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Wanderlust, vacation and a V-Strom – heading out to explore Southeast Europe.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Don T, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,259
    Location:
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    28th of July:
    Nürnberg, Germany -– Vordingborg, Denmark – 850 km.

    Early in the day I decided that I wanted to reach home today. The day was mainly spent on the Autobahn. No speed limit is good when you want to cover some distance. To spice the riding up a bit I sometimes did shortcuts on the main roads. I even managed to throw a gravel road into the mix. As I got further north the weather got warmer. The weather has been strange in Europe this summer. It was mid afternoon when I arrived at the port in Puttgarden. From there it was only a 45 minutes ferry crossing and a short ride home. I was greeted in my driveway by a happy girlfriend, a cold beer and a puppy that had grown quite a bit since I last saw it.
    It was good to be home.

    Taking shortcuts from the Autobahn
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lunch break at the cleanest gas station ever! While I was there the lady running the place was washing down the pumps with soap and water - even the tiles around the pumps were spotless.
    [​IMG]

    Almost home

    [​IMG]
    #41
    Shaggie and edd-nor like this.
  2. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,259
    Location:
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    Soon I'll make a "back home" post with facts/stats and other stuff.
    #42
  3. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,259
    Location:
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    Since my girlfriend left for work in the morning I've use the day to get settled in - unpacking, washing clothes, checking mail etc.
    The V-Strom have also been washed and later tonight I'll service it - the bike have done well and deserve some TLC.

    During the trip I covered 6.351 km (3946 miles) and visited 13 countries in the same number of days.
    According to my GPS it took me 86 hours and 40 minutes of riding.

    A list of the countries:
    Germany
    Czech Republic
    Poland
    Slovakia
    Romania
    Serbia
    Montenegro
    Bosnia
    Croatia
    Slovenia
    Italy
    Austria
    - and off cause Denmark.

    Here is a map showing my track. The colors indicate the days stages.
    [​IMG]

    The V-Strom ran flawlessly the entire trip.
    I didn't have to do anything other than add fuel from time to time.
    The bike used 255 liters of fuel during the trip. This gives an average fuel consumption of 24,9 km/l (4.02L/100km - 58.6 US MPG).

    The bike had 51.750 km/32155 miles on the clock when I started the trip.

    Many places in the east I encountered very bad road surfaces. The V-Strom handled them OK but is was often a bumpy ride and several times I could have wished for better suspension.
    I spend much time standing on the pegs - both because of the road conditions but also to stretch my legs and relieve my butt :cry
    The design of the V-Strom is not ideal for a standing riding position. The biggest problem is the shape of the side panels as they gnaws at the lower legs when you want to grip the tank with your knees. Besides that I find the handlebars to be a bit too low when standing. I haven't installed raisers at I like the handlebars position while sitting.

    The above is something I will take into consideration when I replace the V-Strom - maybe next year..?

    The more I ride the V-Strom the more I love its engine. For real world riding I never miss more power (when riding solo). It's smooth at all revs and as the revs increases so does the fun factor. With the Akrapovic exhaust on my bike it sounds awesome. That it doesn't use much fuel unless you pin it is another bonus. I actually believe that this is my all time favorite motorcycle engine.

    If you have any questions after reading this RR just shoot.

    #43
    Shaggie and edd-nor like this.
  4. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,259
    Location:
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    I just discovered that I had hit the bandwidth limit on my free photobucket account resulting in the pictures not showing.
    I've now upgraded my account and the pictures are back.

    Thank you all for showing interest in the RR :norton

    Cheers
    Tonny
    #44
  5. AliveDK

    AliveDK Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,157
    Location:
    Denmark
    1st class RR with superb pictures. Thanks for sharing :clap
    #45
  6. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,451
    Location:
    north vancouver bc
    Good stuff.
    Thank you.
    #46
  7. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,910
    Location:
    west side of the pond
    Very nice trip and report! Thank you!! :clap
    #47
  8. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    Great report and pictures! Looks like a amazing trip you had. I am currently in Budapest and heading to Romania tomorrow to pick up my F800GS near Braslov and touring eastern Europe down into greece and croatia. Would you recommend doing both the transalpina and tranfagarasan as a loop or just chose one and start heading south?
    #48
  9. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Location:
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    Thank you for the positive feedback guys :norton


    Unless you plan to come back to Romania again another time I will recommend that you do both the Transalpine and the Transfagarasan. It's two very different types of roads and both is worth a visit.
    If I was to do both in one day again I would reverse the route I did on this trip.

    If you decide to do only one of them I recommend Transfagarasan. If possible do it a weekday where it is less crowded than in the weekends.

    Ride safe and have a nice trip.
    #49
  10. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
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    4,975
    Location:
    Sometimes in Hillsburrito
    Looks like a very nice trip. We have been thinking about a Eastern Europe trip. This makes me think it needs to be sooner rather than later.

    It's funny, in every other picture, I see the bike and helmet and think to myself, what's my bike doing in Tonny's report? Mine has lower pegs and bar risers, though, so you can stand more comfortably when you need to... :evil

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

    Gustavo
    #50
  11. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

    Joined:
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    Location:
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    It's good to hear from you Gustavo.

    Just after I had done this RR I was contacted by an ADV-inmate from California who was thinking the same as you.
    A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting him. We had a great time riding together, drinking beer, looking at maps and sharing stories before he embarked on his Eastern Europe adventure.

    If you and Lizbeth come to Europe I hope that we can meet up - and if you decide to include Denmark in the trip we would love to host you.

    Say hello to the women in your life from Katrine and me.
    #51
  12. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
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    296
    Location:
    Sutton, England
    Really nice RR and pics. Particularly liked the pics of Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia (is the island pic Primosten?). Tell me, when you went off road in Bosnia did you carry a puncture repair kit and pump? Also, when you wild camped in Bosnia what was your attitude to the potential of mines? Was it a case of if there are no signs then there are no mines?
    Steve
    #52
    Don T likes this.
  13. raisto

    raisto Tiger 800

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Pardubice, Czech Republic
    Great bike, great adventure. Next time you can try Czech and Slovakia. We have beautifull mountains and many other things...
    #53
    Don T likes this.
  14. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    Thank you Steve.

    No pictures from Primosten. I just checked my GPS track, and I can see that I passed through Primosten, but didn't stop for pictures.

    I always carry a tire repair kit with CO2 cartridges under the seat. I've only had to use it ones a few years back, and it worked like a charm. The repair lasted several thousand kilometers without leaking. I know that the wicker/rope type of plugs I'm using are only recommended for emergency repairs, but I wanted to see how good the repair was and how long it lasted.
    I've only had two punctures in more than 25 years and 500.000 kilometers of riding, which is why I've opted for the easier to carry and use C02 cartridges instead of a pump.

    Prior to the trip in 2014 I was in contact with local riders from Balkan regarding the risk of encountering landmines while riding outside the tarmac in the region.
    The consensus was that it was nothing to worry about unless there was warning signs in the area - but off cause there are no guaranties...

    I just checked out you own RR from 2014. I can see that you have already had a snif of Balkan - are you contemplating revisiting the area?

    Tonny
    #54
  15. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

    Joined:
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    Location:
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    It was a great little adventure and the V-Strom performed pretty well - but I haven't regretted that I replaced it with a S10 in 2015.
    I have come to appreciate especially the superior suspension and better ergos of the big beast - features like cruise control and shaft drive adds to the touring capability.

    I have already been to both Czeck and Slovakia a few times. I agree that both countries have much to offer - not least some really nice riding!

    Next month I'll embark on another ride through the region.
    This time the destination will be Greece, where I'm to meet up and ride with a Greek friend for a few days.
    I plan on taking a western route from Denmark to Greece that will take me through Austria and then more or less follow the Adriatic coast the rest of the way.
    On the return trip I'll take a more eastern route through Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia before I reach Czech where I'll be visit a friend before going home.
    #55
    Saso likes this.
  16. raisto

    raisto Tiger 800

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    Location:
    Pardubice, Czech Republic
    Perfect. Good luck :-)
    #56
    Don T likes this.