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!