This morning was full of fun and joy as Sam and I both pranced about playing with our newly formed bikes! As yesterday, I have to say, they are most awesome! The morning seemed to pass quite quickly and before leaving Sam and Jeroen made up a list of spares we needed to order for our imminent adventure trip! Having read and brushed up on our 690 knowledge we were both aware that the fuel pump had a tendency to go after around 6k so that was first on the list, followed closely by inner tubes, levers and various other bits and bobs!
Orders made, we kit up and hop on the bikes! They are so slender! I have to admit, they are muchos higher than before leaving me on tippy toes and a bit wibbly when stopped (I predict dropping of the bikes AHOY!), but I will get used to it no problemo! Waving and honking we leave the KTM Basel team behind and following the GPS wonder out on to the windy roads of Switzybergland. They are BEAUTIFUL to ride. Despite the added weight of the tanks, because the fuel is seated so low it actually helps you glide into bends, really sinking you into the road!
After about an hour and a half of riding through hills and thoroughly enjoying ourselves, the SatNav suddenly asks us to do a U Turn where possible. Eh? We pull over and check the route and in essence, it’s asking us to back track. Seriously? We check again and after prodding buttons we discover we had it set to avoid highways… meaning it was getting super confused in trying to find a way to cross the Switzerland – France border and leading us to and fro. Bugger.
Settings changed, we head off again and half an hour later we cross the border… barely 20mins away from where we started at KTM Basel! Whoops! It’s getting late by this point but aiming to go past Nancy we press on into the drizzling gloom still enjoying having our bikes back. A nippy 2 hours later we stop off at a service station to grab a warming cup of hot chocolate and to stomp the cold from our toes. Sam also discovers the discomfort of cold nipples….
Trying not to laugh too much at Sam’s expense whilst sipping our sloppy beverages, Sam nips outside to try and find his thermal top to plonk on to ease his pain! Emptying all the luggage bags, fiddling with our torches and checking again he has no success and realises his thermal top has been “misplaced”. Resigned to adding as many layers as possible of whatever we had, Sam feels a tad peeved but nevermind, these things happen! Time to get back on the road!
Jumping back on the bike Sam goes to start up his bike… but it doesn’t turn over. He tries again…. And again…. And then again. I hop off my bike and have a try for him in the disillusion that I may have a magic touch. Alas. No such joy. Helmets off, gloves off, torches on, we have a poke about but the FI light is flashing which only means something death and gloomy.
After all of the problems Sam has had with the bike – he is naturally considerably narked off. Having a lot of time spent in the company of sods law, he second guesses it’s the fuel pump. We call KTM Basel and after chatting to them on the phone they go away to check the manual and call back to confirm that the FI light code indicates the fuel pump of our KTM 690 has indeed borked… we weren’t going anyway! Turning the key to his bike again we notice that there is no telltale “brrrrrrrrrrrrrRRR” noise any more confirming again that the pump was super duff. BUGGER.
KTM Basel ask us where we are, fully expecting us to be half way through France. Fortunately, much to the thanks of our wonky GPS we were only a couple of hours away from them and being the Godly Saviours that they are they tell us to hang fire and they will come pick us up, despite it being 21:30. We head back into the petrol station seeking warmth only to find out that it was in fact closing and we were going to have to make ourselves comfortable outside.
So. Completely unprepared for the circumstances we found ourselves outside a closed French petrol station on some busy highway, huddled on top of a roll top sack with my sleeping bag draped over us, shaking yet drinking iced tea from a paper bag amidst the dark lanes of parked up snoozing truckers. I end up having a laughing fit, with poor Sam close to bursting with super sadness, fury and sadness! We can’t even get home… how are we to get around the world! After a short film to update those who are following, it only gets better as it starts to rain!
After a few hours of star jumps to keep us warm, laughing fits followed by saddened silences, cuddles of support and some really dodgy looks from European truckers we are beyond relieved to see the KTM Basel van pull in to the station… HUZZAH! We leap about and jump on Jereon as he hops down from the van… he is our complete and utter saviour. Talk about customer service at its best! We pack up and load up, hop on in and head on back to Switzerland.
We are now back at KTM Basel and most shattered but eternally grateful to Jereon and his family for helping us. Tomorrow we believe there’s a spare kicking about which we will fit and then attempt to head on our way again!
It’s been a looong day so goodnight fellow readers, we’ll be back to update again in the next couple of days!