It should be mentioned at this point that this particular BMW model has a known issue with a faulty electronic fuel flow regulator, situated in the top of the fuel tank.
Prior to my trip I checked with a BMW dealer to see if my particular ‘bike was amongst those likely to be affected & they assured me that my frame number was outwith the affected units.
Satisfied with this I set off the next day to Newcastle & the ferry to Ijmuiden.
The following day, a Monday, I was riding towards Germany, not far from Amersfoort, when the ‘bike started to splutter, as if it was about to run out of petrol. This could not possibly be the case as I refuelled before setting off, there should be half a tank left, at least.
I stopped at the side of the road & turned off the engine. I opened the fuel filler cap just to make sure the indicated half tank of fuel was actually there and then started the engine again. It coughed & spluttered but then ran smoothly.
I was aware that the nearest BMW Motorrad dealer was not too far away at Amersfoort, but what I was not aware of was the fact that businesses are generally closed in the Netherlands on Monday.
The GPS was already programmed with BMW Motorrad dealers so finding it was easy, dealing with the fact it was closed no so easy.
I phoned BMW Assistance who said the dealer was closed until Tuesday (yes, I know that!) so I could stay at a hotel locally, BMW to pay, then get the bike repaired the following day.
By now I’m parked by the workshop at Van Harten BMW. The ‘bike won’t start now and I have no way of getting to the hotel designated by BMW as my overnight stop.
BMW Assistance are contacted again, the new problem explained and they told me to get a taxi, the cost of which would be reimbursed.
While I was waiting for the taxi, somebody appeared at the workshop, looking like a technician, maybe coming to do some extra work on his day off.
He spoke good English and after looking quickly, realised they did not have the required replacement part in stock.
He did, however, start up the computer system to order the required part for overnight delivery. He also said to wheel my ‘bike into the workshop so they could work on it as soon as the part arrived in the morning. Perfect!
The taxi arrived, delivered me & overnight luggage to the rather nice BMW approved hotel, where I spent a comfortable night. A few beers & a nice meal helped with a sound night’s sleep.
After breakfast I returned to Van Harten BMW to find that the incorrect part had been delivered overnight, so they made the decision to get me on the road as quickly as possible by borrowing the correct part from a brand-new GS in the showroom.
An hour later I was on my way to the Hotel Forsthaus in Volkesfeld, my home for the next few days.
I love this part of the world, so I spent three days wandering around the Eifel area of Germany after which I followed the Rhine to Ruppertshofen where I stayed at the ‘Bikers Only B&B’, run by Englishman Andre & his Polish wife Marie.
This really was a true ‘biker’s B&B, but unfortunately there was no evening meal here or in the village. I was the only resident that evening and as Andre & Marie were planning to drive into a nearby town for the Octoberfest, they invited me to go along with them.
This was great fun, I got some decent German beer & BBQ food before being driven back to Ruppertshofen, feeling just a little squiffy.
I have this habit of carrying a bottle of Balvenie Doublewood 12 year old Scotch whisky with me when I tour alone & this proved to be the perfect nightcap, sharing a dram or two with these lovely people around their kitchen table before retiring for the night.
Following a light breakfast I took the scenic route through Germany and the Netherlands to Ijmuiden for the ferry back to Newcastle.
This has been a really great, late season, trip abroad, with great weather, superb hospitality, oh, and a small technical glitch on the first day.