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Cadbury
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PostPosted: 11:24 - 09 Apr 2018    Post subject: Daily mileage? Reply with quote

Hi all, looking to pick the brains of those with experience of longer bike trips.

Got a group of around 4/5, we are in the early stages of planning a trip around Europe at the end of August. Looking at 8 or 9 days total.
We've not done a trip of this nature, or distance before, so my question is - How much is too much? Or, worded differently, how far is too far? Is the stelvio pass feasible in my timeframe?
We'd rather do more scenic routes rather than motorway-destination-motorway-destination.
Does anybody have recommendations for great routes/areas to visit?

We are piecing together places or things we'd like to see. So far we have Stelvio pass, Nurburgring and my Dad wants to visit Bruges on the way back to Calais. I'm concerned that stelvio is a bit too far to add to the route.

Cheers in advance for the advice BCFers Thumbs Up
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raesewell
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PostPosted: 11:57 - 09 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

The amount of miles depends on your chosen road type. If you want to get to a particular place quickly then the use of Motorways is preferable although not much fun. Non motorway routes are better and more fun to ride. So it's more about saddle time than mileage. If I take a non motorway route then the daily mileage would be 180 - 220 miles which at a reasonable pace with a couple of coffee/ lunch stops should take about 5/6 hours. I normally start at 9am and like to be at my destination with a beer in my hand by about 4 O'clock to 4.30. Of course if you ride longer you go further.
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fireyphoenix1...
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PostPosted: 12:06 - 09 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the bike more than anything imo
This is based on 6 hours in the seat with 15min break every hour and half.

Bandit 600 250 miles and i was knackered.I really dont get on with bandits.
On my gsx 750f i could do 350 miles.
Gs 500E 300 ish just easy to sit at 60 for hours.
CBR900RR again about 350, traveling faster but needing longer breaks.
Dorsoduro 300 ish a day atm. I need to get a gel pad in seat as my legs go numb after an hour.

Worst by far for me was my mates harley, rode it down to london for him and i was fucked, it was just so much work. It was fine on the M6 just crap everywhere else.
Arms went numb thanks to stupid bars, and i dunno what hd owners are on about by comfy, their factory seat on the sportster was one of the worst i have sat on.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:05 - 09 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd forget the Stelvio as a destination in its own right (what's the appeal of that one?) and just go for the Grimsel/Furka/Susten loop. Throw in the Nufenen for added fun and scenery. Not quite so far to go, and more than enough to keep you entertained for 2-3 days.
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doggone
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PostPosted: 13:43 - 09 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
I'd forget the Stelvio as a destination in its own right (what's the appeal of that one?) and just go for the Grimsel/Furka/Susten loop. Throw in the Nufenen for added fun and scenery. Not quite so far to go, and more than enough to keep you entertained for 2-3 days.


Agree with this Stelvio is too busy and somewhat over-rated, plus quite a lot further.
Being in a group slows you down, you can only try to keep plans as flexible as possible as weather and [group] mood changes.

On further trips it will be easier to crack on the first day or two and reach the more spectacular bits.

You can do 500 miles in a day if determined, but when pootling about 100 might be more than enough.
It's supposed to be a holiday and the worst thing you can do is plan big miles and feel you hardly saw anything when you get back.
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Cadbury
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PostPosted: 14:22 - 09 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
I'd forget the Stelvio as a destination in its own right (what's the appeal of that one?) and just go for the Grimsel/Furka/Susten loop. Throw in the Nufenen for added fun and scenery. Not quite so far to go, and more than enough to keep you entertained for 2-3 days.


That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for!

I'd only really picked Stelvio as that's so well know, but the ones you have suggested are equally as good, but 'closer'. Perfect!


doggone wrote:
You can do 500 miles in a day if determined, but when pootling about 100 might be more than enough.


Yeah, I regularly do 300+ in one go from Scotland down to family, and it's doable, but not exactly fun. Current idea is for 6/7 days of riding time, with 2 off the bike days for exploring & rest.

Thanks for everyone's comments so far, most helpful Thumbs Up
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 14:30 - 09 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cadbury wrote:


I'd only really picked Stelvio as that's so well know, but the ones you have suggested are equally as good, but 'closer'. Perfect!


I haven't actually done the Stelvio myself, but have read what others say about it, and studied photos of it. You'll get your share of hairpin bends on the ones I have suggested, but much more besides. Good riding roads, plenty of cafes, great scenery. I went in early July, and never any major traffic to worry about. The Nufenen Pass in particular, during the week, was virtually empty Very Happy

I might choose the Stelvio if I was heading for the Italian Dolomites, but even then, I'd take time to look at alternative routes first.

*Shameless plug* have a look at the relevant link in my sig (Switzerland 2017) Mr. Green
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barrkel
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PostPosted: 03:35 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

600+ miles is doable on a motorway (more wind protection, more easy), but it's super boring.

200 to 250 miles is very doable on fun roads with chunks of fast road connecting them, and a 1h30 stop for lunch. I'd typically head out at 10 or 11, stop for lunch somewhere around 2, and get where I want to be between 5 and 8. If I have to get up much before 9, it's not really a holiday.

If you like to stop and take photos, wander around a sight, etc., then the pace drops dramatically, especially with groups. I did a wander around Normandy with a bunch of chaps and we barely broke 140 miles a day, stopped 3 or 4 times.

The best roads usually either follow mountains (rather than cross them, or if they do cross them, do it obliquely) or rivers. Many of the Alpine passes aren't a lot of fun to ride; when you don't have camper vans and buses to overtake or dodge, it's just straight, hairpin, straight, hairpin ad infinitum - it's not flowing at all.

Re 8 or 9 days: the first day will most likely be crossing into France and the first night won't be very deep in. The second day will be a lot of motorway to get to somewhere semi-interesting in some foothills somewhere. Then you can wander around on days 3 to n - 1, and as long as you're within feasible distance of Calais, you can probably go all the way home on the last day. It's easier to cover longer distances on the last day than the first, because you're going towards more familiar roads, and as you get tired and the night falls, you can look forward to getting into your own bed. So subtract 3 days from whatever the distance is, and that's what you have to play with.

If you're coming from a long way away from Folkestone, or are taking a ferry instead of the tunnel, then subtract another day for the end bit. (A glance at the map dot on your profile, and I'd definitely include a day for that, possibly two.)
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jnw010
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PostPosted: 08:50 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

fireyphoenix1989 wrote:
i dunno what hd owners are on about by comfy, their factory seat on the sportster was one of the worst i have sat on.


I've never heard anyone describe a sportster as comfy. Laughing
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Enduro Numpty
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PostPosted: 08:57 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Chickenstrip regarding the Stelvio. I have done it and it's mainly a never ending series of stupidly tight hairpins and nose to tail traffic. The Swiss passes that Chickenstrip suggests are all breathtaking. Regarding distances, I tend to try and get to the decent roads as quickly as possible which generally involves Motorways. This year we''re getting off the boat at Ijmuiden and our first night is at Bodensee which involves a long day of Motorway/Autobahn riding. We travel alone which helps when doing big mileages. FJR 1300 is the bike and it is suited to long high speed journeys. Whatever way you do it - Enjoy!
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 11:46 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

barrkel wrote:


The best roads usually either follow mountains (rather than cross them, or if they do cross them, do it obliquely) or rivers. Many of the Alpine passes aren't a lot of fun to ride; when you don't have camper vans and buses to overtake or dodge, it's just straight, hairpin, straight, hairpin ad infinitum - it's not flowing at all.


Usually. The great thing about the loop I suggested is that you have the three passes with some hairpins, but you have the roads connecting them to enjoy in between. And as mentioned, in early July they were pretty quiet. I don't recall seeing a single caravan, and only one or two coaches, in the whole three days I spent riding them. Climb the high passes for views, have riding fun between them Very Happy

I also remember the road getting from Ramsau to Grossglocknerstrasse being more fun than climbing the pass itself, which was quite busy. But same thing - had fun getting there, enjoyed the scenery on the way up.

The exception was getting between other places in Switzerland. Long, boring road on the valley floor, heavily speed-limited, and very hot when I did it (out to Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Tasch, from the east).

But some of those major passes heading south to Italy just look a chore. Stelvio? Sleeping Kris mentioned the Tende pass to me; looked at photos: Sleeping Just a means of getting south.

Some of the passes on the Route des Grandes Alpes were good for riding though, in between the hairpin bits; they weren't just hairpins all the way up and down.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 12:36 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding distances.
I just wanted to get Belgium out of the way quickly as possible, so motorway for that bit. The trip I mentioned the link to, I thought was ideal: Down to Luxembourg in one hit, which still left me time for an early evening leisure ride. This assumes you don't get lost along the way! But it's a fairly straightforward route. Then down to the top of the B500 for the next bit. Some of that was motorway the way I went, but left me with time for another leisure ride around the Black Forest in the late afternoon when I got there. B500 and then all the way down to Meiringen was quite a long day, starting with the fun bit, slow and boring through the north of Switzerland (I avoided the need for vignettes).
Three days to have fun around the Swiss Alps.

Coming back, a long day including the Route des Cretes back up to Metz. Tired after that one. A long, boring motorway ride back to Folkestone next day, but the tour is effectively done, just want to get home now. Got to the Chunnel terminal way too early, despite very leisurely breaks, and even a short nap at a service station, but got an earlier-than-booked train too. (Tip: I was told at the Chunnel check-in that they can usually fit a bike or two on earlier trains if you get there way in advance of your booked time - 4-5 of you would be worth checking in advance for though, perhaps).

I used a day each way between Carlisle and Folkestone/Dover. Still had an evening spin on the way down.
I didn't have any time constraints, but didn't feel the need to use any more days for any of this. 10 days total.

Groups will always slow you down, balanced in my case as a solo effort by stopping a lot for photos in interesting places.

My bike (Fazer (FZS)1000) is reasonably comfortable over long distances, good wind protection for motorways, but did get a bit saddle sore on occasion!
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 13:04 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider a service like bikeshuttle where you put the bike in a container and take it on ahead of you. You fly out and pick it up at, say, Tolouse then jump straight onto the good roads.

I haven't done them but a mate is a huge fan of the Italian Alps, he says the major hill passes/Cols are best done very early in the morning before they get busy. Ride out, hill pass then find somewhere for breakfast.

Leaving early in the morning gets you on the road and you find the distance goes much quicker. When I did the Round Britain Rally, I was averaging 150 miles a day and that included a certain amount of faffing to find checkpoints. It was almost entirely on A and B-roads on a bike with a top speed of 55mph and I was usually in a camp site by 3pm If I made sure I was packed and away by 9am.

If I want to do serious distance, it's get up, cuppa then jump on the bike early and stop for breakfast once I have a few miles under my belt. Amazing the difference it makes to the distance you can do.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:30 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
Consider a service like bikeshuttle where you put the bike in a container and take it on ahead of you. You fly out and pick it up at, say, Tolouse then jump straight onto the good roads.


Having done most of the good routes down now, I'd definitely consider this if I was to head for Italy again. But if you haven't yet done them, B500 and Route des Cretes are worth doing at least once. The Black Forest has some very good roads if you want to spend an extra day there, though not much else to see. Luxembourg also has some good roads to enjoy en route. It was nice to sample a bit of the local scenery, cafes etc even on the less interesting parts. I enjoyed it all really, but would happily skip the Low Countries on future trips, unless I was interested in historic towns/cities, the best of which would require detours from the route anyway.
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-Monty-
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PostPosted: 19:06 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing a several hundred mile day once is one thing. Doing it day after day turns what is supposed to be an enjoyable holiday into a slog.

Riding in groups will slow you down. It increases the likelihood of an accident or breakdown by however many people you have in your group. As well as this, just generally riding in a group is slower even if everything goes smoothly.

If you're going to do one pass, I probably wouldn't recommend Stelvio. The views at the top are spectacular, but the way up there (if going up the East side as I think we did) isn't very enjoyable. It's just hairpin. Straight. Hairpin. Straight and so on. Plus it's full of caravans, busses and other such hold ups.

Judging by your timescale, I would probably recommend the French Alps as they're closer and there's still some fantastic riding to be had. You'll be able to briefly venture into Switzerland and Italy too if you wanted.

Don't get drawn into trying to cram as much into the trip as possible, as you'll just end up with soul destroying motorways slogs and be eating out of service stations. I've done it a few times now and am bored of it. It's much more enjoyable to pick a base for a few days that has lots of good riding roads around it, and plan a few day trips from there. Me and my Dad stayed in Bourg-Saint-Maurice a couple of years ago for a few nights. It's a lovely town with nice places to eat and has loads of brilliant roads and passes near it that are doable in a day trip from the town. Nearby passes we did are: Col de l'Iseran and Great Saint Bernard pass. Both passes are great and I can fully reccommend Bourge-Saint-Maurice as a base point. It'll make a great introduction to touring in Europe.
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Ste
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PostPosted: 19:07 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spain to Amsterdam in one go was fun. Laughing
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arthurmo
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PostPosted: 23:44 - 10 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have said it all depends on the bikes and riders in your group as I found when I went on a couple of trips with a group it was like herding cats as everyone had different tank,coffee,bladder and smoking sizes/habits. So 300 miles may sound do able on a route planner but could turn into a slog. I went down by Verdun then konstanz and ended up at a biker hotel in Landeck and rode out daily to the passes including the Stelvio. It was a great crack and you always had a base to come back to so if you got split up didn’t matter. That was an 8 day trip and wasn’t too arse numbing.
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Powderhead
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PostPosted: 10:03 - 11 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ste wrote:
Spain to Amsterdam in one go was fun. Laughing


Laughing

That's an insane journey in one go. I can imagine that getting pretty dangerous towards the end Shocked
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Ste
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PostPosted: 13:42 - 11 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meh, we were driving a big 4x4 so it was all perfectly safe. And because there were two of us, we took it in turns driving swapping places each time we needed more diesel.
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Powderhead
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PostPosted: 15:06 - 11 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ste wrote:
Meh, we were driving a big 4x4 so it was all perfectly safe. And because there were two of us, we took it in turns driving swapping places each time we needed more diesel.


That doesn't count Mr. Green

I thought you meant you'd done it on bikes Very Happy
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Ste
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PostPosted: 16:37 - 11 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bikes were in the back of the 4x4. Razz
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Powderhead
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PostPosted: 20:28 - 11 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ste wrote:
The bikes were in the back of the 4x4. Razz


That's cheating Wink
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Ste
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PostPosted: 20:37 - 11 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was no cheating, dirt bike on the back of my pickup for a couple of weeks in the Pyrenees. Mr. Green

But plans change and after doing a lap of Spain we were running low on weed so decided the best thing to do was to drive to Amsterdam. Dance!

Then you get to Amsterdam and discover that there's no where to park a fark off great big 4x4 apart from at an expensive hotel that has a ground level carpark. Everywhere else has multi stories which we didn't stand a chance of getting into. Sad

[/cool story]
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MCN
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PostPosted: 20:47 - 11 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of tanks of petrol a day is more than enough 'touring'.
Unless you are on a mission to get somewhere in minimum time.

Your arse gets sore. Your knees get sore. You back gets sore.

Unless you are well used to that sort of riding and have the muscle to do it.

It's great as long as you have stops planned and hotels/hostels booked.

The Bosch wanted to make Everwhere in Europe Germany a few years ago. But they don't like you looking at their shit on Google Street.

It is handy for looking around the places you aim to stop before you reach it or leave home.

Good Planning is the most important part. Not having a clue may be fun for some but it is a boring as fcuk for others when the lack of a plan goes south. (And plan B and C)
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raesewell
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PostPosted: 10:14 - 12 Apr 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

One tank of petrol is more than enough for me in one day. (270 miles per tank)
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