The season is ending here up north, or ebbing out. Thought to rewind a little bit, post some pics from rides in 2015.
Late May that year, after over 32 years of absence, I was “back in the saddle”. Thanks to a friend and fellow rider I “saw the light”, again. The expression might not make much sense, especially if you’re not a motorcycle rider. Those who are might nod.
Rewind: first rides with the “Dullsville”
I had lots of fun with that bike, for the months I had it. The Honda NT650v Deauville, also nicked “Dullsville”, is easy to ride, if perhaps a bit “underwhelming” with regards to power. But it goes well, is comfortable, though not without flaws.
For one thing the breaks aren’t the best. If it’s very windy and you ride on a freeway it might give a little sailboat in storm feeling. Sitting position is not ideal if you’re tall like me. Risers would have helped. The OEM screen causes quite a lot of turbulence (especially for tall people).
None of this mattered the least bit to me, at that stage. There were more up than downsides.
So I set out, and explored regional parts of the country either not seen at all, or not seen in a long time. Both actually.
It’s not a big motorcycle, although the design might give that impression, to some. The side panniers are not exactly roomy, but you can get larger lids. I found the top box necessary, without which I could not really bring much.
It’s not a bike you’ll be comfy with on gravel. Although this was very early in my return to being a rider, felt rather insecure. Today, 3 seasons and ca 73.000km (45.360 miles) later, am sure it would have been a different experience. But this thing is for pavement, primarily.
Outgrown, rather quickly
One reason being, motorcycle riding turned out to be fun. Much more fun than I initially thought it would be. Mid August, or something like 2,5 months after I got the Honda, it was time for the first in a series of changes. The next to take place outside the house was a 2003 BMW R1150RT.
A different cup of tea, a different animal, a different league. Much bigger, much heavier, yet somehow easy to ride. There’s still a lot of these machines around on Norwegian roads. They’re extremely comfy, extremely sturdy. You can ride for a day, and then some, without feeling tired.
But like is the case with everything, it’s not perfect. Breaks are powerful and yet … brutal. Make sure to get used to these! The bike is wobbly if you ride with worn tires, or with wrong tire pressure. The OEM windscreen creates turbulence (especially i you’re tall). Crankshaft O-ring is prone to wear and should be checked. It might also use oil, like many boxers from this age.
Ah yes, one more thing. If you buy this machine, make sure to get the two-spark version from either (Europe) later 2003 or (US) 2004. Previous models might surge, which means less smooth riding.
All this said, it was some transition! With the R1150RT my day-trips doubled in length. Coming home after a whole day’s worth in the saddle, one night’s sleep and I was ready for the next adventure or ride.
August came and went, September came and went, while the weather showed itself from its best possible side.
This kept on for as long as later October, enjoyed every moment, every possibility of getting out and around. Some day trips could easily be between 550-700 kilometers.
Autumn rewind; lots of rides
The R1150RT is an excellent pavement machine, but if the road gets too rough one quickly gets the fish out of water feeling. On gravel well, much the same story as with the Honda.
On any other road you’ll have to look long and hard to find a better touring in this age group, at this price range or in its category.
2015 I stayed in Norway, did not feel ready or experienced enough for any really long expedition. Thought about it, but decided it was too soon. I need more experience, more road miles.
October began promising. Either alone or with a friend and fellow rider I was and about. The R1150RT offers excellent weather protection. So even as the temperature began to drop it didn’t really bother me.
Late second week in October the temperature dropped considerably. Inexperienced as I was thought this was it and turned it in for winter storage. Much too soon. One week later the temp went up and stayed high for the rest of the month. Lesson learned for the next year!