Best day of the year

Today was a fantastic day for me.

First, I passed the motorcycle driving exam, which means I now have a license for driving the biggest and heaviest bikes. I was nervous but managed to keep quite calm even though my heart was beating at 180 all the time. The examinator simply said something like “well, that was full points on everything”, and it took a second or two for me to understand that I actually passed.

When I got home I called on an ad for the previously mentioned bike, Suzuki VL 800 Volusia from 2001 (or Suzuki Intruder Volusia as it was called that particular year even though it has very little do do with the rest of the Intruder family). Two hours later my friend Alex came and picked me up on his new Harley Davidson Night Train, and we went to see the bike in the ad.

Since I had only been riding sport/sport-touring bikes before, it was quite a big change to be seated as low as on the Volusia, and the wide handlebar took some getting used to as well. But I loved it. And the sound! After a 10 minute test run I came back with a grin on my face. “I’ll take it. Definitely.”

Papers were signed, money were exchanged and I was on my way home with my brand new bike.

The seller was kind enough to follow me home in a car so that I could get the original exhaust pipes with me, and after a short stop at home to drop them off, we went out riding again. We met up with Lasse and his girlfriend, and we took a long nice trip to Ekerö. After an extremely nice swim we went back, I think we were gone for about 3 hours total.

Couldn’t be happier with the license, the bike and everything. Awesome day.

Front to back: Suzuki Volusia, HD Night Train, Yamaha Warrior
My Suzuki Volusia (closest). The two smaller bikes in the background are a Harley Davidson Night Train (middle) and a Yamaha Warrior (back).

Second try

Tomorrow it is time again for the motorcycle exam. I think I’m even more nervous this time, partly because my vacation starts next week and it is almost entirely planned based on bike driving. So if I fail again I really don’t know what to do this summer. Exam times are still hard to come buy, so I might not get another try until mid August or September.

I’m way to wound up to sleep now, but I’ve got to try. Big day tomorrow.

Marauder out, Volusia in

I’ve been pretty much settled for buying a Suzuki Marauder 800 when I get my motorcycle driver’s license (final exam – again – in 11 days).

However, after reading a bunch of reviews, particularly one at Motorcycle Cruiser, I’ve decided to  change my goals to a Suzuki Volusia 800 instead, with the Honda A.C.E Shadow 750 as a secondary choice.

The Volusia does not only have a much better comfort, both for driver and passenger, it also handles better, is stronger and has less vibrations. The fact that it has a shaft drive instead of a chain also means that I’ll save about 1500SEK a year in maintenance cost. It is however more expensive to buy, but in the long run you will gain on it.

I am now up to about twice the price of a bike since what I planned this spring, and I’m not sure if I can afford a Volusia at the moment. A third option is to buy a smaller Kawasaki EN 500 for about 20’000 SEK less this season, and aim for a Volusia or similar next year instead. That would also give me time to get more comfortable with the Stockholm traffic, and damaging the bike wouldn’t cost as much.

Anyway, first I have to pass the exam. :p

Suzuki Volusia 800