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Stormrider – Elisa travelled…

January 10, 2016
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… to Northern Germany!

This summer’s tour was through Denmark down to Wilhelmshaven, visiting my family. Occasion: Dad turned 80!

Since we were late with booking the overnight ferry from Gothenburg to Kiel and prices therefore were astronomically high, we decided to ride more or less the entire way, taking the ferry from Gothenburg to Fredrikshavn in Northern Denmark.

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A bit after Aalborg we found nice places to stay (Booking.com is your friend), both on the way out and return.

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What was really awkward, and at times frightening, on my part, and on the way out, were the exceptional strong winds throughout more or less entire Denmark.

We got the wind sideways from the front towards us, and I experienced for the first time something one could call “storm riding”. The front of the bike nipped away quite a few times, and it was impossible to go any faster than 70km/h. Not a great feeling exactly when you have a heavy lorry thundering behind you, which one then definitely lets pass, out of fear that one might end up under it… .  So Denmark felt like riding a right turn all the way down to Germany, where the weather got better.
I reckon this was also the first time I wished for a somewhat more heavy bike and for a few more kilos in flesh and bones on myself.

Mind you, it wasn’t warm either, raining at times, and wearing the floppy rain suit because of that added to the feeling that one was a speedy Windjammer rather than a motorcyclist… Oh, yes, we are talking the first weekend in August, in case you wondered! Summer, ya know…

Eventually we arrived in Wilhelmshaven and had some great days with the family, celebrating Dad. He is also very fond of two-wheelers, since a very young age, so us arriving on our bikes was quite something for him.

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Elisa’s travel companion is by the way Carlo, a Moto Guzzi California 2 from 1987.

Since it is tradition that the local priest visits when one of the community members turns 80,  we got a visitor that day. Our priest, though, is not just any priest. He loves motorcycles and rides to his services on his beloved Honda CB 750 from the nineties, and he rode visiting us that day. How surprised he was to find some more enhusiasts! Elisa and Carlo even got blessed, which all of us thought was quite kind, and we took it as a good omen for the way back.

On the way back we took a route slightly more eastwards. The winds were as strong, though. However, they came at us in a slightly more favourable position, so one didn’t have the feeling that one would take off the asphalt any second.

Riding was hard work once more, in mixed weather with rain, but much warmer! Back in Sweden we all of a sudden finally had summer weather – from Jönköping onwards all the way home. And that in itself is remarkable, since it usually always rains from Jönköping and Northbound when we pass there…

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This is our route: Outwards via the west coast, a Eastern route on the way back.

An all new Hugo!

January 9, 2016
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Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the all new “back to the roots” Hugo!

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The garage winter 2014/2015 was mostly spent on tweaking and fixing some more bits on Hugo, my Moto Guzzi v50 III.

He got both, an all new indicator unit complete with cables as well as a new throttle grip unit, including a new starter button and cables.

Since the tank had to be removed anyway and since the budget miraculously wasn’t blown altogether yet, the thought of getting the tank repainted to original colour popped into my mind.

When I found an original sticker set for the tank with Teo Lamers, the decision was made. Painting tank and side panels in the original colour it was to be!

Off I went, getting offers from local companies. In the end, I decided for our much loved car workshop Zackrisson, who apparently do very decent paint jobs as well. They loved to have a motorcycle tank for a change! (They paint mc-tanks otherwise as well, but they do not advertise, therefore not having this type of job as a regular thing).

Now, what colour was the original?! Well, on that matter the community on Facebook and there specifically the group of v50 lovers was of huge help. “Could be Fiat grey”, someone wrote. OK, off I went, googling and checking Fiat grey. There are different nuances, and it has to be from the year when Hugo was built. He was built 1981, according to what it says on his frame, and so I went for Fiat silver with code 620, which got used between 1979 and 1982. (Another site I found is Paintref.com, useful when searching for colours.)

The paint job was beautifully done by Jim, and that at a very decent price.

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This is how Hugo looked before, with his homestyle painted blue tank and side panels.

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I think he enjoys his new looks, since he has been working (touch wood) relatively flawless since the make-over. He passed the MOT in the beginning of November, without a problem. It is by the way always fun to see that staff at the MOT coming back from a test tour with a sparkle in their eyes and a happy smile ;-) .

Let’s hope that he likes to travel this summer!

Pistonhead Open #3 at Kjula Dragway

June 28, 2015

It was one of these motor weekends. One day trying to fix a bike, and the next day taking the other one to actually go and see some races. But hell, which one to pick?? There was a mini bike racing weekend on in Södertälje, just South of Stockholm. Then, closest, was the Swedish Championship in Roadracing, in Linköping. And then there was Dragracing at Kjula Dragway, close to Eskilstuna. Well, Kjula it became – and it was a lovely ride up from Norrköping, via twisty roads via Hälleforsnäs. In today’s sunny summer weather a real pleasure to ride!

Up in Kjula, we spent the afternoon watching cars and bikes battling on the strip . Always an amazing experience. Here are some pictures from today’s races, please follow the link.

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A blog for Hugo!

February 27, 2015
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The boyfriend found today a really nice and well written blog about someone restoring a Moto Guzzi V50. The Moto Guzzi V50 Café Racer – follow the link and read more about the restoring project. A blog for Hugo? Yep, Hugo is my V50III, that also still needs a lot of TLC.

Motorcyclists united by a cat for unique northbound trip

January 3, 2015
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A special cat. A dead one. No, don’t get sad now! Watch the video Hemi Ride · KØNIGREICH KLITMØLLER
by following this link and enjoy about 30 minutes of a great story.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! :-)

An evening spin

May 19, 2014

The plan was to go out with a friend tonight, and so I did. In this case a friend with two wheels. Elisa and I went Southbound on Gamla Övägen in Norrköping. Then at the next T-crossing we took the direction towards Linköping/ Linghem. Next T-crossing direction Norrköping. A small and nice triangle tour of 54 kilometres. Gorgeous sunshine after a rather rainy, yet warm day. Life is good! :D

One never really is alone

May 17, 2014

Today, after quite some cold and wet weeks, there was finally some nice and warm weather. Ideal for the first spin of this year!
Enthusiastically I cycled to the garage in order to get out Elisa, only to discover that I disconnected the battery charger from the socket, yes, but not from the bike. Alright. The charger took electricity back, using it for its tiny little indicator lamp. The bike did not want to start, however it indicated distinctly that it really just was the lack of juice causing this behaviour.

On the other hand, maybe there was something else? After all, she is a proper Italian lady, and as you know, real ladies never go out without proper dressing – or as in Elisa’s case, clean and shiny. Well, charging the battery takes a couple of hours, and to Elisa’s delight I spent the waiting time on cleaning her. Taking off the old flies from the fairing with furniture polish, and cleaning the exhaust pipes with chrome polish. Taking off the tank cover, cleaning underneath, re-strapping everything to the bike. Proper cleaning of the really dirty parts will be done soon, now it was rather cosmetics. And indeed, after I even managed to polish my bikers boots, we got the green light from the battery charger. I started Elisa, and yes, there it was, the lovely sound we both longed for.

On with the leather suit and all equipment, and off we went into the summerish Swedish landscape. Taking in the sights and smells of May. First stop was Ekenäs castle close to Linköping. There was some kind of study reunion, closed group, and no coffee or anything for thirsty bikers. But lovely it was anyway! 36 kilometres away from our base in Norrköping.

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We continued via Björsäter and Östra Husby to Söderköping – a proper shake down run on a narrow and very curvy road through wild landscape. And then, all of a sudden, a warning sign for – pheasants! The first one of this kind of warning sign I ever saw, however, no pheasant in sight whatsoever. As if to compensate, a few kilometres away, a group of wild geese beside a small lake was lifting their heads when we passed. The same with some cows on the roadside. Yes, we were probably one of the attractions of the day, it seemed.

In Söderköping it was time for ice-cream. However before I could head off to the ice cream parlour, as in 80% of the cases when parking in town, a nice middle-aged man approached us. “Oh, a Guzzi!” He rode a beamer all the way from the Swedish West coast. His wife also on a beamer. “I have a 1000 s at home,” he went on, and there we were, hooked up in a friendly and very pleasant motorcycle conversation.

When I then finally got my ice cream, the lack of energy had to be fixed with two large scoops, and when I finally sat down, my eyes fell on a figure a bit further away. It resembled very much one of our friends from the Ducati club. (Funny how you recognise people by their walk in a leather suit, while you would probably not spot them in normal clothing.) I lost him and his friend out of sight, however when searching for a more quiet place to sit down than next to the playground, there he was again with his friend. There went another very pleasant half an hour, chatting away, while enjoying late afternoon sun and ice cream.

No, going by bike, you never really are alone. It is like being out with a dog, either you meet complete but nice strangers you engage with in a conversation, or you meet friends. And if neither is around, there is still your best friend on two wheels, who is taking you out. Yes, who is taking YOU out. At least in our case, I can never tell whether it is the bike showing me places, or me taking the bike to new places. Probably a mixture of both. All in all we put 112 km of happiness on the clock today.

Either way, enjoy your weekend!

P.S.: When returning to the garage, and after the bike cooled off a bit, she even got new oil and filter. ;)

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