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Thread: No tour return to the Alps

  1. #31
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you were disappointed in the Dolomites region. We spent 6 of 13 days in Arabba in '10 and it was the highlight of our trip. Different strokes for different folks...

    Duane
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  2. #32
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    I was prepared to like the Dolomite region. As I said, the mountains are very unique. They remind me of the fantastic backgrounds that Da Vinci used in paintings like the Mona Lisa. But the reality just didn't come close to the expectations. I did spend some time at the actual pass for Passo di Valparola. The views were striking.

    For example, Passo di Gardena was mostly a "checked that box". Tre Croci, ditto, Falzarego, ditto. I've already commented on Cortina. I'd thought about staying in Misurna. Riding past the lake, I was glad I didn't (mobbed and not really much there there). Maybe if I had time to ride through some more of the area, I'd have thought differently. Perhaps if I'd been there at least of a couple of weeks earlier, or in September, I'd think differently.
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  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by RBEmerson View Post
    . Maybe if I had time to ride through some more of the area, I'd have thought differently. Perhaps if I'd been there at least of a couple of weeks earlier, or in September, I'd think differently.
    Perhaps if you had been riding a bike more to your liking in the tight stuff the entire trip would have been more fun? There are lots of places on this earth where smaller bikes are best suited.
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  4. #34
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Yes and no. I didn't see size, per se, to be a liability. When I get out the video of Nufenpass, for example, the bikes range from scooters to baggers and huge trikes (half car/half bike). What was a liability was the motor's lack of bottom end. Short of track tires and faith in "God looks out for drunks and fools", hairpins are going to be in the 15-20-ish mph range. This is loosely in "parking lot country", where the bike is at its worst.

    Based on the handling of the RT I rode last year, I assumed the KGT would do at least as well, but that lack of bottom... Enough.

    I am convinced that, when the weather turns ugly, a naked bike (e.g., GS) is a quick trip to misery. A fairing won't stop everything, of course, but it will take the edge off, which is worth a lot.

    In descending order of what I'd like to ride were I able to do the trip over: my K1200RS, FJR/Concours/ST1300, RT, KGT. I've been in the nasty wet (for example, non-stop rain, I-95, Maryland to South Carolina) on my KRS. The Concours, etc. are more nimble but still offering some shelter. I've griped enough about the RT elsewhere.

    So, nice idea that didn't pan out, and that took some of the shine off. NTL, I'm glad I had the ride.
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  5. #35
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Again, different strokes for different folks, I ride a K1600GT and find the torque to be unbelievable. Maybe you should have used a bit more rpms, it's tops in its class for power, bar none for a sport tourer.

    Duane
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

  6. #36
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    If I could have gotten the revs, life would have been much happier. Rounding hairpins in 1st, the revs just weren't there.

    I've just started work on my first pass video from the trip: St. Gotthard Pass' La Tremola road. See the still frame, captured from that video, that I posted here. The hairpins in this picture are packed pretty tight, but there are other roads with tighter hairpins - but not as many with them packed together like that. High speed (and high revs) are hard to come by in that setting. At least for me. And that's what counts. [/smile]
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  7. #37
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Speaking of St. Gotthard Pass...
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  8. #38
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    While I'm being impressed with myself, have a look at Nufenenpass. Basically turn right at the bottom St Gotthard Pass and follow the signs to Passo della Novena AKA Nufenenpass.

    YouTube has fully processed this video; it's available in 4K.

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  9. #39
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Woohoo! YouTube finished processing Grimselpass; it's available at 4K, too.
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  10. #40
    Registered User hellebauer's Avatar
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    Great quality video , is it a Gopro?

    Wrong bike though, so you ran various hairpins wide. Not a healthy proposition there.
    I love riding my 650 Vstrom there. That bike was named King of the Alps by the biggest German motorcycle magazine for good reason.

  11. #41
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    The camera is an SJCam SJ7 Star. It's the same size as the GP's and accepts, aside from the case, much of the GP "session gear". I shot in 1080p mostly because it let me use a chip a day. 4K would have left me changing chips far too often. As it is one SD, two 50,000 mAh battery packs, and I can shoot non-stop for a day. I turned off the camera for lunch, but that's about it. I lost day #1, from Munich to Mittenwald, and Sustenpass - both because I missed that the battery cable had loosened up. A poor connections shuts the camera down. Grrrrrr...

    Agreed the K1600GT was just flat the wrong bike for the hairpins. The lines, though, aren't the bike's fault. There was almost nobody else going in either direction. Literally, the number of cows I saw far exceeded the number of people I saw. So I grabbed the easy line. Why not? [/grin]

    Nufenenpass was busier, Grimselpass (in either direction) and Sustenpass, too. But the roads were wide enough to take almost any line. Furkapass... going up, from Grimselpass, was more easy riding. Coming down, towards Andermatt, not so much.

    My basic strategy is to delay the turn a bit (good look into what's coming) before rolling in, typically at steering or the grey area between steering and counter-steering speed. I try to put my weight on the outside of the turn, putting the bike on the side of the tread. If all goes well, the turn almost makes itself happen. Which isn't to say I didn't always get it right. Oh my no.

    Unfortunately, as the week went on, I just didn't feel as crisp as I did at the start. A lot of it was dealing with a bike that was in a place it shouldn't have been. The biggest problem was not getting anything like the rev.s I wanted, even in first. Some people disagree, but at least the KGT I was on had no guts below 2000-2500. It was a '17 with not a lot of miles/km on it (a couple thousand miles???). It should have been loosened up some. I pulled a couple of passes where it was basically "hang on tight" and I'd wind up in the 80-90 mph range, so the motor could run. In the hairpins, it just was not ready.
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  12. #42
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    The "wide line" comment left me curious about what was happening in my turns.

    At the moment I'm uploading a new Grimselpass video, this time riding north to south (*). Dipping into the video, take a look at about 12:00 and forward. The turns start, as planned, at the outside of the entry and move into the inside. If anything, the exits are a touch on the tight side. This strategy leaves the option to open out the turn if a bus, camper, car, bike, bicycle is coming up the middle of the road.

    Agreed that things can get very weird in turns. I have some video of cars, well over the middle, descending the Silvretta road. It was an "old timer" car rally, with some truly impressive cars in the line. Why someone would get in the middle, to get their precious front ends bashed in, escapes me. I haven't checked the video to see if a very, very emphatic "move the **** into your lane" pointing shows up. Somewhere else I have video of a bike coming at me that looked like he'd pass me on the right!!! Bicycles, campers, and panicked drivers (great fun to see one stop in mid-turn and pile up traffic in front and behind <- great sarcasm)... they all add to the challenge.



    (*) The lost Sustenpass video shows a U-turn at the top of the pass. Continuing east leads to the Wassen, a town on Federal route 2. Going south from Wassen, at Teufelsbrücke, there is a major road project, not scheduled to end until 2019. It is the traffic nightmare from hell. There are several traffic lights to manage one lane stretches. Each light is marked "Delays up to 15 minutes are possible". They lied. DAMHIK

    I turned around and went west, back to Innertkirchen, turned left, and rode over Grimselpass a second time.

    So now you know... [/smile]
    Last edited by RBEmerson; 08-28-2017 at 02:31 AM.
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  13. #43
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Furkapass! This pass wraps up a good day for me. The weather held up, the traffic wasn't a problem. Well, excepting the mess near Teufelsbrücke that forced me to do a U-turn at Sustenpass. And the camera let me down there. I even had a chance to pretend I was "Bond. James Bond." chasing Goldfinger through Furkapass. Woohoo!

    The people who ran the pension I was staying at (Pension Egg, Hospental - recommended) said even they're not particularly happy about having to drive through the pass. The road on the Canton Uri side really isn't very wide. There are, fortunately, a number of places to pull over and let oncoming big vehicles, buses, trucks, and campers, by. As demonstrated here. Meeting buses here was less traumatic than that pesky Austrian Post bus.


    (Yes, I was pushing my luck passing that truck)
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  14. #44
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    James Bond and Furkapass. Great road, eh?
    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

  15. #45
    Kein Nasebohrer RBEmerson's Avatar
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    Here's Oberalppass. I didn't include video of the valley beyond Tschamut, but it was glorious riding with sweeper turns, little traffic, and lots of scenery.

    True confession time: I became well acquainted with the Andermatt side of the pass road. Once again my GPS ...um... stepped on its necktie. I was short on gas, and didn't want to gamble on finding gas soon after coming down the pass. I punched the "find the nearest gas station" button. I got directions to the rather tired looking garage on the right, just before hitting the cobblestone road. No gas there. No pumps there I rode through town and didn't see anything (I know the video says otherwise). I wound up on the Oberalppass road (short on gas and climbing a hill - how smart is that?). Turning around was problematic (K1600GT's low speed manners in tight spots is... I've seen better, much better), so I rode to the top, took some pictures and went back down. I finally found an automat-style pump near Hospental and... back up the Oberalppass road. And right over the top and down the other side.

    NOTE: If the video space is grey, or the images are fuzzy, YouTube is still processing the video. Check back later for the crisp 4K version.

    Some people are wise. Some people are otherwise.

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