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Thread: Greetings from Vienna (Austria, Europe)

  1. #1
    Luckies
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    Greetings from Vienna (Austria, Europe)

    Hi all!

    My name is Dave and i live in Vienna (Austria). You may wondering why i've registered. With the next year i want to start collecting money for a journey thru north america. Meanwhile i would be pleased if you could help me planing this trip. Stuff like which places should and which one shouldn't be discovered (because they are boring, dangerous etc).

    But more important to me are the people. How do they live, which job do they have, what do they think ... getting to know them by a beer or something like that (i hope this was the right translation).

    Since 2006 i drive a BMW GS. And it's the best i've ever had. Except my Ducati, but she wasn't the right thing for touring. But with the GS i was more on the streets then in the years before. The early years i visited the countries near to Austria. Then i saw "Long Way Round" and get infected with the virus of long-distance journeys. And here i am.

    And hopefully in the near future on your side of the planet.

    Have a nice day (night?) a best regards from cloudy Vienna!
    Dave

    I hope my english is understandable, please correct me if it's not

  2. #2
    copandengr
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    Welcome Dave

    Dave...I am a recent member of the BMWMOA and do not currently own a BMW, a situation I hope to rectify in a few weeks. While I am new here, I am pleased to be the first to welcome you to this forum. You will find everyone friendly and many have expert knowledge they will freely share. BMW owners here in America (and all over the world I imagine) are the most forthcoming and honest people you will meet. My first experience with that fact was in 1980. I bought and began to restore a 75/5. I called a dealer in Shelbyville, Tennessee (near Nashville) and was astonished at the advice I was given. I ordered several parts at the same time. I asked the owner for the exact amount of money the shipment would cost, since UPS would not take personal checks, and I assumed the parts were being sent cash on delivery. The old man who was the owner replied "I will send them with an invoice and you can send me a check". I was surprised to hear this and told him I had never had a motorcycle dealer trust a stranger like me. The owner replied he had never had a BMW rider cheat him. That is typical of the type of people you will meet on a BMW.

    America is a beautiful country and I'm sure others will tell you of the good places in their particular part of the U.S.A. I live in Marion, Arkansas (20KM from Memphis, Tennessee). I can tell you from personal experience that Eastern Tennessee and Western Arkansas have many beautiful areas and places to visit.

    Contact me via the private message function if you wish at any time. I will gladly assist you with any trip planning or other advice I am qualified to give.

    When you do plan your visit, should you find your route bringing you near Memphis, please let me know. I would welcome a chance to meet you and visit.

    Don't worry about your command of the English language. It is excellent.
    Robin Coleman

  3. #3
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Welcome

    Welcome, Dave. Funny, I am busy trying to find the money to go to Vienna next year. The FIM rally will be held near there in July and I will be attending it. I was at my first FIM rally in Belgium this year.

    Please remember that Canada is part of North America and we have lots of wonderful places to see, things to do and people to welcome you. I would be happy to show you Niagara Falls, and help you meet lots of people between there and Montreal. It is hot here in the summer.

    Your English is much, much better than my German so no apologies needed from you, only from me.

    Holly

  4. #4
    K75 Preservationist k75s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckies View Post
    Hi all!

    My name is Dave and i live in Vienna (Austria). You may wondering why i've registered. With the next year i want to start collecting money for a journey thru north america. Meanwhile i would be pleased if you could help me planing this trip. Stuff like which places should and which one shouldn't be discovered (because they are boring, dangerous etc).

    But more important to me are the people. How do they live, which job do they have, what do they think ... getting to know them by a beer or something like that (i hope this was the right translation).

    Since 2006 i drive a BMW GS. And it's the best i've ever had. Except my Ducati, but she wasn't the right thing for touring. But with the GS i was more on the streets then in the years before. The early years i visited the countries near to Austria. Then i saw "Long Way Round" and get infected with the virus of long-distance journeys. And here i am.

    And hopefully in the near future on your side of the planet.

    Have a nice day (night?) a best regards from cloudy Vienna!
    Dave

    I hope my english is understandable, please correct me if it's not

    If for some unfortunate reason you find yourself traveling across Eastern Kansas, send me a PM. You are welcome to stay with us and/or if you want someone to ride with you for some part of your trip.

    We were in Northern Italy (Lake Como) in early June. I did not have any motorcycle riding planned, but the owner of the hotel we were staying at happened to have a BMW K1100LT which he let me ride for free 1 day. I feel like I need to return some hospitality.

    copandengr is correct. Northern Arkansas has some very good riding, both road and offroad. The Black Hills of South Dakota are very good also. But those are just a start.

    I also recommend this magazine: www.roadrunner.travel
    The publishers are fellow Austrians.
    2014 R1200 GSA (Property taxes & registration: $309), 1992 K75s (Property taxes & registration: $37)

  5. #5
    Luckies
    Guest
    Good Morning!

    Thank you very much for your friendly welcome!!

    I've created a first plan how the journey could looks like. This helps me to find out how many kilometers/miles i would ride and how much time and money it would cost. But i'm sure it will change several times. Google Maps shows me a distance of 10,000 mi (16,200 km). With a daily amount of 300 mi i'll spend more than a month on the bike. With a few days here and there i'll rather calculate 2 month.

    Yesterday i contacted two transportation companies and i'm waiting for their offers. But it looks like that it will cost 1,000 US$ for one way. So the first 2,000 are gone.

    About the next part of the journey, i've absolutly no plan how it works in the USA. All i know is, that there are Motels and Hotels. And of course Camping. What i not know is, if there is also a chance to get a private room. For example, in Croatia you can drive without a plan because you will find everywhere a family which offers a place to sleep or a guesthouse. Maybe you know the signs in front of the houses with "Rooms" or something like that.

    It would be very helpful if you could tell me whats normal in the USA.
    How much do you pay for a night if you're on tour (bed and breakfast i think)?
    And of course how much for a day on the bike (including lunch, drinks and gasoline).

    About eating and drinking, i heared it should be quite the same like in Vienna. I think there are also special prices for a menue at lunchtime. Fine restaurants are not really planned. Only if i get the chance to eat with Bruce Willis, but i don't think this will happen.

    Robin, the area around Memphis sounds really good! As i've seen on the map, there's the Mississippi ahead leading to New Orleans (which i allready wanted to visit). I promise to let you know when i'm near to you.

    Hi Holly!
    Do you mean this FIM-Rally in 2011?? If you do, please let me know if you need information about the area or accommodations.
    The first time i wanted to cross USA from east to west and back through canada from west to east. After i've seen the dimensions i think it's better to explore Canada on another time. But i've planned the east for the way back.

    Hi k75s!
    Thanks for the link! I've already saved it to my favorites and will investigate it later on.
    Northern Italy is one of the best locations for a motorcycle riding! I made this short video near of the Lake Garda (Roveretto). It's one of the most highly frequented streets there but all looks like same, the hole day long. *rrrrrrrrrrrrr*
    Eastern Kansas .. i've noticed that.

    I think i've wrote enough for now.

    Tour Map I hope it works. Please feel free to edit or add places which you think that should visited and send me the link to it.
    Last edited by Luckies; 08-18-2010 at 08:25 AM.

  6. #6
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Hey Lucky,

    I'm envious of your adventure! Four suggestions right off on your route:

    1. Going through New Mexico, the northern half of the state is by far the best riding, and much more to see. Santa Fe & Taos are must do destinations. The northern part of the state is mountians, and the southern part is flat desert with not a lot to see.

    2. From los Angles to San Francisco, I would suggest to stay along the coast!
    This is one of the 10 best roads in the U.S. and not to be missed!

    3. If you were to alter your route to Springfield MO. I would offer you a good meal and some sleep, along with a complete garage & assistance if you should need repairs. Also, Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri (Ozark Mountians) are really great riding too!

    4. In Colorado, from Grand Junction, route yourself through Denver. The mountian passes on this route are splendid!


    Now, on to some of your questions:

    Bed & Breakfast hotels are usually from $60-$120/night. Many Motels offer a "Continental" breakfast which usually includes pancakes, breakfast cerial, milk, coffee (the weak American kind), fruit, toasted bread, sweet rolls, ect.

    There are not many Gusthauses in the U.S. and here they are usually called hostels. Not many people have rooms in their homes for rent anymore.
    Most state campgrounds have bathing facilities and restrooms.

    Fuel is nationally averaging about 2.70/gal right now, so if you are planning 300 miles/day
    I would budget $20.00/day for fuel. It will be slightly different in each state because of individaul state taxes imposed.

    Lunch is going to be $5-7.00 if you stay with sandwiches/hamburgers or the "lunch specials" you mention. these are usually found in smaller restraunts which are owned by individuals, not corperations. Most small towns have several
    privatly owned restraunts which are easy to find (usually in the downtown area)

    People in the U.S. are generally very friendly and happy to help with questions or directions. The exception to this would be in large citys, the same as Europe, however you will still have no trouble finding someone to help. I would suggest that if you find yourself driving into a very poor, impoverished loooking area, leave as soon as possible and don't stop in that area. Crime and roberies are very common in these areas, your common sense will tell you to leave!

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to respond here, or PM.

    460Jetboat
    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  7. #7
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Dave, check out Motorcycle Travel Network. It is a great way to good accomodation with fellow motorcyclists.

    Agreed, the distances are a bit overwhelming in North America and you will certainly be welcome in Canada another time. I have a son in the Denver area if you do go through there. I will send you his contact information closer to the date you will need it.

    Yes, that is the FIM rally and I will definitely be contacting you for local information before I go. Know where I can rent a small bike? I am too small for a modern BMW.

    Holly

  8. #8
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    How much do you pay for a night if you're on tour (bed and breakfast i think)?
    And of course how much for a day on the bike (including lunch, drinks and gasoline).
    Welcome Aboard - if you come to Washington DC I would be happy to give you an insider tour of the city and guide you through some of our great roads in the surrounding area. One thing to remember about the States, I can get on my bike in McLean, Virginia and ride 6 hours at 70mph and still be in Virginia (then again, I could also be in New York City )

    On tour I always pick up the hotel coupon books at rest stops and gas stations, the discounts are better than you will find anywhere. For example, last week I stayed in a $149 a night Holiday Inn with a $49 coupon - same class room, same everything (much to the ire of the fellow behind me at the counter who was paying full price.) The better of the companies who produce these books is online here (http://www.roomsaver.com/) with downloadable coupons - in the rare instance I am without a book I tend to look up the roomsaver hotels on my Blackberry then use the Hotel's free computer to download the coupon.

    One thing - Bed & Breakfasts are a completely different animal in the US than in Canada and Europe. In the US they tend to be historic houses with generally $100+ rates centered around romantic getaways than moto-touring. I stay away from them in the US on moto-tours - then again in Canada I use them quite frequently as they are often literally bedrooms in people's houses with a huge breakfast included.

    Gas generally runs about $3 a gallon - less in rural areas and often a little more in urban areas. On a 200 mile day that will run about $15 a day depending on your bike and riding style. Food, again depends Generally figure on $10 for meals at diners and similar independent restaurants, maybe $15 for dinner (without beers/alcohol, generally $3 to $4 each.) If you want a tour or real America stay away from chain restaurants and hit the diners - usually good, wholesome Americana often highlighting local popular dishes at very reasonable cost. Here are some great Diner websites:
    Diner City (one of the best, now down so you must use the archive version)
    Roadside Online
    Roadside Fans
    AgilityNut's Collection of Americana (all sorts of cool stuff!)
    Diner Hotline Blog
    DinerMan Blog
    As you can guess, I LOVE diners

    If you have a GPS I have a GPX file of all the diners I have been able to collect over the years, most are in New England though.

    You'll also want to budget for things to do and see - I would heartily recommend buying the $80 National Parks pass - it covers the entry fees at all the National Parks as well as National Forests and BLM land. The entry into some parks alone runs $40 or more so it is a great investment - if you visit Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon it will almost pay for itself right there (and you should visit both, it is a truly awe-inspiring experience.)

    Here are some additional excellent trip planning tools if you are interested in seeing the "True America."
    American Byways
    US National Park Service
    and my favorite...
    Roadside America

    Please let us know more as the planning gets underway

    Ted
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  9. #9
    Luckies
    Guest
    Good morning everyone!

    The information you gave me is really a lot and very helpful. Thank you for this!

    Everytime i look on the map, the journey is getting bigger and bigger. For a week ago i thaught about a trip through hungary and romania to the black sea in October. Against this project it looks like a walk through a park.

    At the moment this project will cost more then i've ever done before.
    Maybe that's the point why my wife thinks i'm crazy. But otherwise it would wasting lifetime to be not crazy.

    The next step will be to talk to my boss and take a look on my finances.

    Jetboat, Springfield is already noted.

    Holly, what kind of motorcycle would you prefer?

    Ted, D.C. could be possible and i've noted that.

  10. #10
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    It has to be light with a low seat and a low center of gravity. I really like the Yamaha Virago 250cc but it doesn't do mountains very well. What speeds and elevation changes should I expect? My current bike is a Yamaha V-Star 650, which has the low seat and low center of gravity but is a bit heavy for me.

    BTW, here is my ride report for the Belgian FIM rally.

    Holly

  11. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckies View Post
    I want to start collecting money for a journey thru north america. Meanwhile i would be pleased if you could help me planing this trip.
    Hi Dave,

    I'm sorry I can't help you with the planning part. I ride far more over in Europe than I do over here.

    But I can tell you that distances are far more vast and a month would be too short unless you want to race through it all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luckies View Post
    Best regards from cloudy Vienna!
    If you think it rains a lot in Wien, go to Salzburg.

    These locations should look familiar...



  12. #12
    hi Dave - I agree with Alex above, a month is not enough time.

    i bet you will get enough offers to stay at people's homes to make it possible for you to stay longer.

    looking at your map, you're going to be riding right past our house in North Carolina. your map shows you staying on the expressway and US highways.... so you'll miss a LOT of what the area has to offer. i will fiddle with your map a little and send you a link.

    of course, you are invited to stay at our house, the only trick is that you must ride up a mountainside on a gravel road. if that's an issue, i can ride your bike up for you.

    good luck with your planning... hope i get to meet you on your trip.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '97 F650ST || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e || '07 Xchallenge || '14 Grom

  13. #13
    Luckies
    Guest
    Holly, i may know what you mean and will have an eye on it.

    Alex, of course i know the place you show on the pictures. I was there the last 10 years because it's the most visited area for a motorcycle ride. And of course i know Salzburg (the lakes and mountains). A friend of mine has a flat in St. Johann and we go there often for a week.

    Sorry it was my fault with the month on bike. For me it looks like that it will need a month on the bike (just driving) and another for doing anything else (visiting places and/or relaxing). I really dont have a plan when i will take a break on tour but normaly i stop every 3rd or 4th day (f.e. washing clothes).

    The part about the highways is simple. Google Maps has no option to not use highways. Normaly i prefer nameless streets because they're more interesting then (or to?) others.

    Thanks to remind me on that. There's another thing that would interest me. Is there a software which is helpfull for planning tours in USA? If possible it should also transfer the route to the GPS.

    Visian, thank you very much.

    Have a nice day!

  14. #14
    copandengr
    Join Date
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    Marion, AR
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    Place to stay

    Dave, I looked at my previous post and discovered I did not extend to you the use of my home for lodging. You are, of course, quite welcome here. As I said, I live about 15 minutes from Memphis, Tennessee. I also have a very well equipped shop if needed. I am retired so I am here almost all the time.

    Robin Coleman

  15. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckies View Post
    Is there a software which is helpfull for planning tours in USA? If possible it should also transfer the route to the GPS.
    There is Microsoft Streets & Trips which is the same as Microsoft Autoroute (Europe). Then of course Garmin MapSource.

    But you can't plan anything on software. The software enables one to be guided by a GPS after you enter great routes. To me, planning means looking at a very good map which will help me find the good roads. No GPS would have shown me where all the great back roads are in the Alps (maps did that)...and it won't in the US either...unless someone has already programmed it with great routes.

    Don't get too wrapped up in stuff like Route 66. In my opinion, that would be a waste of time.

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