Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Art of Cruising


When I was a teenager, I was a cafe racer with my Yamaha RX 100, had lots of falls but thankfully no broken bones. But with experience learned the hard way, my driving school instructor told me to wipe my past riding experience because the Yamaha and the Bobber have different riding personalities due to their different structural design. The Bobber is longer than a kapchai by half the length of a tyre so turning radius is much wider. It means I have to meander more and slower (due to the Bobber’s weight) than a kapchai. He said whenever I reached a t-junction or make U-turns, I should switch early to the outside lane, negotiate turns slowly like I was driving a trailer as if I wanted to show off my motorbike. It works, cornering is smoother. Tight corners can even be done slowly by lifting up the elbows like a man walks the tight rope. This works too. Because of different structural design, I was asked to sit upright to get better balance but I like to slouch. Experience of failing to cross the narrow bridge for 4 days of training yet succeeding on the fifth day for the B licence test was a result of sitting upright and always looking chin up straight at the horizon. I prefer to cruise lazily on local roads around 70kph but there is no breeze so end up cruising at 80-90kph depending on road gradient. On highways, I cruise between 90-110kph depending on road gradient but rarely exceed 110kph except to overtake a vehicle at 100-110kph. It is also hard to enjoy cruising faster than 110kph because the wind uncomfortably slams the chest. Then there is also the need to be more alert and that takes the fun out of cruising, a style of riding very different from superbikers whose aim is to reach their destination ASAP. How about you?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cold storage





Within a few days time, I am scheduled for a hernia operation, a result of carrying over-weighed luggages to have them weighed at the airport last year. The luggages had to be reweighed 3 times as the permissible amount was 37kg whereas each luggage weighed about 45kg. To make things worse, the boot level of the Peugeot 407 is a bit high. A week later, I felt a sharp pain at my left groin and a doctor confirmed it was hernia (Her father suffered that too so she is well familiar with it). So far, 3 doctors told me after the hernia operation, I should not ride the superbike for a period of 6 months (ideal situation) to prevent the surgical mesh from falling off. If that happens, I will require another operation. Still, this will be a case-by-case merit and I am expected to visit the doctor again some time after the operation but for the moment, I do not know when. I found this hernia thing out just after I renewed the insurance for my bobber then quickly postponed renewing my road tax until 6 months after the operation. However, 3 months after the operation, I hope to (we'll see later) ride the bobber just to scoot 4 lanes away to the mosque which I frequent. So in the meantime, I took the opportunity to give the bobber a coat of engine oil on the rims, engine block and tyre walls and gave the bobber a wash later before I paln to give her a wax polish.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fuel consumption


FUEL CONSUMPTION: A topic people like to talk about but shy away from the truth when their ride does not deliver good fuel consumption.

Q: What is the fuel consumption of the Malaysian carburettor-ed Regal Raptor 350cc?
A: Well, better than a car but I think could do better. Still, what do you expect from twin carburettors...excellent fuel economy? Twin carburettors are not designed for that!

Here, a 350cc Johhny PAG (Note that an electronic ignition system gives better fuel consumption than a carburettor version) is compared against a 833cc HD Sportster (http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/johnny_pag/regal_raptor_350.) The HD Sportster although much bigger cc (more than double) delivers an average of 44mpg over the years than the PAG (http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/harley_davidson/xl883n_iron_883). Her 2017's average of 48.3mpg against the PAG's 51.7mpg is very good indeed. You have to take your hat off to HD for doing a good job in this area.

So now you know the truth!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

a.k.a. Putt-Putt


Putt-Putt the cute car from Humongous Entertainment came from a children adventure game I used to play on the computer when I had much time on my side. I still have fond memories of that character so bestow that name to my Bobber, after all, I don't ride it like a superbike but more so as a means of mobility and to putt around.

Psychedelic 60s: The era I grew up ...


This is my new background for my Regal Raptor's Bobber site on Facebook after fooling around with the colour balance of this photograph which I'm fond of ... taken at a time before the Bobber was vandalised.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Project Ignition Cable


Yahoo! Just arrived from UK. I am so excited in my Project Ignition Cable because all my previous and present cars have been upgraded from the original set of 6mm spark plug cables to 10mm high performance cables. The job was simple and a success. The original ignition cable core of 0.75mm was replaced with (from what we measured) an ignition cable core of 1mm. Mathematically, that's an increase of 33% though in terms of performance I don't know how much better. First test was so-so. Then the mechanic checked both spark plugs and found the left slightly rich so dyno-tune the carbs. The second spin was impressive like a new motorbike. I am now very happy with the result.

Observation: More responsive torque throughout the power band. Best part is can use the highest gear over a wider range of speed, going slow no jerking, no need to down-shift as often as before, this is the fun part but of course cruising a bit faster because on highest gear. This new feeling is experienced also on all gears. Engine less rough noise than before. The exhaust note now sounds slightly different or is it my ears, dunno how to put to words. The dyno-tuning really brings out the potentials of the new ignition cable. The headlights: high and low beam are brighter. Twisting the throttle all the way back quickly pulls the bobber forward at a rate I've never experienced before but I don't plan to do any fancy revving until I get the temporary throttle sleeve replaced.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Retrospect after 2 years of ownership


You are lucky owning a mass production vehicle or motorcycle that does not give you ANY problem. Even my brand new BMW 320 e46 had a faulty lamda within 3 months of purchase and lamdas are something that hardly ever go wrong from whatever car make. Kira nasib la. My Regal Rapptor Bobber premium version cost RM17,000 or RM19,100 on the road (Shop absorbed GST). Not even RM20,000 for a "superbike" if you were to follow JPJ cc rating but the reality is for quality, you get what you paid for. From my experience with car and motorcycle clubs, members rarely tell of the bad things that happened to their car or motorcycle because shame or "drop my waterface" is a Malaysian NO-NO. However, I will not hestate to share my experience: good and bad as I believe it could help others:

01. Electrical wiring below par: Mechanics clarify the copper content of wires from China is comparatively less than say from Japan, so electrical related issues are frequent and the Number One problem.
02. Ball bearing below par: I don't expect them to breakdown below 16,000km.
03. Clutch cable below par: I don't expect it to breakdown below 16,000km. I don't even speed 110kph+ on highways.
04. Chain is below par: It sags in less than a year even if you don't travel far. My new heavy duty O-type chain does wonder to the performance/pick-up.
05. My bobber was fitted with an obsolete starter relay. Had I not got a breakdown, I would never know other Regal Raptors were already fitted with the upgraded version.
06. Some carburettors cause popping. (Just irritating but Americans like it as this is associated with upgraded air-fuel/exhaust systems yet for safety reasons, helps alert people of my coming presence especially in heavy traffic).
07. The Bobber is a bit of a rough rider's motorbike (Somehow, suits the rider who regularly wears open-collar T-shirts and rugged blue jeans) but has superbly classic good looks. Choose a Daytona or Spyder if you want comfort and need to carry a pillion rider.
08. Original accessories are quite expensive. You can get them or an equivalent much cheaper air-mailed (Often free transport cost to Malaysia at standard rate) from China.
09. 350cc CKD Regal Raptors are tough to be able to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand and back (RROMG did a successful trip and recorded it at their FB site). If you land yourself a reliable one, you're plain lucky. (After all, they are basically Honda Rebels 250cc the company upgraded to 350cc and added a radiator cooling system)
10. Two of my original horns do not handle rain well and died. Surprisingly, a look-alike third-party horn handles rain better.
11. I hate looking at the factory's spotwelding but amazingly, the Bobber's hardtail frame won a prestigous European award for BEST homologation.
12. The handlebar grips are nice to hold but too soft for Malaysian hot/wet/humid weather and wear out fast. Stick to third-party handlebar grips.
13. The Bobber cannot meander as well as kapcais because it has a longer frame implying a wider turning radius but it easily outsprints them on the straight road by a big margin.
14. I love and many people (even old ladies) tell me that they like the deep note of the fishtail exhaust pipes.
15. I have lost track of the number of people that come up and snap a photo of my bobber. I even invite them (men and women) to sit on it while I take a photo of them.
16. When parked, the Bobber is light enough to be pulled aside in case some idiot blocks the path (Happened a few occasions) but heavy enough to give confidence when riding in the wet, say, at 80kph. I doubt a 500cc motorcycle is light enough to be pulled aside.
17. The official fuel consumption of 90km/US gallon is not bad for RON95, probably slightly more than 100/US gallon when running on RON97.
18. The general feedback I get is that the Bobber looks better, more balanced and looks rugged without the rear component that supports the brake-light, sidelight indicators and license plate holder which I had removed due to vandalism.
19. The grounding exercise, cheap and simple though it maybe, helped turn the headlight beam from yellowish-white to whitish-white, in fact, grounding was done a week after purchase of the motorcycle.
20. (To be updated from time to time)

Having shot myself in the foot for buying it, I still would never sell this my Bobber. Call it spiritual but it's keeps for me because, like I always said, it fulfils a 17 year schoolboy's dream of owning a custom FACTORY hardtail bobber, something I wanted so badly but couldn't afford then. Furthermore, custom FACTORY hardtail bobbers were unheard off then, in fact, only produced recently. And because of my otak gila-gila (crazy brain) needs to express itself outwardly, the Bobber and matching helmet got airbrushed with unique zebra stripes.... and I love it!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Police approved licence plate holder


This afternoon, I left Petaling Jaya for Subang Jaya then came to a police road block by the motorcyclist lane at the Federal Highway-Jalan Lapangan Terbang roundabout. I am usually not asked to stop but as I was the only one riding, I was not surprised to be asked to stop. One officer looked at my road tax and seeing it was valid, didn't say anything. Another officer at the back of me checked my license plate then complimented me for having it clearly displayed (easy to see) and correct lettering size nor fancy (easy to read). He even took a snapshot to serve as a good example for others. With that, I gave my salam and scooted off. That the license plate holder was attached to the left side of the bobber was not an issue. What they were more concern was it must be easy to see, easy to read plus of course, a valid road tax. They did not even ask for my driver licence. I often used to wonder if cops would summon me for this off-centred licence plate holder, now, this experience says it all.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Outstanding frame I did not know until I read it here


This Peruvian web site is one of the best sites I've come across that has attractive photos of the bobber (also for other models at their respective page). It also has some outstanding information like the bobber's frame is the FIRST bike with a hardtail frame to awarded the European 3 Certificate of Homologation. That is impressive to say the least yet local retailers do not know how to exploit such information to their advantage.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Emergency tools


It will soon be 2 years since owning the bobber. Unlike some who are merely weekenders with their motorcycle, I use my bobber daily (although there is a Peugeot 407 under the porch) except when it rains. There were only 2 incidents when it broke down on the road: because of a faulty starter switch and the other time, due to a faulty power wire from battery to starter switch. Other than that, it has been very reliable. I never needed to but if I were to carry any tool, it will be a No. 8 spanner and a No. 6 Allen key. The spanner obviously to open the battery box but why the Allen key? Well, one day after the bobber was serviced at Chear Motors, Klang it rained heavy and the bobber was parked outside. After the rain, when I started the bobber, it sounded as like only 1 piston was running and after a few yards, I turned back. The mechanic checked and said rain somehow seep under the spark park cover. The Allen key was used, the plug cap knocked a few times then wiped dry. After a test ride, everything was OK. Then I realised how important that Allen key is.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Passing through... Shah Alam


It's a hot sunny day today, and an excellent time for a snapshot so I decided to scoot off next door and passed the centre of Shah Alam (state capital of Selangor) along Persiaran Sultan with MBSA local authority building in the background.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Zebra Stripe Regal Raptor 2017


This was really a refresher course for self-taught me into the world of Open Source software which I dabble with and which for this clip involved LibreOffice Impress, Simple Screen Recorder, and OpenShot Video Editor. I put a copy at YouTube too.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Unfortunately, not REAL leather

I've always been surfing for a zebra stripe leather motorcyclist jacket and eventually found the almost perfect one here which can be bought online from China except I wanted it in REAL leather, nothing short of that so it still remains a dream.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Facial mask courtesy of wifey


Little things mean a lot to me and here, it's the facial mask bought by wifey when she was in South Korea with the school troupe. Yes! In zebra stripes and now it's my regular facial mask and as it is of good quality, I find it very effective in keeping out the dust whilst making it breathable.