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  • REVIEW: 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe – RM72,372

    Dressing mutton for lamb is a time honoured practice amongst vehicle manufacturers, but is the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe at RM72,372 a prime example of this? It cannot be denied the current trend for motorcycle nostalgia is riding high and manufacturers are well aware of this – except maybe Harley-Davidson since everything they make is two-wheeled nostalgia anyway.

    Coming back to the matter at hand, Kawasaki does have a reputation for building ferocious inline-fours going all the way back to the 1970s with the original Z-series bikes, followed by the KZ and GPz machines. With the advent of the liquid-cooled GPz900R – the original Ninja – Kawasaki has, in Malaysia at least, led the way with its street-oriented four-cylinder litre-class machines.

    When the Kawasaki Z900 was launched a couple of years ago, we had a close look at the engine and frame and thought that particular combo would be a good basis for a modern bike in retro clothing. Someone in Kawasaki must have been listening because a year later, the Z900RS came out, looking like it had rolled out of a catalogue from the 70s.

    You know the one, the glossy four-page catalogue you drooled over as a young teenager, waiting for the day you could own your first four-cylinder superbike. Then Kawasaki goes and ups the ante with the Z900RS Cafe, giving it that trademark lime green paint with white stripe and a bikini fairing to complete the look.

    But, is the Z900RS Cafe worth the RM4,472 premium Kawasaki Malaysia is asking over the base Z900RS – RM2,472 difference from the SE edition? That’s what we intended to find out when Kawasaki handed us the keys to the Z900RS Cafe for review.

    Read the review of the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe after the jump.

  • 2019 Honda Rebel and X-ADV in new colours – Rebel at RM32,399, X-ADV priced at RM63,299 and RM65,499

    Closing out 2018 is Boon Siew Honda Malaysia’s announcement the 2019 Honda Rebel middleweight cruiser and 2019 Honda X-ADV will come in colours. The Rebel is priced at RM32,399 while the X-ADV retails at RM63,299 and RM65,499 for standard and metallic colour options, respectively.

    For the Rebel, new colour options are Matte Axis Grey Metallic and Pearl Cadet Grey, complementing the current colours of Graphite Black and Millennium Red. Meanwhile, the X-ADV’s current paint schemes of Grand Prix Red and Matte Bullet Silver is joined by Matte Moonstone Silver Metallic in 2019.

    The 471 cc, parallel-twin Rebel puts out 45.4 hp at 8,500 rpm and 44.7 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Weighing in at 184.7 kg, the Rebel comes with a low seat height of 690 mm and is designed for the middleweight commuter and cruiser market.

    Using Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) gearbox, the X-ADV is a cross between an adventure-styled motorcycle and a scooter. Carrying a 745 cc, two-cylinder mill, the X-ADV pumps out 54 hp at 6,250 rpm and 68 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm.

    Availability of the 2019 Honda Rebel will be before the end of the year while the 2019 Honda X-ADV is now in authorised Boon Siew Honda Big Wing dealer showrooms. The Rebel and X-ADV come with a 20,000 km or two year manufacturing warranty and all prices do not include road tax, insurance or registration.

  • 2019 Vespa Primavera 50th Anniversary – RM16,300

    Now in its 50th year, the Vespa Primavera scooter was first introduced to the market in 1968 and to commemorate that milestone, the Italian scooter manufacturer has issued the special edition Vespa Primavera 50th Anniversary. The Primavera 50th Anniversary is priced at RM16,300, excluding insurance.

    Available in two colour options, the Primavera 50th Anniversary comes in Light Blue or Matter Brown along with several unique touches including two-tone wheels and white seat. Aside from that, the Primavera 50th Anniversary is the same machine as launched in Malaysia in October 2018.

    This means the Primavera 50th Anniversary comes with LED lights and 12-inch aluminium alloy wheels – the largest ever produced by Vespa. Other accessories include the neck tie garnish on the front cowl as well as chrome accents on the front fender.

    As for the engine, the Primavera 50th Anniversary uses a single-cylinder, four-stroke mill displacing 154.8 cc that is claimed to produce 12.7 hp at 7,750 rpm and 12.8 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. Transmission uses a CVT gearbox and braking is done with a 200 mm hydraulic disc in front and a 140 mm diameter drum brake at the back.

    As us usual, the rider as an extensive choice of accessories for the Primavera 50th Anniversary, some of which can be colour co-ordinated such as a the top box. Other accessories include a chrome parcel rack on the front fender, taller windscreen, metal frame guard and alarm system.

  • 2019 Yamaha X-Max scooter in new colours, RM21,225

    Coming in new colours for next year’s riding season is the 2019 Yamaha X-Max 250, which can be had in Matte Blue and Matte Red. Recommended retail pricing the the X-Max remains unchanged at RM21,225, excluding road tax, insurance and registration.

    Launched in Malaysia in March 2018, the X-Max 250 is powered by a single-cylinder, four-stroke, SOHC power plant producing 22.5hp at 7,000 rpm and 24.3 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. Fed by EFI, the X-Max 250 engine is designed with Yamaha’s Blue Core technology with fuel economy and power efficiency in mind.

    Power gets to the ground via CVT transmission and belt final drive, and the X-Max rolls on a 15-inch wheel in front and 14-incher at the back, equipped with disc brakes. With electric starting, fuel carried inside a 13.2-litre tank, there is space under the seat on the X-Max for two full-face helmets.

    Other rider conveniences include keyless start, a 12-Volt charging outlet in the front cowl and ABS and switchable traction control. The X-Max uses LED lighting throughout with LED position lights, bringing styling up-to-date.

    An LCD panel is placed between two analogue gauges to deliver all the necessary information to the rider. Deliveries of the 2019 Yamaha X-Max 250 begin this month at all authorised Hong Leong Yamaha dealers.

  • Ottimo launches Viz110 kapchai in Malaysia – RM4,288

    New name in the Malaysian kapchai market is Ottimo Technologies with its first offering of the Ottimo Viz110, priced at RM4,288. Initially concentrating on the northern Peninsular, planned production quantity for the Viz110 is 300 units a month.

    Designed as a “casual sports commuter”, the Viz110 carries a Euro 3 compliant 107 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled four-stroke mill that produces 6.7 hp at 7,500 rpm and 6.9 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Power is transmitted through four-speed, automatic rotary gearbox with wet multi-plate clutch and chain final drive.

    Coming with both electric and kick starting, the Viz110 carries fuel in a 3.6-litre tank under the seat, where a 6-litre storage compartment is also found. Braking is done with a single-disc clamped by a two-piston hydraulic calliper while a drum brake stops the rear wheel.

    For suspension, the Viz110 is held up in front by telescopic forks while the back end is suspended by twin shock absorbers, rolling on 17-inch wheels. Weighing in at 98 kg, the Viz110 uses LED lighting for the daytime running lights (DRLs) and turn signals, while a USB charging port is found inside the front fairing next to a small cubby for holding a phone or keys.

    There are two colour choices for the 2019 Ottimo Viz110 – Syinta Red and Syantik Blue. Availability of the Viz110 is from Ottimo dealers in the northern region – 23 in Kedah, 15 each in Penang and Perak with 8 in Perlis.

    Current local market competition for the Ottimo Viz110 includes the Honda Wave Alpha and Yamaha Lagenda 115. Other rivals include the SYM Bonus 110 and Modenas MR2.

    Announcing expansion plans for Ottimo Technologies, Chong Kian Boon, chief executive officer said the Kedah based company intends to introduce a 150 cc acooter in 2019 to complement the Viz110. This will be followed by a 125 cc Euro 4 compliant kapchai in 2020 and a 150 cc supercub and e-bike in 2021 with a predicted total sales volume of 11,000 units a year.

    Chong said the Viz110 is currently sourced from China, with some major components such as the seat, wiring harness and some bodywork designed by a Malaysian engineering team and produced locally. “Our goal is to have at least 50% local components in the VIz110 by 2021”, said Chong.

  • Ops Khas Bersepadu Genting – 572 summons issued

    Cracking down on drivers and riders treating the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway as their personal racetrack, police conducted Op Khas Bersepadu Genting, or Combined Genting Special Operation. Erecting a roacblock at the Gombak toll plaza, police and JPJ issued a total of 572 summons over the two-day exercise.

    In a Berita Harian report, Superintendent Azman Shariat of the Traffic Police Investigation and Enforcement Division said the operation focused on bringing to heel drivers of luxury sports cars and high-powered motorcycles that speed along the highway, usually on weekends. Of the 572 summons issued, police handed out 355 citations out of the total.

    Of these, 94 summons were for offences related to driving licences, 31 for not having a wing mirror, 54 for road tax offences and 90 for non-conforming number plates. The balance of summons were 12 for not wearing a seat belt, 15 for not displaying ‘P’ or ‘L’ plates and 54 for miscellaneous offences.

    One of the luxury vehicles stopped for checks during the operation was found to have not paid road tax for 10 years. Meanwhile, several other drivers were detained for drug offences, dangerous driving, driving under the influence and using false number plates while a female foreign national was held for not having valid travel documents.

  • SIRIM: Helmets in Malaysia to have QR code from 2019

    A new security sticker equipped with a QR code will be mandatory for motorcycle helmets sold in Malaysia from 2019. This was announced by Mohd Azanuddin Salleh, managing director of SIRIM QAS International, a subsidiary of Malaysian standards body SIRIM, in a Bernama report.

    Use of the new security sticker will ensure the helmet is genuine and meets Malaysian safety standards. “Using the SIRIM QAS app which can be downloaded via App Store or Google Play, users can determine if the helmet is approved,” said Azanuddin.

    Aside from the QR code, the new SIRIM motorcycle helmet sticker contains other security features, such as UV sensitive printing and micro text. Other security features include Guillouche patterns to prevent forgery and use of high quality printing material.

    Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Shaharuddin, director-general of JPJ, said the department is working in co-operation with Royal Malaysian Customs and the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Affairs to prevent the import and sale of motorcycle helmets not meeting Malaysian standards. “Any imported helmet must meet Malaysian Standard MS1 and Regulation UNR 22,” said Shaharuddin.

    Helmets meeting the UNR 22 certification will be marked with an ‘E’ at the chin strap and visor, clarified Shaharuddin. “Anyone importing motorcycle helmets into Malaysia, whether for a collection or sale must ensure the helmets meet the relevant regulations or face import being barred by Customs,” Shaharuddin added.

  • FIRST LOOK: 2017 TVS Apache RTR200 – RM10,950

    With the launch of the 2019 TVS Apache RTR200 V2.0 in Malaysia at a price of RM10,950, was given the chance of a first look at this made in India 200 cc sport bike. While the time permitted for us with the RTR200 was a trifle short, we did come away with some positive impressions of the bike.

    Using an oil-cooled, single-cylinder 197 cc power plant, TVS claims the RTR200 produces some 20.5 PS of power and 18.1 Nm of torque. These numbers are well in keeping with the nature of the RTR200 and we were much more interested in the build quality and performance of the bike.

    Straight off, the RTR200 we were allowed to ride came in a fetching shade of matte red, with the finish being without blemish. Studied from a distance, the RTR200 gives the impression of being larger than it is, a trait we have noticed with motorcycles coming from India.

    It should be noted at this juncture the bike we rode is the 2017 version of the Apache RTR200, while the model currently launched is the 2019 TVS Apache RTR200 4V Race Edition V2.0. The main difference is the 2019 RTR200 comes with a slipper clutch and updated graphics.

    Getting on the RTR200, we settled into the 800 mm tall saddle quite comfortably, with a little room to move around. The seat is a two-piece affair, in keeping with the ‘sports’ design language much favoured amongst young riders.

    Starting on the RTR200 is electric, and the engine came to life with a little surprise. Revving the engine up, the RTR200 exhibited a minimum of vibration, well below what we have become accustomed with from single-cylinder bikes in the sub-quarter litre class.
    Read the rest of the 2017 TVS Apache RTR200 after the jump.

  • 2019 TVS Apache RTR200 4V Race Edition and Neo X3i launched in Malaysia by Daju Motors – RM10,950

    Coming in from India and now in the Malaysian market are the 2019 TVS Apache RTR200 4V Race Edition 2.0 priced at RM10,950 and Neo X3i, pricing pending approval but estimated to around RM5,000, respectively. Assembled in Indonesia and imported into Malaysia by Daju Motors, the Apache RTR200 and Neo X3i are targeted at the budget commuter market.

    Fitted with Bosch EFI, the Apache RTR200 comes with a 197.75 cc oil-cooled, single-cylinder mill that produces 21 PS at 8,500 rpm and 18.1 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm, with four-valves per cylinder. Power gets to the ground via a five-speed gearbox equipped with a slipper clutch and chain final drive.

    Suspension in front is done by conventional telescopic forks while a a preload-adjustable monoshock props up the rear end. Rolling on 17-inch wheels, the Apache RTR200 uses single discs front and rear for braking, sized at 270 mm and 240 mm diameter, respectively but ABS is omitted.

    Weighing in at 149 kg wet, the Apache RTR200’s saddle height is 800 mm and fuel is carried in a 12-litre tank, including a 2.5-litre reserve. Colour options for the 2019 Apache RTR200 are matte red, white and black.

    For the kapchai market, Daju Motors offers the TVS Neo X3i, with a 109.7 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine producing 8.5 hp at 8,000 rpm and 8.5 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Weighing 101.5 kg, the Neo X3i drives the rear wheel with a four-speed semi-automatic gearbox and fuelling is by carburettor.

    Braking for the Neo X3i uses a 220 mm diameter disc clamped by a twin-piston calliper on the front 17-inch wheel, while the rear wheel is stopped by a 110 mm diameter drum. Suspended by conventional telescopic forks in front and twin shock absorbers in the back, fuel for the X31 is carried in a 4-litre tank under the seat.

    GALLERY: 2019 TVS Apache RTR200 4V Race Edition V2.0

    GALLERY: 2019 TVS Neo X3i

  • 2019 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa – last of the series

    With emission laws tightening around motorcycle manufacturers, we bid a quiet farewell to the famed 2019 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa which is not in compliance with Euro 4 standards. After making its debut back in 1999 and soldiering on for two decades – the last major update to the Hayabusa was 10 years ago – the Hayabusa held the record for fastest production motorcycle till the introduction of the Kawasaki H2, leaving aside limited production factory specials.

    Powered by a 1,340 cc, liquid-cooled DOHC inline-four, the Hayabusa – Japanese for peregrine falcon – produced a claimed 173 hp at 9,500 rpm and 135 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. This was good enough to propel the Hayabusa to a top speed of 312 km/h back in 1999 before motorcycle manufacturers came to a gentleman’s agreement to limit the top speed of their products in fear of authorities imposing non-negotiable restrictions.

    Weighing in at 266 kg, the Hayabusa is hardly a lightweight by today’s superbike standards and suspension is done with upside-down forks and monoshock at the back. For the 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa, Brembo four-piston calliper brakes are offered, with a single-piston Nissin unit at the back and ABS is standard.

    Certainly the Kawasaki ZX-14 is capable of much more, if not for being restricted and we have personally ridden modified examples well past the 330 km/h mark but the Hayabusa was, due to a simple matter of policy, the winner of the motorcycle top speed war that began in the early 90s with the Kawasaki ZZR1100.

    It remains to be seen what, if any, replacement Suzuki might propose for its hyperbike. Rumours have been circulating that a replacement Hayabusa in the form of a 1,400 cc turbocharged four-cylinder is on the drawing board but little has been heard of it.


Latest Fuel Prices

RON 95 RM1.98 (+0.06)
RON 97 RM2.28 (+0.06)
RON 100 RM3.20
VPR RM3.10
EURO 2M RM2.17 (+0.12)
EURO 5 RM2.27 (+0.12)
Last Updated 19 Jan 2019