For those who know me, my passion for these machines is familiar and I was starting to feel too itchy of not riding anymore since I'm here. So I started looking into the adds. I thought at first getting the same kind of bike I had in Paris, and I was looking in that direction. I saw a few... But they were all too expensive in my French point of view for their age and characteristics.
I took the habit of looking at the classifieds every day, to Tinker's great demise I also looked at them at night, sometimes spending long hours reading through the forums bike sales. I saw two bikes, and went to many bike shops during a month. All the time, in the shops the guys wouldn't have the kind of bike I want at the price I want. A friend of mine even took me around one whole morning touring the shops he knows... But nothing interesting to me.
Then Thursday night, I saw this add for a Honda CB400 aka the "Super four". The add clearly said that the owner didn't want to bargain, and the price shown was the one to pay if you wanted it. The price was in my budget and all the equivalent bikes I'd seen before were more expensive. So I sent an sms to the owner who replied that I could go and see the bike Friday at lunch time... I thought, "no I'm working, it's far I'll just go on the week-end." That was Friday morning.
Then I reached the office and went to look at the add again (don't tell my boss). A rush surged through me, I had to go see it. The price and mileage were just too good, plus the owner had told me he'd be seeing two other people that same day. So I went there at 12 noon under a gushing rain... Not the best times to view a bike really. But as the taxi was going towards the location the sky cleared up and it was sunny again when I reached.
I landed in this huge condominium (a building inhabited by rich people with swimming pools and sport centres) empty of cars and seemingly of tenants. I feared I was in the wrong place but when I called the owner he told me that he'd be down in a minute. So I went to have a look at the pool and the tennis courts which were empty of people... I felt tempted to stay there that afternoon to lie in the sun instead of going back to work...
The owner appeared, let's call him Hanz. He is a German living in Singapore for 5 years now, and who is not intending to leave anytime soon. He speaks a perfect French, Portuguese, German of course and English of course too. I will hide his profession but he seemed wealthy enough. The Harley Davidson mentioned later is his, as a BMW X3. I clicked quite well with him, the kind of expat' open enough to the world around him, although he is not living the same life as the locals in the country (that would be me...).
We went down to the parking where the bike was carefully protected by a cover. He uncovered it and my eyes went blank. There she was, innocent, simple, waiting to be ridden to show it's anger and engine power. All black in colour, with a single big round eye framed by two orange lights just like dimples. The big bright yellow Harley Davidson right next to it didn't hide the super four's discrete beauty. The key was inserted and turned to let the engine express itself. I wasn't expecting such a grave noise from such a small engine (400cc) and I sat on it. At this moment I knew she'd be mine. I took her for a little stroll around the parking lot, testing it's acceleration a little, and making sure it was in a good state. It was. I told the Hanz that I'd take it. He was happy obviously, but had a little regret as this girl seemingly nice was to come to see the bike in the afternoon and he'd have to cancel.
The rest went really fast. In Singapore, the buyer and the owner have to go the the LTA (Land Transport Authority) to officialise the transfer of ownership of a vehicle. You also have to prove you posses proper insurance for a vehicle before you can transfer it to your name. So we set an appointment on Saturday morning 10 o'clock at his insurance company so he could cancel his insurance and I, take mine. This took a really long time. The lady was chatting with all her friends and minding her own business although we were the only people in the office. 45 minutes later, a little frustrated we came out, Hanz with a refund of a few dollars, and I with a hole in my wallet.
Then en route to the LTA in Ang Mo Kio (look it up if you're curious). As expected a long queue was gathered there and our ticket number showed 20 people before us and 45 minutes of patience. It was 11.30am and the place closed at 12. I started worrying that they'd kick us out once the time to close was reached, meaning we'd have to come back on Monday as it would happen in France. I had my newspaper and Hanz was reading emails on his phone. Extraordinarily, about 30 minutes later, our number was called and we went to the counter. It took about 5 minutes altogether, and there I was the happy owner of a Super four!
I went to Hanz place to pick up the beast and I took my first ride to go home. My God it was goooood! Unfortunately it started raining when I reached home and rained the whole afternoon . Tinker and I had a wedding to attend anyway so a cab took us there.
Today, we took the bike to go to church (I'm going to pass under silence our adventure in Little India last night to find a helmet, it was quite something!). As we were riding back from church wanting to stop at Thinker's grandma's retirement home to say hi, it started pouring. It is now later afternoon and it is still raining. So no riding all week-end almost... But I'm taking it to work tomorrow!
Oh, and here are some pictures of my beauty.
With a palm tree...