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  • Kawasaki launches Superbike Training Programme

    After signing a memorandum of understanding with the GIATMARA vocational skills training institute in November 2016, Kawasaki Motors Malaysia (KMSB) today launched the Superbikes Training Programme at the GIATMARA centre in Batu Caves, Selangor. The event also saw the exchange of a Memorandum of Agreement between the KMSB and GIATMARA.

    The event was officiated by Datuk Sri Ismail Sabri and the programme is designed to produce trained technicians with experience and expertise in servicing Kawasaki superbikes. Sabri said GIATMARA trainees will obtain four months of skills training at the fully-equipped Kawasaki workshop at the GITAMARA centre before proceeding to three months of industrial training at the Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centre in Glenmarie.

    Upon successful completion of training, the technicians will have the option of working at KMSB or authorised Kawasaki dealers throughout Malaysia, or obtaining a grant from MARA to set up their own workshop specialising in superbikes. The training workshop in the GIATMARA centre was setup at a cost exceeding RM100,000, including Kawasaki diagnostic equipment, specialised tools and an engine assembly clean room.

    Meanwhile, Sabri said GIATMARA is also in the process of training qualified electrical technicians to meet the demands of Malaysia’s electrified rail network. These include existing networks such as the MRT and LRT, as well as the High Speed Rail (HSR) project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and the East Coast Rail Line.

  • Ducati unveils new Desmosedici Stradale V-four

    Finally pulling the covers off the rumoured V-four that was in development, Ducati unveiled its new four-cylinder Desmosedici Stradale engine, which will see its first appearance in a new Panigale superbike. The 90-degree V-four was developed from the Desmosedici MotoGP machine, first campaigned in 2003.

    With an emphasis on mid-range torque, the new engine displaces 1,103 cc, with a 14:1 compression ratio, and is Euro 4 compliant. Power figures from the mill are 210 hp at 13,000 rpm and 120 Nm of torque from 8,750 to 12,250 rpm.

    Also in the works is an ‘R’ version of the Desmosedici Stradale, coming in below 1,000 cc as per World Superbike Championship (WSBK) rules, and with a redline of 13,000 rpm. The power plant will be submitted for homologation and is expected to hit the circuits in 2019.

    Using a “Twin Pulse” firing sequence, where the cylinders fire at 90-200-90-340 degrees, the new V-four uses a counter-rotating crankshaft that reduces gyroscopic effect and allows for quicker changes of direction. Although the power pulses occur close together and can overwhelm rear tyre traction, the slight pause in the power pulses also makes a rear slide easier to catch.

    With the V-four engine configuration evening up first order moments internally, the need for a counter-balancer shaft is eliminated, reducing weight and power loss. Taking many cues from the MotoGP Desmosedici engine, the Stradale version also comes with valves, intake ducts and throttle bodies taken of the race power plant, along with variable height intake horns.

    Standard are oval throttle bodies, the equivalent of 52 mm diameter conventional units, with twin injectors. These are located above and below the throttle butterfly, to optimise both low- and high-speed fuelling.

    Ducati’s Desmodromic valve actuation is also part of the package, driven by a hybrid belt/gear system to ensure proper valve opening and closing at racing speeds. For lubrication a semi-dry sump is used, and one delivery and three return oil pumps ensure the engine is adequately lubricated.

    Completing the package is a six-speed gearbox, with Ducati up- and down-quickshifting, along with a wet-plate anti-patter servo clutch. Maintenance interval on the Desmosedici Stradale is claimed to be 24,000 km.

  • Modenas conducts motorcycle ownership survey

    As part of its efforts to improve on customer satisfaction and service, Modenas, Malaysian motorcycle manufacturer, recently conducted an ownership survey amongst riders of it brand. Held at the EON head office complex in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, some 60-plus owners of Modenas motorcycles turned up at the event, which included a courtesy dinner and other activities.

    Highlight of the evening was the survey, where owners could speak to two representatives from Bajaj, Modenas’ manufacturing partner. Part of the survey is an effort to understand customers’ buying behaviour and the characteristics of the street bike segment.

    Also part of the event was a free inspection of Modenas motorcycles, and emphasising to riders the importance of periodic maintenance. Having recently launched the 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200, NS200 and V15 street bikes, Modenas is embarking on an intensive campaign to regain market share and provide better service to customers.

  • 2018 Yamaha X-Max 125 scooter released in Europe

    With an October 2017 release date, the 2018 Yamaha X-Max 125 is the Iwata, Japan, firm’s take on a rider-friendly, urban mobility scooter for the European market. Designed for use on surface streets and suburban commuting, the X-Max 125 joins Yamaha’s X-Max-series of scooters.

    New for the coming year is an increasing level of sophistication in small-displacement scooters, something we witnessed when we reviewed the 2017 Yamaha NVX 155. In the case of the X-Max 125, Yamaha’s Traction Control System (TCS) is standard equipment.

    Using a sensor to monitor rear wheel speed, power is reduced the moment wheel spin is detected. This technology is shared with the larger X-Max scooters, the X-Max 300 and X-Max 400. Inside the cockpit are two instrument readouts with a large central LCD display for engine and ride information.

    The X-Max 125 carries a 124 cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder power plant that is rated at 14 hp at 8,750 rpm and puts out 12 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. Power gets to the ground using a V-belt and CVT transmission, with the EU 4-compliant engine fed by EFI.

    Braking – ABS is now standard for all EU-market two-wheelers – is done with hydraulic discs front and rear, and the X-Max 125 rolls on a 15-inch wheel in front, with a 14-inch hoop at the back. Wet weight is claimed to be 175 kg, and seat height is set at 795 mm, with fuel carried in a 13-litre tank under the floorboard.

    LED lighting is used for the X-Max 125, a twin-headlight unit in the front cowl, and twin tail light. Also standard equipment is keyless start and USB charging port, while the underseat storage compartment swallows two full-face helmets.

    To accommodate riders of various heights, the X-Max 125 comes with an adjustable screen, as well as handlebars that can be adjusted fore and aft with a choice of two positions. To increase comfort, a stepped seat is available that comes with a small, separate, rider’s backrest.

    There are four colour options for the X-Max 125 – Radical Red , Sonic Grey, Phantom Blue and Blazing Grey, with availability slated for October 2017. No pricing was announced for the 2018 Yamaha X-Max 125, but the previous generation model had a retail price of 4,322 pounds sterling (RM24,175).

  • REVIEW: 2017 BMW Motorrad G310R in Malaysia – RM27k with ABS, but is it a proper BMW bike?

    When news of the 2017 BMW Motorrad G 310 R first broke, punters around the world sat up and took notice, for this is the first sub-500 cc BMW bike in almost 40 years. After some fits and starts, plus rumours and innuendo, the G 310 R is finally on Malaysian shores, at a head-turning price of RM26,900.

    But, what is BMW’s intention in marketing such a small capacity machine, considering it has been, for the last four decades or so, been producing premium sports-tourers, luxury touring bikes, super bikes and adventure machines? For one thing, the rider demographic around the world is changing, and the current crop of motorcycle riders is ageing rapidly, especially in first world countries.

    For another, the emerging economies of Asia have seen a burgeoning middle-class, with the commensurate spending power. For the young rider in these markets, a basic kapchai or scooter will not suffice, or perhaps to fulfil the need to show that such a rider can afford a “proper” motorcycle.

    So, to tap into this as yet unexplored area for BMW Motorrad, a tie-up with Indian manufacturing concern TVS was initiated, and the first fruit of this labour is the G 310 R. Some BMW fan-boys and purists might ask, “is it still a real BMW Motorrad?”

    To find out the answer, BMW Motorrad Malaysia invited to the 2017 BMW Motorrad Nightfuel event in Penang, and along the way, allowed us a crack at the new R nineT Urban G/S and R nineT Racer. But, the one we were there to ride, and find out what was what, was the G 310 R.

    Read the full review of the 2017 BMW Motorrad G 310 R after the jump.

  • 2017 BMW Motorrad S 1000 RR, R 1200 GS, K 1600 B and R nineT Urban GS launched – from RM87,900

    A rainy evening saw the launch of the 2017 BMW Motorrad S 1000 RR super bike, R 1200 GS adventure bike, K 1600 B cruiser and R nineT Urban GS retro at the BMW Motorrad Nightfuel event in Batu Maung, Penang. The K 1600 B is a new addition to BMW’s ‘K’-series uber-tourers, and is priced at RM159,900, while the S 1000 RR and R 1200 GS have received updates for the coming model year, and are priced at RM106,900 and RM105,900, respectively.

    Meanwhile, the BMW R nineT Urban GS is the Munich firm’s reboot of its original adventure machine, the R 80 G/S, G/S standing for Gelande/Strasse, and is priced ay RM87,900. All prices include GST, but excludes insurance.

    Owen Riley, head of BMW Motorrad Malaysia said, “There is no better occasion than to introduce four new premium motorcycles to the BMW Motorrad family here at the Nightfuel event.” Riley added that this is the first Nightfuel event outside the Klang Valley, and bikers from all over Malaysia attended.

    Revised and updated to Euro 4 specfications, the S 1000 RR comes with a 999 cc inline four-cylinder power plant that produces 199 hp at 13,500 rpm and maximum torque of 113 Nm at 10500 rpm. Three riding modes are standard – Rain, Sport and Race as well as partial integral Race ABS, along with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).

    Powered by BMW’s venerable boxer-twin with a power out put of 125 hp at 7,750 rpm and 125 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, the R 1200 GS is now Euro 4 compliant with updated engine management and new catalytic convertor. Also new for this model year is a drive shaft judder damper that reduces driveline vibration.

    A brand new model to BMW Motorrad’s range, the K 1600 B is based on the luxury uber-tourer K 1600 GT (RM159,900), and is BMW’s take on the American cruiser. The K 1600 B takes the 165 hp and 175 Nm inline-six from BMW’s ‘K’-series tourers and puts in a low slung, bagger-style cruiser with integrated panniers.

    The R nineT range sees the inclusion of the Urban G/S, comes with an air/oil-cooled 1,170 cc, Euro 4 compliant boxer-twin and a power output of 110 hp combined with a 6-speed gearbox. The Urban G/S complements the existing BMW Heritage-series bikes – the R nineT (RM101,900), R nineT Scrambler (RM92,900), R nineT Pure (RM82,900), and R nineT Racer (RM88,900) with all prices including GST but excluding insurance.

  • REVIEW: 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200 – RM11,342

    Two hundreds are a bit of a weird alice in the motorcycle world. Existing because of certain countries licensing regulations, they do not offer the economy of a 150 cc machine, nor do they fit in as true quarter-litre class motorcycles.

    So, why would Malaysian motorcycle manufacturer Modenas offer a 200 cc machine, the 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200, in what is, in Malaysia, a very saturated market? If you think we’re kidding, Kawasaki alone has five models in this segment, Yamaha has the very popular R-25, Benelli makes the TnT25, Honda has the slightly out-of-date but still capable CBR250R, Naza has the N5R.

    The Pulsar range – the other is the Modenas Pulsar NS200 naked sports – is something of a rebirth for Modenas, after having lain fallow for many years with mere minor updates to very out-dated models in the sub-250 cc segment. Tying up with Indian manufacturing giant Bajaj, the RS200, priced at RM11,342, is the first of three models sourced from the Indian sub-continent.

    Being previously known for its scooters and kapchais, the Pulsar bikes are a new direction for Modenas, entering the “proper” motorcycle market, as it were. During the launch of the Pulsars, as well as the Modenas V15 cruiser, what made us perk up and take notice was the price point.

    Now, there is cheap, and there is cheap. What we were curious about, having never ridden a Bajaj bike before, was if the performance of the RS200 would live up the hype.

    Read the full review of the 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200 after the jump.

  • 2017 BMW Motorrad launch at Nightfuel Penang event – S 1000 RR, R 1200 GS, K 1600 B, R nineT Urban G/S

    The Pearl of the Orient, Penang island, will be the location of the unveiling of four 2017 model year motorcycles from BMW Motorrad Malaysia – the S 1000 RR superbike, R 1200 GS adventure bike, K 1600 B bagger-style cruiser and the R nineT Urban GS, BMW’s retro-styled take on the original Gelande/Strasse adventure bike. The BMW Motorrad Nightfuel event on September 9 will be the biggest gathering of BMW Motorrad owners and riders this year.

    As BMW Motorrad’s flagship superbike, the S 1000 RR has been constantly revised and updated, and comes with a 999 cc inline four-cylinder, Euro 4 compliant power that produces 199 hp at 13,500 rpm and maximum torque of 113 Nm at 10500 rpm. Three riding modes are standard – Rain, Sport and Race as well as partial integral Race ABS.

    A new addition is Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) that comes with a lean angle sensor. The DTC has seven levels of adjustment for the best possible performance and safety while accelerating.

    The R 1200 GS is the premier adventure bike which all the other manufacturers try to emulate, and it has proven to be a consistent best seller for BMW’s Motorrad division. Powered by BMW’s venerable boxer-twin with a power out put of 125 hp at 7,750 rpm and 125 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, the R 1200 GS is now Euro 4 compliant with updated engine management and new catalytic convertor.

    Based on the luxury uber-tourer K 1600 GT, the K 1600 B is BMW’s take on the American cruiser. The K 1600 B takes the 165 hp and 175 Nm inline-six from BMW’s ‘K’-series tourers and puts in a low slung, bagger-style cruiser.

    New for the K 1600 B is reverse assist, which uses the starter motor to let the rider back up the 336 kg cruiser when required. Also standard is up- and down-shifting, which elminates the use of the clutch when the K 1600 B is rolling down the highway.

    On the retro side of things is BMW Motorrad’s R nineT Urban G/S, its re-imagining of the original R 80 G/S, the adventure bike that started it all. Based on the “Heritage” series R nineT, the Urban G/S comes with an air/oil-cooled 1,170 cc, Euro 4 compliant boxer-twin and a power output of 110 hp combined with a 6-speed gearbox.

    Pricing and options for the four new additions to BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s range – the 2017 BMW Motorrad S 1000 RR, R 1200 GS, K 1600 B and R nineT Urban – will be revealed at Nightfuel this weekend. We will be there for the official launch and reveal, so check in on on Saturday night.

    GALLERY: 2017 BMW Motorrad R nineT Urban G/S,

    GALLERY: 2017 BMW Motorrad K 1600 B
    GALLERY: 2017 BMW Motorrad S 1000 RR
    GALLERY: 2017 BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS

  • Can motorcycles use the highway emergency lane?


    A recent Facebook posting showed a photo of a motorcyclist using the emergency lane on a toll highway, along with a rant from the poster taking the rider to task getting angry at a car occupying the lane. Other users then chimed in on post, saying that while cars and other four-wheeled vehicles are banned from using the lane, motorcyclists are given a certain leeway to do so.

    This is somewhat allowed by the authorities since bikers do not occupy the entire lane, do not cause traffic congestion on the highway and are able to move out of the way if necessary when an emergency vehicle needs to use the lane, as well as increasing the margin of safety for both riders and drivers during traffic jams. However, Datuk Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman, JPJ deputy director-general, has gone on record in an mStar Online report saying that the emergency lane is for the exclusive use of authorised vehicles in case of emergency.

    “Any vehicle, including motorcycles, are not allowed to use the emergency lane,” Wan Ahmad was reported as saying. According to Wan Ahmad, road users caught using the emergency lane can be charged under the JPJ Act, 1987. “Offenders can be fined up to RM2,000 or up to six months jail, or both,” he said.

    In an earlier report, traffic police chief Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mohd Nadzri Hussain said that no vehicle is allowed to use the emergency lane, even motorcycles. He said this in response to another Facebook post showing some riders kicking off the wing mirrors of cars using the highway emergency lane during a traffic jam, pointing out the bikers were not supposed to be there.

    So, there you have it, the law is the law, and states unequivocally that no vehicles are allowed to use the emergency lane unless authorised. But, with traffic conditions the way they are on Malaysian highways, especially during festive season and long holidays, and during rush hour, the police and JPJ do not enforce this law on motorcyclists in the interests of keeping traffic moving and the safety of all road users.

    What do you think? Does being pragmatic and allowing motorcyclists to use the emergency lane a good thing, especially during heavy traffic? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions, below.

  • Malaysian couple take Honda RS150R supercub on extended honeymoon ride across 24 countries

    Riding a 150 cc Honda RS150R across 24 countries on an extended honeymoon, a newly-married Malaysian couple fulfilled their dream of waving the Jalur Gemilang in London, UK on August 31, Merdeka day. Mohd Alfishahrin Zakaria, 31, an ex-bank employee, and his wife Diana Latief, 30, began their journey 146 days ago, on April 8.

    Among the countries traversed by Alfishahrin and Diana were Thailand, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France, before reaching their journey’s end in front of the Malaysian Consulate in London. Their journey was made possible by a programme from the Selangor Drug Prevention Association, and the couple spent nearly RM40,000 in personal funds during their epic honeymoon ride.

    Additional sponsorship and assistance was rendered by Boon Siew Honda, Honda UK, Givi Malaysia, STT Sprocket and MYBikerz. Alfishahrin has previously ridden the 1000 Corners in Chiang Mai in 2015, as well as a seven-border crossing of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore in 2016.


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Last Updated 21 Sep 2017