Saturday, April 9, 2016

Honda Varadero Honeymoon Disaster

We had a fantastic wedding, nothing went wrong it was a perfect day!

I will write more about the wedding at a later date and also include a few pics, but for now I will concentrate on what happened when we set off on honeymoon!

Monday afternoon

Our ferry was at 1130hrs leaving from Portsmouth and arriving in Le Havre approx 0830hrs the next morning.

We had a cabin booked so we would be rested before our long ride down through France.

Late in the afternoon, we packed the bike up and strapped everything down.

We looked all set for a proper adventure and we were very excited!

I even managed to get a Just Married number plate made up and strapped on the back of the bike!

Leaving home at 1900hrs we set off, the bike felt very heavy and a little different to when we took it out across the forest a couple of days ago.

I think we added a few more items to the luggage during the day, even just a couple more kilo's made it feel a little awkward when moving off and stopping.

On our way we stopped at Kiera's Mum's house to say goodbye as her kids were there along with her sister and family, so we were to get a big send off!

I pulled up with no problems and put the side stand down as I thought this would help with Kiera getting off.

However, what I did not take into account was the camber of the road! As Kiera stood up on the peg to climb off it upset the balance of the bike and with the camber and Kiera standing I felt the bike go over.

I shouted to Kiera to lean back over to the right, but by now it was too late and the bike went over hard. There was no way I could hold the bike up.

My inexperience of a big bike showed through!

Neither of us were hurt, not a scratch or bruise, and we righted the bike straight away.

I moved the bike forward which is when I found that I could not turn the handle bars!

The crash bar had done it's job and protected the bike, or so I thought, but it had bent in and was stopping the forks from moving. Not only this but the fairing was cracked and damaged.

We had travelled less than 2 miles!

To say we were gutted was an understatement, I had spent hours planning, and getting the bike ready for the trip for this to happen now was gut wrenching.

We both instantly knew that the trip on the bike was now over, we would miss the ferry, and we were unsure how long the bike would be off the road, and if there was any further damaged to handle bars or forks that we could not see.

As we were at Kiera's Mums, we went in for a cup of tea and to work out what to do next.

I've also got to be honest that it shook me up, the feeling of responsibility that I have for Kiera on the back is possibly too much for me.

Over a cup of tea, we looked at our options.

These were simple, drive to France and Italy in the car, look for a holiday leaving the next day, or revert to our original plan and honeymoon in Scotland.

We chose Scotland, before I had the bike we intended to travel up and tour around in our VW T25 campervan.

I called out the AA and made the necessary arrangements for the bike to be collected the next morning and taken to my garage.

I stripped the bike of it's luggage and we were taken home where instead of being on a ferry we spent the night in our own bed!

The next morning the bike was collected by the AA and taken to Bursey Engineering for repair.

We were at the garage when the bike turned up, it was a sad sight!

I could also clearly see the damage to the fairing, which was cracked and broken in a couple of places.

So we left the bike in the capable hands of Paul and we returned home to repack and get ready to head North!

The journey continues...........

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