GIVI Malaysia organized the Media Ride as a sign of appreciation to the media.
The ride is also a direct approach for the Media to experience GIVI’s products first-hand.
This year’s ride’s destination was Port Dickson.
It’s the tangible experience that translates into what constitutes a great impression or the proof of a product’s efficacy. Seeing something on the internet may be inspiring, but there’s no beating the sensations and emotions of being actually there.
Take for example, GIVI’s annual international adventure rides. Worldwide dealers of the Italian brand have ridden through exotic landscapes such as Dakar, Patagonia, South Africa, Colombia and soon parts of Indochina this year. Of course the pictures, videos and articles convey a sense of wonderment, but the real experience of riding along wind swept coastal cliffs, squirming through tough offroad sections, seeing the local cultures, could never be fully described. I was there with GIVI in the 2015 GIVI Wilderness Adventure in South Africa and it had been my most unforgettable experience!
The same goes for products, especially those that are meant to be tough. Like GIVI’s. The international adventures serve as rolling laboratories to review the integrity of existing products, while testing those under development, in real-world scenarios.
That concept is not lost upon GIVI MALAYSIA.
GIVI MALAYSIA had organized the GIVI Media Ride 2017 on the 25th to 26th July, starting from GIVI Point at Jalan Ipoh to The Thistle Hotel, Port Dickson.
It was a great opportunity to ride alongside GIVI personnel, which included the top guns. GIVI had also supplied each participant with a yet-to-be-launched E32 “BOLD” top box complete with the mounting and rack system, M50.2 TURISMO full-face helmet (dubbed Head Protection System or HPS by GIVI), the top-of-the-range PRS01.AX rain suit, and the new model RWB02 waterproof waist pouch.
We were pleasantly honoured to discover that we were the first ever 41 riders to use the 32-litre E32 BOLD box. It already looked great the first time we laid eyes on it, as it was designed to be err… boxier (no pun intended) in the vein of the popular E43 MULEBOX which was launched last year. Although the E43 MULEBOX was intended for bigger bikes, GIVI found (unexpected) success with many kapchai owners who installed them, inspiring GIVI to design the “E32 mini-MULEBOX,” as I called it. Similarly, the E32 features a silver accent panel and chrome GIVI logo for a luxurious (read: expensive) look.
And hey, it looked great on my Kawasaki ER-6f.
Having a hard box on your bike is definitely a luxury, as we chucked our luggage and gear in there and saved us the neck ache of having to lug them over a long trip. Besides that, it was the best place to store the rain suit, because unless you ride a scooter, there’s no accomodation for it under the seat of your big bike or kapchai.
The morning had started out sunny and hot, but as if to prove a prophecy, it started to rain just before the convoy started. The rain then moved on to another location, but we were advised to just wear the rain suit anyway.
We were flagged off soon after a safety briefing by En. Ismadi Ishak and K.K. The big bike riders, including me, shepherded the smaller bikes at speeds not exceeding 100 km/h.
We first stopped at the Petronas Solaris, Serdang station to top off our tanks, before stopping again at the Seremban R&R.
That’s when the rain caught up to us. It just came down like a God-scaled ice-bucket challenge, triggering a mad scramble for shelter under the roof of the Shell petrol station. Now, anyone who had not already donned the rain suit pulled it on in a hurry.
So, just like the GIVI Adventure rides, we received an unprecedented product testing session. The rain became heavier further down the highway towards the Seremban-PD Highway. The rain blasted against our helmets, rain suits and the box. Visibility dropped like cement shoes and we could barely make out the traffic in front. And you get car drivers who refused to turn on their headlights despite the conditions…
We reached the Seremban-PD intersection at last, where the rain began to recede and eventually stopped. With the exception of one motorcycle which its sparkplug found out that it couldn’t combust water, everyone got there safely.
We continued to the Eagle Ranch Resort for lunch.
We were all dry under the rain suit and best of all reassuringly, all our gear in the box was totally dry too. While I didn’t utilize the waist pouch, those who did reported that their most valuable belongings such as wallets, phones and especially cigarettes stayed dry, too. The insides of the helmet stayed mostly dry too, surprising considering the amount of rain!
We trudged into the eating hall in soggy shoes (I should’ve purchased the rain boots in GIVI Point!), where we soon joined by a party of Taiwanese visitors who were in town to compete in a kung-fu competition!
GIVI had organised a fun activity after lunch. We got to race each other on go-karts! Even the GIVI bigwigs and staff joined in. In a world where we’re fed bad news everyday, I’ve never seen such a collective of smiling faces and laughs and giggles. Well done!
It was time to leave the Eagle Ranch and check in to our hotel, The Thistle.
The Thistle was a luxurious hotel, boasting the best swimming pool at Port Dickson. Even the kiddy pool was awesome. We were introduced to and given a tour of GIVI’s event bus (I bet AC/DC would love it as their tour bus), which functions as a corporate suite and racebike transporter during Cub Prix race events. Juliah Loh explained that this was the place where many important deals were made.
We were then given free time until 6pm, before GIVI started their Press Conference. Participants took the opportunity to freshen up, went exploring, experience the pool, or basically just slept for a couple of hours.
At the Press Conference, GIVI Malaysia had set up displays of their latest products, including a couple of “replica” helmets. One had the livery of the Yuzy Racing Team, which GIVI Malaysia has worked with for many years and another painted to the colours of the LCR Honda MotoGP team. We also got a view of the vast models of and types of boxes, besides the all-important rain gear, as we’ve experienced earlier in the day.
The conference was handled expertly by Mr. Joseph Perucca, Overseas Operation Director of GIVI; Mr. On Hai Swee, Managing Director of GIVI Malaysia; and Cik Rozaida Ahmad Zaki, the designer of E32 BOLD and E43 MULEBOX (among others). These guys really do know their products, their segment of the market and the overall market so well. But even more awe-inspiring was their total commitment to quality and innovation.
There was so much useful information for us and GIVI customers to live on. GIVI hadn’t continued growing all these years by producing crappy products, to put it bluntly. All were well researched and have been made to last. (More on this in another section.)
We then adjourned to a wonderful BBQ dinner at the side of (another) pool. Another round of chit-chat ensued.
We checked out the next day and headed our own way home, elated to own the convenience of a GIVI top box and experiencing the comfort of the M50.2 TURISMO helmet.
Thank you again GIVI MALAYSIA management and staff for an awesome event. We had lots of fun and learned many new things.
Stay tuned for the transcribe of the Press Conference and individual product reviews!