Oktoberfest Tour - September 1997

This page will present the Oktoberfest trip story. I started off taking slides, but my camera broke about halfway through the trip. I finished off with a couple of disposables and buying lots of postcards. I have also stolen a few pictures from other places. However, in all cases I was there, did that, etc., even if I didn't take the picture.

It will take a while to get everything together, so this page will probably be dynamic for a month or so. I'm going to try to do the layout in a story fashion, similar to the EaSTOC page. There will be text with small icon pictures, which you can click to get the bigger version. I have bought a scanner for home, and it is easily doing much better than the scanner at work. I hope to rescan everything. I will have the slides scanned up some day, and put a few of them in here.

Note for the bandwidth impaired. Big pictures are 30-150 Kbytes each. This may take a while!

Beach's Motorcycle Adventures

This tour was handled by Beach's Motorcycle Adventures. You can catch their Web page at (http://www.bmca.com ). They are a family organization who have been doing Alpen tours for 27 years. They appear to pretty much have it right. They are highly recommended.

BMW motorcycles

Beach's puts you on a BMW motorcycle, as did Edelweiss two years before. Beach offers a limited selection of bikes: R1100R standard with bags and a bolt-on screen; R1100GS with bags and screen; F650 Funduro with a screen; and (if they can get it back together) one R1100RS. Edelweiss has a better selection, although I don't think they rent K bikes anymore, but it is for higher prices. Both elaborate on how great the Beemers are.

Wellllll, I'm here to say that the BMW that I rode, an R1100R, is one of the worst motorcycles you could ever imagine. The main problem is the motor. The thing would only run reasonably well from 2500 RPM, where it made no power, to 3500 RPM, where it started clattering and vibrating like it was going to immediately fly apart. I'm not talking about a little bit of vibs either! I'm saying major shaking, bars vibrating, pegs jumping around, things rattling, mirrors blurring out, and maximum bad, metallic, motor internal distress sounds. I thought something was wrong (still do), but the tour people said it was all normal. If it's normal, who would ever buy such a piece of crap?

So, anyway, I rode the thing, but I was never happy with it. I wish I could have ridden a bike with a decent motor. To its credit, when I either cranked on it to see if it would blow up, or wore earplugs so I wouldn't have to listen to the parts coming out, it would run at any speed, and put out lots of power. Of course this made my CD player skip, which was another downer.

Another problem with the Beemer motor was the fuel injection. It had the frequently reported surging problem at steady speeds, but this was only a minor annoyance. The big problem was the inability to reliably and smoothly get power back on after shutting down for a corner. Sometimes it would work, and those felt great. Other times it seemed like there was nothing when I gently twisted the throttle. Kind of left you hanging in the curve! Other times it came on with a bang, and that's another method of hanging - on the outside. Sometimes it came on with a lurch. I tried trailing the brake against the motor, and that helped a bit, but I'm afraid I'm not very practiced at this. I also tried the advice to keep the motor up and control it with the clutch, but I wasn't any good at all at this one. So, each corner was done on the chance of the draw!

On the other hand, the brakes were great (saved my buns in Italy!), the handling excellent, and the riding position perfect for the long riding days. Why can't they just fix the motor? It could be a great bike, if... (I did ride an R1100RT after my return, and its motor is night and day compared to the R. It's about what I had expected of a BMW! However, I didn't have it for my trip!)

Getting there

It's a 12 hour time change from Hawaii to European time. I had to surrender myself to United Airlines on a Wednesday evening to arrive in Munich at Friday noon. Pretty grim! However, after turning in at about 10 PM local time on Friday, I woke up Saturday pretty much back in synch with things. I'm very happy the jet lag didn't hang around.

The Gang

I'm going to eventually scan up the pictures I have of the people on the tour and stick them on this tab.  If you rode on the tour and want a mug shot, send them it!


I've broken the trip up into a few semi-logical parts. All is done in the order that we traveled. And, I'll probably work on them in that order. I'll post a completed on each chapter as I finish. I'll probably put some photos in each section before the text is added. Enjoy! Comments would be appreciated.

Munich and Austria

I've actually started working on this one.

Into Slovenia and across Italy

A few pictures in this one. And now, more than a few words.

Zuoz and Andermatt, Switzerland

A few pictures in this one.

Back to Italy and on to France

A few pictures in this one.

We return across Switzerland and Austria

A few pictures in this one.

Bill Cruise

Last modified: Sun Nov 2 16:48:18 HST