Ever since I passed my test, going touring has been high up on my bucket list! My friend and I had always spoken about going to Assen in Holland for the penultimate round of the British Superbike Championship! What better way to begin touring?
The trip very much depended on my mate passing his test! Which he did! The booking and organising was all very last minute, coupled with his bike getting stolen just a few days we was due to set off made for quite a busy and stressful week! Being racing fans we wanted to go for the full weekend including practice and qualifying which meant setting off on Thursday. Not such a bad thing as that meant 5 nights away and 4 days off work!
Sports bikes are not the most comfortable for touring
As much as I adore riding sports bikes, the journey to and from Holland involved riding over several hundred miles and over 200 miles in one day. I don’t think getting tucked up behind the screen helped, but it did help with the wind! I can see why some bikers opt for touring bikes, but comfort isn’t the be all or end all! My heavy back pack and several layers of clothing I had on helped didn’t help with the comfort!
Speed limits in Holland change so frequently
As you might expect from a European country, all speed limit signs are in kph, which is confusing enough right? Then the speed limits change so often you really need to be on the ball! And then try and work out what speed you should actually be doing! Speed limits on Motorways can vary so much, 130, 120, 100, 90. If only the dash displayed both mph and kph!
Packing for 5 day trip with just a back pack was a challenge
I struggle to pack lightly at the best of times, but this was a new challenge for me! I’d bought a 30 litre bike back pack, which sounds a lot but believe me it doesn’t take long to fill.
Motorways in Holland aren’t half windy
It might be that we just visited during a windy few days in Holland, it was so windy, even more so on the motorways! This made for challenging riding conditions, going past HGV’s & wagons it was like were in a mini typhoon!
Ear plugs are a must
I don’t set off without my ear plugs no matter how far I’m going. But riding at higher speeds and longer distances means your hearing is more prone to damage. The custom made ear plugs I bought earlier this year were a life saver from the wind and that throaty Yoshimura exhaust!
Overall I absolutely loved my first tour on my GSXR and already thinking about destinations for my next one! If you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know.