KAWASAKI ER 6N, MY NEW BIKE
9. After breakfast we loaded the back up car and got our bikes ready for the days trip.Today we were visiting the Keren Area where women wear brass rings round their necks. As we reached the main road we entered the first petrol station to top up our bikes. Bob discoveredthat there was a leak from my bike’s radiator. He had a novel way of fixing it. Bought a couple of raw eggs broke them and poured the white of the eggs into the radiator. The white of theegg would with heat solidify and seal the leakage. He tested the leak after running the engine for about five minutes, but was not satisfied, the bike was found unfit for the trip. I was without a bike now. Manoj and Bob decided that Bob would stay back to have the bike repaired, while I would upgrade to Manoj’s Kawasaki 650 cc and Manoj would drive Bob’s 750 cc bike. This was indeed a blessing for me, as for the remaining five days I had this wonderfulbike to drive and tried to quickly adapt to it. Its pedals, the gear lever and the brake pedal, were located further to the rear and I had to feel around with my feet before locating them. Ourdrive was again on mountain roads with generally light traffic. I was still way slower than the others. I wasn’t being able toadequately bank the bike at turns and had to slow down, there were times when the bike at a turn would not slow down sufficiently, or so it seemed to mebecause of the ABS, I chose to be safe rather than sorry, and took all turns very slowly. Gradually I gained more confidence and could negotiate a turn at maybe around 50 kmph onthe gentler curves.
10. Today we negotiated the Mae Hong Son, loops with 1864 hairpin bends one way, a total of 3728 hairpin bends in all, quite a bit. Tea-shirts, popular with bikers, indicating the number of hairpin bends, are available at Keren. Having crossed Mae Hong Son city, we headed towards the “Long Necks” village at Keren. There were half a dozen causeways with water that we had to cross. Manoj cautioned us, that while crossing the causeways with the heavy bikes, we must reduce speed to near zero, drive absolutely straight, and not to either brake or speed up, as the bike tyres were not designed for off road driving. In one of the causeways, I did all three things wrong, and in my flurry could not locate the brakes or gear pedal with my feet, as instinctively my feet went for the Royal Enfield alignment. On the Kawasaki, besides being on opposite sides they are located way behind. Fortunately I just managed to control the bike and crossed the causeway without getting wet. We arrived at the “Long Necks”, village and visited the small shopping area where their handicrafts were on sale. We had ourselves photographed with the women wearing the neck rings. These rings distort the growth of the wearer’s collarbones and makes them look as if they have long necks, which they don't. They actually squash the vertebrae and collar bones. A woman generally has about twenty or more rings around her neck. This neck ring adornment is started when the girls are 5 or 6 years old. The rings on the arms and the legs are not quite as prominent as those on the neck simply because the neck rings are so visible. However, these rings are just as important. The rings on the arms are worn on the forearm from the wrist to the elbow. Those on the legs are worn from the ankles to the knees, and cloth coverings are kept over most of these rings, from the shins down to the ankles.