Finaly got a new Bike :D

It finally happened. I got a new bike :D. It has been couple of months since I sold my Suzuki GS500 and even that it is winter and not the best riding weather the I missed riding a lot.  

Exactly why I sold the Suzuki I’ll share soon in separate review post. 

But let’s get to it. My new bike is…..

2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan (EURO 5) 

Initially I couldn’t decide on exactly which bike I want. And I know I wanted somethign different at first.

In the end I started looking on the bikes from Light/Mid range of Adventure bikes and choice was tough. Between the established brands of Kawasaki and BMW there was a new one of VOGE. Initially I wasn’t even considering the Royal Enfield. Not sure why… I think mainly as I never came across one in real life. Wasn’t even aware that they have something in the Adventure bike category. I actually went to see the Benelli bikes and as it turned out same dealer was selling Royal Enfield bikes too. And there it was. Rock Red 2021 Himalayan EURO 5. I immediately loved how it looked, and when I got on it, it just felt right. It felt like my bike. And the price was amazing. Only 6,000.00 euro for almost fully equipped bike. Navigation display, center stand, bash plate, bag holders. 3 years or 30,000 km warranty. It sounded almost perfect.  

Trying not to rush things and avoiding impulse buying I left the dealer to do some research. I compared it with BMW GS310, Kawasaki Versys 300 and Honda 500X. 

All the bikes had pluses and minuses. I actually test rode the Honda and BMW and don’t get me wrong. They felt like good bikes actually with more power and more modern looks they just didn’t feel like “my” bikes. Somehow I preferred the “tractor” like engine and the old looks. 

Online reviews were mixed with some build quality issues, relay problems and occasional suspension getting stuck. But number of positive reviews was astonishing. People just love this bike. Not only in India but it already has cult following in Europe with owner clubs and groups popping in everywhere. 

So I did went and bought it. It’s been only couple of weeks and 300km so far and the bike feels amazing. No major issues (apart of occasional stalling during first 100km) and I am extremely happy with my choice. 

For now You can see couple of my videos on the bike below. I will try to post full review soon. 

See You all next time 🙂

Something Different today – a review :)

So since I haven’t been writing for a while I thought I will start my comeback with something new. Something which I have not done before – a review 🙂

My First bike in Malta – Yamaha YBR 125 2016

I bought this bike from local dealer new and owned it for about a year making it my proper first bike in Malta (story of Hyosung Aquila will be told another time :).

As a first bike it was perfect in my opinion. Very easy to handle in Maltese traffic (almost constant city like traffic). Light, agile and small made it very easy to gain confidence in lane filtering and squeezing in between cars. No ABS could have been an issue and it did put me in trouble couple of times including a small accident which was ny fault. But in the end without it I gained better habits when it comes to breaking, now on bigger bike (with ABS) I still instinctively use progressive breaking and pulse breaking techniques.

Being it so light made it easy to pick up after a drop – and I had few 🙂 – and to learn how to handle the bike while stationary. 

Another huge plus of the bike that it was dirt cheap. Not only to buy but to run, maintain and to fix what I broke when I drop it. After my small accident when I had to fix from break lever and windshield the bill came less than 120euro. If you add to it that it used barely any petrol, needed service every 10000km, never used any oil and never gave me any issue it is in my opinion perfect daily runner. Especially that at the time when I bought it It was possible to buy it for equivalent of 2.5 monthly minimum wage salaries. – affordable to anyone really. 

So why did I sold it?? As long as the bike is great as a commuter its lack of power, slim tires, and not most comfortable seat make it horrible on longer rides. I felt like I was ready for a bigger bike, wanted to go further, longer and to places where YBR couldn’t or didn’t feel comfortable going….. and I laid my eyes on my next bike …. The BMW G650GS…..:) 

Still It was a real pleasure to own it, ride it and most important to gain rider confidence thanks to it.

We can finish with some quick specs:

  • This is a relatively small bike. Bit under 2m (1985cm) in length and a bit over 1m (1080cm) in height. Fully loaded with petrol it weights only 126kg which makes it very easy to handle for pretty much anyone. 
  • It is powered by 124ccm Single cylinder fuel injected petrol engine which manages whole 10.1 HP (7.3kW), There is no real point talking about torque or any in depth details of such small engine.
  • It has electric starter without any kickstart option and basic analogue instrument panel with RPM meter and fuel indicator (not very accurate I might add) 
  • Engine delivers its power through 5 speed gearbox and chain drive. 
  • When it comes to suspensions it is again very simple construction with telescopic forks up front with 120mm travel (4.7inch) and single swing arm with 105cm travel (4.1 inch) 
  • Breaks are small but adequate to the size and the power of the bike. Front uses single 245mm disc and back 130mm drum. 2017 model I owned did not had ABS however from what I remember that was an option for an additional cost. 
  • To finish the specs it is worth mentioning that bike has relatively comfortable dual seat with a small luggage rack and passenger grab rails. 

Below you can find few of my riding videos including small accident 😦

Hope you like the content enough to give it thoumbs up 🙂

Yamaha YBR125 2016 – Owners Review

Since I’m still not sure what Mr. Brain Echo should be all about I though I’ll do a small review on one of the bikes I owned previously.

Let me introduce 2016 Yamaha YBR125 🙂

I bought this bike as my second bike right after passing my bike license (Story of first bike will follow soon…) in August 2016.
Brand bew from the dealer at this time costed me €2100 euro including all registration fees.
It was an amazing feeling getting a brand new bike for this price. Any way. Let’s start with the Review:

General Description and Specs:

  • Singe cilinder 124cc, fuel injected four stroke engine producing approx 10Hp.
  • Bike had no ABS with single disc break at the front and drum break at the back
  • For suspension two telescopic forks in the front and swing arm at the back
  • 13L tank with Fuel level indicator on the dash
  • Simple Dash with classic Analog Speed Indicator and Rev Counter. No Gear indicator or any additional functiones.

User Review:

This is was an amazing “first” bike to own. I need to admit that thanks to owning it now I prefer motorcycles ower any form of transportation.

Ride quality and ride feel is decent. Clutch is super light, engine rev’s easy and general feel to the bike is “easy to use”. Another thing is that this was increadibly forgiwing bike. With such a small engine and simple features there wasn’t much I could have done to put myself in danger “unless it was reckless from my side”. It is impossible almost to loose control by over revving or wrong downshit. On the other hand this did helped me develop better rider skills. Controlling the throtlle, correct breaking habbits, manouvering in tight spaces. All came easy with it as you CANNOT over do it. and even when you crash – as I did – see video below 🙂 it haoends mostly on low speads and it carries much less consequences.

Suspenssion proved ok. Nothing out of this world but good enough to keep tires attached to the road most times. Adjustable preload at the back was helpfull since I was a bit heavier at that time. Setting it on harder setting helped soak the potholls in Maltese roads a bit better.

Maintenance costs over the year of ownership were minimal. It costed me nothing to be honest. First and second service were covered with the warranty and purchase cost so no worries there. First oil change came after 1000km with second bigger service done at 7000km witch checks on the breakes, chain, suspension and general view.

Using it in the city was a blast as well. Bike is very nimble and easy to manouver almost like driving a scooter. As long as you pay attention to your surrounding and remember you have no ABS you’re fine. Lack of ABS was my main issue with the bike. Especially as new rider without much experiance emergency breaking is always challange. It takes time and practice to develop proper breaking habits. On the bright side after a year of driving without ABS and paying attention how I break now I feel much safer on the road even with current ABS equipped bike.

Fuel consumption from what I remember was minimal as well. I used to put €10 every 2 weeks which was giving me If i rememebr well about 300 – 320 km on a full tank which is decent result.

To summary – bike is a great starter and much better than a scooter. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who want’s to go on a long trips or even highway trips for that matter. But in the city Enviroment – it does the job.

Hope you enjoyed this short review. …..

Getting a new Motorcycle

I think it’s time. Time to say by to my current bike and change it for something newer.

My beloved Suzuki GS550 – 2004 will look now for a new owner. We had a lot of amazing adventures over the past 2 years but it’s time to say bye 😦

It started to require a bit of extra work, supsension needs a rebuid, carborator could use a tune and some extra work here and there will be needed.

The issue is that without a garage it doesn’t really make sense for me to do it. I cannot do it myself and Suzuki Garage here in Malta is just a dissaster. I was trying ot make an appointemnt to take care of those things twice but so far – appointment is made – and than nothing happends, no parts, no technician. just crappy service.

So I think it’s better if she finds a new home…… and I’m thinking of ……

Choice went to VOGE 300DS or 300AC – 2021 models – They’re cheap and I like how they look.

I’m going to test drive it on Wednesday and maybe do a part exchange on the suzuki with a dealer.

The thing is that if all goes well with goverment grants I can have this one for less than 2000 euro which is a bargain.

I know it is a new brand, Chinease motorcycle and so on. However Loncin brand has good history and experiance making quality engines. In the end they produced BMW Motorcycle engines for few decades.

It might lack power with only 28Hp but do I reallly need more here in Malta. I don’t really think so.

All other bits and pieces looks relativelly impresive to. WIth NISIN Breakes, BOSH Electronics KBY susspension, LED Lights, LCD screen, USB Port and few more. Could it really be a Bargain I’m looking for?

I’m really tempted to switch to on of those bikes. Leaning more over 300DS than AC but will see after test drive.
I’m just hoping the 28Hp will not feeel underpowered. Especially in the long trip. I know this won’t fly in the highway but as long as It’s relativelly comfortable I should be fine. Could be a good start.

Let’s see what happends and I will keep you all posted.

P.S. – quick follow up – I went with something different 🙂

You can check it out here

My Old / New Hobby….

Most of my life I was never really passionate about anything. I watched other people getting hyped about sports, different activities, books, video games……etc. And me. ….. nothing. nothing really excited me to the point of obsesion oe even for longer than a day or two.
Yes. I use to like certain things. I still do. but I would never call neither of them a passion.

Now beeing in my late 30s and still not having any real passion I start to wonder… Is it me? or just world around me is just not exciting enough anf I simply haven’t came across my passion yet?.

Contemplating all of this I decided to try something.
I always liked to travel. So I got myself a new / old motrcycle and started driving around the island 🙂

In the meantime I started learning how to make you tube videos.

My plan is very simple.

  1. re-learn how to ride a motorcycle
  2. learn how to prepare for a long trip
  3. buy a new motorcycle 🙂
  4. Plan a trip accross Europe
  5. Go on a trip across Europe 🙂

WIll see If I can make it and If I can find something which I will be passionate about.

I will call them trips of self discovery.

Royal Enfield Himallayan is my motorcycle of choice for this trip.
I will explain why in one of next posts.

Now I’m driving this Suzuki GS500 🙂

My Latest Trip 🙂

Any way. This seems to be something which bring me most joy recently. Will see what comes out of it 🙂

Finally Home…

It so good to be back home. After 24 days on quarantine in 3 different hotels I finally was allowed to go home.
I was away for nearly 2 months, 8 weeks exactly.
And it felt weird to walk in back to the apartment. Like walking into someone elses apartment.
It took nearly a full day to relax a bit. My girlfriend still feels a bit off. Like she has to get use to my presence again.

But it was incredibly good to sleep in my own bed again. in the past 8 weeks I slept in 4 different beds and none can compare to my own :). Maybe it’s the whole package. Bed, room, noises around. It all felt very familiar and soothing.

Today I went out to check on my car and I couldn’t believe it.
Just look at this so durty. Looked like it was abandoned for years 🙂 They had here quite few dirty rains bringing all the dust from Sahara desert.
I got it washed briefly but there is dust everywhere…. Good I don’t pay much attention to it. As long as it drives its good and fulfils it’s purpose 🙂
All fluids were good and even tires held the preasure. Pleasently surprised. Not bad for a car which costed me less than the laptop I writing this blog on 😀

After the Car it was time for the motorcycle. That was a real pleasure 🙂

It was parked under covers so It looked much better. Only some dust and dirt here and there but in generall nothing major.
I took it for a spin – It didn’t wan’t to start on me on the beginning.
Old carborated engine needed a little bit of encouregment. But it fired up in less than five tries.

It was really good to be back on the road. Even for 20minutes only.

I’ll better finish the day. Tomorrow first time at work since beginning of March. It might be a weird one. Will see how that goes ..

Will need to come with some good plan for whole week other wise I’ll get lost.

Till the next one. ……