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Need for speed
I vividly remember the days when I was in junior high that my one and only goal in the world was to get my moped to go as fast as possible. Nothing else really mattered and to the horror of my parents, I was quite successful in this goal. Filing the carburetor, changing to a bigger cylinder, replacing the wheels at the front and rear, as well as a power exhaust system. These were the basics that gave me a pretty good start.
Two iconic mini-bikes of the 90s were put through this infernal tuning. The first, a Honda Monkey, with a reputation of being very good for popping wheelies, looked and particularly sounded fairly ”feeble” in the standard form. However, the four-stroke engine was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and removing just a few nuts from the exhaust pipe made it sound like a beast unleashed. In fact, increasing its speed was a lot more laborious.
The other one was a Suzuki PV. One degree further towards a tough guy’s moped, its technology was simple enough to maximize the speed. This baby was made to go three times faster than it did when leaving the plant. Okay so I didn’t go so wild, because I decided to "make do" with a solution only twice as fast. 80 km/h less than one meter above the asphalt was in my opinion quite enough of a ride for a speed-hungry teenage boy. Without touching the brakes, naturally.
Despite my hobby, in those days I wasn’t in any hurry to go anywhere in particular. I just wanted to get from A to B as fast as possible. I still do. More haste, more speed, used to be the favorite mantra of a former boss of mine. Here's a great maxim for future product developers. If my unborn son at some point begins to beg for a set of wheels, I really hope that tuning parts won’t be necessary. It should look like a two-wheel Formula One car, sound like American muscle cars and move like a bullet in a tailwind. Mind you, it could also have better brakes.
COLUMN HARRI VASTAMÄKI