Two Weeks in the Alps - Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland on a RT 1250.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jotaga, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Jotaga

    Jotaga Been here awhile

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    Nov 22, 2011
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    Hey you all!! Greetings from Brazil!


    Soon I'll be heading to Europe with my wife to our biggest motorcycle trip to date! We will travel 14 days cruising at an easy pace in the Alps, mainly Italy and Switzerland, and despite being our 4th motorcycle trip I am very anxious about it since it will be on the colder temperatures we ever rode!!


    We will be two up on an R 1250 RT. Rode GS´s on the past trips but the cold got me thinking about the higher windscreen and the heated seats. I know the temperatures are not TOO low, but for us will be colder than our winter and never experienced on a motorcycle. Hopefully it will be a nice experience!!! (I can tell you guys that that riding here on humid weather and over 40º C (104F) is not a good experience, so I am looking forward to experience the northern autumn).


    I ́ll try my best to report daily here (wanted to do it on the other trips but having English as a second language got me very lazy about it).


    That´s it!


    For now just my bag and the stickers we made to the trip!


    Cheers!!

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    #1
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  2. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    :drink:lurk
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  3. boristhebold

    boristhebold Been here awhile

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    Have a great trip.

    Layers.....don't wait until you get cold to layer up when riding (and make sure you stay hydrated, even if cool or col, you need fluids)
    #3
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  4. st2sam

    st2sam Been here awhile

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    Heated gear.
    At least a pair of Vests and maybe heated gloves for your wife.
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  5. Jotaga

    Jotaga Been here awhile

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    Now I'm getting afraid!!!:(
    We have programmed 4 layers under the jacket and have some spare to layer up and also can use the rain jackets over all.
    We'll buy winter gloves tomorrow (and pinlock visors), but really did not think about buying heated gear. I appreciate the tip and will check it at the store but maybe will take my chances... lets see!
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  6. btrrtlwtr

    btrrtlwtr Been here awhile

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    I am wearing heated gear already in northern Ontario Canada I’m sure the high alps are colder . Heated gear I would say is a must enjoy the ridew
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  7. Jotaga

    Jotaga Been here awhile

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    Day 1 (Munich - Kranjska Gora)


    We decided to rent our motorcycle in Munich because we already knew the renter from a previous trip. It is a rental company established inside the BMW dealer (BMW Zentrum) and the bikes are very new and well maintained. That’s so true that when I called the guys to make the reservation I wanted an R1200GS and the guy told me that they only had the new 1250 model available. Well… what could I say? Let’s go with the new machine! Later I changed to the RT because of the higher windscreen and heated seats but kept the additional 50cc.


    We were a little anxious about raining in the first day (the forecast during the entire previous week was indicating rain) but thankfully the day started with a beautiful blue sky. We hitted the rental company at about 8:00 but only managed to start the trip at 10:30 (paperwork, luggage setup, vignette for Austrian highways, gps routes upload etc.). The plan for the first day was to cross Austria and go straight to Slovenia because we already rode Austria on a previous trip and wanted to know some different places. So, from Munich we took an autobahn and went southeast crossing Austria on a single stretch (with just a small pause for an expresso and an additional layer of clothes for my wife). I felt that my wife was exaggerating on the cold sensation but who is gonna argue with her, right?


    After some highways in Austria we changed to secondary roads and started climbing our first mountain pass (Wurzenpass) that is right at the Austria/Slovenia border. There are some war artifacts at the road shoulders that I suppose were put there during the cold war. The place is almost a triple border (Austria, Italy and Slovenia) and I think that it is a very disputed area.


    As soon as we crossed the border we stopped at a duty free shopping and discovered a whole section dedicated to Cannabis products. As the seller (dealer?) told us all the products are THC free and only contains CBD, so nobody would get high using them… just bought some mints and didn’t get high with them indeed.


    Seven more km down the mountain winding trough a very scenic road and we reached Kranjska Gora - a very small town on the extreme northwest of Slovenia, surrounded by beautiful mountains and with a really beautiful green lake at its heart - Jasna Lake. This lake was the reason why this town was included on the route. I saw it on a video of a friend while researching my routes and simply decided to go check by myself. Unfortunately it was not possible to see the Julian Alps as the lake backdrop because of the clouds, but it was not raining as predicted and we could take a hike around the lake enjoying the evening. We ended the day with a delicious dinner (garlic soup, smoked local trout, rump steak and fried apples with cranberries jam… this dessert triggered some good laughs as I tried to pronounce it’s name in Slovenian - ocvrta jabolka z brusnicami).


    The forecast for tomorrow is still rain. Let’s see!

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  8. JoséLuiz

    JoséLuiz www.alpesdemoto.com

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    Olá amigo. Esperando o resto do relato da sua viagem.
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  9. Jotaga

    Jotaga Been here awhile

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    Sorry for the HUGE delay guys.
    It was very difficult to post during the trip and I just forgot to keep up afterwards.
    Now I'll try to end my report.

    Here is the video from day 01. Not sure if it is OK to post youtube links... please let me know. I am not a youtuber and I am not monetizing it with my herd of 4 subscribers (myself, my son, a friend and one from General audience :jack)

    Headphones recommended. I tried to take care of the audio too)

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  10. Jotaga

    Jotaga Been here awhile

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    Day 02 - Kranjska Gora (SI) to Sauris (IT).


    I woke up early, left my wife in bed and headed to Jasna Lake before breakfast eager to make some pictures but unfortunately there was no sunrise. The weather was very overcast and the mountains that serve as a backdrop to the lake (and also our initial path for the day) were covered with low clouds/mist. I decided to wait a little to see how the weather would behave and rain started pouring. I was on regular clothes and didn´t want to get wet because I wouldn’t have a place to store soggy clothes just before the riding day ahead. So, I found some shelter on a closed restaurant just by the lake and waited… There were some brief moments when the rain eased a little, but right after it got strong again. I waited all I could and decided to head back, have breakfast and get ready for the day. Thanks to the large RT windscreen I managed to get back relatively dry. My wife was a little apprehensive with my delay but haven’t noticed the rain, so I gave her the news and we went to breakfast hoping for the rain to cease.

    But it didn’t. So, we geared up, put our rain suits and just went for it.

    Shortly after leaving Kranjska Gora we started to climb the Vrsic Pass (1611m/5285ft). At first, some winding roads and light ascent, and then the climbing starts with a lot of U-turns coming. It was a good paved road, but the U-turns were paved with stones. I don’t know the reason why they use paving stones on the corners, but all of them were this way. I forgot to setup the rain mode on the bike and was fiddling with the (new for me) controls while climbing the pass into the mist. My wife kept asking what I was doing and assumed I wasn’t paying enough attention to the road and the “rain/mist/corners/controls” debate on the intercom built some tension to the ride.

    Some corners ahead we reached a Russian Chapel (Ruska Kapelica) built in 1916 in honor of the dead under the road construction (Russian Prisoners caught on an avalanche). It is a small wooden chapel on the top of a hill, surrounded with trees and with a grave in front of it. Charming and kind of sinister under that weather.

    After the break we settled our nerves and I managed to setup the rain mode on the bike. A dozen U-turns uphill and we reached Vrsic Pass. It seemed that the most of the clouds were trapped on the Kranjska Gora side of the pass because as soon as we reached the top the weather was way better, despite the continuous rain.

    On the way down we stopped at a monument raised for Julius Kugy - a mountaineer, writer, botanist, humanist, lawyer and officer of Slovenian descent who was known for his travelogues from opening up the Julian Alps, in which he reflected on the relationship between man, nature, and culture (mind you those early “ride reports”!). Shortly after the end of the pass descent we stopped at a beautiful gorge of the Soca River with blue glacier waters.

    From there, the short path to our destination was to enter Italy and keep west but I had planned to ride the Mangart Saddle – a one way mountain road that ends at 2,072m/6798ft on a geographical border (a huge cliff) between Slovenia and Italy. I was a little apprehensive because of the weather but there was my chance. We went uphill carefully and reached the top between clouds and with A LOT of wind.

    My hands were wet from the hours of rain and a not so waterproof pair of gloves. I took them off to make some pictures and regretted as soon as the tingles started. Pictures taken, not so much to see on the clouds and down we go. The road is narrow on a wild and magnificent scenery, and the weather added a lot of drama to it. For the curious, check the road at a map and look for a “knot” on the map, because of some U-turns and a tunnel on a sequence. Never saw something like it.

    We went down safe despite my concerns on black ice (something I never experienced and was a little bit afraid of) and crossed to Italy. We had also mapped another “detour” to climb Mount Zoncolan pass but we were really tired of the continuous rain (that got really strong just before the Zoncolan ascent) and we decided to skip, heading straight to Sauris. A short stop for a coffee and some minutes out of the cold rain on the way.

    Approaching Sauris we went to some nice road with tunnels and cliffs and rode a little mountain road to our hotel, just over a beautiful blueish lake (Sauris Lake)

    We arrived soaked, happy, tired and with relief after a long riding day. As soon as we stopped the rain also stopped and the weather started to clear. We had a bottle of wine and some local prosciutto while contemplating the beautiful view of the lake, with hope of a better weather.
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  11. Jotaga

    Jotaga Been here awhile

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    And the video of day 2 (headphones always recommended)
    #11