Thursday, 21 August 2014

Brief : Naza Blade 250R EFI aka "Black Stallion"

Can you tell the 250R apart from the 650R?
Known as the Hyosung GTR250 EFI in other parts of the world, the Naza Blade 250R EFI ("Blade") was one of the sportiest and prettiest modern sports bike that you could get at its price. It looks very much identical to its bigger brother i.e. Naza Blade 650R EFI.




An easy way to tell the difference of the 2009-2012 version to the 2013-current version by cosmetic was to look at the frontal headlamps- with the previous version being more round while the latest version had a sharp kink at the top similar to the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion. And of course, the carburettor upgrade to EFI had also modernise the handling of this bike.

Retailing in Malaysia at RM14,300, the Blade gave Kawasaki's Ninja 250R (RM22,000) and Honda's CBR250 (RM20,000) a serious run for its monies.



The standard bike came out from the factory looking like this :


The service schedules were at 1,000 km, and every 4,000 km after that. Warranty period as given by Naza was 1 year.

1 year on, the warranty on this bike has since lapsed with accumulated mileage of 7,220 km as of today with the next servicing scheduled at 9,000 km. There were a few e-mails from fellow readers requesting for real world pictures of the Blade.

Well, sharing is caring, so hope you guys and gals enjoy the attached pictures below depicting my Black Stallion from various angles :



















From the above pictures, you could see that Black Stallion was still fairly stock-standard with the exception of the following :

- Black-colour front windscreen to give it a more menacing frontal look;
- Fully-debadged like my Toyota Harrier;
- Front stacked headlamps tinted blue for a contrast against the black profile;
- Seats re-wrapped in racer red for contrast yet again; and
- Stock S&T Hyosung exhaust can replaced with an aftermarket slip-on designed to bring out the growls of the V-twin engine.

You could easily change your Blade to the same match for a small sum of perhaps, RM1,000 in total. Not bad at all as it really changed the Blade into a more menacing machine.

Going forward, I have a few other minor mods to be introduced to the Blade, and I would update them on this blog as and when the mods came into place.

The bike rides well, although its very racy profile may not be up to everyone's taste. Compared to my previous Green Hornet (Kawasaki ER6-f) and Silver (Aprilia Tuono), Black Stallion's riding position would have more pressure placed onto one's wrists so it does take a bit of getting used to it if you were coming to this bike from the said other bikes.

I would update further in other entries to come; and as usual, ride safe and let the good times roll!
  


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Story So Far... Sym VTS200 and Hyosung/Naza Blade 250R

My last blog entry was in November 2013, and I would apologise that I have not been active hereabouts as my job has been increasingly demanding as I rose up the ranks, and having the fortune of being blessed with another sonny.

Juggling between career and family meant that biking had to take a back seat, so I partly indulged in my other hobby that was safer and could be indulged at times when the brood had gone to sleep. I am of course referring to my horological journey @ http://andywristwatches.blogspot.com.

Switching to and fro between Japanese and Swiss watches, it was a hobby that was neither time-consuming nor demanding compared to my previous hobby of dabbling with 2-wheelers.

But as bikers would know- once a biker, always a biker.

To keep things simple, I am now dabbling with smaller runabouts that would be easier to maintain and would be nimble in the city-traffic.

My main 2-wheeler garage would be mostly based on the Sym VTS200 maxi-scooter that I fetched my wife for the occasional movies at times, and a Hyosung GT250R (otherwise known as Naza Blade 250R locally) that would be useful for the occasional spin during stressful times.




Both these were relatively affordable bikes in Malaysia, with the following prices:

Sym VTS200 : RM10,000
Hyosung GT250R : RM14,300

I may just keep this blog active again, God-willing; and hopefully, we'll have good adventures together again. Till then, ride safe and let the good times roll...

Monday, 11 November 2013

Questions, Questions, Questions in My E-mail Inbox

There have been an influx of questions as to the reason that I have not been updating this blog of late.

No worries, I am alright here- just that I have been a tad busy plus the fact that I have yet to receive the bike that my friend was to sell to me, so there was really nothing much to update.



The story goes that my friend wanted to trade-in his Kawasaki Z750 CBU bike for a higher-capacity bike, and the bike shop would only offer him a pretty low trade-in sum with the reasoning that most bikers would prefer the Z800 CKD so there was very limited demand for the Z750 in the market.



Hearing the lowly trade-in price, I informed my friend that I would be willing to top-up an additional RM2k on top of the shop's offer, to take-over his bike. It would have been a steal of a price if I had been able to secure the purchase of the bike at less than RM30k. He had initially agreed to sell to me instead since I am able to offer him a higher price than the shop; but it has been weeks and he was said to be having second thoughts about upgrading for another bike since he stood to lose so much monies in depreciation. So here I am waiting for him to make a "jawapan muktamad".



In the meantime, perhaps I could write about Malaysia bikers' favourite scooter instead ie Sym VTS 200. You see these scooters everywhere, and there are really a huge following for this bike. In fact, there has been quite a no. of e-mails from fellow readers that requested that I get my hands on the VTS 200 and begin on modification works. I do have one, but I have hardly ridden it so perhaps I would hereafter utilize it to fill in the spaces now.

So it could just be scooter-mania in the following entries. Ride safe, mates.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Goodbye, Benelli Keeway TX200G Motard aka Bumblebee.

 
 

Well, the advert on Bumblebee was posted on 18th October 2013 and e-mails started to come in for appointments on its viewing. As I was travelling between 20th - 22nd October 2013, I arranged for 4 interested parties to view the bike on 19th October 2013.

The first 2 chaps took a liking to the bike immediately after the viewing and test-riding at Solaris Mont Kiara, but they requested between 2-4 weeks to raise the cash with offers to place a deposit immediately. I politely declined as I preferred a first come first serve basis. They promised to get back to me as soon as they could raise the RM6,000 that I had asked for the said bike.

The latter 2 chaps had to postpone their viewing and test-riding as it was raining in the afternoon. One of them was a very polite chap by the name of Raymond.

Well, Raymond got in touch with me today and requested to purchase the bike straightaway. I was on annual leave due to family matters and therefore, arranged a short trip to JPJ to meet up with him for the sales and transfer of ownership.

On my way there, another chap called me to confirm the bike but I told him that it has already been reserved. He then offered me a higher price at RM6,100 but I politely declined as I had promised Raymond on the sale of the bike; and he increased again and again until at RM6,500, he understood that I meant my word and that the bike was really sold. I explained that had he confirmed on the bike the other day, or at least prior to Raymond's confirmation, I would be able to sell to him even at my earlier asking price of RM6,000.

To cut a long story short, Raymond collected HIS bike and was pleased as a punch. Last I heard, he would be shipping the bike to Keningau, Sabah for plantation runs. I waved goodbye as he rode the bike off into the sunset, figuratively speaking.

Goodbye, Bumblebee... It's been nice working on you.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Houston, We Have A Problem...



I have been in Jakarta for a couple of days and Bumblebee had been resting next to my neighbour's Beemer GS1300 over the time. After I settled down, I thought that I might have a short spin around the condo after the brood has gone to bed.

And so I sneaked out of the house and then walked to Bumblebee with the swagger that only a biker possesses. And uh huh, I couldn't get the bike to fire up.

"Houston, we have a problem..."

 
The bike felt like it was going to start up but then the engine would rumbled back to silence. I checked the carb, the fuel gauge (to ensure that it was not at a locked position), etc. The only recent change that I have made to the bike was the installation of the LeoVince exhaust but it was working beautifully the last time I had it on the road.

All my previous bikes had started at the first ignition consistently, so it was a tad disconcerting that this very new bike was having problem starting, and at 2,500 km on the odometer only.

And that was when I glanced at the odometer and found that it was registered as 2,630 km on the odometer.

"Surely that rather big tank can't be good for just 130 km per full tank?", I wondered aloud as I checked the tank.

And sure enough the tank was empty. Looking through the external tank carefully, I found that the hard plastics on the left and right sides, which made the tank looked bigger, were purely for looks.

And the fuel gauge at the engine  should be turned to 12 o'clock ("on" position) while 3 o'clock meant "off" and 6 o'clock meant "reserve".

I had inevitably turned mine to 6 o'clock as I was riding, which meant that there wasn't any reserves for me to get the bike out to a petrol station.

So I hopped in my car and went to pump some petrol into a lubricant bottle; afterwhich I fed the precious liquid into Bumblebee. I pressed the ignition button again and voila, the bike came alive with a roar.

"Houston, we have lift off..."



You could be sure that I'd be looking closely at the odometer from hereon, and a visit to the petrol station every 100km would henceforth be a common norm for this bike.

"Fuel on the go? But is that RON97?"



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

When Harry Met Sally

I wanted to pass some bike stuff to Joe, the owner of my ex-Aprilia and arranged to meet up with him at 10.30 pm. What was supposed to be a teh tarik session between current and ex-owner became a lengthy support session that lasted till almost 3.00 am now.

It seemed that Joe was having a problem with the bike. He had problem starting the bike sometimes, and just faced the problem that the RPM would not go past 7,000 RPM. I had initially thought that Joe was not gunning the bike the way that 2-strokers needed to be coaxed with.

But once we exhanged bikes and I rode the Aprilia for quite a duration, I found that the bike was displaying symptons of water in its carburetor as per the following :

1) Won't start or run : If there is a large amount of water in your carburetor your engine will not run at all. Engines require a combustible substance in order to start up and fire; since water is not combustible, too much of it will completely prevent the motor from operating.

2) Rough Surging : The carburetor's job is to create the ideal fuel mix for your motor and supply your vehicle with the proper amount of fuel. If the carburetor is supplying your vehicle with watered-down fuel, or just has small droplets of water mixed in occasionally, your vehicle will be getting a mixture that does not burn effectively in the motor. It will cause the motor run badly, bog down when accelerating or surge as the vehicle alternately receives good fuel and fuel with water mixed in.

My diagnosis would be water in the carburetor, which reqires a mechanic to clean and flush the water out of the system.I would contact the mechanic tomorrow and appeal for him to assist in the carburetor job soonest possible.

However, despite this "teething issue" as Joe called it, the rest of the bike performed beautifully. The gear changes were swell, the brakes were great and the overall package warrant s 90% mark, let down by the erratic RPM.
 
I hope that we could settle this matter and have Joe having fun on his Aprilia again soon.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Banksy Renamed As Bumblebee ("BB")

Banksy would henceforth be renamed as Bumblebee. Not that it has anything to do with the Chevy from Transformers, but simply because its transformation programme has its yellow-and-black scheme becoming more and more obvious. Hence the Bumblebee.
Haha, the sting looks like the current mudguard.
Now, this Bumblebee is fierce-looking.

I went about polishing Bumblebee between 11.30 pm - 12.30 am today, after the brood has gone to sleep. I collected Bumblebee from the mechanic's place at around 7.00 pm, and there it was in all its glory but with oily hand print stains all over its body and all. And I couldn't stop wanting to look at her, so off I went with my polishing cloth and all.

Anyway, back to the mechanic's place, with the stuff that I ordered duly-installed, it really changed the whole outlook of the bike. She looked so much meaner and fiercer now, but that could be just in my eyes. You decide for yourself when you look at the pictures later.

Before and...
After.
The LeoVince Cobra looked so beautiful perched at the side of the bike. And when I started it, the exhaust bass was so strong that even the few Versys and Shiver owners servicing their bikes at the workshop came over to check out Bumblebee.

The exhaust note was oh-so-beautiful it would also attract too much attention from the authorities, so I had the silencer installed and thereafter, it was just-a-tad muted down. Just-a-tad.



The ProTaper cushion bar and hand guards added a touch of zesty yellow to the front of the bike, and it really added to the whole character of Bumblebee. No longer does the front looked dull and average-looking, now it exuded a sense of wilderness and danger.

Looks like an elk from this angle.
My riding view.
Looks good to me.
Right side, external.
Right side, internal.
Left side, external.
Left side, internal.
Add in the motard seat net and Racing Boy reflective sticker for sports rims, and the whole bike really looked the part. The Hella BM dual-horn improved upon the safety aspect while riding. However, the mechanic was unable to modify the footrests though, so we would have to go through other channels.

Spot the horn.

The ride home felt really good. Bumblebee's street cred and presence improved ten-fold at the very least, and other vehicles moved to give her space when I revved the boomy LeoVince to let them know that I needed to go through.

The bike's pick-up improved tremendously and there was a surge that was non-present previously. All in all, the LeoVince  really changed the nature of the bike.

And here she is in all her glory.

More to come, perhaps.
And for comparo purposes, here she was in stock form earlier the year as seen from the showroom.

Stock platform good to begin with.
Going forward, I am toying with the idea of changing the 2008 Kawasaki ER6N headlamps into Bumblebee. There are a few selling on Mudah now between RM350 - RM550 per piece, and I believe that the headlamp would change the whole outlook of Bumblebee all over again. Of course, the year 2011 ono Kawasaki ER6N headlamps would look even better given its more aggressive stance.

However, my mechanic has cautioned that those headlamps were quite heavy and that may affect the motard's agile riding experiences. Hmmm... let's sleep over it further.