Bikesrepublic

Wahid Ooi

  • Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and GIATMARA signed the MOU in November last year.

  • The collaboration seeks to bring up future Kawasaki superbike specialists.

  • Graduates will stand the chance to work with Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia)

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, 14th September 2017 – Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (KMSB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GIATMARA Sendirian Berhad on 1st November 2016. Today’s event serves to witness the exchange of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and officially launch the Superbikes Training Program, which is the result of the collaboration between GIATMARA and KMSB.

The collaboration between the two parties is aimed at enhancing the skills and entrepreneurial mindset for the Malaysian superbikes industry. GIATMARA is the ideal platform as a technical and vocational skills training institute which will enable trainees to gain valuable experience and expertise of KMSB in the field of superbikes, this collaboration will prove to assist and achieve the objectives mentioned earlier.

YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob will officiate the upgraded workshop for the trainees to obtain four months of skill training at GIATMARA Batu. Furthermore, selected trainees will undergo three months industrial training at the Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centre (KESC) in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. Upon completion of the training they will have the opportunity to start a career at either KMSB or an authorized Kawasaki dealer, if selected.

Their industrial training at KESC, will provide exposure to the trainees about the real working environment such as how the service centre operates, besides studying on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the KESC.

Additionall, KMSB will also contribute in terms of input in this collaboration. KMSB hopes that this program will assist GIATMARA in enhancing the image of the industry and producing skill manpower in the motoring sector, especially superbikes.

Present at the even were YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Bin Yaakob, the Minister of Rural & Regional Development; YBhg. Dato’ Haji Azian Bin Haji Osman, the Chairman of GIATMARA; En. Ahmad Faez Bin Tan Sri Yahaya, Executive Chairman, Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.

PICTURE GALLERY

  • The provisional 2018 MotoGP Championship calendar has been published.

  • Thailand will host MotoGP for the first time.

  • The 2018 season will start one week earlier and end an extra week later than usual.

Dorna has released the provisional 2018 MotoGP calendar. The dates and rounds are as follows:

  • Round 1: 18 March Qatar* Doha/Losail
  • Round 2: 8 April Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
  • Round 3: 22 April Americas COTA
  • Round 4: 6 May Spain Jerez de la Frontera
  • Round 5: 20 May France Le Mans
  • Round 6: 3 June Italy Mugello
  • Round 7: 17 June Catalunya Catalunya
  • Round 8: 01 July Netherlands TT Assen
  • Round 9: 15 July Germany Sachsenring
  • Round 10: 5 August Czech Republic Brno
  • Round 11: 12 August Austria Red Bull Ring
  • Round 12: 26 August Great Britain TBA
  • Round 13: 9 September San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Misano
  • Round 14: 23 September Aragon MotorLand Aragon
  • Round 15: 7 October Thailand Buriram
  • Round 16: 21 October Japan Motegi
  • Round 17: 28 October Australia Phillip Island
  • Round 18: 4 November Malaysia Sepang
  • Round 19: 18 November Valencia Ricardo Tormo-Valencia

As expected, Buriram, Thailand’s addition brings the total number of rounds to 19. Malaysia still hosts the penultimate round but the date has been bumped to 4th November, instead of the customary late-October slot.

The Thai round will be held on 7th October, with the next weekend off, before resuming the usual three rounds in a row – Japan, Australia, Malaysia – beginning 21st October.

It’s a wise move by Dorna to give space between Thailand and Malaysia, lest the crowd be split between two neighbouring countries.

The extra round means shuffling the customary dates. Qatar will begin a week earlier than usual, and hopefully miss the unexpected rainstorm which wreaked havoc on this year’s race schedule. The 4-week summer break between July and August will be cut to just two. The 2018 MotoGP Championship ends one week later at Aragon on 18th November.

The venue of the British round has yet to be confirmed, following the Circuit of Wales fallout.

A few riders had raised concerns about the championship featuring too many rounds, citing the possibility of not receiving enough rest between races. Finland is set to join the MotoGP calendar in 2019, bringing the total to a manic 20 rounds.

  • Indian Motorcycles shows off 16 models for 2018

  • Lineup includes the new Scout Bobber, Chieftain Limited, Springfield Dark Horse and Roadmaster Elite.

  • Indian Motorcycles’ sales grew by 17% this spring alone.

Polaris axed its Victory brand in January this year in order to fully concentrate on its Indian Motorcycles concern, and the move has started to see positive results. It has been reported that Indian’s sales grew by 17% while Harley’s shrank by 7% in the past spring alone. Production has surged to more than 25,000 units at the time this article went live.

Indian Motorcycle’s 2018 lineup consists of 16 models, with 4 added to last year’s. Indian has added new features and new colours to several models.

2018 INDIAN SCOUT

There are three Scout versions, all sharing the same physical and mechanical features, except for engines and corresponding transmissions.

Indian Scout Sixty

The Scout Sixty is identical to the 2017 model, with the addition of two new colours and ABS corresponding to certain colours. Thunder Black and Polished Bronze are without ABS, while ABS is standard for Indian Motorcycle Red and Thunder Black over Titanium Metallic.

The Scout Sixty uses the 61 cubic-inch (999 cc) engine which produces 78 bhp, mated to a five-speed transmission.

Indian Scout

The Indian Scout received overwhelming response and was quickly sold out in Malaysia. For 2018, the Scout’s forks are upgraded to cartridge forks, Pirelli tyres are fitted and best of all, a leather pillion seat.

The Scout uses the 69 cubic-inch (1133 cc) engine which punches out 100 bhp, sent through a six-speed transmission.

Thunder Black and Metallic Jade colours are without ABS; Willow Green over Ivory Cream, Brilliant Blue over White, and Burgundy Red are with ABS.

Indian Scout Bobber

New for 2018, the Scout Bobber is styled as blacked-out and stripped down. The footpegs were moved moved back for a more cruiser style placement. The handlebars have been replaced with tracker style bars. The blacked out wheels are shod with knobby tyres and the suspension lowered by 25mm.

2018 INDIAN CRUISERS

Indian’s cruisers are distinguished from their bagger brethren by not having luggage fitted as standard.

Indian Chief Dark Horse

The Dark Horse comes only in matte black with blacked out detailing, accented by chrome. The valanced front and rear fenders are standard, of course. The Chief’s keyless ignition remains.

Indian Chief

The standard Chief comes in Steel Gray, has more chrome and cruise control compared to the Dark Horse.

Indian Chief Classic

The Chief Classic is distinguishable by the white walled tyres, spoked wheels and chrome hand controls. Plus chrome and more chrome.

2018 INDIAN BAGGERS

Baggers are motorcycles with baggage, whether saddlebags or hard panniers, and Indian’s lineup has more baggers than any other manufacturer’s.

Indian Chief Vintage

The Chief Vintage has standard leather seats, saddlebags and removable windshield. To complete the classic look, Indian gave the Chief Vintage whitewall tyres and spoked wheels. Removing the windshielf and saddlebags turn the bike into a boulevard cruiser.

Indian Springfield

Basically unchanged from 2017, there are new colours for 2018. Features such as the detachable hard panniers, detachable windshield, highway bar, keyless ignition, tyre pressure monitoring system and ABS remain standard.

Indian Springfield Dark Horse

The Dark Horse version is new for 2018, featuring matte black paint with gloss black detailing. Instead of the standard Springfield’s valanced front fender, the Dark Horse uses an open fender over a 19-inch cast wheel. It also includes a detachable windshield and hard panniers.

Indian Chieftain

The front end of the Chieftain has been replaced by the new open fender and 19-inch cast wheels. The windshield is powered and include driving lights. Other features include ABS, cruise control, keyless ignition, highway bar, hard panniers, and 7-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB input.

Indian Chieftain Dark Horse

The 2018 Chieftain Dark Horse comes with the fully loaded Ride Command infotainment system which includes GPS. The front end has also been replaced by the open fender and 19-inch wheel.

Indian Chieftain Classic

The Indian Chieftain Classic looks more traditional with the valanced fenders, 16-inch wheels and leather seat with fringes. But new for 2018 is the Ride Command infotainment system.

Indian Chieftain Limited

The Chieftain Limited is top model of the Chieftain family. The front end features a contrast cut 19-inch wheel with open fender.

2018 INDIAN TOURERS

Indian’s Roadmaster family is unmistakable, featuring saddlebags or panniers with large top cases. Best choice for long tours.

Indian Roadmaster Classic

The Roadmaster Classic is the entry point into the Indian touring family, yet it brims with all the necessary touring features such as luggage and the Ride Command infotainment system.

Indian Roadmaster

With hard panniers and top case, the Roadmaster looks more contemporary then the Roadmaster Classic. There are also hard wind deflectors ahead of the rider’s shins. The sound system is bumped up to 200 watts.

Indian Roadmaster Elite

The Roadmaster Elite is the Big Chief of Indian Motorcycle tribe.

It comes only in Cobalt Candy over Black Crystal, which is individually hand-finished in more than 30 hours. Real 23K gold leaf badging is then applied to the tank and engine components.

The Ride Command infotainment system packs a 300-watt punch. There are armrests for the passenger. The rider and passenger footboards are billet aluminium. A premium touring console tops the fuel tank.

  • 2018 Yamaha X-Max 125 shows great looks and promise

  • The X-Max 125 is a worldwide best-seller

  • Part of Yamaha’s “MAX” scooter family

Yamaha has unveiled the new X-Max 125 scooter ahead of the release of their 2018 model line up.

While we do not see the X-Max in Malaysia, the model has sold more than 140,000 units worldwide.

The 2018 model will be EU-4 emissions compliant, hence the 125cc, single-cylinder engine is fed by electronic fuel injection which has low fuel consumption. Such prospects would make the X-Max popular in our country, due to the rising fuel prices.

Both the X-Max 125’s brakes feature ABS as standard. But it goes beyond that, as there is also traction control.

Yamaha has also upgraded the 2018 X-Max 125 to be even more practical. Case in point is the underseat storage space which could accommodate two full-face helmets. That large screen is adjustable, so are the handlebars. It also has a 12V power outlet, like in the NVX, which is fast becoming a pre-requisite.

Speaking of the NVX, the X-Max 125 also uses the Yamaha Smart Key as the former’s. The X-Max’s distinctive dual LCD instruments panels remain.

Yamaha has also started to imbue its family of scooters with a sense of familial ties through the design of their headlights and tail lights. One could instantly tell their make with just one glance.

Will the X-Max 125 ever make it here? Who knows. But it does show that Yamaha is serious about the scooter market.

But if you really want a scooter, check out the Yamaha NVX we tested recently. Click here to read the review of the NVX. 

  • BMW Motorrad Malaysia brought Nightfuel to Penang.

  • BMW Motorrad Malaysia launched the new R nineT Urban G/S, S 1000 RR, R 1200 GS Rallye and K 1600 Bagger.

  • Hundreds showed up despite the heavy rain.

One of the best parts of motorcycling is the lifestyle. Now, while the word “lifestyle” usually describes fashion, a motorcycling lifestyle goes deeper than the superficial.

A motorcycling lifestyle encompasses loving the motorcycle you own, loving to ride whether going solo or with your buddies, strengthening the bond amongst your riding buddies while making new ones, and many more latent personal reasons. It’s a way of life, regardless of your level of passion and to what lengths you express that passion.

But there is one inescapable aspect of every biker’s life and that’s the weekly get-together, called TTS for Teh Tarik Session, among Malaysian bikers.

That’s why BMW Motorrad Nightfuel roadshows play an important role to not only showcase that lifestyle but also to present it as part of BMW Motorrad’s “Make Life a Ride” way of life. Featuring “friendly gathering, food and music,” attendees can be assured of the best TTS in their calendar.

BMW Motorrad Nightfuel visited Penang on 9th September 2017 and it was the first outside of the Klang Valley. The event site was situated just off the on-ramp to the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (better known as “The new Penang Bridge.

There were already hundreds of bikes when we arrived, consisting of BMWs and a good number of other brands, as well.

Pretty girls smiled sweetly and welcomed us at the BMW Motorrad Nightfuel registration desk despite the heavy rain blowing into their tent. Kudos, girls. Each participant received a BMW Motorrad dry bag and ticket for the lucky draw. There was already a long line for the food – typical of us Malaysian bikers!

In the main pavilion, tables and chairs were laid out to surround the centre stage, flanked by BMW motorcycle display stands. The Penang channel and bridge provided the breathtaking backdrop.

Head of BMW Motorrad Malaysia, Owen Riley, welcomed attendees and launched BMW Motorrad Nightfuel Penang.

One of Malaysia’s most famous sessions band, NRG, made sure everyone got rocked by expertly belting out famous hits such as Highway To Hell, Highway Star, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Sejati, among others.

Speaking about the food, the row of stalls served iconic Penang street food such as ais kacang, cendol, Penang assam laksa, rojak buah, char koay teow, and satay. There was also a mini BBQ. The laksa was among the best this writer has ever tried (I had three bowls!).

There was also a Ride & Style Shop operated by Auto Bavaria Penang which sold BMW Motorrad riding gear and paraphernalia.

The site was buzzing with high octane activity, despite the rain still crashing down. Many more motorcycles continued to appear through the maelstrom.

Soon enough, it was time to launch the new bikes, starting with the updated S 1000 RR superbike. Although the engine and design are untouched, the new S 1000 RR now features ABS Pro for more secure hard braking in corners. It is priced from RM 106,900.

Next was one the most anticipated motorcycle, the new R 1200 GS Rallye. Priced from RM 105,900, the GS has been redesigned with new radiator flanks. The engine remains the same (why fix something not broke), backed up by six comprehensive Ride Modes.

The night continued with more great food and music as old friends hung out together and made new ones. A few rounds of lucky draws were held as BMW gave away a few amazing gifts such as sets of Lego R 1200 GS.

The other two bikes were unveiled soon afterwards.

The R nineT Urban G/S harks back to the design of the R 80 G/S of yesteryears but with a modern twist. Built upon the R 1200 engine and R nineT’s frame, the Urban G/S is given longer travel suspension, tapered handlebar, 19-inch front wheel, and the classic headlight fairing to complete that classic enduro look. It is priced from RM 87,900.

Soon, it was time to unveil the main star of BMW Motorrad Nightfuel Penang – the K 1600 Bagger.

As what BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s Product Specialist said during the presentation, a bagger means a cruiser which features touring gear and luggage. Built on the K 1600 engine and touring frame, the K 1600 B uses the platform’s impressive size and is given a sloping tail end to great effect, turning it into a beautiful motorcycle which only the best customizers could dream of building. But don’t be fooled by its size: The K 1600 series consists of superbly agile motorcycles! Priced from RM 159,900, it is not cheap for most of us, but that pricing is competitive when compared among high-end baggers in the market.

The Nightfuel party carried on until late and we bid our goodbyes. As mentioned before, this was the first BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s Nightfuel outside of the Klang Valley and it turned out to be the best. Not even the big storm could derail is status.

Well, rain is part of the biker’s lifestyle.

Click here for more on the new models launched during event.

PICTURE GALLERY

  • BMW Motorrad Malaysia will unveil four new premium motorcycles at the BMW Motorrad Nightfuel event in Penang this weekend, Saturday, 9th September 2017.

  • The new S 1000 RR, R 1200 GS, K 1600 Bagger and BMW R nineT Urban G/S will be unveiled for the first time

  • The largest gathering of BMW Motorrad motorcycles in the Bayan Lepas area in Penang.

Introducing the new motorcycles, Han Sang Yun, Managing Director and CEO, BMW Group Malaysia said, “BMW Motorrad is currently the leading premium motorcycle brand in the country, contributing a steady 1000 premium motorcycles annually to inject an exhilarating and exciting attitude towards motorcycle riding here. The Nightfuel events have enabled us to successfully deliver our promise of Making Life A Ride which is very true to the heart of BMW Motorrad.”

Sharing Han’ sentiments, Owen Riley, Head of BMW Motorrad Malaysia said, “There is no better occasion than to introduce four new premium motorcycles to the BMW Motorrad family here at the Nightfuel event. While this is the first time we have taken the BMW Motorrad Nightfuel event outside the Klang Valley, most of the riders will come from all over peninsular Malaysia.

Riley added that BMW Motorrad Malaysia wanted to create a riding experience for its owners and enthusiasts like no other, embodying the essence of over 100 thrilling years of experience in creating premium motorcycles and combining passion as well as engineering expertise with a pure riding experience.

The new BMW S 1000 RR – the virtually perfect supersports model which has been further optimised – From RM 106,900.00

Ever since BMW Motorrad launched the S 1000 RR in 2009 – the first 4-cylinder supersports bike made by BMW – the “Double R” has had a lasting impact on this market segment. Consistent and ongoing development has since ensured that the RR occupies pole position among the superbikes with road traffic certification. For the model year 2017 it was once again possible to optimise the virtually perfect supersports bike even further.

The 999 cc in-line 4-cylinder engine has been adapted to meet the requirements of the EU4 pollutant class. The peak output is still 146 kW (199 hp) at 13500 RPM and the maximum torque of 113 Nm is reached at 10500 RPM. For excellent ridability, the new BMW S 1000 RR also has a wide engine speed range available for use, and almost the entire maximum torque is available from 9500 (112 Nm) to 12000 RPM (113 Nm).

Riding modes “Rain”, “Sport” and “Race” along with Race ABS and Dynamic Traction Control come standard as well as the partial integral Race ABS. New additions to the standard trim include Dynamic Traction control DTC with banking sensor and fine adjustment at +/- seven levels for the best possible performance and safety when accelerating.

The new BMW S 1000 RR is also now configured standard with passenger seat. The RR is available in the colour schemes Granite Grey/Black Storm, which gives the BMW S 1000 RR a refined appearance and as well as the Racing Red/Light White for a dynamic look.

The new BMW R 1200 GS Rallye – even more supreme on all terrain types – From RM 105,900.00

“BMW GS” has stood for universal motorcycling pleasure for more than 35 years: “GS” embodies the ideal combination of touring and long distance suitability, dynamic performance and off-road capability. This applies especially to the BMW GS motorcycles with the flat-twin boxer engine. They are the perfect companions in extreme conditions when it comes to exploring the most remote corners of the earth.

The most popular travel enduro bike in the world, the BMW R 1200 GS has now been optimised in a wide range of areas. Designed for even greater versatility than before, it taps into a previously unknown breadth of properties, ranging from dynamic performance to comfort and off-road suitability. This is due to selective improvements, numerous new features and not least a much expanded program of optional equipment and optional accessories. For Malaysian market, to meet with the “urban adventure” demand, the Rallye has been customised with on-road tires, standard comfort seats and centre stand, ensuring a convenient and pleasant daily-commuting.

The Boxer engine with new catalytic converter and adapted data status is in line with EU4 requirements. Powered as before by the air/liquid-cooled boxer with an output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7750 RPM and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6500 RPM, the new R 1200 GS now has an altered catalytic converter and a new data status for the engine management to meet the latest EU4 requirements. The model year 2017 already saw the addition of a judder damper on the transmission output shaft and a revision of the selector drum actuator and transmission shafts.

The new BMW K 1600 B: emotion and fascination with 6 cylinders in the exclusive Bagger style – From RM 159,900.00

BMW Motorrad’s interpretation of motorcycling on endless highways, the dream of freedom and independence and the embodiment of “Grand American Touring” in the form of a series version of the new BMW K 1600 B bagger.

As a high-performance, highly emotional and exclusive motorcycle, the new BMW K 1600 B with the familiar 6-cylinder inline engine and supreme 118 kW (160 hp) output, embodies the motto “Spirit of the Open Road.” It is synonymous with elegance, power and luxury on two wheels and transforms every road, every tour and every moment into a particularly intense experience. The characteristic streamlining with a low rear section and masculine colour scheme make for relaxed dynamic elegance.

Largely based on the technology used in the BMW 6-cylinder tourer K 1600 GT, the new BMW K 1600 B implements its spectacular backward sloping linear design with a completely reconstructed rear section. This not only makes the bagger look particularly low-lying and slender, but also, thanks to the new rear frame, significantly reduces the height of the passenger seat.

New reverse assist feature for comfortable manoeuvring and Shift Assistant Pro for shifting up and down without activating the clutch. The new BMW K 1600 B is particularly easy to manoeuvre thanks to the reverse assist feature. This is activated conveniently at the press of button “R” on the left-hand handlebar panel. Pressing the starter button initiates movement. The Shift Assistant Pro available as an option allows the rider to shift up and down without activating the clutch in a large number of cases.

The new all-black (Blackstorm metallic / black for chassis parts and drivetrain) BMW K 1600 B takes the form of a bagger, an exclusive custom bike type that is particularly popular in the USA.

The new BMW R nineT Urban G/S, a refined roadster with a boxer feeling in a classic enduro outfit – From RM 87,900.00

The new BMW R nineT Urban G/S is quite different in style but equally classic in character. For more than 35 years, the “GS” abbreviation in conjunction with BMW Motorrad has been virtually synonymous with a sense of freedom and the passion for adventure on two wheels, both on-road and off-road. The BMW R nineT Urban G/S draws on the genes of the very first and legendary BMW R 80 G/S of the year 1980, transporting them into the modern era with contemporary technology in the form of a classic enduro-style BMW motorcycle with boxer engine.

The BMW R nineT Urban G/S features the potent, air/oil-cooled boxer engine with a capacity of 1170 cc and an output of 81 kW (110 hp) combined with a 6-speed gearbox. The model is designed to meet the requirements of the EU4 pollutant class. Their exhaust systems in stainless steel with the tailpipe positioned on the left reflects classic styling.

As before, radially mounted 4-piston monoblock brake calipers ensure sound, ABS-regulated deceleration in conjunction with floating brake discs. The BMW R nineT Urban G/S is supplied with light alloy cast wheels. The large 19-inch front wheel with 120/70 ZR 19 tyre is in keeping with the typical enduro-style look of a classic bike. This is matched perfectly at the rear with a 17-inch wheel bearing a 170/60 ZR 17 tyre. The new BMW boxer can be ordered ex works with the optional extra of deep-treaded off-road tyres which further enhances its classic style (standard trim: road tyres) and also with filigree wired-spoke wheels.

With 4-piston brake calipers, steel-wrapped brake lines and a brake disc diameter of 320 millimetres, a high-performance ABS brake system here again ensures effective and stable deceleration. In order to prevent the rear wheel from spinning on slippery roads, there is the option of ASC (Automatic Stability Control) which is available ex works.

The BMW Motorrad Nightfuel Penang takes place this Saturday, 9th September 2017 from 19:00pm at a special seaside open space in the Bayan Lepas area close to the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge.

The retail price (without insurance and inclusive of GST) for the new models are:

BMW S 1000 RR                  –           RM 106,900.00

BMW R 1200 GS                  –           RM 105,900.00

BMW K 1600 B                     –           RM 159,900.00

BMW R nineT GS                  –           RM 87,900.00

  • Kawasaki’s 650cc middleweight marks an 11-year evolution.

  • The new Ninja 650 ABS, Z650 ABS and Versys 650 are enjoying a massive success.

  • Fun, rider friendly, affordability and low maintenance costs make them popular.

Kawasaki Z650 – pic courtesy of MCN

Kawasaki’s 650cc middleweight range, which now consists of the Ninja 650 ABS and the Z650 ABS, has been produced since 2006.

2006 Ninja 650R

The 650cc lineup went through a number of cosmetics and chassis-related changes between its debut in 2006 to 2011, with the engine untouched.

2009 ER-6f

2012 saw some major revisions, including to the frame, running gear, and cosmetics.

2012 ER-6n

When Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) started to CKD the bikes ER-6f, ER-6n and Versys 650, it’s popularity exploded and those models were everywhere in Malaysia. They were the superbike for the masses.

But what made them such favourites then and favourites now? Here are the top 10 reasons.

10. CONTINUOUS DEVELEPMENT

Being in the market for 11 years means Kawasaki has collected much experience and data regarding the models. Consequently, the 650 range has evolved to be better and better with every new iteration. All three models now feature fuel injection with ECU-controlled Dual Throttle Valves, with the Ninja 650 and Z650 featuring ABS. The new models are also fitted with an all-new frame, suspension and 649cc, parallel-Twin engine.

9. COMFORT

No motorcycle is useful without good ergonomics. Kawasaki’s 650s are well-known for their comfortable ergonomics. Kawasaki’s designers have put in much effort in perfecting the “rider’s triangle,” the term for the relationship among the handlebar grips, seat and footpegs. The 650 range offers a relaxed riding position with a dash of sportiness thrown in. Which explains why thousands of owners have toured around Malaysia and into neighbouring Thailand on many occasions.

8. TORQUEY ENGINE

Why torque and not horsepower? To simplify, torque is the force you feel when the bike accelerates, while horsepower is the top speed at full throttle. So, unless you race at the track, an engine which spreads its torque throughout the RPM range is the practical choice. It means you only need to open the throttle to overtake, instead of having to shift gears all the time. Good torque also allows you to carry a passenger and large luggage loads.

7. RIDER FRIENDLY MOTORCYCLE

With great ergonomics and tractable engine power, learning to ride the Ninja 650 is ever so easy. And fun!

The low seat on the Ninja 650 ABS and Z650 ABS accommodate riders of any height, and all three models including the Versys 650 cosset you with an all-day comfort. The engine’s power characteristic is linear and doesn’t threaten to ride like a wild horse, which means you could cruise slow, or ride briskly or fly at high velocity whenever you wish.

 The combination of ergonomics, predictable handling, smooth power contributes to a motorcycle that’s easy to learn for riders who are stepping up to bigger bikes. Besides that, being torquey doesn’t threaten the engine to stall on the clutch – a boon for riders who are new to the manual clutching.

Now you know why the ER-6n is the favourite motorcycle for B-license students at Malaysian driving schools.

6. IT’S FAST

70 bhp may not set the spec sheet on fire, but coupled that wide torque the Kawasaki 650s are famous for and you have a lively ride.

The 650 range is no slouch, consistently recording 3.5 seconds from 0 – 100 km/h and ¼-mile (400 metre) runs of 12.0 seconds flat. Even the taller Versys 650 hits 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and charges through 400 metres at 12.5 seconds. So not only does Kawasaki’s 650 appeal to newbies but to returning riders and seasoned riders too.

5. PRACTICALITY

The Kawasaki 650 range are designed to be the jack-of-all-trades. You could commute daily, sling through corners up Genting Highlands on weekends, go touring with your buddies during the holidays, balik kampong with the wife to celebrate Raya and, haul all the lemang and rendang to please your mother-in-law. Just think it and do it.

From slapping on luggage to turn them into tourers, to those that were accessorized and modded for more racy performance, the range is supremely configurable to the fancies of each owner.

4. FUEL ECONOMY AND RANGE

Fuel is expensive these days, right?

Independent fuel economy database site www.fuelly.com publishes peer-tested results on different types of motorcycles, and currently lists 114 Kawasaki Ninja 650R owners who have logged a total of 894,400 km (559,000 miles) of fuel mileage data. The majority of owners logged between 19.6 km/l to 20.0 km/l, while there were a few who reported figures as high as 24.2 km/l. The lowest being 15.7 km/l.

That means, considering the lowest figure of 15.7 km/l, you’d only consume 1 litre of petrol when you commute to your office from Petaling Jaya to the Kuala Lumpur city centre – costing only RM 2.16 per trip (as of 6th September 2017).

On another hand, if you consider the middle figure of 19.6 km/l when touring, a full 15-litre tank on the Ninja 650 and Z650 should only run dry in 294 km. That’s in the ballpark for this writer’s personal 2011 ER-6f. On the Versys 650, however, a full tank could ferry you through 411.6 km. Rawang R&R to the Gurun R&R (360 km) in one tank, anyone?

3. GOOD LOOKS

The design of the Kawasaki 650 range has definitely come far, hand-in-hand with the technological updates.

The fully-faired Ninja 650 ABS looks uncannily similar to the Kawasaki ZX-10R that’s currently dominating the World Superbike Championship. It gives the impression of a high-performance and dynamic motorcycle, one which exhilarates the rider and turns the heads of others at the same time.

The naked Z650 ABS’s revolutionary design is the result of the Japanese sugomi principle. Sugomi is described as, “…an intense aura given off by a person or object felt by the person looking at it.” The result is an organic-looking motorcycle, something that’s living and has character, instead of being sculpted by the wind-tunnel.

As for the Versys 650, its sharp profile and purposeful design portrays lightness and nimbleness, in tune with the bike’s true prowess. It stands apart from sport/adventure-tourers that look tall, heavy and unwieldly.

2. PARTS, ACCESSORIES WIDELY AVAILABLE

Being in the market for a long time and popular has great benefits for the owner.

While we always advocate performing maintenance at the Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centre at Glenmarie, Shah Alam and/or authorized workshops, plus using only genuine Kawasaki parts and accessories, motorcycle owners may have to seek help outside the official network during emergencies.

Since the Kawasaki 650 series has been in the market for a long time and very popular, there are plenty of places that may be able to assist in emergency situations.

Let’s just hypothetically say you’re in Danok, Thailand when you snapped the clutch cable (it’s unlikely). You could visit the nearest motorcycle shop, greet the mechanic sawadeekahp, install a compatible cable and then ride your Kawasaki 650 to the first Kawasaki dealer you see and have it replaced with the genuine item. Done.

1. RELIABILITY

Contrary to what some may have you believe, Kawasaki’s 650cc range consists of reliable motorcycles. The model line will not have continued on if it were the contrary.

As mentioned above, Kawasaki has evolved the 650 family to the current level of sophistication through 11 years. In spite of that, there’s no denying that the models remain relatively simple without undue complexity. That translates to ease of maintenance and also being less maintenance intensive, and ultimately affordable to own and enjoy.

There are dirt track racing teams in the US who utilize the 650cc engines, to great success.

As you can see, there are many attributes that makes the Kawasaki 650 range the favourite middleweight motorcycle the world over. There are also many other little qualities that we couldn’t find the space here for, but bear in mind that these little qualities contribute to motorcycles that are fun for everyone.

So do check one out and grab some seat time and you’ll be amazed.

  • Bimota has shut the doors at Rimini.

  • The signage has also been removed from the Rimini facitlity.

  • The BMW S 1000 RR-based BB3 project has officially stopped.

Bimota Tesi 3D Naked

Bimota, the small Italian motorcycle maker of revolutionary motorcycles has shut it doors again, probably for good this time.

Bimota YB1

The company started in 1973, its name being the amalgam of the two last letters of the three owners’ last names: Valerio Bianchi, Giusepper Morri, Massimo Tamburini. Wait! Tamburini? The late-Tamburini who designed the Ducati 916 and MV Agusta F4?

Yes.

The late-Tamburini with the MV Agusta F4 and Ducati 916

It was at Bimota that Tamburini sought to perfect the motorcycle, by delivering technical and styling excellence through hard work, often times with his own hands. He had cut, bent and welded chrome-moly steel tubing for the advanced frames. The same designs would later be seen at Ducati.

Tamburini welding a frame section

A fall-out with Giuseppe Morri forced him to quit unceremoniously, leaving Bimota bereft of the technical and design genius the company was famous for. Valerio Bianchi had already left by then. But karma seemed to reign as Morri was himself forced out a few years later.

Bimota DB5-R

The brand is currently owned by Daniele Longoni and Marco Chiancianesi, Italians who are residing and operating from Switzerland. However, rumours surfaced in as early as January this year that Longoni was buying time to sell off all stock and what remains of the stillborn BB3 project. Based on the BMW S 1000 RR, it was to be Bimota’s superbike to reclaim their prestige.

Bimota BB3

While some say Bimota isn’t closing much to anything, since the factory near Rimini has been empty for a while, the signage has also been ominously removed. The only hope left for this unorthodox motorcycle manufacturer is investors. But let’s hope these future fund managers truly understand what the Bimota stands for, otherwise the brand is forever doomed as a failed genius.

 

  • Lewis Cornish converted his pole position to win both Motos in Round 1 of the FIM Asia Supermoto 2017 Championship. 

  • Returning 2015 Champ, Trakarn Thangthong finished 2nd overall.

  • Defending 2016 Champ, Muhd. “Gabit” Habibullah ended the day 4th overall.


NAKHON CHAI SI, THAILAND, 3 SEPTEMBER 2017
– Beautiful weather and a  , wonderful circuit welcomed Round 1 of the FIM Asia Supermoto 2017 Championship. The competition saw 17 riders from 13 countries striving for national and personal pride.

The day began with Free Practice, and as expected, the top three spots were dominated by United Kingdom’s Lewis Cornish, returning 2015 Champion, Thailand’s Trakarn Thangthong, and defending 2016 Champion Malaysia’s Muhd. “Gabit” Habibullah, respectively.

MOTO 1

Moto 1 started with the sun shining directly above the riders.

Pole sitter Cornish grabbed the holeshot, but was followed tightly by all riders onto straight of the tarmac section, instead being diverted into the off-road section.

Round 1 winner, Lewis Cornish

The tight hairpin turn immediately after the last table top remained as the biggest challenge, serving as an advantage to some riders and vice-versa for others.

With Cornish speeding ahead on an empty circuit, he opened up a two-second gap within a few laps to the pursuing Gabit and Thangthong. That left the latter two to battle between themselves, giving Cornish an even bigger cushion.

The top three remained the same, until five minutes before the end of Moto 1, when Gabit was overtaken by Thangthong. The Thai rider had planned his move at the right moment, giving Gabit no time to regain the second spot.

Gabit (#1) leading Thangthong (#5)

Lewis finsihed Moto 1 in 22:236.002, followed by Thangthong and Gabit in 22:42.962 and 23:14.056, respectively.

Dutchman Marcel Van Drunen, who had fought tooth and nail against Cornish in Qualifying and SuperChrono, was stuck in a fierce battle with another of Malaysia’s ace, Khairi Zakaria throughout the race to finish fourth, with the latter in fifth.

Marcel Van Drunen

MOTO 2

Cornish stole the holeshot again at the start and never looked back to win his second Moto of the day, finishing the race comfortably five seconds ahead of Thangthong.

“It was a very technical track. Most of us were using slick tyres to race on the track. With the triple dirt section, it feels more like a motocross track instead. I made multiple mistakes in Moto 1 but reduced it in Moto 2. I believe Trakarn and Gabit made mistakes as well, which gave me an advantage to the race,” said Lewis.

“I was fortunate when Gabit hit on a hole at the third dirt section. That was when I passed him. He grew so much since we last faced off in 2015. I enjoyed riding with all the riders, and hopefully, I can perform better in Indonesia,” said Thangthong.

Trakarn Thangthong

Seemingly making amends to his fourth place finish in Moto 1, Van Drunen fought with Gabit for the final podium spot. The two exchanged places multiple times with high-risk maneuvers in the tighter corners.

The contest ended just two laps from the end of the race, when Gabit ran off the track. It was a brave performance from the Malaysian, however, when the KTM Malaysia factory rider revealed later that he had lost his brakes.

Whereas most riders would have called it quits, Gabit Habibullah soldiered on to finish the race

“My front and rear brakes malfunctioned, and I lost control of my bike. This makes it even harder for me to maintain my pace, especially on this track. I tried my best to ensure the best possible result in this condition,” said Gabit.

Gabit landed the sixth spot in Moto 2, clocking a total time of 24:20.495.

Van Drunen (#17) battling with Gabit (#1)

Malaysia’s Khairi Zakaria attempted to close the gap to the Dutchman, but his efforts were forlorn when he made a mistake at the transition between the road and off-road section. Khairi landed fourth in Moto 2, finishing nearly two seconds behind Marcel with a total time of 23:50.924.

Khairi Zakaria

Japan’s Naoto Takayama performed well in Moto 2, and came home fifth .

“It was a perfect and successful race. We would like to congratulate the Asia Supersports Group, FMSCT, all the partners and all the riders. The opening round of the season was exciting, and everything was in order. The track is probably one of the most challenging tracks in the season’s history, but all safety aspects were taken into consideration,” said Stephan P. Carapiet, FIM Asia Safety Officer.

The 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship will commence in Jogjakarta, Indonesia on 7 and 8 October 2017.

For more information, visit www.supermotoasia.com or watch the race live for free in HD on www.twenty3.tv powered by E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd.

FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship is promoted by Asia Supersports Group, a consortium of three companies namely Bikenation Motorsports Sdn Bhd, Trade My Superbike and E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd; sanctioned by FIM Asia and FMSCT; and supported by Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia), Malay Mail, Kelab Blogger Ben Ashaari and TX Sports.

 

Moto 1 Race Result:

Pos No. Name National Laps Best Time Total Time
1 8 Lewis Cornish GBR 18 1:11.606 22:36.002
2 5 Trakarn Thangthong THA 18 1:12.526 22:42.962
3 1 Muhd Habibullah MAS 18 1:13.472 23:14.056
4 17 Marcel Van Drunen NED 18 1:15.169 23:31.190
5 32 Khairi Zakaria MAS 18 1:14.316 23:33.763
6 162 Farhan Hendro INA 18 1:17.095 23:55.446
7 300 Naoto Takayama JPN 17 1:16.645 22:37.403
8 12 Kenneth San Andres PHI 17 1:18.520 23:10.666
9 28 Natthapat SuksanWatthana THA 17 1:15.368 23:34.965
10 97 Arten Teslenko RUS 17 1:20.359 23:36.386
11 7 Pedro Wuner INA 16 1:19.964 22:39.942
12 77 Hasroy Osman SGP 16 1:18.960 22:40.996
13 720 Lin Chin Pei TPE 16 1:18.960 22:40.996
14 40 Lee Wei TPE 15 1:22.517 22:43.571
DNF 102 Tsang Wai Kei HKG 13 1:30.587 23:46.389
DNF 27 Sun Tong CHN 12 1:25.996 19:4.087
DNF 101 Takashi Sasaki JPN 7 1:18.032 9:30.062

 

Moto 2 Race Result:

Pos No. Name National Laps Best Time Total Time
1 8 Lewis Cornish GBR 18 1:12.459 23:00.233
2 5 Trakarn Thangthong THA 18 1:14.494 23:27.317
3 17 Marcel Van Drunen NED 18 1:15.223 23:48.316
4 32 Khairi Zakaria MAS 18 1:16.522 23:50.924
5 300 Naoto Takayama JPN 18 1:17.768 24:07.549
6 1 Muhd Habibullah MAS 18 1:12.741 24:20.495
7 162 Farhan Hendro INA 18 1:18.292 24:26.555
8 12 Kenneth San Andres PHI 17 1:20.493 23:35.442
9 101 Takashi Sasaki JPN 17 1:22.063 23:56.181
10 28 Natthapat Suksanwatthana THA 17 1:18.431 24:03.932
11 7 Pedro Wuner INA 16 1:22.101 23:01.271
12 77 Hasroy Osman SGP 16 1:22.921 23:03.908
13 720 Lin Chin Pei TPE 15 1:25.411 23:32.197
14 27 Sun Tong CHN 15 1:29.510 24:09.029
DNF 102 Tsang Wai Kei HKG 13 1:32.737 23:45.547
DNF 97 Artem Teslenko RUS 11 1:21.761 24:31.701
DNF 40 Lee Wei TPE 5 1:25.683 7:43.684

 

Overall Standing

Pos No. Name National M1 M2 Total Point
1 8 Lewis Cornish GBR 25 25 50
2 5 Trakarn Thangthong THA 22 22 44
3 17 Marcel Van Drunen NED 18 20 38
4 1 Muhd Habibullah MAS 20 15 35
5 32 Khairi Zakaria MAS 16 18 34
6 300 Naoto Takayama JPN 14 16 30
7 162 Farhan Hendro INA 15 14 29
8 12 Kenneth San Andres PHI 13 13 26
9 28 Natthapat Suksanwatthana THA 12 11 23
10 7 Pedro Wuner INA 10 10 20
11 77 Hasroy Osman SGP 9 9 18
12 720 Lin Chin Pei TPE 8 8 16
13 101 Takashi Sasaki JPN 0 12 12
14 97 Artem Teslenko RUS 11 0 11
15 27 Sun Tong CHN 0 7 7
16 40 Lee Wei TPE 7 0 7
17 102 Tsang Wai Kei HKG 0 0 0
  • The FIM Asia Supermoto 2017 Championship is underway in Nakhon Chai Si, Thailand.

  • Briton Lewis Cornish grabs pole position.

  • 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Champion, Muhd. “Gabit” Habullah of Malaysia qualified second.

Muhd “Gabit” Habibullah

QUALIFYING
Fighting for one of the six entries to SuperChrono, the riders put on their best show for the 2017 FIM Asia SuperMoto Championship.

The scorching sun returned briefly before the start of qualifying to dry the off-road section, creating a relatively easier track for the riders.

Japan’s Takashi Sasaki (#101) kicked-off the round with a tremendous performance on the track, taking advantage of the empty circuit in his attempt to secure the top spot tomorrow’s race (3rd September).

Shortly after, top riders Lewis Cornish (#8), Trakarn Thangthong (#5), Muhd “Gabit” Habibullah (#1), Khairy Zakaria (#32), Marcel Van Drunen (#17), and Thai wildcard rider, Natthapat Suksan Watthana (#28) entered the track and to steal the show.

The battle between Lewis and Marcel spilled over from Free Practice. However, it was Lewis’ experience that showed as he blocked Marcel from leading the race. The block effectively put Marcel two seconds behind Lewis, which resulted in a battle with defending champion Gabit.

Marcel Van Drunen

With Lewis securing a spot for SuperChrono, Marcel and Gabot battled out for the second and third spots.

While the track’s condition has improved, the hairpin turn immediately after a table top jump seemed to be the toughest challenge even for the top riders.

Gabit and the Thai fans’ favourite, Trakarn Thangthong almost slipped off the track in that turn, especially when they tried to go around backmarkers.

Natthapat Suksa Watthana shocked the spectators with a favourable performance, landing him the final entry to SuperChrono, after facing multiple complicated mechanical issues during free practice yesterday. With all eyes on the home riders, the host country is likely to see at least one rider claiming a spot on the podium tomorrow.

SUPERCHRONO
The Top Six riders qualifiers went on to SuperChrono in order to secure their definite starting grid spots for the race, among Lewis Cornish, Gabit Habibullah, Marcel Van Drunen, Trakarn Thangthong, Khairi Zakaria and Natthapat Suksan Watthana.

It was clear that Lewis overpowered the other riders and claimed the pole position, clocking the best time of 1:15.297. Gabit, on the other hand, tried to fight with speed but landed him second on the grid, with 1:16.632.

Gabit Habibullah

Malaysia’s Khairy Zakaria’s held back at all three off-road sections, landing him the fifth on the grid.

The Thai duos Trakarn Thangthong and Natthapat Suksan Watthana it easy without putting themselves at risk to secure the fourth and sixth positions, respectively.

Trakarn Thangthong

Moto 1 will commence on Sunday, 3 September 2017, from 12:00PM (+7:00 GMT).

For more information, visit www.supermotoasia.com or watch the race live for f ree in HD on www.twenty3.tv powered by E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos No. Name National Best Time
1 8 Lewis Cornish GBR 1:15.677
2 17 Marcel Van Drunen NED 1:17.305
3 1 Muhd Habibullah MAS 1:17.540
4 5 Trakarn Thangthong THA 1:17.757
5 32 Khairy Zakaria MAS 1:19.313
6 28 Natthapat Suksan Watthana THA 1:20.183
7 300 Naoto Takayama JPN 1:20.436
8 101 Takashi Sasaki JPN 1:20.917
9 12 Kenneth San Andres PHI 1:21.539
10 162 Farhan Hendro INA 1:21.982
11 97 Arten Teslenko RUS 1:23.432
12 7 Pedro Wuner INA 1:23.716
13 77 Hasroy Osman SGP 1:26.791
14 720 Lin Chin Pei TPE 1:26.981
15 27 Sun Tong CHN 1:27.059
16 40 Lee Wei TPE 1:32.497
17 102 Tsang Wai Kei HKG 1:42.129

SUPERCHRONO RESULTS:

Pos No Name National Best Time
1 8 Lewis Cornish GBR 1:15.297
2 1 Muhd Habibullah MAS 1:16.632
3 17 Marcel Van Drunen NED 1:16.737
4 5 Trakarn Thangthong THA 1:17.047
5 32 Khairy Zakaria MAS 1:19.229
6 28 Natthapat Suksan Watthana THA 1:19.952
  • Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia has launched the 2018 Triumph Street Triple family.

  • The three Street Triple models – RS, R, and S are intended for riders with specific needs.

  • The Street Triple is now powered by a new 765cc engine – the basis of the engine supplied to Moto2 teams beginning 2019.

I’ve often wondered if shopping at IKEA is stressful for others too.

It invariably starts off well; seeing charmingly designed sets of furniture is somehow calming. Even the smaller stuff are mightily tempting (and realistically affordable), hence I’ve never once returned without at least one item. I remembered buying scented candles when I was first married and now soft toys for my infant. Wink wink.

But it gets more complex when choosing something bigger.

We were looking for a wardrobe. I’ve picked one out and scribbled the model number in that little piece of paper. I walked away toward the kitchen section, feeling content that I’ve solved a problem. Right about then, the Mrs. saw her reflection in the mirror of another wardrobe and started to adjust her hair and clothing, “Oooh, this one is much better.”

What?! Contentment turned to contention, voices started to rise, neck veins started to taut. The President, CEO, CFO and Home Minister (positions held by The Wife) suddenly went quiet, so I decided it’s best to accept her choice. I don’t love hugging dust mites on the old couch.

I grudgingly scratched off my choice, and wrote down the one she chose, while mumbling to myself, “Fine, don’t complain later that the mirror makes you look like Tyrion Lannister.”

She turned away and smacked into a third wardrobe. “Wait, this one is the best! Thank goodness, there must be a reason I bumped into it,” she said. To me it looked uncannily like the outhouse destroyed by the bandits in P. Ramlee’s Ali Baba Bujang Lapok.

When Triumph released the Street Triple 675 in 2007, it hailed a new chapter in the history of the middleweight naked sportbike class.

Most manufacturers had preferred the safer route of producing motorcycles that were compromised in many ways, in order to lower the cost and ultimately, price. However, those concessions translated into goofy riding dynamics and more importantly, lack of two-wheeled entertainment. The Street Triple 675, on the other hand, stuck two fingers in the face of convention by exuding an unmistakably mischievous attitude. The middleweight streetfighter was born.

Although it’s true that its bigger 1050cc brother is the ultimate hooligan bike, the 674.8cc Street Triple offered the same kind of entertainment to a larger group among the masses. It was so good that Triumph didn’t even replace the engine from 2007 to 2016, freeing themselves to focus on chassis and electronic updates. In fact, the Street Triple 675’s engine was given a longer stroke and became the powerplant of another great Triumph – the Tiger 800.

Triumph has the clever habit of building motorcycles that are well-rounded in character despite the niches they fill, and the Street Triple 675 was no different. It was famous for its low-down and midrange torque, unparalleled handling, practicality and overall fun factor. All in one go.

But competitors have since caught up, at least in promoting bigger cubic capacity and power, if not handling.

So now, 10 years after the first Street Triple took to the streets, Triumph has released the 765cc Street Triple S, R and RS.

Due to the arrival of the R variant, Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia formally launched the new 2018 Street Triple family to the media on 30th August 2017. Called the Triumph Street Triple Media Ride, Triumph Malaysia did the righteous thing of holding it at the Sepang International Circuit. Testing motorcycles in a controlled environment is the best way, which only the racetrack could offer.

The event started with a briefing by Rek (FB handle: Reksaksa Kuat) of Motoqoo. Motoqoo was the trackday organizer of the day. Rek presented slides on track safety and “etiquette.” He told us time and again to not cross the white line when exiting the pit lane.

Malaysia’s racing legend, Shahrol Yuzy, followed with his tips on riding fast and gearing around SIC. While we were ordered to have fun, there’s no overriding safety concerns. We shared the same space on the track with almost a hundred other riders as it was open trackday, so Shahrol told us to be careful around these “Rossis,” “Marquezs,” “Reas,” et al. “Lorenzos” was never mentioned, though.

Lastly, Chief Operations Officer of Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia, Dato’ Razak Al-Malique Hussein presented his speech and welcomed us to the launch of the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple’s family.

We headed down to the paddock, to see Street Triples parked on either side. My pulse rate shot up, I could feel the throbbing in my… er… temples as a certain “high” took over.

First up, the new Street Triple is powered by a new 765cc inline-Triple and offers three different states of tune: 111 bhp for the S, 116 bhp for the R, and 121 bhp for the RS. The power spread may seem negligible on paper, but all three models offer different features and components, hence character, respectively.

The range-topping RS is equipped with Showa BPF forks and Ohlins STX40 shock, radially mounted Brembo M50 monobloc front brake calipers, Brembo rear caliper, speedshifter, and a multifunction 5-inch TFT full-colour display, which includes a lap timer. Additionally, the RS has 5 ride modes, including TRACK.

The middle-rung R variant uses Showa fully adjustable forks and a Showa RSU shock, Brembo 4.32 monobloc front calipers, no speedshifter, the TFT display sans lap timer, and 4 ride modes without the track mode.

The entry S model uses standard Showa forks, preload-adjustable only Showa RSU shock, Nissin 2-piston front brake calipers, and an updated instrument cluster based on the previous Street Triple. However, there are only two ride modes, ROAD and RAIN.

There were five units of the RS and S each, plus one R Low for a total of eleven bikes for eleven hacks. Were given two 30-minute(!) sessions to have the biggest fun of our lives.

An Asian Talent Cup rider (the headiness caused me to forget his name) will lead us out for two initial laps, with all bikes set to RAIN mode. We will then pit and Triumph’s technical crew will switch it to TRACK on the RS, SPORT on the R, and ROAD on the S.

TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE RS
Sep and I were assigned to the RS (yippee!), and we pulled out onto to pit road. We were stopped by the marshals at the end of the pit road to wait for large groups of riders to pass before we were allowed on track. So we sat there sweltering in our suits for about 5 minutes.

We were soon on our way, and headed into Turn One at a steady speed to scrub the oily new Pirellis. But as I left Turn Two, four open-class sportbikes blasted past me on the inside into Turn Three. I decided to give them a careful chase and twacked the throttle open. The RS responded instantly and increased speed quickly past Turn Three.

We ran right into a large pack of riders braking hard for Turn Four. I decided to back it off on new, cold tyres but the RS dropped onto its side as soon as I aimed for the apex. I gave it as much throttle as I dared. Here, from a state of fully off, the throttle came back on smoothly, but more importantly, there was no delay unlike other Ride-by-Wire throttle systems found on other bikes despite the RAIN setting. It was as if you were turning the throttle bodies’ butterflies directly with your hand.

Heading into Turn Five, again, the RS just peels over into a lean at the mere tap of the handlebar. Picking the bike up after the apex, I switched to my right side into Turn Six without backing out and just kept rolling on the throttle. I suddenly realized something about the Street Triple RS.

The Street Triple RS weighs 166kg, dry. Coupled to a “quick” steering geometry, top-notch suspension, and superb frame, it’s a bike that you could flick around like a butterfly knife. Heck, it felt like riding the KTM 390 Duke (with three times more power), despite the RS weighing 29kgs more.

Pic courtesy of Nicholas Dev

Conventional thought holds that if a short-wheelbase and lightweight motorcycle is super agile as the RS is, it shouldn’t be stable in long, high-speed corners especially when you’re hard on the gas, what more on slippery new tyres. That usually calls for a steering damper to calm things down.

The RS on the other hand, just flew in, through and out absolutely stable without shaking its head like a junkie on E, even without a steering damper. The combination of the Showa BPF forks, Ohlins rear shock and acutely-tune frame sure plays a big part here.

You may argue that the RAIN setting’s traction control must’ve kept chassis dynamics in check hence the stability, but I’d swear on all the “gods” and “deities” if I wasn’t a Muslim that it wasn’t due to the particular ride mode, because other faster journos reported the same observation when they rode in TRACK mode in the later session.

The Street RS hit close to 200 km/h down the back straight, only because there were so many other bikes around and I had to be extra careful. That’s still fast, especially in RAIN mode.

Now for the famous Turn Fifteen. There were like 8 riders up front and over the place. I braked hard at the 200m board to avoid torpedoing them, and found that I’ve braked way too early. Those M50.2 Brembo calipers had amazing braking power, coupled with a great feel at the lever.

Then suddenly, red lights and red flags flew up like a monthly thing all over the trackside as I rounded the corner.

Oh no! Someone had crashed. I’ll honestly say that I was irritated rather than thinking about the rider. We had only completed one out-lap and another to tour around. Let’s be honest, if you’ve watched the movie, The Beach, you might understand how selfish we could be when there’s great fun to be had.

And riding the Triumph Street Triple RS was more super fun than partying on a remote island in Thailand!

TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE S
The first session was stopped longer than expected as the marshals assisted the downed rider and recover this bike. He was okay, although his bike was trash. Triumph Malaysia’s plan of switching the bikes to more exciting riding modes was suddenly in limbo.

Soon, it was announced that the remainder of the first session has been abandoned and we will all switch bikes for the next outing. Can’t blame Triumph for the decision, things like this happen all the time during open trackdays.

Sep and I were now assigned to a Street Triple S.

First of all, let me be clear that this isn’t a model comparison, but I still need to highlight the differences in the different models.

The first thing I noticed about the S variant was its slightly lower seat height compared to the RS. Being the entry level Street Triple, the model was simpler, without the “luxuries” of the R and RS, such as the stitched seat, fully adjustable suspension, TFT display and Brembo brakes.

But no matter, it’s still very much the new Street Triple as soon as we passed Turn Three on the out-lap. Still taking it easy, the Street Triple S had plenty of grunt off the corners.

The suspension was setup for all-round riding comfort and was therefore supple. It didn’t bottom out but the rear got quite heavily loaded in high-speed turns and grounded the footpegs early. We rode all the Street Triples in standard settings, and I’m sure increasing two turns of preload will be enough to get more ride height for spirited riding.

However, the suspension’s damping rates were well set up, make no mistake, giving the bike a light footing through the ultra-sharp Turns 2 and 9. Getting the bike turned was easy – you’d think you were riding a 250cc machine. It was through the long sweepers that the rear suspension got loaded, yet the bike continued to track on your chosen line.

Blasting down the back and front straights, the S had enough steam to get up to 200+ km/h (I didn’t stare at the speedo all the time) although it did run out of breath a little earlier than the RS.

I was soon on the tail of a ZX-6R. Comparing the sub-111-bhp Street Triple S with a 160-bhp sportbike isn’t fair, but then I managed to get inside him on a few occasions, only to be out-dragged a few metres into SIC’s long straights after the corner exits.

The Street Triple S may be meant for street riding, but in capable hands, it will outmaneuver sloppily ridden sportbikes, especially at Ulu Yam, up Genting Highlands and Bukit Tinggi.

Pic courtesy of Nicholas Dev

The Nissin brakes certainly looked simple (every other brake caliper looks simple next to a Brembo monobloc!), but a tug on the lever scrubbed off speed quickly, especially into Turns Nine and Fifteen. Besides, since the S doesn’t feature a slipper clutch, the engine’s back torque assisted in getting the bike slowed.

It only took three laps to settle into a rhythm. From then on it was just the case of letting faster bikes through and swerving past those I could overtake. It’s just another Sunday ride.

But, oh how time flies. The red lights flashed on and red flags came out to end the fun. The first thing I thought was, “Another crash? Or where did the 30 minutes go?” I got off the bike in the pits and I could still go on riding for the entire day, I kid you not.

I’ll stick my neck out and promise you that the Triumph Street Triple won’t tire you out.

CONCLUSION

The 2018 Street Triple lineup has certainly moved goalposts in the middleweight market so wide, the goalmouth needs five goalkeepers.

The Street Triple RS is a performance machine able to deliver the speed, type of handling and excitement for speed-minded riders, including track junkies.

The Street Triple R, although we didn’t ride it, is slightly “softer” than the RS, but still has the DNA of the family in terms of fun. How I see it is that the R is for riders who like to ride fast on the roads and very occasionally or never on the track.

And lastly, the Street Triple S. Don’t slag if off because it’s basic. To repeat, it’s meant for the public roads with the combination of speed, handling, practicality, fun, and pretty much of what you’re up to. The softer suspension and slightly lower power will hardly be noticeable to the majority of street riders.

So, if these three bikes were compared to the case of the IKEA wardrobes, how would it pan out? Truth is, I couldn’t decide on which Street Triple, all three go beyond their intended goals and deliver something other bikes just couldn’t. Just like how the Mrs. couldn’t decide on which cabinet.

It finally dawned on me: I’d get the RS for myself, the S for the Mrs., and the R for my kid when he grows up! And what if the Mrs. sends me to the couch for deciding without consent? I’ll just head to IKEA for a new one.

Valentino Rossi’s 2017 MotoGP title chase is in doubt, when the 9-time world champion suffered fractures to his fibula and tibula in his right leg, following an enduro training crash.

Rossi underwent surgery overnight, where surgeons inserted a meal pin to fixate the fractures. Yamaha could not ascertain when he will return to the track but Rossi says that he’ll try his best to do so.

“The surgery went well,” Rossi said. “This morning, when I woke up, I felt already good. I would like to thank the staff of the Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona, and in particular Doctor Pascarella who operated on me.

“I’m very sorry for the incident. Now I want to be back on my bike as soon as possible. I will do my best to make it happen!”

Valentino Rossi had finished third at the just-concluded Octo British Grand Prix on 17th August 2017, and currently lies fourth in the championship standings with 157 points, 26 points behind the leader, Andrea Dovizioso of Team Ducati MotoGP who has accumulated 183 points.

FROM YAMAHA MOVISTAR MOTOGP UPDATE – 1st September 2017

“Last night Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi had a successful operation on the displaced fractures of the tibia and fibula of his right leg.

“The MotoGP-star was hospitalised after an enduro accident yesterday evening.

“Following a medical examination at the ’Ospedale Civile di Urbino’, where he was initially diagnosed, the Italian was transported to the ‘Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti’ in Ancona.

“Upon arrival, he received surgery between 2am – 3am by Dr. Raffaele Pascarella, Director of the Orthopedics and Traumatology Division. During the surgery the fractures were fixated using a metal pin – a locked intramedullary nail – without any complications.

“Further medical updates will follow in due course.

“Yamaha would like to thank the entire staff of the ‘Ospedale Civile di Urbino’ and ‘Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona’ for their dedication and professional care.”

 

 

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