No US Alps riders? - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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No US Alps riders?

I'm a little surprised that only folks from the UK riding in the Alps. There are a number of tour companies, offering a range of tours ranging from mixing easier passes and places in flatland to hardcore pass hunting. There are bike rentals, too, for DIY trips. I've only ridden there twice, in '16 and '17, so what do I really know about pass hunting?

Two big take-aways from the second trip: mixing long rides (100-200 miles) and passes (they take much more time than expected) on the same day is a bad idea, unless crossing a pass is the only way to get to the destination. Remember "so many passes, so little time". I tried to fit far too many passes into a weeks and was seriously knackered at the end, and missed stops because I was trying to beat the clock. It looked so easy on the map. I'll be happy to discuss the details, including a way to ride your FJR in Europe for much less than might be expected.

FJR content: I was surprised that there few FJR's on the road. I saw maybe 4-6 of them during the week. (At the time I was on a BMW K1600GT - story for another thread)

I put together videos of each pass (except Sustenpass, when the battery pack went sour, and ditto for half of Oberalp pass). They're basically dashcam video of most of any pass road, up and down, with music to cover the "rushing air noise" on most videos. The idea was to let someone who's even vaguely thinking of going have an idea of what it all looks like.

Finally, Best passes: The Swiss passes, except for Furka pass, which even the locals don't like to drive over. Worst: A tie between the few Dolomite passes I rode and Stelvio, loaded with traffic, including The Camper From H***. I thought the 2nd try at the 48 turn road would go a little better. Hah! Silly me!

The Day 1 video may look tame at the start but there is a moment of serious "oh s***!" in there as well an amusing phone call towards the end. View this video directly in YouTube to get the playlist in the right order.

I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
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Last edited by RBEmerson; 06-23-2018 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Adjust playlist wording
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 06:45 AM
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I rode the Alps last year and intend on going back again next year. Did a Euro River Tour this year with family. But then I live here in the Colorado Rockies so my mountain riding itch gets scratched when ever I want.

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Chuck Henderson (US Army RET 1968-1991) (Forever Home – Colorado) STOC# 086, KLRST# 001
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 07:40 AM
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I can say been there and done that in 1979, 1980 and 1981 while living in Italy. Probably more traffic now than back then and more busses! Now, I prefer to go to New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho since I can hit any one of them within a day or three without the long plane ride. Also have ridden the Canadian Rockies which have spectacular scenery.

The best days to ride end in "Y"

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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chucksklrst View Post
I rode the Alps last year and intend on going back again next year. Did a Euro River Tour this year with family. But then I live here in the Colorado Rockies so my mountain riding itch gets scratched when ever I want.

Hey Chuck, Ferret from ST forum. Figured I'd find you and bamarider and a few more over here. Just bought a 2018A model last week.

I have ridden in the Alps and the Colorado Rockies. Wife and I took an Eidelweiss "Best of Europe" tour a couple years ago.I like the Rockies better. Maybe not quite as majestic as the Alps, but the roads and traffic were better in Colorado.

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It doesn't matter what I ride, where I ride, or how far I ride... it only matters THAT I ride...every day. "Ferret"
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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No Rockies - yet.

@chucksklrst : Did you ride with a tour? If so, who?

@the Ferret : Aside from the route (IIRC it's pretty tame), what did you think of Edelweiss? Do you remember the guide's name?

Both of my trips were in early July(*). In '16 the traffic wasn't too bad. Last was freakin' insane. A lot of that is driven by when schools close. Germany's schools roughly (closings are staggered) closed a week earlier. Dunno, about Swiss, etc. schools but look at Valparola video to see what I mean. Also the top of Stelvio. Finding a parking spot was a serious challenge. The Swiss passes near Andermatt, though, were less crowded.

One big change between the two years is the number of radar cameras Italy added to the eastern road up Stelvio. Little orange "post boxes" (about the same size) sprouted up in several places. Stelvio's east road is closed this year. A landslide took out a big chunk of the road coming out of the valley.

The only other LEO was in Austria, on the way north to Grossglockner. I'd just finished an insane pass, in a no passing stretch, when I came around a corner and ...oops. From the expressions on their faces, I suspect they'd heard the pass, but hadn't seen it, so no ...um... discussion about my sins. Whew!

(*) Vacations start in July. Almost all of Europe is on vacation in August. Mid-late May into June and September into early October are prime time to beat the crowds

I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 11:59 AM
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I'm a little surprised that only folks from the UK riding in the Alps. There are a number of tour companies, offering a range of tours ranging from mixing easier passes and places in flatland to hardcore pass hunting. There are bike rentals, too, for DIY trips. I've only ridden there twice, in '16 and '17, so what do I really know about pass hunting?
I'd be glad to join you elite little club, all you gotta do is start cutting checks! And I mean lots of check! Afterall, not only are you going to pay for the trip & all the amenities, somebody's gotta pay the bills while I'm gone.

Thanks for the opportunity to feel like ****, you know, b/c I'm not as well traveled and wealthy as you.

Pompous asses like you are the biggest reason I generally ride alone. Why don't you sell the FJR and buy a Harley? That way you: A) aren't required to use the front brake, and B) fit right in.

Russ
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I'm genuinely sorry you feel that way. But I don't think anyone forced to read this topic. If you don't like my posts, there's always the ignore option. I won't be offended if you use it. As always, ride your own ride.
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I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
-
'17 FJR 1300ES
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Ferret View Post
Hey Chuck, Ferret from ST forum. Figured I'd find you and bamarider and a few more over here. Just bought a 2018A model last week.

I have ridden in the Alps and the Colorado Rockies. Wife and I took an Eidelweiss "Best of Europe" tour a couple years ago.I like the Rockies better. Maybe not quite as majestic as the Alps, but the roads and traffic were better in Colorado.

Congrats on your new FJR. I did the Blue Rim 5 Country Tour. Great bunch of people. Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, and
Italy. Then I did a week on my own Solo after the tour. Going to go back next year and do two weeks solo and then Top Europe tour with Blue Rim.
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Chuck Henderson (US Army RET 1968-1991) (Forever Home – Colorado) STOC# 086, KLRST# 001
RIDE a little FASTER, RIDE a little FURTHER
14 FJR1300A (Ruby FeeJeR) 14 DL650 Wee(........)17 Versys 300X(Little Gray Bike) 15 Versys 1000LT (.....)

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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 10:20 PM
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I did the Best of Europe tour, Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria and Liechtenstein. I thought Edelweiss was great. Perfect for what I needed. I love being led around by the nose by people that know an area.Especially when I don't know the laws, customs, languages etc. To me it's like going to ride in another state with a fellow forum member in his area. They know the good roads, the good places to eat, the good places to stay, and the places to avoid. Perfect. I'm only so adventurous lol. Sorry can't remember guides names, there were 2, 1 guy, 1 young lady and they were great.
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It doesn't matter what I ride, where I ride, or how far I ride... it only matters THAT I ride...every day. "Ferret"
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Congrats on your new FJR. I did the Blue Rim 5 Country Tour. Great bunch of people. Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, and
Italy. Then I did a week on my own Solo after the tour. Going to go back next year and do two weeks solo and then Top Europe tour with Blue Rim.
Hmmm... I didn't even know Blue Rim existed. I guess I don't read ROADRunner often enough. Where did you get the solo ride bike from? Some tour operators will rent a bike, some don't.

Did you have any particular route or plans or did you decide to just wing it?

I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
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'17 FJR 1300ES
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