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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    Day 9



    Goeulzin France - Waterloo Belgium - Venlo Holland


    After leaving Geoulzin I tried to visit yet another old family friend but not having any success I continued making my way east to the location to one of the most tragic events in human history (screw you Wellington you pomey poltroon and theat goes double for you Blucher you Prussian pimple and triple for disabilitating illness (Napoleon spent the battle of Waterloo unconcious laid low by disease which left the Forces of Freedom,Truth, Beauty, and Love under the command of Marshall Ney. History records that Marsahll Ney was an exceptionally brave soldier and also an exceptionallhy bad general. Even so the Forces of Beauty,(etc..) would have overwhelmed the evil redcoats if it hadn't been for those meddling Prussians <Narrator shakes fist in impotent rage then exits stage right weeping>)).


    After shedding a tear over what might have been, I continued heading east. I didn't take many pictures of the Belgium country side because there doesn't seem to be any. So I beat feet to the Holland/Netherlands. A country so nice they named it twice. Or so they say. I'll let you know if it's true though my first impressions are very positive.


    I actually found a reasonably priced campground. So far camping in Europe has been as expensive as a three star hotel in Buenos Aires. They even had a campfire which I got to sit around with half a dozen of my new Dutch friends.


    Tomorrow I'll be heading to Amsterdam to see if I can get something to quiet the voices in my head. I swear if another pop culture goes bouncing my cranium for umpteen hours while I'm riding I'm going to take a flamethrower to the place. Schijt!


    More Pictures http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=325





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    #21
  2. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 10


    Veen Netherlands - Amsterdam Netherlands
    Riding through the Dutch countryside is mostly excellent except for the ludicrously low speed limits. I'm convinced they post these low speed limits so you'll think these postage stamp countries are bigger than they are.


    The good news is I've seen very few cops. The bad news is they have plenty of speed cameras positioned everywhere. I suppose they figure if they're generating their revenue with cameras they can cut down on the manpower. I expect an email from Marin in Ireland any day now letting me know that there has been a bulk delivery of speeding infractions.


    Holland is a very neat and orderly country. With tons of bicycles everywhere. It's disgusting! OTOH I must say the Dutch ladies look quite healthy. It might have something to do with their deviant pedaling lifestyle. Another side effect of all this pedaling is there are no shoulders on the roads making pulling over on the roads to take pictures a bit of a pain.


    Anyway after having my gps routing me in circles for a bit over an hour in Utrecht I finally made my way to Amsterdam. Wow, what a madhouse. No Parking and mad amounts of pedalers and pedestrians everywhere. It was also baking hot while it was so chilly for the last few days that I had been wear my thermal top under my jacket. It was so bad that I was ready to say screw it and programmed the gps to take me to the Guzzi Mechanic in Germany. I finally pulled into an ally and noticed it was lined with hotels. I inquired about pricing and motorcycle parking at a few of them until I found one that had what I thought was an American ex-pat hosting the front desk/bar. Turns out he was a Costa Rican but hey we're all Americans and I can park the bike directly in front of the joint so hopefully it will be there tomorrow.


    Anyways it's time to go find the Little Mermaid. If you're expecting pictures of the infamous dead eyed girls of Amsterdam I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. Not that I wont go have a look. I am boxer and a fighter by trade after all (metaphorically speaking).


    Ugh! There go those voices again. I'll take care of that right quick. Amsterdam is a very aromatic town.


    More Pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=387


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    #22
  3. OscarCharlie

    OscarCharlie Adventurer

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    Thank you for posting; this is an interesting RR. :1drink

    Hopefully, your mechanic in Germany will know how to move his magic wand.

    Looking forward to the rest of your trip!
    #23
  4. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 11


    Amsterdam Holland - Warmsen Germany


    Let get this out of the way first. A few of you have felt the need to point out that the Little Mermaid is not in Amsterdam but in Copenhagen which is not in Amsterdam. Copenhagen is in Denmark which also is not in Amsterdam. I knew this, it's called poetic license and if you don't like you can go read some Byron or Keats. Heck you can piss up a rope for all I care. (poetic license, yeah-yeah that's the ticket).


    I've got to say I failed miserably on the drunken debauchery front. It must have been due to the lack of drunkeness which made the debauchery seem less appealing and was asleep shortly after the World Cup game. Oh what a drag it is growing old. I didn't even do anything about the voices in my head so I guess you're going to be stuck with them too unless you'ld rather read Byron and Keats.


    I made my way out of Amsterdam around 7:30 in the morning and while it smelled aeromatic in the evening the smell in the morning could most kindly be described as pungent. I think a honey wagon down the street has having some probelms.


    Reflecting on Denmark the one thing that struck me the most (besides the weirdness of Amsterdam's Red Light/Reefer district) was all the towns looked relatively new unlike France and parts of Belgium where everything looked like it had been around for a few hundred years. Don't know if I was travelling through newer parts of Holland or if they tore down their old buildings and replaced them with new ones.


    Crossing into Germany the first thing I noticed is that traffic immediately started going about twice as fast. Also all the two lane roads are marked as passing areas about 99% of time the way God intended. This means coming up on a slow moving truck becomes a moment of celebration instead of frustration and the best way to celebrate is to drop it down two gears and pin it weeeeeeeee. Germany seems pretty awesome so far except.....


    So what's this I hear about the Germans being an industrious people. Around 2pm I was feeling a bit peckish so I stopped by the first restaurant I found to find it closed. Same with the next two restaurants. Apparently they only serve lunch from 11am - 1pm and then close till dinner time.. Doesn't seem to industrious to me. This meant I was left with McDonalds as my only option for sustenance. Those Scots, now those are industrious people. They'll slap a McSomething on your tray 18 hours a day 8 days a week.


    I found my way through the German countryside to KMS Mottorad which wasn't at all like what I expected. I was expecting something in an industrial park or town centre and the GPS had me stop at an intersection seemingly in the middle of farm country with nothing that looked like a motocycle shop. I found the place tucked away behind some trees and it appears to be a small slice of Guzzi heaven. The owner Achim Kinderman asked about my travel plans and then took the guzzi out for a test ride. He told me if I headed back to Ireland right now I would make it. Looks like the motor is coming out of the bike tomorrow. When I mentioned the World Cup game he said 'Meh, I was racing all weekend'. I think I came to the right place. Also Achim is letting me stay in his camper and use the shop's facilities while the bike is being worked on so I'll save some money on camping at least. I think this is all part of the Guzzi character people go on about.


    More pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=397


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    #24
  5. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Great photos, good luck with the repairs!
    #25
  6. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 12


    KMS Mottorade Warmsen Germany


    Not much to report today. I mostly hung out around the shop watching my bike being disassembled and trying not to get in the way. Achim's techs took the trans out of the bike and then he took the transmission apart. Fourth gear showed significant wear and pitting so he sourced a new/old one from another Guzzi friend/mechanic of his who does a lot of work on the smaller engines. He also replaced numerous bearings in the transmission and on the bench everything is tight and smooth. Tomorrow his techs will be putting the trans back in the bike.


    Riding up here I had the thought that being a mechanic on Italian motorcycles was probably a job reserved by the state for particularly depressed German engineers. I could just hear Gunther saying "Hey Franz come over here and look at what the Eyetalians did." and then both of them laughing their Teutonic asses off. As it turns out Achim just seems to love Guzzis and Italian cars which may be cause for counseling in itself.


    < Defenders of Italian Engineering can feel free to insert pictures of burnng BMW final drives here >


    As if being a Guzzi nut wasn't nutty enough he also races Guzzi powered sidecars and does so quite successfully with a monkey named Hamster.

    There are supposed to be some hack racing Swedes and a New Zelander coming by tomorrow with a barbecue planned for the evening so depending on when the bike gets back together I may be hanging out for another day. Achim also said he would take me for a ride in his racing hack on the local roads which is an opportunity to good to pass up.


    At one point in the day I went for a bit of walk around the countryside and so I took a lot of pictures of German wheat fields which I'm sure you'll find engrossing.


    More pics: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=448


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    #26
  7. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 13


    KMS Mottorad Warsen & Minden Germany


    The bike was back together late in the morning. First Achim then I took it out for a test ride and everything checked out fine. No more howling 4th gear. Another great development is that the price for the repair dropped ~150 Euros. Achim found a loophole in the German tax laws or more likely he took pity on me when he saw me convert a wheelbarrow full of dollars into a few hundred Euros.


    In order to stay out of the way during the rest of the day while I waited for the rest of the mad sidecar racers to show up for the BBQ I asked Achim about some attractions in the area and he suggested I take a boat ride through the locks in nearby Minden. Apparently it's the largest elevated waterway in Europe where the canal crosses over the wesser river.


    After my 2 hour cruise I picked up a large case of bottled beer and strapped it to the back of the Guzzi. With my keen powers of observation I

    noted that the Germans really liked drinking beer (and vodka, and whiskey, and schnaps, and Jagermeister).


    When I got back to KMS the racing hack as out and Achim took me for quick blast up and down the street. I got a video of this but I think it's going to have to wait till I return before I can post it.


    By this time the other sidecar nuts had shown up and the BBQ was a great success. The high point was a bunch of drunk Germans and a Swede belting out 'Country Roads' by John Denver. I found it particularly amusing that there favorite song is about the area I had come from.


    Achim and Hamster if you're reading this thanks again for your hospitality and efforts getting my bike running correctly. It's definitely a few days which will never be forgotten. Best of luck at the Isle of Mann next year.


    More pics : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=491


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    #27
  8. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 14


    Warmsen Germany - Augustenbork Denmark


    After getting packed up I rolled out as early as the previous nights festivities allowed. It was a beautiful day, the bike is running great and it felt good to be back on the move.


    I stopped for the evening in the small town of Fynshav or maybe it was Augustenbork around 8:05 which was 5 minutes after everything closed. Fortunately a hotdog stand stayed for a few extra minutes to whip me up some grup. The Danes seem to be very fond of hotdogs that are twice as long as the buns as I've seen quite a few of these stands.


    The Danes are also crazy over old American cars ( I hear it's true of all of Scandanavia) and you'll seem more 60s and 70s American Muscle cars in a day then you would in a month back home.


    more pics: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=588


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    #28
  9. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 15
    Augustenbork Denmark - Copenhagen Denmark


    It was another beautiful day on the road. The Germans told me that Denmark was going to be flat and boring. I think they might have been pulling my leg. After getting lost early in the day I didn't make it to Copenhagen until after 6pm. I spent a few frustrating hours trying to find a hotel before giving up and heading to a not so nice campsites outside of town. My opinions of Copenhagen weren't to high at this point so I used the campsite's wifi connection to book a hotel for the following night. This will give me a whole day to give the Little Mermaid her due.


    As far as I can tell there is nothing rotten in the state of Denmark other than my riding gear so I'll probably spend half the day in a laundromat. Mmmmm Laundry.


    (and the other half updating my blog. My kingdom for a fast internet connection!)


    More pictues: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=592



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    #29
  10. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    Great report.
    It's nice to see the pics of the bike in far away places.
    #30
  11. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Thanks Martin. If you happen to run across the guy who sold me my Guzzi say hi to him for me then whack him with your shillelagh.
    #31
  12. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 16


    Copenhagen Denmark


    I'm glad I decided to spend the day in Copenhagen. It's a very nice city and it really seems dedicated to making the lives of its inhabitants pleasant. The city really deserves more than a single day especially when you spend half of that day doing laundry, then napping, then blogging, then more napping but napping mmmm.


    I took yet another boat tour (It seems like I'm spending as much time on boats as my bike when you add in all the ferries) and like the last boat tour my camera battery died halfway through. I should of tried to find a second camera battery while I was here, but naps .


    Still with all the laundry, blogging, and napping I still managed to walk over 12 miles today and got to see a few of the many interesting sites the city has to offer.


    Since my camera battery died before the canal tour got to the Little Mermaid I'll head over there first thing in the morning and then point the Guzzi towards Sweden.


    More Pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=596


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    #32
  13. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 17


    Copenhagen Denmark - Fagerhult Sweden


    I was going to title this post 'Making frineds the Guzzi way' but a better title would be 'Better living through incompetence'.


    I went to pay my respects to the Little Mermaid only to find about a dozen tour buses had beat me to it. I tried to get a picture of her in the brief lapses between groups of tourists crawling all over her.


    Then I made my way across the Oresund bridge to Sweden. Various Germans, Danes, and Norwegians had told me that Sweden was flat and boring but we must not have been talking about the same Sweden (Or maybe I'm easily amused).


    Anyway I was riding down a nice country road when my EFI light came on for about 5 seconds. I'm thinking damn it what's wrong with my bike now! Well the light went out and didn't come back on so I hoped for the best.
    A bit later I spotted a group of sportbikes turn down a side road. It was actually the road my GPS had wanted me to go down but I had missed my turn and so had to make a u-turn to get back on track. It was a really nice twisty road and I thought I should stop and take a few pictures but on the other hand there was a group of sportbikes with a 30 second lead that needed catching. No pictures were taken and the unsuspecting quary was caught in short order. After that bit of fun the sportbikes and I went our seperate ways.


    About 30 miles later I passed a little cafe with a classic American car parked out front and flying an American flag. A hundred yards or so down the road I spotted a nice church and stopped to take a picture. When I tried to restart the bike it started and immediately died. Again I hit the starter and the same thing occurred. After that the bike would just turn over and gave no hint of wanting to start. So I pushed the bike back to the little cafe and started unpacking the bike to see if I could find the problem. Checked the fuses, checked that the plugs were firing, checked for fuel and a vacuum in the tank. No luck.


    At this point the owner of the Mats the owner of the Cafe Ritsy and his neighbor Peter come out to see what the problem is. There is a bike shop in this small town but the owner has just left on vacation for a week so they start making calls to the local gear heads and the local motorcycle racer shows up in his fancy BMW with his pretty girlfriend. He hits the starter button cranks open the throttle and gets the bike fired up to the growing crowds amusement. Anyways after shutting it down and trying to get it fired up again there's obviously a problem since the young racer can't get it fired back up without lots coaxing and clouds of black smoke. When the bike does start up it seems to run fine. So the suggestion is made that bad fuel was probably the culprit. That struck me as unlikely but what the heck any idea is better than no idea. The young racer then heads off and Peter takes me the local gas station to purchase some high test. I come back and with much coaxing get the bike fired up. I ride it about 10 miles up and down the local road and the bike is running great so I head to the local gas station to fill up the tank. Once again the bike refuses to start even with the help of some kindly strangers trying to bump start it. At this point I'm trying to decide if I should trade the bike in for a scooter or just set it on fire. After futzing with the bike for about 20 minutes I finally get it started and head back to the cafe. Since the EFI light isn't on I'm thinking it must be the sparkplugs so I plan on purchasing some the next morning and get a room at the cafe. Which you got to admit is pretty convenient. I then start futzing with the bike some more and I disconnect the wires for my USB port and heated gear from the battery which the young racer had pointed out were coming loose from the crimp and don't you know it the bike starts up immediately! Wooot! I take back all the horrible things I was thinking about the fine engineers at Lake Como.


    Since I had already payed for the room and it was very cheap and very nice I decided to stay. The little Cafe is also chock full of 1950s Americana. I then had dinner with the Cafe owner and Peter's family which Peter graciously payed for. We swapped traveling stories and Peter told me about his charity work in the Ukraine and that the Russians had just shot down an airliner bound for Australia. I've been blissfully unaware of any happenings in the world for the last two weeks.


    Later Peter, his youngest son, their dog Cognac and I all went down to the lake for a swim and I got a guided tour of a small town in Sweden.


    So the moral of this story is that I may be a dumb-ass but I'm having a good time.


    More Pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=649


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    #33
  14. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 18


    Skanes Fagerhult Sweden - Charlottenberg Sweden


    The day started out great with having breakfast at the Ritsy Cafe and having my picture taken for their Facebook page. I said goodbye to Mats and Peter and his family and then headed north to Hillerstorp to take a quick look at Wild Chapparel that Peter had told me about. It's a wild west town in the middle of Sweden with Cowboys, Sioux Indians, and a Mexican Town. It was quite the sight to see so I stopped there for lunch where I had another Swedish pizza. I think if Peter had the chance he would spend his whole vacation here. It was pretty cool seeing all the Cowboys walking about but I didn't come to Europe to relive American history so I left after lunch.


    I then made my way to Jonkoping at the bottom of Vaffern lake where I stopped to take some pictures and my bike again refused to start. I wept. Just kidding, I shook my fist in rage and screamed "You <cesored> Italian bastards I'm going to beat the crap out of everyone of you spaghetti bending <censored><censored><censored>" then I wept. Just kidding, I put the choke on full and applied some throttle like I learned yesterday and got the bike fired up. The bike worked great for the rest of the day including multiple restarts until I pulled into camp and then it wouldn't start again. Arrrrgh!


    I'll try again in the morning.


    More Pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=689


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    #34
  15. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 19


    Charlottenberg Sweden - Trondheim Norway


    I spent last night at a campsight trying to diagnose the problem with my bike. While I found plenty of information on Guzzis with starting issues none of them matched mine. I located a Guzzi dealer only 150 Kilometers away back the way I came and I also located one in Trondheim Norway where I wanted to go.


    After I packed up all my camping gear I hit the magic button and the bike started up immediately. I rode 10 miles west or so into Norway to fill up with gas and the bike again refused to start.


    The bike runs great once it starts and I've now figured out the trick to get it started so I pointed the bike Northwest towards Trondheim.


    The ride to Trondheim was nothing less than beautiful and most of the time it followed a series of lake and streams. I would have stopped to take more pictures but it's hard to take the time to stop and smell the flowers when you're afraid of stopping so I basically rode 150 miles without getting off the bike. Stopped for gas and lunch. Coaxed the bike back to life and rode another 100+ miles again without stopping. This means that most of the pictures are from my Contour Roam helmet cam.


    Once the bike starts it runs great so all in all it was a fabulous ride.


    I stopped by the address of the Guzzi dealer listed on the Moto Guzzi Noway homepage and it appears to be a Honda dealer. They were closed when I got there so I'll go back in the morning to get the full scoop.


    It seems to be the consensus of the Wild Guzzi forum that my valves need adjusting and if so I guess it will confirm beyond any reasonable doubt that I am a dumb-ass and will have to again take back all the horrible things I said about the good folks at Lake Como.


    How can I be a Ravens fan and enjoy eating so much crow?


    BTW at 1:30AM in Trondheim the skies still haven't gotten completely dark. Pretty wild.


    More Pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=737


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    #35
  16. OscarCharlie

    OscarCharlie Adventurer

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    Texas
    Great ride report. Hope your bike troubles get sorted out soon.

    Interesting things happen when you ride a "soulful" machine :D
    #36
  17. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 20



    Trondheim Norway



    I spent the morning trying to find a mechanic to look at my bike. The "Guzzi"/Honda dealer in Trondheim was useless and showed no interest in helping me. He recommended I try the Yamaha dealer. The folks at the counter at the Yamaha dealership were similarly disinclined to help me. I overheard a German moto traveler riding an old Yamaha 400 single talking to one of the mechanics outside and it was obvious the mechanic was very into bikes so I asked where I might find an independent mechanic to work on my bike. He immediately took an interest in my problem and suggested it might be the temperature sensor and sent me off to try and source one while he contacted Guzzi of Norway. I went to a few different shops and auto parts stores without success and when I returned I mentioned that the Wild Guzzi forum thought it might be an issue with the valve adjustment. He said that I could work on my bike there and I could borrow any tools that I needed.



    So I found a Guzzi mechanic but I can't attest to his ability but he works cheap. I did hear him mumble something about "<censored> Guzzis" about 30 times but 29 of those where when I was trying to get the air filter out. I ended up checking the air filter, changing the spark plugs, changing the oil and filter and adjusting 3 of the 4 valves. I think the bike started up with more gusto then usual afterwards but that may just be wishful thinking.


    Tomorrow I'll be going back to the Yamaha to get the throttle bodies synced and if possible clean the connector for the temp sensor.



    If you don't hear from me for a few days it's because I'm back on the road.



    BTW, yesterday I mentioned that the sky was not fully dark at 1:30 in the morning. It's fully light at 3:30 in the morning.



    Sorry I took zero pictures yesterday.
    #37
  18. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 21


    Trondheim Norway - Vik Norway


    First let me answer the question that is at the forefront of everyone's minds. The answer is forty-two. (Note to self double check your work)
    After spending all afternoon on my hands and knees in the unforgiving Nordic sun I passed out around 8pm which is how I found out that it was fully light at 3:30 in the morning. I took a walk around the harbor near my hotel for an hour or so and went back to sleep till 8:30 in the morning. When I pulled into the Yamaha dealership (Ride Trondheim) Torgeir By the head mechanic informed me I was late for work.


    A poster on the WildGuzzi forum said he had the same symptoms as I did and resolved it by cleaning the connectors on then cylinder temp sensor. Torgier proceeded to remove the temp sensor and remarked that it wasn't in there very tight. Examining the threads in the cylinder they appear to have been stripped and previously Lock Tighted into place. Torgier proceeded to clean the sensor and the contacts before wrapping the sensor with some thread tape and putting it back in place. He then synced the throttle bodies. Hopefully the fix on the sensor will hold. We then discussed MotoGP for a bit and I said I was going to visit the Trondheim Cathedral. "To pray for the Italians" he remarked meaning the Guzzi and Valentino Rossi.


    The Trondheim Catheral is very impressive and well worth a visit. No photography is allowed inside though. The Cathedral took over 150 years to build but in truth has never been finished. Legend says that if the Cathedral was ever finished Trondheim would fall into the sea. To prevent this from happening there is a statue of a mason holding a brick in front of a hole in the wall. Or so I'm told, I couldn't find the statue.


    With some trepidation I left Trondheim and started heading north. I took the advice of a Norwegian member of the WildGuzzi forum and made my way to Namsos and started following the coast northwards. The scenery is simply fantastic with roads to match. After hearing horror stories about Norwegian speeding fines I've been trying to keep the Guzzi on a short leash. I swear if I get a $500 speeding ticket for going 3 kph over the limit I'll place the final brick in the Cathedral myself.


    At the first ferry crossing of the day (around 8:30pm) two young bicyclists I had passed a while ago showed up. I noticed they were flying a French and German flag so struck up a conversation. Edgar the Frenchman had written to Bremen from Lyons where he met up with Phillip and both of them cycled up here. We discussed how outrageously expensive Norway is and when they whipped out there cooking gear to boil some noodles I offered to buy them both a ($20) burger and fries. I figured so many people have gone out of their way to help me I would try to pay it forward. They were quite grateful and mentioned it was the first meat they had eaten in over two weeks.


    When I finally pulled into a campsite around 10:30 pm a Norwegian cyclist came over to talk to me about motorcycles. As it turns out his wife/girlfriend's son is a mechanic at the Yamaha dealership in Trondheim. Small world.


    The other news of the day is that the Guzzi started every time on the first try. I could get used to this. I gave the bike a little pat and pep talk each time. Not that I think it will help, but it's a good idea to be nice to machines. It'll only be a short time till they rule the world so we should get used to it.


    I could learn to love my little red Italian tomato but my red lemon makes me want to kill an Irishman. Which would be bad.


    BTW it's 12:30 in the AM as I write this and it's still light enough to read by.


    More Pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=798


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    #38
  19. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Day 22


    Vik Norway – Glomfjord Norway


    The previous day I had confirmed that my Guzzi could go over two hundred miles on a tank of gas so the top priority in the morning was filling up at the first available opportunity. I pulled into the first gas station I came across with a car pulling in a few seconds after me. The car driver said “you first” but the card kiosk wasn’t accepting my MasterCard so I said you go ahead and went inside to prepay. I was informed that MasterCard wasn’t working and they didn’t accept cash for gas. I went back outside and said “MasterCard not working” shrugging my shoulders and the car driver said no problem and started filling up my gas tank on his dime. Nice!


    I rode coastal road 17 up to Horn to catch then next ferry when two Ducati Superbikes showed up. Followed not long after by a Ducati Mulitstrada. It was practically an Italian bike festival and I struck up a conversation with Bjomar and Geir the two superbike riders. We all rode together to then next ferry which was only about 10 miles away. After that ferry we pulled the classic Tortoise and Hare manuver with Bjomar, Geir, and myself traveling at a rather rapid pace to the next ferry about 40 miles away. Half way there we stopped for a nature brake and waved as the Multistrada went by. When we reached the next ferry we where told it was too full and we would have to wait an hour for the next one while the slow moving Multistrada sailed away. Bjomar was not happy! Geir and I found the situation pretty amusing.


    I ended spending the rest of the day riding with Bjomar and Geir. I don’t know how many opportunities you have to fly around the fjords with a couple of competently piloted superbikes from the second best Italian manufacturer but I’ve had one so I chose to take advantage of it. The visibility was pretty poor all day with very low lying grey clouds so it made more sense to make pace while the sun didn’t shine then stop and take countless pictures of grey fjords.


    The other event of note was that while we were on the umpteenth ferry of the day the announcement was made that we had crossed the Arctic Circle. Woot!


    The Guzzi performed admirably today and I believe I adequately upheld the honor of Lake Como and the boys (and girls) back home.


    More Pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=855


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    #39
  20. Roam

    Roam If you want to

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,248
    Location:
    NoVA
    Day 23


    Glomford Norway – Stamsund Norway


    Today was the day we all danced in the land of the midnight sun.
    Bjomar, Geir, and I continued up the coastal road at a leisurely pace to Bodo stopping along the way at the Saltstraumen Natur Preserve to view the worlds largest tidal currents and the whirlpools they create. We ended up catching the 3pm the ferry to Lofoten which I was told I had to visit while I was in Norway. It was a long four hour ferry ride and hopefully the last ferry till I reach Helsinki.


    Bjomar and Geir do even less planning than I do which is why we probably travel so well together. We ended up spending hours trying to find a place to sleep before finding a youth hostel in Stamsund. It was past 10:30 in the evening by that time and it appeared I was going be out of luck as far as getting any sustenance (Bjomar and Geir had the foresight to eat on the ferry. I was saving my appetite for what I hoped would be a high quality restaurant Norwegian meal (whatever that is (probably Norwegian Meatballs) ). Fortunately an elderly gentleman staying at the hostel offerred to share what he had with us which consisted of bread, cheese, butter, and small amount of ham. It was delicious.


    We then made our way to the town bar and sat outside where we made the acquaintancen of quite a number of very intoxicated locals and learned that our hostel was rated the best hostel in the world by National Geographic. Sometimes it pays not to have a plan. We stayed until the 3AM closing (By which time the sky to east was turning a rosy red though it never even got close to getting dark) and then where invited inside for the after party which was much like the before party except it was indoors with the blinds drawn. Much dancing and merriment followed some of which I believe was recorded and dearly hope never makes it to YouTube. It was a very memorable evening.

    Tomorrow I’ll ride with Bjomar and Geir to for a while until they catch a ferry back to the mainland where they’ll start making their way back home and I’ll continue to make my way north.


    The Guzzi is still running in fine form since leaving Trondheim.


    More Pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=882


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    #40