Belgium to Nordkapp, along the Trans Europe Trail Sweden - June 2017. Or, how I learned to start worrying and hate the chainslider. Since I had 2.5 weeks to spare in June and need to work all of July & August, I decided that it was time for a new bike adventure. Somehow I had gotten the urge to do offroading. I had read something about the TET - Trans Europe Trail shortly before. My idea was to combine this with a trip to Nordkapp. I got in touch with the guy from Sweden, and got the preliminary trail, to give feedback on it. My plan was to take the quickest road from Belgium to Malmö, and then only take backroads through Sweden & Finland to Norway. Taking the highway for 2 * 3000km is beyond boring. Taking back-country and unpaved roads is orgasmic! (I should have taken more pictures, in retrospect. But driving is more fun than stopping for pictures!) Now, the only bike I had which could do this was my Yamaha WR250X (supermoto indeed). A bit underpowered for the motorway, but very light & cheap enough that I don't care too much about it. So, time for some knobby tires. I got Continental TKC 80. Size 120/70-17 for the front and 140/80-17 for the back. (Front fits, back as well but there is a little bit of chain bite into the tire.) Time to fit them: This was also the first time that I used my Enduro Star Trail Stand which I had bought years ago. Unfortunately, somehow it broke/bent while putting the front tire back on. Bike fell over and the rear left blinker broke! Adding extra wiring for 12V handlebar socket, and added the rear rack. Added 8mm betonplex (plywood used for concrete pourings), to prevent sagging luggage from touching exhaust, as I had already burnt a hole in the right saddlebag. Zip-ties on purpose, so that they would be the point of failure in case of a nasty tipover. Packing checklist (I lost a couple of pictures with all my packed items neatly spread out, due to SD card corruption. I'm trying to recover them, and add them here later. Thank you automatic backup to Google Photo for not losing everything!) Ready, away I go! I need to refuel every 100km. OEM gas tank. Shortly before Lucasgat (Lucas' hole), I felt some weird staccato vibrations while driving uphill. I decide to check the bike, as I feel something is off. Damn, I spot the problem already, the kickstand is loose. How is that possible? One of the bolts fell out! Damn. I spend some time on my phone locating the nearest Yamaha dealer. I decide to proceed to one around Osnabrück, Germany. At that moment I spot something else! Now I know where the vibrations were coming from! My bag had touched the wheel... Not only had the bag been damaged, but my spare rear tube as well! I can see my wheel from inside my bag! Call it quits and return home? What could I do? I had some string, and an awl in my Victorinox multitool. Let's try to sew a reinforcement that will pull the bag away from the wheel. Let's stiffen the hole with the broken rear tube. Right, this should hold for a while. (It did hold for the whole trip.) Now, to the Yamaha dealer! Arrived there just before closing time, but they were very helpful and got a longer bolt in place. Meanwhile I had a nice view. Oh, what do I see in the back? Let's go over there. HUSKY'S!! Drooling over them, trying to decide whether the sumo or the enduro is the next bike to buy? Until the helpful guy came back telling me the bike was ready. Done and done, ready for more miles. Drove to Hamburg that evening. Next day, decided to go to a Louis store and do some last minute shopping. Got a backpack, extra straps, winter gloves. Though, it seemed all the adventure bikers were at the Polo store, Louis customers mostly had scooters and choppers. Traffic jam all the way to the Puttgarden ferry. Good that I had a Sena bluetooth and could take some work related phone calls in the meantime. Jumped through Denmark, delighted to take the bridge to Sweden. It was already late in the afternoon, so let's do some sight-seeing. Jakriborg: a fake medieval city, not 20 years old! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakriborg Next day, finally time for some offroad! First gravel of the trip! Yay! This would already be illegal in Belgium. So much fun! First of many lakes It's like a mini-Eau Rouge! Race-track like bends in many places. More forest-fun! Most roads in South-Sweden were gravel, but bendy and fun! Official, legal road! In Belgium I would have my bike confiscated in such a scenery. Oh, lots of branches ahead. I've got no experience with this. What should I do? Let's take a running start and use speed to get me over it! Oops. Stuck. Worse than that, the road stops ahead! It's on the GPX-file, but there's only an earth-wall in front of me. After a lot of effort, I was able to turn the bike around and off the branches. Only to be stuck for more than an hour on a mossy hill. Falling. Getting up. Falling more. Getting up more. Heartbeat at 160 for an hour straight. After I'd spent all my energy, and after a long rest, I backtracked and GTFO of there! Would suggest to alter the TET. Can't imagine a 1200GS doing this. Very long, straight gravel road. What's the speed limit here? 70 or 90. Plenty of fun. In the evening, while doing my daily chain greasing, I noticed part of it was shiny. Weird. Knowing the reputation of the WR, I put a new chainslider on the day before I left. Let's check how it's doing. Hmm, can't see too well, but looks worn. Let's take the cover off. (This chain slider has done 1500km in 3 days). Oh shit! This won't hold until Nordkapp and back. Let's try to find a Yamaha dealer and order a spare one. Did so at Umeå. Because tomorrow is the Swedish national holiday, the chain slider will only arrive in 4 days, at the earliest! And it costs double the continental price up here! And why is the sprocket so shiny? No more dirtroads at this point, only motorway. Gotta stay functional. While driving to another Yamaha dealer, in Luleå, it wore through! It's national holiday, most things are closed. I try to do an emergency fix myself. First, need to find the cause of this wear. I see that the chain is not very fluid. Weird, it was OK 6 days ago. The spring preload is at max. Chain tension was according to spec. I was in luck that the Biltema store was open (one of the few) on the national holiday, and they also sold (cheap) 520 chains! Great! It took me 7 hours to not being able to remove the old chain, nor get the new one on. Can't do everything with a Victorinox apparently. I did put epoxy putty on the worn chain slider, hoping it could last a couple of days. I was in luck, through some Facebook messages I got contacted by a very helpful guy from the area who came to pick me and the bike up, and we changed the chain! Wow, thanks so much John! Next day, after the epoxy had hardened, I did some test rides. Also asked the Yamaha dealer in Lulea if they had the part in stock, or could help make an emergency piece. They were less than interested. Wouldn't even take look at my problem. After 2km, it was still holding up: After 10km, it was gone. Back to the drawing board. I put in a rubber piece with a screw. It wears fast, but still functional after 30km. It was gone at 50km... Luckily I had found a farmstay nearby, with lovely cottages. I was hoping I could use some of their tools to make something out of the cutting board I had. (This is taken around midnight by the way, the sun doesn't go down on me!) I was in a lot of luck! The neighbour, Geirmund, was a former machinist, and had a very complete garage workshop. He made me a piece in delrin. (This piece held for 1800km, before it was worn up to the screw and thus fell off!) As this was an emergency repair, I didn't want to risk being stuck, so I waited the 4 days to get the OEM slider as a backup! Wow, finally I could hit some backroads again! By this time, I had lost precious days. So I couldn't do all of TET anymore. But with the "Kurviger" app I found plenty of other backroads which were slightly quicker to destination. Intermezzo: Swedish gas stations are extremely well equipped. Bolts, nuts, rods, spark plugs, Loctite, epoxy. They got it all. Finland Norway Nordkapp I knew it wasn't that special, and that it wasn't even the most northern point (Knivskjellodden). But I hadn't imagined having to stand in line for 10 minutes to get on the parking, let alone see HUNDREDS of campervans. Many Germans and Dutch. Some interesting bikes: Italian on 2-stroke supermoto: Guy on a Vespa, Luxembourg IIRC From Finland to Norway and back, watch out for reindeer! I was checking on my chain slider every 100km, while fueling. At 1600km, it looked like there wasn't much left before it would wear to the screw. Not unexpected, at 1800km, it was gone! No problem, let's put the new OEM one in. Looked good at 30km, and some wear marks at 80km. Hmm, better order an extra one ahead, just to be sure I can reach home again. At 220km it looks just like at 80km. Perhaps I will reach Belgium after all!! Alas, at 300km, it was all gone! (Almost no wear between 80 and 220km, but entirely gone between 220-300km...) I got some deep grooves in the swingarm instead. (On this pic I had already started to put back the old slider, with the screw, so I could fix something to it). I didn't have time nor patience for this anymore. What could I do? I needed to be back in 5 days at the latest. Additionally, shortly before I had started to experience more and stronger vibration from the back. And my right blinkers (LED) suddenly didn't work anymore. Call it quits. I got some quotes to have it shipped to Belgium by truck. 2200€! That's more than I paid for it! How about I leave with someone, and pick it up on a trailer another time... But then I found out that there was the option of taking it from Piteå harbor to Terneuzen harbor, which is close to me, for around 200€! Let's do that! But, then they would need it before 16h00, or it wouldn't happen for 2 weeks. And that's in 50 minutes! Full speed ahead, supermoto cornering, I wore through some more metal getting to the harbor, just as the people were leaving. They were very helpful though and did a lot to help me! Ship loaded with tons of paper and wood pulp for export, and 1 broken motorcycle! I'm taking the plane home. Stockholm looks nice. (The Arlanda airport sucks though. As Stockholm likes to prides itself to be the capital of Scandinavia, they better start making their airport more like Copenhagen's). (Snuck my helmet on board 2 flights, even though it was quite larger than carry-on permitted). Updates when I pick up the bike, and if I can get the packing list pictures back.