Vintage Motorcycle Trip – Milan to Bristol

February 9, 2017

Eight riders set out for a vintage motorcycle trip on “Milan to Bristol, Expedition Nº 2”, May 2016. Our editors finally completed the long-awaited Official Video in Milan in February 2017. Our new vintage motorcycle trip video is included at the end of this article.

vintage motorcycle ride through mountains

First let’s look at Expedition Nº 2 in figures.

Vintage Motorcycle Trip Stats

2 – Number of  wheels per rider

1,632 – Total Km Travelled

70 – Average speed in kph

121 – Maximum speed in kph

8 – Number of riders

6 – Days of emotions from the 17th to 22nd May 2016.

Vintage Motorcycle Trip Cast

The riders played supporting roles on the trip: Fabio Cardoni, Matthew Randall, Peter Noble, Nicholas Uglow, Doug McGarvie, Ian Furey-King, Marc Michon, Christopher and Julie Bodelot, Diego Zichittella,Aurelian Ionus, Edwin Bonaffè and Rémi Desclaux.

The leading role was played by the real star of the show, the Sterling vintage motorcycle, in its Countryman Deluxe and Limited Edition versions. The Sterling is a handcrafted “flat-tanker” motorcycle reminiscent of the 1910s, entirely manufactured by the Black Douglas Motorcycle Co. in Italy. The Sterling combines traditional British elegance, genuine vintage styling and modern mechanicals. Because it combines classic style and modern reliability, it is the perfect vehicle for a vintage motorcycle trip.

Expedition Nº 2 featured several unique versions of the Sterling: Christopher’s “59” Limited Edition, Fabio’s “Iarna” Limited Edition, Ian’s “Army Green” with custom pinstriping, Matthew’s two-tone Silver Arrow and Imperial Blue, Nic’s Original Drayton, Doug’s Claret Classic and Peter’s Full Army Green. Because The Black Douglas offers a wide variety of accessories, colours, and equipment, riders can have their own, unique and special Sterling.

Our second vintage motorcycle trip’s itinerary included all kinds of roads (even motorways!), breath-taking landscapes, and picturesque towns. Riders were faced with a variety of weather conditions, including torrential rain. However this didn’t take anything away from a fantastic riding experience aboard the Sterling.

vintage motorcycle trip close up


Day 1:  From Vignate to Aosta. About 186 km.

Day 2: From Aosta, through the Mont Blanc tunnel to France, to Besancon via Annecy.  Total of 409 km.

Day 3: From Besancon to Reims on minor roads. Total of 336 km.

Day 4: From Reims to Lille. “Only” 206 km on lovely country roads.

Day 5: From Lille to Dieppe, ferry to Newhaven. Total 214 km.

Day 6: From Newhaven to Bristol, final destination. About 281 km.

vintage motorcycle trip on bridge

Vintage Motorcycle Trip Quotes

Fabio Cardoni, founder and creative director of The Black Douglas Motor Co, speaks about Expedition Nº 2: “Mostly country roads, a bit of highway. We truly enjoyed it. The fun and fascinating part is that even though they are all Sterlings, they feel different from each other. It’s like each has its own soul. We have different people working on different bikes. It’s like each person signs each Sterling with his own passion and feelings. I think this is one of the most important characteristic of the sterling”.

The other riders also commented on the adventure: “The trip, for me, was a great experience to be able to see for myself where the bike was made” said Nicholas Uglow. “You’ve got to ride a Sterling to understand the joy of the bike”, added Doug McGarvie.

Matthew Randall said “The trip not only provided an opportunity to thoroughly test the reliability of the Sterling but was also a chance to form new friendships with a group of people from diverse backgrounds.”

“Refreshingly, the Sterling is not noisy nor heavy but rather a light, simple and quiet motorcycle which transports you back to the great motorcycling period of yesteryear, the 1910s perhaps, making every journey akin to going on holiday: enchanting and memorable and an absolute pleasure”, enthused Peter Noble.

“Travelling from Milano to Bristol aboard a Black Douglas Sterling at human speed was a marvellous experience” for Marc Michon.

Because everyone had such a great time, for 2017, we’re looking forwards to new adventures on the open roads, with maybe an “Expedition Nº 3” in the works.

Vintage Motorcycle Trip Video

In the meantime, please watch and share the UNRELEASED video “Milan to Bristol, Expedition Nº 2”:

Please follow our official Facebook page The Black Douglas Motorcycle Co. and hashtags #Expedition2 – #SterlingChallenge. And you might want to check out our article on the amazing story of Burt Munro and the world’s fastest Indian motorcycle. He took his own vintage motorcycle trip to the Bonneville Salt Flat’s and came back with a record that still stands today.