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The new commuter

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    The new commuter

    And now I am in Jakarta for 2 years for work I couldn't cope with a daily commute of 30 minutes in the morning and anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours in the afternoon by taxi......

    So I decided to throw caution to the wind and get a bike to tackle the Jakarta traffic.

    Enter the new commuter bike......

    A Duke 200. The picture above shows the little bloke trying it out and more than likely trying to pick up the promo girls....

    Bought it at the Jakarta bike show at the beginning of November. Had to wait 3 days, pay and extra $80 bucks for temporary rego for that, or wait 2 months for it to be delivered with rego. For $80 we paid the extra.

    And here it is at delivery time.

    It's a cracker of a "big" bike. I'm king if the kids at the office with everyone else riding either 150 or 125 scooters or bikes.

    Riding here is interesting.....

    I have had my left foot run over twice so far, the last time breaking the toe slider off my boot, so need to get that replaced.

    Basically, you ride as fast as possible when you can, don't use mirrors and don't give a fuck about what's happening behind you.

    Lane splitting is expected and traffic lights are a guide only. Cars and bikes will just pull out in front of you at any time and you're dodging buses and trucks as well as pedestrians.

    The commute time is now 20 or so minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the dry, up to 45 to 50 minutes in the rain.

    I am the most overdressed rider in Jakarta I am sure.

    The bike is a cracker. The engine is loosening up nicely, though it only has 350km or so on it and I'm still limited to about 7k. I am riding it like I stole it, and having a ball most of the time.

    I'll have to pinch a camera from work to show the daily commute. It's very different....

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    Good choice. Sounds like a pretty wild place to ride, hope you survive.


      The good thing is that most of the time my average speed is around 15km/h. Top speed hit so far is 70km/h on a near I'm long stretch of road that is generally pretty much near empty between two sets of lights.

      Will try to borrow a camera in the next week or so to show the commute.

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        Sounds like Butterworth/Penang. It seems crazy when you first drive in it but it seems to flow more organically than gridlock in a western country.

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          They grid lock all the roads really well with cars, and then the volume of bikes finishes it off.

          I can take 20 minutes to do the last 1km on the bike, in a taxi, even if it is in the middle of a storm I walk.

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            So first service today, having racked up near 900km in the three months I've been riding it.

            Free labour for this and the next one. Oil filter was $3.60, oil was the expensive bit at $17.50 a bottle and two bottles thrown at it. So 385,000 rupiah all up, the mechanic had to give me change from 400,000 so told him to keep it as I was going to give him the change anyways. So $40 for oil and filter for the first service.

            Took them about an hour to do the service. Met another bule who was getting his Duke serviced as well. Seems that the KTM's have a bit of a following here with expats as they are a good price, go well, and are small enough, well the 200 and 250, to get through traffic, and as they are not a scooter, you keep your dignity.

            Only disappointing thing is that the muffler doesn't have a removable baffle.

            That problem will be solved tomorrow when one of the nopics suppliers of catalytic converters will supply and fit an Akrapovic slip on and mid pipe for $100 fitted.

            Oh, and got lost in the Jakarta road system coming home, ended up a few km north to where I wanted to be to get home, but with not too much traffic it was a fun ride lane splitting at 70km/h and dodging all the other bikes.

            I am picking up lots of bad habits on the bike here, will need to do a roadcraft course when I get back home to knock those bad habits out of me.

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              And this will turn up tomorrow for me. $90 delivered, will have to fit it myself so will have to buy a cheap socket set and some degreaser to fit it up during the week.

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                nice, always wanted one of these to putt around but they look very small for aussie roads. a 1290 one zoomed past me the other day, didn't even know they existed, they kinda look the same but with more hardcore components.


                  It's a hoot to ride to and from work.

                  The new exhaust is obnoxiously loud, sets off car alarms in the underground car park of the apartment complex, and from one ride home, people hear me and don't just cut across me or step out in front of me. Losing the catalytic converter and premuffler has freed some extra ponies, little miniature ponies ridden by five year old girls type ponies, but there are one or two more and it revs more freely now too.

                  The ride to work without the side pipe and just the premuffler was really obnoxious, with a harsh bark, the Chinese Akrapovic takes the harshness out, but it still sounds like a very angry sewing machine. I will be going to the KTM service centre to get them to make the exhaust mount more pretty. The shop down the hill from the office fitted it all, but it is a bit slap dash and could be better with better brackets, but for $6 for parts and over 2 hours labour I can't complain.

                  For Australia I would go the 390 Duke at least for anything but a city commute. The 1290 makes for a great adventure bike.

                  The 125's, 200's and 250's all use the same frame. The 390 is a bigger frame.

                  I went the 200 as a $1000 difference in price wasn't worth it for 4hp extra of the 250.

                  Would love to bring it home, but will be cheaper to buy one back in Australia.

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                    So with not being really happy about how the exhaust was mounted up on Monday, but I can't complain for the $6 it cost me in parts and labour, I took the bike to the KTM dealership this morning to see what they could do to make it right.

                    This is one of the techs taking the bodgy mount off. It was ok for what they had available, but not good enough, especially when cable ties are used to hold a bracket to the pillion peg mount to keep everything in position.

                    The reason why the exhaust is loud, not much muffling happening in there..... And starting to pop and crackle a bit more on the over run.

                    And the finished mount, they took all the old stuff off, made a very neat little bracket and everything lines up nicely.

                    And the end result, a Chinese copy Akrapovic that makes it sound a lot crankier than it should, obnoxiously cranky in fact.

                    And all this done for the horrendously expensive cost of $5.

                    The new brackets have also taken away a bit of the vibration I was getting through the bike at higher revs with the bodgy mount.

                    Whilst the exhaust was being fitted a couple of other guys ride in to get their bikes serviced and we got chatting as it's unusual to see a westerner riding bikes in Jakarta. I was invited to join the KTM Sportsbikes Indonesia group. These guys have a social ride every Sunday that starts reasonably close to where I live and also organise a few long distance trips a year, the last one being Jakarta to Yogyakarta. There are another couple of "bule" that are in the group also, so will be going on some rides whilst I am here, and should also be able to sell the bike when I finish up the contract here.

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                      ANd back in Jakarta and brought my Garmin Virb with me to get some commuting videos.....

                      This is the trip to work this morning. The overlays aren't working as the camera took a while to get GPS signal having to do a cold start from not being used for so long. After being used to get some video to test for compatibility for a software system here it all seems to be working so the afternoon trip should be all good.

                      This was a pretty uneventful run with only light traffic, you can't really pick when it will be a shit storm or not.

                      The wind noise gets a bit loud and you can hear the angry sewing machine doing its thing. Its loud enough I usually set off a car alarm in the basement heading off to work in the morning.


                        That would certainly wake you up each morning, every man for himself. Does anyone use motards over there? A 250 would be awesome fun to throw round in that mobile obstacle course .


                          I have seen one or two motards, but not common at all.

                          200 is a big bike here because if the tax structure. Up to 200cc bikes are cheaper than Australia. 250 to 300cc about the same depending on the bike.

                          300 to 500cc is 1.5 to double the price in Aus.

                          Above 500cc 3 times plus.

                          As and example the Duke 790 has just been released here. Back in Australia it's around 17k ride away without haggling. Here $45k with haggling.

                          Tomorrow I'll throw up the return trip home, again not much traffic but pretty mental.

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                            And for the ride home yesterday with the GPS data recording properly so I could throw a quick overlay on it.

                            The great one way roads systems here means that my morning commute is about 8km long and the afternoon trip home is about 12 km long. There is a shorter way home, but it takes longer and is much more stressful with even higher traffic volumes.

                            Some highlights include nearly being cleaned up by a fedex van at 2'10", having pedestrian cross where there should be in no way that pedestrians should be there at 8'48" and the general anarchy of driving here.

                            It feels like I have become part trials rider, part motoGP rider and part raid rider to survive the Jakarta traffic.

                            I believe there is a speed limit for the roads I ride on, I think I saw a sign saying 50km/h, but you just go as fast as you can, don't worry about what is happening behind you and make your own arrangements.

                            And even when you get out of Jakarta it's no better. I'm going for a white rafting trip on Saturday, so there should be some interesting footage from the trip down and back


                              And the traffic finally got me today.....

                              And I didn't have my camera on to capture it.

                              Riding home, coming up to one of the main roundabouts at the southern end of the main drag I got halfway through and we were stopped. Saw lots of blue lights coming through the other road that joins the one I wanted and assumed correctly that a cavalcade of important people were coming through.

                              A couple if big BMW bikes clearing the way, then about half a dozen big black cruisers and Lexus SUV's with a couple more big BMW bikes at the back.

                              When they go through the traffic is let loose. I get the hole shot with a clean run and catch up to the cavalcade and hang just off the shoulder of the last bike cruising like a boss.

                              They catch up to the grid locked traffic in front so I duck out of formation and lane split up through the traffic and get caught between a bus and a Captiva like SUV. Duck around the back of the SUV for a quick squirt to make up another couple of cars and then come to a stop.

                              Nekminet, a thump to the back wheel pushing me forward and stalling the bike as my hand let's the clutch out.

                              Turn around to give the guy that hit me a gob full, but quickly smile, nod apologetically, start the bike and get the fuck out if the way.
                              Unbeknown to me I had made it about halfway up the cavalcade and was parked next to what I could only assume was the important car. The bike was a flat black motard and the rider and pillion were in full black ops gear with the pillion carrying a proper automatic short barrel assault weapon slung across his shoulder.

                              Obviously they didn't want me there and the big thump into the rear wheel was the friendly warning......

                              From the hand gestures and the way they hussled me away, I don't think I want to know what the second warning would have been......

                              In more fun news, with the end of Ramadan holidays coming up and the nopics and young bloke going back east I will be in Jakarta in my own for a couple of weeks there should be no traffic, so will be doing a bit if exploring to the west.

                              Should be a fun ride, and hopefully I can knock it over in around 9 hours. If traffic is too mental I will overnight in a resort on the beach.....

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