Regular Helmet Hair reader, David, from Hamburg, sent me this great story on how he had a blast riding a Yamaha XT660R around Mallorca for a weekend.
Last weekend I was in Mallorca as the person I was visiting had to work I decided to rent a bike. The shop, I think called Reus had a brand new XT660R outside so I quickly signed up for it. Now after 600km in two day only on mountain roads I am in love with the bike and the island. The two days were some kind of motorcycling nirvana for me, I learned how to powerslide round hairpin turns, I rode off road, I wheelied and reached the limits of the skinny trail tires when trying to race some of the locals.
I was pleasantly surprised how loud the XT was and what a great noise came out of those double cans. The tourquey motor was ideal for the very tight curvy passes in Mallorca and the brakes progressive and predictable. In all the bike was easy to use and safe to explore the limits of my skills and the bike. If I lived near the mountains or any kind of twisters, I’d immediately buy this kind of bike for weekend fun.
I highly recommend Mallorca in the off season (I.e. Feb-April) for a a short motorcycling holiday as the rental was reasonable (73euro per day compared to 79 in Hamburg) the hotels are cheaper at this time of year and most importantly the traffic on those small roads is not too bad. Beware as on the larger roads there can be very many coaches and groups of cyclists, while on the smaller ones you usually only find cyclists (who can go faster than a motorbike on some of the very tight downhill sections!) I recommend the following roads:
Es Capdella –>Galilea –> Puigpunyent (for tight twisties)
Andrax –> Banyalbufar (the local racetrack of Mallorca with wider road and fantastic surface covered in rubber from all the superbikes, in fact some riders on this road were so fast that it reminded my of the IOM TT!)
Just don’t forget the Spanish drivers may be used to bikes and scooters but don’t expect them to have great reaction times or to be in any way predictable, I had one full emergency stop situation which would have been nasty in the wet.
Thanks to David for sharing his experience. Seems like the perfect way to spend a weekend. If YOU would like share YOUR motorcycle tall tales, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.