Aug 17

The Testing

by in About the Bike

Pot holed roads, chickens, mad dogs & suicidal motorcyclists were just some of the challenges I faced when trying to road test the bike in Bali. But the toughest battle came trying to get the FN registered in Indonesia. The original plan had been to ride the FN from Bali to Belgium to celebrate its centenary but this was thwarted by the Indonesian government who decided registering a bike this old was a no-go. Without registration it would be impossible to obtain a carnet, the entry and exit permit required for many of the countries I planned to visit.  Even a meeting with police chiefs in the capital failed to secure permission and a plan to take the FN back to Australia and start the journey from there soon became a more viable option.

Before this could happen though there was a year of trial and error to get the bike working efficiently, things like working out carburetor jet sizes, back pressure in the exhaust system and refining other critical settings. After the first test ride it became obvious a clutch would make life easier given that the bike has only a single speed & is long wheel based machine. Handling, especially on corners proved diabolical with the FN’s slowest speed at 30 kmph and more than once I took my life in my hands just trying to keep the bike upright. The cost of buying a clutch from Europe was prohibitive, but a swap of unwanted FN parts soon sealed the deal. When the clutch finally arrived, it took numerous attempts before it worked efficiently & I quickly became adept at getting the engine out in only 20 mins. Frustrations were compounded by the fact that every time the bike was on the road there was the added risk of it being  confiscated, so arrangements were made to have it airfreighted out of the country.

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3 Responses to “The Testing”

  1. From Robert:

    As a vintagent and a enthusiastic RTW veteran (!) I absolutely love the idea of this trip. Keep the wheels to the tarmac and good luck to you in all things. Inspirational to say the least.

    Posted on April 29, 2012 at 8:54 am #
  2. From The Old Bloke:

    Thanks Jacques – looking forward to meeting you too. Only a few weeks to go now before I get this show on the road.

    Just had the magneto rewound & the FN is fair flying. Starting great and making it up much steeper hills – here’s hoping there won’t be too much pushing to do in Nepal!

    Caio, Ron

    Posted on December 18, 2011 at 12:15 am #
  3. From FN oldtimers:

    Hi Ron,

    I am very enthusiast to follow your trip to Belgium, by your weblog and will be happy to meet you in September in Bernkastel-Kues at the 10 FN meeting there.

    Fn greetings from Jacques FN oldtimers in Belgium.

    Posted on December 17, 2011 at 11:13 am #

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