Pretty but not Practical – Story of My Life….
I’ve had the Rouser 200NS for about three months now. To date, I am loving the bike (excellent engine power, bright HID headlight, sexxay ass looks and super-sticky brakes) but its been a bit difficult to fully appreciate as without some sort of storage, it’s not that practical. A top box (plastic storage box that mounts to the back of the bike) is the simplest solution, but after seeing a photograph of a Rouser 200 NS with a topbox online, I was mortified – the box really detracts from the aggressive sexxayness of the beastly little Kawasaki. Finally, after months of wishing I didn’t have to lug around a backpack everywhere I went on the bike, I put my ego in my back pocket and went down to the local motorcycle dealership to get it fitted for a box.
Out of Stock
As with many things in the Philippines when it comes to customer service, the encounter went something like this.
ME: Hello kind sir. I am looking for a rack so that I can mount a top box on my Rouser.
STORE GUY: (Looks at Rouser) No worries, sir. We don’t have stock, but I will order one right away. Just give me your phone number.
ME: (Writes down phone number) OK, great. Are you sure it’s specifically for a 200 NS – the Rouser 180 racks don’t fit it.
STORE GUY: (With dismissive disdain) Sure, sure. No problem. I will text you when it arrives.
A week and a half passes and no text. I swing by the store and the woman says it arrived two days after it was ordered but the store guy must have lost my number. Sigh….
ME: Yippee! It arrived! (Accepts rack…) Umm…. This is for a Rouser 180 – it won’t fit.
STORE LADY: No problem, sir. We will just weld it on, sir!
ME: Well, I don’t really want to have any welding modifications on my bike – that’s why I asked if it was specifically for a 200 NS. Why don’t…… oh, nevermind…
Biting my tongue and politely passing back the Rack-That-Won’t-Fit-my, I headed back to Pink House. Poor Michell was there, so – without thinking – I immediately launch into a “Why do your people do things this way?” mini-rant. Which backfired, of course. Sometimes I forget that Michell is also a Philippines citizen and thoroughly infused with the same “onion skin sensitivity” possessed by the rest of her countrymen that elicit angry and immediate retorts to any perceived slurs against “Pinoy pride.” So, as my vent proceeds, I see her face darken and eyes start to scrunch up in that certain way that lets me know that she is far from pleased.
Spinning on a diminutive heel, she strikes back. “Well, I am sorry that our country is such a constant disappointment to you enlightened foreigners!”
[Ah, the downside of having a Filipina fiancée who appreciates the fine art of sarcasm…]
Retreating to my little office, I fired up the PC and cast my digital net in search of a solution. (To the box rack problem – not my angry fiancée – just gotta give that time.) Luckily enough, I located a Filipino in Bacolod who fabricated custom work for motorcycles – racks for 200NS included. I saw some photos of his work, was suitably impressed and sent him 1,500 pesos via Palawan Express the next morning. He replied a few hours later, saying that he received the money and that the rack would be on the 7 PM Ceres bus coming from Bacolod to Dumaguete. (One cool thing about living in the Philippines is that you can use buses to ship things between different cities.)
“For a While, Sir!”
7 PM rolls around, and I am at the newly renovated Dumaguete Ceres bus station. Digging the new, modern look (as opposed to the old 18th century motif it previously sported), I pulled out my trusty Samsung S5 and decide to do a short video. Video done, I then wandered over to the station engineer and ask if he knew when the 7 PM bus from Bacolod will arrive. Pointing with pursed lips to a row of chairs, he replied, “For a while, sir.”
Oh. It’s gonna be late…
I take some more video, guzzle down a orange drink, chat with some college kids and finally – at 8:15 PM – the 7 PM Bacolod bus arrives. Yippee! The kindly bus conductor passes over the box, I toss it into my backpack and I’m off – roaring into the Philippine night atop my still-sexxay wasp-yellow Rouser 200 NS.
It would have made for a good Kawasaki commercial.
Getting the Box
I mount up the rack the next day – an easy enough task involving allen bolts and a bit of elbow grease. (Being a moron with tools, I am surprised I didn’t strip or break something.) Once installed, the rack looks good and very solid – now all I need is a box.
I return to the local motorcycle parts dealer and run into STORE GUY again. He looks at the fabricated rack, mutters a bit and then shows me a few sizes of SHAD boxes that they have in stock. Trying them out, I settle on the SH33 (33 cubic centimeters of storage, I think), pay him the 3,400 pesos and then sit back as they mount it for me.
Finally, it’s done.
High Speed, Low Drag
If you’ve been following our channel for a while, you will have probably discerned by now that I am more of a “function over form” guy – I don’t really care how something looks and am more concerned as to how it works. Even though I kid around with the “sexxayness” of the Rouser, “All go, no show” is my usual motto – I may not be pretty, but I get it done. And even though the cargo box definitely detracts from the inherent good looks of the Rouser 200 NS, the practical (and lockable) storage that it provides is pretty much priceless.
So, this misadventure concludes. Stock issues, miscommunication and delays are a part of life here, and it’s just something that we as foreign guests living in the country have to deal with. Most of the time, it can be a bit frustrating, but other times it can actually be quite amusing. I will leave you with an example from the latter that I shared today on our Facebook page:
Misadventure in the Philippines: Incident #432
This past New Year’s Eve we met up with some friends at Coco Amigos.
The waitress – dressed in her snazzy Mexican dress ensemble – passed out menus to all of us at the table. Starving, we hungrily flipped through while she stood waiting for our order. A few “ummmm’s” and “uhhhh’s” and we were finally ready to order.
“I’ll have the tortillas, please.” I say.
The waitress favors me with a blank stare, and replies, “Sorry sir, the kitchen is closed.”
Without any further ado – and ignoring a table-full of stunned looks – she gathered up the menus and returned to her station.
Weeks later, and we’re still recounting that story.
Yep – it’s more fun in the Philippines!
Oh, and did we happen to mention that the Philippines won Miss Universe 2016???
And, no! This isn’t just a cheap opportunity to put up another gratuitous photgraph of Miss Philippines/Universe 2016!!
Finally, if you are out grocery shopping, happen to put the eggs in your shiny new Shad top box and then blast back home hitting every bump along the way, don’t be suprised if this is what you end up with.