8-7-16 Trip to the Nordkapp and back by Triumph Explorer, day 1

July 26, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
8-7-16
This is the first day of the trip I'be been trying to do for the last 7 years. The ferry from the UK to Norway last sailed in 2009, there have been rumors about it re-starting every year since.
I decided at the end of 2015 that I was going to find a way to do this run instead of waiting any longer and found a company in Manchester called Euro bike trans that could ship the bike by road to Oslo, but they couldn't store the bike while I work offshore.
So I got a local shipping agent to store the bike for two weeks then ship it to Manchester to be crated and put in a truck for shipping to Norway.

Norway probable routeNorway probable routeThis is the route that I decided should be possible in two weeks through Norway, Sweden and Finland on my Triumph.




My motorbike is a 2014 triumph Explorer. A few people have asked me what I did to prepare the bike for the trip.

I got new tyres fitted as I knew I'd pretty much go through a set on the run, the large aluminium Jesse panniers were fitted to replace the smaller Triumph ones the bike came with after I did a trial run around Scotland.
The large topbox has been on a while, it's a Givi trekker 52l.
I put the Lomo drybag on the seat to ship my motorbike gear in so I wouldn't have to carry it on the plane, the steel mesh bag around it is from Pacsafe as a security measure.

I fitted a sidestand foot extender to enlarge the bottom of the stand and stop it sinking if I needed to park on grass. This replaced a small plastic puck as I tend to loose them.

I've used sat navs on bikes for years, it's not that I can't read a map, just that I don't really have a sense of direction and they take the hassle out of traveling through places you don't know. It's also good for finding fuel and hotels.

I fitted the short screen to the bike after a bit of trial and error with different heights to reduce buffeting. I found that having the wind hit me at shoulder height was best as it means my head is in clean air and the helmet vents work well.

I also took a sheepskin seat cover having been put off airhawk seats for some reason. I'm not sure how well the seat cover worked but it looked cool! (not in the photo below).

Tools wise I packed my usual puncture repair kit with co2 canisters. I've needed to use one previously and it saved the day so there has always been one under the seat since.
I also carry a leatherman multi tool, a welded up 17mm bolt to remove the front wheel spindle, a small socket set (again been handy in the past), an adjustable spanner, tie wraps, tape, spare fuses and a selection of various nuts and bolts in case any make a bid for freedom during the journey.
Essentially things that don't cost a great deal but can be a pain to find away from home. Major repairs would involve breakdown cover.

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The camera I use is a full frame Canon 5d mk3, with a 24-105mm lens on it. It's a large and quite heavy camera but I'm happy to take it for the results it can produce. 

I shipped the bike by road a couple of weeks before flying over so it would be ready to pick up on the 9th, then I flew over from Aberdeen to meet it in Oslo.
This was the only way I could get to ride up to the Nordkapp within my two week time frame, I'd have loved to have ridden all the way round from Scotland but working on oil rigs with a fixed rota meant I simply didn't have time.

I arrived in Oslo in the late afternoon, it was fairly warm and after getting the train from the airport into the central station I walked to the hotel. Eventually.
My sense of direction has always been awful and I hadn't made any notes about the hotels location, maps on my phone came to the rescue and I got checked in.
 
Later on I went out to find some dinner and after a  bit of a wander about I ended up eating in an Irish bar, it's a habit I can't shake! Burger and fries with a pint of Irish cider was £30 and was served by a brash Australian bloke that quickly explained that there is a tipping culture on top of the crazy prices.
Oslo seems like a nice city and I really haven't seen any of it. There is a heap of building work ongoing though! 

IG4A1858Oslo buildings

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