It must have been 1979. We were a group of about 10 bikes that was going to Spain. BMW, Hondas, Kawasakis and Yamaha all big bikes and me on my 250 OSSA enduro. It was geared up for a top speed of 150 kph. 19 inch front wheel and street tires. Narrow handlebar, a home built expasionchamber and for touring comfort a wind screen. I also made an extra tank (2 litre fitted under the saddle). The 6 litre stock tank is not suited fo touring. We had to refuel every 100 km. (On a 9000 km trip!) The extra tank worked all the way to Barcelona. When we entered the town the fuel petcock started to leak and the whole tank was emptied between my legs.

We split up in to groups when we left Stockholm. The speed guys in one group and me a Honda 500, Honda 750 and BMW 750 in the other group. In Germany on the autobahn I was to slow though cruising at 120 khp so we lost the two 750´s. My best friend and I continued together. We stayed at Nurnburg ring and tried the circuit even though it was raining. Next day I saw that my chain (new when we left home, made in Taiwan) had a few damaged links. In the next town we found a new one and I changed it.

Through Ruhr, Luxemburg, France driving between gas stations. We didn´t have time to see anything because we were going to meet our friend in Benidorm a few days later.

We camped in south of France somewhere, and I relized that I did not speak a single word of French. Not even yes, no or 1,2,3. My friend knew a few words so we managed. I decided that when I will be back in Sweden I will learn and so I did. It has been very useful for me because today I am married to french lady.

From France we drove 14 hours non stop all the way down to Benidorm with just a little problem with the leaking fueltank in Barcelona. We arrived at 2 a.m. and we met our friends. They had been there the day before but in spite of my small bike we were not that many hours after.

The OSSA ran well but made strange noices, I thought it was detonations but at 120 kph it was O.K.

Fuel comsumption 5 l/ 1000 km. I premixed 5 % oil as the manual recommends and I guess it was good for oils of 1969. My friend that followed me was covered with spots of oil. On the way back I mixed 3.5 % and that was better.

We stayed a few days in Benidorm.

3 of us headed back north and the rest continued south to Morrocco, Algeria and Tunisia. One of these guys chrashed in Algeria an broke his collarbone. But that is another story. We rode into the country to Madrid and then northeast to Barcelona. There we visited the OSSA factory and I wrote an article that was published in a Swedish bike magazine.

Andorra sounded exotic so off we went. The Pyrennees really suited my OSSA. At least downhill I could easily outrun the Honda 500 and the old BMW 750.

We followed the Riviera through Italy up to Austria. There the BMW left us and he hurried home to work. We stayed in Munich for a day and drank beer. The best day of the trip.

Autobahn to Travemunde.(1000 km. Puh!)

Noices from the engines became so load so I decided to take the cylinder off to have a look. The piston was heavely worn at the intake side but I put it together and it took me the 650 km back to Stockholm. What did I learn?

  1. It is no fun to drive 9000 km in 3 weeks.
  2. A fueltank of 6 litre is no good for touring.
  3. I have to learn french.

The following year I went to Iceland (1000 km in 3 weeks) with a 25 litre tank. Nice trip!

And the year after I crossed Europe on a bicycle and ended up in Israel. Even nicer! I stayed away 1 and a half year.

By Mats Nyberg

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