The BMW F800GT is a tourer. So far I’ve covered just short of three thousand miles worth of short trips to and from various parts of the country - living out of the panniers for the occasional odd night over here and there - but I’m yet to have dipped my toe into the Grand Tour side of the bike experience.
I’m aiming to change all that with a ride out to the BMW Motorrad Days event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in July.
When I mentioned my plans to various members of the MCN office, they have affectionately winced (from what I can only assume is a vague recollection of excessive alcohol consumption), smiled and then told me that it’s an incredible weekend. this year is also the 90th anniversary of BMW Motorrad so I’m expecting it to be all that and then some!
Being at MCN obviously has its perks. One of which was the offer of a flight directly to the hotel in Garmisch and then back again but I’ve said ‘no’.
The better - more direct - perk of working here is that I also have been lucky enough to have been given a bike to test for the year and I’m going to take every opportunity I have to do so. So I’m going to be riding from MCN GQ here in Peterborough to Bavaria - and then back again.
BMW themselves organise a fantastic trip to and from the event and this year they’re looking to sign-up 90 riders to ride from Folkestone to Garmisch over a couple of days. If you’re keen on going over and getting the full, riding experience it’s really worth checking out. But I have duties here to fulfill so my trip needs to be a little quicker (but not necessarily shorter).
I am looking to leave on a Thursday night and to arrive in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on the Friday. A quick look-up on Google maps shows me that this is a trip of 810 miles. It would seem that I have a lot of planning to do.
I’ve asked the guys from BMW as to their favourite roads and routes to ride along the way and they’ve given me a few suggestions, but I was hoping to get some advice and ideas from MCN readers who may have some different or slightly more left-field recommendations.
Does anyone fancy helping a touring newbie in making his first longer-haul motorcycle trip one to remember?
Here’s the link to the Google-suggested route should anyone fancy suggesting a few edits/changes:
I'd really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions, as well as any hints and tips for riding across Europe that you may be able to share?
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