09-05-2009, 10:15 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Ellijay & Suwanee, Georgia
Two-up, Two-wheels, Two-gether in: Switzerland
The time has finally arrived to post our first ride report as we just returned last week from an incredible trip.
We have been riding a Honda ST1300 and put 25k+ miles on it the past two years, touring around the South and it keeps getting better every day. One day we started talking about going somewhere else to ride, in a place far, far away. I believe one of the top five dream destinations for motorcyclists is somewhere in the Alps. After considering a couple other places & costs, we decided on Switzerland. While not as adventurous as most here in the asylum, we decided to stay in Zurich and make day trips from there each day with the exception of one overnight trip to Andermatt, where the most excellent riding is located.
I know, you are all going - stay in one place???
Our reason is we had many Hilton points so we could stay there for a week including breakfast & evening drinks with snacks for free. Everything is expensive there compared to the states, so the price was right and we did not regret that decision. We would ride different directions each day and see what we could during each days route. It also gave us a place to leave all the luggage and other items we took and did not need while riding.
We have traveled to other countries before, so this part was not new except most everything being in German. Now our exposure to the German Language thus far, has been limited to watching the old Hogan’s Heroes TV show from the seventies so we know this will be an experience
We first needed to find a motorcycle and after a lot of research, I found a local Honda Dealer in Zurich called Holliger. The bike we decided on was a Honda CBF1000 which is not available here in the USA, which required me to research it on the forums to be sure it would work for two-up riding. It’s an I-4 with just under 100hp, small fairing & had a trunk which is all we needed. The cost was very reasonable compared to some others we looked at which mostly rented BMW and some Harley’s. I would have liked to have experienced a Beemer for a week, but at 960chf a week for the Honda, it proved to be a good choice for our intended riding.
With that reserved we started reading ride reports, asking questions, picked up a copy of John Hermann’s book, and planned our routes. We would go several different directions from Zurich so we could see a little of everything in the area such as a small part of France and the Black Forest in Germany. The we would head South for rides on the passes. Except for a little traffic around Zurich in the morning and evenings, the hotel in Zurich worked out well for this trip. We knew there was no way we could see everything, especially staying in Zurich. My belief is to see what you can, when you can, than see none of it in person at all.
First thing you will conclude: It is hard to take a bad picture in the Alps so narrowing this down to just 250 was not easy
I did run the pictures through a program to make them smaller for faster loading, however if it gets to be too many, let me know.
We also suffered from a picture gremlin. You know, the one that jumps into what would have been a extraordinary, award winning photo, if it had not appeared at the last minute, spoiling the shot - We have named him IS-16 and you will see him a few times as he can be faster than camera shutter.
This will take a good week at least to post the report and we will try and add some each day, so enough foreplay, on with the report……..
David & Ellen