TLRJ – Day 36 – Fuji to Nagoya (where’s my petrol?)
In the morning, the rain was pattering against the window. I checked the rain radar: a large rain front was moving over my area. If I waited long enough, it would pass by. So I had a late, very traditional Japanese breakfast. When I had packed my luggage, indeed the rain had stopped. Not need to put on the rain suit. The road was still a bit wet, so I rode carefully. It was only a 260 km to Nagoya and another 50 km to the hotel at the airport. After 30 minutes, I was already riding on the highway. The tricky part on this day was to arrive at the hotel with the right amount of petrol left in the tank. I was instructed to have no fuel left in the tank at drop-off, so I had to time it wisely. At a point, I was approaching a service station with petrol and the next announced was 65 km away. Hmmm, that’s maybe a bit far. Maybe I should stop here and think it through. The bike seemingly had heard my thoughts and was running out of petrol. A quick shift to reserve did not work immediately and I had to stop on the exit lane. Finally the bike started and I made a short break and decided to fill 7.4 L in the tank. I had 100 km left to Nagoya, another 50 km to the hotel and a 40 km the next to the drop-off point in the harbour.
The time was right to approach Nagoya: no traffic, expressway to the centre and few red lights. I found the block where I had to meet the people from DHL. It took me 30 minutes to find the right entrance. I first thought I had found the Marunouchi building – until I found out that every second building in the area was a Marunouchi Building. Finally I met my contact persons, two friendly ladies who checked my papers and gave me very detailed instructions for the next day. I will have to deliver the bike, wait for a customs number and walk to the customs office. Plus some telephone calls. The tricky part will be to deliver the XBR without petrol. And get to the station to take a train to Kyoto. As I can’t stay until the customs inspection, they will ship in a dedicated container for the XBR only. No crating needed which means I can leave the panniers on the bike.
I rode the last 50 km to my hotel at the airport where I will leave on Monday. It was carefully chosen because I can leave my luggage there and travel light to Kyoto. I also spotted a car wash close to the airport where I could wash the bike a bit. Some 15 km before the hotel, I had to switch to reserve. 4 km later, the bike would sputter again and stop.
What’s going on??? Luckily, there was a petrol station opposite to the junction where I investigated the problem. Maybe there was some water in the tank? I removed the petrol line and wanted to collect some petrol with an empty water bottle. No petrol was coming out of the tap. Hmmm? I opened the lid….there was petrol inside, right? I used the light of the mobile phone….well, I had to conclude that the tank was empty. This was impossible! I just had switched to reserve! Was there a problem with the tap? I filled up 3.5 L, this should be more than enough. When stopping at red lights, I noticed that the carb was overflowing massively. It occurred to me that I rarely had to switch to reserve during this trip. I stopped at the carwash. Again, the bike was massively losing petrol! For the last 7 km, I had to close the tap when stopping. But finally I found the hotel at the airport and checked in. I had a look in the tank again….a lot of petrol was missing, I’ll have to buy petrol again tomorrow! Right now it seems to me that the bike might be losing a lot of petrol during riding, even it is not in idle speed. Does it have something to do with the tap and the reserve position? Anyway, I have 39 km left to the harbour. In the worst case, I have to open and close the tap periodically. Maybe the XBR wants to tell me that she is tired and wants to go back home now? We’ll master this last challenge tomorrow.
After a well deserved shower, I entered the airport terminal for I had a brilliant idea. I could buy some cheap suitcases and put everything in there, without the need to find another solution to have only two pieces of luggage plus the motorbike gear. I bought two big suitcases, the cheapest special offer I could find (horrible colours), but it seems that this is an elegant solution. I hate to spend 15 hours in stinking motorbike trousers. But now there’s no need for that, I packed already the suitcases and it seems everything will fit.
I notice that I didn’t take any pictures today, well only one from an orange Baumkuchen I had as a snack. But this is really not very spectacular. I booked a guided bicycle tour in Kyoto on Saturday, it will be good to do some exercise again.
So tomorrow has to challenges: getting to the warehouse and getting from the warehouse to Kyoto Station. But I think I will master this test as well.