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Topic: Touring by Motorcycle in Europe  (Read 3318 times)

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rajflyboy
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« on: January 31, 2017, 08:39:23 pm »

Quick question:

When people go and tour Europe by motorcycle where and how do you acquire a motorcycle?   Rent,  package deal? Ship your own over?

How do most people do it ?
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 06:08:21 am »

"Most people" is pretty hard to pin down. It really depends on what you want / can afford.

If you have all the money in the world (or strange "cool-factor" needs like some people on this site  Razz ) then ship your bike. This is economical if your trip is longer than the average, or you need something specific on your bike (like BMW-K rigs up his bike with a second battery to run a medical device).

Want to be babysat and put almost zero thought into your trip? Go with a tour. They give you a bike and then you just follow them around for the rest of the trip

But what I think that most people (on this site, at least) would do is to fly over, rent a bike and explore for a week before going home.
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 12:43:33 pm »

Shipping your bike may NOT be as expensive as you think. In Canada, Air Canada now has a program where you ship your bike on the same flight as you take to your destination.Europe for about 900.00 CDN. Tierra Del Fuego for 850.00 CBN, etc. See http://canadamotoguide.com/2015/03/03/air-canadas-new-motorcycle-cargo-options/. All you have to do is prep and palletize your bike, present it for loading between 24 and 6 hours before the flight, and have a ticket on the same flight. Unload, uncrate, fuel up and ride away on your dream vacay.

Air Canada's info sheet https://www.aircanada.com/cargo/shared/documents/ACC381_Procedure_QA_Moto_ENG_062015.pdf.

I would not be surprised if some US carriers are also running similar programs.

When you compare it to the cost of renting a bie for a 2 week trip, it is likely not much more expensive.
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 03:22:18 pm »


Shipping your bike may NOT be as expensive as you think. In Canada, Air Canada now has a program where you ship your bike on the same flight as you take to your destination.Europe for about 900.00 CDN. Tierra Del Fuego for 850.00 CBN, etc. See http://canadamotoguide.com/2015/03/03/air-canadas-new-motorcycle-cargo-options/. All you have to do is prep and palletize your bike, present it for loading between 24 and 6 hours before the flight, and have a ticket on the same flight. Unload, uncrate, fuel up and ride away on your dream vacay.

Air Canada's info sheet https://www.aircanada.com/cargo/shared/documents/ACC381_Procedure_QA_Moto_ENG_062015.pdf.

I would not be surprised if some US carriers are also running similar programs.

When you compare it to the cost of renting a bie for a 2 week trip, it is likely not much more expensive.


Good to know.  Bigok
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 05:56:36 pm »

The 2 times I have done it I utilized a tour company. However, there were days that a couple of us broke off from the group and picked our own way knowing that a hotel and dinner were waiting for us that evening at a predetermined location.. Having a guide isn't always a bad thing, in Italy, our guide took us on some unmarked out of the way fantastic roads that we would have never found, he had grown up riding in the area.
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 07:26:24 pm »

Just guessing I would think a tour would be good especially if you are not familiar with the location
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 03:51:41 pm »


"Most people" is pretty hard to pin down. It really depends on what you want / can afford.

If you have all the money in the world (or strange "cool-factor" needs like some people on this site  Razz ) then ship your bike. This is economical if your trip is longer than the average, or you need something specific on your bike (like BMW-K rigs up his bike with a second battery to run a medical device).

Want to be babysat and put almost zero thought into your trip? Go with a tour. They give you a bike and then you just follow them around for the rest of the trip

But what I think that most people (on this site, at least) would do is to fly over, rent a bike and explore for a week before going home.


Third option is what I'm interested in.  Was hoping for this fall but now looking like next year.  Munich to Prague to Krakow to Budapest to Vienna to Munich.  Anybody have any insights?  Places to check out, roads to use, trip helpful hints?
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 04:07:01 pm »

I've rented bikes in Germany and Italy with no problems. Prices and policies (some companies will not allow bikes to go to the Eastern, former Soviet, countries) vary widely so the internet is your friend.
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 07:28:36 pm »

Search trip reports here by Daniel Kalal.  DK is an experienced pro at traveling Europe, and many other places, by motorcycle.  He usually rents a Guzzi in Italy and starts from there.  Warning, be prepared to spend hours of enjoyment with his photography and commentary.
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2017, 03:34:30 am »




Third option is what I'm interested in.  Was hoping for this fall but now looking like next year.  Munich to Prague to Krakow to Budapest to Vienna to Munich.  Anybody have any insights?  Places to check out, roads to use, trip helpful hints?


I do have some questions. How long are you planning on going and is this a city trip, where you just happen to travel on a motorcycle, or a motorcycle trip where you happen to visit a few cities?
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2017, 06:50:24 am »

Head for the Alps

Head to o Switzerland

 Thumbsup
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 01:45:43 pm »



I do have some questions. How long are you planning on going and is this a city trip, where you just happen to travel on a motorcycle, or a motorcycle trip where you happen to visit a few cities?


So the plan is to take about 14 days.  Each leg of trip is between 250-350 miles.  It is a city trip but want a loose format so I can wonder and check other things out along the way.  And try to stay off major highways unless I need to make up some time.
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 07:12:29 pm »




So the plan is to take about 14 days.  Each leg of trip is between 250-350 miles.  It is a city trip but want a loose format so I can wonder and check other things out along the way.  And try to stay off major highways unless I need to make up some time.


Gotta hit one of the unlimited speed limit sections of highway.   Bigsmile
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2017, 11:55:58 pm »


Third option is what I'm interested in.  Was hoping for this fall but now looking like next year.  Munich to Prague to Krakow to Budapest to Vienna to Munich.  Anybody have any insights?  Places to check out, roads to use, trip helpful hints?


That's certainly possible to do, but, honestly, that's a train trip or a car trip.

Kindly meant: I assume you haven't been to Europe before, or at least haven't done any significant traveling there. What you're proposing is sort of like driving from New York to San Fransisco with a couple of stops along the way.

Fall... it has its attractions in terms of travel. Peak vacation time in Europe is some time in early July through August. September forward, the crowds are back in school or work. But... the weather becomes more changeable. Snow in the passes isn't unheard of (but that can be true, in the higher passes, any time). Some passes close their roads for the winter in October or November, but the latter part of September is getting late in the season. Ditto for heading north into Scandinavia. Something that surprises most Americans is that the days, in the fall, are appreciably shorter unless you're from the northernmost tier of the US. You're further north. This isn't good or bad, but something to keep in mind when planning.

What sort of riding do you want to do? If it's pretty much cruising, there are plenty of options. How about following the Rhine and taking side trips. If you're a wine fan, there are some very tasty stops along the way. Or cruise the wine districts in France. Want to stay warmer? Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey are all options. If you want to get into the twisties but don't want the Alps, in Germany there are several areas that can keep you busy but still not too far from "civilization" - Hartz Mountains, Eifel Mountans, Odenwald, Black Forest, and more. And, of course, there are the Alps. They run from Eastern Europe (and friend is very big on Slovenia) through to Spain (ever hear of the country "Andorra"?).  If "My Year in Provence" caught your attention, get French Alps and Provence, too. Keep heading east and there's Switzerland, Italy, Austria. Tired of pass-hunting, there are any number of valleys with their own appeal. Of all the European riding, the Alps is probably the most demanding (you haven't seen hairpin turns until you've been there) riding, but IMHO the most satisfying riding to be had.
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2017, 12:20:29 am »

Tours... My own experience was ...um... not good. It's a crap shoot for the people in the group, tour execution, and so on. That said, it does offer the option of a trip without having to worry about rental, accommodations, and finding your way around. If you're really not good with group riding, depending on the operator, you're either going to be in a group or handed a map, some route info, and where to find your next hotel. Since you'll pay for the guide, DIY rides are not always the best value for money.

Most tours tend to go for higher end hotels with a ton of amenities. Which, if you're not too knackered at the end of the day, you might use. NTL you're paying for it. Tours don't come cheap. You're paying for the bike, the guide(s), the hotels (probably with breakfast and dinner), and overhead. You're still buying your own coffee stops, lunches, gas, tolls, and probably more. And, of course, the tours go when they go, not when you want to go. Rain, shine, high water, snow... you're going.

In general, the business of riding in Europe is pretty much like the States. There are some significant changes in traffic laws, national speed limits vary with each country, some countries require a paid sticker to use their limited access highways - Switzerland, Austria, Italy come to mind. (To possibly pop a bubble, the German autobahn system is not one big no speed limit race track. Yes, there are no limit areas, but there are a lot of limited areas, too) Get this sorted out in your head, and you'll be fine.  
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