Guzzi Test Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Roam, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Today I'm heading flying out to Ireland to take a test ride on a Moto Guzzi. In order to give the bike and hones test ride I plan on spending two months riding through northern and central Europe.



    I'll be arriving in Cork Ireland tomorrow morning where I'll get to lay eyes (and hands) on the bike for the first time. I plan on spending 4 days in Ireland getting the bike and myself ready for the trip.
    Then I'll take a ferry to Cherbourg France and begin riding east to Denmark where I'll take another ferry to Sweden. Once in Sweden I'll work my way north until I can't go north no more and then head south-east through Finland. Originally I had planned on crossing into Russia east of St. Petersburg and then head south-west through Ukraine. My plan have changed (thanks Putin you ass). So instead I'll make my way to Helsinki where I'll take another ferry to Estonia. I'll then ride west through the Balitc States to Poland where I'll make the decision to go to Ukraine/Moldova/Romania or head directly to Brno in the Czech Republic where I have tickets for the MotoGP race on August 17th. After the Moto races I'll head to Munich to visit my brother and his family and then onto Switzerland and France before taking the last ferry back to Ireland.
    I'll be posting numerous pictures along the way and hope to do a post a day but probably won't be uploading daily. Anytways that's all for now and here is the first picture of the trip.


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  2. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    I arrived in Cork this afternoon and though I missed my connecting flight from Heathrow it turned out to be for the best. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to get to the motofeirme (aka Martin’s farm) site to pick up my bike after arriving in Cork. So I was standing in line at customs when someone behind me said “Looks like you’re going for a ride.” I replied that I was and when asked where my bike was I responded that I wasn’t really sure and it was at some guys farm. To which the stranger replied “Martins? That’s where my bike is.”. As it turned out another American (Nate) arrived on the same flight as I was on and was also going to Martin’s to pick up his bike and he knew the way! So we split a cab and I got to finally lay eyes on the little red Italian tomato.
    The bike looks real good and started right up with just a little bit of help from the choke. Martin has a really nice setup for travelers with plenty of tools and space to work on the bike as well as plenty of helpful advice and he’s building a dorm next to his barn for travelers to stay in. As it turns out besides myself and the Nate which I met at the airport there where two other riders also hanging out at Martin’s place. One rider from Australia (Terry) and another from Canada (Mike) who acts as Martin’s helper when Martin is busy doing his real job.
    I started getting the bike setup and getting all my paperwork collected when I ran across one minor snafu. It seems the Bulgarians I purchased my Insurance from decided to translate my name into Bulgarian on the insurance form and it bears little resemblance to how my name is spelled on the rest of the documents. I’m told it shouldn’t be a problem since I should only need to produce the document if I’m involved in an accident and the bike is still insured (tho to someone with a very odd name).
    Tomorrow I plan on finishing adding my gadgets to the bike and hopefully taking it out for a test ride and getting some new tires fitted. If that goes well I’ll probably spend the rest of the day picking up some odds and ends while getting used to riding on the wrong side of the road.
    The area around Kilkearny (or something it’s near Cork which I can spell (usually)) is really beautiful and I’m looking forward to exploring it in the next few days.


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  3. Truetorch

    Truetorch Adventurer

    Joined:
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    I almost bought a Guzzie, Opted for the Beamer. Cant wait to follow your tour.
    John
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  4. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    The major accomplishment today was getting new tires for the bike and having them installed. I also got to take the bike out for the first time today and it's quite nice. It feels very small and light and generally runs very smoothly though there is a bit of vibration between 4-4.5k rpm.
    Riding on the wrong side of the road is not coming naturally though as long as I pay attention it isn't too bad. I was thinking I was doing pretty well at it and not one minute later I made a right turn into the right hand lane. Ooops.
    The speed limits in Ireland are kind of nuts in a good way. There are countless roads which are barely wider than a car and full of blind corners with 80kph (50mph) speed limits. According to a German ex-patriot I was speeking to one I was getting my tires mounted theres a short pier in Kinsale with a 100kph speed limit. I think they hate the tourists!
    Kinsale and the little bit of the surrounding countryside is quite beautiful and I plan on exploring a bit more of Ireland in the next couple of days.




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    more pictures http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=74
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  5. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
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    What a great trip, safe travels and looking forward to following your report.

    Cheers
    #5
  6. airhead_irl

    airhead_irl Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cork, Ireland (Irlande, Eire, Irland, Hibernia)
    As a fellow Guzzi rider I say welcome to Cork ! How are the natives treating you ? Looking forward to the rest of your travels on this trip.
    #6
  7. istadniy

    istadniy Ivan the Quite OK

    Joined:
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    Depending on whereabouts exactly you were planning to cross the RU-UA border, you could still do it. Current conflict is entirely within these two regions:
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    Stay clear of them and, just to be sure, of the three regions immediately bordering them and you'll be as safe in Ukraine as you'd have been this time last year.

    Crimea's off-limits for foreigners, though.
    #7
  8. Kattzoo

    Kattzoo Adventurer

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    I just returned from Ireland 2 weeks ago and often thought what a perfect place to ride (besides that pesky other lane thing) Enjoy Ireland, the rest of your trip, and the bike.
    #8
  9. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    The natives are treating me well. They seem to like Americans for some explicable reason.

    If I go to Ukraine I would head to Kiev and then Odessa before heading west again.

    thanks,
    Hugh
    #9
  10. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Today was a good day. I got the Guzzi out for a 200 mile ride around the countryside of southern Ireland including part of the Ring of Kerry. The countryside is beautiful but the weather goes from sun to cold and rainy about every 15 minutes. Norway really? Southern Spain was calling me during the cold wet portions of the ride.


    The bike runs well but 4th gear makes a significant amount of noise compared to the other gears. I did confirm that the heated grips work during the cold and wet portions of the ride.


    Four more riders showed up at Motofeirme and I'm currently writing this up sitting around a camp fire while everyone is telling stories of their past and future adventures.


    There are no Guzzi dealers in Ireland but there are two in Cherbourg where I'll be in a few days so I'll be stopping by there to pick up some oil filters and have the bike checked out.
    more photos at http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=102


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  11. istadniy

    istadniy Ivan the Quite OK

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    Romania/Moldova after Odessa, or west through Ukraine?
    The bit of Kiev-Odessa from Kiev almost to Belaya Cerkov (Bila Cerkva) is undergoing repairs now and they won't finish before autumn, so it'd be best not to plan riding it in rush hour traffic (Friday afternoon).

    There's stuff to see a bit off the Kiev-Odessa road. A large and pretty park in Uman, (https://goo.gl/maps/8JvSU), an ex-nuclear launch site / a nuclear weapons museum a bit further down (https://goo.gl/maps/od3ZH).
    There's also the canal town of Vylkovo (Vylkove) not too far from Odessa - built partially on the river itself with canals for streets, houses a small Old Believer community and a nature reserve in the Danube delta, all very close by.
    #11
  12. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Probably west through Romania/Moldova. Still a while away. I haven't even made it to France yet. Thanks for the tips.
    #12
  13. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    Perth West Oz
    Make yourself up a big sticky label - KEEP LEFT and put it in a prominent place in view on the bike. Once you get on the continent you shouldn't need a KEEP RIGHT :rofl

    I've always found the time you get it wrong is at an intersection and especially if you're making a quick turn.
    #13
  14. Dearnla

    Dearnla Been here awhile

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    That's because most of their relatives emigrated to America! Don't forget there's 5 million Irish in Ireland and 15 million in the USA!:rofl
    #14
  15. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    This day got to a late start since we were hanging around the fire till past two in the morning. It didn't seem that late since it doesn't get dark till 11pm.
    The day also started out particularly grey and foreboding so I just hung around Martin's farm till the skies cleared up and then I made my to Cobh which is said to be the last stop of the Titanic. I pointed out that it was the second to last stop of the Titanic to no great acclaim.


    Cobh is a nice enough town but it lacks the charm of Kinsale. The most obvious impressive feature of Cobh is it's Cathedral which I wandered around for a bit. The less obvious impressive feature of Cobh is that it is the second deepest natural port in the world after Sydney.


    In the evening Canadian Mike and Canadian Steve and I did a little tour of the beaches and headed to Kinsale for a little live music.


    Tomorrow I'll be riding to Rosslare to take the ferry to "La Belle France".


    More pics here: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=136


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  16. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 5

    Kinsale -> Rosslare -> Somewhere on the water


    Today I packed up my bike and bid a fond adieu to the crew at Motofeirme.
    I didn't take too many pictures on the ride to Rosslare as I wanted to make sure I didn't miss the Ferry which is about the only mandatory portion of my itinerary. I did have to stop to take a picture of a tall ship since everyone loves tall ships. Well maybe not everyone, but if you don't love tall ships you're probably a communist.


    I made the ferry with a half hour to spare and it's an impressive ship with at least 3 restaurants and as many bars. It also seems to be moving at quite a rapid clip. While the seas are calm you can still feel the swell and I hope my chicken curry doesn't come back up. It didn't taste that good the first time!


    The next update should be from the continent or the bottom of the sea (Probably shouldn't make Titanic jokes before boarding a ship).


    More pics : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=167


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  17. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 6

    Somewhere at Sea to Carentan, France


    I had been hoping to update the blog from the ferry since they advertised fee wifi but the connectin was so slow as to be useless. Other than that and the horrible soccer game the trip to Cherbourg was uneventful.


    Once in Cherbourg I stopped by the first mall I saw to pick up a power adapter and the first person I spoke to other then the customs was a waiter. A rude waiter. Way to live up to the sterotype there buddy. Other than the waiter everyone I've spoken to has been very friendly and helpful.


    I then made my way to the Guzzi dealearship in Carentan where I told them about the my howling 4th gear. There were a lot sad looks and shaking of heads and prophecies of doom. They added some magic liquid to the gearbox which may alleviate the howling. I'm hoping it's the magic spray they use on soccer players that are writhing in pain one moment and hop up like nothing happened the next.


    Carentan is a beautiful town and full of D-Day 70th anniversary displays. It also doesn't rain every 15 minutes is a bit warmer than Ireland.

    Anyway I'm now chowing down on moule-frite while my silly english boots are getting repaired.


    If you're religious feel free to pray for my transmission. If you're not religious feel free to send lawyers, guns, and money.


    Now I'm off to find someplace to camp.


    More pics http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=187


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  18. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 7


    Carentan - Mount Saint Michel - Le Chateu Colombier


    Today was another late start after being up to the wee hours watching Argentina in the World cup match surrounded by folks dressed in Orange. I think I was the only Argentine supporter in the room and managed to mute my enthusiasm until the second blocked goal of the shootout. I was actually a little sad that Holland lost as I plan on being there on Sunday for the final match and I'm sure it would of been quite the party if the won the whole thing.


    The World Cup is now a battle of in-laws. One of my brothers has an Argentinian wife and another has a German wife. Hmm which should I root for? On the one hand I will be visiting my brother in Munich on the other hand yo gusta chori-pan y Quilmes.

    In the morning I decided to head to Mont Saint Michel as it always looked like an interesting place. The island/fortress/town/abbey is very impressive but the crowds almost had me turning around a few minutes after I got there. God I hate tourists (Remember kids hypocrisy isn't just a good idea it's a way of life)! The loaded up the bus from the parking area to the island like a Japanese subway train. It pretty much sucked until all the French school kids started singing a song about being sardines in a can. I stuck with it though and am glad I did because it's a very impressive fortification/village/abbey.


    After Mont St. Michel I started to make my way west until fatigue and hunger made me look for a place to stay for the night and picked out the Chateau de Colombier as a likely spot. I never stayed at a chateau before.
    The bike is still running and with my earplugs in I can barely hear 4th gear. I'm alternating between babying it and riding it like I stole it. The French countryside is quite nice and I set my GPS to avoid all major roads and to take me on the shortest path to my destination which gets me on lots of secondary and tertiary roads. It's certainly not the way to make time but it is the way to see the countryside which is the whole point. These are also the kinds of roads where 4th gear would come in very handy.


    Tomorrow I hope to make my way to Douai where my grandparents and Mother used to live and then it's on to Belgium and Holland.


    I'm trying to setup and appointment with a Guzzi dealer in Amsterdam to look at the bike. I figure if I'm going to be holed up for a few days while the bike is worked on then Amsterdam would be an ideal place for it. I probably wouldn't even notice the time passing. Whatever happens I hope to get the trans torn into before I head north of Oslo. I figure once I head north it's going to be a whole lot of nothing for a long while.


    WARNING to HEATHENS & HERETICS ! Much Catholic content follows. Don't worry though it'll be good for your eternal soul. Unless you're a ginger then you're just screwed, so party on.


    way too many pictures http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=220


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  19. GvG

    GvG Been here awhile

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    Arguably the best Guzzi dealer in the Netherlands is TLM in Nijmegen.
    www.tlm.nl/en/
    #19
  20. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 8

    Le Chateu Colombier - Goeulzin France


    Today I rode more nice country roads and through more picturesque French towns.


    At one point I almost fell asleep going around a turn in some village or other so I stopped for a couple of cups of coffee where I learned I had missed the Tour de France passing through on the previous day. Merde Alors !


    I made it to the village of Goeulzain where I went looking for my Grand parents old house. First I drove directly through the town (which takes about 45 seconds) without spotting it. I remembered that it was near the church so I scanned the horizon and headed toward the spire. I was half way down a small street when I spotted the boulangerie and I knew I was in the right spot. I took a few pictures than made my way to the home of some friends of the family where I was very warmly greeted and provided plenty of nourishment as well as being regaled with stories of my families history.


    Merci Monsier est Madame Willoquec for your hospitiality.


    Another positive development is I received a message from John Brooks from the WildGuzzi motorcycle forums that though no Guzzi dealers could find the time to really check out the bike he did find an independent Guzzi mechanic who was willing to look at the bike and host me if it needed fixing and would take more than a day to do so. How sweet is that!


    More pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=285


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