Five weeks, 12 countries and just practice!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by edog200, May 29, 2011.

  1. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    Thank you Rema you have been very helpful.

    Next stop heading to the KTM factory in Austria. Then Prestice in Czech to see my mother in law's relatives. Onto Poland and into Germany to BMW then blasting our way home

    Weather for next two days looks like crap. It 7.15am on Chamonix with low mist. Hmm. Getting wet weather gear out.


    Once again thanks for your help.
    #81
  2. Rema in Paluda

    Rema in Paluda Been here awhile

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    That's our "Job" as humans, to help eachother to get more out of lifer, not?

    En route to Chur you can if weather allowing, jump the river at Ilanz, the little River is the Vorder-Rhein and follow it on its south coast just beyond valendus you will be high enogh and far away again of the Alp Massiv to have a spectacular view North (but its a slower road, but the north bank kan be heavy traffic, so impact isn't that big o travel time :-)

    At Bonaduz go south onto Thusis, and there go *west* not north...

    Next stop is Davos wher you best go southeasterly onto Such were you have to decide yourself weather and timetable permitting if you go straight on to Salzburg, or do a detour over Passo de Fuorn (at st. Maria val Müstair, you could go South to gat at the Stelvio via a backroad, but well Stelvio (go East!)is a noisy touristtrap)to Merano, there its decission time again, going for Timmelsjoch (Solden) or Jaufenpass onto Grossglockner hochalpenstrasse, but beware thats a Tollroad, and after Nufenen Tremola and Fluella well could be a bit disspointing, it is beautifull, but also very Touristtrappy like the Stelvio/Stilfersjoch.

    Then its northbound to Salzburg Mattighofen...

    [​IMG]

    Oh and in Austrua the Sign lure you onto the Highway, but the old road is almost everywere still in function, and swirls like a rippling snake under over and around the ghighways wit much better views... :-)

    P.S. if i look at RainRadar you should try to have your stop early saterday, because at 14:00 the Heavens will open... In my experience, its quite dependable, but there good news too, Sunday will be nicer weather :-)
    #82
  3. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    6.15am Monday 21 Prestice, Czech Republic

    Rain and lack of access to the net has made life a little difficult to update. I will try to upload some pics. Another video is nearly complete, but there is not enough bandwidth to post.

    In varying weather conditions ranging from sun to light rain we took on some of the passes in Switzerland suggested by Paluda in Rema. Just breath taking! Fast flowing roads and magnificent views were everywhere.

    Darren found a hotel and a petrol station featured in a James Bond movie..."Gold Finger?"

    The KTM990 has been a real hoot in the twisties. Sometimes I feel like an astronaut taking off.

    It rained very heavily overnight in Switzerland so we quickly rode onto Mattergophan, Austria, the home of KTM.

    The factory visit to KTM was inspiring. Being the current owner of four KTMs I thought I had a solid knowledge of the brand, but I walked away with a much greater appreciation of what this company is about.

    There is an incredibly strong link between between, racing, research and development, and ploughing all that knowledge back into the manufacture
    of the bikes we purchase. The turn around time for this cycle is short and we as riders benefit greatly.

    The small factory footprint and its design ensures that people from all sections of the company can communicate easily with one another and I saw many corridor meetings where ideas and thoughts were being exchanged. It had been a big week of racing and the place had a hum about it.

    But there is far more to KTM than this, that is best summed up by my observation that even the secretary on the door had ridden a 450EXC! These guys live and breath motorbikes.

    We watched the 2012 model 300EXCs roll off the production line, each one hand assembled. This is a complete new bike with some significant innovative features.

    Watch out for this one.

    The effort to ensuring quality of production was obvious. The guys and girls that work on the line don't just do the same thing everyday. They move through the lines and models and after their two years of training can assemble an entire model from scratch.

    Each engine is tested prior to installation in the bike and tested again on a dyno at the completion of assembly. There is another thorough check of the bike before they are sent off for export. There aren't any bikes sitting waiting to be sold as soon as they are assembled and tested they are out the door and on the way for sale.

    Following our visit to the factory we headed into the Czech Republic to visit my wife's side of the family. A great night sampling beer from the Region. :freaky
    #83
  4. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    The view from our tent, farewell to the best campsite in the world!...Chamonix, France.

    [​IMG]

    But let's not be too depressed, after all there are the passes in Suisse!

    [​IMG]

    And then, according to Darren, there's the James Bond connection. Gold Finger?

    [​IMG]
    #84
  5. Alik

    Alik viertaKTMotor *****

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    Yes, he is right. From the Hotel own website:

    The Hotel reached a famous status with the James Bond fil „Goldfinger“ when 007 passed the Galenstock chasing Goldfinger.

    [​IMG]

    From the EON Productions - United Artists Motion Picture „Goldfinger“ (1964)


    What are your plans for Poland? You should be already on the move there today or do You want first to visit Prague?
    #85
  6. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    We are heading to Prague (Praha) in about 2 hours. Really looking forward to that.
    #86
  7. Alik

    Alik viertaKTMotor *****

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    Enjoy it! ;)
    #87
  8. Malcolmlovesbikes

    Malcolmlovesbikes Adventurer

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    Hi really enjoying the RR. Going along part of your route next year, just wondering whats the name of
    .
    Cheers Mal
    #88
  9. Rema in Paluda

    Rema in Paluda Been here awhile

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    Nice to see you at least had some sunshine waking up :-)

    I was fearing all electronics were washed out, not seeing any V-Logs anymore, i don't know if you are into Racing, but this weekend on Saturday (weird Christians prohibit Sunday racing) Assen is on the menu, one of the Biggest racing events on the Calander, people from all over EUrope come there.

    And Yamaha is having a special 50th aniversary so perhaps they now are willing to give you acces to an S10 (wink wink say no more)
    #89
  10. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    #90
  11. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    11.05pm Tuesday 21 June, 2011, Berlin, Germany

    Berlin? Yep Berlin. Darren and I headed to Prague but the rain beat us to it and traffic snarls finished us off. Very difficult filming in those types of conditions so we headed off towards Germany and ultimately kept riding. The weather was fickle, with hot sunshine one minute and torrential rain the next. I'll have a little whinge now. If I have to put that bloody rain suit on one more time :lol3

    Anyway looking forward to the BMW Factory Tour for the morning of the 23rd before motoring pretty quickly back to the UK.

    Oh, nearly forgot, finally another VLOG. Darren and I have commenced our recruitment drive for the bigger trip commencing June or July 2012. We are looking for a small number of riders to join us. Enquiries can be a PM, however please don't 'tyre kick' as planning starts in earnest very soon.


    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7ZrE-7wmaGM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #91
  12. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Ageing Enthusiast

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    in - loving the travel and the bike comparisons - friendly banter and rivalries :freaky
    #92
  13. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    Our BMW Motorad, factory visit tomorrow. With the KTM factory visit still fresh in our minds it will be interesting to see the differences in approach to production techniques, corporate culture and commitment to product development.

    Really looking forward to this. Not looking forward to the ride back to the UK as it looks like we are going to get wet, wet, wet. :eek1
    #93
  14. Cresta

    Cresta Road Warrior

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    Sunshine & showers predicted ... clearing, with 30ºC forecast for the w/end
    #94
  15. Rema in Paluda

    Rema in Paluda Been here awhile

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    Yeah you wil have a shock, BMW is an "whitebox" manufacturer, so most of the bikes ar just "stick together" fixed components patches so complete engines come in from China, frames come in from Italy etc. and the different streams knit together into coplete bikes in a coulple of minutes, just like Ford once invented...

    What the weather will do is in you know who's hands, but try to first go a bit south west onto Leipzig Jena en then go east if traveling friday because it looks like Bremen und luneburger heide will be flooded.

    If traveling saterday start early and stay northerly onto bremen, until 2 o clock it should be overcast only, but then as Usual the intermittent rainshower of Assen will come into the netherlands to make the MotoGP extra interesting :-)

    The brunt of the rain will pass southerly of Assen, so the "dry" corridor of friday will be soaking wet on saterday (not so nice because we live in the southern tip of the Netherlands)

    If weather forecast would be better i could have shomn you are northern european Gem The Ardennes with Spa Francorshamps, but it does not look like that would be fun in thes conditions.

    If you are around her on Sunday though i would be happy to give you a tour of our unique backroads through the Ardennes
    #95
  16. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    The factory set up for BMW for making bikes is huge in comparison to KTM, but what it makes up in size in loses in character. The huge foot print of the plant means there appears to be little interaction between employees of the plant at the varyng stages of production.

    Precision and quality are what you would expect, but a surprising proportion of the production operation is still done by hand. We watched a number of different bikes being produced on the same line. BMW 1200GS, both the adventure and road versions as well as the big six cylinder tourer.

    The most interesting part of the production line for me was the engine testing. I assume this is straight after initial assembly. Where a robot picks up the engine in its most basic form, connects a fuel and air mixture, pumps oil through it and connects temporary exhaust manifolds. Later the bike is fully dynoed and that too was interesting to watch. But witnessing a whole heap of metal parts being assembled and then hearing the sound of a new born engine is awesome.

    At the completion of bike assembly, the bike is ridden onto a brake testing machine and then dyno.

    All impressive stuff, but if I were an employee, I'd be heading to the wheat fields of Austria and that little KTM plant. But that's a personal choice and I know many others.....Darren for example, who may disagree. :lol3
    #96
  17. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    Before we tell you of the ongoing rain saga, and by the way, thank you all for the suggestions, we need to go back to Prestice, CZECH for a moment.

    One of the goals for the trip was to visit the home of my mother in law, who, together with her husband, were political refugees when the Communists took over the Czech republic, after World War 2. Had it not been for their successful escape over the Alps and eventually onto Australia, I would not have met my wife.

    Here is one of the goals successfully accomplished. A photograph in front of my mother in law's home in Prestice, Czech Republic.

    [​IMG]

    The relo's took to the bikes like ducks to water.....

    [​IMG]
    #97
  18. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    As we left the BMW factory we could see the clouds once again mounting to the east. We dodged three storm cells before we got hit. Those bridges come in handy.

    [​IMG]

    Great shelter.

    [​IMG]

    Darren headed off very determined to get to the train tunnel and with the assistance of the autobahns and freeways we arrived there around midnight.

    Something I didn't know before it was too late...you are prohibited from using flash photography on the train as it can set off the fire alarm.

    [​IMG]

    Unlike the ferry, bikes are not strapped down but are left in gear on their side stands with their front wheel to the curb. The Kato looked a little precarious, but managed to stay upright.

    By 1am I was swearing and cursing a little at my mate's determination to get home come hell or high water. I did suggest cracking out the tent and crashing, but that was only wishful thinking. The job had to get done and 1,200 k's and 14 hours later we were home. However, immediately sleeping after a run like that is another matter.
    #98
  19. edog200

    edog200 Long timer

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    I take this opportunity to apologise for the quality of this thread. It's a little disjointed at times and there are some big gaps in the riding experience. No excuses, but rain and lack of internet did have a hand to play in our challenges.

    In the last couple of days Darren and I have been busily working to collate and archive all the video we've taken, a whopping 1.2 Terrabytes. Now I know quantity isn't everything, but Darren and I have improved in our camera work and hopefully that will be apparent in the video we produce.

    There were a heap of lessons learned for this trip....basically we packed too much stuff, be it camera gear, clothing or other things. I'm going to use this entry to remind me in a couple of months. :lol3

    For the big trip, London to Sydney I solemnly swear to take the following clothing, nothing more.

    2 pairs of socks
    2 pairs of undies
    one merino wool (skinny light weight ) jumper
    1 pair of away from bike light weight trousers
    1 pair of riding pants
    I riding jacket
    1 pair of thinly soled shoes.

    Camping gear worked well.
    3 man tent with Annexe was great and when conditions became unpleasant it was waterproof in the worst down pours. The annexe gives you space to put all your bike gear under cover.

    Now some big questions to be answered.

    What bike for the London to Sydney ride?
    A 110 Honda Postie, like our English friend? At the moment I'm seriously thinking of shipping my KTM640 to the UK to ride it back.

    What route?
    I have a couple of expectations.

    1. I don't want to end up kidnapped or blown up by terrrorists or ripped off.

    2. I have to complete the trip in three months absolute max and preferably 2 and a half months.

    3. We must be in the Simpson Desert well before October, as it closes for the summer due to the dangerous conditions.

    Size of Team?
    Darren and I found very quickly that to make a decent movie you need a minimum of three riders and I think possibly four is ideal.

    As you can see from the previous video we are seeking other riders and at this stage have seen interest from only one person.

    I think we are going to have difficulty finding other riders for the team, for a number of reasons. Generally people who go on these types of trips are independent and self sufficient types.

    Secondly, it's a real worry committing to live close and personal with two other guys you don't know, who film everything.

    Finally a 3 month commitment is a big chunk out a person's busy life and believe me that is a great underestimate as the planning is going to take a lot of effort.

    We'd like to hear the thoughts of others on these three points. Feel free to contribute as this will be the thread that takes us right through to the London to Sydney trip.
    #99
  20. frijole

    frijole Clickin'

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    I'm no expert, but I think you're definitely right-on keeping it to 3 to 4 riders. I think its better from a filming point of view and for those following the trip. You kinda get to know each rider a little better. :freaky

    Jim