Motorcyclists: The brotherhood


Motorcyclists wave to each other. They are commanded by their desire for freedom and companionship. So it is very obvious that a Moto Guzzi Nuevo Falcone and an IMZ 8.103 (say 'a Ural') depart from the Gelderland city of Cadzand Bad.

Winding roads

Via the TomToms 'winding roads programming' that is a ride of about 300 kilometers. And that we took 12 hours on the way there and that the way back in just 11 travel hours was delayed? That was because the travel speed on the secondary and tertiary roads fluctuated around the 65-70 km / h. And then there were of course the various coffee, lunch and tank stops.

On the carefully estimated side there were also some key stops in the ride. The Moto Guzzi kept itself spotless. But for the Ural it was the first long drive after being born again. And the thing got very hot. And he pinged like crazy. So the inflammation was put on the feeling a bit later. But the boxer kept getting very hot. Even after the ignition was set later. The crankcase breather of the Ural had previously been converted to 'free exhale' in the classic British way: from the crankcase breather, the breather hose now ran to the rear fender. And the pilot of the rear-running Moto Guzzi (because it is a good habit that the slowest engine is ahead) reported that more oil vapor came out of the crankcase breather at the Ural than smoke from the exhaust.

The cause was deeper

So the simple ignition adjustment job had brought a bit of improvement. But the problem was deeper: there was apparently a fairly massive blow-by from the combustion chambers via the pistons to the crankcase. And you don't do so much on the road except that you realize that it will not be the first time that a fresh set of mounted Russian piston rings give up after a few hundred kilometers. Only the gasket set and the spare piston rings were left at home in this case. It then became just a matter of driving until the engine started to smoke and then pause for two cigars. If the cool-down plug was near a ditch or something, we enjoyed ourselves by putting wet cleaning cloths on the cylinders. That made the same noise as fried eggs in the pan. That some electrical things had to be solved between the overheating problems was no problem.

The weather was very nice

It was just hot. And along the way we met many other motorcyclists - on modern motorcycles. Apart from the BMW and Harley drivers, they all greeted us kindly. During the cooling off periods in which passing motorcyclists could clearly see that one of their brothers had problems ... Not a single motorcyclist stopped to ask what was going on. That made us think about the brotherhood waving together. On the way back we had reused some empty bottles and boxes to function as cooling water carriers. That was a good plan.

The good news

The good news was that it was stopped to ask if help was needed. There was a friendly motorist who could offer a few fuses and told him that his wife was no longer allowed to ride a motorbike. There was a friendly couple in a car who reported that they also had a motorcycle at home and that they always stopped with motorcyclists with a breakdown and there was a Moto Guzi LeMans pilot with a child behind who also asked if help was needed. That was appreciated. But no help was needed. Three days in Zeeland, 635 kilometers over the nicest inland roads was a very nice case of 'together, together at home'. And that the journey took a little longer? Well, that only made the trip more enjoyable.

But if we see a motorcyclist with a breakdown? Then we will stop again. Because otherwise all that swinging will become very empty.


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  1. Please re-introduce the old request for help: Tie a white cloth or handkerchief to your handlebar. Worked sublime in the past, but then they needed each other more.

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