bikes

21 December: Top 3 motorcycles from Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

21 December: Top 3 motorcycles and mopeds from Norway

Triumph. Moto Guzzi. Ducati. BMW. KTM. You know them, and you know where they’re from. Whereas Norway has been pretty good at producing the juice which makes these makes run, we do not have a long and glorious history of motorized vehicles. But we have some very few that we are still somewhat proud of. Here are the Top 3 motorized vehicles from Norway.

 

Tempo Taifun Tempo-online.net

A 1960 Tempo Taifun 175 ccm. (Image: Tempo-online.no)

1. Tempo

With a history traced to 1908, the Øglænd Brothers began serious moped and light motorcycle manufacturing after WW2, even though serial production of some motor-powered bicycle-like contraptions was ongoing since the 1930s. The Tempo became for Norwegians what Vespa was for Italians: A practical, economical and robust means of transport. The Tempo brand comprised mainly bikes from moped size 49 ccm to light 175 ccm motorcycles, and the Øglænd factory kept churning out these mainly Sachs powered vehicles until the last moped was shipped from the factory in 1987. Not totally unexpected, the Norwegian Tempo Club is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – motorcycle enthusiast club in Norway.

 

Raufossmoped Andreas Mathisen

The Raufoss Moped. (Image: Andreas Mathisen)

2. The Raufoss Moped

The traditional armament producer Raufoss Ammunisjonsfabrikker had in the mid-1950s a brilliant idea: Why not make a sturdy, top quality moped that was also  prepped for winter duty for the Norwegians? As said, as done: In 1958, the Raufoss moped was presented to a huge audience (for Norwegian standards) comprising representatives from all but one of the 19 Norwegian counties, a dozen newspapers, more than a hundred retail sellers and more. The interest was very high in the days, as was the quality of the moped: Prepped for winter duty and a sturdy Zündapp engine was supposed to make it the ideal transporter for Norwegians. Alas, after only four years of production and very meager sales, the Raufoss moped was history in 1962. Its quality never lost appeal, however, and is today highly sought-after by Norwegian moped connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

 

spanjola foto ukjent

The 1922 Spanjola. (Image: Unknown)

3. The Spanjola

If you pull the “Spanjola” name up in talks even with Norwegian riders, they will most lightly not have a clue of what you are talking about. No wonder: This monster of a sidecar contraption is a single build, being the brainchild of Norsk Hydro engineer Christian Larsen in 1920-1922. It is three meters long and has plenty room for a family of five and their two dogs. It was powered by a V4 of 2000 ccm, derived from Indian engines, and even had aluminium parts to make it somewhat lighter. The remains of this beauty was discovered some years back and is under restoration. The restorers have pledged to have it on the road in 2021. A unique and fascinating piece of Norweigan motorcycle history!

Categories: bikes, Misc, norway | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

From Beabeg to Bodø and back

“The midnight sun was a majestic experience for me. Looking out onto the Lofoten Islands is going to be a cherised memory”, writes Irishman Michael McCormick in his blog after his trip from Beabeg to Bodø and back in the summer of 2019.

Michael McCormick

Michael McCormick rode from Beabeg in Ireland to Bodø and back in the summer of 2019. Photo used with permission of http://www.therunofthecountrycharitymotorbiketour.com

Michael maintains the blog for the charity ride The Run of the Country Charity Motorbike Tour. “A thrilling one day, with an overnight, 200 mile, charity motorcycle tour. It’s the best little charity motorcycling event in Ireland. The proceeds of the event are used to help adults with intellectual disabilities who use Malta Services Drogheda reach their personal development goals”, he writes.

In July 2019, Michael saddled his 750 Africa Twin and headed for Norway. “There were good bits and not so good bits. There were things I could do better and there was stuff that I just brought with me and never used”, he continues.

“It was a marvellous experience. The blog and feedback kept me company. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again though”, he admits. However, we are confident that we will see Michael on these shores again any year soon 🙂

Read his impressions and thoughts, and have a look at the pics he recorded along his trip.

Categories: bikes, Images of Norway, norway, Trips | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

To Hell with Dean

Dean Marshall, a UK based Honda 750 Africa Twin rider, rode his trusty steed from London to Hell, Trøndelag County. Below are the images from his trip.

dav

Dean Marshall.

Here’s what Dean wrote:

Hi! Some pics of my solo trip London to Hell and back August 2017. I didn’t get to the Artic circle as planned because of the torrential rain in Norway that summer. I was delayed by about 8 days so had no time to go further north. I’m leaving London on the 15th of July (2019) to try to get to Nordkapp as I feel I have unfinished business. Having read your blog I have decided to go to Asp and follow the route 17 to Bodo then on to the Lofoten Islands.

Tusen takk.

Dean Marshall

You’re welcome, Dean – we’re looking forward to seeing your images from your trip to Nordkapp as well. And welcome back!

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Categories: bikes, Images of Norway, norway, Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Frosty fun

A smaller, but nevertheless friendly and funny winter rally is the Agder Frost Rally. The rally is held in January, and should be visited by any discerning winter rider.

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The Agder Frost is not a big rally. A handful of riders, but nevertheless a long standing tradition and a lot of fun. Of course. Here are some images from this year’s Agder Frost, kindly provided by Sigmund Hornberg and Halvor Nyquist.

If you want to attend, you can find the organizers – or rather, the guys that usually go – on their Facebook page. You may have to ask to be accepted into the group, but that is only a minor formality. Ask you questions, and you will get all the info you need. The rally is usually held near Svenes, and is conveniently accessible from the ferry port of Kristiansand, from which it is some 70 kms to the rally site.

Categories: bikes, Images of Norway, Rallies, Winter rides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy New Year!

All the best for 2018 to all of you! Hope to see you on the road somewhere in Norway!

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Categories: bikes, norway, Uncategorized, Winter rides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Postcard living

Last weekend I went to Olden in the western parts of Norway to join my Guzzi friends at the annual Guzzi Spring Rally. People in that part of Norway are living in surroundings of stunning beauty. It must be like living in a pic postcard…

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The Oldevatn lake is filled with melted glacial water, making it green – and coooold…

I took my new (to me) 1990 Guzzi SP3 for its inauguration trip to meet fellow Guzzisti at Oldevatn camping, not very far from Geiranger. This part of Norway is famed for its stunning beauty, and this weekend it certainly showed off in all its splendour.

I took Friday off from work, so I left for the rally on Thursday afternoon. It´s some 500 kms from where I live to Olden, so I opted for a stay-over at Lom. I chose a route which is not the fastest, but nevertheless pretty: Up to Fagernes, Road 51 over Valdresflye, the Stryn mountain road to Stryn and onwards to Olden. The bike ran flawlessly, apart from showing signs of a worn clutch boss, which of course is about to be fixed.

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Valdresflye mountain road is one of the 18 National Tourist Roads.

The Valdresflye mountain road – Road 51, one of the National Tourist Roads – is closed during winter, and opened for the season not many weeks ago. There is still some snow up there, but not on the roads, of course. It gets a bit chilly up on the top, so when you ride there – use your extra layer of clothes under your riding gear. In the summer there tends to be quite a few camper vans and other slow-moving tourists on the road, but as there is no vegetation to hamper the view of any oncoming traffic, they are easily overtaken.

After a rather unspectacular night at Lom, I did the last leg down to Olden over Stryn mountain road – Road 15. This road meets Road 63, which takes you down to the famous Geiranger fjord (also only open in the summer). But I kept following Road 15 towards Stryn.

The Stryn Mountain Road is tried to kept open also in the winter, but it´s frequently closed due to heavy snowing combined with tough winds. In the summer, it´s usually a tranquile, nice piece of mountain road with spectacular views. Be aware, though, that the tunnel starting the downclimb towards Stryn is VERY dark! Do not use sunglasses or tinted visors when you enter! The trick is to close one eye before going into the tunnel. When you´re inside and open it, your eye should have adjusted somewhat to the darker surroundings. There are three longer tunnels leading down to Stryn. Take precations when entering them. Just in case.

Stryn has a slogan – “Beautiful Stryn” – which is somewhat generic, but in this case it fits the area. The Stryn area IS beautiful! As is Loen, Olden, Utvik Mountain Road, et cetera. You cannot go wrong wherever you choose to point your front wheel. The roads may be considered somewhat narrow, but on a bike this is not a problem. Be aware of the many coaches carrying cruise ship passengers to sightsee the Briksdal Glacier. Or what´s left of it. Also – if you really want to part off with some cash, try the newly opened SkyLift cablelift in Loen. It´s some 50 euros, but those who do it says the view is awesome at some 3000 ft above the sea level.

I have stayed at the Oldevatn camping several times, and prefer this to any over-priced hotel accomodation: Due to heavy tourist traffic, accomodation prices tends to be in the higher end of the scale in the summer. But the camp sites are usually set at wonderful sites, and renting a cabin for a night or two shouldn´t break your budget.

The return ride was a rather uneventful ride in poor weather back home. But still – it was a day on the bike, which is always a good day.

Categories: bikes, Images of Norway, norway, Rallies, Routes, Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Checking out the Cali

Last winter I bought a 1999 Moto Guzzi EV 1100 California with the intent to build a sidecar rig. Today I celebrated spring by taking it on its maiden voyage (in my ownership, that is). Still without the sidecar attached – but what a ride it is!

HP Calif Guzzi

Even though I owned a Moto Guzzi California 1400 for a couple of years, I have never been too keen on cruisers. However, late last year I sold my trusty winter comrade, a Moto Guzzi 850 T5 with a Watsonian sidecar, to a buddy who had crashed his own sidecar rig a couple of weeks earlier. My T5, after serving as a winter rig for more than a decade, was up for a major overhaul, and my buddy was more than happy to take the job as long as he could buy my rig.

HP Calif 140020130105_121606000_iOS

Me on my 2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 (top) and my trusty winter rig,
a Moto Guzzi 850 T5 with a Watsonian sidecar (under).

Hence, I needed to start looking for suitable objects to build a new sidecar – and there it was: A nice, blue 1999 EV 1100 California, available at a very good price. So I bought it, and started looking for a sidecar which I could attach to it. I ended up with an old Dnepr tub which will need some refurbishing, but all in all it might become a good rig.

Today was a marvellously splendid and sunny day. One of those days you just cannot stay indoors. So after servicing my wife’s Moto Guzzi Breva 750, I took my “new” California for its maiden voyage. And lo and behold! It is actually a very capable motorcycle! It is pulling strongly (which will make it ideal for sidecar pulling), and is rather comfy. I actually enjoyed my little trip in the spring sun to such a degree that I will take the Cali for another spin tomorrow on my way to work.

Who would have thought that?

Categories: bikes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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