Tag Archives: transportation

R.I.O. – Our Car

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Thanks to a generous gift from some friends back home, we’ve had this beast (and I mean that affectionately) of a 4×4 for almost 2 years now.  It’s not the prettiest car you’ve ever seen, but now that  we have all the important mechanical stuff fixed underneath we can take it anywhere we want to go.  The only thing I haven’t done yet is add a snorkel, but so far we haven’t needed to cross any deep rivers so it hasn’t been necessary. 

It’s a 1993 Daihatsu Hiline 4×4 with a 2.8 liter diesel engine.  The reason we went for this car is that it is a 4 door instead of a 2 door jeep-style vehicle which would be a bit cramped for our family.  With the extra benches in the back we can seat up to 12 people Indonesian-style, or 9 people American-style.

This workhorse has done about 225,000 miles, and it’s still running strong.  When we bought it, it had aged to the point that lots of things start wearing out all at the same time.  We’re still fixing little things here and there like broken door handles, A/C, small leaks, and some rattles but nothing major. 

The other thing I like is that it also has a low-range gearbox, so we can climb or tow pretty much anything.2012-05-23 12.51.20

You can see in the pictures that the back bumper is missing.  I had to take it off since the spare tire won’t fit on with the bumper in place, and given some of the places we go I’d rather have the spare tire.  Sometime soon I’m going to take it into a welding shop and have the bumper modified so it will fit. 2012-05-23 12.51.46

I was going to wash the car before I took pictures, but since it’s usually pretty dirty I decided to leave it in its natural state. 

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R.I.O.–My Motorbike

One of the things I love most about living here is that one of the easiest ways to get around is to take a motorbike.  I really enjoy riding, especially since I don’t know that I’ll ever go near a motorcycle in the US.  The biggest difference is the speed: here, you are usually going somewhere around 20-30 mph, and there’s no freeways.  Although accidents happen all the time and people do get seriously injured, it is usually because they weren’t wearing a helmet.  Needless to say, I always wear mine (I have  wife and 2 kids; no way I’m going to ride around without one!).

Bikes are a lot smaller here than in the US.  The biggest you ever see on the road is 250cc (cubic centimeters), and that’s rare.  Most bikes here are 110cc-125cc, and there’s another slightly bigger class of bike that’s usually 150cc-160cc.  That sounds tiny, but considering the driving style, the road conditions, and the speeds it’s more than enough.  Here’s my bike:

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It’s a 2009 Honda SupraX, with a 125cc engine and a centrifugal clutch.  It does everything I could want it to: it’s quick around town and for weaving in and out of traffic jams, and it can go plenty fast when I get out on the open road on the way to the village.  There I can usually go somewhere around 75-85kph (47-53mph).  The bike maxes out around 110kph (68mph) but I rarely go that fast here.  Gas mileage is around 90-100mpg, so no complaints there!

Of course, I’m always dreaming and I’d love to have an older bike to work on and restore.  I saw this one yesterday and loved it (the photo has been Instagrammed):2012-05-07 10.32.20

It’s a Honda Win, 100cc.  Older bike, but classic style, reliable, and literally able to go anywhere here since it’s so light.  But that’s for me to dream about…

One more shot of my bike:

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  One of my favorite things to look for is some of the crazy things people put on the backs of their bikes here. You’ll see families of 5 (even 6!) all on one bike, a huge pile of wood on the back, things for sale, 10 foot bamboo poles, and all kinds of other crazy stuff. Next time we get some good pictures we’ll post them here.  One of the other things on the to-do list is to get some video while riding the bike to give you a taste of traffic here.  Coming soon…

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