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  • Harley-Davidson’s Serial 1 electric bicycle due soon

    After showing a trio of prototype electric bicycles (e-bicycles) at the 2019 EICMA show in Milan, American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (H-D) is teasing the release of the Serial 1 Cycle Company. This sub-brand of H-D will specialise in e-bicycles and its first market offerings are due in the first quarter of 2021.

    Serial 1 is set to release news of its product range in a little under three weeks, according to its website. While no technical specifications or detailed pricing has been released, it is expected Serial 1’s e-bicycles will fall into the USD 2,500 (RM10,386) to USD 5,000 (RM20,772) range, reports Forbes.

    Shown in photographs is a concept e-bicycle from Serial 1 that pays homage to H-D’s first motorcycles, built in 1903. Serial 1 Cycle Company Brand Director Aaron Frank says the concept e-bicycle was “built in a couple of weeks” as a one-off and is not likely to make it into production.

    Frank, who previously headed Motorcyclist magazine along with stints in Indian and Victory Motorcycles under Polaris as well as Nissan and Ferrari, said the concept is to introduce the Serial 1 name to the public. There are plans to partner with a company experienced in the production of e-bicycles but Frank is emphatic Serial 1 “will not be “badge slaps,” where a larger company just puts their name on an existing line of products.”

    The upcoming product launch from Serial 1 is likely to feature models closer to the Milan show prototypes. From photos, the motor is a mid-mounted unit, moving away from the typical rear hub-mounted designs in this class of e-bicycle, with belt drive, integrated battery and built-in lighting.

  • 2021 Yamaha MT-09 revealed – 889 cc, 117 hp

    After yesterday’s teaser on the Yamaha Europe website, full specifications for the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 naked sports have been released. While several upgrades have been made over the previous generation Yamaha MT-09 (RM47,388 in Malaysia), the biggest change comes in the form of the frame.

    Completely new, the die-cast aluminium frame – 2.3 kg lighter – draws on Yamaha’s Deltabox frame building experience and comes with a die-cast aluminium sub-frame 1.5 kg lighter that the previous steel unit. Yamaha says increased the frame stiffness in the new MT-09 gives the rider more feedback while increasing stability.

    For the engine, the same inline-triple Crossplane 3 engine configuration is retained but displacement has been bumped up to 889 cc, giving the MT-09 a listed power output of 117.3 hp at 10,000 rpm and 93 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.

    A redesigned intake tract and exhaust, along with new fuel injectors located in the intake are responsible for the power increase, up from 115 hp at 10,000 rpm and 87.5 Nm of torque at 8,500 rpm on the old model with the whole affair now Euro 5 compliant. The driveline on the MT-09 is still the same, with power going through a six-speed gearbox and assist and slipper clutch with chain final drive.

    An up-and-down quickshifter is now standard, an improvement from the previous model MT-09’s up only quickshifter. Fuel capacity remains the same at 14-litres in the tank while weight has seen a reduction from 193 kg to 189 kg, ready to ride.

    The new three-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 12-valve engine is now 1.7 kg lighter than before, along with the exhaust system – now an under belly unit – losing 1.4 kg. Weight savings of 250 grammes are also realised in the swingarm, which now comes with a straighter profile as opposed to the previous model’s asymmetrical shape with the swingarm pivots now located within the frame’s structure compared to outside the frame line as before.

    Big changes in the cockpit, with all the rider information displayed on a 3.5-inch, full-colour TFT-LCD screen, including variable colour bar graph tachometer, gear indicator and other necessary data with everything controlled by switches on the handlebar pods.

    Technology also trickles down to the MT-09 from the larger R1 super bike in the form of a 6-axis inertial measurement unit. This gives rise to a comprehensive suite of riding aids including traction control with three modes, slide control, front wheel lift control and brake control – the latter two equating to wheelie control and ABS.

    Styling wise the single projector LED headlight with DRLs is a major difference, compared to the twin unit found in last year’s MT-09. At the back, the LED tail light now forms a ‘Y’ shape, a departure from the twin row LED tail light and the previous swingarm mounted mudguard has been relocated to a more conventional underseat unit.

    Also major improvements in the running and stopping gear for the MT-09, one of the previous generation MT-09’s shortcomings. For 2021, the MT-09 gets adjustable upside-down forks, 41 mm in diameter while the adjustable monoshock has revised settings along with a revised linkage to improve suspension performance.

    Wheels are now forged units, giving a weight reduction of 700 grammes over previous with the moment of inertia in the rear wheel reduced by 11%. This will allow the MT-09 to roll a little faster and improve cornering as well as hoist wheelies with ease, a trait familiar to owners.

    Braking is now done with a new radial master cylinder but actuating radial-mounted four-piston callipers grabbing twin 298 mm brake discs, identical to the outgoing model’s braking setup. Seat height sees a slight increase of 5 mm to 825 mm, with the outgoing MT-09 putting the rider 820 mm off the ground.

  • 2021 Yamaha MT-09 upgrade – quick shifter, LCD panel, adjustable forks, LED projector headlight

    Ahead of its launch in Europe later today, photos of the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 have been leaked, showing a slew of updates and upgrades for this very popular naked sports bike. Most obvious visually for this generation of the MT-09 is the LED projector headlight and under belly exhaust.

    From information received, Yamaha has updated to Crossplane triple in the MT-09, we presume for Euro 5, but no word on a displacement increase or power numbers. What is new is the addition of an up-and-down quick shifter, a performance mod very necessary for the quick revving nature of the MT-09’s engine.

    Also upgraded is the brake master cylinder, now a radial unit, with twin radial-mount callipers on the front wheel. The forks on the upcoming MT-09 have also seen a major upgrade, coming with adjustability, previously a major omission on the outgoing model.

    The instrument panel is a full-colour TFT-LCD display compared to the previous monochrome LCD panel and much larger in size. It is interesting to note the display in the photo shows a ‘D 4’, which we think corresponds to riding modes, along with a traction mode.

    Styling remains much the same, following Yamaha’s “Darkness” concept. Launch of the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 takes place later today in Europe and will bring you information as and when it becomes available.

  • Aveta Malaysia to launch budget 110 kapchai in Nov?

    Malaysian-owned brand Aveta Global Marketing is set to release another budget-market underbone motorcycle, possibly this November. Pricing is not determined as yet pending government approval but sources close to Aveta say it is likely “to be around RM3,000.”

    In keeping with the budget-conscious side of things, the engine of the upcoming Aveta kapchai model looks to be a 110 cc air-cooled unit, probably putting out around seven or eight horsepower which would be typical of power plants in this class. A four-speed centrifugal clutch gear box and chain drive gets power to the ground.

    On the right side engine casing is a plate saying “Made in Malaysia” with a housing for an electric starter on the left and it is assumed fuelling is by carburettor, making this engine Euro 3 compliant. However, we are unable to determine the extent of the meaning of the words, “Made in Malaysia” and whether it encompasses the whole bike and a percentage of local content.

    For the photos managed to obtain, the new Aveta comes with a split rider and passenger seat, which would make it easy to customise, say, by adding a large delivery box. The wheels are 17-inch spoked items, using standard size tyres and braking is with mechanical drum brakes front and back.

    While no photos show the front end of the bike, it would be safe to assume front suspension is with conventional telescopic forks while the rear is held up by preload-adjustable twin shock absorbers. A round plastic clad binnacle houses the single headlight while the instrument panel is an analogue affair showing an indicated 120 km/h top speed – closer to 90 km/h would probably be more realistic, with odometer and various warning lights.

  • 2021 BMW Motorrad R18 Classic joins Heritage lineup

    Joining the the R18, first in a line of retro styled motorcycles based on the R5 of 1937, is the 2021 BMW Motorrad R18 Classic. In Malaysia, the 2020 BMW Motorrad R18 First Edition was recently launched at a price of RM149,500, on the road excluding insurance.

    Differentiating the R18 Classic from the R18 is the inclusion of a windshield, passenger seat and saddlebags, all of which are removable to suit the rider’s requirements in terms of wind protection and carry capacity. Also unique to the R18 Classic is electronic cruise control as standard, additional LED headlight and 16-inch front wheel for that “brand shouldered” look.

    Power for the R18 Classic is the same as the R18, a 1,802 cc boxer-twin producing 91 hp at 4,750 rpm and 158 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm with 150 Nm of torque available along the torque from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm. Transmission uses a six-speed gear box and exposed shaft drive, with BMW Motorrad saying the R18 is good for a 180 km/h top speed.

    Riding conveniences include three ride modes – Rain, Road and Rock – along with hill start control and reverse assist as factory options, engine drag torque control (MSR), starter operated reverse gear and keyless start. For both the R18 Classic First Edition and R18 First Edition, a classic black finish with white hand-painted pinstripes is the standard colour scheme, along with chrome details, a R18 seat badge and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side covers.

    Additionally, for R18 owners who wish to dress up their ride a little more, there are two collections from designer Roland Sands. These are “Machined” and “2-Tone-Black” which comprise of a catalogue of milled aluminium parts.

  • 2021 BMW Motorrad R nineT model range updated

    Despite back to basics being the design philosophy behind BMW Motorrad’s R nineT range of heritage bikes, the entire 2021 BMW Motorrad R nineT line-up has been updated. The boxer twin engine in the R nineT are now Euro 5 compliant and some technical specifications have been upgraded, including the suspension.

    Comprising of the R nineT, R nineT Pure, R nineT Scrambler and R nineT Urban G/S, the engine is still the same air- and oil-cooled boxer mill, now pumping out 109 hp at 7,250 rpm and 116 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. While the torque number remains the same from the previous generation R nineT, power takes a one horsepower drop from the outgoing model’s 110 hp at 7,750 rpm because of Euro 5 regulations.

    For the boxer engine, the combustion chambers feature a new turbulence system which BMW says promote efficient, cleaner combustion and increased torque. From 4,000 to 6,000 rpm, the R nineT has a meatier torque curve which is said to have more pulling power than the outgoing model.

    In terms of riding aids, things have been much improved with the inclusion of ABS Pro with Dynamic Brake Control, along with Road and Rain riding modes, as opposed to the first generation R nineT which only had ABS. The rear monoshock is an all-new unit that has hand-adjustable spring preload and is claimed to be more comfortable with travel-dependent damping and new suspension strut.

    Inside the cockpit, the circular instrument panel comes with new dial design complete with BMW logo and indicator lights that are concealed when not illuminated. All R nineT models now come with LED lighting throughout and a USB charging socket is included in the list of standard equipment.

    Riding aids are similarly updated with the R nineT and R nineT Pure getting “Dyna” for the optional Riding Modes Pro while the R nineT Scrambler and R nineT Urban G/S get ‘Dirt” mode as an option. Meanwhile, the R nineT G/S gets a “Edition 40 Years GS” model option, in limited quantity in a colour scheme reminiscent of the legendary R 100 GS, marking BMW Motorrad’s GS adventure-tourer’s 40th anniversary.

  • 2021 Honda MSX 125 Grom launched, 5 speed gearbox

    In Honda Europe dealer showrooms for next year is the 2021 Honda MSX 125 Grom minibike, which has a large fanbase worldwide, especially in Thailand. New for next year’s riding season is a complete redesign on the bodywork, new headlight and LCD instrument panel.

    Recognising that many MSX 125 Grom riders stamp their personality on the bike, Honda has made the Grom’s bodywork easy to remove and replace. The four body panels – two on each side – attach with six bolts, outlined by large graphics, allowing Grom riders to make their minibike unique.

    Power for the From comes from a 125 cc, single-cylinder air-cooled mill, producing 9.65 hp at 7,250 rpm and 10.5 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. However, the gearbox is now a five-speed affair compared to the previous model’s four-speed box with chain final drive.

    Suspension uses 31 mm diameter gold-anodised upside-down front forks, non-adjustable, while the rear end is held up by a preload-adjustable monoshock. Rolling on 12-inch wheels, the Grom is stopped by a single 220 mm disc with hydraulic dual-piston brake caliper in front and single 190mm disc with hydraulic single-piston brake caliper at the rear, with ABS as standard in the European model.

    The Grom’s chassis remains unchanged from the previous generation and seat height is 761 mm, with fuel carried in a 6-litre tank, a slight increase in capacity from before. Inside the cockpit, the LCD digital display has been redesigned to include a tachometer and gear position indicator, alongside the speedometer, twin trip meters, fuel gauge and clock.

    Weighing in at 103 kg, the Grom has a wheelbase of 1,200 mm giving a turning radius of just 1,900 mm, making it easy to manoeuvre on city streets. There are three colour choices for the 2021 Honda MSX 125 Grom – Force Silver Metallic, Matte Gunpowder Black Metallic and Gayety Red, while in Malaysia, the 2018 Honda MSX 125 SF retailed at RM10,499.

  • 2020 Yamaha YZF-R15 in new colours, RM11,988

    For the upcoming year, the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R15 comes in two new colours and priced at RM11,988. The new colour schemes are Race Blu and Block and pricing – unchanged from 2019 – is recommended retail, not including road tax, insurance and registration, with a two-year or 20,000 km warranty.

    Mechanically unchanged from last year’s model, the R15 carries a 155 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with variable valve actuation (VVA). The power output of 19.3 hp and 15 Nm of torque goes through a six-speed gearbox with assist and slipper clutch with chain final drive.

    Suspension is with upside-down forks in front and preload-adjustable mono shock at the back. Braking is done with a 282 mm diameter front hydraulic brake disc and 220 mm disc at the rear.

    Tyre sizing on the R15 is larger than is normal for its class, 100/80-17 infront and 140/70-17 at the back. Standard equipment is a monochrome LCD instrument panel, Deltabox frame and aluminium swingarm with fuel carried in a 11-litre tank and 137 kg weight.

    Inside the cockpit, the digital instrument panel displays the usual rpm, speed, odometer, fuel consumption, gear position indicator, fuel capacity and warning lights. Additionally, a gear shift warning light is included and LED lighting is used all round.

  • MotoGP 2020: Petronas Sepang Racing principal Razlan says, “it’s all about your performance.”

    Khairul Idham Pawi, Moto3, Spanish MotoGP 2020

    Racing is a harsh mistress, as Malaysian racer Khairul Idham Pawi, a.k.a. “Super KIP” found out after receiving marching orders from Petronas Sprinta Racing (PSR) in the Moto 3 category of the MotoGP World Championship. An injury suffered during qualifying for the Czech Republic Grand Prix resulted in Khairul needing surgery and amputation of a finger.

    With Super KIP serving out his contract term of four more races for PSR, his place has been taken by South African Darryn Binder, with one Moto 3 victory and a second place finish to his name. Binder, nicknamed “Divebomb Darryn” for his aggressive riding, is currently riding for CIP Green Power before moving to PSR in 2021, riding with current PSR rider John McPhee.

    But right now, Khairul is left without a ride for next year’s race calendar and questions were being asked about the team structure and “what is a Malaysian racing team without Malaysian riders?” Sepang International Circuit (SIC) organised a video press conference with Datuk Razlan Razali, team principal of Petronas Sprinta Racing as well as Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) and PSR in Moto 2, to shed some light on the matter.

    Khairul Idham Pawi, Moto3, Spanish MotoGP 2020

    “It’s all about performance,” said Razlan in his opening comments. “We absorbed Khairul in our Moto 2 team in the beginning (2019) with the expectation he would fight for his target which was to at least be in the points,” Razlan said.

    “After his unfortunate injury in Jerez last year where he hurt his finger, a decision was made to demote him to Moto 3, where he had previously won a race in 2016,” continued Razlan. “The target we set for Khairul was in the top 15, in the points,” said Razlan.”

    Super KIP was expected to improve his performance after surgery at the Misano round with Khairul’s race target adjusted for him to show in the top 20, elaborated Razlan. “He finished among the back markers and again, possibly because of his finger injury, we made an exception heading into Catalunya, one of his favourite tracks,” the PSR team principal said.

    Unfortunately, Khairul’s poor performance continued into the Le Mans and Aragon rounds and despite full support from the team, there was no improvement. “At the point we were perplexed at Khairul’s performance, it’s not like we were asking for a podium or even the top 15, we only wanted a top 20. Finally, all we said to Khairul was “don’t come last,”” said Razlan.

    “It is difficult for us with our objective of being a professional team, a competitive team and with six riders, we have one Malaysian rider who could not improve,” Razlan added. “I am the first person to support Malaysian riders with potential to come into our team but we had to make the difficult decision to let him him (Khairul) go,” he said.

    “If a Malaysian rider does not perform, does not get results, I will be the one to make the decision to not renew his contract,” said Razlan. As for Khairul’s future racing career, Razlan expressed the hope Super KIP would use the opportunity to continue working hard for the remaining four races in the season to improve his chances for the future.

    Khairul Idham Pawi, Moto3, Spanish MotoGP 2020

    Talking about future opportunities for Malaysian riders in 2022 and beyond, Razlan emphasised the fact that PSR is a Malaysian team, with six out of 56 team members Malaysian and 22 other nationalities. “There are two aspects to this, one, we have a Malaysian team that is run by Malaysians, and two, is to develop Malaysian talent. The infrastructure is there for Malaysian talent,” Razlan said.

    But infrastructure and having a Malaysian racer is not the only part of the equation as Razlan explained. “We want to make sure that the Malaysian talent has the potential, that is competitive in every sense of a rider. So, with that, together with SIC we are developing a couple of riders in the FIM CEV junior championship the likes of Adam Norrodin and Syariffudin Azman,” he said.

    “Unfortunately, they are not ready. Those that are in CEV are not ready to be brought up into the world championship and that person is Syariffudin,” said Razlan. “I do not want to bring a guy right now for the sake of filling in the gap that we have no Malaysian (riders),” he continued.

    Khairul Idham Pawi, Moto3, Aragon MotoGP, 16 October 2020

    Touching on the subject of Malaysian race fans, many of whom are commenting on Khairul’s dismissal and opportunities for Malaysian riders, Razlan said they are emotional and passionate and accepts that PSR will receive a lot of criticism. “We cannot please everybody but we ask for them to be patient, we are developing young riders but we do not want to put a boy who is not ready under undue pressure,” said Razlan.

    “If we put the boy in the Moto 3 world championship, yes, the fans will say well done Sepang Racing Team, fantastic.” “But if the boy doesn’t do well, the same fans will criticise this boy,” Razlan said.

    Razlan says such comments will have the effect of demoralising and demotivating him, not just from the fans but also from his own performance because he is not ready. “We have experienced this before with Fahmi, with Adam, with KIP because our boys, they are super talented. In terms of talent they are comparable to the Europeans,” he said.

    Khairul Idham Pawi, Moto3, Catalunya MotoGP. 24 September 2020

    “But what they are lacking of is in terms of mental strength. The moment the slightest issue that people criticise them or they don’t do well their mental strength just drops and their performance drops,” Razlan explained. A team programme of communication and mental strength training is there to help Malaysian riders adapt to the high level of competition in Moto 3.

    Razlan did express some confusion as to why Khairul did not avail himself to every possible avenue of help within the team, aside from his crew chief. “We have channels of communication within the team for crew chiefs to talk to one another, to share data and setups,” Razlan said.

    “If a rider is in a difficult situation I would expect them to spend more time analysing data, analysing videos and that is something I don’t see with our Malaysian riders,” said Razlan. “With the European riders, they spend a lot of time analysing data and don’t forget we also have a riders’ coach, an ex-rider, he is a rider coach for all our riders that need him,” added Razlan.

    Khairul Idham Pawi, Moto3, Spanish MotoGP 2020

    “A rider can easily go to him and consult and seek advice on what he needs to do on the track. What I am saying is if a rider is on a situation where he needs to do better what I expect is for him to spend more time talking to their crew chief, our riders coach or other riders in other categories,” Razlan said.

    As team principal, Razlan expects that every rider and every team member must help each other irrespective of category, as a direct instruction from him. “And we have seen that. Why I think Jake Dixon – riding in Moto 2 – does very well, to some extent, is that his team went to Franco Morbidelli’s team and consulted on how to do better. Same with all the other riders, if they feel the need to do better, by all means please do so,” added Razlan.

    “The minimum KIP should do (in this situation) is to talk to his team mate. He has a fast team mate. It is impossible for us not to do a good setting for KIP when we can do it for John. To some extent, whether KIP likes it or not, his crew chief tried to do the same setting as John McPhee. But he needs to talk, if he keeps quiet to himself, that’s it. He has to communicate, to seek advice, to compare data.”

    “KIP has six years in the championship, he’s not a rookie. He needs to do something for himself. If he was a rookie we would treat him as a rookie rider and what a rookie expects,” Razlan said. “But he’s not, he’s a seasoned Moto 2 and Moto 3 rider.”

  • Super KIP and Petronas Sprinta Racing part ways

    After an injury struck season, Malaysian racer Khairul Idham Pawi, better known as “Super KIP” to fans, has parted ways with Petronas Sprinta Racing. Super Kip, who hails from Perak, has four races left in the 2020 season with Petronas Sprint Racing in the Moto 3 category.

    Originally joining Petronas Sprinta Racing in 2019 to compete in the Moto 2 class but showing lacklustre results, a decision was made for Khairul to ride in Moto 3 this year. However, a hand injury sustained during qualifying for the Czech Republic Grand Prix aggravated an old injury, necessitating surgery.

    Since then, Super KIP has struggled to regain his previous form, which includes two wins in Moto 3 in past years. Thanking Petronas Sprinta Racing for the past two years, Khairul expressed a wish to continue racing, saying, “I want to continue riding so I will work to find the best option in my racing career. I will try my best to show my potential again and reward all the fans that have been supporting me since the beginning.”


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Last Updated 24 Oct 2020