Via del Sale - Italian/French alps

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by FoggyLC, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. FoggyLC

    FoggyLC n00b

    Jul 5, 2019
    First report here, so apologise my broken english!

    Last week I thought to go for a popular route in Italy, the Via del Sale. It was a long time I wanted to do it - but never had the opportunity so far.

    Day1. Lake Como - Langhe - Limone Piemonte.
    First day was dedicated to reach the starting point, and hang around in Langhe region. It's a small Tuscany - green hills, vineyard, medieval towns, traffic was non-existant and I enjoyed my adv990 on the road, with few variation on dirts. Wish to come back and explore better, I have the feeling is possible to recreate an easy offroad tour like Tuscany do with the "Eroica".

    Day2. Via del Sale, Monesi, Passo Tanarello, Le Bregue.
    Via del sale is an old military road, all offroad, open for touristic purposes only, and very popular with dirt veichles and cyclists. There's a toll (15euro), and be careful it's not open to vehicles every day.
    It reaches about 2000meters, so it opens only in summer months. Breathtaking view all around the alps, it's a great road to take pictures, enjoy it slowly and with little technical challenges. Fun with a big bike like the adv, surely an overkill to do it with a proper Enduro bike.
    Arriving to the town of Monesi and stopped for an Espresso, I decided to explore the Tanarello pass. I was told it's a bit more challenging - and definetely it is! Narrower path, more rocky, going downhill on that required attention for a touristic rider like me.
    On a narrow turn I lost the front wheel on a rock - and bum! Got the bike on the ground. No big deal - got it back up and start again!
    The GPS track I was following did also a variation on an actual hiking road, just for a few hundreds meter, I throttle the gas more to pass through it. It's so true with the 990, going faster is easier!

    At that point, not sure where, I left Italy and I was in France, following for Le Bregue. The road became easy again, a dusty quick road getting down quickly. That was great - after all the rocky of Tanarello.
    Unfortunately it started raining while I was in France, and I decided to come back through the road instead of doing the offroad Colle de Tende as expected.
    In total, the tour is about 100km, of which about 85 offroad. Great option both for new, and experienced dirt rider chilling out, will definetely do it again, hopefully before end of season.

    Day 3. Le Bregue. Sospel. Monaco. Back home.
    Coming back home, I decided to "stop by" in Monaco, a few years since last time. The road from Le Bregue to Monaco, passing through Sospel, is a couple of passes, and a natural canyon for a while. Very scenic.
    Entering in Monaco was probably a mistake - lot of traffic, touristic buses and 32 degrees! I left as quick as I could.

    Comment on the 990adv, fitted with Pirelli Scorpion STR. This is still an incredible all-rounder. 1200kms, from highways, dirt roads, mountain passes, city traffic, with bags and without. The only moment I felt it was out of his natural area was in the traffic!
    It felt on the ground, and I scratched only the plastic cover for the tank (12 euro to replace).
    I loved the tyres, great on the road and OK offroad too. Tracion on the back was good, the front was a bit challenging and tended to oversteer. Need to check different pressures next time, but for the classic Maxi Enduro bikes they are a great fit.

    Some pictures below - sorry if I shared a few already elsewhere in the forum. IMG_4344.jpg
    View attachment 1769839
  2. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Feb 20, 2007
    Burbank CA
    good start and don't worry about the english....brung it foggy.
  3. willibauer

    willibauer Been here awhile

    Jul 19, 2016
    Germany, wild western woods
    Thanks for posting! At some time i plan to ride some "offroad" with my 1190 too...the area there asks for it.