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  • 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR – now in grey, priced at RM8,210


    Yamaha’s “supercub”, the Y15ZR, has received an update for 2016 – a new colour scheme in a rather fetching shade of grey with a purple tint. Retailing at RM8,210 including GST, this kapchai takes it styling cues from Yamaha YZF range of sports and superbikes.

    Carrying a 150 cc four-valve, four-stroke, liquid-cooled single cylinder engine fed by EFI, the Yamaha Y15ZR gets the power to the ground via a five-speed gearbox and chain final drive. Power is claimed to be 15.1 hp at 8,500 rpm, while torque is rated at 13.8 Nm at 7,000 rpm.

    Braking is with a single hydraulic disc in front, with a drum brake in the rear wheel. The under-seat tank carries 4.2-litres of fuel, with a very rider-friendly seat height of 670 mm.

    The total weight of the Yamaha Y15ZR is 115 kg, and suspension is with a standard telescopic fork in front, and monoshock at the back. Aside from the new 2016 colour of grey, two other colour options are available – blue and red – while the previous option of black has been discontinued.

    Retailing for RM8,210 including GST, but excluding insurance and road tax, the 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR goes up against the recently launched 2016 Honda RS150R, which goes for RM8,213.94 for the standard, and RM8,374.94 for the advanced, including GST.

  • Perodua maintains 216,000-unit sales target for 2016; 97,400 vehicles sold in first six months of the year

    Perodua 1H2016 26

    Perodua has managed to sell 97,400 vehicles in the first six months of 2016, the national carmaker announced during its 1H2016 review today. Additionally, the company remains cautiously optimistic in maintaining its sales target of 216,000 units for the year.

    It aims to achieve the figure by increasing its sales estimates to 118,600 units in the second half of 2016, in spite of the reduced total industry volume (TIV) projected by the Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA). The association reduced its estimated TIV from 650,000 to 580,000 vehicles due to less encouraging conditions.

    The Perodua Bezza is expected to help the carmaker in pursuit of this target, which has since notched up 10,115 bookings as of the morning of July 26, with 500 deliveries made since the model made its launch debut on July 21. As for its other models, Perodua managed to sell 28,100 units of the Myvi, 51,100 units of the Axia and 18,150 units of the Alza in the fist half of 2016.

    In other areas of the company, its after sales division saw one million vehicles visiting its 186 service centres nationwide, which is an increase of 5% from 965,000 vehicles in the same period last year.

    It’s all green in terms of intake revenue as well, with RM330 million being recorded in the first half of 2016, up 13% from RM292 million in the same period last year. Similarly, parts sales (including accessories) in the same period increased by 5% to RM126 million (2016) from RM120 million (2015).

    However, the company saw a 14% reduction in production from 116,400 units in 2015 to 100,300 units in 2015 during the same period. “Despite the expected increase in sales for the second half, we maintain our production forecast of 216,000 vehicles of the year, having already planned our production expectation of the year, which includes the Perodua Bezza,” said Perodua president and CEO, Datuk Dr Aminar Rashid Salleh.

  • Samsung purchases a US$449 million stake in BYD


    Last week, it was reported that Samsung was in talks to purchase a stake in BYD, China’s largest EV manufacturer. The deal has now been concluded, with a unit of South Korea’s largest chaebol purchasing a US$449 million (RM1.83 billion) stake in the Chinese automaker.

    The buy-in, accomplished via Shanghai Samsung Semiconductor, will offer the Korean electronics giant a key access point to China’s booming electric-vehicle market, Bloomberg reports. Samsung pursued the stake in the Chinese carmaker after its affiliate was among foreign battery makers left off a list of suppliers approved by China, and said that the investment in BYD will also bolster its semiconductor business for cars.

    In a statement, BYD said it will use the proceeds obtained to fund an expansion in battery production and research and development into new-energy vehicles for the Chinese market, which surpassed the United States last year to become the global EV market leader.

    China has big ambitions for its EV market – its government wants sales of its “new-energy vehicles” to exceed three million units a year by 2025. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, deliveries of such vehicles have already doubled to around 170,000 units in the first half of the year.

    The report added that in Samsung’s case, the move into the auto industry is a way to help make up for declining growth in hardware businesses such as televisions and smartphones. As automakers continue to utilise more electronics and displays in their push for automated vehicles, electronics makers are looking to tap into the automotive business.

  • Death Machines of London DMOL2 “Up yours copper!” – tribute to legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson

    DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (4)

    Legendary American journalist Hunter S. Thompson, father of “gonzo” journalism – a journalistic style that blurs the barriers between fiction and non-fiction – loved guns, drugs, alcohol and motorcycles in equal measure. Hir reporting on American politics, his 1967 novel on the Hell’s Angels, his essay on the air-cooled Ducati V-twin “The song of the sausage creature“, earned him a reputation many have tried to emulate, but few have matched.

    Thompson died from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2005 – alleged because Thompson was a big fan of conspiracy theories and considering his work, some of those theories might have been true. Although Thompson may have shuffled off this mortal coil, his memory is commemorated by, and lives on in, the Death Machines of London DMOL2 custom called “Up yours copper”.

    Based on a 2007 Triumph Thruxton 900 parallel-twin engine, Up yours copper reflects Thompson’s philosophy on life, motorcycles and a poor demeanor towards law enforcement in general. With the tagline “a proper gobby Thruxton”, the DMOL2 caused the builders a lot of pain in bringing it to life.

    DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (7)

    This included incidents like dropped fuel tanks, broken drill bits, broken lathes and spilled blood, but we would consider this to be fairly typical for anything involving Thompson or his name. A new rear-end was fitted to the de-lugged, weld cleaned and modified frame, finished in a dark shade of Beluga Black.

    The engine was also extensively modified, with a gas-flowed cylinder head and re-mapped fuel injection to work in tandem with the custom ceramic-coated exhaust that exits under the seat cowl. The exhaust actually exits through the rear-light cluster, and it took 11 attempts to get the right balance between the exhaust gas exiting or melting the light housing.

    Details abound throughout the DMOL2, including the copper-plated 19-inch and 17-inch wheels laced with black-anodised spokes and nipples. The front brake is a Fontana four-leading shoe drum-brake assembly that looks like a racetrack refugee – from the sixties. The rear shocks are Hagon units with a 20 mm extension over stock, while the frton fork features re-valved internals with Progressive Suspension fork springs.

    Another touch is the use of a magneto switch from a Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1. Yes, that Spitfire. One magneto switch switches on the bike, while the other energises the starter. Custom-made velocity stacks pull air into the EFI throttle bodies, and the battery lives in a custom housing between the machined-aluminium footpegs.

    The brushed aluminum light cowl houses a 7-inch military-specification LED headlamp, as well as the custom-made speedometer which ismachined out of brass, with the numbers etched using micro-lithogrpahy – a process more commonly found in manufacturing printed circuit boards for electronics.

    Calling for special mention is the seat, which is hand-carved from American walnut by Ben Heeney of Ian Dunn Woodwork and Design. Made out of seventeen parts in order to maintain a consistent grain pattern within the highly complex compound curves of the rider’s form, DMOL claims the seat is, despite appearances, exceedingly comfortable.

    DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (3)

    The crowning touch on the DMOL2 are the words “Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death” etched around the fuel-filler cap. These words are, of course, Thompson’s, and taken from his novel, Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

    Designed and built in England, Up yours copper stands as an example of the motorcycle as working art. Death Machines of London has not released any information on how much this build cost, but invites enquiries on its website.

    What do you think? A beautiful example of motorcycle art and worthy of a place in your garage, or supreme waste of money and time? Leave us a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

  • Honda Sonic Civic sedan – celebrating that hedgehog

    sonic civic 01

    Honda – working together with video game company Sega – has come up with the Sonic Civic, a one-off special to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog‘s 25th anniversary. The customised offering, which is based on a turbocharged 2016 Civic sedan, made its debut during Comic-Con in San Diego last week.

    Plenty of Sonic-related cues to be found on the modded Civic, from references to the hedgehog to elements from his world. This is led by an exterior finished in a one-of-a-kind vinyl Sonic the Hedgehog design and bespoke paint scheme. The BASF R-M Candy Sonic Blue painted exterior with custom Sonic Yellow elements, including that for the Honda logo, is definitely unmissable.

    The car’s wheels, meanwhile, have been painted to represent Sonic’s infamous red shoes and gold rings featured in the game. As for the interior, the novelties are led by Sonic-inspired front/rear seats, which are dressed in Katzkin Blue leather and are adorned with custom Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary embroidered logos.

    Entertainment aspects haven’t been left out, and Sonic fans will be happy to know that the game can be played on the special, via a customised entertainment system housed in the boot. Kit in the Rockford Fosgate AV system include two 500-watt T1S2 10-inch subwoofers, two 500-watt TM400 400-watt amplifiers and a floor-mounted flip-up/down 32-inch television, perfect for those Sonic the Hedgehog moments.

  • Perodua Bezza hits 10,115 bookings, averaging 1,000 units per day; 9,000 units ready stock by end-July

    Perodua Bezza Launch Stage

    During Perodua’s 1H2016 review today, the national carmaker announced that its newly launched Perodua Bezza has notched up 10,115 bookings as of the morning of July 26, with 500 deliveries made since the model launched on July 21.

    This averages out to about 1,000 cars per day since the Bezza was first opened for booking on July 16. Additionally, the company also said it aims to meet customer demand for the Bezza with its currently available vehicle stock.

    “We began mass production of the Perodua Bezza since June and have a ready stock of 7,000 as of July 21. By July 31, we expect to have 9,000 units ready for delivery nationwide,” said Perodua president and CEO, Datuk Dr Aminar Rashid Salleh.

    “We will do our best to ensure that delivery is made in a timely manner as to ensure our customers’ satisfaction. This is also in-line with our goal to further improve both our (JD Power) Sales Satisfaction Index and Customer Satisfaction Index,” he added.

    The Bezza is offered to Malaysians in a total of five variants, with prices (including insurance) starting at the RM37,300 mark, and going all the way up to RM50,800. Two engines are available here – 1.0 litre VVT-i and 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i – mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

    For those who want to know more about the Bezza, do check out our comprehensive launch report and review of Perodua’s first-ever sedan model. Alternatively, we’ve also prepared a walk-around video tour of the range-topping 1.3 Advance model, here.

  • Federal Highway motorcycle lane – the danger is real

    2016 Fed Highway bike tunnel -2

    After the heavy rains over the weekend, we did wonder what the situation might be in the Federal Highway motorcycle lane, more specifically, the tunnels. We got our answer from these pictures taken at the tunnel underneath the Federal Highway-Subang interchange.

    As can be seen, the tunnel was flooded at some point during the weekend, and when the flood waters drained away, it left behind a thick coating of mud in the tunnel, along with a pile of mud at one side of the tunnel entrance. This is obviously a clear hazard to motorcyclists, especially when entering the unlit tunnel.

    2016 Fed Highway bike tunnel -3

    We shall be doing a follow-up ride of the Federal Highway motorcycle lane soon, to see if anything has changed in the last 30 days. We did note that the day after we posted our video, the debris at the on-going construction works at the Selangor arch had been cleaned up.

    There will also be more in the series, as we travel the dedicated motorcycle lanes along highways in the Klang Valley. It is our hope, with this series of videos, that the authorities and relevant government agencies pay more attention to the maintenance and safety of all public roads, not just the bike lanes.

  • Gov’t looking to have 100,000 EVs on the road by 2020

    treeletrik launch bernama

    The government is aiming to have 100,000 electric vehicles on the roads nationwide by year 2020, according to international trade and industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed. While there are only 891 EVs currently registered in the country, he said the government will continue the push the use of such energy efficient vehicles, The Sun reports.

    “One of the main reasons why we encourage it is because it would reduce carbon emission in the country, subsequently providing a better environment for all. Secondly, using e-vehicles would reduce maintenance cost, with savings of about RM5,000 each year compared to the conventional vehicles,” Mustapha said.

    He was speaking at the launch of the new range of Treeletrik electric motorcycles yesterday. Mustapha said that the introduction of these bikes will swell the numbers of e-bikes on the road to around 5,000 by the end of the year, compared to the 100 presently registered.

    He urged more local companies to embrace and produce electronic vehicles in line with the government’s aim to encourage the use of green technology to reduce carbon emissions.

  • 2016 KTM Super Duke GT launched in M’sia – RM125k

    2016 KTM Super Duke GT Launch -3

    Someone in KTM, probably something to do with all the schnitzel they eat, came up with the idea of taking the bonkers V-twin from the Super Duke R and putting it into a sports-tourer. Launched as the 2016 KTM Super Duke GT, and retailing with a basic selling price of RM118,000 (RM125,080 with 6% GST), this machine combines speed and comfort in one package.

    Carrying the 1,301 cc 75-degree V-twin from the Super Duke R, in GT form this engine puts out 173 hp and a humungous 144 Nm of torque. Fed by Keihin EFI with ride-by-wire, the Super Duke GT gets the power to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and a hydraulically activated slipper clutch.

    2016 KTM Super Duke GT Launch -9

    The chrome-moly steel trellis frame is suspended by WP semi-active suspension front and rear, with 125 and 156 mm of travel, respectively. Twin Brembo monobloc four-piston radial-mounted calipers grabbing 320 mm discs take care of braking duties in front, and a single Brembo two-piston unit looks after the rear brake.

    A full suite of electronic aids comes with the 2016 KTM Super Duke GT, which includes Bosch’s 9ME ABS that combines cornering ABS and supermoto mode – for those moments when the inner hooligan surfaces – and is able to be disengaged.

    Fuel is carried in a 23-litre capacity tank, while seat height is a somewhat lofty 835 mm. The dry weight of 205 kg with a ground clearance of 140 mm and a wheelbase of 1,482 mm makes the GT a somewhat hunky machine.

    Appearing in the KTM showroom and selected dealers soon, the 2016 Super Duke GT brings continental-style sports-touring to the rider at a basic selling price of RM118,000 (RM125,080 with 6% GST). Only one colour option is available, as well as a full range of accessories from the KTM catalogue.

    For a limited time, and while stocks last, the 2016 KTM Super Duke GT will come supplied with panniers.

    GALLERY: 2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

  • 2016 Renault Koleos – Malaysian debut in September

    Renault Koleos France-1

    The order books are set to open for the new Renault Koleos next month ahead of its Malaysian debut in September. No pricing indication as of yet, but we do know that the D-segment SUV will arrive here first in its 4×2 guise (it’s also available in two four-wheel drive configurations).

    The second-generation Koleos, which premiered in Beijing earlier this year, is a bigger proposition than the vehicle it replaces. It sits on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Module Platform (CMF-CD), which also underpins the Espace, Talisman, Kadjar, Scenic and the Nissan X-Trail and Qashqai.

    Renault Koleos France-2

    At point of introduction, powertrain options mentioned were two petrol and two diesel engines, with power outputs ranging from 130 hp to 175 hp. Transmission options are a six-speed manual gearbox or an X-Tronic CVT automatic transmission.

    The Malaysian-spec Koleos will be a 2.5 litre variant – essentially, it’s the QR25DE-k2 as seen in the T32 X-Trail. On the latter, the unit offers 171 PS and 233 Nm for output numbers. As for transmission, it’s the CVT route for the local car, of course.

    Malaysia will be one of the first markets to sell the new Koleos, which is built in Busan, South Korea. Australia will be the first to do so globally; the SUV makes its market debut Down Under on August 1, in 2.5 litre petrol form.


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