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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

On the verge of pushing the button for a tour of the North Coast 500 via an organised tour company... but I’ve just looked at the miles/time involved getting up and had a... holy sh1t moment. I’m based in Kent so to even reach the starting point in Inverness it’s 590 miles which equates to nearly 11 hrs on the bike. This would be split over two days, then allowing 5 days up there to cover the 500 miles around the North Coast and then of course another 590 miles back to Kent over two days.

Whilst I’m mad keen to do the NC500, 590 miles X2, of boring motorway ridding sounds painful, boring and like a waste of valuable time.

Which got me thinking... I’m a stones through from the Eurotunnel, so I can reach interesting roads, sights etc in a fraction of the time... and if, for example I set my sights on a destination like the Italian Lakes... I will overall still be covering similar distances to the NC500 Trip all in... but without the 1,180 miles of horrible U.K. motorway miles.

Pro’s of going the Euro route would be warmer weather, meaning I can pack less and travel lighter. More diverse range of sights etc. Edit... having said that there is the hassle factor of the Euro trip needing me to plan the whole thing and for sure it’ll cost more than the £650 for the tour of the NC500.

Cons... none except not doing the NC500 at this moment in time.

Curious to understand what you think folks?
 

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My vote is for a Europe trip.

Saying that, the NC500 sounds amazing too.
Why not think about using a transport company to take the bike to Inverness (and return) it for you?
Then you can just fly upto the meeting point fresh, ready to ride & take in all the North has to offer. Then drop it off and fly back down when you’re done.
I only say this cause those motorway miles sound like torture and can potentially ruin a lot of good memories.
 

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You have answered your own question, it's a no brainer, do you want to be cold & wet + tired or hopefully less so.
North coast trip is £650 + £140 ish fuel for up & back, could cover a bit of euro land for £800.
Whichever you choose I hope you enjoy it.
 

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Trirocket’s right - I’d go Europe as well. NC500’s great but the weather’s always a gamble.

Even the best road in the world can be rendered a miserable experience when it’s pissing down.
 

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For me......riding 600 miles of freeway on a motorcycle is a non-starter. I would rent or buy a trailer and drive up with my bike in tow......or ship it up......to the starting point.

If you are going by yourself a tour may have some advantage of built-in support and comrades in arms.

No tour-groups in Europe ? I would go with the weather.....


rich
 

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I'm a Jock so you would think I'm biased, I would be if you were talking about doing the NC500 on a GS or Tiger Explorer or Tenere or Africa Twin etc (all good storage, lots of wind and rain protection and suspension that will cope with Bear's idea of pothole repairs), I'll toss my vote in going the Europe route too, Scotland will always be easy to visit, Europe perhaps less so in a year or 2.
 

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While The Scotland tour sounds amazing, IMO, there’s not a lot of fun riding in inclement weather. Maybe, after it’s over, you have that “I did it” sense of accomplishment and a bit of superiority but, no way can it beat beautiful riding weather on beautiful roads on a beautiful motorcycle. And the different scenery, countries, etc, are a real high. So, for me, it’s the Euro tour.
 

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Given your location I would probably opt for Europe. I used to go to University in Scotland and only had a bike at the time (a VFR750). The trip to Edinburgh was bloody grim. Eight hours on the M2, M25, M1 and A1 Generally rain all the way. Though on one return journey when it was actually sunny I went via the A68, which was a great ride, apart from all the signs about how many fatal crashes there had been every few hundred yards. The road has a lot of blind summits with crossroads which are a bit of a hazard in low visibility weather. Scotland is great once you get there but for me I would probably opt for Europe.
 

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Hey Mike,

Have you seen this month's Ride magazine? They've done a guide to the North Coast 500.

It's your call and any holiday on a bike is going to be fun no matter where you go, but as you're so close to the tunnel I'd head to Europe the beer's better and the petrol stations are open on Sunday's.:wink2:
 

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I have to drive from Essex to Scotland for work every 3 months and I absolutely hate it. By the time I get to Scotland I just want to get to the Hotel. Don't get me wrong the scenery is bloody marvellous but your feed up with driving by the time you get to it. On a Bobber forget it. The temperature difference is always at least 5 degrees colder up north, it always rains, you've got no wind protection on the Bobber. If you was talking a couple of hours away fine, but its way too much unless you intend to stay overnight on the way up there. Scotland is lovely ( i have spent plenty of time Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen & Dundee) but to ride all the way up there, no thanks.
 

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Oh one other reason to avoid Scotland are the massively increasing profusion of speed averaging cameras, the whole A9 from Perth to Inverness is one big speed averaging 137 mile stretch with many many sets of cameras. Just be sure to do Scotland before the SNP have thier way with a 20, 40 or 50mph limit on ANY road thats not Motorway, the party who cares.....honest......
 

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Oh one other reason to avoid Scotland are the massively increasing profusion of speed averaging cameras, the whole A9 from Perth to Inverness is one big speed averaging 137 mile stretch with many many sets of cameras. Just be sure to do Scotland before the SNP have thier way with a 20, 40 or 50mph limit on ANY road thats not Motorway, the party who cares.....honest......
Totally agree with you my friend!
 

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I have to drive from Essex to Scotland for work every 3 months and I absolutely hate it. By the time I get to Scotland I just want to get to the Hotel. Don't get me wrong the scenery is bloody marvellous but your feed up with driving by the time you get to it. On a Bobber forget it. The temperature difference is always at least 5 degrees colder up north, it always rains, you've got no wind protection on the Bobber. If you was talking a couple of hours away fine, but its way too much unless you intend to stay overnight on the way up there. Scotland is lovely ( i have spent plenty of time Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen & Dundee) but to ride all the way up there, no thanks.
In a way, I’m glad you’ve said that!

One the best things about our best biking roads is that there’s not too much traffic!

Let’s keep it that way!

Scotland’s shite! Don’t come here!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks all for your comments and advice... it certainly seems that everyone agree’s for the most part, on the Euro trip being the better option and I have to agree!

Now I just have to figure out where to go and which routes to take... I feel a new thread coming on!!! :wink2::grin2:
 

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You’reso Right

I have been invited along but they all ride Honda Grom bikes!
Definately I feel with you, must be horrid guys :laugh:

Cu
Léon
 
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