BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

We move out of the hotel and into the Moto Clube Faro clubrooms.

Saturday 16/3/13

Thanks to Frank and Lisa's hospitality last night we both woke up (or, more correctly, were woken up by a barking dog) suffering from altitude sickness again. I don't understand how this keeps happening, especially as we are now down at sea level. We ensured we drank plenty of fluids last night, but it doesn't seem to help. We managed to get back to sleep and were given a wake up call from reception at two pm. Thanks for arranging that Lisa.

We casually got ready and packed up our gear to make the move to the Moto Clube Faro clubhouse. On our way there we stopped at the marina for lunch.

We enjoyed a very nice lunch by the marina.

When we arrived at the club house we were shown to our room. It's a cool little room with two singles and a shared bathroom. There are two other rooms with three double bunk beds in each. We also have a neighbour, but haven't seen him yet.

The local BMW dealer had a display of bikes at the club so it gave me a chance to have a good look at the new R1200GS. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's an exceptional bike, but a few of the changes BM have made have taken a few ticks off my check list for a bike for our type of trip.The radiators would need some very serious bar work to protect them in case of falls. My falls in Morocco would have damaged them. The switch gear is another area that didn't thrill me. It's fantastic that BM have finally moved to a "normal" indicator switch, but some of the switches look a bit fragile to me. Lastly, the pillion seat is too high. Putting weight up high on the back of the bike is an issue. The higher it is, the worse it is. The new seat would put Suzanne about five inches higher than where she is now. It's a great bike with lots of good features, but I wouldn't trade mine for a new one. I might revise my view when the new Adventure comes out.

I'm not sure the cruise control and indicator switches
will suit real adventure tourers.

One of the reasons I chose our BM was because it's air cooled. Those radiators will need some protection.

In the bar I met a few new people and had a couple of drinks. I was introduced to the President of the club, Jose Amaro, who asked me how long we would be staying. I asked if it was OK for us to stay for two, or maybe three nights. He laughed and said we could stay as long as we liked. They had one guy who stayed for six months. I don't think we'll be doing that.

The club is a great place with real atmosphere. It's like nothing I've experienced at home. The music is great and the club house is full of families, kids, and dogs. Everyone is having a good time.

Just a few of the Faro club members.
Eric, Marco, Gaspar, and Jose the President.
You can tell by the smiles they are a fun bunch.

Back in the bar the band was fired up and the drinks were flowing. I met a lot more people, including Marinho, who introduced me to Medronho. Medronho is a subtle little local brew that is somewhere around 40% alcohol. 

For details see -

I'm pretty sure by the time I pulled the pin at around three am I was speaking fluent Portuguese.

I'm loving Portugal, or more correctly, I'm loving the Portuguese people. They are very friendly and generous and I'm sure we'll leave here with some life long friends. 

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