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  #1  
Old 18 Jan 2010
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Euro Trip: March/April 2010

Hey there, I've been browsing this site for hours, found loads of useful info already, and thought I'd post the details of my first bike trip.

In a nutshell, I'm planning on taking my 1997 Suzuki GSF 600 from Calais, to Dubrovnik, Croatia and back, in 26 days, between mid March and mid April.



That's a rough route I've come up with, although I don't like to set anything in stone.. Would rather head south to the warmer weather asap though!

Quick question, I'm pretty sure the roads will all be fine, but can anyone confirm that my road tyres will handle the roads further East, I know it's not exactly deepest darkest peru out there, but should I be preparing for crumbling, gravelly roads, or are they pretty much mainly tarmac?

If anyone has any suggestions for places to visit along the way I'm open to suggestions, like I said, nothing is set in stone - or if anyone will be in the area at the same kind of time and fancies meeting up, let us know!

Cheers,

Andy
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  #2  
Old 18 Jan 2010
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Hi there,

Been to the countries you are planing to go. Did that trip on a yamaha FJ1200 ABS with road tires. It was no problem. Only the roads in Croatia are no to good when it rains. They become slippery.

Greet Dimitri
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  #3  
Old 19 Jan 2010
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Looks a good trip mate. Have done some of the places a couple times, roads won't be a problem. As somebody mentioned, they can get very slippery when wet in places like croatia. I'd never thought my front brakes were touchy till riding around there a few days

Budva in Montenegro was good fun when I stayed there, and I liked Dubrovnik (albeit very touristy). There are loads of little pensions all the way up that coast. A little detour up to Mostar (bosnia) could be good, liked that.

Slovenia stayed in Bled once and Llubjana once. Bled was nice, heaps of nice roads through there. Can't help you much beyond there as didn't go up north like your trip.

Anyway, good luck.
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  #4  
Old 19 Jan 2010
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Road tyres are fine,though I have not been as far south in Italy as you plan to go. Some roads in Croatia & Slovenia can be a bit greasy when wet but we rode through the Julian Alps in Slovenia with no problems despite the cobbled hairpins! Its an old 1st world war supply route originally & very scenic,did it on a 600 Fazer.
Allow yourself plenty of time getting through the Czech Republic & North Slovenia,the roads are fine but not that wide & you can find yourself overtaking a lot of trucks.
Have a great trip
Andy
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  #5  
Old 19 Jan 2010
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Guessing 2nd / 2nd last stop is the Nurburgring - good shout.
Last summer I did Berlin, stayed with friends in S Poland, including visiting Auschwitz, then the Ring in a week
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...g-2009-a-45866
You'll also be passing Brno, a few Italian race circiuts and Bologna - home of Ducati - if that's your thing
Other points of interest - Stelvio Pass
good luck - and tell us about it when you've done
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  #6  
Old 20 Jan 2010
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Hi there, thanks for all the replies, much appreciated! That's good to hear about the roads, put my mind at rest, as long it stays relatively dry

I've looked into some of your suggestions, Mostar looks incredible, will add it to my list of places to visit, and the WWI supply route through the Julian Alps looks well worth riding too.
I'd love to ride the Stelvio pass as well, my only concern is whether the mountain roads are likely to be covered in ice and snow in march/april?

@zygoat4

I hadn't heard of Nurburgring until you mentioned it, but it's near that point, which is actually just the twin town to where I live, thought it'd be worth seeing..
Did a bit of research though and it looks pretty good, can you really just turn up, buy a ticket and do a lap?! Never ridden on a race track before, and this one is sposed to be the most dangerous, will I been viewed as brave or stupid? Might never get the chance again though, so it's gotta be done!

Thanks again for all the info, this is why I love this place, within a day of posting I've already added to my list of things to do!

Cheers,

Andy
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  #7  
Old 20 Jan 2010
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I personally would come off the Alps and take in Verona and Venice before hanging a right and heading down the coast. But it is your trip and I hope you enjoy it.

Steve
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  #8  
Old 21 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewRev View Post
Hi there, thanks for all the replies, much appreciated! That's good to hear about the roads, put my mind at rest, as long it stays relatively dry

I've looked into some of your suggestions, Mostar looks incredible, will add it to my list of places to visit, and the WWI supply route through the Julian Alps looks well worth riding too.
I'd love to ride the Stelvio pass as well, my only concern is whether the mountain roads are likely to be covered in ice and snow in march/april?
Cheers,

Andy
Yeah, I think it will be freaking cold up high, and probably under a lot of snow in your time (not just a little bit, impassable). alpineroads.com is your ticket to get good info on the various passes.

Oh, I forgot, there is a little town called Ston, that I seem to recommend every time people go to croatia. It was my little oasis for a late lunch after a long day riding. I'm sure you can google it, it's pretty tiny, but great, and local mussels if you like em

Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 21 Jan 2010
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Hi,

The most of them Alpen Passes usually opened on middle or end of may. Here are some infos, you can choose which is best Alpen road for you

The Alps, passes and great roads
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  #10  
Old 28 Jan 2010
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Hey there, thanks for the alps info and links, very useful and much appreciated - looks like I'll probably be taking a tunnel from Switzerland to Italy, was thinking about the St Gothard tunnel, but I hear it can get pretty busy, can anyone reccomend a better route?

@ Graham_Kawa, Ston looks well worth a visit, thanks for the tip. Never had mussells before, but this looks like the place to try them!

@ steveindenmark, I was thinking about a visit to Venice, and Verona looks nice too, although I've heard Italian cities can be a bit hairy for a biker!

Cheers,

Andy
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  #11  
Old 4 Feb 2010
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Depends on what you're used to. The further south you get in Italy the worse it gets. But then again if you adjust yourself you'll be fine. Just remember three basic rules:

1. Don't speed because they're looking for foreigners
2. A red light does not necessarily mean that others are going to stop.
3. Scooters. Lots of scooters. Driving like they've just robbed a bank and need to get out of town asap.

The towns in the Northern part of Italy are comparatively good and calm, except for maybe Genoa. I've been told by a good friend from Detroit who lives in London now that British drivers are the worst he's ever encountered. And he's lived in Mexico for a while. You might thus not have a problem at all.

Do you plan to stop in Munich?
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  #12  
Old 4 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mj View Post
Depends on what you're used to. The further south you get in Italy the worse it gets. But then again if you adjust yourself you'll be fine. Just remember three basic rules:

1. Don't speed because they're looking for foreigners
2. A red light does not necessarily mean that others are going to stop.
3. Scooters. Lots of scooters. Driving like they've just robbed a bank and need to get out of town asap.

The towns in the Northern part of Italy are comparatively good and calm, except for maybe Genoa. I've been told by a good friend from Detroit who lives in London now that British drivers are the worst he's ever encountered. And he's lived in Mexico for a while. You might thus not have a problem at all.

Do you plan to stop in Munich?

As an Italian, I must say Mj is right.
Don't worry here in the north of Italy if it comes to traffic: just keep your eyes open, but red traffic lights are generally very respected!
But if you go south... GOOD LUCK!
I would not dare to ride my Harley in big cities such as Naples or Palermo... traffic is so crazy there. And what Mj said about scooters is right.

If you come over the north, don't miss the Dolomites for no reasons!! I tell you this because I see they're not included in your trip.

Take a look here Dolomites, Italy - Official Website - Cortina d'Ampezzo, San Vito, Auronzo, Misurina, Falcade, Zoldo.
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  #13  
Old 6 Feb 2010
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HI THERE

WHILE IN THE EAST OF GERMANY THERE ARE A FEW SPOTS WORTH A VISIT.
BERLIN IS OF COURSE A GREAT CITY (LIVED THERE FOR 12 YRS). TO THE NORTH OF IT THERES THE SEENPLATTE (A GROUP OF SCENIC LAKES) OR IF YOU FOLLLOW THE SPREE UPRIVER FROM BERLIN YOU'LL COME TO THE SPREEWALD (VERY BEAUTIFUL AREA). ALSO WORTH AT VISIT IS ELBSANDSTEIN (SANDSTONE MOUNTAINS) AND OF COURSE DRESDEN, THE FLORENCE ON THE ELBE.
IF, AS PLANNED, YOU RE-ENTER GERMANY AT BASEL IN THE SOUTH WEST, THEN DONAUESCHINGEN (WHERE THE DANUBE SPRINGS) AND THE SCHWAEBISCHE ALB ARE ALSO PRETTY.
BEWARE OF THE INSIDE LANE ON THE AUTOBAHN IN THE SOUTH WEST AND WEST ... THERE ARE MORE THAN THE OCCASIONAL POTHOLE AND LOTS OF ROADWORKS. THE AREA ALONG THE MOSEL RIVER IS ALSO WORTH SEEING.

HAVE FUN!
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  #14  
Old 7 Feb 2010
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Awesome, thanks for the tips folks, will take it easy in the cities and see how it goes

Quote:
If you come over the north, don't miss the Dolomites for no reasons!! I tell you this because I see they're not included in your trip.
Take a look here Dolomites, Italy - Official Website - Cortina d'Ampezzo, San Vito, Auronzo, Misurina, Falcade, Zoldo.
Looks incredible, and I've heard great things about riding in that region, I'm just not sure how accesible it will be in March, I understand a lot of the passes will be snowed under, but will deffinately consider passing through!

@waynemartin, thanks! I was looking for more idea's in East Germany, and your suggestions sound great, looking at pictures at the moment!

@mj, I've driven in London, and managed to survive, gotta agree that there are some really bad drivers here, so if your mate is right I should be fine! I might be stopping in Munich, but haven't planned that far ahead yet. Was gonna play it by ear, see what takes my fancy
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  #15  
Old 7 Feb 2010
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do not fear the ring

hi andy
I went round europe with a mate last summer on my ninja 6, and the nurembergring was a definate highlight. You do indeed just turn up and pay, the ticket office is open from 2pm and is 22 euros a lap. It is quite intimadating when you first arrive but most people there are really friendly and happy to give you pointers (100db noise limit, i had to pack my exhaust full of shit to get it to pass) take it easy on the track but dont be scared, accidents are common but are always caused by people who are pushing to hard and or dont know the track which you wont so if you move to the right let people pass and go into the blind corners slowly you wont have any issues. Well worth it, its great fun and a nice town full of petrolheads. you cant go wrong

but i have to echo what everyone says about northern italy the roads, the lakes, the people, the food, best bit of the trip by far.good luck and enjoy yourself

go big or go home

lorry
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