In search of the magic
The first motorcycle trip is exciting every spring. Is the rhythm of the curves, balance, dynamics and interaction with the bike still there? And equally important, is the magic still there?
To figure this out, I will do Skaret – Sylling as this season’s first trip. Sunday starts with glorious sunshine, but the first part of the day of set aside for household tasks, including preparing the garage and the bikes for the season. Bicycles of course, the motorcycle was ready for action yesterday afternoon. A few hail showers put me off, but then the afternoon shows itself from its best side.
Helmet, gloves, boots, jacket and pants – everything is okay as it was when laid off last fall – ready for the first trip. Once I get started I know it’s still there, the magic and the fascination. Is it really six months since my last motorcycle trip? It has been like this in recent years – I mount the bike and take to the road like the latest trip was just a week ago.
Well, I should not be too cocky, as long as I take it easy everything works smooth and seems fast. A quick look at the speedometer reveals that I am much slower than I think. I take it nice and easy, keeping a good distance, ensures that I will not surprise anyone and go west towards Sandvika. Here I turn on to road E16 towards Sollihøgda where I turn on to the road 285 towards Drammen and Sylling.
Now is the real test. The first hairpin after the roundabout at Skaret coming soon, I wait, want to start the turn, but wait a little longer, then turns as i focus on the exit and open the throttle, the exit is spot on, and the acceleration as the tachometer needle climbs up on the five-digit part of scale is fantastic – I am flying – at least it feels that way. The curve was perfect. I have done it faster. The speed is not important today. Today it’s all about mastering. Finding the correct line, holding smoothly, be relaxed on the bike and stay in my lane – that’s my duties for today.
It’s surprisingly easy. My body remember how it was done last year. The bike is smooth through the corners. I put a bit more power on the brakes. On a straight without someone behind me I do an emergency stop. The body is not prepared for the forces generated under full braking. I do one more, then one more, until I am accustomed to the brutal forces under braking.
At Sylling I make a U-turn and ride back to Skaret. This is a good start. I ride carefully , concentrating on my lines, brake point, acceleration, and position on the road into the curves considering the correct line and being visible to others. Sometimes it’s a compromise between seeing as far as possible into the curve, safe position and optimum line.
After a short break at Skaret I head in direction of Sylling ones more and I am on my way home. The curves are coming faster, have found the rhythm. The brake points are spot on, the lines are smooth and the fascination when opening the throttle out of the curves is fascinating.
Last year I considered replacing the Fazer. However, I decided to keep it. Right now I am happy I did. The inline four is marvellous. Sometimes I might wish for little more power at low revs. But that’s not a big problem as long as I stay fit. The gearshift is easy and precise, the brakes are powerful and the Wilbers setup with front fork springs and rear shock absorber works perfect and the Bridgestone tires I mounted last year have perfect stability and grip.
The answer to the questions I started with a – YES! I think this can be a good motorcycling season. I will have to do some more highly concentrated trips before I have the routine I had at the end of the previous season – but the magic is there.
Have a nice ride and stay safe!