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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Wayne rides around Italy on KTM SMT – Part 3

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Traveling through Europe with the KTM 890 SMT – Part 3
San Gimignano to Matthifen

with Wayne Vickers

See part 1 | See part 2 | Check out the KTM 890 SMT review here (link).


8th day
San Gimignano – Castellina – Greve – Florence – Santa Lucia –
Latticosa Pass – Monzuno – Pianoro – Verona
Map link (~400 km, 6.5 hours)

I made a late call to add a few more Tuscan back roads and an extra hour or more to today’s route. After spending the night doing some homework, he realized he had the opportunity to ride part of the Mille Miglia route. It was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

What an amazing result it turned out to be! There was very little traffic, the roads were nice and we had a lot of fun. At one point I was asking myself out loud why there was less traffic, then I realized it was a Monday morning and the locals were probably at work…at my benefit. did.

florence
Florence. They definitely knew how to build a church at some point.

I couldn’t help but imagine guys like Moss and Fangio carving the same turns in their old classic cars. What a sight it must have been!

From there I entered Florence. Sure, it was a great city like Como, but we couldn’t really get out of there fast enough. tourist group. So many tourist groups. Yes, the Duomo is special. So are lines and obnoxious travelers.

Florence - Duomo
Florence – Duomo. I’m surprised I found an angle that didn’t show 1,000 tourists.

The only conversation I had with the local police during this trip was when I parked where I shouldn’t have parked. I think that became the loading zone. We both laughed and he made me walk back to where I could park…fair play.

Verona - Pietra Bridge
Verona – Pietra Bridge. very pretty. And there are fewer tourists than Florence. But Juliet was never found. I saw it.

We then continued down the back roads north of Florence and found ourselves in the Latticosa Pass. There are a lot of bikes on the boat, along with some pretty fancy metal pieces from Lamborghinis. Google Maps then turned me around several times and I almost ran out of fuel before the next gas stop.

For the previous 10km, I headed to the servo with Zero Kay until it was empty. Then fill the 16L tank with about 15.5L. Therefore, it must have been cut quite close.

verona arena
Verona Arena is quite something.

Our encounter with Verona was fairly uneventful, other than collecting bees at one point and getting tagged around our necks a few times, but Verona was unexpectedly hospitable. It’s much less crowded than Florence. My advice: skip Florence and head to Verona. Grab some gelato (I haven’t found a theme here yet), walk around and enjoy.

There’s a lot to see, including the amazing Colosseum. It’s hard to take a bad photo of Pietra Bridge over the Adige River. It is difficult for us Australians to understand that it has been going on for nearly 2000 years of his…. Long before Will decided to write about OL Romeo getting along with Juliet, centering around these parts.

verona
Verona. I will definitely visit again.

Day 9
Verona – Riva del Garda – Tyrol Castle – Innsbruck
Map (approximately 350 km, 6 hours)

On my last day in Italy, I headed almost due north, stopping first in Riva del Garda, a crackly little town on the northernmost tip of Lake Garda.

Riva del Garda
Riva del Garda. It is located at the northern end of Lake Garda.

Simply known as Riva, it has a good descent into town and beautiful views. Already the landscape was beginning to change, the Tuscan hills largely left behind and the landscape getting higher and higher as we moved north.

Riva del Garda
Riva del Garda We also had coffee and croissants.

Fun fact – nearby Torbole is one of Europe’s hotspots for kiting and windsurfing, thanks to its daily reliable wind patterns. If that’s your thing…include it in your itinerary. There was also a very nice little harbor area which was perfect for a morning stop.

Then I walked down a little dead-end side street to Tyrol Castle. Most of the way there was smooth, but Google made me go back and forth trying to guide me through the walking track for the last mile to the castle. So in the end I pulled the pin and turned around to head to Innsbruck.

Molveno
Molveno was lovely – so were the roads in and out…

From there it was a very uneventful voyage until we returned to Austria and entered Innsbruck for the night. Just like the city. I loved Innsbruck. It’s a place I’d describe as a bit like Vienna, but it’s a place where character has always been present. Rich colors and some quirky architectural styles.

innsbruck
Innsbruck! It’s similar to Vienna, but with 11 of his characters.

St. Nicholas’ colorful buildings along the river and the golden roofs of the old town are particularly impressive. Innsbruck, well known for its ski resorts, has actually hosted the Winter Olympics five times. This is an explanation of the ski jump visible from the city.

innsbruck
Postcard Innsbruck.

Day 10
Innsbruck – Zell am See – Hallstatt
Map link (~250 km, 4 hours)

A major thunderstorm rolled in around dinner time and the weather gods started flexing their muscles a bit throughout the night, causing quite a lightning show until the morning. I had a few hours to spare, so I sat out in the storm and tried to avoid the rain chasing me. challenge accepted.

hallstatt
Hallstatt. I was able to do it without getting wet.

Once again showing what this bike is capable of, after covering over 3000km in the last 9 days, I completed a continuous 3 hour stint with no issues at all.

hallstatt
Our accommodation in Hallstatt had great views of the water.

oh yeah. SMT covers the ground just fine. I arrived in Hallstatt with plenty of time to find a spot by the lake so he could think about the “end of the journey” with his GoPro, and then find accommodation for the night before it started raining. success.


Day 11
Hallstatt – St. Gilgen – Mattighofen
Map link (~100 km, 2 hours)

And just like that, “Bluey” (as I’ve come to call him SMT) and I met our final day. We decided to ride back to Mattighofen and tour the KTM Motohall before returning the bike.

The radar looked a little shaky, but I thought if I timed it right I could avoid the rain again for the first hour and then enter Matthiffen dry.

KTM Motohaul
KTM’s Moto Hall was worth a visit

no. As soon as we went around the mountain, we were actively abandoned. Well, it was heavy, but it was only a short shower, so if I’m lucky I’ll be dry soon from here.

Then we turned to the next mountain and came back inside the same shower. Ha! Wet. To. . Butt. But I have to laugh. It was a perfect run until the last two hours.

But by the time I entered Moto Hall for coffee and snacks, I was almost dry. Let’s call it “moist”.

KTM Moto Hall
KTM Motohall, a very cool exhibit

What a wonderful facility. The Motor Hall was a great place to end our trip. They gave me a tour and told me about the bike which is especially important. Of course I had to take some snaps of some of the hero bikes and displays.

The Dakar room in particular is very cool, showing an era of complete domination and evoking memories of great riders and races. Another he made a quick stop at the store to buy a KTM cap, then it was time to hit the road and return the 890 SMT.

KTM Moto Hall
The KTM Motohold Dakar room was a highlight. I won a lot of victories on that wall. Complete superiority.

Travel-wise, we had a pretty bold itinerary from the beginning. A different city every night. Most days spent in the saddle last between 5 and 7 hours.

If I were to do it again, I would probably limit the area a bit and focus on the upper section of the Alps from Austria to Switzerland and back. The roads and scenery are on another level. Choose a few spots to be your base for a few days each. You can create a cracking route in 6 or 8 days.

KTM Moto Hall
KTM Motohaul has a huge collection of milestone bikes.

KTM 890 SMT? What a machine. It did everything I asked for and more. It’s clear that they’re comfortable enough to spend your big day back to back. It shows sufficient ability even in twisties. More than enough to curl up the edges of my nice Michelin and leave me with black lines here and there… It was fun finding my lines the next day on my way back through Switzerland. What a confidence-inspiring machine!

On-road, this engine is even less intimidating than the Adventure R Off-Road, which makes a statement. Therefore, you can get into the engine in earnest depending on your mood. Excellent road manners. It’s so agile that some big heavy tourers look like tankers. And the brakes. The front in particular allows for very deep trail braking, almost to the top. We practiced that a lot on the switchbacks.

KTM Moto Hall
KTM Motohaul also has these little gems. The world’s first motorcycle.

As I said in the full review, this is a worthy successor to the original. I’m glad to be back.

Now we better start the video…


Gallery from days 4 to 7:
San Gimignano to Matthifen




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