1800 Miles No-Destination Adv Bike Style On A Benelli 400 – Part 1
The motorcycle ride that arrived later than a blindfolded snail
Ever had a motorcycle ride that you’ve wanted to do for many years, and somehow you never did?
For me, it turned out to be this one.
Yet, I didn’t realize it when I planned it. Not because of the destination. Nor because of the motorcycle. Or even because of the distance.
Honestly, I could fill out an entire bucket list with dream rides.
However, as I looked at the Benelli 400 parked in my garage, I couldn’t help but wonder if that small classic cruiser would prove my theory that you can go on an adventure motorcycle travel with pretty much anything that has 2WheelsOnRoad.
Riding 1800 miles on a Benelli Imperiale 400, adventure motorcycle ride style, finding the right compromise between comfort, the bike’s characteristics, and ride enjoyment, was the challenge. All of this while keeping the tour budget low.
Adventure motorcycle riding is one of those things that will test your strengths, expose your weaknesses, and shape your character.
If and when you decide to go, you can be sure that you will overcome situations that you had never even thought about surpassing. And still, at the same time, you’ll benefit from one of the most absorbing experiences that will connect you to the surroundings and ultimately to the world around you. Nonetheless, for all the hardships Adv Bike travel presents, it will give you back double in joy and growth, giving you a priceless chance to return home wealthier than you left. That, I did.
This motorcycle adventure ride was an experience I won’t forget.
Pairing up with a friend
Could I find something that would improve the experience even more?
Of course, I could. Chances always show themselves when we least expect them to. We just got to pick them up.
So for the first time in, I don’t know how many years (27 but who’s counting anyway:)), I paired up with Rui, one of my closest friends.
Throughout the years we have ridden together before, we surely shared a few hundred thousand miles, but as unbelievable as it may sound, not just the two of us. We were always with other friends or other riders with whom we set up a trip. This chance was up for grabs, and we did!
We would take mostly secondary county roads and the occasional dirt road to the most beautiful and secluded places.
No destination. The first step in every adventure motorcycle tour is to go. For us, that was more than enough.
And to make things even more interesting, Rui would ditch his regular adv bike, a Triumph Tiger 800 XCA, for a classic Royal Enfield Bullet 500.
Nothing like two classic small cruisers turned into adventure motorcycles.
Have you met Rui?
Apart from being a friend, a riding mate, and a great guy, Rui is also a mechanic. It’s just one benefit after the other that adds up to create a package that is hard to beat. (Sorry for calling you a package:))
Who better than him to do some out-of-the-box stuff to the bikes.
Still, I relied on another good friend of mine to do some mounting on my Benelli 400 Imperiale. Pedro Aranha, In-Parts owner, and manager. In-Parts is a motorcycle shop and reseller. They are specialized in adventure/touring gear and, as the name indicates, motorcycle parts. There you can find most of the major brands, and they even have their self-branded accessories from In-Parts Factory.
Packing for a 9-day adventure trip with no destination and where you are keen to keep the tour cost down is always a challenge. We were aiming to use our motorcycle camping skills to help us achieve that low-cost ride goal. However, it’s not that easy to balance the small bike size, with the need to carry gear, a tent, and all the required adventure travel apparatus.
Another factor that we had to force ourselves to keep remembering was, and always will be, the natural tendency to overpack. In a ride like this or any other adventure motorcycle tour, experience advises that we should always keep what we pack in our luggage to the minimum required. Even so, although we review what we carry with us, over and over, at the end of each ride, we can’t help but wonder why we packed some items.
Creativity in the luggage department
Now, about creativity and luggage. Why do these two words appear together, apart from the obvious reason it takes some creativity to pack?
The reason for that had very little to do with my luggage choice for the Benelli 400. I kept it as simple as I could. Two Shad saddlebags, a tank bag, a tent, and a dry bag, were all that I needed for the 9-day ride. Then again, the bike couldn’t take much more.
For Rui, and the Royal Enfield, that creativity mentioned above, was held to a whole new level.
No top case? It didn’t matter.
Who needs a top case anyway?
Where there is a will, there is a way. And the way found was to set a wooden crate on the back of the Bullet 500.
I can’t recall if Rui bought it or if he built it. Maybe he found a time machine somewhere and drove the bike back in time to the 1940s. What I remember clearly is that the wood crate got renamed the fruit basket but solved the problem.
Can you spot the differences?
The Motorcycle Gear we used on this ride.
Helmet – Shoei Neotec 2
Jacket – Alpinestars Valparaiso V3 Drystar
Pants – Alpinestars Andes Drystar SE
Boots – Rev’it Gravel OutDry
Gloves – Dainese Tempest D-Dry Long and Alpinestars SMX-2 Air V1
Follow us, as we tour along the route, riding 1800 miles adv bike style in 9 days, on the Benelli 400 Imperiale and the Royal Enfield Bullet 500.
1800 Miles No-Destination Adv Bike Style On A Benelli 400 – Part 2 – features the routes, the stoping points, the places worth detouring for, our adventures and the stories behind them.
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