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  #1  
Old 01-03-2019, 08:47 AM
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edelweiss

seriously considering a European tour with Edelweiss this summer. Did a quick search and found a 2013 thread on this company. Wondering if anyone has used this company more recently and would be willing to share their thoughts?
Thanks
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:09 PM
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Re: edelweiss

I've thought about this also but I've yet to figure out what it is that they do as a tour operator that I can't do on my own itinerary. I'm just not a group tour kind of person and when I see a grail shaped light in the sky and want to veer off course to see a castle full of vestal virgins I'd like to freedom to do so.

I guess they provide the bikes and would replace one if there was a problem. No worries about deciding where to stay or find gas. But planning the trip is something I really enjoy and some of the most memorable experiences I've had on self organized rides has been serendipitous.
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:33 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Wes, I too am not a group/tour kind of guy and all your points are certainly valid. In the current issue of Rider mag there is an article about a gal who went on one of their tours and it sounded quite appetizing. Beautiful sights, worthy lodgings, great meals, and free days to do your own thing.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Europe many times over the years but always with my bride, and always on our own, but never on a bike.
Thanks for the reply, still kicking this one around!
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:48 PM
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Re: edelweiss

As an aside, if you have a chance, check out the famous Futa Pass between Bologna and Florence, Italy. It’s been used as a test road for the Italian bike and auto makers.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:00 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notthatold
seriously considering a European tour with Edelweiss this summer. Did a quick search and found a 2013 thread on this company. Wondering if anyone has used this company more recently and would be willing to share their thoughts?
Thanks

Mitchell

I'm with Wes on this. If you're not a group tour type of person then:

- "Motorcycle through the Alps and beyond" by John Hermann, combined with:
- "booking.com" or one of the host of other hotel booking websites and;
- "Via Michelin" or Google Maps;

and you can plan your own trip.

There is plenty of info on this site or direct from the European riders here such as Tom - "tb"- Hector - "Hdf" - and me which should point you in the right direction.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:25 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Notthatold,

I also read the Edelwiess article. There was an earlier one about the Beech tours. Both sound interesting, even though I am not a "tour type." HOWEVER, I have talked to numerous experienced riders over the years who very much enjoyed the tours and thought it was well worth the money.

Apparently, not worrying about lodging and meals and routes and mechanical issues can be a huge plus. Additionally, most riders ride alone or with one or two others at their leisure during the day, knowing that lodging and meals are going to be there for them even as dark approaches. I wouldn't, know since I am a total mess at these things and play it on the fly.

Like others on this forum, I have traveled a lot in Europe and don't find it hard sans motorcycle. However, the hassles of acquiring a motorcycle, etc. has always made a motorcycle vacation a dream and not a reality. It would be nice to just sign up for one and not have to even consider the costs. (I guess, that means, I'll have to stick to bicycle touring on my own.)

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Old 01-03-2019, 03:42 PM
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Re: edelweiss

I'm sure there are some good things about doing a trip with a tour company and maybe for a first trip, it might be worthwhile. There are those who prefer organized outings like a tour or a cruise where someone else does the planning and arrangement making and all that's left to do is to go with the flow and/or follow along. Of course, meeting new people is one aspect of an organized tour. My concern with a group I'm not familiar with, is not knowing the other rider's skill level and it would seem to me that could come into play sooner or later. As an example, if a rider or several riders aren't that experienced, it can slow down the rest of the group. My impression of these tours are that timetables must be kept to a certain degree from destination to destination, pre-arranged lodging, planned meals, etc.

I would rather do my own thing based on my own research & destination planning that I could come up with. Part of the research could/would be suggestions from others on where to go & what to do, based on their experiences & input. I'd rather be on my own timetable and prefer having the flexibility to stay an extra day, explore that interesting looking road off to the left, change directions & destinations if I've a mind to, find that less expensive hotel or restaurant off the beaten tourist path, etc. For me, an organized tour wouldn't allow me the freedom to come & go as I please. My .02 for whatever that's worth.

I'm sure you have but if not, there are numerous ride reports over on AdvRider that may give you some inspiration and ideas of where you might want to go & places you guys might like to see. And Phillip had a great recommendation...
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There is plenty of info on this site or direct from the European riders here such as Tom - "tb"- Hector - "Hdf" - and me which should point you in the right direction.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:45 PM
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Re: edelweiss

My first trip across the channel to Europe was 1974 since then i’ve Averaged between 2/5 a year ever since on a motorcycle why anyone would want to fly from the States and just ride over another nameless pass in an organised group i’ve No idea surely you guys have the same and there is so much more to do.

There’s a bottomless pit of culture be it to your taste or not but with the wonders of the net all you need is a plane flight a rented bike decent gear and bucket load of info off here,guided tours operate on one thing your fear of the unknown where in my book that’s the thrill.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:51 PM
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Re: edelweiss

McFly, of course you don't like time tables. You are "irresponsible!'

(I looked for a link to the "Irresponsibility Tour," but couldn't find one for Notthatold. Maybe you can link him to it. (Not many mountain passes in that tour, though.))
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:59 PM
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Re: edelweiss

As Philip "Welshman" says, those of us on this side of the pond are happy to help out with ideas and pointers if you prefer to go on your own. For one, you'll save a good bit of coin.

Renting BMW bikes is fairly easy in Europe. I've been on rides with US based i-BMW members here on several occasions in the Alps and Spain. They have rented BMW bikes in Germany, Slovenia, Spain and other places - it's a lot easier than in the US. Hell, at one point even Hertz was renting BMW bikes (they may still be, not sure).

Suggestions on decent routes you can get from lots of people on this site who have been riding here many times (or from those of us who live here).

As for bike rentals, here are a couple of suggestions:
  • BMW Motorrad's main (Zentrum) dealer in Munich http://www.bike-travel-service.de/en/ they've got over 100 bikes to rent.
  • https://www.imtbike.com/ These guys are a Spain based outfit partnered with BMW Motorrad Spain. They have various locations in Spain and Portugal where you can pick up a bike (and then ride it anywhere you like). An RT or GS rents for as little as €750 per week unlimited mileage. I've had visitors use these guys several times and have never had a problem.
Let us know what you decide.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:35 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Here are some i-BMW posts that might give you some ideas, or at least get your imagination going.

http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=54138


http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=9267


http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=45500


http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=23155
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:18 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Thanks so much for all the valuable input you guys have given me. I will do some homework (as I am now thoroughly confused!!)and mull the info over.
When all is said and done I will ask my wife what she thinks and she will tell me what to do!
Thanks forum members. Great community.
m
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:42 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Mitchell,

FWIW, my closest friend and best riding buddy, Clement Salvadori, who writes for Rider (for a gazillion years or so) has taken any number of guided tours with the object of writing reviews and has taken trips with just about all the organized tour companies. Generally he has nothing bad to say about any of them, as he and I have discussed his travels over many glasses of adult beverages. As to the Edelweiss tours, he speaks highly of them.

Also he said that while the tour guides will suggest a route, there is no obligation to follow it, the only consideration is to show up at that night's destination. The guides are very knowledgeable and can help select alternative routes. He likes the fact that they have a follow vehicle for the luggage, an ability to recover a broken or wadded up bike, and the ability to get you back on two wheels following a flat, or other break down, and get a replacement bike if it comes to that.

As with most things each individuals experience will vary. Whatever you decide I hope you have a great trip and write a ride tale with photos when you get home!
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:36 PM
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Re: edelweiss

I hope more riders write about their experience with the Edelweiss tours or other tours of this nature. Planning on this trip in august 2020 for 7 or 10 days. I know thats a long way off, but so it goes. Lots of things can change and we ain't gettin younger but workin toward it. BMWMOA gets a discount and our wives dont want to go. No telling what that is going to cost since they will have their own secret itinerary.🤑
But having a guide who knows the territory is a good idea and having the support to back you up in case things go south. Never did a guided bike trip, but the various trips like this is on the bucket list with good friends and good riders.
Hope to hear more input, views and ideas about this type of trip.
Happy New Year to all and a great 2019 riding season.👍🍺🏍
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Old 01-04-2019, 02:39 AM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notthatold
When all is said and done I will ask my wife what she thinks and she will tell me what to do!

m

I’ve worked on that basis for the last 40 years all I do is prep and ride the bike rather than the usual male responses if your wife has any questions send a PM and i’ll Get my other half to reply wear/carry/ travel.

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Old 01-04-2019, 06:54 AM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notthatold
seriously considering a European tour with Edelweiss this summer. Did a quick search and found a 2013 thread on this company. Wondering if anyone has used this company more recently and would be willing to share their thoughts?
Thanks

Mitchell - I did the Machu Picchu tour with Edelweiss back in 2014 (report posted on here somewhere) and this year I am doing one of their self-guided tours as well as their "Eastern European Delights" starting in Vienna on August 11, along with a pal from Houston. I've been lucky enough to get 'editor spots' on their tours as I write up amateur ride reports for a UK magazine called Motorcycle Sport & Leisure.

http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=54144

I can tell you that Edelweiss are expensive, but justifiably so as their tours are superb and, I suspect, amongst the very best available. I'm not normally a group rider, but really enjoyed the Peru trip. Their bikes are in great condition, your luggage is carried by a support truck driven by an experienced mechanic, and in Peru I stayed in the finest hotels I've ever seen - but was too tired to enjoy them after long but unforgettable days tackling Andean passes. They are so well organised that I believe they think of every eventuality and their guides are trained to cope with all contingencies. I'm really looking forward to this year's trips with them and will post my reports once completed.

PS If you don't want to stay in the group, you don't have to. Every bike has a pre-programmed Garmin taking you straight to that night's hotel, at whatever pace you choose. And that support truck is always somewhere following behind, ready to assist you if needed. Sure takes away the paranoia and stress of living with a K1300S . . . .
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:43 PM
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Re: edelweiss

I have been touring on my bikes in Europe since 1976 .
I have only done one tour with a group.
I find the organised trips very expensive .
But the back up may be worth the price you pay.
Personally I love the planing as much as the trip.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:03 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Have done 2 E tours. One to South Africa and another one called best of the alps. Both were excellent. However, I’ve done 3 other euro tours with the boys (flyboy, Kevinc, tb and hdf)

Love the self planned and guided probably more than the organized ones. I always had an absolute blast with the I-bmw guys.

Both kinds of tours are worth it. Do one or both. You won’t regret it.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:27 AM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBejbl
Both kinds of tours are worth it. Do one or both. You won’t regret it.

That's the most important thing to come out of this thread. You need to do it one way or the other, but DO IT!
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:28 AM
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Re: edelweiss

When we are travelling on a bike always makes us smile seeing the groups men only!! As my wife always comments ‘Sure they can’t all have married the wrong person’
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:50 AM
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Re: edelweiss

I like the idea of riding with a organized tour if for no other reason than the support/trail vehicle readily available for any contingency. If you breakdown the support vehicle is there to assist, you don't have to haul your gear because the support vehicle is hauling it for you, routes, food and lodging are all preplanned so all you have to worry about is riding. I recently did a solo trip to AZ and one of my concerns was how long would it take help to reach me if my bike had issues? I'd hate to be overseas trying to find help in a remote area. Not an issue when riding with a tour group. Cost might be a little expensive but you pay for the convenience of letting someone else do all the planning and organizing.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:03 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCannin
When we are travelling on a bike always makes us smile seeing the groups men only!! As my wife always comments ‘Sure they can’t all have married the wrong person’

. .I would say they all married the right person . . .
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:27 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCannin
When we are travelling on a bike always makes us smile seeing the groups men only!! As my wife always comments ‘Sure they can’t all have married the wrong person’




Hmm. When we did the Edelweiss tour a while ago, I was solo on my bike. Theresa was solo on her bike ahead of me. Did we both marry "the wrong person"?
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:28 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Having travelled Europe for the last 40 odd year with my other half on a bike I certainly didn’t
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:16 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCannin
Having travelled Europe for the last 40 odd year with my other half on a bike I certainly didn’t
#jealous


I've been following along on this thread as I'd like to do a European trip myself. I normally enjoy marching to my own beat, but having never been to Europe, unless I'm accompanying someone that's been there, done that, I'll probably do a tour myself at some point.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:35 PM
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Re: edelweiss

You guys travelling from the States to Europe have an advantage over us Brits as you do not even have to worry about travelling on the other side of the road,there is 25 miles of water between us Brits and Europe and as my Dutch friend always reminds me their are trilingual/bilingual and Englishmen

It’s no different for us lot than it is for you guys what drives me nuts when I’m reading about some tour riding some pass and a quaint village i’d be taking Americans to Bastogne and Omaha beach and enjoy what is in between.

If you have a bike that breaks down you’ll be the same as us guys you contact a break service,planning a route? Look at hotel chains not because you have a preference but they tend to cluster together our preference is the Ibis chain in France but their are always others close by.

We have found that during the summer some Ibis are difficult to book each hotel holds back so many rooms ask at the reception to book your next one,i’ve No doubt there is a mountain of info on this board if folks ask.

While at Aragon for the GP in September met an American guy who had flown in to southern Spain rented a GS rode to Portugal for the WSB round then to Aragon and was heading to Magny Cour for another WSB and we gave him a route from there into the Alps before heading back down south completely on his own.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:33 PM
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Re: edelweiss

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Originally Posted by MattB
#jealous


I've been following along on this thread as I'd like to do a European trip myself. I normally enjoy marching to my own beat, but having never been to Europe, unless I'm accompanying someone that's been there, done that, I'll probably do a tour myself at some point.
Let's get IMXMAN and bmorganjr to go. Between them, they will research and plot the way, then all we have to do is enjoy the ride!
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Re: edelweiss

Let's see: Bill Morgan, Jr.; MattB; K-1Dude; X-Man - dadgum. Cathy and I would only catch up to you guys at the bar unless the Poliezi pulls one of you over for a conversation.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:46 PM
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Re: edelweiss

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unless the Poliezi pulls one of you over for a conversation.
That's been known to happen... even for things that we DIDN'T do.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:48 PM
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Re: edelweiss

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Let's get IMXMAN and bmorganjr to go. Between them, they will research and plot the way, then all we have to do is enjoy the ride!
Yeah, I'm game Jeff. Hell, based upon history, I feel like we'd even see things that the Europeans were not aware of.


"Hey, is that a trail?" ... As we stare into the forest wondering what Bill or X-man are looking at.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:58 PM
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Re: edelweiss

"Hey, is that a trail?" ... As we stare into the forest wondering what Bill or X-man are looking at.[/quote]
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:01 PM
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Re: edelweiss

Sorry Mitchell, didn't mean to hijack your post. My brother took a tour with Edelweiss and had nothing but good things to say about them. It seems like it could take a lot of stress out of a major trip like that, although, sometimes that's just part of the adventure.
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Re: edelweiss

Sorry Mitchell, didn't mean to hijack your post. My brother took a tour with Edelweiss and had nothing but good things to say about them. It seems like it could take a lot of stress out of a major trip like that, although, sometimes that's just part of the adventure.
************************************************************ ******
No prob at all. This thread had way more life, participation, and good info then I expected.
When all is said and done I have decided to let the tour folks think for me, as I do not think well on my own, and go on the Edelweiss tour.
The specific tour that was written up in Rider mag is run every month and July would be my first choice. Calling them on Monday to set things up.
Thanks to all who chimed in.
m
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notthatold
I have decided to let the tour folks think for me, as I do not think well on my own, and go on the Edelweiss tour.
The specific tour that was written up in Rider mag is run every month and July would be my first choice. Calling them on Monday to set things up.
Thanks to all who chimed in.
m
please come back to the thread after your tour and give us your assessment.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:47 AM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notthatold
I have decided to let the tour folks think for me, as I do not think well on my own, and go on the Edelweiss tour.
The specific tour that was written up in Rider mag is run every month and July would be my first choice. Calling them on Monday to set things up.
Thanks to all who chimed in.
m

Mitchell - Which of the tours are you going for?
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:24 AM
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Re: edelweiss

David, "Best of Europe Tour". It was written up in the current issue of Rider mag. Caught my interest because of the countries covered and the roads chosen for this particular tour. Explained in the article as a perfect first time Alps tour.
July trip is from 7/13-7/22. Nine days and 5 countries. You can check it out on their website. By choosing to ride an RS tour cost is $5300. Add airfare to Munich and back plus incidentals I guess final cost would be $7000-$7500. Not cheap but not a deal breaker. Life is short and 2019 is my 70th year above ground so I feel like I can treat myself.
Anyone else wanna go, as that would really be cool??
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Re: edelweiss

"Anyone else wanna go, as that would really be cool??"

Wants vs Needs. Same old deal. Can't go this summer. DO PLEASE give a ride report.
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notthatold
David, "Best of Europe Tour". It was written up in the current issue of Rider mag. Caught my interest because of the countries covered and the roads chosen for this particular tour. Explained in the article as a perfect first time Alps tour.
July trip is from 7/13-7/22. Nine days and 5 countries. You can check it out on their website. By choosing to ride an RS tour cost is $5300. Add airfare to Munich and back plus incidentals I guess final cost would be $7000-$7500. Not cheap but not a deal breaker. Life is short and 2019 is my 70th year above ground so I feel like I can treat myself.
Anyone else wanna go, as that would really be cool??

I don't think 5300 is a bad price for what the package offers. I'd guess if you took a solo trip to Europe, planned a similar ride, paid all your expenses to include a rental bike, lodging, food, fuel and incidentals you'd be very close to 5300.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:04 AM
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Re: edelweiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notthatold
David, "Best of Europe Tour". It was written up in the current issue of Rider mag. Caught my interest because of the countries covered and the roads chosen for this particular tour. Explained in the article as a perfect first time Alps tour.
July trip is from 7/13-7/22. Nine days and 5 countries. ?

That looks like a great route, and I'm sure you'll enjoy every mile. Which bike have you chosen?

I may live to regret it, but I'm hoping for the Yamaha Niken for my Eastern European Delights trip . .
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:27 AM
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Re: edelweiss

I chose the 2019 R1250RS. Since I am interested in that bike I figured it would be a perfect way to see how much I like or dislike the bike. A 9 day test ride should do the trick!
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:45 AM
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Re: edelweiss

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I may live to regret it, but I'm hoping for the Yamaha Niken for my Eastern European Delights trip . .

You cannot be seriously saying that you’re hoping for one of those monstrosities!
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Re: edelweiss

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You cannot be seriously saying that you’re hoping for one of those monstrosities!


Of course - Rossi says they're fab - plus I can leave really confusing tyre tracks everywhere I go.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:04 AM
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Re: edelweiss

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You cannot be seriously saying that you’re hoping for one of those monstrosities!
I'm not in their target market (yet), but I'd be very interested to take one for an extended ride.
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Re: edelweiss

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Of course - Rossi says they're fab - plus I can leave really confusing tyre tracks everywhere I go.

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