European trip

Just back from around 2200 miles in Europe with Mike.

I was on my CBR600RR and bought the ventura bracket and packrack so that I could fix more things around my oxford tailpack on the seat. Luckily (for me) Mike took a Multistrada that he modified for the trip (so it would last being a Ducati :P) and so his panniers had a lot of the stuff like cooking things, bottles of wine :w00t: and he fitted a fancy charging system so we could charge our mobiles. :smiley:

I dont really have time to write a long report but there are few things worthy of sharing.

1 - It is really easy to camp in France and the campsites have flat grassy plots to pitch on, nice hot showers and often have bars/restaurants so its actually fine after a long day riding around.

2 - the S62 in Italy is a lovely road to ride though the mountains. Apparently the S63 and the other parallel roads are all really good but we didnt have time for them.

3 - Luxembourg had some unexpected lovely roads eg around Remich and along the Waistrooss river. We didnt plan to go there but took a wrong turning and ended up pleasantly surprised.

4 - We stumbled on this place in Bussang after a long days ride and it had just started to rain. Much better than camping. Really friendly. Mark who runs the place with his family was v welcoming and we had a great night there. There are a lot of nice roads around there but we only experienced them in the wet as we were on our way back. I think it would be a great place to use a base for a few days riding and he said there is an offroad riding place about an hour away where you can hire bikes so that might be another fun option for a day if you do use it as a base.

5 - Lake Como is way nicer than Lake Garda

6 - in Italy you dont have to pay for the toll roads. if you look for the road markings on the way up to the telepass toll gate (ie not the coins/card/cashier booths) you will see a yellow/orange motorcycle painted on the road and the barrier on the telepass gate is shorter so bikes can ride through. We didnt notice it the first few times and ended up paying, not a lot, but it was only by chance I saw the road marking when I was crossing over to what I thought was the correct booth.

7 - If you have a datatool alarm, make sure you have a pin set because at one toll road a mast interfered with my alarm fobs and if I didnt have a PIN set it would have been annoying. Oh and carry the bit of paper telling how to disarm the alarm using a PIN…pretty useless otherwise!

8 - dont forget to take pucks for under your stands especially if you are camping as a lot of places have soft gravel that isnt ideal for parking a bike on.

Drivers in Europe are generally really considerate both to each other and especially to bikers. They pretty much move into the hard shoulder to let you past. I hadnt been abroad on my bike before and I loved it. I have ridden around a lot of places in the UK and have experienced cafes/bars that look down at bikers and are sometimes not keen to serve you but we were impressed by how helpful people were abroad. Dont be nervous about it and go as soon as you can!

Oh and remember when you get off your first motorway and come to a crossroads, please stop and look both ways as its easy to get forget the first few times. I admit that there was one junction where I looked the wrong way and got a bit of a scare as I might have continued onto the junction if the car in front of me hadnt been there and stationary (and there was a car coming too :unsure: )

Have fun









Sounds awesome. I’d like to see how you loaded up your bike. I have a top box on mine but it might need securing with some cargo nets for long distances.

2200 miles on a 600RR!!! :w00t: how did you find it? comfort wise? you must have been jealous of the multistrada at times!!! sounds a great trip though

sounds awesome, do you have any pics?!?!

I highly recommend the ventura packrack system. It is really stable.
It has one long bracket that runs along the side of the bike that is bolted in at the rear footpeg and exhaust bracket. You dont have to cut anything and its easy to fit, even with my aftermarket exhaust.
then you choose which rack you want on the top. I chose the taller one so I could take more stuff if needed but as it turned out Mike took most of the stuff including the stupidly big tent I insisted on buying :slight_smile:

I dont normally get any pains on the RR when on long rideouts…well other than the usual stiff legs/numb bum so I wasnt too worried.

However I did some wrist pains on the 3rd day on both sides that settled until the second last day when my left forearm flared up so much that I couldnt bend my arm up to get my helmet off etc without wincing. It was fine if I took paracetamol but I kept forgetting till it started hurting and I was riding. We did about 350 miles on that day and if I am honest I dont think I could have gone on much longer than we did without crying into my helmet! We ended up in a Formule 1 hotel that night. But it was back to normal the day after we got back so I dont think it was a major issue. We probably just rode too much but by the time it was a problem we had to keep riding to get back…my fault though as we probably only rode so far into Italy because I wanted to get there.

I wouldnt have wanted to ride the multistrada…never did figure out how to use a centre stand and think I would have dropped it trying to get it off it! lol. The multistrada did put the RR to shame but only because of the riders…Mike used to race so could get anything round a bend faster than me and we experience fear at very different levels! :w00t:

I’ve added some Alex. How’s the CBR going?
I have more photos but cant be bothered taking the number plates off etc so hope these are okay. PM if you want any more info

Brill, nice pics. CBR is going awesomely, absolutely loving it - although I really need to get out on it more!

Agreed. Until this trip I had been just using to ride across London in various directions numerous times a week…and its not as much fun when its just transport.

Fantastic over there Anita isn’t it, you say lake Como was way better than Garda.

Where did you visit at lake Garda……Limone Sul Garda, Riva Del Garda, Malcesine.?

I’ve not done Como yet but plan to do this one next year as well as a few others down that side.

Tell me more?

Good to hear about the trip!
+1 on the road manners thing.

Do a more in depth description, sort out a few more photos and get Andrew to help you put it on the site as an article! :slight_smile: (although more people will comment on it here :wink: ).

Really like the pictures, certainly looks like you had a great trip.However, I am not sure about item 6 - re motorbikes not paying tolls in Italy. This link

suggests that motorbikes over 150cc are in the same charging category as cars (bikes below 150cc are not allowed on Italian Motorways).

Hopefully with a GB plate I doubt they will bother trying to collect any missing tolls.

I wish I had time
Plus I have forgotten half of the roads
We made it all up and had nothing planned bar the first campsite and I only thought to make marks on the map half way through
I am sure its all on my satnav but I imagine there is only so much space and yet again I cant remember how to get the info off. Maybe I need to find my notes from Joby’s class. lol

To be fair I didnt ride all the way round but Lake Como just seemed a lot less developed and although it wasnt quite the season when we were there, I imagine Garda is rammed in Summer. We didnt stay the night in the Lake Garda area as the parts we saw were dead and it seems geared for tourists (ie they cant be arsed serving food to 2 bikers as its not worth their while. they are used to hundred of people filling up the restaurant) whereas Como was quieter but with more locals who were welcoming. I was more impressed by the scenery there too but accept I shouldnt have made such a sweeping statement against Lake Garda given that we didnt see the north of ir nor Malcesine which I have heard good things about. I just dont like places where tourists go unfortunately! lol

Hopefully! Just read the website and it does appear that we should have been paying in the same way as cars.
We paid the first few times but then saw other bikes going through so copied them. I kind of hoped the motorbike painted on the ground was permission. Whoops.
Fingers crossed.