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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by fredgilb, Jan 26, 2013.
Absolutely amazing! Thanks for taking the time to put this up!
First, I would REALLY like to do a rally like this, especially in Europe. Clearly, a lot of interest from others as well.
I was thinking, now I'm thinking out loud, how to make this affordable for an average Joe like me. Here's what I came up with: if there is enough folk that will COMMIT far enough in advance we get a group together here in the states and obtain a 40' sea container. I think it would hold at least 20 bikes and all their riders gear. Load it up, unload and ride the rally, reload for the return.
Or, we could book space with a load of oil tools or such on a freight aircraft for our bikes, our gear, and us. No in flight movies or hot stewardess but sounds cheaper than commercial.
Some logistics expert please chime in, are these viable plans and if so what does that make the freight cost for each bike?
Further thinking how cost could be reduced, for example; Myself and others drive their trucks with trailers and with their bike to the shipping location and pick up other riders along the way.
Plenty more details to work out of course, but I think you get my drift.
Now you're talkin'!
That is exactly what I was hoping this RR would accomplish. I'm thinking 5 -7 people should be enough to get the cost down to a reasonable figure. More than that might be logistically hairy!
I never heard of airfreight taking passengers too. Is this something you are familiar with?
Not first hand other than scheduling. I have seen oil tools go air freight with the installation crews. I guess some phone calls and surfing is in order.
I'm thinking a SM around 600CC of some sort is the way to go. Would you ride your Ducati again?
Airfreight with seating! That's a very cool concept!
The 690 KTM's are super popular. I'm hoping to get a Hypermotard. I think it might be the ultimate ride for that event. The new one's have bigger tanks
Failing that, I'd use the S4 again, with shorter gearing and more lighting. All that torque makes it much less tiring on really long days. This year has back to back marathon days. Gonna be intense. But everyone is sure the weather will be brilliant!
I tried to find a euro manufacturer for euro delivery but none of them do it any more. The only one that didn't say impossible is MV. But they haven't gotten back to me yet.
What is the longest stage, in miles, or the longest distance between fuel stops? I would not be in the race to win, finish would be nice, placing in the top 50 would make me a World Champ. in my eyes at least. I am thinking a Husky SM610 I have would be a fair entrant. They get about 40 MPG.
You'd do well with a Husky. How many gallons does it hold? The fuel thing can get a little tricky. Firstly you really want to arrange to have a credit or cash card with an embedded chip. The usual USA cards don't work. It's no fun waiting around for someone to show up so you can give them some cash in exchange for using their card. I learned you have to study the road book to see where the gas stops are ahead of time because sometimes the "official" gas stops are just too far apart. I made the mistake of thinking "oh well, I'm sure they'll be gas inside 100 km". Wrong. There might be but not on any of the tiny back roads we're on! It all just takes a little planning, but the Husky would work fine. The longest day is 550 km. or 340 mi. Also, Michelin tires this year, not Metzler . Did you see the guy on the Husky in the video? Wish my S4 could slide like that!
That Husky was a 900cc Nuda... Of course not sold to NA.
After seeing the video, I'm really surprised anyone would use a sport bike (esp with 100hp limit) though it did look like they had bar conversions and not clip-ons.
I would think a lightweight but reliable supermoto would be the way to go. Like mentioned KTM 690 is a nice compromise. Of course an Aprilia SXV 550 with an IMS 5.2gal tank would be pretty fun too.
Looks like a fun event no matter what you ride though!
The top guys are pretty evenly matched on time keeping & navigation. As the saying goes, you can lose on navigation and win on special stages. So the sportbikes with higher bars are the way to go. But for the rest of us, well, it's bring what you're most comfortable on. Personally, I wish I had had ABS with all the rain last year. Re; 100hp limit, they're getting rid of it in 2014.
Last day! Toulon - Toulon. It's sunny! A whole new crop of riders is with us. There is a third way to enter and it's for the last day only. We're all exhausted and they're all frisky and eager.
The first special stage of the day got canceled. It seems that some hunters were stalking sanglier (wild boar!) and depending who you asked, the organizers were worried we'd be running into said pigs or shot at. Or both! OK, no big loss. It was one of those roads that seemed to have a been paved over bowling balls! If they had tried they could not have made a bumpier road! My roadbook was shaking so bad I could hardly read it.
In my humble opinion, they saved the best for last. La Speciale de Puget Ville! Perfect smooth flowing sweepers ..... the Ducati was in it's element. Please, can I go back and do it again?
Note the pads on the guardrails........can't imagine how much time it must take to put them all the way up the mountain, then have to pack them up. A testament to how well this rally is organized.
I got horribly lost on the other side heading back to Toulon. I didn't feel to bad as it became apparent from all the riders cris-crossing from every direction that I was not alone. It helps sometimes to be able to ask a local for directions....
But the road back eventually became fast and awesome. We we're able to make up a lot of time. Keeping up with the last day only guys was pretty wild at times, I think I was starting to get a little punchy.
Karine Sliz, a regular on the France Rally circuit. She also publishes the Moto et Motard magazine.
Sometimes I'm asked, so, how did you finish? I'm told that just to finish the first year is already an accomplishment. The cut in the rear tire the second day put me out of any chance for a high placement. This actually may have been a blessing in disguise as it allowed me relax a little more and learn to adapt to the unfamiliar and perilous wet roads.
The last day of rallying is over. Everyone is packing up and they all want to know if I'll be back next year. I now have to change gears and pack everything and head out towards Toulouse. Feels strange to contemplate the next leg of distance after a whole day of rallying. Reminds me of what you feel like after you emerge into bright sunshine outside from a matinee movie. I have a friend I'm going to stay with on the other side of the country and unwind. It's going to take me a while to process all I've been through. This ride report is helping in that regard. It was EPIC! I think I'll be happy to be somewhere and doing something that doesn't involve the scenery hurtling at me at warp speed!
My adventures, were far from over............stay tuned for more!
The "100hp" law prevents you from getting a french licence plate, not from driving a 200hp us-registered Paningale
It was passed in 1984 because politicians thought "power kills". Yet no other country did this, nor this had any effect apart from preventing people from restoring the original state of their motorcycle.
(Think of a 50% HP 1700 V-Max .... still you don't pay 50% or the price nor it does sip 50% of the gas )
This law will completely disappear in 2016.
Getting back to the subject, once you have landed your containers in france (good options are Barcelona, Marseille, Le Havre, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, if using a boat) Getting food & roof might be more expensive than you think.
For the credit-card problem that fredglib encountered, solutions are at your disposal. First, a fresh cash reserve. In france, you usually don't pay using a credit card for less than 20 usd / 15 euros. Cash is widely accepted up to 100 Euros. Think wise, take 50 and 20 euros notes as people won't always have change for a 200 euros bill.
Most gas stations in France will have a 24/7 option using a credit card. usually Visa, Mastercard and Carte Bleue will be accepted. Amex will seldom be accepted. Only chip+code card will work, your magstripe will be as useful as [ insert gross joke here ]
To prevent change fees issues, you can get a prepaid visa card (in euros) in Euro-walmarts. Auchan, Carrefour, and the like. Maybe in airports also. While you are there, you might want to get a prepaid cellphone also. Europe is GSM-only.
I do not know about cargo-ing a bike to europe using plane, apart than maybe calling Cargolux can get you some good information. It is a major cargo company here in europe, based in Luxembourg (30kms from France)
If you want informations on how to purchase and register a bike in france, I can explain you how to do so,
G'nite (or day)
Very envious........ Lived in France or five years a lifetime ago.. Covered nearly every part of it on a 79 gs750... Takes me right back........thanks
Makes me love France even more.
Wow! 44 people said, YES!
Here's a few more pictures to scare you off then!
Goin' down with the ship!
So thoughtful to supply a pillow for his comfort....I hear the new Michelin's are amazing in the wet. Might be time to see if it's true
Rode the new Hypermotard SP yesterday. It's effortless to ride fast, sort of like power steering in car. The ABS, traction control and slipper clutch are fantastic. Tried the ABS on some sandy gravel. Start to turn, grab the brakes, hard, and...... just stop, sheez. Feels like it's 150 lbs lighter too. I want! The ride-by-wire throttle gonna take some getting used to. Feels like something off a vacuum cleaner or something. Gotta be the ultimate Moto-Tour weapon. Still love the S4 motor though. No fiddly emission, no catalytic, or pulling strings behind the curtain nonsense. Just bags of smooth torque everywhere. But, my S4 feels like a SLED in comparison.