The temple tour

Angela came to visit me. First time we have been overseas together since Greece, 2000! Was a blast.

Had a ball. A high-ball that is.
Swan rides, DonQi aquarium, terrace beers with the mistress.
Whisky with no ice work house parties,
Living like common people, flea markets,
Nemo Demo and calls on the giant porcelain telephone.
Couch surfing micro brews and insider temple fests with –
Geeky Norwegians, Jerks and Yu.
TokyoDex, The Watanabes, Jimmy Blinks and the Shakehorns.
The golden poo, USDs, downpours, Delphine and Snow monkeys.
Ramen, Gyoza, Izikaya, satay, sushi breakfast, lunch and tea.

And I you.

Major service

The bike had hit 30,000KM and was in need of service. The front brake calliper dust pads were ripped, the lever grating under pressure and the face of the screws on the brake fluid box completely worn and unable to be unscrewed. Plus the engine was running rough with chugging and surging occurring under acceleration and to top it all off suspension oil was starting to leak out of the top air valves.

So, considering it was supposed to be rainy season I pulled the bike apart to get to the carburettors, which I suspected of being responsible for the rough engine performance no doubt caused by the dusty roads in Timor and the poor quality fuel from there and Indonesia.

Sure enough, the diaphragm valves of the carbies both had numerous scratch’s and the butterfly valves were sticky with carbon deposits. I prepared for my toughest maintenance job yet – disassembling and cleaning the carbies. Try as I might though, I couldn’t get past step 1 of the manual – disconnecting the brace that keeps both carbies level! Probably a good thing since you are supposed to have a special tool to make sure they are level when you reconnect them!

Rather than put everything back together and take the whole bike for service, I figured it would be better (cheaper) just to take in the parts that needed work. After several trips to Bikers community land I finally made it in with the front brake (caliper, hose and lever), carbies and translator. They were very surprised to hear of a Kawasaki KLE 500 in Japan! Turns out there would be more parts for my bike in Europe as it was only manufactured for Europe, Africa and Australia. They have been extremely helpful though and we identified enough replacement parts for the carbies and calliper to make it worthwhile, plus I will finally upgrade the brake with a new Daytona lever and steel braided hose.

Upgrade to a progressive spring for the front suspension is also in the pipeline. Should be back on the road by Septermber, just in time for Richys visit.

From seed to soba

Some time ago I was lucky enough to be invited by Yuki* and her boy Hiro-jan to visit some friends in the mountains to celebrate life!

The celebration was at their house and pottery gallery out past Kawagoe (West of Tokyo). It was a beautiful peaceful spot with small plot farms nestled into the steep sides of the valley. The soft rain was somehow apt.

They turned on a real treat for us and some other guests with organic, home grown, home ground, home made, traditionally cooked soba noodles. Delicious! You can see the process from seed to soba in the pics below.

You can view captions, make comments and see a bigger version by clicking on the pictures.

* Yuki is the PwC Japan Sustainability team International Development Assistance Leader.