Planning an Epic Trip to Europe

Yamaha FJR Motorcycle Forum

Help Support Yamaha FJR Motorcycle Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

SkooterG

Purveyor of Crooked Facts
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
10,414
Reaction score
1,836
Location
Skootsdale, AZ
Thanks to the encouragement of my girlfriend, this summer I am fulfilling my dream vacation of 10 years now and will finally get to Europe for some two-wheeled adventure!

Her and I will spend 2 months meandering around Europe. We leave May 29th, and return July 31st. My 09 FJR is on a boat to Europe right now. We fly in and out of Frankfurt. When planning this trip I figured 1 - 3 months. Decided 3 months was too long, so 2 months it was. Now I realize I am not going to get everywhere I wanted to go in two months. The good news is that the guy I am using to help with all the logistics - Stefan Knopf Tours https://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/Hello.html, will store a bike for only $400/year! And since I seem to have extra FJRs laying around it seems I will get back there some other time....

I started this thread to get input from you all on *must see* destinations. I am doing research and making a list. I won't get to all the places, but want to have my options....

No guided tours. Just going to wing it. I don't even want to plan the whole trip now as I want to be flexible while over there. Right now, very rough plan is this:

- First day while adjusting to jet lag do a day trip from Heidelberg, Germany, where my FJR is located to Marbach, Germany. Those of you who know me will probably know why.....

- Head into the south of France which I have been told is quite spectacular.

- Cross the Pyrenees (1 day or take 2 or 3?) into Spain and eventually to Barecelona.

- Head east for most likely 2 days at Cinque Terre in Italy. Continue east for a trip to the Ferrari Museum, and eventually a day in Venice.

From here I go blank. I know I wan to spend a lot of time in the Alps. There are places I want to go, passes I want to ride, but not sure where to stay.

So far on my list of things to do and see:

- Quick day trip to Paris, maybe

- Maybe head down to Florence, Italy

- Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

- Stelvio Pass as well as many others in the Alps

- Spend a day or two in Strasburg, Austria

- Day trip to Hallstatt, Austria

- 2 or 3 days in Prague towards the end of the trip

Generally:

- Alps, alps, and more alps. What passes, towns?

- Some hiking in the Alps

- Germany? Black forest?

- Amsterdam? Don't think I am going to get up there, but should I?

Initally I wanted to head more east to Budapest, Romania, and Croatia, but I just don't think there is going to be time to do that.

So what say all you? What recommendations do you have for me?

 
In case you haven't got the official notification…

FpDqClZ.jpg


 
Last edited by a moderator:
- Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

Excellent choice. While waiting for your tour time (Or after your tour), there are some trails to take behind the castle.

The water is clear as glass and the mountains are beautiful !

Stuttgart was my favorite city to visit, southern Germany rocks compared to the industrial northern parts.

Stuttgart - Bing - Travel

* some of the smaller quaint towns will leave the best taste in your mouth. Sidewalk Schnitzel stands, bakeries

Giel Kerkhof (IBA) would be a great contact and source for info.

BTW- Putting that POS Gen 2 on another continent…Priceless

 
Last edited by a moderator:
What port did you ship from and what is the shipping cost to Europe? How much time do you have to allow for transit? I am guessing that it was a significant saving vs a two month rental. (Probably would have ended out with a BMW if you did that!)

I am insanely jealous. Hope you have a fantastic time!

 
Thanks to the encouragement of my girlfriend, this summer I am fulfilling my dream vacation of 10 years now and will finally get to Europe for some two-wheeled adventure!
Her and I will spend 2 months meandering around Europe.

So what say all you? What recommendations do you have for me?
#1. Take me with you!
rolleyes.gif


#2. Pack half the clothes and twice the $$$ you think you will need.

#3. Two months is a long time for anyone to put up with your sorry ass, have a plan so she can get away from you for a couple of days.
punk.gif


 
What port did you ship from and what is the shipping cost to Europe? How much time do you have to allow for transit? I am guessing that it was a significant saving vs a two month rental. (Probably would have ended out with a BMW if you did that!)
I am insanely jealous. Hope you have a fantastic time!

See my link above for Stefan Knopf Tours. He is extremely helpful and handles all the logistics. I looked into doing it all myself and it would be a complete, and utter PIA!!!

He ships one container a year from Long Beach to Frankfurt. He is located in Heidelberg, 45 minutes south of Frankfurt. I dropped off my 09 FJR just before the deadline on February 12th giving it plenty of time to get to Europe for the summer. All I know is my FJR is currently on the boat and on it's way.

Cost to ship to Frankfurt was $1445 + 1% of value of the bike and gear for insurance. He flies it home for you for 1945 euros, or about $2,200. When I checked into renting a BMW R1200GS with a GPS the break even point was about 3-3.5 weeks. Of course me leaving it over there for $400/yr makes the next trip really economical as far as the bike is concerned.

He handles everything including getting the bike out of customs. Which apparently can be a major PITA. He also has a B-n-B on his property which make arriving and departing that much easier. He also helps with obtaining insurance for the bike and medical insurance, and other particulars. He also sent me a bunch of maps. So far, so good.

 
Jealous as hell Skoot, that's quite a trip you have planned!

I've been to Europe three times on business. If I were headed back on a motorcycle I would want to visit Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Milan and Florence were awesome with Zurich and Vienna a close second. I wouldn't give Paris my time again. The city itself was okay with lots of sights to see but the minute locals found out we were Americans, they were rude beyond belief.

Have a blast!

~G

 
Thanks to the encouragement of my girlfriend, this summer I am fulfilling my dream vacation of 10 years now and will finally get to Europe for some two-wheeled adventure!

Her and I will spend 2 months meandering around Europe.

So what say all you? What recommendations do you have for me?
#1. Take me with you!
rolleyes.gif


#2. Pack half the clothes and twice the $$$ you think you will need.

#3. Two months is a long time for anyone to put up with your sorry ass, have a plan so she can get away from you for a couple of days.
punk.gif
This ^^^. I completely, 1000% agree.

Well, except that I don't know if I can tolerate your sorry ass for 2 months either so maybe you better not take me with you.

Scooter....you suck.
Is there ANYONE that does not agree with this?

Jealous as hell Skoot, that's quite a trip you have planned!
I've been to Europe three times on business. If I were headed back on a motorcycle I would want to visit Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Milan and Florence were awesome with Zurich and Vienna a close second. I wouldn't give Paris my time again. The city itself was okay with lots of sights to see but the minute locals found out we were Americans, they were rude beyond belief.

Have a blast!

~G
Let me give an Amen. Switzerland... As a 14 year old riding through the Alps on a tour bus all I could think of was Pop's brand new GoldWing back home and how cool it would be to ride it over there. Well, that and Sharon Pierson sitting next to me on the bus. I thought about her a lot...

Sorry, back on topic. Paris was exactly as George described it. Even the cathedrals seemed commercialized. I was happy to get out of France but Switzerland and the Alps were the stuff of dreams.

 
I've traveled quite a bit in Europe on business and while in the Navy, so here's my high list of places I've been personally (much of it covered already):

1) Barcelona - my favorite city by far

2) London of course - I love musical theater so its a no brainer

3) Vienna - the old town is fantastic, great cafes, the opera house, old churches, etc..

4) Dresden - fantastic city now that its been rebuilt. The area around the river and centered around the cathedral is beautiful

5) Monte Carlo (if you got the wallet for taking some losses in the casino) - you're hanging with the real snobs of the world!

6) Amsterdam (for the weird factor)

7) Any of the beach cities on the French Riviera

8) If you can, go to Palma de Mallorca - one of my favorite memories of shore leave while in the Navy. let's leave it at that :) but great people, great beaches, great weather

9) Any of a number of Spanish cities on the Med - Benidorm was very nice when I was there

10) if you can get that far, Athens is tremendous if you're into history, art, and architecture

 
Zakopane - in the Carpathian Mountains in Poland was outstanding and the roads South and east of there make you think of West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and other Appalachian environs.

 
Hey Skoot, when I last saw you this side of the pond in October 2008 I thought I'd never see you again.
rolleyes.gif
Glad to see you're planning a grand return and I'll be happy to help locally.

I'll work on a few routing options for you, but I'd advise against taking your bike to Venice or Florence (or—worse still—Rome). These are cities that you want to explore on foot.

You can safely park your Yammie in my garage (hope my Honda won't mind
sicksmiley02.gif
) and ride a high-speed train to either city.

The Alps, no. You need to diligently work your way up and down the passes like you did eleven years ago on my tricked-out 2005 FJR

Having run an epic Tour of the Pyrenees back in 2008 (with our late friend Don) I can also give you some good pointers for that section of your trip.

If you play it right, you can take in a big chunk of Europe in sixty days.
smile.png


 
Last edited by a moderator:
We used to have a manufacturing plant in Cluses, France. Flew in and out of Geneva. I always wanted to get to this area on a bike. Check out Annecy, France. Try the Tartiflette (a wonderful cheese, potato and onion dish - you wont shit for a day but it is worth it). A ride along the North side of Lac Lemon from Geneva to Nyon to Lusanne to Montrueax (Freddie Mercurys birthplace) would be fabulous - I have done it on a train several times but not by car. Then again there was so much wine involved - maybe park the bike and get on the train for a couple of days. Heading SE out of Geneva on A40 will take you to Chamonix and towards Turin, Albertville and Milan.

The food is fabulous - I would recommend getting an upgrade on your rear shock part way through the ride. You will get fatter - much fatter.

So jealous - by the way the Jet du'Eau in Geneva is pretty cool. It is fountain in Lac Lemon in Geneva the water spray goes up about 400 feet. You can't miss it.

 
A trip like that would make me nuts. Being one who enjoys history, I would be looking for old castles and WWII battle fields. But there also would be 2 events that I would love to be a witness to just once. The Isle of Man TT and the Tour de France. And both are in that time frame.

Envious for sure; but happy that someone gets to do it. Have fun Scooter.

 

Latest posts

Top