Monday, March 20, 2017

Back on the Road - Shaken and Refresh

After a few weeks of wait I have finally got my BNR34 back with shaken passed! It's been a while so, let's make a step back...

For those of you who don't live in Japan, shaken is the Japanese roadworthiness test that every car must undertake every two years in order to circulate on public roads. Step one: I had to bring the car to Nismo, where I left it in good company (as always).

The checklist includes bodywork, tire alignment, emission, speedometer, brakes, headlights and an undercarriage/suspension check. 
Given that my car is completely stock I had full confidence that it would pass the tests with flying colors, but this is a bit of a nightmare if your car is tuned as many mods are considered not compliant. The inspectors are pretty strict and many owners have to revert their cars to factory standards in order to pass the test, and then re-fit their suspension or muffler set-ups once they are done.
Shaken workflow
This is a neat way for the government to avoid accidents due to poor maintenance, keep illegal mods in check and stash quite a bit of money in their pockets, given the hefty pricetag they charge for what is nothing more than a basic check. However, if you are looking to buy a used Japanese car, the presence of a valid, non expired shaken is a good signal that the car has been on the road and well cared for.

Since I had to leave the car at Nismo for a few weeks, I also thought I'd use the opportunity to refresh a few bits.

From previous inspections, Yamada-san recommended replacing the air filter with a new one - my choice went for a Nismo Sports one.

The other part that needed replacing was the battery: my trusted OEM Pitwork battery was 2 years old and clearly at the end of its life. Given the increasing value of the car I only drive it on specific occasions, which means that, so far, I had to take it for a little spin just to prevent the battery from dying.
My old OEM battery
Following my friend Aki and Yamazaki-san's recommendation I went for an Optima "Yellow Top" battery: much bigger than the standard one, the difference is night and day and the car starts right away with no hesitation. Key features of the Optima include higher cranking power, longer life, stronger vibration resistance, faster recharging and much higher number of discharge/recharge cycles.
Copyright: Optima Batteries
I also had Yamada-san installing a killer switch that allows to easily disconnect it and avoid useless battery drainage when I'm not using the car for prolonged time. A brake fluid change completed the menu and, as always, I had Yamada-san looking at the car, just in case. So, after a few weeks of wait, here it is!

Shaken valid until February 2019.

And a very interesting BNR32, custom painted in Lightning Yellow sitting closeby.

Just before I was about to leave a BNR32 with a Fine Spec Engine Final Edition pulled over.

Very clean.

I couldn't resist...

Followed by a Pearl White BNR34 M-spec Nür!

I finally jumped in the car and happily drove back home through Tokyo traffic: not what the GT-R was designed for, but driving through the city at night is always special.

I promised myself I'll get the car checked every 6 months at Nismo and, so far, I am on track; having the car looked after by experts is a great feeling and gives me peace of mind that is in great shape.

Until next time.


  1. gorgeous example there Ale. Great pictures as always, keep the updates coming!

    1. Thank you, Simon! Keep up the great work with your 33 as well!

  2. Thank you so much for such wonderful blog with your own personal experience with Skyline GTR. Wonderful Vspec II Nur you've got.