This was the only overnight motorcycle trip I made with my wife this summer! We were riding from our hometown in south-west Finland to Sysmä. It’s a small city on the eastside of lake Päijänne. On friday we ride to Sysmä like this:
In the beginning I was riding on the big road all the way to Hyvinkää. But from there I chose the smaller roads. We made first stop at Saloinen village.
We continued riding but soon it was time to stop for awhile and admire the sunset at Pulkkilanharju.
At this point I was regretting that I didn’t take the drone with me! The sunset was so incredibly nice!! We slept in a small cabin in Sysmä Camping area and we ate breakfast in the hotel that was only few hundred meters away. It was still very early when we were already walking in Päijänne National Park and checking the viewing tower of Päijätsalo.
After we left the National Park area the weather started to be much brighter! It was nice idea to stop at Vääksy Canal.
Vääksy Canal has only 1 block and the surface height difference is 1,2 meters between Vesijärvi & Päijänne. The block is located under the (old) mainroad of the village!
This was my first time in Vääksy Canal -what a lovely place to spend even longer time!! We still made short stop at Hämeenkoski…
And in Ylimmäistentie (to put on rainsuits because it was about to start raining!)
In the beginning of July 2021 the Linesman of Finland (Roland from Austria) gave the task to me! I was ofcourse very flattered about this and I was thinking should I take such a responsibility to me since I’m not very active rider anymore, But from the other hand I want to be more active! So here’s my reason to go riding Enduro more often!
I’m the new Linesman of TET Finland!
For my first active thing I went riding! Took my XChallenge very early in the morning…
I didn’t have too much planning done. First to ride to Iso-Valkee lake and to the TET route and then start to follow the route to Hämeenlinna and beyond. My main goal was to change the eastern route to go to EVO -area. It was about 1,5 hours ride to Iso-Valkee.
About 6.30 am I arrived to Lake Iso-Valkee -I had the video camera also with me!
FInally I found the place to stay for the night quite close to EVO area and next morning I would meet Lauri and we would ride together few interesting roads of EVO.
After 2 days of riding in this interesting area I can say that I know area quite well!
I wasn’t sure where to ride on the 2nd day but the bike was making some strange sound! I got little bit help from Autohuolto Markku Ruuskanen in Luopioinen to find out that it wasn’t the rear wheel bearing that was making sound. But I still decided to continue riding south… I was thinkin maybe to spend the night somewhere in Forssa (???)
But finally it was riding all the way back home! And it almost 400km’s in one day! The whole trip was like this:
And after few days of planning the new TET Finland route is ready for download!
In 2013 BMW introduced this naked superbike! And when I saw it in Helsinki Motorcycle exhibition I simply had to have one! It was my first motorcycle I bought as a new one. Then 2015 came the XR with same engine but totally different bike and the generation 2 was introduced first to the XR and now 1 year later comes totally new S1000R:
It has same engine that XR has. So no shift-cam technology. Same 165hp and 114Nm torque. But it is lighter than previous S1000R (199kg)! So when Kawasaki & Ducati made super naked bikes with over 200hp -BMW decided NOT to go along in this kind of race. BMW thinks the real race is on the racetrack or in the streets.
This new S1000R has some nice options in it! Here’s the list: Three riding modes, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and ABS Pro as standard. Optional equipment “Riding Modes Pro” with riding mode “Dynamic Pro”, Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), engine drag torque control, MSR, “Engine Brake” and “Power Wheelie. The swingarm comes almost straight from S1000RR so this is one step closer to a racebike. And BMW promises it will be very fast and enjoyable ride! Who are we to question this?
Today I took the testride with the S1000XR (New 2020 model). My wife was there with me so she could give some opinions about the rear seat and how the bike feels from her POW.
When you sit on the bike you can notice right away that the seat feels quite different. It’s more narrow and the edges are too sharp. Luckily I’m quite tall and my knees are coming quite high so I don’t feel this sharp edge almost at all. In my 150km testride I didn’t feel uncomfortable and I could ride longer trips easily!
Then I notice the narrow handlebar. But it doesn’t bother me at all! Maybe I should’ve gone to some heavy traffic where you need to use the maximum steering… But in this kind of normal street riding it didn’t bother me (Even I like the wide bar of the old XR!)
The bike feels maybe little bit lighter, it feels like it wants to take the corners tighter and faster -it reminded me about S1000R that I was riding back in 2014. All the buzz or vibration is gone from the handlebars but there was few times when I felt a little bit of buzz in the bike itself -somewhere around 4000rpm.
Since I have owned already 3 XR’s it makes me think “Is this bike really so much better than my old XR?” The price of the new bike is about 4000 euros higher. Is it worth it? I think there is 2 correct answers to this question! 1) No it is not worth it! Keep the old one and you will be very happy with it! 2) Yes definitely! They made it little bit better, little bit more unique and little more nice in every way (except maybe the seat!)
My wife didn’t like the backseat of the bike. She thought it was too short and the handlers for her were too short also. They should go further behind the seat. One thing I found very interesting! There was 1 page in this new TFT screen where you can see the leaning angle of the bike… I think I would be staring this page only… all the time! Or at least when I’m riding in the curvy road.
We don’t have a lockdown in Finland. We are allowed to go out but meetings with more than 10 people is not ok. There was only 4 of us in a beautiful sunny weather and almost +10 degrees celsius. This time I didn’t choose any difficult tracks… and I finally made a video of this interesting route:
This was a narrow railroad in Finland and it stopped working in 1967. But the track has stayed and it’s kind of in use as a road. But for example now in spring it can be tricky if there is still snow (and there was!!) Unluckily my riding ended with the flat front tyre in Karkkila (65 km’s from home).
I was lucky that there was one big bike (KTM 1090 Adventure) so I could take a ride with him back home and then I picked my bike with my big car…
BMW Motorrad made a quite big miracle when no-one shared any pictures about new model. So it was first time for all of us on November 5th 10 am when they released the new models: BMW S1000XR, BMW F900XR and BMW F900R. Here is the video of BMW Motorrad Press Conference at EICMA 2019.
There was few surprises in technical specs of the new XR. It has the same engine than the new RR has but does not have the Shift Cam technology. I asked about this from BMW Motorrad and they answered like this: “Hi Gozamite. There will be no ShiftCam technology. Above all, since this technology offers great possibilities for achieving maximum engine performance, the use of a ShiftCam has no advantages due to the specific demands on the full midrange power curve in the XR engine. In addition, additional weight could be saved in this way, which benefits the agility of the entire vehicle.“
Second surprise was that even the bike has new engine it doesn’t have more power than previous model! The consumption is also about the same. So for all those who were waiting much more powerful bike this is a big disappoinment!
But the new model looks very nice. I don’t like the color options too much. So I’m thinking I will not change to this yet…. But you never know, maybe I can’t say no when I will see the bike in february in Helsinki.
The day started with a littlebit of rain. The road was wet and there were clouds in the sky. We stopped anyway in the museum bridge of Virransalmi.
From Tuustaipale to north we had first gravelroad about 19 kilometers and because of rain there were parts with soft surface… almost like mud. In the video you can see how it can be…
Kissakoski was the place where we stopped and walked around.
Then we stopped for a short break in Hirvensalmi.
And for a little bit longer break in Mikkeli to check the observation tower of Naisvuori.
It had already stopped raining and the roads were already dry. So the rest of the day it was cloudy and warm. From Mikkeli we took the roads to east. And from the gravelroad near Anttola we found nice quarry.
And soon it was about the time to take the “private” ferry over the Lake Saimaa and I also took my drone up to the sky to make a video when the ferry was about to enter to the pier:
The ride over the lake was so relaxing! The lake was calm without any waves and the beautiful archipelago all around us made us feel that this is a fairytale.
We still had some riding to do after this. First is was this nice paved road in the middle of Lake Saimaa:
We went to Puumala to have a pizza. There was quite interesting tent in the middle of the willage:
There was 1 more quite nice road and a yellow ferry (These yellow ferries are for free in Finland) before we arrived to our destination.
The place we were about to sleep was quite terrible. Luckily it was also cheap.
We made another weekend tour just resently. It was the weekend from friday 15th to sunday 17th (of June) and the decision for this trip was made very fast!
First I decided to check how is my tent… I took it from the basement and we went to the yard with my wife to check if it’s ok. And it was!
Then I ride to the garage to change the bike, wife stayed at home to make us some food (snacks) because we really wanted to spend the night in a tent!
First stop of the trip was in Trollshovda (Trollshead in English).
Then we rode to Kemiönsaari and to Kasnäs and stopped in Lövö bridge.
This is one of the most beautiful views in the bridge in Finland! And the road from Taalintehdas to Kasnäs is very beautiful (This bridge is in this road).
Then we try to find a good place for camping and we found quite ok place… This was the first night ever in the tent for my wife!
She didn’t sleep very well but I slept quite ok -except my back didn’t like it at all! So I decided to sleep in a normal bed for the next night!
Next morning was about to go to the ferry that would take us to an island. Rosala is the name of the island and this would be the first place where Vikings or Christianity step their foot in Finland.
This ferrytrip is for free! and it takes about 30 minutes…
Rosala is quite small island. There’s only 1 road that goes from Hiittinen village to Rosala village. That is about 8,5 km’s from the villagecenter to another. In Hiittinen there is beautiful old wooden church…
And a very nice cafeteria just beside this church:
Then after you ride this 8,5 kilometers you will enter the Rosala village and there is one place you really need to visit! It’s the Vikingcenter Rosala which is the only one of its kind in Finland. It’s an area with lots of items, clothes, weapons and buildings from Iron age of Finland. The Vikings didn’t take much land here in Finland and here in Rosala there are the best ancient excavations of this Viking age. But in the same time with Vikings the Christianity also made its first steps to the Finnish ground.
This is from the restaurant they have there. There is restingplace in every table, so if you get tired while eating you can step back and sleep awhile!
This is from Chapel they have in the area. Christianity is mixed with old religions of Vikings… at least it was like that in the beginning.
The best building to see is the the dwelling house with huge fireplace on the other end of the room inside. It really gave me authentic feeling and I could see the Vikings shouting, drinking and making their business there…
Next moring we started our ride back home and the first stop was at Taalintehdas. This is one of the oldest industrial villages in Finland. The ironworks company was founded in 1686.
This blast furnace is much newer but it has been rubuilded as a “meeting point” in the beginning of the nature path that you can find from Taalintehdas.
We also visited an old market place called Latokartanonkoski (Rapids of Latokartano). There are ruins of an old mill that was built in 1805 and it stopped working at 1962.
It is a very beautiful place with quite a lot to see. One interesting thing is that this place is full with Beautiful demoiselles flying around.
Their wings are shining bright blue in the sunshine… and they look like they are from a fairytale! The route for the whole weekend you check here.