Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Miriam

Italian Dolomites

Recommended Posts

Miriam

Of the amazingly beautiful Alpine region there’s a favorite area among the true ‘steering’ fanatics (as we call them here). It’s located in the Italian Alps and it’s called The Dolomites. A sheer motorcycle paradise with first rate roads, well signposted for sharp turns and hairpins, gorgeous little café’s in fairy tale mountain villages and seemingly endless curves.

 

So we went there last week to do some serious riding blush.gif

 

 

As seen from the balcony of our hotel room.

 

35734135-M.jpg

 

Our first sight of the really high peaks of this region.

 

35734141-M.jpg

 

Taking a picture.

 

35734148-M.jpg

 

Beauty shot…

 

35734109-M.jpg

 

The Timmelsjoch at 2500 meters was one of the highest passes we did. Unfortunately is was shrouded in clouds that day. Makes for some very interesting riding if you have NO vision and the hairpins here are fairly narrow + lots of cars.

 

35734094-M.jpg

 

It was also the only pass (of the 20 or so we did) that we had to pay for, but in exchange I got the sticker to prove I was there. Oh, one more thing, I’m now officially a GS convert. Looking as I’m writing this for a good deal on my 1150RT…

 

If you’d like to see a few more pics.

Share this post


Link to post
Marty Hill

Miriam,

 

You will love the 12gs. Thanks for the pics. thumbsup.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Francois_Dumas

Must be some sort of a disease... I am looking at GS's too after riding the Alps this year tongue.gif

 

Nice pics Miriam, hat off to Erik for riding that distance on his not-so-touring bike wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Reddog900

Miriam,

 

Great photo's thanks for sharing. These pictures make me want to return to this area once again. Spent some time traveling these roads many years ago.

 

As Bob Hope would say "Thanks for the Memories"

Share this post


Link to post
VStromboli

That looks absolutely wonderful. In 2 weeks I'll be heading over that way to do the Edielweiss High Alpine tour. We'll be visiting the Dolomites as well. I've booked a GS for this trip and I have a feeling my V-Strom will be up for sale when I get back. wink.gif

 

Do you have any advice to someone who has never ridden in that region of the world?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Francois_Dumas

Yes, be careful !! blush.gif Roads are usually a lot narrower than in most US areas, and there are some really steep drops wink.gif

 

Have a good trip, have fun and ride safely. And don't forget loads of pictures !!! clap.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Miriam

Jacques,

 

Be very wary of local motorcyclists and car drivers. Maybe because they’re Italian, but they think nothing much of crossing the single white line and into your lane just as you’re coming round a nice tight corner.

 

Other than local drivers, the area is a total pleasure as you can pretty much rely on the signposting being correct. One type you’ll see a lot of is ‘Tornanti’ (usually with a number in front) giving you fair warning of the number of hairpins coming up.

 

Some passes are demanding to ride, like the Stelvio because it’s steep and has several hairpins in cobblestoned, unlit tunnels! Also the Manghen pass because it’s very narrow and has sharp hairpins that are impossible to pass anyone in, so check the road above or below you for large vehicles or tour busses planning on meeting you exactly in the dead corner of the hairpin where you can’t get your foot down.

 

My guess would be that Edelweiss will stick to the more simple passes to avoid those types of problems, still, it’s close to a 1000 curves a day there! I was still turning, turning in my sleep! Loved it thoroughly though as you can tell from my post.

 

The people speak some German, especially in the ski resorts, but a little Italian goes a long way, like cappuccino, espresso, and even sandwich, but they do eat their hot meal at lunchtime and the pasta is only the first course.

 

Only other bit of advice I have is to watch out when it rains on the grey bits of asphalt, it makes for lots of front wheel slides, and those are very unpleasant.

 

Be prepared to totally love the place!

 

thumbsup.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Ginger

Hi Miriam -

What brand of boots are you wearing? I am from California, USA and saw your picture in this post. I am moving from a cruiser to the R1200ST and would love to have a pair of those boots!

Sincerely,

Ginger

Share this post


Link to post
Miriam

Hi Ginger,

 

The boots are an Italian brand (like a lot of my motorcycle wear, because I'm smallish) and they're called Vendramini. The type is Daytona and they’re waterproof, and you can order them on-line from Italy, but they may have a reseller in the US. See them here.

 

It’s my second pair and I love them so much because they are very comfortable to wear AND walk around in. Only drawback to this comfort is that I need a new pair under every two years and that makes them quite expensive (240$ if I translate from €).

 

My European shoe size is either 37 or 38 depending on the shoe, and these boots are smallish so I have a size 38 and it fits perfectly.

Share this post


Link to post
MachineJoe

i was there last year at this time and the pics started my daydreaming. Thanks for the great pics. That was one experiance that I'll never forget clap.gifclap.gif. I'm heading to the "East Meeting" in Indiana to find out what part of Europe I'll be traveling next year with Edelweiss.

 

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Global_Rider
In 2 weeks I'll be heading over that way to do the Edelweiss High Alpine tour.

 

Do you have any advice to someone who has never ridden in that region of the world?

 

I've been riding there eleven years straight, so speaking from experience...

 

Well thats a bit late in the season and it could get cold on the pass tops, especially if it is raining or cloudy. I'm there in June and I've seen 8 degrees C in drizzle on top of a pass.

 

Make sure you have a suit that can take hours of rain, or at least have a good rainsuit that packs well as well as nylon rain gloves and boots.

 

Make sure your digital camera charger handles 220/240 volts (most/all do) and that you have a Euro adapter plug.

 

Don't ride over your head the first few days, no matter how much experience you think you have. If you can do figure 8s at full steering lock comfortably, you'll be OK in the tight stuff. Slow speed 1st gear control is a must for these hairpins, especially when on the inside...see pic below. Oh, and by the way, you don't have the full width of the road in the hairpin pictured; a car may be coming the opposite way.

 

0116.jpg

 

Watch out for wet cobblestone roads (slippery), especially in tunnels eg: heading west from Passo Falzarego to Arabba, there is a hairpin in a short tunnel just after leaving the pass.

 

The one on the right in this pic...it is always wet.

0010.jpg

 

Also watch out for metal grates that run across roads. They are extremely slippery when wet if accelerating or braking. eg: The Zillertaler Hohenstrasse in Austria has them.

 

I doubt your tour company will be passing vehicles in hairpins, but watch out for the other riders that do (me). They're not crazy. People over there just don't get as territorial about their patch of pavement. If there is room, it gets used.

 

You'll be there during the slow season, so traffic will be lighter not that I ever considered it anything but light. Mid July to the beginning of September are the peak times.

 

Bring cash (Euros) as credit cards aren't accepted everywhere. You'll be OK paying for gas with your CC. Gas is about €1.25 (regular unleaded) to €1.39 (Shell V Power 100) per liter in Italy. At least it was last June. Prices only went up a few cents since.

 

Think about how you park your bike while using the side or center stand...like when you quickly stop at the side of the road to take a pic. Take your time. I use 1st gear a lot while parked.

 

If you happen to be in Munich, there are countless bike shops (Hein Gericke, Louis, Polo, etc) all on a city block on Balan Strasse; a short walk west from the Ostbahnhof (east train station).

 

Oh, and you'll enjoy the GS. The upright seating position makes it ideal for Alps touring so that you can take in the views without needing a neck and back massage at the end of the day. The wide dual purpose handlebars are another big plus. I now have a R1150 GS Adventure in Europe. The R65 pictured was great, but those narrow Euro bars were a killer after some 10+ passes in a day.

 

You'll have a great time...one that you'll never forget.

Share this post


Link to post
Global_Rider
Must be some sort of a disease... I am looking at GS's too after riding the Alps this year.

 

Francois, I'm the last person you should listen to because I am biased, but GSes do everything sooo well. I got 4 of them...love them all.

Share this post


Link to post
VStromboli

Thanks for all the advice guys & gals! I'm really looking forward to the trip although I must admit I am a bit anxious. tongue.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Miriam

Gas prices have gone up! In Italy last week we paid $ 1,65 on avarage. In Holland it's now close to $ 1,80 and we are talking LITER prices. Holland has the highest of all Europe though, because it's so heavily taxed. The Dutch are becoming slightly apathic about it.

 

Oh, and for Italy, most gas stations are totally closed on sunday, unless you have a special pass, which foreigners don't. However in case of emergency you can always pay a local in cash for use of his card.

 

Jacques, no reason to be anxious, but it is high grade motorcycling in the Dolomites, just prepare mentally. You'll absolutely love it tough. Let me know when you're back. And Alex is right about the weather, make sure you bring enough of the warm & waterproof stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Global_Rider
Oh, and for Italy, most gas stations are totally closed on sunday.

 

On that note....

 

Jacques, I totally forgot as I'm so used to it by now, but some gas stations are either:

 

- not manned because they don't see a lot of traffic due to being in the middle of nowhere.

 

- not manned during the long (2 or more hours) lunch hours.

 

For those gas stations, make sure you carry a lot of €10 notes to feed into the automated gas pumps. You'll have to figure out how much your bike will take as the automated gas pumps don't provide change (so don't slip a €50 note into them).

 

In larger towns, that shouldn't be a problem and I'm sure the tour comapny will have their usual common gas stops.

Share this post


Link to post
Bud Clarke
Jacques,

 

My guess would be that Edelweiss will stick to the more simple passes to avoid those types of problems, still, it’s close to a 1000 curves a day there! I was still turning, turning in my sleep!

 

I did the Edelweiss Alps Touring Center tour in July, and we rode some pretty challenging passes, including Stelvio and Silvretta. Not at all like riding in Chicago! Only one close call, on a tight curve with the biggest truck I've ever seen. On passes like Stelvio, keep an eye on the hairpins above (or below) for oncoming trucks and buses. As said in another post, they will take up the entire road in a hairpin.

 

I can't say enough good things about Edelweiss. There are a few pics here.

Share this post


Link to post
bart_vanreeth

Nice pics Miriam. Thx

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...