Friday, December 9, 2016

Caught in the act!


Wifey caught me waiting at tangent by the traffic light and messaged me this photo. I replied later that I always do this when I stop to make u-turns at traffic lights because the bobber is a long motorcycle and makes wide turning radius where some motorist under-estimate me and think I will veer to the right like regular motorcycles and tend to cut me on the left so to reduce the possibility of accident, I point the bobber sideways to allow me to make a smoother turn. What a life!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Kw vs. Nm


I found this interesting article about debaffling exhaust pipes. You see local as well as foreign riders modifying their stock exhaust pipes in favour of straight pipes/straight-through pipes in the hope it will give them a bigger growl. On this point, if you want a bigger thump for your motorcycle, there is no substitute for cc and here I mean at least 500cc. Any less powerful motorcycle modified with straight through pipes may get a louder but sadly HOLLOW note (Maybe they can't distinguish between that). From experience, I tinker with my car's exhaust system therefore agree 100% what the writer stated here. This is because some back pressure in the exhaust pipe is needed to produce torque which helps driveability whereas straight pipes may increase power but lose out badly when it comes to pick-up plus fuel economy. Torque also helps reduce petrol consumption and helps the car/motorcycle roll, roll and roll along. Maybe sellers does not want to elaborate this, after all, their aim is to sell and make money, at the same time, give the customer what he wants. Having being involved in motor clubs, I know there are some who regret their modifications but are too embarrass or have too much ego and pride to admit their mistake. If they really wanted to modify their exhaust system, what they actually need to do is change from stock pipes to specially design/tuned for their particular motorcycle...if there is such in the market.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The theory behind the zebra stripe design


I have been asked a few times if the airbrush artist came up with the design of the zebra stripes. I replied no, it was mine which I found later I was not charged for not asking the artist to come up with a design merely having my design transferred to the motorcycle. So, the next question was usually how I came up with that unique design? I spent about a week surfing the internet looking at pictures of zebras and realized it was difficult because no two zebras have the same stripe design just like the whorls on our finger print, even the stripes on one side do not repeat itself on the other side of the zebra. My first criteria was the width of the stripes and decided 7 stripes be visible on the side of the tank because any more would not make them stand out. I then tried to make each stripe look different. My original design did not work as plan because when the stripes hugged the tank, they crisscross each other so were adjusted on the tank itself. I did not realize until the stripes were completely sprayed that by coincidence, I ended up on the tank with a face of a Zulu warrior with black war stripes over his eyes and cheeks said the artist who thought it was intentional. As for the fenders, because the frame blocked the fenders, I decided to use the inverted triangle stripe design placed where the frame meet the fender based on the same stripe design found at the leg joint of zebras to their body. This meant concave shape stripes would be drawn away from that triangle. I wanted the front fender to have the stripes pointed out like the horn of a unicorn so turned around the stripe design normally found at the back of a zebra whereas the rear fender would have the stripes drawn like a normal zebra. I am no artist but am very pleased with the results. My helmet was also another difficult exercise because I wanted the stripes to 'flow with the wind' and felt it was harder to design that than the stripes on the bobber.
 

Cleaning the engine, the lazy way


I have successfully been doing this for more than 30 years and is the technique I keep the engine bay of my cars, (previous till current) looking showroom condition. It's also the lazy man's but clever way of maintaining the cable/wire insulators and rubber components from being dry and brittle due to engine heat. It is also because of this, I do not wash nor allow the engine bay to be washed at car wash places for fear water may seep into the spark plug connectors (and has been before). I can but usually do not wipe it. Now, I do it to my bobber. The technique? Just buy an anti-rust spray can. Spray liberally then let it dry. That's all. I tend to do it in the night because I want the spray to permeate into the plastic and rubber components. However, in the case of the motorcycle, I spray water over the whole motorcycle once a while especially after riding on a rainy day then I respray the engine again with the anti rust oil. This photo shows a bit of glare from the chrome parts because they came into contact with anti rust oil. Having said all this, if you regularly ride in dusty areas, this technique may not be so good as it attracts dust and dirt so a thorough wipe is recommended after the spray has dried up.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

This Sunday's outing





If you stay in Malaysia long enough (which won't be too long), you'll understand why you've been putting on weight. Malaysians love to eat simply because we have the best food in the world plus a wide variety of east meets west food, not to mention food stalls are often even till the wee hours of the night. Eating is a pastime hobby for Malaysians as proven by one of the highest rate of obese people in the world. Yesterday wivey had a graving so early this morning, I was off to Tanglin's Nasi Lemak and arrived there by 7am. They opened 10 mins late  and since no one wanted to queue, I ended up being the first (Clever!). 2 pax of nasi lemak pus hard boiled egg and squid cost me RM19.50 and before I shot off for home, I became a quick tourist and snapped a photo of the bobber against close-by KTM's HQ. Back home, I micro-waved yesterday's fried chicken and topped up my share of nasi lemak. If I do this too often (which is rare), I'll end up with bigger pair of trousers. What makes their nasi lemak special is the sauce or 'kuah' which is well known ever since I was worked a couple of blocks away more than 30 years ago.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Looking back at a bad memory



Again, my bobber got vandalised after coming back from the mosque, this time paintwork was undamaged. It does not take a fool to deduce that this was the work of the same person, probably student, who did it before outside my son's secondary school and another time much earlier, at my regular mosque when both rear signal lights bent forward. Who? is a killer question and I won't even bother but a friend advised me that I need to be more careful as it looks like my bobber has been targeted by Mr. Nobody. Another 2 inches torn at the centre pf the rear end and it wouldn't be long before the rear gets torn off as happened before.

The mechanic at HungryGhost Custom Inc. said the signal lights could be salvaged so they were fitted to the rear fender with custom brackets: simple solid metal bars. They even salvaged the original wiring and that saved time in getting the appropriate connectors in the battery box. So was my license plate which the boss came over and said cut it down to size rather than waste money and have a new one fabricated.The original brake light was also salvaged, however, the side licence plate I bought already came attached with its own smart brake light...well, most do. The total job took 3 1/2hrs. It involved taking out the rear tyre, not including another 15mins to trace a loose wire. I observed and got to hand it to the mechanics: hardworking, dedicated and worked non-stop, a job which simply just couldn't be rushed. It was good there happened to be a bobber outside with similar brackets so making a copy was easy. The side licence plate was acquired earlier at their Bandar Baru Puchong branch which concentrates on accessories whereas when I met the boss there, he asked me to have the customization made at their Saujana Puchong HQ. Good job done. 

All I can say is that the rear end now looks how a true bobber should be and it has given the motorcycle a new personality ... that of a bad ass bobber.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rake beauty vs. rake practicality


 
I have always admired the more beautiful rake of the Spyder against that of the Bobber and the thought of modifying the bobber did cross my mind so sought advice on the Internet but when I got this reply, I changed my mind:

1. 'Rake' is the angle at which the headstock of the motorcycle is inclined when compared against a vertical line drawn perpendicular to the ground. The rake angle effects steering ability, the smaller the rake angle then the easier the bike is to corner but will be less stable in a straight line.
2. 'Trail' is the distance on the ground between a straight line drawn through the center of the front wheel spindle and a line drawn through the center of the headstock axis. The greater the trail distance, then the greater the straight line stability but the harder it is to make the bike corner.
3. Motorcycle 'offset' is the distance between a line drawn through the centre of the steering stem/headstock axis and the centre line of the front fork tubes. Typically, the offset inversely affects trail, if offset increases then the trail will decrease.

Implications:
- Increase rake, trail increases;
- Increase trail, rake increases;
- Increase offset for both yokes, trail decreases;
- Increase offset for only top yoke/triple tree, trail increase;
- Increase offset for bottom yoke/triple tree, trail decrease.

Conclusion:
No wonder the 34 degree rake commonly found in the Bobber is a good compromise between manuerabilty at low speed plus stability at high speed. 

It pays to mail-order.


Mail order from USA arrived today as they scheduled it. My earlier visor got blown away while I was riding without my knowledge. The local agent ran out of visor stock and I have to wait at least 2 months (maybe more) which I don't plan to so I mail order original Bell helmet item, not only that with free shipping total cost is RM85 whereas bought locally cost RM179. Sadly, I lost the FOC zebra stripe airbrush visor, anyway, this all black one gives a more serious personality against the former more chic personality. The lesson learnt here is never rest the helmet on the visor pointed down as it may put pressure and loosen the side press studs without knowing.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Time for battery replacement




After 1 year 4 months, yesterday, the battery lacked enough oomph to start the bobber in the morning but OK the rest of the day. Early this morning, the bobber refused to start but was OK after breakfast then the battery gave up for good at 9am. Even the neutral light went dim when I tried to start it. I dismantled the battery and went to a motorcycle shop. The mechanic upon hearing what I told him said he could charge the battery but did not expect it to last long because local batteries generally die after 1 year so mine given 16 months of electrical supply was considered quite good. He advised and I bought a new battery which was a dry type, of course a bit more expensive than a wet type but now I won't have to worry ever about opening the battery box nor topping up battery water, dismantling as well as fixing back (not that easy for people with fat fingers) the battery leads when topping up is required. The dry battery came with separate nuts and bolts plus sulphuric acid. Upon my request, the mechanic filled up the empty battery case. However, I kept the wet battery's excess battery fluid hose just in case. After a short spin, I agree with the mechanic that the dry battery has noticably more oomph than the wet battery giving a more punchy pick up. Normal wear and tear or maintenance things like changing a new battery after its life expired are non issue for me.

Monday, September 19, 2016

More elbow grease needed!




I wondered why the chrome of the triple tree got blur faster than most chrome parts and was more difficult to polish compared to the rest of the chrome parts. It was brought to my attention when I recently asked HungryGhost Custom Inc's boss the cost to have it re-chromed. He clarified that it was impossible to re-chrome the triple tree because it was not made out of steel/iron but was actually a chromed alloy. The manufacturer had it made that way obviously to cut down on production cost. Only iron or steel not alloy could withstand the job of re-chroming. He said it still could be polished but required more elbow grease but acknowldeged there were some difficult areas to reach because they were partly blocked by the handlebar. Sadly, I went back and began to polish harder than usual as it was more difficult to remove the stains, I suspect, in my case, the triple tree was not thoroughly chromed especially towards the edges. Hopefully sikit sikit, jadi bukit and the yellowish stains will be completely removed. I was told there were in fact other chrome parts of the motorcycle which were not made of steel such as the round chromed alloy on the right side of the engine where 'MOMOS' was embossed just to name a few.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Photo session with the bobber

Brother Hussien tries out his superduper camera on me and my bobber. The results are super sharp.





 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

My new FaceBook background


Bored of my previous background at my Facebook's "Malaysian Regal Raptor's Bobber", I decided to scoot of to the adjacent town and snap this photo in front of the entrance wall of the Regal Raptor's sale-cum-service centre.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Volchkova's


In my opinion, this is another of Volchkova's outstanding work. Well, had to take a snapshot, here, one for the album with Bobby Raptor.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Customization complete


I love moving around more with the bobber and use it daily because it offers more ease, convenience and saves time than with a car but its movement is very much intra-urban (I leave the inter-urban and outstation trips for the car as it needs to moves around too or else the battery wont be sufficiently charged). I've at last completed my customization project. Much of the money went to the airbrush job. I don't see a need to over-customize the bobber because I feel the factory did a good job on customization, in fact, many who saw the bobber thought I had totally customized the bobber and were surprised when I told them, no, it is factory standard. Although on 2 separate occasions, I insisted the handlebars be adjusted/aligned to the forks, I obviously have pulled them back to the more relaxed position so I will leave it as it is. The factory mechanic adjusted the seat lower than stock as I requested (I actually wanted it all the way down) but he said this is about as low as it gets without damaging the air filter casing. I also originally wanted the seat dark tan but am leaving it as stock because it is in harmony with the black and white colour scheme. Looks like I did slightly over 5000km in one year. No more warranty but I solved all the hiccups (mainly electrical) peculiar to my bobber during the warranty period. Presently, I am happy as it is. Although I sometimes wished this bobber was at least 500cc to give it more engine presence, however, that would mean a heavier motorcycle. When I look back at the few times I was in a hurry and had to pull the rear aside to get out of blocked parking situations, I feel its present weight is more practical. After 1 year of riding around on a hardtail, the ride is of course bumpy on rough and humpy roads. One thing for sure, a bobber is meant to be cruised. Yes, there are more glamorous motorcycles out there but it is the hardtail frame I love and I noticed it is a key factor why many eyes always ogle the bobber. It is a rare sight to see on the road and has a cleaner cut than softails. To think hardtails are more easier to manufacture as there is no moving parts yet between a Daytona, Spyder and Bobber, it is the most expensive of the three but that frame would make it the one with the least maintenance. I guess we can't ask for the best of both worlds.

 Customization:

1. Zebra stripe airbrush job
2. Headlight casing black paint + lacquer job
3. Air filter casing black paint + lacquer job
4. Chain guard lacquer job
5. Daytona handlebars
6. Chrome/hard rubber handlebar grips
7. Grounding cable
7. Tyre valve aluminium caps

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lazy Sunday cable tie project



Now that I have lots of spare cable tie in the storeroom, lazy Sunday today, I decided to strap the remaining 6 grooves with similar cable ties as before. Looks more balance now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Compare and Constrast





2 iron horses at the mosque: a HONDA Shadow VLX 600 and MOMOS Bobber 350. Both fundamentally are cousins because their engines came from the same Marque although Honda gave Regal Raptor the rights to upgrade and construct the modified engine. In overall dimension, the MOMOS Bobber is noticeably slightly bigger and longer but in engine size and quality, the HONDA Shadow is clearly outstanding and a reference in the 600-650cc category. In size, the MOMOS Bobber is larger to the HONDA Shadow as what the HD Sportster is larger to the MOMOS Bobber. Because of the MOMOS Bobber seat spring's construction, it looks like the HONDA Shadow's seat is lower by an inch. MOMOS Bobber front shocks are slightly more raked than the HONDA Shadow. The MOMOS idles louder but the HONDA can show it has more growl when it wants to. As the MOMOS Bobber is slightly longer, that elongated look makes it more beautiful just like the MOMOS Spyder overshadows it's Daytona and Bobber brother from the point of beauty whereas the HONDA Shadow's strength is evident by its bigger engine size which oozes power. Of course, MOMOS Bobber's clear hardtail frame gives it that Rough Rider look where a rider in tattered jeans feels at home whereas the HONDA Shadow's softail frame gives it a slightly more gentleman's look. For practicality, the HONDA Shadow wins hands down but for that timeless classic appeal and the perfect partner to grow old with, I salute the MOMOS Bobber.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Unfinished vandalism gets DIY job



When I was with the mechanic, he told me that the vandalism also caused a crack to the rear mudguard that supports the rear accessories. He showed me just beneath the rear mudguard, the crack was 4 inches long. I asked him to check with a welder if it could be welded but the answer was no because the metal was not strong enough to take the welding. To what extent that was true, I do not know but when I went home, I went straight and did a DIY job: I mixed metal epoxy with hardener then coated the crack. This job required me to use my finger because I needed to feel I reached the crack spot on. After letting it dry for a few minutes as not to drip, I dab it with water before it hardens. After 10 minutes, the paste almost harden quickly I wet my fingers and smoothed the paste pushing it through the crack to make sure there was no air gap (See photo). I left it under the hot sun to dry and after lunch pushed the bobber back under the shade. I checked and found the rear mudguard was now stiff as a board. Only time will tell how effective the steel epoxy was.

No more free-play!


Since the third party handlebar grips were fitted, I noticed there was excessive free play but thought this was expected when third party grips were fitted, even the fitter did not say nor do anything about it. But when I checked with my salesman, he said excessive free play can be corrected by adjusting the cable screws. Since I did not know where that was, today I watched my regular mechanic pull the rubber sleeves below the throttle exposing the cable nut. He concentrated on the front nut later did some adjustments to the rear nut. After testing the throttle and satisfied, he then covered the nut back with the rubber sleeves. Simple but if I was not shown how, I'm sure I will be left puzzled where and which nut is it.

THEE reference photo


This is THE reference photo (courtesy of Welly, Klang website) of the MOMOS Bobber that I would look up everyday before I ended up buying it. When I surfed the internet and make comparisons, I found this particular bobber is very well balanced, has a beautifully shaped frame (not as short like a Honda Shadow 600) and nicely raked front shocks (not as poorly raked as a MOMOS springer-Bobber). Although admittedly, the peanut tank has limited capacity, I really love the shape of that tank. However, I did not buy it there as I am not familiar of that part of Klang, secondly, there are other alternatives closer to where I stay. As you can see, I opt for the first generation handlebars just like in the photo which is now standard on a Daytona, although, the current second generation handlebar has a larger circumference and I prefer the former version which is now on my bobber. I was also eyeing and ogling the gorgeous fishtail pipes which are the longer (current) second generation exhaust pipes. My only disappointment is the single horn has a squeaky note. Maybe I'll add another in future.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Vandalized portion being touched-up.


Although the vandalized injury only concerned the rear portion of the bobber, my bobber has been a satisfying hobby of mine and the realization of a teenage dream. I just couldn't stand the sight of the vandalized part so eventually asked my airbrush painter to do a touch-up. Yesterday, I received this photo from him and today, the end (black) portion of the rear mud guard is currently getting some final touches because the painter said the vandalism was quite deep and required additional touch-up. When I saw this photo, I was already pleased.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Chain Wax


It's been a long time since I used this and whoooa what a difference. So smooth... My mechanic recommended once every fortnight and also if the chain came in contact with rain. At first, I sprayed the chain to loosen the harden grit and grime. Almost immediately, grime came out from grooves. Then as advised, I washed the chain with soap and water with a brush to get rid of the grit and grime to prevent it from eventually damaging the sprockets. After I sprayed water and let the bobber dry out in the sun, I gave the chain a generous squirt of spray. Later, I took the bobber round a few lanes then sprayed a bit to areas I missed out. The chain now feels like brand new just like an old door hinge treated with WD40. One of the mechanics, very-down-to-earth, said since my average speed on the highway is 85kph and I rarely touch 100kph, he said if I follow his recommendation of lubricating the chain every forthnight, he was confident the lifespan of my chain could easily hit 20,000km whilst the average rider replaces his at 15,000km, hence, he was against me upgrading my motor-chain.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A relook at the footpeg's cable ties




Looking at other Regal Raptors at the recent RROG meet at Sungai Ramal, Kajang made me nostagic about my footpegs. I wanted to see the original chrome parts which I had covered with white PVC cable ties. By this time, I had already acquired the black version (then, no stock) and made me rethink. So I snipped off all of the white cable ties, strapped a black cable tie in the grove of each rubber mounting, snipped off the excess then turned the cable ties' lock downward away from sight. They look much better now and still grip the rubber mounting well.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Regal Raptor Owners Group meet






Yesterday was a good sunny evening and there were bikers zooming around the main highway. Restoran Yus Satay was where the RROM met at 5-7pm. Wisely, I checked it out first with Duffy, founder of RROM coz I was about to head to the one at the main junction of Kajang town. Location wise was very strategic for those inter-state members and food wise, but of course, Kajang satay is the speciality. We had 2 rows of tables reserved and there were new on old members. Too many names to remember but the regular joe registered well in my database. I took the opportunity to share notes and I found out the number one problem with most Regal Raptor models was electrical (which can be a pain in the #%@$ if it is intermittent) and agreed there was hardly any mechanical problems. Some were keen to upgrade their motor-chain but were taken aback when I told them my salesman-mechanic said the DiD version cost RM700 but justified those who often travel long distance...and for those who got the extra cash. There is a tendency at these TTS only to chit-chat with those next to us and not move around (all getting fat) and it was when some went out to try others ride that most got up to look and see. All are friendly but breaking the ice is not everyone's ability so when the topic of conversion is a common one, the chit-chat doesn't stop. As it gets closely to maghrib, one by one request to call it a day. Myself, was under instruction to get a generous size of satay sticks for dinner, it is not often I enter Kajang territory soI too had to take leave. It was a good meet, this one.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bobber gets vandalized


My bobber got vandalized! The day before yesterday, I went to my son's secondary school at 8:00am and properly parked next to the main entrance behind bollards, not blocking neither pedestrian nor vehicle movement. The guard's house was also a stone's throw away. It was a short visit and I left at 8:30 am. Just before riding off, I noticed what looked like dirt on the rear fender but upon inspection, realized it was vandalized. The bracket of the rear light was also broken in two which is not an easy thing to do because it is tough. Even the rear number plate was broken. I suspect they were the work of some sick student(s). If you look at the way it was vandalized, it was meant to intimidate and provoke anger yet I don't know anyone there, even my son didn't know I came. Yesterday, I tried to fix it with steel epoxy but broken at the fulcrum, it simply gave way. Today, I visited an motorcycle accessory shop and tried out a few samples but they were too big and extended over the rear fender. Others were a little too small, not to my liking. Being third party product, I also need to have a custom bracket, they are not plug-n-play type so that's extra cost not including the overall labour charge. Rear light alone (no bracket nor cabling) range from RM130-330. Upon checking with my salesman, he said the original item cost RM320 but inclusive of bracket and cabling. As such, I decided to go for the original replacement plus the fact no modification nor custom bracket was needed and my salesman absorbed labour charge. The reality is life still goes on and for my own safety, I got the rear light and number plate replaced but don't have spare money to touch-up the vandalized parts. At first, I admit it is natural to be hurt but looking back (as a Muslim), all things beyond our control are divine intervention therefore are never bad so I leave it all to Allah. He knows best.