The bikes

Two weeks ago my long-time bike, a 1995 Yamaha Virago XV535, quit on me. I was on the way home from office, at night, when I heard a chain-rattling sound inside the engine and at the same time the engine went dead. I was about 200 meters from home. Luckily the street was not uphill, so I was able to paddle the bike home using both legs. I was returning home after a two-day trip to Mersing in a friend’s car, and after Maghrib (early evening) prayers at the office’s mini mosque, I loaded the bike with my overnight bag, laptop computer and more than 7 kilograms of keropok lekor (fish sausage) from Mersing. So it was a sweaty time paddling the heavy bike 200 meters home.

For the next several days, with the bike out of action, I drove to work. Every day was a battle – leaving home in the morning one hour early compared to when I rode the bike, and arriving back home in the evening one hour late. On the road it was a grind in the rivers of traffic, and a constant stress of chasing after the limited parking space at the office.

I talked to myself, and to my other half, that maybe it was time to get another bike. After several days of on-off negotiations, I made the go-ahead decision.

After days browsing the web, reading reviews and forums, I decided on Kawasaki Versys 650. The bike seemed tough enough that in 2010 four Versys 650 made an over 20,000 km overland journey from Kuala Lumpur to London, via Thailand, Laos, China, Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France. Day-to-day stories here. And I observed that many riders routinely made much shorter journeys on the bike around Malaysia, to Thailand and to Laos.

The bike was called a camel by some riders in Malaysia because the seat was tall like a camel. For many Malaysians who were vertically-challenged, i.e. having not enough height, including me, climbing into the bike’s seat and keeping it from tipping over would be a big challenge.

And what is life without tests and challenge…

So I braved myself, and made an order for the bike. I was lucky. The bike shop where I went to had several units in stock. In less than one week, I was on the road on the camel.

Seen nearby a bike shop in Batu Caves, outside Kuala Lumpur. The guy was tip-toeing the bike!

Yes, definitely tip-toeing…

Once the bike moved, the guy was like any other rider, tip-toeing or not.

Looked OK to me.

The top box also looked nice.

Should I get this Kawasaki Versys 1000 instead?

A display Versys 650 next to two Versys 1000. The 1000 looked to be even taller than the 650. I decided not to push my luck 🙂

My 650, still in wrappers, waiting for Puspakom inspection and after that, registration at JPJ.

The bike being taken to the elevator by En. Aziz, the salesperson.

The bike in the open elevator at ground floor of the shop.

En. Aziz pushing the bike to the service area, to be fitted with battery and filled with engine oil.

Waiting in line.

Fixing the road registration numbers on the windshield.

A customer at the shop’s office.

After a 110-km ride to Dengkil RNR stop on the Elite Expressway, not far from KL International Airport.

Side view. The white blob on the back seat was my rain gear (waterproof rain jacket, trousers, slip-on shoe covers)

A black camel.

Chain drive. In contrast, my Virago used shaft drive like a car.

The rear tire and the exhaust outlet.

At home, first day to office on the new ride.

Seat-less. Installing frame for top box.

At GiviPoint outlet in Kuala Lumpur, I met Izham from Ulu Yam who had just arrived from his other office in Kemaman, Terengganu. This bike was his. By coincidence, he bought the bike from the same shop, from the same salesperson, and taken out the bike on the same day as me! So we were brothers of sorts..

Izham and Bob, owner of the orange Versys.

Izham’s bike, after being fitted with top and side boxes. Ready to venture into the wilderness of Kuala Lumpur…

Looked great.

My bike, being fitted with top box rack and side box frames.

Done. I got myself only a top box. The side boxes could come later when needed. The important thing was that the side frames were ready.

My venerable 1995 Virago XV535 at home, awaiting a transport to a bike shop for repairs.

Pushing the Virago up the wooden ramp to the small truck.

Safely on the truck.

Strapping the harness, to prevent the bike from tipping over on the truck’s bed while in transit.

The Virago on the way to see the doctor. Get well soon.

About nordin

I view myself as a quiet and low profile person. Additionally, my former landlady in Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia once told me I was an "intense" person. Well, she might be correct as well ...
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10 Responses to The bikes

  1. Ros Ibrahim says:

    camel tinggi! kaki tak sampai he he :D… ni kalau lesen B2 leh bawak tak ;D

  2. nordin says:

    Cik De, mula-mula memang tak sampai, tapi lama sikit kaki jadi panjang dengan sendirinya, tanpa bertambah tinggi, hehe. Dan B2 tu nak kena hupgrade ke B full 🙂

  3. banih says:

    kalau ganti top box dengan side box lgu cunnn. hehe

  4. nordin says:

    Bnh, frame untuk side box dah siap pasang. Cuma box dia belum angkat. Belum perlu. Top box lebih utama masa ini untuk isi topi, baju hujan, kasut hujan, kunci tayar, tools tambahan, lampu suluh, kit tayar. Lagi pun kalau mencelah dalam jem dgn side box kiri kanan dipasang, kemungkinan menggesel kereta amat tinggi. Dah lihat satu moto tu side box dia ada kesan2 sagat kiri kanan 🙂

  5. Yang Arif says:


    Pasang aluminum box yang 4-segi tuh.

    1. Baru padan ngan status DP. Kotak bulat tu utk sportbike baru cun.
    2. Kalau jatuh pun kotak leh ketuk semula.
    3. Senang nak gunakan inner-bag, so tak yah bukak box, cuma bwk kuar beg je. Lagi pun tak rugi space (optimised).
    4. Kotak 4-segi tu flat-top, so senang nak ikat bebarang lain (kelapa, limau bali, khemah, sleepingbag, jagung, kopok lekor etc).

    Jom pi Teluk Intan (Darussakinah) Sabtu ni (28/7).

  6. bard says:

    as salam,

    apa komen ence ttg maxi scooter T-max & Gilera Nexus?

  7. nordin says:

    Belum ada pengalaman dengan skuter2 itu. Dan jentera 2 roda yang saya tunggang pertama kali ialah Vespa klasik bapa saudara saya.

  8. lastwan says:

    pertanyaan: mne blh dptkan top side box 35 givi…cover box atas sahaje yg biasa diaorang cat color same dgn color mto tu….

  9. lastwan says:

    ops…lpe lak…tuk mto versys 650 2012..

  10. nordin says:

    My Apr 1, 2014 email reply:
    Assalamualaikum. Tahniah kerana menjadi tuanpunya Versys 650 yg hebat, lasak dan terbukti boleh jalan jauh 🙂 Saya juga Versys 650 2012, Julai.

    Saya rasa cover sidebox Givi V35 tak boleh beli asing-asing. Apa pun, boleh tanya Givi Point di Jalan Ipoh, KL,

    GIVI Point KL
    No 256, Jalan Ipoh Batu 2, 51200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Tel : +603-4045-1800 (Hunting) Fax : +603-4045-4300

    Terima kasih

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