I’ve always wanted to keep a bike somewhere in Europe. I’m an airline pilot and I fly to a lot of European cities week after week. I’ve often thought I wanted a bike to keep over there and ride on layovers. I’ve rented a few times, but bike rentals are super expensive in Europe. It adds up quickly, and owning an older bike can pay for itself pretty quickly. With vacation coming up in mid-August, my wife and I were planning on going to Either Ireland or Scotland I was looking at rental costs for several weeks. It was going to cost $2000-3000, which got me thinking…why not pull the trigger and buy? I have a good Irish friend in Dublin who is a fellow rider and also a pilot, and he agreed to help me find a bike over there. At home I ride a 1200GS and an AJP PR7, so naturally I wanted an adventure bike. After about a week of combing the ads, I realized that adventure bikes command a premium price, even old ones. But, sports touring bikes were pretty affordable. Hey, you don't have to ride an adventure bike to have an adventure, do you? Sure, it would be limited to pavement, but there is not a lot of off-pavement riding in much of Europe anyhow, which is why so many ADV bikes you see here have mostly street tires. I found a pristine 2002 Yamaha FJR1300 with only 15000 miles on it, and the asking price was about 5500 euros. It had full luggage and even a GPS, had been well-maintained, and was ready to ride. My buddy, Owen, went over and checked it out for me and reported back that it was, indeed, in damn good shape. He made an offer for me, the owner accepted and next thing I knew, I was the owner of an FJR1300 in Ireland. Owen even rented a van and picked it up for me. He kept it at his house until we got there a few weeks later. Friends like that are good to have! Next up: Dublin arrival and first ride.