Ride More Stress Less
FEBRUARY 2016 RSA R29.50
2016 HUSQVARNA 701 ENDURO
IN THIS ISSUE:
DAKAR 2016 / ROCKY FX125
2016 YAMAHA 450’S TESTED
KTM 500 RALLYE BIKE
SUZUKI’S ACROSS AUSTRALIA
1602 DT COVER.indd 1001 2016/01/24 9:30 PM
The Ultimate cross country bike on the
Designed for the serious off-road /
WORCS / GNCC rider.
The base of the YZ450FX is the same as
the motocross-specifi c YZ450F, but has
been tailored to suit the various terrains
one can encounter while in No Man’s
Equipped with the most advanced engine
and chassis technology ever developed
for a Yamaha dirt bike, the WR450F is
ready to shake up the off-road world. Built
for serious enduro racers as well as long
distance rally riders and experienced
recreational riders, this new generation
WR-F produces strong and linear torque
that gives you outstanding performance
together with a high level of controllability.
E&OE. Prices are including VAT.
While stocks last!
All prices mentioned
include VAT @ 14%
find us on
Tel: (011) 251 4000 • Fax: (011) 792 9998 • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cnr. Malibongwe Drive & Tungsten Road, Strydom Commercial Park, Randburg
VISIT OUR WEBSITE: www.linexyamaha.co.za
STREAKING AHEAD FOR OVER 30 YEARS
1602 DT COVER.indd 1002 2016/01/24 9:30 PM
10 December Distributors 2015 of SuperMoose
offroad and enduro mousse
Premium Dealers Roof of Africa 2015 - Supermoose
Gauteng Rad Moto Tel: 011 234 5007 - The Roost Tel: 011 362 2255 - Ridgeway Stoneridgetel: 011 609 0612/0017 - Biker’s Warehouse Tel: 011 795 4122 - KTM Centurion
(012) 643-1110 Kwazulu-Natal Enduro Cycle Accessories Tel: 082 825 0132 - Rocket Racing Pinetown Tel: 031 702 One 2606 of the - Ultra most Badge important And aspects Metal Ta of Ubm a riders Mototcycles career in Tel: this 036 sport is how they feel
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Cape Ace Sports Distribution Tel: 073 229 9771 - Eddy 2 Race Tel: 021 982 8368 Free State Pinnacle Power Sport competition. Tel: 051 448 3797 - Kamikazi Dirt Shop Tel: 079 567
faster than the
8050 Eastern Cape Imb Adventures Tel: 041 364 1090 DEALER ENQUIRIES CONTACT DEALERS@XSTREME.CO.ZA
I was fortunate enough to be able to test the new Supermoose mooses at this
years Roof of Africa. The mooses arrived just before the Roof, so there was not
too much time for testing but after putting these mooses in and going for a quick
little ride to bed them in I could immediately feel the difference.
1602 JT Racing DT COVER.indd Feb16.indd 1 2016/01/24 9:30 6:57 PM
As a racer you are always looking for a particular feel on the bike. I personally
EDITOR: ROLEY FOLEY
Lots going on - interesting start to 2016 - the
rand has seen its arse (are we allowed to say
that?), following the Dakar race has been insane
- and we’ve lost a great friend to the motorcycle
fraternity, all in less than a month. Our heartfelt
condolences go out to Jannie’s family and
friends, he just quietly went about getting the job
done - he will be sorely missed. On the up side
we’ve got some great new bikes making their
way onto showroom floors and we do live in the
best darn riding country on the planet. Don’t
panic stay calm, ride more, stress less - even if
its on an older bike, just keep it serviced and you
can have as much fun as the folks on the
high-end stuff. That’s the beauty of motorcycles
- it does not matter what you ride - they are all
awesome fun! And living here - you can point
your bike in just about any direction and you are
in for a GREAT ride.
Ride safe! See you out on the trails. And to Kyle
Lawrenson Dirt And Trails Mr do it all - welcome
back, we hope that you enjoyed your holiday!
1 down, 5 up lets go!
CONTENTS: FEBRUARY 2016
011 979 1363
Laren vd Westhuizen
14: COVER STORY: HUSKY 701
22: TESTED: 2016 YAMAHA 450’S
28: TESTED: TIGER FULLY LOADED
32: PLAYBIKE: ROCKY FX125
CALL 011 979 1363 OR EMAIL
Digital or hard copy.
38: FEATURE: DAKAR 2016
60: FEATURE: BIKING AUSTRALIA
2 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
1602 DT COVER.indd 2 2016/01/24 9:31 PM
1602 DT COVER.indd 3 2016/01/24 9:31 PM
brought to you by
The Husqvarna 701
launched in SA
The sexy new bikes were unveiled
at a glitzy function at the Bikers
Warehouse in Malibongwe drive.
Husqvarna is quite aggressive with
their introduction of new models, this
one has evolved from the famous 690
– and there are two street models on
their way soon… watch this space.
Elsewhere in the mag, we have a
launch story on the enduro version of
the 701 – and we’ll do a local test as
soon as they become available.
your closest dealer.
SSS Racing now
manufacturing bash plates for
dirtbikes - from R1150.00
Bash plates, or sump guards are designed to
protect your bike’s front and bottom frame
and engine from damage caused by rocks and
stones out on the trails. SSS Manufacture theirs
from 4.5mm aluminium and include all stainless
steel mnounting nuts, bolts and brackets. The
plates are available for a variety of makes and
models. The good news is, if you do not have
a bash plate for your bike, take you bike in and
they will design and manufacture one for you that
will fit your bike 100%. Most dirt bike riders will
inevitably say riding without one is not worth the
risk. The cost of a bash plate is small compared
to what you’d need to pay to replace your cases,
shifters, and brake pedals . One stone will easily
put a hole in your casing, make you lose all your
oil and seize your engine.
Arai helmets distributed by www.bike-wise.co.za
READY FOR ANYTHING
The Tour-X 4 must be one of the most versatile
helmets ever: adventure, grand touring or off road,
and without the peak looks pretty good on a naked
bike too! No matter the riding conditions, the Tour-X 4
is ready for it. Can be used without visor with goggles,
without peak but with visor, any way that suits you.
Full range available now from your nearest dealer.
1602 DT news.indd 4 2016/01/24 9:31 PM
IF ITS STRONG
ENOUGH FOR YOU
MANUFACTURERS OF THE TOUGHEST ALUMINIUM
AND STAINLESS STEEL PLATES AT BARGAIN PRICES
FOR ALL QUADS AND 2-WHEELERS
PROUD PERSONAL SPONSOR TO
JACQUES “BOESMAN” STUWIG
AIR FILTER ADAPTORS
SHARK FIN REAR
SHOCK TOE GUARDS
A ARM GUARDS
FROM R750 / SET
PRO NERF BARS
FROM R2800 / SET
FROM R1890 / SET
IRON CROSS BUMPER
FOLD UP RAMP
BACK WHEEL TIE DOWN
ONROAD / OFFROAD
GRAB BAR ALUM
GRP SPACERS FROM R450
ALUMINIUM SPACERS FROM R600
FRONT WHEEL GRAB
CLAMP FROM R990
PRICES SUBJECT TO EXCHANGE RATE
SSS 1602 Feb16.indd DT news.indd 1 5 2016/01/24 7:02 9:31 PM
brought to you by
EVS’ Wrist brace:
When our Kyle Lawrenson hurt his
wrist a few months back, it put a bit
of a kybosh on his riding. To protect
the injured joint, he purchased the
EVS wrist brace – The wrist is better
but it still niggles a bit.
Injured wrists are pretty common
among bikers and can plague you
for months or even years after they
happen. Looking after them during
rehabilitation is key. The EVS wrist
brace features twin straps, two
support strips and a Velcro-adjustable
We found that it can be worn both
ways and fits right and left joints. It
does its job brilliantly, and, with the
Velcro sleeve fitting, you can easily
put the brace on without removing
This means you can ride without it on
less gnarly sections of the trail but slip
it on without too much hassle when
things start getting wilder. That’s just
the time when an injured rider will be
in need of some extra protection and
peace of mind.
Available at dealers
Some cool Renthal goodies for
your bike. Available at dealers –
imported by Bikewise.
Renthal chain lube is 100% lubricant, zero propellant. So
this new 250ml bottle size combines high performance
and value. The all-new formula Chain Lube is specially
designed to penetrate all parts of the chain. The high
film strength and stable viscosity, across a range of
temperatures, gives superb adhesion and anti-fling
This all-condition lube is compatible with all o-ring
and non o-ring chains. The new twist-nozzle allows
for accurate application, to ensure full coverage and
protection. We’ve just got ourselves some – a bit different
to the usual spray on stuff, we’ll try it out over a couple of
bike washes and report back on what we think.
We also took the plunge and invested in some classy
looking high end Renthal intellilevers for our new FX. The
design of the Gen2 Intellilever allows the lever to dislocate
during a crash, then easily pop back into place. The design
of the lever allows it to dislocate in a full 270 degrees of
motion in any direction, not just up and down or forward
like most other unbreakable levers on the market.
They tell us that improvements to rider ergonomics,
finish, fit, feel and function are all part of the new
Gen2 Intellilever. We’ll try them out – hopefully
without crashing – and report back in a bit…
Get more protection for
your adventure bike
Trickbitz have a new full range of Puig
crash bars available for most adventure
bikes - GS, Versys, 1190, DL, Triumph
Explorer, Tracer and XTZ660.
For more info check out www.trickbitz.
co.za or call 011 672 6599.
Arai helmets distributed by www.bike-wise.co.za
The RX-7V represents the summit of Arai’s
knowledge, experience and know-how in helmet
technology. With a completely new PB-SNC² outer
shell, the revolutionary VAS (“Variable Axis System”)
visor system and a significant increased smoother
area around the temples, the RX-7V offers the new
benchmark in the premium helmet segment.
1602 DT news.indd 6 2016/01/24 9:31 PM
2015 low km 390, 690, 1050 & 1290 Adventure
models at great prices Call now for pricing!
As Good as New!
Great specials on new 2015 street models!
TRAX KTM HAS MOVED!
Come check out our new shop in Solomon
Mahlangu drive opposite MAKRO Pretoria east.
Kom maak n draai, ons praat ook engels…
Willow Rock Shopping Centre
Solomon Mahlangu drive
Willow Acres.Pretoria East
Sales: Riaan 082 446 8852
LANDLINE: 012 111 0190
KTM Group Partner
Trax 1602 KTM DT news.indd Feb16 DT.indd 7 1
2016/01/23 2016/01/24 7:18 9:31 PM
brought to you by
Raceworx KTM news:
Would we do a story on the shop With a guy like Ross and his
experienced team in the workshop,
Sure – it’s a great big cave full of along with all the specialized KTM
delicious orange road, Adventure and tools, they will keep you and your
dirt motorcycles and accessories. bike well sorted.
Herman and his team do a great job www.raceworxktm.co.za
at making you feel welcome while (011) 027-9922
you browse your way through the Next month we focus on Holeshot
Motorcycles on the East Rand.
Arai helmets distributed by www.bike-wise.co.za
READY FOR ANYTHING
The Tour-X 4 must be one of the most versatile
helmets ever: adventure, grand touring or off road,
and without the peak looks pretty good on a naked
bike too! No matter the riding conditions, the Tour-X 4
is ready for it. Can be used without visor with goggles,
without peak but with visor, any way that suits you.
Full range available now from your nearest dealer.
1602 DT news.indd 8 2016/01/24 9:32 PM
1602 DT news.indd 9 2016/01/24 9:32 PM
brought to you by
The Polaris RZR1000 TURBO launched at Katay Racing
The guys from Katay Racing in
Weltevreden Park hosted a shindig to
launch the arrival of Polaris’ latest dirt
buster, the RZR1000 Turbo.
Phil Greenall the man from importer
Smith power equipment was on hand
to tell the visitors a bit more about
this go-fast machine...
It is quite some machine, the
new 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo
EPSproduces a claimed 144
“Unlike other turbo offerings on the
market and true to RZR’s heritage
of building complete machines
that set the vehicles apart from the
competition, the new RZR XP Turbo
EPS is completely engineered, front
to back, to translate industry-leading
power into unmatched performance,”
Polaris says in a release. “To deliver
maximum durability and performance,
Polaris has performed substantial
testing on the engine with enough
test miles to travel around the world
more than nine times; and paired
the engine with an all-new stronger
driveline to ensure all the power gets
to the ground reliably.”
Polaris controls all that power with
what it calls “the most preciselytuned
suspension,” which features
FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks.
Large diameter shock bodies (3.0
in. rear, 2.5 in. front), adjustable
remote reservoirs, and increased
fluid capacity are designed to provide
improvements in heat dissipation,
fade resistance, and durability. The
internal bypass technology uses
five compression zones to provide
progressive damping as the shock
absorbs bumps and stiffens to
prevent bottoming. As well, the
shocks offer three zones of rebound
damping, which are designed to
minimize pitching and harsh top out.”
Sounds heck of an impressive - we’ll
sort a full test for the next issue of Dirt
And trail magazine. If you want one
though - you’ll need to order - the
first shipment is sold out...
Katay Racing (011) 475-4892
Arai helmets distributed by www.bike-wise.co.za
BMW G310R coming in 2016
A new two-wheel roadster has been introduced
by BMW Motorrad. Called the BMW G310R, it’s
the first bike by Motorrad to have a single cylinder,
small displacement engine. Production of the bike
will take place in India, in cooperation with TVS
In total, the G310R’s unladen weight is 158.5
kg. Between those two wheels is a newlydeveloped
single cylinder 313 cc liquid-cooled
motor with four valves and two overhead cams
with electronic fuel injection. The engine has a
backward-tilted cylinder in an open-deck design.
In addition to that, the cylinder head is rotated
by 180 degrees, this allows for the intake tract
to be positioned in front. As a whole, the engine
produces 34 hp at 9,500 rpm and 28 Nm of
torque at 7,500 rpm. According to BMW, the new
engine is designed for the global market – this
means that it can run on all grades of petrol and
still meet emission standards.
Should arrive in SA middle of the year. Contact
your nearest BMW Motorrad dealer for more info.
The MX-V evolved from the much loved VX-3 model.
Years of experience can be found in this ultimate off
road helmet. The perfect choice for MX, Enduro and
Off-road use. Just as found in every Arai helmet, the
basic and simple organic shell shape is based on the
R75 Shape concept. The absence of exaggerated
edges or protrusions on the shell is not a lack of
creativity, but a commitment to maintaining the integrity
of the shell with real world impact performance.
1602 DT news.indd 10 2016/01/24 9:32 PM
1602 DT news.indd 11 2016/01/24 9:32 PM
Latest dual compound & raised
centre knob technology.
Detailed 3D modelling aids design efficiency and ensures accuracy.
Real use simulation critical
for lab assessment.
TERACHE 1602 DT news.indd Nov '15 DPS 12 2 2016/01/19 2016/01/24 9:56 9:32 AM PM TER
Batt Holdings brings latest technology to the
ATV and UTV tyre markets!
Nylon cord layer production- a critical part of tyre production.
Hi-tech compound development
and testing facility.
Batt Holdings, one of SA’s leading providers of race tyres, has
proved its competitive edge once again by launching two brand
new sets of high-tech tyres for the local ATV and UTV markets.
The Terache-branded tyres are manufactured in state-of-the-art
laboratories abroad using dual compounds. Both feature excellent
new tread designs, as well as superior grip, and are proven
to perform well on African-type terrain. Bruce de Kock, owner
of Batt Holdings, comments: “These new tyres are the perfect
complement to our existing range of premium quality tyres - Batt
Blue - which already competes with top global brands. By introducing
Terache products into our stable, we’re showing our
continued commitment to research and development, to testing
new technology, and to providing our clients with choices they
Batt Blue tyres currently service a wide range of racing disciplines,
including off-road, enduro, motocross, ATV and side-xside,
as well as the leisure and commercial tyre sectors. Initially,
the Terache prototype tyres will only cater for clients in the ATV
and UTV markets who have specialised racing requirements.
However, development will continue – in conjunction with Batt
Holdings – until 2018, so that all sectors can benefit from the latest
tyre technology. “Our goal is to provide an extensive, worldclass
service offering to all race enthusiasts, not just those with
unique needs,” explains de Kock. “As a result, within two years,
we’ll offer Terache tyres to the motocross, off-road, kart and e-
bike markets too – though our Batt Blue brand will always remain
our key offering.”
The first Terache, dual compound, prototype product is the T-
Force tyre, a lightweight ATV design that features raised centre
technology for extra bite on one’s early laps. The tyre has a
side knob for perfect cornering and protection and is available
in two sizes – the larger of which offers impact skin protection
technology. UTV riders are catered for with two general purpose
tyres – one with aggressive tread and paddle-style centre knobs,
and the other with a more classic pattern for excellent grip. Both
these tyres offer sidewall protection in deep ruts and also guard
the tyre rim.
Despite rising costs and the new technology involved, Batt
Holdings has committed to keep Terache pricing competitive.
“We view development as an important investment,” says de
Kock. “It would be easy to just import a brand and distribute it to
the local biking industry, but I prefer to be involved in the development
of every tyre that Batt offers.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON BATT BLUE, TERACHE
OR ANY RACE TYRE REQUIREMENTS, CALL 011 205 0126
OR VISIT WWW.BATTHOLDINGS.COM.
TERACHE 1602 DT news.indd Nov '15 DPS 13 3
2016/01/19 2016/01/24 9:56 9:32 AM PM
14 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
1602 DT Husky 701.indd 14 2016/01/24 9:34 PM
The 701 Enduro Arrives in SA
We’ve been begging to ride these beasts since they arrived in SA at the
end of last year – but alas – officialdom decrees that homologation of
the bikes has taken twice as long as it should have, so they may not be
ridden. In the interim, we had a cover booked, so we looked to our friends
abroad for a feature from the world launch in Portugal which was rudely
interrupted by some torrential downpours – this is what they sent and
we’ll do a local ride as soon as the bikes become available…
Lagos – Portugal.
This is where Husqvarna gathered a small group of moto-press to
unveil two new motorcycles in its growing lineup: The 2016 701
Supermoto and Enduro.
These bikes mark a logical direction for the supermoto pioneer
renowned for its off-road heritage. When the new Husqvarna
brand was born in 2013, the future began to look much brighter
for the legendary Swedish marque. Shortly after the change
of ownership, promises were made to improve product
quality and expand the model line. Those promises
are being kept. Expect the trend to
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 15
1602 DT Husky 701.indd 15 2016/01/24 9:35 PM
continue as spokesmen hinted about more product
announcements coming soon.
We’ve known since we featured the prototype in
2013, that the 701 was based on the famous 690.
Husqvarna maintains that their machines will be more
‘user-friendly’ than their Austrian counterparts, ‘less
extreme’ according to product manager Justin Maxwell.
In the case of the 701 Enduro, ‘more for travel,’ he
said. To that end, the tank, which is also the polyamide
sub-frame, is one litre bigger than the 690, meaning a
Beating at the heart of both Huskies is a SOHC,
four-valve, 690cc (102.0 x 84.5mm) single-cylinder
engine boasting a claimed 67 peak horsepower and
66 Nm of torque. Engine management is handled by a
46mm Keihin throttle body with ride-by-wire technology
(a first for any Husqvarna motorcycle) and three ride
modes: Standard, Soft, and Advanced. The chromemoly-steel
trellis frame is manufactured by yet another
sister company, WP Performance Systems. The molded
polyamide rear sub frame pulls double duty as both a
structural component and a fuel tank.
Our attention was brought to the new, ribbed seat,
extending virtually from handlebar to tail light, and to
the narrowness of the new bodywork, allowing the rider
freedom to move around. Interesting is the fact that the
bikes that arrived in SA here have black seats – seems
that the seat factory could not keep up with demand, so
the correct seats will be here soon so the early buyers
will get two seats. Cool huh?
WP provides the fully adjustable suspension. Up front
is a separate-function fork with the right leg dedicated to
rebound damping and the left to compression, while out
back is a single, linkage-actuated, gas-charged shock.
Rider aids include a Magura hydraulically actuated
slipper clutch and an advanced Bosch ABS that is
capable of being switched off. An optional plug-in under
the seat gives the rider a third setting that provides ABS
to the front wheel only. The Enduro is outfitted with
21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels wrapped with
Continental TKC 80 knobbies. Brembo is responsible for
stopping power with a two-piston front on the Enduro
and a single-piston rear.
16 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
1602 DT Husky 701.indd 16 2016/01/24 9:35 PM
1602 DT Husky 701.indd 17 2016/01/24 9:35 PM
The words ‘user-friendly’ and ‘travel’ weren’t ones I found
myself saying as the launch test ride got underway. With
a claimed seat height of 910 mm, the same as the orange
bike, this bike is tall. I’m 5’9” and my feet were dangling
if I tried to get both down at once. Even my tiptoes didn’t
bridge the gap. So instead I had one foot flat on the
ground and my bum half off the seat. Kicking the sidestand
up from that position is pretty awkward. You’ve got
to do it before you get on. That’s all fine I suppose. The
clue’s in the name: ‘Enduro’.
I’m comfortable riding off-road but a long way from
expert. Happy on trails but not likely to enter an extreme
enduro race ever in my lifetime. For me, the height of
the 701 threatened to be inconvenient off-road too. If I
came to something particularly awkward, that I wanted to
paddle over with my feet, I wouldn’t be able too. Notice
these thoughts still didn’t include the words ‘user-friendly’
A road leading to a trail was flooded. A couple of
Husqvarna’s riders found a way of bypassing it, but it
involved a near-vertical descent of about 50 metres down
a slippery, muddy hillside onto the road on the other side
of the water. One journalist attempted it and arrived at
bottom on his arse. Another, one of the most experienced
off-road, looked down from the top, made his excuses
and turned back. I saw the descent and said: ‘Are you
f****** kidding me?’ So another route was found.
But as we eventually arrived at some trails, climbing,
dropping and twisting through wooded and grassy hills
along the coast, the 701 Enduro quickly inspired me with
confidence. There’s no need to worry about reaching the
ground when you’ve got loads of low-down torque and a
The Keihin electronic fuel injection system features
a 46 mm throttle body with no mechanical linkage
to the throttle grip. As the rider twists the throttle
open or closed, the throttle valve is electronically
controlled by the engine management system (EMS).
The EMS continuously compares engine parameters
with data from sensors, and adjusts the throttle valve
accordingly, resulting in perfect power delivery and
ENGINE & GEARBOX
The single overhead cam, liquid cooled, single cylinder
engine features the latest in design and electronic
technology. An outstanding maximum power output
of 49 kW (67 hp) at 7,000 rpm and torque of 67
Nm at 6,500 rpm leave the rider in no doubt of the
performance packed inside this lightweight unit.
A lightweight 6 speed gearbox with smooth and
precise shifting gives riders perfect control and
confidence even in extreme conditions.
18 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
1602 DT Husky 701.indd 18 2016/01/24 9:35 PM
1602 DT Husky 701.indd 19 2016/01/24 9:35 PM
21-inch front wheel that seems to float over
anything in the way, the upside-down fork,
with compression and rebound damping
adjustment, soaking it up like it’s not there.
Both the fork and shock are from WP and
offer a claimed 275mm of wheel travel.
Now the 701 Enduro did take on a
dimension of user-friendliness. The gear
selector is stubby and fat. It folds back, so
it’s less likely to bend if it goes down, and
that fat profile also makes it easy to feel
and operate with the side of your foot, even
through a tough off-road boot. That made it
easy to shift up a gear while standing on the
pegs. The six-speed box seemed to resist
finding neutral when I stopped, though.
Although the 690cc twin-spark engine
has strong, helpful torque from way down in
the range, the throttle response is forgiving,
not too aggressive. The throttle is ride-bywire
and there are three fuel maps to choose
from – soft, standard and advanced – using
a switch located under the seat. The test
bikes were on the standard setting.
At one point we came to a trail that was
thick with wet mud and I opted to dodge
a section by riding on some grass around
the edge. The grass turned out to be
submerged, the blades poking out from a
few inches of water. For a moment I thought
I was going to have to put my feet down
as the front slipped and twisted about in
the mush, and that ominous sense of the
reach to the ground returned. But the userfriendly
(yes, now I was thinking it) throttle
response gave me the confidence to gas it
a tiny bit, which slightly unloaded the front
and let it find a way through, my feet never
leaving the pegs. Demonstrating, possibly,
why a very high seat isn’t necessarily so
bad. Lacking the sins of many ride-by-wire
motorcycles, the Keihin EFI delivered power
in a smooth, predictable manner. There was
no noticeable dead spot, delay or lurching.
Invisible is the word that comes to mind,
which is a good thing.
Getting back on tarmac meant crossing
v-shaped concrete roadside gutter, about
two-feet across and a foot deep. Some
riders popped a small wheelie as they
crossed, so the front never went in the
dip. Showing less skill, I just rode through
it. The front dropped in and popped out
with a grace that almost suggested I knew
what I was doing.
The latest ABS technology from Bosch features
an advanced setting for offroad conditions and
is combined with high performance brakes
from Brembo: a two piston floating calliper
and disc at the front as well as a single piston
calliper and disc at the rear (both floating wave
discs, 300 and 240 mm diameter respectively).
The perfectly placed controls allow for optimal
feel and balance under all conditions.
The APTC (Adler Power Torque
Clutch) from Adler allows for greater
speeds going into and coming out of
corners by maximising rear wheel
grip under hard acceleration as well
as preventing rear wheel instability
and chatter when braking hard into
turns. The rider thus enjoys maximum
control and perfect down-shifting.
WP Performance Systems has
developed a closed cartridge
4CS fork specifically for
the 701 ENDURO. The four
chamber fork has improved
and is also lighter than a
fork. As with all
4CS forks by WP, the
clicker settings can be
easily and quickly adjusted via
the dials on the top of the fork tubes.
The high performance rear shocks
made by WP Performance Systems are
completely adjustable for compression and
rebound. Connected to a linkage system with offroad
geometry, they permit 275 mm of rear wheel travel for
unbeatable all-terrain capability.
20 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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The 701 Enduro could clearly cope with far more
than I’m capable of putting it through but it’s also
flattering to the average rider, letting Mr Ordinary
feel like he might have some talent. In that sense,
it’s a user-friendly street-enduro bike, with few true
competitors. Big-bore singles have a reputation for
being buzzy. With the 701 there is a bit of vibration,
but it’s not at an unpleasant level. In fact, while
straight-lining it down the highway I made a concerted
effort to notice vibration and could not force myself
to be annoyed by it. Watching water splash back and
forth in my half-filled goggles, as if I were SCUBA
diving, was another matter! The Enduro displayed
more vibration than the Supermoto on the pavement
due to its semi knobby tyres.
Accessories include a tall screen, and Husqvarna
says luggage options will be available soon. The trailie
Continental Twinduro tyres were good off road, but in
the mud and snot that we were riding, full knobblies
would have been a better option. The single wavey
disc and two-pot Brembo caliper, provided reassuring
Dashboard equipment is almost absent. The small
rectangular digital display has no rev counter and no
fuel gauge, although there is a low fuel warning light.
ABS comes as standard and can be deactivated at
the rear wheel by plugging in a dongle under the seat.
If the Husqvarna is any more adapted to travel, it’s
probably by virtue of its one-litre extra fuel capacity. A
bolt-on seven-litre accessory tank takes total capacity
to 20 litres and range to a claimed 400 Km.
As soon as the local constabulary release the
homologation papers, we’ll be allowed to take the
bikes for a local spin – maybe a quick squirt out to
see Jan van Staal at Country Tracks…. Until then
contact your local dealer and go and have a looksee.
Something unique, very pretty – that’s the 701.
Engine: 690cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled SOHC Power: 67hp @ 7,000rpm Torque: 66Nm @6,500rpm Weight without fuel: 145kg
Frame: steel trellis, made by WP Tank capacity: 13 litres Seat height: 910mm Availability: Orders being taken now for delivery from November 30
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 21
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Yamaha is having a great time with new models
at the moment; few Japanese manufacturers
can boast the new equipment on offer that these
guys have introduced. Between the YZ and WR
full-sized non-street legal line, Yamaha now
offers nine different models to pick and choose
from. Their latest additions are the very Svelte
60th anniversary edition WR450 and the lean
mean YZ 450FX. We roped in some awesome
talent in the form of Brian Capper and Cam
Petersen, who is on a sabbatical from the States,
headed out to the ver verlaate vlaktes near the
Terra Topia track – nothing technical, just some
lekker wide open trails.
For 2016, Yamaha has introduced two distinct 450
enduro models, one is for aggressive trail riding, the
other is designed for winning enduros.
Both are powered by the potent fuel injected fourstroke
449cc engine normally found in the YZ450F
motocrosser. This means the new 450’s have the
YZ450F’s rearward-slanted cylinder, replete with
a straight intake on the front of said cylinder.
Mass centralization is the idea here, and the
cylinder head, the titanium valves, the
cam timing, the compression ratio and
even the 44mm
22 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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are exactly the same as those of the
YZ450F. In addition to the expected
wide-ratio five-speed transmission, the
new 450’s are fitted with enduro-specific
multiplate clutches built to handle the
abuse of riding hard in tough conditions.
The bikes share things like a happy
button and both have side stands, but
the WR comes with a headlamp, tail
light, LED speedo and a cooling fan.
Why a Yellow WR? Well it’s a limited
edition 60th anniversary model, but
the bike is also available in blue. In the
early days Yamaha USA was yellow
and in Europe they were red and white.
We think it looks absolutely flippen
gorgeous. The WR will be raced in world
enduro champs. It’s a trail bike or offroad
racer depending on who you are.
The WR comes equipped with plush
valved suspension for woods and trail
riding, a mechanical-style muffler that is
not only quiet but also a spark arrestor
and an ECU that is tuned for trail riding
and limited for sound. It runs the same
chassis as the yz 450 f. The WR weighs
in 4KG’s heavier than the FX.
The FX looks far more racey, with
distinctive lines and a number board
rather than a headlamp – and it’s
missing a fan, but the mountings are
there for you to fit one. It is much like
the YZ250FX that was released last
year, just substantially more powerful
definitely more race bike. Like we said,
it is built off the YZ450F motocross bike
but made for off-road. Pure YZ and pure
competition with the parts one would
expect from ride like this, 18-inch rear
wheel, and it rides on the YZ motocross
chassis for accurate handling. For sure
this bike is plenty capable of racing offroad,
tackling a grand prix or even a day
at the motocross track if you want. The
FX is only available in 3 markets where
we breed horsepower hungry racers –
The USA, South Africa and Australia.
The bikes have different silencers –
the WR’s is a bit quieter and is designed
to tone the power down a bit – the FX
pipe is basically straight off the YZ.
So which bike?
Cam and Brian really put both bikes
through their paces – from some
huge jumps, to fast open trails and
deep water crossings (yes – we found
some), they wrung these bikes throttles
-sometimes it is more fun for mere
mortals like us just to sit back and watch
the fun rather than actually riding.
Chatting after the ride was pretty
interesting. Brian, a seasoned
campaigner seemed to lean more
towards the WR – “It’s a lot more
forgiving, smoother, softer (As a 450
goes) a bit lower in the seat and
generally easier to ride, especially for
a rider who enjoys trail riding. For a
guy who loves to ride MX track AND
enduro and is a really above average
rider, the FX is the answer – but for the
24 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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MT-O9 Tracer R139 95O incl
The two souls of the Dark Side
The MT-09 Tracer is an uncompromising action tourer that combines an
aggressive character with serious long distance potential.
Equipped with a sharp looking cowling as well as a large capacity fuel
tank - and benefiting from an adjustable riding position - the Tracer is
built to take you all the way in comfort.
But this is no ordinary tourer. The MT-09 Tracer’s torque laden triple
cylinder engine with traction control is built to thrill. With its lightweight
aluminium chassis as well as high-tech brakes and ABS, the Tracer lives
for the next corner. One bike, two souls.
FOR RETAILER DETAILS NEAR YOU CONTACT WORLD OF YAMAHA: 011-259-7600 OR 0860 YAMAHA - WWW.YAMAHA.CO.ZA
Yamaha 1602 DT SA WR Feb16 feature.indd DT.indd 252
2016/01/24 7:21 9:36 PM
average trail rider/racer, the WR is more than plenty – a
great combination of supple suspension, handling and
Cam who is younger really loved the aggression
that the FX delivers. “I really enjoyed the WR, but, man
I loved the FX. It’s so much fun – very similar to my YZ,
I enjoy the stiffer suspension – it makes it more solid in
the jumps and for very aggressive riding”
Brian continues: At the end of the test when the
camera stopped rolling, Cam and I gave it proper
horns, found a bit of an open section and had a proper
old fashioned dice. We both fully expected the FX
to kill the WR because it just feels so snappy. It was
interesting to see that the WR held its own right up
to around fourth when the FX slowly started to pull
away…” So there is not actually a whole lot between
the power delivery of these two…
So – which bike is for you?
This is actually an easy one. The WR is a bit more
chilled – if you can call a modern 450 that. It is
a better trail-only bike, softer power delivery and
suspension. The FX is a racehorse designed as an offroad
racer that has more aggressive suspension and
motor settings that work well for a recreational track
rider yet do not punish a slower trail rider off-road
like a strict motocross bike does. Small suspension
adjustments will make the FX pretty compliant for
trail riding pace. Additionally the motor on both bikes,
through the Yamaha GYTR Power Tuner can be
mapped, both on fueling and ignition curves, as docile
as the WR or as wickedly wild as the YZ motocrosser.
If you are keen on big horses, go and ride one of
these bikes – you’ll love it!
26 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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THE FUN FACTORY
RZR 1000 XP
TRADE INS WELCOME
NEW AND USED UNITS
ALWAYS IN STOCK
RZR 900 S
4 POINT SAFTY BELT
LED LIGHT BAR IN FRONT
REAR LED DUST LIGHT
FRONT AND READ BULL BARS
SIDE ROCK SLIDERS
FROM R114 950
1000 EFI R248 950
FROM R154 950
2015 RZR FROM
2015 DIESEL CREW
1000 R399 950
DIESEL R189 950
REBEL 400 4X4
AWB R94 950
2X4 FROM R49 950
RUSTLER 300 4X4
700 EFI R164 950
2007 Yamaha YZ 250 F
2014 KTM 250 XCW
2006 Yamaha Raptor
600R R22 000
TE449 R48 000
2001 Honda VTR
1000 SP1 R55 000
2006 Honda TRX 450 R
Kymco Maxxer 300
2014 KTM 1190 R
2009 KTM 530 XCW
PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE
2006 SUZUKI LTZ 400
SHOWROOM: 011 475 4892. WORKSHOP: 011 475 9274
ANDREW: 083 266 1458 ANDREW@KATAYRACING.CO.ZA
DEVON VALLEY SHOPPING CENTER, CNR 9TH AVE & RUGBY ROAD,
WELTEVREDEN PARK, ROODEPOORT
Katay 1602 DT Racing WR feature.indd Feb16.indd 127 2016/01/24 7:22 9:36 PM
It’s been a while since we got to swing
our leg over the saddle of Triumphs
Tiger - unashamedly one of our very
favourite adventure bikes. When we
were returning a road bike to the
Triumph headquarters from a test for
Ride Fast Magazine, we saw this fully
kitted machine standing proudly in the
workshop. We traded keys and took
off for a ride.
It turns out that the XCX belongs to
Triumph SA’s big boss Arnold Olivier,
and he has kitted it out the way
that he likes it with genuine Triumph
products. The XCX comes standard
with bash plate, crash bars and a
centre stand - very handy stuff, but
Arnold had added a few more genuine
Triumph bits and pieces. He tells us
that Triumph develops the goods with
the bikes and they all come with an
unlimited mileage two year warranty.
For years, we rode the first model
- and you’ll know that since then,
Triumph has upgraded the bike - most
significantly improving the suspension
with WP units.
Riding off the tar is where
you’ll notice the difference and
improvements - the WP suspension
instantly made the bike even more
nimble and manageable.
So good were the improvements
in fact, that last year, during the
interesting bike of the year awards,
the XCX was placed second behind
Kawasaki’s giant ZX...
But we digress.
Sometimes you just want to ride a
bike again - and hopping aboard this
XCX was like greeting an old friend.
The feel and sound is just so familiar.
Our Tiger was left pretty stock. This
one has all of the groceries.
Most noticeable is the smooth
bellow delivered by the bolt-on Arrow
exhaust. Although it sounds a lot
more meaty - at standstill, it is not
obnoxious - and in our opinion looks
pretty cool. After riding the bike for a
while though, we did find the drone
from the pipe a bit louder than we’d
like - but that’s horses for courses or
whatever the saying is - some people
will love it.
Checking out the dash, we were
greeted by some unfamiliar buttons
on the left handlebar - one for the
heated grips and the other for the
LED spotlights. Now seriously, being
the simple oakes that we are - we’ve
never really needed heated grips - but
for winter riding, they are pretty handy
- and on this ride, we got soaked in a
torrential downpour near Gilloolys. We
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made our soggy way into the Edenvale Maccy
Dee’s and drowned our sorrows in a double
thick choc shake. When the rain let up, we
climbed back on and turned on the heated
grips. They did a grand job drying the gloves
out. Cool huh! Multi functional.
Having spots makes you feel like king of
the road - and there is a sense of security
putting then on when the weather it truly crap.
You get the feeling that you are more visible to
other road users.
When we collected the bike, Arnold took
time to point out a small innovation - a front
mudguard extender that bolts on to the
bottom of your mudguard. This stops the
rubbish from splashing on to the exhausts,
rather diverting it to the aluminium bash
guard. I wish that they’d had these when we
had our Triumph. When we sold the bike, clay
was well and truly baked into the header pipe
- and the only way to get that off is to remove
the pipes and wire brush them down. we took
a short cut home through the mud - and yes it
works like a charm.
We’ve never been big fans of hard
panniers, so for this story we asked that they
be left off. Its not that they are impractical for
world travel - but for commuting through JHB
traffic, we are always nervous about leaving
race stripes down someones fancy car. They
just make the bike feel bulky in serious traffic.
This one did have the topbox mounted which
was very cool coz we could fit the camera and
briefcase out of the wet. The clip mechanism
is top notch - It works with the Triumphs key
and opens and shuts dead easily. Nice is the
backrest pat that boppa’s onto the box, the
Mrs loved it - very comfortable. The brackets
are all very neat and unobstrusive - and most
importantly there were no shakes or rattles.
Up front, Arnold has fitted short handlebar
raisers and Triumphs adjustable touring
screen - real quality fare. The screen offers
far more protection that the standard bikini
screen and it does not interfere in any way
with your view of the road. It also suits the
look of the bike - not an obvious bolt-on
The last touch is the headlamp protector. If
you are going to do some gravel passes with
your mates, this plexiglass cover protects the
headlight from stonechips.
Tiger 800 XCx R159 500
all of the extras are available from your
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THE GEAR: LONG,
LONG TERM TEST.
While we were riding, we got chatting about
bike gear and costing, how long it lasts and
all that - and we figured - that since all of
the gear that we bought years ago is still
current - we’d run through what we use.
interestingly, we were scrolling through back
issues the other day and we bought all of
this gear to shoot a cover in 2011 - so all of
this gear is five years and literally thousands
of kilometres old. At the time, the gear was
pricey and with the rand doing what it is
doing now, we expect prices to increase.
We do have cheaper gear here that has not
fared even remotely as well as this stuff -
maybe look at spending a bit more when
you initially get yourself kitted out.
Boots: Forma Adventure boot.
These are the Without a single doubt, the
most comfortable boots or shoes that we
own. We’ve probably abused them over
a zillion kilometres in all kinds of weather,
all over the world - and the lifespan for
adventuring is truly astonishing. To give you
an idea - since we bought these, we’ve
been through about 3 sets of MX boots and
four pairs of Hi Tec takkies. Without a single
qualm, we can tell you to get to a retailer
and check out a pair - we love them. They
are starting to look a bit tatty so chances are
excellent we’ll buy the same again.
Jacket and pants:
Both sets have built in body armour and
we’ve never removed it. Our clobber get
chucked in the wash with then whites much
to the handbags dismay...
The jacket is a Macna Jura. Initially we felt
that it would be a bit warm for SA riding -
but after removing all the lining, it is quite
practical. What impresses us is that none
of the zips have failed - although the jacket
has faded a bit, and the stick/iron on Macna
branding on the sleeves is peeling off, it is
still in perfect nick. Even the velcro adjusters
work perfectly nothwithstanding the
Macna Nomad Pants:
We removed the winter lining from these
and have no clue where we put them, but
you don’t need it. If there is one fault on
these pants it is that they could use a bit
more venting in summer - but in terms of
durability, these things have proved to be
indestructable. We reckon that pants and
boots are probably the hardest working
pieces of kit on a bike. One zip on the right
hand pocket has broken - everything else,
from the boot zips to the plastic belt holder
to the suspenders that hold them up are still
perfect. Great value. We understand that the
Nomads have been replaced with the new
Get to your local dealer - ask about these
products - they definitely get the DT abuse
teams stamp of approval...
Imported by www.dmd.co.za for your
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 31
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the Rocky FX125
Is it a bicycle? Is it a dirtbike?
Nope – its – neither…
We love innovation and this is
something pretty cool, kinda
a cross between a pitty and
a trials bike. The Rocky is a
cool entry level machine –
or a playbike for the more
The guys at Bikers Warehouse have
been talking about this bike for a
while now… an affordable, entry level
bike that just about anyone can ride.
And if you can ride – you can ride it
It is powered by a very simple
four stroke semi-automatic ( yup you
read that correctly) 125cc engine.
This means – no clutch. So it’s like a
semi auto quad – you snick her up
or down a gear – and off you go.
Suspension is in the form of
upside down forks up front and
a beefy monoshock out back.
Single pot calipers mounted on
vented discs front and rear bring
proceedings to a stoppie – err we
Wide MX bars keep the direction
more or less in order while the soft,
skinny 21” (front and rear) tyres seek
the route and traction. The seat is
long and slender and the pegs are
lekker wide and offer great grip.
Other bits to mention are that
fact that it is carburetted with the 3.4
litre fuel tank built in to the chassis.
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Type: 4-stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder
Max Power kW/RPM: 6.3@7,500RPM
Max Torque NM/RPM: 8.8@5,500RPM
Max Speed: 90km/h
Clutch Type: Semi-auto
Final Transmission: KMC 428 Chain
Starting System: Electric CDI and kickstart
Brakes: Front and rear ventilated hydraulic disc brakes
Tyre Size: Front and rear 80/100-21
Suspension: Front: USD hydraulic forks
Rear: camlink Handlebar
Length (L x W x H): 2,000 x 760 x 1,160mm
Seat Height: 840mm
Minimum Ground Clearance: 350mm
Dry Weight: 72kg
Tank Capacity: 3.2 litres
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 33
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This keeps things nice and slender. No rear brake pedal…
remember we said semi auto? Well there is a brake lever
on each bar, so don’t go grabbing the clutch… also – no
electric start – but easy to kickstart in neutral.
Forget about being a rock star – leave your ego at home –
switch off the brain and just have fun. That’s what this little
plaything is all about. We opted to test it out at the Nitex
track at the Warehouse and were quite surprised at just
how capable this little (it’s big enough for a big rider and
small enough for a small rider) machine is. All about torque
as you aim for a hill and zoot on up. Light and narrow, so
you can haul it over a rock pile and if things do get a bit
squirly, you can easily put your feet down – or open the
throttle to accelerate out. check the pics - the ground
clearance is a pretty massive 39 cm’s so you should not
bottom out anywhere.
And best of all – it only weighs in at 72 kilogrammes, so
it you do get stuck it is really easy to manhandle around.
So who would buy this bike?
Well anyone really. Someone who has never ridden
before will pick it all up in a flash coz there’s no clutch.
Experienced riders might take a short while to get used
to the semi auto actuation – but will be flying around in
no time. Get it for a fun bike, get it as a runabout on the
farm. Get it for your kids to play on – it really is a fun little
bike for everyone.
Available from the bikers warehouse – (011)795-4122
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If you watch social media you’ll
see that few people locally give
this event as much attention as
our own Elza Thiart. Day by day,
we were kept up to date with
images and news as the rallye
progressed. She shares her
thoughts on this year’s event…
To be a finisher of the 2016 Dakar Rally,
you had to be on your seat (or in your
vehicle) for almost 9 500 kilometres, race
13 stages for 15 days in two countries
in South America. Temperatures varied
between 4°C and 50°C and altitudes
went as high as 4 700m above sea level.
If you ‘survived’, you were part of 63%
of the starters who managed to finish
the race… Our SA men were among
Some of our South Africans were a part
of this ‘elite’ group who tackled and
finished the toughest off-road racing
adventure in the world – the 38th Dakar
Rally – and brought home some great
results including two overall podiums
and two class victories!
There were quite a few avenues for
those who love following the Dakar at
the beginning of each year and various
WhatsApp groups as well as Facebook;
websites and other media kept everyone
informed – and biting their nails.
Team Rhide SA returned to the Dakar
for a second consecutive year and this
year their team was not only bigger
(four competitors), but it also included a
motorcycle rider, Wessel Bosman (57),
who is a South African, but as the owner
of the Afri-Ski resort on the Lesotho
border, entered his second Dakar as
the first ever competitor from Lesotho
to tackle the race. The rest of the team
consisted of multiple SA National
Champions, Brian Baragwanath
and George Twigge as well as
the ever consistent, Ted Barbier
on their Yamaha Raptors.
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Team Rhide SA
And what a ride it was! Baragwanath, who had to
exit the 2015 race quite early as a result of flat tyres,
brought back a bronze medal for finishing third in
the extremely competitive quad category where 45
riders (including four former winners) started and
23 finished. But that’s not all – Brian also claimed
South Africa’s only three stage victories and received
mentions like “the troublemaker” for racing with (and
beating) the two Patronelli brothers from Argentina,
Marcos and Alejandro, at certain stages. Marcos
claimed his third Dakar victory by winning this year
while his older brother, Alejandro, finished second (he
has won twice before).
Baragwanath had the pace and experienced no
problems with the tricky navigation and was it not for
a few little issues that caused him time penalties, an
even better result was on the cards for him.
Ted is known in local racing for always finishing
races and for conserving his quad. Unfortunately he
experienced fuel management problems from the
start of the race and there was just not enough time
to have it sorted out. He pushed through Bolivia
when his quad died on him a few times and he
needed help to get it going again. Ten days of wet
feet was the worst, according to Ted. Trying to sleep
in wet bedding sucks. He even got stuck in the sand
for six and a half hours in 52°C and watched how
many competitors gave up and pressed the buttons
on their machines to inform the organisers that they
are not racing anymore. He did not give up.
Ted got stuck in the desert
for almost 6 hours.
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THAT day, one of the two Century Racing teams, Collin
Matthews and Rodney Burke, also got stuck with their twowheel
drive buggy. After many hours and after running out of
water – Ted shared his water with them – a truck pulled both
Ted and the buggy out.
Although it was not easy, he says that expected his first Dakar
to be more difficult. He enjoyed the scenery and even stopped
to really take it all in (or maybe it was just to stay awake). He
was amazed at how cool the locals were - giving him a rain
coat along the way and then following him to the Rest Day to
take photos with him and get a signed cap and t-shirt!
Unfortunately team Rhide SA’s George Twigge had to call it a
day the first after the Rest Day due to a conrod through the
block. The double SA National Master Quad Champion from
Hartswater was doing well and even survived a huge crash
(he still finished 13th for the day!) that required the assistance
of spectators to bend his Yamaha straight so that he could
finish with a damaged navigation system. He even finished two
stages in 11th and 13th places, but then had to call it a day.
The quad riders did not experience any altitude sickness,
but their crew did. The Namibians, Philipie Baard and Frank
Stein, who were there last year as well and the American Mike
Cafro and Aziz Wookey had their work cut out for them as
the conditions were really testing with torrential rain and dust
storms; extremely long distances to travel; almost no sleep
at all (like many other crews, they worked a few nights right
through) and pressure was all part of the job...
Wessel Bosman, a former Springbok hurdles athlete, tackled
his second Dakar Rally being more prepared and aiming again
to finish. He was doing well – until Stage 6 when he fell making
way for a passing vehicle and broke both his wrists; fractured
both hands and his left elbow.
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When the medics told him that he had to retire, he asked if
he could at least ride to the finish and was only allowed to
do that if he could manage a push-up – which he did!
Will it be ‘Bring On 2017 Dakar’ for this die-hard
Kobus Potgieter (49) also tackled his first Dakar Rally – as a
50th birthday present to himself. In his own words, it took 16
years, and after many, many sacrifices like 365 days of rehab
in hospitals after he fell during the Australasian Safari, 22
motorbikes, 50 000 kilometres of riding, two marriages and
over a hundred days of travelling each year to get to the start
of his first Dakar.
He was very ill in Bolivia due to the high altitude (headaches,
nausea, lack of concentration) and even raced with an
oxygen canister on him. He listened to all the advice for a
‘cure’ and even used Viagra and other medication, but in the
end, it was cocoa leaves given to him by an old lady, that
pulled him through.
He broke his finger early in the race, but an “I’ve got nine
more fingers left” attitude and support from his Dutch team,
BAS Dakar, saw Kobus in his specially designed Superman
kit, reaching the finish in 80th place overall with his KTM
He becomes only the seventh South African motorcycle
rider to have finished the Dakar Rally – and is the oldest to
have completed this race. Alfie Cox, Tom Classen, Riaan van
Niekerk, Darryl Curtis, Brett Cummings and Albert Hintenaus
have also finished the Dakar on two-wheels.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 43
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The motorcycle category was won by the
Australian, Toby Price (KTM) who became
the first Australian to win any category in this
race. Tobys story is an amazing one – just a
few years ago, he broke his neck – and this
year he won the Dakar… more about him in
future issues. Only 84 riders of the 136 who
started, finished this race that saw a few
stages being controversially shortened due
to either extreme heat or the high water level
of the rivers.
In the vehicle category, Giniel de Villiers and
his German navigator, Dirk von Zitzewitz,
brought their Gazoo Toyota Hilux home in
the third place overall and won the category
for petrol vehicles. Their team-mates, Leeroy
Poulter and Rob Howie, also did a fine job
by finishing fifth overall. While it was De
Villiers’ 13th Dakar Rally, it was only Poulter’s
third. Poulter and Howie had quite a scary
moment when a fence pole hit their window
right in front of Howie and they had to finish
the day with a hole in the window.
The race was won by Stephane Peterhansel
in the turbodiesel Peugeot buggy who
claimed his sixth victory in a vehicle. He has
also won the motorcycle category six times.
He might, however be penalised later as a
protest regarding illegal refuelling was lodged
against him. Nasser Al-Attiya (Mini) was
second. The normally aspirated V8 Hilux
bakkies struggled in the high altitudes where
the turbodiesel-powered Peugeots and
Mini’s had an advantage.
All three of the Gazoo Toyota Hilux bakkies
finished. There were five SA built Toyota’s in
the Top 15. Various other teams raced SA
built vehicles. Two Ford Racing Rangers built
by Neil Woolridge Motorsport, two Renault
Dusters built by Thompson Racing and the
Red-Lined Motorsport Nissan Navara with
an all SA crew. There were also two Century
Racing buggies with SA competitors.
It was a second Dakar attempt for Century
Propery’s CEO, Mark Corbett and his
navigator Juan Mohr, they have not
competed together in the Dakar before
although they’ve been a team in local racing
for many years. They finished 17th overall
and were the first privateer team home. They
also won the 2WD Petrol Class with their
44 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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Sherco is making waves in the
world of racing. Alain Duclos.
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team-mates, Collin Matthews and Rodney Burke
who won the Dakar Challenge and an entry into
the race, third in this class and 39th overall after
quite a challenging race.
Sean Reitz and Riaan Greyling were ecstatic
with their 37th place overall (67 teams finished)
taking into consideration that Reitz has only
been competing in off-road racing for about
three years! They clawed their way up from 88th
place after electrical problems and a roll slowed
them down. Corbett also rolled once and Poulter
landed on his side during the race. The huge
learning curve did not hold them back.
There was a huge disappointment for our
german South Africans Jurgen and Daniel
Schröder who rolled their SA built Nissan Navara
the day before the finish.
In the truck category, SA’s Sean Berriman in a
DAF truck #555 finished 33rd.
As always, there are so many stories to be
told after the Dakar Rally, but for now: thumbs
up to all the SA competitors; their crew and
technical support and supporters at home
for their participation (and great results) in the
2016 Dakar Rally.
Leeroy Poulter in action
Giniel and Brian
Stéphane Peterhansel celebrates his Dakar
2016 victory with team mate Cyril Despres.
Giniel (right) celebrates
with his team at finish
46 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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KTM 1602 SA DT Feb16 Dakar 2016.indd DT.indd 1 47 2016/01/22 2016/01/24 7:46 9:39 PM
Building a rallye bike
The 2016 RR500 XC-RALLYE
Once again it is Dakar and
Africa ECO Rally fever, most
of us who ride dirt bikes
at one point in time would
like own a rally bike, maybe
because of the aesthetics
as a fashion bike or because
we really want to race a rally
at one point of our racing
It’s been a while since Roberts
Racing Rallye has done a story
on our rally builds, and for a good
reason… their 3rd Generation bike
has been going under a lot of testing
and changes to further improve the
overall feel and handling as well as
functionality of certain components
on the bike.
48 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
Ergonomics & Fuel
This build, the RR500XC-RALLYE,
3.1 Generation is for Wiam Nel to
compete at the Baja & Amageza
Rally 2016. The focus was centered
on weight distribution and handling
of the bike, 28.5L (400-450km
range) causes “fuel splash weight”.
Essentially what this means, the
fuel splashes from left to right as the
bike is leaned over in corners and
throws added weight to the left or
right of the bike.
This was one of the biggest
points we had to address, by
including a lower mounted fuel
tank with an external pump. This
setup moved most of the weight
to the bottom of the bike, but also
centred it for a much better balance
Custom Radiator shield imported by Roberts Racing
1602 DT Roberts Rallye bike.indd 48 2016/01/24 9:39 PM
The powerful all terrain XUV 855D 4WD utility vehicle:
For the ride of your life. Visit our website for more information
and to find your nearest John Deere Dealership
1602 DT Roberts Rallye bike.indd 49 2016/01/24 9:39 PM
and overall feel. Most factories are now focusing on
this, along with building smaller bikes that are under
180kg, which is the current weight of the KTM RR
450 Rally Replica. Even with the final weight of the
RRR500XC-RALLYE fully laden at 150kg, the lower
mounted tank has made such an improvement, that
the bike still feels like an enduro model. Now most
would ask, “Won’t the low tank get damaged”, well
after 10,000 Km of rally km, on 2 bikes and even after
a big G-Out with Dutch rider Simon Schimmel who is
2m tall and 100kg, all he damaged was the alli plate,
that we could repair, and he was on his way the next
stage. This setup also allows the rider to control fuel
weight from top to bottom depending on how long a
roberts racing also fit braided hoses on the fuel
tank which prevents vapour locks in the fuel systems.
The other area we focused on was none other than
the “chafed arse”, may not sound important, but
when you doing 150km of liaison on tar and a 580km
Special, riders develop what we call “Monkey Butt”
and Fissan paste is much needed to soothe the raw
cheeks. Roberts Racing Rallye has used a Tall Soft
seat for the past 2 years which worked well but did
not cover the entire area as it is still as narrow as a
stock seat. Our new seat design is still a Tall, Soft
seat to allow the rider comfort and vision over the
Navigation Tower, but most importantly a much wider
area towards the rear of the seat for more improved
comfort over long stages….was most certainly a win
in our riders eyes!
The Navigation equipment, Roberts Racing Rallye
fits 2 RNS XL Tripmasters which is the OEM on the
Rally Replica, and a RNS Cap Repeater, as well as
the Migtec Road book designed and Manufactured
by HRC HONDA Rally Team Chief mechanic Miguel
Nabais… and yes all crash tested by Bareda and it still
got him home! The RNS Cap Repeater is essentially a
digital compass that displays the degrees in the same
size as the trip meter, instead of using a small gps
screen to get the cap heading.
RNS also supplies us with a multi switch controller
housed in a solid alli-casing, that controls 2 trip
masters and the road book all in 1. All this Nav
gear wiring goes through a central fuse box and
independent switches so that the rider can isolate
and solve a problem without affecting any other nav
equipment. Wiring the nav gear is the bulk of our
work, to design the wire harness and make up the
harness by hand, and ensure that it is protected with
special braided sleeving, and routed to avoid any
possible friction which is a rally bike’s worst enemy.
All the controls and a detail of the nav tower.
A side view of the Nav tower, note the clearance...
Check this cool fairing - LED Headlamps. Hyde protectors.
The tower is handmade in Italy, along with the screen
and faring which creates a much better vision through
the Nav Gear, and because of its flexibility has way
more protection over some of the old fibre glass
fairings. It can be removed in less than a minute in 1
piece with quick release clips.
50 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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Like you, we live for it. Relishing the last one. Anticipating the next.
And that’s how it’s always been.
Along the way, we’ve created icons, shattered landspeed records and won legendary races.
Today, we’re as committed as ever. To delivering the perfect balance of power, handling and style.
To creating modern-day icons with our obsession for the perfect ride. To giving everything we have
to give. And always looking for more.
TRIUMPH. FOR THE RIDE.
Tiger Explorer XC
INCLUDES: Heated grips,
panniers & hand guards.
Tiger 800 XCx + Low
Tiger 800 XRx + Low
From R129 500
INCLUDES: Topbox & heated grips.
1602 DT Roberts Rallye bike.indd 51 2016/01/24 9:39 PM
The stock suspension on a 500 XCW enduro bike,
built into a rally bike is way too soft for the big hits
and high speed stability that is required for a rally
bike, so we fitted this bike with a once in a life time
opportunity, Factory Rally Replica forks and a Factory
setup Trax Shock…
Do we really need to say more about this
suspension, except that Wiam will need to go
Chasis Build & Prep
The Chassis stock off the floor even on a new bike
needs an incredible amount of work to ensure that
the bike will last 5000km of harsh terrain for over
11hrs a day. The major prep work on the chassis
lies in the bearings and fluids where they replace all
grease with Liqui Moly LM50 Hi-temperature grease,
and they replace all wheel bearings with special hi
They replace the coolant with a much higher temp
KFS-12 plus coolant from LM - and they replace all of
the stock hoses with silicone units that do not expand.
They also replace all the brake and clutch fluids
with a with a Liqui Moly Racing Fluid that handles
much higher heat ranges, especially when the
clutch is worked in technical and sand sections. The
engine oil is also replaced with Liqui Moly 10/50 Fully
Synthetic engine oil to improve the clutch life and
engine life, especially due to the high speeds and hi
revving that the motor goes through for 5000km.
The entire bike is stripped down and reassembled
with a Loctite 246 to ensure that bolts do not come
loose, (a practice one should do on any bike) this
is done because vibration over such long distances
causes external parts to vibrate loose, another
common issue on rally bikes. All external parts like
exhaust, gear levers etc are lock wired to ensure no
parts are damaged….building a rally bike is all about
what can happen and prepare for it, rather than how
you repair it!
Stock grips are replaced with Ariete Rally Grips,
the stock or any enduro grips are way too hard for
5000km, which causes irreparable damage to your
hands especially in hard and sandy terrain, the Ariete
Rally Grips adds to that rider softness, absorbtion and
comfort that may not seem important now, but after
3 days of 3000 plus km, it becomes a different ball
game on your hands.
The front brake calliper is also machined and
prepared to house 2 sensor cables for the 2 RNS
XL-Trip Masters and the cables are wrapped to
protect them against external damage.
Roberts Racing Rallye uses wide rally foot pegs
that allow them to adjust the height of the pegs for
taller riders and the angle of the cleats to add to rider
position on the bike, comfort and stability.
The protection of the bikes parts and rider is
covered by HYDE Developments, for swing arms,
bash plates and hand guards. They also fit HYDE
Carbon fibre Pipe, Clutch and Stator covers for
protection against hi- speed impact from cut off tree
stumps and rocks which is common on a rallye bike.
52 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
Moto hose silicone hoses and Trax factory setup shock...
wide pegs, Hyde Swingarm guard,
KTM rally sprocket...
Veshi has been building these bikes
for 2 years... doing his appyship.
Luke removed all the plastics himself
and he’s only 3... Factory mechanic...
1602 DT Roberts Rallye bike.indd 52 2016/01/24 9:39 PM
The low rally front fender allows more air to the
motor especially as the motor is covered with tanks
and protection. Garths choice of tyre is the Scorpion
Rally or the Rally Cross for sand.
All the bike’s wiring is designed to be on separate
circuits, the Nav Equipment, Bike Electronics and the
road worthy parts. This is so that any problems that
might occur does not affect the other and it’s easier
for the rider or mechanic to problem solve especially
when the rider arrives at 1am from a stage.
The bike has to conform to FIM rallye
specifications which means the bike has to be fully
road worthy, and this takes a long time on its own to
set up and make sure this wiring is completely on a
separate circuit, all the nav gear and the bikes main
electronics are not affected in any way from the road
worthy parts or wiring.
Bottom fuel tank lowers the COG on the bike and Hyde exhaust guard
Stock gearing is around 13/49. We run longer gearing
for more top end (175kph on the 500 ). We also
import special hi life sprockets that last up to 5000
km’s at high speed.
The pipe is from Pro Circuit, it delivers more power
and gives a bit more overrev - we tend to leave the
engines stock - they are more reliable that way.
After the bike is completed, which takes a whopping
280-300hrs (about2-3months) man hours with 2
mechanics, the bike is tested for a month, and any
issues are fixed or changed according to what the
Building rally bikes are challenging, every part of
the build is a build on its own that can take a day at
the minimum, but generally 3-4 days of R&D, as every
part that is fitted has a snow ball effect, so one always
has to think 4-6 steps ahead, but, makes the end
result all worth it!
Tel 083 732 5566 for more info.
This is what the wiring looks like. Each
circuit is separate and best left to a pro
to install... Note the marks on each bolt.
Proud owner Wiam Nel...
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54 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
1602 DT Husky 300.indd 54 2016/01/24 9:40 PM
Farming with Wayne’S TE300
Wayne Farmer has chosen his
implement for the year in the form
of a very sexy 2016 Husqvarna
TE 300. Its been about four years
we caught up with this veteran
two stroke fan, at the time he
was racing a Gas Gas - we had a
quick chat and grabbed some pics
before the heavens opened and
we all scurried for cover from the
The Bike: The new Husqvarna TE 300
Wayne is super chuffed to be back on a bike
with a linkage - he knows that there are nay
sayers out there that will tell you that the linkage
hooks up and all that but his words - never
happened to him in 20 odd years of racing...
and he just likes the feel of the suspension
with a linkage - and if you reckon you can beat
him then you go and argue with him. And he
reckons that if you are worried about hooking up
- Carbon Teck builds a great protector...
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 55
1602 DT Husky 300.indd 55 2016/01/24 9:40 PM
The bike, built and prepped by bikers Warehouse,
is blinged out a bit - purpose built for racing. His
choice of tyres - the Batt blue labels - well priced
and they do offer great traction - his words.
Always use protection:
Acerbis built his front disc protector - its a quality
bolt- on item that you cannot do without for racing.
They are also responsible for the swingarm guards.
The left fork is protected by a beautifully turned
Enduro Engineering alley bolt on unit.
A Hyde skid plate is mounted - local is lekker and
the Hyde stuff has proved its worth over and over
again. We were surprised that Wayne has not fitted
an exhaust protector - he says that he does not
like them. Personal preference - and he must stay
upright more than we do...
Carbon Teck has crafted some beautiful bits for
this machine - the stator and starter cover, anodized
hydraulic caps (blue of course to match the theme),
clutch cover, radiator braces - these guys seem to
do it all and the bike is literally littered with their parts.
The rear sprocket is protected by a TM designs
brace. Levers are protected by Cycra Pro Bends,
some of the best in the business - and in the cockpit,
you’ll find a Scotts steering damper.
Ready to race?
“Itching” says Wayne after the disappointments
of last years season. “Last year, I had an amazing
season on Roosts KTM 300, I was on the podium
every race except for the last where i placed 4th and
I was the only senior to finish every national - I was
ahead on points - but a ruling last year meant that
I had to throw away my worst points - and I ended
third overall. But that’s racing for you...no need to cry
in your coffee - go for it again!”
This year, he’ll be racing for the Bikers Warehouse
Doorzone race team. They are fielding a team of four
riders, all on Husky’s and are trying to cover most
things - but the simple fact is that there are just too
many series to choose from. National offroad, GXCC
- Northern regions, NiteX and a few of the National
Enduro’s is where you’ll try to catch them...
Wayne is the running the accessory division at
Bikers warehouse. Pop down and say hi - he has a
wealth of experience...
Brake disc protector
Clutch cover guard
Carbon Teck bits litter the bike
Scott steering damper
TM Designs brace
56 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
1602 DT Husky 300.indd 56 2016/01/24 9:40 PM
THE ADVENTURE & DIRTBIKE SPECIALISTS IN PRETORIA!
Garmin GPS in stock! 390LM
& 590LM with brackets
New Arai Tour X 4
TEST HELMETS AVAILABLE
RAM GPS & Phone mounts
KAROO 1 COMBO
R2170 INC VAT
ONLY ON THE FOLLOWING SIZE
HEIDENAU K60 AVAILABLE FOR THE NEW
BMW 1200 GS LC 170/60/17 & 120/70/19
Bike to Bike - S
All Giant Loop bags & accessories
Handlebar bags / Soft tank bags / Soft top box bags
Wide Foot pegs
R4 EVS Neck Brace
Huge selection of USB & 12v
plugs & adapters available
Range of Leatt Neck Braces
FULL RANGE OF ATG GEAR
• STOVES • BRAAI’S
• STRETCHERS • BAGS
UNIT F, FERREIRA INDUSTRIAL PARK, 14 ELAND STR, KOEDOESPOORT
087 808 3650 / 087 808 3649
Email: email@example.com / Website: www.offroadcycles.co.za
Offroad 1602 DT Cycles Husky Feb16 300.indd FP.indd 57 1
2016/01/24 8:05 9:40 PM
These race pages brought to you by
RACEWORX KTM CLEARWATERMALL
Brittany Cuthbert now with Dragon & Indy Oil
Sparx Distribution are pleased to
announce that they are sponsoring
Brittany Cuthbert for 2016 with
Dragon Goggles and Indy Oil.
Brittany is one of the top Lady
riders in South Africa having won
numerous races & titles since 2009.
In 2015 she competed internationally
at the highest level for woman,
representing South Africa on the
World stage in the FIM Woman’s
World Motocross Championships
For 2016, she will be back racing
in South Africa in the Ladies
National Championship as well
as the MSA MX2 National &
Regional Championships. She
will also compete in the 2016 FIM
Motocross of African Nations, an
event she has won twice before in
2013 & 2014.
Brittany is a true professional
sportswoman. Sparx are of
course excited to have a rider
like Brittany on their team, using
and proving their products in
extreme racing conditions. She
will be a great brand ambassador
for Dragon Goggles and Indy Oil.
Sparx continued involvement in
motorcycle racing in South Africa
continues to improve their products
and reputation, both for Dragon
Goggles and Indy Oil.
Sparx are looking forward to
getting things started in 2016
and another successful year for our
riders using their products.
Wade Young signs with Sherco
Sherco has announced the signing of South African enduro
champion Wade Young as an extreme enduro rider.
The Paddock rider is well known in the world extreme
enduro circuit as one of the top riders, and will be
representing Sherco on the 300 SE-R.
He will also still compete in the National Enduro
Championship and the National Extreme Enduro series
in South Africa.
Commenting on the signing, Young said: “I’m very
excited to have signed with Sherco. It’s a new adventure
for me and I am really happy to be part of the Sherco
“I am looking forward to what the future holds for
Sherco and myself. With the great support they provide,
it should make for a great team effort in 2016 and I
believe it will prove to be an outstanding year for us.”
Ben du Toit said: “The signing of Wade Young is a huge
step forward for Sherco in South Africa, it should help
us gain market share.
“I believe that we have now matched the best rider in
Africa, with the best bike in Africa, and together, they will
bring us many podium finishes in the future for Sherco.
“Wade is truly a great sportsman and he has a great
personality off the track; I am sure his massive fan base
all over the world will agree with his choice.”
Jordan Curvalle added: “After signing Matthew Philipps,
we are continuing to invest in young riders. Wade Young
is one of the best and youngest extreme enduro riders
and we are happy to support him in extreme enduro
races. He will make his first appearance in Europe this
January to compete at the Alestrem.”
UM 03, Clearwatermall, Hendrik Potgieter & Christiaan de Wet, Little Falls, JHB
1602 DT Raceworx race pages.indd 58 2016/01/24 9:41 PM
Kenny Gilbert to Husqvarna
“As of the 31st of December 2015, my journey on board
the Bidvest Yamaha racing team has ended. A few years
ago, I joined the team as a young ambitious athlete
and with the support of Yamaha, I managed to clinch 3
consecutive National Titles. Their support was incredible,
but that being said, it is time for me to take a new
exciting step in my Career.
I am honored to announce that I have signed with Kargo
Husqvarna , and that with the support of our incredible
sponsors, we are ready to take on 2016 with my number
one plate and contend for some more championships!
I will be competing in both the National Offroads,
National Enduro’s, some local races, and a few
selected international events.”
Follow their Team on Facebook for more updates! @
Altus De Wet
“I would like to start by giving a
big thanks to Ben Du Toit and
Hanlie Du Toit from Toyscom
and Sherco for all their support
in 2015. They are good people
and I think we achieved a lot in
a short time.”
Due to other commitments,
Sherco can not support me
anymore for 2016.
So for 2016 I’ll be joining
forces with Yamaha.
In the last two days Peter
Wilkins from Yamaha has
really gone out of his way
to try help me for 2016.
I can only thank Yamaha
for believing in me and
giving me this chance.
I will still run as ALTiE
in Altus de Wet Racing
together with all my very
loyal sponsors Cargo
Tac, RIC, UMSO, Rock
oil, Leatt, Buffalo Toyota
and JT racing. I am
very grateful to have
such good friends and
sponsors that back me no
For 2016 I will focus more
on SA races again including
Romaniacs and possibly six
I will also make an appearance
at National off roads again for
ALTiE wants to extend the
riding school side too and start
giving back to up and coming
Thanks for all the support from
everyone involved and see you
guys for some fun at the races!
Dungey extends points lead
Ryan Dungey picked up his second-consecutive 450SX Main Event
win Saturday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim after passing Davi
Millsaps early on in the race.
In doing so, Dungey has extended his points lead and is already
establishing himself as the man to beat after just 3 of 17 rounds. He
has finished on the podium in the last 18 450SX Mains.
Behind Dungey at the line were Chad Reed and Ken Roczen, Roczen
taking third on the final lap after Eli Tomac fell from that position.
250 SX: Cooper Webb Wins - Anaheim 2 - 2016
In the 250SX Main, Cooper Webb took his third victory of the season
and his seventh consecutive win – but not without some competition.
As he has often this season, Webb got off to a poor start at the
beginning of the Main. He had, however, been able to work his way
up into third position by the time that Joey Savatgy – who had been
running in second – made a mistake and went down. Webb then
found himself by Christian Craig, the rider who had won their heat
race at the start of the night.
Turn-after-turn, Craig and Webb traded the lead for multiple laps until
Webb finally emerged triumphant, while Zach Osborne and Craig
rounded out the podium.
Tel: (011) 027 9922 Fax: (086) 650 4987 / www.raceworxktm.co.za
1602 DT Raceworx race pages.indd 59 2016/01/24 9:41 PM
By Ian Lloyd Neubauer
60 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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At first I think it’s a willy-willy – a dust
cloud thick enough to block out the sun.
But as I ride closer I see the culprit – the
rear end of a 4WD – the first of many I
will need to contend with on the heavily
corrugated roads of Cape York, that
fire- and flood-prone crocodileinfested
peninsula on the very
northern tip of Australia.
Dropping a gear, I skip across
to the righthand side and
prepare to overtake when I
see death incarnate – two faint
headlights charging through the dust
storm on collision course with my life.
I retreat into my lane only moments
before a second dust storm with another
dreaded 4WD at its centre roars past in
the opposite direction. The experience
is so rattling I can actually feel my
heartbeat in my hands. Yet it’s just one
of a series of countless challenges
the Australian Outback will throw at
me over the next three days during a
marathon backcountry sprint from Seisia,
the northernmost deepwater port in
Australia, to the city of Cairns, 1,400km
to the south. And it’ll begin with a face-off
with one of the gnarliest and historically
rich thoroughfares in the country: the
130-year-old Old Telegraph Track.
When the telegraph arrived in Australia
in the mid-1800s, it changed everything.
Where it once it took three months for
mail to reach England, the telegraph
could send a Morse Code message in
seven hours. Outback towns and stations
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016 6 1
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previously accessible only by camel were
suddenly linked to cities and the outside world
as a vast web of telegraph lines spread across
Because of its remoteness, Cape York was one of
the last places in Australia to get the telegraph.
The last few hundreds miles of lines were laid
in the mid 1880s along a straight-ish line from
Cooktown on the east coast right up to the
northern tip of mainland Australia, along with a
service road. But straight lines aren’t the ideal
way to build roads because things like cliffs,
rivers and hills will ultimately get in the way. It’s
for this reason the remaining 100km stretch of
the Old Telegraph Road has been reinvented as
the holy grail of bush-bashers in Australia.
Getting to the ‘Tele’ is a mission in itself. In my
case the journey involves a three-hour flight
from Sydney to Cairns, an overnighter at an
airport hotel, an early morning flight to Horn
Island in the Torres Strait and a ferry to Seisia.
There I rendezvous with Roy Kundra of Cape York
Motorcycle Tours – a fast-riding, fast-talking
northerner whose been showing this Mad Max
part of the world to visiting riders for 25 years.
Roy is riding a formidable Husaberg FE501.
For me he’s brought a Suzuki DR-Z400E, a
mass-market tractor he rents to riders on his
company’s trophy 8-day tour from Cairns to the
tip of Cape York. Attempting to do it in three
days, I thought, was be testament to my mettle,
until I learn Roy once did it in 10 hours and 45
minutes. I have difficulty imagining how such
a record is even possible when, an hour after
leaving Seisia, I spend 10 minutes stuck behind
the aforementioned dust-encased 4WD until I
can safely overtake. Not a minute after making
the pass, I see Roy waiting patiently for me at an
unmarked goat track.
“Have you had much experience on sand?” he
asks before we get stuck into it.
“Heaps,” I reply, lying through my teeth.
“Sweat. Then follow me.”
62 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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And so the pain begins. The sand is
foot-deep in parts and there are tangles
of roots sticking out of the ground – any
one of which will cause total carnage
if catches one of my boots. The DR-Z
has enough grunt to churn through the
muck at any gear I choose, but the sheer
weight of the thing (see ‘My Ride’) and the
awkward seating position mean I have to
work twice as hard to keep my lines. Ten
kilometers into it I’m already feeling the
strain when I see Roy parked by a sign
that marks the start of the Old Telegraph
Track. “This is where it gets interesting,”
he says, shooting roost into the air.
SAND TRAPS & FRUIT BATS:
Interesting isn’t the word I’d use to
describe the road ahead. It has the
deepest rut I have seen in a decade on
the trails – a muddy groove that sinks a
meter deep on one side of the track. On
our bikes we simply ride along the top
half, but any 4WD coming this way would
end up tilted on a 45-degree angle.
A few minutes later we reach Nolan’s
Brook, the first of dozens of creek
crossings intersecting the track. There
are no crocodiles here but the water
is too deep to cross on our bikes and
we have the wheel them across a log
bridge. Not a bridge made of logs, but
two everyday logs Roy has placed across
a steep section of the bank – one for the
bike and another for the rider, a solution
that leaves no room for error.
Then there’s the sand, endless reams of
the stuff that make the front end of my
Suzuki shake like mad. After Roy sees me
struggling with it, he pulls over to offer
me a few points. “When the front end
starts wondering, the only way out of it
to accelerate,” he explains, “even though
your instincts tell you to decelerate. Once
that becomes second nature, the sand will
get a lot easier.”
After 25km of sandy hell we reach a
section of the Tele linked by a gravel
bypass road. It has detours leading to
three popular attractions on the Jardine
River: Eliot Falls, Twin Falls and Fruit
Bat Ball Falls, the latter of which is often
described as the best swimming spot in
all of Australia.
Set under the edge of a large semicircular
cascade with gin-clear water and
a sandy bottom, Fruit Bat Falls is almost
too beautiful to be true. We jump in for a
quick swim, refill our Cambelbaks in the
pool and in no time whatsoever we’re back
on the road. We follow it for 15km before
meeting the second and most difficult
section of the Tele: a straight-as-piss
70km line centered by the most infamous
off-road obstacle in all of Australia.
THE GUNSHOT CROSSING
As we stand there looking at, I find it
hard to believe that any 4WD can actually
surmount Gunshot Crossing. And by the
look on the faces of the bush-bashers
whose vehicles are lined up benignly to
our rear, neither apparently do they.
If one puts aside for a moment the
fact that what we are dealing with is a
4m-tall, 60-degree clay wall covered with
the scars of what look like unsuccessful
attempts to winch cars up its craggy,
64 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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slippery face, one still has to contend
with the deep muddy bog in front of it.
The mud is soggy, wet and grey, and
you can be assured it’ll wipe away the
inertia of any vehicle that approaches,
as Roy discovers when he tries to get his
Husaberg through it. He doesn’t get far
and we spend the next 10 minutes waistdeep
in slimy lukewarm mud wrestling
the damn thing out.
After a short breather and much
encouragement from our 4WDing
spectators, Roy attempts a different
crossing – one of half a dozen different
that’ve been cut into the river bank over
the years. A shallow gravel-bottomed
section of riverbed makes for a much
easier run up and he makes a good start.
But the incline is covered with huge
bulbous bumps and when his Husaberg’s
bash plate hits one, he flies over the
handlebars and the bike gets jammed
in a groove in the wall. With his rear
tyre now spinning hopelessly in thin air,
there’s nowhere to go but back down to
Not one to be defeated, Roy tries a third
time, this time on an incline with a
slightly less punishing gradient. Fanging
it in first, he races up the slope and over a
lip that slingshots him into a hairpin bend
edged by eucalyptus trees. Coming to a
halt only centimeters before impact with
a very hard trunk, he looks at me and
says: “Your turn, mate.”
If I were a better rider, this would be
where I tell you how I cleared Gunshot
Crossing on my first attempt. But I’m
not and journalistic integrity requires
me to admit that Roy did it for me. I did,
however, over the next 50km, become
increasingly confident while churning
through the sand. I had a couple of close
calls and came off on one occasion, but
it didn’t take away from my sense of
achievement when we pull into Bramwell
Junction Roadhouse late in the afternoon.
Bramwell is an iconic Outback
service station, known for its big juicy
hamburgers, expensive fuel and as the
last redoubt of civilization for northbound
bush-bashers gearing up to tackle the
Tele track. Covered in red dust and grey
crusty mud, we draw inquisitive looks
from these folk. But we have no time to
tarry as we still have 160km of gravel
road to cover to reach our camping spot
at Arthur River. And after that we have
two more days solid riding to reach the
finish line in Cairns. So, after refueling
our bikes, we shove a couple of meat
pies down out throats and ride off into
the blood-run sunset of Cape York,
that tropical wonderland on the tip of
Cape York Motorcycle Adventures
(capeyorkmotorcycles.com.au, 07 4055
0050) take in the Old Telegraph Track
during their 8-day tour from Cairns to
the tip of Cape York. Tours run from May
to November and cost $5,500. The fee
includes use of a Suzuki Dr-Z400E, riding
gear if needed, food, accommodation,
national parks permits, ferry rides and a
return flight from Horn Island to Cairns.
There are another half a dozen
66 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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companies that do the same thing, some
for a bit less money, but CYMA are the
original. They’ve been doing it non-stop
for 25 years and their tours run like welloiled
MY RIDE: SUZUKI DR-Z400E
You would be hard pressed to find an
enduro bikes as divisive as Suzuki’s
DR-Z400 series. Those who swear by
them are quick to point out that for
less than $8,000, the DR-Z represents
incredible bang for your buck. “It’s half
the price of a KTM, requires a quarter
as much maintenance, receives a better
resale price and suites novice and expert
riders alike on the trails we cover,” says
Renae Kundra Cape York Motorcycles
Adventures. I was quite skeptical at
first, but after three days on a DR-Z, I’ll
happily to admit there are few bikes in its
class and none near its price range that
are as good for tackling long, hot, dusty
stretches of gravel. The top end power
is awesome and I didn’t get shaken to
bits the way Roy did on his Husaberg.
Yet it was a different story when we hit
the trails, where I had to work twice as
hard to stay upright as I would have on
a KTM or Husaberg. The DR-Z’s frontend
suspension is stuck in the 1990s. It
handles like a dog’s breakfast around
corners at both low and high speeds.
And at 140kg (119kg dry plus a 20L safari
petrol tank), my ride was heavy as hell.
On the one occasion my bars hit the
ground, it took all of my strength – and
two attempts – to get the DR-Z up again.
Do that three or four times in the tropical
heat and you’ll hate yourself for getting
out of bed in the morning. For this reason
alone, I would never buy a DR-Z. But
that’s just me. Let’s not forget, this is
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1602 DT Telegraph track.indd 68 2016/01/24 9:42 PM
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Royal Enfield Himalayan
First official details of the Indian
manufacturer’s new adventure
Royal Enfield has released the first official images
and video of the Himalayan adventure machine.
It’s first new model since the launch of the
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machine built for exploring.
Its chassis is developed by world-renowned
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Simplicity and endurance is the key of the new
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The Himalayan in its final production form is
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70 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2016
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