Delicious curves to Chocolate Nirvana
Apart from seeing friends there was a more urgent need to stop in Vienna – with 42 thousand miles on the clock the big red GS had decided it wasn’t getting enough attention and a new clutch was needed.
Mission control was set up in Roberts lounge where our hunt for parts and a workshop commenced. Robert was commissioned as our new PR manager as he spent the morning singing our praises and extolling our virtues to various BMW garages in Vienna, in the hope of getting us some healthy discount and the parts we needed A.S.A.P.
At around 2pm Robert had located a dealer who could not only get us the parts we needed but who was also willing to take a chunk out of the normal price. My R1100GS needs four new components of the clutch with the most crucial being the clutch plate itself.
I (Simon) then spent the rest of the afternoon composing and writing a letter to Touratech in Germany who amongst other things manufacture and supply a ceramic/sinter racing clutch plate which I'm told will outlive the normal BMW clutch by 5-6 times.
Unfortunately the price of the unit makes it prohibitive unless Touratech decided to sponsor us directly. With the letter finished and the e-mail sent, all we could do was keep our fingers crossed that Touratech would find our journey inspiring enough to support us.
Whilst trying to cover all eventualities I also got in contact with a wonderful guy called Niki who runs and operates ‘Dirtbike’ and who is the official Touratech importer for Austria. Niki has kindly offered to supply the clutch plate at cost (!) if the response from Touratech is unfavorable and for good measure has offered us accommodation with him and his family – hopefully we can take him up on his kind offer – it would be great to meet him.
Our ‘work’ for the morning complete, it was time to play.
Chris had arranged for us to meet one of his friends and so with the sun shining down and the three of us riding our bikes we trickled through the Vienna traffic eventually meeting up with Erwin in the foothills of the mountains that surround this wonderful city.
The road to the top of the mountains was quiet and offered delicious curves all the way to the top. The whole area is a wonderful playground for GS’s not to mention providing us fantastic views across the city.
With the evening drawing in it was time to head back to the tent, as ahead of us was an evening with the motorcycle club. An evening with like-minded people was something we were both looking forward to. Following Chris in his car we rode our bikes to the bike club meet. What a fantastic evening.
Within minutes we were with new friends with Chris now in his normal position at the BBQ. These guys meet every Friday without exception at a private clubhouse and we felt very privileged to have been welcomed into such a close-knit club.
Early evening came and went and when the morning finally crept round, conversation was in full flow as was the beer and the constant supply of grilled steak and sausage knocked up by Austria’s answer to Jamie Oliver!
Sometime later (don;
't ask as I've got no idea what time it was by then) we were asked by Joseph (the President of the club) do you like chocolate?
After explaining my addiction Joseph returned with the largest piece of chocolate either Lisa or I had ever seen – it was the chocoholics version of junky heaven and Toblerone had cornered the market. The next hour was spent with me slowly making my way through one chunk of this huge bar to the great amusement of the rest of the club. All in all a memorable evening swapping bike stories and being made to feel so very, very welcome. So thank you to the club ‘Freunde Mannsworth’ and all its members for providing us with another great night to remember.