Keeping your motorcycle safe while touring in a foreign land is important. The bike is, after all, not only your primary trip companion, but could be your only transport home too. A simple disc lock may be enough to deter the casual thief from stealing the bike – although it won’t stop the really determined ones from lifting it onto the back of a truck.
But, is there a “wrong” way of doing it?
In my recent 1000 Corner Malaysia ride, a fellow riding buddy had a brilliant idea he picked up from a YouTube video. To make it really difficult for the bad guys to brute force crack the disc lock by drilling it, lock it such that the keyhole opening is facing the INSIDE of the brake disc instead of the usual OUTSIDE.
While my journey with the Honda CB400X was brief, it was fulfilling. This was the little machine that could. It had the power to munch miles, but yet frugal with fuel. It was light enough to take it through most terrains and could easily be serviced and repaired just about anywhere in this part of the world. Not that I needed it – the legendary Honda reliability lived up to it’s reputation. And in my 5 months of ownership, I’ve clocked close to 10,000km on this workhorse.
Some of you may have already known that I’ve recently passed my Class 2 license exam. But what many probably didn’t know is that I took the Class 2 TP test just one day after my birthday. So what better way to celebrate both my passing of the license exam and my birthday than shopping for a new bike?
Today is the day! My Traffic Police motorcycle Class 2 license test is today! Yup! This is it! The pinnacle of motorcycle licensing in Singapore. For those who don’t already know, there are three tiers of motorcycle licensing in Singapore. You start off with Class 2B which limits you to a bike below 200cc displacement. You wait a year later to take the Class 2A test – 200cc to 400cc. And yet another year later before one is qualified to do the Class 2 test – 400cc and above – essentially, an unrestricted license.
I was worried. Just a mere 2 weeks back, I had a severe back injury where I was ambulance’d to the hospital. I snapped my back while lifting a load and I could neither sit up nor stand. Thankfully, it wasn’t a slipped disc nor a broken spine. The x-ray suggested that I tore a muscle, and the prescribed treatment was bed rest. Bummer… But lying on the hospital bed, I was worried sick that I would not be able to recover in time for the motorcycle practical test. And since the Class 2 curriculum requires laying a dummy bike on the floor and then picking it up again, that back injury so near the test date certainly wasn’t very helpful. =(
I’ve been holding out my purchase for a larger bike since I’ve gotten my Class 2A (201cc to 400cc) license in January this year. Well, the initial plan was to wait it out for my Class 2 (>400cc) license before I made the jump up.
However, an impending trip to Thailand with a group of riding friends reignited my itch for a larger capacity touring motorcycle. While I’m pretty happy with the Pulsar, it sometimes just struggles to keep up on the excellent Malaysian North-South highway (NSHW) for longer journeys. So that led me to scouting the local online ads for something larger.
Quality service is hard to come by these days. While you may still occasionally come across some great pre-sales service – especially if you’ve displayed some buying signals and if the sales staff is eager to close the sale, great post-sales or after-sales service is rare. Very rare.
And I’m particularly pleased with Racing World Singapore and their service levels – especially their after-sales service.
For this Sunday Morning Ride, we returned to Pontian and re-attempted the off-road section. This time, we came prepared. Siu Hon and I brought along our tire inflators, and we were prepared to let out some air in our tires before taking on the off-road section. I also wanted to get some (easy) off-road experience with my Pulsar and her newly overhauled engine. And for this time around, I wanted to try riding like a real off-roader – standing on the bike.
This off-road section is an approximately 2-3km stretch with a mix of (really loose) gravel, dirt, and grass – some really TALL grass. It’s not exactly technically challenging as it’s a straight and level stretch and we weren’t expected to hop over logs or cross any water body. And although Siu Hon and I attempted it last month, we turned around halfway as it was raining, the ground was wet, and let’s just say that one of our bikes had something more than just tires hitting the ground. =S Continue reading “Sunday Morning Off-Road ride to Pontian – Round #2”
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.
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”
3 practical lessons, 3 weeks, $300, and I finally got my Class 2A driving license!
For those who are unfamiliar with the Singapore tiered driving license scheme for motorcycles, (regardless of age and driving experience,) motorcycle learners start off with a Class 2B license which limits the rider on a motorcycle with engine below 200cc. You’ll need to wait ONE YEAR before you can register for lessons for the next tier. Passing the next tier, Class 2A, will allow you to ride a motorcycle of up to 400cc engine capacity. Again, you need to wait for another ONE YEAR before you can register for lessons for the next tier – the coveted Class 2 unlimited cc license.