9 bikes – 2 Yamaha XJ6’s, 2 Honda 400X’s, a XVS950 cruiser, an NC750X, a MaxSym 400i, and 2 Pulsars. Finally, I wasn’t the only one in the group with a small displacement engine.
This Sunday, we headed to Jalan Sawah in Pekan Nanas – a nice stretch of back road that circles around Gunung Pulai.
Strangely, today’s traffic seem to be heavier than usual. The Causeway was rather busy even in the early morning, and some of us got caught in a slight jam. Even the smaller Malaysian roads were filled with slow moving trucks. Thankfully, the urban road didn’t last too long, and soon we found ourselves in the beautiful Malaysian back roads towards Pekan Nanas. Continue reading “Sunday Morning Ride to Pekan Nanas”
One Honda Super 4, a Yamaha 950XVS, a Triumph Daytona 675, a Yamaha XJ6 Diversion, and a Pulsar 200NS took a leisurely ride to Pontian on Sunday morning. None of us have been here before, but the plan for the day was to ride along a western coastal stretch which looked like it might be unpaved road on Google Maps. We thought that it’ll be fun to explore the western coast after exploring the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia last week.
Yup! You read it right! NONE of the bikes were built for off-road! In fact, Cheng Hui failed to inform Eddy about the off-road section and so Eddy brought along his Triump Daytona sport bike for this ride! Nope! Not a great vehicle choice for the terrain!
And so when we arrived at the mouth of the off-road stretch, Cheng Hui with his Super 4 stayed behind with Eddy and his Triumph Daytona. Siu Hon’s XJ6, Lawrence’s XVS950 and my Pulsar 200NS ventured ahead! The The Yamaha XVS950 Midnight Star – that’s a VERY gung-ho cruiser! Continue reading “Sunday Morning Off-road Ride in Pontian”
It was a very last minute decision. Yup – it was on the morning itself that I decided to Join Sufi and Hafidz in their morning ride to Kota Tinggi and Kampung Panti – Hafidz’s hometown in Malaysia. The plan was to meet at B-Point at 0730h, and move off at 0800h.
I texted Sufi just before I left home at 0719h: “Wait for me. ETA 0800. No need breakfast. On the way.”
Yup! Told you that it was a LAST MINUTE decision. VERY last minute indeed!
It was a short and easy morning ride, and before long we reached Kota Tinggi waterfall resort. And since it was a public holiday, the place was filled with holiday-makers! As usual, we didn’t pay to get inside the waterfalls area.
My Pulsar has just reached it’s 4-year mark, and it’s certainly showing signs of its age. I was just at Universal Motors yesterday for a gear lever replacement. And when I got home that evening, I noticed that the left side of my radiator assembly was shaking loose.
The 200NS radiator is held in place by four mounting points. And to damp it from the motorcycle’s vibrations, each of these four mounts are coupled with a rubber “silent block”. Turns out that TWO of the FOUR mounts were broken! One at the rubber damper, and the other was a metal fracture on the radiator itself! GASP!
During my recent Sunday Morning Ride to Layang-layang, I experienced a gear shift issue on the Pulsar. Well, for some time now, I thought the gearshift on the 200NS felt strange. After the recent 2,000km run to Betong, Thailand and back, I thought that the gearshift felt kind of harsh. Initially, I attributed it to possibly spent oil. Although it was a mere 2,000km, I was running at high RPM’s for extended periods of time. And so when I returned to Singapore, I performed an engine oil change. Unfortunately, even the fresh oil – Motul’s fully synthetic 7100 – didn’t bring me the once-familiar super-smooth gear shift experience.
During the Layang-layang ride, it got worse.
At a juncture, I couldn’t downshift my bike! And I was forced to pull off from stationary on gear 2. Oh gosh! I hope it isn’t a gearbox issue. Now, THAT will be expensive repair.
I love Sundays! Especially Sunday mornings! Mostly because I get to ride! =) This Sunday, we headed to Layang-layang. This week, we have a larger group of riders – Roy, Huiqin, Naim and Muhd Rahim were on their CB400X, Zhengfang was on her MaxSYM 400, Siu Hon with his XJ6, and then me and my 200cc Pulsar. For several weeks now, I’ve been overwhelmed by larger displacement motorcycles several times my engine size. Com’on! I need some 2B riders joining me soon! =P
As usual, we met at B-Point for a light roti breakfast and spent some time getting to know one another. Some of us were meeting each other for the first time.
The Pulsar 200NS comes with an adjustable nitrox-charged monoshock rear suspension. Although the damping is not adjustable, the spring preload is.
At my recent tour to Betong, and because I was riding with a group, I realised that when it came to corners, I seem to hesitate quite a bit more than the other bikes. It could be a case of chicken, or that my Pulsar was the most underpowered bike. But when I was discussing this issue with a fellow biker, he suggested that it could be due to the suspension setup of my motorcycle.
The Pulsar 200NS rear gas-charged mono suspension comes with NINE (9) levels of adjustment settings, with 1 being the softest and 9 being the hardest spring preload. The factory default setting is a very soft level 2. While this may be suitable for most “average sized” solo riders, heavier riders (like me) or riders with pillion and / or luggage should increase the preload for better damping.
Some of you would know that I have been using Motul’s very popular C2 (Road) chain lube for a very long time. It was also my primary chain lubricant when I did my 11,000km over 49 days SE Asia Tour in 2016. While the topic of chain lube – like engine oil – is very much a controversial subject when it comes to “which one is the best”, everyone has their own favourite lube. Personally, when it comes to chain lube, my opinion is that as long as you clean and lube frequently, I suspect most brand-name chain lubes would work well to protect the chain and keep it running.
But of course, there are differences.
While I’m pretty certain that the Motul C2 Chain Lube kept my chain well lubed, it also tend to attract A LOT of gunk. A HELL LOT!! I’ve previously blogged about the gooey mess that have accumulated on my chain and front sprocket after I returned from my long tour. Yes, admittedly, I had traveled on some challenging terrains – including the dusty roads of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. But I suspect the accumulated gunk might have somewhat contributed to accelerated wear on my chain – leading to an eventual uneven distribution of wear along the chain length.
It’s the Good Friday long weekend and we decided to ride up to Betong, Thailand. The distance between Singapore and Betong, Thailand is approximately 740km, and the plan was to start riding through the night and arrive at the Malaysia-Thai border by morning.
DAY 0 (13 Apr, Thu) – overnight ride.
We rendezvoused at Petronas Gelang Petah on Friday, 0000h-0030h (Thursday night, really) to gather for a pre-ride briefing. At 200cc, my Pulsar was the only “small capacity” bike with the rest of the bikes (2A and CL2 big bikes) having multiple times my engine displacement, and so, the plan is for me to push off first as an “advance party” with Sufi and Siu Hon with their Honda CB400X and Yamaha XJ6 Diversion as my riding buddies (aka “escorts”). The plan was to link up with the rest of the group at R&R Sungai Perak (approximately 580km) in the morning. The big bikes will be traveling at a faster pace and should catch us up as we near Sg Perak. Continue reading “Long Weekend Ride to Betong, Thailand”