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I We’re Renting Bikes in Milan to Explore the Italian Lakes Region


Background: A few months ago, my brother-in-law (and lifelong friend) Alex mentioned his company, All Balls Racing, was sending him to EICMA in Milan, the largest motorcycle trade show in the world.  I gushed in envy, in response to which he asked me to join him.  I can still recall distinctly his exclamation, “It would be totally crazy to rent bikes in the middle of November, right…?”
Alex and I picking up our bikes from Central Italy Motorcycle Tours
“Yes-“ I logically replied, as riding around in a foreign country in the middle of the winter just sounded dumb, not to mention incredibly uncomfortable.  But I made inquiries to friends, which turned into correspondence with companies, and as September turned to October, and October into November, the temperatures in Northern Italy were hovering in the high 60’s / low 70’s, perfect for motorcycle riding.
Most of our routes...
I had reached out to HP Motorad, and MotoTouring.com, but I received a rather lackluster response from both outfits, with unenthusiastic email responses coming around 48 hours after my inquiries.  
Originally we had wanted Italian bikes, ideally Ducati Scramblers, but as the forecast for the week after EICMA loomed in the mid 40’s we decided heated grips would be necessary.

Milano's famous Duomo
I was worried we had left our reservations too late, but the last day of EICMA I managed to get in contact with Claudio of CIMT.IT, who had two brand new 2015 BMWs for us, an F800GT and a F800GS, and the heated grips would prove to be the saving grace of the trip.  Our costs were about $230 for three-ish days, and $0.20 / per km after that. Including insurance, we paid about $400 each for one of the most incredible experiences of our lifetimes.

Milano Centrale Station

NEXT: II. Around a Couple of Lakes from Italy to Switzerland

© 2015 Tigh Loughhead

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Rides gone by...