A Test Day Ended Prematurely: Aprilia RS125

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The 15th of September 2014 should’ve been a nostalgic and memorable day for our test rider Muhammad Rashidi. With the legendary Aprilia RS125 to be tested on the Sepang International Circuit; our test rider will be able to see how we’ve forgotten the era that makes all the great riders in MotoGP so great. It was part of the filming program that was arranged between Malaysian Riders and Moto Work Services, the expert of 2-strokes Aprilia machine located in Batu Caves area. The two organizations involved had gone the distance to get the bike to the ground of SIC and of course both had invested so much time and money just to make it happen. (Especially Moto Work Services)

Everything starts wonderfully in the morning with our test rider joining in the briefing alongside a few of the other riders (note on few riders) to be prepared of this track session. It was a private track session and it was to be joined by all below than 400cc motorbikes only. As the session was about to start, riders got themselves and their bikes ready for the track but it was not long before a red flag situation occurred during the early stage of the session. Our test rider had to go through 2 laps of bikes familiarization before his session was given a red flag due to another incident on track.

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There were a lot of things to be talked about from the bike familiarization session itself. Being a rider with a normal on the road 2 stroke background, Rashidi finds it tricky to understand the RS125 in his first outing. The bike can only be considered “alive” in the higher range of the RPM. Not even close to what he had experienced on the Kawasaki KRR150. But after some discussion with the technical advisor cum owner of the bike itself, Rashidi hop onto the bike once again to go on his second outing. The 30HP 2-strokes machine starts to scream on the pit lane and it was a sure head turner to the rest of the riders who joined the track session.

Second outing; our test rider has gotten himself around the bike and started to feel comfortable riding it and starts to go even faster than his previous outing. Considering that the bike comes with a 125cc power plant, it was an amazing power surge right on the top range of the rpm and surely; It was a bike that can easily clock 2:45seconds around the wide circuit of Sepang. Second lap, as Rashidi starts to go on his hot lap without the intention of clocking any time; the worst thing that can happen to anyone on a track session happened to him. As he takes turn 5 in a 5th gear approximately around 130km/h-140km/h and entering the apex of turn 6, the unexpected happened as there was a slow moving bike staying on the racing line just meters away from the apex of turn 6. Our test rider tried his best to stop and swerve to the right hand side of the slow moving traffic but failed and crashed onto the bike, right at the exhaust pipe of the slow moving bike. Bringing down both riders to the ground and hence; starting another red flag situation on the track again.

Crash marks on the SHARK Speed-R helmet
Crash marks on the SHARK Speed-R helmet

Both riders were awake and able to stand after the crash and both suffers some injury due to the high speed-near standstill impact of the crash. Rashidi suffer from a puncture wound on his right hand and a minor concussion with abrasion wound on his left thigh. All in all, the marking on the SHARK Speed-R helmet shows how the crash was serious and ultimately damaging the bike and putting a halt to the test program and filming of the bike. It was an unlucky incident, but it was an incident that is not supposed to happen. Our team in Malaysian Riders felt the need to express our disappointment to some of the riders participating on the track session as they were not adhering to some of the basic rules and regulation in doing a track session. A lot of these incidents can be avoided and certainly we were lucky not to be involved with any fatalities that have been happening on the ground of Sepang. The circuit is a wonderful facility and the medical respond was professional according to Rashidi. All in all, riders need to understand their ability and their bikes so that it wouldn’t pose any danger to the other much faster going bikes.

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Therefore, we would like to encourage for most track goers whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, to attend classes such as Alpha Track Academy by Remon Azrem (MSS Champion) and Haizal Omar (California Superbike School graduates) or you can even contact us directly to get in touch with our in-house riders. So fellas, It is time to be a better and well-versed rider than before. Our rider Rashidi, although not happy with the experience; but he holds not grudge towards the incident and shall share it with the rest of the community as a lesson and reminder on why it is important to have a proper knowledge before starting your journey on extreme motorcycle riding, be it on the road, on track or even off road. Stay tune with us for more in the future, and be sure to check us out on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE.

 


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