Ducati Monster 1200S – Portraits with my iPhone

Every Ducati is a work of art, and it’s always fun to find new ways to photograph these beauties on a small island like Singapore. I used to scout actively for photographic opportunities on my previous Monster 1100 Evo with my larger cameras, but I’ve slowed down a bit with my current Monster 1200S due to work and generally lousy weather.

Monster at Bartley Flyover
Sunrise in the eastern part of Singapore. The trick to bringing out the colors in this photo is to use the new Defog tool in Photoshop Express on the iPhone – it’s the equivalent of a very good polarizing filter on an SLR.

Nevertheless, over the past few months I’ve managed to take a few nice shots with my iPhone 6 and I thought I should share them here. There’s nothing quite like the convenience of a powerful smartphone paired with the editing power of PS Express (a free mobile version of Photoshop) to bring out the luscious Monster goodness.

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Where are we heading towards?

In 2002, when I was a young journalist, I met a cranky old lawyer who had many things to say about Singapore society. The one thing I remember him saying during that interview was this:

“I tell you, the young people of today need to worry. They were told by the government that if they studied hard and got good grades, they will get a condo, car and cash and whatever. But I see so many young people who face so many problems even though they have all the qualifications and work so hard.”

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Before I turn 40

As I approach the big Four Zero in 2016, it’s getting harder to write blog posts like this. I’ve actually deleted and rewritten this post four times already because I cannot decide how much to say. But write, I must.

Turning 40 is fascinating yet dreadful – I know more things than before, yet realize how little I know about many other things. I’ve gotten to know many people, and also realized most of them shouldn’t know too much about me.

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DriveClub Bikes (PS4) review by a biker

When bikers get together, we like to talk about motorcycles. Many of us also love taking photographs of our motorcycles, as well as other motorcycles. We’d then talk about the great motorcycles we hope to own someday. Then when we’re done, we’ll go ride our motorcycles.

Remarkably, the new PlayStation 4 game DriveClub Bikes allows you to do all that from your couch, and in a really stunning way. Of course, any non-biker can get into this racing game, but it’s really a biker’s wet dream… literally and virtually.

You probably won't lean that low even on a dry road.
You probably won’t lean that low even on a dry road. Here, my classic Ducati 1098R battles the new Kawasaki H2.

I don’t think there has been any great motorcycle videogame for a very long time. Then one quietly appeared last month, and I only got to know about DriveClub Bikes when I was casually browsing through the PlayStation Store on my PS4.

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Discussing lane-splitting on Talking Point

I was invited by the kind folks at Talking Point, Channel 5, to provide my views on motorcyclists and lane-splitting. I appear in the first third of the show which aired 5 Nov, and my Monster makes an appearance too. Generally I will say the same thing to anyone – lane-splitting is useful but high-risk, do it at your own risk and don’t speed between cars. 

Motorcyclists who lane-split recklessly put themselves and other drivers at risk, and give us all a bad name. Of course, most of the poor riders who do it won’t read this or will insist they are right, so I can only hope they learn their lesson without getting into any trouble.

Read my other articles which talk about lane splitting here and here.

Please stop this SMRT seat shaming nonsense

For some years now, some Singaporeans have taken much delight in shaming supposedly undeserving people who are occupying the SMRT train carriage’s “reserved” seats for the needy.

They snap photos with their phones and put it online on forums, websites or social media to shame the subjects. Their desire is for the Internet lynch mob to descend on their photo victims to teach them a lesson.

It’s time to stop this nonsense, people.

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Why do you do what you do?

Do you know what’s the saddest thing I find about the conclusion of the City Harvest trial?

No, not that the convicted would continue to claim that their actions were right in their eyes (or God’s), or that their followers would continue to support the church leaders. These were all predictable outcomes of this long-drawn trial given the track record of all parties mentioned.

What I found sad was the lack of forthrightness of some Christian critics and the lack of a robust, intellectual defence from CHC supporters.

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Biker Bites – A dialogue with the Traffic Police

It’s been a busy time at our new startup but I took some time out today to attend my first dialogue session organized by the Traffic Police for the motorcycle community.

I usually hang out with my fellow Geeks on Motorbikes so it was interesting to see who else would turn up. There were representatives from the driving schools, the Singapore Kindness Movement, a cycling group, a Vespa group and the largest group of bikers were from the local Harley commmunity (well, the event was held at Harley-Davidson’s showroom after all). I was the only Ducati rider there.

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