Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Biker's Point of View : Checking Out The All New Toyota C-HR 1.8L Hybrid Car

Being a motorcyclist for close to a decade now (crap, time sure flies haha) and having test ridden a number of different bikes, I can't help but feel excited to try out my very first car review with none other than the all new Toyota C-HR 1.8L Hybrid.

Courtesy of Liberty Auto Boutique.

pc: releaseoncar

With the global automotive industry swerving towards adapting healthier emission standards, I'm beginning to notice an uprising trend in Hybrid cars so let us check out the immediate advantages of driving one:

- Environmental friendly

- Significant reduced fuel cost

- Fewer fuel emissions

- No idling

Having indulged in the rugged side of motorcycling, from racing down the track with defeaning exhaust pipes screaming away,

to swimming in mud pools during my occasional dirt biking activities,

I think I could appreciate a sporty looking car that is yet quiet, drives in ease and comfort, with great fuel efficiency because the petrol prices in Singapore ain't exactly cheap :/

Purchasing a car in Singapore is a big commitment so it is important to be sure that the car you fancy, is the one that will serve you well to your needs. Hence, a sufficient test drive on the roads could help when it comes to the decision-making.

Liberty Auto Boutique is one of Singapore's newest car importer that offers road-registered test drive units for the latest fleet of cars in the market, not having mention their competitive prices for various makes and models of cars that they carry. And this is where I booked my Toyota C-HR for the test drive!

The name C-HR stands for Coupe High Rider, and the first impression of this compact crossover is its distinctive styling elements with sharp lines running through from the front to the rear end of the car, with the rear door handles sneakily mounted at the extreme corner, enhancing the overall sporty look.

pc: car junction

This automated transmission front-wheel drive comes in 8 different colors to choose from,

and how generous it is of Liberty Auto Boutique to throw in complimentary leather seats of your choice to replace the original boring black fabric ones.

Sporting a futuristic sculptured exterior, peering into its interior revealed some level of sophistication with its diamond-inspired designs reflected on the side door panels, the roof lining, the speaker grills and even on the side mirrors.

The dashboard feels plush wrapped in leather and a hint of elegance is nicely displayed with the console trim in sparkling piano black.

With its keyless entry and ignition, time to get those engines rolling and find out how well the Toyota C-HR drives!

As I was on the go, pairing my favourite Spotify playlist to the Infotainment via Bluetooth was a breeze and song selection was easy with its touch screen function, though it was disappointing that it did not have any Navigation system.

The console runs deep and has multiple generous cupholder size that can fit up to 1.5L bottles where we could load up on drinks to keep hydrated on the drive.

The leather-stitched telescopic steering wheel delivered easy handling with wide turning radius and its multifunctional-control features just make things more convenient; from answering a phone call, to adjusting the volumes, and activating cruise control etc.

pc: hybrid life

What makes the Toyota C-HR dominate in the safety tech aspect is having the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) installed across all its models, where currently no other cars in the same class can match its level of technology. This is helpful because it aids in the prevention of collision with objects/vehicles that happen to fall in your blind spot, such as motorcyclists.

Added safety assurances include the Autonomous Emergency Braking, Pedestrian Detection and Lane Departure Warning to help in accident prevention.

It also comes equipped a string of other useful features like the Intelligent Park Assist via the rear view camera,

Satelight Navigation, Dual Zone Climate Control and Cruise Control that is perfect for long drive road trips.

The front feels roomy and spacious as I enjoyed the comfortable drive so far, while observing how fuel efficient this twin powered engine (gasoline engine and electric motor) is, conserving as much energy as possible. A drive from Woodlands to East Coast and back to Woodlands did not see the fuel gauge metre dip one bit! #truestory

The suspension keeps the car composed through the corners and humps, and its well tuned brakes provide adequate amount of confidence when coming to a stop.

It's nice to take a break at the back seat once in a while, and it's surprising to find sufficient headroom space in the rear despite the car's sloping roofline though the small rear windows can cause some to feel a little on the claustrophobic side.

Boot space is average but it can be further increased with the option of putting the backseats down completely. The hard top cover is also an added safety feature to prevent your valuables from the eyes of lurking vehicle thefts.

Overall Verdict:

I love the idea of how fuel efficient and environmental friendly the Toyota C-HR is, and ths Hybrid would appeal to those who fancy a futuristic and sporty looking SUV that offers an incredibly quiet and comfortable drive through the city. 

The combination of a spacious front seat and wife dashboard provides an airy feel with sufficient torque for the chill out drivers. Ultimately, it will get you from one destination to another in ease despite any traffic congestion, which is what a daily driver in Singapore could work well with :) 

Book your test drive with Liberty Auto Boutique today to find out how well it drives!

Liberty Auto Boutique
81 Tagore Lane, Tag A
Singapore 787502
Tel: 6816 0101

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Day 7 #7DaysTaiwan : Taipei > Singapore : Chilling With Taipei's Hottest Biker Chicks Before Flying Home Sweet Home

Alas, it's the last day of our "Two Wheel Around Taiwan" experience, and what better way to sweeten this whole trip by hanging out with two of Taipei's hottest biker chicks, 王晨飄 and Cynthia Wang! ;)

As pretty as her pink ride, Piao Piao is a proud owner of her sporty Aprilia RSV4,

and Cynthia has got some serious riding skills with her Ducati 959 Panigale which she takes on at the tracks!

Cho Cafe (Hotel)
No. 119, Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

Knowing that I've returned my bike to the shop, Piao Piao suggested Cho Cafe located conveniently in Ximending, which was just a short 15 minutes walk from where I was staying at. It was a spacious cafe exuding a sense of rustic character from all the vintage furnitures around.

This cafe is also actually part of Cho Hotel that offers cosy accommodation just above.

PC: cho hotel
The ambience was perfect, hanging out together with the girls over a hot cup of mocha in this chilly weather :) Talking about everything and anything under the sun.

And that's one thing I love about traveling - Meeting new people, making new friends from all over the world brought together by one common passion which is motorcycling.

Of course, not forgetting a lot of the usual girl talk hehe. By the way, both of them are really tall, slim and beautiful ladies. Can be supermodel kind of standard. I feel like a dwarf next to them hahaha.

After having an awesome time with the girls, it was time to bid goodbye and head back into the shopping district of Ximending to buy and eat whatever I can in this last few remaining hours I have in Taipei!

Don't we all face that... especially when coming to the end of the trip.

Thankfully, it wasn't so crowded, which made shopping much easier as I swiftly flew in and out of stores like no tomorrow.

Luckily I've got these two with me, to help me carry all my heavy shopping so I can lighten my wallet further by buying more nonsense hahaha.

LOL. Kyle cannot already..

But I still can! Continue shopping! Chiong ahhh!

After all that shopping, we went to indulge in some mouth-watering food. It may look simple but I'm telling you, Taiwan foods are really delicious, the flavours are also close to what we have in Singapore.

Diggingggg in! Wiping out every single dish because it's our last meal here in Taiwan before hopping on the cab and heading to the airport.

When we arrived at the airport and unloaded our bags and stuff, I was wondering.. "since when we got so many things? I thought we packed light?"

David was like "You still dare to say ah? You're the one who bought a lot ok."

Because we only had 20KG check-in baggage, we ended up repacking our bags at one corner of the airport and made sure that it wouldn't exceed the weight limit. Haha.

With a grateful heart and a new volume of wonderful memories clocked during this epic adventure here in Taiwan, we got on the plane and scooted back to Singapore!

Thank you Taiwan for being so amazing! We are all so truly blessed to be able to have experienced this beautiful country in ways we had never thought, and apart from being awed by spectacular sightseeing routes that we were riding on with our motorcycles, we'll never forget the magnanimous kindness we've encountered in your people that has touched our hearts deeply.

Till next time!

With the next adventure coming up in.. PHILIPPINES!

[Singapore. Taipei.Yilan.Hualien.Kenting.Alishan.TaiChung.Taipei.Singapore]
[Mileage Clocked: 1,289KM]
[Weather/Temperature: 15°C/Chilly]

Monday, 13 March 2017

Day 6 #7DaysTaiwan : Tai Chung > Taipei : Returning Back To Taipei, Bidding Our Bikes Goodbye

Time really flies.. or is it us taking this trip way too quickly? Feels just like yesterday we were busy munching on street food in Taipei Shilin Night Market and today, we will be back in the hustle of Taiwan's main city!

Located approximately 200KM from Tai Chung, we'll be taking the expressway back to Taipei which should take us slightly under 5 hours (if we don't get lost haha).

Today's ride was gonna be easy and pretty straightforward, so we allowed ourselves to sleep in a little later and checked out of the hotel at 12:00 noon before hitting the roads once again, for the last time here in this trip! Because once we get to Taipei, we'll be returning the bikes and it'll mark the end of our two wheel adventure here in Taiwan!

1:00 PM

Cloudy weather and open freeways, woot! Feels great to blast that throttle on the straights.

There wasn't much scenery to see because apart from the cloudy weather and fog coming in as we approached Taipei, the route that we're on were mostly industrial areas. Not much traffic too so the ride was a breeze.

6:40 PM

By the time we arrived into Taipei city, it was raining and the roads were filled with lotsa puddles. From the expressways where there was almost no one in sight, to a city congested with cars and multiple swarm of bikes going every which way, it was actually pretty intimidating riding in Taipei.

Self Car / Bike Wash Station

Having ridden the bikes we borrowed through all sorts of weather, from the sea to the mountains, splashing through some dirty muddy puddles, the least we could do was give it a good wash before returning it to the shop.

It was pretty late, and most of the car / bike wash places were closed. But a quick Google search on Self Service Car Wash Stations nearby got us just what we needed.

After two attempts in search for the station, we found it located in a pretty ulu (deserted) place, like some abandoned garage area.

Automated by a coin system, you can choose the water and soap pressure accordingly.

Once you pop a coin into the machine, the powerful water jet is ready for spraying. Each time a 10NT is inserted in, the amount of water is sufficient to rinse 3 moderately dirty bikes.

Next coin for the soap. Once you insert the coin, the machine starts running, and you've gotta quickly spray it onto the bikes because you can't control when you want the soap to start or stop. It just sprays until the limit is reached.

Since I was the only one doing the wash, you'd know how clean the bikes would be, right? Hahaha.

After the soaping, I gave the bikes two rounds of rinse with the water jet and viola!

Bikes are reasonably cleaned and we're good to go! :)

It was still peak hour when we got back on the roads and it wasn't that easy locating the shop where our bikes are to be returned to. It wasn't because the shop's address was difficult to find, but damn, it was still raining, my tinted visor did not help on the dimly lit roads, and there's a million and one scooter around us wheezing in and out in all directions. Apart from us being extremely careful, I thought it was pretty amazing that all three of us managed to stick together throughout :)

And here we are! Back at where we first collected our bikes, bidding them goodbye. Definitely a huge sense of relief to be back safe and soundly, as I recall every single memorable moment that we had, touring around the entire Taiwan in the past 5 days, on two wheels.

Felt extremely thankful that all of us, and the bikes, are safe, really.. because safety is always always a priority and I never take it for granted, each time I hop on a bike.

Many thanks to Jason and the bike shop for arranging the bikes for us! Truly appreciate it.

Lio Hotel Ximen
康定路25巷36弄4號, 西門町, 台北市, 台灣 108
No.4, Alley 36, Lane 25, Kangding Road, Ximending, Taipei, Taiwan 108
Twin Bed / Double Bed with Private Bathroom
Cost per night: $62

This small boutique hotel is cosy and clean, just what we need for a night's rest. But most importantly, the location is really convenient as it was right in the middle of Ximending (5 mins walk to Ximending Station) where all the shopping and food are!

We need everything to be within walking distance because we don't have our bikes anymore hahaha. Ok yes, there's the train lah.

Dumped our bags and it's time to squeeze out whatever energy we have left to raid Ximending! Hahaha.



and eat some more,

Drink, and repeat!! Yeahhh!

Ah.. what a day! I'm BEAT! Completely exhausted all my energy for the day, even my reserve is empty. Haha time to take a long hot shower and snooze away.

Tomorrow's the last day of our trip and I ain't bidding Taiwan goodbye until I meet up with Taipei's hottest biker chicks! ;)

[Singapore. Taipei.Yilan.Hualien.Kenting.Alishan.TaiChung.Taipei]
[Mileage Clocked: 1,289KM]
[Weather/Temperature: 15°C/Cloudy/Showers]

Next stop: Singapore