Thursday, May 18, 2017

Shorai Lithium Battery - Service Review

I've used Shorai for a few years now, on a BMW K1200LT, Harley Softail, Harley Street Glide, Sportster 48, Suzuki Burghman 650, etc.

Initially, I am a little skeptical. Will something that small power my bike? With such a new brand in the industry, will I get good service?

As you may experience, whenever you change the battery of your bike, one of the reasons is because you may have a faulty electrical system. On my BMW, the bike does not charge the old battery well, and my Shorai could power it for weeks, and eventually run out of juice. It was hard to diagnose as the battery was so powerful that you do not feel anything wrong. And finally, when the fault was found, there were a few shorts in the way and the battery was dead as well.

This was a 3 month old battery in Singapore, and when I got new wire harness, voltage regulator, coil, etc, the battery still could not hold charge, and when checked, there was cell imbalance and the battery was dead.

It created a little stress and unhappiness, but once everything was fixed and I got a new battery (from warranty) I slowly gain confidence.

The exchange was simple. I went to Racewerks -- where I got the battery -- they checked that battery failed, ordered a new one, and I got a new battery, no questions asked.

I could see the improved CCA, ability to hold charge for a longer time (without riding) and light weight and small size, I decided to try out when my batteries are too old.

A few Shorai later, my Harley had electrical problems after installing new Shorai battery, and I decided to change the coil and voltage regulator after the Shorai ran out of juice after a week -- problem solved.

On my Softail, the Shorai lasted 18 months, and somehow could not hold charge. I checked for shorts, wiring but everything looks ok. I brought the battery in again, and there was a battery error, and I had to pay 25% of the battery price to get a new one!

Come Sept 2016, I bought a Shorai for my Shovelhead in Boston. It was a much older Carb bike. Works good until I kept it for the winter and had power problems since.

When I check the battery again on the BMS-01 charger, it had errors - 4 flashes - cell imbalance. I discharged the battery and charged it again and the same thing happened. After spending 1 day, I gave up, contact Shorai USA and sent in some information to request for them to check my battery.

I sent in the request on Saturday 13th May and I received a new Shorai Battery on Tuesday 16th May.

I did not expect the turnaround time to be this quick and efficient and the exchange was rather hassle free.. I send in my old battery (with all the fittings attached) and I hope the warranty conditions was valid as the battery seemed to be only 9 months old, and stopped working.

Of all my other Shorai batteries, this was least expected, but I could see that manufacturing flaws do happen, and Shorai was standing by the quality of its products.

However, the service and experience was very fast and efficient, better than my expectations and I would totally recommend Shorai batteries as they are high quality, and the Shorai Service in Singapore and USA seems to be excellent as well.

Thank you Shorai.

-- Robin Low

Thursday, April 20, 2017

《拆弹专家》SHOCK WAVE - Andy Lau - 2017 Movie Review

Shock Wave is the latest Andy Lau movie in 2017

It is an action movie, glorifying the HK police.

Besides you typical plot where Hero cop betrays the antagonist, Hero cop falls in love, antagonist comes back and kidnaps the girlfriend, the movie is pretty much straightforward.

The action scenes and special effects however are pretty good in the movie and there is much explosions and bodycounts. The stunt driving was very good as well.

The pace of the movie was good, dialogue was pretty ok and premise a little believable. Many things made a little sense in the movie.

Overall, I rather enjoyed the movie and I would recommend watching it.


-- Robin Low

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gen 2 Pokemon are out. #PokemonGo

It was rather annoying to download the 60MB update outside but Gen2 Pokemons in the Pokemon Go game is out.

With more than 80 new Pokemons out, and some of the original pokemon can be evolved.

Sadly, there are items you need to get for some of these new Pokemons to be evolved.

You need 
Metal Coal for 
Onyx to become Steelix
Scyther to be Scizor

Dragon Scale for Seadra to become Kingdra

KingsRock for 
Slowpoke to be SlowKing
Polywhirl to be Polytoed

Sun Stone for Gloom to be Bellosom

So you can see, not only do you need candies, there are items needed for evolution. 

Happy Hunting!

-- Robin Low

Friday, February 10, 2017

KFC's Chizza is NASTY

How bad can it be?

I've had delicious Pizza Chicken in Taiwan before, and it was innovative and great.

Basically, it is just fried chicken cutlet with ham, cheese and pineapple on top. How can it go wrong?

Well, KFC did it. In Singapore, KFC is Halal, and they use Turkey Ham (of the worst kind),  liquid cheese sauce (not melted cheese) and canned pineapples. Even eating it fresh from the oven, it tastes pretty nasty.

I would expect KFC to know how to fry a chicken cutlet, but the breading is thick with a tiny piece of meat. I could not taste any tomatoes in there and the cheese and turkey bacon is simply foul tasting.

Costing $7.50 with a drink and fries, the price is not too bad, but sadly, this food is inedible. Don't even bother to go try this. Its a big waste of money.

By the way, I do love KFC original recipe, and I'm a big fan of fried chicken, and for me to hate this, you have to fuck it up pretty bad.

-- Robin Low

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ichiran, Brooklyn, NY Review

Ichiran recently opened an outlet in New York. This store is located in Brooklyn, at 374 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (Phone: (718) 381-0491)

The cool thing about this is the hours are from 11am to 2am.

About the location.
This location is not so close from Manhattan. probably will take you about 30 mins from Downtown to get there. Feels like an industrial area with construction work around. Probably not the best place to be at night.

The good thing about this location is that this is not too crowded, so probably less crowded?

There are 2 types of seating available, so don't worry if you want to talk, there are regular tables besides the booth seating.

So hows the Ramen?

Well, I love Tonkotsu Ramen. And Ichiran is one of the best Tonkotsu Ramen you can get. Ichiran in Brooklyn does not disappoint. I ordered the strong flavored, rich soup with firm noodles. Some garlic, Chilli and scallions. I remembered to save some broth for extra noodles. I added a side order of seaweed.

Everything was fantastic. Can't complain. Best ramen I've had in the US by far.

Hakata Issou (博多一双) is still my favorite (located in Fukuoka)

Is it worth the trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn to try this?
-- YES!!!!

On a weekday afternoon, it was not too crowded, seats were available during lunch, and service was ok, and quality was top notch. Taste was authentic like the Ichiran I like.

One thing to note, this restaurant is a no tipping restaurant and I felt that the price is rather high. The price for basic ramen with 2 pieces of pork is $18.95++, and with Ice Matcha, Extra noodles, side of seaweed, it costs $30++.

I probably can have the same thing for under US$15 in Tokyo. But heh, instead of flying to Tokyo, you can taste it here in NYC!


-- Robin

Friday, November 11, 2016

Unboxing Google Pixel

Got my hands on a Google Pixel today.

Opening the box was underwhelming as I expected more to come out...

The Charge is USB-C to USB-C

Several cords are provided.

Its about the same size as a 5" Nexus 5

The fingerprint sensor can be found in the rear.

A USB-C to USB connector is also provided

This phone uses a nano sim card, and USB-C ports, so have not done a hands on test yet.

So far, love the feel and form factor. Feels good and well made.

--Robin Low

Monday, October 03, 2016

Visit Kathmandu 2016 - 10 things you need to know to plan your trip to Nepal

Kathmandu - A Tourist Destination?

I just returned from Kathmandu after the First Humanitarian Mini maker Faire held in Kathmandu.

I did some travel, and let me introduce Kathmandu to you.

1) Kathmandu has 4 seasons, and it has polluted air... and it floods easily when it rains.

If you are planning to go, make sure you are not there during the monsoon season to avoid the rains, and bring the right clothes. Kathmandu has 4 seasons and it does snow sometimes.

There are plenty of old diesel buses and trucks, and air is polluted. Bring some form of breathing mask to help you walk around outside.

2) Power Cuts. There is no power in Kathmandu during some part of the day. It can range from 7 hours daily to 14 hours depending on season. Remember to have solar chargers to charge your phones and other essentials.

3) Water and food is safe -- only for restaurants, hotels or guest houses. Remember to buy bottled water. Avoid ice and local food places. There may be a high chance your stomach cannot take the level of bacterial found in their local water.

4) Internet Access -- You can get Internet access by buying a Ncell card with credits. There 3G/4G is available, and you can use GPS / Smartphone to navigate. Everything is relatively low cost as well.

5) Nepal is safe -- Don't worry about rape or getting mugged. Although the people are relatively poor, the country as a whole is safe. There are no street lights however, and lots of idiots who are on the roads. Everyone is impatient and road is bad. So be careful walking in the streets at night and take care crossing the roads.

6) Poor infrastructure -- India was bad, Latin America was bad... Kathmandu is much worse. The roads are bad, public transportation overcrowded and traffic sucks. Plan your route well. Ask a local. The taxi can get you around and you need to know landmarks around the area you want to go.

Taxi is very cheap, each trip can be from US$1 - US$5 (Patan Durbar Square - Kathmandu) but at night, expected to pay 2 times more, and in the rain, pay even more. Same trip that cost you $US3 (about 300 rupees) can cost $15 (about 1500 rupees) but you can always bargain and find other drivers.

7) Tourist attractions are relatively undamaged by the earthquake. Repairs are ongoing and looking good. Except for the Darahara Tower, everything else escaped damage and is ongoing repairs.

Within Kathmandu there are a few must go sites.

1) Bouldanath Stupa
2) Patan Durbar Square
3) Swyambunath Temple
4) Bhaktapur
5) Kathmandu Durbar Square

They are not really damaged, and you can find a way around the entrance of each place to aviod paying entrance fee. Instead, support local economy by buying handicrafts and food.

8) Guest Houses are relatively cheap. -- If you can plan around showering in the later afternoon (solar water heater) you definitely should stay at guest houses. They range from shared bathrooms to a tiny bathroom in your own room.

The cost in Patan and Kathmandu is from about US$8 - US$15, and maybe slightly more in Pokhara.

9) Food is relatively inexpensive and good. I've walked into Japanese restaurants and paid US$4 for ramen, and US$5 for Bulgogi... Having momos (steamed dumplings) will cost you US$2. Beers at bars are about US$3 - US$5.

10) And remember, when you visit Nepal. Buy handicrafts and do eat out. The Nepalese community is relatively tight, and even when you spend $$$ in Kathmandu and the cities, the money does trickle down to the villages.

Most of the food is locally grown, and organic as farmers can't afford pesticides and fertilizer. Instead of donating money, there are lots of fair trade handicraft stores which sells bags, boxes and much more. These stores also hire people from marginalized communities to plan to end poverty.

If you are planning to travel. Please consider Nepal. It is very much different from other countries, and definitely very affordable.

-- Robin Low