The 5000 Curves event is the highlight of the Moto Piston Club's Santander Rally. 530km along mountain roads - 5000 curves? Probably, if it isn't quite that number it seems like it. Anyone who wants to count would I'm sure be more than welcome to try. I guess the event is formally a navigational trial, it's on open roads so is certainly not an out and out speed trial as the numerous Spanish traffic cops out and about will attest to. There is though a certain kudos to being an early finisher. The route has four checkpoints which you should arrive at within a time window and a routecard to follow. There are 120 starters and a good few less finishers....
I took my '61 Norton Dominator and '55 Bantam over to Spain. I rode the Dommi for most of the Rally but decided to use the Bantam for the 5000 Curves. The Bantam represented a greater challenge to get around but the light weight means it is a lot of fun and quite useful on the twisty bits. The two greatest issues in using the Bantam were the comfort (there's not a lot) and managing to find enough fuel stations up on the quiet mountain roads (the small tank and tuned two-stroke engine make for an appalling range). At the end of the day the Bantam was twelfth bike in mixing it with considerably more modern and larger machinery. The 530km took roughly 10 and a half hours so, give or take, a 50km/h average through the hills, timecheck stops, coffees and bocadillos included. Not bad on a small bike nearly sixty years old.
A really fantastic event. Many thanks to Moto Club Piston for organising.
Here are a few pictures from the day though none of the riding - head down none stop all day!
|The Bantam at the end of the day. Still game, a fractured horn|
bracket the only issue.
|Check this - Speedmaster worn right to the edge!|
|Tasty Rickman Honda parked up. I don't think it|
rode the 5000 Curves though.
|Close up on the Rickman Honda.|
|Supermoto modified Ossa scrambler.|
|Bultaco cafe racer.|
|I'd never seen one of these before, a Derbi T250 two-stroke|
twin. Nice quality looking small bike, the spec even includes
diminutive twin discs at the front.
|Close up on the Derbi T250.|
|Close up on a Bultaco Metralla. Apparently 'metralla' translates|
to 'shrapnel' in english!
|Another Bultaco Metralla detail.|
|Lime green BSA Rocket 3. Very much of its era...|
|Moto Guzzi Hispania 65. A nicely restored local bike ridden|
along to spectate.
|During the Franco era both Ducati and Moto Guzzi had Spanish|
offshoot factories. For a while even British Villiers engines
were made under license through Hispano Villiers.
|Well executed Suzuki GSX cafe racer parked up.|
|Hans' Moto Guzzi Stornello 160cc receiving|
some tlc the evening before the 5000 curves.
The bike completed the event without issue.