2019 GIVI Explorer: 2,500 km around Malaysia

Now in its seventh year, the 2019 Givi Explorer was a 2,500 km, eight-day journey across Malaysia. Why do this you ask? Well, the original Givi Explorer, in Patagonia, was basically a group of Givi buddies taking a multi-day, epic ride in South America.

The tradition has continued over the years, with rides to places such as the Golden Triangle, South Africa, Morocco and now, in 2019, Malaysia. For its first visit to Malaysia, all stops were pulled out to ensure the Givi Explorers had a memorable journey and more importantly, a safe one.

Covering the length and breadth of Malaysia, the Givi Explorer ride was designed to showcase some of the highlights of the country. Naturally, as befits a ride organised by manufacturer of motorcycle luggage and accessories, the bikes, a mix of adventure-tourers from across the spectrum, came fitted with a prime selection of Givi products.

This included hard luggage such as the aluminium Dolomiti cases for that authentic overlander adventure tourer look to soft luggage suitable for sports bikes and daily use. Also on display were riding outfits custom made for the Givi Explorer ride, personalised to each rider.

There was a one-off riding clinic with coaching by Dakar Rally racer Jeremias Israel who was representing Givi in the 2019 Givi Rimba Raid off-road motorcycle enduro organised by Givi and local racer and stunt rider Acoi Pangkolo. Attended by about 20 riders, the majority of whom were racing in Rimba Raid, the clinic taught the bike control skills required for off-road racing.

Givi Explorers began flying in from across the world on July 20, with a dinner and pre-ride briefing held at the Mandarin Oriental. Thus, by this reckoning, the next day, July 21, was considered Day 2 of the Givi Explorer Malaysian Adventure ride.

Riders assembled at the Givi Malaysia factory in Bukit Beruntung, Selangor, and given a tour of the facility. We were shown the processes involved in producing Givi products as the strict quality controls in place to ensure that only the best reaches the customer.

A short tour of Givi’s research and development facility was also given, where the latest prototype designs in motorcycle accessories and helmets were displayed with the condition of no photographs. Givi practices a blend of innovation and evolution for their products, with new designs that change the way riders think of motorcycle accessories and incremental changes in successful designs to improve performance.

The Malaysian Adventure began with a ride to Teluk Intan, with photo opportunities along the way, ending with a night in The Banjaran in Ipoh. After the first day’s ride, dinner was in Jeff’s Cellar, a degustation dining experience inside a 100 million year old limestone cave.

After the repast, Givi Explorers faced the longest day, a ride of some 540 kilometres across Banjaran Titiwangsa, through Gerik to spend the night in Kuala Terengganu. The next day was a no ride day, sort of, with a speed boat trip to Redang island, spending the night in Taaras with dinner on the beach.

A short interlude in Kuantan was followed by a night in historic Malacca, where visits were paid to the A’Famosa and Stadthuys. The Givi Explorers then headed for Janda Baik, location of the 2019 Givi Rimba Raid where fellow Explorer Israel would be competing in the ‘A’ class, with a stop at the Kuala Gandah elephant sanctuary along the way.

As race day dawned, the Givi Explorers headed to the start line of Rimba Raid, to flag Israel off. Sadly, Israel did not finish the race due to a mishap but as he said, “that’s racing.”

The final night of the 2019 Givi Explorer was in Genting Highlands, where the Explorers grouped for a last dinner together. During the dinner, much merriment and entertainment was had, with Joseph Perucca, Givi overseas operational director and organiser of Givi Explorer, handing out personalised gifts to all riders.

While the gifts were not expensive, they represented inside jokes formed between riders during the entire tour with much laughter as the presents were unveiled. Memories of the ride were shared between all the riders, pillions and event crew with many friendships formed.

As a ride, the 2019 Givi Explorer was a great meet-up of like-minded riders, showcasing the best of Givi luggage, accessories and equipment. Superb ride organisation by the police escort and ride marshals made travel smooth and easy, with zero mishaps along the way.

All along the 2019 Givi Explorer, a clear atmosphere of camaraderie was evident, along with the prerequisite of bringing along your sense of humour as the jokes were flying fast and furious on a regular basis. Participation in the Givi Explorer ride, scheduled to be held on a yearly basis, is by invitation only with cost depending on location, type of motorcycle required and distance to be travelled to the start point.

The Givi Explorer is not for everyone but suffice it to say, it is indeed a memorable and enjoyable experience. Here’s looking forward to the next edition of Givi Explorer. All photos courtesy of Givi Explorer/Nikkasit Motographer.

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