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Swiss Alps - Unbelievably PERFECT


K12GT_Steve

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"More if anyone is interested! "

 

That may be the dumbest thing I have read ever...

 

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

 

These are ever so glorious!

 

Kaisr thumbsup.gif

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs
"More if anyone is interested! "

 

That may be the dumbest thing I have read ever...

 

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

 

These are ever so glorious! thumbsup.gif

Good gawd Maude! More please! smile.gif

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K12GT_Steve

Some friends came in for a conference and twisted my arm to arrange a 4 day maximum Alps tour. Andermatt Ch is the bikers heaven for achieving the maximum number of passes in the shortest of time. We did 1K in the time that they weree here. All were lifetime riders but not experienced in negotiating the ultimate in precision riding. You can negotiate almost anything with a medium skill level but under the pressure of a logging truck on your heals and not knowing how sharp the upcoming corner is - you require a different level of skill. Don't get me wrong - you will not be run over if you do not keep up the the "accepted" speed. But, you will feel like you are an underachiever.

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K12GT_Steve

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The fog coming off of the glature made this a hard photo to take. The rushing water over the tunnel was an unbelievable feeling - the whole area was vibrating. Shivers!

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K12GT_Steve

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This is a pic of Andermatt. In the distance is the entrance to Furka pass - the second highest pass in all of Europe. Watch for cows and the occasional bus - yes bus! How the drivers sit up so tall and see that they are not putting a tire over the edge is a mystery to me. On the hairpins they cut off the entire road.

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Hi Steve,

I have done this great curves two years ago tongue.gif.

 

How about a little Unrally in Stuttgart?

I'm comingsoon. I'm leaving SF July20th to go back home to Germany. Unfortunatelly my GS 850 needs 8 weeks to come home confused.gif. I don't know how to survive.

SInce this morning I know where I will live for the next 8 month. The name of the town is Mergelstetten, very close to Heidenheim. And what I know for sure, thats a nice bike area clap.gif

 

Christiane

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K12GT_Steve

79306773-M.jpg

 

About 2 miles from this beautiful castle we stopped for lunch. They love motorcycles in Lichtenstein.!

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K12GT_Steve

This happened about 20 minutes before we arrived at this part of the pass. We heard the straining of the engine but could not place it.

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Luckily both the pilot and passenger survived.

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K12GT_Steve

79306771-M.jpg

The "up slope" was over 40 degrees. You can not see it from here... 1st gear is always required for turns up this high. Fuel injection prevented vapor lock that some of the lessor motorcycles had problems with. 7.1K is a problem!

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Francois_Dumas
All were lifetime riders but not experienced in negotiating the ultimate in precision riding. You can negotiate almost anything with a medium skill level but under the pressure of a logging truck on your heals and not knowing how sharp the upcoming corner is - you require a different level of skill. Don't get me wrong - you will not be run over if you do not keep up the the "accepted" speed. But, you will feel like you are an underachiever.

 

I am more and more learning that to be true...... something I did not realize before, having been driving those roads for over 40 years now. I guess you can't really 'learn' it in many other places in the world (at least not where motorcycling is a hobby).... smirk.gif

 

Nice photos Steve and yes, Switzerland is one of the nicer countries to ride those pass roads, if for nothing else but the clean environment and beautiful 'model railway' lay-out of the country. My favorite country still, but it has some drawbacks.. like not being in the EU, expensive hotels, unfriendly immigration laws for EU (and other) civilians..... and now with the banking secret shot to pieces.. WHO needs them any longer !!?? grin.gifgrin.gif

 

Just a slight correction (after all this IS my specialty <grin>..... the Furka is certainly one of the higher roads in Europe, but NOT #2 on that list.... :

 

Cime de la Bonette : 2802 m

Oetztaler Gletscherstrasse: 2802 m

Col de l'Iseran: 2770 m

Stilfser Joch : 2757 m

Kaunertaler Gletscherstrasse 2750 m

Col de la Bonette 2715 m

Col du Galibier 2646 m

Gavia pass 2621 m

Grossglockner Alpenstrasse 2578 m

Umbrail pass 2503 m

Nuefenenpass 2478 m

Big St Bernard 2469 m

 

Furkapass 2346 m

 

So you'll have to orgnize some more tours !!! thumbsup.gif

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K12GT_Steve

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Francoir,

 

Thanks for the correction! After all these years we will have to drag Marty out here and notch off some of those top passes! France seems to let anyone in and out (and the food is better) -- TOR!?

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K12GT_Steve

Christiane,

 

Let me know your ride plans. I live in Heimsheim - to the west of Stuttgart and the entrance to the Black Forest. PM me and I'll pass my contact info!

 

Tchuess!

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Francois_Dumas

LOL !! And I managed to mess up the order of the numbers in my message... leave it to me !! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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bart_vanreeth

I love the alps, been riding there for 30 years... but my opinion is : if you have done one hairpin, you have done them all....... taking 25 hairpins one after each other in 1st gear is no excitement for me. Don't understand what people see in it, of course the scenery is beautiful ! I like the faster curves a lot more

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Francois_Dumas

The hairpins are what gets you UP ! For me THAT is the attraction.. getting deeper into the mountain world and higher up.... beats any Mont Blanc tunnel ! grin.gifclap.gif

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Global_Rider
79306772-M.jpg

The rushing water over the tunnel was an unbelievable feeling - the whole area was vibrating. Shivers!

 

And when going through that tunnel, did you look through the hole in the side of it to see the back side of the falls?

 

If you think the Andermatt area is great, wait till you try the rest of the Alps.

 

And if you haven't tried Corsica, you're in for a great riding experience. I just got back from there. Simply incredible riding and views.

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K12GT_Steve

Alex,

 

I did miss the experience of looking out the back side of the falls. We were running through the area at about 10pm and the sun was almost gone. I was worried about the inexperienced riders of the group riding the hairpins in the dark on unfamilar bikes.

I do belive that Andermatt is the area of the Swiss Alps that you can achieve the maximum Alps experience in the shortest amount of time that I have found. I am more than open for suggestions for next years trip. I'd appreciate the use of your experience! I have been thinking about the French Alpen area (yes not really the Alps) - thoughts? 4 day max from the Stuttgart area.

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Paul Mihalka
French Alps not 'really' the Alps !!?? dopeslap.gif
I wonder what country Chamonix and Mont Blanc is in? grin.gif
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K12GT_Steve

Opps! I guess I should be more careful here! The watchdogs are out in force! I was thinking about the Alsace area that we could easily reach in a four day tour. Sothern France is DEFINATLY alpen territory but a difficult area to reach for maximixing a four day trip from Stuttgart. I ask forgiviness from my fellow alpen jocks! blush.gifthumbsup.gif

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Francois_Dumas

grin.gifgrin.gif No worries, no watchdogs. But the French Alps are my second home.... you can easily reach them through Switzerland in half a day's riding (slabbing).

 

Say, Stuttgart - Annecy is about 550 km's. If you have a good seat, you can go even further south to Albertville, Bourg St. Maurice or Chambery.

From there you can 'do' at least 2 grand Alps rides which will take you higher than any Swiss pass and show you a much wilder environment than the neatly cultivated Alps in Switzerland and Austria.

That leaves you with another day to return to Stuttgart.

 

If you plan it right you can cover a LOT of mountain roads in those 2-3 days.....

 

Kind regards,

François

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Paul Mihalka

No problem, just joking. OTOH, whenever I read/hear "Alsace", "Choucrout Garnie" comes to my mind grin.gif

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K12GT_Steve

Francois,

 

I have little problem reaching those distances but the tenderbutts from the US want twisties and 4 star hotels as soon as they get off the plane.

 

Damm Americans!

 

Oh yeah - I like those thing too!

 

Thanks for the tips - perhaps we can have our own unrally here in Europe. I believe that we have a little bit of interest!

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Global_Rider
Alex,

 

I did miss the experience of looking out the back side of the falls. We were running through the area at about 10pm and the sun was almost gone. I was worried about the inexperienced riders of the group riding the hairpins in the dark on unfamilar bikes.

 

Inexperienced riders on unfamiliar bikes? Why, are you running tours or touring with North Americans used to Interstate touring?

 

I do belive that Andermatt is the area of the Swiss Alps that you can achieve the maximum Alps experience in the shortest amount of time that I have found. I am more than open for suggestions for next years trip. I have been thinking about the French Alpen area (yes not really the Alps) - thoughts? 4 day max from the Stuttgart area.

 

Well the Andermatt area is nice and has easy to naviagate passes compared to some others, but they are in Switzerland and like France, in the land of the unnecessarily expensive. I don't know why everything has to cost more in those countries. I just came from Corsica (part of France) and sure enough most things were almost double the price as I found in France the last time I was there.

 

4 days ride from Stuttgart? Easy! Ride down to the Dolomites, the area with the highest concentration of passes per kilometer driven. An easy ride from Stuttgart; I just drove back from Rovereto (south of Bolzano and Trento) to Hockenheim (near Heidelberg) in one day, which is twice that.

 

Cripes, if I lived in Stuttgart, I'd be in the Alps every weekend. Lucky you! I'll be getting my dual citizenship soon...any jobs at Mercedes Benz or Porsche? wave.gif

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Global_Rider
French Alps not 'really' the Alps !!?? dopeslap.gif

 

Well as far as touring companies go, I guess. You don't see many, if any, tours conducted there. I wonder why?

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Global_Rider

Having just completed my 6 week tour in the Alps and Corsica and having just changed all the lubes and oil filter on my GS Adventure, I was happy to note that there was absolutely no metal shavings or filings on the magnetic drain plug of the rear drive unit. That Dow Corning additive seems to help.

 

Also my 2004 GS Adventure seems to have been blessed from the start. No oil consumption to speak of; a half liter in tough very hot conditions.

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Francois_Dumas
French Alps not 'really' the Alps !!?? dopeslap.gif

 

Well as far as touring companies go, I guess. You don't see many, if any, tours conducted there. I wonder why?

 

Because many people are afraid of the language I suppose.. and of the French (unknown = scary) grin.gif

 

I am working on changing that wink.gif

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Francois_Dumas
Francois,

 

I have little problem reaching those distances but the tenderbutts from the US want twisties and 4 star hotels as soon as they get off the plane.

 

Damm Americans!

 

 

Yup, I just discovered that too this year smirk.gifsmirk.gif

 

That can be done.. they'll just have to fly to another airport..... like Annecy, Chambery, Geneva even....

 

And it is also a matter of managing expectations.. and above all, knowing what skills are present (or NOT, as it may be).

 

If you need more info, let me know, I'd be happy to help.

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Global_Rider
Because many people are afraid of the language I suppose.. and of the French (unknown = scary) grin.gif

 

I am working on changing that wink.gif

 

They have to work on pricing and guest friendliness. I found France to be the least "friendly" of all countries I've toured in, even if you speak French. Austria I found to be the most guest friendly and also the cheapest.

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Global_Rider
I have little problem reaching those distances but the tenderbutts from the US want twisties and 4 star hotels as soon as they get off the plane.

 

As if they have anything remotely as good as the Alps at their doorstep. I guess if I started a touring company (Hmmmm), I'd operate out of Süd Tirol and have them fly into Innsbruck...but then they'd complain of an extra air transfer.

 

And what is it with this 4 star thing? I'm there to ride. Once the lights are out at days end, how many stars hardly make a difference.

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Francois_Dumas
Because many people are afraid of the language I suppose.. and of the French (unknown = scary) grin.gif

 

I am working on changing that wink.gif

 

They have to work on pricing and guest friendliness. I found France to be the least "friendly" of all countries I've toured in, even if you speak French. Austria I found to be the most guest friendly and also the cheapest.

 

France is expensive, I agree, but not much individuals can change about that.....

 

As for the friendliness, that's a perception. I used to think the same, and did not start visiting France (like most of my fellow-countrymen did for ages) until 1992 or so. I was (and am) a Switzerland fan, having spent more than 20 summers there !

 

Since then I learned two things;

1. much of it depends on your own attitude and ability to 'think' French... i.e. 'adapt'

2. it pretty much depends on WHERE you are in France. Any major city... forget it. Any major OLD tourist place, forget it. I hate Paris and the Riviera.

 

But I now know great people in many places and the folks in the Savoie and Haute Savoie are really friendly. Same for Normandy.

 

One thing that interferes with 'our' ideas about sound tourism are some local habits;

- shops (and everything else) close from noon till late afternoon ... yikes !!

- most places are deserted in summer except for July/August ! Stupid !!

- life in France is expensive.... for foreigners. They seem to cope pretty well themselves (since my French colleagues had salaries more than double mine, that doesn't surprise me).

- the language DOES pose a problem in many cases.

 

YMMV,

 

François

(and no, I am not (yet) French.... grin.gif ).

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France is expensive ...

Compared to where? Not the UK, that's for sure. Goods and services tend to be priced according to what they cost to provide -- not so many 'free' things here -- but I like that honesty.

 

As for the friendliness, that's a perception.

[snip]

 

1. much of it depends on your own attitude and ability to 'think' French... i.e. 'adapt'

2. it pretty much depends on WHERE you are in France. Any major city... forget it. Any major OLD tourist place, forget it. I hate Paris and the Riviera.

Oh, how true! France is rather a unique country in many respects, certainly in a cultural sense. Every foreigner will think about how it's 'not like this at home'.

 

I found the best way to tackle the Riviera is not to take it personally -- just act the paysan and let the attitude roll right over you. (Hey, you'll probably never see that person again, anyway!) Away from the far south, I've never had a problem, but then I keep them smiling with my French.

 

Sorry, we've shifted somewhat from the Swiss Alps.

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K12GT_Steve

Inexperienced riders on unfamiliar bikes? Why, are you running tours or touring with North Americans used to Interstate touring?

 

There were all lifelong riders just not experienced in European mountain riding. Everyone has to start somewhere - it all worked out fine. I just rode a little slower and more cautiously to ensure there were no problems. At one point we even stopped to take a nap!

 

I do belive that Andermatt is the area of the Swiss Alps that you can achieve the maximum Alps experience in the shortest amount of time that I have found. I am more than open for suggestions for next years trip. I have been thinking about the French Alpen area (yes not really the Alps) - thoughts? 4 day max from the Stuttgart area.

 

Well the Andermatt area is nice and has easy to naviagate passes compared to some others, but they are in Switzerland and like France, in the land of the unnecessarily expensive. I don't know why everything has to cost more in those countries. I just came from Corsica (part of France) and sure enough most things were almost double the price as I found in France the last time I was there.

 

4 days ride from Stuttgart? Easy! Ride down to the Dolomites, the area with the highest concentration of passes per kilometer driven. An easy ride from Stuttgart; I just drove back from Rovereto (south of Bolzano and Trento) to Hockenheim (near Heidelberg) in one day, which is twice that.

 

Cripes, if I lived in Stuttgart, I'd be in the Alps every weekend. Lucky you! I'll be getting my dual citizenship soon...any jobs at Mercedes Benz or Porsche? wave.gif

 

 

With the world cup going on the German borders have been closed and international drivers lisences are required in Austria. This restricted the touring to France and the Swiss Alps (and the Black Forest) since we did not have time to buy the international lisences. The bikes the rented were not BMWs and several did not even have headlight fairings. This pretty much limited autobahn travel to 75mph (yawhhn) significantly reducing the groups range. And, as I indicated before, these folks were not ironbutts. I was not about to bring them up some of the very difficult passes in France or off the main drag in Switzerland. I selected passes and an area that would maximize the fun quotient. They did have the tour of their lives! Would I change anything for this groups first mountain european tour? Nope - I highly recommend this area for 1st time US riders.

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Global_Rider
There were all lifelong riders just not experienced in European mountain riding. Everyone has to start somewhere - it all worked out fine. I just rode a little slower and more cautiously to ensure there were no problems.

 

The Andermatt area passes are easier than most I guess. The "old" St. Gotthard has some tighter hairpins and the cobblestones can be distracting to some.

 

0218.jpg

 

Riding some of the roads in Corsica a few weeks back, I was thinking of some of the local riders at home and how they would manage. On level ground, a lot of riders have trouble doing full lock, slow speed turns. Throw in a 15 to 20 % grade in a hairpin and all hell would break loose.

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K12GT_Steve
There were all lifelong riders just not experienced in European mountain riding. Everyone has to start somewhere - it all worked out fine. I just rode a little slower and more cautiously to ensure there were no problems.

 

The Andermatt area passes are easier than most I guess. The "old" St. Gotthard has some tighter hairpins and the cobblestones can be distracting to some.

 

0218.jpg

 

Riding some of the roads in Corsica a few weeks back, I was thinking of some of the local riders at home and how they would manage. On level ground, a lot of riders have trouble doing full lock, slow speed turns. Throw in a 15 to 20 % grade in a hairpin and all hell would break loose.

 

We did have one gent that did not want to attempt the second pass of "old" St. Gotthard due to the cobble stones. Luckily the alternative modern road did not delay the continuation of the trip by very long. The rest of us went back up the pass and stopped for "cornering pictures". I don't have copies yet but I will post our shots of sucessfully negotiating a few of those hairpins. cool.gif

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K12GT_Steve

 

If there is any question as to why hairpins are so impressive take a look at what four will do. There is really nothing like the feeling of charging up a mountain knowing that you can make your bike do almost anything and take you anywhere. This is why I ride...

 

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Bart, I totally agree......I could ride these roads all day......this one is between Chambery and Grenoble...

 

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And Francois, as an outsider American visiting the Savoie, I totally agree with you. After riding in the Savoie once, I HAVE to go back, and the next time it will be for an extended trip........

 

Steve, GREAT pics!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks SO much for sharing your trip with us.

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Nice pics Steve! thumbsup.gif I just call this area "golden ring": Oberalp, Furka, Grimsel, Klausen and again... or reverse. Once I'd like to give it a try how many turns I can do in a day? grin.gif

 

About the highest passes (just to stick to the facts, you know wink.gif): the highest paved pass in Europe is in Spain (Sierra Nevada), Veleta Pass (Puerto de Veleta) at 3250 meters of altitude.

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Global_Rider
If there is any question as to why hairpins are so impressive take a look at what four will do.

 

79553360-M.jpg

 

Confused...what do you mean? And is that the right pic...

 

Or maybe I'm suffering from jetlag. I just got back to North America late last night. Sorry to be back.

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K12GT_Steve
Nice pics Steve! thumbsup.gif I just call this area "golden ring": Oberalp, Furka, Grimsel, Klausen and again... or reverse. Once I'd like to give it a try how many turns I can do in a day? grin.gif

 

Thanks! This is the first time I took the effort to take some pics. I was regretful after every trip down there previously. I finally have proof that a picture is worth a thousand words!

About the highest passes (just to stick to the facts, you know wink.gif): the highest paved pass in Europe is in Spain (Sierra Nevada), Veleta Pass (Puerto de Veleta) at 3250 meters of altitude.

 

Yes - you are the second one to highlight my pass height error dopeslap.gif I'll just stick to a "pretty high road" from now on. wink.gifsmile.gif

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79298100-M.jpg

 

This is a pic of Andermatt. In the distance is the entrance to Furka pass - the second highest pass in all of Europe. Watch for cows and the occasional bus - yes bus! How the drivers sit up so tall and see that they are not putting a tire over the edge is a mystery to me. On the hairpins they cut off the entire road.

 

Steve

 

Don't mean to rain on your parade but the Furka is nowhere near the second highest pass in Europe.

 

Even within the Alps it is ranked 13th after:

 

Col de la Bonnette - 2862m

Col D'Iseran - 2769m

Stelvio - 2758m

Col D'Agnel - 2744m

Col du Restefond - 2678m

Col du Galibier - 2645m

Passo di Gavia - 2621m

Grossglockner - 2575m

Timmelsjoch - 2509m

Umbrail - 2501m

Nufenen - 2478m

Great St Bernard - 2473m

Furka - 2436m

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Francois_Dumas

LOL !!! I think Steve got the picture by now wink.gif I think he got carried away in his newbie enthusiasm and forgot to do the research . Not that it matters much, ANY Alpine road is a great one !! thumbsup.gif

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