8000km Northern Europe trip

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by jorrizza, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

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    Here's the plan. One guy. One month (coming July). One Transalp 700. Nine countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany (yay, twice!) and back to The Netherlands). It's more or less 8000km... I think.

    Here's what makes it interesting. I've got no experience what so ever. This is my first motorcycle, and I've barely put 18000km on it since Feb '11. Went through two pairs of tires though :evil. It'll be low budget, so I'll sleep in a tent most of the time.

    I think I've covered all of the legal issues. There's no need for visas and/or special country-specific insurance that I know of. Just having a green card, health insurance and proper identification should suffice. Right? :hmmmmmThere's cell phone coverage in most of the places I'll visit, but I've bought a SPOT GPS thingy just to be sure. Speaking of GPS, I'll be using a Garmin GPS unit. The TomTom Rider I've got now can't store all the needed maps at once and I won't take a laptop with me just for changing map data. That would be silly.

    I'll be documenting this trip using a GoPro Hero mounted on my helmet and a compact Canon camera. Since the SPOT service has a nice API, and I happen to be a software engineer, I'll integrate all of that into a nice little ride report map website thing.

    These toys require power. Therefore my tank bag has a 12V connection which I'll use to charge the batteries. For all of the other junk I'll be hauling around SW-Motech Trax panniers will do the job just fine.

    Here's a quick cell phone picture of the beast that will be an even closer friend during the trip.
    [​IMG]

    I'm quite convinced I've almost thought of everything. That's where you guys come in. Did I miss something enormously important? Feel free to call me a noob :) Input about what to visit along the way is always welcome. There's no exact route. There will never be one.
    #1
  2. Roadpizza

    Roadpizza n00b

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    Since you don't mention Sweden, am I right in thinking that you're going from Norway to Finland via the arctic route? If so, It sounds like a truly epic adventure. Pack wet weather gear and make sure of your fuel points and it should be the best trip of your life. Untill you take the next adventure ride. Best of luck. P.S. I'm envious.
    #2
  3. zandesiro

    zandesiro In rust we trust....

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    It will be an awesome ride....!Keep updating!


    :lurk:lurk
    #3
  4. V Saarela

    V Saarela Been here awhile

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    I think you covered most of things. Tyres are expensive up here so is good to have new/almost new rear tyre. I made a 8000 kms trip on a 700 and the fuelconsumtion was 4,2 litr/100 kms fully loaded bike. In Norway it makes under 4 litre....so no worries about the petrolstations.

    You need a registrationpapers(shows who own the bike) bordering Finland-Estonia.

    Entering Estonia etc, cheap overnight via booking.com....if you keep a little bit away from the bigger citys.
    #4
  5. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

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    Yep. I'll try to stick to the coast as much as possible. Places like Lofoten are things I absolutely don't want to miss.

    Got that covered. I'll leave with a brand new set of TKC-80s. They'll last for about 10000km on 90/10 tarmac/gravel.

    I haven't thought of that. Thanks! It's mandatory to have license and registration papers with me at all times in the Netherlands. I hope those will do. But I'll look in to that.

    Will do! I'll create a website in the coming days at 7008000.eu. When ever there's new content on there regarding this trip, I'll update this topic.
    #5
  6. V Saarela

    V Saarela Been here awhile

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    I really don´t think TKC80 manage 10000 kms with fully loaded bike and on tarmac? I would save theme and go for a Tourance, among others.

    You will also not need TKC80, roads are tarmac, but of course, if you are searching for gravel....that´s another thing.
    #6
  7. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

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    You might have a point there. My current TKC80s have about 2.5 mm left in the center (rear) and are completely wedged (front) after about 9000km or so. Half of that was with a passenger riding pillion. The main reason for going with TKC80s again is the looks, honestly. I'm considering ContiTrailAttacks. Reviews are pretty good and gravel performance is acceptable. This is valuable input. Thanks!
    #7
  8. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

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    Curious about the Go-Pro footage! If you want, we could go for a ride sometime... I was planning to get my Alp out with the panniers the coming week anyways :thumb I'm from the Rotterdam-region.

    Subbed by the way, a journey to the north is something in the back of my mind as well.
    #8
  9. nordicbiker

    nordicbiker Been here awhile

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    About tyres: go for the Heidenau K60 front and back. The last setup I was using lasted for 13.000km! And that was a KTM 990 Adv, with twice as many horses as you Transalp. The K60 is the perfect compromise for something like 50% asphalt / 50% gravel. And at least in Europe they are quite cheap!
    #9
  10. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

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    Well, the website is live. It doesn't have that much info at the moment. I'm working on that! The country pages will feature all of the photos and videos alongside some witty commentary. The map will show live data from the SPOT service and, when I'm back, all of the photo locations.

    There's another short term challenge that needs solving. There's no room for the GPS on the handlebars, because the tank bag is in the way. So I'll try to make a frame which places the GPS unit above the clocks, where it belongs. This frame will be attached to the windscreen mount, effectively moving the windscreen up/forward a bit. This should also help reduce the buffeting. I'll post how (if I manage) in the Transalp Modifications thread.

    The footage is pretty awesome. I'm working on video support for the website. I usually just use the 720p setting, because it's more than enough for web usage. I'm planning some long(ish) distance test rides for the full setup next month. I'll drop you a PM when I know when exactly. We should definitely meet up.

    I'll keep an eye out for those. Thanks!
    #10
  11. AdNox

    AdNox Almighty viking rider

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    #11
  12. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

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    Gotta love your 'under construction' pic on the site :D
    #12
  13. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

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    Thanks! There's a good chance I'll be in touch to take you up on that offer. That video is amazing by the way.
    #13
  14. exotesthrasouden

    exotesthrasouden Adventurer

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    Great plan, that was actually going to be my trip this year before I was able to link up with a few other advids doing an Eastern Europe trip; Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, then back home through Germany.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=750753

    Are you planning on doing a ride report? I'd love to follow your tracks next time around or at least see the highlights.

    Ryan
    #14
  15. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

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    I see why you've chosen that route. That's going to be one hell of a trip. Subscribed.

    There will be a ride report when I'm back. Both over here (a short version) and on the website. If everything works on the technical side of things, you'll be able to see the exact route on the map. In near real time, too :)
    #15
  16. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Moto Geek chiming in here...

    Yes, it would be. However... taking a laptop to save your daily GPS track is well worth while. The resolution is orders of magnitude better than you'll get with the Spot, and you can view the track later in Google Earth. Programs like GPSUtility can easily translate Garmin's .gdb file into a .kml file for Google earth.

    If you must use the Spot - Spot's API isn't all that great - check out Spotwalla - Jason is a fellow rider and has provided a great service that lets you create and save trip logs & maps - the Spot service just shows a few days.

    That being said, don't be surprised if your Spot track has hours long gaps in your ride - the "every 10 minutes" is mostly wishful thinking. If you're interested, here's a link to a 2009 ride GPS track in Google Earth format.

    Enjoy the ride and don't worry about your "lack of experience". This is EXACTLY how one gets experience :D
    #16
  17. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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  18. exotesthrasouden

    exotesthrasouden Adventurer

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    Jorrizza,

    That's gonna be really cool seeing your trip in real time. Subscribed. Keep in touch brother, in case you need a buddy on your next trip.
    #18
  19. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

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    The official API isn't all that great. There's Spot Adventures now, which offers a direct KML download link for people who are logged in. It pretty much does the aggregation Spotwalla does too. I'm planning on mirroring that KML automatically every 15 minutes or so by mimicking a browser logging in and downloading it. The map on my website can render KML files directly onto a Google maps canvas. The reason why I'm going for SPOT data is the real time aspect of things. Storing a months worth of high resolution GPS data is, at best, a challenge on a very small budget. And there's no way to send that data home without using some Internet connection somewhere. Even speeding in Norway is cheaper than using HSDPA/3G with a Dutch carrier abroad.

    I have been working on a small device that tries to use open (or badly secured ^^) WiFi networks to send its collected GPS data, but that won't be finished in time and won't be any good in rural areas.

    Ooh. That is a difference indeed. I didn't know it was that bad. It's still good enough as long as there's at least one or two points a day. Thanks for pointing this out, man. I'm definitely going to test this setup thoroughly before leaving the comfort of my own geek bunker.
    #19
  20. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    €10/MB with a US data plan :huh

    Thank God for free wi-fi :D

    Absolutely. I HATE 'surprises' when I'm away from my main resources. I'm not sure which version of Spot you're using, but you can always hit the "Check In" button to send a message/waypoint at the start and end of the day, along with any points that you definitely want to mark along the way. Be aware that it could be 5-10 minutes between the time you push the button and the time the message is actually sent.

    Heavy forest and deep Alpine valleys do a number on Spot connectivity (GPS, too, but not as bad).
    #20