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So last weekend I did 2,300 miles in 5 days on my new F3. It had just over 600 miles on the clock when I set off from North Wales on last Thursday, rode down to Dover to meet up with one other (Gary - 2003 R1) and the channel crossing. Our aim was Saint Quentin. We deliberately didn't book anything - just passport in one pocket and credit card in the other, but we did book the first 2 nights to give us some direction.

We arrived in Saint Quentin a bit later than expected (2am on Friday morning, and very tired), to find the hotel permanently closed....ho hum. A quick google search found an Ibis a kilometre away and we knocked on the door. The night porter gave us a room each and to be honest, there could have been a breeze block in the room and I would have slept on it.

Up at 08:30 for breakfast and crack on the motorway / Peage to Geneva. the last couple of hours were A roads and better, so arrival late afternoon at a spa hotel in Geneva and a slap up meal that night. It was (and still is for Europe) very hot, so window was open as no air-con. I was subsequently eaten alive by the fuc1ing mosquitos.....Lesson number one learnt there, pack insect repellent for next time.


Looking at the map inbetween itching, we decided to head to the Furka pass and try the Great Saint Bernard pass also (Both in Switzerland). We rode through Geneva and past the huge fountain in the lake, and past Mount Blanc and through Chamonix for lunch (bloody expensive, even by Swiss standards), and arrived at the bottom / start of the Furka pass - but the heat was getting too much in leathers. I also learnt another lesson (number two) - don't ride F3's through town on a hot day in leathers, I was cooking as much as the bike. Sh1t the bed these things get hot in the nether regions...!!! With luggage I had a bit of a sense of humour failure and we decided to find a hotel for the night. We found another spa hotel right on the pass in one of the villages and after a cool dip in the spa facilities which was very welcome, we walked into the village for a meal.

The next day (Sunday), we headed up the Furka pass and down the other side into Andermatt. There was a cycle race going up the other side so busy dodging approx. 500 cyclist all spread out, and the associated cars. We were blown away by the scenery though - I have only been to Switzerland (Lausanne) about 25 years ago so can't remember much about it, plus it was a brief visit. I have been to the Alps many times for snowboarding but this was the first time I have been in the summer. Wow. Just wow.

We turned around at the bottom of the Furka pass and did it again in the other direction (still dodging the cyclist on the way up now). On the other side we turned up the Grimsel Pass towards Innerkirchen.

This one was even better.

Hardly any traffic, jaw dropping scenery. Coffee stop at the top (sitting in sweaty leathers by a lake with icebergs floating in it, and snow around us.....), we did the pass 3 times it was that good. One thing that did surprise me was the amount of locals who went spanking it up and down (cars and bikes) - great fun chasing them along it.

We booked a night then at Dijon and heading along the valleys and past the huge turquoise lakes (huge to us Brits anyway). Another spa hotel and decent food before heading back on Tuesday from Dijon and a 14 hour ride home in North Wales (breakfast at Dijon, a very late dinner in Aberdyfi). We were going to stop at the Nurburgring on the way back, but decided it was too much to try and cram in so will be doing that in 4 weeks time in August. We did come up through the centre of France and the Champagne region with it's rolling hillside and sweeping roads to Troyes.

Lessons learned though:-

All in all, the bike performed better than I though, apart from the overheating issues. It's actually comfier than my GSXR1000 K7 for touring.

People love it - lots of comments from bikers and non bikers. I saw one other MV, an F4 on the Grimsel pass (Swiss plates)

Playing with the auto blipper in the tunnels is compulsory and against the law not to....

Fuel economy was better than Gary's R1 - his light came on many times before mine did.

Would I do it again - hell yeah. Already looking at routes for next year.

Of all the negatie tings said about the brand and the F3's, I'd like to say mine has been brilliant over the last week and I'm still chuffed to bits with it.
 

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Didn't upload for some reason.....I'll try again on this post.
 

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Stunning backdrops. One day I'll make it out there.
 

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The roads were faultless - no manholes or ironwork in the middle, no repair patches - just beautiful tarmac through stunningly beautiful countryside. Apparently, the Furka Pass is where they filmed James Bond getting his Aston Martin DB4 (?) pushed off the edge of the road.
 

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Beautiful...what a great trip. I am jealous.
 

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Wow - thanks for sharing that adventure !
 

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Good man - bikes are for being ridden not locked away in garages :)
 
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Nice read and pictures!
What kind of bags are you using on the bike, and do they chafe on the tail end?
I've originally said I wont use my F3 for travelling, but oh how I miss the mountains of middle-Europe...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nice read and pictures!
What kind of bags are you using on the bike, and do they chafe on the tail end?
I've originally said I wont use my F3 for travelling, but oh how I miss the mountains of middle-Europe...
I'm using 2 x Oxford tank bags, plus an Osprey Talon 22 rucksack. The big tank bag I use for trainers, chain and lock, tools, earplugs and race tape, cable ties...etc...I used some of that rubber matting for tool chest draws, and a racket strap lashed around the pillion pegs and underneath the tail section to hold it firmly in place - it didn't move or rub anywhere.

The small tank bag had some of the same rubber matting under it, and I just used the leash under the yoke to stop it travelling too far - obviously the magnets don't work there but I only had waterproofs, wallet, phone and passport in it and it made a bid for freedom after some exuberant motorway riding a couple of times, that's it - rest of the time it stayed put.

Rucksack was comfortable and only had clothes in so light weight.

However, for future I will look at buying a 30 litre tail pack and do away with the rucksack (Oxford do one that I almost bought that looks quite good), and the larger tank bag on the tank.

We both were using phones inside the tank bag and both of us struggled to read the Google maps at times, or it would spin round or disappear as the button would be accidentally pressed with the tank bag material, so for next time I will also look at a dedicated bike sat-nav (ie, waterproof) and somehow fixing it in a better location. Not sure how and where but need something better than the current set up as at times it was very frustrating.

Another thing discovered about the bike, the back brake is worse than useless - what a pile of shit it is. That also needs addressing.
 

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Wonderful, I love seeing the F3 loaded up like that! For my first 12 years of MV ownership, 2000-2012 I toured yearly on the F4 ( Sennas, Stradas Brutes ), it wasn't easy and my buds were astonished at the lengths I could spend in the saddle, but I loved every minute of it. Since then, most road trip duty has fallen on the Interceptor then in recent years, the Multi. Last week I just returned from 4 days in the Adirondacks and I was reminscing about riding those roads on the F4, insanely beautiful, putting the hammer down so all could hear her dance and sing through the mountains! Great pics thanks for sharing and stiring my memory!!!
 

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Got caught speeding while over there....

45 Euro fine if paid now. I'll take that thank you very much. A lot cheaper, less painful and less hassle than getting nicked here in the UK for the same violation.
 

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