Blu Bike Camp and the Emilian Apennines: the perfect mix of fun, adventure, discovery of the territory and learning.
We can define it as the ideal toy for us "grown children", fanatics of two wheels and motorbike tourism. Daniele Madrigali, Camp manager and multiple (world!) champion, in collaboration with Yamaha, which supplies the Yamaha Ténéré 700, is the creator of a structure dedicated and open to all lovers of off-road tourism, with any brand and motorcycle model.
And if you are still scared to put your tires on dust, stones and dirt, give them a try: it will be easy, safe and above all you will become dirt-dependent!
As soon as I arrived at the Blue Bike Camp headquarters in Castel San Giovanni (PC), Daniele met me together with his equally expert and prepared guides and instructors who, with their kindness and sympathy, immediately put me at ease and reassured me about the natural doubts that come to those who have never set foot outside from the asphalt.
Done the necessary, but fast practices for the assignment of the motorcycle, we immediately got to the heart of the day with an explanation of what awaited us. Daniele grew up in those valleys of which he knows every secret and, since he was a boy, he juggled off-road driving, up to the highest levels. This is to underline the preparation in choosing suitable and varied routes, to whet the interest and desire to go off-road of the participants.
Once we started, after a short ride on asphalt so as to immediately familiarize ourselves with the vehicle, which immediately became agile and intuitive, we arrived at a school field where Daniele and the instructors explained the basic rules for going off-road. Advice and rules that later proved to be very useful if not indispensable in driving. The off-road technique, in some ways, differs from habits on asphalt and above all the difference in friction with the ground must be taken into consideration, and the consequent weight distribution to obtain grip and control in all circumstances. Above all, here you drive standing, unloading the weight entirely on the footrests to give greater stability on rough paths.
After a little practice and corrected the mistakes, we begin the real fun between agricultural roads mainly covered by tractors, and white municipal roads and some easy mule tracks to try our hand at different difficulties, somehow replicating in practice what we had faced just before in theory.
La Val Tidone is a valley formed by the Tidone stream and located on the border between the provinces of Piacenza and Pavia. To the south it originates from the slopes of Mount Penice, from which you reach the splendid village of Bobbio, and extends northward through a soft hilly landscape covered with vineyards up to the plain, where the homonymous torrent flows into the great river Po. A real pleasure to discover this region by motorbike.
Proceeding in the various paths that Daniele selected also according to the difficulties he wanted us to face, we became aware of the nature that surrounded us. Breathtaking views of the hills alternated with beautiful villages mainly agricultural between castles, forts e towers built all in medieval era in anti-crest function.
We even intercepted a herd of fallow deer running not far from where we were riding the bikes.
The day spent was set on the basic driving course, with the necessary theory immediately put into practice in an area equipped to familiarize with the vehicle and the off-road driving techniques, to then arrive at routes that I would call touristic and at the same time extremely satisfying for difficulty and fun. We ventured into very different situations and always anticipated by professional explanations during the stops, to then arrive at the grand finale and that is the ford of a stream (on stony ground) which increased its difficulty. Among other things, the intervals on asphalt, between one dirt road and another, allowed us to rest and relax, both to enjoy the beautiful area and not to get tired at the end of the day.
|It should also be noted that Blue Bike Camp also organizes advanced level courses, tour, for single riders or groups of friends, with rented or own motorcycles, whether Yamaha or other brands. Just ask and Daniele will make you really entertained.|
What is missing? Lunch in a land also famous for good food and good wine! The stop at is obliged to the known Filietto restaurant in Costa di Mezzano Scotti (PC), where we tasted some of the excellent regional dishes.
The picture is now complete. A very rewarding experience that allows you to go off-road in safety even without experience and own vehicle, extending the rental service to quad for those unfamiliar with two wheels.
We conclude by thanking the Yamaha organization and especially Daniele. We will certainly see you soon, maybe to try the next courses and I guarantee you that if this was "only" the base, going up the level will surely have fun!
I upcoming courses will be held on: 21 March, 25 April, 23 June, 10 July, 26 September. For more information visit the website blue-bike-camp.it.
We have been assigned a blue and gray model that Yamaha calls “ceramic ice”. The rims recall the blue of the bodywork giving a further touch of elegance and sportiness at the same time and are rigorously with 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spokes that immediately make you understand the true off-road character of the bike.
Among those present, in our opinion it was the most appropriate color, but we know that everything is subjective and in any case the blue is the official of the house of the three forks.
The 689cc twin-cylinder engine is road-derived, obviously revised for the new use and has everything you need. Great torque in the bass and then rise smoothly. Overall round and very balanced. The weight is obviously proportional to the displacement, but it does not make itself felt especially off-road, where the bike is slim and always at ease even in particularly technical passages.
In short, we could not ask for more. Perhaps a little further effort could have been made by making the clutch also adjustable, but the low cost of € 9.799 justifies some savings in the overall design of the bike. It is difficult to find rivals with the same characteristics at the same cost. Electronics present only for the inevitable ABS, however it can be deactivated off-road. In the end, a simple but concrete bike that gives you the opportunity to do everything with it, even challenging off-road with suitable tires. The excellent Continental TKC80 were mounted on the bike tested. Brakes proportional to the character of the bike and even with daisy discs, which embellish the line.
We used: complete LS2 Nevada, helmet LS2 Xtra, stivali Alpinestars Corozal Adventure Drystar oiled leather.