Monday, July 6, 2009


downtown Austin.

Heather and her 2 lovely dogs.

and the cat that thought he looked like a dog. I guess this cat has never knew how a cat looks like.

Bats and bats.
Hope Too's kidney.

The liver.

the clothings.

Hope Too in sick bay.

Making a heart pacer.

He is now camera shy.

In the surgery room.

The 65kg.

What a week! we left Dave's house on 1st July 2009, Houston towards Austin. A big thanks to Dave, also fellow traveler that had ended his latin america trip few months ago and went back home getting ready for his next big trip.

Dave also brought us to Billy and Anna's house for BBQ where they showed us their rifle and pistol. It seems that anyone could buy guns for self protection. If everyone was not allowed to buy guns, then there isn't a need to do a self protection because nobody has gun. Else, those that needed self protection should buy a bullet proof vest and wear it like they carried guns. I just don't understand.

Houston Motorcycle Exchange was a crap. For those living in Houston, please go to Houston Motorcycle Exchange and tell Tommy that he is the best salesman ever lived. He is suffering from the economy crisis. He is desprate to get money. He does not get into the point. He is a shit. He is just a businessman, not a motorcycle person that will help anyone with motorcycle mechnical problems. His latino mechnic is also not very honest. When the bill came, i was curious why did they charged me for some work that the mechnic did not do. If i wasn't sitting in his workshop watching what he does...... the bill will be on and on. usually these guys won't allow customer to be in the workshop because the shop does not insure customer when there is any accident in the workshop.

people around would say, 'this is america, we trust them. just leave the bike there and you can come back in X hours, ready to collect.'

So Dave recommanded us to go to Austin, for Gary and Heather for mechnical help.

Samantha and Dave

Goh and Dave. guess who is younger?

Goh and Indy (Dave's dog)

we were certainly impress with the roads in Texas.


Gary, Heather and Samantha at Austin's touristic attraction. every evening, many people would get a seat in this park to watch millions and millions of bats flying out of the bridge. The design of this bridge accidently became a good nesting place for bats.

we had 4th of July, USA independence day, playing fireworks. Gary and Heather brought us to downtown to watch movie 'Hangover'. the cinema was very different from singapore.

Hope Too is naked, not Goh. This is Gary's workshop.

What happened to Hope Too?

1) the engine was burning too much engine oil. I have to topped up about 2-3 liters of engine oil every 5000km where Hope Too is only crusing at 80km/hr, maximum.

what we did: took out tank and carbs. Gary taught me how to do valve clearance adjustment. I learned a new skill!

2) Handlebar was shakey.

3) The gears were very hard to engage.

4) Bike will creep when stationary on 1st gear.

What we did: Gary change fork oil for me. drained coolent a few times with distilled water and refilled with proper coolent. drained all brake fluid and topped up. grease and clean steering wheel bearing. adjusted my clutch.

What i did: i took out both wheels, clean every parts, change the bearings for front tires, grease and put back. took out swingarm and had a good cleaning for it. I cleaned it like my own rifle. grease pivots and put back. clean brake pistons.

so after 3 days staying in the workshop, We finally got the bike back in a piece and went for test ride. i was so happy.

but the results was not good. The clutch was not doing any better. we did a compression ratio check and the valve clearance didn't seems to help. we had Hope Too admited again, into Ward A, Bed 1.

this time Gary took out the clutch suspecting that the clutch disc/plates were worn out. Nah, it was perfect. what could be the problem? when we were about to put the clutch plates/disc back, we saw a missing washer. i had a complete workshop manual for my bike and in that manual there is a washer. i check with Chan from M-technik in singapore and he has investigated into this many times before me and he is sure that there isnt any washer in that place. it is a printing error. so what could be the problem of the clutch? we still don't know!

Next, we decided to drop the engine. today while Gary went to work, i removed every parts that was needed to drop the engine. when Gary came back, we took the 65kg engine out of the frame, took out the valves and piston to check. well, the Piston rings were worn out. the valve is not doing good. cylinder sized needs to be 'widen' or re-bore. there were also some seals that we need to replace. Piston seems ok.

so, now we have to wait for parts to arrive and do the big overhale to Hope Too.

BTW, we didnt have the chance to visit the NASA musuem in Houston.

Update on previous personal problems back in singapore:

1)problem with mobile.
2) Automobile association of singapore confiscated my S$10000.00 of bankers garentee without contacting me. i hope i trust them. thro the phone conversation with AAS, they say they will take the $10k from my bank until i have sent the carnet de passage back in their hands, then they have to make sure that i did not make any traffic offences in the countries i visited with the carnet, THEN, they will return the money to me. they also mention that i have to get my bike back in singapore now. i told them the bike is in malaysia and i am in usa. they also ask me how i get thro all these countries without a carnet de passage. hahahaha, i dont want to tell them how! they also warn me that when i return to singapore, the custom of singapore may not let me come back with the bike.

' could that be? i paid my roadtax.the bike is a singapore bike.' i told myself.

i called HSBC also, direct to the person in charge of this case:

Me: 'hi, is this edmond?'

edmond:' missster goh izzit? oh..'

Me: 'i want to check with you regarding the banker's garentee because i heard from my sister that AAS wants to claim that amount from us.'

edmond: ' ah? you better check with AAS first ah? bye.' (spoke with a warning tone)

HSBC got to upgrade their service standard. i put S$10000 with them for a garentee, paid S$214 for a lawyer (their lawyer) fee for this garentee. paid 1% charges per month to HSBC to let me keep the money with them and now i kind of getting a warning from them. bad bad service. to add this on, i applied for internet banking on december 2006 and until now there is no news about it. i sent in the application form up straight to the counter girl in HSBC. bad bad.

now i am in big shit. what shall i do? the bike mechnical problems and the $10k (if AAS are honest enough).


contrarian said...

On the bank guarantee, it worked just as it's meant to: when AA calls the guarantee, the bank pays it to the beneficiary. The point of using a guarantee is avoid putting up cash deposit to AA.

singaporedream said...

yeh contrarian, u are right. they will take the deposit IF only my carnet is not completed or i had imported my bike to the XYZ country and had not export. or even if i had commited traffic offence in that XYZ country, AAS will take the money from the deposit and pay the fine to that country. so now wat happened was:

carnet starts from 1st jan 2008 - 31 dec 2008. the deposit from the bank valid from 1st jan 2008 to 1st july 2009, which is 6 months more than the carnet. so i had my expired carnet with me for the past 6 months and AA did not contact me for any furthur instructions. then on 31st may 2009, AAS just call my bank and say wana claim the $ without informing me. luckily my sis had been in contact with the banker and notify me about it. AAS says i must come back with the bike now. if not, the custom autority of singapore will not allow my bike to be back.

so the concludion is: i sent back the carnet to AAS. meanwhile, they claim the $ from the bank into their hand. once they check that the carnet is in order and had not recive and news of me commiting any traffic offence in those countries that i visited with the carnet, they will return the money to me.

i dont think this is the way it works.


Daniele ciccone said...

Ayyyy papaaaaa. I red this post and I felt like I know this king of feeling. You know something about it, but I still got problems with the apartment rental and things to solve with the money to. I just got 1 mounth left, than I'm in the shit to.

I would just say, try to solve everything as calmly as you can. I think this is really important.

There's a solution for everything my friend, don't give up. Take your time and be stronger then bad luck.

I'll write you soon.


heartache said...

*ouch* saw Hope's current condition on the photos you posted. really heartache!

on your current "problem" on bankers guarantee. expect you to be back here, spore? now? kidding right? even if one where to fly, can it be "NOW"? can really see the realism with such incidents.

sorry for trashing out on your problems.

sincerely hope all things will iron out smoothly as the day passes.

P.S. (when exactly will be your return day/date to spore)

singaporedream said...

Daniele: i am quite confident that i can over come it, just a matter of time and some help from home. all i can do now is wait for the parcel to arrive, thats for the bike part. for the phone bill issue, they are still checking and checking and no results YET the bill has already sent out.

singaporedream said...

heartache: u have been my listening ear. someone that is close but far from me. i can feel it.
aiya, u are not trashing out the problems but sharing ur point of view in my obsticales. i want to let people know what kind of issue i will encounter also instead of writing all the beautiful things and hide the problems. be true.

for my date of return, will u be there to give me a high 5? yes u will! our plan is to be home at 1st July 2009, which is 9 days ago, but my route changes 180degrees. the flight from LA to sydney is supposed to be 1st sept 09 but now we have to spend US$250 each on the admin charges to postpone the date.

then it will be at least 3 months in australia, then east timor and indonesia will be about 1-3 months depending if we like the place, then to malaysia. from there, we might go north back to thailand/laos/cambodia before coming back to singapore or we might just skip that. depend on $ and how much does we miss the love ones back in spore.

heartache, pray for the better for the world, not me alone.

summary: we might be back either march 2010 or june 2010.

carnet is a big joke of all!

thanks for reading!

Amzah said...

Hello Bro, Wah! U both have been away like ages. Really admire your courage and stamina all the heartache u mentioned. Whatever, I continue pray for your safety and health always. BTW, TQ for your comment on "cherry Blossom Malaysia". Ya lah! That could be the real name for the tree. I hentam aje about the similarity of true cherry in Japan. Ride safe and take care both of you.

Sandra Chiang said...

Ah you're in the US now? Cool! Glancing through your blog I see you're planning to be in CA sometime this Fall? Do let me know when you're going to fly out of LA for sure. I'll see about driving south to meet you two and catch up. Sorry to hear about your bike and SG admin problems - another challenge to tackle, nothing new here for you. I know you're smart and able to find solutions some way, some how. Stay firm and cool! Take care on the road.

singaporedream said...

Amzah: u r welcome. cant wait to get back and have a meeting with u. frankly speaking, we have not been so many places in malaysia, need u be my tour guide when we come back.

singaporedream said...

Sandra! good to see u again. north america is so huge! we have no actual plans at the moment, just wana get hope too on the run, get to rhode island for a 'tree' confrence in july 25, get to alaska before it gets really cold and that's it. we would be (high %) changing our flight dates... so no plans yet. who knows? u r also traveling so much, we might meet again on the road, outside a supermarket again?

hee... fate will catch us.