Back in the Saddle

The Cracow trip described in the previous post wasn’t exactly a sightseeing trip from the get-go. The real purpose of the trip was, in fact, to check out a motorcycle I had found online and considered buying. The owner of the motorcycle had said that he will be available in the late afternoon, giving us a better part of the morning-noon to walk about the city before inspecting the motorcycle.

And so it went that after a full day of doing the touristy things about town, I met up with the seller and test rode the Honda in question. Yup, another Honda. For some reason, I’m very sympathetic to the Honda brand when it comes to motorcycles.

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It all started with the Honda XR250L enduro my dad bought back in 1995. It was the first motorcycle I’ve ever ridden…and the first motorcycle I crashed on. My dad would eventually ship that XR250L from the U.S. to Poland, where I rode it some more before he ended up selling it altogether.


It was then that I bought my very first Honda motorcycle, the FMX 650 FunMoto. And boy was it at FUN MOTO! A step up from a 250cc for sure, my first wheelie, my first trips beyond local dirt roads, and a lot of learning on what riding a powerful motorcycle really means. But the FMX doesn’t provide much in terms of long-distance travel. It is after all a street version of a cross motorcycle, meaning small fuel tank and semi-comfortable riding position. Our relationship lasted only a few months and I felt the urge to upgrade.


Next up was the Honda XL700V Transalp. The newest and last generation of the Transalp family. The idea behind getting the trusty Trampie was simple: take a two-week vacation for a long ride, and touch the Black Sea off of the coast of Romania. Overall it was a 4,000km+ trip that spanned some 10 days I think. It was a lot of fun, and while it took place back in 2013 I still think back to it as if it was yesterday. Link to that trip below:


Then in 2013 I met my future wife, priorities had shifted, and some time after getting married in 2014 I had sold that moto.

This brings us to today. After being without a motorcycle for the past few years, and only having ridden my trusty GOVECS electric scooter all over town, I had decided to get back in the game. The choice of a motorcycle was fairly simple: 2017 Honda Africa Twin! Yeah, that’s gonna happen one day, GUARANTEED! But in the meantime, since I don’t have $12,000 USD on hand to spend for a luxury item, I settled for the next best thing I could afford, a 2006 Honda XL650V Transalp.

Technically that’s the model previous to the one I had already owned. My current 650 is the predecessor to the 700. It has its advantages as well as disadvantages. The 650 has a bigger 21″ front wheel as opposed to the 19″ on the 700 allowing for more offroad capability. But it rides crappier on the highway since it does have that big front wheel and the 650 lacks fuel injectors, which in turn mean worse fuel mileage at highway speeds. I do love the ride though, and the way aggressive look of the 650. And while I’ve driven only about 600km on it so far, I’m in love with Honda all over again. I think this 650 is going to be a semi-temporary bike for the foreseeable future until I save up enough for a newer Honda model, maybe the Crosstourer or the NC750X, the bikes that will get me ever closer to the queen, the Africa Twin. Honda for life though! 🙂


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