Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 4:09 am Thread Starter
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Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Yesterday was a public holiday for the catholic cantons in Switzerland, for the others it is just a normal working day. As this would roughly mean that only half the of the Swiss bikers would be on the road there would be less bike traffic and as the weather was beautiful, I set out for some 4 mountain passes on my LT.

The interesting part of my trip starts at a 1.30hour ride from home. Already on the highway to Innertkirchen, it was easy to see that a lot of bikers live in catholic cantons... and that most of them had the same idea as I had...

From Innertkirchen, I chose to start with the Grimselpass (2165m asl), then down to Gletsch, to Ulrichen and up to the Nufenenpass (2478 m asl), then to Airolo and up to the Gothardpass (2108 m asl), then down to Wassen, up to the Susten (2224m asl) and closing on Innertkirchen again. This part of the trip takes only about 160 km and offers stunning views on some glaciers and general mountain scenery. The trip can be done in under 3 hours, but to enjoy the scenery I would say it is a 4 to 5 hour trip.

In recent years, Swiss mountain passes have become overly popular with bikers. Beside all the Swiss, I met a lot of mostly German and Italian but also English, French, Belgian and Italian bikers. At every pass, I estimated some 50 bikes continuously parked for a rest, a drink, a snack, a meal, some pictures and I think that while riding there were very few moments there was not a bike in sight, be it upcoming or going in the same direction as I. Once riding, very few riders stop for the scenery between passes.
It was a beautiful trip, but I wonder about the traffic when all cantons have a free day...

It was my first 4-pass trip of this kind and the LT handled very fine. It only demands some attention when parking. All the curves and hairpins were majestically taken . And the seat comfort is paramount.

I noticed the LT still enjoys a special interest when parked; a lot of people, bikers or even cagers, stop by or come for a talk.

Have a nice day!
Paul
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'06 BMW K1200LT (2011- ...)
'85 BMW R80GS (1989-2010)
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post #2 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 5:16 am
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Without a doubt, you have superior riding skills. While it's a great riding machine, I would not attempt to ride an LT in the Alps. An R1200RT was all I could manage when I did some solo riding and touring in the Austrian and Italian Alps in 2008. A rider on another forum described negotiating the switchbacks as if entering a two-car garage through one entrance and coming out the other. It was great that you had less traffic for tour buses and the like can really pose problems, particularly when they have to stop, back up, pull up, and back up again to negotiate the switchbacks. And there you are, stopped in traffic behind them trying to keep your bike up on uneven pavement. I'm glad you had a great riding day.
Jim


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post #3 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 6:06 am
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Catholic Kantons? You heathen, when you be around the Basel area, maybe do a ride out?

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post #4 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 6:19 am Thread Starter
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Thanks MMJim,
These 4 passes offer quite large roads, and I am sure there are worse mountainpasses. I have heard the Stelvio is a lot more difficult.
It is true that tour buses are difficult to deal with. I didn't see many of them, just had to overtake 2 or 3. Maybe we just hadn't the same time schedule.
The LT demands for a 'dignified curve approach' at the appropriate speed, and certainly not wanting to follow the crotch rockets who overtake 20 m before entering the curve.

Have a nice day!
Paul
---------
'06 BMW K1200LT (2011- ...)
'85 BMW R80GS (1989-2010)
'85 Yamaha XT 600 (1986-1987)
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post #5 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 7:34 am
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

I like Monte Splügia, in my opinion the godzilla of passes

Sorry the camera slipped a bit,

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post #6 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 9:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slammer
Catholic Kantons? You heathen, when you be around the Basel area, maybe do a ride out?
Hi Slammer,
You and your immaculate white Iron Pig stand out so much, you may be sure you'll hear me hooting whenever I cross you!!!

Have a nice day!
Paul
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'06 BMW K1200LT (2011- ...)
'85 BMW R80GS (1989-2010)
'85 Yamaha XT 600 (1986-1987)
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post #7 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 9:43 am
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Those passes you rode are fantastic. Innertkirchen has to be one of the best towns to base yourself for a couple day motorcycle ride.

Brian Ley
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post #8 of 10 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 2:15 pm
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Quote:
Originally Posted by pagl57
Hi Slammer,
You and your immaculate white Iron Pig stand out so much, you may be sure you'll hear me hooting whenever I cross you!!!
Immaculate and white. *snikker* gonna tell that to the iron pig tomorrow, by the way Slammer is off to Bodensee tomorrow, gonna hang around Rohrschach for a while, you in the area?

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post #9 of 10 Old Aug 20th, 2012, 11:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

I added the Furka Pass (2436 m asl) on Saturday, together with the Susten in the other direction. The Furka pass is a rougher road, sometimes narrow, sometimes 2 lanes, quite uneven. It has the Bellevue Hotel. The Pass has served as a location for the James Bond film Goldfinger. From the Bellevue hotel, you have an excellent view of the Rhone Glacier.

The memory of my trip is a spoilt by the accident that happened the following day. A young motorcyclist overtaking a car in a curve without visibility, colliding with an oncoming rider, apparently driving OK... Both riders deceased... I am more than peeved when I hear about accidents with cagers, but I'm furious if we start exterminating ourselves in our own ranks.

Have a nice day!
Paul
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'06 BMW K1200LT (2011- ...)
'85 BMW R80GS (1989-2010)
'85 Yamaha XT 600 (1986-1987)
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post #10 of 10 Old Aug 20th, 2012, 12:29 pm
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Re: Grimsel-Nufenen-Gothard-Susten

Twas a bad weekend for bikers, I ended up in Como (not a typo, the lake not Coma) and read that six or seven bikers had died over the weekend. Worst one was an Italian overtaking in a bend and "Splat" ended up as a blob on a camper. Two collided and died on Julia and another two on Ofenpass
Ride safe you guys.

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