Friday, September 9, 2011

THURSDAY 1st SEPTEMBER 2011 (Nurburgring -WOW)

After a huge breakfast (all breaky's are big in Germany) we went down the street to get some sun-block and have another look up the narrow laneways. It's a place we like a lot.

We came across four fantastic singers in a courtyard, their melodic tunes bouncing off the building walls. I should've bought their CD then I could be transported back to this place any time I want.

Back at the bike everything appeared normal until it came time to depart. The bike would start okay, then stop. Paul would start it stopped again. This only happened because there were a lot of people watching!
It was obvious it was a fuel issue so we pushed the bike into the shade and Paul cleaned the fuel lines and checked the carby. All appeared okay.

We were finally on our way. We were ahead of our normal schedule so no drama's. As we climbed the steep hill out of Cochem the bike once again coughed and spluttered to a stop. We pushed the bike around and rolled back to a safer place to park.

Again, the bike was dismantled to see what was going on. Always an interesting exercise on an unknown engine!
This time Paul discovered a 6mm screw missing from the top of the carby - must of vibrated out.

We limped back to the fuel station with me nursing the top half of the engine casings.

It doesn't matter from which direction you enter Cochem, it's beautiful with the castle dominating the skyline.

We set about trying to find a place that sold nuts and bolts.
Luckily for us, just at that moment the fellow next to the servo came out and he indicated he might have something to fix the problem. This took some time which enabled me to watch the river activities. The village is mostly two streets wide, nestled in between the Mosel River and the steep hills behind. That is part of its charm.

Finally the repair seemed to be complete and the fellow just wandered off without us being able to thank him. No words were exchanged which presumably means he couldn't speak any English.

Well after midday we were finally on our way. As we gained height on the outskirts of town we came across a lookout overlooking the village, Reichsburg Castle and the Mosel River. We had to pull in. There were several other bikes and riders there as well. We said g'day and they nearly fell over when they learnt we were from Tassie on such an old motorbike. They were mainly patch club, tattooed Harley riders and a couple on a Triumph from Austria. They wanted their photo taken with us and after a hand-crushing handshake and many pats on the back they said "Much respect".
We felt pretty good and when it came time to leave we hoped liked hell the bike would start and earn the respect they'd just given us. IT DID.

Funny thing was we took off up the hill with much waving but only went about 20 meters before the bike started to cough and splutter. Paul remembered he forgot to turn the fuel tap on, quickly did so, the bike recovered and we saved face!

There was no mistaking the meaning of the road signs on our way to the NURBURGRING. The roads were fantastic, wide, sweeping corners, good surface, every sports bike riders dream.

We have a favourite photo of our old Guzzi parked in front of the Nurburgring sign taken back in 1986 and we wanted to replicate that photo with the Zundapp.

The closer we got it was evident that wasn't going to happen. The circuit was surrounded by many multi-million dollar, modern complexes.

There were LOTS of flash bikes and cars about. We bought a ticket which enabled us to ride the 22 kilometer circuit. It costs 24 euro for one lap, 89 euro for four laps, 310 euro for fifteen laps, 470 euro for twenty-five laps and 1,350 euro for an annual ticket.

We enquired about the rules of the track and apparently road laws apply. Okay, we should be reasonably safe.

As we lined up for the starting grid, a fellow ran out with the biggest grin on his face and at the top of his voice said..."Are you going to do a lap on THAT?" We said "yep". He laughed so much and said "Good on ya".

As we lined up to go through the gates there was much cheering and photo's being taken of us. Not sure they could believe their old, fully loaded Zundapp mixing it with the best.

The cars were slick, fast and expensive...and then there was us!

Away we went...all was okay till we were nearly spun off the road with the

speed which everything else passed us!

Our fear levels increased dramatically and I'm sure Paul spent more time looking in the rear-view mirror bracing himself for a car to run up our backside! It didn't happen but every right hand bend seemed to take about 10 minutes to negotiate while we hoped like hell there wouldn't be two or three cars vying for the lead position just at that very moment!
To be on the track when Lamborghini's, Ferrari's, Porsches, Masarati's and BMW's were on full throttle passing us was like being inside the TV screen and being a serious part of a Formula One race meeting. The speed I could handle, hopefully these drivers knew what they were doing. When the cars went in to a slide and burnt rubber filled our nostrils...that was scary!

The bikes weren't mucking about either. At times we felt like a boulder stuck on the track, not moving. At least it felt like we were standing still as they swept past us, a mere annoying blur in their eyes!

However, on a good note, check out the saddlebag cam - I'm sure there's a bit of a blur on that photo...!!!

We were pretty proud of the 'old lady'
for completing the circuit in record time (the record for the slowest vehicle to ever ride the Nurburgring).

We parked up and had a bit of a chuckle when the Pirelli guys came over to check out Brunhilda. They were admiring her many fine qualities and it turned out one of them had a Ural outfit in Italy.

It was now our turn to stand and watch the many and varied vehicles enter the track. It was like a personal parade of the best in the world passing right before us. A great way to unwind from our exciting experience on the track.

It was getting late so we made our way back to Cochem, stopping at a different lookout to watch the sun setting on the surrounding hills.

We had a GREAT day. We rode through Cochem and decided to go a bit further up the road to find somewhere to stay the night.

Luckily for us we just happened to see a barge in one of the river locks. We stopped to watch the lock being drained to allow the barge into the downstream section of the river. We also watched the next barge come in to be raised for the next upstream section. It was very interesting and we were lucky to watch the whole process take place just as the day's light faded.


  1. JD has sent me a link from your blog.
    Very impressive Paul, are you visiting Holland also ? The Eifel is not that far from Holland !
    Within 2 weeks I'll be on my way to OZ and also visiting Tazzie, hope to meet you there (but think you'll still be in Europa) There's a member of the UDCN who also has a Z├╝ndapp KS750 !! If you want to be in touch with him I can give you his e-mail address.

    for now greetings and stay on the safe side( at the right :-) )


  2. Mr Wes asks " How do I stop Charlie from sleeping in my bed at 0200 and making me sleep on the floor"?

  3. Hi Kerry and Paul

    Great travelblog!

    Yes I hope you can meet Catweazle, furthest RMOA member, like he says he is coming to Oz very soon.

    Safe travels you guys!