Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bridlington, , England
Sunny Spain ....Not
I have just completed a 2,700 mile tour of Spain for the Motogp in Jerez and back to the UK again on the GT.
I have had one of the afflicted ''High idle '' GT's but after months of problems , starting out after i got back from a previous Spain trip in Sept 2006. After lots of hard work and after BMW finally revealed that there had been 11 previous GT's with this problem and 9 had been sorted out with swapping various parts as i had , had done . But 2 had problems with the the successful uploading of the latest version software , so after replacing my ECU again the software was uploaded then tested by Shaun and Lee at Rainbow in, Rotherham , UK. The end result was the return of my amazing BMW that i had had for approximatly the first 3,000 miles. I can't thank Shaun and his staff enough for all their hard work into sorting my first BMW bike out.
I set off for Spain with my wife looking forward to the trip and not worrying about the safety of the bike. With the weather in the UK changing to possible snow we set off in good time arriving after doing the 288 miles to Portsmouth P & O ferries at 4.30pm, managing to miss the snow . But our look wasn't in as the incoming ferry was delayed due to bad weather and didn't sail until 5.30AM! instead of 9PM My wife wasn't looking forward to the 36 hour ferry trip before the delay , then when a passenger from the ferry came in and told everybody around that it had been the worst crossing he had ever been on and that he hadn't slept for the two nights! she was the least impressed that i can remember. On our return journey one of the ferry staff confirmed that the trip was so bad it had made the national papers. The only silver lining was that we were originally scheduled to sail the day earlier and our crossing was actually not to bad , just a little choppy.
Arriving in Bilbao northern Spain we set of on the next 500 mile leg of our trip, but after the first few miles the realisation that we had some gruelling weather to go through hit home as the temp dial dropped to 0 degree Centigrade and for approximatly 400 miles the tempreture never got above 2.5 degrees and then it snowed, all we needed! Then there must have been about 1,000 lorrys stopped by the Police from going over the Pyrennes , but we were allowed thank god on our way only to see a couple of lorrys that had crashed into the central barriers.
The tempreture picked up around the Valencia area to about 5 or 6 degrees! We had a days rest around Calpe in the Costa Blanca region before heading down to friends in the Costa Del Sol. As i exited the toll road at Alicante i noticed the Guarda Civil pulling in all the bikes and i was made no exception. I was asked for driving licence ID and Insurance at which point the horrible realisation of not carrying my insurance documents hit home. I managed to play the dumb tourist and gave them my E111 insurance card and my driving licence. He couldn't have been bothered with a stupid tourist that day , but as i found out from my friend he could have conviscated my bike, after this i was very nervous of any Police sitings and i have learnt a valuble lesson.
Our trip to Jerez was eventful seeing over turned cars and then getting pulled, in my friends car for speeding after being assured ten minutes earlier, they [ the Spanish Police don't bother about speeders] We had an on the spot fine reduced by 30 % for prompt payment , so the relieved us of 140 Euros lesson number two learnt.
The tempreture down at this part of Spain was 20 degrees for one day then coolish for the race day. After a late start on Sunday we ventured to the track on our bikes and had a congestion free run to the track. As we were suprised by the ease of gaining entry to the circuit and the amount of people here [ 138,000] on getting some food we asked what was the time , only to find out the clocks had gone forward 1 hour and we had missed most of the earlier races , lesson number three learnt!
On our way back we picked up a mountain road the 376 to Ronda which was about 30 miles in distance and must be the best biking road i've ever been on in 30 years of biking, great mountain views and fantastic bends wonderful.
We traveled back up to Calpe for one day then we made the trip back to Bilbao, surley the weather must be better ,,,,,NO torrential rain , mist and cold tempretures again made the 537 mile trip one to endur rather than enjoy. After getting up an hour late we set off in a rush to make the ferry departure. On the first fuel stop i had to wring my gloves out and the water hitting the floor was just unbelievable. I made the decision to go back by Madrid hoping it would be milder than Zaragosa , It was. I must say i dont know how i would have managed without those great heated grips even though i burnt my right hand on them as on 1 wasn't hot enough and on two my right grip was warmer than my left and at the fery port i found out i had indead burnt a small part of my hand. As we approached Bilbao the snow was everyware again and the tempretures already low dropped noticably. We got to the ferry with 1 mile showing on the tank range but knowing there would be about a gallon left in the tank grateful to be bording the ferry what ever the ferry crossing would be like.Our run home was un eventful but the rain and cold tempretures had followed us back to the UK.
My conclusion of our trip was that i am glad we did it but the weather was worse in Spain than we had in the UK. But the BMW gear we had on managed to keep out the rain, my Daytona boots didn't leak although my wifes boots [ not Daytona] eventually leaked. The Garmin Sat nav  was invaluble although there was a few new roads that weren't on the GPS, such as the A23 but it wasnt a problem as you just had to use your head. There were a few lessons learnt but thats what life is about isn't it? My wife says if we go again it will be by plane ! fair enough but i will have to go again for the fantasic empty well maintain roads in Europe but just a little later in the year.
Next trip i'm off to Nortern Ireland for the North West 200 road races in May , i hope i haven't bored anyone with this long post .
K1200 GT SE
Dark Graphite Metalic
Slate Grey side panels
Small Top Box