Up to Scandinavia: Intro

A few months ago, even before owning my motorcycle, I started comtemplating going to scandinavia. It is probably because I listen to too much death-metal but there is something about this region of Europe that is very appealing to me.

So I decided to ride my motorcycle (alone) with all the equipment I need to camp along the way to discover those lands. Since it is also pretty far from Toulouse, France, the city I currently live in, I thought it would be an opportunity to challenge myself and hopefully gather experience and good memories that could come in handy and motivate me into undertaking something even harder. It should total around 5000 kms so I guess it falls into the category of serious road-tripping, especially since it will be done entirely on a motorcycle.

The bike on which I will ride that journey is an Honda Varadero XL125V, as its name implies, a 125cc. For comparison, common motorcyle average around 600cc and 125cc is right on par with the larger scooters. To put it simply, 125cc is not a lot of power; the Varadero’s top speed is just below 120 km/h but with the wind in your favor, you can go a bit faster. The main characteristic of this bike and actually what motivated me to purchase is its impressive size and comfort, truly a small bike in a big package. In fact, it is larger or at least as big as most other bikes. So much that more often that not I get the biker’s salute, an “honor” that scooters or other commuter bikes seldom receive. It can site two comfortably for very long journeys (The most I have done with my girlfriend behind is about 325 kms) and provided you have supporting racks, can also carry a fair amount of equipment.

As long as you are in no hurry, this bike will get you wherever you want to go. It can certainly do highways but being a 125cc, you will have to share the right lane with trucks. Which is why I try as much as possible to avoid them: it can get a bit scary and it totally takes away the enjoyment of driving, which is what motorcycles are for in the first place.

I will not say I am contempt with this bike, not at all, I has only made me want a larger one but since I can only drive 125cc for now, this is the best of the best. And very economical too for its size, I can go for more than 400 kms on a single (14L without the 3L reserve) tank and since gas so so expensive in Europe, this is a big plus.

Enough with the motorcycle, there really is no special point to this trip but to enjoy the road and see northern Europe. I will be going to pretty much every country I cross’ capital and spend a day or so visinting them. On the way, I will keep a log of every day or motocycling as a souvenir but also so friends and family can follow me along. However, I will concentrate on the travelling rather that the visiting; there are plenty of guides for the cities I will be going through and frankly this is not the point of a roadtrip.

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