A follow-up from my ride 2 weeks ago in the Dolomites: it was great! On my first trip, I rented an RT. For the second I rented a Honda CBR1000. This time, I took the cheap route and rented a Honda TransAlp (roughly half the cost of a new GS). This little 700cc bike was just the ticket in the mountain passes and it had a similar integrated ABS system to my GS at home. Clearly, the BMW 1200GS is THE dominant bike over there – but I had no problems pacing them (at least one-up). We used AdMo rentals out of Munich with good success.
You don’t need a guide – we navigated everywhere with my iPhone and the NavFree app. The three of us also used Sena headsets to enable us to talk to each other – which was a great add.