Originally Posted by ta-rider
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
Contact Numbers:- Tel: 01202 380388
Fax: 01202 565722
Mobile: 07971 803909
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 email@example.com
It will be a great trip! You will have an ubelievable time!