Wahid Ooi

  • National motorcycle maker, MODENAS held a grand event celebrating the two Pulsar models.

  • Many activities were carried out throughout the day.

  • Main lucky draw prize was a brand new Pulsar NS200.

Speedway PLUS Karting Circuit, 23rd December 2017 – There’s little doubt that the Modenas Pulsar NS200 and Pulsar RS200 is enjoying brisk sales and popular following since its launch earlier this year. It’s therefore high time Modenas to call for a gathering, called “Modenas Pulsar Power Test.”

The event kicked off with a Modenas Pulsar Owners Club (MPOC) convoy from the Modenas Emos headquarters in Glenmarie, Shah Alam to the circuit (more popularly known as the “Elite Circuit” or just “Elite”). More than 400 participants had started congregating there from 7am. The convoy got going at 8am and reached the circuit at 9am for the start of the event.

There were even more participants who went straight to Elite circuit, bringing the total to nearly 1,800 participants judging from the serial number of registered participants. While the majority were from the Klang Valley, many had rode all the way in from all regions in Peninsular Malaysia, including Penang, the East Coast, Johor, et al.

Modenas has set up many activities throughout the day. Modenas had also prepared 20 new Pulsar NS200 and Pulsar RS200 just for this event.

The main event was the “Power Test Ride” whereby existing owners and interested parties had the opportunity to test ride both the NS200 and RS200 on the track itself. Safety was the main concern and every test ride participant must wear the proper riding gear in order to be allowed onto the track.

The test ride was conducted in groups and a Modenas Cub Prix rider led them out on the sighting lap before waving the participants through to ride around at their own pace.

Outside the track, Modenas has set up special booths to service the customers’ bikes, while also offering service parts to owners such as engine oil, oil filter, spark plugs, air filter, and battery. Owners were also offered the opportunity to have their bikes’ electronic systems checked using the special diagnostic tester.

The slip road next to the booths were cordoned off all the way to the roundabout to form a straight-line acceleration test and slalom course, called “Power Time Attack.”

Up the little slope, an area was designated for stunt performance where the stunt riders performed wheelies, stoppies, burnouts of every sort.

Next to the stunt area was where the “Power Corner” demonstration and trials were carried out. The Modenas Cub Prix riders demonstrated the ability of the Pulsar NS200 and Pulsar RS200 could turn in a tight circle given a confined space, besides how stable the bikes were when leaned all the way over even at slow speeds. The riders did their circles with their knees fully planted onto the tarmac!

It wasn’t only about the motorcycle per se, as Modenas had called upon a few food trucks to provide sustenance to the participants. Here, a band played some great music, led by a girl with amazing vocals.

Prominent motorcycle luggage, riding gear and accessories manufacturer GIVI was also on-site with their event bus, displaying the options available for the two Pulsars. GIVI has also loaned full faced helmets to the participants who took part in the test rides.

Modenas carried out lucky draws throughout the day, giving away some great prizes. The last draw of the day was carried out at 5pm to determine the lucky winner of a brand new Pulsar NS200.

It was a great event from Modenas and we are happy to see the national brand thriving.


Ah, December is finally here. Time for Christmas and gifts, clearing annual leave and receiving bonus. Besides a new Star Wars movie, too.

It doesn’t matter if one of non-Christian faith doesn’t celebrate it, every Malayisan will tumpang the holidays. While some people use the opportunity to balik kampong, some view it as the season to share some love through giving gifts. But it’s also a stressful when it comes to thinking about what to buy for your biker spouse.

How about these ideas below? Hint them to your spouse or buddies on what they should get for you. Heh heh heh.

Here are 12 ideas, based on the “The 12 Days of Christmas,” carol.

First Day of Christmas: HJC HELMET – FG70 X-WING PILOT

The World’s No. 1 Helmet brand has recently upped their game by working closely with comic and movie franchises to produce beautiful helmet designs. New for this season is this FG70 café racer helmet in the X-Wing Pilot theme. Gift this to your biker buddy who’s a Star Wars fan or to yourself and see everyone turn green with envy!

2nd Day of Christmas: KTM POWERWEAR

KTM’s Powerwear offers everything for the complete KTM lifestyle. Items include riding gear, casual wear, and merchandise right down to a toaster and baby’s milk bottle.

3rd Day of Christmas: HELMET CAMERA

There are plenty of action cameras in the market, led by GoPro, of course. If it’s this brand that tickles your fancy, we recommend the Hero Session 5, as it has a smaller cross-section for lesser air resistance. Otherwise, you may also consider the Sony FDR-X3000 which uses Carl Zeiss lens and shoots up to 4K resolution (as does the GoPro Hero 5).

4th Day of Christmas: A KEYRING

Wahlao eh… Get a friend a keychain for Christmas? So kedekut one ar?! I unfriend you!”

Hang on, not all keychains are RM 5 a dozen. Badly designed keychains not only look cheesy, but they could also scratch parts of the bike.

Motorcycle manufacturers and motorcycle apparel makers usually sell beautifully designed keychains, for example, Dainese’s in the form of the back protector (which Dainese pioneered), shoulder slider, knee slider, the logo in leather and so forth. For offroad motorcyclists, you may want to check out keychains that float, in case you dropped the key into a puddle.

5th Day of Christmas: TOOLS(!)

A tool chest full of Snap-On tools would be great and it’s on my wish list so you could just send it to my address. Thanks in advance!

Maybe a tool chest full of tools is asking for an unprecedented amount of bromance but there are some pretty good yet affordable tool kits out there. A good multi-tool would be great too, such as a Leatherman or Gerber. We never ride anywhere without one.

6th Day of Christmas: BIKE LOCKS

Motorcycle theft has always been a menace and realizing that your bike is missing feels like being punched in the gut by Mike Tyson. Thieves act on opportunity, hence an unsecured bike will be the first target.

You may want to consider the range of locks from Xena as they are Do get the reminder cable also if you’re going for the disc lock variety.

7th Day of Christmas: BATTERY CHARGER

While the motorcycle battery has seen many improvements, it’s always wise to maintain its health with an intelligent charger. Doing so extends the battery’s useful life (saving cost) and ensures that you don’t suddenly find yourself stranded. Some charges also warn you about the state of your battery well ahead of being completely useless.

Our favourite is from Optimate because there is a whole range to choose from, includes the necessary connectors and they’re easy to use.

8th Day of Christmas: LUBRICANTS AND SPRAYS

This category is pretty broad, so we’ll just stick to engine oil, additives and maintenance products.

For engine oil, the Shell Advance Ultra with PurePlus Technology range is truly good. While we used to change the oil every 5000 km, the PurePlus could be stretched all the way to 12,000km without being detrimental. This characteristic is due to the process that Shell uses to convert natural gas into a base oil that’s crystal-clear and virtually free of impurities. Since base oil makes up 70% of any lubricant, the oil resists breaking down due to contaminants.

As for additives, one couldn’t go wrong with X-1R products, consisting of oil treatments, octane booster, fuel system cleaners, and many, many more.

Mention the word spray and the first thought is always for the ubiquitous blue and yellow can – WD-40. Besides the multipurpose spray, WD-40 has now forayed into automotive and motorcycle maintenance products, as well.

9th Day of Christmas: MX RIDING SCHOOL

We practice motocross from time to time to improve our riding skills on the road. MX teaches the very fundamentals of riding a motorcycle, in order to prepare him for riding on the road and racetrack. That’s why MotoGP champs Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez besides a few others ride MX or flat-track whenever they aren’t racing.

We’ve always learned MX at Most Fun Gym (MFG), operated by “Foreman” Oh Kah Beng. Participants only have to show up wearing the correct riding gear (MX jersey and pants) as the school provides helmets, gloves, boots, protective gear and the bike. If jumping is not your thang, just learn on the flat-track.

MFG’s slogan sums it up best, “Learn offroad, master all roads,” so buy a slot for your buddy or family member if you care for them.

10th Day of Christmas: A RAINSUIT

Bing Crosby may have sung about a white Christmas, but it’s the rainy season for us. A rainsuit is indispensable in keeping us from getting wet and miserable. We want to enjoy the ride, not suffer through it, right?

The best rainsuits we’ve tried are of course from GIVI. Believe us, no other rainsuit could even come close. Comfy, laden with safety features such as reflective strips and most important, fully waterproof, any GIVI rainsuit is worth its price.

But do buy the original. Fake ones are easy to spot through their stitching, material and design. Besides that, if it’s too good to be true, then it is.

11th Day of Christmas: VISOR AND HELMET CLEANER

There are actually two very good visor and helmet cleaner that we’ve used before.

The first is the favourite Visor, Lens & Goggle Cleaning Kit from Muc-Off. It comes in a package containing a bottle and cloth small enough to fit in the pocket of your riding jacket. The solution takes a while to dissolve but guts, though.

In the other corner is Motul’s Helmet & Visor Clean. However, this product is only available a large bottle and you have to buy a microfiber cloth separately. Its solution dissolves bug guts and other residues quickly.

We’re happy with either product and they’re also safe for cleaning the bike’s windshield, mirrors, headlamps, taillight, besides eyeglass lenses, camera lenses, computer screens, etc.

12th Day of Christmas: TYRE PRESSURE GAUGE

We’ve never encountered an accurate air pump at petrol stations through our many years of riding. Believe us, incorrect tyre pressures cause a whole lot grief. Underinflated tyres will shorten their lifespan, cause bad handling and contribute bad fuel mileage. Conversely, overinflated tyres will cause discomfort, grip issues and introduce unnecessary stress to the suspension and bike.

It’s best that every motorcyclist uses his own tyre pressure gauge.

Oh, don’t forget the partridge in a pear tree too. Merry Christmas!

  • With equity investment from ComSar, MV Agusta repurchased the 25% shares held by Mercedes AMG.

  • MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni announced that the company is now in positive cashflow.

  • MV Agusta has just announced a slew of new bikes at EICMA 2017.

In the latest twist in MV Agusta’s convoluted history, the Italian manufacturer has bought back the 25% stake held by Mercedes AMG. But depends on whom you spoke to, it was Mercedes AMG who sold the shares.

MV dates back to 1945 but went bust and was resurrected by the Cagiva Group in 1997. With the reacquisition, MV Agusta is wholly owned by MV Agusta Holding Company, which is jointly held with ComSar Invest.

This latest episode is just one in their journey. As mentioned above, the famed brand was first purchased by Cagiva, before being sold to Proton in 2004. Ownership changed hands again when Proton sold it to a Swiss financing company. The Husvarna brand was sold to BMW (then sold to KTM). When Harley-Davidson acquired the brand, there were hopes of sporty Harleys as there were sporty MV cruisers. That didn’t happen when the Motor Company sold it to MV Agusta Holding headed by CEO Claudio Castiglioni.

Mercedes AMG came onboard in 2014 by purchasing a 25-percent stake. Industry observers called it Mercedes’ answer to the other German automotive companies having their own motorcycle business, namely Audi who owns Ducati and BMW’s own Motorrad division.

Last year, the Italian manufacturer announced that they were seeking protection from creditors, which served as a jolt to MV owners and fans. It was also reported that Mercedes AMG did not see fit to throw more money into the venture.

But in July, Castiglioni announced that MV will receive equity investment from ComSar Invest, which is backed by the Black Ocean Group, owned by Russian billionair Timur Sardarov.

The investment plan saw MV Agusta Motor Holding owning 100% of MV Agusta S.p.A. which focuses on motorcycle production. The CRC (Castiglioni Research Centre) and RC (Reparto Corse) racing departments are separate entities.

With this in place, GC Holding (the holding company owned by MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni) has a majority position in MV Agusta Motor Holding, while ComSar Invest has a strong minority.

With Mercedes AMG out of the way, MV has announced that they can focus on developing new and exciting motorcycles, including the new four-cylinder bike, besides the slew of new models unveiled at the recent EICMA . Come what may, at least bikes are still rolling off their production line.

  • The BMW G 310 GS is the adventure-tourer of the G-family.

  • It is more offroad-oriented than the G 310 R.

  • It is suitable to veteran, returning and new riders.

When people discover that part of my job is to test and review new motorcycles or every kind, their first words would be, “Oh, how lucky you are.”

And then I’d brace myself for the next questions, which invariably includes, “What’s your favourite bike among those you’ve tested?” Uh oh. That’s like the missus asking whether she should go on a diet.

Now, it’s not that I mind sharing my personal Top Ten Bikes (which consists of Triumphs, KTMs, BMWs, Yamahas, Ducatis, et al – not necessarily in that order), nor am I afraid of being called biased and risk angering our advertisers, instead I dread the prospect of having to debate (read: argue) about my choices for two hours. And there’s no place for contravening views or dissent these days – everyone wants to be right and you’re always in the wrong.

On the other hand, there are bikes that are truly worth defending.

When BMW Motorrad launched the G 310 R, the whole world went ga-ga over the prospect of owning a BMW that’s accessible to a wide range of audience, judging from the point of unintimidating power output and of course, price (story of the G 310 R launch here).

Sure enough, BMW Motorrad was inundated with overwhelming orders, justifying their decision to build a small capacity motorcycle. However, the G 310 R couldn’t shake its “BMW for beginners” assumption., although it isn’t by a wide margin.

Then, BMW Motorrad pulled the wraps off the G 310 GS at the Malaysian MotoGP in October this year (story of the launch here). Many took an instant liking to it especially for its looks which consists of many styling cues from its F 800 GS and R 1200 GS brethren.

But the questions from the market are “Good no cheap, cheap no good, right?” based on the Chinese saying of, “Yat cham chin yat cham for (1 sen for a 1 sen good).” The second question is, “Has BMW Motorrad compromised on their quality?”

Okay. It’s time to address these queries.

First up, yes, the G 310 GS is based on the G 310 R (R for roadster), which means both share many common components, including the 313cc, DOHC, 4-valve, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. It’s worth mentioning that the cylinder block is rotated by 180-degrees for the exhaust to face the rear and throttle body to the front. The whole block is also tilted backwards into the frame, for better mass centralization and lower center of gravity.

Another positive consequence is a much more compact power and drivetrain unit, since there isn’t the need to create a space if the exhaust was up front. From this, BMW Motorrad could use a longer swingarm for more stability, while still maintaining a short wheelbase for agility and front wheel feel.

The frame of the G 310 GS is similar to the roadster’s but the suspension has gained extra travel by 41 mm up front and 48mm out back, to a total of 180 mm on both ends. The front is suspended by non-adjustable upside forks, while the rear shock is adjustable for preload only. Seat height is 835 mm.

But how does it perform since it’s wearing the infamous “GS” (for Gelände/Straße – offroad/road) moniker? Does the G 310 GS deserve that honour?

Approaching the bike for the first time, it looked pretty much like any of BMW’s adventure-tourer bike, especially the R 1200 GS. Its profile is slim and tall, with many wedges in its lines. Getting on confirmed that it was tall, but it wasn’t difficult to lift off the sidestand since its super light (170 kg wet weight).

The single-cylinder engine fired up without fuss, but it needed some revs to get going. Out there on the road, the long travel suspension was supple leaning towards soft and soaked up every bump. Slamming the bike into fast corners produced a perceptible compression while the Metzeler Tourance tyres dug into the road. But there was hardly any wobble. However, the front forks dived quickly under hard braking. Those Bybre brakes are good!

With maximum revs is at 10,000 RPM, 130 km/h comes up at 8,000 RPM. At this juncture, you’re reminded by the buzziness in the handlebar and footpegs that you are riding a single. It didn’t numb my hands, but I believe the addition of dampers to the handlebar mount would be sweet. Torque is commendable, although you need to be in the correct gear.

But oh my, the bike was really agile. The biggest fun about riding it on the daily commute was the enjoyment of sitting high up over traffic, giving you a view far ahead. Besides that, you could actually swing the Baby GS in and out of traffic. Ah, the joys of a lightweight bike. The seats are pretty comfortable too.

We’ve tested its Strasse capabilities so it’s now over to the Gelande part.

Where’s the best place to do some offroading? At Oh Kah Beng’s Most Fun Gym, of course. We had also wanted “Foreman” Oh or KB, as some call him, to ride the G 310 GS and provide his feedback since he’s the Sifu. KB had also trained his nephew, Oh Jin Sheng who went to qualify second on the first day of the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Asia Qualifier.

But KB was caught up at the bank when we arrived so we decided to go ahead and ride the bike around the basic flat-track course.

I started out gingerly since the tyres were 50/50 offroad/road, compared to knobbies. Apart from that, the seat is rather far behind compared to a pure-bred motocrosser, hence I had some reservations if I could really lean the bike into dirt corners. (Cornering in the dirt calls for the rider to sit as up front as possible and stick out his inside leg to put more weight on the front tyre.)

But as soon as it hit the first berm it was apparent that the G 310 GS was setup towards offroading. Standing up on the straights the bike exhibited a totally natural balance at both ends. I went faster and faster, even did a couple of small jumps as confidence picked up.

The track’s surface was dry with loose soil and sand, but the tyres surprisingly slipped very little. I had to kick my leg further out to displace my weight and give it lots of throttle to slide the rear around. Otherwise, it was as if the bike has traction control (it doesn’t, it only has ABS).

While the suspension soaked up the bumps on the road, on the offroad course it was magic! It ran over those offroad bumps as if they weren’t there. It suddenly didn’t matter that the fuel tank was tall and slightly long, the G 310 GS was amazingly well-balanced whether I was seated or standing up (as I’ve mentioned earlier).

The only gripe I had with running it offroad was the road-oriented rear sprocket size. For true offroading, a 4-teeth bigger sprocket would provide the punch out of corners by rear wheel slide-steering.

KB showed up a little later in the afternoon, a bit agitated from his experience at the bank.

But his expression lit up as soon as he saw the G 310 GS, “Whoa, that’s a beautiful bike! Really looks very close to the R 1200 GS.”

He didn’t waste time in suiting up and hopping on. “The seat’s a little tall for most Malaysians, but the rear shock compresses when you sit on it, like a motocrosser’s.”

As soon as he hit the corner berm, he remarked, “Wow! The balance!” He proceeded to traverse down a steep slope. Both of us wanted to find out about the ground clearance. Nothing touched down.

Next, KB rode the bike down a trail behind the “pit building.” A trail that I would never for the life of me ride on. He just kept going, “Wow this is really good,” and continued on up the hill to the Expert’s Course. He kept riding steadily without jumping, “I don’t want to risk bottoming out the suspension and injuring the bike,” he explained.

And he just kept going and going, with a smile underneath his MX helmet, while I chased him around to grab a few shots.

When he finally pulled in, there were nothing but superlatives from him. “This bike is truly amazing. It soaked up the bumps, it steered beautifully, gripped a lot, and the throttle was very smooth.” (A smooth throttle response is of utmost importance when riding offroad or on slippery surfaces.)

His conclusion was, “It may be an affordable bike at 29K, but it felt like something way more expensive. Plus, it’s really pretty. BMW should extend a test bike at MFG so those who visit MFG could take a look at it. It’s capabilities and quality.”

If a racing legend and super coach who has done it all, seen it all says that, then the G 310 GS is truly special. The bike truly caters to both new and veteran riders. It’s practical for the daily commute, comfortable for long-distance rides and fully capable when the paved road disappears.

Just like in the opening story, the BMW G 310 GS is one bike worth defending – not because it’s a BMW.


Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves, single-cylinder
Compression ratio 10.6 : 1
Bore X Stroke 80.0 mm X 62.1 mm
Displacement 313 cc
Fuel system BMS-E2 electronic fuel injection
Maximum power 34 bhp (25 kW) @ 9,500 RPM
Maximum torque 28 Nm @ 7,500 RPM
Clutch Cable-operated, multi-plate, wet clutch
Gearbox 6-speed synchromesh
Front suspension 41mm USD forks, 180 mm travel
Rear suspension Single shock, adjustable for preload, 180 mm travel
Front brakes Single 300 mm disc, single four-piston radially mounted Bybre caliper
Rear brake Single 240 mm disc, single-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS
Front tyre 110/80-R19
Rear tyre 150/70-R17
Frame Tubular steel
Swingarm Solid die-cast aluminium
Trail 98.0 mm
Rake 26.7 degrees
Wheelbase 1420 mm
Seat height 835 mm (unladen)
Wet weight 169.5 kg (ready to ride)
Fuel capacity 11.0 litres


  • Malaysian Moto2 star, Khairul Idham Pawi had set up his own racing academy.

  • The Superkip Racing Academy will enter riders in the 2018 Cub Prix season.

  • The team will be managed by Superkip’s father, Pawi Omar. 

Young age and a busy schedule at MotoGP did not stop Malaysian Moto2 rider, Khairul Idham Pawi, from training young riders through his own Superkip Racing Academy.

In addition to training, the academy based in Kampung Gajah, Perak, also took a step further by campaigning in the national professional racing stage, namely in the PETRONAS AAM Malaysia Cub Prix Championship in 2018, in the CP115 and Wira categories.

Among the early riders of the SuperKIP Academy are Khairul’s younger brother Anuar Ibrahim Pawi, besides Honda Wave Alpha Challenge riders Md Afizat Supaat, Md Amer Rossi Amidi, Md Hazim, and Md Haziq Rosmaza.

“Selection of riders has been done since the mid-season of the Cub Prix 2017 Championship where we saw and evaluated potential rivals competing in the Honda one-make race series.

“After listing some riders, we invited them to undergo my training session as soon as the Cub Prix Championship ended in Johor, last November. We did different approaches where these riders did not only undergo intensive training, but also provided accommodation here. In addition to training on the circuit, they also underwent training such as fitness, cycling, and others according to the set schedule,” said the 19-year-old rider.

Commenting on the target against all riders, Khairul said, “This is the first year the team is competing at the Cub Prix while the riders are also competing for the first time in the higher classes. We did not set the target too high, we’ll be satisfied with top five finish, and would definitely be very happy if they could climb onto the podium.

“The competition will be fierce and they will be forced to face more experienced teams and riders, including my former team, Idemitsu Kozi Yam Honda Racing. The competition is certainly great and I hope the riders can gain useful experience this year.”

He added, “This team will be supervised by my dad as I’m in Europe a lot next year. Nevertheless, I will always watch them race live on social media when I’m not involved with racing and always get the latest updates from team management.”

Meanwhile, Khairul’s father, Pawi Omar, who will act as team manager, said the plan to set up the academy arose after Khairul won the Moto3 race in Argentina and Germany.

“In the early stages, the academy was created to provide guidance to local youths who are interested in racing before deciding to go further.”

“The way we formed Khairul all this time will be used to guide other riders. Most important is the support of the riders themselves. We are pleased that the families of the riders in the academy are fully supportive and willing to let their children live with us for training and preparation for the Cub Prix race, “he explained.

  • Moto Guzzi Malaysia invited Guzzi owners to a year-end gathering.

  • It serves as a platform to touch base with both existing and new owners.

  • Moto Guzzi Malaysia’s Aftersales Department were present to assist on technical matters.

Moto Guzzi Malaysia is paving the path to engage not only potential or new customers, but existing owners as well.

Since finding a new home at The Gasket Alley (click here for our coverage on the launch), they have organized many events and rides that reflect upon the Guzzi lifestyle, for example, a Sunday ride to Bentong a couple of months back (click here for the report), and now a special gathering as 2018 beckons.

Called the “Moto Guzzi Gentlemen’s Year-End Gathering,” the event brought together Guzzi owners past and present to make new friends and build camaraderie.

We were able to witness a myriad of Moto Guzzis, including the V7 II, V7 50 Anniversario, Norge GT, and an ultra-rare 90th anniversary California.

The owners were then invited to share their experience of owning a Guzzi on video. Although it wasn’t us who interviewed them, we were within an earshot when they described their experience and they were at the least satisfied and loved their bikes.

With the interview session done, Mr. Amarjit Singh, the Head of Aftersales met with the owners personally to discuss on what Moto Guzzi Malaysia could improve on, besides assuring that Moto Guzzi Malaysia is serious in providing the best possible aftersales service and parts availability.

The event adjourned after dinner, and with the owners exchanging contacts with each other. Looks like there’ll be plenty of Moto Guzzi rides soon!


  • The new Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer and V7 III Stone complements the Guzzi family.

  • Moto Guzzi calls the V9 Roamer a custom bike, but its design harks back to the beautiful 70’s bikes.

  • The V7 III Stone forms the basis for further customisation.

Moto Guzzi is a legendary Italian brand since 1912, but a few hiccups along the way gave the impression of the brand being “on/off.” However, Moto Guzzi is seeing a resurgence lately as the new official distributor, The Gasket Alley, has stepped up their marketing and aftersales efforts.

However, having ridden just one Moto Guzzi for mere hours in the past, I wasn’t sure of what to expect from these two bikes: The V9 Roamer and V7 III Stone.

When Sep and I went to pick them up, both had that modern-classic look, but it was the V9 Roamer which appealed to me with lots of chrome offset by anodized black parts and yellow paintwork. It looked like a 70’s kind of standard motorcycle. That’s just the looks, because the 853cc, 2-valve, 90-degree V-Twin engine is all new.

On the other hand, Sep preferred the V7 III Stone as it looked more “masculine” with its boxier fuel tank with flared sides over the cylinders, no chrome and flat yellow tank. In a way, the V7 III Stone has that unfinished look, no doubt being the model for further customization (there are hundreds of items in MG “Spark” catalog). The “III” designation means this is the third generation V7, inspired the by the 1971 V7 Sport. The V7 has been revamped in many ways including a 10% engine power bump.

Both bikes now feature MGTC (Moto Guzzi Traction Control) and ABS.

Pushing both bikes around The Gasket Alley’s parking lot revealed that they were light. It’s even more so when we climbed on board. Their seats were low and both of us could place both feet on the ground with ease.


The V9’s handlebar was mounted on a riser and swept back to meet the rider. The V7’s was flatter for a slightly more café racer feel.

As I reached out to thumb the starter button on the V9, I noticed that the switchgear had a new design, outlined by brushed aluminium bezels, similar to the Calfornia. The V7 made do with the conventional switchgear.

Both bikes starter quickly when the starter button was pushed, to a 90-degree V-Twin growl and the bike kicking to the right simultaneously. Such is the character of transverse-mounted twins (both cylinders projecting out the sides, instead of sitting fore and aft inside the frame), since the crankshaft is longitudinal along the axis of the frame. Conversely, V-Twin that’s mounted longitudinally (Harley, Ducati, et al) has the crankshaft across the frame, thus the frame damps out the crankshaft’s secondary vibrations.

As with Moto Guzzi’s engine configuration, the transmission mates directly to the back of the crankcase (like a BMW Boxer-Twin), although the Guzzi’s single dry clutch is behind the transmission instead of sitting in the middle between the two parts. Power transfer to the rear wheel is best served by a shaft final drive for transverse Twins.

This arrangement makes for a lower centre of gravity as the heavy parts are lower near the ground, as opposed to engine configurations where the transmission is “stacked” above the alternator (although it is more compact).

Anyhow, right away, the V9 Roamer exhibited a relatively maneuverable despite having a 19-inch tyre up front and 16-inch at the rear. Similarly, squeezing through traffic was easy as the bike’s pretty slim. My only gripe about riding it in traffic was the overly soft exhaust volume in order to comply with the Euro 4 emission standard. I don’t have to tell you that some car drivers in Kuala Lumpur are complacent behind their steering wheels, so a loud exhaust is the way to grab their attention unless you honk all the way.

The suspension of both bikes were supple in their initial strokes but took big hits over the shraper bumps and deep potholes. Still, they were remarkably better than their predecessors.

Out on the highway, the V9 Roamer went with the flow due to its taller gearing – it’s not that the engine lacks punch – the transmission was already in overdrive in fifth gear, while sixth was an even taller overdrive. This is definitely a bike for relaxed cruising.

The V7 however, felt more engaging due to its shorter gearing, meaning it kept pushing all the time. In Sep’s words, “The V7 feels more hooligan.” He’s right, because the Stone is just one of the variations in the V7 III family, which includes the V7 III Racer.

Italian bikes are famous for their handling, but I wish I could say so for these two. But it wasn’t because of the bikes, it was due to the standard Pirelli Sport Demon tyres. I’ve experienced the very same trait on another test bike. These tyres are great in running straight but their sidewalls flex like rubber stress balls when pushed in corners, causing the bikes to wobble. It also caused the V9 Roamer’s 19-inch front to steer slower into corners. My concern is that customers who are uninitiated to the Sport Demon will blame the bike.

Anyway, the V7 III Stone wasn’t a slouch when we blasted down the highway. With a sportier riding position, the rider has more confidence to take it to higher speeds. The V9 Roamer, on the other hand likes to be ridden smoothly and in a benign manner. That said, remember the crankshaft’s torque kicking the bike to one side? It all disappeared as soon as we got rolling and the engine became really, really smooth.

We took a different route to Kuala Kubu Bahru for the photoshoot and while it had many beautiful corners, certain sections were bumpy as hell, but these bumps were handled better as long as they weren’t sharp, whereas I would have a chiropractor on standby on the older bike.

We also noticed that there wasn’t any “shaft jacking” despite the lack of an extra arm, like Moto Guzzi’s CARC setup. The term shaft jacking pertains to the bike lifting upwards due to the shaft’s torque as power is applied to the rear wheel.

As our four days with both bikes coming to an end, we liked both the V9 Roamer and V7 III Stone for what they are. They’re just different from other bikes in the market, hence to compare with other makes may not be fair. Both bikes’ appeal rest in the ease of riding them, with a certain kind of soul that could only come from the transversely mounted V-Twin. Besides that, there aren’t many Guzzis around so you’ll earn plenty of inquisitive stares when you ride one.

So which one did we pick as our favourite? Let’s call it a split decision. Keshy and Sep chose the V7 III Stone for its no-frills approach, while Chaze and I chose the V9 Roamer for its looks and soft character.


  • We had the opportunity to ride the Honda RC213V-S MotoGP replica.

  • It was part of Boon Siew Honda’s Year-End Gathering for the media.

  • The RC213V-S was unlike no other motorcycle on the planet.

When it comes to motorcycle racing, I still romanticise what many regard as the “Golden Age of Motocycle GP.” Yes, those times were exciting, seeing riders getting spat off their 500cc two-stroker beasts without warning.

The modern-day four-stroke MotoGP machines look tamer on the other hand, but would any of us mere mortals dare claim they’d be easy to ride? So, when Sep informed that we were invited to ride the million-Ringgit (EUR 188,000) RC213V-S at SIC, every nerve cell hit the rev limiter.

Honda introduced the RC213V-S during EICMA in 2015. Hailed as the closest replica to the bikes ridden by works riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, it was a MotoGP bike for the masses.

Each RC213V-S is hand-built in a special workshop in the Kumamoto factory, with some parts sourced directly from the MotoGP bike like the swingarm, slipper clutch, magnesium alloy 17-inch Marchesini wheels, Öhlins forks, adjustable footpegs and pedals, and parts of the Brembo brakes. Other directly trickled down tech include the (partly) underseat fuel tank, and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic bodywork which is fastened with titanium bolts.

Besides those, the RC213V-S also features ride-by-wire throttle, power modes, traction control, engine-brake control, and position detection. The engine has the same configuration as the MotoGP too, a 990cc V-4 with titanium conrods, the only difference being the seamless transmission (a mainstay of MotoGP bikes) pioneered by Honda, and conventional valve springs in place of pneumatic ones.

Another difference is of course the brake discs. They are steel items on the road bike, instead of carbon.

It’s worth mentioning that the 80 percent of the parts on the RC213V-S are interchangeable with the full-on race machine. As it is, the RC213V-S is sold (or was sold if they’re sold out) to rev up to 12,000 RPM (US models rev up to 9400 RPM only due to noise restrictions). Customers could shell out another EUR 12,000 for a race kit that takes it up to 14,000 RPM.

Outwardly, and apart from not wearing the orange Repsol paint scheme, the bike looked no different from the bikes Marc and Dani used to destroy the competition. The headlights are installed into the gaping intake at tip of the upper fairing, but everything else like the exhausts and tail section screamed Honda MotoGP.

The front pair of cylinders vent exhaust gases through a pipe down low on the right side, while the rear pair exit through a pipe under the seat.

Up top, the controls on the handlebars were simple, devoid of the colourful Playstation-like buttons and a small LCD is placed up front. The handlebars are attached to the forks with beefy clamps below the beautifully finished top triple clamp which has the production number stamped on it. The rearview mirrors are attached to the ends of the handlebars.

That’s when I noticed the warning sticker on the tank. Right at the end was a symbol that says, “RON 98.” It means that an owner in Malaysia could only fill up with RON 100 at Petron or Shell’s V-Power Racing. And bring along a few bottles of X-1R Octane Booster.

Oi, enough talk. How was it to ride?

It’s definitely much, much smaller than how it appeared in any photo. Sitting on it felt like sitting on a CBR250, but when I grabbed the bar and sat up straight, I found myself looking over the top of the screen. Everything has been packed close to the rider for mass centralization. But it was surprisingly not uncomfortable. Racebikes of years past were uncomfortable, but the RC213V-S felt like any roadgoing sportbike. Heck, it felt a lot like the CBR1000RR Fireblade with racing footpegs.

While we ogled at the street version, Boon Siew Honda crew fired up a race-spec RC213V. You see, BSH had invited Khairul Idham Pawi and Zahqwan Zaidi as guest riders and they were given the opportunity to ride the real deal (the RC213V, not the MotoGP bike, though).

Everyone dropped whatever they were doing and rushed to over to bear witness! Khairul got off the bike and a BSH crew started blipping the throttle to warm it up. We’ve heard the Honda MotoGP bikes from the Grandstand and around the track, but this was the first time we were up close. That rasp and bark from the exhausts plus the mechanical sounds couldn’t be properly described in words, but it sure gouged itself into everyone’s brains. (Check out the video below.)

It was time to head out, with Zahqwan leading my group.

The Honda RC213V-S uses a proximity switch so they key fob had to be carried in my suit. Thumbed the starter button the first time and the LCD screen came to life. Thumbed it the second time and…. It fired up… While I wasn’t expecting the bark of the RC213V, I didn’t expect the RC213V-S came to life so subtly like a… a… very soft CB650F that I rode in the morning. What the…  but still, I’m on a MotoGP replica, so who’s to complain?

With all the BSH brass and crew looking on, and telling myself not to wheelie over backwards, I slipped out the clutch lever so carefully that I almost stalled it. It hadn’t been necessary as the bike was so smooth on pick up.

Out on the warm up lap, the RC213V-S was so easy to turn and burn, although we were taking it easy to warm the tyres up and acquaint ourselves to the bike.

We had a mock start from the grid. Zahqwan just blasted off into the horizon, leaving his exhaust note reverberating around inside our helmets.

The RC213V-S felt slow leaving the line, but whoa! It felt like I ran into a brick wall just almost as soon as I left the line. Other journos who had ridden the bike during the Honda Asian Journey Ride not long ago had warned us about the rev limit being capped. The bike I was on was limited to 7000 RPM, while there were a few others that revved to 9000 RPM.

But no matter, while it felt slow, it was actually picking up speed deceptively fast! And with the rev limit being blocked, I went through the gears like there’s no tomorrow.

Accelerating out of Turn 2, it was like short-shifting to third, fourth and fifth for the sweeping Turn 3. The bike just tipped over on its side even with the power fully on as I engaged the gears. The quickshifter was ultra-ultra-smooth so much so I didn’t even give two thoughts about it. I had wondered if I got to experience the seamless gearbox!

Braking for Turn 4 with two fingers had the front brakes bled off too much speed, so the bike dropped into the corner like an MX bike.

Sweeping through Turn 5 in fifth, I kept rolling on the throttle, having forgotten about the rev limiter. It cut in just as the bike neared the apex. Now, on any other bike, having the power cut i.e. chopping the throttle or hitting the rev limiter, is bad news as it’ll cause an abrupt weight transfer and change of traction, usually resulting in the bike wobbling or worse, standing up. But it didn’t happen on the RC213V-S, I just hugged its line as if nothing happened.

Now I started to worry about the rev limiter so I slowed down for the corners and decided to just blast down the main straight.

Since we were only using the North Track, I gunned the throttle as soon as I cleared the extra corner after Turn 6 all the way onto the straight. The bike ate up all the gears as fast I could feed it and I was already on the limiter just before halfway on the straight, which read 180 km/h.

The RCV213V-S felt slow, but its engine had plenty of kick and revved really quickly. Conversely on the CBR650F earlier, it only hit 179 km/h in sixth about 300m to Turn 1. Was I experiencing Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity firsthand?

How I wished Honda had raised the rev limit a little higher, say to 10,000 RPM.

We pulled into the pits four laps later. Although I was very thankful to have sampled the bike, I was also unsatisfied that I couldn’t go faster from worrying about the rev limiter.

The conclusion is this: The Honda RC213V-S is a superlative bike that’s unlike any other. I’ve never experienced a bike which t feels benign at high speed, that’s for sure.

The test session was a special event as part of Boon Siew Honda’s year-end gathering for the media, after having just celebrated their 60th anniversary in Malaysia.

During the welcoming session, BSH announced that sales had increased by 18% in 2017 from the previous year, having move 122,150 number of motorcycles (as of date of the event). But moving forward to 2018, BSH hopes to recapture its former Number One position in the market.

Datuk Sri Datuk Wira Tan Hui Jing, Deputy Chairman and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Boon Siew Honda provided the outline, “We are targeting to introduce 10 new models and will certainly surprise everyone with our product lineup.”

As mentioned earlier, Zahqwan Zaidi and Khairul Idham Pawi were present during the event after campaigning in the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) and Moto2 seasons, respectively. Mr. Nobuhide Nagata, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BSH announced that Zaqhwan will move up to the All Japan Road Race Championship (JSB1000) next year.

Also revealed was BSH’s plans to build the first Honda Big Wing exclusive one-stop sales and service centre in 2018 in the Klang Valley, followed by Penang, Selangor and Johor.


  • The new MV Agusta Brutale 800 is now much more refined.

  • Quality has also improved, along with driveability.

  • The new Brutale 800 is much easier to live with and enjoyed.

MV Agusta’s Brutale lineup has always represented the Italian company’s vision of naked sportbikes. According to MV’s philosophy, the Brutale should be uncompromising yet beautiful at the same time.

As such, most, if not all, Brutales, needed a high level of skill and no less amount of bravery to be ridden well. And for them to work well, they needed to be ridden fast and hard. But I’ve always loved how MV Agustas look (examples: Brutale 800 Dragster RR, Veloce Turismo, F4 Tamburini). Almost no other manufacturer could design something so bold.

With that experience in mind, I approached this new MV Agusta Brutale 800 with some mixed expectations. I had a sense of trepidation intermingled with excitement.

Like that bad girl your mother warned you about.

This new Brutale 800 sure looked awesome, the voluptuous tank in fire engine red, with a diminutive waist which had a hole in it, just like the Veloce Turismo. From the rear three quarters, it looked like wasp – ready to sting. MV Agusta calls it, “The big chest, small waist profile.” Sounds good to any man.

The engine dangled under the tank with everything tightly packed around it, looking like the guts of a monster. But I couldn’t locate the battery. There is a reason for this, though, in the interest of mass centralization.

But something caught my attention the first time I laid eyes on it. The panels, quality of the finish, fitment and components looked way better than MV Agustas of past.

The 800cc, DOHC, 12-valve, Triple still took a bit of cranking to get it fired up. But once it does, it sounded guttural, slightly primitive even. It lets you know it’s alive.

The seat is much taller now, as the top part of the subframe had to be designed taller to produce that hole. However, I was surprised that the seat was actually rather comfy, instead of feeling like I was sitting on a leather-covered plank. The waist where the subframe joined the tank was really slim, allowing my short legs easier reach to the ground.

The fully LCD display was crammed with every information you need, except surprise, a fuel gauge, although you could ride about 60 km more when the low fuel amber light comes on. There’s also a large gear indicator, but my only hope is that MV Agusta will place the tachometer bar on the top, rather than below everything else. On the other hand, I really do liked the fact that MV Agusta’s LCD screens hardly reflect direct sunlight.

There are four riding modes: SPORT, NORMAL, RAIN and CUSTOM. SPORT gives you full power and torque; NORMAL cuts power to 100 bhp (good for long distance riding), RAIN cuts power and torque further; and CUSTOM means you could set your own preferences. There are 8 levels of traction control which you could dial and the ABS is switchable.

Starting in NORMAL, a bit of throttle and slip of the clutch got the show going. Give it more throttle and the Brutale 800 took off and it didn’t stop pulling. The rush of speed was accompanied by a soundtrack that could only come from an MV Agusta Triple.

The switch for the riding modes was via a large button on the right handlebar. All you need to do is hold it down until the indicator blinks in the LCD and you can start selecting the mode you desire, without needing to shut off the throttle. That said, the placement of the button on the right side needed some getting used to, but you’ll get it soon enough without needing to relocate your right thumb.

But SPORT mode is where the bike truly shines. The new generation MVICS 2.0 ECU’s fuelling is crisp and accurate, while the throttle isn’t abrupt anymore. Along with the newly mapped ECU, the quickshifter is one of the best on any bike I’ve sampled.

It kicks in the next gear immediately without feeling like you’ve chopped the throttle, nor did it lag. Every gear was hammered home without delay, plus it works on the downshift too, with the throttle being blipped just the right amount. There was no wheel hop even when I experimented with downshifting right down to first without the clutch.

However, the quickshifter works on the upshift and downshift only in SPORT, while only upshifts are available in the other modes.

The next thing I liked about this new Brutale 800 was the suspension. Sure, it’s still stiff but it isn’t harsh anymore. Previously, a bump in the middle of a corner was sufficient to kick the wheels into the air and cause you to lose your line. Now, you could still feel the road but you don’t get displaced off your chosen line.

Besides that, while the previous suspension didn’t seem to respond to any adjustment, decreasing compression damping by three turns and increasing rebound damping in the rear by two turns did wonders for my 80kg weight.

With the suspension sorted, it was time to turn and burn.

The handlebar was placed higher than previous Brutales and was wide. That meant plenty of leverage from your arms to steer the bike quickly in any direction. Adding to the quick steer character was the rake of 24.5 degrees. But the Brutale 800 wasn’t nervous at all especially when accelerating hard, courtesy of the 103.5mm trail.

Combined with the engine’s serious punch and the bike’s light weight, and you’ve a bike that gets away from it all in the blink of an eye.

All in all, I’m glad to see that MV Agusta is still going and the Brutale 800’s big steps in refinement is definitely reassuring.

In closing, the MV Agusta Brutale 800 does make you feel good about yourself.


Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves, inline-Triple
Compression ratio 12.3 : 1
Bore X Stroke 79.0 mm X 54.3 mm
Displacement 798 cc
Fuel system Eldor EM2.0 electronic fuel injection
Maximum power 109 bhp (81 kW) @ 11,500 RPM
Maximum torque 83 Nm @ 7600 RPM
Clutch Hydraulically activated with slipper clutch
Gearbox 6-speed with quickshifter
Front suspension Marzocchi 43mm USD forks, adjustable for preload, compression damping and rebound damping, 125 mm travel
Rear suspension Sachs single progressive shock, adjustable for preload, compression damping and rebound damping, 124 mm travel
Front brakes Dual 320 mm floating discs, dual four-piston radially mounted Brembo caliper
Rear brake Single 220 mm disc, two-piston Brembo caliper
ABS Bosch 9 Plus with Rear Lift-up Mitigation (RLM), swtichable on/off
Front tyre 120/70-ZR17
Rear tyre 180/55-ZR17
Frame ALS steel tube trellis, aluminium swingarm pivot
Swingarm Single-sided, aluminium alloy
Trail 103.5 mm
Rake 24.5 degrees
Wheelbase 1400 mm
Seat height 830 mm
Dry weight 175 kg
Fuel capacity 16.5 litres
  • Study confirms that passengers are more prone to injury.

  • It’s the rider’s responsibility to ensure the passenger is fully geared up.

  • At least a good helmet is necessary.

Remember that video which went viral? Most riders already knew that it’s the passenger who usually comes out the worse in the event of an accident.

Unfortunately, we still see many riders who don’t equip their passengers adequately when riding. The rider may be cladded in armoured jacket and pants, a good helmet, gloves and boots, but the passenger looks like he or she just got back from the beach, and wearing a helmet seemingly made when Allahyarham Tun Hussein Onn was Prime Minister.

Hope this research changes your mind.

Published in Reuters Health, it is confirmed by researchers that passengers are likely to suffer more traumatic injuries compared to riders.

Even with helmets on, 36 percent of the passengers suffered traumatic brain injury, compared to 31 percent among riders.

Dr. Tyler Evans of the Indiana University School of Medicine said, “We believe that in certain accidents, the passenger is more likely to be ejected from the motorcycle.” This is the likely scenario why passengers face a higher risk of brain injury, he added.

You can read the source of the report here.

While riders face lower risks since they could hold on to the handlebar and fuel tank, and protected by the windscreen in some cases, passengers don’t have such luxury since they have little to hold onto. This is especially advantageous for the riders since they know what’s happening and could brace themselves.

Courtesy of

In Malaysia, there were 39,744 deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents between 2005 to 2014.

The knowledge gained from this study means that the rider should always provide the best helmet and riding gear he or she could afford for the passenger. Come to think of it, the passenger should be better equipped than the rider!

Courtesy of


  • The KTM 1290 Adventure S was launched to a great following.

  • As a special year-end promotion, KTM Malaysia offers the Travel Pack as a complimentary package.

  • The promotion is available via authorized KTM Malaysia dealers.

The 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S was launched in Malaysia just a few months back and has already enjoyed a huge following among adventure-touring enthusiasts.

KTM already has a winner when the Austrian and largest European manufacturer launched the 1290 Super Adventure (later renamed as “Model T”) in 2015. It was promptly named the “Best Adventure Touring Motorcycle” by many reputable motorcycle publications around the world.

The 1290 Super Adventure T was both a mechanical and technological marvel, and became THE high-performance adventure-tourer, bar none. It was also the basis for the 2017 1290 Super Adventure S and 1290 Super Adventure R. The 1301cc, DOHC, 8-valve, 75-degree, LC8 engine (based on the insane 1290 Super Duke R) punches out a whopping 160 bhp and 140 NM of torque. But that’s just part of the story because the engine is already producing 108 Nm at 2500 RPM. That’s why the bike pulled like the clichéd freight train.

The bike features technological advancements such as MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control), MSC (Motorcycle Stability Control), ABS, LED Cornering Lights, and WP’s Semi-Active Suspension.

The 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S utilises the same, albeit uprated features. But more telling, it had been totally redesigned to reflect a new KTM identity, starting with the headlight.


The headlight is now split into two sides with a cooling “channel” in between to address concerns of the LEDs getting too hot. The consequence of this redesign produced a headlight design unlike any other motorcycle in the market, and for KTM themselves, as well.

Other features were uprated, including the engine and electronics for more refinement and even more reliability. New for the 1290 Adventure S is the 6-inch TFT display, which the owner may install the My Ride option which includes hands-free audio playback via Bluetooth.

The latest TFT meter panel for the 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

All these electronics make the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S sensitive, right?

Not so. We saw how reliable they were firsthand during the recent KMOG Borneo Ride 2017. Not a single bike broke down despite being trashed in arduous riding conditions including earthquake-damaged roads, no road, mud, gravel, sand, rain or shine. They just kept going and comfortable for the riders and passengers to boot!

As 2018 looms, KTM Malaysia is offering the 1290 Super Adventure S with a special promotion.

For a limited time only, KTM Malaysia is throwing in the Travel Pack option, worth RM 5,424 – FREE! With the purchase of a new 1290 Super Adventure S.

The Travel Pack includes the aforementioned My Ride, Quickshifter+, Hill Hold Control (HHC) and Motor Slip Regulation (MSR).

My Ride allows the rider to connect his mobile phone to bike via Bluetooth, allowing for music streaming and making/receiving calls hands free.


Quickshifter+ is an evolution of the run-of-the-mill quickshifter. It allows for smoother and positive clutch-less gear changes not only for upshifts but for downshifts as well. A novel feature of KTM’s Quickshifter+ is the absence of an “activator” on the shift connector shaft.

As any veteran rider can tell you, taking off on an incline is never easy, requiring the rider hold on to the front brake and slip the clutch like mad! Hill Hold Control (HHC) holds the bike on a slope during idle, even if the transmission is neutral. This is a very useful feature especially on a tall bike, laden down with luggage and passenger.

Motor Slip Regulation works in tandem with the other traction control features for a safer ride. While the MTC and slipper work to relief the rear wheel from hopping, MSR limits back-torque to the rear wheel by increasing the engine’s speed. A useful feature in low-grip situations. (It’s akin to riding MX, where the rider needs to keep the engine spinning at higher RPM for more consistent traction compared to fully shutting off – no doubt learned from KTM’s heavy involvement and success in offroad competition.)

The Travel Pack features bring additional safety and entertainment to an already great bike, so hurry to your nearest authorized KTM dealer today!

For more information please visit KTM Malaysia’s official Facebook page.

  • The GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017 headed to GIVI’s factory in Vietnam.

  • This is the birthplace of GIVI’s rainsuits and soft luggage.

  • GIVI carried out a CSR program called “Riding for Reading”.

17th November 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Today marked the most important day of the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017 itinerary.

We were slated to visit GIVI’s factory in Vietnam, situated not far away from the hotel, where we were going to see not only how some of GIVI’s products were made, but more importantly, to attend a special Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.

We left the Merperle Crystal Palace Hotel at little later than usual, with the sun already up and shining. The rider with CBR600RR was back and we sure hoped he knew which way we were headed. We were worried about running headlong into HCMC’s traffic, that’s for sure.

We travelled on city roads for a short distance before we started veering into a smaller road flanked on the left by one-storey houses and a river on right. The road condition was good, despite a few patches covered in gravel awaiting their asphalt cover. Hot and dry conditions meant the lead bikes throwing a thick cloud of dust into the air.

Soon we arrived at the GIVI Vietnam HQ and were welcomed by the smiling staff. We were ushered directly to the large entrance to the factory, where a reception had been prepared with light snacks and drinks. We attacked the bottles of water and Pepsi as if we had just left the desert.

Also, there were the Italian Ambassador to Vietnam and the Head of the Italian Trade Delegation, along with Hendrika Visenzi.

Two of the Vietnamese crew had dressed up in the traditional Vietnamese dress, called áo dài (pronounced “Ao-Yai”). Yes, they were pretty.

The GIVI Explorers were then separated into two groups for a grand tour of the facilities. Our group was led by Giorgio Della Rosa, the Factory Manager and designer of GIVI’s riding gear.

This was the birthplace of GIVI rainsuits and soft luggage.

We saw how different materials came together, being cut to exact dimensions by using a hydraulic press or laser cutter, the stitched together by highly trained professionals, before being QC’ed and packed.

We saw the very same tankbags, soft luggage and waterproof we were wearing being assembled right there.

In the meantime, the GIVI crew had taken our helmets to a room in the administration building, where two ladies pinstriped on our names and national flags on one side of the chinbar.

The GIVI Explorers and other guests were then ushered into the conference room for lunch and the GIVI charity event called, “Riding for Reading.” This GIVI CSR initiative aims to assist Vietnamese children in primary schools by meeting short-term and long-term needs. For the near-term, GIVI donated writing and drawing utensils; and health insurance and scholarships in the long-term.

A spontaneous fundraiser was set up among the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017 participants, to which everyone was more than happy to contribute. A total of USD 800 was raised.

The kids came to meet us soon after, and it was a happy and emotional experience for all involved, as Ms. Visenzi and Mr. Perucca handed the items to them.

As Mr. Perucca said in his speech, the GIVI Explorer adventures have always been about learning and giving, rather than being just riding across the world.

With the Riding for Reading program done, GIVI presented gifts to the Explorers. First was renowned Vietnamese coffee, packed together with a set of serving cups, and the traditional Vietnamese conical hat called nón lá (translated as left hat).

It was time to say goodbye to GIVI Vietnam and head to our stop for the day. A few of the Vietnamese crew also joined us on the ride.

We cut a south-southwesterly course toward Cần Thơ (pronounced “Kan Ter”), the main city in the Mekong Delta, where the Mekong River empties into the South China Sea. The river life figures heavily here, including a floating market.

Unfortunately, one of the bikes developed a puncture and we arrived way after dark so there was no chance of us going anywhere.

Click here for Day Five (Part Two) of the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017.

Click here for Day Five (Part One) of the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017.

Click here for Day Four of the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017.

Click here for Day Three of the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017.

Click here for Day Two of the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017.

Click here for Day One of the GIVI Golden Triangle Adventure 2017.





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