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1002 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 1
W E L C O M E
For a good part of the last year or so there has been a
fair bit of negativity in the motorcycle industry, stemmed
mainly from the weakening rand. Panic sets in when
the word ‘recession’ is thrown around, and one of the
biggest industries to take a knock is the motorcycle
It has been a tough year, but as always we move on and
good times do make a welcomed appearance.
Over the past couple of months, I have seen a massive
boost in the market. The energy seems to be back and
everyone involved have pulled up their sleeves and given
it all they have. The spark is back in the industry and with
Spring now very much upon us, it’s that time again to get
out and ride!
I really enjoyed the month of October. I swung my leg
over some more mouth-watering machines, which we
feature in this issue. The biggest of them being three of
the latest ‘Elite’ models from the land of the rising sun.
I have been waiting all year to do this test - taking the
best sportbikes in the business and putting them headto-head.
Unfortunately, I could only get my hands on
three of the latest offerings, as Yamaha SA do not have
a demo of their elite machine, The R1M, and Aprilia’s
new RSV4 RF has not yet arrived, while the new Ducati
Panigale R Final Edition is very sort after. At R650,000
I am not surprised that Ducati SA don’t have a demo
model, and with the release of the highly anticipated new
V4 Panigale in 2018, there is no real point.
But the bikes I did manage to get are the three most
accessible on the market, and are now available on
dealer’s showroom fl oors as we speak.
It’s always a pleasure testing bikes like these, but also
very hard at the same time because there has to be a
winner and a loser at the end of the day. Our readers rely
on us to give our honest opinion, so we do.
In case you are still scratching your head wondering
what the hell I am blabbing on about, it’s our big
feature test in this issue where we put the new Honda
CBR1000RR SP, Kawasaki ZX-10RR and Suzuki’s
all-new GSX-R1000R up against each other. We have
tested the Honda SP and ZX-10RR earlier this year, but
now with the new Suzuki just having arrived in SA, it was
time to do battle!
The obvious thing to address in this test is that fact that
you really can’t go wrong with today’s superbikes. The
least powerful on the list is still wayyyy more power than
anyone could possibly need on the street or track. And
the heaviest is still on an absurd level of lightweight. So
it’s a win-win no matter which way you slice it. But that
doesn’t mean we aren’t going to crown a winner, quite
Manufacturers fl ex their muscles more than ever with
these machines. Ready to race machines splashed
with everything good from WSBK and MotoGP. The
battlegrounds for the test took place at Phaiksa in
Welkon, an ideal setting to go to war! I hope you enjoy
the test as much as I did!
On top of that, we have an abundance of everything
tasty in the motorcycle industry. There are some very
cool new releases form Kawasaki for 2018, which we
feature here, as well as an interesting new 3-wheeler
These machines were revealed at the recent Tokyo Show,
and we are the fi rst to bring them to you. Next month is
set to be even more exciting with the 2017 EICMA Show
in Milan set to kick off on the 9th of November.
Loads of brand new models are going to be revealed at
the show, but no doubt the most exciting will be Ducati’s
new V4 superbike. We will bring you everything you need
to know from the show and more in next months issue.
Back to the present and there is plenty for you to enjoy
in this issue. We once again have a massive variety for
you to delve into - from technical tips, to a ride with
some Distinguished Gentlemen. And a world exclusive
test on a very cool custom Kawasaki Ninja H2, which we
featured a couple of months ago. Oh yes, and I ride a
thing called a Zuell...
As I type this I have just fi nished watching the MotoGP
races from Sepang. Another epic race and so glad to
see that the championship will be going down to the wire
at the fi nal race at Valencia.
Dovi landed up taking the win ahead of team-mate
Lorenzo, who lead for most of the race. I was keen to
see if there was going to be any team orders, and if
Lorenzo, a 3 time-world champion, would obey those
orders and let Dovi through. Lucky for Ducati and Dovi,
Lorenzo made a mistake and Dovi got through. I do think
that Dovi did have extra pace and would have made
the pass eventually, but the team orders thing did spice
things up a bit.
In the Moto2 race, our man Brad Binder was at it once
again, picking up his 2nd podium in a week with another
world class performance to fi nish in 2nd behind his
team-mate Oliviera, making it another KTM 1-2 fi nish.
Brad is looking so good and very confi dant
on the KTM Moto2 bike and I think he will be
in contention for the win at Valencia, and a big
title contender in 2018.
It’s been a great year for KTM, who have really
impressed in their fi rst full season in MotoGP
and Moto2. They do have some big decisions
to make, as for me, Marquez will be on the
Red Bull KTM in either 2019 or 2020. But
who will his team-mate be? They are spoilt
for choice because they have both Brad and
Oliviera to choose from. Maybe a three man
team? How cool would that be? Either way
the thought of Marquez moving to KTM and
Brad in MotoGP is very exciting! And believe
when I say, both those predictions will happen!
Until next month, ride safe!
EDITOR & DESIGN:
082 782 8240
071 684 4546
011 979 5035
Bill du Plessis
Copyright © RideFast Magazine
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methods, without the prior written
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2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
2017 KTM 200 DUKE
2017 KTM 690 DUKE
2017 KTM 690 DUKE R
2016 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT
Photo: R. Schedl
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.
KTM Group Partner
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 3
Contents NOVEMBER 2017
36: CUSTOM RIDE: KCR’S GSX-R1000
8: 2018 BIKES: TWO NEW KAWASAKI’S
38: RIDING TIPS: VISION SKILLS
46: COVER STORY: TURNING JAPANESE
62: CUSTOM TESTED: THE ZUELL
70: EXCLUSIVE: REV MONKEE H2
66: FEATURE: MOTOGP MECHANIC
4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
The power values indicated are measured using a chassis dynamometer.
New Monster 1200 S
Better. Faster. Monster.
Powerful, sexy, state-of-the-art: the heart of the new Ducati Montser 1200 beats stronger than ever. The 150 hp
power is delivered by the Testastretta 11° engine, and the 12.9 kgm torque allows for maximum riding enjoyment. The
design is compact, essential and sporty. High performance is coupled with a forward-looking technological equipment
that guarantees better performance, safety and control: the Ducati Quick Shift up/down (as standard on S version), the
Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS Bosch and Ducati Traction Control) and the Ducati Wheelie Control.
011 919 1600
011 919 1600
021 000 2100
Port Elizabeth 041 379 1824
Durban 078 339 5405
Bloemfontein 051 430 1237
Nelspruit 013 752 2023
Bend the laws of physics with the new BMW HP4 RACE.
It’s the first superbike to be constructed with a complete
carbon frame and fully carbon wheels. Weighing in at just
146 kgs and packing an astonishing 158 kW, the HP4 RACE
represents the very edge of engineering advancement.
All 750 limited edition bikes are crafted by hand and built for
maximum performance. Science fiction becomes living legend.
MAKE LIFE A RIDE.
Two new Kawasaki
models released for 2018
As we type this, Kawasaki have just taken the covers off
two new exciting models to hit the market for 2018 - The
reborn Z900RS and all-new sexy Ninja 400.
Kawasaki finally unveiled their new Z900RS
retro naked roadster and Ninja 400
supersport bikes at this years Tokyo Show.
The new Z900RS had been much
anticipated, and the release ends two
years of rumours and speculation that a Z1
homage was waiting in the wings. Not only
does it invoke the spirit of the legendary Z1,
it’s currently Kawasaki’s only retro offering
and looks set to have a serious impact on
the market with superbly authentic looks,
the engine from the Z900 – and an even
higher level of spec than its more modernstyled
At the heart of the new Zed is the liquidcooled
948cc Z900 engine, re-tuned to give
a slightly lower peak power, but a swell in
the midrange that means the RS actually
pulls harder than the Zed below 7000rpm.
The new RS has a few additional strings to
its bow, too – boasting traction control and
higher spec cycle parts like radial-mount
brake calipers, and LED lighting all round –
none of which feature on the Z900.
The centrepiece of the new Z900RS is
the 17-litre teardrop fuel tank that’s so
reminiscent of the Z1. Kawasaki say the
frame was completely redesigned to
accommodate the tank’s ideal position and
slim shape. Only after the fuel tank position
was fixed were the seat length and Z1-aping
tail cowl length all decided. The flat waistline
is particularly appealing for retro purists.
The exhaust system – which is a slightly
disappointing departure from the iconic Z1’s
four-pipe layout – is a simplistic 4-into-1
arrangement. The header pipes and collector
are one piece, with no connector pipes
or exhaust valve, allowing authentically
uncluttered retro styling. All are formed from
high-quality stainless steel, and treated to a
The wide, flat handlebar contributes to
the retro sport styling while offering a wide
grip to facilitate decent leverage. Relative
to the Z900, the bars are 30mm wider,
65mm higher, and 35mm closer to the
rider, also giving a more upright riding
position. While the seat height is reasonably
accommodating at 835mm, there’s also an
ERGO-FIT low seat available that reduces
the seat height by 35 mm. Compared to the
Z900, the footpegs are 20mm lower and
20mm farther forward, meaning an even
more relaxed riding position.
The dual clocks boast analogue-style
speedometer and tachometer dials, with a
multi-functional LCD screen tucked between
the two – which can be blanked off with an
accessory panel for a more 70s aesthetic.
The LCD screen features a gear indicator,
odometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge,
remaining range, current and average fuel
consumption, coolant temperature, external
temperature, clock and the Economical
Unlike it’s modern stablemate, the Z900RS
is equipped with traction control featuring
two modes, and an ‘off’ setting. Mode 1
prioritises maximum acceleration, while
Mode 2 provides a bigger safety net on
slippery surfaces. The system is also able to
distinguish between smooth torque wheelies
and ham-fisted clutch-ups. In Mode 1,
torque wheelies are allowed, but deliberate
hooliganism will cause intervention. Mode 2
allows neither, while you can always turn it off.
Pleasingly modern rim sizes mean that
owners will be able to spec a wild array of
tyre options, from the standard-equipment
retro styled Dunlop GPR-300s, to allweather
touring rubber, or trackday-friendly
The one surprise yet to be revealed is the
café racer version, which MCN believes
is also in development. It wasn’t shown in
Tokyo, so the assumption is that the Milan
show will be the venue for its unveiling, in
Kawasaki are giving no word on the SA price,
or availability, or the Z900RS just yet – but
expect it to be in dealers by early 2018.
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Specifications
Engine: 948cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke inlinefour,
Max. power: 110bhp @ 8500rpm
Max. torque: 99Nm @ 6500rpm
Frame: High-tensile steel trellis
Suspension Front: 41mm inverted fork with
compression and rebound damping and
spring preload adjustability. Rear: Horizontal
Back-link, gas-charged shock with rebound
and preload adjustability
Brakes Front: Dual semi-floating 300mm
discs, radial-mount, 4-piston Monobloc.
Rear: Single 250mm, single-piston
Tyres: Front 120/70ZR17 / Rear
Seat height: 835 mm
Kerb weight: 215 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 17 litres
8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
2018 Ninja 400
The old Ninja 300 couldn’t haul itself
through Euro4, so was killed off to make
way for this new Ninja 400, boasting
greater performance than its predecessor
from an all-new engine and chassis – the
net effect being a claimed weight saving
The 399cc engine delivers a decent
44.8bhp, its invigorated performance
credited to more capacity and the new
downdraft intake, which is accompanied
by a larger airbox offering increased
intake effi ciency. While the new engine is
comparable in physical size to that of the
2013-2017 Ninja 250, it’s actually 1kg
lighter than the smaller displacement unit.
It also gets a new Assist & Slipper clutch,
meaning much-reduced pressure at the
lever for light work in town, and greater
control when coming down hard through
Offering considerable weight savings
compared to its predecessor, the new
chassis is claimed to offer improved
stability and manoeuvrability. The stiffer,
non-adjustable 41mm (previously 37mm)
fork had been developed to deliver better
action, and the brake hanging off it
features the latest ABS unit from Nissin,
clamping down on a 310mm semi-fl oating
disc. Star-pattern 5-spoke wheels similar
to those of the Ninja 650 contribute to
the weight-loss programme, while their
improved lateral rigidity benefi t sharper
handling and cornering stability.
While the seat height of just 786mm
should put the Ninja within reach of most
riders, especially as the seat is now 30mm
narrower, which improves stand-over.
Up at the sharp end are a pair of LED
headlamps, each featuring low and high
beams, as well as a LED position lamp.
In the rider’s view is the same instrument
cluster as the Ninja 650, contributing to
the high-grade feel of the package.
The 14-litre fuel tank is claimed to deliver
over 210miles of range, as the rider is
cosseted behind larger-volume bodywork
that is claimed to make the Ninja feel
bigger than expected in the 400/250
class. It even gets the little chin spoilers at
the bottom of the front cowl, just like its
Ninja H2 and Ninja ZX-10R siblings.
Accessories will include a larger screen,
power outlet, ERGO-FIT high seat (+30
mm), tank bag, tank pad, radiator screen,
frame sliders, wheel rim tape, pillion seat
cover, helmet lock and U-lock.
No details have been released on price or
availability just yet, but we seriously look
forward to testing, and seeing this bike hit
the SA market.
Kawasaki Ninja 400 Specificiations
Engine: 399cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin 8v
Power: 44.8bhp @ 10,000rpm
Torque: 40Nm @ 8000rpm
Seat height: 785 mm
Kerb weight: 168kg
Fuel tank: 14litres
Trailer Towing Tips
The name “Compact Trailers” might
be new, but Martin Liebenberg, the
owner of the company, has 20+
years’ experience in the design and
manufacturing of trailers. Martin also
held the patent for the easy loader
concept/design for the last 20 years.
We found that there is a bunch of
things people don’t understand/know
about maintaining, towing and servicing
their trailers. With this in mind, we
decided to share his expertise in this
fi eld with our readers.
This month we give you a small
checklist you can use every time before
General Checklist before towing
• Hook the trailer
• Check safety chain/cable
• Check Lights
• Check Jockey Wheel
• Check Tyre Pressures
• Check Wheel Bearings
• Check Weight at coupler
• Check load is fastened properly
• Check wheel nuts/bolts
Make sure to check out their Facebook
page regularly for updates regarding
all there is to know about trailers and
everything that goes with it.
For more technical queries you can
email Martin martin@compacttrailers.
co.za or visit their website at www.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 9
Yamaha Niken Leaning
When we first posted a pic of the Yamaha Niken 3-wheeler on our
Facebook page a couple of weeks ago many thought it was some sort
of elaborate April Fool’s joke. Well, it’s not and Yamaha have officially
launched the new Niken to the public.
The Yamaha Niken is based on the
MT-09, and shares the same threecylinder
motor, but it’s the first leaning
production three-wheeled motorcycle of
its type. Yamaha has not revealed too
many details and specifications at Tokyo
about the Niken, but more details are
expected to be released at next month’s
EICMA show in Milan, Italy. The only
specification released so far is that the
Niken uses a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected,
four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve, in-line
triple engine. The three-cylinder engine
without question is the 847 cc triple from
the Yamaha MT-09.
In a press release on the Niken, Yamaha
said: “This large-displacement Leaning
Multi-Wheeler (LMW) is powered by
a liquid-cooled, in-line, three-cylinder
engine. This model is equipped with
LMW technology to reduce the effects
of changing ride environments and to
deliver a high feeling of stability when
cornering.” Is that some sort of Google
Translate code for “It can do double
They went on to say that; “It achieves
excellent performance for spirited and
sporty riding on various road surfaces
and the capability to freely carve through
the continuous corners on winding roads.
The body design makes full use of the
unprecedented front-end suspension
mechanism, pairing 15-inch front wheels
with dual-tube upside-down forks that
visually accentuate the machine’s sporty
performance and create a high-quality
look and feel at the same time. New
Yamaha NIKEN. Ride the Revolution.”
Three wheelers aren’t a new thing for
motorcycles, but they’ve mostly been
found in the real of scooters, trikes or
Obviously the extra tyre means an extra
contact patch, and therefore more
traction. But are there really a lot of
performance bike enthusiasts out there
clamoring for an extra wheel up front?
We guess it will just depend on how well
this thing really handles—and whether
your resident sportbike rider will be willing
to be seen in public with a bike like this.
The fact that Yamaha has chosen to
reveal more details and specifications
about the Niken confirms that the leaning
three-wheeled motorcycle will only be
released as a 2018 model, and will
possibly go on sale next summer. So far,
Yamaha has not commented on the price
and other details; and has only released
the dimensions of the Niken, which is
2150 mm long, 885 mm wide, 1250 mm
tall, and uses a triple-cylinder engine.
Indian Lifestyle Store
Indian Motorcycle will be opening a lifestyle
store in Melrose Arch in December 2017.
The new store will be situated at 5 High
Street, Melrose Arch Precinct, next to the
new Starbuck store.
Contact 011 823 8400 should you require
any additional information.
10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Introducing the Yamaha Tracer 700
Versatile and exciting Sport Tourer
Exciting sports performance with agile handling
Long-range 17-litre fuel tank
Outstanding power to weight ratio
www.yamaha.co.za • +27 11 259 7600 • Facebook: Yamaha Southern Africa • Instagram: YamahaMoto_SA • YouTube: YamahaMoto_SA
Madboxer: A Motorcycle with
a Subaru WRX car engine
If you love boxer-engined motorcycles, but not those made by
BMW, this awesome project might inspire you to build your
dream bike. Meet the MadBoxer Subaru WRX powered roadster
built in New Zealand.
This fantastic project started back in
2009, when a designer known as Ian
McElroy made a series of Solidworks CAD
drawings for a bike called “Kickboxer”,
which was based on the idea to make a
Subaru WRX 2.5-liter-powered motorcycle.
The idea was so cool, it made the news
all around the world, and Marcel van
Hooijdonk, a toolmaker from New Zealand,
decided to turn the project into a real,
The fi rst thing he did was to grab the boxer
engine, the wheels, some wood, and a
couple of beers to clear his mind. After
laying everything in order and spacing the
parts up in his shop, he concluded the
project is doable.
The most complex thing he had to build
was the front swing arm and centre
steering, which also had to be approved by
New Zealand authorities to be road legal.
Next, the engine got mated with a
stripped and modifi ed two-speed
automatic transmission with torque
converter, which has a gear switch on the
left handlebar. The man didn’t want any
foot operated controls, so the rear brake
is also on the right side of the bars.
The front brakes and coil overs were
sourced from Buell while the tank and
seats were taken from various Japanese
motorcycles. Other components like the
guards, steering components, chassis,
swingarms and other small bits were
home made by the talented craftsman.
Another tricky part was the electrical
backbone of the whole system. All of the
electrics and the lithium ion battery had to
be put under the seat, where space was
very limited. Marcel said it took him over a
year to sort the electrics out.
Very cool indeed!
12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Unbeatable Hyper Sport &
Sport Tyre November Specials
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VISIT US FOR ALL YOUR TYRE NEEDS: • Bikes, ATVs & Side-x-Side • Best prices, widest range • Over 3000 tyres in stock • SA’s largest ‘bike’ tyre retailer • Shipping countrywide • Secure credit
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KCR Motorcycle Fanatix
24 years ago, KCR Motorcycle Fanatix was born. 24 years on,
and the massive dealership in Kempron Park on the East
Rand of JHB, is still going strong!
KCR Motorcycle Fanatix opened their
doors in 1993 under the ownership of
Alan and Sandy Linley. Alan was an
aircraft technician for 18 years before
he decided to follow his passion and
he strives only on doing the best quality
work for his customers. They have
been going strong for 24 years and are
always happy to share their experience
and know-how with clients. They have
been involved in all different aspects of
motorcycling from producing national
drag racing champions on a turbo
Hayabusa and GSX-R1000 to preparing
drag and race motorcycles for clients.
KCR has proudly built several concourse
winning motorcycles in different
categories. They do all this development
to give you the customer the best
product on offer. They strive to sell good
clean used motorcycles as well as all
the latest Suzuki models. KCR have
one of the biggest in house motorcycle
accessory shops combined with bikes
They have a fully equipped, world-class
workshop with dyno and dedicated
mechanics who will look after your bike
like it’s their own.
They do minor, major and fi rst services
on all major motorcycle brands as well
as most scooter brands, as well as
insurance assessments and repairs, and
are an approved repair centre for most
major insurance companies.
Visit their dealership at 20 Albatros
Road, Kempton Park, very close to the
airport, or call them 011 975 5545.
What is this Golden Mile?
If you happened to pick up last months copy of the magazine, you’d
have seen the Mark Wigget cartoon about South Africa’s Golden
Mile. We were at one of the dealerships a few months back when
Garith made the point that just about every single brand is available
in one street in the republic of Boksburg. ‘Strue!
We did the maths and took off to check it all out. We battled to
fi nd a local designer to draw up what we needed - who better than
Mark? He came up from his hometown of Knysna and the cartoon
you see on the right is the fi nal result.
One street, in Gauteng where you can get anything that your little
heart desires when it comes to motorcycles.
Over the next couple of months we will be featuring two dealers on
Lets take a trip:
Gold Rand Harley (011) 823-3763
Full range of Harley’s, all of the lifestyle accessories and apparel - and they have a really cool diner next door where you can grab a nibble
and shoot the breeze. A Great place to meet and greet.
Cardinals: (011) 823-8400
These guys stock the Indian, Victory, Polaris and Linhai range of motorcycles, Side by sides and ATV’s. And you are looking for a bakkie or a
luxury sedan, go and have a gander.
Suzuki SA have heard our cries
and have now included a quickshifter
and auto-blip at no extra
charge on their GSX-R1000
model. The new base model is
now available at R239,900 with the
quick-shifter and auto-blip, and is
available at dealers across SA.
We’ve just had shade ports fi tted
at the Dirt And Trail and RideFast
Magazine offi ces. Don’t let your bikes
and bakkies stand in the sun!
Guys what a pleasure - what a cool
bunch to deal with.
Pretoria Shadeports - ask for Dirk
16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
11 OF SA’S TOP
WITHIN 3KM OF
38 North Rand Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 823 3763
New & Used Harley Davidson
motorcycles & accessories
40 North Rand Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 823 8400
Indian, Victory, Polaris new
and used sales.
Auto Alpina Motorrad Honda Wing East Rand Mall
Cnr North Rand Rd & Pond St, Boksburg
Tel: 011 418 3300
New and used BMW Motorcycle sales
12 Jan Smuts Ave, Boksburg
Tel: 011 826 4444
New Honda Motorcycles.
Quality used motorcycles.
2 Wiek St, Boksburg
Tel: 011 826 4744
Best Quality Used Motorcycles
Shop 5 K90 Centre, Northrand Road, Boksburg
Tel: 011 823 5830
New Kawasaki, SYM, Triumph, Husqvarna &
quality used motorcycles. Full accessories
122 Northrand Road, Boksburg
Tel: 011 918 6666
New Suzuki motorcycle sales. Quality used
motorcycles. Full accessories
122 Northrand Road, Boksburg
Tel: 011 894 2111
Quality used motorcycle sales.
Unit 9, The Terminal, Cnr Trichardts Rd & Dr
Vosloo Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 362 2182
New Yamaha sales. Quality used & accessories
157 North Rand Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 076 158 3655
Quality used motorycle sales
No. 6, V-Max Centre, Atlas Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 051 9104
Quality used motorycle sales
Fire It Up Kawasaki
Fourways Motorcycles is no longer - Fire It Up the newly
appointed Kawasaki dealer in the Fourways area.
Fire It Up Fourways are proud to announce that they have been appointed
as the new Kawasaki Dealers in the Fourways area. “After visiting EICMA in
2016 I was really impressed with Kawasaki’s new line up and believe that
coupled with our unique value proposition ranging from finance packages
to lifetime warranties, not to mention our integrity and commitment to
motorcycling, we are ideally placed to bring out the best in this incredible
brand that has such a vast range” said Craig Langton. “After meeting with
the Kawasaki Management team it was immediately apparent that our
vision and passion for motorcycling was aligned”.
Whilst their current Premium Pre-Owned Division will remain untouched,
the exciting new division will be known as ‘Fire It Up Kawasaki’ and is now
fully operational, with fully stocked showroom, state of the art Liqui Moly
workshop with the country’s top technicians, parts and most advanced
Motorcycle diagnostics including Dyno Equipment. All Kawasaki’s sold
by Fire It Up Kawasaki will include innovative and industry leading value
propositions. Fire It Up Kawasaki will carry the full Kawasaki range including
KMSA’s allied brands such as SYM and AEON.
1. FREE Lifetime Warranty.
2. FREE 2 Year Unlimited Mileage Service plan.
3. FREE UBER Collection.
3. Bespoke Finance Plans in conjunction with our finance partners making
4. Guaranteed Buy Back.
5. Rider Training.
6. Kawasaki Café.
The Kawasaki range is so exciting that it has given the Fire It Up team
an opportunity to really be creative, and Craig believes that even though
we are faced with challenges such as a weakening currency, Fire It Up
Kawasaki has a finance and product offering that will make owning a new
Kawasaki affordable, exciting and too tempting to resist!
Give them a try. Call 011 467 0737 or visit their dealership at Shop 3 and 4,
Showrooms on Leslie, Cnr William Nicol Dr and Leslie Ave, Fourways.
VW Confirms Ducati
brand is not for sale
A recent report in the automotive industry claims that
Volkswagen has cancelled its plan of selling Ducati to
any other brand for covering its loss from diesel engine
The Italian premium bike brand will remain in the same
family as employees raised serious objections regarding
its sale after such good performance in last financial
year. Labour union of Ducati protested against the plans
as this would lead to job loss for many full time, highly
dedicated employees of the brand.
After the news broke like wild fire, many renowned
brands like Harley-Davidson and Eicher Motors (Royal
Enfield) tried making a deal for Ducati. There were even
reports of Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto considering
Ducati as an important deal for 2017.
We think this is great news, as Ducati really have been
on the up over the past years, and have produced high
quality motorcycles for all aspects.
Ducati Monster 821 goes
old-school for 2018
The Ducati Monster was first revealed back in 1992,
and, 25 years on, the Italian bike maker now wants to
go a bit back to origins with a new 2018 model that
tries to mimic the aroma of the oldschool variant.
The new Monster 821 has received an update that
makes it feature more of the original Monster 900
allure along with aesthetic and functional features first
introduced on the Monster 1200.
This includes a more streamlined, agile look with a
fully redesigned fuel tank and tail section, new silencer,
headlight, and other minor details like the rear passenger
footpegs which are now separated from the rider’s.
Also debuting on the 821 is the color TFT display which
can show selected gear and amount of fuel. You can
also have it with the optional Ducati Quick Shift system
that works both for up- and down-shifting.
The 2018 Ducati Monster 821 will be available soon in
three colour setups: Ducati Yellow with black frame and
wheels, Ducati Red with red frame and black wheels,
and Dark Stealth with black frame and black wheels.
Pricing information is not available at the moment, but
do check with your Ducati JHB or Ducati CPT to learn
more - www.ducati.co.za.
18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Teriza, Tristan and
Jayden Raymend of
Kommetjie Surg Shop
Bridgette , Jenna and
Angus, Elena,Toby, Gerhardo,
Anston, Chad, Johny and Louis
Ducati Cape Town opens
The Hottest new Bike Store in Cape Town is now officially
open, and our Renette Rauch went to check it out.
Daddy I want a Ducati...
The Ducati name and tradition carries
serious weight and who better than the
respected Kyalami owner Toby Venter
to be at the helm of Ducati SA who
with GM Johnny Araujo and National
sales manager, Angus Webber, have
been responsible for record sales in
South Africa. Until recently the lone
Ducati flag in Cape Town was carried by
Ducati fundi Anston Collins as sales and
service agent, who is now fittingly the
Cape Town branch manager. The new
Cape Town flagship store gives Ducati
owners a proper home at last where
all their needs are met from bike sales
and apparel to after-market service in
the state of the art workshop. Situated
on the historic waterways next to the
entrance of the Waterfront makes it a
magnet for Capetonians and tourists
alike, even more so when Porsche will
open up next door.
Craftsmanship of a different kind, Toby
Venter also owns Uva Mira Wine Estate
whose award-winning wines were
served at the Ducati opening by the
lovely Lara Shargey alongside a veritable
feast of eats.
However, the gems in the exquisite
setting remain the eye-watering and
ear-licious Ducati motorcycles. From the
popular Super Sport to the iconic café
racers, Ducati caters for city slickers
to nature lovers. Ducati owners are
amongst the most loyal to their brand
and for good reason.
The Originale Ducati motorcycle club
(www.originale.co.za) with over 100
members were well represented at the
opening and all guests were treated like
VIP’s. Manager Anston Collins’ skilled
team comprises of Jeandre, Chad and
Chris in the workshop, Louis and Chris
in sales , Lauren in admin, Irshad, the
driver and Charmaine the housekeeper.
Owning a Ducati comes with multiple
benefits, not just the pleasure of the ride
and enjoying the refined craftsmanship,
but also being part of the Ducati family
and it’s fun-orientated lifestyle. Come for
a cappuccino and leave with the lifestyle.
Address: 3 Waterway House South,
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Tel: +27 21 000 2100
Mr Ducati SA
Jannie and Lucy of
his passion with
20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Glynis and Ian of the
Italian MC Club
Ducati, a shared love, Pieter and Mari
Ducati happiness, Sylvester Black
Julian Neetling of
with daughter Leanne
Ducati CPT Branch
Manager and Bonita
from Ducati JHB
Ducati ‘s Cafe Racer with Spaggiari’s Nr 54
I am here for the
A lifestyle for
couples to enjoy
After much teasing, Honda quietly debuted its
Neo Sports Café concept at the Tokyo Motor
Show. Releasing basic details about the simple
but modern motorcycle design, we are left to
draw our own conclusions about the machine.
We had hoped that the Honda Neo Sports
Café would lead to a retro-styled version of
the Honda CB1000R, much in the same vein
that the new Kawasaki Z900S is a hipsterfi ed
version of the popular Z900 street bike.
It’s not clear if Honda intends to produce the
Neo Sports Café concept, but its design is
intriguing, especially when you consider the
now ancient four-cylinder engine that resides in
its chassis, which is of course derived from the
previous generation Honda CBR1000RR.
For what it’s worth, we hope that Honda
eventually green lights the Neo Sports Café
concept. Its clean lines and minimalist design
please our senses, while also recycling one of
Honda’s more tired superbike engines.
Big Red has shown a number of attractive retrostyled
concepts over the past few years, but
the Japanese never quite seems able to pull
the trigger on bringing one into production.
Hopefully the Neo Sports Café bucks that trend.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 21
BMW Pure & Crafted
The 30th September saw the 2nd Pure & Crafted
Festival, hosted by BMW SA out in Muldersdrift, as with
any BMW event it was well coordinated, well organized
and well attended. Words by Kurt Beine
This year there were a few changes,
one day instead of two, less new bikes
on show than last year, but more stage
performances and more buzz.
The food court seemed bigger this year,
cuisine of all types, nothing ‘ordinary’,
refreshments of all sorts were the order
of the day.
Mattie Griffin, Irish world-famous stunt
rider aboard his very tricked out BMW
800 entertained the crowd, he battled
a bit with a smooth surface, stoppies
were not possible, nevertheless he put
on a stunning performance, ranked 5th
best stunt rider in the world, Mattie really
knows his stuff.
This year the bike concentration
was aimed more at the retro market,
various customized R NINE T’s, lots of
refurbished models from yesteryear,
GS Dakar 800 and 1000cc BMW’s, the
older RS and RT tourers and sport bikes
meticulously restored and on show.
There was a huge variety of stage
performers/bands that kept the party
going until late, or more accurately until
early in the morning, Uber taxis were on
hand for those not able to drive after too
much partying, which I understand there
was a lot of, after all, this was a BMW
Festival, for those not yet in the BMW
fold to see that the BMW biking fraternity
is indeed a nice place to be, nice people,
nice bikes, nice brand, always keen for
an adventure, be it on tar or dirt, or a
mixture of both.
Well done BMW, roll on 2018…..
22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
CIT Husqvarna going big!
Things are happening in Hatfi eld - it looks to us like there is a regular little
motorcycle village springing up.
CIT Husqvarna in Pretoria has just opened a massive accessory division.
The very well known, Ryan Shapiro of Race Shop Vanderbijlpark fame, is the
man at the helm. Very impressive with a huge variety of road/dirt/adventure
accessories and the latest range of Husqvarna’s on the fl oor.
They also have a massive selection of quality used motorcycles, and a full
workshop and spares division. Call them on (012) 342-8571 or visit their
impressive dealership at 1222 Pretorius Street, Hatfi eld, Pretoria.
Batt Holdings to
This is not a spray on perfume to make your
sweaty kit smell nice. Think Probiotics – by
combining the power of nature and science, a
powerful PROBIOTIC bacteria attack sweat and
grime by producing other benefi cial enzymes
which detoxifi es and removes the odour from
your dirty equipment.
By spraying ACTABAC onto the desired
surface; millions and millions of benefi cial
microbes then fi nd the bad odour causing
matter and release the appropriate enzymes for
the substance to be cleaned.
The enzymes cut the organic matter into smaller units,
which are digested by microbes; the cycle repeats itself
until all the odour causing matter is eradicated leaving
your kit odour free.
For Trade Enquires contact Batt Holdings 011 205
0216 for more info.
New sales force at
Honda Wing Sandton
Honda Wing Sandton has a new Sales Force - Tim
Nicolson and Zane Zurlinden are driving the sales of
new bikes at Honda Wing Sandton. The dealership
is based on the corner of William Nicol Drive & Peter
Place in Bryanston/Sandton. They invite you to come
join them for a cup of Coffee on your way to work in
the morning or even on your way home. They have
a great range of the new Honda CBR 1000 RR Fire
Blades and Honda CRF 1000’s (Africa Twins), as well
as all the other models in the Honda Range. They also
specialise in fl eet deals on the Honda Elite Scooters
and ACE 125’s – come in and discuss refreshing your
old fl eet with them.
If you need your Honda serviced, they have a
professional workshop consisting of Philani, Terry
and Devon who are currently running a special of
R699.00 (incl. VAT) to do an oil change on your Honda
motorbike (excluding the oil fi lter).
Contact 011 540 3000 or visit www.hondasandton.co.za
or you can email Tim or Zane on tim@northmotorgroup.
co.za or email@example.com
24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
MOTORCYCLE ACCESSORY HEAVEN
1222 Pretorius Street
Hatfi eld, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 342-8571
THE FUN STARTS HERE
RAISING THE BAR! TAKING MOTORCYCLES
& ACCESSORIES TO THE NEXT LEVEL
• ACESSORY DIVISION
• MOTORCYCLE SALES
• WRANGLER JEEPS
Full range of 2018 MX &
Enduro bikes in stock!
to you by
Camier to Honda
Experienced contender to switch from MV Agusta
to new Honda Fireblade.
British rider Leon Camier has signed with Red Bull Honda for the
2018 Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) to take charge
of development aboard the CBR1000RR SP2 next season.
Camier, 31, has been a constant front-runner with MV Agusta in
recent seasons, but has been lured across by the Ten Kate-run
Honda team as its fi rst signing of the pre-season.
“We’re extremely happy to have Leon on board for the upcoming
WorldSBK season,” said Marco Chini, Honda WorldSBK
operations manager. “He’s a great talent and an extremely
professional rider, so I’m sure it will be a pleasure to work with him.
“We’re confi dent that his expertise will help us raise the
performance of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 to a whole
new level so we’re looking forward to the new challenge. Right
now, however, there’s still a season to complete, so we are fully
concentrated on the remaining rounds in order to improve our
package and fi nish the year on a high note.”
Camier will join the team at the end of the current season to start
the winter testing program.
KTM retain same line-up
for 2018 MotoGP season
Espargaro and Smith to pilot RC16 MotoGP
machine again in the new year.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing has confi rmed it will retain its line-up
of riders for the 2018 MotoGP World Championship following its fi rst
year in the premier class.
Pol Espargaro will return for another season after claiming the best
result for KTM so far, fi nishing ninth at the Brno and Philip Island
grand prix’s, and has delivered a number of qualifying positions much
higher than the team thought of prior to the season commencing.
British talent Bradley Smith, a grand prix winner and a podium man
over the three classes he’s contested, will continue on with Austrian
manufacturer, clinching his best result of 10th aboard the KTM at the
San Marino and Philip Island rounds this season.
Mika Kallio will remain as the team’s test rider for 2018 with selected
wildcard rides in the works, the Finn has played an instrumental role
in the progress of the MotoGP project through his vast experience in
grand prix that extend back 17 years.
His three races so far this year have been some of the most
impressive for a wildcard in recent times with his commitment and
speed, with one fi nal appearance at Valencia later this year. The news
comes following ongoing speculation that Kallio could trade roles with
Smith for 2018, however that has now been offi cially ruled out.
26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Dual compound technology
The new reference
tyre in the sports
An incomparable sensation of grip
“In terms of safety, the front tire
of the MICHELIN Power RS sets
and cornering stability
Front tyre profile derived
from race competition
derived from racing
“The best stability during sequences of
curves, even on a simulation of a country
Pole-winning performance: agility and
handling when changing direction, under
braking and when accelerating hard!
“Extremely agile, with exceptional directional
stability and impeccable handling in
cornering; All this makes Michelin the winner
(and not only in terms of points).“
A new patented construction for exceptional straight-line
and cornering stability.
A single ply ensures a more flexible crown, while the side
ply back over itself.
Harder rubber underneath the softer rubber on the
shoulders gives better rigidity at lean, for more stability
when cornering, especially under strong accelaration.
GP Commission restricts MotoGP testing from 2018
MotoGP testing is to be further restricted
from next season. At the meeting in Motegi
of the Grand Prix Commission, MotoGP’s
rule-making body, the teams, factories, FIM,
and Dorna agreed to limit the amount of
testing which can be done next year and in
The 2018 testing season will look largely
familiar, with a two-day test at Valencia on
Tuesday and Wednesday after the race,
then three three-day tests at Sepang,
Thailand, and Qatar ahead of the start of
the MotoGP season, and one-day tests
after three of the European rounds (Jerez,
In 2019, the number of preseason tests will
be reduced, with testing taking place only
at Sepang and Qatar before the start of the
Teams still have five days of private testing,
but in a bid to switch the aims of testing
from preparing for a race to actually
developing their motorcycles, fewer tests will
be allowed before a race.
In 2018, teams will be allowed to use three
of their five days at circuits before the race
has happened there, while the other two
days may only be used after the race has
In 2019, the teams will have to use two of
their private test days in November, after
the last race of the season. The remaining
three days can be used at any time during
the season. As is now the case, no private
testing is allowed at a track within 14 days
of the race being held there.
The reason for the testing changes is to
restrict the advantage factory teams were
gaining preparing for the races.
Private teams often don’t have the
resources to use the full five days of private
testing, but factory teams have been testing
ahead of races to prepare the ground and
get a jump on setup for the event.
There have been numerous examples:
Ducati at Barcelona and Misano, and Honda
at Brno and Misano, among others.
For manufacturers with concessions – that
is, new manufacturers and manufacturers
which have not scored a podium in 2017 –
they will retain the right to unlimited testing.
The GPC also reduced the number of
wildcards. From 2018, factories will be
limited to a maximum of three wildcards
each season. Factories with concessions
will be restricted to a maximum of six
What this means in practice is that Michele
Pirro will only be able to race for Ducati
at three events in 2018, while Mika Kallio
will be able to participate in six races next
year. Only three engines will be available to
wildcard entries for the entire season.
The GPC finalized a few other details. The
use of air bags is to be made compulsory
from 2018 for all riders, as had previously
And Moto2 chassis manufacturers were
granted 10 days of testing with the new
Triumph Moto2 engine to be used in the
class from 2019.
start in 2018 Red
Bull Rookies Cup
Young SA star invited for
prestigious program next year.
Youthful SA star Aidan Liebenberg has
been invited to contest the 2018 Red
Bull Rookies Cup, being one of the 10
riders selected out of 109 entrants at the
selection event, which saw fellow South
African’s Taric Van Der Merwe, Max
Smith, Ricardo Otto, Dino Iozzo, Luca
Coccioni and Luca Balona also try out for
the prestigious program.
A complete mix of conditions over three
intensely competitive days in Almeria
produced 10 young riders who are invited
to join the Red Bull program, which has
produced a number of world champions,
including our very own Brad Binder.
From 109 riders invited for the opening
two days, 49 made it to the final day,
including 4 SA riders, and Thursday
dawned cold and soaking wet. After
the very testing wet morning sessions
the circuit dried for the afternoon with
another chance for the young riders to
show their abilities.
Liebenberg contested the Super600
category of the SA National Supersport
Championship this year, wrapping up a
very impressive first season in the class,
including the final victory of the season
He is certainly a talent to watch out for,
and we look forward to covering his
progress next year.
28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Brought to you by
Morbidelli Moto2 champ
From STK600 to Moto2 World Champion, it’s been quite a
journey for Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)
is the 2017 Moto2 World Champion
after wrapping up the crown at Sepang
International Circuit. Following a stunning
season in which the Italian has taken eight
wins, fi ve poles and 10 podiums, the EG
0,0 Marc VDS rider becomes the fi rst
Italian Champion in the intermediate class
for nearly ten years – the previous being
Marco Simoncelli in 2008. From STK600 to
Moto2, Morbidelli has quickly risen to the
top and is the fi rst Champion to come from
the VR46 Riders Academy.
First making a foray onto the stage in 2009
in a one-off ride at Valencia in the FIM CEV
Repsol, Morbidelli would soon make a much
bigger splash in 2011 as he competed
in the Superstock 600 class of the Italian
national championship – alongside
four races in the European STK600
championship. The following year, Morbidelli
was runner up in the national championship
and took three wins – and took his fi rst
podium and fi rst pole position at European
level the same year.
That laid solid foundations for an assault
on the title in 2013, and Morbidelli made
good on his promise by taking fi ve podiums
– of which two were wins – on his way to
wrapping up his fi rst international crown.
2013 was also the season Morbidelli
debuted on the world stage, with three
That was the path the Italian would follow
going forward. A full-time ride in 2014 saw
Morbidelli gaining traction throughout the
season, with the latter half of the year full of
top ten results on his way to eleventh overall.
2015 got off the ground running with fi ve top
six results in the opening fi ve rounds, and
by Indianapolis the future World Champion
was on the rostrum for the fi rst time in third.
Missing some rounds due to injury, the end
of the year saw him rake in more points –
but 2016 was just around the corner.
The fi rst real taste of the 2017 World
Champion was more than evident in 2016.
After a slower start, Morbidelli took some
top four results and then his fi rst podium of
the year at the TT Circuit Assen. He followed
that up with another at the Red Bull Ring,
and was on the rostrum eight times in the
last eleven races. Just missing out on the
top three in the Championship by a single
point, it was evident that the Italian would be
a serious challenger in 2017.
Off to a fl ying start with a faultless win from
pole, Morbidelli was three for three by the
time the paddock arrived at Jerez. Then
crashing out of contention, he was back
on top next time out for a fourth win in fi ve.
Then followed victory at Assen and the
Sachsenring as well as another podium at
Silverstone, before the Italian crashed out
the lead at Misano World Circuit Marco
Simoncelli. Out to win next time out,
Morbidelli took on compatriot Mattia Pasini
at MotorLand Aragon in a stunning duel,
and put everything on the line for his eighth
win of the year.
An eighth at Motegi and a third in Phillip
Island saw the EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider
arrive at Sepang with a 29 point advantage.
Following a dramatic qualifying session that
saw key rival Tom Lüthi suffer a fracture in
his foot and get declared unfi t, Morbidelli’s
advantage at the top was enough to
declare him 2017 Moto2 World Champion
ahead of the race in Malaysia following his
Some facts about Morbidelli:
• Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) is the
first Italian rider to win a Moto2 title and the
first in the intermediate category since Marco
Simoncelli back in 2008.
• Morbidelli’s title is the 23rd in the intermediate
category for Italian riders.
• Morbidelli has won eight races so far this year,
equaling Johann Zarco’s total back in 2015 -
which is also the second-highest number of
Moto2 wins in a season after Marc Márquez in
• He is the first Italian rider to do so since Marco
Melandri won nine times in 2002.
• Morbidelli equals Andrea Iannone on the
podium and win tally for Italian riders in Moto2,
with 19 and 8. With his pole position at Sepang,
he is now leading Andrea Iannone and Mattia
Pasini with five each.
• Morbidelli is the only Italian rider who has
won back-to-back races in the intermediate
category since Marco Simoncelli (2009).
• Morbidelli belongs to the list of the five riders
who have led more than 200 laps since the
introduction of the Moto2 class in 2010.
• He is the first intermediate class Champion
who has not graduated through the 125cc/
Moto3 class since Hiroshi Aoyama in 2009.
• He is the first intermediate class Champion
who has not graduated through the 125cc/
Moto3 class since Hiroshi Aoyama in 2009.
• Morbidelli took the lead of the Championship
when he won the first race of his career at
Losail and has remained at the head of the table
throughout the rest of the season.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 29
to you by
Dorna test the SP7 with Loris Capirossi
at the Aragon MotoGP
During the Aragon MotoGP, Loris Capirossi took the Saroléa SP7
around the track in a private testing session under the watchful
eyes of the Dorna CEO, Mr Ezpeleta.
Dorna’s plans for the new electric race series are for a one-make
cup which will take place in 2019 on a number of the European
MotoGP rounds. And this during the fi rst three years.
The Italian multiple world champion was delighted with
the control and handling of the SP7.
“Loris Capirossi seemed impressed with the motors character
and the relatively low weight of the bike.” said Bjorn Robbens. “He
already tested other bikes that qualify for this cup, and I suspect
they had heavier motorcycles.
We dare to say that we are on the shortlist, along with US
company Lightning, the Italian fi rm Energica, and probably another
player such as Mahindra or KTM.”
Joan Mir seals Moto3 title
Mir wrapped up this year’s Moto3
championship with two rounds to spare.
The Spaniard arrived in Australia with a 55-point advantage over
nearest rival Romano Fenati, after his lead was slashed dramatically
the previous weekend at Motegi following a dismal ride to 17th in the
wet - his fi rst non-score of the season.
Mir therefore needed a top-two fi nish in Phillip Island to guarantee
himself the crown regardless of what Fenati could do, or avoid being
outscored by the Italian by six points.
Starting third, Mir was in the lead group throughout the race, and was
running fi fth when it was red-fl agged with eight laps to go due to a
However, with the results being rolled back by a lap, it meant Mir was
declared the winner, three tenths clear of Leopard Honda team-mate
Polesitter Jorge Martin (Gresini Honda) was third, 0.008s behind Loi,
while Fenati (Snipers Honda) - who dominated at Motegi to keep his
faint title hopes alive - was only sixth.
Mir will graduate to Moto2 next season with the Marc VDS squad.
30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
The Bike Tyre Warehouse Group
The right motorcycle tyres can make or break a bike and transform your riding
experience. We went behind the scenes at Bike Tyre Warehouse recently to
find out more…
Based in Midrand, Johannesburg, this very proactive
business has been making waves in the
motorcycle tyre market since it launched last year.
With a second store in Cape Town now under its belt
(and plans for even more expansion), it’s clear that
riders are paying attention.
Bruce de Kock, the man behind it all, is no stranger
to the motorcycle market. Over the last 15 years,
he has built Batt Holdings into one of the largest
distributors of quad, ATV & SXS off-road tyres on the
Bike Tyre Warehouse offers the top brands in race,
dirt, street, dual purpose, ATV, SXS, utility and
specialized tyre categories. What sets the company
apart, according to Bruce, is that they operate a
“strict, no hidden costs” policy, retailing tyres at
wholesale prices. They also supply motorcycle tyre
equipment and accessories and offer OEM tyre
development for specialized commercial and race
applications. More importantly, they guarantee
professional service and advice.
Bruce’s emphasis on keeping costs real is
reflected in the Bike Tyre Warehouse space in
Midrand: no corporate frills here, just shelves of
race memorabilia, tyre samples and three large
computer screens which he uses to keep abreast of
international rubber trends and track local retail and
trade activity. His phones ring constantly as he fields
calls from local dealers and suppliers, retail clients
and guys wanting expert advice on rubber.
“When I decided to get into
the retail side of the market, I
knew I would need a completely
different approach to change
the perception of tyres from
a grudge purchase to a fun
purchase. If you can get excited
about buying a helmet or a pair
of gloves, why not get excited
about buying new rubber?”
Bruce believes the local, two-wheel motorcycle
market has been stagnant for years, with bike
dealers relying on importers to market their brands to
customers. As a result, tyres have traditionally been
considered a grudge purchase, with little leeway on
pricing. “When I decided to get into the retail side of
the market, I knew I would need a completely different
approach to change the perception of tyres from a
grudge purchase to a fun purchase. If you can get
excited about buying a helmet or a pair of gloves,
why not get excited about buying new rubber?
Our solution was to create an enjoyable shopping
experience that would allow customers to select from
a wide range of brands while receiving the best advice
on the tyre type and size specific to their unique riding
styles and requirements,” explains Bruce.
According to Bruce, too few riders consider their
bike’s actual needs when buying tyres. “Sadly,
many riders base their choices on what a mate said
at breakfast or on what they read in a tyre review
32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
- forgetting that - that tyre was likely tested under
race conditions, not on normal roads where the
environment changes constantly owing to things
like speed, heat, obstacles, lean angles and road
surface. The variables are never the same… Dealers
often quote on cheaper tyre sets just to get sales,
without considering factors such as speed rating and
load index, and the customer’s actual bike specs. It’s
dangerous and unethical. Riders with the wrong setup
are effectively risking their lives every time they
get on their bikes.”
On their advertising blurbs, the Bike Tyre Warehouse
Group regularly punts #bestadvice, #bestservice,
#bestprice – in that order. “It’s the essence of our
brand,” Bruce explains. “I believe in helping clients
make informed purchases, in providing professional
service by qualified technicians at our fitment
centres and in charging advertised prices only, not
more (unless fitment is complicated due to the type
of bike, in which case we quote before purchase).”
Constant innovation and out-of-the-box thinking
seems to be part of Bruce’s winning business
formula. Just three months after launching his
retail operation, he became the first to negotiate
motorcycle tyre insurance for dual purpose bikes
– those that are used for both on- and off-road
applications. This insurance product is now a
standard offering for the Bike Tyre Warehouse
Group, included in the price of all tyre products
sold by their stores. Given the number of potholes
and amount of debris on our roads, it’s a valuable
inclusion that helps to cover the annoying cost of
unrepairable punctures, side wall tears and so on.
Another innovative concept is the Bike Tyre
Warehouse Big 5 Brand Campaign, which the
company ran in September as a way of connecting
customers directly with people from five of the
premium brands (Michelin, Pirelli, Metzeler,
Bridgestone and Dunlop) that they stock. Prizes and
product offerings were the order of the month and
the campaign will now become an annual event.
There are more projects in the pipeline too: a tyre
training school that will help motorcyclists across all
disciplines learn the basics of tyre technology, plus
weekly tyre info video clips produced by Bruce’s
Cape Town partner Henk Kotzee (of the Look What
You Missing movie series). This feature will be
available on the company website under the Online
Tyre Store section.
Then there’s the rapidly expanding Bike Tyre
Warehouse Online Store, run by partner Warren
Frazer of Direct Deal. It features a comprehensive
retail section with multiple products related to
the motorcycle industry that can be financed and
insured online in minutes. BTW Online will soon
also have a BTW Trade Section to make it easier for
trade clients to order online and get their tyres, tyre
equipment, parts and tyre accessories invoiced and
We’d heard rumours of a Batt road tyre brand too
and, after some nudging, Bruce confirmed there will
indeed be a product launch early next year. “Our
goal is to promote growth, obviously, but also to
provide the commuter market with a safe, valuefor-money
series of tyres that are appropriate for
all weather conditions. The on-road brand will be
exclusive to the Bike Tyre Warehouse Group, i.e. not
sold in outside stores, so that we can monitor and
maintain our national pricing,” he adds. RideFast
magazine will be putting the Batt tyres to a torture
test to check them out.
With another Gauteng store on the cards and rollouts
planned for Durban and Port Elizabeth, is Bruce
worried about competition? “No. There’s not much
when it comes to specialized motorcycle fitment
stores. We’re confident in our business model and in
the quality of product and service that we provide.
I just hope motorcyclists will come to realize that
buying a new set of tyres can be exciting – and that
because tyre technology is changing so rapidly,
it really does pay to use a specialist like Bike Tyre
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 33
Installing and replace a motorcycle’s fuel filter
You know about the filters you should be changing on the regular, like oil and air...
but what about your fuel filter?! This forgotten filter is like the “kidney” that cleans
foreign matter out of gas before it enters your engine, and it’s an important part of
your fuel system, so learn about how it works and how to install one here!
One day, we’ll probably all ride around
on electric motorcycles. Until then,
motorcycles require a bit of maintenance
fueled by their need for gasoline. In order
to propel you forward at those speeds that
you love so much, your motorcycle’s engine
needs to perform a fairly complex system of
controlled explosions. But explosions aren’t
exactly “easily controlled.” A lot of things
go into keeping your motorcycle exploding
smoothly and if those bits and pieces aren’t
maintained, disaster may follow.
So it’s always a good idea to add checking
your engine’s fuel system to your routine
maintenance. Every time you give your
engine a good once over to keep it healthy
and happy, check your fuel lines to make
sure that everything is properly connected.
The vibrations that your bike has to deal
with when you ride can sometimes cause
nuts and bolts to back off and a loose or
disconnected fuel line can really ruin your day.
If you do fi nd some loose lines due to a lazy
nut or bolt, apply some threadlocker before
tightening them back up to keep them from
coming loose again.
Unfortunately, fuel doesn’t just enter your
bike from the fuel tank and fl ow through your
engine without picking up anything on the
way. Foreign particles can manage to make
their way into your combustion chamber via
your fuel by taking with it rust deposits that
are sitting in your fuel tank or dirt or gunk
from the pump. These particles can really get
in the way of clean running fuel lines and even
clog your carburetor!
Enter the fuel fi lter. Many bikes don’t come
stock with fuel fi lters. Some engines have a
fi lter inside the petcock which should also
be cleaned every now and then to avoid
clogging. If your bike has no fi lter at all, we
recommend installing a fuel fi lter and keeping
it properly maintained in order to give your
engine the cleanest run possible.
Use your Brain
Before working with your fuel system on your
bike, we hope that it goes without saying to
do so with caution. It can be easy to forget
how dangerous gasoline can be since we
use it daily in our engines without a second
thought. But any time that you work with your
engines fuel system, be aware of your
surroundings. Make sure not to work around
any sources of heat or fi re that could ignite
the fuel. Just one spark can make you wish
that the only thing you singed off was your
eyebrows. We also recommend wearing
a pair of latex gloves to protect your
skin from any gas leakage. Not to
mention, the stuff doesn’t
exactly double as a good
fragrance to wear.
Installing a Fuel Filter
Whether you’ve had issues with a clogged
carb or not, fuel fi lters are great preventative
measures. You may maintain your bike like
it’s the difference between life and death
(because it could be) but you can’t control
what the gas you pump into your motorcycle
brings with it. We would like to think that
paying an arm and a leg for gas these days
means that you’re getting pure petrol, but
sometimes that just isn’t true. And when
your gas isn’t up to par, it’s better to have a
clogged fi lter that can be easily replaced than
a clogged carburetor.
Installing a fuel fi lter is both cheap and easy.
We recommend Mahle Fuel Filters, which are
easy to install and maintain. These little guys
are made of a clear plastic that allows you to
see what’s going on inside your fi lter with just
In order to install a fuel fi lter, you’ll need to
run the fuel lines dry so that you don’t end up
getting gas everywhere. In order to do this,
leave your petcock in the “on”
position and start your engine. Let
run for a
into the “off”
off, twist your
throttle a few times
to run the line dry before
shutting your engine back off. If
your engine is fuel injected, you can just skip
this whole step since your engine doesn’t
pump gas through unless the engine is
running. (If you are installing a fuel fi lter onto
a bike that is fuel injected, make sure that
you’re using one that is specifi cally made for
your bike.) There will be some gas still in the
lines that you’ll need to drain out into a catch
can once you cut the line free.
When installing the fi lter, you can do it two
34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2017
Brought to you by
ways. The fi rst is to detach the entire hose
and work with it off of your bike. This method
is typically easier but it is possible to fi t the
fi lter to the hose without detaching it. Either
with the hose still on your bike or detached,
fi gure out where on your hose you would like
the fi lter to be placed (we like to put it right
in the middle). Cut out a section of the hose
that is slightly smaller than the length of the
fi lter. Be conservative while doing this. You
can always cut the hose down further but
you’ll need to replace the entire hose if you
get a little too carried away with the cutting.
The fi lter should then fi t in between the two
cut ends of the hose. The fi lter will have an
arrow on it that will show you which direction
the fl ow goes. Point the arrow toward your
carburetor. If there’s no arrow, the larger side
of the fi lter will go toward the carb.
Once the fi lter is fi tting well in the line, put a
clamp or clip around the hose on each end
of the fi lter and tighten them down to secure
the fi lter. This isn’t the time to turn into the
Incredible Hulk though. These fi lters are
plastic and too much tension will damage the
fi lter’s casing. Tighten the clamps or clips just
enough to secure the fi lter. Once it’s snuggly
in place, fi t the hose back onto your bike if
you had taken it off at the start.
With everything back in place and your new
fuel fi lter fi tted and secured to the hose, put
the petcock back into the “on” position, start
up your bike and check for any leaks. If you
don’t see any, take your bike out for a ride
and check once more when you get back to
your garage and then again after it has been
sitting for a while. Be sure to check your bolts,
clamps, clips and nuts often to make sure
that none of them have backed off.
Replacing your Fuel Filter
If you’ve already got a fuel fi lter on your
bike, it’ll need some slight maintenance
just as anything else on your bike. Along
with keeping an eye on fuel lines and their
connections in order to keep your engine
running safely, keep an eye on your fuel fi lter.
This is why we love the clear plastic fi lters. It’s
easy to check for clogs or build up without
having to detach anything. If you do happen
to notice any kind of build up or clogging,
it’s such an easy fi x. Simply replace the fuel
fi lter and toss out the clogged one. Even if
you never have a problem with clogs or build
up, we recommend changing out your fuel
fi lter once a year as the plastic can break
down over time and use. They’re inexpensive
and the process is easy but replacing your
fuel fi lter is a great way to keep your engine
running without any hiccups.
Once you’ve got the new Mahle fi lter, you’ll
want to run the fuel line and old fi lter as dry as
possible to save you from having to deal with
any excess fuel. This process is the same as
if you were installing a new fi lter. Just run your
engine for about a minute, put the petcock
into the “off” position, rev the throttle a few
times and then shut of your engine. This
should clear out most of the gas in the line
and fi lter but some still may leak out so be
prepared with some sort of catch can. If your
bike is fuel injected, skip the whole petcock
step as the fuel pumps will keep the fuel from
pouring out while the engine is off.
With your fuel line and fi lter fairly dry, loosen
the clamps or clips that are holding the two
ends of the fuel line hose to the fi lter and
remove the old fi lter. Some motorcycles may
have a fuel fi lter mounting bracket in order to
make sure that the fuel fi lter is secure. Before
you remove the old fi lter, you may need to
detach the bracket along with the fi lter and
then remove it from the fi lter.
The new fi lter should have an arrow pointing
in the direction of the fuel fl ow. Install the
new fi lter with the arrow pointing toward the
carburetor. If there’s no arrow, just install it
with the larger end toward the carb. If your
old fi lter had been attached to a mount, put
the bracket onto the new fi lter and secure it
to the mount. Replace the clamps and clips
that secure the hose to the fi lter and tighten
them without tightening them so much that
they damage the plastic casing of the fi lter.
Once the new fi lter is in place and secured,
put the petcock back to “on” and start up
your engine. Check the line and fi lter for any
gas leaks. A leak or loose bolt or nut can
really end badly so you want to make sure
that your lines are all secure. If there
seems to be no leakage, take your ride
out for a spin. When you get back
to your shop or house, recheck
the line and fi lter for leaks both
immediately and after it has
had a chance to sit for a
few hours. Now that
you’ve got the new
fi lter in place, you
can be sure that
your engine is only
getting the fuel it
needs and no other
surprises. But be
sure to check your
lines often just in
Mahle Filters now available in
SA through Autocycle centre
The filter brands MAHLE Original provide a
range of products that meet the demands of
workshops, garages and for home servicing.
Mahle offer a very comprehensive product
range that covers a number of applications.
The Mahle filter range includes air, oil and fuel
filters for most motorcycle models.
MAHLE manufactures OEM oil and fuel filters
for most motorcycle brands.
MAHLE filters have been everywhere: on
Route 66, at the Cape of Good Hope, on
Mount Olympus. And for a good reason: as a
development partner with a global presence,
MAHLE supplies quality products to a wide
customer group of renowned vehicle and
engine manufacturers. From now on, MAHLE
motorcycle filters are available in South Africa,
distributed by Autocycle Centre.
Like every product in the MAHLE Aftermarket
range, the motorcycle oil, fuel and air filters
are the result of a manufacturing process
tested in accordance with strict quality
For dealer enquiries call (011) 879-6470.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2017 3 5
“They’ve taken the very boring and dull
looking stock red bike, and transformed it into
a sportsbike lovers dream machine!”
36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
While on a dealer visit to KCR Motorcycles in Kempton Park, on the East Rand of JHB,
Rob spotted something all dressed up in Red and looking very sexy. Words and pics: Rob Portman
For the past 24 years, KCR
Motorcycle Fanatix have been
synonymous for building
gorgeous custom motorcycles
- especially sportbikes.
To do this one needs a very creative
mind and the ability/skills to execute that
creativity. Alan Linley, the owner of KCR
Motorcycle Fanatix, has all the tricks up
his sleeve, and this latest project proves
that he has not lost his touch, and that
his team know what they are doing.
Being a big Suzuki fan, and an official
dealer, Alan wanted to do something
special with the new GSX-R1000. He
didn’t want to just throw some existing
after-market products at it, that anyone
can go out and buy and do themselves.
Instead, he wanted to create and
manufacture custom made parts unique
to this bike.
The Yoshimura and Suzuki
partnership is world famous and
very iconic, so Alan wanted to make
something that would compliment that
Everything from the fully adjustable
rear-sets, mirrors, bar-ends, crash
protectors and filter covers are custommade
by Alan and his highly skilled
team. The splashes of red mixed with
carbon-fibre really do give the bike that
factory racing exclusive look.
A custom-made and designed sticker
kit on the front, side and back of the
bike also help give it that look.
Shorty brake and clutch levers have
been added, along with a carbon-fibre
The best edition to the bike, and
one that had to be made because
of the hideous stock pipe, has to be
the Yoshimura Alpha T slip-on pipe,
equipped with carbon-fibre heel
protector. It not only looks the part, but it
sounds just as good.
The attention to detail on the bike is
second-to-none, and you can see and
feel the passion that has gone into this
They’ve taken the very boring and dull
looking stock red bike, and transformed
it into a sportsbike lovers dream
If you are keen on giving your bike a
face-lift, I suggest you give Alan and his
team at KCR Motorcycle Fanatix a call.
They can just about do everything you
would desire, and then some!
Call 011 975 5545.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 37
HOW TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS ON EVERY SINGLE TRACK DAY
Dan the man from lifeatlean.com will help you become that confident and consistent
track rider that you have always strived to be. Over the course of the year we will bring
you articles that will help you improve your riding style and lap times. Words: Dan Netting
Visual Skills Riding
on Track: A Key
It’s no great mystery what ultimately
holds us back from going faster as track
day riders. In the end what we do on the
bike is governed mainly by the decisions
our brains make, in turn allowing us to
perform tasks based on the information
our five senses are feeding them.
Out of the five senses then, which is
the most important to have under control
in order to go faster around the track?
The title is a bit of a give away, but if
you guessed vision then you are indeed
correct. If you guessed taste….well then
there’s no hope for you.
How fast you can go round a corner
is massively influenced by what your
eyes are communicating about the
space ahead of you and where you are in
relation to it. If your visual skills aren’t up
to scratch, your perception of your speed,
position and available space will be
negatively affected and leave you riding
well below your potential.
Having your visuals working to help you
is one of the most important aspects of
going fast, but it can also be one of the
most complex, and while I don’t hope to
perfect your visual skills in this guide I do
want to open your eyes (no pun intended)
to a few points that will get you going in
the right direction.
The Things to Combat
The first and most common trait that new
(and even some experienced) riders tend
to show is a tendency to ride “blind”.
This is from a combination of not looking
far enough up
the track through the different stages of
a corner, as well as not having any real
references for where they’re going and
where they want to be.
The lack of real reference markers
means that the rider is almost feeling their
way around the track and as such they
will be very inconsistent with their lines
through the corners.
Another downside to riding blind is
the fact that riders are often left feeling
rushed, typically as they reach the entry
point, because their brain is receiving all
the information about where they are and
what’s coming up in too little time.
As a result they are never fully prepared
for what’s ahead of them, and when
the time comes they have to deal with
something unexpectedly, be it an oil spill
on the track, a bike coming up the inside
and sitting them up harshly, or they find
they’re running wide, the panic buttons
are pushed hard and the consequences
are usually not so good.
38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Another common trap that riders get
caught in is target fixation, something that
is more often than not brought on from
the above – riding blind and then being
surprised by something. For example, a
rider will go flying into a bend then on the
exit realize they are starting to run wide,
as a result they look at the exact spot
they don’t want to go to – the outside of
You may well have heard the phrase
that when riding a motorcycle ‘we go
where we look’, and that’s exactly what
happens in this situation. The rider drifts
further and further to the outside of the
track because all of their attention is fixed
there, they then become frozen on the
bars and controls and sure enough end
up taking an off track excursion. Instead
if the rider was looking up the track where
they wanted to go, their visual skills
probably would have saved them.
Vision Skills that Can Help Us
Reference Markers – By using reference
markers around a corner, it gives us a
way to map out exactly where we want
to be and where we want to go, as well
as a way to gauge whether or not we
are correctly positioned for the different
stages of a corner. In the end you can
map out your whole corner from braking
marker, to turn, apex and exit markers.
You are almost giving yourself a dot to dot
map to follow around the track.
Looking Ahead – Moving your eyes up
and ahead of you to your next reference
marker is a sure fire way to have you
feeling more calm and collected at speed.
You can see where you are in relation to
your next reference so you know how
much time you have to get there, and
when you do get there you know where
the next one is because you are always
This means that not only do you know
where you’re about to be, but where you’ll
be after that, giving you a much better
perceptive of the time and space you
have to work with, which not only helps
you ride faster but it also further goes
towards stopping those panic buttons
being pushed in the event of something
going wrong or surprising you.
Wider Vision – While I am advocating the
use of reference markers and focusing on
them to map out your route around the
track, it’s possible to be TOO focused.
Focus too much on one marker to the
point where you lose everything else
and you’re going to run into the same
By expanding your vision and using
your peripherals to monitor other markers
or other riders, you can take your ‘looking
ahead’ skills that one step further.
A great drill that the California
Superbike School teaches to demonstrate
a use of wider vision is the Two Step.
This teaches riders to focus on their turn
marker as they are heading towards it,
then when they reach a certain point,
move their heads and look in to the
corner to find their apex while they’re
still heading towards their turn marker,
using their peripheral vision to track it and
establish when they have reached it so
they know when to turn.
The benefit being that once you arrive
at your turn marker, because you are
already looking at your apex you know
exactly where you want to go and how
much and how quickly you need to steer
to get there.
More information about the Two Step
can be found in Keith Code’s: A Twist of
the Wrist II.
Once you start to practice widening
your vision, you will eventually be able to
“see” objects or markers without actually
looking at them.
All too many people head straight for
things like body position, braking and
throttle control to gain time on the track,
and while they are indeed important
aspects, your visual skills are arguably the
most important element to have in check
in order to become a fast, controlled
and consistent rider. It is not a skill to
be neglected if you hope to achieve true
speed (and safety) around the track.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 3 9
RF magazine play.indd 1006
2014/12/27 8:44 AM
JOHNNY REA & CHAZ DAVIES
MISANO WORLD SBK 2017
Johnny Rea was recently crowned 2017
World SBK champ for the 3rd time in the row,
becoming the first rider in history to do so.
Ducati rider Chaz Davies did everything he
could to stop Rea, including this...
Helmets worth a look
When it comes to buying riding gear, no piece of equipment is more
important than a good motorcycle helmet.
Protecting a motorcycle rider’s head is serious business, but with
so many styles and brands on the market, choosing a motorcycle
helmet can be as difficult as choosing the right motorcycle.
Since the early 1900s, motorcycle helmets have evolved nearly as
much as the bikes themselves. Crash helmets used to be simple
canvas domes covered in brittle shellac, but current lids are
comfortable, safe, and connected in ways never before thought
possible. The process of choosing one can be confusing, however.
The market is flooded with countless options with different styles and
price points, but fear not, we’re here to help. Over the next 2 months
we will bring you some of our picks for the best motorcycle helmets
on the market today.
Airoh Valor Helmets
This has to be one of the best looking, and well priced lids on
the market today! WOW!
The new Airoh Valor helmet is designed to appeal to those
who prefer a sporty look on the road. Available in a variety
of spectacular designs, the advanced and aggressive design
boasts a performance ventilation system, a visor that
maximises the available field of view and an EPS inner shell
designed to increase safety.
Price: R2400 From: Suzuki East - 011 918 7777
Shoei NXR Helmets
The Shoei NXR is a pure sports full face helmet for the rider
who demands amazing performance at an incredible price. The
NXR is new from the ground up and has been developed to be
extremely safe (of course) but to also have superb aerodynamics
and ventilation. The Shoei NXR comes with a Pinlock Anti-Fog Visor
insert in the box, which gives clear vision whatever the weather. The
airflow through the helmets when the vents are open is excellent,
having been designed and tested in Shoei’s wind tunnel.
The NXR is available in a wide-range of awesome graphics.
Price: R6200 From: Retailers Nation-wide
42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
AGV K-5 S Helmets
AGV’s latest version of this premium sport helmet now features a new construction for
the inner liner, designed with high-performance fabrics and with no stitching in sensitive
areas, making for an extremely comfortable fit. The lightweight shell is made from a
carbonfiberglass mix, while stability and aerodynamic performance are maximized
thanks to an incorporated spoiler. The Integrated Ventilation System (IVS) has vents that
are hollowed into the shell, and there’s also an internal drop-down sun visor, a removable
nose guard and a new wind protector that keeps noise to a minimum.
From R6150 From: RACE! SA - 011 466 6666
Bell Qualifier DLX Helmets
The Qualifier DLX continues to deliver high performance and
comfort at great prices. With a Transitions adaptive visor fitted
as standard, the Bell Qualifier DLX also features an adjustable
ventilation system for cooling and comfort, a lightweight
polycarbonate shell, and a super stable aerodynamic profile to
minimize buffeting and lift.
Price: R5499 From: Full Throttle Edenvale - 011 452 2397
HJC IS-17 Helmets
If you’ve ever thought, “I wish I had sunglasses right now”
the HJC IS-17 might be the helmet for you. A centrally
mounted slide on the top of the helmet will lower a tinted
visor to keep the rays at bay. To keep the sun’s energy
in check, the IS-17 features a moisture wicking interior
liner coupled with generous intake and exhaust vents for
channeling cool air in and hot air out. The IS-17 is perfect
for the daily commuter or anyone else who doesn’t want
to fuss with swapping shields in and out.
From: Randburg Motorcycles - 011 792 6829
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 43
Fixman F1 Series 7
drawer 140 tool piece
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There is also the Outlaw backpack, Endurance tog bag and Cinch
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44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Exclusive Group Test
2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP
Max Power: 189hp • Max Torque: 116Nm
Wet Weight: 200kg • Price: R300,000
2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Max Power: 199hp • Max Torque: 118Nm
Wet Weight: 203kg • Price: R275,000
This test proudly brought to you by
FEEL THE RRACE, FEEL THE RROA
Discover more on metzeler.co.za
Call 011 437 4699
Discover more at www.metzeler.co.za
46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
2017 Kawasaki ZX-10RR
Max Power: 290hp • Max Torque: 113Nm
Wet Weight: 206kg • Price: R289,000
Elite - The best, first-class, high-class. It’s an age old battle of warriors. We take three
of the Japanese Elite sportbikes on the market today and put them head-to-head to
determine just who is the ultimate warrior. Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus (Beam Productions)
f I had to choose one word that
best describes the feeling of
riding a modern day 1000cc
sportsbikes I would say Exhilarating -
making one feel very happy, animated, or
Exhilaration is like a drug – once you’ve
had it you can’t get enough. The stronger
the drug gets, the less stimulating
everything else becomes. It’s that slippery
slope those cops taught you about in
standard one – only this is a drug you can
get without having to go down an alley.
Every kind of emotion is activated when
one rides anyone of the crop on offer
today. You can’t help but feel like a kid
at Christmas when just looking at these
pieces of motorcycle art.
Us sportsbike enthusiasts have truly
been blessed with the plethora of twowheeled,
road-going super weapons at
our disposal over the past 5 years, and in
2017, things got more intoxicating than
ever before! This year, more than ever,
we fi nd ourselves oohing and aahing
at the gorgeous sculpted lines of the
latest models, mumble with disbelief at
how much power is available at peak
rpm, establish what the latest set of
electronically-induced acronyms mean,
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 47
Exclusive Group Test
and how it’s all squeezed into a chassis
that now resembles weight figures of
supersport bikes from not too long ago.
This year especially we’ve been
treated to the most significant advances
in horsepower, torque and electronic
assistance than ever before. With great
power comes great responsibility, and
both those come at a price, and a hefty
one at that. Over the past 2-years, prices
have inflated faster than my 18-month old
sons’ nappy. It’s common to see price
hikes higher than inflation but if you really
delve deep into what goes into a new litre
sportsbike, you will understand and come
to accept why the price tags are that high.
Manufacturers have tried softening
the blow by releasing ‘base’ models, as
they are known, as well as the pricier and
higher specced ‘R’ or ‘RR’ models.
“This year especially we’ve been
treated to the most significant
advances in horsepower, torque
and electronic assistance than
We’ve already showcased how good
the base models that are on offer today
are, and in this test, we get our hands
on 3 of the latest top specced litre bikes
available to sportbike junkies.
It took a while, an eternity
it seemed, but Honda
and Suzuki finally
released new 1000cc
superbikes for 2017.
Not only one, but
two models from
Suzuki and three from Honda - Although
the 3rd from Honda, the SP2, will not be
making an appearance in SA so we won’t
go there. Both Jap manufacturers released
new versions of their benchmark models,
the CBR1000RR and GSX-R1000, which
we have tried, tested and highly rated
already. For those looking for a bit
more, Honda and Suzuki
offer brand new, highly
48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
for 2017 in the form of the CBR1000RR
SP and, just arrived in SA, GSX-R1000R,
while Kawasaki took an existing brute and
gave us a limited-edition version that’s
lighter, faster and even more track-focused
– the ZX10-RR. Bear in mind the new
ZX10-R base model has already captured
our sportsbike of the year test, but that
was against the other base models,
how does the RR fair against it’s more
racy rivals? That’s the answer we went
searching for in this test…
Where we went
To test these modern day marvels we
ventured out 300plus km to Welkom in
the Free State and the Phakisa circuit – a
track that once hosted MotoGP races. The
track features 11 turns, 7 right-handers
and 4 left-handers. A good combination of
tight and fast corners, hard braking zones,
double apex corners and two very fast
right-handers that not only test a machines
handling capabilities and tyres grip levels,
but also how big whose private parts are.
Especially on these 190hp plus animals
that we tested.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 4 9
Exclusive Group Test
Let’s start with the latest bike to be released
on this test – Suzuki’s new GSX-R1000R.
Notice the extra R on the end. The bike
has literally just landed in SA, and we
were not only the fi rst in
SA to test it, but also the
fi rst to put it up against
two of its main rivals.
While growing up, I
often heard the phrase,
“GSX-R: too much throttle
equals too much hospital,
the bike is an animal.” That
phrase made the bike a very
popular machine around
the world, and here in SA,
there were more GSX-R’s
on race grids, at trackdays
and especially at Drag races than
others. The bug soon bit me and I
jumped at the opportunity to race
one in 2007 and 2008. I wanted that
hyped hooligan machine. Turned out
all the hype was true and yes, there
were a few trips to the hospital.
What made the early GSX-R so
popular and hooligan like was its
extremely direct throttle response with
a powerful engine. If you rode over a
bump in the road or on the track and
your hand twitched the throttle you felt
yourself hanging on to the bars when
they bike reacted almost instantly. The
bike was a great lesson in throttle control.
If you offered little respect to the power
delivery then it was your own dust you’d
be eating. Massive amounts of power with
acceptable handling, that’s pretty much
been all GSX-R models up till now.
The big news for 2017 is that the
new GSX-R’s still have the same pokey
power house engine producing a claimed
199 bhp and all the typical GSX-R
characteristics but now, like the new
Honda, it has caught up and has an
electronics package that works and a
much lighter, more responsive chassis.
I have tested the new Suzuki
GSX-R1000 base model on a number of
occasions now, and loved every second.
I was keen to see if the extra R on the top
spec bike would make any difference. I
was certainly looking forward to the quickshifter
and auto-blip, the only real thing
missing form the base model. I have never
“The bike was a great lesson
in throttle control. If you offered
little respect to the power
delivery then it was your own
dust you’d be eating.”
50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Exclusive Group Test
tested any Suzuki model with a quickshifter,
so was eager to see if it worked
as well as its competitors. The short and
simple answer – YES! In fact, I would go
as far as saying it is one of the best in the
business, certainly in the top 3. Smooth,
silky changes both up and down. This just
added more flavour to an already very tasty
The other differences to the base model
is the addition of Balance Free Showa front
forks, Showa fully adjustable rear shock,
LED strip lights on the front, an inverted
dash display and launch control added to
the electronics package.
The base model is a very good handling
package, with a front end that feels dialed
in every time I have tested it, so was
The more racy front forks do feel a bit
more stable in the turns, especially
through the fast corners, where they
allow you to attack with confidence.
inquisitive to see if the up-specced forks
felt any better. The only real advantage of
the Balance Free forks would be felt by a
fast Group A track rider or current/former
racer. To be honest, they did not feel much
different to the stock forks on the base
model. Still the same responsive, quick
“The new Suzuki GSX-
R1000R is certainly the
bad boy of the bunch.
It’s a reminder of
sportsbikes of the past,
which featured good
HP figures without
Mary Poppins Nanny
turning feel. The forks are pulled through
a bit more than the base model, and this
does make the front end a bit more stable
in the turns. It also loads the front nicely
going through the fast turns.
The bike had standard off-theshowroom-floor
settings, and forks like
this do demand a bit of setup to get the
best out of them, and have a lot more
adjustment compared to the stock ones.
The Suzuki made easy work of the 11
turns at Phakisa. It was easy to change
direction both under acceleration and into
corners. I felt confident even when I was
offline making an overtake. It does get a
bit loose, and when I say loose I mean it
moves around a bit compared to the Honda
and Kawasaki, but once you get used to it
and understand that loose feeling, you really
start enjoying it. It certainly does offer a bit
more of a thrill factor compared to the other
bikes because of the movement.
The new Suzuki GSX-R1000R is
certainly the bad boy of the bunch. It’s a
reminder of sportsbikes of the past, which
featured good HP figures without Mary
52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Poppins Nanny electronics interfering. But
these days, rider aids are a must and the
new GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R is
Suzuki’s first real attempt at this and they
have got a very good balance.
While the engine just wants to break free,
and is in serious need of anger management
classes, the GSX-R1000R has a very good
therapist in the form of traction control,
which helps keep everything sane and
somewhat in control. It’s still very transparent
that Suzuki wants the rider to really feel and
enjoy the hooliganism that comes with riding
its big powered superbike. It’s like a female
praying mantis, very loving and enjoyable
until it bites your head off.
The new electronics allow you to be far
more aggressive on the throttle harnessing
that raw GSX-R power and converting it to
fast drive. You can get harder on the gas
earlier while the bike is still on its ear in the
corner and on exit making it easier to ride
faster. You do this though with eyes slightly
closed and squinting, as you know the big
kick that’s coming could end up badly. Even
though there is that ‘I’m sh#$@ing myself
factor’, you still come out of every turn
without one moment, praising the traction
control and, in this case, the very grippy
Metzeler Racetec tyres, which are a must on
bikes like the three we tested here.
The Suzuki’s electronics give you a bit
more freedom to get loose, and when you
get off you feel like you’ve been on a rollercoaster
ride – It’s wild, thrilling, somewhat
scary but, very exciting!
Once you have achieved ballistic speeds
you need to know that you can get it
stopped. Under hard braking the bike was
stable. Suzuki has upgraded the calipers
to Brembo so it’s a shame that they never
fitted a Brembo master cylinder too. On
track the Nissin master cylinder is not the
best and there was some slight brake
fade, but for the average rider they won’t
even really feel it, just former racers like me
complaining about the small things again.
Speaking of complaining, one thing that
does get under my skin and irritate me a
bit is the fact that ABS comes switched
on all the bikes standard. What makes it
worse, you can’t turn it off, only once you
buy the after-market chip that you plug in
then can you de-activate it. On the Honda,
it can be switched off without the chip
but it then switches all the electronic aids
off, so that doesn’t really help either. The
ABS, especially on the Suzuki, really does
interfere and took control away from me. I
could not brake as hard and late as I would
have liked to as the ABS would kick in, and
that feeling of the lever pumping in your
fingers is horrible. The brakes still work and
get the job done but it’s really not a nice
feeling. Surely on modern day sportsbike,
which let’s be real here, are more track
bred than anything else, should have the
option of turning ABS on for when you hit
the road? Or at least come with the option
of turning off without interfering with other
aids. I for one hope they all go this route.
Ok, that’s all for the complaints box.
The early GSX-R’s were bulky with a
long reach to the handlebars; you felt like
you were sitting on high top of the bike
rather than in it. The 2005 bikes were more
compact with less reach to the bars and
you sat lower in the bike which was a much
better riding position and while the 2017
version feels even more compact it’s still
more bulky than its competitors. First thing
I would have liked to do is widen the bars.
Slightly narrower than others, very much
Overall, very impressed with this new
bike, well worthy of the extra R. But I will be
honest and say only real experienced riders
will get the best out of and appreciate what
the R has to offer. So the base model is still
a very good option.
At R275,000, it’s the cheapest of the elite
bunch, which is another big tick in the right
box for this machine.
Pros: Best priced • Superb electronics
• Silky smooth quick-shifter and auto-blip
• Aggresive acceleration • Proper fast
Cons: Noah’s Arc exhaust • Plain Mirrors
• No braided hoses • Why no Seat Cowl?
• Same colours as base model
Overall Rating: 8/10 (combined vote)
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 5 3
Exclusive Group Test
The Ohlins electronic suspension
worked like a treat out on track
Honda CBR1000RR SP
Celebrating 25 years of Honda Fireblades,
the 2017 version is a beautiful bike that
keeps the silhouette of the previous
generations of Fireblade. Just like the
Suzuki, we have waited a long time to see
a new model from Honda, and just like
Suzuki, two new ones have now hit SA
shores. We have tested and rated both the
RR and SP version earlier in the year, with
the RR finishing in 2nd place in our base
sportsbike of the year test. Now how will
the SP do against its rivals?
The first thing to say about the SP is
that it’s properly gorgeous. It’s not quite at
the Ducati level of build quality and sexual
design as yet (despite approaching it in
terms of price). But it’s not far off. The SP
has some headline differences that stand
out – chief amongst them the electronically
controlled Öhlins suspension, superbikespec
Brembo brake calipers, and a singleseat
subframe and tail unit. And under the
exquisite tri-colour bodywork lies a titanium
fuel tank and lithium battery, all the better to
shave the weight off…
Unquestionably, the Fireblade SP is
the lightest of the three, has the shortest
wheelbase, the lowest seat height and
yes, is the most expensive but with the
most advanced of all the trick electronics
and rider aids on show. And it’s that
combination which instantly proves to
be successful as an easy-to-ride, welldeveloped,
friendly sportsbike. Designed to
look and feel at home on track the Honda
is, well, typically Honda, in the way the
“It’s a rewarding bike to ride and
the sense of build quality and
refinement is in abundance”
chassis, tyres, suspension, engine, gearbox
all gel so well.
It’s a rewarding bike to ride and the sense of
build quality and refinement is in abundance.
Honda has stuck proudly to the “Total
Control” mantra that’s been the fabric of
every CBR it’s designed. To accept these
bikes is to buy into the belief that an easy
bike to ride is a fast bike.
To a racer, that’s sometimes a tough
concept to wrap your head around. You
want power, and you want agility, and you
want it all wrapped up in a package that
makes mincemeat of any racetrack. The
Honda is not fully that bike. The CBR is
almost too friendly, with less bottom-end
grunt than any other bike in the group and
comparatively very little top-end power.
Part of the Honda’s user-friendly nature
stems from its lack of power, and we’ll
admit to nearly every test rider saying they
were hoping for more, espe cially at corner
exit. Here, the GSX-R and Kawasaki has
just a little bit more grunt. The gear ratios
also felt a bit taller, so had to be a gear
lower in every turn.
54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
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Exclusive Group Test
The fl y-by-wire is new tech for the 2017
model and offers satisfying reward. Punish
the throttle and the front wheel will lift, just.
Trust the electronics though and keep the
gas on while the bike calmly puts the front
back down again. It’s all part of the refi ned,
smoothness of the Honda experience. On
the brakes and the lever, its master cylinder
and the Brembo-supported discs will do
everything required on the road and more.
On the track, I felt as though the lever
came back to the bar too quickly – and by
adjusting the lever, it just makes it too far
away for my liking. Just like the Suzuk,i the
ABS did irritate me.
Despite all the horror stories of the new
Honda’s gearbox, I have had nothing but
good experiences with it. Here again, the
SP’s quick-shift and auto-blip are easy and
effortless, very confi dence inspiring.
The Honda’s electronics package is top
notch, and unlike the Suzuki features EBC
(Engine Brake Control), which I really enjoy
as I am a rider that relies on lots of engine
braking going into a turn. The traction
control is a little bit to intrusive, restricting
what is very easy-to-handle power a bit too
much. You need the traction control set on
at least 2 on both the Suzuki and Kawasaki,
but the Honda’s easy, not-as-powerful
delivery, is very easy to use and I found it
best switched off. With top grade Metzeler
Racetec tyres fi tted, I was getting all the
grip I needed so didn’t need the traction
control interrupting my fun.
What really separates the SP from the
other two bikes, the base model RR and
makes the price tag the highest (R300,000),
is the addition of the Ohlins Electronic
Suspension. The settings adjust both the
compression and rebound damping force
of the fork and shock and can either be
used in accordance with the three pre-set
riding modes or using the two manual
mode settings can be adjusted for rider
preference. The set-up is hellishly good
too, gliding over the imperfections in the
run down Phakisa tar without so much as
a wobble or shake. Its sportsbike prowess
with road-going perfection were more than
up to the task making mincemeat of the
faster sweeping bends. This is where the
Blade had the biggest advantage over the
other bikes. Because of it’s slender weight
(around 3kg’s lighter than the Suzuki and
6kg’s than the Kawasaki) and brilliantly
setup suspension, it was the easiest to fl ick
through the fast turns, especially the two
fast right hander’s off the back straight. This
is where I felt the biggest gains, because of
it’s supersport like feel I was able to carry
maximum speed without any hesitation,
even at the end of the day when the tyres
were a bit shagged.
For me the SP’s ergonomics are perfect.
For my size and the way I like to ride
everything felt in the right place, from
the bars to the
There’s plenty of room to slide around the
tank and the seat has enough space to push
right back when assuming the racing crouch.
Out of the three bikes I felt the comfi est
and fastest on the SP. It suited my
riding style to a tee and its less-is-more
philosophy is something that I feel more
riders should be taking more serious. The
SP is such a fi ne machine, so easy to ride
and ultimately as rewarding. I believe the
bike has unfairly suffered in the dealerships
because of the race-oriented SP2’s lack of
immediate success on the racetrack. Try
it, you might just like it. I do and I can’t get
enough of it.
Pros: Best handling • Superb electronics
• Total control factor • Easy on the eyes
• Sounds amazing • Best dash
• Silky smooth quick-shifter and auto-blip
Cons: Needs a bit more power • Traction
control a bit too much • No braided hoses
Overall Rating: 8/10 (combined vote)
The SP was a bit more
exciting without the
electronic aids on, and
very easy to handle.
56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
HARD TO BEAT,
DEVELOPED TO WIN THE ROAD RACES.
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Discover more on metzeler.co.za
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Exclusive Group Test
Get on, go fast, and enjoy
every second - that’s what
the ZX-10RR is all about.
After releasing the new version of the
ZX10R in 2016, Kawasaki decided to do
something they have not done in a long
time for 2017, and release a homologated
special of its flagship litre sportsbike. It has
an abundance of performance potential that
could (if your desire and pockets run deep
enough) sit you on the grid of a WSB race.
The obvious changes from the standard
bike are lighter Marchesini seven-spoke
forged aluminium wheels, no pillion seat or
foot pegs and styling based on the factory
teams winter testing livery. Overall, in my
humble opinion, the looks are stealthy,
poised and dare I say it, sexy. Aesthetics
aside, the ZX-10RR also has some new
goodies under the hood. KQS (Kawasaki
Quick Shifter and auto blipper), diamondlike
carbon coated cut tappets, highly rigid
crankcases and a modified cylinder head
ready to take a high state of tune.
We got a taste of the new RR at the
beginning of the year, and simply loved it.
Out of the three on test here, it’s the easiest
to get on and feel right at home. It’s a wellbalanced
machine that translates track feel
impeccably, with superior handling, power
delivery and electronics.
The RR feels like a typical ZX-10R with
widely splayed and low bars that are ideal
for racers who want to muscle a bike around
and also demand high pegs for ground
clearance. It’s one of those riding positions
that puts you quite forward on the machine,
over the front for ultimate grip. It’s a funny
kind of comfortable, hard to explain.
Hitting the brakes for the first time, it’s
apparent these anchors are seriously strong
as I find myself releasing the lever as I’m
scrubbing off more speed than intended
(hate that). Even though it also features ABS,
the feeling was so much better than on the
Honda and Suzuki. I could brake as late
and as hard as I liked, and there was a tiny
shudder but nothing like on the other two.
The better brake feel could also be down
to the fact that Kawasaki did not skimp
and added braided hoses to the ZX10RR
in stock trim. Find it a bit weird that Suzuki
and Honda did not do this on their top of
the range offerings?
The specs will tell you that the ZX-10RR
is the heaviest and longest of the bikes
tested here, and I could feel that going
through the turns. It was most noticeable
going through the fast turns 2 and 3 at
Phakisa, where you are flat out in 4th gear
and have to flick the bike from right to left.
It’s not as easy to get into the corners as
the other bikes, or flick through the fast
sweeps, but you only notice this after
having ridden the other two.
The Kawasaki takes the cake in the
traction control department. Not only does
it work really well, but it lets you know it’s
working, with a crackle and gargle that
sounds oh so factory. The ZX10RR also has
the most rock’n’roll sound track coming
out of the titanium exhaust, and the pop
sound you hear when shifting through the
silky smooth quick-shifter and bang down
through the auto-blip is contagious.
The gearbox ratios on the RR are more
track-focused, so the cassette-type
“Out of the three on test here,
it’s the easiest to get on and feel
right at home. It’s a well-balanced
machine that translates track feel
impeccably, with superior handling,
power delivery and electronics.”
58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
transmission is close-ratio, with second
through sixth gears shortened to enhance
corner exit speed.
There’s not really much to fault on the
ZX10RR. It does everything you ask of it
and very well. Its planted all-round feel has
you in dreamland. It’s more like a limo ride –
ultra comfortable and seductive. If anything,
I would want the ride to be a bit more racy,
like the Suzuki and Honda, but it would be
a bit harsh to hold that against it.
The big question I get asked is should all
the 2016 ZX-10R owners be jealous they
didn’t hold out for the RR? Well possibly not.
In reality, the bike won’t feel much different
due to sharing the same power and similar
weight, but with the addition of the race kit
added, the RR can be taken to a whole new
level. Basically, think of this limited-edition
The ZX-10RR and new
GSX-R1000R are so
evenly matched in the
Kawasaki as a considered platform to build
an incredibly fast track weapon.
At R289,900, you get a lot of bike with
loads of potential waiting to be unleashed!
Pros: Loud and proud • Superb electronics
• It has braided hoses (YAY!) • Proper fast
• Aggresive acceleration • Brilliant anchors
Cons: Dash in serious need of an upgrade
• Same colours as base model (winter test)
Overall Rating: 8.5/10 (combined vote)
HELPING US CONTROL
ALL THAT POWER
When ever we test big modern day 1000cc
angry beasts we make sure we fit only the best
rubber available to help control all that anger.
For this test, we decided to use Metzelers’ new
Racetec RR tyres, which are available in 200 size
rears, ideal for these bikes.
We chose to use the K1 compound on the
front, and the K2 compound on the rear, as the
Phakisa surface is not very forgiving.
Out on track front end grip was out of this
world. The only movement experienced was
progressive and telling. They’re very talkative and
it’s easy to feel your way in and around a corner.
The tyres feel stiff under load, so they don’t
squat under trail braking and have no problem
handling hard acceleration.
We managed around 45 laps on the tyres, and
the fronts still looked in good nick and had plenty
of grip left, while the rears looked very worn,
almost slick like, but they did job!
Metzeler tyres are back big time in SA, through
TiMoto the new importer. The Racetec RR range
is available in 120 front and 180, 190 and 200
size rears. Pricing starts from R4800 for a set.
Check out www.metzeler.co.za for more info.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 5 9
Exclusive Group Test
There really is not much to fault any one of these
awesome machines. They are well worth their ‘Elite’
status and worth every penny!
We have raved about all these machines
when we tested them earlier in the year, and
this test once again showcased how good
all these machines are. When choosing
which is ‘the best bike’ we are left to split
the proverbial hair. So we are forced to go
through everything with a fine comb, and
find those little things that could cost each
individual bike at the end.
All three bikes have top grade electronics
packages, which are easy to operate
and understand. The Suzuki’s rider aids
and instruments are a little more fiddly to
operate and lack the slickness the rest of
the package has. And the dash could use
some colour and a little less information.
Does look a little crowded.
The Honda’s colour LCD dash is superb,
while the Kawasaki’s Night Rider display is
less desirable and in need of an upgrade.
The Suzuki wins out in the power
department, has more of a thrill factor, and
it’s the cheapest of the lot - R15k cheaper
than the Kawa and R25k than the Honda
SP. The Honda could use some extra
ponies, but for me was the best handling
while the Kawasaki just did everything
really well, and in the overall vote picked up
the most thumbs up making it the overall
winner of the test. Out of the 5 test riders
we had, 3 voted the Kawasaki as their
outright winner, with the Suzuki and Honda
getting one winning vote each, so it was
The fact is there’s not a bike that
deserves to be third and if you had
R275-R300,000 burning a hole in
your pocket (split over several years or
otherwise) then you would be foolish not to
test each rival and take into consideration
where and when you’ll ride it.
To sum up all three bikes I would
describe it like this:
Me and my three Japanese sportsbike freak
mates walk into a bar packed with tattooed
up, bearded Harley-Davidson nutters. Things
get a bit heated. My mate, Suzuki GSX-
R1000R, doesn’t ask any questions and
starts throwing fists wanting the thrill of a fight.
60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
My other mate, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, tries
to negotiate first, and if need be will happily
jump in and fight, while my third mate, Honda
CBR1000RR SP, would like to calm the
situation down and offers to buy everyone a
drink and go their separate ways.
I personally chose the SP as my winner.
For a former racer like me I could really
appreciate and get the best out of the SP.
I just felt so comfortable with the bike from
the start. I could really use the power on
hand and felt a bit more in control on the
SP than on the others.
But I would still gladly have either the
Suzuki GSX-R1000R or Kawasaki ZX-
10RR parked in my garage.
The prices we have mentioned in this
test are recommend retail only. I happen
to know that if you ask nicely enough, you
could get some very tasty deals!
Michael Powell says
The Suzuki GSXR1000R, to me was the
better bike out of all 3 that we had tested.
However it was only performing well once
you go fast around the track! The traction
control works so well it does not feel like it
bogs the bike down, the problem with that
is you have a little voice whispering in your
left ear saying “Hey buddy, go faster, ride
harder” and you can do it but everyone has
their limit and every bike has its limit.
The shorter wheelbase and improved
forks helps the bike turn in so great and
hold the line you have chosen, whether it’s
a fast flowing corner or a short tight corner.
The quick-shifter and auto-blip is so
smooth and combined, it works like a
dream! This machine is by far the best out
of all three bikes.
The Kawasaki ZX10RR: I have tested
this bike earlier in the year and really
enjoyed it. The lighter wheels, titanium
header pipe, the quick-shifter as well as
the auto-blip on the bike are all together
great, however the quick-shifter on the
flick to right and then the left, was not
shifting as smoothly as the Suzuki.
You can feel it’s the longest bike of all
three when turning into corners, you have
to really work the bike. If you have a large
and proud dad pouch, it makes it easier
to move the bike around. One of the many
things I enjoyed about the bike was the
brakes! Yes it has ABS as well but you do
not feel them trying to work. The brakes on
this bike was the best of all three.
Honda CBR1000RR SP1: One of the
greatest things I enjoy about this bike was
the electronic suspension. It is by far the
best that I have ever tested! The brakes
to me are not the greatest and the ABS
system works too much, giving you the
feeling that you do not have proper brakes
or control. With the short wheelbase, it’s
effortless to turn in and hold a line but, on
the slower tighter corners, the bike does
not have the power or grunt to get you out
the corner fast enough. Yet, on the faster
corners, like coming off the back straight,
you’re able to go in flat out.
I just feel that Honda should have given
the SP model 10 to 15 more horse power
to make it the perfect bike, it lacks that.
So overall let me sum it up for you...
The Suzuki is like pushing the limit with
your wife - until - she snaps and you are
either dead or extremely sorry that you
pushed her to the edge!
The Kawasaki is a like a wife that will let
you know if she’s unhappy right away, by
screaming and making a noise faster and
louder than a 2 stroke hitting the rev limiter!
The Honda is the perfect wife!! The one
that just lets you do what you want, when
you want, how you want while standing
there smiling and loving you!
I don’t know about you guys, but I
love pushing the limit with my wife to see
where exactly that limit is and living for the
adrenaline pump of that snap! FYI.. I am
the Suzuki type of guy!
Morne Krynauw says
My winning bike: Kawasaki ZX-10RR.
At my level of riding the bike does
everything I would want for a track bike.
It sounds amazing, it handles like it’s on
rails, it’s mighty fast and most importantly
the brakes work really well. And to top it all
off the electronic package just works.
Second up: Suzuki GSX-R1000
I would say if I had more time tuning
the suspension and getting to know the
electronics it would’ve been better for me,
but with its awesome power delivery, it was
a lot of work and I was getting a bit tired.
A superb bike none-the-less and I am
loving 1000cc bikes these days.
Third up: Honda CBR1000RR SP
I would’ve loved to spend more time on
the track with the Honda, but the little time
I had on it felt light and nibble and narrow,
reminds me of a 600.
But for now, for what I want in a bike
is a bit of a bar fight, and I want to get off
a bike and be like “Yeah I’m alive”. The
Blade, although I can’t really fault it, just
doesn’t have the same ‘WOW’ factor as
the Kawasaki and Suzuki.
THE OTHER ELITES
Sadly we were not able to round-up all the ‘Elite’
models for this test. Yamaha SA do not have a
R1-M demo, while Aprilia’s new RSV4 RF has
not yet arrived, and Ducati only take orders for
their Panigale Final Edition, as they are waiting
for the new V4 to come next year.
All three would have been worthy contenders,
and while we have tested, and raved about the
Yamaha R1-M, we have not yet had the honour
of testing the other two. So, if you are the proud
owner of one of the only 650 made Ducati
Panigale Final Editions, or plan on buying the
new RSV4 RF when it arrives, then give us a call
and we will gladly help run (hammer) your bike
in. Pretty Please!!!
Here is a general look at each of the bikes that
have that ‘Elite’ status:
YAMAHA R1M - R390,000
The R1M is as close to Rossi’s Yamaha M1
MotoGP as one could possibly get. The Ohlins
electronic suspension is the highest spec
available, and is complemented with loads more
top specced race parts.
It is a true track-bred machine that will make any
ordinary rider look and feel extraordinary.
APRILIA RSV4 RF - R319,999
Set to arrive at Cayenne SA very shortly, the Aprilia
RSV4 RF is kitted out with everything it needs to
be called a World SBK with mirrors and lights.
Top grade Ohlins suspension front and rear, with
a V4 engine that will make any man cry.
We hope to get the new RF model to test in the
next month or so, and not only see if it’s worth
all the hype, but also see how it compares to the
three we tested here.
DUCATI PANIGALE R FINAL EDITION - R650,000
The lightest of all the ‘Elite’ bikes, the last ever
V-Twin powered Ducati superbike is a true piece of
art. Just like the rest it brings MotoGP and World
SBK technology closer to the market than ever
before. 210HP of pure drooling material, wrapped
in to a gorgeous Italian silhouette. The double
Akrapovic pipes are worth the price tag alone.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 6 1
62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
REBEL A CAUSE!
The crew at Zeemans Motorcycles took the already unique looking
Buell and turned it into something very out of the ordinary - We
meet their very own ZUELL. Words: Rob Portman Pics: Kyle Lawrenson
Usually when testing bikes for RideFast
it’s all about power, electronics and
handling, all the good stuff. This test
was slightly different.
If you pop into Zeemans Motorcycles
in the South of JHB, you’ll be greeted by
something very aggressive on the showroom
fl oor, not a Rottweiler, but something far
The Zuell. Yup - we’d also never heard of
one - and no surprise. This is a Buell that has
been - well - Zeeman’d.
When I was fi rst told about the Zuell, I
thought it was just another back yard custom
build. But when I walked into the dealership
and saw it in the fl esh for the fi rst time, I was
left speechless (something that does not
happen often). It’s very eye-catching and its
bad-ass persona gets the senses tingling.
So, naturally I asked the owner and
builder, Bradley Zeeman, If I could take it for
a test ride and do a feature on it. Well, I think
his answer is pretty clear…
How it all began
A few years ago, the Zeeman clan traded
in a 2003 Buell XB9-R, a bike that I am very
familiar with having raced one for Harley-
Davidson SA back in 1998, when I was a
skinny, snot nosed, fast 16-year old. I raced
it in the BOTTS (Battle of the Twins) Regional
championship and picked up a fair few
podiums, even up against the bigger, better,
and way more expensive Ducati machines.
The XB9-R is a very exciting bike,
and very much considered a bad-ass. A
hooligans dream machine. I still see some
pop up here and there, mostly being ridden
on the back wheel.
When Zeemans traded it in, it had a
few problems, like a seized gearbox. They
decided that rather than just fi xing it and
trying to sell it, they wanted to do something
a bit unique and special.
Both Keith and son Bradley have always
had a passion for building custom cars and
bikes, so this was right up their alley.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 6 3
This build was inspired by Keith fathers old
AJS racebike. The bike was stripped down
and the Harley gearbox and engine was
overhauled. Interesting is the fact that none
of the Harley guys would help them with the
bike because it was a Buell… but master
builder and famous road racer himself, Keith
got it sorted.
6 Months and plenty of hours went into this
very unique build, and the result is stunning!
Loads of custom made parts, from the
integrated battery box, tanned hand stiched
leather seat with braided seams and Lauri
Zeemans race number 61, to the blade type
levers and headlights.
So it looks cool, but how does it go?
From the moment I hit the big red start
button, I knew I was in for a unique ride.
When the word ‘unique’ is used for a bike,
it generally means the word comfortable
cannot be used, and that’s very much
apparent for the Zuell. It is by no means
comfortable. I do however love the
nice wide bars, but that’s about it. It’s
stiff and very rigid. Typical streetfi ghter.
Everything about this bike is aggressive,
from the riding position to the brake and
clutch levers, which could easily be used
as weapons in a road rage urtication.
While the brake lever is sharp looking,
the actual brakes are old school. My
fore-arm got quite a workout, as I had
to really pull the lever to get any kind of
The throttle is also really tough, with a
very long stroke, something I have not had
to deal with in a very long time. No fl y-bywire
feeling here, very much the old school
cable. There is a lot to be said for more
Once I got the throttle to the point where
it actually works, it awakens the beast that
is the Zuell motor. This bike is all about low
down power, and there is plenty of it. There
is a typical Buell vibration that shakes the
entire bike and your brain about. There is a
bit of relief in the form of the gearbox, which
is surprisingly smooth and a pleasure to use.
But that’s the only time the word ‘smooth’
can be used on this bike. Everything else is
tough, rugged and all about attitude.
Handling is pretty good, considering the
bike is fi tted with wet weather tyres. When
I asked Brad “why oh why”, his simple
answer to me was ‘because it looks really
cool, and it rains a lot now’. He does have
a point. While its completely imparatical and
ridiculous, they do really look cool and it is
rainy season after all. That did mean that
any kind of lean angle on the beautiful sunny
JHB day was completely out of the question.
There’s not much that makes sense on
this bike, especially for everyday use. But
that is the beauty of it. It goes against the
grain and rebels against societies popular
demands. Its rebellious nature makes you
forget about it’s imperfections and leaves
you craving more.
It’s got more attitude than a teenager,
more fl air than a WWE Superstar Wrestler
and will steals eyes faster than Jennifer
Aniston in a bikini.
The exhausts, or lack there of, are louder
than South Africa’s cries for a new President,
and I would hate to be Bradleys next door
neighbor. Hearing the Zuell start up and
ride out everyday must be quite painful,
but riding the bike, you can’t help but love
the soundtrack and feel like Billy Idol - The
Go and check it out. Attitude personifi ed
and a great custom by one of South Africa’s
most famous motorcycle families.
64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
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YEAR END COMBO
We’ve come to learn a lot about the demands of MotoGP thanks to Red Bull KTM’s exploits through a 2016
of testing and now a maiden season in the Grand Prix paddock but we decided to ask Pol Espargaró’s Chief
Mechanic Christophe Leonce a bit more about having a job in the orange and blue shirt…
Words: Adam Wheeler Pics: KTM Images
KTM´s MotoGP team manager Mike
Leitner told us recently on the KTM Blog
about the challenge of constructing a race
team to slide directly into the competitive
maelstrom of MotoGP where the greatest
expense goes into the smallest detail to
make the tiniest bit of difference per lap.
Venturing deeper in the Red Bull KTM
garage, we wanted to find out a bit more
about the toil and hours put into the racing
effort on a MotoGP weekend. We find the
smiley and gregarious Christophe Leonce
willing to chat in a break between Free
Practice 1 and 2 at MotorLand for the
Grand Prix of Aragon before the teams
and paddock move to a three weeks
existence living and working out of freight
cases for the ‘triple’ in Japan, Australia
and Malaysia. “Looking on TV it seems
super-exciting but we are often in a loop of
47 year old smiles. “It’s a
routine, and almost like
a normal job in the end.
You can only stay in this
world for a long time if
you have the passion for
it and if you enjoy it. It’s
tough and you need a lot
of patience to do many
years in racing.”
Leonce has been
wielding the spanners
for teams in Grand
Prix for thirty years and through a variety
of motorcycles and technology. The KTM
RC16 is his first Austrian charge and the
progress through the bike’s refinement in
the hands of Catalan Espargaró has been
nothing short of impressive: KTM cutting
down a deficit per lap of more than two
seconds at Qatar for the opening round and
are now top ten runners and semi-regular
runners in Q2 on Saturdays.
“The KTM is different because of that
steel tubular frame chassis compared to the
aluminium used by the Japanese,” he says
of the distinction of the fetching orange
motorcycle. “At this stage we are constantly
developing so it means a lot of new parts
and chassis’ and the bike can be tricky to
work on. As soon as we have the settled
base for 2018 we can then take care of the
tiny details and it will be easier. You have
to be able to work fast on a GP bike, and
everything is assembled the same way. In
the end it is a bike: chassis, engine and two
66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
In between engines being started – the
KTM RC16’s rasping howl meaning we
have to exit the pit box and continue our
talk outside where we’re flanked by staff
moving in and out of race trucks and into
the generous garage space – we probe
more into Christophe’s day-to-day role and
that of the 30-40 crew around him …
OK, describe a typical Grand Prix
schedule and workload…
“So, we arrive at the circuit Wednesday
morning around 8-9am and start to build
up the pit box and we’re usually done
before lunchtime. In the afternoon, we start
on the bikes. It is then a day-and-a-half of
work doing maintenance. One of the two
bikes will be completely stripped, cleaned,
checked and updated with new parts. We
follow a spec sheet for the build and before
we start the bike on Thursday Jenny, our
data engineer, checks everything and all the
sensors. After firing up the bike we check
everything again. Always checking. On
Friday, Saturday and Sunday we go through
the same process: arrival at the circuit,
starting and checking the bikes – things
like the sensors and electronic parts and
bleeding the brakes and clutch every day
– then jobs like emptying and weighing the
gas tank for consumption. Thirty minutes
before practice we will start the bikes again
with race fuel but still with ‘transport’ tires,
which is rubber we use to move them
around; the race tires stay in the back of
the garage under the tire warmers. That last
check also involves the computer system.
Finally, we change the tires to race spec
and then the bike is ready to go.”
Which day tends to be busier
or more frantic? The build? The
stress of Qualifying? Or the nerves
of the race?
“Qualifying and practice can be a bit
more stressful because you don’t want
to make a mistake and you have to be
smart and alert to what could happen. You
almost have to be ready for things before
they happen! Wednesday and Thursday
are busier days and after that it is a matter
of maintenance and small improvements.
When you send the guys onto the track
you should have eliminated any problems
because of the checks but you can never
reduce that risk to zero; you can never have
everything under full control in motorsport.”
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 67
What about breaking the whole
structure down and packing
the bikes? Are they transported
in their entirety or are they
“The bike is transported as it is. We don’t
break it down but we have to be careful
because the engine uses a pneumatic
valve system so we have to use a transport
‘bottle’ which is a tank with some air
inside at low pressure to keep the valves in
position. If you don’t put the pressure then
maybe you drop the valves. That’s basically
the only measure we take. There is no fuel
in the bike but the water stays. Breakdown
is just a process. You assemble it one way
and disassemble it another. We usually do
it all together as a team, and that’s nice and
How is the relationship with Pol?
Do you have much interaction
“Pol is a young rider but he looks like he
doesn’t carry a lot of pressure. He seems to
eliminate it with little jokes and laughing and
it’s pretty cool to have that. I’ve had riders
that will come into the garage completely
serious and not talk to anybody. It is a
big difference for me. Pol is already very
experienced so he makes suggestions. It’s
good to work with him.”
The enormous Red Bull Energy
Station is also new for 2017. It
seems like the ideal place – it’s
certainly big enough – to take a
suitable break from the garage…
“It is fantastic because you can go there
and see different people who are not
stressed by the racing and the crew there
take great care of us. It’s a nice place to go
and relax when you have finished the job.”
Lastly, Red Bull KTM is a new team
so did it take some time to gel with
the people around you? To find
“I’m happy about this because people have
been in place a short time and many are
new to KTM but have been busy testing
and developing the bikes. Everybody kind
of knows what he or she has to do and
there is a good ambience. The team is
young … but the people in the race team
have many years of experience so they
know the job. It is easier to take staff that
know this world. New people can bring a
lot of energy in the beginning but they also
get to a point where they are like ‘whoah’,
maybe because the results are not coming
or the quantity of work but like I said the
most important thing is to have passion for
68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Exclusive First Ride
70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
This test brought to you by
Proudly imported by www.dmd.co.za
Riding the REVmonkee
If you thought it was impossible to make Kawasaki’s H2 even more spectacular,
then think again. Dutch motorcycle gear firm REV’IT! basically gave Danish
custom builder Wrenchmonkees a blank check to do just that, and they did not
disappoint; meet the REVmonkee. Words: Jarno van Osch Pics: Mark Meisner
seemingly random rental van
pulls up onto the massive
parking lot near the Mehliskopf
mountain. The ski resort ridden area in
Sand bei Bühl is abandoned this Monday
morning, but we hadn’t come all this
way to hit the slopes anyway. What we
did come here for is still sitting quietly
in the back of that Volkswagen Crafter
van. Blankets still cover its beauty as
the doors are opened. Once the bike
has been unloaded the morning sun
lights up every detail. It’s quite hard to
recognize what parts made it a Kawasaki
H2 once. Wrenchmonkees have really
gone to town on this one, taking over
almost every inch of the mean green
supercharged hyperbike. Asking why
that is, we soon discover it was all part
of the plan. ‘We never intended to make
any modifi cations to the frame, nor have
we touched the engine. Those two parts
are the essentials; the bits that house
the power of the H2. For us to dive into
that, would be pointless’, Per Nielsen
explains. Together with Nicholas Bech
he got going adapting the things they
could make their own. ‘They started
out with a simplistic and gorgeous
trellis frame, after which they’ve sort of
gotten lost in complexity, making the
H2 look something of a U.F.O.. And of
course, the design received acclaim, but
mostly because of that extremity, not so
much its beauty. Its over the top-ness is
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 7 1
Exclusive First Ride
This test brought to you by
Proudly imported by www.dmd.co.za
Many an influence
It should be obvious both Bech and Nielsen
aren’t the biggest fans in the world when
it comes to the original H2 design, so they
stripped it bare. Starting again with nothing
but the frame and the motor, the Danish
custom builders got to it. Bech: ‘Getting the
clay models just right to make the tank and
seat work was the biggest challenge. It was
terribly time consuming because in the end
it all had to work and fi t together perfectly.’
Getting the esthetics just right meant certain
technical parts had to be rearranged, if only
just to make room. The original gas tank,
for instance, was removed entyrely. Its fuel
now houses in two smaller reservoirs stored
under the seat unit.
Another change they made is more
obvious, since the iconic fairing is missing. If
you know your stuff, you’ll know right away
what other Kawasaki bike Wrenchmonkees
borrowed a fairing from. That frontend
should instantly tell you a ZX-7R donated
its fairing to the project. ‘We really like those
late eighties, early nineties superbikes, like
Honda’s RC30, the Ducati 888, and the
Kawasaki ZX-7R.’ And to be honest, the
fairing they stole off of that green nineties
superbike does not look out of place at all.
One of the iconic air intakes was sealed,
while the other feeds the supercharger
through an alloy intake, welded by hand
entyrely. On the opposite end of the fairing
you fi nd another aluminum tube that houses
some of the masses of wiring.
The rear of the bike no longer shows
much of the H2s lines either. The massive
single sided swingarm with its eye catching
star shaped wheel had to make way for
an alloy trellis double sided swinger. This
wasn’t necessarily done to keep within
the trellis theme, but more so to add even
more performance to the equation. GIA
Engineering from Nottingham in the UK
lent their expertise to the project, making a
lighter and even stiffer rear swinging arm.
All for looks
But apart that made to spec swingarm,
there’s even more performance brought
in elsewhere. The Danish custom builders
swapped out frontends, ditching the
Brembo calipers. The French brake
magicians at Beringer shipped over radially
mounted Aerotec four pot calipers gripping
330 millimeter Aeronal discs. ‘It looks
purposeful; it looks race. Like an endurance
racer’, Nielsen claims. Look more careful,
and you’ll spot Hyperpro stickers as well,
as the Dutch suspension fi rm sorted out
the suspension on the bike. ‘They didn’t
just work on the internals and lower the
front, but they reanodised the forks as
well. All in all they managed to shave off a
kilo and a half off the front alone.’ The rear
was treated to a made to measure shock,
as the custom swingarm limited space.
But nothing the folks at Hyperpro couldn’t
handle. ‘At fi rst glance it nothing looks to
challenging, but the custom rear shock
72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
absorber has completely different mounting
points; to get that to work…’
Not just show…
After that evasive bit of surgery,
Wrenchmonkees and REV’IT! showed their
bike to the world at the annual Bike Shed event
in London, England. Onlookers seemed to love
its looks and the incredible craftsmanship that
had gone into the project, but still any and all
compliments were based on looks alone. It was
at this year’s edition of Glemseck 101 where it
got to prove a point; it’s not just show – it’s just
as much go! It annihilated the competition, and
with Per Nielsen at the throttle it won the eighth
mile sprint during the Sunday of the Beast
Within 24 hours of that sound victory,
the REVmonkee is now standing out in the
sun near Schwarzwaldhochstrasse. The
photographer makes most of the large
parking lot, taking in every square inch of the
customized H2. You can try all you like, but
it gets increasingly more diffi cult to make out
a Kawasaki here. People who own or have
ridden an H2 before might recognize the
engine, the frame, and perhaps the dash, but
apart from that you’ll have a hard time getting
your head around it. It’s a matter of taste of
course, but if you ask me they’ve done a great
job in draping a sweet design over the big,
blown straight four. It works, especially looking
at the new rear swingarm that adds an extra
line to it, emulating the lines in the main frame.
This is one tasteful homage to the nineties
Though Wrechmonkees haven’t taken a
single cover off of the engine, they did manage
to make some extra power by fi tting a sprint
spec air fi lter and SC Project exhaust system.
According to the builders it’s churning out 198
horsepower at the wheel, which should come
down to roughly 210 at the crank. Bech: ‘But
don’t forget we’ve put the bike on one hell
of a diet, too. It weighs well over twenty kilos
less than stock.’ Meaning it should be quite bit
quicker than a normal H2, as far as you could
describe any H2 Kawasaki as normal.
Any way you put it, it at least sounds like a
monstrously fast motorcycle. The SC Project
silencer was shortened quite a bit and then
they removed pretty much all of the sound
proofi ng material as well; fi lling the German
Swartz Wald with a deafening noise with every
touch of the throttle.
The tiniest blip reawakens the sheer
excitement of standing next to an H2 in me.
The needle shoots across the tacho, as the
chirp from the supercharger pierces the air.
What an incredible sound! It’s hard to put down
into words how good the raspy four cylinder
motor growls, with compliments of the good
people of SC Project. Deafeningly beautiful just
about cuts it.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 73
Exclusive First Ride
This test brought to you by
Proudly imported by www.dmd.co.za
The orgasmic soundtrack fi lls me
with mixed emotions. It’s a cocktail of
excitement and a hint of fear, knowing I’m
about to open up an exclusive machine like
this. The explosive package is intimidating
to say the least, but it is an opportunity you
can’t pass up on. The heavy clutch lever
is pulled and with fi rst gear selected I roll
onto Schwarzwaldhochstrasse; a stretch of
road worthy of taking on this beast. Where
I get on, the road is still straight, so I pin
it, instantly experiencing what it must feel
like for an astronaut being launched into
the stratosphere, clinging to the clip-ons
as best I can. Putting the quickshifter to
work, I hit second. It looks as though the
tachometer needle is having as hard a
time to keep up as I do. At just over 200
kilometers an hour I roll off, as it sets in
the REVmonkee really goes one up on the
H2. The 20 kilo weight loss, that ear drum
shattering SC Project pipe; it all pitches in.
All of it add to feeling like you’re getting off
the line on Jonathan Rea’s championship
winning race bike. Not the worst of
On the next bit of straight road I realize
I don’t have time to focus on the rev
counter. I try to divide my attention from
one to the other; tacho, road, tacho. White
digits light up; 6, 8, 10. I pull her straight
into the red, before I put the Beringers to
work. At these speeds it doesn’t feel like
you get instant full-stoppage, but as you
shed more speed, the brakes do their work
increasingly more effi ciently. It really shines
through these France made stoppers are
worth their weight in gold. Comparing
them to the stock Brembo’s is diffi cult, but
they’re as good if not better.
The impressive power output starts to
grow on me to a point where I can almost
say I’m getting used to it, but as far as
handling I’m still left in the dark. Knowing
there’s countless turns up ahead, I should
start focusing on that by now. Returning
the bike to the Wrenchmonkee boys in one
piece would actually be nice. The tires on
the REVmonkee are something special,
but not made for the road, at all. The
laser cut Dunlop GP Racer slick tires were
somewhat of an attraction when the bike
was on display at Glemseck 101. If I got
paid a single euro every time a passerby
touch the special looking hexagonal tread…
Though the tires are all but made for
road use, once they start to get up to
temperature, they start to give confi dence
more. The customized H2 actually handles
turns quite well, mostly because of the
lightweight Dymag CH3 wheels. The
74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
Exclusive First Ride
This test brought to you by
Proudly imported by www.dmd.co.za
Dunlops allow quick a lean angle, but really giving it my all isn’t
on the cards just yet. Even if it was, that notion went out the
window then the bike went sideways accelerating out of a tight
right hander. I try to calm myself, resetting the goal of returning
the bike to that VW van in the parking lot by the end of the
afternoon. In one piece, mind you.
What makes the biggest impression, has to be the weight
loss. It feels unearthly light, which must be maybe ninety
percent of the performance boost. The suspension is bone
shattering, but still gives plenty of feedback. A little bit of
fettling with a screwdriver could see a lot more of that.
Above all, I’m incredibly impressed by the REVmonkee,
especially considering they’ve ditched pretty much the
entire H2 package. Well, almost. Luckily the boys of
Wrenchmonkees left the beautiful pearl in the oyster
untouched. That supercharged straight four comes out even
better in this Danish custom incarnation; it impresses beyond
belief. It isn’t the best motorbike I ever got to right, but is sure
the most imposing one. Dismounting the REVmonkee I realize
I’ll probably never get to ride it again, but that one Monday
morning will forever stay with me. That I am certain of.
Not just customizing
Exactly ten years since Wrenchmonkees was founded, they’re
a well-known name in the business. Per Nielsen (45) and
Nicholas Bech (44) are the main forces behind the Danish
company. The in Kopenhagen stationed custom builders
rose to fame with their collaborations with Yamaha for the
YARD Built programme. It’s not just customizing, by the
way. Nowadays they’re also the go to shop for bolt-ons and
clothing. Curious about their work? Check out their website!
HANDLING THE BEAST: THE HYPERPRO SHOCK
A bike like this needs proper suspension, and it got it!
Where the correct spring rate is essential for a correct performance of
the motorcycle, the hydraulics, the shock absorber, needs to control the
spring. That’s where Hyperpro Suspension Technology comes in. Due to
their experienced engineering team, they offer a range of products for a
wide range of motorcycles, for a wide range of purposes and for all kind of
different riding styles - just like this bike.
Hyperpro offers a basic emulsion shock with rebound adjustment, to give
you maximum comfort. The next step in our product range is a shock
which is fully adjustable. Due to the reservoir it is possible to also adjust the
compression damping on high and low speed settings. This will give even
better performance to the shock and as a result of this the best performance
of the motorcycle. Customized to your wishes!
All Hyperpro shocks are supplied in the motorcycle’s standard length, but
can also be ordered in a different length. This is possible when the technical
specifications of the motorcycle allows this.
Hyperpro in SA are most popular in the following:
• Performance street spring kits (progressive, make a big difference with our
• Lowering kits, especially with BMW (Spring lowering as well as dog link
depending on the application)
• Street Box kits (progressive front springs with an emulsion rear O.E
• Steering dampers both progressive and linear
DMD is the official importer of the Hyperpro brand in SA. Visit www.dmd.
co.za or call (011) 792-7691 for more information.
76 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
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Dapper and on board the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer.
Words: Wayne van Tonder Pics: Wayne van Tonder & Bonafide Moto Co.
I have been thinking about participating
in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride for
a couple years now and finally, I’ve done
it. Not only was it a great day out, but
it was for a great cause too. I was also
lucky enough to be able to take part in
this fantastic event on board a gorgeous
Ducati Scrambler Café Racer, all thanks to
Ducati South Africa and Rob Portman.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was
originally founded down under, in Sydney,
Australia. Mark Hawwa was the man who
started it all, inspired by a photo of Don
Draper of the show ‘Mad Men’, on board
a classic motorcycle and wearing a fine
The idea behind it is something all bikers
can relate to. Bikers tend to catch a lot
of stick. People tend to associate bikers
with bad behaviour and other stereotypes.
Now while there are those out there that
give bikers a bad name, these guys - and
the 92,000 other participants - are not
them. Donning your finest suit and riding
with style is a great way to get a different
image of bikers out to the public.
However, that’s not all it is about. The
event is aimed at raising funds and
awareness for men’s health. Prostate
Cancer awareness, men’s mental health
and suicide prevention the main focus.
On Sunday morning, the 24th of
November, I woke up, got my finest attire
out, polished my shoes, stuck on the open
face helmet and goggles and hit the road.
Now, as much as my personal fundraising
campaign did not go to plan, it was still
a great feeling to be a part of this event
and all that it stands for. There was a real
sense of community on the day and just a
great vibe about the ride in general.
The starting point and first met up would
be at the Vintage and Veterans Club
Joburg. It was quite an unexpectedly cold
a windy morning and so it took a little
time for everyone to start arriving, but
when they did, they poured in. Hundreds
of classic and modern classic bikes
78 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
everywhere you looked and everyone
dressed in their finest attire. Not just men
either, the ladies joined in too, some riding
bigger bikes than the men. The sights and
sounds were just wonderful!
After a short briefing by the organisers
for the day’s proceedings, where all
who hadn’t registered and/or arrived
on modern bikes were told they were
in for a day of ridicule, we were off. The
sound of hundreds of engines being
fired up followed by a line of motorcycles
that seemed to cover the roads of
Johannesburg as we rode out, it was a
sight to behold.
The next stop was the Randclub in
Marshalltown, one of South Africa’s oldest
bars. Arriving in the city with a mass
of motorcycles was really something
else. The sound of revving engines
reverberating off the side of the buildings
in the heart of town.
After some refreshment’s - and more
drooling at motorcycles you wish filled
your garage - it was off to the National
Museum of Military History where the
group photo would be taken. Now I have
to admit, it was a day of me struggling
to juggle covering the event and taking
photos and also wanting to be a part of
everything that was going on.
We were then off on one last ride through
the city to Melrose Arch, the final stop, for
lunch and entertainment.
The entire day was just fabulous after
a slow start in the cold weather, that
eventually disappeared leaving us all riding
in glorious sunshine. The event itself was
well organised, with the marshals for the
day doing a brilliant job of leading the mass
of motorcyclists through the busy city.
The ride did not only take place in
Johannesburg but all over South Africa.
Bloemfontein, Cape Town, East London
and Durban all joining in on this great
event. Globally, 92,000 riders took part
in 581 cities and 95 countries. Over $4,4
million USD has been raised on behalf of
the Movember Foundation, all in aid of
prostate cancer and men’s mental health.
A massive well done to all the organisers
and sponsors! A fine event for a great
cause. Well done!
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017 79
It made me look cool - Ducati Scrambler Café Racer.
I read up and watched quite a bit about
the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer before
I picked it up. It was released earlier this
year, so there were some reliable sources
to choose from to get some opinions on
The more I read and the more I watched,
it was nothing but good review after good
review. Even Jay Leno had a go on ‘Jay
Leno’s Garage’, and his opinion was that
if you were only going to have one bike,
this was the one to have. A good allrounder
What is it all about?
First of all, it’s a retro style Ducati! What’s
not to love?
“The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer,
Scrambler’s interpretation of the legendary
bikes that created a revolution in the
motorcycle world, is an expression of free
spirit and an emblem of style. Its “Black
Coffee” colour brings back the 60s to
today’s Land of Joy.” This is how Ducati
themselves have described this gorgeouslooking
The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer,
produces 75hp from its L-Twin (90
degrees 2 cylinder), air-cooled engine. The
bike comes standard with a Termignoni
exhaust, that adds to its style.
My personal opinion
Now I know a lot of the time, journo’s and
other publications and forms of media
tend to have a bias. They say what they
need to say, let people hear what they
want to hear to keep the relationships
good with brands. So I couldn’t wait to
see if what everyone was saying about the
bike was true.
You know what? It was!
What you see is what you get. This is not
your fancy, fully electronic, wind-tunnel
tested Ducati. This is a Café Racer, meant
to bring back the feeling of ‘pure’ riding,
and it does just that. You get on, you start
it up and you go.
What was it like to ride?
What I really loved about the bike, is
that for a guy like me, who is not tall and
chiselled by ‘muscles ‘r us’, it was light,
nimble and confidence inspiring.
You not going to break any speed records
on the bike, but it most certainly invites
you to grab a handful of throttle when the
light turns green and there’s a sporty Alfa
revving it up next to you. Not that I did that
The power to weight ratio comes into
play here. The 803cc 90-degree L-Twin
engine produces 75hp, which is more than
enough for a motorcycle stripped down
to almost nothing. It stops pretty well too.
It was just pure fun to ride, and as always
with a Ducati, music to the ears as you
open the throttle.
Is it more for a cruise around town?
I rode in different scenarios over the
course of the day. From the highway,
opening it up and letting the bike breath,
to back roads at 60 km/h, and even
cruising in a mass ride at 20 to 40 km/h.
The Café Racer proved more than capable
in each of the scenarios, taking everything
in its stride, looking and sounding good
while at it.
Is it comfortable?
Well, I was on the bike from 6:30 in the
morning, right up to 18:00 that night
and I was expecting to be much more
uncomfortable after such a long day of
riding, considering I was on a Café Racer
with a sportier riding position, although
not quite supersport or superbike territory.
Honestly, I felt really comfortable on the
bike for most of the day, only really feeling
it in the hands and between the legs in the
last hour or so of the day.
Worth the price tag?
The only real big negative that I could find
was that for a motorcycle with a price tag
of R164 000, the gear shifts started to feel
a bit “clunky” at times. I felt Ducati could
have done a bit better there. Also, the
indicator switch was a bit annoying…okay,
maybe that’s just being pedantic. It is a
Café Racer, after all. It doesn’t even have
a fuel gauge.
Honestly, I did not want to return the
bike. I had completely fallen in love with it
over the short time I had it. It really does
give you that pure riding, Café Racer
experience. If I had that kind of money to
spend, I would have one in my garage for
sure, and it is damn good to look at!
80 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017
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Always ride responsibly. Always ride within the limits of your skills, your experience and your machine. Wear an approved helmet and protective clothing. The actions depicted here took place under controlled conditions with professional riders.