>An inordinate fondness for kapcai
I got my first motor-kapcai after completing my SPM in 1985. It was not because I wanted to join the indigenous mat rempit and terorizing the folk along Jalan Pasir Panjang by ‘rempiting’ all the way to Bandar KT but simply because I got bored waiting for the offer letter from our local ‘menara gading‘ and have nothing productive to do in order to fill in the void. Those time the word ‘rempit’ was hardly heard of and biking was still considered a healthy and safe activity because the road was less congested, the lipat kijang skill was well mastered and for some freak reasons it seemed that most kaki motor possessed a 9-cat-life.
The motor-kapcai was a Yamaha Y80 of which I bought (partly subsidized by my father) from my cousin, who upgraded to RXZ 135 which had just hit the market. Instantly the kapcai became the joy of my life. Pantai Batu Burok became my regular lepak place almost every afternoon with my other motor kaki. Occasionally I cruised along the beach alone just to feel the salty breeze slap gently on my face before settling down to stare at the the seafarers passing by in the horizon while enjoying the heavenly keropok lekor. The original keropok lekor and not the one so elastic and jawbreakingly hard which tasted and smelled like a selipar Jepun.
It didn’t take that long before my curiosity got the best of me and the kapcai underwent some major cosmetic adjustment and minor body surgery. Under the srong influence of my younger brother and Eddie Lawson’s achievement as the world champion in motorcycle Grand Prix, a new ‘exzos potong’ was fitted to to give the kapcai some distinctive sound identity, a new and bigger piston was dumped into the bored-engine and different size of sprockets were experimented to transform this timid machine into a super-kapcai. The best modification in my opinion that made this super-kapcai looked a Grand Prix worthy was the excessive addition of Nolan stickers onto the body parts.
Despite all the illegal modifications by my father’s standard, I’d only involved with only a few minor accidents. One that I clearly remember was that fateful Saturday morning, I sped off with my super-kapcai for my weekly town tour and in such hurriedness and rocket-speed I forgot that the previous day the main road that lead into my kampung was loosely tarred. For a while I think I could easily become a stuntman. The other unforgettable accident involved a cat that had clearly no civic-minded who jaywalked and crossed the road without looking left and right. Luckily both the victims survived with only minor scratches.
My intimate relationship with my super-kapcai continued and flourished further to the ivory tower in Bangi. That was the time when ‘Fansasia bulan madu’ was the no. 1 hit in my local pop chart and soup ekor and daging merah became a food of envy to any students who didn’t have any mode of transportation to reach makeshift kedai tomyam at Bandar Baru Bangi (BBB fasa 1). The distinctive supersonic sound from my exzos potong that echoed nicely in between the hill and Pejabat Pentadbiran UKM had in many occasion caused some dispute among the varsity’s Pak guards. Not until they banned the motorbikes from entering the campus which almost caused another student riot that put the end to any sound pollution in the campus.
At the end of my campus year, I was very proud to say that my super-kapcai was still a virgin. During the first 4 semesters not a single awek was shuttled here and there around the campus on my super-kapcai simply because having an awek on a 80cc kapcai (even though a super-kapcai) didn’t look cool at all. It was a misfit and considered a taboo and unacceptable by my kaki motor.
My allegiance with my campus kaki motor however was tested to its limit and about to be broken when I entered my third year and some unexpected turn of events happened along the way. I was totally taken off-guard and it happened all of a sudden. Suddenly my teropong iman was activated and I smelled flowers all around me.
But that was another long and interesting story to tell.