A bunch of us from the Northampton Vespa & Lambretta SC headed off to do the NC500 in June. The NC500 is Scotland's Route 66 and features some stunning scenery, amazing climbs, a fair few hairpins, and a plethora of single track roads (with 60mph trucks coming the other way and no intention of stopping).
Around half of us rode up from Northamptonshire to Dumfries, four on GTS300s and the rest on 2-strokes. Everyone else came in vans bearing 125s. Scotland seemed to have forgotten what having guests was like as it took forever to get breakfast in the morning. Fortunately I spied the coffee machine and filled up my travel mug or the day would've been a washout!
The next day saw us being split up in the abject chaos that is the motorway circumventing Glasgow. On the other side we collected locals who were joining us and ploughed on passed Loch Lomond as we headed for the Green Welly, where the vans would unload and we could impress all the bikers with our superior machines.
Onwards to Fort William, our second stop, a meal out in a pub and fun times in the hotel bar.
That was the plan, but the pub managed to mess up the bill, Fort William was awash with teenage alcoholics, and it would've been easier to make my GTS fly than grab a beer in the hotel. Next day, off to the Isle of Skye.
It was another day of just stunning weather, amazing scenery, and belly laughs. Finally we rode over the bridge sweeping into Kyleakin and settled down at Saucy Mary's £25 a night bunkhouse. For the third night, the beers were flowing - especially when the table six of us were on collapsed without warning.
Next day was spent riding around Skye - and I discovered exactly how far a GTS can go before running empty. We'd taken to sharing petrol pumps to minimise the time spent at service stations and my petrol buddy decided we didn't need to stop (because his fuel gauge wasn't working due to a popped fuse). I was running on fumes as I limped into the next one I found.
A couple of accidents, a lost wallet, and the second best hotel of the trip (in Kyle of Lochalsh) rounded off another fantastic day.
Then came Bealach na Bà (https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/scotland/60-bealach-na-ba-scotland.html). The way up brought us into the clouds, but the sheer mountains provided cover from the wind. This was to change.
Cresting the summit, as the first hairpin on the way down presented itself, a wind blast took me off line, into gravel, into the barrier and onto the ground. Then, being smart, I dropped the Touring on the other side while picking it up. Every part of the scoot appeared to have sustained some kind of injury.
Still, better than being at the bottom of the 300ft drop the other side of the barrier!
Ending the day at Poolewe, it'd been the most arduous of rides - there was only one thing for it, container-loads of beer.
We woke to our only miserable rainy day of the trip - but here was me with a massive hole in my waterproof trousers and a ripped up overboot from the crash. One knife and a roll of Gorilla tape later and I'd fashioned something to grace a catwalk.
Off to Lochinver and its population of deer, then an amazing day riding to Bettyhill with its stunning views, before another visiting Dunnet Head, John O'Groats and down the penultimate night at a glamping site.
Well, there was due to be one more stop but my petrol buddy developed a problem with his leg and wanted to get home to see a doc, so I loaded up the GTS to ride back with him in case he had any issues on the journey south.
All in all, I clocked up something like 1500-1600 miles in the seven days and loved every second of it. The GTS is now at the repair shop having the dents knocked out and a lovely new paint job...and I'm all booked up to do it all over again next June.
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Sent the pics to a few shops and was told if I did it through the insurance it’d be written off by the insurance company. Damaged everything.
Brilliant write up & pics, thanks for sharing, hope you get your gts sorted without too much financial pain.
So, I decided to go full revamp. Repairs have been done, a new colour scheme sprayed. Repair and respray is costing well north of a grand. Going for a Lotus Racing vibe.
I’ve a list of aftermarket bits that’ll make my PayPal credit account weep. I’m going to do the lot including sending it to PM Tuning for a full performance treatment too.
Having taken me on such a glorious journey I fancied tricking it out anyway. Timescale will just depend on whether I get a GS160 before completing it all.
'13 GTS 300ie Touring, AKA Gigi
Joined: 26 Mar 2018
Location: Phoenix, AZ.
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Location: Minneapolis USA
Thanks for the great photos and video. It appears you nice folks have a good time.
I would love to have a pint with your scooter club. My family is actually of decent from
the UK. My ancestors departed for the colonies after some dispute between Cromwell and the Crown. Hey, but for that, I might be a member of your scooter club.
Frost Bite Falls Minnesota
Cheers from my Scooter group to your Scooter Club
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