Two-Wheelers need love, too!

Something needs to be done about online motorcycling journalism. Scour the web about local motorcycling news and reviews and you’ll come up with a handful of results. Go ahead. Type in a motorcycle with the words “review” and “Philippines” in the search line and press enter. I’ll wait. Done? See what I mean? Sure, you’ll get a ton of international sources, and frankly, that’s good if you want straight up facts and information. But how about a local take on things? Like how the motorcycle rides on Philippine roads, local considerations such as filtering on EDSA or taking it out for a weekend ride to the south. You’ll see a blog or two pop-up but how current is the author and is he/she still actively posting? You don’t want to read up on something 4-5 years old. Some may argue, that’s what print media is for; the dedicated magazines and the occasional supplementary pages in popular automobile publications. Why stop there?

Motorcycling is an extremely huge part of our country. Look around you. Everyday, on our way to work, school or even just heading to the local sari-sari store to load up one’s cellphone, you’ll see a motorized two wheeled vehicle. Yes, yes, I understand that many believe that anything below 250cc doesn’t count, but why should they be left out? The Philippine market is extremely spoiled for choice when it comes to two-wheeled vehicles. You want a classic scooter, consider a Vespa. How about a café racer? You may want to check out Royal Enfield or Moto Guzzi. How about an adventure bike for those long-distance rides? Have you seen the latest offerings of Aprilla and KTM? How about an everyday-use, no fuss, easy to maintain, low displacement two-wheeler to do simple errands? Consider Honda or Yamaha. Considering your first bike, how about a guide on that? The best gear for a certain budget? Here’s a recommendation of brands. This is just the tip of the motorcycling iceberg in the Philippines. Sometimes, a print publication just can’t keep up. People are glued to their phones and tablets; reading up on their dream bikes and gear while their two-wheeler gathers dust. Every week, I read up on new tech being trickled down from cars to bikes. Want a bike that shuts off at stoplights to save gas? Or how about a scooter with ABS for safer braking situations? To be honest, there’s too much to write about that a handful of pages a month cannot simply convey to the interested reader. That’s why we are here to change all of that.

As you read this, we are currently working on a dedicated motorcycle section to Go Flat Out. Interesting articles regarding safety, gear, tech and all the latest bike releases will be carefully selected and written for your enjoyment. We’re talking about leveling up online motorcycle journalism in the Philippines. Print media will still play a huge role. We understand that. The point is this: We hope to be the ones you read about while you take dump with your smartphone. Easy to access, easy to read; we’re here to make motorcycling pretty damn fun for everyone.

Keep an eye out for our pilot article featuring a talented, young racer and a famous naked superbike for Italy!

Ride and drive safe!

Driving in the rain: Do’s and Don’ts

Ah, the rainy season. It’s that time of year again. If you want a perfect recipe for traffic in the Metro, all you have to do is add water. With wet weather comes different challenges, and frankly, most drivers continue to believe that their dry, regular driving habits still apply. Wrong. It’s a totally different ballgame when the roads get soaked.

I’d like to share with you some tips and insights on wet weather driving, and hopefully we can break a bad habit or two along the way, making for safer and stress free motoring.

Do: Check your tires

A bald tire reduces traction on a wet roadway and increases the chances of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter, therefore making the tire ride on a thin film layer of water. This means you are not in contact with the road surface, making turning, accelerating or braking next to useless. Imagine turning the wheel, but the car keeps going in the same direction. Scary, right? Having properly maintained tires with good treads will give the water somewhere to go when driving.

Do: Check your wipers

Keep your wipers clean and new. Old rubber on the wipers can’t push the water away effectively, leaving water to mess with your visibility. In faster driving conditions, old wipers can be as good as driving with no wipers.

Do: Slow Down

This should be obvious. Bad weather reduces visibility and the wet road increases braking distances. Keep your inputs of the wheel, accelerator, and brake as smooth as possible and reduce your speed to anticipate any changes on the road. Any sudden input can lead to loss of control of the vehicle. Having a good following distance of 3 to 5 seconds to the car in front of you will allow more time to react to traffic changes, especially on the expressway.

Do: Turn your lights on

Having your lights on increases the visibility of your vehicle and let’s you see the edges of the roadway or lane better. Reflective signs will be more visible, as well. Do not switch your headlights to full beam, as the rain will reflect the light back, blinding yourself and cars around you.

Don’t: Drive through flooded roads

If you can’t judge the depth of the water on a flooded roadway, it’s probably not a good idea. If you have no choice, observe other vehicles and determine whether it’s safe to risk it. A flooded road can hide potholes, sharp objects or debris, and may seem shallower than it really is. You don’t want the car stalling and floating away, now, do you?

Don’t: Turn on your hazard lights/four way flashers

What’s worse than a person who doesn’t turn on their lights in the rain? A person who turns their hazard lights on. Hear me out, or your ignorance may cause a severe rear-end accident. When your hazard lights are on, you lose the ability to indicate when changing lanes or making a turn. Not to mention, drivers around you have no way to clearly discern a pulled over disabled vehicle on the roadway. So do us a favor and keep those hazard lights off, unless you’re warning others that you’re the hazard. In which case, don’t drive.

Don’t: Keep driving in heavy rain

If the rain severely hampers your visibility and the winds are too strong, find a safe place to pull over and wait it out. Find a lit, protective place if possible. Keep your lights on when pulled over and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that you’re pulled over.

Don’t: Be a jerk

Everyone around you is battling the rain. Be extra aware of what’s going on around you. Don’t cut anyone off, splash pedestrians, and drive faster than everyone else. Be safe, predictable and proactive. You don’t want to be the next famous person on social media, do you?

The most important rule of all:

Know the limits of your vehicle. Vehicle dynamics change in wet weather. Learn how your vehicle handles and how it reacts to the rain. Adapt to the conditions; don’t take it head on and hope for the best.

These Are Your Teaser Shots For The Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Having been leaked a few days ago, Mitsubishi has released a set of teaser images for the Montero Sport (Pajero Sport in other markets).

From the teaser images, we can at least see the rear and front faces much more closely. The LED strips used in the daytime running lights and rear lights are made out of the thin strip type, giving it a very modern and distinctive look at night. The exterior design is clearly distinctive and very modern.

Stay tuned to Go Flat Out to find out more about the Toyota Fortuner (July 17, 2015) and Mitsubishi Montero Sport (August 1, 2015), as the launch date comes closer.

Photos From Headlight Magazine

Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Montero Sport Leaked Undisguised Ahead Of Debut

Forget all those renderings and leaks about the Mitsubishi Montero Sport (Pajero Sport in other countries) and Toyota Fortuner. Here are clear photos of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport and Toyota Fortuner, with all its metal and glass glory.

Toyota Fortuner

Unlike the previous Fortuner, this new one highly diverges itself from the Hilux, which it is based. The exterior and interior design is unique to both vehicles this time around. Based on the pictures, we can see a set of LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, projector headlamps, though we still aren’t sure if HID headlamps will be standard across the range. Inside, the Fortuner gains walnut colored leather, and a capacitive touch screen system with a button-less interface. The Fortuner possesses as more upmarket interior design compared to the Hilux which it is based.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport

The Montero is an SUV we were quite in awe. After a set of disappointingly conservative designs from late Mitsubishi products, the Montero quite impressed us. The Montero finally gains the new corporate design language of the brand, inspired from the GR-HEV concept. Many people argued that this should’ve been the Mitsubishi Strada’s face, in which the Montero is based. We can clearly see slim LED daytime running lights, and large tail lamps, though we still aren’t quite sure if the entire tail lamp is really that big, or if the lower part are only headlamp extensions.

After numerous renderings of both vehicles, we’re not exactly surprised about the looks of the two SUVs. These SUVs are developed in each of their research and development centers in Thailand, and are exclusively sold in select ASEAN and Latin American countries. With these two SUVs being launched soon, which would be your pick? Answer the poll below.

Photos grabbed from Headlight Magazine

We’re Going Flat Out

Who knew that a simple school project could translate into a year’s worth of content and writing? That just happens to be the case with Go Flat Out. Born in 2012 as a simple blog by car nut and college student, Isaac Atienza, it has grown over the years. From car launches, interesting news pieces in the automotive industry, to actual test drives and driving impressions of locally available car models, it was decided to branch out and create a bigger and badder Go Flat Out. Isaac wanted to take it further.

That’s where we come in. Allow me to introduce the team of Go Flat Out for 2015.

Providing a wealth of manufacturer and distributor contacts is James Tagle. He’ll also be in charge of test drives and will be doing a bit of reviewing and writing when he’s not behind the wheel. Having grown up in a family that’s all about automobiles, he has driven his fair share of performance vehicles, on and off the track. His insights from a performance driving perspective will be invaluable when it comes to reviews and first impressions.

For marketing and promotions, Paulo Bustamante will be at the helm. No stranger to test-drives, he’ll be able to provide us with an everyday look at cars and how they fit in our daily lives, whether as a daily driver, or a toy to be driven on the weekends. He’ll also be handling photo and video shoots for our features and reviews. Despite this being his first foray into automotive writing, he’s positive and open to learn new things along the way.

Lastly, you have yours truly, Nico Ylanan. I’ll be dabbling in test drives, reviews and handling the overall writing and content of the site, together with Isaac Atienza. I currently write for a car blog for one of the top automotive selling sites in the country and have done several independent articles relating to the automotive industry. I grew up on the track, still remembering the heydays of PTCC in Subic, with my father who was helping manage one of the top teams in the country. I’ll be providing my own ideas and opinions from a performance standpoint, as well as a regular everyday driver. Think of it as a mixed, fair bag of criticism.

Rest assured, we plan to deliver content that’s not only informative and interesting, but pretty damn funny, as well. We are all car nuts through and through, and we would love to take you on this automotive journey with us, sharing a ton of laughs and bloopers along the way.

Cheers!

The Go Flat Out team

An All-New Go Flat Out (With Video Trailer)

Go Flat Out has been existing for a while now, and from this day on, Go Flat Out will now be operated by 4 car enthusiasts (and counting). This new collaboration between car enthusiasts will bring new and exciting reviews and other content to Go Flat Out. Kicking off this new partnership is this new trailer, featuring the legendary BMW M3 Coupé (E46).

Go Flat Out is now on social networks as well. Like our Facebook page, and follow us on Instagram for more petrolhead content.

Stay tuned to Go Flat Out for more, and thank you for continuing to give us the reason to exist and deliver much more special content.

Nissan Launches The NV350 Urvan, Undercuts The Hiace Commuter’s Price

If there is a segment in the automotive industry that is least contested, it would be this, the commercial van segment. Unless you’re a UV Express operator, or a travel and leisure operator, the general consumer isn’t interested in these moving boxes. The current Nissan Urvan we have has been in production in the Philippines since the Holocene Period, and yet not much really cared how old the Urvan is, even when compared to the Toyota Hiace. For a short period of time, we had the Nissan Urvan Estate, filling the role of having an Urvan for non-commercial use. Finally, the wait is over. The Nissan Urvan is receiving a replacement in the form of the Nissan NV350, and will be called the NV350 Urvan in our market.

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I won’t blame you if you thought the Nissan NV350 Urvan looks a lot like the Toyota Hiace. Not much creativity in terms of design exists in this segment, so it’s expected for them to look identical to each other. Outside, creases are present just above the wheel arches, just to add a little creativity that is otherwise absent in a segment full of boxes. Overall, the Nissan NV350 Urvan looks thoroughly more modern compared to the Urvan it replaces, and the Urvan can now truly compete head on with the Toyota Hiace.

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Inside, not a lot of things are happening as well in terms of design, since these types of vehicles are clearly emphasized for utility and space. A neat feature that the NV350 possesses over the Hiace Commute variant is that, the air conditioning runs all the way through the back (12 vents in total), which is essential in a climate as hot as ours. Also, making the Urvan just that bit modern is a shift indicator, which tells you when is the optimal time to shift.

The Nissan NV350 is powered by Nissan’s all-new YD25DDTi clean diesel 2.5 liter engine, found in the NP300 Navara. It’s a thoroughly modern engine, even more modern than the Toyota Hiace’s. It’s more powerful too,  producing 161 hp and 403 Nm of torque, and power goes through a 5-Speed Manual Transmission.

The Nissan NV350 Urvan aims to compete head to head with the Toyota Hiace, and while for the general consumer, interest is very low, there somehow is a competition when it comes to public transportation operators, hotel & resort operators, and even travel & leisure operators. While they may not be a significant chunk in the automotive industry, it is still an opportunity for Nissan to compete, as it aims to gain foothold in an industry where it once was one of the largest selling carmakers. Toyota is the top seller in every segment in the industry, including commercial vehicles, and its time for them to avoid letting their guard down, especially since pricing for the NV350 Urvan remains almost unchanged over the aging predecessor, as all variants undercut the P1,238,000 price of the Toyota Hiace Commuter.

15 Seater: P1,183,000
18 Seater: P1,196,000
3 Seater Cargo: P1,177,000

When Life's Too Slow, Just Go Flat Out

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