A motorcycle tour of Malaysia among different cultures and natural paradises

Malaysia: the name alone brings back memories from when, as kids, we were dreaming of the Orient, the warm waters of the South China Sea, sailing adventures filled with pirates, colonial mansions in Sarawak and crimson sunsets over the Strait of Malacca.
Well, Malaysia is all that, and much more.
To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia: a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of cultures and religions, where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Multiculturalism and biodiversity make Malaysia a natural paradise and a cultural and gastronomical destination, home to hundreds of colorful festivals.
Nature reigns supreme over Malaysia: a Country that is as diverse geographically, as it is culturally. Tall mountains reach for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to immense floodplains, bustling with forest life, from cool, high-altitude hideaways, down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves. For the perfect adventure, full of surprises, the time is now; the place is Malaysia.

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PROGRAM

The GIVI Explorer will experience Malaysia in full.
Starting from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, they will first visit the headquarters and production units of GIVI Asia.
From there they will ride to Ipoh, visit the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan and Kellie’s Castle.
They will then visit the Belum rainforest and the manmade Tasik Temenggor lake, dotted with hundreds of islands. From the lush rainforest, the Explorers will then ferry over to the sandy beaches and crystal-clear water of Taaras Beach on Redang Island.
In the following days, there will be stops to see Malacca City and its treasures: A’Famosa Fort, St. Paul’s Church, The Stadthuys and Christ Church.
On the 7th day of the 2019 GIVI Explorer Tour, the participants will experience a very unique event: a race in the heart of the jungle, called Rimba Raid.
One of them will actually register to race it, while all the others will be part of the support team.
After the Rimba Raid, the Explorers will continue their ride, heading to Genting Highlands in Kuala Lumpur.
A total of 10 days with more than 2500km across one of the most exciting and magical areas of all Asia!

      • Jeremias Riding Clinic
        Kuala Lumpur

        Today wasn’t really the first day of the 2019 GIVI Explorer but it was still a great day of riding.
        The news that former factory Honda Dakar racer Jeremy Israel was about to visit Malaysia to ride with the Explorers and eventually race the Rimba Raid spread like fire. Local off-road instructor and trials legend Acoi Pangkolo contacted Jere immediately to offer him his facility just outside of Kuala Lumpur and host a riding clinic, and just like that a date was set. More than 20 enthusiast riders, most of them already registered to ride the Rimba Raid next week, showed up for the clinic.
        It was a very, very hot but fun day, and Jere covered many important points about the correct technique ti use when riding off-raid on a big adventure bike: weight balance, braking, turn and power-slides and finally how to approach steep downhills and challenging uphills with various obstacles. All the participants were in awe, and they could immediately put the new acquired notions into practice, both during individual drills and in a final group ride. After that, Jere and Acoi delivered the participation certificates to everybody who dared to come out in the heat and 80% humidity to be part of this great event.
      • DAY 1 & 2
        Kuala Lumpur – GIVI ASIA – Ipoh

        Today it was Day 2 of the 2019 The Malaysian Adventure. What happened to Day 1? Well, basically we always consider that to be the day when all the Explorer arrive to the meeting destination, in our case Kuala Lumpur, and receive all the material they will use during the trip. Also, Day 1 is when we have the welcome dinner and the opening briefing, a very important moment when we go over all the different practical and safety aspects of riding in a new Country. It may sound boring but it is a very, very important moment.
        With that said, Day 2 is normally the first riding day. The travelers left the hotel very early to reach the headquarters of GIVI Asia just outside of Kuala Lumpur. After a brief visit of the facility and part of the production unit, the Explorer were finally assigned their motorcycles and got the first taste of the road. This year’s group is the largest that we ever had, with more than 40 motorcycles including 5 marshals and 5 motorcycle policemen. Destination for the day was Ipoh, a beautiful town surrounded by magnificent pinnacles and a lush tropical forest. It also happens to be the hometown of our GIVI Ambassador Anita Yusof.
        But before reaching our final destination for the day, we stopped to visit the famous leaning tower of Teluk Intan, a Malaysian National Monument. The tower, which is often compared to the tower of Pisa in Italy for their similar “leaning attitude” was originally built by the Chinese as a watchtower. Over the years, a huge water tank was added on top to help with the chronic lack of water in the area, but the heavy weight right at the top, combined with the soft terrain, quickly caused the tower to lean, luckily not enough to collapse.
        Another stop was Kellie’s Castle, a once magnificent building with a terrible story. Originally built in the early 1900s by Scottish businessman who wanted to establish himself among the richest families in Malaysia, the castle was never really finished. William Kellie-Smith wanted the castle to celebrate the birth of his son and heir in 1915 and he imported all the materials from India, including the construction workers to finish the project. Most of them were killed by a virulent epidemic of Spanish Flu and the construction was stopped. A few years later, in 1926, Kellie died of pneumonia during a trip to Portugal and his heartbroken wife decided to return to Scotland, leaving everything behind. Nowadays the castle, which is also believed to be haunted and to hide many secret passages, is a very popular tourist destination and it was also used as a setting for the movie “Anna and the King” in 1999.
        DOWLOAD DAY 1 & 2 GPS TRACK 
      • DAY 3
        Kuala Terengganu – East Coast

        Day 3 of the 2019 GIVI Explorer Tour was very challenging because the group had to cover 470 Km from Ipoh to the city of Kuala Terengganu, on the East Coast of the Malaysian peninsula. The weather was extremely hot and humid and fatigue and heat exhaustion were a big risk factor today.
        We left early in the morning and we reached a small poetry were some of our fellow Explorers had a “first hand” experience (literally) at molding the wet clay into some sort of crafty pot. We took many pictures and video of the process but when everything was said and done, not even the “artists” themselves wanted to keep their creations. It was still a lot of fun and many inappropriate shapes and comments were made. From the pottery we started climbing the central mountains of Malaysia, covered in the lush rain forest. After a quick break for lunch, the group kept climbing the slopes along a beautiful and twisty road, until we reached the viewpoint at the Titiwangsa summit, from where, on a clear day, one can see all the way to neighboring Thailand.
        After the ritual group picture, the Explorer started their descent to the final destination, riding another 100+ kilometers of beautiful twists and turns before returning to sea level about 2 hours from Kuala Terengganu. The final stretch was the most challenging, as we rode in 40C temperature and extremely high humidity, and as many locals know very well, it’s easy to be victim of a heat stroke and literally pass out while riding. We made sure everybody stayed safe and hydrated and we safely made it to our destination for the night just in time for a shower and a nice dinner overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.
        DOWNLOAD DAY 3 GPS TRACK
      • DAY 4
        Pulau Redang Island

        The 4th day of the 019 GIVI Explorer Malaysian Adventure was a very easy one. We left the hotel in Kuala Terengganu in the morning and rode about 45 minutes to the boat landing where we parked the motorcycles, changed into beach wear and boarded three fast boats that took us to the island of Pulau Redang.
        This is a beautiful natural park off the East Coast of Malaysia and the boat ride “to paradise” is only abut 40 minutes.
        The activities for this rest day were pretty relaxed: somebody preferred to stay and enjoy the white sand and the turquoise waters, while most of the group opted for a fantastic boat tour of the island, including some snorkeling in two different spots.
        The day ended with a magnificent dinner, right on the beach… what an unforgettable day!
        Tomorrow we are be back in the saddle, and we will ride about 250 Kilometers South, towards Teluk Cempedak.
        DOWNLOAD DAY 4 GPS TRACK
      • DAY 5
        Teluk Cempedak – Kuantan beach

        Another stage in the books, as the Explorers reached the magnificent Kuantan beach by Teluk Cempedak at the end of Day 5. Today the group left the island of Redang on fast boats to get back to the motorcycles, then rode 244 kilometers along the East Coast of Malaysia. The weather, as usual, was hot and humid, but surprisingly we didn’t encounter any rain for the third day in a row: that must be some kind of record! The ride was uneventful, which is always good when you are moving in a monster group made of 40 motorcycles, and Kuantan beach is one true gem, highlighted by a lovely boardwalk over the rocks & hammered by the warm waves of the South China Sea. Tomorrow the Explorers will ride across the Malaysian peninsula, back to the Wes Coast and all the way to the mysterious and exotic city of Melaka.
        DOWNLOAD DAY 5 GPS TRACK
      • DAY 6
        Malacca – West Coast

        Day 6 of the Malaysian Adventure is over and it was a great one. Most of the 300km that the Explorers rode from Teluk Cempedak on the East Coast to Malacca, on the West Coast, were mountain roads with awesome, twisty sections and virtually no traffic: motorcycle heaven! Early in the morning, when we woke up, it was raining hard but the deluge stopped just a few minutes before getting in the saddle. In these conditions it is always a gamble to try and predict what the weather is going to be for the first few kilometers. The temptation is to never wear any rain gear, especially in hot and “uber humid” Malaysia, but sometimes the rain is still around the corner, so… Normally the best solution is to wear at least the rain pants and stop and put on the rain jacket only if it really starts pouring. At the end we all decided to take the chance and leave without wearing the rain suits. It was the right decision because we quickly left some dark clouds behind us and we had dry conditions all te way to our destination.
        We reached Malacca around lunch time and explored the old Chinese quarter before heading to the heart of the old city, where the original Portuguese settlement still stands the test of time. We visited a little fortified outpost, then St. Paul’s church, sitting at the top of the hill, and finally the more recent Christ Church, a Protestant temple located inside the wall of the old Dutch town. The old Christian church inside the old walls.
        Malacca, the Venice of the East, was once the gateway to South East Asia, the main port for the commerce of the spices coming from all over the region. Later on it also gave harbor to many pirate vessels which frequently attacked the larger commercial ships, crossing the Strait of Malacca.
        Today Malacca is one of the most important commercial ports in the region, but the city is also a major tourist destination. In 2008 the city was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in the weekends traffic gets so bad that it takes hours to go through the infamous 17 traffic lights which separate the freeway from the heart of the city.
        Luckily we got here on a week day and we were able to ride around without any issues.
        Before dinner the group was invited to a nice welcome party by our local GIVI dealer Song Heng Motors, one of our fellow Explorers, and we were offered fresh coconut water and several exotic and delicious local fruits.
        Our day ended with a walk along the picturesque Jonker Street, home of a lively night scene and a million of different small shops where one can find pretty much anything that was ever put up for sale in the story of humanity.
        DOWNLOAD DAY 6 GPS TRACK
      • DAY 7
        Tokong Si Thian – Kuala Gandah, National Elephant Conservation Center

        Wow, we thought yesterday was a good day of riding, but today, Day 7 of the 2019 Givi Explorer Malaysian Adventure was even better. We left Melaka in the morning and headed North, hitting some wonderful twisties for most of the 300 km that the route had in store for us.
        Uphill, downhill, rainforest, small villages and fast highways: a true riding clinic in a matter of hours.
        The first stop was the Buddhist temple of Tokong Si Thian, after that Route 9 turned into a feast of fast, sweeping turns that kept us entertained all the way to lunch. The other significant stop for today was the National Elephant Conservation Center in Kuala Gandah, where sick or orphaned pachyderms are rescued and rehabilitated to return to nature. These are elephants that lost their parents or were separated from their group, or maybe have birth defects or were displaced by yet another industrial development. At the Center they get all the attention they need, and in most cases they complete their program and can be released in the wild again. Some seriously wounded animals, or the ones that are too weak or too scared to return to nature, are kept and become ambassadors for the center, where thousands of school kids and tourists alike come every week to admire these beautiful and supremely intelligent creatures.
        Toward the end of the day the Explorers reached Rimba Valley, in the heat of the Lentang Forest reserve, about 50 km Northeast of Kuala Lumpur. This is the location of the 2019 GIVI Rimba Raid, the most important motorcycle off-road race in South East Asia. After dinner we sat together with the 150 participants and their crews and attended the race briefing. The race will pass through the rain forest but the promoters cut the course in a way that will have a very low impact on the environment. One of the requests of the National Forest Authority to allow the raid to take place was that any sign of the motorcycle passing by would be completely unnoticeable within 4 to 6 weeks after the event. For this reason the promoters not only create temporary bridges and paths to protect the most sensitive areas, but will also have several sweeping vehicles to carefully clean up after the motorcycles.
        Tomorrow our fellow Explorer Jeremias Israel will compete for the victory and the computer randomly assigned him the 30th spot in line: that means that he will have 29 riders in front of him and may be forced to make some passes to keep a good pace and have a shot at the best time. Some sections of the course have been flooded last night so the promoters have delayed the start and are considering cutting those sections out altogether. It’s gonna be a good challenge and even if the course it’s “only” 50 km long, the name of the most challenging section “Green Hell” is a good indicator of what the jungle will throw at the 150 participants.
        The top riders should be able to finish in just below 3 hours, but in case of rain all bets are off because the red Malaysian clay turns into a nasty mud that takes no prisoners. Go Jere!
        DOWNLOAD DAY 7 GPS TRACK
      • DAY 8
        Rimba Raid race – Lentang Forest reserve

        Day 8 arrived with great anticipation for the Explorer: it was the day of the Rimba Raid race!
        The group drove a few kilometers to reach the starting point in the heart of the jungle and cheered Jeremias as he started his race. Everybody then moved to the GIVI Compound, situated on the left side of the finish line, on the other end of the Lentang forest reserve, at Kampung Janda Bike.
        With big surprise we found Jere waiting for us… his race was cut short by a nasty crash, caused by the unpredictable actions of a rookie marshal (you read that right, he was forced to retire by somebody who was supposed to be there to keep everybody safe).
        Luckily he was not hurt, but he still had to pull out of the race because the crash left his Triumph Scrambler XC with a bent chassis and no front brake. Anyway, he was in good spirit: this is racing, sometimes you win sometimes you lose.
        Right before lunch some lucky members of the group had the opportunity to ride the last few kilometers of the Rimba Raid course aboard a handful of KTM 300 2 stroke motorcycles, and it was a real blast. Even if the event id basically an amateur rally, the humidity and the slippery terrain the participants have to face are extremely challenging. The winner clocked an amazing 48 minutes time, the bulk of the participants made it between 3 and four hours, and some diehard riders aboard big and heavy adventure bikes needed more than 5 hours to finish the 40 km. That gives a good idea of how hard this race really is and the level of dedication that it takes to be able to finish, let alone win. Tomorrow we will complete one last quick loop in the hills outside of Kuala Lumpur before returning to the capital on Monday, when the group will eventually split and the GIVI Explorer Malaysian Adventure will come to an end.
        DOWNLOAD DAY 8 GPS TRACK
      • DAY 9
        Genting Sepah – Genting Highlands

        9th and last day of the 2019 GIVI Explorer Tour saw the group leave the camp at Janda Baik and descend into the valley at Genting Sepah for one last run at the beautiful twisty roads in the surrounding area. From there we climbed up the other side to reach the castle of Colmar Tropicale, something that could be defined as… unusual. Basically, it is a “faithful” reconstruction of a French Medieval village and fortress, sitting at the top of Berjaya Hill. After that we rode some more awesome mountain roads and approached the final ascent to a place that it is even more unusual: Genting Highlands. From a motorcycle standpoint this is a dream destination, as the road that reaches the top is one of the most fun we rode during this Malaysian Adventure. The story behind this place is something different, tho. As we were reaching the top of Mount Ulu Kali, and we are talking about a peak that sits at 1800 meters and it is almost always hiding in the clouds, we started noticing many large buses and not one but two cable cars unloading herds of tourists. Well, turns out this mountain peak is the only place in Malaysia where gambling is legal, and a mini Las Vegas slowly developed over the last 50 years, with casinos, giant hotels, amusement parks and a huge shopping mall.
        Genting Highlands was also the final night of the 2019 GIVI Explorer Tour, and tomorrow we will have a quick transfer to GIVI Asia in Kuala Lumpur, where we will return the motorcycles and kiss everybody goodbye… until next year! Final night of course also meant a gala dinner, a super funny award ceremony and the usual big, closing party.
        DOWNLOAD DAY 9 GPS TRACK

Watch the gallery


 


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THE PROTAGONISTS

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    From Italy – Givi Oversea Operational Director,
    Team Leader and Promoter
    From Vietnam – Givi Media P.R.

  • PIETRO ABROSIONI

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    From Italy – P.R. Givi Usa – Media and Write Up

  • NIKKASIT WONGSAWAS

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    From Thailand – Media

  • SATVINDER SINGH KELAE + JULIA JINAN JINGOP

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    From Malaysia – Official Medic Explorer

  • HARRY JANG

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    From Korea – Korea Givi Importer

  • ZAMANI IBRAHIM

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    From Malaysia – Public Member

  • TSENG PO YEN

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    From Taiwan – Taiwan Givi Importer

  • ENRIQUE PERDIGON + LILIANA GAITAN

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    From Colombia – Givi Importers – Comercializadoras Europeas

  • RONALD MONTANO

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  • RON ANGEL

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    From Australia – Australia Givi Importer

  • NEIL CAMPBELL

    On Triumph Tiger 800 XCX
    From Australia – Public Members

  • ARVYDAS PAPINIGIS + LINA GIEDRE

    On Ducati Multistrada 1260
    From Lithuania – Givi Importer – Bikeshop

  • ON HAI SWEE + The Hooi Lee

    On Honda X-ADV
    From Malaysia – Givi Asia Director

  • VORASAK KASEMTANAKUL

    On Honda X-ADV
    From Thailand – Givi Importer – Comforta

  • AH HOI

    On Kawasaki Ninja Z1000 SX
    From Malaysia – Givi Dealer

  • KOK PIN ZHONHENG

    On Kawasaki Versys 650
    From Malaysia
    – Givi Dealer

  • EUGENE MAH

    On Moto Guzzi V85 TT
    FROM SINGAPOREGIVI Importer Cyclenet

  • GIORGIO DELLA ROSA

    On Moto Guzzi V85 TT
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  • JEREMÍAS ISRAEL

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    From Chile
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    On Triumph Tiger 800 XRX Low
    From Vietnam Public members

  • ZACH LUCERO

    On Honda XADV
    From Philippines – Press Media

  • WAHID ABDULLAH

    On Kawasaki ER-6F (2012)
    FROM MALAYSIA – Press Media

  • MOHAN K RAMANUJAM


    On Triumph Tiger 800 XR
    From Malaysia
    – Press Media

  • NORBERT CIBULKA

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    From Slovakia
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  • MIQUEL GOMEZ

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  • MOHAN K RAMANUJAM

    On Triumph 765 RS
    From Malaysia
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  • GUNADI

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    From Indonesia
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  • MOHD KHALID BIN SHUIB

    On Ducati Multistrada 1260
    From Malaysia
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MARSHALL:

Badrul Hisham Bin abdul Razak
On KTM 1290 Super Adventure T (2017)
Samir

On Kawasaki Z650
Khairil Anwar Bin Mahamad Rizal
On Ducati MTS Enduro 1200 (2018)
Mohd Zulkifli Bin Kadir
On Kawasaki GTR 1400 (2008)
Raja Azlan Shah bin Raja Mushahar
Ducati MTS Enduro 1200 (2016)

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