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Motorcycle Events & Rides Out

North Coast 500

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North Coast 500

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I'm planning to do the North Coast 500 this summer, with an added excursion to the Orkney Islands.

So has anyone did the 500? Does anyone have any tips or things to watch out for? Is there anything you would definitely take or anything you wish you hadn't.

personally I'm planning on taking a dome tent, sleeping bag and my triumph trophy 900 apart from that I'm open to suggestions.

   Update Reply
Delan @ 03/03/2020 00:42  

I've done the far north many times, highly recommended, but not since they called it the NC500 it does get very busy so accommodation might be a challenge although you should be OK in a tent.
Don't try and do it in a weekend, savour it and take a week.
Getting there the A9 is gatso alley, try the A93 and the A74 is boring, use the B7076.
A few years back we stayed in John O G and went on a day long ferry & coach trip round Orkney which was good fun. Gave us a chance to see all the touristy bits.
And the north west. Oh God yes, just awesome.

I think I need to go now :-)

If you want an easy taster though of what's in store come to the BM dark skies camp in May and meet some of the inmates.

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Steve_H @ 03/03/2020 06:51  

Just about all you need for the trip, Did this trip a few years back and would do again in a heartbeat, Taking Orkney in is a good shout but plan a few days for it as there is a lot to visit on such a small island.

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Jas71 @ 03/03/2020 10:10  

Thanks for that Steve_H some great tips there, especially on the route ill take the advice there. May the gods steer us clear of boring roads :)

I had to plan Orkney in Jas71, I mean the 500 route sorter passes right by doesn't it :)
I just wonder if there are any camping sites on Orkney even wild ninja camping. If anyone has any site tips please do post them.

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Delan @ 03/03/2020 17:32  

Hi. Did the NC500 September 2019 , avoided all the mosquitoes ended up a total of 1200 miles from Manchester set off at 4 am to avoid any traffic probs. Distances are a lot more than you think due to winding roads coming back on themselves so allow extra time . Did a mixture of air b & b ,hotels fantastic allow minimum of a week , 10 days is better if you want to take in the sites. Good luck

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Deleted Member @ 04/03/2020 21:32  

I've not done it as one trip, but i've done just about all of it at one time or another. Like folk have said, don't rush it.
Fill up with fuel every time you get the chance, especially when you get north of Ullapool. There's a great camspite at Durness, big and well-equipped and you don't have to book ahead.
Have a look at the diary and maybe take in a rally or two. Oh, and Orkney's great and well worth the trip.

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Wills @ 04/03/2020 23:14  

Hi I too am doing this in August at least part of it, including an overnight stay in Orkney. Day 1 I am traveling up to Aviemore where I have accommodation booked, then heading to Ullapool on day two following the NC500 route to Scrabster and taking the ferry to Stromness on day 3 where I have accommodation for the night. I'll be traveling around the island over the two part days I'm there and heading back from St Margarets Hope for an evening ferry back to the mainland, staying the night in John O'Groats before heading back to Aviemore down the east coast in time for Thunder in the Glens (third year in a row). This is going to be a solo adventure that I am really looking forward to. Everything already booked including the ferries and my ticket for Thunder purchased too, this bit isn't solo as I am meeting up with others there.

The only regret I have is that I don't have time to do the whole route as my main aim is the rally and the fact that I will miss out part of the route, My plan is to do Aviemore to Applecross and then on to Ullapool as a day trip before heading back to Aviemore the following week, so practically doing the whole route in two parts with TinTG in the middle. The places I miss I'll get to see next year as my plans for the 2021rally have started already with accommodation booked already.

One thing you can't do without is midge repellent, Avon's Skin So Soft is excellent at keeping the little beasties away, I never leave home without it. I'm also taking two 3 litre fuel canisters that attach to my sissy bar (just to be on the safe side) and as many sets of waterproofs as I can fit in my luggage :)

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Deleted Member @ 11/03/2020 21:50  

If it's out like it was when I was up there last year you'll need the waterproofs, I had to ride through one of those yellow gale warnings, I changed my clothes every time I stopped for petrol !!

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Bikeabill @ 12/03/2020 09:17  

...I would add that if you do it east to west (anticlockwise) you will enjoy it more. The east coast is not as scenic as the west and you will usually travel towards better weather!

I hope that helps!

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Deleted Member @ 02/05/2020 14:56  

Good grief this post only started at the beginning of March, it seems like a different lifetime.
But as soon as I can I'm off north of the border again.

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Steve_H @ 02/05/2020 19:10  

Let me know when you off Steve, I’ll be your wing man.

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peter1200gs @ 03/05/2020 18:30  

Might be an Autumn camp at this rate though 🙁
If we're lucky

   Update Reply
Steve_H @ 03/05/2020 19:01  

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