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Bam Santiago Olivares

From Subcompact to a Crossover

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 00:00 Published in Motoring


The exterior design, first got the attention of Ms. Babeleth H. Inigo, that led to the purchase of the Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+ 6AT in cosmic black pearl. Having this as her second purchased car, coming from a basic subcompact car, she loves her Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+ 6AT and is her daily-daily ride. 

Babeleth by profession is an I.T. Manager and is single, plus very available. Babeleth coming from a subcompact car and now a crossover vehicle owner, she reiterates that parking in Malls even during peak hours, was not a problem she somehow manages to park her vehicle in a sweet spot with no sweat, due to the higher seat height and good peripheral view. According to Babeleth, the other person she allows to drive her car, is only her niece and for out of town trips, they have travelled to La Union and Santiago City Isabela her hometown. Who knows where the next destination would be, maybe in the Visayas or even in Mindanao. Babeleth not only was first attracted with the exterior design, but before she decided to buy, she also considered the price tag, down payment, monthly amortization, fuel consumption, servicing capability of dealers, parts availability and maintenance cost, after all she switched brands but still Japanese of origin. Babeleth, by the book follows the periodic maintenance schedule and since she is not knowledgeable about vehicle problem trouble shooting, but if ever a rattle would occur, she could pin point where the rattle is coming from and informs her technician, most of all, she makes it a point that her cell phones are all fully charged with a back-up power bank on standby, just in case she needs assistance. Babeleth also mentioned, that when she would start the car in the morning with the aircon on, she would smell this odor coming from the aircon, no worries this writer, suggested a simple push button solution. I guess it is obvious that Babeleth made a wise decision in buying a Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+ 6AT, although she was really gunning the top of the line variant and in atlantis turquoise pearl metallic but could not wait any longer and wanted her new car before 2017 ended. Well, she is surely having fun driving her crossover vehicle now.
This writer would like to thank, Ms. Marvick Dequino of Suzuki Auto Makati, for coordinating with the featured owner. For more information regarding Suzuki Vehicles, you could reach Marvick through the following contact details-09261050178 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



A Well Affordable 400

Thursday, 15 March 2018 00:00 Published in Motoring

The Motorstar Café 400 is one of the most affordable tollways legal motorcycle, available in the country today. The Café 400 being the flagship model from Motorstar, is equip with standard safety aids, you need in a, modern classic motorcycle.
After a pre-delivery inspection was conducted and petrol fuel filled to the brim (13-liter tank capacity) by representatives of Eastworld Motor Industries Corporation, the official distributor of Motorstar motorcycles in the country. This writer was handed the key, to the orange with black Motorstar Café 400 single exhaust, with (185YMQ) 397.2cc air and oil-cooled single overhead cam 4-valve carburetor type, dry sump petrol engine, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The maximum power delivered, was a whopping 26.8HP/7000rpm, together with a maximum torque of 30Nm/5500rpm, the power was substantial enough, to hit extra-legal speeds. To position this motorcycle to a full halt, front cross-drilled ventilated disc brake and rear drum brake combined, could be achieved, with a tolerable braking distance and was stress-free too. This motorcycle came with front 100-90-19 tire size and rear 130-70-18 tire size with inner tubes, mounted on chrome finish spoke wheels with respective diameters.
This writer, now all geared up and ready to go. As with all vehicles up for test, the so-called getting to know stage was a must, as all vehicles differ in character and the best thing any rider could do, was to adapt.
Ignition ON, set to neutral, kill switch on, push electric start button or kick to start, set to idle. Grasp on the clutch lever and it was time to shift gear down, release clutch lever, then twist throttle to go, good responsive torque and on slow moving traffic, modulating the throttle was easy. Upon reaching higher gears, all was flawless; even at high rpm with the front end on the heavy side, it was appreciated at extra-legal speeds. Normally, with naked or standard type motorcycles, all head winds are towards the rider and it would be best to lean forward and grasp both hand grips well, to avoid being left behind. The standard riding position was ideal, with a pair of telescopic front forks and rear gas type dual shock absorbers and it was easy on this writer’s back, for sure, it was very much appreciated, more so on long road trips.
The standard seat height of 790mm was ideal for the average Filipino height but for cool cats having a low seat would be ideal. Nevertheless, an upholstery shop could always shave a few layers of the seat foam, to have a better feel of the seat and for your feet, to be in touch with the road. The Motorstar Café 400 was nimble, and it basically reacts well to the rider’s desired style. In town or out of town, it was adaptable and filtering through traffic, thanks to the 2130mm length, 760mm width and 1130mm height, it was very possible.
Riding at night, the single round headlamp, could beam the road ahead with proper density. While the dual round, chrome ringed instrument cluster gave basic knowledge to the rider, from the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meter, turning light, high beam light, neutral light indicator and fuel reserve light warning. Well it was just conforming to being period correct, unlike with modern motorcycles, most information would be in the instrument cluster.
The Motorstar Café 400 comes in different colors and came with either a single right exhaust or the dual exhaust but for this writer, the all-black edition with dual exhaust, was good to have one and the sound emitted from the dual exhaust, was very manly.
For those who were not informed. Last year, the Motorstar Café 400 was awarded Best in standard 400cc in the 2017 Motorcycle of the Year Philippines.
For riders who would like to experience a bit, on how it was to ride during the 70s with a touch of modern features, without a doubt……this Motorstar Café 400 is for you. The cash price of PHP 126,600.00, would be for sure, value for money.

The touring sport variant

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00 Published in Motoring

The Toyota Innova 2.8 Touring Sport variant, comes with 215/65-R16 tires mounted on 10-spoke black alloy wheels with gloss black front grilles and rear tail light garnish plus a body kit to complete the exterior sporty look. It is a new level for school carpool, family outings, special events, for official business, law enforcement duties and as a daily commuter vehicle; this is what the Toyota Innova 2.8 Touring Sport 6AT can offer its seven passengers.
When inside, the well designed stow compartments kept the clutter clear with seat hooks mounted from the rear portion, of the front seats and 12-volt outlets, in the center of the dashboard and behind the center console box all came standard, while the seat comfort from leg, to head and elbow room on all seat row with seven headrests, are above average from vehicles, in its class. For added cargo space the third-row seat could be folded sideways on each side and the second row could recline, slide forward plus tumble for easy entry and exit to the third-row seats. The new black fabric interior during summer, cools faster compared to leather and the shade it was in, well it was, easy to maintain. Still inside the cabin, the instrument cluster besides the fuel gauge, engine temperature gauge, tachometer, speedometer, trip meters, warning and reminder lights, now has a gear indicator. The steering wheel with airbag, has control buttons for the tuner and phone connections. The dual air-conditioning with rotary type and rear slide switches, controls the cooling power manually, that can do its job well with air vents for all seat rows, while the 2-DIN CD / Tuner / MP3 / NAVI with remote control and aux input audio system wired to 6-speakers, could add to the patience of the passengers during traffic.
The rear wheel drive Toyota Innova 2.8 Touring Sport, was pushed by a 1GD-FTV 2755cc 4-inline DOHC (double overhead cam) 16 valve (direct injection four-stroke common rail) Turbo-charged with intercooler diesel engine, that could produce a maximum power of 171ps/3600rpm and a maximum torque of 360nm/1200-3400rpm, matched to a 6-speed gate type automatic transmission with sequential control. A drive mode select could be set in 3 ways, the normal, eco and this writer’s preferred setting, the power mode. To put the Toyota Innova 2.8 Touring Sport to a halt, front ventilated disc brakes and rear drum brakes with ABS (antilock brake system) could certainly do the job. You will have no worries driving the Toyota Innova 2.8 Touring Sport at extra-legal speeds, it was stable and handled well in corners, although it would lean, on tighter corners and Traction Control for this variant, was not available. Riding comfort was improved, that if you missed to stop before the hump, just go over and bouncing was decreased. During night driving, the halogen multi-reflector headlamps, plus the front fog lamps beamed the road ahead and provided good density.
Due to its popularity at any given time, you will see Toyota Innova vehicles on the road, in any day and nationwide.



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