I've had my Sportster for 2.5 years now and have enjoyed riding it very much. It's a great bike for the twisties as I'm sure many of you will agree. I've made a few mods to it along the way - Stage 1 with SEII pipes and TFi, upgrade to 1200cc and I've added most of the requirements to make it a reasonably good bike to do some touring with - panniers, screen, detachable luggage for the rack and I've brought the bars up and back a bit too. There are some spectacular roads in a part of Austria I know fairly well -Salzbergerland - and seeing a YouTube clip about the Grossglocknerstrasse sealed the deal for me and made the decision that I was going down. My pal has an old Vulcan and we set off from south of London early Friday morning week before last. We took the train under the English Channel to Calais and then hit the road south east. We travelled though Normandy into southern Belgium and down through the Ardennes into Luxembourg. From there we entered Germany via the Saarland through some beautiful national parkland and then onto the autobahn - the A8 - bypassing Karlsruhe and finishing up for the first night in Stuttgart. We covered 530 miles that first day. The next day, Saturday, we finished our journey via Munich and the Deutsche Eck into Austria and finishing up at our destination in the beautiful Alpine town of Zell-am-See. That place is a great centre for basing a motorbike holiday with access to hundeds of miles of twisty Alpine roads - all of which are maintained beautifully. On Sunday we took the road up to Dienten and Maria-Alm but the weather up in the mountains was really bad and coming down the steep hills, I found the front end was slipping on the tight corners so we baled and went in the direction of dry weather. We took the road up to the base of the ski lifts which go up to the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier. There's a memorial building there to the 170 people who died in a fire in the funicular train tunnel in the disaster of 2000. You can't walk out of that memorial without a lump in your throat. On Moonday we went up the Grossglocknerstrasse (Grossglockner High Alpine Road) on a glorious sunny day - mile after mile of hairpin bends up into the snowline and finishing at a glacier. It's a bit of Biker Heaven as can be seen from the hundreds of bikes winding their way up and down the mountain road. When we got back from that ride, we decided to get the monkey off our backs from the bad weather the previous day so we took the road up to Dienten again to do it in nice conditions. On Tuesday we stuck west to see the Krimml waterfalls - another beautiful run. We left Zell am See on the Wednesday riding northwest through Germany and spending the night in Karlsruhe - we planned our journey to try and dodge some bad weather thunder and lightning storms and for the most part we managed. On Thursday we rode through Luxembourg, Belgium and into France to overnight in Lille before striking for the Channel Tunnel on Friday morning. I was back home cleaning the bike (and did it need it or what!) not long after lunchtime on Friday. All in all we did just over 2,300 miles in the week. I was happy with how the Sportster handled the road in terms of handling and speed (on the autobahns where there is no speed limit, we were motoring along around 80-85mph without any grumbles). On the mountain twisties, the Sporty was the business with great low speed torque for getting around turnpike bends on hills and with good ground clearance for leaning well into the bends. With all the luggage on, even at higher speeds, there wasn't a single wobble or weave. The only thing that let it down as a ride was the small tank and having to stop so often. You experienced HD types will not be in the slightest bit surprised by this but there you go. If I'm mad enough to take a trip like that in a week on a Sportster then stops every 70-110 miles have to be expected. Next time I do a tour to the continent, it'll be on a bike with more like 200 miles in the full tank than 120. But the Sporty was still great fun More photos to come.