Hadi Hussein is a 44-year-old Johorian purist (JB), a former disaster-deployment expert and a well experienced humanitarian by profession.
He is also a well-renowned adventure rider, had placed his mark in history by travelling solo from Kuala Lumpur to London in the year 2010 riding on just a “kapcai”, across 24 countries, unassisted and unsponsored. He continued his legacy by going for the Equator ride in 2012, passing it twice on the same bike. He has a vast experience of more than a decade in leadership positions for many disaster-deployments around the world especially the Middle-East and Asia, making him a resourceful person.
In the unflagging pursuit of his riding passion, he has been tireless guiding various Indo-China rides to Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, the China and Vietnam borders for new and eager paying riders. Up until now, he has inspired more new local and international biking enthusiasts to explore the globe by sharing his knowledge and experience from all of his rides through updates in his blog www.IAMALAYSIAN.com.
** Part 1 would be covering Hadi’s background and some tips on what to prepare for tours. Part 2 (CLICK HERE) would cover his visit to the Malaysian consulate in Melbourne before flagging off, and Part 3 would be his journey through the Great Ocean Road before completing his ‘mission’.
PART I: Initial Preparation
The plan was to highlight the program theme – to promote Tanjung Piai Johor as the very tip of Asia which is til now is rarely being advertised and made known. As born Johoreans, we believe that it would be our duty and great honor from our side. We feel the journey that shall be taken is unlike most self-achievement or holiday adventure rides that many have made or are doing now, but more as a channel to achieve a greater mission with a clear set goal which is to promote Johore and Malaysia to the eyes of the world.
There are many examples and scenarios being highlighted repeatedly in the scenes of adventure riding where riders meet with mishaps, stranded and even experience casualties due to lack of preparation. From the process of getting your carnet for the bike to personal travelling visa, currency exchange, up to the details of daily expenses have to be carefully planned, calculated and documented. Remember that for a solo adventure rider ‘wannabe’, all of these will be handled and paid by you alone and no one will help you; From your daily food consumption, oil consumption, accommodation and stops that you choose, whether you can afford five star hotels or only cheap budget motels or even just resort to camping grounds.
All of these must be put into careful consideration and properly jotted down as safety measures in case of emergency. The rider must remember that this is not the same as riding in our own country; it’s in a foreign country. The other factor to put into consideration would be the bike and also the rider himself. How’s the weather, road condition, how many things to bring just to make sure that you are not stuffing your bike with the unnecessary (making your bike heavy where you will end up being unable to pick the bike up if it falls down) and listing down the essential tools and basic equipment.
On how to organize the Cargo clearance and all the processes that would be involved, please refer to legitimate blogs and forum. Note the details shared by those who has done it themselves. I would constantly remind others and myself to not depend on hearsay because you wouldn’t know the source of this information. It would be exactly like trusting someone that has no knowledge with something so important as your safety, your bike and your life. Again I strongly suggest referring to those who have been proven to have it done. That is the only way of preparing for this sort of adventure riding, especially for solo trips.
After all paperwork and legal documents have been prepared for the journey, the rider needs to focus on the bike preparation for the ride. The bike I am using is a Malaysian made motorcycle, Demak ATM (Authentic Trailing Machine) 200 that has been provided by the Demak principal themselves. There were several tests and preparation that was done with this Demak ATM 200. After careful consideration on factors like the terrain of the routes and type of roads that will be taken, the weather, weight and way of riding, several alterations have been made to the bike. Among others would be the use of type 15/50 oil, spark plugs using the NGK CR8E-BRISK AR12ZS by Ok SBK, Heavy Duty Chain from RK-Chain (M), custom rear absorber by YSS and custom aluminium side box.
On top of that, having a set of suitable riding gears are also very important for the trip. I was fortunate enough to be sponsored by Furygan, Shark and Bagster for a set of these things. Among the gears that we got is Mesh Summer Riding Jacket with matching riding pants from Furygan, waterproof boots and gloves from Furygan, Helmets from Shark, and a few waterproof bags from Bagster.
We are also very fortunate to have a few more sponsors from several agencies that have contributed towards this program. Among others are head mounted camera from Foream, carnet from FIM and AAM, batteries from Koyoko, data online by VisonData and also logistic help, flight tickets and accommodation on several places from Tourism Australia, not to mention help from the Consulate of Malaysia in Australia.
For the shipping arrangements for the bike to Melbourne, we have engaged the service of MASCargo (official Cargo Service provider for this program). Before we send in the bike for crating at MASCargo, we had to strip it clean, free from any lubes, sand or debris. Australia mainly has very strict regulations in bringing in your bike to their country and making sure it is clean is the best way to prevent it from being quarantined even further and one should beware that the charges for such quarantine would be very steep and may poke a hole in your pocket. We had repeatedly cleaned it 3 times just to make sure. We have to dismantle the bike up until what’s left was just the engine, chassis and the tyres. The cargo took one day trip (depending on your destination) and was kept about 2 days in depot storage, pending clearance.
**To be continued. Stay tuned!