JUNE 2017 RSA R30.00
9 772075 405004
EXCLUSIVE Track and Road test - 2017 Honda CBR1000RR & SP
RSV4 & TUONO V4
2017 KTM 390
2017 DUCATI SCRAMBLER
TECH TIPS: OIL CHANGE REMEMBERING: NICKY HAYDEN
CUSTOM: KAWASAKI KZ900 & DUCATI MONSTER 1200
SUPERGP: ROUND 4 FROM KYALAMI
1002 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017 1
W E L C O M E
I have literally just finished up with the
commentary for the SuperGP racing held at Kyalami
in conjunction with the SA Bike Festival. What an
amazing 2 races we had, and it was great to see
the amount of fans all around the circuit. So glad
to see the SA motorcycling fraternity get to witness
just how fast our boys are here in SA, and the world
class racing the DEOD SuperGP champions Trophy
We managed just to squeeze the racing action
from the Kyalami weekend in this issue. Big thanks
to Paul Bedford for getting it to us in time to meet
Last months issue had to be the most diverse
we have ever done here at RF, and I have received
nothing but praise for it. So, this month we have
tried to do the same. We have the latest sport bikes
tested, naked bikes, sports tourer, a new Ducati
Scrambler Cafe Racer and feature two awesome
custom bikes. I have no doubt that you are really
going to enjoy what we have for you in this mag.
The big test for this issue is the SA Launch of the
new Honda CBR1000RR and SP. Finally they have
arrived in SA and I was excited to swing my leg over
the new machines.
I won’t give away too much here but I will say I
was impressed, but there will be potential buyers
who won’t be.
While I can understand, appreciate and enjoy
Honda’s philosophy with the whole less is more
when it comes to power, there are not many riders
that are honest enough when it comes to their riding
ability and just want to hear the salesman tell them
the bike has 200hp, not 189, even though they will
battle to enjoy the 200hp, and would thrive on the
189hp, which is far more forgiving and enjoyable.
The new Blades continue the trend of the
previous models - superb, easy-to-use chassis,
only this time they have gone on a massive diet
and added top class electronics. But still, you can’t
take a Blade into a gun fight (excuse the pun), and
that is where the Honda is going to battle a bit. To
compete against 200hp you need 200hp. Imagine
taking 10Hp off Rossi and expecting him to still
compete with Vinales and Marquez. Would make
the task a lot harder...
Nonetheless the new machines are great and I
really enjoyed riding bot the RR and SP versions.
We have the full track and road tests in this issue.
It has been a really tough start to the year for all
involved in motorcycling, both locally and abroad.
So far this year I have had to end my eds column on
a sad note far too many times, and will have to do
so again this month.
I was absolutely devastated when I heard the
news that Nicky hayden had been involved in a bad
cycling accident. The initial news was not good,
with Hayden suffering big trauma to the head. A few
days later and he sadly passed away.
Myself and the entire motorcycle community
around the world were left speechless.
Nicky Hayden was a true champion, gentleman,
professional and one of the best things to happen to
motorcycle racing ever.
In this issue, Steve English helps us pay tribute
to one of the best riders, and men, the world has
ever seen. R.I.P Nicky Hayden, you will never be
EDITOR & DESIGN:
082 782 8240
071 684 4546
011 979 5035
2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
Photo: R. Schedl
KTM 390 DUKE
Make an aggressive statement with the new fullblooded,
super naked look of the KTM 390 DUKE.
Developed from READY TO RACE DNA, its stateof-the-art
single-cylinder engine possesses lively
capabilities to launch you from one corner to the
next. The new LED headlight screams DUKE
attitude and the “Corner Rocket” is ready to
show you its unique character.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017 3
Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations!
The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
Contents JUNE 2017
34: REMEMBERING: NICKY HAYDEN
20: COVER STORY: 2017 HONDA BLADES
64: CUSTOM: DUCATI MONSTER 1200
42: WORLD LAUNCH: 2017 APRILIA’S
66: WORLD LAUNCH: DUCATI CAFE RACER
56: FIRST RIDE: 2017 KTM 390 DUKE
70: FIRST RIDE: 2017 KAWASAKI Z1000SX
4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
Sport, made light.
The SuperSport blends comfort with versatility thanks to solutions that make it perfect for everyday road riding – but
without ever compromising its sporting spirit. The screen (which can be raised by 50 mm to ensure better high-speed
airflow protection), side pannier mounts and long-range 16-litre fuel tank give the SuperSport good touring capability.
Whichever road you take, the three Riding Modes ensure optimised SuperSport control, while special Sport, Touring
and Urban packages mean the bike can be personalised to suit individual taste and requirements.
DUCATI RIDE PLAN
174 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg - 011 919 1600 - email@example.com - www.ducati.co.za
Ducati South Africa Official @DucatiRSA Ducati_SA
All the news brought to you by
Royal Enfield to Acquire Ducati?
The rumour mill is churning within the motorcycle
acquisitions world. Some major business-based
publications are reporting that Royal Enfield is in
sales talks with Ducati Motor Holding.
Royal Enfield, which is owned by Indian automaker Eicher Motors based
in New Delhi, allegedly approached Ducati in hopes of buying the Italian
motorcycle manufacturer. Reports say Ducati has entrusted the banking
agency Evercore for options of the sale, which is around €1.5 billion.
Ducati, which was bought out by Volkswagen in 2014, had a recordbreaking
year in 2016, selling over 55,000 motorcycles to customers
worldwide. Growth was positive across all markets, including in America,
which is Ducati’s largest market where nearly 8,800 bikes were sold.
Ducati, which is present in 90 countries and employees around 1,600
employees, is looking to build upon those numbers in 2017 with the release
of seven new models: the revised Monster 1200, Monster 797, Multistrada
950, SuperSport, 1299 Superleggera, Cafe Racer and Desert Sled - all of
which were just launched in SA, see next news page for full review.
If the buyout occurs, Royal Enfield can strengthen its sales by using
Ducati’s business-building model. Royal Enfield, which was established
in 1893, making it one of the oldest motorcycle companies, currently
has joint venture relationships with Swedish car manufacturer Volvo and
Indian Motorcycle parent company Polaris.
The news arrives after Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, which
costs the Germany-based company in the neighborhood of $18 billion.
Cayenne takes to the Mother City
Cayenne, who is one of South Africa’s largest
motorcycle retailer and importer, will open a new branch
in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town during June 2017.
Building on the success of its Johannesburg
headquarters, Cayenne Cape Town will be an official
importer for renowned global brands such as Aprilia,
Beta, MV Agusta, Moto Guzzi and Hyosung.
With its fully-equipped workshop, parts department,
wide range of accessories, and financial services,
Western Cape customers have a world-class
dealership on their doorstep.
Cayenne Cape Town will also be launching a range
of Benelli Electric Bicycles, that have been a runaway
hit with the international cycling market.
Cayenne’s Cape Town customers can look forward
to some spectacular opening specials to be
announced. For more information about Cayenne
Cape Town, visit www.cayenne.co.za.
Bike Delivery Service
Otherwise known as BDS, are now up and running. If you
are in need of motorcycle transport then give them a call.
Prices from R1650 - Nation wide delivery. They even have
live video streaming of your precious cargo in transport.
Collection and delivery. Visit www.bdsbikes.co.za
WINTER IS HERE - TIME TO STOCK UP ON THERMALS!
New Berik 10641 Leather
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Alpinestars Andes V2
R4899-95 inc vat each
Alpinestars Andes V2
R3799-95 inc vat each
Full range of Balaclava neck warmer
thermal inners and Winter Riding
Gloves in stock!
Don’t get caught with
a dead battery. Battery
Chargers in stock!
Keep your bike warm this
winter. Full Range of Bike
covers in stock!
NEW EXCITING FULL THROTTLE
FOURWAYS STORE OPENING
FIRST WEEK OF JULY 2017!
WATCH OUR FACEBOOK PAGE & BIKE MAGAZINES FOR MORE DETAILS.
Opening Specials & lots more!
HUGE RANGE OF ACCESSORIES, SPARES & TYRE BAY IN VERY EASY TO LOCATE AND CONVENIENT LOCATION
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All the news brought to you by
New Italians arrive in SA
Ducati. A name synonymous with Svelte bikes,
performance and sexy. This is one company
that has taken the bull by the horns and flung
the riding public into the future. 8 new bikes for
2018 were unveiled at the Kyalami track late last
month. Ducati is expanding locally with a store
opening soon at the Waterfront in Cape Town.
More about that soo... We were recently invited
to the SA unveiling of the new bikes, a great
event held at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.
Let’s take a look at the latest offerings...
We also brought you the news about the brand new Monster
1200. Dave Petersen went along to the launch and came
back with a grin wider than the roads in Monaco.
The monster was Ducati’s first foray into a street bike for everyone
– and it has become one of those iconic bikes. It’s powered by the
mighty Testastretta 11° DS engine, with fluid torque and a perfectly
balanced chassis that works in harmony with the latest-generation
brakes and electronics. The seat is adjustable from 795mm to
820 mm, and the wide handlebars ensure manoeuvrability and
practicality in traffic, while the compact aluminium swingarm and
1485mm wheelbase make it even quicker when it comes to leaning
and changes of direction, enhancing the sports riding enjoyment
and increasing versatility. We want, we like! Attitude par excellance!
Earlier this year, we brought you the launch story about the
stunning NEW Supersport... Rob was there on the night to launch
the bike and say a few words on the world launch.
The SuperSport is a great balance between sport and comfort that
guarantee’s excitement .
With its 113 HP, 210 kg and the powerful torque of the Testastretta 11° engine,
this is the road-going sports bike to suit everybody: beautiful, fun, versatile.
Always at its ease, whether on the motorway or in city traffic, the SuperSport
allows anyone to indulge their sports instinct. Anywhere, at any time, in perfect
Ducati style. Guys we can’t tell you how much we enjoyed riding this bike – It’s
for everyone and it is gorgeous… bigger is not always better. From R169,000.
They unveiled the Desert Sled - a new incarnation of their
scrambler that we featured in our sister publication Dirt And
Hopefully, they will get to ride it soon… this is the reincarnation of the
bikes ridden and modified by guys like Steve McQueen… Definitelly
more dirt oriented than it’s other scrambler siblings…
The name Desert Sled refers to standard motorcycles over 500 cc
that were modified by riders for use in the Californian desert with
knobbly tyres, reinforced suspensions, spoked wheels and engine
protection plates to protect the bike against the debris of impassable
desert roads. The Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled plays perfectly
on nostalgia, and expands the Ducati Scrambler family with a new
version dedicated to the more off-road lifestyle…
Last month we featured Ducati’s new baby Monster the 797:
Enormous fun, with all the technological bells and whistles, Ducati
aims this one squarely at everyman.
The Monster 797 is a bike for those seeking carefree enjoyment,
8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
whether in the city or out of town. The
design recalls the iconic bike of the 90s,
reinterpreted with a modern twist: the trellis
frame, a traditional Ducati trait, perfectly
marries with the muscular tank and rear
double-sided swingarm in cast aluminium,
lightweight and sporty, with side-mounted
shock. The seat, positioned just 805mm
from the ground, the wide handlebar
and wide steering angle ensure agility in
traffic and stability at high speed. Guys it’s
easy to understand why the monster has
become legend. Just look at it, a muscle
bike of some note! From R131,000.
The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer:
(Full test in this issue).
Ducati is well tuned in to what the
current retro trends are and they have
created a bike for custom aficionado’s
across the globe.
The typical Scrambler teardrop tank with
interchangeable panels is combined
with a new seat, specially designed
and equipped with a seat cover for the
passenger. The handlebars with mirrors
attached to the ends are typical of 60s
racing; the same goes for the Termignoni
exhaust with double silencer, the headlight
fairing, the side number holders and
the new Pirelli Diablo Rosso II with 17’’
aluminium wheels. The styling is a clear
reference to the style of the Rockers that in
those days sped through the streets of the
English capital… R164,000.
The Diavel Diesel: Ducati’s Cruiser
666, the number of these bikes
being built globally, each bike is
made unique by a plate on the frame
bearing its progressive number.
Love the look or not, the Diavel has always
been a head turner. This one is on its way.
Andrea Rosso Creative Director Of Diesel
Licenses; “It’s an important motorcycle
that reflects the hard rock side of Diesel’s
DNA. ‘Never Look Back’ engraved with
the two logos illustrates the meaning of
this partnership: a timeless motorcycle
distinguished by many unique elements
like brushed steel and visible welds
and rivets. Ducati Diavel and Diesel,
three words with six letters that form
a perfect number, 666, the number of
motorcycles in the world made by this new
A unique motorcycle. Well worth a look…
Sex on wheels - the Ducati
Superleggera: Only six bikes are
coming in to SA at a cool 1.250 mill
odd ZA Rands… the stuff that dreams
are made of.
This is the worlds first standard street
bike with carbon fibre frame, swinging
arm, subframe and wheels. The 1299
Superleggera is one of the greatest
expressions of engineering, technology
and performance ever put into mass
production by a motorcycle manufacturer.
Only 500 are being made globally, for a
lucky few Ducatistas.
The fairing, also made of carbon fibre,
is just the tip of the iceberg of a unique
project. Under the fairing hides the most
powerful version of the Superquadro. With
its 215 horsepower, the Desmodromic
engine on the 1299 Superleggera is
the most powerful twin-cylinder ever
produced, representing the best of Ducati
Man oh man! If you are one of the lucky
people who bought one, please get in
touch, we’d Love to do a local feature…
WIN a new Shark
Langston Motorsports are the official
importers of Shark helmets into SA, and
they have just released the new Spartan
range of helmets. To help launch the new
lid in SA, they are giving you the chance
to win a new Spartan Droze WBR lid.
To enter, simply go like the Langston
Motorsports SA Instagram page and
email your name and contact details to
Ricky Morais to Suzuki/
Kawasaki South in CPT
The legend motorcycle technician, Ricky
Morais, who has won many a SA title, has
now moved down to the Cape and will
be running the workshop for the Suzuki /
Kawasaki South dealership. Ricky will be
specializing in all your high performance
tuning needs, including Dyno work.
Ricky has and always will be a big part of
the RideFast family and we wish him and
Michelle all the best in their new venture.
For more info, call 021 761 0157.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017 9
All the news brought to you by
New Distributor Heralds Better
Availability of Complete Metzeler
Tyre Range in SA
In the high stakes motorcycle tyre world, one name has commanded
riders’ fierce loyalty for more than 120 years – Metzeler. Until now,
however, the German brand has not enjoyed the widespread availability
that local motorcyclists would prefer, but that’s all changing with the
awarding of the sole distribution rights for Metzeler to TiAuto Brands.
With immediate effect, TiAuto Brands, a division of TiAuto
Investments, is now the sole wholesaler and distributor of the
complete range of Metzeler motorcycle tyres in South Africa and
That’s a big deal for motorcyclists, because TiAuto Brands has
an extensive and established distribution network and decades of
proven performance as the sole Southern African distributor of a
number of big-name wheel, tyre and automotive battery brands.
This will translate into greater, more widespread and more immediate
availability of the full variety of Metzeler tyres, throughout the Southern
African motorcycle dealer network.
Metzeler was one of the first companies to make specialised motorcycle
tyres, back in 1892 when motorcycles were first being built. In fact,
the company is credited with playing a major role in tyre development
for not only the motorcycle, but also the bicycle and automotive
industries. Since 1978/79, however, Metzeler has focused exclusively
on motorcycle tyres – choosing to do one thing, and to do it well.
Metzeler remains at the very cutting-edge of motorcycle tyre
technology – leading the world with its superior quality, high
performance tyres. The complete Metzeler product range includes
race, road, scooter, adventure and off-road tyres.
For more information contact Steve Theron on 072 912 4658.
Or E-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREE Shark helmet with Fire It Up!
As part of Fire It Up’s commitment to supporting the
motorcycling community at every level, Fire It Up! have
launched a new promotion where they will be giving away a
new Shark Helmet valued at R3899 with every bike sold!
Fire It Up! are asking the recipients of these Shark helmets to
donate any used/old protective road gear, which will in turn be
donated to “No Livery No Delivery”, an initiative started by Mike
Lacey, who will then supply this gear to motorcycle delivery
riders who cannot afford protective safety gear.
Hundreds of delivery riders are injured or fatally wounded each
month while trying to earn a living for their families by delivering
goods and food to our homes. Fire It Up! are asking you to
help them by donating any old helmets, gloves, boots, jackets,
and rain suits etc. “We’ll gladly welcome anything you have
lying around that you no longer use that can help save a life”.
Motorcyclists don’t need to buy a motorcycle and get the
free Shark helmet to be part of this campaign, Fire it Up will
welcome any donations from all bikers wanting to help this
worthy cause to keep these riders safer on our roads.
These items can be delivered to Fire It Up! in Fourways where
they will be handed over to the No Livery No Delivery initiative
for distribution to the needy delivery riders.
For more information, call 011 4670737.
For Motorcycle sales call Berto on 079 494 2404 or James on
076 827 9676 or 011 4670737.
Selling a motorcycle call The Bike Buyers, James on 076 827
9676 or visit www.bikebuyers.co.za or email@example.com.
All the news brought to you by
Michelin Unveils New
Power RS Sport Tyre
Planning to change your sportbike tyres?
Michelin is introducing a new bike tyre model
and claims to be the new sport motorcycle road
tyre benchmark from now on, targeting the most
discerning riders and providing new levels of
traction and stability.
Michelin SA is introducing the newest tyre model to its high-performance
range in 2017. Named the Michelin Power RS, the new model was first
introduced at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix last year and
is said to combine high levels of dry-weather grip, agility, stability, and
superior handling performance to create the only tyre you will need.
The unearthly claimed performance comes from the fact that it uses new
rubber compounds, some of which are derived from racing, along with a
new tyre casing design. The Michelin Power RS stands out as the sport
motorcycle road tyre market’s new benchmark, according to a series of
tests carried out by Motorrad Test Centre in October 2016.
The rear tyre uses a patented construction which benefits from the all new
Michelin Adaptive Casing Technology (ACT+) which provides excellent
straight-line and cornering stability.
There will be 13 different sizes available, front and rear, covering a
broad range of motorcycles, from 300cc to liter
sportbikes so everyone can enjoy the said
enormous amounts of grip and stability.
We’ll have to wait to see how good they
perform under real road conditions when we
put them to the test soon. Until then, there’s
one thing we are sure about - they do look
the part thanks tot that interesting formmeets-function
Visit www.autocyclecentre.co.za for full list of
dealers in SA.
GPT speed and laptimers
Trickbitz now have a great range of GPT digital
speedos and laptimers in for Ducati motorcycles.
The Speedo features a digital dash, display speed,
rpm bar graph, rpm, and liquid cooling temp.
Odometer, and resettable trip, speed alarm and
maintenance reminder, Gear indicator, alarm over
rpm, direction light and beam light.
Comes in complete kit with wiring and speed
sensor. Hall effect temp kit not included.
There is also some great
available for all your
racers out there.
HJC CL-SP in 3 and 4XL
Are you big headed? Then HJC has a helmet to fit you.
HJC has been designing & manufacturing high
quality protective helmets since the early 1950s. In
the 1990s HJC became the top American selling
motorcycle helmet - a position it has held ever
since. HJC’s focus remains on building helmets of
remarkably high quality, with extraordinarily generous
specifications and at unbelievably reasonable prices.
The HJC CL-SP (3XL and 4XL only) will be available in
store from July 2017, SRP R2999.00 Inc. Vat.
The HJC CL-SP Motorcycle Helmet is packed with
features Specifications include
• Advanced polycarbonate composite shell
• Channelled dual density EPS liner
• Superior fit for larger heads
• Extra-large EPS and shell size
• Removable and washable bio ceramic interior
• Groves to accommodate glasses
Available in Solid Gloss Black.
www.autocyclecentre.co.za for dealer listings.
12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
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to you by
Will WorldSBK Introduce
Momentum for a technical shake-up in WorldSBK has increased, but
the manner to instigate that change is a big question. As such, the
Imola paddock was full of rumor and discussion about changes to the
technical regulations for 2018. across its world championships as it was
judged to be ‘no longer necessary’.
Momentum for a technical shake-up in
WorldSBK has increased, but the manner
to instigate that change is a big question.
As such, the Imola paddock was full of
rumor and discussion about changes to the
technical regulations for 2018.
With Kawasaki and Ducati having shared
all but four wins since the start of the 2015
season, there have been calls to grant other
manufacturers some avenues with which to
improve performance. Discussions between
the manufacturers took place once again in
Italy to lay down a framework for the future.
No answers were forthcoming but with
Yamaha and Honda having brought all-new
Superbikes to the series in the last year, and
struggled to compete with the front-runners,
it is clear that the winds of change may be in
For 2017, Aprilia increased its involvement
with the Milwaukee Aprilia bikes built and
prepared in Italy. The former title-winning
marque has thus far failed to live-up to
Spec-ECU for WorldSBK?
A unified electronics package with a standard
ECU (Electronic Control Unit) is one step
that is being discussed, but that is far from
a silver bullet with which to cure all ills in the
The biggest reason for Kawasaki and Ducati
dominating proceedings is manpower and
resources. With more people in the garage,
and more resources spent on electronics and
overall bike development, they have proved
the class of the field.
Regulating that all bikes run the same
specification of electronics will close the gap
but not eliminate it.
That is one of the reasons why some teams,
such as the Ten Kate team, have called
for more drastic changes. Speaking over
the weekend Ronald ten Kate said, “The
ECU would be a start, but bringing in some
concessions similar to MotoGP would be a
While MotoGP has developed a unified
electronics system that is shared by all teams
on the grid, it has been the concessions
offered to manufacturers that has, arguably,
had the biggest influence on improving
These concessions range from having
unlimited testing, allowing engine
development mid-season, and in
the past providing a softer tire to
improve performance. These provisions
allowed manufacturers to short-cut their
development cycle, by making large
performance gains in a shorter time frame.
With Honda clearly struggling with a poor
bike and a lack of experience with it,
they desperately need track time to be able
to understand the all-new Fireblade and
With resources clearly lacking at MV Agusta,
the team has precious little to test, but
opening some of the restrictions on bikes
could help the Italian manufacturer. The team’s
rider, Leon Camier, crashed out of second
position in Imola last weekend, but knows the
struggle facing the team.
“Right now if you’re not on a green bike or a
red bike you’re not going to win,” said Camier.
“At the moment Yamaha, MV, Aprilia, BMW,
and Honda all have good riders, but at best
we’re really fighting for fifth or sixth position.”
“It would be great if we could see some help
to improve our performance, or open the
regulations somehow, to help make it be
more competitive at the front, because fans
at home want to see more bikes at the front.”
To bring about such a change in the regulations
the manufacturers would have to be in
agreement. While Yamaha, Honda, BMW, and
Aprilia would be able to form a majority finding
agreement is another issue entirely.
The biggest stumbling block to that would
appear to be Kawasaki, which has said
consistently in the past that electronic
development is one of their key reasons for
racing in WorldSBK.
With electronic development restricted
in MotoGP the only series that allows
manufacturers to flex their mental muscles with
software development is WorldSBK.
It is one of the single-biggest reasons why
Kawasaki races in the championship and puts
huge resources into it. As a result, the Japanese
manufacturer is against the series bringing in a
unified electronics software package.
Ducati is also likely to oppose any motion
to restrict their performance, but the Italian
manufacturer will have a new bike on the
market in the next two years.
Their all-new V4 engined machine will
be their flagship bike once again and the
importance of WorldSBK as a marketing tool
will not be lost on Bologna as they make
the transition from twin-cylinder bike to the
Kawasaki is in a comparable situation to
Ducati, though there are key differences.
With no MotoGP team, and no desire to
race in prototype series, Kawasaki needs a
championship series that can showcase their
While their feelings on the potential change
are not set in stone at the moment, both
manufacturers would be against restricting
their performance on track, but equally, there
is leverage against them in negotiations over
Fresh from dominating at Imola, Chaz
Davies said, “I’ve not heard much about any
changes to the regulations other than a few
questions, but in principle I would think that
the best approach isn’t to penalize Ducati or
Kawasaki for being successful, but rather to
help bring the other teams forward.”
“If that’s with granting them more testing,
more engines, or some different parts, then
that would be the best solution.” It would
also be the simplest solution for keeping all
With seven manufacturers on the grid for
2017, and Suzuki likely to return in the
coming years, it is clear the value and
importance of WorldSBK holds for each
Keeping them all happy and competitive
in the series is an almost impossible goal,
but offering ways to improve their potential
Racing improves the breed, and the brand,
but finding the best way to accelerate that
improvement now appears to be a key
challenge facing WorldSBK.
14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
Pic by GP-Fever.de
BY THE BEST.
Official MotoGP tyre supplier
MICHELIN Power SuperSport
MICHELIN Power Slick Evo
Available at your nearest dealer
to you by
McGuinness on the
mend but won’t
make this years TT
John McGuinness North West 200 Injury Update
While qualifying May 11 for the North
West 200, one of the world’s fastest
international road races held in
Northern Ireland and a precursor to
the Isle of Man TT, John McGunniness
suffered a nasty crash.
The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner
McGuinness broke his lower-left leg,
four vertebrae and three back ribs. He
was transported to the Royal Victoria
Hospital in Belfast, where he continues
undergoing various treatments to his
Unfortunately, McGuinness was forced
to miss the North West 200, where
he has claimed six race wins, and will
miss this year’s Isle of Man TT.
McGuinness released a statement the
following Wednesday from the hospital:
The Honda Racing CBR1000RR pilot
says: “I really am truly overwhelmed
with the amount of support and well
wishes that have been flooding in since
my accident at the North West 200
last Thursday. Both myself and the
wife (Becky) have received so much
support and I cannot thank the race
fans, industry people, the medical
teams and fellow racers enough;
all your messages do help pull me
through the dark hours.
“I’m still at the Royal Victoria Hospital
undergoing various treatments for my
leg injury; the fixator is still yet to be
fitted as they don’t want to run the
risk of infection, so at the moment it is
“I’m not going to lie, missing the TT
this year is going to hurt, but I will
be watching and keeping an eye on
everything! Good luck to all the lads
heading out there; if I am able to head
over then of course I will be there, but
at the moment everything is day-byday
and I just have to do what I can to
recover and get better. It’s going to be
a long road ahead, but I have a great
support network around me, so I have
to be patient and take each day as it
“Thank you again!”
Schuberth protects RedBull
Rookies Cup riders
SCHUBERTH supply all Red Bull MotoGP Rookies
Cup riders with individually styled helmets
For the second consecutive season, all riders in the Red Bull
MotoGP Rookies Cup will race with SCHUBERTH SR2 helmets
styled individually, using the young riders’ own designs. As
a special attraction, fans were able to vote for their favourite
design on the Facebook page SCHUBERTH Helmets.
Those who support up-and-coming new talent are actively
helping them to become future champions. That is why
SCHUBERTH has chosen to support all riders in the Red Bull
MotoGP Rookies Cup by exclusively supplying them with their
top racing helmet, the SR2. A breeding ground for prospective
professional racers, many successful competitors in the Moto3
and Moto2 world championships have scored their earliest
international race wins in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
Professionals know: you will only be able to fully focus on the
race and deliver your best performance if your helmet has an
absolutely perfect fit and feels completely comfortable. “The
SR2 was designed for the best riders in the world, and the
best new talent also needs perfect and safe equipment for their
rise to the top,” says SCHUBERTH CEO Jan-Christian Becker.
This season, all “Red Bull Rookies” are again entering the grids
with helmets that have been individually styled using the young
riders’ own ideas and conceptions.
The 25 cool designs have also been presented to the fans
in advance, giving them a chance to vote for their favourite
pattern on the Facebook page SCHUBERTH Helmets right
up until the first race of the season. The most popular colour
scheme turned out to be the one designed by 15-yearold
Meikon Kawakami. At the season’s first race, held
as part of the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, Jan-Christian
Becker presented the Japan-born Brazilian with his prize,
a SCHUBERTH R2 in Nemesis Yellow. In addition, a prize
draw for a second R2 was held among the participants of the
16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
SHARK Spatan Helmet
Shark’s new Spartan has a paredback name, but the spec is
anything but basic. The shell is a combination of fibreglass and
carbon-fibre, which contributes to keeping weight down to a
claimed 1290g, which is competitive for this class of helmet.
Shark Spartan have concentrated on aerodynamics to aid rider
comfort and also reduce noise with a new feature called Shark
Skin which makes the visor mounting method as sleek as
possible to cut noise from disrupted wind flow to a minimum.
Twin spoilers at the rear of the shell also contribute to
settled aerodynamics and they have air extractors to help
drag warm air through from the inside of the helmet. The
Spartan’s practical aims as a road helmet are evident in the
presence of a drop down internal sun visor and a Pinlock
MaxVision anti-mist insert guarding against fogging on
the outer visor. The strap also fastens with an easy-use
microlock slide ratchet rather than double D-ring set-up
favoured on sportier helmets.
The new lid is available in Carbon and fibreglass versions, and
comes in an array of really cool graphics.
Be sure to check out the Langston Motorsports ad in this issue,
where you could win yourself a new Shark Spartan Droze lid.
www.langstonmotorsports.co.za - or visit your local dealer.
RST Pro Series Boots
One year and nine prototypes later, RST
has developed a boot that provides premium
protection at a great price: the RST Pro Series
Race Boot. Made of cow hide and microfiber, the
Pro Series boot is both comfortable and durable.
The shin plate, heel cockpit and ankle support are
made up of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to provide
protection and support in the case of a crash. The sole of the
boot is made out of a compound that provides excellent grip
and is reinforced with a polycarbonate shank for extra support.
Additionally, the boot contains a TPU-backed zinc alloy toe slider
that is easy to replace. This boot is equipped with a zipper and a
Velcro closure to ensure the boot stays put during use. The inner
sole is moisture wicking and features a soft material with
Now available from Suzuki East. Price
R2499,99. Available in white
18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
BRAD BINDER shirts & hoodies
We here at RideFast Magazine are proud to be the official
merchandiser to 2016 Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder.
We are now proud to present the new range of shirts and
hoodies. For 2017, we have released 2 new shirts styles -
Orange and black and the melange grey.
There are also two new hoody styles - Orange and black zip
up and melange grey and black pull over.
The new range is custom designed and made here in SA.
Shirts are selling at R400each while the grey/black pull over
hoody is R600each and the orange/black zip up is R650each.
To order your, email firstname.lastname@example.org or get down to
Ridgeway Racebar for the next MotoGP race, where we will
have the new merch on sale. New caps coming soon.
ready for a
It’s been a long time coming, but the new Honda
CBR1000RR and SP have finally arrived in SA, and
are ready to take on the big guns.
Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus
20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
When you ask a racer, journo, or
owner what they thought of Honda’s
supersport bikes – the CBR1000RR and
CBR600RR – over the years, they would
usually come up with a similar response,
that they’re well-balanced, have a great
chassis, good brakes, a ‘conservative’
engine but please Honda, give the
superbike some electronics!
The first FireBlade creation was
back in 1992 - a 893cc, inline four, 16v
machine that pushed out a then, very
impressive 122hp, 88Nm of torque and
had a dry weight of 185kgs. Plenty of
new upgrades and changes happened
over the years, and in 2004 the biggest
change came, the CBR900RR was no
more and the seventh generation of the
Fireblade was born - the CBR1000RR.
The next big step came in 2008. Under
the concept “All the Best in Super Sport”,
the ninth-generation CBR1000RR was
designed to be No. 1 in rideability, design
and power, and for a long time it was.
But then all went very stagnant after that,
and the market got bored… Until now!
Twenty five years after the first
FireBlade model and Honda have now
released their latest expression, which
produces 189HP, 114Nm of torque and
weighs in at 196kg’s, and are hoping that
it will be just as successful as the previous
models, which to date, have sold over
470,000 units world wide. The new bikes
needed to be a complete new vision, and
provide riders with all the latest trends
available on modern day sporstbikes -
from MotoGP electronics package to big
power figures. But Honda have always
had both the experienced and novice
rider in mind when producing their big litre
bikes, and to date have got the mixture
just perfect. Experienced track riders and
racers were able to get the best out of the
CBR1000RR package on track, while road
and odd trackday riders could enjoy a very
well balanced, easy-to-use motorcycle
that was far from intimidating.
Honda were quite happy not making any
big changes to their CBR1000RR model,
as it worked and was a fan favourite. This
all changed in 2009 when BMW came out
with their S1000RR screamer. Since then
the sportsbike community have been on
Honda’s back to release a new model with
more ponies and an electronics package to
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 21
match their competitors, who had all made
the step up to compete against Zie Germans
(except for Suzuki who have also now only
come to the party).
But unlike the Europeans, the Japanese
are much more passive when it comes
to creating new machines. They don’t
push boundaries as much as the others
when it comes to their production bikes,
opting for reliability and ease-of-use rather
than the guns blazing approach. It’s a
philosophy that has worked for them up
till now but with the new model they had
to push boundaries a bit more if they were
to please the now very competitive and
demanding sportsbike buyer.
Enter the new generation Blade!
For 2017, their are 3 new CBR1000RR
options, but only 2 of them available in
SA - The base CBR1000RR and the more
racy CBR1000RR SP.
The Honda R&D team were torn between
making a race bike or a user-friendly
sportsbike. That’s why if your wallet lets
you, the SP variant is ready and waiting. But
don’t be fooled, the standard 2017 model
Blade isn’t made up of 90 percent new
parts for no reason. It’s a cleverly-disguised
race bike, thanks to Honda’s ability to
make a bike work for every skill level. So
how have they bridged the numbers gap
to the others? I say numbers gap because,
after all, the previous model was still good
enough to win various championships over
the years, but has battled to win over the
“Bigger is Better” SA buyer because of the
lack of electronics and HP.
Firstly, the engine has been revised
from the ground up with a saving of two
kilograms. That doesn’t sound like much,
but trust me, it was certainly noticed out
on the tough-to-tackle Redstar race track.
Importantly, peak power has increased by
11HP at 13,000rpm, while peak torque
is at 11,000rpm. We weren’t given the
rpm limit numbers, but I certainly hit the
rev limiter when I decided to test the
electronics. More on that later.
22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
GONE BUT NEVER
Terms & conditions apply. Valid while stocks last. Colours and models subject to availability. Pictures for illustrative purposes only
OWN A PIECE OF HISTORY!
CBR1000RR & CBR1000RR SP
Honda Elite 125
Trade-Ins welcome! Finance and insurance arranged in-house.
The engine breathes through a smaller
volume air-box and has two-millimetre
larger throttle bodies, while the new fairing
and air-intake creates a more efficient
airflow, helping to increase power. Another
major update on the engine is the clutch
assembly, as a total revision has seen the
slipper ramps changed and the basket
itself is brand new. The clutch lever action
now feels like a small capacity two-stroke
and is very light. But all you really need to
worry about is the horsepower, because
let’s face it, we are speed junkies and this
bike will give you your fix – it’s proper fast,
more than enough for most, although it’s
still not as fast as its competitors.
Total weight-saving on this bike is
massive, because on top of the 2kg lighter
engine, the rest of the rolling chassis
has had 13kg trimmed off its waist. The
new frame and swing-arm have not only
received updates to increase rigidity
with the extra power, but the pair play a
1.2kg part in the weight loss. Front brake
callipers are 150g lighter, holding onto a
more performance-driven set of pads that
stop the new lighter wheels.
Two other major weight saving
components are the ASIMO-inspired ABS
IMU (Inertia Measurement Unit) that is the
brains of the electronics package and the
new system is 3kg lighter than the old ABS
system. Finally, the exhaust is 2.8kg lighter.
I’m not usually a fan of the EU emissions
exhaust systems, but this one looks and
sounds like a ‘real’ one.
Honda are the last to have their flagship
sportsbike fitted with what’s expected on the
latest generation superbikes, being MotoGPderived
electronics. My reference to ASIMO
(Honda’s robot) is no joke, as the electronics
system on this bike was developed with
information gathered from the robot. Don’t
worry, the human element of riding the bike
is still very real, however it does give the rider
confidence to push the limits that little more.
The IMU gyro is the intelligence collector
and information provider that all the rider
assists work off. Torque Control (otherwise
known as traction control), ABS, Wheelie
Control, Rear Lift Control, Power Delivery
and Engine Brake Control all rely on the
IMU signals to function. The connection of
the right hand to the engine is no longer
done via a cable either, because the 2017
CBR1000RR is Honda’s first inline four
production bike to be fully ‘Throttle by Wire’
(TBW) driven. My first experiences with this
type of system were one of detachment
and not feeling like a real twist grip, but
in this case, there has been some time
invested into making it feel like a normal
cable-operated system – keeping the
human element alive and arm-pump real!
24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
I must say, the missing link in the whole
electronics package is the standard fitment
of a quick-shifter, which is not available
on the base RR but is on the SP version.
It’s not that they haven’t produced one,
it’s just an upgrade accessory rather than
being standard fitment (priced at R12,000).
The rider assist package
has extensive adjustment
options. Modes 1, 2, and
3 are pre-set factory
settings, while you
can customise and
store two additional
modes – 4 and 5 – to suit your
preference. You can change
modes on the fly with a flick the
finger on the left switch-block,
however this must be done with
a fully-closed throttle, otherwise it
won’t change. The digital display
looks very racy, MotoGP like and
is very easy to read, so you’ll have
no problems seeing what mode
Changing the modes will vary
the Power Output, Torque Control
and Engine Brake settings. It looks very
intimidating at first but it only takes a
couple of minutes of playing with
then it’s a pretty simple system to
navigate and understand. Mode 1
is least intervention and Mode 3
is most in the pre-set options.
With all of the above
information, I know you all just
want to know how it feels on the
race track, because well, let’s face
it lap-times are a pretty important
part of sportsbike bragging rights.
The SA launch of the new Fireblade
took place at Redstar Raceway, and
we had both new models available to test -
The CBR1000RR and the CBR1000RR SP.
I decided to take the RR out on track first,
saving the more racy SP version for later
when the track conditions were a bit warmer.
The RR model comes standard with more
road focussed Bridgestone S21 tyres, while
the SP comes with the very grippy more
track orientated Pirelli Diablo Corsa’s.
Rolling out of the pit box, the first thing
I noticed was how much smaller the bike
feels compared to the older Fireblade.
The bike is physically small and narrow
and I love the position of the handle bars,
nice and wide. The connection from the
‘TBW’ to the engine is consistent, no lag
and it feels like a cable is still opening the
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 25
Having set Mode 3 with the most
amount of EB (engine braking), TC on
lowest setting and power on the highest
setting, I was eager to find out how well
it works, especially considering I was on
more road based tyres. That was the plan
anyway. By the exit of turn 4 I had already
forgotten that and opened the throttle
earlier than a non-scrubbed tyre would like,
there was a small amount of movement
sideways in the rear-end, before the TC
caught it and pulled power out. I stood the
bike up and thanked ASIMO…
Once the tyres generated a bit of heat I
was able to understand and feel what the
bike was like. My first impression is that
it felt a bit flat at the bottom, but I could
feel it was down to very tall gearing. The
gear ratios felt very long, more adapted to
the road so I had to use 1st and 2nd gear
for most of the turns. Above 6,000rpm
is where the bike really comes alive. A
power band effect kicks in and you hear
and feel the exhaust valve open releasing
all she’s got. Definately not as potent as
it’s competitors in the power department,
but Honda’s philosophy has always been
less power means more control, and
that’s once again apparent on this new
model. The power and torque available is
so easy to handle and enjoy out on track,
even more so now that it has a superb
electronics package. Honda’s “less is
more” approach is once again a highlight,
although it might not be apprciated
by potential buyers who are going to
want more, even if they can’t handle it.
Riders who are true and comfortable
with their riding abilities will thrive off the
CBR1000RR’s capabilities. Although the
first thing I would do if I had to buy one
and wanted to use more on track is go
one tooth down on the front sprocket.
That will give it more punch out of the
turns without having to spend a fortune of
a flash tune or other go fast parts.
The 15kg lighter bike feels amazing on
track. The handling of the bike was simply
‘Honda’, being very well balanced and
easy to change direction, most notably
through the tough dog bones section.
As I raised the pace, so too did the old
inner-racer and the RR was helping me
relive my old glory days and I felt like a true
racer once again. I was amazed with the
grip levels the Bridgestone S21 tyres were
giving me. They complimented the bikes
handling to a tee and I really was getting
the best out of the bike.
By the end of this session I completely
trusted the electronics system and was
becoming heavy with my right hand, that
pesky racer wanted to know what the laptimes
were. Old habits die hard, so I set
the dash to display the lap-timer.
The third run was when I really
appreciated the IMU-driven ABS and Rear
Lift Control. Braking hard for turn four,
usually the front-end dives significantly and
puts a lot of force on the rider’s upper-body,
but the lift control cleverly adjust the brake
bias to flatten the bike out, without making
you run on or deep into the corner. It really
is a fantastic and a great safety feature.
26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
I was also now starting to test the TC
on the slower turns. I had already become
comfortable with the amount in which it
allows the bike to step out and spin while
still building speed and staying on line
through the faster turns, so it was time
to get greedy in second gear. I also must
say at this stage, the tyres were a bit sick
of me treating them poorly, so exiting
turn four with my knee still on the ground
I twisted to the stop… naturally, the rear
shock was deep in the stroke and the TC
was already being told by the rear tyre to
let the front catch up.
A normal person might have stood the
bike upright and let it do that, but I was
here to test the bike, right? So I kept my
hand south and maintained more lean
angle, before finally the tyre stepped out.
By this stage I couldn’t let the throttle
off – it would have been big! – so I stood
the bike up, the system caught back up
and pulled a wheelie off towards turn five.
I was going to come in that lap, but had
to go around one more time to check the
blackie. It was solid.
A testament to how good not only
the electronics package is, but also the
standard Showa Suspension, which
we had not touched so was in off-theshowroom-floor
This made me even more keen to swing
my leg over the SP model, so after a good
first 30minute session out on the RR, it
was time to test the SP.
The SP took the track experience to
another level. While the RR was more than
good enough, the SP just made life that
bit easier and faster. The Ohlins electronic
suspension is the best I have ever tested,
and set in track mode and combined with
the added quick-shifter and sticky Pirelli
track tyres, made very easy work of the
The bike felt that bit more solid,
especially over the bumps under hard
braking, the electronic suspension would
soak them up in a split second settling the
bike up perfectly to attach the turns a bit
more than on the RR.
The SP come standard with a Honda
quick-shifter, which also has autoblip
fitted. As you would expect, its
exceptional, I would go as far as saying
one of if not the best in the business. With
a crisp, clean up-shift and clutch-less
back-shifting with the auto-blip, it made
me feel like I was on a current grant prix
bike. Well actually, the whole electronics
package is the same that comes fitted
to the RC213V-S, so really, it is your very
own MotoGP bike aside from the fact that
you’ve not spent R1M-plus. If you do get
28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
yourself a new Fireblade RR,
the first change you should
make is to add the speedshifter,
as it makes the bike
even better, especially if you
plan to do more track than
I found myself quietly
chuckling at every turn,
enjoying every moment on the
new RR and SP. I explored
the full capability of all the
rider assist Honda had given
their new Blade and it made
me feel like a racer again. It’s
a “Wolf in sheeps clothing” in
the true sense of the phrase.
It feels like a super sport
600 machine but has the
anger you would want from
a modern litre beast. The
electronics package is simply
amazing, and one that even
Iron man would be proud of.
Yes, it’s not as fast as the
others, but what it lacks in
power it makes up in and out
of the turns. It enters, holds
the apex, and exits the turns
better than most and Honda’s
“Total Control” tag line could
not be more suited to the
new models. The control and
connection to the bike while at
speed is amazing, a race bike
‘conservatively’ built to be a
road bike. Well done Honda,
well done indeed.
Honda’s latest CBR1000RR
Fireblade is now in dealerships
at a retail price of R240,000,
available in Matte Ballistic
Black Metallic and Victory
Red. The SP will retail at
R300,000 and is only available
in the HRC Tri-colour.
SPECS: CBR1000RR Capacity: 999cc Liquid-cooled 4-stroke
16-valve DOHC Inline-4 Power: 189hp @ 13,000rpm
Torque: 114Nm @ 11,000rpm Wet weight: 196kg
Seat height: 832mm Fuel capacity: 16L Price: R240,000
Detailed specs: www.honda.co.uk
2ND OPINION: MIKE POWELL
The handling was the first
thing that I noticed when
turing into corners on RSR,
it holds the line so well and
gives you the feeling that you
can do so much more with the
bike than you could do with
the previous model.
The Honda throttle-bywire
is awesome, it feels like
it is still driven by cable. I felt
that when wheeling you can
control the throttle. It’s the first
throttle-by-wire that gives you
such good feed back.
The brakes are awesome
with the Engine braking you
can get on the brakes so much
later. When trail braking, at no
point did it feel like I was going
to wash the front end. The bike
is comfortable and smooth,
even a beginner can ride the
bike without worrying that it is a
big 1000 and too strong.
The SP’s electronic
suspension is so well made
that I had to keep reminding
myself that it has a electronic
suspension. The quick-shifter
and auto-blip is good, but
not the best. I felt that the
ZX10RR’s is better set up.
The traction control allows
you to have fun, but when
the back starts to step out
it corrects it before you can
even notice. What I enjoyed
about the traction control was
that it allows you to power
wheelie without it taking away
all the fun.
Both bikes are not the
fastest or strongest, however
it’s the best handling Jap bike
So if you into taking corners
like we are there is no better
bike, I would say definitely put
a pipe on the bikes though.
My overall view; the styling
I think is one of the best
looking bikes to have come
out recently, handling is the
best, power could do with
more, electronics are easy to
use and well set up. Its a very
tame killer bike!!!!
SPECS: CBR1000RR SP Capacity: 999cc Liquid-cooled 4-stroke
16-valve DOHC Inline-4 Power: 189hp @ 13,000rpm
Torque: 116Nm @ 11,000rpm Wet weight: 195kg
Suspension Front: Telescopic inverted fork with an inner tube diameter
of 43mm, and a NIX30 Smart-EC (OHLINS) Front Fork with preload,
compression and rebound adjustments, 120mm stroke
Suspension Rear: Unit Pro-Link with gas-charged TTX36 Smart-EC
(Öhlins) damper featuring preload and compression and rebound damping
adjustment, 60mm stroke Seat height: 820mm Fuel capacity: 16L
Price: R300,000 Detailed specs: www.honda.co.uk
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 29
ROAD TEST: THE SINGH
They say familiarity either breeds contempt
or comfort. The new Honda CBR 1000 is
like a surprise visit from an old girlfriend.
In your mind you presume that time apart
from you would render her useless, fat and
undesirable. But lo and behold she appears
before you slicker, sexier and stronger.
The 2017 Honda has been evasively
bland since its last major update in 2008.
The 2008 blade had brief cosmetic
upgrades in late 2011 but the reliably honest
power plant had remained unchanged.
I had used my 2011 as a daily commuter,
braving the incessant chatter of selfish
drivers from Pretoria to Johannesburg every
day. Nothing new there.
I racked up about 50000 odd
kilometers on my Blade and apart from a
slight increase in oil consumption, the bike
was problem free.
That was always the prudent advantage
of Honda, they are a brand built on
integrity and consistency.
The 2008 to 2012 Bike did everything
well but nothing exceptionally. It was a
work horse of stability and efficiency.
It was comfortable, precise and soaked
up the bumpy roads with stoic indifference.
The new Blade is prettier, skinnier and
slicker. I am wistfully hoping to ride it for
longer than a few hours but my initial
impressions has the bike as a winner.
The statement might seem
presumptuous considering the current
competition and my proclamation is based
on the precedents of the past.
The SP has all the creature comforts
of new bikes with the precise build quality
that Honda is synonymous with.
Everything has become automated,
no surprises there and the SP is fitted
with electronic Ohlin’s, which are probably
worth their weight in old on our current
roads. It’s almost been a year and the DA
has still not fixed those elusive potholes…
The auto blip or up/down quick shifter is
flawlessly smooth and like the returning ex,
everything on the new bike feels familiar.
The one item that irked me was the lack
of low down torque. That was the shining
quality of the old Blades. Whichever gear,
all you had to do was grab a handful and
the bike would faithfully lurch forward.
Apart from the RR, all the new bikes
have this annoying quality, nothing a cheap
sprocket change cannot fix, but finding
stock might catch you off guard.
This was a quick and dirty review, we
will be back…
30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
2017 HONDA CBR1000RR
HONDA CBR1000RR SP
Now available at your nearest dealer.
Changing your oil
There Really Are Ways to Screw Up an Oil Change
Odds are you’ve changed your own
oil. It’s one of the easiest jobs to do on
most motorcycles, and it rewards you
with a happy engine and a feeling of
accomplishment. Plus, if you don’t break
anything, you might save a buck. Here are
a few things we keep in mind when doing
an oil change.
• Start clean, stay clean, end clean.
Have rags or paper towels on hand before
you start the job. Clean up the area around
the bike so if there’s a spill it doesn’t end
up on your riding boots, a set of new tires
in the corner, or the dog. Wear latex or
nitrile gloves to keep the used oil from
getting on your skin and so you can
quickly strip them off to answer the phone
or nature’s call without having to wash
your hands first.
• Have everything you need on hand
before you start. That includes the correct
oil filter, filter wrench, enough oil, and the
proper tools for bodywork removal, if
• Buy the proper oil filter. It’s hard to
go wrong with original-equipment filters,
though there are excellent aftermarket
options available as well. We’re partial to
Hiflo Oil Filters. Be wary of using a filter
intended for another bike. It might actually
fit but could have a different relief-valve
spec, drainback valve setup, or other
variances from the intended part. If you
intend to use OE-style filters, buy the
proper end-cap wrench; it’s much better
than a huge pair of pliers.
• Get a drain tank. Pouring used oil
from an open drain pan into a container for
transport to a recycling center is messy.
Instead of a pan use a flat drain tank. It’s
the same size as a drain pan, but it has
a shallow, bowl-shaped top, a hole in the
middle with a screw cap, and a capped
spout on one end for easy pouring.
Clean the pan before you begin so it’s
easier to spot any debris.
• Take your time with the bodywork.
Today’s plastic-clad bikes often need their
bodywork to be removed for full access
to the drain plug and oil filter. Read your
service manual, and take care the first time
you do it. Keep track of how the tabs fit
together, and be careful not to lose any of
those infernal plastic retaining clips or pins.
• Assess the engine to see if you have
any existing leaks. Then, start the bike and
make sure it’s thoroughly warm before
draining the used oil. This is to ensure the
contaminants are in suspension and not
snoozing in the bottom of the oil pan.
• Be on the lookout for previously
botched work. When you remove the oildrain
plug, it should be hard to get started
but turn freely and smoothly the rest of
the way. If it doesn’t, the threads on the
plug or in the cases could be damaged.
Look at the old crush washer (gasket),
The proper oil-filter wrench is
a necessity. Nitrile gloves make
cleaning up a cinch.
We highly recommend Hiflo oil filters. Not only
are they top quality, they are priced right and are
available for just about every motorcycle out there.
Replace the crush washer, and
always use a torque wrench to
tighten the drain plug.
32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017
Brought to you by
and carefully inspect any plug with an
integrated magnet. Slivers of ferrous metal
larger than a pencil tip should be cause for
• Watch the oil come out. Black oil
isn’t a problem—it gets dark by trapping
contaminants, so that means it’s working—
but milky, lumpy, or otherwise odd-looking
or odd-smelling oil could indicate other
• Use a torque wrench. The drain
plug is a prime candidate for over- and
under-torquing. Too loose and you’ll invite
leaks. Too tight and you run the chance of
stripping the threads. You can bet the case
will give way before the plug too.
• Use new gaskets, washers, and
O-rings. A typical drain-plug gasket costs
around R10. If you’ve somehow forgotten
to get one (ahem), at least flip the old one
over—assuming it’s a symmetrical gasket,
and not all are—and inspect it carefully
before reusing. A crush washer is cheap.
• Be keenly aware of how much oil
your bike really needs. The notation on the
side case by the oil window is for a dry
engine. For wet-sump engines, fill to the
middle of the oil window or dipstick then
run it for two to three minutes to fill the
filter and check for leaks. Let the engine
sit for a few minutes and check the level
again. Add until it’s at the upper limit but
not above. Dry-sump engines—those with
a separate oil reservoir—should have the
recommended procedure followed exactly,
unless you really like chasing oil levels or
• Reinstall the bodywork and take a
moment as you clean up to double-check
your work. Use a flashlight to look around
the engine for leaks or other trouble. It’s
worth the little extra time this takes.
Quick Facts: Before you even start changing your oil, find a place to recycle
the old oil and the used filter when you’re finished with the job. Most
automotive repair shops, big chain-store automotive centers, and community
recycling centers take used oil. Find out what kind of container they want
it in—glass is a no-go; plastic containers with secure screw-on caps are
preferred—and don’t forget to bring the used filter in a sealed zip-lock bag.
leads to superior design
HiFlo have been manufacturing OEM
motorcycle filters since 1963, and this
experience leads to a superior design.
A HiFlo filter is built with materials
tested and proven to withstand pressure
four times greater than they’ll ever see in
a motorcycle engine. The end caps are
made from tin – not cardboard or paper
like some other aftermarket manufacturers,
which can disintegrate in moisture. The
filter paper is folded in a concertina fashion
to maximize filtration area, and both
paper and resin/glue are compatible with
all lubricants including synthetics. The
base gaskets are pre-lubricated for easy
installation and leak free seal.
When tested by German certification
authority TUV, HiFlo filters were found to
surpass OE filter standards for efficiency,
flow and filtration.
High Quality Materials
and strict quality control
A high quality, reliable and long lasting
product can only be made from great
Unlike many filter manufacturers, HiFlo
are transparent about where they get their
premium materials from, so you
know they’re from a reliable
and responsible source.
• Steel ifrom Toyota Tshusho
and NKK, Japan.
• Glue from Henkel,
• Paper from Ahlstrom
Hollingsworth & Vose,
USA, and Awa
Every oil filter
goes through 15
control checks before
it leaves the factory. The
latest in high tech laser testing machinery
rigorously tests HioFlo oil filters for filter
efficiencies and pressure drop. The
entire process of manufacturing, from
raw materials to finished filter testing, all
happens within the HiFlo factory and is
regularly verified by independant regulation
body, TÜV SÜD.
for full dealer listing.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2017 33
34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
R E M E M B E R I N G
It was more sad news that schocked the motorcycle world. The untimely
passing of Nicky Hayden affected motorcycle fans around the world. Steve
English shares somes memories of this amazing motorcycle racer and one
of life’s true gentlemen. Words: Steve English
I have always been a fan of
racing, and from my earliest
memories all I can remember is
watching racing and loving it.
From when I started watching
motorcycle racing, I was drawn
towards flat track racers from
the United States.
Perhaps, it was because the
risks they take are so similar to
road racing in Ireland, or just their
style on a bike. There was always
an attraction for me towards flat
trackers, and as a child the riders
I admired were Americans who
grew up on the dirt.
Whether it was hearing
stories of Kenny Roberts and
Freddie Spencer, or watching
Wayne Rainey and Kevin
Schwantz, the Americans held a
certain mystique for me.
Nicky Hayden was the next
of that lineage and coming into
MotoGP as a 21-year-old rookie
— as well as being paired with
Valentino Rossi, no less — I
couldn’t help but root for the
Having been to Laguna Seca,
to see Nicky pick up a MotoGP
win, I was firmly a fan of his by
the time he claimed his MotoGP
title in 2006. Like so many
others around the world, it was
impossible not to like the rider
and the man.
Over the last five years, I
have been lucky to be able to
turn a passion into a career
and work within the MotoGP
and WorldSBK paddocks. They
say you should never meet
your heroes, but in the most
cases the riders are humble and
friendly. Nicky was no exception.
From the first time of meeting
him, I’ve always found Nicky to
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 3 5
e friendly, helpful, and always willing to
give a good quote!
I have been lucky to call Nicky a friend
over the last couple of years, and he has
always been exactly what everyone says:
one of life’s true gentlemen.
Family and friendship were always key
tenets of Nicky’s life, and it was very rare
that a weekend didn’t pass without some
sort of an update on how his family was
faring in Kentucky.
Updates from Owensboro were sometimes
more than the usual, too. At one round, I
asked Nicky if he’d managed to watch the
MotoAmerica race from that weekend and he
had – although not conventionally.
“Kinda? You know I couldn’t watch it
online, and usually I’ll Facetime with my
dad, so we can watch it together if I’m
away. But for this race, I had to get him
just to hold the phone to the screen!”
When Nicky claimed his first WorldSBK
victory at Sepang last year, and we were
getting ready for the post race interviews,
his first thought wasn’t about the relief of
finally winning a race once again – it was
about his dad, Earl.
“He’s been going through a rough time
lately, and I’m so glad that I was able to
win this race for him.”
For the rest of his family — his mother
Rose, brothers Tommy and Rodger, sisters
Jenny and Kathleen — it was always clear
how close the family ties were.
With fiancée Jackie at his side, it was also
clear that the future was as bright for Nicky
off the track, as it had been on the track.
Nicky said that “family is either by
blood or by loyalty”, and with Nick Sannen
having been a constant companion over
the years, it was always clear just how
much that support meant to him.
Humility is not a word often used with
world champions, but Nicky always had it in
spades. Upon being told that he was to be
made a MotoGP Legend upon retiring from
the series in 2015, he turned to me and
said, “I ain’t no legend…but I’m not foolish
enough to turn it down when it’s offered!”
He may not have felt that he left as big
a mark as some other riders in the series
but his mark on the sport was massive.
That mark was left predominantly by
hard work and love of the sport. Nicky’s
work ethic has always been renowned as
his calling card.
That was no different once he moved
to WorldSBK, but it did take some by
surprise. Speaking to Nicky after his first
test for the Ten Kate squad he quipped
that the team were going to need to get
used to his work ethic.
“It’s going to take some time for the
team to get used to me I think…I’m pretty
intense about racing and when the track is
open we have to be ready to work.”
If that meant the team would need to
scrap a lunch break during a test, that
was a sacrifice that Nicky demanded from
them. If the light at the end of the pit lane
was green, you better believe he was in
the garage waiting to go out on track.
36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
ADVENTURE BIKE TECH 011 609 3904
BIKING ACCESSORIES 012 342 7474
BIKING BRAKPAN 011 744 4660
CAYENNE 011 462 4390
CENTURION YAMAHA 012 661 6212
CYTECH 011 433 8850
EMD 012 667 1041
EASTCOAST MOTORCYCLES 031 566 3024
FACTORY RACING 011 867 0092
FULL THROTTLE 011 452 2397
FAST BIKES 015 297 8601
FOURWAYS MOTORCYCLES 011 465 1540
GAME SERVICES 011 425 1084
GPS 4 AFRICA 082 412 9359
HOLESHOT 011 826 5163
JUST BIKE TYRE 012 661 3582
KATAY RACING 011 475 9274
KCR 011 795 5545
LINEX YAMAHA 011 251 4000
MOTOMATE 011 234 5274
MOTOS KTM 018 468 8108
MOTONETIX 011 805 5200
NICK CYCLES 011 395 2553
NS 2 STROKE 011 849 8495
OFF ROAD CYCLES 012 333 6443
POWERSPORT 011 894 2111
PUZEY 011 795 4122
RANDBURG MOTORCYCLES 011 792 6829
RAD KTM 011 608 3006
RACEWORX KTM 011 027 8762
RUSSEL CAMPBELL 011 452 0504
SHIMWELLS YAMAHA 011 362 2182
That was clear at the winter tests at Jerez last
November, when a light drizzle had brought a stop to
running, and Nicky was seen getting more and more
frustrated by not going out on track. When quizzed about
this he said, “If it’s wet during practice at Phillip Island do
you think I’ll be sitting in the box?”
The one time that you could guarantee seeing him in
the box though was at the end of the day. Regularly you’d
see Nicky sitting at the back of the Ten Kate garage, well
after the sunset, working his way through session videos
to pick up on anything that he had missed.
In fact when he first joined the WorldSBK paddock,
this had become a bone of contention to some, with
Hayden requesting session videos, and in the opening
rounds of last year he had plenty of running battles trying
to get session videos as quickly as possible to watch
When asked about his working routine Nicky said, “I’ve
always been like that to be honest. I love racing, and I’ve
got the best job in the world. I’ll work as hard as possible
to make sure that we get the results that we want.”
Getting those results was always the goal for Nicky
and after his last race in Imola, where he was only able to
finish 12th, finding improvement was once again the goal.
The frustration of this year had been growing and in
recent rounds it was clear that this was starting to really
grind on him. Speaking after, he was once again focused
on finding improvements and moving the team forward
and getting back to the front of the field.
Nicky was one of motorcycle racing’s great
ambassadors, who gave so much to the sport. At this
time, the entire sport holds his family and friends in
their thoughts. Godspeed #69, and thanks for all the
38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 3 9
RF magazine play.indd 1006
2014/12/27 8:44 AM
RSV4 RR & RF
17 Fast Facts
For 2017, Aprilia has revised its RSV4,
offering the RR ABS (base) and RF
ABS (upgrade). The boys from Noale,
Italy, launched the bike at one of
my favorite tracks—Circuit of the
Americas in Austin.
Words: Ron Lieback (UltimateMotorcycling.com)
Words: Andrew Wheeler and Michael Brock
The 20-turn, 3.4-mile monster of a circuit was the
perfect proving grounds for the 2017 Aprilia RSV4
RR and RF, which I rode back-to-back at the track
fresh off the Grand Prix of the Americas. This is by far
the best RSV4 ever built, with serious gobs of moto
technology and comfort.
• The differences between the RR ABS and the
RF ABS are suspension, wheels, and graphics. The
high-end RF gets Öhlins suspension, forged wheels,
and gorgeous Superpole graphics. On the RR, you’ll
find Sachs suspension and cast aluminum wheels,
plus Grigio Bucine and Nero Ascari graphics. That’s
it; all else, including the full electronic suite, is exactly
the same on both models.
• The RF’s upgraded suspension and wheels are
noticeable when riding the RR and RF models backto-back.
The RF was quicker to flight through the
tight transitions from right-left-right at COTA’s esses
(turns 3-6). Surprisingly, I preferred the base-model’s
Sachs suspension, which was more than sufficient for
my caliber of riding.
• The RSV4’s 65-degree, 999.6cc V4 powerplant
returns with 201 horsepower and 84.8 ft/lbs of
torque, but is heavily revised to reduce friction, which
helps free revving. Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing
Technical Manager, said the 2017 RSV4 engine
has lighter pistons, revised connecting rods, and a
tweaked ECU brings redline to 13,000 rpm—300
over the 2016’s V4.
42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 43
• The V4’s power delivery is completely
linear across the rev range. This allowed
me to short shift in the tighter sections at
COTA, keeping the bike one-gear higher
and relying on powerful mid-range for
smooth power delivery.
• The 2017 Aprilia RSV4 arrives with
three rider modes that are all customizable:
Sport, Race and Track. My preferred mode
was Race over Track at COTA. The Track
mode is too abrupt for my liking because I
like to short shift the V4 due to the endless
• The RSV4’s eight-level traction control
system is adjustable on the fly, including
off. There are two toggle switches on the
left control that are easily reached. I was
able to quickly increase traction control,
even with a knee down at around 130
mph on COTA’s double-apex turns 13-14.
I rode with level one for the majority of the
day, which provides some slight sliding if
needed. I began on Level 4 with new and
cold Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres
(200/55 out back!), and did not encounter
one rear wheel slip, even while trying to
back it into turn one.
• Wheelie control at level 1 of 3 helped
keep the RSV4 grounded on the longest
straight in MotoGP. This provided speeds
well over 175 mph all day.
• The 2017 Aprilia RSV4’s quick
shifter now has clutchless downshifts.
Both downshifts and upshifts engaged
smoothly, even into first gear. At COTA, I
thought I had an issue with it not working
downshifting to second from 180 mph on
the back straight. However, I had forgotten
that you can’t keep your foot resting on
the shifter lever; it needs to reset itself,
which takes a fraction of a second.
• With Brembo M50 four-piston calipers
squeezing 330mm discs up front, braking
was never an issue. The adjustable lever
has an easy pull, and allowed for easy
one-finger trail braking.
• During my final session on the RSV4
RF, I tested the cornering ABS on the tight
turn 11 that dumps you onto the back
straight. It’s damn magical how it brought
me to a stop with ease, which will help
keep some bikes intact during emergency
stopping situations on the street.
• The RSV4’s ergonomics are perfect
for my nearly six-foot frame. For the first
time at the track, I experienced zero
cramping, and my damaged left knee
could have gone another eight sessions. It
has comfort similar to turn of the century
sportbikes, and didn’t tyre me out like I
would on my Ducati 1198. The fairings and
the windscreen also keep the body well
protected from wind.
• The new opulent exhaust is Euro 4
compliant, but somehow the sound got
better and louder. This thing screamed
44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
Aleix Espargaro - 2017 MotoGP
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
FROM R3899 P.M*
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like a World Superbike on COTA’s front
straight while the noise reflected off the
grandstands and pit garages—something
Euro 4 exhausts usually don’t do.
• The new TFT dash displays the data
you need and it is easy to read, even
while in direct sunlight. The new dash also
features rider data such as a roll gauge
(how much throttle or brake being used
from 0-100 points).
• The 2017 Aprilia RSV4 has a
multimedia platform (V4-MP) that connects
with your smartphone via Bluetooth. In
short, this allows the use of a headset and
voice commands to change riding aids like
the traction control.
• The RSV4 arrives with a Pit Limiter,
Launch Control and cruise control, which
are all value adds. The pit limiter was set at
60 km/h, and it felt very racer-like having it
on before getting onto the track. I have no
use for launch control, though it’d be killer
for racing. As for cruise control, it’s always
a welcome addition, and still fairly unusual
on sport bikes.
• At R264,999, the 2017 Aprilia RSV4
RR ABS is the great value compared to the
R319,999 RF ABS. If I were purely racing,
I’d go with the latter. However, the RR
is more than enough bike for us mortals
(read: not professional racers), though the
Superpole graphics would be sorely missed.
• There is only one fault I have found
with the new Aprilia RSV4 RR and RF
superbikes—I don’t have one in my
The new RSV4 models will be arriving
in SA end of July. For more info contact
Cayenne on 011 244 1900.
Capacity: V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled
Power: 201hp @ 13,000rpm
Torque: 115Nm @ 10,500rpm
Wet weight: 204kg
Seat height: 838mm
Fuel capacity: 18.5L
Price: R264,999 (RR) R319,999 (RF)
Detailed specs: www.aprilia.com
46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
Race Proven Technology
As used by Brad Binder and RedBull KTM MotoGP
WHATEVER YOUR PASSION, MOTOREX HAS THE SOLUTION!
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Tuono V4 RR
16 Fast Facts
Every year the war intensifies
between European open-class upright
sport motorcycles. The major battle
currently includes some gorgeous
nakeds, including the KTM 1290
Super Duke R, the BMW S 1000 R,
the Ducati Monster 1200 S, Triumph
Speed Triple R, and the Aprilia Tuono
V4 1100. To remain competitive in
this space, the OEMs are forced to
continually update their upright
Words: Ron Lieback (UltimateMotorcycling.com)
Words: Andrew Wheeler and Michael Brock
Just like the RSV4’s, I headed out Austin’s
mammoth Formula One track, Circuit of the Americas
(COTA), to test the new Tuonos from Aprilia. Here are
the essential Fast Facts from my ride.
• For 2017, the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 is available
in the standard RR ABS and the Factory ABS edition.
The Factory gets upgraded suspension, tyres and
graphics. Both were updated with cornering ABS,
a quick shifter with clutchless downshifting, cruise
control, and a TFT display.
• The main difference between the 2017 Aprilia
Tuono V4 1100 Factory and RR models is the
Factory’s Öhlins suspension, and you can tell the
difference immediately. The Factory, which also arrives
with the stylish Superpole graphics, provided more
chassis feedback while lapping COTA, especially
during the quick transitions at turns 3-6, and also the
48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 4 9
tight corners heading onto the track’s two
long straights. The RR’s Sachs suspension
still provides a planted feeling, but it can’t
compare to the Factory’s Öhlins setup.
• Besides suspension and graphics,
the other major difference is the tyres. The
Factory arrives with the super-sticky Pirelli
Diablo Supercorsa tyres—the same that
arrive on the RSV4 models—with a 200/55
out back. The RR gets Pirelli Diablo Rosso
III tyres with a smaller, but still massive,
190/55 out back. The Supercorsa tyres
were obviously the preferred choice due
to traction at COTA, and provided endless
traction at serious lean. As expected, the
RR’s Diablo Rossi III were super greasy after
a day of thrashing them, which assisted in
testing the traction control settings.
• Just like the RSV4, the 2017 Aprilia
Tuonos arrive with an eight-level traction
control system that is adjustable while
riding via easy-to-reach toggle switches
(one for thumb, other for index finger)
on the left control. While piloting the RR
on worn and slippery tyres, I was able
to easily turn up the TC to reduce tyre
slippage, even at full lean angle on COTA’s
longer turns. There’s no need to close the
throttle; just click it through until you find
the desired setting, including off. Due to
the difference in tyres, my preferred setting
while at pace was level 4 on the RR, and
the less-intrusive level 1 on the Factory.
• Traction control was always shut off
before COTA’s two straights because the
Tuonos are too much fun on one wheel.
Tuono translates to thunder from Italian to
English, but in my head it means wheelie
machine. For those who don’t like to
wheelie, the Tuono also arrives with a
three-level wheelie control rider aid, which
is also switchable on the fly (including off).
• The 1077cc 65-degree V4’s 173
horsepower and 121Nm of torque is
more than enough for the Tuono on the
racetrack, even a longer one like the
3.4-mile COTA. The engine was mildly
massaged with DLC surface treatments
on the piston pins and honing treatment
on the connecting rod surfaces, helping
to ease revving. It also receives a new
ECU that allows the engine to rev 500 rpm
higher that before, for a new redline of
13,000. This engine feels as strong as the
50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
RSV4 throughout the mid range, and only
lacks the top-end pull of the superbike.
• The Tuono nakeds arrive with a
EURO 4 exhaust that somehow retains the
aggressive throaty nature of the V4. They
only reason to change this exhaust would
be for lighter weight; the noise from the
stock can is pure enjoyment, and helps
produce more than enough power for any
type of spirited riding situation.
• The Tuono’s Cornering ABS is
magical. I experimented with heavy braking
while at serious lean angle at COTA’s turn
one, and the bike never felt like it was slip
out from under me. The three-level ABS
system was happiest in level 1 at the track,
which provided no feel of integration.
• The new Tuono gets a quickshifter
that provides for smooth and flawless
clutchless downshifts. Even when cranking
it down to first gear at Turn 11 before
COTA’s three-quarter mile straight—the
longest in MotoGP—the quick shifter was
super responsive and never hiccuped.
I only used the clutch to get the bike in
motion, and of course second- and thirdgear
• The 2017 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100s
were upgraded with Brembo M50 calipers
that squeeze 330mm discs up front—
the same binders used on the RSV4
superbikes. These are the best brakes on
the market, and provide serious stopping
power. The feel at lever is light, and
provides a sensitive feeling of power when
• The ergonomics provided pure
comfort and a feel of commanding control
for my nearly six-foot frame. While riding
as aggressively as possible at COTA, not
once did I tyre or become uncomfortable.
The upright bars put me in position that
would be optimal for the longest day
rides, but they were not so high that they
affected me while dragging knees.
• The new TFT dash is not only easy
to read—even in direct sunlight—it also
provides some cooler data, such as top
speed. Tucked in behind the Tuono’s little
fairing, which provides surprisingly good
wind protection, I registered a top speed of
270kph on the Factory model. While riding
the RR and Factory back-to-back during
my four sessions at COTA,
hooligan mode quickly set in and the fun
was seriously endless.
• For track-day riders, the Tuono has
two fun value adds—a pit limiter and
launch control. I used the pit limiter every
time I went onto the track because it made
me feel like a factory rider. I experimented
with the launch control, but would likely
never use it.
• The 2017 Aprilia Tuonos have an
option for a multimedia platform (V4-MP)
that connects with your smartphone via
Bluetooth. This system allows you to make
rider aid changes via voice command—I
didn’t test it at COTA, but will be sure to
once I get a Tuono for some longer-term
• The 2017 Aprilia Tuono Factory
has an MSRP of R259,999, and the RR
R234,999. If it’s in the budget, and you
are going to frequent the track, the R24k
premium for the Factory is well worth it.
But if you’ll only be riding street and B
roads, the RR is the better deal.
• Though it’s a light revision, the 2017
Aprilia Tuono has only gotten better—
The new Tuono’s are set to hit Cayenne
showroom floors end of July.
Capacity: V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled
Power: 175hp @ 11,000rpm
Torque: 121Nm @ 9000rpm
Wet weight: 209kg
Seat height: 815mm
Fuel capacity: 18.5L
Price: R234,999 (RR) R259,999 (Factory)
Detailed specs: www.aprilia.com
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 51
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 Build
RETURN TO RIVERSIDE
Tribute To “Pops” Yoshimura And Wes Cooley
Some things are forever tied together in the public consciousness and there is no way to
separate them. Peanut butter and jelly spring to mind, of course. But for those who remember
late-1970s/early-’80s superbike racing, Wes Cooley and Yoshimura are also inextricably linked
for that era. Words: Arthur Coldwells (UltimateMotorcycling) Pics: Don Williams
Born in Los Angeles in 1956, Cooley’s
father ran the club racing organization
where the young Wes got his start.
Wes honed his skills in the smaller
classes before being hired in 1977 by
the legendary Japanese tuner “Pops”
Yoshimura to race a Kawasaki KZ1000 in
the AMA production class.
Cooley’s winning ways started
immediately; he won his first AMA
Superbike race on the KZ. Although the
following year Yoshimura switched to the
better handling Suzuki GS1000 machines,
that original Kawasaki KZ1000 superbike
became imprinted into the consciousness
of many fans at the time.
Russ Norman, a Southern California
native, was one such fan.
“I remember watching Wes Cooley
come out of the big, banked right-hand
sweeper that led onto this short chute, that
in turn led into the fast left-hand Turn One,”
Norman says, recalling a race at Riverside
International Raceway. “Back then you
could literally stand inches from the track
as the immortals came blasting by. This
was when I saw Wes on the Yoshimura
Kawasaki Z1 come by with such a howl
that it sent chills deep into my core. It
was a sound so demonic and attention
grabbing, that it stayed with me for my
entire life. Over the years I told a number of
friends that it was the best sounding bike I
had ever heard—and a sound that I swore
one day I’d replicate.”
Following a serious two-wheeled
accident a few years ago, Norman stayed
off motorcycles. But in 2015, he came
across a mostly stock 1976 Kawasaki
KZ900 that reignited his Wes Cooley/
Yoshimura Kawasaki dream.
“Most of my friends told me, for God’s
sake, Russ, leave it alone. Look at it! Don’t
mess with it! But, I told them stock is for
52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
wusses and it simply isn’t in my genes
to leave a bike stock. So, that began my
quest to build my 900,” Norman says.
“It took me about two years to build it.
Finding companies that made the parts you
see on the bike wasn’t easy. I had never
heard of most of these companies, as this
was my first time building a bike like this.
“There were many, many miles logged,
sourcing parts to and from the various
companies that I wanted to be involved
in building this bike. There were a lot of
phone calls made, and many hours spent
searching the Web—a lot of hurry up and
wait, until it became almost the norm. But,
I was determined and relentless to get the
results that I wanted, and I knew it wasn’t
going to happen overnight.
“The external parts that are clearly
visible such as the tank, tail, side covers,
and exhaust, as well as other smaller
items came from a company called Doremi
Collection out of Japan. The four-pipe
exhaust from them is a work of art, even
down to the tiny Yoshimura logos visible
inside the pipe from the rear. I had the
whole system ceramic coated by Young
Gun Performance Coatings in Rancho
Cucamonga to withstand temperatures up
to 3000 degrees.”
The paint scheme on the tank, side
panels and tail section is a precise replica
of the original Yoshimura design and has
clearly been meticulously done. “The folks
at Doremi told me that the paint was still
54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
curing when it arrived from Japan, so I had
to unpack it as quickly as possible and
leave it to fully harden,” Norman says.
The swing arm, adjustable offset triple
tree, KYB adjustable fork, wheels, rear
sets, and other parts came from JB-Power
via the American distributor Hyper Cycle
in Van Nuys, Calif. According to Norman,
there were at least two full pallets of parts
from JB-Power alone.
Other Kawasaki parts Norman needed
came from Z1parts.net. “Many times I
spoke with Adriana Arroyo there,” Norman
says appreciatively. “She was very patient
and had even more knowledge about
these bikes than many people I know, and
apparently she is like this across many
other classic bikes, too.
“A big part of the build that isn’t visible
is what was done to the engine. I took
pretty much the entire motor to CryoHeat
in San Diego who treats motorcycle
and car components to a sub-zero [350
degrees below zero] process that hardens
metal and improves its wear resistance
as well. I feel the owner Josh Lahaye is
probably the most knowledgeable person
in the US when it comes to this process.
He went over exactly what he was going to
do, but some things were proprietary and
he could not go into precise details of how
he was going to do them.”
“The outcome was amazing,” Norman
tells us. “He not only treated the entire
engine to the CryoHeat sub-zero process,
but also micro-polished all the internal
components so the motor acts like no
other standard 900 when the revs rise and
fall, as well as when the gearbox comes to
shifting. It also substantially increases the
longevity of the parts.
“Once I had picked up everything
from CryoHeat, I took the engine to Carry
Andrew at his shop, Hyper-Cycle in Van
Nuys. Carry has been a mainstay in So Cal
and AMA racing since the ’70s, and he
had the cylinder head ported by his guru
Mitsu. He then put in his own camshafts
that were made to his specs, as well as
new pistons, a race crankshaft, and many
other engine components. The engine and
other assorted parts were then powder
coated by the same company that did
the exhaust, Young Gun performance
coatings, and they did an excellent job.
“Once I picked up the engine from
Hyper Cycle, and helping me more than I
could have ever imagined, was my friend
Willi Sheffer, who is also a former AMA
Superbike and BOTT racer from the ’70s
and ’80s. Willi spent many days and nights
helping me build this bike. Without him, I
dare not imagine how long it would have
taken to complete it.”
Norman finishes his story with a
satisfied smile. “When all was said and
done, all the miles travelled and the hurryup-and-wait
all went by the wayside when
I hit the starter for the first time, and heard
that ground-shaking rumble that only could
come from this big two-valve Kawasaki
900 motor. It was just like I remembered.”
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 55
56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
When the boys brought this little one to our office, I figured I had to
take it for a li’l ride. The Little ride turned into a big, long week of poking
about, calling on dealers, big grins and all sorts... If there is a brand that
has a bike for just about every occasion, road or dirt, it has to be the
orange peeps from Austria. Words: Glenn Foley & Kyle Lawrenson Pics: Rob Portman
It’s no secret that we love
KTM’s bigger machines - and
a month ago, RideFast even
got leg over on their enormous
adventure bikes. This is their
in-betweener - not quite entry
level, that’s the 125 Duke and
not as manic as something like
the 1290 Super Duke -R.
So I’m cruising the 390
down Allandale Road towards
Kyalami, stop at the traffic light
when a boy racer in an RS...
something or other car pulls up
next to me. Two foreign looking
guys - like Turkish maybe? Or
thereabouts are craning their
necks to get a better look at the
little bike. “Hi!”
“Hi.” I reply.
“Is that a KTM 3-nine-Zero
R?” (Not 390 like us oakes say),
“Yup” I reply.
“How fast does it go?” they
ask. “About 160 flat taps,” is my
“Maybe just a bit faster
The grins widen, the light
turns green and off we go.
Next light. They pull up again.
“She’s so beautiful!” “Aw thanks
man!” - by now I’m getting a
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 57
OLD 390 DUKE
NEW 390 DUKE
Digital Display: The colour TFT display is a first
in this class. It looks expensive, and its 5.2-inch
panel remains easy to read thanks to automatic
adjustments to ambient light and switching over to
a black background in low light. Below: New cool
looking Headlamp with LED lights - same as on the
big bro 1290 SD.
bit impatient with all of the attention -
conscious of my old jacket, torn jeans and
oily Tekkies. The light changes, I take the
next turn and head on out…
Maybe we’ve just become a bit blasé’
about all of the bikes that we get to ride
- but it was cool to realise that this bike
is such a head turner. Especially for the
younger, cooler riders out there. It’s quite
easy to understand why this line is so
successful the world over.
What makes it Tick:
For the purpose of this ride review, we are
going to break down the detailed changes
KTM made to this bike over the previous
390 Duke and what they mean for the
new machine. And it’s quite a lot – so pay
Updated styling: From front to back,
KTM has focused on building a sexy, fun
to ride little machine.
The first thing you’ll notice about the
new bike is the updated style. KTM had
to create a bike that looks more like its
brawny and muscular older brother, the
1290 Super Duke R, to project a premium
appearance over the smaller displacement
models while setting the 390 Duke apart
from any other “entry-level” machines.
The new lines start with a six-LED
headlight, a revised frame and an all-new
bolt-on sub-frame. Its exposed trellis
design, painted in contrasting orange and
white, shortens the wheelbase by 10 mm
and the trail by 5 mm while the steering
head angle remains the same. It also
ushers in a change in rider ergonomics.
You now sit just more than an inch taller
in the saddle. Perching on the bike. The
seat has been redesigned to be a bit wider
at the back and narrower at the front. Not
the most comfortable seat out there, but
much better than the old one…
Coupled with foot pegs and controls
that are now higher and set back a bit,
the new Duke’s seating position is much
more aggressive. The reshaped steel fuel
tank fits your knees much better than the
old bike and even at six odd feet tall, the
390 was actually pretty comfortable for a
The new fuel tank holds an extra 2.4
liters of fuel for an extended ride range,
which can be monitored using the terrific
new dash system. And here’s more on
that… make some notes!
58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
The TFT dash is a huge upgrade
over the old version found on the
original 390 Duke. It offers riders a
spread of information that is clear and
easy to read without looking cluttered.
Riders can programme the dash to
highlight the information they deem
important and hide the readouts they
don’t want to see. They can link their
phones and Bluetooth communicators
to control phone calls and music
through the control panel in the dash.
Riders now have a sophisticated
drop-down screen built into the
display that allows them to choose
between three different levels of ABS
interference. The Bosch ABS system
can now be easily configured three
different ways via a drop-down menu
on the TFT dash. Riders can choose
among “Road,” with ABS fully engaged,
“Off,” which completely disables ABS,
or “Super Moto,” which disables ABS
at the rear wheel while allowing it to
remain engaged at the front wheel. This
allows new riders to opt for the extra
level of insurance that ABS provides
while more advanced riders can disable
this safeguard in order to treat the 390
Duke as a hooligan machine.
Technology is soooo cool!
While the new 390 Duke still utilizes
the same calipers manufactured by
Brembo, they now house sintered
pads clamping down on a larger 320
mm rotor at the front wheel. Combined
with a revised master cylinder, braking
is better, with more bite and less fade.
Some of the improved feel comes from
the updated levers on this motorcycle.
These new levers are vastly improved
over the previous model.
A new open cartridge fork with
progressively wound springs replaced
the old “big piston” design. The
suspenders on the original Duke were
aggressively sporty to the point of
being harsh. This equaled a rough ride.
Externally, the suspension looks nearly
identical to the previous version, but
internally everything is new.
The rear shock is still adjustable
for preload but internally the oil and
gas are now separate. Officials at
KTM claim this is to address concerns
surrounding overheating and will lead to
a more consistent performance.
The little Duke ushers in ride-by-wire
throttle control to the sub-500cc
category, it includes one-touch starting
and helps the single-cylinder mill light
up quickly, a welcome upgrade from
the sometimes-finicky previous version.
In order to meet Euro 4 emissions
standards, changes were made to help
the new bike breathe cleaner; hence
the redesigned exhaust and catalytic
converter. In addition to the exhaust,
the 390 Duke got a larger air box and a
retuned fuel map.
Normally, when they talk about
emissions regulations the result is
strangled performance, but here we
saw the opposite effect. While peak
horsepower remains the same at just
under 43 ponies at 9,000 rpm, peak
torque has increased from 34Nm to
37Nm of torque, and it now comes on
60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 6 1
about 250 rpm sooner, at 7,000 rpm. The
result is more of a mid-range “pop” that
pulls strong all the way to the rev-limiter.
The little 373 cc engine gives no indication
that it’s done pulling as the tachometer
starts flashing red on the TFT dash, just
north of 10,000 rpm.
The new exhaust, combined with the
new fuel tank and the mounting bracket
for the LED headlight, are the major factors
in the almost 10kg increase in weight. The
new bike weighs in with a dry weight of
148KG’s. Even with the additional weight,
this is still a very light machine and the
improvements to the bike’s brakes and
suspension hide the increased load – we’d
never have guessed that it was heavier
than the previous model.
How much fun do you want to have? This
one delivers in shovel loads. Our routes took
in gnarly traffic commuting, faster freeways
and we had to get in some lekker twisties –
We actually went looking for them.
No exaggeration, the harder you ride it,
the more fun you have. We fully expected
the sub 400cc engine to be – well a little -
well Ho-Hum, but we should have known
better. KTM does not do boring.
Clutch effort is light, the fuel injected
single cylinder engine pulls cleanly from
low. Clutch actuation and gearshifts are
light. The Duke is so nimble - it loves
carving through the tight confines of urban
traffic, and it has plenty enough power to
cruise at above legal levels of 130KPH.
The counterbalanced engine keeps
vibration levels right down.
Carving a twisty road is tremendous
fun, with aggressive riding stance making
for responsive steering and enabling quick
changes of direction without getting pear
shaped. And – it stops on a dime! It’s the
full recipe for a lot of good fun.
We are trying to think of what we can
fault on this bike – mmmm well nothing
really. So much technology is packed in
to a smaller than midrange motorcycle.
It looks fantastic, goes really well, stops
just as well and as bikes go these days,
the pricing is ridiculously competitive. You
don’t want to do a trip from the Highveld
down to Durban, but as a day to day ride
and a quick weekend scratcher, we’d be
hard pressed to think of better bang for
R70,999. At dealers now.
Capacity: 373cc, liquid-cooled, single
Power: 43hp @ 9000rpm
Torque: 37Nm @ 7000rpm
Wet weight: 163kg
Seat height: 830mm
Fuel capacity: 13.4L
Detailed specs: www.ktm.co.za
62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
Numerical simulations of air flow patterns:
- Optimized aerodynamic stability,
- Active mitigation of whistling noises,
- Air extraction reinforced by a dual spoiler.
Compact and lightweight (1,290 g).
“Perfect fit” interior: optimal comfort
across all sizes, from XS to XXL.
Pinlock Maxvision ® as a standard feature.
Step into the
To enter, simply go like the
Langston Motorsports SA
Instagram page and email your
name and contact details to
Langston Motorsports SA
Photo Credit: Dingo Photos
Trade Enquiries: 011 805 5559 Fax: 011 312 0714
64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
XTR Pepo Siluro’s
Ducati Monster 1200 S
This stunning new creation from Spain-based builders XTR
Pepo, called the XTR Pepo Siluro, caught our attention recently.
Commissioned by Ducati Spain, it sees the new generation Ducati
Monster 1200 being customised by its builders radically.
XTR Pepo is one of the world’s most
incredible custom garages, and certainly
the best in Spain. So, it’s no wonder that
Ducati Spain put in an order for something
completely unique. Taking the 2015 Ducati
Monster 1200 S as a donor, XTR Pepo have
crafted something quite amazing. It’s not very
often that a Monster custom turns my head,
but this one was just too damn good to skip.
To begin with Pepo Rosell began
modifying an OEM tank, to better show off
the rear head of the Ducati’s engine. While
the tank was being shaped, the next step
was to remove the plastic engine covers,
the carbon fiber belt covers and the radiator,
whilst re-positioning the Monster’s electrical
wiring. The next phase included adding a
LIPO battery that now sits inside the swing
arm. The swing arm itself is an OEM unit
that has been meticulously sandblasted
and polished, and it now wears Ducati
Performance carbon fiber covers.
Being that this was a job for Ducati
Spain, it won’t be surprising to learn that
there are quite a few Ducati Performance
bits and pieces dotted around the bike; the
mudguards and license plate holder, the LED
turn signals, the CNC machined water pump
protector, sprocket cover and the Panigale
style foot pegs, to name but a few…
￼ Next up, XTR decided to do what
they do best and fabricate some bespoke,
custom made features for the project. The
rear sub-frame was re-engineered and
equipped with an original XTR upholstered
solo seat, the front headlight has been redesigned
the Pepo way with an ellipsoidal
lamp tipped with a modified OEM Monster
fairing, and those Ducati Performance pegs
mentioned above are now held in place with
The exhaust is probably the most eye
catching thing about the whole bike, and it
features a specially designed XTR two into
one system from SUPERMARIO, tipped with a
modified 1200 Termignoni silencer that’s more
commonly found on a Ducati Multistrada.
￼ The suspension duties have been
outsourced to Ohlins, at the front and the
rear, and the Monster now wears a Tsubaki
gold chain. The painting responsibilities were
handled by Artentura, who have given the
Monster a retro themed, but unquestionably
It is worth noting that when the
new generation Ducati Monster 1200 was
released, the famed Italian marque had
customisation in mind as well. It goes
without saying that XTR Pepo’s recent
creation based on the popular naked bike is
a refreshing sight indeed.
As always, XTR Pepo haven’t failed to
impress us, and we can’t wait to see their
￼ Hopefully, XTR Pepo’s efforts with the
Siluro wil inspire other builders to take up a
custom build with the new generation Ducati
Monster model line up as well.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 65
66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
Ducati has now expanded the Scrambler line to six models, including the
Sixty2, Icon, Classic, Full Throttle, Desert Sled and — the one we’re testing
here — the Café Racer. Words: Sasha Valentine
In my opinion, the Scrambler
Café Racer is visually one of the
most distinct in personality of
the bunch. Upon first approach,
the machine encompasses all
the essentials of a modern café
racer. Most notable is the short
flyscreen, clip-on handlebars,
café racer seat, number plate,
black coffee paint colour and
gold wheels. As soon as you
climb on board, you could
easily imagine yourself back
in the 1960s in an all-out race
amongst the Ton-Up Boys of
So how does she perform?
I had the opportunity to visit
Bologna, Italy, to test this
machine on its home soil. I can’t
think of a better place to test
both your own personal and
a machine’s cornering abilities
than the twisty roads of Italy.
After a few hours in the
saddle, I can attest to the
style, ease, power and pure
joy that this bike delivers. The
now-familiar 803 cc, air- and
oil-cooled twin engine that’s
the heart of the Scrambler line
provides more than sufficient
muscle to get you into just
enough trouble, sending you
deep into every corner. You can
also confidently and smoothly
accelerate on the straights and
easily maintain highway speeds.
I should mention there is a new
CPU flash used on this model
and a new throttle design to
smooth out the power delivery
compared to its predecessors.
Comfort? It’s a café racer
Compared to the first and
most “standard” model in the
Scrambler line, this bike places
the pilot in a pure café racer
position, with your upper body
lower and further forward.
The seat is about 31.7 inches
high, which is an increase of
more than half an inch over
the Icon. The handlebar is six
inches further forward and
almost seven inches lower, a
big difference. While riding, I
did not find the position to be
overly aggressive and the seat
was pretty soft and comfortable.
Truth is, the stance is sexy and
definitely beyond fun for shorter
and faster rides. If that’s what
you are looking for, you found
the perfect bike.
But, if you are riding long
distance, I would personally
opt for the more upright stance
of one of the other Scrambler
models. It’s also worth
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 67
mentioning that the bike threw off a fair
amount of heat, but this could perhaps
be compensated with wraps or other
Beyond the rider’s comfort, the Café
Racer offers other convenience features,
such as a USB port and underseat
How does she handle?
Of course, a café racer is more about style
and handling than comfort. We see more
changes from the Icon in that category,
too. The wheelbase measures 56.5 inches
(0.35 inches shorter than the Icon), rake is
21.8 degrees (2.2 degrees less) and trail is
3.7 inches (0.7 inches less).
The 17-inch wheels wear sticky Pirelli
Diablo Rosso II tyres in common sport
sizes (180/55ZR17 rear and 120/70ZR17
front) instead of the 18-inch front wheel
on the Icon. The suspension is firmer,
too, and although I’m not a pro or all-out
knee-dragging rider, I found that this bike
was easy to command in the corners with
its low wet weight of 188kg. The tyres
handled well, the whole bike felt balanced
and the Brembo radial-mount front brake
provided responsive stopping power.
ABS is standard but can be switched off.
Overall, the feel is sporty, as a cafe racer is
supposed to be.
The story behind the 54
Why a 54 number plate? Ducati has a rich
history in motorcycle racing and number
54 is tied to one of their legendary racers,
Bruno Spaggiari. In 1968, he raced
the Mototemporada Romagnola on a
Ducati with an engine derived from the
original Scrambler’s single-cylinder 350
cc power unit. It is important to highlight
this to understand the history and spirit
of this bike. It is both sexy and nostalgic.
Nevertheless, it might be wise to make
this number plate a customizable piece
so that a group of riders can differentiate
their bikes or slap on their personal race
68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
Overall, this model is a prime example of
a modern Café Racer and it packs a load
of character and joy into its little frame.
It’s clear that Ducati took their time to
incorporate and balance the elements of
style and performance along with a fair
price tag of R164,000.
One of the most impressive things
about this bike is that visually you can
ride it right off the showroom floor without
heavy mods needed to clean up the lines.
Typically, I look at an OEM-delivered bike
and want to change everything, starting
with mirrors and taillights, but this is not
the case here. The attention to detail is
demonstrated throughout the bike, from
the black engine with brushed fins to the
17-inch aluminium wheels.
If you do want to put your fingerprints
on it, however, Scrambler Ducati has
developed an array of wearables and bolton
customizations to accompany the bike,
including performance choices such as
the dual Termignoni exhaust.
The Scrambler Café Racer may look
the part of 1960s London, but the Ton-Up
Boys never imagined ABS brakes like
these or tires this sticky, much less a USB
port or an LCD speedometer. By nailing
the looks, keeping it light and offering
flexibility like the switchable ABS, Ducati
built a Café Racer that both relatively new
riders and advanced riders will enjoy.
Capacity: 803cc V-Twin
Power: 75hp @ 8250rpm
Torque: 68Nm @ 5750rpm
Wet weight: 188kg
Seat height: 805mm
Fuel capacity: 13.5L
Detailed specs: www.ducati.com
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 69
2017 Kawasaki Ninja
1000 Abs | 14 Fast Facts
For a few years, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 has been a great
starting point for a sport-touring bike. The 2017 Kawasaki
Ninja 1000 is a big step forward to making it a turn-key
sport-tourer. Words & Pics: Don Williams (UltimateMotorcycling.com)
It’s not quite there, but Don Williams
took a new Ninja 1000 with factory
luggage from Los Angeles to The Quail
Lodge in Monterey on everything from
urban streets to freeways to all kinds of
back roads to find out how well it can
pack on the kilometres.
• The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 gets
two major upgrades. The electronics
package is more sophisticated and now
includes an IMU (inertial measurement
unit) from the track-ready Ninja H2 and
ZX10-R, though with 1000-specific
settings. Also, the bodywork is
redesigned to fit in visually with the H2
• The IMU is the secret to the new
electronics package. Previously, the
Ninja 1000 had traction control and
power modes. Now, with the six-axis
Bosch IMU, Kawasaki has upped the
ante by offering cornering ABS, as well
as power management in corners.
Kawasaki calls this Kawasaki Cornering
Management Function (producing an
unpronounceable KCMF acronym).
• The Cornering Management
Function is transparent. In my 500+
miles of testing, which included
countless corners of varying speeds and
radii, I never felt the KCMF kick in. That
could be because I am a highly precise
rider—unlikely—or due to its ability to
make corrections surreptitiously. I’ll go
with the latter, as I did try to push it into
the occasional savable error, but the
Ninja 1000 always kept its composure,
even when challenged.
70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017 7 1
• Traction control has three levels, plus
off. Unless I’m planning on big wheelies—
wheelie control is built into the traction
control—there’s no point in my turning
off that valuable safety feature. The Ninja
1000’s traction control is so precise these
days that it didn’t really seem to care
which setting I was in, acceleration from
the 1043cc motor did not suffer. This is
a sport-touring bike, of course, so I’m
not trying to ride it like a superbike. Even
when accelerating out of a dirt turn-off,
the traction control does its job without
drawing attention to itself.
• ABS is smoother than ever. The
new Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake
System (KIBS for the alphabet soup fans)
also keeps brake feel smoother when
going into anti-lock mode. While I still felt
pulsing in both the lever and pedal when
over-braking, there is no clunky feel. ABS
is definitely upgraded on the Ninja 1000
• While it has Z1000 roots, the true
role of the Ninja 1000 is sport-touring and
Kawasaki fully recognizes that this year.
Previous iterations of the Ninja 1000 were
ready for sport-touring, but adding bags
was unnecessarily difficult. For 2017, the
Ninja 1000 has the bag mounting system
integrated. All you have to do is buy the
pair of hard bags and a few mounting
accoutrements, and you’re good to go—
initial installation (save keying the bags)
now takes minutes instead of hours.
• The hard bags are wonderfully
integrated. After you’ve spend a bit over
R10,000 for the bags, you’re rewarded
with bags that look like they were built
onto the bike—though removed in
seconds—and have a useful capacity. Still,
if you are on a short sporting jaunt, you
can pull the bags off and the Ninja 1000
doesn’t look like something is missing. A
big upgrade for 2017 is definitely in the
• The new fairing adds to the touring
capability. Not only is the fairing more
Ninja-like, it is also wider with additional
protection—always a plus on a sporttourer.
Most of the additional protection is
for the legs and lower body. The manually
adjusted—and only at a stop—threeposition
windscreen does a good job. I
found the middle position to work best for
my height (5’ 10”), though the low position
looks sportier. I was impressed by the
72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
RACE FOR 2017
3 Hour Endurance race
20th May 2017
20th May 2017
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slippery aerodynamics in some seriously
aggressive crosswinds—my body was
catching more wind than the Ninja 1000.
• Nominally enhancing touring
capabilities are new linkage and shock
settings. The back end is smooth,
even on some of the rough roads I
encountered. The linkage was also
changed, lowering the seat by almost
a quarter-inch, which is helpful if your
height is right on the lower edge for the
bike. It wasn’t an issue one way or the
other for me.
• There’s a pair of new LED
headlights that blaze on high-beam. If
you’re caught out after dark, you’ll be
glad you are on the 2017 Ninja 1000.
Those two eyes throw the light much
farther than before. Speaking of lighting,
the integration of the front turn indicators
gives the front end a classy look.
• Also brought to modern spec is the
new dashboard. It has an analog-style
tach in the middle, with an easy-to-read
digital speed and gear-position readout.
Some of the smaller numbers, such
as the clock and mileage might be a
bit harder to read, depending on your
near-vision eyesight. The turn indicator
lights are smaller than I’d like, too. The
power and traction control settings can
be seen at a glance, and changed easily
with the switch/button combo on the
• For all the electronic wizardly, the
2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 still doesn’t
have cruise control. Kawasaki’s awkward
explanation is that the Ninja 1000 is
a sport bike, so cruise control isn’t
appropriate. In a world where the Aprilia
Tuono, Yamaha MT-10, and BMW S
1000 R have cruise control, so can the
• The motor is unchanged, which
is fine—I love it. Smooth and strong
from the bottom through the midrange,
it takes on a more aggressive attitude
above 7000 rpm. This is similar to the
Z900 tuning philosophy—easy power
down low and through the midrange,
with a quick spin-up on top. It’s a superb
• Kawasaki remembered what was
great about the previous Ninja 1000 and
made the 2017 Ninja 1000 even better.
You can’t help but love sport-touring on
the Ninja 1000, and Kawasaki has made
the bike easier to set up for touring,
and improved its safety and capabilities
when you tap into its sporting soul.
At Kawasaki dealers now at the very
competitive price of R155,995.
Capacity: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line
Power: 142hp @ 10,000rpm
Torque: 111Nm @ 7300rpm
Wet weight: 235kg
Seat height: 815mm
Fuel capacity: 19L
Price: R155,995 (without panniers)
Detailed specs: www.kawasaki.co.za
74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
SUPER ACTION STARTS HERE
E N T R Y
WATCH THE BEST SOUTH AFRICAN RIDERS BATTLE IT OUT FOR CHAMPIONSHIP HONOURS
2017 CHAMPIONSHIP RACE CALENDAR CIRCUIT DATE
RND 1 - WESTERN CAPE SUPERGP KILLARNEY 25 - MAR
RND 2 - EASTERN CAPE SUPERGP EAST LONDON 29 - APR
RND 3 - TSHWANE SUPERGP ZWARTKOPS 13 - MAY
RND 4 - JOBURG SUPERGP KYALAMI 26/27/28 - MAY
RND 5 - DELMAS SUPERGP RED STAR 10 - JUN
RND 6 - KWAZULU NATAL SUPERGP DEZZI 15 - JUL
RND 7 - FREE STATE SUPERGP PHAKISA 26 - AUG
RND 8 - MPUMALANGA SUPERGP RED STAR 23 - SEP
*SUPPORT THE SUPERGP TIN RUN TOUR. DONATE ANY TIN FOOD ITEM AND GET FREE
ENTRY BEFORE 10AM. ALL TIN FOOD ITEMS COLLECTED WILL BE DONATED TO A LOCAL
CHARITY. THEREAFTER ADULTS R100 CHILDREN UNDER 12 FREE ENTRY.
For information and live streaming, visit www.SuperGP.co.za or email: Info@Super-GP.co.za
@SA_SuperGP Super-GP Champions Trophy @SA_SuperGP
SA SBK RACING:
SUPER GP NATIONALS: ROUND 4, KYALAMI, JHB
Clint Seller powered his MiWay Yamaha Racing R1 to two comfortable race wins and set the
fastest racing lap ever around the new Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, but that only tells part of the
story of the fourth round of the 2017 DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy, which formed part of
the SA Bike Festival for the first time on the weekend of 26 to 28 May. Words & Pics: Paul Bedford
After the disappointment of the last
round of the championship at Zwartkops,
where rain and oil on the track surface
forced officials to abandon racing, the
riders were happy to get to Kyalami on a
mild autumn weekend. In Friday’s practice
sessions times dropped in each one as the
riders got to grips with the new layout of the
iconic circuit. Greg Gildenhuys (Transport.
co.za / Autohaus Towing Kawasaki ZX10R)
led the way in the first session with Seller
topping the timesheets in practice 2.
Lance Isaacs (SupaBets / Sandton BMW
Motorrad S1000RR) was the only rider to
dip into the 1:45s when he went quickest in
the final session before qualifying.
Isaacs showed that his time in the
final practice session was no flash in the
pan when he was again the only rider to
break the 1:46 barrier in Friday afternoon’s
qualifying session. His two quick laps, a
76 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
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SA SBK RACING:
SUPER GP NATIONALS: ROUND 4, KYALAMI, JHB
1:45.606 and a 1:45.849 around the 4.522
km circuit were enough to give him pole
position for both races. Seller’s times were
quick enough to ensure he would start
from second in each case. Gildenhuys
completed the front row for the first race
with Brandon Goode (Linex Yamaha R1),
David McFadden (RPM Centre / Sandton
Auto BMW S1000RR) and Daryn Upton
(Paramount Tracks / Fourways Motorcycles
Kawasaki ZX10R) filling the second row.
AJ Venter (Team Hygenica Yamaha
Racing R1) led a trio of Yamahas on the
third row, with Morne Geldenhuis (Hi-Tech
Racing / NCA Plant Hire Yamaha R1)
and Michael White (Consortium Shipping
Yamaha R1) completing the top nine.
Seller claimed his first win at the new
Kyalami layout when he took the flag at
the end of a tough race on the Saturday in
front of an appreciative crowd. Seller and
pole-sitter Isaacs pulled away from the rest
of the field with Isaacs sitting on the former
champion’s back wheel waiting for the right
moment to show his hand.
The dice between the pair looked like it
was going to go down to the wire but, with
just a lap and a half to go, Isaacs crashed
out in spectacular fashion at Clubhouse
corner after his front tyre cried enough.
While he was able to walk away, he left his
pit crew with a lot of work to do to get his
bike, which flew over the catch fence, ready
for Sunday’s race.
With Isaacs no longer in contention,
Seller was able to take a comfortable
win from Gildenhuys and White. While
Gildenhuys had a relatively easy run to the
podium, things were a lot more difficult for
White. A disappointing qualifying session
left him ninth on the grid and he had to fight
78 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
TURN UP YOUR
www.yamaha.co.za • +27 11 259 7600 • Facebook: Yamaha Southern Africa • Instagram: YamahaMoto_SA • YouTube: YamahaMoto_SA
SA SBK RACING:
SUPER GP NATIONALS: ROUND 4, KYALAMI, JHB
his way through the traffic to a well-deserved top three finish.
Behind the leading trio, Goode led the rest of the
pack home. He was followed over the line by Venter and
McFadden. Dylan Barnard (Consortium Shipping Yamaha
R1), Garrick Vlok (Diamond Core Drilling / Shop #74 Yamaha
R1), Nicolas Kershaw (Tsunami Beach Bar Yamaha R1) and
Geldenhuis rounded out the top ten.
SuperMasters championship leader Hendrik de Bruin
(Yamaha R1) has been the model of consistency this season,
but he was eliminated early on in the race when his bike
had a rear tyre problem. This left Heinrich Rheeder (Rheeder
Racing BMW S1000RR) to claim the win from Justin Gillesen
(SupaBets / Sandon BMW Motorrad S1000RR) and Johnny
Krieger (Lekka Racing Hygenica Yamaha R1).
Isaacs and Seller were joined by Goode on the front row
of the grid for race two on Sunday. Gildenhuys, White and
Upton made up the second row while McFadden, Vlok and
Venter filled row three.
A number of riders on the front two rows of the grid had
poor starts when the lights went out although Seller was not
one of them. He led the charge down to Crowthorne and
disappeared at the head of the field. Venter came through
from the third row of the grid to take second with Upton,
Isaacs, Barnard and White in close attendance. Race 1
runner up, Gildenhuys, was down in about seventh.
While his challengers were sorting themselves out, Seller
put in a series of blisteringly fast laps, one of which was
the quickest race lap by any vehicle, two- or four-wheeled,
around the new layout at Kyalami. Isaacs worked his way up
to second, but by the time he got there, Seller had checked
out and before the end of the race was more concerned with
keeping Gildenhuys behind him. Years of experience told and
Isaacs was able to hang on to take second by just over a
tenth of a second.
Goode and White had a great fight for fourth with Goode
in front when it counted. Venter was just behind them in sixth.
McFadden, Vlok, Upton and Barnard completed the top ten.
In the SuperMasters category de Bruin had sorted out his
first race problems but still couldn’t stop Rheeder claiming his
second win of the weekend. They were joined on the podium
The litre class riders will be united with the other categories
that make up the DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy when
they all make their way out to Red Star Raceway for the fifth
round of the 2017 series on Saturday, 10 June.
80 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2017
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ASSEN 2017 RACE RESULTS
• WorldSBK (double win) - Kawasaki
• WorldSSP (win) - Kawasaki
• WorldSSP300 (win) - Kawasaki
• STK1000 (win) - Kawasaki
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Always ride responsibly. Always ride within the limits of your skills, your experience and your machine. Wear an approved helmet and protective clothing. The actions depicted here took place under controlled conditions with professional riders.