Lorraine – France: an adventure bike ride

After a good winter's sleep, it's time to get the motorbike out of the shed.

The dust has to be blown off the bike urgently and the stiff muscles have to be loosened again. And I'm going to do this with a trip of 240 km long in the Lorraine sub-area in France.

A region in the northeast of this country.

This region consists of four departments: Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, and the Vosges.

Many pass Lorraine on their way south. It’s a shame, because the region has a lot to offer. It is a rural region, with hills and forests and many charming villages. Rivers such as the Maas and the Mosel wind their way through the landscape.

The route I have put together takes me through this green area along smaller asphalt roads alternating with an occasional piece of unpaved road. A route tailor-made for that adventure bike in your garage.

The departure is planned in Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg.  A matter of being able to fill the tank with (a little) cheaper petrol. A bit further on in Belval I cross the border with France unnoticed.  I immediately arrive in to a fine piece of gravel road.

It's great to drive a few minutes after the hustle and bustle of an industrial town right in the middle of the greenery.

In Audun le Tiche, the route continues south on the D16. In between I make a small detour to look for some more adventurous small roads. Which I find near Serrouville in a beautiful unpaved strip.

Just past Malavillers I leave the asphalt of the D156 again. A wide dirt road overgrown with grass leads me between the fields away from civilization. And I am rewarded with wonderfully beautiful views of the region. It is certainly not a technically difficult route, but I do have to keep my thoughts on it and be careful with the gas.

I make another detour via the smallest roads I can find in order to arrive in a more built-up area via unsightly small villages such as Tucquegnieux and Norrou-le-Sec. I wouldn’t consider Briey with approx 6000 inhabitants as a big city. But here there is a bit more traffic and you can find something to eat and drink if you need it.

The following winding D463 and D163 are wonderful roads to continue the track and to make some progress. Enjoying the thick rumble under my buttocks of that 990 Vtwin.

Riding on the D603 I make another loop. Just because it's possible. Heading towards Mouaville following a tiny concrete track.

A bit further I get on a small lane that ends in an unpaved strip. And finally get back to the D603 with a motorbike that has become a bit dirtier again.

Unfortunately I have to adjust the planned route a bit at some places.  Because the unpaved roads are not all accessible.  As in many places more and more field and dirt roads are closed to all motorized traffic. Fortunately, it is not a punishment to look up the smaller and winding asphalt roads. It gives you the opportunity to get the dust and sand off the side of the tires.

I stay on the asphalt and end up in an increasingly wooded area. Lovely steering roads, little traffic and a lovely spring sun on my helmet, that's all you need to make your motorcycle heart beat faster.

I approach Verdun and see the Douamont ossuary in the distance. The unidentified remains of 130,000 French and German soldiers have been collected in this ossuary after 51 months of heavy, bloody fighting on the battlefields around Verdun in WW1. The monument consists of a cloister, a chapel and a tower that represents the grip of a sword stuck in the ground. An impressive monument that makes you reflect on the madness of war. The war in Ukraine has been going on already a few weeks when I take this trip and suddenly a monument of a war from 100 years ago becomes very actual again.

The next kilometres on the beautiful D913 help me to clear my mind again. And I will stay on these more main roads until Brabant-sur-Meuse. Here I make another sidestep to a wonderfully stretch of unpaved. No technical challenges here either, but just a nice route through the woods to eventually end up between the fields. A beautiful piece of road! The party continues with the wonderfully small roads along Bréhéville, Delut and Marville.

Arriving in that last village, the sun already begins to take a deep dive and the temperature drops from fresh spring weather to a somewhat colder winter day. The strong easterly wind does not help and it is just in time that I can turn onto the D643 to Longuyon and continue to put my front wheel in the direction of Longwy.

A few kilometres further on, the Luxembourg border beckons again. With a more than urgently needed gas station because the tank of my KTM is starting to sound dangerously hollow.

An hour later I am freshly showered with my legs under the table and can reminisce about this first real ride of the year. A beautiful varied ride that is perfect to ride with any adventure motorcycle. I've never run into problems with my KTM 990SM on Bridgestone AX41S tires, so this route is certainly manageable with, say, a Teneré 700 or BMW GS. Of course keep in mind your own abilities and especially the weather. If it's wet, it's a whole different story. The few unpaved stretches included in this route can be dangerously slippery when it rains! It is certainly possible, but make sure you have a good set of tires and preferably do not drive alone.

If you don't have an adventure bike, zoom in a little further on the map and you cut the unpaved piece off and enjoy the many beautiful roads and villages that are spread out in this region!

Enjoy your ride!!

To see the details of this TRIP and to download the GPX files, click on the links below:

Lorraine 1

Lorraine 2

 


 

 

 

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