RideFast Magazine February 2018


RideFast Magazine February 2018 issue













FEBRUARY 2018 RSA R30.00









9 772075 405004









Rob Portman


082 782 8240


Kyle Lawrenson


071 684 4546





011 979 5035

This is going to be another one of those ‘Don’t hate

me cause you ain’t me’ moments.

I type this column on the fl ight back from Spain,

where I have just fi nished up at the World Launch

of Ducati’s all-new, all-conquering superbike - the

Panigale V4.

Ducati almost literally painted the town red, with

Panigale V4 being splashed all over the Spanish city

of Valencia. Another brilliant job by the Italians, who

really know how to put on a World Launch.

Ducati had a tough job with the V4. Not only did

they have to prove to the world that they could

build a competitive engine that was not a V-Twin,

but they also had to not stray too far away from the

core of the twin, as some Ducati fans would put

signs up in protest.

This was highlighted in the presentation, Ducati

strongly saying that while it was a new engine,

the core of the Panigale and the V-Twin attributes

would still be very strong and apparent.

Without giving too much away before reading

my launch test article, I can now confi dently say

that the production sportbike game has just been

blown wide open! Riding the new Panigale V4 is a

combination of everything that is good from years

gone by, to everything that is good from modern

day technology. It was hard not to sound biased in

the article, but the bike is just that good!

Ducati have seriously raised the bar, and some

might say unfairly with its 1103cc engine. But we

should be thanking Ducati, not only for releasing a

gem of a motorcycle but also now forcing the hand

of all it’s competitors. They have to respond, and

quickly, which means we could be seeing some

very tasty models coming out soon. A Honda V5

or V6? A turbo-charged Kawasaki ZX10? A 220hp

plus Bavarian beast? The rule book has very much

been thrown out the window, so come on Japs,

give us something outrageously good, because

Ducati just have!

The new Panigale V4 is the main feature in this

issue but we have so much great content, including

our Buyers Guide pull out. Rossi, a mix of SA’s

fi nest, a touching story of a kid who just never gives

up, technical tips, MotoGP and some fl ash bikes

by the Matrix man. This and more is all packed very

presentably in this issue for you to enjoy, and I really

hope you do!

Thanks for reading! Rob Portman.

(P.S. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for

all the behind the scenes videos from this months

tests. Some really cool ones.)


Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

The Singh

Mieke Oelofsen

Copyright © RideFast Magazine

All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced,

distributed, or transmitted in any

form or by any means, including

photocopying, articles, or other

methods, without the prior written

permission of the publisher.






What does it take to win 17 consecutive titles in the world’s toughest

rally race? After years of battling the Dakar, we can attribute our victories

to one thing – sheer READY TO RACE spirit.



Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations!

The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.


Photo: KTM Images / PhotosDakar.com

Contents FEBRUARY 2018




















A new Busa... finally?

Suzuki Hayabusa revamp coming for 2019?

This is not the first time we have heard this

rumour. It has been circulating for the past

couple of years now, and every year, we get

nothing new, except for colour changes to the

iconic Hayabusa. But could the rumours finally

be true?

Our sources over in the UK are reporting that

they just might be this time, and we could see

something new for 2019.

Suzuki didn’t have much to crow about during

the big bike shows of 2017 but its lack of new

models for the 2018 range only means that

its launches during this year are likely to be


The fact is that a large number of Suzuki’s

most famous machines are living on borrowed

time. That’s not just a figure of speech; the firm

obtained special ‘end-of-series’ permission to

sell models that don’t comply with the latest

European type-approval and emissions rules,

but that permission expires at the end of this

year and there’s no way of extending it any


Officially, all motorcycles sold in Europe

should have been meeting the latest rules

since 1st January 2017. These rules are often

referred to as ‘Euro4’, although that emissions

limit is actually just a portion of EU Regulation

168/2013, which also covers a range of

other aspects of the design and construction

of bikes. However, the end-of-series rules

allow limited numbers of non-compliant

machines to be sold for up to two years, if

their makers apply for such an extension. That

two year period of grace comes to an end on

31st December 2018.

And of all the major manufacturers, Suzuki

has taken the greatest advantage of the

end-of-series extensions, applying them to a

trio of its most famous and popular models;

the GSX-R600, GSX-R750 and GSX1300R


All three machines now face a crossroads;

Suzuki must discontinue them, replace

them or redevelop them enough to meet the

European regulations. And we understand

that all three will be revamped before the year

is out to ensure there’s an unbroken supply.

According to our sources, the Hayabusa

is in line for the most extensive revisions.

While we understand that wild rumours of a

turbocharged Busa replacement are wide of

the mark, the revisions to the 2019 model will

be extensive enough to virtually make it an

all-new machine.

Suzuki has already dropped some big hints

about it, not least in the form of the Concept

GSX that it showed in Tokyo back in 2015.

That concept might have been little more than

a papier-mâché mock-up, but our Japanese

sources say that it was close to the final look

of the next-generation Hayabusa.

The computer-generated images you

see here come from influential Japanese

magazine Auto-By, which has a strong history

of getting it right when it comes to new bike

predictions. They show how the Concept

GSX styling is likely to be carried over to the

next-generation Hayuabusa.

Under the new skin will sit a heavily

redesigned version of the existing fourcylinder

engine. Capacity is expected to rise

from the current 1340cc to around 1440cc,

matching a name-change to ‘GSX1400R’.

That will put its engine size on a par with the

1441cc Kawasaki ZZR1400. The frame is

also expected to be new, and Suzuki is sure

to shovel on a layer of addition technological

trickery to bring the Busa up to the mark as

it enters its third decade of production. Semiactive

suspension is a strong possibility, while

the traction control and ABS are in line to be

heavily updated to add more functions and


The fact that 2019 marks the 20th anniversary

of the Busa may well be Suzuki’s reason

for holding back the new model rather than

launching it as a 2018 machine. The original

bike first appeared in late 1998 as a

1999 model, so it’s fitting that

the third generation should

be launched to coincide

with that anniversary.

The question remains

over exactly how

Suzuki will position

the new Hayabusa.

Two decades ago

it slotted into a

burgeoning segment

– pioneered by the

ZZ-R1100 and Honda Super Blackbird – for

insanely rapid, comfy sports-tourers.

These days a combination of a voluntary

186mph top speed limit and the fact that

1000cc superbikes are now breaching the

200hp barrier means there’s less room for big,

heavy missiles like the Busa. Without those

top speed or brute power laurels to lie on, it

needs to refocus.

As any owner will know, though, Hayabusas

do offer a fantastic combination of

performance and long-distance comfort that

no cramped 1000cc superbike can match. As

a high speed GT bike, they still make sense,

and there’s where Suzuki is likely to push the

new one even further.

So what of Suzuki’s other two end-of-series

bikes? The GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 are

sitting on the same Euro4 death row as the

Hayabusa, but we understand that they too

will be reprieved.

The focus will be getting the bikes to meet

Euro4 emissions rules and adding nowmandatory

kit like ABS. We can be sure

that the changes will involve tweaks to

the exhausts and electronics, cleaning up

the emissions and introducing a suite of

technology including traction control. The two

already share most of their components, and

we’re expecting the main building blocks of

the frames and engines to go unaltered into

2019. The bodywork is likely to get reworked,

though; a facelift to bring the smaller GSX-Rs

into line with the design of the GSX-R1000

would make a lot of sense, particularly since

Euro4 means they’re likely to get a similarly

large exhaust end can anyway.

As with the Hayabusa, the smaller GSX-Rs are

going to have to be replaced before the end of

2018 if there’s to be an uninterrupted supply

of them in dealers, so we might well see them

unveiled sooner than the traditional November

show dates. Watch this space.

Photo credit: Auto-By


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Service Plan Includes:

• All Labour required to performed scheduled services.

• All scheduled services as per manufacturer.

• All oils and lubricants.

• Oil and Air Filters.

• Unlimited KM’s

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

New Indian

Motorcycle dealership

in Melrose Arch

This stunning new up market store is now open

in Melrose Arch, featuring all the best of Indian

Motorcycles - from motorcycles to accessories and

apparel. Around 400 guests attended the opening

of the new store, which also offers a coffee bar.

Go check out the store at 5 High Street, Melrose

Arch, Johannesburg or call them on 010 020 6195.


Powersport - for all

your performance

motorcycle needs

Adrenalin Powersport was opened 7 years

ago by Leroy Rich and is now very well

established in the motorcycle game. Their new

premises is now based close to the Kyalami

Grand Prix Circuit in Midrand.

Leroy started off in the offroad side but has

since moved over to the road stuff. He has

over 13 years worth of experience and is a

qualifi ed suspension approved tech for Bitubo,

Adriani, Ohlins, K-Tech and Nitron. He has a

fully equipped suspension room where he is

able to offer rebuilds, upgrades and tuning on

any and all suspensions.

His services also include performance

and trackday prep, as well as general


Look out for Leroy and the Adrenaline

Powersport logo as they will be running no

fewer than 12 motorcycles in National and

regional road racing this season.

For more info contact Leroy on 076 902 7029

or email leroy@adrenalinpowersport.co.za


Limited Edition Arai

RX-7V HRC helmets

Honda East Rand Mall, the massive car and

motorcycle dealership in the East Rand, are having

a massive specials on the stunning top-of-therange

limited edition Arai HRC helmet.

The factory looking HRC lid was priced at

R15,000, but now Honda East Rand Mall have

slashed the price down to R9,000, and that

includes a tinted visor worth over R1,000.

Don’t miss out on this offer. Call them today on

011 826-4444.

New Faces At Bike

Tyre Warehouse

Dewi Evans





Dewi is “Old

School” having

raced in events

like the Roof of Africa in the early 70’s when

you still had to change your own tyres

during the race; so shaving the rims for

quick; fast and easy changeover was the

trick of the day.

Dewi knows his stuff when it comes to off

road rubber and mousses; so if you need

any advice on off road tyre set up for your

particular off road discipline, pop in or give

him a call on 082 463 1041 or 011 205


Warren Frazer

Manager BTW

Shop Online


Warren joins

the BTW group

coming across

from Direct

Deals to head up the BTW Online Shop

division. Warren has a wealth of experience

in the online sales environment and will

manage the online techies and liaise with

product suppliers to ensure online have the

stock to service the market. For any online

related enquiries contact Warren

on 065 854 0192 or online@


Talent Dube – Fitment


Talent has joined the

workshop fitment division as

a fitment

technician and

although he has

been in the tyre

fitment trade

for 6 years he

is currently

undergoing the

BTW group


training course where he hopes to qualify in

June so he can join the top technical fitment

team in the industry.

Cape Towns


Guru… Martin


MP Custom Valve is a well-established

suspension specialist in the Cape. “Our

passion is in the science and black

art of improving the handling of your

motorcycle or ATV, providing you with a

safer, more controllable and enjoyable

machine” says Martin.

Martin has won countless SA

championships with top riders such as

Greg Dreyer, Cameron Petersen, Clint

Seller and Adolf Boshoff.

Martin, being a former top racer

himself, knows exactly what is needed

when it comes to a track bikes

suspension, and can help you get the

best out of your machine. He looks at

every detail, from rider weight to riding

style when prepping suspension.

Sportbikes are essentially competition

machines straight from the factory but

manufacturers don’t always get it right

every year or make the suspension

specifically for you. Martin can improve

your suspension whether you are

competing at the highest level or riding

track days.

All types of motorcycles welcome -

from track and road bikes to adventure

and dirtbikes.

Unit 24, Point Business Park. 1 Marinus

Road, (off Koeberg Road). Milnerton

Tel: 021 551 8844 Email: info@




1222 Pretorius Street

Hatfi eld, Pretoria

Tel: (012) 342-8571




Massive CHRISTMAS SALE from 1st till 23rd December! 20% OFF ALL

Accessories ARE in Store, YOU INCLUDING GEARED FOR the THE Latest 2018 2018 SEASON?



Arai RX7 was R14 900

NOW R12 499

Airoh Valor

NOW R2 799

Airoh GP500 was R6500

NOW R5 999

Bell Qualifier

NOW R2 599

Bell Qualifier DX Was R5999

NOW R4 999

Shark Evo ONE was R8500

NOW R7 999

Shark D-Skwal was R4500

NOW R3 999



LESS 20%

Shark Ridill was R3500

NOW R 2999

Alpinestar SMXR Was R3000

NOW R 2499

Berik GP-X was R3500

NOW R2 999

Gaerne GP1 was R6600

NOW R 5999


TCX S-Sporttour was R3500

NOW R1 899

LESS 20%

Moto Grafix Tank Pads - huge assortment

Assorted Damen Knee Sliders

WAS R499 NOW R399 WAS R399 NOW R250

RST Track tech Evo Was R1800

NOW R1 499

Alpinestars Tech Touring Was R1600

NOW R1 299

Alpinestar SMX1 Was R1300

NOW R 1 049


NOW R749

Get the BEST Metalize Blast Suit was FOR R11000 Alpinestar LESS, Tech touring was R6000


InterphoneSport bluetooth Comm

NOW R10 499 NOW R9 499

NOW R5 499 SNGL: R3 999 DBL: R6 999


Berik 2.0 2 pc was R12000

Metalize Gloves Was R900

Metalize Road Jacket Was R2800

NOW R2 399




LESS 20%

Standard Tyre Warmers

WAS R3200

NOW R2 199











Menlyn Motorrad opens

Menlyn Motorrad is now open for business. Located

adjacent to the N1 highway, the new Menlyn Park Megamall

and Menlyn Maine urban lifestyle metropolis, is the new

destination for the BMW Motorrad dealership.

Chat to Alex or Johann

Tel: 079 999 4441or 012 426-2790/2700.

Limited Edition Nicky

Hayden painting prints

Last month we showed off the amazing work of Motorsport artist

Michael Rogers, with the stunning Brad Binder painting he did and the

250 prints that are available. We had a massive response from that,

selling plenty of the prints leaving only a few left.

Michael has just finished his latest creation - A tribute painting to the late

great Nicky Hayden. This is one amazing piece of artwork, and a perfect

way to capture the great American hero. The original painting has been

sold, but Michael has made prints of the painting available. The prints

are sized at 635 x 890mm and printed on Innova ifa-39 fiba matt 285g

coated with Premier Art Shield U.V. So really top quality stuff!

Their are only 69 prints available and most of the prints are destined for

the States, so we suggest you order yours now.

Each print is accompanied with a pearl white certificate of authenticity

bearing the last image

of Nicky with the

caption; Thanks for the

awesome times.

Priced at R 2,750 each,

this is a true, and a

must collectable print

for any MotoGP fan.

To order yours, email


Brad Binder standing with

the original painting

R75 courier fee to

anywhere in SA.

New BATTECH Air Pump

Ideal for any Adventure Journey, inflate your tyres; mattress

or inflatable Doll... hahaha.

Gear type air compressor with LED light, mini size and

lightweight, with on/off switch.

The new pump is expected to land around the 15th February.

It comes in a PP bag + Textile carry bag ideal for taking away

with you. Expected retail is R349 incl. vat.

Call Batt Holdings on 011 205 0216 for more info.


Dunlop “SA Stars”

Phakisa trackday

Dunlop tyres invited RideFast along for a day

at Phakisa with most of SA’s top riders. Rob

was still loafing at the beach, so we sent along

Dirt And Trail Magazine’s Roley Foley for a few

laps... He says:

Damn. I forgot how long and straight those

freeways are out to Phakisa. Up bright eyed

and bushy tailed, My little guy Tristan and I

hopped onto our trusty Triumph and headed

out for the ver verlaate vlaktes. And Vlaktes is

certainly what they are.

It’s impossible to obey the speed limits - the

freeways are fantastic but very flat and straight

as an arrow. Inevitably we were pulled over at

a massive traffic control centre near Koppie

alleen. Hullo Sir, where’s your number plate....

ISH! After various convoluted explanations

about running a motorcycle magazine, and

rushing out to cover the world champions -

and how good it is for tourism in The Freestate

- he was very impressed. But we still got


While we were sitting there a big group of

Cruiser riders all in ANC regalia rolled past -

few with plates.... life is sometimes a bit unfair...

anyway, R450 bucks later (The traffic cop was

a very cool guy), we were on our way. it should

have been a bit more than that. Anyway.

Phakisa was a hive of Dunlop activity with the

town painted yellow. We were a bit late but we

caught the tail end of the riders briefing, just

in time to hear Darren Binder ask what all the

flags mean. Cool guy, glad he did coz us dirt

guys don’t have a clue.

3 classes for the day - A, B, and C - A being

the fast guys, B a bit slower and C for the

weekend warriors. We asked if there was a D

group and we received blank stares... anyway

C it was and we took the opportunity to ride

one of the very coolest tracks. One session

on the Triumph XCX and the next on Suzuki’s

GSXR1000. Tristan was very impressed - his

first flip on a Superbike. I remember years ago

when Phakisa was still brand new and Aussie

rider Gary McCoy came out to the GP and

showed everyone how to back a bike into a

corner. That was quite something. We were

nowhere near as fast as he was.

The Binder Brothers, Steven Odendal

National 600 champ who is racing Moto 2

world champs this year, Shez Morais World

Supersport rider and father Ricky Morias,

the fasted dad in the west, and some of the

other speedy mob put on a great show. Man

these guys are so quick - it was awesome to

watch them. And what a lekker bunch of guys,

smiling all the time with friendly advice to the

The Binder clan (Darryn, Brad and Dad Trevor) with

Andre Neethling from Moto Rider Academy who ran

the track day.

Ricky and Sheridan Morais on their EmTek Racing R1’s

Pics by Glenn Foley and Gerrit Erasmus

Mike Heins and Sean Powell from Dunlop SA with SA stars Brad Binder, Steven Odendaal, Sheridan Morais

and Darryn Binder.

Darryn helping Dad Trevor get ready to take the new

Suzuki GSXR1000 out on track with Stuart Baker

from Suzuki SA.

The famous Vin Deysel getting into track riding

Brad Binder and Steven Odendaal in action


younger riders - sore hands from signing

autographs were the order of the day...

Brad Binder was no doubt one of the

biggest highlights of the day. The 2016

Moto3 world champ and current Moto2

rider, was out testing on official Dunlop

Moto2 slick tyres, which Sean Powell from

Dunlop had managed to order especially

for him. Not an easy thing to do according

to Sean as Dunlop head office do not like

letting their top knotch technologhy just fly


Brad was sensational to watch, and

Dunlop had set aside a session specially

for the top stars, and seeing them in

action was a real treat.

Dunlop invited dealers from all around SA

to come and enjoy the day - a Few JHB

dealers were there - we saw Bruce from

Batt tyres, the enthusiastic crew from We

Sell Parts, Rocket racing came in from

Maritzburg along with Roy from Honda

Wing Umhlanga, Pinnacle Powersport was

there from Bloem. Emtek was out in force -

It was great to see all of the old - and some

new friends again.

Suzuki SA was the only importer present

with their new GSXR1000’s on display -

great people and awesome motorbikes.

A great day was had by all as temperatures

soared to the forty degree mark and

superbikes screamed around the track. Very

impressed to see how some of our ladies

ride too - Milwaukies Landi Sinden and we

sell Parts Michelle Leppan had a few great

dices with the boys on the day. The more

ladies we got onto bikes - the better.

Safe day too, no crashes or injuries -

although we did see one guy ploughing

some of the fields in the Phakisa vicinity.

Nice one Dunlop! Very social, huge fun and

it was greaty to ride Phakisa again.

Dunlops range of tyres are available at a

dealer near you.

Happy people in the pits enjoying the day

Tickets now

on sale for the

SA Bikefest

The SA Bike Festival, returns to the

legendary Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from

25-27 May 2018.

Organisers have announced that tickets

are now on sale and visitors can again

expect another huge variety of the newest

biking trends from the world’s top brands

alongside live music, test rides, training

courses, 2-wheel action and stunts, kids

activities, Joburg’s favourite food trucks plus

the best in lifestyle and merchandise. The

three-day event attracts over 20 000 riders,

collectors, motoring enthusiasts and their

families from all over the country for one

extraordinary weekend where consumers

can be entertained and educated as well

as learn, try and buy from a multitude of

manufacturers and brand leaders, meeting

the experts face-to-face.

To benefi t the dedicated bike clubs, fans

and followers of the festival, the fi rst 2000

Standard tickets are just R150, and those

who book early will join the #SABikeFest

Inner-Circle giving them fi rst access to the

circuit test rides, adventure off-road rides,

latest news and industry updates, special

offers and value-adds from participating

brands and exhibitors. Thanks to an array of

innovative brands and returning sponsors,

2018 sees new and exciting ticket

packages and special offers to boost even

more added value to the visitor experience,

plus offered at 2017 prices.

New for 2018 - The All Action Kid’s

KYALAMI PIT ROOF! A space full of entry

level cc motorcycles, electric scooters,

pocket bikes, ride on & arcade games,

funfair food, soft drinks and much more!

Whether you have kids or are a kid at

heart, this fun fi lled area has something for

everyone and is well lit and secure so that

visitors can stay on longer and enjoy the

festivals full activities with all the family. ALL

visitors will also be able to access to the pit

roof to view the full circuit’s activities and

FMX #FlightNight.


a new route this year and still provides

the opportunity for the public to ride

the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on their

own motorcycles on the 27 May. This

year the donation choice is yours. We

continue our relationship with RIDE FOR


the ticket contributions starting at R50

per person, however visitors are also able

to participate in our RAMBO BLANKET

DRIVE where the proceeds will go towards

purchasing blankets (R149 per blanket)

for local Gauteng communities for the

fast- approaching 2018 winter months. The

RAMBO bike clubs, dedicated to this annual

cause, will distribute the blankets together

with groceries to these communities in the

weeks following the festival and together we

are uniting with the aim to deliver the highest

number of blankets in history.

To round up all the action for 2018 - all

tickets include (From R150-R950):

- Festival Guide and Dunlop Lanyard

- Access and variety to test ride the latest

and most popular motorcycles around an

international race circuit from Husqvarna,

Suzuki, Honda, Harley-Davidson, Zontes,

Yamaha, Indian Motorcycles, and KTM to

name a few (R100-R160 per ride)

- Opportunity to purchase Adventure Ride

Outs on a 2km off-road course from our

favourite machines, with guidance from

the experts from KTM, Honda, Suzuki and

more. (R100 per ride)

- Grandstand seating to view Monster

Energy’s second instalment of the nighttime

FMX stunt show #FlightNight and our

favourite trials biking brother duo The Le

Riche Brothers.

- The Martini MotoGP Bar

- Access and voting of the RocoMamas

Custom, Vintage, Classic & Retro

Motorcycle Championship with international

custom judge and builder from Germany,

Frank Sander, and local Classic expert,

Robert Coutts, from the 2 Stroke Club

- Flat track racing and Scooter and

Commuter testing for beginners

- Opportunity to “Auction” your own

motorcycle or buy “Nearly New” from the

team at AutoTrader

- Learn to Ride activities and training with

the team from Harley-Davidson

For more information got to www.






25 - 27 MAY 2018


















to you by

Recovering Folger to miss

entire 2018 MotoGP season

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Jonas Folger

will miss the entire 2018 MotoGP World

Championship season as he continues to

recover from an illness that forced him out of

last year’s fi nal rounds.

Folger starred in the German grand prix

during his rookie campaign last season with

a runner-up result behind Marc Marquez,

however his recovery after being diagnosed

with ‘Gilbert Syndrome’ will now take priority.

“I’m incredibly sad to be saying this, but

I will not be racing MotoGP in 2018,”

Folger stated. “I wasn’t able to make the

improvements I was hoping for and at this

stage I don’t feel able to ride a MotoGP

machine at 100 percent. I’d like to thank

everyone involved, but especially the

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team, Yamaha

Japan, Monster Energy, HJC, Ixon, Forma

Boots and Rudy Project. I hope to be back

one day and want to thank you all for your

ongoing support.”

The news from Folger’s management this

week took Monster Yamaha Tech3 team

manager Herve Poncharal by surprise, now

back on the rider market in search of talent

to join Johann Zarco for the 2018 season

on-board the ultra-competitive Yamaha

satellite machinery.

“Last night I received a call from Bob Moore,

Jonas Folger’s personal manager. I couldn’t

believe what Bob was telling me on the

phone, that Jonas Folger has decided not

to race the 2018 MotoGP season, because

he doesn’t feel 100 percent mentally and

physically recovered,” Poncharal admitted.

“It is still very diffi cult for me to believe, that

he’s not going to race with us in 2018,

especially because he has been somebody

I had lot of faith in and I was sure we would

reach top level together this year.

“I completely respect his decision, although

it’s hard to swallow. Yet, I will try to fi nd a

solution for a replacement rider, which is a

very diffi cult mission as all of the fast riders

are already contracted, but as always in

racing we need to be proactive, inventive

and hopefully we can make someone very

happy. We will keep all of you informed

about the evolution of the situation.”

With offi cial testing due to commence at the

end of this month, the situation is a diffi cult

one for Tech3. Last year they used Kohta

Nozane, Broc Parkes and Michael van der

Mark as replacement riders, however current

Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli and new

Honda development rider Stefan Bradl have

both been linked to the seat.


and Honda

Partnership over

Calling time on a partnership which has

yielded in total ten big bike TT victories,

John McGuinness confi rmed last month

at the Joey Dunlop Foundation’s annual

charity dinner night that he has offi cially

parted company with Honda Racing.

Still recovering from a serious leg

injury sustained in an incident, during

Superbike practice at last years Vauxhall

International North West 200, the 23

times TT winner is now mulling over

multiple options for the 2018 international

roads season.

Linked to forming part of Norton’s TT

2018 challenge, he also stated yesterday

of the possibility of joining forces with

Tyco BMW, piloting Kawasaki’s or running

his own independent outfi t.

An additional viable option could be

a reaffi rmed TT Zero partnership with


We have to remember though, that

all these prospective team/machinery

opportunities will be dependent upon

how much progress the Mountain Course

great makes with his right leg over the

coming months, which still carries at

present, an external fi xator.

You have to respect and admire though,

the determination he is showing plus the

new lease of motivation to still want to

compete, in spite of already achieving

golden moments upon golden moments,

on multiple occasions at the Isle of Man TT.



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Over the course of the year, Motorcycle Market Guru, Mr Craig Langton, will be giving our

readers some helpful tips for buying and selling bikes. This month, he guides us through what

your motorcycle is worth and what the market will pay for it at any given moment.

Unfortunately, it is never how much you paid

for it and although you may have fitted many

accessories the value of these can never be

recovered but they will certainly add value to

the desirability of your motorcycle. Motorcycle

values vary according to market demand,

stock availability, manufacturer specials and

competing brand specials. In fact, there are

so many variables that affect the value of

your motorcycle at any given time and in this

article, I will try and cover the most important

ones. In South Africa there is a ‘trade book’

or guide which offers ‘suggested’ values

of most motorcycles. The ‘trade value’ is a

guide as to what the dealer should pay for

a motorcycle that can be wheeled onto the

floor with no repairs/service required and

a suggested ‘Retail value’ Although these

book values are recognised by the banks and

insurance companies, the values obtained

rely on the manufacturers supplying values to

the authors of the ‘book’. Unfortunately, not

all manufacturers supply information or are

given information by dealers and therefore the

‘book values’ are rarely accurate according to

what the market is paying and selling stock.

This book should be used as a guideline only.

Some brands are attracting prices higher than

book value and some far lower.

An example of this is that ‘book’ trade value

on a 2008 Suzuki VZR1800 is around R64

000.00 according to book value. In reality

these bikes are trading or being bought

at about R80k to R85k and selling for

R99000.00. due to customer demand and

therefore ‘book’ value should reflect the

same. Unfortunately, some manufacturers/

importers do not disclose their ‘Trade’ values,

leading to speculation on their brand values

which could affect your motorcycle’s value.

The ‘Book’ and its integrity is unfortunately

brought into question.

In most other countries, Trade and Retail

values are increased/decreased as the

demand for used motorcycles increases or

decreases according to market conditions. I

also find the values are incredibly accurate.

The books are independent and not reliant on

manufacturer/importer input.

Other factors that affect the value of your bike

are as follows:

• Mileage – Mileage is a tricky one because

a potential customer looking to purchase a

bike would expect to consider 30 000 Km

on an Adventure or Touring bike but if the

same mileage is on an Exotic Italian bike a

customer would prefer to look for one with

lower mileage unless the price is substantially

lower. Even though both bikes can arguably

travel the same mileage, the perception to

customers is very different and therefore

pricing is affected.

• Manufacturer Campaigns – If a

manufacturer of a brand decides to drop

the new retail price of a motorcycle by up to

R50 000.00, then not only are you affected

if you own that motorcycle but also if the

bike you are trying to sell competes in the

same category. As an example, a popular

commuter normally retails for R115 900,

the price is then dropped to R89 900 as the

manufacturer clears stock. This obviously

affects the models that were sold earlier that

year at R115 900 as they now will attract a

to retail of R79 900 depending on mileage.

This also influences all the other brands in

the same category. If you own a competing

brand that was also R115 900 new and are

now selling it at R89 900 as a used model,

your bike is also affected as potential buyers

can choose between your bike and a brand

new one.

• Condition – take the time to detail your bike

including tyres, a detailed bike always attains

a higher value than a dirty one with worn

tyres. Even a dealer will pay more.

• Model Change – When there is a model

change from say 2017 to 2018 and there

are significant changes, there will always be

an oversupply of 2017 stock which supply

dealers might be hesitant to purchase or

might be selling at a discount price to clear.

This affects your value so shop around when

selling or buying between models or years.

• Brand Confidence – Consumers may find

more confidence in a Japanese Brand or

European brand that is well supported with a

wide dealer/service network compared say a

smaller brand that is not as well supported.

The brand with the smallest share might

attract a lower resale value.

• Stock Availability – As soon as there is

a short supply of desirable stock, the value

increases much the same as if there is an

excess of stock supplied into the market

values decrease.

• Dealer Values – If the selling dealer

gives you an indication of what your bike is

worth and then goes on to say they he is

not allowed to purchase stock or that they

have too much stock etc, it might stand to

reason that the selling dealer does not want

to perhaps disappoint you with how much

your bike is worth only months after selling

it to you. Take your bike past many dealers

including independents who rely on used

stock and you will quickly get an indication of

what the market is willing to pay.

• Private Stock For Sale – Do not base the

value of your bike on what is being advertised

privately, many of these motorcycles do not

end up selling at the price advertised end

or selling at a price far less than advertised.

Have a look at what dealers are retailing their

stock for. Take an average of all the equivalent

bikes advertised for sale by dealers that are

like yours and you will get an idea what the

retail price of your bike is.

• Year Model – As soon as a bike is older than

10 years of age, major finance companies

will not finance the motorcycle irrespective of

condition or mileage. This has a significant

effect on the value of the motorcycle as 60%

of buyers finance their motorcycles. Some

dealers will not even purchase these bikes as

they are difficult to resell.

• Price Point – If your motorcycle falls into a

popular price point which varies, it will attract

a higher value to dealer as it will sell quickly,

if the motorcycle falls into a bracket that is

higher than majority of the motorcycle market

can afford the dealer will offer less as he will

have to hold the stock for longer and incur

the interest.

In closing, establishing a value for your

motorcycle should always be done with a bit

of research, call around and see what various

dealers are offering. Before considering selling

your motorcycle look out for “PART 2” in next

months issue where I chat about selling your



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KEANU REEVES HAS survived a lot of

crazy stuff. World-dominating machines.

Bomb-laden bus rides. Traveling through

time in a phone booth. But his biggest

challenge of all: impressing bikers.

Words: Jack Stewart

Reeves abandoned Hollywood for Milan in early November 2016.

The Italian city played host to the Esposizione Internazionale

Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori, or EICMA. He was not at the

world’s preeminent bike convention to gawk at the wares,

however. He unveiled three new motorcycles he has spent the

past years of his life designing and building.

“It’s international, it’s all the journalists and enthusiasts,” Reeves said. “For us,

it’s let’s plant our fl ag. Let’s go to EICMA with three models, and hopefully people

will really love what we make.”

By us, he means Arch Motorcycle, the shop he founded with his business

partner and friend Gard Hollinger. They teamed up in 2007, when Reeves, a

two-wheel enthusiast, asked Hollinger, a well-known bike designer, to make him a

custom ride. He was so impressed with the fi nal product, he convinced Hollinger

to start building and selling a version of the bike to rich but discerning riders.

Arch Motorcycle dropped a lot of jaws at its EICMA unveil, with three new

models. The California maker updated its KRGT-1, expanded beyond the cruiser

segment with the sporty, single-sided swingarm Arch 1s, and dove into a whole

other world with the ultra-exclusive Method 143. Using precision machining,

carbon fi bre, American V-twin motors, and all ultra-premium components,

Arch just added some serious diversity and performance to its line of custom,

handmade motorcycles.

The KRGT-1 was originally developed in 2015 as a custom, luxury power

cruiser. I was lucky enough to ride more than 1,000 miles on one this year, and

while it’s a comfortable cruiser, it’s also a bike you can really push and ride hard in

turns. The new bike is powered by the same S&S proprietary 124ci engine and


The Arch KRGT-1

built on a very similar steel chassis with an aluminium

subframe. For 2018, Arch updated several components,

most notably the 48mm fork, display gauge, dual sixpiston

front brake calipers with optional ABS, and a

redesigned tank shape. More than 200 parts were CNC

machined for this motorcycle, and, just like before, every

bike is custom fit for the buyer.

2018 Arch 1s

The 1s is Arch’s new production V-twin sport/cruiser

hybrid, powered by an S&S 124ci engine and built on

an entirely CNC-machined aluminium backbone and

subframe with a single-sided swingarm. The neck holds

a steep rake of 26 degrees, and the combination of low

handlebars with high mid-mounted foot controls puts the

rider in a much more aggressive position than the KRGT-1.

The carbon-fibre gas tank adds even more to the raw,

aggressive look of this bike, as does the new upswept

2-into-1 exhaust. It not only looks like a more aggressive

bike—with the new rake, swingarm, and riding position—

but it will undoubtedly handle like one as well.


• 124ci, 2,032cc American V-twin engine

• CNC-machined aluminium backbone and


• New CNC-machined aluminium and carbon-fibre

fuel tank with integrated fuel-filler enclosure

• BST carbon-fibre seven-spoke wheels

• Optional ABS

• Euro 4 compliant

Arch motorcycles also use

the amazing SA tech that is

BST carbon-fibre wheels.


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2018 Arch Method 143

Alright, this is the one. The blend of carbon fibre,

machined aluminium, and leather is absolutely

stunning. Limited to production of only 23

motorcycles, Arch is calling this a “concept

production bike,” probably because styling like

this is only ever seen on concepts. A proprietary

S&S 143ci engine (yes, that’s 2,343cc) is

housed in an entirely carbon-fibre MonoCell

chassis. Developed as part of a new partnership

with Suter Industries, the swingarm is singlesided

and CNC machined with a carbon-fibre

cover. SC Project—the same company that

makes the exhaust for Marc Marquez’s MotoGP

bike—has developed a full titanium and carbonfibre

exhaust system that’s incredible to look at,

and, as you can hear in the clip below, it sounds

absolutely amazing. The carbon-fibre wheels

from BST were designed by Arch and are

unique to this bike. I can only imagine what this

beautiful, arty monster will cost.

Keanu showing

off the Arch

Method 143 at


Check those custom

BST carbon wheels...


• 143ci, 2,343cc American V-twin engine

• Arch-designed, Suter Industriesmanufactured

CNC-machined aluminium,

single-sided swingarm with carbon-fibre cover

• CNC-machined aluminum bodywork with

integrated layered leather seat

• Arch-designed mobile-phone dash display

• Proprietary Öhlins FGRT series fork with

carbon-fibre airfoil

• SC Project full titanium/carbon-fibre exhaust


• Arch-designed BST carbon-fibre turbine


• Proprietary headlight design





For the 2018 racing season, young Capetonian star Sam Lochoff will be taking the leap and racing in the

For the 2018 racing season, young Capetonian star Sam Lochoff will be taking the leap and racing in the

World Supersport 300 championship. He will be racing under the Samurai Racing banner on top quality YART

race prepped Yamaha R3 race bikes, and will be looked after by top man Sheridan Morais himself.

Shane Lochoff, father to young

Sam, did what any parent would

do and that is support their

child in achieving their goals

and dreams. Some are good at

art, some are good at sport…

Sam Lochoff was good at riding

a bike. Less than 18 months

on a motorcycle, and with Sam

showing potential in his regional

championship, Shane decided

to put that potential to the test

and believed the best way to do

that would be to test him in a

world championship race. Enter

Sheridan Morais…

Sheridan is probably South

Africa’s most experienced rider

on the world stage and was

Shane´s logical choice in fi nding

the best way to evaluate Sam.

With Sheridan´s vast knowledge,

experience and contacts, Sam

was entered into a wild-card

ride at the Portimão round of

the 2017 World Supersport 300

championship. This huge step

from Cape Town to the world

stage required tremendous

logistical planning. Paulo

Pacheco came on board to

help with the local setup and

arranging track time. Ricky

Morais was brought in to ensure

that the best possible setup

was achieved. Wes Jones came

along with Sam as his personal

mechanic, being the person

who most understood Sam´s

riding style. Sheridan arranged a

championship winning Yamaha

R3 from YART so that we knew

the entire project of evaluating

a young rider would be a true

refl ection of his potential and not

hampered by equipment or team


After the fi rst day on track

something became very clear,

Sam Lochoff was inexperienced

and had a lot to learn, but he

was fast! He was setting times

that the front runners in the

World Championship were doing

and…the spark was ignited.

The group joined up for a

meeting later that week and it

soon became apparent that

there was a Team in the room.

They had the experience, the

right location, the talent and

the fi nance all in place to make

this project a success. Samurai

racing Portugal was born with

Sheridan, Shane and Paulo

partnering together, each adding

their respective knowledge

and expertise, to make this a

sustainable and competitive

racing team. Samurai Racing

was not created to win World

championships straight away, for

that they could have signed 20

year old ex-world champions.

It was Sheridan’s intention to

always have his own team, a


place to scout and develop young talent.

Setting up a team and all the infrastructure

for any championship requires money, and a

lot of it. It also requires the right people and

the lack of big ego’s. They believe that to be

successful in anything in life you need to be

humble and grateful for the opportunities that

come your way. Samurai Racing now had

everything in place to be successful. A World

Supersport Race winner and experienced

coach and mentor, a crew chief that has

won everything in South Africa, a mechanic

that understood the rider he works with, a

father and son combination of talent and

passion and a manager that knew nothing

about the sport but knew what was needed

to make it work.

What Samurai Racing did not have was

a championship to race in. They were

promised a consideration by Dorna but no

guarantees. Sheridan opened that door

but it was now the team manager’s job to

keep that door open. Paulo’s first job was

to lock the Portuguese federation (FMP) into

supporting this project. The team knew that

without this official Portuguese entry there

would be little chance of getting in. With

about 38 slots available and over 100 waiting

to come in, any application would need to be

well prepared and well supported. The next

meeting was with Mandy Kainz from YART.

Sheridan had raced for YART in the past

and has a good relationship with Mandy.

They knew that having the backing of one

of Europe’s biggest Yamaha dealerships

and top racing teams would give them the

credibility we needed.

With YART and the FMP as part of this

project, the team now had everything they

believed that Dorna would need to justify

their application as a sustainable and

competitive project.

They were granted a slot as an official

Yamaha entry and this small privateer team

has now been thrown into the limelight. The

team and sponsors would be given access

to the Factory Yamaha hospitality areas at

all races and they now have to represent

Yamaha and a World championship winning

team as well as their own brand.

Being a Portuguese team, the first running

in a World championship, they would need

a Portuguese rider that fitted into the ethos

of what they want a team to be. They signed

Tomás Alonso, a 15 year old, that had won

the inaugural Oliveira Cup in Portugal and

was selected to go to Redbull Rookies,

having missed phase three by 0.06 seconds.

Team Samurai now had a full team

ready for the World Championship but they

needed to have the boys well prepared so

they arranged to enter the Portuguese 300

championship, CNV300, as a training base

for their riders. The National championship

took on a bigger dimension and importance,

both for them as a team as well as the FMP,

by having a World championship team

competing in it. The CNV300 calendar

was determined so as not to clash with the

world championship. They would now be

competing in two different championships at

the same time. This would give their riders

the required testing and training that Sheridan

believes a rider needs to be competitive.

Sheridan will also be doing this championship

on a R1 to keep his skills sharp, while he

waits on other competitive offers.

Another Morais, unrelated, was added to

Samurai Racing. Beatriz Morais is a 14 year

old girl that showed a lot of promise in the

FMP youth cup as well as the Oliveira Cup

in 2017. She will compete in the National

championship only but will test with the team

where possible so that she can learn from

what the world championship has to offer.

That is their goal as a team, taking

young talented riders, evaluating their

skills and potential and then training them

to be the best they can and find the right

championship for them to compete in. This

is done with fun and professionalism in

mind, by understanding that each member

of the team is as important as the next. “By

understanding that when we succeed, we

do it together and when we struggle, we

learn together”. Said manager Paul. “Its

about having the right attitude and the right

commitment and that ultimately, we control

our own destiny.”

Watch out for Team Samurai in this years

racing championships. We as RideFast

Magazine are fully behind the team and wish

them all the best in their venture.


At the beggining of January, myself and

Paul head off to the YART headquarters in

Austria, to meet up with the guys and chat

about the 2018 race season and prepping

the bike etc.

It was a great trip to the YART and we

are now another massive step forward in

realising our dream.

The reason for our visit to the Austrian

based facility and Factory Yamaha Race

Team was to finalise our 2018 program

with regards to everything mechanical,

from the the rule book to the paddock

stands, we sussed it all out and sorted

the best and most competitive parts and

technicians to give the kids the best shot

possible. We also went over the rest of our

infrastructure plan and budget to iron out

where we could save and spend on the

stuff that will make the difference between

winning and losing. I also had meetings

about my 2018 campaign, which will again

see me join my YART family to compete

in the Endurance World Championship

onboard the YART Yamaha R1. Also a few

surprises, which you the RideFast reader

will be first to know.


Valentino Rossi




How Long Will Valentino Rossi Continue To

Race In MotoGP? Is it time for the soon to be 39

year old Italian to hang up his knee sliders?

When a sportsman—in particular, a

sportsman of the highest level arrives at a

certain age and his results begin to decline,

it’s inevitable that people will question if

he is too old to continue and would it be

better if he quit while he is ahead. But to

question Valentino Rossi, the absolute icon

of motorcycle sport, and his competitive

prowess is putting oneself in the middle

of a fight; an avalanche of criticism and

even insults is guaranteed. But this is to be

expected when you discuss a subject that

implicitly carries so much passion.

We must first start with Rossi himself.

The subject of his future isn’t a new one. It

emerged again this past November during

the last Grand Prix weekend in Valencia,

Spain, and has remained a topic throughout

the winter break. Rossi has always been

clear: He will decide what to do after

evaluating his competitiveness at the end

of the first third of the 2018 season, which

begins on March 18. We can surmise Rossi

would like to continue but before making that

decision he wants to check where he stands

amid the competition.

“I hope that by the end of 2018 we

renew—maybe a year, but I bet it will be for

two seasons,” said Alessio “Uccio” Salucci,

“I hope that by the end of 2018

we renew – maybe a year, but I

bet it will be for two seasons,”

Valentino Rossi’s best friend, right hand in

racing, confidant, and the person who knows

him best. “Vale thinks of nothing other than a

10th title. Between one GP and another he

trains 10 hours a day—gym and riding, riding

and gym. He is always watching what others

are doing and thinking about what he can do

to learn, to improve. From small things to big

things, he observes everything.”



Pic by Tom Griffiths illustrations

Rossi is clearly not lacking motivation. He

is far from having lost any joy for racing, far

from shrinking from the challenge of beating

his rivals, and his commitment is as high

as ever. But is that enough? If we look at

statistics, we can find an answer. Numbers

can be manipulated in different ways

depending on what you want to highlight.

For example, one statistic reveals that

since his last world title back in 2009,

Rossi has won 12 GPs, and 12 divided by

8 is equal to 1.5 race wins per season—

not enough for someone who aspires to

reconquer the title.

But if you put on “Rossi glasses,” those

same numbers show Rossi finished runnerup

in 2014, 2015, and 2016, demonstrating

a solid consistency that led him to the door

of success, which infers Rossi overcomes a

“lack” of speed with steadiness.

Let’s imagine that after a tumultuous

2017, Rossi gets back to the consistency

trail in 2018. Would it be enough to beat

young, hungry wolves like Marc Marquez,

Maverick Viñales, and Franco Morbidelli,

who arrived in MotoGP from Moto2 ready to

develop into premier-class contenders? And

don’t forget other names like Johann Zarco,

Andrea Dovizioso, and Andrea Iannone. The

championship already looks tough for 2018;

think about the possible situation in 2019

and ’20.

“Rossi is obsessed with

winning a 10th world title. He

lives every hour of every day

focused on that goal, and this

commitment has allowed him

to continue to improve over

recent years, despite his age.”

As Salucci explained, Rossi is obsessed

with winning a 10th world title. He lives every

hour of every day focused on that goal, and

this commitment has allowed him to continue

to improve over recent years, despite his

age. In 2015, for example, Rossi finished a

fantastic season by being consistent. In 2016,

he added speed to that consistency, but a

pair of errors—COTA and Assen—and bad

luck (a broken engine at Mugello) prevented

him from winning his 10th crown.

The truth is that in the last few years we

have seen the fastest Valentino Rossi ever.

But the clock keeps moving. No one should

ever doubt Rossi, but 40 years old—which

will be his age in 2019—is a lot in any toplevel

sport. In my opinion, Rossi will make a

decision around the French GP at Le Mans

at the end of May. If he thinks he is still in a

position to fight for the championship, he will

mostly likely continue.

“In a position to fight” doesn’t necessarily

mean winning the title but being competitive

and able to battle for race wins. If Rossi

believes he is not in that position, he might

quit. Because, unlike many other riders, he

will not be content contesting fifth, sixth, or

seventh position. So what do you think Rossi

will do at the end of 2018? If he wins the

championship this season, there is no doubt,

but what if he fails to reach his goal again?




Pics: Gerrit Erasmus

Since being released to the public at the

beginning of 2017 a lot has been said

about the new Honda CBR1000RR and

SP, both positive and negative. Having said

that, last year was not a good fi rst year for

the bike in the world of racing. While it did

very well with most journos in magazine

and TV show tests, winning MCN’s bike of

the year, it was a big fl op in both the World

SBK championship and Isle of Man TT race

- most famous for throwing world famous

Guy Martin off at the iconic road race.

We’ve tested the bike on a number of

occasions and had nothing but praise every

time. The base RR version fi nished 3rd

overall in our Sportsbike shoot-out last year,

while the SP model featured well against

the Kawasaki ZX10-RR and new Suzuki

Gixxer R. But it’s always hard to really judge

a bike when only having it for a few days,

and most of that time it spends travelling

on a trailer to the track, not being used for

everyday commuting chaos.

But now we will get the chance to really

put the bike through its paces. Honda

SA very kindly trusted us with one of their

demo SP models for the next 6 months.

We have plenty of trackday rides,

breakfast runs and tyre tests planned for

this machine. The Singh will do most of the

riding, putting it through the horror that is

the everyday commute in JHB and PTA.

I have already had it out at Redstar for

some laps and I still get a great feeling from

the bike. It really is a track weapon, and

we knew it was going to be but we need

to really fi nd out what it’s made of and if it’s

worth the big price tag of R300,000 (you

can get one new at around R280,000 if you

ask the salesman really nicely).

We will be looking to add on some trick

parts, such as a pipe and screen, to see if

it’s worthwhile and makes any difference.

I for one am keen to see how the Ohlins

electronic suspension handles the everyday

hustle. I am still not 100% convinced that is

the way to go but I’m sure I will get a solid

answer over the next 6 months.

First things fi rst though, we need to put

shorter gearing on. The gear ratios are way

too long... we need to unleash the beast!







Recommended retail price shown / Only models available in SA shown

Aprilia RSV4 RR

Price: R259 999

Max Power: 201 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 115 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 195kg

Key features: Full electronics, quickshift,

Brembo brakes

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati 1299 R Panigale

Price: R650 000

Max Power: 209 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 142 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (dry): 168kg

Key features: Ohlins suspension,

quickshift & auto-blip, fi nal V-Twin

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki ZX10R

Price: R205 995

Max Power: 200 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 113 Nm at 11.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg (206 ABS)

Key features: Balance Free Forks, full

electronics, quickshift

Our test rating: 7/10

MV Agusta F3 675 RC

Price: R329 999

Max Power: 128 hp at 14.500 rpm

Max Torque: 71 Nm at 10.900 rpm

Weight (wet): 188kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, quickshift, SC Project pipe

Our test rating: 8/10

Aprilia RSV4 RF

Price: R299 999

Max Power: 201 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 115 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 195kg

Key features: Ohlins electronic

suspension, quickshift, full electronics

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati 959 Panigale / Corse

Price: Starting from R204 000

Max Power: 157 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 107.4 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, quickshift & auto-blip (S model)

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki H2

Price: R349 995

Max Power: 200 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 133.5 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 238kg

Key features: Super-charged engine,

Brembo brakes, full electronics, quickshift

Our test rating: 9/10

Suzuki GSXR1000

Price: R239 950

Max Power: 199 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 118.0 Nm at 10.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 203kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, Showa suspension

Our test rating: 9/10


Price: R243 990

Max Power: 200 hp at 13.500 rpm

Max Torque: 113 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg

Key features: Quickshift & auto-blip, full

electornics, cruise control, heated grips

Our test rating: 8/10

Honda CBR1000RR

Price: R240 000

Max Power: 189 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 11.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo


Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki ZX6R & ZX636

Price: R135 995 - R155 995

Max Power: 128 hp at 14.000 rpm

Max Torque: 66.7 Nm at 11.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 192kg

Key features: ABS brakes, Nissin brakes

Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSXR1000 R

Price: R275 000

Max Power: 199 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 118.0 Nm at 10.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 203kg

Key features: Balance Free Foks, full

electronics, quickshift & auto-blip

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale

Price: R650 000

Max Power: 226 hp at 13.750 rpm

Max Torque: 133.6 Nm at 11.000 rpm

Weight (dry): 174kg

Key features: That V4 motor, Ohlins

suspension, Brembo, full electronics

Our test rating: 10/10

Ducati Panigale V4 / V4S

Price: R280 000 / R349 000

Max Power: 214 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 124 Nm at 10.000 rpm

Weight (dry: 174kg

Key features: That V4 motor, top knotch

suspension, Brembo, full electronics

Our test rating: 10/10

Honda CBR1000RR SP

Kawasaki ZX10RR

Price: R300 000

Price: R239 995

Max Power: 189 hp at 13.000 rpm Max Power: 200 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 11.000 rpm Max Torque: 113 Nm at 11.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Weight (wet): 206kg

Key features: Ohlins electronic suspension, Key features: Marchesini wheels, full

quickshift & auto-blip, full electronics electronics, quickshift & auto-blip

Our test rating: 9/10

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki ZX14R (Ohlins/Brembo)

Price: R225 995

Max Power: 200 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 158 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 269kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, Ohilns


Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa

Price: R194 400

Max Power: 195.7 hp at 9.800 rpm

Max Torque: 154 Nm at 10.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 266kg

Key features: Brembo brakes

Our test rating: 7/10

MV Agusta F3 800 RC

Price: R359 999

Max Power: 148 hp at 13.000 rpm

Max Torque: 88 Nm at 10.600 rpm

Weight (wet): 188kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, SC Projects pipe

Our test rating: 8/10

Suzuki GSXR750

Price: R154 800

Max Power: 148 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 86.2 Nm at 11.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 190kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, riding

modes, Showa Big Piston Forks

Our test rating: 8/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Yamaha R1

Price: R254 950

Max Power: 200 hp at 13.500 rpm

Max Torque: 112.4 Nm at 11.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 199kg

Key features: Full electronics, Brembo

brakes, quickshift

Our test rating: 9/10

Yamaha R6

Price: R189 950

Max Power: 118 hp at 14.500 rpm

Max Torque: 61.7 Nm at 10.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 190kg

Key features: Selectable Drive Mode,

traction control, Nissin brakes

Our test rating: 9/10


Recommended retail price shown

/ Only models available in SA shown

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 R

Price: R229 900

Max Power: 175 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 121 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, quickshift,

Brembo brakes

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati Monster 797

Price: From R131 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68.9 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: Brembo brakes

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Kawasaki Z650 ABS

Price: R115 995

Max Power: 68 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 65.7 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 184kg

Key features: ABS, awesome motor,

great handling

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 125 Duke

Price: R52 999

Max Power: 15 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 11.8 Nm at 78000 rpm

Weight (wet): 153kg

Key features: New frame and WP

suspension, New LED headlamp

Our test rating: 7/10

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 R Factory

Price: R249 900

Max Power: 175 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 121 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 200kg

Key features: Full electronics, quickshift,

Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension

Our test rating: 9/10

Ducati Monster 821

Price: From R160 000

Max Power: 112 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 89.4 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 205.5kg

Key features: Brembo brakes

Our test rating: Not tested yet

KTM 1290 Super Duke R (2017)

Price: R212 999

Max Power: 177 hp at 9.750 rpm

Max Torque: 141 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 205kg

Key features: Brembo brakes,

updated electronics, more power

Our test rating: 9/10

Suzuki GSX-S 1000

Price: R151 399

Max Power: 145 hp at 13.200 rpm

Max Torque: 106 Nm at 11.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 209kg

Key features: Brembo/Nissin brakes,

ABS, traction control

Our test rating: 7/10

BMW S1000R

Price: R203 990

Max Power: 165 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 114 Nm at 9.250 rpm

Weight (wet): 205kg

Key features: Quickshift & auto-blip, full

electornics, cruise control, heated grips

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Z1000

Price: R135 995

Max Power: 142 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 111 Nm at 7.300 rpm

Weight (wet): 220kg

Key features: Great price, ABS, awesome

motor, great handling

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 790 Duke

Price: TBC

Max Power: 105 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 86 Nm at 8.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 189kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, updated

electronics and styling

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Yamaha MT-10

Price: R199 900

Max Power: 160 hp at 11.500 rpm

Max Torque: 110 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Traction control, ABS,

slip-assist, quick-shifter

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Monster 1200 & 1200 S

Price: R191 000 - R224 000

Max Power: 150 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 126.2 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 187kg - 185kg (S model)

Key features: Brembo brakes, great

electronics, seductive motor

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Z900

Price: R139 995

Max Power: 125 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 98.6 Nm at 7.700 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Great price, ABS, awesome

motor, great handling

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 690 Duke

Price: R131 999

Max Power: 73 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 74 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 163kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, updated

electronics, looks cool

Our test rating: 7/10

Yamaha MT-09

Price: R137 950

Max Power: 115 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 86 Nm at 8.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: Traction control, ABS,

slip-assist, quick-shifter

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Monster 1200 R

Price: From R250 000

Max Power: 160 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 131.4 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 180kg

Key features: Brembo brakes, Ohlins

suspension, electronics, that motor!

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Z800 (2016)

Price: R123 995 (R126 996 ABS)

Max Power: 113 hp at 10.200 rpm

Max Torque: 95 Nm at 9.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 229kg

Key features: Great price, ABS, awesome

motor, great handling

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 390 Duke

Price: R68 999

Max Power: 43 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 37 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 165kg

Key features: Slipper clutch, Split LED

headlamp, ride-by-wire throttle

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha MT-07

Price: R114 950

Max Power: 75 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 86.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 182kg

Key features: Outstanding fuel

effi ciency, Agile, easy to handle

Our test rating: 8/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.


UP TO R20 000


Honda Wing East Rand Mall

Tel 011 826 4444. Gino: 082 475 7714 Shaun: 072 260 9525 Daleen: 076 516 2038


Recommended retail price shown / Only models available in SA shown

Aprilia RS4 125 FDK Replica

Price: R84 999

Max Power: 15 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 11 Nm at 8.250 rpm

Weight (wet): 120kg

Key features: Nimble handling, brilliant

chassis and motor, easy on the eyes

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Hypermotard 939

Price: From R164 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 98 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg

Key features: Oh that engine!

Ride-by-wire and good looks!

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Price: R119 995

Max Power: 67 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 66 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: Awesome styling,

dual ABS, well priced

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha R3

Price: R64 950

Max Power: 41 hp at 10.750 rpm

Max Torque: 27 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 169kg

Key features: Very racy, awesome

styling, Rossi colours... oh yes!

Our test rating: 7/10


Price: R195 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 236kg

Key features: Comfortable everyday

ride, so easy to enjoy

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Hypermotard 939 SP

Price: R198 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 98 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 204kg

Key features: Ohlins suspension,

Brembo brakes, just take my money!

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Price: R69 995

Max Power: 67 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 27 Nm at 10.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 174kg

Key features: Awesome styling,

ABS, very racy

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha Tracer

Price: R139 950 / R125 000 (2016)

Max Power: 115 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 87 Nm at 8.900 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Comfort, that seductive

3-cyclinder motor

Our test rating: 8/10

BMW R1200R

Price: R196 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 232kg

Key features: Quickshift & auto-blip,

sweet boxer engine

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Supersport

Price: From R177 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 97 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Gorgeous styling, great

electronics, we want one!

Our test rating: 8/10

Suzuki GSX-S1000F

Price: R163 900

Max Power: 150 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 108.0 Nm at 9.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 215kg

Key features: Traction control, powerful

Gixer motor, aggressive styling

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R283 990 / R285 990 (GTL)

Max Power: 160 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 175 Nm at 5.520 rpm

Weight (wet): 334kg / 360kg

Key features: The ultimate road touring


Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R137 990

Max Power: 90 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 86 Nm at 5.800 rpm

Weight (wet): 202kg

Key features: Ride-by-wire, riding

modes, easy to enjoy

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Supersport S

Price: From R197 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 97 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 210kg

Key features: Gorgeous styling, Ohlins

suspension, we want one!

Our test rating: 9/10

Suzuki GSXR250

Price: R68 900 / R69 200 (MotoGP colours)

Max Power: 25 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 23 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 178kg

Key features: Stunning colours,

awesome styling & enjoyable to ride

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R226 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 276kg

Key features: Great perfromance with

excellent fuel consumption

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: R62 990

Max Power: 34 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 28 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 158kg

Key features: Brilliant build quality,

so easy to enjoy, that price!

Our test rating: 8/10

Honda NC750X & NC750XD

Price: R109 000 (R117 699 DCT model)

Max Power: 55 hp at 6.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 4.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 221kg

Key features: Perfect everyday ride,

excellent fuel consumption

Our test rating: 7/10

Suzuki GSX150F

Price: R30 750

Max Power: 19 hp at 10.500 rpm

Max Torque: 14 Nm at 9.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 131kg

Key features: Great build quality, easy on

the eye, perfect fi rst bike for youngster!

Our test rating: 7/10


Price: R232 990

Max Power: 160 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 112 Nm at 9.250 rpm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: One of the best all-round

motorcycles on the market

Our test rating: 9/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX

Price: TBC

Max Power: 200 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 137.3 Nm at 9.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 256kg

Key features: Supercharged touring, top

grade electronics

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Kawasaki Z1000SX

Price: R155 995

Max Power: 142 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 111 Nm at 7.300 rpm

Weight (wet): 235kg

Key features: Superbike performance,

comfortable, amazing price

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Ninja 400

Price: TBC

Max Power: 45 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 38 Nm at 8.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 168kg

Key features: Everyday sporty


Our test rating: Not tested yet

KTM 1290 SuperDuke GT

Price: R229 999

Max Power: 170 hp

Max Torque: 144 Nm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: So much power, great

styling, good electronics

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM RC390 & RC125

Price: R70 999 / R55 999

Max Power: 43 hp / 15hp

Max Torque: 37 Nm / 11.8

Weight (wet): 165kg / 153kg

Key features: Slipper clutch, racy look

and feel, ride-by-wire throttle

Our test rating: 8/10




Recommended retail price shown

/ Only models available in SA shown

BMW R1200GS Adventure

Price: R249 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 263kg

Key features: Brilliant electonics,

great motor, ultra comfy

Our test rating: 8/10


Price: TBA

Max Power: 33 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 28 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 169kg

Key features: Begginer adventure, a ride

for the masses, loads of fun

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Honda Africa Twin

Price: From R186 500 / R208 500 (DCT)

Max Power: 87 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 92 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 245kg

Key features: Amazing adventure,

easy to enjoy

Our test rating: 8/10

KTM 1290 SuperAdventure T

Price: R237 999

Max Power: 160 hp

Max Torque: 140 Nm

Weight (wet): 249kg

Key features: Soooo much power,

comfortable, superb electronics

Our test rating: 9/10


Price: R225 990

Max Power: 125 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 125 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 244kg

Key features: Brilliant electonics,

great motor, ultra comfy

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Multistrada Enduro 1200

Price: From R252 000

Max Power: 160 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 136 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 254kg

Key features: Electronic suspension,

Brembo brakes, big power

Our test rating: 8/10

Honda CRF250 Rally / CRF250L

Price: R84 999 / R74 999

Max Power: 23 hp at 8.500 rpm

Max Torque: 22 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 144kg / 148kg

Key features: Entry adventure, easy to

use and enjoy

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1290 SuperAdventure R

Price: R214 999

Max Power: 160 hp

Max Torque: 140 Nm

Weight (wet): 240kg

Key features: Soooo much power,

superb electronics, offroad weapon

Our test rating:


BMW F800GS Adventure

Price: R172 990

Max Power: 85hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Key features: Adventure made easy,

punchy engine, smooth and comfy

Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Multistrada 1260 & S

Price: R211 000 / from R253 000 (S)

Max Power: 158 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 129 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (dry): 225kg

Key features: That engine, comfy,

awesome styling

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Versys 1000

Price: R159 995

Max Power: 120 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 102 Nm at 7.700 rpm

Weight (wet): 250kg

Key features: Comfortable, easy to enjoy,

great everyday ride

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1290 SuperAdventure S

Price: R210 999

Max Power: 160 hp

Max Torque: 140 Nm

Weight (wet): 240kg

Key features: Soooo much power,

awesome dash, electronic suspension

Our test rating: 8/10



Price: R157 990

Price: R151 990

Max Power: 85hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Power: 75hp at 7.300 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 5.750 rpm Max Torque: 77 Nm at 5.300 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Weight (wet): 212kg

Key features: Punchy engine, smooth and Key features: Punchy engine, smooth and

comfy, easy to ride

comfy, easy to ride

Our test rating: 7/10

Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak

Price: R309 000

Max Power: 158 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 129 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (dry): 206kg

Key features: The ultimate Multi,

Ohilns electronic suspension

Our test rating: 9/10

Kawasaki Versys 650

Price: R115 995

Max Power: 69 hp at 8.500 rpm

Max Torque: 64 Nm at 7.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 214kg

Key features: Comfortable, easy to enjoy,

great price

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1090 Adventure R

Price: R181 999

Max Power: 125 hp

Max Torque: 108 Nm

Weight (wet): 230kg

Key features: Superb motor, great

handling, offroad weapon

Our test rating: 8/10

Our test rating: Our test rating: Our test rating:

Ducati Multistrada 950

Price: From R184 000

Max Power: 113 hp at 9.000 rpm

Max Torque: 96 Nm at 7.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 229kg

Key features: Ultra comfortable,

easy to enjoy, great suspension

Our test rating: 8/10

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Price: R74 995

Max Power: 39 hp at 11.000 rpm

Max Torque: 27 Nm at 10.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 175kg

Key features: Comfortable, easy to

enjoy, good entry level

Our test rating: 7/10

KTM 1090 Adventure

Price: R167 999

Max Power: 125 hp

Max Torque: 108 Nm

Weight (wet): 230kg

Key features: Superb motor,

great handling, brilliant electronics

Our test rating: 8/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Suzuki DL1000

Price: R154 700

Max Power: 100 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 103 Nm at 4.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: Great price, great allround

machine, ABS

Our test rating: 8/10

Suzuki DL650XT

Price: R109 500 XT ABS

Max Power: 69 hp at 8.000 rpm

Max Torque: 69 Nm at 6.400 rpm

Weight (wet): 215kg

Key features: Great price, great allround

machine, ABS

Our test rating: 7/10



Triumph Explorer 1200

Price: From R199 500

Max Power: 137 hp at 9.300 rpm

Max Torque: 123 Nm at 6.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 279kg

Key features: Heated rider and

passenger seat, ultra comfy

Our test rating: 8/10

Triumph Tiger 800

Price: From R139 500

Max Power: 94 hp at 9.250 rpm

Max Torque: 79 Nm at 7.850 rpm

Weight (wet): 221kg

Key features: Riding modes, cruise

control, adventure made easy

Our test rating: 8/10

Yamaha XT 1200 ZE

Price: R199 950

Max Power: 112 hp at 7.250 rpm

Max Torque: 117 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 262kg

Key features: Tough spoked aluminium

wheels, ABS, traction control

Our test rating: 8/10

Honda Wing East Rand Mall

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

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

Shaun: 072 260 9525 Daleen: 076 516 2038


Recommended retail price shown / Only models available in SA shown

BMW R nineT Scrambler

Price: R197 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 119 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 220kg

Key features: Excellent build, comfy,

punchy motor, those pipes....

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Diavel Carbon / Dark

Price: R291 000 / R249 000

Max Power: 162 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 127 Nm at 8.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 239kg

Key features: Oh that engine!

So much torque, brutal!

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Classic Scrambler

Price: R160 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 193kg

Key features: So much fun, retro

scrambler look and feel

Our test rating: 7/10

Kawasaki Vulcan S

Price: R99 995

Max Power: 61 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 63 Nm at 6.600 rpm

Weight (wet): 225kg

Key features: Comfortable cruiser,

smooth engine

Our test rating: 7/10

BMW R nineT

Price: R187 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 119kg

Key features: Excellent build, comfy,

punchy motor, retro spoke wheels

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati X Diavel S / X Diavel

Price: From R319 000 / R277 000

Max Power: 156 hp at 9.500 rpm

Max Torque: 129 Nm at 7.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 247kg

Key features: Gorgeous styling,

awesome motor and electronics

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Full Throttle Scrambler

Price: R160 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 187kg

Key features: So much fun, retro

scrambler look and feel

Our test rating: 7/10

Kawasaki Z900 RS / RS Cafe

Price: TBC

Max Power: 111 hp at 8.500 rpm

Max Torque: 98.5 Nm at 6.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 215kg / 220kg

Key features: Modern day classic, retro

looks, easy, enjoyable ride

Our test rating: Not tested yet

BMW R nineT Racer

Price: R171 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 220kg

Key features: Awesome retro looks,

solid motor, racy feel

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Scrambler 1100 / 1100 Sport

Price: From R191 000 / R221 000

Max Power: 86 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 88 Nm at 4.750 rpm

Weight (dry): 189kg

Key features: Easy to enjoy and ride


Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Icon Scrambler

Price: From R135 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 187kg

Key features: So much fun, retro

scrambler look and feel

Our test rating:


Suzuki VZR1800 Boulevard

Price: From R185 100

Max Power: 128 hp at 6.200 rpm

Max Torque: 160.0 Nm at 3.200 rpm

Weight (wet): 347kg

Key features: Big fat 240 rear tyre, brute

force engine

Our test rating: 7/10

BMW R nineT Pure

Price: R166 990

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.750 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 119kg

Key features: Excellent build, comfy,

punchy motor, retro

Our test rating: 8/10

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

Price: From R171 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Key features: Easy to enjoy on and

off road.

Our test rating: 7/10

Ducati Sixty 2 Scrambler

Price: R116 000

Max Power: 40 hp at 8.750 rpm

Max Torque: 35 Nm at 3.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 183kg

Key features: Easy to enjoy on and

off road.

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Rocket III

Price: From R199 500

Max Power: 148 hp at 5.700 rpm

Max Torque: 221 Nm at 2.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 367kg

Key features: Ultimate cruiser, loads

of power

Our test rating: 8/10

BMW R nineT Urban GS

Price: TBA

Max Power: 110 hp at 7.500 rpm

Max Torque: 116 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 221kg

Key features: Diffrent kind of GS, retro,

comfy, fun to ride

Our test rating: Not tested

Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer

Price: R171 000

Max Power: 75 hp at 8.250 rpm

Max Torque: 68 Nm at 5.750 rpm

Weight (wet): 207kg

Key features: So much fun, handles like a

dream, retro styling

Our test rating: 7/10

Kawasaki Vulcan Custom 900

Price: R104 995

Max Power: 48 hp at 5.700 rpm

Max Torque: 79 Nm at 3.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 277kg

Key features: Comfortable cruiser,

smooth engine

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Thurxton / Thurxton R

Price: R149 500 / R174 500

Max Power: 96 hp at 6.750 rpm

Max Torque: 112 Nm at 4.950 rpm

Weight (wet): 225kg

Key features: Modern day retro with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 8/10

Pictures shown may differ from actual model. Specs are claimed by manufacturer and not tested. Prices as of April 2017. Prices may change so please contact local dealer.

Triumph Street Twin / Cup

Price: R129 500 / R134 500 / R139 500

Max Power: 55 hp at 5.900 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 3.230 rpm

Weight (wet): 212kg

Key features: Modern day retro with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 8/10

Triumph Street Twin Scrambler

Price: R139 500

Max Power: 55 hp at 5.900 rpm

Max Torque: 80 Nm at 3.230 rpm

Weight (wet): 212kg

Key features: Modern day retro with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 8/10

Triumph Bonneville T100 / T120

Price: R134 500 / R147 500

Max Power: 66 hp / 79

Max Torque: 68 Nm / 105Nm

Weight (wet): 224kg

Key features: Modern day classics with

superb handling and power

Our test rating: 7/10

Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Price: R165 500

Max Power: 76 hp at 6.100 rpm

Max Torque: 106 Nm at 4.000 rpm

Weight (wet): 228kg

Key features: ABS, ride-by-wire, traction

control, gorgeous styling

Our test rating: Not tested yet

Yamaha XSR900

Price: R160 000

Max Power: 115 hp at 10.000 rpm

Max Torque: 87 Nm at 8.500 rpm

Weight (wet): 195kg

Key features: ABS, traction control, slipper

cluth, unique styling

Our test rating: 8/10





Honda Wing East Rand Mall

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

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

Shaun: 072 260 9525 Daleen: 076 516 2038





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This comp is exclusive to Ridefast Magazine.







With its new V4 firing order, the new iconic red Italian

Stallion is set to be the new benchmark in the production

sportbike game. Words: Rob Portman Pics: Milagro



you think Ducati superbike

you instantly think big thumping

V-Twin, with more torque than Jay Leno

on a Friday night and more attitude than

any Stallone movie. It’s been the heart

and soul of the red beast for close on 30

years now, bringing the Italian outfi t loads

of success both on the track and off, and

making it one of the most loved, most

desired, most iconic motorcycle brands in

the world today.

The Ducati superbike has been through

it’s fair share of transition - from the very

popular 851 (all 95hp of it), all dominating

916, 996 and 998 Testastretta’s, not so

popular 999, semi loved 1098 and 1198,

not a real fan favourite 1199 Panigale and

now to the more recent 1299 Panigale,

which was, and still is, a pure master-piece

in mine and many peoples eyes. While

they all had their own identities, one thing

they all had in common was the thumping

V-Twin motor.

So why change? Why feel the need to

veer away from a formula that has brought

the company so much success? The

best answer I could get out of Ducati’s big

shots was that they had exhausted the

V-Twin development and got everything

they could out of the Twin power-plant. It

was a time for change, a time for a fresh

start, one that would change the course

of the companies history and take them

into an unknown world, a world that their

opposition has thrived in from the days of

the Arch, so Ducati had to make sure they

did a proper job, they could not afford to

mess this up.

Not only was the whole world watching

and waiting, many saying that it was going

to be a fl op and that they didn’t know

anything but twins, but also their loyal die

hard Ducati addicts who are undecided

on the new venture.

So, what is all this change I am speaking

of? Well, it’s the new Ducati superbike and

as you might have picked up on by now,

it no longer features a V-Twin motor but

rather a new motor that has changed the

production sportbike game – enter the new

Ducati Panigale V4 superbike.

A new Era

4 years ago Ducati embarked on a project

that would lead them into unknown

territory. The Panigale V4 project was born

– where they would take the technology

they had in MotoGP and somehow put

it into a production superbike for the

masses to enjoy. The key in all of this is the

V4; no more V-Twin, it was time to show

the world that they could be versatile and

better what their counterparts have been

doing for years. It was a brave move but

one that needed to be made.

Now I’m sure you have read all about

the new Panigale V4, it’s been splashed

all over the media since it’s unveiling at the

EICMA Show in Milan last year.

The launch took place in

Valencia, Spain, where journos

from all over the world fi nally got

a change to see, hear, and most

importantly feel what the new

superbike is all about. My fi rst

duty when arriving in Valencia

was to sit through a 40-minute

presentation on the new Panigale V4

and its new engine and electronics.

I’m not going to bore you too

much by going into full detail (see

specs pages for highlights). All you

need to know is that it’s the closest

production machine to a MotoGP

bike ever released. Just about every

piece of tech Lorenzo and Dovizioso

have at their disposal on the Desmo

MotoGP racer can be found on the new

red beast. From the V4 powered engine,

to unique front frame design – it’s a

MotoGP bike with mirrors and lights.

The new V4 power-plant is called the

“Desmosedici Stradale”, the heart and

soul of the bike, and not only did Ducati

shock the world by going the 4-cyclinder

route but they also added some extra

oomph by making it an 1103cc. Can they

race it in World superbikes? That is pretty

much the fi rst question I have been asked

by all after hearing about the new motor.

The answer is no, they cant, as it exceeds

the 1000cc limit. But there is a 1000cc V4

version coming next year, and that will be

the World SBK racer. Set to be labelled



The 1299 was considered a special bike, so

Ducati wanted to keep the core of that in the

new V4. It’s very much a Panigale, just with some

added muscles and extra spice.

the Panigale V4 R, it will cost in the region

of a million rand so will be very exclusive.

I personally think going the 1100cc

route was a smart move by Ducati. “More

Power” seems to be the cry from the

public, even if they can’t use or handle

what is currently available. But bigger is

always better in most cases and Ducati

noticed that and have given the target

market what they want. Owning a Ducati

is about passion, and more so bragging

rights, and with power fi gures of 214Hp,

it has plenty to brag about!

It looks like the 1299

When pictures were fi rst released one

would be forgiven for thinking that the

new V4 was just a 1299 Panigale with a

new engine, and while that is some-what

true, the fact is it’s so much more than

that. Up close you can see the changes.

The bike looks more muscular, more

fi erce and aggressive, a typical Panigale

but with more attitude. The fairings

have added lines and curves for better

aerodynamics and fl ows through the tank

to the seat perfectly – a true combination

of Beauty and Beast. A perfect silhouette,

just what you would expect of a Ducati


The seat looks smaller and more

aggressive and the rear lights are

perfectly in line with the bikes curves and

when lit up look ultra cool.

The new 5-inch full-TFT dash looks

straight off the MotoGP racer and

displays everything you could ask for

while the new operating switches on

the left handlebar, which help adjust the

electronic aids on the dash, are easier

than ever to operate and understand.

Enough talk, more ride!

The world famous Ricardo Tormo Circuit,

or just Valencia as we know it, was the

playground where we would get to test

the new Panigale V4. It’s a 4km circuit

that offers a combination of tight and fast

fl owing turns. A strange choice for me

as I thought they would have it close to

home in Italy at a fast track like Mugello

where the V4’s power would really blow

our socks off. Valenica was chosen as

Ducati felt it the best track to highlight

how user friendly the bikes power delivery

and handling is, as well as show off the

impressive new electronics.

Arriving at the track and seeing the

line of red machines I could not help but

feel overwhelmed. I was about to be part

of a very historic moment in the Italian

brands history.

We would be testing the S model,

which features the 2nd generation Ohlins

Electronic front suspension and Ohlins

TTX 36 rear shock, the only real big

difference over the base model V4.

Sitting on the bike for the fi rst time

was very much déjà vu. It’s very much

Paniagle and just what I expected. Those

wide bars and racy seating position get

you in the mood straight away. Firing the

beast up for the fi rst time it’s like nothing

has changed. That same familiar rumble

The Panigale V4’s TFT display is the slickest I’ve seen on a motorcycle,

with vibrantly clear graphics, which can be changed to day or night

backgrounds. Note the bottom-right corner of the screen that displays

toggle-able settings for the electronic rider aids.


and drone from the motor, pleasuring

your ear drums as it has done for so

many years. The pitch changes slightly

the higher the rpm, letting you know

there is something extra special waiting

to be set free.

Exiting pit lane for the fi rst time

and I immediately wanted to feel the

power and hear the V4 in anger. I

accelerate hard in 1st and 2nd gear,

the front wheel thrusts itself into the

air while the motor screams out a

sound I have heard before – that of the

Ducati MotoGP bike. 214hp is what

Ducati claim out of the new 1103cc

V4 motor, and I was not about to

argue. Powering through the gears

heading out of the long pit lane I was

overwhelmed at the amount of power

on hand. It surges forward faster

than the EFF into an H&M store. It’s

relentless at every rpm in every gear.

And that was just leaving pit lane.

After only a minute on the bike, not

only did I feel like a MotoGP racer but

I sounded like one too. This was going

to be an epic ride!

I had been around the Valenica track

before so was keen to get stuck in

straight away, not wanting to waste a

second out on track. I felt comfortable

and confi dant heading into my fi rst

lap in anger. Powering out of the slow

2nd gear fi nal turn my arms, legs and

rear end are put to test. I am holding

on for dear life as the front wheel

once again points to the sky but it’s

controlled perfectly by the ever-present

wheelie control. 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th

gear come and go in a split second, I

look down and see 283kph - the bike

made short work of the 700metre

long straight. The famous turn one

approaches, where Marquez famously

crapped his pants at the fi nal MotoGP

race last year. I clamp the front brake

The new Panigale V4 S has a powerto-weight

ratio of 1.10hp/kg compared

to the 1299 Panigale S’ 1.03hp/kg


Ducati pushed its engineering and marketing efforts to

the limits with this new Stradale V4 motor. It required

considerable cojones to abandon its legacy of V-Twin

engines in favor of a MotoGP-inspired V-4 powerplant.

Common to both Ducatis (GP and Stradale) is the

90-degree V-4 engine arrangement and “Twin Pulse”

firing order, in which the two left-side cylinders and two

right-side ones fire closely together. Even seasoned ears

can be fooled into thinking the Stradale V4 sounds at

idle like a typical Duc Twin. But letting the potent motor

climb up to its 14,500-rpm redline reveals a roaring howl

that is a near duplicate of Ducati’s MotoGP machine,

supplanting the signature V-Twin boom that has been

a hallmark of the Italian brand since superbike racing

was created.

The compact nature of the Stradale V4 in the foreground

is evident next to the the MotoGP mill behind it. The

V-4 is smaller and easier to package than the former

1199/1299 Superquadro V-Twin, even if it weighs about

2 kilos extra, at 65 kilos. Grams are saved by using

lightweight magnesium for engine covers and the sump.

Also shared is the engines’ 81mm bore size (the max

allowed in the MotoGP rulebook), but the Stradale

V4 uses a longer stroke (53.5mm) that yields a total

displacement of 1103cc. Yes, it’s a cheater motor in the

literbike class. (A 999cc R version is on deck for the

2019 season to fit Superbike racing regulations.)


Losing weight isn’t just difficult for humans, but Ducati

has pared ounces wherever possible. Its monocoque

frame design uses the engine as a stressed member in

accompaniment with an aluminum front section that

incorporates the steering head. It’s said to scale in at

just 4 kilos, which is 3.6 kilos lighter than the exotic

carbon-fibre full frame on the BMW HP4 Race. Its

single-sided aluminum swingarm is 76mm longer than

the 1299’s for better traction, but weighs the same 5kg.

To gain perspective on the relative weights of these

structural pieces, consider the Panigale V4’s exhaust

system: at 9.5kg, it weighs more than the frame and

swingarm combined.

Aluminum, rather than heavier steel, is used for the

Panigale’s fuel tank, a portion of which is positioned

below the rider MotoGP style. Its total capacity is 16

litres. The curb weight for the V4 S is stated at 198kg, 3

kilos lighter than the standard Panigale V4 because of

its lighter wheels and lithium-ion battery, which is now

situated under a cover at the front of the tank along

with the bikes electronics system. This also helps with

weight distribution.


The Panigale V4’s electronics are state of the art, and

work like an abosolute gem. Seriously good, they help

keep the beast in control, allowing you to enjoy and get

the best of ouf it.

A new six-axis Bosch IMU provides a host of aids. Most

are evolutions of existing aids, but there are a few new

ones like slide control, drift braking and lean-angle

sensitive quickshifting (up and down) and engine-brake

control. All are independently adjustable via intuitive

left-side switchgear and visible on the brilliant TFT

instrument panel.

• ABS Cornering Bosch EVO

• Ducati Traction Control EVO (with “spin on

demand” when set to levels 1 or 2)

• Ducati Slide Control (DSC)

• Ducati Wheelie Control EVO

• Ducati Power Launch (DPL)

• Ducati Quick Shift up/down EVO

• Engine Brake Control EVO

• Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO (on V4 S and

Speciale models)

After fettling with various settings, I preferred ABS 1

(ABS on front wheel only), DTC 2 (allowing controllable

sliding), and DWC 2 (because I like wheelies). I didn’t

have time to experiment with EBC. The quick-shifter

swapped cogs up and down effortlessly, but did have

one or two hiccups on up shifts now and then.


The standard Panigale V4 uses a fully adjustable

Showa Big Piston fork and Sachs shock, while the V4

S we tested employs the latest generation of Öhlins

semi-active suspension in an NIX-30 fork and TTX36

shock. Manual mode allows compression, rebound,

and steering damper settings to be manually set, while

the dynamic mode automatically adjusts damping

depending on various parameters received from the

IMU. I wasn’t a big proponent of the first-gen Öhlins

electronic suspension on the 1299 Panigale, so I’m

happy to report that the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system

proved faultless under my butt at Valencia.


The new V4 offers much less

engine inertia over a V-Twin,

which allows the engine to flow

more freely into the turns and

makes the bike more agile.

lever in anger for the fi rst time and bang it

down 2 gears using the auto-blip shift. The

bike stays perfectly in line and allows me to

attack. Now, I know bikes can’t talk but I

swear I could hear the bike screaming “faster,

faster”. It urges and begs me to push harder

and gives me the feel needed to do so.

The engine was so smooth but aggressive

at the same time. Driving out of the turn in

3rd gear from low rpm the bike just launched

forward, tongue hanging out and drooling,

excited and ready to attack the next turn.

It did this at every turn, willing me on and

begging me to go harder and faster (dirty

minds activated.)

The engine is a perfect combination of

old and new, offering the low down torque

of a V-Twin, with midrange punch and top

end power of a V4, only with loads more

than any other V4 I have ever tested. The

V-Twin thumping sound quickly turns into a

V4 screamer from 8,000rpm onwards, and

that’s when things really get interesting. I

found myself changing gears at 11,000rpm,

thinking I was still on a V-Twin but the new

V4 offers power all the way to 14,000rpm, in

every gear. This is a massive plus especially

out on track where extra rpm can make such

a difference. The feeling of powering through

the gears down the front straight

and hearing the V4 in full fl ight

underneath me is like nothing I have

ever felt. Truly sensational!

Driving out of the turns was a

pleasure. I could get on the gas early

and hard knowing the electronics

would be working perfectly in sync

in the background. They are the

perfect secretary, just helping

you get the job done with as little

effort as possible.

After 4 laps I am fully

comfortable with the bike and

fi nd myself pushing hard in and

out of every turn. Too hard in fact as

I started making mistakes and using

up too much energy. The excitement of

it all got to me and I was a bit overwhelmed

if I’m being completely honest. And you can

forgive me for being, I was pretty much on a

MotoGP bike racing around a world famous

MotoGP track – is there anything better?

First session came to an end and I knew

that I would have to calm down for the

remaining 3 sessions if I was to get the best

out of the bike and the experience.

The bike was set on Sport mode for the

fi rst session, which meant I had access

“The V-Twin thumping

sound quickly turns into a

V4 screamer from 8,000rpm

onwards, and that’s when

things really get interesting.”

to the full 214hp but with a softer throttle

response and suspension setup to that of

Race mode. Electronics such as ABS, slide,

wheelie and traction control were also set at

medium level, with traction set at 5 out of 8. I

did fi nd the traction control a bit too intrusive

at level 5, so for the second session I would

select Race mode, with traction, slide and

wheelie control set on level 2. This would

also change the setup of the suspension to a

harder fi rmer setting.

I could immediately feel the difference

with the electronics, still there but letting the

bike work a bit more. The suspension felt

more solid and suited for hard, fast track

riding. The bike and myself were a whole

new animal in the second session, making

easy work of the demanding circuit.

I was doing all the work on the bike and

over riding it in the fi rst session but for the



Pirelli has been a long standing partner with Ducati, and

once again formed an alliance for the new V4 project.

Pirelli wanted to release something special to go with

the new special bike, so they created their new Diablo

Supercorsa SP V3 - developed jointly with Ducati for new

Panigale V4.

It’s Pirelli’s latest and greatest performance tyre, with a

racing soul that can also be used on the road.

The new Panigale is the first production bike to feature

the World SBK spec rear tyre size of 200/60-17. This

means a larger contact patch on the tar, 4.5mm more on

the rear than previously.

The new tread pattern design has better response to the

lateral forces, narrower grooves improve stability and

wear regularity while the new slick shoulder area ensures

high-levels of grip at high lean angles.

The front tyre is a mono-compound, a solution that allows

rapid warm-up and a stead fast grip in any situation.

The rear tyre is a bi-compound and for the first time ever

in a tyre approved for road use, Pirelli decided to use

a racing blend developed in the FIM World Superbike


Out on track and the tyres were sublime, offering massive

amounts of grip and feel in and out of every turn.

second session I trusted the bike more

and let it do all the work, and it presented

a whole new ball game. The fast racer

in me was coming out again, after many

years in the dark, all thanks to the new

Panigale V4.

The new front frame allows more

fl ex, especially in the turns and it’s very

apparent. You don’t have to fi ght the

bike at all, just let it do its thing. Weight

distribution was a key point for the

designers, and they got it spot on with

54.5% (1.5 more than 1299) distributed

to the front end of the bike, so this thing

steers just as good, if not better than a

600cc supersport bike. Kerb weight is

claimed at 195kg’s, 5kilos heavier than

the previous 1299, but it’s deceptive as

it feels so much lighter and just as good

as the 1299 felt. The extra weight almost

plays in its favour and combined with the

slightly longer swing-arm gives the bike a

bit more stability.

This also helps with drive out of the

turns, and the bike just seems to grip

to the tarmac harder than a child to a

mother on the fi rst day at school.

Braking is sublime, both the front and

rear brakes offer a feel that instils massive

amounts of confi dence. By far the best

ABS system on the market today. You

can’t even feel the ABS working, it just

gets the job done. Ducati have also

recognized the need for a user-friendly

back braking system, so they added the

new ‘back slide’ aid which offers the rider

a great feel and allows you to hit the back

brake and slide the bike into the turns. It

was a real treat. I tend to stay away from

the back brake as on many bikes they

are not user-friendly and tend to lock

up easily. The Ducati system is brilliant. I

have never used so much back brake in

my life. I used it where and when I waned

and it helped line up the turns perfectly,

and when I applied to much, the system

kicked in to assist not locking up the rear

and over sliding. I felt like a real pro sliding

into the slow 2nd gear corners, brought

back the good old days when I was

young, dumb and fast!


To minimise the inevitable weight gain from the extra

bank of cylinders, Ducati developed an all-new frame,

called the ‘Front Frame’. It’s more compact and lighter

than a perimeter frame and uses the engine as a stressed

chassis element – keeping the kerb weight of the S and

Speciale versions down to 195kg – 2.5kg lighter than the

new 959 Corse.

Compared to the monocoque design, the Front Frame

allows torsional rigidity and lateral rigidity to be kept

separate, to better absorb any road surface roughness

when cornering.

At just 4 kg, the Front Frame is secured directly to the

upper half-crankcase of the front cylinder head and to

the V4 rear cylinder head, with the engine also acting as

a fixing point for the rear suspension and a fulcrum point

for the single-sided swingarm.


The combination of the versatile chassis,

top notch Ohlins suspension and new grippy

World SBK spec Pirelli rubber means more

grip than Schwarzenegger on a dumbbell.

And the electronics also help you feel in

control at all times.

With every passing lap I gained more

confi dence and more speed. The V4 took

my ability and improved it making me a

much better and faster rider. I did not have

to adjust my riding style or adapt to what the

bike wanted. It was more like the opposite,

with the bike adapting to me, improving and

helping me iron out whatever insecurities I

had, letting me get on with the job on hand,

which was to go fast!


The new Panigale V4 grips your every emotion,

making you believe you are invincible, making

you feel like nothing else in the world matters,

except going fast. And this all happens

while an orchestra of V4 Opera plays in the

background – simply erotic!

I couldn’t fi nd much wrong with the 1299

V-Twin Panigale, other than it needed a bit

more steam at top rpm, which has now been

addressed with the new V4. But after riding the

new Panigale V4 the 1299, and all the other

sportbikes out today, just seem a bit long in the

tooth now and in serious need of a tweak or

two. 1000cc in-line four production superbikes

are so last season - it’s now time for the Japs

to break their cycle and take a similar leap that

of which Ducati have now taken with the V4.

They need to start going against the grain of

what they know and feel comfortable with,

because right now, the Panigale V4 is miles

ahead of anything out there right now.

Bikes are set to arrive from end of

February. Call Ducati SA now to book yours.

011 919 1600.

PANIGALE V4 (BASE) - R280,000

Power: 214hp Torque: 124Nm Dry

Weight: 175kg Suspension front: 43

mm diameter Showa Big Piston Fork, full

adjustable Rear: Fully adjustable Sachs


SPECIALE - R650,000 (R710,000

with Magnesium Wheels)

Same as V4 base with exception of:

• Carbon fibre front/rear mudguards

• Machined-from-solid top yoke with

identification number • Alcantara® seat

• Dedicated handle grips • Adjustable

foot pegs • Carbon fiber heel guard •

Carbon fiber cover swinging arm

• Racing articulated levers

• Brake level protection

PANIGALE V4 S - R349,000

Same as V4 base with exception of:

• Suspension and steering damper with Ohlins

Smart EC 2.0 system • Ohlins TTX 36 rear shock

• Ali forged wheels • Lithium-ion battery

Supplied kit:

• Full racing titanium Ducati Performance

by Akrapovič exhaust system

• Racing screen • Plate holder removal kit

• Machined-from solid mirror

replacement plugs

• Ducati Data Analyser+ GPS (DDA +

GPS) • Bike cover • Racing fuel tank cap





Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better,we

were given the chance to ride an even more

special bike; the Ducati Panigale V4 accessorized

version, featuring a host of the Rizoma/Ducati

bling parts. Replacing the treaded tyres for SC1

World SBK spec Pirelli slicks and the stock

exhaust for a full titanium racing Akrapovic

system (estimated around R70k) including a

remapping of the wheelie control and traction

control algorithms removed 7kg yet added an

extra 12hp up to a claimed 226hp. FML!

The pre-warmed extra sticky rubber took

the already excelling grip to a new level while

the extra power to weight ratio (now 1.20 hp/

kg) was a sensation that my brain could scarcely

comprehend. There comes a point where my

ability becomes null-and-void, it’s all about

hanging on. It’s 20-30% better in every aspect,

and more than us mere mortals can really handle.

Thank the heavens above for the electronics,

which helps me some-what tame the beast.

In full fl ight the Panigale V4 ignites a

symphony of pure delight, just like that of the

Ducati MotoGP bike.

In a world that seems to be getting more

health and safety conscious and liabilityladen,

here you have a piece of extraordinary

engineering capable of doing extraordinary

speeds with extraordinary grip.

Let me just say it one more time, just in case I

haven’t said it enough - IT’S EXTRAORDINARY!

The new V4, added accessories or not, is

the pinnacle. Literally. Physically. It

begs the question, how extreme

will motorcycle engineering

become? Where does Ducati

go from here?

Maybe paint it




Brittany Cuthbert is a multiple South African Supermoto and MX champ who spent 2

years in the UK racing and raced a few rounds of the FIM Women’s World Championship.

She frequents the superbike scene cheering on her family and the man in her life. She is

studying Fashion Media and Marketing at LISOF College and will be RideFast and Dirt and

Trail Magazines roving eye at all the races and events.


The thing that most stands out when meeting Lafras Fritz (22) is his positive attitude and

enthusiasm for life. While chasing the CBR 150cc cup championship in 2010, he crashed which

resulted in him being paralyzed from the chest down.

Being in a wheelchair has not stopped him, on and off the track. Britt had a chat...

Pics: Glenn Foley and Chris Kunn

Lafras’ dad, Lafras senior got his son

involved in Motocross to start out with as he

wanted his son to experience what he didn’t

when growing up. Lafras went on to become

the 50cc Free State and Northern Cape

champion and then moved up onto a 85cc.

His motocross career didn’t last very

long - the road bike bug bit. He stopped

riding for about 2 years and then his dad

got him a CBR 150cc track bike. The start

to his tar career was in 2009 at Zwartkops,

where he raced the remaining half of the

CBR 150 cup series. In 2010 he decided to

go for the championship and with 3 rounds

remaining that year he was lying 2nd in the


On the day of his accident at Phakisa

raceway, his home track, he was lying in third

place and hunting down the other two riders

in front of him. He tried to make a pass on

second place but his front wheel clipped the

back wheel of the bike in front of him and he

went down unharmed. Unfortunately, the rest

of the field were coming and as he stood up


Lafras raced against Brad Binder many years ago

in the 150 Cup.

another rider hit him from the side. The impact

broke his femur, both bones in his arm, front

and back of his pelvis and damaged his aorta

vein. He was knocked out and they didn’t

know about the severity of his back yet while

giving him CPR on the track. At the end of

that years racing season Lafras still fi nished an

astonishing 3rd in the championship having

missed the last 2 rounds.

Lafras was 14 years old in grade 8 and he

says he can’t remember much of the rest of

that year. He woke up in ICU 3 weeks later.

He went on to spend2 months in ICU and

then another 2 months in rehabilitation. He

missed the rest of his grade 8 year but was

able to move on to grade 9. His school friends

were very supportive and helpful, which made

it all easier for him.

Lafras is a very smart guy- he is currently

studying Mechanical Engineering at TUKS

and hopes to one day redesign wheelchairs to

make them lighter and easier to move around.

Amazingly, a mere 2 years after the

accident Lafras started oval track car racing.

Lafras senior raced a V8 and Lafras

junior made the joke that he would like to

race as well which became a reality with a

car outfi tted for him with hand controls. In

2014 he got 2nd in the club championship

and then 2nd the next year in the national


He stopped the oval racing

last year to focus on his

studies but then moved back

to riding bikes. His fi rst ride

back on the bike was a track

day at Phakisa, the very place

where he had the accident,

followed by a track day at

Kyalami. In 2018 he started

his year at the Dunlop tyres

Brad Binder track day where

we met him. Interestingly -

brad was at the 150 race

in 2010 when Lafras was


It was a great experience

for him to ride with Brad

Binder. Lafras thought that

riding a bike again wouldn’t be the same

without being able to move your legs or shift

around on the bike but his dad urged him on

to give it a go again just for fun. Excitement

and nervousness for the fi rst ride back and

not knowing exactly what to expect but he

says he’s really happy he did it!

With every ride, he feels more and more

comfortable even adding that he’s getting

lap times down. Personally, Lafras enjoys

the bike part of motorsport more as its more

of a challenge for him with more adaptation

and skill needed. He won’t go back to racing

bikes, but riding them again is pure enjoyment

and a passion. To make the bike more

suitable for him, Lafras and his dad modifi ed

it slightly by putting velcro on the seat and

velcro straps for around his calves as well

as changing the foot peg into a bicycle cleat

so that his boots can clip in and stay secure

while riding.

After some research, he found Pingel air

shifters in America and got a compatible

component imported which he fi tted himself.

He uses his left thumb for the shifter and now

blitzes around the track on his YamahaR1.

Lafras has good faith and believes that he

will walk again one day. The support from his

family and friends got him through his hard

times. He has a very positive personality and

still wants to be good at whatever he does,

just doing it differently now. At home he has a

standing wheelchair where he proudly cooked

a pasta meal for himself and his girlfriend,

Himne Smith.

Lafras says that he doesn’t dwell on the

fact that he is paralyzed. He can drive himself

around, he is very independent and says that

basically the only thing he can’t do himself is

go up stairs and jokes that he can go down if

he really needs to.

Lafras is a big inspiration and shows that

there are no limits for anyone with a positive


When you see the guy in the wheelchair at

a track near you, go and say hello. He’s a nice

guy with a great story.

Lafras with his supportive Mom, Chantelle Fritz

and girlfriend, Himne Smith.

Lafras with full support and help from his family

and girlfriend. They all share his passion.

Above: Dad helps strap hime in. Below: The

bicycle cleat that keeps Lafras boots secure and

clipped in on the bike.

Lafras has good faith every time he gets onto his

Yamaha R6.




Two very tricked out Yamaha R6’s, one old and one new, with two of SA’s fastest ever riders laying

down rubber around every turn at Redstar Raceway. Oh yes, and Rob also got to ride...

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus


The previous generation Yamaha R6 has

long been a popular choice for many

a racer. It has won countless National

and World Supersport championships,

including the last 3 Supersport titles in a

row here in SA. Last year saw the Tuning

Forks company release their new version of the

600cc machine, the only company to still believe in

the lightweight motorcycle. That too has already

enjoyed success on track, winning the 2017

World Supersport title at its first attempt with

French rider Lucas Mahias.

We have tested the new R6 model in road trim

and loved it. The new big front forks make a huge

difference, and the chassis feels that little more stable

and complete.

One thing the old and new bike lack is bottom end

power in stock trim but once converted from road to race

trim, it comes alive and turns into a real track weapon.

No doubt the new R6 is a better package, both

on the road and track. Just look at Sheridan Morais

in last years World Supersport championship where

he started off on the old gen R6 and was really

competitive, but the new R6 quickly established itself


Just take a minute to really appreciate this pic.

Shez had the new R6 at full opposite lock more

often than not, and looked fully in control while

doing it. Truly an amazing site...

If you haven’t see it already, go to our Facebook

page and check out the videos of Shez sliding


as the bike to beat in the world

championship once it had a bit of

development behind it.

So who better to help me test

the old and new gen R6 racers than

Sheridan himself? He has great

experience on both machines,

and as we know is a very capable

Supersport rider, having fi nished 4th

in the world championship last year

picking up a handful of podiums

including his maiden win in the class.

Joining us for the test, and

lending us his 2017 SA Supersport

championship-winning machine, was

2016 Spanish Moto2 champion and

current Moto2 world championship

rider, Steven Odendaal.

The new gen Yamaha R6 racer

belongs to Regional rider Tyron

Piper, and is prepared and looked

after by Leroy Rich from Adrenalin


Two of SA’s fi nest on two very fi ne

supersport racers. Now that’s what I

call a good test!

We took the bikes to Redstar

Raceway, on a private test day for

Shez and Steven, with another top

SA rider also joining us. Brad Binder

came along testing the Dunlop Moto2

tyres, which Sean Powell from Dunlop

SA had kindly fl own out for him.

Watching Steven, Shez and Brad

out on track was a truly amazing

sight. These guys have seriously

earned their tags as some of the

fastest men in the world never mind

here in SA.

2017 Adrenalin

Powersport Yamaha R6


The 2017 Yamaha R6 is a beauty.

The styling changes alone that

Yamaha made improved the bike ten

fold. Throw in the big front forks as

featured on bigger brother the R1,

quick-shifter and improved overall

chassis design and feel and the R6 is

keeping the Supersport spirit alive.

Tyrone Piper has both a R1 and

R6 prepared by Leroy, and just

happens to be faster and more

comfortable on the R6 machine. So,

for the fi rst time in his life, he will be

racing in the regional championship

on this gorgeous bike of his.

Aftermarket fairing kit, full Akro

pipe and a host of other go fast bits

have been added to create this track

focused machine.

Just like Steven’s old gen R6, the

ECU has been fl ashed and quickshifter

is available as standard.




helmet with the

purchase of each

new R6

and R5000 worth of Yamaha apparel


Offer valid until end February 2018

69 ST.Johns Street, Pinetown KZN 031 701 1311


Unfortunately they have not managed to

get the auto-blip to work just yet, but will

do soon.

I much prefer the riding position on

the new bike. Little bit more space to

manoeuvre, very important on a small

Supersport bike.

While the motor is still stock, it packs a

bit more punch at low rpm and midrange.

The setup was not as refined as on

Stevens bike but was still a good base for

Shez and myself to enjoy and set decent

lap times. In fact, Shez was able to get into

the 1,55’s after only a few laps, showing

off how good the machine is.

“The new bike just offers more stability

overall, and a better front end feel.”

Shezza’s answer when I asked him the

main difference between old and new bike.

I am a big fan of the new R6, especially

when in race trim like this featuring a very

cool designed sticker wrap. Parked next

to Steven’s bike it’s not hard to see which

bike is the newer model. The sharper lines

and curves on the new bike definitely give

it a much racier look than the old bike,

which has been a stalwart but has now

runs its course.

Leroy has done an incredible job with this

bike and there is still plenty more to come.

Steven Odendaal’s

2016 Yamaha R6

Having won the 2015 and 2017 SA

Supersport championships on the old

Gen Yamaha R6, Steven proved what an

amazing machine it really is. Having said

that, Steven and his team have put loads

of hours of development into the bike.

Steve Cannon is the man that preps the

bike for Steven and has truly made a real

track weapon.

Steven has his R6 setup up to attack turns and take no

prisoners. He has set a fastest lap time of 1,52.4 on his

R6 using Dunlop D212 tyres - That is just insane!

Watching Steven in full flight around the

RSR track is breath-taking. He throws the

bike into the turns with full confidence, not

holding back at all. His biggest attribute

being his corner speed. Watching him enter

the turns you think there is no ways he will

stop the bike in time, let alone make the turn.

But he does so, tyres squealing and all.

I set off out on track with Steven’s bike

for a full session. Immediately as I sat on

the bike I could feel it was setup to go fast,

seriously fast. The pegs were set really high

and slightly back to help get your body over

the front. There was not much bite in the

front brake lever, forcing me to carry more

corner speed than I would normally.

The front end is dialed in perfectly, hard

and ready to turn in at any moment. The

rear is like a good wingman, ready to follow

the leader wherever he wants to go. The

overall feel of the bike is firm but there is a

bit of movement when flicking the bike from

side to side. It still hits every apex with ease.

Bottom end power is still lacking a bit

but it’s expected on a Supersport bike. It’s

still loads more than the stock going road

bike. Midrange is also much improved,

offering a good punch from 8,000rpm

upwards. The gorgeous looking Spark

exhaust system is the main contributing

factor to the power increase, along with

the flashed ECU, thinner head gasket and

cam timing done on the motor.

A quick-shifter and auto-blip system

has been added and works like a gem.

Apart from the high foot pegs, which left

me with sore inner thighs and buttocks,

the bike was a gem to ride and no wonder

why it is a championship-winning machine.

Supersports are sadly a dying breed,

with many riders, even though not capable

of handling the power, choosing to go

the bigger is better route. But that is

not always the case. Supersport bikes,

especially when in race trim, offer a rider

so much. They are the perfect platform

to learn how to go fast and can really be

enjoyed out on track. It’s all about corner

speed and momentum on a Supersport

bike, and that is a vital part of going fast

around the racetrack.

I’ve said it before and I will say it

again… Long live Supersports!





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Email: darynupton@gmail.com




A look at SA’s very own BlackStone Tek and their

new Carbon-Fibre motorcycle wheels. Fifteen years

of development has resulted in what BST claims is

its lightest, toughest wheels. Words: Bruno dePrato

One says “South Africa”

and often thinks of

gold mines, safaris,

driving on the “wrong”

side of the road, and

diamonds. Diamond

is the purest and most precious form of

carbon, but South Africa can work other

wonders with carbon, such as creating the

highest-quality and arguably most beautiful

carbon-fi bre motorcycle wheels currently in


Gary Turner, managing director of

BlackStone Tek (BST), is a typical example

of the adventurous Anglo-Saxon spirit

that conquered, colonized, and civilized

more than half of the world, from Africa

to the American West to Australia and

New Zealand. In the early 1990s, still

in his teens and driven by his passion

for motorcycle racing, Turner moved

from South Africa to Europe to race


To pay for his obsession, Turner started

a small company called Pro Carbon that

manufactured a number of motorcycle

parts made from carbon fi bre. At the time

he was racing a Ducati Supermono that

proved underpowered in respect to the

Japanese singles enlarged to 750cc. His

fi rst contact with carbon wheels happened

when another racer—whose own

Supermono was fi tted with the fi rst carbon

wheels, produced by Dymag—pulled him

off every corner.

That triggered in Turner the

determination to create his own version of

that sophisticated component. Returning

to South Africa in 2000, he discovered that

a local aircraft-industry company, Aerotek

(manufacturer of the Rooivalk combat

chopper, which is largely made from

carbon fi bre), had tried to produce carbonfi

bre motorcycle wheels but the business

had gone sour. Crucial technology was

available for free and this granted Turner a

relatively smooth start.

BST started operating in 2002, at

which point two major events took place

to complete the picture: 1) Terry Annecke

partnered with Turner, bringing her

successful experience as a top executive


Splashes of BlackStone Tek’s amazing

work all over the high-spec Ducati


at IBM and later Microsoft; and 2) Turner

conceived a rational process to obtain immensely

strong and reliable wheels featuring hollow

spokes for a supreme weight-to-structural-rigidity


Appropriately shaped silicone-intensifi er

inserts are laid in the mold’s metal spokes and

then wrapped in carbon fi bre. The complete

wheel is baked between four and fi ve hours in

one of BST’s two pressurized autoclave ovens at

257 degrees Fahrenheit with 87 psi of pressure.

The silicone expands under heat and pressure to

fi ll and shape the spokes but shrinks back to less

than its original size when it cools so the insert

can be easily extracted.

BST manufactures a broad range of carbonfi

bre motorcycle wheels organized in six styles

and diameters ranging from 12 to 23 inches

for a total of 200 fi tments. All are uniquely

homologated for track and road use by the main

certifi cation institutes, from German TUV to US

DOT and Japanese JWL. In addition, Ducati

contracted BST to manufacture the carbon-fi bre

single-sided swingarm for the Panigale 1199

racer and 1299 Superleggera.

The latest addition to the range, unveiled at

Milan’s EICMA this past November, are the sevenspoke

Black Mamba wheels, coming in 3.5 x

17-inch front and 6 x 17-inch rear measurements.

The new

rear has an


sprocket carrier

and brake adaptor

fi tments for greater

versatility within a range

of makes and models of bikes. Further, the rear

wheel is available in both centre- and offset-hub

versions for standard and single-sided swingarm


Another novelty, the fi ve-split-spoke Rapid Tek

wheels (seen at top of page), were also revealed

at EICMA. BST expects that model to reach

production in two or three months.

BlackStone Tek’s new Black Mamba

wheels are not only beautiful, they

are also extremely strong, thanks

to aerospace-quality, pressureforged

composite drive-side

construction that utilizes top-quality,

pre-impregnated carbon fibre. The

wheels are said to weigh at least 25

percent less than comparable forged

aluminum wheels.




The Boeing Co. first used fibreglass in its 707

passenger jet in the 1950s, and it comprised

roughly 2% of the structure. Since that time,

each generation of Boeing aircraft has had an

increased percentage of composite materials.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is approximately

50% (by weight) composites. Airbus, Boeing’s

main competition in the large transport aircraft

category, has countered with the A350, which

makes extensive use of composites, as well,

also roughly 50% by weight.

At the 2016 EICMA show in Milan Italy, Ducati

launched the most powerful twin-cylinder

production bike it ever produced, sitting on a

carbon fibre frame and carbon fibre wheels.

Not to be upstaged, the all new BMW HP4

Race motorcycle dances on carbon fibre

wheels, frame and body panels.

Below: Meet the Norton V4 SS - A 1200cc

carbon-clad sport bike, claiming a

maximum output of more than 200 hp and

a dry weight of 179 kilos.

BST’s fine work is also very apparent on

this machine, with not only the wheels

being made by the SA company but also a

specially produced carbon fibre fuel tank,

which has been reinforced with kevlar and

chemically treated to safely hold gasoline.

Why are manufacturers using more carbon

fibre? For the airline and aerospace industry,

composites yield better fatigue and corrosion

resistance and higher strength-to-weight

ratios, provide for a more integrated structure,

and increase the useful life and residual value

of each aircraft. Further, composite resistance

to condensation would allow engineers

to increase cabin humidity to enhance

passenger comfort. For the automotive and

powersports industries the simplest way to

get the most efficiency and power out of

an engine is by giving it the least amount

of weight to power. Carbon fibre wheels

offer a wealth of advantages over traditional

aluminum or steel wheels, including weight

savings, improved vehicle dynamics and ride

quality. Beyond simply reducing overall vehicle

weight for improved acceleration,

braking and dynamic performance, carbon

fibre engenders a reduction in unsprung

weight and rotational inertia, which benefits

suspension action, ride quality and dynamic

performance. The net benefit to design

engineers is that you have a 40 to 60 percent

reduction in unsprung mass - which can

yield lighter, sharper steering, better handling,

and even better acceleration, while reducing

noise, vibration, and road harshness.

OEM’s Are Lightening Up: The future looks

bright for the continued use of composites

in all industries. Material costs are coming in

line with regard to the value the material can

bring to the end product and these materials

help enable cost reductions in other places

in the production process. There’s also the

bigger question of carbon fibre’s place in the

powersports industry and Ducati’s investment

in the technology just may be the stamp of

approval carbon fibre needs. If such a huge

company makes such a transformative change

in the way it designs its bikes, that testifies to

how promising carbon fibre technology can be

for the powersports industry.


















For information and live timing, visit www.SuperGP.co.za or email: Info@Super-GP.co.za

@SA_SuperGP | Super-GP Champions Trophy @SA_SuperGP

RF Garage


Truth behind Spark Plugs

A spark plug is the magical gizmo that transfers fire from your coil into your cylinder head, creating a great

explosion that you hear emitting from your bikes exhaust. That big bang, is what forces your bikes piston downwards,

causing the crankshaft to spin and via series of seemingly magical processes, ultimately putting power

to your rear wheel. This month, we thought we would shed a bit more light on how they work and some of the

differences between them.

What is the correct plug for

our bikes?

If you are going to do your own servicing, or

you want to carry a spare plug or two, find out

which plug the manufacturer recommends.

Fitting the wrong plug – even though it fits

and looks right, can cause damage, which

will ultimately cost you some big shekels. It’s

all about heat ranges you see (read further

along). Those clever people who wear overalls

all day are not bakers. They are the people

who have scientifically worked out which plug

is correct for your bike.

Bottom line:

Replace your plugs with the same as they tell

you in the manual.

The Basics about Spark Plugs

Sparks jump from the centre of the electrode

to the sharpest point on the side electrode.

What does this mean? You want a plug that

keeps its edge sharp for the longest to keep

you going for lots of kilometres. Spark Plugs

are made of Titanium and Iridium purely

because their melting temperatures are much

higher than most conventional metals.

One thing to remember is that the smaller the

Diameter of centre electrode, the lower the

voltage is on the spark.

Hot Plugs? Cold Plugs?

What “Hot” vs. “Cold” Actually Means

When It Comes to Spark Plugs

“Hot” plugs have a longer insulator nose with

a larger surface area that’s more exposed

to heat from the combustion chamber. This

longer nose also means a longer path exists

before heat can be dissipated away from the

plug – so the firing tip gets hot pretty quickly

as a result.

Conversely, “cold” spark plugs have a short

insulator tip and remove heat from the

combustion area much quicker. Because

of this, they stay cool under pressure when

cylinder temperatures increase.

Spark plug manufacturers typically assign

a numeric heat rating to their spark plugs.

There’s no uniform scale used for these

ratings – as some manufacturers use a higher

number for “colder” plugs, while others use

higher numbers for “hot” ones. Seems doff to

us, there should be a universal standard. Chat

to your dealer.

In most normal riding conditions, it’s best to

use factory specified spark plugs. You should

only consider changing to a hotter or colder

spark plug if the engine has been modified

in some way, or if operating conditions have


Ideally, the temperature at the spark plug

tip gets hot enough to burn off deposits,

but not so hot that it overheats or causes

pre-ignition. If you find that the plugs become

fouled from deposits (a condition known as

“carbon fouling”), you might consider a hotter

plug. Other reasons to switch to a hotter plug

include a rich fuel-air mixture, an engine that

using oil, or a high percentage of low-speed

riding. In each of these cases, a hotter plug

will help to keep the spark plug tip from

becoming fouled.

If the plugs run too hot, a condition known

as “overheating”, the engine may suffer from

pre-ignition, which can cause pinging, or in a

worse-case situation, engine damage. Use

of poor-quality or low-octane fuel, a too-lean

fuel-air mixture, or continuous high-speed

driving can all contribute to plug overheating.

In these cases, switching to a colder spark

plug will help prevent the overheating.

If you are modifying the engine for

performance, such as increasing the

compression ratio, advancing the ignition

timing, or installing a turbocharger or

supercharger, going to a colder spark plug

may be recommended.

Copper Spark Plugs and

where to use them

These spark Plugs have a solid copper core.

But what counts most it is the nickel alloy tip

that is 2.5mm in diameter. Remember the

smaller the diameter the less voltage required


Brought to you by

to initiate the spark. Having said this, Nickel

Alloy is a softer than your Titanium and Iridium

and that leaves us with the problem that it

wears out faster.

Even though these plugs are old fashioned

they still serve a good purpose. These

plugs are best for older bikes with lower

distributor-based ignition systems. It is not

recommended that you use copper plugs

in high performance motorcycles. They will

wear out quickly. Having said that, some older

high-performance bikes were designed to run

on copper plugs. If the manual says run the

plug you run it. Don’t upgrade to Iridium or

Titanium plugs.

Single Platinum Spark Plug –

Next level from Copper

Short and sweet, the single platinum spark

plug is a copper spark plug with a platinum

disk welded on to the tip. Because platinum

is harder, it holds its edge for longer than the

nickel alloy. With platinum being harder it runs

hotter preventing deposit build up and fouling.

These plugs are normally for newer bikes with

electronic distributor based systems. Having

said that, in this case you can upgrade to a

double titanium spark plug or iridium plugs.

Double Platinum Spark Plugs

This is known as the waste spark system.

Spark jumps from the centre to the side of the

electrode for the cylinder on the compression

stroke. This returns the electrical pulse back to

the ignition coil. The coil jumps back and forth

between 2 cylinders. From the compression

stroke to the exhaust stroke. Whilst at the

exhaust stroke nothing happens, hence

wasted. You cannot use conventional spark

plugs in these situations as the plugs cannot

handle the reverse spark. These plugs work

really well as the welded discs on the side and

centre last longer than the conventional plug.

This allows spark to flow freely.

Iridium spark plugs – The big


Iridium is harder than platinum and in most

cases last 25% longer than platinum spark

plugs. Because iridium costs a lot more than

platinum, the centre of the electrode is much

smaller coming in at .4mm. Although it is

much smaller the small centre increases firing


As the spark ignites the air/fuel mixture, the

colder side electrode tends to “quench” the

flame. To combat quenching, some spark

plug manufacturers cut a “U” or “V” shaped

channel into the “spark receiving” surface of

the side electrode. The larger channelled area

reduces quenching and allows the flame to

grow more quickly. Other manufacturers split

the end of the side electrode to reduce the

flame’s contact with the side electrode and

allow the flame to shoot straight down into

the cylinder.

Are these channelled electrodes the best

spark plugs you can buy? There’s no

industry-wide consensus on whether these

designs work better, but if channelled spark

plugs make sense to you, buy them. They’ll

perform at least as well as a non-channelled

plug, if not better.




More Power, Better Turning, New Sponsorship, & The Silly Season

Words: David Emmett


MotoGP team launches are always the

triumph of hope over experience.

Each year, the bosses of every factory

in the series tell the media that their objective

is to win races and fi ght for the championship.

Sometimes, they even believe it.

At last year’s launch of the Ducati

MotoGP team, Ducati Corse boss Gigi

Dall’Igna said they hoped to be fi ghting for

the championship. That, after all, is why they

signed Jorge Lorenzo to what is reported to

be a very lucrative contract.

The assembled press was

sceptical, despite the clear

progress that Ducati had

made in the past couple

of seasons, its fi rst wins

coming in 2016.

Such scepticism was unwarranted,

though you get the distinct feeling that even

Ducati was surprised at how close Andrea

Dovizioso came to clinching the 2017

MotoGP title.

Ducati was delighted by the Italian’s fi rst

win at Mugello, amazed at his victory in

Barcelona a week later, and impressed by the

way he beat Marc Márquez at Austria.

By the end of the season, Ducati had

come to expect to win races, and realized

just how far they had come on their journey

since the dark days of 2013, when they didn’t

score a single podium all year.

So on Monday, when Dall’Igna echoed the

words of Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali in

Bologna, that Ducati’s objective was to win

races and challenge for the championship in

MotoGP, they were deadly serious.

There is no doubt that Ducati is capable

of doing just that – Dovizioso’s results and

Lorenzo’s improvement in

2017 demonstrate that

– and though they

are all too aware of

the dangers of


Ducati start the 2018 season with both a fi rm

expectation and belief that they are candidates

for the 2018 MotoGP title.

The Ducati Desmosedici GP18

What can we say about the Ducati

Desmosedici GP18? Not much yet, as the

bike that was shown to the public at Bologna

was an older bike, which looked for all the

world like a 2017 machine.

This should come as no surprise, really, as

the bikes used at team launches are invariably

there to show off the new colour scheme,

rather than the engineering details. The

GP18 isn’t even fi nalized yet, with updates

scheduled for the Sepang test, and then

probably for Thailand and Qatar as well.

But the introduction did reveal a few

details about the new bike. According to

Gigi Dall’Igna, speaking both during the

presentation and afterwards to myself and

Simon Patterson of Motorcycle News, the

GP18 will have more horsepower than last

year’s bike.

Why add more power to a bike that is

already the most powerful on the grid? “I think

that everybody is working to improve their

bike, and so Honda and Yamaha will make a

step forward in terms of performance of the

engine next season, so we have to be ready.”

A lack of power may not have been

the Ducati’s biggest problem, but there

was no harm in looking for more. “It’s an

improvement, so why not use it?” Dall’Igna

asked philosophically.


Dall’Igna was confi dent the extra power would not make

the bike any more diffi cult to ride. Ducati has worked on

solutions to the fi rst touch of the throttle, which was one of the

bigger gripes the riders had last year.

The biggest problem of the GP17, according to the riders,

was the behaviour of the bike in the middle of the corner.

Dall’Igna said he hoped that Ducati had a solution for that too,

with a new chassis coming for 2018.

Aerodynamic updates are also due, in an attempt to fi x the

complaints that Andrea Dovizioso had, especially, that the aero

fairing took more effort to turn than the standard one.

Whether those updates are ready for the fi rst test at

Sepang is open to question. Ducati hoped to have them ready

for Sepang, but if they weren’t ready for that test, then they

would be ready for the test at Buriram in Thailand, Dall’Igna


Testing Turning

Unfortunately for Ducati, the Buriram test has replaced the one

at Phillip Island, as the track in Thailand is new on the calendar

for 2018 and the teams (and more importantly, Michelin) are

keen to get data from the circuit.

But Phillip Island, and to a lesser extent Sachsenring, were

the places the Ducati really suffered in terms of getting the bike

to turn.

Andrea Dovizioso was not concerned about not getting to

test at Phillip Island, however. “For sure, if you go to those tracks

it’s easier,” the Italian told us. “But that’s not a problem, because

I know very well what we need to be stronger in that kind of

track. Because for me it is clear what we need to be faster.”


First Club Race

24 th March 2018









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If the turning problem was fixed, it

would be immediately obvious, Dovizioso

maintained, wherever they were testing. “If

you improve in that point, you are faster also

in other tracks,” he said.

“Because in Malaysia we are fast, but in

the middle of the corner we are not as fast as

the competitors. The characteristic is always

the same. So this is not the point, the point is

to improve our limit.”

Past history bears out Dovizioso’s

experience. When the Italian first swung his

leg over the new and improved GP15 at

Sepang, he knew the bike was a massive

improvement over the GP14 as soon as he

tipped in to the tight first turn at Sepang.

He found himself almost on the grass on

the inside of the corner, the bike require so

much less effort to turn than he was used to. If

the GP18 is easier to turn in the middle of the

corner, both Dovizioso and Lorenzo will know

immediately, no matter where they are testing.

Despite the fact that the GP18 will be

revised on several fronts, Gigi Dall’Igna

insisted that this was a question of evolution

rather than revolution.

“We have arrived quite close to the

premium bikes, the fastest bikes, and so

now it’s time for evolution. We are not

looking for a completely new concept, a

completely new idea.”

Missing Sponsors

It’s not just the bike that wasn’t finalized.

On both the riders’ leathers and on the side

of the bike, there was a large blank space.

Italian telecoms giant TIM chose not to renew

their contract when it ended in November

last year.

But the space left by TIM was being left

intentionally blank, as Ducati was close to

a deal with a new sponsor to fill it. Ducati

sporting director Paolo Ciabatti explained

the situation.

“Obviously, everybody knows that TIM had

been partners with Ducati – different brands

like Telecom, Alice – the Telecom Italia group

has decided not to renew the contract, which

was expiring at the end of 2017,” Ciabatti said.

“We knew about this in November and

we sold some spaces to existing sponsors,

so they increased their investment in Ducati.

But still we decided to leave the field open for

one more sponsor to join Ducati before the

beginning of the 2018 season.”

“Let’s say, we plan to be able to finalize a

deal in early March to be able to come to the

first race with some additional branding on

the bike with one company.”

Ciabatti refused to name the candidates

to replace TIM – understandably, given the

commercial sensitivities – but said they were

talking to multiple possible sponsors.

“We’re talking with a couple of companies.

Obviously knowing that TIM would not

continue in November did not make our life

very easy because most companies have

already allocated their budgets for 2018 in


“But luckily when talking to some

companies that might be interested in multiyear

deals, you can always manage the

investment from this year to the future and try

to balance. This is what we are trying to do and

we are confident we will achieve that target.”

A fantastic season in 2017 had made the

negotiations a little easier than in previous

years, Ciabatti told us. “In the past we used

to go and see our partner and promise that

we would be able to improve, improve and


“We actually managed to do that, but

once you are sitting with the company and

you have six races wins and the second

place in the championship, and you can

show how much visibility that we’re able

to provide to our sponsors and partners, it

makes it easier.”

A Hard Sell

Finding new sponsors was not easy, however.

“The situation with sponsorships in the

motorcycle racing world is not that easy in

general. There aren’t many big corporations

willing to invest in our sport, unfortunately,

but luckily there are some companies who

approached us,” Ciabatti explained.

These difficulties are not unique to

motorcycle racing, though it also faces unique

challenges because of the dangers of the

sport. “There is a lot of competition in the

sponsorship world from our sport,” Ciabatti


“Even football, which is so popular,

covering any age or demographics, the cost

of sponsorship there at least if you don’t talk

about Real Madrid or Barcelona is decreased

a lot. There is a lot of competition.”

Though the popularity of motorcycle

racing, and MotoGP in particular,

has been growing, sponsorship

was still very much a

numbers game, Ciabatti




“A lot of companies that are looking into

exposure and big numbers, they might look to

different sports. For the same money, they can

get a lot and probably get bigger numbers.”

“Motorcycle racing is growing in numbers,

but in some countries it’s, I would say, a niche

product – not everybody knows it and follows

it – and this doesn’t make it so easy.”

“Some companies still consider it a

dangerous sport, so they fi nd it controversial

to associate their brand with a sport which –

right or wrong – is considered for the past to

be a dangerous sport.”

Contract Time

Extra sponsorship would be more than

welcome for Ducati. Their success pays

off for the company, but it also leads to

increased salary demands from the riders.

Andrea Dovizioso is believed to be greatly

underpaid in relation to the success he had

last year, and if he manages anything like a

repeat of 2017 this year, he will want a much

bigger slice of the pie.

Other factories are lurking, expressing an

interest in Dovizioso,

which will also

drive up the

price. Jorge

Lorenzo, meanwhile is on an exorbitant

salary, and though he will accept a pay cut

if he doesn’t start winning races, he will still

command a princely salary.

Can Ducati afford to keep both of their

riders? “We don’t know what kind of proposal

they will get from our competitors, but we are

pretty sure that they would like to stay with this

family,” team manager Davide Tardozzi told us.

Paolo Ciabatti was less certain, but

underlined that keeping their two current

riders was the main concern.

“In the ideal world, we would like to keep

both riders,” Ciabatti said. “Andrea has been

with us for six years, and he’s in the heart of

Ducati fans because of what he did last year.”

“Also because of his personality; humble,

down to earth, with no fuss or glitter – just

a normal guy doing exceptional things.

Obviously it’s a value for Ducati; not only what

he does on the track but also the way he’s

seen by our fans.”

“Jorge has won 44 GPs, fi ve

championships. Hopefully this year he will be

a contender for the championship. It would

be a shame not to continue with him after a

diffi cult beginning and, we think, a very

positive – with some perspective –

2017 season,” Ciabatti said.

Lorenzo himself

understood how riders are

valued, and joked about

the situation he found

himself in. “Obviously,

they say your value is the

same as your last race.

My last race is a crash so

it’s not very high!”

More Competition

Demands Better


With so many strong

competitors, consistency has

become the key to winning a

championship. “It has become

more complicated,” Dovizioso


“If you want to fi ght for

the title, you have to fi nish on

the podium every race, or

at least in the top fi ve. Last

year, we lost the title because

at some of our diffi cult tracks

we fi nished seventh or eight.

Márquez never did that.”

The Ducati Desmosedici

needs improving, especially in the

middle of the corner, but Dovizioso

was confi dent that can be achieved.

“For me it’s clear where we need to be

faster. I know very well what we need

to be in that kind of track [such as Phillip

Island],” he explained.

But Dovizioso starts 2018 having learned

a valuable lesson the year before. “If there is

one thing I learned last year, it’s that nobody

has any limits. I made a mistake in thinking

that I did,” he said. “Now I know everything

is possible. But that doesn’t mean I will win

every race!”

His main focus may be 2018, but he was

aware that choices would have to be made

for 2019 and beyond. It may only be January,

but Dovizioso was not really surprised that the

talk of contracts was starting already.

“It’s normal to speak about that already,

because every year, like in Formula One,

everybody starts a little bit earlier,” he said.

“It will be important to hear about the

decision for the future, so everybody is

already thinking about that,” he went on.

But Dovizioso was also aware that he had

to focus on testing, and being competitive in

2018, or all the talk of contracts would be for


“I am open and I am happy to speak

about the future, but in this moment I’m

focused on the tests. Because if you are not

competitive and not working in the right way

you can’t make a really good result this year.

And that is my goal and target.”

For the Love of It

Andrea Dovizioso isn’t the only rider with

pressure he isn’t used to having to deal with.

While Dovizioso fi nds himself in the position of

being a title candidate, Jorge Lorenzo faces a

very different kind of pressure.

The Spaniard went from winning three

MotoGP championships and being a

perennial title contender with Yamaha to not

winning a single race with Ducati in 2017. He

had been brought in to Ducati to make them

a championship contender, and was being

paid a prince’s ransom for the privilege.

But Lorenzo did not feel he was under

any pressure. “Well, luckily I don’t have to

rush,” he said. “I’m here because of my

passion. To accept this challenge of a lifetime.

The confi dence Ducati has in me, they’ve


“There is pressure there, but, as always,

the most pressure will always come from me.

I’m the fi rst one that wants to improve results.

Like I said before, the team and the bike are

ready to win the championship, like Dovizioso

demonstrated last year by winning races.”

“Still we need to get a bike that goes

well at each races of the year. I have a lot of

confi dence that the team will do that this year.

And when this happens it’s a matter of being

fast and faster than the rest. Winning races

and fi ghting for the title will be a consequence

of a lot of hard work.”

That phrase – “I’m here because of my

passion” – is an interesting one. It suggests

that his next choice of contract will be


governed not by money, but by the challenge

of trying to win another title.

That is sensible, given that the signals from

Ducati are that there will be no repeat of such

extraordinary salaries. “In the future, there

will be more balance when it comes to rider

salaries,” Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said.

Lorenzo is aware of why he was awarded

such a generous contract in the fi rst place, but

also why that may not be extended into 2019.

“I have a good contract because my

value in the market at the time was high, you

know?” Lorenzo said. “When I signed the

contract I was fi ve-time world champion. I

won 65 victories – 44 in MotoGP. A lot of pole

positions. I fought for the world title for nine

years. I won this contract.”

Fluctuating Value

It was clear that Lorenzo knows things will be

different going forward. “Obviously, they say

your value is the same as your last race. My

last race is a crash so it’s not very high!” he

joked. “And last season was not good. But,

you know, I’m lucky to be here for the passion

because economically, luckily I’m doing well.”

Whatever the fi nancial rewards, Lorenzo

said he hoped to stay with Ducati, as he has

unfi nished business.

“My priority is to stay with Ducati to fi nish

what I started – that is to try to win the world

title. If it’s possible to continue in Ducati, I

will be very happy. It’s very early to speak

because we already didn’t speak about that

but I’m sure sooner or later it will happen and

we’ll see what happens.”

No Team Tension

Mention of Andrea Iannone immediately

raised the specter of the friction that the Italian

brought to Ducati when he was paired with

Andrea Dovizioso. But Paolo Ciabatti was

not afraid of a repeat of that situation if Jorge

Lorenzo proves to be competitive in 2018.

“I think the Iannone / Dovizioso situation

was quite different because of Iannone’s

character,” the Ducati boss explained. “He is

quite different to Jorge’s character.”

“We like very much Andrea Iannone. When

he came into the team, he came with the

approach of being defi ant with the other rider,

which immediately created some friction.”

The situation for Lorenzo and Dovizioso

was very different, Ciabatti said. “Jorge

and Dovi know each other because they

have been in MotoGP for many years. They

respect each other. Obviously they want to

beat each other, but this is normal.”

“Every teammate is the worse opponent.

I don’t have this fear. I’m not afraid this will

happen. Obviously there might be moments

that friction might be stronger because

anything can happen on track. I think both

Andrea and Jorge are very respectful of each


“They don’t like to do crazy things on

track. When riders respect each other, it’s

because of the way they’ve been seeing each

other for many years. [Because of this] I think

90% of the job is done.”

That doesn’t mean there can be no

friction, however.

“We don’t live in an ideal world. There

might be moments where – and there were

moments last year a few times – but it’s quite

easy for us to sit them together and explain to

cut any potential problem from the beginning

and let them explain each others’ reason, if

there is some misunderstanding so it doesn’t

grow to a higher level.”




Bike Tyre Warehouse Suzuki

GSXR1000 K6 track weapon


Bruce de Kock, the man behind BATT Holdings

and Bike Tyre warehouse, decided to build a 2006

Suzuki GSXR1000 purpose built for tyre testing

and evaluation. This is no ordinary K6 Suzuki,

and we got an EXCLUSIVE first test.

Acouple of months

ago while delivering

mags to Bruce at

Bike Tyre Warehouse, I came

across a very interesting looking

machine parked in the corner. It

looked very inviting. Track kit with a

host of go fast bits.

I asked Bruce what it was, and he

told me it was a very special 2006

Suzuki GSXR1000. What makes it

so special I asked? And in typical

Bruce style he had me there

chewing my ear off for the next

hour or so..

“It’s not just any ordinary K6

Suzuki track bike” Bruce said

with a big grin on his face. “The

chassis and engine was built from

the frame up taking in total 7 months

to build. Head and engine block have

been skimmed to increase compression

ratio and combustion chambers and ports

optimally shaped and gas fl owed. Valves

were optimized for better fl ow and valve

seats cut to Cosworth specifi cation.” Bruce

very proudly explained to me.

Sounds fast. “It should be” he said, with

that same cheeky smile. What else then I

asked? Another 20 minutes went by as he went

through every single details.

“Yoshimura high lift/longer duration camshafts

were fi tted along with adjustable cam sprockets to

allow camshafts to be degreed for maximum spread

of horsepower. On the fuelling side, a Dynojet Power

Commander V was fi tted along with Secondary

Fuelling Module and Autotune closed loop tuning

module. GP gearing with a quick-shifter was installed

to allow for lightning fast, full throttle upshifts on the fl y.

Secondary throttle valves removed to provide better

maximum horsepower.”

It that it Bruce? “No Rob, you got another 30

minutes?”. Again, that smile...

“A full system Arata racing exhaust was fi tted along

with high fl ow air cleaner. Front forks were fi tted with

heavier springs and re-valved for track use including an

Ohlins rear shock.”

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus & Bruce de Kock

And that’s still not all. A Hyperpro RCS (reactive

steering control) steering damper was fi tted to

ensure maximum front end stability. Stock braking

system was upgraded to Brembo. This included a

volume adjustable front master cylinder, wavy discs,

monoblock style calipers and race specifi cation brake

pads and fl uids.

A lightweight fi breglass race fairing kit was fi tted

along with adjustable rearsets for better ground

clearance and rider position.

Gearing was converted to lightweight 520 pitch

chain and sprockets. Weight of motorcycle was

optimized by removing all non-essential items.

Cooling is handled by a hand built 3 core radiator.

Bruce then asked me if I would like to test it for the

magazine. Being a big fan having raced this model

back in the day I immediately said yes, with a big stupid

smile now planted all over my face.

Bruce commissioned Kurt Snashall from KH

Performance Bikes in Randburg to build the bike,

and the Venter crew from Lekka Racing in Midrand to

handle the electronics, so I knew the bike had been in

good hands.

After a little bit of TLC, a new sticker kit along with

brand new set of Metzeler K2 slicks, it was time for me

to test this creation.


Warren Frazer, the new Online Shop

Division manager at Bike Tyre Warehouse,

delivered the bike to Redstar Raceway for

me to ride. It looked really cool in its new

colour scheme, I especially liked the big

RideFast sticker on the belly pan. Thanks


I had been lucky enough to race the

Suzuki GSXR1000 back in 2006, where I

had one of my best season wining a couple

of races overall and getting on the podium

a fair few times. And that was the days of

Shaun Whyte, Arushen Moodley, Shez,

Russell Wood and others, so was really

proud of that year.

It was a beast of a machine. No nanny

electronic aids to help out, just the good old

right wrist. 160hp might not sound like a lot

for a 1000cc sportbike these days, but back

then it was plenty, and I remember thinking

that there is no ways any man could possibly

handle anymore.

It had a bad attitude and was in serious

need of anger management. My fi rst lap in

anger on this bike and that feeling quickly

came back to mind. This thing was seriously

fast! Not much at the bottom but once past

9,000rpm it just about tore my arms right out

of the sockets. All those engine mods really

paying off, along with the shorter gearing.

The riding position is still very much old

Gixxer, nothing like modern day bikes. You

sit deeper in the seat as appose to over the

tank. Actually quite nice and I got comfy


The throttle was a bit heavy, as was the

overall feel of the bike compared to the

modern day litres. The wheelbase had been

set very short so front end steering was very

responsive, and with the very grippy Metzeler

slicks fi tted offered great a great amount of

grip. It did need a bit more weight over the

front, as it did feel a bit light and tank slappy

over the bumps.

Overall I was very impressed with the

bike. More pros than cons. The only cons

being some brake fade after a few laps and

short wheelbase, due to chain being cut a bit

to short which meant the 200/60 rear profi le

tyre was right up against swing-arm.

It did also over heat just a bit, but this was

the bikes fi rst outing on track after the build

so you can forgive it for having one or two


Bruce will be using the bike to help with

tyre testing, development and evaluation.

Bruce insists that you cannot give a client

the correct advice and feedback on any

tyre if you have not ridden them yourself, so

there is a collection of test bikes including

adventure, off road, street and this track bike

at his disposal to help better his, and the

teams knowledge. Call them - 011 205 0216.


Trade Enquiries: (011) 672-6599

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