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Me and my motorcycles

I 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.

Jawa 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 license.

My 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.

Yrjö Haapamäki, Matti Haapamäki

Here's 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”, I thought.

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.

En kuntte i cyberspejsEn kuntte i cyberspejs

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.

Jarmo Haapamäki i Bettna kyrka (Flens kommun)

This 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.

Jarmon sukusivut - sukututkimusta

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.

The Soul Preachers

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.

Hunajaa - Muovikazzi Fan Clubin sivut

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