After a long, tiring winter astride my trusty, but very old and slow XL500R I finally put her to rest this Easter weekend as I finished my first bike- a 1975 Honda CB550F1 Supersport. The motor had been rebuilt last year and now I cleaned and polished the wheels and installed a dual disc setup. So, the weather is gorgeous and this means it's time for a ride into the wine country north of Vienna! First stop was at Exelberg, the local biker/squid hangout just outside the city. I took the day off so there wasn't any action going on this early and I didn't have to show the squids what Supersport is supposed to mean Then I entered the Danube valley, crossing the big river at Tulln and heading on the swamp dikes up north, into the rolling hills and flatlands of the northern wine country I stopped at Schöngrabern, one of Austria's oldest romanesque churches. The outside of the apsis is decorated with a biblia pauperum, the poor man's bible, vivid descriptions of the fight of good against evil. It has been speculated that this church was used by the order of the Knights Templar, but this has never been proven so far. Anyway, those reliefs sure are funky! But let's jump forward for 7,8 centuries and enter the world of the 2-wheeled internal combustion vehicle at Fritz Ehn's motorcycle museum in Eggenburg! We'll start off with a line of dull, black pre-war BMW's to make you beemer snobs happy: So that's out of our way, 'cause this wee little MV sure is more fun to look at! It's quite cramped in there, some interesting pieces are well hidden against the wall and this place is stacked with bikes, so please excuse the poor photography. Back there is a replica of Slippery Sam, accompanied by my father's dream bike, the AJS Boy Racer: There's a lot of arcane German and Austrian stuff, as you'll see. Here's a big V2 Neander, later built by Opel. Also, some pedal bikes have found their way in. Worth noticing is this prototype Puch aluminium streamliner. Note how the line of the barstem is followed through in the top tube! Now on to some vintage Austrian stuff. We made the beemerophiles happy, what about the pumpkin armada? Well, it didn't start out that differently from BMW, when we're talking about colour and style...This here is the first KTM motorbike, a whopping 3hp@4000rpm from a 98cc 2-stroke. We're talking 1953 here! Now this is a GS that doesn't suck, I'm sure. Can you hear me 'flug? Well, can you? 1974 Puch 175GS So on with the show, ADVriders. What we have here is an ADVbike, and an Adventure. With a capital A! A 1935 Puch 250 "Expedition" used by Herbert Tichy. Allegedly the first motorized vehicle to cross Afghanistan. Another brand known to ADVriders is Douglas. Robert Fulton, Jr. rode the world on a bike like this. Another way to mount a flat-twin. Here's a pic from the Seventies section. Although there were some interesting bikes, they seemed to be a bit neglected. Understandable somewhat, with all the great vintage stuff around, but still sad. Here's a rare Suzuki XN85 Turbo, sitting in chains with her comrades, caged in a museum on such a glorious day. The sun pours into the windows, and outside, my little Honda is beckoning her. In the next room, another rare beast waits: The original design prototype of Hans Muth's Suzuki Katana, a pillar of futuristic design. Some hate it, yet for me this bike tells more about speed and sharpness than any modern supersport. Way back in this room, there's another one for Nachtflug: what else could we do to a Yamaha XS650? For the end of our little tour, we'll take a look of what a superbike has been once. Let's start off chronologically, with an engine shot of the bane of Lawrence: And then, the inevitable: The Vincents are coming! The Vincents are coming! 1: 2: 3: And on this bombshell, it's time to end the show. I leave the museum, greeting the lone mechanic taking advantage of the weather and restoring a vintage tractor in the sunlight. I head on to the northern flats near the Czech border, finding the highest elevation around, Sandberg at a whopping 1100 feet! It's time for rest and a little fooling around with the camera. I find a tiny little road, just a paved tractor path after a few kms of gravel, lined with cherry trees to the left and vineyards to the right. The road flattens and stretches out, and so I head towards home, and so I roll and roll to come home again, the little Honda and I older and a bit wiser for a few experiences. I'm telling you, she's good at that beckoning!