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Old 9th September 2012, 12:41   #1
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Default Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

The Search

It was roughly a year back when I felt the need for diesel as I was expecting a good amount of road travel in the next 2 year. At that time , I used to to be driving an OHC . I had a great time with a car and had roughly driven for 40,000 Kms in 2 Yrs and 3 months.

To know on how I landed up buying a OHC please visit the following link :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...-90000-km.html (Started hunting for Esteem and ended up buying 1.5 Type II OHC EDIT:Service @90000 Km)

I had a great time driving around in OHC. Did many long drives in the car. Did lots of kamakazee driving. Did an indicated 190KMPH in the car. The car never gave trouble. A great car which can be maintained personally.

Now coming back to my search story - Having driven OHC for a long time all the diesels I test drove was a very disappointing experience. The kind of pure unadulterated pleasure I felt driving OHC was missed by a mile. It was exactly like how you get ready for a marriage. Keeping the expectation levels of driving experience at a realistic level and accepting that a diesel will always be a diesel.

So at the time I had to prioritise what I really wanted out of a car for the next 2 years.
  • Sturdy built quality
  • Ride quality
  • Interior fit and finish
  • Trouble free engine
  • Stability at high speeds
  • Good brakes
  • Air Bag a must
  • Good looks
  • Supportive seats

    I had omitted driving experience and A.S.S out of the list as I realised that would be asking too much and moreover I believe rather than relying on A.S.S its better to take good care of the car. For driving experience , I have my Cedia which I will never get bored off.

    Budget
    Budget was fairly flexible. Anything below 10~12 but on one condition that I should not loose capital on depreciation over a period of 2 yrs. 30% depreciation is fine but nothing more than that.

    Brand
    Nothing specific though I always had a weak spot for Japanese / European brands.

    Performance
    0-100 15 Secs / Cruising Speed - 120Kmph / Top Speed - 170kmph

    Efficiency
    City - 15Kmpl
    Highway - 18Kmpl

These were my expectation prior to zeroing on a car.

Final Contenders
Ford Fiesta
VW Vento
VW Polo
Skoda Fabia
After TD-ing these car in the city for roughly 3kms each, I decided to let go all sedans as the traffic coupled with parking space in city is a big big handicap for daily usage.The choice narrowed down to just two.
  • Skoda Fabia 1.2TDI
  • VW Polo 1.2TDI
So I went to TD them both again to make my final choice. I drove them 10kms each and penned down my ratings on all my priority parameters. Post TD , I spent around an hour in Cafe Matteo in Church Street, Brigade road. Somehow am very attached to this place and whenever I need to decide on something , I sit there with a Caramel Latte.

So time to decide had come and Fabia it is !! Was frankly blown away by the interior fit and finish and sturdy built quality. Compared to Vento/Rapid, the power output was a total letdown but then again that was never the priority. It was a practical daily use car and some occasional drives to country side / highways. Decided to buy the car from Kerala as I was planning to get it back home after around 3 yrs. Checked with the Skoda outlets for a White 1.2TDI. I was informed about the waiting period of 3~5 Months. Considering the waiting list for the same, I felt it was fair. Paid a booking amount of Rs.50000.

Two days later, my daily run failed to start and frankly I was getting irritated of the rattles and squeaks which my service guy was not able to get rid of permanently. A visit to garage brought a fact out that the car needs a major work done. I did not go down to investigate the reason as I thought it was time to let it go. So I needed a car desperately in 1 Week max. So I decided to get a pre worshiped sparsely used one.

At the time [Aug 2011], getting a 3~7 months old used Fabia 1.2TDI was hard. 4 days of search had passed and I was able to find none. on the fifth day I got a call from a friend of mine that a car was available 4 month old 10,500 odd done for 6.4Lacs. I saw the car and was not at happy seeing the black / grey interiors as that one was the base model.

The next day I was informed by my technician that a 1.2TDI was available which had run for around 20K. It was a White color with two tone beige and black dash with a spider running under the hood . I rushed to the spot and was happy to find the car was what I was looking for. After having a close inspection on the interiors and engine bay , I realised it was not taken good care. That was a disappointing development but I knew I did not have much options since I was wanting a car at the earliest. So to cross check whether there was any mechanical defect, I decided to get a check up done by a Skoda Technician. Was able to locate a guy through someone and he promptly came and did a check up and ok-ed me on the condition of the car.

The Deal was fixed and It was a good deal for the seller and not me but I felt at this point I hardly had an alternative.

Paid the guy the DD, got the car home and did a thorough cleaning and I was happy with my decision. The car pulled well from 2K onwards clean and the power rush is stronger than the stock car . Credit goes to Red Rooster. I gave the car for a Oil Change / Check belts / Check Brakes / Check Alignment for service. I got a dent of Rs.10,000. The air filters were K&N but the filter had been damaged due to earlier handling. Replaced them with a stock size K&N's again. Tyres were 205/50R15 but they were not in the best state probably bcoz of lack of periodic Balancing / Alignment checks. So decided to replace the front two with 205/50 R15 A drives.

The car was ready for my use

1st Trouble :
This happened on my return journey to Bangalore from Thrissur and time was approximately 11PM. Due to some reason I had to go late. I was doing around 100kmph and driving happily with tankful that I noticed the fuel gauge was showing 6/8th tank when I had barely done 110Kms after a full tank. I was surprised at such a low figure and thought that may be it was some error. I continued my drive and guage dipped to 5/8 when I had done 140 kms and now I was slightly worried whether there is a leak in the fuel tank.

I stopped my car in the well illuminated area. Due to rain I was not able to inspect the car track on the road neither was I able to get any distinctive smell of diesel. Hardly had I done further 10kms, the glow plug sign started blinking on the indicator and now I was worried. I stopped the car. Opened the bonnet, removed the engine hood and realised the diesel was leaking from somewhere as the smell was too intense.

As it was late and since I had to reach bangalore at any cost I continued my journey. After a few kms the car just shut itself on the middle of the road. Luckily there was no traffic and I got the car to the side. On trying to start the engine again I realised it would not crank again. The feeling was as if there was no oil and everything was stuck inside the engine.

I called up the Skoda Toll free number and they got me a tow truck and a taxi. The car was towed to Salem and I proceeded my journey to Bangalore. The next day towards the evening , I was informed by the Skoda service Personnel that there was no serious problem and injectors had just gone loose and hence the diesel was leaking. I was horrified to learn this was I suppose nearly 10 Litres of diesel was poured in the journey. Any spark would have been fatal. On asking about why it has happened, all they could say was probably it was loosened in the previous service and never tightened back on which I told them It just happened today and prior this I have driven around 7000kms and there was no problem.They could not trace the reason, so instead of wasting more time I just left and the whole incident was forgotten.
2nd Trouble :
The left window stopped working. It was corrected in the second service @ 29000Kms for free though the service costed me Rs.12000
3rd Trouble :
This was very recent when I was on the way to Bellary from Calicut. The radiator fan was not switching off even after 15mins since the engine was turned off. I took it to Vision Skoda , Calicut and they spend a whole day and was not able to get it corrected. They replaced relays, replaced the fan assembly and still the problem would not stop. Finally they decided to remove the Spider and Holla !, the problem just vanished. I was frankly disappointed as I thought the fun was over. On a brief drive after removing the TB, I realised the experience was not so bad but the top end was not as strong as before.
Now the car has clocked nearly 37000Kms and following are the pros and cons I have felt over the period.

Pros
  • Built Quality
  • Interior Fit and Finish
  • Ride/Handling Balance
  • Sitting comfort
  • Attention to detail
  • Fuel Efficiency
Cons
  • Servicing Cost
  • Turbo Lag
  • Complicated Electricals
  • Poor Service Network
Fuel Efficiency :
  1. Best - 24Kmpl ( with A/c @ 80KMPH continuous )
  2. Worst - 12Kmpl ( with A/c @ 170+KMPH / City Crawl )
  3. Average - 18kmpl ( Mixed Cycle )

It can be challenge owning one but for what the car is, I am willing to accept the shortcomings.

Note :

Trouble 1/3 may be connected to the Tuning Box. I will be paying them a visit soon for checking my box and will post the result of discussion at the earliest.

The bottom lip of the front bumper had been painted to silver - A DIY job

i20 had been omitted out of the list for a personal reason.
Attached Thumbnails
Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-66.jpg  

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Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-88.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-77.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-110.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-110a.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-33.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-55.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-4.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-11.jpg  

Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms-22.jpg  


Last edited by Rudra Sen : 10th September 2012 at 07:30. Reason: removed extra smilley
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:54   #2
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Default re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

Slick. Nice Review & Pictures.

Where does the K&N sit? Alloys make?

Thanks!
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:54   #3
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Default re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

Great Review! Thats some modded car. 205 Section tires on a 1.2Diesel Car!
Great Alloys as well.
But as always the Skoda Trouble strikes!
Which variant is Yours? You said airbags were a must.
Is it the Ambiente variant? It came with airbags before it was renamed ambition.
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Old 9th September 2012, 13:30   #4
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Default re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

Thats a well written write-up with some great pics. The alloys look really stunning.
The Fabia is a pretty nice car IMO but I always try to stay away from the Skoda brand (due to reasons we all are familiar with).
I wish you many happy miles of motoring with the white beauty. Hope you dont face the "skoda trouble" too often.
Take Care and Drive Safe.
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Old 9th September 2012, 14:11   #5
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Default re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxbhp View Post
The Search

The Deal was fixed and It was a good deal for the seller and not me but I felt at this point I hardly had an alternative.

Paid the guy the DD, got the car home and did a thorough cleaning and I was happy with my decision.
Short and crisp write-up covering all the important areas about the car. Wish you a memorable ownership with the Fabia!


Quote:
1st Trouble :
This happened on my return journey to Bangalore from Thrissur and time was approximately 11PM. Due to some reason I had to go late. I was doing around 100kmph and driving happily with tankful that I noticed the fuel gauge was showing 6/8th tank when I had barely done 110Kms after a full tank. I was surprised at such a low figure and thought that may be it was some error. I continued my drive and guage dipped to 5/8 when I had done 140 kms and now I was slightly worried whether there is a leak in the fuel tank.

I stopped my car in the well illuminated area. Due to rain I was not able to inspect the car track on the road neither was I able to get any distinctive smell of diesel. Hardly had I done further 10kms, the glow plug sign started blinking on the indicator and now I was worried. I stopped the car. Opened the bonnet, removed the engine hood and realised the diesel was leaking from somewhere as the smell was too intense.

As it was late and since I had to reach bangalore at any cost I continued my journey. After a few kms the car just shut itself on the middle of the road. Luckily there was no traffic and I got the car to the side. On trying to start the engine again I realised it would not crank again. The feeling was as if there was no oil and everything was stuck inside the engine.

I called up the Skoda Toll free number and they got me a tow truck and a taxi. The car was towed to Salem and I proceeded my journey to Bangalore. The next day towards the evening , I was informed by the Skoda service Personnel that there was no serious problem and injectors had just gone loose and hence the diesel was leaking. I was horrified to learn this was I suppose nearly 10 Litres of diesel was poured in the journey. Any spark would have been fatal. On asking about why it has happened, all they could say was probably it was loosened in the previous service and never tightened back on which I told them It just happened today and prior this I have driven around 7000kms and there was no problem.They could not trace the reason, so instead of wasting more time I just left and the whole incident was forgotten.
Note :

Trouble 1/3 may be connected to the Tuning Box. I will be paying them a visit soon for checking my box and will post the result of discussion at the earliest.
I faced the EXACT same trouble with my Polo 1.2TDi too. Over 40 litres of diesel leaked, car stalled finally and needed a flat-bed. Like in your case, the workshop guys had no clue how it had happened. From your description, I assume the leak was from the bolt near the injectors right ? On that overflow pipe

I was trying to asses the risk of fire,but my research lead me to believe that it wasn't a close call. I read online that diesel has a higher combustion temp than petrol and doesn't ignite by spark. Unless the surface of the engine was hot enough for diesel to catch fire, my car incident happened on a hot and sunny day, but luckily no fire. So the risk wasn't too high. Am I right with my conclusion.

What trouble do you specifically attribute to the diesel tuning box ? Is it the cause for the diesel leak ? Also, did the TB help improve drivability in the lower rpms and in-gear acceleration

Here's a link to the thread detailing the troubles i've faced:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...fuel-leak.html
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Old 9th September 2012, 16:27   #6
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Default re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

There is a similar White Fabia in our city, Beefed up tyres, 16/17" Alloys and all. Will try to click some pics.
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Old 10th September 2012, 15:05   #7
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Default re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxbhp View Post

It can be challenge owning one but for what the car is, I am willing to accept the shortcomings.
Very rightly said. Owners can relate to this However from the rest of the post it was quite evident that the car wasn't well taken care of by the previous owner. Once you have the initial troubles are taken care of, I am sure you will be set for quite a long time of fun driving.
Have a good one!
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Old 11th September 2012, 10:33   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eminenttismo View Post
Slick. Nice Review & Pictures.
Where does the K&N sit? Alloys make?
Thanks!
Its League. Planning to replace the centre cap with that of Skoda and painting it silver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
Great Review! Thats some modded car. 205 Section tires on a 1.2Diesel Car!
Great Alloys as well.
But as always the Skoda Trouble strikes!
Which variant is Yours? You said airbags were a must.
Is it the Ambiente variant? It came with airbags before it was renamed ambition.
Thanks. I would not call my experience as general trouble. Its something Skoda should educate its consumers to check. Loosening of the nut at the injector happens with 50% of the car over a period of time. You just need to check it every 5000Kms. Thats all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dZired View Post
What trouble do you specifically attribute to the diesel tuning box ? Is it the cause for the diesel leak ? Also, did the TB help improve drivability in the lower rpms and in-gear acceleration
Here's a link to the thread detailing the troubles i've faced:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...fuel-leak.html
  • No trouble at all other than the faulty signal of Engine overheat it was generating which was causing the fan to run even after its ignition is turned off.
  • TB was not tuned for low speed , it was rather tuned for enhancing the top end , so lag was more pronounced in the city but on highway it just blows most of the cars to the back. I did an indicated 190 at one instance.
  • Just check for Injectors to ensure its not loose every 5000Kms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMS View Post
Very rightly said. Owners can relate to this However from the rest of the post it was quite evident that the car wasn't well taken care of by the previous owner. Once you have the initial troubles are taken care of, I am sure you will be set for quite a long time of fun driving.
Have a good one!
Small correction. Car was not taken care of but Mechanically it was perfect as I had got it thoroughly inspected at a Skoda service centre. I hope for a long happy journey
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Old 11th September 2012, 23:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxbhp
[*]No trouble at all other than the faulty signal of Engine overheat it was generating which was causing the fan to run even after its ignition is turned off.[*]TB was not tuned for low speed , it was rather tuned for enhancing the top end , so lag was more pronounced in the city but on highway it just blows most of the cars to the back. I did an indicated 190 at one instance.[*]Just check for Injectors to ensure its not loose every 5000Kms.
Hey I guess you meant to quote me but something went wrong. Is it so common for the nut near the injector to go lose in new cars ? Any specific reason for this ?
Great relief to hear its nothing unusual and serious !
The top end is that good is it ? I'm thinking of going in for a tuning box soon,just want to ensure it won't result in diesel leakage like what happened previously on my car.
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Old 14th September 2012, 10:38   #10
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Default Fuel Efficiency Update

I was on a mission to get the best KMs/Litre with A/C on only.
  • 80Kms constant on 5th Gear returned me an unbelievable mileage. First indicator [5 Lit] ran till 185Kms. The trick is never to depress the accelerator even though you are below 2500RPM. It sure is boring but you can churn out some mind blowing figures.
  • Average mileage tank to tank gave me a range of 796kms that with AC on.
Ps : Can we install the VW Polo gear know on to the Fabia ? It looks really clean.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
Hey I guess you meant to quote me but something went wrong. Is it so common for the nut near the injector to go lose in new cars ? Any specific reason for this ?

Great relief to hear its nothing unusual and serious !

The top end is that good is it ? I'm thinking of going in for a tuning box soon,just want to ensure it won't result in diesel leakage like what happened previously on my car.
The nut logically can only loosen itself on counter pressure in anticlock wise direction so I guess variation in fuel pressure other than what its designed for.

What happened was unusual since I was not aware of it in the first place but since I know what to do am sure its not serious.

Top end is pretty good but driving in traffic is hopeless.
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Old 14th September 2012, 10:50   #11
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Thumbs up Re: Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI - Journey of 37000 kms

Thanks MaxBHP for the review, I will keep a check on the nuts and problems you have encountered.

The turbo lag is bad but once you acquaint yourself with the car you can drive it all day long without tiring. It is also a fund car to drive in the turbo range.

My Skoda TDI (July 2011) has completed 17000 Km's and am quite happy with it. The service is expensive but then its only once a year. JMD in Mumbai has kept me happy with its service. (Much better than Ford which I had earlier).
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Old 16th September 2012, 14:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxbhp View Post
The nut logically can only loosen itself on counter pressure in anticlock wise direction so I guess variation in fuel pressure other than what its designed for.

What happened was unusual since I was not aware of it in the first place but since I know what to do am sure its not serious.

Top end is pretty good but driving in traffic is hopeless.
So a tuning box can quicken this process right ? If I am not wrong, these boxes increase the rail pressure right ?
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Old 17th September 2012, 11:22   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rulerofsun View Post
Thanks MaxBHP for the review, I will keep a check on the nuts and problems you have encountered.

The turbo lag is bad but once you acquaint yourself with the car you can drive it all day long without tiring. It is also a fund car to drive in the turbo range.

My Skoda TDI (July 2011) has completed 17000 Km's and am quite happy with it. The service is expensive but then its only once a year. JMD in Mumbai has kept me happy with its service. (Much better than Ford which I had earlier).
You can rectify the turbo lag to an extent with a TB but at the cost of efficiency.

Service is not really expensive as its around 10K for a normal service which includes oil worth 4K and that too its once in 15,000Kms. My complaints are only on the parts price.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
So a tuning box can quicken this process right ? If I am not wrong, these boxes increase the rail pressure right ?
I am not fully sure about it but representatives from Pete's and RedRooster should throw some light on this case.
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Old 17th September 2012, 12:12   #14
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[quote=maxbhp;2905873] My complaints are only on the parts price.
[quote]

I agree. I took the Skoda Shield. I also think that parts failure is not so common in the Fabia.

My Ford had a Fuel pump failure in the first 10000 KMS and it was not covered under warranty for some weird reason. It cost ne 13000 to replace it.The Ford lost its AC after 25K Kms and the estimated time for repair at the A-S-S was 60 days (Parts not available). Comparing that to Skoda I think I am much better.

Skoda Fabia TDi is a wonderful car according to me cause I have been to places where other cars flounder. Comparing the Skoda to other Hatches specially my old zen is like comparing apples to oranges. Love the boot too and the ability to cruise at 100 for the entire day with amazing efficiency
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Old 3rd October 2012, 20:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rulerofsun View Post
I took the Skoda Shield. I also think that parts failure is not so common in the Fabia.
Even I feel the same way. The problem with Skoda A.S.S is that its been nationally bad mouthed for its service level hence customers are bound to play it hard if they find their car with a fault even if its out of their own negligence. Though yes, in couple of cases , its been customers at the receiving end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rulerofsun View Post
My Ford had a Fuel pump failure in the first 10000 KMS and it was not covered under warranty for some weird reason. It cost ne 13000 to replace it.The Ford lost its AC after 25K Kms and the estimated time for repair at the A-S-S was 60 days (Parts not available). Comparing that to Skoda I think I am much better.
Ford is also pretty expensive to maintain according to me though its not as bad a Skoda. I am afraid even Skoda will have trouble getting you parts which aren't replaced often though 2 months is unlikely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rulerofsun View Post
Skoda Fabia TDi is a wonderful car according to me cause I have been to places where other cars flounder. Comparing the Skoda to other Hatches specially my old zen is like comparing apples to oranges. Love the boot too and the ability to cruise at 100 for the entire day with amazing efficiency
I feel the same. The attention to detail specially where customer touch and feel is experience on everyday usage is simply in a different league.

Am planning to increase the profile height of the tyre to work on ride.

This weekend am planning to clean my K&N. Will post pics as soon as its done.
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