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Old 06-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #1
BobR OP
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3 Days Only - Where Would You Go?

Backdrop - my wife and I, along with another couple, will be touring W. Europe in a rental car this August (mostly Switzerland, N Italy, Austria, etc.). We are from the US. As a poor mans compromise to my ultimate dream trip of doing a 1-2 week motorcycle trip through the alps, etc., the other guy and I are planning on renting some bikes for 3 days, leaving the girls behind, and seeing as much of the alps that we can. We are both 65 yrs old and are conservative riders with good skill level. Not looking to do any off road; pavement only.

So question is, if you only had 3 days, what areas, routes, etc. would you consider must see? Also looking for any advice on rental locations and the pros and cons of hauling our own riding gear over there vice renting it from bike supplier. Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:50 AM   #2
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The Dolomites.

I think MichaelJ usually recommends staying in Arabba and do loops from there.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:55 AM   #3
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Dolomites +1. Motorcycling heaven.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:05 AM   #4
glitch_oz
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We're talking Switzerland, right?
To get to the Dolo's will be 2 days at least (depending on where you start), another 2 days back.
You haven't got the time.
Rentals from either Moto Plaisier in Geneva:
http://www.moto-plaisir.com/

or MotoMader near Zuerich:
http://www.moto-mader.ch/mader_conte...hp?language=DE

Excellent bikes at average prices, good conditions and enough km/ day for a decent Alpine ride.

Maybe checkout this, some of it might appeal (some of it is mixed gravel/seal) and if you add the 7 passes of the usual Andermatt figure-8, your 3 days are chockablock jammed.
http://www.alpineroads.com/phpBB3/vi...php?f=6&t=4265

From either Geneva or Zurich you're in the "Big Stuff" within an hour and a half and both rental mobs include the Swiss freeway-sticker in their rentals. (under the seats).
There's another area similar to Andermatt around Martigny wioth breathtaking roads, superb scenery and lots of other attractions incl. small roads (all sealed) to get away from the masses.

With only 3 days you've only got 2 choices...skim along the surface at blitz-speed, doing the main roads only....or make a feast of it and sample one area a little more thoroughly.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch_oz View Post
We're talking Switzerland, right?
To get to the Dolo's will be 2 days at least (depending on where you start), another 2 days back.
You haven't got the time.
Well... yes and no - but it involves Autostrada getting to and from Milano.

I'd hit up Moto Mader (or Moto Center Thun) and head for Andermatt for two nights and ride the heck out of that area - it will easily keep you busy for two days. Recommended routes on request.

Geneva is a bit far out, unless you want to ride France.

IMHO

Gear - I always bring my own, but then I'm over for three weeks, not days. I'd tend to want to bring over my own helmet and maybe rent the rest of the riding gear - packing your full kit will pretty much use up your weight allowance, unless you wear it on the flight.

Bikes - I'd go for a G650GS single or an F700GS twin. You just aren't going to be going all that fast (about 35mph average), and a smaller lighter bike will be less of a handful as you learn to successfully negotiate uphill right hand switchbacks - it's an art. Plus, the G650 gets ridiculously high gas mileage.

Also - pick up a copy of John Hermann's "Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Beyond" (5th edition) - it's a great source and works in cars, too

I'm not sure where the wives will be, but Luzern would be a great town to spend a few days in. Lots of shops, pedestrian friendly and the possibility of taking a steamer around the lake. They act like buses, so they could hop off and on at different towns.



Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch_oz View Post
With only 3 days you've only got 2 choices...skim along the surface at blitz-speed, doing the main roads only...


Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch_oz View Post
...or make a feast of it and sample one area a little more thoroughly.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:59 AM   #6
GvG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR View Post
....
mostly Switzerland, N Italy, Austria, etc.
.....
Well, seeing what everybody has had to say, where exactly will you be?
Some read the above as 'Switzerland', they must have missed you mentioned other countries.

Northern Italy? For me that is the region between the French and Slovenian border (Italia Settentrionale), thus including the Dolomites.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:19 AM   #7
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...they must have missed you mentioned other countries.

Northern Italy? For me that is the region between the French and Slovenian border (Italia Settentrionale), thus including the Dolomites.
We (Glitch and I) didn't miss it, we noted it and also noted that he'd blow two of his three days getting to and back from the Dolomites.

To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any moto rental places in (or near) the Dolomites. The nearest are in Munich & Milano. Using Arabba as a base point, Munich is about 310kms away and Milano is about 360. Both routes mostly Autobahn/Autostrada. And you have to get yourself through a major city's traffic.

From Oberentfelden (Moto Mader) to Andermatt is about 135kms, none of which are Autobahn, and from Steffisburg (Moto Center Thun) it's about 120kms to Andermatt over either the Susten or Grimsel & Furka passes (depends which way you turn at Innertkirchen.

Either way, the Swiss options put you immediately into great riding as opposed to eating two days to and from. I've done it both ways, and with only 3 saddle days (figure that half of the first and last will be taken up with paperwork) I'll opt for something in the middle of where I want to be.

IMHO
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
......
To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any moto rental places in (or near) the Dolomites.
.....
Bolzano: http://rent-a-bike.it/98/italiano/BIKES.html
10 km south of Bolzano: http://www.ludwigshof.it/en/mohoverleih.html
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:18 PM   #9
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Cool! Thanks

I'll need to keep them in mind.

Neither one mentions luggage, but for a 3 day ride, that's really not necessary.

So - the Dolomites, Karnten and western Slovenia (at least the Predil & Vrsic Passes) open up.
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:21 PM   #10
GvG
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More choices:
http://www.promotoracing.com/it/nole...lto-adige.html
http://www.harley.bz.it/it/rentals/noleggio/
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
...
From Oberentfelden (Moto Mader) to Andermatt is about 135kms, none of which are Autobahn, .....

Either way, the Swiss options put you immediately into great riding as opposed to eating two days to and from.
Exactly.


Geneva might sounds a little "fringe" but gives a 1.5hr. Autobahn access (E25->E62->E27) to the Bernese High Country and Valais/ Martigny and endless stuff to ride+see in those areas for 3 days (or weeks), then another 1.5hr return via Chamonix + A40+A1 into Geneva again. Quick in+out, max play-time.

Munich is another option with a 1-1.5hrs "access" time...


Oberentfelden-Andermatt is ALL Autobahn...first a short stretch of A1 right from their front-door to Zofingen, then south the whole way to Wassen (~10km short of Andermatt) on the E35/A2 via Lucerne.

Takes you from Mader to the Susten east-ramp in just over an hour.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GvG View Post

Thanks for those!! Didn't know.
Ludwigshof has 2 bikes in the hire- fleet. They're a Hotel in the main with a "little-on-the-side".

Promoto looks more promising!

Then again, it all depends how things are planned and come together for a trip like that....for folks coming from overseas, local airport connections are vital and while renting locally is best for when you're actually there, its no option when hiring a bike at the start/ end of a stay, as there's still the need for travel from/to the international airport to the local area and back...
it all comes down to get the best bang for buck and making the most of the days available.
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glitch_oz screwed with this post 06-22-2014 at 04:41 PM
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:46 PM   #12
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We are still mapping out the route. What I know so far is my wife and I will be flying into Munich, then driving down to Zurich to pick the other couple up. From there the general route will be down through France to Barcelona, then from Barcelona up to Florence, Milan then working our way eventually up to Prague. My preference would be not to do the bike part at the very beginning of the trip so we can get acclimated, but if it works out that is the best time to do it, so be it.

Also, what can we expect temp wise when up in the higher elevations? I presume at lower elevations it will be similar to summer in the northeast US? We are going the last part of August and beginning of sept. Thanks again for your input, it has been great so far. I just ordered Hermanns book as well.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Also, what can we expect temp wise when up in the higher elevations? .
http://www.1blueplanet.com/weather/europe.html
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:53 AM   #14
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Milan then working our way eventually up to Prague.
In this case, I would support the idea of renting a bike in the Bozen/Trento area if you can get one and spend three days in the dolomites. The girls could stay at Lake Garda (e.g. Riva) and you can ride twisties in great landscapes all day long. The midsize bike advice is very good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR View Post
Also, what can we expect temp wise when up in the higher elevations? I presume at lower elevations it will be similar to summer in the northeast US? We are going the last part of August and beginning of sept.
That's end of high season, beginning of shoulder season and with usually perfect riding conditions. Especially in the mountains you never know what you will get - we had unexpected snow on Grossglockner last Friday -, but expect nice cool evenings and warm to hot days. Day time temps in the mountains will still be nice on sunny days.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:54 AM   #15
glitch_oz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR View Post
We are still mapping out the route. What I know so far is my wife and I will be flying into Munich, then driving down to Zurich to pick the other couple up. From there the general route will be down through France to Barcelona, then from Barcelona up to Florence, Milan then working our way eventually up to Prague. My preference would be not to do the bike part at the very beginning of the trip so we can get acclimated, but if it works out that is the best time to do it, so be it.
Considering that's it's prime EU holiday season, you'll most likely have "to take what you can get, IF you can get it", whenever you're ready to hire some bikes, regardless of exactly where you are.
Most rentals will have been booked months ago.
Which makes it pretty much impossible to recommend any routes/ places because you might likely not get any bikes where you want, when you want, for the time-span you want.
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