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  • MotoGP test at Sepang – free viewing from grandstand

    Want to catch some MotoGP action for free? Sepang International Circuit will be opening its main grandstand for free viewing of the annual MotoGP pre-season test, to be held from tomorrow (31 January) till Thursday (2 February). This is the first of three official test sessions before the season starts in Qatar on 8 April.

    This three-day session will give fans a first glimpse of the new 1,000 cc MotoGP bikes, which replace the 800 cc bikes from this year. For the riders, not only will they have to get to know their new machines, it will also an emotional return to the track that claimed the life of San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli last October.

    The key factory teams will have unchanged line ups. Casey Stoner will defend his world title alongside Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, the Yamaha factory team have Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, while Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will be flying the Ducati flag.

    The off-season saw some transfers, including that of Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (Honda Gresini). Hector Barbera will now be the sole rider of the Pramac while Karel Abraham will continue with Cardion AB Racing Team. Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet joined Forward Racing and Aspar Team respectively, where they will ride new CRT-spec machines. A total of 21 riders will form the MotoGP grid this year.

    Besides getting to watch the tests for free, those who make their way to Sepang will get to buy special early bird tickets for the 2012 Malaysian MotoGP (21-23 Oct). In addition, for every MotoGP ticket purchased during the test session, fans are entitled to a 50% discount on 2012 Formula 1 Malaysian GP hillstand tickets from as low as RM30.

  • RHB Now ‘Race for a Ducati’ campaign kicks off

    RHB Bank has kicked off its RHB Now Race for a Ducati campaign, in which three Ducati Monsters are up for grabs. To be eligible for the prizes, customers need to perform any financial transactions via RHB Now and play the RHB Now Racer online and mobile game, which can be accessed via various channels, from PCs to iPads.

    As mentioned in our earlier post, the top 10 customers with the highest score will win the weekly prizes, and the top 10 players with the overall highest scores obtained during the campaign period will be invited to a grand finale challenge, which will see the three eventual winners of the stunning two-wheeler.

    The campaign is set to run for eight weeks, from today until March 15, so there’s plenty of time to play the game. In conjuction with the campaign, there’s also a nationwide Race for a Ducati roadshow, with no less than 20 stops at selected RHB Bank branches having been outlined.

    The Monster will be on show, of course, and the Diavel and Streetfighter 848 are scheduled to make appearances at some stops. You’ll be able to buy Ducati merchandise as well as bikes at each roadshow – RHB Bank esteemed customers and staff will be able to enjoy exclusive package deals on Ducati products.

  • Fancy a Ducati Monster 795? You can simply win it in the RHB Now Racer contest!

    If you’re a big fan of two-wheelers, then you’ll know the Ducati Monster 795 to be one pretty impressive bike. So, if you fancy the chance of riding one off for free, then you’ll be chuffed to hear that RHB Bank is putting no less than three of these 87 hp Monsters up for grabs.

    There’s only one way to win one, and that’s through the RHB Now Racer game, which can be played via the Internet or through a mobile device. In the game, which runs until March 14, participants will take on the role of a RHB Now’s Avatar riding a legendary Ducati bike

    The objective of the game is to manoeuvre along one of eight racing tracks that are unlocked weekly, meticulously dodging and jumping over various obstacles – such as sticky tar on the road and giant spikes – along the way. You’ll need to pick up as much treasure as possible and cover as much distance as you can within the given 60-second time limit to rack up the highest possible score.

    The top 10 contestants with the highest game scores every week get weekly cash prizes, and the scores are locked in the ‘RHB Now Racer’ leader board. The top 10 overall game winners with the highest game score during the campaign period will then be chosen for the grand finale challenge, where they will compete on a finale route at a dedicated site to see who takes home those three Ducatis.

    Sounds simple enough, and the neat thing is that the game can be played numerous times. The scores, however, are only recorded when you make transactions on RHB Now, Internet & Mobile Banking, which of course means that you’ll need to be a RHB Bank/RHB Islamic/Easy by RHB customer registered with RHB Now Internet & Mobile Banking to be in the running for those bikes and the seven grand finale consolation prizes – starting from RM7,000 – as well as 80 weekly prizes of RM200 each.

    Each transaction above RM50 carried out via RHB Now online or mobile – and these includes BillPay, Western Union, prepaid reload, PayPal as well as online and mobile purchases from participating merchants – offers you the chance to play the game and lock-in a high score.

    You’ll find the game online via ‘RHB Now Racer’ campaign website at, and if you’re doing the mobile route, the ‘RHB Now Racer’ mobile game application can be downloaded from App Store (for iPad & iPhone) or Android Market (for Android phones).

    All the necessary details about the RHB Now Racer campaign can be found online at, so if you’re a RHB customer, head on over to see how you can try and make that Monster yours.

  • Tan Chong goes the motorcycle route in Laos

    According to a report, Tan Chong Motorcycles Laos has been appointed the exclusive distributor, importer and after-sales service provider for SYM motorcycles and spare parts in Laos.

    The company, which is a Tan Chong Motor Holdings (TCMH) unit set up in March last year, has inked a three-year distributorship agreement with Vietnam Manufacturing and Export Processing (VMEP), effective Jan 2, 2012.

    The distribution of SYM motorcycles in Laos by TC Motorcycles Laos is expected to commence in the first half of 2012, with showrooms set up in the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone and Vientiane, TCMH said in its filing with Bursa Malaysia. It added that the total projected sales volume for the first three years of operation is 12,200 units.

    The Vietnamese manufacturer builds an assortment of SYM models, including the rather menacing sounding Attila Victoria, Attila Elizabeth and Shark, and has over 230 authorised 3S (sales, service, spare parts) centres in Vietnam.

  • LIVE from Tokyo: Retro liveried Honda RC-E is super sexy

    If only four-wheeled EVs are half as sexy. Honda revealed the RC-E concept at Tokyo to great response, thanks to evocative livery that recalls the glory days of the RC racers from the 1960s. Having seen the real vintage stuff days ago at the Honda Collection Hall, Twin Ring Motegi, this one made me drool!

    The RC-E is electric powered, so that fuel tank contains no liquid, but batteries. Not much details have been released, but Honda promises a powerful and smooth ride, and 600cc class performance in a 250cc class body. Should be a very strange bike experience – strong off the line EV style, but with no noise!

    We can see good stuff such as the Ohlins TTX suspension and Brembos. And part of the reason it looks good is because there’s no need for big headlights – the RC-E’s LEDs are nestled in the nose vent below the No.1. Also notice the plug sign at the bottom of the bike, hinting at what’s powering it.

  • Next Bike targets 300% sales growth for Ducati in Malaysia

    Next Bike Sdn Bhd, the sole importer and distributor of Ducati motorcycles in Malaysia, is looking at a 300% sales growth this year following good response for their latest model, the Ducati Monster 795. The latest Monster, aimed at Asia, had its world debut in Malaysia last month. The RM59,900 naked bike is powered by a 803 cc L-twin 2-valve per cylinder Desmodromic air cooled engine, producing 87 hp and 78 Nm.

    More than 200 units of the Monster have been sold just one month after its launch, a huge jump from the 50 Monsters Next Bike sold last year. In 2010, they shifted 120 units of Ducatis, bringing the total amount of Ducatis sold in Malaysia to over 1,000 units. This figure is expected to rise sharply with the relatively affordable Monster 795.

    EICMA 2011 debutant Ducati 1199 Panigale is open for booking, coming soon

    “We have planned out a variety of programmes to help boost the sale of Ducati bikes and within the next 12 months, more exciting Ducati models are expected to be introduced. One of the models is the 1199 Panigale that was recently launched in EICMA Italy and we have already started taking bookings,” revealed Naza Group Joint Executive Chairman, Datuk Wira Hj SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin.

  • 2011 BMW S1000RR updated with new features

    After its initial launch in 2009, BMW Motorrad has updated the S1000RR supersports bike. While there are no changes to the peak power output figures of 193 horsepower, there are quite a few new features to the technical update:

    • Optimised torque curve for improved ridability.
    • Expansion from two to three performance curves (one each for Rain and Sport modes and an additional one for Race and Slick modes); Rain mode now 120 kW (163 hp).
    • Reconfigured throttle for enhanced response (particularly gentle and sensitive acceleration in Rain mode, and immediately direct and spontaneous response in Sport, Race, and Slick modes).
    • Reduced twisting force and tighter twistgrip angle.
    • Smaller secondary ratio for boosted thrust.
    • Refined tuning between Race ABS and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).
    • Enlarged cross sectional area of the intake air guide through the steering head for greater air flow efficiency.
    • Better handling, steering accuracy, and feedback.
    • Revised spring elements for an even wider range of damping forces.
    • Suspension geometry modified with new values for the steering head angle, offset, position of the swing arm pivot, fork projection, and spring strut length.
    • New mechanical steering damper adjustable over ten levels.
    • Forged and milled fork bridge in a new design and with a smaller offset.
    • Revised design with a leaner tail section, redesigned side panels, centre airbox cover with side aperture grilles, and winglets.
    • For new colour variants: plain Racing Red with Alpine white, Bluefire, Sapphire black metallic, BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours.
    • Revised RR logo.
    • New heel plates and leaner stabilisers on the passenger footrests.
    • Redesigned LCD engine speed display for better readability and with five dimming levels.
    • Instrument cluster with the new functions “Best lap in progress” and “Speedwarning”; deactivation of “Lamp” fault message when headlamp or number plate carrier removed.
    • Catalytic converters relocated, so no heat shield necessary.
    • Expansion to the optional extras and special equipment ex works.

    Look after the jump for a huge photo gallery and a video of the revised S1000RR.
    Read The Full Story ›

  • 2012 Honda Integra to come with 700cc engine and twin clutch gearbox – yes, it’s a bike not a car!

    Honda is bringing back the name Honda Integra to one of its products, but unfortunately it’s not the sports coupe with the screaming high-revving engine that we used to know and love. The 2012 Honda Integra is actually a motorcycle with a scooter-ish riding position which puts the rider’s feet further forward than a motorcycle.

    The new Honda Integra uses a 51 hp water-cooled 700cc inline-two engine, which Honda says offers the compact dimensions of an inline engine and the character of a V-twin thanks to a 270 degree throw crankshaft. It’s a long-stroke engine, with a 73 mm x 80 mm bore-stroke ratio for its cylinders, so this should generally mean an engine designed to provide lots of low to mid end torque instead of being a screamer, which should suit this kind of bike.

    The Integra also gets a second-generation Dual Clutch Transmission which is lighter and more compact than the version first used in the VFR1200F. It has a simplified hydraulic circuit, among other design enhancements. A learning function has been added to each selected running mode to detect a variety of riding environments from city streets to mountain passes and automatically performs the most suitable shift logic. You can also stick to a 6-speed manual if you want.

    Honda estimates a fuel economy of 27 km/L for the Integra. Being a bike instead of a car, the new Honda Integra will debut at the 69th EICMA International Motorcycle Exhibition instead of the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.

  • Marco Simoncelli accident: Official Statement from Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, Chairman of SIC

    The Sepang International Circuit sent out this press release today.

    On behalf of Sepang International Circuit (SIC), I wish to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Marco Simoncelli’s family members, teammates, fellow riders and the whole MotoGP family. We share the pain and shock of the tragic and heartbreaking loss of Marco Simoncelli on 23 October 2011.

    Marco will be remembered as a talented rider and a flamboyant character who never failed to put a smile on the faces of the racing fraternity and his fans with his cheerful demeanour. Above all, he was a great man and a competitor who was destined for even greater things both on and off the track. MotoGP and the racing world is now a lesser place without him.

    SIC would like to state that the decision to cancel the race was taken after considering the severity of the accident. The decision was agreed upon by SIC and Dorna Sports SL, the commercial rights holder of MotoGP. SIC made public announcements on the cancellation of the race and Marco’s death as soon as we were authorised to do so, with priority being given to officially inform Marco’s family members first. I hope that fans can understand the situation prevalent at the time.

    SIC would like to reiterate that all preparations and precautionary steps were taken to ensure we staged a safe race in accordance with FIM, AAM and Dorna safety requirements. However, the inherently dangerous nature of motorsports does not allow a race organiser or track owner to give a guarantee that nothing untoward will happen during a race.

    The Sepang International Circuit is acknowledged as having been designed to be a safe circuit and managed by a team of experienced personnel, on and off track, to handle race events professionally. We work to the highest safety standards and we will continue to ensure these standards are met at every race held at our circuit. At the race on Sunday, circuit personnel acted speedily and professionally to attend to Marco as soon as the accident happened. Despite all that was done, the medical team could not change the outcome of the situation given the severity of his injuries. In the aftermath of this sad tragedy, we will work with FIM and Dorna to see if there is anything else we can do to improve rider safety in races.

    We at SIC are honoured to have had Marco gracing our tracks with his dazzling skills and panache all these years. To Marco, may you rest in peace. You will be missed. Addio Super Sic.

    Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir

  • Marco Simoncelli dies in Sepang after MotoGP crash

    Honda rider Marco Simoncelli died today in a horror crash during the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang. He was pronounced dead at 4:56pm today at the SIC medical centre.

    The accident happened just minutes after the race began where the Italian’s bike went into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi on turn 11.

    Everyone who saw the incident knew this was not going to be good when it was observed that Simoncelli’s helmet got knocked off in the collision. He suffered serious trauma to the head, neck and chest.

    “When our medical staff got to him he was unconscious. In the ambulance because there was a cardiac arrest they started CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation). Immediately in the Medical Centre, with the help also of the Doctor of our staff at the Clinica Mobile and local Doctors, he was intubated and it was possible to take off some blood from the thorax. The CPR was continued for 45 minutes because we tried to help him for as long as we thought it was possible. Unfortunately it was not possible to help him and at 16:56 (local time) we had to declare he was dead,” said MotoGP Medical Director Michele Macchiagodena.

    Colin Edwards, who was also involved in the crash, had a dislocation of the shoulder and had it fixed under anesthesia. According to Macchiagodena, he is doing fine.


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Last Updated 15 Apr 2021