Left home in the cool pre-dawn for what I thought would be a morning excursion but one thing lead to another and before I knew it I’d gone Coast to Coast and still had to get home, which is near the coast so…

Was a fantastic ride! @1150km in 20hrs with @250km of that on the expressway.
Nice and cool at altitude so tried to stay up there as much as possible.
Got to finally do a road on my bucket list, Sugawa Touge on the 403 between Niigata and Nagano. Exceptional views and a fantastic hillclimb. Bit narrow on the south side though. The phone was overheating unfortunately so here are some other snaps from the ride instead.

Who are those four jokers?
Where’d the 406 go?

About the Bones

Now, why did I start the day with a 190km expressway run out to Nikko? Let’s roll the clock back a bit.
Almost two years ago to the day while returning from several great days of touring Tohoku with a Viking, coming around a right hander into a narrow bridge crossing, I was met with a a black van on my side of the road and a tough choice…

Head on Collision…nope!

Dodge the van and likely hit the guardrail over the bridge…guardrails are rather unforgiving from previous experience, so…nope!

Try to pull up and go off the corner…lots of thick grass to plow, a concrete pole and tree to dodge but ok…

It all happened so fast that there really wasn’t a decision process to ponder. As soon as I grabbed that brake lever, a wide line was inevitable and going off road it was.

The braking was strong enough to leave a faint gray streak for the last metre or so before leaving the sticky stuff but by then we’d slowed to running pace. After shimmying across the dirt and then off the brakes into that long welcoming green grass with about as much traction as butter, the grass had a another surprise for us.

Just as I was sizing up the tree’s thick branch that we were going to have to plow through at just above front wheel height, we launched a little on a hump hidden in the grass. Not a space bound launch but I’ve many a time thought what would have been if I’d hit it with pace… In any case, it threw me out of the saddle enough to unsettle me and after that I was a mere passenger. 

It was about then that my eyes widened to dinner plates as there was a gaping trench below the branch which had also been hidding behind that long grass!

A stone walled creek/river of unknown depth and bottom. Yep, the crash that keeps on giving! Branch crack, crunch of fairing-plastic and then the odd pop-click-crack, like lobsters on the reef if you’ve ever heard that when diving but a hundred reefs of them pop-click-cracking out from your marrow to your sensors. Bones n joints doing what they aren’t intended to. Head first into the wall! Just above the helmet visor. Then again to the crown of my head on a lower stone step protruding from the wall. 

I came to, draped over the FZ1 with my left fingers in mesh summer gloves filtering clean clear mountain waters gurgling below me. The old beast had saved me once more. 

I did the sensory check and then the digit-limb-everything check and I was in one piece, operational but quite badly winded. Clambered to my feet noticing a sore wrist and bit of dizziness. Looking around, I was ankle deep in a 2-3 metre high 2-3 metre wide concrete bottomed, riverstone lined creek/river teeming with life, both plant and insect. The FZ1 had lost the front below the fork stanchions but looked ok. It wasn’t. Discovered a fatal frame crack much later. Still pains me. 

Back in the trench, I was bewildered and having a little trouble staying upright when the Viking appeared above. He’d been some way back but close enough to see something amiss. I just remember asking, “Did I fk up?” Oviously! 

On extracting myself from the trench with the help of a good samaritan passerby, I painfully realized something was not at all right with my wrists. As the shock and fight or flight chemical dump wore off waiting for the ambulance, it became painfully apparent there were a few things not quite doing what they should’ve been doing.

The ambulance and fire crew were great while the local inspector Cluoseau wannabe bordered on comical with his various hypothesis and line of resulting interrogations. 
Later, at the hospital after some xrays and CT scans, the injuries were clear. 

Two broken wrists, concussion, lung contusions and three compressed vertebrae.


Rehab lasted a while. The back is still not right, the left wrist isn’t either but I’m no spring chicken and that wasn’t my first rodeo. I can still ride!

And ride I will. One day shy of the second anniversary of that decisive day, I went to look over that place and make peace with my demons.
It is a beautiful little area and was all the more so in the early summer light.

Think I’ll make this a regular place to visit around this time each year. A pilgrimage to pain and life and what could easily have been my last ride!

Battery worries?

As the MT10 has been up on stands since March due to the plague, I was initially worried about the battery as I rarely leave the bike unridden for long and if I do, the battery is disconnected.
The MT10 has a great little gadget I installed when picking up the bike from Apexmoto. It has made checking the battery crazy easy. A bluetooth battery monitor.
I walk past the bike almost every day but rarely carry the keys for it and only enjoy unwrapping the mummy-like cover if it’s gonna be ridden or wrenched on. So, walking by and accessing battery condition via an app on the phone is a mere 10 second chore.
It’s got plenty of data and functions on hand too. Big favourite is the alarm for preset battery levels. Thankfully, I’ve not had them go off yet. But in the three times I’ve gone to wrench on the bike, the app readings have matched the bike’s voltmeter. πŸ‘
This had for an interesting and simple stress reliever I hope will keep on doing so for many years. And as it is simple, seems durable and waterproof, it ought to do so. I’ll report back on it again at a later as to this.

Only needed a screw driver and the keys to fit that one. πŸ‘

Will keep adding here as the boots break-in.

March 2020 @320km

I’ve only done a few hundred kms in my Travel Stars so far.

The toe box is vast. I’m usually a 42/43 and as many said they ran large, I went 42. Should’ve gone 41 or even 40.
However, the ankle is tight. And extremely inflexible. Had to adjust the shifter a lot to accommodate the change. I’m expecting that to free up as boots do.
Quality is superb.
The arced zippier performed better with a bit of wax but that curve is not to my liking when zipping up or down. Supposed to make it comfier long term though.
Speaking of comfy, they are indeed that.

@2000km now.

Very happy with them so far. Rode home in torrential rain and spray laden traffic for about 90km/90minutes and still had bone dry hooves. Couldn’t say the same for the rest of me.
The water that poured in the top from fjording a submerged road earlier in the day also dissipated within a few hours.

When
May 1, 2021

Meet – 4:30am

START – @4:50am (sunrise)

Where
Pacific Ocean to Japan Sea
Start: Sagami bay in Kanagawa
Finish: Joetsu in Niigata

Goal
To ride from the Pacific to the Sea of Japan in a single day via as many great roads as can be strung together without touching a highway or toll road!
Then, settle in for beers, a feast and soak…

What’s New

Three days. That’s right! For those looking for a longer ride, we’ll do the traditional coast to coast on May 2 then a free day to recover/explore on May 3 and then a return coast to coast on a rare east route on May 4.

Route
No major changes from the last 3 years’ route, just a little trimming and tweaking of the same great route taking us on the back of an almost endless snake of twisting, climbing, carving and winding tarmac!
2 courses:
Long – roughed out in 2011 – 600km+
Short – The route above but smoother and shorter- 500km –

ALL FIRST TIMERS WILL ONLY BE GIVEN THE 500 ROUTE.

15-20 touges (mountain passes) to traverse on the route, 2 of them being the 2 highest national roads in Japan! And where there are touges, you know there have to be hillclimbs, hairpins and oodles of twisties, right! Yep, that’s the twisty part covered.
How about the butt part? Well, at 600km+ with NO expressway, it isn’t exactly a Sunday squirt or a scoot out to your favorite lunch spot. It’s far enough to feel it and due to being packed with great roads banking you left and right, it is gonna take a while. So, you’re gonna spend your day with eyes tracing tarmac and butt parked, sliding this way and that polishing your seat, tank sides and foot pegs.

This isn’t the 1st time we’ve done it and we’ve tried to improve the route each year and encourage spirited riders to come along and give it a go. Don’t go getting the idea that encouraging means you’ll be joining a β€˜follow the leader’ train of riders though. This is a tough ride and one to do at your own pace on your own schedule. You’ll probably find a rider or two around your pace to roll with but don’t count on it. Everyone has different styles, fuel ranges, bladder sizes and concentration spans so you may find yourself rolling with different people or even alone at times. But generally, small groups of similar paced and style riders have coalesced early on past rides.
If you’ve got a pack of like minded riders already then great, get your train together, study the route, load your navis if you have them and get on with it.
Just don’t take this ride lightly. It is a tough one! A hell of a lot of great riding but tough and dangerous if not respected. Heed the warning.

Ready?
1. You are responsible for yourself, your ride and leaving your whinging and whining at home.
2. Have your bike in long distance ready condition. Plenty(50%+) of tire and a full tank of gas!
3. Have yourself ready to roll. Well slept, fed and healthy.
4. This is not an easy ride! You will be on the road for the best part of daylight and maybe more than 12hours with little time to just cruise and zone out. It is a true feast of twisties that even gluttons have trouble swallowing. Know that!
# START TIME # Sunrise – 4:50am – If you miss the start, don’t give up. Ride your own ride and you’re bound to catch up with others on your way to Joetsu.

**WARNING:
Ride considerately, safely and within your limits.
This IS NOT competitive touring or a race.
In no way is any other rider or anyone associated with this ride responsible for any other rider on the ride.
We will likely have a variety of different riders/bikes/attitudes out there. Respect that and keep it real.
For the safety of your fellow riders and yourself, keep a safe distance between all riders and ride in a staggered formation when in a group. Staggered provides better vision, keeps the pack together and the tires in the car tracks reducing the chance of a puncture.
Have a charged phone on hand at all times with your emergency contact and the other riders’ contact. Details will be shared closer to the start.
Notify someone on this ride asap if you have any difficulties or leave the ride.
Our route parallels a lot of expressway so if anyone wants to swing off on a separate adventure for a bit, take a nap or get lost then there is flexibility for that. Hell, if you just get a crook neck or the bike develops a reluctance to rock’n’roll then make a beeline for the goal and wait for the rest of the crew to roll in. There is always another day and the support of your fellow road warriors waiting for you at the goal.

***MUST***, Even if you have a navi, KNOW the ROUTE, have your back-up maps / Mapple or stick with someone who does. All routes will be distributed sometime in April.

What do we do when we get there?
Everybody meets up at the same place for a feast and to share tales from the road.

Accommodation Location

Joetsu Sun Plaza – Click the following pic to be linked to the Sun Plaza online booking page.

*It’s in Japanese but easy enough to do with Google translate.

If you can’t get a room with the rest of the riders at the Sun Plaza, try one of these two hotels:

Monzen no Yu – https://www.greens.co.jp/monzen/

Route Inn Joetsu – https://www.route-inn.co.jp.e.ut.hp.transer.com/hotel_list/nigata/index_hotel_id_66/

How do I get in on this?
Spirited riders are always welcome. So, just reply here and/or PM me if you’re a definite and I’ll keep you in the loop.

REGISTER HERE

Hope to see a ready pack of Twistybutters on May 1st and a festive bunch on the opposite coast!

Iida to Home @425km

Had a great night’s rest and woke up ready to ride. But the inn was silent. Climbed out of my cubbyhole trying not to wake anybody but old wooden buildings like to chat with even the most cautious of feet. So with creaks and squeaks but never a thud, I dressed, loaded up and crept downstairs. Snoring continued from at least one cubbyhole…

The peace and quiet and soft morning light splashing over the mountains and flooding the vast western windows of the inn before seeping its way through the open wooden labyrinth was a magic way to start the day.

Morning mate!

MotoGP pit the night before, twisty hunter staging area the following morning. ☺

And out the door we went.

The Michael way to minimise downtime!

Making our way south east, the conditions were just right and we were having a ball on the wide open bypasses and squeezing through the tighter canyon passes.

Came upon a deserted XR and after a short trek into the thick mossy forest..

… spied Michael soaking up minus eons down by the waterfalls below. Nice!

Then we climbed…

Crossing over into Misakubo, the wildlife are quite different…

Seems the wildlife like to jump onto the back of speeding bikes too. So best to go slowly, apparently. Defies my logic but I’m not a cute girl on a dualsport so…

Michael and John enjoyed the climb. πŸ‘

Who’s that way over there?

Mountains to the horizon..

How do you like that John?

Just like the way up, endless twisties from there on down.

Views aplenty too!

Soon we were back tracing a river and a closer look was warranted.

Out on the mossy bridge taking pics, soon discovered that my new can’t-miss-that-yellow helmet was a flying-bug magnet. And there were plenty of big stingy ones above this river.

So, back on the road I went! πŸƒ

And where there are steep mountains and deep canyons with roads cut into them, there are almost always sharp stones falling from the walls. The MT10SP picked one up unfortunately.

Fortunately, mechanic Michael was there to save the day. I pulled in under the dragons…

… and he flew into action.

Nice plug mate. πŸ‘

Plugged and pumped up, we got back into it and soon found ourselves in the great green lined hills of tea.

This is the kanji character for cha = tea

Flowing east and then north we twisted our way up toward Ikawa and its mighty dam.

Round the north side of the dam, we pulled into an old favourite for lunch.

The food’s always fresh from the local fields and the kitchen is staffed by local ladies who know what they’re doing with such great ingredients.

From there, with furnaces fueled, we twisted our way back down out of the mountains and headed east for home.

Back in the big smoke, Michael’s work spoke for itself by getting the MT10sp and I back without event. And the rest of the tyres show it was a well rounded test. πŸ˜‚

The only thing left to do was celebrate @3000km and a week-plus well ridden.

Abalone anyone? Couldn’t wait…sorry. ☺

Now that’s some choice Hayama Premium beef!

Great suggestion Michael. That was an epic post-tour feed. Thank you!


Brilliant Goldenweek of riding with a great crew. Full of sideways skewing events but nay a scar or regret. The weather gods tested us a few times but blessed us with predominantly fine weather and clean clear roads. The tour started and finished with three and hats off to Michael and John for their endless enthusiasm, tireless tyre rounding and being a ZERO-PITA. 😁

Already looking forward to next year!

Cheers Gents!

Joetsu to Iida @385km

Had a leisurely wake up then took a short braap over to the local Starbucks for what has become an institution, the post-coast2coast morning meet up. The crew from the day/night before were rolling in and out in dribs and drabs, chatting, grouping up for further touring or the run home.

Good times πŸ‘


On the road again 🎢

Tony had made an enticing pitch for a visit to a local ninja village come theme park come playground and I’d wanted to see it too for some time so that was our first stop. An old friend, Ferdinand, tagged along for ninjaland.

Michael was off solo exploring and found himself this castle at Takada Gardens on the way out of Joetsu.

Back at ninjaland after a spritely run south and up into the hills, we were feeling the heat off the bikes as we took the long walk down into Ninja land πŸƒ

We started out with some blow dart fun. Disappointed with the relatively close and unadventurous big red X on a piece of paper on a stick they had us shooting at, I got us started on trying to hit the logo near the ceiling at the back of the room. Much funner and the lads sent theirs aloft also.

Bet they had a helluva time getting those darts down but by the number of holes up there, it wasn’t the first time.

Us big kids went after the small kids. See that little blue ninja on the wall at back? Uh-huh!

Leaving the little blue ninja looking like a pin cushion, John and Tony went to the museum where John found himself some accessories…

And his clansmen ☺ Look at him, fits right in!

He settled on something a little more traditional.

Perfect outfit for the long, fast and deceptively short ended toboggan. I went first and soon after exiting the run came a hurtling fearless mighty John!

Seemingly chasing a speed demon and casting aside the coward lever, he flew through the braking zone and buried himself in the rather inadequate mats at the end of the run.

I thought he was done for but he stretched out like an inhaling accordion, rolled over and laughed. πŸ˜‚ Well done mate! πŸ‘


Back on the road, Tony and Fernand headed for the express route back to the big smoke while John and I continued twisting south.

Being Children’s Day, we saw plenty of koi no bori floating / hanging across rivers and from flagpoles. A tradition and common site on this day.

It was getting hot, even in the hills, and I was glad to see some shade in the tight twisties. But when the same twisties went past a second and third time, it was time for a powwow with the navi. Just then, who came zinging around the corner? Michael! We chatted and he was enjoying his solitude so we went our separate ways again.

We took our time until the climb up the Green Line and along the Venus Line. The eMpT-10 was getting thirsty again after the gallop but the gas stand on the Venus Line was closed…

So, taking a route I’d never been desperate enough to, we headed down the hillside through a glider take-off/landing zone. Being a decently steep downhill meant I could shut the eMpT-10 down and roll. With what I guesstimated to be 10km of fuel left in the tank, we rolled almost the entire 20odd kilometres down. Worked a treat!

After some hunting, we filled up and headed through Chino to the 152.

Being cautious through the area we’d seen the law a few days earlier, we meandered our way down to the remoter section of the gangling 152. But before leaving civilisation entirely, we jumped up onto a mystery dam-side road for the view and solitude and found the local monkey clan were hanging out perched atop the roadside guardrail and in the overhanging trees. They seemed to like the humming s1000xr more than the lumpy MT-10, no? Or was it you they were communing with John?

Continuing down the 152, the skies got heavier and we were climbing. Eventually, on a narrowing section deep in the valley just after a rather dissuasive road warning obstacle, those two vectors met. It began to rain. And then rained heavier and got colder. It was enough for us to pull over and don the wet weather gear. Me for the bag on the back. John for the body. Not that kind of body bag!

Several tight climbing hairpins later, a good portion of the road had slipped away down the mountainside and we realized why we’d not seen anyone else for a while. Gingerly throttling around that and several kilometres later, we came upon more signage and dissuasive obstructions to find a bit of upper mountainside resting on the road on its way into the valley below. Again, there was enough road for two wheels to inch on by. So far so good. Not really.

The final part of the climb had a heavy fog come low cloud roll in. And at around 1500m, it was thunder, lightning and pinlock overcoming fine mist. Not to mention under 10Β°c! Soldering on over the summit the rain was on again, off again for a few kilometres then things began looking better…until rounding a corner to find the fortknox of roadblocks!

We tried many things… Eventually, John channelled the power of his monkey mates from earlier in the arvo and the impossible became possible! Well done mate πŸ‘ I really didn’t feel like going back through that crap.

Less than an hour later with daylight fading, we tonked into Iida, making our way to the guesthouse for that night.

Michael was already there and sent us welcoming messages to say all was right with the world ahead and where to park. Cheers Michael πŸ‘

Yamairo Guesthouse: A restored and repurposed old trader’s home/warehouse. Full of character and atmosphere.

The common areas are vast yet intimate.

The bad weather meant that we had the place almost to ourselves.

Perfect as we had the Jerez Moto GP to watch.

The owner/operators were happy to let us watch, cheer and enjoy. So we crowded around Michael’s phone screen while they plied us with liquor and food ☺ Well done on the live feed Michael. πŸ‘

Did I mention it was a unique place?

Our room had four… compartments. Each private compartment had light, power supply for charging and a vast comfy clean bed.

I hit the sack and was out in minutes. 😴

Eventful days riding John. Good to ride it with you πŸ‘
More to come. Final day actually. Stay tuned…


MT-10 SP Update

Through the heat, bad weather, slippery conditions and test of economy-rolling, it didn’t miss a beat or disappoint.

Discovered that the brakes work regardless of ignition on or off. A worry I’d had with ABS units. Never tested if the ABS still worked though.

Found the winglets above the tailight to be just garnish and terribly placed for carrying a touring bag. Given enough time, I can see them succumbing to attrition. Unfortunate form over function design.

On an unplanned yet often forgotten test of durability, discovered that the headers are very hardy and more than up to the task of holding the weight of the bike should the front tyre cease to be doing that. πŸ˜‰

Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan – @550km


Early morning in a very comfortable bed...

Meanwhile, down by the Pacific Ocean, all fired up and ready after waiting all year to ride coast to coast, 80 odd riders and their steeds were all kinds of excited, sleepy and confused, I’m sure.

Another epic collection of bikes and riders!

Sun’s up!

5:20am…ishRising up out of a great sleep to a beeping alarm, had the feeling that someone was watching me and none too impressed…

You too?

Then it hit me. COAST to COAST Twistybutt day! The one day of the year not to sleep in! So, like Fred Flinstone but onto a bike, I was outa there!

7:15ishRolled in to the start point and of course no one was there. Beautiful morning though πŸ‘

So, with hares to hunt, it was time to get to know the SP side of the MT-10SP.

The Viking caught me here and plied me with rider fuel as I topped up the somewhat thirstier than usual eMpT-10 ☺ Then we were off again!

Toilet stop and refocus here.

Blasting through a subterranean valley to valley wormhole, loving the thrum of the MT10 crossplane rattling the tiles on the tunnel wall, I realized I’d completely missed the turnoff for the snaking touge overhead and as a result had lopped off around 20km of the C2C500 route! Doh! It was time for a pitstop and refocus. The riverside here did the trick. πŸ‘Head back on straight, no time for photos and deciding to try and catch one pack or another doing the same route, the tyres stayed medium-well done all the way till Asama yama was in the mirrors and my furnace needed fuelling. Still hadn’t seen anyone I recognised but it was lunch time.On the road again headed for the Tsumagoi Panorama Line with the bike and belly full, the Touge Express was ready to rock again! But, within 300m, the grey sky turned black and a chill took the air.Ouch! Took a hard hit to the knee… Bug? Maybe. Ping-tock-ouch! Something bounced off the tank, hit the bottom of my helmet and jammed in between my neck and collar. And it burned till I dug it out! Then the heavens opened and grape-sized hail was bouncing around everywhere. Luckily, across the way there was a post-office with a decent verandah out front. In the MT and I darted. And as fast as it started, it finished.The remnants of the hail was melting away and there was road to ride so away we went. Over the 292, through Nakano and Iiyama and along the last farmer/panorama line before dropping down into Joetsu we went. And with plenty of daylight left, the MT10sp and I pulled up on the sand by the Sea of Japan.

Got to the hotel just behind one of the groups I had had in my sights but that was it!The rest of the riders, groups and coast to legends rolled in over the following hours. Yearly acquaintances were renewed, new faces were put to names and we gassed on about our rides and the freedom of carving one’s way from coast to coast, again. Brilliant!It had been a few years since I’d done a solid C2C Twistybutt and although it was only @490km, it was truly one for the nostalgia files.


2019 Coast to Coast Twistybutt Legends

 

Hida to Kanagawa @ 610km

The run back to the Pacific.

Eyelids slowly seperate and a new day’s light pins the retinas. Thank you! Woke up to the rustling of futons in the next room. The Viking was up. I wasn’t…

Creaked into a somewhat upright position and sculled some water and decided a 10minute back stretch was in order. Then the paparazzi pounced. Good morning day 3, for me.

Michael: “Ready to Ride!?” … Me: “Almost…”Β 

Being surrounded by Hida’s finest roads was bound to draw at least one of us out early. Barely out of bed and the drainpipe on the KTM fired to life and could be heard trundling down the hill. Not long after, the Viking was wailing on the throttle and announcincing his gallop off into the twisties. Worth noting, the Viking helmet version of a muffler was already over a kilometre and one ridge away and sounded like one long gravely “O—DI—-N!”

This was right outside the cabin door. ☺

So were the waiting steeds.

All packed up and cabin in order, we headed out into the cool fresh Alps air under an inviting blue sky lightly dusted with high faint cloud.

First order of the day, west in search of breakfast. The 41 down to the Miyagawa River was just the wakeup tonic needed. Munched thru a simple combini feed then back on the road.

The Viking’s GT was a little on the smokey-sick side so he headed out early again taking it easy this time while the rest of us swung back east to get a little slice of 471 heaven again before a hop-step and a jump over to the run out of Takayama heading for Kiso.

Ontake in the background and a torn Michael centre. The bike he has at home to the right and the bike that stole his β™₯ that day to the left. πŸ˜‚

The 361 was a treat once again but a little of its character seems to disappear every year as more and more bypasses are added. Still a fun workout though and just before Kiso, we pulled in for a coffee and rest. And something smelt good!

It’s good John πŸ‘ no mate, I don’t eat the head. πŸ˜‚

While fish-feasting, the Viking called in to report he’d just had a little private time with a member of the constabulary. No penalties but a timely heads up for us.

We continued on over to the 152 and on the run north started to get some warnings of more constabulary ahead and sure enough came across two on bikes hiding up on a perch ready to pounce. Fortunately, we werent to be prey that day and we still had the twisty north section to enjoy.

From Chino, we supercruised down a busy Chuo expressway and rolled into our first view of Fuji in a couple of days. Tony put the hammer down for Tokyo here and said farewell until we ran into him again at a service area. T, really wanted an ice-cream there with you but we had a time sensitive treat for the lads. Next time. πŸ‘

Actually, that service area was past our turn-off but was a warranted detour due to the eMTy10 needing a drink.

All fueled up and saying farewell to T, we sailed onto a deserted but hot Chubuodan Expressway with great mountain views all around. Our last stretch of monotony before getting back to rubber rounding on the climb up to the five lakes region of Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji over Motosu Lake after a spritely run up the 300.

Swinging south after Motosu Lake, we rode straight into bumper to bumper traffic leading to a local cherry blossom festival. Those poor cagers, it was like a parking lot for several kilometres in all directions. And sorry gents for riding us straight into it. πŸ™

We got through it though and were soon circumnavigating the mighty Mt. Fuji from west to south before turning up the Fuji Skyline and climbing on the long switchbacks to the highlands before the final tight climb to the 5th station. Michael loved the highland section sooo much he sailed right on by the turn up to the final climb. At the turn-off, John and I waited, called and then thought he’d probably already gone ahead up the mountain so we followed. Didn’t really have time to wait around either as the shadows were growing longer. Only at the 5th station did we confirm we’d left him behind. Sorry mate.

2400 metres and 3Β°C

Well done mate. Another one checked off the bucketlist for John.

Ah, there he is! We did hear you coming Michael πŸ‘

Always a great view and special place to be but boy it was chilly up there and we had to make tracks as the next day was to be a big one.

Buuut that festival’s traffic we’d waded through earlier was now on the march home, as were we, and gridlock was everywhere. So it was time for some roads less travelled. Interesting fun roads!

Our route had us up on the Ashinoko Skyline right on time for a fantastic sunset over Mt. Fuji.

From there, it was a wriggle across and then run down the Hakone Turnpike and Seisho Bypass home.

Good long day gents. We made a lot of ground and had a variety of riding. Too much fuzz maybe but…the tyres were still round all over and not a chicken strip in site! Well done.

More to come. Stay tuned…

β€”——————————————-

MT-10 SP Update

Had the chance to ride the MT10sp back to back with a BMW S1000XR again. Always a pleasure.

A couple of days and 1000+ kilometres aboard the MT10sp had shown it to be a quick and comfy tourer. The XR is really smooth and easy to handle making it an even comfier tourer on top of being deceptively quick. Quicker than the MT10sp…? Maybe after a few hours in the saddle and the comfort possibly makes for a less fatigued rider.

But for outright squirt and tarmac twisting, the SP has got the upper hand, with a caveat. The S1000XR, for me, had the ability to make a quick rider of almost any jockey right out of the box. The MT10sp on the other hand is sharper and more focused and speaks volumes more about its interaction with the road and you. And for that, not as easy to handle as the bigger spoungier S1000XR. But if you can learn to read its language and utilise what it telegraphs from the road, it is far more rewarding and the conversation will have you whooping and laughing all the way to the next fuel stop which comes up all too soon!

Oh and let’s not forget the sound! The Yamaha CP4 firing out the upswept muffler sounds like rampaging clydesdale hooves! 🎢 Charge!

Rumble Pack Award

The rumble of an approaching pack of bikes pricks the ears of all on the roadside. A decent size pack will make a real rider’s heart pound and skin tingle! This year’s ‘Rumble Pack Award’ goes to Nine members of one of the twistybutts most enthusiastic regular groups who completed 600+km. They were also the biggest group start to finish! Great effort all! πŸ‘

First Team In

Arriving at the hotel just after 4pm, this creepy trio ran a smooth C2C500 and had a ball doing so it seems. Well done gents! Good luck next year.

Most Tenacious Award

Although we had some odd entries for the Coast to Coast Twistybutt this year, Neil takes ‘The Most Tenacious’ award for his 600+ km aboard his bespoke Honda Cub. Well done mate πŸ‘

Eco Rider – Team Award

Hanawa, Andrew and Nagai took out the team Eco Rider title with their ‘whip it till the end’ 500+km Coast to Coast run. Pulling into the hotel at dusk, they were all smiles and high fives. Seems they had a really fun ride. Well done gentlemen!