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Thread: Riding the NC500 around the Scottish highlands...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Paulplex's Avatar
    Bike: NC700XA-C
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    United Kingdom

    Question Riding the NC500 around the Scottish highlands...

    I've booked ten days from the middle of May next year to do something a bit different; I plan on riding my motorbike around the Scottish highlands.

    Of course, you've got to get there first: so the round trip from door to door on the south coast of England and back again will be just under 1,800 miles. It'd only be me - top box, two side cases and a canvas bag on the back seat, I hope to mix wild camping with sofa surfing and B&Bs: has anyone I know done the NC500 and can they offer any hints or tips?

    Riding the NC500 around the Scottish highlands...-nc500route-jpg

    The blue spidery lines at the bottom are the previously recorded tracks from the Calimoto app; as you can see, the furthest north I've travelled before was Oxford - this would be somewhat further!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Griff's Avatar
    Bike: X-Adventure, Suzuki VStrom 1000ABS, 1989 Honda Dominator, CRF250L
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Wicklow Ireland
    I was going to suggest bringing some insect repellant but when I looked it up it appears you will get away with it in mid May. Seems the nasty little females only appear in June. Looks like a good trip.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  3. #3
    Senior Member HarveyM's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC750X DCT
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Can't help you with the trip planning, other than suggest you do a weekender with all your gear first as a trial run. My other caution is the canvas bag on the seat; I'd think you'd want waterproof. Cheapest is a heavy plastic (builder's?) garbage bag, or better, a dry bag duffel (Lomo gets good reviews and it's on Amazon uk). I use a 30L drybag for 120 litres total luggage for 0 C degree weather camping on the bike (no top box, 34L panniers). Shifting your bag every couple of hours to fill up is a negative. I made a pillion rack with a gas hole to solve that- Cutting board pillion rack
    Last edited by HarveyM; 13th November 2019 at 20:57.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Bike: NC750X
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Ayrshire, Scotland
    Midges are not usually a problem in May.
    Once you get into Scotland there are lots of great roads you could use to avoid motorways and the A9.
    When I did the NC500 we went up Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Fort William to get to Inverness.
    The Scottish borders and Dumfries and Galloway are beautiful areas to visit as well, great biking roads.
    If you are planning on using B&B's or hotels I would recommend booking in advance, the NC500 is a very popular route.
    if you have time, it is worth visiting Orkney.
    Enjoy your trip.

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