Saturday, 3 May 2014

Car Steering Alignment (Camber Bolt Scam)

I admit that this will be a little off topic especially on my motorcycle major blog but why not as long as it is something useful?

I just recently had my mom's car suspension damper changed and of cause have the steering wheel aligned properly. This give me an idea to write this up and clear off some mind about what is actually wheel alignment?

First of all, a car suspension consist of a damper and a spring. Our wheel is attached to the damper unit where 2 bolts hold it in place. Normally one has to get their car steering alignment done if he had an accident and something has to do with the wheel; most of his/her driving is on bumpy and moon like road; or it is just simply the steering bar has been ware off.

Most people must have the experience that when you come to a tire shop to do steering wheel alignment, the shop will tell you to purchased camber bolt because your camber already run out, if you don't, they are not able to do alignment. Well this is some tactic use to earn extra sales by most tire shop now days. Unless your car have involved in a serious accident or damaged on the wheel site, else, camber adjustment to get alignment done is just simply hilarious. Let me show you why.

Wheel Camber is how of the angle of a wheel positioned vertically from the center axis of mounting. Negative camber improve high speed cruising and high speed cornering stability but increase steering wheel turning afford. Positive camber improve low speed turning ability only but sacrifice every aspect while on high speed, a neutral camber will be 0. Most normal car has a 0 degree camber angel where some more sport cars come with slightly negative camber angel as stock. As  a result, adjusting camber angle is just simply unnecessary and if you have step into a situation where your camber angel already run out, that will be time to change your suspension or wish bone structure as they already damaged.

A bent camber bolt

Changing to a aftermarket camber bolt can be hazardous as most of the aftermarket parts are off OEM specification if not choose correctly. It can bent easily as the quality of steel is not on par. How it works, it is pretty simple, insert the camber nut to the upper insert of your damper unit and adjust the wheel camber angle by referring to a water level gauge.

Just bare in mind that whenever you go for alignment, do not let the shop to fool you and be another victim of this scam. Happy driving!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

I Have a Dream

"We have only one life, if we miss the chance now, we may not have another one later"

- Anna Grechishkina

Touring the world has been a dream for mankind long time ago, because of the desire to explore and discover new places; it drives to the technological advance in our civilization, from a simple ship for sailing to metal jet soaring the sky. There is one particular group of people who try to change the way of traveling in one of a non-conventional way – traveling on a motorcycle. Since motorcycle been invented, bike touring has been a new life style which never fades, bikers do it year to year and never stop craving for the enrichment.

Anna, a lovely Ukraine girl who holds a dream long time ago decided to go for a one big step in her life, to ride the world. Her story can be an inspiring one for other bikers. She enters Malaysia on December 2013 after Thailand and we are very happy to have her to take part in our interview, sharing bit of her story with us. The interview is not able to be conducted face to face due to our packed schedule, but luckily Anna is kind enough to accept an online interview. We are here to share what we have with Anna.

1. As per your "I have a dream" website, we know that it is a project to ride around the world with motorcycle. Can you briefly let us know how many countries have you cross so far and before arriving in Thailand, you were in South Korea and skipped China, Vietnam and Cambodia, is that because of the visa problem?

Yes, this is the world trip on my KTM Adventure 1190 bike meaning that I will cross all the continents except Antarctica but of course it does not mean that I will cover all the countries. For that I would need more than two years. I’ve been on the road for almost six months already, I started my journey from Kiev, Ukraine, on 27 July 2013 and I intend to complete it by summer 2015. So far I crossed all Russia till Vladivostok, shipped my bike to Thailand; all the way covered Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, soon ready to continue for Australia, then USA, Mexico, Central & South America, Africa and Europe. I skipped some of the countries in South Asia because of visa issues and complicated procedures as to bringing my bike to the countries - like China, Vietnam. Of course, I am interested in these countries as well but I am sure that my traveling spirit will not expire after my world trip is completed and I will continue to explore the world further. 

2. There are quite some numbers of bikers doing this world riding thing, but mostly are male. It is really rare to see a female riding around the world like you do thus in your opinion, what sort of situation or maybe condition is the most challenging part for a female rider throughout the journey?

Well, I agree that it’s more challenging for a female to take a risk of such journey. Main issues are connected first of all with safety, because single woman on the road in a foreign country can easily become a target for some people. Also women normally need more comfortable conditions in terms of hygiene and it’s not always that you get on the way, so you have to adapt to different situations and different conditions, to learn to be happy and contented with small things. Part of the challenge is connected also with some things which are normally considered as “man’s piece of cake” like lifting up the bike when you drop it, or carrying heavy luggage on and off your bike, taking care of the bike when something is broken or out of service. 

In the other hand being a female rider is somehow easier in some sense. Because when people meet you, they immediately want to help you and facilitate your journey. It’s not very common situation to see a woman on the bike, especially in a long-ride journey, so people want to support you in everything. For example, whenever I dropped my bike (because it’s heavy) I could hardly get on my feet before there was already somebody around to help me to lift it up. I experienced a lot of situations when I got very fast help just because people wanted to help to a single lady on the road. 

Of course, it’s very important to have connections in the countries that you’re heading to, at least you should have at least few people to whom you may call or ask for help.

But it’s much more dangerous to travel alone in your imagination, reality is often very different, and the most challenging and difficult part is to take the first step and to start. Once you started, other things are being sorted out easier. Therefore, one of my goals is to show to female riders that they can do it, it’s not just men’s privilege to travel. We also can explore the world, and sometimes it’s even easier for us to do it.  

3. There are many types of riders, there are riders who love speed, roaming around the track most of the time: there are riders who loves customizing bikes; some loves to travel around and integrate the machine as part of their voyage, Which category you think that you will put your own self in. Also, when you started to ride a motorcycle, bikes that you have ridden so far? What is the motive to make you have such strong desire to archive this goal where a lot of people who will only think of without action? 

I am definitely not a type of riders who love speed, I am a slow rider who prefers to travel for long distances and explore the world. To do this you need time, not speed. I like to look around, to stop for taking photos, for meeting people. Sometimes people are wondering why I take so much time to get from one place to another, but for me it’s not the distance that matters but experience. And maybe I will cover only a few kilometers in one day but I will get such an unforgettable experience which will enrich my life or touch other people’s lives.   

I started to ride bikes 9 years ago, in 2005. My first bike was Kawasaki Eliminator 125, but already next year I’ve bought Kawasaki Vulcan 900. I immediately got interested in long rides and traveling to other countries. I realized that traveling is the best way of exploring the world and broadening your mind. For these years I’ve been to Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Georgia, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, India, and after one of such journeys I felt that I am ready for a very long ride around the world. This idea first seemed crazy to me but it was coming back to my mind again and again, I consulted with my good friends who really supported me, and one day I decided to start preparations for my world trip.

My goal is not just to travel around the world for my own pleasure, but also to support people who have their dreams. Actually my journey is called “I have a dream..” , and I want to encourage other people to follow their dreams and not to be scared to take the first step. We have only one life, and if we miss the chance now, we may not have another one later. 

Also part of my mission is to do some charity and social work within my journey - like visiting orphanages, homes for the aged, meeting any kind of people who may need support and encouragement. My main message is that everything is possible in this world even if you are simple and ordinary people like I am. 

4. Can you briefly let us know how long you prepared for this journey? Do you have anyone behind you who work for the funding or backup and what you do (occupation) before departed for this mission? 

It took me more than a year to get prepared. First I had to choose the bike which will accompany me in this journey, and I chose KTM Adventure 1190. Also I had to find partners for my trip as it’s quite costly. I had to make the route, collect all the information about visa issues and customs regulations in every country along my route. I had to train myself in a physical sense, so I visited the gym almost every day. Also I spent almost every day in motorcycle service workshop to learn how to deal with the bike in case something happens. In order to have time for all this, I quit my full-time job and shifted for free-lance, and still my everyday schedule was really packed, I didn’t have much time even for rest. And still some issues remained open at the day of my start. But I realized that I have to start otherwise it can be delayed forever. 

One of the issues which is still not settled was financial issue. I didn’t manage to raise all the amount for my trip, therefore search of partners is still in the process though one quarter of my journey is already completed. In Ukraine I have a group of people who help me with organization issues because sometimes I even do not have time for posting photos in Internet.  

5. How do you find the people, food, landscape of Malaysia?

I really enjoy Malaysia, and I can say that of all the countries that I visited so far (not just within this world trip) Malaysia is one of my favorite countries. And I really looking forward to come back here again. I made a lot of friends here, Malaysians are so nice and friendly and supportive people. I felt like at home here because I knew that they take care of me and will never let anything bad happen to me. 

Of course I enjoy landscape and the roads. They are very smooth and comfortable for riding. 

I am not very picky about the food but I like all the varieties of Malaysian food. First I missed potato a lot as it is very traditional food for our countries but now I got used to rice, and like it a lot!

6. Do you have any advice for bikers who really want to ride the world? Such as motorcycle choice, things to be aware of when at a strange environment that you are not familiar with.

Of course a lot of things are very important for the world rides, it’s not a ride for a cup of coffee behind the corner, and it takes a lot of time and energy to get prepared.  But I would say that the most important thing you have to start with is psychological readiness. It’s not that easy to leave your comfort zone and head for uncertainty so you have to be fully aware of your reasons to do it. It should not be just a one night decision, you have to think over it, understand all the difficulties and challenges, and only after you understand all this and ready to take a risk and challenge you should start and go. 

Also I would advise to learn or practice much flexibility. As a world rider you will get to many unusual places and meet a lot of people whose mentality would be very different from yours and sometimes very weird. You should learn to adapt, to change according to the surroundings, to be more tolerant and understanding. In this way you will learn a lot about the world; this is the most precious knowledge. There is no place for rigidity and stubbornness when you’re traveling. 

So I would say that this is the first you should start with and then to continue of course with the choice of bike, collection of information about countries, etc. This part is easier.

7. Lastly, I would like to ask a question that most of our male riders who really keen to know - are you still single and available? Into what extend you open your door to man, what is your preference on man. 

Well, I have a boyfriend in Ukraine, and hopefully time and distance will test our feelings and show us if we fit each other that much.

Thank you Anna for replying back to this interview and for those who is interested please do visit Anna “I have a dream…” blog @

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Brake Fluid Maintenance

Changing your motorcycle brake fluid sometimes can be a pain in the ass for some people but with proper tools, it is very easy to be completed. The method I am going to show apply to non ABS and ABS model with ABS model consume slightly more brake fluid because of the system volume. 

Many may just ask, why should I change my brake fluid, well, many times brake fluid maintenance can be the most easily ignore maintenance task for many riders. Brake fluid have to pick up the heat transfer from the brake calipers and eventually it will deteriorate just like any other engine oil or lubricant. Make no mistake, brake fluid is not a kind of 'oil' even it does hold the oil composition in it, it is more like a chemical which is blend to provide force while withstand the heat at a degree. Remember to use the recommended brake fluid grade from your manufacturer else you just gonna burn money on the brake system again. There are DOT 3, 4, 5 and 5.1 brake fluid available, using a DOT 3 on a DOT 5 system will just result in blowing out your brake fluid. The higher the number means the higher the wet(with moisture absorbed into the fluid) and dry(0% water content which is impossible to obtain under normal operating condition) boiling point it can withstand. As a result, check before apply always the important thing before you start.

Below is the method i use to 'reverse' replace the brake fluid from the reservoir, machine used is Kawasaki ER6n

Tools you needed

a)A syringe (as big as you can)
b)A tube (match the syringe end)
c)Brake fluid
 d)Spanner which match the bleeder nut


1)Remove your master pump reservoir cap.

2)Plug in the tube to the caliper bleeder valve and loosen it with your spanner.

3)Started to 'suck' it out from the reservoir through the  bleeder valve. Remember to stop once you reach the level which touches the hole of the master pump(to prevent sucking in air).

4)Tighten the bleeder nut and started to suck the remaining old brake fluid from the reservoir with cloth or paper, clean it. 

5)Top it up with new brake fluid and loosen back the bleeder valve, suck the new brake fluid to flush the system as step 3. Top it up again and normally you will just take 1-2 cycle to flush the system. 

6)When finish, tighten the bleeder nut and top up the reservoir according to manufacturer recommendation (remember not to fill it too high up as the diaphragm will not have enough air to create enough pressure on the reservoir), move to the next caliper or proceed to step 7.

7)Before installing back the reservoir cover, remember to pump your reservoir several times to make sure no air is trap inside the brake line. Install the reservoir cover.

Enjoy your fresh Lemon Tea, do not dispose brake fluid irresponsibly to the environment, it is highly corrosive!!! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Red Devil

MV Agusta has always been a hot rod in the exotic bike market for centuries; even the all mighty Ducati in some way cannot match. I been riding a MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR for about a week and pretty much understand the concept of what MV has to delivered. Never ridden any of their sport models, either the F3 or F4, it has been a challenge for me to figure out what will I be encountering on these beast. Italian machine has always been an untamed animal for me especially for those V twin beasts. Unlike Japanese machines which always the trademark for smoothness and easy to use, use it everyday concept, it can be a little too boring for some.

Looking in to MV F4 model, since 2005 they had changed their F4 into 1000cc from the previous 749cc range. It has been some problems which impact the riding experience for the last one and two years model, even though it can be very fast on the road, but with an experience on a BMW HP4 before, I belief that the comparison between the two in some aspect will be reliable and trusty. The new F4RR model which I received is the upgrade version from the last year model, upgraded ECU unit, electronic control Ohlin suspension; steering dampers and also monobloc Brembo front brake calipers. Not much upgrade from the R version but these are more than enough to make it into a fearful one, it is hard to make something already good better.

The engine is a 998cc 4 inline DOHC with radial valve configurations, power rating is 195bhp at 13,600 rpm. The new FeRR has a lighter crankshaft, forged titanium connecting rods, revised cylinder head porting and the valves use a single spring instead of two. All are aim to make the engine more rigid and respond more lively, it is indeed very light and agile to be rev along. Compare with previous model, the F4RR receive a better fueling system and even at a lower rev, the engine still running smooth and if to rev it high, power output does  not change abruptly, unlike the F4R, the riding experience is basically ruined by the engine behavior. The quick shifter acts like charm and make spiritual riding even more excited, including the electronic braking, climbing up and down Genting Highland is as effortless as I was on the HP4. Engine throttle respond plays a huge role in maintaining perfect control on the bikes especially on twisty. There are traction controls modes for selection and this come in handy when in slippery condition. While the vibration is quite high compare with others German or Japanese 4 in lines especially at a lower gearing. The engine midrange performance is impressive, low speed commuting is just nice and very minimum throttle adjustment is needed, the tremendous torque at low rev range is so high which make starting in 2nd gear and immediately shift to 4th gear while accelerating happens just a click of an eye. To summarized how the engines compare with its own brother the Brutale 1090RR, the F4RR engine is far more civilized, controllable and forgiving but if it is to compare with the BMW HP4, it can be a little lack here and there and resulted as a more raw, crude machine overall; just not to forget that Italian always make something spicier then plain; in another words, perfection can means no character. If it is to state out the differences between F4RR and HP4, the F4RR is more like a bike which delivers more ‘mechanical feel and vibration’ while the later one is so smooth as you are slicing across butter.

F4RR feel nimble at the corners, totally planted suspension combine with the magnificent Pirelli tires, I just whack across all the corners confidently. The Ohlins suspension does a very good job in keeping this machine stick to the road at any speed and road condition. Basically speaking, it is just another fool proof bike after the HP4, even a fresher able to handle them well thanks to its advance electronic and weight distribution, however the narrow bar and awkward sitting position can make it what I refer as a ’15 minutes’ bike. Steering in and out is precise and swift, braking makes effortless on the monobloc Brembo brake calipers. Good suspension and brakes is the shining point of F4RR, it makes the good handling F4R even more breathe taking. The 191KG weight is somehow a little heavy on this bike because of its slightly higher center of gravity. One of the very good feature is the auto adjust suspension setting, the suspension able to adjust to different mode of riding style, without have to physically set the suspension setting and this apply to the steering damper as well. The styling of F4RR is typical MV Agusta, it is very hard to resist this exotic machine, what I can think of is never bring an MV Agusta to the track but street, it is made to be admired and catwalk in the public, it means everything in fashion.
As a conclusion, this piece of ultimate machine may not be the most comfort or user friendly bike to be ridden day to day but it has the magic for you to take it out for a spin by any of the crappy reason that you can find. It happens to me as I had my wrist aching after half an hour on the bike but the next 3 hours I was wondering around at Genting Highland and having my cup of coffee at the top. The hot Italian girl next door is always an attraction of the crowd and it always does. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013


Honda has recently launch their 500cc trio, follow by the introduction of NC700 series and others budget models, it is no doubt an evidence of Honda down-to-earth attitude. The 500 trio are all manufactured in Thailand, which is first of Honda for such large capacity, that is why the price can be very competitive compare with their rival.

What I get in hand was a CBR500R the sport model of the three. Basically three of the bikes share the same chassis design with a little different tweak to compensate the riding position. The engines all are same, with a 471cc parallel twin double overhead cam opposed to the NC700 single cam which basically a Jazz engine cut into half. The engine has a power output of 47bhp, Honda maximized the engine for inexperience rider, in other words, new comer to the over 250cc category.  The engine is very civilized and smooth, right when you hit the ignition key. Ironically, my ER6n is more like a Japanese version of Ducati in comparison. Unlike others twin engine rivals, vibration is minimal from the handle bar to foot peg. I almost
forgotten that I am in a parallel twin machine, it feels like an in-line 4 in anyway. Engine respond is surprisingly smooth; pulling at first to third gear is like rolling on a 4, there is lack of kick when accelerating, compare with what I experience on other twin bikes. Honda engineer has done a really well and good job on balancing and minimize vibration. Throughout the rev range, I hardly spot any vibration unlike ER6 which had a slightly vibration feel between 3800 to 4000 rpm. Besides so much good comment on the engine, the fuel economy is stunning, a 25km/l is confirm where 27km/l as what Honda recommend can also be archived if you are careful enough on the throttle.
If to choose any flaw on the engine, the only problem is with the power plant which can be a little low if the bike is fully loaded and also finding neutral need a little effort despite gear changing on the bike is top notch. But with a bike possible to do 180+ KM/H , it is more than enough for those new to a sub 500cc bike.

Everything on this bike is made for a purpose of making riding experience joyful and safe. The engine respond is smooth and instant, the engine is easy to control, the bike is light, etc. 

Honda CB500 series focus more on practicality and aim to deliver the best riding experience to most riders. Do not be fool by this low power bike; it is a wolf in a sheep skin. I have no problem riding up Genting Highland, only laid back is a more throttle squeeze is needed when you going to climb some of the steepest part of the road. Riding down has nothing much to do with engine power but tyre grip, stock tyre is not really griping especially when the road is a little wet. With barely 200KG curb weight, it is very easy to bent into corners, the nimbleness compensate to the lack of power, I often find myself accelerate pass some high cc bikes especially at corners.  Besides doing challenging ride at hill side, I also find riding at congested traffic is easy. Light weight and low seat height makes me a small fish in the ocean, I often find myself staying in one gear and pulling all the way to clear the traffic, this is something that you can do on an engine with more than 2 pistons.
Parts used on the CB series not great but acceptable. Not to forget these are budgeted models, cost cutting at a marginal level is for sure. Besides being budgeted, the plastic parts do not look cheap, in the other hand, tolerance is tight and no plastic rattling sound can be observed. As for some of the parts use, finishing might looks a little not on pile with the rivals but consider the price tag, as long as it can function fully without flaw, I do not see any problem on that. Electrical cords are hidden nicely and finishing on the fairing is very well. It is to say that even some more expensive bikes hardly archive this standard. Honda does a good job on reducing waste when manufacturing this bike, the rear disc brake is actually cut out from the front unit and it means that only single piece of metal to be used on the disc brake. Despite being cost down for most of the parts, the bike does has something very impressive, in fact out shine others. It is the single Nissin disc brake which works like charm with only a single finger movement.

 Overall I will say this is a hell of a bike, not in term of power, fashion or design but functionality and practicality. The main point is Honda did provide a very complete package and the package cover every single section of the category for what a new rider needs. It is built in a typical Honda belief and culture and starting at RM28,288. The trio are really value for money, spare parts availability should be no problem seems BoonSiew Honda has a very wide dealer network in Malayisa. I will indeed give a stunning comment on this CB500 series.

Besides CBR500R, there is a X model that my friend got a hand on it. I here by post his review on behalf of him. Wish that this help for those riders who are seriously surveying these Honda machines.

Honda CB500X, Honda’s answer for versatility 
After ridden super sport bikes and cruisers for some time, I get hands on with an adventure bike for the very first time. It was Honda CB500X. Honda lines up their new adventure series into the ongoing success story of CB500R and CB500F series. X denotes for adventure oriented. This midsized bike designed for riders demanding both for a pesky city commuting and also for long weekend escape into the unknown natures in one package. As usual I was waiting for a magical first impression as I walked towards the bike, and yeah it strikes me, the bike was tall, the seat position was very high, almost as high as Kawasaki’s dual purpose line up Versys. To be exact it was 32mm against 33.5mm seat height on Versys. 
Getting on tarmac, I recalled my riding college who always used to say the higher the riding height, the better experience you would get. That quote really nailed me while riding CB500X for the very first minutes. The field of view was wide it was like “I am the king of the road” kind of sensational feeling as cars were literally lower  than you and everything looks small, yeah I am exaggerating it as I am 6 footer. But anyhow the bike is tall.
Honda CB500X equipped with the famous versatile twin cylinder engine. Using the same piston bore size as CBR600RR super sport bike. It has 471cc capacity liquid cooled dual overhead cams engine with Programmed fuel injection PGM-F1 which throws out a handsome 46 Hp and 43 Nm of torque. Riding it along the highway was never boring and excites me in every moment. The bike was light and nimble. All the power was leashed by a six speed transmission that follows the command of the rider without hesitation or numbness.  As the windshield was small and adjustable up to 40mm, I was tempted to test the efficiency of the windshield. Surprisingly it does channels the wind effectively as I squeeze the throttle beyond 150km/h in an open road. While riding in high speed, I had an experience of slight wobbling around 6500RPM when speed was around 145km/h, it might be due to resonant frequency hitting along bike’s natural frequency. Riders out there please take note of this!
Handling wise, Honda CB500X feels very nimble due to its light weight design and yet it retains the big bikes characteristic. It equipped with Long travel front suspension which yields 5.5 inch of travel and Pro-Link rear suspension with 9 stage preload and 4.7 inch travel should make off road maneuverability an easy one even for a beginner. Since I didn’t test the bike off road, I managed to pull out off-road stunt in tarmac as I purposely rammed the bike into decent potholes and bumps. Believe me, it works very well in absorbing all the torture I gave and with Pirelli Scorpion tire sized  120/70-17 in front and 160/60-17 rear, it looks great and good in grip too, well it’s a bonus package!
I was actually confused and worried, why a 500cc with 46 HP bike has only single disc brake on the front wheel. This curiosity leads me to go for a hard break test when possible. Surprisingly front 320mm twin piston caliper and rear 240mm with ABS single caliper does the job well and the stopping power was more than adequate. The seat was comfortable and placed very high which is the DNA of an adventure bike. This bike has a very good upright riding position and the fuel tank was cleverly designed as it offers the ability move your body weigh freely for aggressive maneuver.
In terms of styling, there is nothing much to say. The bike was kind of average designed to a certain extend with an eagle beak alike front cowl. I noticed a slight quality issue with the fuel tank cap where the lid was not in same circumference of the fuel tank opening. But overall styling was not bad as the design was adventure oriented. Through times, I did a mistake by pressing the honk button when about to turn rather than pressing the turn indicator. These repeated mistakes of mine creates a panic situation among other road users. I think it would be much appreciated for the riders if the honk button placed below the turn indication switch as most bikes does. Instrumentation on the Honda CB500X is the one worth mentioning as it adds a fine modern touch. Amber tinted full LCD screen with digital tachometer, speedometer and fuel gauge gives rider quick basic information of the bike status. Clock, odometer, trip meter, real-time and average fuel consumption meters, and illuminated engine diagnostic indicators were clearly delivered to the rider who needs extra information while riding via button located on the LCD panel frame. 
As a summary, Honda CB500X is packed with modern technology and sound with engineering qualities. Good upright riding position, superb windscreen that does the job well, Deceiving front single disc brake but has a punch stopping power and comes with ABS, Long travel front suspension and modern featured LCD instrumentation were some of the highlights of this bike. Be it city commuter and long distance travel, CB500X is adoptable for beginner rider who demands for a unique adventure in mind. Go ahead. Grab one, you will be pleased. 
This CBR500X review is done by Rubentheren Viyapuri

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Ducati Hypermotard 821

It has been a while since Ducati launch their Hypermotard model on 2007. It was a 1078 cc 'Desmo' or 'Desmodromic' aired-cooled two-valve L - Twin design by Pierre Terblanche. This model has a capability of up to 200km/h of speed but the purpose of this bike is built to serve the purpose of conquering the urban jungle.  This year, Ducati has upgraded the engine to a 11-degree Testastretta 821 cc unit from the previous 796 cc. Hopefully the upgrade will bring more fun and reliability to the bike.

Having just a few couple hours riding the bike, it is hell of a monster on the road, tearing everything ahead of it into pieces. The throttle fueling is precise, a typical Ducati way but if I am to choose a word to describe it, it will be ‘explosive’. The bike behaves totally like a monster on every squeeze on the throttle. 

The rides by wire throttle system improve throttle experience, for some people, it may be too light. The testastretta 11 has a reduce valve overlap which improved low speed engine respond and also better fuel efficiency. Having different riding modes to choose from, the engine has different power output according to rider needs. Besides riding mode, it has also traction control and ABS, do not worry too much while the performance being ‘explosive’, you will still not be able to lift the front or rear or any kind of stunt. The Brembo brakes at the front are superb, braking is just a simple one finger action for a bike this light (sub 200KG). Handling is good and I find myself keep riding on the legs straight position all the time. Navigating through traffic is just piece of cake; the commanding position is the key to slice through layers of vehicle with ease. 

Fitted with Pirelli Angel GT, the handling is top notch; knee scratching is just the matter of daring. Total experience on this bike is you feel more like a devil then on a Ducati Monster of
some if it’s other model. In fact this is still a super scrambler of urban jungle; the weight is too heavy for off road purpose.
Hypermotard responded in a very brutal manner, just like its name, every open throttle is equal to a big kick on your back. I am rather ‘hanging’ then holding on the bar when accelerate hard. While maintaining speed, I can feel every punch form the twin and the rear tire is struggling to hold the traction; a total different experience compare with others.

As a conclusion, Ducati Malaysia provides Malaysian riders with a good option of motard to choose from. Starting at a Rm68888 price tag, this CKD model is a good news for many Ducati fan or going to be Ducati fan, all is good but watch out on the tall seat height where this bike might be too tall for someone.