Moto Expo Kuopio
At the end of April, we attended the annual motorcycle expo in Kuopio (Finland), which is organized by the local motorcycle club KMC. The expo is organized in a small town by local motorcyclists, but it was still the best motorcycle exhibition we have ever seen. We believe that the Finns chose the most interesting and informative format: they presented their own motorcycles, most of which are used regularly. So, this motorcycle expo is not just a demonstration of interesting exhibits, but the motorcycle culture itself and its history in a particular city.
The KMC expo exists on a voluntary basis and is growing every year. This year the event was supported by several major brands. But the most interesting thing is, of course, the real owners' motorcycles. Some of them were bought new in Finland more than half a century ago, and are still in excellent condition. And it's not about restoration but about keeping a motorcycle in a good condition while regularly using it for decades.
We talked to many bike owners. For example, all of the bikes in the Kawasaki section are completely original, except for the Z1300 one with a tank painted in the original color. The same about the Honda, Yamaha, and Triumph sections - they are all original with small updates of some paintwork.
There were some military motorcycles presented. We first saw the Swiss Condor A350 from the 70s and the British Norton Dominator from the 40s. Also, there were some unique, one of the first sportbikes that took part in professional races more than half a century ago.
Customs at the Finnish expo were also quite interesting. They didn't look special compared to other motorcycle expos. Many of them were based on Japanese motorcycles, in American style. Some were beautiful, some were odd-looking, but most are still used! This fact fundamentally changes the way we look at motorcycles. For example, the owner of a beautiful black Suzuki Intruder 800-based bobber with a bottle of Jack-Daniels instead of a coolant reservoir rides his bike daily during the season. By the way, in Finland the season is shorter than ours. When we were headed to the expo, there was no more snow in the Moscow region, but there was still some in Kuopio.
One of the sections was devoted to mopeds, from which the motorcyclist's journey in Suomi begins. There was a beautiful and technologically advanced Finnish moped Tunturi, which was produced in the 60s.
During the expo, Dasha Kharchenko, together with a local pro rider and our friend Niko Säkkinen, did a stunt show. Despite the difficult spot, the guys showed everything they had prepared and several tandem stunts. It turned out that our stunt girl is very popular abroad. Some of her fans came from other countries to see her. During the break, we managed to make an interesting interview with Niko where he spoke about the difficulty of performing some of the stunts and preparing the motorcycle for stunt riding.
The expo in Kuopio perfectly reflects not only the Finnish motorcycle culture, but also the national one: small, but cool and meaningful. We had a great time, met interesting people and learned a lot. From now on, we will pay more attetion to events in small European cities, especially in Finland!