Chapter Four Crossing France
Montelimar in the Morning
In the U.S. the type of BMW will usually see is a cruiser / road bike but BMW makes some much sexier machines. A rider said "Bonjour" to me at a fuel stop but I didn't see his ride until he walked to it and that bike was the hottest BMW I have ever seen. I have no French so we didn't get too far when he tried to talk but he understood when I said, "Magnifique!"
The bikes up-front in the first picture are Harley hogs and you might be surprised to see how many Harleys are on the roads over here. The BMW to the right isn't as tricked out for race as the one I saw yesterday but it's obviously designed more for speed than for old man cruising.
Harleys are wonderful machines and I will love them until I die but if I had the money I would go for the BMW.
Since I don't have the money, I have brave little Haximoto! I talk to her while I ride and tell her she's a brave little scooter. I'm sorry I have treated you so badly in dropping you and crashing you. Dear little Haximoto, you have taken it all so well!
I had some concerns about taking her out on the Autoroute but I do seriously keep her limits in mind as I don't want to abuse her. If I take care of her, she takes care of me. The crash wasn't her fault and it wasn't Europe's fault. It doesn't matter how good you are, if you are tired then tired will win ... Crash.
I maintain a speed of about 75 kph, sometimes going to 80 kph as she doesn't mind doing it but then I back off as the fact she can do it doesn't mean she must. The motor does not sound like it is straining as the RPMs are not terribly high. (Her top speed is just about 100 kph or 60 mph) I had some concerns about overheating the tires but both are nearly new with enough riding time in Greece to break them in. Besides, driving at 75 kph is probably only about 40-45 mph.
There are multiple advantages to the Autoroute, one of which is the road surface is close to immaculate whereas that's not at all true on secondary roads. It doesn't take a big editorial to tell you that it's not touring on the Autoroute but rather it's a means to eat up kilometers. This is yet one more reason to take a day down as doing this simply for the sake of riding a scooter from Greece to Scotland is a highly simplistic goal. The whole point of any trip is the journey.