Customer Story by Paul L
I bought my 701 from Freestyle back in 2017, to ride what turned out to be a very limited set of green lanes in the South East. However, I had always had it my mind to use the bike for longer adventures and road trips.
I did my first long journey across Europe back in 2018 following the initial Trans Euro Trail. This covered approx 3100 miles and I then planned to go further afield in the following years to Turkey and beyond but then Covid hit and everything was put on hold except for the occasional trip to Wales and to the Freestyle Practice Grounds.
When everything started opening up I decided to plan a similar trip to the one in 2018 but along a different route using the Pyrenees Adventure Country Tracks GPX as well as the much developed Trans Euro Trail routes across Spain, France and Italy. I won’t bore you with the whole trip and I’ll just concentrate on the Pyrenees section, but in total I traveled 6133km via as many off-road trials heading East that I could find from Spain thought to Italy.
So on June 15th 2022 I set off to Plymouth with my tent packed and caught the boat down to Santander and to the start of my journey in San Sebastian in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
The Spanish leg of the adventure started in San Sebastian and took me across the Pyrenees from West to East skipping from across the border into France and back. The Adventure Country Tracks Pyrenees GPX (https://adventurecountrytracks.com/pyrenees/) route is geared towards larger adventure bikes, but the riding both on and off road is exhilarating, with high black top passes through to rocky trails cut into the mountains with views to die for.
I decided early on to give myself the challenge of completing the whole 1160km ADV Track in 3 days rather than the suggested 5 days. The 701 took the challenge in its stride and made it easy, being light and nimble (even with luggage) and with the Seat Concepts seat installed, it never gave any discomfort on the long days riding required to cover the distance each day.
The scenery is epic throughout and I stopped a lot to take pictures and take it all in. The off-road terrain is never difficult and you could easily do this track on a large bike such as the Norden 901 but this would depend upon the weather. There are potentially some very muddy sections if you get caught in the rain.
One of the highlights of the journey across the Pyrenees was wild camping near the Tor road which is the old smuggler route to Andorra. With only the wind to keep me company, it was one of those moments where I truly felt free of everything and anyone. Waking to panoramic views in the morning and with the clock ticking, I continued my challenge to get to the Mediterranean sea and climbed up to 7552ft, up and over into Andorra.
I was probably in Andorra for about 20 minutes before the track then swept me back up into the mountains and on to the route heading East. At this point I want to point out that the temperature was on average between 32 and 41 degrees over this first week and heading up high was a blessed relief from these temperatures.
Heading East beyond Andorra on loose trails I noticed that the high peaks were getting left behind in my mirrors and that I was now heading into the Eastern foothills of the Pyrenees and towards my goal.
The eastern section of the Pyrenees Adventure Country track takes in more fast paced off-road sections and back roads. One thing I noticed along the whole route is that there are plenty of legal off-shoots that you can enjoy should you take your time to explore. Each region in Spain has it own rules, some very restrictive, but Catalonia in the East seem to be very open and even encourage trail riding on specified trails.
1160km in 3 days… When I decided to attempt this, I thought I must be mad but once the seed was sown I was determined to achieve the goal of traveling from the West to the East of the Pyrenees in my own personal rally event. It required getting up early and stopping late but after 3 days and in some extreme temperatures, I made it to Cap De Crevs and to the finish point for the track.
The Pyrenees are a stunning mountain range whether you ride on the road or off-road and along the route, I saw epic scenery and experienced fast flowing tracks that made me smile as I left the dust behind me. There is nothing too technical* and everything is suitable for any size motorcycle and rider with decent experience off-road. *This might depend on the weather as some tracks will be harder when wet and there is clay and potentially muddy sections.
So, does the Husqvarna 701 Enduro make for a great Adventure Bike? This question gets asked a lot and in my opinion having completed to date 18000 miles, most of which being done on longer distance adventures, I can safety say, once you add a comfort seat, that it is pretty much the perfect adventure bike and possibly the unicorn bike everyone is after.
It can do anything and go anywhere, with or without luggage. It can purr at 80 on the motorway as well as take you up gnarly rocky hills. You can also ride it at your local enduro practice ground or on your local green lanes.
It truly is a remarkable motorcycle and it is a motorcycle I will never sell, other than to replace it with another 701 should the need arise.
I hope you enjoyed the rambling and the pictures. Beyond the Pyrenees, my journey continued into France and Italy following the TET (Trans Euro Trail) but that is another story.
#transeurotrail #adventurecountrytracks #701enduro #adventure
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