Writing & Photographs by Viktor Radics
Just a quick note, this is the third post in a three part blog post, if you haven't had the chance to check out the first post, our visit / ride in Cape Town, South Africa - you can check it out here! Or the second post, our visit / ride in Auckland, New Zealand - you can check it out here!
We started The Moto Social in Budapest in May 2018. This was a big month for us, jam packed with 4 other new city launches. We were kicking off The Moto Social in NYC, Chicago and San Francisco in the US, then in Hamburg, Germany and then finally in Budapest, Hungary on May 30th, 2018. Sam and I planned to travel to all 5 of the new city launches that month and had the schedule packed. We had about a week of downtime toward the end of the May so with the help of Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada we planned a little European riding adventure to “unwind.” We planned for Geri and Vivien from Team Budapest to meet us at the Husqvarna Motorcycles factory in Mattighofen, Austria, to pick up a few bikes with us and spend the next week riding together. We had only been FaceTiming up until now to pre plan The Moto Social launch in Budapest so this trip was the first time we were meeting in-person. We were stoked.
We spent the first few days exploring the Austrian countryside together. We grabbed a sweet little Airbnb in a small lakeside village called Mondsee and used that as a home base to explore from. We had 3 brand new 2019 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401’s and Geri had his rad little vintage XT500. On our first full day of riding we cruised into Salzburg and grabbed a coffee with a local friend. He directed us on an epic mountain loop called the Rossfeldstrasse. This road winds through the mountains on the Austria and Germany border just outside of Salzburg. Hours of fun through twists and turns with places stop, places to eat and wild animals and beautiful scenery to see. Thanks for the tips Florian!
The following day we rode out to a beautiful and picturesque little village called Hallstatt. Imaging the quintessential lakeside Austrian village built into the bottom of a mountain. That’s Hallstatt. The village is overflowing with tourists, but it was absolutely worth the ride. We grabbed a bite, walked around and made plans for our ride to Vienna the next morning on our way to Budapest.
In Vienna we met up with Geri and Vivien’s local pals Tamás and Bernhard. We went for an afternoon ride and wrapped the night at a local bike meet called Motosickles of Vienna. Vienna is a beautiful city. It's clean, colourful, historic and filled with amazing architecture that makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time while still being modern. The following morning we grabbed coffee and snacks in Vienna and continued our ride east to Budapest. Our adventure so far with our Hungarian team mates has been nothing but gold. We loved these two. We hit it off super well and we’re really enjoying our time together.
As we crossed the border into Hungary, excitement for hosting The Moto Social in a couple days and meeting the Budapest community began to rise. We were entering Geri and Vivien’s domain and based on how amazing these two were, we couldn’t wait to meet their pals and the people they surrounded themselves with. Geri and Vivien had spent a year or two at this point hosting night-rides and social events under “The Cafe Club Budapest” name and had just recently opened up a brick and mortar cafe in the city under the same name. The Moto Social events would be an additional initiative added to their existing community building efforts. We were stoked to meet the community that they had been building so far and continue building it with them.
We held The Moto Social at a rad little locally owned cafe called “My Little Melbourne.” The owners Péter and Diána Balazsi are both motorcycle and coffee enthusiasts and regularly involved in all things moto in Budapest. We were so stoked to connect with them and thankful they trusted us to host our first event in Budapest. We had an epic turnout at our inaugural event, with a great mix of people and a nice mix of bikes. From mopeds and scooters to custom bikes and stock modern bikes. It was a great time, great vibe with some really great people. Even Gadso from Team Hamburg flew down to kick with us - such a great surprise.
The Moto Social - Budapest - May 30, 2018 - My Little Melbourne
After The Moto Social, Sam and I planned to stay in Budapest for a couple more weeks. Fun fact; I was born in Budapest, but hadn’t been back since I was a kid. We planned to spend our time-off in Budapest continuing to connect with the local moto community and spend a bit of time with some of my family still in Hungary. But more about moto-travel stuff and what to do when you’re in Budapest next.
One of the highlights of our extended stay in Budapest was attending a local motorcycle event and weekend-long festival with Geri and Vivien called 100 Sparks, or "100 Szikra” in Hungarian. This well designed moto-camping event is hosted in the countryside north of Budapest in a small village called Ipolytarnòc. Situated on the Hungary and Slovakia border, the event attracts riders from all over Hungary, Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna, Austria and surrounding countries. With great riding, great music, great food, and a positive sense of community where everyone would feel welcome, we had a blast. We can’t wait to go back and party again with everyone.
Geri and friends at 100 Sparks, 2018
Levente Trellay announcing hillclimb details at 100 Sparks, 2018
Our adventures in Austria and Hungary left us with one big impression and one big truth. Wherever you are in the world, you meet the nicest people on motorcycles. Obviously you’ll also meet your fair share of proper turkeys on bikes but our experience in Budapest was the former. It was similar to our experience in Cape Town - an overwhelming sense of joy, having found your tribe of open-minded, open-armed, kind and welcoming people, so far away from home. This feeling doesn’t compare to any other feeling in life.
And so I’ll conclude with this. The joyous feeling we’ve experienced when finding our people around the globe through The Moto Social is exactly what we hope to help everyone else find through our future initiatives. A true and real sense of community that’s open to everyone. Where everyone can just be and belong, be accepted and be able to connect with others beyond just the surface. We’re still in the early stages of The Moto Social, and sure, our local monthly events do create opportunities for people to connect and find their people, but imagine a future where you’re able to tap into that community and find your people like we have when travelling in a foreign country halfway across the globe. Imagine being able to connect with locals and be riding in Cape Town or Auckland or Budapest or San Francisco or Vancouver with the best humans on the planet? Making these friendship on these trips have been some of the highlight moments in our lives personally and we’d love for everyone to be able to experience that same feeling also. So we’ll keep working on building The Moto Social platform to make that a reality down the line, but in the meantime, the question is, when these Covid-19 restrictions end, where in the world do you want ride?
Below is some of the riding gear seen in this blog post, click the images to view them online: