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  #1  
Old 31 Oct 2007
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Crossing the Alps in december....

I am shipping my bike to Munich, Germany early December. I will need to get the bike down into Italy as soon as I can. I understand that traveling through the Alps at that time period is not the greatest idea, but can it be done? I understand I would be traveling through Brenner pass, one of the lower elevation points of the Alps, but in early December.

Or am I better off finding a way to ship or freight train the bike down?

Thanks for any help that can be offered.
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  #2  
Old 31 Oct 2007
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alp crossing

Hi wile e,
Alp crossing is not a problem unless the weather is bad.
Roads are good and plenty of rest points along the way. I am from north Italy (originally) and we used to have a lot of fun riding through the Alps in winter sunny days, just one word of warning: DON'T start your trip if you are not 100% sure the weather will be good, it can be terrible up there if caught in a storm.
Have fun.

Regards.
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  #3  
Old 31 Oct 2007
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Or you could simply put you and your bike on the DB Autozug (car-train) from Munic to Neaples:

DB Autozug - Homepage
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Old 1 Nov 2007
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alexpezzi-- thank you, this is what I was looking for. I live in northern mountains in the US and we do as well ride during the winter months. Especially early December since our winter doesn't really start until the New Year. But I have been given so much warning, so I wasn't sure. I'll be careful to watch the weather and wait out any storms that might roll through.

indu-Thanks, but I have already checked their website. Turns out that they don't run during the winter months.
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Old 11 Nov 2007
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We just came over Brenner on Friday the 9th of Nov. It was 27 degrees F and snowing.

For a picture check out the Umbria and north page at our website
Welcome to the travels of the White Dragon

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  #6  
Old 11 Nov 2007
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I got caught in a snow storm in Norway this September. It was lovely in the valley but as soon as I got up on the plateau it started snowing. It's not fun on a fully loaded bike. The biggest problem was not the cold or the road conditions, although it was white over, it was my visor steaming up ! The snow was building up on the front of the visor too and I was basicly riding one handed, using the other as a windscreen wiper. This was dodgy enough on the flat plateau. I can't imagine how scary it would be with 1000ft drops at the side of the road. I'd use the train, it's a no-brainer. Still, I wish I was joining you it sounds like a great trip.
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Old 11 Nov 2007
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I really would like to have the option of throwing my bike on a train, but the only one that has been mentioned (and that I could find via google searches) is the one mentioned above and it doesn't run through the Alps during the time period I mention. Once I get into Germany I will attempt to find a way of getting it down there if the pass is impassable.
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Old 11 Nov 2007
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That's why it's called Adventure riding ! Good luck with the weather and wrap up warm.
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Old 12 Nov 2007
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I am looking at similar issues, since my bike is rumored to finally be arriving in Munchen. As far as I can tell, weather in the mountains is cold and snowy, to the east (for an end-run into Austria, then Hungary and down to the coast in Croatia) looks cold and snowy, while to the west through France and around back into Italy is.....cold and snowy, though better than the other alternatives.

Doubtless much depends on your special luck in timing between storm cycles. It will also help if you are content to wait for good conditions wherever you happen to be. Me, I am feeling quite restless and will head in whatever direction looks most promising at the instant I start the bike up and put it in gear. I'm all for adventure, but the specific feeling of guiding fully-loaded bike through hundreds of miles of whiteout and icy hairpin turns is not one I'd invite willingly into my fragile journey.

South of the Alps looks like good travelling weather all the way to Accra, give or take.

enjoy,

Mark
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  #10  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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I guess both you guys are using the same freight company. Are they any good as I may need to go the other way. I was going to use Stephan Knopf in Heidelberg to get my bike shipped to Daytona. Has anyone used this route ? It seems an odd time of year to have you're bike shipped to Europe was it cheap to do it this time of year ?
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Old 12 Nov 2007
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I'm using Warren of World Motorcycle Tours, shipping from JFK (New York) to Germany via Lufthansa. He's been great throughout, though I think I've been quite a lot of trouble for him due to mechanical issues requiring multiple re-schedulings, etc. As far as I know, he contracts yearly for a given price per bike or pound or volume or whatever. Presumably, there is some markup involved, but I feel like I've gotten plenty of service for whatever I might have saved by making my own arrangements with Lufthansa.

I assume that motorcycle shipping is just a tiny portion of Lufthansa's business and that they are totally unconcerned what time of year it is. However, I am ready to be proven wrong about this.

Safe travels!

Mark
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Old 12 Nov 2007
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Thanks for that. I've just e-mailed Warren to see if they'll move me London-Philly-London. I eagerly wait a reply. I love that it's uncrated. Just tied down on a pallet. I like that I can travel with the bike too but it depends on the cost of the airfare. If I could get a return for me and the bike for under $1500 with the current exchange rate that would be a good deal. I may have to go to JFK though. XT on the streets of the big apple? Wow!
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  #13  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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Warren here as well. Been very easy to deal with and can't beat his rates. He was 1/2 the price of anybody else I tried. Just remember that you're probably not going to be flying with your bike. I drop my bike off at the US customs 4 days prior to it being shipped then I fly out 3 days after that to allow for German customs.

Philly is only a few hours ride from JFK, wouldn't be much of a hassle.

Mark- When are you heading over? Do you have any destination or are just going where the wind blows? I arrive in Munich on the 5th of Dec and depending on the weather will be heading down to the South of Italy shortly after arrival with a possible stopover in Switzerland to see friends. If your time table to near to that, perhaps a joint venture through the Alps might be done?
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  #14  
Old 12 Nov 2007
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Wile, yes I can see how they'de need the bike for a few days to pallet it and fit it on a flight. Still, sounds like it's a good deal. If I can pay in $ with the ex rate at 2:1 it should be a steal.
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