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  • FIRST RIDE: 2017 Honda X-ADV adventure scooter

    That rider demographics are changing all over the world is a fact, and motorcycle manufacturers are aware of this. This explains the plethora of choices riders have today in the market, from small displacement scooters to fire-breathing track missiles.

    As a bike maker, Honda has sometimes trod a different path, as can be seen from its willingness to delve into niche machines that serve a very specific market, like the CX500, or to challenge the superiority of another manufacturer, like in the case of the CBR1100XX Blackbird. One thing Honda has always tried to push forward is the automatic gearbox in a large displacement motorcycle.

    Back in the 1980s, a few manufacturers tried to push automatic gearbox motorcycles, reasoning, correctly, that some riders simply do not wish to worry about gear changing and matching engine revs. Some riders will argue that manual clutching and shifting is the very essence of motorcycling, and they would be 99% correct in saying so.

    But, there are those who simply want to enjoy the thrill of motorcycle riding, without the associated barrier of entry that precise gear shifting entails. With a currently ageing rider population in the US, and elsewhere in the world, but still wanting the speed and power of a big engine on two-wheels, Honda has created the NC-series, and now, the X-ADV super scooter.

    In Europe, where the adeventure-bike image sells well, a machine like the X-ADV makes marketing sense. During the Honda Asian Journey, writers were given the opportunity to take the X-ADV for a spin, and here’s what we thought of it.

    Read the ride impression of the 2017 Honda X-ADV after the jump.

  • GALLERY: 2017 Malaysia MotoGP – Saturday qualifers

    After seeing a record attendance figure last year, the 2017 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is back for its 18th edition. As the penultimate race in the MotoGP calendar, the Malaysian MotoGP has always seen down-to-the-wire action, and lots of controversy over the years.

    After being resurfaced in 2016, the new track surface has been found to be highly abrasive, and with track temperatures today during qualifying hovering around 40-degrees Centrigrade, riders will have their work cut out for them, pushing machines to the limit. A key factor will be tyre wear, and Michelin, the series tyre provider, has come out with compounds to withstand the conditions.

    Heading into qualifying at Sepang, the MotoGP class is currently led by Marc Marquez (93) of Repsol Honda Racing, with 269 points. He is followed by Andrea Dovisioso of Ducati with 236 points, and Maverick Vinales of Yamaha with 219 points.

    In the Moto2 class, Franco Morbidelli of Italy is leading with 272 points, with his primary competition Thomas Luthi of Switzerland and Miguel Oliveira of Portugal trailing at 243 and 191 points, respectively. In the Moto3 category, Spaniard Joan Mir of Honda is in front with 296 points, while Italian Romano Fenati and Spaniard Aron Canet, both on Hondas, are at 226 points and 184 points.

    As for our fellow Malaysians, in the Moto2 class, Khairul Idham Pawi, a.k.a. SuperKIP, is racing for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia and Hafizh Syahrin, a.k.a. Pescao, is seeing out his final season for Petronas Raceline Malaysia. In Moto3, Adam Norrodin is racing for SIC Racing Team, while Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin has been given a wild card and will carry the Petronas Sprinta Racing banner.

    In today’s qualifying, Dani Pedrosa (#26) of Repsol Honda recorded a top time of 1’59.212 with a speed of 322.9 km/h. In second is Johann Zarco of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 with a time of 1’59.229 while Andrea Dovizioso come in third on tomorrow’s grid at 1’59.236 and fan favourite Velentino Rossi is at fourth, clocking 1’59.498.

  • 2017 BMW S1000XR in M’sia; 165 hp, 114 Nm, RM106k

    Three’s company, as the 2017 BMW S 1000 XR rounds out the trio of Motorrad models launched for the Malaysian market at Sepang today, joining the G 310 GS and the HP4 Race. First introduced to the Malaysian market in 2015, the 2017 revision of the S 1000 XR is priced at RM105,900 including GST, excluding insurance and on-road costs.

    A litre-class motorcycle in the adventure sports mould given its roots in the S 1000 RR sportbike, the S 1000 XR is powered by a liquid-cooled, 999 cc inline-four cylinder engine producing 165 hp at 11,000 rpm and 114 Nm of torque at 9,250 rpm; a 5 hp gain in this latest Euro 4 emissions-compliant guise. Transmission is a six-speed gearbox with an anti-hop clutch.

    Improvements for the update include vibration-decoupling of handlebars, and an increase in its maximum permissible weight from 434 kg to 444 kg, an equivalent 10 kg gain in payload capacity. Suspension remains as before, with a 46 mm upside-down front fork adjustable for compression and rebound, while the rear monoshock is adjustable for rebound.

    Weighing in at 216 kg, the S 1000 XR features twin 320 mm-diameter front disc brakes with four-piston calipers, while the rear is equipped with a single 265 mm brake disc and a single-piston caliper, both managed by BMW Motorrad Race ABS. Wheels are 17-inch aluminium items, shod with tyres measuring 120/70R17 and 190/55R17 front and rear, respectively.

    A ride-by-wire throttle setup enables Rain and Road riding modes, while ASC aims to make the best of available grip in any given road condition. For greater adjustability, a Dynamic package is available, which brings additional Dynamic, Dynamic Pro, ABS Pro, and DTC modes along with cruise control and LED indicators. Alternatively, the Touring package brings heated grips, GPS preparation, centre stand and panniers. Like the others launched today, the S 1000 XR comes with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

  • BMW HP4 Race now in M’sia; 215 hp, 120 Nm, RM521k

    BMW Motorrad goes into the Malaysian MotoGP weekend with a track weapon of its own, the HP4 Race which has arrived in Malaysia to the tune of RM520,900 including GST, excluding insurance – a fair bit more than the standard BMW S 1000 RR, which retails for RM106,900.

    The HP4 Race has a natural rival in the Ducati 1299 Superleggera, although the Bolognese machine is one that is homologated for road use. The slick tyre-shod Motorrad machine counters with track-ready appointments, including a carbon-fibre frame which weighs just 7.6 kg, representing a 33% reduction from the S 1000 RR‘s 11.6 kg aluminium frame, according to BMW.

    Power comes from a 999 cc, liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve inline-four engine which is rated for 215 hp at 13,900 rpm, and 120 Nm of torque at 10,000 rpm. Outputs are sent to a six-speed, straight-cut gear transmission and chain final drive, with slipper clutch as standard.

    Armed to the hilt with electronics, the HP4 Race includes 15-level traction and engine braking control; four ride modes – Wet, Intermediate, Dry 1 and Dry 2 – are included, while datalogging joins lap timing and GPS comes as standard. Its race pedigree also shows with the inclusion of a pit lane speed limiter, launch control, wheelie control, spring travel and brake pressure sensors.

    Further driving the HP4 Race’s track-only orientation is a hardware suite which includes adjustable eight-position footrests, adjustable handlebars, seat height adjustment, adjustable steering head angle and swingarm centre of rotation, reverse shift pattern and up-and-down quickshifter.

    Suspension hardware is from the top flight of superbike racing, with an Ohlins FGR300 Superbike World Cup front fork handling road-holding duties with an Ohlins SD052 steering damper. For endurance racing purposes, the HP4 Race’s front wheel can be liberated in quick-release fashion, with the fork legs able to twist out of the way for quick wheel changes. An Ohlins TTX36 GP unit handles rear monoshock duties.

    More race-grade componentry for braking features. Brembo GP4-R calipers with titanium pistons clamp on a pair of 320 mm-diameter discs in front, driven by a Brembo RCS 19×18 master cylinder. Around the back, a four-piston Brembo caliper with titanium pistons grip a 220 mm rear disc.

    Rolling stock is a pair of carbon-fibre wheels, and along with the lightweight frame made from motorsport’s favourite woven material, combine to give the HP4 Race a weight of 171 kg, fully fueled, ready to ride. Fuel capacity, incidentally, is 17.5 litres.

    Limited to 750 units worldwide, the HP4 Race is hand-built by a dedicated team in Berlin, Germany, and comes solely in BMW Motorsport livery. The limited-run HP4 Race seen here is covered by a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

  • BMW G310GS arrives in Malaysia; RM29,900 incl. GST

    The BMW G 310 GS has arrived in Malaysia at RM29,900 including GST but without insurance, adding to BMW Motorrad’s roster of single-cylinder machines with a Gelande-Strasse (land/street) variant, hence the GS suffix. As expected, the baby GS draws extensively from the RM26,900 G 310 R, albeit with the trappings of dual-purpose applications.

    Powered by a 313 cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine producing 34 hp at 9,500 rpm and 28 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm, propelling the junior GS via a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive. Key physical dimensions are as follows: the G 310 GS weighs 169 kg, measures 2,075 mm in overall length, 880 mm wide and 1,230 mm tall, with wheelbase at 1,420 mm and a seat height of 835 mm.

    On the chassis front, the baby GS gains a larger, 19-inch diameter wheel, 41 mm upside-down fork, a single 300 mm-disc front brake with four-piston caliper in front, while the rear gets a 17-inch wheel, rear monoshock with preload adjustment, and a 240 mm rear disc brake with single-piston caliper. Suspension travel is 180 mm, while dual-channel ABS is standard, and is user-switchable.

    Demand for the Euro 4-compliant G 310 GS is such that the first Malaysia-bound shipment has been fully spoken for. The waiting list for the smallest GS model runs to four months, according to a BMW representative. The BMW G 310 GS is covered by a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty in Malaysia.


  • 2018 Kawasaki Z900 RS retro sports bike unveiled

    An awesome history with naked sports bikes going back to the beginning of the Universal Japanese Machine (UJM) in the 70s has given Kawasaki the basis of the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS. After the demise of the Kawasaki W800 retro bike due to Euro 4 last year, Kawasaki drew on its history of Z-bikes to give the motorcycle world the Z900RS.

    Taking the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 naked sports as a basis, the Z900 RS uses the same 948 cc DOHC inline-four, but tuned differently to give the RS more low end grunt. Power is now rated at 111 hp from 125 hp, while torque drops from 97.8 Nm to 72.5 Nm, but there is more torque available below 7,000 rpm.

    The frame on the Z900RS is not interchangeable with the Z900, having been completely redesigned to fit the RS’ classic style fuel tank. This quashes hopes of transferring the RS bodywork over to the standard Z900, but we assume there will be some madmen out there who will try.

    New additions to the Z900RS are radial-mounted brake callipers with ABS, as opposed to the axial mount units on the Z900. Also new is two-mode switchable traction control, something omitted from the Z900. However, this might mean the 2018 or 2019 Z900 will have these items as mid-model updates.

    In keeping with the retro styling of the RS, the clocks are analogue units with a small LCD screen in the middle, compared to the digital readout of the Z900. Seating on the Z900RS is a single padded unit in keeping with its retro looks, compared to the two-piece stepped unit of the base Z900 while upside-down forms and rear monoshock bring the RS up-to-date, suspension-wise.

    The 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS comes in a choice of five colours – Candytone Brown, Candytone Orange, Metallic Spark Black, Metallic Matte Covert Green and Flat Ebony. In Malaysia, the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 comes in two versions, the base model and the SE, which are priced at RM49,158 and RM50,959, respectively.

  • REVIEW: 2017 Benelli 302R – sports on a shoestring

    A question that is sometimes asked by readers is why, when Malaysia has a licensing system for motorcycles that is divided into two classes – below 250 cc and above – that bike engines come in various capacities where the threshold for the license is sometimes neither here nor there. A case in point is motorcycles and scooters that come in at 300 cc, for instance, the Kawasaki Ninja 300, J300 scooter and now, the 2017 Benelli Tornado 302R.

    As a sports bike offering from Benelli – under ownership by the QianJiang Group of China – the Tornado 302R is meant to cater to the small-displacement market that wants a stylish, sleek-looking machine for the daily ride and weekend get-abouts. The target audience is, indeed, the young lad who wants to go fast on a motorcycle, and do it on something of a budget.

    Now, there are those who might scoff at motorcycles originating from China, or designed for the Chinese market, and certainly, we have encountered our fair share of what we might charitably call “motorcycle-shaped objects.” However, efforts are being made on the part of a few China-based manufacturers to up their game, and a quick perusal of offerings reveals that there are, indeed, som gems to be found.

    After the recent take-over of the Benelli brand in Malaysia by Penang-based MForce Bike, we wondered if there would be a change in what was previously a budget brand in the local motorcycle market. We first had a look at the Benelli 302R last year, and from outward appearances, it did look good.

    It certainly ticked all the right boxes for a small-displacement sports bike, with an appropriate price to match – RM23k. So, when MForce said they had the 302R available for us to review, we decided to take a gander at it.

    Read the full review of the 2017 Benelli 302R after the jump.

  • 2018 Yamaha Niken Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW) revealed – three wheels, double forks and it leans

    Something a little different is the 2018 Yamaha Niken Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW) scheduled to have its world premiere at the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori (EICMA) show in Milan, Italy this November 6. This three-wheeler uses double upside-down front forks with 15-inch wheels mounted on single-sided front hubs.

    While there are precious few details on the LMW, we can guess that its basis is the MT-09 Tracer, with tall seat height and upright riding position. Yamaha claims the LMW will deliver a high feeling of stability when cornering, and “excellent performance for spirited and sporty riding on various road surfaces and the capability to freely carve through the continuous corners of winding roads.”

    From the pictures, and assuming the underlying machine uses the MT-09 power plant, claimed power will be in the order of 115 PS at 10,000 rpm and torque rated at 87.5 Nm at 8,500 rpm. The cast beam frame of the MT-09 is gone though, replaced with a trellis frame.

    Bodywork up top is very much wider, to accommodate the rather larger upper and lower yokes needed for the double-fork tilting wheel assembly. Headlights on the Niken look to be a combination of projector lamps with LED DRLs, and LED turn signals are located in the wing mirrors.

    It is not known if the Niken has a stabilisation system to keep itself upright at parking lot speeds, or if the steering geometry is designed for 100% rider intervention. Keep reading for more details on new motorcycle models being revealed at the EICMA show.

  • 2018 BMW G 310 GS arrives in Malaysia this October

    With barely a week left in October, a posting on the official BMW Motorrad Malaysia Facebook page states that the 2018 BMW Motorrad G 310 GS adventure bike will be in Malaysia by the month. A single terse statement said that the G 310 GS will be arriving this October, and to check back for further updates.

    The G 310 GS is based on the G 310 R naked street bike, BMW Motorrad’s collaboration with Indian bike maker TVS, and targeted at the beginner market. The G 310 series motorcycles carry a a 313 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine fed by EFI that puts out a claimed 34 hp at 9,500 rpm and 28 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm.

    Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox, and braking is with a single disc front and rear, and two-channel ABS is standard. The G 310 power plant has a cylinder that is reversed, with the exhaust exiting to the rear of the bike and the EFI facing forward.

    For the G 310 GS, styling follows BMW Motorrad’s styling cues from the bigger GS bikes, with long front beak for a mudguard and tall, upright seating. In Malaysia, the 2017 BMW Motorrad G 310 R retails for RM26,900, including GST.

  • 2018 Honda Goldwing revealed – 1,833 cc, RM99.5k

    2018 GL1800 Goldwing Tour

    Covers have been taken off the 2018 Honda Goldwing, and the new package features sleeker styling, model options, ride modes and automatic transmission. As Honda’s flagship touring motorcycle, the Goldwing has been a range-topper for the last 43 years, and 2018 Honda Goldwing now comes in two models, Goldwing and Goldwing Tour.

    Shown during a special event in Santa Barbara, California, the 2018 Wing still carries the same flat-six that has powered the series since 1987, but updated with ride-by-wire, four ride modes, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Idling Stop to add ease of use and improve fuel efficiency. The flat-six, now with four-valves per cylinder and 6.2 kg lighter, displaces 1,833 cc, and produces 124 hp at 5,500 rpm and 170 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm.

    Fed by Honda’s PGM-FI, the Goldwing has two gearbox options – a conventional six-speed manual transmission with electric reverse, and a seven-speed forward and reverse Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) automatic gearbox. The DCT features a 1.8 km/h forward Walking Mode with reverse of 1.2 km/h, operated instantly from a switch on the left handlebar.

    Depending on the model type in the range, the Goldwing is now up to 48 kg lighter than the previous generation. Weight savings were realised not only in the engine, but also in the chassis, with the frame and swingarm 2 kg lighter than before, and the new grand tourer weighs in at 365 kg for the base model, and the Tour version with manual or DCT transmission weighs 379 kg and 383 kg, respectively.

    LED lighting is now used throughout the Goldwing, and inside the cockpit, a 7-inch TFT LCD screen displays navigation and audio entertainment information, with selection controlled using a dial. For Apple iPhone users, Apple CarPlay allows connection of the phone to the bike.

    For rider comfort, the large screen from the previous GL1800 is gone, replaced with a smaller electric windscreen that is raised and lowered via a switch on the handlebar pod. Screen angle and height adjustment is stepless, and allows for a breeze to flow past the rider and pillion, instead of cocooning them inside a still air bubble like before.

    2018 GL1800 Goldwing Tour

    Main difference between the base Goldwing and Goldwing Tour is the omission of electrically-adjustable suspension, heated grips, top box, HSTC, rear speakers and centre stand, along with a shorter windscreen on the base model. The Goldwing Tour also has an airbag model option in the range.

    The 2018 Honda Goldwing Tour and Tour DCT comes in three colour options – Candy Ardent Red, Pearl White and Pearl Hawkseye Blue, while the Goldwing Tour DCT Airbag only comes in Candy Ardent Red/Black. Pricing for the Goldwing Tour is priced from 26,700 USD (RM113,061) while the Goldwing Tour DCT starts from 27,700 USD (RM117,295), while the Airbag version goes for 31,500 USD (RM133,386).

    For the 2018 Honda Goldwing base model sans topbox, pricing starts at 23,500 USD (RM99,510) while the DCT gearbox model has pricing beginning at 24,700 USD (RM104,592). Availability of the 2018 Honda Goldwing begins February 2018.


Latest Fuel Prices

RON 95 RM2.38 (+0.07)
RON 97 RM2.66 (+0.06)
RON 100 RM3.10
VPR RM3.36
EURO 2M RM2.25 (+0.05)
EURO 5 RM2.35 (+0.05)
Last Updated 16 Nov 2017