decided to head on and start the route I'd planned for a Monday. After some nice riding in the French countryside I thought it would be better to find a gasstation. Well, that's no easy task at a Sunday evening in the middle of nowhere. There were gasstations, but they were unmanned and accepted only cards I didn't have. Luckily with the aid of a friendly French motard I could fill up the Pan. After this adventure I called it a day and headed to Gap to find an hotel. At 8PM I ended up in an Ibis hotel I cannot recommend price/quality wise.

Day 2: Monday July 28, 420km
For this day I'd made a route with MapSource from Garmin. It should lead me over nice curvy roads and end in Menton, the starting point of the Route des Grandes Alpes.
By coincidence it lead me through the Gorges du Verdon, I'd seen a few years ago. If I'd know this I would have planned the route differently, because the Gorges are gorgeous, but once is enough. Soon after the Gorges I drove over the D955, leading through Montferrat. This is a great road for doing some fast cornering over perfect tarmac! If you're ever in the neighbourhood, make sure you don't miss it.
The further I got South, the hotter it got. With temps of around 33 degrees Celcius I was a bit overdressed. The local bikers seemed to cope better with this heat in t-shirts and shorts.
At around 7PM I stopped in
Menton, a nice place at the Mediterranean Sea near the Italian border.

Day 3: Tuesday July 29, 480km
At last, the start of the Route. I think I can let the pics speak for themselves (see link below). It was great! Highlights were the
Col du Galibier and the Col de l'Iseran.
Somewhere along the way I passed
R1 Sjaak who was doing the Route too, only from North to South. Here's a video of R1 Sjaak and friend doing the Iseran the same day I did:

R1Sjaak & MC King down Col de L'iseran from Marc King on Vimeo.

After almost 500km of curvy roads going up and down I had it for the day and stopped in
Val d'Iser where I stayed in the hotel Les Sorbiers. This hotel I can recommend for tired bikers.

Day 4: Wednesday July 30, 1,215km
Yesterday I'd done the biggest part of the Route and for today only 250km were left. These km's were great too and at around 1PM the fun ended in
Thonon les Bains at the Lake Geneva.
Now what? Plan another route through the Black Forest or Vosges? Nah, been there, seen that already this year. Head home? That's almost 1,000km. Hmm, it's do-able. Ok, fast forward home. At 12PM I was home again after a very boring highway trip only interrupted by a car crash on the German Autobahn A3 near Koblenz. Weather conditions were quite bad at that moment and cars were still racing with speeds above 150kmh. I wondered what I was doing wrong with my 120kmh max, or were there supermans at the steering wheels? Well, I wasn't doing anything wrong and there are no supermans in this world, seen this crash. After an hour the rubble was cleared and people were racing me by with even higher speeds to make up for the lost time. Some will never learn...

This was yet another fine trip of about 3,150km. The Pan was perfect again on mountain roads and at the highway (still not 100% stable though...). The Michelin Pilot Road 2's worked very well in dry and wet conditions. Gonna have them next time too.

Click here for all the pics

Click here for a Google kmz file with the route and small pics

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22 2008, 56,265km

Intention was to go to France next Sunday and ride there the Route des Grandes Alpes. But it seems half Europe will be going South this weekend, so I think I'll go on Monday. To be continued...

I've bought some frame protectors from Bike-Quip and recieved them today. Will stick them on the Pan asap.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July 17 2008, 56,265km

Added one liter of cooling liquid.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 5 2008, 55,870km

Had to add quite some oil because the level was below half. I guess a hot Croatia and speeding up and down mountains in the Dolomites caused this higher than average oil consumption?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 1 2008, 55,500km

Made a report of the Europe trip Erwin and I made. You'll find it here. Hope you like it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 24 2008, 55,238km

Pim and I made today yet another trip to the Belgian Ardennes. It was a nice and quite long one: 816km for me, for Pim a bit longer.
During this trip I could try some gadgets. First I could try the music stuff I got in order to kill some time during those boring highway rides. It worked like a charm. I really didn't really care how long we had to spend on the highway: the Pan was comfortable and with the music time passed quickly.
Next I tried a new gadget: a GPS Trip Recorder. Turn it on when you leave and afterwards you can exactly see where you've been, how fast you have been riding (oops) and at what altitudes you've been. With the included software you can geotag the pictures you've made along the way and view it all in e.g. Google Earth. Here's the Google kmz file of this trip (zoom in on Maastricht to see the track).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May 17 2008, 54,334km

Finally recieved the Garmin dvd with updated charts. After almost 2 months! Those guys must be living in the stone age, logistically speaking. And then they wonder why people are using hacked maps? Or go to the competition who can deliver updates within days...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 16 2008, 54,334km

We're back from a great (the best so far) trip. Soon the complete story...
For now, here you'll find some pics.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2 2008, 48,652km

Vacation! Next Sunday Erwin (FJR1300) and I will embark on a journey into the unknown. Well, we're planning to have a 2 week trip to Croatia, passing Alps and Dolomites. Should be big fun :)
Keep watching this space for the latest news.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1 2008, 48,582km

The iPod and stuff work great on the Pan! Sound is very clear and the remote works like a charm. It's very odd to have music while driving. Just as if you're disconnected from the rest of the world. Kinda like riding a cage. But for long highway stretches it'll be perfect. The Etymotics work very fine as earplugs when the music is off.
The camera mount on the other hand isn't a big success. Due to vibrations at higher revs the image very soon gets blurry. I've got to think of something else for this farkle.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30 2008, 48,532km

I found the prefect spot for the remote: on the left handlebar. See pic above.
At the same time I fitted a camera mount. Maybe I'm going to make some in-flight flicks during my next vacation.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29 2008, 48,532km

Recieved a remote for the iPod Touch (Scosche IPNRFC). It looks and works great. Now I've got to find a way to attach it to the Pan...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 25 2008, 48,532km

Today Pim (TL1000S), Ton (FJR1300) and son, and I made a longish trip of about 810km to and through the German Eifel. Besides some bumpy stretches the roads were great and curvy. The Pan was great: pretty flickable, very good brakes, very stable. The new Michelin tires behaved very good. My motorbuddies had a hell of a time keeping up with me :)
I used my leather pants for the first time today and they did what I hoped and expected they would do: save my but for getting sore after a while. I could ride the Pan all day without much problems in the bottom department.
BTW Notice the pic with the with the arch bridge above. Seems familiar? That's correct: I've been there almost exactly 10 years ago with my ZZR1100. See the 1100 blog :)