Click here for an exclusive interview with Marcy, founder and leader of SPLENDOR!
SPLENDOR - NEO CLASSIC BIKERS CLUB is a wild group consisting mostly of Japanese guys in their late 30s or early 40s who have reached the point in their lives where they can buy the bikes they always wanted when they were teenagers, namely the legendary Kawasaki Z1 and Z2 and the Honda CB of the 1970's.
But the group is mostly concerned with having a good time, concentrating on the best of what Japan has to offer, the best roads, the best food, the best drinks, the best onsen(hot springs), and the best companionship.
Here's Stinger borrowing the hair of Nao-chan, the fastest woman in SPLENDOR.
The leader, known as Marcy, is a man who has devoted his life to the fine art of having a good time.
SPLENDOR has three regular runs a year, plus a two-day thousand-mile marathon run once every two years.
In Spring, SPLENDOR heads out to Yamabiko-sou, an inn on the
Izu peninsula that used to be an elementary school.
The outdoor pool is heated by the local hot spring.
In Summer, SPLENDOR heads up to Kitakata, a town famous for
good ramen, eat ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner,
staying at the local campground. Usually over 50 bikers participate
in this bizarre event.
In Fall, SPLENDOR has a run up to Hirayu Onsen, a hot springs
resort with a great campground deep in the mountains in Gifu prefecture.
In the nearby town of Takayama, we partake of Hida Gyu-kushi, steak-on-a-stick. This is some of the best beef in the world.
This year's thousand-mile run was the AKITA 1000, a run up
to Akita prefecture at the northern end of Japan's main island,
Honshu. 20 insane bikers woke up early in the morning and rode
like hell, averaging about 150 kph, which needless to say was
a bit of a strain for those of us on cruisers.
The day began with the rain that always seems to plague SPLENDOR runs.
But the weather soon cleared up again and we stopped briefly to take off our raingear.
We had lunch at Koiwai Nojo, a farm that is one of Japan's main dairy producers.
After some more riding, we relaxed in the hot springs shown at the top of this page and ended up on Oga Hanto, a peninsula in Akita prefecture jutting out into the Sea of Japan.