Seeing Malaysia on wheels

THE MotoGP will visit the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) on Oct 21.  

Although Australian Casey Stoner secured the crown at the Japanese Grand Prix last month , the local and foreign motorcycle racing fans will be flocking to the circuit to catch the high-speed action.  

For the foreign visitors, the newly formed Malaysian Motorcycle Getaways is offering the recreational super bikers from abroad a milder adrenalin pumping action on Malaysian soil and a chance to explore the beauty of the country. 

Scenicsight: Theriders taking acorner duringtheir outing.

Driven by the passion for riding, the local tour motorcycle operator was formed as a result of the partnership between M. Feizal Abu Kassim, 36, and former creative director Lawrence Ong, 51.  

Feizal is confident that their new venture has huge potential to complement and boost the tourism industry. 

“Malaysia has a lot to offer. The friendly people and hospitality as well as the wide selection of good food,” he said.  

In fact, both were determined to turn their dream into a reality. 

“For more than a year, we have been talking about the idea over regular teh tarik sessions. We got out website up and running in February. From there, we have established a strong foundation,” said Ong.  

In addition, Akfar Tariq Abdul Khalid also serves as a part time guide for the group.  

“Usually, visitors will travel from one point to the other using other forms of transport. We are catering to the foreign biking community to enjoy the journey riding on Malaysian roads. They will see more while riding. So far, we have received positive comments from our guests,” said Feizal.  

Recently, two representatives each from Motor Cycle News (MCM) and Motorcycle Cruiser magazines based in the United Kingdom and United States respectively were invited to join them on a five-day tour courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.  

The five legs on the central tour that they covered were Kuala Lumpur – Cameron Highlands, Cameron Highlands – Genting Highlands, Genting Highlands – Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur – Malacca and Malacca – Sepang.  

On their first visit to Malaysia, MCM production editor Marc Abbott and MCM on-line video producer Angus Farquhar rode on the Suzuki K2 600. 

Abbott was delighted that he was given the rare privilege to ride on the SIC. 

“Now, I have featured on two circuits on opposite ends of the world with different characteristics. Donington Park is a circuit with fast corners. In contrast, riders are required to break hard on tight turns at Sepang. Besides a tour around the control room and media centre, going on the podium was definitely the highlight for us,” said Abbott, 33.  

Abbott added that he would be coming back for a honeymoon with his wife next year.  

“There is so much more to see. I would like to go on the northern tour. I felt very comfortable riding with the group because the tour operator provided thorough briefing as well as a leader and a sweeper to ensure the riders’ safety.” 

Farquhar said the scenery was just a perfect selling point to entice couples to visit.  

“Visitors could spend as much or even more coming here on their own and staying at posh hotels and not see half as much as we saw. Considering it is an experience of a lifetime, it is worth paying for,” said Farquhar, 29. 

It was also a homecoming for Motorcycle Group Western Marketplace advertising manager Zack Adnan who came with Motorcycle Cruiser editor in chief Andrew Cherney.  

“I am still a Malaysian citizen. Prior to this trip, I have not been home for more than two years. To be honest, not many Americans know about Malaysia. The tour operator has revved up the pioneering initiative to raise the profile of the country through motorcycle riding and put the country on the world map,” said Zack, 29, who has been residing in the United States for more than 20 years ago.  

Meanwhile, Cherney pushed the Kawasaki Vulcan VN900 to its limit.  

He is a renowned motorcycle journalist who has travelled around the globe and he was impressed with the good road conditions here.  

In conjunction with Malaysian MotoGP, the tour operator has also lined up a four-day tour from Oct 21 to 24.  

“We have also mapped out the courses for our eastern and northern tours. We also tailor the itinerary to suit the visitors’ needs. Our aim now is to see our establishment grow. We also want to explore new routes,” said Feizal 

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