Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cannonball Run with the Kymco Like 125

Historic it will be!

Turban Rider is cannonballed!
Did you know that the Cannonball is based on the movie The Cannonball Run ( starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and an all-star cast, which ironically is based on the real road race event Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash ( organized by Brock Yates who made a cameo appearance in the Cannonball Run movie as an organizer?

Poster of the 1981 movie
Looking forward to the 500 kilometer challenge,hoping to finish it in 12 hours time with the weapon of choice, the Kymco Like 125.

I had one of this before.  Until the Gmax came along. Which I somehow regreted.  The Kymco Like is one of the best and finest looking scooters around.  Hoping to get another one for myself soon.
UPDATE!   Twistin' for some Thrillin'

The Like's handling is incredibly nimble, in tight situations.  But also very stable in low, gliding speeds.  Power is alright for a 125cc displacement.  
Cornering is a breeze with the overall technical design of the scooter.  The two fat tires grip the road like a gecko to a wall.  Braking bad no more with the front and rear disc brakes.   

You know what was the real challenge for me?  Ok, I've done several endurance rides before.  I've done 1,200 kilometers in 24 hours before.  The Cannonball is just a "mere" 500 kilometers with a 12 hour time frame.  It sounded easy actually, because the challenge was cut in half.  How wrong was I.

I was lucky enough to be lent a wonder scooter, the Kymco Like 125.  I've had one before.  Shame, let's just say, I had to let it go.  Biggest mistake on my scootering life.

Anyways, I prepped up, trying to get my body into the scooter handling mode, relearning. It's worlds apart from the dual-sports believe me.  And when I say prepped up, I meant put up decals of my wonderful and generous sponsors.  Yeehaw!

You know what the real challenge was?  Ok Friday, I packed 4 shirts, 2 sets of socks, and deciding against it, 2 sets of underwear.  By that time I was already accustomed to the Like.  I hooked up with Mr. Ricci Abrina of Inside Racing to go the Clarck together.  We decided to take that Bulacan route because the Calumpit bridge is still out (yep always more fun in the Philippines).  The ride there was tiring enough.  I intended to sleep but didn't, couldn't.  Stupid brain wanted me to be up and alive and celebrating counting the hours before flag off.

Come flagoff, everybody's adrenalin was still up.  Twisting throttles, flooring pedals, cars and motorcycles went into the grid and took off one by one as soon as Mr. Joey Almeda raised the orange flag indicating clear for take off.  I went in front of the line.  And then the rock and roll began.

The real challenge was?  Ok, I was there, twisting the throttle, minding my own, gliding down the straight way.  (Almost) Literally hundred of racers passed me by with their booming pipes.  I'm no racer.  I can't ride as fast, so I took my time.  Not the sharpest knife, nor the fastest rider.  I must be getting old, I'm starting to have difficulty in night riding.  That was a race!  But then in my mental computation, 80 kmh should be enough to cross the marker, that included gas and food stops.

The real challenge was?  Ok, I came to Petron Aritao checkpoint.  Then I sped, forgetting to gas up, so I went back again to fill up the tank to the brim.  This time I hooked up with the LOS.  I was amazed at their riding discipline, like watching a synchronized fireworks zigzaging in the air, from far aback.  I tried to keep up but they were fast.  Until somewhere, my body just wasn't able to cope with the biting cold, it was debilitating.  Me and another rider stopped and I wore all my reserve clothes, all 3 of them.  I even used my underwear (good call Telly) and wrapped it around my neck.  I put hand stiffened hands in the muffler for some heat.  After much needed heat, off I went to the last checkpoint.  Baguio.

Baguio checkpoint was a little lonely.  Apparently, everybody else was ahead of me then rocking their way back to Clark.  I was even told I needed to hurry up to finish in time.  That's what I did.  The moment I hit the National rd.  It was pure rock and roll.  The Kymco Like 125 was put to the test, I full throttled my way to the finish line.  I was almost afraid the the engine will blow up due to my unforgiving twisting of the throttle.  Late morning and I was still in Pangasinan.  I almost thought I wouldn't make it.

Nearing noon, I was in Angeles still not convince that I'd make it.  When I hit Clark, even the guards told me to rush up.  Not a familiar sight from Clark guards.  Then I saw the entrance to Widus and the platform to which I would know my time.  It indicated 11:55, just a mere 5 minutes away from not making it.

Then misfortune struck.  I lost my passport.  There goes my certificate!  Nevertheless, I know in my self that I did it. My scooter did it. Thanks Kymco Like for not letting me down.

Weapons of choice.
The Turbanizer thanks Kymco Philippines especially Mr. Gilbert Limjoco and Mr. Henry Tenebroso for the wonderful Kymco Like 125 scooter they provided me.  I also thank Mr. Kevin Limjoco and Mr. Maynard Marcelo for letting me be a part of the most premium car and motorcycle magazine in the land, C! Magazine.  Lastly I thank Mr. Sanjay Chatlani and Mr. Mark Chuidian of Spyder Philippines for the superb protection the Spyder Motard provided me during the Cannonball.
photo credits to Mr. Randy Silva-Netto.


Adding photos, stories and anecdotes later.
The LOS BROs at the stage with Mr. Gilbert Limjoco, VP for Operations of Kymco Philippines
Likey Likey?  Yes they are the wonder scooters from Kymco.  All Kymco Like bikes were finishers of the CB500.  Talk about tough!
Mr. Jun Mirasol of JM Advertising led the LOS pack through the CB500 route
There's my time!  Another buzzer-beater performance from the Turbanizer.
Mr. Gilbert Limjoco congratulates the solo Kymco Like  rider and "first media to arrive" awardee.
The incredible Like 125
I ain't worried.  I got my brothers.
They see me rollin, they hatin'.
JM at the Fontana
Flagged off
photo credits to Mr. Randy Silva-Netto.

UPDATE!   Fellow Likers!  The Like Club

There are actually four, yes FOUR Kymco-sponsored groups of 10 riders to participate in the run.  The other Like group was the TLC or The Like Club Philippines, Inc.  It was headed by Mr. Augusto "Astek" Ang and I was half hoping to see my old friend there.  They too are all finishers of the run and all made it in time.  Now, the group is being headed by the dashing debonaire Mr. Romeo Abaigar, who was also a finisher in the run.

The Like Club or TLC is another group of 10 entry for the Cannonball.  All Finishers.

UPDATE!   Fellow Kymco Riders!  The Super 8 Philippines

One of the 4 Kymco-sponsored groups is the Super 8 Philippines.  All are finishers also!  Needless to say, they all rode their sturdy and sexy Kymco Super 8 125s.  Congratulations S8 Philippines!

The Super 8 Philippines is one of the 4 groups of Cannonball's group of ten entry
love them super 8s
Cool scooter.  the Super 8 is my alternative to the Like.  Both from one of the best makers of scooters in the world, Kymco

UPDATE!   Fellow Kymco Riders!  The "Main" Group

The Main Group, as opposed to the 3 Kymco-sponsored groups, is actually composed of different Kymco bikes, not same-makes.  Composing them are bikes like the Like, Super 8, KTR and K-Pipe.  And yes all are reliable machines as they too all finished the CB500.  Wooohoo way to go Kymco!

A Kymco KTR 125 rockin' the mountain of Benguet

Oh by the way, here are some related topics you may want to see:

Cannonball Run
BOSS Ironman Motorcycle Challenge
LOS and Found
Kymco Like users in the Cannonball
Motorcycle brands trivia
KLOG Christmas Party