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  #1  
Old 31 Jul 2008
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German speed limits

Is there a list of German Autobahns which have no speed limit? When we went to the German HU meet we just kind of followed the speeds of the locals. We may have been breaking the speed limits or maybe not.
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  #2  
Old 1 Aug 2008
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A round, white sign with 4 gray lines running across it --> go as fast as you like.

You´ll actually see few Germans going very fast, if there is a limit present, and cops will fine offenders heavily.
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  #3  
Old 1 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimOD View Post
Is there a list of German Autobahns which have no speed limit?
No. You just have to watch out for the usual signposting as everywhere else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimOD View Post
When we went to the German HU meet we just kind of followed the speeds of the locals. We may have been breaking the speed limits or maybe not.
Although it is always good to flow with the traffic, being as fast as all the others would not exclude you from getting a ticket and/or being fined if the locals are going to fast.
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  #4  
Old 1 Aug 2008
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There is NO speed limit on German Autobahns, except if otherwise posted.

Typical restrictions signposted are 130 or 120 or 100 km/h.

In case of construction work this could be as low as 80 or 60 km/h.

This is the sign for a restriction (120 km/h max.):



This is the sign, when a restriction (here 70 km/h) is finished and you can go full throttle again.




Breaking the speed limit gets expensive (plus you lose your licence) if you are more than 40 km/h above the speed limit. You will see many Germans on the Autobahn making use of that rule and navigating just below that mark. that means at a restriction of 120 km/h you will probably go with the flow at 150 km/h.

Otherwise, remember that many German cars drive above 250 km/h, sometimes even 300 km/h, so do not block the left lane.
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  #5  
Old 3 Aug 2008
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As has been said before, there is no speed limit at all, unless there's a sign telling you how fast you're allowed to go.

Also:
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Originally Posted by Travelbug View Post
Otherwise, remember that many German cars drive above 250 km/h, sometimes even 300 km/h, so do not block the left lane.
This is probably the most important piece of advice anyone can ever give. German drivers tend to be very impatient and come really close if they have the feeling you're not supposed to be in their lane. Thus, if you're inexperienced with cars and motorcycles going above 250 km/h try to keep to the right and only use the left lane if necessary. And always make sure to check your mirrors twice before changing lanes - a car that seems far and distant one second can be right behind you the next second.

If you follow this advice and don't exaggerate you'll be fine. Also: If you have a foreign (aka non-German) driver's license the police is not allowed to take it away. They will however double the fines for speeding, so be careful if you don't want to spend 500€ for unneccesary speeding
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Old 4 Aug 2008
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I agree. I still remember a long time ago driving my parents' Merc at 200 km/h down an almost empty motorway. About 500 or 600 m in front of us a truck put on it's indicators and just changed lanes. I only just managed to slow the car down to the truck's 90km/h over that distance. Remember: stopping distance increases with the square of the speed.

Even if the police can't keep your papers, in any country foreign vehicles will be impounded if the driver fails to pay a fine on the spot. The Italians routinely escort them to the nearest ATM, as seen on German TV.
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  #7  
Old 4 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
Even if the police can't keep your papers, in any country foreign vehicles will be impounded if the driver fails to pay a fine on the spot. The Italians routinely escort them to the nearest ATM, as seen on German TV.
That is, indeed, correct. They cannot take away your license but they will impound your car/motorcycle if you cannot pay the fine either on the spot or within a reasonable amount of time, meaning you're allowed to cross the street in order to get to an ATM but you're not allowed to drive away in order to do so - it has to be within walkable distance. Thus, make sure to either always observe the speed limit (especially on construction sites, they're very anal about that) or carry a proper amount of cash with you at all times.

Needless to say that I strongly suggest observing the speed limit, it's there for a reason and not just for fun.
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Old 5 Aug 2008
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Needless to say that I strongly suggest observing the speed limit, it's there for a reason and not just for fun.
Very true, unlike the UK where an unreasonably low limit is set (or at least seems like it) just to increase the revenue of so-called safety camera partnerships.

Watch out for supercars on autobahns too. They actually use them as intended rather than just pose in them. I was doing 120ish on the autobahn heading from Garmisch to Munich and a 911 Turbo passed me like I was standing still.

I've been told by a couple of biker's over there that the police are hiring vehicles such as motorhomes, horseboxes, etc, and setting up cameras inside. Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 6 Aug 2008
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Travelbug - "This is the sign, when a restriction (here 70 km/h) is finished and you can go full throttle again.



I never remember seeing that 70kph limit sign on a motorway/autobahn, usually on a A road. The problem is then that on A roads, even when you pass through that sign, there is still a limit of 100kph. This is on a single carriageway road.
On the autobahns there will be, as stated, 130, 120, 100, 80 kph signs (ignoring those on the exit roads which could be as low as 40kph). When the next sign is the same but with the line through it, like the 70 shown, or is just a white sign with 4 diagonal lines through it, then the restriction ends.
This means on an autobahn you get go like crap off a shovel, on other roads there is still the speed limit of 100kph. It's like in the UK where an A road can be de-restricted, but is still subject to a 60mph speed limit.

One thing to be aware of is when passing through a village/town. Let's say you're doing 100kph on a A road. You come to a yellow sign that gives the name of the village, on the entrance to the aforesaid village. At this point the speed limit becomes 50kph - note, there is no new speed limit sign, just the name of the village sign. It may be there will then be somewhere a sign saying 30kph within the village, but that is all.
On exiting the village there will be the name sign for the village again, but now with a red line through it. If there are no more speed limit signs, then the limit is de-restricted, i.e. 100kph on an A road.

I'm currently in Germany travelling around in a works hire car that will do 245kph - and does do most days when I'm driving.
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  #10  
Old 7 Aug 2008
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I served in Germany for 5 years in the early ´90´s on a zx10 and very little is more exciting than going flat out on the Bahn - now, though, it´s all a bit slower on a loaded xt6e but then as "adventure motorcyclists" shouldn´t we be enjoying the backroads and the views? Unless you´re on a HP2 Megamoto, of course... oh, Matron - pass the medication! Oh, and don´t forget if it´s raining then all roads have limits - or has that changed?
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Old 8 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
don´t forget if it´s raining then all roads have limits - or has that changed?
Unless it has changed there has never been such a blanket limit in Germany, but sometimes limits for wet surfaces are posted. They use pictograms, so they are self-evident.

Just to clear up any possible confusion: what Brits call A roads are B and L roads in Germany. The numbering system is different. An A road in German means Autobahn/motorway.

The no-limit rule applies to all dual carriageways, blue A road signs or not.

The 50km/h limit in villages and towns also applies in France and possibly some other European countries. It is particularly heavily policed, although the radars are often mobile automatic units and the till down the road is operated by private contractors! If you have been flashed by one of these, just turn around and ride off. Having said that I agree with the above-said: the limits are there for a reason and in most places 50 in town is enough or too much. There are, however, very many nonsensical limits. For example, due to lack of money a lot of minor roads are in a bad state of repair, very bumpy surface, often limited to 50 or 60 for long distances out of town. (The add-on sign says "Strassenschaeden"). You can ignore these signs usually, it's not profitable to police.
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  #12  
Old 8 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
The no-limit rule applies to all dual carriageways, blue A road signs or not.
.
That's not exactly 100% correct. The no-speed limit rule applies to roads of more than one carriageway in each direction where the carriageways are divided by a proper centre-divider ("Armco"). Some dual-carriageways do not have proper division and are therefore subject to the standard 100km/h limit if out of town. It goes wihout saying that if a speed limit is posted (and there are more and more being posted, especially here in the Southwest!), then regardless of whethere there is a centre-divider or not, the posted speed limit applies!
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Old 13 Aug 2008
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(The add-on sign says "Strassenschaeden"). You can ignore these signs usually, it's not profitable to police.

Those signs are there for insurance cop-out reasons. If you have an accident or vehicle damage then the council is not laible. You can also be convicted of reckless or dangerous driving (or similar) in which case better check the small print on your insurance.



For a list of where speed limits apply try:
Autobahnatlas
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  #14  
Old 13 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by Ghost Rider View Post
That's not exactly 100% correct. The no-speed limit rule applies to roads of more than one carriageway in each direction where the carriageways are divided by a proper centre-divider ("Armco").
I stand corrected. I knew that, but forgot about it. Somehow in my mind a DC just has a centre barrier. Actually, I thought that DC means two divided lanes, but then again, English is my second language.

Perhaps a native English speaker can shed some light on the correct meaning of DC?
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  #15  
Old 13 Aug 2008
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"DC", though I don't know where you got that abbreviation from, would mean dual carriageway. Dual meaning two.
This means a road with four lanes, two in each direction.
If any road, however many lanes, does NOT have a centre divider, there will be a speed limit.
If it has one lane in either direction (a single carriageway) there WILL be a speed limit whether there is some form of divider or not.
If it has two, three, four or however many lanes and there is a centre divider there MAY be a speed limit, and there usually is. However it is on these roads that there are sections without a speed limit.

Clear as mud I suppose, but there is some sense to it.

Also, whenever you enter an Autobahn, after a hundred metres or so, there will be a sign denoting the speed limit or lack thereof.
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