Riding In Spain

I just finished two days of riding in the Catalunya region of Spain and had a great time. I came to Spain from Italy to see Galfer's new factory for making brake components, but stayed for a few days of vacation. I like to explore when I travel, so I worked out a little story idea with a sister publication of ours, Hot Bike Baggers, and got my hands on a Harley Davidson to cruise the sunny south of Europe.

 The Harley idea sounded great on paper, but I'd never ridden a Harley before. In fact, I don't think I've ever ridden a bike bigger than a 650. In fact, I think my Euro rental car just before the Harley was only about 1200cc, but this Road King was a 1600cc monster. That's like riding a dozen YZ 125s at the same time. For anyone who's seen me ride one YZ, try to image me on 12, on streets I don't know the rules for, with street signs I can't read. But here I am typing in a hotel room, not a hospital room, so I think things turned out okay.

My first stop on Saturday was up the coast from Primia de Mar to Costa Brava (Lloret de Mar) to visit a friend, then I was back to the south to meet up with Carlos from Galfer. It was great to know some locals, and Carlos is one of the crazy ones. He used to road race and then raced cars, and rather than carry his championship trophies with him he just drives like a maniac. Carlos introduced me to some of his friends, and they make him look sane. They're totally involved in this minibike type of racing where they take 125 chassis and put little automatic pull-start 50cc engines in them. They call these things Proto 50 Automatics. The engines are made locally and they have races, including a 24 hour event that draws about 30 entries.

Carlos and his friends have won the event several times, and their crazy tuner, who they call "el Mitch Payton Espanol," keeps the little things screaming with a fresh piston about every 30 hours. They bikes don't idle, or stop really, so if you do stop you have to reach down, pull some slack into an exposed drive belt connecting engine to drive, then pull the cord like you're starting a lawn mower. Carlos insisted I ride one, and who was I to refuse. The bikes do nothing down low, and I mean nothing, then come on with what feels more like 52cc of fury. The bikes are actually insanely fun to ride, and with a full-sized chassis are a really wild combination of big bike capability with mini bike "rev its guts out" fun. This would be a fun class to add to the annual MiniMoto race in Vegas each May…
If you want to try, and I mean try with a Spanish-English dictionary, to learn more about these bikes and this racing, check out www.motoclubsantceloni.com . The bikes aren't cheap, with the hand made engines costing approximately $3000, but it's a unique take on having fun in the dirt on two wheels.

The next day Umberto, the head honcho at Galfer, swung by with his friend Javier, each with their own BMW GS 800s, and showed me some of the twisty roads that lead up into the hills over Barcelona. The big Harley did good in the hills, proving that riding bikes in fun, whether it's a 50cc toy in the dirt or the biggest of the big cruisers on the streets.
Tomorrow I pack up and head back to the Dirt Rider offices, where the new KTM 350SX is surely waiting for me with a clean filter and fresh knobbies. I'll be sharing things I learned on my travels and visits with TCX Boots, Athena, Pro Grip, and Galfer in the pages of Dirt Rider soon. Until then, and for some reason I had this expression running through my head while I rumbled around on that big Harley, 'Hasta la vista, Baby.'

pete peterson spain trip
Proto 50 automatic moto club sant celoni fun bike 50cc
50cc fun bikes Spain
spain riding galfer brakes harley davidson