Nordkapp in September, on a '95 BMW F650.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Thijs_B, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Thijs_B

    Thijs_B Keeps on dreaming

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    That floaty bit just north of France
    GPS track:
    [​IMG]


    I have hardly taken any pictures of this day, so there's just going to be lots of text...

    From Geilo I had two choices to get to Oslo, either go east then south following road 7, or go south and then east over road 40. Not really a lot of difference in distance between the both. I took the latter option, I wanted to go south a little bit more and maybe even add a day or two before going to Oslo.

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    A nice church at Uvdal.

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    An angel standing guard at the graveyard.


    The weather was very nice, and I left the main road somewhere in the Numedal to follow a small road west towards the Hadangervidda park. The road quickly became more narrow, and the tarmac was in places horrible and full of holes. It wasn't long though before it ended completely and turned into a dirt road climbing up a mountain (again with toll!).

    Somewhere halfway up that mountain the bike started to make a very loud noise. It sounded like there was a hole in my exhaust of something :huh When I got at the top I checked my exhaust (as far as the bodywork allows) but I couldn't find anything. The noise was definitely there so I suspected maybe a leaky gasket or some small hole just out of sight. There was no change in power or throttle response so I just continued.

    I did not take any pictures of that bit, I was preoccupied with the constant loudness of the engine. The scenery wasn't as exciting as it had been the days before anyway, but it was still very nice. Guess I'm a bit spoiled :evil

    I was so distracted thinking about the engine noise and consequences for my route that I forgot to think about fuel, and the bike suddenly stalled going up another hill. It would normally sputter a bit first, but this time it just switched off instantly. I think this meant a loss of compression (the single 650 is sensitive like that), and also pointed towards a leaky exhaust. I switched the tank to reserve, and luckily no problems to get to the next town.

    Before shutting the engine down at the gas station I had another look at it and noticed one of the spark plugs was vibrating in its socket! I was almost happy to see it. I changed them last week on route 17, and hoped that it vibrated loose and caused the noise and loss of compression. So after refueling I took it out to have a look.

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    Maybe something wrong with the thread?


    I put the old one in (I never throw these away), made sure it was secure, and started the bike. The noise was still there, so definitely the exhaust. Crap.:huh

    I made the decision that this was it. A leaky exhaust isn't that bad, but combined with a sudden loose spark plug was like the bike was telling me I had asked enough of it, and it was time to go home.

    So I entered the fastest route to Oslo in the GPS, and got there somewhere in the afternoon using the (very nice!) route 37 and later the motorways. The spark plug had come a bit loose again. I was fearing for the thread in the cilinder head, so I found the office for the Colorline to book a ticket for the ferry to Kiel to reduce the kilometers left to ride. The ferry would depart in the afternoon the next day, so I would be home the day after that :clap

    I considered finding a workshop to have it checked out, but at that point I was just happy to return home after almost three weeks of constant riding, so I didn't want to risk being told I couldn't ride anymore so 'close' to home :evil If the bike would fail I would just have to rely on my insurance to get me to a garage, but until then I wanted to at least try and make it home on my own effort.

    I rode around the city for a bit, but it was rush hour and traffic was hell. I eventually escaped and found myself a nice spot in some woods south-east of the city.

    This was only the second time I got the camera out that day, I wish I made more during the day...

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    The camping spot, only 50 meters from the road.


    I could have gone deeper in the forest for more shelter from the road, but I didn't want to risk a non-starter in the morning with a cold engine and a lack of compression (it has always been a hard starter anyway). From here I could push it back to the road if that would be necessary.

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    Getting artsy-fartsy with some moss.

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    Lots of mushrooms, it was definitely full on autumn.

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    Like a cup, the holy grail maybe...

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    Getting under the hood.

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    'Shrooms everywhere, looks a bit like an enchanted forest.


    Bart and Jasmin (who I met a week ago) were already in Oslo, and we send some texts back and forth that we would try to meet the next day to catch up!

    Daily achievements:
    350 km travelled in 05:15 with 70 km/h average. Still 970 km away from my own bed!
    #61
  2. Globalone

    Globalone Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Northern England
    Great Report - A trip that is now on the Bucket list - Good luck on getting home :thumb
    #62
  3. Flachlandtiroler

    Flachlandtiroler sincere amateur

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    219
    Location:
    Cloggyland
    Leuk verslag, had van mij wel langer gemogen.Erg mooie foto’s ook!

    Nice RR, too bad it’s almost finished. Some great photos, too!
    Personally I have a love-hate relationship with Norway, really love the roads and the scenery, hate the many ferries and the long, long road to get there from Holland.
    #63
  4. Blund

    Blund n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8
    [​IMG]
    Morning weather
    Hijack:
    This picture is taken at Rv65, in Rindal , 3 km from where I grew up . There are several gravel options around here, none worse than Aursjøvegen, doable with loaded bike. To bad you were there at at a weekday,me and Der Panzerwagen (KTM 990 adventure) and the rest of the guys would be happy to guide you on 80-90% gravel from Trondheim to Aursjøvegen. (Which is a fairytale in it self. Got several pics to tease the public , if interested.) Nice trip , and gutsy so late this year. I went down approx 10 times this sunday, snow . .Studded tires and smaller bike next week.

    I'll try to pay attention if there are other (foreign) ADV-ers in Trondheim area !
    /hijack over
    #64
  5. Simplyred

    Simplyred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    780
    Thank you very much for this wonderful ride report, I've enjoyed it very much and one of your pictures is now saved as background for my computer. You certainly have a gift for photography! I guess we all hope for a positive "Epilogue".
    #65
  6. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,423
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    fantastic RR :clap, not seen many from that part of the world
    #66
  7. redbaron@

    redbaron@ Advrider

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Ankara, Turkiye
    Very good report, by means of shape and content.:clap

    All photos used in report are obviously selected among many:clap

    We were in Norway with my family last month, can not find appropriate word to define the beauty:freak

    Congragulations again for the ride and the report:clap:clap:clap
    #67
  8. SunnyJH

    SunnyJH iADV

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Hallo Thijs, wat een fantastische reis + bericht!

    Thank you for the great ride report :clap

    @Blund: would love to see a few teaser-pics!


    #68
  9. Thijs_B

    Thijs_B Keeps on dreaming

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    That floaty bit just north of France
    Thank you! I personally think other people wanting your pictures as desktop wallpapers is one of the greatest compliments you can get as an amateur photographer :thumb I think I can reveal I got home safe, but you'll have to find out further in the report if this was by bike or on the back of a tow truck...

    The distance is not too bad, if you use the ferry to Kiel you can leave one morning from the NL and wake up in Oslo the next day. A morning's ride later and you're in dreamland :D. The short ferries are not that bad either, they provide a nice break from riding and a chance to meet other bikers (if any). Only the longer ones are a chore, but I've only had 2-3 of those. NO EXCUSES! :D:evil

    I definitely want to go to Norway again, maybe a shorter trip next year or 2014. I want to see some other places I didn't get to this time around, and I'd like to don't have to worry about the weather so much. When I get to that I might sent you a message :evil
    #69
  10. Thijs_B

    Thijs_B Keeps on dreaming

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    That floaty bit just north of France
    Tnx to everyone for reading!

    Only two days left to write about now...

    I'll probably post them both tomorrow, I didn't have time yesterday and today is not gonna work out either.

    Back to the working life :puke1
    #70
  11. V-Twin-Maniac

    V-Twin-Maniac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    256
    Location:
    Germanistan
    [​IMG]
    #71
  12. stefan.

    stefan. Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Great report and pics!

    Must have been cold in the evenings/nights this late in the season, what kind of sleeping bag did you use?
    #72
  13. Thijs_B

    Thijs_B Keeps on dreaming

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    That floaty bit just north of France
    GPS for the day:
    [​IMG]

    I did not have any difficulty to start the bike. It was never rare for it to start after several attempts, but that day it even started on the first go! The loud noise was still there, so it wasn't magically fixed by little trolls...:evil

    That day would be my last in Scandinavia. The ferry would depart in the afternoon, but first I was going to meet Bart and Jasmin in the Frogner park.

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    This weird statue in the Frogner park is easy to find and made for a nice meeting spot.

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    A 'Scandinavian' crow. They all had a white 'coat' compared with the Dutch ones which are pure black.


    I had to wait for them for a while, but it was nice to see them again and catch up. No pictures though, so maybe next time that I'm in Oslo... Then it was time to go to the ferry. I was the only one in the bike lane, and could board first of everyone!

    The crossing was more of a cruise, and was also advertised that way. There was even a multiple-floor shopping street running through the ship, where all inside cabins had a view over.

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    A view over the street, my room is the closest one on the right above the bright parasol.

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    The premium restaurant. It goes without asking I did not have dinner here that night. The 'regular' buffet it was for me.

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    Ooooh shiny!

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    Some might think of it as 'art'. I think the term 'rape' is more appropriate...

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    The Dutch are everywhere!!!​


    The weather was nice, so I went outside to enjoy the sun for a bit.

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    Oslo harbor.


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    I wasn't the only one.


    After enjoying dinner and a nice shower I went outside again to see the sunset, a couple of hours later.

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    The helicopter deck on the back of the ship, no one here because of the wind.
    Panorama stitching is crap on the horizon, but couldn't get the program to get it right somehow...

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    The setting sun made for some sharp shadows.

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    Then the sun set, and it got darker and colder.


    Later that night I went out again, had a walk around the deck. It had gotten very cold and windy, and I could see nothing outside the ship.

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    Had a look at some show they organized on board, but I didn't stay up to see the whole thing. Still had almost 600km of autobahn to go the next day!

    Daily stats:
    Traveled a whooping 30km, with a grand total of 38 minutes riding time, averaging an amazing 46km/h! Distance to home was 970km when the ferry departed, and will be 460km at arrival in Kiel.
    #73
  14. Gravel Seeker

    Gravel Seeker Thomas

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,095
    Location:
    Dreary old Norway, dreaming of adventures past
    Sweet report !
    #74
  15. Thijs_B

    Thijs_B Keeps on dreaming

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    That floaty bit just north of France
    GPS track:
    [​IMG]


    After breakfast I went down to the car deck as soon as it was open. The ship is nice but way, WAY too luxurious for me and I felt really extremely out of place. I just wanted a way to get to Kiel by boat, so I didn’t really need or want a full on cruise.:puke1

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    Only bike there, and I was happy I could strap it down the day before, the ocean got a bit rough through the night.


    Last day of the trip, and I wasn’t looking forward to the ride home over the German autobahn. To make matters worse I started off going in the wrong direction on the highway despite of my GPS. I don’t even know why that happened but it didn’t really cheer me up.

    I was constantly on guard because of the sparkplug, and at the lunch stop at some gas station I saw it was loose again. It didn’t appear to be as bad as when I first found out about it, and because I didn’t want mess up the thread more by forcing it in I left it like it was. Mistake…

    Something like 30km further I was approaching a truck from the rear on the slow lane, and because there was a lot of traffic on the fast lane I reduced throttle to slow down a bit. The moment I changed the throttle position to do so I heard a loud bang from the side of the bike and I instantly lost all power. I knew of course what had happened, grabbed the clutch and steered to the hard shoulder. Crap.:eek1

    Obviously the spark plug had come loose. I found myself removing the side cover and screwing another one in, standing on the hard shoulder (the one that popped out was way too hot to handle). The hard shoulder was only 2 meters wide with heavy traffic rushing by, but that in itself is not the worst of it. Only 10km before, I had seen a truck suddenly breaking out of its lane onto the hard shoulder as if the driver startled awake:huh. If something like that were to happen here I wouldn’t even be able to see it coming since I was ducked down next to the engine, and the pannier was blocking my sight to any oncoming traffic. I’m not easily scared in traffic, but this was definitely one of those ‘I-may-need-new-underwear-soon’ moments.:puke1

    The bike luckily started back up like normal. The thought of getting a tow truck just for safety didn’t even occur to me, there where exactly 299 kilometers to go when this happened and I wouldn’t even have to refuel to be able to get home. No way I was gonna chicken out in the last 300 km after almost 7500 km of riding.:deal

    After crossing the Dutch border I stopped one more time with only 160 km left to go, and fastened the spark plug again. After this and a few sips of water I got going again and did that last bit without any further stops, and keeping the throttle as steady as possible. At that last stop I had also prepared a text on my phone for my family, so I could send it while riding when I entered my hometown.

    Then I got home at last:

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    My family was there the greet me. I made it! :clap


    I could hardly believe the places that I went and the distance I had traveled, it had all been a very surreal experience. Even now, a month after I got back, I don't feel like I actually did all of the above. The photographs and memories are however very real, and I wouldn't trade these in for the world. This trip really was a dream that came true.

    Hopefully there will be plenty more of these to come!:evil

    Day 20 stats:
    690 km travelled, with 90 km/h average in just under 8 hours in the seat.
    #75
  16. Thijs_B

    Thijs_B Keeps on dreaming

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    That floaty bit just north of France
    I explained in the beginning of this RR I like my numbers, and to keep track of them. I didn't go as far as to track the number of buns I ate or something silly like that, but I did try to keep the kilometers and time in the seat (and these are recorded by the TomTom, so it's easy:evil).

    So here is the round up and the overall stats :deal:

    According to the TomTom I traveled 7680 km in total, with 102 hours on the bike, and averaging 75 km/h. This is as exact as the device recorded it. It is not completely accurate; some of the ferries are included in there, and some are not. I also don't know if this number includes the tunnels (where there was no signal), which would also be a significant amount of kilometers missed. And at some days I forgot switch the tracking back on in the morning, so these kilometers and a couple of hours are also not included.

    According to the bike's odometer the grand total was 8132 km. I know my speedo is a bit off, so the same if probably true for the odometer.

    So I think the actual amount is somewhere between these figures. I'll just keep it at 8000 for easy reference.:evil
    #76
  17. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Great report.

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #77
  18. miepiechief

    miepiechief Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Holland
    Fantastische reportage, ik heb er van genoten.

    Fantastic RR, I enjoyed it very much. :clap
    #78
  19. nomadwarmachine

    nomadwarmachine Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Great report! Thanks! What kind of DSLR & lens did you use?
    #79
  20. Thijs_B

    Thijs_B Keeps on dreaming

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    That floaty bit just north of France
    It is a Mammut sleeping bag, don't know exactly which model. It was definitely cold at night, but inside the sleeping bag I was very comfy. Especially later on the trip I felt the cold in the air, but it wasn't as bad as I expected before I left.

    Check this post on page 4 :evil

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments!
    #80