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.