Category: Motorcycles

Triumph 3TA

My dad’s legendary Triumph 3TA

Being awesome since 1967

Triumph 3TA
The 3TA in it’s current habitat, Tourrettes, south of France

The legendary Triumph 3TA celebrates it’s 50th anniversary this year! A good reason to share this awesome classic motorcycle by writing this post. First, a short introduction and a piece of history about the former Dutch army bike.  The 3TA came to existence in 1957, under code name Twenty One. The number referred to the 21 years existence of the Triumph Engineering Company as well as 21 American inches which equals the 350 cc engine size.

The very first 3TA models featured the famous bathtub rear frame covers, but the army bikes were stripped down until only the ‘nacelle’, the headlight unit, was left. Not only did this save on weight, it also made the 3TA cheaper to produce. On some of the prototypes, even the upper frame tube was replaced by the gasoline tank! A mistake Triumph restored quickly, as the original frame was already struggling with the incredibly strong 18 (!) horsepower engine.

Epic roadtrippin’ through Europe

My dad and four of his mates bought their 3TA’s in 1993. They planned to use the bikes for traveling. The top speed of the 350cc’s lies around 100 km/h, going any faster and it’ll explode. So the bikes had to be put on transport towards a nice destination in Europe where the weather’s good and and the roads are winding.

But still, riding long distances wasn’t the 3TA’s thing, so the group of friends thought of a new way of traveling. Instead of bringing the Triumphs back home to The Netherlands every year, they decided to leave the bikes behind. There was always a local farmer who had some space in a shed, or a transport company with an empty corner in the warehouse where the bikes could stay for a year.

It’s a matter of trust

In this way, from 2003 onwards, my dad and his friends have travelled from France to Spain, to Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Greece, Albania, Macedonia and so on. They even tackled the Top Gear famed Transfagaras route in Romania. If you don’t know what i’m talking about, check the episode on this bucketlist-worthy road here. This epic road trip lasted about 10 years time, leaving the bikes behind every year. Talk about good trust in humankind, as these bikes are army bikes, they have no keys nor an engine immobilizer, so everyone who has some basic technical knowledge can start these bikes and take off. Luckily this never happened and the guys were able to take these vintage bikes through the majority of South- and East Europe. In 2013 they brought the old veterans back to their homecountry. A welcome home party was organized, and an article in a well known Dutch motorcycle magazine was published. The article can be found here (Dutch). Check out some pictures of the epic trip below.

The 3TA’s retirement

After the big trip ended, some of my dad’s friends sold the bikes, as they knew they would not be using it anymore. My father thought it would be a shame to sell a motorcycle with such a story to tell, and I fully agree with him. So nowadays the 3TA is enjoying his old days in the garage at the house in Tourrettes, South of France. The Provence area bursts of endless winding roads through ancient villages and towards mountains and lakes. In other words, a perfect area for the good old Triumph veteran to enjoy his well earned retirement.

Oil

The 3TA still needs to work hard every now and then when I visit and take the 3TA for a spin, but that keeps it young and flexible! The olde English bike features all the classic bike clichés, like the wobbly frame, lack of proper suspension and of course; spitting oil. Like my dad always says, if you’re wearing a fancy white outfit, stay at least 3 meters away from the Triumph, as it will literally spit oil towards you! Another piece of advice; when there’s no oil dripping from the bike, it’s about time to start worrying. The 3TA will always leak oil, especially when you have been pushing it to it’s limits. It’s mainly the gearbox oil that will leak, so it needs to be refilled every now and then. 

What’s it like to ride the 3TA?

Another typical olde English tradition is that the position of the rear brake and the gear switch are reversed. Meaning that you shift through the 4 gears counting gearbox using your right foot and you operate the rear brake with your left foot. This takes some time to get used to, but after a couple of kilometers it feels natural. I always have to think twice when slowing down for the first roundabout, as a clutch-less gear drop will slow you down a lot less subtile compared to some light rear breaking! Once used to the stubborn Olde English way of doing things, it’s a lot of fun riding the 3TA. Probably only 10 of the original 18 horses are still with us today, but there’s still plenty of torque coming from the 350cc twin. It’s no crutch-rocket however the good old veteran grants you a big smile every time you kickstart it and you hear the typical brave and loud two cilinder Triumph sound. Happy anniversary Triumph 3TA, may you rock on for another 50 years!

 

 

 

 

 

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Malamadre Motorcycles sets the bar high for Bali’s custom scene

The custom motorcycle scene is more alive than ever. When on Bali, I was astonished by the number of cool custom creations cruising the streets of Canggu. I paid a visit to Malamadre Motorcycles, the guys that set the bar high for Bali’s custom bike scene.

The Malamadre Motorcycles workshop wasn’t hard to find. With numerous great looking custom motorcycles parked in front of the shop on Canggu’s main street; Batu Bolong. Add the open workshop and the awesome oldschool gasoline pump, and this place couldn’t get any more attractive to a petrolhead like me.

Malamadre sign
The Malamadre sign outside makes the shop hard to miss.

When entering the shop I heard a conversation in rattling fast fluent Spanish. I was then noticed and welcomed by owner Dirk Goetz. After expressing my enthusiasm and interest in his workshop’s creations he was more than happy to share his story with me.

While his name doesn’t give it away, Dirk is originally from Spain, from where he used to work for Volkswagen AG on international management level. It only took one surfing trip to Bali for Dirk to fall in love with the Island. He decided to leave Spain and his professional career behind and to start living the good life and enjoy the beautiful island.

IMG_0015
Check this beauty out, definitely my favorite!

How Malamadre was born

Malamadre Motorcycles was born in 2015, when Dirk decided he wanted to ride something more exiting than a scooter. After browsing through several options, he ended up buying a Suzuki Thunder 250. Fortunately, Dirk didn’t just stop there, he had a desire to customize his bike in to a vintage brat style motorcycle. So, guess what, that’s just what he did, he rebuilt the bike at a good friend’s garage in Canggu.

Then, there was one more thing Dirk desired: owning a brand. Together with his wife, Elo and some good friends they decided on the name and logo. Malamadre is the name of a bad ass character from the Spanish movie Celda 211, as well as Dirk’s preferred nickname during games of poker. And I must say, it has a badass ring to it.
Malamadre Motorcycles was born, and Dirk’s Suzuki Thunder was the first official Malamadre custom; the MM1.

Malamadre all over the world

Riding around on his bike, Dirk soon got noticed by other motorcycle fanatics, wanting to give their standard bikes a similar custom treatment. By a combination of word of mouth and a strong social media strategy, Malamadre Motorcycles has grown extensively. Until today, over 50 motorcycles, ranging from 200 to 1200cc, have been delivered to satisfied customers living all over the world, as far as New York, Belfast and Sydney!

IMG_0022
This shop is awesome, and the quality finish on the bikes is insane!

Look great on your bike

What’s probably one the best things about Malamadre Motorycles, is that a selection of their creations are available for rent. So, in case you want to look a whole lot cooler than the other tourists on their lousy scooters, you now know where to go. To complement your swagger, Malamadre has recently launched a clothing line: The Essence 1.1, available online and in their shops in Canggu and in Galleries Lafayette in Jakarta

IMG_0011
Look cool on your bike wearing the Malamadre Clothing line

 

 

 

 

A rare custom motorcycle discovery in Hoi An

Check this out to learn where to find two true hidden gems for motorcycle fanatics in Hoi An!

While travelling you often randomly meet awesome people with shared interests. This happened to me once again last week in Hoi An. While discovering the city on our bicycles we decided to cross the bridge to the other side of town to find out what’s there. We found the very cool and original designed Knoy Bar. It was the custom Yamaha SR400 tracker motorcycle parked in front of the bar that mostly got my attention.

Custom SR400 tracker
Roc’s custom SR400 tracker

 

After a chat with the extremely kind owner Fong and his brother from another mother Roc we soon learned that we all shared the love for motorcycles.

Piston head ashtray
A piston head that serves as an ashtray is a clear hint that this bar is runned by motorcycle enthusiasts.

Fong told me that he had only opened his bar 3 months ago. After he had been traveling in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia for a while he started building the bar all by himself, using mainly recycled vintage resources, which give the bar it’s unique and cool vibe. Check the bar out here!

Doggie bar surveillance
The Knoy Bar is under constant surveillance by this curious little doggie

After having shared our stories on motorcycles and travel, Roc told me about his friend with a unique custom motorcycle workshop at his house in Hoi An. Naturally,I was stoked to see this place so we agreed on going there the next day for a meet and shoot.
The day after we met at the Knoy Bar again and Roc took me on the back of his cool SR400 to his friends’ place. It was a wild Vietnamese style ride. Roc didn’t bother using the horn at all, as the amazing exhaust sound would let the other road users know that we were coming and that they had to make way.

Let's goooo
Let’s goooo!

 

10 minutes later we arrived, all hyped up from the short but exciting ride. However I had to let the adrenaline rush go when I got introduced to Tientran, probably the most zen and introvert Vietnamese man I have met so far. After an awkward, eye-contact-avoiding handshake, Tien let me enter his amazing workshop. It was full of old school helmets, retro biker jackets, and heaps of leather bags which Tien was apparently making and selling.

Leather bags
Tiens’ business on the side, leather bags

 

I spotted a cool custom Yamaha SR bobber in a dark corner of which I attempted to take some photos. But it was to dark for getting good shots. Then, the doors on the street side  went open and I was absolutely stunned by what I was presented with! There was a 1972 BMW R71 army sidecar. After about three firm kicks on the kickstart Tien got it to run. Roc told me that this was something really special as Tien had never done this for anyone before. The fist exclusive ReisPost item here guys!

Custom Hoi An
Tien rolling out his precious creations

 

After that he also started up the SR bobber custom and rolled it outside allowing me to take some nice shots of that too. Soon a small crowd gathered to admire Tien’s creations. Not a big surprise if you check out my pictures below!

Yamaha SR bobber custom
Tien and his cool SR bobber custom
Customs in Hoi An
These bikes soon gathered an admiring crowd!

 

Follow Roc and his friends on Instagram, as they are soon leaving on a motorcycle road trip!

Custom Scramblers in El Nido! Lakwatsero Motorcycles

While cruising on my rental through Corong-Corong, the little town just before El Nido, I accidentally discovered Lakwatsero Motorcycles. The custom scramblers outside grabbed my attention. I couldn’t resist popping in to have a chat and find out who they are and what they do. Owned by two Spanish hombres Nanni and Pepillo and their Filipino partners in crime Poks and Kols, Lakwatsero Motorcycles is creating seriously cool scramblers and trackers for their customers.


Co-founder Nanni was studying medicine in Spain and was supposed to be calling himself a doctor some day. It was back in 2007 when he was working as a volunteer on the Philippine island Negros Oriental when he fell in love with the country.
A few years later he was working on a party boat together with his childhood friend Pepillo. It was one big continuous fiesta during and after work. After a while they felt it was time to do something slightly less crazy. So they opened a bar. And not just some random bar! Read all about this bar on one of the most beautiful locations in the world, and about my other bar and restaurant recommendations here!


Back to bikes now! Today, together with their local team of mechanics they are creating seriously cool custom scramblers and trackers for their customers. They mainly use the reliable Honda tmx and Kawasaki Barako as donor bikes. These are the hard working 175cc motorbikes you usually find in tricycles, the Filipino version of the tuctuc.

Great army style looks on one the first Lakwatsero builds!

Their early customers are mostly friends and acquaintances who bring in their bikes in order to have it customized to their preferences. With this tactic Lakwatsero aims to bring more great looking custom scramblers to the Filipino streets. These creations being the ultimate advertisement representing their business.

One of the first builds by Lakwatsero, great advertisement on wheels

Lakwatsero is the Taglish word which is translated to: The husband who is always out of the house, doing stuff he enjoys. The muchachos came up with this name for their custom garage as their Filipino partners gave them these nicknames earlier.

Nanni’s ride

Currently there’s already a line to get in to if you want to have your bike customized by Lakwatsero Motorcycles. Which is a good sign of course! In the near future, Lakwatsero will create several customs which are available for hire, so even as a tourist, you can ride the magnificent roads of El Nido in style.

Filipino style workshop
The Filipino style workshop, it takes real craftsmanship to build such great looking custom scramblers from here


Keep an eye on these guys by following them on Instagram!

Aloha Alona

What to do in Alona Beach?

Alona Beach is a popular place on Panglao Island, the small peninsula southwest of Bohol. It’s connected to Bohol by two big bridges. We arrived at the Tagbilaran harbour by Oceanjet ferry coming from Dumaguete. From the Tagbilaran harbour it’s easy to get a tricycle which will bring you to Alona for about 250 pesos, depending on your negotiating skills. The ride will take about half an hour, so 250 peso’s (€5) is a good deal and a ride in a tricycle is always good fun!

Tricycle ride
A ride in a colorful tricycle!

Where to stay?

We stayed in the popular Moon Fools hostel. Make sure you book ahead as this place is often fully booked. I highly recommend picking a bed in the 10 persons mixed dorm. You’ll get your own cosy cubicle there. You’ll have your own light and socket to charge your electronic devices. The 8 person dorms have the usual bunk beds which offer less privacy.

There are hot showers in the spacious and clean shared bathroom, a rare find in the Philippines!
In the morning you can make your own free oatmeal breakfast with banana, nuts, raisins, cinnamon and marshmallows, yummy! And there’s a big drinking water dispenser which you can use to fill up your bottle! Plus they have superb wifi which even worked in the bedroom.

The only less pleasant experience in this close to perfection hostel was the creepy little Philippino from housekeeping who was very eager to sneak in the shower with me and offering me ‘massaaahhge?’ all the time. So watch out for this horny little man.

Rent a motorbike to discover the area

I rented a great fun Yamaha XTZ 125 off-road bike to discover the area and to visit the spectacular Chocolate Hills on Bohol. The Moon Fools hostel advertises for Bohol Bikes who will hook you up with a Honda Zoomer. Which is fine if you enjoy riding on a scooter. But if you’re more into riding a real motorbike, ask the reception staff to arrange this. I don’t know where mine came from,but it was just there the morning I requested it. I payed 1500 for two days. The bike was brand new and technically in great condition!

Yamaha xtz 125
The Yamaha xtz 125, a great bike to discover Panglao and Bohol!

The sightseeing route

Instead of taking the most driven way to get to Bohol’s prime tourist attraction, the Chocolate Hills, we chose to take the spectacular scenic route. This route will take you along the south coast of Bohol. Once you have reached the city of Jagna, turn left to start climbing your way up to Sierra Bullones. In this stage of the route I was glad to be on the Yamaha XTZ with its large off the road tires. While the majority of the road in the Philippines are well maintained, we crossed some pretty rough tracks. We saw many people struggling on there scooters. But it was good fun on the agile Yamaha. We overtook everyone with a big smile on our faces.

Once you’ve reached the town of Sierra Bullones go left towards a charming little town called Carmen. From there on you’ll see the directions to the road which takes you towards the Chocolate Hills. Once you’ve crossed Sierra Bullones take a left towards a charming little town called Carmen. From there on you’ll see the directions to the road which takes you towards the Chocolate Hills. You can’t really miss the left turn towards the geographic wonder. Actually we did, twice, speeding past the absurdly big sign 😂.

Nice route to the Chocolate Hills
This is the route we took to the Chocolate Hills. Highly recommended!

Link to google maps here!

As usual in the Philippines, you will be charged a small fee to use the road which gets you to the lookout post, 50 pesos per person at the time of writing. A pretty steep road up the hill will take you to the parking platform. Try not be overrun by busses packed with Koreans backing up. Like at most tourist attractions you will find numerous little vendors trying to sell something, like chocolate milk, very creative 😉.

After you’ve climbed the more than 200 steps up the stairs you will have a great view. At least, on a clear day that is. As you can see we picked a pretty wet day to go. Not recommended. So here’s some advice, check the weather in Carmen before you leave sunny Alona. We left with sunshine but ended in up riding through the actual rain clouds in the heights of Sierra Bullones. This will get you wet to the bone. We were passed the point of giving a shit when we arrived at the look out point where it was raining like hell. Just keep on smiling and enjoyed the unvisible amazing view.

Chocolate hills Bohol
Great grey views over the chocolate hills…

After taking a couple of grey and rainy shots and selfies we headed back towards Alona. This time taking the faster most travelled way, passing Quezon, Loboc and Albuquerque. The first part of this route is stunning. Taking you along endless twisting roads through a forrest with tremendously tall trees. It’s like riding through a tunnel crafted by nature. Along this road you’ll find the Tarsier sanctuary. Here you’ll find the super cute looking little creatures with their enormous eyes. To us it looked like a mega tourist trap. There was a huge line of tourists waiting to get in the sanctuary. So we skipped it. I just kicked down a gear and continued enjoying the curling roads.

The second part of the return to Alona follows more straight roads and isn’t very exiting. So we were happy to have travelled through Sierra Bullones on the way there. Of course you could also reverse the trip. If you leave Alona Beach around noon you’ll be able to see the sunset on your way back as you ride down the southern coastal road of Bohol which is pretty awesome!

Sunset ride
Riding the south coast of Bohol during sunset

Where to drink and eat

There’s loads of restaurants at the Alona beach strip, but only a few nice bars for those delicious sunset drinks. These were our favourite picks:

Alona Beach Lounge

A good spot to start and end your night. We did both in one continuous shift one night. A everlasting happy hour from noon till 19:00 gets you very happy before the night has even started. The bar is owned by an English guy who actually bought it while he was on his holiday in Alona last year. They have some seriously strong mango, banana and pineapple infused rum shots for 60 pesos each. You can order snacks and food from the neighbouring restaurant.

Name Unknown: Reggae bar

The first bar you’ll find if you turn left after the beach access road. You can’t really miss it with the loud but relaxed reggae tunes blasting from the speakers. A cool place with hilarious staff members.

The Birdwatchers cafe

Very relaxed atmosphere at this bar. And great live music by Frankie on Sunday’s. He’ll play all requests, no exceptions made. Varying from Whitney Houston’s I will always love you until raging death metal. Yes, we heard both that night. Very friendly staff, there’s a funny guy running all over the place ensuring nobody’s glass is empty.

All bars in Alona beach offer you these pretty views!

Alona Beach view
View from the Alona Beach bars

Where to eat

To be completely honest Alona Beach is not a great place to be if you’re looking for amazing restaurants. Below you’ll find what I would really recommend. It’s not much, similar to the number of places serving good food.

Buzz Bohol Bee farm Café

At first glance it looks like they jus serve ice cream here. Which is delicious by the way! But if you enter the shop and go up the stairs you will get to their restaurant overlooking the ocean. This was our favorite restaurant in Alona. Healthy and organic food is served here. That doesn’t mean it’s al non fat and green stuff. Try out their tasty burger or the extremely tender spareribs in sweet marinade. And definitely don’t forget to order the fresh spring rolls served with peanut sauce. Another must try here is the mango peanut butter smoothie, it may sound weird but it’s delicious 😋.

Spareribs at Bohol buzz bee farm cafe
Who wouldn’t look this happy at a plate of delicious spareribs? 😉

Alona Beach isn’t the place to try out the local Philippine cuisine. Not that their local cuisine is that special. There are many restaurants serving western food. It’s mainly pizza, pasta and burgers here. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as it’s good pizza!

The Alona Beach Pizza Contest

When wandering on the Alona Beach strip in Panglao we were amazed by the amount of ‘fresh’ seafood displays. To be honest the displays looked pretty good, even though there might have been some protected species on display. But when we asked for the cost for a nice serving of gamba’s, crab or lobster we soon lost our appetite. The prices were almost similar to what we would pay back home in Amsterdam! So way out of proportion for a Philippine restaurant which catches its seafood directly from the ocean in front of them and definitely not fit for our daily budget.

Unfortunately for us we experienced several successive rainy days in Alona Beach. So the time right for some serious daytime drinking and a constant craving for comfort food. Yes, we did that for four days in a row…

After a considerable amount of drinks at one of our favorite bars at the beach, the Alona Beach Lounge, we were craving for pizza. Because that’s what we all want after drinks right? I’m a big fan of pizza and I think I can be trusted when it comes to judging what a proper pizza is.

Here’s the top 3:

3. Hayahay Resort

These guys have a big sign outside screaming that they have the best Pizza on Alona Beach. Well, perhaps they mean that they sell the best pizza literally on the beach itself. We tried it and to be honest it was OK. But the crust was too thin, it was baked too hard, the toppings were all right though. They seem to love small shrimps here at Hayahay as you’ll find them as a topping on most of their pizza’s.

2. Noah Pizza

Noah pizza is located at the intersection of the Panglao main road and Alona street (street towards the beach). It’s the super bright white tungsten lights and the plastic red and white checkered  tablecloths that make this place look super romantic 😜 But I must say the pizza’s are very good and that makes up for the shabby scenery . First of all they are huge! So you could easily share a pizza if you are two and not dying from hunger. Second, the ingredients used on the pizza are top quality. The only thing was that they didn’t put a lot of these top quality ingredients on top, that’s why Noah’s places second in this super official Alona Pizza Contest 🏆

1. Giuseppe Pizza

There can only be one winner, and that’s Giuseppe! The location of this Italian restaurant is a bit out of bounds. You’ll find it if you just keep on walking out of town. It just sits there on its own separated from the other restaurants. But it’s well worth the walk! The pizzas here are amazing. They are humongous! So again, just like at Noah’s you could easily share here. We didn’t, because we were starving after having too many drinks on rainy day number 5 in Alona. What makes Giuseppe stand out above the other pizzas in Alona Beach is their rich toppings and high quality ingredients! They serve fairly priced OK wine here by the way!