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Old 06-14-2008, 05:08 AM   #1
on2wheels52 OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: northern Arkansas
Oddometer: 2,478
11 Days in Germany & Austria

It begins with my wife driving me the two hours to the Springfield, MO airport for my 10:15 am departure. My plane is late and the threatening sky’s have opened up. I’m an hour late into Chicago but I intentionally picked a flight with a 2 ½ hr layover. I locate my gate and have time to grab an airport sandwich before the 9 hour flight to Munich. The entire package was nominally through United but the leg to Germany was on a Lufthansa late model Airbus. I don’t fly very often but this was far and away the nicest plane/finest attended flight I had ever been on. The plane was nearly full but by chance the seat next to me was vacant. I offered those in front and behind storage for their pillow, blanket, etc. It was a typical flight, most passengers in ‘leave me alone in my own space’ mode.
My wife had given me a pill that was to ‘knock me on my ass’. I may have gotten the placebo instead. I listened to an ipod and sat with my eyes shut but didn’t sleep at all. I arrive in Munich at 6 am May 8th. A minor drama ensues but eventually I am at Karl Maier BMW in Neufinsing fifteen minutes before their opening time of 7:45. If I was ever in a BMW shop it was 35 years ago, this is the most impressive motorcycle dealership I’ve ever been in (granted, I don’t get out a lot).
Check the Karl Maier website for more pictures and information.
I was a bit disappointed that Magdalena, Karl’s wife who had handled most of the email for my bike reservation, would not be in (‘she’s off on Wednesday’). My “secret german-american connection” also was a great help in arranging the rental. I hoped to hook up with him at some point. Karl has a lot going on but eventually he says ‘Eichmann, come here’ (I had reverted to the original spelling of my surname while there) and led me outside.
I had reserved an F650GS and was expecting the ‘standard’ version of my ’01 Dakar. I see I am getting the new model F650GS which now has an 800cc Rotax vertical twin and a six speed transmission. A pleasant surprise. I had been emailed that on May 13th I could return to Munich and exchange the ‘650’ for an F800GS that another renter would be returning. But that unit was on a trailer, headed back to the factory. I’m sorry, but I was unable to obtain the reason for that. I don’t wish to imply they were ‘stonewalling’ me, just that they were busy, my German language skill is almost non-existent, and I was anxious to get on the road.
My companion for eleven days

The one that got away

A shop employee comes out to explain anything I need to know about the bike. The thing has an ‘Info’ button on the left bar that toggles information on a display to the right of the tach/speedo. I might have inquired more about. There was a fuel consumption or mileage gauge I never really figured out. Let me rephrase that, I never had a clue as to what it represented. I found out the power outlet was for low wattage use. It did have dual tripmeters which I made use of. I almost asked if the owner’s manual was in it (a lot of good a manual in German would have done me).
Perhaps I should have asked what the fuel capacity was. But then I would have had to figure mileage (kilometerage?) in the metric system. The purpose of the trip was not to improve my analytical thought process. I just wanted to ride in the Alps. The furthest I went on a tank was 220km; I was constantly referring to my maps anyway, so I often did it in a gas station if I had over 125km on the tank.
At 11am I am feet up, with 1199km on the odometer. I begin my first trip with a motor vehicle in a foreign country. I soon find Pension Wess, my only room reservation of the outing, for my last night in Germany before returning home. I knew it was nearby but am pleased to see it only 1.1km from KM BMW. I am then off for points beyond.
I would like to re-live the first couple of hours on the bike. ‘Fish out of water’ might be appropriate. Everything was different. I was happy just to (the flying term is ‘aviate’, I’m not sure what the motorcycle equivalent is. How about ‘ride without crashing’). My navigation was pathetic; I was just trying to head southwest. Fortunately it was sunny.
I am immediately snared in a time/space mystery between Feldkirchen, just east of Munich, and Feldkirchen, 20km south-southeast of Munich. Eventually I escape, and begin making my way toward Urfeld, on the Walchensee. Someone had suggested it as a place to stop and catch my breath. I leave the built up area around Munich and find Bad Tolz. Before long I am at the lake.
I motor on for a couple of hours. At one point I thought I had come across the crash site of a BAC Concorde or other aircraft but further investigation showed it to be a ski jump for the insane.

My first zimmer frei

I then ride to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and head north, ready to look for a zimmer frei or pension for the night. It’s around 3 pm and while I don’t feel tired I know I’ve been up a long time. I’m trying to do the math now, was I awake over 24 hours? I never do stuff like that.
In Farchant, a town of 4000 or so, I randomly pick a street to explore, looking for a zf. Near the end of it (it’s only two blocks long) I spot one. The owner sees me pull up and comes out. He shows me a room and tells me when and where breakfast is and where I can park the bike. It will be 30 euros.
I push the bike into the’ courtyard’, dump my stuff in the room, and walk around the town. It feels good to slow down. I find a place that has food and beer. I had been given the impression ‘almost everyone there knows some English, they teach it as a second language in school’. There are four people there sitting at tables outside. Between them they know maybe a dozen words of English, which correspond nicely to my dozen words of German. But they must have had an idea of what I was there for. I leave having had something to eat and drink.
My food /drink provider the first night

An hour or so of daylight remains on my return to my place for the night. I had brought along a few tools to access the battery in case my bike did not have an accessory socket adequate for my Gerbing jacket. Getting to the battery was similar to my ‘old style’ 650 and I soon had my connector hard wired to the battery (don’t tell Karl). By dark-thirty I was asleep.
R1200GS Ural Patrol KLR650 DRz400 XL185
Austria '08
Back to the Alps in '11
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Old 06-14-2008, 05:20 AM   #2
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Location: Elizabethville, PA
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Great stuff so far !! Be sure to take alot of pics of the local talent, ie Men, Women, Children in their element .
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Old 06-14-2008, 05:37 AM   #3
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Smiley/Tirzah, NEPA
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Old 06-14-2008, 06:44 AM   #4
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Russell, Manitoba, Kanada
Oddometer: 303
Used to live there (in region around Salzburg, Austria - aka Bayern). Your pics are bringing back memories. Anxiously awaiting your next posts!
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Location: Toronto, ON
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Oh this is gonna be great!! it already is Keep it all coming in this thread.. and I can fix your thread title, just PM me.

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Old 06-14-2008, 02:00 PM   #6
on2wheels52 OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: northern Arkansas
Oddometer: 2,478
'Be sure to take alot of pics of the local talent, ie Men, Women, Children in their element'

I wasn't sure what would be of intrest to anyone but myself (plus some 'cultural' things for my wife) but will see if I can add some of this 'local talent' each day.
R1200GS Ural Patrol KLR650 DRz400 XL185
Austria '08
Back to the Alps in '11
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:44 PM   #7
Earth Wanderer
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Leander, TX - R1150GS
Oddometer: 1,065
You left off on day 7. Where is the rest? What did you think about the new F650GS? Don't leave us hanging!!!
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:53 AM   #8
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Austria
Oddometer: 10,161
Wow, still a lot of snow on Sölkpass; I passed by there a week earlier and saw the "closed" signs, wondering.

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Old 06-27-2008, 07:09 AM   #9
Mr. Wolf
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Oddometer: 84
Awesome report. I am from Golling (living in Wisconsin now). You ate at my favorite watering hole (Cafe Maier?)...funny thing is, I grew up there but never toured the country on a bike. I guess I never thought of it as anything I think I'll go back and put a trip together similar to yours.

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Old 06-28-2008, 02:50 AM   #10
on2wheels52 OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: northern Arkansas
Oddometer: 2,478
'You left off on day 7. Where is the rest? What did you think about the new F650GS? Don't leave us hanging!!!'

gd Photobucket won't let me log on to post, will have to shift to the smug thing.
The new model GS was great for what I was doing but I'm going to wait for the 800 to show up here.
R1200GS Ural Patrol KLR650 DRz400 XL185
Austria '08
Back to the Alps in '11
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:26 AM   #11
on2wheels52 OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: northern Arkansas
Oddometer: 2,478
Day 8
After breakfast I head back to the farm. This guy from Boston reminds me of several characters I knew in the early ‘70’s.

I could have hung around for hours (and if they had been putting up hay I would have stayed to help, the farm gene is strong in this one) but the road was calling. I was heading to Mariazell, first to Kaiserberg, Trofaiach, and Heiflau. Then north to Palfau, east through Wildalpen and then Mariazell.
There was no one to tell me what this project was about, is somewhere north of Trofaiach.

Along the way I come across a fresh washed Fiat van/motor home.

I indicate to the driver that it is an interesting vehicle and he shows me around. Turns out it’s made to haul two bikes, it had been used recently to haul two BMW’s to a photo shoot.

How long would these last in the states?

Or you’d get some kind of summons from the highway/street department for interfering with traffic. I haven’t showed any photos of the intersection mirrors over there, I’m sure anyone who has been there knows what I’m referring to. How long would those things last here before they were shot or spray painted? Every one I saw was in perfect condition.
On the Wildapen road traffic was held up a bit while a guy on the uphill slope was chucking rocks down.

I communicated somewhat with this guy.

But he would NOT let me throw any rocks off the road when it was time to clear them, perhaps it would violate some union rule.

Mariazell is a touristy town. I walk around a bit, then re-fuel. An older gent is gassing up also, I ask him to confirm that I’m taking the correct road north. In a couple of km I see he has sent me the wrong way. Perhaps something was lost in translation.
It was a nice road to Ybbs. Lots of these vessels on the Donau.

I follow the river to Grein and go north to Monchdorf. The road there through Pabneukirchen was tight and due for re-surfacing. It was perfect for me and the bike, I met four vehicles in 25 km, and two were tractors.
Near Konigswiesen I find a pension for the night.

R1200GS Ural Patrol KLR650 DRz400 XL185
Austria '08
Back to the Alps in '11
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:11 PM   #12
4-4-09, 12-6-09, 1-13-10
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Oddometer: 9,376
Im still blown away at the ability to get up and fly somewhere waaaay aways from home to ride for a time.
Can you shed some light on the prep you did for this ride? I mean I guess its simple really, rent a bike online, find some hotels, chart a path, take time off work and go. Right?

Awesome report.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:35 PM   #13
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: a 20 minutes walk from the Nürburgring
Oddometer: 78
Hey, E-man, that's Europe.
Not too far away from civilization.
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:19 PM   #14
on2wheels52 OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: northern Arkansas
Oddometer: 2,478
I really did enjoy my stay, maybe that's why this rr is dragging on so long, when it's done the trip will be over.
re the much more to see, I know I've only scratched the surface. Am working on a return in 2010, expect it to be another Alpine ride. Perhaps the visit after that will get me further north.
Oh, and I've had several k98's, just none in quite as original condition as those in the museum.

It really wasn't that difficult to put together. I did some internet research. Received some great advice and assistance from some forum members who either lived in Europe or had toured there, several were on this board. Perhaps not having an organized agenda helped, it was mainly get to the bike and start riding. And like he said, it is a civilized country. I expect it would be more difficult for someone there to come here and attemp the same thing. Let me know if you're thinking about going, I would be happy to assist.
R1200GS Ural Patrol KLR650 DRz400 XL185
Austria '08
Back to the Alps in '11
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:09 PM   #15
Africa Twin
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Sweden
Oddometer: 97
Nice report.

Starting my trip down there (from Sweden) tomorrow. Think I will be in Zell am See tuesday evening or the morning after.

After my trip to Norway last week I was thinking of taking a trip to Nordkapp (North Cape?).
But after reading your report and checking the weather forecast, Nordkapp can wait
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