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Going to Sicily

  1. #1
    I miss doing trackdays tbonehedge's Avatar
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    Going to Sicily


    I'm heading to Sicily at the end of April and want to rent a motorcycle for a couple days. Anyone ever ridden in Sicily? Any suggestions as to what roads/areas are good riding? I'll be riding solo and don't speak Italian, am I screwed once i get out of the cities as far as anyone speaking English?
    I went to Sicily in 2011, so I have an idea of what to expect as far a city traffic (controlled chaos) but not sure about venturing out into the countryside. I'll be renting the bike out of Catania and will have a home base with the wife and kids in Taormina for a week, planning on day trips from there and at least one overnight somewhere, looking for suggestions on where that overnight somewhere should be.

    Looking at 2 places to rent from:
    Motorcycle Tours, Training & Rentals Worldwide | AdMo-Tours
    CIMT: motorcycle rental sicily - rent a motorbike in sicily - rent a motorcycle in catania - motorcycle rental catania

    Anyone have any experience with either company? I'm leaning toward the admo-tours right now because drop-off/pick-up location is better.

    And, Triumph Tiger 800 or BMW F700GS?

    After the week in Taormina we do a week in Messina with wifes cousins and the a couple days outside of Palermos with other cousins.

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  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Re: Going to Sicily

    I rent from CIMT every year. I like them and have never had a problem with their bikes. I'll be on a Multistrada from them in June. They are expensive though. Years ago I checked prices and they were all pretty close. CIMT gives "loyalty" discounts so every year I rent from them they knock a bit off the top. A couple years ago they switched from a firm fixed price to a per kilometer price so, it can get pricey if you are doing Iron Butt rides around Europe. If you keep the mileage down the cost will be reasonable.

    You will have language issues. I've lived in a few different places over there (including Sicily for a year) and Italy gets more Italian the further south you go and Sicily is about as south as you can get. You will be fine in Taormina, but you will notice that not many Italians speak English outside the very tourist spots. Even in bigger cities like Catania and Palermo you will not find many English speakers. Having said that, it's really not something to worry about.

    In terms of moto-fun roads, they are all over Sicily. Just stay off the Autostradas and you will have a blast. CIMT will provide a mounted GPS (for 5 euros/day) and I recommend getting it. There are great roads all over the place and if you are in the zone, you can easily get lost so, the GPS will come in handy in getting you back to base.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have specific questions.

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  3. #3
    I miss doing trackdays tbonehedge's Avatar
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    Re: Going to Sicily

    Thanks frenchwv, that helps!

    What about helmet? Deal with bringing my own on the plane and have to deal with it for the whole trip, ship to cousins and pick up there (no idea of cost or time) or rent one of theirs? How funky are the rental helmets, am I gonna get skeeved out everytime I go to put it on?

    Def planning on doing the GPS, good call!

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  4. #4
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    Re: Going to Sicily

    I always bring my own helmet. I think CIMT has full-face HJC helmets for rent if you don't want to deal with bringing your own. They probably clean them, but I would bring my own liners anyway.

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  5. #5
    Lifer
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    Re: Going to Sicily

    I would probably just buy there and plan on leaving it. if your cousin lives there just pop on Italian eBay and buy some nice used stuff and ship to him directly. dainese branded stuff can be bought for pennies on the dollar and you can always take it back with your for instance.
    I will say for the most part Italy will be a tough language barrier. it's OK in the bigger cities but outside of those your on your own. I've always found a good prepaid phone with decent language apps is really the best bet. I would just type in English what I want to say and it gets converted to whatever language you want and then just show them. it's far better than the ones that speak due to dialects and accents.

    I haven't rented a bike there so I can't speak on that. I'm sure there are tons of options. just make sure you brush up on Italian road laws before hand. what you think is odd and dangerous they will certainly think is fine. you will be expected to filter with the cars for the most part and if you don't expect lots of swearing and cursing.

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