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  • 2018 Honda Vario 150 and 125 scooters in Indonesia

    Two new additions to PT Astra Honda’s urban scooter stable are the 2018 Honda Vario 150 and 2018 Honda Vario 125, priced at 22.5 million rupiah (RM6,351) and 17.6 million rupiah (RM4,972), respectively. Several upgrades have been made to the Indonesia-market Vario, making this a mid-model update.

    Bodywork on both the Vario 150 and Vario 125 is more aggressive, with LED lighting now standard. Modern conveniences are also included for the Vario scooters, including a full-LCD instrument panel, smart key system with alarm and call-back as well as start/stop engine function.

    The Vario 150 is powered by a single-cylinder SOHC power plant with liquid-cooling, and power gets to the ground via a V-Matic automatic gearbox. Power output is claimed to be 13.1 PS at 8,500 rpm, with 13.4 Nm of torque on tap at 5,000 rpm.

    Meanwhile, the Vario 125 produces 11.1 PS at 8,500 rpm and 10.8 Nm of torque from its 125 cc single-cylinder engine. Standard for both Vario scooter models is ACG starter and eSP technology in the engine design with the Vario 150 weighing 112 kg and the 125 coming in at 111 kg.

    Unique to the Vario scooters is Honda’s Combined Braking System (CBS), which activates the front disc and rear drum brake proportionally to aid braking efficiency. Rolling on 14-inch wheels, the Vario 150 comes with a 90/80 front tyre and 100/80 rear, and an 18-litre storage under the seat along with a 5.5-litre fuel tank.

     
     
  • 2018 SYM CRUiSYM 250i and Jet 14 scooters launched in Malaysia – priced from RM20,021 and RM7,089

    In conjunction with the launch of the 2018 SYM VF3i 183 cc supercub, SYM Malaysia also launched the 2018 SYM CRUiSYM 250i and 2018 SYM Jet 14 scooters. The CRUiSYM 250i comes in two versions, the standard model and the Special Edition, priced at RM20,021 and RM20,339, respectively, while the Jet 14 retails for RM7,089, with all prices including GST, but excluding road tax, insurance and registration.

    The CRUiSYM’s Euro-4 compliant liquid-cooled single-cylinder displaces 249 cc and produces 21.1 hp at 7,500 rpm and 23.5 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. No lightweight at 196 kg with a 12-litre fuel tank, the CRUiSYM 250 delivers its power via a CVT gearbox, as is typical of scooters.

    Under the seat is found storage for two full-face helmets, and inside a cubby-hole in the front cowl is a 12-volt power socket for charging electronics. Braking on the 250i is with hydraulic discs, the front being a 260 mm diameter unit, and the rear measures 240 mm, with front-wheel ABS as standard.

    Fuel for the 250i is carried inside a 12-litre tank and it rolls on a 14-inch front and 13-inch rear wheel. There are three colour choices for the CRUiSYM 250i – Black, White and Red – and availability at authorised SYM dealers in Malaysia is from next week.

    Meanwhile, in the 125 cc scooter class, SYM Malaysia has launched the Jet 14, designed to cater for the urban commuter looking for affordable daily transport over short distances. The Jet 14 comes with a 124.6 cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine that is Euro-4 compliant and produces 10 hp at 8,500 rpm and 9.2 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.

    With a rated top speed of 110 km/h, the Jet 14 has a 7.5-litre fuel capacity and weighs 128 kg. Braking is with a hydraulic disc in front and drum brake at the rear, with wheel sizing being equal at both ends of the Jet 14 at 14-inches.

    The Jet 14 comes with twin halogen headlights, and LED tailights, with space under the seat for one full-face helmet. The flat floor panel makes mounting the Jet 14 easy, especially for riders wearing a skirt and the seat height is a low 771 mm.

    There are three colour options for the 2018 SYM Jet 14 – Red, Blue and White. Availability of the Jet 14 is from May at authorised SYM dealers across Malaysia.

    GALLERY: 2018 SYM CRUiSYM 250i

    GALLERY: 2018 SYM Jet 14

     
     
  • 2018 SYM VF3i 183 cc supercub in Malaysia – RM8,467

    In the highly competitive world of the Malaysia underbone, or kapchai, market, getting a boost over your market rivals is hard, and SYM Malaysia just upped the ante with the 2018 SYM VF3i supercub, priced at RM8,467 for the standard model, and RM8,785 for the Special Edition. All prices include GST, but exclude road tax, registration and insurance.

    This is a first in the market, as the biggest supercubs typically have 150 cc engines, and Malaysia is the first to see the VF3i. What this means is the VF3i carries a 33 cc advantage over its market rivals and as we all know, there is no replacement for displacement.

    Displacing 183 cc from its liquid-cooled, SOHC, four-valve single, the VF3i produces a claimed 17.7 hp at 8,500 rpm and 15.3 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm. Power for the Euro-3 compliant VF3i gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox with wet-disc clutch.

    Rolling on 17-inch wheels, the VF3i carries a 90/80 tubeless tyre in front, and the rear wheel is shod in 120/70 rubber. Braking is done with a 250 mm diameter disc in front clamped by a dual-piston hydraulic calliper, the largest in its category, while the rear is stopped with a 200 mm diameter brake disc.

    As for suspension, the VF3i uses conventional telescopic forks in front, with 80 mm of travel, while a non-adjuastable monoshock with 32 mm of travel props up the rear end. Fuel is carried in a 7-litre tank under the seat, giving some 171 km of range according to SYM.

    For those who might wish to know, SYM claims the VF3i will show an indicated 155 km/h on the digital LCD speedometer, with engine speed shown on an analogue gauge. Lighting for the VF3i is LED all round, and the front cowl sports a pair of LED DRLs.

    The 2018 SYM VF3i weighs in at 124 kg, and comes in two colour options, Red and Blue, while the Special Edition comes in Matte Black. Availability of the VF3i in the Malaysia market will be from May at authorised SYM dealers.

    Local market competition for the SYM VF3i comes from the Yamaha Y15ZR, priced at RM8,361 and the Honda RS150R at RM8,478. Another option is the Benelli RFS150i, which retails at RM7,407.

     
     
  • Penang Bridge toll – free for motorcyclists if BN wins

    Another day, another promise. Motorcyclists using the Penang Bridge will be exempted from paying toll charges if Barisan Nasional (BN) regains power in the state. Currently, motorcyclists using the Penang Second Bridge are required to pay RM1.70 per entry into the island, whereas those plying the first bridge from Perai need to fork out RM1.40 per entry.

    According to The Sun, caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the plan will be included in the Penang BN manifesto after holding discussions with state BN leaders.

    “This will be included in the Penang BN manifesto after discussing with state BN leaders,” he said. He had also approved RM10.5 million allocation to construct a flyover for motorcyclists in Kampung Seronok, Sungai Ara.

    The announcement is just one of a few motoring-related manifestos. BN’s Johor division also said it will put in place the widening of the North-South Expressway (NSE), increasing the number of lanes from four to six. This will ease congestion between Ayer Hitam and Johor Bahru. So, what do you think of this, guys?

     
     
  • VIDEO: Kawasaki Versys-X 250 reviewed – RM24k

    The Kawasaki Versys-X 250 made its debut last year, bringing a dual-sport flavour into the popular 250 cc segment with its 249 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine. Thus equipped, the junior Versys produced 33.5 hp at 11,500 rpm and 21.7 Nm of torque at 10,000 rpm, adding a viable entry-level step on the dual-sport ladder.

    At RM23,789 including GST though without road tax, registration and insurance, the Versys-X 250 is somewhat unique in the capacity segment which is otherwise populated by naked and full-fairing sports bikes. As shown here, its taller, upright stance offers a new choice for riders shopping in the 250 cc class who may otherwise find a sport bike too stretched out, or a naked bike a little short in the saddle.

    Its 810 mm seat height is slightly more accessible relative to other, larger dual-purpose bikes, while being shod with wire-spoke wheels measuring 19 inches in front and 17 inches at the rear; the front fork is non-adjustable though the rear monoshock is preload-adjustable. Transmission is via a six-speed gearbox, while the standard-fit centre-stand allows for more stable parking and easier chain maintenance.

    Stopping duty is handled by single Nissin disc brakes front and rear, with a four-pot caliper for the front. As tested, this Versys-X 250 did not come with ABS, which we found to be a notable omission on a machine likely to be pressed into daily riding duties. How does it perform on the move? Watch our video above to find out.

    A fixed-height windshield offers decent wind protection for motorway-speed jaunts, too, while mounting brackets as standard are ready to accommodate a top box. Bodywork makes the Versys-X 250 look larger than it is, with plastic shrouding around the 17-litre petrol tank, which incidentally offered a usable range of almost 400 km between fills in its time with us. As for colours, you can have any shade as long as it directly reflects Team Green.

    GALLERY: Kawasaki Versys-X 250

     
     
  • Royal Enfield Himalayan now open for bookings in Malaysia; launch in May, estimated RM38k-RM40k

    The adventure bike market in Malaysia is set for a new arrival this year, courtesy of Royal Enfield. News has come in from the marque’s new exclusive distributor, RE Motorcycles, that the Royal Enfield Himalayan is now open for bookings, and prices are estimated to be from RM38,000 to RM40,000.

    Exact pricing has yet to be confirmed and will have to wait for the official launch planned for May this year, though several orders for the India-made Himalayan have been received, according to an RE Motorcycles representative.

    The Royal Enfield Himalayan first made its global debut in 2015 and regionally, arrived at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show in 2016. This adventure motorcycle is powered by a 411 cc single-cylinder L410 overhead cam, air- and oil-cooled engine, producing a claimed 24.5 hp at 6,500 rpm and 32 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Transmission is via a five-speed gearbox and chain final drive.

    As an adventure bike by design, the Himalayan is equipped with a 21-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear wheel. Seat height is 800 mm, while wet weight is 183 kg. Suspension is courtesy of a 41 mm front fork with 200 mm of travel, while a monoshock resides out back with 180 mm of travel.

    A windscreen and luggage mounts come as standard on the Himalayan, while the latter is constructed of steel to facilitate repairs when required further away from civilisation. Elsewhere, headlamps are halogen units with the tail light employing an LED setup. Instrumentation features analog dials incorporating LCD odometer readouts as well as a digital compass.

    The new distributorship also saw the opening of a Royal Enfield 3S centre in Shah Alam, though the location will only be officiated at the end of this month.

    GALLERY: Royal Enfield Himalayan at GIIAS 2016

     
     
  • Foreigners to pay 50% to 200% more for local motor vehicle registration – up to RM900, effective April 16

    The cost for private vehicle registration, ownership transfer and driver’s license application for foreigners will be raised between 50% to 200%, and it will be effective beginning April 16, 2018. This involves all motor vehicles from Class B1 and B2 motorcycles, as well as Class D vehicles, as reported by Berita Harian.

    Deputy minister of transport Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said the decision on the hike was made by the Cabinet, and added that there has been no revision in the fees since the country’s independence in 1957. He said the initiative will also raise the country’s GDP without burdening Malaysians.

    “Beginning April 16, the government will implement the new fees involving private vehicle registration, vehicle ownership transferral and driver’s license application to all foreigners residing in the country,” said Aziz.

    This means that the cost to register a motorcycle under 500 cc and above 500 cc in Sabah will be RM100, and in Sarawak it costs RM20. The current fee is RM5 for both states. For bikes above 1,500 cc, the new registration fee will be RM350 (from RM150) for the Peninsular, while the cost in Sabah and Sarawak is pegged at RM120 (from RM60).

    For Peninsular vehicles (excluding motorbikes) with an engine capacity between 1,501 cc to 3,000 cc, the cost is up to RM600 (from RM300). For East Malaysia, it costs RM120 (from RM60). However, cars above 3,000 cc will have to fork out RM900 for registrations in the Peninsular and RM160 in Sabah and Sarawak.

    As for motorcycle ownership transferral, the new rate of RM20 is now standard across Malaysia. Previously, it’s RM3 in West Malaysia, RM4 in Sabah and RM5 in Sarawak. For cars, the new fee is RM200 (from RM100) for Peninsular and RM120 (from RM40) for East Malaysia. However, ownership transferral for foreigners with disabilities remains free of charge.

    Lastly, driver’s license fees. Currently, the renewal cost for Class D license is RM30 (which is the amount we Malaysians currently pay) per year, but this will be raised to RM60 for foreigners. In other words, from April 16, it will cost RM300 for a five-year term.

    Meanwhile, for Class B1 motorcyclists, the current fee foreigners pay for license renewal is RM20 a year. This will be tripled to RM60 per year – same as for a Class D license.

    “The implementation of the revised fees will increase the projected national income with an estimated amount of RM31 million annually,” said Aziz. “The initiative shows just how privileged Malaysians are – that they get to enjoy the benefits of being exempted from the increased cost.”

     
     
  • REVIEW: 2018 Yamaha MT-10 – the heart of darkness

    It’s been said before, and we’re saying it again. A motorcycle, at its essence, is an engine, two wheels, a frame and the ability to put a grin on the rider’s face.

    Naturally, Yamaha took a look at this formula, and produced the 2018 Yamaha MT-10, alongside the smaller bikes in the range, the MT-09, MT-09 Tracer and MT-07.

    We have, over time, ridden all the MT-range bikes available locally, along with a couple we’re not going to talk about. But the one everyone wanted to ride but could not, simply because it was not officially imported, was the MT-10. Building on the theme of ‘darkness’, Yamaha touts the MT-10 as a “hyper-bike” and designed for outright hooliganism.

    But, is the MT-10 what it is said to be? It’s easy enough to make a naked litre-plus sportsbike: most manufacturers take a 1,000 cc superbike out of the range, detune it for more torque, slam it into a different frame – sometimes not even then – put on a headlight and pillion seating and call it a day.

    And the formula works, as evidenced by the success of machines such as the Aprilia Tuono and the Ducati Monster (the original Monster in 900 cc was Ducati’s way of getting rid of surplus air-cooled cylinder heads and barrel; it also saved Ducati in the 90s, but that’s another story for another time.)

    So, whilst in the midst of reviewing bikes for Hong Leong Yamaha, we walked into the head office expecting to pick up an MT-09, which we were scheduled to test. Imagine our surprise when the Yamaha media liaison – a big shout-out to Aishah – said to us, “here, you can be the first to test the MT-10.”

    Read the review of the 2018 Yamaha MT-10 after the jump.

     
     
  • Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin ninth in Argentina MotoGP

    Starting second from last at the MotoGP Grand Prix of Argentina, Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin, also known as “El Pescao” powered his way up the field to finish ninth on his Yamaha YZR-M1. This gives Hafizh seven championship points, adding to his previous tally of two from his MotoGP debut at Qatar for a running total of nine points.

    With nine points, Hafizh stands at 13th position in the world championship rankings, and at the top of the Rookie of the Year table. He is three and six points ahead of rookie rivals Franc Morbidelli of Italy and Takaaki Nakagami of Japan, respectively.

    The second MotoGP race of the season saw a lot of drama, with a delayed start when riders opted to pit for a tyre change to slicks from wets due to a rapidly drying track. Australian Jack Miller, riding a Ducati GP17 for satellite team Pramac Racing, alone at the front of the grid.

    Race start resumed with all riders, save Miller, relegated several rows back on the grid. However, Miller’s solo start was short-lived as he was quickly caught by current MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez.

    Marquez happened to collect a ride-through penalty for clashing with Valentino Rossi that dropped him to 19th position, eventually finishing 18th. Marquez made a move that forced Rossi onto the grass, causing him to drop his Yamaha, though he was able to remount and restart the bike.

    This left Miller, Alex Rins, Johann Zarco and Cal Crutchlow in the leading pack, with Crutchlow of CWM LCR Honda on a Honda RC213-V taking the win in a time of 40 minutes 36.342 seconds. In second place was Hafizh’s Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team mate Zarco, 0.251 of a second behind, and Rins on a Suzuki in third.

    Crowd favourite Rossi finished the race at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in 19th place while Jorge Lorenzo ended up 15th with Ducati team mate Andrea Dovizioso in sixth. In Moto2, Khairul Idham Pawi, riding for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia finished 24th, and fellow Malaysian Zulfhami Khairuddin of SIC Racing Team in 26th.

    In Moto3, Adam Norrodin of Petronas Sprinta Racing gained fifth place in this hard fought racing class, giving him 11 championship points. Next race for the 2018 MotoGP season is at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on April 22.

     
     
  • Bridgestone Battlax A41 adventure and T31 sports-touring tyres – we test them in the African high desert

    Tyres are an essential component for any vehicle, two- or four-wheeled, and manufacturers spend immense amounts of money to get them right. A case in point is Bridgestone, having launched two new tyres for somewhat similar motorcycle segments – the Bridgestone Battlax A41 adventure and the Battlax T31 sports-touring tyres.

    Improvements in tyre performance is a matter of percentages, sometimes vanishingly small, but the gains can sometimes be felt by riding the tyre. So, full disclosure, Bridgestone wanted us to feel the difference for ourselves and flew the author out to Ouarzazate, Morocco for two days of riding its new adventure and sports-touring tyres in the high desert.

    In the case of Bridgestone’s adventure tyre, the A41, it supersedes the previous generation A40, and will be the only dual-purpose tyre offered for the bigger adventure machines. During the technical presentation, Bridgestone took pains to point out the A41 is a “90/10” tyre, which means its intended purpose is for 90% road and 10% off-road riding.

    Now, with tyres being very much a compromise in many areas – you cannot have long tyre life with racetrack levels of grip, for example – Bridgestone has improved the A41 in handling and wear performance. This was achieved with Bridgestone’s proprietary triple-layer compound in the carcass.

    In real-world terms this translates to better wear performance, improved grip in low temperatures and in the wet, with an increased contact patch, some 5% larger than before. But, what is the Bridgestone A41 tyre like to ride?

    Read the rest of the article after the jump.

     
     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 26 Apr 2018