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Thread: Planning a trip to Europe...

  1. #46
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    A lot are recommending a GS, but you aren't telling me what your passenger thought of that experience, e.g. 5-6 hours a day on the back for 7-8 days, etc....

    Of course I want to ride a bike I'm comfortable with. I'm pretty experienced with big bikes (I've have put over 120K on my '99 Road King). I'll be ok on whatever I rent, but, as someone has mentioned here, "if Mama ain't happy, NO ONE is happy."
    Passenger accommodation's on a GS are not Plush, but very comfortable by all accounts. Good leg room, decent padding, a small back rest is available, you may have to request it from the rental agency. Good places to hang on.

    The other thing to remember is that the passenger is not passive on roads like that, they should be leaning, looking through the corner over your inside shoulder and participating in the riding experience.

  2. #47
    criminaldesign
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    I read the article in the News a couple of months ago the trek through Europe with the guided tour.

    If one was to go that route, what price range are you looking at?

    What about renting the bike and going DIY?

    Thanks, h

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    A lot are recommending a GS, but you aren't telling me what your passenger thought of that experience, e.g. 5-6 hours a day on the back for 7-8 days, etc....
    Being a straight shooter, I won't necessarily say a "GS" but as I've already mentioned, any larger dual sport. ie: Honda Veradero, Suzuki V-Strom, Yamaha TDM 900, etc.

    I toured two-up in 1995/1996 on an old BMW R65 and I didn't have any complaints from my passenger. But over the years, I was the one complaining about the seating position, even though it was only slightly forward and then the narrow handlebars...once again...no thanks!!!

    I'm glad I'm now on the bike of choice, at least one of them.

    There was a couple who I helped, that went on their own self-guided tour of the Alps and they were very glad they chose the GS.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by criminaldesign View Post
    I read the article in the News a couple of months ago the trek through Europe with the guided tour.

    If one was to go that route, what price range are you looking at?
    Just over twice the price of going on your own self-guided tour.

    Going single-solo, anywhere from US$4000 to about US$6000 for a mere 14 days or less.

    Then you have to add in your airfare, gas and anything else not covered by the tour price.

    But you do have someone carry your luggage up to your room...thats one hell of a big bonus .


    Quote Originally Posted by criminaldesign View Post
    What about renting the bike and going DIY?
    Thats what I've done for the last 14 years in a row. I just like the freedom that going solo has to offer....it makes it "your" tour.

    Numerous people have already used some of the tips in this thread...
    Alps Motorcycle Tours, Priced Right...How to go about

  5. #50
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    I'm ready to book the trip. We will fly into Munich or Geneva. Has anyone rented a bike from someone in either area? I'm going to rent a K1200/1300GT. I'd like to hear about experiences from this year and costs... oh yea, 10 days on the bike is the plan.
    thanks,

  6. #51
    franze
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    I'm ready to book the trip. We will fly into Munich or Geneva. Has anyone rented a bike from someone in either area? I'm going to rent a K1200/1300GT. I'd like to hear about experiences from this year and costs... oh yea, 10 days on the bike is the plan.
    thanks,
    read post #23 Lausanne is about 40 miles from Geneve. If you fly into Geneve, which in my opinion is one of the best international airports in the world, you can get on a train right at the airport that will take you to Lausanne. You will need to take a taxi to InterMoto from the Lausanne train station but I wouldn't be surprised if the Inter-Moto guys will come get you. If you do decide on Intermoto, ask if Jurg Ambuhl still works there. He is speaks perfect English and is a GREAT ASSET for guidance regarding your trip plans. There is a BMW dealer in Geneve and I had all my services done there but I have no exerience regarding their rental policies. When are you going??? PM me if you want some advice on how to get the most of your 10 days.

    If for some reason you fly into Zurich, Moto-Mader is about 25 miles from there, another short train ride, direct from the airport terminal

  7. #52
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    .........I'm going to rent a K1200/1300GT. I'd like to hear about experiences from this year and costs... ...............
    thanks,
    Look at the previous advice, a big GT is TOO big, if you plan on hitting any of the fun roads, trust me on this. I know people that rented GT's against the advise of me and others and after the fact, said "I wish I had listened" . If you don't trust the experienced riders here , look at the fleets of Beach and Edelweiss and other tour companies, and most of the rental places in the mountains, most don't offer, or will only get them for special requests.

    There is a 50-50 chance you will drop the bike, even if you have not dropped one here in years, trust me on this, I have seen it countless times, and have done it myself. And a tip over on a GT will cost you BIG bucks, a scratch on the bar end and cylinder protector on a R bike is much cheaper.

    Just saying..................

  8. #53
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Thanks again to all with advise. I am going to finalize the trip between now and December to take advantage of 2009 rental rates. My dates are around 1-12 July 2010. I've found a rental company in Thun that I am curious about, Moto-Center Thun. Has anyone dealt with them?
    I will probably fly into one of two places, either Munich or Geneva.
    Call me hard headed, I get what a lot are saying about a GT being too big for this type of riding. Understand I have only ridden BIG bikes (RT/GT/Road King) for the past 15 years and almost half of my riding has been two up. Comfort for my wife is more important to me than having a smaller, nibble mortorcycle that I can catch with leg or flick around a corner.
    10 days "should" be enough time enjoy the Alps and make a run down to French Rivera. I'll be programming the Zumo with route information. Any and all advise or maps of routes would be greatly appreciated. Also information on night stops, hot spots, or a party place along the route would be nice. This is not a high budget trip. If it was I'd go with a tour company. I'm a retired Navy Warrant Officer that does the communte into DC daily. I'm not looking to stay in a barracks but neither am I looking to pay $200 bucks a night for a hotel throughout the trip!

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    I will probably fly into one of two places, either Munich or Geneva.
    If you are going to fly into Munich, then you might as well rent there...Moto Greek and All Around are two rental outfits. Switzerland tends to be more expensive, generally.

    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    I'm not looking to stay in a barracks but neither am I looking to pay $200 bucks a night for a hotel throughout the trip!
    And neither do you have to; not even close.

    Room rates are per person per night and include a real breakfast (unless you're in France).

    I spend between 20 and 32 Euros per night with breakfast and as much as 42 Euros per night with breakfast and dinner. France, Switzerland and Corsica are more expensive; Austria and Northern Italy are cheapest.

  10. #55
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    Call me hard headed, I get what a lot are saying about a GT being too big for this type of riding.
    Your choice!

    I'd hate to be behind a fully faired bike, and one that runs hot, during that time of the year.

  11. #56
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Global, thanks again for the advice, I wish I had asked your opinion before I bought my second GT a couple of months ago...

  12. #57
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    Global, thanks again for the advice, I wish I had asked your opinion before I bought my second GT a couple of months ago...
    Any one that has not been to the Alps area has NO idea what the riding is like. It is unlike ANYTHING in the US. I only know one road that is close to an Alps pass in the US, only about 1/4 of the length. And I know almost every cow path worth riding on the east coast, and have ridden the Rockies as well.

    I had a first time Alps rider ask me one time how he would explain the riding there, I told him I never found a good way to do it, you always get people that will say...........Oh, like the GAP or Beartooth, or some other road they know. But, like I said, there really is no comparison.

    He said "I am going to go home, tell my buddies that I rode my A$$ off for 2 weeks, only rode about 2000 miles and 90% of it was in 2nd gear!!!!!" I looked at him and said, I just think you answered your own question, as that was the best description I had ever heard, to describe riding the passes and small fun roads in the Alps.
    Last edited by pffog; 11-08-2009 at 11:23 PM.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnert View Post
    Global, thanks again for the advice, I wish I had asked your opinion before I bought my second GT a couple of months ago...
    On our roads, none of what I mentioned is an issue.

    Over there, it is. If you end up riding the really great roads, and I mean the back roads, you'll see how slowly you'll end up travelling. My hands get hot due to the hand protectors mounted on my GS. I'm glad I don't have an RT there or anything similar.

  14. #59
    BOKRIJDER
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    I've done a ton of miles in the Alps. If you are going to ride the large touring bike, I can suggest some exercises to practice in preparation. Fully loaded, two up - you should be able to do a 180 within the bounds of a narrow two lane US road - no dabs and smooth. That's good - move to the steepest hill which you can find and do the same with confidence. Do the same going up hill and down hill - 180 degrees.
    The inside radius lane of a small mountain road switchback can be as sharp as that two lane turn and much steeper than any road you will find here. Think riding your bike up a ramp into a pickup while turning 90 degrees, not quite that bad, but it will appear so. Add some loose gravel and cow sh-t for pucker factor.
    My wife likes comfort too, but gets irritated when tossed in the gravel.

    Kidding aside if you can do the exercise above mentioned, you'll be a leg up on the challenges.

    M J Stone

  15. #60
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokrijder View Post
    ............. If you are going to ride the large touring bike, I can suggest some exercises to practice in preparation. Fully loaded, two up - you should be able to do a 180 within the bounds of a narrow two lane US road - no dabs and smooth. That's good - move to the steepest hill which you can find and do the same with confidence. Do the same going up hill and down hill - 180 degrees.
    The inside radius lane of a small mountain road switchback can be as sharp as that two lane turn and much steeper than any road you will find here. Think riding your bike up a ramp into a pickup while turning 90 degrees, not quite that bad, but it will appear so. Add some loose gravel and cow sh-t for pucker factor.
    My wife likes comfort too, but gets irritated when tossed in the gravel.

    Kidding aside if you can do the exercise above mentioned, you'll be a leg up on the challenges.

    M J Stone
    ..



    Or go to a parking lot with scattered cars, and do this fully loaded 2-up for about 2 hours, stop for coffee and repeat for 8 hours.

    Even an experienced aggressive rider on the good roads will have a hard time riding 300 miles in a day, and I am talking 8-10 hours. THat is how tough it is over there. To each his own though, but if you explore the roads I and GR frequent, I will bet by the 2nd day, you will be saying, "I should have listened"
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