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Renting motorcycles

I am going on a 3 month tour of Europe beginning March '10. I would like any information you might have on renting motorcycles. I would like to rent in France and Italy. Any restrictions? Requirements? Suggestions? I appreciate any help!

Posted by
10344 posts

Here's good advice from Ron in Rome who does, every day in Italy, what you want to do:"Living in Rome, I'm one of those motorino drivers. My first driving forays were... challenging. I followed the rules - no one else did. I'm embarressed to say, now I 'll probably be one of those guys passing you on the right! My wife rides the motorino also and I suppose it's unusual in the USA to see a woman in a skirt with heels riding a motorcycle... but here it's everyday.

You do (and will) have to drive OFFENSIVELY! Driving here is not just a function, it's a PASSION! For motorini, what rules do exist are optional. As my Italian friends tell me, so are the lines dividing the lanes in the road. That's why they don't waste paint putting lines on the larger roads in Rome.

Many folks ask should they rent a motorino and see Rome or the countryside. If you are not an experienced motorcyclist, ITALY IS NOT THE PLACE TO START! But if you are experienced, then knowing that things are "different" here, you can adapt quickly.

Many of the motorini here are NOT insured so most car drivers give them a wide berth. If you have an "incidente" the car owner will more than likely have to pay their own bills. The greatest danger on a motorino is OTHER motorino! Followed closely by taxis, buses, potholes (of which there are many), crosswalks, and even pedestrians.

Motorini drivers often do not stop for "optional" red lights, frequently cut through crosswalks, drive the opposite direction on one-way streets, and do ride on the sidewalks. I was run into at a red light by another motorino who was texting while driving!

So be careful... and if you're in Rome and a guy with a silver helmet and green Yamaha motorino "crowds" you (or performs any of the above listed "illegal" activities), I apologize in advance!"

Posted by
26 posts

We have rented 3 times from Moto Center Thun Switzerland, good service and good location (near Interlaken). They will hold your bags. I would base from a town and ride the passes, then move to another location for a few days and ride the passes from there. For example you can stay in Rick's pick of Lauterbrunnen Valley and ride at least 4 passes from that area. Not sure of the spelling but the Furka, the Grimsel, the Sussten (I know I botched those). Then move to Aldorf and hit the Klaussen Pass (my favorite). For 3 months, I'm guessing you should buy a bike or ship yours to Europe. What ever you do, think GPS. Bring a way to mount it on the bike and hook it to the battery. Seat and gear heaters are great, and a method to lock your gear (coat-pants-helmet) to the the bike so you can tour a castle or church. Joanne