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The Stelvio Pass


Fine alpine roads, beautiful scenery, perfect weather & cold beers.

Motoeuro ride Italy, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Bastogne....

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Motoeuro are rough today, but strong coffee and a hearty breakfast and we're ready for the off at 11.00am. We take the opportunity to check our bikes; chains, oil, coolant, all good.  Remember that washing machine? Oh shit. We didn't. We cram damp laundry with creases your granddad would be proud of in our panniers and leave the zips open in the ridiculous hope that it'll dry out. Really?

We ride straight for the Apennine Mountains. Some superb roads here, the sun is out and we're enjoying the mountain views with regular smoke, photo, petrol, food stops. It's a wonder we get anywhere.

We enjoy a traditional Italian lunch and press on towards Reggio Emilia. We stop at what we think could be Lake Garda, but more likely Lago d'Iseo - Its stunning in the sunshine. It may sound like we're lost but we're going the right way ish! We slurp Italian coffee and ride the lake side to Breno. Great day today, impressive views and roads, exactly what we were hoped for. We're fired up for more Alps in the morning.....

We're not too sure which way up to hold the note book now, it's looking like it's been written left handed on a roller-coaster. We leave Breno riding to Gavia Pass, the road is crazy twisty and takes some concentration not to float to the opposite side of the road on hairpins.  We place a Motoeuro sticker on the road sign at Passo de Gavia, perhaps it's still there? It's cold here, snow in places, a welcome comfort from the extreme heat but after a coffee we prefer the heat, thanks. We ride the pass, descend to warmth and continue on these laugh-out-load roads to Stelvio.

Riding the pass to the top of Stevlio was an experience, the road surface is dodgy in places and the lack or crash barriers is a tad unnerving, but we enjoy this road and wave to other bikers on our way to the summit.

Stelvio is a small village with a few shops for souvenirs, vendors selling Sauerkraut, restaurants and general tat for sale. It's chilly with the odd lump of snow, misty and has an icy breeze. We're on top of the world! The views are breathtaking, the isolation is spooky. We grab coffee, snap a few photos, Mark and George try the Sauerkraut but by the look on their faces, I'll give it a miss lads. I look over the edge of the pass at the road, B'Jesus! Just looks like spaghetti thrown on the floor. We gonna ride that?

We add another Motoeuro sticker to the Stelvio Pass sign and begin the descent.....

The further down the Pass we go the warmer it gets, hairpin corners a plenty. Stunning scenery - not that you could look away from the road too often. We're hard on the breaks for each corner, we stop to take this in and George spots a Beaver - queue huge quantity of childish jokes. (we later find out it's a Marmot, WTF?). After about 40 minutes of cornering we stop to check out the vertical view, it's impossible to see the top, this road bends all over the mountain, the whole area is stunning our photos simply don't do this justice at all, it's another world. Well done lads, we're chuffed to have ridden Stelvio!

Not long after we take-off, Mark's old back injury is causing him grief. Those passes and Stelvio didn't help with so much physical effort needed, so we grab a hotel and call it a day. George and I head off for a few pints while Mark tries to take it easy flat out but all is closed in this party town by 10.30pm. Well, we had to have one early night.....

A superb day of riding on this hot and sunny day in the Alps. We ride from our hotel in Silandro towards Monte Giovo (Jaufenpass), another class set-up in glorious weather. The scene is what you'd expect on that tin of biscuits from your Nan at Christmas. Stop for lunch and get chatting to two Austrian lads on an R1 and a 1150GS. They advise us to turn around as they know better roads through the mountains. My cynical nature wrapped up in a cloak of paranoia gives me visions of getting tied up, wallet nicked and something spiky up the old chuff. I'm not keen. In fairness the lads seem fine, so we follow them off-piste on some truly amazing roads through the mountains at Imst Timmelsjoch. An hour later we're totally lost and my imagination is going stratospherically high. We're all doomed.

We ride in to a village, a few cars are beeping their horns at us, no idea why. As we ride down hill in to the village centre, HALT! The Police stop Mark, issue a fine for speeding. D'Oh! 25 Euros down the pan. I get the beeps now.

After some unknown roads, we all agree it's one of the best days yet. Mark is also thinking our Austrian bikers might want to be more than friends when they suggest we all get a room for the night and go for drinks. We make our excuses early evening and ride into a another small Austrian town 20-ish miles further on. Tonight's write-up needs a page of it's own but for now, make do with: It was a great evening of food, beer and some kind of local Schnapps. In the morning it turns out Austria is rather expensive, damn their tax on everything.

Paranoia back to normal levels, I feel a little embarrassed about my un-trusting nature. Must try harder.

We're off at 10am, a good start and nice roads, towns become a drag when but give us a chance to fuel-up or stop for yet more coffee. We ride the south side of Bodensee Lake into Switzerland, lunch, ride, smoke, ride coffee, ride until we pass the German border. We then cruise up the Rhine Valley to the Black Forest (We can't ingore a town called Titisee - for a perfect photo opportunity.) The sun is getting lower now. We check-out a pension that looks like something off "Little house on the Prairie". An elderly lady offers us two rooms, we take our beers on the balcony at the front of the pension, she makes us food and we have a quiet night of chats, beers and smokes. Our host doesn't speak a word of English, we get by fine.

The note book has well and truly ran out now. We go to Luxemburg for cheap cigarettes and ride to Bastogne for the night. A nice town with an American tank in the square to commemorate the Battle of Bastogne. Beer and food features heavily tonight. Long gone are our amazing Alpine Passes, Rivera Coastline or the Tuscan mountains. The following day it's Amsterdam for our ferry to North Shields, Tyneside and back home.

The sun was bright as we left Amsterdam, bikes tucked up in the hold it's been one hell of a jolly! What a ride, what an experience. This has been amazing and looking back at this distant memory, the photos and this website will always remind us of what lucky bastards we were.

Fancy a ride to the Alps?
You don't need a £15,000 BMW or high-tech gizmos, just make sure you oil has been changed and you've got fresh rubber sorted and you're off. We never booked a single hotel in advance nor did we plan the route to perfection, we just buggered off in search of good roads and a great time. Crikey, if we can do it........

'tll next time...... Ciao!


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Motoeuro 2005

Gavia Pass on route to Stelvio

Motoeuro 2005

Insert Beaver jokes here.

Motoeuro 2005

The Stelvio Pass - Spot the biker.....

Motoeuro 2005

Austrian Alps - Built for motorbikes!

Motoeuro 2005 at Titisee

Titisee - A gift for childish behavior.

Motoeuro 2005 at the Black Forest

Our pension in the background - Black Forest.

Motoeuro 2005 - ferry home

Arrival back in sunny Tyneside. Sigh.....