The Modenas Pulsar NS160 and Modenas Kriss MR3 were launched today.
The Pulsar NS160 shares the same frame with the NS200, compared to the Pulsar 150.
The Kriss MR3 continues with the Kriss MR2’s success.
The Modenas Pulsar NS160 and Modenas Kriss MR3 were launched today.
Both bikes expand Modenas’s offerings in the Malaysian lightweight motorcycle market, giving buyers more choices.
Modenas Pulsar NS160 (from RM7,577)
The Modenas Pulsar NS160 is the upgrade from the Pulsar 150. It shares styling elements of the NS200, apart from its narrower tyres, 240mm front brake disc, and engine.
Its 160cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine delivers 14.8hp and 14Nm of torque. That power is channelled through a five-speed transmission. The engine is secured to a perimeter frame from the Pulsar NS200.
The chassis consist of telescopic front forks and a gas-charged monoshock at the back. The split five-spoke wheels are mounted with 80/100 front and 110/80 rear tyres. Disc brakes handle braking on both ends and is supplemented with a single-channel ABS.
The Pulsar NS160 is seen as the entry level model, compared to the NS200. It offers better affordability in the naked style of the Pulsar NS200. It may prove to handle better and nimbler than the NS200 due to its lighter weight, while still retaining the Pulsar NS200’s chassis. Modenas brands the model as the obvious upgrade from kapchais.
Modenas targets to sell at least 1,500 units of the Pulsar NS160.
Four-stroke, 160cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled, fuel-injected, SOHC engine, with Digital Triple Spark Ignition (DTSi).
Fuel-injection system is supplied by Bosch.
The engine produces 14.8hp (11.05kW) at 8,500 RPM and 14Nm.
Nitrox gas-charged rear shock.
LED lighting for headlights and turn signals.
The bike will be available from October 2019 and is priced from RM7,577.
Modenas Kriss MR3 110 (from RM3,377)
The Modenas Kriss MR3 continues the success of the Kriss MR2. “MR” stands for “motosikal rakyat” or “people’s motorcycle.”
The model is designed to be affordable by a larger portion of motorcyclists, enabling to have their own transportation.
Certified as an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV).
110cc air-cooled, single-cylinder engine.
It produces 4.7hp at 8,000 RPM.
Telescopic forks and twin rear shocks.
Sport headlamp and tail lamp designs.
4.2-litre fuel tank.
Up to 200km range.
It is available at dealers from October 2019 and priced from RM3,377.
The MODENAS KR3 500cc GP racer graced the world’s racetracks from 1997 to 2002.
It was mean to revolutionize GP bikes.
MODENAS stood to learn from the project.
Do you remember the MODENAS KR3 500cc GP racer?
The bike had a very interesting story: It was meant to revolutionize 500cc Grand Prix racing and remains well-loved for its spirit among many long-time Malaysian and worldwide GP fans.
The name “KR” stemmed from a legendary name, Kenny Roberts. As in Kenny Roberts Sr., the three-time 500 GP World Champion, the man who popularized the knee-down cornering technique and all-around cowboy (read: rebel).
On the other hand, the number “3” stood for three-cylinders.
How did it come to this?
KR managed GP teams, all of them on Yamahas, from 1984. But his ventures in the premier class started showing promising results when he signed Wayne Rainey in 1988.
It was in 1990 that KR secured Marlboro’s sponsorship and his team became the factory Yamaha squad in both 500cc and 250cc categories. Also in that year, Rainey won his first 500cc GP title and John Kocinski won the 250cc title.
Rainey would deliver another two titles in 1991 and 1992. He was on his way to fourth championship in 1993 but a crash at the Italian GP paralyzed him from the chest down. His bitter rival Kevin Schwantz of Lucky Strike Suzuki was crowned champion instead.
As the years ticked by without Rainey, a plucky Aussie by the name of Mick Doohan took over the reins.
KR stuck it out with Yamaha, but he was constantly unhappy with the progress of their bikes. He even complained many times publicly that the factory took no heed to his feedback on improving their bikes.
So, in 1996, KR made an announcement that surprised everyone – he was breaking away from Yamaha after 25 years in the 1997 season (like how Herve Poncharal would do in 2019). But he wasn’t moving to another manufacture. No, not “King” Kenny. He was going to build his own bikes.
Enter the MODENAS KR3
It was during this time that our very own fledgling (it started in 1995) Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn. Bhd. (MODENAS) decided to step in and work together on the project. It was hoped that some of the technology would eventually make their way into MODENAS’s future models, besides placing the brand in the pinnacle of motorcycle racing.
KR decided to move base to the “Motorsport Valley” in England where the Formula 1 and race car teams are based and began working together with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR).
They decided on a three-cylinder, two-stroke, 500cc machine as the rules gave three-cylinder machines a 10kg weight advantage over four-cylinder bikes. The lower weight allowed the bike to be more agile and carry more midcorner speeds, like what KR saw with Freddie Spencer’s Honda NS500 in 1982 to 1983. This was also deemed as an advantage as the racetracks during the time had more corners than long straights for the four-cylinder machines to utilize.
But they knew that a three-cylinder would make less horsepower compared to a four-cylinder one. So, the team focused on improving volumetric efficiency (how much fuel-air mixture the engine could induct).
Engine design was supervised by Bud Askland, the father of the team’s manager Chuck Askland. They ended up with a 498cc powerplant with “square” dimensions i.e. same bore and stroke figures of 59.6 mm x 59.6 mm. The Vee-angle between the cylinders was set at nearly 180o with two cylinders down below and one up top.
Anyway, the frame was designed to give the bike better handling characteristics. KR worked with TWR and French chassis maker FTR to result in an aluminium twin-spar “deltabox” that’s smaller and lighter than the Japanese. The headstock featured eccentric carriers to allow adjustments of the steering’s rake angle and trail. There were also eccentric carriers in the swingarm mount to adjust the height of the swingarm pivot. These were unheard of at the time.
Even fueling was ahead of its time. The KR team adopted electronic carburetors without float bowls which used ducted air to atomize the fuel, much like a fuel-injection system. Such a setup avoided the fuel from emulsifying from intense vibrations. Arrow custom made an exhaust system for the engine.
This first engine produced 160 hp and went on to develop 180 hp in 2002.
The bodywork, it was designed to wrap tightly around the frame for a smaller frontal profile. Consequently, the radiator was moved to under the seat where ducts supplied cooling air to it.
The MODENAS-KR team found an uphill (more like up-mountain) task ahead of them in the 1997 season.
It was initially thought that the engine’s layout gave the engine good self-balancing inertial forces (of the pistons going up and down and the rotating crankshaft), so it was sans a balancer shaft. However, the engine suffered many breakdowns due to crankshaft cracking.
Additionally, there was no controlled-tyre ruling back then, thus the tryes were manufactured to each specific bike in the paddock. The new and small team had to use old tyres or those designed for other bikes. Sometimes both. It meant that they could not capitalize on their handling.
But the KR3 was supremely fast in midcorner and there were other riders who commented that they were led into entering corners too fast behind it. But when the situation was reversed, the KR3 riders found themselves blocked by the slower four-cylinder machines and then outgunned at the corner exits.
The KR3 project persisted until 2002 when the two-stroke 500cc GP formula gave way to four-stroke 1000cc machines. The FIM allowed two stroke bikes a grace period during that year and they could race together. Jeremey McWilliams qualified the MODENAS KR3 on pole at the 2002 Australian GP.
With the new formula, the KR3 project built a four-stroke, V-5, 1000cc bike called the KR5. Now Malaysian car maker Proton funded the project until the end of 2004.
Legacy of MODENAS KR3
While the MODENAS KR3 didn’t win races, it left a lasting legacy in MotoGP. Later, Aprilia would attempt with their own three-cylinder Cube racer. BMW had actually worked on a MotoGP prototype which also had – you guessed it – three cylinders. BMW’s stillborn project would eventually end up gaining one more cylinder and became the S 1000 RR.
In any case, we would love to see a MODENAS KR3 up close again.
Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn. Bhd. (MODENAS) launched their first specialty store in the ASEAN region, called the “MODENAS Power Store.”
The store offers sales, service and spare parts.
The new store is located at Sunsuria Avenue, Kota Damansara.
Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn. Bhd. (MODENAS), a subsidiary of DRB-HICOM Berhad launched their first specialty store in the ASEAN region, called the “MODENAS Power Store.”
The new store is located at Sunsuria Avenue, Kota Damansara. The “triple-S” store offers a one-stop sales, service and spare parts centre for the MODENAS street bike segment i.e. the Dominar 400 and Pulsar lineups.
The complete range of MODENAS Pulsar and MODENAS Dominar bikes are displayed in the store, offering visitors to the store to touch and feel the bikes for themselves. Prospective customers can test ride and obtain financing through the store.
But sales is just one part of the equation as aftersales service is the important factor in keeping customers happy and satisfied with their bikes. As such the service centre provides not only servicing but also specialized on-site repairs including major repairs, customizations for MODENAS bikes with genuine spare parts and accessories.
“The MODENAS Power Store will not only enhance the motorcycle purchase experience but also provide our customers with a holistic motorcycle ownership experience from financing agreements, bike enhancements, genuine spare parts, test-rides, as well as repairs and servicing by highly-trained mechanics. This would allow us to build and maintain a cordial, long-term relationship with our customers in the country and provide us with more opportunities to engage them,” said MODENAS Chief Executive Officer, Roslan Roskan.
He also added that the introduction of the MODENAS Power Store in Malaysia will enable the company to elevate its business presence in the country.
Vice President of International Business, Bajaj Auto Limited, Sameer Deshpande said, “Malaysia has a very evolved and unique motorcycle market. Through our partnership with MODENAS, we are able to bring our most successful motorcycle models to the country, enabling motorcycle buyers here to enjoy high-quality motorcycles at affordable prices, just like they do in more than 70 countries worldwide.”
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. has increased their stake in Modenas.
Their current purchase will see them hold a 30% stake, up from 11%.
But converting the upcoming CPS will bring KHI’s stake to 48%.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) otherwise known as “Kawasaki Japan” increases their stake in Modenas from 19 to 30 percent.
KHI and DRB-Hicom Bhd. entered an agreement for KHI to purchase and additional 14.3 million shares which equals an 11 percent stake. The shares were valued at RM 40.3 million cash.
Additionally, KHI is also subscribing to 52 million convertible preference shares (CPS) that will be issued by Modenas. KHI’s stake in the company will rise to 48% upon conversion.
KHI’s larger equity means that will actively participate in Modenas’s operations, rather than just being a bystander. The two entities have been partners for more than 20 years and KHI has been a 19% shareholder in Modenas since the latter’s inception in 1995.
The first Modenas motorcycles were based on Kawasaki’s models, including the Jaguh 175 lightweight cruiser. Apart from producing motorcycles, Modenas also machines components for KHI.
Their production facility is based in Gurun, Kedah and has a capacity of 130,000 units per year.
It’ll be interesting to see what KHI has in mind for the Modenas-Bajaj partnership.