Here’s a report, I would like to share about my ride in Malaysia Peninsula for about 3200 Km mid to the end of August, 2006.
This tour is held based on invitation of Department of Information of Malaysia in cooperation with Superbikes Association of Malaysia (S.A.M.) for Malaysia’s Independent Day (August 31, 2006). This is part of Malaysia’s government program to increase patriotism of Malaysia’s people and their love to the country and expressing it through its flag “Galur Gemilang”.
Because of the nature of the tour agenda, we could imagine this ride will be inserted by a lot of Independence Day ceremonials during the ride.
The convoy officially start from August 17, 2006 in Kuala Terengganu and will be finish on August 27, 2006 in Kuantan for the peninsula ride and will be finish on August 31, 2006 in Kuching for the one who participate in the ride in Sabah and Serawak (on Borneo island).
The Indonesian Riders Team consist of 10 riders with several type of bikes and from several motorcycle club backgrounds as well. Ducati Indonesia represented by 2 red Multistrada and I was one of them.
Day 1 : 15-8-2006 Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur (KL)
The Indonesian Riders departed from Jakarta to KL by Malaysian Airlines. We were welcomed and picked up by Datuk Zahedi and Mr.Zahidi of SAM immediately after we went out for airplane. We then went directly to Concorde Hotel by Mazda cars provided to support the program.
Today is still a free and easy day. Some of the participants went to KLCC (a Mall at Petronas Tower), went to a café thereafter and take a rest…
Day 2 : 16-8-2006 KL-Port Klang-KL
After breakfast, at 09.30 a.m., we went to Port Klang by car escorted by 4 Police Motorcycles who will also part of the escort Police team assigned for the convoy.
Although the rain was fall down, the bikes unloading ran smoothly. Some Malaysian Police are queries to know how it feel to ride Multistrada. Hm…
After all bikes are ready, we start the first ride in Malaysia from Port Klang back to the Hotel about 60 Km..
Malaysian Police Motorbikes:
For some of Indonesian Riders who never ride in a High Way, it was a good fun and nice experience (we are not allowed to ride our bike in the high way in Indonesia).
Afternoon was a relaxing time. We are checking the bikes to make sure every thing ok for the long ride.
Indonesian Riders bikes park infront of the lobby of the Hard Rock Cafe, Kuala Lumpur which is located at the same building of Concorde Hotel.
At 07.00 p.m. Indonesian Riders team rode to the Mandarin Court Hotel to join with about 120 Malaysian and 5 Singaporean Riders for an official dinner with Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the vice Minister of Information of Malaysia who will also act as the Head of the convoy.
After a very warm welcome for the Indonesian Team, and other participant and enjoyed a nice dinner, at 09.20 p.m. the convoy back to the the Mandarin Court Hotel for a Safety Briefing and participant jacket distribution. The Indonesian riders return to the Concorde Hotel and get their jacket at 11.00 p.m.
Day 3 : 17-8-2006 Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Terengganu (KT)
Quite early, at 06.45 a.m. the Indonesian Riders start moving to the Mandarin Court Hotel and at 07.15 a.m., together with all other riders moved to Angkasa Puri, about 20 Km from KL where we will officially start..
Official fag off was made at 08.40 and the convoy moved to Linkaran Tengah Karak UIA Gombak (about 20 km ride), to fill in full tank for all participants at Petronas Gas Station. Well it takes about 1 hour just for the gas fill for all bikes and cars of the convoy. Hm.. I notice this will be a painful waiting process each time we have to fill in the gas during the ride and make myself ready for that. After all ready, the convoy moved to Kuala Terengganu.
We had a lunch break at 12.45 a.m. at Gambang (Kuantan, Negeri Pahang). At this place we were welcomed by the local authorities and entertained by local band mostly sing Indonesian popular songs of Indonesian famous band/singers (like Raja, Kris Dayanti & Ratu). Hm… that is nice. It sounds like in Indonesia some were… After the lunch break, the convoy moved to continue the trip.
Another break in Kemanan at 04.30 a.m. and welcomed by local authorities. We were also served by local foods and fruits (young coconut and yummy “Durian”). We continued the trip at 05.15 to Kuala Terengganu.
At 07.30 p.m. we enter into Kuala Terengganu.
Kuala Terengganu located on the beach side of the South Chine Sea. A small but celan city decorated by many decorated lamps. The Indonesian Riders stay at Primula Beach Resort and the others at another hotel about 40 Km from the city.
Just a short break, we then ride for a welcome dinner at Seri Iman Komplex in Kuala Terengganu. We return back to the Hotel after the dinner at 10.00 p.m.
Total journey from KL to Kuala Terengganu (including some short city riding) is 525 Km.
Day 4: 18-8-2006 in Kuala Terengganu
Today, we stay in Kuala Terengganu. It is a state in Malaysia which is quite relegious. Although it does not apply Islamic law, most women use Hijab and Friday is public holiday and most of the shops close.
We went to the most for Friday praying at mid day here and went to the other hotel where the other participants stay for another technical briefing.
This evening, the convoy (Kembara Merdeka Jalur Gemilang) was planned for officially flag off by Malaysian Prime Minister at 07.00 p.m. but I did not join the flag off ceremony (we only represented by several riders).
After return back to the hotel, Yovie and I still feel hungry and went out for having Double Cheese Burger and French Fries at A&W Fast Food Restaurant just close by the Hotel. Hm.. that will help to have a deep sleep tonight….
Day 5 : 19-8-2006 Kuala Terengganu – Kota Bharu
Start from Kuala Terengganu at 07.20 a.m., we moved to Kota Bharu. Today’s trip should not be too far.
Only ride for about 70 Km, we stoped for the first break at Setiu area. Here, we were welcomed by local people who at the same time celebrating “Khataman” (the finish of Al Qur’an reading) and “Sunatan” of their kids.
Besides standard local foods, local fruit including “Cempedak” (a kind of jack fruit) were also provided. Hm.. that was quite yummy…
The convoy then moved again for another 70 Km and have a lunch break at Sweet Beach Resort, Tok Bali area. We, as predicted, were welcome by the local people.
Moving further to Irama Bachok Beach, only about 30 Km, we have to stop again, to appreciate a short local welcome ceremony by the local people.
In Kelantan state which is located in the border with south Thailand, al women are using Hijab but the girls are quite pretty. Although we were tired for so many stopping, looking to the girls’ smile help us a bit.
At 05.40 p.m. the convoy arrived at Sutera Iin Hotel in Kota Bharu. The Hotel is good but the water is not clean and clear enough. We then have the evening welcome ceremony at the Hotel until 10.00 p.m.
Total journey for today is 255 Km.
Day 6: 20-8-2006 Kota Bharu-Perlis
Today is the day that almost all participants are looking forward. It is because we will pass the hilly and twisty road beside we will ride quite far (about 553 Km).
Wake up early morning, we then make ourselves ready. At 07.00 a.m. as usual, morning briefing and light exercise. Below is the beautiful Sunrise at Istana Balai Besar, Kota Bharu.
One of the interesting traditional percussion of Kota Bharu also welcomed us:
Flag off from Istana Balai Besar was finally done at 08.45. a.m. We then moved to fill in the gas full tank.
In Jeli area, there we many students give their hands. The road to Banding is twisty. Although it was rain, we were enjoying the turns in that twisty road. We had another break in Banding.
Next stop was in Baling, about 280 Km from Kota Bharu. We were 2,5 hours late from schedule. As usual, the welcome ceremony was taken place and the local people was also entertained by Malaysian singers M. Nashir atau Ramli Sharif.
Moving for 147 Km further, we then have another break at Kuala Nerang for anther welcoming and Malaysia’s Independence Day ceremony. Finally at 09.30 p.m. we arrived in Perlis, the top north city of Malaysia which is also located in the border with Thailand. We then have the dinner at Balai Rakyat.
Except Yovie, the rest of the Indonesian team embers were stuck to attend the ceremony prepared in the city, and finally we managed to skip from the event at mid night and have a speedy night ride (at an average of 140 Km/h) escorted 2 Police motorcycles to the Hotel which was quite far away, out side the city. The hotel was small, isolated and need some effort to reach the cottages which were spread out in a bit far from the main gate. Those who bring big bike (like Honda Goldwings) have to go by foot to their cottage. I simple ride my Multistrada on the small roads up to my cottages and parked it there.
Perlis is the main border with Thailand. This state is very religious and rules by an Islamic Party (PAS).
Day 7: 21-8-2006 Perlis – Pulau Penang
Starting with morning routine activities, we then move at 08.00. a.m. to Pulau Penang.
After riding for about 110 Km, we have our first break Bandar Baru, Negeri Kedah up to 12.00 a.m.
Second Break for lunch in Permatang Tinggi, about 30 Km further and then we fill in the gas.
I manage to take apicture in front of Bomba Station (Fire Station). Hm.. my red Multistrada is looked like a Fire Department motorcycle ya..:)
We then ride a Ferry to cross the strait at Kepala Batas to Pulau Penang. It was quite fun to see the long queue and the total of about 170 motorcycles were pushed to be loaded in one Ferry.
Arrived in Pulau Penang, we then stoped at Taman Belia Perbandaran, for another welcome ceremony. Here we were served by a yummy Laksa and Lumpia.
The convoy then moved to Citytel Hoyel, Georgetown. It was 06.30 p.m. already.
Have a short break, we then rode to Dewan Terbuka Tapak Pesta Sungai Nibong for the diiner hosted by the State of Pulau Pinang. I had a very delicious “Kajang” Satay.
Get back to the hotel at 10.15 p.m. Todays’ journey was not that long. It was only 195 Km, but quite tiring since we have too many stops.
Day 8: 22-8-2006 Pulau Penang – Ipoh
Morning wake up call at 05.30 a.m., we then have the morning routine activities. At 07.15 a.m. we moved to Padang Kota Lama for flag-off and start at 08.00 a.m. to Ipoh.
First break at 10.00 a.m. at Parit Butar, Kerian Area, the State of Perak.
Second and lunch break at 12.00 a.m. at Tapak Ekspo Simpang, Taiping area.
Third break at 04.00 p.m. in Ulu Piul. Again, another ceremony and we were served by some local foods. This time we have some fried rise noodle, Lemang (baked sticky rice), Rendang and some other foods.
Arrived at Casuaria Hotel in Ipoh late afternoon, we then have the official dinner and took a rest.
Total trip today is 218 Km.
Day 9: 23-8-2006 Ipoh – Kuala Lumpur
Flag off at 07.30; we then filled in the gas and move to Kuala Lumpur at 08.30.
First break at Daratan UMNO Bagan Datok, about 140 km from Ipoh city. Second and lunch break in Sungai Besar. The third break was in Shah Alam, the State of Selangor, and we had a big welcome in the same ceremony of Malaysia’s Independent Day.
In Shah Alam we received an information that Kuala Lumpur (about 40 Km) is in a heavy rain. Yovie and I then decided to use our rain suit and yes, that is helpful. In our way to Kuala Lumpur the rain was fall down and we were riding in a heavy rain.
We then arrived at Mandarin Court Hotel at 06.30. p.m., and most of the riders were wet.
Total today’s journey is 303 Km.
In the evening, based on some technical reasons, it was decided that the Indonesian Riders’ plan to ride in Sabah dan Serawak was canceled and it was decided that we will continue the ride in the peninsula and together with other riders will officially finish in Kuantan.
Day 10: 24-8-2006 Kuala Lumpur – Malaka
This morning we ride to the Centre of Government Area of Malaysia, Putera Jaya which is located only about 40 Km from Kuala Lumpur.
First break at Putera Jaya, we were welcomed by the Minister of Tourism and had another flag off at 11.00 a.m. to then moved to Dataran Rembau, Negeri Sembilan for a the second break Instead with the rider, some girls prefer to take a picture with the red Multistrada. Hm..
The next ride was fun. We rode in a twisty road and we could enjoy some speedy turn at 150 Km/h on the way to Padang Temu where we then stopped for the third break.
Arriving in Malaka safely, we spend the night at a good apartment.
Free diner, we went to a restaurant at Medan Ikan Bakar for some yummy sea foods.
Total journey for today is 235 Km.
Day 11: 25-8-2006 Malaka – Johor Bharu
Today’s wheather is good with clear blue sky. Start at 08.00 a.m. we then break at Batu Pahat at 10.50 a.m. which is already in Negeri Johor area. As usual, we were welcomed by the local authorities and people.
Second break at Petronas Gas Station in Machap
Today the organizer seems try to let us skip from other ceremonies and we then rode directly to “The Zon”, the hotel we will spend the night in Johor Bahru. This city is located in the top south of the peninsula, in the border with Singapore. Good hotel and it was just side by side with the duty free shopping mall. Arriving at 04.00 p.m. at the hotel, I enjoy flexi relax time.
We had a dinner at Festive Street Mall in Danga Bay area in the evening.
Today’s journey is 246 Km.
Day 12: 26-8-2006 Johor Bharu- Kuantan
Today is the last official convoy ride. After routine morning activities we started at 08.15 to Kuantan and filled in the gas full tank at Petronas Gas Station after entering into toll road.
First break in Bandar Mersing, a small city on the China Sea beach. The road from Johor Bharu to Bandar Mersing was good and fun. It was full of nice turns and quite twisty. Again, at certain turns we could enjoy a long but speed turn above 140 Km/h. However, we also need to be careful of some waving road on some turns.
Second and lunch break in Rompin (which is already in Negeri Pahang area).
The third break was at 04.35 p.m. in Pekan (about 70 Km from Kuantan). Although it is not the capital city of Pahang State, the Sultan of Pahang domicile in this city.
At certain point when I feel my legs a bit tired, I often put my legs the engine guard of my Multistrada like this:
After Pekan, the convoy was rode in the middle of thunder storm and heavy rain. The wind was also strong and causes many trees fall down to the road. It was quite danger for the convoy to continue the ride and the organizer, for a safety consideration, then decided to take a break in a State Prison, beside the road. Only break for about 30 minutes in wet condition, the weather change and, although it was still raining, there was no thunder storm any more and the wind also did not blow that fast.
We arrived in Kuantan at 07.40 p.m. still in rain, and the Indonesian riders spand the night at Mega View Hotel. Dinner was hosted by Kerajaan Negeri Pahang Darul Makmur.
We took pictures in front the Hotel. Hm.. this is our last official ride.
Day 13: 27-8-2006 Kuantan-KL
Beautiful Sunrise di Kuantan.
This morning is a bit different. There was a short ceremony to officially close the convoy. Participants took pictures and also received a Sijil (Certificate). Some of the riders then return back to their own states. Part of the participant from Kuala Lumpur and other surrounding area (only about 60 bikes) then continue the ride to Kuala Lumpur.
Although this is no longer an official ride, the total ride of 261 km from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur is still escorted by Malaysian Police, including by Police Helicopter.
Since the number of riders has been reduce significantly and there is no more ceremonial between Kuantan and Kuala Lumpur, the ride was quite fun. We could also maintain an average speed of 130-140 Km/h at the toll road. We, again could even enjoy a long turn in the high way at 160 Km/h.
Several times the Police Helicopter fly just a few metes above us to wake we up and getting sleepy. Hm.. that was very cool….
We entering into Kuala Lumpur at 04.30 p.m. and take a break before antering into city centre.
The rest of participant and the organizer thank God for the safe and the success ride then, celebrating it by spraying water to each other. This is the end of our 2 weeks ride together. The Indonesian Riders then continue the ride to Concorde Hotel an arrived at 05.30 p.m.
Tonight we have a long and deep sleep. No morning rush for tomorrow.
Day 14: 28-8-2006 Kuala Lumpur-Port Klang
This morning our single agenda is ride and loading the bike into container at Port Klang. At 10.30 a.m. the Indonesian Riders guided by Kenneth of SAM have our last ride toPort Klang followed by 2 cars to take we home thereafter.
This free ride to port Klang was so fun. I was riding on almost maximum speed of 215 Km/h and again, enjoying speedy long turns. This is some thing you can not get in Indonesia except on the circuit.
Total journey on this peninsula ride (from port kland and back to Port Klang) is 3246,1 Km.
We had a nice and yummy sea food at Port Village Reataurant at Port Klang after loading the bikes into container and return to the container for final checking and locking of the container until 04.30 p.m. and back to the hotel at 05.20 p.m.
I return home to Indonesia a day after (August 29, 2006) by air.