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

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