going solo :-)

Just like the Triumph’s song… I seem to live for the weekend 🙂  At least in these past months… 🙂

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Immediately after last weekend’s ad-hoc ride to Kuantan on the R1, I was already mentally planning to take the GSA out for a spin on the coming weekend.  Does not matter if it will be on Saturday or Sunday or even Monday!  You see, I will be taking a one whole week leave from 14th March.  And the family will be travelling back to our hometown at the earliest on Monday late afternoon.  So, a half day ride would not be an issue if it were to be on Monday itself.

Initially, I was toying with the idea of an overnight ride, Saturday/Sunday, if at least one buddy would join.  But alas by Friday, no one was free.  As it is the start of the school term break, most have either wedding kenduri to attend or travel balik kampung themselves. And my toy-of-an-idea to ride overnight was also dismissed as I received an invitation from my varsity friend for his daughter’s wedding on Sunday 13th March.

So, tentavely, I wanted to do a solo ride on Saturday.  However, several family matters came up thus my Saturday was taken up.

Sunday 13th March morning, I was 50/50 on going out as I need to attend the kenduri at noon.  So, I prayed for a reason and that came in the form of Mazlan @ akulee, a biker friend from the now defunct web forum SBM (and whom as far as I can remember, I never had an opportunity to ride with before).

As I was weighing, contemplating, rationalising etc. whether to ride or not to ride, my tweet… errr.. not really a tweet… rather my posting in our little whatsapp group (ex-SBM, a handful of us) to announce a ride (usually the exact wording is “ride weyyy ride..”), Akulee responded “Jom! (let’s go!)”.  The only thing was, he was already in Ipoh and getting ready to ride back to KL…. hahahaha.. by the way, Akulee is on a GSA-LC (note: blue colour).

Well, that was all hat i needed.  I know that there’s a strong possibility that we will not be meeting anywhere, but having  a positive response from someone on my invitation to ride was a good enough excuse for me to suit up and push the GSA out of the porch. 🙂

Made a quick stop at the service station near my home for fuel and air (I think the front tyre has a minute leak… in only 3 weeks, the tyre deflated to a mere 16psi.  It was the same previously when we did the Port Dickson ride- the tyre pressure was equally low after less than a month of being parked).  Note to self:  the “average recommended” tyre pressure should be 36psi front and 42psi rear.   After filling up the tank, I was all set to go.

Of course the quickest way to get to NorthSouth Hiway (from my home) would be Kesas-Elite-NKVE-NSHiway (merging of NKVE and NSHiway just before the Sg. Buloh RnR North Bound).  However, I was caught by a detour just before the merging of Elite and NKVE.  The detour forced all vehicles to either go West onto NKVE or exit to Shah Alam via the Bukit Jelutong exit/toll gate.  I chose the later, thinking that I could use the Guthrie Corridor Hiway (my only qualm about this road is that it has a bike lane which is too dangerous for even smaller bikes – unkept and winding, not to mention narrow plus known cases of motorcycles being attacked/mugged especially at the “lonely” stretches).  Thus I did use the Guthrie Corridor Hiway but rather used the trunk road all the way to Sungai Buloh entering NSHiway at the Sungai Buloh Hospital interchange/toll gate.  This route of course would be slower due to heavy traffic and a lot of traffic lights along the way.

Anyway once I hit the NS Hiway, it was smooth sailing all the way to Tapah.  Made a u-turn at the Tapah exit/toll and stopped at Tapah RnR Southbound.  During the ride, I noticed that the “brake failure” indicator did not go off… and the ABS check indicator was blinking throughout. hurmmm… Made a few queries (contacted Nizam to find out if he has experienced a similar prompt before)… and… i concluded that there is something wrong with the braking system 😦

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Note the time ~ 11.20am… just arrived at Tapah RnR.  The brakes were working fine… thus I was not too worried about that indicator.  Could be a sensor problem.  I later found from googling the net a possible cause and work around for this –> CLICK HERE to read.

Anyway the content of that article are as follows:-

BMW R1200GS Brake Warning

This morning when heading off to work I noticed the brake warning light kept flashing and the ABS assist servos wouldn’t come on when I applied the brakes, leaving me with just the residual braking function (BMWs words, not mine).

Normally when switching on a BMW R1200GS the Brake failure light with flash quickly (4 times per second) for a few moments and then flash slowly (once per second) until the bike has started moving and the ABS self-test has completed. Also, during the bikes ignition start up, the brakes servo motors for start and then stop quickly, another self-test feature.

If there is a problem with the ABS system, the Brake failure light will keep flashing quickly (4 times per second) and the ABS servos will not start. This is what happened to mine this morning. Whilst the bike still has the residual braking function, i.e. no ABS and no power assist, it is still possible to ride the bike and the rider’s manual says to take the bike immediately to a BMW garage for them to run diagnostic tests.

However, experience has told me that BMW garages charge a lot of money and there is a simple 2 minute test you can run yourself to try to get the ABS re-enabled.  Note: this should be done on firm level ground.

  1. Switch the bike off.
  2. Flick the brake levers (front and rear) several times.
  3. Switch the bike on.
  4. If servos still do not work:
  5. Switch bike off.
  6. Whilst pushing front lever out & holding rear lever up…
  7. Switch bike on.
  8. If servos still do not work:
  9. Switch bike off.
  10. Check the rear brake light switch by the back level, ensure there isn’t any grit in it.
  11. Switch bike on.

The reason for doing these checks is to ensure the bike doesn’t think the brakes are engaged when the bike is being switched on. As indicated in the rider’s manual:

Warning: Self-diagnosis is not performed unless both brakes levers are in their fully released positions. Only the RESIDUAL BRAKING FUNCTION is available until self-diagnosis is completed.

The mostly likely time for this to occur is during or after off-roading when dirt and grit can become lodged in the switches. However, I have known it to happen for seemingly no reason at all. So before you spend your hard earned money at a BMW garage, run a few simple tests yourself.

There’s also a video on youtube explaining the bit about the brake light switch (point #10).
Ok, now back to the ride story 🙂
Today was actually about breaking-in of my recently acquired jacket, the Rev’it Voltaic. While the jacket fit comfortably, the non-removable waterproof nine lining is not a good feature when riding on a hot day.  I was sweating like nobody’s business (my t-shirt was partially soaked when I took the jacket off!)
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On the flip side though, sweating is good.  Just like having a sauna session – for free!
Well, parked the bike and headed to the stalls – had a glass of lemonade and a piece of curry puff plus a bottle of water.  Rehydrate me-self 🙂


Rested at the RnR for about twenty minutes.  If it were not for the kenduri that I had to attend today, this ride could have been further and longer… 🙂

Headed back towards KL just after 12.00 noon, just in time to go to the wedding invitation at Section 7 Shah Alam.

So, there you have it. My first solo ride on the GSA.  I know that there will be more to come…. hehehe..

Oh, before I forget… tested this new gadget that I bought from eBay for about RM42. The seller claimed its water-proof.  Thus will have to wait for a rainy day ride to test it.


waterproof gps holder

Till next time… happy trails y’all….





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