Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ace Corner Finland

During our visit to Rukka, we met a journalist and photographer for an interview, arranged by Rukka. Rukka couldn't have found a better setting than the Ace Corner in Finland! We all know the Finns are renowned for their economy with words. People like Kimi Raikonen for instance can hardly be described as breezy extroverts. Riku Routo from Ace Corner Finland however is the exact opposite! He's one of those enthusiastic and likeable people that seem to have an endless battery!

Riku's first words were: Welcome! They were more than words too as we were made very welcome indeed. We 'oldies' all know about the Ace Corner in London of course. What I didn't know was that Ace Corner exists in Finland too! Riku explained that Ace Corner Finland is the first one outside the UK. For those unfortunates that don't know what the Ace Corner means: it's the holy grail for rockers and motorcycle enthusiasts that love petrol and speed.

Next to the café is a motorcycle collection with some pretty unique examples of our motorcycling history. Riku is particularly proud to have the first Japanese Harley Davidson on display that was ever made. Yes Harley Davidson's were made in Japan under license as the Rikuo, and Riku has one on display. He also has a Finnish made moped, a Solifer, that was used by a German technology student to go around the world from 1961 to 1963! I like the simple but effective two-fuel tanks arrangement for an extended range. Another example that you don't need a huge motorcycle to go around the world.

Indian motorcycles from Springfield are also very well represented as are the British Norton, Triumph and BSA. I was surprised to see a Hesketh this far from home as well as Jawa, Eso and NSU for example. Riku pointed out that he doesn't like motorcycle museums in general. He finds them too static and boring. Instead he wanted to create a place to enjoy with variable exhibitions, gorgeous motorcycles, books, racing suits etc. All we can add to that is that he has succeeded!

The building that houses the cafe and museum is right from the Rockers era, originally built in 1959 as a wood drying house. With the help of many volunteers and more than 100 associates from different industries, who have contributed either in labour or via donations, it was transformed to create this unique museum, which opened it's doors in 2011. Riku and his team have done a great job in creating a place with a pretty unique atmosphere. The menu, by the way, is good too!

We like the Ace Corner Finland, and I'm pretty sure you would too. In fact we liked it so much that we came back that same evening! The Ace Corner can be found at http://www.ace-corner-finland.fi


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