Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 69

Thread: No tour return to the Alps

  1. #16
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    34 mph (55 k/h) sounds about right depending on the route (lots of road and towns v. adding passes to the mix). I'm going to tweak my routes to give me a better read on total run times for the day. Base Camp already "knows" the rules for autobahns, limited access roads, open roads, and towns. I doesn't know about passes, though. I've got an idea about how to do that. I'll post the results.

    Unfortunately, the original two week plan was shot down, making it one week or nothing. Life is like that.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  2. #17
    Registered User gfspencer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    696
    What a great trip!!!! I still remember the time I crossed the Passo dello Stelvio. I'll never forget it.
    2015 R nineT

  3. #18
    Registered User hellebauer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    46
    Dolomites are fun, off season that is. Early July may not be too bad. Alas, a lighter bike, than the K1600, works wonders there. I love riding my DL650 there, and my R1100GS. ......or anything on 2 wheels ......8 days is a short trip, Americans just don't have enough vacation

    Finger aus der Nase und ran an's Gas!

  4. #19
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    Well, I'll see how early July works out. At this point I'm starting to think "great scenery, mobbed roads". Maybe I'll think differently once I've been there.

    Don't let the K1600 fool you. It's amazing how light it is in turns. And there's a lot to be said for punching it once out of a hairpin.

    Agreed that it's a short trip. Originally I wanted to use Air Canada's "fly your bike" program to get my bike there. The break-even point vs. renting is right around two weeks... Depending on Air Canada's fees this summer. And they won't be out for another month.

    Since my wife's (German) family is heading south with us, and they can only grab a week... there it is.

    Und bitte ich bin kein Nasebohrer!
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  5. #20
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Catlett, VA
    Posts
    128
    Our trip in '10 began on July 1. It wasn't overly crowded as I had been led to believe. And I too had many from this forum tell me a K1300GT would never work in the Alps, it's too big, you'll never be able to smoothly make a corner, etc. I was 2-up and had NO issues. Of course, I wasn't new to a big bike, at the time I owned a K1300GT... Only surprise we had was unseasonably HOT for that time of year. We were wearing T-shirts and shorts under one-piece riding suits and were sweating our butts off.

    Duane
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

  6. #21
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    At the risk of sounding snippy and snide, I sometimes wonder if some of the "Never gonna work" people have a) ever ridden whatever bike they dis, and b) how well they ride.

    Like you with your K1300, I was told the RT was going to be too much work in the hairpins. Not so. IMHO the K1600 handles a little better than the RT. Problem? I see no problem.

    Videos of various passes, particularly the people in front, or the lines around the hairpins, show some serious problems. Lots of "bike leans over, rider stay upright", for example. Just a point where more traction or traction reserve is needed, the bike gets pushed over more than necessary. Answer: rider leaning into the turn keeps the bike a little closer to upright, leaving room for extraction if needed.

    The other major error is the people try to clip the apex and find they're headed for the other side of the road. On a road loaded with traffic coming the other way. Answer: forget clipping the apex, go a bit into the curve before turning, and look at where you want to go, not where you are.

    The worst (or best) example of the "bad line" mistake comes from a video of an HD bagger going up the NE Stelvio road (the one with 48 hairpins). In one turn, things get so out of control he literally curb hops the medial strip and almost drops the bike!
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  7. #22
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    For anyone toying with the idea of an R1200RT or K1600GT, if you have a Garmin bike Zumo like the 660, it drops right into the holder. I used my 660 on a '15 RT without a problem. I just test fitted it to a brand new K1600 without a problem.

    There is a "gotcha", of course. The Garmin GPS won't link to the Canbus, which means the "wonder ring" can't control the GPS. Meh. I had control over the GPS. Aside from tweaking the the zoom level, didn't have to very much with it. Bottom line: the GPS gets power from the bike, and everything on the GPS works as it should.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  8. #23
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Catlett, VA
    Posts
    128
    I've owned a K1600 going on 5 years and have yet to use any of the NAV/Tumble wheel functions. To me, it's the most useless option on a K bike...

    Duane
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

  9. #24
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    While I can't speak to the K1600's "wonder ring" (haven't messed with it on demos and loans), the '15 RT I used last July had it, of course. I agree with your assessment. Both the ring on bikes and the equivalent in BMW cars put the driver's eyes inside the vehicle far too much for far too long. NTSB is coming up with statistics that indicate that in addition to texting, talking on phones, "eyes in the cockpit" is a significant contributing cause for accidents. I think the ring should be included in the "eyes in the cockpit" group.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  10. #25
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    I'm in Germany, and pick up the bike in two days (today's Saturday, 1 July, pickup is Monday, 3 July). Woohoo! or Jodle-jodle-laaay-heee!

    The planned routes, shown above, remain almost the same.

    The forecast is somewhere between disappointing and downright sux. It's unclear how much rain I'll see, but the forecasts have varying chances of rain and T-storms (25-80%).

    The Andermatt loop, including St. Gotthardt Pass' Tremola, will be problematic if it's raining or rained recently (i.e., overnight). The Tremola is paved with cobblestones; no way I'll try that if it's wet. There is a "new road" that avoids the A2 autostrada and its insanely long tunnel. Without that, Nufenpass and others may be lost. Barring snow or a thunderstorm, the rest of the route should be OK.

    Gear change: I've sold all of my two-piece gear and gone to an Aerostich Roadcrafter. Temperatures are expected to range from the 60's to near 90's. The suit has worked well in "all of the above". Additionally, I just gave it a fresh Nikwax re-treatment. And treated my boots and gloves with waterproofing "grease".

    I've changed from the Sena Prism to a GoPro clone: SJCam SJ7 Star. The Prism can't shoot faster than 30 fps at 1080p resolution. The results are a deal-breaker.
    Here's a quick SJ7 demo: https://youtu.be/z23h8PYNU-k
    Here's a sample of the Prism video (with the video rendered at 4K to limit YT compression artifacts): https://youtu.be/W58kSt66qjc
    (can't post multiple videos in one post)

    The SJ7 can shoot 4K video, at 30 fps, but it's a serious battery and SD card burner. Pass.

    I'll start a separate thread for a real RR.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  11. #26
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    I got the bike, this is day 2 on the road. Almost gotten eaten by a bus popping out from a corner (got the video to prove it), spent too much time on the road today (about 9 hours, including effin' road work with stoplights to control one lane roads), and the GPS sent me places I didn't want (dirt farm road). Overall, this is turning into work. But the scenery sure is pretty. To date, I have 87G of video, with more to come. Time, I think, to be more selective about running the camera...

    RR probably won't show up for maybe a month (editing).

    Meanwhile, I'll be happy to answer questions.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  12. #27
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    Photobucket has cut off all of us low grade users from third-party hosting (my picture's on Photobucket, you see it here). I'm now looking for a more honorable host (nothing like changing the rules in the middle of the game to prove one's honesty). Suggestions?
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by RBEmerson View Post
    Photobucket has cut off all of us low grade users from third-party hosting (my picture's on Photobucket, you see it here). I'm now looking for a more honorable host (nothing like changing the rules in the middle of the game to prove one's honesty). Suggestions?
    Smug Mug of course.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #29
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    OK, BTDT

    First, the K1600GT was a very bad idea. On open roads, it was great (ditto for the autobahns). In pass hunting... fahgedaboudit. It's not the steering, that was OK. It wasn't the length, no worries there, either. There is simply no bottom end torque, even in first. It's just not there. Downhill, it was "don't care" (surprise), but uphill, in more than one turn I started sweating bullets that the bike would just stall or otherwise die. I saw other KGT's but only got a chance to talk to one couple: their English was barely passable, I don't speak Russian. The side of the bike had some serious "went down moving" scrape marks.

    Gear: I moved to a Roadcrafter (sold all of my previous gear). The weather varied between cool-ish on some passes, and stinky hot in some valleys. On the hot days, I wish I'd worn shorts under the Roadcrafter. Combat Lite boots, etc. worked.

    Weather: No rain during the day (twice overnight), although an ugly storm "chased" me on the way to and up the Grossglöckner panorama road. I didn't stop anywhere near as long as I wanted to as the storm seemed to be heading up the valley.

    Traffic: Last year the traffic wasn't too bad. This year the traffic was medium to heavy every day. The vacation season started earlier. Coping with the stupid and/or insane was no fun.

    Accomodations: Pension Egg (near Andermatt) is a small hotel back off the main (only?) road through Hospental. The access is over cobblestone, dirt, and cement (on the "front porch" - no other way to go). Cobblestones, according to the wise, is near death when wet. I dodged that bullet. The room was small, but so what, I was only there for rack time. Nice family running the pension. Hospental was close to dead. It's a 10 minute ride to Andermatt, but I found dinner (pensions usually don't do dinner). Oh, the upper half of the main road is also cobblestone paving.

    Hotel Post (Prutz, Austria) was a large, comfortable room. Overlooking the town firehouse (no calls while was there). The location is on the corner of the main road from Landeck to Bolzano (busy!) and the main road through town (not so busy). The ads don't show this. On the up side, the owners were very helpful. There's a locked garage for bikes. It's across the street from the hotel; carting saddle bags and general kit was something of a handful. The dining room is seriously Tyrolean (surprise) and was hot and stuffy (just like the weather outside). There's also terrace seating but, oddly, no reservations - I got there in the gap between afternoon "cafe time" and dinner, and just stayed through dinner. Effective but odd.

    Ansitz Kematen (NE of Bozen/Bolzano) ***** two thumbs up, etc., etc. The location is killer, the place is fascinating, and the service was superb. This was something of a gamble. I had lunch there on the tour but had no idea how the hotel would work. Quite simple, I'd go back in a heartbeat. We made the reservation through Booking.com. The hotel showed us how to cancel that reservation, drop into a "come to see us" offer that was less expensive (not 100% charity, I'm sure - they get rid of the Booking fee, and get more profit out of the stay).

    The hotel in Lofer was... it was there, it was nice, it was "I can't remember the name".

    The passes: I'm working on videos for all of that. Or at least where my camera cooperated. I lost Sattelegg and Ibergeregg passes (nice, twisty rides through fields and woods - no view at the top), and parts of some other places, but La Tremola, Nufen, Grimsel, Susten, Furka, Oberalp passes, got 'em. Silvretta panorama road, check. Stelvio, Umbrail, and Ofen passes, check. Two glacier roads, Timmelsjoch, and Jaufen passes, check. The passes either side of Cortina are recorded but probably won't make the cut - there's no real there there. They're all just parking lots on a mildly winding road. Grossglöckner, check.

    Here's the one video posted so far - don't let the calm opening fool you - there's one spot where I almost cashed it in permanently. And there's an amusing (slight understatement) phone call. Plus some really pretty scenery.


    GPS comments: The Garmin Zumo 660 will drop into the Nav V or IV mount. The wonder wheel won't talk to it or vice versa. Meh - no loss IMHO. Navigating with it was worse than I've ever seen before, using it in the US or in a car in Europe. I have no idea what was happening, but it would say "turn left" where the only choice was "turn right". On a pass road, where a little hiking trail hit the road, I was told to stay one the road. When I came to a real intersection... crickets. It refused to find Airolo, the town right at the end of La Termola. Overall - FAIL!!

    Summary: BTS was OK to work with but the place (tucked into a corner of the BMW Motorrad Zentrum (center)) was chaotic. It's on the northern edge of Munich - pick up the bike and jump right into city traffic on a strange bike.

    The K1600GT was loaded with all the neat toys on a '17 bike (reverse option present but locked out - it seems to break transmissions if used incorrectly), the bike ran well. But, as I said above, this is simply not a pass hunter. Maybe another RT (last year's RT was a freaking nightmare to keep the motor and tranny working) would have been a better call. In a perfect world, I'd rather have my '03 K1200RS (power as soon as the throttle opens). Going outside of BMW bikes just doesn't seem to be happening.

    Would I do the trip again? Not on that bike. Riding alone was fine. The weather was good. Nothing broke. The hotels all remembered my reservation, etc. Passes with insane traffic are somewhere between frustrating and scary.


    BTW, La Tremola:

    'Nuff said.

    Would I do it again (asked again, I know)? I'm Alped out. With a different bike, in late May or June or September, I'd probably think differently. For now, though, BTDT, checked the box.

    - - - - -

    If you want to see what other videos are posted on YouTube, follow my channel.


    P.S. I know... RR's are supposed to have tons of photos and lots of "and then I/we did... yada, yada, yada". This time around, I'll let the videos do the talking.
    Last edited by RBEmerson; 08-08-2017 at 03:04 AM. Reason: Revised video link to 4K video
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  15. #30
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    576
    The Dolomites. So many guides are utterly breathless about the superior riding in fabulous scenery. The mountains are indeed unlike anything else I've ever seen. They don't look like the rest of the Alps. They're literally something else. But, as I said, the passes I saw were disappointing. I stopped at one, took some photos (the backdrop for the Sidestand Production title card was taken at this stop), and moved on. I didn't even feel a need to stop at any of the others. What I saw of Cortina d'Ampezzo lacked any charm or appeal. I guess if you're part of the glitterati it has something going for it. Andermatt, by comparison, has some character and a weird cobblestone main street. At least it's memorable. Cortina? One more large town on a road I was on. [/yawn]
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •