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  • Kenstomoto BOBR: Malaysian Kenny Yeoh’s third custom, based on a Kawasaki ER-6n – exclusive pics

    Kenstomoto_BOBR_02

    Most will recall the Kenstomoto Demolisher, which we featured in March. The Demolisher, based on designer Kenny Yeoh’s vision of a motorcycle based on the Japanese “Gundam” fighting robot suits, was a sensation.

    Kenny has now followed that up with the BOBR, a chopped and bobbed bike based on a Kawasaki ER-6. Drawing on his experience with both the Demolisher, and his first custom bike, the P650R, he had a decidedly more ambitious plan this third time around.

    The BOBR is a severely lowered bike, with the front seat round about knee height. The entire headlight and instrument unit was ripped out and completely re-worked to give the machine a distinctly Japanese anime robot look.

    Kenstomoto_07

    One of the biggest steps up that Kenny has made over his previous creations is the substitution of the entire front fork with a unit lifted off a Kawasaki ZX-10R, held in place with a lower triple clamp taken from a Versys, and a custom-machined upper triple clamp. This has the effect of raking the fork out forward a little, changing the stance of the original ER-6 this bike is based on.

    The light units are 38 mm Shinyo electronics projector modules located on either side of the fork, housed in a custom-built fairing unit, while the DRL, a group of eight LEDS clustered in two vertical rows in the space where the original headlight used to be, gives the BOBR a very spider-like look.

    As is Kenny’s trademark in all the Kenstomoto builds, the electrics and electronics in the BOBR have been extensively re-worked. The instrument cluster has been replaced by a Motorgadget Pro meter, coupled with a Breakout box from the same manufacturer.

    The key-switch was relocated to the left side on the side-cover, in the traditional bobber style. To give the BOBR that “fat-tyre” look, Kenny dropped in a ZX-10R rear wheel, shod in 180/55-17 rubber, while the front is covered in a 140/70-17 tyre, which Kenny said was actually a rear tyre in its first life.

    The swingarm was relocated in its pivot point, extended to kick the rear end out and stretch the BOBR. Kenny apologised for not being able to give me the numbers that have changed from the original Kawasaki ER-6, because, in his words, “I’ve been going crazy trying to finish this bike for Art of Speed.”

    Custom bodywork covers the entire bike, from top-to-bottom, with a custom paint-job by Jaz Airbrush. The open exhaust pipes snaking over the right-side of the engine were custom-welded – not bent around a mandrel – by a gentleman that Kenny shamefacedly admits he only knows as “Panjang”.

    “I lost count of the number of custom brackets I made for the BOBR,” says Kenny. The entire project consumed three months of his time, working after-hours, and with the kind co-operation of his employer.

    According to Kenny, the BOBR consumed more than RM20,000 in custom work and components, but he looks on it with a sense of satisfaction. This third bike from Kenstomoto sees a gradual evolution of Kenny’s ideas, and a growing sophistication in the scale of his customisation.

    For now, Kenny is going to take a short break, before coming back with something else. “I have all these ideas constantly flowing in my mind,” said Kenny, “and I wish I had the time and money to make them all real.”

    Kenstomoto_06

    “I have had many enquiries about custom-builds and one-offs, but I need to step back for a moment and catch my breath,” said Kenny.

    He did share that he intends to complete a couple more builds for 2016, including one for a customer he says wanted “an angry bike.”

    GALLERY: Kenstomoto Demolisher

    GALLERY: Kenstomoto P650R

     
  • Win a road trip with Mercedes-Benz and paultan.org – luxurious getaways with the C180, C300 and GLE400!

    Mercedes-Benz C250, AMG Line, Avantgarde, Diamantsilber metallic, LederCranberryrot/Schwarz, Zierelemente Holz Esche schwarz offenporig,  (W205),2013

    Dear paultan.org readers and Mercedes-Benz fans, we’ve got a treat for you. Together with Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, we will be hosting road trips to three scenic locations in Malaysia for you to experience the brand new Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde, C300 AMG Line and GLE400 AMG Line up close and personal.

    Winners will be accompanied by paultan.org personnel on a luxurious all expense-paid three-day, two-night (3D2N) weekend getaway to selected premium resorts in either Ipoh, Penang or Pahang. You’ll be taken through scenic routes along the way to really get to know the new Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

    Three separate road trips are available:

    • Mercedes-Benz GLE400 AMG Line – 3D2N at Mangala Resort and Spa, Pahang (June 3-5)
    • Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde – 3D2N at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Ipoh (June 10-12)
    • Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line – 3D2N at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort, Penang (June 17-19)

    Oh yes, you and your partner will get to drive the vehicle in question (C180 Avantgarde, C300 AMG Line or GLE400 AMG Line) throughout the journey. A paultan.org writer, an experienced road tester, will lead the convoy in a second vehicle, and will be at hand to explain the ins and outs of the Mercedes-Benz model.

    Ever wondered how paultan.org reviews new cars in Malaysia? Now’s your chance to join in. Just fill up the form below and select your preferred Mercedes-Benz model. We will call up the winners soon. Good luck!

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz GLE400 AMG Line


    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde

     
  • Renault Clio RS 16 – 275 hp, 360 Nm concept debuts

    Renault Clio RS 16 12

    Renault has taken the wraps off the Clio RS 16 at the Monaco Grand Prix. The concept car – which celebrates Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary and return to Formula 1 – is quite a special thing, because it’s powered by the company’s most potent engine.

    This is of course the 275 hp and 360 Nm 2,0 litre power unit as seen on the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, which has been shoehorned into the Clio.

    Finding the ideal way to house the engine, transmission and cooling system of the most powerful Megane was a significant challenge, but the design and development team dealt successfully with the constraints inherent in the Clio RS, the project accomplished in just five months.

    Changes include a widening of the car’s body (by 60 mm) and the introduction of 19-inch wheels into the equation. The graft also saw the exhaust system being revised, with an Akrapovic twin exhaust system finding its way on. Elsewhere, alterations were carried out on the cooling system and suspension setup.

    Other novelties include an LED RS VISION chequered-pattern lighting signature featuring exclusive multi-faceted reflector technology. The car is finished Renault Sport’s trademark Sirius yellow, which is combined with gloss black details to mirror the livery of the Renault Sport F1 Team’s RS 16 F1 single-seaters.

     
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo facelift: improved looks, handling

    160527-02-02-1200x800

    The covers have been pulled off the new, facelifted 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo – the high-performance version of the already monstrous Godzilla receives little in the way of mechanical alterations, but has instead been given a thorough cosmetic makeover to match the standard model.

    At the front, the revised, larger V-motion grille sits front and centre, pooling more air without sacrificing aerodynamic performance, while new canards add downforce and also direct air around the wheelhouses to improve aero efficiency. Quad round tail pipes also replace the oval units of the previous model. Overall, the new shape produces more downforce than any other Nissan model to date.

    Inside, there’s the completely revised dashboard from the standard facelift, with a new wraparound design for a more cockpit-like feel. On the Nismo, the dashboard, steering wheel and centre armrest have all been wrapped in Alcantara, while leather-wrapped Recaro carbon fibre bucket seats have been carried over from the previous car.

    A new infotainment system with an eight-inch capacitative touchscreen – integrated navigation and audio controls reduce the button count from 27 on the previous model to just 11, while a new Display Command knob on the redesigned carbon fibre transmission tunnel make controlling the system even easier.

    Under the skin, the standard GT-R facelift’s stiffer bodyshell has enabled engineers to refine the Nismo’s dampers, springs and anti-roll bar, improving the handling still further – contributing to a near 2% improvement in both slalom times and cornering performance over the previous model. As before, the Bilstein DampTronic system get Nismo-specific dampers that transmits power more effectively to the road.

    That power is unchanged from before – still breathing through GT3-spec high-flow, large-diameter twin turbochargers, the 3.8 litre VR38DETT V6 develops 600 PS at 6,800 rpm and 652 Nm from 3,600 to 5,600 rpm, sent through all four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

     
  • SPIED: 2016 Honda Civic seen on trailer in Malaysia

    civic-effie-1

    It looks like the 2016 Honda Civic has begun rolling out to dealerships in Malaysia. These pix are thanks to paultan.org reader Effie Muzaffar, who spotted a trailer loaded with several units of the tenth-gen model on the highway. This could indicate that a local launch isn’t too far away.

    Based on the images, we see the new Civic in different colours, including Dark Red Ruby Pearl and Crystal Black. We expect other popular colour options like White Orchid Pearl, Lunar Silver and more to join the palette as well at launch.

    In our earlier report, a local dealer revealed that three variants of the Civic will be offered to buyers – a base 1.8, mid-spec 1.5 Turbo and top-spec 1.5 Turbo Premium. The latter was previewed during the My Auto Fest 2016 event, featuring chrome door handles, LED headlamps and 17-inch five-spoke, two-tone alloy wheels.

    Though we can’t tell what headlamps are fitted due to the wrapping on the cars, the lack of chrome door handles indicate that none of these cars are the 1.5 Turbo Premium variant. However, the five-spoke, two-tone alloy wheels on six out of the seven cars seen here hint at the possibility that they are the mid-spec 1.5 Turbo variant.

    As for the sole car with the shuriken-style wheel design, this is likely the 1.8L model. Said wheels look identical to that on the Civic 1.8 EL sold in Thailand.

    As the variant names suggest, the base variant will be powered by the familiar 1.8 litre i-VTEC naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine making 141 PS at 6,500 rpm and 174 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. The Turbo variants get the new 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo mill that kicks out 173 PS at 5,500 rpm and 220 Nm of torque from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. Both engines are paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

    Regardless of variant, the Civic will come with six airbags and an eight-way powered seat as standard. The 2016 Honda Civic is set to be launched in Malaysia in Q2 2016, with the bookings already open for the C-segment model. With this new information, will you rushing to put in your order for the new Civic?

    If you need further insights, do check out our review of the new Civic in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where we tried out both the NA and turbo versions.

    GALLERY: 2016 Honda Civic previewed in Malaysia

     
  • Ford to use captured CO2 to develop foam and plastic for cars – first automaker to apply new biomaterials

    CO2 Foam

    Ford says it will be the first automaker to formulate and test new foam and plastic components that are developed from carbon dioxide. These are expected to be applied in Ford production vehicles within the next five years, the company says.

    The foam is formulated with up to 50% CO2-based polyols and has been subjected to rigorous automotive test standards, producing favourable results. When ready, the foam could find use in seating and under-bonnet applications. Furthermore, it will reduce petroleum use by more than 600 million pounds annually.

    Ford started working with a number of companies, suppliers and universities in 2013 to find applications for captured CO2. Novomer has been one of them. The New York-based company uses CO2 captured from manufacturing plants, and through a system of conversions, produces a polymer that can be formulated into recyclable foam, plastic and other materials.

    The Blue Oval hopes that the company’s early adoption and application of captured carbon will help reach long-term goals to reduce global warming as set in the UN Paris Agreement.

    Although innovative, this won’t be the first sustainable material that the automaker has applied to its products. In the past, soybeans have been used for seat foams, kenaf in door bolsters, recycled T-shirts and denim utilised for carpeting and recycled plastic bottles have been turned into seat fabric.

     
  • SPYSHOTS: Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 rolls to the ‘Ring

    Mercedes AMG GLC63 Spyshots-01

    The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 was unveiled at the 2016 New York International Auto Show in March. That car is powered by a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 that pushes out 367 hp and 520 Nm of torque, the same engine that propels fellow ‘AMG 43’ halfway house siblings C 43, E 43 and SLC 43, plus the GLE 450.

    Plenty of performance from the AMG-badged GLC 43, which goes from 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, but it’s not a “real AMG” car, something which we’re looking at in this post.

    Not the biggest surprise, but Mercedes-AMG is preparing a properly hot GLC 63 that should share the same 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine as the C 63. That hand-made motor makes 476 PS and 650 Nm, or 510 PS/700 Nm in the hardcore C 63 S, which completes the century sprint in just 4.0 seconds flat.

    Mercedes AMG GLC63 Spyshots-06

    It’s easy to tell the GLC 63 from the 43. While the less hot AMG car looks pretty much like a regular GLC with AMG Line plus a few unique details (quad exhaust tips, “Biturbo 4Matic” badging on the wings, unique 21-inch wheels), the GLC 63 gets a less contrived, more purposeful look common to full-on AMG models. A deep front apron with large air intakes mark it out, along with black exhaust tips.

    The wheels are not finalised yet, which is obvious by the mismatched front-rear designs, but behind those 21-inch items are serious-looking big brakes with red calipers, which are not present in the GLC 43. All the signs point to the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLC 63. We already have the GLC, and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is happy to bring in the marque’s “Dream Cars”, so this mega SUV might reach our shores some day.

    For now, Merc’s BMW X3 and Audi Q5 rival is available here as the GLC 250, in both AMG Line (RM328,888) and Exclusive Line (RM325,888). The limited-run and pricey Edition 1 (RM360,888) should have been sold out by now. Read our review of the GLC 250.


    GALLERY: Mercedes-AMG GLC 43

     
  • Mother faults forward-facing child seat for daughter’s severe injuries, sister in rear-facing seat unharmed

    An unfortunate accident has taken place in New South Wales, Australia, involving a forward-facing child seat. The accident involved two little girls – one, in a forward-facing child seat sustained serious injuries, while the other, in a rear-facing child seat, escaped with just a bruise.

    Their mother, Angela Brown, recounted the accident in a Facebook post. As she was travelling home, her SUV lost control and slammed into a tree at 100 km/h. “The impact caused our car to flip forward over its bonnet and onto its roof. At the same time, the large tree snapped and landed on top of the car, trapping us in it,” Brown wrote.

    One would have thought that her daughters, who were in child seats would be somewhat protected, however, it turned out that her daughter who sat in a forward-facing position sustained worst injuries than her sister – who was sitting in a rearward position.

    The two-year old, who Brown calls Miss 2 in her post, had to be airlifted to a hospital as her vertebrae was found to be broken in two places, according to the doctors. At this moment, her daughter is still in the hospital. “She was one of the youngest to be fitted with a Halo Brace. The doctor told us that most children with her injury don’t normally make it,” she said.

    A separate incident where a rear-facing child seat also saved a two-year old’s life

    Brown left a final message in her post, that we too encourage all parents to take heed of. “I was always unsure about when turning my babies around but after our crash and the hard evidence we are presented with I will forever rearward face my babies as long as I possibly can. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. It could cost you your baby’s life.”

    We wish Angela Brown and her daughter a speedy recovery, and we wish to remind all parents: if you have prematurely put your child into a front facing child seat, maybe it’s worth taking time off to switch him or her back to a rear facing child seat, immediately.

    Many parents switch to front facing on their child’s first birthday because of bad advice. You should instead keep your child in rear facing child seats until they reach the top height and/or weight limit allowed by your child seat’s manufacturer. This can be up to 18 to 21 kg (this can be the weight of a child well over 3 years old) for ISOFIX seats, and even more for seatbelt seats.

    Watch the video below to understand why rear-facing is safer than forward-facing.

     
  • Jaguar XJ L 2.0 Ti facelift on display at BSC – RM703k

    Jaguar_XJ_FL_Ext-2

    The facelifted Jaguar XJ has made a surprise appearance at the Bangsar Shopping Centre – the refreshed luxury sedan is seen here in base long-wheelbase 2.0 Ti Premium Luxury guise, and a call to Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia confirmed that it is now on sale.

    UPDATE: The specs and pricing originally listed in the article was based on the spec sheet displayed next to the car, which turned out to be inaccurate. We’ve since checked with Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia and amended the story accordingly.

    Changes to the big cat include a redesigned front bumper incorporating a sharper grille, along with updated LED tail lights with “J-signature” graphics and a revised rear bumper with dual oval exhaust tips.

    Jaguar_XJ_FL_Ext-17

    Inside, there is a new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with a quad-core processor, a 60 GB solid state drive and an eight-inch colour touchscreen. This is mated to a revised 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster that can now display a full navigation map, much like the new XF and F-Pace.

    The Ford-derived 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is unchanged from before, making 240 PS and 340 Nm of torque. The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is also unchanged, sending the engine’s power to the rear wheels. Under the skin, electric power-assisted steering has been added, along with the All-Surface Progress Control (ASPC), a sort of low-speed cruise control for slippery surfaces.

    You do get a fair bit of kit as standard, with full-LED headlights with automatic high beam assist, a powered bootlid, navigation and the top 825 W, 20-speaker Meridian Surround Sound system (the latter being a big step up from the 280 W Jaguar Sound system offered as standard on the pre-facelift model) are all in the base price. You still don’t get a reclining rear seat, however – rather egregious considering the kind of car.

    Jaguar_XJ_FL_Int-33

    The car seen here is fitted with a bunch of options, including 20-inch Kasuga alloy wheels, a pair of 10.2-inch rear entertainment screens, rear business tables and an ambient lighting pack.

    The price quoted for the car on display is RM702,918. Sources within JLRM said that this price is inclusive of these options and excludes on-the-road costs, and that the price of the standard car is actually RM645,000 (also not OTR). More local information of the Jaguar XJ will be available soon, so stay tuned.

     
  • Mercedes-Benz Malaysia strengthens CSR efforts, including free Child Car Seat Rentals with paultan.org

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia - Future of the Nation

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) today reinforced its CSR commitment in the country by announcing that it will contribute over RM200,000 for initiatives that support the growth and development of Malaysian society.

    The initiatives are guided by four core CSR pillars adopted by MBM – road safety, the arts and culture, investing in knowledge and corporate volunteering. For the first aspect, MBM is continuing its collaboration with Driven Communications (paultan.org) by contributing an additional 135 child car seats worth RM50,000, through its MobileKids initiative, to the Child Car Seat Rental Programme.

    The programme, which was launched together with paultan.org in 2015, serves to educate families on road safety by providing child car seats for rental on a first-come-first-serve basis. Last year’s programme saw MBM contributing 110 child car seats to the programme. With this move, the company’s total contribution now stands at 245 child car seats.

    To ensure that the Malaysian performing arts scene continues to be promoted, MBM will announced an additional sponsorship of RM120,000 to KLPac. MBM holds a strong belief that the arts has the power to build bridges and foster creativity and innovation, and has thus far contributed over RM1.2 million.

    Photo 1A

    For young ones, where education is a vital component in their upbringing to be future leaders, MBM will also donate 205 units of pre-owned computers to primary schools and non-profit organisations. Both Teach for Malaysia and Monfort Boys Town will each receive 50 computers, while three vernacular primary schools will get 35 computers each.

    MBM will also continue its annual celebrations for children during festive seasons, where it encourages its employees to share personally-selected gifts with children who are in need. The programme provides the chance for MBM staff to bring cheer to underprivileged children.

    Said staff will also be involved in a beach cleaning programme later this year as part of efforts to ensure the preservation of the environment. Additionally, MBM will also supports its employees who will participate in this year’s Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, scheduled to take place in August. As a corporate sponsor of the marathon, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia will be donating RM20,000 to Hospis Malaysia.

    “CSR is part of our commitment to the Malaysian community. We want to be an enabler for future generations, and contribute to the community in a meaningful way. It is when we help those who are in need that we are truly making a difference in the world. Today marks the launch of a campaign which we hope will enrich the lives of the various groups involved,” said Mercedes-Benz Malaysia president and CEO, Dr Claus Weidner.

    Watch the video below for testimonials from parents who participated in last year’s balik kampung child car seat rental campaign.

     
 

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