RideFast Magazine January 2018


RideFast Magazine January 2018 issue

JANUARY 2018 RSA R30.00


9 772075 405004




We tackle the RSR 24 Hour on a KTM 1290 Superduke R


• Q&A: The Binder Brothers

• TESTED: Yamaha X-Max 300

• FEATURE: Maverick Vinales in SA



Rea vs. MotoGP vs. WSBK

Meet the Disturbed Cadaver

by Mortagua Fighter






Rob Portman


082 782 8240


Kyle Lawrenson


071 684 4546





011 979 5035

2018 is upon us, and I for one love the motivation

one gets from the start of a new year. I am not one

for unrealistic resolutions, so won’t be trying to hard

to lose weight, or fi xing up the house and garden,

but what I can promise you is that RideFast is going

to bring you all the happening in the motorcycle

world, and in the best way possible.

The January issue is always a tough one to

conquer, as not much happens in this time frame.

But, we have managed to put out an amazing

issue with a good mixture of everything good.

I’m going to keep it short and sweet this month,

and will leave this amazing issue to do all the

talking for me.

I will say that I had an absolute blast once again at

the 24 hour race, and riding the 1290 Superduke

R was loads of fun. Really amazing how the

naked bike performed. I think it raised plenty of

eyebrows. Pity we could not make it three in a

row, and become the fi rst naked bike to win the

race, but no worries, there’s always the next one!

Every year, at around 3am in the morning, when

it’s cold, misty, drizzling with rain, just fl at out

miserable, I swear to myself that I will never again

do another 24 hour race. I keep this promise for

the next 3 days after the event, but that’s when it

all ends and the excitement once again builds and

I start planning for the next one.

So watch out all, because team RideFast is

coming hard and fast and we want that number 1

plate back!

A big thanks must go out to all the sponsors that

supported our team this year. Pol 360 One Point

Administration and Systems, KTM SA, Bike Tyre

Warehouse, Metzeler, Ridgeway Racebar, Motorex,

Smashton Industries, Racetec Exhaust systems

and Pride Bulk Logistics. Couldn’t have done it

without all your support!

Then also to the men behind the scenes, that work

just as hard, if not harder than the riders. These two

men stayed up just about the entire 24 hour working

in the pits and on pit wall. Massive thanks Allan

Wallace, Kevin Tyrer and Stephan Marais (pictured

below). They went above and beyond the call of

duty for our team!

To all our readers, I hope you have a happy,

healthy and rewarding 2018.

Cheers, Rob!


Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Bill du Plessis

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

The Singh

Mieke Oelofsen

Copyright © RideFast Magazine

All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced,

distributed, or transmitted in any

form or by any means, including

photocopying, articles, or other

methods, without the prior written

permission of the publisher.



“The KTM 1290 Super Duke R was an eye opener for me. This all-round bike proved to me

that as an absolute “road going” bike it is a lap time Demon for the race track. The engine is

extremely strong and unlike road going Superbikes doesn’t need shorter gearing etc to turn

fast lap times. On top of that, this bike never gave us a single issue during the 24 hour race

and of the 5 different manufactures we have used at this event in the past it’s the only bike

to hold this record.”

Sheridan Morais

4th overall in World Supersports championship


Contents JANUARY 2018













PG48: Q&A







• 200hp • Quick-shift up & down • Brembo Brakes • Braided Hoses

• Showa Big Piston Forks • Modified cylinder head

• Race Engine Casings • Marchesini forged aluminum wheels




From R4299p/m*

*calculated over 72 months * 30 % RV* Rate of 12.25 % linked

(subject to bank approval) *no deposit (subject to bank approval)

*guaranteed buy back. All deals are subject to credit approval from

the banks. T’s and C’s apply, rate subject to change based on your

credit profile*deposit might be required by the credit provider

depending on your profile. All instalments quoted excludes the

banks initiation and monthly administration fees.


• 200hp • Quick-shift up • Brembo Brakes • Braided Hoses

• Showa Big Piston Forks • Kawasaki Racing Colours




From R3699p/m*

*calculated over 72 months * 30 % RV* Rate of 12.25 % linked

(subject to bank approval) *no deposit (subject to bank approval)

*guaranteed buy back. All deals are subject to credit approval from

the banks. T’s and C’s apply, rate subject to change based on your

credit profile*deposit might be required by the credit provider

depending on your profile. All instalments quoted excludes the

banks initiation and monthly administration fees.

Official SYM and AEON dealers

SALES TEAM: Berto Santos 079 494-2404 / James Ridley 076 827-9676 /

Kyle Frazenburg 074 617 7305

LANDLINES: 011 465 4591 / 011 465 4212 / 011 465 5351 / 011 467 0737

Shop 3 & 4, Showroom on Leslie, Corner William Nicol & Leslie, Fourways

2019 Honda RVF1000R

The Japanese response to the Panigale V4

We’ve heard it time and time again, but

fi nally it looks like it’s going to happen!

Reports are that Honda are fi nally preparing

a new superbike with a four-cylinder V

engine with which they aim to regain the

prominence lost in the World Superbike.

From Japan, Young Machine magazine has

produced a render (bottom of right page)

that promises to be very close to the sporty

one that Honda will put in dealerships from

2019 or 2020, a motorcycle that, unlike

the exclusive RC213V-S of 180,000 euros

fl op, the Honda RVF1000R will have a

more affordable price in line with other

models of the Superbike class such as the

new Ducati Panigale V4, the Kawasaki ZX-

10RR or the Aprilia RSV4 RF, that is, in the

range of 20 to 25 thousand euros (R350k).

The idea pursued by Honda is to repeat

the strategy that the Japanese brand

already put into practice in the 90s, when

the RC45 - successor of the popular RC30

with V4 engine - coexisted in the market

with the Fireblade 900 RR, a model that at

that time could not compete in the World

Superbike to have a cubicle superior to

750 cc. That’s where the RC45 maintained

its small niche market, offering a registered

racing bike that still, to this day, remains

an object of desire for fans of sports

bikes of that time. At the end of the 90s,

with the changes in the regulation of the

WSBK, Honda opted for a confi guration

of two cylinders, then launching the VTR

1000 SP1, baptized as RC51. Many years

later another RC would arrive, in this case

the RC213V-S, derived directly from the

MotoGP, a motorcycle of which only about

200 units are produced each year strictly

numbered, many of them destined to live

locked in a museum or a garage private

because of the incalculable value they will

have in the future.

According to the patents that Honda

presented in the United States last March

- where you can see an engine in V4

confi guration with the stock anchored to

the chassis as in the Ducati Panigale - it’s

evident that the future of the brand of the

golden wing in Superbikes is to leave aside

the ineffi cient CBR 1000 RR Fireblade

SP2 and bet on a model that will be

called the Honda RVF1000R.

In its heart, we will fi nd an engine

derived from the one already seen in the

RC213V of MotoGP, a V4 at 90º that,

unlike the street RC213V-S, the Honda

RVF1000R will have less exotic materials to

reduce costs.

The cycle part will be in line with the rest

of the superbikes in the market, while the

chassis could be an evolution of the double

beam in aluminium of the RC213V that

would take advantage of the engine as

one more element to reduce its weight and


And what will happen with the CBR 1000

RR Fireblade? It seems diffi cult for Honda

to quit a model with such tradition and

with such an illustrious name. The logical


thing would be to think that

the Fireblade will continue

to be commercialized

along with the Honda

RVF1000R from 2019 or

2020, offering a more

human model, with a

signifi cantly lower price

and benefi ts below

those offered by the V4,

whose estimated power

will move between the 210

and the 220hp mark.

At the moment, Aprilia is the only

brand that bets on the confi guration

of four cylinders in V in the WSBK. As

of 2019, Ducati will put on track its

Panigale V4, breaking with more than

two decades of two-cylinder tradition in

this championship, and everything to the

point that Honda will be the next to rely

on a V4 mechanics to fi ght for the crown

in the World Superbike Championship in

2020. Oh please let it happen...

Rocomamas presents the custom, vintage,

classic and retro motorcycle championship

The AutoTrader SA Bike Fest, powered by Discovery Channel, is thrilled to announce the return of

the successful Custom Bike Championship to the third fun-fuelled rendition of the festival, which

takes place at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from 25th - 27th May 2018.

After two years of incredible builds and

custom creativity, Auto Trader SA Bike

Fest are changing things up to include

more classic and retro categories and are

looking forward to yet another nationwide

search for the very best restored,

maintained, hand-built and customised

motorcycles. The 2018 categories have

been fi nalised and all builders and classic

bike owners are encouraged to register

as soon as possible to save their spot

on the viewing deck inside the Kyalami

Pit Building. The top 60 motorcycles

chosen will also get two-laps around the

circuit before positioning the bikes indoors,

undercover, secure and protected from the

elements for the full three days for all our

visitors to admire and appreciate.

The AutoTrader SA Bike Fest team is

thrilled to welcome back Frank Sander,

international judge and builder from

Germany, alongside local experts, Robert

Coutts, Phillip Solomon and Cor Leijenaar

from the 2 Stoke Club to assist with

judging the classic, retro and vintage


2018 Custom & Classic categories:

• Scooter/Junior Bike Class

• Trike & 3-Wheeler Class

• Sport/ Streetbike Class

• Custom Sportsbike

• Streetfi ghter Class

• Stock Metric & European V-Twin

• Stock USA V- Twin

• Touring Class

• Custom V-Twin Class

• Radical Custom Class

• Custom MotoCross/Off-Road

• Classic Class: Every Motorcycle before


• Retro/Cafe Racer Class

• Two-Stroke Division – Custom/Original

• Two-Stroke Division – Classic Restoration

• Two-Stroke Division – MX category

• Overall winner and runner up

• People’s Choice award

The public vote prize aptly named

the People’s Choice Trophy also

returns for 2018. This award is simple

and minimalistic – a single builder, a

group of engineers OR a whole club

can compete as long as things remain

private. Workshops or companies will not

be considered for this award. The costs for

customisation including the base may not

exceed R60 000 and work time will not be

taken into account, as the journey is the

reward. Judges ask that the motorcycles

need to be ridden and festival visitors will

be asked to judge the People’s Choice


Prize giving will take place on the main

stage at the festival at 3pm on Sunday 27

May 2018.

For more information and to enter your

motorcycle visit -



Entry to the competition is FREE and the

top sixty bike-owner’s chosen will receive

all weekend passes to attend the festival at

their leisure.

For further information, contact the team

via southafricabikefestival.com or call

/ WhatsApp the dedicated marketing

number 0615055727.

ZX10’s get special pricing

Kawasaki SA have reduced the pricing on their award winning

ZX-10R and ZX-10RR models. The new pricing sees the R

model go from R229,995 to only R205,995, a massive saving

of R24,000. The top-spec RR models gets an even bigger

reduction, from R289,995 to R239,995 (save R50,000).

Don’t miss out! Visit your local Kawasaki dealer.



new year DEALS!

UP TO R20 000





The choice is

Exclusive to Honda East Rand Mall customers only. T&C’s apply.





Honda Wing East Rand Mall

Tel 011 826 4444. Cnr Jan Smuts & Loizides Streets, Boksburg

Email: ggani@imperialhonda.co.za Gino: 082 475 7714

Shaun: 072 260 9525 Daleen: 076 516 2038

3 generations of de Rappers...



moves, grows

and revamps

Established in 1983, this busy lot

on the East Rand (see the Golden

mile advert) really are growing.

A few months back, we brought

you the news about their

Husqvarna dealership. They are

doing good things with the brand –

and the new fuel injected 2-strokes

have landed and are on the fl oor.

They are one of South Africa’s most

successful Kawasaki dealerships

and the Sym and Triumph brands

are all a part of the family.

They have just moved to a

stunning, modern store – right next

to where they used to be. Twice

the size, ultra modern – a very

cool place to visit with a massive

accessory store, new and used

motorcycles, scooters and ATV’s.

Phone (011) 823-583

Accessory specialist, Elvis


Mikes Bikes on

the Golden Mile

Over the past 3 months, you would have

seen the “Golden Mile” adverts showing

off the strip in the East Rand of JHB that

has a host of motorcycle dealerships.

One of those dealers is Mikes Bikes,

which opened it’s doors a couple of

months ago and is thriving.

Mike and his partner JP have a great little

spot, selling very clean and affordable

pre-owned motorcycles. They even

have an accessories bay and workshop

situated in store.

Visit the shop at 157 North Rand road,

Boksburg, or call 076 158 3655

Louis now at

Redstar Race Shop

Louis Kraukamp is a very well known name in

the motorcycle accessories market. He had

been with Full Throttle for over 20 years and

has now moved to the race shop situated at

Redstar Raceway out in Delmas. Louis will be

running the shop, which is packed with all your

motorcycle accessory needs.

Call him on 082 722 2111.

Limited Edition Brad Binder

painting prints

To celebrate Brad Binder’s championship winning season in Moto3

back in 2016, Michael Rogers, a top motorsport painter here in SA,

decided to do a special painting in honour of our champ.

The outcome was spectacular, and not wanting fans to miss out,

Michael is now offering limited edition prints of his masterpiece.

Brad himself has signed each one of the 250 made available, of

which each is numbered. Get yours now! Only R750each.

Email rob@ridefast.co.za to order. Check out some more of

Michael’s top work on his Facebook page - Michael Rogers Art.

We have our eye on the stunning Hayden painting he has just done.







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

and accessories

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.

Full accessories

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

& accessories

No. 6, V-Max Centre, Atlas Rd, Boksburg

Tel: 011 051 9104

Quality used motorycle sales

& accessories



to you by

Bayliss makes full-time racing comeback

Three-time Superbike World Championship

(WorldSBK) title-winner Troy Bayliss has

offi cially revealed he will make a full-time

return to the Yamaha Motor Finance

Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK)

in 2018, competing for his own DesmoSport

Ducati team.

The legendary 48-year-old has confi rmed

his return to racing in the national

championship, which he last contested

in 1997 prior to embarking on a glowing

international career that included winning

the world championship in 2001, 2006 and


“It was a situation we fi rst considered when

Callum [Spriggs] was injured,” said Bayliss,

who will ride a twin-cylinder 1299 Panigale

R Final Edition rather than Ducati’s new V4

variant to be released next year. “Obviously,

it was a big call and it didn’t quite feel right

at the time.

“Since then, I have tested the bike and

completed a lot of miles both in practice

and racing the 300 class. Initially I did want

to see another young guy on the bike, but

after I rode it I felt that I needed to contest

the championship and try and win myself the

elusive Australian Superbike title.

“I defi nitely feel like I have some unfi nished

business. I have a bit of work to do in

terms of fi tness, but after testing the bike

and running it at the Adelaide Motorsport

Festival, I feel I am defi nitely up to the task.”

While complete details on the DesmoSport

Ducati’s structure to accomodate Bayliss as

the rider remains to be announced, outgoing

Team Honda Racing boss Paul Free has

been linked to the program when he moves

from Melbourne to the Gold Coast for

next year. It’s understood the extent of his

involvement is yet to be fi nalised.

Bayliss formed the factory-supported

DesmoSport Ducati operation as co-owner

with Cube Racing founder Ben Henry ahead

of the 2016 season, campaigning then

reigning champion Mike Jones last year and

claiming fi fth in the standings. This year the

team began with Callum Spriggs prior to

him being injured, later drafting in eventual

Rookie of the Year Corey Turner with mixed


The decision for Bayliss to steer

DesmoSport Ducati’s lone factory-supported

entry comes as a surprising one of sorts,

despite being heavily rumoured during the

past month. He retired from the sport at the

conclusion of 2008, only to return to Ducati’s

WorldSBK team in 2015 for a number of

successful cameo appearances at Phillip

Island and in Thailand.

Next year is shaping up to be a busy

one for the Bayliss family, as Troy’s return

to competition coincides with talented

14-year-old son Oli’s second full year of road

racing in the ASBK Supersport 300 ranks.

The latter will once again be placed within

Henry’s Cube Racing squad.

Bayliss’ ASBK career spanned two seasons

over 20 years ago, fi nishing third as a

rookie in the 1996 season with Kawasaki

and then going one better for the runnerup

place in 1997 after switching to Suzuki.

He transferred to the British Superbike

Championship for 1998 with Ducati, going

on to clinch the crown in 1999. His move to

WorldSBK via a short stint in America came

following the injury of Carl Fogarty in 2000.

Once in WorldSBK, Bayliss won the title

at his fi rst full attempt in 2001, then was

second in 2002. He switched to MotoGP

for three seasons between 2003-2005,

with a best result of sixth in the standings

as a rookie, only to return to Superbikes in

2006 where he would round out his career.

However he would make a one-off return to

MotoGP at Valencia in 2006, picking up the

lone grand prix win of his career.



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


the standard.“

Exceptional straight-line

and cornering stability

Front tyre profile derived

from race competition

Rubber compounds

derived from racing

“The best stability during sequences of

curves, even on a simulation of a country


Pole-winning performance: agility and

handling when changing direction, under

braking and when accelerating hard!

“Extremely agile, with exceptional directional

stability and impeccable handling in

cornering; All this makes Michelin the winner


(and not only in terms of points).“

New technology

A new patented construction for exceptional straight-line

and cornering stability.

A single ply ensures a more flexible crown, while the side

ply back over itself.

Harder rubber underneath the softer rubber on the

shoulders gives better rigidity at lean, for more stability

when cornering, especially under strong accelaration.



to you by

Gagne secures second Red

Bull Honda WorldSBK seat

Red Bull Honda has made American Jake Gagne’s signing for the

2018 Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) offi cial, to join

series mainstay Leon Camier in a refreshed line-up for next season.

Gagne, 24, contested a number of rounds this year in place of

countryman Nicky Hayden and the Californian will now have

the opportunity to compete in the world championship full-time

aboard the offi cial CBR1000RR SP2.

“It’s really a dream come true to have the chance to contest

a full World Superbike season with the Red Bull Honda World

Superbike Team,” Gagne said. “I cannot thank Red Bull, Honda

and Ten Kate enough for the opportunity to race the Honda

CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 over three rounds this year.

“I have learned so much from them and I got to know them quite

well, so I’m looking forward to getting going again. 2018 will be an

exciting year for me, with a lot of travelling and racing on some of

the best race tracks in the world. I want to thank again everyone

involved for this incredible opportunity, and I feel I’m ready for the

challenge ahead!”

Honda’s WorldSBK operations manager Marco Chini added: “We

are delighted to have Jake on board for the 2018 season. He

picked up the challenge this year and jumped on our Fireblade

without prior testing and did well at Laguna Seca and later

showed his talent at tracks he had never raced before. He is

young, gifted and a great guy, so he’s the right choice for the

team to ride alongside Leon. We look forward to seeing him on

track very soon and we’re sure American fans will be happy to

cheer him on.”

Gagne’s arrival spells the end of German Stefan Bradl’s time at Red

Bull Honda following a largely diffi cult fi rst season in WorldSBK.

Hutchinson, Johnston confirmed with

Honda for TT 2018

Ian Hutchinson has been confi rmed with

Honda for the 2018 road season and will, as

has Lee Johnston.

Both Hutchinson and Johnston are no

strangers to Honda machinery and in 2010

Hutchy claimed his historic fi ve-TT wins with

the Padgetts Honda team. Hugely successful

on the roads the ‘Bingley Bullet’ is a 16-time

TT winner with 27 TT podiums to his name

and will be looking to further add to his tally,

as well as claiming the maiden road-racing

win for the Fireblade SP2.

Former National Superstock 600 Champion

Johnston made his debut at the North West

200 in 2008 and it was 2012 when he fi rst

rode the famous TT Mountain Circuit. ‘The

General’ has impressed during his time on the

roads collecting three wins and six podiums

at the NW200, as well as two podiums at the

Isle of Man TT. Johnston also has strong links

with the Louth-based squad, having worked

closely with the Honda Endurance Racing

team as its Le Mans 24-hour reserve rider.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started

with Honda Racing; it’s a new challenge and

a fresh start for me. I suppose I have quite a

bit of history with

Honda, ten years

ago I rode with

this offi cial team

and in 2009/2010 I

rode with Padgetts

Honda, where I

scored fi ve-TT wins

in a week, so I

know the Fireblade

pretty well,” said


“I haven’t ridden

the Fireblade SP2

yet and will have

to wait until we

go testing early next year, but I can’t wait

to start making some progress. The Honda

team has a lot of experience at the TT and

its history speaks for itself with the wins and

successes over the years, it’s also nice to

see a lot of the team still here who I worked

with in the past, so I’m confi dent that come

the New Year we can get started and start

aiming to where we want to be.”


011 609 9275

011 609 9275


115 Van Riebeeck Ave, Edenvale

115 Van Riebeeck Ave, Edenvale

011 609 9275


115 Van Riebeeck Ave, Edenvale

‘05 Suzuki GSR 750 ‘08 Yamaha R1 ‘05 BMW R1200RT SUZUKI 650 SAVAGE ’02 Triumph 955

‘05 Suzuki GSR 750 ‘07 HONDA ‘08 Yamaha CBR 1000 R1 ‘05 BMW R1200RT SUZUKI 650 SAVAGE SUZUKI ’02 Triumph GSXR 1100M 955






GSR 750





GSXR 1000


’05 Aprilia

‘05 BMW



Factory ’11






1000 ’06 Harley

’02 Triumph




’07 SUzuki GSXR 600 ’05 GSXR 1000 ’05 Aprilia RSVR1000 Factory ’11 Suzuki GSXR 1000 ’06 Harley Davidson V-ROD















’05 Aprilia

’07 Yamaha



Factory ’11





K 1200



’06 Harley

’08 Yamaha




’06 Kawasaki ZX10 ‘12’07 TRIUMPH BMW 650 TYGER Dakar 800

’07 Yamaha FJR ’08 BMW K 1200 LT ’08 Yamaha R1






R6 ’08 Kawasaki

’07 BMW 650


Dakar ( 2 to choose from)




BMW 1200S







1200 LT







’08 Yamaha R6 ’08 Kawasaki ZX14 ( 2 to choose from)

’09 BMW 1200S ’09 Honda CB1000 ’10 Ducati 1098S








’08 Kawasaki

’12 BMW

ZX14 ( 2 to choose from)

F800GS ‘10



BMW 1200S





BMW F800









’11 BMW R1200 R ’12 BMW F800GS ‘10 Kawasaki Vulcan

’13 BMW F800 GS ’13 Yamaha R1

’14 Harley

’11 BMW















Zx 300




BMW F800



R ’87







’14 Harley 1200 Sportster ’14 Honda NC750X ‘16 Kawasaki Zx 300

’16 Honda NC750X R ’87 Yamaha FZR1000


’14 Harley

’99 Yamaha

1200 Sportster











Honda CBR600

Zx 300





NC750X R ’87





RZR 350

Fully Equiped




BMW Cafe Racer ‘05 Honda CBR600 Honda CBX1000 ‘86 Yamaha RZR 350

079 077 2236 Quinton




‘05 Honda CBR600 Honda Fully CBX1000 Equiped

‘86 Yamaha RZR 350

079 077 2236 Quinton





079 077 2236 Quinton WORKSHOP




to you by

Energica to supply motorcycles for Moto-e World Cup

The Moto-e World Cup is becoming a reality

in 2019, ushering in the beginning of a

new era for two-wheeled motorsport with

competition on electric motorcycles.

Dorna has announced that the supplier for

this new and exciting prospect will be Italian

innovator Energica. The model that will be

used by teams in the new competition will

be a tuned version of Energica Ego.

Energica Motor Company, based in the

motorsport-rich area of Modena, created

the world’s fi rst Italian racing-bred electric

motorcycle and has since redefi ned the

possible on the street and within the sector.

Working in perfect harmony with the

experience, passion and expertise of parent

company the CRP Group, Energica and

the Ego will provide the Moto-e World Cup

with world-beating performance but zero

emissions, taking high-octane yet electricpowered

competition from concept to

thrilling, high-speed reality.

“The FIM Moto-e World Cup is a new and

exciting project for Dorna and it makes us

very proud to announce Energica will be

the supplier in this new venture,” Carmelo

Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, stated.

“We believe in excellence, quality and

performance and we cannot think of a better

collaborator with whom to launch the FIM

Moto-e World Cup. Energica are an industryleading

and innovative company and we

look forward to the incredible spectacle of

electric-powered racing together.”

Livia Cevolini, CEO Energica Motor

Company S.p.A, added: “We are proud

to have been chosen by Dorna and we

are already committed to this project. The

passion for engines is what brought us

here, to build new dream vehicles right in

the beating heart of the Italian Motor Valley,

Modena, Italy.

“We took the electric fi eld to another level –

each Energica undergoes quality control and

performance tests and our R&D department

is always focused on new technologies and

their practical application. Our history comes

from racing, our passion for this sector has

never faded. Moto-e is an excellent project.

After all, it is what we hoped since our racing

years, now it can be managed professionally

thanks to Dorna and its unique and longlasting


FIM Moto-e World Cup to

race with Michelin

Dorna has announced Michelin as the

offi cial tyre supplier for the upcoming FIM

Moto-e World Cup. The supplier for the

premier class of Grand Prix racing, MotoGP,

Michelin are the perfect collaborator for the

new Moto-e World Cup as high-octane

racing meets zero emissions.

Michelin, based in Clermont-Ferrand in

France, joined MotoGP as sole tyre supplier

in 2016. Since then, the premier class

has enjoyed two of the most spectacular

seasons ever, setting a high benchmark

in the world of two-wheeled motorsport.

Now adding the FIM Moto-e World Cup to

their impressive racing portfolio, the French

marque are sure to provide excellence,

expertise and experience once again - as

well as the vision and innovation necessary

for this exciting new series.

Pascal Couasnon, Motorsport Director at

Michelin, says: “For as long as Michelin

has existed, the projects in which it has

been involved have sought to take mobility

forward, while making it safer, more

economical and more respectful of the

planet. Progress needs all the stakeholders

to innovate, not only on the technological

front but also in terms of their vision.

As motorcycle racing’s fi rst all-electric

competition, the FIM Moto-e World Cup’s

creation by the FIM [Fédération Internationale

de Motocyclisme] and Dorna Sports is a

concrete, meaningful move in favour of

mobility. For Michelin, it will provide us with

an invaluable laboratory for the development

of innovations that will go on to feature

on our road tyres. We are consequently

delighted to be in at the very beginning of this

new championship as a technology partner.”




to you by

and studies such as, for example, CAD/

CAE, CFD, and all sorts of engineering

measuring and data comparison of all kinds

to target higher stability, agility, top speed

and safety.

What is the timescale of the project in


Three years in Grand Prix from 2018 to start

with. We will consider how the options will

turn out for further projects.

Do you have any plans for other

European series?

No we don’t.

How long has it taken you to get to this


NTS started building our own Moto2 chassis

in 2015. This is our third year total, second

year in CEV.

NTS: taking on the Moto2

big guns in 2018

Japanese engineering fi rm NTS will take on

the big guns of Moto2 next season when

rider Steve Odendaal goes up against the

likes of Miguel Oliveira and Sam Lowes.

From small beginnings, NTS have raced

in the Spanish CEV series and now feel

ready to move on to the global stage to

compete with Kalex, Suter and KTM in the

middleweight division.

BSN’s David Miller sat down with the team’s

Jin Sasaki to ask him what he thinks he is

playing at?

How did this all begin?

JS: NTS had an opportunity to discuss a future

partnership with Steven Odendaal after the last

round of CEV Repsol 2016. NTS explained

that this is an on-going development project

and will be happy to have the 2016 champion

to push the project forward.

Can you tell us why you’ve decided to

move into Moto2 this season?

Taking a step in CEV Repsol, before going

into the Grand Prix, was inevitable and

crucial in terms of R&D. There are seven

races for Moto2, which is not too much and

not too small to evaluate the output, as well

as the fact that the level of competition is

second to that of the WGP’s.

What is different about the frame you’ve


There are theories and thoughts in chassis

manufacturing, and they all differ. I would

say that because NTS is not a motorcycle

racing chassis manufacturer, but in fact,

we are precise metal processing company

serving in Aerospace, high-end motorsports,

marine and medical equipment, our goal

is to achieve very precise and digital

manufacturing to ensure the performance

of each of the NTS bikes would be

absolutely the same, not only statically but

also dynamically. To achieve this, we fully

machine the main frame as well as the

swingarm for more precision and stability.

Can you tell us about the thinking and

manufacturing processes?

Mentioned above, but let me add a spice.

NTS Chassis is designed and are carefully

studied academically which include analysis

What is it you like about Steven as a rider?

Steven is an experienced rider who can

push to the bike to 100 per cent regardless

of the condition of the track. This is crucial

to understanding the behaviour of the bike

with different parts and set-up to compare

and understand the progress. If a rider was

unstable, meaning that if a rider was not

capable of pushing himself and the bike

to the limits each time he or she rides, the

standard of the data will vary from time

to time and the team will never be able to

compare the data correctly.

This may sound simple, but giving 100 per

cent constantly as an athlete is not so easy.

There are fast riders out there, who may be

just as fast as Steven, but being fast is not

always enough. NTS think that Steven is a

good race rider as well as an R&D rider.


RF Garage

Tech Tips

The leading light.

For over 40 years Ring has been pushing

the boundaries of vehicle lighting. They were

the fi rst company to produce a halogen bulb

that put up to 100% more light on the road.

This was followed by XenonUltima, the fi rst

bulb to put up to 120% more light on the

road. Then came Xenon130, which allowed

up to 130% more light whilst driving.

Today it is Xenon150 that sets the standard.

Brightest for longest.

Xenon150 is the brightest and longest

lasting +150% performance halogen bulb on

the market. The shorter and tighter wound

coil of the fi lament produces a brighter,

whiter light output.

Ring has pushed the boundaries in vehicle

technology with the launch of its new

performance halogen, Xenon150, which

puts up to 150% more light on the road

compared to a standard bulb.

When combined with 100% xenon gas,

inserted at high pressure into the bulb, the

result is up to 150% more light on the road

in the right place for a driver and still gives

over 350 hours of life.

Xenon150 also produces an 80m longer

beam pattern*, allowing other road users to

be seen more clearly at night and give you

more time to react to potential hazards.

At 3700K the light output is closer to

daylight, providing better refl ections from

road markings and signs for a more

comfortable and safer night drive.

Xenon150 bulbs are available in H4 and

H7 references that are street legal and are

a simple upgrade from standard bulbs,

requiring no changes to vehicle wiring.

Why motorists need more

light on the road.

In an effort to save money, and lack of

resources, many councils in SA are either

considering or switching off street lights

during the night. Choosing Xenon150, which

puts 150% more light on the road, will make

driving/riding easier and safer.

Across SA cycling in urban areas is

increasing on average by 11% per year.

Improving a vehicle/bikes lighting with

Xenon150 will help drivers see them earlier

and avoid potential accidents. It will also help

light up your motorcycle at night, making

you more visible and less likely to be in an


As we age, our ability to see clearly and

judge moving objects like cars, bikes and

pedestrians can become impaired. Resisting

glare and seeing refl ective road signs and

markings is an ability that diminishes with

age. Xenon150, with its increased light

output and a whiter light that is closer to

daylight (3700K), helps reduce eye strain

and fatigue for a safer, more confi dent

driving experience.

In the SA 40% of road incidents occur at

night, yet there is a lower proportion of

vehicles on the road at that time. Fitting

Xenon150 with its longer beam pattern

gives drivers more time to react to potential

hazards and avoid any serious accidents.

Setting the standards in

vehicle lighting.

Light up the night with Xenon150 headlight

bulbs. Up to 150% more light on the

road, 80m longer beam pattern and a

3700K whiter light output for a safer drive.

(compared to standard headlights)

• Improve night vision with up to 150%

more light on the road for a safer drive.

• Up to 350 hours of life.

• Maximum performance is achieved

through micro fi lament technology

and 100% xenon gas.

• See and be seen more clearly with

up to an 80m longer beam than

a standard bulb.

• Better visibility of road

markings and signs, thanks to whiter


• A stylish fi nish is achieved through

the silver tip.

Brought to you by

• Plug and Go - no changes to vehicle wiring


Perfect for car, dirt, Adventure and road

bikes. Available in singles or sets.

Available at dealers – distributed by

Autocycle Centre.

Trade Enquiries: (011) 879-6470


MOTOGP Apparel

Get ready for the 2018 MotoGP season. Zeemans

Suzuki have just unpacked a new range of gear. Shirts

and caps for adults and kids. Rossi, Marquez, Lorenzo,

Suzuki, they have a great range available.

All shirts R440each. All caps R280each.

From: Zeemans Suzuki - Call 011435 7177

ARLEN NESS Leathers and gloves

Later on in this issue, you will see our editor Rob sporting some

fresh new leathers and gloves in the 24 Hour article. And yes, we

know he looks really cool and very factory. Now you too can also

get that fresh new factory look. TRP (Tarantino Racing Products)

are the official importers and distributors of the Arlen Ness brand

in SA and they have just unpacked the latest range of leather

suits and gloves, just in time for the new racing season.

Top of the range protection and design, just what you would

expect from a top-class brand such as Arlen Ness. We

love the new colours, and the titanium knuckles on the

gloves really do make you look and feel a bit like a top

MotoGP rider.

Now available at the Redstar Raceway shop, or your

nearest motorcycle accessory dealer.

From: RSR Race Shop - Call Louis on 082 722 2111

HEALTECH Rapid Laser

The Rapid Laser is a cost effective, affordable frame and chassis

check-up tool perfect for workshops, race teams and motorcycle

dealers. Determine misalignments and reveal hidden frame

damages in a fast and precise manner.

• Headstock check capability • Rear wheel aligment check

• Swingarm and fork check capability.

This new amazing tool will be available from Feb 2018.

From: ITR Motorsport - Call 011 452 3881





After it was announced at the 2017 South Africa Bike Festival at Kyalami

in May 2017, there was a huge amount of excitement around the fact that

Yamaha Motorcycles SA were bringing Maverick Vinales to do a Track Day at

the famous newly upgraded circuit in December…

Words: Greg Moloney Pics: Eugene Botes, Wayne Van Tonder & Yamaha SA

Vinales arrived in the late afternoon

of the 12th of December and was

literally whisked off the runway as

his flight landed and straight to his

lodgings at Tintswalo resort, where

he and his entourage had

a few hours down time before being

escorted, by their security detail to

the World of Yamaha for his first

function, the official cocktail

and welcome evening.

VIP guests of Yamaha and

Bidvest included the Howard

Greenstone, Craig Turnbull

and Mike Hardy Brown

but we were also honored

to have Yamanaka San and

Shi Moosi San from Yamaha’s

mother ship with us for the

evening as well along with other VIP

guests and members of the media too.

Greg Moloney, the “Voice of Choice” in SA’s

motor industry and one of RideFast special envoys

was the Master of Ceremonies for the “one on one”

on stage interview with MV and took the audience

through a few different questions about the young

superstar, including why he has the big affiliation

to the movie Top Gun and Maverick particularly, as

well as his choice of race number being #25.

His answers to which were that his father had

a big love of Tom Cruise’s character Maverick

and that his race number had come from

watching his favorite Supercross rider

Ivan Tedesco and the fact that the

maximum points a rider can

score in Moto GP was 25.

Day 2 dawned after a great

evening where the young

MotoGP ace took time out

to sign a few autographs and

take the obligatory selfies at

Yamaha SA HQ.

Overnight rain meant that the

Kyalami track was going to be

in pristine condition and with over

100 riders signed up for the event.

The excitement was very much in the air

as you rolled down the pit lane.

Two sessions were allocated to the Yamaha

rider, as well as a mass ride with the all of track Day

enthusiasts and current Super GP and Superbike

racers combined. MV was greeted first though by


none other than the head of Kyalami Mr Toby Venter and

given a personal tour around the new facilities and then

a few hot laps in a very fast Porsche. His eyes were wide

open and he was then just so eager to climb aboard the

Yamaha R1 that had been prepped for him to Ride Fast. He

changed the first session up slightly and went out for

10mins to do a shake down and have a genuine look at the

track and then came in to ask the current SA Champions to

join him.

Sheridan Morais, Clinton Seller, Steven Odendaal,

Allan Jon Venter and Mathew Scholtz were keen on just

getting onto the track with Vinales but as is the true racer

spirit by the time they all came back into sight onto the

main straight, they were all riding like it was for the World

Championship and giving the international superstar a taste

of how good the riders in South Africa actually are.

After a small lunch break Vinales then proceeded to

do a track side interview with Moloney and Wilkins and

surprise guest presenter Themba Khumalo, who joined them

on stage to take over in fluent Spanish, which was a big

surprise to the boss man of Yamaha as well as the audience.

Not willing to let any of the fans who had arrived at the

venue for autographs and pics leave unhappy or unsatisfied,

Vinales then spent a good 45 mins doing an autograph

and picture session, which gave everyone a chance to

have some one on one time with him before he climbed on

board Nitro Airlines with Aviation expert extraordinaire Clint

Buckham to be flown off through Sunset Corner for the well

deserved holiday here in Sunny SA.

A big thanks to YAMAHA Motorcycles SA, GI Consulting,

#FAST and the media partner MIX93.8FM, especially the

#TheCarShow on Julio Garcia slot, for all the input and


We can’t wait to hear what the Blu Cru are going to be

doing for 2018.

Odendaal and Maverick

Maverick with Toby Venter and Peter Wilkins

SA champ Seller


MotoGP ‘Top Gun’,

Maverick, in South Africa

A Fans perspective… By Wayne Van Tonder

Before I start, let me get something out the way, something

that may not be received very well by many that read

this magazine based on the fact that the majority will be

Valentino Rossi or Marc Márquez fans. Maverick is my

personal favourite. (I may have just got myself in the middle

of something, luckily this isn’t Facebook.)

Let me explain...

Vale has been my favourite for many years. He is the

G.O.A.T after all. However, whether we like it or not, Rossi is

on his way out and if the rumours are anything to go by, we

will be hearing/reading about his plans in the near future.

For this reason, I felt I needed to prepare myself for his

imminent departure. Then came Maverick, bringing the

Suzuki back up the field with some truly stylish riding. I

couldn’t help but be drawn to his style and what seemed to

be a down to earth and hardworking personality.

Yes, I could have gone for Márquez. He is the best there

is on two wheels at the moment…no, wait, I can’t choose

Márquez after years of loyal support for Rossi, not after

all that has happened between the two and the rivalry

that has been established between them. That would be


For the past few seasons I have been following Maverick

Viñales, showing support for him but never really showing it,

that is until this past season. His move to Yamaha provoked

me to finally announce that he would be my new number 1.

Now, at that stage, I had no idea that he would be coming

to South Africa. If you had told me, I wouldn’t have believed

you, in fact, when it was announced I kind of still did not

Check that fan boy smile...

SOme of SA’s best ready to take him on...


elieve it. Then, if you had told me I would

be meeting him and watching him go

around Kyalami by the end of the year…

damn, I don’t even know…speechless!

Here we are then, the 13th of December

2017 and I am on my way to Kyalami after

waking up extra early just to make sure I

would not miss a second. The occasion,

the Yamaha R World Track Day event with

Maverick Viñales at the newly revamped

Kyalami International Race Track.

After arriving at the track and getting

the admin of signing in and receiving

accreditation out the way, I was eager

to know when Maverick would arrive.

While the majority were getting their bikes

ready for the track day, I walked around

awkwardly - and possibly suspiciously

- hoping to catch a glimpse of the man

himself arriving. At the most unexpected

time, he did. I scrambled for my phone

trying to be the first to get photo or video

of him. The closer I got, the harder his

bodyguards looked at me, so I retreated

slightly and thought I would wait for my

moment rather than get bounced at this

early stage.

Not too long after, Viñales appeared

again. He would be heading out on track

with Toby Venter in what seemed to be

a custom ordered Porsche - I won’t lie, I

didn’t notice, I was still star struck at this

point by the man I have been screaming at

my TV for throughout this past season and

stalking on Instagram, I can admit it, I’m

not scared.

After a couple of laps in the Porsche,

they came back in and I got my chance to

say hi and take the customary selfie. (As

it goes, you meet one of your heroes and

you will take the most awkward looking

selfie of yourself.)

A few moments later, Maverick, with

girlfriend Cristina Llovera - who is also an

Olympic sprinter - by his side, came back

out suited up and ready to hit the track.

He would be riding a stock Yamaha R1,

only kitted out with an Akrapovič exhaust

and the standard Maverick Viñales

stickers. “Compared to MotoGP, the R1

standard was like going on a mini-bike,”

Viñales joked at the press conference later

in the day.

Viñales first headed out for a private

session, getting to grips with the track that

he described as, “really nice, I enjoyed it a

lot, it’s like an old-school style track.” The

private session was followed by a six-lap

session where he was joined on track by

local National Superbike and Supersport

Yamaha riders. This included the likes of

National SuperGP champion Clint Seller

and Super600 champion Steven Odendaal.

These two did not make it an easy cruise

Shez Morais put on a great

show on the new Yamaha R6

for Maverick, rubbing shoulders - literally,

it seemed - with the MotoGP star. Ricky

Morais and AJ Venter got themselves

stuck in as well. There was some great

action to be observed in just a few laps, oh

how I wish there were more!

The day did not pan out quite as

expected, with a few changes to the

schedule. Maverick decided to take his

girlfriend Cristina out on track with him for

a pillion ride. This was of course not on the

schedule and so Cristina needed to borrow

some leathers for the occasion. This was

just another testament to what a great guy

Maverick Viñales seems to be.

After lunch, a small ‘press conference’

was held where Greg Moloney would chat

to Viñales. Greg had a surprise for Viñales

as he invited Themba Khumalo (SuperGP

national rider) up on stage to conduct

a few questions in Spanish, nice one


Maverick would also hand out the

trophies to the SuperGP champions,

Clint Seller, Steven Odendaal and the

constructor’s title to Yamaha. Last but not

least for the press conference, Maverick

would hand over an R1 to a lucky winner,

which he would then go on to sign. That

R1 just went up in value!

Although it had been a long, hot day,

Maverick still took the time to have a signing

session, which was not going to happen

according to the initial announcement of the

event. Again, great guy.

And so that concluded a great day,

great for all involved I am sure! I did

overhear a question to Maverick asking if

he thought Kyalami could host a MotoGP.

Unfortunately, he said he thinks not,

some of the corners runoffs are just not

sufficient, especially with a MotoGP bike

carrying the speed it does into corners (I

am paraphrasing here).

Vinales taking his

lady around

Former SA champ Arushen Moodley

It was time to say goodbye to Maverick,

I got one last selfie and saw him off. A

massive thank you to all involved and

Maverick himself for taking the time to

come out to South Africa. Let’s hope that

this is just the first of these days and that

there are many more to come. After all,

Viñales said it himself, ‘I have enjoyed it a

lot, for sure I will return sometime.”







The most insane custom motorcycle design we’ve seen… ever!

Words: Sunny Soral Pics: Carlos Rodrigues


We love a nicely done custom

motorcycle more than most of the

things in life. That said, we love to

talk about the custom motorcycle builders

that we haven’t talked about before. This

gives us an opportunity to understand the

philosophy of a particular builder and how

they convert their idea into their builds. We

mostly get to talk about builders creating

builds that contain a number of custom

motorcycle parts while still keeping the

true soul of the base motorcycle intact.

And then sometimes, we get to talk about

something like this disturbingly gorgeous

build from Portugal. This stunning build

which you can see splashed over the next

4 pages is called the “Disturbed Cadaver”

by Mortagua Fighter.

The Mortagua motorcycle has become

synonymous with a very particular design

style of Carlos Rodrigues. Carlos was

born in Mortagua, Portugal and now

works at Mortágua glassworks. For most

people around the region, Carlos is also

known as Mortágua-Fighter-Portugal.

The Mortagua Fighter was established

in 1995 when a practically new RF 600

Mortagua Fighter 8

Category: Radical Streetfighter

Build Time: 18 months

Builder: Carlos Rodrigues


Suzuki GSXR 1100

Exhausts: By Mortagua

Carburador: Original Suzuki

Frame: Mortagua 8

Front Forks: By Mortagua

Front Wheel: Altered OZ

Back Wheel: Altered OZ

Paint: Joe Garage

Fuel Tank: By Mortagua

Head Light: By Mortagua

Design: By Mortagua

Bodywork: By Mortagua

Polishing: By Mortagua


that belonged to Carlos had a nasty

accident, the damages inspired Carlos

to work upon it and create his own

design. This translated into a fairly unique

design philosophy, his own style with

painting that showcases action packed

adventurous spirit. The final result of his

work upon his ill fated RF 600 came to be

the Mortágua-Fighter 1. (Google it)

Since then, Carlos has built seven

Mortagua Fighter custom builds with

never seen before designs. The Disturbed

Cadaver by Mortagua Fighter custom

motorcycle is the latest of his creations,

the Mortagua Fighter 8. This absolutely

bonkers and insanely detailed Disturbed

Cadaver by Mortagua Fighter is unlike

any custom build that we have ever seen

before. The cuts, the edges, and every

single part of this build is something out

of a post apocalyptic earth that is being

ruled by alien machines. Powered by

a 1993 Suzuki GSX –R1100 motor this

insanity on two wheels promises to go

as ferociously fast as it looks. The fat

front has a 17-inch wheel wearing 120-55

section rubber while the demonic rear

getting a 190-65 piece of rubber on a 17

inch rim.

The Disturbed Cadaver by Mortagua

Fighter has kept the original Suzuki

electronics intact and all the mechanicals

on the bike are also stock Suzuki. Further,

the build has a stunning and slightly over

the board dual-paint scheme of white

surrounded by bright and blingy gold

shade thick borders. The cooling for the

Disturbed Cadaver by Mortagua Fighter

is taken care by an oil cooler while the

suspension components are from Traz.

The whole body work of the Disturbed

Cadaver by Mortagua Fighter has been

done by Carlos himself and we just

cannot define how splendid that front

end looks, especially around the front

suspension. The whole build took around

18 months to build, and looking at it, we

don’t wonder why.

We will now let you drool over these

amazing photographs of the Disturbed


would love to hear your views on this

incredible custom build.





Breaking down the most common rider assistance functions. Words: Matthew Shields

No matter what type of new motorcycle

you are looking at these days, there will

almost certainly be some type of rider

aid that will change characteristics of the

motorcycle or help you out when things go

wrong. In this Q&A, we take a look at the

most common rider assistance functions

and breakdown how they work and how

they can benefit you.

Q: What is a mode selector

and how does it work?

A: Each manufacturer has an acronym

or catchy name for what is essentially a

switch that changes engine characteristics.

Some machines have a system that allows

you to switch between engine maps and

alter spark timing and fuel delivery to

change the speed and amount of power

that is delivered. Other systems that have a

ride-by-wire throttle change the relationship

between the twist grip and the injectors

so while you are doing the same thing

at the handlebar, the power comes on

differently. Those systems also allow power

output to be moderated and can work in

combination with other electronic systems

like suspension and ABS to create a very

different feeling machine all-round at the

tap of a button.

Q: I’ve heard of a slipper

clutch, but what is an assist

and slipper clutch?

A: As its name suggests, the assist and

slipper clutch aids riders with a lighter

clutch pull and ensures the rear wheel

doesn’t lock on deceleration. A&S systems

in general use two types of cams (an assist

cam and a slipper cam) to either drive the

clutch hub and operating plate together or

apart. Under normal operation, the assist

cam functions as a self-servo mechanism,

pulling the clutch hub and operating plate

together to compress the clutch plates.

This allows the total clutch spring load to

be reduced, which translates to a lighter

clutch lever feel when operating the clutch.

When excessive engine braking occurs – as

a result of quick or accidental downshifts

– the slipper cam comes into play, forcing

the clutch hub and operating plate apart.

This relieves pressure on the clutch plates

to reduce back-torque and help prevent the

rear tyre from hopping and skidding.

Q: How is a quick-shifter of

benefit to me on the road?

A: Although quick-shifters are designed to

maximise acceleration on the race track,

when used on road bikes they can give

smooth, clutch-less gear changes which

can be a godsend on a tight twisty road or

in tricky riding conditions. Some systems

operate up and down through the gearbox,


ut up-only tends to be the most common

system you find on production bikes at

present. The systems tend to operate by

cutting the ECU when a gear change is

detected and on down changes an auto

throttle blip to facilitate a smooth change is


Q: How does ABS work and

are all systems the same?

A: On a motorcycle fitted with an antilock

braking system, the ABS control

unit constantly monitors the speed of

the wheels using wheel-speed sensors.

If a wheel threatens to lock during hard

braking or on slippery roads, the ABS

regulates the braking pressure in a targeted

manner, thereby ensuring optimum

braking. In this way, the driving stability

and manoeuvrability of the motorcycle is

maintained, even where there are adverse

riding conditions such as sand, gravel or

water. Not every system is the same and,

in general, vary through the amount of

sensors they use. The most basic systems

purely measure the difference between

front and rear wheel speed, while the most

advanced use an Inertial Measurement Unit

(IMU) and can distribute brake pressure

between front and rear wheels.

Q: How does traction

control work?

A: Not every system is the same and, at

the end of the day, it all comes down to the

type and number of sensors a bike uses

to detect rear wheel spin and intervene.

The more basic systems use wheel speed

sensors to monitor front and rear wheel

speed and when it detects wheel spin,

engine power is reduced to allow rear wheel

grip to be regained. To reduce the engine

power, systems either retard the ignition

timing, skip fuel injection or electronically

adjust the throttle if it is fitted with a RBW

system. The more advanced systems,

however, rely on separate ECUs with an

accelerometer that measure lean angle and

acceleration or multiple accelerometers and

gyroscopes to give a more complete picture

of what the bike is doing.

Q: We’ve heard about

motorcycle stability control.

How is this different to ABS

and traction control?

A: MSC is in essence a combination of

ABS and traction control with the primary

objective of keeping the motorcycle

safely on the road. The system constantly

measures all key motorcycle data –

wheel speed, lean angle, pitch angle,

acceleration, braking pressure and many

more. This data allows the system to

recognise critical situations and intervene,

thereby preventing the wheels from

locking when braking, stopping the wheels

spinning, mitigating the rear wheel from

lifting, as well as making sure that the front

wheel stays on the ground.







For this event, we wanted to try something a bit different. We

wanted to win our 3rd title in a row on something that would

really WOW the industry. So, we went naked...

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus & Eugene Liebenberg

At the beginning of 2017, I attended the launch

of the new KTM 1290 Superduke R at Redstar

Raceway. From the first second I swung my

leg over the bike I was in love. Raw, powerful,

racy - ready for any challenge. Now if you were

paying attention you would have seen that at

the end of the article I challenged KTM SA, to

see if they were brave enough to enter their new

naked beast in the 24-hour race. Months went

by with no response, until literally 3 weeks before

the race I got a call from Riaan Neveling, KTM

brand manager, telling me that they accept my

challenge and that we would be racing. Was I

excited? You bet!

It would not be a RideFast race team if things

were not left to the last minute, so after many

hours of ass-licking phone calls and emails,

we finally had some budget to go racing. KTM

SA came onboard with two 1290 Superduke R

machines, 1 to race and 1 as a spare. They also

helped out with other bits and bobs, to help

make us look as factory as possible.

Pol 360 Administration and Systems came

onboard as our title sponsor, with Bruce from

Bike Tyre Warehouse helping out with fresh

Metzler Racetec slick K2 rubber. Ridgeway

Racer and smash ton Industries would help with

the final rands needed to get everything sorted.

Motorex supplied some of their world class

lubricant products.

So, after only 2 practice sessions the week

before, it was finally race day and we certainly

looked the part, but could we go as fast as we

looked? I would be lying if I said I was not a bit

nervous going into the event, as I had not quite

grasped what I had gotten myself into by racing

a stock-road going naked bike in a 24-hour race.

In the practice sessions we scraped the rear sets

and foot levers almost to nothing, so some prep

was needed on the bike to get it race ready. KTM

official rear sets were fitted, along with a host of

other KTM Powerparts such as lever protectors,

radiator guard, seat cowl and Akro pipe. Oh yes,

and we did do an oil change. So it was pretty

much your average road going machine. The

only question now was could it compete against

mighty super bikes, and could it go the distance.

It was time to find out…



Our team was made up of the

maximum allowed 6 riders. Our 3 A

group riders being the fastest father

and son in the world, Ricky and

Shez Morais, and trick-of-all-trades

Riaan Neveling. They would rotate

riding in the A groups, while it was

up to me to do every B session,

my brother, Shaun Portman,

to do every C, and Randburg

Motorcycles man, Michael Powell

had the tough task of not only

doing every D group, but also

somehow managing not to break

out of the ridiculously slow 2,20-

time bracket set for the group.

“A group” is unlimited, so no

problem for Shez or Ricky to go

fast. Riaan was the thorn in our

side. He was set to do the C

group, restricted to 2,10 lap times,

but in his first and only practice

session, on lap 3, he already

comfortably broke pout and did a

2,04.5. Now, let’s just say Riaan

is similar to Ricky and Shez in

the fact they don’t take kindly to

instructions, so rather than risking

getting a million penalty laps, we

moved Riaan into “A group” and

Shaun was demoted down to

handle C, as we knew we could

trust him to keep the slower pace.

Somewhat prepared, it was

time for qualifying, which took

place 45minutes before the actual

start of the race at 12pm on the

Saturday. We sent Shez out on

fresh new Metzler K2 slicks. It was

his first time out with the bike, so it

took a few laps to get comfortable.

After 5 laps Shez pitted and we

had qualified in 4th place. (Not

bad considering it was only

fully-fledged race bikes who out

qualified us.)

Shezza’s first impressions of

the bike were very positive. The

only complaint being the soft setup

standard suspension, which we

could do nothing about as it was

set at its hardest settings.

Riaan was elected to start the

race, as he was the tallest of our A

riders so would be easier for him to

attack the Endurance styled start

process, where the rider runs to the

bike, climbs on and goes.

Riaan got a great start and was

up mixing it with Team Suzuki’s

Darryn Upton for 3rd place. Team

RSR were out from with top rider

AJ Venter. Team CSRA, on their

KTM RC8, were not too far behind

with rider Mathew Herbert.

Then on lap 4 disaster struck

as Riaan was forced to pit with a

broken exhaust pipe. We spent


Team RSR’s AJ Venter

Upton and


doing battle

around 14 minutes in the pits fixing

the pipe, losing some 9 laps in

the process. Riaan was eventually

sent out to complete what was left

of his 30minute A session. It was

no surprise to see us down in last

place but one thing we have learnt

about a 24-hour race is that there

is plenty of time so we knew we

had to pace to get back up to the

sharp end.

I was up next for my first B

session. My job was simple, do not

go faster than 2,05’s but try get as

close to that time as possible every

lap. Sounded easy before the race,

but the 1290 Superduke R was so

good I had to hold back somewhat.

My first lap in anger was a 2,05.6

and I could see the team hanging

off the wall just about throwing

the pit board at me telling me to

slow down. I spent the rest of the

session getting into a grove and

making passes around just about

every turn.

Before I knew it my 30-minute

session was up and it was time

for Shaun to head out for the first

C sessions. By this time, we had

made up huge ground and were

sitting pretty in 5th place. Some

teams ahead started having some

bad luck which helped our cause.

For the opening couple of hours,

it was all about Team RSR, Team

CSRA and Team Suzuki, who were

the biggest movers. RSR would

incur some penalty laps, as did

CSRA, which promoted the very

consistent team Suzuki up into the

lead of the Endurance class.

As with years gone past, Relay

teams were allowed to enter and

scored separately to the Endurance

class. Honey Lotus had some early

issues but soon got into the groove

and by the time the night sessions

came they were comfortable in the

lead of the Relay class and overall

on the time sheets.

Apart from the KTM team,

RideFast Magazine also entered

a Relay Team, Team Ridgeway

RideFast. A 6 rider, 4 Dunlop shop

bike team consisting of Sean

Powell, More Krynauw, Land

Sinden, Tobosela “Tobs” Molefe,

Justin Rea and Top SA rider Bjorn


You could hear and see the KTM

1290 Superduke R from a mile

away. That ROAR is unmistakable.


The team had a great start but

sadly some mistakes on track

cost them so they too found

themselves way down the field

trying to fight back.

Heading into the night sessions,

we had managed to make up

massive time on the rest and found

ourselves back up in the top 3.

We knew that we would make up

massive time at night, so our aim

was to get a tyre and brake pad

change down ready to attack.

It was at this point that we

realized that we were short staffed.

We only had 2 mechanics in the

pits, Kevin and Stephan, both from

KTM SA and both more comfortable

working on off-road machines. We

threw them straight into the deep

end but with the help of the very

talented Riaan, were able to get the

job done. This did take a bit longer

than we had hoped so we lost

around 8 laps in the process.

With fresh Metzler K2 slicks

fitted, it was time to attack and

attack we did! We made up loads of

time in the night sessions, thanks to

constantly fast lap times and some

bad luck for the teams out front.

Before the race, heavy rain fall

was going to be a massive factor,

but despite big threats with massive

lightning strikes ( which words can’t

really explain how amazing this

looked out on track) the rain never

came, which I for one was really

happy about, as we had already had

enough problems and the thought

of changing to wet tyres was one I

did not want to entertain.

Breaking beautifully into the

morning sunrise, we were still very

Ricky Morais, so

fast and stylish

on the KTM

Landi Sinden in

a big battle

Skinny on the

Suzuki SV650

Team BSR with Team We

Sell Parts closing in fast


Protection that


METALIZE paddock stands - front & rear

RRP R830 each

METALIZE one piece

leather suit

RRP R9900


RRP from R2500


RRP from R680

Henderson Racing Products - 011 708 5905


Shez loving life on the

1290 Superduke R

much on the attack and playing catch up. But once again,

bad luck hit us, as our D rider Michael broke out of the set

lap time handing us a 2-lap penalty. Very much a case of

1 step forward and 2 steps back. After a big making up

session, we refocused and set out at catching the leaders.

Our Metzler K2 slicks were getting the job done nicely,

lasting around 6 hours on a set. Our second tyre change was

a lot faster with the master himself there to lend a helping

hand. Ricky Morais had to attend a wedding so only got to

the race at 11pm on Sat night, just in time to help out in the

pits. Ricky would soon suit up and attack the remaining A

group sessions after sunrise.

Team RSR suffered a small crash and had to spend

some time in the pits repairing the bike, while Team Suzuki

also had their fair share of problems in the pits. That left

the Relay team of honey Lotus comfortable out front. Team

CSRA had to unfortunately pull out after a couple of spills

form A rider Herbert left the bike in a bit of a mess.

Teams on the move in the Endurance class included

We Sell Parts, Mother City Mob, Kwaai Zulu Impies,

Circus Monkeys and the all ladies team of Suzuki Kittens,

onboard the new SV650 model. Team Fluid Control Services

consistently got on with the job a bit further back in the pack.

Sean Powell from Dunlop

Mathew Herbert

was fast on the



AJ Venter heading into the sunset

Nothing better than racing at night. Tough, but fun!


In the Relay, Team Riot, Team Ridgeway

RideFast and Team BSR were all going at it

for the final podium positions.

This year, more than any, was vital to get

on the podium as R100k split prize money

was up for grabs in both the Endurance

and Relay classes courtesy of Pride Bulk

Logistics. I really wanted that R30k 1st

place prize money and promised my wife

I would be coming home with it. That was

the only way she let me race…

Heading into the last 5 hours and we are

still 5 laps behind the leaders, Team RSR,

who did an amazing job at fighting back

after their troubles. Team Suzuki were not

too far behind us, so we had the hard job of

trying to chat down RSR, while still keeping

an eye on the hard charging Team Suzuki.

We managed to close the gap to

within 2 laps of the leaders with 3 hours

left. Then more bad luck struck.. Michael

again broke out so it was another 2-lap

penalty for us, putting us 4 laps behind.

That pretty much ended our chances of

winning and despite a late onslaught,

we finished only 2 laps behind eventual

winners RSR and one behind Honey Lotus

on the overall standings. That put us 2nd in

the Endurance class, 17 laps ahead of 3rd

place Team Suzuki.

Honey lotus took overall honors in the

Relay challenge, with Team Riot in 2nd,

and team Ridgeway RideFast in 3rd. So,

a good day overall for us here at RideFast

Magazine, with both our teams on the


It was another great experience and to

say we rocked up with bearly any practice,

on a naked road bike and challenged right

to the end for the win is very impressive

and I for one am very proud. Big thanks

once again to all the sponsors for making

it possible and especially to Pride Bulk

Logistics, Suzuki SA and Redstar Raceway

for making this event possible once again..

It really is the highlight of the year!

The KTM 1290 Superduke R was

sublime. It never skipped a beat and

was a pleasure to ride. Not one hiccup

or anything, and only after the race we

realized we didn’t even check the oil once

during the entire 24-hours. Very impressive!

A big pat on the back must go out

to not only KTM SA for taking up the

challenge but also Suzuki SA for having the

balls and trust in their machines to tackle

this grueling event. They were the only two

manufacturers to enter teams this year.

Let’s hope the rest look at this and take

this Endurance race a bit more seriously.

It’s the perfect platform for them to prove

their machines worth - as both KTM and

Suzuki did!

Now, the hardest part, telling my wife

that I did not bring home the moola… Let’s

hope she lets me race this year, as we

have big plans and want that number one

plate back!

Stunning shot of

Shaun riding with

the sunrise






These two don’t really need any introduction. One is a Moto3

World Champion and has just come off three straight podiums

in his first season of Moto2. The other has been lighting up our

screens in Moto3, keeping us on the edge of our seats and testing

the strength of our finger nails. Words: Wayne Van Tonder

Brad and Darryn Binder. Two of the men flying the

South African flag high on the world stage, and the

world is most certainly taking notice.

I had the honour of sitting down with Brad and

Darryn to ask a few questions. So, enough from me,

here’s what Brad and Darryn had to say…

Q) What are your feelings and thoughts on this

past season?

A) Darryn - You start it old boet…

A) Brad - The season was really frustrating, but the

good thing was, we had a lot of progress throughout

the season. From mid-season to the end, we got

stronger and stronger every single race. I still feel like

there is a lot of room left to improve, although we are

already starting to fight upfront, which is important.

So, I feel like, if we can start next season how we

ended off this season we can only improve and go

forward from there.

A) Darryn - Mine was pretty much the exact

opposite. It started off well and was getting better

and better, I was able to run up in the front. Then,

when I came home for the summer break I ended up

hurting myself and I missed out on four races. I went

back and I was struggling to get back on it, then at

the last race I had an off again and injured the other

thumb. Fortunately, the results, in the beginning,

were good enough to get me a ride with KTM Ajo

and I am really looking forward to that.

Q) How did the KTM Ajo ride come about, Darryn?

A) Darryn - Basically, they approached me already

right at the beginning of the year. That’s where

I wanted to ride. They have produced so many

champions, I want to be a part of that team. They

came to me with the offer to ride for them. It took me

some time to get it right as I still had a contract with

my team (Platinum Bay) that I was with for 2017. In

the end, we managed to get it all sorted out and I got

the ride.

Q) I see the team has a different structure to it for

next year in terms of riders? What is the set up now?

A) Darryn - The two guys - the Oncu twins - from the

Red Bull Rookies cup have come through. KTM has

made a team in the junior CEV world championship,

which they never had before. The Turkish twins will

be in the junior CEV world championship, and I will

be the only rider in the Moto3 world championship

for KTM Ajo in 2018. It’s great, as I can have the

focus of the whole team.

Q) What was your favourite moment from this

past season?

A) Darryn - My favourite part of the season has to be

leading my first Moto3 race back in Jerez. It is a bit of

a strange feeling at first, but that was cool!

A) Brad - My highlight would definitely be Australia

(Philip Island), where I had a proper fight with Franco

Morbidelli. It was great because I felt like I had



something in my pocket. For the last few

laps, I managed to put my head down

and pull a bit of a gap. It was an awesome

feeling beating the guy winning the


Q) How did testing go for you, Brad?

A) Brad - Testing was good, we had a lot

of things that worked well. We also had

a lot of negative things that we tried. We

had a brand new bike to test which had a

lot of positives but also a lot of negatives.

So the guys are going back to the drawing

board now and will try build us something

in-between what we had and what we tried

now. We were doing the same lap times,

however, the bike worked better and worse

in different ways. We just didn’t really make

the step forward that we wanted to make.

The team will try to get rid of some of the

negatives on the new bike, then I am sure

we will make big steps forward.

Q) Darryn, you, unfortunately, had to sit

out of testing with the injury, what was

your involvement for the time being?

A) Darryn - I went to the test to meet the

team. I spent four days in total with the

team and got to know the guys, and got to

know the guys I will be working with next

year. It was basically just to hang out with

them. I got to chat about some technical

aspects with my crew chief, chat about

how they work and see how they work. It

was really nice to be a part of the team and

get to know them.

Q) Will the communication between you

two be easier now in terms of giving and

taking advise, now that you both in the

KTM Ajo team?

A) Darryn - I think it will be a little bit easier.

My brother will next door to me now. He

can come in at any time, even with the

boss Aki. They can listen to what I have to

say and help me out if he can.

Q) When are you expecting to be back

on the bike and how will the injury affect

you going into next season?

A) Darryn - The right hand, right thumb

(the first injury) is 100% fixed now. Today

(29th November) is two weeks on the new

injury, so I got another two weeks about.

It won’t affect the beginning of the season

at all. After testing now, I have 2 weeks

to relax. I have already had two weeks off

now, having not taken part in testing. The

injury should then basically be heeled in

those 2 weeks. I will be able to start training

and everything with my brother and we will

be ready for the start of the new season.

Q) Brad, how have you felt about

the development of the KTM’s? The

company really seems to be advancing

their machines faster than most

expected through all classes.

A) Brad - KTM is a brand that is not there

to come second. I think they have an

unlimited budget and can do whatever

they like. They have all the best people

that they have brought from all over. They

have incredible people working for them. I

believe there is no stopping them one day.

When they have everything in order, they

are going to be a serious threat.

Q) Brad, Miquel Oliveira got to test the

MotoGP bike last season, do you think

you will get a chance soon?

A) Brad - I made a deal with Pit Beirer

that if I get my first podium I get to test the

MotoGP bike. So, probably early next year I

will get to test it.


Q) Darryn, do you see yourself getting a

ride on a Moto2 machine soon?

A) Brad - I don’t know if Darryn will get to

test the Moto2 bike. He will ride the bike for

sure. A full test though, I’m not so sure.

A) Darryn - Those types of things are

normally based on results and if you have

made some kind of deal with the boss or

big shots at KTM. They are always trying to

motivate you, so they often agree to it.

Q) What are your expectations or goals

for next season?

A) Darryn - For me, being with a factory

team, you have to have high expectations.

My goal is to fight for the World


A) Brad - My goal is to take everything one

day at a time. I want to start off the new

season where I ended off this last one. If I

can start off with that kind of form, I know

I can improve throughout the season and I

want to fight for the World Championship

Q) Can we expect a Binder brothers KTM

team in Moto2 in a few years’ time?

A) Brad - I hope not because I want to be

in MotoGP.

Q) Are you looking forward to having

Odendaal in the Paddock next season,

another South African?

A) Brad - Yeah. It’s always good to have

more South African’s around. Sometimes

it’s just good to hear another South African


Q) Both of you will obviously be looking

forward to next season and new

challenges now, however, you were both

affected by injuries last season. How

do you feel the season could have gone

had you not got injured? You both got

stronger and stronger every race.

A) Darryn - I think if I hadn’t hurt myself

I could have been even more consistent

and could have been in the top ten in the

championship. I think I only scored points

in about six races this season, so yeah,

that could have been better. The podium

was coming. The goal though from the

beginning of the year for me was to stay in

the top ten. You get those races where you

do better than others. I was running top

ten earlier in the year and then something

clicked, as my brother would say, and I was

right up there. I think if I could have done

the full season and stayed strong, I could

have got that podium.

A) Brad - If I could have started the season

in a normal way it could have been a bit

of a different story. The way it ended up, I

am happy. It gave me less pressure at the

beginning of the year coming back from

injury. I really got time just to learn my way

around the bike and find out how things

worked in Moto2. I can’t complain about

the way the season finished, two 2nd

places and a 3rd. I do wish I got a win. I

was surprised though, running around in

about 20th every session to suddenly being

top 5 almost every session. Something just

clicked, I’m not sure what, but it did.

Q) Why 40 and 41? (Aaaand…cliché


A) Brad - I was 40, no, 41…what was I?

A) Darryn - You were 14 Brad.

A) Brad - Yes, I was 14. Then I ended up

moving up and the number was taken, so

ended up going with 41. I also enjoyed

watching Haga in WorldSBK. Then Darryn

just went one under, just to one better me.

A) Darryn - I was 15 originally and he was

14. But when I stepped up, 15 was also

taken so I took 40.

Q) Do you have braai’s

during the season, and

what sort of hobbies

do you have away from


A) Brad - When we miss

home we Braai. However,

the meat there is ‘kak’, so…

A) Darryn - Hobbies are good to have and

you always have to train. So you have to

make your training your hobby, otherwise,

if you don’t enjoy it you will end up hating it

and you will suffer.

Cycling has become our hobby.

A) Brad - and Golf, I ‘shmaak’ Golf,

although I play like s#!t. Darryn beat me

with one hand yesterday. But, I’m going to

go pro.

I had so many more questions for these

two, I could have been there for hours.

In fact, Brad joked at the end - after I

proceeded to cut in on everyone’s time

and just hang around as much as possible

(awkward) - that next time I would need an

extra hour.

However, the few minutes I got with them

was great. Even though they had a full day

of interviews ahead and had just come

from one, they were professional and

friendly, true champions really.

Talking to these two, you can sense the

determination and passion for what they

do. They just give you the feeling that they

will be World Champions and I believe that

they will be challenging next season.

Marquez brothers watch out! The Binders

are coming!


TESTED: Yamaha X-Max 300

The 2018 Yamaha X-Max Scooter


In a world that seems to be going faster and faster – sometimes it’s pretty cool to slow

down a bit and enjoy watching the scenery cruising by… This is the Yamaha X-Max.

Words: Kyle Lawrenson

It’s Miserable. The sky is grey, the rain

is falling, traffic is – well you know how

traffic goes in Gauteng when it rains –

and we’ve got big smiles.

Why? We’re carving our way to

Yamaha on the new X-Max. Nippy, quick,

no traffic woes…

We traded our trusty 300cc delivery

scoot for a week in the saddle of this

one. 300 KM’s and just over half a

tank later, we are again convinced

that Yamaha sure knows how to build


You snigger. Motorcycles? Well yes this

is a far cry from the old Passola that your

momma used to ride to school and back.

This is a scoot with street smarts, decent

power and all of the technology common

to modern superbikes.

We used the scoot to call on dealers

– guys. For commercial purposes, you’ll

need to work hard to convince us that

there is a better option than something

like this. Huge storage under the seat –

room for two full-face helmets, as well as

two fairing storage spaces (one locked,

with a 12-volt outlet).

Simple get on and twist the throttle

makes so much sense. Need more carry

space? Jam on a backpack and you can

transport a pretty hefty load.

And the X-Max is plenty comfortable

with a well-padded seat, decent runner

boards and well placed bars. Information

is sent to the rider through the uber

modern dashboard – speed, RPM, fuel

economy… all easy to read. Both the

handlebars and the windscreen are

adjustable. The grips can be moved back

about three-quarters of an inch from the

standard position, while the windscreen

can be moved up two inches for more




















25 - 27 MAY 2018


Engine: 292cc Single-cylinder

Power: 28hp @ 7,250rpm

Torque: 29Nm @ 5,750rpm

Wet weight: 179Kg

Overall length: 2,185 mm

Seat height: 795mm

Wheelbase: 1,540 mm

Minimum ground clearance: 135 mm

Fuel capacity: 13L

Price: R69,950

wind protection. Everything has a solid,

quality feel to it – so inherent to Japanese

motorcycles. While on the move, the

fairing did a great job at keeping us – well

relatively dry. Nothing worse than a soggy

crotch on a bike.

But when you have to stop… Well that’s

a different story. Nothing stops that soaking

rain. Perhaps BMW did have a plan with

that C1 all those years ago.

The 2018 Yamaha XMax’s 292cc

4-strokemotor is modern and really

smooth. In addition to being water-cooled

and having a four-valve head (albeit

with a single cam), It’s fuel-injected and

counterbalanced for buttery smoothness

an efficiency.

ABS is standard. Keeping contact with

the road are Dunlop Scootsmart tyres. This

rubber has a good reputation with scooter

riders in all conditions, as well as favorable

wear rates. We had no complaints on the

wet roads – and the traction control stops

things from slipping out and keeping things

safe and controllable. Read what we said

about technology earlier. Traction control is


How it works:

The X-Max does have the traditional fully

automatic belt/pulley constantly variable

transmission (CVT) that helps avoid

wheelspin by mechanically matching power

to wheel speed, it also has an electronics

system with traction control. The XMax’s

TC monitors wheel speeds and reduces

power if it detects a slipping rear wheel.

Cool Huh?

With a 15-inch front and 14-inch rear, it

has pretty sporty handing and cornering

clearance. She does handle sweeping

curves and the like really beautifully. The

large wheels also make the XMax much

safer on the pothole-infested roads you

often find on SA roads.

Peeps. Scoots like this are so much

fun. With a max speed of around 150kph

and great linear acceleration you can rest

assured that you won’t feel uncomfortable

or under powered in the urban jungle

during the week. Pack a picnic or some

clean undies and pop your favourite person

on the back and head for your weekend

venue for the weekend – we guarantee that

you’ll have a great time.

Check it out at your local Yamaha Dealer.


TESTED: Suzuki GSX250R

Humble commuter rocks

The GSX-250R is Suzuki’s first fully faired small-capacity

sportsbike in ages, and it’s a very snappy dresser and a

beautifully put together bike for beginner riders. Underneath

the racy livery, though, beats the heart of a commuter, and a

ride that’s the polar opposite of intimidating.

Words & Pics: Loz Blain

Small capacity road bikes are big

business in the SA market. Beginner

riders want to look as badass as possible

when they throw their leg over their very

first bike. And fair enough, too, they’ve

just made an expensive and frequently

inconvenient lifestyle choice, gambling

that they’re going to love it as much as

the rest of us do. The least their first bike

can do is give them a tingle in the pants

when they run a soapy cloth over it.

Suzuki hasn’t really had a beginner-class

sportsbike for a long time, to my hazy

memory. The last small capacity bike I can

remember with sporty fairings and a Suzi

logo on it was the old GSX250F. Across,

a terrific little 4-cylinder screamer with a

helmet-sized lockable trunk where you’d

expect the fuel tank. I’ve still got one in the

shed, actually, my missus used to ride it.

In more recent years, Suzuki’s best

learner bike has been the SV650 – a great

bike that I’d recommend heartily. But it

ain’t got that shiny plastic that the racer

guys on the telly have, and perhaps that’s

what’s keeping an otherwise outstanding

bike off that top ten list.

Enter the GSX-250R

This is a beautifully put together motorcycle.

It really is. It’s great to look at, nice to touch,

and comfy to sit on. The view from the

rider’s seat is genuinely sumptuous. It’s

the sort of view that I can imagine inspiring

heart-bursting pride and superfluous

cleaning sessions in a new owner.


The centerpiece is a very nice bluebacklit

digital dash which, apart from doing

its job admirably and looking terrific, gives

you an easy-to-read clock, fuel gauge and

gear position indicator.

The fairings on our test bike are done

up to mimic the latest and greatest

GSX-R1000 - indeed, they’re very close to

the paint jobs Iannone and Rins are racing

with in MotoGP. This thing looks boss!

Suzuki has a considerable history when

it comes to making hardcore sportsbikes.

The GSX-R range has a hard-fought

reputation for ruthless performance and

racetrack focus.

But by the end of the driveway, I know

this bike is not a Gixxer. I guess if it was,

they’d have called it a GSX-R250. The R on

the GSX-250R gets shunted right over to

the end. Instead of a screaming 4-cylinder

engine, it gets a mild-mannered parallel

twin, a 248 cc, single overhead cam job

developed from the even milder-mannered

Inazuma GW250.

The engine makes 24.7 horsepower and

23Nm of torque. That’s … not a lot. It makes

the 250R extremely friendly for beginners,

as it’s easy to get off the line without

stalling, and there’s basically zero chance

of accidentally wheelying the thing like what

happened to me on the old GPX250 I rented

to do my license test on back in the day.

That was … enlightening.

Excessive power can certainly get a

beginner rider into trouble. But adequate

power can also get you out of trouble.

Motorcycling in traffic, at least the way I do

it, is a game of spotting gaps and zipping

into the cracks to find the safest place to be

at a given time. This little Suzi doesn’t have

the punch to ride like that, you’ve got to plan

ahead and go with the flow a little more.

Around town, it gets the job done. On

the freeway, it revs so high I start to feel

sorry for it. I always sit 5-10 km/h over

the speed of traffic. That’s a good tip for

learners – most speedometers over-read

by somewhere between 5 and 10 percent,

so if you know your bike’s speedo well, you

can usually safely sit on an indicated 110 in

a 100 zone without risking a ticket even in

the harshest enforcement zones.

If you’re moving forward through traffic,

even by a little bit, everything is happening

in front of you, rather than coming from

behind you. That means less surprises and

a general feeling of being in control of your

own destiny. I have found that anyone who

overtakes me going much faster than that

is usually very awake at the wheel. So that’s

what I need to do to feel safe in traffic.

At an indicated 110 on the GSX250R

speedo, this little twin is howling along at

more than 8,000 rpm. It feels like a cruel

thing to do to it for longer stints. Now,

let’s be clear: this is a Suzuki, and as such

you don’t need to worry, it’s engineered

to outlast the lot of us. After the nuclear

apocalypse, nothing will be left but

Keith Richards, cockroaches, unkillable

water bears and indestructible Japanese

motorcycles. But it’s not a relaxed way to

get around at freeway speeds.

The meek performance of the engine

is exaggerated by the awesome-looking

MotoGP fairings, which make every

V8-driving moron think you want to drag

race at the stop lights. You don’t. You will

lose. Like certain Dear Leaders of certain

Democratic People’s Republics, this bike

walks very loudly but carries a tiny stick.

You know that tough guy friend of yours

that says “I could never ride a motorbike,

I don’t trust myself, I’d go everywhere at a

million miles an hour?” Oh yeah? Try that

on this bike, hotshot.

Outside the motor, I can’t find much to

fault. It’s such a well built package. The

slightly thin tires, perhaps, might land

people in trouble with wet tram tracks, but

that’s a lesson you learn on your bicycle if

you live in a town that’s got those. Maybe

the mirrors, which work well, and fold in

for lane splitting, but don’t snap back into

position when you fold them back out.

Surely that couldn’t have pushed the price

up too much.

In corners, it’s a delight. At 181 kg fully

fueled and ready to ride, it’s heavier than

some of the competition, but still a light,

compact and manageable motorcycle for

just about any size rider. The plus side of

a thinnish, 140-section rear tyre – in this

case, a lightly sporty IRC Road Winner – is

hyper-quick steering and awesome corner

speeds for riders with the skill to dive in late

and pin the throttle early.

In fact, on a tight racetrack, there would

be plenty of fun to be had on one of these.

The brakes and suspension are impressive


for the price, it uses next to no fuel, and the whole

package works well together. Standard ABS on SA

models means you can brake with abandon in a

straight line, and as for traction control … Well, if

you can break the back end free on tarmac, I’ll buy

you a Mars bar.

I just can’t shake the feeling this is a tremendous

bike built around the wrong motor - at least for this

market. In Chinese or Indian riding conditions, this

thing might be just about perfect. But the price,

while affordable, will also be a tough pill to swallow

given the competition. Starting at R68,900 it costs

a little more than the Kawasaki Ninja 300, which is 6

kilos lighter and offers 10 more horses.

And then there’s the Yamaha YZF-R3, which costs

around R4k less, but is 12 kilos lighter and gives you

some 70 percent more power for a total of 42 hp.

You might as well throw in the KTM RC390, which

is starting to step up a class really, but value-formoney

can’t be over looked. That’s a tough market

for the GSX-250R to go up against, considering all

those other bikes look plenty racy to boot.

Still, as a commuter machine, a back-blocks

banger and a tight corner destroyer, there’s plenty

of fun to be had here in a bike that’s the opposite

of intimidating. The greenest of new riders will feel

confident finding the throttle stop – mind you, that’s

a habit you’ll want to kick before you step onto an

open-class sportsbike – and an apprenticeship on a

GSX-250R would teach you a heap about cornering

lines and carrying speed.

I just hope we see a GSX-R300 sometime soon that

goes as sweet as this thing looks. There’s a World

SuperSport 300cc race category waiting if it does!



Michelin Tyres recently



took a bunch of dealers

across to the MotoGP

in Valencia. Bruce de

Kok, SA’s Mr Tyre went

along and learnt a lot

about GP rubber. He

tells us the story…

Words & Pics: Bruce de Kok

Michelin South Africa, as

a thank you to its top SA

clients in 2017, put us on a

plane; gave us VIP tickets

to the last Moto GP of the

season in Valencia Spain; and off we went.

The weather could not have been

better; the atmosphere was like a News

Years Eve party – that lasted the whole

weekend; and there were more bikes then I

have ever seen in one city at any time.

Our hosts Louis Enslin ( Michelin SA) &

Ryan Robertson (Auto Cycle Centre) both

went out of their way to ensure we had a

party from the time we landed, till the time

we departed for SA. This included litre

beers at Istanbul’s airport (at 4am in the

morning); meals at top 5 star restaurants

and a night visit to the 2nd largest

aquarium in Europe to look at big fat ugly

beluga whales ( I am still trying to work

out what the whales have to do with 320

km/hour race bikes) - but, I did appreciate

walking through an underwater tunnel

surrounded by great whites.

Michelin VIP was above any expectation

or anything I have experienced before from

a group event perspective.

Going around the inside of the track

in a BMW with Rossi, Marquez and the

boys flying past less then 20 metres away

was mind blowing - huge respect for all

GP riders.

The GP race speaks for itself; the

wipeouts and saves up close; television

can never portray anything like being

there - ear plugs in; the smell of rubber;

fuel and adrenalin…. FANTASTIC!

I spent time with the Michelin tyre

team; 9 men running tyre changes for the

weekend. 420 tyres in 2 & half hours (yup).

All done on old fashioned dynamic static


So much for electronic wheel balancers,

a constant argument with clients coming

in store and insisting that electronic is

better. I now have a huge poster up at the

shop showing the chaps with the statics,

balancing GP tyres for the fastest track

riders on the planet. Case closed.

The photos tell the real story; a huge

thank you to Michelin for the trip - one off

the bucket list for sure.


Caught up with Trevor Binder

Seeing these guys in action is special...

A pic with Darryn Binder




The start of December marked the beginning of what is rapidly becoming

a tradition in the world of motorcycle racing. After the Jerez test in late

November, it is now “Why Is Jonathan Rea Faster Than A MotoGP Bike” season.

Words: David Emmett

At Jerez, Rea pushed his Kawasaki

ZX-10R WorldSBK machine – down 35+

bhp and up 10+ kg – to the fourth fastest

overall time of the week, ahead of eleven

MotoGP regulars (including two rookies),

three MotoGP test riders and Alex

Márquez, who the Marc VDS team were

using to train up the new crew recruited to

look after Tom Luthi’s side of the garage

while the Swiss rider is still injured.

How is this possible? And what does

this mean? Are WorldSBK machines

too close to MotoGP bikes? Why are

MotoGP manufacturers spending ten

times as much to be shown up at a test

by Jonathan Rea? And why, for the sake

of all that is holy, does Jonathan Rea not

have a MotoGP ride?

The answer to all but the last of those

questions is buried away in the bigger

picture of the laps posted throughout the

week. When you examine the numbers,

the picture is a lot more complex than the

headline times seem to suggest.

Tyres, temperature, and track all play a

part. But all of that can’t disguise a rather

outsized dose of talent.

Rea vs. MotoGP

Though it is undeniably true that in the

overall times, Jonathan Rea finished

fourth behind only MotoGP riders Andrea

Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow, and Jorge

Lorenzo, that is not representative of

Rea’s real race pace.


Why are MotoGP

manufacturers spending ten

times as much to be shown up

at a test by Jonathan Rea? And

why, for the sake of all that is

“holy, does Jonathan Rea not

have a MotoGP ride?


Rea’s two fastest laps on Friday – a

1:37.986, and a 1:38.062 – were both set

on qualifying tyres. His next fastest lap – a

1:38.893 – was set during a four-lap run,

and is more in line with what he is capable

of in terms of race pace.

That 1:38.893 would put Rea behind Jack

Miller on the Pramac Ducati GP17 (twelfth

fastest, if you exclude the other WorldSBK

riders on qualifiers).

The chart below gives a much better

indication of overall pace. On a qualifier,

Rea is pretty much on a par with the

MotoGP riders on their fastest laps. But

beyond their third fastest laps, Rea’s pace

is a little under a second slower than the

MotoGP riders.

Still punishingly quick and impressively

consistent, but if Rea were to enter his

WorldSBK-spec Kawasaki ZX-10R on

Pirellis in a MotoGP race, he would be

lucky to make it into the top ten.

The table showing the average of best laps,

minus presumed qualifying laps, bears this

out. Rea is nine tenths of a second slower

than Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda, and

over a third of a second slower than Pol

Espargaro on the KTM.

The chart does reveal some interesting

trends among MotoGP riders. Andrea

Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo were working

more on speed rather than race pace.

Dovizioso, in particular, only had nine laps

below 1:38.6 before his pace dropped to

around the 1:39 mark.

The decline in Lorenzo’s pace was not

quite as precipitate, but follows the same

trend. This is consistent with Ducati

working on a new chassis and parts aimed

at solving some of the turning problems the

GP17 had during 2017.

Suzuki vs. Honda

The two most interesting curves on the

graph belong to Cal Crutchlow and Andrea

Iannone. Crutchlow’s, in particular, is

revealing. The LCR Honda rider found

himself roped in to do the donkey work of

testing of Honda’s preliminary version of

their 2018 machine.

At the Valencia test two weeks earlier, both

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez had said


they were surprised at how much closer

to being ready the new RC213V was

than it had been in previous years, and

Crutchlow’s times would appear to agree

with this.

Crutchlow’s pace is very solid, with

eighteen laps under 1:39. Crutchlow did

one longish run on Thursday: at 3:45pm,

which was quick – nine fast laps, six of

which were 1:38s.

Though it is hard to see whether it was

the 2018 or 2017 bike he did a given run

on – and almost impossible to keep track

of, without an army of people wandering

pit lane to do so – Crutchlow’s pace and

consistency suggests the Honda could

be quite good in 2018. Also for riders not

called Marc Márquez.

Andrea Iannone’s lap times will also be

reason for cheer for Suzuki.

The Italian was not quite as faster over

a single lap as the factory Ducatis or

Crutchlow (or Jonathan Rea, for that

matter), but his pace and consistency were

very good. Iannone did not do any long

runs, but even during runs of five or six

laps, multiple laps would be sub-1:39s.

Overall, Iannone’s pace was broadly

comparable with Crutchlow’s, a relief for

Suzuki after a dismal 2017.

Rea vs. WorldSBK

To get a better picture of Jonathan Rea’s

worth – even under the new regulations –

we can compare his times against the other

WorldSBK riders. Rea’s fastest time is a

third of a second faster than anyone else,

and his advantage in race pace is pretty


No matter where you look, the gap

between Rea and the rest is pretty similar.

At the test, Rea put this partly down to the

regulation changes: the rev limits in place

make the bike more ridable, allowing the

Ulsterman to carry more corner speed

and apply the throttle earlier without risk of

upsetting the bike.

The new rules have only moved the

Kawasaki closer to his natural style.

If the testing data bears out that the new

rules have helped Jonathan Rea, they also

appear to have helped Alex Lowes on the

Yamaha. Lowes race pace is quick and

consistent, matching (if not better than) that

of Tom Sykes on the other Kawasaki.

Lowes did a lot of laps in the 1:39s, but he

also did a long run of 15 full laps, or just

under 80% of race distance. All of those

laps were under 1:41, and all bar two were

under the race lap record Jonathan Rea set

during Race 2 here in October.

This was a very promising run for Lowes,

offering hope that the WorldSBK podium

(if not the top step of it) could be a very

much more diverse place in 2018. The

table below shows the average of sub 1:42

laps posted by five different riders, and this

also shows just how strong Lowes was at

the test.

Less obvious, but still visible is the fact that

Marco Melandri is struggling. Though the

data used for Melandri is not completely

comparable – the only data I have for the

Aruba.it Ducati rider is for Thursday, not

Friday – it seems a fair reflection of the

problems he was having.

The Italian was faster on Friday, but only by

a tenth of a second, and still over a second

and a half slower than Rea.

Melandri did not try for a quick lap on

qualifiers, so it is understandable that his

best time was a lot slower than the others.

But even in terms of pace, the Italian is

lagging behind Sykes and Lowes.

The Ducati Panigale R has arguably been

hardest hit by the rev limits introduced in

the new rules. Ducati are having to chase

revs to make enough horsepower to

compete against the four cylinders, and

losing those extra revs are costing Ducati

both top speed and lap time.

Just how badly Ducati are struggling would

be clearer if we had Chaz Davies’ data to

compare. However, Davies crashed on

Wednesday, and suffered a knee injury.

Unfortunately, I do not have the full list of

lap times posted by Davies on Wednesday,

and so cannot make a comparison.

However, Davies’ fastest time on

Wednesday was a 1:40.630, 0.9 behind

his teammate and 2.3 seconds behind

fastest man of the day Tom Sykes. That

suggests that Davies’ data would not have

revealed that much. That might have been

very different if he had not been injured on



Camier vs. Cosworth

Though Leon Camier was slowest of the

riders selected – both in terms of outright

speed and race pace – it is clear just how

hard the Englishman is working on the Red

Bull Honda CBR1000RR.

Camier put in over 70 laps on his new

steed, working on adapting to the new bike

and giving feedback to the Ten Kate team

to help move the bike in the right direction.

Though Camier is slower – roughly half a

second off the pace of Melandri, Sykes,

and Lowes – the consistency of the bike

was impressive. Camier did a lot of laps

around the 1:40.5 mark.

The main complaint Camier had was

about the electronics of the bike, currently

a Cosworth system. He felt there was a

distinct lack of throttle connection, he told

us afterwards. The throttle took a fraction

of a second to react to inputs, making it

difficult to control precisely.

It was very like a scooter, Camier told us,

requiring planning to get into and out of

corners. Camier and the Red Bull Honda

team are hoping that a switch to Magneti

Marelli electronics will help address that,

and provide a more direct connection with

the throttle, but the first test with those will

not come until January.

Why Comparisons Are Flawed

As interesting as the comparisons are, they

only answer some of the questions we

posed at the beginning of this article. To get

the bigger picture as to why the WorldSBK

machines are so close to the times set by

the MotoGP bikes, we have to look at all of

the factors involved.

Leaving aside the riders for the moment,

there are good reasons why WorldSBK

bikes are at something of an advantage

(or rather, less of a disadvantage) at Jerez.

Those reasons can be broken down into

two factors: 1. The track; and 2. Tyres and


Starting with the track, the nature of Jerez

is such that it does not allow the MotoGP

bikes to truly stretch their legs. The track

has a lot of corners where the bike spends

a lot of time on its side.

The track favours corner speed over top

speed (the maximum recorded speed along

the back straight is a lowly 293 km/h for

the MotoGP bikes, well down on the 350+

km/h at a track like Mugello), and the final

corner and front straight is the only place

the MotoGP machines get to use their

advantage in acceleration.

Comparisons with other classes help clarify

just how much of an impact the track has

on keeping times close. Rea’s best nonqualifying

lap on the Friday of the test was

a 1:38.893, about a second behind the

MotoGP bikes.

But a week earlier, the Moto2 machines

had been at Jerez, and Miguel Oliveira had

posted a best lap of 1:41.518, roughly 2.6

seconds slower than Rea, on a bike with

half the horsepower and only 15 or 20 kg

less weight.

On the Tuesday, Nacho Calero had posted

a 1:45.067 on board a Supersport-spec

Kawasaki ZX-6R.

When compared to other tracks, the gaps

between the classes are closer. The gaps

between the lap records for the MotoGP,

Moto2, and Moto3 classes are roughly 4

seconds at Jerez.

At Motegi – a fast track with a lot of hard

acceleration – those gaps are 6 seconds

between each class, despite the lap time

only being 6 seconds slower than at Jerez.

Tyres and Temperature

Another area where the WorldSBK

bikes have a slight advantage is in

the combination between tyres and

temperatures. Track temperatures at

the November test were not far off the

temperatures recorded at the WorldSBK



Kawasaki are said to spend roughly 7 million

Euro a year on their WorldSBK program,


MotoGP factories spend in the region of 50

million a year. That is a lot of money to be

spending for only a marginal gain.

round in October, somewhere between 25-35°C.

The tyres Pirelli bring to the test work well in the cooler

temps – in fact, the Pirellis seem to work better in

cooler conditions overall than MotoGP Michelins – and

so more of the performance from the tyre is available

to the WorldSBK riders and with less effort than for the

MotoGP riders.

Michelin brought the same compounds to the test

which they had during the MotoGP round back in early

May. Then, track temperatures were in the mid-40°s

C. The tyres which worked then would have struggled

a little in the much cooler temperatures at Jerez in


Where’s the Difference?

Despite all this, Jonathan Rea, riding a hopped-up

street bike, managed to lap within a third of a second of

a pure MotoGP prototype.

Kawasaki are said to spend roughly €7 million a year

on their WorldSBK program, while MotoGP factories

spend in the region of €50 million a year. That is a lot of

money to be spending for only a marginal gain.

But motorcycle racing is a game of marginal gains, and

each incremental speed increase costs money. To go

from being three seconds a lap slower to one second a

lap slower is relatively cheap.

Going from being one second slower to getting within

half a second is an awful lot more expensive. Each

tenth of a second after that costs exponentially more,

and takes twice as long to achieve.

If Kawasaki were to decide they wanted to enter MotoGP,

it would not be as simple as removing the fake headlights

from the fairing and phoning Dorna for a grid slot.

First, they would extract the extra 10-15 horsepower

which should be relatively easily available, put carbon

brakes on, and shod the bike with Michelins. Then, off

to a track to go testing.

Expensive Iteration

There, Kawasaki would find that the updated engine

meant that the bike was approaching corners faster and

getting off the corners harder, requiring a new swingarm

and frame. More power means different geometry, which

also needs a new frame.

Carbon brakes mean they are braking later, meaning the

front of the frame would need to be stiffer to cope.

The much stiffer and very different profile of the

Michelins mean that the bike would behave completely

differently, and the frame, swingarm, geometry, weight

balance of the bike would need to be radically revised

to get the best of the tyres.

Once they felt they had reached the limits of their

current engine, they would have to build a new one,

with more power but a still usable power delivery.

More power means a new frame, new swingarm, higher

top speed, harder braking forces, which needs yet

another frame, stiffer headstock, stiffer triple clamps,

etc. Rinse and repeat until you have burned your way

through a massive pile of money. Incremental gains

come at exponential cost.

It’s the Rider, Stupid

As should be obvious from the charts and tables

comparing Rea’s times with the other WorldSBK riders,

Rea himself is also one of the biggest reasons the gap

is so small.

Anyone who has watched World Superbikes this year

has been able to see just how well Rea is riding at the

moment, able to pass other riders at will, and at any

point on the track, and capable of lapping with surgical

precision and blistering speed for an entire race.

If it is obvious to anyone watching WorldSBK just how

good Jonathan Rea is (and arguably, Chaz Davies

as well), why isn’t he in MotoGP? There are a lot of

complicated reasons for this, but most of the blame lies

with the short-sightedness of the MotoGP paddock.

MotoGP team managers – and especially MotoGP

factory bosses – do not regard the WorldSBK paddock

as a viable path to MotoGP. Instead, they look to Moto2

and Moto3, taking the best of the riders from there.

There are good reasons for doing that – being able

to watch a rider progress, and interact with them

informally gives managers an idea of what a rider is

made of. But it also misses out on a lot of potential

talent in WorldSBK.

With factory bosses focused on Moto2 and Moto3,

that leaves only seats in satellite teams up for grabs. It

is much harder for riders to make an impression on a

satellite team than on a factory bike.

Make the wrong choice, and you end up hamstrung

by a poor bike in a poor team, and without the chance

to prove what you are capable of. In a career which

is already short, taking the wrong turn can prove very

costly, and mean you never get another chance without

a mountain of cash to pay your way.


How good would Rea have

been in MotoGP? We will never

know, though we came very

close earlier this year when

there was a very serious plan

for Rea to swap places with

Andrea Iannone on the Suzuki

MotoGP machine.

Branching Futures

In a way, Jonathan Rea’s career is an

example of how circumstances – and

perhaps wrong choices – can dictate where

a rider ends up.

We suspected Jonathan Rea might

be quite good when he entered World

Superbikes, but he found himself on a

Honda and having to override the bike just

to keep up with his rivals. The fact that he

convincingly beat his teammate at Honda

every single year was another sign of how

good he was.

But nobody in the Grand Prix paddock

saw through the weakness of the Honda

CBR1000RR, looking only at the headline


The MotoGP rides he was offered were

on inferior machinery, and with Honda

continually promising to bring a much

faster bike in WorldSBK (including the

mythical V4 which never seems to

materialize), Rea stayed put.

By the time he lost patience with Honda

and moved to Kawasaki, he was already

28 years old, unfashionably ancient for the

youth-obsessed Grand Prix paddock.

The Proof of the Pudding

At Kawasaki, Rea proved just how good

he is. Since jumping onto the ZX-10R, he

has won exactly half of the 78 races he has

started and all three championships. The

rest have barely gotten a look in.

How good would Rea have been in

MotoGP? We will never know, though we

came very close earlier this year when there

was a very serious plan for Rea to swap

places with Andrea Iannone on the Suzuki

MotoGP machine.

Rea is comfortable where he is, and

very well paid (for a WorldSBK rider).

He makes a lot of money both in wages

from Kawasaki and in bonuses from his


With two young children rapidly

approaching school age, being away from

home for 13 races, rather than 19 MotoGP

rounds is an attractive proposition.

Above all, though, MotoGP factories remain

transfixed on Moto2 and Moto3, and even

the feeder classes below that, such as

the Red Bull Rookies and FIM CEV Moto3

Junior World Championship.

Their eyes are turned inwards towards

prototype racing, rather than outwards to

the world. Until that changes, even talents

like Jonathan Rea – easily one of the best

six or seven racers in the world – will be

ignored in favour of some callow youth on

a Kalex.

Epilogue: Method in This Madness

A word on methodology. The data used to

make the following comparisons was taken

from the full list of lap times on the Circuito

de Jerez live timing website.

Unfortunately, that data is not made

permanently available, nor easily

accessible, and has to be taken from the

website separately on each day of the test.

This is a very time-consuming business,

and was not possible for every rider on

every day.

So I took a smaller sample on a number

of days. The fastest days of the test for

the WorldSBK and MotoGP riders were

Thursday and Friday, and I took the full lap

times (every lap turned) for a representative

selection of fast riders.


The comparisons the analysis

below is based on were made using

the pace for MotoGP riders on

Thursday and the WorldSBK riders

on Friday (for the most part). Those

were the days the riders set their

fastest times.

The charts used were made by

taking every lap turned by a rider

on a particular day, sorting them by

lap time, and discarding obviously

slow laps (slower than 1’41 for

MotoGP riders, slower than 1’42 for

WorldSBK riders). This provides a

rough basis for comparison, though

it is hardly statistically rigorous.

Laps set in qualifying trim are easy

to identify for WorldSBK riders, but

a little harder for MotoGP riders.

The qualifying tyres Pirelli supply to

the WorldSBK series are good for

one fast lap before they are done.

Any two-lap exit – a slow out

lap followed by a very fast time

between six and eight tenths faster

than any of the rider’s other laps – is

likely to have been set on qualifiers.

As there are no qualifying tyres in

MotoGP – and no record of who

set what lap on which tyres – riders

tend to go out for slightly longer

runs (three or four laps) when

chasing a quick time. Even the

softest compound Michelin makes

available should be capable of

lasting race distance.


STARS OF Pics: Eugene Liebenberg



SAMRA (South African Motorcycle Racing Academy) has been

hosting training days and camps in SA for a few years now and

this December was no different. Neil Harran managed to gather 53

kids together who were dropped off at Red Star by their parents

after the 24 Hour race for two full days of training. You’d think it an

impossible task to supervise so many children but what Neil does

is magic. It’s a little like the old school Veldskool with all the boys

sleeping in the big hall and a policeman in the middle to make sure

nothing untoward happens with toothpaste and shaving foam but,

as usual, and just like in the old days, someone always seems to

slip some past the guards!

Neil recruits top SA racers to come and help him, including some of

our international superstars like Brad Binder and Mathew Scholtz

and it’s quite amazing to see the hero worship from these little

kids. And it works; I wish my kid would listen to me the way these

boys listen to Mathew and Brad. Also, if they say it’s possible, then

possible it is and the level is immediately elevated.

Everybody is divided into their different groups depending on their

skill level and all training is done for that specific level. The fast kids

spend most of their time on the skid pan with cones. At first they

moaned but once they saw what the instructors wanted to impart to

them (that is basic bike control and riding position), all of them were

barrelling around the cones, knee down in first gear. The two other

groups spent more time on the track and the beginners a lot of time

on the rolling road dyno to master clutch and throttle control.

At intervals during the day, the instructors charged around the track

having mock races and performing race manoeuvres and all I can

say is that within this short period of time I saw a huge improvement

in most of the kids’ riding level and confidence. If you want your kid

to race, learn to ride a bike and be involved with other like-minded

individuals; book your child into one of these training camps. It’s

called good parenting and they will love it. And best of all, you get

to use one of their bikes.

So for 2018, mark these dates in your calendar:

Eastern Cape - Port Elizabeth 4 & 5 April

Natal - iDube Track 27 & 28 June

Gauteng - Red Star 5 & 6 December

The cost varies but for Red Star it was R2300, which includes

everything from the bikes, to petrol, to accommodation, to food, to

paramedics, to photographers, to cold drinks and training and, of

course, Neil’s personal attention to everything. Trust me, you want

your kid to be exposed to a man like this, he is a superstar and a

pillar in SA’s future motorcycle racing.

Just a short note to say thank you to Honda SA for the bikes,

Mariangela and Hein from Mirivi and Loctite, the instructors who

helped, Lucky, Neil’s 2IC, who does everything, the ladies making

the food, and all the other people who help this little business work.

To all of you, you know who you are and you are special.


Joan Mir


2017 WORLD



Full range including road, off-road and racing components available















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