RideFast Magazine august 2017 issue

RobRidefast

RideFast Magazine august 2017 issue

AUGUST 2017 RSA R30.00

AUGUST 2017

9 772075 405004

17008

SPORTSBIKE

SHOOTOUT MEGA TEST

6 superbikes tested over 1700km on road and track

DUCATI V4

SUPERBIKE

More news and concepts on

Ducati’s new V4 Superbike

I’M NOT

DONE YET

Guy Martin clarifies

retirement reports

after leaving Honda


RIDING IS YOUR PASSION.

TYRES ARE OURS.

TAKE THE ROAD WITH DUNLOP!

RACE

D212

ROAD

ROADSPORT

DunlopTyresSA DunlopTyresSA @JohnBoydSA

DunlopTyresSA DunlopTyresSA

SmartZone App on your phone

dunloptyres.co.za

1002 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017


TOURING

ROADSMART 3

MX

MX 3S

HARLEY-DAVIDSON

HD 407

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.

THE TEAM:

EDITOR & DESIGN:

Rob Portman

rob@ridefast.co.za

082 782 8240

ADVERTISING:

Kyle Lawrenson

lawrensonk@mweb.co.za

071 684 4546

ACCOUNTS &

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Anette

anette.acc@mweb.co.za

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

do it.

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!

Rob Portman

CONTRIBUTORS:

Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Bill du Plessis

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017


KTM DUKE RANGE

PURE, RAW

AND PROUDLY

EXCESSIVE

2016 KTM 390 DUKE

R 54,999.00

2016 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R

R 179,999.00

2016 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT

R 199,999.00

AND

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


WHERE WILL

YOU GO?

Ride a DCT From R1 655 per month incl. VAT

Model

Monthly Installment Incl. VAT

Monthly Admin Fee

Initiation Fee

Interest Rate Linked to Prime

Deposit

Risidual %

NC750X DCT

R1,655

R68

R1,197

7,14%

10%

15%

Financial Term

72 Months

Retail Price Incl. 14% VAT

R117,699

Total Cost of Finance

R140,037

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 / care@hondasa.co.za / 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

spaghetti dinner.

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

Superleggera.

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

arrangement.

Hopefully we will see something released

at this years EICMA Show in Milan, until

then, these illustrations will keep our

minds guessing.

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

MARTIN JESSOP

Triumph

Riders Motorcycles


HEL Supersport

ALASTAIR SEELEY

BMW

Tyco BMW Motorrad


Bayview Hotel Superstock

MARTIN JESSOP

Kawasaki

Riders Motorcycles


Vauxhall Supertwin

ALASTAIR SEELEY

Kawasaki

Gearlink Kawasaki


Bet McLean Supersport

ALASTAIR SEELEY

BMW

Tyco BMW Motorrad


The Anchor Complex

Superbike

MICHAEL RUTTER

Kawasaki

KMR


J M Paterson Supertwin

GLENN IRWIN

Ducati

Be Wiser Ducati Racing


Vauxhall NW200 Superbike

ALASTAIR SEELEY

BMW

Tyco BMW Motorrad


CP Hire Superstock

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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.

K16017


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

respective situation.

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

model year.

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

four-cylinder engine.

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

wrench tool

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.

Email info@trickbitz.co.za.

MV Agusta

closes deal

with Russian

investors

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

Timur Sardarov.

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

programs.

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

company.

“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.

Amazing generosity.

The ride ended at the swanky Lapeng pub.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 17


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought

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

specification RC16.

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

carried out.

“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

market!

An incomparable sensation of grip

*

“In terms of safety, the front tire

of the MICHELIN Power RS sets

**

the standard.“

Exceptional straight-line

and cornering stability

Front tyre profile derived

from race competition

Rubber compounds

derived from racing

“The best stability during sequences of

curves, even on a simulation of a country

road.“

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).“

New technology

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.


PADDOCK NEWS

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

Barni squad.

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.

Feeling Blue?

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

dealings.

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

competitive.

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.

Switching Paddocks

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


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought

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

to stop.”

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

horizon.

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

R3499.

Email sales@

smpsa.com.

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 info@bikeproducts.co.za 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

Academy.

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

the spoiler.

Available now from RACE! SA.

Email info@race1.co.za 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.

Email: avandenberg43@gmail.com.

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: Lava

Color: Diablo Red Color: Cobalt Color: Kryptonite

Contact info:

Tel: 010 - 012 5099

Cell: 082 457 1511

info@point65.co.za

www.point65.co.za

Johannesburg

Fourways

2 Selborne Road

Hammets Crossing Office Park

Building 816/2

2191

point65africa

point65africa

Color: Phantom

Color: Igloo

Color: Meteor

Color: Phantom

point65africa

online store : www.point65.co.za


Wrenchmonkees

Ninja H2

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

Ninja H2.

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

seat pad.

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

Hyperpro shock.

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

process.

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

brave enough.

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

agile qualities.

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

welcome addition.

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

Price: R68,999

Detailed specs: www.ktm.com

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017 31


WHO IS THE

FASTEST

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

after 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

tenths behind.

But the most disconcerting thing are the

split times.

• 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

27”529.

• 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

Way_of_Life!_With_Outline

SUZUKI DEALER

SUZUKI GSX-R1000 R239 900

Suzuki Motorcycles South Africa

Prices include VAT. Terms and Conditions Apply.

www.SuzukiMotorcycles.co.za


RF Garage

TECH TIPS

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:

• Shape

• Sizing a Motorcycle Helmet

• Helmet Fit

Shape

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

to 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

measurements.

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.


Helmet Fit

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.

Conclusion

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


SPORTBIKE MAGAZINE

RF magazine play.indd 1006

2014/12/27 8:44 AM

DUCATI 1299 R FINAL EDITION


MODERN DAY

CLASSIC

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

Australia.

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

worked”.

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

and critics.

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

SPORTSBIKE

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?

ROAD TRIP!!!!

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

induced psychosis.

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

perception.

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

two categories.

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

you sparred.

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

entertainment.

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

luscious growls.

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

an advantage.

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

observe this.

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

around.

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

to change.

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

there working.

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

on point.

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

the bumps.

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

Dezzi circuit.

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

is indispensable.

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.

Number 6

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

Number 5

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

this time

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.

Number 4

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

recovering it.

This is highlighted by the insanely high

number of RR insurance claims and the ever

rising premiums.

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


Number 3

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

stoppers function.

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

fan favourite.

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.

Number 2

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

mischievous bike.

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

throttle open.

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

spellbound.

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

incredible package.

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

of 200.

For road, the testers were asked to rate

the bike with the following criteria:

• Heat (amount of bike heat riders felt in

traffic etc.)

• 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

manufacturer)

• 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

gearing)

• Value (this was a measure of the bike as a

consumer)

• 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

Robs scores

146

142

147

137

143

153

The Singh scores

Combined ratings

of all 6 riders

Overall positions

145

1031

3rd

146

972

5th

164

1063

1st

144

1027

4th

134

970

6th

156

1041

2nd

Price

R239,000

R285,000

R225,000

R247,000

R225,000

R240,000

1st Service

1000 - R1300

1000 - R1800

1000 - R1300

1000 - R1800

1000 - R1200

1000 - R1300

2nd Service

12000 - R3200

10000 - R3700

12000 - R2200

10000 - R2500

10000 - R1500

12000 - R1800

3rd Service

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

management systems.

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

combustion engine.

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?

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Our Winner

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

different direction.

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

exhausted crew.

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

involuntary dismount.

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


Entry level

Wheels

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.

Styling:

We like. Very much.

Transformer like. A cross between a Buell and a

Benelli?

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

we think.

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.

Conclusions:

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

Price: R49,900

Detailed specs: www.zontes.co.za

68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017


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Superbike Style

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

reversible.

“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

mounting points.

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

paint job.”

“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

discovery!”

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

machines.

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 jon@mobilemacs.co.za.

72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2017


SA SBK RACING:

SUPER GP NATIONALS: ROUND 6, DEZZI RACEWAY

MIXED FORTUNES

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.

Jade Gudzeit

AJ Venter and David

McFadden doing battle

SuperMasters Interprovincial

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

Super600

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

medical grounds.

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

Kawasaki ZX10RR

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

Malcolm Rudman

Bester leads Friend and

Liebenberg

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.

SuperJuniors

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

and Snyman.

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


Joan Mir

Moto3 championship leader

Team Leopard Moto3

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