I’ve finally finished my return route through Norway at the end of my summer holiday last year (2005). Its taken approximately 10 hours to create and I’ve included both the route I actually took and the route I would have taken if I hadn’t crashed.
I’ve also included notes about memorable parts of the trip, places I stayed over-night (or didn’t as the case may be), must see places along the way, and a few other general notes about the areas of Norway I travelled through.
All the different bit are included in seperate folders so you can turn them off and on as you like. Whilst it might take quite some time to tour the whole route, I would advise turning on the Terrain layer and run a tour of the alternative last day. I would also advise turning on the terrain and having a look at the area around Trollstigen and Geiranger. I’ve even marked a plane coming into land in Bergen that no-one else appears to have spotted.
Some of the details included in the notes needs to be checked up on, so if you spot a mistake please let me know and I’ll correct it.
Download: Norway – Hamsund to Bergen.kmz
As some of you may be aware I took a holiday in Norway last summer. A smaller sub-set of you may have heard my story of how I got stopped by a couple of eager “number plate spotters” as I left the docks in Bergen. It seems that my bike was the first bike they had seen with a Guernsey number plate and this was rather exciting for them. Being the good-natured person that I am, I stopped and waited whilst they inspected and photographed the plate and explained why they were doing it before heading on my way and thinking nothing more of it… apart from telling as a tale of my adventures in Norway.
Well, more than a year later and I just got an email from my dad. It seems that, whilst searching the internet for something to do with motorbikes in Guernsey, he stumbled upon this site. And, if you head over to the Guernsey page and scroll down to the bottom, you will find, in all its glory, the number plate that was photographed at the docks in Norway.
Isn’t the internet a great place to find all sorts of weird and wonderful things.
This is a pre-solution rant about my Bandit. After my last “accident” with the bandit, in which it had to go back to the garage to be fixed, I seem to be having some problems with the battery. It seems that if I leave the bike for more than a week when I next try to start the bike the battery is dead. I have had to re-charge the battery twice since getting my bike back. At the moment I am having to ride to work every day as I have to go to my parents at lunch to feed the chickens whilst they’re on holiday, and although I am riding eight miles a day the battery doesn’t seem to be charging very much.
In fact, the battery has absolutely minimal charge in it. The is so little charge that each time I start the bike it takes so much power from the battery that the clock gets reset. I’ve tried disconnecting the spot lights in the bellypan, and I’ve even disconnected the alarm and intercom unit in case they’ve been draining the battery whilst the bike is switched off but that doesn’t seem to have made any difference.
This weekend my good friend Phrixus is going to lend me his battery recovery/charger electrickery thingyumy wotsit which will hopefully sort out the battery. He is also going to lend me a multi-meter so that I can testthe voltage and charge usage of my bike whilst running and when switched off, which should tell me if the alternator is working correctly and if there is an electrical short or if something is draining the battery.
Watch this space to find out the results. If I get around to it I may also write a battery trouble-shooting guifr to the bandit.
Last Friday I received the bellypan that I ordered from BanditMania. The bellypan that I ordered was a Roca bellypan with halogen headlights. As far as I know Roca is a french after market parts manufacturer distributed by S2 Concept and I believe BanditMania is the only UK importer.
Fitting the belly pan was a simple affair. I required the replacement of several engine mount bolts in order to hold the bellypan brackets. The hardest part was wiring the halogen lamps. The instructions were to wire them up to the full-beam circuit on the bike but I decided that it would look more distinctive if they were on permanently. So I wired the lamps up to the parking light, which is on permanently. routing the wires up past the exhausts and the engine was rather interesting but it is now all in place and firmly zip-tied so it doesn’t touch any hot parts.
Now that its all fitted I must say that it does look rather good. I would recommend every bandit owner gets one of these bellypans but that would make mine less unique. I know of one other person on the island that has one of these bellypans (which is where I got the idea) but as far as I know he doesn’t normally take his bandit out.
Hopefully if it is sunny one lunch time I will be able to get the bandit out to take some photos of it. If Phrixus felt like taking some night-time pictures of it (to better show off the halogen lamps) I would complain!
This weekend I finally got around getting some new brake discs, as I’ve had bent discs since my accident in Norway, and fitting my jack-up kit on my Suzuki Bandit 600. Thanks to Dave and his tool kit everything went (mostly) smoothly.
The replacement of the brake discs process went something like this:
- Put bike on centre stand
- Put sand bag on pillion seat (to raise front wheel off the ground)
- Put a car jack under the bottom of the header pipes (sand bag wasn’t heavy enough)
- Remove front calipers
- Remove front wheel
- Remove old discs
- Fit new discs
- Remove old brake pads
- Grease & fit new brake pads
- Refit wheel
- Refit calipers
- Remove car jack
Apart from it being a bit awkward trying to get the front wheel and spacers to line-up with the forks when putting the wheel back together everything went as smootly as you could imagine. An hour from start to finish (I had plenty of time and didn’t want to rush things) and once again I had front brakes that actually work.
The jack-up kit was a bit more interesting. Whilst it is theoretically more simple that replacing the brake discs it took just as long. The process should have been something along the lines of:
- Undo & remove lower rear height adjuster bolt
- Undo & remove upper rear height adjuster bolt
- Replace rear height adjusters with new ones
- Re-fit upper rear height adjuster bolt
- Re-fit lower rear height adjuster bolt
Well, thats the theory. In practice things went a little differently. The lower bolts came out without too much trouble but the upper bolt was more difficult. Part of the problem was that I have got a rear-hugger fitted on the bike and, as I couldn’t be bothered with removing it, this meant that access to the upper bolt was greatly reduced. After much effort and a slightly rounded nut the top bolt finally came free.
Fitting the new adjuster bars would have been plain sailing only the holes for the bolts were slightly on the small side so the bolts couldn’teasily be pushed through by hand. Not to worry, enter Dave and his big hammer! The result is that the bolts are re-fitted and the back end of my bike is now sitting about 3cm higher than it was on Saturday.
The new parts for my Bandit finally arrived today (I was expecting them last Friday) so I can now finally begin the process of re-building the bike. I was going to take some pictures of the parts but I left my camera at work when I went home for lunch so I’ll have to post pictures later.
The parts that have arrived are:
- Front wheel (inc. bearings)
- Front wheel spindle and spacer
- Front forks (left & right side)
- Front brake discs (left & right)
- Front brake lines
- Michellin Pilot Sport front tyre
- Michellin Pilot Sport rear tyre
The plan of action from here is as follows:
- Get tyre fitted on front wheel
- Charge bike battery (it went flat whist in storage)
- Remove old forks, wheel & brake lines
- Remove brake calipers from old forks
- Thoroughly clean new parts
- Rebuild front end with new parts
- Take bike to have new rear tyre fitted.
After all that is completed I should hopefully have a fully restored Bandit 600 so that I will then be able to take my Gixxer into retirement in order to be able to strip it down and rebuild it over the winter.
For those of you that are not in the know, whilst I was in Norway I had a minor accident on my motorbike. I say minor but it resulted in the front forks being bent and my front wheel collapsing. After the whole fiasco with the RAC returning my bike (I promise to post a full writeup) I have finally found a breakers yard with spare parts for my bike and have ordered them. Hopefully they should be dispatched tomorrow to arrive in the island by Friday afternoon.
If all goes well and I can get into the garage where my bike is being stored I may even be able to get my bike back on the roads this weekend!!!
For all the trouble that the RAC put my through, I would like to thank them for paying for my spare parts… their “compensation” really came in useful!
I just read about an interesting feature on Google in which you can get Google to “fill in the blanks”. You simply type in a sentance and put an asterisk where you want the blank filled in. I found this out from the Google blog and the example query they give is “The parachute was invented by *“.
SO I thought that I would give it a go and tried searching for “the motorcycle was invented by *“. As luck would have it this not only tells you who invented the motorcycle, it is also a perfect example of why information found on the internet should be taken with a pinch of salt. Apparently the motorcycle was invented by the following people:
- Gottlieb Daimler in Germany in 1885
- Sylvester H. Roper in 1869
- Howard Roper in 1867
This feature of Google is also pretty good for looking up jokes, such as “how many * does it take to change a light bulb“. However, I’m not sure how many people will find the second result very funny!
I’m back from my three week holiday to Norway but my bike isn’t!
It’s a long story so I’ll fill you in about it later.
Whilst writing the previous post I came across my list of stuff to do for my holiday to Norway. So lets see how I’m doing so far:
Plan route (I’m leaving this one to dad)
Buy Guernsey->UK tickets
Buy UK->Norway tickets
Buy new motorcycle helmet
Buy intercom unit
Buy bike luggage
- Install intercom unit & bike alarm
Locate possible over-night stops (again I’m leaving this one to dad)
Acquire tent for emergencies
Purchase riding clothing (trousers & new gloves)
Find & buy cigarette lighter for motorbike (to charge phone & iPod)
Buy iPod (either Mini or Shuffle)
Looks like I’m not doing too bad… there have been a few other things I’ve had to do but I don’t have the time to add those to the list at the moment.