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Topic: Planning an Alpine tour  (Read 22189 times)

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RBEmerson
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« Reply #100 on: December 29, 2016, 05:26:02 pm »

Okey dokey... here we go again.

I'm seriously over Edelweiss. I want to see more Alps. How to do it?

The good people on BMW MOA are strong on Beach's Motorcycle Adventures. There's a lot to like. And then there's the $8K+ bill for all that good fun.  EEK!

I've been busy POing the folks on AdvRider about this issue. Someone posted the current Air Canada charges to ship your bike to Frankfurt and... see below, extracted from the BMW MOA post extracted from the discussion on AdvRider.
Quote from: Me!
I've been thrashing with what to do about the trip. Looking at a similar thread on ADVRider, it turns out that shipping my bike, via Air Canada, will come in "under $2K". That's subject to the inevitable surprises and the state of the US and Canadian dollars ($1USD ~= $0.75CDN). Two major add-ons are 1) getting to and from Toronto to pack/unpack the bike, and 2) the cost of round trip YYZ-FRA relative to PHL-FRA with Lufthansa (or maybe AA, if they resume their direct flights). Figure $300 for the road trip (including gas, food, and a night Motel 6 each way). The air ticket difference remains a mystery for now. At the FRA end, life gets much easier. All that's left is to gas up (shipping requires a near-empty gas tank) and ride about an hour to my in-laws (no lodging cost, minimal gas costs).

From there, picking a conservative number, $125/day should cover staying at a pension (think sort of a B&B w/ breakfast thrown in), lunch and dinner, and gas. That comes out to $1750 for 14 days. Budget $2K and the total bill (less tickets) comes to around $4500 for a bike (mine) and accommodations, meals, and gas. By comparison, Beach's comes in "under $9K" for bike accommodations, breakfast, and dinner. Gas and lunch are not included. Being insanely conservative, that's a $4K delta. Or almost the trip again. The 14 days includes travel from the Frankfurt area to "somewhere near big mountains" (~6hrs on the autobahn system, longer if detouring through the Schwartzwald (Black Forest) or wandering around in Bavaria. So many places, so little time...

As to routing, the amount of information about touring the Alps, anywhere from "wide and pretty" to "scared the author witless and took two tries before a successful ride". The same applies to general locations, from the Pyrenees to the Dolomites and eastward.  There are a number of guide books. The touring press over here is a serious drain on my wallet (4-5 titles, most monthly), and, of course, articles run from "have a nice picnic" to "bring your big boy pants, you're going to need 'em".

But wait, that's not all. My wife and I, if she's still talking to me, would probably spend about a week, split on either side of the 14 days, with her family. Which means the bike would be east of the Atlantic for about three weeks. Woohoo.

So... go ahead, show me where I've missed the obvious.
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RBEmerson
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« Reply #101 on: December 30, 2016, 11:47:15 am »

Two items need some thought: insurance and breakdowns.

We self-insure, with our insurer's approval, when we rent a car here. I need to see what happens with the bike.

The big McGuffin is breakdowns. I'll prep the bike in late May - early June (to allow time to check everything). Brakes, tires, "drain it and fill it", and overall health are on the list. But... "life happens". Somewhere near Niederunteroberkuhdorf the bike goes sour. In the States I have an app to summon AAA. Over here...  Shrug

Input?
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« Reply #102 on: December 30, 2016, 01:29:45 pm »

I personally have no knowledge of moto insurance for breakdowns, but a quick internet search brought up this link: http://www.worldmotorcycletours.co.uk/travel-information/breakdown-insurance-europe

They appear to be UK based, but they do list some US trips, so perhaps they can help you.


Or join BMW MOA and have access to their Roadside Assistance book, which lists people from all over the world who are willing to drop everything and come to your aid if you need something  Cool
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RBEmerson
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« Reply #103 on: December 30, 2016, 05:15:56 pm »

What would I do without you? I, of course, have an Anonymous Book. I'm feeling better already.  Smile
The British folks seem to be using AXA. I'll look into that as an option via State Farm (our insurer) or AAA.
Great thanks!

BTW, I saw your MotoMarder pix. Lucky you to have a place like that handy.
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« Reply #104 on: December 30, 2016, 05:39:08 pm »

At two grand to ship you're looking at $142/day for two weeks. There are 14 day rentals available in Frankfurt for around 100 euro/day including insurance and (usually) roadside assistance, although you might not find the bike  you prefer.
I've rented in Germany and Italy with no problems other than really hating the R1200GS I got in Venice - just too tall for me.
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« Reply #105 on: December 31, 2016, 08:46:58 am »

If you're referring to Stephan Knopf in Frankfurt, his "hottest" offering is an R1150RT. I put a couple of hundred miles on one (loaner from dealer) and was not sad to turn it in. No power, shook like a sewing machine... nothing I'd spend two weeks on, going up and down on secondary roads, let alone passes.

I found a K1600GT in IIRC Nice France for an attractive price. Train, bus, or air travel from and to Frankfurt (in-laws) wipes that out. Ditto for DD's recommendation for MotoMarder. I'm not wed to a BMW, but something with a fairing and shaft drive is a must. That opens up FJR's, Connies, and Honda's ST1300. So far, though, I'm not coming up with a win on them.

In addition to the pro/diem cost, there is the "I know this bike intimately" value and the "my bike here! How freaking cool is that?!?" value. Intangibles but some things I'd just flat pay for. Heck, I really don't need a motorcycle. But life without one would be ...um... unsatisfactory. So I pay for "satisfactory". TINSTAAFL, eh.
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« Reply #106 on: December 31, 2016, 10:28:22 am »


Train, bus, or air travel from and to Frankfurt (in-laws) wipes that out. Ditto for DD's recommendation for MotoMader. I'm not wed to a BMW, but something with a fairing and shaft drive is a must. That opens up FJR's, Connies, and Honda's ST1300. So far, though, I'm not coming up with a win on them.


I take then that flying in somewhere else is not an option?




In addition to the pro/diem cost, there is the "I know this bike intimately" value and the "my bike here! How freaking cool is that?!?" value. Intangibles but some things I'd just flat pay for.


This is understandable. I guess it is just consideration of the ratio between "money" and "intangible happiness"  Bigsmile
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« Reply #107 on: December 31, 2016, 10:32:46 am »

Someone on ADV posted up these guys:

http://www.holgers-zweirad-shop.de/html/motorent.html (no BMW listed)

http://www.motorradvermietung.de/en/price-list/



And then, of course, google provided a couple more:

http://www.rental-motorcycle.com/europe/germany/frankfurt_rental.html

http://www.2wheeltravel.com/Motorcycle%20Hire/germanyhire.htm


Anyway, it looks like there are plenty of rental places in/near Frankfurt. I did not take the time to compare the pricings, so who know if anything is attractive to you.
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RBEmerson
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« Reply #108 on: December 31, 2016, 12:02:39 pm »

 Inlove I'm looking at some of the obvious Swiss passes. I promise I'll try to work Basel into my schedule.
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« Reply #109 on: December 31, 2016, 03:12:54 pm »


 Inlove I'm looking at some of the obvious Swiss passes. I promise I'll try to work Basel into my schedule.


Beerchug
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« Reply #110 on: January 01, 2017, 11:04:03 pm »

Landed in PHL around 4PM today and now catching up on stuff.

Almost all of the upper scale rentals come in around $2400 (1.12USD) for 14 days. Toss in the time with the in-laws (add about a week or ~21 days total), and flying the bike makes more sense.

Insurance is the biggest point of concern. I misunderstood who was insuring our car rentals: BoA not State Farm. Oops. NTL, I'll have a chat with State Farm and AAA as a starting point in the US (here now = PHL area, not FRA area). And I'll look into Stefan Knopf's offerings for insurance, etc.
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« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2017, 01:24:19 pm »

I'll be very interested in what you find regarding insuring your bike in Europe. I've researched that in the past and found that none of our local or major insurers (Canadian) would cover bikes outside North America.
I know of one European insurer, also present in Canada, AXA insurance, offers or at least did in the past, offer motorcycle liability insurance for non EU residents. IIRC it is done through a French insurance broker.
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« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2017, 01:33:25 pm »

Check in with Stefan Knopf. His web site knopftours.com has a lot of useful information, including prices, about the needed Green Card insurance (barring a big surprise, non-European insurers aren't likely to do this at a sane rate). I just had a brief email exchange with Stefan. He included a number of useful items including Air Canada documentation. Although Knopf tours has ocean shipping options, he said, in so many words, AC is the least expensive way to "fly" a bike to Euro-land.

ADDED: He also offers a comprehensive policy (typically 100% coverage), and a health policy. NOTE: for anyone 65 or older, a letter from a doctor, certifying you're able to safely operate your bike (full description to be in the letter) is needed. I'll 'fess up and say I need to do this letter. I'll post a boilerplate version in a day or two.
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« Reply #113 on: January 09, 2017, 11:23:47 am »

Wondering if my AAA membership does anything useful, I came up with the following. Spoiler alert: don't break down in Austria or Switzerland...

Germany?
Services provided to AAA members:

            All members are entitled to roadside assistance and free towing to a garage, if necessary. Members should call 01802 22 22 22 or from mobile phones the short number 22 22 22. When the member travels on the motorway and uses the phone booth along the motorway to call for help, the member will receive help from ADAC.
            Free maps and books at offices — books are in German.

Italy?
Services provided to AAA members:

    Primary Road Assistance:
        If visiting Italy for 90 days or less, AAA members driving private vehicles in Italy are entitled to primary assistance (i.e. on-the-spot repair in case of minor breakdowns or towing to the nearest ACI repair shop) free of charge on presentation of their membership card, in case of breakdown or accident.
            For service call: 803.116 – toll free, if calling from an Italian landline or mobile phone; 800.116.800 – toll free, if calling from a foreign mobile phone; 39.99.43.116 – reserved for deaf people to call for roadside assistance via SMS (charged according to mobile provider’s rates).
            Rental cars are excluded from this benefit, so it is advisable for members to inquire with the rental company as to what to do in case of break down.
            IMPORTANT NOTICE: A national driving license is not sufficient for driving in Italy. Please be sure to apply at your local AAA office for an IDP to go with your national driving license before leaving the United States.
            Foreign members from overseas driving private cars is not a frequent occurrence in Italy. Should AAA members be asked to pay for the above ACI services, the member should send the original invoice and a copy of a valid AAA membership card to the following address for reimbursement:

Automobile Club d’Italia
Foreign Relations Office
via Marsala 8
00185 Roma
Italy

Austria?
Österreichischer Automobil-Motorrad-Und Touring Club (ÖAMTC)*
Address: Schubertring 1-3
1010 Vienne

Web: www.oeamtc.at

*Club participates in the global discounts program. Members of this club are eligible to receive discounts when traveling to other countries.

Switzerland?
Touring Club Suisse (TCS)*
Address: 4 chemin de Blandonnet
B.P. 820
1214 Vernier

Web: www.tcs.ch

*Club participates in the global discounts program. Members of this club are eligible to receive discounts when traveling to other countries.
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« Reply #114 on: January 16, 2017, 09:48:35 pm »

Sigh... Air Canada hasn't figured out this year's rates for Fly Your Bike, and won't have them until mid-April. Geeze, makes it hard to get reservations in, people... GNGH!!!
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« Reply #115 on: January 19, 2017, 09:59:07 pm »

...watching this thread closely! Hoping to fly my LeMans over next year via Air Canada.
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« Reply #116 on: January 19, 2017, 11:35:26 pm »

You can ship out of Vancouver, so there is some hope. OTOH, holding your breath while waiting for the program info is probably not conducive to an extended life expectancy...

Oddly, last year the info was out by mid-March IIRC.  Shrug

Meanwhile, if you haven't done so already, check out Kurviger.de for an excellent route planning site.
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« Reply #117 on: January 23, 2017, 01:51:00 pm »

Not sure why you would welcome all the red tape of shipping a bike when, you could just arrive somewhere in yurup, plunk down yer credit card, and head off on a bike Smile
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« Reply #118 on: January 23, 2017, 05:00:33 pm »

Well, part of it is there is a definite cost advantage over a rental (assuming AC doesn't go nuts), part of it is riding a bike I know well, and part of it is "how cool is this?". Oh, and I get to toss in a ride from Philadelphia to Toronto or Montreal. The slow way back from Montreal offers the White Mountains in NH and VT Rt 100. Woohoo!

On the cost thing, rentals in the R1200RT and K1600GT range are on the pricey side. No surprise. And something smaller, basically some sort of dual-pupose 650-800, just doesn't get it for me. BTDT don't want to do it for two weeks. Some renters are basically nickle and diming on cases, etc. Stefan Knopf just doesn't list anything on my list. I know I'm being picky but, hey, it's my trip. Smile

The Edelweiss trip was on a wethead RT - you've probably read my whining about it elsewhere. 'Nuff said. If I could get in some time on a FJR or ST1300 or Concours here (to get some familiarity), I'd look for them in Germany. But I haven't seen them listed anywhere (odd, that). I do know the K1600 somewhat, and I think it'd do well. NTL I know my bike far better.

And the cool factor is an intangible, but worth some aggro to get there.
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« Reply #119 on: March 29, 2017, 11:38:09 am »

The options are to do a solo ride and arrange my own rental or take an organized trip.


Well RB, you know my position on that, having toured self guided the last 22 years in a row.

I haven't taken a guided tour (never will) but I have had participants send me their GPS routes that I have looked at and man, do they miss out on a lot of great roads that are right there, as in, parallel to the main roads they are taking. You won't find them in any of the more popular Alps Motorcycle Touring books either (I have them). That is the fun part called "exploring" and all you need is a good map to look those up.
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