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Old 10-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #31
kendenton OP
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06/24, Gavia and Stelvio (Part 5)

We regrouped at the entrance to the pass and looked at our options for getting north to Linderhof, our town for the last night of the group trip. Linderhof was close enough to Landshut to make an easy ride Saturday morning to return the bikes, and not so far from Stelvio that getting there would be a stretch for the day. Of course we were planning on starting the day on top of Stelvio rather than having to cross Gavia, but it was still doable. We had about a little over 2 hours of uninteresting roads ahead of us before there was an option to head over a pass, and then another hour and a half or so to get to the hotel.

There were a couple amusing moments on the last section of road leaving the area of Stelvio - one was watching a guy push a solar-powered bicycle uphill, and the other was my having to abort a passing attempt on a bicycle. The guy was doing a good clip downhill, and I couldn't get a clear enough section to get around him. Frustrating, but also very funny.

Nothing really interesting to say about the next 2 hours, other than advising you that if you see wind farms in the valley you're riding through (as opposed to on the hilltops), hang on! We were all getting pushed around quite a bit for a while, but at least that helped relieve the boredom a little. It was probably more than just boredom that was contributing to my melancholy - we had just finished the last major pass of the trip and the bikes were going back tomorrow. I know I was not looking forward to this adventure coming to an end.

At the next gas stop I convinced Peter to switch bikes with me as I was eager to give the FJR a test in it's natural habitat - fast B roads, sweepers, traffic to squirt around, etc. I don't think super-tight hairpin roads showed the FJR in it's best light and wanted to give it a fair shake. I don't think Peter was that thrilled to be back on the TDM, but being the nice guy he is he indulged me.

Indeed, I ended up enjoying the FJR a lot more on these open roads. The seat is sofa-like in width, the windscreen provided a pretty serene cockpit, and the motor was a lot of fun to wind out when room allowed. I could definitely see the appeal of a bike like this in the states, where a much larger percentage of time is spent on less technical roads.

We felt we were making good enough time to detour off the fast B roads and make a run over Hahntennjoch. There was also some concern over possible toll roads and whether we were required to have vignettes if we stuck to the "shortest time" route, plus I know I wasn't going to say no to a chance at a pass on the last full day of riding. Hahntennjoch turned out to be nearly deserted, I don't think we saw more than 10 vehicles while we were there. The south side had some very big views of green hills, and a road that hugged the mountain. The northern descent was more of the same to start, then turned into the familiar scene of switchback after switchback. I was glad I had switched back to my TDM at the top of the pass for the twistier descent.



I think Peter was ready to call it a day at the gas stop



Hey, it's the Sporty from the top of Stelvio!



What a hoot this has to be on Stelvio



Climbing Hahntennjoch



Peter riding "my" TDM on Hahntennjoch



Looking back on the southern ascent of Hahntennjoch



This guy flagged me down to help him push this cruiser onto the trailer



The top of Hahntennjoch



Ready to start down the pass

The rain started when we got to the bottom of the pass, but not hard enough to warrant rain gear. The route from here to the hotel was primarily on empty, endlessly twisting backroads, which was a great wind-down to the day. Nothing especially challenging, or fantastically scenic, but just nice curve after curve after curve, with a very occasional hairpin or two thrown in. Think of a European version of the Blue Ridge Parkway and you'll get the idea. We had a group of bikers behind us for longer than usual, but eventually they decided to wick it up and sped past us. Watching them ride 2 abreast through some of the really tight turns was eye-opening.

We were getting pretty cold by the last half-hour or so, and between that, the drizzly rain and the long day behind us some of us were more than ready to get to the hotel. The Schlosshotel Linderhof looked deserted when we arrived, but there was someone at the front desk when we dragged our soggy butts inside. The world's tiniest elevator whisked us to our rooms where we got quickly changed for dinner before the restaurant closed. We were the only people in the dining room by the time we got down there, and it was obvious the staff wanted to get out of there. The only thing on the short menu that appealed to me was the salad, but the other guys were more adventurous. The beer was icy cold and most welcome.

Tomorrow will be just a short ride to return the bikes. Bummer.



The Schlosshotel Linderhof



We had to park out back



My nice-sized room







Dinners



What did I do to deserve those looks?
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:59 PM   #32
kendenton OP
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06/25, Return to Munich

I woke up extra early to get a little riding in before breakfast. There were a couple interesting roadsigns that I had been meaning to get pictures of when we were in Germany early in the trip, but I kept passing them by thinking "I'll get the next one". Well, eventually you run out of "next ones" and you have to go back. The road south from the hotel was unsurprisingly deserted at this hour of a Saturday morning, and I had no trouble pulling off the road to get my shots.

Back at the hotel, the highlight of breakfast was hot fresh croissants, of which I ate too many. We packed up the bikes for the last time and discussed out options for the ride back to Landshut. We didn't have a whole lot of extra time to waste, but we were loathe to just plot a direct Autobahn route on our last day riding in Europe. We worked out a fair compromise that had us on the High Alpine Road for about half the morning before picking up the Autobahn for the remainder.



An overcast view from my balcony



Germany!



Just a neat post



Tanks? Seriously? The meaning of these dual-number signs eluded us for the whole trip. We kept thinking they were speed limits, like 80kmh one-way, or 30kmh if traffic, to use the bottom sign. Only on the very last day, when I actually stopped to take a picture of one of them, did I notice the small bridge next to the sign. Of course! The numbers aren't speed limits, they're weight limits. 30tons with traffic, 80 tons solo. Still, tanks?



This was what the last 20 miles to the hotel looked like last night.



This was the clue that explained it all, the "16T" sign. Prior to this we had seen a lot of the signs in the background (16/24), but never did we see one with a T on it.



That's a lot of advertising. Hard to read at speed I would think.



The World's Smallest Elevator.



Frank's evaluating our route choices for the day

The High Alpine Road turned out to be a nice enough way to spend the morning, nothing demanding and some decent views along the way. There must have been some event going on in, or south of, Linderhof because literally hundreds of clasic BMW 3.0's and 2002's passed us for most of the morning heading south. There was also a pack of 5 Lotus Elises that got my attention. We had our usual GPS shenanigans but didn't get too far off our route.

The stretch on the Autobahn was actually quite fun, and not too crazy. While there were certainly some folks going faster than us, no one flashed by us like the Audi's on day 1. I don't know how many times we had to switch Autobahns on the way, but we certainly had to pay attention to the GPS and road signs to keep swapping routes. The TDM was really happy up to about 120kph (about 75mph), after that the buffeting was pretty strong. Anything faster than 160kph (about 100mph) and it really felt like it was out of its element, wandering around and feeling really loose. I bet the FJR was happy as a clam - if the US had something akin to the Autobahn where you could legally go as fast as you want a GT-type bike like the FJR or Connie14 would be at the top of my shopping list.

I was beginning to feel a little worn out during our time on the Autobahn. I don't know if it was just the early morning ride I had done, or the prospect of returning the bikes was weighing on me, or if maybe we'd just strung together too many intense riding days. Pretty much for 8 days solid we've been on the bikes, often on quite demanding mountain passes. I'm not saying I was ready to give up, or that I was dangerously fatigued, but I was not feeling as charged up as I was a few days ago. Maybe next time I'll try to work in a day (or half day at least) of downtime in the middle of the trip.

The last order of business before returning the bikes to Herman was gassing them up. Seemed like it would be a simple task, but finding a gas station in Landshut proved elusive. Twice the Zumo took us to phantom gas stations that either never existed or had gone out of business. I ended up stopping a guy walking in the street and pointing to my gas tank. He pointed down the road we were heading on and said "2 kilometers". Sure enough, local knowledge trumped computer datasets and the gas station was where he said. Filled up, used the restroom (using the restroom at the bike shop was an arduous task involving walking through the crane garage and the fire/ambulance hall due to some repairs being done), got some snacks, and, not without a little sadness, got on the bikes for the last time. The 5 minute ride to Herman's was over much too quickly.

I was a litle concerned about the damage (although only cosmetic) from Peter's FJR tip-over being a costly issue, but the guys at the shop didn't so much as look at the bikes while we unpacked. What a difference from Moto Mader in Switzerland, where they thoroughly examined the bike with clipboard in hand, making lots of notations. Herman and crew just made sure we had gotten all our stuff from the bikes, returned our gear (looking much the worse for wear, especially my fresh-from-the-box boots), gave us back our suitcases and thanked us for the business. We drug our suitcases across town and took a (standing room only) train back to Munich.



Unpacking / repacking

I don't have any more notes from that day, so I'll try to remember what I can. We checked back into the NH hotel near the HBF, and walked back towards Marienplatz. Along the way we stopped for lunch at the Augustiner Keller beirgarten and managed to escape a bit of rain, and then generally wandered around the old town center.



No, that's not a toy car



Inside Augustiner Keller



Sausages, pretzels and beer. The perfect lunch in Germany.

Remember the bachelor party guys from my first days in Munich? This weekend appeared to be all about the girls. We came across a bunch of differently-costumed groups of girls having a great time and often getting the locals involved in the fun. If anyone knows more about this tradition I'd love to hear about it.



Surgeons?



Lots of picture taking



Pink road crew?



Just an impromptu tug of war in the street with girls in tights, nothing to see here, move along



Bees?

After wandering around for a bit after lunch we ended up at the beer garden in the Hofgarten behind the Residenz where we took our time enjoying some beer and conversation. This would really be our last time together - Dave and Peter were heading to Rome that night, Frank was flying home in the morning, and I would be remaining in Europe with my family for a while.



Living statue in Marienplatz



Now that's a great way to travel!



Make way, coming through



The King and Queen of Odeonsplatz?



Very tasty Dunkelweiss, enjoyed behind the Residenz



Oh, maybe this is the King and Queen of Odeonsplatz?



The sidewalk rising into the sky got my attention

One of the oddest experiences of the trip happened on the walk back to the hotel when we came across a candlelight vigil at a Michael Jackson shrine. Dozens of folks were praying, crying, holding hands, several dressed as MJ himself. I was speechless.



MJ Shrine



Speechless



Wow



Peter buying some snacks for the train ride



Hey buddy, you're using that thing all wrong...

We got back to the hotel and said our goodbyes to Frank, and I let Dave and Peter grab showers in my room before catching their train. I walked with them over to the train station, and with a couple handshakes they were gone and the Alps 2011 motorcycling adventure was at an end.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:02 PM   #33
kendenton OP
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Well folks, that's it for the motorcycle-riding part of this trip. It was (another) trip of a lifetime, and I was very sorry to see it end.

But wait! There's more!

I remained in Europe for another 2 weeks with my family, and I managed to work in a few motorcycle-related activities - namely attending the MotoGP race in Mugello and a visit to the Ducati factory and museum. I'll be writing about (and of course posting tons of pics from) from those events in this thread as well. So please stay tuned over the next few days.

I also want to post some final thoughts on the group trip, but that's going to take a while to craft.

Thanks so much for reading thus far, and for all your comments, I really do appreciate them.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:03 PM   #34
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Here's some pics from the start of the family trip. I'll do full write-ups on the MotoGP race and the Ducati tour, these are just some interesting random shots.



Subtle



Did they ever sell this in the States?



Ducati gelato in Fussen, Germany



Nice rep paint job

Going over Timmelsjoch we saw these guys having a blast at the top:









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Old 10-15-2013, 09:04 PM   #35
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7/3, Mugello MotoGP

I knew this was going to be one of the highlights of the vacation, a chance to see a MotoGP race in Italy. I've been to the MotoGP in Indianapolis for the last 3 years (and going this year), and have always had a blast - even during Hurricane Ike the first year. This Mugello race would mark Valentino Rossi's first appearance in Italy on a Ducati, and European fans are more enthusiastic then their American counterparts, so I was confident this would be quite an event.

Since I had the family with me we were only going to attend on race day and skipping Friday and Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions. I had bought 2 general admission tickets for Sunday (children get in free to GA with adults) over the internet prior to leaving for the trip, and made sure we worked our travel plans to keep us near Mugello for the night before the race. We wound up staying in Bologna, about an hour north of the circuit. Florence is closer, but much pricier to stay in. There are also a few hotels in the town next to the track that would have enabled us to walk to the race, but they were long since sold out.

On race day morning I hustled the family out of the Holiday Inn Express bright and early for the ride down to Mugello. I had read many reports about how the traffic getting to the circuit could be bumper to bumper so I wanted to allow as much time as possible. By 7:15am we were on the Autostrada heading south. Things got tense for me when we split off the Autostrada on the GPS's say-so. There really weren't any signs for the track at this point, and the road we turned onto was a narrow two-lane twisting country lane. I was very stressed that we were on the wrong road as it took around 20 minutes before we saw the first sign for Autodromo Mugello. We started passing people parked on the roadside, but the GPS said we were still 5 miles from the track. Being a rule-abiding law-fearing American I waited until we found an organized parking lot (albeit a grass field with a guy taking 10 euro notes) a few miles further.

It was still a long, long walk to the circuit, first down a road, then up a steep grassy hill, then across a grass lot, then down a wooded lane, then finally the short road to the circuit entrance. If there were no crowds to follow there's no way we would have known where to go.

When I said before that I got tickets, that turned out to not actually be the case - I got vouchers for tickets. The instructions on the vouchers were vague, in one part saying "you must exchange these at the venue for tickets" and in another saying "not good at venue". I guess in the excitement of being on vacation I forgot about that part, and when I presented them to the lady at the ticket booth all I got was a head shake. "No good". I would need to walk back to the car, leave the parking lot and drive 7 kilometers to another town to get to the place where I should exchange them. Then drive back in ever-increasing traffic, find another place to park and hoof it back to the track. Sigh. "I'd like two $120 general admission tickets please". Normally this would have pretty much ruined my day, but this time I just let it go - I'm not going to have my one day at a European MotoGP round ruined by my own stupidity.



We begin the long way to the track



Not too crazy on the road





One of the prettiest parking lots I've seen



Steep hill, where the "are we there yet" starts to surface



Cool



Ah, finally, the track



Very neat helmet ticket scanner

Once we got inside the gates it became obvious just how crazy busy this place was. Masses of people everywhere, motorcycles and scooters moving in both directions on the same paths everyone was walking, tent villages setup on prime viewing locations, trash everywhere, etc. At Indianapolis everything is very well organized, everyone doing what they're supposed to, lots of open space, tons of staff on hand, etc. This, in comparison, was anarchy. And I loved it!

Where we first walked in we had a pretty good view of turn 12, but there were so many tents there you would have to stand the whole day to see what was happening on the track. We watched some of the warmups from this spot, then decided to try to find someplace better. It was not at all obvious how to get to the other side of the track so we just started walking the side we were on. We eventually settled on a nice spot on a hillside that gave us a great view of turns 8,9, and 15, as well as a distant but decent view of turns 6 and 7. With the exception of getting lucnh we pretty much planted ourselves on that section of hill for the day.



OK we're in the gate, busy but not crazy



Motorcycles and scooters mixed in with crowded pedestrian areas really kept your attention



Our first view of action on the track



Ducati grandstand



Marco passes by



Working our way to a better viewing spot



This is pretty crazy



Sweet!



Interesting paint job



My view for the race
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #36
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I want to apologize to any readers hoping for good shots of racing action. Normally at Indy I can get close enough to produce some decent photos, but that was clearly not possible at Mugello. As thrilled as I was to be at a European round of MotoGP, for the actual viewing experience Indy does it much better. There are a lot more giant video screens in Indy (didn't see any at Mugello), far more food and drink vendors, vastly superior restroom facilities (both permanent and portable), and the elbow room and general organization enabling you to get around easily. Don't get me wrong, I loved Mugello, and would do it again in a heartbeat, but Indy is a much "nicer" experience.



A distant but decent view of turns 6 and 7



125 race perhaps?





I could get some decent (if distant) panning shots



Check out all the people on that far hill

After the 125 race my family decided they were hungry so we set off to find some food - as did thousands of others. Just walking on the path was taking forever, as it was jammed with people and bikes. The large food tent was packed to overflowing, and the heat was starting to get the better of us. We ended up with some hot dogs from a cart and worked out way back to our hillside seats. Fortunately for my wife and son there was a nice shady tree a little higher on the hillside for them to hang out under and escape the sun, although you couldn't see the track from there. I braved the heat for the Moto2 race, and summoned them when it was time for MotoGP.





Making the trek to get some lunch



Holy Woodstock Batman!



Great seats above the bathroom - this kind of stuff would never fly at Indy



Tasty yellow Hypermotard



I'm guessing they were Italian



OK...



The Kawasaki VStrom



Cool looking scooter



Not too crowded here, but they had no real view of the track



Bet they've been there a couple days



The food tent was packed. First you waited on the line in the foreground to pay, then you took your receipt and waited in the line in the background to get your food.


Different way of preparing hot dogs. The rolls are impaled on one of the metal spikes in the right of the picture, which toast them from the inside. When ready, the hot dog is inserted into the hole in the bun from the spike. Every parent of a toddler in the US would appreciate this method - no more hot dogs rolling away.



The Paddock was not as impressive as I'd hoped



Moto2



Moto2



Rossi!



All together for the MotoGP race



It's the end of the world



Here they come on the first lap



Lap 1



Rossi!



Colorful Varadero



Nice VIP Village perk is getting a ride around the tire wall for photo-ops



Rossi!



A non-zoomed-in view of the action from our location



This is what we could see of the race



Rossi passing by



Rossi waves to the crowd. He only managed a distant 6th place, nearly 17 seconds behind 5th-place Marco Simoncelli and 26.4 seconds behind race winner Jorge Lorenzo

It was great to watch Valentino work his way up a few positions during the race, even if he did only end up in 6th. I had read that you should not even think about trying to leave the circuit right after the race as you'd spend hours just sitting in traffic. I'd also read that things get pretty crazy on the track, so we figured we'd hang around a while and see what develops.

What I didn't expect was that the next hour was going to be one of the absolute highlights of the whole trip, both for me and my son.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:06 PM   #37
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As we started slowly walking to the exit it was obvious that people were lining up (well, lining up implies some kind of organization, let's say they were massing) at the certain places along the fence. From what I had read I was expecting there would be a few crazy folks that rushed the track against the rules, but there were hundreds of people just at this spot. Figured we'd watch and see how this plays out. After 10 minutes or so the crowd started surging forward - someone opened a gate in the fence. Suddenly everyone was storming past us, with plenty of motorcycles, scooters and bicycles mixed. People were climbing over the Armco and tire wall, and running onto the track. I took a minute to survey the situation, and figured "when in Rome...". I motioned to my wife, who was hanging far back from the throng at the fence, that we were going in. I grabbed my son and in a minute we were getting filthy climbing the tire wall. We made our way across the gravel trap and finally onto the track, with my son absolutely in disbelief the whole time.

The action on the track was pure (delightful) chaos. Motorcycles zooming in every direction, people running around, guys riding their bicycles around the circuit, burnouts, wheelies, you name it. There were literally thousands of people all over the track. Man oh this was fun.

After a while my wife even came out to join us, smartly finding a place where you didn't have to climb through tires. We hung out for a while watching the zaniness before finding a gate to exit through. In retrospect I really wish we had walked a lap of the track, that would have been fantastic.



What have we here?



Everyone's waiting for something





And they're off!





My son Michael having just climbed the tire wall. That's a big smile.



"Are we allowed to do this?" "Sure!"





"Where Rossi rode on" :)



A very happy kid



What a blast



2-up on a CB1000R



That's going to be quite the cleanup job



Scooters ahoy!



Fun, fun, fun



Why stick to the track?



This corner is starting to fill up



Looking down the track



Yikes



We'll remember this day for quite a while



On the track



Overall view



Some folks having fun



Very secure in their manhood



Very stylish



Look at me! Look at me!



2-up scooter wheelies



All kinds of vehicles on the track
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:09 PM   #38
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The walk out was a challenge, every square inch of space was jammed with pedestrians, bikes and cars and the heat was pretty intense. I think we bought 4 bottles of water just in that walk. Once we got to the car it actually wasn't too bad getting out of the lot (out the back entrance anyway, the line for the front exit never really moved) and while the roads were busy it did move along pretty well. It was fun watching all the bikes passing everyone, even if some of the moves looked risky. On a normal day Italian bikers ride like men possessed, after spending a day at the racetrack, well, it certainly got their blood flowing even more.



Beginning the walk out of Mugello



Certainly colorful



Cool Lucky Strike livery on this Busa



Citroen 2CV



The girls dancing on tables got people's attention



Mike and the track map



Getting tight through here





Make way, coming through



Pedestrians, cars, bikes, you name it



Looking back at the exit



Can't imagine how long it's going to take those campers to get out





Finally free of the congestion on the wooded path



Mmm, OK



So much for pedestrians only on the path



Still a ways to walk



The road to our parking featured as many lanes of traffic as people could make





Almost to the car








The only big delay was the last mile or so before the Autostrada entrance. It could have been even worse, but they had workers stationed at the tolls helping everyone get through - impressive! One more slowdown on the Autostrada at the scene of a motorcycle accident, and finally we collapsed back at the hotel, exhausted.

I can't emphasize strongly enough how much fun I had at Mugello. Yes, it was hot. Yes, it was very crowded. Certainly unorganized. Pitiful facilities for food and bathrooms. Plus it cost me nearly $400 for general admission tickets. Knowing all that, I'd go again in a heartbeat. Everyone there was having such a great time, the chaos and excitement was addictive. I know I will do another European MotoGP round one day, perhaps Jerez or LeMans. Have to start saving some more pennies...
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:12 PM   #39
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07/05, Ducati Factory and Museum Tour

After attending the MotoGP race on Sunday my son and I were even more excited about the tour of the Ducati factory and museum that we had scheduled months ago. It was easy to sign up for one, just go here http://www.ducati.com/company/book_your_visit/index.do and enter your details. It was 10 euro per person, and well worth the price.

We had heard that you must arrive early for your tour to get checked in, so we made sure we were in Borgo Panigale in plenty of time. About 30 minutes before our tour was scheduled to leave we checked in at the main factory gate, and then waited outside with about a dozen other folks. At 10 minutes before our scheduled start our lovely Italian tour guide showed up and we were off.





Employee parking outside the factory. Primarly Monsters and new Multistradas

First stop was the small Ducati Musem store where we had to pay for our tour, then it was off to the factory floor. Our tour guide explained that the front, smaller part of the factory complex was the street motorcycle area, which is what we would be seeing. The larger half of the factory was Ducati Corse, the racing division, which she says she's never even seen the inside of. "Very secret, special keycards".

Of course we were not allowed to take any pictures inside the factory. I was surprised to learn that almost nothing is "made" in the factory, nearly everything comes from suppliers and is assembled here. I think the engine crankshaft was one of the only parts made in-house. There were 3 assembly lines, one for Monsters and Hypermotards, one for superbikes/streetfighters, and one for Diavels and Multistradas (iirc). The Diavel/Multistrada line was the old Desmosedici line. She said the new Multistrada was a huge success, and that the Superbikes are not popular in Europe (too "sporty").

I was hoping to see a huge river of red paint running through the middle of the factory, Willy Wonka style, with happy Italians scampering about dipping trellis frames in the waters, but was disappointed. At this point there are no paint facilities on site. They are hoping to add that ability soon.

The factory tour took about 30 minutes, and then we moved over to the Museum. Camera were whipped out, and jaws dropped as we were led around past some simply gorgeous machinery. She would stop at certain bikes and give us some history as to it's importance, and happily answered any questions asked. Sadly the tour was over much too quickly, and you weren't allowed to wander around without a guide.





How it all started





She pointed out the number of records won :-)







The 4-cylinder Apollo project. Only one full bike ever produced, and 2 engines. "Where is the only Apollo in the world?" asked our tour guide. "In a Japanese collector's house. The people who made it only have this picture on the wall".





The silver bike in the background had a vertical "window" in the gas tank to see the fuel level (the gold stripe). Mike Hailwood's bike kept that look.



Mike's hi-tech solution to keeping his visor clean. Moist sponge inside a cut tennis ball.





The main circular hallway housed the less "important" bikes compared to those in the rooms





The legend of Desmo begins



Crazy ice-racing bike



Dakar bike



Drool....



Just a few of the title-winning Superbikes.



The legendary Supermono



Our tour guide and the Superbikes



Best room in the house. My son and I were wondering if we would even get to see one of the MotoGP bikes, and then the last stop on the tour was this room. Wow.



That's a lot of money lined up



View from the front of the factory

While the museum store didn't have a lot of items to choose from (quite frankly by this point I was practically salivating to buy something (else) with a Ducati logo), we were told the official Factory Store just across the street would meet our needs. Boy, were they right. I've never seen so much Ducati merchandise in one place - shirts, hats, jackets, gloves, helmets, books, videos, keychains, flags, pens, watches, mugs, toys, bicycles, motorycles, you name it. Our tour ticket came with a 5 euro coupon good for merchandise purchased at the store. In the end, we exercised some restraint and ended up with just hats for my son and I.



Factory Store had some cool items not for sale







The Ducati Factory Store

It was a little sad pulling away from the Ducati store and starting our drive to Vinci. After 10 days of riding the alps, attending the MotoGP race in Mugello, and now touring the Ducati factory and musuem, this was the last biking-related activity of the vacation. That chapter was closing, and the rest of the trip, while expected to be wonderful, would not in some way revolve around bikes.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:16 PM   #40
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Some more random photos from the family part of the trip:



Marco on sale



Ugliest pickup I've ever seen





Wow, that's quite a family truckster you've got there (I'm assuming it's funeral related)




We stayed in Verona for a few days, and discovered this cool statue celebrating MotoGP rider Bruno Ruffo, who had his first win in 1949









Nice line-up outside a wedding in Verona





On the Autostrada heading back to Germany. Everyone came over to ogle the Mustang.



I was much more interested in the Opel

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Old 10-15-2013, 09:18 PM   #41
kendenton OP
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Nice tuber!



The fastest our little Renault Scenic would go (114mph according to GPS)



Nice CB900



Crazy looking clouds near the Munich airport



Nice integrated centerstand



First of the new gullwing SLS's I've seen
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:13 AM   #42
paracarro
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Hey guys, just stumbled by chance across your post!
Wonderful report! I had great time reading it!!!!

Thanks a lot!!!!!!!
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