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Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/2/16 9:54 p.m.

Last year I took a 2 week vacation throught northern Europe on a BMW R1200GS Adventure. It all started because I kept getting these emails from Norwegian Airlines with fare offers to different destinations, some extremely cheap. If you have never flown with them, their are basically a budget airline so the ticket prices are bare bones kind of like Spirit Airlines. On the flip side, if you are flying overseas, they only use Boeing's Dreamliners which are quite comfortable.

One of their offers was a roundtrip to Berlin for $2xx, after adding a checked-in bag, dinner and picking a seat it came out to $358 all in. So I booked two tickets for the wife and I and then planned a route to a couple of places I wanted to visit. In the meantime I told my wife we are going two weeks to Europe, she was happy ... or so she thought. I made a quick comment at the same time about a motorcycle but she did not get that part, good.

The next day I emailed BMW Motorrad in Germany asking for help locating a BMW GSA1200. Given the miles I was going to cover, I thought the Adventure's bigger gas tank would come in handy. It did, but it also brought a crap load of weight along with it. Oh well.

BMW Motorrad had a reply within a day with contact info in Berlin of someone that was going to help me, Klauss at Riller & Schnauck BMW. I spoke to Klauss the next day; told him what I wanted, when I wanted it and what the plan was. Klauss had a contract for me to sign in a day, no need for CC or anything ... just sign and email back. This was too simple, I was sure I would arrive in Berlin and not find what I requested.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/2/16 10:01 p.m.

Next was planning the route. I decided to head north towards Norway, its summer so why not. After playing with Google maps for a while the route ended up looking something like this:

The breakdown:

1st leg - 4 days - 265 miles:

Arrive in Berlin and spend the night. Wake up early go walk around the city, been several times so I know it pretty well, and then right around noon go pick up the motorcycle. Ride all the way to Rodstock, take the ferry to Gedser Denmark and then keep on moving towards Copenhagen. Spend a few days in Copenhagen.

2nd leg - 2 days - 375 miles:

Leave Copenhagen bright and early towards Oslo via Oresund bridge/tunnel. First city you go through is Malmo and then Gotenburg before arriving in Oslo. Spend a day in Oslo

3rd leg - 4 days - 330 miles:

Leave Oslo early and head towards Stockholm via Orebro. Stay 3 days in Stockholm.

4th leg - 313 miles:

Leave Stockholm around noon towards Karlkrona and get on the 9pm ferry towards Gdynia Poland. Spend the night on the ferry.

5th leg - 3 days - 500 miles:

Arrive with the ferry in Gdynia Poland and ride to Prague. Spend 3 days in Prague.

6th and final leg - 1 days - 220 miles:

Leave Prague for Berlin. Return the bike and head home.

Total miles ~2000 and an average of 330/day.

DanielCut
DanielCut Reader
2/2/16 10:10 p.m.

I'm in.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/2/16 10:18 p.m.

Once the route plan was finalized I presented it to the co-pilot. Lets say she now understood the motorcycle part and was not too amused, too late as she had agreed to it. I have been riding motorcycles for over 25 years and up until the mid 2000s I did not own a car, my daily was a motorcycle rain or shine. I have been married to my wife for 12 years now and dated for another 3; in those 15 years she has only been on a motorcycle once.

We had to fit 2 weeks worth of clothes in three bags, plus a small tank bag. I've done it before when traveling cross country in my S2000. It basically means half a bag for me and the rest for my wife.

By the time we had to leave, I had been checking the weather for a month or so. Lows in the upper 20s, highs in the high 40s/low 50s. Leaving in Florida I don't have a lot of cold weather gear. I took what I thought was going to be good enough and called it a day ... bad choice.

All we took:

octavious
octavious HalfDork
2/3/16 8:37 a.m.

Nice. I ant to do a similar one but would have to include Italy cause my wife has never been.

I like how this is going.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
2/3/16 10:04 a.m.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/3/16 11:28 a.m.
octavious wrote: Nice. I ant to do a similar one but would have to include Italy cause my wife has never been. I like how this is going.

I always wanted to visit Sweden and Norway. This year I'll head south and do Austria, Italy, France and Spain.

Honestly, I dont think it would be fun riding this motorcycle in Italy. It is HEAVY when loaded up, probably well over 1k pounds.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/3/16 10:00 p.m.

We flew Fort Lauderdale to Berlin with a stop over in Copenhagen.

Second time flying in Boeing Dreamliner, its a very cool plane. Very comfortable and given how itsd pressurized you don't suffer from jet lag as much. The windows are huge and can be dimmed, pretty neat:

Flying into Copenhagen you start seeing a bunch of sticks a few miles off shore, not sure what they are

Once we get closer you can see they are windfarms

We spent roughly two hours in the airport, I think its the best airport I have ever been to.

Legos everywhere, my kids would have killed to be there so I had to snap some pictures

I was trying to figure out how to keep myself from eating everything

Next stop Schoenefeld airport, Berlin

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/4/16 10:08 p.m.

Got to Berlin at around 4pm, picked up the bags and we headed across the street from the airport to jump on the train. The machine that sold the tickets only took cash and I had no change on me ... a nice German couple offered to pay for our tickets, I asked for his address to return the money and he refused.

Got on the train and went to the hotel. This would be the most expensive hotel of the whole trip ... once there I asked why the prices were so high, they told me the biggest electronics show in the world was that weekend. My luck.

At least it was a nice room in the old eastern side of town:

We left everything in the room and went for a walk and grab some dinner. I love these hatchback Civics, they are everywhere

We ended up going back to the hotel and eating in a restaurant downstairs, all the other restaurants were packed. I ordered mac and cheese, why not ... this is what they call mac and cheese:

Finished dinner and off to sleep we went. The next day we are going for a walk through and visit all the touristy stuff, we are picking the bike at noon.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/4/16 10:33 p.m.

The next morning we got up around 7am and went out for a walk, beautiful day!

On our way to the Branderburg Gate we go past a dealership, some nice cars inside ...

Thats a GT3RS

and we made it, looking at the gate from the eastern side

On the way to Charlie's checkpoint, I had to go see the Travants ... everytime I go I visit them, it does not get old:

We then walked back to the hotel, picked up the bags and went find a cab ... while we waited I hear the wail of an exhaust getting closer, it was incredible and I was not sure what it was. Then I saw it, Cayman GT4

I was able to film it, lets see if I can get it to post here. Edit, not sure how to embed ... here is the link

Cayman GT4 clip

We got on our Prius taxi and off we went to the dealership, 25 minutes without being able to understand a word of what the lady was saying ... I was so happy I did not care. And I imagine so was this guy driving his Speedster on a beautiful Saturday morning:

Once at the dealership, I see quite a few GSs outside, most looked older and in not so good shape ... I started panicking. I was told to wait for the one of the salesman that spoke english, his name was Klauss. In the meantime I started looking at all the new bikes, they also had some very nice Triumphs besides old the BMWs.

Notice the cool Renault 4 in the picture above

I love this bike

Finally Klauss was ready and after asking if one the bikes outside was ours, he said that my bike was in the shop ... he would bring it around. Ok ... lets hope for the best. And the best we got:

2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure ... with 500 miles on the clock ... awesome. It had the side cases, BMW GPS, heated grips and keyless start.

Off to sleep, to be continued tomorrow.

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
2/6/16 11:01 p.m.

Yes!

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
2/6/16 11:10 p.m.

Very cool! Looks like a lot of fun so far, and I am looking forward to reading more.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/6/16 11:18 p.m.

I'll update tomorrow. Did not see much traffic so I took the day off

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/7/16 10:36 p.m.

Klauss broght the bike over, and I tried to sit on it ... holy cow this bike is tall. I am not tall, but at 5'11" with a 32" inseam I was having trouble reaching the ground. He flipped the seat over for me and that helped a little. The motorcycle has a height adjustable rear shock, this is done via a button on the handlebar and it is used to compensate for different weights being carried. The options are solo rider, solo plus luggage, and two riders. Klauss set it to two riders and I could not reach the ground ... I thought I straighten it really fast and just hold it with one foot.

We got all our bags loaded up except the tank bag, this needed a bolt to be removed from the tank and a bracket installed. I bought all the BMW bags because my plan was to either buy one of these bikes or give them to my uncle who has one. Not only everything fit perfectly, everything was waterproof. Klauss brought tools and helped me install the tank bag.

I did a once over to make sure the tires were good, but the bike was new so not much to check. Set the GPS to Rodstock and to avoid highways. There was a "curvy road" setting, so I selected that. Good to go:

Riding out of Berlin was a pain in the butt. I failed to realize that by being on the south side and having set the GPS to avoid highways, it directed me right through all the surface streets through the middle of the city. Not only that but the height/weight of the bike was not helping.

After two hours, we reached Kremmen ... this should have taken 15' on the Autobahn probably. We stopped at a gas station and I came up with a solution for the height, I set it to solo rider. I could reach the ground fine, but now the rear suspension was bottoming out on soft, hard or any other setting. So I then started using solo plus luggage, that seemed to work fine. The settings cant be changed once the bike gets moving.

All of a sudden it started to rain hard, at first I thought I keep moving as the windshield does a good job of keeping the rain out of the way. But after 15' and my ass wet, I stopped and we put on our rain overalls.

We got to Rodstock 7:50pm, the ferry leaves at 8pm. And finding the terminal was impossible, finally got there at 8:10 ... lost the ferry. The next one was at 10pm. We parked on the lane they told us to and sat down somewhere on the side. Two hours waiting, cold as can be with my ass wet. Oh well.

Notice the Chevy '59 (I think) in the background. Two Swedes driving it dressed like the blues brothers. They bought it in the US, picked it up in Hamburg and were driving it back to Sweden. This is were I realized how crazy they all are for American classic cars. Everyone wanted to talk to them.

At 10 on the dot, a German guy drove up to me and told me that I was going in first as I was the only motorcycle. I rode up to the ramp while they were unloading the ferry.

There must have been around 30 18 wheelers coming off of that ferry. They are smaller than US trucks, but thats still a lot of trucks in there.

Riding onto the ferry was not fun. Steel deck, wet and full of oil. I rode all the way to the front against a wall and had no clue what to do. They guy inside did not speak english and did not want to help me. After a while, he signal to me how to secure the bike, but did not want to touch it due to liability I guess. I tried to ask if the boat moved a lot or not, he laughed. There was no way I could get the bike on the center stand due to the weight, I ratchet it down as much as I could with that E36 M3ty/rusty tie down they had.

After all we are going 2 hours through a small channel, there is no way it can move too much ... boy was I wrong. By the time we finished, everyone was gone and they lights had been turned off ... the boat was moving.

We went upstairs and were so hungry that all we wanted to do was eat something.

While I was eating, the boat started moving and moving more. Up and down, it felt like we were going through 50 foot waves. The boat was full of gypsies, they were all over. They start getting closer and closer and talking to you, I don't trust them. I then learned they drive to Sweden to pick berries and bring them back and sell them.

My mind was on the bike, I was sure to go downstairs and find it on top of a car. The boat was rocking like I never seen before.

After picking up the bike the plan was to ride all the way to Copenhagen, jumping onto the Rodstock-Gedser ferry to shorten the trip. Google maps told me this could be done in around 6 hours.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/8/16 10:07 p.m.

After two hours on the ferry, we finally arrived. Everyone takes off like a madman, by the time we got suited up and got downstairs everyone was in their cars with the engine running.

Luckily after all the sweating, the bike was still were we left it. I am sure it was due to how heavy it is.

Now loosening the strap was a pain in the ass, everything was rusted and with all the moving it actually tightened up. Also getting the bike away from the wall there was a bitch, did I mention the bike was heavy?

It's midnight by now and we have another 2-3 hours to our hotel. Of course its pouring, but this time we had our raincoats on from the getgo. No more getting wet. My wife was still happy at this point in the trip.

We rode for three hours and finally made it to the hotel, but we could not find the entrance. Everything was under construction and all the streets flooded or closed. I am glad we had this motorcycle, running over curbs is a walk in the park. The last 3 blocks we rode on the sidewalk and finally got there at 3am. I unloaded everything and went straight to the garage to leave the bike, it would be its home for the next three days. No more bike for a while.

I took a few minutes to also familiarize myself with all the switches, I never did that and was not sure how to turn on the high beams.

Every light on the bike is LED, low/high and the aux ones. I have never had such good lights on any car or motorcycle, NEVER. HIDs suck compared to these.

Electric cars are big in Denmark, I have never seen so many Teslas as I have in Copenhagen.

Off to sleep.

MattGent
MattGent Reader
2/9/16 2:19 p.m.

Sounds like a great trip! Would love to do Norway.

A couple years ago wife and I did Ireland on a GS. We hedged and only did half the trip by bike, the rest by car. Full-up with gear and the two of us, the GS had to be twice what my SV650 weighs.

Rented from Celtic Rider in Dublin - highly recommended. Wish we had taken more/better pictures. They also provided us with rain gear.

Coincidentally I've ridden that tethered balloon in Berlin, on a clear day makes for a great view of the city.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/9/16 8:52 p.m.

Thats pretty cool! I'd Love to do the same thing in Ireland, maybe the next time. The bike is heavy and difficult to maneuver in tight spaces when loaded up.

BTW, I went to FAU with you and your wife. Doubt you remember me as I did not hang out much.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/9/16 9:29 p.m.

For the next three days we just took the train to the city and walked all over the place. The metro is insane, you pay a machine and just walk in ... there is no one to check anything and no driver. Our hotel was about 15 minutes away from the city center, not a bad ride

Modern townhouses:

There is the bar or whatever you want to call it named Joe and the juice. There stuff was good and addictive, I could not stop eating there lol

We visited a couple of touristy places and then walked around. The round tower was neat, it houses the oldest telescope in Europe. I dont have any picures handy as I took those with my GoPro, will get them tomorrow.

We then went to Nyhavn, or Newhaven. That was a really cool street with bars and were all the boats come in. We hanged out there for a while and then kept walking to the Marble Church (I believe).

On the way to the marble church this girl in a mint Volvo P1800 drove by, we are getting close to Sweden ...

From there we walked all the way across the city to Tivoli Gardens. Look it up, its cool. I believe its the second oldest amusement park in the world. My wife knew about this place for years, and she just wanted a picture at the gate. We went all the way there and there was no way I was just going to take a picture and leave, we went in and spent the best part of the an afternoon there. It sucks because most of my pictures are in my GoPro, I will try and download them tomorrow.

Once it got dark, We walked to the not so nice part of town and had the best pizza I have ever had. The grow the vegetables in the back of the place and even brew their own beer. If you guys ever go, try it out ... Neighborhood pizza is the name.

Once we finished I asked the lady at the bar how safe was to walk late and if it was ok to take the metro after midnight. She was clearly offended, and looking back I can see why ... I've never felt so safe walking after midnight in a city that you don't know. We kept on walking and stopped at another place, my wife had a coffee while I had another beer and we just sat down outside to watch people walk up and down the street. It was really cold, they had blankets on all the benches.

The police in Denmark drive these

At one point I was on the motorcycle and a car driving the opposite way turned on an extremely bright light on its roof, I guess it was a cop that thought my high beams were on.

After that we walked to the main train station and spent half an hour trying to figure out how to get back to the hotel. There where a crap load of trains and we did not know which one to take. After asking a bunch of people, mostly Swedes arriving in the city we found a local couple that helped us get on the right train. The trains are amazing ... if it says it leaves a 1:53am, you better believe it.

you put your ticket against this before boarding

the conductor

We made it back to the hotel around 3am. Good day.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UltraDork
2/11/16 12:50 p.m.

This thread delivers. Cool trip so far!

Slippery
Slippery Dork
2/14/16 10:20 p.m.
SilverFleet wrote: This thread delivers. Cool trip so far!

Thanks! Will update tomorrow, but I think this subforum is dead and feel like talking to myself lol.

Kia_Racer
Kia_Racer SuperDork
2/14/16 11:34 p.m.

Not dead. Just a cool trip. I never made it that far north when I was in Europe. Very cool trip So far.

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
2/15/16 1:56 a.m.

Far from dead; digging the trip and the reports; glad you are having fun and thanks for sharing as it is good inspiration for the rest of us!

RedGT
RedGT Reader
2/15/16 7:19 a.m.

I think this forum is going to be a lot of people reading and not commenting, unless the trip is happening live. Do keep writing!

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi UltraDork
2/15/16 6:43 p.m.

Ditto, long time reader, first time commenter.

Slippery
Slippery Dork
4/6/16 10:38 p.m.

Sorry for the lack of posts, I got the worst case of the flu/laryngitis and whatnot last month and could not move for a couple of weeks. First time I have fever since I was 5 I think.

Anyways, after three days in Copenhagen we decided to get on the Oresund bridge and go to Norway via Sweden. The bridge itself is amazing, half bridge and half tunnel. I had the GoPro running, will check what pictures I can find later. Right before going into Sweden we paid our first and only toll. I think it was around 10 Euro, they accept Euros at the bridge toll ... good as it was all I had.

Once you cross the bridge you are in Malmo, Sweden. Not much I can say as I just rode by without stopping. I wanted to make it to Oslo before it got dark. We left Copenhagen mid morning with a temperature of 17 Celsius.

After a couple of hours of riding through some beautiful country we stopped for gas and decided to eat at a McDonalds, hey why not?.

This is were we start seeing every car with aux lights everywhere. At first I thought it was just a cool thing for them ... later on I understood them, they are a must for driving at night up there.

The big thing over there at McD was "El Maco"

I think the last time I ate at McDonalds was around 3 years ago ... it was good

Went to the bathroom before getting on the bike again and had a wtf moment ...

Weird ... just pee on the floor and then let the water run to wash it off. Whatever.

The bike was still looking pretty clean despite all the rain we had gone through a few days before.

All this put us going through Gothenburg right at 3pm or rush hour. I was not allowed to split lanes by the missus so I had to sit in traffic for around an hour. What a pain in the ass with a heavy bike.

Once we got out of the city, about 10 minutes away we stopped for gas again. While stopped the wife went to the bathroom and I stayed outside. A guy in his 50s drove in in a Skoda station wagon, he looked at me and started talking to me in German. I told him I just rented the bike in Germany in english and we got to talking for a while. I really wish I would have gotten his email address. He gave me a lot of cool tips of places to go to and after a while of talking he looked at his watch and asked me what other clothes I had, knowing I was on the way to Oslo. I had jeans on and so did my wife. He would not let me go and started calling motorcycle shops to have me buy some warmer clothes. I told him we were fine and had some wool longjohns in case it got cold, it was not bad. He politely said ... "this is not the Mediterranean, this is Scandinavia ... once the sun goes down the temperature will drop by 15 degrees Celsius in less than an hour. Finally I was able to leave and headed right for Oslo. Sweden has a speed limit of 130km/h, but Swedes drive pretty fast ... we were doing around 150km/h and got to Oslo at around 7pm. It got to 0 deg C as we arrived , he was right.

We stopped one more time at a rest stop to stretch the legs

As we rode into the rest area, four of these cars were leaving. Not sure what they were:

Oslo is nice, we only stay two days here. The bikes new home for these two days

Lots of Goldwings in this old garage

Will continue tomorrow ...

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