I have just arrived from 830km solo on the Multistrada. Wonderfull! (well, most of it…)
It all started with a foggy oil level sight window. Aparently all Ducatis run cooler than some of the Japanese bikes and in cooler climates they tend to collect moisture in the oil and gunk up the oil sight glass.
Not a problem I’ve had before as in Portugal all my bikes tended to run hot! Even in the winter. Short rides around town make this problem worse as the oil doesn’t get up to temperature and the remedy seems to be a mix of techniques:
– some people go for a longer ride and remove the oil filler cap on return to let the moisture escape
– some let the bike idle until it gets above 100ºC and then remove the filter cap
– others cover part of the radiator during the winter to get the bike to run a bit hotter.
I went for a mix of solutions; long ride, oil filler cap off and will be changing the oil soon.
Having already been to the Eifel region in Germany last spring, I found a route around the Eastern Ardennes in Belgium and decided that it was a good plan for a free friday. What I did however seem to forget is that Spring in this part of Europe is not quite the same as Spring in Portugal!
So I left Amsterdam on Thrusday after work to a miserable 300km ride in pouring rain. The first 100km took me 2h thanks to the never ending traffic jams on the Dutch motorways. 100km (2h) of filtering is not what I call fun riding, but with my sights on better weather for Friday and the prospect of some decent corners I soldiered on.
After a late (22h) arrival at the cheapest hotel I could find in the Liége region on Booking.com I tried to unfreeze myself and dry the gear and went to bed.
Friday dawned cloudy and cold but with mostly dry roads I left the hotel around 9.30 and headed off to ride the 300km loop I had planed trying to regain a feeling for corners after a long winter in the land of flatness.
The initial route to Luxembourg was relatively uneventful corner wise, just nice typical villages, pretty churches and country roads. Crossed the border into Luxembourg for fuel and an espresso and stayed in the service station for a while chatting with the guy that worked there. I did get a good glimpse as to why about 1/5th of Luxembourg’s population is Portuguese: The fuel costs 1.19€/L an espresso 0,40€, and on top of that they have nice roads! I want to move there too!
The second part of the route, from Luxembourg to Tres Pont on N68 and then to La Roche-en-Ardénnes on N66, N651, N807, N841 and N89 was when the fun started with nice corners and less barely any traffic. From there on i took N843, N889, N899 and N803 to Rochefort. The plan was then to ride to Huy and back to Spa, but I was getting tired and still had to get back to Amsterdam so got on the motorway to Bruxelles, Antwerp and back in the Netherlands.
In all it was a fun ride, and left me wanting to go back there with some more time (and warmer weather) to explore some new routes, especially in Luxembourg and the Western part of the Ardennes. Didn’t find any Alpine level of fun roads, but they are certainly a lot better than anything this side of the border.
Total Distance: 836 km
Average Speed: 71km/h
Average Fuel Consumption: 6,3 L/100km
As usual, here are some photos of the route, enjoy!