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Old 12-11-2013, 11:46 PM   #1
mixermsk OP
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Alps in May 2014

Hello. This autumn we(me and my girlfriend) were in two-weeks european motorcycle trip: Moscow - Belarus - Poland - Czech - Austria - Czech -Poland - Belarus - Moscow.
Alps is a one of main memories of that ride. Unfortunately we had very little time for this beatiful place.

I want to return to the Alps in first half of May. And i have several questions:
1. I still have problems with time - about ten days for all. There is something about 2500 km between Moscow and Salzburg (and about 5000 km in both ways excluding route through the Alps) - it will take about a week.
So, apparently I will try to use rented bike instead my 990 Adv. :( But I think that it would be a good time to test new 1190R Adv. I saw this bike only at one rental site - ilmoto.at . Is it a good company or should I look for another?
2. I worry about snow - I think that some roads might be closed or are not usable for bike in May. I don`t have full route plan now, but I want to start driving around Alps from Austria(and try to get on the KTM factory tour) and than go through Liechtenstein, south Switzerland, French part of the Alps, north Italia, and back throuth south Austria to Wien or Salzburg.
3. Usually I take a lot of luggage on the trip(like things for living in the tent, some motorcycle tools and other), but this time i want to try travel light. Is it problem to stay at small hotels(or may be house on campings) on those places?
4. May be you can recommend me some places than I must see? If there are some ride reports from Alps - I will read it with interest too.

Thank you for your attention. My English is not so good, but I hope that my post is understandable. :)
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:48 AM   #2
alicethomas
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Most passes will be closed in May.
There are only few strategical important ones like Flüela (Switzerland) wich will be kept open if possible (at that time with snow surface, of course).
Additionally passes may be temporarily closed due to avalanches.

Don't ride too much at once (perhaps omit France and Italy).
Unless you use the highway (toll/vignette needed) there are many villages on your way and speeding can be (extraordinary) expensive if not a criminal act (Switzerland in town +16kph -> minimum 1 year prison!).

All the Alps are touristic area and developed. You'll find hotels or bed & breakfast everywhere.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:50 AM   #3
alicethomas
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Most passes will be closed in May.
There are only a few strategical important passes like Flüela (Switzerland), which will be kept open if possible (at that time with snow surface, of course).
Additionally, passes may be temporarily closed due to avalanches.

Don't ride too much at once (perhaps omit France and Italy).
Unless you use the highway (toll/vignette needed) there are many villages on your way and speeding can be (extraordinary) expensive if not a criminal act (Switzerland in town +16kph -> minimum 1 year prison!).

All the Alps are touristic area and developed. You'll find hotels or bed & breakfast everywhere.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
mixermsk OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicethomas View Post
Most passes will be closed in May.
There are only a few strategical important passes like Flüela (Switzerland), which will be kept open if possible (at that time with snow surface, of course).
Additionally, passes may be temporarily closed due to avalanches.

Don't ride too much at once (perhaps omit France and Italy).
Unless you use the highway (toll/vignette needed) there are many villages on your way and speeding can be (extraordinary) expensive if not a criminal act (Switzerland in town +16kph -> minimum 1 year prison!).

All the Alps are touristic area and developed. You'll find hotels or bed & breakfast everywhere.
Thanks! Do I correctly understand that most routes goes through passes and it will be closed too? In June 2012, in Norway we were going along snow walls almost each time when we went up higher than 1000m - but it was ok because there was no snow/ice on the road - only on the roadsides.

Additionally, I want to go through several passes, but also I think that most part of the way I`ll go at low altitude along small roads(not the highways). I even think that maybe it will be route around Alps(through the outskirts for example) with small driving through mountains instead driving through Alps all the time.

mixermsk screwed with this post 12-12-2013 at 01:11 PM
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
alicethomas
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There are a few tunnels crossing the Alps (with toll), but those main roads are usually dull. The scenic routes are over the top of the Alps main ridge.
If the passes become open in summer (usually June or July), you will ride through snow walls 3-5m high.
But until the avalanches have been blown, the snowblower won't start.

Of course you can ride around the Alps (Route Napoleon or Route d'Hiver in France), but it is a long way and not the most beautiful.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:18 AM   #6
Dearnla
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Some of the lower level passes will be open, indeed with snow at the sides of the roads. I remember riding to Monza in May 2009 like this.

Have a look at some of these links:-
http://www.sylviastuurman.eu/stories/alpen/roads/ This lady shows pictures of some passes and tells you what time of year she went.

Check out :- http://www.alpineroads.com/index.php as the definitive source of information on Alpine Passes.

Oh, and pick up a copy of John Hermann's book "Motorcycle Journeys Through The Alps...". His 5th edition is coming out very soon

Enjoy the planning!
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
on2wheels52
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Any possibility of going in late May rather than early?
I think a couple of weeks would open a lot of roads for you.
Jim
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Old 12-14-2013, 03:58 PM   #8
GiorgioXT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixermsk View Post

I want to return to the Alps in first half of May. And i have several questions:
1. I still have problems with time - about ten days for all.)
Better limit your trip to Dolomites and eastern part of Alps - passes will be all open - the highest east of Stelvio is Grossglockner that usually opens firsts of may.
No problems to find low-cost lodging in Austria and Italy even if part of hotels could be closed , an interesting possibility is stay in mountain huts / Rifugi / Hütten , several are reachable by bike and all of them are located in very scenic places that often are worth the trip by themselves … like this



And you'll see that its even not enough time to see all...
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:00 AM   #9
MichaelJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiorgioXT View Post
Better limit your trip to Dolomites and eastern part of Alps - passes will be all open...
[snip]
And you'll see that its even not enough time to see all...
+1

I remember an old movie "If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium" - It's better to spend an extended time in a smaller area to enjoy the flavor rather than be perpetually on the move and wonder where you were after the trip when you look at your pictures

IMHO .
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
hensmen
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Hello Mixerm., nice plan. Really,
but what about renting the bike and doing a kind off transit through the alps and take the ferry to Corsica?
Cause we did crossing the alps in may, this year and had bad luck with the weather.
There was a long winter and some places to sleep still were closed.
But when you arrive the south side off the alps, it is like in summer, compared to Moscow climate.
Corsica is very concentrated, small mountain island in the sea. But i am a Corsica nerd and infected, but in this time off the year a complete dream off driving and your choosen bike the best bike for this trip.
Just an idea, greeting from Hans, near the black forest.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:04 PM   #11
mixermsk OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by on2wheels52 View Post
Any possibility of going in late May rather than early?
I think a couple of weeks would open a lot of roads for you.
Jim
Unfortunately, no :( I want go to the Nordkapp in June-July , so I will use most of my annual leave for that trip.

In Russia we have a holidays in May - I usually use it for medium size trips.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:20 PM   #12
mixermsk OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hensmen View Post
Hello Mixerm., nice plan. Really,
but what about renting the bike and doing a kind off transit through the alps and take the ferry to Corsica?
Cause we did crossing the alps in may, this year and had bad luck with the weather.
There was a long winter and some places to sleep still were closed.
But when you arrive the south side off the alps, it is like in summer, compared to Moscow climate.
Corsica is very concentrated, small mountain island in the sea. But i am a Corsica nerd and infected, but in this time off the year a complete dream off driving and your choosen bike the best bike for this trip.
Just an idea, greeting from Hans, near the black forest.
Many thanks for this idea - i will think about it. My girlfriend also thinks that we can get weater problems. May we will choose warmer places :)
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:33 PM   #13
dalbertini
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Hello Mixerm,
If you are still interested into coming to the Dolomites and you are looking for a place to stay, some suggestions for motorcycle rentals and lots of ideas for motorcycle routes please contact me:
www.dolomitiridingcenter.com
Have a great trip!
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:05 AM   #14
Ali in Austria
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The Großglockner and Nockalmstraße aim to open on May 1st but can be closed temporarily in the case of bad weather.

Other passes in that area include Obertrauen, Postalm, Roßfeld, Gerlos and the fantastic Biking road that is the B164 from Bischofshofen to Saalfelden. All are open throughout the year subject to the weather.
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