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Classic riders are different - column

ER Classics Desktop 2022

We classic riders are different from modern motorcyclists. As friendly as they can be, they usually follow the arrow of their GPS on their almost perfect motorcycles. During lunch stops they eat healthy sandwiches and drink Spa or decaffeinated coffee. They no longer smoke either. We heard from someone who planned a week-long trip up to the location and time of lunch stops.

There is a significant difference between motorcyclists and people who own a motorcycle. I came up with that when I spoke to someone who was angry and sad because she was not allowed to make a book of her experiences at the ANWB emergency center. Of course those stories weren't just about bikers 2.0.


There was also the tragic story of the man who was run over by his own camper after crawling under there on a slope to look at the loose exhaust. Or the phone call from the panicked motorist who asked, “Help me. I see signs 'Trier'. What country am I in? " But the couple who called to be repatriated because somewhere in the Alps the driver and his partner had suddenly developed a hairpin-turn phobia, or the man who demanded that the ANWB rescue him from Scotland because his GPS was broken? There was a motorcyclist who asked if it was bad when a motorcycle was wet. After some inquiries, it turned out that the all road in question had toppled over and submerged when crossing a stream. The adventurers had forgotten to check the depth of the crossing.

That is a different world from ours. On the most recent road trip with about three men, the streets looked like fast-flowing rivers. Motorcycles can get that wet. And their riders too. Yet nobody called the ANWB or his mother. Everyone was delighted. Simply because motorcycling is fun and the unexpected is the fringe of the rug.

We were recently satisfied with this after a dynamo damage in the Ardennes. The alternator no longer charged. The battery had run out. Then it is just a matter of improvising. A car battery was bought at the village garage. At the local quincaillerie we scored a few meters thick cord and some clips. The battery was tied to the buddy with a pair of cheap straps, the piece of cord became the umbilical cord between the battery and the engine wiring. If you drive without lights and do not use the horn, you can really get hundreds of kilometers away on such a battery charge. Mission accomplished.

The nice thing is that it is precisely the things that have gone wrong that make a trip worth remembering. And if a friendly waiter refers you to the widow of a village garage owner on a Sunday in the Meuse valley. Then you meet an old lady and a garage that just closed the door twenty + years earlier. Her husband had suddenly died. The tools lay on the dusty workbench next to an open Honda CB360 block.

The widow was very kind. We were allowed to pick up the deceased bike and just pretend the garage was ours. And with a complete workshop at your disposal, you suddenly work much more pleasantly than at the side of the road. While doing so, the two other veterans were also checked. The old lady kindly brought us coffee. And that the coffee had apparently been on a hot plate since her husband died? Well, the idea was good.

We changed our itinerary and decided to score an overnight stay in Dinant. Then in the evening after a hearty meal you sit with a pot of beer looking very satisfied over the Maas. Simply happy to enjoy. Get memories. The time when one of us was hired as a rider on an 'adventurous motorcycle trip'. You apparently drive adventurous motorbikes on ZGAN thick BMW's GSS and KTM's. And then on the second day you can already hear complaints that the lunch stop is too late. How adventurous can you have it? But everything will be fine: Spring is already tingling in the air.

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18 Comments

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  1. How nice, finally someone who once worked at the ANWB Emergency Center and survived that, as well as the motorcycle rides. That guy, who had never learned his geography and was shocked by the signs “Trier”. He should have received a Roman answer, Trier was a Roman fortified town on the Moselle / Moselle and you are approaching the German-French language border.

  2. Oh, 25 years ago for the first time on mn Laverda 750 gtl, 6 wk through North Africa. A worldly experience with a lot of attention. What is that Dutchman doing on that heavy engine here. Last year we drove the same route again. Totally great. Again a lot of attention. Now admiring looks.
    My brikkie between many modern off roads. Whether it is 2.0, 1.0 or 1,5 .0, it doesn't matter how much fun it is on 2 wheels and that remains the same for all those riders and stars.

  3. Even though I don't ride off the road and I respect the possibilities of my bikes, I also look sadly at today's modernity. Motorcycles that you can repair with a pocket knife are no longer made.
    Blauwtje is actually quite a modern thing as a mutated R45. When the ignition module went off, I had to push the thing two miles away to a safe shelter. In the rain and with gradients of 8% in South Limburg, actually a challenge. I probably shouldn't have done that with contact points. After the twin spark had received its second module, it decided to go 'hops' again. Fortunately he was able to continue on the other module, although it was with significantly less power. Even then, a pocket knife could no longer help. Furthermore, Blauwtje has never let me down. He has brought me through wind, rain and acrid frost. And as a not specifically fair weather rider, I too can appreciate the sunshine on my visor. However, a rain shower that drenches my dated leather suit cannot spoil the fun.
    Although I have provided Blauwtje's datedness with more modern handling and performance, the dated remains sweet and friendly. I'm not worried about the ECU remapping because luckily it doesn't have any. I can think about a mixture and spark factory myself.

  4. Am an old bag of 65 years old. I have now driven about 500.000 km through Europe and the USA, always without navigation, with a jet helmet, without intercom and no annoying navigation lady who wants to show you the way and truly I have come home again and again. Every now and then I needed the map, which was in the tank bag. Nice on my old BMW or occasionally on a two-valve desmo Duc. Actually, we cannot judge the younger generation of motorcyclists. They grew up differently. You can hardly do anything about modern bicycles yourself. When I walked over parking lots with motorcycles around 1969/1970, I saw that there was a lot of iron wire (somewhat exaggerated) on motorcycles and along the way you could tinker yourself to get further. Still grateful that I went through that.

  5. Albert on a 75 electrics, if your headlight is only a glowing nail in Paris due to a short circuit, disconnect all power and fill the tank with someone in front and someone behind it who does have good light, without light, brake light or flashing light come to Belgium to fill up the tank again. After that we had to push him and he was just able to get to Rossum. It was really on that then. The lights did not even glow anymore, but did come home while driving. And all Paris was getting dark.

  6. Great story again, and recognizable.
    With a BMW R100 with the original Mareg 28Ah battery, you can get from Arras to Zoetermeer exactly without light and without dynamo. In the gate behind the house the needle had run out.

  7. If you guys are motorcycle men (women) like I think you generally are, then I can only overflow with sympathy. A real motor man does not let someone choke on the side of the road because he drives a scooter: that's it, isn't it? I think my oldest brother had your DNA in his blood. Someone with a flat motorcycle tire in our area? He repaired that tape for free and he didn't even know that man. Hats off to such people! If you have a coffee somewhere along the road, think about him for a moment. It will please him up there! Because real motorcycle men (+ women) ... never die.

  8. When a 'motard' comes to tell me that his new Kayasuki rides best in 'Sport modes' with the ATC switched off and the damping three clicks from the top .. I walk away shaking my head ..
    I don't need a GSA or KTM for off-road; my old side-valve is tired of all-road… 75 years ago already plowed through the North African desert and Russian mud tundra.
    Motorcyclists 1.0 are getting old Dolf, and the 2.0 generation finds us hopelessly outdated.

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