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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.
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Old 1 Jan 2010
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I have done several alpine roads/passes on a Honda VFR and would highly recommend it-I also have a 1200GS but would pick the Honda for reliability.
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Old 3 Jan 2010
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any bike would do

Hi guys

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.

Enjoy your trip, I'm sure you'll love it!

Perth to Peru 2014 | Perth to Perth 2012
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Old 3 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by Smurfslayer View Post
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.
Thanks for your input. I am considering allroundrent, but also motogreek. Wondering if anyone has any experience with motogreek (good or bad)???
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Old 4 Jan 2010
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Purely for the experience I'd go with a german, austrian, or italian (or french? or swiss? or slovenian?! or liechtensteiner ) bike. Same as riding a harley or chopper across the states.

Doesn't matter which really, take what will look best in your photos.
http://bigben.to/ London to....? The big bike annual rally.
http://www.mongolbikers.com 125cc London -> Mongolia.
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Old 9 Feb 2010
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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.
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Old 4 Mar 2010
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What about a 600 TransALP? It's what it was designed for afterall....

Take a trail bike for the offroad experiences. Probably best to keep away from singles as you are on tarmac most the time. A twin will tick all the boxes.
Triumph Bonneville 800 (2004), Yamaha XT600E (1999), Honda XBR500 (1986).

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Old 4 Mar 2010
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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.

Good luck!
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Old 9 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
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
Hi Mark,

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
Queens Park

Contact Numbers:- Tel: 01202 380388
Fax: 01202 565722
Mobile: 07971 803909

email: motorcycle.hire@ntlworld.com

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 ianz@shaw.ca

It will be a great trip! You will have an ubelievable time!

Kind regards,

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Old 9 Mar 2010
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You can basically take whatever bike bike you want up the alps.

We was there last summer on our Moto Guzzi California. There was every time of bike you can imagine up there. Lots of scooters and mopeds. Mopeds with trailers, cyclists, lots of cyclists.

They may be big mountains but the roads are not difficult to ride. I have a big bike but my Yamaha FZ6 would have easily done the alps with both of us and all our gear.

This summer I am going back with my trike and I mean PEDAL trike not motorbike trike.

Do not think the alps even the Furka and Stelvio passes are difficult because they are not. Good fun and a great experience but certainly not difficult.

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Old 12 Mar 2010
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+1 on what steveindenmark said.

I did the Stelvio 2up + massively loaded on an 600 FZ6 fazer, no problems whatsoever.

Just take whatever you fancy (tho i agree a goldwing will be more of a pain than it will be worth on the hairpins i think)
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Old 12 Mar 2010
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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!
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
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Old 12 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
(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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Old 12 Mar 2010
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Any bike its great, cracking roads and scenery , but i would love a ktm superduke for the next visit
Around Bolzano and Cortina is exellent.What bike for the Alps?-dscn4976.jpg

What bike for the Alps?-dscn4993.jpg
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