Saturday, December 1, 2018

HJC IS-Max II

Was contemplating for a long time in getting a new helmet since I got the Vulcan. It would be a modular mainly because I am wearing specs and it would get hot in the helmet while waiting in the traffic. The only helmet I have worn is the X-Dot 3/4 helmet.

For a long time I was leaning towards the LS2 which was within my (very limited and very little) budget. First I was thinking of getting the LS2 Metro Firefly, then the LS2 Valiant. Read and watched a lot of review about those 2 helmets until I came across the MT Helmets at the beginning of the year. I love the aggressive look especially their Atom SV line. 

Asked a few owners from the MT Helmet facebook page and they said the helmet is nice and comfortable. They have no complains about the fit and it is quiet. The additional plus side is that it is within the budget. The only downside is that there aren't a lot of English speaking reviews on the net. 

I also came across the Airoh brand and the only modular available in my little island is the Rides. Surprisingly it is also within the budget but as with the MT Helmets, there are little English version review of this helmet available in the net.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Reflectors

Recently I came across this image which had me thinking about the safety of my passenger (mainly the missus) and me on the motorcycle (mainly the Vulcan S).


The image shows that drivers are able to see the reflective clothing from as far as 130 m away but on the Vulcan clothes are mainly blocked by the top box. So the next best step is to find reflectors and attach it to various parts of the Vulcan and hopefully it does the same job as the reflective clothing.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Iron Butt Ride Plan

I have been curious about the Iron Butt Association (IBA) since I read about it in a forum a couple of years back. It completely slipped my mind until a few months back when I read about it in Rider Chis's Iron Butt Report post. He completed the challenge and was accepted as a member of the IBA. As with everything in life the planning stage is very crucial but at the same time it can be very frustrating and time consuming as well.

There are a few ride categories and the lowest requirement is the SaddleSore challenge where one is required to ride 1600 miles (1610 km) within 24 hours. To the IBA, safety is the main priority. They also have a 'Archive of Wisdom' for those who needs some advice in planning.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Demak D7 Classic review...

Recently I got a new job nearer to home and was allowed to take the bike to work provided it was not raining in the morning. Wanted to take the Vulcan but with the panniers it was too big to fit into the narrow driveway. The only other option was the Demak. Do bare in mind this is not a review but from my personal experience.

Originally the Demak was called Pegasus (if not mistaken; named by the missus) but I have a new name for it after getting more familiar with it. To me it is known as the Blue Bobber (BB). Reason: My head bobs around a lot like a bobble head doll due to either from the vibrations on the bike or my helmet is loose and I need a new one. The bike's vibration is so great that you can feel it giving you feet 'massages' if the sole of your shoes are thin.

The Blue Bobber waiting for the morning ride to work
Speaking about vibrations when the bike is idling at the traffic light, I can see the clutch lever vibrate. Not sure if it is caused by loose bolts and nuts but it is something I need to get the mechanic to have a look at when I send it for servicing. While riding it is hard to see the rear view mirror clearly. It is so shaky it feels like I am having a bad migraine. So I just use the mirror for quick glances to check if the coast is clear before changing lanes.

Still on the topic of vibrations sometimes they are so bad that while riding the right side of the rear mirror will adjust itself. To be fair the right side of the mirror is looser than the left. I love the side view mirrors as it extends wide enough for me to see the vehicles at the back. It can be a bit tricky when lane splitting and going through doorways.

The bike is a classic design but with modern features. There is a push start button which works fine but after some time of not riding the button didn't work. When I pressed the button, I can hear the buzzing sound but doesn't start the bike. I thought it was due to weak battery so I kick started the bike and rode around for bout 15 minutes. Right after that I turned off the engine and tried the starter and it works. Little did I know that that will be the last time it will work. I need to get that checked out in the next service. If it is some loose wires and doesn't cost that much then I might consider rectifying else I will stick to kick starting.

Red switch:  Kill switch
Middle lever: Light switch
Bottom button: Push start button
I don't really mind kick-starting the bike. Trains my leg muscles. The only issue is one day it would start nicely and will continue to do so a few days and then it will refuse to start. This is where you will have to kick start till your legs break to get it back to life. That was before I figured out what was wrong with it. The kick-starter was a bit tight so I WD-40ed the hell out of it and now it is loose which makes kick-starting it a bit easier.

Kick starter circled in red. It keeps nicely at the side of the bike when not in use
I also figured a method to kick-starting. I need to push the kicker down until there is a resistance.  Most of the time the kicker will stop half way. You can either start to kick start it but I will do it a few more times until the kicker stops higher. From there I maintain the pressure, give the throttle a few turns and kick it down hard. Most of the time it once will do but it all depends on the mood of the Bobber.

Another thing about BB is that the fuel gauge is not accurate. In the morning it shows 3 bars of petrol. Going downhill the fuel will reduce to 1 bar but when going uphill it will show 2~3 bars. If the bike is on a flat road, it will either maintain at 1~2 bars which I feel is the more accurate reading. This is just a minor issue as I usually fuel it when the bars starts blinking at one bar. The fuel range is about 180km @ MYR 20. It is quite a fuel economy bike.

The choke on the handlebar doesn't work anymore. I have a feeling that something is broken or the wire has snapped. There was one time when I was pulling down the choke and it was quite hard. I used a bit of force on it and after that it doesn't function anymore. This makes is harder to start BB on cold days but at least there is another choke near the engine but I will need to be a contortionist to hold onto the choke while kick-starting the bike.

One thing about BB is that it is very generous. It likes to give lots of false neutral. There are times when stopping at the traffic light and I want to put the bike to Neutral, I will be shifting the gears between 1 and 2 until the light turns green again. Sometimes when the Neutral light lights up only to find out that the bike is still in gear. It is hard to half press the gear lever.


The issues mentioned earlier are considered as minor but there is a major issue which needs to be addressed. The front brake is not as strong as I would like it to be. I usually ride with 2 fingers at the front brake lever and when I pull it, the lever will touch my other fingers on the handlebar. If I had to do an emergency brake, I would have broken my 2 other fingers. This will be another thing which needs to be checked and adjusted when the bike goes for servicing.

The front brake lever also doesn't fully release. When I release the brake, I can see the brake light is still activated. What I always do when riding is to use my fingers to push the lever forward after engaging the brake.

In summary I know there are a lot of issues with the bike but overall those are small issues except for the brakes. For the price of the bike (> MYR 4k) I think it is reasonable. The quality could be better but that would mean spending more on the bike and it will blow our budget. To is a great beginner bike. It is only 125cc and the power band is not so powerful that you have to hold on to the handlebar for your dear life if you were to accidentally twist the throttle. For those who wants to learn on a manual transmission motorcycle, this is the bike I would recommend.

It is also light and if the bike tips over it can be easily picked up. It can also be easily moved around in tight parking spaces if compared to the Vulcan. There are 3 main purpose of getting this bike: 1) For the missus to get back her confidence on the bike; 2) To use the bike to avoid traffic jams and save on fuel prices; 3) For me to get use to a bike before getting a bigger cc bike. To me as long as it can start, runs properly without any issue, and takes me from point A to point B, I am happy with it.

Ready and waiting
Remember to ride safe, be vigilant and keep the rubber side down

Thursday, September 20, 2018

DIY Touch Screen Gloves

Are your gloves equipped with the touch screen feature? Able to use your phone with your gloves on? If your answers to both are no, I have a solution to that. There are two methods to do it:

Method 1: To get a conductive thread and sew it onto the fingers of the glove

Method 2: To use aluminium foil or the insides of a chips bag or any bags which has the aluminium on the inside.

Method 1 requires more money and is more time consuming. Another reason is I am lazy unable to find the conductive thread in my area and method 2 has some perks to it so I opted for method 2. 

Materials:

Left to right: Scissors (top), double sided tape (bottom), gloves, a bag of chips.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

First motorcycle: Demak D7 Classic

This post is a throw back to the first day I bought my very first motorcycle:

On 12 May 2015 I got my first motorcycle; ~14 years after getting my license. This was how the first experience on a manual bike went.

In Malaysia there are a few classes of motorcycle license. The most common is B2: limited to 250cc, B1: limited to below 500cc and B or also known as B Full: above 500cc. There was an option when I first took my B2 license to add an additional MYR 100 to go for the B Full license. Saves time and money in the future but a shame that I was not allowed to do it at that time (was only 17 at the time and wasn't paying for the license).

I was introduced to the bike scene when I was very young. I got my bike license in 2001 (if memory serves me correctly) and I just started college at that time and needed a transport. Since I did not have a car license yet, my mum reluctantly agreed to let me ride to class.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Washing a non-removable helmet liner

Recently took the bike out and noticed that the helmet has a very funky smell so during one of the recent public holiday, I decided to wash the helmet liner (more like the entire helmet). Asked my best friend Mr. Google on ways to wash a non-removable helmet liner and got a rough idea.

All I needed was water, a large enough bucket to completely soak the helmet, a mild washing detergent, a good airy place to dry the helmet and of course the helmet.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Wishlist

*Note* I have created a wishlist page to better monitor and update the items

It is inevitable to anyone who has a hobby that the more time spent on it the more things you will want to add or change to make it more personalized and enjoyable. A little background on me. I have a lot of interest and lots of hobbies. I have a curious mind to try things and to tinker with them (but mostly will end up breaking somehow). Things I was interested in previously I do not have the time for them now.

So this is the only hobby which I can maintain in my busy schedule. In this post I will list future upgrades which I plan to get or do with the bikes. It is a combination of mods  and accessories to the bike. If something is completed I will link it to the post and as time pass by there will be more items added to the list.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Welcome

Hello and welcome to my blog.


I am a passionate motorcycle rider from the tiny island of Penang, Malaysia. Started riding in year 2001 but had to give it up due to parent's order but started riding again in 2015 when I got my first motorcycle after some persuasion from the missus. As it luck would have it we came across the design of the bike she likes and she was thinking and doing research about it.
The blog serves as a record of all my motorcycle adventures and review of gears obtained. Please feel free to look at the Bucket list tab as those are the motorcycle trips I have in mind and if you are in the area or are interested in joining, let me know as I am more than happy to have the company.

I was exposed to motorcycles since I was at a very young age. My mum use to ferry me around the island on the Honda EX5 as it can get very congested at rush hour and also faster to reach the destination by lane splitting.