Wednesday 23 March 2022

7 Reasons Why The Vespa SXL150 Racing Sixties Might Just Be The Perfect Bike to Scoot Around

 7 Reasons Why The Vespa SXL150 Racing Sixties Might Just Be The Perfect Bike to Scoot Around 

Honestly, who doesn't know what a Vespa is? Literally every single person (both bikers and non-bikers) does! Founded by the Piaggio & Co. since 19th century, the luxury brand of scooter has came a long way to where it is today. 

When you put together the elements of style and mobility, you get.. #Vespa. 

The Vespa isn't just an ordinary scooter. In fact, its classic and versatile design has been so well received around the world that when it first launched, it triggered the entire style evolution, allowing the motorcycle brand to evolve into a global fashion icon. 

We are talking about major collaborations with some of the world's top luxury designer brands like Christian Dior and the Vespa 946, or Vespa Primavera with Sean Wotherspoon, Emporio Armani etc as well as getting featured countless times in Vogue magazine. 

When I heard that Unique Motorsports Pte Ltd brought in both the regular edition Vespa SXL150 and the special edition Vespa SXL150 Racing Sixties, I went straight for the latter because its design really appealed to me! 

Now, here's why it just might be the perfect bike to scoot around in a jiffy, and in absolute style.

1. Well Designed in Style

What you're riding isn't just a scooter, but a fashion icon that represents chic, fun and uniqueness. Over decades, the brand has built a strong sense of Vespa community all around the world because of its effortlessly stylish design and the Racing Sixties special edition just makes it all better. 

Inspired by the racing liveries in the sixties, the Vespa SXL150 Racing Sixties spots a white base color in beautiful pearl finishing with a striking dash of red and gold stripes at the front and side of the bike. The square LED headlight and mirror helps retain the retro essence, while the gold rims adds that sporty factor in just right.

Within just two weeks of riding the Vespa SXL150, I've actually received three compliments from random drivers and bikers on the roads for how attractive the bike looks! #truestory

2. Extremely Comfortable 

Having ridden all sorts of motorcycles; street, touring, sport bikes, even other scooter brands, I personally found the Vespa SXL150 contoured seat to be the plushest, softest, and most comfortable of all.

It's almost like sitting on a nice fluffy pillow. 

With the 150CC engine tucked at the rear of the scooter, the Vespa SXL150 is a breeze to ride in without experiencing any engine heat. You can sit comfortably with both legs placed in front, allowing you the flexibility to wear all sorts of clothing types be it for work, yoga, or to brunch etc. 

3. Good throttle response and adequate speed

Now don't be fooled by Vespa SXL150's elegant and sophisticated curvature, for its 150CC is stored with 10.4hp at 7,600rpm and 10.6Nm of torque at 5,500rpm. 

Technicalities aside, its pick up speed is considerably fast and can cruise comfortable at up to 100kmh (FYI Singapore's highway speed limit is 90kmh so yeah, the Vespa is actually good enough to get you places).

No sweat riding it through CBD or the sub-urban areas, be it zipping through numerous traffic lights, mad rush hour jams or even cornering through tight alleys. 

4. Fuel Efficient 

With the recent fuel prices sky rocketing through the roof, I'm sure many of us would appreciate a vehicle that can take us from point A to B without breaking our wallets. The Vespa SXL150 runs at approximately 36KMPL which means with its 7.4L tank, it can last you close to 270KM at one go!

Wait, it can even last you from Singapore to Malacca (Malaysia) straight without having to refuel!

5. Functional under-seat and front storage space

A common problem for many bikers is not having enough storage space on our bikes for our (physical not emotional) baggages. Most bikes that comes with a box installed at the rear of the motorcycle may affect its overall aesthetics, while touring bikes that actually look good with all that panniers aren't always the top choice when you just want to scoot around quickly. 

That's where I realised how convenient the Vespa SXL150 is as it comes with a functional under-seat storage space where I could actually store my bag, make up, laptop, a packet of chicken rice and a water bottle. For easier sizing reference, it can also store a half face size S helmet. 

And if that's not enough, the front platform where you place your feet comfortably at as you ride has a built-in hook that provides additional storage space too where you can hang you backpack and still ride around in ease.

6. Safe & Reliable

With technology incorporated in safety features such as the Controlled Braking System (CBS) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), the Vespa SXL150 enables you to ride in confidence wherever you are. Its sporty tyre profile provides additional stability too, taking you through from the highways to the tightest corners, and slowing down steadily when you need to.  

7. Bang For your Buck (Value for Money)

From all the positive pointers that has been shared above, I hope you've realised how awesome the Vespa SXL150 Racing Sixties is and why it just might be the perfect bike to scoot around our sunny island! 

With literally just $1 down-payment, you can bring this stylish sporty iconic Vespa SXL150 Racing Sixties back home! Own it, personalise it, maximise the versatility of the beautiful luxurious scooter and when you realise the extent of its potential, you'll know it's truly a bang for your buck!

Want to know more? Feel free to reach out to the friendly folks over at Unique Motorsports Pte Ltd or click on the link here!

Talk about getting around in a jiffy and in style, you ready to #Vespa? ;)

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Top 5 Countries To Explore On A Motorcycle After The Pandemic Ends

Where would you go on motorcycle touring road trip once this dreadful pandemic is officially under control and we can all travel freely without quarantine, Anti Rapid Tests, PCR tests and... more tests?

I know, the next motorcycling road trip may seem far away but hey, you really never know when that window of opportunity to hop on a trip would arise.  

Just like last year, for a short few months, travel bans were lifted for selected countries with the launch of Vaccinated-Travel-Lane (VTL) flights to and fro Singapore without the need for any quarantine. In such scenario where the travel regulations are so fluid, it can actually be difficult planning a trip months in advanced. 

Many friends I know have had their travel plans severely disrupted despite booking their trips just 1 - 2 months in advanced. Having to change their flight dates, accommodation cancelled without refunds, additional COVID-tests required etc, it frustrated many.

So the minute I found time to travel, I jumped straight onto a VTL flight to Barcelona, Spain, despite planning the 3-week trip in just 6 days. 

As someone who is quite used to spontaneous trips (cuz sometimes I wake up one day and I'm like, okay let's travel somewhere new!), I thought planning the itinerary, booking the accommodation and even vehicle rental would be easy peasy. 

While it wasn't particularly difficult, what made the process a bit more tedious was having to check through all the COVID-travel regulations thoroughly to ensure any possible hiccup is minimised. This included booking ART, PCR tests in advanced, knowing where you can and cannot travel to, what are the COVID-regulations in the country of visit etc. 

I found that it was really useful having a pre and post travel checklist so it helps you keep track on all the regulations you'd need to adhere to, and any necessary documents that is required.

I'm 100% positive that this pandemic will pass. It may pass like a kidney stone LOL but it WILL pass. Eventually. 

Meantime, while we await patiently for that day of freedom to arrive, I've come up with a list of the Top 5 countries you might want to check out for your next motorcycle touring trip! 

Whether you're a motorcycle touring newbie or a veteran, I hope you will find this carefully curated list of countries suitable to your riding preference!

When you have all the necessary information prepared and ready to launch your next two wheel adventure, all you have to do is just "click and fly" once the opportunity to travel freely arises again!

1. Lake Kenyir, Terengganu, Malaysia (Ride Your Own Motorcycle)

pc: travelmalaysia

I'm sure many of us have been to our neighbouring country, Malaysia, before, be it riding from Singapore over or via plane. But how many of you have visited Lake Kenyir?

An underrated gem, Lake Kenyir is Southeast Asia's largest man-made lake that stretches over 260,000 hectares. One football field is approximately 1 hectare, so you can imagine how massive this lake is! 

Before loading up your bags onto your motorcycle, make sure you've got yourself comprehensively covered by DirectAsia InsuranceTheir plans covers you and your motorcycle up to West Malaysia (including Penang and other Malaysia offshore islands accessible by road), and even Southern Thailand (within 80 km from the border of West Malaysia) if you wish to venture on further! When you know you're well insured, trust me, you ride better in confidence.

Now, from Woodlands Checkpoint (I know, the name of our first link checkpoint sounds foreign already), it's approximately 620KM to Terengganu. Going via the coastal road, you can head towards Mersing for breakfast (140KM), and then continue onto Kuantan for a night's rest. (193KM).

Start the next day early and continue the road up North towards Terengganu (293KM) with some brief stops along the way, for toilet breaks and to hydrate. 

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Upon arriving into Terengganu, there are quite a few activities worth exploring over a day or two. From bouldering down waterfalls, to hiking through a sanctuary, even wandering through deep cave sites, you can check them out here. Don't forget to bring along some sports and swimwear for the activities that you plan to do!

Terrain: Mostly tarmac
Riding Experience: Novice

2. Sapa Valley, Vietnam (Fly & Ride)

If you're an experienced biker and you have the luxury of time, you can ride your own motorcycle from Singapore to Sapa Valley, Vietnam. A one-way journey will probably take you 2 weeks or so? Depends on how much mileage you clock per day. 

While DirectAsia Insurance Motorcycle Insurance may not cover your Singapore-registered motorcycle when you're in Vietnam, their Travel Insurance covers Medical Expenses in the event you meet with an unforeseen circumstance while on your motorcycle road trip.

After all, it is a rather long journey from Singapore all the way to Sapa Valley, we're talking about a few thousand KMs here!


If you have just 6 - 8 days to spare, I'd recommend you take a direct flight to Hanoi from Singapore, rent a motorcycle there and dive straight into the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan where the country's highest peak sits. 


The road from Hanoi to Sapa isn't exactly the easiest nor the most comfortable with various parts of terrain being off road, but the views along the way are so rewarding and absolutely worth it!


Motorcycle rental is available at Touratech Vietnam where they have a fleet of motorcycles to choose from. They have a branch in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi too, just let them know where you plan to ride to and return the bikes to. Plus, the friendly chaps there may even offer you some helpful touring tips!

pc: vietravel

From Hanoi, ride 260KM and you'll arrive near the province of Ha Giang. Have some Vietnam coffee or lunch here, try their local food fare and take a moment to recharge. 

Along the way, you may find yourself having to dodge large trailers, go through some muddy off-road terrain that would result in the above color changing effect of your gears and baggage HAHA. That was what happened to me when I rode through the last time!

Slowly, gradually, you'll observe the landscapes around you change as you traverse deeper and deeper into the mountains. Take it all in!

Continue on and you'll come across the sign that says, "Lao Cai".

Before you know it, (actually you will know it because you'd be riding for hours by now and feeling a bit tired haha), you will find yourself being engulfed by surrounding forested limestone and granite mountains. Fatigue would silently fall behind as your breaths are taken away by the magnificent views!

pc: goasiatravel

If you're lucky, you might be able to capture this scenery on a clearer day where the gentle warm sun rays would paint these padi fields golden brown.

Upon entering into Sapa Valley, it would be good to have at least 3 - 4 days here to explore this beautiful province. From hiking, to taking the cable car up to the highest peak Fan Si Pan, to soaking in the culture and vibe, there is just so many activities to explore here that would guarantee you a fruitful trip!

Terrain: Tarmac, Broken Roads, Muddy Off Road, Mountain Passes
Riding Experience: Intermediate (Adventurous Novice can try)

3. Barcelona, Spain (Fly & Ride)

Having been on an all wheel drive in Barcelona just last November, I know it's a place I'd definitely want to tour around on a motorcycle! Friends who have been there done that recommended this cosmopolitan city too! Why? 

pc: imtbike

Firstly, the wide open roads there are in superb condition, traffic there is relatively light and there's so much to see and do! 

From vast mountain ranges, to basking in the country's rich art and culture, to hopping through different Spanish tapas bar makes the whole travel experience such an enriching one. 

The best part is, things here are reasonably priced so you won't have to worry about breaking your wallet to enjoy a motorcycle holiday in Europe! :D

pc: imtbike

In Spain, motorcycle rental is available at IMTBIKE where they have adventure motorcycles like the BMW GS1200, to sports touring motorcycles like the BMW R1250RT. 

Not only do they provide motorcycle rental, they offer guided and self-guided tours too. Personally, I'm always for the Free & Easy itinerary as I like to plan my trip according to my preference and perhaps that's something you could try too! 

pc: imtbike

Spain is huge and you'd probably need multiple trips to explore the whole country but for a start, how about riding up North where the the magnificent Pyrenees Mountains are at! This can be done comfortably in 9 - 10 days! 

Starting from Barcelona, take a short ride of just 65KM to Montserrat where the it offers some pretty spectacular mountain views of Catalunya. 

There are plenty of hiking activities to do along the way from Montserrat to Pyrenees which allows you to submerge deeper into the scenery around you if being on a motorcycle and riding through the ranges isn't enough. 

Stretching more than 430KM between France and Spain, within the Pyrenees lies amazing asphalts and beautiful corners that you and your motorcycle can lean into. With barely any traffic around, the breathtaking scenery around is all yours, and you can almost stop whenever you like to capture the unforgettable moments. 

On this trip, you can actually pass through 3 different countries in a day! They are Spain, Andorra and France because they all share borders. Each country has it's own charm and imagine being able to experience all 3 at one go! For the full itinerary details on this Perfect Pyrenees motorcycle tour, you can check it out here

One helpful tip when it comes to renting motorcycles overseas is try to get a good comprehensive insurance with zero excess from the motorcycle rental company. It really helps to give you 100% confidence and assurance while you're on the roads knowing that if any unforeseen circumstances happen you are well covered.

Terrain: Tarmac, Superb Asphalts, Mountain Passes
Riding Experience: Novice - Intermediate 

4. Shirakawa-go, Japan (Fly & Ride)


"I don't like Japan" said no one EVER. Everyone I know loves the country for it's extremely courteous and hospitable locals, the mouth-watering food, the pretty Sakura seasons, how clean the place is and basically.. EVERYTHING. 

We know that both the locals and visitors here are privileged to have a world class public transport system like their comprehensive train map that can take you to almost every corner of the country from the city to the suburbs. 

But hey, it doesn't hurt doing a motorcycle road trip here either! Especially when you want to explore the roads less traveled where they are situated in more remote areas.

There is actually quite a lot of motorcycle rental companies here in Japan, however most of them (websites and staffs) are Japanese-speaking only. Hence, communication would be a barrier if you can’t speak their language. 

Japan’s largest motorcycle rental company, Rental 819 Japan has plenty of motorcycles to choose from, have different pick up and drop off locations, and have English-speaking staffs in selected branches so you won't need to worry about communication.

They are known to have reliable service with vehicle support in case your bike breaks down etc and they provide gear rental like helmets and gloves too so it can really save the hassle of bringing your own all the way from Singapore if you plan to explore other parts of Japan without a motorcycle.

Credits to

You will need to bring along an International Driving License (from AA Singapore, cost $20) and your original Singapore Driving License.

Shirakawago Village

There are direct flight from Singapore to Osaka, and from thereon you can traverse over 800km from Japan’s 7th largest city, Kyoto, all the way to one of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site – Shirakawa-go, Northern Japan. 

pc: Japan travel

Cruise along the largest freshwater lake in Japan, Lake Biwa, accompanied by 670km2  of its vast serenity views.

Autumn would likely be the best season to carry out motorcycle road trips, but don't forget your winter gears as it can still get quite chilly especially when the sun starts to set. 

Shirakawago Village
Continue through the Fukui and Ishikawa Prefectures and on towards Shirakawago. 

Instead of the conventional hotels, how about trying out a cosy stay at the traditional Gassho guesthouse with soft tatami mats for a good night's rest!

Shirakawago is known for their houses constructed in an architectural style known as Gassho-zukuri (prayer-hands construction), that are all at least 300 – 500 years old.

pc: snowmonkey

Solely man-made and paired with an exceptionally strong design with unique properties of thatching, they are made to withstand and shed the weight of the heavy snows during winter.

Things go at a much slower pace here in the village so take your time, sip on some Japanese tea, visit the local farmhouses and interact with the friendly locals to fully experience the Shirakawago culture. 


There are beautiful temple and shrine visits that you could visit too, such as the Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine above. Interestingly, this shrine was founded between 708 - 715 before the Nara period of Japan's history, and apparently Sake brewing was long associated with this shrine because of the freshest water it collects from melting snow! 

Sake anybody? Just make sure you don't drink and ride!

Terrain: Tarmac, Superb Asphalts, Mountain Passes
Riding Experience: Novice - Intermediate 

5. Shimla, India (Fly & Ride)

India is incredibly beautiful and each time I visit different parts of that country for a motorcycle trip, it never fails to surprise me and leave me in awe. If you've never ridden here, I'd highly recommend you to do so at least once in your life!

To ride a motorcycle on snow has always been on my bucket-list, and so back in Feb 2020, I decided to dive straight for the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, where Shimla is located in the Himalayan foothills. 

Due to its high altitude, it's a place that is usually blanketed in snow during Winter, exactly what I was looking for! The scenery here is drastically different from anywhere else in India that it almost feels like you're in Europe. 

Starting from the capital of India, New Delhi, Shimla is located close to 400KM away. But since you're already in New Delhi, consider taking a day trip to visit Taj Mahal, and marvel at one of the Seven Wonders of the World. 

After being well rested on Day 1, you can start your motorcycle trip fully energised! We rented our motorcycles from Let's Ryde where they have bikes like Royal Enfield Bullet 500, KTM Duke 390 and also the BMW G310R. They have bigger CC motorcycles too but considering the traffic and terrain, I'm personally more comfortable on a mid range CC bike.
If you can, take two days for this leg of the journey and enjoy the scenery along the way by making a stopover at Chandigarh. 

Along the way up to Shimla, expect to experience all sorts of terrains but nothing your bike won't be able to handle. You've got broken tarmacs, tarmacs disappearing and it's just soft mud, mountainous roads and erratic traffic with excessive horning all around haha. It's India and this is all part of their culture. Embrace it and... just try to survive XD 

Upon arriving at Shimla, opt for a lodging with ample parking for motorcycles and spend the new few days here exploring The Ridge that is located in the heart of the "British Summer Capital". It's a vibrant town with lots of bars, restaurants, hotels, retail boutiques surrounded by snow-capped mountains. 

When in India, one of the things I personally feel you've got to try are their train rides. The route from Shimla-Kalka-Shimla is best travelled by way of a scenic railway toy train that runs on a narrow-gauge track and is famously known for its dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and takes passengers amongst vast green hills and densely grown pine forests.

Having been on it, I'd highly recommend it because honestly, I lost count on how many times my breath was taken away by the scenery. It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. 

After Shimla, continue on towards Mussoorie and head up to Lal Tibba which is located on the top of Depot Hill in Landour. At 7,164 feet, it is the highest point in the area and if you're lucky like I was, you just might find yourself riding on snow! :D 

On a cloudless day, you'll be able to enjoy beautiful unfettering panorama views of the Nikantha Peak and the Banderpoonch range with a hot cup of chocolate and some masala pizzas! Ah, moments I'd never forget. 

From thereon, you can slowly start making your way back towards New Delhi via Rishikesh. Don't rush the journey, and don't tire yourself out from just clocking mileage. Always give yourself enough time to fully immerse in every moment as it's something you'd get to keep with you for the rest of your life. 

Now that you have a list of motorcycle-friendly countries and the useful links on where to rent bikes, which touring route you can take, what's there to explore, you can start planning your next two wheel adventure! 

And when that day comes where we can pack our bags and fly overseas for a motorcycle road trip, we can travel with a peace of mind knowing that despite being miles away from home, DirectAsia Insurance comprehensive coverages will keep your precious bikes safe and sound at home until your return! 

Till then, let's ride this pandemic out safely together!