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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 17 Aug 2007
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Iceland Trip 2007

Recently had 14 days in Iceland, brilliant weather and great riding. The total trip was just under 5000 miles in total and the bike ran great. I replaced a rear tyre in Egilsstaor as the TKC 80 was worn out after 2500 miles. The replacement tyre a Michilin T63 gave better grip and looks as if it will last longer. Touch screen failed on the Garmin 2610 but I could still use it. The lack of a decent sump guard became a worry as two holes got punched in the Honda plastic sump guard. The bike soaked up a lot of punishment, Iceland is 99 percent off road, sand, rocks and scores of river crossings.

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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Nice pics!

Iceland is fantastic!
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Old 17 Aug 2007
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The ferry arrived on the east coast at Seyoisfjorour, I headed west along the north coast.

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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While in the Western Fjords I rode the Route 30 from the Iceland Overland book. The sea has washed the road away some it is unpassable, it is going to be a big job to open it again. I free camped on the penisular next to the sea.
I rode out to the most westerly point in Iceland and down the west coast to the Snaefell glacier. As I rode over Snaefell at around 700 mts the skys were clear and no wind.

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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After Snaefell I headed inland towards the Langjokull Glacier witht the intention to ride north of the glacier.
Again using the Iceland overland book for reference I heade north east on the F578 route but turned back at the Norolingafljot river as it was very fast flowing and deep. It would have been possible to walk the bike across but I did not have to do it so turned back towards Husafell.

Iceland has a lot of huts and lodges I found this one by the coast. Great spot for an over night stop.

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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Just out of interest, how did you get the bike there? Boat or plane? What were the costs? Tickets, fuel, food, etc?
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Old 17 Aug 2007
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I went there before the book Iceland Overland book was published so I don’t know the routes.

My trip was something like:


Personally I found the area west for Askja most interesting. The area around F910(?) and the old F910.
We managed to see reindeers in the east and then you had all the birds:



I agree on the TKC80 subject, T63 is far better!
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Old 17 Aug 2007
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The change of route meant heading south on the 550 and east on the F338 which is well mantained dirt road south of the Langjokull glacier. I headed south on the F337 to encounter the first deep sand.
after an overnight stop I headed to the tourist sites of Geysir and the waterfalls at Gulfoss. The next few days was spent riding south and east picking up route one.
The river crossings can be very tricky because of the fast flowing water, some of my crossings where not perfect but managed to stay upright. The glacial rivers are scary, deep brown waterwhich flows fast. Turned back from two crossings as the risks looked too great.

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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I agree the area around Askja is the best.
It is possible to get into some isolated places. Working out fuel stops is a concern. Mostly camped wild apart from the nature reserves where it was not allowed.
The low first gear on the Transalp is so underrated, it means I can tackle some obstacles slow and steady. It is great for controlled accents and descents, brilliant in soft sand; I covered many a mile in sand standing up, first gear engine temperature high and the radiator fan on all the time.

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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The pumice sand has loads of grip so you can take some liberties riding fast and some rear wheel steering for fun. Some of the sand has high levels of dust so if the wind is behind you as you ride you end up in you own dust storm and can’t see where you heading.

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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I found isolated hot springs and even a hot water fall.
It is on my list of places to go back and see.

Steve

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Old 17 Aug 2007
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Again, very nice pictures!

I found that it’s easier to cross the rivers in the morning. The glaciers melt slower at night and at late daytime it can be pretty hard.


The black sand is fantastic
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Old 17 Aug 2007
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Originally Posted by Nomadic1 View Post
Just out of interest, how did you get the bike there? Boat or plane? What were the costs? Tickets, fuel, food, etc?
The Smyril ferry leaves from Scrabster which could be called the port of Thurso, Scotland. Trip takes 39 hours including a short stop over in the Faeroes. The return trip requires a 3 night stop over in the Faeroes or you have to go to Denmark. Bike and rider was £225 with a bunk but it is worth getting a cabin which could cost the same again but the cost could be shared. North Atlantic can be very rough seas, but the ship is good and very stable.
There is not much to spend your money on in Iceland; I never went to Reykjavik as the weather was too good to be in a city. Petrol is £1 a litre, eating out which I did once, cafes are rare, is expensive and very disappointing, camping is £4 for basic site, a shower if there is one will cost £2 and most towns have a camp site, I used a camp site 3 times and either free camped or in the sites run by rangers in the nature reserves, they cost between £4 and £8. I used a couple of refuge huts in isolated places they vary in standard but can be a bit of luxury for the night. The are loads of swimming pools which offer showers for a £1 so the only other reason to go into a camp site is to wash clothes. You do need good quality kit, camping and riding gear needs to be the best to survive the worst weather as accommodation is not cheap. I checked out the cost of a B&B, and a single for the night was £70 but they are few and far between. Underestimating the weather could have serious consequences, as could messing up a river crossing, this is a country which can bite back. Don't let the blue skys fool you I used my heated grips almost all day every day and alway had my thermals on with the liner in my jacket. Never had any frost but a couple of nights felt cold enouth for one.

Steve
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Old 18 Aug 2007
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next year

really love the pics steve. i'm all wound up to do iceland next year but taking in some scandanavian countries on the way. ex-g/f wants to come also! what you think about travelling the interior 2'd up? also was there anything you missed? as in should you have taken anything you did'nt etc?
all in all great stuff though!!!!
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Old 19 Aug 2007
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Originally Posted by kevinhancock750 View Post
really love the pics steve. i'm all wound up to do iceland next year but taking in some scandanavian countries on the way. ex-g/f wants to come also! what you think about travelling the interior 2'd up? also was there anything you missed? as in should you have taken anything you did'nt etc?
all in all great stuff though!!!!
Hi Kevin,
2 up in the interior is going to be tough in places, but I guess it is possible if you choose your routes. The pillion will need to walk some sections of sand, rivers and hills. The Iceland Overland book has good descriptions of routes and what is possible with which bike. For example it will tell you there is lots of deep sand or big rocks, and warn against taking heavy bikes on some routes. Be prepared to turn back if the risk is too high, I would say don’t ride anything you can’t ride back over. That might sound bollocks but I have learnt the hard way, many times over the years.
Having said that, Iceland has lots to offer on the main routes so I might suggest you stay on the main roads with a pillion, you will not be bored that’s for sure. Route 1 which follows the coast around Iceland is mostly sealed, 99 percent of the rest is dirt. I found the North West had spectacular roads and scenery.
The only thing I took which I did not need was a water filter. I am going to chuck the bloody filter, it's the second trip I have taken this on and never used, it must have done 25000 miles. I carried 5 litres of water and that was good for two days, if I couldn’t find any water everybody was happy to give me some if I asked. I think it is good to be self sufficient in terms of tent and cooking as there are so many opportunities for wilderness camping. If you use a GPS I can share some waypoints. I used Garmin / Mapsource world map.

Steve
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