C90 Euro Trip 2023

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George
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C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by George » Tue Nov 07, 2023 10:22 pm

So... there was this C90CMV Jap Import bike that I've done up for a friend. Let's call him Mr. M, as I have yet to ask him if it's okay to mention his name 1000 times on a topic on this forum.

Mr. M was supposed to collect his bike upon completion. That was some time ago, at the beginning of this year. Due to some personal circumstances, he was unable to collect. The plan was to ride with him and his new to him C90CMV to the E.A.R. in May this year, but more unforeseen circumstances made it so that he had to skip that one. It would've been great as I was on the NTG, my friend Joe came over to the UK and rode my Red, my mother was on the Rat, and we had Alex on his C90CM7 and Dan on his C90MT. If Mr M would've joined on his CMV, we would've been... more by one bike. :lol:

The summer has passed, and Mr M was busy at work. He currently lives and works in Sweden, so it wasn't an easy task to drive to the UK and collect the bike for the sake of it; thus, it wasn't a priority. I proposed to him to have it sent by courier, but he refused, saying that he would like us to ride together on the 90s when he collects.

October came, and the bike was still with me. Unhappy that it wasn't being used, I was forced to park it outside while sorting out another project. Due to my ignorance, I ended up having six days off work that I needed to book before January 25, when I would lose them. I did add an extra week before the winter holiday and a few days after, but I still had six days left. I mentioned this to Mr. M, and he told me that due to his non-stop presence at work, he has some holidays left.

We started throwing ideas around... like, "What would it be if I rode the C90CMV from the UK to Sweden and take a flight back?" and all sorts of other ideas that meant we weren't going to be able to ride together. Then it hit us. What if we meet somewhere halfway and ride for a bit before returning to our places in the rat race? And then we went from there. We decided to talk over a call and plan things out.

Before our call, Mr M had a grand plan going on, which he shared with me. He showed me a map of things to consider, and it looked like this:

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We ended up talking about this trip as if it was a great idea. The call was brief, and the decision was made: we would get to Berlin and then try to get to Paris before the end of the week. We both took five days off before November since we decided the sooner, the better. So the dates were set... we were going to leave for Brussels on Saturday the 28th of October and return on Sunday the 5th of November.

Stay tuned for the next episode!

kayz1
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by kayz1 » Wed Nov 08, 2023 12:31 am

Can't wait: you have a PM.

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Capitano
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by Capitano » Wed Nov 08, 2023 8:03 am

I'm feeling cold and wet just reading the precis of this trip, George. 8-)

125erCrazy
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by 125erCrazy » Wed Nov 08, 2023 9:04 am

George looking forward to more.

Hope the weather was better for you than my France trip the last week of October which was wetter than an otters pocket :o & the follow on trip UK side not much better

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George
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by George » Wed Nov 08, 2023 11:21 pm

We booked the ferry tickets and started planning the trip. Mr M decided that the C90CMV needed a fresh MoT, and the only slot when I was available was Saturday the 28th. It was a remarkable coincidence, as that was the day of the ferry... setting the norm for the things to come.

The bike hadn't been used since forever, so I decided to recommission it (take the cover off of it) and use it to commute to work. I also wanted to take a front OEM JDM mudguard to a place where another C90 is being painted in the Shuttle Blue (PB-121 MS) that is the same as my NTG bike. The front mudguard on the NTG has been damaged since I got the bike back in September 2015.

Here is the C90CMV being started up for the first time in a few months:

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(Don't mind the white bath front panel in the background against the fence)

Here is the bike at the painting place after more than a 65-mile ride:

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It was weird that it used a whole tank of petrol to cover the said 65 miles. In a normal world, one would be concerned about the poor performance, but since that wasn't the case, I decided to fill up the tank and head back home for the return trip. And there you have it! The bike was fixed! On the return trip, it only used half a tank. I blamed it on the stale petrol and ignored any other possibility. After all, it was the 24th of October.

On the 26th, I added the spine rack on the Red and changed the oil on both Cubs:

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The 27th was the day I got the trailer out and fitted the second rail to take two bikes:

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And on the 28th, I was ready for the road ahead. Car filled with luggage that wasn't planned accordingly and an MoT to sort out before getting to the boat. The worst part was that I asked for a favour in Brussels and didn't want to turn up at midnight like usual. Yes, I'm always late...

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The CMV at the MoT. Then rode back, stopping on the way to get some supplies from my local coffee shop:

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As always, in true IMGBOX fashion, you will see a lot of these pictures in landscape instead of portrait format. Here is an "aerial view" of the "rig":

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This is after the MoT and after having a few friends help me get the bikes onto the trailer. I must have left at noon and hoped to get to the boat earlier. I got there and missed the ferry before the one booked. So, I ended up catching the one I booked:

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Some more pictures on the ferry:

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I was surprised at how warm it felt on the deck. It was wet and windy, but it was a warm wind. I was happy with that and hoped that would be the case for the entire week; how wrong I was...

After stressing out about getting to Brussels too late and considering the departure delays experienced due to ferries moving like apartment buildings in Dover, I reached France at stupid o'clock... not extremely late, to be honest. Still, I was very late by the time I got to Brussels:

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I did let my friend know that I had delays with the ferry departure and all, and when I wrote to him, "I have arrived!" he replied, "In Calais?". Now... it was 23:40 when I sent that message and received the reply, and since he considered the worst-case scenario, I felt less awkward when I sent this image of my car on his drive as a reply.

The next day, I met Mr. M. I had to pick him and his luggage up and return to my friend's place where we had the bikes. It was prepping day that coincided with the departure date. Oh well... more to come next time! :lol:

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George
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by George » Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:16 am

Mr M was in Dilbeek while I was in Sterrebeek:

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Which was quite convenient as these two were diametrically opposite positions on the map... wait...

After a while, I picked up Mr M from Dilbeek, got his luggage from his car, gave him some leftover parts from the rebuild to leave in his car, and headed back to Sterrebeek.

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This was his first encounter with his new to him C90CMV, and the smile tells a thousand words. Sadly, it's orientated like it is.

You can see the C90s in their final form. The CMV has a single seat in true JDM spec, meaning he could take a large roll bag on the pillion seat without taking it off while refueling. His rack is the one without the side loops, but we found that his Givi side bags were small enough to rest on the fixed part of the rear shocks. His Rickman top box was also filled, and the Castrol 10W-40 Race - Full Synthetic oil jug was on the front rack.

The Red had some throw-over bicycle bags that are not waterproofed. I decided that these will take all the tools we'll need to rebuild an engine and spare tubes + a 12V socket air compressor. The spine rack was always used to carry water, the front rack had the same type of oil, and the top box was quite empty with just my normal coat. I had a laptop bag/rucksack that went into the roll bag, while Mr M's shoes were in one of my side bags. I don't recall him ever using those shoes, much like I didn't use mine... better luck next time.

By the time we had something to eat and geared up, the rain started. Typical. It was a beautiful sunny morning.

We set off on Sunday, the 29th of October, well in the afternoon. We had these cheap Freedconn intercoms that we used to communicate throughout our trip. The first thing I heard from Mr M was, "How do you ride this thing?" My reply was, "All down."... other than that, he needed to get used to everything else. The luggage he carried was much heavier than mine and top heavy... in true fashion, the noobie was the one taking all the load while the experienced rider had it easy.

We had 250 km (156 miles) to Amsterdam, and the route seemed to be through a minefield:

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What's 250 km on a C90? Right? Well... We had to stop 8.9 km in our trip as Mr M's socks were getting damp.

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We stopped right here:

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His overtrousers were lifting up his leg while he operated the gear lever. The shoes were low, and the socks were exposed to the rain. Now, by a miracle, when the Google car went by there, it was dry... We weren't there when the Google car was there.

By the time we crossed into Holland, the sky got dark. And even if it was quite late already, it wasn't as late as it looked. There was this humongous cloud above us that looked terrifying. We stopped on a bridge over the Scheldt, Mass, Meuse, or whatever the heck that river is to prepare for the storm. It was a thunderstorm, and it looked serious. So bad that I wish I weren't riding on a bridge.

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We did cross the two bridges and hit the countryside. That's when the storm was directly above us, and there weren't many objects taller than us... here's how it looks on a dry day:

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So, the tallest objects I could spot were our helmets. Now, I wasn't sure if the motorcycle gear counts as a hollow conductor, but I wasn't willing to find out.

The wind was also quite strong, and we were blown away on the lane. Loads of leaves flying about with the odd twigs. I was hoping to see only twigs and small branches instead of trees in the middle of the road. And the funny part of this ordeal was that since the road was going around fields, with all the 90° bends, we had the honour of being hit by the storm from all sides. It eventually overtook us, and we decided to ride slower so we didn't catch it up again. The progress was slow, and Mr M was still getting used to the bike.

After a few more hours of talking through the intercom about the storm and how we didn't get wet at all, we ended up in Rotterdam:

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The Koningshavenbrug De Hef bridge was the first thing that made us stop our relentless push toward Amsterdam.

It was around 7 PM when we took these photos, which look much better when upright.

After both of us were excited that the SatNav had taken us on that red-lit bridge in the background and we had seen the tall buildings in the center of Rotterdam, we left the city. My excitement was noticed once more when I saw Gouda written on road signs... same excitement when I do groceries and buy Gouda.

We finally got to Amsterdam, and Mr M's intercom was running out of battery. He had to wait at a red light after I passed, and while I was waiting on the side of the road, I saw this sort of Chinese restaurant just there. It took us a staggering 2 seconds to decide we'd stop there for food.

The place is called Yuan's Hot Pot:

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No reservation but, found a table. We got the intercoms in my top box as I have a 12V socket in there with a 2 x USB adaptor wired directly to the battery. We sat down, and the first question was, "Have you eaten here before?"... the sort of question one doesn't want to hear after a long day on the road. Now... it took the lady 5 minutes to explain how to order the food, 5 minutes too many for our hunger, and 5 minutes too few for our instant IQ levels. We went with her recommendations and we had a huge pot of soup + some raw meat to boil in the soup for 10 seconds before eating:

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Mr M's chopstick experience was limited, and I could see the frustration. I was happy with the food, and the broth was edible from my point of view. So, I had as much of that as possible to warm up after the meat ran out. Mr M commented, "We would've been better off with a Shawarma."

During our stay at that Yuan's place, we searched for a place to sleep for the night. After some browsing the internet, we found the perfect place. We decided to go there and unpack the bikes before heading into Amsterdam Mitte. It was this super cute Tiny House:

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And a street view image for clarification:

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It took a while to find the place. We had the code, got the key, unpacked, and headed off to The Red District.

That's for the next episode.

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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by Bogger » Fri Nov 10, 2023 11:30 am

Ladies of the night by the sounds of it :o :shock: :?:

Bogger

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George
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by George » Fri Nov 10, 2023 9:06 pm

I've seen the Red District shy of 10 years ago. Mr M had never seen it, so we decided to make it a destination:

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The closer we got, the better it looked. Not the Red District, but the town center. We stopped on this bridge to take some pictures:

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And here they are:

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The last photo with the house was very specific. The house itself was very specific as well as it was Nr 69 Korte Dijkstraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We parked next to the Fablab Amsterdam and went on foot from there. It didn't take long to see the red windows, and since it was stupid o'clock again (23:45), the place was quite... animated. After some window shopping, we concluded that one did look the part and went a little further into town:

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It was a sad experience overall. Maybe because it was late October and there were no other tourists. It seemed like we walked into an African country where everyone wanted you to buy "Cola" from them. I've been asked three times in 15 minutes if I wanted to powder coat my lungs. For that reason, we decided to get back to the Cubs before they disappeared on a different adventure and headed back to the Tiny House. I still suspect that the owners of that house converted their garage into an Airbnb.

We stopped in Dam Square to take a few photos:

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We got back and made sure to get some rest before the morning. The next stop was Hamburg, and it was quite the distance. (498 km or around 300 miles).

More to follow in the next episode.

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George
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by George » Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:42 pm

The next day was again a slow start. We had some breakfast since we got groceries the night before, and by the time we were ready to set off, it was 11:00. It was a sunny morning in Amsterdam:

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And a photo from inside that garage... uh... Tiny House.

This was our flight itinerary for the day:

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Not a particularly interesting day, but around De Meele we saw this huge Honda Dealership, and we decided to stop to take a photo:

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And here is the picture:

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We were against the clock as it was already 15:00, and we had so much ground left to cover.

It's a shame that all of the pictures taken while riding are upside down. It seems like IMGBOX won't allow me to rotate them:

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After some more riding, we finally crossed into Germany close to Twist. I was getting a bit cold, so we stopped, and I got my undergloves and second pair of socks on.

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Here is the parking place we stopped at:

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As you can see, the progress was slow, and the Rastplatz Stadtmark photo above was taken at 16:45.

As the night was setting in, Mr M was leading the way. We started getting flashed by the Germans constantly. It was so weird that I decided to overtake him and check out what was wrong. The JDM bikes always have the lights on, and they are missing the front parking light. So you only have the low and high beams. Well... his low beam was out, and his headlight was off. He then used the high beam, and the Germans stopped flashing us. Before it got really dark, we stopped to have some Goulash at a petrol station:

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I think this was it if I use an average speed of less than 50 km/h and use the camera time stamps (real detective work... I don't have that good of a memory):

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Both bikes had the 35/35W light bulbs fitted. And Mr M's bulb was quite new compared to the Red one, as I had only used his bike a handful of times before this trip. For some reason, the bulb went prematurely. I'm not sure why, but when I was packing back in the UK, I saw the spare 35/35W bulb I had for my bike on a shelf and decided to take it with me. So we did have a spare bulb, and after warming up and having Gulash + desserts at the South JAEGER Tankstelle, we went out and changed the bulb. Rickman screen off, got the old bulb out, new one had the beams inverted... :roll: as always, there's something else... and since the JDM bikes don't have the high beam odo light, Mr M was happy with them inverted. I wanted to invert the socket so the low beam is the low beam and the high is high. Well... he was happy with the low being high and high being low. The rain started as we finished the bike, and it stayed with us for most of the trip to Hamburg. We got tired after that and I didn't take any more pictures. The Goulash picture was taken at 17:41 and, as you can see, there was still some distance to cover. We got to Hamburg quite late, but we were happy to be in a warm room and get some rest.

More to come next time. We had some places of interest in Hamburg, which I'll detail in the next episode. Oh... and no... we didn't try the Hamburg Hamburgers...

Dilbert
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Re: C90 Euro Trip 2023

Post by Dilbert » Sun Nov 19, 2023 6:45 pm

Great to follow you guys brill photos .hope it’s alright with you both keep spinning the wheels

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