Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Ellen
I bought a motorcycle. But I’m not the owner. It’s a slightly twisted tale of friendship, finance, and fun in this time of coronavirus fear.
I first started thinking about getting a motorbike a couple months ago when the quarantines were first lifted here in Malay, Aklan on Panay Island in the Philippines.
Actually, I was looking for a bicycle at the time – and unable to find a used one, I considered spending at least $120 for a crummy, new, Chinese 10-speed. Call it a ‘Walmart special’.
It occurred to me at the time, that for perhaps just a little more money, I might find a used scooter or motorcycle. I figured having a motorbike as we ride out the global pandemic would be convenient and fun. Indeed, riding motorcycles is one of the few things I miss about my ‘life before travel’. (Side note: I have rented scooters – and bicycles – in many places during our world vagabonding.)
I mentioned my interest in finding a cheap motorbike to my Filipino beer drinking buddy, Robbie, one afternoon as we downed some brews and listened to classic American rock music as we sometimes do.
A few days later there was a knock at our apartment door. There stood Robbie’s ‘nephew’ offering a beat-up Kawasaki Rouser 135 for sale.
Used motorbike giveaway plan
The machine was pretty rough; scraped up, crash damaged, lights not working, ignition loose, leaking brake fluid, water in gas tank, etc. The kid spoke decent English and was honest about the bike’s problems and condition. He wanted $250.
I took it for a test ride and it ran just fine. I said I’d consider it and talk further to Robbie about a deal.
In the following weeks, I was able to salvage a free bicycle that was here at the ‘resort’ property where we are staying. My motorbike desire faded a little. But I had also started hanging out with another Filipino beer drinking friend, Juli.
Juli was a great ‘resource’ for technical info and suggestions as I first started working on some various community improvement projects with the nearby indigenous Ati people – many of whom Juli knows. We became friends over beers after long, hot, June days.
Juli is a rice farmer and handyman who also has four young kids and a wife. But his only transportation – an old motorcycle – sits in his yard broken, junked. No budget; no transport.
A week later, back at Robbie’s, he told me he really needed to raise some cash. The coronavirus lockdown has hurt his business and other family jobs. And I could see he was now supporting about 10 relatives in total.
Tedly creates plan
I hatched an idea. I would purchase the motorcycle from Robbie and give it to Juli. It would be part of his ‘compensation package’ for helping with the Ati projects… lol. Meanwhile, Robbie would get some much needed cash.
And, I could ride/use/borrow the machine occasionally during the rest of our stay here – however long that will be.
It was a win-win-win.
I presented the plan to Juli, who of course agreed. Who without wheels would turn down a free motorcycle? In exchange, he was happy to lend a hand – and his electrical and water system expertise – on the Ati jobs.
A few days ago, we all three met up at Robbie’s house and completed the transaction. Turns out, living a few miles apart most their lives, they had known each other casually over the years; they reconnected over beers. I got a kick out of seeing Juli signing the ownership documents and Robbie with a wad of my money.
After ‘spreading the wealth’, we hung out well into the night, drinking and jamming 1970’s rock.
Since the transaction, Juli has been using the Kawasaki daily. He even rides it up the dirt footpath to the Ati mountain village – saving a 30-minute, mile-and-a-half walk each way.
He has fixed a few of the flaws, and for about $50 we did have the machine checked and doctored at a local repair shop. All good. Juli will transfer title, get plates, and insurance next week.
Borrowing the used motorbike
I intend to take a few long, scenic, coastal rides on the bought and borrowed bike. In fact, Robbie still has an extra scooter – so we’ve talked about the three of us taking a ‘brew cruise’ together sometime, too.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Tedly hatches used motorbike giveaway plan.”
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