Madrid, Rental choices?? Transalp!!

Discussion in 'Regional Forums' started by Mack, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    If all goes according to plan, I will be headed to Spain for a couple of weeks in November. I had hoped to rent a TDM or something similar, but that's not an option. The canidates consist of ST1100, CBR 600, Transalp, Pegasso/F650, NX 650, GSX 750, CB750 and a few others not worth mentioning. I am leaning toward the Transalp, as I don't feel like dealing with the weight of the ST1100, or the plastic of the CBR (Damage & luggage concerns.) Any input would be appreciated. (I am 6'4", 210#'s, and normally ride a VFR800 and a KTM Duke II.) Any Transalp owners out there? What are the luggage solutions? How is the power? Seems a bit tame compared to my Duke, but maybe it makes up for it in torque? TIA
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  2. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

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    Madrid in November is going to be cold, possibly really cold. I'd really consider getting a bike to go out of town but in Madrid proper, park it and take taxis. Driving is Madrid is chaotic at best. Out of the city is another story. I'd go for the ST if your going to be away from the city due to it's better wind protection (cold). In town I think that the riding position of the Transalp would be better. You'll be able to see the black taxicabs bearing down on you before impact better... I had a Madrid taxi driver yell at me on day "use a gun to kill yourself!..its' quicker!"... Seriously, the ride to Segovia is beautiful barrring any snow or ice on the mountain pass so is the ride to El Escorial . The ride out to the east of town beyond Torrejon and up onto the mesas can be spectacular.
    But seriously, save your ass and use other less deadly means of transportation in the city.
    When you're in Madrid make sure you eat at a restaurant called El Alcalde the have great crab bisque and spectacular Spanish food in general.
    Cheers,
    Jorge
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  3. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Thanks for the input, I don't expect to do much riding in Madrid. The actual plan is:Madrid to Leon-->Leon to Santander-->Santander to Bilbao-->Bilbao to San Sebastian-->San Sebastian-->San Sebastian to Jaca-->Jaca to Andorra-->Andorra to Barcelona-->Barcelona to Madrid--> Once back in Madrid, our host has obligations, and as I have no plans, just an additional open ended week to ten days to explore. I expect I will just follow the sun and my own curiousity. As to the cold, my main worry is ice! Though I am a bit cold blooded, but I plan to take some poly to wear under a Stitch, with an electric vest, and I might aquire some heated grip wraps, (though I had not given them a thought until now.) I will choose a bike this Monday, I think the ST1100 is spoken for. Theft seems to really limit rental options. Aloha, yeah right! Next your going to try and tell me there are towns with names like, Verbort, Cornelius, and Beaverton. (Hilhi class of 84)
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  4. jwin

    jwin Slow Learner

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    Rubcow, ever been to Cabo de Gato Park on the south coast? I spend a week walking there a few years ago and remember a lot of dirt roads and trails, but I don't remember how suitable for motorcycles they are. What did you think of southern Spain/andalucia as "GS country?"
    #4
  5. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

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    Jwin,,,Nope I haven't been to Southern Spain on a bike...I'll be it's fantastic on a gs though. I'm also itching to ride in Catalunya and in the mountains North of Madrid..Soon

    Mack, buddy...you're going to freeze your ass off....Early November might not be so bad but late November is pushing it. You REALLY need to be careful of ice. I was amazed at the microclimates and the temperature diffentials I experienced in Spain last December... The was considerble hoar/whore frost(sp?) on the road in the shaded curves. It was ther most of the days and was extremly slick. We spent an entire day driving through a snowstorm on the Costa Brava from Figueras to Barcelona...It was surreal.
    Be safe and have fun. Spain is a great and diverse country. Plus, the women are good looking and passionate and the food isn't bad either.
    Have fun and take notes to report back to us.
    Cheers,
    Jorge
    #5
  6. sashapave

    sashapave riders on the strom Supporter

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    damn, you lucky bastard! my favorite ride of all time is through the Pyrenees, although there might be too much snow that time of year.

    have a blast! send pics and reports!
    -sasha
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  7. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Sooner or later, want to find out if the Pyrenees are as awesome as what I experienced in New Zealand. Heard a lot of great things though, anyone ridden both? (The South Island blew my mind.)

    The group is a bit worried about the possibility of ice, but the plan is to play it safe, and if we have to, we will head toward better weather. It seems that the weather along the proposed route, is running a bit cooler then usual at present. The weather gods must know that I have not had a vacation yet this year, go figure. :(: The one time I am all for global warming, well at least for a week or two.

    The bloody rental situation is driving me nuts! ST1100 ruled out for weather, weight etc (1 only, and spoken for). A CBR 600, with no luggage, spendy, and just too much plastic! Then it drops to Transalps, with a single top case, and no side cases, and an exhaust that I am told burns any soft bags that get close. I guess people rent more for short trips, can't figure it out. And I am to damn cheap to pay US $125 to $150 a day for a BMW.

    Guess I will be going with a Aprilia Pegaso, with topcase and two E21 Givi side cases. Bike Magazine seemed to think that it is the sportiest of the F650GS, and Transalp 650, though maybe not the best to own. (The transalps for rent are all the older 600cc versions.) This should be easy!!:cry
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  8. Wings

    Wings RockiesToSandbox

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    Southern Spain would be awesome on a GS! My sis has a condo between Gibraltar and Marbella and I spent a few weeks down there last spring.
    I didn't do any riding but we did lots of day trips into the mountains in a car and I kept getting carsick.
    Tons of windy little roads, awesome scenery and lots of culture. Driving is an adventure to say the least.
    The locals (both spanish and british) are real friendly and everybody tends to meet for dinner and later on in a pub just about every night.
    If you go in May, the tourist season hasn't started yet but the weather is already perfect for riding-not too hot yet but mostly dry, warm and sunny.
    And if you're really itching for a little extra excitement, the ferry from Gibraltar to Tangier takes about 1/2 hour I think :eek:)
    #8
  9. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    I guess another side trip for fun, is to hop on the TGV and go for a 300kmh ride to another station, and back. This station is said to be out in the middle of nowhere, and it is quite impressive when the train appears out of nowhere, then disappears again. well, if it translated correctly, thats the case. lol

    http://www.blafermotos.com/viajes.htm

    It turns out Givi discontinued the tubular racks for the Transalp, what a pain, now I gotta figure out a way to carry my shit, or switch to another bike! Guess I might be riding an Aprilia Pegaso, and have numb hands for 3 weeks! I STILL refuse to pay $125 a day for a GS, though it's getting damn tempting.
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  10. dizave

    dizave Team Blitzed

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    They put it in the middle of nowhere (actually in the middle of two cities) because the two cities both wanted it! Hahahah!

    BTW insanely jealous of MC trip to Spain. Been trying to get more work out there for a little while but it isn't working, and if it does it will probably be in January :(

    -dave


    ¿Pero a que se debe que la estación TGV Haute - Picardie este en medio de la nada? Esto se debe a temas políticos. La estación era disputada por dos ciudades que pretendían tener el servicio de tren TGV (AVE FRANCES), así que el gobierno francés decidió poner la estación en el medio de estas dos ciudades lo que hace que esta sea un lugar perfecto para disfrutar de unos momentos de tranquilidad en su viaje a Francia.
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  11. P. Urquell

    P. Urquell Martini Taste Tester

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    Any URLs for motorcycle rentals in Spain?

    I'm going to southern Spain for vacation in December. I noticed scooter and motorcycle rentals in many places in Spain the last couple of times I was there. However, I recall prices being high. If I recall correctly it was more expensive to rent a motorcycle than a mid-sized sedan. Also no unlimited mileage on bikes.
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  12. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Whoops, sorry to be so slow with these, guess I have an excuse as I have been working on heavy maintenance check on my VFR, well at least it is a motorcycle excuse!

    http://www.imt-bike.com/index2.html
    http://www.blafermotos.com/principal.htm
    http://www.btinternet.com/~ultrablade/index.html

    The Spain trip looks a go, I am very excited and slightly perturbed all at the same time. I had really hoped to find a good bike for a modest price, but Spain just does not offer much in the middle weight dept. Looks like I will be going with a GS 1150, IF IT'S STILL AVAILABLE! Looking forward to riding the GS, but not to paying the rental bill. Still, it should be a great trip, and my first to Europe. I am wondering how it will stack up against New Zealand. So far we have four Americans going, one on a VFR (His own) , one on a ST1100, and one for sure on a GS1150, and myself on the same, if available. (Gotta call tomorrow, and commit.

    Hopefully, I will get off my ass and write a good trip report! Yeah right.

    Cheers, Mack.
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  13. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

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    Cool!
    Hey you'll be happy you got the GS. Repeat after me...."heated grips"...yeah! Take some good winter gloves in case it doesn't have hand guards.
    Enjoy the trip and ride like you take no prisoners in the cities. Whatever respect you have for people you share the road with should be left in the US. Ride as a gang and don't worry about pissing people off. That said, away from cars, the Spaniards can be some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Eat some Tapas for me and smile at a few pretty women. Oh and if you don't smoke now, you will have involuntarily smoked about a pack a day while in Spain!
    Cheers,
    Jorge
    #13
  14. P. Urquell

    P. Urquell Martini Taste Tester

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    Thanks for the links. I found that first one and that's the way I'm leaning. Will probably rent a GS in Seville. Last time I was there, I was sitting on the toilet in my hotel room for the whole time. Hopefully I won't get sick this time around.

    Have a good time in Spain.
    #14
  15. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Hola todos,

    Only 16 days to departure, been reading my travel books, getting pretty jazzed up, and feeling stupid for my earlier concern of having the most current travel books, Spanish history being as impressive as it is. I finally got fitted for a Stitch Roadcrafter, (tall and lanky really bites, when it comes to gear) and I picked up a Kanetsu electric vest as well. I hope I don't forget anything. I guess I should just get over my frugality, and the cost of the GS rental, and buy a decent digital camera, so I can share my lack of photographer DNA with ya'all. (I can use that contraction, as I now have a genuine Texas drivers license.)

    I had house guests this weekend, two riders "chasing Che" thought some of ya'all might find their endeavor interesting.

    Todd's site:

    http://www.twowheelsgood.net/toddp/AUTX.htm

    Hugh's site:

    http://www.twowheelsgood.net/twowheelsgood/

    Saludos, Mack
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  16. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Hola all,

    Really looking forward to riding the GS Adventure in Spain. As my contact in Madrid is on Holiday in Greece, I thought I would ask a question of ya'all. It looks like I will need to arrive in Madrid a few days early, as I am flying standby/space available, and the flights I had wanted to take are rather full. I am really excited, as the more I learn about Spain & Madrid, the more I want to try and stay for some extra days anyway.

    My problem at present, is trying to find a not too expensive hotel in Madrid at the last minute, as I did not think to reserve a room in advance for this possibility. The fact that I only speak English, is adding to the problem. I have followed my Madrid friends suggestions concerning websites, but nothing shows available for Tuesday 28th-Thursday 31st. (I have a room reserved for Friday Nov. 1st at the Orense Hotel, Pedro Teixeira.)

    I am looking for suggestions, as to finding a low cost hotel room would be (Relative to the high last minute rates most Madrid hotels seem to want), I am not very picky, just want a safe place to dump my gear and get a little sleep. Just not sure how things work in Madrid, I am tempted to just show up and try and find a place, but I have images of sleeping on a park bench.

    Any advice you might offer, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Mack
    #16
  17. sparky69

    sparky69 Been here awhile

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    a while back someone mentioned bike rentals . try hctravel .com ( david grist ). i rented from them in the UK ( veradero v-twin 1,000 ) it was very impressive. too bad it was a chain . hc are excellent !
    i also rented a klr 650 in SA. for 2 up & loaded it was underpowered.
    i plan on being in Spain in Dec. on the costa blanca region. the DAKAR will be passing through southern spain dec 31 ( stage 4 ). does anyone happen to know the exact route ? the web site does not indicate it yet. is David Park around ? he usually knows about this sort of thing before anyone else ; or so it seems.
    good luck on the trip. take lots of pics.
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  18. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Quick post: The trip is going great. We stayed in Bilbao yesterday, San Sebastian tonight. Great roads, the GSA works damn good at speed, but is a bit portly in the real tight stuff, and way to big for Spanish cities. One of the group, Eric is riding a standard GS, I think that might be a better choice for the Spanish roads. The group dynamics are great, four is about the perfect number. The food is exceptional, I expect I to gain a few kilos this trip. And best of all, Andy Velayos our host, who put a lot of effort in to planning the trip, and has been wonderfully gracious, educating us on Spanish culture, food, history, art, etc, and helping us to meet and socialize with some of the Spanish people, he has just been a great all around guy.

    I hope to do up a trip report when I get back. I am using a new camera for the first time on this trip, so hopefully it works out well. So far it (Cannon S30) seems to be taking pretty good picks.

    Saludos, Mack
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  19. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Sadly, our host Andy took the picture, so he is not in it. (I say sadly, do to all the effort he has put in to this trip.)

    Rides and names:I (Mack-GSA) am the tall squinty guy on the left, Eric-GS1150 (who keeps trying to swipe the keys to the VFR) is in the middle, Howard-(The experienced one) Pan Euro which he hustles along quite well, Andys VFR750 is behind us in the picture, and , Ainara with the pretty smile, well that is for us to know.
    #19
  20. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    Second attempt JPEG
    #20