• The new Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer and V7 III Stone complements the Guzzi family.

  • Moto Guzzi calls the V9 Roamer a custom bike, but its design harks back to the beautiful 70’s bikes.

  • The V7 III Stone forms the basis for further customisation.

Moto Guzzi is a legendary Italian brand since 1912, but a few hiccups along the way gave the impression of the brand being “on/off.” However, Moto Guzzi is seeing a resurgence lately as the new official distributor, The Gasket Alley, has stepped up their marketing and aftersales efforts.

However, having ridden just one Moto Guzzi for mere hours in the past, I wasn’t sure of what to expect from these two bikes: The V9 Roamer and V7 III Stone.

When Sep and I went to pick them up, both had that modern-classic look, but it was the V9 Roamer which appealed to me with lots of chrome offset by anodized black parts and yellow paintwork. It looked like a 70’s kind of standard motorcycle. That’s just the looks, because the 853cc, 2-valve, 90-degree V-Twin engine is all new.

On the other hand, Sep preferred the V7 III Stone as it looked more “masculine” with its boxier fuel tank with flared sides over the cylinders, no chrome and flat yellow tank. In a way, the V7 III Stone has that unfinished look, no doubt being the model for further customization (there are hundreds of items in MG “Spark” catalog). The “III” designation means this is the third generation V7, inspired the by the 1971 V7 Sport. The V7 has been revamped in many ways including a 10% engine power bump.

Both bikes now feature MGTC (Moto Guzzi Traction Control) and ABS.

Pushing both bikes around The Gasket Alley’s parking lot revealed that they were light. It’s even more so when we climbed on board. Their seats were low and both of us could place both feet on the ground with ease.


The V9’s handlebar was mounted on a riser and swept back to meet the rider. The V7’s was flatter for a slightly more café racer feel.

As I reached out to thumb the starter button on the V9, I noticed that the switchgear had a new design, outlined by brushed aluminium bezels, similar to the Calfornia. The V7 made do with the conventional switchgear.

Both bikes starter quickly when the starter button was pushed, to a 90-degree V-Twin growl and the bike kicking to the right simultaneously. Such is the character of transverse-mounted twins (both cylinders projecting out the sides, instead of sitting fore and aft inside the frame), since the crankshaft is longitudinal along the axis of the frame. Conversely, V-Twin that’s mounted longitudinally (Harley, Ducati, et al) has the crankshaft across the frame, thus the frame damps out the crankshaft’s secondary vibrations.

As with Moto Guzzi’s engine configuration, the transmission mates directly to the back of the crankcase (like a BMW Boxer-Twin), although the Guzzi’s single dry clutch is behind the transmission instead of sitting in the middle between the two parts. Power transfer to the rear wheel is best served by a shaft final drive for transverse Twins.

This arrangement makes for a lower centre of gravity as the heavy parts are lower near the ground, as opposed to engine configurations where the transmission is “stacked” above the alternator (although it is more compact).

Anyhow, right away, the V9 Roamer exhibited a relatively maneuverable despite having a 19-inch tyre up front and 16-inch at the rear. Similarly, squeezing through traffic was easy as the bike’s pretty slim. My only gripe about riding it in traffic was the overly soft exhaust volume in order to comply with the Euro 4 emission standard. I don’t have to tell you that some car drivers in Kuala Lumpur are complacent behind their steering wheels, so a loud exhaust is the way to grab their attention unless you honk all the way.

The suspension of both bikes were supple in their initial strokes but took big hits over the shraper bumps and deep potholes. Still, they were remarkably better than their predecessors.

Out on the highway, the V9 Roamer went with the flow due to its taller gearing – it’s not that the engine lacks punch – the transmission was already in overdrive in fifth gear, while sixth was an even taller overdrive. This is definitely a bike for relaxed cruising.

The V7 however, felt more engaging due to its shorter gearing, meaning it kept pushing all the time. In Sep’s words, “The V7 feels more hooligan.” He’s right, because the Stone is just one of the variations in the V7 III family, which includes the V7 III Racer.

Italian bikes are famous for their handling, but I wish I could say so for these two. But it wasn’t because of the bikes, it was due to the standard Pirelli Sport Demon tyres. I’ve experienced the very same trait on another test bike. These tyres are great in running straight but their sidewalls flex like rubber stress balls when pushed in corners, causing the bikes to wobble. It also caused the V9 Roamer’s 19-inch front to steer slower into corners. My concern is that customers who are uninitiated to the Sport Demon will blame the bike.

Anyway, the V7 III Stone wasn’t a slouch when we blasted down the highway. With a sportier riding position, the rider has more confidence to take it to higher speeds. The V9 Roamer, on the other hand likes to be ridden smoothly and in a benign manner. That said, remember the crankshaft’s torque kicking the bike to one side? It all disappeared as soon as we got rolling and the engine became really, really smooth.

We took a different route to Kuala Kubu Bahru for the photoshoot and while it had many beautiful corners, certain sections were bumpy as hell, but these bumps were handled better as long as they weren’t sharp, whereas I would have a chiropractor on standby on the older bike.

We also noticed that there wasn’t any “shaft jacking” despite the lack of an extra arm, like Moto Guzzi’s CARC setup. The term shaft jacking pertains to the bike lifting upwards due to the shaft’s torque as power is applied to the rear wheel.

As our four days with both bikes coming to an end, we liked both the V9 Roamer and V7 III Stone for what they are. They’re just different from other bikes in the market, hence to compare with other makes may not be fair. Both bikes’ appeal rest in the ease of riding them, with a certain kind of soul that could only come from the transversely mounted V-Twin. Besides that, there aren’t many Guzzis around so you’ll earn plenty of inquisitive stares when you ride one.

So which one did we pick as our favourite? Let’s call it a split decision. Keshy and Sep chose the V7 III Stone for its no-frills approach, while Chaze and I chose the V9 Roamer for its looks and soft character.



  • Helmet HJC RPHA 70 ini merapatkan jurang antara helmet sukan sepenuhnya dan helmet touring.
  • Ianya telah dibina berdasarkan prinsip helmet HJC RPHA 11.
    Ringan, selesa, selamat, pada harga yang hebat.
  • HJC Helmet Malaysia juga telah memperkenalkan beberapa buah model yang lain selain dari model RPHA 70 ini – TEKAN SINI untuk melihatnya.


  • The HJC RPHA 70 bridges full sport and touring helmets

  • It is built upon the HJC RPHA 11’s principles

  • Lightweight, comfortable, safe, at a great value

  • HJC Helmet Malaysia have also introduced other models besides the RPHA 70 – click here to see more

It’s probably needless to say that motorcycle helmets have come a long, long way to where they are now. But along with that progress, helmets have become sub-divided into many categories for different uses. Gone were the days when a rider could almost wear just one helmet for every application (off-road riding notwithstanding).

Nowadays, you’d have specific helmets for the track, sport-touring, adventure-touring, touring, sport classics, cafe racers, customs, urban riding, and everything else in between.

We’ll pick the first two.

A race helmet should ideally be light, stable at high speeds, and snug-fitting. Comfort is relative, as a race helmet should hold tight to the wearer’s face and head, lest it moves around when blasting down SIC’s back straight at top speeds.

A sport-touring helmet, on the other hand, should provide all-day comfort, good ventilation and also good stability at high speeds. The emphasis for sport-touring helmets is comfort, something which is a compromise in racing helmets.

Courtesy of womenridersnow

Bridging that gap is never easy, as the resulting helmet is more often than not compromised for either spectrum. So how? You need both.

Or do you?

Built on the solid foundations of the HJC RPHA 11 race helmet (see here for more), the HJC RPHA 70 seeks to bridge those two concepts into one complete high performance package.

As with the RPHA 11, the RPHA 70’s shell is made from a what HJC calls their “Premium Integrated Matrix Plus (PIM+)” material, which consists of carbon fibre, Aramid, fiberglass and Kevlar; resulting in a lightweight but strong shell. The EPS has different densities around the helmet.

Traces of the RPHA 11’s design philosophies are evident in the RPHA 70’s tall chinbar, aerodynamic shell design, optically correct 2D faceshield with the centrally-located lock (which it shares with the RPHA 11), and interior paddings, in addition to the cheekpads that are extractable in emergencies.

Sport-touring features include the internal drop-down sunshield and large vents on the chinbar and crown (top of the head). The are deep cutouts for the ears, closed off by padding. Remove those pads and you have yourself built-in velcro pads to attach your Bluetooth speakers (I really welcome this).

The cheekpads are thick and tall. There are eyeglass “pockets” on both sides – spectacles wearers will welcome this. The crown pad is also thick and seems to float a couple of milimetres above the inner EPS lining.

Our first opportunity to sample the RPHA 70 was during the ride to Penang to cover the BMW Motorrad Nightfuel event (click here for our coverage and pictures). We rode a myriad of bikes including three variants of the R nineT, S 1000 R naked sportbike, K 1600 GT tourer, and G 310 R lightweight roadster. That means we rode on more bikes without fairing for wind protection.

The BMW S 1000 R was fast! You’d drone along at 60km/h in sixth gear, hit the throttle and you’re suddenly flying at 180km/h. But there was no wind protection. This was where the RPHA 70 showed its mettle. It stayed stayed stable without wobbling around, nor did it felt like ripping our heads off when we turned to the sides. Besides that, it resisted lifting and diving

Sep was testing the BMW G 310 R all the way into Penang (with top speeds close to 170km/h) and he reported the RPHA 70 being stable, too.

The HJC RPHA 70 is also relatively quiet at high speeds even without earplugs, which meant that I didn’t have to turn up my Bluetooth communicator’s volume to full blast, and it’s definitely a pleasant experience with earplugs in.

The sunshield dropped down and retracted quickly when activated via the switch at the bottom of the left chinbar. As with the main faceshield, the sunshield is optically correct, which means it won’t give you headaches from bad vision. My only gripe with the sunshield is that the bottom edges drop ever so slightly when its up, although Sep didn’t encounter this problem.

Airflow through the Advanced Channelling System (ACS) can be described as good and satisfactory. Air entering through the chin vents is directed upwards to the faceshield. A secondary and smaller chin vent directs airflow straight to wearer’s chin and mouth (the switch is on the inside). With the top central vent open, the wearer could feel a cooling stream of air moving past his crown.

We had encountered some rain on the way into Penang, and we thought we’ve come through the worst.

On that same evening, we rode from our hotel at Gurney Drive to the event ground next to the new Penang Bridge, when we got hit by the heaviest rainstorm we’ve ever encountered. There wasn’t even time to close the vents but thankfully, no water got through and the faceshield remained clear as we’ve installed the anti-fog lens which came in the box.

We’ve since donned the helmet everywhere we went, including riding around the city in all weather conditions and times of the day. As with most fullface helmets, the air inside could get a little stuffy on scorching hot days but all one needs to do is crack open the faceshield a little or, just ride faster.

Back to the subject about track usage: Not only does the HJC RPHA 70 comply to the ECE R22.05 standard, but it is also approved by the FIM. Approval by the FIM means the wearer could use the helmet for FIM-sanctioned racing events. That’s unprecedented, as most if not all, FIM approved race helmets are without built-in sunshades.

So, there you go. A real two-in-one helmet at one great value.


  • Advanced PIM+ (Premium Integrated Matrix Plus) construction: carbon fiber, Aramid, carbon-glass hybrid fabric for enhanced shock resistance
  • Anti-fog smoke tinted sunshield deploys quickly
  • RapidFire system for quick, tool-less faceshield removal and installation
  • Emergency cheek pads removal
  • Multicool interior with advanced anti-bacteria fabric provides enhanced moisture wicking and quick drying
  • Crown and cheek pads are removable and washable
  • Anti-fog lens prepared shield
  • Includes anti-fog insert lens
  • Glasses-friendly EPS design
  • ECE 22.05 and FIM approved




Artikel oleh: Wahid Ooi Abdullah

  • Motosikal BMW R nineT Racer adalah motosikal cafe racer dalam rangkaian motosikal R nineT.
  • Ianya sebuah motosikal moden retro yang bersusur-galur dari motosikal R90S.
  • Pengendalian yang baik, enjin yang penuh dengan daya kilas, serta rupa paras yang menawan adalah tanda pengenalannya.


  • The BMW R nineT Racer is the café racer of the R nineT family

  • It’s a modern retro which draws its lineage to the R90S

  • Good handling, torquey engine and great looks are its hallmark

I once dated a girl who was gorgeous, smart and independent, all-in-one. We’ve had so much to talk about, so much to share, including our passion for movies, music, the high life and motorcycles.

She was quite tall, had a nice chassis with the right dimensions in the right places. When she smiled, her lips curved bewitchingly. When she looked at me, those eyes burned straight through to my soul, eliciting primal desires I never thought I had.

Everywhere we went, other men would stare unabashedly. They didn’t even bother to grab serendipitous glances at her. I could “read” what was in their heads. Jealous? Yes. Yet I felt proud that she was holding tight onto my arm. Yeah, look all you want, bud, she’s mine. Imma playa and I play for keeps. Nyah nyah.

What more could a man ask for right?

Behind closed doors, on the other hand, it was all her. My opinions never mattered. I gave up on seeing my friends only to find her out partying with hers when I returned home.  I bought her the most expensive I could afford, but it wasn’t enough. She complained wherever I brought her, nevermind it cost RM400 for a dinner.

But all those heartaches turned into meaningless gripes as soon as she smiled, and especially when I see the look on the faces of other guys when I’m with her.

What is it with tough love?

When BMW Motorrad’s chief designer Ola Stenegard approached Roland Sands to “do a BMW,” the famed customizer built the Concept 90 Prototype which drew inspiration from a famed BMW roadracer, the R90S.

We were excited when we saw the R90 Concept, resplendent in that classic metallic orange paint, retro half-fairing housing a single round headlight. But when production of R nineT got underway, we wondered if BMW Motorrad will ever produce a café racer like the R90 Concept.

Well, here it is. The BMW R nineT Racer, complete with a frame-mounted half-fairing, clip-on handlebars, small seat, seat hump, and vintage BMW Motorsport paint scheme. Each component seemed to enhance the beauty of another.

The BMW R nineT Racer is another variant built on the R nineT platform, to complement the base R nineT (click here for our review), R nineT Scrambler, R nineT Pure, and the just-launched R nineT Urban G/S (click here for our review). That means the R nineT Racer shares the 1178cc oilhead Boxer and frame but there’s where the similarity ends.

Unlike the base R nineT, The R nineT Racer’s forks are conventional telescopic, non-adjustable units while the fuel tank is steel instead of aluminium. The wheels are 17-inch cast aluminium ones, instead of cross-spoked ones.

Behind that fairing’s bubble are two analog dials with LCD screens to display different info. No fuel gauge, tho’. Thumb the starter button and the Boxer-Twin comes to life just like the others – with a kick to starboard. But’s that’s the character of the Boxer through the decades. The charm is in how it vibes and rocks the mirrors, reminding you that it’s alive rather than merely “ON.” It fuels impeccably throughout the rev range, which puts more emphasis on torque rather than all-out horsepower.

On the handling front, the Racer isn’t a bike you’d just throw into a corner. The long wheelbase, generous rake and trail, low height produces a bike that absolutely revels in long, high speed sweepers like those you find near the Menora Tunnel and Karak. But once it’s on its side, it’s battleship steady. The suspension is supple to deal with road irregularities despite being “low tech.”

Those Brembo front brakes are strong, though. Give it a hard two-fingered squeeze to suddenly and it would seem that your breakfast disagrees with your stomach.

True to its Racer name, the seating position is stretched out – long reach to the handlebars, torso low down onto the tank, feet back, knees up and bum offered to the sky gods. Just like a 70’s and 80’s racebike. Or a road race bicycle. Mass centralization be damned. Having owned a Cagiva Mito and Ducati 916 in the early 90’s, the R nineT Racer’s riding position didn’t seem too foreign, unless compared to contemporary sportbikes such as the S 1000 RR.

Of course, it’s more tiring compared to bikes with sit up riding position. With all that tank gripping, upper torso being supported by muscles in the lower back and core, you need to stretch yourself out when you stop after riding for 150 kilometres or so.

Still, I rode the bike from Penang to the Sg. Buloh R&R with a bagpack filled with my laptop, camera, clothes and toiletries strapped to my back, but I didn’t come away looking like the Igor from Notre Dame.

The engine is already good, but what really makes the R nineT Racer a great bike is its awesome looks. And it is drop dead gorgeous. The Malaysian populace at large has mostly grown familiar to big bikes and not many superbikes will grab their attention anymore.

But not the R nineT Racer. There seems to be an aura surrounding it.

We would return to a crowd surrounding the bike wherever we parked. Conservative uncles would circle around the bike, with huge grins on their faces. Even other bikers will crowd around and started asking a whole bunch of questions. Park the bike anywhere and it seems to light up those premises. Stop at a set of traffic lights and everyone will stare at it like it was Claudia Schiffer.

The main question we encountered was, “Isn’t it uncomfortable to be draped over the bike like that?” “No, it’s alright,” was how we answered. And if we were asked which of the R nineT range we would pick, we would answer, “The Racer,” without hesitation.

Guess looks beat tough love anytime.


Engine type Air/Oil-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontally-opposed (Boxer) Twin
Compression ratio 12.0 : 1
Bore X Stroke 101 mm X 73 mm
Displacement 1170 cc
Fuel system Electronic intake pipe injection
Maximum power 110 bhp (81 kW) @ 7750 RPM
Maximum torque 116 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically actuated
Gearbox Constant mesh, 6-speed, shaft drive
Front suspension 43mm telescopic forks, 125mm travel
Rear suspension Single central shock absorber adjustable for preload and rebound damping. 120mm travel
Front brakes Two 320mm floating discs, Brembo four-piston calipers
Rear brake Single 265 mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS, front and rear
Front tyre 120/70-ZR17
Rear tyre 180/55-ZR17
Frame Three-part frame consisting of one front and two rear sections; load-bearing engine and transmission; rear set frame removable for single rider
Swingarm Cast aluminium single-sided swingarm with BMW Motorrad Paralever
Trail 103.9 mm
Rake 26.4 degrees
Wheelbase 1491 mm
Seat height 805 mm
Wet weight 219 kg
Fuel capacity 17 litres



Artikel oleh:Wahid Ooi Abdullah

  • Motosikal BMW R nineT Urban G/S ini berdasarkan platform R nineT.
  • Ianya mengenang kembali kepada motosikal ikonik R80G/S yang telah memenangi empat buah perlumbaan Paris-Dakar Rally.
  • Ketercapaian, praktikaliti, dan penggayaan yang tidak konvensional adalah tarikan utamanya.


  • The BMW R nineT Urban G/S is based on the rnineT platform

  • It harks back to the iconic R80G/S which won four Paris-Dakar Rally races

  • Accessibility, practicality and unconventional styling are its key points

“Wahid,” said Shaz in her sweetest voice, “You need to work on article about adventure riding.” That made the office lights turn in circles around me. Sure, I’ve ridden off-road and attend motocross training at Oh Kah Beng’s Most Fun Gym (MFG) from time to time, but to write about it was something else.

But lo’ and behold, a little research unearthed a whole treasure throve of amazing stories regarding the Paris-Dakar Rally.

This legendary rally raid event (now Dakar Rally or just The Dakar, and had moved to South America from Africa) which started in 1979 features classes for motorcycles, quads (ATVs), cars and trucks.


The Dakar isn’t quite like the type of rally we’re used to seeing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) where the competitors fly through 2km-long Special Stages (SS) to stamp the fastest time.

Oh no. Compared to The Dakar, WRC looks like a kiddy kart ride on the rooftop of a shopping mall.

The Dakar required competitors to cover 800 to 900 kilometres per day in tough conditions. Less than 30 percent consists of road stages, while the rest are offroad – crossing over dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks and a whole bunch of other terrains that are difficult to even walk on, plus who knows of dangers the desert lie in wait for the unfortunate soul. There were even competitors who vanished without a trace. The total distance over the rally ran up to 10,000 kilometres. To finish is akin to winning in itself.

It didn’t come to be called The World’s Toughest Rally for nothing.

Anyway, as I scrolled through the long list honours, two particular letters jumped out at me. “G” and “S”. More specifically, “BMW R80G/S.”

You see, motorcycles of the time were divided clearly into their respective roles; it was either fully road-going or off-road. The road-going motorcycles offered touring capabilities such as longer range, ability to haul luggage, and comfort for two. On the other hand, if you wanted a motorcycle that could handle Alpine dirt paths, desert tracks, sandy roads or the forests, it’s one which was stripped out of all the touring accoutrements. There was nothing in between.

BMW Motorrad made the bold decision to fill this void with a motorcycle that could do it all. The Reiseenduro (touring enduro) segment was born. (Reise means “a change of location” in German, while duro means “to endure” in Spanish.)

To cut a long story short, BMW Motorrad presented the R80G/S to the world press in Avignon, France on 1st September 1980. The “G/S” moniker stands for Gelände/Straße (off-road/road). BMW Motorrad promoted the R80G/S with the phrase, “Sports machine, touring machine, enduro… Welcome to a motorcycle concept with more than one string to its bow.”

The R80G/S also broke several engineering grounds, including how its 800cc Boxer-Twin was mated to a single-sided swingarm which carried the driveshaft, called the “Monolever.” (The “Paralever” was introduced in 1987 on the R80GS and R100GS.)

So, the R80G/S was the Adam of all adventure-touring motorcycles, including the current R 1200 GS.

BMW joined the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1980, and rider Jean-Claude Morellet finished fifth on the R80G/S. That result had shown the G/S’s potential and encouraged BMW to commit everything in 1981, resulting in Hubert Ariol winning 3 hours ahead of the next competitor, while Morellet came home in fourth. A non-factory G/S with little modifications finished in seventh.

BMW won again in 1983 in the hands of a diminutive Belgian rider by the name of Gaston Rahier, ahead of Auriol. Rahier would go on to win his second Paris-Dakar rally in 1984 with R80G/S.

Four Dakar victories in five years. That’s why the R80G/S is an icon.

Let’s time travel back to 2017.

The 2017 BMW R nineT Urban G/S was formally launched in Malaysia during the BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s Nightfuel event in Penang. (Click here for our coverage.)

Built upon the modular BMW rnineT platform (click here for our test and review), its styling harks back the R80G/S, so it does look retro. But is it just a heritage bike?

BMW Motorrad Malaysia had prepared a unit for the ride up to Penang to cover the event, but since we were sharing different bikes among other members of the media, I only got to ride the Urban G/S from Tian Siang Motorrad in Ipoh.

Getting off the manic S 1000 R naked sportbike/streetfighter, the R nineT G/S was a great change of pace, and of physical and mental aspects.

Compared to the S 1000 R’s plethora of features, the rnineT Urban G/S makes do with single large speedo with a small LCD screen embedded in it, there’s no ride mode (although ABS is always on), no electronic suspension settings, no quickshifter, no howling inline-Four.

But it does have the 1170cc “Oilhead” Boxer-Twin, with 110bhp and 116 Nm of torque!

It started up with a roar and a “very” noticeable kick to right; similarly when you blip the throttle. This thing’s alive it’s is telling you to get going.

The handlebar behind that classic “windshield” put me in a straight up riding position. The seat was coloured like the R80G/S Paris-Dakar Edition’s and was flat. The footpegs were slightly forward like those on an enduro.

Letting out the clutch, the Boxer’s flat torque took over and pulled away smartly. There’s no rush, the engine note was relaxed, lazy even.

Out on the North-South Highway, we decided to punch it as we reached the winding road leading to the Menora Tunnel. The engine’s steady rumble turned into a roar, mixed with a warble from the airbox underneath the tank and BRRRAAAAP from the single exhaust. The exhaust was loud enough to warn other vehicles out of the way.

The suspension might be basic and lack adjustability but both ends handled well as we swung through those corners at high speeds. They also soaked up the bumps from the red speed-breaker lines painted across the lanes, without the bike threatening to go wide.

We switched bikes again when we stopped for fuel at Gunung Semanggol, and I got the K 1600 GT tourer this time. But I jumped on the chance to ride the Urban G/S again on our way to the Nightfuel venue.

Penang’s traffic was clear when we left G. Hotel at Gurney Drive, but it was a total gridlock when we reached the coastal highway leading to the old Penang Bridge. It was so bad that even small bikes found it hard to get through. Sep would later say, “It looked like a scene from a disaster movie. It’s like everyone in Penang was running away from a catastrophic event!”

I managed to hook on to the back of a group of local R 1200 GS riders as they blazed a trail by using the motorcycle lane. It was here that I truly appreciated the R nineT Urban G/S’s agility. It was stable while cutting lanes at crawling speeds even at full handlebar lock. Helping along was the progressive clutch lever and engine’s smooth, low down torque. The brakes were strong and progressive, without being too aggressive.

We hit the clear past the bridge. Then the heaviest rain came down out of nowhere!

My riding gear had gotten wet on the way into Penang and I’ve left them to dry back in the hotel, so I was in my long-sleeve BMW GS Trophy T-shirt and, I’ve got the DSLR hanging in the rain! There’s only one thing left to do.


I pushed past 130, 140, 150km/h while the rain slammed onto my skin like cold needles from the left. Yet, the R nineT Urban G/S remained stable. With my head slightly down behind the screen, knees and elbows tucked in, there was surprisingly little wind blast.

I parked at the first space in sight when I reached the event ground (in first place, just like Rahier, I’d like to think) and ran inside. It was only during the launch that it occurred to me that I was riding the country’s first registered BMW R nineT Urban G/S with such abandon.

Anyhow, an acquaintance in Penang met up with me later that night and we rode into town.

Penang’s roads seemed to have deteriorated somewhat and they were bumpy everywhere. Ridden at speeds of 60km/h above, the R nineT Urban G/S’s suspension glided over the bumps and potholes, but they felt a little stiff below that speed. So ride faster! Still, the pillion didn’t complain about being bumped around, since she’s much lighter than me.

Back in Kuala Lumpur where the traffic moves at a faster rate and the roads are wider, the R nineT Urban G/S had no trouble with whatever road surface it encountered. Big bumps and potholes were taken while standing up on the pegs, and they felt like road pimples and dimples. I was fully in tune with the bike by then and riding felt very natural.

Additionally, true to its Euro 4 rating and BMW Motorrad’s principle of building economical bikes, the full tank of gas from the Tapah R&R lasted for two more days of urban riding.

The BMW R nineT platform was created to spawn more variants and it was truly refreshing to have the R nineT Urban G/S as a stablemate. It still does retain resemblances to the iconic R80G/S and it positively handled the touring aspect very well. While we didn’t take it offroad, the R nineT Urban G/S met the challenge of rough city roads with aplomb. That is why there’s “Urban” in its name.

Honestly, I wasn’t too enamored with it initially but having discovered its character and that it shared the R80G/S genes turned me into a believer.

Besides that, the BMW R nineT Urban G/S is further customizable to your personal tastes – the Lac Rose Concept being an example – letting it stand out from the sea of cookie-cutter styled bikes.



Engine type Air/Oil-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontally-opposed (Boxer) Twin
Compression ratio 12.0 : 1
Bore X Stroke 101 mm X 73 mm
Displacement 1170 cc
Fuel system Electronic intake pipe injection
Maximum power 110 bhp (81 kW) @ 7550 RPM
Maximum torque 116 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically actuated
Gearbox Constant mesh, 6-speed, shaft drive
Front suspension 43mm telescopic forks, 125mm travel
Rear suspension Single central shock absorber adjustable for preload and rebound damping. 140mm travel
Front brakes Two 320mm floating discs, Brembo four-piston radially-mounted calipers
Rear brake Single 265 mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS, front and rear
Front tyre 120/70-R19
Rear tyre 170/60-R17
Frame Three-part frame consisting of one front and two rear sections; load-bearing engine and transmission; rear set frame removable for single rider
Swingarm Cast aluminium single-sided swingarm with BMW Motorrad Paralever
Trail 110.6 mm
Rake 28.5 degrees
Wheelbase 1527 mm
Seat height 850 mm
Dry weight 209 kg
Fuel capacity 17 litres

Artikel oleh Wahid Ooi Abdullah

  • Ulasan BWM R nine T – “You Have The Power”
  • Motosikal BMW R nineT ini dibina sebagai satu asas untuk pengkhususan.
  • Namun, motosikal BMW R nineT adalah kanvas yang lebih ‘putih’.


  • BMW rnineT Review – You Have the Power

  • The BMW R nineT is meant as a base for customizing

  • But the BMW rnineT Pure is a “whiter” canvas

I’ve loved liked rock and heavy metal music since I was in school.

“Trendy” schoolmates were more or less divided into two camps. In one corner, were the Canto-Poppers who adored Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Alan Tam, et al. They were easily distinguishable in their baggy Ali Baba pants and shirts.

In the other corner were the Mat Rock (rockers) who headbanged to Search, Lefthanded, BPR, Wings, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Bon Jovi, Guns ‘N’ Roses. Their hairs were “slightly” longer (or thicker if they can’t keep it long), high-top shoes, tight shirts, and especially low-cut pants so tight they couldn’t bend their knees more than 10 degrees.

Yes, I was definitely in the second group.

Then in 1991, Nirvana released their revolutionary record: Nevermind. Rock music was suddenly turned on its head. Gone were complex arrangements and guitar solos of rock gods such, replaced by the basic, guttural, rebellious sound of grunge.

Grunge soon led to NuMetal and all other sub-genres such as Industrial Metal were born. The German band called Rammstein is the leader in Industrial Metal, popularized through their song Du Hast (You Have).

But I could never get the song. No, I’m not referring to my illiteracy of Deutsch but the whole arrangement and direction of it.

I guess I’m firmly locked into old school (like in the movie School of Rock).

BMW Motorrad have long attempted to capture a solid foothold in the retro market, not from lack of heritage since BMW Motorrad had many iconic motorcycles in past years. There were so many, in fact! The modern BMW R nineT, however, harks back to the 1973 R90S. The R90S was the bike which won the inaugural AMA Superbike Championship in 1976, ridden by Reg Pridmore.

With BMW Motorrad’s 90th anniversary looming 2013, the German firm needed a motorcycle to commemorate this important milestone, and they wanted an old-school, air/oil-cooled boxer-twin engine, housed in a roadster form.

The BMW R nineT was designed by the current BMW Motorrad Chief Designer, Ola Stenegard and his team. Stenegard had penned the basic looks of the model and then spoke to renowned motorcycle designer Roland Sands (he of RSD) to fine tune the final design.

In fact, Stenegard is a classics, customs and café racer enthusiat through and through, although he also penned the S 1000 RR.

So, the resulting BMW R nineT was not only a homage to past icons but also became a blank canvas for further customization.

However, BMW Motorrad had released the R nineT Pure some months ago and it has since been the whitest canvas for customization. (Click here for our report.)

Which begs the question: What is the R nineT we tested here?

Well, I’d personally like to call it a ol’ skool roadster with a modern twist.

It hads the lines of a classic in the tank and short seat, but it also had all modern details such as the intake snout, adjustable forks, radially mounted Brembo calipers, ABS and Paralever rear suspension set up.

From the seat, you come face-to-face with the dual analog dials set in handsome polished aluminium bezels. There is a small LCD screen at the bottom of each dial. Controls on the handlebars are minimal, consisting of just one extra INFO button besides the customary ones. There is no RIDE or POWER mode, although ABS is standard and non-switchable.

The handlebar is really wide, almost like that of the R 1200 GS, but set further ahead of the long fuel tank. The relatively short seat has a novel feature. the subframe underneath it supports it completely, while the bars attached to its bottom part from behind the swingarm pivot acts to carry the passenger’s footpegs can be fully removed. This is surely a feature for customization.

Seated firmly on the bike, the engine comes on in loud BRRAOOM! while kicking to the right as if someone had knocked into the left side of the bike. It’s the same when you rev the engine at standstill – the bike kicks to the right, courtesy of the 11170cc, Boxer-Twin “oilhead” engine’s torque. It was disconcerting at first, but it soon charmed its way in as part of the bike’s character.

Dumping the clutch had the bike taking off to the tune of the characteristic Boxer engine roar and boom of the dual megaphone-style Akrapovic exhausts. The stock exhausts are already quite loud and soulful by BMW’s standards. I always found myself grinning when I grabbed big fistfuls of throttle, just to hear them sing like Anthrax’s rhythm section. They gave the bike a distinctive and more importantly a fierce presence in traffic, surprising road users into giving you way.

Keep twisting the throttle and the 110 Bavarian horses kick out 119 Nm of torque to the ground, giving the rider’s body a full taste of what it means by heavy-metal torque. The engine kept pulling and pulling, all the way to the redline.

But the time it hits 6000 RPM, you’re doing 140km/h and you got to hold on tight as speed picks up quickly , lest it’s like being blasted off the stage by the sound system at Manowar’s concerts.

In the handling department, the R nineT is relatively agile (despite its big rake and trail, and long wheelbase) but also stable in long, high-speed corners. The beefy upside down forks are the traditional set up without BMW’s signature Telelever . That equates to feeling every signal the front tyre sends your way in terms of grip level, lean angle, road surface character, braking pressure.

The rear suspension uses BMW’s ubiquitous Paralever single-sided swingarm to tame the Boxer-Twin’s torque through the shaft. The rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound damping but there isn’t a need to do so, as the stock settings are already well-calibrated.

The front brakes are strong and a two-fingered pull usually put too much retarding force, causing the bike to pitch forward hard. Rolling off the throttle calls up a good deal of back-torque to assist in emergency braking, too.

Combining the engine’s character and handling traits equals an experience like Ritchie Blackmore’s orgasmic guitar solo in Highway Star.

Charging through traffic was all a matter of utilizing the engine’s torque, brakes and wide handlebar. Overtaking a long row of cars was just a twist of the wrist away. Steering was just a small tap on the handlebar. Stopping was a finger pull ahead. It was like listening to Paradise City: Calm one moment, before everything bursts into exhilaration.

Besides functionality, the R nineT has already given a set of good looks. It looks beefier hence more aggressive. That, the white and blue badge and its distinctive voice had people staring at it everytime. I could only imagine how a customized R nineT would have people flocking over in droves.

So, what is the R nineT?

It’s a standard bike which rides like a naked sportbike, but charming as an old school sportbike like the R90S (how I wish I could ride one!). In musical analogy, it’s like old school rock mixed with new rock for a different experience. To be frank, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve never liked Rammstein’s Du Hast. But I came to appreciate it after testing the BMW R nineT, because like the song, it has a rebellious edge. It could well be BMW’s hooligan bike. Yes, it does, even for a BMW.

Perhaps it’s best to sum up the BMW R nineT in German.

Du hast die leistung (You have the power).



Engine type Air/Oil-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontally-opposed (Boxer) Twin
Compression ratio 12.0 : 1
Bore X Stroke 101 mm X 73 mm
Displacement 1170 cc
Fuel system Electronic intake pipe injection
Maximum power 110 bhp (81 kW) @ 7550 RPM
Maximum torque 119 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically actuated
Gearbox Constant mesh, 6-speed, shaft drive
Front suspension 46mm upside down fork, 120mm travel
Rear suspension Single central shock absorber adjustable for preload and rebound damping. 120mm travel
Front brakes Two 320mm floating discs, Brembo four-piston radially-mounted calipers ABS
Rear brake Single 255 mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS, front and rear
Front tyre 120/70-ZR17
Rear tyre 180/55-R17
Frame Four-section frame consisting of one front and three rear sections; load-bearing engine and transmission; removable pillion frame for single rider
Swingarm Cast aluminium single-sided swingarm with BMW Motorrad Paralevel
Trail 102.5 mm
Rake 25.5 degrees
Wheelbase 1470 mm
Seat height 785 mm
Dry weight 208 kg
Fuel capacity 18 litres



  • Shell Advance Ultra with PurePlus Technology is a fully-synthetic motor oil

  • The lubricant is formulated to last up to 12,000 kilometres

  • Engine is now smoother, faster-revving and has gained extra RPMs

We’ve covered Shell Advance Ultra with Pureplus’ origins in a previous article (click here to read more). I’ve been using this lubricant in my 2011 Kawasaki ER-6f since May of this year.

There were two grades to choose from at that particular time: 10W-40 and 10W-50. The former grade is recommended by Kawasaki as the primary choice, while the second is recommended by the manufacturer for countries with high ambient temperatures.

While the second grade would’ve been perfect, I decided to go ahead with the 10W-40 choice just to test how it would fare, since it’s the primary choice.

During the pour, the oil was a very clear, almost golden yellow. That’s due to the PurePlus Technology. Shell’s PurePlus Technology results from Shell’s gas-to-liquid crystal-clear base oil which is virtually free from impurities such as sulfur, mercaptans, mecury, nitrogen, aromatics (click here to read more).

The real difference, of course, was what happened when the engine was started and running. The Shell Advance Ultra’s effect was immediate. The ER-6 range is well-known for its loud ticking sound emanating from the cylinder head, but with the Shell lubricant, the sound was reduced significantly at idle. The sound totally disappeared when the helmet went on and riding.

Engine response was quick, even when the oil was new. (A new oil is still more viscous or “thicker,” compared to older oil.) More importantly, the engine didn’t feel stressed when accelerating hard through the gears and had no qualms about holding high RPMs for extended periods.

Additionally, there’s a 300 RPM drop when cruising at all speeds. Lower revs equate to lower fuel consumption.

The oil has since covered 3000km. I’ll be honest here: The biggest complaint heard in the market about most, if not all oils, is their inability to hold its grade and performance throughout its lifespan. Most bikers change their oils every 5000km, regardless if they used fully-synthetic or semi-synthetic lubricants. In their opinion, lubricants would experience a performance drop by the time it hits the 2500km to 3000km mark.

Now, I’ve used almost every oil available in the market, even some that aren’t; and I can happily report that the Shell Advance Ultra with PurePlus has not a dropped in its performance thus far. The ticking in my bike’s valvetrain is still soft, the engine still revs willingly, and the 300 RPM reduction is still present. That has made riding a hoot especially in the city as overtaking is easy – a quick blast of the throttle is all that’s needed.

Of course, the oil has changed colour, but extracting some of it out of the engine revealed that it is still reddish brown instead of being totally black or worse, grayish black. I’m positive that should be credited to the PurePlus technology, since it started out free from impurities (click here for more info).

Shell has iterated that the Advance Ultra with PurePlus technology is formulated to be long-lasting. Because of that, its official service life is at 12000km for Ducatis. While different engines “use” their lubricants differently, if so, it means the oil in my engine has covered only at 25% of its lifespan.

A further report at 6000km is forthcoming from our test and I shall push it to the 12000km cycle. But at this moment, the Shell Advance Ultra with PurePlus has already surpassed my expectations.

We put the Honda MSX 125 through a proper road test to see if it shines as brightly here as it did around a track.

– Air-cooled 125cc single
– 4-speed manual
– 9.7hp / 11Nm
– 104kg (kerb)
– RM11,128.94 (basic with GST)


Though small, the stylish, fun and highly affordable Benelli TnT 135 is larger than life indeed!

– 135cc single-cylinder
– Oil-cooled and twin-spark ignition
– 13hp / 10.8Nm
– 121kg (dry)
– RM7,990 (basic without GST) (more…)


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