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  • 2018 Honda CB4 Interceptor concept – retro racer

    Shown during the 2017 EICMA show in Milan last November, the Honda CB4 Interceptor concept bike is based around the Neo Sports Cafe design that was shown in Tokyo last year. The Interceptor name began in 1983 for Honda, with the first of the V-four sports bikes that were avant-garde and cutting edge then, but this time around, it is being applied to a retro-looking racer.

    Taking cues from the Honda Bol D’or racers of the 80s, notably the CBR1000F, the CB4 Interceptor has its roots in the CB4 Concept that was given public display in 2015. Pride of place is given to an inline-four with a four-into-one exhaust.

    Shod in racing slicks, Brembo Monobloc radial callipers clamp solid floating brake discs in front – when was the last time you saw a large displacement motorcycle without drilled discs? – while Ohlins supplies the suspension front and rear. Honda’s Pro Arm single-sided swingarm holds up the rear-end, with a five-spoke wheel derived from the NSR racing motorcycles.

    Designed by Italian designer Valerio Aiello, the CB4 Interceptor is murdered out in matte black, and the lines of the front cowl flow seamlessly into the tank. Inside the cockpit a gauge displays the necessary information for the rider, while a touchscreen located on the tank shows navigation as well as connectivity, including the ability to make emergency calls.

    Interestingly, a fan powered by the forward motion of the CB4 Interceptor provides power for the touch screen, decreasing battery load. Starting is keyless with a start button, located on the tank where the key barrel would be in a normal bike.

    As for Malaysia, 2018 will see the release of the CBR1000R, alongside the CBR1000RR superbike, CRF1000L Africa Twin adventure bike and the X-Adv adventure scooter. Competition in the local market for the Honda CBR1000R includes the BMW Motorrad S1000R, priced at RM92,900 and the Suzuki GSX-S1000 at RM74,094.

     
     
  • 2018 GPX Racing Demon 150GR in Malaysia soon

    After news of the impending launch of two new motorcycles from Thailand – the 2018 GPX Racing Demon 150GN naked sports and Gentleman 200 retro – another model from our neighbour up north will be making its debut after July, the GPX Racing 150GR sports bike. This fully-faired sports bike is expected to be priced at around RM11,000, putting it in the budget end of the market.

    Carrying a 149 cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine with a six-speed gearbox, the Demon 150GR looks for all the world like a miniature Ducati Panigale. Suspension is with upside-down forks in front and a monoshock in the rear, and the 150GR is claimed to weight 130 kg.

    Braking is done with hydraulic single discs front and rear, and the Demon 150-GR rolls on 14-inch wheels, with seat height at a low 780 mm. Inside the cockpit is an LCD screen displaying all the necessary information and full LED lighting is found on the Demon 150GR.

    From the GPX Racing website, there are three colour options for the Demon 50-GR – Red, Matte Black and White – though it is not known whether all the colours or only a selection will make it to the local market. Additionally, there are two “Sports” colour schemes available, in red/white/grey and grey/white but it is not known if Malaysia will get the full range of colour options.

    While the Malaysian launch of the GPX Racing Demon 150GR will be in the latter part of the year, the naked sports Demon 150GN and retro-styled Gentleman 200 will hit the market in the first quarter of 2018. What do you think? Is a budget sub-200 cc motorcycle something you need? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

     
     
  • 2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 – only 15 units, RM946k, all sold

    GT4 racing is popular in Europe, running a series of what is basically track day cars and Austrian manufacturer KTM, more known for its very capable motocross bikes, has released the newest iteration of the X-Bow GT4 racer. Designed for the amateur racer on a budget, the 2018 X-Bow GT4 promises lower running costs.

    Heading into the new year, the X-Bow GT4 now comes with a more robust Holinger sequential gearbox mated to a 2.0-litre, 335 hp, TFSI four-cylinder that is designed to deal with up to 700 Nm of torque. Service intervals for the gearbox are now 10,000 km, up from 5,000 km, helping defray racing expenses.

    The monocouque chassis on the X-Bow GT4 is made by Dallara and developed by German race outfit Reiter Engineering, with input from KTM Technologies. The design of the X-Bow is the work of KISKA, who also designed the Husqvarna Svartpilen and Vitpilen motorcycles.

    Inside the engine bay management is handled by a Motec M142 ECU, along with a motorsports-specific wiring loom. Traction control based on GT3 specifications is now standard, controlled from inside the cockpit from a control panel that is more user-friendly.

    In its racing class, the 2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 goes up against cars such as the Aston Martin Vantage, the Audi TT and R8, the BMW M3 GT4, M4 and Z4, the Lotus Evora, Mazda MX5 and Nissan 350Z and 370Z as well as the Toyota 86 GT4. Priced at USD 233,120 (RM946,000), all 15 units of the X-Bow GT4 built for the 2018 race season have been sold.

     
     
  • The paultan.org 2017 Top Five bikes – best of the best

    Another year gone by in a flash, and it is time again for me to select the top five best motorcycles I encountered during 2017. During the course of the year, I was given the opportunity to ride some amazing motorcycles, including one which is at the very top of the bike engineering pyramid.

    Some of the motorcycles I managed to ride were limited editions and very expensive, like the Zero Engineering Type 9i, another was a blast from the past, the Momoto MM1 a.k.a. the Foggy Petronas FP-1. Others were work-a-day machines, designed to be cheap and cheerful and yet managed to grab this reviewer’s attention, such as the Modenas Pulsar RS200.

    For 2017, I rode a little over 70 different motorcycles, not all of which were for review. Some were pure track tests, some were prototypes. Others were for manufacturers who wanted development input for new models – especially in motorcycle handling behaviour and ergonomics – which led me to spending a lot of time on racetracks in Europe and locally.

    Along the way, I noticed that a few manufacturers and distributors, both overseas and local, were listening carefully and taking note of my comments, some of which actually made the transition to the motorcycles you buy and ride today. In any case, in the course of my reviews, I have always tried to be as honest in my appraisal as I can be, without fear or favour.

    For reviews, I attempt to get to the essence of what a particular bike is trying to be, and the purpose it is supposed to serve the rider. This means I sometimes tend to gloss over the numbers, which can be read off the specifications sheet anyway, and concentrate on what the bike is like to ride.

    Choosing this year’s top five was not an easy task, although one or two choices immediately found a place in the ranking within minutes of me getting on the bike and chucking it into a corner. With the level of performance between modern bikes being so close, some choices were not so simple, and sometimes came down to a matter of which brand of brakes were on the bike.

    However, in all cases, one criteria that over rode everything was, “would this be a bike I would ride everyday, will it do what I want it to do and can I afford to buy it for the stable?” The choices I made are bikes that were not completely fussy to live with, would go round corners in an interesting fashion and stopped on a dime.

    In all, it has been an interesting year, for me as both a professional moto-journalist and a rider, being given the chance to ride some really awesome motorcycles, and the opportunity to share that experience with you, the reader. So, here it is, the paultan.org 2017 Top Five Best Bikes.

    5. 2018 KTM 390 Duke

    Very narrowly making the time cut-off for this year’s list is the 2018 KTM 390 Duke, priced at RM28,800. This makeover of the original 390 Duke brought ABS with “Supermoto” mode, TFT LCD instrument cluster and LED DRLs into the sub-500 cc class, and we are all the more grateful for it.

    While the single-cylinder, 373 cc engine stayed much the same, fuelling was very much improved, with the stumble of the previous model gone, and vibration brought somewhat under control to a liveable level. The Supermoto mode was insane, leaving ABS on for the front wheel, letting the rear wheel be locked up at will and coupled with the slipper clutch, was all that was needed to bring out the author’s inner hooligan.

    Compared to the RM21,730 KTM 250 Duke – which made last year’s top five – the 390 Duke was completely stark, raving, bonkers mad, but at a completely controllable level. That there was always a grin on my face when I took off the helmet was enough to earn the 2018 KTM 390 Duke a place on the list.

    4. 2017 Kawasaki Z900 ABS SE

    Carrying on Kawasaki’s heritage of four-cylinder naked sports bikes that began with the 1973 Z1, the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 ABS SE brought things up to date with ABS and lighter weight. This helped in translating the RM50,959 Z900 into a better handling, rider-friendly package.

    Whilst being dimensionally smaller than the Z800 it replaced, the Z900 ticked all the boxes for a do-anything, go-anywhere street bike. The 948 cc inline-four, fed by dual-valve throttle bodies, is good for 123 hp, a 10% increase from the 111 hp of the Z800. It lost some 21 kg over the previous model as well, going from 231 kg to 210 kg.

    That Kawasaki designed this bike to be accessible to a wide spectrum of riders can be seen in the 795 mm seat height and very light pull of the assisted clutch. This makes the bike easy to ride under all road conditions, and we liked that we could just hop on and ride the Z900 with no issues.

    3. 2017 Yamaha NVX 155

    The thing about Yamaha is when they make small bikes, they make small bikes that flat out work. When we rode the Yamaha NMax, from which the RM10,500 Yamaha NVX 155 takes its engine and running gear, we found it to be a nice, if placid, city scooter.

    Dressed up in more aggressive clothing, and given a minor makeover in the suspension department, with the inclusion of ABS the NVX 155 was transformed into a very sporty, fun runabout. So what if the 155 cc single only put out 14.8 hp and could barely crack 126 km/h on the highway?

    With front wheel ABS, keyless start, remote fuel and seat opening, plus a 12-volt socket in the dashboard cubby, the NVX brought a new level of sophistication to city scooters. Primed for ease of use, and with many members of the public making good comments on the NVX 155’s sharp looks, we are finding a place for this one in the stable.

    2. 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

    Fine, no bones made about this, Ducatis are special to the author. That combination of sleek Italian design, thumping V-twin drive and sublime handling always strikes something in the heart, and the 2017 Ducati SuperSport S, priced at RM88,899 (take off RM8,000 if you want the base version) was one we looked forward to reviewing.

    Taking the Testastretta 11 from the Ducati Hypermotard, and bodywork design sourced from the Panigale, the boys from Borgo Panigale made a easier to ride sports bike that was capable of tearing up the track or munching the miles on the highway. That the S version we reviewed, with its Ohlins suspension and Brembo M4-32 brakes, was icing on the cake.

    A more upright riding position, with foot pegs set a little lower down and further forward, made the SuperSport S comfortable, as sports bikes go. We liked the Ducati SuperSport S simply because it put the “sports” back in sports-touring.

    1. 2017 Triumph 765 RS Street Triple

    So, the one that made it to the top of the list for 2017. We were asked lots of questions about this year’s bike of the year, as a Ducati Multistrada 1200 topped out last year’s list, and many were genuinely curious as to what our choice would be.

    We first rode the 2017 Triumph Street Triple 765 RS at Catalunya, Spain, during the world media test ride. On that occasion, we tore up the track with racers Carl Fogarty and Gary “Gaz” Johnson, and during discussions, one thing almost all present agreed upon was the balance of the 765 RS, priced at RM66,900.

    Full disclosure, the author has a 765 RS in the stable, which he purchased the day after the media ride. There is a lot to like about the 765 RS, from its M50 Brembo brakes, premium Showa and Ohlins suspension, upgraded inline-triple engine that puts out 121 hp and TFT LCD screen with selectable ride modes and traction control.

    From the previous generation Street Triple 675 R – which was part of the author’s stable – Triumph took a winning formula and made it sportier and very much race ready. We proved this by tracking our personal 765 RS several times, as well as during several media rides.

    The sheer poise and balance of the 765 RS, high speed or low, along with a price which we felt reflected the value and performance being brought to the table, earned it a place at the top. Making a motorcycle that can satisfy riders of different skill levels on the road, and yet still being able to deliver top-flight performance at the track when demanded, is not an easy task, but Triumph has succeeded.

    Special Mention: Honda RC213V-S

    This choice was a matter of some debate, but, in the end, we decided to include the Honda RC213V-S as a special mention, simply because of how, well, special it is. Costing some RM1.1 million, too many journalists and readers were fixated on the fact that only the restricted version, without the race kit – an additional RM50,000 – was allowed to be ridden, while ignoring what makes the RC213V-S what it is in the first place.

    We loved it for the handling performance, and that it makes no apologies, and gives precisely zero (expletive deleted) for existing. The hand-built engine with MotoGP and WSBK technology, the way the bodywork is sculpted, the real-deal MotoGP riding position, that awesome, truly awesome suspension, made this the author’s dream bike.

    Not many will get the chance to ride the Honda RC213V-S, but we managed it, twice, and both times found more and more to like about it. Does anyone know the going rate for a kidney?

     
     
  • 2018 Kawasaki Z900 RS retro bike teaser for Malaysia

    A teaser image on Kawasaki Motors Malaysia’s Facebook page has appeared, showing a headlight and the tagline, “Ready for a surprise? Coming soon to Malaysia.” Although few details are discernible from the photo, we assume that this signals the impending launch of the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS retro-naked sports bike in Malaysia.

    First shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in October and subsequently at the EICMA show in Milan, the Z900RS carries classic motorcycle bodywork from the seventies, overlaying modern running gear. The Z900RS is derived from the current model Z900 naked sports bike.

    Carrying the same 948 cc, four-cylinder power plant as the Z900, the mill in the RS is tuned to give less top-end power with 111 hp at 8,500 rpm but more mid-range torque at 98.5Nm at 6,500 rpm. The frame has been redesigned to accommodate the humped fuel tank as well as the retro-styled bodywork.

    New for the Z900RS is radially-mounted four-piston brake callipers, clamping 300 mm discs in front while the rear gets a dual-piston calliper and single 250 mm disc, with ABS and two-mode traction control. Rolling on 17-inch wheels, the Z900RS weighs in at 215 kg and carries fuel in a 17-litre tank.

    The current model Kawasaki Z900 is priced at RM49,158 for the base version, while the Z900 SE goes for RM50,959, with all prices including GST. When the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS is released next year, it is likely to be priced a little above the Z900, probably close to the RM58,000 Kawasaki asked for when it launched the W800 retro bike a few years ago, provided it comes in as a CKD unit.

     
     
  • Top 10 most popular videos on paultan.org in 2017

    First we brought you our top 10 reviews of the year, now let’s have a look at the top 10 videos on paultan.org. We’ve compiled this list after scouring the films that we have published on both YouTube and Facebook, combining the views on both sites to come up with the roll of videos you see below.

    As you can tell, Malaysians have been quite varied in their viewing tastes this year, with vehicles that range from a multi-million ringgit super limousine to a humble family hatchback. Numerous bikes too, including an Italian cruiser, an entry-level motorcycle from Munich and a nimble runabout scooter. There’s something for everyone, so sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn, and enjoy.

    10: FIRST RIDE: Yamaha NVX 155 Malaysian review – 273k views

    We start the list with a bike review. Yamaha hit the ground running with last year’s NMax, but it needed something to fill in the gap in the premium segment. Enter the NVX 155, which comes with a sportier, more aggressive design and features like ABS, keyless start and automatic engine start/stop. At RM10,500, it’s a little bit pricey for a ditty scooter, so we took it for a spin to find out if it was any good.

    9. FIRST LOOK: 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom in Malaysia – 282k views

    Our tour of the new Phantom got a surprising amount of traction with viewers, especially considering the more humdrum vehicles found elsewhere in this lineup. Of course, with a price that starts at RM2.2 million (before taxes) and brimmed with features such as powered coach doors, a “gallery” for art connoisseurs and a 6.75 litre biturbo V12 making a whopping 900 Nm of torque, it’s no wonder it grabbed the attention.

    8. FIRST RIDE: BMW G 310 R Malaysian review – 298k views

    It’s been a long time coming, the BMW G 310 R. Part of a collaboration with India’s TVS originally announced in 2013, the entry-level Motorrad – the company’s first modern sub-500 cc bike – was first shown in 2015 before finally going on sale here in August; its juicy price tag of RM26,900 made everyone sit up and take notice. Our video review looks at whether it’s a real BMW bike, or just a pretender with a propeller badge.

    7. FIRST LOOK: 2017 Honda CR-V 1.5 Turbo vs old 2.4 – 309k views

    One of the biggest launches of the year was the new CR-V, which shook up the midsize SUV market with a new turbocharged engine, a high level of standard equipment and the introduction of the Honda Sensing suite of driver assists in Malaysia. Clearly, many were wondering how the car compared to its predecessor, which explains the high view count of our new versus old comparison.

    6. FIRST LOOK: Honda City facelift quick preview walk-around – 311k views

    Just edging out the CR-V is its stablemate, the facelifted City. Malaysia’s best-selling B-segment sedan got a shot in the arm in March – the freshened exterior and extra kit put it in an even more unassailable position at the top of the class. Before the launch, we gave a quick walk-around preview of some of the changes made, and while we didn’t get access to the interior at the time, it still made our top 10.

    5. FIRST RIDE: 2017 Ducati XDiavel S Malaysian review – 324k views

    The Diavel was already a rather leisurely cruiser, so when Ducati rocked up with the Harley-Davidson-aping XDiavel, we were sceptical to say the least. It has all the right ingredients – a 156 hp/129 Nm 1,262 cc Testastretta V-twin engine with variable valve timing, a trellis frame and superbike brakes and suspension – but have all these been compromised by an American-friendly approach? This review sought to find that out.

    4. FIRST LOOK: Proton SUV to be based on Geely Boyue – 540k views

    The acquisition of Proton by Chinese giant Geely was all anyone could talk about in 2017, and one of the big outcomes of the news was that the national carmaker would be launching its very first SUV next year based on the midsize Boyue. The company brought along an example during the signing of a definitive agreement finalising the partnership, and as usual we were on hand to provide a walk-around tour of the car.

    3: DRIVEN 2017 #1: BMW 330e vs Mercedes-Benz C 350 e vs Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI – 557k views

    We kicked off the fourth season of the Driven Web Series with a bang, comparing the two premium plug-in hybrids in Malaysia – the 330e and the C 350 e. Just for good measure, we had the new Passat tag along as an cut-price alternative, with its minimalist style, classy cabin and proven engine and gearbox from the Golf GTI. We’ll be continuing the season into 2018, so stay tuned.

    2. FIRST LOOK: 2017 Honda Civic Type R FK8 in Malaysia – 634k views

    Another car that bucked the mainstream trend was the Civic Type R – a bewinged hot hatch that set the lap record for a front-wheel drive production vehicle on the hallowed Nürburgring Nordschleife. The spiritual successor to the only Type R officially sold in Malaysia, the FD2, the new FK8 combines outlandish styling, a 310 PS 2.0 litre turbo four and a honest-to-god six-speed manual transmission. All for a hefty RM320,000.

    1. 2018 Perodua Myvi 1.3 and 1.5 review – 890k views

    Of course, as launches go, nothing can top the new Myvi. It’s easy to forget that the car was at one point Perodua’s best-selling model – what with the Axia usurping its crown in recent years – but the company brought the big guns with the third generation. There’s a pair of new engines, a surprising amount of standard kit (including LED headlights and keyless entry) and a swathe of safety equipment that includes segment-first autonomous emergency braking. We test them all and more in our full, in-depth review here.

     
     
  • 2018 Honda CB500F, CBR500R and CB500X released – now with ABS option, prices start from RM31,363

    2018 CBR500R Pearl Metalloid White, Red Stripe

    Undergoing a graphics update for new year, and now coming with ABS as optional across the range, are the 2018 Honda CB500F naked sports, CBR500R sports bike and the adventure-styled CB500X. The CB500F is priced at RM31,363 for the standard model, while adding ABS takes the price to RM34,861.

    For the sports rider, the base CBR500R will set you back RM31,681, with the ABS equipped CBR500R going for RM35,179. At the top of Honda’s middleweight motorcycle range in Malaysia is the CB500X, where the base model goes for RM31,893, and adding ABS brings pricing to RM35,391.

    All prices include GST, but exclude road tax, insurance and registration. A two-year or 20,000 km manufacturing warranty from Boon Siew Honda is included.

    Launched in Malaysia in 2016, the Honda CB500-series bikes carry a 471 cc, DOHC, parallel-twin engine that puts out 49.6 hp at 8,500 rpm and 44 Nm at 7,000 rpm. A six-speed gearbox gets power to the ground with chain final drive.

    The CB500F and CBR500R get adjustable telescopic front forks and preload adjustable rear monoshock, while braking is done with single discs front and rear across the range. The R and F models get a 16.7-litre fuel tank, while the CB500X carries fuel in a 17.5-litre unit.

    Colour options are increased for 2018 for the CB500 range of bikes. The naked sports CB500F gets Force Silver Metallic, Candy Chromosphere Red and Candy Caribbean Blue Sea as colour choices.

    For the sportier CBR500R, the rider can choose between Pearl Metalloid White, Grand Prix Red or Graphite Black. Meanwhile, the CB500X now comes in Force Silver Metallic, Candy Chromosphere Red or Matte Gunpowder Black Metallic.

     
     
  • Top 10 most popular paultan.org bike reviews in 2017

    Although the editorial staff at paultan.org have our favourites amongst the cars and motorcycles we review throughout the year, you, dear readers, have your own particular choice on which reviews garner the most interest. In the case of motorcycle reviews, there was an eclectic mix of machines that drew the most readership.

    Right at the top, the 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200 drew the most views, indicating there is a strong market interest in the resurgence of Malaysia’s motorcycle manufacturer. This re-badging tie-up with Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto, which also has the naked sports RS200 and V15 cruiser, is Modenas’ comeback to the local motorcycle market.

    Smaller motorcycles and scooter gained the most interest from paultan.org readers, as seen from the next three choices on the list. Coming in second as a favourite review with readers was the 2017 BMW Motorrad G 310 R, followed by the 2017 Yamaha NVX 155 and its sibling, the NMax.

    BMW Motorrad makes a second appearance in the readers’ most-read review list with the G 310 GS, the adventure version of the naked sports G 310 R. This is perhaps an indication there is strong interest in BMW’s baby motorrads, as the pair is below the RM30k price point.

    Ducati also makes a double appearance, with the XDiavel S power cruiser and the SuperSport S sports-tourer, as do Kawasaki, featuring reviews on the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 naked sports and Versys X-250. Thus, presented in order from least to most, here are the top 10 most read motorcycle reviews on paultan.org in 2017.

    10. 2017 Ducati SuperSport S – RM80,899

    When Ducati announced the SuperSport, some Ducatisti were quite excited, because, what’s not to like about a sports-tourer with the legendary handling of this Italian make. We took it on review, and yes, the hype was justified.

    9. 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 250 – RM23,789,

    This baby adventure bike from Kawasaki is a new direction for the firm, locally. With the bigger siblings in the stable, the Versys 1000 and 650, being popular with riders wanting a versatile daily rider, the Versys X-250 wants to repeat that success in the quarter-litre market.

    8. 2018 BMW Motorrad G 310 GS – RM29,900

    BMW Motorrad’s baby GS drew a lot of attention from readers. Many complimented its looks and we liked its easy handling.

    7. 2017 Honda CB500X – RM35,391

    Honda’s entry into the middle end of the adventure bike market took the shape of the CB500X. Not exactly the most powerful of two-cylinder machines, the plush handling and easy riding characteristics of this bike were easy to like.

    6. 2017 Kawasaki Z900 ABS SE – RM50,959

    As the replacement for Kawasaki’s popular Z800 four-cylinder naked sports bike, the Z900 brought ABS into mix, in a lighter, smaller, better handling package. Readers liked the Z900’s price of around RM51,000, the increased power and reduced weight.

    5. 2017 Ducati XDiavel S – RM160,899

    Another appearance from premier Italian brand Ducati, this time with the XDiavel S power cruiser. Bold design, awesome power – 163 hp – and oozing attitude, readers liked this bike for not being the typical American iron.

    4. 2016 Yamaha NMax – RM8,812

    One we did from the previous year, the first of Yamaha’s Blue Core design philosophy scooters, the NMax came right up against the Honda PCX in the urban scooter stakes, and it certainly looked the part. Sleek and futuristic in design, the riding public gave this a thumbs up well into 2017.

    3. 2016 Yamaha NVX 155 – RM10,500

    Taking the engine from the NMax, the NVX 155 wears sporty clothing and added ABS into the mix. Coming with keyless start and remote locking seat and fuel cover, the NVX gave riders all modern conveniences in a sporty handling package.

    2. 2017 BMW Motorrad G 310 R – RM26,900

    No surprises here, as Malaysian riders wanted to know what the naked sports BMW Motorrad G 310 R was like. We subjected the G 310 R to a non-stop four-hour endurance ride, stopping only for fuel and cigarettes, and the baby Beemer passed in the comfort and handling stakes.

    1. 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200 – RM11,342

    That the 2017 Modenas Pulsar RS200 came out on top as a readers’ review favourite comes as no surprise. Malaysian riders were waiting for Modenas’ re-entry into the local market, and the RS200, along with the NS200 and V15 cruiser, were it.

     
     
  • Top 10 most popular bike posts on paultan.org in 2017

    Despite a softening motorcycle market, both worldwide and in Malaysia, 2017 was an exciting year for Malaysian riders. All the major manufacturers had new releases in the quarter-litre and middleweight class, and several brands made a comeback in the local market, notably Italian names MV Agusta and Moto Guzzi.

    Shocking news was the decision by Harley-Davidson to terminate its 22-year relationship with Naza, and shifting to a new distributor. A few new names also popped up over the year, such as MForce Bike in Penang taking over the Benelli distributorship, and Sarawak name Demak coming out with a range of budget-conscious bikes for the local market.

    In terms of news, the most popular motorcycle story on paultan.org in 2017 was the launch of the 2017 Yamaha NVX 155 scooter. As an extension of the Yamaha NMax, the NVX – known as the Aerox in some markets – was eagerly awaited by local riders, and from what we hear in the market, there is a several month-long waiting list for this two-wheeler.

    The second most popular story for the year was the launch of the 2017 Honda RS150R, a new direction for Boon Siew Honda in the supercub category, going up against the very popular Yamaha Y15ZR. This six-speeder kapchai has proven popular amongst riders who want a little more comfort and are willing to give up the sportier handling of the Y15ZR.

    Other notable stories for 2017 was the launch of the BMW Motorrad G 310 R, along with the Modenas Pulsar NS200 and RS200, which signalled the return of Malaysia’s only motorcycle manufacturer to the market.

    While there was much reader interest in new bikes in the local market, one of the top 10 stories was for a bike that has not been launched in Malaysia as yet, the Honda CBR250RR. For your perusal, here are the top 10 motorcycle stories on paultan.org for 2017, ranked from lowest, to highest.

    10. 2017 Kawasaki Z900, Ninja 650, Z650 and Versys-X 250 launched in Malaysia

    Starting 2017 in a big way was Kawasaki Motors Malaysia, with the launch of three new models – the Kawasaki Z900 ABS, the Kawasaki Z650 naked sports ABS, the Ninja 650 ABS sports bike and the Versys X-250 adventure bike. Replacing three outgoing models, and exploring a brand new market segment in the quarter-litre arena, Kawasaki Malaysia showed its intent in retaining top position in the local big bike market.

    9. Can motorcycles use the highway emergency lane?

    This controversial topic generated 165 comments from readers, and drew heated debate from both sides of the motorcycle/car divide. At the end, while many readers accepted that the law is the law, most felt allowing smaller and slower motorcycles to use the emergency lane to allow for better traffic separation is the safer option.

    8. 2017 Ducati price list for Malaysia

    Malaysian riders are big fans of this premier Italian motorcycle brand, and the readership numbers reflected this. paultan.org was given a pre-release copy of the 2017 Ducati Malaysia price list, along with news of new model launches in May, and readers were in turn shocked and surprised at the pricing for some of the bikes.

    7. Why is the Honda CBR250RR not in Malaysia yet?

    Local riders have been waiting for the launch of the Honda CBR250RR, the much anticipated model replacement for the Honda CBR250R, but the wait is not over yet. We were told by Boon Siew Honda the Malaysian launch of the CBR250RR will only happen after it has passed European certification, with no firm dates given.

    6. Illegal for motorcycles to use the fast lane in Malaysia?

    Another controversial topic, and one that spurred 172 comments from readers, this time prompted by an e-mail from a paultan.org reader whose car was damaged by a motorcyclist overtaking on the right between his car and a concrete barrier when he was driving in the fast lane. The comments showed a clear divide between riders and drivers, with most wanting both sides to be considerate and share the road safely.

    5. 2017 Benelli RFS150i Malaysia launch – RM6,988

    Another supercub, this time from Benelli, the 2017 RFS150i gave Malaysian riders a third choice in this category, apart from the Honda RS150R and the Yamaha Y15ZR. Competitively priced, with sporty looks and upside-down forks, this six-speeder promises much, and a full review will be published soon.

    4. 2017 Modenas Pulsar NS200 and RS200 launched – from RM9,222

    After laying low for almost six years, Malaysian motorcycle manufacturer Modenas signalled its comeback to the market with the launch of three new models sourced from Indian bike maker Bajaj Auto – the 2017 Modenas Pulsar NS200 naked sports, along with the RS200 sports bike. In addition, the Modenas V15 cruiser was also released, and the Modenas Dominar 400 is due in the early part of next year.

    3. 2017 BMW G 310 R now in Malaysia – RM26,900

    This one made many local bikers sit up and take notice, signalling as it does the return of a baby BMW Motorrad, the first since the 1960s. The 2017 BMW Motorrad G 310 R is made in India by BMW’s manufacturing partner TVS, and is designed for urban riding and daily commuting.

    2. 2016 Honda RS150R Malaysia launch

    Boon Siew Honda, in 2016, made a bold move for a traditionally conservative Malaysian motorcycle company, and launched the RS150R supercub. From what we noted, local riders appreciated this, and we have seen lots of RS150Rs on local roads.

    1. 2017 Yamaha NVX scooter launched in Malaysia – RM10,500

    Launched with a bang by no less a personality than Malaysian fan favourite Valentino Rossi, the 2017 Yamaha NVX immediately found a place in the hearts and minds of local riders. This sophisticated scooter comes with modern conveniences such as keyless start, ABS, and remote seat and fuel opening.

     
     
  • 2018 Suzuka 8-hours sees full Honda factory team

    That Honda takes motor racing very seriously cannot be denied, engine failures in Formula 1 aside. In the motorcycle racing world, Honda, through its racing division Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) has never been shy of spending millions of cubic dollars in the pursuit of trophies.

    For the 2018 Suzuka 8-hours endurance race, HRC will be fielding a full factory team, dubbed Team HRC, for the first time in a decade. While HRC has the best win record at Suzuka of any manufacturer – 27 first places over 40 races – it has been overshadowed by rival Yamaha over the previous three runnings of the race.

    HRC has previously run Suzuka through factory supported teams such as F.C.C. TSR Honda and Malaysian-led Satu Hati Honda Team Asia, but success has eluded the boys from Kumamoto, Japan. Yamaha topped the podium last year with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team, and Kawasaki was second with Kawasaki Team Green, while HRC came in third with F.C.C. TSR Honda.

    No rider line-up has been announced as yet, but Team HRC will be running a race superbike based on the Honda CBR1000RR SP2. The team will also be competing in the 2018 MFJ All Japan Road Race Championship with rider Takumi Takahashi.

    “Honda will be competing as a factory team for the first time in ten years in the JRR JSB1000 class, the pinnacle of road racing in Japan and a more intense 2018 season with 13 races over 9 rounds, and the Suzuka 8hours, an extremely challenging race,” said Yoshishige Nomura, president of HRC. The Suzuka 8-hours is seen as a very prestigious race in Japan, and market success can be determined by which brand wins the race.

    The big factory teams will have top-flight riders from other race series, such as MotoGP and World Superbikes, compete at the Suzuka 8-hours as part of their sponsorship obligations. Suzuka Circuit, located in Mie Prefecture, Japan, has a capacity of 155,000 spectators, and is operated by Mobilityland Corporation, a Honda Motor subsidiary company, which technically makes it HRC’s home track.

     
     
 
 
 

Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM2.30 (+0.04)
RON 97 RM2.57 (+0.04)
RON 100 RM3.00
VPR RM3.27
DIESEL
EURO 2M RM2.32 (0.00)
EURO 5 RM2.42 (0.00)
Last Updated 18 Jan 2018