A few months ago, I bought a Kawasaki KE100 that I found while walking along Katipunan. I bought it for pretty much a song, but, that has turned out to be a song of lament.
So far, I’ve replaced the front tire hub, the wiring harness, a bunch of levers and controls, the seat, headlights and blinkers.
It died on me while I was tooling along Tomas Morato and I had to push it to the office, and from the office to Kamuning and on to E. Rodriguez and to N. Domingo to have its coils replaced. It now has coils for a Kawasaki, a capacitor from a Toyota, and a rectifier for a Mitsubishi.*
Last Saturday, I had the bald rear tire replaced with a semi-knobby one to give the bike more street cred, and, more importantly, street traction.
It was a pretty straightforward operation involving slinging the tire over my shoulder and riding to 20th Avenue from Aurora Avenue to have it installed at a vulcanizing shop. It took an hour, all told, and I was soon riding to Katipunan, picturing myself ripping down the Katipunan flyover.
Until I suddenly wasn’t and I was wobbling along the road because of a flat tire. Worse: My tire was flat because my rim had disintegrated from rust. Worst: The nearest shop was down Katipunan, and getting on the flyover would require superhuman strength and speed. (It would also require superhuman patience for drivers to slow down so I could get on the flyover.)
So I opted to push it to Marikina. I’d been going to a shop there for parts for a while, and it was about as far away as the shop on Katipunan. If Marikina didn’t have fences to keep pedestrians (and people pushing motorbikes) from crossing anywhere except the pedestrian overpasses. And if that shop still actually existed, which, I learned to my heartbreak, was not the case.
Two hours of pushing later, I eventually found a shop in Marikina that could replace my rim and I was on the road again after another hour and a half.
And so, I’ve decided to call the bike Murphy, because of the Law, and because of the constant need to control my urge to dropkick it. I’ve also decided to keep it because adversity builds character and this bike offers it in spades.
*I don’t know what those are, exactly. But rest assured that they have been replaced.