Time to Leave for Melaka
The day dawned cool and fresh. We had our breakfast as usual. By this time, we have become tired of the breakfast at Cameron Highlands Restaurant. Western style breakfast is nice once in a while, but we Asians do not like to have this everyday. It is a good time to leave for Melaka.
After packing our stuff and loading them onto the Diva, I made a little adjustment to the bike’s suspension. I have noticed that the bike was using up almost all of its fork travel. It was probably due to the heavy tank bag and luggage . I thought that an increase of the preload by 1/4 turn at the shock and setting the fork to 3 and 1/2 lines showing would do the trick. We said our goodbyes to the 2 Nepalese staff and left the lovely mountain retreat.
I have been looking forward to the ride as I was well rested and the time to enjoy the turns was finally here. It was Wednesday morning and traffic was light. We turn left and headed for Simpang Pulai. I had a cheap mini-DV camera, the MD80, which I intended to film the ride after we left C165 and turned into A181. I stuck the camera with 3M’s very strong double sided tape on the right fairing and then used gaffer tape to further secure it from the outside.
As we got nearer to A181, the roads became more interesting. Some sections were well paved and the turns were nice. I was starting to enjoy myself. We stopped after turning to A181 to turn on the camera. Satisfied that the camera was working, we set off.
Yes, the Turns are Here!
Now, the fast sweeping turns started to appear. The sun was shinning and the traffic was light. I was really enjoying myself. There was a car that overtook us when we were at the side of the road and now we were coming up behind it. We were not traveling very fast, maybe around 120-140kph along the straights, but it was pulling away from us. What was rather irritating was that it slowed down at the turns robbing me of making a nice corner entry and enjoying the corners. After 5 plus minutes of following it, I realised that I needed to overtake this guy if I wanted to continuing enjoying the ride. I have no issues with being overtaken, but stay away from me. Give me the space to enjoy my ride and stop making me having to brake or slow down mid turns.
After following this guy for a little while more, I realised that he was probably trying to “race” with me. The reason was that at the corners, my bike would end up at his tail as he slowed but as the corner ended, he would floor it and accelerate away. This was becoming irritating as I have no intention to race with him and had nothing to prove. I wanted to enjoy the corners and he was spoiling my fun. So I started setting myself up for the overtake. Instead of lazily leaving the bike in a higher gear and letting the engine’s torque pull us out of the corners, I started to use lower gears and revving higher. I also begun to stick with him at the straights (its easy with a big cc bike). As we started to turn left downhill, I saw no traffic on the subsequent straight and kicked down to 2nd gear. As we straightened, I gunned the engine and let her rip up to 10k rpm. Bye bye car and hello corner carving. I peeked at the mirrors and saw the car disappear out of sight after a couple of turns.
My wife and I were communicating via the UClear HBC100 blue tooth head sets. Hmm…by communicating, it was mostly me mostly describing upcoming corners, how I was going to enter it and the delight when we went through them nicely. My wife’s responses were mostly “woaaaahh….” if I remembered correctly. I asked her a few times what that meant but there were no explanations. The “woahs” got more frequent as we reached the tighter sections nearer our destination. There were well marked signs in yellow warning road users of tight bends. You knew that a particularly tight one was coming up when the little yellow arrows become HUGE ones.
It was a bit difficult shifting sideways in my seat as I had a pillion, but not too bad. Some turns were 120kph ish but others were 70-80kph. The speed was not important and it was proof that one does not need a crazy high powered motorcycle to enjoy the ride. I had nothing to prove and no race to win and I am pleased to report that we had no dangerous encounters, nor did we run wide this time. The funny thing was that I did not experience any backaches or sore wrists during the 1 hour plus ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it. After the ride, I asked my wife if she enjoyed the mountain roads more or the highway. She said “highway”.
I must say that the bike handled beautifully with the heavy luggage and 2 people on board. With the suspension upgrades she handled better than the last time. I loved it.
At the bottom, we reached the Petronas station but decided not to stop to refuel as I thought (mistakenly) that we would reach Sungai Buloh overhead bridge restaurant on the fuel that we had. The ride on the North-South Highway was boring in comparison to the mountain roads. Backache started to set in and my wrist started to ache after awhile. I need to do something about the settings to make rides like these more bearable.
Lost Micro-SD Card
Soon I realised that we could not make it to Sungai Buloh as planned and made the stop at Ulu Bernam’s R&R. While there, I stopped and checked my mini-dv camera and it was still there. I was happy that I could have a look at the ride footage when I was back home. However, at home, I realised that somehow the micro-SD card popped out and was lost. I searched all over my bag, but could not find it. Bummer.
At Ulu Bernam, we had a drink, fueled up and reached Ayer Keroh Overhead Bridge restaurant where we had an ice cream. A full tank later and we reached Melaka and probably better food.