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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I just returned from a lengthy trip on my z1000SX ‘18. From Amsterdam to Madrid, then Valencia and back with an absolute blast. I have to say, the bike definitely does not disappoint and the ride is very adventurous.

I started in Amsterdam, driving down to the north of France with a friend of mine. The crossed over into Belgium with just using the highway, after this we headed for the more scenic roads off the highways. From Antwerp to Ghent and onwards to Dunkirk and Calais was a blast, roads were flat and the sun was shining all day. As we got to Calais it did start to get a bit dark and my friend forgot about his helmet with tinted visor.. luckily it was the backroads so he could ride with it open, a little cold though. After Calais we went to Rouen for the first night stay.

The following day I continued alone towards Niort, a small place near the west coast of France. On the way I passed by Le Mont and drove some parts of the famous race track. Beautiful and scenic, I was still riding the village roads and avoiding highways. In good old fashion google maps even tried to get me to off-road on a street bike! luckily I arrived without any issues to the campsite. I had brought my camping gear with me, allowing me to catch some cheap overnight stays on campsites.

Onwards to Spain, after filling my tires with some extra air I headed towards Irun where I had planned my next stay. Overall doing about an average of 650 +/- a day I got there in the afternoon with some brakes in between. Nothing special but beautiful scenery and nature all around. The closer to the mountains the more interesting the riding became, sharp corners and fast deceleration and acceleration were keeping me focused. From Irun I followed the main road towards Madrid where I arrived after 4 days of riding.

In Madrid I spent some time being a typical tourist before making a short trip to Valencia. I stayed outside Madrid mostly, the city is very packed and I wasn’t too happy about riding there. However, the mountain roads outside of the city are absolutely fantastic.

Going back after my vacation, I planned a rather quick route. I had already seen much of France in the past so I didn’t feel like taking the regular roads. Instead I opted for using the pay roads and making a swift and speedy return home. Starting in Valencia I followed the main highway towards Barcelona and on to Montpellier. After this I had planned for staying a night near Paris making my 3 day trip about 650 km per day. But…. The next day as I was riding towards Paris across central France I had noticed that the main highway was making it very easy to drive 140km/h or more… And so I arrived near Paris in the afternoon.
Still having some hours and energy left I just decided to drive straight over to Amsterdam making it a 1200km journey in a single day! One thing I did underestimate is Paris, the highway lead me through some packed areas where there was constant traffic. I arrived at an oppertune time of 5pm haha! However, people in Paris are very used to crazy drivers on scooters and bikes so everyone gets out of your was pretty easy. At one point there was an ambulance trying to get through with a stream of motorbikes behind it trying to use this in their advantage (I did so to). i spotted another driver in front of the ambulance trying to signal everyone ahead to make space so the driver could pass safely, i decided to help out and with lots of noice, flashing light and signaling. We helped the ambulance make it to the accident up the road just in time. After this it was a fast and dark ride towards Amsterdam.

Now that I am back I will make some changes to my bike. I noticed that for most of the highway parts I was running a high RPM. Average about 6000 while riding at 120/130 kmh. Not too bad but it made things a bit shaky at times. I’ve asked on the forum before about sprocket changes and I even saw someone fitted a Versys gear box to their engine!
Also a ecu tune to remove some of the limits could be a blessing, to make things smoother is definitely nice.

Other then that the bike performed wonderful. Per 200-250km I consumed about 12 liters of gasoline giving me an average of about 1 liter per 19km. I imagine this is probably lower if I didn’t have those high rpm’s. Also carrying two packed panniers and a 40 liter duffel bag didn’t help with my fuel consumption.

Overall an absolute joy, this trip call from another one!
ps. Heated grips is an absolute must!


My z1000SX is pretty stock other then the D-cat system and dual MIVV exhausts. It has dual LED spotlights on either sides for extra visibility heated grips for comfortable distances. And a wireless phone charger for my old iPhone that I use for music and maps.
 

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Premium Member
2021 Ninja 1000 SX
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171 Posts
Thanks Oliver, that's a great ride report.
Also nice looking bike and excellent photos.
Just a quick question - the bridge in the background in the last photo, is that at or near Montpellier?
Saw a TV documentary (on Foxtel - an internet streaming service) on the engineering involved in building it - bloody brilliant and beautiful piece of work.
 

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I really like to see a bike parked next to a tent. My tent/rain fly/ground tarp/air mattress roll is in the garage ready for me to find some younger riding partners who don't need warm rooms and a foot thick mattress to sleep on. Thanks for re-igniting the memories!
 
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Z1000SX ‘18
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Oliver, that's a great ride report.
Also nice looking bike and excellent photos.
Just a quick question - the bridge in the background in the last photo, is that at or near Montpellier?
Saw a TV documentary (on Foxtel - an internet streaming service) on the engineering involved in building it - bloody brilliant and beautiful piece of work.
Yes that’s correct, it’s called the Viaduc de Millau. The height is just insane, you leave the mountain routes and it’s almost like you are in the clouds
 

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Z1000SX ‘18
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really like to see a bike parked next to a tent. My tent/rain fly/ground tarp/air mattress roll is in the garage ready for me to find some younger riding partners who don't need warm rooms and a foot thick mattress to sleep on. Thanks for re-igniting the memories!
Ah yes, the camping is super! It’s cheap and you can camp in so many places. I couldn’t really wild camp but I’m hoping to visit Scandinavia sometime soon, there you can camp legally almost anywhere
 

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When I was a GI in Northern Italy I loved camping. Almost all of it was on/near the coast of Italy and around the Mediterranean in France & Spain. Southern Germany and the Dolomites provided some mountain campsites. Cheap was the operative word when my salary was about $100/month. It was done from a car since my 50cc bike wasn't really suitable for the open road. I never made it to Scandinavia. @OliverBog be sure to report on that trip.
 
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