Most people who come on an Alpine motorcycle tour come to ride the roads. The daily route can be the key to a great ride. When it comes to riding I personally like to stay up in the mountains as much as possible and out of the cities, which can be crowded, hot, full of diesel fumes and sometimes bewildering to route through.
I like roads that give you a great view, or show you a glimpse of the countryside that you don’t get from the main roads. I like pass roads that give me a sense of accomplishment that by getting over the pass I mastered nature and the motorcycle, even if the bike did all the work.
We usually head out by 9:00AM and ride a full day until 5:00 – 6:00PM. We usually stop at the top of each pass for a snack and photo-op, which equates to approx. every 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Obviously we stop for lunch as well. If we are in a town with a 2 or 3 night stay-over tour members can choose to ride all day or split their time between riding and sight-seeing. You might get a small sense of the riding feel of my tours from reading the testimonials.
The fact is that the major tour groups go over the same big name passes that the do-it-yourself travelers use. Sometimes, the tour participants themselves are so intent on getting to the top of a big name pass that they ignore the suggested daily route of their experienced guides, never knowing what they missed.
I think that the difference in the quality of your riding adventure is in finding the awesome little roads and passes that connect you to the big ones. There really are no bad roads in the Alps but, some are definitely better than others.