Some questions on a Europe trip, and motorcycle shipping...

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by cialowicz, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Since 2002, I have NEVER seen this much traffic this early in the season.
  2. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    There are some great small roads if you look around, one I remember was NW of Kaysersberg, which is a great place to stay, small, easy in and out, some great restaurants and shops and quite quaint. Wife and I planned on spending a couple nights a few years back, liked the area so much spent 3 or 4, Hotel Constantin was very nice and quite reasonable.
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  3. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    I turned the bike in, and got little more than a tut-tut-tut for bringing back scrapped left side. And a forfeit of the €100 deductible, of course. Plus filling out an accident report.

    I'll try to put up some short snippets from hairpins, more open riding, and the mobs.

    I don't know about European GPS', but the Garmin Zumo 660 is almost worthless when it comes to plugging in an address more than couple of miles away. I've been sent up farm tracks(!), through the back streets of several towns, and generally places that did little to get a desired trip completed. The cause is, once discovered, blindingly obvious. The planning/navigation function looks at the many open roads with 50-60 mph speed limits (most roads outside of towns) and assumes you can make tons of time on these roads. The speed limit may be right, but 60 mph on a farm track is ...um... pushing things a bit. Base Camp helps somewhat, but the Garmin maps are simply out of date. Closures (as in this road no longer exists), added traffic circles, re-routing... Garmin's clueless far too often. Plan on using the GPS as a back-up to good large scale maps (less stuff on a page, but with greater detail - "large" comes from x distance on the ground takes up more space on the map). And, in all seriousness, signage (routes to passes are often marked, for example) help, too.

    The Swiss passes (Gotthard, Nufen, Grimsel, Susten, Furka) were generally light, or at least had a "congenial" amount of traffic. Head to the "name" passes in Italy and it's a different story. The tourist traffic in the Swiss and many Austrian towns was surprisingly light. My wife and her family visited Lake Garda (northern Italy) and the places were mobbed. I suspect there's a correlation with pass traffic.

    FWIW the roads that charge for access open around 8.00 - 8.30. Have fun with breakfast...

    Summing up the KGT. Will it go through passes? Yes. But it's going to be challenging, between the torque issue, and the high CoG. On more open roads, the KGT will that stuff with a spoon.

    The trick with hairpins, going up, is to get your gear jamming done before entering the turn. You can still sneak in some braking (much more rear than front recommended) right up to the point of changing direction. The real magic is in delaying the turn-in and then turning tighter than might seem best. Keep your sight line well out in front and up the hill. This gives you a much better look at what's coming. If you're steering, lean the bike over, with your weight to the outside. Vice versa if your counter-steering. The point is to let the side of the tire reduce the steering effort. And don't forget to power out of the turn.

    Trying to take a "racer's line", wide radius, tight apex, is almost a sure bet to get close to kissing a wall or kissing air as you go over the edge. It also brings you into a great line-up to be center-punched by descending traffic. Get your speed together, go long, go on the side of the tire, and keep your eyes way out front.

    Going down, the rules are the same, but speed management on a 10-14% grade becomes a challenge. I often hit the brakes hard while in 2nd or 3rd and then effectively idled the motor during the turn.

    My apologies if I'm describing what you already know.
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  4. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Maybe it's the Zumo. I've been using Garmin GPSes for years now with no issues (unless I select "shortest route"). I use their Marine units - GPSMaps 478, 640 and the new 276Cx this year.
  5. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    It may well be the 660, but given Base Camp is only Garmin-centric and not Zumo-centric, I'm not sure about that. For an example, try a route from Bad Schwalbach to Montabaur (Germany). Use "Driving" mode. The results will be a route about 51 km long with 45 minute drive time. Having (out of sheer cussedness) driven the route, the distance may be right but the drive time is about double the forecast. And this with no significant traffic, construction, or even rail crossing delays. The actual fastest route is Bad Schwalbach to Idstein to Montabaur via A3. (the Limburg route is longer because of the extended time off A3).

    Again, the problem is the routing function looks at distances and speed limits and plans based on that. Google Maps likes going up B260, B54 to Limburg and A3, and Idstein to A3, in that order. First hand experience with all three shows the last route is the winner every time. Maps falls into the same trap of all open roads have a 60 mph / 100 k/h speed limit (towns drop back to 50 or 40 or 30 k/h).

    At least with Maps, there's at least some choice of routing. Base Camp throws down one route and that's it.

    With the 660 on the road, more than once it's been jammed with two or more turns on top of each other (usually in towns). The result is left turn / right turn is the wrong direction. My tracks show more than one interesting detour, including being sent the wrong way on the main loop in Cortina - it runs clockwise (no surprise) and the 660 sent me against traffic.

    And this doesn't get into the accuracy of the maps. I don't include transient changes due to short-term construction. I'm talking about "road doesn't exist", "pedestrians only - road closed to traffic", "private road through a farm".

    The GPS in the Ford C-Max from Hertz is smarter than that on longer trips (Munich - Bad Schwalbach for about 450 km).

    Bottom line: at least in Europe, I no longer trust Garmin GPS' beyond a general notion of which way to go, and that only after looking at paper maps.
  6. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Well, Garmin gets their maps & data from Navteq - so that's where to throw the rocks.
  7. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    Be that as it may, take a look at OMS and Zenmaps (related to OMS) for current info, albeit also given to occasional surprises. Open source can be like that. OTOH, even relatively short-term construction detours are usually present and current. Kurviger app and Kurviger.de web site use it exclusively and there are amazingly few gripes. Too bad it can't be stuffed in Garmin GPS'.

    Navteq aside, there's still the issue of ...um... curious route planning.
  8. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

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    We made a Pact on our first trip.

    If the GPS is confused, or simply confuses us, we ride in whatever direction it is taking us until we find a safe place to pull over and then start over again
    On occasion, I would restart the GPS and let it clear its head before routing us again.
  9. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    That's pretty much the strategy I moved to. Getting a safe place to pull over was sometimes a challenge, so I saw some streets I'd rather have left for others to enjoy. As it were... [/grin]
  10. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Been there. Recently. Following someone else following his SatNav instead of doing my own navigating. :fpalm
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  11. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    After endless September/ Oct weeks spent in autumn/ fall sunshine, empty roads, having the place to ourselves
    .....and guided by old's-cool paper maps!!!!... this is bloody hilarious, the lot of it :imaposer:imaposer
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  12. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Tried that. 2015. 3 weeks of cold rain.
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  13. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    Ooooohhh... that's something I never do, riding or sailing. The "leader" may be a Zen Master on going somewhere, or a total idiot. Without a resume in hand, I go with the "total idiot" assessment. I generally have fewer problems. OTOH, if I get lost, run aground, etc., I've got nobody else to blame for it.

    In long distance sailing, there's the concept of "buddy boats". The idea is two or more boats head together for St. Pomme de Terre Cay. If something goes sour, the buddies will come to the rescue. Riiiiight. Worse, there's an implicit responsibility to stick together, even when common sense says "very bad idea". I see group riding the same way, with testosterone adding to the thrills... :fpalm
  14. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    At the moment, I have a couple of German touring magazines in front of me. Every pass road is close to empty, the sky is bluer than a Scandinavian blonde's eyes, and the surface is somewhere near fresh new 220 grit sandpaper.

    I call :topeson that.
  15. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    What? You didn't call up US Scair,and ask them to defer your tickets until the weather improved?:imaposer

    FWIW, after the Edelweiss tour this time last year, where I think there were all of 37 raindrops on all 19 bikes, the next tour almost needed scuba gear. Some days you're the dog, some days you're the tree.
  16. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    Yup Michelin regional or local (orange and yellow) maps, and a Garmin 478 which gives me a moving arrow on about a 15x8 km detailed map showing every cow path. Maps give the big view, let me explore where I want to go, GPS then get me there on the route I prefer to link those roads. I could never use a GPS with what I call a cartoon view or low resolution in map mode. As for places to pull over, generally not a problem as I gravitate to roads that I can just stop in the middle and put the kick stand down as there is little or no traffic, even in high season.

    Austria
    DSC_8640.JPG
    Slovenia
    DSC_8737.JPG
    Italy
    P1060209.JPG
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  17. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

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    IMG_6898.JPG You're doing it wrong.

    IMG_6959.JPG

    No traffic
    No GPS problem
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  18. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    You could not pay me enough to ride a "balcony" road. It was bad enough being almost nailed by an Austrian post bus on almost one-track Leutascherstr. but still having a very narrow way past after all the excitement ended. Here it's mostly "all dressed up and no place to go" if opposing traffic shows up. AFAIK some of these roads are one way, but some, for sure, are not. Merci non!
  19. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

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    Such a narrow mind.

    I remember when a GS was considered a poor choice (your words)for the Alps too

    Open your mind,deep breath,ah....
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  20. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson #1 Earl Pitts fan!

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    Ah, Danny boy, I was waiting for your next insightful post. I knew one had to show up soon.