Portugal on a BMW 1200GS - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-18-2015, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Portugal on a BMW 1200GS

My wife and I recently took a one week trip to Portugal. We departed on our trip with two main goals:

1. Visit some of my wife's extended family and
2. Eats lots of awesome food

I had a third very important goal:

3. Tour Europe on a motorcycle

We accomplished all 3. Here's the report, hope you don't mind our crappy cell phone pictures.

Day 1:

Arriving in Lisbon:



We would start in Lisbon, head straight to the motorcycle rental, and take the coastal back roads to the Cabo de Sao Vicente - the SW most point in Europe. From there, we would head into Portimao to visit family.



Arriving at MotoXplorers to pick up the GS





Leaving Lisbon



Cabo de Sao Vicente







We arrived in Portimao late in the evening, checked into our hotel, and had a small dinner at the hotel restaurant.

2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



49/50 visited on two wheels. 1 more to go!
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-18-2015, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Day 2: Easter Sunday in Portimao

Much of the day would be spent with our extended family exploring a little of Portimao, relaxing, and eating amazing home cooked food.

Portugal is big on seafood and canned sardines and in the south, one of the main industries is canned sardines. Here we are at the Museu de Portimao which used to be the main sardine factory.







The rest of the day was spent eating awesome home cooked meals and going out to one of the local seafood restaurants.



Razor clam rice and seafood stew.


2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



49/50 visited on two wheels. 1 more to go!
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-18-2015, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Day 3: Faro

We would begin the day by riding over to the town of Faro about an hour away to the east. Our main stop would be to check out the old cathedral in the historic district. In most of our exploring of Portugal, we would find that many of the cathedrals (some built in medieval times pre 1600) would be the most elaborate and captivating sights through the trip.

Outside the cathedral.



Inside









Up by the bell tower and the view of the town square





The shrine of bones - yes, human bones



Me playing with the photo effects on my phone



We would return that night to Portimao to another local feast


2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



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post #4 of 12 Old 04-18-2015, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Day 4: Evora and Lisbon

We got back on the road and headed north through the mountains and plains of Alentejo. Our first destination would be the medieval town of Evora.

Leaving the mountains and hills of the Algave



Giving way to towns situated above rolling grassy plains.



Evora is an old city with narrow cobblestone streets twisting and intersecting in a myriad of different ways. Navigating these roads in a car would be an exercise in pure aggravation is instead an adventure on a loaded 2-up motorcycle. Plus being able to park the bike almost anywhere (sidewalks, moto-only parking, basically anywhere not blocking a bus, car, or tram) made transportation on two wheels an easy option.



The medieval cathedral sits at the highest point and is the most prominent structure in town.















Evora also comes with its own Roman temple ruins



After our visit to Evora, we would make the trek back to Lisbon where we would unwittingly brave crazy rush hour traffic on unfamiliar roads in an unfamiliar city riding 2-up. On top of that, people say Americans have a hard time understanding roundabouts, but Lisbon brings it to a whole new level with double nested roundabouts that even locals despise.







How I feel on the inside after surviving the first night in Lisbon


2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



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post #5 of 12 Old 04-18-2015, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Day 5: Sintra and Lisbon

From Lisbon we made a quick ride west of the city to Sintra. Here in the mountains of Sintra is where the kings and nobility of Portugal built their palaces and mansions. Today, many such as the national palace are open to the public to give visitors a view back in time.









National Palace





A leisurely trip through Sintra:


Following Sintra, we headed back to Lisbon to visit the National Tile Museum. Painted tiles are a hallmark of Portuguese art and you see examples all over the country today.







A full panorama of medieval Lisbon through painted tiles.



We had dinner plans for the night with family, so to kill some time we went grocery shopping for sardines to bring back to the US.


2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



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post #6 of 12 Old 04-18-2015, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Day 6: Lisbon

On our final full day in Portugal, we returned the bike in the morning and explored around the city on foot and by public transport.



















We had a great time in Portugal, but sadly it was time to head home the next day.

Hope you enjoyed the ride report.

2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



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post #7 of 12 Old 04-19-2015, 01:56 AM
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Looks great, man, such an interesting place, a bit like the part of Europe that time forgot. Cool!

Thanks for sharing your pics.

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-19-2015, 04:17 AM
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Great trip.

As a note, last summer i'd been in north Portugal, in Braga and BraganÁa. You won't believe the good roads for motorcycling they have there... throught the valleys where they make the "vinho verde" (green wine).

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-19-2015, 04:45 AM
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Most excellent. Thanks for sharing the pics and the story. Looks like you accomplished your goals. That spiral staircase is strange looking.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-19-2015, 05:37 AM
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Awesome Pics man! Thanks for sharing! What a beautiful trip!

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post #11 of 12 Old 04-19-2015, 07:38 AM
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Very cool thanks for sharing. How did the big bmw stack up against your S10?

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post #12 of 12 Old 04-20-2015, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W. View Post
Very cool thanks for sharing. How did the big bmw stack up against your S10?
The GS has a lot of good points and I can see why owners enjoy them. More power up top than my S10, comfortable for myself and my passenger, good wind management, and a lot of nice standard features like cruise control, heated grips, and ESA.

However, I wouldn't trade my S10 for one just yet. The throttle felt very twitchy outside of rain mode and it was hard to modulate, especially when navigating the smaller towns. My S10 throttle map was a bit like this too, but I had my ECU flashed by a local guy and now it works really well for me. On the ESA adjustments, I couldn't feel enough of a difference between hard, normal, and soft dampening so I ended up just leaving it on normal. I'd rather just have conventional suspension that is set up properly vs. ESA. Also, turning into curves felt odd as the bike would be hard to turn initially, but then just fall into the corner after a certain point. That could be more of an issue with the tires as the bike did have 25K km on the clock. The weird turning behavior negated any weight advantage it may have had over my S10.

So overall a nice bike and really nice to look at, but not really an upgrade over my S10. I did really like the motor though and I have a bit more confidence buying a BMW in the future now that I tried this one out. I would forgo all of the ESA and most other electronic aids though. If anything, I would get the R nineT.

2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



49/50 visited on two wheels. 1 more to go!
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