I love France, ever since I visited many times with my parents and sisters as a kid, our dream holiday was our annual 2 week stay at “Camping Le Soleil” in Argeles sul Mer close to the French/Spanish border. We would drive down in our trusty old Land Rover 109 (with tent on board and then later we graduated to a Sprite Major caravan) and all the journey we would ask “are we there yet Dad?” which surely drove him mad. The journey was a long one but goodness we really loved that place, a camp site on the beach!
Last weekend I had the great pleasure to visit France again and Troyes was the meeting place cos both Brian the Barnes and I LOVE that small city. The excuse was to collect my new Yamaha TMax 560 Techmax from Brian and to deliver my “old” TMax 530DX which was the part exchange, less than 3 years old and running great to be honest but I could not resist the new grey Techmax 560 that I viewed a few months ago in the UK. Barnes is Service Manager at ALF ENGLAND and we both love riding bikes and France. So any excuse is good to be honest.
My “old” 530DX has only about 6500 kms under her wheels (I bought her new from Martin in early 2020 and then of course we were all locked down for 2 years) and is a truly stunning bike with all the electronics you can ever want including ABS, cruise control plus traction control which all combine to make a long journey SOOO easy and relaxing. I have never modified the 530 cos I love standard bikes and also cos she is fantastic and needs nothing, I just fitted some of the excellent R&G protection stuff cos if a TMax falls over then the minimum repair cost for the plastic is at least 1,000 Euro, and I know cos it once happened to me once sob.
The 560 is not a massive leap over the 530 (also cos Yamaha tend to develop their products slowly, the TMax was launched back in 2001 and is Made in Japan so top quality) but she now complies to Euro 5 and has only a little more power and torque over the 530. The Techmax is the new top of the line TMax and the dashboard and electronics are stunning, really. This latest version is stunning and riding her is a real pleasure, the ride and suspension is further improved and the bike simply FLIES. WHAT a great weekend with Brian and what a bike!!!
Troyes from the UK Midlands is about 700km whereas from Amalfi about 1500km so I had much more work than Brian this time. I therefore gave myself plenty of time and left Amalfi on Thursday afternoon and dined and stayed overnight in Orte in the wonderful Hotel Lazio which is JUST off the motorway so very handy. The next morning I filled up and left quite early, I headed for the Mont Blanc tunnel as I had booked a room in lovely Sallanches, the Ibis Style as they have good rooms and great beer!! This was a very long day covering almost 800kms so I arrived tired but happy at about 6pm, the 530 is a great journey bike and very comfortable and easy to ride.
The next morning was a fairly brief morning ride (400km ish) to Troyes and Barnes was waiting for me at the hotel with our traditional 2 cold cans of lovely Leffe, happy days!!! After two days of chatting eating and mainly drinking Barnes headed home via Calais on the Sunday evening and I stayed Sunday night and then left early on Monday, staying overnight in the lovely Hotel Mathis in Fiorenzuola and then home, FANTASTIC trip!! 800km days on this bike are EASY!!!
And PS Barnes is now a TMax fan!! Most TMax sales are in Spain and Italy, in the UK they sell VERY few I guess because the weather means that folks prefer a small car??