Defensive Riding Program

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!




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