RideFast Magazine July 2017 issue


SA's Best Motorcycle Magazine

JULY 2017 RSA R30.00

JULY 2017









Pull Out

9 772075 405004






Two of the most iconic machines ever do battle once again!






Rob Portman


082 782 8240


Kyle Lawrenson


071 684 4546





011 979 5035

It’s Thursday the 22nd of June 7.30pm and the sun

is still out in Portugal, and I’m sitting at a table with my

fellow journos and some of the top men from BMW

Motorrad, and right next to me is a motorcycle that

costs more than my house! Yes, I am talking about

the BMW HP4 Race. It’s all I have been talking and

thinking about for the past couple of weeks.

I was really lucky to have been one of the 48

journos world wide to be invited along to the world

launch of this very exclusive motorcycle.

Let’s just say it was out of this world, and I really

hope that the test I put together in this issue does this

magnificent piece of German engineering the justice it

so deserves.

Back to my first comment, about sitting at a

table with some top men from BMW Motorrad. One

of those men was Mr Joseph Mächler, who is the

product manager behind the HP4 Race and the man

responsible for the highly under-rated BMW S1000XR.

I took full advantage of this honour and asked as

many questions as I could, one being “what’s next?”.

After seeing the HP4 Race in the flesh, and hearing

about all the tech that has gone in to it, one cannot

help but wonder what’s next? And where it all ends?

The HP4 Race produces 215hp and weighs lighter

than a KTM 390 Duke. I mean that is pure insanity! It’s

almost 10hp up on the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja

H2 and weighs around 40kilos less dry.

So, back to my question “what’s next”?

Mr Mächler went on to tell me that there is big

things coming in motorcycling over the next 10 years,

and they have projects already on the go ready for

as far ahead as 2025. Obviously sitting at a table full

of journos he wasn’t going to give too much away,

but he did say there are very exciting times ahead,

especially at BMW Motorrad.

It’s crazy to think where motorcycling will go in

the future. It’s already crazy to think that the likes of

the BMW HP4 and the Ducati Superleggera and all

that tech is made available to the public. Ok all be it

in limited numbers, but still, it’s available. So, where

does it all end? Only time will tell but I think there are

plenty more surprises on the way, especially now after

both BMW and Ducati have opened a massive can of

worms. It’s now up to the others to strike back!

This issue hit shelves a week later than expected,

and that was a decision made by myself and my

partner in the magazine, Glenn Foley, as we really

wanted to be one of the first to bring you the exclusive

world launch of the HP4 Race. Not a story from some

other journo from another land, but rather straight

from the horses mouth so to speak.

I am pleased to announce our first “Buyers Guide”

is featured in this issue. It’s a 6 page feature which

you can pull-out from the centre of the mag, to keep

at your desk or wherever. It’s a bit different to other

buyers guides, as we have categorized all the bikes,

allowing you to compare specs and prices on the

same page. We will feature this as a pull-out every

3 months, to keep you up to date with all the latest

models, their specs and prices.

We also got to put the new Blade up against the

new Gixxer, and I beleive this is also an exclusive. Now

that is a good article, and we reveal some exciting

news at the end of that story...

Apart from that the mag is jammed packed with so

much goodness, and I’m sure you will enjoy.

A big congrats to Mr Brad Dew, the winner of the

Bell helmet competition we ran a couple of months

ago, compliments of Langston Motorsport.

So you see, it pays to enter our competitions,

because we actually give our prizes away, unlike most!

Until next

time ride

hard, ride

safe, and

thanks for the


Rob P


Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Bill du Plessis

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson




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.

-Start up the 1.301 cc engine, tuck in and prepare for an unrivalled high-speed getaway.

Opening the throttle on a KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S turns the ride itself into the

ultimate adventure. Its outstanding design and superior technology make a clear statement

about its daring intentions, as it carves fearlessly through endless bends along the way.

Photo: R. Schedl


Contents JULY 2017









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Whichever road you take, the three Riding Modes ensure optimised SuperSport control, while special Sport, Touring

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174 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg - 011 919 1600 - sales@ducati.co.za - www.ducati.co.za

Ducati South Africa Official @DucatiRSA Ducati_SA

All the news brought to you by

Since this rumour about a Ducati sale started flying about, we’ve

seen numerous names who are apparently “interested” in a piece of

the Borgo Panigale pie – but all of the suggested buyers have been

quoted by unnamed sources, so you have to take it all with a pinch of

salt. So far, the potential buyer’s list has included: Eicher Motors (the

owners of Royal Enfield), the Hero MotoCorp (Indian auto pros), CBC

Capital Partners (a private equity firm), and Permira (another private

equity firm). Since then, we’ve heard a few more rumours of

names that are supposedly in the mix, including: KKR,

Investindustrial, and Bain Capital.

Harley-Davidson to

purchase Ducati?

Would, Could, Or Should, Harley-Davidson

Buy Ducati? Here’s What The Rumors Say!

Will Harley-Davidson buy Ducati? Well, according to a report by

Reuters supported by unnamed sources, and of course a fair few

rumours too, it seems like it’s going to happen. But before we all go

spreading the gossip, nothing is set in stone, and there has been no

official line on this. That being said, if you were a keen gambler, putting

your money on the ol’ bar and shield could be a pretty safe bet.

 We had a feeling that the Volkswagen Group would have plans to

sell off Ducati, but we were never 100% sure about it. After all, Ducati

is a profitable business with increasing sales and a strong presence in

the market. However, Ducati is a two-wheeled product, and one that

VW doesn’t count as one of its core businesses. The profit is good,

but it’s a pittance in comparison to their other holdings – and thanks to

a little thing called Dieselgate, VW need to re-evaluate their future, and

separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff. In that respect, selling

Ducati to the highest bidder is a wise idea.

Should Harley-Davidson Buy Ducati?

With so many names being thrown into the

hat, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve

been informed that BMW Motorrad, Honda,

and Suzuki, are not at all interested in taking

Ducat over. But what about this Harley-Davidson


 We don’t know whether they should, but they certainly could buy

Ducati. According to the latest reports, particularly this detailed one

from Reuters, the Harley-Davidson brand is looking at buying the

classic Italian marque from the Volkswagen Group, at a figure that’s

estimated to be around the incredibly high €1.5 billion marker. That’s a

lot of money – but one that was worked out on the abacuses of those

trustworthy little tikes at Goldman Sachs. So it’s “legit” apparently.

 €1.5 billion (R21 billion) is a steep price, but for Ducati, which has

shown solid annual growth and record breaking sales over recent

years, it’s a wise investment. Especially when you consider that kind of

growth in real numbers. When VW first acquired Ducati back in 2012,

it purchased the Italian firm for €860 million (R1.2 billion). Now it wants

to sell it for near double the price…and it’s probably worth it. But are

Harley-Davidson the right people?

 Well, they’ve had a rough recent history with owning Italian

motorcycle companies. Remember their short lived foray with MV

Agusta? Though, it’s hard to be critical there, considering that the

whole world was drowning in an economic crisis at the time. But you

can’t help but think “once bitten, twice shy” when it comes to this kind

of thing.

Either way, Reuters and their unnamed sources are firm believers that

Harley-Davidson will buy Ducati. We’ll have to wait until July – because

that’s when Volkswagen will begin taking bids from prospective buyer

– to find out. It looks like Ducati may have new owners before 2017’s

is done and dusted.






Amazing new relaunch of the

Full Throttle brand with a new

store concept and exciting new

stock range on offer!





DATE: 6-9 JULY 2017

So don’t miss out on

the festivities!

Event not to be missed!


20 Waterford Shopping Centre c/o Witkoppen & Nerine road, Fourways


UPDATES OR CONTACT 011 431 1938.


All the news brought to you by

MV Agusta unleashes unique RVS#1

First Reparto Veicoli Speciali model soon available to order.

MV Agusta has established a limited run

division – Reparto Veicoli Speciali (RVS) –

and will release the cracking new RVS#1 as

part of the new model line-up available to

order this month.

The RVS#1 is a unique bike created by MV

Agusta with Castiglioni Research Centre

(CRC), completely hand-assembled in a

special project for the iconic Italian brand.

Boasting 150 hp, the RVS#1 will be the

most powerful bike within the MV threecylinder

range and weighs just 160kg.

Boasting first class equipment, as well

as quality components, design and

construction, it also has new specific engine

ride modes.

The hand TIG-welded chassis is light and

designed specifically for unrivalled dynamic

performance, while the steel framework

has been completed and enhanced with

new aviation grade aluminium lateral plates.

On the right side is milled the RVS#1 logo,

whilst other production techniques have

been used with detailed titanium plates

mounted on the tank and ‘honeycomb’

stitching on the ergonomic seat.

A stunning titanium exhaust – included in

the racing supplied kit – has been designed

together with SC-Project. Developed

specifically for the race track, it offers

increased performance and a dramatic

weight saving over the stock item.

New CRC-designed componentry includes

the dashboard support, foot-peg units,

engine protectors and racing handlebars

with modified clutch and braking systems

incorporating Braking’s Sunstar Batfly brake

discs. Customised machined Kineo spoke

wheels mounted with Pirelli MT 60 RS

tyres accentuate RVS#1 performance and

unique DNA.

RVS#1 takes aesthetics to new levels

whilst not sacrificing efficiency and safety.

The adaptable front headlight uses an

integrated inertial system illuminating the

individual L.E.D. units based on lean angle

and velocity in order to provide enhanced

illumination performance.

Everything on the RVS#1 transmits

exclusivity and excellence and is strictly

‘built to order’ and only current or

previous customers are eligible to order

the motorcycle through their MV Agusta

dealership. Call Cayenne SA on 011 244

1900 for more information.

New Full Throttle

branding and

Fourways Shop

The massive motorcycle accessory

chain, who has been going for past 17

years, is now changing their look and

feel with a new logo and colour scheme.

We love the new look of the logo, and

the new neon yellow, lightning blue and

white colours looks awesome, very

Valentino Rossi-ish (check out their cool

advert on previous page).

There is also a new branch opening up

in Fourways, with a new store concept

promising exciting new stock range.

There will be a massive opening

weekend with loads of opening specials

and never-to-be-repeated deals,

so don’t miss out! 6-9 July 2017,

20 Waterford Shopping Centre, c/0

Witkoppen and Nerine road, Fourways.

Tel 011 431 1938 or check out the Full

Throttle Facebook page for more info.

New Puig products

now at Trickbitz

The new range of Puig aftermarket

accessories have just arrived at Trickbitz

- Bar ends, oil filler caps, swing arm

spools, extender levers etc, available for

most makes and models.

Puig is one of the world’s finest

aftermarket motorcycle accessory

brands, supplying some of the top

teams in MotoGP and World SBK.

For the full range, visit www.trickbitz.

co.za or call them on 011 672 6599.


All the news brought to you by

DEOD breaks traditional broadcast

and Pay-TV mould

Digital Entertainment on Demand (DEOD), who is the title sponsor of the

SuperGP National and Regional motorcycle racing championship, is now

live in South Africa, offering a selection of rental and subscription video

entertainment on-demand services, including news and sports Internet TV

channels, direct to viewers’ phones, tablets, and laptops.

Unlike traditional free-to-air and pay-TV services, DEOD offers true freedom of

choice: consumers can enjoy Internet TV channel programming, subscribe to

bouquets of content to watch as they choose, or they can simply opt to rent

individual movies on a pay-per-view basis – anywhere, any time.

Priced from only R49 for the News Service and R99 for the Sports Service,

to R189 for the Premium Package which includes all news and sports

channels, DEOD Sports Network (DSN) and a selection of series, music

videos and movies on- demand. DEOD offers premium on-demand content

subscriptions at a price viewers can afford. The DEOD Rental Service also

offers viewers the option to rent a selection of movies from the latest off

cinema to classics on a pay-per-view basis from as little as R18-R30.

The DEOD Sports Pack will allow South African viewers 24-hour access to a

range of popular sports they previously had little access to, and give individual

sportsmen, sporting bodies and sponsors unprecedented new levels of

exposure among fans.

Moving beyond mainstream sports, the DEOD Sports Pack launches with five

channels for subscribers:

• Channel Edge HD – an extreme sports bouquet

• Fightbox HD – covering all forms of fighting and martial arts

• Motorvision TV – an automotive and motorsport channel

• Nautical channel – for sailing and boating enthusiasts

• Sportskool – a tuition based channel with instructional content across a

broad range of sport.

The DEOD Sports Pack also includes daily news coverage of top local and

international sporting events; as well as interviews, magazine shows and

analysis, as well as coverage from the local SuperGP championship.

For information about Discover Digital’s digital media sports services, contact

Discover Digital head of sports content Tim Cook at: tim@discoverdigital.

co.za, or go straight to www.deod.tv/za and start exploring!

R&G protectors and

accessories now available

for new Blade and Gixxer

BPS (Bike Product Services) are the official importers of

the R&G brand here in SA, and they have just landed

the full range of protectors and accessories for the new

2017 Honda CBR1000RR/SP and GSX-R1000.

The new range includes crash protectors, lever guards,

radiator and oil cooler guards, tail tidys, tank traction

pads, exhaust hanger kits, engine case cover and more.

Dealer enquiries are welcome. Call Ryan Wilkins on 011

918 4911/1046 or email info@bikeproducts.co.za.

Grant Scott back to Scott

Motorcycles in PTA

The busy shop just off Zambesi Drive on the other

side of the boerewors Curtain now enjoys the full-time

attention of Grant Scott. Grant took a year or two to

establish websites and things, but he is back in store

taking care of bike sales and all sorts. They have a clean

selection of pre-owned bikes on the floor and are always

on the prowl for more stock, so if you are selling, or

buying, give him a call.

082-706-0070. www.bobbyscott.co.za


All the news brought to you by

Top rated Metzeler

tyres now in SA

Now back in SA with a bang, Metzeler have

full range available including 3 big winners

In last months issue we reported that the Metzeler motorcycle tyre

brand is back in SA. TiAuto Brands are now the official importer

of the top tyre brand, who over the past two years have scooped

3 top tyre awards from 2 of the worlds biggest motorcycle



The Metzeler Roadtec 01,

which was voted the 2016

MCN Tyre of the Year, is a

sport touring tyre with a

focus on enhancing grip on

wet and low friction surfaces,

an increased mileage and a

high degree of adaptability to

different motorcycles, riding

styles and conditions. The

contemporary answer to past

and future needs. The Roadtec

01’s main features include:

• Increased grip across a wide range of riding environments

• Extended Mileage & Performance Consistency

• Enhanced precision and riding comfort

The new Roadtec 01 is now available in SA through selected

dealers. For more info email stevet@timoto.co.za.


This is a tyre that we here at

RideFast have tested and

rated very highly, and we are

not the only ones.

The Sportec M7 RR is

engineered to empower true

riders with a sporty riding

style, using their motorcycles

in all conditions, weather and


Sportec M7 RR derives from

experience in Road Racing

activities including the “Isle of Man

TT” and the “Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix”, featuring

completely new profiles, structure materials, compounds and tread


Because roads are not always perfect like racetracks, we have to

face unexpected wet patches, debris, temperature drop or uneven


Introducing a new concept of water drainage and contact feeling

thanks to dual-compound on the rear tyre combined with Interact

technology and high silica compounds.

Main characteristics:

• Sporty Handling

• Grip in all Conditions

• Extended Mileage

The Metzeler Sportec M7 RR came highly recommend to us by

a certain Mr Guy Martin, and now has also just been voted the

best SuperSport tyre by top German Magazine, Motorrad, who

did a comparative test of the six tyre models, and was conducted

through a test divided into several sessions featuring the utilisation

of the tyres both on dry and wet asphalt.

The comparative test took place in Spain at the Alcarrás track, for

the dry track test, and in Rome - the Technical Centre Europe di

Bridgestone of Castel Romano, for the wet testing, in addition to the

4000km ridden on urban roads and highways in Southern Europe.

The Sportec M7RR proved to be the best supersport tyre on the

market, according to the experienced testers of the magazine,

proving to be the most balanced tyre and the best one in the wet.

The new Sportec M7 RR is now available in SA through selected

dealers. For more info email stevet@timoto.co.za.


The best sport touring

tyres on the market are

the Metzeler Roadtec

Z8 Interact. These

were the words of the

authoritative German

motorcycle magazine

Motorrad, decreed after

having compared the

Metzeler tyres with its main

competitors, thanks to its

excellent values showed

at the level of grip, handling,

mileage and wet behaviour.

The new Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact allows the rider to keep

everything under control. The tyre follows the riders instincts with a

sublime blend of precise and effortless handing

The new Roadtec Z8 Interact is designed to make riding easier,

regardless of the motorcycle – for a long and safe experience. The

new Roadtec Z8 is now available in SA through selected dealers.

For more info email stevet@timoto.co.za.

A Bike A Day Rentals

Traditional Triumph is the very popular family run dealership

based on Van Riebeeck road in Edenvale. The team have just

launched their new ‘A Bike A Day Rentals’. The bikes they have

on offer to rent at very affordable prices include Triumph Tigers.

There are two variants to choose from - a standard Tiger 800

XCX or the low version, for the shorter riders.

They are able to customise each package deal, here are the

basic prices: R1,500 per day with 500 free kilometres.

They hold a R20,

000 excess.

Terms and

conditions apply.

For more info call

011 609 4590 or

email triumphcon@



Point 65 - Boblbee

Backpacks now in SA

Point 65 is the maker of the iconic, Boblbee hard shell, Swedish

backpacks and bags you have grown to know and love.

Boblbee packs are stylish, comfortable, and protective. You

never have to worry about your valuables when you store them

in a Boblbee backpack or Boblbee bag. The innovative hard

shell back packs with their distinctively swoop not only protect

your gear, they protect your back and provide lumbar support

and impact protection. Wear a Boblbee backpack or bag and

stand out from the crowd.

To see the full range of backpacks, camera bags and other

lightweight products, visit http://point65.co.za.

Up to R20,000 assistance on

new Triumph Motorcycles

Thinking about a new bike but not quite sure how you’re going to

afford it? In that case, get yourself to your nearest Triumph dealer

and check out their special offers on new Triumph models.

How, you may ask, will that help me afford a new bike? Well, while

stocks last, all 2016 model year Triumphs come with a cash-back

feature, varying from R10,000 to R20,000, depending on the model.

This sum can be used as a deposit on a new bike, or to boost the

trade-in value of your existing bike. Or you can use it to purchase

accessories and apparel for you or your bike. You can even bank

the money with the dealer and use it to pay for servicing.

Get down to your local Triumph dealer right now to find out more

about these brilliant deals.

Remember; the offer is only on while stocks last!

Dealers list:


• Holeshot Motorcycles

011 823 5830

• Traditional Triumph

011 609 4590

• Fourways Motorcycles

011 465 1540


• RAD Moto

015 297 0095


• Pinnacle Power Sport

051 448 3797

Eastern Cape

• Auto Motorcycles

041 581 1699

Western Cape

• Mike Hopkins Motorcycles

021 461 5167

BTW expanding to CPT

Bike Tyre Warehouse, the motorcycle tyre trader and largest

retailer of motorcycle tyres in the country, who offes top brands

for racing, dirt, street, dual purpose, ATV, SXS, utility and

specialized tyre categories, is expanding their operations with the

first depot now opening in Montague Gardens Cape Town, which

will be managed by Henk Kotzee - the infamous Adventure bike

rider and producer of the Look What you Missing film series.

Bruce de Kock, owner of the Bike Tyre Warehouse group, says

its strategic to the growth of their National franchise offering.

The company buys and sells tyres at wholesale pricing

supplying the trade and retailing through its fitment centers; the

company guarantees professional service and advice as well

as 12 months tyre insurance included on all tyre products sold

through Batt-T Sure covering road and a world first for covering

on and off road dual purpose tyres; this is an exclusive policy

offering from the Bike Tyre warehouse group.

The company distributes locally and internationally structuring

trade discounts for smaller retailers in the industry as well as

registered regional and national race teams.

Bike Tyre Warehouse also

supplies motorcycle tyre

equipment and accessories,

and offers OEM tyre

development for specialized

commercial and race


You can contact Henk on 082

718 4156 or email henk@





Crutchlow to remain at LCR

in two-year HRC contract

Top Brit signs factory HRC contract through 2019 season.

LCR Honda has confirmed Cal

Crutchlow will remain part of its team

for the 2018 and 2019 MotoGP

seasons after signing a two-year deal

with Honda Racing Corporation (HRC).

Crutchlow has been on-board Honda’s

RC213V since 2015 and claimed a

pair of MotoGP victories last season,

now gaining official factory status

within LCR.

“I am very happy to confirm that I will be

riding for HRC with the LCR team again

for two more seasons,” Crutchlow

said. “We have worked extremely hard

over the last three seasons together

and I am positive that we will enjoy

more great results together. I would

like to thank HRC for the great support

they offer me and our team and I look

forward to giving my hundred percent

to this project as always.”

HRC director Tetsuhiro Kuwata

commented: “We’re very happy to

continue working with the LCR team

and with Cal for the next two seasons.

We really appreciate the work they’re

doing and we decided to confirm our

relationship and even elevate it by

having Cal under contract directly with

HRC. We wish Cal and Lucio all the

best for the remainder of this season

and those to come!”

LCR Honda team principal

Lucio Cecchinello added: “Cal

is undoubtedly one of the most

competitive and talented riders in

MotoGP and thanks to HRC’s support,

we are honoured to work with him

again for the next two years. Cal gave

us our first ever victory in the premier

class of MotoGP and further important

results. I want to thank all those who

worked and supported this project so

far, first and foremost HRC.”

to you by

Triumph to power

Moto2 bikes

Engine supplier starting with the 2019 season.

The British company has signed a three-year contract with

MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna to supply a special

race-tuned 765 cc inline-three for the Moto2 series which is

based on the unit that fits the 2017 Street Triple.

“This is a significant moment for Triumph that brings an

exciting new chapter to our 110-year racing history and

builds on our celebrated TT and Supersports race winning

triple engines,” Triumph Chief Commercial Officer Paul Stroud

said. “We look forward to a long and thrilling relationship with

Dorna and the Moto2 teams, riders, and fans.”

Based on the highest specification 765 cc powerplant, the

new engine has been specially developed for GP racing

and comes with optimized gas flow cylinder heads, titanium

valves and stiffer springs to increase rpm, a low output

racing alternator, taller first gear, tuneable slipper clutch,

modified ECU, lightweight covers, and a different sump.

With such mods that increase the rev limit and allow for

more power to be developed, the engine also got Nikasilplated

aluminum barrels, new crankshaft, pistons, con-rods,

balancer shafts, and a revised gearbox.

Triumph didn’t specify how much power does the new triple

develops for a Moto2 bike but in “road” setup, the engine

delivers 123 HP at 11,700 rpm and 77 Nm at 10,8000 rpm.

Our guesstimate would be around 160-170 horsepower.


Pic by GP-Fever.de



Official MotoGP tyre supplier

MICHELIN Power SuperSport

MICHELIN Power Slick Evo

Available at your nearest dealer



Ducati try to ‘reinvent

the wheel’

The Ducati Panigale R and Its Carbon “Wheel Cover”

While everyone else seems to be turning a

blind eye to aerodynamics, Ducati continues

to be the brand pushing the aero envelope

with its designs.

As such, World Superbike fans may have

seen that Chaz Davies was sporting a

unique rear end at the Misano round, as

Ducati Corse continues to experiment with a

lenticular wheel setup.

A piece of technology borrowed mostly from

cycling, the carbon fibre disc “wheel cover”

provides a more slippery surface for the wind

to flow over, than the chaos that comes from

a spinning spoked wheel on a motorcycle.

Ducati has played with a lenticular wheel

before, with Michele Pirro sporting the design

in the recent MotoGP testing season.

We haven’t seen the aerodynamic wheel

appear in MotoGP again – we

haven’t seen Ducati apply any

more aerodynamic bits this

season, actually – but the testing

resumed this weekend with the

WorldSBK squad.

It is not clear what gains there

have been for Ducati in this

pursuit. We do know that we

haven’t seen the covered wheel design

used in a race yet, which should be of

note. Davies did use the “wheel cover” (as

Ducati is officially calling it) during Saturday’s

Superpole at Misano, so there is that.

One would think that if Ducati was seeing

progress on the time sheet that it would

implement the wheel in anger more often.

However, seeing it on the Panigale R this late

to you by

in the WorldSBK season is of note, especially

as Ducati just began teasing the demise of its

v-twin superbike platform.

Of course, the Italian brand will still race

with the Panigale R next year – that much

we know for certain – though there is some

chatter that the upcoming V4 model will

take a stronger focus on aerodynamics than

previous road-going models, which could be

very interesting.

Ducati MotoGP

Secret Weapon

Carbon Fibre Öhlins Fork Tubes

They are hard to spot, but if you look closely

at the 2017 Ducati Desmosedici GP (a bevy

of photos are after the jump) you will see

something very unique going on with the

front suspension. This is because Öhlins and

Ducati have teamed up to develop new fork

technology, namely carbon fiber fork tubes.

The Öhlins carbon fibre fork tubes can be

seen on the machines of Andrea Dovizioso

and Jorge Lorenzo, starting from the seasonopener

in Qatar, and are noticeable for their

matte black tube finish, with gold ends.

Öhlins is coy about how much weight

savings are involved with the forks tubes, but

they are noticeably lighter when they are in

your hands, something we have first-hand

knowledge of, as we had one to pass around

at the Two Enthusiasts Podcast live show at

Austin, Texas this year.

Beyond simple weight savings though, the

likely purpose of using carbon fibre fork tubes

is to adjust the flex of the front suspension.

It’s been no secret that the Ducati MotoGP

bike has trouble with turning, especially

mid-corner. Fixing this problem has been the

team’s burden for far too many seasons now.

What Öhlins and Ducati are likely

doing with the carbon fibre fork tubes

though is not trying to shed sprung

weight on the machine, but instead

using different carbon fibre weaves

and construction techniques to tune

enough flex into the fork tubes, in

order to help Ducati riders get more feeling

from the Desmosedici.

This works in a very similar way to the 6D Flex

forks that MotoCzysz developed for its MotoGP

project, though Öhlins is achieving a similar

goal while using a far more simple design.

This solution with carbon fibre is pretty clever

though, as it is difficult to tune a fork tube

for the right amount of flex, especially when

a motorcycle is leaned over. This is the big

drawback to conventional

fork design, because the

more you lean the bike over,

the more feel a rider requires

to go fast.

But, when you lean a

motorcycle over more and

more, the trigonometry of

the situation means you are

using less and less of the

forks suspension abilities,

because forks move only

up and down. This is where

the flex in the fork legs is

important – along with flex in

the chassis as a whole.

There are a lot of ways to make a motorcycle

flex when leaned over, namely in chassis

design, but it is basically impossible to tune

the fork tubes, as the metal tubes need to be

strong enough to brace against the steering

and braking forces.

Using carbon fibre though, Öhlins can tune

both properties independently of each other,

more so than possible with aluminium or

another kind of metal, For Ducati, this has big

potential for its MotoGP program.

We are not sure if you can entirely attribute

Ducati’s recent success to Öhlins’ new

suspensions setup, but it is interesting to

see the gains being made by Dovizioso this

season. The GP17 has clearly been a step

forward for Ducati Corse.






Terms & conditions apply. Valid while stocks last. Colours and models subject to availability. Pictures for illustrative purposes only


CBR1000RR comes with your choice of a Yoshimura slip-on

OR a Genuine Honda Quick shifter.

Honda Elite 125

Only R19,900.00

Honda XR125

Only R25,900.00

Honda XR150

Only R27,900.00

Trade-Ins welcome! Finance and insurance arranged in-house.

Honda XR190

Only R44,999.00

SPIRIT Atom gloves

Technically advanced race spec inspired

motorcycle gloves for a track day or the

highway, the Atom glove delivers premium

performance aspects with an enhanced

pre curved fitment and perforated leather

maximizing breathability.

Very well priced at only R849.


SPIRIT G2 gloves

Spirit G2 gauntlet motorcycle gloves hand

crafted to perfection from cow hide analine

leather featuring a new innovative high

abrasion rubber technology making it extra

comfortable over the knuckle area, not

compromising safety.

Only R849.



Shift Fluo gloves

Spirit Quick Shift motorbike gloves

available in two colour combinations,

this black and fluo sporty design

providing excellent breathability,

ergonomics and impact protection

lined with soft textiles to provide the

user with maximum comfort.

Only R749.


VR46 2017 apparel

He is the G.O.A.T and we here at RideFast are

massive fans of Valentino Rossi, so we are very

happy to announce that the 2017 range of VR46

apparel has now arrived in SA.

A awesome new selection of caps, hoodies,

jackets, shirts, and now even the SKY VR46 team

gear is available.

There is also a great range of new kiddies gear

and stickers kits also just arrived at Gear4Speed,

which is part of Planes Trains Automobiles stores

in Bedford centre and Melrose Arch.

Email sales@pt-a.co.za or call 011 684-1100.






Feel the grip. Bend through the turns. Absorb the energy

of the streets. The BMW G 310 R is built for pulsing

cities. Easy to handle and sporty, the G 310 R’s superb

maneuverability means it’s at home on all surfaces, whether

you’re outwitting traffic, cruising the city for hidden hot

spots or escaping the urban hustle for the open road.

The G 310 R’s lightweight frame powered by an impressive

313 cc engine and combined with the comfort of an

ergonomic layout, ensure the right seat for any rider set to

conquer the city. Work or play, the BMW G 310 R’s quality,

workmanship and extraordinary technology make it the

ultimate city-hopper.

For more information go to www.bmw-motorrad.co.za

Receive 3-Year Roadside Assistance via BMW On Call

when you purchase any new BMW Motorrad model.





BMW Motorrad




Take the already class-leading BMW S1000RR, put it on a massive diet,

and injected it with every kind of steroid on the market. The result is a raw,

circuit weapon that’s an assault on the senses - It’s the BMW HP4 Race!

Words: Rob Portman Pics: BMW Press

What you are about to read is not a fairy tale,

or a myth, or a far fetched story from a man

desperately seeking attention. No, this is indeed

a true story about a beast with facts and figures

that will be hard to believe, but are true. A beast

that should not be feared but rather respected

and admired. This is another tale where beauty

and beast come together and make one, if not the

most, desirable motorcycle on the planet today -

The BMW HP4 Race.

Now, I suggest you pop some rescue tablets,

find a comfy chair and relax, and if you have heart

problems, or get excited very easily, I urge you to

take medication for that as well, because things

are about to get more exciting than Friday nights

in Hugh Hefners bedroom.

The Vision

It all started back in 2015, when project leader,

Christian Gonschor, had a vision to design

and build a bike that would take carbon fibre

technology to the next level. The focus for the

HP4 was very clear - build a bike with unmatched

performance, forget economics. A bike that’s full

of innovation, and takes the customers experience

to the next level. 100% pure racing, yet still feel

like a motorcycle that the rider can be comfortable

on, and stick to the BMW core values - joy and


Inside the beast

How is that possible? Those were the first words

I mumbled out of my shaking mouth when asked

my first impressions of the new HP4 Race after

my first 20min session out on track. (Check out

the video on our RideFast Facebook page)

I am not one who usually likes to go to deep

into bike specs and figures, but this is one bike

that leaves me no choice as it is completely and

utterly surreal.

It’s lighter than a 390cc

Tipping the scales at 171.5kg wet, thanks to its

lightweight quality parts such as the brushed

aluminium 17.5-litre fuel tank and others, which I

will mention in a moment, it’s actually lighter than

a World Superbike. Eight kilos lighter in fact. The

HP4 Race is also a massive 36.5kg lighter than

the road-going S1000RR.

Its 149kg dry weight makes it 10kg lighter (dry)

than the Ducati 1299 Superleggera and 4kg lighter

than the 44bhp single-cylinder KTM 390 Duke.

Yes, believe it!

So what’s the secret? Lots and lots of carbon

fibre, that’s the HP4 Race’s dark secret with its

high-strength, one-piece, industrially-produced

carbon frame being the main feature, dropping

4kgs lighter on the RR’s cast aluminium frame.

Carbon wheels, manufactured in the same way,

are 30% lighter than forged aluminium racing

items and the fairing, self-supporting three-way

adjustable seat unit, mudguard and hugger (all

conventionally hand-made) all save weight.

Because the HP4 Race is track-only, it doesn’t

need to carry a bulky Euro 4 exhaust, sound

deadening, mirrors, lights, excess wiring, a side

stand, indicators or number plate, so that also

helps in the weight saving department.


The heart of the beast

Underneath all that carbon fibre is a hand

built World SBK and World Endurance spec

engine that produces a mammoth 215hp and

121Nm of torque. The valve chain is from the

World Endurance racing machine to help with

a bit more mileage.

All 750 units made are ready to roll off the

showroom floor and straight onto the track. No

running in required as this was done in Berlin.

The HP4 Race has 32% better powerto-weight

ratio than the already impressive

stock RR.

Not one screw from the stock RR model is

used on the HP4 Race. It features the same

race ECU as used in the World SBK machine

and is equipped with full 2D data logger.

Extra electronic components incorporated

into the BMW HP4 Race Superbike include

a Pit Lane Limiter to maintain the bike at

speeds suited for pit lanes and Launch

Control to ensure smoother starts for races.

I did use the pit lane limiter but did not have

the balls to try the launch control, and BMW

didn’t exactly encourage us to try it either.

The bikes also comes fitted with World

SBK spec Pirelli SC2 Diablo Corsa race tyres.

Never before has MotoGP and World SBK

technology been closer to the mass market.

The old saying “what wins on Sunday, sells

on Monday” has never been more true.

Enough tech, time to test!

The launch would take place at Estoril in

Lisbon, Portugal. The 4.1km ex-MotoGP

track is packed with everything a racer and

racing machine could ask for. Tight turns,

fast sweeps, hard braking points with great

undulation - A perfect test for the HP4 Race.

Like many of the only 48 journos worldwide

to be invited on the test, I had never been

around the circuit before, so BMW very kindly

had stock S1000RR machines on hand for us

to do the first couple of 20min sessions on, to

get to grips with the track and conditions before

letting us loose on the R1.3million HP4 Race.

Even more WSBK and MotoGP tech

The BMW HP4 Race superbike further

combines aspects of both MotoGP and

Superbike by being fitted with a complete

Ohlins suspension (with a TTX 36 spring strut

and the FGR 300 upside-down fork), Brembo

GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers and a

swing arm made of light alloy. All premium

parts currently being used by most teams in

the WSBK and MotoGP championships.

The HP4 Race is also equipped with a

wide range of built-in electronic controls and

assistance systems, including Engine Brake

EBR, Wheelie Control, and Dynamic Traction

Control. Riders can program these controls

for each gear based on their individual


Each one of the 750 made HP4 Race bikes is built by hand, in a special workshop, by a specialially trained team


“The BMW HP4 Race

gives you that full World

SBK experience”


I had an idea of the circuit from watching

the MotoGP boys racing there a few years

back, and from playing the MotoGP game.

It’s also the track where a certain Mr Brad

Binder made himself famous, winning his

first ever RedBull Rookies cup race by over


After spending 3 laps behind the instructor,

I was set free to go and explore. The circuit is

gorgeous, free flowing with a couple of curve

balls thrown in.

The stock RR was a joy to ride. Fitted with

the World SBK Pirelli SC2 Diablo slicks, as

on the HP4 race, I was carving up the track

making full use of the big power and top

notch electronics.

I am a big critic of the S1000RR bike, but

land up eating my words every time I ride it

because it’s just so good. One of those love

to hate things I guess.

It was a good start to the day, and the

perfect way to get me ready and in the mood

for what was up next - My first 20min session

on the HP4 Race.

I never get butterflies or nervous when

testing bikes, but this time my tummy was

talking to me and there was a lot more than

just pretty butterflies in there.

Sitting on the bike for the first time and I

could immediately feel that I was in for one

hell of a ride. The bike felt harder than a

standard 7 maths exam, and the bars were

set so wide, almost MX style, but that’s just

the way I like it. Ultra comfortable considering

it’s a race bike, although I would still not like to

ride it on our pot hole invested roads, as I’m

sure Father’s Day would be cancelled forever.

Looking at the massive racing dash and

all the buttons on both the left and right

handlebar, itall seemed a bit overwheelming.

We had been briefed on how all the gadgets

work before heading out on track and

it’s actually all very easy to operate and


There are 4 riding modes available - Wet,

intermediate, dry 1 and dry 2.

We were asked (told) to start off in

intermidtae mode, which is a power and

rider aid setting for exactly that, intermediate

conditions. This had the engine braking set

at 5, traction control set at 6 (14 modes

available) and the power down by 25%.

As I set out on track I immediately changed

from intermediate to the dry 1 setting. I did not

want to waste a single second on this bike,

and just heading down pit lane I could feel the

traction control working.

Dry 1 setting is the full 215hp, but with

wheelie control set in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear

between 4 and 9,000rpm. The power is

limited to 75% at those levels, but once past

that, it’s hold on for dear life time.

Naturally my first lap out was taken with

much respect, but as soon as I got to the main

straight for the first time, I wanted to see what

215hp felt like. Ear popping, arm stretching,

eye watering fast - that’s what it felt like! It had

my senses on tilt mode and had me laughing

and crying at the same time. Before I knew it,

the almost 1km long straight was finished and

it was time for me to climb on the brakes. Now

I like to use two fingers when braking, and

normally have to apply quite a bit of pressure

to get a bike stopped from over 300km/h

ready for a 2nd gear right hand hairpin. I soon

realised that two fingers was too much, and

only one finger braking was nessasary. I always

see the MotoGP and World SBK guys using

one finger to brake, and often ask myself how

do they stop? Well, now I know. The top grade

Brembo brakes were sublime, and combined

with the high-end Ohlins front suspension,

made easy work of any and all turns thrown at

it, no matter the speed or line.

The soul of the HP4 Race is the carbon fibre frame. The lightweight chassis makes the bike feel better in every

aspect - steering, acceleration, braking... Low weight is good for everyone. Light bikes are fun.










4A - 6A - 8A - 10A






BIKING BRAKPAN 011 744 4660

CAYANNE 011 462 4390


CYTECH 011 433 8850

EMD 012 667 1041


FACTORY RACING 011 867 0092

FULL THROTTLE 011 452 2397

FAST BIKES 015 297 8601



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


RAD KTM 011 608 3006

RACEWORX KTM 011 027 8762

RUSSEL CAMPBELL 011 452 0504



Check that dash and those wide bars! Now that’s racy! The traction control, engine braking and power maps

are easily adjusted, even on the fly, using the play station buttons on both handlebars

So I had made it through turn one, it was

now time to hit the rest of the demanding

circuit. As I said earlier, the stock RR machine

was a pleasure to handle around the track,

but the HP4 Race just took it to another level.

Being almost 37kg lighter than the RR, I did

find myself turning in a bit early into most of

the turns. There were no similarities to the

RR, the HP4 Race had to be ridden in a

completely different way.

Hard, late braking, deep into the turn,

scrub off the speed, point it in the direction

I wanted to go and nothing but throttle. The

HP4 does not take kindly to indecisiveness,

you have to be precise, otherwise it can get a

bit uncomfortable.

Just when you think you are using most of the power

available, you look down at the dash and realise that you

are only at 9,000rpm, not even in the green light stage above

10,000rpm yet, now that’s when it really comes alive!

The thought of controlling 215hp did play

on my mind a bit, even though I knew there

was a second-to-none electronics package

to assist me. Yet, it was actually a pleasure.

Acceleration was smooth, and even at

full lean angle I was able to get on the

throttle hard with full confidence in both the

electronics and the ultra grippy Pirelli tyres.

The faster I got, the more the electronics

worked. I could now hear the snack, crackle

and pop sound of the traction control working

at almost every bend. This friendly silicone cry

filled me with confidence, so I started to lean

more on the control with every passing lap.

I HP4 Race had me looking, sounding

and feeling like a World SBK rider. The BMW

HP4 Race gives you that full World SBK

experience. I could not believe just how fun

and easy 215hp could be to control.

I had two more 20min sessions on the

HP4 left, and I was determined to get the best

out of both myself and the bike. I had set a lap

time of 1,50.4 in my first session out, so that

was my target for the next two sessions.

Chatting to Matt Durrans from the Bike

Show during our time off the bikes, we spoke

about the possibility of getting to 100%

throttle coming out of the turns, and if the

traction control would catch before hitting the

35 plus degree scenery. We were told by all

the BMW techs there that it would, so, Matt

very kindly left testing this theory up to me.

I know it would be a sure way of shedding

down my lap time so I would give it a go.

It’s one thing talking about it, and another

actually doing it, especially when on a bike

that costs more than my house, literally!

Out on track for my 2nd session, I was

determined to use more throttle, and even

though my wrist was telling “more throttle,

more throttle”, my mind was telling me “you

have a beautiful wife and baby at home, a diary

full of work to do and you cannot, absolutely,

100% cannot afford to crash this bike”.

With every second on the bike I was feeling

more comfortable, and using more of the bikes

undeniable potential.

Agility in chicanes is like nothing I have ever

felt before. The HP4 Race can enter corners

with devastating speed, which is the secret to

its pace around a circuit like estoril.

With such a beautifully set-up chassis it’s

easy to place the HP4 Race exactly where

I wanted it. It has all the stability of the RR,

but there’s feel pouring out of it at full lean.

The WSB-inspired ali swingarm might not be

carbon fibre, but it’s been created using the

lessons learned from racing in superbikes

since 2009.

With every lap I was starting to push harder

and harder, asking more from the bike. The


more I asked, the more the bike responded.

It felt like there was no end to the bikes

capabilities, but there was to mine. I’m sure

if the bike could speak it would have told me

to stop being a girl and ride harder and faster.

While my heart and wrist was telling me to go

faster, my mind was filled with that irritating yet

always right voice of reason, telling me to just

enjoy and be comfortable. I quickly reached a

point where I was comfortably fast, not risking

too much. I didn’t want the embarrasing tag of

being the first, and probably only journo in the

world to crash the HP4 Race.

Heading into the pits I was happy to see,

displayed nice and big on the dash, that I

had improved on my previous lap time by

almost a second.

But, being a former racer and having a

very competitive side, I was still determined to

go even faster, and I knew the HP4 still had

plenty to offer.

I had been told during the lunch brake that

the fastest time set by a journo was a 1,48.7,

and a 1,44,5 by one of the racers that were

present. This was bad as I now had a real

carrot to chase. Before heading out for my third

and final session, I was sitting at a 1,49.2, so I

was determined to find that extra second.

I got massive drive heading onto the main

straight for my second flying lap in the 3rd

session. Not realizing that I was going faster

than I had all day, I missed my braking marker

by almost 50m. For those of you who know,

and have experienced this before, this is the

part where your heart jumps into your throat,

your balls shrink and your ass clinches so

tight it takes a big bite out of your undersuit

and leathers. I really thought that there was

no way of making the turn, but with a little

more pressure on the brakes, and with no

hesitation from the front end, the bike simply

pulled me into the turn lining me up for a

perfect exit. This lit the fire in my backside and

from that point on I was braking 50m later for

every turn, carrying a bit more corner speed

and most importantly, and this is where I

would ultimately find all my time, holding

the throttle open 20-30% more for that split

second longer from turn-to-turn.

I had set the engine braking and traction

control on 3, and this felt perfect. I have

not felt, nor ridden that fast in a long time,

and that’s exactly what the HP4 Race

was intended to do, help the rider achieve

ultimate performance while feeling balanced

and always in control. Ok I didn’t always

feel in control but the bike certainly was.

As I came across the line for the final time

I felt overwhelmed. Deeply sad that the

test was over but overjoyed that I had got

to experience one of the most desirable

motorcycle on the planet. I quickly glanced

down at the dash to see if I had managed to

beat my time. I have never been more excited

to see 4 numbers. 1,47.8 was displayed and

that just finished off what was an amazing

day of riding.

Please don’t go!

They say all good things must come to an

end, and so they did.

How is that possible? These are words

that still fill my mind when thinking about my

experience on the HP4 Race. It was like a

good modern day thriller movie - seductive,

thrilling, scary, exciting, unpredictable,

moving… every emotion possible is felt when

riding this bike. I can only feel jealousy and

envy for those lucky enough to own this

incredible machine. I can also say that they

own the best motorcycle I have ever ridden to

date! Thank you BMW!











RF Garage




One of our readers emailed us asking the

question “why should I care about motorcycle

chains?” So, here is our answer.

Motorcycle chain maintenance, along with oil

changes and tyre maintenance is a crucial

part of safe riding. Chains are the unsung

mechanical heroes of motorcycling; they’re

responsible for the crucial task of transferring

power from the engine to the rear wheel, and

without proper inspection and maintenance,

can fail and cripple the motorcycle, or worse,

become dangerous projectiles.

This tutorial covers three essential aspects

of chain care: inspection, cleaning, and




Depending on how aggressively you ride,

chains should be inspected every 800-1200

kilometres, or roughly twice a month.



Keep the following items on hand:

• Various wrenches.

• A soft brush, or old toothbrush.

• An O-ring friendly chain cleaner (if, like most

chains, yours is of an o-ring type.)

• O-ring friendly chain lubricant (again, if


• A new cotter pin (when adjusting the chain


• Rags (for wiping grime off the chain.)

• A rubber mallet (optional.)

• A rear wheel stand (optional.)

• A tape measure (optional.)


Using a tape measure (or visual estimation, if

necessary), grasp the chain at a point halfway

between the front and rear sprockets, and

pull it up and down. The chain should be able

to move roughly one inch up and one inch

down. If your motorcycle is on a rear stand

or centre stand, note that the swingarm will

drop if the wheel is lifted from the ground,

which will affect the rear geometry and the

tension in the chain; compensate accordingly,

if necessary.

Using a tape measure or visual estimation,

grasp the chain and make sure it moves

about one inch in either direction.

Because motorcycle chains can stiffen in

certain spots and stay pliable in others, it’s

important to roll the bike forward (or turn the

rear wheel if it’s on a stand) and check all

sections of the chain. If it moves more than

about an inch, the chain will need tightening,

and if it’s too tight, loosening will be in

order; this is outlined in subsequent steps. If

individual chain links are too tight, the chain

might need replacement.


Brought to you by



Front and rear sprocket teeth are good

indicators of maladjusted chains; inspect the

teeth to make sure they are meshing well

with the chain. If the sides of the teeth are

worn, chance is they haven’t been eating

well with the chain (which probably shows

corresponding wear.) Wave-shaped teeth

wear is another irregularity that might suggest

that you need new sprockets.

Inspect the sprocket for wear closely; the

shape of the teeth will tell a lot about how the

bike was ridden and maintained.


Whether or not your chain needs adjusting,

you’ll want to keep it clean and welllubricated.

Most modern chains are o-ring

types which use rubber components and are

sensitive to certain solvents. Make sure you

use an o-ring approved cleaning agent when

you spray the chain and sprockets or use a

soft brush to apply the cleaner.

Don’t run your engine to get parts moving

while you spray them; it’s far safer to put the

transmission in neutral and manually spin the

rear wheel. Also, make sure the cleaner you

spray is rated for o-rings, if your bike chain is

so equipped

Wiping off grime is one of the messier parts

of chain maintenance.


Next, you’ll want to wipe off the excess grime

using a rag or towel, which will create a clean

surface that’s friendlier to lubricants. Be sure

to thoroughly reach all the sprocket teeth and

chain links by rolling the rear wheel (or the

entire bike, if it’s not on a stand.)

Using proper lubricants, like Spanjaards chain cleaner

and lube, will lengthen chain life considerably.


While rotating the wheel, evenly spray a

layer of lubricant across the chain as it runs

along the sprockets. Be sure to also spray

the bottom of the rear sprocket, where

the lubricant can spread across the chain

from the inside using centrifugal force, and

penetrate the entirety of the chain. Wipe off

excess lubricant with a rag.


Chain tension is generally determined by

the distance between the front and rear

sprockets, and many bikes have index marks

to help with alignment.

The single-sided swingarm shown here features

an eccentric cam for setting chain tension.

Bikes have differing chain adjustment

mechanisms, and in general, the rear axle

and wheel move forward or backward

in order to set chain tension. Singlesided

swingarms usually have an eccentric

cam which sets the position of the rear

axle; other more traditional designs feature

hexagonal-headed inner nuts to move the

axle and an outer one to lock and unlock it.

When chain tension is properly set, it

should be able to move up and down

between approximately .75 and 1 inch at

its loosest point.


Once you’ve moved the rear axle, make

sure that both sides are aligned perfectly

before tightening, since not doing so can

prematurely wear both the chain and the

sprockets. Evenly tighten the axle nut(s) and

replace the cotter pin with a new one.

A single-sided swingarm, as pictured, is easier

to tighten than a traditional one, which requires

precise alignment.

REGINA Patented Z-Ring Technology

Specially designed for application on high powered

bikes, these chains are able to offer exceptional

performance thanks to the patented Z-Rings.

Assembled with high alloy steel pins and plates,

solid bushings and rollers, shot-peening of plates,

pins and rollers are pre-stressed for performanceenhancing,

assuring excellent resistance tom

mechanical stresses of the later superbikes.

The new generation seal rings, featuring a specialdesigned

conical shape on their inner side, represent

the evolution of previous X-Ring and Z-Ring designs.

REGINA Patented “Z-Ring” section

The Z-Ring flexes when assembled, creating a spring

effect that guarantees the seal will not decrease over


The special Z-Ring section provides enhanced

chain flexibility. The conical section enhances the

assembling on the bushing. The lubricant trapped

between the plates and the lobes of the Z-Ring keeps

the ring lubricated and increases its life.





It is your problem!

We’ll kind of but hey, let us carry the risk for you (www.

omnigroup.co.za – specialist motorcycle insurers…)

We are not fond of doom and gloom in this here quality

publication, but woefully, we live in a country where nothing

that is not welded down or concreted in - ok those too seem

to be fair game for nefarious individuals.

Glenn Foley

and the crooks appear to be getting smarter and smarter as they go?

Omni Group

decent value in the stolen motorcycle and potentially it is far easier

than Hi Jacking or stealing a motor vehicle.

Glenn Foley

and quads - maybe we should start - its only about 3 percent of the

value of the bike per month - so on a 100k bike - R300 suddenly does

not sound so serious. We genuinely thought it was more than that...

not so bad, a grudge purchase but better than paying for another bike

when the chops have removed your bike from the garage...

Omni Group – Agreed, insurance is buying a non-tangible service

that seems like a grudge purchase until you realise the value when a

loss occurs. You may be able to replace your R50k of road toy with

savings but can you cover the third parties damages when your bike

Merc? If you have NO insurance you will still need to pay which will

Glenn Foley - Dirtbikes are so easy to pinch because most are not

licensed or registered. Where do they end up? who knows? We’ve

heard lots of theories, quads make great ploughs they don’t need

food, so check neighbouring states. We’ve seen beautiful Ducati’s in

Maputo... where they come from, who the heck can tell. Probably

Sandton. Who knows?

Omni Group – Dirt bikes are a very easy target (No coded keys, no


Glenn Foley

we are on all sorts of crime groups and you won’t believe the crap that

we see and hear about. They get past the dog, the horse, through the pigsty,

open the garage and remove the bikes. Hectic. The other day a buddy of

ours zipped his bike across to a mates house, loaded it for the next morning

- and the bakkie the bike was on was pinched.

Omni Group – This is a thief ’s prized move, get the bike’s, car & or trailer

in one hit. Our advice would be don’t advertise you are going on an

outride, load and off load the same day..

So they are watching, they know what is going on and are far more alert

than you and I.

See the guys going through the garbage bags for recycling?

It could be them passing along the info. Not saying everyone is bad, but

people are desperate for money, so who knows what info a 20 will buy.

You know the wheelie bins you leave outside? They make great ladders to

hop over your wall...

Here are a few tips - use them, don’t use them PS (Omni Group endorses

our sentiments)

Where is your bike right now?

LOCK YOUR BIKES UP: Rather get up early to load or whatever. leaving

bikes in view on a trailer or bakkie is an open invitation... out of sight is

out of mind. Thieves prefer to work in the dark. Be particularly cautious at

night about where you park your bike.

Alarm on the garage: If the crooks do open the garage a screamer goes off

and hopefully scares them of. At the very least you can hear them and get

the baseball bat out. link the alarm to a light. If you are away from home

make sure you nominate a friend or neighbour to monitor your property

and garage.

Ultimately the machines static location needs to be located before there’s

any chance of the police effectively becoming involved.

These should definitely be considered if you have one or two year old

superbike, or expensive classic bike, some of which are worth a lot.

Get a no obligation insurance quote now!


Professional Thieves

Professionals commit the majority of auto thefts.

They prefer high-performance cars, as well as less exotic, more popular

models whose parts are interchangeable. Same with bikes.

These thieves usually turn the cars and bikes they steal over to “chop

shops,” who dismantle them and sell the parts.

They also steal for export to other countries, often “stealing to order” to

fulfill requests for certain types of vehicles.

Watch for dodgy sales deals: Don’t get duped into a scam. One of our mates

was called from an ad he placed on a sales site. The guy on the other end

said he’d take the bike without seeing it. Sent him a so-called deposit slip

for a cash payment and asked for the bike to be delivered, He was from out

of town and met him at a garage in plain sight. Without checking with his

bank first, he delivered. The bike was gone. the buyer never answered his

call again. End of story. very sad. This is a common hustle - make sure that

your money is in the bank and cleared. Even some very wide awake dealers

have been conned like this...

Guys - just a few pointers, eyes wide open, don’t be a victim. Don’t become

complacent. They want your bike and we live in a place where the cops

have far more pressing matters to attend to...

Disc lock: Through the brake disc - a pain, we know especially when you

forget about it, but you can’t roll the bike away in a hurry. Or a groot chain

and padlock, but nothing is infallible.

Basic alarm on the bike: if you can afford a high end alarm then cool, but

a cheap solution is a small mercury switch hidden in the handlebar and

linked to a hooter. Chat to your dealer about this. The moment the bike

moves, the mercury closes the circuit and the hooter blares, hopefully you

hear it and give em hell!

Keep your bikes in view when you are out and about: One of our mates

lost his bikes when an enterprising crook simply unhitched his trailer at a

restaurant on the way back from a ride. Either pay a car guard to watch or

sit where your vehicle is in plain view and don’t all go to the loo at once...

Hectic, we know, ridiculous for sure but these are the times we live in...

Look around. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in garages, parking

lots and gas stations.

Know where you’re going. When traveling, avoid known high crime areas

even if the alternate route takes longer.

Do your research and consider fitting a tracking device. Not everyone

can afford one of these but several good arrests were made and high value

motorcycles recovered because a tracking device was fitted.

There are now quite a few on the market and some are reasonably priced. It

is however important that research is done and comparisons are made as to

what they individually offer and their specifications do vary. Ask about any

successes made in previously tracing and recovering vehicles.

Finding stolen bikes on the move is rare. Signal penetration is important

particularly if a stolen bike is hidden in a van, container or building.







The Germans are not known for smaller cc motorcycles; okay, they had the C1 scooter that was a 200 odd

cc but in all fairness that was not really a motorcycle. A helmet wasn’t even compulsory... With the decline

in large cc motorcycle sales around the world, BMW had to enter the lightweight category. That was a tough

call... are they up to the challenge? Words: Kyle Lawrenson Pics: BMW Press

Like most modern small capacity

motorcycles, they have been

outsourced. Yes the G310R is

made in India, but that doesn’t

mean you have to worry about

quality. The G310R is designed in Germany

and manufactured on the German production

line ensuring that it still meets BMW’s high

standards. The reason for using India as the

manufacturer is a simple one. CAPACITY.

BMW’s plan is to sell 200 000 motorcycles

a year. With numbers that high they cant

produce motorcycles fast enough by

themselves. The manufacturing company in

question is TVS. They manufacture 3.2million

motorcycles a year. SHEEEEEEEEET!!!

Enough about that... What about the bike?

We met at the famous Melrose Arch

Hotel at sparrows on a chilly highveld

morning. Upon arrival we were welcomed

by 4 stunners, no not ladies, but gorgeous

little G310R’s. Yes, we had seen them at

dealerships before but the Melrose Arch

setting really made them stand out. You get

the feeling that you are walking around Europe

even though you are only a stones throw

away from the City Centre. The gathering

point was in the Penthouse... at first you see

this dodgy door followed by stairs, you kinda

get the feeling you are starring in the next

Taken Movie.

Like most launches there was a quick

presentation of the bike and a few snacks

(Okay the snacks must have come out of

Jamie’s kitchen, we couldn’t even pronounce

half of them.) Then it was time to take a little

ride. Looking closely at the G310R you can

see straight away that the Germans are very

much involved with the build. Typical BMW

style and attention to finer detail, less is more

and all that. Getting to grips with the bike was

quick and simple, no fancy buttons, a display

that tells you all the relevant details you need

to know, so no lap times, but rather practical

stuff like your average fuel consumption,

speed and fuel range. The G310R does not

have traction control, not needed as it comes


fitted with very grippy Michelin Street Pilot

tyres. ABS is always on and works as you

would expect from a Beemer.

Leaving Melrose we went on a real urban

adventure, riding through the bottom half of

Edenvale up towards Houghton via Silvia’s

pass where we experienced our first tight

and twisty. By the time we had reached

the pass, we knew exactly what this bike

was about. Light, easy, comfortable. The

first concern you would normally have on

a entry level bike is suspension. Is it good

enough? The G310R is fitted with up side

down forks and a beefy rear monoshock.

On our rutted, corrugated and destroyed

roads the suspension just soaked it all up.

Cruising through the traffic was a breeze.

The ergonomics really do make this bike so

enjoyable, you are not hunched over the tank

like a sport bike or up right like a scooter. The

one comment made was that the seat was

not high, for short arse’s like our dear friend

and car journalistico Sean Nurse who is only

5 inches tall. Even he could still put his feet

down no problem. If you ask us - Ladies here

is a great bike to join your better half.

Leaving Houghton behind we set off

to JHB city centre, where we learn’t very

quickly how to be stunt doubles. Its not often

you jump up a pavement to avoid a taxi

from hitting you. The ride through JHB was

interesting, you get captured by all the old

buildings and the happenings in town. Whilst

in the concrete jungle we were subjected

to a lot of stop and starts, not once did the

bikes get hot and give us any warnings. We

moved on towards our coffee spot but first

had to pass the Cosatu building. I wonder if

they were striking again because there was

nothing happening there. Riding across the

Iconic Nelson Mandela bridge it dawned on

us exactly why we were going through town.

This little G310R is just so easy to ride. The

power through traffic is more than enough.

There is no need to wring its neck, it just

works. We quickly reached Parkhurst where

our coffee was waiting at Urban Grind. Now

for most Gentlemen, this is probably the

only coffee shop that you need because you

can get your beard groomed next door at

Bonified Beards. Unfortunately Young Kyle

has been trying to grow a beard for 27 years,

poor guy.

The ride was coming to an end, heading

back to the hotel via Emarentia dam and on

to the highway. We were warned that the

speed limit is 100 kays an hour. Any fines

would have to be paid... and if you know

our boss... Once on the highway the idea

of doing 100 kays went out the window

and there we were trying to race our tour

leader Aldo who was on an F800. The Little

German reached a top speed of 153 before

I gave up. Now for a 300cc motorcycle that

is reasonably good. Pushing out 25bhp

at 7500rpm. There are no worries about

the G310R feeling under powered on the

highway, put her in 6th gear and she can

cruise happily at 120kays. Drop a gear roll

on and you can expect more. The interesting

thing is that there is no vibration or rattles at

high speed.

The ride has come to an end and

over a fantastic lunch at Jamie’s Italian

Kitchen (which definitely is a panty dropper)

the discussions came out. The general

conclusion is that the bike is fantastic for what

it is. The selling part for this motorcycle is the

price. R62 990 for a brand new BMW that

meets all the BMW specs... thats cheaper

than a 300cc two stroke dirtbike. Think about

that and go and take one for a ride.

2nd opinion: Kurt Beine

What top quality bike can one buy for R63K these

days? BMW has the answer, the G 310 R….

Tuesday saw a group of us meeting at Melrose

Arch in the very upmarket African Pride Hotel, in the

Penthouse Suite no less, so proud were BMW of

their new release…BMW have a model to suit most

purposes in the over 500cc market, but there is a

need for an affordable small CC runaround bike, and

the G 310 R fits this requirement.

After a brief introduction from Edgar Kleinbergen,

the new BMW SA head, a true biker I might add,

Thando Palo and the technical team, we kitted up

and headed out, our route took us on a +/- 60km

route in and around Johannesburg, up Sylvia’s

Pass, past Ponte, down Commissioner Street to

Newtown, out Northcliff way, back through Mellville,

ending up back in Melrose Arch. A route that was

ideal for this bike, some tight twisties, steep inclines,

traffic from hell, the little G310 R handled all of this

with ease. It is comfortable, even for someone tall

like me, wide handlebars, powerful brakes, a very

torquey motor, provided you are in the correct gear

it copes well with anything. Handling is exceptional,

upside down forks and good rear suspension soak

up the terrible roads of Johannesburg with ease,

ABS takes care of a few surprises by ignorant

drivers. I found the gearbox a bit notchy, and finding

neutral was quite a challenge at times, but the

bikes were new, after being run in I’m sure it will be

a lot smoother. The instrument panel is clear and

informative, giving you all the information you need.

The G310 R has an 11 litre fuel tank and is very

economical, giving a range of over 200km.

The bike is built in India by TVS Motor Company

under license to BMW AG, and exudes quality

everywhere, the motor is unusually inclined

rearwards, with a rear exiting exhaust, front entering

fuel injection, allowing a shorter more compact frame,

creating ample space for the radiator, housing a long

swingarm for better stability under any condition.

I was very impressed with this bike, it does not

look like a small bike, although very compact it

shares looks and styling with its bigger brothers, the

800 R and 1000 R, as far as commuters go, this

bike is hard to beat.

All of this backed up by BMW’s renowned dealer

network, this is a lot of bike for just R63K…..





Hey South Africa! It’s been a good year so

far and with us now at the half way point of

our World Supersport Championship and

with our “summer break” now on, we are

sitting p3 overall.

As you all know, we have spent this first

half of the season on our “old” Yamaha R6’s

and even though we have had good results,

and I’ve loved riding my bike, I cannot wait

to start riding the new bike. I think that our

opposition “Team GRT” have shown the

potential of the new Yamaha R6 and I can’t

wait to take it above and beyond that with

Team Kallio.

That’s not to say it will be easy, so we

have a lot of work to do. The Team have

plenty work to do now at their base in

Finland before we get to use our 4 days

of testing, which will be split between two

different tracks. Fortunately we have gained

good support from Yamaha after our results

so this will pay its dues when it comes to a

base setup and getting all of the bells and

whistles for our new bikes.

Our plan is to obviously do the absolute

best that we can and that is why we are

turning the “summer break” to “summer

work”. If we are able to take it one race at a

time and fight at the front, then we can go

for this championship but that will take race

wins so that’s where we are aiming.

Other than that I have been doing the

World Endurance championship too, which

has been a gas and good training.

Adz is prego and we are so happy and

excited for this new step in life. Her tummy

is growing and the dogs are going crazy for

their little sister (hahaha).

2018 talks are currently on so hopefully

soon I can spread the word of actual plans

to you all, but until then, I guess we will

chat on social media where I’ll keep you

all up to date with our testing plans and


Thanks guys, Shez #32


Fire It Up Finance

Finance with #Integrity







Bike Buyers is here to make

your selling experience

as good as your buying





Recommended retail price shown / Only models available in SA shown

Aprilia RSV4 RR

Price: R264 999

Max Power: 201 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 115 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 195kg

Key features: Full electronics, quickshift,

Brembo brakes

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati 1299 R Panigale

Price: R420 000

Max Power: 205 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 136.2 Nm at 10.250 rpm

Weight (wet): 184kg

Key features: Ohlins suspension,

quickshift & auto-blip, full electronics

Our test rating: Never tested

Kawasaki ZX10R

Price: R229 995

Max Power: 200 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 113 Nm at 11.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg (206 ABS)

Key features: Balance Free Forks, full

electronics, quickshift

Our test rating: 7/10

MV Agusta F3800 EAS ABS

Price: R189 999

Max Power: 148 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 88 Nm at 10.600 rpm

Weight (wet): 189kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, quickshift

Our test rating: 8/10

Aprilia RSV4 RF

Price: R319 999

Max Power: 201 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 115 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 195kg

Key features: Ohlins electronic

suspension, quickshift, full electronics

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati 959 Panigale

Price: Starting from R199 000

Max Power: 157 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 107.4 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, quickshift & auto-blip (S model)

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki H2

Price: R349 995

Max Power: 200 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 133.5 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 238kg

Key features: Super-charged engine,

Brembo brakes, full electronics, quickshift

Our test rating: 9/10

Suzuki GSXR1000

Price: R239 950

Max Power: 199 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 118.0 Nm at 10.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 203kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, Showa suspension

Our test rating: 9/10


Price: R243 990

Max Power: 200 hp at 13.500 rpm

Max Torque: 113 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg

Key features: Quickshift & auto-blip, full

electornics, cruise control, heated grips

Our test rating: 8/10

Honda CBR1000RR

Price: R240 000

Max Power: 189 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 11.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo


Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki ZX6R & ZX636

Price: R135 995 - R155 995

Max Power: 128 hp at 14.000 rpm

Max Torque: 66.7 Nm at 11.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 192kg

Key features: ABS brakes, Nissin brakes

Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSXR1000 R

Price: R280 950 (still to confirm)

Max Power: 199 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 118.0 Nm at 10.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 203kg

Key features: Balance Free Foks, full

electronics, quickshift & auto-blip

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati 1299 Panigale

Price: R247 000

Max Power: 205 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 144.6 Nm at 8.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 190.5kg

Key features: Full electronics, quickshift,

Brembo brakes

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati 1299 S Panigale

Price: R290 000

Max Power: 205 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 144.6 Nm at 8.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 190.5kg

Key features: Ohlins electronic suspension,

quickshift & auto-blip, full electronics

Our test rating: 9/10

Honda CBR1000RR SP

Kawasaki ZX10RR

Price: R300 000

Price: R290 000

Max Power: 189 hp at 13.000 rpm Max Power: 200 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 11.000 rpm Max Torque: 113 Nm at 11.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Weight (wet): 206kg

Key features: Ohlins electronic suspension, Key features: Marchesini wheels, full

quickshift & auto-blip, full electronics electronics, quickshift & auto-blip

Our test rating: 9/10

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki ZX14R (Ohlins/Brembo)

Price: R225 995

Max Power: 200 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 158 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 269kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, Ohilns


Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa

Price: R194 400

Max Power: 195.7 hp at 9.800 rpm

Max Torque: 154 Nm at 10.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 266kg

Key features: Brembo brakes

Our test rating: 7/10

MV Agusta F4 ABS

Price: R217 999

Max Power: 201 hp at 13.600 rpm

Max Torque: 111 Nm at 9.600 rpm

Weight (wet): 206kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, Ohlins suspension (RR)

Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSXR750

Price: R154 800

Max Power: 148 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 86.2 Nm at 11.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 190kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, riding

modes, Showa Big Piston Forks

Our test rating: 8/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Triumph Daytona 675 (2016)

Price: R154 500

Max Power: 126 hp at 12.500 rpm

Max Torque: 74 Nm at 11.900 rpm

Weight (wet): 185kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, Ohlins


Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha R1

Price: R254 950

Max Power: 200 hp at 13.500 rpm

Max Torque: 112.4 Nm at 11.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 199kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, quickshift

Our test rating: 9/10

Yamaha R6

Price: R189 950

Max Power: 118 hp at 14.500 rpm

Max Torque: 61.7 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 190kg

Key features: Selectable Drive Mode,

traction control, Nissin brakes

Our test rating: 9/10

Yamaha R6 (2016)

Price: R144 950

Max Power: 118 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 61.7 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 190kg

Key features: Nissin brakes

Our test rating: 8/10

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finance with #Integrity .www.fireitup.co.za


Recommended retail price shown

/ Only models available in SA shown

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 R

Price: R225 900

Max Power: 175 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 121 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, quickshift,

Brembo brakes

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati Monster 797

Price: From R129 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68.9 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: Brembo brakes

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Kawasaki Z650 ABS

Price: R115 995

Max Power: 68 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 65.7 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 184kg

Key features: ABS, awesome motor,

great handling

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 390 Super Duke R (2017)

Price: R68 999

Max Power: 43 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 37 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 165kg

Key features: Slipper clutch, Split LED

headlamp, ride-by-wire throttle

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 R Factory

Price: R259 900

Max Power: 175 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 121 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, quickshift,

Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati Monster 821

Price: From R151 000

Max Power: 112 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 89.4 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 205.5kg

Key features: Brembo brakes

Our test rating: Not tested yet

KTM 1290 Super Duke R (2016)

Price: R205 999

Max Power: 173 hp at 8.870 rpm

Max Torque: 144 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 213kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, good

electronics, big power and torque

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 390 Super Duke R (2017)

Price: R52 999

Max Power: 15 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 11.8 Nm at 78000 rpm

Weight (wet): 153kg

Key features: New frame and WP

suspension, New LED headlamp

Our test rating: Not tested yet

BMW S1000R

Price: R203 990

Max Power: 165 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 114 Nm at 9.250 rpm

Weight (wet): 205kg

Key features: Quickshift & auto-blip, full

electornics, cruise control, heated grips

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Z1000

Price: R135 995

Max Power: 142 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 111 Nm at 7.300 rpm

Weight (wet): 220kg

Key features: Great price, ABS, awesome

motor, great handling

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 1290 Super Duke R SE (2016)

Price: R225 999

Max Power: 173 hp at 8.870 rpm

Max Torque: 144 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 213kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, Akro

pipe, Akro pipe, KTM Powerparts

Our test rating: 8/10

MV Agusta B3 800

Price: R178 999

Max Power: 125 hp at 11.600 rpm

Max Torque: 81 Nm at 8.600 rpm

Weight (wet): 178kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, Marzocchi & Sachs suspension

Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Monster 1200 & 1200 S

Price: R183 000 - R215 000

Max Power: 150 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 126.2 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 187kg - 185kg (S model)

Key features: Brembo brakes, great

electronics, seductive motor

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Z900

Price: R139 995

Max Power: 125 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 98.6 Nm at 7.700 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Great price, ABS, awesome

motor, great handling

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 1290 Super Duke R (2017)

Price: R212 999

Max Power: 177 hp at 9.750 rpm

Max Torque: 141 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 205kg

Key features: Brembo brakes,

updated electronics, more power

Our test rating: 9/10

MV Agusta 800 Dragster RR

Price: R235 999

Max Power: 140 hp at 13.100 rpm

Max Torque: 86 Nm at 10.100 rpm

Weight (wet): 184kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, Marzocchi / Sachs suspension

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Monster 1200 R

Price: From R245 000

Max Power: 160 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 131.4 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 180kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, Ohlins

suspension, electronics, that motor!

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Z800 (2016)

Price: R123 995 (R126 996 ABS)

Max Power: 113 hp at 10.200 rpm

Max Torque: 95 Nm at 9.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 229kg

Key features: Great price, ABS, awesome

motor, great handling

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 690 Super Duke R

Price: R131 999

Max Power: 73 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 74 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 163kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, updated


Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSX-S 1000

Price: R151 399

Max Power: 145 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 106 Nm at 11.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 209kg

Key features: Brembo/Nissin brakes,

ABS, traction control

Our test rating: 7/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Triumph Speed Triple 1050 S

Price: R165 500

Max Power: 138 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 112 Nm at 7.850 rpm

Weight (wet): 208kg

Key features: ABS, Brembo brakes,

traction control, slip-assist

Our test rating: 9/10

Triumph Street Triple 675

Price: R124 500

Max Power: 105 hp at 11.850 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 9.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 184kg

Key features: ABS, Adjustable


Our test rating: 7/10

Yamaha MT-10

Price: R199 900

Max Power: 160 hp at 11.500 rpm

Max Torque: 110 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Traction control, ABS,

slip-assist, quick-shifter

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha MT-09

Price: R137 950

Max Power: 115 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 86 Nm at 8.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: Traction control, ABS,

slip-assist, quick-shifter

Our test rating: 8/10

Bike Buyers

Yamaha MT-07

Price: R114 950

Max Power: 75 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 86.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 182kg

Key features: Outstanding fuel

efficiency, Agile, easy to handle

Our test rating: 8/10

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Recommended retail price shown / Only models available in SA shown

Aprilia RS4 125 FDK Replica

Price: R79 999

Max Power: 15 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 11 Nm at 8.250 rpm

Weight (wet): 120kg

Key features: Nimble handling, brilliant

chassis and motor, easy on the eyes

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Hypermotard 939

Price: From R156 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 98 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg

Key features: Oh that engine!

Ride-by-wire and good looks!

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Price: R119 995

Max Power: 67 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 66 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: Awesome styling,

dual ABS, well priced

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha R3

Price: R64 950

Max Power: 41 hp at 10.750 rpm

Max Torque: 27 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 169kg

Key features: Very racy, awesome

styling, Rossi colours... oh yes!

Our test rating: 7/10


Price: R195 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 236kg

Key features: Comfortable everyday

ride, so easy to enjoy

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Hypermotard 939 SP

Price: R189 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 98 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg

Key features: Ohlins suspension,

Brembo brakes, just take my money!

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Price: R69 995

Max Power: 67 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 27 Nm at 10.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 174kg

Key features: Awesome styling,

ABS, very racy

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha Tracer

Price: R139 950 / R125 000 (2016)

Max Power: 115 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 87 Nm at 8.900 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Comfort, that seductive

3-cyclinder motor

Our test rating: 8/10

BMW R1200R

Price: R196 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 232kg

Key features: Quickshift & auto-blip,

sweet boxer engine

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Supersport

Price: From R169 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 97 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Gorgeous styling, great

electronics, we want one!

Our test rating: 8/10

Suzuki GSX-S1000F

Price: R163 900

Max Power: 150 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 108.0 Nm at 9.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 215kg

Key features: Traction control, powerful

Gixer motor, aggressive styling

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R283 990 / R285 990 (GTL)

Max Power: 160 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 175 Nm at 5.520 rpm

Weight (wet): 334kg / 360kg

Key features: The ultimate road touring


Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R137 990

Max Power: 90 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 86 Nm at 5.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 202kg

Key features: Ride-by-wire, riding

modes, easy to enjoy

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Supersport S

Price: From R188 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 97 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Gorgeous styling, Ohlins

suspension, we want one!

Our test rating: 9/10

Suzuki GSXR250

Price: R68 900 / R69 200 (MotoGP colours)

Max Power: 25 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 23 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 178kg

Key features: Stunning colours,

awesome styling & enjoyable to ride

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R226 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 276kg

Key features: Great perfromance with

excellent fuel consumption

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R62 990

Max Power: 34 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 28 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 158kg

Key features: Brilliant build quality,

so easy to enjoy, that price!

Our test rating: 8/10

Honda NC750X & NC750XD

Price: R109 000 (R117 699 DCT model)

Max Power: 55 hp at 6.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 4.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 221kg

Key features: Perfect everyday ride,

excellent fuel consumption

Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSX150F

Price: R30 750

Max Power: 19 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 14 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 131kg

Key features: Great build quality, easy on

the eye, perfect first bike for youngster!

Our test rating: 7/10


Price: R232 990

Max Power: 160 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 112 Nm at 9.250 rpm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: One of the best all-round

motorcycles on the market

Our test rating: 9/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.


Price: R152 990

Max Power: 90 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 86 Nm at 5.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 214kg

Key features: Punchy engine, very comfy,

great fuel consumption

Our test rating: 7/10

Kawasaki GTR1400

Price: R229 995

Max Power: 153 hp at 8.600 rpm

Max Torque: 136 Nm at 6.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 320kg

Key features: One of the original road

tourers, a legend

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Z1000SX

Price: R155 995

Max Power: 142 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 111 Nm at 7.300 rpm

Weight (wet): 235kg

Key features: Superbike performance,

comfortable, amazing price

Our test rating: 9/10

KTM 1290 SuperDuke GT

Price: R229 999

Max Power: 170 hp

Max Torque: 144 Nm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: So much power, great

styling, good electronics

Our test rating: 8/10

Triumph Trophy SE

Price: R179 500

Max Power: 130 hp at 8.900 rpm

Max Torque: 118 Nm at 6.450 rpm

Weight (wet): 320kg

Key features: That price! Panniers,

cruise control, audio system...

Our test rating: 7/10

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Recommended retail price shown

/ Only models available in SA shown

BMW R1200GS Adventure

Price: R249 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 263kg

Key features: Brilliant electonics,

great motor, ultra comfy

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: TBA

Max Power: 33 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 28 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 169kg

Key features: Begginer adventure, a ride

for the masses, loads of fun

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Honda Africa Twin

Price: From R186 500 / R208 500 (DCT)

Max Power: 87 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 92 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 245kg

Key features: Amazing adventure,

easy to enjoy

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 1290 SuperAdventure T

Price: R237 999

Max Power: 160 hp

Max Torque: 140 Nm

Weight (wet): 249kg

Key features: Soooo much power,

comfortable, superb electronics

Our test rating: 9/10


Price: R225 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 244kg

Key features: Brilliant electonics,

great motor, ultra comfy

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Multistrada Enduro 1200

Price: From R252 000

Max Power: 160 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 136 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 254kg

Key features: Electronic suspension,

Brembo brakes, big power

Our test rating: 8/10

Honda CRF250 Rally / CRF250L

Price: R84 999 / R74 999

Max Power: 23 hp at 8.500 rpm

Max Torque: 22 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 144kg / 148kg

Key features: Entry adventure, easy to

use and enjoy

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1290 SuperAdventure R

Price: R214 999

Max Power: 160 hp

Max Torque: 140 Nm

Weight (wet): 240kg

Key features: Soooo much power,

superb electronics, offroad weapon

Our test rating: 8/10

BMW F800GS Adventure

Price: R172 990

Max Power: 85hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Key features: Adventure made easy,

punchy engine, smooth and comfy

Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Multistrada 1200

Price: R199 000 / R239 000 (S)

Max Power: 160 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 136 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 235kg

Key features: That engine, comfy,

awesome styling

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Versys 1000

Price: R159 995

Max Power: 120 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 102 Nm at 7.700 rpm

Weight (wet): 250kg

Key features: Comfortable, easy to enjoy,

great everyday ride

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1290 SuperAdventure S

Price: R210 999

Max Power: 160 hp

Max Torque: 140 Nm

Weight (wet): 240kg

Key features: Soooo much power,

awesome dash, electronic suspension

Our test rating: 8/10



Price: R157 990

Price: R151 990

Max Power: 85hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Power: 75hp at 7.300 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 5.750 rpm Max Torque: 77 Nm at 5.300 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Weight (wet): 212kg

Key features: Punchy engine, smooth and Key features: Punchy engine, smooth and

comfy, easy to ride

comfy, easy to ride

Our test rating: 7/10

Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak

Price: R256 000

Max Power: 160 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 136 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 231kg

Key features: The ultimate Multi,

Ohilns electronic suspension

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Versys 650

Price: R115 995

Max Power: 69 hp at 8.500 rpm

Max Torque: 64 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 214kg

Key features: Comfortable, easy to enjoy,

great price

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1090 Adventure R

Price: R181 999

Max Power: 125 hp

Max Torque: 108 Nm

Weight (wet): 230kg

Key features: Superb motor, great

handling, offroad weapon

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Multistrada 950

Price: From R176 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 96 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 229kg

Key features: Ultra comfortable,

easy to enjoy, great suspension

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Price: R74 995

Max Power: 39 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 27 Nm at 10.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 175kg

Key features: Comfortable, easy to

enjoy, good entry level

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1090 Adventure

Price: R167 999

Max Power: 125 hp

Max Torque: 108 Nm

Weight (wet): 230kg

Key features: Superb motor,

great handling, brilliant electronics

Our test rating: 8/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Suzuki DL1000

Price: R154 700

Max Power: 100 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 103 Nm at 4.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: Great price, great allround

machine, ABS

Our test rating: 8/10

Suzuki DL650XT

Price: R109 500 XT ABS

Max Power: 69 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 69 Nm at 6.400 rpm

Weight (wet): 215kg

Key features: Great price, great allround

machine, ABS

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Explorer 1200

Price: From R199 500

Max Power: 137 hp at 9.300 rpm

Max Torque: 123 Nm at 6.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 279kg

Key features: Heated rider and

passenger seat, ultra comfy

Our test rating: 8/10

Triumph Tiger 800

Price: From R139 500

Max Power: 94 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 79 Nm at 7.850 rpm

Weight (wet): 221kg

Key features: Riding modes, cruise

control, adventure made easy

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha XT 1200 ZE

Price: R199 950

Max Power: 112 hp at 7.250 rpm

Max Torque: 117 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 262kg

Key features: Tough spoked aluminium

wheels, ABS, traction control

Our test rating: 8/10

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Recommended retail price shown / Only models available in SA shown

BMW R nineT Scrambler

Price: R197 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 119 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 220kg

Key features: Excellent build, comfy,

punchy motor, those pipes....

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Diavel Diesel

Price: R317 000

Max Power: 162 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 130 Nm at 8.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 239kg

Key features: A unique bike, combines

elements of the past and the future

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Ducati Classic Scrambler

Price: R153 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: So much fun, retro

scrambler look and feel

Our test rating: 7/10

Kawasaki Vulcan S

Price: R99 995

Max Power: 61 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 63 Nm at 6.600 rpm

Weight (wet): 225kg

Key features: Comfortable cruiser,

smooth engine

Our test rating: 7/10

BMW R nineT

Price: R187 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 119kg

Key features: Excellent build, comfy,

punchy motor, retro spoke wheels

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Diavel Carbon / Dark

Price: R279 000 / R239 000

Max Power: 162 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 127 Nm at 8.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 239kg

Key features: Oh that engine!

So much torque, brutal!

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Full Throttle Scrambler

Price: R153 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 187kg

Key features: So much fun, retro

scrambler look and feel

Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki VZR1800 Boulevard

Price: From R185 100

Max Power: 128 hp at 6.200 rpm

Max Torque: 160.0 Nm at 3.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 347kg

Key features: Big fat 240 rear tyre, brute

force engine

Our test rating: 7/10

BMW R nineT Racer

Price: R171 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 220kg

Key features: Awesome retro looks,

solid motor, racy feel

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati X Diavel S / X Diavel

Price: R305 000 / R265 000

Max Power: 156 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 129 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 247kg

Key features: Gorgeous styling,

awesome motor and electronics

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Icon Scrambler

Price: From R129 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 187kg

Key features: So much fun, retro

scrambler look and feel

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Thunderbird

Price: R195 500

Max Power: 94 hp at 5.400 rpm

Max Torque: 151 Nm at 3.550 rpm

Weight (wet): 339kg

Key features: Comfy cruiser,

loads of torque

Our test rating: 7/10

BMW R nineT Pure

Price: R166 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 119kg

Key features: Excellent build, comfy,

punchy motor, retro

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

Price: R164 000 (R166 000 wht)

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Key features: Easy to enjoy on and

off road.

Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Sixty 2 Scrambler

Price: R116 000

Max Power: 40 hp at 8.750 rpm

Max Torque: 35 Nm at 3.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 183kg

Key features: Easy to enjoy on and

off road.

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Rocket III

Price: From R199 500

Max Power: 148 hp at 5.700 rpm

Max Torque: 221 Nm at 2.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 367kg

Key features: Ultimate cruiser, loads

of power

Our test rating: 8/10

BMW R nineT Urban GS

Price: TBA

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 221kg

Key features: Diffrent kind of GS, retro,

comfy, fun to ride

Our test rating: Not tested

Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer

Price: R164 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Key features: So much fun, handles like a

dream, retro styling

Our test rating: 7/10

Kawasaki Vulcan Custom 900

Price: R104 995

Max Power: 48 hp at 5.700 rpm

Max Torque: 79 Nm at 3.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 277kg

Key features: Comfortable cruiser,

smooth engine

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Thurxton / Thurxton R

Price: R149 500 / R174 500

Max Power: 96 hp at 6.750 rpm

Max Torque: 112 Nm at 4.950 rpm

Weight (wet): 225kg

Key features: Modern day retro with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 8/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Triumph Street Twin / Cup

Price: R129 500 / R134 500 / R139 500

Max Power: 55 hp at 5.900 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 3.230 rpm

Weight (wet): 212kg

Key features: Modern day retro with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 8/10

Triumph Street Twin Scrambler

Price: R139 500

Max Power: 55 hp at 5.900 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 3.230 rpm

Weight (wet): 212kg

Key features: Modern day retro with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 8/10

Triumph Bonneville T100 / T120

Price: R134 500 / R147 500

Max Power: 66 hp / 79

Max Torque: 68 Nm / 105Nm

Weight (wet): 224kg

Key features: Modern day classics with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Price: R165 500

Max Power: 76 hp at 6.100 rpm

Max Torque: 106 Nm at 4.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: ABS, ride-by-wire, traction

control, gorgeous styling

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Yamaha XSR900

Price: R160 000

Max Power: 115 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 87 Nm at 8.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 195kg

Key features: ABS, traction control, slipper

cluth, unique styling

Our test rating: 8/10

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Silly Season

There are so many fast riders in the MotoGP championships, but not enough fast seats

in the MotoGP class. So who is moving up and who will be moving out in 2018?

Words: David Emmett Pics: Steve Wobser (GP Fever.de)

Who Goes Where in 2018?

With all twelve factory riders on two-year

contracts, there wasn’t supposed to be a

MotoGP Silly Season in 2017, or at least,

not much of one. That impression was

further reinforced when the Monster Tech 3

Yamaha squad quickly tied up both Johann

Zarco and Jonas Folger for an extra year,

until the end of 2018.

As usual, reality intervened, of course.

Though the factory seats were supposedly

taken, there was plenty of interest in

the satellite seats once the season got


All eyes turned to the Moto2 class, and

especially to the remarkable performances by

Franco Morbidelli, who will be moving up to

the MotoGP class next year with Marc VDS,

replacing Rabat. Rookie Pecco Bagnaia

and Alex Márquez are also big performers

and have raised eyebrows, but so far no

speculation about them has started.

Then there were those factory seats.

Yes, all twelve factory riders have two-year

contracts, but all contracts have clauses that

allow for either side to make an early escape.

Great managers make sure the escape

clause benefits their rider. Great factory

lawyers make sure the contract is in their

favor. The measure of a rider manager

is where they end up on that side of the


Trouble in Paradise?

And so already, there are rumblings at two

factories. The stories of Andrea Iannone

and Sam Lowes are very different, but

possibly related. It is an open secret

that both riders have fallen far short of


Iannone has struggled to get his head

around the way the Suzuki needs to be

ridden, especially the way braking needs

to be done. The bike is built to carry corner

speed, which means braking as hard as

possible in a straight line, then releasing the

brakes and carrying corner speed.

On the Ducati, Iannone learned to brake

later, and keep the brakes on into the

corner all the way to the apex. His failure to

adapt has seen a string of poor results and

growing frustration.

That frustration is rumored to be having

an effect in the garage. Despite denials

from Suzuki team boss Davide Brivio, who

told reporters at Barcelona, “I don’t think

the atmosphere is strange at all”, sources

close to Suzuki suggest otherwise.

There are unconfirmed rumors that

Iannone and his entourage are souring

the atmosphere in the team, and that

the atmosphere in the garage is not

constructive or positive.

Iannone has blown off media debriefs

(spending one debrief talking into his

phone, before walking off without

speaking to journalists), been difficult in TV

interviews, and been short-tempered with

fans. Iannone and Suzuki are not the match

made in heaven which the Japanese

factory had hoped it would be.

And so Iannone is said to be looking for

a way out of Suzuki. Again, Davide Brivio

denies this: “We have two years’ agreement

with Andrea Iannone,” Brivio said.

“Maybe somebody might think that

being a difficult moment, maybe something

strange can happen. It’s not the case. We

have a contract and we are thinking on

how to fix the problem. It’s simple like that.”


Italian Style

Yet informed rumour places Andrea Iannone

close to a deal with Aprilia. This would suit

both Iannone, who in the RS-GP gets a bike

which is far better suited to his braking style,

and Aprilia, who get an Italian rider to place

on their Italian bike.

It also creates a problem. To

accommodate Iannone, Aprilia would have

to lose one of its two current riders, but both

Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes have a

contract for 2017 and 2018.

Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano confirmed

at Barcelona that Aprilia was already

considering their options, specifically where

Lowes was concerned.

“We made a big investment in Sam,”

Albesiano said. We are his first supporters, we

really hope that he can quickly show some

improvement. But at the same time, we have

to prepare next season in case this will not

happen. We are talking with some other riders.”

Albesiano deftly sidestepped questions

about signing an Italian rider. “The difference

between a dream and a possibility is on the

paper about the definition of this. For us what

really matter is the performance of the rider. If

he’s Italian it’s okay, but if he’s from Singapore

it’s good anyway,” he said.

But he did reiterate that it was imperative

for Lowes to show solid progress. If

Iannone were to leave Suzuki for Aprilia, that

would create a cascade of problems and

opportunities. At Aprilia, Aleix Espargaro

has been performing extremely well until

mechanical issues have set in.

Albesiano let slip that the issue is related

to the operation of the pneumatic valve,

necessitating a redesign of some of the

smaller parts of the mechanism.

Having a strong Italian rider like Iannone

alongside Espargaro would be good for

Aprilia, but could cause internal friction

inside the team. Italian factories like Italian

riders, and Aprilia’s resources are limited, as

has been shown by the fact that the factory

has given new parts to its two riders at a

different pace.

The Replacements

Should Iannone leave Suzuki, it would leave

the Japanese factory in a huge quandary.

Suzuki has a very clear rider strategy, of

pairing a youngster with potential with a more

experienced rider who bears the brunt of

developing the bike.

Iannone was signed to be the experienced

rider, and there are very few candidates

capable of filling that role. At least, there are

few who are both available and affordable. So

far, the paddock gossip circuit has produced

nothing more solid than guesswork.

One rider whose name had been linked

to both Suzuki and Aprilia is Cal Crutchlow.

However, it seems that his talks with those

factories was merely a way of putting

pressure on HRC.

Crutchlow repeatedly told reporters that

he had other options, including from factory

teams, but he has since signed a new two-year

deal with HRC, which would see him staying

on in the LCR Honda team, as we reported in

our Michelin paddock news section.

Taka Time

Crutchlow’s deal with HRC would free up

budget from the LCR Honda team, which

they will be able to use to run a second

rider. Takaaki Nakagami has been linked to a

second bike in the LCR team, using the grid

slot held open by IRTA for the Italian squad.

The budget for a second bike would

be covered in large part by Idemitsu, who

currently back Nakagami in Moto2, but not

having to cover Crutchlow’s salary does free

up funds to help.

Originally, Nakagami was only promised

a seat in MotoGP if he finished inside the

top three in Moto2 this season, but that

requirement appears to have been quietly


Both Honda and Dorna are keen to have a

Japanese rider in MotoGP, and Nakagami is

the best candidate at the moment, until riders

start coming through from the Asia Talent

Cup and Moto3.


More Moto2 Men

Alex Márquez is also starting to generate

some buzz, finally starting to realize the

promise he showed in Moto3.

When Márquez moved up to Moto2, the

long-term plan for the younger Márquez

brother was to conquer Moto2 and then

move up to MotoGP, either in the Marc VDS

squad or alongside his brother Marc in the

factory Repsol team. That plan has been

shelved, however, after Alex took so long to

adapt to Moto2.

Alex Márquez’s ascending to MotoGP is

further complicated by Jack Miller’s position.

The gamble on moving the Australian up to

MotoGP directly from Moto3 was bold, but is

hard to judge.

It has been neither a terrible failure, nor an

overwhelming success, despite the brilliant ride

to victory at a soaking wet Assen last year.

Miller has also been hampered by having

to ride first a woefully underpowered Open

class Honda RCV1000R, and then a woefully

overpowered RC213V. He is still struggling

with acceleration, as the bike is hard to

control out of corners.

Yet Miller looks set to remain in MotoGP.

The Australian will likely lose his HRC contract

at the end of this year, but he could remain in

the Marc VDS team.

His manager, Aki Ajo, is talking to Marc

VDS, but Miller insisted he had other options

as well. In all likelihood, his best option is to

stay where he is, and hope for improvement.

One more possible rider who could move

up from Moto2 is Pecco Bagnaia. The young

Italian is very highly rated in the paddock, one

MotoGP team manager giving an audible

sigh and looking longingly when I mentioned

Bagnaia’s name to them.

Though Bagnaia is currently inside the

VR46 stable, and would therefore presumably

be on the fast track to MotoGP once

Valentino Rossi retires and takes over the

running of the MotoGP team he is rumored to

be starting, there are plenty of managers who

would gladly take Bagnaia next year.

Among them is the Aspar team, who were

impressed with the Italian youngster when

he rode for them in Moto3, and who allowed

him to test their Ducati GP14.2 at Valencia

last year.

Holding On

What does all this mean for the existing

riders in MotoGP? It is still too early to say.

Danilo Petrucci looks set to continue at

Pramac, especially after his podiums at

Mugello and Assen. Alvaro Bautista has

been very strong on board the Aspar Ducati

GP16, and Aspar would like to keep the

Spanish veteran for 2018.

However, if Iannone does leave Suzuki,

then Bautista’s stock would rise, as a rider

who has a lot of experience with many

different machines. Bautista also has history

with Suzuki, having originally moved into

MotoGP with the factory, and remaining with

them until they withdrew at the end of 2011.

Scott Redding hopes to stay where he is

for 2018, though his plans are still very much

dependent on what Pramac want to do. “My

priority would be to stay here, because I think

the Ducati suits me,” he said at Barcelona.

“It’s quite a competitive bike but it

depends if they want to keep me or maybe

not want to keep me. That’s kind of what it

comes down to, and we have to see from

there really. I mean if they don’t I need to look

for something else, if they do, great.”

If Redding does lose his ride at Pramac,

then he will likely become one of the many

riders queuing up for a shot at the Avintia

bikes. There are a string of names being

linked to the Ducati satellite squad, including

Tito Rabat, who will not get another year with

Marc VDS.

Current riders Hector Barbera and Loris

Baz look likely to lose their rides. After a good

season in 2016, Barbera has failed to adapt to

the Desmosedici GP16, and has struggled to

score points. He sits behind his teammate Loris

Baz, who has outperformed him this year.

That may not help Baz, however, as

the Frenchman has lost the benefit of his

nationality. With Johann Zarco coming in

to MotoGP and immediately competing for

podiums, Dorna no longer need a Frenchman

to help sell the series to French Eurosport.

That would be unfair on Baz, who has

exceeded expectations on the Ducati,

performing well on old machinery.

Chasing unicorns

The problem Baz has, and so many other

MotoGP riders have, is that just performing well

is not enough. There are plenty of riders who

are capable of being more or less competitive in

MotoGP, and regularly scoring points.

But the number capable of being

consistently in the top ten is very small, and

those capable of battling for the podium or

the win can be counted on the fingers of one

hand, just about. MotoGP is full of supremely

talented riders. But team managers are on

the lookout for the exceptionally talented.




Michael Dunlop

Suzuki GSX-R1000







The all-new GSX-R1000, the most powerful, hardest accelerating, cleanest

running GSX-R ever, has already proven its “KING OF SPORTBIKES” status by

winning the 2017 Isle of Man TT at the first attempt with rider Michael Dunlop.

SUZUKI GSX-R1000 R239,900




Way_of_Life!_With_Outline SUZUKI DEALER

Suzuki Motorcycles South Africa Prices Prices include VAT. Terms and Conditions Apply. Apply. www.SuzukiMotorcycles.co.za




Let’s face it. It has been a long drought for Suzuki in terms of new models. That’s all changed. First they released

their stunning new GSXR1000 – and then they invited us along to meet some of their other new models…

Words: Glenn Foley Pics: Gerrit Erasmus & Bill du Plessis (Beam productions)

It was a perfect Highveld morning when

we zipped out to Redstar to meet team

Suzuki. A balmy warm winters day with

endless blue skies and one of the coolest

pieces of tar just waiting to be played on.

We were ushered into the conference

room where a short presentation introduced

us to just a few of the bikes that have

Debuted this year. Let’s start off with the

lightweight of the bunch.

First up was the star of the show, of

course the Gixxer 1000 resplendent in

MotoGP livery and fresh off a win at the

famous Isle of Man TT with Michael Dunlop.

Suzuki has kept its loyal fans waiting for many

years but have finally released the new Gixxer.

More good news for Suzuki fans was the

news that Uncle Andys Racing team would

be entering two of the new GSX-R1000

models into the local SuperGP National

Championship next season, and hoping to

do at least one race on the bike this year. The

riders will be current Super600 rider, Blaze

Baker along with top SA rider Brent Harran.

Will be great to see Suzuki finally back at the

top level of SA racing with a strong presence.

Next up was a surprise to us all. A muted

bellow erupted from the back room as the

junior GSXR250 was led out. What a gorgeous

little mini-me that bike is – we can see Suzuki

owners kids bothering them to death about

this one. It is Uber sexy and so well finished.

Like the stinger missile in the pack.

This may be a small-displacement bike at

only a quarter-liter, but the overall design and

bodywork is very much based on established

performance principles. A full fairing encloses

and protects the innards while vents in

the engine cowl work to prevent powerrobbing

turbulence and buffeting in addition

to directing hot air away from the rider. A

cyclops headlight leads the way at the peak

of the beak below the cut-down flyscreen,

though the factory missed an opportunity

to clean up the front end with recessed or

mirror-mount turn signals, instead opting for

small flickers.

Another rumble – and out came the new,

very pretty SV650. The latest incarnation of

this famous V-Twin engine machine has lots

of street smarts about it…

Suzuki has brought back the SV650.

The familiar 645cc, DOHC, 90-degree

V-twin has been upgraded with more than

60 new parts to increase output (from 71 to

75 horsepower) and improve fuel efficiency.

39mm throttle bodies and 10-hole injectors

has been upgraded to allow better lowspeed

running, and inhales though a new

airbox with staggered intake funnels for

improved torque. Dual-spark ignition and

a lightweight, catalyst-equipped 2-into-1

exhaust help the engine meet stringent Euro

4 emissions standards. A new radiator with a

larger cooling fan works with a liquid-cooled

oil filter to keep engine temperature in check.

It looks like fun at a standstill. Lots of street

cred here. Practical without being boring.

This launch was more focused on road

machines, but then they brought out their

new Dual Purpose 650V-Strom – absolutely

majestic in the bright yellow and black finish.

This one is for commuting and long distance

touring in comfort. In our opinion, this has

always been one of Suzuki’s most underrated

machines. Our sister Publication Dirt And

Trail Magazine was on hand and they will be

doing a full feature in their July issue.

Track time:

Our lot happily spent the day tearing around

the Red Star raceway Track. Nothing too

formal and Uncle Andy’s race marshals were

on hand to make sure that things did not go

too pear shaped. We are happy to report that

even though Dirt And Trail Magazines editor

took the 1000 for a rather ponderous spin,

no bikes were harmed during this session…

The GSXR250: R69 200 (R68 900 blk)

Suzuki sure does know how to build good

bikes – and this junior machine is testimony

to that fact. It comfortably seats your average

sized adult – pretty comfortable in fact. The

speedometer display is clearly legible and

for, what is essentially an entry level bike

very comprehensive. We were not quite

sure what to expect – but we were very

impressed with the bikes gutsy performance,

civilized handling and great brakes. At 6,500

rpm the factory claims 17.3 pounds of grunt,

but wind it up to an even 8 grand and all

24.7 horsepower is available for use. These

numbers are not bad at all considering

the small displacement, and this little mill

definitely punches above its weight. Suzuki

Top SA Supr Junior rider and

newest member to the UAR

team for 2017, Tyreece Robert,

putting the new Gixxer 250 to

go use around RSR.


powers the GSX250R with a fuel-injected,

liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine. The

factory built in details such as a “street-grind

cam” for friendly and predictable power

delivery with a revised valvetrain that sports

roller-bearing rocker arms and tapered stems

to reduce mechanical losses and increase

volumetric efficiency.

If you’re looking for traction control,

power-delivery modes or any of the other

rider crutches here, you’re going to be sorely

disappointed. There’s nothing to see here but

raw, honest control and feedback without all

the extra complication and expense of the

fancy stuff.

She accelerates very smoothly up to

just over 120kph, we watched the guys rev

the wheels off this one for the whole day

– and the smiles when they pulled in was

confirmation that size is not everything… A

beautiful little bike – real world performance

for entry level riders…

The SV650: R98 500

Since its inaugural launch in 1999, the

versatile and affordable platform has been

produced in a variety of faired and naked

versions that have appealed to entry-level

and experienced riders alike.

Now this bike was fun. It is not pretentious

in any way and it seems like an unlikely

candidate to go whizzing around the track

on. Initial impressions were that the seat was

a tad on the hard side – but once you were

on the go – you did not really think about it

again. There is something unique about a

V-Twin – and that’s a big part of the reason

that Suzuki sticks with this proven engine.

One of the coolest things about a twin is

how it propels you out of a corner. Huge grin

factor and oh-so-refined.

There’s plenty of low-end and midrange

power to zip you out of turns or pass traffic,

and that power continues climbing in a

nice top-end rush that eventually begins

to drop off around 9,000 rpm. Simply put,

there’s a generous amount of power to be

had almost anywhere in the rev range. The

SV feels surprisingly agile. Its all-new steel

trellis-style frame and Showa suspension

deliver a fairly firm and sporting ride with

the only adjustment provision being shock

spring preload. Steering is neutral in feel and

provided a very trusting sense of stability

when encountering some rough road surface

at speed. Flicking through side-to-side corner

transitions just doesn’t get much more

intuitive than this

Snappy acceleration, good top

speed (The track is quite short but we

reckon around the 180 odd KPH mark),

decent brakes and handling, comfortable

ergonomics… the Suzuki SV650 has to be

one of the most practical bikes on the road

right now… Look out for a full road test soon.

The 650 V-Strom: R119 900

As dual purpose motorcycles go, this

one seems to tick all of the boxes. It is

marvelously comfortable with a practical

sit-up and beg posture. The gearing is slightly

different to the SV- a bit less peppy, but this

is probably due to the slightly heavier chassis.

Not a track bike at all – but our short few laps

proved this bike to be a great handler with

predictable power and brakes.

Catch the latest Dirt And Trail magazine

for a full test…

And last but not least, the new

GSX-R1000. Full road test on next page, and

we even got to put it up against one of its

biggest rivals…


Road Test: Suzuki GSX-R1000

We had been lucky enough to have

already tested the new Gixxer a month before

the official SA launch, but we were only

allowed to test it on the track back then. This

time, Suzuki very kindly let us take one of

the new models home with us to keep for a

week, so we decided to hand the keys over

to our hidden identity rider “The Singh”, who

would put the new Suz through its paces out

on the road, and give a bit of a history lesson.

The Singh says

I started riding in 2002, it was random

cauldron of fortunate circumstances that

finally led me to swing my leg over an iron

steed. In the not so distant past my culture

frowned at biking with the same kind of

superstition normally reserved for base

jumping or skydiving.

Now riding a superbike is as common as

tax evasion.

The first bike I was blessed to own was a

2003 152HP GSXR-1000. Yes the one with

the big triangular headlamp and tank that

was wider than the price difference of bike

accessories from one month to another.

Let us hold our breath in anticipation of

another amazing sale of accessories…with

no brands worth mentioning and discounts of

products that do not sell anyway.

The 2003 Gixxer was amazing. It was

powerful, frightening and with almost 30hp

more than its closest rivals, a dominant force

on those breakfast runs.

Of course, you needed to hold your breath

and pray that you actually stopped within the

allotted distance.

Who tested brakes on those bikes?

Perhaps it was due to their 60km/h speed

limit that allowed the quality assurance dude

to pass the brakes with flying colours. None of

them ever expecting anyone to ride above 60.

Let’s face it, from 60-0, the stopping

power is phenomenal, it’s when you ride

at SA speeds that you notice the slight

inconsistencies, especially when your fingers

have depressed the brake lever all the way

back to the grips and still nothing happens.

Riding a K3 was like attending

Woodstock. You either survived it in a haze

of adrenaline induced pleasure or became a

statistic. It was an incredible bike!

Well at least until everyone had one. It was

then more a case of looking for my steed in

a crowded parking lot of other proud Gixxer

owners. At least then we could afford some

accessories. So chances were, that after a

resilient stroll through said parking lot, you

would find your baby.

There is another brand on the roads today

that is as common as the Gixxer used to be.

Minus accessories off course. Now it really

is like searching for a sober person at a rally.

I just cannot recall at this moment what that

brand is. Must be all the beer.

My 03 had a dayglow orange hugger and

an Akrapovic slip on. I learnt to ride a bike

on that bike. I clearly remember a shocked

salesman warning me about the power of

this Suzuki and then wanting to know me

previous experience.

To say he was dumbstruck when I asked

him if 1st gear was up or down would be an


Suffice to say it was an interesting trip

home. Walking the bike around stop streets

and grinning like a lunatic as I gently pried the

throttle open in 6th Gear. Too frightened of all

the lower ruts.

One thing was forged in my mind on that

day, Respect.

Suzuki released an upgraded version of

the K3 as they were fondly known to the

highly praised 2004 GSXR 1000, a bike which

a rider by the name of Hudson Kennaugh

used to win the nationals in 2004.

The K4 was slicker, lighter and looked

more aggressive. It resembled a vulture

eyeing a dying corpse. It sold well both locally


and internationally. The upgrades continued

in an even more responsive and well finished

bike. The pinnacle of Suzuki’s development.

The ever popular and highly crashed K5.

After that there seemed to be a mental

decline in progress for the sewing machine

company. There was a vacant lull in their

release of new merchandise after that.

The lack luster K9 was a fundamental step

backwards for the company. It was prettier

and more user friendly, but it lacked the sex

appeal and sheer hooligan appeal of the K5.

They dragged this bike along and released

various editions, including 25th anniversary

edition in 2010, which was the same bike in

2009, but with classier decals.

The entire market changed when BMW

released the S1000RR in 2010 and like the

aging and almost extinct Busa, the Gixxer

became the stuff of legend. It caused people

to fondly reminisce of the good old days of

how simple it was to reach 300 km/h, even in

a trip to the mall that was across the street.

BMW released a bike that made the 155

hp Suzuki feel like a one legged pole dancer.

There were not many tricks she could perform,

because she was hanging on for dear life.

Most of the manufacturers went back

to the drawing board and began releasing

alternative products.

Enter 2017. Eight years after the last

Suzuki update and almost TWELVE years

after the fabled K5. We are presented with the

all new GSXR-1000…should I call it the K17?

Once you slip onto the seat, there is an

air of familiarity. It feels just like a Gixxer only

way lighter and quicker than the old K9 but

still has that raw feel of previous generations.

It tickles the senses. Even with the bazooka

that is presented as an exhaust for emission

control regulations does not emit a soft note.

Instead it cautions you of impending power

and relentless acceleration.

The customary Suzuki response is

immediately felt. The throttle is both solid

and crisp. There is no hesitation as it purrs

its way from standstill to a steady gallop,

effortlessly floating past twice the legal speed

limit in a long deep breath. That old Gixxer

magic has finally been resurrected and it is a

welcome addition to the modern horses of

the apocalypse.

The chassis is nimble, the sound pure. It is

definitely an upgrade to the legendary bike of

old. A well thought out package that instills

a sense of undisguised pleasure into the

sensory organs of the self. The new GSXR

is impressive, all the usual bells and whistles

with a flawless gearbox make the bike a feast

to ride in traffic….

But what will it do when we add a few

twisties to the mix… Stay tuned.


About three months ago when I collected my long

term GSXR750, Stuart Baker (Suzuki Motorcycles

SA) let me in on a little secret and gave me one

of the first glimpses at the new 1000. Not a lot of

people had seen one in the flesh and when I saw

the bike initially I was firstly amazed by how the

slender new chassis was and even remarked that it

was probably going to be too small for me to ride.

Suzuki have been out of the fight for their coveted

title of King of the Superbikes for a while now, but

let me tell you all something, they have returned with

something special.

Baker then invited me to host the launch of the

new bike at Red Star Raceway along with the pride

of South Africa’s bike media and I was very excited

to actually get a chance to try it out, because there

was not one opening available

to both our editor in chief or

yours truly to grab even one lap

at the SA Bike Fest a few weeks

ago at KYALAMI. Portman was

concerned though because the last

time he and I were at the home of

motorcycling, he had sadly lost the

duel for top team honours to my

efforts at the 24 Hour endurance

race. Knowing he was up for a test

of skills he took to the track with a

huge amount of vigor and I merely

sat and bided my time until my slot

was allocated along side the newly

launched Uncle Andy’s Suzuki team

riders. Once on the track I was

completely blown away... and not by

Portman by the way, who was struggling to keep up

with the totally unfit and non descript rider who on

occasion gets to through a leg over a bike in anger.

More importantly though is to state that I merely

climbed onto one of the three remaining 1000cc

machines but on doing so, and despite all the fancy

new electronics and gadgets, I wanted to see what

a machine like this would do with an average Joe

on it. And so having warmed up on the UAR 1000

Endurance race bike where there are no safety

systems or rider assistance modes, I went at the first

few laps just getting a feel. I then decided to check

wether or not the new systems would be actually

put into practice their capabilities when pushed by

someone who has not got the skills that our team

here at RideFast have when it comes to riding.

When I say this I made sure I actually made rookie

errors and went in to deep into turns that you would

not be able to make without the assistance provided

and also sometimes in the wrong gear. All,of these

seemed to be no problem at all for the Gixxer and

she handled whatever I threw at her with ease.

I must say anyone who is looking to buy a

1000cc must be mad these days, as they are literally

a weapon in the wrong hands but having said that

if you have a small amount to very little skill then the

new rider assistance modes and traction control and

and and, will certainly allow you as a rider to actually

enjoy your purchase without possibly throwing it

down the road or into oblivion.

Having ridden a few of its competitors I must say

that Suzuki have certainly done well in waiting and

painstakingly found a balance that will bring it back

to the top of the litre class and of course if you’re

looking to race one, well just look at the results

of the current crop that are out there and already

winning races, namely the Senior TT and some small

races like the Moto America races and Australian

Superbike championship rounds too.

To anyone that is thinking about purchasing a

new superbike and wants the best, the King is back

so why not get onto a brand that promises a Way Of

Life, and please, please don’t worry the R version is

coming soon too. I would have to say K17 is a very

good choice for anyone looking for a fast lady on the

road and a freak on the track.

See you all trackside soon and safe riding always

Magoo aka Greg Moloney

The Voice of Choice in SA Motorsport


The Empires

Strike Back

Track Test: Honda CBR1000RR vs Suzuki GSX-R1000

Finally, the Empires strike back! After being in the shadows for many a year, Honda and Suzuki are back with

all-new litre bikes ready to take on the world, but first, they must do battle to see if they are worthy...

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus & Bill du Plessis (Beam productions)


It’s a rivalry that has been going for years,

both on and off the track. At one stage, if you

were not on one of these two bikes you were

cast out like an honest politician in parliament.

But sadly these two iconic models have fallen

down the food chain and are now trying to

fight their way back to the top.

But are they ready and worthy to take

on their mighty competitors? Before they

can do that, they must do battle against


At first glance both machines are

gorgeous - both showing off curves, edgy

lines and racy attributes worthy of that

sudden loss of breath. Get up close and

things really start to get exciting, more so on

the CBR it must be said.

The Hondas overall styling and quality is just

that little bit ahead of the Suzuki. Little things

like the yester-year mirrors, and bits of plastic

in places that could have been disguised a

bit better, let the Suzuki down somewhat, but

that is just me being a typical journo and really

digging deep to be critical. The Suzuki is raw,

but that’s what a Gixxer has always been. It’s

a little less refined than the others, but that’s

almost one of its selling points, as it gives you

a little reminder of what sport bikes use to feel

like - RAW and untamed!

The Honda is a bit more refined, as

you would expect. Everything is in the

right place and well finished off, and this

is sometimes to the detriment of Honda. I

would personally like Honda to go a bit more

extreme with their overall design. In fact, that

can be said for both these models. They

kept the world waiting for so long that they

could have added a bit more WOW!

The first thing you notice when you climb

on both bikes is the new digital MotoGP

styled dashes, equipped with all the info one

needs. Maybe a bit too much if I’m being

honest. The Hondas colour dash takes the

cake out of the two, begging the question

“why, oh why Suzuki did you not make yours

colour?” It really is not a big train smash, but

does count as a point against the Gixxer,

and in a market that is now so competitive

and all about the finer details with stubborn

buyers, it could hurt. And let’s face it, the

buyer can be given the price of modern day

sport bikes.

It’s easy to navigate and understand the

electronics and riding modes on both bikes.

You won’t need to take much time out, or

read a 50 page manual to understand how it

all operates. It really is so simple, even to do

on the fly.


Both bikes get deducted a point for the

lack of quick-shifter standard. Really think this

was a bad decision, as all their competitors

come out standard with the quick-shift,

and even auto-blip in the case of the BMW

S1000RR and Ducati Panigale 1299. Again,

this is just me being very critical and to most

won’t make a big difference. Both bikes have

original quick-shifter options available as

optional extras.

At the end of the day what is the target

market really looking for? Top class electronics,

ABS, big power and good handling? Well,

both bikes tick all those boxes.

Head to head on track:

Immediately as you climb on the Suzuki you

know you are on a GSXR. The slightly narrow

bars reminiscent of previous generations.

Although comfortable, I do prefer a wider

bar position. The Honda is slightly wider, and

overall ergonomics are a bit better suited for

a rider of my medium sized stature. I do think

bigger riders will feel a bit more alien on the

CBR as appose to the GSXR.

The first thing that gets a smile on your

face is just how well both bikes show off

in the handling department. Razor sharp

steering and agility giving both myself and my

brother the confidence to throw the bikes into

the turns with no hassle or fuss. Holding and

adjusting the line mid-corner is a bit easier

on the 3kg lighter CBR, although I could not

really fault the Gixxer either.

Braking goes to the Blade. Both bikes

feature ABS as standard, and while it can

be switched off on the CBR, one cannot

do so on the GSXR. Bit of a pain for those

wanting to push hard out on track. There is

an uneasy shudder from the Suzuki’s ABS

under hard braking, the brakes still get the

job done just that feeling does play on the

mind. The ABS can be switched off using

the aftermarket optional extra Yoshimura

chip, which one plugs into the bike

deactivating all rider asset modes.

The Hondas braking is almost second

to none, even with the ABS on. You can’t

feel the ABS working but it is there. The only

problem is that if you do decide to switch it

off, then all other rider aids such as traction

control, are switched off as well.

Acceleration and out right power go to

the Gixxer, which almost bullied the Blade.

You can instantly feel the extra 10hp or so,

both through the gears at speed and coming

out of the turns. The Suzuki blasts past the

Honda faster than my wife at the checkout

counter at the mall. The Honda loses most at

the bottom end. Both bikes have tall gearing,

designed more for the open road, but the

Hondas does seem a bit more long in the

tooth compared to the Suzuki. Once above

9000rpm in 3rd gear, the Honda does come

fighting back, but by that time the Suzuki is a

good 2 to 3 bike lengths ahead.

What the Honda lacks in speed it does

make up in braking and handling, but only

a tiny bit. Honda has always had the best

handling package and that is once again at

the fore front of the new bike, but I still wish

that they would just give it a bit more power

to help get that bit close to it’s competitors.

As far as they Suzuki goes, a good

electronics package combined with the

famous GSXR rawness will make it a firm

favourite with Gixxer fans. Whether it’s enough

to convince others is still the big question.

While the Suzuki takes the prize in the

power department, the Honda has the slight

upper hand in handling, so it really is all down

to rider preference and style, so I suggest you

pick which colour, or look you like, and go with

that, because you will not be disappointed

with buying either of these bikes.

At the end of the day both bikes are very

evenly matched, and both deserve big shinny

gold stars, but there is room for improvement,

and there has to be for manufacturers

moving forward with future models. I get the

impression that Suzuki and Honda have not

put all their eggs in one basket with their new

models, and there is plenty more to come. I

just wish a bit more had come now.

So, both bikes get the thumbs up, but

how will they compare out on the road and

on the track to their competitors?

I am pleased to say that we will find out in

next months issue as we will take all the big

players and put them to the test in a feature

that will include over 1000km road riding, and

a timed track test at a very demanding circuit

out in the South Coast.



Local Heroes

Where are they now?

After a fantastic 2016 season for SA Racers overseas – which we covered in the January issue – it was swiftly on

to the 2017 season. So where have our local heroes landed in their pursuit of international success in 2017? We

delve into the racing world once again to find out. Words: Wayne van Tonder Pics: Steve Wobser (GP Fever.de) & others

It truly was a great year for South African

motorcycle racing in 2016, and I had fun

sharing the stories of the successes and great

efforts made by our local men overseas. 2017

looks like it could very well be another good

year for SA racing, with a good amount of

local talent showing their skills abroad.

Rob and I duly decided that we would

share what has happened since the start

of the new season. It is sometimes difficult

to keep up with all the international racing

for South African fans, as a lot of it is not

easy to come by, not even the two major

championships, MotoGP and WorldSBK get

the coverage they deserve, unlike Formula 1.

I, therefore, feel it is my duty to do the

digging and keep you all up to date, and also

to show these guys that South Africa is well

and truly behind them!

With that being said, let’s see what has

become of our Local Heroes, and how 2017

is treating them thus far.

Brad Binder (Moto2)

Since winning the Moto3 title and ending off

the season in true Brad Binder style, Brad

moved up to take on the challenge of Moto2

with the new Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team –

on a very good looking motorcycle I must say.

Brad, unfortunately, crashed during testing in

Jerez, with the bike landing on his arm and

breaking it. Later in February, he was present

at the team launch, showing off the stunning

new Red Bull KTM’s.

Brad, however, did recover in time for the

first race of the season in Qatar, although

the arm was still taking the strain in the tests

building up to the first race. His combined

times during the tests were looking positive

even with the arm not fully recovered.

On to the first race, and the season was

off to a dramatic start when qualifying was

canceled, hindering Brad’s chances to work

his way up the grid. It was a tough first race

for Brad, suffering with the tyres and front

end, not to mention the strain on the arm.

Fortune then changed in the second race

of the season in Argentina, or at least we all

thought they had. Brad rode an astonishing

race to 9th place, after starting from 24th on

the grid – again proving his abilities. However,

we all soon learned that even before the

race had started Brad had re-broken his arm

and as a result would be out for 6 weeks.

It is so unfortunate for him, clearly, he has

what it takes to be competitive in Moto2,

but an injury has got in the way. Brad finally

returned - to the excitement of all us South

African fans - in Mugello. What a place to

make a comeback! With the arm not up to

full strength, it was still a battle for Brad, but

being the legend he is he surprised us all with

an amazing top 10, and that from 23rd on the

grid after a tough qualifying.

It would unfortunately not happen in

Catalunya. Brad qualified down the field and


finished the race in 18th. Still a good showing

in a tough race with high temperatures and

severe pain in his arm. Brad is showing real

potential on the Moto2 machine.

Assen threw up more challenges for all

riders and teams with unpredictable weather.

Brad came through qualifying in 17th - his

best Moto2 qualifying result to date. He

started the race brilliantly and found himself

in 13th within the first few laps. That is where

he would stay, bringing his KTM home in

13th. Another great result for Brad, showing

constant improvement.

One week later and Brad was at it again,

this time in Germany at the Sachsenring

circuit, where he once again gained some

valuable experience on the KTM Moto2 bike.

Brad qualified in 19th and fought hard to

finish in a season best 7th.

Was great to see Darryn wearing the Nicky

Hayden replica at Mugello in honour of the fallen

hero. He put on a performance that day that

would have made the famous #69 proud.

You have to remember that he is not fully

recovered yet, yet he is still putting in quality


Can you imagine what he is going to do

when he is fully fit, had good time on the bike

and qualifies up near the front of the grid? Our

champ will be back at the front soon...

Darryn Binder (Moto3)

It was a tough old grind for Darryn in Moto3

in 2016, as we learned. We also learned that

he has what it takes with some outstanding

results on a, well, slow machine. 2017 sees

Darryn on a competitive KTM, still with

Platinum Bay Real Estate Mahindra. As we

thought he would be, he is much faster.

During testing his combined times were

impressive, and he was clearly feeling good

on the new machine.

The first race of the season, as mentioned

before, took a dramatic turn with the weather

– this affecting Darryn as well. During Free

Practice the team was concentrating on

different set up’s so they could go for a quick

time in qualifying, only for it to be canceled.

This clearly did not cause Darryn much

stress as he raced through from 27th on the

grid to 13th. It was a highly underrated ride

from Darryn, not getting much of a mention,

but I am here to set the record straight. Ride

of the race that was!

In Argentina, Darryn again looked strong.

After being able to qualify this time, he fought

up front with the big names in the race. Some

bike trouble causing him to drop back, but

still finished a highly respectable 13th. Darryn

only got stronger and faster from there on and

in America picked up a solid 10th. In Jerez,

round 4, Darryn was fighting for the lead

and was riding brilliantly, this time leaving the

commentators and Dylan Gray with no choice

but to recognize his talents. Unfortunately, an

attempt at a difficult pass around the outside of

Romano Fenati, saw Darryn go down – he had

shown his class and determination though.

Darryn’s misfortune continued in Le Mans.

Again he was running with the leaders,

battling for 2nd - from 17th on the grid, I

might add - when on the last lap he lost the

front end and went down.

If the elusive podium hadn’t seemed like it

was on the cards as yet, it most certainly did in

Mugello. Darryn was well and truly on the pace

and was leading the race for a number of laps,

in the fight up front. An unfortunate collision

with another rider - Suzuki - saw Darryn lose

some time to the front, which resulted in him

finishing 4th. Another career best equaling

result for Darryn in Moto3. Everyone at this

point feels for Darryn, we all know how much

he deserves that podium, it will most certainly


happen soon. Catalunya definitely did not bring

the result Darryn would have been hoping for,

and that not helped when he was taken out

right at the end of the race. I shall not mention

the name of the rider, Darryn may just sense

it in here. His reaction was priceless though.

A sarcastic clap followed by a thumbs up

toward the rider. “Well done mate, no really,

great move”, you could almost hear Darryn

saying under his helmet - well with a few ‘other

words’ in between.

Darryn had a tough time of it in qualifying

at Assen, clearly thrown by the unpredictable

weather that made the session difficult for

a lot of the riders. Yet again, he showed his

pace when it came to the race. Starting way

down the grid, he still managed another point

scoring finish in 13th.

One of the saves of the century. How

did Darryn stay on the bike? It was a

massive moment at LeMans

On to Sachsenring and it was another top

class ride from Darryn, who qualified in 17th,

had to battle hard on what he says was an

‘underpowered’ bike to finish 10th.

It is early days yet for Darryn on the new

machine, yet he is already showing that he

has what it takes. I see this season being a

great one for him that could potentially lead

to some good opportunities. He is most

definitely on the rise and that podium is not

too far away!

Sheridan Morais (World SS 600)

Sheridan Morais is really flying the flag high in

World Supersport. His unique style - the ‘Shez

Shuffle’ - is lighting up our T.V screens. There is

no new R6 as yet, as we previously thought, but

that does not seem to have kept Morais back.

During testing, Morais was already looking

menacing and was up and around the top

names. His race pedigree, however, is what

would shine through in the end.

The first round in Australia - Phillip Island

- saw Morais qualify 15th on the grid and

take an 11th place finish after the race was

restarted. He then took another step forward

in the Thai round, qualifying 14th and finishing

the race in a well-earned 7th.

Then came Aragon. A fantastic front row

start from 3rd on the grid almost resulted

in a win. Morais was only beaten in a drag

to the line by Mahais (that could become

confusing for the commentators) on the new

R6. An incredible 2nd place, after leading for

much of the race.

Morais then went on to really announce

his title challenge with another solid finish in

Assen - 5th at the famous circuit. He followed

that with a 4th place in Italy, maintaining his

2nd place in the overall championship.

With the magnificent form of the returning

Kenan Solfoglu, who has now taken 4 wins

on the trot, Morias has unfortunately dropped

down to 3rd in the championship. However,

with a 6th place in the UK and a solid 8th in

Italy, he still finds himself in touch, and ahead

of the likes of Julez Cluzel and PJ Jacobsen.

It is looking like a really bright season for

Morais, and he deserves it. I really hope and

believe he can continue competing up front

and claim more podiums as well as that win!

Morais has also been on board

team Rabid Transit Endurance World

Championship R1, along with a fellow South

African, that I will mention later in the article.

Together with his fellow countryman and


Brandon Cretu of America, they took 18th at

the Oschersleben 8hr event in Germany.

Sheridan will be out on the new Yamaha

R6 at the next race, so very excited to see if

he gets a bit more performance from the new

bike. Let’s hope he can get that first win!

Steven Odendaal (CEV Moto2

Championship/Super600 South

African national championship)

Now, this is a surprise for me. Odendaal

- the reigning CEV Moto2 champion - did

not end up with a ride in the Moto2 World

Championship. Now that is just unfortunate,

and well, frankly the loss of the Moto2 teams

that never took the opportunity to take him

onboard. It is definitely not all as easy as

that, and this is a fine example of just how

tough the racing industry is. He would be

competitive though, with his abilities, I don’t

doubt it. Big things still to come, I am sure.

Odendaal does take on a new challenge

in 2017. Although still in the CEV Moto2

Championship, he has a new ride with a

new team. He is now on board the new NTS

Sportcode T.Pro machine, and by the sounds

of it, he seems to like it very much.

The first race of the CEV season was at

the Circuit Albacete, where - starting from the

3rd row - Odendaal rode a fine race to 4th,

just missing out on a podium in his first race

on the new machine.

At round 2 in Catalunya, Odendaal again

finished 4th in race 1 as well as race 2. A

good start to the season on a new machine

for Odendaal. I am sure the podium and win

will come soon.

Back in South Africa, Odendaal continues

to compete in the Super600 category and

is fast as ever. He had already bagged

two victories and a 2nd place from three

races - not taking part in round 2 due to his

overseas commitments. More wins followed

at Zwartkops and Red Star Raceway. Can

anyone stop this guy?

Cameron Petersen (MotoAmerica

Superstock 1000)

News broke after the previous article that

Cameron Petersen would move from the

MotoAmerica Supersport series, and go on

to compete in the MotoAmerica Superstock

1000 championship, on board the Fly Racing/

Motul/ADR Motorsports Kawasaki ZX-10R.

Petersen contested the opening round

of the season at the Circuit of the America’s.

There he had a DNF in race 1 but followed

that up with a good 5th place in race 2.

Then the shock announcement from

Petersen that he would no longer continue

racing, sighting that could no longer let his father,

Robbie Petersen, live from couch to couch.

Petersen does intend to race again in the

future but was quoted saying, “I’ve decided

to stop racing for now”. He went on to say,

“The most important thing to me right now is

that my family lives a happy life”. Good on you

Cam! That is one brave decision. We do hope

to see you back on track soon!

Troy Bezuidenhout (World SS 300)

Unfortunately, Troy’s deal with R2 Motor

Racing in World Supersport 600, fell through

at the last minute. Fortunately, he was able

to get a ride very late on with Team Toth

in the inaugural World Supersport 300

Championship. Although it is not the bigger

bike he was hoping for, it still is another great

opportunity for Troy.

After a good season for Troy in the final

year of the EJC last year, hopes would surely

have been high for the 16-year-old. However,

it’s been a tough start to the season. The

first race of the season in Aragon would see

Bezuidenhout finish 25th due to a technical

issue. At Assen, technical issues would again

plague his progress. He finished 21st, after

qualifying mid-pack.

It did not get any easier as the

championship moved on to Italy. He would

finish well down the order in 28th after

qualifying 30th.

Troy, unfortunately, had this to say via his

Facebook shortly before the UK round:

“I will not be racing at Donington Park due

to a number of factors mainly lack of funds

(was let down before Christmas) and the

fact I’m just too big for a 300cc bike. Already

working hard to get back on track so stay

tuned for updates and if anyone can help

financially please get in touch. I will be back

stronger than ever. I am still on great terms

with Team Toth and wish them all the success

for the rest of the year.”

Go have a look at Troy’s Facebook, and if

you can help out, please do! He proved last

season in EJC that he has the potential and

the race pedigree. Let’s hope he finds the

right ride in the near future.


Dorren Loureiro (World SS 300)

Dorren has been another standout

performer so far in 2017. With EJC no

longer, Dorren found a new ride in the

World Supersport 300 Championship with

David Salom (DS Junior Team).

I was looking forward to Dorren’s progress

after gaining insight into his 2016 season. He

has not disappointed. In the inaugural World

Supersport 300 race, Dorren rode brilliantly

to 8th after starting 20th on the grid. South

African rider’s really making a habit of this,

carving through the field business. In round 2

at Assen, Dorren qualified much higher up the

grid in 10th and took full advantage, coming

across the line in 5th.

In Italy, he challenged again, this time

challenging for the podium. A small mistake

on the final lap costing him. He would finish

6th, still a fine result.

Dorren was competitive yet again at the

UK round, although he would finish outside

the top 10 in 13th. However, the top 10

came calling again When the championship

made its way to Italy. After a tough start

to the weekend, Dorren fought back and

secured a brilliant 4th place. The result

leaves Dorren 6th in the championship and

closing in on the top 5.

Another South African rider showing a

lot of potential to be a top rider, competing

internationally. Podiums are not far away.

Jarred Schultz (World SS 300)

Jarred moves from the RC390 Cup and into

the World Supersport 300 Championship with

the BWG Kawasaki Racing team for 2017. It

is the first full international season for Jarred,

so plenty learning to be done, the talent is

there. However, the season did not get off

to a good start as he would miss out on the

opening round after suffering a mechanical

issue. He was, therefore, unable to qualify.

The following two rounds were not what

Schultz would have been hoping for in terms

of results but he is getting valuable time on

the bike and learning as he goes.

The UK round brought a 22nd place finish

for Schultz and showing improvement as he

gains experience.

Schultz was unfortunately forced to retire

from the next race in Italy.

Jarred is a talented young rider and

inexperienced on the international scene

compared to many of his competitors. Time

is on his side, the results will come.

Jarred rode in the Super600 race at Killarney,

picking up 9th in race 1 and 8th in race 2.

Matthew Scholtz (MotoAmerica

Superstock 1000)

Matthew Scholtz is undoubtedly a future

international racing star, if not already in America.

He lit up the SuperGP Championship in

South Africa last season and took the crown

- performances that clearly impressed as

he was called up to MotoAmerica toward

the end of the season. Those performances

again raising eyebrows and earning him a fulltime

ride at Westby Racing onboard a very

sharp looking Yamaha R1.

Scholtz has done nothing but impresses,

racing to four 2nd place finishes, coming

in Round 1 at Circuit of the America’s and

Matthew Scholtz is loving life in America.


Round 3 at the Virginia International Raceway.

This while keeping pace with some of the

top names in the factory teams. In round

2 Scholtz went on to his third 2nd place,

however, the run came to an end with a DNF

in race 2. As you have already read, he made

up for that in round 3.

And then it happened, Scholtz took the

victory in race 2 at round 4 - Road America.

He took 3rd in race 1.

Going in to Utah, Scholtz lead the

championship. He picked up where he left off

and - as has become habit this season - was

on the podium again, picking up 2nd in Race

1. Matthew’s second victory in MotoAmerica

came in race 2, this leaves Scholtz top of the


Scholtz looks to be the man to challenge

last year’s runner-up, Bobby Fong, to the

title. Yes, he can do it! Another South African

champion abroad? I think so. Go, Matthew,

show those Americans how it’s done!

Bjorn Estment (British SuperSport


If you follow Bjorn on Instagram, you will see

this is a man on a mission. He is the South

African rider that will be joining Sheridan

Morais - who also makes you feel like a

very lazy person if you see his Instagram -

onboard the Rabid Transit Endurance World

Championship R1. The South African pair

along with Brandon Cretu took 18th at the

Oschersleben 8hr event in Germany.

Estment also continues in the Dickies

British Supersport Championship for 2017.

However, he will now be riding the Everquip

Racing Yamaha R6.

It was an unsatisfactory start to the season

for Estment with a DNF in the first feature

race. Although, it got better from there on. He

finished inside the top 10 in the following two

rounds. 9th at Brands Hatch and 6th at the

tricky Oulton Park.

Bjorn then suffered a crash in qualifying at

Knockhill. He was deemed unfit to continue

through the weekend but we are thankful that

he came away without any major injuries.

An exciting season ahead for Bjorn as he

searches for top results in Britain and has

now had a taste of the R1 in EWC. I am eager

to see what more the season has in store for

him. Get better soon Bjorn!

Jordan Weaving (British National

Superstock 1000)

2017 sees Jordan make the move from

Superstock 600 to Superstock 1000 in the

British Nationals. The 2016 Superstock

600 champion did not have a good start on

his new ZX-10RR. At the first round of the

season, bad weather resulted in Joran getting

spat off the bike on his qualifying out lap, and

unable to post a time. This would mean he

would not be able to take part in the race

weekend, however, with some luck, he would

be given a spot but start the race from 40th.

He made a brilliant start, racing through to

20th before having to put the bike down after

suffering a technical issue.

Fortunes changed in the following round

at Brands Hatch for Joran and his new

team - Briggs Equipment Kawasaki. 11th in

race 1 was followed up by a 13th in race 2.

Things improved further at Oulton Park. In

what seems to be truly South African style,

Weaving - after having to start from 40th

again due to a team error, missing pit lane

exit - would cut through the field and finish in

an amazing 5th place, after starting 17th from

the race restart.

Round 4 Knockhill brought a good result

for Weaving, taking 11th. I think he would

have wanted more, however, it is still a solid

result for a guy riding his first season in Stock

1000, especially with the pace he showed.

Race 2 would not go Jordan’s way as he

suffered a DNF.

He may have a proper British accent these

days, but Jordan is proudly South African and

is doing us proud!

Darryn Upton (World Stock 1000)

A new addition to our list of riders is Darryn

Upton. Upton got his first taste of the World

Superstock 1000 championship in Italy.

Darryn rode the DDM by BWG_Bike &

Motor RT_Grimaldi Kawasaki ZX-10RR to

26th place.

It’s always great to see more South

African’s out on the world scene. I hope to

see more of Darryn out there soon!

Taric van der Merwe (Superstock

300 Alpe Adria Road Racing


Another new name, Taric van der Merwe.

Taric has been showing his talents in the

Super Juniors national championship and

has been very impressive. He got a chance

to show his talents on the world stage as he

took part in the Alpe Adria Superstock 300

series in Slovakia. Taric not only took part but

ended up in a brilliant 3rd place in his very first

race. Unfortunately, he suffered a crash in the

second race, however, he definitely made his

mark with that fantastic first race result. We

hope to see more of Taric on the world stage

soon. He has a great future ahead of him.

A few ups and downs have been shared

by our local riders overseas, however, I would

say that it’s looking very positive. The world is

starting to take note now, and are starting to

take South Africa seriously when it comes to

finding talent.

The guys are all showing their true South

African grit, always up for the fight no matter

what the situation. There is certainly some

potential for titles, and I am going to be

following them every step of the way - holding

thumbs - and hopefully celebrating again at

the end of the 2017 season.

Good luck to all the riders taking the

challenge to the world. These few are leading

the way for many more to follow and are

clearly setting a fine example. Let’s enjoy this

journey with them and see what the rest of

the season will bring.






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Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1 racebike

Take the already top spec base Yamaha R1 production bike, throw over R200k race

parts at it and what do you get? A machine that will make any grown man cry tears of

absolute joy! Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus & Bill du Plessis (Beam Productions)


Our local SuperGP National

racing championship produces

some of the best 2-wheeled racing

action you are likely to see anywhere

in the world. It’s frantic, fast paced

and packed with elbow bashing,

paint swopping drama.

What makes our premier 1000cc

class even more exciting is the fact

that our rules are not that far off

World SBK, so the bikes you see

racing are almost top racing spec.

It’s been a while since I last rode

a top prepped National racebike,

so when the Consortium Shipping

Yamaha team, which we here at

RideFast support, asked me if I would

like to join them at Zwartkops Raceway

for a day of testing, how could I say no.

It’s a fully race prepped, SuperGP

National spec Yamaha R1 done

by top mac Steve Cannon, with a

staggering R220k plus of go fast

parts, that gives it around 20hp

more and cuts weight by almost

15kg compared to the standard

Yamaha R1.

The Arata by Racetec exhaust

system alone is claimed to give it

another 10bhp, so combined with

the weight loss you’re looking at an

R1 with in the region of 186 hp at the

back wheel on a true Dynojet Dyno,

weighing in at 189 kg wet.

What they’ve created is the most

competent R1 we’ve had our hands

on, and essentially 95% a World

SBK specification bike for racing in

the local SuperGP championship. It

looks every bit a proper race bike,

and I love the livery.

Sit on it and you notice just how

much taller this R1 is. It’s got way

more ride height, and the forks and

rear shock are much stiffer. The

locally made Panther rearsets put

your feet much higher and improve

the ground clearance. You can

scrape the pegs on the standard

bike, but there’s no chance on this.

The handlebars give you more

leverage and are set a bit wider than

stock (trust me guys, this is the first

thing you should do when hitting the

track, widen those bars!).


The TFT dash (the same technology as

mobile phones) is set up in race mode and

the digital tacho only starts reading at 5000

rpm. That’s where the power really starts

to come in and the R1 starts to pile on the

revs, building rapidly towards the 14,000rpm

redline barking as it does through the Arata

by Racetec can. The soundtrack is massive

and music to my ears.

You can feel more power, a chunk more

midrange, and it climbs the revs way faster

than standard. This all made possible

by the thinner official Yamaha race head

gasket, cam gears and timing adjusted,

shorter gearing, and most importantly, the

ECU Flashtune and Bazzaz ZFI self mapper

being installed.

The Flashtune is the biggest factor, as it

not only ads the auto-blip feature to the bike

but also allows you to adjust engine braking

and other electronic aspects.

I loved the quick-shifter and the autoblip,

so smooth and effortless allowing me

to shift in and out of gears with ease. The

engine braking was set quite high so I could

brake as late as possible and use the engine

braking almost as another form of trail

braking. The sound that comes out of the

pipe while banging up and down through

the gears is sexual and makes one feel fast.

It’s all well and good having all that

power and electronic mods

but it’s all pretty pointless

without a good setup bike

that can get you in and out of

the turns with as little hassle as

possible. This is where

the very expensive,

but tried and


tested at all levels of racing, top of the range

Ohlins suspension comes in. Steve gets his

suspension direct from the States, all setup

to go racing, so there really is not much work

that needs to be done on them.

The standard R1 suspension can be a bit

soft under power, and dives on the brakes

a fair bit too, occasionally making the rear

come round under heavy braking. Not ideal

for trying to go fast, especially at the tough,

tight and twisty Zwartkops circuit, which

demands a perfectly setup machine.

The suspension mods on this bike get

rid of all of that and you can feel the Ohlins

shock working under power and because

it squats less at the rear you can take even

more liberties with the traction control and

slide control. Like the standard bike there’s

wheelie control too, thanks goodness,

as this bikes front wheel had a love affair

with the sky and tried kissing it at every


The suspension and its set-up makes a

huge difference, and will leave a stock bike

for dead on the way out of the corners.

But even more impressive is the way it

gets into a turn. The brakes are standard

but you can use them incredibly hard.

There’s no pumping from the front forks

and it’s incredibly stable on the brakes. The

only thing pumping was my forearms under

the immense forces the bike puts your

body through.


So gorgeous. A great idea from the team was to use

sticker kits on the fairings rather than a paint job,

so if the rider happens to crash, which they do, then

in just a case of replacing the sticker kit that was

damaged rather than sending in to get re-sprayed.

It allowed me to get it in the

corner hard and carry way more

lean angle than the standard

bike, making full use of the

softer compound Pirelli tyres.

Mid-corner speed is

dramatically improved, and I’ve

already talked about the way

it gets out of a corner. It’s firm,

and it’s twitchy on the bumps,

but the faster you ride it the

more it starts to make sense. I

think I’m in love.

Now I am far from the fast

track rider I used to be, but this

bike made me feel and look like a

top racer once again, rather than

the overweight, slightly old man

who forgot where the gym is,

that’s how good this bike is!

For the serious track day

enthusiasts, an R1 in this spec

takes the already brilliant bike

and turns it into a bike you could

win races on, as rider of this

machine, Michael White, has

proved. It’s seriously impressive!

Yes it’s a lot of money putting

the price up in the R500k

bracket, but you don’t have to

make all the mods of course.

The result of all that time and

money spent is a fearsome

track bike that not many bikes

could touch on track. It can cut

it with some of the best race

bikes in the world on track, it’s

a connoisseurs choice and will

take all but the very best riders

in the world can throw at it. It’s a

baby M1 Yamaha MotoGP bike.

The rest is up to you. Good

job Steve and the Consortium

Shipping Yamaha Team, now if

anything were ever to happen

to your riders Michael White

and Dylan Barnard, I am always

available to take the reins…

Go fast accessories price list

Ohlins Suspension Combo Front Cartridge forks and rear shock: R53580.00

Ohlins fork fluid: R485.00

JT Gearing 6 x rear sprockets 3 x front: R5335.20

DID 520 Race chain: R2375.00

Panther Rearsets: R3800.00

Pather Shark fin: R320.00

Panther Brake lever protector: R900.00

Arata by Racetec Exhaust: R35400.00

Yamaha race head gasket: R2900.00

Cam gears: R4050.00

Omega race fairing and screen: R10250.00

Zues fasteners and seat sponge: R700.00

Omega carbon tank protectors: R4900.00

Stomp: R1050.00

GB Racing engine case sliders: R4800.00

Crash bobbins: R1800.00

Stand bobbins: R280.00

Spray fairings: R5700.00

Racegraphix sticker kit: R4560.00

Flashtune ECU WITH Auto blip: R26500.00

Bazzaz ZFI with self mapper: R14500.00

BMC Race filter: R1900.00

Braided hoses: R2800.00

ABS Blank off plugs: R450.00

90 Degree tubeless valves: R365.00

Yamaha M Data logger: R26000.00

Starlane lap timer: R6500.00




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Kings of the


Isle of Man TT 2017 - Through the lens of a SAFFA

The 2017 TT Races held on the Isle of Man from 27th May to 9th June will probably be

remembered as a fortnight of ups and downs. Words & Pics: Peter Goodacre - www.warp10.biz

Rainfall was up, temperatures

were down and while Ian Hutchinson,

Michael Dunlop and the Sidecar team

of Ben and Tom Birchall occupied the

top step of the podium twice, Fan

Favorite Guy Martin and the Honda

team had a TT that they will probably

want to forget as soon as possible.

Sessions during practice week were

disrupted by rain and mist, leading to

the unusual decision to delay the start

of Race Week by a day to allow more

practice and qualifying laps to be run

on Saturday – traditionally the opening

day of TT Race Week.

The Sunday RST Superbike race

saw Ian Hutchinson take his 15th

Isle of Man TT victory, winning by five

seconds from Peter Hickman who

had managed to close the gap to 1.6

seconds on the final lap. Early race

leader Dean Harrison took third place.

The following day, Michael Dunlop

took his 14th Isle of Man TT victory

and first 600 win since 2014 in the

Monster Energy Supersport race,

equalling Mike Hailwood’s 14 wins.

James Hillier was second over the

line 13.2 seconds behind Dunlop

and Peter Hickman took third for his

second TT podium in as many days

and set the fastest lap of the race at


The Sure Formula Two Sidecar

race was held on Monday as well,

and the Birchall Brothers took their

fifth TT victory, also setting a new

outright sidecar lap record of 117.119

mph. Ben and Tom repeated their

success on Friday during the 2nd

sidecar race, taking victory by 26.5s

from John Holden and Lee Cain, who

had also occupied the 2nd step of

the podium on Monday.




Ian Hutchinson dominated Wednesday’s

RL360 Quantum Superstock race, extending

his run of Superstock wins to three with his

second victory of this year’s Isle of Man TT

Races. The Tyco BMW rider led from the

start, finishing 22.4 seconds ahead of Peter

Hickman. Manxman Dan Kneen took his

maiden TT podium in third.

Michael Rutter took his first TT win since

2013, and his fifth in total, when he won

Wednesday afternoon’s Bennetts Lightweight

TT race. This win gave the Italian Paton

manufacturer their first ever win around the

Mountain Course and a new lap record of

118.645 mph.

Thursday’s sessions were cancelled due

to extremely miserable weather battering the

island and as a result the difficult decision

was made to cancel the second Supersport

race of the week and move the TT Zero

electric bike one-lapper onto Friday’s


Fortunately the rain and mist took a break

on Friday and all the scheduled races could

take place, despite a two hour delay to allow

the roads to dry.


Bruce Anstey took an unsurprising win in the SES TT Zero

electric bike race, followed over the line by his Mugen Shinden

teammate Guy Martin.

During the morning, Honda Racing issued a statement indicating

that they would be withdrawing their all-new Honda CBR1000RR

Fireblade SP2 from the Senior race. The reason given was that Guy

Martin had not had sufficient lap time on the bike due to the delays

caused by rain and mist during practice week and as a result, the

bike was not competitive.

John McGuinness suffered a bad crash on the bike during the

North West 200 in May which led to the team withdrawing from that

event and Guy Martin’s lucky escape from serious injury during the

TT Superbike race when he encountered a “Box full of Neutrals”

entering a corner at around 130mph left the rider shaken and angry

at the SP2. While praising the team, Guy indicated that the bike still

needed more time to make it better.

Unfortunately Honda’s TT troubles weren’t over, as Bruce

Anstey’s Padgetts RC213V-S blew its motor during the Senior race,

providing a final full-stop to the manufacturer’s troubled TT week.


The Senior race was red-flagged during

the second lap due to an incident involving

16-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson at the

27th Milestone. The rider was conscious

but was taken to hospital by airmed where

it was later confirmed that he had suffered a

fractured femur. He was later transferred to

Liverpool for further treatment.

Michael Dunlop led the field for the entire

restarted 4 lap race, bagging his 15th TT win

with the eventual winning margin being 13.3s.

Hickman made it five podiums from five

starts with Harrison repeating his third place

finish from Sunday’s RST Superbike race,

aided by his first ever 132mph lap on lap four.





No one seems to be able to stop Clint Seller at the moment. The MiWay yamaha rider took

his 4th win in a row and looks certain to take his 5th SA title. Round 5 saw the return of the

Super600 and Super Junior categories after they missed out at Kyalami.

Words: Paul Bedford Pics: Eric Buijs / Neil Philipson / Paul Bedford

In 2016 the SuperGP Champions Trophy

made two visits to Red Star Raceway. On

both occasions Clint Seller (MiWay Yamaha

Racing R1) left the Mpumalanga circuit with a

damaged bike and no points in the bag. He

put all that behind him when the series made

its first 2017 visit to the 4-kilometre long circuit

on Saturday, 10 June.

Seller and Greg Gildenhuys (Autohaus

Towing / Transport.co.za Kawasaki ZX10R)

shared the quickest times in the Friday

practice sessions, but when it came to

qualifying it was Garrick Vlok (Diamond

Core Drilling / Shop #74 Yamaha R1) who

emerged on top of the time sheets, just seven

hundredths of a second quicker than Seller.

Gildenhuys joined them on the front row of the

grid for the first race on Saturday. AJ Venter

(Lekka Racing Team Hygenica Yamaha R1),

Daryn Upton (Paramount Tracks / Fourways

Kawasaki ZX10R) and Michael White

(Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) filled the

second row.

Seller must have thought that the bad

luck he suffered in 2016 had returned at the

start of the opening race when he dropped

down to seventh place from the start, leaving

Vlok and Venter to battle it out at the head

of the field. Their battle came to a premature

end when Vlok lost the front end of his bike

and crashed out of contention. Seller was

slowly recovering from his poor start and after

Vlok’s crash he was up to fourth place behind

Venter, White and Upton.

Venter started dropping back after his tyres

started to go away from him. He eventually

had to settle for a somewhat lonely fourth

place but Seller continued moving towards the

front, eventually taking a hard-fought win from

White with Gildenhuys joining them on the

podium. Upton and Brandon Goode (Linex

Yamaha R1) rounded out the top six.

Pole man Garrick Vlok Venter leads the way Greg Gildenhuys with

Morne Geldenhuis

and Seller on his tail


Seller completely dominated the second

race, holding off his challengers in the first

couple of corners, and then going on to

take a light-to-flag win. Behind Seller, Vlok

emerged at the head of a five-way battle

taking his first podium finish of the season

with White not far back in third. Gildenhuys,

who had gearbox problems, managed to

hang on to fourth ahead of Venter with

Morne Geldenhuis (Hi-Tech Racing / NCA

Plant Hire Yamaha R1) in sixth, his best finish

of the 2017 season.

Michael White hounding Seller

SuperMasters Interprovincial

Johnny Krieger (Lekka Racing Team

Hygenica Yamaha R1) had two relatively

comfortable SuperMasters wins. In the

opening race he was joined on the podium

by Beau Levey (Motos Blu Cru Yamaha

R1) and Neil van Loggerenberg (Motos Blu

Cru Yamaha R1) while in the second race

Justin Gillesen (Supabets / Sandton BMW

Motorrad S1000RR), who crashed in the

early stages of the opening race, and Levey

took second and third respectively.

No one could stop Odendaal

First front row start in the

Supr600s for Byron Bester

Gillesen and Krieger do battle


While Seller had to fight for his victories in

the SuperGP category, Steven Odendaal

(Petra Yamaha R6) had no such problems in

the Super600 class. He gave an indication

of what was to come on race day when

he out-qualified the rest of the Super600

pack, setting a lap time almost 2.5 seconds

quicker than his closest rival. Championship

leader Hayden Jonas (MiWay Yamaha R6)

was the best of the rest with Byron Bester

(Hi-Tech Elements / Grange Workwear

Kawasaki ZX6) completing the front row of

the grid. Behind Bester things were very

tight, with the next four riders separated

by less than half a second. Jesse Boshoff

(Phoenix Payroll Systems Kawasaki ZX6)

headed the second row from Blaze Baker

(Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) and

Malcolm Rudman (Montclair Motorcycles

Kawasaki ZX6).

Odendaal disappeared at the head of the

field in the opening race, going on to win by

almost 20 seconds. Baker led an eight-way

battle for second in the early stages of the

race with Jonas in his wheel tracks. Jonas

had made a change to his bike before the

start of the race which resulted in him having

handling problems and eventually leading to

a high-side crash. While he remounted and

finished the race, it was way down the field.

With Jonas dropping back before he

crashed it was left to the Kawasaki trio of

Rudman, Boshoff and Aiden Liebenberg

(Fercor Construction / Shop #74) to chase




Suzuki rider Blaze Baker leads

three very fast Kawasaki riders

Some serious talent in the

Super600s. Liebenberg, Boshoff,

Jonas and William Friend

First win in the KTM

RC390 Super Juniors for

Tyreece Robert

Baker until contact between Rudman and Boshoff

forced the former onto the grass, effectively

ending his podium challenge. Rudman recovered

to finish sixth.

In the end Baker hung on to finish second

behind Odendaal with Boshoff joining them on the

podium. Liebenberg came home in fourth with

the second Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600,

piloted by William Friend, in fifth.

In the second race Odendaal again checked

out at the head of the field, taking another light-toflag.

This time Rudman and Boshoff avoided each

other and finished less than quarter of a second

apart to fill the minor podium places. The Suzukis

of Friend and Baker finished fourth and fifth with

Liebenberg rounding out the top six.


Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing / Inex Construction

KTM390) used his pole position to open up a

substantial gap over the chasing pack in the

opening SuperJunior race, but Tyreece Robert

(KTM390) wasn’t going to let him have it all his

own way. Robert worked his way past Taric

van der Merwe (Evolve Nutrition KTM390) into

second and the set about closing the gap to

Otto. This he did, and with a couple of laps to go

Robert moved into the lead, taking the flag just

0.175” ahead of Otto. Van der Merwe was third.

In the second race Robert and Otto fought

for the lead in the first couple of laps but Otto,

riding with a new front tyre, finally made a pass

and pulled away. He took a comfortable win with

Robert a distant second and van der Merwe again

in third.

250 Cup

Luca Balona (Hi-Tech Racing / Grange Workwear

Kawasaki) used his pole position to good

advantage in the opening 250 Cup race to take a

comfortable win from Taric van der Merwe (Evolve

Nutrition Kawasaki) and Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing

/ Inex Construction Kawasaki). Balona made it

two out of two in the second race, this time with

Otto in second and van der Merwe in third.

Wessels leads



Keagan Wessels (Moto Rentals KTM) and Brian

Bontekoning (Jaguar Power Products Ducati)

had a huge scrap at the front of both BOTTS

races. Wessels took the win in the first race but

Bontekoning managed to be in front when it

mattered in the second race. On both occasions,

they were joined on the podium by Thomas

Brown (REHAB Racing Ducati).

Lourens Badenhorst (Yamaha) claimed victory

in both races in the SuperMasters Regional


The next outing for the SuperGP Champions

Trophy riders is at Dezzi Raceway on the

KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Saturday, 15 July.


Joan Mir

Moto3 championship leader

Team Leopard Moto3



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