Ride More Stress Less
SHINE AT 2017
6 SA boys in the 25 finishers.
JULY 2017 RSA R29.50
9 771815 337001
A UNIT CLOTHING HAMPER
COURTESY OF HENDERSON RACING PRODUCTS
A SHOEI VFX-W HELMET
& PRO GRIP GOGGLES
COURTESY OF BLU CRU
NATIONAL RACING COVERAGE
FULL REVIEW OF MX & ENDURO
FIRST LOCAL RIDE: 2017
ADVENTURE BIKE TEST:
PLUS LOADS MORE... NEW DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950
• 2018 Yamaha YZ450F Fast facts
• Bike Theft feature • 2 Sherco’s
• Waterberg Adventure Ride
• Lastest News & Products
& KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R
OXFORD ESTORIL FLUO JACKET
WAS R2,495 NOW R1,497
OCTANE COMMANDO JACKET
WAS R2,395 NOW R1,436 WAS R1,799 NOW R1,439
FORMA SLAM BOOTS FORMA SLAM LADIES BOOTS FORMA ARROW SX BOOTS
WAS R1,942 NOW R1,165 WAS R2,650 NOW R1,590 WAS R2,704 NOW R1,622
SIMOTA AIR FILTERS
SCHUBERTH C3 BASIC HELMETS
WAS R399 NOW R240 WAS R6,750 NOW R4,050
WAS R227 NOW R136
WAS R228 NOW R137
OXFORD OL430 FIRST TIME LUGGAGE OXFORD OL162 X3 LIFETIME TAIL & TANK OXFORD OL126 X30 LIFETIME TANKBAG
FROM R795 WAS R2,465 NOW R1,480 WAS R2,866 NOW R1,720
OXFORD OF692 HOT GRIPS OXFORD ASSAULT GOGGLES OXFORD FURY GOGGLES
WAS R1,185 NOW R711
WAS R595 NOW R357
WAS R499 NOW R300
Offer valid from 26 June to 8 July 2017
While stocks last.
Ts & Cs apply.
Prices include VAT at 14%
Prices include VAT
(t) 011 251 4000
Cnr. Malibongwe Drive & Tungsten Road
Strydom Commercial Park, Randburg
1 Talla de Calota / 1 Size Outer Shell
Diseño Aerodinámico / Aerodynamic Design
Cierre Micrométrico/ Micrometric Buckle
XS S M L XL
FOR TRADE ENQUIRIES CONTACT
JHB 011 879 6470
CPT 021 552 1859
DBN 031 533 5300
It’s not often that
we get to write a
REAL eds column,
there really is not
that much to say
usually - but for
this issue we need
to comment on a
couple of things...
Bike thefts seem to be all over the news again
- please read our piece, use it, don’t use it, your call, but
We have had to carry some good stuff over to next month
- It looks like we are going to incorporate some “Afrikaans
Kultuur” with the addition of Altus Theart - he of getroud
met Rugby and all sorts fame to our freelance team. He
sent us a cool feature... but space is always an issue, so
that carries to next month along with plenty of other good
stuff that we could not quite squeeze in... So next month
he goes racing with Trax for the first time, then he’s off on
an adventure trip to Mpumalanga... really good stuff...
Racing: We get all sorts of requests to run race features
etc in the magazine and on our social media pages.
EDITOR: ROLEY FOLEY
CONTENTS: JULY 2017
PLEASE do try to understand that we CANNOT cover
everything - there is a cost to printing more pages etc, if
there is space we’ll gladly punt, but, our customers who
are prepared to put in a couple of shekels do get some
preference. We all need to earn a living and this is the fair
way to do it. We also need to maintain a fair balance in the
magazine - we cannot only focus on racing - simply not
We have always covered all of the national series, this is
sport at the premium level, so we will continue to do so.
Kapish? Any queries, give us a call.
What else? Lekker magazine for you this month - enjoy it
please and if you have suggestions, queries, etc, we are
usually pretty good at getting back to you.
OH YES!!! turn the magazine to the centrespread quickly...
Is there a UNIT sticker stuck on to the page? If there
is you’ve won a cool Unit hamper compliments of
Henderson Racing Products...
Send us a pic of yourself with the mag opened at the
centrespread, and all your contact details in order to claim
your prize. we’ll be in touch and arrange to get it all to you!
Thats it! Ride safe out there.
The Dirt And Trail Magazine team.
Office no (011) 979-5035
Elza Thiart Botes
22: HARD ENDURO: 2017 ERZBERG
32: LOCAL LAUNCH: SUZUKI V-STROM 650
38: FEATURE: BIKE THEFT
42: FIRST RIDE: DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950
CALL 011 979 5035 OR EMAIL
Digital or hard copy.
50: TESTED: TWO SHERCO’S
56: SA RACING: NATIONAL MX & ENDURO
4 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Piston and Gasket Sets
Cranks, Conrods and Camshafts
Cylinder Kits, Rebores, Main Bearings and Clutch Plates
VALVES,STEM SEALS AND SPRINGS
no 4 Fifth avenue
011 425 1081/4
ought to you by
Last months News Blunder:
Gravel Pit Motorcycles
Just off Zambesi Drive, we tried to tell you all about
the very neat Gravel Pit Motorcycles, but that
degenerated when the cam shaft came loose and oil
was spilled on the page…They are actually a dirtbike
shop and don’t have too much to do with the rubber
jobbie that fits onto GS suspension – as we told you
Gravel Pit specializes in sales and repair of all offroad
motorcycles, as well as a retail shop for all your
motorcycle accessories. Very neat, well stocked shop
in Montana Pretoria. Give Dayne a call.
346 Calliandra str, Unit 4, Montana, Pretoria.
012 548 7010
Want to win some
cool Unit Gear?
So – you’ve bought the magazine and you are
holding it in your sweaty paws… turn to the Unit
centerspread. That’s it! If there is a Unit sticker
on it, drop us a mail with your address and a
picture of you holding the magazine open at
the centerspread. We’ll print the pic make you
famous and have the hamper delivered to you!
Unit does all sorts of cool lifestyle clobber – caps,
hoodies, beanies Tee’s, keyrings, shorts, slops…
Trade enquiries Henderson Racing products – on
the back cover…
Grant Scott back to
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. The Famous,
friendly motorcycle legend and coffee machine
Bobby Scott takes care of the workshop. A great
6 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
RST Adventure Jackets
A new jacket from RST, the leathers and all sorts
company, RST Pro Series Adventure 3 Textile
Jacket. RST have taken on-board feedback
from the previous generation jacket and have
added large external TPU shoulder protectors,
improved the parachute strap and made subtle
improvements to the fit. You’ll find multiple large
adjustable vented panels, a removable thermal
lining and a separate removable waterproof lining,
so from the depths of a wet Cape winter to the
heat of the Karoo, they tell us that the Adventure
has you covered. Available at dealers…
SBS distributed by
FIRST ASCENT TENTS AND
ought to you by
Ducati Multistrada 1200
Enduro Pro launched
The new Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro Pro rougher,
tougher and built to take on the BMW GS Rallye…
Over the last few years the Ducati Multistrada 1200
has steadily transformed itself from a bulbous sports
tourer into a credible off-road machine and now it’s
taking another step towards the dirt. The new 1200
Enduro Pro builds on the foundations laid by the
Multistrada 1200 Enduro and Ducati says that the
Pro is “designed for riders eager to get off-road and
get exploring”, so what’s new?
Enduro’s new clothes
A big part of the adventure bike craze is the look
and that where many of the big changes come
on the Enduro Pro. The whole bike has a new
sand coloured paint scheme that is reflected in the
new two-tone saddle. To keep the sleek looks the
subframe is now painted black, as are the alternator
and clutch covers. Completing the rally look and
helping with a better view of the road is a low screen.
To tempt you further off the beaten path, the
Enduro Pro is fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres
as standard and if those tyres take you places
where it all gets out of hand, the Pro has a set of
crash protection bars made by Touratech. A Ducati
wouldn’t be a Ducati without the sound track either,
so the Pro also comes with a titanium Termignoni
The rest of the bike is the same, so it shares the
standard Enduro’s 1200cc Testrastretta DVT engine,
which pumps out 160hp and 100lbft of torque. It’s
also got the same traction control, wheelie control,
power modes and cornering ABS. It’s also retained
the comforts of the standard Enduro including cruise
control, hill-hold control, a 30l fuel tank and semiactive
It’s fairly clear that the Enduro Pro has been designed
to compete directly with the new BMW R1200GS
Rallye, as it shares the same hardcore off-road focus
while maintaining some road going sensibilities and
comfort. While the electronic packages of both bikes
are similar, the BMW has ‘Pro’ modes attached to
its electronics that are suited towards aggressive
off-road riding. In practice they work very well,
the brakes especially, so the Ducati may be a little
behind in those stakes. The Rallye has generated a
lot of interest for BMW and Ducati will be hoping the
Enduro Pro will do the same.
It also leaves the door open for a Multistrada 950
Enduro, perhaps with a 21” front wheel to compete
with the equally off-road focused to compete with
the KTM 1090 Adventure R. There’s been no word
from Ducati about such a bike but 113bhp from a
200kg enduro bike – yes please!
8 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
SBS distributed by
Bike SA not Bike SA
but now Bike SA
It was with much surprise that we read that bike
SA would no longer be printing – and were pretty
sad because – hey we all grew up with the famous
Fourie publication. Well there is news, the iconic
magazine will continue – It has been bought by Mr
George Portman – father of RideFast Magazines Rob
Portman. We wish them well in their endeavors.
Limited edition WR450F
and WR250F from Yamaha
Yamaha are releasing two new limited edition
enduro models alongside the new YZ450F. The
WR450F and WR250F EnduroGP models are
aimed at closed circuit enduro riders and have been
primarily designed as competition machines.
Yamaha also offer an optional power tuner to be
fitted to the bike. The unit allows riders to easily
adjust ignition and fuel mapping to suit the track,
weather conditions and riding style to suit their
The two bikes also come kitted out in the Yamaha
Enduro team-inspired factory graphic kit too and are
finally fitted with Acerbic Tri-fit handguards.
The price and exact numbers that will be produced
have yet to be announced
Both models feature a titanium Akrapovic slip-on
silencer and have had the ECU map modified to suit
the new exhaust.
Leatt’s GPX 5.5 Enduro Jacket
A Water-Resistant Heavy Duty Off-Road Jacket.
They tell us that this jacket is designed to make your
day – even in the most demanding environments.
Very durable for tougher conditions, it is equipped
with an internal hydration pocket with a bladder
suspension system that prevents sagging of the
The water resistant and dirt repellent shell keeps you
dry, whilst the adjustable ventilation will keep you
cool in hot conditions. The elbows are reinforced with
Brush Guard, an ultra-thin flex film that is featherlight
and greatly increases the scratch and abrasion
resistance of the material. The jacket has a tailored fit,
allowing you to go riding with or without body armor,
and the Leatt collar works well with or without a neck
brace. Available at dealers.
Trade enquiries www.leatt.com
10 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Bitubo’s GS components
Bitubo Suspension has been manufacturing
upgraded suspension units for race and street
motorcycle since 1963. From innovative engineering
and classic Italian design, Bitubo have created
upgrades to replace the OEM front and rear
suspension units on the BMW R1200GS and GS
Adventurer motorcycles (Available to replace either
WP or Showa OEM suspension units.)
Fully adjustable for rebound and preload, (PLUS
compression adjustment on the VXU rear
suspension. You can choose to use standard
spring, or also upgrade this to the Bitubo spring for
enhanced ride quality.
Trade enquiries: www.trickbitz.co.za
SBS distributed by
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See the full range: www.battholdings.co.za
Batt Holdings SA Tel:+27 11 205 0216 • Cell: +27 73 777 9269
Sole Distributors for • Batt Tyres • Batt Tubes
• Battech Race Products • STI Wheels USA
GraphicWerx Advertising & Design cc
ought to you by
Two cool new products
Desert Fox delivered two cool products to our
offices earlier this week and asked us to try
Desert Fox fuel cell. Kurt has used this piece of
kit and here’s what he says:
Anyone wanting to go off the
beaten where fuel availability is
a problem, the Desert Fox fuel
cell is the answer, 5L capacity,
folds flat when empty, can
be rolled up, can be hidden
inside a pannier, has its
own spout, comes with its
own securing straps, and
is extremely tough.
Many an overlander has
utilized this fuel cell, once full it can be secured on top
of any luggage, or inside luggage if there is space,
which there should be, no experienced overlander
leaves home with bursting luggage.
This fuel cell can handle heat when filled, is easy to
pour fuel into any bike, an essential piece of kit. I have
used one on occasion, my 990 has limited fuel range,
often a problem in countries outside SA, it came in
handy more than once.
Contact Bikegear in PE,
or one of their many
country wide distributors,
R620.00 buys you a lot
of peace of mind.
your closest stockist
or chat to your local
The Desert Fox adventure
helmet – the Desert Fox Enduro
We are impressed that it is Supplied standard
out of the box as a Dual sport adventure helmet.
All components required to convert to a Full
Face Street or Enduro or MX are included.
An additional peak (black/white) is included
for personal customization. Also included is a
storage helmet protection bag.The outer shell is
constructed using HCM technology (High Density
Copolymer Matrix) while the EPS inner shell is
designed to have a gradual fracturing process,
with consecutive yielding points. A removable
chin guard reduces ambient noise and draughts
from underneath the helmet. Ergonomic top
vents have purposely been placed in line to the
wind (and not at right angles) to create a cooling
12 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
air flow that does not act as a noise inducing duct.
The peak has a solid 4 point mount system to reduce
turbulence and vibration. Cheek pads include an easy
emergency release in case of an accident.
Optically correct 3D Convex face shield constructed
from German Bayer Science High Tech 2mm
Makrolon®. This is the same material used for the
visors of Formula 1 drivers. Anti-fog and Anti-Scratch
Visor, that includes an interior Anti-fog active coating
and exterior Anti-scratch coating.
They tell us that this helmet is safety tested and
certified to the European ECE 22.05 standard, which
is used internationally in over 50 countries including
Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden,
Belgium, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.
All Desert Fox helmets are also homologated and
approved by the NRCS/SABS for use in South Africa.
Ventilation ports are provided at the chin, forehead
and rear. The adjustable top vents have been
designed to be used with gloves in mind.
They have also fitted a buckle that allows you to lock
the helmet to your bike for peace of mind.
We rode with it very briefly the other day. Initial
impressions – very plain understated graphics which
we really like. The fit is comfortable. The helmet does
not feel heavy or cumbersome. Even at freeway
speeds, the helmet is reasonably quiet and feels very
stable. Access to the visor with gloves on is the best
we’ve found yet. We have always been great fans
of D-Ring chin straps because they have proved to
be almost infallible, this one comes with a click fit
system. Vision is very good especially in terms of your
peripheral view. This is something we always look for
with any goggle or helmet.
We’ll use it a bit more over coming weeks and give
you lot some more feedback.
This one retails at Plain White R 2600.00. Pain Black
R 2600.00. White Decal R 2900.00 (on special at the
moment for R 2600.00). Black Decal R 2900.00
www.bikegear.co.za for your closest stockist.
SBS distributed by
ought to you by
First Ascent tents
Perfect for adventure touring, this li’l tent
rolls up into a ball slightly bigger than a
The First Ascent Starlight 2 - Two Person Tent
is a lightweight 2 person, 3-season compact
tent. It can also be used as a small camping
tent. This tent is perfect for biking in finer, less
extreme weather conditions.
Flysheet: 210T PU Polyester - Waterhead:
1500mm. Inner: 210T Breathable Polyester.
Mesh: Fine no see mesh on doors keeps the
bugs out. Floor: 150D PU Oxford Polyester
- Waterhead: 2000mm. Poles: 8.5mm
Aluminium. Pegs: 16mm Aluminium. Guy
ropes: Reflective ropes. Capacity: 2 people.
Dimensions (LxWxH) : (60+220+60)cm x
140cm x 120cm
In stock at Offtroad Cycles (012)333-6443
Triumph assistance deals
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 new selected
Triumphs come with a cash-back feature, varying
from R10,000 to R20,000, depending on the model.
14 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
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!
Availabe at all official Triumph dealers Nation-Wide.
SBS distributed by
BUILT TO GO
AS FAR AS
DARE TO TA
BUILT TO GO
AS FAR AS YOU
DARE TO TAKE
THE 2016 2-STROKE ENDURO MODEL RANGE.
THE 2016 2-STROKE ENDURO MODEL RANGE.
The joy of the ride is often in finding routes that nobody else has used – reaching
destinations that few others would dare to aim for. The 2016 Husqvarna Motorcycles
The joy of the ride is often in finding routes that nobody else has used – rea
2-stroke enduro bikes rely on exceptional agility, a broad powerband and light
letting you easily
for. The 2016 Husqvarna Mo
2-stroke enduro bikes rely on exceptional agility, a broad powerband and li
weight – letting you easily explore wherever you choose to go.
Please make no attempt Please to make imitate no the attempt illustrated to imitate riding the scenes, illustrated always riding wear scenes, protective always clothing wear and protective observe clothing the applicable and observe provisions the applicable of the road provisions traffic regulations! of the road traffic regulations!
Photo: H. Mitterbauer The illustrated vehicles The may illustrated vary in vehicles selected may details vary from in selected the production details from models the and production some illustrations models and feature some illustrations optional equipment feature optional available equipment at additional available cost. at additional cost.
Photo: H. Mitterbauer
FREESTATE - Husqvarna Central, Bloemfontein – (051) 430 1237
FREESTATE - Husqvarna Central, Bloemfontein – (051) 430 1237
FREESTATE MPUMALANGA - Husqvarna - Vans Husqvarna, Central, Bloemfontein Middleburg –(051) (013) 430 2821237
MPUMALANGA - Vans Husqvarna, Belville (021) Middleburg 945 8019– (013) 282 0766
Husqvarna, Middleburg – (013) 282 0766
2017/01/20 8:53 PM
ought to you by
updated FS 450 Supermoto
Hot on the heels of the Witpillen, Husky has
announced updates to their FS 450 Supermoto
The 2018 machine gets a new slipper clutch that
was developed by Suter Industries helping to keep
the bike stable under hard breaking and when
The 450cc engine is housed in a new lightweight
chromoly frame that has been developed by WP
with calculated parameters of longitudinal and
torsional flex with the rear subframe being uniquely
16 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
constructed using 30% carbon fibre for reduced
weight and increased strength.
The bike has a launch control feature that can be
accessed from a switch on the handlebars, which
is also used to change the engine map. Helping
deliver the power of the machine is a 44mm Keihin
Finally, complementing the updates comes a new
graphic design for the motorcycle.
More news soon.
Motul 300V- Top quality
Oil for your dirtbike
ENGINE TYPE: 4-STROKE. 100%
SYNTHETIC. VISCOSITIES: 5W40,
300V Factory Line is a 100% synthetic
lubricant using ESTER Core® Technology
developed for Factory Teams to give
maximum power output and outstanding
engine and gearbox protection to cope with
the extreme conditions of off-road racing.
300V Factory Line has also been designed to
offer better clutch control and reduced clutch
Available at dealers all over.
SBS distributed by
4A - 6A - 8A - 10A
BATTERIES FOR ALL APPLICATIONS.
ROAD BIKES, CRUISERS, ADVENTURE BIKES, DIRTBIKES. COMMERCIAL VEHICLES AND CARS.
WE ARE ALSO ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S LARGEST SOLAR COMPONENT SUPPLIERS.
ADVENTURE BIKE TECH 011 609 3904
BIKING ACCESSORIES 012 342 7474
BIKING BRAKPAN 011 744 4660
CAYANNE 011 462 4390
CENTURION YAMAHA 012 661 6212
CYTECH 011 433 8850
EMD 012 667 1041
EASTCOAST MOTORCYCLES 031 566 3024
FACTORY RACING 011 867 0092
FULL THROTTLE 011 452 2397
FAST BIKES 015 297 8601
FOURWAYS MOTORCYCLES 011 465 1540
GAME SERVICES 011 425 1084
GPS 4 AFRICA 082 412 9359
HOLESHOT 011 826 5163
JUST BIKE TYRE 012 661 3582
KATAY RACING 011 475 9274
KCR 011 795 5545
LINEX YAMAHA 011 251 4000
MOTOMATE 011 234 5274
MOTOS KTM 018 468 8108
MOTONETIX 011 805 5200
NICK CYCLES 011 395 2553
NS 2 STROKE 011 849 8495
OFF ROAD CYCLES 012 333 6443
POWERSPORT 011 894 2111
PUZEY 011 795 4122
RANDBURG MOTORCYCLES 011 792 6829
RAD KTM 011 608 3006
RACEWORX KTM 011 027 8762
RUSSEL CAMPBELL 011 452 0504
SHIMWELLS YAMAHA 011 362 2182
ought to you by
updates to the KX250F
Kawasaki have announced updates to their
KX250F for the 2018 model.
The changes include revisions to the suspension that
sees adjustments to the rear shock and some new
components being used in the forks. The engine
and fuel injection system have received the raft of
the updates though, with Kawasaki focusing on
holeshot acceleration out of the start gate with better
bottom and mid-range power to give a smoother
engagement that makes Y the bike easier to use
with a high rpm. The fuelling CM has been altered with
new injection settings with MY the inlet area getting
re-engineered too. The CY pump pressure has also
been increased and the CMYinjector mounting angle is
also shallower. Alongside
this, Kawasaki have made
advances with the inlet timing and helps to deliver
the power and torque gains over the previous model
when matched with a lower 13:4:1 compression ratio.
Kawasaki has yet to reveal when the bike will be
available. Nor have they released just how much the
power and torque have increased by. We will update
this story when we find out more.
go fast clobber
Available at Yamaha dealers…or at
World of Yamaha in Woodmead…
Go-on, you know you want some
and they do make such cool gifts…
Paddock Pit Shirt R770.00
Paddock Hoody R980.00
Yellow VR46 Cap R640.00
Grey VR46 T-Shirt R725.00
VR46 Mug R360.00
Ladies Yellow VR46 Fleece R1300.00
Yamaha Vr46 Cap R645.00
18 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
SBS distributed by
*Finance available over 60 m
RR 2T 300 RACING
FROM R94 999
RR 2T 250 RACING
FROM R89 999
POLARIS RZR 1000 TURBO XP
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FROM R86 499
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FROM RR189 950
POLARIS SCRAMBLER 850
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POLARIS ACE 570
FROM R229 950
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KS ENDURO K
082 550 0
OFFICIAL BETA DEALERS:
SHOWROOM: 011 475 4892. WORKSHOP: *Finance available 011 over 475 60 months, 9274 no deposit. T’s & C’s apply. Images may vary from actual products.
RUSSEL CAMPBELL Edenvale
ANDREW: 011 244 1900
127 River Road,
011 452 0504
DEVON VALLEY SHOPPING CENTER, CNR 9TH AVE & RUGBY ROAD, KS ENDURO KZN
onths, no deposit. T’s & C’s apply. Images may vary from actual products.
082 550 0184 FINANCE 127 River AVAILABLE
WELTEVREDEN PARK, ROODEPOORT
(see website for pre-owned motorcycles)
TRADE INS WELCOME
*Finance available over 60 months, no deposit. T’s & C’s apply. Images ma
ought to you by
BMW GS Owners:
BMW R 1200 GS & R 1200 GS
Adventure Service Campaign
BMW Motorrad South Africa·Saturday, June 24, 2017
BMW Motorrad South Africa carries out a service
campaign on the BMW R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS
Adventure models produced between November
2013 and June 2017.
Midrand. As part of a precautionary measure, BMW
Motorrad South Africa is carrying out a service
campaign to check the fixed fork tubes of the front
forks of all the BMW R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS
Adventure models produced between the periods
November 2013 to June 2017. In South Africa 6 100
motorcycles are affected.
BMW Motorrad has determined during ongoing field
observations that the fixed fork tube of the specified
models can suffer preliminary damage under certain
circumstances when high stress can occur without
the customer noticing the damage. Such high stress
can be caused when for example, when riding over
an obstacle in the road, during a fall or when riding
through deep potholes with unvarying speed. There
may not be any visible damage to the front wheel
however any severe impact should be checked by an
authorised BMW Motorrad dealer.
Potential preliminary damage to the fixed fork tube
manifests itself through a gap between the pipe and
the pressed in top seal plugs which can be seen if the
rubber grommet is moved down the stanchion.
If the fit of the pressed in seal plug has become
loose, the gap may increase through longer usage
and where the vehicle experiences high stress
situations. This usually results in oil leaks, a clacking
noise as well as increasingly imprecise steering. If
these signals are not observed or are ignored and
further high stress incidents occur, the plug may
20 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
become completely loose.
driving conditions cannot
be ruled out.
BMW Motorrad South
Africa has therefore
decided to repair all
Owners of the affected
motorcycles will be
informed by BMW
Motorrad South Africa
of the service campaign,
which will be carried out
authorised BMW Motorrad
dealers are equipped
to carry out the check
and repairs. The service
campaign is free of charge
and all affected customers are encouraged to contact
their nearest authorised dealer as soon as possible.
In the interests of safety BMW Motorrad South Africa
encourages customers to have their motorcycles
checked by an authorised dealer before riding.
Customers may also contact BMW On Call or
an authorised dealer to have their motorcycle
transported to a dealers’ premises.
For any further questions or information customers
should contact their nearest BMW Motorrad dealer or
call the BMW Customer Service Centre on 0800 600
555. Queries can also be directed via social media
to BMW Motorrad’s social media sites: Facebook: @
BMWMotorradSA and Twitter: @BMWMotorradSA.
New Faces at Raceworx KTM
Two friendly new faces have arrived at the busy
Raceworx KTM store just off 14th Avenue.
Dirtbike Ace Racebike man Lood Bouwer is in the
workshop with the ever friendly, smiling Nel Bosch
joining the sales team.
011 027 9922.
SBS distributed by
Terms & conditions apply. Valid while stocks last. Colours and models subject to availability. Pictures for illustrative purposes only
No road too far
Save R20 000
2017 CRF450R in Stock!
Save R5 000
Entry Level adventure at its best!
HONDA NC750X R109 999
Save R10 000
Trade-Ins welcome! Finance and insurance arranged in-house.
Save R5 000
Go anywhere, do anything!
TRX250. Built Africa Tough
Red Bull Hare Scramble
This is one event that we love
covering simply because - well it’s so
flippen manic! Point the worlds best
extreme riders at piles and piles of
rocks and horrible unrideable stuff...
and off you go! Our Saffers seem to
love it - and it’s quite incredible to see
how competitive our lot are on one of
the biggest stages of them all!
So if Travis Teasdale or Wade Young
and co invite you for a little trail ride -
rather tell them to go away...
KTM mounted Spaniard Alfredo
Gomez (you met him at last years Roof
Of Africa), has claimed a career first
ErzbergRodeo win, topping the Red Bull
Hare Scramble in convincing style.
Despite a small fall during the early
stages of the race, Gomez worked
himself into the race lead shortly after
the one-hour mark. Then powering his
way through the rock-littered infamous
Karl’s Dinner section he extended
his lead over early pace-setter Jonny
Walker. Extending his lead he never
looked back, taking the later sections
22 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 23
Great spirit from Webb and Teasdale...
of the course in his stride to win by
close to three-and-a-half minutes.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have
won the Hare Scramble,’ explained
Gomez at the finish. “I knew it
would be difficult, like Erzberg
always is, so I worked really hard
to be ready for this race. That hard
work with my team has really paid
off. The race went really well for me,
apart from a small crash about 300
meters from the start. That lost me
some time, but I managed to catch
up quite quickly and I knew I could
do it. I felt good, got through most
of the difficult sections well. It was
such a great feeling to get to the
top of the last major climb. This is
the biggest win of my career, it feels
Second to Gomez was the
ever-green Graham Jarvis. As he
often does, the 2016 winner made
a cautious start to the race before
upping his pace as the technicality
of the race increased. Moving into
the runner-up position as he exited
Karl’s Dinner, Graham earned yet
another well-deserved Erzberg
result in second.
24 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Roof Champ Graham Jarvis
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 25
Clawing up Machine...
“I’m happy with second,” commented Jarvis.
“Hats off to Alfredo he was very strong, he rode
a great race. I didn’t get a good start and then
lost five or six positions when I messed up one
of the hills. But I felt pretty strong during the
second half of the race. I pushed through Karl’s
Dinner and made up some time. I don’t have
any complaints, it was a difficult but great race.
Rounding out the podium to earn his second
consecutive Hare Scramble finish was American
racer Cody Webb. Despite suffering with arm
pump the US rider got himself in the mix from
the start of the race, swapping the lead with
Jonny Walker and Wade Young. One of only
a handful of riders to lead the race, Cody was
pleased with third.
“Second last year, third this year, I’m pleased
with that,” explained Webb. Alfredo and Graham
were really strong, congrats to them. I got a
great start but I possibly pushed a little too
hard. I suffered with my arms – they locked
solid. I kept pushing and thankfully they freed
off. Back-to-back podiums is awesome.”
Winner Freddie Gomes
26 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
YOUR ROAD TRIP
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
6 SA boys in the 25 finishers...
South Africa’s Wade Young ended
his race in fourth having spent a little
time leading early on. Making a small
mistake in one of the early forest sections
he managed to get himself back in
contention with Jonny Walker before
passing the Brit to ear fourth.
Spending one-hour leading the race
Jonny Walker set a strong pace from the
start following an impressive holeshot.
Falling behind Alfredo Gomez during
Karl’s Dinner, he dropped behind Jarvis
and Webb before being passed by Young
during the final stages of the race.
Five minutes behind Walker, Paul Bolton
reached the finish 15 minutes behind
winner Gomez. Rounding out the top 10
were Billy Bolt, Manni Lettenbichler, Mario
Roman and our own Travis Teasdale.
25 riders completed the full race in the
allotted four hours. Six are South Africans!
After having two goes at the Prologue,
the best 500 riders started this year’s
Erzbergrodeo only 25 made it to the finish
- of which 5 were South Africans!
Well done to all our competitors who
tackled this toughest of hard enduro events.
4th - Wade Young (Sherco)
10th - Travis Teasdale (KTM)
12th - Scott Bouverie (KTM)
16th - Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha)
19th - Brett Swanepoel (Husqvarna) first
time at Erzberg... he says:
“I am totally stoked to have finished
my first Erzberg Rodeo,” Brett, who
competed as part of the official
Husqvarna team admitted. “This is the
hardest one-day enduro in the world and
it was a really tough day out there — I
definitely learned a lot and we will come
back stronger. “Thanks to everyone for
the help and support — especially to Fred
Fensham and Iain Pepper from Pepson
Plastics Husqvarna SA and Andreas Hölzl
of Husqvarna Austria for making this
28 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Teasdale and Bouverie at the finish
Swanepoel and Teasdale at the finish
Swanepoel at the finish
Kyle Flanagan (Yamaha) got to CP 24 of 25;
Dwayne Kleynhans (KTM) got to Checkpoint 19
from 25 while Altus de Wet (Yamaha) reached
CP18 - well done guys.
Results – ErzbergRodeo Red Bull Hare
1. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 2:17:06
2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) +00:03:22
3. Cody Webb (KTM) +00:05:04
4. Wade Young (Sherco) +00:09:31
5. Jonny Walker (KTM) +00:10:41
6. Paul Bolton (KTM) +00:15:53
7. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) +00:18:24
8. Manni Lettenbichler (KTM) +00:24:47
9. Mario Roman (Sherco) +00:30:20
10. Travis Teasdale (KTM) +00:34:06…
30 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Tough to beat
D i r t , g r a v e l , c o m f o r t .
T h e n e w 6 5 0 V - S t r o m
A month or two ago we featured the
new 650 V-Strom, with an international
launch feature and a more street oriented
review. The bike is here…. We rode it.
The bike has been launched locally – we
went along for the road bike (GSXR1000,
SV650 and GSX250R) launch at Redstar
and to our great Joy, they rolled out the
And it got even better; they told us that
we could take it home and ride the wheels
off it for a whole week. Which is exactly
what we did!
Let’s tell you lot this: Without prejudice.
At 119900.00 this is, without a doubt,
one of the very best value for money
motorcycles on the planet at the moment.
That’s easy to answer. Most single cylinder
modern dirtbikes are nudging the Suzuki’s
price… the big bore single cylinder
adventure bikes generally cost more and
are very dirt focused in application. The
previous models were just so underrated,
but now that motorcycle pricing has come
to the fore – in our eyes anyway, this bike is
a flippen shining superstar. Just Look at the
technology that Suzuki has packed into it –
and it reads something like this:
V-Twin (Two-cylinder), fuel injected big
bike. Tubeless, signature gold spoked
wheels – (mixed feelings on the gold), but
the mags are gone. A 20 litre tank that
gave us a range of 350km’s, ABS (3 levels
Nogal), traction Control, Digital display.
A new dash cluster borrowed from
the V-Strom 1000 features an analog
tachometer combined with a host of LCD
display functions. The rider is able to select
information on the LCD display or choose
a TC setting utilizing a switch located on
the left handle bar. The dash also now
includes a 12v DC lighter-type outlet for
powering electronic accessories. Unique
to the V-Strom 650XT are hand guards and
the engine under cowling (not a skid plate)
adding to the adventure bike appearance.
The fairing is updated and flaunts a
distinctive beak styling. Suzuki started the
beak look for adventure bikes on the 1991
DR-Z Dakar rally racebike, and it continues
to shout that you’re not on a traditional
street or dirt bike. Not just a styling
exercise, the new fairing also enhances
the ride by reducing noise and buffeting.
The windscreen is adjustable, though
regrettably requires Allen sockets for the
job. It’s definitely quieter, though it will take
time to determine which of three height
positions is best for you. Chuck in the
sculpted seat with real world comfort for a
pillion and great performance for street with
genuine gravel cred.
Do you get our drift?
AND here’s a big plus – it’s a Suzuki, proven
technology, so you know for sure that
quality and reliability is right up there with
Are we raving about it? Bet your ass we are!
32 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
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So what’s it like to ride?
In the land where bigger is better, some
people might scoff at the fact that this is
only a 650 – but there is nothing wrong
with this bikes performance. Down low for
commuting or general street use there is
plenty of grunt for scarving through traffic.
The exhaust note is just so sweet – as a
V-Twin should be.
The bike has an updated powertrain
that adopts the same 645cc liquid-cooled
V-twin that served as the centerpiece of the
new for 2016 SV650. Perhaps the biggest
news here is the inclusion of traction control
allowing the rider a choice of two levels of
intervention along with the ability to override
the system. In addition to improved low-tomidrange
power and tractability comes the
convenience of Suzuki Easy Start System in
which engine startup will now only require a
momentary one-push of the starter button.
Another recent “SV-derived” feature is Low
RPM Assist that helps avoid stalling the
motor when pulling away from a standing
stop. It’s a pretty slick feature that raises
idle rpm when the bike is in gear and the
clutch is engaged. Take her out on to the
freeway and open her up. Acceleration is
not quite as exciting as the big 1000’s, but
it’s plenty fast enough for getting away from
big traffic snarls – and so smooth. She runs
strong all the way up to around the 180KPH
mark. Nothing manic, but a smooth,
exciting bike to ride…
Road handling – just spot-on. Excellent
cornering and braking – there is nothing
You do feel a pillion a bit, She is happiest at
about the 140KPH mark, but when you need
to go, you gear down and she’ll head up to
the 160 mark easily. And the pillions all felt
super comfortable – which is very important
when considering a bike like this. For touring,
the bike comes standard with a neat cast
carrier out back and mounting points for
Of course being an adventure magazine,
we took her out on some good gravel roads
and for a splash through our local river
crossing. With it’s 19” front wheel, the Suzuki
is not particularly happy in thick sand, but on
the gravel, even with the more road biased
Bridgestone Battlax tyres, it feels great. We
would probably look at a slightly stiffer front
spring in the forks for any heavy going – we
did feel the corrugations when we pushed
her. We love the fact that you don’t need long
legs to maneuver her about. Stand up riding
is comfortable for when you need to attack.
Ground clearance is just fine – but we’d
look at fitting a sturdy skid plate if we were
going to do any proper adventuring….
What a bike! In todays market – the
absolute best value for money around! Get
to your Suzuki dealer and see for yourself.
We gave the bike to Corinne Andrews
(www.adventurecompany.co.za) who rode
the old one for almost two years – and
here’s what she had to say:
I Love the new look – the yellow and
black is gorgeous.
It feels a lot less bulky than the old model
-same height which is cool because that’s
not too tall. Power is snappy and smooth
through the gears all the way up to sixth.
Very comfortable – but I was not happy
with the high screen position.Iit offers great
protection but because I’m short, I need to
look through it and I don’t like that. I would
fiddle with the adjustment to lower it (that
seemed to be quite complicated), or have
to find a shorter screen.
Ergonomics – placement of pegs, levers
and bars are spot on.
Fantastic bike! Sharper all round, still
retaining that classic V-Strom feel.
Exciting, fun to ride – not too different
from the old one – and I love the new
And here’s what Kurt has to say: www.
Suzuki V-Strom DL 650 2017
So, I arrive at Dirt & Trail for a quick coffee,
there stands the 2017 650 V-Strom, Glenn
hands me the keys before I get chance to
take off my helmet and gloves, take it for
spin he says, I don’t need telling twice, I’ve
always had a soft spot for the Suzuki DL
650, it has always been the best value for
money, very under-rated 650 out there…..
Off I go down the road, wow, it pulls
really well, considering I arrived at Dirt &
Trail on a 1290 R KTM, the dash is very
informative, sitting position is nice, wind
protection is good, I hit the first dirt road
I can find, Traction Control was already
off, I did not have time to find out how to
switch the ABS off, ah well, I know it will
stop…The new V-Strom now has spoked
tubeless wheels, wonderful, the previous
model 3 spoked magnesium rims scared
me a bit, these new spoked wheels, gold
rims and all, really look the part. The dirt
road changed to a farm track, no worries,
suspension felt good, handling was easy,
no surprises. I was not very comfortable
standing, maybe I’m a bit tall for the current
setup, maybe the handlebars could be
lifted a bit, but I was quite comfortable
seated, the V-twin 650 motor has very
useable torque for dirt use, and once back
on tar I could open it up a bit, more than
enough power to go way over the highway
speed limit, this is a very versatile bike.
Two up with luggage will be no problem,
providing both people are the sensible side
of average weight, and I’m told 300km + on
a 17L tank is no problem, at R120K this has
got to be the most value for money bike
around, and it is a lot of fun to ride, the DL
650 Suzuki has just got better….
Now for the coffee….
34 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Oils & Lubricants
Oil Filters & Air Filters
Valve Stems and Seals
Bearings & Seal Kits
Giddy Up Linhai!
Horses and quads…
We vote for the mechanical variety, the organic
ones have serious emission control issues, crappy
brakes and emission control issues… here’s a cool
feature about how utility ATV’s compliment the work
environment… Horses and ATV’s on the same trails in
the cape winelands. That’s cool!
So quiet and efficient are her Linhai Rustler 260 quad
bikes, iconic horsewoman, Michelle Mazurkiewicz, uses
them side-by-side with the horses on her trails. “We have
many situations where some members of a family want to
go on our beautiful trails but for one reason or another do
not want to do them on horseback. So instead of being left
out they join the ride on a Linhai quad,” she says.
Michelle adds that the Linhai machines are perfectly suited
for this activity. “They are safe, easy to handle, they run
quietly and are powerful enough to handle any terrain. Of
course, our horses have got used to moving alongside these
machines and we have never had any trouble,” she says.
But horses are generally comfortable around Michelle
who is one of this country’s greatest horsewomen. She is a
qualified SANEF (now Equestrian Qualifications Authority of
Southern Africa) and British Horse Society (BHS) instructor.
Her expertise covers most horse activities, including
show jumping, eventing, endurance riding, horse racing,
polocross, polo driving and film work. “I have been involved
with horses for the past 28 years and have run my own yard
of over 280 horses for the past 15 years,” she says.
Michelle also runs quad-only trails at the beautiful
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl to where she moved her
business, Wine Valley Horse Trails, in 1998. “Our trails are
typical of the Paarl Valley area. Spectacular views and a
particularly pleasant micro-climate make them accessible
to children and adults alike the whole year round.”
She adds that what she likes about the Linhai is how
they fit into this environment. “Some machines just don’t
cut it in this sublime atmosphere but these Linhai’s,
even though they are powerful, are somehow gentle and
environmentally appropriate,” she says.
36 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Michelle also praised Maverick Motorsport, Linhai dealer in the
Western Cape, for their excellent customer service. “We recently
bought our 15th machine which indicates our satisfaction with
their performance and, of course, the excellent service that we
get from Leon and his team at Maverick. Machine quality without
the service in times of need is not worth much,” she says. “I
would not have considered purchasing the Linhais without this
standard of service”.
The Linhai Rustler 260 XL 2x4 Quad Bike is one of Linhai’s bestsellers
the world over. “This quad bike is the perfect entry level
quad. Its light weight and automatic transmission makes it easy
to use, a blast to ride, yet with the racks and hitch, still capable
of helping out with the chores,” says SPE’s Mark Chittenden “It’s
quite amazing what Michelle has done with her business and we
hope to be able to be of service to her for many years to come,”
Key features of the Linhai 260 2X4 Quad
257 cc, 4 stroke, single cylinder SOHC, liquid cooled engine;
Electric starter; High/Low range with reverse gear; 200kg tow
capacity; 2015mm x 1140mm x 1195mm (LxWxH) dimensions;
Dry weight 280kg.
For your closest Linhai dealer:
Smith Power Equipment
Tel: (011) 284.2000 Contact: Robert Keir
TAILORED INSURANCE COVER FOR ALL TYPES OF
ON/OFF ROAD MOTORCYCLES
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 - There seems to be a spike in bike thefts at the moment
and the crooks appear to be getting smarter and smarter as they go?
Omni Group - This is correct, syndicates have realized that there is
decent value in the stolen motorcycle and potentially it is far easier
than Hi Jacking or stealing a motor vehicle.
Glenn Foley - The vast majority of riders do not insure their dirtbikes
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
jumps off the trailer on the highway and smashes into a new Bmw/
Merc? If you have NO insurance you will still need to pay which will
leave you financially stranded, my opinion “rather be safe than sorry”
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
papers potentially, no anti-theft devices) For the small premium you
will pay it will be worth every cent enquiring on what we can offer
Glenn Foley - The guys are so brazen. Now that we are maplotters,
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
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
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!
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.
TAILORED INSURANCE COVER FOR ALL TYPES OF
ON/OFF ROAD MOTORCYCLES
Ride More Stress Less
The Ducati 950 Multistrada and the KTM Adventure 1090R
We got our hands on a couple of new adventure bikes this weekend and headed out for a bit of a bash around the bush,
both bikes had a 70/30 split off road vs road capabilities but were completely opposite to each other, sort of like Chuck
Norris vs James Bond, the orange one is a full on skop, skiet and donder type whilst the red is a lot more elegant and
refined… Words: Sean Hendley and Kurt Beine Pics: Kyle Lawrenson, Glenn Foley
42 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Last month you’d have read all about the
new KTM Adventure lineup and in that we
gave you all the specs as well as some fairly
detailed insights into what we thought.
We have not, however told you much
about the latest Multistrada from Ducati,
because – well they don’t really keep us
that informed. We did however, crack the
nod to borrow one and hey presto! We can
share our thoughts on what is – another
All about the 950 Multistrada: www.
On the surface, it looks very similar to
the Multistrada 1200. But is it simply a case
of scaling down or is there more to this
‘smaller’ Multistrada than meets the eye? To
better understand what makes this new 950
tick, we are took a look into what separates
it from the 1200.
As the name itself suggests, the Multistrada
950 is running a smaller motor when
compared to the Multistrada 1200.
That’s not to say that this motor is just
a smaller capacity version of the larger
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 43
one, the Multistrada 950 borrows
the Testastretta 11o motor from the
Hypermotard. This 937cc, L-Twin,
liquid-cooled motor features four
valves per cylinder and is capable
of producing 113hp of peak power
coming in at 9,000rpm, and a
maximum torque figure of 96.2Nm that
comes in at 7,750rpm.
Both the Multistrada 950 and the 1200
feature 48mm KYB fully adjustable
upside-down forks at the front and a
fully adjustable Sachs monoshock at
the back. However, the 1200S variant
has a few suspension tricks up its
sleeve. It get the Ducati Skyhook
Suspension (DSS) system which
allows riders to electronically change
suspension parameters such as
preload, rebound and compression
damping. All the rider has to do is
change the riding mode and the bike
can either pull up suspension settings
to match that mode or they can even
set custom suspension parameters.
Suspension travel across the 950, 1200
and 1200S remains identical at 170mm
(for both front and rear).
Not only is the alloy wheel design on
the Multistrada 950 different from that
of the 1200, there’s one other crucial
difference as well. Just like the 1200’s
Enduro variant, the 950 features a 19-
inch front wheel. Rear wheel size for
the regular Multistrada 1200 and 950
remain the same at 17-inch. And while
both the bikes run Pirelli Scorpion Trail
II tyres with the same 120/70 section/
profile, the 1200 gets a fatter 190/55
rear tyre as compared to the 950’s
The larger front wheel makes for
some different front-end geometry for
the 950 though. It has a larger rake
angle at 25.2 degree, as compared
to the 1200’s 24 degree. The trail on
the other hand is marginally shorter
at 105.7mm for the 950, whereas the
1200’s trail measures in at 106mm. We
would love to see a spoked wheel with
a 21 inch front, but to our knowledge
this is not on the cards…
Again, this is one area where the
Multistrada 950 borrows from the
Multistrada 1200 Enduro. While the
1200 and 1200S sports a gorgeous
single-sided swingarm unit, the 950
gets the Enduro’s more rugged doublesided
swingarm. This ensures that the
950 has a lot more off-road chops than
the standard 1200 and the 1200S.
44 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Size and weight
Thanks to the bigger double-sided
swingarm, combined with the larger 19-
inch front wheel, the Multistrada 950 has a
1,594mm wheelbase. This is the same as
the 1200 Enduro, but significantly longer
than standard 1200 and 1200S. This does
add to the overall length of the 950, making
it about 80mm longer in totality as compare
to the Multistrada 1200. And while there’s
no difference in overall height, the 950 has
a fixed seat height of 840mm, while the
1200’s can be adjusted from 825-845mm.
Surprisingly, there’s not a huge weight
difference between the two models. The
950 has a kerb weight of 229kg, while the
‘larger’ 1200 and the 1200S are heavier by
3kg and 6kg, respectively. But the 950 feels
lighter than that, as Ducati ditched some
centre panels for this bike (much like they
did on the 1200 Enduro), which makes it
narrower right under the saddle.
The Multistrada 1200 really set the
benchmark when it came to electronic aids
on adventure touring motorcycles. The
electronics on the Multistrada 950 are a
much simpler. There are four riding modes
– Urban, Touring, Sport and Enduro – just
like in the 1200, but there’s pretty much a
conventional wheel-speed-based eightlevel
traction control system managing grip,
and a basic three-step ABS which doesn’t
take cornering into consideration. The 950
doesn’t feature any wheelie control either.
The Multistrada 950 and the base 1200
share the same all-LCD instrument cluster
and even switchgear is more or less the
same. However, the 1200S gets a very
smart-looking full-colour TFT display
and a five-way direction pad on the left
switchgear to navigate menus on the
instrument screen. The 1200 also gets
cruise control as standard, a feature notably
missing on the 950.
This from Sean:
The two bikes we rode were the new Ducati
950 Multistrada and the all new KTM 1090
Adventure R, both gorgeous in their own
rights and both exceptionally capable in
different areas. An instant giveaway is the
fact that the orange brigade have fitted a 21
inch spoked wheel, whilst the Italians went
for a gorgeous 19 inch mag wheel up front.
Initially, Kurt thought that the Multistrada
was a 1200cc and was quite stunned to
find it was “only” a 950cc. The motor is very
perky with good punch off the line, a more
than acceptable top end and has such a
sexy snarl when you yank on the throttle
that I spent most of the time playing with it
The 950 Multistrada is road bike with
very good off road capabilities. It has a
beautifully sculpted low slung seat and
bodywork that has you sitting inside the
bike as opposed to on top of the bike, so
you feel integrated into the bike, at one
with the bike which translates to more
confidence in the handling and better
comfort on the long distance fast tar
sections. Ergonomically the bike is more
suited to the medium to shorter rider but
was quite comfortable for my lanky 2m
46 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
frame. The easily adjustable windshield,
(one handed operation on the fly), was very
effective in keeping the wind off me and
very cleverly it is situated quite close to the
rider which minimises the effect of the low
pressure cell that normally builds up behind
taller windshield situated quite far forward
away from the rider.
Road handling is absolutely superb, you
can get your knee down in the corners with
without needing the adventure rated brown
underpants and high speed, straight line
stability is as good as you would expect
from any premium model big bore street
bike. I got it up to 210kmh and ran out of
open road. As it is I had to bob and weave
past other traffic to get an open section
of tar, which the Multistrada did quite
eloquently and easily, never once hesitating
under quick demand acceleration. The
brakes reigned the speed back in without
Once we hit the dirt I figured I had better
take it easy because this bike felt so good
on the tar that it might be a bit dodgy off
road. I had no need to worry.
Even with the street bias Pirelli Scorpion
Trail 2’s the Multistrada is sure footed
on good quality dirt roads building up
respectable speeds without any fuss or faf.
I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was fitted
with any electronic nannies or gizmo’s
because even in the really rough sections
I never felt I had any need for them nor did
I feel them interfering with my riding style.
My only small gripe, and this has nothing
to do with the bike but more my build and
riding style, is that I found the foot pegs to
be a little too tight up against the frame and
the handle a little low for when I needed to
stand up but I am 2m’s tall.
In the great scheme of things, the 950cc
Ducati Multistrada is an exceptionally good
bike all around, looks gorgeous, has a
sexy but quite elegant snarl and if Ducati’s
pricing strategy is anything to go by, I’m
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 47
guessing it is quite affordable as well.
This would undoubtedly be one of my top
choices if I were looking for an a softer dual
Endless horisons in absolute comfort.
The KTM 1090R www.ktm.com
If it’s excitement that you are looking for
then this one delivers in spades!
You can take a gander at last
months issue for all of the technicalities
surrounding the new 1090, this is about
what it’s like to ride…
Where the Multistrada is the capable but
elegant James Bond, the KTM 1090 R has
the full skop, skiet and donder Chuck Norris
feel about it. It is a muscular and rugged off
road bike that can handle itself beautifully
on the tar. It feels like a big, very powerful
dirt bike when riding off road. It has huge
amounts of suspension travel with really
good damping and rebound, grippy big
block knobbly tyres and a motor with power
that seems to know no end. Because of
its off road bias you don’t sit in the bike
like the Multistrada, but on top of it as you
would expect from a dirt bike, which gives
you more freedom of movement on the
technical dirt tracks, over rocks, through
mud and etc, but this does make it a little
less comfortable on long tar sections.
The KTM 1090 R has plenty of power
and - far more top end than the knobbly
tyres fitted were spec’d for, or the quite
asthmatic sounding standard exhaust
would belie, (I highly recommend a good
aftermarket can as an immediate upgrade
when purchasing this bike).
We got up to 217kmh and the KTM just
wanted to give more, but we chickened out
in a bit of traffic.
Once again, being on the longer side of
tall, I did find the handle bars a bit low for
me when standing up, but that can easily
be rectified with some adjustment and the
standard repositioning settings, or if you
wish, the procurement of some taller bars.
Once up on the pegs I easily cruised over
most dirt section at 100kmh plus with very
little concern, the KTM is very sure footed in
any kind of dirt, rock or mud.
It’s everything that I’ve heard about. A
hard core adventurer.
All in all, both bikes are fantastic, if you
spend the majority of your time cruising
48 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
down tar roads but want an adventure
that is comfortable on long distance,
lightweight, fast and very elegant but is not
scared of a dirt trail or a goat path then the
Ducati Multistrada 950 should be high on
your list. If you want a “meneer” dirt bike
that is light, easy to throw around and great
fun in serious dirt but can tackle any fast tar
trip with lots of off road sections thrown in,
the KTM 1090 R is right up there with the
This in from seasoned campaigner Kurt
Beine – www.roamafrica.co.za
Ducati Multistrada 950
A call from Glenn, ‘wanna go for a ride on
Sunday? I have the Ducati Multistrada and
the KTM 1090 R’. No need to twist my
arm, there like a bear, aboard my new KTM
Our route took us through the farmlands
in the Bapsfontein area, along railway lines,
tracks and a bit of tar. I did not ride the 1090
R much because I had already experienced
its excellence on the recent KTM media
launch, so i left the fun of riding the KTM
1090 R up to Kyle and Sean. Besides,
I wasn’t too hard done by on my 1290
R. Riding behind Kyle and Sean as they
alternated bikes, Sean very reluctantly gave
up the Ducati Multistrada, he was in his
element, but Kyle wasn’t too upset having to
ride the KTM 1090 R most of the time either.
Eventually it was my turn to ride the
Ducati, first on tar for a while and then dirt,
and some pretty nasty dirt…..the Ducati
immediately felt very comfortable, a quick
check of the comprehensive fully digital
dash to see I was in the correct mode, off I
went, I like a bike that I sit ‘in’ and not ‘on’,
and the Ducati is a bike that you sit ‘in’,
extremely comfortable, the screen worked
well, easy to adjust to my tall height, I was
very impressed with the torque and power
of this motor, and was quite surprised when
Glenn told me it is ‘only’ a 950, I assumed
it was a 1200, it has to be one of the
strongest smoothest 950’s out there, I later
learnt the performance figures, 113 hp, 95
Nm of torque, pretty strong for a motor just
under 950cc. There are 1000cc and bigger
bikes out there that make less.
Ground clearance is ok for dirt, not super
high, but for the market this bike is aimed
at, more than enough. Service intervals
of 15000km, all the safety systems like
ABS and traction control included, superb
seated comfort, a very nice exhaust note
from standard a very tucked in compact
exhaust, an excellent standard package. My
only gripe was standing comfort, the sides
of the bike in my calf area protruded too
much for my liking, but dirt road handling
while seated was quite good, one would
only need to stand through the tough
stuff, no need to stand all the time while
on dirt. Footpeg rubbers are removeable
for more aggressive dirt road use, and
all the luggage options are available to
make this ‘little’ Ducati a very competent
tourer, pillion or solo, in fact a very versatile
bike, a commuter during the week, some
adventure on the weekends.
To compare the Ducati 950 to the KTM
1090 R is not really fai… the Ducati is
more suited for long distance pillion or solo
touring, good surface dirt roads, where the
KTM 1090 R is more suited to solo touring,
and any kind of gnarly dirt you care to throw
at it, perhaps the KTM 1090 Adventure
would be fairer comparison to the Ducati, I
can’t think of a bike offhand at the moment
to compare to the KTM 1090 R.
SPECS: DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950
Engine: 937cc Testastretta, L-Twin cylinder, LC
Power: 113hp @ 9,000rpm
Torque: 96Nm @ 7,750rpm
Wet weight: 229kg
Seat height: 840mm
Fuel capacity: 20L
Price: R176,000 (Red) R180,000 (White)
Detailed specs: www.ducati.co.za
SPECS: KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R
Engine: 1050cc 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°
Power: 125hp @ 8,500rpm
Torque: 109Nm @ 6,500rpm
Wet weight: 244kg
Seat height: 890mm
Fuel capacity: 23L
Detailed specs: www.ktm.co.za
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 4 9
50 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
Three bikes came along, the famous 300
four-stroke, which in our opinion is one of
the best balanced dirt bikes on the market.
Full stop. Also along was a rare SER-F
Factory edition 450 and an even rarer 250
Yup. Sherco’s bikes are still bench built –
not on a production line. Our South African
importers approached them with the aim of
building a bike more suited to cross country
racing – something akin to Yamaha and
Husky’s FX’s and the the KTM XC models.
So, it’s basically a 250 enduro bike with
more pep than the stock 250 machine.
Why would they build it?
For cross country GNCC type racing –
perfect for our off-road racing conditions
and for GNCC in the States. Now bear
in mind that Sherco could not take the
shortcut of simply fitting an MX inspired
engine – they don’t build MX bikes.
The bike is based on the SE-R F
250 with a whole new top-end – higher
compression piston, a bit of work on the
cylinder head. They have played with the
mapping to get more torque and bottom
end but still revs out.
4 bikes have been built and shipped to
South Africa. The only four in the world.
How’s that for cool? Very interesting...
It comes with closed cartridge forks
and a beefier than standard unit out back.
Akarapovic pipe with power bomb is
standard. MMMM so nice!
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 51
The very rare 250 Cross Country
The 450 SEF-R Factory:
The four-stroke Factory models are
unique. Matthew Phillips won the World
Championship on a 300 SEF-R in 2016. The
2017 Factory replicas are extremely close
to being the same bike as he rode including
the graphics and components.
The bikes include the new WP Xplor
suspensions, an Akrapovic exhaust, a
Pyramid saddle, anodized wheels... and of
course the factory graphics kit, that is similar
to the factory Sherco. A larger translucent fuel
tank finishes the bike off.
From any angle, this bike is a head turner –
something just a little bit unique. This one was
fitted with a very trick TRAX WP rear shock*.
Both bikes have the mapping switch
for a softer ride – or a more aggressive
power curve. Both bikes feel very small
and compact and a big bonus is that they
are not overly tall. Great ground clearance,
but easy to get your feet down. Both bikes
are fuel injected. Both bikes share the
high end components found on all Sherco
motorcycles. Added extra’s include Cycra
hand guards and the 450 has some pretty
PSP protectors fitted.
The 450 beast
52 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
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We spent a cool few hours on the bikes.
The only thing lacking at this venue are
any hard core rocks – it’s a shame that the
koppie is off limits.
Our first stop was at the tight twisty trail
that runs through the forest – perfect to
test how nimble a bike really is. The 250
shines in this terrain – so small – and at just
on 100 KG’s light too. The power is more
peppy than the stock 250, but it’s still very
user friendly and less aggressive than other
FX’s that we have ridden. The suspension
The 450 was noticeably different. You
can immediately feel extra 10 KG’s, so you
need to be a bit more awake scarving along
the tight stuff – or she will push you around.
We were immediately impressed at how
user friendly – the word linear is overused
sometimes but that describes this bike
perfectly. The big 450 mill is – not weak by
any means – but not brutal like many of the
big cc machines out there.
54 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
In to the quarry we went – just for some
showboating and – the very cool photo’s
that you are looking at. More of the same
really – the 250 is very light and nimble –
and it LOVES to be revved. The 450 stays
well planted with lots of bottom end torque.
Then it was time for the loop – a badly
rutted, horrible whooped out section where
you can really get the feel for the bikes in
race conditions. To be quite frank, sections
of this loop are just plain horrible…
The 250’s lightness again came in to play
easy to choose the best line and stay on the
revs, it’s easy to hoik the wheel out of the
ruts. Suspension on this bike was set up
for a very light rider so we fatter guys would
have preferred it to be a bit stiffer. But that’s
The 450 was quite simply amazing.
The added weight and power feels better
planted and you can feel that this bike
was well set up. It’s fast through ruts and
whoops and holds the line beautifully. Really
– outstanding in this terrain.
Back into the trees and the 250 was the
boss again – small, nimble and so easy
to ride. The 450 is very user friendly in the
more gnarly stuff – but give her the roughest
open section and she really is impressive.
Both bikes are very fast, incredibly nimble
and they do love to rev… a great option for
people looking for something a bit more
Oh – and please – although this feature
is not about the 300 – go and take one
for a ride. In our opinion – one of the most
balanced four stroke dirt bikes on the
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compression and rebound damping.
The TRAX unit is a very compact system in the bottom mounting
fork of the shock, which significantly improves the grip of the rear
wheel. This system has been successfully implemented by the
Factory Racing department and many World Championship titles
prove how effective it is.
The TRAX system has been developed in order to reduce the time
frame after a bump where acceleration is not possible because of
the slow rebound of the rear wheel.
The TRAX system registers when the rear wheel has no ground
contact and immediately opens an oil bypass so that the rebound
can expand faster than is possible with a conventional system.
• You feel more confident and you have more comfort
• You feel more grip and traction of the rear wheel, you
• Your bike rides higher in the stroke when navigating repeated
bumps (no “packing down“)
• The TRAX technology is used by factory racing teams in
Enduro, MX and Rally
• Adjustable Spring Preload (Preload Adjuster can be ordered
preassembled on some models or separately)
• Adjustable High-Speed Compression Damping
• Adjustable Low-Speed Compression Damping
• Adjustable Rebound Damping
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 55
A great day
in the office
National MX, Dirt Bronco
MX 2 start with Johsua Mlimi 259 and Richie van der
Westhuizen 717 batteling it out for the holeshot
Pics by Zygmund Brodalka and Tristan Foley
The fourth round of the 2017 Monster Energy TRP Distributors SA
National Motocross Championship took place at Dirt Bronco a couple
of weeks ago.
It was Fantastic – with record numbers of entries and spectators
making their way to the circuit…
If you have never been to a National MX meet – get your sorry ass off
the couch and go and spectate. It is FANTASTIC to watch the big dawgs
fighting it out.
Despite the cold, racers knew that the day was going to be huge when
they fell in line and waited about 20 minutes to get into the track. Spirits
were high and there was huge anticipation for the racing ahead. The
excitement was matched by the spectators that attended. Saturday the
3rd of June, warmed up nicely and racers soon began to prepare their
nerves for some awesome dirt biking.
We watched in awe as hordes of lighties lines up on their little
screamers to bash bars – the future of MX looks very bright at the
This round was packed with competitive racing as well as some serious
upsets in MX2 where Husky’s Maddy Malan had a bad day in the office
after 6 consecutive wins going down in heat 1 and crashing out of heat 2.
It was here that Yamaha’s David Goosen capitalized, but it wasn’t all easy
Goosen went down early in heat 1 while going for the pass for the lead
but managed to salvage points by making his way back up to 4th. A win
in heat 2 saw him take 2nd for the day and the points lead – giving him
the red plate.
Neil van der Vyver
leading the 50 cc
125 cc High School class
with Cameron Durow
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Jhb crowds turning out
in their numbers
In MX1 it was the former multiple SA
Champion, Husqvarna’s Richard van der
Westhuizen claimed the day. He finished
4th in the first heat, but took an early lead
in heat 2 and ran away from the field for
Yamaha’s Tristan Purdon, came firing
into this round like a man on a mission
after some trouble at round 3 in Bloem,
he put in a solid effort going 3-2 for 3rd
overall and retains his points lead in the
Racing got underway and the crowd
was kept enthralled and captivated with
some of the closest racing seen in ages.
In the MX1 Premier class, it was veteran
and past SA Champion, Richard van
der Westhuizen from Husqvarna Racing
who took the overall win. Despite only a
fourth place in Heat 1, he knocked it out
of the park in Heat 2 with a first place
that reminded us why he is a multiple
champion, and that gave him the top spot.
Damon Strydom, from Grainger Racing,
put in an excellent performance and took
first place in Heat 1. He lost Heat 2, but
recovered and walked away with second
place for the day.
Tristan Purdon, from Tintswalo Out of
Africa Yamaha, retained his points lead
with his consistent performance and took
third and second place in Heats 1 and 2
respectively. He ended in the third place
overall for the day.
The biggest upset came in the Premier
MX2 class. After six wins, Husqvarna
Racing’s Matthew ‘Maddy’ Malan’s day
started out badly when he went down in
the first corner with eight other riders in
the Heat 1 start. Maddy fought hard to get
to fourth place in the race before a small
mistake saw him fall back again.
The crowd was blown away by the
amazing performance of Cape Town rider
Anthony Raynard, from GAC Laser Ace
Sports Racing, and his win in Heat 1.
Again, Heat 2 again did not go as
planned for Maddy. Despite every effort,
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he crashed hard and ended his hopes for
points for that race. It was incredible to
see how hard he fought to work his way to
the front, but once again the sport showed
how unforgiving it can be.
Anthony put in another excellent
performance, but it was David Goosen,
from Tintswalo Out of Africa Yamaha, who
took 1st place in Heat 2.
Anthony took the overall first prize,
with David in second and Kerim Fitz-
Gerald, from Red Bull KTM, third. A solid
performance for him, but not what he
would have wanted on a home track.
We caught up with David & Tristan after
the racing to get a view from where they
stand and how they plan to hold onto
those red plates.
David: Congratulations on taking the
lead in MX2 David! Can you run us through
your ride on the weekend?
Thanks guys, so rounding up my ride
on the weekend at Dirt Bronco. It was
a great escape from my current work
schedule. I was feeling good on the bike,
even though Broncos’ is my home track,
the competition is still very tough with the
top 8 riders in the series all being on top
of their game. I really just came into this
round with an open mind that anything
could happen, even though I was still able
to capitalise on Maddy being out, I still
made a few mistakes of my own that I was
fortunate to recover from. I’m super happy
to have the red plate which I’ll be trying
my best to hold onto.Looking forward
to the next round in Pietermaritzburg
in 6 weeks, the points are really close
right now so no one can afford any slip
ups. I’m just going to continue working
hard towards that championship goal!
Thanks to my sponsors and everyone that
continues to support me.
Tristan: Well done on retaining your
lead in MX1! How did it go down at Dirt
I was feeling good going into Broncos’,
I just wanted to prove I could bag another
win after the bad ride that I had in Bloem
in the last round. I like the track a lot, it’s
always changing up so everyone has a
fair chance. It has big ruts and is quite
rough, it reminds me a lot of the European
tracks. To add to that I’m super happy
to add even more points to my lead in
the championship, although we’re only
halfway through the battle. I’m just going
to stay focused and consistent! I’d just like
to say shout out to everyone behind me, I
really appreciate it!
14 ladies lined up at the gates. Some
interesting racing for the day as Natasha
Rugani finished on the 2nd step of the
Current points leader MX
1 Tristan Purdon
Current points leader in
MX2 Maddy Malan
Kevin Moran from 2nd Gear
store Kawasaki in MX 3
Kyla Raaff in the ladies class
KOM MAAK N DRAAI,ONS PRAAT OOK ENGELS
podium. Kayla Raaff led the second
heat, but unfortunately dropped it in a
corner which left her 3rd for the day.
Nanda Clowes took the top step and
championship points lead.
It was a record entry day for Dirt
Bronco and the number of spectators
overwhelmed the committee who had
put the race day together.
“The last time we saw so many
people was 25 years ago at the National
Motorcross event,” said John Errington,
senior developer at Dirt Bronco.
The riders aged from about four years
old all the way up to the grand veteran
of South African motocross, Johnny
Nell, who is still actively competing at
the age of 67.
Proudly Brought to you by:
Pro Mini start Camden MC Llelan(1) and KTM
team mate Jono Mlimi( 259)
2017 SA Motocross
Nationals Dirt Bronco
1st Richard van der
2nd Damon Strydom
3rd Tristan Purdon
1st Anthony Raynard
2nd David Goosen
3rd Kerim Fitz-Gerald
1st Ian Topliss
2nd Brett Bircher
3rd Kevin Moran
125 High School
1st Slade Smith
2nd Ricky Raaff
3rd Cameron Durow
1st Nanda Clowes
2nd Natasha Rugani
3rd Kayla Raaff
1st Camden Mc Lellan
2nd Dalton Venter
3rd Jonathan Mlimi
1st Blake Young
2nd Nate Mc Lellan
3rd Dylan Kirk
1st Daiyaan Manuel
2nd Tyler Tarantino
3rd Emmanuel Bako
1st Neil van der Vyver
2nd Jordan van Wyk
3rd Liam Botha
Round 5 of the
championship will take
place in Maritzburg,
KZN on 22 July…
Western Capes Anthony Raynard in MX 2
David Goosen MX 1
Bubba Mlimi railling
the ruts in the snd
Moto MX 2
Kerim Fitz Gerald MX 1 Richard van der Westhuizen MX 1
Willow Rock Shopping Centre, Solomon Mahlangu Drive, Equestria,
Pretoria East LANDLINE: 012 111 0190 / 012 809 1670
Round 3 SA Champs - Robertson
After a 2 month layoff, the National
Enduro Scene rolled into the drought
stricken Western Cape. The venue is in an
area called Agterkliphoogte, around 30km
from the Winelands town of Robertson.
The CSMX team with guidance of route
director Denzil Torlage, set the bar high,
with riders and teams saying it was the best
organised race in ages.
The course set up, was spectator friendly,
and all within 2km of main control, with the
X special at main control.
A shorter that normal loop of 31km, meant
the E1 & E2 classes would have to do 5 laps
with 3 special stages per lap. The course
was fast and flowing to begin with, and then
the club slowly but surely tightened it up.
All the top national teams and riders
entered, but the question was, would TT
(Travis Teasdale) continue to dominate. After
4 laps, it looked like he would, but Wade
Youngs last lap was just too good, and he
took the overall win by just 17 seconds.
CSMX the hosting club did a super job in
organising the event and the track did not
disappoint. Pro classes had to complete five
laps of a 32 km loop while silver class riders
were required to complete four laps. The
race time for each lap came in just over an
hour and with riders all managing to meet
their regularity times, they could shift focus
to racing the special stages. The special
stage consisted of a very fast 8km Enduro
special test followed by a 1.1km Extreme
special test and ended off by a spectator
friendly 3km cross test.
Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Dwayne
Kleynhans and Scott Bouverie, top
contenders and race favourites in the
E1 class, were set on bringing home the
silverware. Both riders enjoyed the course,
feeling strong and comfortable both found
their rhythm from lap two.
Disaster struck for Bouverie heading into
the cross test on lap 2 when he caught
wire in his wheel which caused irreparable
damage to his KTM 250 EXC-F and forced
the talented youngster from Harding, KZN,
to retire from the race.
Kleynhans did not disappoint. He
continued to post the fastest times in the
E1 class, bringing home the E1 class win
and adding valuable points towards the
Liquorland National Enduro Championship
“I’m so happy to have taken the win in the
E1 class on my 250 XC-F. I enjoyed all the
specials, they suited my riding style and a
big ‘Thank you’ goes out to the organisers
who put together a really nice race. The
marking was great, the regularity times were
well calculated and the special tests were
really fun to race.” said Kleynhans.
This is high praise as “Dwayno” has been
quite outspoken about some of the routes
earlier in the year.
The battle of the day took place in the
E2 class when Brother Leader Tread KTM’s
Travis Teasdale and Sherco’s Wade Young
battled it out for the E2 and overall win.
Seconds separated the two riders and it was
Teasdale who had to settle for second place
in the E2 class and overall. This was a much
better result than the Pietermaritzburg rider
anticipated, as he headed into round three
suffering from flu and not feeling as fighting
fit as he would have liked to be.
“I couldn’t ride the whole week due to
flu and was a bit rusty on the first lap, but
I managed to loosen up from the second
lap. My KTM 250 XC-W went really well,
the Cross special was a lot of fun and the
Enduro special was quite fast. I enjoyed
the race and I’m glad that I managed to put
some good times in. I’m looking forward
to the rest of the season.” said Teasdale
who posted the fastest times on the Enduro
The Silver class was yet again dominated
by Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Kirsten
Landman. She is evidently feeling at home
on board her KTM 150 XC-W weapon of
“I did some good preparation leading up
to the race. It’s the strongest I’ve ever felt
on the bike. I’m so comfortable on my 150
XC-W and could feel that I could push. The
specials were really nice, but I got stuck on
the Enduro special on my third lap for about
two minutes. I, however, managed to catch
up from there, it was a great race and I can’t
wait for the next one!” said Landman.
In the Masters class, only three seconds
separated Hilton Hayward (WP Suspension
KTM) from second placed William Gillitt.
Both former SA champions, Hayward came
out on top this time and is holding on to his
championship lead in the Masters class.
What a race great series – coming soon to
a spot near you…
1 Dwayne Kleyhans (KTM)
2 Altus de Wet (Yamaha)
3 Kyle Flanagan (Yamaha)
1 Wade Young (Sherco)
2 Travis Teasdale (KTM)
3 Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha)
1 Brian Capper (Yamaha)
2 Bruce May (Yamaha)
3 Graham Hedgcock (Sherco)
1 Hilton Haywood (KTM)
2 Willian Gillit (KTM)
3 Gideon Malherbe (Husqvarna)
1 Matthew Green
2 Stefan v Deventer
3 Marcel Henle
A TRIP TO THE WATERBERG
A SLIPPERY TALE
This article is dedicated to the memory of my friend and colleague Clive Strugnell, who’s sudden
passing saw me called in to take his place on this memorable ride. May Clive ride even faster, tell
bigger stories and brighten many more lives where he is now, as he brightened all of ours, for so long.
Words and photos by Patrick Moore
During December of 2016 Africa
Dream Adventure’s (A.D.A.) owner Heine
Engelbrecht, my friend Roger Gannaway
and I rode the Waterberg, in search of
routes and venues that Heine could use
for guided tours. We were successful
and so I was delighted to be offered the
spot on the first tour, over the weekend
of the 25th and 26th February. I expected
a pleasant if unremarkable ride, but
Mother Africa and her weather spirits
had other plans… As an experienced
adventure biker I had forgotten the
challenges and rewards of learning
to ride on difficult roads, until I joined
the other guests on this tour from the
Magaliesberg to the Waterberg and back.
Heavy rain had turned some roads into
slippery quagmires with puddles like
small dams and several of our party were
inexperienced off-roaders, which turned
out to be a real challenge.
After slabbing it up to Thabazimbi,
where the Crocodile River had burst its
bank, we headed east, onto dirt. Mist and
rain shrouded Bakkers Pass’s spectacular
scenery, whilst transforming its red sand
road into ultra-slippery ooze, on which
our Africa Twins’ original equipment
tyres could find little to no grip. Tyre
deflation helped a bit, but ultimately it
was teamwork and hands on assistance
from Heine and his assistant Ivo Leyte
that got us through. Alone not one of us
would have made it up, but together we
triumphed….so always ride challenging
terrain with help handy and believe that it
can actually be conquered, was what we
Once over the Pass we were
confronted with more mud and puddles,
but with damp sand and wet rock too.
Some of us were inclined to slow right
down, but after more words of advice and
encouragement from Heine and Ivo, they
accelerated and learned that sufficient
speed is an ally on gravel roads, because
it actually whisks you across slippery
patches before they can take you down.
All that’s needed is enough courage and
self-confidence to go for it, which will be
rewarded with the satisfaction of realising
that you and your bike can actually handle
whatever is thrown at you! Wearing the
best safety equipment that you can afford
will prevent serious injuries on most dirt
roads anyway and even if you do manage
to bin yourself, quality medical attention is
never too far away in most parts of South
Having reached our overnight stop
near Melk Rivier, muddied and shaken,
but better riders than we had started
out, a real surprise greeted us. Eventieria
Wildlife Park is a world class facility
where orphaned, injured or neglected
birds and animals are nursed to life, then
housed in custom built enclosures and
fed what they really need. The variety of
birds, buck, carnivores, monkeys and
reptiles there is amazing and includes
white tigers, which I doubt we would
64 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
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see elsewhere in Africa. Looking out of my comfortable
room’s bathroom window, to see six tigers and as many
lions staring at me, was an early morning experience that
I’ll never forget, as was being warmly greeted by a friendly
lady cheetah. The breakfast provided was almost equally
memorable, after which we hit the road back to Vaalwater,
Rankin’s Pass, Rooiberg and then the tarmac near
At least the rain had stopped and the sun was out, but if
anyone was hoping for a smooth, dry road home, they were
to be disappointed. The first dirt road that Heine turned
onto had a ROAD CLOSED sign, in front of a partially
collapsed bridge, but our newly kindled confidence saw
us all safely across it and into the great unknown beyond.
The good part of it was the plentiful game that we saw from
our saddles, as bushpigs, giraffes, kudu, nyala and sable
antelopes stared at us from behind their game fences. One
brave wild porker even raced our lone XL thumper rider
over a flying kilometre, before dashing back to his family
with his tail aloft in victory salute - which proves, possibly,
that one or two HOGS are actually quite quick!
The challenging part was heavily potholed, slimy roads
with churned up sections and more dam like puddles
that really focussed our minds on staying upright despite
gravity’s standing invitation to become level with the wet
gravel. A few of us succumbed of course, but our flawlessly
reliable Africa Twins were unaffected and carried their riders
onwards, once relieved of their burden of surplus mud
and vegetation. Once again advice was given and applied,
experience gained and confidence increased in direct
proportion to effort made. Six hundred and seventy six
kilometres after we set out, our African Dream Adventure
ended back at A.D.A.’s headquarters and rider training
facility, on Broederstroom’s famous ‘radar road’. We were
all tired but happily proud of ourselves, so let me conclude
this tale with some feedback from the heroic riders
battered but unbowed - Johan carries on
Bakkers Pass conference
helping Johan out
Bakkers Pass halt
66 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
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Waterberg biking formation
Fifty year old Willem Piek is a treasury manager and
owner of his own Africa Twin, which he bought in April
of 2016. His 22 year old son Keegan accompanied him
on a Triumph 800. They both rated Bakker’s Pass as
overwhelming, having dropped their bikes (as did I) and
doubted their ability to make it up, but had high praise for
the way that Heine and Ivo helped them to conquer it. Dirt
road novice Willem said that he had learned to read terrain,
to see ridable lines and stand up while looking well ahead,
after which he really enjoyed the ride, gaining confidence in
himself and his bike. Now he realises just how challenging
riding dirt can be and will definitely do more rider training
with A.D.A. Willem is really happy with his Africa Twin,
saying it’s user-friendly, versatile (he commutes on it too)
and totally reliable, with just enough electronic assistance
and a reassuringly low centre of gravity. He finds it totally
unintimidating, even on a ride such as we were on and
gives it full marks for build quality.
He and Keegan enjoyed the riding and socialising with
everyone else at Eventieria, describing it all as “a really
enjoyable learning experience – what life’s all about”.
They’re both looking forward to exploring a lot more of
South Africa on their bikes and really appreciate Heine and
Ivo’s help in getting them so well started.
Gerhard Buys is a 53 year old dental technician who
likes new technology and has been riding off road for many
years. He owns a couple of adventure bikes already, but
bought a new DCT Africa Twin earlier this year, despite his
doubts that it would be effective on dirt. He has high praise
for the professional way that Offroad Cycles in Pretoria
East accessorised it for him, recommending their services
wholeheartedly to everyone.
As for his new bike’s performance he told me how mud
and sand used to be his downfall, but during our ride he
actually started riding on them deliberately, because the
DCT gearbox’s performance on them is ‘the best thing
I can’t comment on the quality of his private life, but
reckon that this has to be a motorcycling first….so well
done Honda! Gerhard is equally pleased with the rest of his
Africa Twin, rating its build quality, braking, handling and
balance as excellent, especially as he didn’t fall once, when
he had expected to have several offs. He also pointed out
we carried on...
The boss and the real boss
What is it?
68 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
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that he’s really looking forward to riding
with his wife as a passenger, because the
D.C.T.’s ultra-smooth shifting will eliminate
the helmet bonking from behind that they
normally experience, as a result of his
aggressive manual gear-changing. When
an experienced rider like Gerhard says
that the DCT’s system’s ability to let him
concentrate on accelerating, braking and
steering only, with it always putting him in
the right gear, this is serious praise indeed,
so maybe other manufacturers should
investigate this type of gearbox too…..
Gerhard was also impressed by
Heine and Ivo’s management of the ride,
especially the way that the inexperienced
riders were looked after, with our pace
matched to theirs, not the fastest
riders. He also liked our overnight
accommodation and plans to buy some
special Africa Twin tools from A.D.A.,
do their next intermediate rider training
course and then come on many more of
their rides, in future.
Fifty one year old Johann de Kock is
a digital marketing agency owner, who
had never ridden on dirt before this
tour, having used his BMW 800 only for
tarmac commuting and touring. As an
experienced underwater hockey player
and distance runner, he knows all about
overcoming challenges, but admits that
this ride was his most difficult, so far.
Bakkers Pass’s slimy mud, where he fell
hard, made him doubt his ability to carry
on but Heine’s help and encouragement
got him up and over it. His next challenge
was riding numerous slippery black clay
patches, where his natural reaction was
to slow right down. Fortunately Ivo was at
hand to advise him to speed up to around
70kph instead, looking across the mud to
where he wanted to be and to Johann’s
surprise and relief, doing so worked
perfectly every time. In his own words
‘the moment that I listened to Ivo I relaxed
and everything became easier’, to the
extent that he was able to finish the ride
with only one more fall, whilst trying to
ride around a massive puddle too quickly.
Once again everyone came together to
help him out, after which he completed
the ride without further incident. The fact
that no-one lost patience with him really
impressed Johann, to the extent that
he rates the assistance given to each
other as being on par with his personal
gold medal in succeeding where he
often expected to fail, as the trip’s most
important and rewarding aspects, for him.
A.D.A.’s purpose is about helping
people to grow through overcoming
challenges in off-road vehicles and in
Willem, Gerhard and Johann’s opinions, it
succeeded absolutely on this Waterberg
trip. As a result they unanimously
recommend Heine and Ivo’s services to
anyone else looking for a true adventure,
whether with their own bike or one of
A.D.A.’s fleet of stalwart Honda Africa
Twins. On a personal note, I also learned
a thing or two on the ride, most notably
that it is actually possible to ride wet,
muddy dirt roads on worn 70% road /
30% dirt tyres, by concentrating hard
enough on keeping upright, careful
throttle control and looking hard for
relatively dry lines. Next time Heine asks
me along I’ll insist on semi knobblies, or
ride my own bike, but it was definitely a
personal growth experience for me too.
In a world where electronic experiences
are rapidly being substituted for real
ones, rides like this are increasingly
rare but necessary reminders of the real
rules of action/reaction/consequence
and the rewards of interacting with and
helping other people with interests like
our own. If life is a journey during which
we’re expected to gather wisdom, then
the Honda Africa Twin is an excellent
vehicle to use on it and A.D.A.’s tours
of the beautifully scenic, fascinating
Waterberg would be a really enjoyable
choice to include into your own journey.
Contact Heine on 083 226 1494 if you’re
interested, or check our A.D.A.’s website,
Ride safely and enjoy yourself.
70 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
NEXT ROUND OF ENTRIES
F I R S T L O O K : 2 0 1 8
On a consistent schedule of renovation
every four years, the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F
is an all-new racing motorcycle from the
ground up that shares only incidental parts
with the previous edition. The YZ250F has
been enjoying great success in the racing,
and Yamaha is hoping for the same level of
adoption for the 2018 YZ450F.
Here are the essential fast fasts you need
to know about the all-new 2018 Yamaha
YZ450F motocross bike.
1. Electric starting comes to the YZ450F.
It took forever for companies to get electric
start onto big-bore four-stroke motocross
machines, and now Yamaha joins KTM and
Honda in putting this essential feature on
their MXers. To minimize the weight gain,
the starter is positioned behind the cylinder,
and the lithium-ion battery weighs just 1.5
2. The new YZ450F motor’s power
delivery is focused on ease-of-use at lower
rpm, and more power on top. The new
engine has a straighter intake angle than
before, as well as higher-lift cams that
open and close sooner. Plus, valve timing
overlap is increased by eight degrees over
the previous YZ450F. The header pipe is
lengthened by 12mm, and the diameter
is down three millimetres at the silencer
3. To boost top-end power on the 2018
YZ450F, the engine gets a new piston. The
crown is 2.3mm thinner, and the supports
redesigned. This lowers the weight of the
piston by six grammes. Also, the piston pin
is now DLC-coated. Additionally, the spark
plug electrode is longer to ignite the centre
of the combustion chamber better, the ECU
settings are updated, and the throttle body
is now from Mikuni. Plus, there’s a new
4. E-start actually means more rearwheel
power. With the battery supplying
power, there is less stator drag on the
engine at all engine speeds, with the
biggest difference at lower rpm.
5. The new crankshaft assembly means
a smoother ride. Yamaha upped the effect
of the counterbalancer. There’s also more
crankshaft inertia, though this is offset by
less inertia from the stator and rotor.
6. A new clutch is designed for smoother
operation. Changes include a new pressure
plate, new steel plate treatments, and
smoother operating springs. For durability,
2nd, 3rd and 4th gears are now one
74 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
7. The new chassis focuses on more
nimble handling, plus stability. Still a
familiar twin-spar aluminium frame, the
two main spars are now extruded, rather
than hydroformed. The tension pipe,
which holds the frame together below the
steering head and above the motor, is now
forged, rather than extruded. According to
Yamaha, rigidity is increased 25 percent
vertically, 9 percent horizontally, and 15
percent torsionally. Yamaha claims a
smoother flexing of the frame, along with
the increased rigidity, makes the YZ450F
both more responsive and more predictably
stable. Also adding to stability is a threemillimeter
increase in trail due to moving
the steering stem forward six millimetres.
8. Engine mounting is changed for
increased traction. The mounting points for
the motor are lower and more compact,
plus the mounting brackets are aluminium
rather than steel. Also, the cylinder is
more vertical; it’s tilted back 6.2 degrees,
compared to 8.2 degrees last year.
9. The KYB suspension is new, but not
revolutionary. The KYB Speed Sensitive
System fork gets a one-millimeter larger
damping piston, and the mid-speed
damping valve is now leaf-spring rather
than coil. The shock’s piggybank reservoir
has a capacity increase of 30cc, while the
shock spring is thinner, stiffer, and over
seven ounces lighter.
10. Ergonomics have been changed. The
seat is flatter and lower than before, with
the seat almost an inch lower at the rear
fender. The footpeg location is unchanged,
so there’s a bit less legroom, but your
arms will notice that the grips are now five
millimetres higher and six millimetre farther
forward. Although the bend is the same,
the YZ450F gets a new handlebar that has
a thinner wall and loses nearly four ounces,
much of it at the bar ends for maximum
11. All the plastic is new for the 2018
Yamaha YZ450F. Yamaha worked to make
rider transitions smoother, with all-new
plastic, including a smaller fuel tank (down
1.4 quarts) that still has adequate capacity
for long National motos. The frame is a
bit narrower at the swingarm, and nearly
an inch narrow at the seat/tank junction
and the radiator shrouds. The radiator is
also more vertically mounted and closer
to the centre of the frame, even as it has
a 4.5 percent larger core. New airflow
management better directs air to the
12. Servicing the air filter is easier.
There’s only one Dzus
fastener on the airbox lid,
which is still right behind the
steering stem. The filter is now
flat and the intake volume is
up 29 percent, and needs no
tools to be replaced.
13. The 2018 Yamaha
YZ450F gets sophisticated
electronic tuning and
diagnostics first used on
the YZF-R1S superbike.
Tune it with your cell phone!
WiFi, the YZ450F communicates with the
Yamaha Smartphone Power Tuner app
on your smartphone. Fuel and ignition
mapping is now easier, wider ranging,
and uses 3D graphics. A race log allows
you to quickly switch engine settings for
different tracks and conditions. There’s
also real-time monitoring of engine speed,
throttle position, coolant temperature, air
temperature, atmospheric pressure, and
battery power. Three user-defined hourmeters
make managing maintenance
easier. Plus, diagnostic codes help solve
14. Along with Yamaha Blue, there’s a
new colour. The white version of the 2018
Yamaha YZ450F now includes teal accents.
The Yamaha Blue version gets anodized
blue rims, with the White bike going with
black rims. Functionally, the two bikes are
identical and will both be priced around
R100k. They should be available around
the beginning of August.
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 75
Pro Dirt Bike in Vereeniging is responsible for some of the coolest
bike builds in SA. We paid them a visit to check out this fairly unique
1981 450R. This bike was only built for 1 year – and you’ll see why.
Mark has built the bike from the ground up and it has been sold to a
local buyer who will be hanging it up in his pub.
Pro Dirt Bike Vereeniging: 082-333-5253
Here’s a little bit about a very historical “for all the wrong reasons” Honda.
Honda’s first Open class motocross
machine, the 1981 CR450R Elsinore.
By Tony Blazier…
“In 1981, Honda finally gave the buying public the bike they had been
begging for half a decade to receive. The all-new CR450R, certainly
looked the part, but underneath that sexy exterior beat the heart of a
The worst dirtbike that Honda ever built?
Perhaps no machine in history was been as hotly anticipated as the 1981
Honda CR450R Elsinore. Throughout the seventies, Honda raced Factory
bikes in the Open class, but held off on actually producing a 500 class
machine. Riders like Pierre Karsmakers, Jim Pomeroy, Marty Smith and
Brad Lackey took the fire-breathing Factory Honda Open bikes to victory,
while Joe Motocross was left to sit on the sidelines with dreams of a big
In the later part of the decade, desperate Honda devotees took to
punching out their CR250R’s in an effort to build a 500 class Honda of
their own. Using 360cc kits from Mugen, the Elsinore could be made into
a competitive Open class racer. The 360 kit punched up the ponies, but
did nothing for the stock CR250R’s high-strung nature. Much more akin to
an ultra-powerful 125 than a trench digging 500, the Mugen 360 was fast,
but demanding. For Open class racers looking to ride red, the Mugen
kit was a viable alternative, but it was no substitute for a factory built
By 1980, desire for a factory built Honda 500 was reaching a fevered
pitch. Team Honda was coming off back-to-back 500 World Motocross
Championships (and an AMA 500 National Title) and riders were anxious
to get their hands on a genuine RC500 replica. Early spy photo’s showed
a bike that looked remarkably like the Factory machines and only served
to feed the flames of consumer desire. The new CR’s looked to be the
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DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 77
trickest Hondas ever offered, with tons of new technology stolen
right off the works machines of Malberbe, DeCoster and Sun.
When buyers ponied up their hard earned $2138 for the new
CR450R, they certainly thought they were getting a production
version of Roger DeCoster’s RC500. Unfortunately, the only
things the two bikes turned out to have in common were two
wheels and a coat of red paint.
For 1981, Honda scrapped their complete lineup (with the
exception of the new for ’80 CR80R) and came out with all
new full size machines. Best of all, for the first time, an Open
class Elsinore joined the CR125R and CR250R. It adopted the
Pro-Link single-shock system used by the Factory team in 1980
mated to a set of massive (for the time) 41mm Kayaba forks.
The motor retained a traditional air-cooled configuration (both
the CR125R and CR250R picked up water-cooling in ’81) mated
to a new four-speed trans. New bodywork and a fresh coat of
fire engine red paint were spec’d to finish off the trick new CR.
Once the bikes were released, there was no doubt the new
Elsie’s looked the part. Spacy styling highlighted a package that
sweated trickness from stem to stern. Little details like a sidepull
throttle, dual-leading shoe brakes and quality switchgear
throughout pointed at Honda’s apparent attention to detail.
Once you dug a little deeper, however, there were problems.
First, and probably most concerning, was the new Honda’s
motor, which was completely out of step with the Open class
fashions of the time. In 1981, torque was the name of the game
and big bore brutes like the Maico 490 and Yamaha YZ465
ruled the roost. They offered blistering performance, but mated
it to a chugging and chunky style of power. They were like big
powerful turbo diesels, friendly on the surface, with gobs of tyre
shredding torque in reserve.
On the track, the 431cc mill punched out an abrupt and very
quick-revving style of ponies. Power was extremely explosive,
with a sudden delivery and quick turnover. Low end was poor,
before hitting like a ton of bricks in the midrange, as all 38
pound-feet of torque pored out in one massive blast. Then, just
as fast as it had started, the party was over and the big Elsie
demanded another shift. Thrust was non-existent above the
midrange and revving it out only made it go slower.
With its frenzied delivery and short powerband, gear selection
became critical and here the CR once again went astray. On the
best Open bikes of the day, a rider could place his beast in third
and rarely shift, as he rode the bikes tremendous torque curve.
On the CR, that was just not possible, as its peaky powerband
and quick-revving motor demanded constant shifts to keep it
in its narrow sweet spot. Power delivery on the big Honda was
much closer to a breathed on 250 than a monster 500, and
timing these shifts was imperative to making the most of its
limited power spread.
Unfortunately, nailing these shifts was no easy matter on the
450R. When building the new bike, Honda decided to fit the bike
with only four gears. While this in and of itself was not an issue,
the bike’s poorly spaced gears were. On the Elsinore, first was
incredibly tall and fourth was too short. This meant just getting
the CR going from a standstill required a good deal of clutch
slippage (something its pathetic 250 sourced clutch was not up
to) and if you were not careful, the Elsie would cough and stall.
Once you managed to get it in motion, then the CR’s razor
thin powerband and widely spaced gears left riders in a bit of
a quandary. If you revved it out to pull the next gear, then the
Honda fell flat on its face, if you tried to short shift it to keep it
on the torque curve, then the 450 would bog. Even worse, if
you geared it down to tighten up the spaces, then you were left
constantly grabbing for a fifth gear that was not there. It was a
Forks: Up front, the CR450R used a set of 41mm Kayaba sliders that
punched out a full 12 inches of travel. These units offered no external
damping adjustment, but they did have the ability to add or subtract air
pressure to fine tune the ride via a Schrader valve on each fork cap. In
stock condition, these damper-rod units were badly undersprung and
underdamped for the Elsinore’s prodigious weight. On the track, they hung
down in the stroke and slammed to the stops with a metal-to-metal thud
on any decent sized impact. In the rough, they made the bike a complete
handful, offering little or no damping in either direction.
Rear Shock: While the ’81 CR450R’s suspension looks similar to later
machines, its adjustability was far more limited. The remote reservoir
offered no adjustable compression damping and served only to prevent
fading. The Pro-Link rear’s sole damping adjustment was a four position
rebound screw at the base of the Showa shock
Engine: Pretty in Red but… At 431cc’s, the CR450R gave up significant
amount of displacement to its big bore competition. Its short stroke and
light flywheel gave it a hard hitting and quick revving style of power that
combined with its gappy four-speed trans, made it much harder to ride than
torquey tractors like the Maico 490 Mega 2 and Yamaha YZ465.
78 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
classic case of lose-lose, with no easy
way to rectify its mismatched powertrain.
While the 450R’s power was certainly
a major concern, it was far from the last
of the big Elsinore’s maladies. First and
foremost was probably the Honda’s
bloated weight, which tipped the scales
at a waistband-busting 115 KG’s. This
was a staggering 13 kilo’s more than the
class-leading Maico MC490 Mega Two and
actually heavier than Yamaha’s original (and
notoriously porky) YZ400F four-stroke!
This eye-opening weight figure
impacted every facet of the bike’s
performance and handicapped it before it
even set foot on the track. At 42.8 hp, the
450R started out with 5 less horsepower
than the mighty Maico and that gap
widened even more when you added in
the excess suet it was lugging around.
On the track, the bike felt every bit of its
114 pounds and smashed into obstacles
lighter bikes floated over. In the turns, it
was fairly accurate, but at speed it was
a runaway tractor-trailer with bald tires
and a bad steering rack. Headshake was
of the soil-your-pants variety and the CR
could literally wrench your hands from the
bars at any time without warning.
In the suspension department, the
CR’s components were no match for
its absurd power delivery and portly
disposition. Up front, a set of 41mm
Kayaba forks offered 12 inches of travel
and no external damping adjustment. As
delivered, they were badly undersprung
and underdamped, with virtually no
control in either direction. Under
Front number plate: Made in house By Pro Dirt
Bike: By far the most unique feature of the
1981 CR450R Elsinore was this ridiculous front
number plate. Designed with airflow in mind,
it was supposed to allow for better cooling to
the overtaxed Elsi’s engine. In practice, all it
did was make scoring a nightmare and proved
no more useful than a simple vented plate
would have been. Critics compared it to a snow
shovel or hangnail, and most riders ditched it
before the ridicule reached critical mass.
deceleration they dove excessively and
any moderate sized bump sent them
crashing to the stops. Rebound was
nearly non-existent and the forks were
like giant pogo sticks in the rough.
Out back, the outlook was slightly
better, with a huge dose of new
technology. New for ’81, was Honda’s
works inspired Pro-Link single shock
suspension system. The Pro-Link was
Honda’s first attempt at a single shock
linkage system and it incorporated much
of what we still see in use today. There
was a beefy alloy swingarm, mated to
a bell crank linkage and bolted to the
bottom of a single Showa damper. The
purpose of this linkage was to vary shock
piston speed as the rear wheel moved
through its travel and provide better
bottoming control, while maintaining
a smooth ride at low speeds. On the
Honda, this linkage was mounted low and
below the shock, offering a much lower
center of gravity than the Suzuki and
Kawasaki single shock systems.
On the track, the new Pro-Link had
the basic idea right, but the execution all
wrong. At low speeds, the damping was
too light and it liked to blow through the
stroke. In the mid-stroke, the shock hit
a virtual wall of damping and refused to
move in the last six inches of the travel.
It was both too soft and too hard at the
same time and virtually worthless as a
Unfortunately, the Honda’s problems
did not end with its X-ACTO knife
powerband, plump proportions and
Front Brakes: State of the art: Would you
believe Motocross Action actually advised
caution in 1981 when applying these worksstyle
brakes? The dual leading shoe design
used a set of linkages to push the shoes
apart from both sides. This offered twice the
surface area when applying the brakes and
a huge improvement in stopping force. For a
time, these dual-leading shoe brakes actually
rivaled the early disc designs for power,
while offering much better feel. By 1985, all
the manufactures had retired this innovative
design in favor of hydraulic discs.
confused suspension. The motor pinged,
fouled plugs and blew gaskets. The shock
faded like a snowman in July, the air
filter sucked dirt like a Hoover and frame
cracked like a defendant under cross in
an episode of the Nkandla saga.
Making matters even worse was the CR
reliability, or more accurately, lack thereof.
Tops on the hit list, was the Honda’s
clutch, which was stolen directly off the
CR250R. This unit had proven woefully
DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017 79
inadequate on the 250, so it
did not take a lot of imagination
to predict how it was going to
handle an over-geared 500.
Any amount of clutch abuse
(a necessary evil on the Elsie)
was enough to smoke this
pathetic unit and turn it into a
lurching and dragging mess. If
the clutch stayed in one piece,
then it was only a matter of
time until the base gasket blew.
If that defied the odds, then
the frame and swingarm were
sure to crack. Shock hoses
blew, air filters leaked and
plugs fouled. Overnight, the
bike that people had dreamed
of for nearly a decade, turned
into a nightmare of epic
Overall, the new CR450R
proved to be a massive
disappointment for Honda.
While they sold thousands of
them on anticipation alone, the
actual product turned out to
be a colossal dud. It was an
ill-handling, unruly, unreliable
and overweight beast that
disappointed everyone who
shelled out their hard earned
pay cheque to buy it. Quickly,
Roger DeCoster and the
Honda engineers realized they
had made some unfortunate
choices with the 450 and set
about making amends with a
hugely improved Open class
Honda. The 1982 CR480R
rectified most of the 450’s
deficiencies and turned a sow’s
ear into a silk purse overnight.
The 480 was everything the
reviled 450 was not and sowed
the seeds for a decade of
Swingarm: While the basic Pro-Link layout has proven to be a winning
design, its first iteration left something to be desired. The Showa shock was
too soft initially, before slamming into a wall of damping force as the shock
moved through its travel. Hammered kidneys and sore backsides were a
common malady for Honda pilots in 1981.
Rear Chain Drive: Conical hubs and a full floating rear brake highlighted the
rear of the all-new CR450R.
80 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2017
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