One heck of a trip.
First, a huge thanks to Beemerdons, GlobalRider, Stefan Knopf and franze. Wouldn't have tried this without your help. Anita agrees with me that in 28 years of traveling together, this trip was by far the most interesting and satisfying we have made to date. We will return.
I learned enough German to break the ice. In Germany and Austria it was fairly easy to work in english. The Germans got a kick out of my accent free mid-western english and my very basic German skills. In Merano nobody knew any language but German or Italian except the 16 year olds. We always got a room, never went thirsty or hungry (on the contrary - we ate and drank well!), and only got lost once a day (GPS is a wonderful thing).
We had one day of real rain traversing across west Austria to north Italy. We traveled in Germany, Austria, Italy, and touched Switzerland and France. More will come to this thread as time permits.
My biggest thrill was climbing this pass 2 up with loaded bags, top box, and tank bag
Passo dele Stelvio. 48+ hairpins. Not for beginners. Anita commented that she intimately knew the logo on the back of my jacket after this climb.
What a wonderful adventure. More later got to get some work done...