Sunday, May 13, 2012

Being a Motorcycling Father


Thanks for dropping by this blog. It has been a long long while since I am able to update my blog regularly. Much to my regret.

Last couple of years, my job requires me to travel frequently. And recently, I just had my first daughters--yes, they are twins (not motorcyling twins, but baby twins). So I would not be able to go on biking trips for a while.

But I am still riding for daily commuting. Maybe a little more sensibly now since there is a family waiting at home for me to feed.

I am still riding my Yamaha FZ1 Fazer. I keep flip-flopping on the VFR1200. Month-to-month, I will go:
--Yes, I am going to buy it (but my conscience will say: Endless, are you crazy? Why the hell do you need a VFR1200 for? You aren't going on bike touring anytime soon. You aren't suppose to ride any faster. What's wrong with your current bike? Don't you think you can put the money to better use?)

--No, I have decided I do not need another new bike and I will stay with my current bike (but I hear another voice in me saying: Endless, life is short. You worked hard. Why can't you use your own money on yourself and let yourself enjoy your passion? The earlier you buy the VFR1200, the more you can enjoy the bike. The later you buy, the more expensive it will be. So don't kid yourself. Go buy now!)

And it goes on and on.

I am happy to hear that one of my fellow biking kaki (or partner) is looking at the VFR1200 deriative, the new Honda CrossTourer. He is considering between the manual-gear version or the DCT version.
What are your views? Let me know.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Honda VFR1200F Review

At this site, you can find a good collection of reviews on the brand new Honda VFR1200F Sports Tourer, that is about to hit the showrooms in your country:

• Honda VFR1200F Review: Road Test First Ride (Bike Magazine)
• Round Up VFR1200F Review: The Transmission You Didn't Know You Need (Cycle World)
• Honda VFR1200F Review: First Impressions (Visordown)
• First Ride: Honda VFR1200F (SportRider)
• First Ride: 2010 Honda VFR1200F (Motorcyclist)

Tell me what do you think of this bike? I'm considering it as one of the candidates for my next bike :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

FZ1 Fazer 2009 Owner's Review

Play this music video.
Then proceed to read the rest of my blog.

I want more wind. I want more noise. I don't want to play good cop anymore. I want to be the bad guy.

I don't want to always have to be in control. I want to let go out when I get mad.

From my previous uber-luxurious James-Bond Honda STX1300A Pan European, I went out and gotten myself a 2009 Yamaha FZ1 Fazer.

Hey, ladies and gentlemen, my ah lians and ah bengs, meet HellBoy, the name of my new Fazer.

My Yamaha FZ1 Fazer, 2009.
The 2009 edition means red with a black-tiped tail; black usd forks; copper coloured rims and crank cover.

What's it like to ride a Fazer FZ1?

Ride experience and ride position.

Flying a broomstick

Riding the FZ1, you feel like riding a wizard's broomstick flying through the air.
An adult and angry wizard version; not pussy Harry Porter version.

Ride position is forward-biased, like many current sports bikes. Gives you plenty of confidence when making your corners.

Surprisingly, the ride is pretty comfortable for daily commuting in traffic and fast riding. Yet to test out on a tour yet, but the tiny stock windshield is still good when clocks say over 130.

Always ready to pick a fight

I don't care who you are. The bike turns any stiff-upper-lip into a hooligan.
From the moment you fire up the engine, the noise, the angry growl. Before you even ride the bike out of the carpark, the bike makes you feel like it wants to go out and pick a fight.

Boom Boom Room

Honda really doesn't get this. Honda makes quiet bikes. I like Honda bikes. But a bike without noise sounds like what? A bicycle?

And Hellboy makes lot of noise. From two source.

The obvious one is the dust-bin short stubby black side exhaust.

The other is the large airbox that sits right on top of the fuel tank. Any fast rider knows that you can't hear your own exhaust when going fast. But the FZ1's airbox is strategically placed. So near the rider's ears. Even nearer when you prone down to go fast. And hidden in the quiet air behind the windshield. So you get to hear every change in tone and pitch as the bike growls and dance as the revs climbs and falls. Music to my ears.

FZ1 is such a vocal bike. It's a Japanese Ducati without the overpriced, doggey reliability and unexplainable mysterious rattling parts. If FZ1 was a car, it would sound something like a Ferrari F430 Modena and a Subaru WRX.

Such a small bike, but such a big exhaust and a big airbox--the front half of the fuel tank with the Yamaha logo.


The FZ1's engine is a screamer. Exciting but needs to be constantly worked

The FZ1's 1,000cc engine is the same as that of the sportsbike Yamaha R1. Tune differently for more practical riding.

The FZ1 engine is a rev climber. Like a mad rabbit, always eager to climb up and down the rev tacho.

If I were to give a one sentence description of the FZ1, it would be:
"It feels like a 800cc sportsbike."

An equivalent 1,000 cc Honda will feel more powerful, with lumps of more torque.
So one can go faster on the Honda with less effort. On the FZ1, you got to work the engine, you got to constantly be in the right gear to stay with the Honda.

Don't get me wrong. The FZ1 is still torquey. Less torquey than a Honda 1K but more torquey than a Honda 600. So you can get around town perfectly on revs as low as 2K.

But the high reving nature of the FZ1 invites you to just want to rev the tits off the engine, thrash the bike like a punching bag and tear down the road like a mad man, everytime.

Hellboy says, I want to blast the hell out of you.

The always never-ending linear rev tempts you, "Go rev me hard, boy. I bet you will give up before I do." And the bastard is right. There's not enough road.

The FZ1 is not a bike for those who is looking for a bike to doodle around.

Gear Transmission System

The gear and clutch are light. But they are not buttery smooth like Honda. On such a high reving bike, you can't just slam the clutch plates together and hope for a smooth gear change. In the split second that you open and close the clutch, the revs would have fallen by thousands of rev.

It takes time to learn to able to change rev smoothly on this bike, even when riding sanely. So it is also not the most pillion friendly bike.

My trick to you for having a smooth gear transition, is think of the phrase "Quicky Action!". Quick left hand (clutch), quick right hand (throttle), quick left foot (gear).
All combined and done in an instance. Don't think.
Once you start to think, the bike is not going to be smooth.

Lazy hands need not apply for this bike.

When I collected Hellboy, odometer is all zero.
Tacho let you climb all the way to 12k. I have never reached there yet.

A Horizontable Bike

Like other bikes with high quality and powerful brake system, you can stop the FZ1 with a mere two fingers. More importantly, the bike gives you great feel when comes to braking. This feel come from the workings of a variet of factors: from the way the brake bites, the firm front fork setup without any weak legs, to the front-biased ride position.

FZ1's suspension is firm but not hard. Comfortable enough for normal street riding but not bouncy when you go fast. A tad firmer than a Hornet900's, but definitely more comfortable than a sportsbike's.

This bike is a highly "Horizontable" bike. I mean this bike makes you want to corner the bike so hard that you feel like you want to lie the bike down on it's side. A horizontal position. Maybe this feel is a result of the higher foot pegs that subconsciously, makes you feel safe to lean the bike low.

Let me explain the naughtier origin of the term "horizontable".
I have a guy friend called Philip. He looks every bit like a gentleman, and apparently, is considered very charming by the opposite sex.
We all have our interest and passion. Bikes catches my attention when they pass me by and triggers my imagination, comments and opinions.
For Philip, when he meets a new girl, instintively, he classifies them whether this girl is "horzontable" or not.
What is horzontable, I asked him? Oh, he answers cheekily, what position do you adopt when you have sex?
So he will say, you know Elaine Liam? I say yeah. And he would add, "By the way, she is very horizontable."

Friends with Petrol Kiosk

When I was riding my STX, the fuel cashier girls always remember me. Why?
Because these girls have never encountered a bike that pays as much as a car at the fuel pump (sometimes SGD $50).

Their usual line is, "Wah, so much ah!" Or "Are you sure you got the right pump number?" In comparison, the honda cubs need only $5.

I thought I could do away with this kind of attention with the FZ1, with it's normal 18-litre tank.
But I can't.

Their usual line becomes, "Wah, see you again ah. Yesterday you just come."

In theory, the FZ1 has a 18-litre tank. It's fuel economy is decent for a litre bike (16++km/litre, singpore riding). But it can barely hit 200km and the fuel reserve light turns on.


The stock windshield is a tiny piece of plastic. But don't be fooled. It's aerodynamics has been perfectly worked out. It is surprisingly effective in both upright and prone down riding position.

Of course, no semi-windshield can give you no wind blast. For that, you need a GoldWing or a Pan. On the stock FZ1 windshield, the lowest edge of the jetstream is nose level at upright riding. So no direct wind blast to body. There is secondary wind coming down from dispersed jetstream from the helmet level to cool your body.

Basically, it is very effective. So don't be a hurry to change to aftermarket windshield. Give the stock windshield a chance first.

Yamaha Panniers

As you can see, I equipped my bike with Yamaha hard side panniers. Want to know more about them?

They cost SGD $1,700 for both box and brackets and install, from Yamaha Hong Leong. Most other FZ1s go with H&B panniers. I went with the Yamaha panniers because I think they look better with the FZ1. They are the same as those found on Yamaha FJRs.

I think it looks great on the FZ1. It also comes with a very cool LED brake taillight, and a diamond white light shining on the rear number plate.

It is 100% waterproof. But the space inside is smaller than the STX1300. In the STX1300, in each of it's panniers, I can keep one full-sized helmet and a complete rain suit/riding jacket. In the Yamaha panniers, I can keep only one full-sized helmet and not enough room for the rain suit/riding jacket. Not a problem when riding alone. But more a hassle if you ride two-up.


I sold my previous bike, the STX1300A Pan European, called Vice, to Loois Motor. I am glad that within a week, Vice already has found a new owner.

May Vice be happy and well taken care of by his new owner.

Parting Words

Be thankful for everything.
The journey is the reward.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

HOV Lesson 22 March 09 Tuas

As we continue our long march to save more skins and lives of fellow motorcyclists in Singapore, this is the first Hazard Oriented Vision (HOV) Motorcycling Safety Workshop in 2009.

This time, instead of holding at the usual make-shift MacDonald's, we got an upgrade.
Fellow rider offered us a cool and posh training facility at Tuas, Singapore.

First part of HOV workshop is theory, held in training facility in Tuas.

Here's Evelin, a lady holder of a Class2A license who just got her very own Honda Super4.

An interactive informal and friendly session by bikers for bikers as we swap tales of our falls and our lessons learnt.

As I was giving the presentation, our fellow instructors: PPlater, The Beast; along with assistants like S4Dreamer, BornFree, TwoWheeler and Contrarian are busy in the rear of the classroom preparing the radio equipment needed for our ride.

We have enough walkie talkie sets to run a sizable bookie business.

Instructor PPlater telling Two-Wheeler, "No, no, no. Cannot use radio channel 1. This one is used
by my bookie. Use channel 2." Instructor The Beast looks on and laughs.

After the talk, it's time to do the walk.
Our group left our Tuas training room and head out to West Coast MacDonald for our HOV practical ride.

Who's this guy with the big head?
Me watching as we reached regroup at West Coast MacDonald.

"Whatever you do, don't crash. If you do, don't say you know me."
Me giving final brief before we start our practical HOV ride.

Thanks to:
- PPlater who is the key organizer, and also instructor.
- The Beast, instructor, for being enthusiastic and willing to reach out.
- S4Dreamer, for working on our group website And for getting so many radio sets for us.
- Assistant instructors: Two-Wheeler, BornFree and Contrarian for helping out.
- Ms Huppy, who have provided lots of back ground logistic support and moral support to me.

Send me an email if you want to sign up for our future HOV class.
We are looking for people who want to give back to the society by offering your help to fellow riders. If you are interested, drop me an email at

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Have You Eaten a Cobra?

Yes, this type. I kid you not.

No more Honda STX1300A. Goodbye my vICE.
I have sold it in the process of getting my new bike. I am now riding a temporary bike--a Honda Wave.

How does it feel? From riding a huge 1,300cc Honda Pan European to a bike with 1,200cc less.

I am currently in Viet Cong territory--Vietnam, Hanoi, a place where Honda Waves and the likes are flourishing. What interesting adventure am I having here?

Hanoi--The most chaotic traffic on earth!
If you think Bangkok traffic is bad, come Hanoi.

Back to Basics: The Wave Experience

The Wave is a loaner bike from Looi's Motor to me. I sold my vICE to Looi's but my new bike is still a couple of weeks away. Mr Lee loaned the Wave to me to ride around.

I must say switching from the mighty transformer-like Pan to the Wave is like switching from being Superman back to Clark Kent.

With the Pan, I feel like king of the road. With a 1,300cc V4, I could overtake any 4-wheel on the road without batting an eye. I ride on the right fastest lane almost all the time.

My time with Wave. But still wearing my Carber flip-up helmet.

With the Wave, I feel like the tortoise on the road. To overtake any car, I have twist the right hand grip 360 degrees to squeeze every available horsepower out. I ride on the extreme most left space on the extreme most left lane on the road.

Every other vehicle on the road is faster than me. The honda Super4s riders all look like speed gods to me. The malaysian wave riders that speed past you at a hair's width used to be an anoyance to me; now they look like Rossi to me.

From adopting a leg-wide warrior stance to ride the Pan due to it's humungous 29 litre tank and 1,300cc engine, I now adopt the same familiar cute puppy-begging position on the Wave.

From needing only one finger's effort to brake the Pan to a stop, I now need strength from all my fingers plus foot brake to stop a Wave in a hurry. Even that is not enough. Sometimes, I stick out my foot to help in braking like Flintstone.

Wave Reflections

But here are the positive sides:

I laugh when I fuel up my Wave. A full tank Wave top-up hardly cost SGD $5. A full STX topup empties my piggy bank at $40 over. No wonder the petrol cash register girls always verify with me twice if I am paying for the correct pump whenever I rode the STX because how can bike refuel cost so much.

Another strange feeling I have when riding a Wave is that inspite of all it's humbleness, I feel...happy, satisfied, contented.

I think maybe it is because the Wave is so basic and simple that I actually feel privileged and happy that it can move at all and it's taking me places.

I think it is like normally, when we buy a Coke outside, we need the Coke to be very chilled to fully enjoy the soft drink and quench our thirst in the hot weather here. But when we are serving in the army (national service), we get so thirsty and are so deprived, even plain tap water feels so good and delicious to me. In army, a chance to shelter from the hot sun under a shady tree is a great relief; these days, we need nothing short of air-conditioning.

Valentine's Day coming. Let me tell you another secret. I also discovered that riding a Wave with your loved one behind is a great bonding experience. Need to hook that girl that you fancy? Want to rejuvenate the love in your long-time girlfriend/wife? Ride a Wave together!

Now, I am starting to understand more does not always mean more happiness. Less in life can be more happiness. Maybe that's why the poor in the poor countries invariably look happier than the rich people.

The happy me on a simple bike.

Hanoi, Vietnam

I am now in Vietnam for work. This is the land where the Vietcongs defeated the mighty American military not so long ago. And yes, the people here are still quite little and petite, guys and girls.

But Vietnam has prospered since relaxing on it's communism. Hanoi (in north vietnam), is a busy bustling place. The streets are so busy with traffic. There is a unique phenomenon here.
There is constant honk sounding all over on the street. Everybody is sounding their honk at somebody every 3 seconds.

No traffic rules (or they don't follow). Eg: No such thing as minor road traffic give way to major road. Just go towards each other. See who stops first and give way. It is a bit like the congested motorbike lanes in the old woodlands custom. No wonder it takes me 5 min to cross from one side to the other side of the street. I think I can't teach them my HOV safety riding techniques because they would then never be able to go anywhere.

Eat Snake

For dinner, my Hanoi colleagues brought me and my russian colleague to eat snake. Literally.

The restaurant has many bottles of these...

The waiter came. We said, "One cobra please."

The live cobra before my dinner.

Preparing our food.

Blood and heart (still pumping).

We eventually drank and ate the cobra. I rather like the drink: cobra blood mixed with alcohol.
I passed on the heart. The russian put it into his drink and drank it.

You can cook it in many waves. Steamed.

Grilled. I like this style best. Taste kind of like tepanyaki chicken.

We survived eating a poisonous cobra without any side-effects.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Bike

Hi fellas,

It's been a while.

I'm sorry.

Like you said, maybe it's blog fatigue.

I'm happy to be back again.

Thanks for coming back all these while.

Guess what?

I'm planning to change my bike.

Hopefully within a month's time. I have already decided on which bike I want. I'm just waiting for the stock to be available.

Want to guess what bike I'm changing to? :)

Give it a try. I will definitely write a review of my new bike.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hazard Oriented Vision (HOV) Motorcycling Safety Class

8 November 2008, Saturday, Singapore

Conducted by Endlessloop

To enroll:

Friday, July 04, 2008

Pagoh Challeng 2008. Motorcycle Treasure Hunt. Prelude

Pagoh Challeng 2. 12 July 08. Bike Treasure Hunt
The Pagoh Challenge II.
Treasure Hunt on a Bike!

Click this bar to view the full image.

This is a special motorcycling trip.
It combines motorcycling touring, eating, exploring, treasure hunt, adventure and wit. All rolled into one.

You will be treasuring hunting in this area:

Click this bar to view the full image.

^The area of ops is larger than Singapore.

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^Da Vinci Code your way through the Pagoh Challenge 2.
Maps and clues will be given to you.
No need for you to have GPS. No need for you to know the place well.
Just common sense.

This is the second time the Pagoh Challenge is organised. If you missed the first one, this is your chance now.

The first Pagoh Challenge was featured in the singapore motorcycle magazine.
I happened to be the one who wrote the article.

Click this bar to view the full image.

^If you still have this copy, you will find Pagoh Challenge I in it.

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^Some photos of the places the teams went in Pagoh Challenge I.

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^Pagoh Challenge I.

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^Pagoh Challenge I took the teams through this hot spring in Labis.

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^One of the teams enjoying a cool Chendol desert along the country road sides during the hunt.


Date: 12th July 2008
Time: 8am Meet @ Petronas 2nd Link


8am Petronas 2nd Link (breakfast)
10am Durian Run at Pagoh

Noon: Pagoh Challenge 2

This Year Challenge: 4 location to Find
5pm RV : Hakka Yan tau foo Shop @ Yong Peng

Dinner: Kulai Yew Ming
Click this bar to view the full image.

And hunt down the 4 locations (to be made know as the date approaches)

The Challenge is for u and your team to find these location with
the clues given.
No prizes for the 1st team to return...
But the prize are in enjoying the ride thru the quiet roads and
Working with your team to find the 4 locations
It's an exercise to improve your navigation
And a great sense of satisfaction once the challenge is completed!
You can form your own team (4 - 6 bikes) or
Just list your name down & I'll assign u to a team.
It is best to Keep team that travels at the same speed.

Click this bar to view the full image.

No GPS will be used..
A Map of The area will be provided.
But best u purchase on that covers Johor State.
Bring a Compass (Feng Shui one also can)
And a Digital camera(phone) to take the Location with your team
(evidence that you were there)

Click here to read more on Pagoh Challenge I:

Click for last year Pagoh Challenge 2007

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 900x420.

^The riders who had the opportunity to take part in Pagoh Challenge I.
What about you?

To participate, simply go to this link and sign up there.