THE APPLE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE

Saiful Izman in action at Temerloh last weekend

17-year-old Saiful Izman Ahmad Zamani’s life had always revolved around the motorcycle. Son of former Malaysian top rider Ahmad Zamani Baharuddin, motorcycle racing had always been a big part of his life. With so many offsprings of former riders now entering the sport, Saiful Izman’s entry into Cub Prix was neither the first nor expected to be the last. Racing in his sophomore year of the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix, Saiful Izman is beginning to show glimpses of his family’s racing heritage, especially when he won the Wira Final during the curtain raising leg of the 2015 season in Temerloh last weekend.

Although always placing within the top five during the practice sessions, Saiful Izman was never quite the fastest rider on the grid. He was consistently a few split seconds behind Kozi Yam Honda’s Mohd Harith Farhan Baharudin. But during the finals, Saiful Izman’s aggressive and rough riding style tore through Harith Farhan’s defense strategies and resulted in Saiful netting the first open-make win of his career. “While all riders thank their families for their success, in my case, it is doubly so as my father and uncles are also directly involved in my career,” said Saiful during the post-race press conference. “Growing up, none of them ever pressure me into taking up racing professionally but it was a hard topic to avoid as racing was always the centre of their conversation. Every time the television set was turned on at home, it was always to watch more motorcycle races.”

Saiful Izman with his uncles, Ahmad Fuad Baharudin and Ahmad Nashrul Baharudin

Saiful made his Cub Prix debut in 2014 through team FELDA AFB Tech Racing which was then managed by Ahmad Fuad Baharudin. This year, the Felda outfit has spun off into two squads – team FELDA PB Racing managed jointly by Ahmad Zamani and Ahmad Nashrul Baharudin that is taking part in the CP115 class and team FELDA AFB Tech Caldinals Racing owned by Ahmad Fuad Baharudin and focused on new talent identification in the age-capped Wira category. The young rider who is just in the early stages of his racing career admits that he has big boots to fill. “My father and uncle were both counted as some of the top riders in the Asian region. With their support and training, I hope to equal if not exceed what they have done.”

Izzat Honored with Yamaha Awards

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Yesterday was a hectic day for us in Malaysian Riders. As we were present at Yamaha’s event through out the day to witness a few important events and milestone reached by the Japanese manufacturer. With the excitement of announcement and preview by Yamaha regarding their 250cc machine namely the R25, they have also taken the opportunity to hand over achievement award to some of Asia’s and Asean’s best riders.

Mohd Izzat Zaidi Salehan received a confidence boost ahead of the 2015 season as the Motul Yamaha YY Pang rider was presented with the Yamaha Spirit of Challenge Awards during the Yamaha Motorsports Asia/Asean Press Conference at Sama-Sama Hotel in Sepang on Thursday.Following its inaugural ceremony last year, the awards recognize the efforts of Yamaha supported riders who have delivered extraordinary results in the field of motorsports worldwide.

Izzat receiving the Yamaha Spirit of Challenge award at Sama-Sama hotel

Furthermore, Yamaha Motor Co.Ltd intends that these awards become a source of encouragement for their riders to continue delivering strong results and promote Yamaha’s image in motorsports and increase its fanbase.Izzat became the second Malaysian after Ahmad Afif Amran to receive the Yamaha honours following an outstanding campaign where he lifted the 2014 PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship CP115 title in spectacular fashion, bagging six victories from 10 rounds.

Besides Izzat, other Asian riders who received the honour were Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Japan), former ARRC challenger Chalermpol Polamai (Thailand), Masato Fernando (Philippines), Imanuel Putra Pratna (Indonesia), Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore (Indonesia), Sigit Purno Harjono (Indonesia).“I am extremely honoured and proud to receive this award. To get to this level was not easy and to have Yamaha acknowledge our efforts feels amazing. I am inspired, motivated and already looking forward to the new season,” said Izzat.

The Yamaha MT-07 Says Hello

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is here! The Master of Torque 07 has finally arrived and it is ready to blast you away through the roads of Malaysia! The new Yamaha MT-07 was launched a few weeks ago during the MotoGP week in Sepang Circuit by none other than Yamaha’s own Factory riders; Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo themselves.

This new motorcycle from Yamaha was initially launched last year in other parts of the world, so it has been around for a while now, but Yamaha Malaysia has decided to carry this model in their inventory because of the rise in demand for middle weighted motorcycles with bigger capacity engines. Yamaha Malaysia has also announced that there will be a limited amount of CBU units ready to be sold now at RM42,000 a piece without registration, and in the future it will consider assembling the MT series here in Malaysia offering the CKD version at a slightly cheaper price.

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 The MT-07 is in my opinion, is a hybrid motorcycle that is equipped with different types of gear that usually do not exist on the same bike, first you find 17 inch rims 120mm at the front and 180mm at the back bolted on a GP inspired long swing arm attached to diamond type Trellis frame, and propelled by, what Yamaha’s project manager said was the best engine that came out of the factory and installed on one of their commercial motorcycles, which is a fuel injected 689cc twin crossplane promising cheap maintenance, a lot of riding emotions and 75HP coupled with a mighty 68Nm of torque.

 Not forgetting that this bike fully loaded weighs only 179kg, we can see here that we have all the right ingredients that could make a great sport’s bike. But the MT-07 is not a sport’s bike, if it was it would have bigger breaks, better suspension, lighter wheels, etc. The concept of the MT-07 is being a cheaper motorcycle with lower running cost and that could also be a multipurpose tool, but above all it is promising a fun, safe ride with a handful of torque to keep you interested and awake while riding. Hopefully in the future we will be able to take it for a test and surely we will bring you some more info on this motorcycle full of potential.

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All in all, us in Malaysian Riders will work our very best to get more of the Yamaha’s new motorcycle into the spotlight especially; through our main content of focus on Youtube. Feel free to hang around with us on Facebook and get the latest updates from time to time and be among the first to access our exclusively made contents.

words by Nader Tunsi

 

Yamaha YZF-R3: Now the race is ON!

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It’s not really a Hot Piece of News about this highly anticipated small capacity Yamaha sportsbike, but it is now becoming a full blown attempt for the Iwata based manufacturer to go on a heads on battle with the rest of the manufacturers in the same segment. We are now talking about Yamaha’s attempt to build a 300cc sportsbike machine to cater the needs of those European riders which regulation is a bit different from here in Malaysia. All in all, it’s just a wonderful piece of news to everyone who are looking into getting their hands on a sub 50HP motorcycle to ride.

The news came quite a while ago as the people in Yamaha has given a nod that they are preparing to officially release the YZF-R3 for the European market next year. Hold on to your seat ladies and gentleman, we are on the course to witness an epic battle between the Yamaha, Kawasaki and the KTM for the entry level sportsbike machine as we step our foot on 2015 soon. Of course, by the time this nicely designed Yamaha is available on the market; the RC390 and the Ninja 300 is already way mature in terms of familiarity and sales.

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For us in Malaysia, don’t get your hopes too high or let’s not put any faith on it at all; because it seems highly unlikely that we’ll receive the machine here. But, we are awaiting the official release of the YZF-R25 here in Malaysia; and this is as we have been told by Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia that it’ll be made available in 2015. So about the YZF-R3, it seems much more powerful than the Ninja 300. The R3 will be producing 42hp and 21.8lb ft of torque, and this shows that the bike is capable to be an overall 2015 winner but let’s not predict too much about the future.

One thing that we really love from the piece of news we received is that the bike is lighter than the Ninja 300 ABS and it also comes standard with an ABS as well. This is good news for our road riders from the European part of the world. But what about us here in Malaysia? will ABS comes as a standard for our R25? Or will it be an option at all? That’s all remain to be seen. YZF-R3, RC390 and Ninja 300. We are sure being given a lot of choice nowadays and although it’s not the same for us in Malaysia, but at least we got something similar going on for us.

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We can’t really put any more words for this piece of story for now, but we are sure that more info will be made available soon by Yamaha. Please do stay tune with us in the future to get our version of the motorcycling news and films. For that, we really appreciate if you can hang out with us in FACEBOOK and our YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

Yamaha Safety Campaign: 16th Edition

The safety awareness demonstration being conducted by YSRS

Kuala Lumpur, 8th July 2014 – Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn. Bhd (46829-P) (HLYM) launched its 16th Yamaha Balik Kampung Road Safety Campaign 2014. Jointly organised by HLYM and the Malaysia Motorcycle & Scooter Dealers Association (MMSDA), the road safety campaign themed “Brek Cermat, Balik Selamat”, echoed the magnitude of understanding the motorcycle’s brake function, condition and limitations. It also highlighted how vital it is to take a break when on a long journey back to the kampung during the festive season of Hari Raya.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Yang Berhormat Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, was there to officiate the launch at Sungai Besi Toll Plaza. It was evident during the event that performing maintenance of motorcycles regularly and having sufficient rest before and during a long ride were the main focus for this year’s campaign. These steps significantly help to reduce the risk of accidents and ensure riders’ safety which are essentially the key messages that Hong Leong Yamaha Motor hopes to spread to the entire nation. During the event, a free 15 point safety check on all brands of motorcycles as well as offering of advice to motorcyclists on the importance of periodic maintenance were conducted as they have been for the past 16 years. Another staple of the campaign is the Yamaha Safety Riding Science demonstration (YSRS) that is aimed at educating motorcyclists on safety riding skills from a scientific approach. The demonstration will be carried out at all five locations, starting from Sungai Besi Toll Plaza, this year.

YB Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi  being briefed on the 15-point safety check

This year’s theme “Brek Cermat, Balik Selamat” weighs in on the emphasis of skill, knowledge and better understanding of using the correct braking techniques. The campaign articulated the function of a brake, effects of braking and braking techniques in its attempt to reach out to riders all over Malaysia. “Understanding the capability and limitations of oneself also plays a big part in keeping safe. Arming yourself with merely the knowledge on how your motorcycle functions is certainly not enough,” said Mr. C.H Ng, Managing Director of Hong Leong Yamaha Motor. “The rider must also ensure the body and mind are not over-exhausted. If rest is necessary, then taking that break is far more important than reaching the destination fast.”

A strong support group that has continuously been committed to making this campaign a success are the Road Safety Department of Malaysia (JKJR), Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), Road Transport Department of Malaysia (JPJ), Ministry of Transport (MOT) and other relevant agencies. After all, aimed at educating all motorcyclists to inculcate safe riding habits and to prioritize vehicle maintenance certainly makes for a great campaign to hold close to the heart during this festive season.

YB Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi browsing through various helmets on display

For more updates from us in Malaysian Riders, please do stay tune with us via FACEBOOK and get all the updates easily. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our YOUTUBE CHANNEL and enjoy our films at your own pace.

The Dark Side of Japan: Yamaha MT-09

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It’s more like, the darker side of Japanese motorcycle manufacturer; Yamaha. The long awaited or the highly anticipated and quite highly hyped by the media outside of Malaysia; the MT-09 is here, in Malaysia officially that is. Hong Leong Yamaha unveiled their big bike entry for the year 2014 with a bang (literally, the audio of the video presentation was loud) and was welcomed by everyone attended the event with open arms. As for us in Malaysian Riders, this is exciting news to all of us in the team and to you viewers.(More motorcycle to be filmed! yeay!!)

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The announcement made by Yamaha Malaysia comes to no surprise to most of us here in Malaysia or that is what actually going through our mind. It’s about time that Yamaha Malaysia join the ever growing and competitive motorcycle market here in our Boleh Land. MT-09 will be made available starting the following week from it’s unveiling today (25th June of 2014) and people, please get excited about that and ready your pocket for more cash-fat burner that comes in the shape of exciting inline 3 847cc Japanese agile motorcycle.

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But here is the catch, the bike will be made available with only a very limited amount here and we are talking very-very-very limited. It seems like a good strategy by these people in Yamaha and they know that they need those initiator to start the trend going. The MT-09 comes to the dealership with CBU first with the CKD is to come in the later year. The price said was RM54,000 dead and that does not includes those road taxes and insurance. Well that is quite cheap considering that it competes in the range of that certain green brand from Japan too.

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The development of the MT-09 that has been brought to our attention by those international media had certainly made the bike well-marinated for our motorcycle industry here in Malaysia. So we do encourage to all of you readers and of course our loyal and awesome fans to head out to bookstores near you in the few months to come to get a local opinion from our media friends out there. That is all for now, we’ll be there to answer your questions or inquiries if there is any. Please do stay tune with us on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE.

Safety without Discipline is Just Stupid

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It has come to our attention on the recent news of our friends and acquaintance from the world of two wheels and motorsports that lost their lives due to a motorcycle related incident. As usual, our thoughts and prayers go to them and we hope that it will serve us as a reminder that death is always around the corner. No matter who and where you are, it will come to greet you; eventually.  But we are not here to discuss about death, we are here to discuss about the day that you cheated death and escape with whatever outcomes there is. So to start it off, we would like to remind all of our readers here just to take our words with open mind and open heart. We didn’t ask you to agree nor to disagree with us, but like the famous National Geographic tagline; all that we want you to do is to THINK AGAIN.

After years and years of experience from the world of motorsports and two wheels by the people in Malaysian Riders and it’s associates combined. It is safe to say that we have heard countless story on how a rider loss his or her ability to live their life as they knew it after such horrific incident. Some of them are not just story, some of them really occurred to a family member of our associates. Our concern here is about how some or most of our riders here in Malaysia take safety and discipline in riding as two separate focus. The reality is, both safety and discipline are just too important to neglect any one of them. Riders here in Malaysia are just lucky that they have a variety of safety gears to get from all kind of ranges and brands. Discipline on the other hand is not an easy thing to get, you can’t buy it from a store or get it online; but there is a way to implant it into them and that is through education.

Therefore, us in Malaysian Riders feels somewhat responsible towards educating riders from all kind of age about the importance of discipline. Without one, it is just plain stupid to ride even if you are wearing a million dollar riding suit. There are some people who say that when you wear a proper gear, it puts you into a GOD LIKE mode till that you feel nothing can hurt you. This is where discipline plays a huge role to the rider; it controls your thoughts and put you back down to earth so that you will have more respect towards the machine, the surrounding and yourself while riding. We’ve witnessed a lot of arrogant riders or probably just ignorant riders who are wearing thousands of Ringgit worth of jacket or helmets and rode fast on the highway as if there were no other road users sharing the same exact road. This is just plain stupid. Sure you can have or brag about being the most skillful rider among your circle and brag on how many times you’ve lapped the Sepang circuit. But that doesn’t mean or grant you the rights to be doing 200km/h on the open road.

image credited to jonsoliday.typepad.com

image credited to jonsoliday.typepad.com

There are so many people on the open road who are sharing the exact same tarmac with you, so it is wise for us as riders to have more respect towards the other road users as well. When we say respect, it is more likely for us to just being defensive most of the time. We will not go into those drivers ethic in this article, so let’s just assume that there are more ignorant and reckless drivers on the road than those proper drivers. Of course the reality will probably be different but for the sake of your own safety; let’s just exaggerate it for a while. It is okay to anticipate but it is not okay to assume while riding. One of our test rider made a mistake in assuming that his path was clear as he had the green light from the traffic at the time, that one silly mistake turns tragic when a car suddenly cross the red light that it was on which resulted to collision that cause an 8 months bikeless period for him. So back with anticipation, let’s just make it into one of your riding habit to anticipate a sudden change of path by a car or lorry driver up front.

Aside from that, we are quite amazed to see how unfit some of our riders are here in Malaysia. We are not discussing about how big is your belly or how amazingly huge you are comparing to your bike, no; we are simply discussing about the endurance of yourself on the bike for a long distance riding or extreme riding on track or on the twistiest. When you are tired,the first thing that will go is your concentration and that leads to mistakes in judging distance or speed or even back to the inaccurate of anticipation. These are all connected and are all very-very critical towards a rider. It is really up to the rider themselves to improve their endurance or fitness. Get yourself on a bicycle or make it a habit to jog around your housing area twice or three times a week so that you will at least improve the level of endurance to your mind and body.

image captured by Pat Smith - MSS Rd.1 2014

image captured by Pat Smith – MSS Rd.1 2014

We’ve discussed mostly on general issues for now and admittedly, the writing is probably not the best in the world to read. But we are pretty sure, we are touching on a very important issue to our riders here. Although we’re discussing mainly on the Malaysians but this goes the same to wherever you are. Discipline is a must in order for you to become a rider and don’t let it take away the fun and joy of riding. Simply put it as an essential thing to have before you go on your daily commuting or even your weekend riding. We do understand that there are more to say and there are even more for us to do here in Malaysian Riders. But as for now, let’s just take one step at a time.

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