In 1998:
Route Map
01 Extremadura
02 Cabo de Gata
03 Mallorca
04 Ronda
05 Madrid

In 1999:
06 Sevilla
07 Mojácar
08 Towards Norway

Rocinante the Tiger:
On the Road
An accident

And some more:
The Short Story
Bars in Andalusía
Nerja and Axarquía
Photo Gallery
The road home 2001

Go to Pan American Home

Getting Rocinante on the road

Buying a motorcycle in Spain can be tedious business. Especially when you try to buy the bike on tourist license plates, you come from a country far away and you are in the process of learning the language. Here's my little tale of my first encounter with Spanish laws and business.

The gorgeous Triumph Tiger

This is how the Tiger look on Triumph's official homepage

I decided to buy the Triumph Tiger when I saw it in an ad on the internet. After looking for what type of bike to buy for a few weeks, I fell in love with the Tiger at first sight. It's a three cylinder, 900ccm all-road bike with long suspension and probably the best looks on any bike today! I had never seen one alive but soon found the Triumph Tiger Homepage of Erik Astrup and read the opinions of several owners there. Soon I was convinced this would be the perfect bike for me and for the terrain of Andalucia. The Tiger is a big beast with lots of ground clearance, lots of power and the height that suits me, me being almost two meters tall. It also has a certain offroad style, allthough it's more of an all-roader. The long suspension makes it a perfect toy on rough and bad spanish backroads.

On our way south through Spain I got more and more eager to see one and get the bike ordered. Our first stop was the Triumph dealer in Barcelona. I knew that I could not just by the bike there and then. First we had to find us a place to live, after all we were travelling with a car filled to the roof with personal belongings, including a big stereo system(another story). But I wanted to see the bike alive, so we digged up the address and off we went, or off I went pulling Bente along. I could not understand why Sagrada Familia was more interesting than this.

We entered the shop, and there it was, a brand new Tiger just waiting for me to try it. It was just as big as I had expected and just as stylish. I knew there and then that I had picked the right one. I mounted the bike and confirmed my decision. I did not get a ride on it, though, as the dealer had no trial license plates to put on the bike.

Next stop was the dealer in Alicante. I had spoken with them on the telephone a few weeks before and gotten a price. We got there on a Saturday afternoon, and to my great disappointment they were closed, not to open until Monday. We left Alicante on Sunday, so my next possibillity would be Malaga.

What happened next was that we got ourselfs to Nerja, liked it, and hired an appartment. It was now Tuesday and we had moved in allready, two days after leaving Alicante. I proclaimed that Wednesday was a fine day to go to Malaga, no-no why should we arrange the furniture or write the contracts or say hallo to our new neighbours. All this can be done later, I'm going. Bente understood me at last and on Wednesday at ten o'clock I was in the shop, very eager to get service. Now that we had a place to live I wanted to buy the monster as soon as possible.

"It's just a matter of days"

The dealer from Antonio Luis Motor welcomed me and we sat down with a cup of coffie. I told him I was interrested in buying a Triumph Tiger and asked for a price. The initial price was 1.440.000pts, which was the official spanish price. But they only had a 1997 in Madrid and I wanted a 1998 model. The reason I was opposed to accepting a 1997 was that the shop couldn't give me a discount on it. Within an hour we had agreed on everything and I placed the order.

Sort of the feeling I had when trying to get the bike on the road, hopelessness.

The price would be even lower. Since I was norwegian and not a EU member I could by the bike on tourist license plates and save 240.000pts in taxes. It was fabulous, the price was now at about 40% of the Norwegian price. The dealer told me that all they needed from me was my passport. The bike would arrive in 7-8 days and the license plates 3-4 days later. The passport was not a problem for me. I have a extra seaman's passport and could leave one for as long as they needed it. They were going to need it for much longer than I first believed.

Eight days later he called me and told me the bike had arrived. I was frantic, just got into the car and drove straight to Malaga. And there it was, shining in the British Racing Green color that Bente decided for, and just glooming of style and beauty. Bente was with me this time and we tried to mount the bike together for the first time. She said she had an exellent riding position, which made me even happier. I started the bike and enjoyed the sound from the three cylinder, 900 cubic centimeter engine. The dealer told me to hold back for three days and then the license plates would be ready; "Just a matter of days now".

I hoped he was right. This was in the middle of January and I was leaving Spain for work the 28th in the same month. I was going to be away for four weeks and was desperately hoping for a week or two on the bike before leaving.

The dealer called me after two days and told me that it would at least take 10 days because I was asking for tourist plates. I asked why tourist registration took longer, but he did not know. I was in a very foul mood for a couple of hours and tried the best I could to adjust to the new situation.

"Er, we need your signature"

A few days later he called me again and told me they had some papers I had to sign. I asked if this was slowing the process down even further. He said it probably would, and I asked why he didn't tell me this before. He couldn't answer this, but I jumped in the car and drove the sixty kilometers to Malaga again. In the shop the dealer presented me with six or seven different papers that needed my signature. This was for the Trafico(traffic authorities), the police, insurrance company, and some copies and some I don't remember. I looked at the guy and asked if this was it, could I go back convinced that everything was going smooth from now on. The answer was, again "oh yes, just a matter of days now". I left, not so convinced this time.

"Ups, Trafico need a number"

Some more days went by and I got more and more frustrated of all the thousands upon thousands of bikes I saw on the road every day. I'm shure they all knew that I was waiting for my new bike and followed me around.

I called the dealer from time to time to check if anything was happening. This was a good advise someone gave me in Spain. The dealers does not care much for people who don't bother them. So if you choose not to call, you risk that things stay undone from their side. I finally got message that something was happening. Trafico had called and asked for my NIE-number. I said "What number was that" allthough someone had tipped me of this as well. This is a seperate tourist identification number that you must apply for from the police. It takes about a week to get it and I had fortunately learned about it a few days earlier and applied in case they asked for it. Anyway I had to ask the dealer again why I wasn't informed about this in the first place. He told me that he didn't know, and he was probably honest. Trafico was the bad guy this time, but I had no one to yell at in that department and I had to critize someone, so the poor dealer got the shit from me again. The dealer said, reassuringly, that nothing more should happen and "just give it a few more days"...

"The insurance company want more money"

The date for my departure was getting closer and closer and for the first time I really started to fear that I had to wait till I came back from work before getting a ride on Rocinante. A very proud owner on Rocinante, just after the first drop!?!

I had ordered the insurance through the dealer and also asked if it was possible to transfer my norwegian bonus. To my great suprise it was. Fifty percent bonus was transferred via fax to the company and they calculated the price I had to pay. The initial price was about 120.000pts per year and it got down to about 80.000pts when the bonus was included. I paid this in advance, according to the rules in Spain. The company won't issue a proof of insurance paper until you have paid a year in advance. The paper is offcourse needed by Trafico to issue the registration documents. So I had paid the price of 80.000pts and went through the roof when the dealer called me and said the company wanted me to paid the difference, ie 40.000pts, before issuing the paper. I asked, with a not so pleasant voice, why the hell they wanted more. The answer was that the insurance company wanted the full price beforehand and then pay me back the difference later. They had made a mistake and could not issue the little piece of paper I needed so desperately. By this time I was steaming inside my head and asked the dealer to call them back and make them issue the damned paper, since it was their own bloody mistake. But no, they could not do that and I had to go to the bank and pay them again. It was not enough to pay the money and fax/call from the bank to confirm the transaction, the money had to be in their account first. In Spain things are a little different.

No chances left

I had now lost the battle against time and had one single oppurtunity left, trial license plates. Back home in Norway they would have had license plates in stock at the dealer's. I could have mounted them on the bike and ridden it for weeks while waiting for the registration. In Spain it doesn't exist, or is extremely time consuming to get from Trafico. Trial plates would have take three-four weeks to get. No possibilities left.

So I made one final visit to Rocinante, the future name for the Tiger, and left Spain. I brought pictures and brochures with me and called the shop every week to be a pain in the ass.

Two weeks after I left the license plates arrived, five weeks after I bought the bike. Bente was in the shop and checked for me that everything was going smooth and the moment of my return came at last.

The two of us, Rocinante and three months holiday

Picture taken the first day, In the background Velez Malaga

After four very long weeks in the North Sea, the day of my return finally arrived. The next day we took the bus to Malaga to pick up Rocinante. Helmets and garments were allready with the bike, thanks to Bente. A very long bustrip and taxitrip later we stood in the shop, the bike ready, the dealer happy, me happier, and we started it up.

We slowly drove out of Malaga and took off the highway as soon as possible. With the limit on rev's during the first 1600km, the bike had nothing to do on the highway. But I was driving my new bike which I had decided to buy three months earlier, and I was wearing a smile that only my ears stopped from going all the way around my head.

The rest of the day we cruised the inside of Axarquia, up to Rio Gordo and Periana, took lots of photos of the bike, of the bike and me, of Bente and the bike and then some more of the bike.

We had three months of holiday ahead of us. No jobs, no stress, just us, Rocinante and a country to explore.

La vida podria sido peor!


Top of page



© All photos and text on this site is the property of Bente Bråthen and Dag Jenssen. Contact us if interested in publishing or reusing material from us.
URL Main page: http://www.RocinantesTravels.com. Comments, suggestions or problems with the site, contact