More than a hobby

This started at an early age with a small off-road bike. Then other priorities of adult life put all solitary hobbies on hold for a long time but the fascination was always there. In the spring of 2000 with determination I walked into the showroom of a local motorcycle dealer and walked out as the owner of a previous year model Honda Magna. The Magna is trustworthy like Hondas usually are and also a very good-looking bike. The good looks – of the bike of course – often lead to spontanious chatting with passers by when parking the bike.

By the end of July 2004 the odometer showed 42 000 kilometers more than when the bike was purchased. A significant amount of the mileage was accumulated while riding “two on”. Touring is not the essence of the Magna but it works fine in that too. However the pressure for a real tourer had been building up for some time. Also the somewhat sporty cornering style was not particularly befitting a cruiser.

During a couple of long winters the decision to trade for an actual touring bike was formed. A lot of time was spent figuring out the desired features and looking for a bike to match. After all the contemplation it was necessary to get some real feeling for the choices available. With one particular bike all things seemed to come together.

At the end of July 2004 a suitably fresh dream machine appeared in the trading section of a Finnish bike site. The dealership having this bike is located in a town about 100 kilometers from Helsinki. After going for a test drive we reached an understanding with the dealer regarding the value of the Magna when trading it in for a 2003 model “fejer” a.k.a. Yamaha FJR 1300 ABS. Since the side luggage capacity on the FJR is rather small the originals were replaced by a Givi wingrack and three large panniers. My first dream bike met its demise in July 2007 on the autobahn near Lübeck where it wobbled out of my hands at over 200 km/h.

A little over a month later I was riding a brand new 2007 version of the same bike. The accessorizing began modestly by adding small blind spot mirrors. The rest of the updates were installed during the winter hiatuses of the following years. Those include a GPS mounting bracket for Garmin Zumo and fairing sliders to keep the sides intact in case of a small mishap. I replaced the original windshield with a one from California Scientific. The bike is also fitted with an Öhlins rear shock absorber and front springs. The ride comfort was further improved by installing HeliBars risers.