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Offline kraftykarper

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D Day Normandy Trip
« on: 20 June, 2019, 05:00:24 PM »
The conversation between Andrew and me started something like this, we need to do one more bike trip before we get too old! And so the planning started.
For me part of the enjoyment of a trip is the planning, what gear to take, looking at maps, planning a route and research on the internet around points of interest. Google maps and street view is invaluable in getting a look round the area and the property where you are staying.
Since I was now retired it seemed logical that I should do the planning and so early on we came to a decision that neither of us was up for 400 500 miles a day anymore, and we wanted it to be more of a holiday, than a motorcycle endurance race. We didnt want it to cost a fortune so we decided France and particularly the Normandy area would be close enough for us in Norfolk, and interesting with plenty to do visiting the D Day beaches and memorials. We would use Air B and B accommodation thereby getting the convenience of the whole property located in the heart of a town. Trouville-sur-Mer was chosen as it was convenient for visiting the D Day sites. Andrew would ride his Moto Guzzi V7 special and I would be on my 2016 Tiger Sport. When I booked our departure months before I didnt know just how significant the date, 6th June, would turn out to be. This would not be as adventurous as some trips that we read about, but any trip can be looked at as an adventure when we go somewhere new, and experience a different culture.
Day 1.
Since neither of us had ridden any distance for a while we decided to ride from our homes in Norfolk to the Eurotunnel and then down to Boulogne-Sur-Mer for an overnight stop in a B&B Hotel, a chain weve both used before, and very handy, just off the A16 with secure bike parking.  The ride down to Dover was good, except for 6 miles of filtering on the A12, but at least the weather was sunny and dry. Good over in France all the way to the B&B hotel.
Day 2.
Next day was overcast windy, and steadily raining, but we set off, deciding to get off the auto route at Abbeville and take the D roads from there on.  We agreed the D roads would be more interesting, offering roads that change the pace, and offer local cafes on route to stop for comfort breaks.
Taking the D925 to Dieppe the rain got heavier. This is when you find out just how waterproof, or otherwise, your waterproof gear is. Getting very wet between the legs is not a pleasant experience, but I guess weve all been there. However, as we approached the huge bridges at Le Harve we had just about dried out. The next challenge was the side winds gusting as we crossed the bridge. An interesting experience but my trusty sure footed Tiger Sport made it, and we reached our home for the next 3 nights safely. Safely parked in the alley to the rear of the property our bikes would be out of sight and safe, not having to be parked on the road. This was a definite plus for travelling on motorbikes.
Day 3.
One memorial we particularly wanted to visit was the Pegasus Bridge.
The Pegasus bridge was a major target on the eve of D Day. On the night of 5 June 1944, a force of 181 men, led by Major John Howard, took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, southern England in six Horsa gliders to capture Pegasus Bridge, and also "Horsa Bridge", a few hundred yards to the east, over the Orne River. The force was composed of D Company (reinforced with two platoons of B Company), 2nd Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry; 20 sappers of the Royal Engineers of 249 Field Company (Airborne); and men of the Glider Pilot Regiment. The object of this action was to prevent German armour from crossing the bridges and attacking the eastern flank of the landings at Sword Beach.
Five of the Ox and Bucks's gliders landed as close as 47 yards from their objectives from 16 minutes past midnight. The attackers poured out of their battered gliders, completely surprising the German defenders, and took the bridges within 10 minutes.
Today the museum, and preserved bridge are a great memorial to visit, with lots of actual equipment from the time well preserved. This is something the French seem to be really good at. As this was the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings there was a lot going on around the bridge. There were vintage military vehicles, classic cars, and lots of visitors both military and civilian. An outside catering facility had been set up by the local hotel, and we enjoyed a 2 course meal with a small local Normandy cider all for 12 euros! Then we set off to have a look at the beaches, but with time running short we didnt visit the museums.
In fact food and drink seemed to feature quite a lot in our travel as we found that decent fixed price meals, or plat du jour, could be enjoyed almost everywhere for around 15 euros.
Day 4.
Next day we visited Honfleur. This is an amazing seaside medieval town set around a rectangular harbour basin. Still a commercial port for fishing and sailing, the basin is surrounded by cafes and restaurants. Finding a restaurant was easy, and we enjoyed our best meal so far, 3 courses and a half carafe of wine for 25 euros each!
In the afternoon we had a good look around Trouville, and this is where having your own apartment through Air B&B gives you the flexibility.
Trouville is a beautiful little town, being on the coast seafood features highly on its restaurant menus. The seafood market is fantastic, with some amazing displays of the biggest, freshest seafood weve ever seen. At the fish market there is an eating area set up where you can eat the produce that has just been cooked and served up to you.
Day 5.
The ride home begins. The day started off with rain, and the forecast was not inspiring. We knew we would have to do this in 1hit, but considered the feeling of going home, combined with using the auto routes for this would make the 390 miles easier and pass quickly.
Setting off at 9.30 am, the route, via the A29, A28 and A16 was very straightforward. This is where I found the cruise control on the Tiger came in very useful, by holding the speed accurately up and downhill. Again it was wet, but not windy like before so the journey wasnt as difficult.
Arriving home at 6.00 pm and after putting the kettle on I still had that feeling of not wanting the ride to come to an end, despite the bad weather at times, and the aches and pains.
In Conclusion.
My Tigers trip computer said I travelled a total of 847.9 miles, at an average of 39.8 mph for 21.55 hours and achieved an average of 57.7 miles per gallon. I consider the fuel consumption excellent, considering on the auto routes we were not hanging around, and the Tiger was loaded with panniers and a soft roll up tail pack.
The Oxford Montreal jacket is a budget jacket but didnt let in any water; the matching trousers did, but just in the usual place, between the legs! The Oxford 15 litre dry stash tail pack, at 19 on ebay was extremely useful and was waterproof.
The Tiger performed brilliantly, the handling and suspension seemed even better fully loaded with panniers and tail pack. Stable and planted on the road, which would seem to indicate it could be too hard when just solo riding and no luggage.
During the high winds I was remembering advice to relax, look ahead, take any weight off the handle bars and under power a motorcycle will want to stay upright due to the physical forces acting upon it. Yes, despite it being an unnerving experience, it does all work as promised!
I believe its a learning experience when we challenge ourselves, push ourselves out of our comfort zone and get through it. We emerge as better bikers with more confidence.
So will it be our last trip? Most definitely no! Just dont tell my wife!

























Online seangee

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #1 on: 20 June, 2019, 07:17:27 PM »
Nice one  :028:  :031:
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Online Timbox

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #2 on: 20 June, 2019, 07:23:19 PM »
Very comprehensive report and good pics,  cheers
Ex Sport owner now on KTM 1290 SAS

Offline cj123287

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #3 on: 20 June, 2019, 09:28:00 PM »
 :031: looks fantastic
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

Vincent Van Gogh

Offline Paullie

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #4 on: 20 June, 2019, 09:40:32 PM »
Nice pics, looks like you had a great trip!

Online gavuk

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #5 on: 20 June, 2019, 10:17:27 PM »
 :152:  nice to see history, great food, brill roads and happy faces all in a 5 day trip

Look forward to your next report

Ride safe

Online Tigermike

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #6 on: 20 June, 2019, 11:08:07 PM »
Thanks for sharing your holiday KK, great write up and photos  :037:
I had the opposite experience with my Oxford Montreal kit, trousers never leaked and jacked leaked like a sieve after about 5 months use  :151:
 :460:
« Last Edit: 20 June, 2019, 11:15:23 PM by Tigermike »
Yam RD125 DX, Kwak GPZ305, Honda CB400T, 1983 Kwak GT550, Suzuki GSF650 Bandit, Tiger 1050SE .... got there in the end.

Offline Grouchybastard

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #7 on: 21 June, 2019, 12:45:18 AM »
Very well written. Thanks for sharing.  :031:

Offline Paul2bikes

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #8 on: 21 June, 2019, 09:39:12 AM »
Brilliant ride report, thanks, great pics.

Spent a few hols in France, eating out in caffs is the downside, bit expensive.
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline kraftykarper

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Re: D Day Normandy Trip
« Reply #9 on: 21 June, 2019, 10:28:41 AM »
Thanks for all the kind comments. I'm not a particularly bold or fast rider, but I found the TS great to ride on this trip. Sitting at 75 to 80 mph it feels very strong and ready to go much faster. Loaded up it give a confidence inspiring ride and does all I want it to do now. I might try washing in some nikwax to those trousers! 😂The sound of the 3 cylinders is additive especially the pop and crackle on closing the throttle! I'd like to try a multistrada, but can't justify the cost now. I think the TS got about the right amount of electronics for the price. I do wonder if the next/last update will be a tft dash? Would be pretty easy for triumph. There's talk of the TS being dropped but I don't know. Adventure sport bikes that are mainly used on roads seem to be more popular than ever with new ktms and ducatis coming out recently.