7 years of fighting

After a grueling 7 years, it’s finally done. I’ve finished my doctorate in economics.

To any of you pursuing post graduate degrees, be strong! I managed to finish my doctorate not because of my intellect, but because of the support of friends and families. I’m not one to shy away from relationship, I have lived alone and survived (to my own lack of connection early in life), I even prefer solitude over companionship. I hurt people who are close to me, which I still regret until today. Yet, the perseverance of humanity to help me go through my troubling times, helped me to open up and finally accepts that not everyone in this world is out to hurt me.

In the last 7 years I learned more than 3 decades worth of living. I learned the meaning of true friendship that borders to familial ties. I learned the meaning of love. I learned the meaning of sacrifice. I learned how to cope of losing someone close to me. I don’t think I learned macro economics because I got blasted for that on my final dissertation hearing… But I learned so much more.

One thing that I found sad for me is that, I can no longer teach marketing. Since I’m targeting to get professorship, I have to teach inline with my background or get a second doctorate in communication and get my professorship there.

Anyway, keep your friends close, and most importantly, define your own happiness.

Best regards,

A note to Honda – BR-V Edition

With Mobilio and Brio receiving its mid-cycle refresh, the BR-V is the only model out of the platform that has yet to receive a refresh.

The BR-V, to me is the ultimate Mobilio, the best iteration of the platform bar none. From the outside, it looks like a Mobilio with a facelift, a very good face lift, but it’s so much more than that. The BR-V receives extensive sound proofing, better mechanics and inside it has more headroom than the Mobilio. Yet, for all of its superiority over the Mobilio, I still can’t wrap my head around the third row seat utility.

The BR-V like the Mobilio, has a third row seat that tumbles forward for extra cargo area. Yet, even though the third row back seat can be folded 50:50, the base is not divided. So if you want to fit an extra tall item, you either have to sacrifice the third row seat altogether or put the item on top one of the folded backseat, which, because it’s a cushion, won’t give a stable base to put things on.

I had this one particular case last week when I was driving with 4 other person on my Freed. I was out buying some gardening stuff, some short plants, some horizontal pots, and some compost. Because the third row seat folds 50:50 individually, my big friend can still sit at the back comfortably with only one seat folded, although the compost smells kind of makes him wanted to kill me, but hey, it still works. If I drive the BR-V, the big dude had to sit in the second row with two other big dudes which is not at all comfortable. I’m still boggled by the notion that Honda engineers and designers sorely left out the utility that makes a Honda, a Honda, from the platform altogether.

I know, I know, cost cutting… But Toyota Avanza has 50:50 individually splitting third row seat that tumbles forward… A Toyota for crying out loud… Which I have nothing against, but, it’s a Toyota.

Also, for a premium car, or at least the most expensive car that shared platform with the Mobilio, and the dinky Brio, why the heck BR-V door panels ARE LIFTED ENTIRELY FROM THE BRIO!? Or… WHY DOES IT SHARE PARTS FROM THE CHEAPEST ENTRY LEVEL MODEL!?

Goodness gracious… My Freed is 7 years old and starting to show mechanical and electronic issues, although not disturbing to say the least, but it’s annoying. Frankly, I don’t see myself replacing the Freed with the Mobilio, if I do, that’s because I’m desperately needed to change the Freed, and I’m blood tied with Honda. The BR-V however, has a chance. Comes next year, rumors abound that it will receives a refresh and you know what’s coming next year also? Second generation Toyota Rush/Daihatsu Terios. I’m sure if Honda didn’t offer a substantial refresh on the BR-V, next year, it will be a bloodbath for the model.

So for summary, my note for Honda BR-V:

  • Do something about the door panel lining. Differentiate it more than Brio door panel lining.
  • Use true split 50:50 for the third row.
  • A true LED DRL with brighter lighting.

That’s it… It’s very straightforward. The BR-V is the flagship product of the Brio, Mobilio, BR-V trio in Indonesia. The basics are there, it’s just that the devil is in the detail.

Red Bull Honda 2019

To say that Honda has a great 2017 F1 season is an overstatement unlike any other. In fact it’s the craziest most ridiculous season of Formula 1 I ever watched. The change of Honda F1 boss from Yasuhisa Arai to Yusuke Hasegawa last year doesn’t deliver the performance improvement whatsoever. Honda engine performance was so bad, with plenty of race failures, Fernando Alonso even slow down on purpose in the Belgian GP. If the idea is to spite the Honda team, he did it with aplomb.

McLaren bosses made it very public they are not happy with Honda engine. Despite countless, countless, well actually some statement from Honda admitting they are failing but vow for improvements, McLaren didn’t want any of it since they considered the team as a first tier and not a bottom dweller. The thing is, Mclaren-Honda relationship is not skin deep, it goes way deeper. Honda is the one who actually pays for Fernando Alonso salary, one of the most expensive F1 driver in the grid. Honda also bears part of the brunt of financing the McLaren team. Honda is more than just an engine supplier.

So why Honda engine suffers? Well, because F1 truly is the pinnacle of motorsport racing, with hugely complex power unit. Not just an engine, F1 power unit consists of internal combustion engine with a turbocharger and both a kinetic and heat reclamation technology to produce power. The engineering adage speaks true, the more things you add up the more things going to explode. So what gives, Honda is an engineering company, what happened in the development part? F1 enforced a “fairness clause”, means that engine development is not actually free, it has to be done in a certain time period and tested during race season. Even testing the engine on a moving chassis outside the allocated time period is forbidden. Honda engineers have a very limited experience with producing high performance engines due to constantly going in and out of F1, and having ZERO high performance car in the market for almost a decade after the first generation NSX ends its production in 2004. Compared to Ferrari, Mercedes, even McLaren to some extent, their engineers are head deep in experience making the best of performance engines.

Since McLaren bosses are aware that brand image is an expensive thing to lost, more so than Honda funding, they finally cut ties with Honda and chose the third best option to partner with Renault for their engine. So why Renault oh so mighty McLaren? Because Fernando Alonso just wanted out from the Honda engine so bad, they will settle for anything but Honda. Fernando Alonso is the key figure here. He is arguably one of the best driver, and like any band front runner, the singer sometimes makes or break the band. Freddie Mercury and Kurt Cobain comes to mind. Alonso stipulates if he’s staying in McLaren, the engine supplier needs to be changed, fast. Since Ferrari and Mercedes are not willing to supply another team, the option goes to Renault. Sure Red Bull Racing currently stands in third constructor’s championship is powered by a Renault engine, however Toro Rosso, and even the factory Renault team that uses the Renault engine is having a bad time with engine problems as well.

But a deal has been made, and starting 2018, Honda will part ways with McLaren. It’s a sad day remembering that McLaren-Honda partnership in Aryton Senna time was considered legendary.

So welcoming Toro Rosso! Eh… It’s weird that Honda now backing up a satellite team from previously backing up one of the prestigious racing team in the field. Toro Rosso is Red Bull satellite team, a junior team where potential drivers “trains” in the field and if deemed potential goes up the food chain and get a seat on the Red Bull F1 car. It looks bad at first, relegated to a satellite team with slimmer chance of winning due to having a potential but not experienced drivers…. But you know what… Truth sometimes stranger than fiction.

In a twist worthy of any latin America telenovela, Renault actually shutters the engine deal for Red Bull Racing in 2018! With Mercedes and Ferrari only commits to existing team (hence McLaren-Renault deal), Honda might just have to supply Red Bull team with an engine in 2019! On the early hours of Toro Rosso deals, a lot of comments goes to Honda that they can breathe a sigh of relief, to improve their engines with Toro Rosso and fails in leisure without the pressure of top tier team. Now with this news, it has come to mind that the race never let up, Honda needs to improve, and improve a whole God damn lot, if they want to return to supplying the top team.

So Yusuke Hasegawa-san, you have 2 years to improve Honda F1 power unit and 2 years is a lot. God speed, and lose that eastern attitude, win at all cost.

A Note To Honda – Brio Edition

So what’s wrong about the Brio? Bearing the torch as Honda entry level car, the Brio carried the burden laid by the old Honda Fit/Jazz. The Fit/Jazz was everything a compact car could have been. An agile handling, a responsive but frugal engine, high utility function with the fold flat seats and best of all, entry level pricing. The Brio on the other hand covers everything but left one thing wanting, especially the utility part. With a cargo space barely fitting a backpack that can fit 15″ laptop sideways, what happened? Many cars in the Brio class has superior cargo space, in fact, it can be argued that the Brio has the smallest cargo space in the class.

Size wise, the Brio is quite compact, but not as compact as the other car in the segment. Let’s pull a size comparison with the Daihatsu Ayla, just from Wikipedia.

Brio LxWxH : 3.61 x 1.68 x 1.47 Meter

Ayla LxWxH : 3.6 x 1.6 x 1.52 Meter.

Volume wise the Brio basically is about the same with the Daihatsu offering, however how come the cargo space for Agya is so much bigger than the Brio?

This is where the platform sharing fell short for the Brio. Size is never anything. There are plenty of consideration needed to size a car based on its dimension. For example, the wheelbase. The Brio has a short wheelbase, at only 2.34 Meter, compared to Ayla 2.45 Meter. Does 13 Centimeter is a lot? Well yes… For a front wheel drive cars, wheelbase means exactly the interior space a car has for its occupants and cargo if it’s a two box design cars, which underlies station wagon, hatchbacks and anything without a trunk/boot.

So the Brio has a bad length to wheelbase ratio, because it suffers from the platform sharing stigma. The car length was attributed to the fact that the platform caters engine to its biggest size, the 1.5L turbocharged diesel i-DTEC engine available in India. No matter how you sugarcoat the i-DTEC engine, a combination of turbocharger, intercooler and extra pipings necessitate a bigger engine bay than necessary. Brio engine bay fits the L15 i-VTEC like a champ, and it’s actually one of the most popular modification for those who want to get power and stay on this spectrum of naturally aspirated engine.

Lucky this issue only affects the utility side of the car. The Brio is still a blast to drive, even with a dinky 1.2L engine. Short wheelbase does impart the go kart like driving sensation, and with a marginally wide and low slung body, daily driving may be exciting, if the law allows it.

So what can be done with the utility issue for the next generation of Brio? Sadly… Nothing the engineers can do with it if the next car is based on the same platform sharing. What they can do is to design the car with a more aggressive styling like the current Brio RS. Move away from the wide eyed look of the current car, and be more like a smaller Jazz with H wing fascia. The engineers can also design a boxier looking car, but at the expense of making a dorky looking car. I know it’s hard to design the perfect car, since engineers and designers always headbutt their conversation any way they can.


Honda Brio Wikipedia

Daihatsu Ayla Wikipedia

A note to Honda

Like anything in this world, nothing is perfect, so does Honda and its products. In this entry series called ‘a note to Honda’, I’m casting away my fanboyness to anything Honda for constructive critiques.

Honda never shied away from using an existing platform for a wide variety of cars, some are amazing because of it, but some has weird peculiarity because it uses the same platform.

Honda built its car using global platforms, a mainstay term today but a unique concept back in the day. There was a time one platform called Honda small global platform underlines 5 model back in early 00’s with the Fit, Fit Aria (City), Airwave, Mobilio, and Mobilio Spike.

For more than a decade, Honda never use platform sharing as aggressive as back in the early 00’s with the Fit line. Now they are back with full force with the Brio line. Spanning 4 model line, it might not be as frugal as the Fit platform sharing, but it sets out what’s good and bad about Honda. I’ve wrote about the Brio platform in the past, but more of overview of the platform. Here I will be much more critical of the platform and many about Honda in general.

So next, let’s talk about the Brio.


Mengapa Harus CVT?

Transmisi otomatis di era moderen sudah menjadi teknologi wajib atau minimal pilihan yang menarik bagi kalangan pengendara mobil terutama di kota-kota besar yang padat kendaraan. Kenyamanan hanya menginjak gas dan rem, membuat pengendara transmisi otomatis tidak merasa selelah mereka yang menggunakan transmisi manual dalam kondisi macet.

Akhir-akhir ini, produsen otomotif Jepang mulai menggunakan teknologi CVT (Continous Variable Transmission) untuk transmisi otomatis mereka. Nissan memang yang pertama menjadi advokat teknologi ini, dengan menyertakan CVT di hampir semua produk mereka dari sedan hingga MPV besar. Dengan klaim kenyamanan berkendara yang optimal serta efisiensi bahan bakar, teknologi CVT menjadi ciri khas dari produk mobil Nissan. Honda di Indonesia sempat menjajal pasar dengan teknologi CVT pada produk Honda Jazz dan City pada tahun 2004 sebelum kembali menggunakan transmisi multi percepatan pada Jazz dan City generasi ke-2. Namun, dengan dibawah bendera Earth Dreams, Honda memperkenalkan kembali teknologi CVT yang hampir menyeluruh diadopsi dari model kelas pemula seperti Brio hingga kelas premium seperti Honda Accord dan Odyssey. Bahkan, Honda Civic dengan mesin turbonya juga telah menggunakan CVT.

Pengadopsian teknologi CVT yang massal oleh Honda bukanlah tanpa sebab, seperti Nissan, insinyur Honda tampaknya telah menyempurnakan beberapa aspek teknologi CVT mereka untuk menghasilkan performa, kenyamanan dan efisiensi untuk semua mobil Honda. Lalu Anda bertanya, apakah CVT dan mengapa Nissan serta Honda berbondong-bondong mengusung teknologi ini?

CVT, atau Continous Variable Transmission memiliki satu keunikan dibandingkan dengan semua teknologi transmisi otomatis yang ada di dunia, yaitu ketiadaan roda gigi. Transmisi multi percepatan memiliki roda gigi dengan rasio-rasio tertentu, seperti halnya transmisi manual. Untuk mencapai akselerasi tinggi, gigi rasio tinggi digunakan dan untuk mencapai efisiensi mesin tertinggi, gigi rasio rendah digunakan. Untuk mendapatkan kombinasi jumlah roda gigi yang ideal, diperlukan banyak roda gigi atau jumlah percepatan, yang menyebabkan ongkos material meningkat dan ukuran transmisi yang memanjang. Honda sendiri sudah mengembangkan dan menjual mobil dengan transmisi 10 percepatan pada mobil Odyssey di Amerika Serikat, namun hanya terbatas pada satu tipe termahal saja. Untuk produk massalnya, Honda tetap berpegang teguh pada penggunaan CVT.

CVT mengentaskan masalah jumlah gigi dengan solusi ideal, yaitu daripada menggunakan jumlah gigi yang banyak, CVT menggunakan dua buah pulley, memutar rantai besi yang membesar dan mengecil, menyesuaikan dengan kerja putaran mesin. Hal ini membuat kendaraan berakselerasi tanpa henti hingga titik tenaga tertinggi tanpa diperlukannya perpindahan gigi karena kedua buah pulley tersebut menyesuaikan besaran rasio gigi secara terus menerus.

Dalam keseharian saya mengendarai Brio dengan transmisi otomatis 5 percepatan, sangat terasa kondisi-kondisi dimana transmisi mengalami kebingungan untuk turun gigi atau tetap pada gigi yang berjalan, terutama ketika ingin mendahului mobil di jalan tol. Ketika saya menginjak pedal gas untuk mendahului, terkadang gigi turun sehingga mobil berakselerasi cepat tapi terkadang tidak, dimana saya harus menginjak pedal lebih dalam supaya gigi melakukan kickdown dan berakselerasi. Kondisi ini terjadi ketika rasio gigi yang dipilih berada di ambang tengah kedua rasio gigi terdekat. Dengan CVT, kondisi ini tidak akan pernah terjadi karena rasio gigi berubah sesuai kebutuhan, hanya tergantung beban mesin saja dan apakah sudah mencapai batas tenaga mesin yang mampu diberikan.

Tanpa adanya perpindahan gigi tentu membuat transmisi CVT menjadi sangat nyaman. Sayangnya tidak semua setuju. Untuk pengendara yang biasa membawa kendaraan manual maupun transmisi otomatis multi percepatan, ketiadaan hentakan perpindahan gigi membuat mengendarai kendaraan dengan CVT terasa aneh. Untungnya, CVT dapat diprogram untuk mensimulasikan rasio gigi tetap. Tapi hal ini tidak diperlukan dan bahkan mengurangi efisiensi CVT dari segi akselerasi dan penggunaan bahan bakar.

Mobilio Refresh Is Here

The new new new new Mobilio is here. We need to discuss Honda Indonesia naming strategy one of these days, for every refresh, touch up, new addition of something they add new. With that said, welcoming Mobilio refresh 2017, arguably the biggest refresh after last year’s dashboard change.

The Mobilio Refresh seems like it’s following a mid-cycle route, being launched late 2013 in Indonesia. Meaning that a full model change will come around 2019. Like any mid-cycle refresh, the Mobilio features the biggest change ever, most notably on its front end.

For summary of changes:

  • Angular front end with revised headlight and hood.
  • New interior color.
  • New seat design.
  • New exterior colors.
  • New multimedia system.
  • Available VSA option

The biggest change definitely is in the front end, featuring new headlight and new bumper that gives the car Honda corporate “solid wing face”. The construction is fairly simple, big halogen lights will not get any point whatsoever, but the inclusion of DRL led light warrants extra point. So much so that Honda even eliminate the projector headlight option on the RS variant. I haven’t check it for myself, but the curved led light (Honda term “guide light”) supposed to be a DRL, which means it’s active all the time. This is huge as it is more of a safety feature than lighting function. It is a function that indicates that a car is active to notify other driver from the opposite side of the road. It’s fairly minor, but a good addition and also enhances the overall look of the car.

The money shot right here, damn gorgeous angle

The interior colors receives lighter tone which Honda says it’s Ivory… To my opposition, it looks like grey in the promo materials. Definitely A HUGE improvement as lighter color gives more impression of a bigger space. The seat also got improvement with thicker cushion and movable headrest, seems taken from the BR-V. The second row seat now features ISO fix anchors and the middle seat even got an adjustable headrest (not available on the BR-V even). Also, unique to the RS variant is orange stitching for that extra spiciness.

Bring in the light!

The exterior colors got updated with a strange combination. The new purple, called Marine Purple is available for both standard and RS variant of the car, however the RS variant got a special color, Phoenix Orang Pearl Two Tone, which is standard glittery orange but with a black roof. Now here’s the strange combination part, the RS variant has always comes with a flushed roof rack, but if Honda Indonesia configurator is correct, only the orange two tone RS variant got the roof rack… Which is odd.

From the entertainment system part, Honda upgraded the AV system with a 6.2″ touch screen for the standard variant and gives 6 speaker system and even bigger AV system touchscreen at a whopping 6.8″ to the RS variant. Honda could’ve just lifted the BR-V AV system with Nanoe air purifier, but they didn’t, so there’s your main difference AV wise.

Finally, the RS CVT variant receives Honda stability assist and hill start assist which is quite a huge addition in terms of safety.

I’d probably do a driving impression sometimes this quarter. It intrigues me since Honda apparently (for real) will not bring in Freed replacement to Indonesia per recent interview with Mr. Jonfis Fandi. Stating that the Mobilio and BR-V already occupied the 7 seater segment and bringing another will split the market. So my 7 year old Freed will need to be replaced by either the Mobilio or the BR-V when push comes to shove. I’m still leaning towards the BR-V, since it has higher head clearance on the third row, but let’s see, I’m not in a hurry to replace my precious Freed.

Facelifted Honda Mobilio Coming With DRL

It’s officially official, the facelifted Honda Mobilio is getting a DRL with a complete set of fascia change and a new set of wheels (and a delicious purple/blue/something color)

The Mobilio is Honda most popular model in Indonesia, thanks to its three row seat and the successful campaign Honda Prospect Motor did all of this year to cement Honda brand equity at the top. Shout out to my Indian friends, too bad the Mobilio doesn’t work for you guys… But frankly, competition is not exactly cutthroat over here.

Looks like the new Avanza eh?

The original base Mobilio frankly doesn’t grow well with age. Sharing the front end with a micro car really hurts the overall looks of the car. Thankfully the RS model added longer bumper and more aggressive looking headlight.

Droopy front end is droopy

The base Mobilio bubbly headlight makes the car looking very friendly, and we like it like that, but the way it executed made the car too friendly, and frankly boring.

The facelifted Mobilio took out that bubbly headlight and make do with a squared eye look which gives it slightly more aggressive looking but still quite friendly, it is a family hauler after all. The new headlight answers my most criticized design aspect of the car, which is the droopy looking front end, which works quite well for a small car like the Brio, but doesn’t work at all with the long bodied Mobilio. With the square headlight, the overall front end looked more upright and making the car very tout like the BR-V.

The money shot

The biggest addition of them all is the DRL (day time running light) that is usually reserved for a more premium segment car. The details aren’t clear, but you can see it very well on the teaser video. It’s not known if the interior getting another update, since it already got one last year.

The official launch will be January 13th on Jakarta. You will get more update on another website since I’d probably too busy or doing nothing that interest you.

Penampakan Honda Freed Generasi Ke-2 Resmi di Website Honda

Setelah 8 tahun lamanya, akhirnya Honda secara resmi mulai melepas tabir yang menyelimuti Honda Freed generasi ke-2. Penampakan teaser Honda Freed generasi ke-2 di website http://www.honda.co.jp/FREED/new/ mungkin terlihat kecil, namun banyak hal yang dapat diperhatikan dari gambar mobil setengah gelap tersebut.

Kaca depan unik, garis-garis yang lebih sporty, dan kaca samping depan yang lebih besar memberikan perbedaan yang cukup signifikan dibandingkan dengan generasi Freed lawas.

Nantikan berita terkini dari Honda Freed di bulan-bulan berikutnya.

Sumber: Honda.jp

Gambar Paten Honda Freed Generasi Ke-2

Setelah hampir 8 tahun lamanya (Honda Freed diperkenalkan di Jepang pada tahun 2008), Honda akhirnya sudah mengarah pasti kepada peluncuran generasi ke-2 dari Honda Freed. Setelah beberapa foto Honda Freed generasi ke-2 difoto di berbagai jalan di Jepang menggunakan kamuflase, kini gambar minivan kompak besutan Honda tersebut sudah beredar luas di dunia maya melalui gambar paten.

Cukup banyak perbedaan pada generasi ke-2 Honda Freed yang patut dibahas. Desain yang mengusung ke tema sporty ini memberikan banyak peningkatan pada visibilitas pengendara dengan penambahan kaca pada pilar A serta penggunaan kaca depan dengan model kaca mata yang seharusnya menambahkan visibilitas secara vertikal. Untuk lebih jelasnya silahkan lihat gambar berikut.

Semua informasi yang ada mengarah pada peluncuran mobil ini pada akhir Q3 2016 atau awal Q4 2016 (sekitar September- Oktober) di Jepang.

Sudah siap untuk menerima orderan perdana di Indonesia Honda?

Sumber: Temple of VTEC