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THE BUILD GLR 6 OF

distance time of year on the bike days on the road 326km September 15,5 hours 2 days

Patience is key, persistence is master. These are the words to describe the build of the GLR 6 the most. Again I've lost something, this time something more valuable. The GLR 6 is part of the September adventure as well as the GLR 2, GLR 3, GLR 4, GLR 5 and GLR 7. Feel free to skip the prologue if you already know what happened before.

Beautiful sunset while camping in the wild ×
Rivercrossing with the KTM 690 enduro R on the GLR 6 advenuture motorcycle route ×
Road sign on the GLR 6 ×

prologue

12 hours 19min 794km

I wake up early in the morning to have breakfast and say goodbye to my girlfriend. The earlier the better. Everybody is still asleep when I leave home, so it’s relatively quiet on the road. Everything goes as smooth as it should be. Saying goodbye is never pleasant, but I’m also glad I'm on a motorcycle adventure trip again.
The second I hit the highway, my bike starts to make a strange noise. It’s a metal on metal sound and I take the first exit to check what’s going on. I can’t find any obvious marks and the sound only occurs on the highway or when I accelerate hard. I won't take any chances and I head back home to check out what's going on in daylight. I can’t see anything this early.
As surprised as my girlfriend is to see me, as disappointed I am that I'm not on my way. I go to sleep for a few more hours until midday. I check the bike, but I can’t find anything. I tighten every nut and bold again and lube all the possible parts that could cause the noise. I check the chain tension with all the gear packed on the bike. Nothing can go wrong now! Afterward, I don’t know why I didn’t check for noises on the highway, but that’s in hindsight.
The next morning I do everything over. I have breakfast, give my girl a goodbye kiss and on my way I am. Just to turn around five kilometers further than I came yesterday. The noise is back again, and now it’s time to let it check by my local KTM dealership.
So again, she’s confused to see me and I'm frustrated back home again. I drop the bike off at the local KTM dealer and they confirm they also hear the noise when the engine is under load.
Later in the afternoon, I get a call to pick up the bike. After inspection, they think it’s the decompression spring what's a little worn out. I don’t need to worry about the noise, it’s apparently a common issue for my year and model. They assure me that's perfectly alright to ride with it, without any damage to the engine. Tomorrow I’ll be able to finally leave after all.

Actually, it’s the morning of the third day of my adventure. To keep it simple: Today my adventure is really going to start, so I call it the prologue. I start the day with the same ritual. Breakfast as early as comfortable, give a goodbye kiss and off I go. It doesn't take me long to cross the border with Belgium and soon after that I ride into France.
I've booked an Airbnb just south of Lyon. It’s still an 800km day, but the comfort of knowing that I won’t have to pitch up the tent helps to push on through.
The weather turns at the last hundred kilometers. Thunderclouds are rumbling dangerously in the air. I have that funny feeling of knowing it’s for the best to seek shelter and wait out the storm. But on the other side, I know I’ve only one hour left to my destination. I chose to keep on riding and I hope that the storm will pass without any lightning.
With only 10km left, the air turns green. Hail starts to fall down and I seek shelter under a porch. The thunderstorm is right over me, lightning is flashing too close for comfort. I regret my decision earlier to push on through. As fast as the storm started, with the same speed, it's over.
After arriving at the Airbnb, I prepare some dinner. I relax for some more hours before I go to bed. Yes, this is way better than last time where I rode for fourteen hours to find myself pitching the tent in someone's garden.

day day first

7 hours 56min 165km

The night was full of animal sound. I’m not a hundred percent sure, but this time I think it where rats and some bigger four-legged animal in the open field. When I sit outside, admiring the morning dew swirling inside the valley, a deer crosses the field. It’s the same sound I've heard at night, so I’m reassured.
Lot’s of high mountain passes are on the planning today! I’m stocked to get going. First stop, Tunnel du Parpaillon. Located at 2.780m above sea level, it’s one of the highest roads of Europe. I’ve been there last June, exploring tracks for the GLR 8 route. Today I’ll be passing through to connect to the soon to be GLR 7.
At the highest point, I meet some riders and have lunch with them. It’s a little trip too memory lane. Last time I was stuck in the snow, in front of the tunnel. Now it’s just chilly and windy. The snow has disappeared and revealed the rocky grasslands. These are the roads I mostly enjoy.
I take my time to get to lower elevations, and soon after I start to look for a nice camp spot. I spot a beautiful patch of flat land and I decide to pitch up my tent there. It’s only six in the evening, so I decide to take some pictures. I place the tripod in knee-deep grass and set the timer. Satisfied with the results I start to pack everything again.
What is going on, I can’t find my lens cap anymore! Wait, what has happened? Apparently, I didn’t even take off the cap. The filter and cap are missing. Apparently, it came off while walking from the bike to the spot where I put down the tripod. A mere five meters of tall grass. Five meters where a combined hundred euro’s of camera equipment lies hidden.
So here I am again, frustrated by the fact I lost something again. I start to search between the tall grass. First tracing my steps and looking left and right from where I’ve been. After no result, I start to expand my search half a meter to the left and right from the flattened path I’ve created in my first attempt. No result again.
Now I start to cut pieces of grass with my knife to reveal the soil. I trace the five meters from the tripod spot back to the bike. I’ve created a beautiful mowed path in my trail, but I haven’t found any lens cap nor filter. It’s becoming dark and I have to postpone my search. On the other side, I don’t want to attract any attention by flashing a headlight.
I’m so determined by now to find the lost items, I keep telling myself I won’t leave before I’ve found it. Just when I’m at my maximum frustration level, Mother Nature comes around and tells you in her own way to take it easy. What a sunset!

The grassfield where I've lost my lenscap

th 2 day

7 hours 32min 161km

At first light, I get up to continue my search. Morning-dew has covered the grass. Within the first few meters, my feet get wet, but I don’t care. I need to find that filter and cap! I’ve brought the foldable saw by now and I’m using it like a scythe. It’s working and I'm covering ground fast.
I’ve searched for a combined five hours for that damn filter, but it's all in vain. I haven’t found it, and I realize by now that I probably won’t find it. Defeated I pack the bike and I’m on my way again.
I’m getting noticeable more southern to the Mediterranean Sea. The vegetation changes from the soft grass in the higher Alps, to the dry thorny bushes of the Mediterranean.
It’s a long day and despite the frustration in the morning, I’m able to cover some distance. Later in the evening, I find a nice spot at a small lake. (I think it’s a small lake, later I would discover it’s a canyon system). I pitch my tent right at the water and prepare some dinner.
While enjoying the warm meal, I notice in the corner of my eye that the water is creeping towards me. Millimeter by millimeter the water rises, and by now it has raised about 20cm already. I’m starting to worry about the tent and I start to make some preparations to pack when necessary.
As I said, the lake turned out to be a greater canyon system and I had pitched my tent right at the end of it. The wind pushed the water down the system and all of it collected right at the end obviously. As fast as the water had raised, as fast as it disappeared again. It never got over the edge of the bank, but just to be safe I move the tent to the higher ground.

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