how to impress you here quickly...
korean guy ships his royal enfield to chile, rides it throught the south america to alaska.
if that's not impressive - you are dead, we'll continue without you
:) meet kaze
this fella is not new to long rides on 'questionable' bikes. questionable for most of you out there. he has done europe - starting east in vladivostok, ending west in portugal on his 125cc sym wolf!
one cannot put a bigger check mark on an achievement of such proportions.
as monumental as it gets. he called that trip JUST GO ver(sion) 1
it took him 6-7 months for that monster of a trip. all the credits to him for that one.
i mean look at it! vladivostok to lisbon. come ooooon!
i hope you start to sense who we are dealing with here
JUST GO version 2
this blog is about enfields so let's talk about the trip he is currently on.
he calls is JUST GO ver2, featuring his royal enfield classic 500, named Furiosa :)
at this point south america is done. he left seoul, south korea around july 2017,
shipped the bike to chile, (cost him a small fortune as he said) and the big trip started.
it took him around 7 month-ish to get up here to NYC where we met
he managed to rack around 10,000km riding back home in south korea.
so it takes a person 35,000km to get up to nyc from chile, down to the most south point and back up. his odometer showed impressive 45,000km (around 28,000 mi) when i met him
kaze arrived. my phone beeps and i see a message on fb 'i'm here'. i glanced out of the window and there he was. dude on enfield, across the street, lighting cigarette like a boss. i found out it was from his stash still from mexico. cheap ones. he was in shock to buy cigarettes for 10-12 bucks in NY :D
i offered him to stay for few days, relax, fix the bike. and all that time we talked about were bikes and riding mostly of course. then insert beer. and talks about dreams and chasing them.
in slovakia we have a thing. we offer bread and salt to a rare visitor. it is an ancient slavic custom from the time of the Great Moravian Empire, still done today for special occasions
i have a rare visit. but i'm not in slovakia. we are in new york so i greeted my guest with delicious pizza :D and beer.
we eat, we drink, we talk. after his trip version1 aka conquering the europe and euro-asia he had 6-7 years break. work, life, make money, all that stuff. time came for making a new trip.
kaze 'knew' enfield from his another trip even before the european moto bonanza. he traveled india for 3 months on foot, he saw the bike there and loved the look of the bike
(where did i hear a similar story, hmm link)
when it was the time for serious preparations for the new trip - he started to research if his pick number 1 - the enfield - would be able to make this sort of a trip.
he said he found one rider in korea who did a big trip on enfield and contacted him for tips and advice. the traveler tried to do the same trip from vladivostok to europe but...
he had to end his trip somewhere close to east europe because of no enfield parts.
the piece that made the guy get stuck was - rear sprocket. you destroy that and you are basically done.
if you want to do some serious distance in remote areas - you have to schlep that thing with you.
so kaze started with journey with one of those as a spare for south america :)
i can tell you it is not a small part. it's big and it's freaking heavy
#1 john's cycles
we had nothing pre-planned for his visit but things just happen here. it's new york (brooklyn, queens) :))
we managed to do 4 cool stops
every saturday i go to see one special place. john's cycles in woodside which i think is the oldest + longest open motorcycle shop in manhattan / brooklyn / queens area.
open by brothers john and bobby but at this time bobby is the one taking care of it now.
it's a place of legends for me.
when those dudes start to talk their stories, i try to keep my jaw closed
it was saturday, kaze was here - he had to go with me to my ritual saturday coffee at john's
kaze was impressed. the guys from john's cycles know me as the only madman riding enfield. i have some share of good stories and good rides they heard about. but kaze upped the game and
impressed everybody there version 2 :) and he nicknamed bobby 'maestro' . bobby does look like that.
the maestro of engines
the next important part were the finances. bmw came to help... :p
kaze had two bikes. bmw 650 and the enfield. aaand he had the previous experience
doing a big trip. since he managed it happily on a 125cc bike
enfield was a beautiful and big and strong-like-a-bull upgrade compared to the sym.
that would be his final choice
he sold the bmw.... money money mooooney
kaze kept saying how kind the people were to him on the trip. when stuck in chile because of the snow - a local guy let him stay with him for 5 days waiting for snow to melt. kaze speaks little spanish, juan speaks no english - who cares.
the snow was his biggest problem at the beginning. leaving in july from south korean summer and traveling into a country on the other hemisphere - you get yourself a winter time.
two victims of the cold were: well kaze himself most of all. but if we talk about the bike stuff then the battery froze. and his seat froze :))) his seat froze and fell apart. when resting up in argentina at some restaurant (or gas station?) he observed local people gazing at the bike and wondering about the sanity of the owner. one guy local, biker himself stopped by to talk. and offered help and a new seat. that low profile leather seat kaze has now - that is the gift
plus kaze was told by the generous gentleman that if kaze was on a different bike, he would not stop by to ask about it. he said if it was any other modern motorcycle he wouldn't care.
sometimes it pays off to be the stylish classic guy
#2 riding in brooklyn
greenpoint to dumbo to redhook
part two of our saturday - got two other friends to come along and we went for a ride in brooklyn.
we rode through greenpoint, bedford, dumbo and redhook to see the big lady as kaze called the statue of liberty.
but first things first. to have energy for all that action one needs is a big schnitzel :D
that weekend was an amazing weather and brooklyn went NUTS. it was like everybody who had a car decided to ride it that day.
and - if you go to redhook - you cannot not stop at union garage, the biker jewel store with biker necessities in brooklyn