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GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019

  • The Triumph Tiger 800 XR is the entry-level Tiger 800.

  • It shares everything with the Tiger family apart from one or two components.

  • It is currently priced from just RM 56,900 and buyers will receive complimentary Triumph aluminium panniers.

Sometimes you worked hard to do everything right, but somehow, misfortune has a way of tracking you down. But then you suddenly realize that it’s just a higher power telling you that you’re mortal, and things sort themselves out once you acknowledge that. So, what’s that got to do with this Triumph Tiger 800 XR 2500-km test? Plenty, as you’ll see in a while.

The Test

It started out with the invitation to the GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019. It was my third GIVI Adventure and this was in our very own backyard! However, places were limited, so I offered to ride my own beaten up and rotting Kawasaki ER-6f.

As the days counted down to the start of the event, I discovered that the front forks were leaking (again) and some of that oil had snaked into the brake calipers. If that’s not bad enough, the voltmeter showed that the coil was undercharging the battery again (third coil, replaced less than a year ago). Worse, there was no time to repair it.

Oh dear. I prayed that the bike would last the trip.

Then one day, I received a call from Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia. “We’ve got a Triumph Tiger 800 XR for you for the ride. It’s a brand-new unit.”

Hoooo-wheee! I would be happy to ride even the second-generation Tiger 800, let alone the brand-new third-generation XR.

That my friends, is the power of prayers.

Riding the Triumph Tiger 800 XR

The XR is the entry level model in the Tiger 800 range. Everything on the bike including the engine, frame, suspension, brakes, bodywork is shared with the other Tigers. The main differences are the smaller windscreen and instrument cluster.

Its instrument cluster is the same unit used on the previous Tiger, Street Triple 675 and current Street Triple 765 S. As such, there is Triumph Traction Control (TTC) with the power set in the equivalent of “ROAD” mode in the XRx/XRa and XCx/XCa. ABS is standard.

As with the XRx, the forks are non-adjustable while the rear shock is adjustable for preload.

So, it’s a simple bike that doesn’t require the ride to spend 20 minutes to set up before rolling out. All you need to do is jump on and go.

I picked up the brand-new bike with just 4-km on the odometer and proceeded to break it in by riding to Ipoh to cover the build of Mizuki with Art of Speed organizers Asep and Dani.

Getting on the XR the first time felt like putting on a well-worn glove. Everything was in place where it should be. The controls, seat position, footpegs… I just reached out and they were there instead of having to adjust myself back and forth to find the right position.

The engine’s torque made sure that the bike never stumbled to get going and every gear clicked into position positively. I didn’t once catch a false neutral.

The bike already ran beautifully when it was brand new. Riding in the sun could sometimes induce sleepiness but not so with this bike. The engine made just the right amount of buzz and the exhaust had a nice booming note to it to keep you company.

I enjoyed the ride instead of spending so much energy thinking about how the bike feels and what it would do. I guess it embodies Triumph’s slogan, “For the Ride.”

I logged just over 560 km for the trip and sent the bike back to Triumph for servicing. At the same time, the crew fitted the GIVI accessories for the adventure.

It was equipped with GIVI’s Trekker Dolomiti aluminium top and side cases, Tankloc tank bag, screen and crash bars when I picked it up again. That would’ve added at least an extra 20 kg to the bike, most of it at the back.

The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 took 10 days to complete and covered slightly more than 2000 km. (Please click here for the article.)

The first leg of the tour took us to Ipoh, Perak through Teluk Intan. Now with the cases on, there’s more aerodynamic drag at the back and it changed the bike’s balance, somewhat. But I got used to it within the first few kilometres. Cranking up the rear shock’s preload returned the bike’s chassis balance.

The next day was the longest leg of the ride which took us to Kuala Terengganu. Oh boy was I glad to be on the XR.

It had rained the night before and while the morning started out cooling, it soon got very hot and humid. Our Caucasian friends had faces as red as steamed lobsters by the time we reached the Belum Rainforest Resort, and we still had 300 km to go!

The XR’s ease of control consumed minimal energy, thankfully. The bike handled all my commands to the letter and not once decided to have a mind of its own. This meant that I could stay fresh and focused rather than feeling beat up, hence losing concentration.

But I wasn’t the only one who felt so. Most of the riders in the adventure rode Tigers and they were thankful for it. Manuel from Mexico particularly enjoyed it, standing on the footpegs of his XCx even through high-speed corners. Some of the participants, the Australians, in particular, commented that they loved their XCx because the bikes didn’t put up any fight and just went where they were pointed. One XR LRH was ridden by a Vietnamese participant along with his son as pillion. They smiled all the way.

By comparison, none of the marshals rode the Tiger and they soon felt the strain.

We reached Kuala Terengganu just before Maghrib. Those riding the Tigers were joking and laughing loudly to be heard across the hotel’s parking lot. Those who didn’t checked in quietly.

Myself, on the other hand, lingered for a few extra minutes just to look at the XR and admired at its ability to deliver me to my destination without turning me into jelly.

The days went by quickly from that point, but my workload increased. And this was when I grew to love the bike even more.

The traffic police had escorted the convoy but since I had to break away to shoot photos, I had to catch back up without escort. That meant that I had to fight through traffic and stop at intersections.

 

Picture this: I had to ride hard and fast to stay far ahead of the group. Finding my photography point, I stopped the bike sometimes with the engine running, get off and shoot. Once the convoy passes, I had to ride even harder and faster again to catch up.

Repeat at least three times per day for the remaining 6 days.

It got to a stage where I pitied the Tiger 800 XR, but it just kept going without once complaining i.e. hard to start or hard gear shift or rough sounding engine, etc. Apart from that, I truly appreciated the bike’s low seat height, so getting on and off was so much easier.

This leads back to why I love the Tiger 800 line-up. They instill so much confidence and keeps adding more surprises. No, not the kind of surprises that threaten to chuck you into the bushes. Instead, the bike lets you chuck it into corners anytime.

We arrived at Janda Baik on Day 8 of the adventure for GIVI Rimba Raid. There was a short ride on an off-road path strewn with large stones and mud into the Rimba Valley Motorcamp site.

As there were lots of traffic going back and forth, I decided to hand the bike to one of the marshals to ride it in. I asked him about the bike afterwards and he has impressed by the bike’s handling on the dirt. “Very easy to ride,” he replied. “The throttle was smooth, and the engine didn’t kick in suddenly.”

The bike had clocked more than 2000 km at that point. Nothing had come loose, the engine sounded sweet and the suspension performed like when they were at 4 km.

The last two days of the ride had us riding up Bukit Tinggi and Genting Highlands. This was when the ride’s organizer cut the group loose. Guess which riders ended up at the front when we climbed those mountains? That’s right, those on the Tiger 800 XR and XCx.

Why? Because confidence.

Verdict

The Triumph Tiger 800 XR may be simple and overlooked but it is still a Tiger 800 through and through. The lack of electronics was actually an advantage because everything is handled by your right wrist. It also means that you don’t have to be distracted when you “don’t feel right” and start rifling through all the options. Again, just jump on and go.

It handled beautifully and the throttle was characteristically smooth like on all Triumphs, hence accessible to all riders.

To sum it up, while other bikes are good or better at one or two aspects, the Triumph Tiger 800 XR is good everywhere.

Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia is currently having a promotion. From just RM 56,900, you will receive a complimentary set of Triumph aluminium panniers worth RM 5,800.

Please follow Triumph Motorcycle Malaysia’s Facebook page for more information.

  • The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 ended with Day 9.

  • It was an amazing ride to show what Malaysia offers.

  • It was also an amazing ride due to the organization and support.

All good things come to end. Unfortunately, it had to be the GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 on Day 9.

For the last day, the GIVI Explorers were pretty much let loose to enjoy the best riding road we Malaysian bikers have come to love i.e. Karak Highway, Bukit Tinggi and Genting Highlands.

Many of the riders were very skilled especially with the Triumph Tiger 800 XR, XRx and XCx in their hands. Mexican Explorer Manuel stood on the pegs of the XCx most of the time while blasting through corners. I can second what he did, because the XCx is one bike which instills supreme confidence in the rider.

The ride ended at the Grand Ion D’Element Hotel. It was a great way to end the ride at a place that’s cooling.

We gathered for the Gala Dinner that night, when Joseph handed out gifts to honour the Explorers based on their “exploits” during the ride. Check out the pictures to see what the gifts were!

The police escorts received a boisterous cheer for their efforts in keeping the routes clear and us safe throughout. The same kudos went to the marshals as well, who always checked to see that there were no rider missing from their flocks.

A personal view of the adventure

The adventure had been epic, taking the GIVI Explorers on a loop through Peninsular Malaysia. We started at the West Coast, rode over to the East Coast, before turning back west. We had crossed the central spine of Peninsular Malaysia twice; dined in a limestone cave in Ipoh; spent a day and night at beautiful Redang Island; partook authentic Baba and Nonya food in historic Melaka; fed elephants at Kuala Gandah. In short, we rode from the city to a cave, lake, beach, island, jungle and up mountains.

Amongst all that, though, the crown jewel had to be GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik. Here we not only watched an event but took in an experience that has no equal anywhere around the world.

But there’s no illusion that it’s our beautiful Malaysian roads that connected all these locations. The marshals from Desmo Owners Club Malaysia who recce’d the routes did a fantastic job in seeking out asphalt ribbons with corners after corners, thereby minimizing zombie-like droning on the highways. They were the ones who filled our fuel tanks when we stopped.

I couldn’t stress enough about the pleasure of having the Traffic Police escort us all the way. Imagine riding through Kuantan and Melaka without escort: The convoy would’ve have fragmented so terribly that some riders would’ve either gotten lost or worse. If local riders find it challenging, what more to those who were visiting Malaysia for the first time!

More importantly, no one got left behind or hurt.

The accommodations were top-notch, as always, and served great food. It’s something good to look forward to at the end of the ride each day.

The GIVI crew provided superb support everywhere we stopped. They were always there to make sure that there was parking and space for us to sit down as a group. Drinks and snacks were always available in the back of the Honda Odyssey, so much so I called it the Snack-On-Wheels. Besides that, they were the ones who moved our luggage into our hotel rooms before we arrived, then pick them up and load them up when we checked out, only do it all again the next day.

I also couldn’t ignore the fact that the GIVI equipment was reliable. The tank bag could accommodate a 2-litre hydration bladder in addition to my DSLR camera. The Trekker Dolomiti hard cases not only looked classy, but stored everything away safely.

We were also very lucky that the weather stayed on our side throughout. We had expected rain, but none caught us. Besides that, the ride ended just one day before the haze from Sumatra returned!

Roll of Honour

The epic ride was the direct result of extensive work put in. It’s work that we didn’t see that manifested in the smooth running of any event. There’s no such thing as just organizing a ride of this magnitude and crossing fingers.

So, a big thank you to Mr. Joseph Perucca. The GIVI Explorer project is his baby and it highlights a number of salient and important points. It’s already established that GIVI produces the best motorcycle luggage and accessories, but there is a driving passion behind it. The people of GIVI, distributors and dealers are what constitutes a family. The GIVI Explorer expeditions are the result of this familial togetherness, sharing the passion for riding and exploration the world over, while using the real world as the rolling laboratory for GIVI products. This love for the family is especially seen in the Explorers who had joined the annual rides from the very beginning (this being the seventh).

Joseph and his wife Van

I wish to also thank Joseph and Pietro (Ambrosioni – GIVI’s Communication Manager). Joseph would send Pietro to accompany everytime I needed to break free from the convoy to shoot pictures.

Next on the list is Mr. On Hai Swee, the Managing Director of GIVI Asia Sdn. Bhd. It was a pleasure to finally ride with him and Mrs. On. I’ve always learned so much about GIVI from him. His hard work and foresight has brought the brand to where it is in these 25 years in Malaysia. A special appreciation to him for arranging the Traffic Police escort throughout the ride.

A thoroughly special thank you to Dato’ Hussein Al-Malique, Chief Executive Officer of Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia. Every Explorer on the Tiger 800 (XR/XRx/XCx) had a great time and there wasn’t a single concern about their bikes. They were perfectly suited to the curvy road along the tour’s routes.

Thank you and congratulations to Dato’ Captain Nik Huzlan who put together another stunning and the largest yet Rimba Raid. I wished I had more time to cover the event, but Insy’Allah I could do so from a rider’s perspective next year. It’s always great to chat with you and I could count on learning so much!

This list wouldn’t be complete without the hardworking (read: overworked) GIVI crew on both the ride and at GIVI Rimba Raid. Sam Sharman, Edwin, Sherlyn, Julian Loh, Aina, and everyone you guys were amazing as always. It was great to see familiar faces everywhere we stopped!

A special shout out to Jeremias Israel. He may be a Dakar and pro racer but he’s one of the most down-to-earth guys I’ve ever met. The guys who attended his off-road clinic enjoyed it immensely and we were all behind you at Rimba Raid.

Let’s not forget Nikkasit, the official photographer who worked non-stop. Awesome pictures, Khun Nikkasit. Please visit soon!

(L-R) Manuel, Nikkasit, Kok Ping

Last but not least, kudos to the GIVI Explorers. It’s always nice to see everyone I’ve met before, but I make new friends everytime we ride together. Your laughs were always so infectious. I hope to learn Spanish and Thai before the next ride (if I’m ever invited again). I hope that you guys enjoyed Malaysia and come back for a more extensive tour. There’s so much more to offer than what we experienced during the ride.

Till then, ride safe!

Please click on this link for our report on GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Eight.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Seven.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Six.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Days Four and Five.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Three.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Kick Off.

  • Day 8 of the GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 was scheduled to coincide with the GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019 from the very start.

  • It was GIVI’s second year of involvement with Rimba Raid.

  • The overworked GIVI and Rimba Raid crews did a superb job to prepare the event.

Day 8 of the GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 was scheduled to coincide with the GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019 from the very start.

There were a number of reasons for this. Firstly, it was the second edition of Rimba Raid with GIVI’s participation. Secondly, it was a great opportunity for the GIVI Explorers to witness the event first hand. Thirdly, it was GIVI’s 25th anniversary in Malaysia.

Rimba Raid has definitely grown from a hobbyist event set up by Dato’ Capt. Nik Huzlan just 5 years ago. Whereas last year’s GIVI Rimba Raid at Mat Daling drew in 105 competitors from 11 countries, this year’s had to be capped at 150 participants from 16 countries.

The overworked crews from Rimba Raid and GIVI had set up the event areas at Rimba Valley Motorcamp, ILMU and flag-off point extensively by the time we arrived from the National Elephant Sanctuary at Kuala Gandah.

Like at Mat Daling, the competitors convoyed to the flag-off area a short distance away from ILMU. There, they were let loose one at a time by Dato’ Capt. Nik, Joseph Perucca, and On Hai Swee.

We then rode to the finish line at Kampung GIVI at the Rimba Valley Motorcamp. The GIVI Malaysian Adventure marshals helped to ride our bikes in. It’s a much better solution rather than convoying in en masse on the dirt road as there was heavy traffic going in and coming out of the area.

We had spent about an hour at the flag-off point for pictures and such. The first finishers including Gabit Saleh, Bee Wong, Alex Wong and a few more were already at the parc ferme. (You guys are crazy!)

Alex Wong (left) and Bee Wong (right)

GIVI’s envoy in the race, ex-Dakar racer Jeremias Israel was there, too. However, it was a heartache for him and us GIVI Explorers as he crashed the specially-prepared Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE and retired. He had swerved to avoid a course marshal and went down hard. Thankfully, he was unhurt. It was hard to see the disappointment on his face. But that’s racing.

The Explorers had a great time mingling around with the riders and were moving about everywhere snapping pictures and selfies. Remember, the GIVI Explorers were from 14 countries so those images are circulated around the world.

At lunchtime, GIVI arranged for a number of dirtbikes for the Explorers to ride to a farm. The smiles under their helmets were very visible as soon as they got on! They were led by four marhsals, including one lady.

The farm consists of a few fish rearing ponds and the Explorers got right into fishing mode. Everyone caught one. GIVI somehow managed to convince the Rebung Restaurant to serve lunch in the jungle, so we ate while watching race competitors blast by.

We went back to Kampung GIVI to follow the rest of the race. Evidently, the course was much harder this time. Only 17 of 40 Class A competitors completely the race. A Thai rider nursed his cut hand and almost-destroyed bike back to the finish line and then shouted for the medic like in war movies. He actually finished fourth overall!

We stayed until the prize-giving ceremony. Dato’ Capt. Nik commended all those who joined regardless of where they finished.

I guess we could say that joining GIVI Rimba Raid itself was a personal victory in itself for each participant.

The Explorers were entertained not only by a basker band, but also by Sam Sharman who worked the mike and Joseph Perucca who played percussions!

GIVI Rimba Raid will definitely be bigger next year. GIVI’s white and red together with Rimba Raid’s green and yellow logos are now synonymous with each other, working symbiotically rather than merely alongside each other.

Let’s hope the adventure continues.

Please click on this link for our report on GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Seven.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Six.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Days Four and Five.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Three.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Kick Off.

 

  • The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 is about to hit its climax on Day Seven.

  • It was time for the GIVI Explorers to visit GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019.

  • The route consisted of corners all the way!

The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 is about to hit its climax on Day Seven (26th July 2019). It was time for the GIVI Explorers to visit GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019.

This was the second year of GIVI’s involvement in Rimba Raid and it promises to be the biggest one yet. The organizer of Rimba Raid, Dato’ Capt. Nik Huzlan had to limit the entries at 150 participants, but that’s already nearly 50% more than the 105 at GIVI Rimba Raid at Mat Daling 2018.

GIVI’s involvement also opens up the branding to off-road motorcycles besides the usual adventure bikes.

So today, on Day Seven of the GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019, we needed to travel from Melaka to the Rimba Valley Motorcamp site.

Leg One – Melaka to Si Thian Kong Temple, Johol, Negeri Sembilan

Rather than hoofing it down the featureless highways the Explorers took a circuitous route that crossed three states.

Leaving Melaka, we headed toward Durian Tunggal, instead of the usual Ayer Keroh way.

The road got twisty not long after we left Melaka. I wished I could see the faces under those helmets but am sure every Explorer was smiling. We locals ride this route just for the corners! There was whoops of elation from almost everyone when we stopped afterwards.

Everyone was having such a great time that we were already at the Si Thian Kong Temple in Johol.

The site was just a clearing three years ago and a large temple complex has now taken shape. It’s not fully complete yet, but the main structures with intricate carvings were in place, including the worship hall. Two large Tao deities greeted us as we rode through the front gate.

 

The temple is being built at great expense and it should soon rival some of the Taoist temples around Malaysia.

Leg Two – Si Thian Kong Temple to Bera

From here, the road turns into a mini racetrack style layout with chicanes, sweeping turns and decreasing radius corners all thrown in. Thankfully, the road has been resurfaced.

I personally worried about the convoy’s safety in negotiating two very tricky decreasing radius corners up ahead, but the Explorers were all experienced and good riders. The marshals also did a great job in controlling the pace, instead of letting everyone dive bomb the corners, kamikaze style.

Past those corners, I started to get excited. Very excited. That’s because we were going to ride through Kuala Pilah.

Now, Kuala Pilah is pretty much unchanged for the last decade and it’s always hot. This sleepy town is my wife’s hometown and where we got married. It’s not everyday that 40 riders from 16 countries ride through, while being escorted by the police. I felt my pride welling up.

We passed Juasseh, then Batu Kikir before turning northeast to Route 10 which took us past Bera Lake and into Bera town for lunch.

Again, there were so many corners! In Bahasa Melayu we would say, “Korner sampai muntah,” which translates to “Cornering until we puke.” That’s to say it in a happy manner, of course.

We passed the Bera lake which was a shadow of its former glory, unfortunately. Many people missed it because instead of being a body of blue water, it now looks like a giant mud pit.

We stopped at a mamak restaurant in Bera for a quick lunch.

Leg Three – Bera to National Elephant Conservation Centre, Kuala Gandah, Pahang

The National Elephant Conservation Centre is a must for anyone travelling along this route. This is where injured elephants are rescued and rehabilitated before being returned to the wild. It’s also from here that the mahouts (elephant handlers) mount missions to relocate elephants that are in vicinity of human settlements to the National Park (Taman Negara). Actually, it’s human encroachment, not the other way around.

We were extremely lucky to have arrived at the time to bathe the elephants in the river! We swore we saw them smile when they hit the river. Bathing was carried out by the mahouts, not visitors, by the way.

They then continued with an elephant show for educational purposes. One elephant was 60 years old! These elephants were rescued many years ago and are reared as guides to “talk to” wild elephants to be relocated.

Lastly, visitors were given the opportunity to feed the beautiful animals with watermelons for lunch.

As a personal note, the centre has changed much since my last visit three months ago. It’s now much more organized and cleaner. A kind-hearted soul donated a large sum of money to renovate the centre. It’s great to see that the elephants in our country are well cared for.

Leg Four – Kuala Gandah to Rimba Valley Motorcamp, Janda Baik

The final leg of the day took us to the site of GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019. The area was already a hive of activity, when we got there. The camping grounds were full and there were adventure and dirt-bikes everywhere. We had the option of riding into Rimba Valley ourselves on the dirt road, but there was took much traffic. So, the marshals helped us ride our bikes in to Kampung GIVI.

 

It’s great to see GIVI Rimba Raid being so colourful now. While it’s mainly an amateur event, GIVI’s presence, plus BMW Motorrad, KTM, Bombardier, et al certainly lent it a professional set up. This is important especially for competitors who travelled in from all over the world.

We mingled for a while before leaving the bikes at Kampung GIVI and headed to ILMU (which used to be UMNO’s indoctrination centre) to settle down.

We attended the GIVI Rimba Raid briefing at night. It was great to see so many familiar faces among the 150 riders here.

The Explorers turned in early as tomorrow morning (27thJuly) is GIVI Rimba Raid’s main event.

Please click on this link for our report on GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Six.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Days Four and Five.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Day Three.

Please click on this link for GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 Kick Off.

  • The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 convoy headed back to the west coast on Day Six.

  • First stop was Melaka, before heading to the GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019.

  • It was certainly heartwarming to see our visitor friends enjoying historic Melaka.

Day Six of the GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 was the stage when we cut back across to the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The GIVI Rimba Raid at Janda Baik 2019 event beckons.

But first, we will ride to the historic city of Melaka to spend a night.

Leaving Teluk Cempedak, Kuantan

Truth is, it seemed to not matter where we’d be riding to, as long as we leave the Hyatt Regency, Kuantan. Sure, most of the staff were friendly and the rooms were comfy, but there were a number of things they got wrong and refused to acknowledge. Personally, an episode left a bitter taste in my mouth during dinner. I asked a chef about what sauces was I looking at and he ignored me. I thought he didn’t hear me, but he walked a few metres away and yelled at a waiter to assist me.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

So, it was like that Animals’ song, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.”

The Ride

This leg was supposed to be an uneventful, but the lead marshal took a wrong turn and led us down a route with corners stacked upon corners. The usual droning ride suddenly turned lively as each Explorer swept through corners. It’s said that and adventure is “when something unplanned happens,” this was a happy mistake! The pace was still controlled by the lead police car, however, so it was a safe ride.

But it certainly opened my eyes as a Malaysian that even foreign visitors could enjoy our roads so much. (We’ll upload the videos later.)

The biggest worry for us Malaysians is trying to get into Melaka, given the large amount traffic lights and heavy traffic. But the hardworking police escorts and marshals did an outstanding job of providing a smooth ride.

Joseph Perucca, GIVI’s Overseas Operational Director and organizer of the ride had advised us to ride as closely together as possible to minimize the length of the convoy, thereby minimizing the time the escorts need to block off traffic. It worked and the ride cleared each intersection in less than 30 seconds.

We found the large overhead bridge along Jalan Keroh and near the Bukit Beruang intersection is now operational. It’ll save lots of time on future trips.

We made it into the city under Melaka’s infamous blazing sun and stopped at the Ole Sayang Restaurant for lunch. The eatery served authentic Baba and Nonya cuisines such as otak-otak, sambal fish, etc.

I was seated next to Manuel De La Pena from Mexico. “What is otak-otak?” he asked. “It’s steamed fish meat,” I replied. “But what does otak-otak mean?” Oh dear… I was afraid to scare him off… “It means brain-brain… but it’s really just steamed fish.” So, he tried it and liked it. Phew.

We headed to A’Famosa after lunch. The local authorities had opened the gates for us to park in the square outside the ancient fort and Declaration of Independence building.

The Explorers hiked up the hill to St. Paul’s Cathedral on top of the hill and down to the Stadhuys on the opposite side. These sites represent just a small part of the UNESCO World Heritage city’s history, but it was a great introduction. A number of participants rode the multi-coloured trishaws back to the where we stopped.

We regrouped and rode to Zong Heng Motors.

The shop was the first authorized dealer apart from GIVI Points in the country. The staff welcomed us with fresh coconut water to help us cool down.

Zong Heng offers almost every item in GIVI’s catalog of products from riding jackets to the latest luggage and everything else in between. They had also “dressed” up a number of bikes on display with GIVI accessories. So, do make your way to Zong Heng motors to equip your bike.

It was finally time to say goodbye as we headed to The Majestic Melaka to check-in for the night. It might be easy to miss the hotel’s pre-war facade since it’s only two-stories high. But it’s actually connected to a modern ten-storie building at the back, where our rooms are. The rooms were cozy with lots of wood paneling but provides modern amenities. The staff were also very hospitable and helpful. They never failed to smile and greet us whenever they saw us.

From the 10th  Floor, we had a front seat view of a bend in the Melaka River, where Kampung Morten i.e. Kampung Melayu was situated. A few metres down the river was the Ghost Bridge. It’s macabrely called such because the Japanese invaders during World War II beheaded prisoners there and hurled the heads into the river.

Dinner was served in the restaurant on the second level of that old building. Having local food for dinner was a welcomed changed for us Malaysian and Asian Explorers. However, it was also good to see our visitors enjoying the dishes, too.

Most went to visit Jonker Walk after dinner. It would’ve been a short walk had we stayed at the originally planned Casa Del Rio (Ronald told me it means “River House” in Spanish), but the hotel couldn’t provide enough rooms. But fear not, it was just a RM 5 Grab Car ride.

We turned in early tonight as we’re headed to Janda Baik tomorrow.

PICTURE GALLERY

  • The epic GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 convoy reached Kuala Terengganu on Monday (22nd July), and the participants crossed over to Pulau Redang on Day Four the next day (23rd July).

  • We crossed over to Pulau Redang and then back the mainland.

  • From there, we rode to Kuantan.

Day Four (23rd July 2019)

The epic GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 convoy reached Kuala Terengganu on Monday (22nd July), and the participants crossed over to Pulau Redang on Day Four the next day (23rdJuly).

It was a short 46-km ride to boat jetty at Merang. The hardworking GIVI support crew loaded our luggage into their vans and brought them there, while we rode in all our Hevik riding gear and GIVI motorcycle equipment. Our luggage was then offloaded from the vans and moved into one boat.

We changed into our “beach gear” i.e. shorts, slippers/sneakers and t-shirts near the jetty. All our riding gear such as our GIVI helmets, and jackets, riding pants, gloves, plus boots went into the GIVI cases. It reminded us on how indispensable the GIVI cases and luggage are for bikers. You don’t have to drag your riding gear around when you get off your bike!

So, the group got into four boats and it was a race to Pulau Redang!

Thankfully, the sea was calm and our boat (which also included racer Jeremias Israel who kept goading the boat driver to give “full gas”) glided above the blue sea to arrive first, although we departed last! Woohoo!

The Taaras Beach & Resort transit vans were already waiting at the jetty. The resort was just 5 minutes away.

We were welcomed by every staff member who saw us, regardless that we were locals or foreigners. Kudos!

The foreign riders in the group didn’t take long to hit the beach and pool after lunch. A scuba diving foray was organized quickly and they went diving at one of Redang’s world-renowned coral reefs.

Another thing we liked very much about hotel is that it has a Turtle Lab, whose work is harvesting and hatching turtle babies. It’s a fully-equipped laboratory with high-tech equipment.

The sand on the beach was white and almost feels like powdered milk between the toes. It was blazing hot when we arrived so there weren’t many people. But it was a hive of activities later in the afternoon. Guests played beach volleyball, kids dived into the pool, couples sat facing the sea enjoying each other’s company, and many took to swimming in the sea.

Dinner was held right on the powdery white sands of the beach to a cooling sea breeze. We spent hours chatting the night away, not giving a thought about tomorrow’s trip.

Day Five (24th July 2019)

We checked out late(r) the next day at 9am. Judging by the look on everyone’s face, no one wants to leave that beach and resort. Well, it’s just a teaser and we’re sure some will return.

Back at the jetty, we got back into our riding gear (still there in the cases) for the ride to Teluk Cempedak, Kuantan.

The ride was pretty straightforward but may it’s because many were still suffering from “Redang withdrawal.” We followed the coast to our destination but most of the seaside was hidden away by homes and hotels.

But lunch was definitely a memorable affair. We stopped at the Tanjung Jara Resort. The whole complex seemed to be converted from an old bungalow, hence providing a rustic Malaysian atmosphere. They served local foods, too, instead of the usual western fare.

The keropok lekor was the freshest and tastiest we Malaysians have consumed, the other dishes deserve five-star rating and desserts include a longan and sea coconut tongsui (sweet soup).

Back on our bikes, we rode past multiple bridges with awesome views of the rivers below. We also saw the massive PETRONAS Gas Processing Plant at Kerteh.

We reached Kuantan safely and checked-in at the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the night. The ride will continue to Melaka the next day (25th July).

  • The GIVI Rimba Raid Janda Baik 2019 is set to be held from 26th through 28th.

  • There are 150 competitors from 16 countries this year.

  • It is the only event in the world for large capacity dual-sport motorcycles.

The GIVI Rimba Raid Janda Baik 2019 is set to be held from 26th through 28th July and we’re really excited about it. We think hundreds – if not thousands – more fans are also counting down the days until the start.

The GIVI Rimba Raid series has grown to be the event among adventure and off-road motorcycle community from its humble beginnings. The brainchild of Dato’ Captain Nik Huzlan, it’s one event that dual-sport and adventure motorcycle enthusiasts look forward to each year.

Here are 10 reasons to witness this awesome event yourself. (There are way more than 10 reasons, but we wanted to keep it simple.)

1. Witness big bikes getting hammered

Surely you’ve gotten used to seeing heavyweight adventure bikes such as the BMW R 1200 GS/GS Adventure, KTM 1050/1190/1290 Adventure, Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin, Triumph Tiger 800 blasting down the highways. But have you seen them being used in the other environment they’re designed for?

We’re talking about off-road riding. Dual-purpose bikes can be ridden off paved highways and roads, hence the term. However, seeing these RM 80,000 to more than RM 100,000 bikes being bashed over rocks, “washed” in the river and sliding on gravel is something rare.

GIVI Rimba Raid provides that opportunity to not only the riders but also spectators.

2. GIVI Rimba Raid is unique

GIVI Rimba Raid is currently the only event in the world which pits men and women on heavyweight dual-purpose bikes against the off-road environment. In fact, when Capt. Nik approached the Automotive Association of Malaysia for the rulebook, they had none. Instead, it’s GIVI Rimba Raid who are now writing the rulebook.

3. Top Malaysian riders

That said, the event remains an enthusiast’s event. They are known as privateers, in other words.

However, top pro riders are starting to be drawn to joining up. One of them is Mohd. Habibullah Salleh, better known as Gabit. The 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Champion and multiple Malaysian MX champion is the defending champion of the Open Category.

Left to right: MG, Gabit, Capt. Nik

So, this a great opportunity for Malaysians to support our rider in battling against the best of the world.

4. Top international riders

There is a total of 150 riders from 16 countries this year. Among them is Jeremias Israel, the Chilean ex-HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) rider in the Dakar Rally. He’s flown in specially by GIVI to compete in the race. He will ride the new Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE.

There is also news of Thais holding their own qualifications to determine the riders who will represent the country. The qualified riders have been practicing almost daily in preparation for GIVI Rimba Raid 2019.

5. Stiff competition

If the previous years were competitive, this year’s promises to the closest fought yet. The riders not only chase positions and prizes but are also out there to prove it to themselves that they could live up to the challenges.

6. Specially chosen course

The organizers have laid out a course to challenge the riders physically and mentally. You can be assured that it will bring out the best in human drama and emotions.

Perhaps more importantly, you can spectate all the action up close rather than being seated tens or metres away.

Do note that the course will return to its normal environmental state within months of the event.

7. Different skill levels

Since there are pros mixed with privateers, GIVI Rimba Raid will be interesting to you in terms of entertainment. It means that there will be plenty thrills and spills.

8. Great fun for the family

Got kids who are interested in motorcycles? Need to explain to your wife or girlfriend why you love bikes? Bring ‘em here! It’s all wholesome fun for the entire family and your family members will thank you for it.

9. Great setting

Forget about going to the mall every weekend. Come here to breath some fresh air and waddle in the crystal-clear stream for a change. Besides that, the location is near many other resorts that offer eco-tourism and sports. There are also many camping grounds.

10. Vendors

There will be plenty of vendors. Main sponsor GIVI will have their pavilion up, offering their latest products for every biker. The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 will also make a stop at GIVI Rimba Raid for two days, so you can witness the bikes and GIVI equipment they carry.

Conclusion

GIVI Rimba Raid Janda Baik 2019 is a exciting event that shouldn’t be missed by anyone, bikers and non-bikers alike.

It will be held from 26th to 28th July 2019, at the Rimba Valley Motorcamp site. Please click the map below for the location and you may refer to GIVI Rimba Raid’s official Facebook page for the latest updates.

  • The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 kicked off yesterday, as the start of an epic ride around Peninsular Malaysia.

  • The participants will cover 2500 kilometres by the end on 29th July 2019.

  • The ride ends at GIVI Rimba Raid Janda Baik 2019 on 27th and 28th July.

The GIVI Malaysian Adventure 2019 kicked off yesterday, as the start of an epic ride around Peninsular Malaysia.