Friday, March 31

Travel with the Honda NT1100 from Madrid to Porto

Start of the route

There is no doubt that traveling by motorcycle is one of the most anticipated pleasures for the motorcycle family. For this reason we report a great trip that we have made from Madrid to the Portuguese city of Porto

As Honda called this motorcycle excursion “NT 1100 Iberia Touring Experience” from the beginning, this route was carried out by Spanish journalists from Madrid while the Portuguese group made the return trip with the same motorcycles. All of them were equipped with side cases, rear trunk and intercoms in the helmets via Bluetooth. The route was passed by the brand in Google Maps format, so it could be viewed on the motorcycle’s screen at all times, in addition to being able to take advantage of all the services offered by the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay system: calls, messages, etc.

Short stop in Ávila

The NT 1100 has the same mechanics as the Africa Twin to become a true traveller, as it has everything you need to make long journeys with the greatest comfort. It highlights the good protection and aerodynamics for both the driver and the possible companion. The low position of the seat is striking, which allows ease to adapt to almost any height. The 100 horsepower that is extracted from the engine with more than a liter of displacement allows long and very comfortable journeys and with the 20-liter capacity of the fuel tank, around 400 kilometers can be traveled without having to stop.

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Spectacular landscapes at all times

The tour began in Madrid and after touring the Sierra de Guadarrama, passing through San Lorenzo del Escorial, we reached the medieval walls of Ávila, a Hispanic heritage and one of the highest cities in Spain, 1,131 meters. From there on the N-110 we pass through the Barco de Ávila, until we reach the gate of the Valle del Jerte, the port of Tornavacas. From here the cherry trees in bloom accompanied us on this first day of the route to Jerte. Later, the innumerable curves of the 17 kilometers of the Port of Honduras awaited us. At the viewpoint, after crowning, you can see the numerous birch trees that they say is the best preserved in all of Extremadura.

Port of Honduras biker stop par excellence

Hervás is the next waypoint. City famous for its Jewish quarter and the old motorcycle museum. Later we passed through Bejar and after about 50 kilometers and an hour of curves we arrived at the spectacular La Alberca. Historical artistic complex for 80 years where the spectacular Abadía de los Templarios hotel is located where we slept the first night. This beautiful city, practically pedestrianized, is where Christian, Islamic and Jewish cultures come together. The tradition of this beautiful city is curious. Although we did not see it, they have the custom of having a pig loose in the city, they call it “pig of San Antón” and in June it is raffled and the profits go to the brotherhood of San Antón.

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La Alberca, spectacular city

On the second day of the route, the address is Ciudad Rodrigo, already at the gates of Portugal. We entered the Portuguese country through Vilar Formoso, a traditional border post since 1859 bordering Almeida, a town where you can see a small part of the imposing fortress that, in the shape of a twelve-pointed star, represents one of the most Spectacular 17th century. Then Almendra, one of the most beautiful historic cities in Portugal. Monumental heritage and famous for the national highway 222 that ends there after more than 225 kilometers, from Vila Nova de Gaia, almost all the time bordering the banks of the Douro River. On this tour it is recommended, due to its views of the union of the Côa and Duero valleys, to stop at the Côa Museum.

Union of the Côa river and the Duero

Continuing along the innumerable curves of the N 222, we arrive at Pinhao on the banks of the Duero to later follow the road with a new landscape. It is full of vineyard terraces where the best Alto Duero wines are extracted. Later, the road takes us to Mesâo Frio, famous for its ports and red wines, towards Amarante until we reach Oporto, the final destination.

unforgettable landscapes

It should be said that the N 222 was created by a triumvirate of engineers such as the famous architect of Formula 1 Herman Tilke, by the specialist in the construction of extreme tracks and some of the most amazing roller coasters in the world John Wardley; and by quantum physicist Mark Hadley, head of the Physics department at the University of Warwick, one of the UK’s leading universities. According to them, the ideal layout should have a ratio of 10:1. That is, ten seconds of straight for every second of spin. And the N 222 has a ratio of 11:1, thus being very close to perfection, but in the world there are more twisted people like the Californian Big Sur who holds the provisional record at 8.5:1.

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Tribute to bikers at the monolith of the N 222

After this parenthesis the final destination in the beautiful Portuguese city of Porto where the Douro River flows. This is really spectacular with innumerable wineries at the foot of the river that allow a good provisioning after the long trip. The direct route does not reach 600 kilometres, although the areas we traveled daily were just over 400 and just over seven hours a day of fun on the back of the Honda Nt 1100.

Arrival in Porto, end of the trip

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