I'm not one for cliches but the Yahama Majesty 400 is truly King of the Road. I've had it for one year and have just used it in the city and was satisfied going at 50 mpg, weaving in and out of traffic with ease and using it to go to work and back. I am now a quarter of a way through a trip from Scotland - Germany - Poland - Ukraine - Romania - Serbia - Hungary - Germany - Scotland and have not been disappointed. The windy Scottish roads were taken with ease and the german autobahns were weaved through. I was a bit anxious about the motorway riding as I had had an xmax 250 and was blown around like a paper bag but the Majesty was very stable. It has a nice cruising speed of 80 mph and has an impressive 72 mpg. The only problem I have had is getting my head blown off as the visor is not that high, which has led to discopathy in my neck and a pulled muscle in my shoulder. However this is entirely my fault for not putting the practice in. It handles the long queue of traffic at the border with contempt and as cagers were sitting twiddling their fingers I was weaving in and out, avoiding the oncoming lorries and heat. I have a nice little yahama bag between my legs, a bag on the seat and a top box and have used half the storage space under the seat. More than enough room for a small laptop, spa clothes and odds and ends and a little left over should i want to buy something interesting in Amsterdam on the way back. It has been as hot as 37 degrees on the road and the engine is handling it and no engine oil is being used. I feel very safe on it because of the maneuvrability (excuse the spelling) and the speed. A comfortable 75 mph on main roads with a bit of uumph to get past the cagers and crawlers. Even at 80 mph on the motorway I know I can still ride my way out of trouble. I am now headed for the mountains of Ukraine, Romania and Serbia and cannot wait. It goes up hills with the greatest of ease and has plenty of power. I am not a show off or a Sunday Rider I bought the Majesty as a means to an end, a mode of transport to work, a vacation bike and a relaxer. It is very comfortable and does not give you time to think. The seating position is fine for the lumbar region with the spare seat acting as a cushion. For me this bike is King of the Road.
1st real day and weather got up to 32 degrees. Didn't think the scooter would like the motorway but it is outperforming everything up to 90 mph. I refuse to go faster. My clothes are very good but like being in a sauna all day. I went to the sauna 2nite and came back along the autobahn at 80 mph with only sandals, shorts and tee shirt and tried not to think about breaking every bone in my body in an accident. If i don't lose any weight in this heat then there is seriously something wrong with me. Get cramps in my legs and then have to rest but I've discovered the cure - stop and drink water. Very simple but effective. Just had one near miss today, overtaking at 85 mph and the stupid kraut didn't let me out. Good brakes on the scooter too. It's a shame it has taken me a year to take the bike for a spin but I am really looking forward to leaving the boredom of the German autobahns (although never dull at 85 mph, trying to look at a gaps for the next junction with sun in your eyes) and taking on the crap Polish roads and then through the Carpathian Mt's. I can deal with the heavy clothes but i regret not taking my open face helmet. I sometimes have to open the visor to get a grasp of air however breaking my jaw in a crash is not too appealing. I went to a nice spa today however it was starker's night. Funny how people walk around naked then put on a towel to hide their modesty. Rather too late for that. Tomorrow to Poznan, another sun gobbling 320 miles. Did 280 today but it is harder on a bike especially with the heat, leg cramps and soaking clothes. Missing my morning alarm clock, maccavity. I hope he's not too lonely but he'll be happy with his bed and the neighbour will be back from holiday with the mutt for mac to steal her food and lie on her couch. However it gives some time for my arms to recover from his scratches.
Neck is screwed. Will have therapy next week. Bulging disc. Wearing a collar for a few days otherwise it will slip out. Hopefully good for Thurs and the next part of trip.
The holiday has finally started. Left the kids, the lego, the lost dummies and crying behind and am on the road. I am in Przemysl just 10 miles from Ukraine. Tomorrow I hope to get to the spa by 13.00 to make the most of it. Just need to sort out the green card. I am now wearing a special collar around the neck while riding like the ones in rally driving use. It is much better and acting as suspension for the helmet. This is now real Eastern Europe - not much food for veggies, hot, dusty roads, bumpy and ruts in roads, over polluted trucks and not much sugar free foods and drinks except for water. I spent nearly £500 in Warsaw on therapy and tests
Finally made it to an oasis in the middle of nowhere. 60 fracking miles in 3 hours. Ghastly roads. Remind me of roads I travelled in 1992 and 2001 but then again that was also Ukraine.
The only problem will be getting out of this hellish country. I swear the roads are the worst i have ever seen. Drivers don't give a shit about one another, they just care about avoiding potholes and some are a meter wide and 30 cm deep. Riding is simply watching and swerving and driving wherever there are no holes and that sometimes means on the other side. If a car sees me coming and sees a hole there is only one choice for him. Thank god for the collar this is protecting my neck. Petrol is only 80p a litre but I would rather pay £1.30 if that meant no potholes. Monday is going to be a fracking nightmare going to Romania. I also got a green card. It would have cost 180 PLN but that's only for Poles so I bought it in Ukraine for 18 PLN. Stares everywhere I go. Everybody is very friendly but think I am nuts for travelling 2000 km for a weekend in their hotel. Maybe they are right. But this is the most exclusive hotel in the region and will cost £200 for the weekend for everything.
Just had my first colon irrigation. Worried at start when i saw a hot water bottle and long tube but that was only the start then they used a machine. Rather uncomfortable but cleansing. Most of the procedures here are for one week visits and not for the weekend. Will just try and relax but only until mon then i have no idea if i will make it to the next hotel in rom. 400 km in one day on crappy roads.
The roads in Poland are pure bliss compared to here. I have been given a decent route tomorrow. I have been told the first 30km are shit and the rest should be OK but I presume the guy has a lada and drives like a snake avoiding the holes. Looking forward to going to Romania but not the trip.
Just 70 miles to rom border and minus one hour. Do you realise i am sending you an email from the middle of nowhere and i can't even find veggie food. The further south the hotter. Now 33 degrees on bike therm.
Ok. Sorry. If you want to feel better i was stung by a wasp and it's painful. Imagine you are the wasp. No more open air vents in my jacket. Making good progress but hot as hell and i am burning up.
Finally in the rom carpatys after 12 hours on the bike. Separated by a border but what a difference. Tourism is booming, nice roads, and only one hole in 95 miles. 4 days of serpentine roads, mtn passes and looking at the view and not for holes. Fine weekend. Cleaned out toxins and no more cramp on bike but ukr roads have knackered my knee. Stopped by ukr police for speeding and told them their roads were shit and they should be ashamed to stop people. No penalty. Totally drenched in perspiration so going to take nice bath and look forward to Dracula 2row
Another day gone and now in Poiana Brasov. 8 hours on the saddle and drenched in perspiration again at the end of the day but well worth it. Stunning scenery, great roads, if a little bumpy at times, and weather from a cool 19 to warm 33. 50 miles down a valley, 15 mile around a lake, 30 miles up a canyon and windy roads to 1800 metres and down again then 120 miles along a flat valley overtaking with enjoyment. There's nothing like the Romanian Carpathians. I've done a similar thing on the bicycle but all I seem to remember is a chemical plant and huffing and puffing up a hill then cursing at the top as i was knackered. Now i can enjoy the scenery and take photos along the way and not have a heart attack. I've been in Ukr Carpathians but here the roads are miles better, tourism is booming and there is more infrastructure. Neck and shoulder still aching but collar makes it tolerable and knee gives way towards the end of the day. Another two days of this plus Dracula's castle. A Romanian biker told me of a 2000 metre pass that is stunning. Just a small detour but it will be like a serpentine road in the Alps. Bit disappointed by the hotel tonight. Advertised with swimming pool and spa however they are still building it. I have sent a complaint to booking.com. Tomorrow a short trip to Dracula and then Sibiu and the Hilton for £50. I want to get there early to make the most of the spa facilities and because i have never stayed in the Hilton. Where I am now is the centre for mountaineering and skiing and 35 euro for 4 star hotel is not bad as the views are magnificent. The place I was at in Ukraine was only built 6 months ago by people from Kiev and it is aimed at rich lawyers and judges (maybe for bribes). I have to say the scooter is great, it handles the curves well at 70 mph, overtakes well at 85 mph, suspension is good and goes up those mountain roads like a bat out of hell.
Wed pm. Half a day off from the bike. Going to Sibiu zoo as there will be no gypsies then pm in the spa. Done 2000 miles.
Help me out. I have two choices tomorrow. The highest route (shorter) or the second highest (longer) to the next hotel. I would ask Paulina but she never replies. The second highest was on Top Gear. Let me know what you think if you have time.
Transalpine (DN 67C)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
(Redirected from Transalpine Pass)
Drumul Naţional 67C
Maintained by Compania Naţională de Autostrăzi şi Drumuri Naţionale din România
Major cities: Novaci, Sebeş
Roads in Romania
The Transalpina or DN67C located in the Parâng Mountains group, in the Southern Carpathians of Romania, is one of the most spectacular roads of the Carpathian Mountains. It connects Novaci, south of Parâng Mountains, to Sebeş in the north.
It is said that the road was built under King Carol II and rebuilt during World War II by German troops and it is called The King's Road by the locals. Also a story has it that Nicolae Ceauşescu had the Transfăgărăşan Road (DN7C) built during the communist regime just to surpass the Transalpina.
The road has its highest point at Urdele Pass, where the elevation is 2,145m above sea level. Given the high altitude, the road is closed during the cold months of the year. Works began in 2007 in order to transform this spectacular road into a modern highway (148 km), allowing a rapid transit between Oltenia and Transylvania.
Rânca, a newly developed resort, is located towards the south end of the Transalpina road.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Drumul Național 7C
Maintained by Compania Națională de Autostrăzi și Drumuri Naționale din România
Length: 90 km (60 mi)
Existed: 1974 - present
To: Arpașu de Jos
Major cities: Căpățâneni, Bâlea Lake, Arpașu de Jos,Arefu, Pitești, Curtea de Argeș
Roads in Romania
Coordinates: 45°35′25.14″N 24°37′42.35″E
The Transfăgărășan (trans (over, across) + Făgăraș) or DN7C is the most dramatic and second-highest paved road in Romania. Built as a strategic military route, the 90 km of twists and turns run north to south across the tallest sections of the Southern Carpathians, between the highest peak in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Pitești.
The road was constructed between 1970 and 1974, during the rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu. It came as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. Ceaușescu wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in the event the Soviets attempted a similar move into Romania. Consequently, the road was built mainly with military forces, at a high cost both financially and from a human standpoint--roughly 6 million kilograms of dynamite were used on the northern face, and the official records mention that about 40 soldiers lost their lives in building accidents.
Panoramic view (from Bâlea Lake to Avrig)
Transfăgărășan in 1974.
Same section of the road as above in 2007.
The road climbs to 2,034 metres altitude. The most spectacular route is from the North. It is a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents. The Transfăgărășan is both an attraction and a challenge for hikers, cyclists, drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. Due to the topography, the average speed is around 40 km/h. The road also provides access to Bâlea Lake and Bâlea Waterfall.
The road is usually closed from late October until late June because of snow. Depending on the weather, it may remain open until as late as November. It may also be closed, at times, because of weather conditions (it occasionally snows even in August). There are signs at the town of Curtea de Argeș and the village of Cartisoara that provide information on the passage. Travellers can find food and lodging at several hotels or chalets (cabane) along the way.
It has more tunnels (a total of 5) and viaducts than any other road in Romania. Near the highest point, at Bâlea Lake, the road passes through Bâlea Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in Romania (884 m).
Among the attractions along the southern section of the road, near the village of Arefu, is the Poienari fortress. The castle served as the residence of Vlad III the Impaler, the prince who inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula character. There is a parking area and a path to the ruins.
The northern section is used as a part of yearly cyclist competitions Tour of Romania (Romanian: Turul României). The difficulty of this section is considered to be very similar to Hors Categorie climbs (literally beyond categorization) in the Tour de France.
Hard day. 185 miles of twists and turns and 10000 m of ups and downs then just to finish it 15 miles of bumps and holes. Dangerous, hard, tiring, exciting and fun at the same time then nearly died at the spa. 44 c water, scalding with sulphur then a cold swim. Still shaking. Never felt such heat. 2row Serbia and rest for 4 days before 4 days of slog on the way back.
Don't know if I will be in touch much over the next few days as i want to chill out and not contact the outside world however I will try and check my email every day.
25 miles from Belgrade. 40 degrees in the air and 48 on the road. Hot with bike suit but burning with less. Looking forward to cold, wet Scottish air.
A more manageable 31 today. I screwed up with the tel. All the emails, Google maps, gps, bbc, etc. in Ukraine and Serbia cost me £300. A high price for convenience. Forgot it was outside eu.
I had hoped Austria would be cooler but wouldn't you know it they are going through a strange mini heat wave. The worst day so far. It started at 31 then went up to a scorching 48. Totally dehydrated again. It goes out faster than it goes in. Once again I hope it is cooler in Germany 2row as I feel like crap. I've had diarrhoea for bloody 2 weeks now ever since i arrived in Ukraine. I've tried Serbian meds and Hungarian meds but nothing doing. Must be a nasty little bug. On the German/Austrian border after a gruelling 8 hours and 325 miles. In Bad Fussing, very apt name for me and 2 row in Bad Munster. I didn't choose the places deliberately, they were just equal distances. Feet have blisters from the heat and my face is sunburnt even though i have a full face helmet. Luckily this hotel has a thermal pool, 36 degrees, just enough to cool me down. A Black scooter, thick black bike gear and black tarmac are not a good combination. They've never experienced this heat in Austria before. Spoke to a couple of bikers and they said at the same time last year it was 8 degrees, if only. I'd better not go to the Arctic next year otherwise it could spell the end, global warming.
What a difference a day makes. 12 degrees and raining. I'm the only person smiling in Germany.
I know i wanted it a bit cooler but give me a break . 12 degrees and 6 downpours of rain. On the plus side jacket is clean, on the negative it is not waterproof. Soaked to the skin and freezing by 18 at the hotel. I think i preferred hot and sweaty. Nice part of Germany shame only 4 hours to look at it. Good news the runs have miraculously gone for now. Still a bit of a gut ache. Must have been all day on only water and it being sweated out of me. 2row a 270 mile dash for the ferry. I should make it on time.