THOR AMUNDSEN: @ENDURO_ADVENTURES
By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orca’s – 6/4/18
For the seventy eighth installment in our ongoing interview series here at Dirt Orca’s, we are very excited to share the story of Thor Amundsen. You may know him as @enduro_adventures.
I came across Thor’s Instagram page and was immediately interested in what he was doing. A passionate motorcyclist who got his start building and riding bobbers, Thor quickly learned about the limitations of the places they could go and the things they couldn’t carry. He soon found his way to adventure bikes and has been tackling mountains and gnarly roads ever since.
With Norway as the main backdrop to his adventure rides and many other Scandinavian countries filling in his travels, I highly recommend giving him a follow.
If you are interested in seeing his work as a tattoo artist, you’ll find a link below to that page. I enjoyed it!!
Like many adventure riders, Thor makes the most of the area around his home but also tries to plan a few trips a year.
We are looking forward to see what the summer holds for him.
Check out our interview below.
What do you consider to be your place of work?
I`m a tattoo artist, got my own tattoo shop and have been doing this for the past 12 years now. I need to be my own boss. Makes it easier to take time off for riding! You can check my work out on my work-dedicated Instagram account @tattoos_by_thor
Tell me about your bike. What do you call it?
I`ve got a 2017 Husqvarna 701 Endruo. I call him “kompis”, it`s Norwegian for buddy.
When and how did you get it?
I bought it brand new in January 2017, from Cross Centeret Snellingen AS, located in Oslo, Norway.
What other vehicles did you consider and what made you ultimately pull the trigger on the one you bought?
I`ve ridden a lot of different bikes. My last one was a KTM 990 Adventure R. I`t was a bit heavy for my liking, so I wanted something lighter, but still suitable for long adventures with great variety in terrain. Ever since I saw the first (awesome) commercial for the Husqvarna 701 Enduro I`ve wanted one. The KTM 690 Enduro and the Husky is very similar, but with Husqvarna`s Scandinavian heritage the choice was easy.
Have you made any upgrades or changes to it?
I`ve recently put on a full rally kit, with dubble 7L tanks in front and 18L rear tank. Nav tower, windscreen and heated grips. Special thanks to Jon over at Kit690 for helping me out and supplying me with such and awesome kit!
What is your favorite part about it living off of your bike?
The freedom. And that you are exposing yourself to the elements. It makes it more true for me. It shouldn’t always be easy, It`s the struggle that makes the memories stick and gives you the feeling of accomplishing something on your travels.
I also love the fact that this little piece of machinery can take you all over the world and back again. Take you to places no cars can go, to the deep forests and high mountain peaks.
What is your least favorite part about it?
Being away from my kids.
What is the best place you have taken it?
Switzerland and the Swiss/Italian Alps are absolutely amazing. Grossglockner in Austria is jaw dropping, but I have to say the Norwegian mountains is where my heart lays. Away from traffic and tourist roads, away from civilization. Desolate gravel roads and trails up in the mountains above the tree line. Mountain peaks in the horizon and no sound but the roar from the engine.
Is there just one?
No, there are many.
Favorite road you’ve driven?
It`s the countless of nameless, forgotten roads up in the mountains, far from civilization.
In one word, what describes your approach to life?
If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about living off of a bike, what would you tell them?
Don`t hesitate, just get out there. You learn a lot from your first trip! Pack light, do not bring stuff you do not need. If you have to think twice about bringing something, leave it at home! It’s much better to have some extra space in your bag, than stuffing it full. You will most likely pick stuff up while on the road anyway.
It takes a special kind of person to recognize that the journey, not the destination, is the point of life. Travelers know this. Was there a point in your life where you became conscious that you were one of those people?
It came gradually I think. Now that I`m 33 years old, I look back to my 20’s and realise I didn’t do much. I hate that feeling. I built up my company, which makes me do what I want today, but I did not travel a lot, I had no adventures. I made a promise to myself that when I turn 40 I will not look back with the same feeling. I want to have stories from my adventures to tell my children as they grow up. Hopefully this will influence them into a strong curiousness for our world and all the amazing places. I even bought a new Camper Van recently, so we can go explore the world as a family. We live on this beautiful planet, with so much to see and discover. All this together with a deep love for motorcycles and exploration, makes adventure motorcycling perfect for me.
You have found a strong place in the community of adventure riders. What values do you think your home or family instilled in you, that you take on the road?
My mother read to me a lot when I was a kid. I loved fantasy stories, from faraway places. My mother read to me about the stars, the universe and the vastness off it all. These memories is always in the back of my head. She always managed to trigger my curiosity of all things unknown, and to appreciate the world that surrounds us. She also let me make my own choices and decisions growing up, not pushing me in any direction. I think this helps me value my freedom to do what I like and I guess this all just expanded and evolved. I`m always exited to see new places, and experience new things. The value of exploration and discovery, and to value life and the freedom I`ve been given.
I admire your outside the box approach to career and home. Do you see yourself as someone who took a leap of faith to live in an unconventional way or do you think it kind of just happened?
I think I have always been this way. I hate people telling me what I can or can`t do, or when to do it. I grew up playing soccer as a kid because all of my friends did it, and I hated it, I really did. Why should the coach tell me what to do and when to do it? Why should I play soccer just because everyone else is doing it? So I quit soccer and started skateboarding instead. An independent, individual sport. A lifestyle by my own initiative, and it gave me so much more motivation. This is absolutely something that reflects in my adult life. I have always needed to be my own boss. I started my own business, and never really had a “real” job. As a tattooist I am lucky to have the opportunity to work around the globe as a guest artist, it opens up a lot of doors for travel, which I am truly grateful.
Where do you want to go next?
I`m going to Iceland in June/July, and I am so exited! I love what I do for a living, and I will always aim to get better, to travel further, progress in my work and my adventures.