Monday, June 10, 2013

Benelli Keeway TX200G Supermoto Review

Most of you in the recent month would had noticed that I've reviewed a motorcycle helmet and has turned to motorbike as an alternative mode of transportation. The decision to obtain a motorised two wheels were very much driven by a few factors - and middle age, as many would believe, is not one of them.
Push Factors
I recently made a career move and is now working about 10km away from home. Traffic along the road during evening peak hour is horrendous as I could possibly run back home faster than one would be driving. But as it is not practical to be running with a back pack laden with a laptop and running on the heavily trafficked road, the next best alternative is actually to get a motorbike. Traffic jam (push factor) is a waste of time and soul-consuming. Time are better spent at home longer with kids and doing other things.
The Bike Selection
I have not owned any motorised two-wheelers before. I do not have a license to ride even. Coming from a protective family, riding a motorbike is a taboo activity. Not helping with statistics of motor bikers being maimed or killed on the road everyday. I am very aware of that fact. The same can be said about driving too. Safety wise, walking, cycling, driving or riding a motorised vehicles has their own sets of risk. I believe the first step of acceptance is to not be in denial about it. With that, I've made the promise to wifey and family that the bike will only be meant for commuting. I will not be involved in long distance touring or night riding.
This meant, the selection of bikes are limited. Mopeds(aka Kapchai) and Scooters (no matter how elegant that Vespa looked) is out of the question. So are the superbikes that go from 0-100kmh at a twist of the wrist. Visibility (to others) is important, hence the need to find a larger bike that also ride higher. Scrambler-type of bike comes into mind. I consulted a few friends that rides to work. Marwan and Kam offered superb advices - Get a Motard-style bike. Motard or a Supermoto as they call it, is a class of bike that is a cross of a Scrambler and a Roadbike. It has the characteristic of both and offers good versatility and a more upright seating position.
The influx of China-origin bikes in Malaysia has introduced no less than three brands that offered such bikes. Demak (DTM 150 and DTM200), MLE (XTM200), Nimota (Ranger and RangerX) and Keeway (TX200G) is just four that covered this Supermoto section. The displacement ranges from 150cc to 200cc. Big enough for decent commuting and small enough to offer good fuel consumptions (will get to this).
Price wise, all the brands named above were between RM6500 to RM8000 on the road (insurance, registration etc). It falls into my budget of RM10,000 which include safety equipments and add-ons. I then did my own research comparing each specifications and also historical usage by current and previous owners. To cut a long story short (as I can actually list down all the specs of the bikes above to conclude the final decision), my decision were based on these few (important) things:
1. Seating position and comfort
2. Ride height
3. Visibility
4. Engine displacement and performance
5. Aftersales Services and Parts

1. Seating Position and Comfort
All the bikes above has upright seating position and it boiled down to the size of the seat. Keeway TX200G offered the biggest (widest) seat which translate to possibly more comfortable landing pad for the tush. The other bikes has seats that are very scrambler like - narrow.

2. Ride Height
The bikes above all ride above traffic. Definitely taller than most mopeds and scooters and this will lend visibility to both the rider and the traffic. All the bikes share about the same ride height with the Keeway TX200G allowing me almost landing with the one feet flat on the road. I have to tip-toe on the other bikes. Not a bad thing as it meant the road clearance on those bikes are slightly higher too (to ride through...flood?)

3. Visibility
With a higher position of riding, the visibility of the rider is very prominent. If one were to add on a bike box behind the bike, it will increase this factor. However, most of the bikes share a thin/narrow profile likely due to Supermoto classification of functioning as a potential offroad machine. The Keeway TX200G comes with fairing (or body kits, in car terms) that are more attractive and aggressive when compared to the other bikes. This alone add to the visibility of the rider on the road. As an added point, the Keeway TX200G comes with a rear LED stop lights, which reacts faster and gives it a luxurious big bike look. Upfront, the Keeway TX200G has the largest headlight. Logic says this will provide the largest amount of surface for the lights to reflect and thus, staying more visible to all traffics.

4. Engine Displacement and Performance
I strikes out the 150cc bikes (Demak DTM150 and Nimota Ranger) and concentrated on the 200CC bikes. Reason for it is the price differences and the additional power available for just a few hundred ringgit more. Zero-ing in to the 200cc range allowed me to consider only the Demak DTM200, MLE XTM200 and the Keeway TX200G. All three are 1-Cylinder, 2-valves and 4-stroke engine.
They range from (actual CC) 193cc to 199cc. Performance wise, the MLE XTM200 (199cc) churns out 14.5kW/7500rpm and 18NM/6000rpm with a 9.4:1 compression ratio. The Keeway TX200G churns out 9.5kW/7500rpm and 14.5NM/6500rpm with a 8.3:1 compression ratio. The Demax DTM200 however, has no information on the (malware) official website or on the pages I accessed.
With the higher power and performance of the MLE XTM200, it should had been the choice. However, as I am wary of the power (as I've not handled anything on two wheels more powerful than my own two pedal powered legs), I decided maybe a "lesser" powered machine could be better. Coupled with item 1, 2 and 3 above, Keeway TX200G seems to score more points compared to MLE XTM200 in my opinion.

5. Aftersales and Spareparts
This was the selling point. Keeway TX200G is supported by Benelli Keeway which is based in Bukit Beruntung and has their own Bike Assist (think of it as AAM for Motorbike) which is available within Klang Valley. I was told that the owner can call to the Bike Assist centre and mechanic will be deployed if needed (if verbal troubleshooting fails) to troubleshoot at location. For a new bike owner, that will be comforting.

Outside of Malaysia, the TX200G is known as Keeway Empire. The brand name Benelli itself points to an Italian manufacturer which was aquired by Keeway and has a strong tie up with QianJiang Groups that produced and sold the most motorbikes in China. That simply meant good support for parts both locally and within this region.
Finally, The Bike!
At the Official Showroom at Jalan Ipoh
I went to the bike showroom hoping to place an order and was told that it is just a showroom and service centre. The person in charge directed me to the nearest authorised seller just across the road and I ended up at Ah Hong Motor. A brief chat (not committed yet) with one of the personnel there and I was told the last two bike are still up for grab. I was told the price will be RM7,500 on the road, which is well within my budget. I went back and took the family along two days later and made the booking. It was well thought off and I had a week to sort out "how to tell your mother you bought a motorbike". That was also beside having to get an "L" or Learner's license or I would not be able to ride the bike back and had to trouble a few friends to do so.
I decided to get/obtain the same number for my bike as for my cars, which corelate to my regimental number in RMC. I ended up spending additional RM210 for that number (as I skipped the running number at JPJ). No issues as that has been accounted for within the RM10K budget. The same goes to the protective gears I've bought such as the Nolan N91 Modular Helmet, A riding jacket with crash pads (branded as Alpinestar, I know it's a good copy), a pair of riding boots and gloves from Fieldsheer, a set of raincoat (I did not take the raincoat from the motorshop as I want something brighter, and not dark) and a Givi 45liter box. Now, everything is (almost) complete!
On the day I were to get the bike, It was excitement. I've not ridden a clutch bike before. Yes, it is like driving a manual car (which I does very well) and I just need to remember to stay calm. Needless to say, after a few fumbling with the clutch and throttle, I was very much on my way riding the bike. No drama as my first stop was to the accessory shop to get an aftermarket horn fixed. Being visible is one thing, making sure I am heard is another! So, a loud 125dB horn has to go in!
First impression of the bike pick-up was good. The power was there and the delivery depends on how smooth you can change the gears. Needless to say, after a month of riding, i give myself 8/10 for this.
Day 1! Complete Noob!
Among the selling point of this bike, tying back from the 5-points above would be:
  • High riding position. My side mirror is at the same level as a full sized MPV like Alphard and Hyundai Starex. If i ride behind a moped, I look above his helmet.
  • Comfortable seating position. My longest ride was with Kam from Damansara to Gohtong Jaya (70km one way) to learn the finer point of handling the bike from Kam that has ridden for more than 10 years on his MZ Motard.
  • Wifey commented that she can see me almost 100m infront in traffic. Visibility is definitely there.
  • The 9.5kW or 13PS or 12.7hp power were sufficient for me. The bike claim to be able to achieve a top speed of 120km/h and I've only managed 110km/h on Karak Highway. That alone was already fast by my standard. I must admit that the bike struggle to pass the 100km/h mark and this could relate back to the compression ratio (low 8.3:1), which in turn, lessen the power output and finally the top speed. If you took note, the XTM200 has a 9.4:1 compression and the KW increase is substantial. Good thing about lower compression is that the engine will be able to take crappier petrol and still work (though we have Ron95 and 97 only). Meaning, it will be a waste of money to put in the Ron97 compared to a 10.1:1 compression ratio bike (typically a smaller CC bike to boost power)
  • The bike comes with a 1 year warranty or 10,000km whichever come first. At the rate I am commuting, the 1 year will be up before the 10,000km. Free labor charges is for this period/mileage at all authorised distributor and of course, the service centre at Jalan Ipoh. 
Rode up Gohtong Jaya with Kam
The additional selling point:
  • The bike comes with a set of Pirelli Speed Demon as standard. 100/80-17 front and 130/80-17 rear were installed and came with many good reviews. I've not pushed the bike hard enough to benefit from the stickiness of this rubber.
  • The bike comes with upside-down front shock. What it meant is the shocks are activated from the bottom instead of the typical shock that works from the top. Looking at the photo above, you will see Kam's MZ has the conventional shock that travels from top to bottom where-else the TX200G works from bottom to top. This is typical for superbike for better road holding (I was told).
  • Large disc brakes that gave good stopping power. In a lot of instances, how fast you go must equate to how fast you can stop. Having a fast bike with bad brakes is fatal.
No eye See
The bike does have a few cons. After riding it for about a month (at time of this posting), these are what I've noticed and for sharing for future owners.
  • The engine sound is rough. You can hear the tappet even when wearing helmet and going at speed. I was told this will improve after the first service *can't wait.
  • The chain get loose pretty fast. I had my first adjustment at a local bike shop (and got it free). This could be attributed to the mono-shock design where the chain will be longer to accommodate extreme movement in the jungle. 
  • Sticky gear resulting in hard to find the N. Small adjustment at the clutch cable sorted this out. 
  • Check the screws and nuts and ensure that they are tight. Some may come loose after a while due to vibration. I lost a screw holding the heat shield at the exhaust extractor. Replaced it with 6mm Hex nuts and secured it nicely.
Additional Accessories were the retrofitted front windshield. Makes riding easier with it deflecting the wind
Fuel Consumption
Over the course of owning the bike, it has given me good fuel consumption. I've been tracking it and on average it is recorded at about 25km/liter of RON95. Best I had was 27.4km/l and that was when I used it on the Gohtong Jaya trip with Kam. 
BHP gives better FC?
The tank size was declared at 10.5liters and if that is true, I would be able to push close to 260km on one tank. Not too bad and that would translate to me filling up only once every fortnight! Less fuel = less emission = green(er). Riding the motorbike has also helped me to save on fuel on my car. With fuel consumption as good as this, I am not complaining about the bike not having top (end) speed!
Bottomline
The bike has so far been serving me well with no problem. If there is anything of a complain it is really the rough engine sound (tappet tappy-tapping). Otherwise I am happy with the purchase! My only wish is that it has a higher compression value for that power! (yes, it's addictive).

For full specs of the bike, click here : Benelli Keeway TX200G Brochures
Off To Work!
There are very little information available for this bike in Malaysia and there are only one or two more blogs that wrote about this. One being the owner itself, Hazwan Hashim. Read about his take on the bike here.

53 comments:

  1. bos, motor sudah cantik ada box pulak? hehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Box lah yang buat lagi cantek.

      NO?

      Hahahaha...dah uncle sudah bro...box itu wajib. :D

      Delete
  2. bang nak tanya..windshield wat kat mana?brapa kosnya?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruslan - saya buat kat Batu Caves, Kedai tepi kat Taman Perindustrian Bolton. Yang ada lambang Castrol S&M Motorsports kalau tak silap.

      Siap Pasang RM170 saya di-cas.

      Delete
    2. bang boleh x saya nk order windshield mcm abg pakai satu.. ada member saya dari THAILAND berkenan... dia minta tolong belikan,....so mcm nak kira?? saya ada di penang....

      Delete
  3. An excellent review, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. good looking bike but the mileage sucks big time ! on a 200cc bike should get a 40km per liter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keeway does 1litre 20km.ive tested

      Delete
  5. bajaj pulsar 200 - avg 40km per liter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That moto is awesome looking. EFI is good. I wish my bike has it.

      Delete
  6. Assalkm. Saya suhaimipetra nak tanya prestasi motosikal keeway tx200g. Adakah memuaskan? Saya bercadang hendak membeli sebuah sepertinya. Ada macam2jenis sekarang ini.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suhaimi. Walaikumsalam.

      Prestasi moto kira macam mana tu? Laju? Selesa?

      Kalau nak laju, moto ini top setakat 110km/h.

      Kalau selesa, motor ini memang selesa kerana cara duduk yang neutral. Ada kawan TX yang bawak rempuh KL-Kelantan dua hari lepas keluar moto. No hal.

      Yang menarik saya kepada moto ini adalah aftersales dia. Service Centre kat Jalan Ipoh sedia membantu dgn spare parts dan claims. Juga, ada Bike Assist di sekitar lembah klang. apa2 hal call pomen sampai.

      Delete
  7. Use an Iridium Spark Plug and you'll find the engine runs better. Nice review; I like NS200 (bajaj) also but find it very low quality and flimsy in some components; on price en quality, Keeway is unmatched.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iridium sparks is a good upgrade for me next. Need to find the correct heat setting.

      Thank you for the compliment. This is my first motorbike and obviously, first of many to come. I believe most important is to learn the basic of maintainence and being a carb bike perhaps allow me a good degree of exposure to know the working of a motorbike better and allow me to tweak/adjust/learn.

      As for quality, so far, I have no issues.

      Delete
  8. The design of the bike is very attractive, but what about the mileage, I want to have a bike, but my main considering is the mileage, I know that sport bike is made for off road, but I am not stuntman. My first privilege goes to mileage.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Saya mau nanya.

    1). Apakah panas mesin terasa sampai ke kaki?
    2). Tenaganya liar untuk pengedara motor pemula?

    Terima kasih.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Tidak.
      2. Tidak liar. Senang dikemudikan. Top speed cuma 110km/h.

      Delete
  10. Assalamualaikum bang..
    Saya baru beli moto ni...baru je 2 hari..al maklum la baru first time beli motor sendiri...just nak tanya...

    01.Engine macam sebu sikit la bila tekan minyak..betul ke?.
    02.Timing kejap naik( high rev) kejap normal..mcm mane ye?
    03.Ada switch kat handle sebelah kanan diantara starter switch ngan switch on/off engine tu untuk ape ye?..
    04.Macam mane nak tahu minyak perlu diisi( tiada tako meter minyak)..

    Pls reply back at my email....red_line79@yahoo.com

    Maklumat abang amat saya hargai..terima kasih.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. assalam bro,

    klu pasal minyak switch tu mcm mana ekk??....saya xphm arr...ade reserve la...dr tank la

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello bro.

      switch minyak sebelah kiri ada satu pelaras.

      Delete
  13. Bang nak tanye kat mane ade jual wizer depan mcm abg tu..?dekat lampu hadapan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Banyak dah tempat jual. Kena modi bracket jer. Saya pasang kat Batu Caves dekat kedai castrol sebelum V-power.

      Delete
  14. Direxxion@gmail.comNovember 14, 2013 8:03 AM

    Hi thanks for sharing. Any idea where u bought the windshield? I have the same bike but have a bug headache finding the windshield.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got it at Batu Caves area. you need to modify the bracket or get the shop to do it. I have seen a few friends using different make and key point is bracket modifications.

      Delete
  15. Good write up. So far, any close calls with traffic or you sort of get used to it and be wary of dangerous drivers around you?

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  16. I practice Chronic Unease. Basically I ride safely and there is a few close calls, mostly from drivers that were busy doing other things than driving. You name it, phone, food, drinks...and even...mee in my mug. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, thanks for this review, u answered most of the questions i had in mind and made my decision much easier. the sales person told me that this bike doesnt have fuel meter/indocator on the "dash board" how true is that? he said i need to keep track by myself and open the tank to check how much fuel i have left... :-s is that true?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Radwan -YES. You are correct. There is no fuel indicator and no RPM meter. THe only minus point for this.

      However, I've learnt to estimate when to fuel. Typical full tank is about 8liters and it average 29km/l, which gives you between 250km to 300km. :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks alot :) wish u safe and fun rides

      Delete
    3. Likewise Radwan. Happy new year.

      Delete
  18. Hi, I just bought this bike about 2 weeks. About the windshield. I find very difficult to get suitable one in Penang. Do you mind share with a closed up photo on the windshield especially how is the bracket modified and installed to. So that I can find a motor shop to do it for me. Worse come to worst, will get friend in Kl to buy for me and install in Penang. Thanks. my email sukka69@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks. Received your mail and found one model in Givi website. Waiting for your closed up photo to confirm the model. Happy New Year!

      Delete
  19. Thanks for sharing bro, I'm planning to get one after CNY after reading your review & after a friendly recommendation from a bike shop at Kg. Pandan just now. I'm a casual low mileage rider & I like value for money strong presence looking bike like this one....I already own a 2005 Daelim Daystar VL125 ( already 9 years but less than 3k km...) & will be adding this machine into my porch....thank you very much for the passionate sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frankie - good value for money till today if you ask me. Clocked a low 4.5K over the past 8 months and loving the ride :)

      Delete
  20. Nak tanye if saya bwk pergi kerja, pergi balik dri rumah to office around 100km. if full tank boleh pergi 260km, thats meaning in 3 days saje boleh gune?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Bro... Asking around... I'm looking to buy this bike since riding a car is now a trouble... I'm just wondering.. Before buying this bike.. Did u by any chance review mle xtm 200? What's your feed back on that bike vs this bike. Thanks bro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey bro. No experience with the MLE XTM200, it was in my list of shortlist, but I never managed to get it and ended up with this TX200. Most important is comfort and the bigger seat on TX is the main selling point for me.

      Delete
  22. Congratulations on taking up motor biking.. i chanced upon your site looking for reviews on the Keeway.. I saw 2 units around my place of work in Glenmarie Shah Alam area.. i managed to chat with one of the owners when he stopped at the Glenmarie caltex.. i was keen to get a dirt bike/motard style around 250cc.. he claimed he could get his bike to 160kmh.. i was very doubtful of this.. i used to ride dirt bikes 250cc in Cambodia the past 5 years and I could only get up to 130kmh with at 5th gear in a 6-speed 250 Honda AX1, the 6th gear just has too much over-drive.. so your review cleared the top speed issue for me.. i have ridden cubs, dirt, standard, supersports, sports-tourers and harleys in over 25 years of riding and in my honest opinion, the dirt/motard is best bike to learn motorcycling skills.. you can shift your body weight front/back, take on asphalt/dirt/mud and learn various technique faster than cub/cruisers/sports.. i wish all the best in your new found interest.. a final word of advice.. get a fullface helmet and protective gears for your knee.. i broke my knee and nose/cheek last year in a 40kmh head-on collision with another biker that came out without checking traffic.. i landed on my knee and face first.. i didn't had any knee protection with me hence I had multiple fractures on my upper tibia joint.. I still can't kick up a bike bigger than 250cc off its side stand after 9 months.. i'm thankful i had a fullface helmet on.. it took most the the impact.. i only had a broken nose and fractured chin, otherwise i may not have any jaw after the accident.. i think i'll won't get the keeway.. i'm looking for a small/mid bike that is able to hit 160kmh.. i'll probably check out the kawasaki Z250 or the Ninja250.. thank you for the nice review..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't ever believe anyone that say this 200cc can go up to 160kmh. Either the meter is rigged or he has made a total transplant to the bike. Great info sharing and agree that the larger bike allow better and faster learning on handling motorbike. Plus a clutch bike will push you to learn the mechanism to ride it (and any other bikes later).

      On safety, I always ride with my fullface helmet and full jacket. I have a knee and shin guard and yes, safety is always my concern so I always try to ride safe and stay away from trouble (which usually meant another bike coming close and revving as if to race). :)

      With this bike, there is nothing to prove speed wise. Perhaps I be better off arriving safely ;-)

      Delete
  23. SALAM..
    off topic kejap..
    sy ad sebuah motosikal mz 125sm,,dh lama x ride n water filter moto sy rosak..blh x abg recommend tmpt utk repair moto nie memandangkan mz service centre dh ttp..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salam tuan Ali.

      saya rasa kedai moto mana-mana boleh buat. Tapi Moto MZ mungkin lain sikit. Saya akan cuba tanya geng saya dalam gambar mana dia repair MZ dia.

      Delete
  24. Brader TriStupe,

    One question. what brand of your green jacket? looks very safe and nice. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No brand. I got it offline. Tak mahal. Dalam USD70 termasuk penghantaran. Siap dengan soft padding kat shoulder, elbow and back.

      Delete
  25. HI,

    I have read your review in the past and i like your honest appraisal of the bike.

    Now you have had the machine for a year how is it holding up? does it still represent good value what are the pluses and minuses now it has some milage.

    Would really appreciate your feedback as i am thinking of getting one soon.

    Hugh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hugh. Indeed it has been 18 months since the ownership and I've clocked close to 7500km. Low mileage as this machine is meant for commutting only.

      The fuel consumption is at 30km/l average over the refills and it runs well on both RON92 and 97. I've serviced the bike every 2000km max and it has been on synthetic from KM1000 and above.

      Value wise, I would still grade this to be good. Maintainence is minimal and the usual things that any good foreman at the local motorshop can fix. No major repair at all now, just service and changed plug, once.

      The only thing i would caution is the spareparts only available at the main service centre. Not an issue other than waiting time to get it changed there. SO I usually buy the parts and get it done elsewhere.

      Delete
    2. If I may add, there is no speed in this machine (it will not go any faster than 110km/h) eventhough it is a 200cc machine. I guess multiple of reasons and one of them is the weight. This however, lend more stability to the machine and it felt steady until it tops out (i've done 110km/h and it doesn't seems like will go any faster).

      This is despite changing to smaller chain ring (43 to 41). Biggest differences is better cruising speed (90km/h is a pleasure) I have no need for speed and anything in my opinion, above 90km/h on a motorbike is fast (and dangerous).

      Delete
    3. Hi,

      Thank you your info has been helpful, maybe come the time i buy i might come back to get a list of Mods you might suggest to get it running at an optimal performance.

      Thanks
      Hugh

      Delete
  26. Hello sir.My name is harmen and i am from sungai petani,kedah..I just bought this bike 2 days ago thankz to your amazing review and i have a few questions to ask.I am still new in riding clutch bike and mostly all the time,my bike tends to die on the road since i cant balance the clutch and the throttle...will that affect the performance of my bike...will it cause any problem?secondly...i find it hard to find the neutral gear back after so many times trying it..i have to switch off the bike to get it done...so any suggestion to overcome it...hope to hear from u soon.

    ReplyDelete

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