March 20th was a holiday in Japan, and as snow is melting hard in Niigata, a snowboard day trip was out of the equation. Brother JD insisted for our small group to go on a bike ride to Izu, but touring under the rain is not exactly my thing, so I had my excuse to go to Gunma again, and convincing the team was no hard task (something in the lines of “Guys, let’s ride on the Initial D roads tomorrow!”).

Trip Details:

  • 4 Friends
    • Sam and his baby Ninja,
    • JD and his baby CBR,
    • H. and his Ninja 1000,
    • Me and my babyblade.
  • Ride to Shibukawa, in a suprisingly low-density traffic
    • Ride to Haruna lake through this Initial D road.
    • JD’s M4 exhaust explodes (!).
    • Katsu don.
  • Rotenburo Onsen.
    • Post-Onsen obligatory Nap.
  • Riding back to Tokyo with a lot of lane splitting.
    • JD’s exhaust falls down while riding (Abunai yo!).
    • Weird looking “love sausages” at Takasaka SA.

Map Link:

Financial Damage:

  • (900 + 400 + 2400) * 2 + 800 + 400 + Omiyage for the office.
    • Less Than ¥10k for a good day, not bad.

This Initial D road was really fun to ride on, I totally recommend it.

Special note on JD’s Exhaust:

For those not in the know, whenever you mount an M4 StreetSlayer on a CBR250R, you instantly create a sort of always screaming mono-cylindric monster that you wish you stayed away from. It’s incredibly loud, and not really in a good way, but it apparently offers a great deal of performance optimization, and saves 10kg, which is a lot on this little 250. No more arguments were needed for JD to install one on his ride, and it was doing fine until this trip, when the exhaust exploded for no apparent reason.

We all realized that JD was louder than usual (even though we had no idea it was even possible), and a quick look made clear that there was something very wrong with his exhaust. The thing had exploded, and JD was riding with only a tiny amount of silencing from this moment. As loud as he was, it was not enough for him and us to stop, so we kept on riding.

Later, while riding back to Tokyo, JD’s bike became even louder than before, it was now really too strong. By too strong I mean that when I entered a tunnel, as soon as JD would also enter it, I had to escape the tunnel, for the sole reason of protecting my ears. Yes Mr Officer, it might have led me to speed a bit, but it was only to save my precious eardrums. In case you’re wondering, I ride with a Simpson full face helmet, which is usually okay when it comes to sound isolation, but that was not enough at that moment, I should have bought earplugs in a convenient store, just like JD did.

Last, but not least, when JD got home, he immediately emailed M4’s support, and they proposed to send him a brand new exhaust directly. This is truly great and respectable. I was impressed.

Final Note: That was a nice ride to do with the buddies, but not the type of place where I would have taken a GF, as Hakone or Izu are better suited for those operations.