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The Family’s secret East German story
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Updated December, 2001
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Family hobbies, big bikes and fast cars
Minou and Adji at 56From the very first in the mid '60s when Adji and Minou started their lives together as inexperiened youngsters aged 22 and 23 years of age 38 years ago, they seemed to lead some kind of an adventure, some of them downright dangerous and could have been fatal. First, Adji taking out a woman from east Germany in the mid-60s when three other operative teams failed, risking either capture and a 20-year jail sentence, or being shot and left to die in the mined border fields, which east German soldiers tended to do when they caught someone illegally crossing the border. (Right top foto, Minou & Adji at Arto's wedding, 32 years later as a middle aged couple).

The unmodified 156 HP superfast 200 mph/320 km 0-100 mph in 6.2 sec. Ninja ZX11Lately in the '90s some 30 years later,Adji on his BMW 1,100 cc cruiser 50-year plus mature elders should know better than going out and buying 1,000 c.c.-plus big bikes which cost as much as a sedan each ... and get soaking wet when there is a tropical downpour. (Top left, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11; right the 550 pound--250 kilo--Beemer on the way to Bali 1,000 kilometers--620 miles away. With 15 bikers, 3 backup cars, 5 passengers  & 2 police escorts on 750 c.c. Suzukis).

The Motor Bikes
The bikes? A 1,100 c.c. BMW 210 kmh (130 mph) cruiser with ABS anti lock brake system; a 1,000 c.c. Honda CBR-1000F; and a 320 kmh (200 mph) 1,100 c.c. ZZR-11 (in Europe and Indonesia), or ZX-11 Ninja in the U.S. All three bikes are equipped with communications equipment bolted under the saddle with detachable mike-speaker connections to specially modified Shoei helmets (which Adji uses now and then to communicate everywhere, to his backup car's driver and mechanic who escort him everywhere he goes, to his home--and which other bikers use to communicate with home), and the Beemer is equipped with a US made 100 watt patrol car siren as used by U.S. police cars. And it is LOUD. If a New Yorker hears a patrol car siren 5 blocks away and doesn't know which car is making that racket, that's the same US-made siren this Beemer uses.
King of the Road-the 147 HP Ninja ZX-11
Arto on his 1,000 Honda CBR and Cyrus on the ZZR Kawasaki Ninja big bikesAccording to U.S. motor cycle magazines, Cycle World, Motor Cyclist, and others, when you talk maximum performance, which mags dubbed "the King", the 157 hp Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11, is the fastest production motorcycle--and the fastest out-of-the factory, unmodified, 2 or 4 wheeled vehicle--in existence, hands down, accelerating from 0-160 kilometers (100 mph) in 6.3 seconds. (Left foto, Cyrus on the blue Ninja ZX-11, brother Arto in white helmet on his Honda CBR 1000 waiting in line for gas with other riders on the way to Cilacap, central Java on a two-day 50-bike trip).

The ZX-11's engine speed redline is 11,000 rpm, capable of taking it to 120 kmh (75 mph) in 2nd gear (20 kmh short of the 140 kWh max speed of the typical Harley), with 6 forward gears (most bikes have 5) and a top speed of 200 mph/320 kmh. In timed magazine tests against the fastest Ferrari and Lamborghini, this Ninja out accelerated these other engined monsters. No other, unmodified, straight-out-of-the factory bike--or any motorized vehicle--is as fast as this bike on straight road acceleration and, if it wasn't for the nature of the 2-wheeled vehicle, the Ninja would probably beat a Ferrari or Lamborghini in sustained highway speeds. And its unmodified, standard 200 mph top speed, is nothing to sneeze at either! And when it is souped up with twin turbo chargers, it'll go beyond 220 mph, depending on what one puts in, another mag says. It is the ‘Ferrari’ and ‘Lamborgini’ of the motorcycle world.

In Europe, the Ninja is downgraded to 100 hoursepower only, according to German mags about big bikes in Europe (this includes England). This is done by fiddling with the carburetion or changing it altogether with a 'European Standard' carburetion. A shame!

(Before Adji's experience with big bikes, in 1982 with a 1982 6-cylinder, twin-coil, 6 The Maserati mid-engine carcarburetor -- no injection or transistorized ignition those days -- mid-engined Maserati which was flown in. The engine sat halfway inside the cockpit right behind one's elbows, with space for two big packages or two 3-year olds on either side. The radio antenna bent and broke off the first time it went above 265 kph (165 mph). The lesson: don't drive at high speeds with the hi-fi on; it's bad for concentration and dangerous. The Maserati was a real hassle to drive in traffic because it would heat up and stall in a Jakarta traffic jam. But real nice to drive at highway speeds paying attention when the roads were damp or wet because up to 3rd. gear the car would wiggle when changing gears because of the power of its rear wheels (none of the 4-wheel or all-wheel drive of today's Porsches). Adji had a special mechanic whose only job was to fiddle with the Maserati (learnt from Citroen who serviced the car, and a bunch of how-to service manuals sent by Maserati) either on a Vespa or a Toyota land cruiser on standby, sometimes following him all over the place using UHF walkie talkies with a repeater just in case it started acting up. After 2 years of this, Adji gave it up in 1984. Notice how low slung it is lower than armpit level. One had to get in butt first, move one's legs in, and then try not to bang one's head on the ceiling. Minou and Adji's business friend for a visit from the U.S. who said he never saw a real live Maserati in the U.S. and didn't expect to see this rare vehicle in Indonesia. Next time there is such a car purchase, Adji wants to make sure it's been already tested in the Nevada desert).

Indonesia's Rules on Big Bikes
The Indonesian government has unfinished rules on big bikes. The government does not recognize the existence of motorcycles above 200 c.c. because that's the maximum produced by the local factories (Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas, Vespas, Binters or Kawasakis, etc.). 97% of all motorbikes, cars and trucks on Indonesian roads are locally assembled with local content of anywhere from 65% to 15%. So, owners of big bikes (all imported, with the exception of certain Harleys and BMWs which were being locally assembled in 1997) have to beg for special permits to use those big bikes with license plates valid up to 6 months, sometimes only 3, at worst only 2 weeks. It was a real hassle owning big bikes. The compensation was one didn't have to pay the 200% import duty. A $10,000 U.S., or Japanese or European bike would cost the equivalent of $16,000 street price, 60% above the cost of its country of origin excluding dutyThe BMW Big Bike Gang--$45,000 to $50,000 with duty paid, assuming nobody is out of his mind paying duty when he didn't have to. When duty is paid on it, one is riding on a machine that costs the equivalent of a small Mercedes Benz which guarantees a sauna bath in stop-go traffic or traffic jams, or drench one to the skin when there is a downpour. It was all very confusing. But as permits were issued by those in charge (traffic police), and those in charge were the same big bike members, (that included the national police chief, a few generals in the armed forces--Indonesia between 1966 until 1998 was ruled by the military--head of this government agency and that agency, and heads of conglomerates, bank and company owners who had some political clout), it was sort of easy. But still a hassle. Hobbyists usually tend to spend money on what is the best, irrespective of cost. So, there are many idiotic people in Jakarta, as well as in dozens of towns all over Indonesia. (Right foto above, a one day 130 km trip to the Puntjak mountain resorts with 50 other 'idiot' riders, and as it happened  6 "BMW birds of a feather flock together" with Minou and a Dutch rider behind Adji's cruiser with the red side safety lights and cellular antenna on the top luggage rack).

And big bikers usually do not discuss what they do. From the guy who owns a small motorcycle repair shop, to a so-called "bigwig". So one would see this big bike member one day being interviewed on TV and realize he's the deputy Minister of Defense, or head of the Indonesian C.I.A. agency (actually the National Coordinating Intelligence Agency or BAKIN), or c.e.o. of the national airlines or some major bank or something like that, who a couple of days earlier, was in leather jackets with skull & bones and a bandana on his head, or some other outlandish outfit!

Great Roads in Java to Bali
Planning an overland  trip to Bali? Send the address of this page to your friends
*What would be a typical Balinese musical "rhythm" sound like? Click here for a modern sound³, here. Or here
³Sequenced (played & arranged) by Devian, an Indonesian graduate from the Berkely School of Music
*Wherever possible and available permission was requested from their composers.
All music tracks are available for non-commercial use.
A Bali rice paddies sceneThe roads in Java to Bali (Left photo, a Balinese countryside scene, courtesy of Ian Lloyd, Periplus Editions), contrary to what some thought are smooth, very well paved, and with the exception of some maintenance construction here and there, had no potholes. Not even one (well, maybe just a few not worth noticing) in a 1,000 km (620 mile) main highway stretch which one had to suddenly watch out against (except in the side roads)! Better in fact than many roads in the cities! This is not to say that all Indonesian roads are perfect because in other provinces, even a 4-wheeler has a hard time. But the main highways (one through the north, one in the middle of Java) to Bali was.

Java has stretches of high speed toll roads but as 2-wheeled vehicles are not allowed because of the silly 200 c.c. rule, the big bikes which could go much faster than the sedans, are not allowed on these toll roads (with some exceptions in parts of west Java towards Cirebon and the west coast of Carita Beach).

Adji tests the Ninja ZX-11
Because of the well built roads, the big bikes could really roll, with some stretches in Cirebon, west Java and to Jogja in central Java where the roads are as straight as an arrow for as far as the eye could see, 2 lanes (sometimes 3) emerald green rice paddies on the left and right.

It was in one stretchThe superfast ZX-11 in action to Cirebon (this particular stretch was a 3-laner) with 100 other bikers that Adji was late and got left behind on a 2-day Cirebon trip, and met a stranded rider at the Hilton Hotel meeting point who didn't have a ride because his bike was already on its way with the rest of the pack half an hour ago. So, off the two went, Adji wearing a spine protector (a flexible hard plastic cover that is worn under a riding suit belted on in the back protecting the lower side of the spine to the top of the shoulder blades). On an open stretch half way between Jakarta and Cirebon, Adji put the Ninja ZX-11 through its paces. (Right photo courtesy of Cycle World. One can see the size of the big bike when a 5 foot 8 inch rider rides it. That's how it looked lifting its front wheels up until its 3rd. gear when it was being tested on the road to Cirebon, except that there was a passenger hanging on for dear life).

Second to third gear at 120 kph (75 mph) near the 11,000 rpm redline, the power train lifted the front wheel at 120 kph, and within just a few short seconds, the bike reached 180 kph (108 mph), again lifting the front wheel. Remember, from standstill this Ninja ZX-11 bike can reach 160 kmh/100 mph in 6.3 seconds! On 5th. gear the bike reached a speed of 275 kph (171 mph) ... all of this within 12-15 seconds, with a passenger in the back, with one more gear to go and still to reach the maximum 310 kph (192 mph) top speed (320 kph--200 mph--on the speedo)!

Talk about acceleration, it was fast!! The acceleration without spinning the tires was so powerful (if it spins it loses grip, and therefore acceleration) that the pressure pressing on the stomach during acceleration really hurt. Adji expected something, but not pressure that really hurt on his stomach -- and his stomach for a 50-year plus man was pretty flat (at that time anyway). Neither did he expect acceleration that did not let up, faster and faster, until the gear had to be changed to the next one at 11,000 rpm. During acceleration from first to third, Adji was afraid he may just let go of the handlebars because of the terrific pulling pressure of the handle bars on his hands, and had to grip it really tight. It was incredible, and it was indescribable. But as things went, there was this little speck of a huge bus looming up ahead, and because the wind forces of both bike and bus slamming into each other will dump the bike and its 2 riders on the rice paddies, the bike slowed down to 160 kph (100 mph).

Its owner was satisfied, very, very satisfied with the performance of his unmodified Ninja ZX-11. "You're crazy, you know that...!", his passenger later said getting off, all wobbly and barely able to stand, at a highway restaurant where the rest of the pack were resting waiting for stragglers, mumbling "orang gila" (crazy guy) to some guys sipping their cold drinks. The 400 guys at the IMBI (Ikatan Motor Besar Indonesia) Jakarta chapter big bike club where Adji was part of its management team (1991-1994) nicknamed 50-year plus Adji "that crazy old man" (at the age of 53 at the time) because, the younger riders claimed, "he doesn't give in to the younger riders". Except at nights when the younger riders can see better than an older man.

Ofcourse, this crazy old man doesn't do his antics and tries to be an exemplary driver in front of his sons! And once in a awhile when touring together with his boys, the crazy old man hollers over the communications equipment, "Don't take the curve in the middle of the road, Arto (the diplomat). Move to the side, you never know when some dumb driver takes the middle lane ... "
"Don't worry, Dad ..." was always the reply over the communications. And they would manage to disappear out of sight, either in front or the back of the pack so the old man doesn't see the boys and make his worried nagging comments.

Running-in the Beemer ... the BMW versus the Goldwing 1500
Running in the brand new BMW was on a trip to Bali, a 2 night A Bali scene3-day trip of about 1,000 kilometers; first, to east Java, then a 45 minute ferry ride to the island of the gods (as Bali is known), with Adji's support 2,000 c.c. 16 valve dohc Mitsubishi Eterna (Gallant in the U.S.) passenger car, a fast driver and a big bike mechanic, carrying a mini service station set of tools, a 12 VDC 20 coke bottle mini fridge, accompanied by 15 other big bike riders, 2 police escorts on 750 c.c. Suzuki police bikes, and two 4-wheeled cars and 5 passengers, all experienced big bike riders. (Right photo, Bale Kambang Beach, east Java, courtesy of Singgih W.)

A Bali sceneAs the BMW manual said, don't go beyond 100 kilometers per hour during its first 500 km running in, and it just wouldn't go beyond that speed, no matter how much gas was forced. (Left photo, Pura Bedugul, a Balinese temple). At the 500 km point, the engine was willing to go faster, gradually up to 160 kmh, real funny just as if the engine could read that manual! Just before Bali (some 900 kms later) that engine was willing to go up to 210 kmh, beating another brand new machine, the 1,500 c.c. Honda Goldwing just run in whose owner was visibly upset because, he thought, his Goldwing could beat the 1,100 c.c. Beemer. He didn't believe his own experience; so, he said, let's give it another try. So, on some stretch on the way to Bali they gave it another try and, sure enough, beat the Goldwing again which maxed out at 205 kmh, this time outdistancing it that the Beemer became a speck, way ahead of the Goldwing.

To speed test, the riders would have to wait until the group passed a stretch of straight highway, no trucks, buses, cars, no cows crossing the highway so it could take hours before they passed through a perfect road. This was usually around 12-13 pm mid day when the hot sun kept most people indoors. And on top of that, they had to tell their police escorts by hand sign they wanted to go ahead, in which they nodded their heads, and off they blasted past the rest of the bikes.

Those police escorts were responsible for the bikers road safety, Minou on a friend's big Honda Goldwing motorbikeclearing the roads when entering a small town if there was a jam, because sitting on top of a 1,000 c.c.-plus machine swathed in leather drenched in sweat in the tropical 81-92% humidity, is not pleasant waiting for trucks and buses to move off the middle of the road (people love to drive in the middle of the road), so the bikers had to stick by the rules and couldn't do whatever they pleased. Java's average temp of 21 to maximum 32 celcius--70-90 fahrenheit--is not that hot, but it's the humidity that gives the impression of heat.(Left photo, Minou on a friend's big Honda Goldwing, and Adji's BMW, left photo, which beat that Goldwing on speed trials in Pelabuhan Ratu, south sea area, West Java, 1994).

The Mitsubishi escort car
The Mitsubishi Eterna 2,000 cc passenger escort car (and contrary to belief, the fast U.S. Viper's engine is made by Mitsubishi, not by Chrysler as Mitsubishi is partly owned by Chrysler) is the fastest Indonesian production car, beating the locally produced Mercedes 320 CE (3200 cc, 2-door coupe), the turbo charged 3 series 2,000 cc BMW and all locally produced Mercedes (the 320E) and other locally produced Toyotas, Mazdas, Fords, etc. of 2,000 cc and larger c.c.s in acceleration and final top speed.

One day to demonstrate to his 3 buddies (owners of BMWs and Mercedes 320s) who made fun of Adji for buying a Japanese Eterna and getting rid of a Volvo 264 and BMW 735,  he took them for a ride to Cikampek in west Java when he told them on the toll road, "You see that speck of a bus way ahead? I'll pass it one meter from its side at over 200 kmh (124 mph)," Adji said.

On 4th. gear the Mitsubishi reaches 200 kmh with its 4 passengers redlining at 7,500 rpm (as versus 6,500 rpm in most passenger cars), and still produce a  kick from 4th. to 5th gear which one doesn't feel in any other passenger car, turbo or no turbo. At 210 kmh (131 mph) it passed the bus probably going at its average speed of 130-140 kmh (80-86 mph), precisely one meter from the bus' side. Not a side way movement, nothing – just a blur of the bus' advertisements written on its side, and just a short 1 second feeling of being stopped by the bus' wind shear. They were impressed with the Eterna's high speed stability and could see why Adji got the Eternas. It's performance, not brand name which he was after.

Adji told them that even though he carefully calculates the probabilities of a vehicle he was going to pass changing lanes without any apparent reason, sometimes a car which was a little speck at a distance would wander and straddle the mid and fast lanes by the time the Eterna reached it at 200-plus kmh, even though the high beam headlights were flashed to warn a vehicle to be passed that the Eterna is coming. And as the Eterna passed it at those high speeds, one could see that car in the rear view mirror weaving from the wind shock of the speeding Eterna. And when it rains, the fast mode of the windshield wiper would barely move because of the wind pressure on the wipers pressing against the windshield, and the rain would slide off the windshield because the high winds would push it off.

The experience of riding big bikes at speeds of 220 kmh and above teaches a driver to be a better car driver because one has to make a lot more "calculations" when riding a big bike of the many probabilities the other drivers may make.

The high speed big bike rider does not have the luxury of using all the 4 brakes of a 4-wheeled car, only the bikes' front brakes, and very little brake pressure on the rear brakes (that's why the front disk brake calipers are usually double the size of the rear bikes' disk calipers). So, a big biker going at speeds of over 200 kmh has to be really, really careful driving his machine at that speed. More so at speeds of 275 kmh when Adji tested the Ninja ZX-11.

Adji is not a careless driver, calculates everything that can be estimated especially the "other drivers"; never had an accident in his 39 years of driving in Tunisia, France, Germany, England, Russia, the U.S., Canada, and other parts of the world (touch wood), nor does he take any chances. That's why at the end of a high speed car tour (for instance driving to Bandung 200 km away through the Puncak Mountain Pass which normally takes 3 to 4 hours, it took him only 1.5 hours at 11 am in the morning, more often at 11pm at nights), his back is wet with sweat because of the high concentration he has to place on driving at high speeds. But it's fun!

The fast Eterna passenger carThe Eterna, unmodified--and it is a passenger, not a sports car--is the only local vehicle that reaches its maximum speedometer speed of 240 kph (149 mph). (Left photo, Adji's Mitsubishi Eterna escort and 4-wheel backup car with the Eterna driver bending over checking the BMW oil before its initial 500 km engine oil change and mechanic fussing over the BMW's powerful bright as sunlight driving lights, with two bystanders watching it all at a restaurant stopover in Semarang, central Java).

No other, unmodified, "passenger car" with a speedo of whatever number printed on the speedometer will touch the maximum speed on its speedo. A Maserati or Porsche, with its 280 kmh speedo (or was it 300 kmh?) would never reach its speedo speed. In fact, the Maserati at speeds of over 200 kmh felt light on the steering, although the front spoiler's ground clearance was just a little over 1 inch. But the Eternas always reached the speed printed on the speedo (we all know that what's printed on the speed as 240 kmh is not a true 240 kmh but more as a guidance). Past 240 kph on the speedo and 7,500 rpm, the engine speed limiter kicks in. It's the only unmodified Indonesian produced car that can keep up with the big super bikes. Adji's imported 3200 c.c. (195 cubinc inch) 320 CE 24 valve 2-door Mercedes coupe could not because its tested top speed was only 210 kmh.

To show that Mitsubishi Eternas were not speed freaks or extra special, both Minou's white and Adji's black Mitsubishis (and the dealer's brand new vehicle which was lent for a 15 day test) were capable of reaching those maximum top 240 kph speeds without any effort, especially when using spark plugs made by "Split Fire", reaching its top speed faster when the air conditioning compressor was turned off. With this performance spark plugs, the Eterna's wheels can be made to scream up until the 3rd. gear. Very impressive. There are not too many cars that can do that, either sports cars and least likely a passenger car.

It came to be that when a Mitsubishi Eterna was coming behind one's rear view mirror on Indonesian toll roads, whatever car one is driving at 180 kph or more (usually a Merc 320 or BMW 530), the driver would move aside because everybody by then recognizes this particular Mitsubishi was "king of the road".

One day, Adji goes to this well known local racing mechanic, Amiauw, and asked him to soup his Eterna. "Put in a turbo, or even twin turbos," he instructed Amiauw. "What for? It's pointless," Amiauw replies. "Why?" Adji asks. "Well," Amiauw says, "my workshop soups up at least one BMW 3 or Mercedes C200 or C220 series a day. We do everything the customer wants. Modify the headers; change pistons, sometimes change whole engines replacing it with the Brabus Mercedes engines (he was the Brabus agent), install turbos, twin turbos or superchargers. At the end of the day when we test it, we test it against a standard Eterna. And did you know there was not one modified BMW or Mercedes that can beat the standard Eterna on acceleration or top speed? So, why waste your money?" "You sure?" Adji asks. "We're in the modification business, using all imported original stuff, and we do this everyday. We know what we are talking about!"

So, dissuading Adji from modifying his Eterna, Amiauw tunes up the Eterna, keeps the standard "Eterna computer chip" (they use plug in computerized equipment to tune the air & gas flow and other things), changes the plugs to "Split Fire" spark plugs made in the U.S.A., and tells Adji to try it out. Sure enough, in front of a half dozen cops on duty at the traffic lights, Adji made the Eterna's tires scream up until the 3rd. gear startling the lot. Anyway, there is no law here that says a car cannot squeal its tires ... so, let them be startled!

This particular Eterna or Gallant model was "Car of the Year" in Japan, Germany and some other place (the U.S.?). No wonder. Unfortunately, the 1998 Mitsubishi Gallant is not recognized as today's king of the road, nor does it perform as stable--and as fast as the 1990-1994 Mitshubishi Eternas.

People who go fast, do NOT feel they are going that fast; otherwise, steering and suspension vibration, wind noise, engine whine and the feeling of instability will prevent any sane driver from over driving the vehicle. One day, testing a brand new Eterna from the Mitsubishi dealer Adji took it to Puntjak with a big fat friend. The dealer got it off its table (showrooms which have a spinning table where a car is placed on) with only 15 km on the odo, and said Adji can borrow it for 3 days. On the way to Bogor for a spin some 50 km away, Adji (at that time not knowing its superior capabilities) thought to himself while on the toll road, "how come the cars that I am passing seem to be at a standstill?" Then looking at the speedo, he realizes that he was going at a speed of 210 kmh! He thought he was going only about 140-150 kmh!

He told his fat friend, "Guess what speed we are going? 210 kmh!".

"Slow down, slow down, for heaven's sake," fatso said. "You didn't worry about it before?" Adji says. "Yeah, that was before." Everybody was so impressed, Adji borrowed it for 15 days, and brought it back to the dealer with 1,500 km on the odometer. That was the end for that car as a new car. But he compensated the dealer later on by buying 2 Eternas.

The Police Escorts
For out of town overnight trips, the national police (their authority extend throughout this hugeOur police escorts country like U.S. Marshals, not like the U.S. town or state police where their authority extended only within their boundaries) give 2 escorts for 10 to 25 bikes, one up front and one behind. (Right foto, two of our police escorts eating lunch with the pack on the way to Bali). More than 25 to 50 the riders got 3 (one upfront, one in the middle, and one in the back watching for stragglers). The slow bikes, (Harleys and similar cruisers) were head of the pack, the BMW 'sports', Goldwing and similar sport cruisers were in the middle, while the sport bikes and super sports bikes like the 1100 Ninjas, the Honda CBR 900RRs, the 1000Fs, Honda ST1100s, BMW sports K1s were the last. They had the unenviable job of looking after their fellow bikers--if one had a flat, slip through sand, or some accident because invariably there would be either a small accident like an inexperienced rider ending in the ditch with nothing more than a bruised ego and a scratched bike.

These sports riders had fast machines, were nearly always ridden by very experienced riders, and all that skill and speed had to benefit everybody so they HAD to stop and help out. This was when Adji's backup Eterna and his two mechanics (one actually the driver, too) was useful and everybody appreciated it.

One thing anybody who has been to Indonesia and mix with the locals will confirm: as soon as there are the latest of ANY thing, be it big bikes, the latest films, the latest computers (Intel simultaneously announced its Pentium II in New York, London and Jakarta, not Tokyo, Taiwan or Singapore because they are aware of the huge market potential after China, India and the U.S.), latest sports cars or latest Bentleys, some Indonesian would have ordered it, and be in his living room or garage on or even before it is publicly announced. (What kind of place is this Indonesia? ...And its 12 to 19 million capital, Jakarta? Please click here.)

The Lamborghini and the U.S. Vector super sports car factories were owned by Indonesian businessmen until 1998, but they had to sell the Lamborghini car company to Audi because of the Indonesian economy meltdown in 1998.

Even during the 1998 economic meltdown and financial crises, some guy was selling 2 of his latest 1998 2,000 c.c. Honda Goldwing (the Goldwings are only made in the U.S., not Japan), and three brand new Bentleys (more expensive than the Rolls Royce) and one wonders if anybody would even look at it, much less buy it. Sure enough, 2 weeks later both bikes and the three Bentleys were gone.

Pretty good coordination during out of town trips
Each time there is an out of town, overnight trip, there was always one "team leader", team assistant, head of logistics responsible for hotel rooms, food, gasoline, etc., and so forth. TIn Jogja, central Java, on the big BMW, Minou putting on her helmet, Adji his gloveshe guy who initiated the trip usually becomes the team leader and get friends experienced in their respective jobs as logistics and other responsibilities. (Right foto, Minou fixing her helmet, Adji strapping on his gloves on a trip to Jogja, central Java). The team leader would gather everybody before moving out, especially if there are more than 25 riders, brief them, and make special emphasis that the "front brakes only must be used", never the rear brakes (it'll slew the bike around and cause accidents); headlights must be on (Indonesian motorcycle drivers do not have their headlights on), "you are not allowed to pass the police escorts", the slow bikes in front of the pack, the tourers in the middle and sports last (and keep you guys out of trouble sometimes a leader would say) and helmet straps must be securely tied, no fancy exercises on top of moving bikes, and so on, and so on. It's like a military operation because a lot of the bike members either had a military background or were influenced by the discipline of military operations. Besides, permits to ride were issued by the national police, which in the Indonesian government makeup is a part of the military in the Department of Defense.

Each phase of a ride would last 1.5 to 2 hours each. Beyond that, the riders would be thoroughly drenched in sweat (assuming slow traffic of 60 to 80 kph), would be thirsty, and would be irritable doing things one would normally not do. So, one had to stop and usually end up drinking more than normal, and eating more than normal, too. At the end of each out of town trip, most riders would gain one or two kilos instead of losing weight, because of the energy drain and the liquid and extra food consumed during the trip.

Aside from personal requirements, over 90% of the out of town trips involve a "social welfare" event. That is, on reaching its destination, the bikers' "welfare committee" would contribute funds, brand new bicycles (the ones one peddles loaded on mini vans), clothing and so on for orphanages collected from the members before the trip, which each member had to contribute with a set minimum contribution. It's half an hour social event at the place of destination, the locals are grateful and feel good about it; so do the bikers. Share the wealth, so to speak.

Excercising, otherwise you'll be in trouble
To demonstrate how skilled some of these riders are, one of them drove his 500 pound-plus Ninja ZX-11 up and down a hilly mountain standing up, maneuvering with his thighs and feet and arms stretched out to the sky, doing a few slow left-right twist, passing slow cars as he was doing so. He wasn't exactly showing off because the personal character of the guy was not of a showoff, but during these long cross country trip in hot tropical weather, one had to stretch every half an hour, and nobody is going to halt the pack every half an hour so somebody can stretch himself. Or, one would lie stretched out in a prone position if one wasn't carrying anything on his rear seat, both feet stretched out on top of the bike, both hands on the handle bar, and give himself a good stretch. So, every rider eventually must learn to do stretch exercises on his moving bike.

When doing an exercise, one had to to stand up straight on the bike's foot pedals, with one hand on the bar (preferably the right one controlling the accelerator), stretch out his free arm, left, right, back-forth and so on; lift his left leg, do all kinds of movements to stretch it, twist his waist slowly left and right a few times; and then do the same with his right limbs, at the same time holding the accelerator at a constant level. It takes some doing, skill and nerve ... and experience. No idiot in his right mind will exercise while there is upcoming traffic, or while the bikes roar on at speeds of 160-170 kmh. It's usually done at slower speeds of 40-60 kmh. But the traffic behind usually back off and watch in fascination when one or a few of the guys are doing their stretches.

It's important to stretch because if not, one would literally fall asleep on the bike and a companion rider who sees his mate zig zagging about to hit a ditch, kicks his bike (or his leg, even against oncoming traffic) before his fellow rider has a bad accident. New, inexperienced riders' hands will fall off to sleep and have painful pins and needles as they are handling their big bike. So, they have to regularly exercise their hands, arms and legs to get the blood moving. The constant vibration and pressure on the hands and legs controlling a 500 pound machine will wobble an inexperienced rider the moment he gets off his bike, it's like just getting off a roller coaster. A constant 2-day continuous ride will immunize a new riders hands.

It takes 2 persons to right up a bike (if it happens to fall off its stand) because it's so heavy; and 3 to 5 to get it out of a ditch. So, if one is sitting on his bike, make sure one's foot doesn't slip on an oil slick, sand, or mud because once the bike leans over just a little bit, get your leg and foot out of the way, and let the bike fall (damaging the paint work).

The sport bike riders conveying messages would hop from the back of the pack to the front, back to the rear, and front again in no time at all, even though a 50 pack bikes would be stretched out over a 2 kilometer area. Once in a while, the sport bikers became impatient at the 120-140 kmh (87 mph) average pace, so they would make hand signs to the police escorts, and after an okay nod a handful would shoot out from the pack and in a matter of minutes disappear off the horizon. Half an hour later the rest of the pack would arrive, while the sporters were already relaxing for at least half an hour sipping cold drinks.

The Beemer is great for an all around terrain, dirt track path. The Goldwing would scrape and bottom down on those rough roads. The BMW is stable on high speed downpours (provided one can see through the visor), while the Goldwing seemed to aquaplane on those straight highways.

Ideally, a big bike owner should own a tourer that can handle rough roads (like the BMW KLT 1,100 c.c. tourer), the Harley Davidson (like the Electra Glide), the Honda Goldwing 2,000 c.c. for sedate day long (week-long) touring, and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11 for adrenaline speed crunching. And then spend hours ... just looking at them!

“Did you know that Indonesia ...”
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What other world wide web Sites have to say about these Life-Connection Webpages
“ ..I hope you continue your road map.. ” www.iGrandparents.com  –  the web's largest site on grandparenting:I looked at your site (it was excellent) ... I hope you continue to design your great site and continue your road map!* Have a good day.”  ... Bryan Butakis  www.iGrandparents.com *Road map is a reference on real-life experience, the "how-to" of handling the devastation and bereavement of losing one's child, and the psychic and physicalAfter Death Communications” found in several webpages at the www.suryo.net site map.
“ ..success stories!”  Living in Indonesia - A site for expats  –  one of the largest web sites for Expats living in the vast and sprawling Indonesian nation, the world's 4th. largest populated nation.. click here for more infoIt's great to have real life examples of all the things we're talking about ... Especially the ‘success stories’ of the kids** of these (mixed) marriages ...Your sites are very interesting and offer valuable insight to many ... good luck with them all!! ... All the best”  ... Danielle Sukarty, Organizing Committee, Living in Indonesia - A site for expats  •  **Laila 35 years the smart Environment & City Planning Engineer  & **Arto 34 years, the Diplomat
What other Moms had to say ...
“ ..Everything I wish I could articulate  myself.. ”  I visited (this) webpage and found it to be everything I wish I could articulate myself ... although I know what a heart wrenching task it must have been to put it in words, I am grateful to you for what you have done ... ” Teresa, Arkansas, U.S.A. (a bereaved parent who commemorates her daughter's passing away by inviting other bereaved parents to commemorate their loved one on her website)
“I've found a shelter in a storm.. ” How amazingly wonderful your site is! My son Karl died on 2/21/01. He was 18. I miss him IMMENSELY! Hugs to you and your beautiful wife. Thank you so much for sharing your hearts. I especially Love seeing photo's of your beautiful son Cyrus. I'm saving your web pages and plan to read EVERY word... It's so wonderful you have such an important and extensive site for human beings in such pain and need. Know that today, thank's be to God and You, I've found a shelter in a storm. GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR WIFE AND DEAR CYRUS!!!”  Colleen McCurdy, 25 Mar. ’01 |
What other folks had to say... | The Do's and Don'ts in facing bereaved parents–from the bereaved's perspectives|| After-Death Communications is Real – The Miracle of the Fan | “Our Son in the other dimension”
What a Dad had to say ...
“ ..it brought tears in my eyes.. ” I am so sorry about the loss of your son Cyrus. I have read the story that you wrote in the page. I cannot imagine the trauma that you and your wife had to go thru, it brought tears in my eyes at the middle of the story what you must have gone thru. How sad it must had been. We too had our sorrows and had to go thru the valley of the unknown hurts of life... Gustaaf Vogelsang 8 August, 2001
What a bereaved Mom & Dad have to say ...
“ ..losing a child is far more devastating.. ” Losing an offspring like our 25 year old, Cyrus, is a devastation NO parent will ever know, unless ONE EXPERIENCES it. It is far more devastating than losing one's own parents and brothers and sisters – which we had experienced and had gone through several times. More so when this child was a living doll, then no longer a child, became an adult and then a friend, a trusted buddy who can instead give advice, and whom we can share experiences with . On Jan. 28, 1999 when he passed away, and 2½ years later on Aug. 7th. 2001, our voices still break up and tears welled up in his mother's eyes , when a friend who did not know Cyrus was no longer with us, asked “...and how is Cyrus..?” || The Do's and Don'ts in facing bereaved parents – from the bereaved's perspectives
–  Click the underlined above for the different stories and experiences  –
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For those first starting off in Life
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Start life with Start life with someone you can spend hours talking – about anything
Physical attributes (and physical attraction) come second ... they go away in time.
When you can communicate – and because of it understand each other, you will avoid misunderstandings, fights and boredom ... then “Life Together” after 38 years can become a reality ... and is worth it.
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A Javanese Prince who married an Iranian Princess - A James Bond True-Life Story
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In memory of Cyrus' 1st. Anniversary in the Other Dimension Music Page–28 January, 2000
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Published Reference List on the After-Life, Near Death Experiences & After-Death Communications
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After-Death Communications is Real - The Miracle of the Fan 26 Aug., 1999 - continued ...
    ... The One-Legged Grasshopper • The Air Conditioning System • The Exploding Light Bulb
 – A Prayer for our Son & all other departed children
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The writer is a Member of
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and a former English language journalist & editor with the AFP French National news agency & Antara Indonesian News Agencies in London, Paris, & Koln in the mid-'60s
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