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NI to Harz Mountains, Germany, on new MT-10
7th Aug 2016
Posted: X Plane 10/11/2017

1st wrote this 2.5k mile 2016 trip up for the Yamaha MT-10 forum. I wrote it in a (I’ll, lol, modestly say) well received manner. Therefore, I thought I’ll rewrite it a bit for here. Here’s some background 1st: I’d already had done about 2500 pre trip miles on this my shinny new Race Blue MT-10 in the preceding 2 months from getting the impressive and deceivingly quick bike; bought in June 2016. It’s fairly long write up about how it toured and the Harz Mts Region.

Day 1 Boat to Scotland & Ride Galloway Hills
Garsdale-Head In Yorkshire Dales

I headed for the midday boat over to Cairnryan in Scotland with Germany as my aim. I was not fully Euro prepped ready yet then but I was sufficiency prepped to leave Northern Ireland, as my new passport had arrived, for this initial head over to Hull via Scotland.

I was for staying at a friends place near Hull first before doing a leap frog off from Hull over to the the foreign speaking lands of The Netherlands and Germany, Europe.

The car ferry from Belfast, N.Ireland to Cairnryan is only a few hours. I then Rode south towards England for my 1st nights B&B accommodation. I rode from the boat down A75 and after Newton Stewart went up over the Scottish Galloway Forest to and thru Corsock (via the great twisty Queensway road) route option to Gretna-Green then on into England. The Queensway Road is a gem ride that misses and pleasantly takes out a section of the A75. The big MT excelled in the hills. Weather was grand. But What a demanding but rewarding road Queensway is if ridden fast. I'd ridden it before on a friends VFR 800 Vtec and on a few times on my MT-09. However, the 10s extra stomp was amazing and me thinking I kind of know the road and had me laughing in my helmet and then a few times it had me going woe woe oh oh oh woe let's hardened that back shock's rebound damping again (back up to standard) before horsing on.

The luggage was not too heavy but the bridges humps etc were lets say entertaining and front tyre wear was not being overly taxed in some places, lol. I was loving the ride. So I thinks let's not get too carried away and not go into the scenery on day 1 of trip. But I really had a opening ball ride with the stomp of the big 10. Well out of the hills and approaching the Lake District where it can and did rain.

I’d not booked anywhere to stay on route to Hull. So after Dinner it was booking dot com search time and Garsdale Head’s Moorcock Inn had a room. It started to rain as I got near the Lake District (surprise surprise) and with the light fading I missed a turn in the Dales and ended up wrong side of the river in Dent and had to ride over the hill to right side of the river in the dark and rain. Gales blowing made that nights riding over the ‘old Coal Road', ummm, ahhh, mnnn, ahh, lets say I am glad that I ridden in Enduros as the washed out gravel and potholes and off cambers etc were tricky enough in the dark, in very windy and wet conditions, but I loved the challenge. Tho time was getting late it was near 11 pm. Sideways rain and heavy winds made locking the bike up in the dark car park a pain and tricky. I got into the pub soaked.

The room at The Moorcock Inn ended up looking like a drying room for a football team, while I slept, lol.

  • Belfast, UK
    366.1 : 227.5 miles 40
  • Castle Douglas DG7 3DW, UK
    183.9 : 114.3 miles 5
  • Town Cottage, Main St, Sedbergh LA10 5BL, UK
    343.7 : 213.6 miles 60
  • 2 Weaving Terrace, Cowgill, Sedbergh LA10 5RJ, UK
    358.3 : 222.6 miles 25
  • Garsdale Head, Sedbergh LA10 5PW, UK
    366.1 : 227.5 miles 40

Day 2 Yorkshire Dales to Hull

By morning, thank goodness, the rain storm had passed. So it was few miles in Hawes for a breakfast fry up.

My destination was Hull via York bypass to a friends place close to Hull. Plan was to stay there for a few days to get the bike and me fully prepped, modded, tested and purchase new tent, sleeping bag and a roll mat in Hull.

On trips I Have learnt to stop, eat, toilet stop and take pictures and I just did all of those things at various different times in the day on the way down. After Hawes I rode to Kettlewell and passed rock climbers on over hanging cliffs down to emegered out at (impressive) Bolton Abbey. I then headed to but bypassed York, I’d been in York last year, I arrived in at my mates place near Hull mid afternoon just 10 minutes or so after my new Tank-bag had arrived there. I had ordered in NI, for the iPad, so it was awesome it arrived ahead of me. So of course we fitted the tankbag and of course I had to try out the iPad with charger and the SatNav CoPilot App. After tucking the tank-bags front magnets in as they were not being used as I used the tankbags front straps threw the little slots in plastic shrouds at the front panel of the petrol tank all was good, so I thought, until we tested out the iPads compass unit out of and inside the tankbag. Inside the tankbag the compass went haywire gaga and read wrong. Culprit was The folded in magnetics strap which were then removed from their strap pockets as when folded into the bag they affected the compass in the iPad. The SatNav uses the compass direction to speed up and quicken the navigation and messaging etc. All was ok so it was time to go buy a new tent and a sleeping bag etc.

Note: All (cellular mobile sim) iPads have GPS chip in them like and iPhone so my iPad was able to use the no data App CoPliot as my SatNav. I downloaded the Europe maps option.

  • Garsdale Head, Sedbergh LA10 5PW, UK
    212.9 : 132.3 miles 46
  • The Bee Lyne, Main St, Hawes DL8 3QW, UK
    9.9 : 6.2 miles 12
  • 2 Pennine Way, Malham, Skipton BD23, UK
    48.7 : 30.3 miles 60
  • Skipton BD23 6JP, UK
    85.2 : 52.9 miles 43
  • Kexby, York YO41 5LG, UK
    155.5 : 96.6 miles 53
  • Hull, UK
    212.9 : 132.3 miles 46

Day 3 Hangover Nursing
Stayed put in Hull

This involved nursing a still hangover, but as it was a no biking morning so it was grand. And the multitude of the home made pizzas (from the still warm wood fired pizza oven in my mates back garden) still required some more digestion time. Oh oh and some more home made produce eating and CoPilot map down loading and not forgetting suspension readjustment fiddles.

Then it was test the iPad SatNav CoPliot set up into new Tankbag. Omg, headphones, bad idea, the helmet pushed them into ears which was big girl painful stuff, really they were soo painful as to be unusable. So off to Maplins shop in Hull for some helmet speaks. Wow, now we were (or iPad was) whistling great guns now, all good with the helmet speakers fitted and all was A1, in 500 yards, good, lol.

Yeah the whole iPad CoPilot App all worked well and it was now well tested real well too. Now all I had to do was to buy European RAC breakdown cover and then book a boat over to EuroPort, Rotterdam.

Day 4 Chilled in the Sunshine
Hull To Hull ??

This was a kind of chil out day - due to garden party, wiring in an extra 12V power socket under the seat and alcohol intake, lol.

I did take all of 5 minutes out to check the auto chain Oiler.

Day 5 Boat to EuroPort

Went a bought tent in Hull. Booked boat. Bought RAC Euro Breakdown Cover. And headed off to get Got evening overnight zzzzz’s sailing from Hull to Europort.

Day 6 Arnhem & Amsterdam

I got off the boat and I rode to Aherham, from ‘A Bridge too far' WWII fame, then onto a waters edge campsite near Amsterdam. Parked the Yam beside an old GoldWing; which made the MT-10 look tiny but futuristic.

Pitched up the new tent for first time, easy enough.

The Yamaha was superb and the iPad SatNav also worked brilliantly. Although, I am not so sure if its accent or pronunciation of the street names was 100%, good enough tho.

  • 3198 Europoort Rotterdam, Netherlands
    251.6 : 156.3 miles 48
  • Arnhem, Croydonplein, 6831 EL Arnhem, Netherlands
    139.5 : 86.7 miles 28
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
    251.6 : 156.3 miles 48

Day 7 North over 20 Mile long Bridge aka Dyke

Foggy start me not the weather, I kid, but this was only going to be a under 100 mile day not a mammoth all day on the sweet running MT-10. I knew I'd Not too far to ride north today. Anyhow, an easy days ride was great. Rode that 20 or so mile long dyke bridge A7 up northward to a really nice and very good campsite at Harlingen.

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
    138.7 : 86.2 miles 23
  • 1154 Uitdam, Netherlands
    17.1 : 10.6 miles 30
  • Zwaagdijk Oost, Van Diepen, 1683 NP Zwaagdijk, Netherlands
    60.3 : 37.5 miles 18
  • 1693 Wervershoof, Netherlands
    63.3 : 39.3 miles 23
  • 1771 Wieringerwerf, Netherlands
    73.7 : 45.8 miles 35
  • Harlingen, Netherlands
    138.7 : 86.2 miles 23

Day 8 into Germany to Bremen
Into North Germany

Woke and as I unzipped the tent to emerge I discovered a German guy laying right inbelow underneath my bike. He was laying down to see where and how the chain Oiler feed tube went on, lol. Great guy as it turned out.

The weather was 100% as clear as bell and great temperature, me was good too and good to do some miles heading south east down into Breman, Germany.

Upon unpacking tent I found I had a broken fibreglass bendy tent pole, bummer, but (or butt) wait those tents come with a prepared outer metal tube sleeve to go over and support the breakage for this common break point at joints.

Germans loved the MT and many of them checked that the bike had 4 cylinders, lol.

  • Harlingen, Netherlands
    296.2 : 184.1 miles 12
  • 26316 Varel, Germany
    218 : 135.5 miles 17
  • Bremen, Germany
    296.2 : 184.1 miles 12

Day 9 into Harz Mountains Region
Bad Grund

Headed off to camping shop in Bremen to get new pole before heading for to lakeside campsite above Bad Lauterburg. Got new longer section of pole for free from nice camping shop folk.

Rode kind of ok stuff to Bad Lauterburg where the good roads and mountain roads start.

Got into remote Spooky looking but fantastic campsite up in hillside forest area beside a big lake / reservoir that misted up in the morning.

  • Bremen, Germany
    265.9 : 165.2 miles 17
  • Nordertor, 31582 Nienburg/Weser, Germany
    79 : 49.1 miles 11
  • 31008 Elze, Germany
    160.2 : 99.5 miles 29
  • 37154 Northeim, Germany
    224.1 : 139.2 miles 32
  • 37434 Gieboldehausen, Germany
    245.5 : 152.5 miles 56
  • Bad Lauterberg, Germany
    265.9 : 165.2 miles 17

Day 10 into Bad Grund
Bad Grund

Omg, best roads, roads to biking nirvana.... So now I was into the very good roads in upper Harz and onto nice little Bad Grund Town where the roads are superb.

There is a variety of different road types here for all kinds of bikes and roads just made for the MT-10 or maybe the mighty 10 was made for there.... Great MT riding, touring, STD and or A mode singing on. The Rear S21 was showing its better feel than original S20, especially as it never flinched even with over 9000 rpm 10 power pushing it when it was on it side, mega.

Some extra (or extraterrestrial) info background on Bad Grund. I went to Bad Grund because of a Hotel with English biking owners that run guided ride outs round the Harz region. They still run ride outs there but now it is now owned and run by Austrian biking couple, who are English speaking. So I'd been emailing the hotel on route via Holland to get a room and the replies kept saying to phone; which a) I did not really wanting to do, and b) as I had a tent I was not really bothered about staying there. Although, I did want to see the Hotel and place just in case I could use it later and may be bring friends along to it next year. So a pop in was on the cards...

So, I arrive in Bad Grund and the MT and I with CoPilot's help locate the Hotel, it's definitely the right hotel for sure as it's called 'Biker Hotel', lol, and there is bike stuff everywhere. It's mid afternoon and I tell the MT to wait outside for me and I go in. I open up the 2nd inner squeaky creaky entrance door into a deserted looking reception bar room, but I see a guy behind a far off desk doing some paperwork. So I approach the desk and I ask this dude can I stay here and the answer in typical efficient English is 'No, Hotel space full'.... I say 'Ok, not a problem, where can I camp tho?' He points up to the heavens and says 'up, up, up, up, up... nice people'.

Mnn, the last ‘nice people’ bit had me pondering why did he say that!... Anyhow So, Off I goes up, up, up (up the back road of the mountain) and omg then there's a great big TeePee WigWan tent thingy at the entrance, so I guess I am at the campsite, lol.

I ride down a very noisy gravel path to a cabin and a 70 to 80 year old guy appears through the trees, who I kid you not, looks like he's the great great not so great grandson of Count Dracula himself. He stops beside me, looks at me and does not speak a single word, so I say, pardon, I speak no German - do you speak English. To which He slowly raises up a hand showing me a tiny small air gap between his thumb and his forefinger, which I take to mean as a little, omg this is something else, I say and guester a tent, two nights. He bends a forefinger and signalling and beckons me to follow him, I do so, he leads me round the cabin and shows me a mega beautiful field over looking the forest and valley below. I thumbs up at him and he then says 'mother make paperwork'.

Mother, he about 70 so I am thinking are my tent pegs metal or wooden ones just incase I need a wooden stake quick. Omg, omg now, now remember he appeared to be about 80 years old, even with his long jet black (dyed) hair, so what age is mother. He then plucks out a cell mobile phone out of his hat and phones up his mammy as we heading back over to the MT. He then stands with me till mother arrives. Omg, then he starts to telling her, in Transalvainian I think - definitely not in German, that I want 2 nights one tent and that he has showed me the wonder field etc. To which she completely dismisses him with a deep growl grunt and beckons to me to follow her round the other side of the cabin, towards the same field no doubt. The guy looks like he is going to show his vangs and bite her in the neck or me, I again think metal or wooden tent pegs and think do I have any garlic, but I gesture to him with hand patting down that it's ok it's ok and he began to pretend to strangle choke her, behind her back tho, lol. I mime 'she da Boss' and he runs a flat blade like hand across his throat, omg. It was an amazingly friendly fantastic wonderful place to camp.

I cannot over stress how good those lovely ‘nice people’ were. The owners, once passed the initial kind of scary looks stuff, were all absolutely totally fantastic. I stayed for four nights there in all. On night it rained and they skilfully and subtlety waited on me emerging from my tent in the morning to see if I was dry. I thumbs up to them that all was good. If I'd have been soaked or wet they would have had me into a caravan for sure, magic wonderful folk 'nice people', now I know why the hotel dude said 'nice people'.

So I put my tent up and then I went back down, down, down to the biking Hotel, to say thanks, and, for more info on nearest fuel, bank cash machines and lunch snack place etc etc. More on the Hotel man reactions maybe later.

Then I was back up up up and out that best road ever, now with no panniers, as they were in the tent, and me in a I'm actually here mode and in a far more sporty riding mood mode, the MT was wheeling out of some of the bends, thank goodness for its steering damper, and its great handling.

Wow, the Road into Claushal-Zellerfeld is mega mega top notch. Bends drawn by an engineers compass and up down hills and round the forest like a selectric race track. And the town (now make a loud whistle noise) is totally marvellous, loved it, love it. Then some great dinning and back to Bad Grund without garlic, yep back along that awesome biking dream road, again, this time in Tc1 and A mode the MT was on fire brilliant the sides on the Tyres were gripping and balling up on that ride, wow, wow, great fun, its biking holiday magic.

I Zzz’s sleep like a baby in my tent and no puncture Mark's in my neck the next morning was a big bonus ;-)

  • Bad Lauterberg, Germany
    87.5 : 54.4 miles 48
  • Braunlage, Germany
    18.3 : 11.4 miles 21
  • Altenau, Germany
    38.5 : 23.9 miles 43
  • Goslar, Germany
    58.4 : 36.3 miles 12
  • Bad Grund, 37539 Bad Grund (Harz), Germany
    87.5 : 54.4 miles 48

Day 11 Highest Spot in Harz Mts

I headed for some near by ski resorts and the highest point in Northern Germany and Rosstrauppe mountain walk. Roads to all were fantastic with a few all year round stuffed witches here and there watching over ya.

I'd researched some more things to see and do and saw that the NordHaussen concentration camp 'Dora' was not far away and as this was where the Nazis had V1 and V2 rockets built in miles of underground mine tunnels that had been sealed up for over fifty years after WWII, I just had to visit that. And as guided Tours into the recently opened tunnels were on I decided that is where I'd be heading in the morning. So I rode back via good roads up passed the highest point in N.Germany thinking wow this is class biking vacation spot and I love the Bad Grund campsite.

Day 12 Mittelbau-Dora Nazi Concentration V2 Site
WWII Underground V1 & V2 Rocket Site Concentration Camp Museum

I was up at first and I mean first light visible through the tent’s fabric. I pushed the bike a little so to not waken the whole campsite and off I rode off towards the WWII V1 / V2 rocket site Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp at NordHaussen. I aimed to be there for the 11 am guided tours into the mountain underground’s tunnels.

There are parts such as rocket motors for V2s still intact there.

Wow, wow, wow.... wow how lucky we are. I will say not too much at this point. Phew., tho. The ride after Dora was omg how lucky we are how god dam luckily by and from the efforts of our ancestors how lucky we are and owe them so much. Best not waste the almost totally lost freedoms that were fought so hard for and gotten back for us, I thought, Ride on lucky lucky me / us...

  • Bad Grund (Harz), Germany
    151.6 : 94.2 miles 52
  • 37441 Bad Sachsa, Germany
    43.4 : 27.0 miles 37
  • 37441 Bad Sachsa, Germany
    43.4 : 27.0 miles 37
  • Nordhausen, Germany
    72.5 : 45.0 miles 16
  • Ellrich, Germany
    89.5 : 55.6 miles 39
  • 37444 Sankt Andreasberg, Germany
    120 : 74.6 miles 17
  • Bad Grund, 37539 Bad Grund (Harz), Germany
    151.6 : 94.2 miles 52

Day 13 Take time to make a kids day day

Today was realisation day as I needed to begin thoughts on heading back home to the U.K. soon or i'll be facing displeasurable actions from my employer, lol.

And with messages and thoughts of everyone at home beginning to filter though and factor in I knew that the turn-round-point would have to be done in the next day or so. So with a last chance salon type of approach I knew I'd wanna push on on the good mountain roads one more time. I had a ball so far and wanted to reach turn-round-point at the peak of discovering the handling abilities of the Yam.

So parking up the WWII horror scenes seen previously to one side and with the ever trusty MT awaiting on me, sitting there in the campsite willing as ever to take me wherever we desired at whatever rate we could muster up and deem suitable. I decide that one more real final spirited ride along the mega biking road outta Bad Grund to visit Clausthal-Zellerfeld University would be on the cards and would be the order of the morning. Then afterwards I'd be having to think about covering biggish mileage back towards the UK.

What chance encounter was about to unfold later on in the day was a big moment to well remember.

So I fired up the MT and the grumble emitting around the quite campsite as I and the bike get switched into a Mode A and as we're confident we go for and into TC 1 as the setup for the mega road ahead that by now I know all of it's best bits of. He ha. The combination of up hill bends cresting over the top of hills and then continuing to run down into the dips with equally impressive bends in the bottom of them the road a bit like a roller coaster ride if ridden (let's say) really briskly.

So off I go thinking I've got to ride this road right or at least ride it as best as I can. Off I go trying to be fast and smooth to get the tyres heated up and the Yam is communicating away to me saying that I can go and try even harder. So I obey the Yam and lets say within a few miles the rear tyre was power sliding a bit in the 2nd gear roll ons out around and in the tighter U bends. Of course I could have ridden the same bends in 3rd, 4th or even 5th gear on the big 10 and I would have still had fun. However, as we all learn everyday today I was learning that the mighty 10 can wheelie out of corners all morning long and that the steering damper will save ya when the wheel comes back down in the entrance of the next turns.

The steering damper is priceless, I guess that's why there is a check light on the dash to test its operation every switch on. I reckon that the 10 would be a real twitchy hairy beast without the steering damper it's worth its weight in gold. He-ha may have been the noises emitting from me on that run...

So anyhow, I head back into the town for some lunch and what almost did not unfold was a fantastic part of this trip.

So Bear with me.

I had just finished lunch outside at a cafe sitting next to the bike (nice) and I am getting ready to head off and just as I am pulling my helmet on and a German lady walking by speaks (in German of course) over at me. I think is she complaining that my bike is on the footpath and I almost continued to pull down my helmet on down and and start the bike up to ride off. However, I look over at her and look her straight in the eye and I think no let's communicate and lets just see what is what here. So I stop pulling my helmet down and I say 'pardon sorry I don't speak German, do you speak English' to which she worriedly looked over to her husband and said to me and to him in English 'let's just leave it this will make this too hard too difficult. At this point I am seeing a teenager that her husband is pushing in a wheel chair and just as they are all about to continue on their way; I speak looking her in the eye and beckoning to her, 'no, no, no, no stop your English is fine and so much better than my German look we can work this out just tell, just tell me tell me what, what is it?' I said removing my helmet completely and gesturing towards them to come over come on; I have now guessed that this is a positive bike related thing and to all do with the young guy in the wheel chair. So basically they were asking me 'can we put him up onto sit on top of your motorbike?', to which I immediately say yes. I step of the bike and click the bike into 1st gear as I move back, I lifted my iPad and I said 'ok, you guys go for it, it's all his'.

Omg, the little guy had metal type braces on each lower leg and he had a slight speech impediment.

They lifted him out of his wheelchair up onto the Yam and he begins to smile and beam like a brand new lighthouse with such delight. I kick and clicked the Yam up into neutral and I stick the key in to the ignition and I show him and her how to start up the bike, they encourage him in German and we get him to start up the cross-plane (or should I say X Plane) motor up.

Boys a boy I am not sure who got the most outta this experience but it really was a very special moment to get him to rev and I mean Rev the Yam up.

At this point I look at his delight and slight fear of the Yam and I think I am the luckiest guy in the world as I've got this bike on this holiday in this place and this lad is as happy as me just to sit on my bike.

I appreciate my luck and I think that the guy will never be able to ride or experience the magic of riding as even if robotic legs were developed for him they and authorities will never allow him to have a license to ride with his slight mental impairments etc. Wow, I took a few pics and they lift him back off the Yam back back into his wheel chair. They get him to thank me and they tell me about a good road up to the highest point in northern Germany. And I think so far that this is the absolute best moment of my whole brilliant trip and boy oh boy the normally duller part of planning your ride back home now suddenly seemed to have became one of how lucky my life is moments and how I am now going to now enjoy every millimetre and second due to this.

The ride back to pack up my tent was well out of A Mode style and it was still absolutely great.

Day 14 last day in Harz
Outta Harz towards Holland

Chausthal-Zellerfeld recap and I think I is heading back time to head back to now tent after the little German disabled teenage was on my bike reving her up. So my spin back was not the ride as hard as I could go that I done the day before. Even tho it well back it was however back down the super curved awesome bendy magic road towards Bad Grund. I decided 2 or 3 clicks back from my best efforts, I.e about 60 to 70 % or well under 9000 rpm, was the Happy order of the day.

So a flowing ride as opposed to the hard acceleration the then hard on the brakes runs of the previous day. I knew the holiday was at turn round point and especially after WWII sights and the disabled German kid I knew I had to and would even enjoy straight roads at even 2 miles an hour as it stuck with me that that kid will never ride a bike. And here was me the day before trying to figure could an S21 hold on powering round the long hairpin bend in 2nd gear or third gear. So even fourth gear was going be fine on this ride; a besides is 1000cc not as gear dependant as a 600 cc sports bike. Third was actually the best drive round the corner but 2nd had the MT lifting its front wheel on exit and had me thinking can I get away with this and boy oh boy that was on point I thought a Quickshifter would be having me still holding on put up a gear to prolong the wheelie, nuts I know, but we are talking -10 here. Anyhow, the flowing ride was still brisk as my brain began to think right get into tent with iPad and look at possible routes back towards Rotterdam for the mornings ride off.

Day 15 Turn around point for home leg
Osnabruck Near German Dutch Border

Bit of a tiny bummer as it had rained over night, dislike packing away a wet tent, so took a while to dry out tent pack up and head west out of Harz Mountains with a satisfaction that I'd not wrecked anything or been locked up during the previous use of Harz Mountains as test track to see what the 10 was in biking Heaven roads. So I was back into Tour mode i.e. all luggage back on and eat some miles while keeping license. I must admit there was a mobile tripod mounted speed camera flashed at me in Holland but i was going easy enough I thought and it was on my way out of a town and I think the guy was after folk not slowing on way into town as opposed to speeding up slightly on way out off town. So I'd had my ball and was Mode and mind set changing to enjoy the homeward journey too. So with a campsite near the Dutch Netherlands border in mind off I went. Let's just say Harz Region was great and the westerly more industrial Germany was a different ball game. However, some descent roads before the more mundane big city guff to come was grand.

So I was back on the / da (da, for da German speakers) road on da / the mighty Mt-10 running super sweet on route back home via Amsterdam again; albeit by a totally different more mundane yucky type route. I call these parts of touring trips as the 'goings there' or 'returning's home' bits, i.e. they are like 'living on the road' sections. You fuel up your bike and yourself and head off and make progress in a certain roughly planned direction. Most Variations and any wrong turns are always good as long as they are still in your general right direction. When these get you there or return you back parts of a trip are on the European continent then they are (and especially if you are traveling on your own) far more challenging and therefore I believe far more rewarding to due to the language barriers and foreign, cultural and brilliant experiences etc. Oh and the riding on the wrong side of the road thing and going anticlockwise round roundabouts is initially fairly weird but then that quickly becomes second or third gear and or second nature.

So I was now heading for Osnabruck; all I can say is that the campsite was grand but the industrial nature of the whole place was a reality check contrast after the holiday vacation location holiday feel of the Harz Mountains. Even the petrol gas stations felt more inner city if you know what I mean. I did not want to wonder too far away from the might 10 for too long as it was attracting some serious attention. I could see it from the restaurant so all was ok. It would probably have be grand but it was a feeling of let’s not be there after dark. So off to the campsite and tent up again. I could now erect this tent drunk and or blindfolded, not that I tried that, lol, but 15 tent pegs and x amount of minutes later and hey presto its up again and I am thinking proper dinner back in town.

A check of the bike and all is good, tyres still legal, chain ok and oiler working perfect and engine oil grand and fuel cap hinge not worn out yet, lol. The Yam was being sublime I was glad of the big screen, cruise control and that iPad Sat Nav CoPilot app with the helmet speakers. I just needed a Kong foo app just in case the locals were as aggressive as they looked; lucky (for them, lol) that was not the case. Back to tent, ear plugs in and perfected sleeping bag insertion for Zzzzzs…

Day 16 back into The Netherlands

Mid day sees me leave Osnabrück heading towards Amsterdam and back over across the virtually invisible German Dutch border, though you can see the old road and a disused border hut, into the Netherlands now going back towards the Amsterdam campsite that I had stayed at on outward leg. So this was me now in the last legs of the continental part of my trip. With just average biking grey type miles to truck thru there is not too much to say here on this bit of da journey apart from the temperatures were on the up and up and up.

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On the ride in to the campsite on the outskirts of Amsterdam I noticed that the water levels in the roadside dykes was well up and was spilling over the roads in places. And on entering the campsite the owner remembers me and tells me to pitch anywhere I can find that is not flooded as for the past 4 days it had been real heavy rain and floods but now it was sun sun sun and warm warm warm, I, yes I, me, I me is real lucky. It was dog keel over warm.

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So tent up on dry patch, wash da socks time then would off into town to meet ex work colleagues friends for eats and to pass thru weed filled café atmospheres again with some internet time to get a boat booked for the next evening sailing from Rotterdam to Hull U.K.

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Day 17 to EuroPort for the Boat to Hull

So now after more than 2 weeks away from Belfast and work and 11 days and nights camping on the continent it sure was time for hello to a real bed and as it becoming too warm on the continent I’d judged it about right to be heading for the boat to back the U.K. However, as I’d never been in The Hague (the home of the U.N.’s International Court of Justice) I plotted my route to EuroPort to go into and go thru The Hague a boy what a surprize The Hague was. I wasn’t sure if I was riding into New York (not that I’ve been to da big Apple) or Sydney (which I have been too) sky scrapers (well small ones) and a real busy business like feel with a holiday weather touristy old parts feel to it too with a modern city feel it was an real eye opener.

No time to stop though but one could still get the positive vibes or maybe that was just still me on and in vacation mode.

The rustic charms of Austrian - Romanian (or Count Transylvanian) run campsite in da Harz Mountains seemed to be far more than one billion miles or light years away now; boys a boys (and girls) I did like that initially weird but super nice people campsite at Bad Grund; where garlic and wooden stakes were not needed after all, lol. So onwards and onwards it was and thru the now well over 30 degrees soring Celsius heat wave. The big yam’s fans were kicking in lots in the slow moving city traffic but it was worth it to see The Hague close up. I stopped and thru off my jacket off into the top box it was that warm and me needs drinkie poos liquid, I thought, nout / nothing to do with Amsterdam beers though.

Now heading out of The Hague it was that ride for a boat feeling that I love and I mean love. When I ride a bike to and up onto a boat I become a different person as I’m a) either going on holiday, bye bye work or b) have completed one of my trips or a leg of a trip anyhow I love riding to get a boat. The best I can describe it as is as a sense of freedom and or accomplishment. Anyhow, the lure of proper bed in a cabin on the boats was another added attraction as 11 days of tent up tent down was enough but a cracker adventure. The CoPilot sat nav had its only wobbler but it was due to road works and I had the sense to ignore its ramblings until it worked out all was good heading for the boat on a beautiful evening’s weather on a MT-10; was is top drawer stuff. I made it to the Rotterdam to Hull boat it good time, so up on, bike tied up, beers and into amazing bed, all intact, for big Zzzz zzzz zzzz zzz.

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Day 18 Return to U.K.

I was up early for a super fill-your-boots type breakfast on da boat. Nom, nom.

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Arrived into Hull Port at around 7 am and head of for a whole massive 8 mile long ride back again to my real good friend’s house outside Hull for coffee and to wash the bike and stay there for the night.

Amazing what is not to like, still on holiday and safely back to mainland England with Scotland and another boat to N.Ireland still to come. So the holiday trip was not done yet as there still was some more fast riding and even more colder camping still ahead up north in chillier England.

Day 19 Keilder and R1 Fan

So arriving a night at what I call my mates pit stop, launch pad, hop-off point place he has already got the bike washing kit out and the coffee on, top man. I could not have done this trip as well without his help, his place, his skills he built my pannier bag support bar, his encouragement and his total generosity. So I thought I better buy him lunch, lol, and help him change the diff oil in his car. So with that done and the Yamaha washing done and it revealed that the back wheel was still blue below the thousands of miles of chain oil but none on the tyre i.e. the Tutoro chain oiler was fantastic, it was time to garage the bike and get beers and light the wood fired pizza oven lite. It's at this point that I realise that the iPad SatNav CoPilot App was now not needed anymore as I know I'd get back to Belfast without it, but I kind of liked it and the music playing on the iPad too, it was brilliant as was the tank bag for it. But now it was head north time via Lake District or Keilder Forest was still a decision I was mulling and I opted for the later due to weather.

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Well after the days ride up north and on arriving into the handy campsite just outside Bellingham; I noticed a gent and his dog listening (yes the dog cocked his ears too) to the MT-10s burble engine note as I rode in and they came over to me. Boy this guy was the most gentle most mild mannered friendly gentleman that you can imagine. He asks, "is that a 3 cylinder engine"? No I say it's the 09 that has a 3 cylinder engine and this is a 1000cc engine devired from the 4 cylinder R1 engine. He nods and puts a magic thumb up at me and he tells me that he has had every single R1 from they came out right up to 2008 and that he reckons the 10 will a modern 4 cylinder Yam engine would therefore be an ultimate road bike, then comes the bombshells. He processed to calmly tell me about his trips and that he crashed badly over in Northern Ireland and that he was left for dead at the roadside by otherrides and he was read the last rights but somehow he lived. Omg, this guy was for real, and I guessed him to be one of those quite gentle folk that totally change into a full on competitive all out racer nutter when they get aboard a motorbike. Umm, umm I am saying nothing. He explained he been read the last rights once before too, lol. Omg, and that at one point he was refused insurance for sportsbikes. In one accident he had wrote off a car on an R1 and he didn't have scratch on him, omg. He said the 10 sounded like a twin to him so I told him about crossplane engine technology. He said I'd made his day. He has an Aprilia Shiver now but you could see the glint in his eye at the Yam. He amazed me as he was for real as fellow people in the campsite said he was Jacklyn and Hyde on and off a motorbike. So it was tent up time, dinner in town and thank goodness the last night in a 3 seasons sleeping bag, arms out on the continent but arms tucked in and a tee shirt on in England.

  • Hull, UK
    287.4 : 178.6 miles 45
  • Hornsea Rolston Road, Hornsea HU18 1UN, UK
    25.4 : 15.8 miles 35
  • The Fold, Primrose Valley, Filey YO14 9RA, UK
    66.3 : 41.2 miles 22
  • Arder House, Recreation Rd, Pickering YO18 7DA, UK
    104.6 : 65.0 miles 10
  • Bellingham, Hexham NE48 2HP, UK
    287.4 : 178.6 miles 45

Day 20 da last day
Belfast Home

Well a Heavy morning due meant a bit of tent drying in the sun shine before packing it up for the last time and riding off up into the Keilder Water Ride north. As the norm the 10 made short work of getting up England and into Scotland. Why is it that after many miles and near the end of trips that you nearly bin it, lol. On over and Dumfries sees me turn off the A75 at Crocketford to go over the Galloway Hills and across the great Queens Highway road. Well just in to the Queens Highways good bits there is a righthanded that I fired up into let's say going tad too quick and luggage or not the braking had me running deep in towards the gravely edge of the road but tripping and turning the bike in hard on the brakes just got be round thanks to tho Yams good handling, phew, he ha all was good and the rest of the road was fast and I know the next few tight spots fairly well by now. Wheel up over crests and the front going light and the steering damper keeping all good this was class and a great way to end off a great 3 week trip from Belfast to Harz Mountains.

The Scottish Queens Highway is more bumpy far less well surfaced that Harz roads but just as if not more rewarding to ride fast in fact more challenging and the Yam was best thing I have ever ride over it. The front tyre bite in to rail round into those fast slightly down hill corners was brilliant and boy oh boy I knew that front tyres sides were wearing right there and then and I was leaving some rubber down there on that road. He ha.

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So I back off and back onto the A75 to make it to nice and easy into Stranraer, to book 19:00 hrs boat from Cairnryan to Belfast, get dinner and reflect on I am a lucky dude. To the boat and after sleeping across seats for the sailing with 600 very loud fairly intoxicated football fans I was recovered for the ride to my house. Upon arriving home there was fireworks on the way (obviously for me home coming, nah) for end of some circus festive and this seemed a fitting end to my summer trip on the mighty -10 for me.

Cheers happy motorcycling.

  • Waskerley, Consett DH8 9DF, UK
    392.9 : 244.1 miles 29
  • Unnamed Road, Newcastleton TD9 0SR, UK
    90.5 : 56.2 miles 28
  • Castle Douglas DG7 3DW, UK
    203.6 : 126.5 miles 12
  • Belfast, UK
    392.9 : 244.1 miles 29


B242 between Bad Grund and Clausthal-Zellerfeld is great.

Looks awesome! the road on day 10 looks track smooth

Really good write up and another part of Germany to get to on two wheels

Looked like a fun trip and some familiar roads, I regally do the Queens drive in D&G as I live not far away. Thanks for sharing