Questions, advice for solo sport touring in Europe
(Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)
Me and my old boyfriend (in the back), at the Ducati factory, 1989
Greetings -- I am a female motorcyclist (American) and have been riding for about 25 years. I am going to a work conference in Amsterdam in late May, and I just got a wild hair to extend my stay and rent a motorcycle in Amsterdam and do some solo sport touring around Germany.
The last time I did something like this was at the age of 24 with an old boyfriend, and we flew our bikes from San Francisco to Lisbon (he had a Moto Morini Camel and I had a Yamaha XT 600) and we spent 2 months on enduro bikes driving all over Morrocco, then back up to Europe, through Spain, France, Switzerland and Italy (and yes, we visited the Ducati factory), then back to the US.
I'm partial to the enduro bikes and sport touring / cafe bikes. Past motorcycles I've had include Moto Morini 500 sport, Moto Morini Camel, Yamaha XT 600 and probably my all-time favorite that I'm still kicking myself for selling before I got married, a 1984 BMW R65 LS.
Flash forward 25 years and now I am a newly divorced 49-year old woman who has kept her motorcycle license, but who hasn't been on a motorcycle for many, many years, and I am planning to do this solo.
I've love to get any insights from other women motorcyclists since it's been so long on a bike, and since I've never done a solo tour in Europe. Any tips about safety, driving, etc. I am a seasoned traveler, so I am aware of the woman traveling alone advice, but I'm more interested in road safety, specifics of Germany if anyone's been there recently, and other suggestions that would be helpful for planning my trip.
I found a place in Amsterdam that rents motorcycles, and I think the BMW R1200 ST will be my best bet -- great sport touring bike and hefty yet light enough for distance and comfort with lots of luggage and power to take advantage of some of the German roads.
Have any of the women motorcyclists had similar trips or anything that would be helpful in planning this trip?
Just for grins, I have uploaded a few pictures of my 1989 trip to the Moto Morini and Ducati factories in Italy.