3000kms in 24 hours

Published: 18 March 2005

Friday night - March 18

(For reference: 100kmh = 62.15mph)

00.00 hrs: Take off in Leiden (Leiden lies 30 km's south of Amsterdam) on the new BMW K1200S for a trip through Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium back to Holland.

In Holland the Police is the enemy numero uno of the hard-core motorbiker. Especially the 'Stasi' Koos Spee. So I rode with a sleepy-speed of 120-130 k/h to the German border. I arrived in a little more than one hour. First tank stop and GO! I wanted to build up my speed slowly so I started with 160-170 km/h on the Autobahn.

03.00 hrs: Idstein/Germany - I've never been quicker than 3.20 hours up to this point (my ex-girlfriend used to live here) and that was on a Busa.

03.20 hrs: Frankfurt/Germany - F*ck! A traffic-jam in the middle of the night because of roadworks and too many wintersporters on the road. Luckily it's not a long one and before I know it I'm riding on the A67 to Karlsruhe/Basel at 200-250 kmh.

05.30 hrs: Basel/Switzerland - In Basel I go back on the Autobahn and it's bloody cold so I'm really very happy with the heated grips on the BMW. At around 07.00 hrs I have my breakfast at a petrol station.

08.00 hrs: Genève/Switzerland - I managed to keep up the pace (170-190 kmh) despite the cold and the chance of a big fine. The speed limits in Switzerland are very strict and the fines are very high. When I arrive in Genève the sun is shining and I decide to go for Lyon/France. It's still bloody cold and I start asking myself what for Heaven's sake I'm doing? Maybe it's better if I start the ride back home again at Lyon. The highway to Lyon is incredible beautiful with very nice curves and the views are great.

When I arrive at Lyon the sun is getting warmer so I decide to go towards Marseille/Montpellier. The sun dissappears unfortunately and it's getting much colder again. I'm not tired at all but when I think about the distance I still have before me it's maybe good that it's so cold because my frozen brains don't realise what I'm doing. Only a few thousand kms to go.

11.40 hrs: Somewhere around Montpellier my counter hits 1500 km in less than half a day. ‘Toulouse 272 km’ is marked on a sign by the side of the road. Then I start seeing Andorra/Barcelona on the roadsigns and can't believe that I'm already that far. It doesn't make sense to me that I've already driven that far in such a short time. I keep telling myself: "You're f*cking nuts". Which idiot wants to drive 3000 km in one day? It's just not possible!

13.20 hrs: Toulouse, finally I'm going north again. Paris only 772 km! I start calculating and say to myself that it's better to go slower because I'll always make the 2500 km and that's enough. I'll never ever make the 3.000 km. This incredible distance in one day is just too bizarre. All the way through France I managed to keep the speed on 180-200 kmh and sometimes 220-250 kmh. The speed limit in France is 110 kmh up to 130 kmh and the fines are very high especially for foreigners because the Gendarmes like to tease foreigners. But I don't see any Gendarmes and if I want to make it to Holland in time I have no choice other than speeding…

I start calculating again and if I can be in Paris at about 18.00-18.30 hrs it must be possible to break the 3000 km-barrier. On the other side the Highway is blocked because of a severe road accident. A helicopter has landed and there are also lots of police cars and ambulances. Lucky for me that it's on the other side of the Highway. Otherwise it would have been the end of my trip. The Highway has beautiful curves here and is an absolute fun to ride.

Suddenly my credit card starts not doing what it has to do. It doesn't want to pay my petrol-bills anymore. What now? I don't have cash with me. An old French lady wants to pay my petrol but luckily my bank card works.

Self-proclaimed ‘motormaniac’ Daan van der Keur set himself a mission last weekend - to ride 3000km (1865 miles) in 24 hours. To succeed he would have to maintain an average of nearly 78mph for the full 24 hours – including fuel stops, and calls of nature.

Daan’s longest ride up to this point was from Kiev to home in Holland on a Honda Africa Twin – 2700km in 27 hours. And that’s what started him thinking the 3000km barrier in 24hours could be done. With the right bike.

His choice? BMW’s K1200S.

Read MCN’s World First group test of the K1200S v Hayabusa v ZX-12R - only in this week's MCN: out on March 23.

Read the diary of Daan's mammoth journey in his own words on the following pages – and let us know if you’ve ever done anything like it – or can better it, by following the related topic link, right..

18.20 hrs: Paris finally, I made it in time! The famous Paris traffic jams are luckily on the other side. On my side it's busy but I managed to drive with 150-160 kmh through the traffic helped by the very polite French car drivers who seem used to my riding style. A French scooter-rider wants to show me that he's faster than me and nearly hits me. Because of this I lose my concentration for a short while because I'm totally pissed off. Because of this I miss the sign "Lille" I start panicking but after riding some 15 kms I suddenly see "Lille" again on the road-signs. With speeds of 200-250 km/h I ride to the Belgian border accompanied by a French motorbiker. We start playing but when I push the BMW over 250 kmh the French motorbiker says goodbye..

21.30 hrs: I pass the Dutch border way ahead of the time that I had in my mind. But to be honest the speeds through Belgium were also way over 200 km/h so I shouldn't be too surprised. Then the most boring km of this day start. Suddenly I'm not in the mood for riding anymore. I still have to go 200 km for making it up to 3000 km. I decide to ride to Utrecht because if I take the short way home I won't be able to make it up to 3000 km. Riding 'slow' again is so boring that I don't want to ride anymore but now that I get this close I have to keep going to make 3000 for myself.

23.23 hrs: Finally home, I kiss the pavement like the Pope. I made it! And in less than 24 hours. Then I start thinking; "If I would've driven back through Germany I easily could've made it up to 3200 or more km's. Is 4000 km in 24 hours possible? I think I better have a good sleep first.

And the BMW K1200S? I must say that it's a great bike. The handling is great, the torque and the power are also very good. At 8000 revs you get a kick in the butt again but I would love to ride a tuned K1200S with 200bhp. Everyone asked me if I didn't have any muscle pain or other physical problems but to be honest this incredible ride was by far the easiest long distance ride in my entire riding life.

MCN cannot, of course, condone riding on the roads at the speeds described

Daan van der Keur is Chief Editor on the Dutch bike website Motormaniacs when he’s not doing his day job... as a medical technician at an IVF clinic.