6/1 Landshut to Prost

We awoke to sunny skies and made our way on the train from Munich to Landshut. We did a better job than last time finding Moto Maier and didn't drag our luggage around more than needed. Packed up the bikes, picked out our rental riding gear (some used, some brand new), filled out some paperwork and we were on our way. Unfortunately the rain started just as we were pulling out of the dealership - no reason to put on rain gear, though, right? Surely it will just be a couple drops...

As we worked our way out of Landshut and onto the autobahn I began to notice something wonky with my bike. I was geting a fair amout of vibration through the bars, magnified when braking. I though at first it was maybe a warped front rotor, but noticed that the vibrations also got worse over rough pavement. Like beginning-of-tankslapper shakey. This would dog me throughout the trip, and after some web searching it was almost certainly a too-loose stearing head bearing. Apparantly a number of bikes were delivered with their bearings too loose and early buyers were flocking back to their dealer for tightening. The steering nut is not easily accessible so an on-the-fly repair by us was not in the cards. Peter's Crosstourer did not exhibit any of the vibrations but he declined my offer to switch bikes so he could have a shiny red one instead of his drab black. I learnt to live with it by the end of the trip, but on the bumpier passes it made braking a real unpleasant experience.

My mount for the trip, the Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer. Dave and Peter are in the background still packing.

Peter also chose the Crosstourer.

The weather had been nice all morning, but very soon into the ride the rain started.

For the most part we took Autobahn and major roadways all the way to the hotel. Dave had laid out several routes for the day depending on weather and schedule, and we were sticking to the "just get there" one due to the crappy weather. Along with my wobbly front end it turned out my dealer-supplied Pinlock visor wasn't working. If anything the visor was fogging worse in that area than the area around the insert. Adding that fog to the incessant spray from the trucks and visibility was close to nil until I ditched the insert at a roadside stop.

At some point after we had left the Autobahn we got diverted due to an accident under an overpass. We tried to figure out a way around to get back on route but Peter's GPS wasn't happy and Dave's wouldn't recalculate. We wandered up one street and down another, with a short excursion on a sidewalk thrown in before ending up right back at the overpass. Fortunately the accident had been cleared so we just rolled on through.

We finally arrived at the Hotel Post and I for one was very happy to just be done riding for the day. Between the constant rain, foggy visor, shakey front end and main-road truck traffic I didn't feel the trip was off to the best start. Most days riding is a joy, but once in a while there are times when you just have to slog through it. I couldn't believe I was complaining about motorcycling in Europe, but (of course) things would get better. A great dinner and a beer helped my mood immensely.

Our first hotel of the trip, the Gasthof-Post in Prutz Austria

We had the very large garage pretty much to ourselves