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Wanted to see if there was anyone on here from the germany area that would be able to give me some advice on the riding lifestyle there. i am about to be stationed in heidelberg and wanted to prep myslef for the change. any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Your best bet is to go to the European Command (EUCOM) website and go to either the Newcomers' or Safety section, there you should be able to find everything that will be required for you to be able to ride and register your bike in Germany. You might even have to take a driving test. One of the main things to keep in mind is that most of the local roads often times don't have Stop signs and the priority is always to the right; you can be riding on what looks like a "main road" and vehicles approaching from the right have the right of way. This would be one of the biggest adjustments and a very important one in terms of safety:bigthumbsup:.
 

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Man I was there for five years. Left in 07. The riding rules and traffic laws are a tad different. Do take the beast for the autobahn is awesome. Have ur sponsor send u the drivers pamphlet or study guide. Enjoy the trip and safe risking to you. Obtw Heidelberg Mannheim area is awesome. Go off post rather than on unless u just rather be crammed in the matchbox quarters on PHV.
 

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I took a trip to Germany last fall and the biggest thing to get used to is their street/traffic signs. Other than that, I had no problems driving there.
 

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I was stationed down at Ramstein AB. I hooked up with a local chick. Gotta say she showed me alot of the area. Not the tourist type things but the local things.
She also took me up to Heidelberg Mannheim. MAN that city is beautiful. Try and get out and see as much of the country as you can. There's alot out there.

I really never say that many bikes out on the roads. Just parked on base. The locals do like their sports bikes. Majority of the times I've seen them in full leathers.
I have to agree, take the time and study, study and study some more fore the driving test. There's a lot that you have to remember. Once you get used to the roads you are going to LOVE them. I have to say I do like the two lane autobaun alot more than the 3-4 lane inerstates here in the states.
 

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Heidelberg Area

I lived 33 years in Germany in different areas, from 1993 till 1999 in Heidelberg (NATO Joint HQ). The driving style is a hmm little bit more aggressive as in the US. 40% of the highways still have no speed limits, so don't be surprised when cars (and not only the Porsches, Mercedes and BMWs) and bikes pass you with a 120 mile speed .
The most cruiser/chopper drivers drive like in the US, I say the most, not all . It is rare to find roads (except highways) without curves. The Alps are very drivable, but not all passes are meant for your M109. At least in the cities and the little towns you should keep to the speed limits (a lot of fixed speed trap cameras are installed).
Explore the Odenwald (nearby Heidelberg) , even the Alps are relative close by (+- 250 miles). In the GAP (Garmisch-Partenkirchen-Zugspitze [9000 foot mountain]) area is a Morale Welfare Recreation Center with hotel services (AFRC Garmisch - Edelweiss Hotel).
It's easy to find a B&B even for only one night and not too expensive ($35-45), don't bother too much about the language, in the most tourist areas you always will find somebody who speaks English .

If you have a GPS, the best thing to do is take your living address as your home waypoint, start driving around and take the roads by seeing them hmm as interesting, in other words follow your nose and when you get lost or have no clue where you are, use your home waypoint on your GPS to come back to civilisation .

Explore the yellow marked roads on the map, the red ones are most of the time fast not interesting roads.

Expect the living costs here in Europe in general to be more expensive than in the states (food, services, rent), gas will be no problem then you will have coupons (ESSO and only by ESSO stations you can tank) from the US forces, if you have to tank for some reason at another brand station, be aware that the normal gas price is 1.85$ for a QUARTER/1Liter.

I personally didn't find the Mannheim area spectacular for driving a bike, the Odenwald area (east of Heidelberg) is more interesting for day drives. Or farther west of Mannheim, around Kaiserslautern is good.

France is not far away too (75 miles) and if you take the shortest way from Heidelberg to France, you will come first in the Elzas (German name) and than in the Alsace (French name for the same area) France, this area is a wonderful area for bikers (best is to use a weekend for this trips).

Every touristic village has a tourist bureau (easy to find over internet).

To find when necessary a Suzuki Dealer is no problem (Suzuki is a widespread brand in Europe), but again Europe is expensive (labor costs +- 65 euro = 85$).

If you need more specific information, send me a PM, your sponsor too can help you with the more specific US military information about living in Europe.

Keep in attention that most Europeans have a different attitude about personal weapons!
That they are more introverted (North more, South lesser).

It is not easy to get friends with them, but when they call you "my friend" then you will have a friend in good and bad times.

When they invite you to their house, they really expect that you are coming, in particular the Germans expect you on time :D, the Italians and the French are less strict in that case (southern extroverted).

If you are open minded and not too fast in your judgment by American standards, by accepting that other ways of living are admirable too, you will have a great time over here.

Example: shops in general are closed on Sunday, but PX and Commissary are open

I am a retired Belgian military married with a US retired Military (Nickname ALIEN :D)



OldBill
 

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:bigthumbsup:Good Job,Old Bill :bigthumbsup:

See you on the German Street`s (more than 120 mph ;))

Artvox
 

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:bigthumbsup:Good Job,Old Bill :bigthumbsup:

See you on the German Street`s (more than 120 mph ;))

Artvox
I didn't say, you have fun on a M109 by 120 miles/h :evil::D, But last year I still had my Bandit 1250 and oh yeah it makes fun driving my Bandit with 120MPH on the German highway :bigthumbsup:, the fastest I drove with my M1800R2/M109R2 was 115mph, that was no fun at all :yikes:

OldBill
 

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I didn't say, you have fun on a M109 by 120 miles/h :evil::D, But last year I still had my Bandit 1250 and oh yeah it makes fun driving my Bandit with 120MPH on the German highway :bigthumbsup:, the fastest I drove with my M1800R2/M109R2 was 115mph, that was no fun at all :yikes:

OldBill
Not to "high-jack" this thread but I definitely look forward to riding with OldBill this coming riding season and explore everything that Belgium and Europe have to offer. Having lived in the Northern Virginia area last riding season, I became spoiled at having awesome roads nearby, like the Skyline, Blue Ridge Parkway and U.S. Road 211:drool: just to name a few.
 

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I would listen to OldBill I was stationed in Germany from 1997 - 1999 at the american consul in Frankfurt and I took many road trips and I would always say I wish I had my bike over there but to tell you the truth if i did I probably wouldnt be alive today. The driving over there is crazy you will see people driving like they are in the canninball run or something. If you like to cruise u might not enjoy it but if you like to get on the throttle you will love it. But one thing for sure you will see beautiful sites when you go riding. So be safe and do enjoy.:cop:
Wanted to see if there was anyone on here from the germany area that would be able to give me some advice on the riding lifestyle there. i am about to be stationed in heidelberg and wanted to prep myslef for the change. any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Not to "high-jack" this thread but I definitely look forward to riding with OldBill this coming riding season and explore everything that Belgium and Europe have to offer. Having lived in the Northern, Virginia area last riding season, I became spoiled at having awesome roads nearby, like the Skyline, Blue Ridge Parkway and U.S. Road 211:drool: just to name a few.
Pity I moved to Slovakia; would have loved to meet you guys, but there are a couple of very nice guys still out there, did you check the benelux M1800r forum? Artvox is a member there too (even though he is German ;))
 

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Pity I moved to Slovakia; would have loved to meet you guys, but there are a couple of very nice guys still out there, did you check the benelux M1800r forum? Artvox is a member there too (even though he is German ;))
Me too, the web address is http://m1800rforum.forum2go.nl/ , it is a Flemisch (Belgium) Dutch (Netherlands) forum and a lot if not the most speak english. Registering is free like in this forum and it is a more technical forum, but have some fun/general sections to.

OldBill
 

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The Alps in North Italy, my driving style is close to his, only with my new M109 I have to drive a little bit slower (but not verry much slowere:D) in the hairpin curves, but it will give you an expression how they drive overhere in Europe :D

OldBill
 

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:doorag:
Bigwill109,
i hope to see you one day on the German Roads.
I wanted to tell you something about the german Roads, but since Oldbill dit such a good Job in explaining everything, there is nothing more to say than: Have fun and enjoy your Stay in Germany :welcome:.

@ Lzzrd, Artvox, Oldbill, Duende01 and all the other Members living in Europe :doorag:
Hope to see you on the Road this season in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and in other parts of Europe :hot:

Regards cruisi 8)
 

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I have one thing to add to what Bill said, if your on the autobahn don't ride the left lane and be very careful when changing into the left lane. It is very difficult to explain how fast a porsche or mercedes or bmw going 150mph can catch you. You might think you have enough room to negotiate your pass and then all of a sudden you will hear tires screeching behind you.
Most of the germans are good drivers but this is something that americans are not accustomed to. Although, when I was there the only ones I really saw making this mistake were old people in diesel mercedes.
 

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Hey Will, haven't had a chance to ride/hang with you since Mary's first ride on the 9. Enjoy your time over there!!!! Sorry to see you leave the area.
 
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