Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I have been watching the news as I know many of you have too with great apprehension.   What started with a major earthquake has turned into a disaster of immeasurable proportions. The massive tsunami that followed has wiped out entire cities and countless souls and possibly created the beginning of a nuclear meltdown.
I feel sorry for what has happened to the Japanese people, Japan is a great country full of hard working people, brave people that will be able to confront whatever nature throws at them and I'm sure they will come out stronger than ever.  If there's one country that deserves our help more than any other it is Japan, we need to offer our support and resources to the Japanese people.  These pictures show the power of the tsunami.

I have been anxiously waiting for my new Yamaha Ténéré and recently had heard that the bikes might not get here until June or July.  While knowing the bikes might be late was disheartening today I read discouraging news about the Japanese motorcycle industry.  I know me not getting my bike or not being able to enjoy the summer with the new bike pales in comparison to the disaster that has befallen over Japan. Following are excerpts from the article:

Honda seems to have taken the worst of the damage, losing an employee during a wall collapse at its R&D facility in Tochigi, which also saw 30 other employees injured. Additionally, Honda’s automobile facilities in Saitama, Tochigi, Suzuka and Hamamatsu were closed today, with plans to re-open all of the facilities after March 20th. Honda’s Kumamoto plant manufacturers the Super Cub, CBR600RR, VFR1200F and DN-01 motorcycles.

Honda is donating ¥300 million ($3.7 million) towards the relief effort, and is also donating 1,000 gas-powered generators with 5,000 canisters of gas to help affected areas and rescuers.

Honda Racing (HRC) released a separate press release stating that the subsidiary did not withstand any major damages from the earthquake, tsunami, or nuclear meltdown. However the Honda Motor owned Twin Ring Motegi circuit sustained some cracks to its surface, and will have to undergo repair to the track and grandstand areas. Subsequently the MotoGP round scheduled for April has been moved to October.

Suzuki has issued a release stating that it will also be closing its plants as of today, as the company assess the damage to its operations. The company is expected to remained closed through March 16th, and may re-open on March 17th. Suzuki assembles motorcycle motors in its Takatsuka plant, while full motorcycle assembly takes place in its Toyokawa plant. Suzuki also has automotive facilities in Kosai, Iwata, Sagara, and Osuka.

Yamaha announced today that it will be closing its production facilities until Friday, possibly longer. The closure includes all five of Yamaha’s motorcycle production facilities. While its watercraft, car, and ATV plants will be closing as well, Yamaha will keep its generator production facility partially operational in order to meet any needs for electric production. Yamaha has pledged 500 generators to the relief effort, along with 4,000 bottles of drinking water, 5,000 emergency food rations, and 300,000 surgical masks.

If I could somehow be teleported to Japan to help with the clean up and reconstruction I would gladly do it.   I feel really bad every time I see the pictures on TV of destroyed homes and lives and I can't do anything about it.  To the Japanese people I say, take care of your people first, help the ones in need, we can all wait until you are ready.

I still have my Kawasaki Concours and will be able to continue riding until the Yamaha gets here.
I will wait, take your time.


  1. Good post george, The Japanese were one of the first USAR teams to arrive after the CHCH Earthquake. The support was invaluable to all New Zealanders, ironic now that as we still clean up CHCH, we have sent our USAR team to also help them.

    My thoughts are also with the Japanese people, they will recover but there is a long road ahead. It has been an unbeliveable start to the year.

    Your bike willa arrive. and when it does you are gonna appreciate it so much more.

  2. Well said. Waiting for your bike before the earthquake and tsunami must have been frustrating. Seeing the pictures and video from Japan puts that into perspective and makes us realise just how lucky we are to still be able to have near-normal lives. When it arrives, it may seem better for the fact that it was crafted by people who went through a great deal to get your bike to you.

  3. GeorgeF:

    somehow it just doesn't seem fair that we go about living our lives, while they are trying to survive. I can't imagine loosing everything and have no where to go.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. It's a sad part of life that some should go with and others should go without. It is not possible to share and share alike perfectly.

    Still, my heart goes out to these people. This was not earned, this was happenstance, and disaster is possible for each and every one of us. I think there is a way to honor them by continuing to live life and give assistance. Whether that is buying a Japanese motorcycle to help their economy, donating, or just supporting our government's efforts to aid their beleaguered country, we can have an impact. A tragedy like this reminds me why I throw a leg over every morning. You've got to live a life you're proud of, because the shit can hit any day.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and life

  5. Thanks guys :-)
    More and more horror stories are coming out. Old people that lost they children and grandchildren, One old man lost the wife, son, son's wife and their children, what is there to live for :-(
    You have to "live" everyday of your life, you never know when the last is coming.