Twisty Way Up to Kuantan with BMW Motorrad Singapore

The Wandering Wasp, aka Juvena, ditched the label as the Vespa traveller to join the BMW Motorrad Rideaway to Kuantan for a weekend jaunt. The most direct route is not necessarily the best way to go and BMW Motorrad was able to provide an alternative ride experience. Juvena has never felt more pampered in any of her long-distance rides.

Story by: Juvena “The Wandering Wasp” Huang. Photography by Juvena, YemPaul Antonio and Wei Jie


When Performance Motor Limited (PML) dangled the invitation to ride on a Beemer, I simply could not refuse. With all the requests and anticipation from customers to stay in the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort after their 3 years renovation hiatus, the destination was set for the largest city of East Coastal Malaysia.

Since homecoming from a 44,000km 2 years long solo riding trip, I have never set my sights further than bite-size doses of adventure from to time to time. Micro-adventure is how Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year, Alastair Humphreys coins it. It does not have to be visiting far flung places which exhaust much time and money. It could simply be doing stuff that you normally don’t do or in this case, doing a ride differently.

Shaking up the ride experience would mean minimising highway riding, and taking on the curvier B-roads. (You know how monotonous and boring the highway can be.) Instead of the direct 350km route to Kuantan, the gripping 500+km route was the result of planning by PML staff over 5 recce trips.

Many ways up to Kuantan but not the straightest.
BMW Motorrad manager Anto Chaw running through the routes, schedule and safety requirements the week before the Rideaway. Photo credit: Juvena Huang

Aimed to be held quarterly, PML’s Rideaways are categorised into ‘Open’ and ‘Adventure’. The ‘Open’ routes are suitable for all BMW riders while the ‘Adventure’ routes have prerequisites due to the challenging nature of the ride.

The BMW Motorrad Showroom was closed for 2 days to lend full staff support for the contingent of 52 riders, pillions and 3 support cars. This is how serious and committed they are to their Rideaways. The convoy was split into 5 different groups catering to different riding speeds and preferences. The assortment of Beemers ranged from the G310 series to the most sellable 1200GS.

The stresses of backend preparation for accommodation, travel insurance and route planning were all handled by the appointed travel agency. Rest assured, the participants’ main focus is just to show up and enjoy the ride.

Photo credit: Juvena Huang

Shortly after dawn on 16th November 2018, the fleet pushed off from Gelang Patah for a 100km stretch of highway riding to the breakfast point. What followed after was the beckoning of twisty trunk roads to tease your gears and throttle. There was always the contingency plan of hopping back to the highway should there be a need to catch up for lost time.

Refuel stops were swift as ride leaders settled payment on one pump. At every meal stop, the staff arrived ahead time to receive us and showered their attention to our needs. The first riding day ended with a sumptuous buffet feast at Hyatt Resort. Never have I been more spoiled in all my long rides; I did not even touch my Ringgit until day two.

The next day, despite trees being uprooted by the torrential monsoon rain back in Singapore, Kuantan was very blessed to be basking in the sun. The day was free and easy for all. Some chose to unwind at the amenities in the newly renovated resort, while others preferred clocking more saddle time. For me, the latter was the more compelling option. I will let the photos below do the talking.

The escapade did not end with the ride back home. On the last day, we hugged along the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, whizzing past rustic kampong beach houses. Just 20km south of Kuantan, the intrepid few pulled into the beaches of Pantai Sepat and trudged their machines on the sand along the water edge.

In my rein was the BMW G310GS (Here is our on-road and off-road reviews of the bike). Photo credit: Wei Jie)

The BMW Motorrad Rideaway provided a worry-free, secure and comfortable riding experience in a well-supported group – a stark contrast to my solo venture. This is a good stepping stone for fledglings to try their hands on adventure biking. BMW Motorrad not just sells their iconic adventure motorcycles but also completes their products with the ride experience.

So often do we emphasise on the destination so much that we miss out on enjoying the journey. True to their motto “Make Life a Ride”, the BMW Motorrad Rideaway embodies that in the surprises it brought because life is in the journey itself.

*** This Rideaway is just one of the many outreach events of BMW Motorrad. Earlier in 2018, there was also Camp Muck Rush and Pure & Crafted.

Day 2 – Joining the staff for a short ride in the proximity brought more surprising scenic B-roads to the table. Photo credit: YemPaul Antonio
Photo credit: YemPaul Antonio
Photo credit: YemPaul Antonio
Photo credit: YemPaul Antonio
The ride on undulating tarmac cutting through the palm plantations was a delight to the senses. Photo credit: Juvena Huang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: YemPaul Antonio
As if it was not enough, a few of us left the group to revisit the quaint mining town of Sungei Lembing. Photo credit: Juvena Huang
Uncle using his trusty abacus to round up the bill. Photo credit: Juvena Huang
Slapping some dirt on tyres after lunch. Photo credit: Juvena Huang

 

 

 

Shimmering with perspiration. Josh, staff of PML, was good sport in joining us for a dirt-packed work out with the GS1200. Photo credit: Juvena Huang
Maintaining his composure as the bridge swayed. Photo credit: Juvena Huang

 

 

An adventure is not complete without some off-roading. Photo credit: Wei Jie
Photo credit: Wei Jie
Photo credit: Wei Jie
Photo credit: Juvena Huang
Gunning the throttle on the beach at Pantai Sepat, Pahang. Unfortunately, this route does not lead us back to Singapore. Photo credit: YemPaul Antonio

 

 

Happy faces after a hearty lunch before heading home. Photo credit: Juvena Huang
The smallest in the party – Next to me was Tomasz, originally from Poland, on the G310R. It was his first Rideaway with PML which he looks forward to joining again. When asked where he want to visit next, “So many nice places around in Asia to see on the motorbike you can choose from.” Photo credit: Juvena Huang

 

 

 

 

 

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