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Old 12-18-2013, 09:41 AM   #2671
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Joined: May 2010
Location: In the mountains?
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From November 1st for a few weeks I stayed with Andreas. He lived about an hour west of Tokyo by Metro. I went on a couple dates with my new friend from Vietnam. She could speak good English and decent Japanese. Its always interesting hearing the different perspectives of the foreigners with different upbringings living in Japan.

Andreas. Awesome dude. Thanks for letting me stay (for way longer then I thought I would)

We both loved to cook, eat and drink beer.

Awesome BBQ place.

My favorite wiskey? A good night.

One day I went to the Kirin brewery with my friend Mayu and her sister Eri. The history of the brewery was somewhat interesting but the tour itself was not nearly as cool as other brewery tours I have been on. The highlight of course is free beer. Especially in Japan where beer is very expensive.

Mayu and I in Yokohama

Interesting subway avert.

Maybe I'm a child.

So. Much. Beer.

Mayu and Eri

The stout is actually quite nice.

Mayu and her boyfriend asked me to come hiking with them in the mountains and I'm glad I went. The fall colors were very beautiful.

Maybe they wrote it like it sounds?

Loving the fall colors

This made me laugh also.

Says "limit 3 people"

Since I was sitting around, I was doing work on the bike. I replaced my clutch slave with a sigutech unit. Before I installed the Sigutech, I had an oil leak. I thought replacing the slave would fix that since it came with new oring/gasket. It turns out, I still had the leak even with the new parts. I checked the neutral switch, countershaft seal and shift lever shaft. The oil was coming from the clutch slave. To get at the clutch slave, the countershaft protection must be removed. It was then I found a crack in my frame hidden by my exhaust. With the help of Andreas and a few phone calls, I found a guy in Tokyo who could tig weld it for me. About $90 I had a freshly welded frame. He even painted over the weld for me.

No good.

A few days later Eri, Mayu and her boyfriend asked invited me for an early birthday dinner. We had some stone fire pizza and lots of wine and beer. They even called ahead so there was a cake waiting and they sang the birthday song to me. In case you are wondering, there is no crazy Japanese birthday song... as far as I know.

Nao. Ok. I guess that is me?

I went out to another couchsurfing party on the 14th and I was about to miss my train home. The guys I was drinking with were late for their last train also. So we decided to welcome my birthday by drinking through the night. We went to a few clubs and a few bars. By 4:30 I started walking to the station for the first train which was around 5. It's crazy how many people you see that just stay out all night after the subway closes. For most, a taxi home across Tokyo will cost around $100. So if you miss last train, you power through till morning or get a capsule hotel. I was glad to get back to Andreas's house to climb in bed about 6:30.

The next day we met up with some of the Gaijen Riders and had a very fast ride in the hills to the Izu Peninsula. I didn't take many photos along the way. These guys rode hard and at times it was hard for me to keep up. I was wishing I had a supermoto at that time. That night we stayed at a guest house owned by an older man who used to live in Mexico. He was the Mexican national Judo coach for the longest time. His daughter and son grew up in Mexico so they spoke more Spanish than Japanese. We had a good soak in the yonsen before an awesome Mexican dinner. It had been way to long since I had good Mexican food. Some tequila was consumed that night.

Finally a good view of Fugi!

Maybe I've been in Japan to long?

Lots of fun bikes out on the skyline.

Judo champ and kids.
Noah 08 KTM 690 ADV. 125,000 km. 42 countries. 5 continents and counting.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:45 AM   #2672
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Joined: May 2010
Location: In the mountains?
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Originally Posted by tvbh40a View Post
Between you, the Radian and Radioman I can't get any work done. Keep it coming.
Glad I can be part of your distraction.

Originally Posted by Don T View Post
I picked up on this thread last winter, as I was reading WIBO's tale from Morocco as part of the preparations for my own ride to Morocco in the spring - thanks for the tracks and way points Noah

Back then I subscribed to this RR and read the first few pages. Then my riding season started. Now that winter has arrived and my bikes are hibernating in the garage I have finally found the time to catch up on your story.

What a ride!

Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I love your penmanship and are captivated by the pictures. Your candid and honest narrative makes me feel like I get to know the man behind the words. Noah you strike me as a really nice guy. Your priorities are sorted and you strive to fulfill your dreams. I like that.

I wish you and your family a merry Hawaiian Christmas.

I'm looking forward to follow your life and adventure in the future.

Thanks Tonny. Have a good time in Morocco. Go light and have fun. Heavy is your enemy in the sand. Cheers!

Originally Posted by ericGSsti View Post
No it hasn't been found yet. Three possible sightings in Cork city this week so we're looking into it. What was seen was an xt matching the description on non Irish plates minus the boxes. Could be it but also could be another traveller. Lads in cork are keeping an eye out.

There was a fund raising day at Aaron rider training and also a PayPal account that lads donated into to get him back on the road. I'm told by the owner of Aaron rider training Peter Bookey that over 5000 was raised for Rohan and that the purchase of a Honda XR650L has been made by Rohan as a result.
I was able to Skype to that fund raiser from Korea. It was great to see everyone helping Rohan out and being a part of the party. A little Q and A over the skype was a great time. He did buy an XR 650 now. Should be a good bike for him.
Noah 08 KTM 690 ADV. 125,000 km. 42 countries. 5 continents and counting.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:06 PM   #2673
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Birmingham,UK
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Tough choice between the Z1000 and RGV250 Lucky find on that crack though
2007 Versys

More fun being upright
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #2674
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Location: Portland, OR
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Good update man... you're gonna get a hell of a lot more followers now that Radioman is done with his ride.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #2675
Don T
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Originally Posted by RoninMoto View Post
Thanks Tonny. Have a good time in Morocco. Go light and have fun. Heavy is your enemy in the sand. Cheers!
I did have a good time in Morocco (did the ride in the spring of 2013).
If I ever go there again, it will be on a real dual sport/enduro bike.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:39 PM   #2676
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Yo Nao, thanks for the update I thought for a while that you got bored of this RR.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:35 PM   #2677
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: RGV Texas
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Radioman has his and you might have found yours

Still enjoying the RR, thanks for the time and effort you are putting into this.

A drunk driver killed someone I love
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:39 PM   #2678
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Lower CA Desert
Oddometer: 370
excellent pics!
2004 BMW GSA
2013 Suzuki Wee-Strom
2012 Suzuki DRZ 400s
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:59 PM   #2679
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: North shore of Gitchigumi
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Originally Posted by WeazyBuddha View Post

Nice vert.
Current Rides:
KTM 950 SER---KTM 950 ADV S---KTM 690 ER
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:57 AM   #2680
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Location: In the mountains?
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On Monday the 18th of November, I finally got shipping figured out. Katriana would be leaving on a boat the 28th of November. The boat was K-line "Adriatic Highway". It would get to Leam Chebang Thailand on the 12th of December. Direct flights to Bangkok from Tokyo were around $800. I wasn't about to spend that so I started searching for an alternative. I also learned that I would not be able to temp import my moto into Thailand on the 1 month single entry visa you receive on arrival in Bangkok. Don't ask me why, It is Thailand. So to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, I booked a flight to Korea for a few days then to Thailand. About $450 for the flights and I would be able to get the Thai visa in Korea way easier than in Japan. The Japanese love paperwork. Not as much as the Thai though. So with everything sorted I decided to do some more riding. I had to leave the bike at port on the 25th.

Tuesday Nov. 19. Andreas's house to Nagano. 232 km
I left in the afternoon and had relatively clear roads going toward Nagano. It got very very cold in the evening when the sun was going behind the mountains. Sunset was now around 5:00 which doesn't leave much time for travel. The road had many long tunnels and every time I went into one I was happy because It was so much warmer. There was no wind and the underground temp in the tunnel was quite nice. I found a hostel in Nagano but they didn't have anyplace to park the moto. But this is Japan. I don't feel bad about leaving her in a parking lot. I walked around Nagano and found a street festival with many different types of Japanese food. Dinner was octopus balls, chicken and some noodle fry dish thing. I slept great in the cold.

Nov 20. Nagano to Yoyama. 175 km
The days started nice. Brisk but sunny. Soon I was in the mountains and the sun was gone. This was making me worried as I could see the snow line above me. Around mid day I was riding in the snow but the roads were clear. As I came to the other side of the pass, the snow was falling pretty heavy but the roads were clear still. Soon the snow turned to rain and the wind got strong. When I reached the coast I hopped on the motorway to put on some kms and get to a hotel. I didn't want to ride anymore in the rain.

Looks like Italy.

Nov 21. Toyama to Kanazawa. 98 km
I started the day in the rain but it cleared up mid morning. On the Noto peninsula you can ride on the beach for about 20 km. When I got there, the sun finally came out and it was good to get in some dirt. Unfortunately there was way to much trash on the beach. You couldn't really go flat out because you had to avoid all the crap that had washed up. Still quite fun. In Kanazawa, I went to a hostel that was recommended to me but they didn't have any openings. So I stayed the night in a hotel.

Nov 22. Kanazawa to Osaka. 317 km
I had a couple friends in Osaka I who wanted me to go out with them on Friday night. In order to get there on time, I rode expressway the whole time. This was about $50 to get 300 km. Again, about the same price as a train ticket from Kanazawa to Osaka. Once in Osaka I met up with Jesse who was riding a nice little XR 250. Over coffee she told me about a few problems with with the new-to-her bike so we went back to her place and I pulled out my multimeter. That's not a nerdy engineering sex reference. I literally went to work on her bike. We determined her bike was in fact charging but the battery was not holding a charge. I also helped her install some nice new hand guards. Then we met up with Nicolas (who was riding the KTM SM from a few posts back) for drinks and fun. I knew they were supposed to go riding the next day. So at midnight I asked them if they wanted to call it a night. "At one we will go home.. lets go to a club". As you can probably guess, 1:00 came and went. It wasn't until 3:00 in the morning that I was passing out on her couch with my cloths on.

Do we even ask?

We found pictures from a photo booth the next morning.

Nov 23. Osaka to Nagoya. 208 km
Jesse was a wreck in them morning and she didn't make it riding with the others. I felt a little bad but at the same time, I was not the one drinking whiskey. I stuck to beer all night and didn't feel that bad. We had a burger and I got on the road. On the way out of Osaka, I passed by a motorcycle shop that had a decent selection of tires. As it turns out, the Michelin Sirac rear was quite warn after only about 8000 km. I knew it would be harder to find one in Thailand so I got what I could. $100 got me a Dunlop D604 in a 130/80 R18. Not ideal but it seemed like a good tire. Better then the Sirac. They would have charged me $30 to mount the tire so I put on a demonstration in the parking lot of the moto shop while a crowd of Japanese motorcyclist gathered to watch whitey. After 15 minutes I was back on the road. I stopped at a 7/11 to use the bathroom and get a snack and coffee and I noticed a shop across the street had some nice American muscle cars. They had a couple RS Cameros, a 55 Chevy, a supercharged C6 vette (I think), and a few more. The odd car of the group? A 1985 Delta 88 station wagon. I learned to drive in a 87 Caprice Classic wagon. I asked why why why was this car imported into Japan when you have all these other amazing cars? He said his dad owned this very car when he lived in the US and wanted it in Japan. I guess. On second thought, it is probably the only one in Japan. I had trouble finding a place to stay in Nagoya because it was a holiday. Finally I found a hotel room for about $70. It was a smoking room but I didn't care at that point. Open the window and turn the bathroom fan on while you go out for dinner. Most of the smell is gone when you come back.

Jesse was a bit hungover.

I considered this one. A quick search on the internet said they don't last long.

The Sirak. Maybe had 1/8 inch of tread in the center.

New highway rubber.

Sweet custom scoot.

Yes. It deserved 4 pictures.

This is a Suzuki "Jimmy". Smaller then a sidekick but has a solid front axle?

Adding oil coolers.

I'm not sure why the are storing this one inside.

Nov 24. Nagoya to Andreas's house. 417 km
Again it was another day of motorway. I needed to get back "home". It was sunny and a little brisk. Great fall day for riding. I changed my oil at Andreas's house that evening and went to bed early. Big day in the morning.

Nov 25. Andreas's house to Yokohama Port. 80 km.
I woke up early and packed everything I would need for the next few days. Most of my camping and moto stuff I needed to leave at Andreas's house because I could not leave it on the moto. I also did not want to bring it with me on the train from Yokohama to Tokyo. I had a few days till my flight on the 30th to Seoul and I wanted to be in Tokyo for that so I booked a relatively cheap hotel about 2 minutes walking from the Ueno station. I left the house around 10:00 and made it to the port around 12:30. I took a wrong turn on the motorway so I had to ride through Yokohama down town and I had trouble finding the Diatha corporation lot. But after I was there it went smoothly. I left the bike with the guys that did customs for me. Cost of customs leaving Japan was $200. Shipping cost, $600. Still under $1000, I'm doing well I think. I had a quote from a Thailand customs agent for $800. This had many pieces to the quote that wouldn't apply to me like "unpacking container", "moving container". I thought I would be able to get some of this cost taken down once I got there. My contact at Diatha Corp drove me to the Yokohama station and I took a train to Tokyo. Over the next few days I would call this place "home"

Dropping my bike off.

Last pic of Katriana that I have in Japan.

On the morning of the 29th, I met with Gen one more time to give him his phone back. We had a great breakfast at a restaurant near his hotel. Again Gen helped me out. This time he called the Diatha Corp and K-line to verify that the boat did leave and Katriana was in fact on the boat. After that I hauled ass back to the the Hotel. Got my bags and got a ticket on the express train to the airport. My flight was around 2. Since I couldn't leave any of my equipment on the bike, I bought a huge rolling luggage to put it in. At the airport, they said the bag had to be under 25 kilo and it was about 30. I moved a few things around from one bag to another and I was able to get them both under weight. Since I had 2 check bags instead of 1, I had to pay an extra $100.
Thanks again to Gen and Andreas. I owe both of you big time.

I don't have any pictures that I can post from my last few days in Tokyo. I'm a Gentleman after all. Oh well. On to Korea. Kampai Japan. Its been interesting.
Noah 08 KTM 690 ADV. 125,000 km. 42 countries. 5 continents and counting.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:45 AM   #2681
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Originally Posted by RoninMoto View Post
I don't have any pictures that I can post from my last few days in Tokyo. I'm a Gentleman after all.

GREAT UPDATE Noah!! Love the fall color pictures! That was a great shot of Mount Fuji too. Thank you so much for sharing and letting us tag along. Japan through your post looks utterly amazing. Looking forward to your journey through Thailand.
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:06 PM   #2682
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Location: Scheinfeld, Germany
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Still beginning to follow up, but great report so far!

Signed in!
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:31 AM   #2683
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Originally Posted by RoninMoto View Post
Thanks again to Gen and Andreas. I owe both of you big time.
My pleasure. Safe travels!
DoD#1458 | GaijinRiders | 2010 KTM 690 Enduro
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:12 PM   #2684
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I've been really enjoying your RR. Keep up the good work. Hope it's nothing but did perhaps someone mis this crack?

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Old 12-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #2685
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Originally Posted by MadChap View Post
I've been really enjoying your RR. Keep up the good work. Hope it's nothing but did perhaps someone mis this crack?

Thanks for the concern. That must be a hair or something. We had a really good look at the area by 4 different people and it looked good. I will check again when I get back to the bike.
Noah 08 KTM 690 ADV. 125,000 km. 42 countries. 5 continents and counting.
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