Motorcycling the F out of Switzerland

Discussion in 'Europe' started by EddieMac, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. EddieMac

    EddieMac Adventurer

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    I'm planning a trip to Switzerland for summer 2013 and I'm interested in renting a bike for 3 or 4 days. I've motorcycled before and I've been to Switzerland before. Now I plan to combine the two to create the most awesome vacation ever. I'll most likely be based out of Lauterbrunnen.

    I have never rented a bike out of the USA before and I'd appreciate your advice. I have found some websites with rentals but nothing that rates them. Who is a reputable vendor?

    Is it worth it bring my own helmet and jacket or just rent them?

    What are the don't-miss roads?

    What other things amd I not considering?

    Danke.
    #1
  2. fluff34567

    fluff34567 Long timer

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    best bring your own kit but sure you can rent also but may not fit properly.......

    nearly every bike shop does rentals. as you are in lauterbrunnen have a look in grindlewald or interlaken. lot of helpful hints a few posts down about bike rental inCH inc a nationwide search tool for rentals.

    remember that a lot of the passes are still closed early summer, when they open up and are fine for cars but for bikes still expect snow and ice on the road at the top.
    #2
  3. Twawsi

    Twawsi Adventurer

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    I'll echo what fluff said, a lot of passes are closed until mid June. With that said, for a place to go....hit Andermatt, and ride the four circuitous routes from there. You wont be disappointed.
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  4. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    As others have said, many Swiss bike dealers rent.
    One dealer (happens to be BMW) very close to Lauterbrunnen that I know is reputable rental source is
    http://www.moto-center.ch/mc_thun/index.html

    For route planning, you can't do better than
    http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Journeys-Through-Alps-Beyond/dp/1884313701/
    which includes several recommended rides centered around Andermatt
    (and)
    pick up a Michelin national or regional Switzerland map, e.g.
    http://www.amazon.com/Switzerland-Southeast-Maps-Regional-Michelin/dp/2067175106/
    and follow the green scenic routes

    bitte
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  5. Twawsi

    Twawsi Adventurer

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    +1 ^ Courtfisher,

    That book is awesome! I have it in my tank bag right now and shared it with our bike club here in Italy. We've voted on buying 50 copies so that all members will have a copy. I've currently highlighted about 40% of the passes listed in the back of the book. My goal is to hit at least another 40% this year.
    #5
  6. EddieMac

    EddieMac Adventurer

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    Wow, great resources! Thanks!
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  7. wsmc831

    wsmc831 Been here awhile

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  8. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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  9. babilon

    babilon Adventurer

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    I will ask a Friend this weekend. He lives in Thun and I'm sure he know something about the area and dealers ;-)
    #9
  10. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    I've rented 6 times - 4 from BiancoBlu in Milano (a bit far for you) and twice from Moto Mader in Oberentfelden (about 40kms west of Zurich). ALL of my experiences have been positive. I've heard good things about the Moto Centers (Bern & Thun) - the Thun shop (actually in Steffisburg) is very close to the Interlaken/Lautennbrunnen area - about 20kms straight line. I stopped off there a few years ago to check out the shop - very nice. All motorcycle shops should have an on-site bar :D

    For a short ride, it's the only way to go. You show up, sign some papers and off you go. Renting from a reputable shop will guarantee a late model bike in good repair - so yo don't have to worry about tires, brakes or any of that sort of thing.

    I'd bring my own kit - you know what fits and what works. It's a bit bulky, but better that than being at 2,000 meters in a cold rainstorm and discovering that your rental gear isn't quite what you would have preferred.

    Just about all of them.

    The Lautenbrunnen valley and the side trip to Grindlewald to see the Eiger, of course.

    One good loop is to start from Interlaken and head east to Innertkirchen - take the road on the north side of the Brienzersee instead of the Autobahn on the south side. Meiringen is a neat little (if touristy) town with the waterfall where Sherlock Holmes fell to his (fictional) death.

    At the main intersection in Innertkirchen, keep left to go over the Susten Pass and down into Wassen. Take a right and head for Andermatt (my usual base for 2-3 days). Almost into Andermatt, you'll see a large monument carved into the hillside dedicated to a Russian General. From Andermatt, ride up to the Oberalp Pass and back down to Andermatt - it's a long slog to nowhere if you keep going.

    Out of Andermatt you have a choice - a short loop back to Interlaken via the Furka and Grimsel Passes, or a somewhat longer loop over the St. Gotthard pass (be sure to ride the older cobblestoned road (La Tremola) for a sense of history - it can be slippery in the rain, though.

    From the bottom of the St. Gotthard in Airolo, head back west over the Neufenen Pass (Switzerland's highest) and down to Ulrichen. Take a right at Ulrichen and you'll eventually arrive in Gletch with the Rhone Glacier (what's left of it) and the Furka Pass road dead ahead and the road or the Grimsel on your left. If you go over the Furka back towards Andermatt, there's a gift shop near the glacier, you can buy a ticket and walk down into an ice cave that they cut each year.

    Otherwise, it's over the Grimsel and back to Interlaken.

    Assuming stops for lunch, drinks and pictures, this will be a busy day. The short loop is about 190kms and the long one about 260. You will need to recalibrate your mental odometer in the Alps.

    If you think that this could work for you, I can give you some other suggestions for other days.
    #10
  11. Vistar

    Vistar Adventurer

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  12. Twawsi

    Twawsi Adventurer

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    Just a friendly shot out to MichaelJ,

    Just now waking up in Andermatt :p
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  13. L21

    L21 Been here awhile

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    Twawsi
    How are the road conditions ? I will be there in three weeks on my way from Heidelberg to the south of France. Nice place to be waking up today:clap
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  14. babilon

    babilon Adventurer

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  15. Twawsi

    Twawsi Adventurer

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    I thought the roads were fine for my GSA. There was the usual winter road debris that the road crews were out cleaning and performing maintenance. I figure by the time you get there, they should be much better
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  16. L21

    L21 Been here awhile

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    Twawsi Thanks for the up date
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