Blogging, and time. Or no time. Life & work life’s been demanding attention, time and energy. Got a new job this spring, getting into a new mode, lots of new things to learn and get into, etc etc… well I’m sure this is all familiar.
But now I’m back, and plan to publish a few blogs now and then, I’ll leave up to you/others ti decide if it’s anything 🙂
A former motorcyclist returns to riding
Last year, more than partially due to a friend’s interest, and me feeling somewhat envious of his exploration possibilities, the freedom, the adventure, I went back to riding motorcycle. At the time of my first acquisition guess it must have been around 32,5 years since last time.
The whole experience was an adventure. And since last year, it’s continued to be an adventure. Sounds unlikely? Incredible? Well few things gives you a more close to the nature feeling (while in motion) than riding a motorcycle. This link will bring you a summary of all MC related posts since the (re)start-up. This year I did something for the first time ever, set out on a pretty long journey, with motorcycle. Will return to that experience later.
Swift, money-losing swaps & trades
In a little over a year I’ve owned 3 bikes (on the third now). Lost quite a bit of money, which I honestly don’t care much about or think about, while swapping “ironhorses”. If you’re into MC (or cars) as a hobby (the riding part), then you know that these things, unless you deal with veterans, are not investments.
OR, put in another way, they are investments, in adventure, in experiences and whatever else you feel the sensation of riding two-wheel style brings you. As one gets older these life’s ingredients becomes increasingly important. Well they do for me, as I want to stay mentally, as well as physically agile, till my last breath.
So, in relatively rapid succession, my return to Motorcycles have this far brought me the following
Honda NT650 Deauville (2001) – The beginning
Late April 2015 it turned up on the second hand market. Chose this model after quite a bit of research. Everything it seemingly had going against itself, I considered to be ideal. Boring, lack of grunt, or power, perhaps not the prettiest thing made, yet very durable, perhaps one of the more durable bikes available.
Honda Deauville is a sturdy motorcycle and, if you buy second hand, cheap.
This model is a decent place to start trying to re-invigorate your long gone riding capabilities and control. Or if you want to start riding motorcycle. However, if you’re tall you might struggle or work a little bit with to find a good sitting position. Am over 1,90m but did quite well though. Had no difficulties with trips up to 500 or thereabout kilometers.
Honda Deauville it is an excellent touring bike, a trustworthy companion that brought me thousands of kilometers on shorter’ish trips. Did think about taking it on longer adventures but after approx. 6 or 6,500 kilometers felt I was ready for something else.
In fact, it took me that much riding to be ready for the next jump which turned out to be a…
BMW R1150 RT (2003) – a real tourer
Some months after buying the Honda, that was in August, realized I needed something bigger, something more ideal for longer hauls. Not yet ready to climb all the way once again did some research and landed on an older model of BMW RT. Partially because of price, partially because I thought it would cover my every needs.
I’ve liked BMW’s boxer engine since the late 70s. First BMW I ever rode was back in 1978 or 79. The whole construction of the RT makes it one of the better tourers around, yet it’s playful and agile enough to allow having quite a bit of fun on winding, twisting and turning roads. It corners very well, is quiet and comfortable.
It was indeed (for me) a good choice, for long I thought it was the one to bring me on my first long MC adventure. But in the end several criteria I’d not put much thought to before, had me thinking. These came to play an essential part of the onward actions.
So, after having done some 6-6,500 happy kilometers on that one too, made a decision to look for something newer.
BMW R1200RT (2010) – an even better tourer
Happened early summer or late spring. Woke up on a Saturday and felt, something had to change. Plans regarding a cross-Europe adventure had been forming for a while. The former 1150RT had some, for me, shortcomings and made me decide to, on a whim, hop on and ride 2,5 hours to a dealer out of town.
A few hrs later on that Saturday, after they’d kept their shop open for me to spend quite a bit of cash, the trade-in was done and I returned home (grinning/chuckling) with this…
Now I was ready to take on the planned adventure. The new companion, with much better handling capabilities, better storage, more power, heated seats, cruise control, electronically adjustable suspension, alarms, was it for me.
This bike took me in July of 2016 on my longest yet bike ride, approx 4000 kilometers through 5 countries and a lot of different weather. In the next post(s) I’ll share that experience.
And onwards, what’s next
3 bikes in a little bit over a year, a final choice, a final it? Not likely, but current RT will be with me for a while, well maybe. Been considering the water cooled BMW R1200GS/GSA. It’s hugely popular, get excellent reviews, but the one I tried, which was a 1200GSA 2012 model, didn’t feel like something for me. In fact, there were several things I didn’t like, immediately.
Still, as it is vastly much better on rougher roads, on gravel and so forth, might give it another go. One major thing I didn’t like about the 2012 version was more noise, more vibrations and a above all wind screen I could not adjust electrically. For me being able to quickly, by pressing a switch, to change position of the screen due to changing wind direction, speed or whatever, is a must.
A more likely future choice therefore seems to be the BMW R1200RT water cooled version. Or the bigger and much more expensive BMW 1600GT. The 1600GT cost a ton of money, at least in this country. I think too much for this hobby. It’s also very heavy and not as maneuverable as the RT.
Having done this summer’s trip/adventure on my RT not at all sure either of the two newer models would have made the adventure or any future adventure, any better. Need to try, to consider, because next year I will be heading down through Europe again, that’s for sure!