• Adventure riding takes you to places inaccessible to most others

  • Adventure riding takes practice and careful planning

  • Once experienced, it may become your only type of riding activity

Courtesy of

Adventure riding is fun in many more ways than one.

Why not ride an offroad trail or better yet, blaze your own trail to some waterfall in a jungle where no one has been to before, compared to visiting an easily accessible waterfall that’s overcrowded, dirty and dangerous with rubbish and human effluents?

But how does one go about with adventure riding? Some people may cynically say, “It isn’t an adventure unless something goes wrong.” It’s not as bad as that. Think about discovering the many God-made beauties our country has to offer.

Here are our top tips for adventure riding.

1. Get a Proper Adventure Bike

Starting with say, a Kawasaki Versys-X 250 or a Versys 650 ABS. Or just go ahead with a Kawasaki KLX150BF or KLX250 (you may want to leave the KLX450R for the pros, though). But for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just stick to the Versys-X in this article.

Kawasaki Versys-X. Courtesy of

The Versys-X 250 fills the role of a lightweight adventure and commuter motorcycle nicely, as it has a good balance for adventure riding when standing up on the footpegs. It’s also equipped with spoked wheels instead of cast aluminium ones. Spoked wheels are more desirable for adventure riding as they are usually lighter, absorb shocks better and can be adjusted back to shape if dented.


The KLX range is a no brainer when it comes to adventure riding, as they are enduro motorcycles – super lightweight, slim, long travel suspension, big spoked wheels, and torquey engines. The KX models, on the other hand, are competition models for motocross, supercross and conversion to supermoto, thus they are not road legal. But you could always truck it to the starting point of your ride.


Depending on the severity of offroading on your adventure ride, you may need to replace the Versys-X’s stock tyres to more adventure-oriented ones, otherwise the standard tyres are fine. Adventure-specific tyres not only offer more offroad grip, but they also allow the pressure to be dropped safely (more on this below).

2. Get Proper Training

Adventure riding has its specific set of skills. The route you’re going to travel on may not be severe, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Best way to learn this is at Most Fun Gym (MFG), operated by Malaysian veteran GP rider and legend, Oh Kah Beng. MFG may seem to be a hardcore motocross school, but it’s otherwise in reality. You don’t have to do the jumps. Learning offroad means learning the skills to control a motorcycle over low to no-grip situations through mastering throttle control, brake control, body control, body positioning, vision.

Training at Most Fun Gym

You’ll find your road riding skills improve too. That’s why MotoGP champs ride offroad on their off days.

3. Packing Up

This may seem frivolous but packing plays a big role in a safe hence enjoyable adventure ride.

Loaded up GIVI’s top case and panniers

A few extra items should be brought along:

  1. Extra tool kit. Or a good multi-tool set with extensive attachments.
  2. Cable ties. The most important kit by far.
  3. Tyre tube or tyre puncture repair kit.
  4. Compact electric air pump for the tyres.
  5. Tyre pressure gauge.
  6. First aid kit.
  7. Flashlight.
Courtesy of advpulse

For one, heavy items such as tool kits, or camping equipment should be packed low in the panniers. Locating them high up results in a high centre of gravity and causing the top-heavy feeling (the bike likes to tip over at slow speeds).

Important items like the wallet, phone, cigarettes/vape, lighters should be packed in a waterproof or ziplock bag, and be easily accessible, so you don’t have to dig through everything to look for them.

Courtesy of advpulse

Not least of all, hook the motorcycle’s key to a large keychain. It’ll give you a good chance of locating it should it be dropped into a pool of mud or water.

Kawasaki floating keychain

4. Riding Gear

Adventure riding gear is the best as they are designed to be tough, protective and comfortable.

Hevik adventure jacket

However, if there are certain constraints, motocross wear is fine, but do wear full body armour including knee and shin guards.

Acerbis body armour

The subject of boots is open to contention, however. Many choose to wear motocross boots but this writer prefers adventure riding boots such as the TCX Track WP. First of all, the latter is more flexible, which increases comfort greatly. Secondly, adventure boots have more “aggressive” sole patterns compared to MX boots. That’s important in case you get off and push the bike. MX boots’ soles are smoother, made for sliding across the track while cornering, which means you may not have much traction in the rough.

TCX Track Evo WP adventure boots

An adventure helmet (full-face with a peak) is good, so is a motocross helmet, as they provide optimal airflow. A roadracing full-face will have you out of breath in a jiffy. An open-face is inadvisable as it doesn’t have the protective chinbar.

HJC FG-X offroad helmet

5. Tyre Pressure

With all that out of the way, it’s time to ride.

But hang on! We need to work on the tyre pressures first!

Again, if the adventure ride consists of serious offroading, the tyre pressures needs to be reduced.

Reducing the tyre pressure lets the tread “open up” for a wider footprint. The lower pressure also allows the tyres to absorb shocks from irregular surfaces, rocks and tree roots.

Reducing tyre pressure

Typical road pressures are anywhere between 200 kPa front to 280 kPa rear. A drop of half will suffice. For example, if the recommended pressure for your bike is 200 kPa, drop it to 100 kPa.

Remember we recommended that you bring a tyre pressure gauge? This is what it’s for. Also, keep in mind to re-inflate the tyres back up to the recommended pressures when you ride home on the road. That’s what the air compressor is for.

Stop & Go portable air compressor

6. Stand Up

Get your buttocks off the seat and bend your knees a little, using your legs as shock absorbers for the rear. Lean your chest slightly towards the fuel tank and splay your elbows outwards, but do not press down on the handlebar. Use them as additional shock absorbers for the front, instead.

Stand up when riding offroad. Courtesy of advpulse

Standing up brings your centre-of-gravity (CoG) down to the footpegs. Also, having your body off the seat means you don’t get hammered when the bike moves around underneath you. Sitting down in the seat, will have the bike taking you for a ride as it snakes, squirms and bounces.

The Versys models have short fuel tanks; the Versys-X’s fuel tank is sloped sharply downwards at the rear so that the rider may position his body weight towards the front when standing up.

7. Ride Loose

Your grip, arms, torso and legs should be relaxed. This allows the bike to do what it’s supposed to, and letting the suspension soak up the bumps. Fighting the bike will only exacerbate a situation. Your job is just to point the bike towards where you want it to go.

Relax your arms, legs and body – Courtesy of advpulse

8. Push Down

Cornering on the road or track means leaning your body to the inside of the corner.

When adventure or offroad riding, keep your body straight up and push the handlebar and footpeg downwards.

9. Sit Down

Standing up is necessary when you travel straight or around a gentle curve. But you need to sit back down for sharper corners.

Sit down for sharper and faster corners – Courtesy of advpulse

Keep your upper body straight up and push the handlebar downward. Stick your leg out but that leg’s knee should touch the bike. Splaying your leg wide will have the bike sliding and can lead to a lowside.

10. Throttle Control

Throttle control is probably the single most important control in adventure riding (so is on the road, as a matter of fact).

Modulate the throttle smoothly when turning it on or shutting it. Roll it on, roll it off – never slam it open or slam it shut.

If the bike slides in a turn, don’t slam shut the throttle like what your instinct tells you to do. A slide doesn’t mean the bike is totally out of control. It’s just a sign that the sliding tyre or tyres have less traction.

Stay on the gas! – Courtesy of Ksatria Pinandhita

Instead, you could maintain the same throttle position and lift the bike up slightly by either using your leg or the handlebar, or both. If you need to slow down more, remember to roll off the throttle. Cutting the throttle immediately when the bike is sliding will cause an abrupt back-torque (engine braking) and that will result in the tyre breaking all available traction.

When we tested the Versys-X, we noticed that the engine’s power is softer initially, before picking up at 3000 RPM. On one hand, that’s to not scare beginners, but it’s also meant for smoother throttle response when adventure riding. The model is also equipped with a Slip & Assist clutch to control engine braking.

11. Don’t Jump on it!

As with the throttle, you should also be smooth on the brakes. Never grab the brakes but apply pressure progressively.

Additionally, do not brake in a slide. Use the throttle.

Similar to the throttle, the Versys-X’s front brake is a little soft at the beginning of its stroke.

The Versys-X’s brakes are nicely progressive

12. Look!

The simple adage applies: “You go where you look.”

Don’t stare at the big rock in your path if you don’t intend to hit it. Look to the sides and you will miss it.

Look where you want to go – Courtesy of rockymountainatvmc

So, there you go. Follow these pointers and you will want to forget about road riding and who knows, you may devote yourself to adventure riding. These tips may seem complicated at first, but they are actually rather simple and straightforward when you put them together.

Enjoy that waterfall!


  • Jelajah Tunggang Uji Kawasaki “Always Close To You” akan berada di Plaza Angsana, Johor Bahru dari 22 hingga 24 September 2017.
  • Tunggang ujilah motosikal Kawasaki terkini seperti Versys-X 250, Versys 650 ABS, Z650 ABS, Ninja 650 ABS, dan Z900 Special Edition (ABS).
  • Pemilik motosikal Kawasaki boleh mendapatkan khidmat selenggaraan daripada kakitangan Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centre (KESC) yang terlatih.


  • The Kawasaki Test Ride Roadshow “Always Close to You” visits Plaza Angsana, Johor Bahru from 22nd to 24th September 2017

  • Test ride the latest Versys-X 250, Versys 650 ABS, Z650 ABS, Ninja 650 ABS, Z900 Special Edition (ABS)

  • Kawasaki owners can have their bikes serviced by professionally trained Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centre personnel

The Kawasaki Test Ride Roadshow – called Always Close to You – visits Johore from 22nd to 24th September 2017 and here’s the perfect opportunity for Johoreans and those in the southern regions to test ride your dream Kawasaki.

To be held at the Plaza Angsana, Johor Bharu parking lot from from 10am to 6pm, Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) (KMSB) will organize a whole host of activities for everyone to have a good time, as with Kawasaki’s tagline – Let The Good Times Roll.

The main attraction will of course be the test rides, and KMSB will prepare their latest motorcycles for the program, including the Versys-X 250, Versys 650 ABS, Z650 ABS, Ninja 650 ABS, and Z900 Special Edition ABS. The test rides will highlight the performance, handling, comfort and versatility of these models. Visitors are sure to find one (or two, or all of them) which suits his/her personality.

Participants of the test ride will receive a lucky draw coupon each to stand a chance to win exciting prizes.

Apart from the test rides, KMSB will also display the Ninja ZX-10R WSBK Replica, the bike which had won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 World Superbike Championship titles. (Kawasaki may well be on their way to another WSBK title in 2017.) The world’s fastest production motorcycle, the supercharged Kawasaki H2 will the ZX-10R’s company.

Existing Kawasaki superbike owners will also enjoy the exclusive opportunity to have their pride and joy inspected and serviced by trained Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centre (KESC) personnel.

Other than KMSB’s activities, representatives from Shoei helmets, Alpinestars riding gear, and Bridgestone tyres will put up their latest products on show. AEON Credit Service and Tokio Marine Insurance will be present as well to provide consultation should you fall in love with a bike you’ve just test rode.

The Kawasaki Test Ride Roadshow has come a long way since its start in May this year (click here to read about the first show). You may also check out KMSB’s Facebook page (click here) and website (click here) for more information.

  • Motosikal Kawasaki cukup terkenal untuk beberapa sebab.
  • Kawasaki mempunyai sejarah menghasilkan motosikal yang terbaik dan tampak mengagumkan.


  • Kawasaki’s motorcycles are famously popular for many reasons

  • Kawasaki has historically produced the most potent and great looking motorcycles

  • Click here to visit Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia)’s website for the comprehensive list of models

Kawasaki motorcycles are manufactured by the Motorcycle & Engine Division of the Kawasaki Heavy Industries juggernaut. Kawasaki motorcycles have come a long way since their inception in the early-60s to become what it now one of the Big Four out of Japan.

Here in Malaysia, it was Kawasaki who paved the way for large capacity motorcycles as mainstream bikes, instead of being just the toys of the rich. Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. are also supplying motorcycles to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).

But what made Kawasaki a popular brand? While Kawasaki does have a proud heritage, that alone doesn’t guarantee a brand’s success.

We’ve put together the top reasons why you should own a Kawasaki, and these are a few of those factors that have made Kawasaki a force majeure.

1. History of Engineering Excellence
Kawasaki Heavy Industries which includes Kawasaki Motorcycles Co., Ltd. has its roots in shipbuilding since 1896. Started by Shozo Kawasaki, it went on to become an industrial juggernaut, involved in building ships and submarines, railway rolling stock, aircraft, steelworks, robotics, space vehicles, and motorcycles.

The very first Kawasaki motorcycle engine – the KE-1 – in 1952 were designed and built by Kawasaki’s aircraft engineers to aircraft technology. It would mark Kawasaki’s motorcycle pedigree ever since as employing groundbreaking technologies

Those technologies would in turn affirm that Kawasaki motorcycles as the fastest production motorcycles, in their classes, if not in the world. They would soon turn into icons and legends. Case in point are a long list of Kawasaki models such as the H1 Mach III (1969), Z1 (1972), KZ100R (1981), GPz900R – the first Ninja (1984), GPz600R (1985), ZZ-R1000 a.k.a. ZX-10 (1988), ZXR750 or ZX-7 (1989), ZZ-R1100 a.k.a. ZX-11 (1990), ZX-12R (2000), ZX-10R (2004), ZX-14 (2006) and, of course, the H2R and H2 (2015).

And we haven’t even touched on the other ranges, ATVs and watercrafts yet!

2. Racing Heritage
Kawasaki had cut their teeth in competition, from Japanese endures in the early-60s to Anton Mang’s victories in the 250cc and 350cc world championships. Reg Pridmore’s 1977 win at Pocono on a Kawsaaki Z1 marked the first AMA Nationals win on a Japanese motorcycle (he took the 1977 and 1978 AMA Superbike titles, too). And who could forget Eddie Lawson’s dominance of the 1981 and 1982 AMA Superbike Championships on the Kawasaki KZ1000R. “Steady Eddie” would go on to be a four-time World 500cc Champion.

Kawasaki has also won four World Superbike Championships, three of those in the last four years. Tom Sykes won in 2013, followed by Jonathan Rea in 2015 and 2016 on the Kawasaki ZX-10R. Rea is currently leading the 2017 championship and looks set to the third successive title.

While there’s no doubt that MotoGP enjoys the bigger audience, WSBK is important nevertheless as the series is based on production motorcycles. It means that those bikes being raced in WSBK are the same bikes you and I could purchase at a Kawasaki dealer.

Experience gained from racing success translates to technologies being adapted to road bikes available to the public.

3. Cutting Edge Technology
Kawasaki has always pushed the boundaries of engineering and technology to deliver the most potent and fun motorcycles. Rider safety is paramount, as such, Kawasaki’s motorcycles feature traction control, ABS, ride modes, high-end brakes, good suspension, etc. In fact, Kawasaki was the first Japanese manufacturer to adopt traction control, called K-TRIC (Kawasaki Throttle Ignition Response Control) on the 1400GTR. Let’s not forget the supercharged H2R and H2!

4. Cutting Edge Design
Kawasaki’s motorcycles have historically broken the mould of styling conventions to deliver stunning and distinctive designs, for example the GPz900R, ZX-14, ZX-10R, H2, among others. They not only receive admiring stares from other bikers and general public, but a riding a good-looking motorcycle is both gratifying and confidence-building.

5. Availability of Genuine Parts and Accessories
As there are greater numbers of Kawasaki motorcycles in the market, that also means spare parts and accessories are readily available, at relatively lower costs. Coupled with the availability of authorized Kawasaki dealers and workshops around Malaysia, a Kawasaki owner can be assured of quick turnaround times when repairing their bikes.

6. Large Authorised Network
There are currently 80 authorised dealers and 32 authorised spare parts dealers all across the country, including in East Malaysia. This means easy access to not only new bikes, but also for maintenance, parts and accessories. Click here for the complete listing of the nearest authorised dealers. The personnel at the Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centres (KESC) are fully trained professionals, as with those at authorized dealers.

7. Wide Range of Models
Kawasaki Malaysia’s model range (click here and select PRODUCTS) is comprehensive and covers every segment of every capacity and size, subdivided into Ninja (sports), Z (naked, standard, sport-touring), Versys (adventure touring), GTR (premium sport-touring), VN (cruisers and full-dress tourers), W (modern classic), Street (motards), KX (motocross and supercross), KLX (enduro), and J (scooter).

There are also watercraft (jetskis), ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), and Mule (utility vehicles).

Whether it’s for your first bike, only bike, an upgrade or additional bike, you can find anything that suits your needs.

8. Reliability
Truth is, Kawasaki motorcycles are reliable and provide lots of trouble-free fun. Maintain your bike well and any modern motorcycle is just as reliable at the other. As mentioned in an earlier article (click here), this writer’s Kawasaki has not encountered serious problems, apart from normal wear and tear. Many of this writer’s friends also own Kawasaki motorcycles of various models and no one has had a breakdown, unless wrongly operated or had performed modifications that are not recommended by Kawasaki.


Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube