(East) European motorbike tour on 20y old BMW F650ST
For many years I've always been wanting to do some motrobike riding accross the Alps, but somehow never managed to do so. It seems when in Germany I've always been too busy - contrary to the many motorbike tours around and accross Taiwan which I did during my frequent holidays there.
This year I finally took the opportunity to combine visiting some friends in Hungary and Bavaria with a nice tour starting from Berlin over Prague and Brno (CZ), Bratislava (SK) to Tata and Budapeest (HU), further along lake Balaton (HU) towards Maribor (SI) and finally accross the Grossglockner High Alpine Road (AT) to Salzburg and Bavaria before heading back to Berlin.
It was eight fun (but sometimes long) days riding. For some strange turn of luck, not a single drop of rain was encountered during all that time, travelling accross six countries.
The most interesting parts of the tour were:
- Along the Elbe river from Pirna (DE) to Lovosice (CZ). Beautiful scenery along the river valey, most parts of the road immediately on either side of the river. Quite touristy on the German side, much more pleaant and quiet on the Czech side.
- From Mosonmagyarovar via Gyor to Tata (all HU). Very little traffic alongside road '1'. Beatutil scenery with lots of agriculture and forests left and right.
- The Nothern coast of Lake Balaton, particularly from Tinany to Keszthely (HU). Way too many tourists and traffic for my taste, but still very impressive to realize how large/long that lake really is.
- From Maribor to Dravograd (SI) alongside the Drau/Drav river valley.
- Finally, of course, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which reminded me in many ways of the high mountain tours I did in Taiwan. Not a big surprise, given that both lead you up to about 2500 meters above sea level.
Finally, I have to say I've been very happy with the performancee of my 1996 model BMW F 650ST bike, who has coincidentially just celebrated its 20ieth anniversary. I know it's an odd bike design (650cc single-cylinder with two spark plugs, ignition coils and two carburetors) but consider it an acquired taste ;)
I've also published a map with a track log of the trip
In one month from now, I should be reporting from motorbike tours in Taiwan on the equally trusted small Yamaha TW-225 - which of course plays in a totally different league ;)