Initially, I was dubious, but ultimately, it sounded like a great idea. I was going to take my CPI 250 SM, but days before my departure, I had located a seller who wanted to buy it at the price I wanted to let it go. So my plans changed. I was going to take my Kymco Racing 150 all around Taiwan.
The trouble was that my Kymco had had some problems for a while, and had already been in the shop for two weeks. The mechanics weren’t really able to fix it properly and I was getting pretty frustrated. I think the reason was that they used second-hand parts to make the costs low for me.
Since I tend to ride my machines very hard, I immediately noticed faults. After a lot of delays, they finally managed to get it fixed up to my standards. I had also purchased a Givi WP 400 motorcycle bag to use on my trip.
My motorcycles gloves had disintegrated, I got some Dainese gloves with metal inserts in leather. They were pretty comfortable.
We set off from Yonghe at 11AM and left for Yilan for lunch. The drive on highway 9 was amazing. Part of me wished I was on my CPI or a Kawasaki Z1000, but since we were riding in a group of three, it was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
We had our first “rest” day in Hualien, and we decided to go up highway 8 in Taroko Gorge, as high as we could. We managed to get into the clouds, at 2000m, but ran out of daylight and had to come back down. We had covered 170 km that day.
The next day. we left for Taitung. On the way there, we stopped at Sansiangten and the Eight Arch Bridge. We thought that it was just a short stop, but it turned out into a proper hike and climb. Once we arrived at the island, we went all the way up to the lighthouse. Once there, Aaron and I climbed up to the top of the island. The view was amazing.
We stopped at the Who Knows Hostel in Taitung. The next day, we left for Kenting. We sped up on highway 11 and 9, and then veered off onto highway 199, past aboriginal villages and mountains. It was a great day in the saddle again. We arrived in Kenting and had to scramble to find a hostel. The first night, we stayed in some hostel, and then we stayed at the Kenting Youth Hostel. We celebrated our first night in Kenting with a midnight swim in the ocean.
Aaron had a spill in the rain, but fortunately he was fine and only got a bit of road rash. Ben’s belt broke down, and we had to go ahead and find a mechanic to get him out of trouble. It was all sorted within an hour.
We left for Tainan the next day. The drive on the west coast wasn’t as pretty as the east coast, and it started raining as well. After a long drive, we arrived. That night we went to Tin Pan Alley and it was quiz night. We drove through Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and Chiayi. We ran out of time in Tainan, so decided to leave for Sun Moon Lake earlier than expected. We just made it to the lake before darkness fell. The drive to Taichung was pretty fast and uneventful.
Taichung is the only city that we spent time in that actually seemed pretty big. We went around town, in 5 different cabs, trying to find a place for a drink, and managed to get to a Japanese hostess bar. We ended up at another place, but called it a night early because we were driving home the next day.
A week after we left home, we came back, having covered 1500 km in eight days all around the island of Taiwan. This trip changed me and I’m looking forward to many more trips around the island.