My 1420H (2000CE) Hajj in pictures

It’s Saturday 1 Dzulhijjah 1429H. In slightly more than 1 week, on Sunday 9 Dzulhijjah (December 7, 2008) the Hajj for this year will start with the Wukuf at the Arafah desert, south-east of Makkah. Every year this auspicious event would remind me of my own Hajj back in 1420H (2000 CE). The following pictures were a scanned selection from my photo album. Back then digital cameras were still rare and very expensive.

Thu March 2, 2000 (26 Dzulqaeda 1420). Me and my other half at Masjid Al-Nabawi grounds, Madinah. This was our 7th day in Madinah Al-Munawwarah, having arrived before dawn on Friday Feb 25, 2000.

Thu March 2, 2000 (26 Dzulqaeda 1420). Me and my wife at Masjid Al-Nabawi grounds, Madinah. This was our 7th day there, having arrived at Madinah Airport before dawn on Friday Feb 25, 2000 on a Saudi Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur.

Sat March 4, 2000 (28 Dzulqaeda 1420). My Madinah roommates in our room, ready with our ihram garbs. This was our 9th day in Madinah and the day we left the city of the prophet (S.A.W) on our way to Makkah.

Sat March 4, 2000 (28 Dzulqaeda 1420). My Madinah roommates in our room, ready to go in our ihram garbs. This was our 9th day in Madinah and the day we left the city of the prophet (S.A.W) for Makkah.

Thu March 9, 2000 (3 Dzulhijjah 1420). At Jabal Rahmah in Arafah. The hill at the background was where our father Adam (A.S.) and mother Hawwa (Eve) met again after they were taken to earth out from their previous place in Jannah (Paradise). We were here as part of our pre-Hajj visit to Jabal Thur, Muzdalifah, Arafah, Mina, Jabal Nur (Hira' Cave) and Tana'im.

Thu March 9, 2000 (3 Dzulhijjah 1420). At Jabal Rahmah in Arafah. The hill at the background was where our father Adam (A.S.) and mother Hawwa (Eve) met again after they were taken to earth out from their previous place in Jannah (Paradise). We were here as part of our pre-Hajj visit to Jabal Thur, Muzdalifah, Arafah, Mina, Jabal Nur (Hira' Cave) and Tana'im.

Thu March 9, 2000 (3 Dzulhijjah 1420). At the foot of Jabal Thur, a mountain on 151° bearing from Masjid Al-Haram with 4.5 km air distance and 13 km road distance. At a cave on this mountain Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and his companion Abu Bakr sought refuge from the Makkan Quraysh, before they proceeded to Madinah to fulfil the Hijrah (migration), the year of which marked the start of the Muslim calendar.

Thu March 9, 2000 (3 Dzulhijjah 1420). At the foot of Jabal Thur, a mountain outside Makkah some 4.5 km air distance and 13 km road distance, at 151° bearing, from Masjid Al-Haram. At a cave on this mountain Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and his companion Abu Bakr sought refuge from the Makkan Quraysh, before they proceeded to Madinah to fulfil the Hijrah (migration), the year of which marked the start of the Muslim calendar.

Tue March 14, 2000 (8 Dzulhijjah 1420). My Makkah roommates in our room, ready in our ihram garbs before we left for Arafah to do Wukuf, which is a mandatory component of Hajj.

Tue March 14, 2000 (8 Dzulhijjah 1420). My Makkah roommates in our room, ready in our ihram garbs before we left for Arafah to do Wukuf, a mandatory component of Hajj.

Wed March 15, 2000 (9 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me, outside the tents in Arafah, on the morning of the Wukuf day.

Wed March 15, 2000 (9 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me, outside the tents in Arafah, on the morning of the Wukuf day.

Wed March 15, 2000 (9 Dzulhijjah 1420). My other half with her friends, outside the tents in Arafah, on the morning of the Wukuf day.

Wed March 15, 2000 (9 Dzulhijjah 1420). My wife with her friends outside the tents in Arafah, on the morning of the Wukuf day.

Wed March 15, 2000 (9 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me and roommates inside our Arafah tent, during the Wukuf period.

Wed March 15, 2000 (9 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me and roommates inside our Arafah tent, during the Wukuf period.

Fri March 17, 2000 (11 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me and some of my roommates, inside our tent in Mina camp. We were back in normal clothing, after we had cut our hair following the stoning of the big jamrah the day before. All of use were bald, because we chose to totally cut our hair, because that was a better practice according to the Prophet S.A.W's sunnah.

Fri March 17, 2000 (11 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me and some of my roommates, inside our tent in Mina camp. We were back in normal clothing, after we had cut our hair following the stoning of the big jamrah the day before. All of us were bald, because we chose to totally cut our hair, because that was a better practice according to the Prophet S.A.W's sunnah.

Sat March 18, 2000 (12 Dzulhijjah 1420). At the entrance to Maktab 82, which was a Mina camp allocated by the Hajj authorities to pilgrims from Malaysia.

Sat March 18, 2000 (12 Dzulhijjah 1420). At the entrance to Maktab 82, which was a Mina camp allocated by the Hajj authorities to pilgrims from Malaysia.

Sat March 18, 2000 (12 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me outside the Maktab 82 tents in Mina.

Sat March 18, 2000 (12 Dzulhijjah 1420). Me outside the Maktab 82 tents in Mina.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). My other half, walking towards her friend, in our Maktab 82 camp in Mina. The tents' air-conditioning units could be clearly seen above our heads.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). My wife walking towards her friend, in our Maktab 82 camp in Mina. The tents' air-conditioning units could clearly be seen above our heads.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Around 4:00 am. We settled down to wait for the Subh prayer time, near Jamrah Al-Shughra after completing the 12 Dzulhijjah's jamrah stonings. We did our Subuh jamaah prayers there, and afterwards we did the final 13 Dzulhijjah's jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Around 4:00 am. We settled down to wait for the Subuh prayer time, near Jamrah Al-Shughra after completing the 12 Dzulhijjah's jamrah stonings. We did our Subuh jamaah prayers there, and afterwards we did the final 13 Dzulhijjah's jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Another picture of us waiting for Subuh time near Jamrah Al-Shughra after completing the 12 Dzulhijjah's jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Another picture of us waiting for Subuh time near Jamrah Al-Shughra after completing the 12 Dzulhijjah's jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Around 6.30 am. My other half at the tunnel exit in Mina 1, upon our return to camp after after completing the final jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Around 6.30 am. My wife at the tunnel exit in Mina 1, upon our return to camp after completing the final jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Around 6:40 am. Me nearing our camp in Mina, after completing the final jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Around 6:40 am. Me nearing our camp in Mina, after completing the final jamrah stonings.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Tents in Mina, seen from our bus on our way back to Makkah. We had completed all Hajj components in Mina. Only Tawaf and Sai'e remained, which we did later, on March 21, 2000.

Sun March 19, 2000 (13 Dzulhijjah 1420). Tents in Mina, seen from our bus on our way back to Makkah. We had completed all Hajj components in Mina. Only Tawaf and Sai'e remained, which we did later, on March 21, 2000.

Sat April 01, 2000 (26 Dzulhijjah 1420). Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, 5 days before we left for home in Malaysia.

Sat April 01, 2000 (26 Dzulhijjah 1420). Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, 5 days before we left for home in Malaysia.

April 06 , 2000 (1 Muharram 1420). The ladies at Hajj Terminall, Jeddah Airport, waiting for immigration formalities before we departed for home in Malaysia.

April 06 , 2000 (1 Muharram 1420), Day 41. My wife and friends at Hajj Terminal, Jeddah Airport, waiting for immigration formalities before we departed for home in Malaysia.

April 06, 2000 (1 Muharram 1420). The gentlemen at Hajj Terminall, Jeddah Airport, waiting for immigration formalities before we departed for home in Malaysia.

April 06, 2000 (1 Muharram 1420). Day 41. Me and friends at Hajj Terminal, Jeddah Airport, waiting for immigration formalities before we departed for home in Malaysia.

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A kampung boy’s first day in Perth

7 February 1979 late night. Our aircraft, a four-engined Malaysian Airline System’s Boeing 707-300 took off from Kuala Lumpur’s Subang International Airport on our way to Perth, Western Australia.

Malaysian Airline System's Boeing 707-300 aircraft, with registration number 9M-MCS. On Feb 8, 1979 this aircraft was flight MH02 from Kuala Lumpur to Perth via Jakarta, carrying a kampung boy to his destiny. This picture was taken 15 months earlier on November 25, 1977, when the aircraft was on final for runway 13 of Hong Kong's Kai Tak International Airport.

Malaysian Airline System’s Boeing 707-300 aircraft, with registration number 9M-MCS. On Feb 8, 1979 this aircraft was flight MH02 from Kuala Lumpur to Perth via Jakarta, carrying a kampung boy to his destiny. This picture was taken 15 months earlier on November 25, 1977, when the aircraft was on final for runway 13 of Hong Kong's Kai Tak International Airport.

It was quite a stressful night for me. That was the first time ever I left Malaysia. And I was practically alone. Even though there were 9 other JPA (Malaysian Public Services Department) students on the flight to Perth, none was from the same school as me. We were strangers because we came from different schools – MCKK (Malay College of Kuala Kangsar), STAR (Sek. Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Ipoh) , STF (Sek. Tun Fatimah, Johor Bahru), TKC (Tunku Kurshiah College, Seremban), SMS Kedah, SMS SAS Pahang and SMS Terengganu. We formed the 1979 batch of 10 JPA students sent to Perth for matriculation (pre-university study).

And we were sent to Perth based only on forecast results of our MCE examinations (Malaysia Certificate of Education, a year 5 secondary school examination). Our other friends needed to wait until the results came out and then only in September onwards would the selected ones be on their way to colleges in the United Kingdom or universities in the USA.
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By going in February, we had a 7-month advantage compared to our contemporaries, and with that came the very high expectations from our parents, teachers, sponsors and classmates, that being the supposedly selected few, we would excel when the results came out. And that placed enormous stress on us, or rather on me, because I did not know what was going on inside my new friends’ minds. But I could do nothing, except pray and hope for the best.

Feb 8, 1979, 3.30 am. A night view of Jakarta International Airport Halim Perdanakusuma from Malaysian Airline System flight MH02 on transit from Kuala Lumpur to Perth. We were stranded here for more than 5 hours due to a mechanical problem on the aircraft.

Feb 8, 1979, 3.30 am. A night view of Jakarta International Airport Halim Perdanakusuma from Malaysian Airline System flight MH02 on transit from Kuala Lumpur to Perth. We were stranded here for more than 5 hours due to a mechanical problem on the aircraft.

The aircraft landed at Jakarta Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport about 1.5 hours later.

The stopover was supposed to be a brief one before we continue to Perth and arrive there around 5.00 am. We were asked to remain on board.

However at 3.30 am we were still inside the aircraft on the apron at Halim Perdanakusuma.

It turned out that the aircraft had developed some mechanical problem, and all of us on the flight were then asked to disembark into the terminal to wait for the repairs to be completed.

We waited, and waited, and waited. Some of us could not fight the sleepiness any longer and had to make best use of the transit lounge’s chairs and carpeted floor.

Feb 8, 1979, mid-morning. Window picture of an atoll somewhere in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. MCS, part of the 9M-MCS call-sign of our Malaysian Airline System's Boeing 707-300 aircraft was clearly visible on the wing.

Feb 8, 1979, mid-morning. MH02 KUL-PER. An atoll somewhere in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. MCS, part of the 9M-MCS registration number of our Malaysian Airline System's Boeing 707-300 aircraft was clearly visible on the wing.

At 8.30 am, weary and hungry, we finally re-boarded the aircraft and was on our way to Perth. We landed in Perth at 1.00 pm.

At the airport we were met by officials from the Australian government agency ADAB (Australian Development Assistance Bureau), and 3 senior Malaysian students.

The seniors informed us that many more seniors were waiting for us at 5.00 am, the original arrival time, but left after we never arrived.

After our luggage were collected and accounted for, we were led to the taxi rank outside the terminal. The summer air, hot and dry, blasted onto my face. And it had a kind of peculiar scent which I later knew came from native eucalyptus trees.

Feb 8, 1979, ~ 2.00 pm. At Perth International Airport. 3 senior Malaysian students posing with 8 of 10 JPA students who had just arrived on the delayed flight MH02 from Kuala Lumpur via Jakarta.

Feb 8, 1979, ~ 2.00 pm. At Perth International Airport. 3 senior Malaysian students posing with 8 of 10 JPA students who had just arrived on the delayed flight MH02 from Kuala Lumpur via Jakarta.

On direction of the ADAB officials, the taxis took us into the city, to a place called Haywin House, an inn located in Irwin Street, between Hay Street and St. George’s Terrace.

That became our lodging place for several days before ADAB completed the finding and booking of our apartments near our college in Leederville, a suburb a few kilometers north of the city center.

At Haywin house, I was put into a two-bedded room with Nor Azmi Kamaruddin from MCKK, whose hometown was Tapah, Perak. On a wall inside the room there was a strange appliance, about 2 feet long with one glass-like bar running from one end to another, and backed by a silver metal. We did not know what it was.

A wall mounted 3-bar radiant heater. I did not know what this thing was for, the first time I saw a similar appliance inside the inn room at Haywin House, Perth.

A wall mounted 3-bar radiant heater. I did not know what this thing was for, the first time I saw a similar appliance inside the inn room at Haywin House, Perth.

Later, one of us flicked a wall switch to turn on the room light, but no light came on.

OK. So the electricity in Australia was not that different compared to Malaysia then, putting aside the peculiar-looking electrical wall sockets and plugs.

Maybe the electricity would be turned on when it got darker.

I laid on the bed. And then I noticed that the strange appliance started glowing red and redder, and heat radiated from it. Hehe. That was our first encounter with a single-bar radiant wall heater, used to keep a room warm in cold weather.

The room was just that, a room with two beds. For calls of nature and shower, the bathroom was shared with other room, and situated at the end of the corridor. The first time I went in there to have a shower, I saw there was not one, but two water faucets on the wall in the shower cubicle.

Twin wall faucets. Hot and Cold. The labels did not indicate that turning on the Hot faucet would cause the gas-powered water heater to go "booooom".

Twin wall faucets. Hot and Cold. The labels did not indicate that turning on the Hot faucet would cause the gas-powered water heater to go "booooom".

There was also a white-colored appliance on the wall of the bathroom.

I turned on one of the faucets and a frightening sound, a booooom, came from the direction of the white-colored appliance.

I saw something like a blue fire inside the appliance. Alarmed, and to avoid any untoward incident, I quickly turned off the faucet and hastilly cancelled my shower.

Hehe. Another encounter. This time with a gas-powered water heater.

It was all new experience for me. During the pre-departure orientation camp at MRSM Seremban and briefing back in Malaysia, no one had told us about these small details.

And the day was not yet over. More surprises to come later to this kampung boy…

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On a motorcycling trail

1981 November - at Williams Street, Perth, W.A. The Perth Mosque was to the right of the picture.

1981, November – at William Street, Perth, W.A. The Perth Mosque was to the right of the picture

1981, November – This was the first bike I ever owned. A Yamaha RD250. A chain driven, two-stroke, 250 cc machine. Bought used in 1981, it clocked some 14,000 km before I sold it in January 1983.
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I was very thrilled with the bike that I even planned, for one of the Australian summers, a solo trip of 2,770 km from Perth, Western Australia to Adelaide, South Australia, crossing the Nullarbor Plain.
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I had made the crossing earlier in the summer of 1980, in a convoy of old cars, from Perth to Melbourne, which was further away to the east than Adelaide. But the solo bike expedition never materialised 🙂
If it had, I would have driven the bike for an equivalent of 2/3 across the United States mainland.
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A more achievable and arguably safer trip would have been from Perth to Port Hedland, a distance of only 1,646 km. However, I only had reason to go there in the summer of 1984, when I won an industrial training job at the Mount Newman Mining Company. But then by that time I had already sold the bike. Instead, I went there and back by long-distance Greyhound coach.
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One very memorable incident with this bike. It was a Tuesday afternoon in October 1981. I was on my way home to Nedlands from a Fremantle fish market, where I had bought some fresh fish for dinner. On Stirling Highway at North Fremantle, where on my left I could see the Indian Ocean and on my right the Swan River, I was stopped by an RTA (Road Traffic Authority) patrolman, for excessive smoke emission.
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The bike was a two-stroke machine after all, and I had not experienced it enough to know that the machine’s twin exhaust pipe cores needed to be regularly burned to clean them of any excess two stroke oil which could cause blue smokes.I sheepishly showed him my car driving license when asked for a license, but it was obviously no good for a motorcyle, hehe.
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Instead of a mere traffic citation, I was given a court summons. It happened only a couple of weeks before I successfully passed my motorcycle driving test. The good thing was that after giving me the summons, the patrolman allowed me to resume riding the bike home, unescorted.
1981 November - somewhere in Dalkeith, Perth, W.A.

1981, November – somewhere in Dalkeith, Perth, W.A.

1981, November – Trying out my good friend Leman’s (Abdul Rahman) powerful Honda CB750 bike.

It was much more powerful than my RD250.

But the price of power was that the CB750 was tall, or rather I was short, hehe. On the seat, my feet could barely touch the ground.

I was still a few weeks away from my bike driving test.

1982 January - at Serpentine Dam, Jarrahdale, Perth, W.A.

1982, January – Serpentine Dam, Jarrahdale, Perth, W.A.

1982, January – It was my third summer in Australia. On my way back to Perth after  several days’ camping outing with fellow Malaysian students at one of the caravan parks in the seaside town of Mandurah, I took a detour to the Serpentine Dam which was one of the major water supply dams for Perth.

Together with the smaller Pipehead Dam, they were not only precious sources of fresh water for the people of Perth, but also the perfect place for a family day out. Plenty of attractive picnic spots, barbeque facilities and play areas were available at both dams – all of which had spectacular views.
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As can be seen from the “P” plate at the rear of the bike, I had gone on the trip with a newly earned bike driving license. Every newly licensed driver would have to hang the P plate for one year, to alert other road users to be extra careful with the newbie, Probation driver.
1982 June - somewhere in Dalkeith, Perth, W.A.

1982, June – somewhere in Dalkeith, Perth, W.A.

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1982, June – Trying out my good friend Leman’s (Abdul Rahman) exciting brand new bike, Yamaha XJ-750 Seca.
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It had a shaft drive instead of the conventional chain drive.
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It also had LCD meters, which were then very unconventional, instead of the normal needle meters.
1982 June - in the parking area of Murdoch University, W.A.

1982, June – in the parking area of Murdoch University, W.A.

We rode the XJ-750 from Nedlands, up the Kwinana Freeway down south to Murdoch.
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The bike’s four-cylinder engine whined softly, not unlike a small jet engine, and we effortlessly overtook several big-engined cars on the highway.
Some souped-up Holdens tried to play catch up with us, but we were in a different league. We left them sniffing our exhaust fumes, hehe.
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It was late Australian autumn but a winter-like chill bit through my cool weather riding gear of fur-lined leather gloves, double-layer outer jacket, woolen inner jacket and woolen neck scarf.
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1986 August - Taman Seri Semantan, Temerloh, Pahang, Malaysia.

1986, August – Taman Seri Semantan, Temerloh, Pahang, Malaysia.

1986, August – It was slightly over one year after returning to Malaysia from Perth. I was posted by my employers to Temerloh, a town which I thought was in the middle of nowhere. I had no inkling that three years later while I was still in Temerloh, I would meet my future wife, whose father was, and still is, a close friend of one of my office colleagues. That was fate..
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In Temerloh I bought my first car, a first generation Proton Saga 1.3S in Langkawi Blue color, clearly seen in this photo. But the more interesting object in this image was the Suzuki bike, belonging to my Perth friend Hisham, who rode all the way to Temerloh from his parent’s in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.
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I did not yet have a big bike driving license then, but I took the Suzuki for a drive anyway. My Perth bike driving licence, converted to Malaysian license was only good for up to 250 cc. This Suzuki was at least 750 cc.
1994 July - York, England

1994, July – York, England

1994, July – It was the English summer. I has just successfully completed my post-graduate degree at Essex and had taken my wife and two children on our well-earned holiday trip around England and into Scotland and Wales.
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For our first night out of Essex, we stayed in Bradford at my long-time good friend Ahmad Zahidi’s house. The next day we set out to York to see the castles there, on our way to Scotland.
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In front of the York Castle Museum we came across a strange looking bike, in pink color, parked at a spot on the circular drive. The York Castle was on a hill, the foot of which was visible in this photo.
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I did not know what bike it was but I could not resist taking its photo, with my chidren Aqilah and Hanif posing in front of the funny-looking bike, and with my wife laughing at Hanif’s antics and Aqilah looking at her mum. Little did I know that one year later, the very same bike model would be mine, more than 10,000 km away in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Another fate…
1995 July - Taman Seri Gombak, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

1995, July – Taman Sri Gombak, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

1995, July – My 7-month old Honda EX-5 100 cc bike. I bought it new, to commute to office in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.

After returning from Essex, England in July the year before, I used my car, a second generation Proton Saga MegaValve 1.5S, as my transport to office.
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But I could not endure the KL (Kuala Lumpur) traffic congestion any longer. In January 1995 I bought the bike. It was a very utilitarian bike. Very numerous in Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian cities. Extreme fuel economy as well. For 1 liter of petrol this little bike could go 45 km. I even recorded many instances of getting more than 50 km per liter. But the bike only lasted seven months and 6,500 km. This photo was taken several days before I sold it (traded it in) for a slightly bigger bike, which had just been locally assembled in Malaysia.
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1995 August - Taman Seri Gombak, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

1995, August – Taman Sri Gombak, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

1995, August – My 1-month old Yamaha Virago XV535 outside my home in Taman Sri Gombak, Batu Caves, Selangor. It was a four-stroke 535 cc machine, with a shaft drive just like the Yamaha XJ-750 I had test driven in Perth 13 years before in 1982.
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I bought it new, several weeks after it was commercially launched in Malaysia as a locally assembled model.
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The local assembly status made a big difference to the price, which was RM10,000 cheaper compared to a fully imported unit.
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1995 August - Outside Taman Sri Gombak home.

1995, August – Outside Taman Sri Gombak home.

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At the time the picture was taken, I had just succeeded in my “B”-class bike driving test, after a series of eight driving lessons on an aged Suzuki GS-550 bike.
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A B-class Malaysian driving license is a full-class motorcycle license, allowing the holder to ride any kind of bike there is out there.
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1998 May - Oslo, Norway.

1998, May – Oslo, Norway.

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1998, May – I was in Oslo, Norway for a one-week business meeting in a mountain hotel at the outskirts of the city.
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On my sightseeing trip down to the city, I came across a pack of three shiny Yamaha Virago bike models for rent – XV535, XV750 and XV1100.
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In the picture, I was standing behind the XV535.