Touring Droitwich To....belgium? Ideas Welcome

Discussion in 'Rideouts, Trackdays, Touring & Spotted' started by BT81, Jul 23, 2022.

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  1. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    Hey! Thinking of taking the Thruxton RS for a little trip to Europe.
    This will be my first euro trip for many many many years.

    Here is a brief outline of my plan.

    1. Get the bike serviced and new tyres., annoyingly. At 1,700 miles from new. The tyres probably aren't quite yet ready for a change. However I'd rather they aren't squared off by the time I arrive. I was thinking of getting S22's...?

    Day 1 - Travel to Droitwich to the tunnel. Get a train across to Dunkirk, France. I figure with some stops along the way. It's going to be 6 ish hours. Whilst I like the idea of 'pushing through' to Belgium, I'm not sure my body (wrists), mind is ready for a 10 ish hour trip. Stay somewhere in Dunkirk. I only mention Dunkirk, as I've never been. Happily stay anywhere I can park the bike, and get a good meal, and breakfast in the morning

    Day 2 - Travel from Dunkirk ish area to Bouillon Belgium - I assume I can find some nice roads, stops along the way? Base myself in Bouillon

    Day 3 - Ride around Bouillon

    Day 4 - Either ride around spa, or into Lux

    Day 5 - Travel back

    Day 6 - Home


    Seems like a long trip....


    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Ducatitotriumph

    Ducatitotriumph Crème de la Crème

    Apr 25, 2019
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    Rothwell
    Give @Hubaxe and @Vulpes a shout as they’re familiar with everything foreign!!!
    And, if you are going in a few months time? I'd be leaving now...... :):)
     
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  3. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    I did wonder watching the queues. Is it morally correct to filter to the front??

    Alas. Look forward to some tips. I have download some routes and bought a book by Simon Weir (Journalist) - All advice welcome
     
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  4. Ducatitotriumph

    Ducatitotriumph Crème de la Crème

    Apr 25, 2019
    2,181
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    Rothwell
    Ride magazine have download able routes on their website and I've used a few in the UK. You have the usual bruges and I'd definitely do some ww1/2 sites whilst there if its not on your radar yet? Not stayed in dunkerque yet I'm afraid.
    Weather is the usual enemy of all trips so be prepared beforehand!
     
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  5. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    Yeah, I had a look. I couldn't see anything for that part of the world. I did have a collection of RiDe magazine with routes. Then I moved house. And can I find them???...
     
  6. Rooster

    Rooster Grumpy Member
    Subscriber

    Sep 14, 2015
    1,641
    800
    Droitwich, Worcestershire
    #6 Rooster, Jul 24, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2022

    When did they build the Droitwich - Dunkirk Tunnel? I live in Droitwich and I had to drive to Folkestone for my recent trip under the channel. Don’t tell me I could have saved the 200 mile drive.
     
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  7. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    Hahah

    there is enough underpasses in Droitwich, they may as well have created a tunnel whilst they were at it ;-)

    ok - Droitwich to Folkestone - get the train ;/)
     
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  8. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member

    Mar 14, 2018
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    I take it you mean from Droitwich to the tunnel? :p The tunnel will take you to Calais, some 20 kilometres west of Dunkirk.
    You can use something like Myroute app to create a nice route to the Boullion area, which you can easily ride to in one day. Beautiful area. If there I would certainly ride into Luxembourg - beautiful roads there, and much better surfaces than in Belgium..
     
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  9. fzr162

    fzr162 Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2019
    227
    93
    Keighley west yorkSHIRE
    If you are going around the w/e of 19th of August you could take in the Belgium classic trophy. Brilliant classic road racing. It's a bit of a ride from Calais but a Great weekend.
     
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  10. andypandy

    andypandy Crème de la Crème

    Jan 10, 2016
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    You could visit Ypres and the surrounding area. Just do a google search "Ypres tourism". Lots of WW1 history.
     
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  11. roadrider

    roadrider First Class Member

    Jul 26, 2013
    1,002
    500
    Oxon
    Bouillon is a great little town.
    Some good riding from there.
    Ride up to Dinant and across to Givet, great roads
     
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  12. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning! aka Mr Wordsalad :)

    Mar 25, 2020
    1,693
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    Aix Les bains - French Alps
    agree. Some belgiar "motorways" are made with assembled concrete blocks. Very noisy and uncomfortable.

    Driving from France to Birmingham, we use mainly the Calais -Folkstone tunnel because we can cross without booking too much in advance (we book from the car when we know the time we reach the departure.
    But Ferry is cheaper.
     
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  13. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    So - Plan is to go next week (22 Aug)

    Plan so far

    Day 1 Droitwich to Folkestone - Eurotunnel to Calais - Calais to Ypres - stay one night

    Day 2 Ypres to Bouillon - Need to find a nice route

    Day 3 Bouillon - Day trip to Spa and the surrounding areas

    Day 4 Bouillon - Day trip to Luxembourg

    Day 5 Bouillon to Dunkirk - stay over

    Day 6 Dunkirk to Droitwich

    Gonna stay in hostel in Bouillon - overwise its just me.

    Need to sort out getting a tank bag - Have a ruck already

    And then - tyres. The bike is 10months old. Done 1,700 miles from new - Doesn’t need a service. However, I’m tempted to get some fresh rubber on there Power 5, or M9rr

    Anything else to consider? :)
     
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  14. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    You live in droitwich - have I seen you? I haven’t seen many Triumphs about! - Although when I head out for my evening ride to Tenbury, I’m usually the only biker out
     
  15. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member

    Mar 14, 2018
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    I'm on my second set of Road 5's, they're brilliant.
     
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  16. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    ordered M9rr instead, as they were also a good price, man tyres got expensive ! Some were £300 a pair.

    think I have everything

    accommodation sorted
    UK reg sticker
    Tank bag
    Some ideas of routes
    New tyres.

    set off next Sunday!
     
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  17. BT81

    BT81 Member

    Jul 31, 2021
    62
    18
    Lichfield
    #17 BT81, Aug 28, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
    Back!
    First proper touring adventure I’ve had on a bike!

    Re-Cap

    1. Droitwich down to the Euro Tunnel - Travel to Ypres and stayed a night there.
    2. Ypres to Bouillon - Stayed here for a few days (had planned for 3 days, cut it short to 2 due to rain!)
    2.1 Ride around Bouillon / Spa and Luxembourg
    3. Bouillon back to Ypres - Night stay
    4. Ypres back to Droitwich via the Euro Tunnel


    Let’s get the huge negative out of the way. TYRES!

    I swapped the original Racetec RR for some new M9rr for the trip. No idea what the issue is - But, I had zero confidence in them. Tyre pressures are good 36 all round - And the bike felt awful.

    - It didn’t ruin the trip of course. However given you go on a biking trip to ride great roads. This was a bit of a shame to say the least.

    Ok - The good. The roads. More often than not the roads in Belgium, or Lux were quiet/empty. One road in particular in Lux was so good, I ended up going down it x4 times. Was only about 10km, but there was zero traffic and some great corners!

    Using my phone as a sat nav worked well. I had to stop often to re-charge. But I generally needed to stop to rest my body (knees / wrists!) - With that, I now understand why people have adventure bikes. I don’t see the point personally if you ride in the UK. But if you want to go to the Alps, as some many of the riders I spoke too we’re doing. I understand the want/need for a GS/Tiger etc.

    Saying that. Apart from the slog round the M25 in traffic, I never felt that bad. Indeed if I ever felt uncomfortable it was more because of wearing leathers in HOT weather!

    I would go back again tomorrow. The route round Spa I’d do in the opposite direction - As all the amazing roads I rode were downhill. In fact, I rode downhill so often I’m surprised I didn’t end up at the bottom of the sea!

    Also - I think I would stop more / for longer. Generally I only stopped briefly and back on the bike. When I got back home I realised I didn’t see as much of these little villages as I should have.

    Anyway. Some photos of a bike….

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    42B3CC4B-469D-48B9-A130-60254485595F.jpeg
     
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  18. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member

    Mar 14, 2018
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    #18 Vulpes, Aug 28, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
    I'm glad you weren't disappointed with going to Luxemburg as I suggested. They do have some brilliant roads.

    And about needing an adventure bike to do the Alps - I have toured them several times quite happily on my Speed Triple, no problem at all.
     
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  19. Bikerman

    Bikerman I used to have 5500 posts.

    Oct 29, 2014
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    Glad you had a great trip. Nothing better than touring Europe on a motorcycle. y115.gif y115.gif
     
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  20. littleade

    littleade The only sane one here
    Subscriber

    Mar 17, 2015
    257
    1,000
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    Great write up, glad you enjoyed your trip. As someone who has one of the bloody things the main reasons why they are so popular is because they are the swiss army knife of bikes. For me (regarding the GS-other reasons are available) at my age comfort is a priority and they handle surprisingly well and are easy to manouvre at low speed for a big bike. But.... the main reason for me is visibility, both from being seen because of their road prescence and also being so high up you can see so much more all around you in busy traffic, something that became very clear when I test rode a R1250RS a couple of years ago. I found being down below the roof level of the cars on the test ride very uncomfortable and being a short arse the leaning forward to the bars really restricted the view behind me, especially in the blind spots. But I get they're not for everyone, it's whatever floats your boat;)
     
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