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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Review: Motorrad ReiseKarten Alpen

This trip was the first where I used the Motorrad ReiseKarten Alpen in the field exclusively. It was a great experience. First, I separated the pages I thought would be useful from the folder. This made a light, compact, and waterproof package, especially sitting in the saddlebag. Every day, I would extract, 1, 2, or 3 pages from the package that we planned to ride through, and then have just those pages available in the handlebar bag that wasn't waterproof. The lamination on the map sections itself isn't perfect: we had one map section that was used extensively over several rainy days, and it was clear that the lamination had began separating from the map. However, the map was never unusable, and it looks like it could survive another tour.

The back of the maps turned out to be useful in terms of booking and finding lodging during the trip. We were able to call Il Fourn based on the phone number available, and make a reservation during the day on Albulapass. The only improvement that could be made there is to have country codes printed on the map to make international dialing easier. However, in the age of smart phones a country code lookup on Google was neither bothersome nor difficult.

The biggest disappointment in the map is in the data. Many towns are missing elevation information. Galleria were not noted on the map, and in some cases, a tunnel mysteriously appear but wasn't marked on the map. This is all data which is secondary to a motorcyclist but quite important to a bicyclist. Just before I left Switzerland I saw a recent edition of Motorrad Atlas Alpenlander in 1:250,000 scale which might have better data, but I was in a hurry and did not have a chance to peruse the map in more detail.

Regardless, however, I consider myself very satisfied with the map collection, and saw many motorcyclists using it, so the collection pretty much sets the standard for touring maps in the Alps.

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