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Old 03-23-2004, 05:40 PM   #1
iillyyaa OP
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Q: Motorcycle rental in Europe

Well, my wife and I (and a few more good friends) are trying to plan a vacation. The idea is to rent some bikes and ride about in the Alps. Most of us don't like the idea of a guided tour, and since my wife is among them, that pretty much sets it in stone.

So, I would like to ask you for advice on motorcycle rentals. My wife and one other rider that is coming with us are short, which limits them to either Ducati Monster or BMW F650CS. Cruisers are out of the question for religious and financial reasons. For the rest of us all other options are open, but my personal (heavy) bias is towards V-twins.

Can anyone suggest a European bike rental place that they had a good experience with? Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland are our preferred location choices.

Any advice would be mucho appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2004, 07:41 PM   #2
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Munich would work. One of our friends would like to start in Milano, but we haven't gotten plane tickets yet, so we're still flexible. Please do tell!
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:52 PM   #3
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I rented an 1150RT from Gottstein BMW last September when the gearbox on my airhead GS died on me.

They're located in Bad Sackingen in southern Germany, 12 miles east of Rheinfelden which is right on the Swiss border next to Basle. Excellent area to start a trip. You have the Black Forest to the immediate north, France is an hour or so west, Switzerland is next door to the south, Austria is to the south east, the Alps are visible on clear day & northern Italy is a days ride away. BTW I can recommend catching the hydrofoil from Como half way up Lake Como to Bellagio & spending the day there

Gottstein are expensive though, especially with the current exchange rate? An R1150R was 525 Euros for a week & an F650 was 375 Euros, Insurance is included. The only problem is that there is a daily limit of 200km / 120 miles. This is pitiful, I absolutely refute any suggestions that I disconnected the speedo cable at any point & then relied on my girlfriends speedo to record mileage....

They are a main BMW bike & car retailer, if they are short of hire bikes (mainly R1150R's & F650's) they will take a used bike from the showroom for you. The RT that I had should have been 600+ Euros but as they had no R1150R's with panniers available, they gave me the RT for the price of the R. I belive there is some leeway on rental prices, they seemed keen to get people out on the bigger bikes as advertising. I think this is why they did not charge me the extra. Also, if there's a few of you, extra bargaining power in your favour. They also offered me a K1200GT or K1200LT, the latter being too big for the twisty alpine roads & my girlfriend was on an airhead GS, so speed orpower were not an issue.

Tel: 0049 (0)7761 92300

Fax: 0049 (0)7761 923030

E-mail: info@gottstein.bmw-net.de

The guy I dealt with was very efficient - Herr Krystian Draga.

Have a nice time.

Steve
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Old 03-24-2004, 12:11 AM   #4
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not the cheapest one, but big selection of bikes in many citys:

http://www.admo-tours.com/motorcycle...ope.htm#Europe
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:13 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I'll be checking into that.

jkam,
I wouldn't want you to bother your friends in Milano on my account, but if you happened to contact them anyway, I would appreciate any info they may pass along.
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:24 AM   #6
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I rented a ST4 from Mototouring in Milan 2 years ago for World Ducati Week. The people were nice but the whole thing was typicaly Italian I would rent from them again though.
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:56 AM   #7
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In France the biggest unit is

Holiday Bikes

Lots of choice, but expensive
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Old 03-24-2004, 06:16 AM   #8
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I have a friend who rented an F650 in Milan or Turin last year and then road up to Bardonecchia did the Stella Alpina, crashed a couple of times and then took it back - apparently she had no problems. I think it was a BMW dealer - I´ll let you know.

I´ll be in the alps in July for the stella and then on through the alps to Slovenia. (the stella is 11th july).

bob
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:16 PM   #9
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Paging Spanish Bob

Spanish Bob,

KTiM mentioned that you would be a good one to ask about spectating the Tour de France. We would like to watch the TTT (Cambrai-Arras) and maybe the following day's stage. How does one find out the actual route? We would like to find a Gite somewhat near the course, but we don't know which roads comprise the course. I know it is late to be booking, but we can always camp on the side of the road. Any help or link is appreciated!

Gracias,

American Paolo
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:02 AM   #10
Spanish Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapiti
Spanish Bob,

KTiM mentioned that you would be a good one to ask about spectating the Tour de France. We would like to watch the TTT (Cambrai-Arras) and maybe the following day's stage. How does one find out the actual route? We would like to find a Gite somewhat near the course, but we don't know which roads comprise the course. I know it is late to be booking, but we can always camp on the side of the road. Any help or link is appreciated!

Gracias,

American Paolo
Rapiti

well how can I say it without causing offence to Jean Luc ( ) - the press office of this institution have a peculiarly Gallic approach to PR. You probably wont get any info until 5 weeks before the event. They´ll tell you its security but it always been that way - sometimes (pyrenees, alps, massif) you dont need to be too smart to figure it out, but thats often not the case. I know from experience as I followed it twice in the 1980s (by bicycle and train).

I know its not much help, but they arent much help, so...!

re urls, well I would just google-it and see what happens.

bob
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Old 03-27-2004, 04:06 AM   #11
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Bianco Blu. I think they are in milan. www.biancoblu.com
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Old 03-27-2004, 09:00 AM   #12
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Grisoni Honda in Switzerland website

You could rent an Africa twin with luggage, unlimited miles, for $900 usd per month. It about 90 minutes by train from Zurich, but even with that cost it's a smoking deal.

Moto-center Thun had good prices as well. website

They're about 1 hour by train from Luzern.

If you try to pick up machines in the big cities, you'll pay for the privilige, and the bikes aren't usually all that nice, IMO. The shops out of town a bit will give you better service.

The guy who runs the BMW dealership in Schweiz is great people. Really helped us out when we had on the gang go down. Charged buddy $250 for 2 weeks rental on an 1150gs so he could carry on to spain with us and back. When he got back, his bike was all fixed, and at a very good price.

Almost all BMW shops in europe do rentals, but their rates vary. Be worth sending a few emails.
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Old 03-27-2004, 09:35 AM   #13
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This site lists BMW rentals throughout Europe. You should be able to find a v-twin available for rent from one of the listings - though it's likely to be a 180 deg. v-twin.

http://www.bmwmoa.org/global/ToEurope.htm
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Old 03-27-2004, 09:43 AM   #14
rapiti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanish Bob
Rapiti

well how can I say it without causing offence to Jean Luc ( ) - the press office of this institution have a peculiarly Gallic approach to PR. You probably wont get any info until 5 weeks before the event. They´ll tell you its security but it always been that way - sometimes (pyrenees, alps, massif) you dont need to be too smart to figure it out, but thats often not the case. I know from experience as I followed it twice in the 1980s (by bicycle and train).

I know its not much help, but they arent much help, so...!

re urls, well I would just google-it and see what happens.

bob
Thanks, Bob. I read you loud & clear.

Paolo
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Old 03-28-2004, 06:13 PM   #15
iillyyaa OP
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Thanks! Lots of good info. Time to send some e-mails to the rental places...
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