Who's done any Euro touring in recent years?
Who's done any Euro touring in recent years?
I've riddin to England twice, Scotland and the Isle of Man to see the TT a few yrs ago, changed my life! Just last Aug/Sept, I spent 3 wks riding the Alps and Dolomites in 5 countries, did at least 25 passes including the Stelvio, Glosgrochner, and many other serious chunks of road. Simply astounding, best riding I've ever done.
Where did you pick the bike up at / return it to.. and what did you do for lodging most of the time?
Did you come across any good resources concerning weather and timing to get the most possibility of hitting the season correct for no snow on these high mountains.
Have you got a photo album you can share? Upload some photo's?
just did a two day tour in Croatia this spring.. excellent south african tour guide.. phenominal time!
I spent a couple of weeks riding in Germany, about 2 years ago. Excellent riding. Immaculate roads. Mmmmmmm, Autobaaaaaahn. The bike was rented there - a brand new GSX-R600, with about 2000kms on the odometer. It cost me about 300 euros for a week, at the time.
- He who dares not offend, cannot be honest.
- The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.
Just to mention, I've ridden in Europe unescorted before, and while the freedom to ride your own ride is very appealing, there's nothing like a guy up front [who is so fast you can't keep up] doing all the thinking, knowing and doing ALL the great bike roads, and at the end of 12 hours of twisties, a fine comfortable hotel and great food is waiting to pamper you. I can tell you that in the summer tourist season in all of Western Europe, you had better find a hotel by 4:30pm or you'll be sleeping beside your bike.
Anyways, my Isle of Man trip was with Edelwiess, I guess the biggest bike tour company there is. It was simply brilliant, run by good proffesional tour guides with vans who basically point you in a direction, and you do miss some of the great hidden roads.
The last trip to the Alps, RR uses an actual BMW dealer in southern Germany, the northern foothills of the ALPS, the bikes were literally brand new every year, ran brilliantly. They do this independently, and usually rent them out to non-tour group people, so you could do this. I'm currently looking through my paperwork for the name of them and will tell you. As my computer hard drive burned up just last week, I've lost access to my pics redily available in the tower, so I'll spin up a disc. Anyways, This trip was better than the Edelwiess tour. The tour guide for this is a friend of RR magazine's owner. He is in fact not a proffesional tour guide, but a motorcycle policeman for the town of Tamsweg, Austria. You're probably thinking, oh a cop, he's going to be slow and safe. Well, not only was he a super great guy, incredibly knoweldgable of is seems everything in the Alps, but a friggin brilliant rider, who even in sections when he asked us not to pass him, it was serious work to keep up. I thought I knew all about lanesplitting after many riding times in California. Well, fuck! And, at the start of each 'pass', he'd quickly pull over, tell us about the ride, to go as far as you feel good at, and meet at the top for cappicinos. He'd give us 10 minutes, and always catch us after 3/4 hr up to the top. And as advertized, this tour was for experienced riders only after some serious crashes in prtevious yrs. So we were moving, dragging pegs, panniers, feet, and knees a couple times. My new Alpine Stars boots are buggered, ground right through the liners. What I'm trying to say is, we all came back way better riders, and importantly way better riders operating bikes over 140km/hr.
The quality of the roads in Germany and Austria, simply astounding, grippy, clean of all gravel, super smooth, no exception. Switzerland amazingly was even better! Italy and Slovenia were no less entertaining, but did offer 3rd world conditions sometimes. Slovenia even had a pass 20 miles long which was cobblestones!! Shite!
Weather? Well, it is a crap shoot in a mountainous region. We were told that we had brought the good weather with us, as it had been a wet summer until we arrived, where we went it was friggin super hot. I brought liners, heated vest, the works. Left most of it at our first hotel, which would be our last hotel as well. It's a safe bet that, much like Mt. Baker here, any high altitude area will have lingering snow until at least late July/early August. There was one time we were going up a real high pass, where the tourguide Peter mentioned we may not make it because it's so high. Sure enough, at 9500ft, we were getting spitty wet flakes of snow. We turned around back to blue sky and heat, and found another pass into Arraba, Italy that night, no worries.
I could go on and on. All I'll say is, every motorcyclist should ride the Alps and Dolomites. The are smaller in scale than the rockies, but are totally in your face, straight up, close enough to touch, hard to explain.
I should note that while we saw hundreds, thousands of bikes, perhaps 1/3 of all vehicles were bikes, if you are going on a two week run, and plan on really using your bike, really think on a big DP bike. The roads are very tight, constantly changing direction, and the guys on low bar sport bikes were getting very worn out, whereas the high leverage of wider bars allowd very quick countersteer changes with minimal effort, and easy payload of 2 wks of gear.
Unless of course you just want to get on an Autoban and pin it, which we did, but got kind of boring, rather do the twisty bits.
Here's a quick shot of the famous Stelvio Pass [Passo Stelvio] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU5qp...eature=related
Hopefully I've done this right.
My wife and I spent 7 months in Western Europe touring around eleven countries on a bike we flew over to Amsterdam. I have also done a tour with Edelwiess in Tuscany. Both options are fantastic. If you are taking your own bike I figured that you would have to be riding for at least 30 days to justify bringing your own. If less than that then just rent a bike. A excellent online resource is www.horizonsunlimited.com
Let me know if you have any questions.
A group of riders from the local area (Wetleather, for those who know them) booked two European Eidelweiss tours back to back so they could meet up at the switchover for a few days.
I didn't get to go, but I'm told it was fantastic, and the Eidelweiss people said that those two tours set the bar for everyone else who's come since.
We're planning an Eidelweiss New Zealand tour next.
Here's some info for the company that I did my short Croatian asdventure with.. They offer longer Adriatic tours..
The South-African owner-operator is awesome, and once he saw that we weren't a bunch of squids, he really led some spirited rides!
Loved it.. People would come to the end of their driveways to wave at you instead of throwing rocks and waving rakes! and they'd even MAKE you have a shot of hooch if you dared stop for a chat LOL. I can't wait to get back and do some more European biking!
Last edited by KillahK; 01-02-2009 at 05:10 PM.
This 14-day (13-night) Adventure begins and ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina and includes a trip through the Argentine Pampas, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego to the southernmost settlement in the world - Ushuaia.
A feature of this unique Adventure is the option to ride an 1,175-mile day from Ushuaia to Esquel (Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid territory) to earn the Iron Butt Association's special South American Saddlesore certificate.
Attractions of this special Adventure include:
Buenos Aires - "The Paris of South America". Our kick-off dinner will include a tango show at a popular Buenos Aires nightclub.
Peninsula Valdez - one of South America's finest wildlife reserves and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to sea lions, elephant seals, penguins, guanacos, and many other forms of wildlife.
Puerto San Julian, where the name "Patagonia" came to be while Magellan and his crew spent the winter in the town's harbor in 1520. Sir Francis Drake, Charles Darwin and Francisco de Viedma have also visited this interesting town.
Three nights in Ushuaia - One of the world's most exotic motorcycling destinations - the southernmost settlement in the world.
Tierra del Fuego National Park, and the road beyond - to the southernmost point in the world to which it's possible to ride a motorcycle
Two nights in Bariloche in Argentina's lake district, with incredible riding experiences in the Bariloche area.
Should be fun I am riding a GS Adventure for the trip
BCSB had mountains of experience with a lot of things. #1 on that list is pouring out bullshit to dumb questions by the Gigabyte. (TripleTime, 12-10-2014 03:19 PM)
Chicken strips? The tires were totally buggered after the ride.