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Iceland Iceland is a great place to ride, but seems to get missed a lot!
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  #1  
Old 3 Sep 2013
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Iceland August 2013. Trip information and advice for those going.

I noticed a lot of information about Iceland is either out of date or spread across several different threads......so I am going to make a bit of an informal thread with some info/advice/ideas from my trip last month ( Aug 2013 )

Rider and Bike

I would class myself as an average rider in ability, I am quite happy off-road and travelling mostly solo..but I do not hold any special skills when it comes to snow/ice/sand etc.I tend to travel some big distances when the mood takes me, but you can use me as a marker point for most riders I reckon.

The Bike is a BMW G650GS, the one with cast alloy wheels and the 650cc single engine. It too is what I would class as an average bike, it has a few modifications such as very robust engine bars and belly plate...barkbusters..soft pannier/bash frames..led lights etc....nothing special at all. Average fuel range/power etc.

Who would love Iceland?

In my honest opinion, those riders who love going " off-piste " or forging across virgin ground at high speed and need to travel in the region of 80mph plus would be very unwelcome in Iceland, and you will find it hard to find your kicks without upsetting the locals ( and paying some huge fines )

Other riders who have a mind to travel at a slower pace, following tarmac or diverting onto dirt track and maybe going for some ( a lot in fact ) rather challenging ( for the average rider ) off-road routes, while respecting the absolute rigid need to stay on authourised tracks will find it very enjoyable.

The pace is sedate, compared to other countries.
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  #2  
Old 3 Sep 2013
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Maps

I used a good old fashioned paper map.

freytag & berndt 1:400 000 map bought off amazon for about £9.

The map is accurate, giving a good idea of what is coming up and approx placing of river crossings. It shows areas of interest, FUEL and camping areas. I used it for virtually the entire trip, including the extensive off-road parts...I bought greater detail maps for some areas, only to find that they did not really show all that much more information.

Very good map, but you can not do bearings and back-bearings and that kind of stuff on it.

I wouls suggest either covering it in fablom plastic or buying some of the Nikwax paper waterproofing spray.

My Garmin GPS sulked from day one, so I cannot give any feedback on how good it should have been....especially having stamped it into the ground after one extended bout of crapness.
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Old 3 Sep 2013
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Logistics.

Fuel

I have a 160 mile tank range on my bike in best possible scenario....it drops down to 85 miles in worst case ( uphill.laden,headwind )

I had no problems in planning ahead for fuel stops that were marked on the maps, and more importantly when going into the interior of the island on the F roads ( jeep roads ), I carry an extra 5 litres to be on the safe side at all times though, as to have a 14 litre tank on this kind of bike is just pathetic.

Roads....no fuel problems, off road carry a extra reserve for piece of mind, unless you have a oil tanker sized fuel tank like a GSA.

Automatic fuel stations.

several different kinds, some the same as all over europe.

One kind proved a little confusing at first, but the procedure was as follows.

1) choose fuel pod.
2) enter visa card and pin number
3) enter the amount in Icelandic Kronar you want to spend
3A) sometimes have to enter fuel pod number
4) take your card
5) fuel up, when finnished..enter card back into machine.
6) reciept given

Obviously it only bills you for the amount fuel used.

I found that 2400 was enough Kronar to top up my G650GS each time...about 9 litres,
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Old 3 Sep 2013
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Logistics

Chain Lubrication Spray.

There are very, very few motorcycle shops on the Island...I found two. So things like chain spray are quite hard to get hold of.

I took out a can of dry condition chain spray....the weather was warm and dry for almost the entire 2 weeks. ( a big can ) and this lasted the entire trip....I did about 7400km on the island.

I learnt quite rapidly though that when travelling into the interior or anywhere else that involved volcanic, dusty trails that you have to run your chain completely dry....other wise the talcom powder like dust turns your chain into a unfexing, waxy mess. I ran the chain dry for nearly the entire 2 weeks ( 7000km )without problems.....but bear in mind I have a low powered 650cc.

Engine Oil

Not much of a problem to locate, most big garages had a selection of semi and full sythetic bike oil....full mineral oil like in older BMWs was harder to get.
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Old 3 Sep 2013
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TYRES

I had a brand new set of TKC80s fitted to my bike at the start of the trip....I had another brand new rear carried as a spare.

I had to replaced my rear tyre after 8 days as it was almost bald, this might have been made worse by the damping on my bike starting to give up.

By the time I left the Island my new rear tyre was down to probally 3000km of life and the front TKC 80 was literally bald. I had to source another new set of road tyres as soon as I landed back in Denmark to continue my trip.

Heidaneau

These are the tyres that all the Icelandic boys and girls use on their bikes when off-roading, they prove to very tough for these unique conditions and are a lot cheaper to replace when the sharp rocks chew them up anyway.

Next time I go there, I will have a set fitted.
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  #6  
Old 3 Sep 2013
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Getting tyres for the Island and travelling up on road tyres to save wear.

TK MOTOR
Vandværksvej 16
9800 Hjorring, Denmark

http://www.tkmotor.dk/

Kontakt os - TK Motor

Get directions

+45 98 90 25 09


A trick for getting your tyres sorted that a lot of bikes do is to carry your off-road tyres up to this shop in Denmark that is about 15km south of the ferry port, then get the shop to swop out your road tyres and to hold them for you until after you return from iceland and then refit your road tyres for the journey back.

Torbon Jaeger is the owner and he speaks very good English, and if you were to contact him I am sure he would be happy to help out or maybe even order tyres in for you.
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  #7  
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FERRY BOOKING

During the high season there are special offers for taking motorcycles to Iceland, sometimes they are a little hidden on their internet page.

The general rule is that you have to contact the company direct and request a booking to fill out rather than try to book a crossing using the standard internet page.

The difference is between paying for your motorcycle to get there and getting it there for free!...about 500 Euro in savings.

Smyril Line - MC offer: To Iceland in high season
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Will add more later...reserved for information
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Again, reserved for later info.
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Reserved for bike modification suggestions.
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Reserved for equipment suggestions
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Route suggestions...will fill in asap.
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  #13  
Old 28 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaldBaBoon View Post
Route suggestions...will fill in asap.
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  #14  
Old 2 Oct 2013
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I don´t know where you were looking for tires and chain lub. I have been living (and biking) up here for all my life and never had a problem getting supplies like that. Remember though Iceland only has about 300.000. inhabitants their are still over 15.000. bikes there which need tyres, lub, spares and so on. So if any of you is coming over here contact a biker for information on were to pic up what you need. Contacting a HU community is a good start.
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