Thu 13th April:
After only minimal planning and pre-booking two hotels the day before setting off we met at my house around mid day on the 13th April and started our little round-trip.
The weather was mostly cloudy and only around 10°C but dry and the roads were quite empty so we made good progress through the Bavarian countryside. We rode past Ammersee west of Munich and then through Weilheim where shortly after we turned east onto the B472 and then south again onto the B11 to go past Kochel- and Walchensee. The road between those two lakes, the Kesselbergstraße, is pretty (in-)famous around here as it has been a race track in the past and has since then been the scene of many accidents. This lead the local authorities to put a very strict 60km/h speed limit and speed bumps into place as well as a ban for motorcycles on weekends and bank holidays.
Luckily today was just a normal weekday so we were good to ride along there and to be fair in many of the corners 60km/h is plenty fast enough.
After passing the scenic lakes we finally got to Mittenwald which is on the border to Austria and a popular crossing point for holiday makers who want to avoid paying for Austrian motorways. After we rode through the centre we took the smaller and mostly deserted back roads to get into Austria where only a short distance in the sun came out fully and made riding a lot more enjoyable.
We then came to the town of Telfs from where we headed towards Imst and then into the Pitztal. At the end of the valley we went over a small pass and into the next valley which then lead us towards the Reschenpass and the small town of Nauders.
In Nauders we had booked a bed & breakfast called Pension Tirol which I stayed in before on a skiing holiday. After settling in and parking the bikes in the garage, which the owners moved their car out of for us, we found a place to have dinner in walking distance and soon after called it a day.
Here's the route of the first day: Motoplaner-Day1
Fri 14th April
We met for breakfast at 8am and were greeted by glorious sunshine. This was a bit misleading though as it was only a freezing 4°C outside. Still, after a big breakfast we got ready and set off just after 9am.
The route first took down a mountain road into Switzerland where, at first, it got even colder... around 1°C in places. But since the sun was doing its best it was actually not too bad when we weren't riding in the shadow of the mountains around us.
We passed through the town of Scuol and a little later turned east in Zernez towards Ofenpass. Before actually getting to the pass we turned south again though and went through the Munt la Schera Tunnel into Italy. After going through the tunnel you come out onto Punt dal Gall Dam where you need to pay the toll for using the tunnel which was around 12€ per bike.
After a short photo break we rode on to the town of Livigno which enjoys a special duty-free status in the region so especially fuel is very cheap here. The lowest I saw was 1€ per litre of Super as compared to around 1.65€ in Italy itself.
The town is also a popular winter sports destination and even in April it's quite busy with tourists. Many of the slopes were still open and it felt a bit odd to ride along a busy ski slope on the bike.
From here we headed towards Bormio via the Foscagno Pass and stopped for a little coffee break in the sunshine.
Normally, when coming to Bormio you wouldn't want to miss out the famous mountain passes around the area. There is the Stelvio Pass to the north and the Gavia Pass to the east but sadly these were still closed for winter at this time of the year. Even the smaller Mortirolo Pass to the south was still closed, so we didn't have a choice but to follow the valley south out of Bormio and go the long way round the mountains via Tirano and Edolo.
From there we followed the road we had taken back in 2015 on our big Black Forest & Alps tour and made good progress. On the way to Fondo we rode through huge fruit tree plantations which were all in full bloom and which made for very scenic views. I've been in this area several times already but never during this time of the year so it was a great novelty for me.
After a short break we then rode the last bit to our hotel for the night the Pension Kofler in the village Völlan just south of Merano. The last 2km or so the GPS played a bit of a trick on us as it decided we should take the shortest route from the main road up to the village. Unfortunately the shortest route was an unpaved track through the forest which was used by lots of hikers but with Robert taking the lead here we made it through in one piece. Good thing I had my sun-visor down so none of the very surprised looking hikers could see my embarrassed face ;)
After settling into our rooms again and parking the bikes in the underground car park we found a nice little restaurant with a terrace overlooking the fruit plantations and had a nice dinner there.
Here's the route of the this day: Motoplaner-Day2
Sat 15th April
We met again for breakfast at 8am and were ready to set off around 9am. The weather today was a bit overcast but not cold and according to the forecast we should stay dry for most of the way home.
After leaving the hotel we first went down into the valley and had to negotiate the busy city streets of Merano but after making our way through the traffic we soon were on the road leading us to the Jaufenpass. We got up there without much traffic and stopped at the top for some photos. That's where I noticed I was already almost 10km on reserve. Oops... At least from here it was all the way downhill so I was fine ;)
As predicted I made it ok to the next petrol station down in the town of Sterzing with around 30km done on reserve and maybe half a litre left in the tank. All good ;)
After the fuel stop we rode to the Brenner Pass which is the main north-south connection between Italy and Austria but as we stayed off the motorway there was only light traffic. The road took us to Innsbruck and then on towards Mittenwald again where shortly before the German border we stopped for some lunch.
From here it was mainly a ride on main roads to get back home and if it hadn't been for a band of rain between Weilheim and Fürstenfeldbruck we'd have stayed dry for the whole trip.
Overall I did just under 960km in those three days and it was an excellent start to the biking season with great company. :)
Here's the route of the last day: Motoplaner-Day3