Andre'S Alpine Adventure

Andre, on of our retired members, took a weekend trip from his home in Rotterdam (Amsterdam) through the European Alps. This is his report – I have not changed too much of his report, only the worst spelling and grammatical errors. I think that Andre’s words speak for themselves. I only wish we had such wonderful mountains down here in Australia.

Friday July 19th, we started our trip from Amsterdam/Rotterdam to the Alps at 07.30h. We were driving together, me and my CBX750FII and my friend with his CBR1000, Hurricane type. For both of us it was the first time to make such a long weekend trip.

The days before it was a very bad weather in central Europe, lots of rain, also in the region we had to cross. We decided to also take the maps from France into our pack, to have the possibility to change route, when the weather made it necessary.

Although we observed a lot of dark clouds, it stayed dry for the whole day. After 500 kms the sun starts shining, the traffic became less intensive and we had about 400 kms to speed up. It was amazing, the way the CBX was cruising at 180 km/h (no speed limit in Germany, you know!). With my big tank we drove about 1,5 hour to the next tank stop. The CBR was the limiting factor. At top speed the CBR was running away quite easily, but in general the CBX was behaving very comfortable.

8,5 hours and 950 kms further down to the south, we reached Austria (Lermoos). Here we took a bed and breakfast (only 18 euros per person.), a perfect dinner, and at 23h. the feeling of our bed was delicious. The highway trip was after all more intensive than we had felt during daytime. Saturday morning we were waked up by the sunlight. It was a perfect weather, no clouds at all and a weather forecast of about 25 deg. C.

After breakfast at 9h. we started our machines, with the nose to the first mountain pass that day, the Fernpass (1500 m.). The machines were performing well, for we had expected to get some carb problems, due to the altitude. Next aim was the Timmelsjoch, a pass of about 2500m., via the Otz Valley to Italy.

From a typical bikers terrace in Otz town, we could see the snow on the top of the mountains. The Otz Valley is about 60 kms long, before starting to climb to the Timmelsjoch. How amazing and beautiful the mountains are in the sunshine, especially when you are Dutch, where we have no mountains at all.

We found a nice swinging cadence and after 1,5 h. we reached the foot of the Timmelsjoch. Here we faced carb problems the first time. With low revs (< 2500) the power was gone. Hairpins had to be taken in 1st speed, both machines had similar problems. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the panoramic view and on the top the parking place looked like there was a motor meeting going on. Here we stopped for an hour, relishing the view over the mountains and bikes all around. Coincidentally we met another couple driving an RC17 (see pictures).

Here we passed the border to Italy, the Dolomite mountains. Downhill driving was breathtaking beautiful, although we both got painful wrists.

Via Italy (30 degr. C, a little to hot, the extra terraces were not really a punishment) we drove to the Reschen pass, back to Austria. In Italy the petrol stations are on Saturday afternoons. Only with a pre paid system we could get some fuel. It costs us more then we actually need, you can imagine.

The Reschen pass has beautiful long curves over a distance of 20 km, were I could feel the flexibility into the CBX frame (not really that stiff). This was the first time that I had to let the CBR go in front of me.

At 17h. we reached Landeck in Tirol. Here we took a hotel, on the foot of the Silvretta High Alps Road, our Sunday’s aim. Sunday, July 21st we decided to leave the hotel at 9h. Within 5 minutes we start climbing onto the Silvretta Pass. There was nearly no traffic on the road, an ultimate possibility to speed up a bit. In a swinging curve rhythm we drove to the Silvretta artificial lake, crossing the toll gate from the east site. Here the road goes slowly uphill. On top (2300 m.) we enjoyed the beautiful view over the lake, noticing that the clouds became thicker and thicker.

On the west site the Silvretta has lots of hairpins. Here we where were going down, arriving in Vorarlberg, the western part of Austria. Fortunately motorbikes coming towards us were making us aware of all speed controls in this area. Bikers were also checked on their exhaust sound levels. After 3 hours driving through the woods, incl. half an hour rain, at 16h. we arrived in Lindau, at the east border of the Boden Lake. We drove around and found a bed and breakfast again and enjoyed dinner on a terrace, admiring the great thunderstorm show above the lake.

Monday, July 22th the day started (again at 9h.) with a half clouded sky and 25 deg. C. Good highway driving weather we thought, but within an hour a strong side wind (force 6-7) developed. We decided to cruise at 160 km/h, to reduce turbulence with head driving wind. The whole day it stays dry and within 8,5 hours (and 950 kms further) we arrived in Rotterdam.

The conclusions:

We drove 2.600 km and both noticed no relevant technical problems.
The oil refill on the CBX was 0,5 litre, on the CBR it was 0,3 litre. By the way, we did the oil check and refill during the trip; the amount of oil is cumulated.
On the CBX the speedometer cable and fork/cable connection had to be oiled (needle was swinging all over).
We had some “death” feeling in fingers and thigh-bone. Just after weeks it decreased.
The estimated fuel consumption on the CBX was about 14 km on 1 litre. The CBR was a little more economic (16 on 1).
Driving, that’s what it’s all about. We agreed upon a minimum of 1 Europe trip each year.
I will send you some pictures by separate e-mails. If you like, you can decorate the story with it. Hopefully it is a start for a new chapter (RC trips) on your top web site.

All the best and good luck, will keep an eye on the team.

Best regards, Andre from Rotterdam

And here are Andre’s pictures… For some strange reason, my graphics package has put three black lines through all the thumb-prints. Don’t worry, though – the original pictures are fine.