Wahid Ooi

  • HLYM and GT-Max Motors convert their shop to the first Yamaha Star Centre.
  • Besides being a 3S (Sales, Service, Spare Parts) Centre, it also offers customers a greater experience.
  • HLYM will have more Yamaha Star Centres throughout the country.

Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn. Bhd. (HLYM) has collaborated with Taman Muda, Shah Alam’s premier motorcycle centre, GT-Max Motors (M) Sdn. Bhd. to transform the long-standing Yamaha Star Shop to their first Yamaha Star Centre. The Yamaha Star Centre was launched on Sunday, 27th August 2017.

The Yamaha Star Centre offers a unique lifestyle showroom concept experience to Yamaha’s customers. The centre also incorporate the Yamaha Star Management System to enhance the level of aftersales service. The Yamaha Star Centre is an exclusive 3S (Sales, Service and Spare Parts) showroom, hence only genuine Yamaha parts will be used.

It is also noteworthy that HLYM’s Technical Department has issued a fuel injector testing machine to GT-Max’s workshop, and will follow through with other authorized dealers in short order.

HLYM is planning to increase the number of Yamaha Star Centres in stages throughout Malaysia to offer the same great experience to customers.

Another important point, GT-Max Motors (M) Sdn. Bhd.’s riders were the champion and runner-up of the inaugural Yamaha NVX Challenge race, held during the Jasin, Melaka Cub Prix round on 6th August 2017.

The launch event atmosphere was that of a carnival, attended by hundreds of people. GT-Max offered special one-day prices as a reward. There was also a lucky draw, consisting of prizes ranging from GT Max goodie bags, Samsung cellphones, to electrical items, to GIVI and X-Dot helmets, and the Grand Prize of a Yamaha Solariz 125 scooter.

The public were given the opportunity to test ride HLYM’s latest star scooter, the NVX 155. Customers’ motorcycles were also treated to a bike wash. An inflatable playground was set up for the attendees’ children.

Lending support to the event were GIVI Malaysia who drove up in their GIVI Bus; Dainese Malaysia who displayed their latest riding gear; Motorparts Asia who showed off their KYT helmets, Shoei helmets, X-Dot helmets, and a few other distributors of high-quality goods.

Gracing the event were various Yamaha motorcycle clubs.

We’ll be overstating the obvious of something we bikers already know; that riding a motorcycle brings unique experiences such as freedom, immersion, yada, yada, yada. Consequently, motorcycling offers unique frustrations that only we as bikers could only understand. Here are the ten most annoying things we encounter, apart from other drivers.

Nine hours have gone by in the office and you’ve only received two phone calls, one from he who sits above the glass ceiling and the other from the Mrs. to remind you to pick up the Mini-Godzilla’s diapers. Apart from that, you’ve ignored your buddies who kept posting pictures of women who are allergic to clothing throughout the day. Otherwise, the phone had been quiet.

You punch out and head down to your bike. Placing the phone on the seat, you go through your gearing up routine. The screen stays black. So you stuff it into your jacket’s inner pocket and pull on the gloves.

You start up the bike and leave the parking lot.

Now the phone start looping your Barbie Girl ringtone and vibrating incessantly like an engine out of Milwaukee. It about annoys you to madness, so you blast all the way home, only to be yelled at by your wife for forgetting the diapers.

Our gearing up routine is like in the military: First the jacket and stash away the phone, insert the earplugs, wear the helmet, the gloves, and finally the backpack. At this point a lady colleague remarks, “And men say we ladies take a long time to get ready.”

You get on the bike, ready to get the heck out of dodge. You reach for ignition and … yikes! Where’s the key?

Digging around with gloves isn’t easy for off they come. You go through your jacket and pants but it’s not there, so you take off your helmet and dig into the backpack like airport security, only to find it in the waist pouch.

Rain. Torrential rain.

You rush for a sheltered spot underneath the bridge, to find other bikes three deep, so you had to stop where water cascades down from the bridge above like a waterfall.

You snatch the GIVI Prime rainsuit and throw your backpack into the GIVI topbox, then sprint over to the barrier and vault over like a high jump.

You remove your shoes and pull on the waterproof pants. Next, you slip your shoes into the waterproof covers, followed by the rainsuit’s jacket. Every move is calculated because the failure to secure just one zipper or flap properly will have water seeping through.

You’re gasping for breath and sweating at his point but you feel gratified as you know you’ll be dry. Dry? Oh yes, the rain stops at this point.

Your driving colleagues are already halfway home.

You decide to leave the rainsuit on, in case it starts raining again down the road. But the sun has come out in full blast and other road users stare at this parachutist who had missed his drop zone and landed on a motorcycle. Yeah, laugh it up while you’re being steamed alive in your own sweat.

The rain did come again a few minutes later. However, although the rainsuit keeps the rain out, you’re already wet from perspiration underneath.

Your bike is low on fuel now so you pull into a petrol station. You get off and head over to the payment window, only to find that your wallet is in your pants pocket, buried deep down in the waterproof pants, and covered by layers of the rain jacket and riding jacket. Now you have to do an impression of the Chippendales, as you strip off the layers.

The sun comes again after you’ve filled up, so you store the rainsuit.

You’re now on the way.

The rain splashes down again without warning and since you’re already annoyed from being played out by the weather, you decide to ride all the way without stopping again.

Soon, you start feeling a dampness in your crotch and crack of your bum as the rain starts to trickle down the tank and seat and pool there.

You finally reach your destination. People stare at you when you walk by, thinking maybe you should wear diapers.

It’s the weekend and it’s time to ride.

The call comes for everyone to get ready. You put on your gear calmly and methodically to avoid mistakes. But the guys were already blasting out onto the highway before you could even get your left glove on!

Oh, forget it! You throw everything together faster than a fireman and give chase. Two hundred metres down the road, something slaps against the side of your helmet and your neck. You’ve forgotten to secure the chin strap.

Your buddies appear to be chasing the podium in the sky and since you don’t want to lose touch with them, you stuff the wayward strap up between your face and cheekpad.

Soon, you start to feel something wriggling out of left ear. It’s the earplug, and you must’ve loosen it when you shoved the chinstrap up the cheekpad.

And suddenly it pops all the way out but is stuck between the earlobe and inner lining of the helmet. The windblast and Ride Like The Wind join forces to form an aural assault on your left ear, while the right side stays quiet.

You try to push the irritation out of the way but you guys still have 100 kilometres to go, so you pull over. You remove your gloves and the helmet, then stuff the loose annoying earplug back in until your thumb almost got in there too.

On goes back the helmet and glove, and you continue chasing your buddies.

Now the left side is quieter than the right.

This time, you ignore the acoustic imbalance as you ride as fast as you can to catch up to those in front. Suddenly the top of your head starts to get prickly before developing into a full-on itch. There’s something crawling in your hair and it must be an ant. You grab the helmet’s chinbar and wriggle the helmet around but it was futile.

And now your phone starts to ring non-stop. Must be your worried buddies trying to reach you.

You catch up to your buddies at your favorite port. Spotting a nice shade under a large tree, you head over to park your gleaming bike. Satisfied that your pride and joy is parked in a cool spot, you head inside to your friends teasing you. You get a new “callsign” as Leo, as in Leonardo the Turtle. You take it all in like a man and stuff your face with lemang.

Breakfast done, you head back to your bike while zipping up your jacket along the way. The bike covered under a thick layer of white and green bird droppings, front to back.

The group is heading home, riding serenely along a kampung road. The sun is low on the horizon, the air is cool, and pretty anak daras smile as you pass. You forget about your fertilizer liveried bike. Aaah, what calm.


A huge bug has gone the way of the Samurai against your faceshield, leaving a splat of yellow and green fluid. Before you could stop your left hand, it swipes over the gunk in a reflex action, smearing the bug’s guts all over your faceshield.

Great. Now you can’t see anything ahead.

  • The Honda NSS300 is placed as a premium scooter.

  • Its best features are agility, storage space and fuel economy.

  • Practical for commuting and long-distance riding.

Boon Siew Honda (BSH) Malaysia had called upon the local motorcycling media to attend an iftar (breaking fast) event at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC).

The program sheet stated, “Test ride of BSH’s latest big bikes on track.” Whoa! Who could ever resist such an invite, regardless of the fasting month.

So we made our way to the circuit, listened intently to the briefing, and went down to the pits to find a gaggle of gleaming Hondas parked on the pit lane. There were the CBR650F, CB650F, CBR500R, CB500F, CB500F, CBR250R, CRF250L, Rebel 500, and three large scooters.

Err… wait a minute. Scooters on the fabled SIC track? Here where GP greats race on? Surely there’s a mix up.

Anyway, I kept my mouth shut and we switched bikes at every session of 3 laps. And I was finally on the white coloured scooter. It said “NSS300” on the flanks. I climbed on, in complete RS Taichi leather racesuit and stared at the car-like instrument cluster.

BSH’s personnel signaled us to go and out I went of the pit lane and onto the circuit.

Down into Turn One and Two, it dawned on me of how agile the NSS300 was, despite its long, long wheelbase and wide body. But it was when I flew threw Turn Three, then swept down the hill from Turn Four to Five and through Six, which curved all the way to the front straight that I realized that this was a scooter unlike any other.

Small-wheeled scooters have a tendency wobble in long sweeping corners, but the NSS300 was stable on its sides, so much so there were journos who were throwing off sparks from the centrestand and grounding the fairing.

The engine responded immediately to the throttle and was so smooth that it was almost electric-like, belying the fact that it has one-cylinder. Speed climbed effortlessly as we blasted, er… swooshed down the front straight.

Everyone regrouped at the paddock afterwards for breaking fast. We compared notes and while all bikes were good, it was the NSS300 that had surprised everyone.

I made a mental note that we needed to test this bike on the road someday. Will it do well on out in the real world too?

Well, who says prayers are never granted? BSH had arranged an NSS300 for us and I jumped on the opportunity like an unconditional donation.

Known as the Forza in certain countries, the Honda NSS300 is offered as a luxury scooter. On first viewing, it looks like a PCX150, but make that a supersized PCX.

While the PCX is a compact runabout, the NSS fills the roles from being an everyday commuter to a long-distance automatic tourer. As such, the bigger NSS offers plenty – make that a lot – of storage space. There’s a cavernous 62-liters of space under the seat alone.

I could stuff two jet type helmets under the seat with two sets of rainsuits; or one helmet, a backpack, a small camera bag and two sets of rainsuits. Talk about practicality. Add on a GIVI M43 Mulebox ADV top box and you’ll have crossborder tourer.

There are two more “glove boxes” embedded in the large fairing up front. The right compartment is not lockable and smaller, enough for a wallet or pack of ciggies. The left compartment, on the other hand, has to be released via a button. It’s so deep I could reach in all the way with my forearm right up to the elbow! A scary movie might have that arm pulled by a monster inside… Anyhow, I stored a bottle of 100 Plus, plus my phone and a pair of gloves in there. There’s also a cigarette lighter-type 12V socket in there for you to charge your phone or other devices.

The large instrument cluster looks familiar… like it belonged in a Honda car or Gold Wing, perhaps? The view is dominated by the large analog speedo and rev counter, flanked by the fuel and coolant temperature gauges. There’s a smaller round LCD on the top which displayed the average litre/100 km fuel consumption.

As large as the NSS300 looks, its seat is actually quite low. The sides are tapered off so even a short rider like me had no problems setting both feet down at stoplights. The seat widens to the rear up to the backstop. A nice touch. The rear portion is wide and deeply cushioned.

Insert the chip embedded HISS (Honda Ignition Security System) key and start the engine. It fires up with a small thump from the large piston then settles down into a zen-like idle. Twist the throttle and off you go.

The liquid-cooled, SOHC, single-cylinder, 279cc engine is governed by Honda’s proprietary PGM-FI electronic fuel injection system and coupled to a seamless CVT. The combination provided plenty of torque from standstill to almost anywhere in the powerband.

The bike’s size caused some early reservations during our urban test, as I wondered if there’s enough space to filter. Again, these dimensions are misleading – the NSS300 allows you to leave your brain in that left side compartment and go even more bonkers than the already bonkers KL traffic, especially when dispatch riders try to act the foo. Each gap was an invitation to the top step of the podium, each traffic light was a dragstrip’s Christmas lights, each corner was the Rothmans corner.

With the super strong Combined Braking System, backed up by Combined ABS, there was no fear of running into the back of another vehicle. The bike just stops almost on a dime. Honda quoted a kerb weight of 194 kg, but the bike certainly felt a lot lighter than that.

We also had the opportunity to ride the NSS300 on long-ish trips to where we first met, the Sepang International Circuit, to cover an event over the weekend.

Out on the highway, the bike just purred along, never stressed even when ridden at high speeds. It was also apparent that Honda had put in much wind tunnel time as there was very little buffeting, despite the low screen. The deep seat coddled our bums, the long floorboards provided all sorts of feet placement (from the straight up motorcycle posture to being like a garden slug) and the handlebar wa close to the body. Our expectations of touring on the NSS300 was confirmed.

Owning a scooter also meant savings in fuel costs. Honda claimed a frugal 3.24 litre/100 km (30.8 km/litre) consumption. That’s quite close to our best of 3.6 litre/100 km figure, considering the amount of hard charging in the city and high speed riding on the highways. The best range we got from the 11.6-litre fuel tank was 308 km. Not bad at all.

Shortcomings? Again, it’s the condition of our sorry excuse for “roads.” Potholes as deep as fish ponds, patches that seemed like the Titiwangsa range, uneven surfaces like the whoops on a motocross track played havoc with the suspension. However, the NSS300’s suspension coped as well as it could for a scooter, never bottoming out. Uneven long corners also caused the bike to weave slightly, but the bike never threatened to lose its footing and slide out. Honda had also equipped the NSS300 with the excellent Dunlop Scootsmart tyres, which are based on the Sportsmart sport-touring tyres. They gripped well on wet roads too.

In conclusion, the Honda NSS300 is a refined, practical, rider-friendly, and good-looking motorcycle. You could just jump on and go without having to worry about much of anything else. It may seem pricey, but test ride one and you’ll most probably own it.


Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder
Compression ratio 10.5 : 1
Bore X Stroke 72.0 mm X 68.5 mm
Displacement 279 cc
Fuel system PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Maximum power 25.5 bhp (19.0 kW) @ 7500 RPM
Maximum torque 26.0 Nm @ 5000 RPM
Clutch Automatic, centrifugal
Gearbox V-Matic CVT (constantly variable transmission)
Front suspension 35 mm telescopic forks
Rear suspension Twin shocks
Front brakes Single disc, with Combined Braking System and optional Combined ABS
Rear brake Single disc, with Combined Braking System and optional Combined ABS
Front tyre 120/70-14
Rear tyre 140/70-13
Frame Underbone
Wheelbase 1546 mm
Seat height 716 mm
Kerb weight 194 kg
Fuel capacity 11.6 litres



  • The 2017 FIM Asia Supermoto Championship starts on 2nd September 2017.

  • 2016 Champion Gabit Saleh from Malaysia is set to defend his title.

  • 2015 Champion Trakarn Thangthong from Thailand returns.

The 2017 season of the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship kicks off on 2nd September 2017 at the Thailand Circuit Motorsports Complex, Nakhon Chai Si, near Bangkok, Thailand.

Promoted by the Asia Supersports Group (ASG), E-Plus Global and Bikenation, the championship has come a long way from its humble beginnings, consisting of a series of races cobbled together, to what is now a series which has attracted participation and attention the world over.

But why is supermoto popular? Here are the Top 10 reasons:


Yes, it’s true that there’s a carnival-like atmosphere at any race, but you could find all sorts of stuff from the very affordable to the most expensive stuff at supermoto races. There’s also the authentic street food at each of the countries supermoto visits, compared to having to spend RM15 for a diarrhea-inducing burger at the track.


The pits and paddock areas are not enclosed in concrete booths. You could see the bikes up close and how the teams work on them. Call out to the riders and they are more than happy to go over for selfies and autograph your gear. Same with some of the umbrella girls.


The championship may be titled “FIM Asia Supermoto,” but the field consists of riders from as far away as Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, France, United Kingdom and the United States in addition to those from Asia. It’s truly an international championship.


The motorcycles that compete in supermoto usually originate from motocross bikes (enduro bikes in some cases), with the wheels swapped out for 16-, 16.5- or 17-inch ones and shod with sticky rubber. The suspension is also reworked to have less travel and stiffer for the high-speed stresses of the road course. These aren’t purpose-built racing prototypes like in MotoGP, but bikes that you and I could purchase from the shop down the block and modify for road riding or racing.

Since supermoto isn’t much like other motorsports, there are plenty of colourful characters in the paddock and on track.

2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Champ, Gabit Saleh from Malaysia rides aggressively almost like a high-speed bulldozer that smashes through all the different sections. Being a part-time stunt rider, he’s especially entertaining when he flies through the air. His signature is his head twitch, a sign that he’s switched on his personal “Race Mode.”

Gaban Saleh, Gabit’s older brother could be described as the road warrior when he races. He’s probably the hardest rider to pass as he puts up a huge fight rather than ceding a position easily. His riding style is also very aggressive and a thrill to watch.

Lewis Cornish from the UK is quiet and unassuming but he is just superfast and never gives up. He’s unafraid to charge through the smallest of gaps to grab the win – as Trakarn found out in the final round in 2015.

10-time British Supermoto Champ, Chris Hodgson is always jovial and happy-go-lucky but takes no prisoners on track. He can spot an opportunity to pass when no one does. His signature are his long, long high-speed drifts.


Whereas other forms of motorsports cordon off the spectators far away from the action on track, you could view supermoto from almost up next to the riders as they flash by. You could hear the rear tyres howl when the riders drift into corners, smell the exhaust and rubber, feel the rumble in your chest and even see the expressions of the riders.


Supermoto combines roadracing, motocross and flat track disciplines into one race. That means instead of having to visit three different races, you could watch all three in one race. There are two sections to each track: A tarmac section and a motocross section consisting of mountain-like jumps.

The riders have to perform well in all disciplines; being good at just any two, what more if just one of the three, would mean getting left behind.


As in the show goes on regardless of weather.

For example, the second round of the 2016 season was held in Malang, Indonesia. The weather had been hot all week, then rain came down with a vengeance during the weekend. The torrential rain was so heavy that puddles around certain parts of the track were ankle-deep. Yet, that didn’t stop the riders from battling tooth and nail against each other as if it was a jetski race.


Apart from the inclusion of both tarmac and offroad sections, drifting and powersliding are the hallmarks of supermoto racing.

The rider would blast down the straight into the braking zone, snap the rear wheel outwards and howl into the corner, and finally powerslide out, laying down a dark line on the track.

Seeing them do so lap after lap, laying down their bikes almost on their sides as they slide through corners is one of the most spectacular sights in motorcycle racing. As was in Indonesia, they’d even do it in the rain!


Well, what is racing without the action, right? But supermoto racing is elbow-to-elbow in the literal sense.

Supermoto race starts are always heart attack inducing as 30-odd riders pile into one tight corner, similar to motocross starts. You could see the riders having both elbows out, pushing other riders inside and outside away from him, while his opponents do the same to push him out of the way in return.

And while most motorsports see the greatest excitement at the start and a couple of laps after, supermoto features dogfights throughout the field, throughout the race. Lesser humans would be on their heads in no time.

So there you go. Do start following supermoto if you haven’t already, you could find many great videos on YouTube and the internet. Make sure you follow the latest reports on the 2017 FIM Asia Supermoto Championship at their official Facebook page and here at Bikes Republic.

KMOG DRP moved to the UniMAP Circuit for Day Two. 

Programs concentrated more on real world riding scenarios.

KTM Malaysia continued their support.

Day Two of KTM Malaysia Owners Group’s (KMOG) Defensive Riding Program (DRP) Vol. 2 activities continued at the Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) Circuit further up north from Jitra.

The day’s programs included hard braking, emergency avoidance and high-speed riding techniques, necessitating the move to the circuit.

KTM Malaysia’s support crew were on-site and brought along an air compressor. They performed checks on KMOG participants’ motorcycles to ensure that they were in the proper riding condition on the track. They also lowered the tyre pressures on the participant’s bikes for high-speed riding later in the day and re-inflating them before the riders rode home (hence the compressor). KMOG had also called upon an ambulance and paramedics to standby at the track.

The rearview mirrors on the motorcycles were turned to face forward, to avoid the KMOG participants from glancing behind while tackling the circuit.

The day started off with the program briefing by Ong Soo Yong, before proceeding to the Emergency Braking module.

The term emergency braking will surely bring back memories of our motorcycle license exams. We were taught to slam down on the rear brake only to skid the tyre to a stop, without applying the front brake and without an explanation to its purpose. Conversely, DRP’s module taught the riders to lock up their brakes to activate their motorcycles’ Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) to familiarize themselves to the sensation of a pulsing brake lever and pedal.

The class adjourned to another section of the track afterwards for the Emergency Avoidance portion.

The drill called for the riders to follow a pre-marked line into a corner, where two mannequins were placed further into the curve, directly in the motorcycles’ path. There was a final marking on the road before the dummies where the rider could only brake and swerve away at the point.

This exercise illustrated the techniques of braking and avoiding unexpected hazards on the road. It was appropriately carried out after the emergency braking session, as they could then apply the lessons learned.

Next was the module named Analyzing Apex, Entry & Exiting Turns, Acceleration & Braking Points. As the name suggests, it sought to hone the participants’ skill of determining the correct lines they should take through corners, besides how to accelerate when exiting and brake as they approach corners. The UniMAP Circuit was a great setting for learning this set of skills as it featured corners of every type, plus elevation changes.

The plan called for the factory riders Ahmad Idham and Muhd. Izham to lead the riders, and Gabit in the trailing position. The participants will then trace the riders’ braking points, lines through the corners and acceleration points. To provide equal opportunities for the participants, the group of 17 were broken into 3 groups. Participants trailing the leaders were rotated by letting the last two overtake to the front of the pack, behind the factory riders.

But first, Gabit, Ahmad Idham and Muhd. Izham hit the track for a demonstration run. It was an awesome display of speed and riding skills, while serving as a practice session for them, since this was the first time they’ve visited the track.

KMOG’s riders went out on track after lunch. Each group was allotted five laps per session of the circuit.

Gabit Saleh then went on track to perform in a stunt show, wowing everyone with his variety of incredible burnouts, stoppies and wheelies.

The track was reopened for free practice to allow the KMOG members to familiarize themselves to the track and apply the lessons learned throughout the previous sessions. The participants were apparently fast riders and went increasingly faster as the session wore on. There’s no better pleasure than the opportunity to ride around a windy piece of tarmac where there are plenty of space for mistakes, and no road hazards such as wayward traffic, pedestrians, animals. Only a racetrack could offer such luxuries.

They were soon called back to the paddock for a rest before the last event of the day, known as the KMOG-GP began.

Another round of briefing followed prior to the KMOG riders were let loose on the track. Although named KMOG-GP, it was to see who could complete the most laps in the allocated 30 minutes. It was hence an endurance rather than an all-out sprint “race.” KTM’s factory riders also joined in.

While seeing large capacity motorcycles screaming around a racetrack is a common sight these days, watching tall, relatively heavy adventure bikes achieving gruesome lean angles was a sight to behold. Perhaps DRP also successfully highlighted KTM’s Ready To Race mantra, by accident or design.

Prior to the end of festivities, prizes were awarded to the participants, although everyone received the gold-coloured course completion sticker.

There was much anticipation, laughter and enjoyment among the KMOG participants throughout the event. The KMOG riders were a friendly lot. Perhaps it is not wrong to say that not only did they improve on their riding skills, but also their camaraderie.

It was also revealed that KMOG members will be expecting a ride in Borneo, from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to Kuching, in Sarawak in September 2017. If so, KMOG’s Defensive Riding Program will surely equip the riders with fresh sets of skills and confidence to tackle the ride.


KTM Malaysia Owners Group (KMOG) organized this program to keep their members’ riding skills sharp. 

KTM Malaysia pitched in with professional riders and logistical support.

Day One consisted of slow-speed programs and maneuvers.

There is no doubt that modern motorcycles are continuing to be ever more powerful. For comparison, the groundbreaking inline-six Honda CBX1000 in 1978 produced 105bhp but weighed a massive 272kg wet. The 2017 KTM 1090 Adventure, on the other hand, produces 123 bhp, and weighs a lithe 228 kg wet.

Corresponding to the increase in engine power and performance, rider training and skills become even more critical. While it’s true that most modern big capacity motorcycles feature rider aids such as ABS, traction control, stability control, electronic suspension and so forth, but the basics and dynamics of riding a motorcycle remains the same as riding one produced forty years ago. A mistake may risk the rider being thrown off, or worse.

In this sense, it’s only right that manufacturers and rider groups take proactive steps in promoting advanced rider training.

KTM Malaysia Owners’ Group (KMOG) have been organizing events for their buddies ever since its inception. They have just completed an offroad training clinic and ride not long ago, and are now following through with a riding clinic on tarmac.

Called the Defensive Riding Program (DRP) Volume 2, the event was held over 18th to 19th August 2017 weekend. As the name suggests, the clinic seeks to improve the riding skills of KTM owners even further, through the understanding of their bikes’ capabilities and correct basic motorcycle handling skills.

KTM Malaysia recruited three special guests for the event. They were the 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Champion, Malaysian MX Champion, and KTM Malaysia’s factory rider, Gabit Saleh; and the top two 2017 KTM RC Cup Asia contenders from Malaysia – Muhd. Izham, better known as Boi-Boi; and Ahmad Idham Khairuddin, the younger brother of Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin. The crew at KTM Malaysia also pitched in to assist in the program. KTM Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Chia Beng Tat was also present throughout the day to lend is support.

Day One was held at KTM Malaysia’s factory’s compound in Jitra, Kedah.

A total of 18 participants showed up on various KTM motorcycles, including the 1050 Adventure, 1190 Adventure S, (the previous) 1290 Adventure S and Super Duke R, 1290 Super Duke GT, the newly launched 2017 1290 Adventure S. There was a rare 990 Adventure also, and the currently one and only 2017 1290 Adventure R in Malaysia.

The day started with the program introduction and briefing by KMOG committee member, Ong Soo Yong; alongside KTM Malaysia’s Mohd. Nor Iman and Gabit Saleh.

First lesson was called Bike Balance. Or more specifically, balancing a static motorcycle by holding it up with just one hand. Each participant was taught to grab or hold any one point of his motorcycle to feel the machine’s point of balance. Armed with that knowledge, the rider will know where he should position his body for the optimum weight distribution when the bike is in motion, especially at crawling speeds.

Next on the program was called Full Steering Lock Turn. The participants were taught on how to position their bodies and to riding loose when performing sharp turns with their steering turned to full lock at slow speeds. This skill is indispensable when performing U-turns and slipping through traffic. A box was marked on the ground and the riders need to complete their turns inside it.

The Show Maneuver Techniques program was next. Participants rode up a set of wooden shipment pallets, arranged as a zig-zag shaped platform. It taught the owners how to balance their bikes while moving at slow speeds.

Lastly, all the techniques learned throughout the day were incorporated in the Time Trials. The owners started by riding over the platform and into the full steering lock turn area, to complete the “course.” Although it called a time trial, the objective was not to find the fastest rider. The slowest rider wins.

All the lessons emphasized slow-speed handling, because the motorcycle is more stable when its speed picks up due to the gyroscopic forces in the moving wheels, like what racers say, “When in doubt, give it gas.” However, it is through slow-speed riding and maneuvering that riders learn finesse and dexterity to enable them to ride better when travelling at higher velocities.

There were a few spills throughout the day, but the owners didn’t dwell on scratching their beautiful KTMs. Instead, they just laughed it off. Everyone had a great time and no one was hurt.

KMOG Defensive Riding Program Volume 2 continues tomorrow (Saturday, 19th August) at the Unimap circuit, where the riders will be taught hard braking techniques, cornering line selection and more.

Surely, everyone is looking forward to it!



It’s the weekend, the weather looks great. You’ve washed your motorcycle and it shines like it was new. Only thing left to do is ride.

Out on the highway, the early morning air is cool. Mist still hangs over the road and among the trees. Aahh… How nice it would be to be accompanied by some music, just like in the movies.

So here’s our Top 10 Songs for Riding. No Despacito here! (Songs are copyrights of the respective artists.)

*NOTE: We do not condone listening to music through earphones as you ride. Instead, it’s best that you do so through a Bluetooth headset installed on your helmet (example, Cardo, Sena) at a reasonable volume that does not perturb your awareness of your surroundings or your concentration on handling your motorcycle.

by Poison
While Poison didn’t explain the lyrics, it was clearly apparent that Ride The Wind was written when frontman Brett Michaels had been smitten by motorcycles. The song starts immediately with, “Hearts of fire, streets of stone, modern warriors, saddle iron horses of chrome.”

Poison had always been called glam rock’s pretty boys but the song is certainly a nice tune, regardless.

by Bon Jovi
Likened to being a song on outlaws, or particularly the outlaw biker, who drifts riding from town to town, staying just a finger’s length ahead of the law. Conversely, Bon Jovi attributes the song to their touring experience.

But the song’s lyrics never fails to find a home in the psyche of bikers who sets out on long rides to discover himself. That’s also why it’s a favorite among movie makers.

“I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride, I’m wanted dead or alive.”

by Foghat
Truth is, Slow Ride talks about getting it on. Not on a bike, no. (We haven’t tried it either.)

But! Riding is sometimes like lovemaking, especially when you’ve got a sweet a ride and a never ending stretch of road. The powerful guitar riff and baseline does make you want to ride, anyway.

by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Some called it a redneck song, some called it racist, some says it’s against racism, but Sweet Home Alabama never fails to lift your spirit.

Riding under a heavy rainstorm? Just yell, “Boo! Boo! Boo!” or scream, “Sweet home Alabama!” in your helmet and the rest of the way may just as well be sunny.

by ZZ Top
That gutsy blues guitar riff and rumbling bass line are unmistakable, as if they emanate from the internals of an American V-Twin. Is it a coincidence since Billy Gibbons owns a huge collection of classic hotrods and Harleys?

A simple song, it talks about how ladies find rich, sharp-dressed men irresistible. In an interview, bassist Dan Hill said, “Sharp-dressed depends on who you are. If you’re on a motorcycle, sharp leader is great.”

Doesn’t matter, ‘cos we’ll just kick our heels into the wind and ride everytime we hear this song.

by Judas Priest
Turbo Lover may not be as famous as other Priet’s songs such as You Got Another Thing Comin’ or Breaking The Law, but it is a succinct reference to motoring. Halford wrote this song after his fascination for fast bikes and cars.

“Then we race together, we can ride forever, wrapped in horsepower,” sang Halford.

But it’s the musical arrangement of the song that evokes the image of crusing down the highway with the wind blowing against you that makes it a worthy inclusion.

by Soundgarden
First and foremost, RIP Chris Cornell.

This song is not, we repeat, is not about motorcycles.

However, it served as the intro to one of th baddest, bat poo craziest, most entertaining motorcycle racing game of all time called, Road Rash.

It’s not the racing game like MotoGP or WSBK, but in one which you need to win by wrecking your opponents by kicking, backfisting, whipping with a chain, knocking their noggins’ with a bat, while controlling your bike, and avoiding the cops, traffic and hazards. The opening video itself shows a bunch of hooligans performing all sorts of delinquent acts on motorcycles.

No, we don’t condone violence and hooliganism, especially on motorcycles, but the game will certainly entertain you when you’re trapped at home. Hey, that’s the meaning of the song, after all – feeling claustrophobic and trapped.

Just make sure your kids aren’t at home to learn a whole new vocabulary of colourful language.

by Steppenwolf
No motorcycle-related song list is complete without this song.

Born To Be Wild is the song most associated with motorcycles ever since it was used as the opening song to the 1969 movie Easy Rider.

No better line speaks about going out for a ride to nowhere, “Get your motor running, heading out on the highway, looking for adventure, in whatever comes our way.” “I like smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder,” echoes the sound of a Harley. while, “Like a true nature’s child, we were born, born to be wild,” speaks to every biker who looks at motorcycles as means of non-conformism.

By the way, the term heavy metal started with this song.

by Deep Purple
This song should probably come with a disclaimer, because you’d probably be going way much faster than you should when you ride to it.

The song describes a man’s love for his fast machinery, or more accurately, his lust for speed.

The intro of Highway Star sound likes when you’re blipping the throttle as you warm it up. Then as the crescendo rises, you hold open the throttle against the clutch before launching the beast into the horizon when the song’s first bar hits, and there’s no stopping you until you hit “the speed of sound.”

Masterfully written and performed, it’s also considered as the first speed metal song, opening the way for Motorhead and Metallica, et al.

by AC/DC
Superficially, the title Highway to Hell describes a person’s journey into the afterlife in a tongue-in-cheek, if not in somewhat morbid manner. That’s exactly the reason why Hollywood love to feature this song in their horror movies (Final Destination, for example), in a demeaning light. To the religious, the song is satanic. Well, the late Bon Scott sang, “Livin’ easy, livin’ free, season ticket on a one-way ride,” in the intro, then going on to mention, “Hey Satan, paid my dues,” in another, after all.

Truth is, Highway to Hell takes on an entirely different meaning if you knew what Scott was trying convey when he wrote the song.

There’s a pub in the Australia where he and his friends would frequent for “a few drinks,” and outside this pub was a long stretch of road where there was “No stop signs, speed limit.” Drunk customers would blast up the road, “Nobody’s gonna slow me down,” and ended up crashing, more often than not fatally.

On the other hand, lead guitarist extraordinaire and people’s hero, Angus Young, dedicated Highway to Hell to their punishing US show schedule.

But no matter what conviction you may hold or what the song means to you, no riding/driving/road trip song list is complete without this eternal (pun unintended) classic.

Yamaha positions the NVX as a premium scooter.

The NVX offers a sportier ride.

The NVX’s engine is based on the NMAX’s.

We motorcycle reviewers should have an extra title tagged to our designation. Part-time Sales Executive should be apt.

The very first person I met after picking up the NVX from Sg. Buloh asked a set of of questions that would go on to form the template throughout the time the bike was with me.

“What is it?”, “How does it compare to the NMAX?”, “How is it to ride?”, “What’s the top speed?”, “How much?”. Not necessarily in that order, but they were the same queries, nonetheless.

I answered at least one person, sometimes even three separate ones per day. I bet I would’ve sold a few and use the commission to buy myself that astronomical telescope I’ve been lusting after. One thing is clear, there’s lots of interest for the Yamaha NVX.

The Yamaha NVX first was unveiled by “The Doctor” Valentino Rossi himself during the 2016 Malaysian MotoGP. Also known as the Aerox in certain countries, Malaysian netizens went wild as soon as the news and pictures hit social media.

But we had to wait for another agonizing nine months before it was officially launched in July 2017 (click here for the launch event). We soon discovered that the “delay” was because firstly, Hong Leong Yamaha Motors (HLYM) had wanted to see how the model performed in other markets in terms of reliability. Secondly, HLYM had invested in the ABS machine in order to equip the NVX and future models with the system. Thirdly, HLYM wanted to ensure their technical department and dealers are fully trained on the NVX. Fourthly, HLYM needed to build up their spares inventory – nothing worse than for customer to own a bike without the necessary parts, would it?

Well, the NVX is here and judging by how good the NMAX was, we and many prospective buyers were eager to find out more about the NVX.

Seeing a bike on stage during a launch was always somehow different from being up close to it in the real world.

The NVX is bigger than the other models in HLYM’s family of scooters, and definitely more aggressively styled and high tech. The design consists of sharply angled lines and panels, starting from the front, all the way to the rear. It has bigger wheels and beefy tyres. The central “spine” where the fuel filler resides is taller. The LED headlights has that “scowl” of the R25. In fact, the front end of the NVX shares the same character as Yamaha’s current crop of sportbikes, led by the YZF-R1.

Climbing on the first time confirmed that the seat was taller than the NMAX’s, courtesy of the 14-inch wheels. (vs. 13-inches on the NMAX). The ergonomics of the NVX is more compact, like a kapchai with floorboards. There’s no space to extend your feet up front.

From the seat, you’re greeted by the 5.8-inch fully-digital LCD screen and a new ignition and locking system. The NVX uses the new Smart Key System, which is essentially a keyless-go setup. But it goes beyond that.

The rider needs to is disarm the immobilizer, then press and turn the “dial” to the desired function i.e. opening the seat/fuel filler flap/ignition on. Similarly, the dial will be locked in the LOCK or OFF position if the immobilizer hasn’t been disarmed. There is no way to start the engine, should the dial on the bike has somehow been left in the ON position, as long as the immobilizer isn’t disarmed via the Smart Key. We also discovered that the bike will emit very loud blips should the dial be left in the OPEN (to open the seat or fuel flap) position to remind us to turn it to OFF or LOCK. If left ignored, the immobilizer will eventually self-activate, disabling the engine from being started. We love this feature.

Starting up the engine exuded a muted but slightly sporty exhaust note. Twist the throttle and it was go time.

Speaking about the powerplant, the NVX’s engine shares the same Blue Core approach as found on the NMAX, including the Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) feature. However, the NVX is rated as an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV). Yamaha claims a scrooge-like best fuel consumption figure of 2.2 litres/100 km. Helping to achieve that efficiency is the “Start and Stop” function.

The Start and Stop system is toggled by the switch on top of the engine start button. With the system on, riding above 40 km/h to trigger it; the engine will then stop with the ignition and lights on when reach a full stop. A twist of the throttle will start the engine back up. Conversely, if you toggled the system off, the engine will continue to idle when you stop. Simple.

Although the engine shares the same architecture with the NMAX, it felt livelier on the NVX. Throttle response and fueling was spot on, there’s power as soon as you turn the twist grip. There’s still enough grunt left even when you’re riding at 110 km/h.

Right away, the NVX demonstrated how light it was on its feet, but with an added bonus. The suspension and fat tyres provided a high level of confidence to sling through corners and swerve through traffic with conviction. Scooters would normally feel “flighty” at the front due to their smaller wheels, yet there was no indication the NVX was going to lowside as you flick it around.

I got into a heavy shower right after taking delivery. The tyres may look semi-slick but they gripped very well over the wet road. Apart from that, I was really thankful for the 25-litre underseat storage space, as I had transferred my rainsuit over from my personal bike’s topbox, besides stowing my laptop bag in it. So now I stayed dry with the rainsuit on and my laptop stayed dry under the seat. There is also a compartment up front, underneath the left handlebar. It has a cigarette lighter socket for you to plug in an adapter and charge your phone.

Out on the highway, the NVX took no effort in reaching 110 km/h. It had no trouble climbing to my preferred cruising speed of 120 km/h from a standing start either. The tachometer showed 9000 RPM at that speed, so there’s another 1000 RPM to go. The engine never once felt like it was going to disembowel itself at high speeds. The larger wheels and tyres have in effect given the bike taller gearing, therefore cruising was smooth.

But where the NVX truly shone was commuting in the city. Riding an agile motorcycle with controlled aggression in Kuala Lumpur equals living for another day. It felt like I was riding a (fast) bicycle as I swerved in and out of traffic, squeezing between lanes and shooting through sharp corners. There was lots of feedback from the front tyre, and it had never threatened to let go as you flick the bike from side to side. As a matter of fact, the NVX didn’t mind taking sweepers with the throttle pinned open, either. It was very stable for a small-sized scooter.

The brakes were strong a definitely helped a lot, too. The ABS worked as it’s supposed to when I had to brake hard in the rain to avoid a car that had cut me off.

Truth is, I used to question why scooter and kapchai riders like to swerve around, climbing onto sidewalks to park, slipping by obstructions, and committing just about any general buffoonery. The answer is: Riding a lightweight motorcycle is just pure fun!

I didn’t have to worry about the clutch and correct gear selection; I didn’t have to stop as much when lane splitting as the NVX was narrow enough; and I can sure as heck outmaneuver anything; plus the freedom of not needing to shoulder my heavy backpack.

Additionally, the NVX was truly fuel efficient. I didn’t manage to obtain the 2.2-litre figure due to aggressive riding, but I once saw 2.8 litres/100 km. I had only filled up twice in the one week with the bike, the second time being when I returned the bike (I didn’t want to return a test bike on empty).

Shortcomings? Well, just like any scooter, the NVX’s main enemies are potholes and sharp bumps. The NVX is surprisingly well-sprung as it is, but the road conditions in KL are nothing less than embarrassing. Deep potholes caused the rear struts to hit their bump stops when I rode two-up with my wife, but bear in mind that we weigh a total of 150 kg. Lighter riders shouldn’t worry.

So there you have it. The answers to all your questions pertaining to the Yamaha NVX. On a personal note, I loved it, and I don’t mind having one to complement my other bike. I looks great, works great and went great, that’s why it’s a hoot of a scoot.

The Yamaha NVX is priced from an attractive RM 10,500, inclusive of 6% GST, but not on-the-road.


Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder with VVA
Compression ratio 10.5 : 1
Bore X Stroke 58.0 mm X 58.7 mm
Displacement 155 cc
Fuel system Electronic fuel injection
Maximum power 14.7 bhp (11.0 kW) @ 8000 RPM
Maximum torque 13.8 Nm @ 6250 RPM
Clutch Dry, centrifugal
Gearbox CVT (constantly variable transmission)
Front suspension Telescopic forks
Rear suspension Twin shocks
Front brakes Single disc, ABS
Rear brake Drum brake
Front tyre 110/80-14
Rear tyre 140/70-14
Frame Underbone
Wheelbase 1350 mm
Seat height 791 mm
Dry weight 118 kg
Fuel capacity 4.8 litres




We brought you Part 1 (click here) of our collection of the biggest mistakes in the motorcycle industry previously. These bungles went on to cost entire companies and claim the livelihoods of employees, but mistakes are also the catalysts for improvements. Here’s Part 2.


Anyone remembers Skully helmets? Hopefully none of you reading this got burned.

Skully’s helmet featured a rear-facing camera, built-in Bluetooth connectivity, and a heads-up display.


Invented by CEO Marcus Weller, Skully started taking preorders in 2014 through Indiegogo crowd funding, raising US$1.1 million in record time. However, insider accounts revealed that only 20 to 100 units have been shipped as of July 12, 2016, due to production delays.

It was during the same date that Weller was removed as CEO and replaced by Martin Fischer. Despite having already raised a total of $2.5 million through the Indiegogo crowd funding program and another $11 million in venture capital from Intel and others, Weller had failed in his attempts to obtain further capital at the time.

Then, former executive assistant Isabelle Faithhaur sued Skully founders Marcus and Mitch Weller, for misappropriating company funds for vacations, sports cars and a strip club, then claiming those as company expenses. Getting wind of the lawsuit, Skully shut its doors and filed for bankruptcy.

It didn’t end there. Electronics manufacturer and Skully supplier, Flextronics had also sued Skully for reimbursements. Flextronics says Skully owes $505,703 in past-due bills, $514,409 in unpaid billes and another $1.5 million for what they spent on materials and inventory related to the Skully helmet.

Skully left behind a gawd-awful mess in its wake. More than 3,000 customers who preordered the helmets may never receive theirs, and at least 50 employees out of a job.


The American Motorcycle Association had decreed that four-cylinder 1000cc superbikes to be downsized to 750cc beginning for the 1983 superbike racing season and that the motorcycles must be production based. (These regulations became the core of the World Superbike Championship which started in 1988.)

Being “production based” means road-legal versions must be homologated – in other words, made for the public – in contrast to the fully-prototype machines that race in the world GP championships.

These regulations created the very first Japanese superbike repli-racer, the Honda Interceptor VF750F. Honda had wanted to win the AMA Superbike Championship and threw everything into the Interceptor make it (almost) race ready. It was the company’s founder Soichiro Honda who uttered the famous quote, “Racing improves the breed,” after all.

Consequently, the Interceptor boasted features that were once the domain of race bikes.

The 748cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, V-Four engine produced an impressive (for the time) 86 bhp, 62.8 Nm of torque and propelled the bike to a top speed of 222 km/h, courtesy of a new airbox which forced air into the cylinder heads. Two radiators kept things cool. It was reported that the race engines produced a whopping 132 bhp.

The world’s press was impressed by the Interceptor’s handling too, as it was suspended by Showa suspension on both ends, with the 39mm front forks featuring Honda’s TRAC (Torque Reative Anti-Dive Control) system which limited fork dive, resulting in a more stable ride. Honda’s Pro-Link single shock suspended the sand cast swingarm. A rectangular steel perimeter frame was used. A section could be unbolted should engine removal was required

And while the slipper clutch is now available on virtually all modern superbikes, it made its street bike debut in the Interceptor.

Apart from the engine and chassis, Honda also worked on aerodynamics and the final styling became the shape of future sportbikes (well, at least until Suzuki unveiled the GSX-R750 “Slingshot” in 1988).

The new fairing was designed to push airflow over the top of the rider’s helmet, the lower cowl provided downforce and the fuel tank had cutouts for the rider to tuck his knees in. Honda also offered a rear seat cowl to make the bike look like its track cousin.

It looked like Honda had created the Godzilla of superbikes. The Interceptor was a sales success. But we’re talking about screw-ups, aren’t we?

Customers started to complain about erratic engine behavior and rattling, which was traced to problems in the valvetrain, or more specifically abnormal camshaft wear. Honda didn’t want to admit to the problem initially, but they concluded that it was likely due to oil starvation, besides possible valve clearance issues. Honda issued a recall and drilled holes into the cam lobes apart from closing off the cams’ ends. They also fitted kink-free oil lines and banjo bolts.

Didn’t work.

Afterwards, Honda first assumed the problem was caused by heat, only to discover there was too much clearance in the camshaft bearings. Honda responded by replacing the camshafts with a new type.

But it’s apparent that Honda had bungled on the cam lobes that were too soft, causing them to pit and wobble in the bearings. Dissatisfied customers started calling them “Chocolate Cams,” and the pejorative stuck for every motorcycle with cam problems ever since.

The Interceptor VF750F was discontinued after 1986. It had almost singlehandedly destroyed Honda’s image of quality and engineering.

Which is a shame, because the Interceptor is still one good-looking bike, 34 years on.


I like bowling. It’s satisfying to throw 12kgs of spherical rocks down a lane and watch the hapless bottle-shaped wooden pieces scatter. There are many companies who produce bowling alley equipment these days, but one name always gets my attention.

AMF – acronym for American Machine Foundry. Although its name contains the word “machine” and “foundry” it was a sporting equipment giant.

Harley-Davidson was in  dire straits in the late-60’s due to the competition of foreign motorcycles, especially from Japan in the form of a little upstart called Honda.

AMF threw H-D a lifeline by acquiring the Motor Company in 1969. It would’ve meant taking back H-D’s lost ground and credibility, only for it to go further south.

AMF restructured H-D by laying off a great number of employees, leading to strikes (as in labor strikes). As a consequence, workmanship and quality started to suffer. AMF operated under the “make more, sell more” principle, instead of producing motorcycles to compete in terms of price, performance and quality.

Bizarrely, Harley-Davidson even produced snowmobiles from 1971 to 1975. Then in 1976 Harley produced the “Confederate Edition” series of bikes to commemorate the United States of America’s bicentennial. These bikes had Confederate flag painted on them, sparking civil rights complaints.

A quality continued to suffer, new bikes from the factory leaked oil onto the dealers’ showroom floors. There were rumors of dealers having to using sanitary napkins on the crankcases to soak up the oil.

It was at this time that Harley-Davidson earned mockery such as, “Hardly-Ableson,” “Hardly Driveable,” and “Hogly Ferguson.” The word “hog” became a pejorative ever since.

A group of 13 investors, led by Willie G. Davidson and Vaughn Beals bought back the now-struggling company for $80 million in 1981.

Well, at least AMF kept the Harley-Davidson name from tanking in 1969 and produced models whose styling became the Motor Company’s hallmarks. And thankfully, they didn’t sound like a bowling ball rumbling down the lane.


The USA entered World War I on April 6th, 1917, joining its allies Britain, France and Russia against Germany.

It was during this time that the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company sold the bulk of its Powerplus line to the US military, resulting in a dearth of availability to customers. Their dealers weren’t happy and turned their backs on Indian, as a result. Consequently, Indian lost its number one position to Harley-Davidson, by the 1920s after the war.

As business suffered further, Indian merged with DuPont Motors in 1930. DuPont’s founder, E. Paul DuPont ceased production on all DuPont automobiles and concentrated all resources on Indian. DuPont was also a giant in the paint industry and there were 24 color options in 1934.

With DuPont’s backing, Indian had sold as many bikes as Harley-Davidson by 1940. One little known fact: Indian also made other products such as aircraft engines, bicycles, boat engines and air-conditioners during this time.

When World War II started, Indian Chiefs, Scouts and Scout Juniors were used in small numbers for different roles in the United States Army, while the British and Commonwealth militaries used them extensively under Lend Lease programs. Despite being so, the Indian models could not compete against Harley-Davidson’s WLA model in the US military.

An earlier design was based on the 750cc Scout 640 was often compared to the WLA. It was deemed both too expensive and heavy. Indian later offered the 500cc 741B but was could not secure the US Military contract. Indian even made a 1200cc 344 Chief.

However, the US Army did request for an experimental motorcycle for desert warfare and Indian responded with the 841, which mounted its V-Twin engine across the frame like Moto Guzzi. Some 1,056 units were built.

Harley also joined the fray with their model XA, but both bikes were outshone by the Jeep for the intended roles and missions

Without a military contract and lack of domestic demand, Indian found itself in trouble again.

In 1945, a group headed by Ralph B. Rogers bought a controlling stake in the company, and DuPont turned over its Indian operations to Rogers in November 1945.

Rogers went on to discontinue production of the all-important Scout and began manufacturing lightweight models such as the 149 Arrow and Super Scout 249 in 1949, and the 250 Warrior in 1950; while their arch-rival Harley-Davidson stayed the course of producing heavyweight motorcycles.

The new models found little support and Indian Motorcycles wrapped up in 1953.

There was one positive contribution during Rogers ownership however. The Indian chief head fender light called the “war bonnet” was introduced in 1947. The war bonnet is mounted on every modern Indian motorcycle under Polaris.

10. BSA

Who was the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer from the mid-30’s to the early 60’s?

BSA – an acronym for Birmingham Small Arms. In fact, BSA was one of the world’s business juggernauts at its peak.

At the end of the 50’s, BSA Motorcycle ruled the world. The Gold Star dominated the tracks and showroom sales, while the A7 and A10 sold well, too. BSA owned Triumph, Ariel, Sunbeam and New Hudson. However, the motorcycle division was only a small portion of the empire, as BSA also produced cars, busses, steel, heavy construction equipment, agriculture and industrial powerplants, machine tools, weapons, ammunition, military equipment, bicycles.

In World War II, the company produced Lee-Enfield rifles, Thompson submachine guns, .303 RAF Browning aircraft machine guns (fitted to Spitfires, among others), Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft cannons, Sten submachine guns, Boys anti-tank rifles, and many more.

BSA was flush with cash. Which was probably why it drove BSA’s Managing Director during the 1950s, Sir Bernard Docker and Lady Docker to complacency and hedonism, instead of re-investing in new technologies and tooling.

The pair lavished vast amounts of BSA’s profits on gold-plated Daimlers complete with mink, zebra and leopard skin upholstery, and luxury yachts. He was removed in 1956 and the pair went on to live as tax exiles in Jersey.

Seeing the success of the A7 and A10 vertical twins, BSA decided on a complete redesign of the engine into the new unit construction mold, just like what Triumph had done with 500 twin in 1959. The redesign resulted in the all-new A50 and A65.

No one cared. They were ugly, vibrated hard hence didn’t sell well.

But instead of improving matters, BSA inexplicitly stopped producing the Gold Star 1963, their best-seller.

By 1965, competition from Japanese manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, besides Jawa/CZ, Bultaco and Husqvarna from Europe were starting to eat into BSA’s market share. BSA and Triumph’s models were suddenly out-of-touch. It’s apparent that BSA needed to invest in new technologies and tooling, but poor marketing decisions and expensive projects that led nowhere muddied things even further.

1968 saw BSA announcing big changes to its singles, twins and triple called “Rocket Three” for the 1969 model year. However, despite featuring more accessories and different A65 models for the domestic and export markets, they had little impact on sales. It was also the year when BSA debuted the 175cc, 4-stroke, D14/4 Bantam, blindingly believing that it could compete with the Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki two-strokes.

Motorcycle production was moved to Triumph’s site at Meridien in 1971, while engines and components were produced at Small Heath. There were many redundancies by now and BSA was forced to sell their assets. Only four models were offered: Gold Star 500, 650 Thunderbolt/Lightning and Rocket Three.

With bankruptcy looming, BSA merged its motorcycle businesses with the Bronze Manganese subsidiary, Norton-Villiers to become NVT, in 1972.

New head, Dennis Poore, had intended to produce Norton and Triumph motorcycles in England and overseas but his restructuring caused redundancies in two-thirds of the workforce and proposed to close the Meridien plant. Angered by the decision, Triumph workers at Meridien held the plant hostage for one-and-half years before brokering a deal to buy Triumph Motorcycles as the employee-owned Meridien Co-Operative. But it was too late to save Triumph and it struggled along until 1983, ultimately sold to a new Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. company based in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Poore was left with neither BSA or Triumph as a consequence. The only NVT model was the Norton Commando. It indeed became a legend but all NVT could do was enlarging the capacity from the original 500cc, to 650cc, then 750cc and finally 850cc. The engine became over-stressed and vibrated like crazy. There’s no hiding from the fact that the Commando was an old design, being a pushrod operated parallel-twin.

As with the merger, Manganese Bronze had received Carbodies in exchange for NVT, and the plan called for the elimination of a few brands, large labor redundancies and consolidation of production at two sites. It failed due to worker resistance.

NVT was liquidated in 1978.


Day of intense competition to select the sole Malaysian representative.

A Malaysian female rider will compete for a place in the female team in Thailand.

The preliminary selection for three Singaporean riders was also concluded.

Day Two and the final day of the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Southeast Asia Qualifier came to a ceremonious close today (Sunday, 13th August 2017).

The ten finalists from yesterday (Saturday, 12th August 2017) competed for the sole coveted position to represent Malaysia as part of the Southeast Asia Team, in the International BMW Motorrad GS Trophy 2018 in Mongolia. (You can read more about Day One’s proceedings here.)

While the selection was held on the same grounds as the day prior, the Trophy Coordinator and Malaysia’s 2016 GS Trophy representative, Faisal Sukree have laid out different challenges and tests for the participants. Furthermore, instead of awarding a certain number of points, the scoring system was replaced by binary scoring. It was either 1 or 0 point for each test or section of the track. Yes or no. Passed or failed.

Additionally, the finalists now rode on standard GS Trophy-liveried R 1200 GS LC, instead of their own motorcycles as opposed to the first day. This was done to familiarize them to the very bikes used in the finals.

The GS Trophy’s hallmark Clutch Control Test made its appearance today. Participants had to get off the bike, hold the left side of the handlebar with one hand, click the motorcycle in gear and slip the clutch to rotate the bike around 360 degrees. Touching the bike with any other part of the competitor’s body is prohibited. This test simulates the rider’s ability to get the bike rolling in the event he broke or dislocated his right arm.

Another tough test was “The Garage.” Participants had to maneuver their R 1200 GS in a tight box filled with cones. Superior motorcycle control at crawling speeds was the main objective.

A deep soft sand section and a water crossing were also added to the track.

One more aspect of the GS Trophy showed itself today. It was the rider’s ability to perform under extreme pressure. Relaxed riding skill sets were beset by the case of nerves as many riders found themselves making uncharacteristic mistakes, hence the many crashes and get offs. No one was hurt, fortunately.

Although the results had been tabulated by lunchtime, there was a 4-way tie for second placing, so those specific competitors had to rerun the course, and it was mistakes that played the deciding factor.

In the end, riders who had finished up the order in Day One found the tables had turned on them. Mohd. Apis Bin Sagimin, who had finished in 9th place on Day One became the top finisher instead. Top Day One finalist, Wan Harith Wan Taqiyuddin Bin Wan Deraman finished in second, while the third placed finalist from Day One, Ghazi Fawwaz Bin Md. Arif completed the podium positions. In fact, Mohd. Apis himself was surprised by the results.

Consequently, Mohd. Apis is Malaysia’s representative in the Southeast Asia Team.

Day Two also saw the preliminary qualifying round for Singaporean riders. A total of six riders showed up in the early morning, having ridden from Singapore the day before. Three finalists qualified at day’s end for the final qualifying in Khao Yai, Thailand in September.

Singapore’s top qualifier was Jerome Ranatunga, followed by Lee Beng Chong in second, and Muhammad Hafidz in third.

Malaysia’s sole female entrant, Khaizatul Akmar (more popularly known as Khai), progressed to the final qualifier in Thailand.

The closing of Day Two caps a fantastic weekend for the participants and BMW Motorrad Malaysia, who also took the opportunity to launch three new models: R 1200 GS Adventure Triple Black, S 1000 R naked sportbike, and the eagerly awaited G 310 R.

Stay tuned for our continuing coverage on the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy.


Day One of the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Southeast Asia Qualifier 2017 has been completed on 12th August 2017.

Ten finalists are going on to the second round tomorrow (Sunday).

Number One finalist from Malaysia will represent Malaysia in the Southeast Asia Team.

BMW GS-series owners have a remarkable event to look forward to every two years when BMW Motorrad organises the International BMW Motorrad GS Trophy, one of the most prestigious, if not one of the toughest world-class enduro events.

The previous finals were held in the vicinity of the historic Thai city of Chiang Mai, in 2016. The GS Trophy will move to Mongolia in 2018 for the next edition.

While all GS riders are invited to participate, qualifying rounds are held the world over to determine the representatives for their respective countries in the finals. Malaysia will send one representative as part of the Southeast Asia team, which is completed by one rider from Singapore and Thailand, each. (Read more in our previous posting here.)

The Malaysian and Singaporean qualifier is special this year, as it is the first time to be held on Malaysian soil. However, the challenges were markedly tougher and varied this time as it was held at the wide-open Sepang Motocross Track, compared to the limited space of the BMW Motorrad Enduro Park in Bangkok, Thailand.

While the GS Trophy qualifies as a form of motorsport, it isn’t a motorsport in the traditional sense of the word – blatting around a track at high speeds isn’t the main objective of the GS Trophy.

The GS Trophy on the other hand, is about motorcycle control, skill, teamwork, and rider knowledge and IQ. Additionally, it’s also about building camaraderie among the GS owners. But most of all, it’s about self-discovery as the participants pushed themselves to and sometimes over their personal limits. The GS Trophy was based on a BMW Motorrad executive’s harrowing experience while riding through a Central Asian country, after all.

So what it came down to was how a GS rider would combine his skills and instincts with the specific and unique attributes of his GS to overcome obstacles, challenges, crashes and breakdowns in difficult environments.

A great example of extracting an “downed” R 1200 GS was in the “Team Challenge.” Teams of four first ran through a drain tunnel, then up a hill to retrieve the R 1200 GS parked there, before pushing it down into a muddy ravine. They needed to work together to extract the bike from the glue-like mud, and lastly pulling it up a steep slope to complete the challenge. Best time wins.

Riders were also thought to trust their instincts in what we personally called, the “Star Wars Test” (officially known as the “Blindfold Riding” test). A cover was pulled over the rider’s eyes, onto which he wore his helmet. Afterwards, a helmet bag was placed over the entire helmet. The rider literally rode blind, trusting only his instincts to keep his bike within the confines of a straight track. Your eyes deceive you, trust in your feelings, use The Force. A reference to Star Wars, is accurate, don’t you think?

If that’s not tough enough, there were still slaloms, narrow planks, vicious downhill zig-zags and navigation tests, besides strength and skills tests, such as picking up tyres and repairing a puncture to complete.

There was even a “knowledge test” which consisted of questions on trivia, history and technical specifications of BMW’s motorcycles right after lunch, when the participants’ stomachs were still full. The participants were made to drop their phones on a heap in the middle of the table before the exams commenced. No Professor Google, sorry.

In all, there were 11 tests of varying degrees of difficulty:

  1. Product Knowledge;
  2. Navigation;
  3. Enduro Loops;
  4. Mini Skills Challenge;
  5. Blindfold Riding;
  6. Orientation;
  7. Tube Repairs;
  8. Team Exercise;
  9. Fitness;
  10. Clutch Control Test;
  11. “Coffee Grinder” Test.

The day got much hotter and humid in the afternoon. While we journalists and photographers were feeling the effects of the heat, we could only stare in respect for these guys and gal who slogged it out in their full riding gear, perched over a hot motorcycle.

At the end of the first day, the 10 who qualified for the next round tomorrow (Sunday) were:

  1. #139 Wan Harith Wan Taqiyuddin Bin Wan Deraman – 1486 pts.
  2. #135 Oh Jing Sheng – 1464 pts.
  3. #115 Ghazi Fawwaz Bin Md. Arif – 1424 pts.
  4. #137 Terry Teh Siew Kok – 1418 pts.
  5. #118 Hamzah Bin Mazlan – 1413 pts.
  6. #111 D. Suhaimi Bin Said – 1413 pts.
  7. #140 Zulkifli Bin Zaizal Abidin – 1408 pts.
  8. #105 Chan Kiang Wei – 1395 pts.
  9. #128 Mohd. Apis Bin Sagimin – 1391 pts.
  10. #102 Affendy Bin Syed Omar – 1368 pts.

These ten finalists from Day One will go on to another round of selection tomorrow (Sunday) where only the Number One qualifier represents Malaysia in the Southeast Asia Team. The Top Three Singaporean riders will then go on to the final qualifier in Khao Yai, Thailand from 1st to 3rd September, to select the sole representative.

The sole lady participant, Khaizatu Akmar, from Malaysia will go on to compete with the Thai female riders to represent the Southeast Asia Female Team.

Tune in tomorrow (Sunday, 13th August 2017) for more of our coverage of this exciting and unique event, on a reconfigured track and different set of tests.

You may also follow the latest news in BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s Facebook page here.


BMW Motorrad Malaysia officially launched the much awaited G 310 R lightweight.

The G 310 R is slated to conquer the 300-400cc market.

Brand standing and an unprecedented price point seen as the potential catalysts.

The most anticipated BMW motorcycle, the G 310 R has been officially launced!

BMW Motorrad Malaysia chose the best setting to launch the baby Motorrad at none other than the prestigious BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Southeast Asia Qualifier.

The 313cc, single-cylinder G 310 R has been priced at a market-busting price of RM 26,900 (with 6% GST, on-the-road, without insurance). Judging from the level of interest shown and price point, it is to dominate the 300 – 400cc.

But the G 310 R isn’t intended to be a mere entry-level model. Instead, it’s a premium lightweight motorcycle that’s practical for our Malaysian roads and motorcycle buying crowd.

The engine is newly developed with TVS Motor Company with performance, environmental concerns and fuel savings. Liquid-cooling, dual overhead cams, four valves and electronic fuel injection, gives it 34 bhp at 9,500 RPM and 28 Nm of torque at 7,500 RPM. BMW claims a dry weight of only 158.5 kg.

The frame is tubular steel, robust and torsionally stiff. The front wheel is suspended by upside-down forks while the aluminium swingarm is connected directly by a spring strut.

A 2-channel ABS is standard on the G 310 R. The front is stopped by a single 300 mm disc, gripped by a radially mounted 4-piston caliper. The rear brake consists of a 2-piston caliper clamping a 240 mm disc.

As per BMW’s philosophy on environmental care, the G 310 R’s engine is mapped to the Euro 4 emissions standard, which includes a closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter. Fuel consumption is a frugal 3.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

The BMW G 310 R is priced at RM 26,900.00 (with 6% GST and on the road, without insurance).



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