Rabu, 19 Januari 2011

Kawasaki KLX 250D-Tracker

otomotif purwokerto

It used to be the motorcycling crowd could be divided cleanly between superbikers and off-roaders.
The superbikers hang around at Hard Rock Café and go riding to Genting on the weekends.
The off-roaders on the other hand spend most of their time jumping in the jungle and are rarely seen.
But now, a strange hybdrid of the two is forming on the fringes of the local biking scene.
Supermotos, or also known as supermotards are fast gaining popularity.
For those who don't know much about bikes, a supermotard is basically a scrambler with superbike tyres.

You would think that a tall scrambler would be horrible to ride around twisty roads.
But as I rode the Kawasaki D-Tracker around some sharp bends in the neighbourhood - this myth was quickly proven to be untrue.
The D-Tracker is basically a Kawasaki KLX-250 'scrambler' with 17-inch street

It is powered by a single-cylinder 250cc thumper that lacks any sense of urgency - and can power the 119 kg bike to a mere 145 kph.
However, despite the lack of straight line speed - this bike can be quite a load of fun in the twisties.
You will also learn a totally different away of doing essentially the same thing - that is going around corners quickly.
To do this, sportsbikers lower their center of gravity by dropping their body toward the inside of a turn and putting their knees down.
Supermoto riders on the other hand adopt a totally different approach.
Unknown to many, the fastest way around a turn is actually by sliding through it.
The supermoto rider sit high up on his bike and uses a skillful combination of brakes and clutch to 'slide' the rear tyre and change the direction of the bike.
It is a neat trick - this. Think of it as drifting - but on just two wheels.
It is this sliding that makes the supermoto rider adopt his typical 'foot-out' pose. This position is necessary to prevent the bike from sliding too much and dumping the rider on the tarmac. It's just not to look cool in photos.

This may all sound very exciting, but I'm not sure if the D-tracker can really be called a supermotard.
It is a bit small and underpowered, most supermoto bikes are actually 450cc and above, and some people I talked to even doubted the D-Tracker is actually capable of being "backed in" - as it is called.
In Malaysia, there are already a few manufacturers who that already bringing in these 'real' supermotard machines.
But what is exciting about the D-Tracker is that it costs about RM23,000, making it about half the price of it's nearest competitor.
It is still not cheap - but we will probably be seeing a lot of these bikes on the road, as many beginners buying their first bike may find it within their budget range.
While it's supermotard credibilty has yet to be determined, what is suprising about the bike though is how well it is adapted to the city.

Oddly enough, despite it's jungle underpinnings - the bike turned out to be quite the urban warrior.
I rode the bike for 500kms, most of it commuting between Kuala Lumpur, Bangsar and Petaling Jaya.
The more I rode it, the more I became convinced this is exactly the sort of bike you need in an environment such as this.

For starters, the bike sits way above traffic, with the handlebars clearing all but the tallest MPVs and SUVs.
The high seating position means you can see for hundreds of metres in front, even above the car in front of you - which is great since most car drivers in KL have a habit of jumping on the brakes.
You sit upright, with your weight off your wrists - which is good for long rides.
The bike is also narrow compared to most other types of bikes, making filtering through heavy traffic a breeze.
In fact, after a few days I realised even the Kapcais were having a tough time catching up with the tall motard in traffic.
Another thing that many riders might be interested in is that the D-tracker has loads of suspension travel in it's front forks.
At 28.4 cm - it's so long that it makes the bike look like it's standing on stilts.
This means you can glide over all but the biggest potholes without even feeling them.
I hardly slowed down when I passed the entrance to my housing estate - which is incredible since with so much construction going on, it resembles a Martian landscape more than a road.
There are a few downsides to the bike though - the miniscule petrol tank can only hold 7.5 liters of fuel - giving you a range of just over 100kms.
Because of it's height - the bike is also unstable at very high speeds.
But in all other respects, it's a practical enough bike. In fact, if the price were around RM15,000, I think I would buy one right now - just to commute.
Think of it as sort of a giant Kapcai. The only difference is you can pretend to be a supermotard rider and wear really cool helmets and riding gear.
The D-Tracker comes in an assortment of three colors: black and candy blue, black and orange as well as Kawasaki green.
For more information, call Sunrock Kawasaki at 03-55665688.

otomotif purwokerto

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