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Archive for March, 2017

FIRST RIDE IMPRESSION: Kawasaki Z650 and Ninja 650

31 Mar

Convoy Ride

My First Ride reviews for Kawasaki Motors Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s (KMSB) Z650 and Ninja 650 got off to a very wet flag-off period. In fact, there was no customary flag-off segment, unlike the morning session, which had the ceremony performed. I was slotted for the afternoon session, which has a higher chance of riding in the wet, as has been the occurrence the past 1 week in Klang Valley particularly in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang areas.

Of course, even the surrounding states got affected too, like Negeri Sembilan and parts of south-west Pahang, since both are bordering the state of Selangor, where the aforementioned cities are located. Still, the wet weather won’t dampen my confidence in trying both Kawasaki motorcycles as I had came prepared for a thunderstorm-type of riding – 100% weather-resistant riding jacket, with Dunlop’s D214 dry/wet rubbers being default tyres of the bikes.

Ride-Start

The tyres provide the necessary grip needed to navigate bends on dry and wet surfaces so riding is the same for me, regardless of the weather condition. However, that’s not the case for the rest of the convoy as within the opening minutes since we left Nilai Springs Resort, I had built quite a gap at the front, with only the escorting traffic police (front and back) as companions (photo below).

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The rest of the media convoy could only closed the gap after the leading police escort was instructed to slow the pace (via bike intercom) to enable them to catch up. Normally, the speed of the leading escort is subjected to how fast the nearest rider is able to keep up, and I happened to be there all along since we left the starting point. The overall pace increased once we rode past Sungai Pelek town as the routes thereafter are mostly straights with occasional bends in-between – not much effort is needed to sample the handling characteristics of both bikes in general.

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Fellow motorcycle media reviewer, Nic Wang, from Ministry of Superbikes was snapped candidly (above) during the scheduled stop at Dataran Morib. And I snapped a photo of both bikes posing together over there (below).

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Bike swapping was done after our revised, first scheduled stop – the original stop for a group photo with the bikes was supposed to be at Bandar Enstek not far from our starting point but heavy drizzle put paid to that idea. The morning session group managed to have the photo session at that area due to the better weather. Nevertheless, the revised stop at Dataran Morib (Morib Square) was the second stop for the morning session group.

I started off with the Z650, and swapped it for the Ninja 650. Once the convoy had resumed, the order of the day was still the same – me as the leading rider (photo below). Took me just a few minutes to get up front as usual, it wasn’t a need to be at the front but each of us is allowed to ride the bikes at the pace we are comfortable with, and the non-braking/non-slowing down style at the bends permitted me to do just that (photo below).

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The routes for the media test ride are as indicated below:

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This wraps up the teaser for the first ride impression of both motorcycles. Stay tuned for the actual review when the photos from the convoy are made available by KSMB.

 
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Monochrome Snapshots @ Fujifilm X-T20 and X100F launch event

28 Mar

Both the Fujifilm X-T20 and X100F have been announced recently elsewhere much earlier, and today they made their Malaysian debut via a gathering-cum-launch for the local dealers, X-series enthusiasts and the photography/tech media in Petaling Jaya.

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The latest offerings from Fujifilm feature new sensors and processors designed to improve image quality, and in the case of the X-T20, 4K video capture is included to meet the needs of the professional videographers as well as photo enthusiasts and tech geeks obsessed with the high resolution video format.

As the successor to the popular X-T10 mirrorless model, the new Fujifilm X-T20 offers manual operation with the inclusion of a shutter speed and exposure compensation dials in addition to the main dial and other controls that are synonymous with the X-series cameras. The X-T20 features an APS-C 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and the X-Processor Pro image processing engine. It also features a new tilting touchscreen LCD monitor for multi-angle shooting and responds to quick gestures for a variety of efficient controls and image review. In addition, it also has a built-in Wi-Fi for sharing content on social media and remote capture.

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The new X-T20 is priced at RM4,688 (body only), with the XC 16-50mm kit set retailing at RM5,288 while the other kit featuring the XC 18-55mm lens is selling for RM6,288. It is available in silver and black editions.

The X100F comes with a 24MP sensor, along with an improved 91-point autofocus system and a fixed 23mm f/2.0 lens. Fujifilm also upgraded the camera’s hybrid viewfinder, offering up to 6x magnification and 60fps support. Other features include an AF joystick, built-in ISO Dial, film simulation modes, a silent electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000, HD recording, Focus Peaking and Digital Split image focusing in OVF, 6 AF modes and built-in Wi-Fi. The X100F is priced at RM6,288, and available in both silver and black colour editions.

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Boon Siew Honda Unveils 2017 Honda Wave Dash 110 FI

21 Mar

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The invitation reads as a “special preview of a new Honda motorcycle with fashion show”. Given the way the word “preview” was used instead of the normal “launch” on previous unveiling, this event ignites the imagination of many motorcycle media in the country. All except me. I had a feeling the incorrect term was used, and thus, the excitement level remains normal for me.

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The preview isn’t going to be about any of the motorcycles Honda plans to launch for 2017 albeit in the 2nd half of the year instead of the anticipated 2nd-quarter (April to June). Nope, the said preview is not about the Made-In-Indonesia CBR250RR, the Made-In-Japan CBR1000RR/SP or the Made-In-Thailand Rebel 500 cruiser.

It is just another updated kapchai motorcycle, from the ancient carburetor to fuel injection (FI), this time on the Honda Wave Dash 110. For every 1 model of a big capacity machine launched, there would be several models of the kapchai/scooter in Honda’s line-up for the Malaysian market being launched, and it is no difference this time.

To be fair, there was no launch of any big capacity Honda bikes in Malaysia since July 2014 with the pair of CB650F/CBR650F and a revised CBR250R. The 2016 CB500-series trio quietly made their entrance into the local market in beginning of September 2016 while the 2016 duo of the CB/CBR650F repeated that feat just before the Lunar New Year holiday in 2017. Between the July 2014 event and today’s unveiling ceremony, all the bikes launched by Honda have been kapchai and scooters.

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Almost every specification of the revised Wave Dash 110 is the same as its carburetor version, save for the fuel injection, and pricing. But the switch to fuel injection allows for better fuel economy, enabling the motorcycle to cruise as far as 244km of mileage until the low fuel gauge warning starts flashing. This is an improvement of some 10km over the estimated 234km on the older model. Honda also claims an improved fuel ecoomy of 61km/litre in cruising mode when riding at 80-90km/hr speeds.

The new Wave Dash 110 FI comes in 3 colours: Pearl Nightfall Blue, Pearl Magellanic Black and Vivacity Red as well as the exclusive Repsol edition. It is available in S Type (single disc brake), with both R Type and Repsol edition featuring Double Disc Brakes. The sales prices for all 3 types (with GST) are RM5,860.74, RM6,178.74 and RM6,337.74 respectively. All models come with the standard 2-year or 20,000km manufacturing warranty, whichever comes first.

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