Author Topic: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?  (Read 3085 times)

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Offline Forrest

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I am going to Slovenia in the 3rd week of July.  I am planning on and in the process of procurring a rental bike from Adriatic Moto Tours.  I am renting for just three days and riding in the Julian Alps, Dolomites and up into Austria!   I am stoked!  Unfortunately, Adriatic Moto Tours does not have C-14s for rent.   My first choices were the Ducati Multistrada and Yamaha FJR 1300.  Those are both taken and am left with mostly BMWs to choose from.  I  am interested in the F 800 ST for its light, nimble character.  I will be riding most of the three days on my own with an Austrian friend.  He will be on a ZRX 1200R.  My wife is going to ride one 4 hour tour with me and she of course likes comfort.  I found out that touring/rental company has 1200 Boxers available in various forms: R 1200 GS, R 1200 R, and R 1200 RT.  I know the 1200 RT would be the most comfortable for the Mrs.  I am hoping to get the best of both worlds, sportiness/good handling and not make my wife miserable during her one ride with me.  Would the BMW R 1200 R Roadster be a good compromise?  Would the BMW F 800 ST offer as much comfort as the Roadster yet be more nimble on the mountain roads.  These and many more questions need answers.  ;D    Here is a link to Adriatic Moto Tours where I will be renting the bike. >>>  http://www.smtours.com/Motorcycle-rental   Thoughts? :popcorn:

Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 03:26:20 pm »
I would go with the RT. Is a similar bike to the Concours. It is quite capable and would probably do everything well (like the Concours). It will run twisties well. I has good weather protection in case of changing or bad weather. It carries items well. And as you already have figured out. The Mrs. would probably be much happier on the RT. Enough said.   :))

Offline Forrest

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 03:41:56 pm »
Dang It Cap'n Bob!  Confirming the "sensible" choice.  Thanks, but not the answer I was looking for!  What about my needs?  :rotflmao:   Maybe I should start a poll   >:D

Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 03:48:32 pm »
So if it's not what you want to hear, add a poll.  :)   I'm pretty sure you still can as the OP. If not, I probably could.  :motonoises:

Offline Dave Scott

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 04:03:19 pm »
I'm a fan of the F800ST myself.  For one-up riding I find it to be a perfect size for twisty mountains.  The difficulty may be that 4 hour stretch with the MRS on board.  Based on my experience with 800 cc twins, you'll be pushing it a bit, however, it can work.  She certainly won't be as comfortable though, so you'd have to gauge how much of an adventurer she is.  There certainly wouldn't be anything wrong with running the RT though.  As it's a tad larger, you'd just have to be a little bit more mindful of aggressive riding.

Offline JPavlis_CA

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 04:14:12 pm »
Forrest - having ridden in that area several times, I have a bit of a feel for what works and what doesn't. The best bikes are the BMW's or the Duc. They just seem to be made for riding those roads. My first choice would be the 1200GS, followed by the Multistrada. The GS would probably be more comfortable for your pillion, although the Boxers do require some getting used to, especially the GS. Third choice would be either of the F800's. Roads can be a bit rough, especially in Italy, so I'd probably go with the 800GS for it's more compliant suspension.

Since you're going to be mainly in the mountains and on secondary roads, and mainly riding by yourself, you don't need the FJR or the RT, which while nice bikes, just aren't as nimble in the twisties, especially the Dolimites. Remember, smaller and lighter is better in those conditions. And before you get your panties in a bunch, Bob, I'd like to point out that other American riders I know who did similar trips came back and said that they had been schooled in the twisties - they had never experienced anything like them.

Do you have to rent in Slovenia from Adriatic? They have some of the highest rental rates in Europe. If you can rent from somewhere else, you can get better deals.

If you have other questions, ping me off-line or start a new thread.

Have fun.  ;D
All God's male children tend to be low-life, sleaze-ball, early apexers - Terry Earwood, Chief Instructor, Skip Barber Racing School.

Offline Forrest

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 04:17:55 pm »
So if it's not what you want to hear, add a poll.  :)   I'm pretty sure you still can as the OP. If not, I probably could.  :motonoises:

Thanks Cap'n!  I did notice that option.  Think I will keep it simple and just ask for opinions and experiences.  Still new here and don't want to stir up as much trouble as I usually do!   ;D

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 04:22:08 pm »
If you want to ping me with a PM, I can put you in touch with the GCE Members (Bernd/Gie) that will be hosting our Over the Pond Traveler in August?
As locals, they can answer your questions and/or suggest another location to rent the bike.

Ride safe, Ted

Update: Never mind the PM.
             I sent a note to Bernd/Gie/Hans and gave them the info on the discussion.
             They should be able to look in and offer opinions.....  :great:
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 04:33:42 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 04:45:59 pm »
<snip>
 And before you get your panties in a bunch, Bob, I'd like to point out that other American riders I know who did similar trips came back and said that they had been schooled in the twisties - they had never experienced anything like them.

<snip>



Not at all Jim. It makes perfect sense to me. You have been there and had actual experience in the area. There's no reason for me to take issue with anything you have said. You might very well be totally right. But I also like Ted's idea. Who better to ask and get involved on the subject other than Bernd and/or Gie. Being Connie riders themselves who live over there. I would also value there opinion as well. They might very well confirm what you said Jim.


Offline Forrest

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2012, 04:56:37 pm »
Hey Sport Rider & JPavlis your feedback is much appreciated.   

Sporty, you pretty much summed up my conundrum.  Thought the F 800 ST would be a hoot on those roads.  The RT is a safer more sedate bet for me and the Mrs.

JPav, I am digging all the great info from your own experienes.  I have noticed GS models being ridden quite a bit on the Adriatic photo gallery as well several You Tube videos.  Those more adventure oriented bikes handle the mountain roads just fine.  I assumed with the narrower tires and more dual purpose treads they may not be the optimal choice.  But, you say otherwise.  As far as Adriatic Moto Tours, I simply did not know of any other outfitters in that area.  I am based in Portoroz, Slovenia for the week but as I mentioned in my first post will be riding with a friend after picking up the bike in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  Portoroz to Ljubljana is about 120 km or 70-75 miles  We will go to Carinthia Austria, me on the rental bike and my friend in his car transporting my wife.  From Carinthia we will travel the next day on roads he knows from Klangenfurt area back to Portoroz.  It is this stretch that I will be riding two up with my wife.   That should be about a 1/2 day.  I will then drop the Mrs off in Portoroz and resume riding the remainder of the second day followed by another day of riding one up with my friend.   I will ping you as well but feel free to post up any other motorcycle leasing/rental company, especially any in Portoroz/Piran area.   Again, thanks for your feedback.  Good Stuff!   :great:

AND, thanks to you Connie_Rider!  Good info.  Never hurts to ask the locals.  My friend in Klangenfurt, Austria is not up on all the rental tour group outfits.  Thanks for helping.  I was so ready to pull the trigger with Adriatic Moto Tour.  Their rates seem high but fair.  They also include in the rental price all the side and top cases, unlimited mileage, taxes, etc.  The only thing not included is any surcharge if using a credit card.  Thanks again all.  Very Good Stuff.  Keep it coming.  :great:

Offline JPavlis_CA

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2012, 05:25:39 pm »
Who better to ask and get involved on the subject other than Bernd and/or Gie. Being Connie riders themselves who live over there. I would also value there opinion as well. They might very well confirm what you said Jim.

Hehehe.... Bernd rides a Light Truck(tm) - the K1300LT; not exactly a Connie, although he did have one many years ago.

And Gie lives about 700 miles from there, not exactly his stomping grounds.

Forrest - when I went to Slovakia last summer,  I had looked into a lot of tour/rental companies in eastern Europe. Hold off and I'll get back to you this evening with other possibilities.

My personal favorite is Knopf Tours in Heidelberg, Germany, but that's not exactly convenient for you on such a short time frame.
All God's male children tend to be low-life, sleaze-ball, early apexers - Terry Earwood, Chief Instructor, Skip Barber Racing School.

Offline Forrest

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2012, 06:27:26 pm »
Thanks Jim,  will wait for your additional info!  :popcorncouple:

Offline JPavlis_CA

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2012, 10:23:51 pm »
Forrest - it looks like Adriatic is your only real choice for the local you'll be in. SM Tours used to be the other option, but Adriatic acquired them sometime in this last year. There's other options in Hungary and Austria, but not practical considering your limited time.

As I said, I'm partial to the big GS, but Boxer motors, and para-lever front ends, take some time getting used to. First time I rode one, I gave my usual "Connie shove" on the bars for a 90 degree right hander and wound up in the weeds. But by the end of the first day I was used to where in the rpm range the motor liked to run, and the so called lack of feel from the para-lever front end. The thing is, the grunty low to mid range power of the Boxer motor is perfect on those roads.

For comfort, go with the big RT. For fun, go with one of the other bikes. You'd probably find one of the 800 twins easier to ride than one of the Boxers, less of a learning curve. Of course, the Feejer is most like what you're used to riding, but would probably be my last choice. BTW, both GS's are tall beasts - if you have short legs, look elsewhwere.

Don't forget your international driving license. Actually, it's just a translation of your license in multiple languages. You can get one at any AAA for a few bucks.

Anything else?

All God's male children tend to be low-life, sleaze-ball, early apexers - Terry Earwood, Chief Instructor, Skip Barber Racing School.

Offline Forrest

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 04:28:04 am »
Thanks again for all the advice and tips.  Yes, Paralever NOT Tetralever :-[  Also, will look into that Int'l drivers license.

Offline Forrest

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 05:06:08 pm »
To Jim and all others that have ridden the R 1200s with the paralever front suspension:  What do you do differently on steering input vs. conventional telescopic forks? You know, counter steering, etc

Offline JPavlis_CA

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2012, 10:21:20 pm »
Sorry, Telelever for front, Paralever for rear. Don't know what I was thinking.

Forrest - steering inputs are the same for Telelever and conventional forks. Where they differ is the feedback, or "feel" from the front end. With forks, you feel every little niggle - every road imperfection, bump, crack, etc., along with fork flex.

With the Telelever front end, you don't notice pavement irregularities as much, and there is no fork flex. There's no sensation of the front tire squirming around as it goes over the pavement irregularities, or fork flex. Hence the sense of a lack of "feel." Without the feedback, you just have to trust the front end will hold - and it does really well.

My only problem switching between a standard forked bike, and  Beemer with a Telelever, was the seemingly quicker steering. Was it the front end? The tires? The bars? I dunno, I just got used to it real quick. I had the same problem riding my friends 900 Daytona after the Connie. He had removed the clip-on bars and installed Daytona Superbike bars - much wider, which made turning a whole lot easier.

All God's male children tend to be low-life, sleaze-ball, early apexers - Terry Earwood, Chief Instructor, Skip Barber Racing School.

Offline GCE boss

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2012, 02:27:58 pm »
Hi,
I´d say - go for Jim´s advise/ideas! :)
Welcome to EU,
Hans
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Offline Gie

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2012, 07:30:06 pm »
Hi Forrest,

As Jim  mentioned, I live 700 miles North of the  area. But I've been there, riding a Connie as well as a BMW RT.
One of our members, Ewald Wachman, rides regularly  in that area (he lives in Austria nearby the Slovenian border) and he is one of the best riders I know. He changed from his Connie to a Yamaha ST 1200 which is very similar to the 1200 GS.

As you will only have to ride one afternoon with the Mrs on board, you won't need the RT. Just make enough stops, so she will feel comfortable. I'd go for the 1200  GS.   (but indeed, as Jim says, not a good choice for short legs...)


I had 2 Connies before and now I ride an 1100 RT as well as an 1100 RS. I had no trouble riding the paralever coming from the Connie. The feeling is different, but becomes familiar very soon.  You need much less power to handle the steering, and it feels lighter. Also you will not need to search for the higher revs, just use the torque that is available from 2000 - 7000 rpm.
Much more motor brake. Although the GS is a high bike, it is less topheavy as the C10. (engine is placed lower).
At first, you will get less response: the steering feels lighter, the bike does only dive a little bit when braking hard. and from time to time, you will find the ABS working, especially  when riding on rough roads. But even after a few hours, you will find out that you will adapt to the bike and find out you can steer it mostly with your own weight only, and forget to 'work' on the the bike as the C10 requires.

My own choice for the RT is about the weather conditions (lots of rain...)  in Belgium - and the comfort for Mrs on longer trips.

The main issues is your own feeling with whatever choice you make.  If you go for high quality roads, the Duc would be great, but if you go for the nicest passes, or have some tracks on gravel, or just ride roads damaged in winter (inevitable in that area) , the GS will offer more comfort, due to its suspension.

Have us posted about how things have worked out for you.

Have fun,

Gie, Belgium




Offline Pistole

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2012, 10:47:16 pm »
- RT !!

.

Offline Forrest

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2012, 10:12:41 pm »
Again, Thanks All for your input!   

Jim, I appreciate the vote of confidence in switching to the Beemer. 

Gie, Thank you for your valuable feedback.  I will be riding with an Austrian Friend from Klangenfurt.  He will be riding his ZRX 1200 so he likely will stick to better quality roads.   I am 6 foot 3 so the height of the GS does not concern me.  Looking forward to the trip and counting the days.  I will keep you all posted and bring back some pictures.   :beerchug:

Offline Boomer

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Re: Opinions, Suggestions on Which Bike to Rent While Riding the Alps?
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2012, 11:20:33 am »
The perfect bike for those roads would be the Ducati Hypermotard.
The Multistrada would be my next choice, or a KTM 990 SM-T.
The GS will be more comfortable than any of these and is more than quick enough but I find it to be a bland bike to ride.
The RT is most like the Connie in terms of riding position, etc, but it's also pretty bland.
Any of the above should be more than capable of staying with a ZRX1200 in the twisties.

Whatever you ride you will love the scenery and the the roads.  :motonoises:
You will learn to hate the bloody caravans and buses though!  :-[
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