RideFast October 2018


SA's best motorcycle magazine!






LESS 2%*!



Packed with gut-wrenching performance and equally

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Our KTM 1290 Super Duke R goes from

the the road road to to the the track track to to take take on on some some mighty mighty

Ducati Ducati race race bikes bikes around around Aldo Aldo Scribante. Scribante.


Foto: R. Schedl


Full details and fi rst ride on the new 765cc British racer.





New Kawasaki and

BMW superbikes

set to be released

next year.





* Promotion valid from 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018 on all new, in-stock 1290 Super Duke R 2017 models, while stocks last, at all participating KTM dealers. All information with the

proviso that mistakes, printing, setting and typing errors may occur. Please consult your local dealer for further details. Terms and Conditions apply. Finance is subject to approval.

Initiation fee and service fee may be applicable. KTM Finance is a product of WesBank - a division of First Rand Bank Ltd. Registered Bank. An Authorised Financial Services and

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Die abgebildeten Fahrzeuge können in einzelnen Details vom Serienmodell abweichen und zeigen teilweise Sonderausstattung gegen Mehrpreis.

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Dunlop Tyres SA

Voted South Africa’s Number One tyre brand

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Rob Portman


082 782 8240



Kyle Lawrenson


071 684 4546





011 979 5035


Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

The Singh

Mieke Oelofsen

Greg Moloney

Copyright © RideFast Magazine

All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced,

distributed, or transmitted in any

form or by any means, including

photocopying, articles, or other

methods, without the prior written

permission of the publisher.

Another day, another issue completed. Yes people, it’s

October already and the festive season is very much

underway. In this issue, we recognize that some do like

to get their festive season spirit and shopping underway

sooner than most, that’s why we’ve added some extra

specials in this issue. Firstly, we have the Scorpion

helmets competition, now in its second of three months

running. We had a great response last month with some

really good entries. We also received some very boring

entries, which we do not take into account. Please we

need you to get creative with your entries. There are 9

helmets adding up to R50k up for grabs, so no ordinary

entry is going to get you in.

On the fi nal page of the mag we also have some

vouchers for you to take into the selected stores and

get some discount off your purchase. So, if you are in

the market for some new Rossi or Vinales merch, a new

helmet, jacket, boots, gloves – you name it, now is the

time to take advantage of these vouchers.


We really want to encourage our readers to take

advantage of the advertisers we have that support us

every month. Without them, there would be no magazine

so please go out and support them and tell them you

saw their brand/business in RideFast Magazine – just

boosts us a bit more and makes our job of getting

advertising that bit easier.

There are so many great highlights in this issue – so

much for you to read and enjoy. Starting off with the

cover story for this month, where I take our KTM 1290

Super Duke R long-term bike and put it to the test

against some of the fastest Ducati machines and riders

in the country down at the Aldo Scribante circuit in

PE. What a time I had, really did get that unmatched

adrenaline feeling back, which I have not had in a while

and have missed so much.

The price tag of our SD 1290 R is up to around R280k,

that includes the full retail price of the bike and all the

added accessories. The test not only proved that you

don’t have to spend a complete fortune on a full-prepped

modern-day superbike to go fast and enjoy out on track,

but also just how versatile and impressive the KTM Beast

really is. I won’t give-away too much here, but I would

like to say a big thank you to Franziska, Riaan and the

team from KTM SA for getting the bike sorted and giving

me the opportunity to go race it. To Leroy and Vic Rich

from Adrenaline Powersport for all their assistance, Derek

Hall from Venture Sports and Motorex for supplying

me with all the lubricants needed. The team from Auto

Motorcycles in PE, especially Clayton Petzer for coming

to the track and helping me out. Steve Theron from

Metzeler tyres SA for the amazing slick tyres, really don’t

know why more track day riders are not using these

slicks – they are simply sublime! Ricky Morais for all the

setup and advise and, most of all, my wife and mommy

for letting me go race!

As you can see, budget was tight and I couldn’t even

afford a decent looking brolly-dolly for the grid. Luckily,

“The Voice of Choice”, Greg Moloney was on hand with

his RideFast cap to offer me some kind of shade.

On to another great event. I recently commentated at the

annual Stofskop event held at the Walkerville fl at track out

in the South of JHB and what an event it was yet again.

I had the privilege of commentating on the event for the

fi rst-time last year and was ecstatic when Chris Shelvey

called me up again to ask if I would do this year’s event.

A big jol was had by all and we have a full feature on this

not-to-be-missed event in this issue. Think we might

have to build and enter something even more special for

next year’s event…

Here at RideFast, we love nothing more than bringing you

world exclusives and have done so on many occasion in

the past, including our last two issues. We’ve managed

to get another exclusive test in this issue. Our mates at

Visordown, the UK website, very kindly let us use their

feature and test they did on the new Triumph Moto2

prototype racer. Alan Dowds writes a brilliant article on

what is a very exciting project. Can’t wait to see and hear

the new bikes in action next year and what I have heard

from Brad Binder and Steven Odendaal, who have both

sampled the new bike already, it’s going to be epic.

Staying with racing, we have a great feature on Romano

Fenati. Basically, the rise and fall of the Italian rider who

threw his career away at the Misano race. I’m sure you

all know by now how he did that and in this feature top

MotoGP journo, David Emmett, takes us through the

Fenati saga in detail. I met Romano back in 2016 when

I attended a private KTM Moto3 test with Brad Binder

at that very same circuit and while all the other riders

there on the day, Nicolo Bulega, Andrea Migno and Efren

Vasquez were polite and greeted me, Romano simply

walked straight past with his chest puffed out. A kid with

issues for sure and it’s sad to think that a rider with so

much talent and opportunity could just throw it away in

the manner he has done.

One young, talented rider that is doing things the right

way is our very own Jesse Boshoff. I have watched this

young man battle through adversity for many years now

and like most was so happy to see him fi nally get a crack

at his dream of racing overseas. When Jesse posted

up on Facebook about the opportunity and asking

people and companies to get involved to help get him

there I jumped at the chance to help out. Jesse had a

great time over in Spain and raised many an eyebrow

and I’m pleased to say he sent us a great article about

his experience there. RideFast prides itself of doing

everything we can to help expose and support SA talent

and we are proud to be part of Jesse’s journey and hope

this is one of many opportunities he gets to help further

his career.

We have the usual Matt Birt MotoGP column in this issue

as well, where he talks about the Suzuki MotoGP project

past and present. A brilliant insightful read as always.

Tech Tips, riding tips, latest news and bikes, a passionate

group of Ducati fans in Cape Town and an International

and local ride on KTM’s all-new 790 Duke all featured in

this issue, so there is plenty for you to enjoy!

We have also started our readers letters section again,

where we will publish some of the mails we receive every

month so get those letters in – email rob@ridefast.co.za.

To end off just a reminder to get your entries in for the

Scorpion helmets comp and to also take advantage of

the discount vouchers at the back of the magazine.

Until next month, ride safe! Cheers, Rob.


O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8



Rob takes our KTM 1290

Super Duke R longtermer

and races it against some

trick Ducati racebikes.







PG4: 2019


More news and pics of BMW’s new S1000RR

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Kawasaki has unveiled the 2019 range of their flagship performance motorcycle – the ZX-10R, including

the ZX-10R SE and the limited edition ZX-10RR. Based on the KRT race machine that has so far amassed

three consecutive WorldSBK Championships, the trio of models in the Ninja ZX-10R range all offer greater

power, a more generous power band and a torque increase for 2019.

Kawasaki has given updates to its ZX-10R litre-class superbike range

for 2019, including a new valvetrain. This also gives the

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R a power bump and ensures that engine

can rev harder for a longer time. With this, the company hopes to

continue its winning streak at the World Superbike Championship

(WSBK). The big change on the 2019 Ninja ZX-10R is the fi ngerfollower

valve actuation system in the engine, which replaces the

tappet-style valves. A similar system has previously been seen on

the BMW S1000RR and the new Suzuki GSX-R1000. This reduces

the valvetrain mass by around 20 per cent.

The fi nger-follower will be common on 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R,

ZX-10RR, and ZX-10R SE. The lighter valve setup allows the engine

to rev up faster and sustain the high revs more reliably. This coupled

with more aggressive cams takes the power up by 3.04HP, taking the

power output to 203HP. This move will focus more on track riding and

racing conditions, wherein the sustained high-revs will come in handy.

The 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR which will be limited to a run

of 500 units gets new Pankl titanium con-rods as well. These save

over 400gm over the engine of the ZX-10R and SE. The con-rods

also enable the ZX-10RR to rev 600rpm higher, while also adding a

HP to power output for 204HP. The RR also receives track-tuned

suspension, and lighter, forged Marchesini wheels. It will only be

available in the Kawasaki Lime Green colour.

The top of the line 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE retains its semiactive

KECS suspension from the current motorcycle, the same

updated engine as the ZX-10R and also receives Kawasaki’s new antiscratch

self-healing paint job. Not sure if this model will make it to SA.

Kawasaki has not yet announced the launch date of the 2019

motorcycle range, but we are pretty sure we here in SA will be seeing

the new ZX-10R and limited edition ZX-10RR machines soon.




THE 2019 BMW S1000RR


After a lot of teasing the first design patents of the BMW S1000RR

are finally here. The new German superbike is completely changed,

and BMW claims it will be a “game changer” once again. Ducati

Panigale V4 watch out!

So accomplished, the S1000RR has

survived with relatively minor tweaks

right to this day. There have been three

generations – the 2009-2011 version,

2012-2014 bike and 2015-2018 model

– but it’s been a case of steady evolution

rather than revolution.

But the revolution starts here. The 2019

S1000RR, shown in detail in these patent

images, is a completely new bike. Virtually

nothing is carried over from its predecessor

and every indication is that it’s set to be

as big of a leap forward as the original

S1000RR was back in 2009.

Let’s start with the engine. While a simple

set of pictures can’t give us much insight

into whatever technology BMW has

incorporated into it, there’s no doubt that

it’s an entirely new inline-four. Every visible

case and casting is noticeably different,

and major components like the water

pump have been repositioned. In short,

this is a new motor.

As such, it’s unthinkable that it’s going to be

anything other than a signifi cant step forward.

Given the existing BMW S 1000 RR already

knocks on the door of 200hp in standard

form, the 2019 model is is poised to soar

past that notional milestone. What’s more, it’s

likely to be among the fi rst new bikes to meet

the upcoming Euro5 emissions regulations

that are set to be introduced in Europe in

stages, starting in 2020.

That makes it all the more impressive that

BMW has managed to reduce the size of

the exhaust end can, which looks about

half the size of the one on the current

S1000RR. There’s a large collector box

ahead of it, of course, plus a pair of

catalytic converters, each attached to

two of the four downpipes.

The new engine has also allowed

or prompted BMW to create a

distinctive new chassis. It’s still

an aluminum beam frame, but

instead of the normal straight

beams on either side there

are Z-shaped rails that closely

follow the contours of the engine and

transmission. Presumably the unusual

chassis design helps keep the bike

compact; given that we know the wheels

are conventional 17-inch rims, the overall

size of the 2019 S1000RR appears to be

far smaller than its predecessor.

Another unusual aspect is the swingarm,

which is braced from below rather than

above. That’s the method favored in

MotoGP, but no rival road-going superbike

currently uses under-slung swingarm

bracing – not because it’s

a bad idea but because

it’s diffi cult to package

a swingarm like this

while leaving space

for the bulky exhaust

systems needed

on road bikes. The

competition will be

taking a very close

look at how BMW

has managed to do it.

Higher up, the seat subframe adopts

a tubular, trellis design rather than the

square-section aluminium tubing used on

the existing S1000RR; a measure that’s

surely intended to save weight.

Given the new technical aspects of the

bike, BMW has clearly opted to take a

new styling direction. The Popeye-style

headlight arrangement that’s been a

feature of every S1000RR to date is gone,

replaced by a more conventional and

symmetrical arrangement. The side panels

are also more symmetrical than before,

although BMW is keeping a vestige of the

‘gills’ that have always been present on the

right-hand side of S 1000 RRs.

BMW is expected to launch the S1000RR

at October’s Intermot show in Cologne,

Germany, part of a massive model

range revamp that will also include the

new R1250GS, R1250GS Adventure,

R1250RT, and F850GS Adventure.

We really love the colours of the above illustration design.

Below looks a bit too much like the old colours.

Leaner and meaner - Nearly every shape

on the 2019 BMW S1000RR is different,

including the asymmetrical headlights.





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,

highway cruising or riding on unpaved roads.

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

BMW G 310 RR concept

makes an appearance

After much speculation, BMW has finally allowed

us a first look at the sporty variant of its 310.


The BMW G 310 R has been around

for a few years now and the brand’s fi rst

incursion into the realm of entry-level

models has been pretty successful.

Some, however, thought the tiny naked

model needed a sporty sister to hang out

with. Until now, BMW had given us very

little to work with regarding the possible

introduction of a G variant. The inquiries

had so far been met with the silent austerity

of a Bavarian secret keeper. It looks like the

seal has fi nally broken, however, and just

like that, without any grand reveal, or bells,

or whistles, Japan (and the world) got its

fi rst look at the G 310 RR.

The concept showed up during BMW

Motorrad Days. Modestly displayed on a

wooden stage, the G 310 RR-branded

motorcycle became a confi rmation that

BMW had heard us and that it was indeed

working on a fully-faired 310. The design

borrows heavily from the S 1000 RR—

the current design, not the one recently

leaked—down to the slit-like frontal air

intake and fairing gills.

The side-hung exhaust of the G 310 R

has been moved and can now be seen

peeking out from under the pillion. The

fairing and gas tank look entirely made of

carbon fi bre and the riding position has

been slightly radicalized. It really does

look like a baby S. The front fairing is

based on typical sportbike design, highly

inspired from their own liter class products

and getting a bigger than usual visor for

wind protection. The seat is fl at, and rear

gets a lightweight carbon fi bre cowl. The

components used here are mostly shared

with G310R, and thus, one can expect a

slight increase in price for the production

version. The addition includes clip-on bars,

dual headlight, and side fairing.

Considering the name plastered all over the

concept, we can expect the RR to use the

same 313cc, producing 34 hp of power

and 28 Nm of torque, block as its naked

counterpart. We’re not sure when we’ll

get any more info on the new 310, but we

guess we’ll see a proper production version

debut at this year’s Intermot or EICMA and

production to begin for model year 2019.

Strange as we would have thought they

would have increased capacity and power

to compete against the Kawasaki Ninja

400 in the very competitive Supersport

300 class. Either way, its looks really trick

especially in all that carbon delight. Let’s

hope that if/when the fully-faired version

comes out it looks similar to this and BMW

don’t tame it down too much.








Save R10k on new Yamaha R6

Yamaha’s all-new Supersport 600cc machine

was released last year and has since won

a World Championship and many National

championships. It’s the leading Supersport

machine on the market today and you can

now SAVE R10,000 on the normal retail price.

Now only R179,950. Available from all

Yamaha dealers Nationwide.

Valid while stocks last so hurry!


RK Chains are imported and distributed by AMP. To find your

nearest RK Chains dealer call 011 259 7750 today.

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 Ryuyo

A 209hp carbon-fibred out Japenese weapon for a lucky few

Some say the current generation Suzuki

GSX-R1000 is unfortunately neutered for the

market. Now our European friends get to see

what the Suzuki GSX-R1000 can do when

the Japanese brand cranks it up to 11.

Behold the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Ryuyo, a

209hp superbike that weighs 168kg (dry),

and is our answer to the teaser photos that

Suzuki has been sharing on social media.

The work of Suzuki Moto Italia, only 20

Ryuyo-spec machines will be made for

consumption, and they will cost €29,990 if

you want one.

An homage to the Ryuyo R&D center that

tests all of Suzuki’s new models, the Suzuki

GSX-R1000 Ryuyo is an example of the

technical prowess found at this Japanese

motor house.

Teaming up with a bevy of other brands on

the project, we see the work of Yoshimure,

Öhlins, Dunlop, Brembo, K&N, Motual,

D&D, and others also embedded in the

Ryuyo model. As you can surmise too, the

bodyworks is all in carbon fibre.

Full details are still light, at this moment,

since the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Ryuyo

doesn’t officially debut until the EICMA trade

show in November, but that hasn’t stopped

Suzuki from releasing some basic technical

information and some cool photos.


Beyond the Apex now up and running

Beyond the Apex and Lekka Racing Shop

have teamed up to bring you an all new

shopping experience.

A fully functional website that caters for a

range of products - from helmets to tyres.

All the top brands at very competitive

pricing. They also offer delivery at a

small charge all across South Africa,

accompanied by a tracking number so you

know where your goodies are. Go check

out the full range of products they offer at

www.beyondtheapex.co.za and check

out their Facebook pages for specials and

great promotions.

Yamaha Concept Store open to public

Bike Kings Pretoria

workshop now open

The new biking accessory store in

Pretoria has now opened its workshop

- offering services on all motorcycles,

fi tment of accessories and tyre changing.

Visit them at Shop J1 Willow Way

Shopping Centre, Lynnwood Road,

Pretoria. Call 012 271 0070.

Situated at the massive World of Yamaha

building at 19 Eastern Service Road in

Sandton, the Yamaha Concept Store is any

and all Yamaha and MotoGP fans dream

shop. It’s fully stocked with all the latest VR46

merch - from shirts to keyrings - and also

stocks offi cial SKY VR46 Racing, Maverick

Vinales and Yamaha Racing apparel. The

store is simply mouth-watering and we can’t

help but drool every time we visit it.

The store has just unpacked the new

2018/2019 range of VR46 apparel and

merchandise. As the offi cial importer of

the VR46 and Maverick Vinales merch, all

stock is priced very well. The store is open

to public so get down there and do some

shopping. You can also have a look at the

stunning range of Yamaha motorcycles

and marine on display in the massive

showroom, or grab a cooldrink and a bite to

eat at the cafe.

Call 011 259 7604 for more information.

Check out later in this issue for a FREE

discount voucher where you can get 10%

off your purchase of any VR46, MV25

or Yamaha apparel or merch. Sale items

excluded. One voucher per customer.

Valid until the end of November 2018.

MotoMate Edenvale

makes a move

MotoMate is the massive motorcycle

accessory chain stores situated in

Sandton, Edenvale and Boksburg.

A couple of years ago, MotoMate

Greenstone opened, situated right next

door to Ridgeway Racebar. That store

has recently moved to bigger and better

premises on the main strip in Edenvale -

123 Van Rieebeck road (the old Full Throttle

store). The new store is massive and

packed with everything you could possibly

need or want for you and your motorcycle.

MotoMate pride themselves on quality

customer service and we can give them

two thumbs up in that department having

experienced it fi rst hand.

The Boksburg store was recently opened

in conjunction with BikeShop Boksburg,

situated on the Golden Mile strip on North

Rand Road in the East Rand.

MotoMate Sandton - 011 234 5274

MotoMate Edenvale - 011 027 0545/47

MotoMate Boksburg - 011 025 8272


Back in the saddle - Mick Doohan

races CB1000R on the Glemseck

Purpose-built Glemseck CB1000R designed by Honda Racing UK

Every year, swarms of two-wheeling enthusiasts,

motorsport superstars, bike clubs, companies, and

world-renowned builders descend on the historic

Solitude race track of Leonberg. There they watch

vintage motorcycles, café racers, and one-off

customs face off in 1/8th mile sprint races. It’s an

annual, adrenaline-pumping, very rock’n roll affair

at the Glemseck 101. The 13th Glemseck 101

motorcycle festival in Germany happened over the

weekend, from August 31 to September 2, 2018.

The Aussie legend and five-time 500cc GP

champ, Mick Doohan, participated in the Sprint

International 1/8th mile invitational race on a special

custom bike called the Glemseck CB1000R,

created by Honda Racing UK.

Honda Racing UK’s Glemseck CB1000R had to

be outfitted with a bespoke single-sided swingarm,

a custom clutch, and Rizoma accessories. The

Brits also gave it a full Akrvpovic exhaust system,

upgraded Brembo brakes, and Fireblade SP

Öhlins suspension.


The Big Boy,

GoMoto & Jonway

range - offering

“More Ride for

your Rand”

SA Motorcycles, importers and distributors of these

super-popular brands, provide a highly affordable range of scooters, commuters and utility

models, all with Factory Warranty and spares backup from around 80 dealers nationwide.

Whether for business or pleasure, we’ve got a model for you, so visit our website for

more info, specs and images on our

full product line-up.


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The Glemseck CB1000R also rocked an awesome HRC

tricolor scheme, positively dripping with gold. Neither the

power nor weight seemed to have been altered, however, as

the bike was registered at the event with stock numbers (145

PS and 212 kg).

The Neo Sports Café roadster sang with all its bells and

whistles for an audience that was undoubtedly thrilled to see

Doohan launching a Honda once again. Remember, it was

a two-stroke Honda NSR500 V4 “screamer” that Brembo

engineers outfi tted with the famous thumb-operated rear

brake in 1993 for the injured Doohan. 25 years later, that tech

has reappeared in today’s MotoGP.

Honda fi elded six custom machines by different builders at

the festival. As the Glemseck 101 becomes more popular

(and commercialized), dealers and moto-culture companies

have been fi nding it increasingly important to faithfully show

up in full force.

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


Brought to you by




Karel Abraham insists the Avintia Ducati

MotoGP team did not choose to sign him until

2020 because of the budget he can bring.

Abraham’s future in MotoGP looked uncertain

for most of this year’s silly season as the

successor to his current Angel Nieto team,

SIC Racing, signed Franco Morbidelli and

Fabio Quartararo for 2019.

But in the end the Czech rider secured a

move to Avintia Ducati and, after racing with

two-year-old bikes for the past two seasons,

Abraham will ride a year-old GP18 in 2019.

He effectively replaces Xavier Simeon at

the team, with Tito Rabat expected to stay

alongside Abraham.

While Abraham admitted that he does bring

money to Avintia, he is sure the team’s

decision was not solely down to that and

says all his rivals for the ride would have been

paying too.

“It was very diffi cult because obviously there

were some points where it was looking really

bad, looking that next year there wouldn’t

be a place for me in MotoGP,” Abraham told


“But we tried to work very hard, I know that

this position that I got was between me and a

couple of other riders.

A lot of people say bad things about me on

the internet - that we paid for the place.

To be honest, of course we had to bring

money. But all the other guys were about to

bring the same money.

Actually two of them that were interested

were about to bring more money than I was,

willing to bring more than my sponsors.

They just took the decision together with

Ducati to take me, I can out of my pure heart

say this decision was not about the money

but [something] deeper down.”

Abraham revealed that while the plan is to

use a one-year-old Ducati in 2020 as well,

he has the chance to get an even better bike

should he get “exceptional results” in 2019.

“This [riding a year-old bike in 2019] is what it

says but the contract in this way is a little bit

open,” he said.

“Of course yes, we get the 2019 [bike] in

2020 but we have an option if we have

exceptional results to even upgrade to a

better bike or better parts.

“But this is just if the results are really supergood.”

Abraham added that before securing the

Avintia seat he was exploring options outside

MotoGP such as the World Superbike

Championship, but there were no options to

ride a competitive bike there.





Current Repsol Honda ace Dani Pedrosa

has been linked to a testing role with

the Red Bull KTM Factory Team when

he retires from competition at the

conclusion of the 2018 MotoGP World

Championship, according a report on


Interest from former long-time crew

chief Mike Leitner and the opportunity to

continue his partnership with KTM’s title

sponsor Red Bull is understood to be

a lucrative deal for the number 26, who

has collected 54 grand prix victories in

his career.

KTM’s regular test rider Mika Kallio has

been ruled out for the rest of the season

after sustaining knee ligament damage

at the Sachsenring, but the Finnish ace is

expected to work alongside Pedrosa in a

two-man test team as the Austrian factory

continues its development of the RC-16.

The 32-year-old is expected to forgo any

wildcard appearances with KTM.

KTM is set to boost its MotoGP presence

in 2019 as Tech 3 Racing will transition to

the manufacturer, while the factory squad

is set to fi eld talented contender Johann

Zarco alongside regular Pol Espargaro.


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Even after 5 000 KM, a MICHELIN Road tyre

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CHELIN Pilot Road 4, METZELER Roadtec 01, DUNLOP Road Smart 3, CONTINENTAL Road Attack 3, PIRELLI

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to you by



Yamaha may have to ultimately

consider ditching its long-time inline four

engine confi guration in favour of a V4

layout to match MotoGP rivals Honda

and Ducati, says Valentino Rossi.

Having gone without a win since last

year’s Assen race, Yamaha is now

on the cusp of its worst ever premier

class losing streak, and will eclipse its

existing record of 22 races (between

1996 and 1998) if it fails to win next

time out at Aragon.

Along with Suzuki, Yamaha is one

of two manufacturers that uses the

inline four engine layout for its MotoGP

bike, with Honda and Ducati – along

with Aprilia and KTM – using the V4

confi guration.

Honda has used a V engine since

the dawn of the MotoGP era, albeit

switching from a V5 to a V4 in 2007,

while Ducati has always used a wideangle

desmodromic V4 design since it

entered the class in 2003.

Honda in particular has made strides

with its engine in recent years by

switching to a Yamaha-style ‘bigbang’

fi ring order in 2017 – a year on

from adopting the now near-universal

counter-rotating crankshaft, adopted

by Ducati in 2015.

Asked if Yamaha might have to

consider ditching the inline four layout

it has used since 2002 to get back

on terms with its rivals, Rossi replied:

“Yeah, it’s possible that also the engine

is a problem. It’s possible.

“We have to say that Ducati and

Honda learned from Yamaha, because

already the Yamaha three, four years

ago was very smooth, and Honda and

Ducati [were] screaming a lot, [they

were] more aggressive.

“It looks like in the last years Ducati

and Honda made [themselves]

more like Yamaha. They have the V

[formation], we have the four line... can

be [the reason].”

Rossi, who dropped to third in the

championship after an anonymous

ride to seventh in last weekend’s San

Marino Grand Prix also remarked that

Yamaha’s rate of development has

suffered in recent seasons, having

not stood on the podium since July’s

Sachsenring race.

Teammate Maverick Vinales has

likewise dropped to fi fth in the

standings after following up a poor

run to 12th in Austria with a fi fth-place

fi nish in Misano on Sunday.

“In the last three seasons, we

start the season with a quite good

level but after during the season,

especially in the second part, looks

like that technically we suffer more,”

commented Rossi.

“In fact, if you take my results, I made

a lot more podium sin the fi rst half than

in the second half. And this happened

in the last three years already.

“Looks like the Ducati and Honda

are able to develop the bike in a

better way compared to us. So this

is a problem; they [Yamaha] need to

understand why.”




Experienced British rider Bradley Smith will join the Aprilia

Test Team for 2019, also set to complete a number of

wildcards in the MotoGP World Championship.

Smith has been replaced by Johann Zarco at Red Bull

KTM next season, however he will remain in the grand

prix paddock in a development role with the Italian

Aprilia factory.

“Bradley showed us a very good attitude, he is a very

good tester and a very good rider,” explained Aprilia

Racing manager Romano Albesiano. “We are planning

different levels of testing next year.”

Earlier in his career, Smith fi nished second in the 125cc

World Championship aboard an Aprilia in 2009. He’s

been in the premier class for six full seasons, scoring two

podiums in his MotoGP career.

It’s also been revealed during the San Marino round that

German Jonas Folger will return to a MotoGP bike as part

of Yamaha’s newly-introduced European test team from

next season.

Folger exited his full-time seat at Monster Energy Yamaha

Tech3 prior to the beginning of this season due to severe

fatigue issues that had affected him through the closing

stages of last year, but has returned to testing in varied

capacities since.




Now here is something that that we bikers could all use, especially race

teams and track day riders - the New Tork Craft 4 in 1 Multi-functional

Workbench, which has just been launched

The new unit comes with a great set of wheels for very easy steering

and mobility with the rear set being lockable. It’s perfect for a hand

trolley and a superb floor trolley for moving things around, transporting

your wheels and tyres, toolboxes and other stuff. The large top has all

that one needs for clamping your work piece to the table top plus the

added of the storage compartments for one bits, tools and screws etc.

The floor trolley is a great unit for getting under your car/bike to do any

checking and maintenance. This unit has a multiple number of uses for

the home owner, DIYer, workshop and all types of light industry work.

The unit can be changed from a hand trolley to a floor trolley in seconds

or a legged scaffold unit with adjustable legs for height, that lock

safely into a fixed position, this gives one the 4th mode which is the

workbench with the optional height adjustment and mobile stand unit

for scaffolding work both indoors and outdoors. The perfect multiple


use unit for all industry, mobile service and maintenance operators,

home owners, DIYers, workshops etc.

The TCWS002, 4 in 1 unit folds up flat for easy storing and transporting.

Technical specifications

Work platform 11 x 47 cm

Work height 56 and extends to 80cm

Load capacity

Work bench 150 kgs when legs are fully extended to 80 mm

Scaffold 300 kgs when legs are extended to 56 mm

Hand Trolley 100kgs

Floor Trolley 150 kg’s

Net Weight 18 kg’s


Price: R2699 From: Vermont Sales - 011 314 7711


Another perfect piece of protection for a hot summers day - the Oxford Melbourne

Air 2.0 Jacket is a versatile warm weather jacket with a removable waterproof liner

for inclement weather. It’s packed with some great features such as waterresistant

zippers on all air vents, reflective detailing for improved

visibility at night and adjustment points on arms and waist.

A brilliant jacket priced very well.

Price: R3000 From: Bike Kings - Donovan 079 219 3182



Heading into our hot summer days it’s not always nice to put on a

full pair of superbike riding boots. Here is a really ‘cool’ alternative.

The Forma Axel boots are the perfect short lightweight sport

riding boots that have the protection that you need without all of

the bulky extras that you don’t. A much better option for summer

riding, especially if you commute everyday. A lot more user friendly.

Price: R2400 From: Bike Kings - Donovan 079 219 3182




Rob has just received his new Berik 2.0 Kangaroo Racing Suit after

he destroyed his previous Arlen-Ness suit whilst trying to be Marc

Marquez at the BOTTS PE race (cover story of this issue).

While Rob’s old suit did its job of protecting him and keeping him

scratch free, sadly it is now a bit worse-for-wear, so an upgrade was

needed to keep Rob looking fresh and funky for future mag tests.

Berik launched a new range of 2.0 Kangaroo suits for 2018, equipped

with Titanium shoulder and knee protectors. The range is available in

a variety of colours - blue, green, yellow and black. Rob decided to go

with the Red suit, a nice change from his previous bright yellow - says

it makes him look slimmer and helps hide his gut.

Apart from that it also offers all the protection and style a racer,

trackday junkie or breakfast run hooligan could want or need.



The SCS Bluetooth head sets are new to the SA market, and our Kyle has

already mounted the S1 to his Just1 adventure lid and is raving about it. He

bluetooths Madonna and Kylie Minogue while he cruises around and he

can accept calls while on the go. He says that the clarity is really good - just

ensure that you mount the spacer that SCS provides. He phoned his goose

at least seven times at all sorts of speeds and she said that she could,

unfortunately, still hear him clearly in all situations... even young Siri worked

on this unit which is pretty cool - voice prompt, no need to even touch your

phone. He says that the system does not affect the comfort of his helmet

in any way. We also have the more advanced S3, which comes with an FM

tuner so that you can listen to Mix FM 93.8 while you are on the go. Glenn

will fit this to his helmet for the trip - and the boys will be able to chat as they

go along. We’ll give a more in depth review soon, but for the time being, they

appear to be great quality units - we are very impressed.

From: Visit www.scssa.co.za to see full range available

Price: R11,895 From: www.beyondtheapex.co.za

Dear Editor

I enjoyed your reporter’s article on the Triumph

Tiger Sport 1050cc and was so glad to see a

road test and riding impression on that model.

The Tiger Sport must be one of the most

overlooked gems of motorcycling.

That triple engine fi nds its DNA (and in fact still

shares a lot of parts) with the second generation

955i triple engines that powered not only several

upgrades of the Tiger 955i of the early 2000’s

but also several Speed Triple and 955i Daytona


Although the 955i Tiger was Triumphs best

selling triple engine from around 2003 to 2006,

it was never popular in South Africa as it was

more road orientated and the market was

largely orientated towards the very capable

BMW GS range. The mistake that we often

make is to ignore the fact that although the

BMW was and maybe still is the benchmark, it

does not make the Tiger a lesser capable bike.

I was one of the lucky few that opted to own

a 955i Tiger (2003 “Grasshopper” green

paintjob-model) and toured the whole of KZN

and Mpumalanga as well as several trips to

Swaziland on that bike. At the time I lived in the

mountains of Mpumalanga , about 25km from

the famous Sabie-Hazeyview road and enjoyed

the bike tremendously. I must add that I’ve

owned many BMW’s and Japanese bikes since

1974 and the Tiger was a fantastic All-Rounder,

capable of doing gravel roads, some scratching

and great for touring. Never missed a beat and

at the time the +-106Bhp with 97NM of torque

placed it ahead of the then R1150GS in the

power stakes.

The European magazines rated it the best allrounder

bike and I must agree. The 2003 model

that I owned still had the spoke wheels with

tubed tyres and lazy steering geometry, making

it under steer when pushed hard in mountain

passes, especially tight 3rd and 4th gear

corners, so one had to work it hard. The tubes

also created some inertia that did not benefi t the

bike’s otherwise brilliant character.

Triumph realised this and changed the 955i

Tiger and sharpened the steering geometry by

tucking in the front forks a little and dumped the

spokes for nice looking light weight mag-wheels

carrying tubeless tyres. A vast improvement.

The Mapping was changed to the same

program as the Daytona and the Tiger received

Daytona heads and valves. The gearbox was

also upgraded to be more sporty (Daytona

gearbox). Good moves by Triumph but a bit too

late as by 2006 the Tiger had become dated

compared to BMW range and other bikes that

started competing in that class. Be that as it

may, the bike was still brilliant as it then came

with heated grips and panniers included in the

deal. The 2006 was the last of the 955i model

and the best of the 955i Tiger models. It was

replaced with the fi rst generation 1050 Tigers

with the upside down forks and 17 inch wheels

front and back.

Many years later in 2012,, after having moved

to near Cape Town, I stumbled across a low

kilometre (11 000 on the clock), 2006 model

Tiger 955i on Gumtree, for sale in Muldersdrift.

Serviced and maintained by Mike Davidson

(Traditional Triumph dealer at the time). The bike

was (and still is) in pristine condition and just

could not let it pass.

Needless to say, I still own that Tiger and it now

has 27 000km on the clock and gets ridden

every week. I commute on it in all kinds Cape

weather and wind and rain and it runs like a

Swiss watch and I have often drooled over

the TIGER SPORT 1050cc as the DNA is very

visible, especially in the engine layout, casings

, the radiator and oil cooler, all in the Triumph

Tiger trade mark way and look but since I also

own a nearly new BMW R1200RS LC, I just

cannot justify it to sell my 955i that is still so

capable with brand new panniers for the 1050,

although I’d love to own the SPORT as I know

from having owned two Tigers that they are

wonderful and very good all-rounder bikes.


Ogri du Plessis

Hi Ogri

Thanks so much for the mail. I was the rider

lucky enough to test the new Triumph Tiger

Sport and yes, it is an incredible machine that

is very underrated as I mentioned in the article.

I cannot for the life of me understand why we

do not see more of them riding around. They

make so much sense in so many ways. As an

all-rounder you can’t really get much better.

The proof is in the pudding as they say and the

new Tiger Sport has plenty of pudding to go

around so let’s hope more people catch on and

at least take it for a test ride.

Thanks again for the mail, loved reading your

story and I wish you many more happy miles.

Cheers, Rob.

Hi Rob

Firstly, thanks for accepting my friend request on


Last month my fi ancé and I rode the entire

perimeter of South Africa (5700km in 20 days).

I know you probably don’t read unsolicited

articles for your magazine, however I would like

to take a shot and submit what I have written.

It’s the story of a normal, middle-aged couple

doing something I consider extraordinary. Also

the story of how I grew from a sometimes

nervous learner with only a year’s riding

experience to a confi dent rider. It might be a little

vain of me, but I have experienced how people

we have spoken to about this trip are either in

awe, or inspired by us. Maybe something your

readers may be interested in?

I have attached some photos of our trip (6 out

of the 2000 we took), as well as the day-to-day

blogs I wrote on Facebook.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours in biking

Samantha Hall

Hi Samantha

Thanks for the mail and Facebook friend

request. This is brilliant! I think our readers will

love your story and I will defi nitely publish it in

our next issue (Nov).

Love hearing about our readers and their

adventures and always nice to expose what a

beautiful biking country we live in.

Thanks again, Rob.










It’s been a long road, but finally our KTM 1290 Super Duke R long-termer has been fullykitted

out with original KTM Powerparts. Rob put the “Ready to Race” tag line to the test

once again, this time against some very tricked out Ducati racebikes.

Words by Rob Portman Pics by Eugene Liebenberg and Paul Bedford

After a very successful fi rst outing at last year’s 24-Hour

race, where we fi nished 2nd overall on a stock standard

KTM 1290 Super Duke R, it was time to take it to

another level and see just how good the SD is.

For 2019, Riaan and the team from KTM SA once again

handed us the keys to a brand-new SD 1290 R. The idea was to

showcase the bikes versatility even more, to prove that KTM do

in-fact have a “Superbike” model in their range and so far, I think

we have proved just that.

Our idea was once again to take the bike racing, with some street

tests in-between. We’ve tested it on the streets on a few occasions

now and every time it has impressed us. We’ve got a taste of how

versatile the SD is and how well it can translate from street to track

at last year’s 24-Hour race and this year’s 8-Hour at Phakisa. But we

wanted more. We wanted to see just how competitive it could be

without throwing proper “Superbike” money at it.

So, with the help of KTM SA, we’ve really kitted the bike out with

all the goodness that is available in the offi cial KTM Powerparts

catalogue. The Akro titanium pipe was the biggest expense,

costing R36,200, but man did it add some bite and bark to the

already angry beast. The track pack was also added to give us

quick-shifts up and down through the gears as well as de-activate

all the nanny electronic aids – although we still use most of them to

help control all that anger.

There is a massive range of Powerparts available for the SD

1290 and we kind of went a bit crazy with it, but what we wanted

more than most was to get the bike in proper track trim. SO, the

complete race seat and front number board was ordered. To date,

we have dodged some bullets racing with the expensive LED light

on the front, so I really wanted to get that changed before heading

down to PE and entering in a proper sprint race.

As you can see by the pics the bike has totally been transformed

from street bike to street racer. I love the race sticker kit that was

added, really does give it that factory look. The team from KTM

SA did an amazing job at transforming the bike and getting

everything ready for me to go take on the bike’s biggest

challenge yet.

My main plan for the bike at the beginning of the year was

to take on the mighty, very expensive and seductive Ducati

racebikes in the BOTTS class (Battle of the Twins). I penciled

in the PE round, at the Aldo Scribante track, as it is not only

my favourite circuit in SA, but also one that I thought would

lend itself perfectly to the naked bikes strong points.

So, with the bike fully prepped, new Metzeler K2 front

and K1 rear slicks fi tted, it was time for mine and

the bikes biggest test. The BOTTS class has been

going since 1901, by the very same riders that are still

contending in the championship. Yes, I’m kidding of

course, but the class is packed with some slightly

older statesmen, who, let me tell you can still get

around a racetrack very fast. 99% of the bikes

entered are Ducati’s, and not stock standard ones

either. Most are fully race-prepped 1299 S models,

so me taking my “street” naked bike with some

slight mods sounded like a crazy idea. But, that

was the whole point. If I could go to PE, stick it to

those expensive, fast, track-built Italian Stallions

then surely that would propel the SD 1290 R’s

popularity to another level and prove that it can

indeed be called a Superbike.

Let’s go racing

I arrived at the track bright and early on

Friday morning, ready to get the bike

prepped before heading out on the newly

surfaced Aldo Scribante circuit. I was

lucky enough to get some assistance

from the local KTM dealer down in PE,


“The idea was to showcase

the bikes versatility even more,

to prove that KTM do in-fact

have a “Superbike” model in

their range and so far, I think

we have proved just that.”



Auto Motorcycles, who sent me one of their

top techs to help get the bike ready – let’s just

say I’m not the best at that kind of stuff, having

forgotten to tighten my brake calipers once

upon a time. Clayton Petzer was my righthand

man for the weekend, while Ricky Morais

was not too far away to help me get the bikes

setup as good as possible.

The bikes suspension was completely stock

standard, so I knew we had a mission on our

hands with regards to setup. Naked street

bikes are not exactly well setup to go around

a track. The front end tends to float with the

lack of weight and with no pre-load settings to

play with on the front, Ricky had to make other

plans. Leroy Rich from Adrenaline Powersport

had kindly set the bikes suspension up to

the guidelines sent to us directly from KTM

headquarters. Fork oil had to be added and

compression and rebound set a bit stiffer than

from off-the-showroom floor.

Immediately as I headed out on track I

could feel that there was still nowhere near

enough weight on the front, which around

the windy PE circuit was a big problem.

I knew that I just had to focus on getting

some laps in to get my mind back into

sprint race mode, having not done a proper

superbike race in over 3 years, and try to

get as much information from the bike as

possible to give Ricky feedback. On lap

three I had my first real scare. The brakes

went all spongy going into turn 2 before

catching again. After catching my breath, I

soon realized that I still had bike set in street

mode with ABS on. After a quick 8 lap stint

my first session was over and I returned to

From the word go the Metzeler slicks

felt amazing. Massive grip on the new

track surface - lean angle for days.

The Orange Beast

getting ready to take

on the Red Beasts.

pits with plenty of positives but even more

negatives to report to Ricky.

The floating front being the main concern.

I just couldn’t get the bike to turn as fast and

accurately as I wanted., especially through the

fast-flowing turns where you need weight over

the front. Ricky instructed us to pull the bikes

forks through 5mm, which we did, and also

adjusted preload up on the rear shock by 2

turns. This made an immediate impact in my

second session. I could feel straight away

that there was more weight on the front and

the front steering feeling more precise and

planted. I could feel the very grippy Metzeler

slicks were a bit frustrated in the first session,

as they just wanted me to push hard but

could feel I was not happy. In the 2nd session

they were much happier and I could not

believe the grip and feel I was getting out of

them now that I had a somewhat better setup

bike. I managed to improve my times by over

2-seconds and was now in the mix for a top

5 finish. I knew there was more to come.

One or two more setup up tweaks, plus the

bike set in race mode with ABS off and with

traction and wheelie control set on min.

Clayton Petzer

from Auto


with Rob.

I took all of 2 laps in the 3rd and final

practice session to get fully comfortable and

attack, believing that I could possibly pull

off the impossible and win the three races

the following day. Ricky, as he always does,

worked magic with the bike’s setup and with

the Metzeler slicks fitted on the new surface

I had one very competitive machine. I would

be lying if I did not say I was a bit worried

after the first session sitting down in 8th place

and 4 seconds off the pace, but heading

into qualifying I was sitting pretty in 3rd place

overall and only 0.5 of a second off the leader,

Thomas Brown.

To mine, and many at the tracks disbelief,

I managed to lead just about the entire

qualifying session before Thomas pulled his

finger and set his fastest time on his final lap,

just pipping me to pole position for race one.

I would have the upper hand for race two,

starting from pole position thanks to having

posted a faster second time.

Straight after the qualifying session, I went

over to the BOTTS pits to congratulate all

the riders, Thomas in particular for his pole

position. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and

calling most of these guys my mates for years

now, so was great just sitting back and chilling

with them. A great bunch of guys with the

perfect mentality to go racing – just have fun!





Discover more: 011 437-4699

After being fed some kind of Peter Bosch

home-made poison by the guys – apparently a

customary initiation when racing in the BOTTS

class – it was time to head back to the hotel

and get myself ready for race day.

Starting from second on the grid, with fresh

new Metzeler slicks fitted I could not help but

get that old nervous, excited feeling I had felt so

many times in the past. I was back on the grid

doing what I love most – racing motorcycles!

I got a blinder of a start and lead comfortably

heading into turn one. My plan was to take

2-laps to feel the bike and the conditions before

pushing too hard. That all went out the window

when I saw I was out front, so my mentality

changed to “hang cable and go for it!”

I had no pit board or any communication

from pit wall so I just kept my head down and

went for it. With half race distance completed,

4 out of the 8 laps, I was held up-slightly by

a back-marker going into the tight right-hand

hairpin. I was waiting to hear and see a Ducati

attacking me but to my surprise there was

nothing. With 2-laps to go I started to hear and

feel a bike on my tail. A bit of panic set in and I

abandoned my nice fast swooping lines, instead

opting to go defensive for the remaining 2-laps.

A bit of arm-pump also set in, so I was really in

defensive “get it home” mode. Heading onto the

final lap I was waiting for the much faster Ducati

machines to bomb past me down the long

front straight. But nothing. Now I was excited.

Could I possibly win the race? Only a few more

corners to go. My wife will be so proud, Riaan

and the KTM SA team would love me, RF

readers would respect me even more. This was

all passing through my mind heading into the

final two turns, and that’s pretty much what cost

me the race.

Going into the final turn, another back

marker and instead of using my many years of

racing experience to get through the situation

I panicked, allowing James Harper to sneak

through and pick up the win – by less than

two-tenths of a second. I was gutted to say

the least, but once I returned to the pits the

excitement of it all took over. There is nothing


Rob holding off the challenge

from James Harper at the start of

Race 1. Not bad for a street bike

with its side-stand still on.

better than racing a proper motorcycle around

a proper track – I was back in my happy place

and despite losing the race in the manner I did,

leading every lap but still crossing the line in

2nd place, I was one happy man!

For race two I knew I had more pace. I had

bettered my time from qualifying by another half

a second and knew there was more to come.

The Metzeler tyres were still looking new and I

could not believe the grip I was getting out of

them. Again, I got off to a great start, leaving

the pack in my orange dust gaining close on

a second according to those watching in the

pits. This time I went into the race with a flat-out

gung hoe mentality. I wanted to destroy them all!

The bike and tyres felt so good, giving me all the

confidence I needed to burn the few butterflies

left in my tummy. I wanted so badly to break into

the one minute three barrier, which considering

the bike I was on and the track time I had had,

would be one heck of an achievement and

make one hell of a story.

The bike, tyres and my riding style were loving

racing on the new PE tarmac and track layout.

The powerful twin motor just powered-out of

every turn with such force and the bikes braking

capabilities were one of the best I have ever felt

on track. I knew I had the tools to dominate!

Crossing the line to complete lap one and I

was very much in the zone, yes, the zone does

exist out on track. I had not had that feeling in

a very long time - winning the Supersport race

on my Triumph Daytona 675 back in 2009 the

last time I felt it. Nothing could stop me now, I

was Marquez in full-flight.

Sadly, five corners later I was reminded

that I am indeed not Marc Marquez and that

I was not on a fully-fledged racing machine.

I attached the fast “Chevy” sweep a bit too

much and unlike Marquez was not able to

save the front end from tucking underneath

me. My weekend ended up in a cloud of dust.

That zone feeling was gone, replaced now

by a feeling of shame. That only lasted a few

seconds though. It didn’t take me long to get

over it and remember where I was and what

I had been doing. That put the smile back

on my face. That was until I got back to the

pits. Now, I was a little scared to message

Riaan and tell him that I had crashed the bike

and some more money had to be spent. I

was a little more frightened to message my

wife and tell her, only a week after the birth

of our gorgeous little daughter and getting

strict instructions to take it easy and please

not crash. The person I was most afraid of

messaging was my brother, Shaun, who

was supposed to race the bike the following

weekend at the Redstar 3 hour. Let’s just say

he was not too impressed…

Nevertheless, the bike had handled the

crash surprisingly well. It took two big tumbles

but had only damaged the handlebar, clocks

and all the switches and buttons. Other than

that, the bike was not that bad, but we did

not have the spares to fix the bike and make

race 3. My biggest concern was that of the

expensive Akro pipe. Luckily, not one scratch.

So, there you have it. Even though I

crashed, which I cannot blame on the bike or

tyres but only myself, I think I proved just how

good the KTM SD 1290 R is. It truly is a Lion

in Wolves clothing. Its versatility shone through

once again and tagging it a “Superbike” is an

understatement – it’s a “Super, Duperbike” in

my eyes.

I look forward to getting the bike all fixed up

and doing some more endurance and sprint

races in the not too distant future and yes

Shaun, I promise you will ride it again soon so

stop complaining!

Oops... sorry Riaan.

Rob managed

a best time of a

1,4.4 - not bad for

a “Street” bike.

Powerparts Goodies list:

Akrapovič Kit “Evolution Line” - R36 200

Link pipe (done by Racetec) - R2 000

Track Pack - R5 000

Fuel tank Quick Lock - R2 150

Clutch/Brake Reservoir Cover - R360 / R710

Clutch/Brake Protector - R998each

GB Engine Protectors - R2 500set

Style Racing Graphics kit - R1 500

Racing seat - R3 200

Headlight replacement board - R3 400

Total cost - R275 415 (that includes the full

retail price of the bike at R212 999)


Photo: R. Schedl







Let the LED headlight guide you as you embrace a

hell of a ride on this heavenly creature. Packed with

gut-wrenching performance and equally evil looks,

this BEAST 2.0 clearly isn’t for the faint of heart. If

you think you’ve got what it takes, challenge yourself

to see what real power and precision can feel like.

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

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

If you have never been to witness

a Stofskop event - then next year

- you need to get off your asses,

onto your bikes and take a ride

out to the republic of Walkerville.

Words & Pics: Glenn Foley & ZCMC Media

This was the fi rst time that I was able to make it to

the event - after two years of Rob telling me how cool it

is. And he was quite right. Forget about the latest and

greatest seventeen zillion rand machine. Forget about

wannabe race stars all trying to look important.

This is the grass roots of why we all love bikes so

much. An army of old school and newer riders getting

together to have some friendly dices, on the most

ridiculous looking motorcycles in the most ridiculous

outfi ts.

Bikes from all generations were there - we saw a

very rare old Penton, a Classic Husky, BSA’s Triumphs -

mixed in with more modern Japanese machines.

And of those, there were plenty - from classic 500cc

2-stroke Honda’s to old school XL185’s - all tearing up

the track. There was even an old school “Help My Trap”

motorised Bicycle, which actually went faster when the

pilot was peddling... Man Alive what a JOL!

But wait! There’s more.

In the road bike department, we saw an 80’s GS850

dicing a Suzuki 500 slingshot fi tted with what looked

like a B200 delivery bike engine. There was even a

very svelte MV Agusta Brutale 800 doing some laps

in the Inappropriate Road Bikes class - doesn’t get

more inappropriate than that. We sure hope that his air

fi lter did the job - and the good news is that the rider

managed to stay upright throughout.

We saw some great crashes too - lets face it, that’s

the reason that most of us watch racing like this in the

fi rst place - The Vesparados - a motley collection of

Vespa scoots from - and ridden by all generations had

a great big pileup on the 2nd turn. No injuries - and they

staggered off to complete the dice!

That rare Penton took a tumble in the same turn

when it’s 75 year old pilot was clipped by a younger

rider. But the medics were on hand to patch up bodies

and the racing continued without any serious injury.

Cole Aitken couldn’t help but get

it up when he saw the bras and

panties on the start line.

The Inappropriate Road bikes class had

some very inappropriate bikes in it.


The Inappropriate Road bikes class had

some very inappropriate bikes in it.

Pedal power

Arnold Olivier on his

custom SYM 300

Our Rob Portman was the

mic man for the day.

The Vesparados gate

crashed once again.

An AJS bike

from the 1940’s

The chap in the yellow

shirt was 72 years young

and took a tumble.

Half of an event like this is the

spectators. It was awesome to hook

up with old mates from the motorcycle

fraternity - and we were chuffed to see so

many dealers popping down to have a look

and let their few last few grey hairs down.

We saw Nick from The Traditional Motor

Co with some of his custom Triumph’s out

and about. RAD Moto’s Arnold Olivier came

to race on the ugliest Sym Scooter ever

built. Randburg motorcycles fi elded a weird

looking CB750 200 odd cc funny bike.

There was a team from Fast KTM - but

they were not on a fancy KTM at all. Dave

Gunning was in the mix on a ridiculously

tiny monkey bike...

Events like this are exactly what makes

people want to ride and race motorcycles.

Bench racing was the order of the day,

lots of laughs and great company. Ah and

did we mention that that very morning, the

Springboks pulled off a historic win over the

All Blacks IN New Zealand!

The highest score recorded in NZ by any

visiting side.

How much better could a day like

this be? It was awesome to see Motul

sponsoring this one - and they fi elded a full

team of lady racers and helpers- the Moto

Belles? With the Motul Big boss lady Mercia

Jansen leading the charge.

An actual motorcyclist in charge of a

motorcycle lubricant brand - and not just a

corporate bean-counter.

That is too cool.

Next year - we are racing. Between

RideFast and Dirt And Trail Magazine, we

are teaming up with Randburg Motorcycles

to build a top secret 400BHP machine.

As soon as we have the dates for next

years event, we’ll get them out. Roll on

Stofskop 2019! See you there.







We here at RideFast we like to

sometimes get down and dirty on

bikes and Stofskop 2018 provided

the perfect occasion for one of

our reporters, Michael Powell, to

build two scramblers to hit the

oval dirt track.

Words Michael Powell Pics: Michael Powell & ZCMC Media

We heard about the Stofskop event and decided

that we should give it a try. We approached Motul SA

to see if they would like to team up and build a bike for

them and one for us to race in this year’s event. We

decided to build up two old delivery bikes that have

laying around - the one being an old Yamaha SR250,

that we would turn into a classic Kenny Roberts replica,

and the other a Honda CBX250 that would be turned in

to a Freddie Spencer Honda CB750 replica.

We worked day and night to get the bikes all done

up and looking just right. The Yamaha SR250 was

supposed to be ridden by top SA MX champ, David

Goosen, but sadly a knee injury forced him out so

Motul SA ambassador and legend, Brian Capper was

recruited. I would be tasked with racing the Honda with

both of us racing in the trackers and scrambler class.

I had never done fl at track dirt racing before, never

mind riding a custom delivery bike with no front brakes

- yes, we decided to go full dirt track style and remove

the front brakes on both bikes.

With 3 heats and no practice I was extremely

nervous going into it, but also very excited at the same

time not only about riding but also teaming up with the

legendary Brian Capper.

What an awesome experience it turned out to be.

I managed to holeshot 2 out of the 4 races and even

better managed to keep it on two wheels, although

there was a few moments where I nearly ate some dirt.

A massive jol at the end of the day and I am pleased

to say that both bikes held up really well. We will

defi nitely be back next year with some more awesome

bikes! A big thanks to Hot Zebra signage for doing the

sticker for our bikes, Motul SA for coming on board and

the whole team from Randburg Motorcycles for giving

me the chance to experience this.

The Team: Brian Capper with Oom Danie

and Michael from Randburg Motorcycles.

If it don’t work, spray

some Motul on it.

Capper gets the holeshot

with Michael not far behind.




Dan the man from lifeatlean.com will help you become that confident and consistent

track rider that you have always strived to be. Over the course of the year we will bring

you articles that will help you improve your riding style and lap times. Words: Dan Netting

Track Riding Technique &

Skill Order of Importance

I’ve spoken many times in the past about

riders who often focus on the wrong

parts of their riding as they work to make


In this article I’m going to share my thoughts

on the importance of the various skills that

make up performance riding to help give you

a little more direction as you’re searching for

your next avenue for progress.

But before we get into that I just wanted to

stress that this is by no means a categorical

order that you MUST follow. Different teachers

and coaches will likely have differing views on

what’s more important, for starters.

Also the importance could change depending

on the rider, where their current weaknesses

lie, and the extent of those weaknesses.

And finally, some skills shine more when other

skills are learned, creating a sort of chicken

and egg scenario.

So while I will be taking you through this list in

order of importance, use it as a guide within

the context of your own riding, where you are

most experiencing frustration and where you

can see you are furthest away from an ideal

fundamental application.

Ok, onto the first and what I believe to be the

most important skill.

#1 Vision

The reason I put visual skill as number one is

because of the overall impact it has on your

riding. Good visual skill will benefit you in all

areas of the track.

Things like braking effort, entry speed, lines,

steering, throttle control, exit drive and

consistency are all positively impacted by

good visual skill. And as a beneficial layer

above that it’ll have you feeling more calm

and in control too.

Now, in order to actually improve in all those

areas then the specific skills need to be

practised and improved first, but without

good visual skill they’ll be a limit to just how

“Things like braking effort, entry speed,

lines, steering, throttle control, exit

drive and consistency are all positively

impacted by good visual skill.”

much you can get out of them.

So for those reasons, visual skill is number

one on my list.

#2 Steering

By steering I mean becoming conscious of

not only how you steer the bike itself, but

learning how different approaches to steering

can help or hinder the corner in question.

Meaning where you steer and how quickly

you steer.

Once you gain control of your steering you

open up options for the approaches you

take for each corner and the lines you carry

through them.

It also directly opens the door for both higher

entry speeds and exits speeds. Entry speed

from a quicker rate of steering, and exit speed

by changing your angle of approach to the

apex which allows for a greater drive out.

Once again there’s also that layer of safety

that comes from being able to more

confidently put the bike where you want. A

valuable skill when mistakes are made and

time and attention is short.

#3 Throttle Control

Following in a very close third we have throttle

control. Good throttle control is as much

about safety as it is time saved.

In the middle of the corner good throttle

control creates stability and balance. As you

transition to corner exit, good throttle control

ensures the weight is transferred to the rear

more gradually for a smoother and more

progressive drive out.

This improves traction, means you’re sitting

more within the limits, and as an added

bonus will likely mean more miles out of each

rear tyre too.

Yes, good throttle control will gain you speed

in the middle of many corners and out of

most exits, but just as important as that is

the benefits that come in the way of bike

stability and all the positive things that brings

to the table.

Now really this could have been second or

third. From a safety standpoint it would be

second for many riders, but being that poor

lines created by poor steering can have a

big knock on effect to your throttle control

efforts, I feel steering should be there first as

it enables good and consistent throttle control

and drive out of corners.

#4 Braking

Learning how to correctly brake gives huge

benefits in the way of time saved, along with

how we’re able to prepare for corner entry.

In the big braking zones in particular, as you

learn about correct braking structure and then

get more confident with using more braking

potential you’ll make huge leaps in terms

of how confidently you can drive down the

straights toward the point where you want to

begin braking, and you’ll also greatly shorten

your braking zones simply because you don’t

need them to be as drawn out as before.

This means big time saved.

Braking is also a key part of a good corner

entry too because we’re using the brakes to

set our speed for the corner. Spend too long


setting that speed by drawing out the braking

for too long and you’ll lose time.

On the other end of the scale you can try

to do too much in the braking zone, mainly

by braking later and/or overly attacking the

corner to the point where it costs you entry

speed and composure. It’ll likely spoil your

exit line too.

The reason this is number four is because you

need to have the other parts of your riding

working well to really maximise corner entry.

The main things being vision and steering.

#5 Body Position

Body position is an important part of being

a good track rider. Let me say that right at

the top.

There are three ideals we’re looking to

achieve with body position. They are…

• The ability to offset lean angle with the

body so we’re using less lean angle for a

given speed.

• The ability to free up the front end so that

we let it do it’s job of stabilising the bike, along

with allowing you a great level of control of it.

• And finally to be able to reach a comfortable

position on the bike that doesn’t hold

you back as you work to do what you’re

supposed to be doing out on track.

These are all important things we want to

have in place when riding.

All of that being said, the reason it sits so

far down this list is because in terms of

increasing your level of speed and safety in

track riding, for the vast majority of learning

If you want to see all of the below

mentioned perfectly executed out

on track, then simply just watch

Jorge Lorenzo in action - he is

the master of fast, smooth riding.

riders everything I’ve covered to this point will

bring greater benefits.

Now, if your body position is way off the mark

then it is going to become a higher priority,

and for that matter that goes for any skill.

But in my experience riders are perhaps a

little too eager to start working, or continue

working on body position in order to see

improvements when they would likely see

more substantial and beneficial improvements


For those reasons, body position sits at

number five.

Ok, I have one last area I want to talk about.

It’s not as literal as the previous skills and

not really in this order, but rather it’s a trait

you should be looking to add to your riding

arsenal and something that should be

improved across everything you do on the

track over time.

Being Smooth & Consistent

Contrary to many rider’s opinions, being a fast

rider isn’t about being all-out aggressive. This

view probably isn’t helped by the introduction

of riders like Marc Marquez into MotoGP who

appear to be on the ragged edge at every

single movement.

Now it goes without saying that he clearly

gets the job done, but on the flip side of that

coin is Mr Jorge Lorenzo.

His smooth, wheels in line style is something

to behold, and if anyone remembers his

qualifying lap at Valencia 2016 where his inch

perfect, totally undramatic lap smashed the

lap record by some margin, they’ll understand

the potential of such a style.

This is a style that is a lot more achievable

for learning riders, and one that is going to

be safer because you’re more in control and

not relying on bucket loads of talent to keep

a bucking and twisting motorcycle in contact

with the ground.

The best way to think of what you’re trying

to achieve when being smooth is how your

inputs affect the bike. The use of every control

and every body movement puts various

forces through it and alters weight distribution

and stability.

Your job as a rider is to maximise potential

from the bike and tyres while upsetting that

stability as little as possible. Over time the

fidelity with which you use each control and

move your body around must be worked on

and improved in order to keep the bike more

happy, but also to set a platform to reach for

higher levels moving forward.

To be quick it’s about working with the bike,

not fighting against it.

Have a good look at your riding and honestly

answer which areas are most lacking.

Use the thoughts above to come to a

more sensible conclusion about what you

need to work on next. Approaching rider

development like this is likely to bring you

more suitable and substantial progress in a

shorter space of time.














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Tech Tips

Brought to you by


& Roll

Top 8 Strange Motorcycle Noises

and What They May Mean

Are you a good listener? Are you one

of those folks who hears things that go

“bump” in the night and wonder “what

the heck was that?” How about when

you’re riding your motorcycle; do you

ever hear strange sounds coming from

that machine and wonder if it is trying to

tell you something?

Words by By Gary Ilminen / Ultimate Motorcycling

If odd new noises, sounds or vibrations are

afoot, something probably is wrong and

in quite a number of cases, those sounds

may be a warning. While a brand new

motorcycle may sound the alarm with the

same kind of odd sounds, these noises may

be more likely to occur if you ride a vintage or

high-mileage motorcycle.

In any given situation, with any machine,

there are a number of possible sources of

sounds both routine and unusual, but some

may be distinctive enough to warn of specifi c

types of problems. Your common rattle is

generally some loose external component

where a fastener has gone adrift and just needs

to be tightened up or a new fastener put in.

But some of those problems may be

urgent and rapid response may prevent

or minimize potential damage. New clicks,

rattles or ticking sounds may be indicators

of things having more clearance than they

should as a product of normal wear—often

able to be adjusted.

1. Tick, tick tick:

For example, you are cruising along and

you notice a strange, rhythmic ticking sound

you’ve never heard before—not all the time,

but it comes and goes at certain speeds. I

had that happen a few years back and at

fi rst I suspected something in the valve train,

so I stopped and listened to the engine and

the noise went away, even when I revved the

engine, except at a certain RPM.

The sound was diffi cult to locate at

fi rst, then I realized the strange sound was

emanating from above the chassis. Very odd,

but that highlights one of the problems with

troubleshooting by sound – the actual source

of the sound may be diffi cult to track down.

In this case, it turned out to be the lens in

the right hand rear view mirror had fi nally had

A ticking noise could be a number of things, but here

are the two areas to really foccuss on.

Start at the exhaust headers, especially if they’re old,

or have recently been fitted/disturbed. A small gap

in the manifold seal, a loose header collar or a small

hole opening up in rusty pipes can result in a ticking

sound. It’s best checked when cold – you might see

a bit of steam issuing or water dribbling out in the

first few seconds and you can hold a hand close to

feel for escaping gas without getting burnt.

If your exhaust is nice and sealed, and you’ve got a

tick that drops off as the bike warms but rises with

revs, check when your valve clearances were last

inspected, and if they’re due have them looked at.

If the clearance opens up, the valve lifters will rattle

off the valve tops. It’s not immediately catastrophic,

but very loose valves cost performance, and will

eventually put too much strain on the top end. A

stethoscope can help you narrow noises down to a

certain area.

enough and vibrated loose in the backing

plate! At certain engine speeds, that created

the right frequency of vibration and the mirror

lens would vibrate against the backing plate.

When the mirror was fi xed, that particular odd

noise went away.

My first guess being the valve

train is usually a pretty fair place

to start, however. Tappets in need

of adjustment may send a service

reminder by issuing progressively

more noticeable ticking sounds

and the volume of the sound

may vary from barely audible

to prominent. In some engines,

clicking and ticking noises may

occur when something as simple

as low oil level is present, but

may also indicate a valve sticking,

loose cam chain or other valve

train problems. A clicking or

clattering sound while in motion

may also indicate a primary drive

chain in need of adjustment.

Locating the precise source of some

engine noises can be tricky, but very helpful

in sorting out what needs to be done. A

mechanic’s stethoscope can be helpful in

doing that. It works and looks much like a

medical stethoscope, but with a metal probe

replacing the diaphragm head. It can be

very helpful in sorting a cam chain in need of

adjustment from a tappet noise.


Shake, Rattle & Roll

Top 8 Strange Motorcycle Noises

2. Bump & grind:

Perhaps one of the most ominous sounds

that can emanate from a machine is a

grinding sound—no matter how soft

or vague. A grinding sound, whether

accompanied by a vibration or not is one of

those sounds that not only tends to result in

immediate attention, it requires it.

An intermittent grinding noise, very often

inconsistent in occurrence and sometimes

accompanied by a new vibration in the

handlebars under braking may be pretty easy

to track down; front or rear brake pads in

need of replacement.

This can also arise from a caliper sticking

causing a brake pad to drag. This can be

diagnosed by just pushing the bike by hand—

if it doesn’t roll freely or if you stop after riding

a short distance and don’t use the brake in

question and find the rotor hot to the touch,

a sticking caliper may be the problem. This

may be an issue when taking a bike out of

storage, so checking for brake caliper sticking

by rolling the bike by hand and applying the

brakes to check for it is a good idea.

In some instances, though, certain brake

pads may emit that type of sound due to high

humidity or moisture on the pads. Checking

the brake lining thickness is in order and if

humidity or moisture is a possible cause,

simply using the brakes several times will

usually clear the problem up.

Grinding sounds from engine or

transmission may indicate a bearing failure

somewhere and requires immediate shutdown

and troubleshooting. Similarly wheel

bearings that are anything less than smooth

and quiet may be in need of attention. A

wheel bearing failure while underway can

cause wheel lock and a crash.

Another sound that may come up is

a peculiar grinding or clunking sound I’ve

heard in combination when the spline of

the rear drive gear on a shaft-drive bike is in

need of greasing. Remedied soon enough, it

probably does not indicate any damage, but

left unaddressed long enough, it may lead to

excessive wear.

3. Creepy krink:

This is a sound I reserve pretty much for bikes

with metallic chain final drive. It is an odd

sound that may repeat regularly or irregularly.

It is not to be ignored; I’ve heard it in three

situations: first, on a bike that has not been

ridden in a long time and the chain is badly


In this case, it may be present very

noticeably when the bike is first being moved

around or the rear wheel is rotated on the

Noise when braking? There are three possibilities: your calipers have an anti-rattle plate and if it’s incorrectly fitted

the pads can move around. If all is OK there, lift the front end off the floor and feel for play in the head bearings;

a small amount of movement is enough to make a noise. Finally, check your forks – worn internals can result in a

knocking noise too.

A solid-sounding knocking emanating from deep in the motor is very bad news and is usually related to the engine’s

bottom end — the crankshaft and conrods. Worn big-end shells and collapsed bearings can and will seize your engine

if they expire as you’re riding along. As soon as you hear anything metallically clunky coming from the motor, hit the kill

switch, come to a safe stop, and prepare for serious investigation. And probably a serious repair bill. Don’t try and clear it

by revving it harder, it won’t magically improve things, it’s definitely not that sort of problem. Unless you are a competent

spannerman, this is one for your local dealer.

center stand. Lubrication of the chain may

make the sound diminish or even disappear,

but it may be a harbinger of early chain failure,

even after it is silenced by lubrication.

The second instance this sound may

occur in is when links literally get a kink

in them, usually indicating a severe wear

condition. Finally, this sound may be evidence

of misaligned sprockets after chain tension


Double-checking the alignment marks and

chain tension at no less than three points of

wheel rotation is in order. Properly adjusted

final drive chain in good repair running on

well-aligned sprockets also in good repair

should be relatively quiet, with only the soft

sound of the rollers engaging the sprockets

as the rear wheel rotates.

A healthy chain is noisy anyway, but you shouldn’t

be able to hear it yourself while you’re riding along. A

vibration or clanking (sometimes felt though footpegs

too) signifies tight spots or stiff links. You should

thoroughly clean your chain and inspect for stuck links,

loose rollers and excess stretch. If that’s all OK, make

sure it’s properly aligned and adjusted. Lubricate with

decent lube on the inside run first, preferably when the

chain is warm. If you find any tight spots, stiff links or

have run out of adjustment then the time has come to

ditch the chain and invest in a fresher (quieter) new one.

4. Boo hiss:

One of the most common sounds heard

around anything with tyres is the nauseating

hissing sound that emanates from a tire

deflating at the worst possible time. But

at least if you’re in the position to hear the

tyre going down, it means you’re probably

stopped making the situation more an

inconvenience than potential crash.

A flooded cell battery on a charger or

charging system that is seriously overcharging

the battery causing the electrolyte to off-gas

can also cause a hissing sound as the gas is

forced out of the overflow tube, out of a cell

cap or out a crack in the case. Stopping the

charging condition immediately is in order and

protecting yourself from potential battery burst

is essential.

Other sources for a hissing sound include

a blown gasket somewhere, radiator leaks

and exhaust system leaks. A blown head

gasket, for example, may make a distinctive

“chiff-chiff-chiff” type of sound, depending on

engine type. Usually not immediately disabling,

these sounds suggest service is needed soon.

5. Ring, ding, ping boom:

A barely perceptible pinging or dinging may

be a sign of a potentially destructive condition

known as detonation; often referred to as

“spark knock.” Detonation is the pre-spark,

premature ignition of part of the fuel charge in

the cylinder caused by compression and high

fuel mixture temperature.

Left uncorrected, temperatures and

stresses in the combustion chamber can

damage or destroy pistons, crank bearings,

head components and cylinder walls.

Evidence of the condition may be when the

engine runs on for a few seconds even after

the ignition is turned off.


Brought to you by

Detonation once was primarily a problem of

air-cooled high compression racing engines,

but it can affect modern consumer-oriented

engines, as well, particularly when a highcompression

engine is run on low octane

fuel. Contrary to popular belief, higher octane

fuel does not have higher energy content or

“power” than lower octane fuel; it does have

higher temperature stability and therefore,

more resistance to detonation.

Preignition can present with similar

symptoms but differs from detonation in that

it is an overheated engine component or

the spark plug itself that may ignite the fuel

charge prematurely instead of the fuel charge

spontaneously combusting as in detonation.

6. In-gear whining:

Whining under load usually signifi es a gearbox

issue. If it’s only doing it in one or two gears, it’s

probably isolated wear – gears work in pairs

and a problem in one gear often makes itself

known in another. If it whines through every

ratio, suspect a gearbox bearing is worn and

causing the shafts to run out of alignment.

8. Snap, crackle, pop:

A sharp snapping sound that may be irregular

or regular may indicate a leakage or “short” of

ignition energy to ground. This is particularly

likely to be the case when it is accompanied

by the engine “missing,” or hesitating.

The snapping sound can be caused by

ignition energy arcing from a crack or fl aw

in the spark plug wire insulation or spark

plug cap to the frame, engine or other metal


Careful inspection of the caps and wires

is in order. Some may suggest running the

engine in low light where arcing may be visible,

but this is an inherently dangerous practice,

since any fuel vapour present could ignite.

Since these components are low-cost items,

replacing them when in doubt makes sense.

The variety of sounds any given machine

can create is pretty much unlimited.

Familiarity with your own bike is a great

asset in knowing which sounds it produces

are normal and which are not. We hope this

discussion of some of the more common

ones is helpful in troubleshooting when you

have to play it by ear.

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even under the most arduous riding conditions. It

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acceleration and power at a touch of the throttle.

7. Gurgling:

Does your motor sound like Homer Simpson’s

guts after a night on the Duff? Time for a

look at your cooling system. Coolant should

circulate silently. Firstly, check the level, any

drop indicates an issue. If there’s an air pocket,

the pump won’t be able to circulate coolant

properly, and it can froth around and boil if

it can’t circulate away from hot spots. Top it

up – if it drops again you may have a leaking

seal or gasket. Bubbling coolant, or coolant

being forced into the header tank too readily,

may indicate a blown head gasket or another

overheating problem that needs investigation.

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care needs.

The new range includes products such as Foam

Air Filter Oil, Fork Oil and DWF Multipurpose

- which is a de-watering fluid and penetrative


Castrol also have a semi-synthetic motorcycle

chain lubricant (suitable for all makes of

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Castrol Chain Lube Racing lengthens your chain’s

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love the exhilaration of riding on

the limit. Race Derived Technology

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even under the most arduous riding

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2000 km, 4 day round trip on KTM’S NEW 790 DUKE

It’s MotoGP weekend in Austria and the rain hasn’t let up since Thursday evening

and we’re contemplating swapping our brace of KTM 790 DUKES for jet skis.

Words & Pics: Shane Oosthuizen


Shane is the Senior Copywriter at KISKA Design

in Austria, responsible for brand communications

for KTM, Husqvarna and WP Suspension,

among others. He also moonlights as the

occasional motoring scribe.


We’re heading to the Spielberg Ring the

long way round, starting at the home of

KTM in Mattighofen. Our route is a 2000

km, 4 day round trip which will take us to

Santa Maria in Switzerland, dropping into

Italy via the Passo Del Stelvio, before a

short flirt with the autobahn in Germany on

route to the track.

We’ve got two KTM 790 DUKEs at

our disposal. One is completely stock

standard, bar a factory-fitted USB outlet.

The other has been decked out with a

mono-seat, some bling bits and a glorious

Akrapovic slip-on.

Tanks brimmed, backpacks loaded up,

we decide to brave the rain and head out

towards Bergtesgarten in Germany. The

border is a mere stone-throw away, with

little more than a street sign to let you

know you’ve crossed over. A quick fact

- this is the same place you’ll find Eagle’s

Nest, Martin Bormann’s birthday present

to Adolf Hitler.

Our first road block is navigation. The

relentless rain means I’m reluctant to

attach my iPhone to the QUADLOCK bar

mount for fear of it getting damaged, so

we make do with reading street signs and

hoping for the best.

We’re cold and drenched through at this

point, with the equivalent of two kiddiessized

pools inside our boots. We make an

educated decision to hit the highway and

make up lost time.

After a few hours of fairly uneventful

bahn-storming, the clouds start to thin out

and the rain lets up. We’re near the Austria-

Swiss border and enjoying a very rare

glimpse of sunlight, swapping the multi-lane

motorway for twisty country roads.

The 790 is a joy on these ribbons

of tarmac which are largely limited to

80kmph. It swaps sides faster than an

ousted DA politician, slicing through

corners with dogged determination. I

notice the Traction Control light flash

enthusiastically on a few damp corners,

doing well to keep the rear end in check.


While crawling through a few of the country

towns, the 790 reveals one Achilles heel - it is

not happy at low speeds. Throttle inputs are

jerky at lower revs and require some care to

keep things smooth. That said, when its on

the boil, banging up and down the gearbox

using the quickshifter is a fantastic mix of

audio and forward thrust.

Both bikes sound amazing even with

the banana-esque standard can. The best

when coming off the throttle and bouncing a

symphony of pops and crackles off the rocky

cuttings and passes. It’s worth noting too,

that the bike fitted with the Akrapovic and the

subsequent mapping had a much smoother

throttle response and seemed to find power

low down without much issue.

Needless to say, we cross into Switzerland,

find a beer and take a moment to thaw

out. We spend the night at the aptly named

Stelvio Hotel in Saint Maria. The lodgings are

perfectly adequate and they have an honesty

bar - winning!

Santa Maria is a tiny village, mostly used as

stopover for bikers and tourists. It also boasts

the World’s Smallest Whiskey Bar which even

features in the Guiness Book of Records. We

can’t resist and chat whiskey with the bar’s

owner. Sadly, the size of the pub doesn’t

reflect its prices. We pay the equivalent of

around R250 for two pipette-sized shots of

fairly average tasting scotch and call it a night.

We’re up early the next morning and ready

ourselves for the Passo Dello Stelvio. We’ve

been told to attack it as early as possible to

avoid the troves of tourist busses and suicidal

cyclists which frequent the area.

Almost immediately, we turn onto and

start climbing the Umbrail Pass which

connects Switzerland with Italy. The Umbrail

is a short squirt in terms of passes, but it

does take the accolade of being the highest

paved road in Switzerland, with a summit

elevation of 2,501 metres.

While the surfacing is infinitely better than

most South African roads, some sections

are merely a car-width wide, off camber

and littered with marble-sized pebbles. It

isn’t long before a 1st gear, gravel-strewn

corner nearly claims me, but I somehow pull

a Marquez and catch a vicious frontend slip

with my boot.

We get our first real

view of the serpentinelike

Stelvio as we crest

the highest point and

peer down onto the

pass through a haze

of low hanging clouds.

Pictures quite simply

don’t do it justice and

I can’t stress enough

that it should be on

every keen mototraveller’s

bucket list.



There has been a bit of work done to

improve the surface of the Stelvio in recent

months, but it’s far from perfect. Some areas

are badly cracked and pockmarked, with

rippled layers of tarmac adding some drama

mid-corner. That, however, doesn’t stop a

local on an older model Suzuki Bandit getting

his knee down just ahead of us. “He’s done

this before” I think to myself as I dip into the

fi rst of a series of steep switchbacks.

One thing that becomes eerily apparent

on the Stelvio are the scars left in the tarmac

by footpegs of pirouetting motorcycles.

That and bits of orange indicator and mirror

glass. Make no mistake - dropped bikes are

common place here.

Alistair - who rides a 1290 SUPER DUKE

R back home - has found his rhythm on the

little DUKE and tears off ahead, blatting out

of corners with the front hovering inches from

the deck. I do my best to hang onto his back

wheel, GoPro in tow. We later realise that the

battery had died on the Umbrail Pass, and I

swear at myself quite severely.

I’m a little weary as we continue down the

pass. You can defi nitely feel that the stoppers

fi tted to the 790 are not Brembo units. They

seem to run out of puff braking from speed.

But we quickly isolate this to being unique

to my test bike and write if off as badly bled

brake fl uid.

The difficulty riding in

this region of the Alps

is that you’re constantly

being distracted by the

surrounding landscape.

It’s bite-the-back-ofhand

beautiful, with

the each vista being

prettier than the next.

The more we discover,

the more we’re forced

to stop to take it all in.

Regretfully, I elect to keep stops to a minimum

and miss many photo opportunities.

We’re on our way back towards Austria,

deciding to smash the next 600 odd-kms to

the track as quickly as possible. We bounce

between borders for a while, collecting the

German autobahn between Munich and

Salzburg momentarily and test the DUKEs

high speed stability.

It doesn’t disappoint. We settle in at

between 140 and 150 kmph and plow through

a few kilometers before re-entering Austria

and achingly chew up a the last few hundred

kms. With dusk slowly setting in, we arrive

at our pre-erected camp via the good folks

at GP Tents. It’s nothing special, but its clean

bedding, a roof and we get complimentary

beer at check-in. And it’s positioned only a

short walk away from the track.

That night, the conversation quickly turns

to the 790 DUKE, with the question - do you

really need the beastly 1290 SUPER DUKE R?

The answer is obviously a resounding

‘of course you do!’ Any self-respecting

motorcyclist would understand the need to

have the biggest, meanest, hyper-naked

hooligan machine parked in his - or her -


But the 790 makes a decent argument

for itself. It’s ample bike for the money and

really has impressed so far - besides for a

numbness in my backside after hours in the

saddle. This is no long-distance cruiser. That

said, it was never designed to be.

From a ridabilty standpoint, the 790 DUKE,

feels immediately familiar and not at all

intimidating. Adjust the ride modes to its most

aggressive RACE setting, and it livens up a


great deal, barking up towards the rev limiter

effortlessly, but never feels like its too much.

It’s not often that you fi nd a motorcycle

that straddles that sweet spot so well. It gives

you enough to keep things exciting, but just

not enough to scare you completely. It will do

what you ask of it, but you kind of feel like its

not as good as it could be.

We fi nish our beers and retire just as the

makeshift bar in a dairy shed is suddenly

converts itself into an all-out Coyote Uglythemed

nightclub. The sound of Neil

Diamond’s Sweet Caroline echo into the hills

well into the early hours.

It’s Sunday morning and we’re up at

dawn’s crack. There is an unmistakable buzz

in the air, and already the campsite is a hive

of Rossi and Marquez supporter caps. We

devour a quick breakfast and make our way

trackside to avoid the masses making the

pilgrimage to get to their seats.

The vibe and

energy of hearing

and seeing these

machines in the

metal, tearing

round a track in real

life is incredible.

Real goosebumpinducing


Sunburnt and beer-rich, we trudge back to

the campsite, rather upset that the pinnacle

of our trek had come to an end. We both

decide that our next GP-adventure will be a

scooter-tour in Thailand in 2020.

The following day we take a relaxed ride

back to Mattighofen to drop the bikes off and

refl ect a bit.

From being completely rain-soaked on

day one, to cutting up one of the

world’s greatest roads, to ploughing

through hours of relentless

motorway kilometres, the little 790s

performed faultlessly.

While long-distance comfort

was an issue with our, admittedly,

larger bodies, we cannot blame

the bikes for that. It delivered more than what

we could’ve asked from it, keeping us both

grinning from corner to corner.

Used for what it was engineered for, as a

canyon-carving mid-sized naked bike, the

KTM 790 DUKE is undisputed royalty. It’s a

DUKE through and through and deserves the

respect it’s moniker suggests.


Engine: New 799cc Parallel-Twin Engine

Maximum Power: 105 hp @ 9,000rpm

Maximum Torque: 86 Nm @ 8,000rpm

Wheelbase: 1475mm

Seat height: 825mm (adjustable)

Wet weight: 189kg

Price: R146,999

Available at KTM Dealers Nationwide



Mieke Oelofsen is from PE (where she never

fit in). She then did a successful stint in Show

Jumping, (where she also never fit in), she

decided to spend her time with bikes and cars

instead (where she began to fit in).

Now after working for years in the motoring

trade, she has taken a bold leap where many

fear to tread, motoring journalism with a

twist. She can ride, drive, create and write all

at the same time while texting on her cell

phone, updating her IG and doing 200 km/h.

So as a content contributor, food connoisseur,

coffee fiend and speed freak, our lovely Mieke

is bound to amaze with her lifestyle pieces on

what the bikes are like to live with and love

on a daily basis with an objective eye towards

honest reviews.



Just think how pleased Duke Nukem would be

to know a whole day is celebrated in his name?

Words & Pics: Mieke Oelofsen

After a winter slumber, and obviously too much food

gathering if my riding pants are anything to go by, it was a

scramble getting my butt to RAD Moto on time Saturday

morning for Duke Day. Add a U-turn after realising I don’t

have my license, indecisiveness about which t-shirt would

be politically correct to wear and which helmet would

compliment KTM orange, and I arrived somewhat on time

and dishevelled. I felt the disapproving stares as I desperately

tried to wipe my smeared mascara from below tearing eyes in

the mirror of my S1000RR.

People were milling about outside RAD Moto, showing

off what new trick bits they fi tted to their Dukes, all curious

to see how many Duke riders would pitch for the day’s

excursion. Andy Biram from The Adventure Academy had

kept everyone, even me, looking forward to the day with his

contagious enthusiasm which refl ected in his emails all week.

The Adventure Academy prides itself on offering bespoke

motorcycle tours to showcase our beautiful African continent

to adventure seekers on two-wheels.


After locating Andy and being introduced

to my stud of a ride for the day; Duke

Nukem we’ll call him, I had a few minutes

to awkwardly stand around and take selfi es

with all the Dukes. Only afterward, upon

closer inspection would I notice some rather

peculiar photobombs.

The rider briefi ng was done with an

equal amount of seriousness and humour,

requesting everyone to “Please obey the

rules of the road in a South African way”.

Was I surprised that almost everyone nodded

a complete understanding? Maybe, but

then I hadn’t ridden the Duke yet, so I didn’t

fully comprehend what hooligan means.

Something was also said about KTM riders

being nicer than ** riders and that they should

please wave back at the excited kids in cars.

And like a true organizer-guru, Andy thought

of everything and made sure every person

who was prone to hangry behaviour knew to

bring snacks to munch along the way. Once

stationery, of course. Determined to have my

riding pants fi t properly again, I threw caution

to the wind and did not load my pockets with

M&M’s at the fuel station convenience store.

What could possibly go wrong?

There were separate routes planned for

single cylinder and twin cylinder Dukes,

ensuring everyone enjoyed a well curated

route without the big guys complaining

about a lengthy wait for the small guys.

Detailed directions of the respective routes

were handed out to riders, and Andy

assured everyone that if you can read you’ll

be just fi ne. In hindsight, I’m grateful that I

was part of the special people who took a

direct route to the meeting spot, as when I

tried to map the directions on Google Maps

to get an idea of how far the participants

rode, I knew, just knew, that I would’ve

gotten lost and never been found again. I’m

sure the goal wasn’t to lose anyone, but

great care was taken to include detours and

roads less travelled. The ‘secret’ meeting

spot was no other than an abandoned

stretch of tar before the Pelindaba Toll

Plaza on the North West Province side of

the provincial border. Most will know it as

“Wheelie Strip”, but if you’re familiar with

this secluded spot for any other reason; just

know that we won’t judge.

I settled easily onto the KTM 790 Duke,

keeping it in Street Mode for a “smooth,

comfortable, controllable” ride through

midmorning traffi c as we went down

Witkoppen and Cedar roads and took a

shortcut to the meeting point. The mirrors,

positioned on the edges of the handlebars

on this demo, made me squeeze my eyes

shut whenever the gap between cars

appeared too narrow, fully expecting it

to clip an SUV mirror. The mirrors can be

mounted toward the inside of the bars, but

it depends on where you’re comfortable.

Perhaps the width of the handlebars is

accentuated by the narrow tank and front

end, with the riding position keeping you

fl ush against the tank. In Street Mode the

throttle is smooth, and the up-and-down

quick shifter performs beautifully, even under

medium load.

RAD Moto has sent supplies ahead to the

meeting spot, to ensure we don’t dehydrate

in the scorching sun since we seemed to

have skipped spring and launched right

into summer. Once everyone arrived and

the line of orange, black and white Dukes

stretched well into the distance allowing us

to count halfway to 100 and then some,

we were treated to a display of true Duke

antics. Corrie and Mike dazzled us with their

wheelie skills, the crowd cheering them on

in a fashion not quite pub brawl-esque but

with enough camera fl ashes to keep social

media buzzing for days.

We set out in a very orderly manner for

a mass ride through Hartbeespoort to the

dam wall, with a stop to re-group at the

Harties Snake and Reptile Park, before

myself, Corrie and Mike went ahead to set

up for some burnout theatrics on the other

side for the tunnel. Andy, movie-producerby-night

and bike-tour-operator-by-day,

wanted the riders to emerge from the tunnel

into the burnout smoke and I was to catch

it all on video. Of course, all the other car

owners at the viewing point gave the duck-



taped tail ends one look, wrapped up their selfies and made

a wise and speedy getaway. But not everyone heeded the

warning, oh no, a Ford driver stopped to admire the bikes,

missed his chance to re-join the queue of vehicles crossing

the wall and stayed for the performance. Luckily, he was a

sport, and didn’t mind the fact that afterwards his vehicle

resembled a Dalmation thanks to all the rubber chips that

were flung everywhere. All the meticulous planning paid off

and I managed to get some decent footage and photos of

the ghost-riders. As indicated on my Hazard Pay application,

I can now say I have tasted burning rubber and had to refrain

from letting my smile spread too wide afterwards as Duke

Nukem swept me off my feet (literally) and carried me at warp

speed over the dam bridge.

We arrived at Woody’s Family Grille to tables set up outside

in the shade, allowing us a fine view of the water and the

mountains. Since lunch signalled the end of the tour, and

everyone went back to being their own responsibility, the

speedy waiters rushed to quench the adult’s thirst with trays

of icy cold beers and the likes. Right before I broke out in

cold sweat as I stood staring at the rapidly filling tables, so

like 1st break in Highschool, I was saved by a friendly KTM

staff member and plonked down on a bench. All day I’ve

been amazed at how easily an outsider like myself just gets

absorbed into the group, with people ready to chat and

share their experiences astride their Dukes or ask about my

experience of the 790 Duke. Duke riders are from all walks

of life, some with different ideas on how riding gear should

be worn, but with a universal affection for anything amber in

colour. I was also surprised to learn how many Duke riders

have given up cages completely for a more adventurous

commute to work, whilst knowing exactly how many Woolies

packets fit in the panniers.

Lunch, in exchange for the red tags we were given, I

opted for beer battered Fish and Chips, and what a large

piece of fish it was. Silence descended on our table, which

I take as a sign that everyone was enjoying their meaty

choices. Woody’s Family Grille is biker friendly, and willing to

accommodate large groups, so make a mental note to stop

by on your next Sunday ride.



For the ride back to RAD Moto I decided to turn up the

heat a bit as my date with Duke Nukem was to end soon.

Unfortunately, and much to my regret, I was not able to take

him home with me. With some help I was introduced to the

other riding modes and decided to give Track Mode a go.

The differences between each is easy to grasp, and even

easier to apply. Rain Mode, much like it implies, ensures

maximum grip with early intervention. Sport Mode will put

a spring in your step afterward with its more direct throttle,

whereas Track Mode allows you to adjust traction control and

even switch off anti-wheelie if you’re up for it. For the brave

and skilled, Supermoto mode keeps the ABS active on the

front, but allows intentional slide on the rear.

The KTM 790 Duke is

called ‘The Scalpel” in

ad campaigns for good

reason; it is precise, and

it will slice the riding

inhibitions out of you. It’s

light frame and spot-on

handling makes weaving

through crawling traffic

a breeze, until you look

at the uncluttered cluster

and realize they’re not

really dragging feet, just

that you’re hauling ass.

The KTM just soaks up the bumps as we leave behind

Pecanwood, taking the R512 into Broederstroom and the

Pelindaba road into Lanseria. The wind at speeds in excess

of 150kmh can become bothersome, but KTM does have

windshield options to remedy that. The brakes are superefficient

when utilized, but the engine braking perfectly

suited my riding style and the irregular traffic intervals we

encountered. Upon re-entry into an urban setting with

unmoving cages all around, the heat from the engine and

upper-right-side mounted exhaust did make me squirm in

discomfort at some tardy red lights. The 87Nm of torque

and an exhaust note to signal daring intent really spoke to

my inner thrill-seeker, and only after arriving home did I realize

why prison uniforms are also orange.






Cape Town was depressed under dreary dripping clouds. But here at Killarney

International Raceway the air was dry and electric , the rain kept away by the fever

of excitement of the Red Boys raring to take on the race track. Words & pics: Renette Rauch

Jannie Krynauw is a man with Big plans.

Founder and President of the fast-growing

Originale Ducati Enthusiasts, he has now also

added quarterly Killarney Track events to their

repertoire. The Originales book and pay for

the entire raceway to be used exclusively by

Ducati Riders and offering them the best of

everything, even the best weather in Cape

Town on the day. Jannie’s been here since

crack of dawn posting weather vlogs and his

passion paid off and the riders could focus on

getting to know their bikes better and more

importantly themselves better on their bikes,

they would improve their riding skills and learn

from more experienced fellow Ducati riders on

a course with no obstructions.

Main Sponsor of the day, Quicksure’s

Andrea Hatton-Jones, Executive

General Manager, and Shaheen Rajab,

CEO flew down to attend. Quicksure

have provided the Originale Group with

the most competitive exclusive Group

Scheme offered in South Africa which

will be a cut above the rest.

In a reassuring talk Andrea explains

Quicksure’s partnership with the Originale

Ducati Enthusiasts and the group scheme

insurance benefits to them via JC Krynauw

brokers in Cape Town. Members no

longer face cold shoulders from Insurance

companies, but are whole-heartedly catered

to and covered, even for track days!

Lovely Yolanda Cook helps with entries

and covering mirrors, despite a broken leg

recovery. Capable Ebrahim Dahries, The Bike

Doctor from Maitland has taken the day off

to scrutineer the Ducati’s and experienced

member Mark Cooper explains the track

on power point, including interesting corner

theories. His audience are riveted as they

hook into little details that will give them the

edge in the corners.

Today there are no prizes. There are no

important spectators, the battle is between

each rider and his inner thoughts, his

hormones and his steed doing battle with

each corner. How fast he wants to ride, how

much he wants to test himself, how well


he knows himself and his ride. It is his own

demons that he is chasing.

As the riders gear up they are nervous, but

exhilarated, going into the zone, transitioning

into warriors that will push their skills and

powers to achieve mastery in that thrilling

dance between throttling up and selfpreservation,

with a bit of ego thrown in for

good measure.

Its complicated, this adrenaline rush, this

athletic pursuit for perfection where the tools

used also involves Ducati art and pride of


Every second is maximized and frozen in

time. The Track is beautiful and not wet at

all. The only limits is oneself.

There are three groups and each group

have a gloriously full 20 minutes of riding

and on repeat, with total freedom to speed

around almost to one’s leisure. What

beautiful feeling to not have too many other

bikes crowding the corners, no one to slow

you down or breath down your neck. When

you leave the paddocks it is the open fields

to ganter at full gallop to experience that

zoned perfection where time stands still and

the adrenaline courses through the veins.

The only sound the Ducati’s singing around

the corners and the tyres whirring on the

tarmac. Nothing else matters.

No one had any mishaps and the smiles

are as big as can be, the day was a roaring

success and in the hearts of the riders they

have a secret that is between them and

their bikes, but shared with their Ducati

brotherhood. Next track day is set for early

December, watch this space...

Francois with his Hyper Motard

Dangerous Dave delights on his Diavel

Jonathan, reason to be proud

of his Ducati and son

Panos, perky on his Multistrada Pikes Peak

Shaheen and Andrea of Quicksure, sponsors of the day

Delicious Ducatis

Yolanda on admin, still

jolly despite a broken leg

Jannie, President of Originales with

Shaheen and Andrea from Quicksure and

Mark Cooper the Chief Trainer

Shaheen (Quicksure), Ebrahim (Bike

Doctor), Andrea (Quicksure) and

Sean (2 IC Originales)

Quivering with Excitement

Rapt Attention to the very pro Power

point demo of ideal corner lines

What a pleasing line-up

Silvester and Deon going into the Zone

Dijon and Panigale

post-race cuddling

Ronen and Panos, much - loved

Originales members

Big Smiles from Sylvester and

Jannie from Originales and the film

crew Thomas and Dan

Ronen and Jannie with Ronen’s

Panigale V4 Speciale

Dylan, styling on

his 899 Panigale

Niki in good nick

on a 959 Panigale

Deon deft on

his 748

Dijon on 1198

Mark Foo on

his Anniversario

1299 Panigale

Greg, hyper on

his Hypermotard

Ronen on his

Panigale V4


Monster Glory,


Go join the Facebook page - Originale Ducati Enthusiasts





Exciting times ahead as Triumph get ready to replace Honda as the sole engine supplier to

the MotoGP category from 2019 onwards. Our mates over at Visordown got a chance to

get up close and personal to the new prototype racer and even do some laps on it.

Words by Alan Dowds (Visordown.com) Pics by Gareth Harford & Triumph Press


WHAT DO you normally get up to on a bank

holiday Monday? If you’re anything like me,

it’s often a bit of an anti-climax. A bit of a

lie-in, a bit of a shout at the kids, and a bit of

self-loathing around 4pm when you realise

nothing’s been achieved, and it’s back to Das

Grind tomorrow. Booh. You might as well be

at work, getting triple time plus a day in lieu (if

you still live in 1978 obvs).

But not this bank holiday Monday. Oh no.

I’m up and showered and dressed and out

sharp, because I’ve picked up one of those

golden tickets which this job is kind enough

to bestow now and again. My name’s down

for a rather different triple time today; a ride

on a very special bike – Triumph’s Moto2

prototype machine. A tweaked-up Daytona

675 chassis, with a 765 triple engine bolted

in, which the firm’s been using to develop

the engine for race use.

Yep, the sweet roadbike motor out of

the latest Street Triple is being thrust into

action in a very different realm – the whitehot

arena of race development which is

the Moto2 championship. All those future

Valentino Rossis and Marc Marquezes will

be learning their trade on a bike powered

by an engine built just off the A5 – which is

enough to make you swell up with Brexity

British pride, sort of.

The Moto2 engine gig is an interesting

setup of course. Moto2 replaced 250 twostroke

GP bikes, which seemed a bit of a

shame at the time. The first contract was

with Honda, which supplied its CBR600RR

motor in a hopped-up form to Dorna, who

then sublet the motors to teams. They put

the engines in their own prototype chassis,

picked up a mental 19-year-old the size of a

starved Irish jockey to ride the thing, and set

off on the GP circus.


The engine tech might have been less

exciting than a 250 two-stroke, but it was

much (much) cheaper to rent a posh CBR

motor than hire a factory Aprilia or Honda

stroker. But eight years on, the CBR600RR is

drifting away from public consciousness a bit

(there are schoolkids alive now who’ve never

seen one in the wild), and so there’s a new

motor in place. And what a surprise it was

when Dorna announced the winner. Not the

Japanese efficiency of Yamaha’s sweet R6, or

the exoticism of the MV Agusta F3 675 motor,

but the bluff, Black-Country-accented exhaust

bark of our very own Hinckley Triumph triple.

I found out long before the announcement,

and didn’t really believe it until a frantic

Triumph PR man begged me not to run a

story on it, as the Dorna contract hadn’t

quite been signed. But when you think about

it, it makes perfect sense. Triumph’s been

going long enough and knows how to bolt

an engine together. The name is full of race

heritage too, albeit with a big old gap after

the 1970s. And in some senses, the Moto2

contract is more of an industrial supply

arrangement than a bleeding-edge prototype

deal. The organisers want a super-reliable,

moderately-high-performance motor, with

no fuss, that provides a level playing field for

chassis designers and riders to duke it out.

And Hinckley has definitely proved it can

do that over the past 25 years. Add in the

sweet sound of a triple, and the commercial

potential of promoting the engine out of a

big-selling naked bike, and you can see why

it makes all sorts of sense all round.

The engine itself hasn’t been massively

altered from stock, apparently (though I’m

not sure the Hinckley folk are giving away all

the secrets on what’s gone in inside just yet).

It’s had a decent old-school supersport tune

mostly – head porting, different valve springs,

titanium valves, smaller race alternator,

tweakable slipper clutch and different case

covers and sump, for better ground clearance

and better exhaust routing respectively.

“It’s had a decent old-school

supersport tune mostly –

head porting, different valve

springs, titanium valves,

smaller race alternator,

tweakable slipper clutch

and different case covers

and sump, for better ground

clearance and better exhaust

routing respectively.”

There’s also gearing mods – but it’s not a lot

of changes, especially for an engine which

Triumph claims was designed as a naked

roadster lump long before this Moto2 idea

came about. It will be bolted into the bespoke

chassis from the likes of Kalex, and controlled

by a kit ECU from Marelli, that has tuning

options for ignition, fuelling, engine braking and

throttle mapping, all for the first time in Moto2.


Track Day Fees

R550 Wednesday & Friday

R800 Saturday & Sunday


6 TH OCT 2018


EMAIL: entry@redstarraceway.co.za




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Office: 076 624 6972

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Groenfontein / Dryden Turn Off

N12 Zonderfout Farm

Portion 5 Delmas 2210

GPS Co-ordinates

S26 04'30.9"

E28 45'20.0"









SO HERE we are – only a few miles from

the A5, at Silverstone’s Stowe circuit, for a

bit of a rideout on the bike itself. There’s a

cloud over the Northants circuit as I arrive –

both literally and metaphorically. Less than

24 hours earlier, the British MotoGP round

here was cancelled because of an unfit,

waterlogged track, and the place is looking

a little bit bedraggled, the wind plucking at

the closed-up programme stalls and trade

stands waiting forlornly to be dismantled.

There was a hint at one point that the

race would be held over till the Monday,

but the powers that be obviously knew I

was coming up for a hoon on the Moto2

bike, and made the sensible decision to

let that happen instead. Well done the

Dorna massive!

Stowe is a mini-track inside the main

circuit, and is just over a mile long.

Essentially a wobbly triangle with some

esses and chicanes bolted on, it’s a far

cry from the main circuit, but is probably a

better option for a ride like this. There are

a load of people getting a ride today, from

Damon Hill and Charley Boorman to Alex

de Angelis and Simon Crafar, plus various

British and international journos, so we’re

only getting ten minutes each.

The bike’s parked up, waiting for the

riders, so I take a quick peek round it.

The basics are simple enough: one of the

firm’s Daytona 675s has had its motor

swapped out for the Moto2 lump, then

there’s been a modest race revamp

applied. So there’s K-Tech suspension,

OZ wheels, Dunlop slicks – but the brake

calipers are stolid-looking Nissin roadbike

parts, and even the dash looks just like

the one off a Daytona road bike. A small

orange ABS light flickering away frantically

as it realises the shenanigans that have

gone on here (there’s no ABS or traction

control, as a worried-looking tech tells me

as I jump aboard).

The Arrow pipe looks properly proper –

and sounds the business too – but frame,

swingarm, tank all seem straight off a 675.

No bad thing of course – the Daytona was

a cracking bike and won nearly every 600

group test I’ve done since it appeared.

And so it all feels pretty familiar as I jump

on for my allotted ten minute stint. As ever

with a gig like this, I’m a wee bit nervous.

There’s only one bike, and there are some

very big lads waiting for a ride after me,

so if I did crash and survive unscathed,

it’d only be until they got their hands

on me. On the other hand, think of the

“I’m not really here to

assess the chassis too

much of course, but it’s

fair to say the thing steers

like nothing I’ve ridden

in a long time. In fact,

it reminds me a bit of

the last thing I rode like

this – Dani Pedrosa’s old

RS250FW 250GP bike,

fittingly enough. I tip

into the long horseshoe

Damon’s turn, and nearly

fall off the thing, it’s on its

ear so fast.”


Youtube hits were I to cartwheel the thing into

Towcester town centre live on tape…

Steady away then, regardless. The motor

sounds really sweet, and has much more

grunt low down than you might expect from a

tuned race motor. I’m not really here to assess

the chassis too much of course, but it’s fair

to say the thing steers like nothing I’ve ridden

in a long time. In fact, it reminds me a bit of

the last thing I rode like this – Dani Pedrosa’s

old RS250FW 250GP bike, fittingly enough.

I tip into the long horseshoe Damon’s turn,

and nearly fall off the thing, it’s on its ear so

fast. A reminder that I’ve maybe been riding

too many adventure and naked bikes of late –

even the litre bikes we rode last month feel like

supertankers compared with this beastie.

The Dunlop slicks and Oz wheels are

responsible for much of that of course, and it’s

a reminder of just how big an effect stuff like

that has on the feel of a bike.

Out of the turn and down the straight, and

the engine instantly makes itself felt. There’s

dollops of grunt – but not the nasty ones of a

big twin, or something like Yamaha’s R1. It’s a

more refined power delivery – and unique too.

Where a tweaked 600 four like the CBR600RR

would be all wailing revs and gnat’s-cock

midrange, this is a beefy motor. Just like the

675 did on the road, it offers a great balance

between a thumping twin or big bang four, and

a screaming four.

The race-shift quickshifter batters the gears

in a treat, but not for long before we’re onto the

brakes for the entry to Stewart bend and the

Surtees Esses, and I get another shock – the

calipers might be vanilla-looking Nissin units

but someone’s snuck some tasty pads in them

it seems. Together with the light weight of the

bike, and the obsessive bleeding and primping

of a proper race tech, they give stupendous

power, slamming the hot front slick down into

“Where a tweaked 600 four like the CBR600RR

would be all wailing revs and gnat’s-cock midrange,

this is a beefy motor. Just like the 675 did on the

road, it offers a great balance between a thumping

twin or big bang four, and a screaming four.”

the deck (and stopping me much earlier than

I’d planned of course, gah). Back on the gas a

bit, and have another go at the bend…

The motor is strong through here, and unlike

on the stock Street Triple I rode round on

earlier, you don’t need to drop right down the

gears. Wobble round the 180° Graham’s bend,

and then hammer down onto the pit straight,

to give all the pit-wall gawpers a clap of Triple

thunder. Then into Hamilton curve and do it all

over again.

As the session goes on, I’m more and more

impressed. Partly with what they’ve done

with the chassis of course – despite its road

base and supersport-spec components, it’s a

dream to ride round here. The brakes set me

off into a fit of giggles every time I hauled them

on at the end of the straights, albeit nervous

giggles when the back wheel started to lift up

off the deck and wave about like a white flag

of surrender. The slicks gave more grip than I’ll

ever need on the dry asphalt, and you felt like

you could lean forever and not fall off. If this

was your trackday bike, you’d never be away

from your local circuit.

But the engine is definitely a peach too.

Okay, the Moto2 guys will get on and ride

whatever they’re given to within an inch of

its life, regardless. And stuff like reliability and

ease of setup is probably more important than

anything else. But it really is something else –

super strong, yet controllable, friendly enough

for an old duffer like me, but with the feel of a

motor that has massive potential.

Ten minutes isn’t long enough to really work

out this bike of course – but I’m knackered by

then anyway. Stowe is small, but needs a fair

bit of effort. And those brakes plus that engine

take a lot out of you every lap. I come into the

pits, glad to be in one piece, and grateful for a

ride on this immensely sorted wee test mule.

There’s one last little sign of the road/race mix

of the bike as I stop though – my road rider

brain hits the back brake, normally a vestigial

affair on a racebike. But the stock Daytona

Brembo caliper locks up the lightweight Oz

rim, and the Dunlop slick squeals like the

proverbial stuck pig, eeek…

A great day out for me then. But the

obvious question is, will Triumph make one

of these for punters to buy? A 765-engined

Daytona sportsbike for the road? You have

to say they’d be mad not to, on the face of

it at least. Sportsbike sales might be down,

but this would be such a simple job to make,

they’d not need to sell too many to get back

the investment. They have the engines, and

the chassis all ready to go it seems, and if

it’s even half as good as the Moto2 bike,

it’ll be more than good enough to rock the

supersports world. With Kawasaki bringing

out a new ZX-636R, and Yamaha’s latest R6

still only a year old, it could mark a further

renaissance in the fortunes of the near-litre

sportsbike class – and be the replacement for

a new GSX-R750 which we’d all love to see

(and keeps not appearing).

Even if they don’t bother, expect a load

more crashed 765 Street Triples to be married

up with old 675 Daytonas to make homebrew

Moto2 reps (Tony Scott at T3 Racing can help

here we bet...)

But the signs are positive for an official bike.

Tight-lipped Triumph PR folk indicate that

there’s the real possibility of a road version – if

there’s enough interest from the market. So,

if you fancy one of these beasties as your

next sportsbike, or even as a posh Moto2

rep trackday tool, get thee down to your local

Triumph dealer and bend their ear! Getting

onto Twitter and Facebook to encourage the

factory wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

You could even spend your next holiday

Monday whinging at them about it – after all,

what else will you be doing?





Steady, as she

It’s been four years since Suzuki made their comeback to the

MotoGP class and they seem to be getting better and better.

STEADY rather than

spectacular. That’s how I’d

sum up Suzuki’s fourth year

back in the MotoGP World


There’s been fl ashes of

inspiration and brilliance from

both Alex Rins and Andrea

Iannone, and the GSX-RR has

accomplished some newsworthy

moments already this season.

Top three fi nishes in Argentina,

Austin and Jerez was the fi rst time

that Suzuki managed podium

places in three races on the

bounce in a decade.

Its current points tally in the

all-important Constructor

Championship is the most

garnered at this stage of a

campaign since 2007.

And who can forget Rins

climbing off his sickbed

with a debilitating bout

of food poisoning to fi nish

second in the classic Dutch

TT, in which he dished out more

than his share of the mind-boggling

175 overtakes.

Yet neither Rins or Iannone look a potent

threat for a top six fi nish in the

fi nal rankings, and 2018 has

so far been another year

in which the Hamamatsu brand has

failed to jump out of the shadow of

Honda, Ducati and Yamaha.

One major positive for Suzuki this

year is it did at least arrest a sharp

decline after the heroics of Maverick

Vinales at Silverstone took them back

to winning ways in 2016.

The GSX-RR that Vinales rode

to glory was blessed with pinpoint

braking stability and razor sharp

handling that made its chassis

the envy of the paddock. What it

lacked was poke out of the corner

and drive grip, which Suzuki

hoped would be resolved with a

revised engine spec for 2017,

which fi gured experiments

with crankshaft mass. The

gains made on corner exit

though only weakened its

braking and turning prowess.

And having lost its

concessions owing to

the success of Vinales in

2016, Suzuki’s technical

staff were handcuffed for the

whole season by the engine

development freeze and couldn’t

throw money and parts at tweaking the




“Alex Rins will certainly

need to add consistency to

his armory in 2019 having

already suffered five DNFs

this year, which includes

four unforced errors.

And with a rookie joining

him next season, the onus

will be on him to steer

development of the GSX-

RR, which is a big burden to

bear for one who doesn’t

turn 23 until December.”

This year’s GSX-RR is back to the balanced

giant killer it became in the hands of Vinales,

though acceleration grip remains a key target

for further improvements.

I think a key area to help Suzuki relinquish

the iron grip Honda, Ducati and Yamaha have

held over MotoGP recently is to find a way to

put more GSX-RR machinery on the grid.

A larger talent pool means more data and

information which leads to faster development

and ultimately a faster motorcycle.

Suzuki has stuck rigidly to fielding a tworider

full factory effort for as long as anyone

can recall and its reluctance to expand its

involvement has been a fear of the unknown

as much as anything else.

It looked like Suzuki would abandon its

conservative strategy when negotiations with

Marc VDS Racing earlier this season reached

an advanced stage.

A deal to supply factory 2019-spec

machinery was almost over the line when

it collapsed at the 11th hour following an

internal rift that tore the heart and soul out of

the Belgian-based squad around the time of

the Le Mans round in France.

Another niggling doubt hanging over Suzuki

is whether it has the riding talent on its books

to knock the likes of Marc Marquez, Andrea

Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo off their perch.

Alex Rins will certainly need to add

consistency to his armory in 2019 having

already suffered five DNFs this year, which

includes four unforced errors.


And with a rookie joining him next season,

the onus will be on him to steer development

of the GSX-RR, which is a big burden to bear

for one who doesn’t turn 23 until December.

I personally think Suzuki missed a trick in

not pursuing Jorge Lorenzo more aggressively

when he popped up on the open market.

His smooth braking and high corner

speed style seemed tailor made for the GSX-

RR, and in the expert hands of a proven

racer winner and multiple World Champion,

we’d had fully understand the true potential

of the GSX-RR.

I think that conservative approach again

came to the fore again and rather than break

the bank and hire Lorenzo, they invested in

potential rather the proven pedigree.

Fast-tracked into the squad next year is

the prodigiously talented Spaniard Joan Mir,

whose career path is one already paved by

Vinales, who wasted no time in escaping

Moto2 just one season after being crowned

Moto3 champ.

That’s the work of renowned talent spotter

Davide Brivio, who as manager of Suzuki’s

MotoGP project has always shown faith in

youthful promise and potential.

He saw immediately how much talent

Vinales was blessed with when he jumped

into Moto2 in 2014.

In his first two races in the cut throat

intermediate class, Vinales came from 14th to

fourth in Qatar and set the fastest lap of the

race on an eye-catching Moto2 debut.

He then went to Texas and destroyed

the field to win in only his second attempt.

Brivio pounced when nobody else was even

contemplating hiring Vinales at that stage.

Brivio made his mind up quickly about Mir

too. Like Vinales, he was anxious to bail out of

Moto2 at the earliest opportunity, and just like

his compatriot, he was determined to make the

transition into a factory team and nothing less.

Speak to anybody who has worked

with Mir and they will tell you he is a future

MotoGP World Champion in the making.

Comparisons are already being made to Marc

Marquez. Blindingly fast, self-assured, eloquent

and intelligent, Mir has all the attributes both on

and off the track to emerge as a big star.

It’s no easy task though. Yamaha is currently

stuck in its worst losing streak since it entered

the premier class in 1973. So, not even

Yamaha is finding winning easy in the face of

the current onslaught from Honda and Ducati.

The last time Suzuki was winning a decent

haul of races was way back in 2000.

At that time when Kenny Roberts Junior

was collecting Suzuki’s last premier class

crown. Mir had just turned three.

Will Suzuki return to winning ways on a

consistent basis soon?

Some may argue it’s a mere formality now

they’ve signed a certain highly rated Spaniard,

or should that be Mir formality.






He was tipped to be the next Italian hero, to be the replacement for Rossi, but

what started out as a bright career has now turned into a dark nightmare.

Words by David Emmett

Romano Fenati burst onto the racing scene like

a meteor, burning bright and lighting up Moto3.

In his fi rst race, at Qatar in 2012, he fi nished

second behind Maverick Viñales. In his second,

at Jerez, in diffi cult conditions, he won by a

fearsome 36 seconds. Here was surely a rider to

watch for the future.

His ascension to greatness did not run as

smoothly as those early races promised. A

couple more podiums in 2012 saw him fi nish

sixth in the championship on the underpowered

FTR Honda.

After a tough 2013, he rediscovered his form

when he was invited to become part of the VR46

Academy, and signed to ride a KTM with the

Sky VR46 Racing Team the following year. The

change did him good, winning four races and

fi nishing fi fth in the championship.

2015 saw less success, Fenati showing signs

of frustration. During the warm up in Argentina,

the Italian lashed out at Niklas Ajo inexplicably,

fi rst trying to kick him, then stopping next to the

Finn for a practice start, and reaching over a

fl icking his kill switch.

Anger Management

Things went from bad to worse in 2016. The

relationship between Fenati and his crew

deteriorated during the season, with arguments

becoming increasingly frequent. In Austria, an

argument with the team became so heated that

the Sky VR46 team sacked him on the spot.

The incident had been the last straw, with

Fenati already having been given two formal

warnings before the Austrian GP. Fenati had

refused to move to Pesaro and fi t in with the

ethos of the VR46 Academy, which includes a full

program of physical training both on and off the

bike, as well as coaching in other areas, such as

PR skills and English.

Missing half a season seemed to teach Fenati

an important lesson. In interviews, he showed the

kind of humility that had been missing previously.

He found a new home for 2017 with the Marinelli

Snipers team, and reaped the rewards of his new

attitude. He won three races, and was the only

rider capable of offering consistent opposition to

eventual champion Joan Mir.



Was Fenati finally back on the right track?

His move up to Moto2 proved to be a rocky

road. In the first eleven races of his debut

Moto2 season, he scored points only twice, his

best finish a seventh place at Le Mans.

Qualifying went little better, Fenati regularly

starting from the middle of the grid, or worse.

At Silverstone, he got the worst of the weather

and qualified 31st before the race was washed

out. At his home race in Misano, he could get

no further than 22nd.

When the Going Gets Tough

Perhaps that explains why his frustration boiled

over at Misano. During the race, while he was

in the group fighting for eleventh place, he had

a couple of run-ins with Stefano Manzi of the

Forward Racing team. Manzi, with a reputation

as something of a reckless rider, pushed Fenati

wide a couple of times, making contact at one

point with both men ending up in the gravel.

Fenati lost his cool. He chased Manzi down,

and as the pair went along the back straight,

Fenati pulled alongside Manzi, reached over,

and gave the Forward Racing rider’s front

brake lever a tweak. It was only for a fraction

of a second, but it was hard enough to have

produced a brake pressure of 20 bar, Manzi

later told the Italian press. The average braking

pressure a Moto2 rider uses at Misano is 9 bar.

Manzi’s Suter twitched, but the Italian did not

crash, a minor miracle at 217 km/h.

Unfortunately for Fenati, the cameras around

the track caught what he had done on video.

The FIM Stewards reviewed the tape, blackflagged

Fenati, and later handed him a ban for

the next two races.

That, at least, is the phrasing used in the

penalty notice: “For the above reasons and

considering the seriousness of the infraction,

the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel has

imposed on you a penalty of suspension from

the next two (2) FIM GP World Championship

Moto2 races.”

The next two Moto2 races are at Aragon,

Spain and Buriram, Thailand.

“Fenati lost his cool.

He chased Manzi

down, and as the

pair went along the

back straight, Fenati

pulled alongside

Manzi, reached over,

and gave the Forward

Racing rider’s front

brake lever a tweak.”


The battle with fellow Italian

rider Manzi at Misano could

be Fenati’s last ever.


On Sunday afternoon, in the aftermath of the

race, many hot words were said about Fenati’s

actions, and the leniency of the penalty. The

general consensus was that Fenati’s actions

were outrageous, and his penalty was

nowhere near stiff enough.

“I think he should never race a motorcycle

again,” said Cal Crutchlow, among the fi ercest

of the critics. “He should have walked back

in his garage and his team should have

just kicked him straight out of the back.”

Motorcycle racing is dangerous enough with

madness such as this, Crutchlow felt.

“You can’t do this to another motorcycle

racer. We are risking our lives enough. If

somebody grabbed your brake – sure, maybe

there was contact before, but there is contact

all the time. I don’t think from the replay what

Manzi did, he tried to pass. Fenati ran wide, he

tried to go under him, and they made some

contact. This is racing. But to grab the brake

lever on the straight he deserves to just be

kicked straight out.”

Pol Espargaro went so far as to apologize

on behalf of all motorcycle racers. “This is

something that we hope to never, ever, ever

see again in racing,” the KTM rider said.

“This is not racing. I feel shame if someone

sees the races and sees a professional rider

do something like that. I mean, you can be

frustrated. You can be really angry. But this

is something that the riders can never do

because after people see on TV and as I said

this is a shame. I apologize in the name of the

riders because this was a shame.”

Whatever punishment the FIM Stewards

came up with, it would not go far enough for

Pol Espargaro. “There is no punishment, even

one or two races. A professional rider cannot

do something like that. I mean for sure Race

Direction will take the measures they think. It’s

their job. But whatever they do, it’s not going to

be enough because somewhat who does that

is not a professional rider and if a rider that is

not professional is racing here it’s not good.”

Maverick Viñales pointed out that Fenati has

previous form for this type of behavior, pointing

to the incident with Niklas Ajo in Argentina. “I

don’t know,” the Movistar Yamaha rider said.

“I never thought about grabbing the brake of

someone on the straight.”

“I don’t know what is wrong, but many times

he does things, also to my friend Niklas [Ajo],

he did stupid things [in Argentina]. I hope these

two races make him think. For sure he has a

lot of talent, but if you don’t work, you don’t

think, you don’t try to work more on the track,

I don’t know.”

The Fall

This was just the start of a Luciferian fall from

grace. At fi rst, the Marinelli Snipers Team

issued a press release expressing their anger

at the actions of Fenati, but on Monday

morning, a second followed, announcing they

had released Fenati from his contract. Or to

put it another way, they had sacked him.

A few hours later, a press release followed

from the Forward Racing Team, who had

signed Fenati to ride for them in 2019,

alongside Stefano Manzi, ironically. They, along

with MV Agusta, who are building the chassis

for the Forward team, did not want to continue


with Fenati. Fenati was left without a job this

year, and without a job next year.

Earlier in the day, Fenati had released a

statement that struck almost exactly the right

tone. He had not been acting as a man, he

said. A man would have waited until the end of

the race, then taken the matter up with Race

Direction. The fact that Stefano Manzi also got

a six-place grid penalty suggest that they were

aware of Manzi’s reckless riding.

Yet the statement also contained hints

that Fenati had not learned from the incident.

“It’s true, unfortunately I have an impulsive

character, but my intention was certainly not

to hurt a pilot like me, but I wanted to make

him understand that what he was doing was

dangerous, and that I could have made some

mistakes as well as he had just made them to

me!” Fenati wrote.

Though he then insisted that this was not

meant to try to justify his actions, his words

certainly smacked of justification, rather than


What Is Enough?

Was a two-race ban a strict enough penalty?

The FIM Stewards try to base their judgments

on some kind of precedent. The problem is,

this behaviour is pretty much unprecedented,

so what to do? I have contacted Race Director,

along with Dorna, for an explanation, but I have

as yet to receive a reply.

To an extent, the situation has already

resolved itself, Fenati having lost a job for both

this year and next, as well as his racing license

being taken away from him.

Fenati has since said he will be quitting

racing, saying “Now, I’m going back to school.

With a cool head, I say that I will not race

anymore, but I do not really know how I would

see myself in five years. At the moment, I just

want to put all this behind me.” he said.

Though grabbing the brake lever of

another rider is so far beyond acceptable

as to be outrageous, it is worth pointing out

that Manzi did not crash when Fenati pulled

that stupid stunt.

Fenati may have squeezed the brake lever,

but he didn’t grab it for long. He didn’t jam it on,

he squeezed and released. Had Fenati really

squeezed the lever, Manzi would have been

down. And probably, Fenati along with him.

“Now, I’m going back to school. With a cool

head, I say that I will not race anymore,

but I do not really know how I would see

myself in five years. At the moment, I just

want to put all this behind me.”

This is the crux of the matter. Romano

Fenati is clearly an immensely talented rider,

but he has two serious flaws. He is young, and

he is impulsive, which taken together produce

an explosive mix. The former quality will take

care of itself. The latter needs a prolonged and

committed approach to change.

Fenati’s biggest problem is that he does

not have the environment around him to help

him manage himself emotionally. He is not

surrounded by people who can help ground

himself, and help bring him down to earth. He

has no one to help him manage the tension,

and as a result, the tension can cause him to

explode in unpredictable ways.


Does Romano Fenati deserve a life ban? Life is

a very long time. Fenati is just 22-years-old, old

enough to know better, but still young enough

to struggle with self control.

I know that my 22-year-old self was a

walking disaster of a human being. It took me

a while to find my feet, and become a little less

of a disaster. With age, and with guidance,

perhaps Fenati can learn to control his inner

demons and channel his aggression. It is hard

to change a person’s underlying character. But

with time, you can learn to manage it better.

The trouble for Fenati right now is that other

riders may simply refuse to ride with him, after

Out of Control

The problem is not even that Fenati grabbed

Manzi’s brake lever, but that a) the idea

popped into his head; and b) he couldn’t stop

himself actually carrying out the idea. If you

banned every rider who had such an idea pop

into their head, you would have a pretty empty

field. But racing, like life, is about self control,

managing your emotions, and choosing the

best course of action. Anyone who gets to b)

deserves to be banned.


what he did. Any team signing Fenati may

have to not only persuade sponsors and

the federations to give him a chance, but

also to contain a baying mob of riders and

fans calling for his blood.

And all this talk of Romano Fenati

glosses over another serious problem. If

you thought the battle was fi erce at the

front of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, in

the middle of the pack, it is relentless and

blood curdling.

The battle for a podium could involve

bonus money for positions scored.

The battle for the fi nal point can be the

difference between racing next season,

and having to raise another €200,000 or

more to pay for a ride. Or worse, the end of

a career as a professional motorcycle racer.

Why doesn’t Race Direction catch all

this blood and gore further down the

fi eld? They are reliant on the footage shot

by the Dorna cameras around the track,

and by the many CCTV cameras which

line the circuit. But all those cameras

don’t necessarily capture every crime and

misdemeanour which happens on track.

Hard passes, physical contact, and

deliberate attempts to run each other off

the track can slip between the cracks,

as the cameras switch back from one

group to another. This is where so many

real battles are fought. And this is where

poor behaviour is learned. Intervening here

would be a big help.

The Future

What does the future hold for Romano

Fenati? In the short term, a period of

inactivity. And unless something changes in

his surroundings, more of the same in the

long terms.

But, with coaching, guidance, and the

right approach, he might be allowed back

into the bosom of a racing paddock, and

he might even start to perform up to his

obvious potential.

To be frank, Fenati is not the only

rider who would benefi t from such an

approach. Most young motorcycle

racers grow up learning that the only

thing that counts is riding the bike,

and being fi t enough to do so.

But so much of motorcycle

racing is about mental control,

emotional control, and

managing yourself as a

human, that professional

coaching is required.

As long as young

kids are being throw into

the shark pool of World

Championship paddocks

without any idea of what

awaits them, riders like Fenati

will continue to be a danger

to themselves, and to

other riders. Time for a

new, more professional




Jesse Boshoff gets his

It’s every young motorcycle racer’s dream to get a shot at

racing abroad, but reality is not many get the chance. Jesse

Boshoff is a very talented young SA rider who got a dream shot

and went over to race in Spain. Jesse tells us his story.

Words by Jesse Boshoff


To me racing has always been

something I’ve always dreamt about.

Unfortunately, it’s a very difficult

sport to get into and make a career out of,

especially if you are from SA.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have had my

Dad and a few true friends and supporters in

my corner. This has helped me stay motivated

and keep working at the dream.

So, how does one make the dream a

reality? Small steps, countless hours of

training and a lot of tears. Well, that’s how I

achieved my dream of racing in Spain.

It wasn’t an overnight task. I personally

have been trying to make my International

debut since 2014. We were invited back

then to do the Triumph Triple challenge.

Unfortunately, we had very little time to plan

with only a weeks notice before the race.

I tried again in 2015 with EJC (European

junior cup). We decided to rather race National

SuperGP with Emtek on a Yamaha R6. This

didn’t last long as our main sponsor pulled out.

Lucky for us we didn’t commit to EJC.

From then till now I have sent countless

emails, have had some communication issues

with teams in Spain, due to the language

barrier and have had several offers in BSB, but

they could not provide me with the information

I needed to make the race a possibility.

This time I tried a different tactic. Instead

of looking for a team to race in, I asked for

help and advice. I couldn’t think of anyone

more experienced in racing around the world

than Australian rider Anthony West #13. He

has raced in over 10 different championships

around the world, so who better to ask I


I emailed Anthony asking advice, as a

South African racer with a small budget, a

huge passion and a very limited amount of

track time. “Where would be the best place to

go to make one’s international debut?”

I honestly thought the message was going

straight to his spam box. Not minutes later

did he reply, Via Instagram... honestly I think

Thumbs up in the pits

from Jesse and Ant West.

he was stalking me, but non-the-less he


His advice was to race in Spain. If I wanted

to test myself against very talented riders, be

in a country with many circuits and live in a

similar climate and time zone then Spain was

the only option. Well, that and the fact that

he runs a team in the Spanish RFME CEV


This was great advice, but the real shock

was him inviting me to come and race as a

wildcard at Valencia.

Now this was all great news, the only

problem was I didn’t just want to go race.


After a few difficult seasons in racing, a rider

starts to doubt their own ability. Blaming ones

equipment can only set your mind at ease

for that long. I needed to know if there was

any chance I could make it as a racer, not

necceseraly as a high earning MotoGP star.

I needed to know if it would be possible

with the right coaching, training and

guidance that I could make a success out of

this career choice.

Anthony agreed that I would be assessed,

given the team had all the necessary tools.

Data logging, telemetry, a group of ex-riders

as the pit crew and one of the best riders in

the world as a team mate. What better way is

there to fully test a rider’s ability?

So now that you have the background of

this whole trip let’s get to the fun part - the


We landed in Spain on the Wednesday

before the race, arriving at the circuit later

that night. We had a casual meeting with

the team, setting up of the bike and walking

around the pits to take everything in.

Thursday was an Unofficial practice

day. Our first session was amazing. I could

honestly not stop smiling. Riding around such

an iconic circuit was unbelievable. The layout,

the grip levels, the upkeep of the facility and

professionalism of the teams and riders was

truly breathtaking.

After my first 12 laps the team were

already blown away. I had managed a 1,43.8

in my first session.

Throughout the day I kept improving. The

team and I had not expected me to be on

such good pace so soon. I ended off day one

on a 1,41.8. this was only 4 seconds off the

fastest pace of the day.

Friday morning the team made a

huge setup change, as they adjusted the

bikes setup for the pace we were doing.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right change and

after 6 laps I ended up in the kitty litter. The

bike was a little worse for wear.

Ant West showing Jesse

the way around.

The team worked flat-out to repair the

bike but were unable to get it ready for any

of the remaining 3 sessions. With a total 38

laps around Valencia I would start Saturday

morning, right after a crash and complete bike

rebuild going into my 1st Qualifying session.

Now, if the crash, Rand-Euro exchange

and my first time out of Africa weren’t

already stress enough, imagine 30 small

Spanish men and women all on fully

prepped STK600 bikes flying around you as

you try settle into a rhythm.

All I can say is that it was madness. I

managed to get back onto my pace just before


the crash. 1,41,5 was my Qualifying 1

time. Now in Spain you get 2 sessions.

The best time set in either of your 2 x 25

minute Qualifying sessions gets used as

your grid position.

Improving from 25th on the grid was

not to be as it rained for the second QP

session. This was great news as I really

enjoy the rain. I went out right behind

Anthony, with him being a wet weather

expert I thought I might be able to learn

something. To his surprise he learnt that

it also rains in SA, I managed to stay

relatively close. Anthony was sitting in

P2, I was in P4.

This was a huge confident boost for

me. The rain stopped and the circuit

then began to dry. Most riders pitted

and went out on intermediates as the

dry line started to form. Anthony and I

couldn’t as Dunlop only make wets and

cut slicks for our class. This pushed

us down to P11 and P19. Obviously

the team were ecstatic with this and all

started to dance… Rain dance.

Sunday, literally, was such a beautiful,

clear day. Perfect for racing, but

unfortunately not for us. Our race started

at 2pm and by that time there were a

few intermittent clouds, but nothing

that spelled rain. Starting position was

25th on the grid, made up of 34 riders,

majority on Yamaha R6’s.

I got off to a decent start, until turn 2

when I got bombed by about 6 riders. I

knew it was a long race so I maintained

my composure and settled into a rhythm.

I made up a number of positions getting

up into 22nd, from there it became a

bit more challenging. Every time I made

up 1 or 2 places in the turns I would

religiously lose 2 to 3 on the straights.

Our Kawasaki ZX6R had no answer for

the power of the Yamaha’s. Stuck in a 5

rider battle for 20th, I started getting really

frustrated as the group ahead pulled

away. All I could hope for was to finish

ahead of the 5 riders I was racing with.

On the last lap, I worked on getting as

close to the front of the group as I could.


Sitting in 22nd. After 18 laps of fl at-out

racing. A lot of heart. Two corners to go.

Don’t crash. Finish the race.

With all of that on the mind fl ying through a

4th gear rev limiter corner I saw the two riders

ahead of me brake for the fi nal turn. I didn’t.

Then I did, timing the late braking to

perfection, I stormed up the inside of both

riders executing a block pass, I put my head

down and elbows up with my sights set on

the fi nish line. Knowing the speed of the

Yamaha’s, I was sure it was going to be a

photo fi nish, it was and I was in front of both.

20th Overall on track and 17th in the stock

class. That, for us, was a win on its own.

We came to Spain, rode around the famous

Riccardo Tormo Circuit de Valencia, crashed,

came back, qualifi ed in wet and dry conditions

and managed to close the gap to only 3

seconds off my team mate’s lap time with a PB

of a 1.40.7. It was truly the full experience.

I cannot thank Anthony, The DR7,

MaxiGass, Dani Rivas and the rest of the

guys in the team, enough for this life changing


Now for the cherry on top. This was

supposed to be a once off wildcard ride, but

with the impressions we made on, and most

importantly off circuit, we have been invited to

continue racing with the team and participate

in the fi nal round of the championship at

Jerez this month.

We now have a foot in the door for next

season. I am honestly at a loss for words.

Thank you to my Mom and Dad for giving

me the chance to chase my dreams, to my

family and friends that have always been

by my side, everyone that believed in me,

supported me and to everyone that bought

a raffl e ticket to help us take our fi rst step

towards this dream.

Lastly thank you to all my sponsors, without

your help this would never have materialized.

• Ridefast Magazine

• Gapcon

• Dynamic Crago Solutions

• Lebrock Logistics

• MVC – Marketing Vision Captured

• Rehab Racing

• MotoMate Edenvale

• PetroPulp

• Mprojects

• We Sell Parts

• GFP International

• EVS-Sports

• Henderson Racing Products

Roll on Jerez!!!

Right: The post Anthony West put out on his Instagram

about Jesse’s time in Spain.

Jesse Boshoff gets his








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