I’m going to Denmark for the easter and I’m looking forward to taking my motorbike out for a spin (and possibly even riding it back to Holland). Since November the the bike has been stored for the winter. My last ride in November – 4 hours to Jylland – was so cold that it is first now, when I see people riding their bikes on a sunny day, I feel like riding again.The last few days I’ve slobbered over the photos below. The bikes are both Kawasaki ER-6n’s. The white one is a 2009 model and the orange is a 2007 model like mine (except a few modifications).
Before the new season begins, I just have to remind myself of the mistakes and the experiences of last season (2008).
Balance. Don’t underestimate the significance of the gravitational force. It is okay when you are moving faster than 15-20 km per hour, but when you are travelling at slower paces, the combination of a low centrifugal force and gravitation will pull you down if you don’t pay attention. I have learned it the hard way. No details. It’s too embarrassing.
Water. A very persistent substance. It will get in EVERYWHERE that is not watertight. And travelling at road speeds apparently increases the substances ability to penetrate non-watertight materials, and the required exposure needed to attain an entirely soaking effect decreases. Using empirical methods, I’ve been able to determine that the duration of time necessary to achieve saturated boots is about 10 seconds @ 90 km/hour.
Roads. Has to be narrow with lots of curves. The autobahn is good enough for A to B transportation, when it is not too windy. On a naked bike, ever 100 km/hour is awful in a strong headwind (and the noise level in the helmet is another story). For the real riding experience take “Marguritruten” – small tertiary scenic routes all over Denmark made for tourists (and bikers). Or go to Norway. Their roads are simply first class for mortorbikes.
Crash helmet: the one I have now, I probably bought too cheap. It does not really fit my skull, so I get a huge red mark on my forehead after 30 minutes and it hurts like hell if I have to ride longer distances at autobahn-speeds. Additionally, it is a flip-up, so it is noisy and the visor easily mists up. To sum up: it can’t get any worse.
Gloves: For the Scandinavian climate, there is a non-neglible difference between summer and winter gloves. Don’t just ignore it and buy only summer gloves. If you are riding in temperatures below 10 degrees my definite advise is to get both!
Weather forecasts. Check it! Avoid fog, rain, and (strong) head winds. Riding in the dark is not pleasant either. Also avoid traffic jam in very hot weather.