Contributor BikesRepublic

If you don’t already know, the world is facing a semiconductor shortage due to Covid 19.

Semiconductors are necessary for modern electronics to function, such as gaming consoles and even electronics in cars and motorcycles.

As Covid-19 began to spread around the world, early signs of fluctuating demand led to stockpiling and advance ordering of chips by some tech firms such as Bosch.

The automotive industry is among those feeling the shortage most acutely. At the start of the pandemic, manufacturers scaled back their production plans as demand for cars fell away.

Consequently, suppliers have struggled to meet consumer demand at times, although manufacturers have been able to catch up once again in recent months.

This has resulted in a supply chain disruption across countless industries, and a recent US Department of Commerce study shows that the global chip stocks will plunge under soaring demand in 2022.

According to trade body the Semiconductor Industry Association, sales of chips actually fell 12% in 2019 but were already growing (up 6.5%) in 2020 before rocketing by 30% between August 2020 and August 2021.

The value of semiconductors has historically been quite volatile, meaning makers don’t want to over-invest in multi-billion-dollar factories for fear demand will disappear and profits could collapse at any moment.

That means the industry is now playing catch-up to meet sustained demand for chips in everything from smartphones to cars with advanced driver assistance technology and cloud-connected infotainment systems.

That, combined with the fact that the automotive manufacturing industry is a relatively small part of the chip maker’s business, means they are now at the back of the queue when it comes to securing vital electronic components.

As for riders, modern-day motorcycle prices might be higher until the supply-chain cycle returns to its pre-pandemic efficiency.

BMW North America (BMW) is recalling all 2019 and 2020 BMW K1600 GT, K1600GTL, and K1600B motorcycles.

According to its recall notice, BMW says that a supplier’s link strut that connects the rear suspension to the frame may not have followed specification, as a result of a heat treatment “anomaly”.

In essence, it may not have sufficient strength over time and could result in the motorcycle’s rear end to collapse and contact the rear wheel.

Besides, this will also affect the riding stability and control.

The affected models totals around 1625 units, though it is unlikely a problem to be replicated.

As mitigation, the Bavarian brand had apparently switched suppliers from whoever produced these particular problematic parts to avoid any circumstances in the future.

Registered owners of the affected motorcycles should take them to an authorised BMW dealer as they will replace the rear link strut free of charge.

BMW’s breakdown of bikes affected in North America is as follows:

  • 2019-2020 BMW K 1600 GT: approximately 351 units produced between September 21, 2018 and December 28, 2019
  • 2019-2020 BMW K 1600 GTL: approximately 352 units produced between December 4, 2018 and January 27, 2020
  • 2019-2020 BMW K 1600 B: approximately 922 units produced between September 21, 2018 and February 18, 2020

There is no indication if models designated for Malaysia may be affected, but do contact your dealer if there is any concern.

Quad Lock® by Annex Products is developed, owned and operated by Australian Startup Annex Products, which is based in Melbourne.

They are the experts who patented a practical dual-stage locking mechanism that securely locks your phone to a mount and makes it perfect for a long ride while navigating via smartphone.

As part of product development, the company continuously follows the pace of new smartphone models.

This is to ensure its products are aligned with the different levels of protection and vibration dampening required.

But brands like Apple have also discouraged users from mounting their phones to motorcycles due to potential camera damage.

In response to that, the company developed vibration dampening materials to mitigate the issue.

Now, the company has introduced a new Handlebar Mount Pro and Fork Stem Pro model.

Quad Lock developed its latest mounts from a durable nylon-polycarbonate composite, but this is further enhanced with black anodized CNC machined aluminum.

The brand’s signature blue lever are also mostly seen on regular Quad Lock’s, but the Pro models opt for a matching black tab and hardware.

The Handlebar Mount Pro comes with 22mm (0.875-inch), 25mm (1-inch), 28mm (1.125-inch), 32mm (1.25-inch), and 35mm (1.375-inch) bar sizes while the Fork Stem Mount Pro fits in tube sizes 12.4mm-25.4mm.

Both mounts include USB charging cable channels to maintain the cable condition, but each model is also compatible with Quad Lock’s weatherproof wireless charging dock.

The base Handlebar Mount retails for US$49.95 but the Pro model comes in at US$69.95. Similarly, the Fork Stem Mount will cost US$59.95 while the Pro variant is at US$79.95. But there is no indication on local Malaysian pricing.

Customers have the perks to personalize their Pro mounts with multiple USB charging options, lever colors, knuckle adapters and spacers for the most suitable fitment.

Quad Lock also offers a vibration damper for the Pro mounts. They even tested the unit on vibration-heavy models such as the Harley-Davidson Softail, Triumph Bonneville, and BMW R nineT, proving that the Pro mounts are reliable and trustworthy.


AGV helmets are arguably among the masters at consistent improvements in every aspect of aerodynamics without compromising comfort and safety to graphics.

The brand has a well deserved reputation for its innovative designs and materials, tested on the racetrack and developed with big names such as Giacomo Agostini and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.

Continuing its legacy, AGV has introduced the Pista GP RR Special Edition Futuro evolving from its predecessor, the Pista GP RR which is the closest that anyone can get to a MotoGP level helmet.

Made by forged carbon fiber with a weave pattern, the Futuro features a new shell for advanced protection and a sharp edged spoiler that contributes to the helmet’s aerodynamics.

AGV states that the overlapped, choppy “carbonio forgiato” matte finish design offers more than racing looks.

In fact, the extreme 100 % carbon fiber shell guarantees extraordinary lightness and ensures a greater energy absorption at impact. Speaking of its safety level, the Futuro has earned FIM homologation for world championship competition.

AGV also included improvements that are at the cutting edge of race technology. As a result, the Futuro has a futuristic shell with its Integrated Ventilation System (IVS) including five large front metal vents matched in cyan blue colour and two rear air extractors.

A properly fitting helmet is a must and considered essential for every rider. AGV’s 360° Adaptive Fit system allows the wearer to control and customize the interior at ideal thickness for the rider’s upper head and cheeks support.

From the front, the faceshield is equipped with a top-rated optical class 1 rating, offering a horizontal view of 190 degrees and a vertical view of 85 degrees. Besides, the faceshield is a solid 5mm thick and a structural component of the helmet.

Tested with high-speed wind-tunnel, the shell’s aerodynamics is proven as air flows directly through the metal air vents. The helmet is also compatible with hydration systems equivalent to the race helmets of a MotoGP riders.

The claimed weight of the AGV Pista GP RR Futuro helmet is 1450 grams (1.4kg).

In 2005, MV Agusta released one of its rarest model as a homage to one of its legendary designers, Massimo Tamburini.

A limited edition “Sports class” bike, only 300 units of the F4 1000 were ever produced.

If you don’t already know, Massimo Tamburini was one of the designers who made MV Agusta into what it is today, and the F4 was one of his greatest achievements.

He is also responsible for creating other beauties such as the Cagiva Freccia and designed for other brands like Bimota and is also responsible for the beautiful Ducati 916.

Bearing a prestigious name with limited production, you can probably imagine that the F4 1000 will cost future owners a hefty price to get their hands on one of this sexy Italian.

The MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini doesn’t only sport a legendary name, it also comes with a 996cc inline-four engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The powertrain produces 172 horsepower and 112.53 Nm of torque.

The dry weight is 191.0 kg and top speed is rated at 282.8 km/h.

The F4 1000 also comes with other goodies such as a Öhlins steering damper, Marzocchi front forks, Sachs mono-shock, and Nissin calipers.

On the topic of chassis characteristics, handling behavior and ride comfort, the MV Agusta F4 Tamburini features a CrMo Steel tubular trellis (TIG welded) and a magnesium alloy frame.

One of the eye-striking aspects about the F4 are the gold-anodized 17-inch Marchesini forged aluminum wheels mounted to a single sided swing-arm.

MV also debuted their Torque Shift System, which is able to vary the intake trumpet length dependent on speed to maximize torque output.

All bodywork is carbon fiber, making this bike extremely light (183 kg) and undoubtedly gorgeous with aggressive looks.

So why are you reading this article? Well, the F4 1000 is a proper collector’s item and current bids are pushing its value upwards of USD30,000. So if you come across one, grab it while you can.

Suzuki two wheelers legend, the Katana still remains the sharp suited motorcycle with mega performance.

First released in 1981, Suzuki refreshed the Katana nameplate in 2019 with a modern engine, new features and new colour concept for enthusiasts.

Compared to its 2020 model, the new Katana comes with gold forks, colour-coordinated wheels and grey rear suspension.

With a new dark tone seat, the bike also features Metallic Mat Stellar Blue and Solid Iron Grey colour options.

Apart from that, the Katana gets a few touch of electronics features.

As for the engine, the 2022 Katana retains the 999cc, inline-four cylinder engine which is an evolution of the one found in the GSX-R1000 K5.

But for 2022, the new Katana gets a new intake and exhaust camshafts, valve springs, a 4-2-1 exhaust system and a new airbox that improves efficiency.

Suzuki says the new Katana has 3hp more than the previous model.

But that’s not all, Suzuki fans will love the face that the new Katana now comes with a two-way quickshifter, an updated slipper clutch, rubber mounted handle bars and also offers Suzuki’s new Easy Start system.

And to ease night riding, Suzuki has equipped the dashboard of the new Katana with a “night” mode.

There is no announcement about pricing and it is unlike to be available in Malaysia anytime soon.

The Scorpion EXO-491 is a budget-friendly full-face helmet and the successor of the EXO-490.

This new sports touring helmet is made for the novice rider who is looking for a reasonable helmet at a bargain price.

The EXO-491 is intended for those who drive sportily but also enjoy long rides.

The helmet comes with a ratchet closure and an integrated SpeedView sun visor.

The Scorpion EXO-491 is expected to compete with the Nolan N87 plus, the Shark Skwal 2.2, the HJC I70, the Shark Spartan RS and the Scorpion EXO 1400 Air.

The EXO-491 is an entry level-helmet yet offers protection, comfort and practicality. The helmet is Pinlock ready and has a Kwikwick C liner. The liner is removable, washable and moisture-wicking. The fabric feels soft and has antibacterial features. The liner also has Kwikfit cheek pads, which make the helmet glasses friendly.

Ventilation is a very important part for any full-face helmet. The ventilation grilles of the EXO-491 are located on the chin guard.

There is a ventilation outlet on the back, which ensures that the hot air is discharged. These features can also be seen on the EXO-920 EVO and the EXO-930 from Scorpion.

The outer shell is made of polycarbonate which is not as strong as fiberglass. As a result, more material is needed to provide an equivalent level of protection.

Furthermore, the helmet comes in three shell sizes. Based on these results, the EXO-491 gets three stars.

Compared to its competitors, most helmets scored as well or even less than the EXO-491. Nonetheless, being an entry level helmet the EXO-491 is accountable.

Best of all, it comes with plain or graphic options, with a total of 13 designs for users to choose from.

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