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Old 09-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #16
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Bluhduh Dude, go back, wrong side!

I'm tagging along on your little ride enjoying the pictures. I'm supposed to be there right now as well but over the course of the summer all my companions bailed for one reason or another. Next year I go alone, screw 'em.

As to your disappointment with Strelvio, if you came up the south side from Bormio and turned left to drop down the Umbrail connection to Switzerland you missed "Stelvio". The stunning pass of legend is on the north side! Its more fun to go down than up not just because of the jazz you get from the steepness of the headwall but also because you can see around the corners. Going up from the north you just have to slow to a crawl to turn yourself around to see whats comming down. There's no flow to it, it's just impressive as hell with the biggest peak in the eastern alps as backdrop. Now get back up there and ride the damn thing, just to say you did!

Have a great time. Sid
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:08 PM   #17
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I am watching with envy, this is a new epic thread. I would love to be in your position right now
Can't wait for the next instalment.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:59 AM   #18
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people goes to travel because of in escape of wartime. humm...
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sidviscous View Post
Now get back up there and ride the damn thing, just to say you did!

You know, I'm not really one for doing things just so I can say I did. But if you insist...

We left the Guzzi factory today at 4:00pm and punched in 'Munich' as our destination on the GPS. Miss Garmin wanted us to go through Switzerland, but I wanted to stay in Italy as long as possible. So our route has taken us back to Bormio, where we sit right now in the hotel lounge. Tomorrow is 90% chance of rain here from 6am to 6pm, with snow and a high of 33 degrees up on the pass. I've no interest in riding it in those conditions.

So tomorrow is a non-riding day (most likely). Pete wants to have a chance to experience a little of Italy on foot, just waling around town and such, so we'll do that tommorow. Weather on Thursday is supposed to be clear, and it's a 4-ish hour ride back to the bike rental place in Munich via Stelvio, the SW and NE sides! So as you request, a second Stelvio run is planned for Thursday. But still, it's not even close to my favorite of this week. Not even in the top 5 stretches of road we've enjoyed, at least for me. The most famous is almost never the best. Isn't it great that there are as many roads as opinions? I really hope you make it here next year. I'm having a great time sharing this with a good friend, but alone is probably better than not at all. This riding is something you just shouldn't miss if at all possible.

Lots more pic tomorrow, the internet at the hotel is S-L-O-W!
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #20
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Guzzi Museum photos

We both really liked the Moto Guzzi museum. The trip over was good, we'll post about that tomorrow (it's 1130pm here!). We liked the mix of as-found condition and restored, the mix of old and new, pretty much all signage in Italian and English, the wide variety, and lots of other things. A bit disappointed not to be able to get a Guzzi patch or sticker or something as a souvenir, they didn't have much other than high dollar stuff (this is Moto Guzzi, after all!). Pete asked about the ID holder lanyard that was on display. The nice woman said she didn't know, had to ask another worker. They had a brief conversation in Italian and concluded (I suppose) that none were available. Did they bother to tell Pete, to answer his question? Um.. no. They just kept on talking with each other.

For ghte and other who can't make it to the Guzzi Museum this week, here's a link to over 200 pictures that Pete and I took there. Some are pretty much duplicates that we both took, some are not so great, but if you want to wade through them, I've posted the all pictures HERE

jbar28 screwed with this post 09-19-2012 at 06:30 AM Reason: fix link
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:28 PM   #21
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I've been riding a rented F800gs for 5 days now and have a few thoughts to convey...

I'm glad I followed all the recommendations on various forums to go lighter and smaller and not get a R1200RT. I would've wrecked once or twice in the decreasing uphill hairpin turns with a bigger bike.

I hate the seat. There is NO flat spot. Instead, it slopes all the way down to the "tank" plastic pushing me forward all the time, kind of like standing on a steep downhill.

I'm not a fan of BMW turn signals, left on the left and right on the right with the cancel button above the right. There's nothing wrong with that, I just don't care for it.

That's the only negatives I can come up with. The bike has run like a dream and is very sporty on these tight roads. On a run up or down the big passes I tend to stay in 2nd or 3rd gear for the tight stuff and it's been a blast. If I had it to do again (and I will as soon as I get home and sell everything I own!) I think a R800R might be about perfect.

Like Jim said the net is slow here, but pics will be added tomorrow. The Guzzi stop was great but because of the call for rain tomorrow we "tunnel slabbed" it up to Bormio to get back to some of the great riding before I have to turn the bike in Friday morning. One of the tunnels was 8km long! ... and we probably went through 10-12 tunnels this afternoon alone,

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tt100 screwed with this post 09-19-2012 at 02:48 AM Reason: added photo
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #22
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Nice trip! I know these passes well and I love going back in the winter as well as in the summer with my bikes every time I can

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:24 AM   #23
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Moto Guzzi Factory and Museum (Photos)

We were at the Guzzi museum yesterday. It's somewhere I've always wanted to go. Jim linked all of our source photos earlier but I thought I'd put some up here to whet your appetite. There are windows everywhere in the display areas so my apologies up front for the glare on almost every shot;

Just outside the entrance. We had about 45 minutes to spare so we gassed up, cleaned the shields and ate a panini from the bar

The famed entrance to the plant. As we were leaving around 4:30 all of a sudden a bunch of guys came running out and jumped on their bikes and took off.... shift change! I see that at Lockheed Martin down in Ga all the time. I never seen old guys move so fast as when they get off work and don't want to get stuck at the gate!

Museum layout

As soon as I turned the first corner ....

I thought the brakes on my Bonneville were mediocre!

This one really appealed to me

I'd rather sport this than a modern mobility scooter!

Every time I see this famous photo I'm reminded of almost every car racer cartoon I saw as a kid...

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:31 AM   #24
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Otto Cylindri...

Here is the one:

...And in case anyone wants to make their own Otto Cylindri.....

The Docent made me put the glare on the secret solution that makes it all work!
(Actually it was about the best I could do... sorry)
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:42 AM   #25
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a bit more...

1958. The highway and a train now runs over the location of what appears to be the test track

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Old 09-19-2012, 02:01 PM   #26
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Tuesday's riding

Before we get too far away, I'll add a bit about the riding on Tuesday. We'd spent the night at the Hotel Central in Samedan, Switzerland.

I mentioned above how nice it was. On the way down the stairs from the room in the morning I saw this picture on the wall.

Cool Vespa sidecar hack, and even a Guzzi in the background! The boy in the photo is Dino, son of the owners of the hotel. He's now the noodle man, and his dad Remo makes their famous home made ravioli. Here's a picture of him now with his mom (who is a blur most of the time she is moving so fast) and Pete in the bar.

Between her basic English and my horrible German we managed to communicate well enough. They are super friendly, even gave us a garage for our bikes in the family building out back. While geting our bikes out that morning Pete spied this in the next garage over.

It's the Vespa! And the oil stain under it makes it seem that it may not have been all that long since it had been out. We didn't go back in to ask them, as it was their rest day (restaurant is closed on Tuesday) and they'd been so nice to us already.

We left Samedan, rode past the exit for St. Moritz, and up the Bernina Pass on Hwy 29. It's a very smooth road with open sweeping turns, nice strights, and good views of the valley and snow-covered peaks.

As is usually the case the road got smaller and twistier as it came to the top, where we found this typical marker

and this not so common one

All I can tell you is that it had a Brembo front caliper. And that it's likely not a simple job to restore. But if you want to have a go at it, it's at the top of Bernina Pass.

The road down the south side was even more fun. Smooth, fast, and almost no traffic.

That little dot on the road is Pete. We stopped at the bottom of the pass in Tirano for a morning coffee break and people watch.

There is a seemingly well-known basilica there I had know nothing about. But WOW!

And don't worry about the tobacco companies, they've still got a chock-hold on the European populace, it seems.

Tough to find an outdoor table anywhere without the smoke from the next table spilling over.

From there it was west on SS38 towards Lake Como, which is a terribly busy road with all kinds of traffic, few turn lanes, and diesel trucks that make the cafe smokers look healthy. We decided to take the turn-off at Morbegno for the Passo San Marco. It was a faint grey line on our map, even smaller than Passo Gavia (which I mentioned above is a challenge in places for two bikes with saddlebags!) It was a very nice ride.

At San Giovani Bianco we turned west on SP25, into a road up a canyon, following a winding stream.

With a great view of the canyon and other valleys from the top.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:09 PM   #27
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Rain Delay

AS forecast, the morning arrived with rain and cold. Here's the view out our hotel room.

I know lots of you tough guys ride through anything, but we chose not to. Why not spend a day looking around this nice Italian town end enjoy it? Especially when you hang out in this kind of place while updating your pictures and ride report!

The sitting room of the Hotel San Lorenzo used to be a church, redone by the current owner's father years ago. For those of you into woodworking, check out the panels, which are all book matched!

After some computer time we wandered around taking pictures in the drizzle.

Fixer-upper anyone?

About 1pm the rain quit and the sun came out, so we had lunch on the piazza. And look what beer they brought us! It's our old friend Ayinger from last Friday.

One thing I've learned about this part of Italy is how German it is. I knew this territory had been part of the Austrian empire at different times, but I was surprised to see so many signs, businesses with German names, and so many local people speaking in German.

After lunch we wandered into a little old church and found this, newly restored 16th century frescos in the church of the Holy Spirit.

When we passed through Bormio on Monday I had seen a neat little Bultaco dirt bike, which I got a chance to see up close. It looks like it has about 2 miles on it.

And this is inside the shop where the Bultaco is sitting

Pretty interesting place, with the old jeep, wooden propellers, and a torn-apart Guzzi. No name on the old gas station building, and the guy working there seemed uninterested in our interest. I'm betting he Guzzi is one of those things that will never be for sale and will never get finished. Maybe not. Hope not.

This morning it's 39 degrees and 19 degrees up on Passo Stelvio, which we did indeed miss on Monday as has been pointed out. So after breakfast we head up and over, and back to Munich via small roads.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:13 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by jbar28 View Post

Fixer-upper anyone?
This is a "meter". In the "old days", when people living in small villages had no possibility to reach stores, there had been regular market days in these villages. On these markets nearly everything could be bought, goods for the household, fabric, tools, ... Some merchants tending to optimize profit e.g. on fabric (sold by the meter) used measurement sticks too short. A customer could request the merchant to check "his meter" against the village's standard. The laws covering fines for false measuring used to be severe these days....

Oh, nice trip! I've been to that area a couple of times and it's still a blast.

keep the rubber side down,

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Old 09-20-2012, 04:51 AM   #29
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Great RR, can't get too much of the Alps.
Just to echo Pete's comments of how affordable such a trip is, it's a bargain once you've bitten off the air fare/bike rental bullet. The $100/day is spot on, plus the euro is down about 10% from my trips.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #30
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Back to Munich

We had a crisp, clear, and COLD morning, and headed up Stelvio Pass, being careful of ice patches near the top as it was well below freezing up there. Yesterday's run-off was frozen al over the road. And this time we went all the way to the top.

Took a few pictures, bought a sticker, etc. I'm still not a fan. Rough road, lots of rocks in the road, blah blah blah. I think it's like the Mona Lisa. If you go to Paris, everyone expects you to go to the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa. It's the most famous thing there. But once you see the actual painting, for most people it's underwhelming. And almost everyone finds something in the Louvre that is less famous but that they personally enjoy more. I found lots of roads this week that I liked better. Not saying you are wrong if you love Stelvio, or Mona for that matter. To each his own.

Took the scenic and twisty route back to Munich, past the flooded church at Curon Venosta.

Pete returned his rental bike tonight with 1760 km added, only 40 below his agreement limit of 1800. Way to squeeze every dollar, buddy.

We're checked into a hotel and now headed to the Hofbrauhaus to celebrate a great week of riding.


By the way, always carry a spare key to your luggage! You never know when this might happen.

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