I just love bike touring. The feeling of motion and freedom. I had a chance to sneak off work for a day and hit the Baltic states for three days. It turned out to be a great trip. Helsinki is conveniently connected to Tallinn, in Estonia, via a two hour ferry. So gear up and ride to the ferry. Here we are waiting for the ramp to open.
We rode to Tartu on the first night. A really cool old city with a rustic atmosphere. The next day we started southbound and found some great stuff. We even crossed a river with a hand pulled ferry.
Then before reaching the Latvian border, we ran into trouble. The gear box of the BMW K1200R refused to go beyond second gear. A “minor” problem.
We ended up trying to reach the BMW service in Pärnu. The ride must have been pretty spectacular for my friend on the BMW. He managed to kick in third gear while pinning it to the rev limiter in second. Sometimes a slower bike would be good. Anyhow, we reached Pärnu in time for the guys at BMW to tell us they’re closing for the weekend. Well the gearbox needed replacing so there was nothing that could have been done on Friday afternoon anyway.
My friend just decided to do the rest of the trip on third gear and we started south again. We didn’t make it too far before the bolt holding his gear shifter snapped. I guess there’s only so much punishment they can take.
Okay, the plans to head south were shot for that night. We picked up a new bolt from a hardware store and headed for Aleksandripub, a legendary biker accommodation and watering hole. They had some tools and a hydraulic bike lift which made repairs easier.
After a well rested night (yeah right) we headed towards the Latvian border. The rest of the trip went pretty much without incident and we did make it all the way to Lithuania and found some awesome roads. More suited for Dual Sports or Enduros at some points though. Ironically the BMW was not done with damage. Taking off with third gear shagged the clutch and just before reaching home, the left hand side mirror fell off due to vibration. Two thirds of the three riders thought that was hilarious.