AUGUST 2017 RSA R30.00
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SHOOTOUT MEGA TEST
6 superbikes tested over 1700km on road and track
More news and concepts on
Ducati’s new V4 Superbike
Guy Martin clarifies
after leaving Honda
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1002 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 1
W E L C O M E
This is Bill, one of our photographers
from Beam Productions who took some
of the amazing pics you will see in the
sportsbike test. Bill was sadly involved in a
motorcycle accident a few days after this
pic, and his foot was very badly damaged.
He has no medical aid so went to JHB Gen
where, let’s just say, they did a proper job
at messing his foot up even more. Please
go check out our Facebook page, and see
if you can help Bill raise the funds to get
proper treatment. It needs to happen soon
otherwise he could be losing his foot.
EDITOR & DESIGN:
082 782 8240
071 684 4546
011 979 5035
Doing a big test like the one we have featured in this issue
sounds like a big fat jol, and for the most part it is. But
trust me when I say it is not easy, and I can understand
why not many publications do it in the extreme way
we have done it. It’s much easier just getting the latest
sportsbikes, riding them to Redstar, doing a track test
and being done. No having to leave the family behind, no
massive fuel, accommodation or food bills, just a couple
of tanks of fuel and you’re done. Wake up at 6.30am and
be home at 6pm. Easy as pie.
That’s pretty much what we did for our sportsbike
shootout last year. For this year, we wanted to take it to
a whole new level. We wanted to do a test like no other,
go further and bigger than anyone else has. So, we did,
and the result is the biggest test, certainly of the year, but
maybe even of all time!
To pull off a test as big as the one we did, taking the 6
latest sportsbike on the market today, riding them from
JHB to the South Coast and back again, with a track
test in-between, takes a massive amount of logistical
planning, lots of money and a fair amount of ass-licking. I
am not afraid to lick ass, if it means pulling off the biggest
test of the year, and giving our readers what they want
and what they won’t get from anywhere else, I will happily
Plenty of favours and I.O.U’s had to be called upon, but
one sponsor came on-board with no fuss. Dunlop gladly
supplied us with 6 sets of their latest road tyre - The
carbon fibre infused Q3, which turns out to be quite a
handy track tyre as well, as we found out on this test.
Dunlop also came in with some money to help fund this
test, which is what pretty much made this test possible
so a massive thanks to them.
Just to give you some numbers - We did over 1450km
of road riding, 120km of track riding around the 2.3km
Dezzi Racetrack, spent R11,000 on fuel, R3000 on
accommodation (thanks to Antoinette for sorting that out
for us), R1800 on feeding 7 test riders and 2 cameramen.
So yes, it takes and costs a lot to do a test like this, but
I am glad to say that with the help of many great people,
we were able to pull off the test of the century!
For a big test like this you also need a backup vehicle,
and this is where Stuart Baker and his team from Suzuki
SA were more than happy to help out. Not only did they
give us a new GSXR1000 for the test, but also a Suzuki
Vitara SUV vehicle to use as back-up, to tow the trailer
and carry all the luggage.
The Vitara was exceptional, and I have never had the
desire to own a Suzuki car, but after a good amount of
time in the Vitara, I was very unhappy to have to give the
keys and car back. With pricing starting from R238,000,
the Vitara is extremely good value for money, and an
absolute pleasure to drive.
It’s no wonder the Suzuki brand won ‘Cars.co.za’ brand
of the year, and are the “Brand to Watch” according to all
the top journos in the car industry. The same can be said
for the bike side, with Suzuki releasing exciting models
left, right and centre.
Another big thanks must go out to Dez and Jade
Gudzeit, for letting us use their amazing Dezzi Racetrack.
It was my first time around the circuit and it really did
impress me. As the Singh put it in the article, it’s SA’s
version of Laguna Seca. If you have not done a trackday
around Dezzi, I suggest you book your spot for the next
one, you will love it!
On this test we also took 2 wildcard bikes down - The
Kawasaki Z1000SX and KTM’s all new 1290 Super
Adventure. Why? Well, they pretty much are sportsbikes,
and perfectly suited to a long test like this. For me, the
KTM is far from just an adventure bike. It handles like a
sportsbike, produces massive amounts of power and has
top grade electronics, so, it’s a sportsbike.
We will be doing a full feature on both bikes in next
months issue, as we wanted to focus mainly on the 6
sportbike contender only in this issue. That and the fact
that The Singh wrote a novel for this test, so space did
become an issue.
I have no doubt that you are going to love the test we
did. The results were a bit surprising, even to myself and
the Singh, but we never wanted to tamper with them at
all, but rather expose the truth with regards to the road
and the track test. Our two photographers went above
and beyond and snapped some really impressive pics,
another reason why we wanted to go down to the South
Coast, to get some beautifully scenery and green grass.
Enjoy the magazine guys and girls, I sure did!
Until next time, ride safe!
Bill du Plessis
2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
KTM DUKE RANGE
2016 KTM 390 DUKE
2016 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R
2016 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT
Powerparts panniers only with 1290 Super Duke GT. T‘s and C‘s apply
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.
Photo: R. Schedl
KTM Group Partner
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 3
Contents AUGUST 2017
28: CUSTOM: KAWASAKI NINJA H2
38: FEATURE: MOTOGP VS WSBK ASSEN
30: TESTED: 2017 KTM RC390
40: READERS RIDE: DYNO BY QUINT KATANA
66: TESTED: ZONTES S250
42: COVER STORY: SPORTSBIKE SHOOTOUT
74: SA RACING: SUPERGP DEZZI RACEWAY
4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Ride a DCT From R1 655 per month incl. VAT
Monthly Installment Incl. VAT
Monthly Admin Fee
Interest Rate Linked to Prime
Retail Price Incl. 14% VAT
Total Cost of Finance
Contact your nearest Authorised Honda dealer
Terms & Conditions Apply. Finance offers are subject to approval from Honda Finance, a product of WesBank, a division of FirstRand Bank Ltd. An
Authorised Financial Services and Registered Credit Provider NCRCP20. Offers are available until 30 September 2017. On the road fees excluded.
Models shown may differ from actual models. While stocks last. Prices include VAT.
Visit your nearest Honda Dealer for full range:
JHB: Honda Wing East Rand Mall: 011826-4444 / Honda Wing Kyalami: 011 244-1900 / Honda Wing Sandton: 011 540-3000 / Honda Wing Westrand: 011 675-3222 /
PTA: Honda Wing Centurion: 012 663-8718 / Honda Wing Menlyn: 012 470-9200 / Honda Wing Zambezi: 012 523-9500 / VAAL: Honda Wing Riverside: 016 065-0322 / KLERKSDORP: Honda
Wing Klerksdorp: 018 468-1800 / LIMPOPO: Honda Wing Thabazimbi: 014 777-1593 / Honda Wing Polokwane: 015 297-3291 / PIETERMARITZBURG: Honda Wing PMB: 033 345-6287 /
FREE STATE: Honda Wing Central: 051 430-1237 / Honda Wing Bethlehem: 058 303-4864 / NELSPRUIT: Honda Wing Nelspruit: 013 753-7324 / RUSTENBURG: Honda Wing Rustenburg:
014 597-2550 / KZN: Honda Wing Umhlanga: 031 580-7900 / Honda Wing Pinetown: 031 714-3600 / UPINGTON: Honda Wing Upington: 054 332-2245 / RICHARDS BAY: Honda Wing Richards Bay:
035 789-6378 / EAST LONDON: Honda Wing East London: 043 748-1017 / GEORGE: Honda Wing George: 044 874-5435 / CPT: Honda Wing CPT CBD: 021 487-5000 / Honda Wing Tygerberg:
021 910-8300 / Honda Wing East Cape: 041 581-0359 / Honda Wing Worcester: 023 347-2646 / NAMIBIA: Honda Wing Windhoek: 00264 613-81600 / SWAZILAND: Honda Wing Mmbabane:
00268 2505-2881 / BOTSWANA: Honda Wing Gaborone: 00267 395-2652
www.honda.co.za / email@example.com / Toll Free: 0800 466 321 / Facebook - Honda SA / Twitter - Honda SA.
All the news brought to you by
End of an Era! The final
V-Twin Ducati Superbike
Ducati recently revealed a new limited edition motorcycle made out of respect and
admiration for the engine that made history in the World Superbike Championship. It’s
called the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition, and it looks stunning in its tricolor livery.
The special bike was unveiled during
the eighth round of the World Superbike
Championship at Laguna Seca, where
Claudio Domenicali pulled the wraps off of
the machine along with Aruba.it riders Chaz
Davies and Marco Melandri.
As far as venues go, there might not be
a better place on Earth to launch a new
motorcycle than Pebble Beach, California –
that is, if you are into the whole breath-taking
view sort of thing.
The party of course was for Ducati’s last
v-twin superbike, the aptly named Ducati
1299 Panigale R Final Edition, which is
part Superleggera, part road bike, and part
Clad in a the an Italian tricolore livery, the
6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition puts
out a potent 209hp, and features some of
the best pieces of Ducati’s v-twin superbike
lineage – part of a long goodbye to the
desmodromic v-twin platform.
Not a limited edition bike, but instead a
numbered edition machine, Ducati plans
on making the Panigale R Final Edition
models for as long as there is consumer
demand for the superbike (and while there
are enough numbers to count them by).
For American Ducatisti, owning one will
mean a R650,000 commitment, which isn’t
such a lofty price tag, if you considered
its half the cost of the carbon-fibereverything
Ducati 1299 Superleggera.
Although not limited, you will still have to
place your order and pay a deposit with
Ducati SA if you wish to get one.
Up-close, the Ducati 1299 Panigale R
Final Edition is what you would expect.
The livery reminds us of the Ducati 1199
Panigale S Tricolore, especially as an
homage to its country of origin.
Adding in the WorldSBK-inspired
Akrapovic exhaust makes for a nice
visual change from the Panigale norm,
and further ties the bike to its racing
pedigree, as well as the recently released
Surprising enough, the Ducati 1299
Panigale R Final Edition is Euro4 compliant,
thanks mostly to the huge muffler box that
is snuggled to the underbelly of the bike.
Note: this not the same exhaust as found
on the Ducati 1299 Superleggera.
Similarly, there are subtle differences to the
motor on the Final Edition, as the 1,285cc
v-twin motor features a steel cylinder
sleeve and die-cast casing.
However, the FE keeps its lighter
crankshaft with a larger crank pin and
tungsten balancing pads, while the conrods
and intake/exhaust valves are made
from titanium. As on seen on the Panigale
R superbike engine, the two 116mm
pistons have just two piston rings, inside
steel cylinder liners.
Other features include red forged aluminum
Marchesini wheels, as well as a numbered
triple clamp. The paint on the fuel tank
exposes the metal beneath it, similar to
previous Panigale R models. Always a fan
favorite, especially in the USA.
Overall the design is pretty fetching, though
it does scream “Mama Mia!” to anyone that
comes within earshot.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 7
All the news brought to you by
2018 Ducati V4?
Rumours of a MotoGP-derived V4 road-going Ducati
superbike have been doing the rounds for years. But that’s
all they were... rumours. Until now! Fresh images of Ducati’s
new V4 superbike have emerged, and they look rather tasty.
L-twin engine configuration as Ducati
are keen to guarantee future WSB racing
success, but engine performance from
the current Panigale Superquadro is
reaching its upper limits. A V4 motor
will allow a higher revving engine and
ultimately more power as a result. It’s
understood that the V4 won’t make its
racing debut until 2019, though a road
bike will appear in showrooms next year.
The well-developed Panigale will continue
in WSB as Ducati’s entry.
The new computer-generated
images show a clear change from the
Monocoque of the Panigale to what is
expected to be an alloy frame arcing from
the headstock all the way across to the
rear cylinders, which now move further
backwards to form a ‘V’ rather than
the forward-leaning ‘L’ shape. A trellis
subframe is shown on the spy images,
but this is likely to be hidden to echo the
simplified lines suggested in the fairing.
The tail unit may resemble the Panigale
item at first glance, but like the rest of
the bodywork under closer inspection it’s
revealed to be quite different. The V4’s will
be shorter and feature a revised tail light
Hopefully we will see something released
at this years EICMA Show in Milan, until
then, these illustrations will keep our
Incredible new details and analysis have
been reported by Motorcycle News
(MCN) in the UK regarding Ducati’s new
V4 superbike and Kardesign were asked
to come up with fresh CGIs to illustrate
the story. Using all the spy shots currently
in circulation, Kardesign, a top graphic
designer who’s work we have featured
before, has examined every detail leaving
no stone left unturned to bring you the
most accurate set of visuals yet.
The V4 sees a major departure from the
8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
METZELER TAKES GRIP OF THE NORTH WEST 200
RACETEC RR - THE CHOICE OF WINNERS
Tyco BMW Motorrad
Bayview Hotel Superstock
Bet McLean Supersport
Tyco BMW Motorrad
The Anchor Complex
J M Paterson Supertwin
Be Wiser Ducati Racing
Vauxhall NW200 Superbike
Tyco BMW Motorrad
CP Hire Superstock
FEEL THE RRACE, FEEL THE RROAD.
Discover more call 087 943-8732
All the news brought to you by
BMW Motorrad Spezial
Division will create
special bikes from now on
With the launch of the R nineT, BMW
Motorrad acknowledged the trend towards
individualization, offering the model with many
plug-n-play optional parts to let buyers create their
own version. That was just the beginning of the
company’s customization era, as it now presents
BMW Motorrad Spezial, its own ex-works division.
BMW Motorrad Spezial will offer distinctive-design, performanceenhancing,
and exclusive customization options ex-works. Highestgrade
materials, genuine surfaces, skilled craftsmanship and the
love of detail are what define the company’s new division as well
as the harmonious integration of all parts into the overall design of
the motorcycle. Starting with the Touring and Heritage models, the
Spezial range will be continuously expanded.
When a customer wants to get creative with his purchase, he/she
has two options. On one hand, he/she can equip the bike directly
with ex-works parts already offered by Spezial. On the other hand,
this can also be done by choosing special accessories from a
“Spezial World” in the future where all his/her demands will be met.
The extra equipment and accessories will be listed on the vehicle
invoice when ordered and thus are fully covered by the warranty and
can be financed together with the motorcycle saving the customer
additional cost and time.
Additionally, the German motorcycle maker is introducing a new
generation BMW Motorrad Configurator. For the first time, a large
section of the special accessories range will be fully included in the
digital presentation for the R nineT models along with the full range
of ex-works equipment.
This way, the customer can configure his personal BMW bike with
all the special equipment/Spezial parts before it is manufactured and
also see how the machine will look when it gets delivered.
The BMW Motorrad Spezial program will start later this year and will
be available for the Touring and Heritage models, with more to be
added in the future.
Visit your local BMW Motorrad dealer for more info.
All the news brought to you by
BMW Motorrad Adventure
Models Get New Connectivity
6.5-Inch TFT Display
BMW Motorrad is proud to present a new optional Connectivity
system for its motorcycles featuring a high-quality 6.5-inch
full-color TFT display offering fast and safe information with
the least possible distraction from traffic situations.
The rider can operate most of the system’s functions through the
advanced BMW Motorrad multi-controller mounted on the handlebars. In
addition, the new TFT display combines the familiar classic display of data such
as rpm and speed with new technology thereby providing lots of features.
The system is compatible with smartphones which can be connected to
provide more features. For example, if a rider connects a phone and a helmet
equipped with BMW Motorrad’s communication system, he/she can easily
access the media playback and other phone functions like navigation.
BMW Motorrad’s Connected App also offers further features such as
recording your ridden routes or displaying ride statistics and information.
For touring riders with higher demands, the BMW Motorrad Navigator
function is still recommended since it provides specifically optimized
navigation for motorcyclists. The Navigator is also operated using the multicontroller,
and the operating focus can be simply transferred from the TFT
display to the Navigator.
The new TFT display offers state-of-the-art and simple access to the
motorcycle settings and information. In this way the rider can for example
read the tire pressure settings at the front and rear very simply without
being distracted from the traffic situation. Not only the actual tire pressure
settings are displayed but also what tire pressures are recommended in the
This new optional feature will be launched later this year and will be available
on the BMW R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure. However, the company
said more models will be
supported in the future.
No pricing information is
available at the moment,
but it should be revealed
later this summer.
Rodeo Drive Tyre Service
now up and running
Situated at Ducati SA in Randburg, Rodeo Drive Tyre
Service is now up and running, and caters for all makes
and models of motorcycles. So for all your motorcycle
tyre requirements, contact Wayne on 011 919 1600 or
visit the shop at 174 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg, JHB.
Full Throttle Fourways
now open and fully stocked
The latest edition to the Full Throttle stable is now open
in a prime location in Fourways. The new shop is fully
stocked with the latest in motorcycle accessories and
also has a tyre bay. Visit the new store at 20 Waterford
Shopping Centre, cnr Witkoppen and Nerine road,
Fourways. Check out the Full Throttle Facebook page for
the latest products and specials.
12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
All the news brought to you by
2018 BMW S1000RR spotted
At eight years old, the BMW S1000RR has aged remarkably well, due
in part to a healthy update for the 2015 model year. But is there a new
beast coming in 2018? Judging by this pic the answer is yes...
Compared to the cutting edge bikes on the
market right now, the venerable “RR” does
seem to be lacking some modern touches,
so it shouldn’t surprise us to see the German
brand updating its machine for the 2018
Caught testing by the busy lenses at
Motorrad Magazine, the 2018 BMW
S1000RR appears to be an all-new
motorcycle, with several noticeable changes
to the chassis, and rumoured changes to its
The most obvious details for 2018 include
a redesigned swingarm, a modified chassis
shape, restyled bodywork and aesthetic pieces
(note the new exhaust can and matching
headlights), and the engine case sports
changes that suggest the inner-workings of the
inline-four engine have been modified.
Thus looking close to a final production form,
we would expect this all-new superbike to
debut at the 2017 EIMCA show in Milan, as a
2018 model year motorcycle.
Our guess for other features on the 2018
BMW S1000RR would include a more
robust and adjustable electronics system,
which takes better use of the bikes inertial
measurement unit (IMU).
A TFT-dash is also likely (BMW has been
pushing this tech on its current crop of
machines), and we expect modest power
gains while still being Euro4 compliant.
With EIMCA still a few months away, in early-
November, we still have some time to suss
out news about the 2018 BMW S1000RR,
and how extensive its changes actually are –
but so far, we like what we see. Stay tuned.
Buzzetti oil filter
Removing your the oil filter can be one
of the most frustrating jobs to do on
your motorcycle. Trickbitz now have a
simple solution for you - The Buzzetti oil
filter wrench tool will help you remove
the oil filter with minimal effort. The tool
is universal and will work on various
motorcycles and scooters.
MV Agusta has finally closed a very
important funding round, getting equity
investment from ComSar Invest, which is
backed by the Black Ocean Group, which
in turn is owned by Russian billionaire
The move sees MV Agusta able also to
repurchase its stock from Mercedes AMG,
which previously owned a 25% stake in
the Italian motorcycle manufacturer.
The details of the ComSar deal however
have not been disclosed, though we do
know that the deal includes enough cash
to finish MV Agusta’s recapitalization plan
with its creditors and to begin its new,
more focused, business plan for new
models and motorcycle production.
According to MV Agusta’s press release,
the newly financed recapitalization plan
has already been approved by a quorum
of the creditors.
What we do know from the investment
plan is that MV Agusta Motor Holding
will now own 100% of MV Agusta Motor
S.p.A. – the business arm that focuses on
motorcycle production, which is separate
from the design center and racing
In turn, GC Holding (the holding company
owned by MV Agusta CEO Giovanni
Castiglioni) will have a majority position
in the ownership of MV Agusta Motor
Holding, while ComSar Invest will have
a “strong minority” position in the brand
– possibly up to as much as 49% of the
“The transaction with ComSar Invest in
our holding company through a capital
increase and the acquisition of the shares
previously held by Mercedes AMG in
MV Agusta Motor S.p.A., represents an
important milestone for our plan which
has as a main objective the reinforcement
of MV Agusta core business: the
production of high-performance, high end
motorcycles,” said Giovanni Castiglioni,
President of MV Agusta.
“In the last 12 months the implemented
measures, has brought MV Agusta back
in positive cash flow generation, allowing
to complete the restructuring plan and to
consistently support product development
and consolidation of our key markets.”
14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
All the news brought to you by
Doing it for Madiba!
“Angels don’t have wings anymore. They ride motorcycles!”
Alfred “King Donut” Matamela. No, you are not seeing things
– this is not a rally feature, it is, however a really cool feature
about motorcyclists giving back.
Yamaha SA invited us for a ride with a charity spin. A trip from World of Yamaha
in Sandton, into the streets of Soweto to cover a handover of goods donated by
motorcyclists all over to the Hope For the Helpless Childrens home.
The Soweto Motorcycle School, under the leadership of Yamaha Brand
Ambassador Alfred “King Donut” Matamela, put this initiative together and
hundreds of motorcyclists from all walks of life arrived to take part. We were
surprised to see Madiba’s personal assistant, Zelda La Grange, at the start, a real
firebrand. We would love to have a one on one chat with her about the current
state of The Nation. She said a few words and the ride was on…
So – it was not a typical RideFast ride – it was actually fairly slow as the 300 odd
motorcyclists slowed traffic all over the place – in fact, the only fast guys were
the local traffic cops who were escorting the group – they seemed to be having
proper fun dicing their GTI’s along the freeways to block the cars.
And the throngs of people who lined the streets of Soweto to welcome the riders
was really heartwarming – church services came to a halt as the elders came to
check this fierce looking group out, kids were dancing around. Youths in bakkies
cheered everyone along.
At the home, the Goldwagen truck halted and we all gathered to offload goods
for the kids. It was heartwarming, just the right thing for a chilly Highveld morning.
Blankets, foodstuffs, toiletries, we even saw a big screen TV and a fridge working
its way into the house.
Very cool and a marvelous way to spend the day. The happy smiles from the kids
made it just that much more special.
So much good happens in SA. Long may it last.
See you at the next one?
16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Alfred with his namesake - the donut.
Arnold from Triumph
a meal for the kids.
Zelda La Grange adresses the crowd.
The ride ended at the swanky Lapeng pub.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 17
to you by
Oliveira has first taste of
MotoGP-spec KTM RC16
Rare opportunity for intermediate class contender
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing drafted
in Moto2 talent Miguel Oliveira for a
recent test at Aragon in Spain, granting
the intermediate class regular an
opportunity to experience the MotoGP
The Portuguese athlete joined KTM’s
premier class contenders Bradley
Smith and Pol Espargaro, alongside
long-time test rider Mika Kallio.
Oliveira revealed his intention for
the test was to enjoy the outing,
expressing his thanks to the Austrian
manufacturer for the rare opportunity.
“The goal was not that I was to get
really fast but it was a test for myself
to enjoy the day.” said Oliveira. “I had
this opportunity that I think every rider
would like to have in his career at least
one time but I’m really pleased to have
had the chance to try that bike. So
all in all it was a very good day to do
a few laps and enjoy a MotoGP bike.
Thank you KTM.”
Overall it was positive test for the KTM
outfit following 16 hours of track time,
with KTM’s MotoGP technical director
Sebastian Risse mentioning many
changes were put in place, but due to
the weather, not all of them could be
“On the one hand we had new ideas,
and on the other we had a very long
and intense hardware programme
on the chassis side of things,” Risse
commented. “Although the weather
was not perfect, it was good enough
to go through every item. That’s great
as now we can go happy to the
summer break because we’ve found
some stuff that really touched the bike
behaviour big time in a positive way.
“We still have to find out how to
put it all together and make it work
on another track so let’s not be too
optimistic, but either way it couldn’t
have gone much better here so now
we go home with a very good feeling.”
Michelin tyres at 8 Hour
Michelin Power Cup Evo tyres do the distance
The annual 8 Hour endurance race recently took place at the Phakisa circuit
out in Welkom, and RideFast Magazine had 2 riders racing in the event.
A race like this is all about tyre choice. You can win and lose the race on poor
tyre choice. You need a tyre that will help you do good lap times, but still not
destroy itself in doing so. Our team selected to go with Michelin Power Cup
Evo tyres - Michelins’ more track focussed cut-slick tyre.
It turned out to be a good choice, as the team did very competitive times, and
the tyre lasted the entire distance.
Both riders, Morne Krynauw and Shaun Portman, racing a Honda CBR600RR
machine, praised the Michelin front tyre for its
huge amount of grip and stability. The rear tyre
was also praised, for its ability to hold a line
mid turn and give massive amounts of grip
on corner exit.
The tyres did look a bit second hand after
the race, but both riders, after finishing
6th overall, came away with big smiles
on their faces, and nothing but praise for
these amazing tyres.
So if you are in the market for affordable
track day tyres that offer great grip and
durability, look no further than the Michelin
Power Cup Evo’s.
18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Dual compound technology
The new reference
tyre in the sports
An incomparable sensation of grip
“In terms of safety, the front tire
of the MICHELIN Power RS sets
and cornering stability
Front tyre profile derived
from race competition
derived from racing
“The best stability during sequences of
curves, even on a simulation of a country
Pole-winning performance: agility and
handling when changing direction, under
braking and when accelerating hard!
“Extremely agile, with exceptional directional
stability and impeccable handling in
cornering; All this makes Michelin the winner
(and not only in terms of points).“
A new patented construction for exceptional straight-line
and cornering stability.
A single ply ensures a more flexible crown, while the side
ply back over itself.
Harder rubber underneath the softer rubber on the
shoulders gives better rigidity at lean, for more stability
when cornering, especially under strong accelaration.
WorldSBK – Silly Season Begins
It looks set to be a quiet year on the rider market for World Superbike, with the leading seats already filled for
2018, but there will still be some significant deals announced in the coming weeks and months.
Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies, and
Marco Melandri are all secure in their seats for
next year, but Sykes had been linked with a
move away from Kawasaki earlier this summer.
Prior to winning two races before the summer
break, the 2013 World Champion had been
touted as a potential target of Yamaha, but
with wins in the bag it looks highly unlikely
that he will make a switch.
For Ducati there is little reason to change their
status quo, and the only change in their ranks
could be the addition of a second bike to the
The Italian entry has thrived with Xavi Fores
in the last year, and came close to adding
a second machine for this year. If there is a
fourth Ducati on the grid it will likely have a
rider bringing money to the table for Barni.
With the top seats all likely to remain the same,
there could be changes in store for teams
running Yamaha, Honda, Aprilia, BMW, and
MV Agusta machinery.
Yamaha has made big strides this year with
Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark. The
Dutch rider is under contract for 2018 and will
remain in place, but who will be his teammate?
The most likely scenario is that Lowes will
remain with Big Blue, but the two-time
podium-finisher in 2017 is not certain to be
retained. The former British champion has
made plenty of progress during this campaign
to iron out the mistakes that marred his earlier
seasons in WorldSBK.
This year he has matured into a more
consistent rider, and he has been the best
of the rest more times than not. Starting the
season by fighting for the rostrum in Australia
was a good sign, but overall the progress
made by Yamaha has been very impressive.
Last year, Leon Camier was in play for a
return to the Crescent run operation, and
along with World Supersport championship
leader, Lucas Mahias, they would likely be the
prime candidates to replace Lowes should
the 26-year-old leave.
Replacing the Irreplaceable
If Lowes were to leave, one of the biggest
questions for 2018 could be answered in a
heartbeat; who will ride for Honda? Having
won his British title racing for Honda there is a
past link to the Japanese machine, and while
the Fireblade has struggled this year, riders are
sure to see the long term potential of the bike.
From the outset of winter testing, it was clear
that Honda would face a challenging season.
Stefan Bradl has struggled on the bike, and
the team’s patience has shown signs of
shortening of late.
Jake Gagne’s performance for the Ten Kate
Honda squad at Laguna Seca certainly seemed
to kick his teammate into gear, and Bradl will
need to maintain that at his home round.
Gagne is certainly in play for a full-time ride
in 2018. The American had a positive debut
in the class and was savvy in his media
Ten Kate will know that Bradl was key to
acquiring Red Bull sponsorship and to drop
the German could be to court losing their
sponsor. However, if they can add a rider like
Lowes or Camier it could certainly go some
way to righting the ship.
Both British riders have shown that they have
what it takes to be leading riders in the class
and an ability to develop their bikes over the
last number of years.
Davide Giugliano has also been testing for
the Honda squad, but his name has not been
mentioned for a full time ride, but rather as
just a fill in for the rest of the 2017 season.
Out for the Count?
Last year, Camier was the left standing
when the music stopped, and he had
to sign a one-year deal with MV Agusta.
This year he has once again been able to
impress, and as a former Suzuki, Aprilia,
20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Brought to you by
and BMW rider he would bring with him a
wealth of experience.
That experience could also be of great
value to the Althea squad, who would
surely be interested in partnering Jordi
Torres with Camier.
The Italian team has good resources
available, and has made steady progress
with the BMW this year. With Torres having
been consistently the leading BMW rider over
the last 18 months, signing Camier could be
a big step towards both Althea bikes being
The team was linked with a move to the
British Superbike championship last month,
but that is most likely to have been posturing
for the ongoing negotiations over regulations.
The Next Big Thing
One piece of the puzzle that looks almost
certain to be announced in the coming
rounds will be that Toprak Razgatlıoglu will be
promoted to an SBK machine by the Puccetti
squad in place of Randy Krummenacher.
The Turkish rider is contending for the
STK1000 crown this year, but has been able
to win races, and over the last 12 months he
has been very impressive.
There is still a rumour that Puccetti will
expand to a two bike team for 2018, and
Manuel Puccetti has admitted publicly that
the team are talking with Leon Haslam about
returning to WorldSBK.
Partnering the raw Razgatlıoglu with the
experienced Haslam would certainly be a
potent rider lineup.
While Puccetti look set to feature plenty
of changes for next year it is unlikely that
there will be any change for Aprilia. Eugene
Laverty is under contract, and after a stronger
showing at Laguna Seca, the Irishman finally
feels that progress has been made.
Lorenzo Savadori is thought of very highly
in the Italian manufacturer, and unless he is
moved back to the IODA squad, alongside
the impressive Tati Mercado, it would be a
surprise to see rider changes for Aprilia.
moving to MotoGP.
For the British based SMR team Redding
would be a clear target. He has flashed
potential on occasion in MotoGP, but has
been too inconsistent to get the most from
himself or a variety of machinery.
The WorldSBK team may feel that the
Englishman is a raw diamond that can be
polished, but having seen Gresini, Marc VDS
and Pramac all move on from him in recent
years, it’s clear that there is a lot of work to be
done by Redding.
If Savadori returns to IODA, and there is
an opening at Milwaukee, it would not be
surprising to see it filled by a MotoGP rider.
There are sure to be some riders left on the
sidelines from the Grand Prix paddock that
would be looking for rides.
Scott Redding, Loris Baz and Hector Barbera
would be all touted as candidates for the
Aprilia seat. Baz would be an attractive rider
for WorldSBK teams, with the Frenchman
having won races for Kawasaki, before
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 21
to you by
Guy Martin not done with road racing
Guy Martin clarifies retirement reports after leaving Honda following nightmare return to road racing
Guy Martin has played down reports of his
retirement from road racing after enduring
a nightmare return with Honda Racing this
year, though confirmed that he has no current
plans of continuing his career in the sport
after leaving the factory team.
The fan favourite suffered a disappointing
year after 12 months away from the sport,
with his running at the North West 200 in May
curtailed prematurely following a serious crash
for his teammate, John McGuinness, before
suffering his own accident at the Isle of Man
TT in June.
The 35-year-old Martin returned to road
racing this year after spending a year away
from the sport to recover from serious injuries
suffered in a crash at the Ulster Grand Prix
in 2015 as well as focusing on his television
commitments, but was lured back into the
saddle by Honda in his quest to claim his first
Isle of Man TT victory.
However, after failing in his quest to top
the podium on his return to the road,
MCN reported that Martin will hang up his
leathers for good after growing “bored” with
the sport, leaving Honda’s factory team
without a rider for the remainder of their road
racing season given that McGuinness is still
recovering from the broken leg he suffered at
the North West 200.
“Racing’s been good to me, but I’m bored of
it,” said Martin. “You spend the early part of
the year preparing for the season – testing,
racing, talking about it, and then doing it all
over again. It’s like Groundhog Day. It’s time
Martin has since taken to his Facebook
account to stress he has not retired
completely, but rather has his sights set on
other races such as the Pikes Peak hill climb
and other classic events.
“I went into the year right excited about
the new Honda,” he wrote. “I thought it
would be great straight away and so did the
team. I soon realised that it needed a lot of
developing and it will be great but it needs
time and I’ve got loads of other projects going
on, that I’d rather use that time for. I didn’t
get involved to develop a bike over months
and years, I was told I’d have a bike capable
of winning straight away and that’s why I
couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
“The TT was a bloody disaster, aside from
walking the dog and racing the Mugen, I
didn’t enjoy it. It was clear even before that
we were going to struggle and then it turned
into me really being a test rider, which I did
but after we did more testing at Cadwell a few
weeks back, I said to the team the bike won’t
be competitive at the Ulster Grand Prix and
they decided to withdraw me from the event,
although they didn’t tell me, which is OK as
the decision was made for me.
“So I’ve not given up on racing or road racing,
there’s no unfinished business and I want to
race classics and oddball stuff. All I’ve been
thinking about recently is Pikes Peak and any
spare time my brain has had is about Pikes
Peak on 4 wheels. That job is down to me and
if it doesn’t work, it’s my fault and I like that.
Martin’s return coincided with the introduction
of the new Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR
SP2 that by all accounts has been a tricky
bike to master. McGuinness’ accident in
Northern Ireland was revealed this week
to have been caused by an ECU error that
caused the throttle to blip mid-corner, while
Martin’s bike forced itself into neutral during
this year’s Superbike TT that caused him to
crash at the 120mph Doran’s Bend.
The decision was made with Honda to pull
out of the remaining Senior TT, with the
Kirmington-born rider participating in the
supersport category aboard the Wilson
Craig Honda as well as the TT Zero on
the electrical-powered Mugen, and after
announcing this week that he had withdrawn
from the Ulster Grand Prix, Martin has called
time on his career.
Martin told The Independent newspaper in
the UK earlier this year that a second year
with Honda was something of interest if the
Japanese manufacturer were prepared to
keep him for 2018, but the lack of progress
this season on the roads has led to both
parties severing ties, with Martin now set
to return to his TV commitments with a
motorcycle land-speed record attempt on the
22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Refined. Redesigned. Remarkable.
www.yamaha.co.za • +27 11 259 7600 • Facebook: Yamaha Southern Africa • Instagram: YamahaMoto_SA • YouTube: YamahaMoto_SA
NEW Red Bull KTM Factory
racing Team Wear
Are you a massive KTM MotoGP fan? Then show your
support and look just like factory riders Pol Espargaro and
Bradley Smith with the Red Bull KTM Factory racing official
team-wear 2017. The new range consists of a team shirt, pit
shirt, softshell jacket, hoody and flat or curve peak caps. The
perfect look for the racetrack and features replica team and
partner logos for an authentic look. As you’d expect from
Alpinestars and NewEra, the products are top quality and
worth every cent! The new range is available at all official
KTM dealers Nation-Wide.
Replica Team Tee – Retail R581.80
Replica Team Pit Shirt – Retail R1165.42
Replica Team Zip Hoodie – Retail R1332.09
Replica Team Softshell Jacket – Retail R1332.09
Team Flat Cap – Retail R655.27
Team Curved Cap – Retail R573.25
NEW Rayven Tucson jacket
The new Rayven Tucson is a tough touring jacket with lots of style.
It’s waterproof and fitted with 5 piece body protection and a
removable thermal liner and also features pop
open chest air vents, genuine YKK zips
and has lots of pockets. Sizes
S – 5XL.
Available now from
SMPSA for only
24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
NEW TCX RT-Race Boots
New for 2017, the TCX RT Race Boots are their most
streamlined track boot to date. With a strong and
lightweight microfiber construction, the TCX RT Boots
maintain protection with a lighter, more comfortable
feel. The toe slider, shift pad and closure strap are
formed from polyurethane, which is used in conjunction
with magnesium to form the heel slider and with iron mesh
intake vents to create the shin plate. The over-injected front
and side panels allow easy step-in, and the FFC (Fasten Fit
Control) with internal laces joined to the boot lining results in a
precise, secure fit that maximizes protection. In the ankle, the
TCX R T Race Boots feature the DFC (Double Flex Control
System) to allow lateral and longitudinal movements only
within physiological limitations, while preventing excess
torsion and minimizing risk of injury. For the
track rider seeking Italian race boots
without compromise in either ergonomics
or protection, the TCX RT-Race Boots are
an excellent choice. The TCX RT Race
is the same boots used by top SA riders
Brad and Darryn Binder, as well as MotoGP
stars Johann Zarco and Sam Lowes.
Available in these 4 colours now from Cayenne SA for R5499.
Email Gerhard@Cayenne.co.za or call him on 011 244 1933.
NEW R&G Tank Traction Grip Pads
R&G Tank Traction Grip pads are available for many different bike styles
and brands, with new applications released regularly. The unique R&G Tank
Traction Grip texture was specifically designed to be both soft and durable,
providing the rider with the grip and feel he/she needs to assist in better bike
control, enabling the rider to maintain a stable body position while cornering
and braking, whilst also relieving fatigue and providing the rider with complete
confidence allowing him/her to fully focus on the road (or track) ahead instead
of slipping and sliding on the tank. “They really work! Once you have used these
pads it’s that bit harder to ride a bit without them. I highly reccommend using
them!” Rob Portman - RideFast Magazine Editor.
Each Tank Traction Grip kit is supplied with precision pre-cut adhesive pieces,
designed to fit the intended bike, typically in either 2, 4 or 6 pieces (in total)
depending on the shape of the tank and adjoining fairing. The high-strength
adhesive backing ensures a highly durable product that will stay exactly
where you put it, as well as not affecting or damaging paintwork. Each R&G
Tank Traction Grip kit is available in black and ultra-clear finishes to blend into
your bike’s paintwork or stand out, depending on your preference. R&G Tank
Traction Grips work in both wet and dry conditions and is equally at home on
the track as it is on the commute home!
Available now from Bike Product Services from R500.
Email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011 918 4911/1046.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 25
NEW AGV Pista GP-R helmets
The evolution of the groundbreaking Pista GP, the Moto GP
helmet used by the man himself, Valentino Rossi, is the most
protective helmet ever developed. Its new “Biplano” spoiler
and its included hydration system bring AGV’s safety and
performances to the next level.
RACE! SA are the official importers of the AGV brand in SA
and they have just landed two exclusive, limited edition lids.
AGV Pista GP-R ANNIVERSARIO
Limited edition of the ultimate track helmet celebrating 70 yrs
of AGV, Pista GP R Anniversario features its Moto GP-tested
metal air vents in a unique gold finishing, superb Aero
performance with BIPLANO spoiler technology dressed in
an exclusive black matt colour, iridium rainbow gold visor
included in the box (additional to standard clear) and a
dedicated carry bag. Limited to 1947 pieces world-wide.
AGV Pista GP R Misano 2016 Rossi Helmet - Blues Brother
According to tradition of the Italian San Marino Grand Prix
Valentino showcased the new special graphic of his AGV
Pista GP R helmet. This time, the theme is the priceless
relationship with his childhood friend Alessio Salucci, better
known as “Uccio”, today the assistant of Valentino and
sportive director at VR46 Racing Team and VR46 Riders
Recalling the renowned movie “The Blues Brothers”,
Valentino and Uccio, acting as Dan Aykroyd and John
Belushi, stand out on the upper side of the helmet. The
AGV tricolor logo, the distinctive element that for more
than 20 years now supports Valentino throughout his
incredible career, dominates the front head and the sides of
Available now from RACE! SA.
Email email@example.com or call 011 466 6666.
GFP International products
There is a new company in SA supplying a wide range of motorcycle products
- From tyre warmers, knee sliders, seat foam, engine guards, paddock stands,
adjustable levers to pit boards, GFP International stocks everything you could
possible want or need for your motorcycle.
They have a massive range of top quality products available, and various dealers
country-wide. See full range at www.gfpinternational.co.za.
26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
BOBLBEE 25L GTX
This awesome pack doubles as the highest
rated spine protector (approved by TÜV). It also
protects your gear, laptop, camera and other
equipment. The improved GTX series features
the new Point 65 AirVent, which is part of the
back plate design.
The special ventilation channels running through
the ergonomical back plate keep prespiration
to a minimum. It’s aerodynamic dome reduces
fluttering at high speeds and is water repellent.
Color: Diablo Red Color: Cobalt Color: Kryptonite
Tel: 010 - 012 5099
Cell: 082 457 1511
2 Selborne Road
Hammets Crossing Office Park
online store : www.point65.co.za
Out with the new and in with the old - that seems to be the method behind the madness of
the guys from Wrenchmonkees, who have taken the very modern Kawasaki Ninja H2 and
transformed into a retro looking beast.
If there’s one type of build we don’t see
enough of, it’s the 80s and 90s sport bike
resto-mod. We love those endurance-style
racers with their chunky bodywork—harking
back to a time when motorcycles were still
fairly straightforward, and technology was
only on the cusp of becoming complicated.
It’s a style that the Wrenchmonkees have
pulled off spectacularly here—except they
didn’t pick an older bike for their project.
Instead, this wild retro is based on an even
wilder donor: the supercharged Kawasaki
The commission (and bike) came from
Dutch gear manufacturer, REV’IT!. They
wanted a bike that followed the same
‘Tailored Technology’ philosophy as their
urban range; casual and stylish on the
outside, high tech on the inside.
REV’IT! already had a soft spot for
the H2: their sponsored rider, Kenan
Sofuoğlu, hit the 400 km/h mark on the top
spec H2R just last year. There’s no question
around its performance—but the futuristic
styling is an acquired taste.
The Wrenchmonkees‘ design ethos lies
on the other end of the spectrum. Often raw
and dark, their bikes have a presence about
them that’s hard to pin down. So they got
the nod to inject the Ninja H2 with a heavy
dose of their signature styling.
With a brand new Ninja H2 on the bench
in their Copenhagen workshop, Per Nielsen
and Nicholas Bech began the arduous task
of reworking the modern superbike—without
sacrificing an iota of performance. That
meant anything functional that was ripped off
had to be replaced, or rebuilt.
28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
First on the block was the H2’s
excessive bodywork. Starting from the
front, the Wrenchmonkees fitted a modified
Kawasaki ZX-7R fairing. Look closely,
and you’ll notice a hand-made aluminium
section hiding behind it on each side: the
left is an air duct that feeds the charger,
while the right supports a small coolant
reservoir, and hides a ton of wiring.
Behind the fairing is a monocoque tank
cover and tail section, hand-made with
fibreglass, and capped with a firm neoprene
The H2 normally hosts a fuel cell
under the main tank cover, but the guys
removed this in favour of two custommade
aluminium cells. One sits under the
tail hump (the filler cap is up top), the other
under the seat. The rear feeds the front,
which houses the stock fuel pump; both
can be removed as one unit, and total
about nine litres of fuel.
The Wrenchmonkees also fabricated
a new aluminium subframe to attach
everything to, complete with new shock
mounts. The rest of the H2’s frame saw
minimal changes—like a new bracket for
the relocated steering damper, and a culling
of any unnecessary tabs.
Per and Nicholas went to great lengths
to keep the endurance racer vibe strong.
An Antigravity Lithium-ion battery pokes
out through the ‘tank’, with a quickrelease
mount to easily remove it. The
fairing attaches with just five bolts, and the
monocoque body with just two, making
for a rapid teardown. And the bike’s still
rideable if you remove it.
Even though the stock H2 is no
slouch on the performance side, the
Wrenchmonkees threw an array of
tasty upgrades at it. The engine was left
untouched, but was treated to a SC-Project
silencer and a Sprintfilter air filter.
The front suspension was rebuilt with
Hyperpro internals, and now sits 15 mm
lower with full adjustability. There’s a tubular
aluminium swingarm from GIA Engineering
out back, hooked up to a fully adjustable
A set of Dymag CH3 magnesium
wheels went on too, along with Dunlop GP
Sportmax race slicks. Beringer supplied
new front brake discs, front and back
calipers, and brake and clutch controls,
hooked up via braided steel lines. There’s
also a RK racing chain, a Talon rear
sprocket, and a new top yoke and foot
pegs from Uhrewerk.
Everything else is stock, including the
cockpit and electronics. The guys just
moved things around wherever they could,
to get everything neat and compact,
modifying bits like the speedo mount in the
With retro lines, an all-white frame and
wheels, and a paint job that rides the
line between menacing and playful, the
‘Revmonkee’ has us captivated. And it’s
quicker now too—reading 198 hp at the
rear wheel, and weighing in at 220kg.
It’s the perfect blend of class and brute
force, and it’s even plated. So you could
take it on your next breakfast run—if you’re
With thanks to: Dunlop, SC Project,
Dymag, Beringer, Gia Engineering, Sprint
Filter, Hyperpro, Uhrewerk and Arai.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 29
2017 KTM RC390
For 2017 the RC 390 has undergone some important updates to maintain its competitive edge in the highlycontested
sub-400cc supersport class. The biggest change is the addition of a Ride by Wire throttle system,
which represents a first for in the LAMS category and proves that the RC390 is here to stay. Words Paul McCann
This new technology brings the 373.2cc
four stroke engine in line with strict new
Euro 4 emissions requirements and you can
expect other manufacturers to follow suit
as the requirements for cleaner and more
efficient engines become more stringent.
So how does it change the feel of
the throttle response? Well, there’s now
a noticeably crisper and more precise
feeling when you twist the throttle tube
when compared to the outgoing cableoperated
system. The old system wasn’t
actually wasn’t that bad, but this lightning
fast connection between the throttle and
the remapped ECU also allows more
predictable power delivery, which is a plus
for new players.
The single-cylinder motor generates
solid mumbo for its size with claimed peak
torque and power figures of 35Nm at
7250rpm and 43 at 9500rpm. The top-end
bias makes it incredibly fun to ride hard
and there’s little doubt that this entrylevel
motorcycle is going to win fans from
those who enjoy punting around a track.
Nonetheless, after a half a day of riding it
through some top coastal roads around the
South Coast, I’m also inclined to believe
that those who are accustomed to much
larger and more powerful steeds will also
see the RC 390’s value.
On the previous model I was a little
critical of the front brake units and their
tendency to heat up and become vague
under heavy use. This observation seems to
have been addressed by KTM with a larger
320mm disc to complement the capable
ABS-equipped ByBre radial mount calliper,
although it’s difficult to tell without closed
circuit testing. The Bosch ABS system retains
the functionality to be switched off (a plus
in my book), and this year’s model benefits
from newly fitted adjustable clutch and brake
levers that make it easier to set the RC 390
up for different riders.
The feel and ergonomics of the RC 390,
combined with the 147kg dry weight, make
it an easy bike to ride around town and the
raised height of the clip-ons actually make
it pretty comfortable for long stints in the
saddle too. Unfortunately the small 10 litre
fuel capacity is likely to hinder the range of
travel for road riders, so that’s something to
consider if you plan on clocking up the kays.
Nonetheless, the bike’s edgy styling turns
heads on the street and the thumping beat of
the motor also has charm.
The thin tank profile provides the perfect
surface for gripping on with your thighs and
therefore encourages good riding habits, but
the seat does feel like it’s set up in such a
way that you’re forced forward when braking
which can be draining. A set of tank grips
would make inroads into correcting this, and
I’d thoroughly recommend them anyway if
you do plan on doing a lot of fast road riding
or track work which is precisely where the
RC 390 excels.
30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
The windscreen forms a protective cover
on the nose cone and remains unchanged
for 2017 and, despite its short stature, is very
effective at reducing most wind buffeting
when you tuck in a little. Graphics are
completely new for 2017 and at first glance
(with a bit of imagination) you could be
forgiven for assuming you were staring right
at a Moto3 racer. The striking paint job fits
well with the steep rake (23.5 degrees), short
trail (88mm) and compressed wheelbase
(1340 +/- 15mm) that give the RC 390 its
KTM have also stiffened up the one-piece
steel trellis frame and sub-frame unit to
ensure that it holds its edge when pushed
to the limit. The non-adjustable 43mm WP
fork is well suited to road use and while the
rear shock is adjustable for pre-load, it would
benefit from being stiffened up if you plan to
scratch or track day more than commute.
The sharp beak, bug eyes and battylooking
rear vision mirrors add to the bike’s
unique look. Turn signals up front are
perched on the stems of some oversized
rear vision mirrors, but the flickering front
indicators are not really that visible. The tail
light and diamond shaped blinkers attached
to the rear fender hold more than a hint of
the RC 8’s styling and the foam-covered
pillion seat doubles as the rear seat cowl to
maintain those clean racing lines.
Rubber-lined footpegs are comfortable
to use and help to off-set vibration and the
Metzeler Sportec M5 hoops fitted standard
are more than adequate to deal with roadgoing
conditions. In the event of slick wet
conditions the chance of rear lock ups
during back-shifting has been mitigated by
the addition of a slipper-clutch which is a
There’s also a host of optional factory
accessories on hand to turn your RC
390 into a track weapon such as the
Akrapovic slip on muffler, rear paddock
stands, racing fuel caps and 520 chain/
sprocket conversion kit, all of which can be
purchased online or at dealers through the
KTM PowerParts catalogue.
The RC 390 is designed in Austria but
manufactured in India, although with this
latest model you’d never know it. The whine
of the thermo fan kicking in to keep the
engine cool is a tad annoying, but with such
a high compression ratio (12.5:1) this highlytuned
single cylinder engine is likely to
be getting a work out most of the time,
so a little pre-emptive protection isn’t
necessarily a bad thing.
The performance, handling and
finish show no signs of compromise and
this learner-legal supersport offers plenty
of bang for your buck at R68,999 plus
ORC. In fact, I’m sure there are many
experienced riders out there who are
going to invest in this little rocket with a
view to slashing their tyre budget because
this Moto3 replica is certainly very near
‘Ready to Race’.
SPECS: KTM RC390
Engine: 373cc 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine
Power: 43hp @ 9,500rpm
Torque: 35Nm @ 7,250rpm
Wet weight: 170kg
Seat height: 820mm
Fuel capacity: 10L
Detailed specs: www.ktm.com
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 31
WHO IS THE
OF THEM ALL?
At Assen the MotoGPs are ‘beaten’ by the SBKs. THE ANALYSIS - The prototypes slower or barely faster
than the production-derived bikes. What’s happening to the top motorcycle race class?
Words by Silvano Di Giovanni (GPone)
32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
1’34”617 and 1’34”880. These are the
two fastest lap times at Assen 2017, but the
first belongs to MotoGP, Scott Redding with
the Ducati, and the second to Superbike,
Jonathan Rea with the Kawasaki. Well,
behind these two numbers, and many
others that we note when comparing the
two categories, there is something that tells
us that the Assen race, beyond the actual
race result, requires closer analysis.
It is, above all, a sign that in MotoGP
it only takes something small, a missed
practice for example, for the situation to
be turned on its head, with the impression
that it is difficult for everyone to get to the
heart of the matter. The final result at Assen,
we feel, only goes so far in explaining
the current situation in the reigning
class, particularly in terms of the effective
competitiveness of the bikes.
The best lap time between the two
categories has never been so close (aside
from rare occasions twenty years ago). The
SBKs performance in April are too close in
this case, almost overlapping, with those
of MotoGP. Let’s not forget that, with the
Superbikes, we’re talking about productionderived
bikes, which weigh at least 5 kg
more, with brakes in steel not carbon, less
advanced electronics and less extreme tyres.
We could say that the MotoGP practices
were conditioned by the rain. It’s true, but
if we look at Friday’s dry times, when riders
are not looking to make flying laps, we see
that Vinales already set an 1’33”130 in
FP2, a prelude to some low 1’32”s by the
end of qualifying. normally, in fact, between
Friday and Saturday, times come down
by almost a second. Now, the race pace
on a dry track went up to 1’35”, very high,
too high compared to Friday’s practices.
A pace that is only a fraction faster than
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 33
that of the Superbikes, which suggests
extreme difficulty in setting up the bikes with
the Michelins, where any small thing can
result in disaster. It’s clear that something
is not working as it should. In terms of
overall performance, it seems that there is
confusion, with the situation changing race
For a correct comparison (Race 1 for
the SBK) let’s start with the weather. In
SBK 10° air temperature, asphalt at 18° and
54% humidity. In MotoGP 18°, 25° and 76%,
so the comparison is consistent.
The total race time for the first 17 laps in
both categories (so before the rain started to
fall in GP) was 27’00”8 for Rossi, with a 12
second advantage over Rea (27’12”4). Rea
would have been twelfth in the race at this
point, in fact, ahead of Iannone.
Other data. The first lap sees the SBKs
travelling faster than the MotoGPs: Davies
completed it in a fantastic 1’39”890 to
the 1’40”189 of Zarco. The first 5 flying
laps: Rea 7’56”76, Zarco 7’54”44. Just
over 2 seconds difference. Dovizioso was at
7’56”12. So we would have seen Rea right
up behind Dovizioso and Davies just two
But the most disconcerting thing are the
• 1st sector. Aside from Dovizioso in
31”093, Davies is quicker than everyone with
a 31”137 and Rea with 31”213 is 1 tenth
quicker than Petrucci.
• 2nd sector. Dovizioso 14”009 and Zarco
14”036, but Sykes sets an excellent 14”056,
faster than Rossi. Remember that sector 2
is that where we see the bikes at maximum
speed, where Dovi’s Ducati travels at 312.1
kmh, Zarco at 307.4 and Rossi at 306,2.
Sykes manages only 292.8 and Davies just
286.9. So we’re talking about a difference
of a good 15-20 kmh, more than just loose
change. This data requires further reflection.
• 3rd sector, and here’s the surprise,
Davies with the Panigale sets an
impressive 27”480, he’s the fastest across
the two categories (Zarco 27.503). Rea
is at 27”587, almost the same as Rossi
• Finally, the 4th sector, where
only Petrucci (21”637) and Marquez (21”694)
beat the SBK of Sykes (21.822).
So we ask ourselves: the MotoGP bikes
are lighter, more powerful, brake better,
accelerate better, are faster, have been
mid-corner speed, have actual race bike
geometry, high performance tyres and the
riders too, at least those on the first/second
row, are stronger too. And so? How is it
possible that in certain sections there were
slower than the SBKs? Did they simply not
push as hard? If that’s the case, we should all
be asking where the category is headed...
We add a final note with Vittoriano
Guareschi’s opinion. Talking to Motosprint, the
former team manager sees that something
doesn’t add up. “The production-derived
bikes have grown a lot, but if we look at the
current MotoGP times we see they’re going
slow. It’s almost as if the manufacturers are
unable to do everything within their power.
And the riders don’t seem to be riding with the
same level of performance. Up until a while
ago, only a few could fully exploit a MotoGP.
That made the difference. So it’s difficult to
judge the bikes and riders right now”.
34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
2017 Isle of Man
Senior TT Winner
Michael Dunlop on the
Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000
VISIT YOUR NEAREST
SUZUKI GSX-R1000 R239 900
Suzuki Motorcycles South Africa
Prices include VAT. Terms and Conditions Apply.
Motorcycle Helmet Size Guide
How To Measure & Fit The Right Helmet
The motorcycle helmet is the most effective
and most important safety measure a
motorcyclist can invest. There is no other
single piece of motorcycle gear which
provides more protection, or more return on
investment, should the rider go down. This is
why most recommend that the motorcycle
helmet should not be bought with only the
price or appearance in mind. A rider should
buy the best fitting, most highly rated helmet
he or she can afford.
That first required part is the most significant
task a new rider must complete before
finding the correct helmet - finding one
which fits properly. Safety ratings are readily
available for the majority of helmets thanks
to the organizations which determine them
- the U.S. DOT, the Economic Commission
for Europe (ECE ratings), and the SNELL
Memorial Foundation among others - and are
thus easy to determine. But, fit is individual,
and will be based on both the size and
shape of the rider’s head, and so must be
determined by each individual.
In this motorcycle helmet sizing guide we
cover the following essential aspects to
choosing the correct motorcycle helmet:
• Sizing a Motorcycle Helmet
• Helmet Fit
Many motorcycle helmet size guides start the
rider on the path to finding the correct helmet
by first measuring for the helmet size, but
there is one important helmet fitting aspect
to consider before determining size - helmet
shape. The shape of the rider’s head plays
a crucial role in selecting a proper fitting
motorcycle helmet. All helmet manufacturers
design their wares to fit a specific head
shape. These often range across three
primary designations - long oval, intermediate
oval, and round oval.
• Long Oval - Shaped for a head which is
longer front-to-back (from forehead to the
back of the skull) than it is side-to-side (ear
• Intermediate Oval - Shaped for a head
which is slightly longer front-to-back than it is
side-to-side. Most motorcycle helmets will fall
into this category as it is the most common
head shape; if a helmet does not state its
shape, this is usually it.
• Round Oval - Shaped for a head which has
almost identical front-to-back and side-toside
Once the head shape is known, it is easier
to filter the enormous selection of available
motorcycle helmets down to a smaller, more
appropriate list of those which will fit the
rider’s head. Now it is time to find the correct
size of the remaining motorcycle helmets.
Sizing a Motorcycle Helmet
Measuring for which motorcycle helmet size
will fit is actually as simple as looking for a
good hat. The difference is in how the helmet
will fit over the rider’s head. The best tool for
this is the soft vinyl or fibreglass seamstress
or tailor’s tape measure. It is flexible enough
to wrap around the rider’s skull and is marked
in useful increments for determining an
accurate size. Use it to find which size of
helmet will suit you:
• Wrap the measuring tape around the
fullest part of the head - this will be just
above the ears and about a half-inch above
the eyebrows for most - and take the
measurement at the forehead. To get the
most accurate measure, have a friend help
with this step.
• Take the number found above and go
to the size chart for the motorcycle helmet
being viewed and find the helmet size
which includes this dimension in its sizing
information. Each manufacturer has sizing
which is specific to its own models, so
only rely on the size chart produced for the
motorcycle helmet being considered.
Once measuring has been accomplished,
and the size charts scanned for the
appropriate motorcycle helmet size to be
purchased, the next part is ensuring that
the helmet lives up to its shape and size
designations. There is always some variance,
even between different models from the same
manufacturer, in how a motorcycle helmet
actually fits on the rider’s head. Thus, a fitting
is often necessary.
When a new helmet is first worn, it should
actually be slightly tight, with the interior
coming into contact with most of the head,
but not so restrictive that it causes any pain.
There should be no “hot spots” - places
where the helmet’s interior puts pressure
on specific points of the skull or face - but it
36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Brought to you by
should not move around freely. With time, a
helmet will adjust to match the shape of the
rider’s head as it is worn and goes through
“break-in” and loosens up a little. However, it
should never become loose enough to easily
turn from side to side.
• Put the helmet on - it should be a little tight
as it goes on over the head.
• The helmet should sit on the head evenly
with the eye port’s upper edge sitting
just above the eyebrows and have good
peripheral vision available to see side-to-side.
• Try putting a finger between the helmet
interior and the head. If it easily fits, a smaller
size should be tried next. Note that some
helmet models allow for the cheek pads to be
changed out for better fitment, so consider
this too when checking for proper sizing.
Now that the shape, size and fit have been
determined to be correct, all that remains is
to purchase the helmet. Select one which
includes the features that suit the riding to
be done and the way in which the helmet
will be used. Colour, patterns and shield
tint are mostly up to personal choice,
but remember that the brighter and
easier to see a helmet is, the more likely
the rider is to be seen. The face shield
should not obscure the rider’s vision at
all and tinted visors should only be used
for sunny days.
A well-fitting motorcycle helmet will contribute
to a safer and more comfortable ride. If the
helmet does not fit right, it can cause pain
which will lead to dangerous distraction,
and it may not completely protect the rider’s
head in a crash. Thus, finding a motorcycle
helmet which fits the rider correctly is very
important to the helmet’s twin
missions of comfort and safety.
Spend enough time finding the
right helmet and you will find that the helmet
almost disappears when under way, and yet
it is right where it needs to be should the ride
go wrong. Be smart, be safe, and ride with
a correctly sized motorcycle helmet and you
can ride safely for years to come.
The new HJC RPHA 11 is a great top
of the line helmet option, and is one
of the better priced top of the range
helmets on the market today.
HJC RPHA 11
The HJC RPHA 11 is HJC’s top of the range helmets, as used by top MotoGP rider
Jonas Folger. The RPHA 11 Pro builds upon the hugely successful RPHA 10,
creating an even more finely tuned helmet for sport and track-day enthusiasts.
A more aerodynamically refined shell, improved rear spoiler design, ACS
“Advanced Channeling Ventilation System”, an added forehead vent, greater
field of view, a redesigned face shield gasket system and both clear and smoke
tinted optically-superior Pinlock-ready 2D flat-racing shields round out the
features of this helmet.
One of our tests rider here at RideFast, Michael Powell, recently received a new HJC
RPHA 11 Pro helmet from Autocycle Centre, who are the official importers of
the HJC brand in SA, for the big Sportsbike test we did and is featured
in this issue. Michael did over 1500km of road riding and 120km of
track riding with the new helmet and had this to say about it: “The
first thing I noticed about the new RPHA 11 lid is that it is much
lighter than the previous 10 model. The fit is also a lot more snug,
and the quick pads feel softer on the face and more absorbent. I
was amazed to see that after a hard days riding at the track, the
pads inside were hardly wet, so the odour free interiors really do
work like a charm.
On the track, the lid was quiet and the ventilation was perfect.
The fact that the helmet comes standard with a clear and dark visor
is brilliant and great value for money! I love the shape and look of
the new helmet, and can highly recommend to any potential buyers.”
The new range of HJC RPHA 11 helmets have just landed in SA, and are
now availale at selected dealers Nation-wide at a RRP of R8795 inc vat.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 37
RF magazine play.indd 1006
2014/12/27 8:44 AM
DUCATI 1299 R FINAL EDITION
Dyno By Quint are famous for building gorgeous classic and modern day motorcycles. They have done a
couple of Suzuki Katana’s over the years but this new build has to be one of, if not the best build they have
done to date! Words & Pics Rob Portman
While at this years 1000 Bike Show,
I came across this stunning piece of
machinery. I was not surprised to see it
standing at the Dyno By Quint stand, as
Quint is one of the masters at building
custom modern day and classic bikes. It
was also no surprise that this gorgeous bike
won 1st place in the “Best Street Modified”
category at this years 1000 Bike Show.
Now I’m sure many of you can see that
the bike in question, and featured here, is a
Suzuki Katana, just with a bit more flavour
added to it by Quintin and his team.
To this day I still hear people talking and
raving about the Katana. The Katana 750cc
and 1100cc sold in large quantities both in
South Africa and internationally.
To my eye the Katana has never had that
look of what a motorcycle should look like
and seemed to have too many plastic parts.
Boy was I wrong! Every superbike produced
from then until now and into the future carries
elements of Katana styling.
In 1979 Suzuki commissioned a German
design studio to design a radically new
looking model. The Katana was the first
production motorcycle to be aerodynamically
designed using a windtunnel. Until then
motorcycles had a separate and distinctive
seat, tank and fairing. The Katana’s fairing
flowed into the tank which flowed into the
seat section, a feature common to all modern
superbikes. First shown in 1980, it was
launched in 1981 to the market. The model,
which changed many lukewarm feelings for
the Katana into burning lust, was the launch
of the very rare high performance, 1000cc
spoke-wheeled Striker version. Spoke
wheels were installed for their lightness as
these were to be the production race bikes.
The combination of space age looks and old
school spokes was fantastic. Many would
like to own a Katana Striker today, but almost
all these bikes have found there way to
40 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
￼ Although radically customised, our
feature bike remains easily recognisable
as a Katana because the distinctive fairing
and tank remain unmodified. Just about
everything else on this motorcycle is custom
made by the owner Quintin. It started life as a
1981 Katana 750cc before it became part of
Qunit’s dream to build the ultimate Katana.
The photos out describe my words but
the features to look out for are the Aprilia
Ohlins front forks, GSXR1000 K4 swingarm,
Marchesini rims and Yoshi R11 silencer.
Very few components, like the imported
wheels and suspension, were not custom
made or modified by Quint. CNC work
includes the fuel filler cap, mirrors, front
brake reservoir bottle, cylinder oil feeds,
pick up cover, stator cover, sprocket cover
and tappet cover. This all makes a huge
difference, and the work is flawless.
The splash of carbon fibre with the rear
hugger, yolk protector and front mudguard,
give the bike that modern day sportbike look.
Shorty levers, adjustable rear-sets, wave
discs front and rear also contribute to the
bikes racy styling. No expense was spared,
with top line Brembo brakes being fitted along
with a Suzuki GSXR1000 steering damper.
The engine remains the classic 1100cc,
just bored out to 1134cc, with some mods.
1mm oversized pistons, flowed head, cams
and billet clutch basket were all installed to
give the beast a bit more growl out of the
stunning Yoshi pipe. Trust me when I say
this bike sounds delicious! And how cool do
those MiKuni smooth bore carbs look? Carbs
were the fuelling systems back in the day
before fuel injection in case all you lighties
were wondering what the hek carbs were.
The bike is finished off beautifully with its
custom black spray job, with logos in red and
that oh so distinctive Katana logo.
When I asked Quintin what his vision
behind this build was, he answered “I have
a very soft spot for the Katana. It’s probably
one of the easiest bikes to customise,
even standard the Katana has a beautiful
gentleness about itself – Keeping it Simply
was the rule we applied to this project and it
Simple yet very effective I would say. The
total cost of the build was R250,000, and the
bike has already been sold.
This is an out and out showbike; created
to be admired by many and carefully
scrutinised for the tiniest flaw by the judges
There are two ways to build a showbike.
The first is to import all the components
from the many custom part manufacturers
internationally, paint and assemble. This
way requires a big chequebook. The
second way is to manufacture as many of
the components oneself, as Quintin does,
purchasing only what you cannot make or
have made locally. This is the cheaper but
far more time consuming way. Both ways
produce amazing showbikes.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 41
This test proudly brought to you by
SHOOTOUT MEGA TEST
The Robbit - an unexpected journey
It’s the most anticipated, and biggest test of the year, so we decided to make it a MEGA test and take the top 6
sportsbike contenders and put them through 1700km plus of road and track riding to see just which bike will
be crowned our sportsbike of the year. Oh, and we through in 2 wild-card bikes just to spice things up a bit.
Words: The Singh & Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Ersamus & Bill du Plessis (Beam Productions)
42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
“Some say he invented corners so bikes could be tested to their limits, others say that he does not ride
race tracks because there are no obstacles to dodge. There was a rumour that his speed on the road
is directly related to number of cars to dodge , others contemplated that he is actually blind and rides
with a seventh sense. When RF is on a road test there is no option but to invite The Singh.”
The wintry sunbeam crept its way into
the bedroom and reminded me in glorious
shades of crystallized bronze that there was
another fabled road trip ahead. This time the
Singh had subtlety implanted a truly ludicrous
suggestion in Rob’s ailing mind.
What if we actually tested the current
stock of screaming superbikes on a long
gruelling journey of shitty weather, bad food,
lousy roads and unpredictable hazards?
This would amazingly represent what
most bikers who do not spend their free
time going around in circles on a race track
actually do, ride to destinations.
As a commuter you spend your time
dodging inconsiderate motorists, flustered
housewives and the occasional runaway pet,
not to mention the hibernating metros that
seem to thrive on harassing bikers.
As a track recruit, you spend your time
heading towards your first crash. That is a
reality for both our parallel worlds
It is an unholy combination of adrenaline
The road appeals to two types of riders,
the commuter and those that seek the thrill
of the perfect blind apex. The track strangely
can appeal to the commuter who wants to
learn his limit and most bike shops who sell
bikes should encourage this education.
The track gives you the opportunity to
physically witness the divine abilities of the
steed between your legs without becoming
road kill on a freeway.
On the converse side of this equation, you
have the dedicated track rider. It is normally
represented by a person who preaches
about how dangerous road riding is, but has
more slurs than Stallone.
Ah yes, the ultimate battle of good versus
evil. The commuter versus the track rider.
Each believes his is the true path,
personally The Singh thinks it’s a matter of
It resembles the passionate debates
that stalk every bike comparison on every
breakfast run, drunken rally or race day. It has
created a definite boundary between these
RideFast has proven on various occasions
that the track dude and the commuter can
exist in blissful synchronicity while enjoying
the potential of the machines we test and the
riding lifestyle we embrace.
A journalist recently stated that super
bikes were equivalent to spending time in a
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 43
mixed martial arts ring with a heavy weight
fighter. You emerged from the contest,
bruised battered and cursing not only your
existence but that of the machine with which
Obviously he has not spent time in a
Porsche GT3, Ferrari 488 or Lamborghini
Huracan. These beasts twist your senses
and bombard your body with the most
exhilarating and mind numbing experiences
that a few million rand will purchase and also
contort your body into all sorts of discomfort.
In biking as in with life, there is always
an opportunity cost. The GS rider who
does 600 km for the day can boast about
his cushy seat and upright riding position,
but the tar is the equalizer, it grinds you to
submission like the sadistic dominatrix and
whether you in super car , super bike or
super tourer, some part of your anatomy will
rebel or squeak in anguish
There is no escape, pleasure in whatever
form will always lead to pain.
So suck it up butter cup, I personally
would rather be doing at 200 km/h then be
plodding along in a car or a GS…
Rob was baptized in varying degrees
in our Sabie road tests and learnt with
incremental amusement that road riding can
also be staggering amounts of unsolicited
We decided to up the ante. If we did 400
km’s in day through valleys and mountains, let
us do double that and test the mettle of the
new crop of thousands on Road and Track…
Yes, it was a coastal blast of technological
wizardry, ludicrous power and testing the
endurance of The Rob… It was indeed the
start of an unexpected journey.
The contenders for this test included
some of the most elaborately beautiful
models to grace our current market.
In the Japanese corner we had the repriced
and seductive ZX10R. It was joined
by the newly released Honda CBR1000RR,
lethally dressed in black stealth attire. The
long awaited Suzuki GSXR1000 joined
the soiree, adorned in a devilish red dress,
complete with hooker stockings and a slutty
halogen bulb that dared the testers to try
her out. The final Japanese warrior to this
mix was banana yellow R1, its threat muted
by its sedate 60th anniversary colours. The
German war machine had to be present. You
all know of whom I speak. The storm trooper
among the kamikazes: the wunderbar
S1000RR. A bike that takes average riders
to new heights and makes good riders feel
average. The Italian heritage had only the
Aprilia RSV4 RR to offer, it arrived sedately
brandishing an aftermarket exhaust and dark
tones, its throat announcing its entrance in
As this was a long road test, we decided
to throw two wild cards into the mix. The
underrated and inventive; Kawasaki Z1000SX
- A beautifully patterned bike painted in
emerald green with an aggressive styling
similar to a muted H2, and, the instantly
recognisable KTM 1290 Super adventure - A
bike whose head light reminds you of a rather
large heart or was it tart, The Singh tend to
get confused. Either way, there is a feminine
dominance to the bike that oozes sex appeal
just by being present. The full test on these
two bikes will be in the next issue.
There were three distinct parts to this
test - The dreary stretches of straight roads
from Joburg to Van Reenen’s pass, which
consequentially whittled away our patience
with over 300 km’s of dull tar and sneaky
speed traps. Part 2 of the journey that
drizzled us through the twisty and picturesque
roads of Mooiriver and Pietermaritzburg all the
way to the sun-kissed Shelly Beach.
We then concluded the test at the
intimidatingly scenic Dezzi Race Track. A
scrumptious rendition of Laguna Seca,
including a corkscrew, elevation changes and
a grippy surface all rendered against the back
drop of crashing surf and azure skies.
We were blessed with gale force winds
on the way down that had most us of sitting
sideways into the drafts to avoid being blown
over, except Shaun Portman. We concluded
that not even Hurricane Katrina could have
dislodged him. Weight sometimes does add
For straight roads that can cause
psychotic breakdowns and moments
of retrograde introspection, the R1 and
Aprilia were literally a pain in the ass.
These machines were built to be raced
on a track and our unforgiving roads aptly
demonstrated that. The precision of the
44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
suspension transmitted each nuance
and subtle bump through our frames. It
is not hard riding for a 100 km. At 300km
it becomes a challenge that the local
chiropractor will delight in. The ZX10, GSXR,
CBR and S1000RR handled the hiccups
better then R1 and Aprilia, exhibiting far more
stable tendencies in an upright situation.
Similarly a bike that represented so called
long range comfort. The KTM 1290S was
kinder to our behinds but required so much
physical effort to navigate the winds of the
Free State, that people were jostling for a
seat on the superbikes. It was bewildering to
We had instantly expected the KTM and
SX to be the firm favourites for this stretch,
but weather quickly dissipated that aspect.
Once we struck Van Reenen’s the
beastly characteristics of the Super’s made
themselves violently apparent. I flew the
Honda threw the pass and thoroughly
revelled in its torque composure and power.
The coastal altitude adds a further 17%
power to all these normally aspirated engines
and the difference in acceleration is brutally
distinct, or perhaps it’s the way your eyeballs
peel back in your skull, or perhaps its the
feeling when you stop and wait for your soul
to catch up.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 45
Make no mistake, the raw thrust of these
machines at the coast make you want to
drop to your knees and thank the gods of
technology for granting us mere mortals
access to such divine powers.
In the test, the bikes grouped themselves
by a natural order of succession that became
abundantly visible as the kilometres piled on.
In the first group, the ZX 10R, GSXR
and CBR offered a comfortable blend of
stability, power and consciousness numbing
acceleration. The S1000RR stands alone
its distinctly abstract contribution to biking,
a testament to perfect interaction that
actually remotely emasculates the rider. The
R1 and Aprilia due to their track heritage
displayed similar characteristics to anorexic
ramp models, finicky and full of themselves.
They would be standing on the side of the
road demanding skinny decaf twice distilled
burgers with genetically modified French
fries. Like models themselves they are nice
to date, but you think twice about trusting
them. The KTM and SX were the reliable
housewives on this trip. Able bodied, eager
to please and compliant enough to take
whatever was thrown at them.
The Track test: Take it away Rob.
Sportsbikes, the greatest invention of
all time! There is no better satisfaction than
riding a modern-day sportsbikes to its full
potential, or even 70%. It’s a feeling that
only the brave used to be able to feel, but
now, with modern sporstbikes being at the
fore-front of technology, the masses get to
enjoy the thrills of 200hp. And despite what
manufacturers, or salesman might tell you,
they are race bred machines designed to go
fast around racetracks, and can be ridden
out on the road, but the track is where they
really come alive, rather than the other way
Never before has MotoGP and World SBK
technology been so close to the masses,
with electronic aids now turning even the
hopeless into decent track riders. Gone are
the days of having a patient, calm right hand
controlling everything. These days it’s all
about trust, that is a racers key to going fast.
If you trust the machine and its electronics,
you will go fast. This is where I have battled
a bit with modern day bikes, as I am still very
much old school and like to control things
myself, and this just holds me back.
So for this test, I really wanted to test the
handling and electronic capabilities of the
bikes, as well as rider skills. We know these
bikes are fast, and even average Joe’s can
ride one fast in a straight line, but how would
they handle an undulating 2.3km circuit down
at the coast?
Dezzi Raceway was the track of choice
for this test. Never had I turned a lap in anger
on a motorcycle there, but had been told by
46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
many a top racer in SA that it’s one of the
hardest, yet most enjoyable circuits in SA.
The 6 bikes would be tested in every
department, with every aspect under scrutiny
by both rider and track.
Fast sweeps coupled with tight turns with
massive amounts of undulation, with some
bumps thrown into the mix. This was going
to be a true test.
All the bikes were setup as one would get
it off the showroom floor. No suspension or
other tweaks were made. Traction control
was set on 2 for each bike, while other aids
such as wheelie, engine braking and slide
control set to minimum.
I was sent out on track with each
machine, given 2 warm-up laps and 2 flying
laps to set a time, which would ultimately
place the bikes in their positions for the track
test part of this test.
After half a day of riding and getting to grips
with the circuit and the machines, it was time
for me to put the bikes to the lap time test.
6th: Kawasaki ZX10R - 1,21.1
I’m not one for eating my words, but I’m
going to have to now. When I first tested
the new generation Kawasaki ZX10R last
year, I loved it. Then we got another model
to test and I was not so impressed. The
quick-shifter was delayed and abrupt, the
handling sluggish and power a bit lacking,
especially at low RPM in 1st and 2nd gear.
But from the first second I sat my ass down
on this particular model, everything seemed
Everything about the bike felt right. The
riding position was oh-so-comfortable, the
brakes were a treat and the traction control
working overtime coming out of the turns
was truly World SBK inspired. There is no
better sound than that snack-cracklepop
that comes from the TC working. I
love this, as it fills you with confidence
knowing, and hearing
that the system is
Power delivery on
this bike was insane,
and better than any
stock bike I have ever
felt. No more lagging
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 47
from the ECU and the quick-shifter was now
I felt so comfortable on the bike during
my fast timed laps, and I really thought that
this was going to be the bike to beat. When
the test was done and I found out that the
ZX10R was the slowest, I didn’t believe
it. Everything went as smooth as silk, and
myself and the bike never skipped a beat.
Every apex was hit and not one “oh no”
moment was had. Compared to the others
the ZX10R does feel a bit more limo like, and
the fact that it has the longest wheelbase
out of the lot confirms that fact. Still, I felt
incredibly fast and enjoyed every second on
the bike. I was clearly drawn in too much by
the bike and didn’t push as hard as I should,
or could have. Still, two thumbs up from me
no matter the position.
5th: BMW S1000RR - 1,20.8
The BMW S1000RR is a bike that I have
really battled to come to terms with,
especially out on a racetrack. The electronics
suspension, no matter the riding mode, just
feels lifeless to me and the entire bike doesn’t
give me any kind of feel that I’m used to and
want from a bike when riding hard on track.
Everything works well, maybe too well.
The S1000RR takes too much control away
from the rider. When I wanted to brake late
and get the rear end sliding into turn one, the
electronics would take over and simply not
allow me. Yes if we put it in slick mode with
everything off it would make a big difference
but that’s not the point, we are here to test
the electronics as that is a big feature.
Power delivery is sublime on the bike.
Low down punch is not far off the best in the
class. The traction control does work a bit
too well in the background for me. I prefer
the splattering sound the ZX10R makes,
as it lets you know it’s working. With the
BMW everything works almost unnoticed in
the background, and that’s why I think it’s
so popular with the market. The BMW will
make an average rider look good, but it does
hamper the good rider a bit too much, hence
why it has not won a World SBK title just yet.
I am not a big fan of ABS braking on
modern-day sportsbikes. Well, let me rather
say it like this. I don’t want ABS out on track.
I would much rather prefer being able to
switch ABS on myself, rather than not being
able to switch it off unless put in slick mode,
which means all the aids are off. This really
did hamper my performance, not only on
the BMW, but on most of the machines, as I
just wasn’t able to brake as hard and late as
I would want. That shudder feeling through
the brake lever as the ABS works is the worst
feeling in the world to me. But yes, I do know
it is a massive safety feature out on the road
so it must be there.
The riding position is not as racy as the
other machines, so I didn’t get the feeling of
being able to throw the bike in as hard as I
would like and did on the other bikes. The
BM is one of the heavier bikes out of the
six and I could feel it. A little bit sluggish on
change of direction.
Never-the-less it’s still a great machine,
and BMW have been very clever with the
S1000RR, as it is perfectly aimed at its
target market - the average trackday rider as
appose to the skilled racer.
4th: Aprilia RSV4 RR - 1,20.2
This is a bike I knew I was going to go fast
on, as I have done so with ease many a time
in the past. The RSV4RR is built to go fast
around a racetrack, and you can feel this
from the second you climb on the machine.
The wide spaced handlebars and slightly
48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
higher footpegs force you into an immediate
racing position, ready to load weight onto the
front and chuck into every turn.
The Aprilia’s chassis is by far one of
the best in the business, and has a 600cc
supersport feeling to it. So light and nimble,
easy to handle, the Aprilia was loving the tight
and twisty Dezzi circuit.
It didn’t, however, like the bumps so
much, and my lower back did take a
pounding and I found myself standing on the
pegs more often than not trying to soak up
Big power has never been the fortay of
the RSV4, but rather loads of bottom end
torque, waiting to tear your arms from their
socket at the mere thought of twisting the
throttle. Punching out of the turns was a
breeze, until the traction control kicked in.
This really let the Aprilia’s overall performance
down, as it sucked away all the power, even
when I had the bike upright.
The TC just took over and was way to
over-powering. My overall lap time could
have easily been around a second faster had
it not been for the intruding TC, but, again,
we are here to test the electronics so no
turning off allowed.
The sound that bellows from the V4 motor
is simply seductive. Not many come close
to it, and it’s worth the price tag just for the
sound. Oh yes, and its Italian styling.
3rd: Yamaha R1 - 1,19.6
Ride me fast! That’s all the R1 wants you to
do, and if you don’t, it will let you know it’s
not happy. Its riding position is very racy, and
the overall feel of the bike is stiff and rigid, just
the way us racers like it.
The R1 was our clear winner last year,
that’s because it simply works so well at
RSR. The Dezzi circuit through a couple of
curve balls its way, and by curve balls I mean
bumps. Just like the Aprilia, the R1 did not
like or handle the bumps too well, and left me
wanting Panado more than ever.
The stiff and rigid chassis did make it very
easy to turn and steer, and the R1’s brakes
were the best of the lot by a long way. I love
the way the bike lets you slide in and out of
the turns. It knows what a racer wants and
needs to feel and gives it to you.
The throttle is very snappy, and nowhere
near as smooth as the others, which made
it difficult to control and round the start-stop
I have no doubt that if this test was done
at RSR, or Kyalami, the R1 would have come
out tops, but, unlike last year, the R1 looks
like it has lost its crown. However, I still think
it’s the bike to beat in full race trim. Just ask
all our top national boys...
2nd: Suzuki GSXR1000 - 1,19.2
The new GSXR1000 was tipped to really be
the surprise package in this test, and it was.
It had all of us sold from the word go. It’s a
classic GSXR. It’s a K4 with electronics. It’s a
raw beast looking to be ridden hard and fast,
and it does so with little to no fuss.
Front end steering is sublime on the Gixxer,
50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 51
and when you want power, it gives it too you,
in massive amounts, more than any other, yet
so easily controlled. Suzuki have had a long
time to get this bike right, and they have done
so. The electronics package is brilliant and
doesn’t interfere too much, but rather lets you
get on with going fast, because that’s all the
Gixxer wants to do.
Braking is still a bit of an issue, especially
with the ABS on. A little bit of brake fade over
the day, but nothing like on the old models.
Overall Suzuki have done a great job, and
it was no surprise to me that it finished so high
up on the lap times sheet.
1st: Honda CBR1000RR - 1,18.8
Heading into this test I was really worried
that the Honda was going to be left behind.
Once again Honda went with the less is
more theory, and the new Blade still lacked
the punch compared to its rivals. Plus all
the problems they have had in World SBK,
where they have been far from impressive,
and more severely, in the road racing world,
where two of the most iconic riders have
been thrown off. Yes I’m talking about John
McGuiness and Guy Martin.
But, the Honda surprised us all, and we
can officially and happily say that we had no
gearbox problems what-so-ever. Nothing but
smooth gear changes up and down.
The Blade was the final bike on track and I
surprisingly set the fastest time on the last lap
of the day. This really surprised me, as after
wrestling and pushing hard on all the other
bikes I was feeling a bit sore and tired, and
was worried I wasn’t going to give the Blade
a fair change. But, the less is more theory
once again came into play.
The Blade is so tiny, and so comfortable
and easy to go fast on. Controlling the power
is a breeze and I didn’t even once hear or feel
the electronics aids kick in.
Throwing the CBR into and out of the
turns was easier than all others, and its lack
of power almost benefitted it, as I was not
having to stress about being thrown into the
beautiful scenery, but rather felt in full control
and hit 100% throttle with ease.
Braking was superb, steering effortless,
and the bike gave me such a good feeling, a
feeling of complete control.
Surprised? Well, I certainly am, as I did not
expect the Blade to be the fastest out of all
the bikes. But there you have it, and by some
way in the end.
And how’s that, the 2 bikes with no quickshifters
or auto-blips come in 1st and 2nd.
Strange but that’s how it ended up. So the
two new kids showing their worth!
52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
BACK TO THE ROAD
Grumpy Rob is an intriguing persona. No
amount of funny comments, good posing or
even elbow bumping tracking shots serve to
cheer him up. But in his defence a bike trip to
Durban was as foreign as wearing unbranded
apparel. After all, even Bilbo Baggins had
introspectively depressing moments. Road
tests by their very nature present an entirely
unpredictable set of parameters to the
journalists. The body, mind and soul are all
subjected to weariness, annoyance and
exhilaration coupled with the ever palpable
threat of speed cops, pedestrians and
sometimes volatile surfaces.
It is not a pastime for the feint hearted
There are no contingency plans for broken
bikes, punctures or even rain. It becomes not
only a radicle test of the bike, but the man as
well. Those that ride the occasional track day
or saunter through a death defying breakfast
run have no concept of the impact of proper
road and track testing. It is often seen as
glamorous exhibition of privileged indulgence.
It is not.
Blessed to work with both fast cars and
bikes, I have been witness to failed egos,
tantrums and terrible crashes. At these points
the mind rebels and body wants to concede
defeat. As a tester, this is what you do. You
shake off the trials and trudge on. There is
no relief or sympathy; the ones, who moan,
complain or exhibit human emotions are
overlooked for the next opportunity. No one
54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
These folk spend their time debating bikes
that they will not ride until the culture of bad
food, cheap booze and thug like fund raising
is not addressed.
The death of Bike SA was a glaring
example of this almost extinct culture.
As the educated readers will notice for this
assessment, the bikes were critically close,
in some cases 1 point separating one from
another. So although they have been ranked
it is a matter of personal preference and
these were The Singh’s
the following day after 800km on this bike.
It’s a mistress that needs to be sneaked
out and drooled over. The RSV4 RR is brilliant
for short hops and racy laps on circuit but
once the kilometres pile, on your passion for
this bike diminishes substantially. Italian bikes
are creatures of presence and persuasion.
Like all high end brands they make
themselves known by just being. The Aprilia is
no different. It is a bike that most of us would
like to own but in SA the market for Aprilia,
MV Agusta and Ducati has filtered towards
an elitist regime. Connoisseurs that normally
collect bikes will have a pristine edition of one
these works of art in their multi-bike garage
and most times will barely ride them.
Remember that all ye hopeful candidates
who think this business is all flash
photography and diva like indulgence.
WHERE THEY FINISHED
Before I launch into the results of the test, I
offer a humble thank you to the distributors
that allowed South Africa’s premier sport bike
Magazine to use their valuable steeds in this
evaluation. Also Auto Alpina Motorrad, the
BMW dealer out in Boksburg for letting us
use their demo S1000RR machine.
These bikes are all in their own way
perfect for any and all circumstances. Their
technology and development far surpassing
most of the riders that covert them. There is
no loser in this test as anyone who owns one
of these machines is privileged indeed.
Just look at the poor folk that attend
day-jols and rallies. The costs of these events
has steadily made the ardent supporters so
broke that most of them cannot afford these
machines and spend their days in a languid
drunken stupor discussing the new gods of tar
It is a bizarre singularity.
Aprilia RSV4 RR - R225,000
The Akrapovic exhaust note on the bike
tethers somewhere between a pumas snarl
and a V8 idling. If you are slip streaming this
bike, it leads you to think of a thundering
Nascar that pounds away at your mind as
they decimate the racetrack at over 200 miles
an hour. At any speed this bike sounds fast.
Its built for smooth tar and fast
switchbacks, a sublime quick-shifter and rev
hungry gearing, the RSV4RR is a treat to ride
and will have you grinning all the time, except
on a bumpy road where race suspension
translates to jarred teeth and a rattled skull.
Applying power to the bike on a normal road
surface renders you into tense moments
of hanging on like you were standing up
in a roller coaster. Hating and loving every
moment as you are bounced and jostled like
someone in a black Friday queue.
It’s a small bike, anything above 6ft tall
and you will need an airlift and physiotherapy
Yamaha YZF R1 - R285,000
Cross plane engine, lurking power and more
tech than a dozen Nokia 3110’s, the R1
represents what Rossi and millions of dollars
of research can accomplish, not to mention
the endorsement payments.
It’s an intimidating bike, its flat pug like
nose, snake like headlamps and flawless
lines make it one of the most attractive
steeds in the market. If Bumblebee
transformed into a bike, he would pick the R1
as his form, Yamaha was even kind enough
to lend us one with his natural skin tone.
The standard bike is reasonably silent on
start-up like one of those rave tunes that hint
at the upcoming climax. Wind the throttle up
and at the coast the R1 blasts forward like an
exorcized demon fleeing from its dead host.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 55
Brakes that leave you needing a prostrate
exam every time you use them hard and the
prettiest dash in the Super segment, It’s a
delicious bike, but not for our roads, perhaps
the autobahn. The R1 is a winner, just not
And that’s where the challenges start. The
suspension is as stiff as twenty year old with
an overdose of Viagra. It is built for precise
surfaces and smooth tar. It transfers signals
through its advanced shocks directly into your
aching spine. It as unforgiving as the interest
rate and it collects its dues in ripples of pain.
With traction control off, the bike is almost
impossible to keep grounded, with it on; the
electronics try desperately to reel the bike in.
It’s built for the track; just ask our current
leader of the Super GP. He waltzes with
such precision that he makes his wins look
effortless. The R1 grants him almost immortal
superiority on the track. But on the road it
is way too much work and never actually
feels planted. You can ride fast through the
twisties, but the angel of doubt taps you
continuously on the shoulder, reminding you
to ease off the throttle.
BMW S 1000 RR - R247,000
The RR has been the centrefold benchmark
since 2010. Its raw aggression, natural stability
and ease of use making it the steed of choice
for many riders, both skilled and those that
should rather be doing something else.
The RR in its current guise with even more
updates feels perfect and that’s where it
creates a challenge in my primitive intellect.
When riding a motor cycle it’s about passion,
feeling the rush of wind the thunder of
exhaust notes and the occasional sphincter
clincher when something goes wrong and
you save it.
The RR is clinical, detached and
dispassionate. It allows any rider to push
past their talents because the electronics
represents the fairy god mother of
intervention. But like most things there is
always an opportunity cost involved. The
RR allows you as much freedom as your
first date in school that happens to be the
local school bicycle. She’s easy to get into
the sack but subconsciously you know you
going to get some bug. Similarly with the RR
most times riders are so far past their comfort
zone that when there is a moment there is no
This is highlighted by the insanely high
number of RR insurance claims and the ever
The gearbox feels smooth through the
auto blip but you still have to pelt it for
effortless changes. Under hard braking the
RR will push your eyeballs through your
nostrils and the power curve is still as linear
and progressive as the 2012 models, just
faster. It offers the same kind of rush that
tequilas do. You keep going and then can’t
remember how you got to the floor.
It’s a brilliant bike that’s leaves you revelling
in its performance but after the show is
over, it leaves you in bewilderment with a
staggering question, were you a passenger
or a rider?
56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Suzuki GSXR 1000 - R239,900
People had waited so long for the new
GSXR, that rallies went out of fashion
toasting its virtues. No, sorry just Bike SA.
It’s fast, it’s furious and has a waiting list.
With the same horse power on the dyno as
the RR, it’s definitely the long awaited sequel
on the block. Presented in hooker red with
Brembos, electronics and a rather bland
dash, it’s a machine that has been the gossip
point in many bars in all its incarnations.
For those of you who remember “the
bridge” , the K3, K5 all the way to the
K8, dominated those sprints with gleeful
abandon. If you pulled in with anything else,
you received derisive glances and were
described as someone with a modified bike.
We all knew there was no “standard bike
with just a slip on” but it was fun. Now the
highway is bumpy and anything above 140
will rattle your fillings loose.
Either way the loyalists waited patiently for
the sewing machine manufacturer to bring
something competitive out, 25th anniversary
editions, limited numbers, different paint
schemes, they all failed to impress the fanatics.
One earthquake and ten years later,
the new Gixxer is here. It feels familiar yet
lighter, it almost sounds the same, but the
engine spools quicker. The brakes feel non
responsive but bite like a vampire. It takes
some getting used to and initially you think.
Shit, after 10 years they have still not fixed
the brakes. But as proven on road and
track, they have it right. It actually works well,
you just have to get used to the way the
I was told by an enlightened being that
the GSXR’s secondary injectors are heavily
restricted. In simple torque this means that a
power commander here and ignition module
there and there is probably another 8%
power waiting for those brave enough.
The power plant churns from the bottom
and never relents, like the GSXR’s of old, its
frantic and raw. They managed to retain that
endearing quality of the Gixxer and it will be a
Even in its tepid Red tones, the Suz draws
people to it like cats to tuna.
It probably has the lightest steering of all
the new thousands; it turns in so quick that
it almost feels like BST’s. The Gixxer has
been improved in leaps and bounds, but
they did have ten years to do this in. So in
many aspects it’s the familiar friend that you
always want to visit. He has the best stories,
funniest jokes and a jovial personality. Suzuki
has brought back a sterling bike that evokes
passion, presence and oodles of joy without
the inconvenience of being part of the sheep.
2017 Honda CBR 1000 RR - R240,000
It has been another long staggering wait for
the Cross Beam Racer and like the Gixxer;
the Honda has an undeniable heritage. One
of solid build quality, reliable performance
coupled with a strong support base. It
is something that in today’s culture of
consumerism is considered vitally important
and highly commendable.
The previous incarnation looked like
a machine that had gone a few rounds
with Mike Tyson and got its nose caved in.
Love it or hate it, the bike was reliable and
uncomplicated. Granted it did not make
power like its competitors but it was an
effortless bike to ride fast on our roads.
I had one as a commuter and it reminded
me of that ugly girl that offered you a good
58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
shag but you were not keen to be seen with
her in public. At breakfast runs, when the
Gixxers, Yamahas and even the occasional
Kawa was gawked at, the Honda was
normally parked far away. The owners knew
that you would not triumph in a straight line
sprint with any of the other machines so they
enjoyed the breakfast instead.
When the 2010 BMW RR arrived, it was
the final proverbial nail in the CBR coffin, even
the SP which retailed for about R225K could
not be sold. Honda had lost the plot and
even the facelift sold in such small numbers
that it might as well have not existed.
The new bike proves that wet dreams
do come true if you wait long enough.
Like Suzuki fans, the dwindling Honda fan
base has received a significant boost for
their enthusiasm in the form of the base
model and the more upmarket SP. Price
tags notwithstanding the SP is a delightfully
The new Honda is slicker then a used
car salesman at month end. It’s slimmer and
more aggressive than its predecessor in
the same way that falcon looks only slightly
deadlier than a dove. The engine screams,
the bike moves and suddenly you get the
impression you flying…without a pilot’s
license. The other bikes let you know you
moving fast, whether it’s the relentless strain
on your wrists or the frown lines from leaning
forward to avoid getting blown off the bike.
The Honda, like the ZX 10R is effortless
movement; they flow through traffic with the
finesse of a prima ballerina and duck into
corners with the stealth of Batman.
The electronics on the CBR allow you
to push the envelope while still feeling that
you have a safety net. It caresses you into
corners nudges you out the other end leaving
you feeling satisfied and at peace.
The lights resemble a stealth fighter on
landing alert, it’s the brightest and most
glaring of the head lamps on offer here, it
actually makes the CBR appear far wider
than it actually is. The other manufacturers
should take notes from this display.
It’s flamboyant on the road as it follows its
intended apex with fierce determination. The
Honda’s engine response is immediate, the
torque that was prevalent in the old model is
now far more accessible and for longer. The
suspension feels planted on the road and the
front end never skips a beat. It’s a confident
inspiring bike that lets you commute fast
without ever feeling nervous or unsure.
This test was tough on bikes and riders
and the CBR proved itself through this
gruelling test with flying albeit dark colours.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 5 9
And the crown for 2017 goes to... 2017
Kawasaki ZX 10R - R225,000
It’s the only bike among this stable that looks
fast standing still. The brilliant lime green
paint scheme instils a sense of immortality
that allows the rider to share a moment of
consciousness with Sykes and Rea.
Riding this machine a year and half after
the launch makes one feel a sense of pride
and at the same time confusion.
It is as if someone replaced my memories
of the 2016 ZX-10R and I find myself
doubting my original assessment.
Once I jumped on it, the sheer thunderous
acceleration combined with razor sharp
handling had me scratch my head in
amazement and then continue winding the
It is perhaps the laws of statistics that
worked against us when we test rode the
original ZX 10. This beast that we used rarely
missed a beat. A velvety smooth gearbox
coupled with relentless power left me
All the bikes are quick at the coast, the
extra 17% of displacement adding huge
horsepower to already insane statistics. On
one of the roll-ons, I roared from 2nd into third,
lightly touching the limiter as the quick shifter
engaged, scarcely any movement was felt.
3rd and 4th flew past in reckless abandon,
my mind grinning evilly as I left my co-rider
behind. I struck the 6th gear limiter and a turn
appeared, I leaned over and across the bike. It
did not budge, hesitate or cringe.
My mind did, I had just taken a road
corner bouncing the limiter in 6th. I numbly
wondered what speed I had been actually
doing. Since the clocks red 299 but the revs
were still climbing.
It was a defining moment for the ZX 10R and
for me the final confirmation as to my favourite.
The suspension features no electronics
but responds in the good old fashion way.
When the surface changes it adjusts,
there is no nanosecond wait for the signal
to be transmitted to the ECU and further
nanoseconds trickle by as the suspension
compensates. No, the ZX 10 features good
old fashioned shock absorbers that will keep
you alive far longer at high speeds then
electronic stuff will. That’s my opinion due to
the fact that I actually am quiet slow on the
roads. Well the straights at any rate.
The dash could do with an upgrade, the
formulae one style rev counter was a novelty
in 2011, now LED, LCD is the way to go
and it should be upgraded. KTM has got it
perfect; their dash features a kaleidoscope of
colours with a buffet of information options
that leaves the rider feeling over whelmed with
pride. Pity about the fuelling issue though.
The Ninja has evolved into a Samurai and
in some ways represents the pinnacle of
lethal accessories for the everyday civilian.
Superfluous brakes, predictable traction
control and a silky gearbox are all part of this
My conclusion, the ZX I rode last year
was…sad to say a lemon. It is unfortunate;
perhaps it was a depressed assembler or a
grumpy programmer whose Sushi was stale.
Maybe even the dude that fills the shocks
was getting divorced. Whatever the reason,
that bike was average and left you wanting
more. This machine that we tested is a detuned
ballistic missile with great linage that
makes you feel invincible.
If I had the money for one bike in this
illustrious stable, the ZX10R would be it.
60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
THE SCORING SYSTEM
After explaining the rating system laboriously
to our testers, we thought it prudent to also
assist our valued readers in how we arrived
at our final numbers.
The bikes were tested on Road out of 100
marks and on Track out of another 100. This
gave each bike a maximum combined score
For road, the testers were asked to rate
the bike with the following criteria:
• Heat (amount of bike heat riders felt in
• Steering (how quickly the bike pitched in)
• Fuel consumption
• Acceleration (how quick the bike felt)
• Throttle (the response of the throttle)
• Service (servicing cots, we did a costing
for the first three services from each
• Lights (appearance and visibility)
• Wind (Wind resistance for rider)
• New Rider (The ability of a new rider to ride
the bike, lowest power mode)
For track, the testers were asked to rate
the bike with the following criteria:
• Handling (for track)
• Steering (track)
• Throttle (smoothness very important here)
• Body Position (this represented the overall
comfort of the bike for track use)
• Acceleration (Sensation of speed)
• Brakes (For the track this is as
indispensable as coffee in the mornings)
• Gearing (again, most tracks need torque,
any bikes gearing can be adjusted, but our
question was how effective is the standard
• Value (this was a measure of the bike as a
• Confidence (easy enough)
• Electronics (a measure of traction control,
quick shifters etc.)
Suzuki GSXR1000 Yamaha R1 Kawasaki ZX10R BMW S1000RR Aprilia RSV4 RR Honda CBR1000RR
The Singh scores
of all 6 riders
1000 - R1300
1000 - R1800
1000 - R1300
1000 - R1800
1000 - R1200
1000 - R1300
12000 - R3200
10000 - R3700
12000 - R2200
10000 - R2500
10000 - R1500
12000 - R1800
24000 - R3900
20000 - R5900
24000 - R2600
20000 - R3000
20000 - R4800
24000 - R2600
The above mentioned scores are from this test only. Prices mentioned are of time of print and recommended retail. Prices may change. Call your local dealer for special deals
THE RUBBER - DUNLOP Q3
With every road trip, once you packed, the choice of
rubber becomes another critical choice. Moisture touched
cold tar, blazing track asphalt and torrential rains could all
be a part of the journey of a thousand miles.
Dunlop gallantly supported this pioneering test with their
latest carbon fibre infussed Q3 tyre.
Being a natural tyre sceptic, I tentatively touched the
tyres and was rewarded with a firm yet flexible feel. The
compound felt soft. I raised my eyebrows, wondering how
long this compound would fare being ridden for ten hours
straight, then onto a track that was as grippy as industrial
Velcro and then another ten hours back to Joburg.
I have used most tyres, and trips like Pretoria to
Margate truly reveal the inner character of rubber… literally.
Dunlop as a brand has been sorely over looked in the
current SA market. The Q3 excelled as a choice for a
versatile, well balanced fast road, medium track tyre.
After dragging sliders through a frigid and slippery
Mooiriver and crawling around Dezzi racetrack, it’s one
tyre I would definitely recommend for this purpose. The
Q3 is competitively priced, coming in below its rivals - its
durability, resilience and cold grip ability with resilient wear
qualities makes it an effortless choice in this tough market.
A round of applause to Dunlop for courageously
stepping up to this 1700km plus test.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 6 1
The Dyno Breakdown.
Some say he is actually managed by a
DynoJet Power Commander that controls his
every action. Others say that he has actually
travelled around the Earth twice while riding
bikes on a Dyno machine. All we know is that
he is The Grump and is the guru of engine
RF would like to humbly thank Alain from
Powerhouse Dyno, whose infinite knowledge
of bikes and how to make them go faster
has been the backbone of the South African
racing circuit since the invention of the
Alain very kindly put each of our test bikes on
the dyno to see what their true power figures
are, and which has all the bragging rights.
And remember, these are true figures from
a top of the range DynoJet dyno, so no
backyard dyno that show ridiculous power
figures never seen before by mankind.
Aprilia RSV4 RR - Max power: 154.3 / Max Torue: 98.5
The Italian stallion has always been a bit limp on the dyno. It rides
much stronger on the road, but the HP figures were as limp as 2 day
tortillas left in a fridge. The graph shows the very predictable power
curve with slight variations. The torque though looks like a rodeo bull
on steroids and on the road this is clearly felt.
Yamaha YZF R1 - Max power: 173 / Max Torque: 98.6
Aggressively volatile, the R1 has rampant surges of power which
detracts it from being a smooth ride. On the track, where most
acceleration is either at full thrust or closed, this bumpy ride is not
really experienced. The R1 loses torque steadily as the revs climb,
which allows it to be ridden in redline with such ferocity. That raw
power is very hard to use/enjoy on the road.
BMW S 1000 RR - Max power: 173.2 / Max Torque: 107.2
Simple, clinical, predictable and boring. Steadily stricter emission
controls have been steadily choking the almost bland fun out of the
RR. With the new ECU’s it’s still ridiculously fast, but actually its slow.
Go figure. The new model has dropped a few ponies from last year
and even more from the previous ones. So let’s see what next year
brings - less emissions more power please!
Suzuki GSXR 1000 - Max power: 174.9 / Max Torque: 106.8
The Suzuki is still as raw and untamed as the first 03 GSXR. It’s
passionately fast, linear in a scary way. Like those moments in horror
movies where you close your eyes but still sneak a peek. The bike is
also severely restricted; nothing a pipe and fuelling will not cure. We
asked The Grump his opinion and in a sinister voice he mentioned there
was plenty of power that could be coaxed out of the frisky Suz box. So,
give the legend a call and let RF know how fast it can become.
62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Honda CBR 1000 RR - Max power: 168.4 / Max Torque: 103.7
The sultry but deadly Honda is still the steady one in the group,
except now she has about 20 more horses then the previous gen.
Going quick never felt so easy or so controlled. The power and torque
both reflect the sublime speed that the Honda instils in you. We show
both 5th and 6th gear roll-ons to demonstrate once again how the
power is restricted in the machine. Smooth as polished steel, the
CBR is relentless in its poise and speed. It never frightens you like
some of the others, just keeps you steadily accelerating with minimum
fanfare. It’s the rider’s choice. Fearful fun or predictable fun?
CLUB RACES 2017
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Kawasaki ZX 10R - Max power: 178.9 / Max Torque: 101.7
Now it seems RF was blessed with this bike as she was the
strongest, not only on the road, but also on the Dyno. A power curve
that never diminishes, it presents a rapid arc that literally out performs
the other bikes. Respectable figures for an astounding bike. We had
expected great things out of the ZX10, almost two years ago. She
has finally delivered, which probably coined cheesy phrases, like
“better late than never” He who laughs last…. blah blah blah...
Words by Mieke Oelofsen
A LADIES POINT OF VIEW - THE BIKES AND DEALING WITH THE MEN
Females on motorcycles are mostly only
considered centrefold material, even though
there are many beauties out there who
straddle all sorts of bikes.
After much debate Rob agreed to include
a female opinion on this 1000cc superbike
test, and I was the ‘brave’ chick who set off
to Durban with the boys.
One of the wildcard additions, the
Kawasaki Z1000SX, was my 1st ride, and
my comments on this will be in the next issue
along with the 2 wildcard articles.
Arriving at the 1st fuel stop it became
apparent that longer distance trips were not
a frequent occurrence for my fellow riders,
evident in the languid way we slurped our
coffee and swopped mustard preferences on
the chips in the Wimpy booth.
A quick glance at the clock, and a knowing
look from my partner told me that our late start
to the day (The Singh took some time deciding
on a suitable helmet disguise) will provide
some opportunity to test rider skill, as well as
the head and taillight visibility on the machines.
Since everyone was sporting tinted visors,
I sincerely hoped no-one suffered from
nyctalopia. Gearing up to continue on our
way, the boys excitedly swopped keys and
feedback on their initial rides, I piped up
asking who would like to give the SX a try.
‘Let the lady stay on it and be comfortable’
was the reply I got. Now, for those who know
me, insert my raised eyebrow look here.
For those who don’t, I’ve been told it instills
the same amount of fear as the words ‘We
need to talk’. Just kidding. My immediate
disappointment did not go unnoticed and
Morné saved the day by offering the Suzuki
branded key in exchange for the SX.
I’ve ridden the new GSX-R on a previous
occasion, and found it a very well-rounded, if
somewhat technologically challenged ride. In
red, it goes unnoticed in the same way the
Hyosung is ignored by perving members
of the public in the mostly-not-meant-formotorcycles-parking
at the breakfast stop.
Riding ergonomics, it’s small. Very small.
Perfect for more petite ladies actually, which is a
welcome change from the bulky older models.
The Freestate winds presented its own
challenges as I spent most of the next
140kms hanging off the right side of the bike
like I’m cornering on track, just to make it
go in a straight line. The few actual corners
I encountered made it feel like I was Roman
Riding a quartet with each pair heading in a
On the trip back I would do this same
stretch of road on the SX again, and it won’t
be much different, so the experience is no
fault to the Suzuki.
The straight roads allow your eyes to
wonder a bit and it’s then that you notice the
lackluster dash, and all random information
it presents you with. I was told that you can
select what it reflects, but didn’t get, or have
the desire to try it out.
Next up was Mooirivier, twisties and the
Honda CBR1000RR. In matt black with red
accents, the blunt-nosed ‘Blade doesn’t
draw as much attention as the others, but
you’ll be sorry if you dismiss it on looks
alone. I was especially fond of the previous
model for the torque at the bottom, as I
know many people were, and unfortunately
the new model does not seem to possess
the same grunt down low. The Singh keeps
chanting “Open it up, open it up” so I did and
it displays solid power right though the rev
range, unlike the old bike which boomed a
little and then fizzled a lot.
Going down Van Reenen’s Pass, I just
could not find enough confidence in the front
end to enjoy the ride. It felt very flighty, and
I’m sure in non-windy conditions, and with
proper suspension adjustment, I would’ve
beamed on dismount in Howick.
With the exception of the Aprilia RSV-4RR
and its throaty Akrapovic, the bikes were all
tested in stock trim to even the odds, and
what a revelation that had been for me.
Overall, the new Fireblade is a worthy
contender for the title, and deserved a
second try from me on the return trip.
Fully expecting to be relegated back on to
the SX for the last stretch of road to Durban
and our ultimate destination in Shelley Beach,
I was shocked to find the boys actually
arguing over who gets to ride the SX. Like a
bunch of varsity studs vying for the attention
of the head cheerleader, they all had very
valid reasons why they are a perfect match to
the officially most-underestimated motorcycle
on the test.
Suppressing a fit of giggles, my laughter
was subdued by the Kawawaski ZX-10R
key that was placed in my palm. A year ago,
while I was smacking my lips at the longawaited
upgrade to the Green Machine, and
contemplating the sale of a kidney to cover
the inflated initial price-tag, I quickly learnt
why expectations reduce joy. Needless to say,
since riding the ZX shortly after its launch in
2016, I opted to keep my 2011 Ninja instead,
as well as my kidney. It was not the bike I
imagined at all, with a horrible quick-shifter, an
utter lack of torque and the only redeeming
feature being the Winter Test colours.
Leaving our lunch stop, with our bellies
stuffed and the caffeine we’d gulped
down energizing us for the final stretch, I
soon found myself battling disbelief and
pleasant surprise in equal measure. It
was as if I was FINALLY aboard my prior
expectations. Call it a Ninja 2.0 if you like.
5km down the road, and I was right at
home. Sporting the longest wheelbase in
its class, you immediately notice the larger
feel the bike has. Understandably for some
ladies this would be a negative factor, as
we are so conditioned to think that smaller
is better. I found that on the ZX10-R it only
contributes to the ride. It felt the most stable
of all, especially going into the corners from
Pietermaritzburg, past Cato Ridge and into
64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Pinetown. It had more than enough power on
tap when twisting the throttle coming out of
the bends, and the engine braking so lacking
on the previous model suited my throttle rolloff
riding style perfectly. Already risking rattling
on about it more than the others, and giving
away my top spot vote, I’ll just say this - You
point the ZX in a direction and it gets you
there quickly, with minimal effort.
Night fell as we passed Port Shepstone, and
car taillights lit the way in lieu of daylight. The
Singh lost his identity, literally, and the rest were
close to losing their minds in the dark as our
destination crept painstakingly closer. Finally
the correct off-ramp presented itself, and in
our anticipation to give sore seat bones a rest,
we prolonged our own torture in the freezing
cold by misdirecting Rob to our location. Our
humble accommodations were a welcome
sight a short while later, warm water providing
temporary relief to aching bodies, and slightly
spicier than usual pizza (Durban, ya know)
making us ‘Magies vol, ogies toe’ in no time at
all. The following day would bring a different
kind of adventure for me.
A crisp morning dawned, with a beautiful
sunrise greeting weary eyes. The Singh,
finding his zen for the day, and Ricoffy
assaulting our taste buds once more.
It was time for track testing, something I
was not involved in as much. I did manage
to claim the shotgun seat in the car with the
photographers though, alongside ‘the Bill’
tied-down in the boot capturing some stunning
images as well as cringe worthy moments.
Rob has told you all about lap times,
corkscrews, hairpins (not the bobby pin
variety) and touchdowns in his write-up. My
toes happily spent some time wiggling in the
beach sand, and I can point you to a good
Deli in the local shopping centre that has a
fish-and-chips-special fit for a king.
With dirty Converse and a whole bunch
of beach-selfies we returned to our lodgings
late afternoon, and found ourselves rather
refreshed compared to rest of the fairly
Dinner was a jovial affair, with the Singh
no-doubt staring wide eyed at some
beached whales from behind his dark visor.
Scrumptious man-sized burgers made
everyone forget the numerous detours we took
to the restaurant (I cannot confirm nor deny
that I was operating the GPS), as we shared
stories of past two-wheeled experiences. Only
much later would I fall asleep with the sounds
of crashing waves leaving a content smile on
my sun-kissed face.
Early Tuesday morning, with the sun
glimmering on the horizon, it was time to
pack our bags and return home. But first,
some intense action photos on the road
made for hard work and fraying patience.
The Yamaha YZF-R1 in 60th Anniversary
Edition colours was my first ride for the
day, and although a firm favourite of mine it
disappointed in standard trim.
The suspension is rock hard, quickly
causing a twinge in my lower back and
numbness in my wrists. The front barely
gives any feedback, leaving me anxious not
knowing how it’s coping with the uneven
roads. The bike does not deliver from low
RPM making the ride in even slight traffic
nightmarish. I found myself continuously
dropping gears, and combined with the
choppy throttle it quickly whittled away at my
tolerance with every passing kilometre. My
only other experience of the new R1 was one
which had an ECU software update done, a
roaring Akra and the suspension properly set
up. The result was impressive, and if you’re
willing to spend a few extra R’s, the Yamaha
flagship is a definite contender.
For a taste of Italian we had the Aprilia
RSV4RR. It gives you an idea of what
the Mexicans must feel like when illegally
entering the US of A in a chicken crate on
a slaughter truck. It is uncomfortable, and
makes you rethink the life decisions that led
you to this point where you can feel your
kidneys (I still have both, remember?) doing
the tango. It turns, accelerates and stops like
a jackrabbit trying to evade a coyote. Sleek
styling and a thunderous bellow to exhilarate
the senses demands attention, and any
lapse thereof would have you risking an
Last, but not least, was the BMW
S1000RR. In an understated grey and black
metallic, it oozes boldness in its nobility.
From a stable of well-refined German
machines, the range of electronic aids
lulls you into a false sense of security from
the start. Like the perfect prodigy, it has
impeccable manners on road, and one truly
cannot fault this engineering marvel. Unless
you’re a rebel child and refuse to conform
to mainstream, like me, in which case you’d
probably find it lacking personality.
1500kms of road riding might leave you
aching in funny places, but the experience
of riding these bikes on the open road is
unparalleled. I never miss an opportunity for
a road trip, and what better way than astride
a high performance motorcycle? Go on, add
#wanderlust to your helmet-hair selfies.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 65
The Zontes S250
You know that motorbike show that they had a month or so back?
At that show we came across a very interesting looking bunch of
bikes from the Far East. They were lurking on the floor looking
pretty svelte with their European inspired styling. Zontes is a big
brand abroad. Locally it’s available from… seems like great quality
too. We got one and went for a ride. Words & Pics by Glenn Foley
Now here is something interesting. The
Zontes lot dropped the bike off at our offices –
and – well basically forgot about it. We took full
advantage and used it on our travels all around
JHB to call on dealers.
We like. Very much.
Transformer like. A cross between a Buell and a
This little four stroke is pretty space aged
with its sleek lines, sculpted seat and super
modern display. Cool orange Mag wheels fitted
with CST radial tyres keep you in touch with the
tarmac. Add in hefty disc brakes front and rear
and a peppy little fuel injected air-cooled engine –
what’s not to like?
Take a look at the beautifully cast components
like the rear sets, levers and footpegs, the uber
modern mirrors and sculpted seat – block the
name out and you’ve got a European bike…
Zontes has fitted all sorts of heat shields and
plastic covers to finish the bike off – and then
overall effect is modern and very cool. It even has
a key operated fuel cap cover – that’s cool!
What really struck us was what a little head
turner this bike is. Everywhere we stopped,
people were checking it out and asking what
66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 67
So what do we think?
Not bad at all. The pipe feels a bit constipated, probably
due to stringent emission control restrictions, but from a
performance perspective it actually runs quite well.
Through the traffic she delivers peppy power – with
enough acceleration to escape the traffic. Clutch
actuation is smooth and shifting through the six speed
box is positive and very unclunky
From the six thou mark, she revs clean all the way up
to 9 thou odd. There is a small vibration, but it’s nothing
untoward. You won’t be doing wheelies, but the power is
right where you need it.
On the open road she delivers a top speed just at
the 130kph mark – but she feels more comfortable at
the road legal 120kph – and she’ll do that all day. We
ran out from our offices in Kempton, via Midrand to
Silverlakes, other side of Pretoria – and we never felt as
if we were on a delivery bike… and she runs on the sniff
of an oil rag.
With the advent of emission control laws and so-on in
SA, we lost a large chunk of our entry level bikes. This is
one of the new generation.
Very stylish – the lighties will love it! And the
long warranty period means that the importer has
confidence in this machine…
SPECS: ZONTES S250
Engine: 249CC single cylinder
Power: 24hp @ 8,000rpm
Torque: 23Nm @ 6,500rpm
Wet weight: 154kg
Fuel consumption: 2.3 (L) /100 (KM)
Fuel capacity: 11L
Detailed specs: www.zontes.co.za
68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
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
BIKERS WAREHOUSE 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
BMW R NINET WITH A CLASSIC RACER VIBE
That muscular 80s superbike style is one we’ll never grow tired of—especially
with shops like AC Sanctuary keeping the dream alive. But who would’ve thought
that the BMW R nineT could wear it so well? Pics by Thierry Dricot
Thanks to Brice Hennebert, our eyes have been
opened. This retro-fabulous brute is the first build to roll out
of Brice’s newly-launched Workhorse Speedshop—but it’s
not his first build.
Brice was one half of Kruz Company for four years,
before he and his partner parted ways amicably. Now the
33-year-old Belgian operates as Workhorse, based in his
dad’s old carpentry workshop in the countryside—the
same workshop that he grew up in.
The R nineT came to Workhorse by way of
commission, from a client called ‘Mr K.’ Mr K wanted
something really aggressive with upright, neutral
ergonomics—but he also wanted any mods to be
“I really didn’t want to go for a kind of flat tracker,” says
Brice. “There are too many at the moment, and the nineT
is really not built for that configuration. So the first idea was
to do something inspired by the Moto Tour—it’s a famous
race in France that’s more like a rally than a track race.”
“The rides that were part of this race in the 70s had
a special look—really interesting. But Mr K wanted
something more aggressive. So I went straight into the 80s
AMA Superbike series to find inspiration.”
Brice’s challenge was to get that look spot on, without
hacking the frame or tearing into the engine. So he
developed a ‘top frame’ that would bolt onto existing
tank and subframe mounts, giving him a flat bone line
on which to build new bodywork—and a new range of
He then shaped a chunky new fuel tank from aluminium
to sit up top. It’s equipped with a Racefit quick filler, and an
Earl’s Performance breather.
The seat’s custom too, built on an aluminium pan with
Alcantara upholstery by Silver Machine in Amsterdam.
Brice also fabricated new fenders—with an LED tail light
neatly embedded in the rear—and a set of number boards.
A lot of thought went into the front end too. The
number board and the oil cooler are both mounted to a
bracket that attaches directly to the frame, so as not to
hamper steering. The cooler and its plumbing are from
Earl’s Performance, and there’s both a ‘regular’ and LED
light poking through the board.
The cockpit’s sporting a Motogadget dash and bar end
turn signals, LSL bars and risers, an Accossato throttle
and grips, and Brembo brake and clutch master cylinders.
Other braking upgrades include Earl’s hoses, and dual
70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Brembo M4 calipers in the front. Brice is pretty secretive
about why the forks are wearing socks; “I decided to
‘wear’ the fork with a secret treatment that comes straight
from the dark side of the moon,” he quips.
The pie-cut exhaust headers are Brice’s handiwork,
and terminate in a pair of lightweight Tyga mufflers. Other
upgrades include a Nitron rear shock, Conti Sport Attack 3
rubber, and exquisite Gilles Tooling rearsets.
It’s a daring reimagining of the R nineT, but it’s backed
up by a killer livery, executed by Moto Peinture in Belgium.
“Mr K has been deeply involved in the race car culture for
many years now,” explains Brice. “So he came every week
with new questions and new ideas—especially about the
“The idea was to have something in the racing spirit,
but not the ‘M’ color scheme from BMW that’s been used
too much on nineT builds. So we finally found the Lola Indy
car from the 80s, which was perfect. Good period, good
colours, and Valvoline is one of my sponsors…the perfect
As a finishing touch, Brice added ‘163’—the number
of Reg Pridmore’s 1976 AMA Superbike championshipwinning
BMW. Sure, this nineT’s not exactly a replica of
that bike, but it’s a great throwback to that era.
It’s also one of the most remarkable debuts we’ve seen.
We’ll be keeping a keen eye on Workhorse Speed Shop
from now on—especially since Brice has a Ducati 900SS
and a MGB V8 Roadster in the works…
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 7 1
BMW RR RACE TROPHY
Do you own a BMW S1000RR, and are keen to go racing? Well, now there is an affordable class for all S1000RR
owners to go and let themselves, and their 200hp beast, lose on track. Words Rob Portman Pics Eugene Liebenberg
The formation of the BMW RR Race
Trophy was developed by Jonathan Matos,
who after attending track days and race
meetings found that the vast majority
of bikes utilized were BMW S1000RR
On the back of the success of the
S1000RR, sales over the last few years,
and many of these bikes being converted to
track bikes, it was a logical step to take and
create a series where BMW riders/racers
could compete on similar machinery proving
their rider talent. The class aims to cater for
everyone with different levels of experience,
from racers, track instructors, track day
riders and even road riders. Male and female
participants from different demographic
backgrounds have started to race in the
series with great results.
Since the inaugural race in November
2016, where there were 16 entries on the
gird, the series has grown to close on 20
entries per event. The event takes place
within the current Redstar raceway club
championship as a stand alone category,
which has become a popular category
for fans and racers alike. We have seen
numerous road riders convert their bikes to
track spec and leave the dangers of riding
on the road to come compete in a controlled
environment within the series. Many hidden
talents have emerged once these riders
have made the transition to the race track.
The close knit family environment of the
BMW racers have developed a tremendous
amount of progress to the series and
also to each individual rider. By sharing
expertise, product development, race craft
and moral support.
They don’t have any strict regulations
with regards to performance upgrade,
tyres etc.., but since it’s the first year
of running, they will sit down after the
season and re-evaluate. They do have
different classes based on times so each
group has a chance of fighting for the
podium at each race.
A huge thanks must go to Jacques
and Yolandi from RSR for all their support,
and especially to Roger Smith from BMW
Bavaria for entry sponsorship. Also to a few
of the other sponsors such as Mobilemacs,
Pillar Insurance and World of Carbon.
If you are keen on more information, or
to get involved in the series, please email
Jonathan on email@example.com.
72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
SA SBK RACING:
SUPER GP NATIONALS: ROUND 6, DEZZI RACEWAY
Clint Seller made his way down to Dezzi Raceway for the sixth round of the 2017 SuperGP Champions
Trophy with high expectations. The MiWay Yamaha Racing R1 pilot had never been beaten at the circuit
and while things didn’t go entirely as planned, he left the KwaZulu-Natal south coast with a comfortable
lead at the head of the points log. Words: Paul Bedford Pics: Gerrit Erasmus / Bill du Plessis / Eugene Liebenberg
Seller gave an indication of his intentions
when he topped the time sheets in all the
Friday practice sessions, barring the first
where he elected not to go out on the cold,
damp track. He kept that form going in
qualifying where he topped the time sheets
again, taking pole position by just less than
four one hundredths of a second from Greg
Gildenhuys (Autohaus Towing / Transport.
co.za Kawasaki ZX10R). David McFadden
(Sandton Auto / BMW Motorrad S1000RR),
who started the season with a bang in Cape
Town has battled to show the pace he knows
he has since then. His third place in qualifying
gave his team hope that they were finally over
their run of bad luck. AJ Venter (Lekka Racing
Team Hygenica Yamaha R1), Michael White
(Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) and Morne
Geldenhuis (Hi-Tech Racing / NCA Plant Hire
Yamaha R1) filled the second row, their times
within 0.12” of each other.
Seller has often been able to pull away
from the field in races and then, once he has
opened the gap, control things from the front.
This is exactly what he did in the opening
race in Port Shepstone and while Gildenhuys
closed the gap in the final stages of the
race, Seller always had things under control,
taking his tenth win of the season. Behind
the leading duo, Venter and McFadden
fought it out for the final podium position
which went the way of Venter after he was
able to open up a slight gap in the closing
stages of the race. White and veteran Lance
Isaacs (Supabets / Sandton BMW Motorrad
S1000RR) rounded out the top six.
Sideways Seller into turn one
74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
Race two looked like it was going to be
more of the same at the front of the field
with Gildenhuys chasing Seller until an
uncharacteristic mistake by Seller in the final
quarter of the race saw him fall at the hairpin
at the top of the track. While he was able to
re-mount, his chances of the win had gone.
Gildenhuys was unchallenged on his way to the
win with Venter and White joining him on the
podium. McFadden again finished fourth ahead
of Seller and Isaacs.
Despite his first non-podium finish of the
season, Seller still has a comfortable 47-point
lead at the top of the championship log over
Gildenhuys. White remains in third but now has
Venter just three points behind him. McFadden
and Isaacs complete the top six.
AJ Venter and David
McFadden doing battle
Jade Gutzeit (Dunlop / Dezzi Ducati) used
his local knowledge to full advantage, taking
two relatively easy wins in the SuperMasters
category. In both races, he was followed over
the line by Johnny Krieger (Lekka Racing Team
Hygenica Yamaha R1). Heinrich Rheeder
(BMW Motorrad / Rheeder Racing S1000RR)
completed the podium in the opening race with
Beau Levey (Motos Blu Cru Yamaha R1) taking
third in the second race.
Krieger’s two second places have moved
him up to the top of the SuperMasters
championship log, six points ahead of Rheeder.
Levey is a further 14 points back in third.
More solid points for Michael White
after tough start to race one
While Seller kept his championship lead
intact at Dezzi Raceway, the same cannot be
said for his team mate Hayden Jonas who
was leading the Super600 championship
on his MiWay Yamaha R6. He had a major
crash during qualifying and, while he was
released from hospital on Friday evening, he
was barred from any further participation on
Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha R6)
did enough in shortened qualifying session
to claim pole position from Blaze Baker
(Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) with
Malcolm Rudman (Montclair Motorcycles
Kawasaki ZX6) joining them on the front row.
William Friend (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki
GSXR600) headed the second row from
Another win for Gildenhuys on the
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 75
SA SBK RACING:
SUPER GP NATIONALS: ROUND 6, DEZZI RACEWAY
Steven Odendaal sandwiched between
two local KZN heroes Blaze Baker and
Bester leads Friend and
Dominant performance by
Tyreece Robert in race one
The very stylish Taric van der Merwe
looking good for the 2017 title
Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction / Shop #74
Kawasaki ZX6) and Jesse Boshoff (Phoenix Payroll
Systems Kawasaki ZX6).
Baker, Odendaal and Rudman thrilled the crowd
with a three-way fight for the lead in the opening race
with Baker taking the win just a couple of bike lengths
ahead of Odendaal after 16 laps of hard racing.
Rudman completed the podium with Friend not far
behind in fourth. Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Elements /
Grange Workwear Kawasaki ZX6) and Liebenberg
rounded out the top six.
Odendaal got a great start in the second race
and went on to take a comfortable win. Behind him
Rudman, Liebenberg, Friend and Baker fought over
the remaining podium positions. Rudman crashed but
remounted and worked his way back through the field
to take sixth. Ahead of him, Baker got past his team
mate to take second behind Odendaal. Friend claimed
his first podium position of his Super600 career ahead
of Bester and Liebenberg.
With Jonas not scoring any points at Dezzi, he
has now dropped down to third on the championship
log, 40 points behind new leader Odendaal and 17
behind Baker who is now in second. Liebenberg
remains fourth ahead of Rudman and Boshoff, who
crashed out in the early stages of the opening race but
recovered to score valuable points in the second.
Tyreece Robert (Uncle Andy Racing KTM390) and
Taric van der Merwe (Evolve Nutrition KTM390) traded
fastest laps throughout Friday’s practice session,s
but when it came to qualifying, it was Kewyn Snyman
(Otto Racing / Inex Construction KTM390) who
emerged on top, two tenths ahead of Robert. Ricardo
Otto (Otto Racing / Inex Construction KTM390)
claimed third ahead of sister Zante. Blake van der
Merwe (Evolve Nutrition KTM390) took fifth while
mechanical problems prevented Taric setting a time.
Robert, Ricardo Otto and Snyman were involved in
a battle for the lead in the early stages of the opening
race before Robert opened a gap which he slowly
extended, taking the flag nearly five seconds ahead of
Taric van der Merwe who fought is way up to second
from the back of the grid. Ricardo Otto took the final
podium position with Snyman, Zante Otto and Blake
van der Merwe completing the top six.
Robert’s hopes of a second win were dashed
before the start of the second race when his bike
cried enough on the warm-up lap. Taric van der
Merwe again had to work his way through from the
back of the grid and took the win from Ricardo Otto
Taric van der Merwe has extended his lead in the
SuperJunior championship to 16 points, but with 100
points on offer at the final two rounds, both Ricardo
Otto and Robert, who is in third place 20 points behind
Otto, have a chance at the 2017 title.
The penultimate round of the 2017 DOED SuperGP
Champions Trophy takes place at Phakisa Freeway
outside Welkom on Saturday, 26 August.
76 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017
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