The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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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.
I've been there a few times, mostly in France & Switzerland. Must have been different to where everyone else has been as I can't remember lots of GSs, mostly sports bikes. I've taken a Triumph Tiger and a VFR800 Honda which were both really good.
Going through the passes means you zig zag up one side of the mountain then zig zag down the other. On the way down it can get tiring on your wrists on a sportsbike (if you an old fart like me) but still wonderful experience. I wouldn't take a gold wing or a cruiser unless I was keeping to straight roads.
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.
Im going to go against the grain here and suggest a Yamaha FJR1300 or similar, eg Kawa ZZR1400/1400GTR. Power, comfort, will be good in the twisties etc.
Saying that tho i just did a 3000miles 2up + camping gear with my girlfriend last year on an FZ6 Fazer and it was great, no back pain what-so-ever, tho sore bum cheeks occasionally. Lacking power fully loaded aswell
The kind of mileage you sound like you will be doing would scare me away from the BMW's. Reliability isnt their strongest point.
If budget is of no concern then as a Gold Wing guy the BMW RT or LT will suit nicely. But if you want to save some money look at renting a Suzuki DL1000 in Germany. I think there may still be a couple companies that handle the Vstroms in Germany. Should be quite a bit less than a BMW.
The big Vstrom is good two up, plenty of room for two plus luggage, plenty of power and torque, even at 10,000 ft.
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
If you are still in the planning stages I would like to offer a couple of options for you and your wife.
I am from Comox, B.C. and have been over to Europe the last two summers (and part of the fall) riding. Covering England, France, Suisse, N. Spain, Andorra (give it a miss!) and N. Spain (the Pyrennes mostly).
I can attest from the above that Grimselpass and Furkapass are great roads, but from experience all I have done is buy a good road map, such ones from the michelin series. But also note, the Michelin series also offers more detailed maps that you might not get here in Canada, but can pick up while there that show more of the "B" and "C" type roads that are worth checking out.
You choose from a wide assortment of other produces of maps while there. While is Switzerland for example, pop into any larger book store and they have some very good maps.
What I have found as for route planning is just get a good map, and each day look for the roads with lots of bends etc. and ones that go over passes and you cannot go wrong!
It leaves it open to find some amazing roads, and they are so numerous it is not necessary to follow a 'set' route you have planned from back here. Other than the overall route to and from your starting point.
On that note, I would also like to recomend a bike rental shop in Bournemouth called Bournemouth Cycle. It is a small family run operation owned by Paul and Lindsay. They have quite a selection of bikes. I ride a Suzuki DL650 Vstrom over here, and hired the same bike from them. It is a very good bike for one-up riding, and was a great bike for riding the twisties and also comfortable for riding longer days when needed. At one point i the trip I rode 7000 km in the Pyrennes in 14 days and the bike was great for everything needed.
They also have the DL1000 version which would be a great bike for two up riding. As one other comment suggested, they do have lots of pannier room, you can add a hard tail bag which provides a nice back rest for the pillion and with a tank bag your would be set.
The contact for Bournemouth Cycle is:
9 Soberton Road
One more thought. You might wish to look at the option of hiring a bike in the UK and after doing the UK part of your trip taking the Chunnel across to Calais and riding down to the German/Suisse area through France. It can be done in one day, or two days as I did. And then returning to the UK to drop off the bike at the end of your trip.
My thought is that although it may seem like you will be spending a day or two to get the Alps and then necitating a return trip to the UK, if you are going to be picking up a bike in the UK, then dropping it off and flying (or ?) to Germany to pick up another bike and then dropping it off, you will find it will be a day to do each of those pick-up / drop-offs (more or less) and perhaps if you would like to see a bit more of the country side, the option of one pick up and drop off might be a thought?
Hope I have not gone on here to much. If you have any questions or would like any information please drop me a line. If you would like to email me directly you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org
It will be a great trip! You will have an ubelievable time!
Well, I live 1 hr. 30 min. south of Italian side of the Alps and I can tell you I've never experienced any problems riding dozens of mountain passes astride my H-D Ultra Classic Electra Glide (very heavy and large).
So, you'll never have any problem, pick the bike you prefer!
(tho i agree a goldwing will be more of a pain than it will be worth on the hairpins i think)
I had a friend who upended a GoldWing (many times as it rolled over and over down the hill ) when he stalled on a hairpin and didn't have the strength to hold it up. He was a big guy but the bike was at such an angle when he finally got his foot down that he had no chance. That was an expensive mistake.
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