and my motorcycles
got my driver's license in 1984 when I was 18 years old. Before
that I've already owned two motorcycles. My first bike was a Jawa
250 from the 60's (or perhaps late 50's), that I bought from my
older brother for just a few bucks. It was fun the ride it in
the woods and on small empty roads, especially when you're just
in your early teens.
My Jawa was "customized" with 350 forks, the battery
was replaced with an alternator from a moped and everything unnecessary,
like head light and most of the steel covers were stripped. It
was also trimmed and and had a few more horsepower compared to
original, that's at least what my brother told me. We tested
the bike performance riding in front of my friend's car. The car's
meter showed 140 kilometers per hour. The Jawa factory itself
had published the information needed to increase the performance.
I think the bike had about 18 horsepower. I don't know if
that's true, but the engine it was powerful enough for me anyway.
250, model 559, manufactured between 1962-1970, Performance: 14
hp at 4.400 rpm. Max. speed: 105 km/h. Weight: 128 kg. It's not
my bike, but my first bike back in the late 70's looked something
like that. It was a fun bike to drive around with in the woods
and places where there was no other traffic. I had no driver's
older brothers had real motorcycles, first a Honda
CB125 -76 and later bigger engines, like a Suzuki Suzuki
T250 -72? and Suzuki
T500 -74. Later, when I was 16 and was allowed to drive a
125 (I lived in Finland then) I was forced to rebuild the Honda
CB125 engine my brothers had destroyed a couple of years earlier.
The cylinders and the pistons were gone and half the motor as
well. Well, as hard as I tried to make it run, I only managed
to get the bike running with one cylinder.
The rebuilding was quite expensive and it was frustrating not
to be able to fulfill the renovation. The Honda was later sold
as it was, looking beautiful but still not running properly. Well,
it wasn't a fun bike anyway.That was in the early 80's. Strangely
enough, I forgot how fun it was to ride a bike and so did my brothers,
too. The years went by and it wasn't until a couple of years ago
my eldest brother bought himself a Honda GoldWing. Still I wasn't
interested. I didn't even ask if I could try it. Until this summer,
when my brother asked me if I would like to drive with him to
a GoldWing meeting in Northern Sweden. Well, I've guess I could.
a picture of my older brother, Yrjö Haapamäki (left)
and his son Matti and my brother's 1987 Honda GoldWing GL1200
Interstate. Photo: Jarmo Haapamäki
The journey took a week, we drove about
2000 kilometers, first to the GoldWing meeting in Boden and then
through Finland and with a ferry back home. I didn't drive many
kilometers, mostly just sat on the back seat and enjoyed the ride. I
didn't enjoy very much driving the GoldWing. I'd guess it's a
bike you have to grow to love. I thought it was heavy, clumsy
and hard to handle at low speed. I'm not very tall and the seat
is placed too high for me, my feet hardly touched the ground and
I was very nervous at the crossings. I didn't want to tip over
my brother's precious Wing. Check out even the Suzuki
Cavalcade page - Suzuki's answer to Gold Wing! But I enjoyed
the taste of freedom, the whole thing of driving away with a motorcycle.
It wouldn't be that bad to own a motorcycle again,
Well, it didn't take very long. I mentioned this to my buddy back
home and he said: You can by my sister's old motorcycle.
I can at least take it for a test ride, I replied.
It was in July 2001. The bike was a Suzuki GSX750E.
Click here if you want to know the rest of the story of my GSX750E.
A biker in cyber space. A Swedish bike magazine called Allt om MC made an interview with me about my Suzuki site and published it in March 2007. Here's the article, click the for larger image.
is what I looked like in spring 2001, before I cut my hair short.
The picture was taken by myself,
in a church I visited when I was writing an article of it (I was
working as a journalist).
|Here's a link to my Genealogy site for those who are interested in my ancestors (in Finland) and searching for family roots in general.
Here's a link to my
old rock band's website. There's two versions of them; on in English
and one in Swedish. I'm afraid both of them are a bit out of date.
For those who understand Finnish, there's a website called Hunajaa
that is supposed to be a Muovikazzi Fan Club's website. Muovikazzi
was the band of mine in Finland for many years ago.
This free site is managed by Jarmo Haapamäki.
If you find this site helpful, please leave a donation for Jarmo
so you can enjoy the spirit of giving too.
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