Saturday, April 18, 2015

The relationship between Regal Raptor Bobber and MOMOS Bobber

Regal Raptor homepage
Chear Gobal Sdn. Bhd. factory at Puncak Alam
Chear Motors HQ, Klang
Wee Bikers Sdn. Bhd, Shah Alam
When I first intended to buy the Regal Raptor Bobber, I was confused as to its roots and why it was called 'MOMOS Bobber' because I knew it originated from China by a company called LIFENG. After making further enquiry and a few emails to the Regal Raptor company in China, I found out that LIFENG Group is the umbrella company while LIFENG itself manufactures Regal Raptor and sells them under different names, I suspect to overcome import protectionism policies of that country e.g. 'National' products from Japan are sold as 'Panasonic' in USA i.e. they end up as CKD products. In Malaysia, Mofaz Motorcycles Sdn Bhd. (MOMOS) imports Regal Raptors from China as they hold the Approved Permits (AP). Chear Global Sdn Bhd. (CGSB) and Mofaz Motosikal Sdn.Bhd. assemble the cruisers assembles the bike in Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor. They are distributed by Chear Motor Sdn. Bhd. from their HQ at Klang or branches elsewhere. Other agents that sell them include Wee Bikers Sdn. Bhd., Shah Alam where I made my purchase. They offered to absorb the GST probably because they had difficulty selling it as compared to other popular bikes. I feel it is confusing to call the Regal Raptor Bobber as MOMOS Bobber and most owners I know refer them as a Regal Raptor product. Anyway, the general assumption is that many think this is a Harley Davidson but when I tell them "No", the next question that prompts up is "What make is it?" Even when I will tell them it's a MOMOS Bobber or Regal Raptor Bobber for that matter, most blink their eyes as they are not familiar with those names. The fun part comes when they think it cost in the region of RM50-60,000 then I clarify, often to stun faces with open jaws, that it really cost RM17,100 or to be specific RM19,100 (On-the-road). The following question I get is whether after buying this bobber, I had it radically customized and they shake their heads in disbelieve when I tell 'No'. I explain that fundamentally, it is a black standard factory model then I immediately it airbrushed in zebra stripes though the rear end had to be removed after it was vandalized. After hearing the engine start (not even rev-ed) most give their thumbs up. Some say it sounds a bit loud but I tell them it sounds that way only because it was built on the 'Old-School' motorcycle philosophy which includes as I point out to them, the hard-tail frame.


Scout's code: Be prepared! OK! OK! I was never a scout but a cub but there is much wisdom in that scout's code so I got myself an Italian GIVI raincoat for those unsuspecting rainy days. It's quite a handful so I must bring along my haverasack when I need to bring it. The User's Manual came late but better sooner than later. An interesting thing I note is that upon my query, my salesman told me the PSI tyre pressure should be 35(F)/38(R) but the User's Manual recommends 33 for a single rider. I am sticking to the recommendation of the User's Manual as I believe it is offers a softer ride to offset the suspension of the rigid frame. The shop I bought the Bobber was a bit of a cheapskate when it came to number plates and gave me the awful looking number plate used on Kapchai or Honda Cubs. I threw them away and went around finding a shop that could customize one and I found out that was not easy as most shops dealing with car number plates do not do this. I eventually found a motorcar accessory shop that was willing to do it on condition I acquire the alphabets and digits from a motorcycle shop as the boss did not stock them. This I did and the customized number plates were made. Yahoo! No.8 spanner is the only tool I was told to get as this is used to open up the battery compartment and No. 8 nut is the most common size nut used among motorcycles as No.10 is to cars. As for helmets, I got myself the classic Bell helmet and added the sun shade to cover the gaping clip points. It is apparently more expensive than the full face helmet eventhough that is more difficult to produce simply because it is the more popular option. Oh well, what to do however quality is assured inside and outside the helmet.

Dress for the occasion

Given the choice of a leather jacket, I have a preference for A-2 jackets but they are not popular here nor the ASEAN region but they can be acquired via mail order. However, if it concerns something to wear, I can reluctant to buy them via mail order as I am afraid I may accidentally choose the wrong size. As the motorcycle is nowhere in sight, I take time to visit Pertama Shopping Complex, Kuala Lumpur which has a variety of biker dress accessories. Good quality leather jackets are never cheap even overseas so it was quite hard to find as most of the shops were selling the lower end. Walking up and down the leather shopping mall at the rear end of the complex, I eventually found a genuine leather biker's jacket. It was heavy but felt solid and was of good quality and workmanship eventhough I hardly knew the marque. I was surprised it also had unzipable sleeves. This one fitted me well and when I decided to take it the salesman recommended I apply leather conditioner as it was rather dry. That I did and the leather being thick, I coated it daily for 3 days. It has now soften quite a bit though I think I need to use  it often to make it make more comfortable to use.

Polish make perfect

The RR Bobber is now at the airbrush workshop and I have to wait for 2 weeks mainly because the artist had an earlier commitment before he met me. So to kill time, I visited the workshop to spend time  polishing the chrome parts which I could reach as the Bobber was sandwiched between the wall and a superbike. Round 1 took 3 whole hours and I managed to get rid of minor scratches within reach and I am quite pleased with the result. There will be more rounds to come when I am in a better position to move freely around the motorcycle.

Modification : Grounding for optimum efficiency

My past experience on grounding battery (-) to frame and secondly, direct linking alternator (I don't know what it's called on a motorcycle) to battery (+) terminal has provided positive results because engine response is noticeably better and battery life has extended 2 fold (I have experienced thrice on 3 different batteries) so I wanted it done too on this Bobber of mine. My salesman who is also a thorough mechanic acknowledged what I said so asked me to get the necessary materials if I wanted it done because they do not keep stock of them. I immediately drove to Jalan Pasar, Kuala Lumpur, bought the power cable and appropriate terminals then returned to the shop the next day to have it fitted. The following day, I was told the motorcycle was already registered and so was the wire modification. Cool!

Dream comes true

With gratuity funds in my hand, it id not take me long to realize my childhood dream. Wifey too gave her blessing when she saw it and felt it was the safer option as I was never interested in fast superbikes but one that I could phutt-phutt around the neighbourhood. After sitting on the stock RR Bobber and RR Daytona, I felt the latter had a more buckhorn handlebar that made for a relax riding position. I told my salesman to change the stock handlebar of the Bobber for the Daytona and a nomimal upgrade cost was charged which also involved substitution of one of the stock cables for a longer version. The modified RR Bobber I eventually bought is the one in the above picture. There are actually two versions: the standard black and the slightly more expensive SE version which comes in military matt green though both come with fishtail exhaust pipes. I have a preference for the black as I had "air-brushing" on my mind which called for a black background. The government has just imposed GST (Goods Service Tax) and for any product more than RM10,000, one could start to feel the pinch but the place I bought the bike absorbed the GST and that was a lot. Buying it in cash, I had the option to choose third party insurance but earlier discussions with experience riders made me choose the more expensive comprehensive insurance making the RR Bobber just about RM20,000 for an on-the-road price.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Window Shopping

It's the start of my pension days so I've decided to realize my childhood dream. This takes me back to my Form 5 days when I first set eyes on a Triumph Tiger 100 as shown below. The rumble of a Triumph Tiger was so dominating but it was the frame of the motorcycle that caught my eye. I was mesmerized by the rigid frame and said that was such a beautiful industrial design more so like a piece of art and I said if I were ever to get myself a REAL bike someday, it will definitely have to be one with a rigid frame. 

I looked up motorcycle magazines and found the motorcycles of that style and eventually fell in love with a Paugcho Sportster that I had to keep a pin-up of it on the wall in front of my table similar to the one below:

However, I knew such frames were not popular back home and even exclusive imported bikes like Harley Davidson did not sell them so this was all a dream...until I found out early March this year that there rigid frame motorcycles were being sold in Malaysia since last year and the model to I sought was the Regal Raptor Bobber as in the top most picture. After ogling it on the internet, a visit to the closest dealer near my house and I got to see the real thing, yes, basically I like what I saw.