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Motorbikes meet mountains
Saturday November 28, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

There are lift stations & then there are lift stations. PlanetSKI has just celebrated the opening of one with a motorbike museum inside. Pardon?

The lift in question was officially opened at the weekend in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl in Austria.

It is the Top Mountain Cross Point and cost €25m to build.

It replaces an old T-bar at the far end of the resort.

It doesn't open up any new off piste terrain or access new slopes.

The run to its start point is an uneventful red.

So far nothing particularly spectacular or interesting.

But as you approach it the lift station looks like no other.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaSpace age design
















"Every architect says they want to blend the building in with its natural surroundings but I truly we believe we have done so here," said the architect, Michael Brotz.

The lifts themselves give a clue of what is inside.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaBiking brand
















Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaObergurgl-Hochgurgl, Austria
















'Unique' is an overused word, but it this case it is an apt description.

There is no other lift station in the world that doubles up as a motorbike museum. 

Well, not that we know of anyway.

It is not just a thrown together collection of bikes - this is one of the finest in the world and will have 200 or so bikes and some classic cars as well.

There are Harley Davidsons, Indias, Moto Guzzis and machines altogether rarer.

Here is a 1939 Bianchi 250cc Sport.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaNot what you expect to see in a lift station
















And a 1949 Harley-Davidson Panhead, 1200.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaObergurgl-Hochgurgl, Austria
















Though the translation isn't quite as it should be.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaOoops ;-)
















But why is it here in the first place? 

The owners of the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl lift company (plus a 5* hotel, a few ski shops and the ski school) are the twins, Albas and Attila Scheiber. 

Not only do they have a birth tie, but also they are joined by a seemingly even stronger bond; a love of motorbikes.

They have amassed a huge collection.

When they met the architect, Michael Brotz, who is also a bike fanatic they had a whacky idea - a state of the art lift station complete with restaurant and motorbike museum.

Their dream has now been realised.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaAttila, Michael and Albas
















This is a 190 Laurin and Clement 544cc. The company was eventually taken over by Skoda.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaVintage machine
















It may look a bit old, but it a personal favourite of Attila.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaOne of the favourites
















Others are suspended from the walls of the restaurant.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaTop Mountain Cross Point
















Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaTop Mountain Crosspoint
















This was my favourite, though I 'm not sure how easy it would be to ride in ski boots.

A 1938 250cc Moto Guzzi sport.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, AustriaFancy a ride?



















It is though not just a fight of fancy.

It has a sound commercial basis.

The lift station is on the toll road to Italy (also owned by the Scheiber twins) and its twisty curves and tight corners, along with some stunning alpine scenery, are a meccas for motorcyclists from both Austria and across the border into Italy.

Classic car enthusiasts come from hundreds of miles away to put rubber on the mountain road tarmac.

It is hoped the Top Mountain Cross Point will become a major summer tourist destination.

There will be a number of classic cars on display too.

Personally I am a huge fan of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl from a skiing point of view, as you can see from my report on the weekend elsewhere on PlanetSKI. 

But I am also a motorcyclist  - I have been riding since I was 17-years old and almost 4 decades later on I am still at it.

I currently ride a Ducati ST3 1,000cc.  But I've had a Triumphs, Laverdas + countless Hondas, Suzukis, BMWs and Kawasakis (including a Ninja 1000) over the years.

I offered the twins a Honda 125 I'm currently trying to sell for my son as he has passed his test and moved up to a Ducati 695 Monster. 

But the twins declined my kind offer of a bargain.

They do though wish I still had my 1976 Suzuki GT 750 - the largest production line 2-stroke ever made and it was water-cooled to boot.

Sadly I sold it many years ago to get a Dunstall Suzuki GS 1000 (that's enough about motorbikes, ed).

Next Spring the collection will be complete with up to 200 motorbikes eventually on display.

Will it be the largest collection of motorbikes inthe world? Probably not, but at 2,175m above sea level it will be the highest.

I can feel a summer trip coming on to Obergurgl-Hochgurgl already.

On my Ducati ST3 with my son on his Ducati 695 Monster. Smile

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

For the spirit of the mountains

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