Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11 Dec 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 13
What bike for the Alps?

Hello. We are from Winnipeg, Canada. Yes, it is cold here right now. About -25C. We have dreamed about a motorcycle holiday in Europe for many years and now it is finally going to happen.
My partner and I are planning to rent a bike to ride in the UK for 10 days and then the Alps for another 10 days or so in July of 2010. I have had a lot of different bikes over my 40 years of riding and have spent a lot of time touring the US on Goldwings. I'm sure the Alps will be a lot different than anything else we've done
. BMW 1200RT has been suggested by the rental companies. Is this a good choice?? Also, any advice on reputable rental companies (probably out of Munich Germany ???) Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we plan to do this without a tour group and I have never been over there before. (YIKES!)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11 Dec 2009
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 564
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/lin...mpanies-europe

The link above has a list of touring companies, some have rentals.
For mountain riding I would prefer a roadster of some kind.
BMW R1200R or if two up a R1200GS (better passenger seat).
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11 Dec 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 1,035
I spend quite a bit of time in the French Alps in the summer months and probably the most common bike I see are GSs.

Have a look at this link: AlpineRoads.com :: View topic - What bike for the Alps????
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11 Dec 2009
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
I don't know what build you both have, but the thing with European mountain roads is that they are very twisty , so perhaps lighter and more nimble is better than a distance machine. If you don't plan ongoing off-road, them I say maximse the enjoyment of those kinds of bends (where else can you find such bends and scenery?) and get a road biased machine (unless you can both rent Vor supermotos and live out of a small-bumbag!!)
__________________
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11 Dec 2009
mj's Avatar
mj mj is offline
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 310
In my experience you can take pretty much anything, as long as you're comfortable with it. Most common bikes are indeed GSs, and if you'll be riding two-up then I can highly recommend that bike. I'd advise you to avoid Harleys and other choppers and cruisers that have footpegs way too low for hairpin turns. But then again I've seen plenty of Harleys in the Alps, too.

There's a few rental places in and around Munich. Email me or send me a short message via the HUBB with your email address and I'll forward those addresses to you. When do you plan to arrive in Munich? We'll be in the UK for about a month in June/July 2010 but might already be back by the time you arrive in Munich.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12 Dec 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 53
I would agree that unless you're planning on driving offroad you should consider a lighter, more road-oriented bike. Honda VFR750 was perfectly suited for the Alps, me, my wife, and a few weeks of clothes and camping gear.

Although we rode our own bike, Knopf Tours is a great business renting out of Heidelberg:
http://knopftours.com/
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12 Dec 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Brasil
Posts: 630
Well i think the GS bikes are not the best and cheapest choice but why not exploring germany on german bikes? And if you are in the alpes dont miss a short trip to swizerland (i dont know about the visa). You should definitly ride the Grimselpass and Furkapass if you love winding roads
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12 Dec 2009
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,027
The Alps are a great place to ride, you coild squeeze in the Dolomites also?

Both the RT & GS would be a good choice for the Alps.

If you're looking at renting an R1200GS in the UK, then give Ride Out Rentals a call, they're competively priced and also offer a collection/delivery service of the bike if time's tight. The bike's have full BMW luggage plus standard & low seats are available.

BMW Motorcycle Hire UK, BMW Bike Hire from RideOut Rentals - Ride Out Rentals
info@rideoutrentals.co.uk

Links to some of my pics from the Alps & Dolomites:

Adv.Rider European Rally 2005 - Steve's Photos

Annecy, France 2004 - Steve's Photos

Italy 2004 - Steve's Photos

2009 European Advrider Rally - Dolomites, Italy - Steve's Photos

5th European Advrider Rally in the Dolomites - Ela's pics - Steve's Photos

Have a good trip.
__________________
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12 Dec 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 13
Reply to M. Jungowski

Hi from Mark & Carla in Winnipeg Canada

We can't reply via private message yet as we are still newbies on the HUBB - need 5 threads - won't be long...soon as the 5 threads are in, I will private message my email address to you.

We are planning to arrive in Munich around July 23rd and ride the alps for 10 days.

If you have any suggestions re bike rental companies or the best routes to maximize 10 days of fun in the Alps, that would be awesome!

It's only December, but we are just vibrating with excitement about this summer adventure...

Mark & Carla
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 26 Dec 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 1
My wife & I've rented in Ireland x2 & Germany. Our last moto trip started in Munich. It's the only time we had a problem.

I'd suggest you avoid allround rent. We rented from them in June 2008, made it 1 week on an r1200rt before the abs modulator failed on Susten pass, nearly killing both of us. Allround suggested it was our fault, overcooking the brakes. After 3rd time it went into fault mode, they finally agreed to pay for a dealer visit. We put in at Bergamo & made for Tag Moto in Curno. In fairness, they delivered their other 1200rt, but it had just been returned from another rent. That rt made it 100km & stopped for no known reason. We pulled in to a gas station and that's where we were stranded.

brand b service towed the bike & left us there. We tried gas, but it just turned over with no catching. No help from allround, so we had to continue the trip by car. First they claimed it was out of gas, but I have the name of the gas station owner & wife, they confirmed I gassed it up, and finally they suggested bmw ought to cough up for any problems.

Nice little scam if you ask me.

we wrote the trip up at BIGHAMMER.NET

Munich is a great jumping off point to the Alps, and it is an incredible area. Definitely do it, just be careful where you spend your euros.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 27 Dec 2009
Redboots's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: On the border - NE FR
Posts: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark96 View Post
If you have any suggestions re bike rental companies or the best routes to maximize 10 days of fun in the Alps, that would be awesome!
Get a copy of the best reference there is for the Alps: the book by John Herman, entitled Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Beyond
Available from Whitehorse Gear/Amazon and others.

John
__________________
Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 27 Dec 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Between London & Singapore
Posts: 156
Bike Touring in the Alps

Hi Mike,

Merry Xmas! Me and the Missus have done the Alps several times (always 2-up) and can tell you you'll have a great time. There are tons of campsites which will help given you'll find Europe and the Alps to be pricey, and we always find we can just rock up without a booking as bikes take up such a small space.

As for the kind of bike (not sure whether you'll be 2-up or both riding solo) a twin or single cylinder is the way to go (lots of very very twisty roads!!). I know you'll be getting lots of suggestions for BMW's but thought I'd offer an alternative.

Assuming your start point of Munich isn't fixed I'd really recommend hiring a KTM from a little place called Moto Varese based about 40km north of Milan in the Italian lakes at the very base of the Alps. The 2 guys who run it, Alessandro and Massimo, seem to run the place purely for the love of it and speak English perfectly and love the chance to chat. We popped in there with a leaking fuel problem last summer and ended up spending 6 hours chatting with them while they sourced a spare part (in Milan) rode over to get it, called their mechanics in (who were on holiday) and their families - who came with and pizzas and turned it into a party which continued into a night out on the town with more of their friends before charging us just for the part! (no labour, tax or transit charges)

Anyway, they had a KTM 990 Adv and a 990 SMT available for rental at the kind of rates I'd normally expect for much more simple machines. They can also help you with some fantastic routes over the best passes and round the lakes, and as I recall will even come and get you from the airport.

They were without question the best dealership I've ever come across and will never use anyone else. Give them a shout and tell them James, Emily and Jackson recommended them to you, I promise you won't regret it!

Good luck!
__________________
www.motoventurers.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 31 Dec 2009
emsee's Avatar
Gold Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: woking
Posts: 30
Hi Mark and Carla.
Going back to the Alps myself at the end of August on my ZRX 1100. Travelling there with a group of friends riding bikes like mine to sport bikes and even a BMW GS. Hope you have a head for heights though. Check out some of the high passes.....
BikeCam - Susten
BikeCam - Grimsel
BikeCam - Furka
BikeCam - Gotthard
BikeCam - Nufenen
The ones above are all close together, and can be ridden in a day. But i would suggest you base yourself local, Interlaken maybe, and take your time.
Finally, as my brother lives in Winnipeg, i know it's not exactly biking weather there at the moment.
Martin.
__________________
_________________________________________
Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 1 Jan 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Posts: 26
I live in Stuttgart and took a GS 2-up through the Alps (recently Stelvio) and survived. I'm vertically challenged as well but you'll want something for tight 180 degree hairpins (especially going up east side of Stelvio).

Check with Klaus at Hotel-Enzian as that is who I stayed with and rented from. Motorrad Tirol Österreich Landeck Hotel - Motorradhotel Enzian
__________________
Current Bikes: 1992 BMW R100R, 1991 BMW K75

Coming to a Garage near me: 20xx BMW R1200GS

Previous Bikes:
1983 BMW R100RT w/ Wasp Earls Forks/wheels w/ Watsonian Oxford Sidecar (England and USA)
1981 BMW R100RT w/ Gemini Sidecar (England)
1977 BMW R60/7 w/ Watsonian Palma Sidecar (Ireland)
1975 Honda CB500-4 (Ireland)
1973 Honda CB250 (Ireland)
1971 Honda CB125 (Ireland)
1970 Honda C90 (Ireland)
???? Honda C50 (Ireland)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 1 Jan 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: poole dorset
Posts: 152
bmw is a great bike but i would also consider a v-strom for two up touring, i have one and its great went over the Black Mountains in Wales a few months back although a slightly different venue to the Alps it performed fantastically.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alps in May stubdetoe Route Planning 5 28 Nov 2009 00:14
Where to go in the Alps? chrish Route Planning 5 16 May 2009 11:51
Swap bike in Pacific NW USA, WA, for Euro Alps region. danodemotoman Bike Swap or Rent 12 18 Dec 2008 22:50
Alps - camping/B+B? bonzo Europe 8 4 Jun 2007 22:41
What Bike for 2 weeks in Alps? Jonathan Elliott Trip Transport 6 18 Jun 2006 10:49

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:33.