RideFast September 2018


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The Blues

A New


Exclusive MotoGP columnist Matt

Birt talks about the problems at

Yamaha MotoGP and Vinales 212hp CBR1000RR in 2019?


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Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

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Gerrit Erasmus

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Niel Philipson

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Mieke Oelofsen

Greg Moloney

Copyright © RideFast Magazine

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It’s not easy putting this magazine together every

month. Deadlines are hard and this month it was

made even harder with the arrival of my beautiful baby

girl right smack bang in the middle of deadline.

On Friday the 17th of August at 2.30pm, myself and

my wife Amy welcomed our second child to the world.

Baby Nova Layn was born a healthy 3.140kgs adding

the fi nal touch to my perfect family. It has been a huge

adjustment having two kids, as I’m sure all you parents

out there know, but we are loving our pigeon pair and

look forward to a long and healthy life together. Big

thanks to all my family, friends and readers for all the

kind messages.

I type this ed’s column after just getting home from my

recent trip to Port Elizabeth, for the penultimate round

of the 2018 SuperGP championship held at the Aldo

Scribante circuit. This time I was not going down to just

commentate alongside Greg Moloney, but would also

be taking part in the racing action.

Aldo Scribante has always been my favourite circuit in

SA and I’m sure you have been reading about our long

term KTM 1290 Super Duke R and how we have been

getting it ready for me to race in the BOTTS class. I did

so with great effect and a little oopsy thrown into the

mix. I will be doing a full run down of not only the racing

I did but also all the mods we have made on the bike in

next months issue.

I will say that I had an absolute blast and racing with

and hanging out with the BOTTS guys was loads of fun

and I look forward to doing it again soon.

Sticking with the SuperGP series, we have a round-up

of the racing action from PE, where a new champion

was crowned. Michael White took both race wins and

the title on the day and we as RideFast are proud to be

associated with Michael and his team and congratulate

him on his fi rst SA title. Let’s just hope now that he can

get a solid ride overseas, as he has proven that he has

the talent, having not only won the title here, but also

recently picked up a 3rd place fi nish over in Italy in the

Yamaha R1 Cup fi rst time out.

Our resident MotoGP columnist, Mr Matt Birt, touches

on the problems at Yamaha MotoGP and what is going

on with Vinales in particular. It doesn’t look to be healthy

in the Yamaha camp and while Rossi still seems to have

some fi ght left in him and is trying to make the best out

of a tough situation, Vinales looks to have given up and

rather laying all the blame solely on Yamaha. I agree that

Yamaha need to pull up their socks and iron out the

problems, but for me Vinales could be doing a bit more.

Week in and week out he is being out-performed by his

39 year old teammate and in my eyes that should not

be happening.

The bigger picture problem I see for Yamaha is who will

be replacing Rossi and potentially Vinales in the factory

team? They have stupidly let Zarco go to KTM and

lost out on the signature of Joan Mir. Their new satellite

team, SIC, have just announced their rider line-up for

2019 as Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. I can’t

see either of them really making a big enough impact

to warrant the factory ride. I could be wrong though, as

they are both big talents and Rossi would love nothing

more than to see one of his academy riders, Morbidelli,

take his spot in the factory team.

One names that could potentially make the move is

Luca Marini, half brother to Vale, who has shown some

great form of late. How fi tting would that be if he were to

replace Rossi?

Other news from the MotoGP paddock is that

Crutchlow has just signed a 2-year extension with HRC

as a factory supported rider, which I think is great. Cal

has gone on record as saying that it could be his last

two years racing in MotoGP and that he could call it a

day after the 2020 season.

We also catch up with my mate Sheridan Morais

who talks about his Kawasaki WSS ride, his Moto2

experience and future plans. Was great seeing Shez in

the Moto2 class, albeit on a non-competitive bike but

nevertheless he was there and there could be a bigger

picture involved so let’s keep our fi ngers crossed.

The cover story and main test for this month is another

SA exclusive. I managed to get my hands of one of the

three BMW HP4 Race machines that have so far made

their way into SA. Harry Timmerman is the proud owner

and very kindly let me ride his bike around RSR. What

an amazing machine it is. This was the second time I

got to test the Bavarian beast, fi rst time in SA, and was

once again just blown away by the relentless power

and tech that it possesses. Big thanks to Harry, Ryan

Shapiro from Race Shop, Northside BMW and Pirelli

tyres for making the test possible.

Ok, so it’s now time for me to try and get some sleep

before one of my babies wake up wanting some


Oh yes, also look out for the amazing competition we

are running in this issue and over the next 3 months,

where you could win one of 9 Scorpion helmets.

I thank each and every one of you for your continued

support and if you are reading the mag for the fi rst time

welcome and I hope you enjoy!

Until next month, ride safe!


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More Power

2019 Honda Fireblade

Honda’s next-generation Fireblade will take a bow at this

November’s EICMA show in Milan according to sources

close to the company in Japan. And when it does the firm

is hoping it will demolish the competition thanks to a

massive boost in power compared to the current model.

The current Blade’s 189hp output is already

a signifi cant bump over its predecessor and

for realists isn’t likely to leave you crying

out for more. However, in a world where its

rivals are regularly passing the 200hp mark

Honda has apparently decided it’s time to

up its game.

And it’s going to do it by a big margin

if our Japanese information is correct.

Insiders say the next Blade is already well

advanced in its testing and makes an

incredible 212hp. That’s only 2hp down

on the current superbike top-dog, Ducati’s

Panigale V4.

Details on how that power is achieved

are sketchy at best, but given that the

foundations of the current Blade’s engine

and chassis can be traced back to the

2008 model, it’s likely that we’ll see a

completely new engine design.

We will certainly see a new frame.

According to our source, the next-gen

Blade features a central air duct on its nose

and a hollowed-out headstock to allow

the intake air to run straight through it. It’s

a technique that most of its rivals already

use, and has proven advantages in terms

of routing high-pressure air to the airbox.

Honda made the same change to the

CBR600RR back in 2007, so is more than

familiar with the idea and knows how to

make it work.

What the Blade won’t get – despite what

you might read elsewhere – is a V4 engine.

While Honda has been working on a

V4 superbike, potentially to be called

‘RVF1000’, it’s a completely separate

project and at the moment we still don’t

know for certain whether it’s been green-lit

for production. Patents fi led for the new V4

over the last couple of years have shown it

to use a semi-monocoque-framed design,

similar to Ducati’s Panigale, allied to a

version of the RC213V-S’s MotoGP-derived

engine. Those patents explain that the new

New CBR1000RR? New RVF1000 V4?

chassis – made of cast aluminium – would

radically ease mass production and reduce

costs compared to the original, painfully

expensive RC213V-S.

However, the incredible 212hp power fi gure

that our Japanese sources claim for the

new Fireblade’s inline-four engine might

just be a indirect confi rmation that the V4 is

coming. Why? Because it’s hard to believe

Honda will be able to make so much power

from a mass-made, affordable, road-legal,

1000cc engine. The closest any rival comes

to that fi gure is the 214hp Ducati Panigale

V4, which has the advantage of an 1103cc

motor rather than a mere 1000cc.

We’re getting into the realms of speculation

here, but if Honda has given its longrumoured

V4-engined ‘RVF1000’ superbike

the go-ahead, it will put the fi rm back in the

position it was in when the original Fireblade

was launched back in 1992. The key to the

original Blade’s astounding performance

was the 893cc inline-four engine, which

was made possible because Honda already

had the V4-powered RC30 as its WSB

contender. Freed from the need to comply

with racing rules, Honda’s engineers – led,

of course, by Tadao Baba – were able to

create the Blade without worrying about

adding a few cc to its capacity.

If there’s a V4-engined superbike waiting in

the wings to take on WSB duties, the nextgen

Blade could easily be an 1100cc or even

1200cc bike; giving a power and torque

advantage over its 1000cc rivals without

adding much physical size or weight.

One piece of information that goes against

that theory, but doesn’t completely

annihilate it, is word from Japan that there

will still be higher-spec ‘SP1’ and ‘SP2’

versions of the next-generation Fireblade. In

the current range, those are the machines

intended to homologate higher-spec

components for racing, particularly the

limited-run SP2. But the mass-made SP1

has proved a sales success too, matching

the base model in terms of numbers sold.

According to our Japanese sources, the

next-gen bike’s SP2 version will be even

more exotic than the existing one, with

a full carbon-fi bre fairing and all-titanium


The next-gen Blade is set to appear at

EICMA this November, if our information

is correct. That show comes shortly after

Honda’s 70th anniversary as a company. It

was incorporated on 24 September 1948,

and it’s long been rumoured that there

will be at least some special new models

released to mark the occasion.

Let’s hope Honda fi nally release some jaw




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Suzuki GSX-R1000R

in Classic Race colours

Suzuki may produce a limited number of the race replica

livery GSX-R1000R depending on interest and feedback.

Team Classic Suzuki has unveiled a one-off

Suzuki GSX-R1000R in classic retro race

colours inspired by the design of the early

Suzuki GSX-R750, most notably with the

blue stripes across the fairing. The GSX-

R1000R Team Classic Suzuki replica gets

the same livery and sponsor graphics on

the fairings, including title sponsor Suzuki

Vintage Parts. The bike also gets a number

of genuine accessory parts, including

brake and clutch lever guards, engine

case savers, carbon frame cover, pillion

seat cowl, fuel cap trim, carbon air intakes,

double bubble screen, axle sliders and

paddock stand bobbins.

For now, the Team Classic Suzuki GSX-

R1000R is a one-off example, but reports

suggest that Suzuki will consider market

feedback and a limited edition model may

be considered for production. Team Classic

Suzuki is the UK-based classic race team

of the Japanese brand, using earlier Suzuki

models in various classic endurance races.

Troy Bayliss’ Ducati Panigale V4S

sold for record 139,000 Dollars

As usual, for the 2018 edition of World

Ducati Week a host of bike racing

champions were on site to thrill the

crowds: Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge

Lorenzo, Danilo Petrucci and Troy

Bayliss. Thirteen in all, the champions

got to race on specially designed

Panigale V4S motorcycles.

After the conclusion of the event, the

bikes were posted for sale on eBay and,

says Ducati, all got sold for good money.

Troy Bayliss’ ride was the most sought

after, managing to sell for $139,000

(R1,930m) after what Ducati describes to

have been a hard-fought auction.

“The fondness and esteem that Ducatisti

still nurture for Troy Bayliss, a true Ducati

icon, three-times winner of the World

SBK Championship and recently (at

the age of 49) winner of an SBK race

in Australia on a Ducati Panigale, are

impressive,” said Ducati in a statement.

The motorcycles ridden by Dovizioso,

Melandri, Lorenzo, Pirro, and Petrucci

found new owners for sums between

$46,000 and $72,200.

There were in all 7,084 bids coming from

1,516 people from all over the world for

the bikes. That makes an average of 116

people battling to get ownership of each

of the motorcycles.

Each of the bikes sold featured livery

and graphics dedicated to their

individual rider and colour schemes

drawing inspiration from the bikes

used in MotoGP or SBK races. On the

steering yoke sits a plaque with the

rider’s name and race number, complete

with his autograph in indelible ink.

The bikes were sold on eBay complete

with a set of original parts, exhausts

included, required for legal road use.


2019 Kawasaki ZX-6R – details leaked

It’s been revealed that Kawasaki will be launching a revamped ZX-6R for 2019 and now detailed

specifications for the new bike including its power, weight, dimensions and top speed have been leaked.

On the face of the bare fi gures, things

aren’t going in the right direction. Next

year’s bike will be fractionally less powerful

than the old one. It’s also a bit heavier and,

as a result, it’s slower, too.

But before you throw your hands up in

disgust and declare that the golden era of

motorcycling is now fi rmly behind us, it’s

worth delving into a little more detail.

The 2019 ZX-6R – which is still offi cially a

secret, of course – has been betrayed by

two sets of offi cial documentation now. Its

initial existence emerged when Kawasaki

fi led emissions certifi cation paperwork in

California. Those documents confi rmed

that it’s sticking to its class-busting 636cc

capacity but that the 2019 bike’s emissions

would be halved thanks to the addition of a

three-way, closed-loop catalytic converter

in place of the two-way oxidising cat used

on the old model.

Unfortunately, that document didn’t reveal

the effects of the changes other than the

emissions fi gures.

Now, though, we’ve caught sight of

European type-approval certifi cation for the

2019 bike, and that’s much more revealing.

It tells us that the new, cleaner engine

makes a peak of 128hp at 13,500rpm.

In comparison, the old model achieved

129hp at the same revs. That’s a lot better

than the 2017 Yamaha R6, currently the

only four-cylinder 600 supersports machine

to meet Euro4 limits, which lost 5hp (going

from 122hp to 117hp) in its efforts to hit the

emissions targets. With some 11hp more

than the Yamaha – a lot more than its 37cc

capacity advantage alone can account for

– the 2019 ZX-6R might be a much more

compelling proposition.

In terms of weight, the Yamaha has

the upper hand. It gained 1kg in its

transformation from Euro3 to Euro4, going

from 189kg (wet) to 190kg. In comparison,

the old model ZX-6R, if specifi ed with the

optional ABS brakes, was 194kg and

the 2019 version will be 196kg thanks to

its heftier catalytic converter. All fi gures

are complete with a full tank of fuel. The

implication of these numbers is that the

2019 ZX-6R’s frame, like its basic engine

design, is going to be largely unchanged.

In terms of performance, the addition

of 2kg and loss of 1hp shouldn’t be too

signifi cant. But top speed fi gures for the

2019 ZX-6R hint that there may be

additional sacrifi ces in terms of


For a clear comparison,

Kawasaki will handily be making

a restricted 96hp version of

the bike to be offered in certain

markets. It also made a 98hp

edition of the old-model

ZX-6R. Since weight

has little bearing on

top speed, we can

assume that any

difference between

the old 72kW

machine and the


2019 model is likely

to be down to aero

changes. And there

is a difference – the

old version



while next year’s bike is rated at 242kmh.

That’s a pretty small change, but the

chasm grows much larger when we look

at the unrestricted versions. The old bike

in 129hp form managed 260km/h but the

new 128hp 2019 model can muster a mere


That can’t be purely down to the drop in

power or a loss of aerodynamic effi ciency,

given the similarity in performance for the

restricted versions of the bikes. So logically

it makes sense that Kawasaki has altered

the 2019 model’s gearing, sacrifi cing a

top speed that barely anyone will use for

livelier acceleration across the performance

spectrum. If that’s the case, next year’s bike

may well feel faster than the old model,

even if it’s heavier and less powerful.

The performance fi gures point at a change

to the fairing, and it makes sense that

Kawasaki will give the ZX-6R a new look.

It’s a near-certainty that the restyle will

take its cues from the Ninja H2, which has

already infl uenced the most recent addition

to Kawasaki’s sports bike range, the Ninja

400. If the ZX-6R takes the same path,

expect to see reverse-raked headlights and

a jutting spoiler below them.

Offi cially-homologated dimensions certainly

prove that the bodywork is changing,

since the 2019 bike will be wider than the

old model (710mm vs 705mm), shorter

(2025mm vs 2085mm) and lower (1100mm

vs 1115mm). It also has a fractionally longer

wheelbase at 1400mm compared to the

old bike’s 1395mm, but chain adjustment

– and perhaps a different front and rear

sprockets to alter that top speed – may

well account for that.

All will be revealed, of course, when the

2019 ZX-6R makes its offi cial debut, but

that isn’t expected to be until October or

November this year.


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Ninja H2 gets more power

The Kawasaki Ninja H2 is already a beast of a motorcycle and for the

next year, this supercharged hypersport is getting a bevy of updates.

While it still looks very much like the old

model, there are some changes that

have been made for the 2019 bike.

The biggest change will be the power

output, with Kawasaki bumping the H2

from 200hp to 231hp, all of which while

keeping the bike’s Euro4 compliance

rating and current fuel efficiency rating.

The power increase comes from

technology developed for the Kawasaki

Ninja H2 SX sport-tourer. Namely, the

H2 gets a new air filter, intake chamber,

spark plugs, and ECU. The 2019

Kawasaki Ninja H2 does not get the

SX’s balanced supercharger, however.

Other changes include the use of

Bridgestone RS11 tyres, as well as

Brembo’s new Stylema calipers, which

first debuted on the Ducati Panigale V4

superbike, and offer superior cooling to

the outgoing Brembo M50 calipers.

Beyond the mechanical changes, the

updated H2 also gets a new TFT dash

that includes bluetooth connectivity. The

Kawasaki Ninja H2 also gets new paint…

and before you laugh and say “bold new

graphics”, hear us out on this one.

The paint that Kawasaki is using is “selfhealing”

paint, and with a little time at

warm ambient temperatures, the paint

can “heal” minor scratches and scuffs.

This special paint was developed

in-house at Kawasaki, and the

Japanese manufacturer says it is

superior to similar paints used in

the automotive sector. Certainly,

interesting stuff.

Lastly, Kawasaki is debuting a

“Rideoloy” app for the H2, which

shows basic vehicle information,

like fuel level, battery condition,

riding log, and service interval updates.

Two futures for Ducati says VW

The CEO of the Volkswagen Group, the parent company of Ducati Motor

Holdings, has outlined two possible futures for Ducati, including making

it a multi-brand marquee.

Will Ducati be sold after all? That is

the question that has cropped up

once again, after several rumours

and speculations of the Italian brand’s

imminent sale over the past year or so.

And now, rumours of the sale of Ducati

have again re-surfaced, and this time,

thanks to the comments of Volkswagen

AG CEO Herbert Diess to Bloomberg TV.

The Volkswagen Group owns Ducati, and

the comments of Diess don’t specifically

say that the Italian brand will be up for

sale, but he doesn’t rule out the sale of

the brand altogether as well.

Volkswagen has been reeling from losses

in billions of Euros after the ‘dieselgate’

scandal of 2015, and it’s been widely

reported that the firm has been planning

to sell off some of its assets, including its

motorcycle brand, Ducati. While those

plans seemed to have been cancelled

last year, the latest comments have once

again sparked speculation that Ducati

may be up for sale after all.

“Either we find a way forward for Ducati,

which provides some growth,” and

expand the brand, “or we have to look for

a new ownership”, implying that Ducati

may be up for sale once again. And

another statement from the Volkswagen

Group not ruling out divestments in

“non-core businesses” have only sparked

more fire to the speculation about

Ducati’s sale once again.

But if Ducati is indeed up for sale,

which companies have the capability

and capital to manage and own such

an iconic brand? As in the past, two

rapidly growing two-wheeler companies

are best suited to have Ducati in their

portfolio, and both are of Indian origin.

The first - Hero MotoCorp, is the world’s

largest two-wheeler manufacturer by

volume, and acquiring a brand like

Ducati will only increase Hero’s brand

equity in the global stage.

The other important brand is also Indian,

and is none other than Royal Enfield,

which will soon enter the premium

middleweight market with its two

brand new offerings - the Royal Enfield

Interceptor 650 and the Continental

GT 650. An acquisition of a brand like

Ducati will only strengthen Royal Enfield’s

aspirations to be a significant and strong

global player in the motorcycle market. All

this of course, is still speculation, and it

remains to be seen if Ducati, considered

the most valuable motorcycle brand in

the world, will get a new buyer after all.

But if it does happen, it will involve quite a

bit of capital, and could possibly become

one of the biggest acquisitions in the

history of motorcycles.


Ducati looking to spice things up?

Ducati likely to partner Hero MotoCorp for a 300 cc motorcycle.

According to reports, the Italian bikemaker Ducati could partner with

Hero MotoCorp to develop 300 cc single-cylinder motorcycles.

Hero MotoCorp could be the latest among

Indian two-wheeler giants to tie up with a

global sportsbike maker. There’s talk of a

small capacity, 300cc Ducati sportsbike

and Hero MotoCorp is likely to be the local

partner that the Italian sportsbike maker

is expected to approach. This is because

the other leading Indian two wheeler giants

such as Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors are

already in similar tie-ups.

In this set-up, Hero MotoCorp will bring its

low cost, high quality manufacturing set-up

to the fore, and the company’s factories in

India could serve as a global production

hub for the new, 300cc entry level Ducati

sportsbike. In exchange, Ducati is likely to

provide cutting edge technology and its

MotoGP honed engineering expertise for

the new motorcycle platform.

As is the case with Bajaj-KTM and TVS-

BMW Motorrad, the new 300cc entry

level sportsbike platform from Hero Ducati

could result in both Hero MotoCorp and

Ducati branding, selling and servicing their

motorcycles through separate outlets.

What we’re likely to see is both Hero

and Ducati branded, 300cc premium

motorcycles. More details about this tie-up

is likely to surface in the coming months.

Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest two

wheeler maker, even bigger than Honda.

However, the two-wheeler giant has been

mainly focusing on commuter segments,

with little or no presence in the premium

bike space. A tie-up with Ducati will open

up Hero MotoCorp’s horizons and help it

get a foothold in the high margin premium

motorcycle space. For Ducati, a tie-up

with Hero will open up one of the world’s

largest two-wheeler market and also give it

very attractive cost savings for motorcycle


KTM has tied up with Bajaj, and produces

all of its small capacity sub-400cc bikes

such as the Duke 125, 200, 250 and

390 in India. The same is the case with

the KTM RC 125, 200, 250 and 390. In

exchange, Bajaj has received the engine

platform for the Pulsar NS200 and Dominar

range of motorcycles. TVS builds the

BMW Motorrad G 310R and G 310GS

motorcycles in India, and has received

technology for use in the Apache RR310.

As is evident, such tie-ups are win-win for

both parties.

Linex Yamaha in

Randburg expands

Massive renovations and upgrades

happening at Linex Yamaha in

Randburg. All business has been

moved to the lower level of the building

and is operating as normal. Be on the

look out for a brand new and improved

Linex shopping experience!

13 Malibongwe Dr, Strydompark,

Randburg. 011 251 4000

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three sets of new Q3+ tyres!

Are you in need of a new set of top quality tyres for

your sportsbike? Well then this is for you.

Dunlop SA will be giving away 3 sets of their new

premium sports tyre - the Q3+ plus.

All you have to do is go and like the Dunlop SA

Facebook page and keep a look out for competition

details. The competition will run over the next 4

months so make sure you keep your eyes pealed to

their Facebook page.


New Faces at Honda Wing Zambezi

Milden Lurie and “Boog” Jarrad

Goetsch, the man behind the revival

MX motorsport team, are the friendly

faces at BB Zambezi Honda. They

have already made a big impact

on Honda dirt bike sales with their

involvement in the national MX series.

Lots of plans are afoot to put the

Honda brand back where it should be

in SA. Friendly fresh faces who love

motorcycles and have some great

ideas… we need more of those in this

game for sure!

Honda Wing Zambezi: (012) 523-9500




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Harley-Davidson look to

the future with new range

Concept Adventure

Harley-Davidson Developing New, Liquid-Cooled Models for

Adventure and Naked Segments. Electric bike also on its way

Harley Davidson has announced a big

push into new market segments with

modular liquid-cooled engines. Sixteen

new bikes will utilize the new 60° v-twins

in displacements of 500cc, 750cc, 975cc,

and 1250cc. These will be DOHC designs,

so expect modern, competitive levels of

horsepower and torque.

Pictured here are a couple of prototypes

shown by Harley of a new adventure model

called the Pan America, displacing 1250cc,

as well as a Cruiser called Custom with

same motor and a Streetfighter displacing

975cc. Harley expects these to be

introduced as 2020 models.

Harley also emphasized the importance

of electric models in its future - the 2019

LiveWire. An entire “family of products” in

the EV category will range all the way down

to bicycles.

“Traditional” cruiser models will continue

to be developed. Here is a summary from

Harley-Davidson of its future plans:

It’s a fast-changing world with new

consumer demands. Alongside our existing

loyal riders, we will lead the next revolution

of two-wheeled freedom to inspire future

riders who have yet to even think about the

thrill of riding.


We are planning our most comprehensive

lineup of motorcycles. Highlights include:

• Extending the company’s leadership in

heavyweight motorcycles by continuing to

develop improved, more technologicallyadvanced

Touring and Cruiser motorcycles

that will keep existing Harley-Davidson

riders engaged and riding longer.

• Introducing a new modular 500cc

to 1250cc middleweight platform of

motorcycles that spans three distinct

product spaces and four displacements,

starting with the company’s first Adventure

Touring motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson

Pan America 1250, a 1250cc Custom

model and a 975cc Streetfighter model, all

of which are planned to launch beginning

in 2020. Additional models to broaden

coverage in these product spaces will follow

through 2022.

• Developing a more accessible,

small-displacement (250cc to 500cc)

motorcycle for Asia emerging markets

through a planned strategic alliance with

a manufacturer in Asia. This new product

and broader distribution is intended to fuel

Harley-Davidson’s customer access and

growth in India, one of the largest, fastest

growing markets in the world, and other

Asia markets.

• Leading the electric motorcycle market

by launching Harley-Davidson’s first electric

motorcycle, LiveWire, in 2019 — the first in

a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio

of electric two-wheelers designed to

establish the company as the leader in the

electrification of the sport. LiveWire will be

followed by additional models through 2022

to broaden the portfolio with lighter, smaller

and even more accessible product options

to inspire new riders with new ways to ride.


We plan to advance our market delivery

approach and meet today’s customer

needs by:

• Creating high-engagement customer

experiences across all retail channels

– including improving and expanding

the company’s global digital capabilities

by evolving the Harley-Davidson.com

experience to integrate with and enhance

the dealership retail experience for existing

and new customers.

• Establishing strategic alliances with global

leading e-commerce providers to extend

access to Harley-Davidson to a pool of

millions of potential new customers.

• New retail formats — including smaller,

urban storefronts globally to expose the

brand to urban populations and drive sales

of the expanded Harley-Davidson product

portfolio and expand international apparel


Concept Custom Cruiser



Electric LiveWire


Our world-class dealer network is an

integral part of the company’s accelerated

strategy and critical to overall success. We

will implement a performance framework

to significantly enhance the strength of

the dealer network and the customer

experience, enabling the best-performing

and most entrepreneurial dealers to drive

innovation and success for themselves and

Harley-Davidson — while providing the

premium customer experience the brand

is known for across an increasingly diverse

product and customer base.


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* Figures based on 15,5% interest x 60 months.

T&Cs apply. Instalments include VAT, license

and registration. Excludes insurance. E&OE.


New IRC Radial Master Cyclinder

IRC Components Italy “M-Spec” 19x19 Brake Radial

Master Cylinder is internally CNC Machined for Increased

Braking, Feel, and Durability. Produced in Italy by a

25-year motorcycle braking systems technician with

experience in the highest level braking systems used in

World Superbike and MotoGP. For Trackday Riders and

Racers looking for the Highest Feel and Stopping Power

without paying a fortune for a Brembo 19mm RCS Radial

Brake Master Cylinder or Brembo Front Brake Master

Cylinder or compared to a lesser performing 19x18

Accosato Master Cylinder! Includes a Titanium M10x1.0

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The IRC Components 19x19 Master Cylinder has more

brake feel than a traditional 19x18 setup, more brake

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lever to achieve maximum braking power. It is incredible

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RK GXW chains

RK’s GXW series chains are the top of the line extreme

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The leading edge XW-ring seal is made of an advanced

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Prices include VAT and pre-delivery inspection only. Prices exclude licence, registration and any service costs unless specified.

Prices are correct at the time of going to print and may change without notice due to currency fluctuations or at dealers who are

located in outer-lying areas. All advertised models are available at the time of going to print unless specified.

Updated Yamaha YZF-R3 in 2019?

It looks like the Yamaha YZF-R3 will get a refresh for the 2019 model year,

as photos of the bike – complete with a facelift – have surfaced.

The new design brings the R3 closer into the

rest of Yamaha’s supersport family, particularly

with an intake shape that looks inspired by the

Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike.

There is a split on rumours as to whether

the rest of the machine will get an update

as well, specifi cally the frame and engine,

though we can expect some some minor

refi nements to the overall package, no

matter what the case may be on that front.

LED headlights and lighting all around have

been tipped, and we wouldn’t be surprised

to see an updated dash as well.

The Yamaha YZF-R3 has been a popular

pick in the small-displacement category,

with the Japanese brand predicting the

trend in the space well, namely the rise of

twin-cylinder engines and larger than 300cc


The 321cc parallel-twin engine on the

R3 competes very well against the KTM

RC390 and Kawasaki Ninja 300, though

this space is rapidly evolving.

KTM has been offering more

potent versions of the RC390

to racers and Kawasaki has

lived by the old adage of

“there’s no replacement like

displacement” in creating the

Kawasaki Ninja 400.

This could see Yamaha left

behind for the 2019 model

year, as a simple cosmetic

refresh of the YZF-R3

might not keep the Yamaha

relevant in this important


As such, we hope we are

wrong in our hearing that

the chassis, and more

importantly the engine, go unchanged for

next year. No one wants to bring a 300cc

bike to a 400cc battle.

If Yamaha does overhaul the YZF-R3 and

turn it into the YZF-R4, that would certainly

help them compete with the offerings

from KTM and Kawasaki – where are you

Honda and Suzuki??? – though wonder

how much further this displacement creep

can go.

IRC Quickshifters

IRC Components Up & Auto-Blipping

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750 / 1200 and Caponard with “Strain

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state-of-the-art load cell sensor with both

right and left dual “Magic” threads”. The

IRC Components ELECTRONIC quickshifter

has a major advantage over other

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that can lead to a loss of traction or

change in the bikes trajectory (this means

you can up-shift or down-shift while

cornering). Adjustable pre-load settings

(via Two-Buttons on Unit) allow the rider

to customize six (7) settings making shifts

seamless and smooth versus “switch

units” which can be harsh: 1. Cut Time

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Available for most makes and model

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Sunoco race fuel available from

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In this issue we test the BMW HP4 Race bike,

so we needed to get some race fuel for the test.

Race Hop out in Vanderbijlpark sell top-grade

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Brought to you by



Tensions between Ducati factory riders Jorge

Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso have fl ared up

once more after the return from the MotoGP

season’s summer break.

Lorenzo, who joined the team last year and

will leave for Honda in 2019, had accused

team-mate Dovizioso of “trying to undermine”

him earlier this year.

Dovizioso - who outperformed the Spaniard

last year and enjoyed a vastly better start in

2018 - said Lorenzo’s approach “didn’t work”

at Ducati.

And while a rough patch for Dovizioso,

who came good at Brno, coupled with

breakthrough back-to-back wins for Lorenzo

in Mugello and Barcelona and the recent

stunner in Austria has now seen Lorenzo

leap-frog Dovi in the standings, Dovizioso

refused to back down from his claim when

speaking to Spanish sports daily Marca

ahead of the Brno race.

“He’s won two races,” Dovizioso said.

“Winning two races does not solve the

problem of a year and a half.

“Lorenzo was not signed to win two races.

Therefore I do not change my mind.”

When the comments were put to Lorenzo,

the three-time champion said Dovizioso’s

rhetoric was proof of the claim he’d made

back in April.

“I’m a bit fed up with this situation, mainly

because when I had trouble and he was

winning, I was down there applauding,”

Lorenzo told Spanish broadcaster Movistar.

“What I said in Argentina - and the comments

caused a big surprise - you can see that I

was right.

“He tried to undermine me, or downplay what

I achieve or just attack me. As you can see, I

wasn’t lying. He’s still doing it and now he says

my method is not good, according to him.”

Lorenzo intimated that Dovizioso was in no

position to criticise him, as the Italian could do

no better than runner-up to Marc Marquez in

a ‘perfect’ 2017 season.

He said: “I think my method has not worked

too bad in my career. I’ve won three MotoGP

titles and have 47 wins.

“In my second year in Ducati I’m usually

faster than him, but maybe I should look at

his method closer if in his best season, with

everything going perfectly, he was second.

Otherwise he’s fourth or seventh usually.

“I’d tell him to leave me to go my way and

to focus on his own and everything will be

better, because when you have an angry

Lorenzo it’s usually worse for you.”

Responding to Lorenzo’s tirade, Dovizioso

sought to play down the confl ict.

“Jorge has his ideas and I think they are

based on particular things. I don’t think like

him, but it’s not a problem,” he told Movistar.

“Everybody creates their own ideas based on

what they see and how they live.

“I don’t think he has everything clear in

his head about what’s happened, but we

continue the relationship that we started

last year with respect, there’s no particular

problem. If he thinks this way, that’s his



TO MOTO2 IN 2019

Thomas Luthi has offi cially confi rmed his

brief MotoGP adventure will end after

a single season by signing to join the

Dynavolt Intact Moto2 team.

A double Moto2 title runner-up, Luthi

moved to MotoGP with Marc VDS this

season. However the Swiss is yet to score

a point and the team is closing its MotoGP

project at the end of this season, when

team-mate Franco Morbidelli will join the

new SIC Yamaha project.

“MotoGP is still a dream come true for

me - but circumstances have not made it

easy for me in recent months,” Luthi said,

referring to the Marc VDS management

dispute and future uncertainty.

Luthi is set to take the place of Xavi Vierge,

who looks to be joining the Marc VDS

Moto2 team, and ride alongside Marcel

Schrotter on Kalex machinery in what

will be the fi rst season of the new 765cc

Triumph engines and Magneti-Marelli ECU.



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Tensions between Ducati factory riders

Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso

have fl ared up once more after the

return from the MotoGP season’s

summer break.

The debut of the FIM Enel MotoE

series is gathering momentum

ahead of its maiden campaign in

2019 with a confirmed 18-bike grid

The debut of the FIM Enel MotoE

series is gathering momentum ahead

of its maiden campaign in 2019 with

a confi rmed 18-bike grid having been

bolstered by a Sepang International

Circuit team entry.

The SIC team will also join the MotoE

grid with a one-bike entry from next

year. Rider still to be announced as

with most of the teams.

The full 18-bike grid:

Teams with two MotoE entries:

Tech 3 Racing, LCR Team, Pramac

Racing, Esponsorama Racing, Gresini

Racing, Angel Nieto Team

Teams with a single MotoE entry:

Sepang International Circuit, Marc

VDS Racing Team, Ajo Motorsport,

Pons Racing, Dynavolt Intact GP,

SIC58 Squadra Corse.

The fi rst MotoE test will take place

on November 23-25 followed by

two pre-season tests next year on

March 13-15 and April 23-25. All

tests will be held at Jerez. The bikes

will use Dell’Orto electronics, Brembo

brakes, Marchesini wheels and Öhlins

suspension having been confi rmed

as technical partners.

The 2019 MotoE calendar will be

confi rmed across the San Marino

MotoGP round this month at Misano

followed by the full 18-rider line-up at

Aragon two weeks later.

MotoE organisers held a third meeting

at the Austrian MotoGP round.

“Prior to Saturday’s meeting during

which we shared, among other things,

information about winter testing,” Cup

Executive Director Nicolas Goubert

said. “We had our test session with

Energica working on the 2019 race

bike on the seventh MotoGP track.

“Michelin Tyre testing was on the

programme and everything went very

well, with both Loris Capirossi and

Alessandro Branetti lapping the

Red Bull Ring at Moto3 pace.”no

particular problem. If he thinks this

way, that’s his problem.”

Just ahead of the Silverstone

MotoGP round the new SIC (Sepang

International Circuit) Team announced

their rider line-up for 2019. John

McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki will be

the Moto3 riders with Khairul Idham

Pawi the solo Moto 2 rider. In the

MotoGP class, as was expected,

Franco Morbidelli and Fabio

Quartararo were confi rmed for the

two Yamaha Satelite bikes.

to you by




Scott Redding has issued a public apology to Aprilia ‘for

my outrageous words’ slating the team following the

Austrian MotoGP.

Having fi nished a lowly 20th place at the Red Bull

Ring, Redding produced a stinging assessment of Aprilia,

where he pretty much used every curse word ever made,

which left him unable to explain why he fi nished outside of

the points after a promising showing during practice.

Redding has said ‘I deeply say a big sorry’ on his

Instagram account following his post-race interview

in Spielberg which also saw the British rider vent his

frustrations at the team’s running and development

programme with its RS-GP machine.

“I am here today to say that I owe a huge apology to

the Aprilia racing team and company,” Redding said in

the post. “What I said Sunday afternoon [in the] postrace

interview was not acceptable by a long way, I was

thinking with a lot of emotion from my heart.

“But I spoke out with rage which a young person of 25

can do very easily. [At] 25 I should be a role model, much

more mature and composed.

“The team and company of Aprilia Racing are doing the

best they can to improve our MotoGP machine, we have

some good items to test this week and I still believe this

bike can be competitive.

“As a team you work, live, learn all together so from

the bottom of my heart I deeply say a big sorry for my

outrageous words that were said. I will learn from this.”

Redding left Austria pondering his next career

move having been replaced by Andrea Iannone in

Aprilia’s 2019 MotoGP rider line-up alongside Aleix

Espargaro after just one year with the Italian squad.

The 25-year-old is believed to have a number of options,

including a potential test role with Aprilia, as well as

possibilities to move to the World Superbike and British

Superbike championships and is aiming to make a fi nal

decision on his future soon.

One Brit staying in MotoGP until 2020 at least is Cal

Crutchlow, who has signed a 2-year extension with HRC

to remain a factory supported rider till 2020. Crutchlow

has said that could be his last year.



WSBK IN 2019

Alvaro Bautista confi rmed at the British Grand Prix

pre-event Press Conference that he will be leaving the

MotoGP paddock after 16 years to join Chaz Davies at

Aruba.it Racing - Ducati in WorldSBK. With all eyes on the

red corner for the new year ahead with the team yielding

the all new V4 engine next year, team Ducati WSBK are

excited to get the challenge underway. The factory Ducati

squad are preparing for a big season and will welcome

the experience of Bautista and Davies.





‘Honda and Ducati change very much in

the last year and a half. It is a combination

between engine and electronics’ - Valentino

Rossi, Austrian MotoGP.

Saturday’s unprecedented public apology

by Yamaha management to riders Valentino

Rossi and Maverick Vinales caused debate

and a little confusion within the MotoGP


The confusion, also expressed privately

by senior management of rival teams, was

why a factory that was leading the Teams’

World Championship, second in the Riders’

Championship and had one machine (the

satellite bike of Johann Zarco) on the second

row of the grid felt the need to present such

an apology.

The reason given by Yamaha was that

the 12th and 14th grid places for factory

riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi

warranted such action.

It was certainly a poor performance,

Yamaha’s worst as a factory team in the dry

since Valencia 2007, but the same positions

as last year’s wet Motegi qualifying. Rossi

has also qualified 10th or lower on two

previous occasions this season alone,

Vinales three times.

A more worrying statistic is Yamaha’s 20 (now

21) race losing streak, their worst since 1998.

However, it wasn’t mentioned at all by

YZR-M1 Project Leader Kouji Tsuya, secondin-command

among Yamaha MotoGP’s

Japanese management, who stood in front

of the media to apologise for the qualifying

result, citing “acceleration performance” and

sensor problems for Vinales.

“We are struggling and have to say sorry to

the riders.”

Whether the apology was suggested by

Tsuya himself, his boss (Yamaha Motor

Racing General Manager Kouichi Tsuji), the

Movistar Yamaha Communication staff or the

riders remains unclear.

After the Sunday’s race, in which an upbeat

Rossi recovered from 14th to sixth, the Italian

was asked if he thought the apology had been

necessary: “I’m not the one that has to decide.

For me, it’s more important that they improve

the bike! This is the only important thing.”

Rossi also laughed off questions about

whether he has full confidence in Tsuji: “I

cannot answer this. I work for Yamaha and

my job is to try to make the maximum and

especially give the indications to improve. And

after that point, unfortunately it’s not my job.

They have to try.”

Quizzed jokingly on if he would like to see (the

long-retired) Masao Furusawa, who oversaw

his spectacular early success at Yamaha,

back in command, Rossi answered: “I don’t

think it’s possible! For me we can improve

with these guys. The important thing is to

work in the right way. In the right areas.”

‘In 2004 Yamaha was a lot worse than now’

That improvement, Rossi believes, will require

the kind of effort, financial resources and

organisational shake-up not seen at Yamaha

since the Italian’s stunning debut season at the

team, in 2004.

“When I arrived a long, long time ago in 2004

Yamaha was a lot worse than now. But in one

year they reacted very strongly,” he explained.

“They put different organisation, they put more

money, more people and in one year we were

able to make the 2005 M1 that is for me the

best M1 that I ride. So we have to try the same.

“For me the situation [with acceleration] is very

similar from August-September last year. More

August than September. I feel always similar.

“It’s true that in some tracks we suffer less,

but in some other tracks we suffer more,

unfortunately. Six days ago [in Brno] I was on

the front row and now I’m on the fifth row!”

Rossi, who went on to finish fourth in the

Czech Republic, said Yamaha’s Austrian

misery is related to the level of ‘stress’ placed

on the rear tyre on the exit of the corners.

“This happened in a critical track for the rear

tyre. Because it looks like when you stress

very much the rear tyre, the riding style of

Zarco [sixth in qualifying] and also his size

and weight, which is a lot less than mine and

Maverick, helps very much. From the other

side, also six days ago, Zarco was in trouble

and now he’s faster than us.”


Brought to you by

‘I hoped to suffer a bit less than this’

The nine-time world champion, who took

Yamaha’s most recent MotoGP victory in

June of last year, added:

“I knew that at this track we have to suffer this

year, because maybe it’s the worst track in

the calendar [for us], but I expect and I hoped

to suffer a bit less than this.

“I was also unlucky because the only dry

practice to go directly into Qualifying 2 was

FP1 and unfortunately in FP1 I broke the bike

[sprocket] after three laps. So I have to use the

other bike that is quite different and I was not

comfortable enough to stay in the top ten.

“In Qualifying 1 I suffered a lot with the soft rear

tyre. The soft is very diffi cult to manage, even

for two laps, because you feel a little bit better

grip but the tyre is too soft and for our bike it is

diffi cult to improve the lap time so I wasn’t able

to arrive in Qualifying 2 unfortunately.

“Now I will have to start from the fi fth-row

tomorrow and that is very diffi cult and critical,

especially here because the fi rst three or four

braking are diffi cult for everybody and when

you are in the pack you have to keep attention.

“But we have to work for tomorrow. We hope

to have a dry race and we will try something

else and we have to give the maximum to

take some points for the championship.”

Last year Rossi qualifi ed seventh on the grid

with a time of 1m 23.9s, compared with a

1m 24.3s this year. Honda’s pole man Marc

Marquez set a ‘22.2s this year and last, while

Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge

Lorenzo were marginally quicker this year.

“The soft tyre is softer than last year and

maybe it was not a bad idea for me to make

like Dovizioso, that did the lap time with the

medium. Because for me I can go faster with

the medium,” Rossi said.

‘The right areas’

So what are ‘the right areas’ that Yamaha

needs to work on?

Rossi has repeatedly stated that, for one year

now, he has been warning Yamaha about the

need to improve acceleration, through the

electronics, to match Ducati and Honda.

In his apology Tsuya spoke of: “Acceleration

performance, which means to adjust the

power delivery more precisely.”

The hard-acceleration zones of the Red Bull

Ring circuit punished the M1’s power delivery

more than a fl owing circuit, hence Rossi had

been a frontrunner a week earlier at Brno

before tyre wear, also thought to be related to

the power delivery, kicked in late in the race.

But why does Rossi feel the acceleration

problems are caused by the electronics, rather

than the chassis or engine? How can he tell?

“For me, the chassis of our bike is good,”

Rossi answered, before offering some new

information: “But I agree with you, it’s not just

the electronics, it’s the engine.

“Because if you go on the track, Honda

and Ducati change very, very much in the

last year and a half and it is a combination

between engine and electronics. It’s diffi cult to

understand the percentage of each, but that

is the way.”

Commenting on Yamaha’s upcoming test

at Misano, team director Massimo Meregalli

said they would try “something for next year,

that is not related to the electronics” adding

“driveability, or power delivery, is very very

important. And this is also where we are

working for next year.”

That could mean testing a revised engine

design, since the rules prevent Yamaha

changing its current engine until next year.

Even at Yamaha’s worst circuit, starting from

the fi fth row and overtaking eight riders, Rossi

was 14-seconds behind race winner Lorenzo

after 28 laps, or half-a-second a lap.

“This is the reality now and for me it’s the biggest

difference in the last ten years. The difference [in

the races] is very small,” Rossi said.

“But we are the factory Yamaha. So we have

to look at the factory Honda and factory

Ducati. We have to compare with them, not

with the other bikes and at this moment we

are at a disadvantage.”

‘Maverick just needs a better bike’

Rossi’s upbeat demeanour even when

describing such problems was in stark

contrast to team-mate Vinales, who had a

face like thunder and barely uttered more than

a few words to the press after his twelfthplace

fi nish.

Why the difference?

“For me, it is a question of experience,

because I pass through a lot of bad periods,

more than Maverick, who is a lot younger

than me. But is also character,” Rossi said.

“But I’m sure if the bike made the step,

Maverick can win the [next] race. So it’s not

that he is not able anymore to ride. He just

needs a better bike and after he can be more

competitive from the next practice for sure.”




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The BMW HP4 RACE is 171kg light, develops at least 215bhp, isn’t road

legal and costs R1.3m. We managed to scoop yet another SA Exclusive

with Rob testing #274 of the limited 750 at Redstar Raceway.

Last year I received one of the most important world

launch invites ever. It was an invitation to ride possibly

the fi nest production motorcycle ever made, to sample

almost-unattainable hardware taken straight out of

the MotoGP and World Superbike paddocks and

to experience something that had the potential to

completely recalibrate our defi nition of a superbike.

It wasn’t a case of working out if it would overtake

superbike status and go straight to ultrabike, but an

exercise in contemplating if it was even possible for

it not to. Forget Ducati’s 1299 Superleggera. Forget

Aprilia’s RSV4 RF. Yamaha’s R1M and Honda’s

Fireblade SP don’t even get a look in. As the name

Words: Rob Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus

suggests, the BMW HP4 Race is a race bike. Not a

“race” bike; a R1.3m race bike.

Few people outside of the World Superbike and

MotoGP paddocks have, or will ever get the chance to

ride anything quite like this and my lucky 2-hours spent

riding it at the world launch held at the Estoril circuit in

Portugal were simply out of this world. It wowed me

in every way possible and if I’m being honest I was a

little overwhelmed by the bikes sheer awesomeness. I

needed to ride it again. Not a day has gone by where I

don’t fi nd myself thinking about my time on the bike. I

wanted more. I craved more and fi nally, almost a year on,

I was going to get some more…





A quick recap

If you did not catch my world launch test and are not

familiar with BMW’s HP4 Race then it needs a little

explanation. From a few yards it could easily be mistaken

for a S1000RR in race fairings, but the similarities end

right there. Everything else is completely different, right

the way from the frame to the seat to the engine and

electronics. And, take note: it is not to be confused with

the road-going S1000RR HP4.

Peel back the fully carbon fibre fairings and you’ll find

a single-piece carbon fibre frame. Carbon frames are

nothing new - indeed Ducati first used a carbon frame

on its GP9 MotoGP bike in 2009 - but they are extremely

rare on production motorcycles and the difference here

is this is mass-produced rather than limited-production

carbon fibre. The frame weighs just 7.8kg, a staggering

4kg lighter than the standard aluminium frame in

the S1000RR. BMW says that each carbon frame it

produces is within 0.4 per cent of the torsion and flexibility

of any other and that it can engineer the carbon to

behave any way it likes, just as it can with its traditional

aluminium frames.

It has no headlights, no indicators or brake light,

nor even an ABS system or a catalytic converter in the

titanium exhaust system. Every nut and bolt imaginable

is made of titanium rather than steel, and the fuel tank

is made of aluminium, all in an effort to save as much

weight as possible. The height-adjustable seat is a

single sliver of foam, the rear-sets milled from a block of

aluminium and the wheels, like the frame and fairings,

are made of carbon fibre. Needless to say, the HP4 Race

isn’t road legal and won’t ever be.

All of the weight savings result in a dry weight of

146kg. No, that isn’t a typo. And, yes, that means when

in running order it tips the scales at just 171kg. That’s

staggeringly, unbelievably light. A dry weight of 146kg is




Only the best fitted to this bike,

including WSBK spec Pirelli racing

slicks, which help control all that power.

“The HP4 Race is a scary 28kilos

lighter than the already light Speciale

and after testing the Italian master-piece

and thinking handling just couldn’t get

any better zie German convinced me

that it can indeed.”

6kg too light to qualify for a World Superbike

entry and is a mere 3kg heavier than

an average dry MotoGP bike. A wet

weight of 171kg is 12kg lighter than a

dry standard S1000RR and if you put

your average race-sized 60kg rider

on it, the combined weight comes

out as 1kg lighter than a wet KTM

1290 Super Duke GT. I could go

on, but simply calling the HP4 Race

“lightweight” is borderline insulting.

Weight aside, the rest of the

HP4 Race’s specifi cation is beyond

impressive. Up front is a pair of

Ohlins FGR 300 forks shod with

Brembo GP4 PR (PR stands for

Professional Racing) calipers – one’s

money can’t buy, exactly the kind of

kit you’ll fi nd in the World Superbike

and MotoGP paddocks. The type of

stuff the likes of Chaz Davies and Loris

Baz would identify as tools of their trade.

There’s a full 2D data-logging system and

the swing-arm, which you might expect to

be made of carbon, is in fact made by Swiss

manufacturers Suter and (just like the forks

and brakes) is identical to what’s used in

World Superbike racing. The brakes, forks,

swing-arm and electronics package alone

will cost you in the region of R500k – that’s

two complete S1000RRs – if you are lucky

enough to get your hands on them.

And then there’s the engine. It’s a hybrid

between a Endurance World Championship

spec - the same is used in races such as the

Bol d’Or at Paul Ricard and the Suzuka 8

hours - and a World Superbike spec engine.

Producing “at the minimum” 215HP at

13,900RPM and delivering 88.5NM of

torque at 10,000RPM, it’s a seriously

powerful 1000cc four-cylinder offering.

Each engine is built by a dedicated

technician at BMW’s plant in Berlin and

it’s a blueprinted design. BMW supplies

the engine with a warranty of 5,500KM before

it recommends the engine is replaced and

that’ll cost you around R250k. While that

might sound restrictive, 5,500KM works out

to, perhaps, 45 track days, which could be

about four years’ worth of track days for

the average track-day rider.

You won’t find any

imperfection here. Just

like a perfectly photo

shopped model, this

bike has no blemishes,

just all the right lines

and curves in all the right

places, all hand-built in a

special factory by artists

qualified to produce





I want more HP4 – Round Two

I honestly never expected to ride the HP4

Race ever again. Only 750 of these handbuilt

master-pieces were created and made

available to the lucky few who could afford

the hefty R1.3m price tag. But, after many

a prayer to the sportbike Gods, I would get

another crack at the Bavarian beast.

Three of the 750 limited edition bikes

have so far made it into SA, one of them

going to Harry Timmerman – a sportbike nut

turned track racer. Harry competes in the

Bridgestone Thunderbikes series on a raceprepped

BMW S1000RR. He has only been

in the racing game for a couple of years now

and has already sampled some of the best

machines on the planet. Yamaha’s racy R1M

was his first weapon of choice, but when he

saw the BMW HP4 Race was coming he

quickly put his name down to get one.

Harry’s plan is to race the HP4 Race in the

Thunderbike series, once he has got it setup

up comfortably for his riding style.

That old saying once again came into play

here; it’s not what you know, it’s who you

know. I met Harry through the racing scene

so when I found out he had bought an HP4

Race I contacted him and asked if I could

do a local test. Expecting a firm “you must

be crazy” answer, I was shocked, surprised

and excited when he replied “sure, what

did you have in mind”. So, after a few more

messages we had arranged a date and time

to go out and exclusively test one of the most

exclusive motorcycles on the planet.

We headed out to Redstar Raceway on

a beautiful Monday morning, where we had

the track all to ourselves. Big thanks to the

team at RSR for letting us use their great

facility. Literally a month before I was at the

same track testing another exclusive piece of

kit – the Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale. I had

said at the end of that article that the Speciale

was indeed a better machine than the HP4

Race and had some readers question that

statement asking how could that possibly be.

Well, it was time to find out if I was right, or if I

was going to have to eat my words.

Climbing on the HP4 again I was quickly

reminded that this thing means business;

there’s no beating around the bush here

with fancy colour TFT displays. The seat is

high, pitching you forward into what feels

like a race tuck before you’ve even turned a

wheel. The starter button’s in the usual place

on the right handlebar, but this is no ordinary

set of handlebar controls. No indicators,

horn or whatever else - just six colour-coded

buttons, three on each side: traction control

adjust, engine mode adjust, start, stop,

engine brake control adjust and mode preset

selection. That’s it.

First impressions as soon as the engine

fires into life is that it isn’t loud at all.

Whereas the Ducati Speciale is similar to a

Metallica gig playing in the exhaust system

underneath you, the HP4 Race is civilized and

sophisticated by comparison, not much more

than a gentle hum. With your eyes closed and

you might as well be sitting on an S1000RR

or any other four-cylinder 1000cc road bike

with a full exhaust system.

Harry set the bike in intermediate mode

for my first session out. That gave me 80%

of the bikes power with 71% available in 1st

gear, 79 in 2nd, 88 in 3rd and full power from

4th gear onwards. Wheelie control on all

gears and traction control set on 0 (14 levels

available, plus 7 and minus 7).

Launch control is always active in first

gear, but that wouldn’t be appropriate here

as I roll down pit lane and join the track just

before tipping into turn one. And it’s at that

exact moment - tipping into the first corner -

that the HP4 Race confirmed that it is like no

other bike I’ve ridden before. It flips onto its

side as if an extra dose of gravity has pulled

it down towards the tarmac. I’m suddenly on

completely the wrong line through turn one

because it has turned so fast and effortlessly.

From that point on my first lap continues to

be a complete train-wreck as I discover how



direct and precise the throttle response is.

The slightest movement from my right wrist

results in huge differences in response from the

blueprinted engine. It’s so accurate and precise

that, by comparison, you realize just how

wooly and vague a standard bike actually is.

By lap two or three, I’ve just about started

to get the hang of how the HP4 Race rides,

adjusting braking points, turning points,

gear selection and throttle inputs, although

I was still riding extremely cautiously. The

Brembo GP4 PR brakes, like the rest of the

bike, take some getting used to. Just as the

throttle is as sharp as a pin, these calipers

are seemingly from another planet. They are

so monstrously powerful that you can head

into a corner well beyond the limits of your

personal comfort zone, squeeze the lever with

just one finger and be delivered braking force

so strong that you will then ultimately arrive

into the corner too slow and too early and,

as a result, be on completely the wrong line,

feeling like a complete moron.

The HP4 Race quickly tells me to stop

fooling around and go faster. It needs and

wants to be ridden hard and if you don’t it

lets you know it’s not happy. It’s very hard

and ridged, so you need momentum to help

get the best out of it. Slow and steady feels

rough and unforgiving, fast and fearless and

she comes alive and wills you around with

a happy grin. With so much less weight,

the job of wrestling it into corners is made

so much easier. The dog bone section at

RSR on most production bikes feels like

punishment compared to the HP4 Race. As

if by magic, the HP4 makes the very tricky,

almost nauseating section seem like a breeze

and before I could even blink I was through

and in the heart of fast turns leading onto the

back straight and this is where things really

get interesting.

Accelerating hard out of the right-hander in

3rd gear, she pulls not quite as hard and fast

as the 226HP Ducati Speciale, but she is only

getting warmed up. Even set in intermediate

mode, with a very intrusive traction control

disturbing her, she blasts through the revs and

gears like a batt out of hell. The wheelie control

keeps things in check very nicely, giving my

arms and wrists a much-needed break.

After 8 laps I returned to the pits for a much

needed rest. The Pirelli WSBK spec slicks had

now been scrubbed in and it was time for me

to get a quick breather before trying out the

Dry 2 setting – which meant full power! We

turned the traction control down to minus 4

and wheelie control was set on minimum in

1st, 2nd and 3rd gears only.

Set in Dry 2 mode and full power I was

about to get hit with an extra 40-50HP over

intermediate. Harry runs his bike on Sunoco

102 octane race fuel, so gets a good deal

more than the estimated 215HP, running

closer to around 250-260HP on the rear

wheel. Harry has also shortened the gearing a

bit and added an Alpha Racing quick-action

throttle to help get even more out of the beast.

Immediately after firing the bike up in Dry

mode 2 I could hear the tone of the motor

change. It sounded angrier, faster and even

more hungry to go out and devour the track.

It didn’t take long for me to feel that there

was a huge boost in power. It felt even more

relentless. Devastating, even. Mind blowing

power from as low as 4,000rpm all the way to

17,000. Most bikes run out of steam around

13,000rpm, even though they can rev to

16,000, but this is where the HP4 motor just

starts waking up. From 13 to 17,000rpm she

pulls harder and faster than anything I have

ever tested before. That includes the Ducati

Speciale. While the V4 powered, 1100cc

Speciale in my mind still powers a bit harder

than the HP4 Race from 5 to 11,000rpm,

it’s from there where the German bullet

annihilates its competition. Just as other

World SBK riders, eat your heart out.

Not even you have some of the tech

available on this bike.

bikes are finishing up, the HP4 Race is just

getting started as my arms are near ripped

from my shoulders. 4th, 5th and 6th gear

come and go in the blink of an eye and the

750metre long back straight is made to look

like a 100metre sprint. The top-spec Brembo

brakes get called upon just before the

150metre board and they get the job done

with no fuss. Braking is simply sublime, I can’t

highlight that enough.

All that power, while a lot to handle, was

made a bit easier thanks to the traction

control set at minus 4. No more intrusive

snap-crackle and pop, just enough calm

before the storm.

The HP4 Race is a scary 28kilos lighter

than the already light Speciale and after

testing the Italian master-piece and thinking

handling just couldn’t get any better zie

German convinced me that it can indeed.

While all that power is a handful and can

be intimidating even with the top-notch

electronics, getting the bike into the corners

is, well, simple. It’s just so light. Flicking from

left to right, through fast or slow bends is a

breeze and even my 2-year-old son could




probably do it. The standard fi tted Pirelli

slicks offer grip and guidance in abundance

making the experience just that much more

inspiring. All that carbon-fi bre goodness,

combined with those grippy tyres translates

to a light-weight machine that World SBK

riders can only dream of having on the grid.

In fact, BMW made this bike too good, as it

can’t be raced in most National and World

Championships around the world. The

Bridgestone Thunderbike class is probably

one of the only categories around where the

bike can be raced and fans will be very lucky

to see it in action when Harry rolls it out for

the fi rst time.

No more HP4…. Sad face

I won’t lie, while it was a sad moment parking

the bike up in the pits for the fi nal time I was

also very relieved to have parked it up in

one piece. It was a massive weight off my

shoulders. Yes, it’s great testing all these

wonderful motorcycles, but it’s also very risky

and many a sleepless night has been had

leading up to tests like this. But I am very

pleased to report that the bike was given

back to Harry with no battle scars.

I’m not going to pretend that I could even

get close to exploiting the HP4 Race’s full

potential, but it’s still possible to appreciate

how capable it is. And it doesn’t take much

thought to work out that BMW is giving

the HP4 Race away and very likely making

a loss on each one. The forks are R190k,

brakes R70k, electronics package R100k, the

swing-arm R110k... the replacement engines

are discounted at around R190k and that’s

already up to R550k... not even including the

rest of the bike: the carbon wheels and frame

(R150k plus), titanium Akrapovic exhaust

system (R100k plus), fairings and all the rest of

it, not even including the R&D and production

costs. You couldn’t build this bike for less than

R1.5m, that’s for sure. And that makes R1.3m

a complete bargain in my eyes.

You can only come away from the HP4

Race concluding it’s the Bavarian company’s

show of force. And, yes, it’s straight to the

ultrabike category, perhaps even hyperbike.

It represents a metaphorical hydrogen bomb

detonated at 1,000 feet over its rivals. It’s a

statement bike and a complete redefi nition

of what performance on two wheels can be.

It’s bonkers to think that you can get hold

of this kind of machine using only money;

previously, you’d need a lot of skill and talent.

It’s your chance to look and feel like a rider

from MotoGP, World Superbike, British

Superbike, Isle Of Man - or whatever series

it is you follow. But there’s a catch, and it’s

that BMW only be making 750 examples and

each bike has its number stamped onto the

triple clamps.

So, the big question then. Does my

statement of the Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale

being better than the HP4 race stand? Well,

I hate doing this trust me, but I am going to

have to eat my words. No, it’s not, but then

again, they are two different bikes

and comparing them and saying

what I said was maybe a bit

silly now that I think

of it. The Ducati is very special indeed and

comes with headlights and can be ridden

on the road. Priced at R670k, one could

buy two of them for the price of one HP4

race, so in that sense yes, it is

better and probably better

value for money. But

while the Ducati is the

ultimate sportsbike

with headlights,

the BMW HP4

Race is simply

the ultimate

sportsbike, or

ultrabike, or



you want

to call it.


Engine: 999cc Water/oil-cooled 4-cylinder fourstroke

in-line engine, four titanium valves per

cylinder, two overhead racing camshafts, milled oil

sump, Pankl connecting rod, precision-balanced

and lightened crankshaft

Maximum Power: 215hp @ 13,900rpm

Maximum Torque: 120 Nm @ 10,000rpm

Wheelbase: 1440mm

Seat height: 831mm

Dry weight: 146kg / 171kg wet

Price: R1,300,000






OWER: 215 HP. TORQUE: 120 NM.

RF Garage


Motorcycle Tyre must knows

Most motorcyclists underestimate the importance of motorcycle tyres. It’s important to know as much as

possible to help with making the right choice for the bike you have and the riding you do.

In this tech feature, we highlight some really important factors you should know about tyres, which will help

you make the right choices and decisions going forward for better grip and longevity.

The differences between

Radial and Crossply tyres

Crossply tyres and Radial tyres are made

using completely different methods, and their

internal structure affects the performance of

the tyre at every level. If you are looking for

tractor tyres or similar then Crossply vs Radial

might be a decision that you have to make.

Radial Tyres

Radial tyres were developed in 1946 by

Michelin. At the time there was a need for

more flexible tyres which were able to absorb

shocks generated by road surfaces. The

sidewall of radial tyres and the tyre tread work

as two independent features. The flexibility of

a Radial tyre, together with its strength, are

two combined factors which means a radial

tyre absorbs impact shock and bumps more

effectively than a crossply tyre.

The flexibility of the sidewall enhances vehicle

stability and provides maximum contact of

the tyre with the road surface.

In radial tyres, steel cord plies are placed

on the heel of the tyre, and a belt is placed

across the casing. Because cord plies are

placed directly on top of each other, the

sidewalls of radial tyres remain very flexible.

Advantages of radial tyres include:

• Good steering and better road contact

• Improved driving comfort thanks to flexible sidewalls

• Less heat generated in the tyre at high speeds

• Higher resistance against tread-related damage

• Lower fuel consumption through better tranfer of

energy from machine to road

Disadvantages of radial tyres include:

• The soft sidewalls are vulnerable when, for example,

vehicles collide with curbstones

• Minor bumps in road are dealt with less effectively

because radial tyres feature a steel belt

Crossply Tyres

Crossply tyres have been used instead of

full rubber tyres since 1898. They were a

standard feature in the car and bike tyre

industry before radial tyres were introduced.

Crossply tyres consist of carcass layers made

from nylon cord. They are placed diagonally

across each other in the tread and the

sidewalls, at an angle of 55 degrees. Multiple

rubber plies overlap each other and they form

a thick layer, resulting in less flexibility which

can make it more sensitive to overheating.

Crossply tyres provide a strong and rigid

sidewall which tries to follow the natural lines of

the road and this can cause a tyre to overheat

when it is used on a hard road surface and

this in turn, causes the tyre to wear out more

quickly. However, the sidewall of a crossply

tyre is more rigid than that of a radial tyre so is

more resilient at preventing sidewall damage.

Crossply tyres are therefore sometimes used if

sidewall damage is a problem.

The crown of a crossply tyre and the

sidewall of the tyres are dependent on

each other. The tyre does not come into as

much contact with the ground as a radial

tyre and this may lead to less engine power

transmission or more site damage. As it

does not absorb as much impact shock, the

driver can feel more vibration.

The initial cost of Crossply tyres is cheaper

than Radial tyres so they are often an

attractive choice to anyone on a budget.

Advantages of crossply tyres include:

• Improved vehicle stability

• Higher resistance against sidewall damages

• Cheaper to produce

Disadvantages of crossply tyres include:

• High rolling resistance, which causes tyres to quickly

heat up

• Reduced comfort due to the tyre’s rigidity

• Increased fuel consumption


In a radial structure the carcass ply is placed radially, running from

bead area to bead area at an angle of 90 degrees. The crown area

can be reinforced with bracing plies. The structure is therefore not

uniform, and the crown area and sidewall area can then be given

different properties, allowing the sidewalls to be more flexible.


The carcass of a crossply tyre consists of 2 or more diagonally

orientated carcass plies. The overlap angle of these plies can be

changed to give differing properties to the finished tyre. The structure

is uniform and the tyre crown area has similar properties to the

sidewalls, because of this the sidewalls tend to be very stiff.


Brought to you by

Threats to the tyre - the

three main threats to

the tyre are physical,

environmental and human.

They are usually related to the infl ation

pressure, damage, the level of wear of the

tread, weather conditions, maintenance,

load conditions and speed, ... etc. With so

many parameters involved, it is impossible to

accurately predict the lifespan of a tyre.



-Poor conditions of storage

-Wear and damage (punctures, cuts,

impacts, cracking/crazing of the tread/

sidewall rubber, lumps and bulges, etc).

Environmental Hazards

-Extreme temperature


-Ozone -Solvents, Hydrocarbons




- Does not perform routine tyre checks for

wear or damage.

- Does not maintain proper tyre pressure

(under infl ation or over infl ation).

- Re-infl ates a tyre that has run fl at or

seriously under-infl ated.

- Does not change a tyre before it reaches the

legal wear limit.

- Neglecting a change in behaviour of the

bike, loss of pressure, vibration, noise...

- Does not inspect a tyre after a severe impact.

- Has an aggressive riding style.

- Uses tyres of different sizes or types.

- Does not replace the valve when replacing a

tubeless tyre.

- Repairs a tyre themselves rather than go to

a tyre specialist.

- Temporary repairs that become a

permanent solution.

- Mount a tyre on a wheel that is damaged or


- Does not store tyres correctly.

Rubber breakdown in the cold

The fundamentals

All rubber compounds used in tyres have

performance windows that fall within a range

of temperatures.

• There is a low temperature threshold

from which the rubber loses elasticity and

becomes brittle. This can be as low as -55ºC

for some rubber compounds.This is called

the breaking point .

• There is also a high temperature threshold

from which the rubber becomes pasty/

viscous. This is generally above 200ºC. It is

called the reversion point.

The vast majority of Michelin tyres

operate within these thermal limits without


Supersport and competition tyres

In competition and hypersport tyres, the very

high temperatures encountered (related to

the very high levels of grip) require a specifi c

blend of tyre compounds to withstand them.

One consequence of this is that these soft

compound tyres have a break point around

0ºC. Handling these tyres at this temperature

or lower may result in the tread or other area

of rubber on the tyre literally breaking. Care

must therefore be taken to store the tyres

in appropriate conditions which avoid these

temperatures.If this occurs, the tyres should

not be handled at all.

Warm up

To give the best performance and optimal

grip tyres need to be at the correct operating

temperature. Warming up time refers to

the time needed for the tyre to reach the

optimum operating temperature appropriate

to the tyre type.

Useful tips: Start all journeys at a moderate

speed in order to give yourtyres suffi cient time

to reach their optimum working temperature

and therefore deliver better grip.


Riding on under infl ated tyres can cause

premature wear, irreversible damage to the

tyre and possibly sudden loss of air which

can have catastrophic consequences.

Useful tips: When making visual checks

pay particular attention to the tread area and

the sidewalls. Look for unusual, excessive or

uneven tread wear, foreign objects, bulges or

deformation, signs of penetration, cracking of

the rubber or any deteriation or damage.

‘Tyre pressures can be dropped for special applications,

such as a track day. But this is only if it is a tyre that

allows for running at a lower pressure. If you are running

a standard road tyre, such as a Road 5, manufacturers

recommendations should be adhered to at all times.’


RF Garage


What you need to know

about motorcycle tyre


Whether you’re switching back in turn 11

at your favorite track day or commuting to

work on your bike, knowing how to properly

maintain your tyres is a necessity.

Properly maintained tyres help to ensure your

safety, and will also perform better and last

longer, meaning you can spend your hard

earned money on other upgrades.

Having under-infl ated tyres is the most

common cause of improper tyre wear and

poor handling. Even if you’ve just purchased

a brand new motorcycle, you should always

check your tyre pressure before each ride.

Q: Why is it important to maintain my

motorcycle tyre pressure?

A: Motorcycle tyres must be more pliable

than automobile tyres in order to provide

grip when bikes lean into turns. Though this

capability benefi ts you when you’re dragging

knees, it is important to have the right tyre

pressure for the type of riding you do. If you

don’t have a gauge hidden in your motorcycle

or tucked in your tank bag, you should think

about getting one.

Q: What is the proper tyre pressure?

A: The best advice you can get will come

from a tyre tech, who will know the specifi cs

of your situation. If you’re at a track day,

odds are that there will be a tyre tech there

to provide you with advice on what pressure

to have in your tyres. Generally, 30/30 psi.

or 32/32 psi. are good starting points for

a streetbike. Our advice is to talk to a tyre

professional and then play with your tyre

pressures *in a safe margin* to see what

fi ts your riding technique. Tyre pressure and

rider comfort are both very subjective, so

the same pressure may not feel the same to

two different riders. Pressure that is too low

can result in sluggish handling and high tyre

temperatures. Pressure that is too high can

result in worn-out center tread, reduced grip

and a rougher-than-average ride. When you

go back to riding on the street, make sure to

bring your tyre pressure back to the proper

setting. Many people, including canyon

carvers, think that by running a lower tyre

pressure will result in better performance. In

reality, you’re fl exing your tyre when it doesn’t

need to by not having enough air pressure in

it, resulting in excessive tyre wear.

Q: How do I make my tyres last?

A: The best piece of advice you can have

is to have the proper air pressure. When it

comes to protecting the tyre rubber itself,

there are some very easy tips to help you get

the most out of your rubber:

• Park your bike either inside a garage, in

a shady area or cover it. Tyres wear faster

when exposed to sunlight, the elements and

extreme temperatures.

Brought to you by

• If you have to store tyres, the best way to

store them is by laying them on top of each

other, parallel to the ground, and keeping

them out of the sunlight, the elements and

extreme temperatures.

• Don’t store your tyres or motorcycle next to

a refrigerator or electric motor. Electric motors

put out traces of ozone which can accelerate

aging on even the newest of tyres.

• If your bike is being stored in a cold

location, put your bike on its center stand or

front/rear stands to take the weight off the

tyres while it sits.

Q: Can I use race “take-offs” on the street?

A: If a friend gives you a pair of their race

“take-offs” to use on the street, keep in mind

that those tyres were on a racetrack, where

people push their equipment to the limit, and

tyres tend to go through heat cycles more at

a racetrack or a technical riding area than on

the road. Also take into consideration that the

operating temperature of race tyres will rarely

be reached under normal riding conditions on

the street, causing poor grib and handling.

Tip: If you’re not planning on riding very

much, or you have a short riding season,

get some sticky tyres like the Michelin

Power RS, but if you commute through

multiple seasons and ride through it all, a

sport-touring tyre will better handle your

riding needs, such as the Michelin Road 5.

Tyre markings (how to read a tyre sidewall)



Mpumalanga RIDE 2018

The Motobelles was started in 2016. Just a group of women riding. No rules.

To inspire more women to ride. This year, they ran a trip to Mpumalanga, taking

in sights and some of the greatest biking roads in South Africa.

Words & Pics: Mercia Jansen & Motobellas


Day 1: A ride with a bunch of ladies

starts off with a slow breakfast and a

wardrobe re-design due to sudden

weather changes. Trading form-fi tting

leather for a baggy rain suit was never

so easily arranged. The N4 seemed

never-ending, thank heavens for coffee

drinkers and stops and a no rush

approach to a well-deserved craft bear

at Anvil Ale House in Dullstroom. Just

as you thought the pot holes would take

over, in the dip appears Dullstroom and

lure of boozy cake and winter sun leaves

the highway and obstacles far forgotten.

Coffee supplies sorted from Beans

about Coffee, onwards to the Whisky

bar it is. Being the only Gin drinkers in

the Whisky bar, allows for more that

interesting conversation over a Bathtub

of catching up to do. Try the Bathtub

gin, Its good!

When you are not planned to death

true adventure starts and rerouting

accommodation to avoid the massive

horseshoe ride around resulted in night

time strolls through Dullstroom. It’s only

Vaalies who’ll do star jumps at freezing

temperatures in die “hoofstraat” at night.

As long as there’s decent coffee to

start off the day, we are prepared to go

absolutely anywhere.

“It’s only Vaalies who’ll

do star jumps at freezing

temperatures in die

“hoofstraat” at night.”



Day 2: Coffee in bed, while

staring at the fast moving clouds

through the church yard like a

bunch of meerkats we were

preparing for the worst rain

forecasted as per our trusted

phones, and of course… No

rain. All day long.

We were also prepared for

basic maintenance and roadside

repairs and the worst that

happened was a broken mirror

and as luck would have it we

didn’t have the right tool. Quick

stop and a motorcycle repair kit

appeared miraculously from a

bistro kitchen in Lydenburg, a

#14 spanner was all it required. In

goes the bubble gum, Hanepoot

and Biltong bought and packed

and off we go again.

Dullstroom to Lydenberg

was cold, overcast, windy and

full of potholes but well worth it

once the six-part snake crawled

leisurely higher and higher up

Long Tom Pass. A break in the

clouds and a perfect picture/

memory moment appeared as

we pass through a sunlit portal

with outstretched arms. You

wish you could capture those

moments on camera. Finally, the

weather started to turn.

Much remains to be said

for going slower to allow those

breath-taking moments to appear

and re-appear and just like that

the Hops Hollow sign appeared.

Through the lead glass doors

to be treated to craft beers at

the highest brewery in Africa by

such a gracious young host. The

cheese platter is a must!

Howling winds swept up both

rider and bike at the highest point

of Long Tom and yet we were

still reminded of the hospitality

and friendly nature of our people,

everyone waved along with eager

strangers offering to take photos

of our epic adventure. And yes.

Stepping in a hole.

From Sabie it was onwards

to Blyde river canyon. Potluck

Boskombuis is a must stop. We

“Howling winds swept up both rider

and bike at the highest point of Long

Tom and yet we were still reminded

of the hospitality and friendly nature

of our people, everyone waved along

with eager strangers offering to take

photos of our epic adventure. And yes.

Stepping in a hole.”


Track Day Fees


6 TH OCT 2018


EMAIL: entry@redstarraceway.co.za

Office: 076 624 6972

Email info@redstarraceway.co.za .

Groenfontein / Dryden Turn Off

N12 Zonderfout Farm

Portion 5 Delmas 2210

GPS Co-ordinates

S26 04'30.9"

E28 45'20.0"


R550 Wednesday & Friday

R800 Saturday & Sunday




UP ! ! ! !









made our way down to the perfect setting for a welltimed

G&T and Zamalek and a fat conversation about

previously unheard-of relationship advice. A lot of food

for thought for the road.

As the sun became lazier we head off to our last

destination for the day and with perfect timing we

captured the best time of day for a sundowner view

of the deep valley of Blyde river Canyon. Hanepoot

in blikbekers on a rock while reminding our older

companions to heed all the danger signs along with

controlling vertigo unsteady feet that are always ready

to step into any available hole.

Day 3: Started with a “You Spin me right round” wake

up dance in the hope of getting everybody ready to ride

on time as debates around fitting in a toboggan ride

started. First stop at the Three Rondawels. We made it

in just before the tour busses arrived with the inevitable

crowds pouring onto the mountainside. “Yes, we are

all ladies riding these motorcycles” seems to become a

standard answer. Seems everyone is out this weekend,

vintage Hot Rods and the Ladies on the Triumphs.

The hunger set in and Misty Mountain on a clear day

saw us all a bit hangry. A short walk through reception

an out of nowhere appears a view that immediately

calls for exploring and fast made plans to return. Also,

the toboggan ride never happened so for that have to

return too. A quick walk through an enchanted forest

reminded us how much we miss when we speed by

places on trips like these. Take the small turn-offs and

just maybe you’ll see something that will truly fill you

with wonder.

We hit the next Panaroma road from there to

Nelspruit. Those sweepers with the scenery opening

in front of you is both breath-taking and therapeutic.

Nothing beats a snake of motorcycles gliding through

those roads.

The winding road from Nelspruit to Kaapschehoop is

spectacular. Riding through the mountains with the pine

forests either side of us, noticing the sun’s rays as they

pass through the trees and all you can smell is the fresh

pine needles.

Kaapshehoop is known for its wild horses roaming

freely and is a picturesque town popular for its misty

mountains, waterfalls and restaurants filled with


We stopped for a late

afternoon pick me up of

chocolate cake and good

coffee in a local restaurant

called the Bohemian Groove

café. Old music playing, craft

vodka being served and an old

fire roaring, it was the perfect

mood setter for the sunset

ride that was about to follow.


As the night set in, the temperature

dropped dramatically and the excitement of

not knowing what our last destination had in

store for us was kicking in.

We turned off the N4 onto a dirt road into

the forest. What a magical sight. Anford

country house is a gem right next to the main

road and the perfect stop over. When last did

you see the Milkyway? After a very warm

welcome and a sherry we made our way to

the pub for some trout pies and red wine and

shared our stories with the friendly owners

and guests.

Day 4: The 3 little girls wanted to sit on and

start the bikes the next morning. Motorcycles

are smile inducing machines was evident

again. Next generation Motobelles!

And so our adventure ended as we rode

back out through the forest for the last stretch


In Sharne’s words

The best part of this trip was “us”, everyone

brings a different dynamic to the group which

makes it that more special. We are supportive

of each other, we are brutally honest and

keep everything true to heart. These traits

I struggle to find with friends I’ve known

my whole life... We are a beautiful group

of ladies that love the same thing, to ride

our bikes, along with that comes exploring

roads untraveled, breath taking sunsets and

finding the beauty in each obstacle we might




Bad Habits

and Motorcycles

Bad habits are negative

behaviour patterns, and

in motorcycle terms, this

can most certainly be

the difference between

life and death.

Article by Hein Jonker - www.msi.org.za

Sponosred by

The fact of the matter is that it is much

easier to learn or create a new habit

than to try and fi x an old one. The

willingness to change is key, followed by a

certain level of commitment, and guided by

a vigilant attitude.

How would you describe or define what is

a “Bad Riding Habit”?

A bad riding habit spawns from the infected

mental and physical state of the rider, which

in turn affects the person’s riding abilities.

A bad habit puts the rider up for certain

disaster, ranging from a minor “parking-lot

drop” and a major crash. A bad-habit-rider

is a high-risk-rider!

The Motorcycle Safety Institute keeps

accurate records of crash data – What

has this data been telling you about bad

riding habits?

The single biggest contributor to motorcycle

crashes has been speed! The wrong speed,

too fast – the wrong place, in an Urban

traffi c environment.

How is this a bad habit? It is an infected

thought pattern, resulting in an uncontrolled

situation and a minor or major turn of events.

According to our 2017 report, more than

72% of motorcycle crashes involved another

vehicle, of which 63% happened in an

Urban area. It is true that not all crashes are

because of rider error, but my safety is my

responsibility, therefore my riding habits are

directly relevant to my risk.

Don’t become a Stat

Not every bike crash is caused by riding

that is Illegal – sometimes it is caused

by bad riding habits – what would you

describe as the bad habits that cause

most crashes?

Riding a motorcycle starts with your mind,

and the decision to think. Below are three

habitual errors every rider should pay

attention to:

Attitude – Applying a healthy attitude

pretty much means riding with your head

securely screwed onto your neck. Letting

destructive infl uences like ego, peer

pressure, intoxication, and distraction make

decisions for you will eventually lead to a

hospital visit; if you’re lucky. So, just say no

to stupidity!

Overconfidence – Riders at times

defi ne their riding capability based on

their years of experience. But I’ve seen

experienced riders making the most

common mistakes, like engine braking,

using the brakes with clutch pulled in, or

not checking blind spots. No matter how

experienced you are, there’s always room for

improvement. The fi rst step is to admit that

you lack certain skill and practise on getting

it right. Remember ‘Overconfi dence is the

most dangerous form of carelessness’.

Ignorance – Don’t think for a second,

“I don’t need training”. You can never learn

enough, and the best way to learn is under the

expert guidance of a professional. You spend

an average of R100 000 on the purchase of

a motorcycle, R10 000 on riding gear, and

NOTHING on Rider Training. Where’s the logic

in that? Ignorance is a bad and merciless

habit, it is the decision not to think.


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Shoei helmets are imported and distributed by AMP. To find your nearest Shoei dealer call 011 259 7750.

Bad Habits

and Motorcycles

Is it fair to say that bad habits start even

before starting the bike or even by incorrect

positioning on the seat? What are the bad

habits in our positioning on the seat?

I’ve seen over the years of training a few

1000 riders, from all experience levels, that

they mount the motorcycle incorrectly, sit

on the motorcycle incorrectly, and dismount

the motorcycle incorrectly. Getting on, riding,

and getting off a motorcycle should be a

natural practise.

Most folks mount a motorcycle with the

“door closed” or handlebar turned in to

the left. This results in a very awkward or

unnatural hand to grip arrangement when

holding on to the handlebar and mounting.

Instead, the rider should “open the door” or

straighten the handlebar before mounting,

which provides for a more natural and easy

way of getting on the motorcycle. It also

brings the righthand grip closer so you

don’t have to reach that far, or lean over

the tank when mounting. The same goes

for dismounting; leave the “door open” until

you’ve dismounted, then “close the door” if

you must or want to lock the steering.

When sitting on the motorcycle, don’t

sit up on the tank, leave some shift room

between your crotch and the tank. If you

come to a hard stop or hit something on

the road, you could knock them jewels and

sound like you’ve inhaled helium – an inch

or two of a gap will do. On the same note,

don’t sit so far back that your arms are fully

locked when riding. You can’t effectively steer

a motorcycle with locked arms – relax your

arms and shoulders. Just drop them elbows,

and allow your forearms to run parallel to the

road surface. This way you take some load

off the grips, and so you can properly brace

yourself when braking hard.

What are the most common bad riding

habits you have observed as an instructor

riding along on the road?

Oh boy, let me think… It will have to be space

management and risk perception.

I constantly observe riders putting

themselves right up and behind another vehicle,

or taking their time to overtake a truck. This

compromised buffer or safety zone, leaves very

little response time, in case the rider needs to

avoid impact or contact with the other vehicle.

The same goes for the rider who rides in

Lalaland, just riding over a manhole cover,

through road debris, and in the famous suicide

lane. Most riders cannot remember anything

between point A and B, unable to recall

potential hazards or areas of improvement in

their riding manner.

Nearly 80% of riders do not cover their

levers (Clutch, Front Brake, Rear Brake) when

riding. Not covering your levers (fingers on

Front Brake and Clutch Lever, Right Foot on

Rear Brake) in a High-Risk Environment sets

you up for disaster, resulting in NO brake use

to avoid or minimise impact. Covering your

levers will most certainly help in response

time, whereas most riders just grab the grips

tighter in a panic situation. Learn to brake


What are the mistakes our bikers make

on the open road as compared to riding in

urban areas?

A relaxed state of mind can cause a rider to

become oblivious to his or her surroundings.

You leave the busy traffic of the city behind,

there is less and less traffic, you start to relax

body and mind, and then BAM! A farm truck

comes out of a hidden entrance, or a cow

steps out in front of you around the next

bend. It is true that Freeway riding is less of

Relax your Arms, Drop your Elbows

a risk than Urban, but nothing stops another

vehicle from making a U-turn in front of you

on Rural roads or Freeways. The difference

is that you are now travelling a lot faster than

in an Urban setting, and the question is: Can

you react and respond at the same pace?

The truth is that the physics of speed

applies to all road types, and is directly

connected to your visible reserve.

The visible reserve is the visible distance

in which you can safely avoid incident or

accident. For example, let’s say your bike can

come to a stop from 100 km/h in 35m. If you

can’t see any further ahead than 35m, your

speed shouldn’t be any faster than 100 km/h.

Of course, in real-world situations, it

also takes 0.5 seconds or so to react, and

another 1 second of progressive front brake

squeezing to full braking capacity. At 100

km/h, 1.5 seconds will eat up an extra 40m.

OH SNAP! That means that your actual

stopping distance from 100 km/h is more

like 75m!

Space Management


Sponosred by

Visible Reserve

How do bad riding habits differ between

men and women – are there some you find

more prevalent among specific genders?

The number of female riders on our roads in

South Africa are ever increasing. As exciting

as that might be, the risk remains the same.

Female riders tend to analyse situations

more effectively than their male counterparts.

Some boys may look older but take longer

to grow up, happy to say I’m one of them. I

haven’t met many female riders with an ego,

but the number of male riders with an ego far

exceeds their riding abilities.

According to our Crash Report, male

crashes account for 92% of the total crashes

2017 to date; this percentage will decrease

accordingly if we take the number of female

riders to male riders into consideration.

There are no specifi c habits that stand out

for female riders, but one thing to keep in mind

is peer pressure. Ride your own pace, listen to

good advice, and use that 6th sense of yours.

Ride your Own Pace

What do you believe are the reasons for bad

riding habits – Is it the poor teaching of bad

examples from others?

Poor coaching can play a huge role in the

effective development of a rider’s skill. An

inexperienced instructor can very easily miss

a vital part of his teaching agenda, but the

bulk of bad habits come from “instruction” by

friends and family.

Over the years your friends and family,

have developed bad riding habits themselves,

and them passing it on to you is the last thing

you can afford. If your friend or family really

Fools are Not Cool

want to help you, let them pay for a proper

rider course conducted by a professional

instructor. Sure, not all friends or family are

bad-habit-riders, but professional instructors

coach with structure building confi dence in a

well-controlled setup.

Bad examples are everywhere. One rider

feels he or she wants to ride without a proper

riding gear, some even decide to be a “cool

idiot” and ride without a helmet. I’ve even

seen some, wearing a helmet and jacket, but

then with shorts and tekkies and no gloves.

A few years ago, a local rider set out to taunt

me, riding past my training venue smoking,

with this helmet on his arm. Needless to say,

I made him famous in the local newspaper.

These arrogant fools might get away with

it, but the next ignorant rider may not be

so lucky. Your decision not to set a good

example is self-righteous, and a certain threat

to riders around you. Grow up!

What are the major differences between

the bad riding habits observed among

inexperienced bikers as compared to more

experienced bikers?

Too big too soon! Inexperienced riders don’t

give themselves enough time to learn without

being intimidated by the size or power of the

motorcycle. Like female riders, inexperienced

riders are open to peer pressure from friends

and family.

You cannot learn good habits while

intimidated, or riding in fear!

It only takes repeating something 25

times to establish a habit. An inexperienced

rider is more likely to make mistakes than

an experienced rider, and when they make

these mistakes, start to establish bad riding

habits because they don’t know any better.

Seek professional help, my friend, learn what

you can from the old dogs, but compare it

to professional guidance before you make it

your own.

We always talk about the “power of

habit / mag van gewoonte”. Would overconfidence

lead to bad riding habits?

Oh, for sure. “You can’t touch this” or “Hold

my beer, I’m gonna be awesome” only proved

harmful to the fool who said it. As mentioned

earlier, riders at times defi ne their riding

capability based on their years of experience.

The fi rst step is to admit that you lack certain

skill and submit yourself to proper training.

Overconfi dence is the most dangerous

form of carelessness.

How would you suggest that we detect and

address / reduce these bad riding habits?

This horse is getting tired but let’s ride it

anyway – Professional Training!

The only way you can effectively identify a

bad habit is when you change from a know-itall

to a learn-it-all attitude. It is very diffi cult to

train yourself, and there is certainly no shame

in getting trained either.

The next time you ride, ask a good and

experienced friend to ride with you and point

out any errors or areas of improvement in

your riding.

Any other thoughts you might like to share?

The internet, web and YouTube, hosts a vast

number of articles on motorcycle safety. I

have more than 100 of my published articles

on the MSI website (www.msi.org.za), open

to read and learn from.

If there’s no riding school or academy in

your area, then take a few friends to an open

parking lot. Print an article or two, and go

practise a few moves. There’s always a way,

not just the Freeway.

Realise how important your safety, and

that of others, is to you. Setting a good

and life-saving example is what riding a

motorcycle well, should be all about.

Ride to Live!

This article was proudly brought to you by the Motorcycle

Institute of South Africa.

MSI, founded by Hein Jonker, is the leading organisation

on Motorcycle Safety and Risk Awareness in South Africa,

conducting Road Captain Training, Group Safety Training to

Motorcycle Clubs/Groups/Chapters, and Riding Instructor

Training in a support capacity to riding schools and academies

throughout the country.

MSI is also the only active organisation that monitors Motorcycle

Crashes in South Africa, collecting and analysing data for the

sake of Risk Awareness and Safety among motorcyclists.

Today, the team consists of dedicated individuals, actively giving

of their own time and resources to help save the lives of others.

“We are in the business of changing the way you think, thus

changing the way you ride – Ride to Live!”

Over the next couple of months we will be bringing you some of

the brilliant safety and skills articles they have featured on their

website. www.msi.org.za.





After designing and manufacturing his own performance

parts for years Danmoto owner, Wei Liya, decided it

was time to build a bike of their own. Naturally, the plan

was to build a showcase of the products his company

produces, but more importantly, to show their design

and fabrication abilities. The result is a completely

custom, cafe racer styled motorcycle, built around a

Harley-Davidson v-twin.

“We can do much more than just building exhausts!”

says Wei, who spent 4 months working with his staff to

build the bike. The bike features a long list of Danmoto

bolt-on parts and an even longer list of custom ones.

What is most impressive though is that everything was

designed and built entirely in-house using the skills and

tools available at Danmoto HQ.

The 2006 Sportster v-twin is perhaps the least

customised element of the bike and was chosen

because of its popularity with his customers. Knowing

their design would weigh considerably less than the

stock Harley, Wei limited engine mods to the fitment of

a Mikuni HSR 42 carb wearing a CNC milled velocity

stack and a custom exhaust. Since exhaust systems

are a Danmoto speciality they installed a one off set of

2-into-1 headers and one of their own Highwayman slipon

mufflers. Finally, for flexibility of tuning, they installed a

Thunder Heart ignition system.

For the bike’s frame, Wei and his team developed a

concept that was vastly different to what the v-twin was

accustomed to. “We brain-stormed to see what frame

design we could build in-house and what would perform

well.” says Wei. “ The result was an EGLI styled frame.”

Conceived by Swiss motorcycle racer Fritz W. Egli

the “EGLI” frame design first appeared in the mid-

‘60s for race applications. The frame used a stressed

member engine design with a large diameter backbone

that housed the oil required for the dry sump engines,

like that of the Vincent Black Shadow it was originally

designed for.



It has the overall geometry

of a GSX-R 1000 and handles

like one. It just lacks the power

of a GSX-R, but still, it’s a hoot

to ride on country-side roads.

Constructed entirely from aluminium,

the new frame is a mix of tube sections

and CNC machined components for

additional strength. The headstock,

engine mounts, swingarm mounts, shock

mounts, and chain adjuster were all

milled from solid alloy on their workshop

CNC. At the rear, they designed a basic

subframe with mounting points for rear

sets and the mono-shock built in. Then,

just like Egli’s design, they developed a

wide diameter, tubular backbone to house

the engine’s oil. Oil is pumped directly

from the engine up into the backbone

before travelling down through one of

the vertical sections of the frame that

functions as the feed line. This design

allowed them to minimise the number

of visible hoses and keep the engine

relatively clutter free.

The bike’s suspension uses a unique

recipe of custom and high-performance

components. For the swingarm, they

developed another one-off design

constructed once again from aluminium.

The wide swingarm design permitted for

the fi tment Suzuki GS1200SS rear wheel

and is supported by the mono-shock

from a Ducati Monster. At the pointy end

are Suzuki GSX-R forks mounted using a

CNC milled top clamp and modifi ed lower

clamp. Brakes are a mix of Brembo and

GSX-R components with Danmoto alloy

fl uid reservoirs to round things off.

“The bodywork! It was an absolute

P.I.T.A and we had to do it twice.” Wei

replied when I asked him which part of

the build was most challenging. “The fi rst

run was fi breglass that we made using

a lost foam technique. The result was

not satisfactory so we fi lled and ground

the fi breglass parts until the shape was

nice. Then we used those as plugs to

build moulds and used those moulds to

make the Carbon Fiber parts.” Despite

the unexpected time and effort, the results

speak for themselves. Wei was so happy

with the fi nished bodywork he even chose

to only paint part of it so the carbon fi bre

could be properly appreciated.

At under 200kg wet, the Danmoto

v-twin weighs around 60kg less than the

Sportster its engine came from. As for

how the bike rides, Wei had this to say

about it. “It has the overall geometry of a

GSX-R 1000 and handles like one. It just

lacks the power of a GSX-R, but still, it’s a

hoot to ride on country-side roads.”

Pics and story supplied by


Check out their website for more

amazing custom builds.




The 41st Suzuka 8 Hours kept viewers behind the winner. Kawasaki Team Green,

Bridgestone tyres takes a

in suspense until after nightfall. Following who were one lap behind, came in 3rd

clean sweap of the 2018 duel after thrilling duel for the lead between after being front and centre throughout the

Kawasaki Team Green and Yamaha Factory first half of the race. Kazuma Watanabe,

Suzuka 8 Hour race and in the early stages of the race ahead of Red Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam waged

Bull Honda. In the end it was the Yamaha a lengthy battle for the lead with the

win 2017-2018 World

Factory Racing Team that won the day. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team. However,

Championship with F.C.C. Factory Yamaha squad claimed victory with a rain shower threw Kawasaki’s plans into

the same rider line-up as last year: Katsuyuki disarray. Jonathan Rea crashed as he was

TSR Honda France. Nakasuga, Alex Lowes and Michael van der entering the pits to switch from slick to wet

Mark. This was the fourth consecutive win tyres, causing the Kawasaki squad to lose

for both Yamaha Factory Racing Team and precious time.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga. The Japanese rider Suzuki S-Pulse Dream Racing IAI

smashed the record held by Aaron Slight, (Hideyuki Ogata, Tom Bridewell and Kasuki

the Suzuka 8 Hours winner from back in Watanabe) ran a flawless race to finish at

1993 to 1995.

the foot of an all-Japanese podium featuring

Having led the race at the start on a Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki.

soaked track, Red Bull Honda with Japan All three teams on the podium used

Post (Takumi Takahashi, Takaaki Nakagami Bridgestone’s Racing Battlax tyres.

and Patrick Jacobsen) finished 30 seconds

Johnny rea and Michael van der Mark do battle.


F.C.C. TSR Honda France crowned

FIM EWC champion

A 5th-place finish made F.C.C. TSR Honda

France (Freddy Foray, Alan Techer and

Josh Hook) the first Japanese team in the

championship’s history to win the FIM EWC

title. Despite stepping up the pace towards

the end of the race, GMT94 Yamaha’s David

Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio

finished 6th. Christophe Guyot’s team are vicechampions

of the 2017-2018 FIM EWC, 13

points behind the brand-new world champion.

They were also awarded the Anthony Delhalle

EWC Spirit Trophy for sheer perseverance in

their quest for the world title.

Another praiseworthy full-season FIM EWC

team is British squad Honda Endurance Racing,

who finished 9th just behind Honda Asia and

KYB Moriwaki Motul Racing to become the

2017-2018 FIM EWC’s second runner-up.

Suzuki Endurance Racing Team finished

12th behind two prominent Suzuki teams

at Suzuka, who were however delayed by

crashes: Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing and

Team Kagayama. Mercury Racing also made

it into the points thanks to a 14th-place finish,

topping the ‘independent teams under contract’

rankings reserved for privateer squads racing

the full FIM EWC season. Their win netted them

€11,500 worth of prize money.




WHY Bridgestone

DominaTES at Suzuka

The Suzuka 8-Hours is dominated by It was very rigid and kept its position very

Bridgestone tyre. Why is that? And what is well. It generated confidence under braking,

the difference between a Bridgestone, a Pirelli with a stability that allowed riders to set the

and a Michelin at this iconic race?

corner up as early as possible.

Even the most talkative factory riders get From entering the braking zone, to

tight-lipped when the topic of tyres is raised. releasing the brake, it allows riders to be

Jonathan Rea was asked after securing smoother because you don’t feel as much of

pole position for the Suzuka 8-Hours about a transition from one phase to the next of the

the feeling he has with Bridgestone tyres, corner as the bike loads.

compared to using Pirelli rubber in WorldSBK. “The way in which a Bridgestone

The three-time world champion

steers when the rear is sliding is incredibly

sidestepped that landmine with customary impressive,” continued Laverty. “Looking at

ease by saying, “both are very high

Dunlop Curve, for example, the Bridgestone

performance tyres.” It was a similar situation riders can spin it up towards the grass and

when talking with MotoGP riders about we’re three metres wider through there.”

comparing to Michelin tyres in recent

“No matter what I do on the bike, I can’t

years. There are, however, some outliers in get it to turn to that point on the track. That’s

the paddock.

what you can do with a Bridgestone. It’s a

Riders with experience of Bridgestone, different riding style with these tyres.”

Pirelli, and Michelin tyres, and who are able to For Guintoli, the challenge of the different

speak about the contrasts.

brands of tyres was huge in 2017. He

Both Michael Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli was riding full-time in the British Superbike

have plenty of experience on all three brands, championship on Pirelli tyres, with minimal

with Laverty even acting as a MotoGP electronics and his experience of the

test rider at the time when the French Italian tyre was of little help because the

manufacturer was building their initial batch of specification of machinery and because the

tyres for their return to grand prix racing. layouts of tracks were so different.

Speaking about the contrast between In addition to this he raced and tested for

the Bridgestone-shod front-runners at the the Suzuki MotoGP squad on Michelin tyres

Suzuka 8-Hours and his Pirelli-tyred BMW, and rode at Suzuka with his Bridgestone

the Northern Irishman offered his thoughts on shod Suzuki.

the differences in riding styles.

“All three tyres are really good and they’ve

“The biggest difference is the drop off all got their own strengths and weaknesses,”

in lap time with a Pirelli is significant, and in said the Frenchman. “You need to get the

the hotter temperatures here in Suzuka, it’s best out of each of them and they’re all

quite difficult,” said Laverty. “In Europe, the different for this.”

temperature isn’t quite as hot, so you can


“Here in Japan, it’s so hot and you can

hammer a Bridgestone. The harder you

work a Bridgestone front tyre, the better it

performs. You can spin a rear tyre for a full

27-lap stint and it doesn’t drop off the pace.”

“We have to contend with a big drop off on

the Pirelli, and we’re spinning a lot here and

at the front, in these temperatures, it’s a good

tyre, but I know what the Bridgestone is like

from MotoGP and it’s a bit firmer in the heat.”

The fabled Bridgestone front tyre, otherwise

known as “the one that got away.”

When Michelin first returned to MotoGP,

riders lamented the loss of this tyre from their

lives. The Bridgestone front tyre is unlike any

other tyre. Black and rubber doesn’t describe

it at all.

“Certain tyres require certain riding

techniques, and of course they all feel

different to one another, but also most tyres

feel different. Even within the same tyre brand

you can have a different feeling with a different

compound or construction of tyre.

“Last year was really interesting for me

because I rode Pirelli’s in British Superbike,

Bridgestone’s for Suzuki at Suzuka and I also

rode Michelin’s in MotoGP.”

“Some of them work better in the cold,

some in the hot, so you have a lot to think

about when you’re riding. You ride every tyre

based on the feeling from them, and of course

for a pure riding performance, it’s always

better to ride only one tyre because you can

concentrate on how to get the most from it.”

“I think it’s really good to experience such

a wide range of tyres and regulations – BSB

with Pirelli’s and no electronics, WorldSBK with

Pirelli and electronics, Bridgestone with an

Endurance bike and Michelin with a MotoGP

bike – they all work differently with the different

specification of bike too, so it’s been interesting

for me to do this much riding with them.”

The Bridgestone tyre used at Suzuka is

very similar to what they used in MotoGP in

2015, the Pirelli is similar in feeling to their

WorldSBK offering. As of yet it doesn’t come

with the increased profile that riders have

made the default WorldSBK tyre of late.

The Italian firm is keen

to increase their footing

in the Endurance World

Championship, but

understand that breaking

the Bridgestone monopoly

at the front will be almost


The experience of the Japanese

manufacturers around the Japanese circuit

with Japanese tyres is simply too much to

overcome in the near future.





S21 Hypersport

Your favorite corner will

look completely different

The S20 EVO loved by so many riders has evolved

again. Due to its superior agility, the S21’s ease

of handling and the contact feel when cornering

surpass even that of the S20 EVO. The rear tyre

was developed with Bridgestone’s ULTIMAT EYE

(TM) technology, while the compound succeeds

in generating better traction and while improving

abrasion resistance for longer life. This marks

the birth of a new premium sports radial, one that

brings out the best in machine performance in

pursuit of the joy of riding.

Recommended for:

• Riders who mostly enjoy sports riding

• Riders of supersports motorcycles who want a

combination of performance in the wet and long life

• Riders who are thinking of starting riding on the


T31 Sport Touring

A significant improvements

in wet performance leads to a

feeling of safety.

The ideal sports touring radial, able to cope with a

wide variety of riding conditions.

Provides confidence in riding even in adverse

conditions such as rain or changing road surfaces.

The wet performance of the SPORT TOURING T31

has been greatly improved. In particular, shorter

braking distances on wet road surfaces and

enhanced cornering grip give the rider increased

confidence. Naturally, the tyre also offers handling

accuracy and high-speed stability on dry road

surfaces. The ideal sports radial, capable of coping

with the wide range of conditions that confront

riders over a variety of road surfaces.

Recommended for:

• Riders who enjoy riding on winding road with a

touring motorcycle.

• Riders who enjoy riding a super sports bike with

touring tyres.

• Riders who want high performance in wet


• Riders who want to ride safely even when caught

in unexpected rainfall

A41 Adventure

An Adventure Type tyre that

has evolved in all aspects to

offer outstanding straightline

stability and performance

in the wet, in addition to

satisfactory wear life.

While preserving long tyre life, the ADVENTURE

A41 achieves the conflicting objectives of

performance in the wet, stability in the dry

and improved handling. In particular, shorter

braking distances on wet road surfaces and

enhanced cornering grip make for more

confident riding even in rain. This is a nextgeneration

Adventure type tyre that allows

riders to extract even more enjoyment from

the unique riding that only an adventure bike

can offer, whether it be long-distance touring,

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Recommended for:

• Riders who have adventure motorcycles, and

enjoy on-road touring.

• Riders who want high wet performance and

long wear life.

Available at dealers Nation-Wide




It’s always been a dream

of Shezza’s to compete in

the MotoGP paddock and

he finally got to do so as

a wild-card in the Moto2

class at the Brno Round.

We caught up with him to

see how things are going

and how the MotoGP

experience was.

Q: Firstly, how has the last couple of

races been on the Kawasaki in WSS

and will you be riding for them again?

A: It’s been good to ride of course, but after

Kawasaki changed their engine builder it’s

evident that the bike just isn’t as competitive

as before and although I am grateful for the

opportunity to have ridden with this top team,

the bike just isn’t able to produce for both

them and myself.

Q: How did the Moto2 ride come up?

A: The Czech based team asked me if I’d be

interested in some testing as they had the

2014/2015 Kalex chassis, which they knew

but had just received a 2017 chassis that

was supposed to be a big step up and they

wanted me to confi rm and show the difference

between the two chassis ‘lap time’ wise.

Q: Tell us about the Moto2 bike?

A: Well, before I got to test the bike, their

other rider, Karel Hanika, had been testing

on it and although he was faster on the 2017

chassis he had a huge crash and destroyed

every part of the bike, so I have only ridden

the 2014/2015 spec bike and it’s really good.

In testing we only had the old spec Dunlop

Moto2 tyres and it was an eye opener. I could

do whatever I wanted to with the bike and

tyres and the best way I can explain it after

having never ridden a prototype bike before is

that it’s like a World Superbike spec 600cc.

Q: How different is a Moto2 bike to

a WSS bike?

A: I was surprised at the engine because all

of these years the rumour has been that the

Moto2 Honda engines are like Superstock

spec and that they are a lot slower power

wise but make up for that with their €140

000.00 chassis. That isn’t the case. The bike

actually feels faster than a World Supersport

and the top speeds were 7kph faster than

on my Puccetti Kawasaki and equal to Jules

Cluzels Yamaha at the WSBK Brno round.

Chassis wise it handles better in areas but

that’s understandable when comparing

production bike prices to this kind of moneydon’t-matter


Q: What was the biggest adjustment

you had to make?

A: The biggest adjustment was to get used to

the Dunlop’s, but in testing, on the old spec

tyres, I took to them real fast and set damn

fast lap times.

When race weekend came it changed

completely and we thought that there was

a massive problem with our bike as we had

extreme chatter and could not fi nd a problem

or a solution. Eventually, after a meeting

with Kalex, they explained to us that every

year Dunlop change the tyre specs from

compound, to carcass, to overall tyre size

even. Our older chassis was built extremely

stiff to cope and work with the tyres from


ack then and that now their latest chassis

from 2017/2018 are as “soft” as a production

bike. They were 100% confident that this

was the problem and they went on to help us

remove 2 bars on the frame that make it rigid.

This helped make the chatter less aggressive

but the frame itself was still braced internally

and welded externally, so we reached our

limit with that and continued trying to better

other parts.

Q: How different is the MotoGP

paddock to WSBK?

A: Very different. To me the MotoGP paddock

is how the WorldSBK paddock was when

I first went there around 2009, at its peak.

Firstly, the paddock is full of riders walking

around and just socialising. And then you’ll

notice the money in this paddock!

KTM have something like 40 trucks that

go to an event. I mean it’s like Monopoly

money in this paddock. In saying that both

championships are professional and the level

is high too but Dorna and IRTA obviously

forced it to where it is now and they have the

right to as they own both championships.

Q: Tell us about the race weekend?

How did it go?

A: To sum it up, I was pleased to get within

1.5 seconds from P1 lap time wise, but

obviously I want to win and don’t take

pleasure from making up the numbers or just

participating. There is a bigger picture though

as Team #Willirace are applying themselves

to get a full-time contract in Moto2 for 2019

onwards, so my hope is that our sacrifice

now will pay off next year where everybody

will be on the same chassis and the all-new

Triumph engines.

Q: What happened at the start of the

race? Did you start from pitlane?

A: The clutch bombed out and I was suppose

to start at the back of the grid but confusion

from race direction had me start from pitlane.

Q: Anymore wild cards in Moto2 or a

potential full time ride?

A: We have confirmation for a Misano wild

card and then the team have applied for

another 2 wild cards and then it’s hold

thumbs for 2019.

Q: Future plans for 2018?

A: The Bol Dor 24 hour is the other treat that

I have coming up and although it’s physically

the hardest thing I have ever had to do, the

prestige and 200 000 spectators make it all

worth it. Then just the Moto2 wild cards.

Q: How is the WSS 300 team you are

running going? Team Samurai.

A: A good year for the two pikkies, learning

and finding their feet amongst the world’s

best but all round it’s been good for them and

obviously for the team itself too.



Pics by GP Fever.de


Spinning out of

Yamaha’s worst season since 2002 in MotoGP - what’s going wrong?

WHEN Yamaha won half of the

opening eight races of 2017, few

could have foreseen the turmoil and

discord that would ensue over the

following 15 months.

A winless streak not witnessed

since the pre-Valentino Rossi era

way back in 2002 has plunged

Yamaha into a crisis rarely

experienced since it first entered

Grand Prix racing 57 years ago.

Rock bottom appeared to be hit

during the recent Austrian Grand

Prix where a Spielberg blockbuster

for Honda and Ducati turned into a

horror show for Yamaha.

Rossi labored to his worst dry

qualifying result since Indianapolis

in 2011. And collectively Yamaha’s

factory squad trudged to its worst

dry qualifying performance in a

decade since the final round of

2007 in Valencia.

And that was straw that broke the

camel’s back. Tyres and tempers

had barely time to cool down on

Saturday afternoon in Austria when

Yamaha took the unprecedented

step of making a public apology to

both Rossi and Maverick Vinales for

the underperforming YZR-M1.

MotoGP Project Leader Kouji

Tsuya looked thoroughly remorseful

in an impromptu speech that

zigzagged between a heartfelt

apology and public humiliation for

a man seriously under the cosh to

instigate a rapid transformation in

Yamaha’s fortunes.

Talk is cheap though. Actions

speak louder than words and it will be

the actions of Tsuya and his technical

staff beavering away in Iwata over

the next few months that will decide

whether the apology was a token

gesture or the catalyst to recovery.

The problems are

crystal clear and

repeated with such

frequency by Rossi

and Vinales over

the past year or

so that the pair

must be sick of the

sound of their own


Way too much

wheelspin. Way

too much rear tyre

wear. Nowhere

near enough

acceleration or top

speed. And repeat.




“The worrying aspect for Rossi

and Vinales is that their endless

verbal protests have not provoked a

hastier response from Yamaha.”


The worrying aspect for Rossi

and Vinales is that their endless

verbal protests have not provoked a

hastier response from Yamaha.

Updates to fix the YZR-M1s

obvious fragilities with traction

control and anti-wheelie with

the controlled Magneti Marelli

electronics have emerged at the

pace of an asthmatic snail.

Not negligible progress, but zero


Rossi’s analysis of

how Honda and

Ducati have left

Yamaha floundering

in mastering the

unified electronics

is simple. Yamaha

hasn’t invested

sufficient financial

and human

resources and it has

been too conservative

in its approach.

The point and squirt configuration

of the Red Bull Ring brutally

exposed Yamaha’s weak points.

Two of its first three corners are low

gear turns leading to full throttle

sixth gear straights that demand

attributes like acceleration that the

YZR-M1 is missing in its arsenal.

Almost bored rigid of perpetually

blaming the electronics, Rossi

turned his attention to the motor

in Austria and said it too was

contributing to Yamaha’s dire

winless streak.

Handcuffed by the engine

development freeze which prohibits

in-season motor tweaks, Yamaha

can find no quick remedy for The

Doctor in that department.

The last time Yamaha was staring

into the abyss like now was back

in 2003 and it took the immense

influence and strength of character

of Masao Furusawa to implement

a radical overhaul of the racing

department to reverse the decline.

He also dared to break with

Yamaha’s five-valve technology to

prepare a crossplane-crankshaft

bike with four-valves per cylinder

that instantly convinced Rossi in the

winter months of 2004 that both he

and Yamaha could be a contender.

The history books show Rossi’s

faith in Furusawa was justified and

Yamaha now need similar dynamic

and decisive leadership to guide

them back to winning ways.

Its failure to win since the Dutch

TT in Assen in mid-2017 is not

the only reason Yamaha has been

hogging the headlines for the

wrong reasons of late.

Struggles on the track inevitably

adds to the stress and strain

behind-the-scenes, and Yamaha

has not escaped the consequences

of being reduced to a supporting

role behind Honda and Ducati.




Yamaha’s capitulation in terms of winning

has not been felt any harder than in the close

confines of the Vinales camp.

An irreversible internal rift has emerged

between Vinales and his crew chief Ramon

Forcada that will end in divorce when the

chequered flag is waved in Valencia in mid-


It all seems a far cry from the opening five

races of 2017. Vinales won three of those

five having clicked instantly with the Yamaha

YZR-M1 and clicked immediately with Forcada,

who was blessed with an enviable CV, which

included three MotoGP titles and 44 wins with

Jorge Lorenzo.

But just as Yamaha’s winning touch had

vanished, so has the bond and trust between

the pair.

A crew chief must have such an intimate

relationship with his rider that he can sense

instantaneously where his mind is at both and off

the track.

In the high-pressure environment of a

MotoGP garage a crew chief can interpret what

a rider is thinking and what he wants to go

faster without a word being spoken.

A wink, a thumbsup,

a shrug of the

shoulders, a shake

of the head, a nod.

All can speak more

than a thousand

words and processing

body language

can at times be

equally important

as understanding

spoken language.

A working relationship can never be expected

to run completely smoothly, particularly in a

scenario that Vinales now finds himself in.

Those of you who monitor MotoGP closely

will note how Vinales is susceptible to very

public displays of emotion when things don’t go

his way.

Frequently, it’s Forcada who has taken the

brunt of his ire.

You don’t have to trawl back through history

too far to find a time when Vinales inexplicably

quit his Moto3 squad while still mathematically

in contention to win the title.

In dispute with his Avintia Blusens squad, he

jumped ship on the eve of the 2012 Sepang

race, only to be ordered to jump back on a plane

from Europe to Australia to see out the season.

That was a decision that spectacularly blew

up in his face. Only time will tell if he will regret

cutting Forcada loose and if it will continue to be

a case of Maverick by name, Maverick by nature.




She’s 21-years-old, stands five-foot-one, and

weighs eight stone, wringing wet. But don’t

let that fool you. Ana Carrasco is one tough

little Spaniard. She’s the first woman in the

100-years-plus history of the sport to lead a

motorcycle road racing world championship. She

was also the first woman to set pole position

and the first to win a race and, with just two

rounds remaining of the World Supersport 300

Championship, she has a healthy16-point lead –

against an entire field of men.

Oh, and she’s also half way through a four-year

law degree and trains six hours every day. Are

you starting to feel a bit inadequate? You should

be. Meet Ana Carrasco – the fastest female

motorcycle racer of all time.

Words: Stuart Barker

Women have not always been welcomed in the sport of

motorcycle road racing. Original regulations laid down

by the FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme)

in the early days of racing dictated that competitors must be

‘male persons between 18 and 55 years of age.’ This ruling didn’t

apply to Sidecar racing so in 1954 the intrepid German, Inge

Stoll-Laforge, caused a sensation by entering the Isle of Man TT –

the biggest motorcycle race in the world at the time. She fi nished

in a highly credible 5th position but was tragically killed four years

later in a crash at the Czech Grand Prix.

By 1962 the FIM had changed its rules and allowed women to

race so Beryl Swain became the fi rst female solo rider at the TT,

fi nishing 22nd in the 50cc race before the FIM did an about-turn

and banned women again in 1963.

Despite this historical backdrop of rampant sexism, a handful

of brave, determined women have persisted in blazing a trail for

female riders in one of the world’s most dangerous sports. Riders

like Maria Costello have scored podiums at the Manx Grand Prix

(the ‘amateur’ TT) and Carolynn Sells became the fi rst woman

to win a Manx in 2009 while Jenny Tinmouth (the fastest woman

ever at the TT with an average lap speed of 119.94mph) recently

became the fi rst female rider to compete in the prestigious British

Superbike Championship. Germany’s Katja Poensgen won

the Supermono Championship in 1998 and women have even

scored points in the Grand Prix world championships, the fi rst

being Taru Rinne with a seventh-place fi nish at Hockenheim in

1989. But while convalescing from a crash shortly afterwards, the

Finn received a letter from Bernie Ecclestone (who, at the time

had a heavy, but thankfully short-lived, involvement in motorcycle

racing) informing her that she was ‘not qualifi ed’ to compete the

following season.




Clearly, nothing had changed. Despite occasional

outstanding performances by women in the male-dominated

sport of motorcycle racing, by the start of the 2017 season

no female had won a world championship race - perhaps

unsurprisingly given the additional barriers they faced.

But that all changed at Portimao in Portugal on Sunday,

September 17, 2017 when a 20-year-old Spanish rider called

Ana Carrasco came out on top in an epic drag race to the

finish line in the World Supersport 300 Championship race.

In doing so, she became the

first woman in history to win a

motorcycle road racing world

championship race. And while

the significance of the moment

wasn’t exactly lost on Carrasco,

she thinks like a racer first, and a

woman second.

‘At the time I was not thinking about the significance of

this’ she says. ‘I always just try to ride as hard as I can and try

to achieve results – I don’t think about being a woman. So,

in that moment I was just happy because I’d won the race

but after some days I start to realise what I had achieved. It’s

important that a woman can be fighting for the victory in the

world championship because it’s good for other girls to see

that this is possible.’

After finishing the 2017 season in eighth place overall,

Carrasco came out of the traps ready for a proper fight in

2018, setting pole position at Imola, winning the race, and

taking the lead in the world championship. After another win

at Donington Park in England, Carrasco now has a 16-point

lead with just two rounds of the championship remaining.

This makes her the first woman ever to lead a motorcycle

racing world championship.

It seems an incredibly young age for anyone – male of

female – to be leading a world championship but Carrasco

was practically born into the saddle. ‘I started riding when I

was three years old because my family was always involved

in the motorcycle world’ she says. ‘My father was a race

mechanic since before I was born so when I was three I

started riding my big sister’s minimoto because she wasn’t

interested in it. So that was a good thing for me!’

Standing at just 5”1 and weighing eight stone-three

(52kg) wringing wet, Carrasco cuts a diminutive figure in the

racing paddock. Her slight frame would normally give her

an advantage under acceleration but constantly-changing

rules in the fledgling WSS300 championship (which is only

in its second year) mean that even this advantage has been

removed: because she is so light, Carrasco is forced to carry

a weight penalty on her Kawasaki Ninja 400 race bike. ‘I now

have to carry a 13kg weight penalty so I think it’s actually

worse to be small’ she says. ‘I have to move more kilos than

the other riders through the corners and yet the overall weight

of rider and bike is the same (because of the combined

bike-and-rider minimum weight rule) so I don’t have any

advantage on acceleration.

‘The rules change every race so sometimes we have a

good bike and sometimes no. It’s difficult for us to work like

this because every Thursday of a race weekend they say

“Okay, now you have to change this” or “Now you have to

change that.” It’s difficult for the team and it’s also difficult for

Carrasco being chased by

her team-mate, SA’s very

own Dorren Lourerio.



me to ride fast like this because every race

I have a different bike. I hope for next year

the rules will be more stable because I like to

win, always, and with all these changes it’s

not always possible to win. At the moment,

Kawasaki is not always on the top because

the rules are helping the Yamahas to be at

the same level. But we just have to work

within the rules Dorna gives us and finish the

championship the best we can.’

Carrasco at least has a competitive

bike and team for the 2018 season, which

is something of a novelty after battling for

years with uncompetitive and poorly-funded

rides in various Spanish championships and

even, for a few years, in the Moto3 World

Championship that runs alongside MotoGP –

the Formula 1 of motorcycle racing. ‘Yes, for

me it’s really good because in the past years

I was struggling a lot because I wanted to be

at the top but it was impossible with the bikes

that I had. Now it is really good and I’m really

happy with my team and with my bike and

Kawasaki is helping me a lot so now I don’t

want to change my team because I feel so

comfortable. I want to win, so I will stay in the

place where I can fight for the victory.’

The World Supersport 300 Championship

which Ana currently leads is a support series

to the World Superbike Championship,

meaning the young Spaniard has operated

out of the two biggest paddocks in world

motorcycle racing. So how do they compare

in their attitudes towards women? ‘The

people in the WSB paddock are more friendly

and more relaxed’ Carrasco says. ‘You

can speak with everybody. In the MotoGP

paddock there’s a lot more pressure so the

riders have to always be thinking only about

riding and they cannot do anything else. So,

yes, the paddocks are different but I like both.

‘I didn’t notice any difference between the

paddocks in their attitudes towards female

riders. My job is the same and the people

are good with me, always. But in the World

Supersport 300 Championship it was more

easy for me to find a good team and a good

bike so that I can be fighting at the top. In the

past it has been really difficult for me because

I never had the equipment I needed to be

fighting for the victory.’

Like every motorcycle racer, Ana Carrasco

needs to have the mental capacity to accept

the inherent dangers of her chosen sport

and the ability to endure the pain caused by

regular injuries. Although safety measures

have improved radically over the last 30-odd

years, people still die in this sport. Yet it’s

clearly not a fact that Carrasco loses much

sleep over. ‘I broke my elbow in 2007 and

I broke my collarbone in 2015 and also my

shoulder. I’m okay with pain – I can handle

it. I can ride with pain and don’t feel it so

much. I’ve had some difficult injuries but I

don’t worry too much about it. I know it’s

a dangerous sport but many things are

dangerous so we have to try and take part in

all sports with as many safety measures as

we can. We have to respect the dangers and

just try to remain safe and do our job. For my

mother it’s more difficult! I think this sport is

difficult for all the mothers to watch!’

And before you think these are the words

of a crazy and irresponsible young kid,

consider this: when she’s not travelling the

globe fighting for a world championship, Ana

Carrasco is studying for a law degree. Half

way through a four-year course, the girl from

Cehegin in the Murcia region of south-east

Spain must balance adrenalin with diligence

and solitude in equal measure. ‘It’s difficult

to do both things because I spend so much

time away from home but now I’m in a sports

university where many Olympic athletes study

so they give me the possibility to change the

dates of my exams if I am racing. So I try

to work out my study and exams calendar

according to the racing calendar. It’s a fouryear

course and I am in my second year now.

‘I don’t know for sure if I will

be a lawyer after racing but

this is my Plan B! I want to

be a racer and be riding for

many years but, if not, then

at least I have another plan

to be a normal person and

to have a job and a family

and everything.’



Perhaps even more impressive – and

certainly testimony to her determination and

will to win – Carrasco also maintains a brutal

training regime that would qualify as a full-time

job in itself. ‘I train around six hours every day’

she says. ‘I go to the gym for about three or

four hours and then ride dirt bikes for another

few hours.’

It’s this kind of commitment that sees

Carrasco regularly beating an entire field full of

men and her reward is the sheer satisfaction

that generates. ‘Yes, for me it’s good!’ she

laughs. ‘This is a motivation to show the

people that women can do the same. This

is what I want – I want to win in a world

championship so I can show that I can beat

the best riders in the world in that class. So,

I want to be always better and better and

better and to arrive at the top.’

It’s perhaps not easy for every male

psyche to handle being beaten by a woman

(in the past, they’ve also had to accept

Carrasco’s own take on the brolly dolly –

she had her own umbrella fella on the grid!)

especially in a sport that has for so long been

male-dominated. So how do her rivals treat

her? Does she get the respect she deserves

or does she get shunned by bitter, defeated

rivals? ‘For sure they respect me because

if you are fast, everybody respects you! I’ve

shown them that I can win races and fight

for the championship so I think everybody

respects me now.’

Testosterone is not always a man’s best

friend. Often it can lead to rash decisions out

on track and crazy do-or-die lunges that have

little chance of working and every chance of

ending in crashes and broken bones. In the

sport, this kind of aggression is known as ‘red

mist’ and it’s the one area where Carrasco

thinks female riders may actually have a slight

advantage over the men.

‘Sometimes it helps

to be a woman, yes.

Women think more

when they are on the

bike! The men are

more brave but they

sometimes make

dangerous moves

without thinking and

sometimes this is not so

good! I think in my case I

have a slight advantage

here because I always

stay calm and think a lot

about what I have to do

out on the race track.’

Female motorcycle racers are no longer a

complete novelty but they’re still very much in

the minority (there are none at all, for example,

in the world’s two biggest motorcycle

championships – MotoGP and World

Superbikes) although Carrasco believes it’s

getting easier for women to be involved.

‘Every year it gets a bit more easy. It’s difficult

for a young female rider to see how they can

arrive in a world championship if they never

see any other girls doing it. So if you are the

first girl to do it then it’s more difficult but once

you can see that other girls are doing it then

you can think “Why not? Why can’t I do the

same?” So, for the girls, it’s important that I’m

doing a good job in the world championship.

‘I think women can do the same as men

in this sport. We are all just riders and we can

all do the same thing. But it’s more difficult

for women to find a good opportunity – a

good team and a good bike. It’s more difficult

for people to believe that we can win so we

have many problems in getting access to

competitive equipment to be fighting at the

top. In this sport, if you do not have a good

bike then you cannot fight to win.’

As to the future, Carrasco already has

some options on the table due to her

incredible performances this year. But for

now, she’s concentrating on the job in hand. ‘I

want to continue with Kawasaki because I am

very happy with them and they are supporting

me to be at the top. I would also like to

continue with my team. But it will depend on

what we achieve this year. I have some offers

from the Moto3 World Championship and

also from World Supersport 600 and World

Supersport 300 teams. At the moment, I

don’t know. I think around September time

we will start to look more closely at next year

but at the moment I just want to think about

the championship.’

There are two rounds remaining of the

World Supersport 300 Championship – at

Portimao, Portugal, on September 16, and

at Magny-Cours, France, on September 30.

Carrasco has a healthy 16-point lead over

Germany’s Luca Grunwald but with 25 points

available for each race win, it’s still all to play

for. One crash or mechanical breakdown

could change everything, but Carrasco is

confident. ‘We have a good opportunity, we

are in a good position in the championship,

so I want to try to win at Portimao because I

like this place. The circuit is good for me, so I

would like to finish on the podium and win the

championship there. But if not, then we will

wait and try again in Magny-Cours. For sure

we have a good opportunity and we are in the

best position to win the championship.’

The sport of motorcycle road racing has

been around for well over 100 years but no

woman has ever come this close to lifting a

world title. So what would it mean to the petite,

highly intelligent, and multi-lingual Spaniard

if she could put an end to all that and finally

prove beyond all doubt that women have a

genuine place in motorcycle racing? ‘For me it

would be a dream come true because, for my

whole life, my dream is to be world champion

and this year I have the opportunity so I want

to give my best to try to win.’






Michael White (Consortium Shipping

Yamaha R1) claimed his first national title

when he wrapped up the 2018 SuperGP

Champions Trophy by winning both heats

at the fifth round of the series, held at the

Aldo Scribante circuit in Port Elizabeth

on Saturday, 25 August after defending

champion Clint Seller (King Price

Extreme / Bikefin Yamaha R1) crashed

out of the opening race.

In the Super600 category, Adolf Boshoff

(Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) took

both race wins from Blaze Baker (King

Price Extreme / Bikefin Yamaha R6) to

close the gap to just five points between

the two of them heading into the final

round in four weeks. Kewyn Snyman (The

Mag Workshop KTM RC390) won all three

of his heats on the day to move to the top

of the Super300 standings.

Words and pics: Paul Bedford


In Friday afternoon’s qualifying session,

Seller and White were the picks of the

fi eld, with Seller almost four-tenths

quicker than White. Daryn Upton (Uncle

Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR 1000) led

the chasing pack with the second row

of the grid headed by Arushen Moodley

(Dynamic Express Services Yamaha

R1) who had Gavin Upton (Turn Skill

Engineering Yamaha R1) and AJ Venter

(Lekka Racing Yamaha R1) alongside

him. Problems with the electronics on

his RPM Centre/Stunt SA Kawasaki

ZX10R prevented David McFadden,

who was expected to be up with the

front-runners, from setting a time.

In the opening race, White grabbed

the lead when the lights went out, but

it wasn’t long before Seller, knowing

he needed to fi nish in front of White to

keep his championship hopes on track,

found a way through. The multiple

champion pushed hard to open a gap,

setting the fastest ever Superbike race

lap time around the newly resurfaced

Clint Seller became the

first motorcycle rider to

break the 1-minute mark.


Aldo Scribante circuit, before he lost the

front end of his Yamaha through the fast-lefthand

sweep. While Seller was not injured,

the same could not be said for his bike, and

he was out for the remainder of the day, the

59.862-second lap record his only reward

from the trip to Port Elizabeth. With Seller on

the side-lines, White had a comfortable run to

the fl ag and the 25 championship points that

went with the win. Behind White, McFadden

had a somewhat lonely run to second with

Moodley eventually getting the better of Daryn

Upton to take the fi nal podium spot. Gavin

Upton ended fi fth on the road and fi rst in the

SuperMasters category.

With Seller not able to start the race, White

just needed to fi nish the second heat to claim

the 2018 title. A cautious start left him in third,

behind Daryn Upton and Moodley at the end

of the fi rst lap, but just a lap later he was in

front and controlled things from there to take

the race win and the 2018 championship.

Behind him, there was a three-way battle

for the remaining podium positions between

Upton, Moodley and McFadden. This became

a two-way fi ght when McFadden’s Kawasaki

cried enough. Moodley showed he had lost

none of the skill that brought him the 2007

South African Superbike title, eventually

fi nding a way past Upton to take second.

Gavin Upton ended in fourth and again took

the SuperMasters win.


There was very little to choose between Baker

and Boshoff on the Super600 qualifying

session, Boshoff claiming pole for the opening

race by just 0.022”. The positions for the

second race, based on their second quickest

laps, were reversed with Baker a couple of

tenths quicker than the Suzuki mounted man.

Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Kawasaki ZX6)

completed the front row of the grid for both

races. The second row of the grid was an all-

Cape Town affair, Jared Schultz (Uncle Andy

Racing Suzuki GSXR600) leading the way

from Brandon Staffen (AJH Cooling/Keating

& Jansen Kawasaki ZX6) and Gareth Gehlig

(Formula Autos / RPM Centre Kawasaki ZX6).

Baker grabbed the lead at the start of the

fi rst race and managed to open up a slight

gap before Boshoff slowly hunted him down.

With a couple of laps to go, Boshoff moved

into the lead but Baker stayed on his back

wheel. In the drag to the line from the fi nal

corner, it looked like a dead heat, but the

timing system had Boshoff in front by just one

one-thousandth of a second. Staffen, riding

with injured ankles and a fractured pelvis after

a huge crash in a regional race at Killarney a

couple of weeks ago, was able to hang on

to third although his task was made easier

Double win and the title

for Michael White.

Another podium for Byron

Bester who now looks favourite

to finish 3rd in the standings.

Rolling backj the years - Arushen Moodley

(21) back on the podium. Another great ride

from Suzuki rider Darryn Upton (66).

Adolf Boshoff and Blaze

Baker put on a real show.




when Schultz crashed out in the early stages.

Bester ended in fourth, just over half-asecond

behind Staffen with AJ Venter (TRD

Motorcycles Yamaha R6) and Gehlig rounding

out the top six.

In race 2 Baker was again the early leader,

but this time he was unable to open up a gap.

He and Boshoff swapped positions regularly,

sometimes multiple times on a lap, but

Boshoff was in front when it counted, taking

the win by half a second and setting-up a

thrilling fi nale to the championship at Phakisa

in a month’s time. Bester just managed

to hold off Shultz to take the fi nal podium

position with Staffen, who had to work his

way back through the pack after running wide

at turn one early on, in fi fth ahead of Gehlig.


Dino Iozzo (King Price Extreme/Bikefi n Honda)

went to Port Elizabeth with a 6-point lead

in the Super300 championship, but with

three races on the card and a maximum

of 75 points on offer, Kewyn Snyman (The

Mag Workshop KTM RC390) was looking

to eliminate that gap. The two of them were

separated by just 0.012” at the end of the

Friday qualifying session, Iozzo taking the

honours. Ryno Pretorius (Pretorius Blomme

Yamaha R3) completed the front row. Chase

Hulscher (Uncle Andy Racing / Motul KTM

RC390) got the better of Taric van der Merwe

(Evolve Nutrition Yamaha R3) to head row

two with Clinton Fourie (NCA Plant Hire

/ Kimco Yamaha R3) completing the top

six. Unfortunately, Pretorius crashed in the

Saturday morning warm-up session, ending

his race weekend.

In the opening race, Iozzo grabbed the

early lead but crashed leaving Snyman to take

an easy win. Iozzo was able to re-mount but

fi nished way down the fi eld. Iozzo’s misfortune

left Hulscher and van der Merwe to fi ght for

the remaining podium positions, van der

Merwe taking second, leaving Hulscher to

settle for third. Fourie came home in fourth

comfortably ahead of the battle for fi fth and

Dino Iozzo

The every improving Cape Town

youngsters - Brandon Staffen (95)

and Gareth Gehlig (48).

Kewyn Snyman

Taric van der Merwe and Chase Hulscher.

sixth which went the way of Keegan Mills

(Kawasaki Ninja 300) from Deegan Claassens

(Nine Nine Racing Kawasaki Ninja 300).

Race 2 was a ding-dong affair at the front

of the fi eld with Iozzo and Snyman swapping

positions almost every lap for the fi rst half of

the race. Snyman then sat in Iozzo’s wheel

track until the penultimate lap, when he was

able to use a backmarker to his advantage,

passing Iozzo and opening up a gap that

Iozzo couldn’t close before the fl ag. Van der

Merwe and Hulscher again spent the entire

race within a couple of bike lengths of each

other, with van der Merwe again in front

when it counted. Fourie took fi fth ahead of


An early mistake by Iozzo in the fi nal race

dropped him to the back of the fi eld and

allowed Snyman to take an easy win. Iozzo

fought his way back through the fi eld, getting

past van der Merwe on the fi nal lap to take

second. Fourie got the

better of his duel with Mills

to take fourth while the best

that Hulscher, who made a mistake shortly

before half-distance, could do was sixth.

Snyman heads to the fi nal into the fi nal

round with a 21-point advantage in the

championship standings with van der Merwe

a further 23 point back.


Rob Portman (RideFast Magazine KTM Super

Duke) made a welcome return to top-fl ight

motorcycle racing and immediately made

an impact, just missing out on pole position

for the opening BOTTS race to Thomas

Brown (Rehab Racing Ducati), but taking

pole position for the other two races. James

Harper (Moto Uno Ducati) was next up, ahead

of Hendrik Fourie (Ducati), Alan Hulscher

(ALDOR Steel Fabrications Ducati) and

Christo Reeders (Ducati).

Portman grabbed an immediate lead in

the opening race, opening up a substantial

gap which Harper slowly closed down.

It all came down to the last lap when a

backmarker just slowed Portman enough

to allow Harper to grab the win, the pair

separated by just over a tenth at the line.

Brown joined them on the podium, with

Hulscher, Mick Landi (Rehab Racing Ducati)

and Fourie rounding out the top six.

The second race looked like it was going

to be a repeat of the fi rst, but Portman

crashed out of the lead on the second lap,

leaving Harper to take another win, this time

from Brown and Hulscher. Landi, Fourie and

Reeders rounded out the top six.

Race 3 went to Brown, who had to fi ght

off Hulscher with Landi joining them on the

podium. Fourie got the better of Reeders to

take fourth with Harper in sixth.

The SuperGP Champions Trophy now

makes its way to Phakisa Freeway for the fi nal

round, which takes place on Saturday, 22

September 2018.

James Harper

Thomas Brown


As used by top British

Superbike riders and teams:

Jake Dixon - RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki

Bradley Ray - Buildbase Suzuki

James Ellison - Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha

Shaun Winfield - Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha

Richard Cooper - Bennetts Suzuki

Jakub Smrz - Lloyd & Jones / PR Racing

Martin Jessop - Ridersmotorcycles BMW

Hiflofiltro — the world’s first TÜV approved oil filter. Engineered to extreme quality

standards, Hiflofiltro is the complete range of oil and air filters for motorcycles, scooters,

ATVs, and watercraft, providing the ultimate level of protection for your engine.

Trade Enquiries: (011) 672-6599

Email: mark@trickbitz.co.za

Enquire at your local dealer

Office Hours Mon-Fri 8am-5pm


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