Hiring a bike in Italy/Pisa

Hey all,

I’m thinking of taking a break in Italy and would like to visit a couple of friends near Pisa. Does anyone have any experience with hiring a bike in Italy? I would like to land at Pisa, hire a bike and bugger off for a few days, perhaps a week.

I’ve found a couple of hire company websites, and the going rate seems to go from €400-700 for 7 days. I’d like something good for pillions and idealy with some hard luggage already fitted to hold my own luggage (I’d travel light anyhow, just some clothes, a tooth-brush, camera and a laptop!). In an ideal world, it’d be an Italian bike, but I don’t think you’d get it for the price. I don’t need anything special and have seen Hornet 600’s at the bottom end and big trail bikes at the top end. I think a road bike would be better so I can carve some roads.

I found one place hiring out X8 400’s for €380 a week which seems the cheapest, but haven’t ridden one and wonder if they’re grunty enough for motorway use?

Chunky and Bikerboy went and stayed with Alice last year in Livorno and both hired bikes,one had a 800GS I think,can’t remember the other:D

Bikerboy hired bikes from a place called Stradanova in Florence last summer, Mark had a KTM690SM and I had a BMW GS800.

Florence is pretty close to Pisa and I’d recommend them to anyone.

Make sure when you do go jay, take a camelpack with you as it was 40deg out there last summer:w00t:

Thanks for the tip!

Now I’m wondering how long it’d take, and how much it’d cost to ride down there. It’s a bloody long ride, but it’d be an awesome one, and I dare say cheaper than spending £600 on a hire bike and flights.

Edit: Google says 915m, 15 hours. Obviously not including ferry and toll roads.

Edit2: RailEurope can take a bike from Calais to Nice for about £500, which is the same as a hire bike for a week, less flights. Hrm. Has anyone ridden non-stop from London to Northern Italy before? I don’t mind a long day, but I wouldn’t want to bite off more than I can chew. Fuel would be about £150 both ways I guess at £10 a tank for 120 miles.

There’s a company called Ducatitours who organize trips around Italy, (bikes based in Italy) they may be able to help you out.

when you planning on going Jay…we might see you down there as thats the area we are going to, our aim is to get there in 2 days hopefully get south of Dijon 1st day so we can take our time on the Alps section :slight_smile:

My money’s on going on your own bike.

I’ve been thinking of doing a long ride and have had Italy in mind so if you do ride I’d be interested to know how you get on.

Hopefully you won’t adopt a Sanders haircut.:slight_smile:

I rode Biarritz to Paris in a day, 2 up - it’s about 300 miles and 1 ferry short of the one dayer you’re talking about.
I reckon it’s do-able but I’m on a 1200GS. With your bike, I reckon you’d need an overnight halfway.

If it’s cheap you’re after, why not go for a Formula1 or Campanille halfway down France - Lyon or somewhere - as it would be cheaper than Switzerland?

My brother took the sleeper train with his car once - from Northern Germany to Southern Germany. A good night’s sleep + woke up 600 miles later with his car and for about €20 more than the petrol. Might be worth looking at…Edit - for one way, at any rate. You’d want to experience the long ride once, but your bum and wrists might thank you for only doing it one way!

steveCBR11XX, no plans yet, but perhaps a month or two’s time. Going along with you guys or meeting up somewhere would be great.

Thanks TheRammo. I’m trying to get an idea in my head of the options and costs. The train from Calais to Nice seems way too expensive, the price of a full bike hire in Italy. I need to look at more train options, see if there’s a cheaper option. Getting a train one way and then riding back over two legs as you suggest sounds like a nice idea.

Riding down in one go is too adventurous, clearly, I don’t know what I was thinking. Overly excited I think, hehe.

Either way, with a long ride in there, the logistics do concern me a little. I love the gung-ho idea, and this normally works for me, but the thought of getting a puncture along the way or something is worrying, and I dare say a real risk.

http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/Passenger_services/Auto_Train/?rfrr=PropositionAller_header_Auto%20Train#Prices and tariff
Lille to Avignon €166 each way. That leaves 400 miles to Pisa, which is totally doable in a day. Taking me through Nice, Monaco and other beautiful parts of the med! That sounds much better.

Have a word with Afro, Jay. Him and Bumblebee rode back from Livorno last year as well and he will be able to give you spot on costings.

I would allow 3 days to get down there if it was me. Alice did the trip a few times;)

these guys are in lucca Jay, not far from pisa…

Be a nice ride up to bolonga to the factory if you havent been…


I took the ferry and rode through France, into Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and back through France to the ferry.

Ferry was £35 return, tolls to Italy where around £80 Fuel again around £80-100, overnight stops Rheims(F1 40 euro) and Grenoble (camping 10 euro)

Only stopped at rheims due to catching a late (2000hrs) ferry (got to rheims at 0230) 2 hours from Grenoble your at the Italian border.

Great roads from Grenoble through to Italy - just mind the italians nutters in Cages though.

Thanks Belizibub :slight_smile: I hope to be looking at that sign some time soon!

Hi Jay, May I suggest flying to Pisa with easyjet and spending what you save (it’s cheap if you book soon) on hiring a bike.

I’d very strongly recommend Ducatitours - speak with Joe Charity, the owner. They’re not necessarily the cheapest, but the quality, oh the quality! Moreover, you’ll get total support - get a flat or a mechanical problem and they’ll pick you up.

They’re based in Lucca, which is no distance from Pisa (about £15 in a cab). If you’re going, you MUST do the back roads through the hills NE of Lucca towards Bologna. They are unbelievable.

Lucca, if you don’t know it already, is a wonderful medieval walled city and a great place to stay.

If you’re going to ride to Pisa from Avignon, the coast road is lovely but - and it’s a big one - it is not quick and those 400 miles could seem a very long way. The motorway is better if you’re interested in making good time. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid the Riviera coast roads if at all possible. A police chief admitted to us there is an epidemic of drunk-driving and the behaviour of some drivers can be seriously unpleasant - and I say that as someone who commutes through London! Tuscany, on the other hand, is a delight.

I really hope you make it - you’ll adore it.

This was us last summer - these were some of the mildest bends … and needless to say I’m somewhere at the back!

I was born in Pisa and lived in Marina di Pisa and Livorno my youth, I can’t believe you guys would want to ride motorcycles in Italy in August with all the gear.Vespa, shorts, flip flops, helmet (maybe) and just go to the beach to eat ice cream, drink coffee and find a nice girl to have a stroll with.

I absolutely love riding but it’s just too damn hot in July/August in Italy, personally May rules in Italy, its like a beautiful hot British Spring day you know, but with all the gubbings that come with being in Italy and hardly any turists/traffic.

Beaches are very nice and secluded/private at that time too :)…good times, good times.

Ha! Yeah, well the heat is another good reason to get up into the mountains during the day … and back down for a swim and drinks later. Damn!! I want to be back there NOW!!!Max, what are you doing living here when you could be there. Are you nuts? :smiley:

Heh yeah btw what I said above about the helmet was a joke, in the last few years it’s become law and compulsory plus the police is very strict in enforcing the helmet law.It’s true when I think back, my room had a balcony overlooking the sea across the road in front of the building and my grandad owned a cheap beach resort so every summer we all pitched in to re-paint all the cabins, rebuild the wood seafront thing and spend the summer setting up the beach, deckchairs and umbrellas then chilling on the beach…and I used to think it was boring…omg…I never knew what I had until it was gone but my family had to move for work reasons so I was dragged to the UK.To be honest though, I love it here and I can always go back and holiday in the summer if I want to, but the way you can actually own your home, health system, faireness of employment and government taxes/corruption is so much better here.Right now Italy is like a paradise, hot but not too much, after ferragosto in september it can get a little chilly in the evening so I would not wait too much longer before going, also as the turist season hits the traffic becomes a lot more. Remember we start going to the beach in late March>April until September.

i was thinking of riding down to visit some family near naples so i would be interested to hear how you get on jay

i loked at via michelien and they also have a route planner which gives you costs as well…

but july / aug is fecking hot out there!!

Fab posts, thanks guys.

wildwoodflower, a ferry and a train ride (there and back) is about half the cost of hiring it seems, let alone plus flying. That siad, hiring a Ducati in Pisa would be amazing, so we’ll have to wait and see. The riding isn’t the be all and end all of my journey there, so I don’t want to spend a heck of a lot on the riding.

I was thinking of July or August, but am having second thoughts now after the comments about the weather! Perhaps June or September.

Very excited about the idea, this has been on my list of things to do for a few years now :slight_smile:

I personally would think twice about riding there and back Jay. We flew Ryanair to Pisa and hired the bikes from Florence where there is a better selection and seem a bit cheaper.

We rode 1000Km in the 3 days we had the hire bikes and we also had the use of Alice’s mate’s ZZR (2 up)to be honest riding in 40 degree heat really takes it out of you and by the end of our 7 days we were totally shagged and a the thought of riding home after that would have sparked me to sell my bike out there…lol

I have found the email i had from Alice where she recommended some hire firms.

They were…





I really dont think people realise how hot it is, let alone in bike gear:D

Have you ever had to wring your lid liner out?:w00t: We did:D

Hope the info helps mate;)