After a few months, and a few trips, including the trip to Rouge-Gazon, in France, in July 2003, I think it's about time for an update/review, call it what you wish, anyway, on how the bike has behaved all this time...

So, first with the trip to France. This one was quite big, being in total something a little below 4000km's, all added in 11 days' worth of time.

Somewhere in Austria, fully loaded...

Over half of them were quite quick motorway/autostrada/autoroute/autobahn (yes, we did about 20km of the bahn, too!). On these roads, and loaded with top case (about 9kg), side cases (approx 8 and 9 kg), and a tank bag over the bagster harness (3-3.5kg), the bike saw an indicated 200km/h a couple of times, easily, mostly in italian autostrade south of Bologna. Now, you might advise me of the speed limit etc, but what poor me could do other than try to follow those myriads of TDi's going always OVER 150km/h?!!!

The bike never missed a beat, always accelerated hard from 120-130km/h to 170 (indicated) and always FASTER than the TDi's!!!

On the small roads of the passes which were quite slow, anyway, it also behaved brilliantly, only giving a rare backfire here and there when the going was really fast, and while playing all around the rev-range in the middle gears. I hope Darryll riding with Sylvia as a passenger didn't get scared by one particular backfire which happened on his face, somewhere in the fast French roads!

On the way to Grimselpass...

Passo Dello Stelvio. Near the top.

Down the east side of the Stelvio.

The consumption was times better than what I see everyday here, in Athens, which meant around 330-350km's from each tank fill up. That may seem quite unbelievable, but it's really the truth. My usual consumption rates around 240-270km's per fill up (usually 19-21 liters, you do the math, I'm old and bored to do it!).

Just today, September 28, 2003, I took a really fast ride just north of my home. A round trip of around 120km's, my consumption (approximated, here) went down the drain (presumably LESS than 220km/tank!), but also I realized two things:

Even in late afternoon, and in a cool 22-25*C weather, when the bike is pushed for a long time, travelling mostly above 5500-6000rpm (160-190km/h indicated), it will "overheat" slightly, showing 6 bars on the temp gauge. Drop your touring speed below 5000rpm (150km/h indicated) and the temp falls one bar, being at the normal 5-bars! Oil consumption during this trip was negligible.

Second thing observed: The bike would not go over 210km/h indicated, which was 188 according to the electronic Targa speedo. This occured at around 7000-7100rpm, and it will not rev above that, while it will hit the 7500rpm mark easily in 4th gear (and every lower gear, of course!). Maybe it has to do with the Greek gasoline (normal 95 octane unleaded Shell, for the last 4-5 tanks, always from the same gas-station).

From Riky and Elena's photos... Riding up the Sustenpass.

Last but not least, the bike just turned 30000km (30052, to be exact) so on Monday or Tuesday is due in for an oil and oil-filter change. Since the 25000km mark, the bike has been all over Europe, and has consumed so far almost half a liter of Aral's finest! Not bad, after all!
(see also the service log).