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”
So, it’s been awhile since I got the pair of Pinlock ear plugs. Since then, I’ve taken it on short rides, on longer rides, through city rides and even on the Malaysian highway run at triple-digit speeds, and I thought I’d pen my thoughts on this set of ear plugs.
First, a little bit about Pinlock – the company. Pinlock is a pretty recognised brand in the motorcycle industry and are very well known for their excellent anti-fog visor inserts for motorcycle helmets. So when they came up with the ear plugs, I was pretty confident that it would be a quality product too.
I’ve always believed in hearing protection during motorcycle riding. It’s not that motorcycles are noisy – it’s the WIND NOISE when riding at highway speeds that can cause irreversible hearing damage. I used to ride with cheap, disposable 3M foam ear plugs and love how it makes the ride just feel more comfortable and pleasant. Continue reading “sgBikerBoy Reviews Pinlock Ear Plugs”
This is crazy… At the Sunday Morning Ride, I was just talking to a fellow biker about carrying an extra bottle of engine oil for a long trip. And when I returned home after the ride, washed and waxed by bike, I realized that my oil inspection window was… EMPTY!
I had initially thought it was still “warm” after the ride and allowed some time pass to allow the oil to flow back down. But checked the oil window the next morning, still empty – no matter how I tilted my bike. 🙁
So I thought the high RPM run on Sunday might have something to do with it. No external oil leak was observed. So my worst fear was an internal engine oil consumption – aka oil “burning” up. Was it an engine gasket issue? Perhaps a valve oil seal failure? But it was only 17,000km since my engine was rebuilt in Chiang Mai, and I’d be very disappointed if an oil leak or oil consumption occurred.
Woohoo! Another Sunday Morning Ride! This weekend, we headed to Renggam in Johor! It was the same three bikes of three different license classes again – my Pulsar 200NS, a Honda CB400X, and a Yamaha XJ6 Diversion.
As usual, we met up at B-Point for breakfast, geared up, set our GPS’es to avoid motorways and toll roads, and off we went!
And we all agreed that this was one of the nicest ride we had together as a group. It had everything – from the cold morning, to foggy roads, to nice scenic fields, to train crossings, to some easy twisties, fantastic straight roads, factories, prison, army camp, and a beautiful weather!