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
1002 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 1
W E L C O M E
EDITOR & DESIGN:
082 782 8240
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
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.
Bill du Plessis
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.
2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
TEAM POL 360 RIDEFAST KTM FINISHES 2ND IN REDSTAR 24 HOUR RACE
“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.”
4th overall in World Supersports championship
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 3
Contents JANUARY 2018
RSR 24 HOUR
WE GET NAKED AT THIS YEARS
MAIN ENDURANCE RACE
MAVERICK VINALES IN SA
MORTAGUA FIGHTER 8
UNDERSTANDING RIDER AIDS
WITH THE BINDER BOYS
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
• 200hp • Quick-shift up & down • Brembo Brakes • Braided Hoses
• Showa Big Piston Forks • Modified cylinder head
• Race Engine Casings • Marchesini forged aluminum wheels
ZX-10RR LIMITED EDITION
*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.
// FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY //FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN
• 200hp • Quick-shift up • Brembo Brakes • Braided Hoses
• Showa Big Piston Forks • Kawasaki Racing Colours
ZX-10R KRT EDITION
*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
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
6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
For further information, contact the team
via southafricabikefestival.com or call
/ WhatsApp the dedicated marketing
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.
8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
new year DEALS!
UP TO R20 000
TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN DEAL
The choice is
Exclusive to Honda East Rand Mall customers only. T&C’s apply.
• TRADE-IN ASSISTANCE
FREE 2 YEAR UNLIMITED MILEAGE WARRANTY
• FREE RIDER ACADEMY TRAINING
• FREE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE
Honda Wing East Rand Mall
Tel 011 826 4444. Cnr Jan Smuts & Loizides Streets, Boksburg
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Gino: 082 475 7714
Shaun: 072 260 9525 Daleen: 076 516 2038
3 generations of de Rappers...
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
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 email@example.com 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.
12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
11 OF SA’S TOP
WITHIN 3KM OF
38 North Rand Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 823 3763
New & Used Harley Davidson
motorcycles & accessories
40 North Rand Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 823 8400
Indian, Victory, Polaris new
and used sales.
Auto Alpina Motorrad Honda Wing East Rand Mall
Cnr North Rand Rd & Pond St, Boksburg
Tel: 011 418 3300
New and used BMW Motorcycle sales
12 Jan Smuts Ave, Boksburg
Tel: 011 826 4444
New Honda Motorcycles.
Quality used motorcycles.
2 Wiek St, Boksburg
Tel: 011 826 4744
Best Quality Used Motorcycles
Shop 5 K90 Centre, Northrand Road, Boksburg
Tel: 011 823 5830
New Kawasaki, SYM, Triumph, Husqvarna &
quality used motorcycles. Full accessories
122 Northrand Road, Boksburg
Tel: 011 918 6666
New Suzuki motorcycle sales. Quality used
motorcycles. Full accessories
122 Northrand Road, Boksburg
Tel: 011 894 2111
Quality used motorcycle sales.
Unit 9, The Terminal, Cnr Trichardts Rd & Dr
Vosloo Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 362 2182
New Yamaha sales. Quality used & accessories
157 North Rand Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 076 158 3655
Quality used motorycle sales
No. 6, V-Max Centre, Atlas Rd, Boksburg
Tel: 011 051 9104
Quality used motorycle sales
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
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.
14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Dual compound technology
The new reference
tyre in the sports
An incomparable sensation of grip
“In terms of safety, the front tire
of the MICHELIN Power RS sets
and cornering stability
Front tyre profile derived
from race competition
derived from racing
“The best stability during sequences of
curves, even on a simulation of a country
Pole-winning performance: agility and
handling when changing direction, under
braking and when accelerating hard!
“Extremely agile, with exceptional directional
stability and impeccable handling in
cornering; All this makes Michelin the winner
(and not only in terms of points).“
A new patented construction for exceptional straight-line
and cornering stability.
A single ply ensures a more flexible crown, while the side
ply back over itself.
Harder rubber underneath the softer rubber on the
shoulders gives better rigidity at lean, for more stability
when cornering, especially under strong accelaration.
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
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.”
16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
1000 ’06 Harley
’07 SUzuki GSXR 600 ’05 GSXR 1000 ’05 Aprilia RSVR1000 Factory ’11 Suzuki GSXR 1000 ’06 Harley Davidson V-ROD
’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)
’08 Yamaha R6 ’08 Kawasaki ZX14 ( 2 to choose from)
’09 BMW 1200S ’09 Honda CB1000 ’10 Ducati 1098S
ZX14 ( 2 to choose from)
’11 BMW R1200 R ’12 BMW F800GS ‘10 Kawasaki Vulcan
’13 BMW F800 GS ’13 Yamaha R1
A MUST SEE!
’14 Harley 1200 Sportster ’14 Honda NC750X ‘16 Kawasaki Zx 300
’16 Honda NC750X R ’87 Yamaha FZR1000
A MUST SEE!
NC750X R ’87
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BMW Cafe Racer ‘05 Honda CBR600 Honda CBX1000 ‘86 Yamaha RZR 350
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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,
“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.”
18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
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
BSN’s David Miller sat down with the team’s
Jin Sasaki to ask him what he thinks he is
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
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.
20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
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
Trade Enquiries: (011) 879-6470
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 21
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
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
22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
TOP GUN IN SA!
MOTOGP STAR MAVERICK VINALES IN SA
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 25
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
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
26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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...
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 2 7
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
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
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
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.”
28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
The most insane custom motorcycle design we’ve seen… ever!
Words: Sunny Soral Pics: Carlos Rodrigues
30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 31
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
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
Cadaver by MORTAGUA FIGHTER and
would love to hear your views on this
incredible custom build.
32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 33
MODERN RIDING AIDS
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,
34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 3 5
38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
2017 REDSTAR RACEWAY 24 HOUR
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
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…
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 3 9
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
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
40 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Team RSR’s AJ Venter
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
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
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.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 41
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
Team BSR with Team We
Sell Parts closing in fast
42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
METALIZE paddock stands - front & rear
RRP R830 each
METALIZE one piece
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
was fast on the
44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
AJ Venter heading into the sunset
Nothing better than racing at night. Tough, but fun!
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 45
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
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
Stunning shot of
Shaun riding with
46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
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
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
48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 4 9
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.
50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
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
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 51
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
52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
CIRCUIT TEST RIDES
LEARN TO RIDE
SOUTHAFRICABIKEFESTIVAL.COM I WHATSAPP US ON 061 505 5727
TICKET SALES ONLINE 25 JANUARY 2018
KYALAMI GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
25 - 27 MAY 2018
SPECS: YAMAHA X-MAX 300
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
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
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.
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.
54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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.
56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
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
58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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!
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 5 9
Michelin Tyres recently
MOTOGP FINALE - VALENCIA 2017
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
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.
60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
Caught up with Trevor Binder
Seeing these guys in action is special...
A pic with Darryn Binder
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 6 1
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.
62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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?
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 6 3
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
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
64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 65
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
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
On the Tuesday, Nacho Calero had posted
a 1:45.067 on board a Supersport-spec
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
66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 67
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
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.
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.
68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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
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
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
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.
70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
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
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.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018 7 1
STARS OF Pics: Eugene Liebenberg
WITH HELP FROM STARS OF TODAY
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.
72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2018
PUSHING BRAKES TO THE LIMIT SINCE 1952
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