RIDEFAST APRIL 2018.compressed

RobRidefast

April issue of SA's best road motorcycle magazine

APRIL 2018

BRIGHT!

SPECIAL

BREED

A VERY SPECIAL DUCATI RACEBIKE

SHINING

MOTOGP, QATAR - THE GREATEST SPORT ON EARTH RETURNS

TESTED

A VERY SPECIAL DUCATI RACEBIKE

COMPETITION

WIN

A PAIR OF NEW

SIDI MAG 1

BOOTS

APRIL 2018 RSA R30.00

18004

9 772075 405004

PLUS:

DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1260 S vs KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S


THE TEAM:

EDITOR & DESIGN:

Rob Portman

rob@ridefast.co.za

082 782 8240

ADVERTISING:

Kyle Lawrenson

lawrensonk@mweb.co.za

071 684 4546

ACCOUNTS &

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Anette

anette.acc@mweb.co.za

011 979 5035

CONTRIBUTORS:

Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

The Singh

Mieke Oelofsen

Greg Moloney

ED’S NOTES: ROB PORTMAN

The four month wait for MotoGP to be back on track is

over. It felt like an eternity, and after countless Sundays

spent cutting the grass I was over the moon to fi nally be

watching MotoGP again.

The opening race of the season once again took place

under the lights of the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Big news

heading into the race was that Rossi had signed a new

2-year deal with Yamaha MotoGP, meaning the Ninetimes

world champ would be racing at least until 2020,

aged 40. Brilliant news for all MotoGP fans.

The fi rst race of the season hadn’t even started yet and

the rumour mill was in full swing. With Tech 3 ending their

long standing partnership with Yamaha, and moving to

KTM machines from 2019, that put all eyes on Zarco

and what his next move would be. The biggest rumour is

that Repsol Honda are at the front of the line for Zarco’s

signature. Matt Birt, one of the MotoGP commentators,

confi rmed from Zarco’s manager that Repsol are one of

many teams to enquire about the French star - Ducati,

Suzuki and KTM have all shown interest.

Zarco’s reputation went up another notch after securing

pole position for the opening race in Qatar. He went on to

lead most of what turned out to be another epic race.

Zarco, and his Tech 3 Yamaha, would suffer with tyre

wear towards the end dropping him down to 8th. Still,

he showed what a true talent he is and why so many

Factory teams want his John Hancock for 2019.

Another rumour is Petrucci joining the Factory Ducati

team. Apparently, the Italian has a clause in his contract

stating that if he gets good results this year he will be

in-line for the ride. Qualifying on the front row in 3rd, and

racing at the sharp end of the fi eld was a good way

to start. He ended up in 5th, and the second Ducati

home and with former champ Lorenzo still not looking

too comfortable on the bike - crashing out of the race

- Petrucci could be a solid choice to replace Lorenzo

next season. A Spaniard for an Italian, on and Italian bike

- think that if a strong possibility.

Lorenzo suffered with brake failure, which resulted in him

crashing. After a terrible start, he did show good pace in

the middle of race. But still, qualifying and racing behind

Petrucci does not help his cause.

Up front, Rossi proved that he is still as competitive as

ever, and the signing of another two years was not just a

publicity stunt. He wants that title number 10, and is still

hungry and driven enough to go for it. Rossi once again

fi nished ahead of his younger team-mate. Vinales battled

the entire weekend and looked no where near the rider

who won same race last year. Like Lorenzo, Vinales got

off to a terrible start, running in 14th for most of the race

before a late hard charge. He can take positives from the

late charge but still has work to do and won’t like fi nishing

behind the now 38 year old Rossi.

As for the overall race, it was simply spectacular. MotoGP

is better than ever and this season is going to be nothing

short of spectacular. Dovi showed that he, and the

Ducati, are still up for the fi ght having just missed out

on last years title. Marquez was sublime once again,

all action as always and you just knew he was going

to make a move in the fi nal turn. That was not the fi rst,

and certainly won’t be the last time we see him try a last

corner lunge on Dovi.

Our SA Stars had mixed results in Qatar. Darryn Binder

battled all weekend, qualifying down in 20th. He got

a great start in the race and was up inside the top ten

fi ghting hard. Sadly, his race came to a premature end on

lap 4, after being taken out by Philipp Oettl. There were

positives to take from the race for Darryn, who I have

no doubt will come right soon on the KTM. The biggest

problem Darryn faces is trying to compete against the

top performing Honda’s. The Japs did not enjoy being

beaten by KTM in 2016, so now they have gone all out

and it now seems to be unbeatable. KTM seems to

have slowed down progression on their Moto3 project,

focusing more on Moto2 and MotoGP. Let’s hope Daz,

and his team, can make headway and get closer to the

Honda’s out front.

In Moto2, we had two very fast SA boys in action. Brad

Binder put in another solid ride, despite not feeling 100%

comfortable with the bike. Brad ended up in 6th place

after a hard fought battle with his team-mate Oliviera.

He said after the race that the bike always felt one step

behind, so 6th was the best he could manage. Still,

good solid championship points heading into round 2

in Argentina, where he is super fast and will be up there

challenging for the podium. And, he might just have got it

already as you read this.

Steven Odendaal made his return to the Moto2

championship with RW Racing NTS. It was his fi rst time

racing at Qatar, and did a good job at learning the track.

Steven qualifi ed, and fi nished in 22nd, saying after the

race that he, and the team, found some improvements

and are looking forward to more as the season goes on.

We have a full round-up of the opening race in this issue.

Remember to join us at Ridgeway Racebar for all the

races this year. Great food, great atmosphere, and the

chance to win a brand new Honda CBR1000RR. More

info on that later in this issue as well.

We love giving stuff away here at RF, and are doing so

again. Motosport Distribution are the offi cial importers

of the Sidi range of boots in SA, and they are giving our

readers the chance to win a new pair of top Mag 1 boots.

Check out full details on page 8.

Until next month, enjoy the mag and ride safe!

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.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 1


Contents APRIL 2018

PG28: 2018 MOTOGP

SEASON OPENER

ALL THE ACTION FROM ROUND ONE IN QATAR

PG18: NEWS

TRIUMPH SOUTH AFRICA

PG40: TESTED

DUCATI vs KTM

PG52: FEATURE

DORREN CONE TRAINING

PG56: TESTED

SUPERMOTARDS

PG64: TESTED

HARLEY 750 STREET ROD

PG70: TESTED

A SPECIAL DUCATI RACER

2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


THE NEW DEFINITION

OF ADVENTURE

-

The ultimate adventure isn’t defined by limits. It is found by breaking through

your own perceived barriers, as you ride off into extreme terrain on the most powerful

production offroad bike available – the new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R.

Look beyond what you thought was possible!

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: M. Chytka


Cagiva to be resurrected

Those who look back fondly on the Cagiva brand will be happy to

hear that it will be officially revived as a motorcycle brand, with

models set to debut later this year, for the 2019 model year.

Before you envision a modern take on

the Cagiva Elefant however, this news

comes with the caveat that Cagiva will

serve as MV Agusta Motor’s foray into

the electric two-wheeled space.

We are cautious to label this endeavor

however, as the new Cagiva will operate

in a segment of vehicle that hasn’t really

been created yet – a type of electric

two-wheeler that is somewhere between

an e-bike and a full-blown electric

motorcycle, like what Alta and Zero are

producing.

The move was told to us by MV Agusta

CEO Giovanni Castiglioni, and is

similar to one that was announced by

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer late last year,

where the Austrian brand will develop

something that sits between its KTMbranded

e-bikes and its newly released

Freeride-E models.

“I believe in electric. There is a great

potential, and we are making a project

there – under another brand – which is

Cagiva,” Giovanni Castiglioni explained

to us.

For Cagiva, this news leads to an

eventual lineup that will include a new

Elefant, but will fi rst start with sportfocused

off-road bikes with electric

powertrains. We imagine something

at or below the 125cc four-stroke

class, but more potent than a downhill

mountain bike.

“We are investing in lightweight fun

vehicles, bikes. Let’s say in-between…

it’s a family. It’s a family that goes

between a bicycle to a Zero-type bike,

but different,” Castiglioni clarifi ed.

“If you want to go 300 mph, buy a

combustion engine. But I think there can

be a lot of potential market for electric,

and we want to be there, this is why we

invest in it now. We’ll see in the next fi ve

years how the market will change. I think

there is a great opportunity for that,”

Castiglioni added.

Looking at the larger picture, there have

already been rumors that Cagiva could

be revived as the off-road compliment to

MV Agusta’s purely on-road offering.

Coming at that equation, via an electric

business plan is interesting though,

and if the end-goal several years down

the line is to remake the iconic Elefant

adventure-tourer, that could mean

several different things for the Italian

band…all of which are very interesting.

For the larger MV Agusta Motor

company, having both the MV Agusta

and Cagiva brands will help lure dealers

into signing up with the Italian fi rm,

using the ability of servicing two distinct

markets, and with a much larger range

of price points.

We should see the fi rst new Cagiva’s by

the end of this year, as 2019 models.

What they will look like, and how they

will work, that remains to be seen

however.

RD Racing motorcycle

service specialists

Stared back in 2007, RD Racing is one of the

most trusted motorcycle repair and service

centres in SA. Top tech David Postlethwayt

is the man working the spanners, and with

seventeen years experience is regarded

as one of the most qualifi ed motorcycle

technicians in SA today.

RD Racing specializes in race prep and

general maintenance on all motorcycles

- road or dirt. Dave is also a fully qualifi ed

suspension technician and can setup or

rebuild any suspension for all types of

motorcycles.

We have had nothing but great service and

experience when dealing with Dave from RD

Racing, and can highly recommend his work.

Contact Dave on 083 365 4964.

KTM SA now official WP

suspension importers

KTM SA are looking to expand the WP

footprint here in SA. They are looking for

professional and qualifi ed suspension experts

to help expand the brand by becoming a WP

authorized center.

If you are keen please send an enquiry email

to franziska.brandl@wp-suspension.com.

4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


ducati.co.za

2018 MODELS

WILL INCLUDE

• Run-in service @ 6 months or 1,000km

• 2nd Service @ 12 months from last service or 12,000km

• You will only pay from your 3rd Service within 30 months time

• 24 Months factory warranty unlimited mileage

• Free pick up and delivery nationwide

• Free AA Road Side Assist for 24 months

Services do not include wear & tear items - Subject to change without notice EOE


Need to fix your leathers?

Finally there is a solution for all your

leather repair requirments.

El Sole Crafted leather will repair and

refurbish your leather riding suit no

matter where you live in South Africa.

Established in 1983, El Sole is based

in George in the Southern Cape.

Their business has a loyal customer

following amongst the very active

biking community found along the

Garden Route and all over south

Africa. They pride themselves on high

quality workmanship and personalised

customer service.

The courier cost of getting a full leather

suit to El Sole from Gauteng using a

door to door service is only R100 a trip,

less than the price of petrol travelling

from Johannesburg to Pretoria while

there is no courier charge for those

customers opting to have their suit

refurbished once repaired.

El Sole was acquired by DUBUN Repairs

and Alterations based in Pretoria a

year ago. DUBUN has become known

amongst the Enduro riding community

across the country for their competency

in resoling and repairing riding boots and

pants from leading manufactures like

Alpinestars, Gaerne, Forma and Sidi.

Norman Siebert, the owner of DUBUN,

says that the acquisition of El Sole

now enables the business to provide

a competent repair and refurbishment

service of leather riding gear used by

the superbike riding community. Leather

suits are complex in their construction

and are critical safety items. Because

of the many years of experience El Sole

has gained in doing these repairs, it was

decided to promote the businesses

services on a national level.

For more information: www.dubun.co.za

repairs@dubun.co.za or call them today.

Telephone contact details listed in their

advertisement in this issue.

A very tired looking old

Texport race suit before

being sent to El Sole

A like-new set of

Texport leathers

thanks to El Sole

FREE services on all 2018

Ducati models

Ducati SA is offering great incentives when you buy a new 2018

model - Panigale V4’s, Multistrada 1260’s, Monster 821...

Firstly, the fi rst service is free at either six months or 1000 km

and, secondly, the second service at 12 months or 12,000 km

is also complimentary. More so, each model comes with a 24

month, unlimited mileage factory warranty, pick up and delivery

nationwide, and 24 months worth of AA Road Side Assist.

www.ducati.co.za

GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R

stop sell has been lifted

Suzuki Auto South Africa would like to announce that the recall

on all 2017 GSX-R1000A and GSX-R1000R models has been

implemented. The King Of Sportbikes is now available at your

nearest authorised Suzuki Dealer.

Visit www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za for nearest dealer.

6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


NEW EXCITING KAWASAKI ARRIVALS ARE HERE!

NINJA H2 SX

R259 900

NINJA H2 SX SE

R299 900

PANNIERS &

TFT DISPLAY

NINJA 400 ABS BLACK

R73 900

ARRIVES 25TH APRIL ARRIVES 25TH APRIL ARRIVES 25TH MARCH

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

NINJA 400 ABS SE

R75 900

ARRIVES 25TH MARCH

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

Z900RS BLACK

R162 900

ARRIVES 25TH MARCH

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

Z900RS ORANGE

R165 900

ARRIVES 25TH MARCH

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

Z900RS CAFÉ

R168 900

ARRIVES 25TH MARCH

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

Crazy Special!

GTR1400

WAS R229 900

NOW R199 900

//FREE LIFETIME WARRANTY

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

Plus

2 FREE

SHARK

HELMETS

//FREE 2-YEAR SERVICE PLAN

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


We Sell Parts

store now

open to public

We Sell Parts Bike Shop has

just opened its dors to the biking

public. Their new showroom is

packed with fantastic deals on all

leathers, gloves, helmets, tyres,

brake pads, chains, sprockets

and service parts.

Visit the new shop at 38

Plantation Road, Eastleigh,

Edenvale. Call 011 088

9240/9251.

Huge new genuine

Suzuki spares

department at KCR

KCR, the big Suzuki dealer in Kempton

Park, have just unpacked a large amount of

genuine spares for older Suzuki models such

as Boulevard, GSXR 1300/1000/750/600,

GW250, SV1000/600, DL1000 and other

models all at 50% discount on available stock.

WIN A NEW

PAIR OF SIDI MAG 1

BOOTS VALUED AT R8999

All you have to do to enter

is send us an image of you

with your skankiest old

boots, wearing them, not

wearing them - whatever -

we’ll judge the best pic - and

decide on the most deserving

winner. Use your imagination,

make it entertaining, this should

be a lot of fun! All entries will be

published and we’ll announce the

winner in our June Issue!

Only 2 months - get sending guys

and gals!

EMAIL

ENTRIES TO

ROB@RIDEFAST.CO.ZA

New faces

at Randburg

Motorcycles

Bornwell Dennison and

Shayvonne Pattison have

joined the very popular and

strong Randburg Motorcycles

Team. Bornwell started

working in the motorcycle

industry back in 1999 and

has a wealth of experience in

all areas.

Shayvonne is the new person

in charge of the workshop.

She has 7 years experience

in the motorcycle trade

having previously worked at

Jap Joint. We wish both of

them all the best in their new

ventures.

Call 011 792 6829

MCR Motorcycle

Recovery

Had a breakdown or a

mishap on your bike?

MCR Motorcycle recovery

has a fully rigged trailer to

assist anyone who has a

breakdown or a bike accident

and needs assistance getting

the bike to the relevant dealer.

They are affi liated with most

insurance companies and

will get your pride and joy to

where it needs to go. If you

need a hand one day, keep

their details handy.

Motorcycle specifi c recoveries

in Gauteng.

David 071-246-5782

Keith076-612-4100

8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


New Kawasaki models arrive in SA

Kawasaki’s all-new Ninja H2 SX supercharged tourer, Ninja 400 and Z900 RS were

proudly displayed on the Holeshot Motorcycles and Fire It Up Kawasaki’s fl oors for

customers to get a fi rst hand look at the new beauties.

All three bikes are modern day marvels, packed with the latest technology available.

Salesman from both dealerships took customers through all the tech behind the new

models, and the response was great, with many customers booking their bikes.

World Supersport 300 rider, Dorren Lourerio, was at Holeshot Motorcycles for their

launch. Having just got back from his fi rst test, Doz had experienced the new Ninja

400 for the fi rst time and was left highly impressed. Riding a pretty much stock

standard bike, Dorren was able to go almost 3 seconds under the circuits lap record.

The only problem for Doz was that 6 riders also managed that. Doz ended up 7th in

his fi rst test, with the new Kawasaki Ninja 400 taking 7 of the top 10 spots. So, it’s

safe to say that the Ninja 400 is well worth its weight in gold already. Holeshot plan

on having a demo model available for public to test.

The new Ninja 400 is priced well at R75,995.

The new Ninja H2 SX is a turbo charged tourer that is set to light up the touring

market. Customers were left speechless when seeing and hearing the specs of the

bike. It’s another game changer from Kawasaki.

The base model SX was on display, with the upgraded SE model set to arrive soon in

SA. Price really well at R259,995 for the base, and R299,995 for the SE.

The modern day retro market is certainly growing, and the new Z900 RS is a perfect

representation of what a modern day retro classic is. Retail price is R162,995.

Make sure you get down to Holeshot Motorcycles or Fire It Up Kawasaki today to

book your bike.

Holeshot Motorcycles: Tel 011 823 5830

Fire It Up Kawasaki: 011 467 0737

Lekka Racing Shop news:

When AJ Venter returned back from a 7-year stint

racing in the British Superbike Series in the UK,

he was well aware that unless you had millions

of Rands to throw away, racing motorcycles on a

monthly basis was not going to cover the bills for

the next 50 years of his life.

This brought upon the creation of Lekka Racing.

Lekka Racing was originally started in 2016 as

a racing team competing in the South African

National Superbike Championship. The riders in

the team were AJ Venter, Gareth Laverick and

John Krieger.

AJ had views to expand and grow Lekka Racing

as a brand. This led to the establishment of the

Lekka Racing Yamaha Team, which consisted of

7 different riders in 9 different championships.

This expansion has resulted in the opening of the

Lekka Racing Workshop.

The Lekka Racing Workshop opened its doors

on the 1st January 2017 as a Motorcycle

Workshop. They specialize in the repair and

rebuilding of all race bikes, road Bikes, off-road

bikes and Quads. They do full road to race

conversions, engine rebuilds and all forms of

performance tuning. They have a fully equipped

workshop area and are able to set-up and

service all types of superbike suspension. They

have also broadened their horizons into the

retail industry with a great variety of motorcycle

apparel. They stock the Metalize range of jackets,

pants, boots, gloves and 2 and 1 piece race suits

as well as Dunlop road and race tyres.

Tel (011) 238-7666 or (011) 314-4596.

788-16th Road, Unit 6, Midpark, Midrand.

Trading hours are Mon-Fri 08.00-17.00 and

Saturdays: 8:00-12.00pm. For any emails: info@

lekka-racing.co.za

10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


CBR 1000

R220 000

PICK YOUR

WEAPON

THE COMMUTER

CBR 1000 SP

CALL FOR DETAILS

THE ADVENTURE

NC750

FROM R94 400

THE SPORT TOURER

FROM R155 000

AFRICA TWIN FROM R155 000

FOR SCHOOL

R120 000 R25 900 R25 900

VFR800 XR125 XR150


Husqvarna’s new era arriving in SA soon

Husqvarna’s new road-going range is set to hit SA shores, so we thought we would preview the new

highly-anticipated range ahead of the SA launch happening in early April.

At the 2014 EICMA show in Milan, Italy—nearly two

years after Austrian KTM bought Swedish-born,

Italy-based Husqvarna from German BMW—

Husqvarna showed two street-focused concept

bikes based on the KTM 390 Duke, the Vitpilen

401 (Swedish for “White Arrow”) and Svartpilen 401

(“Black Arrow”). The following year, again at EICMA,

Husqvarna unveiled a Vitpilen 701 concept based

on the KTM 690 Duke.

Finally, Husky’s new range of “Real Street”

motorcycles is ready for production, and they’re

on their way to SA as you read this. At this year’s

EICMA show, Husqvarna displayed production

versions of the Vitpilen 701, Vitpilen 401 and

Svartpilen 401, as well as a tracker-style Svartpilen

701 concept.

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

With sculpted, muscular styling that leads with a

round headlight nested within a bright LED ring and

ends with a stubby tail, the Vitpilen 701 embraces

the less-is-more look of naked street bikes. Carried in

its chrome-moly steel trellis frame is a liquid-cooled,

693cc single-cylinder engine with throttle-by-wire

that makes a claimed 75 horsepower and 72Nm

of torque at the crank, and premium components

include WP suspension, Brembo brakes, switchable

Bosch ABS and an APTC slipper clutch.

Husqvarna says the Vitpilen 701’s dry

weight is just 157kgs and it has a 12 litre

fuel capacity. The compact bike has a 1435mm

wheelbase and a 830mm seat height, and it rolls

on 17-inch cast wheels shod with Bridgestone

Battlax tyres.

The only colour shown in the photos is a matte

silver with copper highlights on the mostly black

engine and the hanger for the sharply upswept

exhaust pipe. Pricing for the 2018 Husqvarna

Vitpilen 701 is TBD.

Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 Concept

Based on the Vitpilen 701, the Svartpilen

701 concept takes the minimalist

styling in an aggressive street

tracker direction. Powered by the

same 693cc, 75-horsepower

single, the Svartpilen 701 rolls

on 18-inch front/17-inch rear

cast wheels shod with semiknobby

tyres. It also has a

more upright handlebar, a

unique headlight, a trackerstyle

tail section and a special

exhaust. If we’re lucky, we’ll

see the Black Arrow 701 in the

lineup soon.

12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

The Vitpilen 401 isn’t just a scaled-down

carbon copy of the 701. Its liquid-cooled,

375cc single, which makes a claimed 43

horsepower and 37Nm of torque, is also

carried in a chrome-moly steel trellis frame,

and it has WP suspension, Brembosubsidiary

ByBre brakes, Bosch ABS, a

slipper clutch, a round headlight and a

stubby tail section. But instead of cast

hoops, the 401 rolls on 17-inch spoked

aluminium rims—copper anodized to

match covers on the engine—shod with

Metzeler M5 tyres. And its styling is unique,

with bodywork that extends down the

sides of the gas tank and below the onepiece

seat.

Claimed dry weight for the Vitpilen 401 is

just 148kgs, its fuel capacity is 9 litres and

its seat height is 835mm—5mm taller than

the 701’s seat height. The Vitpilen 401 is

matte white with bright yellow accents. No

word on pricing.

2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401

The 701 may be a concept, but the

Svartpilen 401 is ready for

production. Whereas the 701

is a dark street tracker, the

401 is a modern scrambler

with Pirelli Scorpion Rally

STR knobby tyres, silver

aluminium rims with matching

spokes, a small skid plate, an

exhaust protector, a tank rack, a two-piece

seat and upright handlebars. It has the

same integrated bodywork as the Vitpilen

401 but painted black instead of white.

Motorcycle news have already tested the

new 701 Vitpilen and have rated it as one

of the best road-going singles they have

ever tested - “Lightness, combined with a

punchy, single-cylinder engine equals fun

and creates the best road-going single

we’ve ever ridden.” Adam Child - MCN

Senior road tester.

We look forward to seeing and feeling the

new range of Husqvarna road machines

at the SA launch held on the 5th of April in

Cape Town. As you read this, you might

have already seen some posts up on our

Facebook page from the launch. If not,

go take a look. Otherwise, just read the

full review in the May issue in stores from

Monday 7th May.

For more information, visit or contact your

nearest Husqvarna dealer.

www.husqvarna.com/za

PRICING:

VITPILEN & SVARTPILEN 401 – R 89,699.00 incl VAT

VITPILEN 701 – R 139,699.00 incl VAT

The bikes can be viewed by the public after 17:30 at “YOUNGBLOOD AFRICA

ARTS AND CULTURE” in Bree Street, Cape Town on the 5th of April.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 13


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought

to you by

Two more years for Rossi in MotoGP with Yamaha.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi

has re-signed with Yamaha for a further

two seasons in MotoGP, extending his

contract into the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The news came on the brink of the

opening round of the 2018 MotoGP

season held in Qatar.

At 39, Rossi is entering his 13th season

with Yamaha’s factory team in the premier

class after racking up a single win at Assen

alongside six podiums last year.

“When I signed my last contract with

Yamaha I wondered if that would have

been the last contract as a MotoGP rider,”

Rossi commented. “At that time I decided

that I’d take that decision during the

following two years.

“During the last two years I came to the

conclusion that I want to continue because

racing, being a MotoGP rider, but especially

riding my M1, is the thing that makes me

feel good.

“Having the opportunity to work with my

team, with Silvano, Matteo, all my mechanics

and working with all Japanese engineers,

Tsuji-san and, above all, Tsuya-san, is a

pleasure – I’m happy. I want to thank Yamaha

– Lin Jarvis and Maio Meregalli in particular –

for their trust in me.

“The challenge is diffi cult, being competitive

until I’m 40 years old! I know it’s going to

be diffi cult and it requires a lot of effort from

my side and a lot of training, but I’m ready. I

am not lacking in motivation, that’s why I’m

signing for two more years.”

The commitment from Rossi to continue

in MotoGP for another two years fi rms the

Movistar Yamaha factory team through

2020, with Maverick Vinales recently

extending his contract to remain on-board

the offi cial YZR-M1.

The combination of the Doctor and the

YZR-M1 has led to many milestones in the

past and together they secured four MotoGP

World Championship titles. He is Yamaha’s

most successful rider in history with 56 wins,

43 second places and 35 third places secured

in 206 races together.

He has already proved that he still has what

it takes to run at the front, having claimed 3rd

place at the opening round in Qatar.

Dunlop confirms

split with Suzuki

Michael Dunlop has confi rmed he will not race for

Suzuki at this year’s Isle of Man TT and other road

race events after weeks of speculation.

Many thought the 15-time TT winner’s 2018 plans

had been confi rmed when he rolled out on the

Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R at a test in Cartagena

two weeks ago, but the deal was far from done.

Dunlop was present at the test to see whether

improvements to the Suzuki over winter were

enough to convince him to stay, but with rumours

he was slower on the 2018-spec bike than he’d

been on the 2017 machine 12 months previous

it soon became clear that Dunlop’s 2018 plans

were far from sorted.

A statement released on his Facebook page

confi rmed he’d opted not to renew his contract

with Hawk Racing: “I’d like to clarify my current

position regarding the upcoming road racing

season,” it read. “I will be contesting the

Superstock and Supersport classes at the Isle of

Man TT and other events on my own MD Racing

machines.

“I have not renewed my contract with Hawk

Racing however, I am currently considering my

options for the Superbike class and will confi rm

my plans when something is sorted.

“I’d like to thank Stuart and Steve [Hicken] for

their support over recent years where we have

shared a lot of success together.”

Dunlop’s next move is somewhat of a mystery

with a lot of speculation surrounding the idea

that he may fi eld his own superbike machine.

However, earlier this year he was in advanced

negotiations with the Tyco BMW squad to take

over the seat left vacant by Ian Hutchinson after

his defection to Honda.

14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


*

Dual compound technology

The new reference

tyre in the sports

market!

An incomparable sensation of grip

*

“In terms of safety, the front tire

of the MICHELIN Power RS sets

**

the standard.“

Exceptional straight-line

and cornering stability

Front tyre profile derived

from race competition

Rubber compounds

derived from racing

“The best stability during sequences of

curves, even on a simulation of a country

road.“

Pole-winning performance: agility and

handling when changing direction, under

braking and when accelerating hard!

“Extremely agile, with exceptional directional

stability and impeccable handling in

cornering; All this makes Michelin the winner

**

(and not only in terms of points).“

New technology

A new patented construction for exceptional straight-line

and cornering stability.

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

ply back over itself.

Harder rubber underneath the softer rubber on the

shoulders gives better rigidity at lean, for more stability

when cornering, especially under strong accelaration.


Pics by Eric Buijs & Eugene Liebenberg

PADDOCK NEWS

Brought

Michelin SuperMoto SA

and Short Circuit racing

For years, Short Circuit and Super Motard racing here in SA has

been in the dumps. There has been no real platform for the next

generation of SA superstars to start their own racing stories and

progress through the ranks.

Ten years ago, motard racing was at its pinnacle here in SA. Every

top rider from superbike to motocross took part. Hundreds of fans

would fl ock to the track to see SA’s best motorcycle riders bash

bars in what was, at the time, one of the most spectacular racing

series in SA.

As the years went by the sport took a massive dive. A

combination of lack of sponsorship and rising cost meant riders

would not have the spare money to race in the motards, and

rather had to pour every resource into their particular discipline.

But, we are very happy to say that motrad racing is back, and in a

big way as part of the Michelin Short Circuit Racing Series.

Clinton Pienaar is the man behind the new Short Circuit Racing

Series. It caters for various motorcycle categories, with riders of all

ages, disciplines and experience able to take part. There is plenty of

racing action, with each category getting 1 qualifying session and

3 race heats on the day over the 8 round championship. Entry fees

are ridiculously cheap, and the events are really well organised with

proper rules set in place to keep things fair and affordable.

Youngsters looking to start out can race in the Mini Moto novice

class, and then progress through the other Mini Moto categories

available. From there, SA’s next top stars progress to the NSF100

class, before making the step up to the 150 Cup class - This is

where the likes of the Binder Brothers learnt to hone their skills. From

there it’s onwards and upwards to the National classes here in SA -

Supersport 300, Supersport 600 and fi nally the big 1000 class.

Another really cool class is the SuperMotard Juniors, where

youngsters race on 50, 65 and 85cc 2-stroke MX bikes converted

for road racing. The racing action is top-notch, with the likes of

Ruche Moodley and Tristan Pienaar really putting on a show.

Elbow scrapping stuff - Very impressive to watch.

No doubt the highlight of the Short Circuit Racing Series is the

Michelin Supermoto SA categories. There are 3-classes available;

The Masters and Grand Masters, for the elder statesman, the

SM2 category for new comers and the SM1 and SM1X caters for

the top riders.

The racing action is nothing short of world-class, with some of

SA’s biggest names duking it out for top honours. The opening

two rounds of the series took place at the Zwartkops and

Polokwane Kart circuits. Brent Harran and Greg Gildenhuys are

the men to beat so far, but they are by no means running away

with it. Anyone of 10 riders are capable of wining.

You really have to make sure you get down to one of the races

and experience the action for yourself. You will be blown away!

If you would like to get involved in the Michelin Supermoto SA

racing series, call Keaton Murray on 060 549 2210 or check out

their Facebook and Instagram social media pages - Michelin

Supermoto South Africa. Keaton will also gladly give you

any advise needed on building up, fi nding parts, or buying a

supermotard bike. There are some great bargains out there and

the racing is very affordable.

For any and all short circuit series racing queries email Clinton on

clinton@superbikemag.co.za.

to you by

16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


Suzuki Weekend Away in Mpumalanga 30 June - 01 July 2018!


A NEW DAWN

TRIUMPH SA

NEW DISTRIBUTOR APPOINTED FOR TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Triumph South Africa (Pty) Ltd – a joint venture between the Fury

Motor Group and automotive industry veteran Bruce Allen – has

been appointed as the new distributor of Triumph Motorcycles in

South Africa. We were all invited for a little meet and greet at the

Rim And Rubber venue in Fourways, to meet the team and pose

any questions, and their were a few.

18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


Triumph as a brand is just too good

to not be properly represented in

SA. The biggest change to start with

is the fact that there will only be one branch

in JHB where you can buy a new Triumph.

Most of the existing dealers country wide

that were either Triumph dealers or service

dealers, will stay on as service centers for

now. In time we are sure there will be more

official retail dealers in the major centres in

SA, such as Cape Town and Pretoria. In

the meantime, if you live in Cape Town for

instance and want to buy a brand

new Triumph, Triumph SA will

deliver your bike and do an official

handover to you where you live.

In time the brand will grow again, it’s just

too good a brand not to. The new guys tell

us that they are not in it for a quick buck,

they’re in it for the long haul.

Triumph UK wants to standardize

the shop frontage, as well as have ideal

positioning in SA, an expensive outlay

for anyone upfront given our economical

situation in SA, but in time this will happen,

so, all those Triumph lovers and potential

Triumph lovers, Triumph is back.

Triumph South Africa will sell adventure

and touring motorcycles (Tiger 800, Tiger

1200 and Tiger Sport), roadsters (Street

Triple and Speed Triple) as well as modern

classics (Bonneville T100, Bonneville T120,

Thruxton, Street Scrambler, Bonneville

Bobber and Bonneville Speedmaster).

Timelines required for regulatory processes

should allow the first sales of motorcycles in

May this year.

The Triumph brand has been represented

in South Africa for 23 years. Paul Stroud,

chief commercial officer of Triumph

Motorcycles UK, says that the company

has high aspirations for the South African

market. “We are delighted to partnering with

Triumph South Africa as our new distributor,

and look forward to a long and prosperous

relationship.

Triumph has enjoyed its role as one

of the fastest growing global motorcycle

brands over the past few years, thanks

to a combination of our award-winning

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 19


new models and improved dealer network.

Appointing a strong and professional

distributor in South Africa shows that we really

mean business in the increasingly important

South African market.”

Established in 1902, Triumph Motorcycles

is the largest British motorcycle manufacturer

and has more than 750 dealers across the

world. The company produces around 60

000 motorcycles per year. At the heart of

Triumph’s philosophy is a commitment

to developing unique motorcycles that

offer a blend of distinctive design, intuitive

handling and performance. “The innovation

and engineering passion that gave birth to

the iconic Bonneville of the 60s has today

created a broad range of bikes suited to all

motorcycle riders, including the striking 2.3

litre Rocket III, the unmistakable Speed Triple

and the SuperSports Daytona 675,” explains

Bruce Allen, the new man at the helm.

Triumph currently employs around

2000 people worldwide and has subsidiary

operations in the UK, America, France,

Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Benelux,

Brazil and most recently India, as well as a

network of independent distributors. Triumph

has manufacturing facilities in Hinckley,

Leicestershire, and Thailand plus CKD

facilities in Brazil and India.

Motorcycle lovers the world over have

embraced the Triumph brand. In fact, in its

2017 financial year, Triumph grew global

revenues by £90.9m (R1.5 billion) to £498.5m

(R8 billion). South Africans have also long had

a love affair with the Triumph brand. “In recent

years Triumph has sold an average of 450

motorcycles per annum, enjoying a market

share of 6% of the over 500 cc segment,”

says Allen.

Triumph is a premium brand, which is

synonymous with quality. Accordingly, on an

international front, Triumph is committed to

ensuring that its motorcycles are presented in

a premium manner.

Precisely the same modus operandi will

ensue in South Africa. “We have committed

to building a flagship ‘Triumph World Black’

facility in Woodmead, Johannesburg. This

will initially accommodate the needs of our

Gauteng customers,” explains Allen.

Construction on the new facility will

commence in May 2018. It will open to the

public by December 2018. Facilities meeting

global Triumph standards will open in Cape

Town in 2019 and in Pretoria in 2020.

Triumph South Africa has committed itself

to great customer service. As such, Triumph

Johannesburg will operate in the interim from

South Road in Sandton , where servicing will

be available from late March 2018. This is

a Fury Motor Group owned property which

has been made available for use by Triumph

South Africa.

The historical Triumph dealers in Gauteng

(Centurion, Edenvale and Boksburg) will

continue to act as Authorised Triumph

Service Centres during construction of the

‘Triumph World Black’ facility in Woodmead.

Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth will

also continue to support Triumph owners as

Authorised Triumph Service Centres in their

respective cities. “The Authorised Triumph

Service Centres are dealerships that formed

part of the previous Triumph network. They

will be service centres only.

Due to the only current new flagship retail

dealership being Triumph Johannesburg,

should a future Triumph owner wish to

purchase a new motorcycle, we would gladly

facilitate the sale and delivery through Triumph

Johannesburg,” explains Allen.

Customers will, no doubt be pleased to

hear that their warranties will be honoured.

“All warranties on products sold by the

previous Triumph retail network will remain

intact on the original Triumph warranty terms

for the balance of that motorcycle’s warranty.

Triumph South Africa, through the appointed

service network will ensure that customers’

service, parts and warranty needs are well

taken care of,” says Allen.

Fury Motor Group and Allen have

optimistic plans for Triumph South Africa.

The Fury Motor Group is a diverse

private motor group, representing multiple

automotive brands in Gauteng and KwaZulu-

Natal. Fury has seen quality organic growth

since its establishment in 1995.

“The addition of Triumph motorcycles to

the portfolio is an exciting venture for Fury,

and in following our mission of ‘Doing the

20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


Right Thing’, we hope to ensure that Triumph

enjoys the rightful position amongst premium

motorcycle brands it deserves,” says Marq

Roberts, CEO of Fury Motor Group. Allen

brings extensive automotive and premium

brand experience to the new Triumph

business. With 24 years of automotive

retail experience, a real passion for creating

great customer focussed businesses, and

an appreciation for the subtleties of the

motorcycle lifestyle, he is committed to

ensuring this great brand becomes a true

contender in the South African market.

“Triumph South Africa’s goal is to drive

progressive growth in volumes, delivering

market share of closer to 10% by 2021. This

will be done by ensuring that the Triumph

brand is presented and promoted in South

Africa in a premium and focused manner, with

a priority being the customer’s experience

on both a product and engagement level.

I am convinced that this is the start of an

overwhelmingly positive era for the brand in

South Africa,” Allen concludes.

Frequently asked questions:

There have been questions from customers

and the general public regarding Triumph’s

way forward in South Africa. Triumph answers

some questions:

Q: The single point Triumph Flagship

facility does not provide a sufficient

footprint for representing the Triumph

Brand in Gauteng, how does this help me

as a Triumph owner?

Globally, Triumph is going through a process

whereby the brand is being positioned in the

premium manner it deserves. In assessing

the requirements for reestablishing the

Triumph business in South Africa, while at the

same time following the global direction of

premium representation, we had to balance

the investment required against the ability

to still have multi point representation in a

city. For this reason, we have positioned

the site for the new facility in Woodmead as

geographically central as possible in order for

current customers to be able to access us

from the various freeways. Current Triumph

volumes unfortunately do not allow for the

multiple dealers to invest at the required

level, so there is a compromise between an

ongoing presence for Triumph in SA and a

single point facility.

Q: I live in Gauteng, but Triumph SA does

not yet have the service capacity to look

after my needs, what do I do?

The transition time between the previous

distributor in SA and Triumph SA being

appointed, has been extremely brief and

has not allowed for adequate capacity to be

established to take care of customers’ needs.

Triumph SA has entered into an

agreement with previous Triumph dealers in

Centurion, Edenvale and Boksburg to service

and maintain Triumph motorcycles until

December 2018.

Triumph Johannesburg’s service facility will

be ready to take care of customers’ needs

from April 2018 at its (temporary) South Road

Sandton facility. The service capacity of this

22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


We are so excited to get our hands

on the new Street Triple 765 RS

and Speed Triple RS models.

facility will be gradually increased over the

next 9 months to ensure that we are in a

position to fully accommodate customers by

the end of the year.

Q: What do I do if I live in Cape Town and

own a Triumph, who will look after my

motorcycle?

As is the case in Port Elizabeth and Durban,

Cape Town customers will continue to be

supported by the same agents who currently

look after their motorcycles in these cities.

Q: When will Triumph open other

dealerships in other cities in South Africa?

We have made an initial commitment to have

a retail presence in Cape Town next year

(2019) and Pretoria the following year (2020).

Durban will be considered over the next

couple of years, but we are unable to make a

commitment at this stage.

Q: When will I be able to buy a new

Triumph motorcycle again?

We are planning to commence retailing

motorcycles in May 2018. This will depend on

time required for homologations.

Q: What bikes are you bringing in?

The full model lineup will include the following:

• Adventure and Touring Modern Classics

Roadsters.

• Tiger 800, Bonneville Bobber (+Black)

• Street Triple, Speed Triple

• Tiger 1200 Bonneville, Speedmaster

• Tiger Sport, Bonneville T100 and T120

• Thruxton

• Street Scrambler

• Street Twin

Q: When will you be announcing retail

pricing for the range of motorcycles that

you plan to import?

We are still busy finalizing our pricing strategy

on a couple of the new models and will be

in a position to announce our pricing in mid-

March 2018.

Q: I live in Durban and would like to buy

a Triumph, how do I go about this?

In line with our strategy of only retailing from

a facility that is in line with Triumph’s global

standards, motorcycles will only be available

for sale from our Johannesburg store initially.

However, should there be a requirement

from an out of Gauteng customer, we would

be happy to facilitate the sale and arrange

delivery and handover where you live.

Q: I am the owner of a 2016 Triumph

Explorer XC, and am concerned about

the effect of the September 2017 “fire

sale” on the resale value of by bike. I am

led to believe that the used values have

dropped badly?

We believe that whatever has happened is

very short term, and only has an impact on

someone who wishes to sell their recent

model Triumph between the “sale” and when

we commence retail of our new bikes. A used

motorcycle price is a function of a willing seller

and willing buyer, if the used bike hasn’t been

sold at a reduced value, the value has not

dropped.

When we come back into the market with

the same bike that was discounted last year

at the relevant retail price, the used values will

be pegged off relative value to the new bike.

i.e. how much less than a new bike should a

one-year old bike be? The market will correct

itself in the short to medium term.

Our take on the entire effect of the “sale” is

that those that bought the cheap bikes really

benefited, but not at the expense of current

Triumph owners.

Q: Are Triumph parts readily available in

South Africa?

Our first parts orders were placed on 1 March

2018 on commencement date as the new

distributor for Triumph Motorcycles.

Prior to this we requested the dealers

that would continue as Authorised Triumph

Service Centres stock up with fast moving

parts in order to minimize the effect of a

gap between distributors. We have ordered

sufficient stock of the most frequently needed

parts to ensure our customers are well

supported.

Q: What effect does the change in

distributor have on my warranty on my

2017 Triumph?

Your bike is still well covered in terms of

the original warranty conditions set out by

Triumph, and can be taken to any one of the

Triumph service centres convenient to you.

Q: I am looking for a new Rocket III, but I

don’t see it as an available model on your

media release?

Globally Triumph has ceased production of

the Cruiser models being Thunderbird and

Rocket in order to focus on the segments

where the opportunity lies for Triumph to be

economically competitive.

The new Triumph South Africa team from left to right: Damien Maclachlan, Ashleigh James, Riaan Fourie,

Bruce Allen (CEO), Marq Roberts (Fury), Marthinus Smit and Liandre Gibson

Customers needing support or

information relating to this transition are

free to contact Triumph South Africa on

info@triumphbikes.co.za

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 23


KTM Powerparts

Front & rear carbon fibre fenders for Super Duke

KTM offer some seriously good Powerparts for all their models, and here we take a

look at two very cool ones for all you KTM Superduke 1290R owners. Both products put

your KTM perfectly in the limelight with premium quality carbon fibre.

Both the front and rear fenders featured here are made from highest quality carbon

fibre, making them much stiffer and lighter than the standard plastic components.

Both have a satin surface finish featuring the Akrapovic logo to help give it that factory

look. The rear fender is extended to include a chain guard.

From: Official KTM Dealers Nation-Wide

Price: Front R4286 / Boots R5146

ALPINESTARS City Hunter

Tech Backpacks

The Redstar Shop, based at the famous track out near Delmas,

has just recieved stock of the new-style Alpinestars City Hunter

Tech backpacks. Aerodynamically profiled the City Hunter Tech

Backpack features an innovative advanced load carrying system

and ergonomic shoulder straps designed to redistribute weight

evenly across the back for improved comfort and fit on long

rides. Oh, and they look so cool.

BTW Ri

From: Redstar Shop - Donovan 079 219 3182

Price: R2000 each

AIROH GP500

Considered one of the best value for money top-of-therange

racing helmets on the market today, the new

range of 2018 Airoh GP500 helmets have now arrived

at dealers nation-wide.

This is the pinnacle of the road range of helmets

from the Italian manufacturer, and features all the

protection and style one would want, and expect,

from a top of the range lid.

From: Dealers Nation-wide

Price: R5999 each (Various colours available)

24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


April Sport Tyre Combo Specials

ONLY FROM

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• 120/70R-17 & 180/55-17

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VISIT US FOR ALL YOUR TYRE NEEDS: Bikes, ATVs & Side-x-Side • Best prices, widest range

• Over 3000 tyres in stock • SA’s largest ‘bike’ tyre retailer • Shipping countrywide • Secure credit card payment

• Fitment & Balancing • Chains & Sprockets • Brake Pads • Wheels • Wheel Lacing • Tubes & Mousse Fitment

• Puncture Repair On/Off Road • Tyre Equipment & Accessories

Tel: 011 205 0216 • Fax: 011 3127078 • Cell: 073 777 9269

UNIT 9 Sable Park, 997 Richards Drive, Midrand

Facebook @BikeTyreWarehouse • Twitter @biketyrewhse

www.biketyrewarehouse.com

eFast APRIL'18.indd 1

2018/03/22 12:14 PM


RF Garage

TECH TIPS

Chain reaction: Motorcycle Chains Explained

Ever wondered what size drive chain your motorcycle needs?

Chain Sizes Explained.

Chain Sizes:

Generally, sizes are described as ‘pitch by

length’. For example 520-118 - this has a

pitch of 520 and is 118 links long.

What does ‘pitch’ mean in relation to a drive

chain? It’s actually the distance between the

chain pins. (Pic)

How many different motorcycle chain

pitches are there?

Loads, but commonly used there are the

following: 420, 428, 520, 525, 530.

How do I know what size my chain is?

Well, unless you want to go measuring it you

just need to look on the side of some of the

links. Most motorcycle chain brands stamp

the size here.

What direction should I fit my split link?

A split link should be installed with the closed

end facing the direction of travel. The reason

for this is so that if it hits a branch or stone

that the link isn’t popped off the chain. (Pic)

lube and don’t ride the bike for 30 minutes or

more. This will give it time to dry in.

Can I use WD40, Spark, Q20 or similar on

my motorcycle chain?

The short answer is NO. WD40 is good if

you want to clean chain lube and dirt off your

chain. It’s terrible if you want to lube it. It’s so

thin that it will fl ing straight off.

If you’re on a road bike it’ll fl ing straight all over

your clothes and your back tyre.

Use a proper chain lube. It comes out of the

can thin, penetrates the chain and thickens

out as it dries on.

How do I know if I need to change my chain?

If you’re out of adjustment is a general rule

that you need to change your chain. Also if

you can pull your chain off the rear sprocket

and there’s a gap it’s time to change.

If you’re changing the chain you almost

always need to change your sprockets at the

same time - they wear together. Fitting a good

chain onto old sprockets is asking for trouble.

Most bikes have gradients on each swingarm

side to help maintain alignment, so when

adjusting chain slack, it is essential to make

sure the alignment marks match on each side.

Follow your bike manufacturer’s specifi cations

for both chain tension and how to ensure

proper chain alignment.

Check your chains adjustment often – it is the

hardest working part of your bike.

Another way to check chain wear. A gap between

sprocket and chain means it time to change.

Chain replacement:

While replacing a chain is not all that

complicated, having the chain replaced by a

trained professional is often a very good idea.

Master link installation is absolutely critical and

securing the master link can be accomplished

by riveting (requiring special tools), screw

type master link or clip-type. Installing the

Z-Rings and lubricating the pins goes along

with proper installation, so owner-installation

should follow the manufacturer’s instructions

to the letter…

What’s the difference with standard,

heavy, O-ring, X-ring and Z-Ring?

There are three principal types of roller drive

chains: Non O Ring, O Ring and X/Z Ring.

A simple diagram of an X-Ring vs an O-Ring

How often should I lube my motorcycle chain?

For road bikes, we suggest once a week if

you use your bike every day.

For off-road/motocross bikes it’s much more

regular as the conditions will strip the chains

dry. We suggest on every ride and certainly

after every power wash.

With any bike you want to ideally apply chain

26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


Brought to you by

Non O-Ring or standard chain:

The non O Ring types date back to the

beginning of time and are still used extensively

today. They are strong, light, cheap to

produce and relatively friction free. Non-sealed

chains have no internal lubrication, so they

require the most maintenance (cleaning,

lubing and adjustment). Otherwise, they won’t

last very long!

These days they tend to be used most on

smaller capacity and Moto X bikes.

Heavy Duty is the most popular for mid-sized

bikes on the road. Also most MX bikes can

run a HD chain.

Z-RING “spring effect”

Lubricant

The Z-Ring flexes when assembled,

creating a spring effect that guarantees

the seal will not decrease over time. The

lubricant trapped between the plates and

the lobes of the Z-Ring keeps the ring

lubricated and increases its life.

ZRP and ZRT are Original Equipment on:

DUCATI

O-Ring Chains:

As motorcycle technology and power

output has increased, chain design has had

to improve with it. So for bigger and more

powerful bikes, non O Ring chains were very

much improved on by O Ring chains. The O

ring chain positions a sealing ring between the

inner and outer chain plates. Before riveting

in the factory, the internal parts of the chain

are fi lled with chain grease by vacuum. The

sealing rings then have two purposes: to keep

the internal lubrication in, and to keep the dirt

out, thus vastly improving the durability of the

chain. As the two plates push on either side of

the O ring, it distorts to have two fl at sides to

its shape.

The O-Ring chain seemed great to everyone,

at least, until the supercharged environment of

the racetrack exposed its weakness...

When the large surface area of the O-ring

presses against the pins and covers, it

creates a certain amount of drag, which in

turn creates a loss of speed. Most of us won’t

even notice this, but for top racers – they want

every ounce of horsepower available. O-ring

chains are now somewhat dated technology,

superceded by even better systems…

The X-Ring Chain:

Race geeks created the X-ring chain. With

a smaller surface area in contact with the

pins and covers, drag is reduced and speed

is increased. All while keeping the chain

beautifully lubricated. X describes the shape

of the ring. Instead of having an O shape it

now has an X shape. This means that when

pressed between the chain plates, it no longer

has a fl attened O ring shape but instead has

two smaller faces touching either plate in an X

shape. This gives you the same great sealing

and durability but now with very low friction.

But wait, it gets even better…

Z-Rings, the very latest technology.

The Z-Ring seal, patented by Regina chains,

features a specially-designed conical shape

on their inner side.

We need to explain Z-Ring technology…

it is Regina’s differentiator:

As mentioned, O-ring chains are now

considered to be pretty old technology, Regina

don’t use that system at all anymore. They

feel that quality chains should utilise newer

technologies as they reduce rolling resistance

while increasing the lifespan of the chain.

The difference between Regina’s range of

chains is that they have key applications. For

example, different chains are manufactured

in 520 pitch, and are all Z-Ring, but Regina

specifi cally makes them for different

applications: Some examples:

· ZRE is a 520 Enduro chain and has the

lowest tensile strength being designed to

deal with a maximum engine capacity of

450cc’s (Single cylinder)

· ZRT is a 520 touring chain with higher tensile

strength for larger bikes, but more rolling

resistance due to thicker plates and pins.

· ZRP is a 520 Professional for applications

requiring higher tensile strength, again, plates

are thicker and the chain is heavier.

· Then the ORAW racing chains (As used

in MGP) have extremely small Z-ring seals

to minimise rolling resistance, the chain is

designed to minimise weight but with an

acceptable tensile strength for Moto GP.

How The Z-Ring Works:

The Z-Ring fl exes when assembled, creating

a spring effect that guarantees the seal will

not decrease over time. The special Z-Ring

section provides enhanced chain fl exibility. The

conical section enhances the assembling on

the bushing. The lubricant trapped between

the plates and the lobes of the Z-Ring keeps

Since 1919

Regina - Z-Ring Chain Assembly

the ring lubricated and increases its life.

High-carbon alloy pins minimize wear and

increased roller thickness prolongs durability.

The chains have thicker outer plates and

quad-riveting for greater tensile strength.

Constant lubrication from special hightemperature

grease in the critical pin/bushing

area provides longer life.

Z-Rings boast a 50% reduction in friction

compared to traditional O-rings.

Regina’s 525 ZRP Series Chains are original

equipment on some top notch bikes like

the Aprilia RSV4, BMW S1000RR, Ducati

Panigale 1199, KTM RC8 and many others.

The Z-Ring chains feature:

• High alloy steel plates and pins.

• Solid bushing and rollers, shot-peened plates.

• Pre-stretched chain that is plated gold.

• The Masterlink is included and replacements

are available

• The Z-Rings offer some of the best life and

lubrication on the market.

Remember: When it comes to a chain,

application is more important than price.

Don’t fi t the wrong chain to your pride and

joy - they wear out too quickly and will cause

huge damage when it snaps...

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 2 7


SHINING

BRIGHT

MOTOGP ROUND ONE, QATAR.

As with the start of every new MotoGP season, round one of 2018 took place under the

lights of the Losail circuit in Qatar, and what an opening night it turned out to be.

Words: David Emmett

Brought to you by

28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


You might call that a good start to

the new season. There were four

races held on Sunday at the Losail

International Circuit in Qatar: three Grand Prix

classes and race two of the Asia Talent Cup.

All four would become titanic battles

between riders, ending in searing duels to

the line. Three of the four would be decided

by less than three hundredths of a second.

The fourth – Moto2 – would be decided by

just over a tenth.

The combined winning margin for MotoGP,

Moto2, and Moto3 is just 0.162 seconds.

Add in the Asia Talent Cup, and that takes

the grand total to 0.175 seconds.

It seems fair to say we were treated to

some insanely close races at Qatar. In Moto2

and Moto3, three riders broke away to

contest victory among themselves.

In both classes, an incident – a crash

in Moto3, a technical problem with the

rear brake in Moto2 – saw the trio whittled

down to a duo, the race going all the way

to the line.

The MotoGP race was even tighter, the

closest finishing group ever at Qatar, with

first place separated from seventh place

by just 4.621 seconds, and from eighth

by 7.112. The top three finished within a

second, the top two by 0.027 seconds – a

numerologically pleasing gap, given the racewinning

machine.

This was the closest race in MotoGP

that I can remember. The leaders streaked

across the line to complete 22 laps on

Sunday night, and on 11 of those laps, the

gap between first and second was less than

a tenth of a second.

On another seven laps, the gap was

between one and two tenths. On the

remaining four laps, the gap was always

under three tenths.

There was nothing to choose between

the leaders, the winner impossible to identify

even up until the final corner. It looked for all

the world as if someone had tried to organize

a MotoGP race, and a Moto3 race had

broken out.

A freight train of riders chased each other

round the track for 22 laps, and at the end,

two men fought it out in the last corner, with

an entertainingly predictable outcome.

2017, Redux

The 2018 race was like a condensed version

of the 2017 season. Johann Zarco led the

way in the early laps, the Monster Tech3

Yamaha rider repeating his feat from last

year’s race, though he held on for a good

deal longer than in 2017.

Tech3 team boss Hervé Poncharal sat

watching the race on pit wall strung tight as a

bow, his nerves slowly easing up once Zarco

got past the six lap mark at which point he

had crashed out last year.

Zarco looked like finally cracking his first

MotoGP win for seventeen laps, but as he

swept through the final corner and onto the

front straight, his fate was sealed. Behind

him, Andrea Dovizioso was winding up the

Ducati GP18 ready to hit the nitrous button

down the front straight.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 29


Zarco led across the line, but was

immediately swamped by the Ducati as

Dovizioso used his 10 km/h top speed

advantage to take the lead.

Unfortunately for Zarco, Marc Márquez

knew that he could not let Dovizioso get

away. The reigning world champion got

in the slipstream of the Ducati and wildly

waggled his way past Zarco, touching the

Frenchman, struggling to stop his fishtailing

Honda RC213V, and nearly running wide in

the attempt.

It came close to ending in utter disaster for

Márquez, but the Spaniard’s outrageous skill

just held it all together. It would not be the

last time in the race.

“My target was try to control Andrea,

because he was the fastest one,” Márquez

explained in the press conference. “My

problem was when he passed Zarco I went

behind him. It doesn’t matter when or where.

He overtook Zarco. I just was behind him. I

was on the limit, all in is what I said.”

It had been an insanely close call. “When

Andrea overtook Zarco, I was just behind,

but then I start to lose the rear. I touched

Zarco. I released the brakes. I took the

slipstream of Andrea. Then I couldn’t stop

the bike. I went wide, but I stay on the

corner. That was the key of the race, was the

key point.”

Tyre Troubles

From that point on, Zarco was finished, and

dropped through the field like a stone. Not

because he started going so much more

slowly – the Frenchman kept doing low

1’56s, the pace he had been lapping at for

a few laps – but because the rest of the field

found a sudden burst of speed.

Dovizioso, Márquez, Valentino Rossi,

Cal Crutchlow, Danilo Petrucci all suddenly

started slamming in low 1’55s, gapping the

Frenchman in the space of a couple of laps.

Afterwards, Zarco revealed that he had

been hampered by a problem with his front

tyre. “I wanted to keep fighting for the rest,

but with this front tyre problem, I could not

fight and then from this moment five laps to

the end, I had to accept to take what I can,”

the Frenchman explained.

“I got the best I could, I did what I could

do, and when I have a technician from

Michelin and also on my team saying that

something has been wrong, it means that

OK, the rider’s job is done, then when you

are doing this kind of sport, this can happen.

I keep smiling, and anyway, eighth position

when you have a problem, it means you

are competitive. And I was leading the race,

maybe I was slow but nobody overtook me,

which means I was good today.”

30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


The problem was a lack of grip from his

front tyre, Zarco said. “It was sliding. Just

sliding. You go into the corner and instead of

turning, you go wide. Or if you want to turn

you can crash. It was this kind of problem.”

He had a few warnings early on in the

race, but it got worse as the race went

along. “It was much worse at the end of

the race, but I had some alerts maybe after

seven, eight laps,” he said.

But Zarco took comfort in knowing

that he was not that far away, despite his

precipitate slide down the order. Leading the

race had helped build his confidence, give

him the belief he will need in races to come.

“That’s why I want to lead races,” he

explained. “The more I can do, the more it

is becoming normal, and I think compared

to last year, I was much more under control.

So that was a great feeling. I was almost

feeling slow, but as I say, if I am staying in

front and nobody passes me, it means that

we are not so slow, so happy for that.”

Episode on Repeat

The last five laps played out like they had

twice last year. Andrea Dovizioso led, laying

down a murderous pace which Márquez

could follow, but not easily attack.

Behind Márquez, Valentino Rossi had

latched onto the leading duo, unsure he

would be able to pass, but certain of taking

advantage should it all end in tears.

It didn’t, but on the final lap, it came very

close. Unable to deny his nature, Márquez

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 31


pushed to the limit to hunt Dovizioso down,

launching an attack in the final corner of the

last lap. In a carbon copy of the Red Bull Ring

and Motegi last year, Márquez attacked, ran

wide, and left the door open for Dovizioso to

calmly sweep inside and drive away to the line

to take victory.

“It was like deja vu,” Márquez joked in the

press conference. “Last corner with Andrea,

I go in, go wide, he goes inside, and he

wins the race.” Yet Márquez was far from

despondent at going three to nothing down in

last corner battles with the Italian.

“On the other hand, it’s true that I lost this

last lap, last corner battle in the worst circuits

for us. Red Bull Ring, Motegi, here. So, if it is

like this in the future, it will be okay. But then

on the strong circuits, on my favourite circuits,

then I need to attack there. I knew that I was

on the limit, but I try. Now I can sleep well this

night. If not, I cannot sleep.”

Mimeograph

That last corner battle is becoming

something of an archetype, for both men.

Márquez lunges wildly, Dovizioso parries

calmly, having expected it all along. His

description of the race bore out the inner

calm which the Italian carries.

“Our bike works very well in this track.

Better than last year,” he said. “I was able to

play with the bike in a good way. I didn’t take

any risks at the beginning. I saved the tyre.

Most of the time I wasn’t so close to the rider

in front of me because I didn’t need to be.”

“I was able to take every decision in a

relaxed way and prepare everything for the

last part of the race,” Dovizioso continued,

“Because everybody at the moment was

saving the tyre, there wasn’t a special rhythm

in that moment.”

“We did 1’55.2 at the end of the race and

that time we arrived 1’55.6, 1’55.8 at the

beginning of the race. So this means that

everybody was going faster, but nobody

can ride with that lap time, because nobody

was able to finish the race in a good shape.

I knew that and I managed the situation in a

good way.”

But Márquez’ improved pace and the

obvious improvement to the Honda was

cause for concern, not just for Dovizioso but

for the entire grid. The bike is clearly better

than last year, easier to ride and consequently

easier to manage.

“I think this is the reality,” Dovizioso

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opined, using a favourite phrase of his. “I

think we confirmed we are more competitive

than last year, but this race I think Honda’s

riders confirmed they are also better than

last year. Looks like that in the first round, so

we will see.”

Ducati team boss Davide Tardozzi was

delighted with the win, the garage erupting

with joy when Dovizioso crossed the line to

take victory. “We are very happy about Dovi’s

attitude,” Tardozzi said.

“He wants more. He has demonstrated that

he is really not only a talented guy but a clever

guy. He managed the race in a perfect way.

That’s why we call him Professor Dovi. We are

very happy.”

Fast is Better than Safe

Valentino Rossi’s third place was just rewards

for a gamble that paid off for the Italian. He

and his team had decided to scrap the idea

of saving the tyres, and chosen a setup for

outright performance instead.

“Yesterday in qualifying I was not very happy

about the balance,” Rossi said, “because we

try some modifications to save the front tyre.

Yes, we can save the front tyre, but then we

lose the speed.”

Forced to make a decision, Rossi erred

on the side of speed rather than endurance.

“Today I say, we try everything to go fast. After

if the tyre will last, it lasts. If not, ciao.”

“We make a good step this morning. We

improve the traction exit from the corners,

and also I think that we work well also with

the electronics. The good and the bad is that

from one track to the other, the difference of

the bike will be big also this year. So, nobody

knows what will happen in Argentina.”

Stiffer Is Better

Rossi’s teammate had made an even more

radical change which had worked out

remarkably well. After a miserable time in the

tests, where he was fast one day, nowhere

the next, Maverick Viñales finally managed

to persuade his crew to make the bike stiffer,

fitting harder springs.

It had transformed his ability to go fast on

the bike, and he fought his way through from

twelfth on the grid to finish sixth, and within a

sniff of fourth, and perhaps even the podium.

“We didn’t focus on the electronics for

the race, we focused to find the setup. And

actually it works,” Viñales said afterwards.

“We took the opposite direction to the test,

we went harder in the front, stiffer on the rear.

Something I really like and something I asked

many times to do. Finally, we did it here and

it’s a good way.”

The change also helped manage some

of the wheelspin he had been suffering

during testing. “For sure, it gets much better

entering the corner and less shaking on the

bike,” he said.

“So it’s something I like. The bike is more

stable and I can attack a little bit more the

apex of the corners. A little more corner speed

but also with the brakes.”

“So I didn’t make a lot of problems in the

acceleration [area] because I gained in the

middle of the corner. It’s something I asked for

many, many times. But we did it here on the

race weekend.”

It felt like he had wasted the entire offseason

of testing over the winter, Viñales

explained. “For me looking back it’s like I lose

three months because now the bike is totally

different from the test.”

“Chassis is the same but the way the

setup is totally different. In the other direction.

So still I need more confidence but the

strongest point of the bike from last year

comes again, which is the fast corners, and

I’m quite happy.”

Tyre Choice

Tyre choice proved to be the difference

between the podium and missing out for both

Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci. Crutchlow

had gone with the medium front rather than the

hard front favoured by the Repsol Honda riders.

“I knew I would be able to manage the hard

front in the race, but I didn’t know what the

result would look like,” Crutchlow said. “If Dani

and Marc use this tyre, then I can usually use

it. But I went with the medium. Maybe I could

have finished one place further forward with

the hard front. But I don’t think so.”

Petrucci had chosen the soft front rather

than the medium front, the Ducatis capable of

running much softer front tyres than most of the

other bikes on the grid. But the soft front had

been a bridge too far, the Italian acknowledged.

“I think I was the only one on the soft front,

and it worked well in the race simulation,

but in the race, I got overtaken a few times,

because I had not so much turning power,

and especially on braking, I was not as strong

as always,” Petrucci said.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 3 5


The Italian was especially disappointed

after finishing fifth. “I’m a little bit disappointed,

because yesterday I said my target was top

five, and I reached that,” he said.

“But I said top five because I didn’t want

to say the podium, but in reality I thought that

Márquez and Dovi had something more, but

I said, maybe third position is OK. I stayed in

third position all weekend, had a good pace.”

Blue Is the Colour

Overall, the Qatar MotoGP race was full of

promise. Suzuki went very well during the

race, at least until Alex Rins crashed out, and

Andrea Iannone was no slouch either.

Rins was in the battle with the front

eight, towards the latter half of that group,

struggling to win a braking duel with Danilo

Petrucci, but also soaking up the knowledge

of the new GSX-RR.

“I’m happy because we learned a lot from

this weekend,” Rins said. “All the time we were

on the top and put the Suzuki there. But in the

race everything changed. I was starting from

sixth position – my best result. Then the feeling

with the clutch was not so good on the start.”

“We missed a bit on the first lap. Then when

I was with Dovi I was following him easy – well

not very easy, but easy. Then when he started

to overtake on the straight it was impossible

for me to overtake him on brakes. I wasn’t

competitive on the brakes today.”

Rins had no real answer for why he

struggled on the brakes when it was one of

his strong points during the test.

“Maybe the track wasn’t in the best

condition. The feeling was not the same than

in the test that we did here. We tried to put the

bike in a perfect set up but today in the race

with a full tank I didn’t feel really good.”

Support

If the MotoGP season looks like it might

be heading for another Dovizioso/Márquez

showdown, the support classes saw the title

candidates immediately sifting the wheat from

the chaff. In Moto2, Pecco Bagnaia got his

first victory, finally living up to the hype which

has surrounded him.

Bagnaia, Lorenzo Baldassarri, and Alex

Márquez got away in the early stages

of the race, and were preparing to do

battle over the podium places. But while

Márquez and Baldassarri were battling

over second, Márquez suffered a problem

with his rear brake.

The brake jammed on, slowing the

Spaniard on his charge, and he could only

pick up his pace again once the rear brake

effectively ceased functioning. A brave effort

saw Márquez retain third despite a valiant

effort by Mattia Pasini to catch him.

Just off the leading pack, Red Bull Ajo KTM

pair, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliviera, were

36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


in a massive battle not only with themselves

but also with Marcus Schotter and Xavi

Vieger. Oliviera would get the better of his

team-mate to finish in 5th, while the SA star

had to settle for a 6th place finish. A good

points haul for the opening race after a few

struggles. “This wasn’t the race that we were

hoping for in Qatar. Throughout the weekend

I felt very good, especially this morning in

the warm-up; I was very comfortable and

riding was easy. However, yesterday in

qualifying I had some problems with the

sandstorm and I struggled to find grip then

-although I thought it was a problem with the

tyres. Today the track wasn’t sandy but the

problem continued, so it wasn’t easy to go

fast. The positive thing is that we got some

good points from the first race of the year,

and it’s a better start to the season than last

year.” Brad’s comments after the race.

Steven Odendaal ended his first race at

the Losail circuit in 22nd place, and collected

valuable data and experience.

In the Moto3 class, it was Jorge Martin’s

chance to show just how good he is. Martin

escaped from the pack with Aron Canet and

with Enea Bastianini. Bastianini crashed out,

leaving Canet to take on Martin on his own.

Try as he might, Canet simply could not

get close enough to launch a proper full-on

attack. The calmness with which Martin won

the race was impressive. The young Spaniard

still has a way to go.

Darryn Binder, on his first ride for the

factory Red Bull Ajo KTM team, got off to

a flyer of a start, battling for top 8 honours.

Sadly, Darryn’s race game to an end on

lap 4, after colliding with Philip Ottel. “The

first race weekend is over and obviously it’s

ended without the result that we wanted, but

we can take away everything positive that

we have learned here in Qatar. I think we

can keep moving forward and concentrate

on Argentina. It didn’t go as we expected,

as during the first few laps I gained some

positions and felt comfortable, but got clipped

on the fourth lap and crashed. Until then I was

feeling good and my lap times were faster

than in practice, but that’s racing. It’s time

to think about the next race, so I’m looking

forward to going to Argentina.” Darryn said

after the race.

Premature Conclusions

What conclusions can we draw from

the season opener? Firstly, that Andrea

Dovizioso because the first Ducati to win

the Qatar race since Casey Stoner in 2009,

though the bike is unimaginably different

between then and now.

Dovizioso won by 0.027 seconds, a fitting

tribute to Stoner’s racing number, though

the Italian certainly did so without any

knowledge of it.

More worrying, we know that the Hondas

are in excellent shape: no longer are they

struggling to get into the top five, they are

starting to go very well at tracks where they

have traditionally had problems.

If Marc Márquez is losing out to Andrea

Dovizioso by less than three hundredths of a

second at a track where the Honda is weak,

just imagine what will happen once MotoGP

gets to Austin. The consolation here is that

Ducati has made a clear step forward as well.

The Suzukis are strong, as Alex Rins

(and to a lesser extent, Andrea Iannone)

demonstrate, but Rins is still catching up on

the races he missed through injury last year.

The GSX-RR is a radically more competitive

bike than last year’s machine, Suzuki’s rivals

have been warned.

The Yamaha situation is a complicated

one. The riders are capable of overcoming

some of the problems they have identified,

though Qatar remains a very strange first race.

Rossi’s gamble on chasing performance over

endurance paid off, though it is still far from

certain this will work at every track.

Maverick Viñales is engaged in a battle of

wills with his crew, but above all, with himself.

He got his way to go back to a much older

setting, making the bike a good deal stiffer

than had been found during testing.

They had fooled themselves during the

preseason tests, Viñales said. “In testing, we

fixed for a few laps, you know. With new tyres,

no fuel and crazy laps. But for the rhythm I’ve

never felt like FP4 and the race.”

It sounds like Yamaha have found a way

to give the nut between the handlebars a

firm tweak, and that has delivered serious

consequences.

But the main lesson we learned at Qatar is

that MotoGP is closer than ever, and it was

already ridiculously close. I have a feeling that

we are in for another magic season. There is

no reason to believe my hunch will not turn

out to be right.

Bring on Argentina!

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 37


KING OF QATAR

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO


In the red corner, weighing 225kg

The Ducati Multistrada 1260 S

In the orange corner, weighing 229kg

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

40 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


THE CHALLENGER

IN THE RED CORNER

MUCH MORE

MUNCH

DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1260 S

The new Ducati Multistrada 1260 S has just hit SA shores, and we finally got to ride the new beast

dressed in red. We also managed to get our dirty hands on one of its biggest rivals - the KTM 1290

Super Adventure S - to see who would win this Heavyweight battle.

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus

Please sir, can I have some

more? The famous words

from a young Parish Boy

from the multiple Academy

Award-winning 1968

motion picture - Oliver Twist. It seems as

if the motorcycle industry is full of Oliver

Twists, wanting more and more. Ducati

have taken note and listened to customer

demands and given them more.

The fi rst Multistrada was released back

in 2010 and featured a retuned version of

the 1198 Testastretta super bike engine.

Ducati threw all the bells and whistles at it,

making it a very popular choice in the evergrowing

sports tourer segment.

The bike saw minor changes over the

next years, before getting an upgrade

in 2013 with new Skyhook semi-active

suspension and a revised 2nd generation

Testestetta motor. This improved the bike

immensely and put it almost in a league of

its own.

Since then the Multistrada project has

taken a back seat, with Ducati focusing

on their ever expanding range, which now

includes Scramblers and Cruisers. “Don’t

fi x what isn’t broken”, that’s kind of what

Ducati’s thoughts were on the Multistrada,

which kept on selling really well world-wide.

However, the competition in the sports

touring market was getting better, with

the likes of BMW’s S1000XR and KTM’s

1290 Super Adventure S raising the bar

somewhat. This forced Ducati’s hand, with

the market asking for more from the now

stale Multistrada. Ducati heard the cries for

more power and more refi nement. It was

time for a change…

WE WANT MORE!

It needs more power they said - How does

an extra 64cc, 6HP and 18% increase in

torque sound? It could be more agile and

stable, especially at high speeds - Ok, let’s

increase the swingarm length by 48mm

as well as its rake by 1 degree and trail

by 5mm resulting in a 55mm increase in

the overall wheelbase of the motorcycle.

The dash was nice, but operating system

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 41


lacked a bit. Well, how about a new human-

Multi interface, with the highest res TFT

colour display they’ve ever deployed, and

new operating system that is both effective

and very easy to understand and operate.

Is that all? Well, pretty much, so yes.

If that wasn’t enough, Ducati threw a

plethora of updated modern-day tech and

safety features at the new Multi, including

the much needed quick-shift and auto-blip.

More so than ever, the new S model is very

electronic, very, very adjustable and while the

initial spread of possibilities feels daunting,

most owners learn rapidly on where and

what the changes they need to make are.

Let’s ride

The Multistrada’s styling has never been an

issue, so the designers didn’t want to mess

too much with that. To the naked eye, it

looks just like the first model released back

in 2010. Up close is where you can spot the

differences. That gorgeous upper fairing with

big aggressive nostrils remains unchanged,

but the new side panels look better

integrated with the bikes overall look.

The bikes ergonomics feel just right

and get you in the mood to go riding

straight away.

As I mentioned, the new motor produces

more power and more torque. What I haven’t

yet mentioned is how it does so. Rather than

going through the huge expense of creating

a new power-plant, Ducati designers looked

at what they already had in-house at their

disposal, and more importantly, what worked.

The Multistrada 1260 carries over the wellreviewed

and loved Testastretta 1262cc DVT

(Desmodromic Variable Timing) engine found

in the XDiavel with some slight mechanical

changes and revised fuel mapping.

Immediately as I set off I can feel the extra

power and torque available. The new engine

delivers 85% of its torque at 3,500 rpm, 18%

more torque under 5,500 rpm compared

to its 1200cc predecessor. Just what was

needed to take the Multistrada’s riding

experience to another level.

It was a pleasure having all that power

available at low rpm, especially while

commuting in the Sandton/Fourways area.

No need to over rev the bike or shift through

the gears - simply select 3rd gear and just

cruise, and when I needed power to squirt

through tight gaps, bang there it was.

The refinement of the engine is sublime. It’s

smooth, slick and almost entirely vibration free

unless you’re roaring along near the redline.

Anything past 3,500rpm and you better be

holding on tight. It’s a bombardment of power

that is easy to handle and enjoy, with the help

of the intelligent electronics of course.

42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 43


The new motor is certainly not lacking at

top speeds either. While the previous 1200

had a directly sportsbike-like top-end madfast

feel, the new 1260 is more measured and

overall, a lot quicker in almost every situation.

Again, just that more refi ned. Helping get

through all the power through every gear

is the welcomed quick-shifter. It makes so

much sense I cannot believe Ducati didn’t

have an option for the older bike at all. In fact,

every single motorcycle today should have

one. 90% of the time, up and down shifts

were smooth and effortless. There was the

odd occasion (the 10%) where is did give a

slight hiccup, mostly at lower rpm shifting

up. It was, at times a bit jerky at part-throttle

but that’s considered normal for most

quickshifters - they work best at full or no gas.

Ducati listened very carefully to feedback

they got from press and customers, who

said that the 1200s were too reactive and too

sporty and that hampered their abilities when,

for example, touring with luggage. Well,

sorted. The longer frame and slower steering

make for a beautifully stable Multistrada. No

matter the quality road - potholes, bumpy,

cracked, slick, the 1260 stayed as planted as

a Russian weightlifters feet at the Olympics.

The semi-active Sachs suspension feels more

sophisticated in its reactions than before and

with rear preload set correctly - one button

press to select Rider-Baggage mode on our

optional pannier-ed 1260 S - the motorcycle

felt perfect.

This stability does have a fl ip side, of

course. The Multistrada 1260 doesn’t turn as

rapidly as the old one, but some might say

that is not a bad thing. The 1260 responds

in a more considered manner which will

somewhat hamper skilled riders but make

everyone else very, very happy with the

safe-predictable feel that it makes for. I’m a

fi rm believer that a lighter motorcycle doesn’t

always translate to a better one, especially

in the handling department. The new 1260,

because of new additions like the bigger

motor, is 3kgs heavier than the 1200, but you

wouldn’t think so. It works in its favor, giving

it that much fi rmer, settled feeling. I will take

stability over agility on a bike like this any day.

Finishing off what is an excellent riding

experience is the superb Brembo M4.32

brakes and Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres. Both

do their intended jobs fl awlessly and instill full

confi dence no matter the conditions.

The verdict.

If I were to try and rob a bank, and these

days it’s a though that passes through all our

minds, and had to pick a get away vehicle

it would be the Ducati Multistarda 1260 S.

It has everything one would need to escape

without a trace - big power, agility, Bluetooth

connectivity to stay in contact with the crew

and good electronic suspension to adjust to

wherever and whatever roads one might be

faced with. And even criminals want comfort,

and the new 1260 has that too, so it’s perfect!

Ducati were given a brief of changes that

needed to be made to put the Multistrada

back on the map as one of, if not the

best Sports Tourer’s on the market. They

nailed the brief. They wanted to evolve the

Multistrada to be even more versatile, still

more appealing and that’s what they’ve

done. Every revision makes sense and

translates to a motorcycle that has just

about no faults. It’s easy to get lost in the

seductive nature of the bike. It speaks to

every facet of motorcycling - young, old,

sporty, commuting, touring, it’s the complete

package and satisfi es every addiction.

The only question left to be answered is

how does it compare back-to-back against

one its biggest rivals? Let’s fi nd out shall we…

44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


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ORANGE

ALMIGHTLY

KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S

KTM’s new 1290 Super Adventure S

model was released last year. I got to

test the bike for the fi rst time at the SA

launch held in Cape Town early last year.

The bike really impressed me. It was

fast, stable and ultra-comfortable. I have

not ridden the bike since, so was keen

to get it, not only to see how it matches

up against the new Ducati Multistrada

1260, buy also see how it fairs down

here in the harsh JHB riding conditions.

17% less power thanks to humidity

and everyday hustle and bustle that is

Gangsters Paradise.

Let me just give you a reminder of

what the 1290 Super adventure S is. As

the name suggests, it’s an Adventure

bike. Although, it’s actually so much

more than that. In the SA launch test, I

did last year, I labeled it a super bike, and

with good reason - It’s got super bike like

power fi gures, handling capabilities and,

well, just looks super! But what makes it

so super? Let me explain…

Firstly, the engine. The 1290 Super

Adventure S’ power plant is bigger than

you’ll fi nd in most small cars (it’s 1301cc,

or 1.3 litres). It also makes 160hp and

140Nm. That means it’s fast. Stupidly,

ridiculously fast. Faster than any

Adventure bike has any right to be. Even

up here in the in the thick, suffocating

JHB air. Thankfully, it’s got various

engine modes - Sport, Street and Rain

- allowing you to choose an appropriate

amount of throttle response for the task

or conditions at hand, and the chassis

up to the task of handling it all.

It’s got an electronics package Bill

Gates would be proud of, styling good

enough for a high-end runway show, or

a back alley brawl. The TFT dash is just

as big as most people’s TV sets and

displays more information than Wikipedia.

All the controls are perfectly placed and

easy to operate, and, they even illuminate

at night. Very cool.

For an Adventure bike, it doesn’t

feel as heavy as you might expect for a

215kg (unfuelled) bike. It’s agile and likes

to be thrown about a bit, just like a

super bike.

The KTM

1290 Super

Adventure S is everything an

adventure bike should be. With all

of its gadgetry and sophistication,

you’re left wondering

who’s in charge - are

you riding it, or is it

just giving you a lift?

It’ll hold itself on a hill,

charge your phone, let

you brake far too deep into

a corner, let you accelerate

back out far too early,

and help you look round

corners at night. But it’s

also blisteringly, mindbendingly

quick when you

want it to be, as you make

your way from A to B in comfort.

Consummately capable and crazy;

that’s the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

in a nutshell.

So, which one wins this

heaveyweight battle? Can the new

Ducati compete with or over power the

almighty Austrian machine? Let’s

take a look…

46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


In the red corner, weighing 225kg

The Ducati Multistrada 1260 S

In the orange corner, weighing 229kg

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

IN THE ORANGE CORNER

THE CHAMPION

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 47


And the winner is...

We really are spoilt for choice these days,

and these two motorcycles prove that. It’s

getting harder and harder to do comparison

tests, as every bike has its own dazzle and

flair, and rarely any faults. But, we do like

to be 100% honest with our readers so we

dissect as much as possible to highlight all

the pros and cons of every machine and give

our verdict on which one comes out on top.

I spent a good 7 days and over 500km of

riding on each bike. I did similar routes every

day, from start/stop commuting through traffic

in busy towns to a bit of open road touring.

Both bikes really impressed me, leaving me

again with the notion of how spoilt for choice

we are these days. I’m sure after reading the

above reviews it’s clear that we loved both

bikes. But, having some time to sit down and

really think about my time on both bikes and

compare them I did manage to pin point a

few little niggles.

Let me start with the few, and there were

very few, niggles.

The KTM’s gearbox did feel a bit stiff and

heavy compared to the Ducati’s, and the fact

that the Ducati S model comes standard

with quick-shift and auto-blip highlighted

this point even more. It is a bit strange that

KTM didn’t just release their S model with

the quick-shift system standard, but the

package can be added for the mere price

of only R10k (Taking the overall price of

the bike to R228,999, which is still R24k

cheaper than the Ducati). The S model I

tested last year had the package installed

and did disguise the rigid gearbox just a bit.

Both bikes were stubborn on more than one

occasion when trying to select neutral at

stand still. A bit frustrating at times.

On the commuting side the Ducati was

a bit more practical and user friendly. It’s

lower seat height (15mm lower in standard

trim) was more suited to my average frame.

Saying that, seat height is adjustable on both

models, but the Ducati’s 6kilos less did still

make it easier. Climbing on and off the KTM

during the days commuting felt like a hard

CrossFit session. It’s extra weight and size

did take a bit more effort and felt a little more

intimidating.

Both feature top notch electronic

suspension. Sachs on the Ducati and WP on

the KTM. Both exceptional, and adapted to

any and all riding conditions I was faced with

to perfection.

I could not fault either’s dash and controls.

Both very easy to understand and operate,

although the Ducati’s operating system and

controls were slightly easier, especially when

adjusting on the fly (while riding).

The big highlight for bikes like these is

comfort, and both are extremely kind on the

body. The Ducati’s seat is a bit more plush

and easy on the toosh, but I couldn’t fault the

KTM either.

I was greeted by typically scorching SA

weather while testing both bikes. The Ducati

distributed the heat a bit better, while the KTM

did warm up the legs a bit more during the

stop/start commute.

Fuel economy wise the KTM wins out. Its

23litre tank (3 more than the Ducati) is perfectly

suited for longer trips. I was really amazed

at how economical it was, despite me giving

it a bit of stick and being such a big motor.

48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


On R150 (around 11litres) I was able to do

230km, mostly commuting, and the dash

wash still showing me 20km left until empty.

The Ducati’s 20litre tank was a little less

forgiving. Nothing terrible, just a bit heavier for

sure. My R150 didn’t go as far, only getting

190km with 10km left until empty. Either way,

I got my magazines delivered in half the time

at half the price of what a car would have

cost me, so I was happy!

One can’t fault either bike when it comes

to looks. Both aggressive and angry looking,

but with a softer side that draws you in. The

Ducati just has that little more fi nesse and

class, while the KTM is a bit more rugged and

brutal. Attention to detail on both bikes put

them on another level. Both go the extra mile

to make you feel like you are on something

special. Little logos in the right places give it

that factory feel. It’s the little things that make

a big difference. Build quality is noteworthy on

both, but again the Ducati just has that little

extra. Things like the mirrors, hand guards

and swingarm are just that little posher, as

one would expect from the Italians. But, all

those little things add up, making the Ducati

around R42k more expensive than the KTM.

If I were to choose I would say the Ducati

for the Monday to Friday commute and the

KTM for the Saturday and Sunday outride.

Although both can do either job, so it’s really

up to you.

The KTM is a bit more rugged, the fact

that it has an off-road riding mode option

highlights that it has a more adventure side

to it, but it also has a classy side and does

everything really well. The Ducati is like a posh

SUV. The salesman will tell you that it can go

off-road, but why the hell would you want to

take something that gorgeous on the dirt?

Both bikes will save marriages, as you can

fi nally offer your partner to join you, happily

throwing them on the back knowing he, or

she, will be ultra-comfortable.

So, no matter which one you pick, it’s a

win, win situation.

But, if my man piece was on the block and

I had to choose, I would take the Ducati.

DUCATI

MULTISTRADA 1260 S

SCORE

8.5/10

KTM

1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S

SCORE

8/10

SPECS:

Engine Description: 1262 cc Ducati

Testastretta DVT with Desmodromic

Variable Timing, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valves

per cylinder, Dual Spark, liquid cooled

Maximum Power: 158 HP @ 9500 rpm

Maximum Torque: 129.5 NM @ 7500 rpm

Seat Height: 825-845 mm

Wheelbase: 1585 mm

Fuel tank: 20 litres

Dry Weight: 209 kg

Price: R253,000

Standout Features: Liquid Cooled,

Cornering ABS, Ducati Wheelie Control,

Vehicle Hold Control, Power Modes,

Riding Modes, quickshift & autoblip

SPECS:

Engine Description: 1301 cc 75-degree

V-twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder,

liquid cooled

Maximum Power: 160 HP @ 8750 rpm

Maximum Torque: 140 NM @ 6750 rpm

Seat Height: 860 mm

Wheelbase: 1580 mm

Fuel tank: 23 litres

Dry Weight: 215 kg

Price: R218,999

Standout Features: Cornering ABS,

Traction Control, Brembo Brakes, Liquid

Cooling, Fuel Injection, Ride by Wire, LCD

Console, Tyre Pressure Monitoring

50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


TRAINING MAKES

PERFECT!

SPECIALIZED MOTORCYCLE SKILL TRAINING WITH DORREN LOURERIO

Words: Rob Portman

Pics: Gerrit Erasmus

If you do a google search on all the top

MotoGP riders guaranteed you will find

a video of them when they were young,

riding around cones in a figure 8 with knee

and elbow down, sliding the rear using

precise throttle control. It’s very impressive to

watch. What’s even more impressive is that

they are aged around 8 or 9. So much skill

and technique for such young riders, but over

in Europe, especially in Spain, they are taught

to do this from a very young age, starting as

young as 6.

In the 1980’s, former GP500 great,

Kenny Roberts, started a training camp

for up and coming riders to help improve

their skills and riding techniques. He mainly

focused on dirt track riding, where he learnt

to perfect his skills.

Other top names such as Colin Edwards

and Valentino Rossi now employ the

same kind of camps. Both very much dirt

track, teaching riders the importance of

throttle, front and back brake control. It also

develops riders body position skills and

improves riding fitness.

We have never really seen this kind of

training here in SA. We as young riders are

taught mainly by our fathers, who simply

tell us the basics - look out of the corner,

lean into the turns, keep momentum and

accelerate smoothly out the turn. Young

riders, as I did when growing up, learn by

trial-and-error, without really improving on the

fundamental skills needed to be a top world

class racer.

SAMRA (South African Motorcycle Racing

Academy), an organization started by Niel

Harran a few years ago, has now setup

training camps held once a year at Redstar

raceway. Top SA riders such as Brad Binder,

Mathew Scholtz, Brent Harran and Lance

Isaacs express their knowledge to young

riders. Starting from the basics as well as

focusing on the finer details to help them

achieve fast lap times around the track.

It’s a much needed excursive here in SA,

and has so far developed some very fast

riders who are coming through the ranks.

But this only really caters for the young riders,

and is only made available a few times a year.

So where can one, young or old, go to help

improve their riding skills and technique? Well,

finally there is solution.

Three years ago, young SA star Darren

Lourerio set off to race in the European Junior

Cup championship. He proved that he had

serious skills, running at the sharp end of

the field more often than not. The following

year saw Dorren compete in the same

championship, as well as enter in the World

super sport 600 championship as a wildcard.

While overseas, Dorren and his father

Armando came into contact with a certain

David Salon - former World Superbike and

Supersport racer. David could see the huge

potential in Dorren so offered him the chance

52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


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Doz sets up a pole around a metre high and slides

the bike under it. So impressive to watch...

to be trained, and race for the former Spanish

racer. So, for 2017, Dorren took part in the

new World super sport 300 championship

under the guidance of David Salom. It was

a solid first season for Dorren who leant so

much being and racing in the world Superbike

paddock. But, it’s was what Dorren learnt off

track that helped him the most.

Doz, as he is better known, attended

David Salom’s rider training camp, which

take place in both in Spain and Qatar, where

David help riders improve not only on their

riding skills through specific cone training,

but also on rider fitness and mentality. This

is where Dorren and Armando’s eyes would

really be opened. They always knew Dorren

had the skill and talent to be a top racer, but

once exposed to this kind of training, they

knew that they were nowhere near where

they needed to be to compete against

the world’s best. “There were young kids,

aged between 8 and 10 who are making

me look like a novice” Dorren’s comments

when asked about his first experience at

the training camp. “The cone training was

intense, and something I had never seen

before. I didn’t realize how little I actually

knew” he went on to say.

Over the course of 2017 Doz worked hard

on developing his skill and understanding

how it all works. He not only wanted to

improve his own skills, but that of others, by

bringing the expert training to South Africa

and exposing it to other SA riders.

Towards the end of 2017 and beginning

of 2018 I noticed some Instagram posts of

Doz doing some really funny looking stuff on a

Honda CBR150 bike at the Rock raceway in

Brakpan. Slow motion videos showing off his

new-found skills that got me interested. What

exactly is this training he does at The Rock?

So, I went along to find out…

MIND BLOWING STUFF

Seeing Doz on video sliding around on the

150 and motard was impressive, but seeing

it in real life was a whole new experience.

It’s breathtaking and so intense, I could not

believe what I was actually watching. Doz

takes his very beaten up 150, sets up some

cones on the 9metre wide tar, and then

proceeds to chuck it in and around the cones

like it was one of those black plastic bikes we

all had when we were young. Mind blowing!

(Check out the video on our Facebook page if

you don’t believe me)

Doz has setup his 150 bike with a

short 2nd gear, which he keeps the bike in

throughout the entire course. He enters using

the same amount of front and rear brake

pressure, and not a lot of it, forcing himself

to carry momentum using a combination of

body position and throttle control to steer the

bike around the tight course. Body position is

a key factor in all of this, working the core and

legs to the limit. Mental strength is also tested

as you really have to commit and trust in your

and the bikes ability.

I stood there in absolute disbelief watching

Doz maneuver around a course I did not

think possible. His skills really have improved

and the amount of connivance he has is

staggering. This kind of training is world class

and will certainly benefit any rider - track or

road, tar or dirt. The proof is in the pudding,

as they say, and Doz has plenty of it. Riders

such as Savannah Woodward and Morongoa

Mahope have both seen massive results from

this training. Savannah is now very much a

front runner in the SA National Supersport

300 championship while Morongoa, who

only started riding a motorcycle a few years

back, recently got down to a 1,10 lap time

around Zwartkops.

This training translates to any form of

racing, from road to dirt, big to small bike, it’s

aimed at, and will improve your skill no matter

the discipline or motorcycle.

I really think that all young, and even

current stars, of the racing scene here in SA

should be taking advantage of this training.

Doz has done an amazing job at replicating

this training from Europe, which all the top

racers use. AT only R600per session, and

that includes the bike, fuel and track entry for

the day, this really is the best way at taking

your riding skills to the next level.

To book a session with Dorren, email him

at dltrainingschool@gmail.com or send him a

message on 060 501 2420.

54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


Supermotard racing is very much back in SA, so we went along to The Rock Raceway to hang

out with some of the mafia and test some old, and new school motard racing thoroughbreds.

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus

This is just a fraction of the new

Motard Mafia. From left to right:

Karen Brown, Thomas Brown,

Martinus Lowings, Dian Nelson,

Damion Purificati, Nicole van

Aswegen, Rob (part of the crew for

the day) and Keaton Murray.

56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


“The race was called “Superbikers” and the goal was to find

the most badass, “all-around” motorcycle racer in the USA. By

combining every major racing discipline of the time, including

road racing, motocross and flat track, they hoped to crown the

best rider who could master it all (Think Top Gun on bikes).

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 57


Rob speaking to Keaton in

Motard sign language.

Supermotard racing is a great

substitute to Superbike racing.

It’s got a similar thrill - some

might say even more - but cost a

bucket load less to buy and run

throughout the racing season.

One could pick up a fully kitted

up ready-to-race older gen

motard for anywhere between

R40 to R90k.

58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


It took me a few laps to adjust my riding

style to a motard again, especially a modern

day one that is perfectly setup as a motard.

The bike I used to race was a 2007 Honda

CRF450R MX bike, which I had converted

into motard trim. Nothing fancy and not much

setup, probably why I landed on my head so

much. No slipper clutch, so it was all about

getting the rear to slide using a combination

of hard front braking, quick downshifting and

feathering the clutch. Oh yes and big balls!

Since then my balls have gotten smaller and

there is no need to feather the clutch anymore

- as I found out heading flat out into the first

corner - thanks to the very trick slipper clutch

fitted as standard. I was shocked when Doz

explained to me that I had two riding maps,

two levels of traction control and launch

control to choose from, all easily adjusted by

a neatly placed button on the left handlebar.

Very tricky indeed.

The bike was very easy to handle around

the tight 1km track, even with traction control

turned off. Power delivery is instant and

effective, and the top grade Brembo brakes

get the job done as one would expect.

Up next I swung my leg over Keaton’s

2013 KTM 450 SMR. Despite its slightly

older status, the KTM never showed its age

and was a real performer. Just like an older

athlete needs to work that bit harder, and

take some extra vitamins to keep up with

the younger generation, the KTM is still a top

contender. Yes it’s had some work done, but

that’s allowed in the rules of the new motard

championship.

While machines from 2015 and upwards

must remain just about 100% stock - with the

exception of a slip-on pipe only - models from

2014 and below are allowed full modifications

to help keep them competitive against their

newer, stronger more high tech counterparts.

The KTM has a gorgeous looking, and

sounding, Doma dual system exhaust fitted

along with a Power Commander, Wiseco high

compression pistons and Djnojet quick shifter.

Despite all the performance mods, the KTM

is still around 4hp down on the newer model

Husky’s, and I could feel it out on track. It was

a little less aggressive at the bottom driving out

of the turns, and did feel like it ran out of speed

compared to the Husky I tested just a few

minutes before. But, to my surprise, I set faster

times on the KTM than on Dorren’s stock 2017

Husky. Around half a second faster, which

on a short circuit is a lot. The quick shifter did

make life a bit easier and certainly contributed

in a positive way to the faster lap times. Dave

from RD Racing is the man responsible for

setting up the suspension on the KTM, and, as

expected from Dave, it felt flawless.

Keaton upgraded the braking system on

the KTM to a top notch Beringer system.

The anchors were sublime, with a great feel

Even a slightly older generation

motard like this KTM is still very

competitive and can cut it with

the new bikes.

and response from the start and throughout

the session. Brake fade on a motard around

a short track is not uncommon, but not on

this KTM. Solid every lap.

I loved every second on the KTM, and once

again proved the “less is more” statement.

Sometimes more power doesn’t mean faster

lap times - Or does it…? Enter, the 2018

Husqvarna FS450.

For 2018, Husqvarna released an updated

version of their already all conquering FS450

model. More power and refinement, but the

biggest edition has to be the inclusion of the

new Swiss Specialist Suter Racing slipper

clutch. Suter are responsible for around 70%

off all clutches fitted to MotoGP, Moto2,

Moto3 and World SBK machines, so they are

tried and trusted by the worlds best.

The stock FS450 cost around R115,000.

After adding all the aftermarket parts

and work done the total cost adds up

to around the R165,000 mark.

The new machine produces around 52hp

on a Dynojet dyno, and with the strict rules,

competitors cannot gain more than 5%

from that figure. All bikes are dynoed and

monitored regularly to keep racing fair. It also

forces riders not to spend to much money on

their machines, keeping the racing fair and

semi-affordable.

Keaton has tricked his bike up a bit,

throwing some tasty aftermarket products at

the thoroughbred motard. There have been

quite a few. The most significant, apart from

that of the Berringer braking system and Akro

slip-on pipe, is in the suspension department.

The FS450 comes stock with air pressured

front forks, which most riders claim work really

well, but does lack some attributes that normal

cartridge spring forks give. So, what most

60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


All three bikes were fitted with ultra grippy Michelin

Motard specific slick tyres. The choice for over 95%

of the field. I was amazed at the grip and stability

always on offer. Best of all, they are well priced and

last really long - some riders getting up to 3 race

meetings, including qualifying and practice sessions

on 1 set of hard compound slicks. Well worth it!

riders do is combine the best of both worlds.

Just like the KTM, Dave from RD Racing has

had his grubby paws on this bike and installed

a spring cartridge into the right fork, leaving the

left with the stock air fork. A Racetech valving

system has also been installed to give the bike

a more solid feel for racing hard.

I could instantly feel that this new Husky

was on another level. It was poetry in motion,

everything just that little bit better. Power

delivery was aggressive, yet smooth and

easy to control. Gearing has been changed

and was a bit more suited to the Rock track.

More punch and rpm in the right places.

The fueling has been done on this bike as

well, so no lagging at the top - just relentless

power through and through. All the power

was kept in check brilliantly by the Michelin

motard specifi c slick tyres. They gripped more

than any Nightmare on Elm street movie,

complementing all the bikes goodness.

Braking, the Titanic wished it could have

had, seductive looks better than that of any

Playboy magazine cover ever released, this

machine is as seriously cool as Marty McFlys

hover board in Back to the Future 2.

The very well setup new Husky was dialed

in perfectly, attacking the track like an angry

Keaton has done a fine job with

his 2018 Husqvarna FS450. It

rides just as well as it looks.

bull to a red fl ag. The quick shifter was

fl awless, while the extra power was apparent

driving out of the slow 2nd gear turns. The

stopwatch never lies, and my lap times on the

new bike proved what a great machine it is.

Keaton’s Husky FS450 reminds me of the

phrase “the right tool for the job.” I used to

make it work back in the day but now the

FS450 proves that riding a motard fast is not

as diffi cult as one thinks and just how much

technology has moved on.

Well, it’s time to get stuck into the dishes

and started on those long overdue chores so

I can convince the wife to let me buy one.

Thomas Brown (3) is another one

of many current road racers also

racing in the motard series.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 6 1


LONG TERMER

KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE R

NAKED

At the beginning of last year, I attended

the local launch of KTM’s newly refi ned 1290

Superduke R. It was an instant love affair, and

I have since spent plenty a happy mile on the

orange beast. In that same test, I challenged

KTM SA to let us go racing with the 1290

R. As most of you will know, they accepted

the challenge and we raced a pretty stock

standard 1290 Superduke R in last years 24

Hour race at Redstar Raceway. We ended

up in 2nd place, only 1 lap behind the overall

winners RSR Stars on board their kitted out

Honda CBR1000RR racebike. Not bad for a

road going naked bike.

That performance ignited the fl ame, and

this year KTM SA wants to take the challenge

even further. They have given us a brand new

1290 Superduke R for us to race in various

motorcycle road racing championship in

SA. We have received the bike and are busy

running it in as we type this. Even in running

in mode, this thing is a serious weapon! So

much power it’s ridiculous.

“Our plan is for Rob

to do the BOTTS

(Battle of the twins)

race down in PE at

the SuperGP round

in August, taking on

the mighty Ducati

superbikes.”

Once the 1000km has been put on, the

bike will be sent back to KTM SA for them to

do the fi rst service. From there, offi cial KTM

Powerparts will be added over the course

of the next few months in preparation to go

racing. Parts such as the offi cial Akro full

titanium pipe, Powerparts rearsets, WP front

fork internals and full ready-to-race rear shock.

At the moment the bike is completely

stock, so no quick-shifter or auto-blip, and

safety aids such as ABS, traction and wheelie

control can’t be turned off. After the fi rst

service, the track pack will be installed, which

means we will have the quick-shift and autoblip

options available as well as being able to

de-activate the rider aids.

Once all of that is done we will go racing.

Our plan is for Rob to do the BOTTS (Battle

of the twins) race down in PE at the SuperGP

round in August, taking on the mighty Ducati

superbikes. But, before that, our team of

test riders - including Shaun Portman, Ricky

Morais, Mike Powell and maybe even Shez -

will also be taking part in some races. We also

plan to do as many track days as possible.

Our aim is to highlight just how competitive

this bike can be on the track.

Overseas they have achieved some great

results, and we plan on doing the same.

So, make sure you look out for our 1290

Superduke R at your next trackday or race. If

you don’t see it in the pits, you might just see

it blast past you on track.

62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


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Cruising

Just

300 Kms on Harleys 750 Street Rod

Awwright Awwwwright! We hear all the sport motorcycle purists asking what the hell a Harley

is doing in Ride Fast Magazine. Loudest of these is, undoubtedly, the Singh who constantly

makes his views on the cruiser lifestyle quite plain… but let’s face facts. Times they are a

changing. Riders are getting more mature and bikes like these are booming at the moment.

Words: Glenn Foley Pics: Kyle Lawrenson

O

n our visit to Gold Rand

Harley, young Clint

pointed out the new

arrival and asked if we’d like to

take it for a little spin. Hey - a bike

is a bike – and our curiosity got the

better of us.

I need to make it very clear – on

countless breakfast runs and trips

to ET, I’ve looked at these guys

and girls on Harleys – with the

tassles on the bars fl apping lazily in

the wind – and the bugs smacking

the back of their helmets – and I’ve

thought to myself – “What is that

all about?” I did spend a little bit of

time on a Sporty a few years ago

– and I would never admit it back

then – but that bike was a barrel

of fun.

As time has progressed and the

ability to crunch yourself up onto

a crotch rocket has diminished,

these things start looking a bit

more attractive.

Harley-Davidson has a plan.

A big one. Two million new riders

in 10 years and 50 new models

over the next fi ve years. This is no

small feat, the company admits. To

accomplish it will take more than

getting the faithful to buy more

bikes, it will take people who don’t

ride Harleys.

And in some cases, those who

don’t like the brand at all.

Harley has tried to reach this

group before. From the XR1200,

to Buell, to the V-Rod, to the

Roadster, to the Street 750,

every few years and decades

Harley-Davidson takes a swing at

cracking the “urban” market. And

every time the market responds

with varying levels of enthusiasm.

It seems that Harley people tend

to prefer the chopper and more

relaxed lifestyle.

Harley-Davidson isn’t going to

just stop trying. And to roll that rock

up one more time it went all-in with

a brand new model based on the

Street 750 platform, the Street Rod.

This looks so similar to the Triumph

Street Cup that we rode two

months ago, so there is something

to be said for their efforts.

Aesthetically, this bike ticks all

the blocks. It gleams in the sunlight

with an olive green paint job oozing

64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 65


Cruising

Just

300 Kms on Harleys 750 Street Rod

attitude. Fancy sculpted seat, bar end

mirrors, beautifully crafted mini faring.

Macho is the right word, muscular,

bulldog, the expletives are all there. A

neat little display, matte black fi nishes,

small details like bright red shock springs.

Cast mag wheels shod in meaty Michelin

tyres, proudly emblazoned with the Harley

logo and fi nished with monster brakes, all

wrapped around the heart of Harley. The

liquid cooled Vee twin power plant.

Although the engine might look similar

to that found in Harleys Street, the Street

Rod has a host of changes made to the

750cc liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin.

New pistons bump compression a full

point to 12.0:1, while revised intake ports,

higher-lift cams improve power output.

To work with these changes, a dragracing

inspired, larger volume air box feeds

dual-throat, 42mm-diameter throttle bodies

(vs. 38mm single) connected separate

intake manifolds and it all exhales through

a revised, shorter muffl er. Engine rev limit

bumps up from 8,000 rpm to 9,000.

The results of this fi nagling are 68.4

horsepower at 8,750 rpm and 47.2

pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, an 8%

improvement in torque across the rev range

and 18% percent more peak horsepower.

It is now called the High Output Revolution

X. More power and more of that classic

Harley induction and exhaust roar. Not ear

shattering, just lekker snarley.

Riding the bike

Moving the bike we were greeted by a

shrill alarm. This bike comes standard with

an anti theft system. Now that’s cool.

Climbing aboard, the bike feels

relatively compact compared to some of

the other “cruiseresque” bikes out there

– tickle the starter and the fi re up inspires

goosebumps as only this iconic brand can.

Legs up – Hmm this bike is infi nitely better

suited to shorty’s, snick her into gear and

off you go.

Power is awesome, not frenetic but the

term rolling thunder kicks in as your roar

off – in this case down the Golden Mile in

Boksburg. You don’t sit in the bike – with

the placement of pegs and bars and so-on

you perch on top. It has a very aggressive

riding posture. The clutch feels quite stiff,

the gearbox butter smooth. The H.O.

Revolution X engine is pleasantly smooth

and linear in delivery.

Good power is especially noted through

the midrange, and it is a rewarding lump

to open up. Weight is a factor, at 240 odd

KGs’ fully loaded, this is no ballerina – but

it feels almost indestructible and old school

with all the weight centered low down. This

low CG really helps with handling.

We headed out towards the freeway

for a photo shoot at the Terra Topia MX

track. A bit of urban robot to robot blitzing

followed by long sweeping freeway.

It’s a fun bike to ride – it runs beautifully,

handles really nicely – and the brakes are

fantastic. The ABS is tuned nicely to be

there for you in an emergency without being

intrusive. Suspension is exactly what you’d

66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


Cruising

Just

300 Kms on Harleys 750 Street Rod

expect from a bike like this and she carves through

corners with surprising grace.

From the track we took a trip around town to

call on a few of our dealers – and this is where we

had a few gripes…

We have to be absolutely honest. This bike is

not built for big riders. The perching eventually

causes cramping and limits the distances that you

can travel on this bike. Stop starts at traffi c lights

caused much discomfort from the engine heat.

After the third time I’d graunched my shin on the

foot peg maneuvering out of a parking lot, I lost all

semblance of a sense of humour.

I would need to chat to Harley about a comfort

package.

Here’s the rub

This bike looks the king of cool. It’s for posing and

blitzing around the streets, visiting the road house

and chatting up the girls. Robot to robot dices and

cruising the ‘burbs. A reminder of years gone by,

urban muscle bike.

Harley offers a host of custom goodies for this

bike – and we are not kidding – everything from

nuts and bolts to comfort seats and Harley patches

for your jacket.

This one from Gold Rand Harley on the Golden

Mile: Full Harley lineup, used sales, accessories

and a very cool coffee shop.

Price: R115,000. Call (011) 823-3763

13 FAST FACTS:

1. The Street Rod’s High Output Revolution X

750 engine produces 18-percent more power,

and 8-percent more torque than the base

Revolution X 750 engine. This equates to

around 70 horsepower, and 64Nm of torque.

2. The engine High Output Revolution X 750

is receives multiple upgrades to produce this

power. The new single overhead-cam V-Twin

engine features a larger air box, a new

dual-throat throttle body, revised four-valve

cylinder heads and high-lift camshafts, and

a higher-volume muffl er. The compression

ratio is bumped from 11.0:1 to 12.0:1, and

the engine redline is increased from 8,000 to

9,000 rpm.

“We’ve improved air fl ow and then tuned

this new engine to maximize mid-range

torque,” said Weber. “It really delivers a

punch between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm,

power you can always feel and use in realworld

riding situations. Liquid cooling helps

maintain that performance and rider comfort

in stop-and-go urban traffi c.” Says Harley.

3. The Harley-Davidson Street Rod uses a

43mm inverted fork. For quicker steering,

the fork rake angle was tightened from 32

to 27 degrees.

4. The Street Rod features coil-over rear

shock absorbers with an external reservoir

for increase fl uid capacity. Harley increased

rear suspension travel by 31 percent over the

Street 750. The Street Rod has 4.6 inches of

travel out back. It also uses “slightly longer”

swingarm over the base 750.

5. The Street Rod gets a much more

aggressive lean angle. The Lean angle is

increased from 28.5 degrees left and right

to 37.3 degrees right and 40.2 degrees left.

6. The Harley-Davidson Street Rod rolls on,

17-inch Split 7 Spoke Black Cast wheels.

As for rubber, the Street Rod uses new

Michelin Scorcher 21 radial tyres.

7. Dual 300mm-diameter front disc brakes

squeezed by two-piston calipers are used

for stopping power. Out back, the Harley

Street Rod uses a single 300mm disc

squeezed by a two-piston caliper.

8. ABS and the Harley-Davidson Smart

Security System are factory-installed

options for the Street Rod.

9. The Street Rod’s seat height was raised

3.7 inches to 29.4 inches. The seat was

also reshaped for added comfort.

10. The 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

gets all new controls. A fl at, drag-style

handlebar puts the rider in a fi st-forward

posture on the bike. The Street Rod also

features new forged foot controls and

aluminium foot pegs.

11. Styling upgrades include a colourmatched

speed screen, a street fi ghterinspired

tail, and all-new LED tail lamp and

turn signals.

12. The Street Rod weighs 236KG’s. Wet.

13. It’s available in three colours: Vivid

Black, Charcoal Denim and Olive Gold.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 67


BUYING ON AUCTION?

BUYERS GUIDE TIPS

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 Part 3

of how to purcase a motorcycle safely from auctions.

The very word ‘Auction‘ gets buyers excited

about a possible bargain to be had. While

there are certainly bargains to be had, you

need to be aware that auctions are often

used to dispose of unwanted stock – where

there is no recourse should something go

wrong. Some advice:

• Take the time to inspect the motorcycle the

day before the auction. If you are not very

familiar with motorcycles, take a friend with

you who knows them well.

• Take your time going through the bike

looking for previous accident damage as

many motorcycles that are accident damaged

are no longer ‘written -off’ by some insurers

and instead, are sold to salvage companies

who repair these motorcycles and put them

on auction for sale. Spotting one of these

bikes can be almost impossible but because

it has such an effect on the value of the bike

it is worthwhile calling the manufacturer to

see if there are any recorded repair quotes on

the system such as ‘uneconomical to repair’.

In some instances this can be because

there is a scratch on the frame and the

cost of replacing the frame is more than the

calculated value. There is nothing wrong with

purchasing a bike like this but the ‘comment’

has an effect on the value so ensure you do

not pay market related prices.

• Please remember that if the bike is a simple

repo, then often the owner did not have the

money to maintain the motorcycle. Look

for evidence of the selling dealer by way of

stickers and/or a key chain or service book

under the seat. Make sure there is some kind

of a service history.

• Check the engine carefully and especially

sign of track use, very often damaged

motorcycles are disposed of on auction.

Unfortunately many bikes are repossessed

because the owner might not have had

the money to repair them. Remember that

an auction and private sales ‘voetstoets’

still applies. Again, call the manufacturer or

dealers and try and establish if the mileage

is genuine. Often in accident damaged

motorcycles the instrument cluster would

have been replaced.

• If there is no key available and you are

unable to start the motorcycle, my advice

would be to stay away unless you are

purchasing it as a project and paying

accordingly.

• One of the biggest mistakes buyers at

auctions make is that they forget to calculate

the additional fees such as VAT, sellers

commission and buyer’s fees. These fees

can often add 20% to the price the hammer

drops at.

• Be wary of fake buyers bidding you up so

that you end up overpaying for the bike you

wanted. Set a max budget and do not be

tempted to go over this figure as emotions

run high at auctions.

• If you have never been to an auction before,

try and go to a couple first so that you get

a feel for the atmosphere. It’s important not

to get carried away on the day that you do

decide to buy.

I have customer examples where some

very special bikes have been bought for an

absolute song and of course many customers

come to us for help after buying a lemon.

Take your time to do your homework on the

bike that you want. If it goes over your budget

or is suspicious let it go, next week there will

be another bargain.


SPECIAL

BREED

Rob was sent to Redstar Raceway to get a taste of a very special Italian dish. A machine

that was cooked up specially to be a tasty treat out on track.

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus

We really are spoilt for choice when it

comes to top mechanics here in SA. We

have some of the world’s best who are

always cooking up masterful creations in

their race kitchens.

For this test, I managed to get my hands

on a very tasty looking Ducati racebike. Mile

Radovanovic is a top Ducati masterchef. He

has been the go-to man for Ducati servicing,

repairs and race builds since the beginning of

time. He decided to cook up something very

special, using a variety of recipes to produce

what might just be one of the best Italian

dishes to ever hit the racetrack here in SA.

Mile used ingredients he found lying

around his race kitchen. His aim was to

blend a bunch of Ducati pieces that he had

together and see what would happen. He

wanted to build a racebike with a difference

- a combination that had never been

attempted before. He took his previously

track-built Ducati 899 middle-weight racer

and spiced it up a bit. Actually a lot.

A mixed Italian dish

The bike you are looking at here is a

combination on many Ducati sportsbikes

from days gone by. The engine is from the

fi rst generation Panigale superbike, which

was released back in 2011, but this motor

is from a 2012 model. The rest of the bike

is made up primarily from the 899 Panigale,

which was released back in 2013. The

complete chassis is from a 2012 899 model,

so no single sided swingarm as used on the

bigger red machines.

It’s safe to say that the 1199 Panigale was

not a huge hit. While it looked gorgeous,

customers and press found it a bit lazy

engine wise and stubborn on the handling

side. The 899 was also met with mixed

reviews. Some loving it’s user friendly nature

while others wanted more power. This is what

sparked the idea for Mile to try something

different. He wanted to try combine the best

qualities of the two machines he had. More

power, better handling - that was his mission.

So, Mile went shopping at the market.

Not a cent was spared on this project. The

go-fast accessories list on this bike is very

special. Top ingredients such as BST carbon

wheels (Ducati 1098 front and 999 rear),

Braking after-market discs, Andreani fork kit,

Mupo rear shock, H20 radiator, Lightech rear

sets, lightweight fl y wheel and Lithium battery,

MotoMolders subframe and a Sprint air fi lter

were all installed. But wait, there’s more...

To help get more power out of the sluggish

1199 motor, Mile sourced some lightweight

pistons and a head gasket from the special

edition 1199 Superleggera machine, costing

around R30k. Flowed head, Carrillo rods

and a full Akro system also helped gain

some power, while a Rapid Bike EVO fuelling

system was added to help with the fuelling.

The ECU has been fl ashed and a Blip Box

installed to add auto-blip to the quick-shifter.

Front and rear sprockets were changed,

and an original Ducati race kit and race seat

were added to help fi nish off the bike.

70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 7 1


What’s it taste like?

I fi rst laid eyes on this dish at round one of the

SuperGP championship held at Zwartkops

earlier this year. While commentating, I noticed

a name I had not seen in years at the front of

the BOTTS (Battle of the Twins) class. James

Harper, Mile’s son, entered the race on the

special bike, and was right in the mix for the

win in both races. He picked up a 3rd place

fi nish in race one, having led most of the race,

and 2nd in race two after a hard fought battle

with two-time champ Thomas Brown.

After the days racing, at the prize giving, I

asked Mile about the bike James was racing.

This is when he told me about his tasty

creation, and the rest as they say is history.

Three weeks and a couple of whatsapp

messages later and I would fi nally get the

chance to taste this Italian dish.

After an hour briefi ng from Mile on everything

he had done to the bike, it was time for me

to head out on to the demanding Redstar

Racetrack - the perfect place to sample this

Italian dish. As I clicked the bike into gear, Mile

stopped me to tell me that the back brake is

not operated using the normal foot lever, but

rather a MotoGP/World SBK thumb operated

lever situated just under the left handlebar.

This intrigued me somewhat, as I have always

wanted to try one.

Heading out of pit lane and into the fi rst

tricky little chicane that is turn one, two and

three, I was almost blown off the bike when

accelerating onto the long straight. The power

delivery was insane. It put an instant smile

on my face and skid mark in my rods. Loads

more power than any 1199 I had ever tested.

In fact, more power than any Ducati I have ever

tested, other than the new V4. Mile’s creation

makes a stonking 184.74 HP and 124.82Nm

of torque on a Dynojet dyno, and I could feel

that those fi gures were not made up.

It launched out of every turn faster than a kid

out of an exam room. It’s power was relentless

all the way through to 10,500rpm, that’s when

the rev limiter kicked in. The gearing was not

100% spot on, so I found myself in-and-out of

gears due to the lack of rev range.

Mile’s race kitchen is called Moto Uno Racing,

and this is one very special dish he has created.

It has all the taste and texture you would expect

from a top Italian dish.

72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


The HP is up around 25hp from a

stock 1199 motor, making it even

better than the 1299 model.

It was seriously fast!

The brakes were sharper than a top chef’s

best knife, while the handling was direct and

very user-friendly, even though the setup

was not 100% spot on. There was a slight

disconnect between the front and rear of the

bike, nothing a bit of setup wouldn’t be able

to solve. This bike has only recently been

rolled out on track, so still some spices to be

added to make it the complete dish.

I was really enjoying the thumb operated

rear brake system. No wonder most MotoGP

and World SBK riders use it. So easy to

control, and Mile had it setup perfectly with

just the right amount of bite. I would use it

going into and through every turn, helping me

pull the bike back to the apex with ease, while

also acting as another traction control aid

exiting the turns.

It also worked as a perfect wheelie control

aid, which was a blessing, as the front end,

with all that power, just wanted to spend all

it’s time looking at the clouds.

The electronics package is standard from

the 1199 model, so traction control, engine

braking and the rest all worked like a charm.

Fully satisfied

Like a perfectly made Italian Lasagne, this

machine was mouthwateringly tasty, satisfying,

and left me wanting more - a perfect blend of all

that is good in Italian cuisine.

Mile proved that he is a true Masterchef

with this dish, and I for one hope that

there will be more fancy dishes

coming out of his race kitchen.

This thing had a

love affair with

the clouds.

REHAB Racing stand

for Red Eyed Hard

Assed BOTTS. Love it.

The sticker kit

design is simply

stunning, and

compliments the

bikes gorgeous lines

to perfection.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 73


RACING TOGETHER:

FROM A AND E TO PIZZA

Matthew Birt explores the life of the traveling city that is the MotoGP paddock.

For 18 weekends a year, over 3000

people gather from the four corners of

the globe to play their part in staging

the greatest motorsport show on earth.

And I’m privileged to say that since 1996 I

have been fortunate to be part of the unique

travelling circus that is the MotoGP World

Championship paddock.

With stopovers in five of the world’s

seven continents, the MotoGP paddock is a

portable city that never sleeps for one week.

And it boasts a truly international flavour,

with people from all walks of life united

in their passion for the pinnacle of World

Championship motorcycle racing.

A 30,000 square metre stretch of tarmac

is transformed into a place to eat, a place to

sleep, a place to meet and greet and a place

to relax and party.

The paddock is the vibrant and diverse

heartbeat of MotoGP where you can get your

hands on anything from pizza to plaster cast.

From surgeons to chefs, tyre fitters to

timekeepers and superstar riders to the

countless unsung heroes behind the scenes,

the MotoGP paddock is an incredibly closeknit

family.

And it doesn’t matter if you clean wheels

or negotiate multi-million dollar contracts for

a rider or the circuit promoter, every single

person is made to feel they make a valued

contribution to the sport.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 owner and

International Race Teams Association

President Herve Poncharal said: “The guy in

my hospitality who has to clean plates is just

as important to my organisation as my crew

chief in MotoGP because without them we

can’t be visible to the fans and our sponsors

and we can’t survive.”

Covering an area of close to five football

pitches, the paddock never fails to generate

an incomparable atmosphere that is hard to

replicate in any other sport.

It is an explosion of colour, cultures and

camaraderie.

Even after all my years of being part of

the paddock, I still feel like it is an attack on

the senses when you walk inside. There’s

the noise of the bikes being warmed-up,

the smell of sumptuous food drifting out

of hospitality unit, and the sight of fans

swarming around praying to catch a glimpse

of their idols.

The paddock is a place packed full of

gleaming race transporters, lavish hospitalities

serving Michelin star standard food and

palatial motorhomes that are like luxurious

seven-star hotels on wheels. It even has

its own mobile hospital in the shape of the

essential and acclaimed Clinica Mobile.

From broken bones to common colds, the

door is always open.

74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


And that’s what the paddock is about.

In the space of a few metres you can have

lucrative sponsorship deals being signed in

top secret behind closed doors, and then

see a delirious young fan beaming from ear

to eat just because they caught a glimpse of

Valentino Rossi or Marc Marquez.

The paddock creates memories to cherish

for a lifetime and the look on their faces of

those two boys when they finally prised that

knee slider off Redding’s leg took me back

to my childhood when I used to tear around

on a bicycle at my parents’ home in the heart

of England dreaming I was Barry Sheene or

Ron Haslam. I was exceptionally lucky when

fantasy became reality in my professional life

and I got to work with both in the paddock.

The paddock is such an enchanting place

to be because you can’t walk more than 10

meters without being reminded how weird

and wonderful people can be.

A personal favourite is one annual visitor to

Germany’s Sachsenring, who attends every

year with a different themed hat that features

moving riders and bikes!

Sometimes he starts working on his

millinery masterpieces three months in

advance of the race.

That’s commitment that extends way

beyond just buying a ticket to the race.

And there is an eccentric Spanish fan

in Jerez who spends all of his time in the

paddock dressed in bright orange overalls

making loud engine noises through a

megaphone strapped to his back.

Poncharal believes it is vital for the future

of MotoGP that a balance is maintained

between corporate professionalism for

sponsors and VIP guest and offering fans the

chance to get up close and personal with

their idols.

Long gone are the pre-Dorna days of

riders and teams frantically dashing from

one race to the next just to claim a pit box

or secure things taken for granted now like

an electricity and water supply. There are no

small vans and compact caravans battling for

space on grassy fields.

Nowadays, as many as 200 articulated

trucks are required to keep the show on the

road in Europe, and if you parked them nose

to tail they would cover a distance of almost

three miles!

Close to 50,000 guests pack into the

paddock in a single season. You can see

Hollywood A-list celebrities like Tom Cruise,

Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves indulging in their

two-wheeled passion.

But the aspect I love about the paddock,

which is a unique selling point for MotoGP,

is that the inner sanctum is not an exclusive

playground reserved just for the rich and

famous.

I recall bike-mad Reeves visiting the

Circuit of the Americas in Texas in 2015 and

inevitably there was a huge clamour from fans

to get an autograph or photograph.

No more than 60 seconds later, I turned

round to see two young fans stopping Scott

Redding and getting permission from the

British rider to tear a knee slider off his leathers.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 75


“A huge part of a race weekend is the

good atmosphere that is created in the

paddock and we don’t want to lose this. We

can see with events like Day of Champions

at the British Grand Prix how important it is

to keep the fans as close to the teams and

riders as possible. They want to meet their

heroes and see the bike and it is great to be

associated with MotoGP when you see the

reaction of people when they meet the stars.

They have sparkle in their eyes and it is vital

we keep that accessibility because without

their support we wouldn’t have the great

sport we have now,“ said Poncharal.

I recall not so long ago that the factories

requested restricted access to the hospitality

area to try and make it more exclusive.

It didn’t work. The feel good factor

vanished and the atmosphere felt fl at. It was

then you realised how essential it was to

ensure the paddock remained accessible.

There is nothing better than being in the

hospitality area in the evening. Throngs of

people are drinking and joking outside as

the sun is setting and it feels like 20 parties

have converged to create one big carnival

atmosphere.

One fond memory in the paddock was

on one scorching hot day in August in Brno.

‘Ferragosto’ is a religious national holiday in

Italy, and a tradition to mark the occasion is

to throw buckets of water over unsuspecting

victims. Rossi was one of the biggest

ringleaders and nobody escaped. Rivals,

senior management, and fans all got soaked.

I think it is in times of great adversity you

really get an understanding of how big the

sense of community inside the MotoGP

paddock is.

How the paddock responded to the

tragic death of Marco Simoncelli perfectly

demonstrated how rivalry quickly evaporates

in times of grief.

I remember standing outside the media

centre at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia

watching Kevin Schwantz ride Simoncelli’s

Honda around the circuit, with every single

rider from all three classes behind him.

I had a lump in my throat. Partially in

mourning the loss of such a bright talent and

charismatic person as Simoncelli. But partly

because the MotoGP paddock

had come together in one of its darkest

hours to show to the world what unity,

respect and dignity is all about.

Even after more than two decades

spent in the paddock, I still feel like a kid on

Following the release of Dorna Sports’ Racing Together book

dedicated to the history of the MotoGP World Championship, we

will be running some of the features contributed by some of the

paddocks top journalists.

Racing Together is an eye-catching book that tells the story

of World Championship motorcycle racing with particular

emphasis on the past 25 years and the role of Dorna, the

international sports management and marketing group. Spainbased

Dorna became involved in motorcycle racing in 1992

and set about stabilising the ailing World Championship, which

had run since 1949, and introducing a new era of direction

and harmony, and of sporting and commercial success.

The effect of Dorna’s efforts is abundantly apparent in the

present-day stature of MotoGP throughout the world. In this

book the world’s best motorcycle-racing authors tell the entire

story – of the racing itself and the Dorna backdrop to it – of

those 25 years in a lively style that will appeal not only to those

involved professionally in the sport but also its millions of fans

world-wide.

• The Dorna story, written by Dennis Noyes, is a remarkable

behind-the-scenes insight, especially into those early days

embracing the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme),

Christmas morning when I arrive for race day

on Sunday.

You feel part of something momentous,

you feel the tension, you feel the anticipation,

and you feel honoured to be so intimately

involved.

There’s a famous saying about there being

no place like home. Since 1996, the MotoGP

paddock has been my second home. I’ve

loved every second I’ve spent there and there

truly is no place like it on earth.

IRTA (International Road Racing Teams Association) and MSMA

(Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association). The stories of the

battles, the money and the involvement of Bernie Ecclestone are

brilliantly divulged by the key players.

• The 25-year period from 1992 to 2016 is divided into five main

chapters about the sport, each written by a leading journalist.

• The sporting chapters each cover a five-year period, as

follows, with the first World Champion of each period named:

Wayne Rainey (1992–1996), Mick Doohan (1997–2001),

Valentino Rossi (2002–2006), Casey Stoner (2007–2011) and

Jorge Lorenzo (2012–2017).

• A section called ‘Battles and battlegrounds’ relives some of

the greatest moments of the past 25 years.

• Important national stories also have their own chapters,

covering the history of racing in Britain, Spain, Japan, Italy, the

United States, Australia, Germany and France.

• Technical perspective comes from renowned technical writer

Kevin Cameron.

For more, check out Racing Together, which is available at Evro

Publishing.

76 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2018


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