RideFast December 2018

RobRidefast

South Africa's best motorcycle magazine!

DECEMBER 2018 RSA R35.00 DECEMBER 2018

18012

9 772075 405004

MOTOGP

EXPERIENCE

A

behind the scenes look

at MotoGP with Michelin

MOTOGP

TESTING

Jorge Lorenzo swings his leg over new

Honda for the first time and rookies make their

debuts as 2019 MotoGP testing begins.

LATEST BIKES

A Ducati with wings and a new

BMW ready for World SBK 2019.

PLUS: MOTO2: NEW TRIUMPH MOTO2 ENGINES OFFICIALLY TESTED • 2-STROKES: A SMOKING HOT COLLECTION

• EXCLUSIVE TEST: BRIDGESTONE R11 CUT SLICK TRACK TYRES • SMALL IS COOL: HUSQVARNA 401 & FBMONDIAL HPS 300


Dunlop Tyres SA

Voted South Africa’s Number One tyre brand

• 2010/2011 • 2013/2014 • 2014/2015 • 2016/2017

• 2017/2018 in the Icon Brands Survey by TGI TM


Festive Season

Motorcycle Accessories sories SpecialsSeason

Brought to you by:

Valid From 1st December 2018 to 31st January 2019

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E&OE


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E&OE


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50320400/L BRK,CLTCH,CHAIN CLEANER 44.00

50500192/L CHAIN LUBE 150ML 34.00

50500193/L CHAIN LUBE 400ML 69.00

50510403/L CHAIN WAX 400ML 71.00

50510404/L CHAIN WAX 150ML 34.00

51528262/L PETROL INJECTOR CLEANER 10.00

53203200/L AIR FILTER SPRAY 55.00

53203500/L AIR FILTER OIL 500ML 55.00

53204005/L BIO FILTER CLEANER 5l 325.00

53204400/L BIO FILTER CLEANER 400ML 47.00

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GAUTENG

ZEEMANS GAUTENG MOTORCYCLES 011 435 7177

BIKING ZEEMANS ACCESSORIES MOTORCYCLES 012 011 435 342 7177 7474

FAST BIKING KTM ACCESSORIES 011 012 867 342 0092 7474

GAME FAST KTM MOTOR SERVICES 011 849 867 7000 0092

MOTO-MATE GAME MOTOR RIVONIA SERVICES 011 234 849 5275 7000

MOTO-MATE EDENVALE RIVONIA 011 234 027 5275 0545

MOTO-MATE JUST BIKING EDENVALE 016 011 027 421 0545 1153

KCR JUST MOTORCYCLE BIKING FANATIX 011 016 975 421 5405 1153

OFF-ROAD KCR MOTORCYCLE CYCLES FANATIX 012 011 975 333 5405 6443

PRIMROSE OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLES 011 012 828 333 9091 6443

RANDBURG PRIMROSE MOTORCYCLES 011 792 828 6829 9091

RANDBURG MOTORCYCLES 011 792 6829

MPUMALANGA

BIKE MPUMALANGA CITY 013 244 2143

BIKE CITY 013 244 2143

NORTHWEST

BIKERS NORTHWEST PARADISE 018 297 4700

INSANE BIKERS PARADISE BIKERS 014 018 594 297 2111 4700

MOTOS INSANE @ BIKERS KLERKSDORP 014 018 594 468 2111 1800

WATER MOTOS RITE @ KLERKSDORP MOTORCYCLES 018 468 771 1800 5050

LIMPOPO WATER RITE MOTORCYCLES 018 771 5050

K.R.MOTORCYCLES LIMPOPO

015 297 3291

KZN K.R.MOTORCYCLES 015 297 3291

KZN PERRY’S M/CYCLES BALITO 031 110 0056

ROCKET PERRY’S RACING M/CYCLES PINETOWN BALITO 031 702 110 2606 0056

ROCKET RACING PINETOWN MARITZBURG 031 033 702 264 2606 3240

ROCKET RBS YAMAHA RACING MARITZBURG 031 033 701 264 1311 3240

UMPLEBY

RBS YAMAHA

SUZUKI 031

031

303

701

8323

1311

UMPLEBY SUZUKI 031 303 8323

RIDE HIGH WITH YAMAHA 035 789 1851

RIDE PERRY’S HIGH M/CYCLES WITH YAMAHA UMHLANGA 035 031 789 566 1851 7411

PERRY’S M/CYCLES HILLCREST UMHLANGA 031 765 566 2560 7411

PERRY’S M/CYCLES HILLCREST

CAPE PROVINCE

031 765 2560

CRAIGS CAPE PROVINCE M/CYCLE FITMENT 021 939 8944

TRAC-MAC CRAIGS M/CYCLE BELVILLE FITMENT 021 945 939 3724 8944

TRAC-MAC PAARDEN-EILAND BELVILLE 021 510 945 2258 3724

TRAC-MAC WYNBURG PAARDEN-EILAND 021 761 510 4220 2258

MIKE TRAC-MAC HOPKINS WYNBURG MOTORCYCLES 021 461 761 5167 4220

NEVES MIKE HOPKINS MOTORCYCLE MOTORCYCLES WORLD CC 021 930 461 5917 5167

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FREESTATE

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SALLEYS FREESTATE YAMAHA 051 430 3326

SALLEYS YAMAHA 051 430 3326


THE TEAM:

EDITOR & DESIGN:

Rob Portman

rob@ridefast.co.za

082 782 8240

ROB PORTMAN

ADVERTISING:

Rob Portman

rob@ridefast.co.za

082 782 8240

ACCOUNTS &

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Anette

anette.acc@mweb.co.za

011 979 5035

CONTRIBUTORS:

Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

The Singh

Mieke Oelofsen

Greg Moloney

Daniella Kerby

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.

2019 has come and gone and when I look back

at the year it sure was a crazy one with plenty of

highs and certainly a few share of lows. But overall

another great year for me personally and as for the

magazine another year of great growth.

Sales fi gures are up and I can see the popularity of

the magazine growing in the industry, with another

record month of advertising being recorded

despite the tough times out there. I really do

encourage you all to support those who support

us as they are the ones who are doing more each

month and pushing their brands to try and attract

more customers. We want to show them that

we have loyal readers who show their support

so please if you are in the market for a new bike

or gear take advantage of one of the many great

dealers or suppliers we have advertising with us!

For this issue we have used the extra revenue to

go bigger - more pages for you to enjoy this festive

season. We are up to 96 pages of pure goodness

- from all the latest bikes released at this years

EICMA Show in Milan, to the latest MotoGP testing

- we have it all covered!

The cover story for this month comes direct from

the MotoGP paddock, where I was lucky enough

to join Michelin SA and their top performing dealers

on a bucket list trip to the greatest show on earth.

There really is no better experience than a MotoGP,

especially the way we got to do it, with behind the

scenes access to the paddock and pits. It was

an eye opener to see just how big Michelin are

involved and the logistics that gets put into every

single MotoGP race.

It was a great trip with great people and even

despite the rain in Spain we managed to have a

great time. I managed to catch up with SA riders

Brad Binder, Darryn Binder and Steven Odendaal

and it was great chatting to them and hearing all the

behind the scenes gossip. Pity I have to take my

journo cap off when having these conversations as

they really would make eye opening articles, but I’m

their mate fi rst ahead of being a journo so off the

record stays off the record.

Great to see all of them doing so well for

themselves and I’m sure they are all three going to

have strong and successful 2019 racing seasons.

Both Steven and Brad have already started 2019

testing on the new Triumph powered Moto2 bikes

and both seem to be enjoying the extra power

but say there is still plenty of work that needs to

be done ahead of what is going to be one of the

toughest Moto2 seasons to date.

Looking at MotoGP and the boys have also started

prep for 2019 with the end of year test at Valencia

taking place a few days after the fi nal round. The

big news was Lorenzo making his Honda debut

and even though he was contractually not allowed

to speak about the Honda after the test the times

spoke for themselves and he impressed after the

fi rst two days of testing. He is still nowhere near

100% fi t and has to get use to riding a “Marc

Marquez” setup bike. It’s going to be interesting to

see how that relationship unfolds during the course

of the season that’s for sure. Lorenzo, whether he

likes it or not, is in Marc’s team and if he thinks he is

going to be able to get one over Honda’s blue-eyed

boy then I think he is sadly mistaken. Marquez is

very much number one in that team, literally and

fi guratively, so Lorenzo is going to have to deal with

that no matter how well he performs.

As for Marquez, he is going to have to get used to

having a new team-mate and one that is a bit more

vocal that the one he has had his entire MotoGP

career up till now. Pedrosa was the perfect teammate

to Marc, he quietly got on with his business

and didn’t seem to make to much noise about Marc

getting all of the attention. He also didn’t bother

Marquez to often out on track, more than often

failing to get one over Marc, so hardly ever ruffl ing

the feathers of the now 5-times MotoGP champion.

The 2019 season is certainly going to be very

exciting there is no doubt about that and with

impressive rookies like Mir and Bagnaia coming in

and already showing good early promise, there are

sure going to be some almighty battles!

I’m keen to see how Rossi will react now that he

has two of his own battling with him in the form

of Morbidelli and Bagnaia. I’m sure he will be

immensely proud if and when they beat him, but it

will surely hurt as well having your young protégées

beating you and just another reminder of time not

being on his side. His contact ends at the end of

2019 so no doubt all eyes will once again be on him

at every race with fans and media a like eager to see

if he pens another deal or if the “GOAT” will fi nally call

it a day. Let’s wait and see, but until then we have

plenty days to wait until the next MotoGP race so it’s

that time again to dust off the garden tools and get in

some sunshine with the family on Sundays.

In this issue we also announce the 9 winners for our

Scorpion helmets competition, so I suggest you go

check out page 94 fi rst if you entered to see if you

are a lucky winner of a brand new Scorpion helmet.

Big thanks to all who entered and to HRP for the

amazing prizes!

I would like to wish all of our readers a Merry

Christmas and a happy new year and thank you all

for the support over 2019! Please be safe out on

the roads this festive season!

Cheers, Rob.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 5


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8

PG56: MOTOGP

VALENCIA

WITH MICHELIN

Rob headed to a rainy Spain for

the final MotoGP race at Valencia

courtesy of Michelin SA.

PG8: NEW LITRE BIKES

BMW and Ducati reveal their new 1000cc

superbikes that will compete in the 2019 WSBK

championship.

PG62:

FEATURE

2-STROKES COLLECTION

PG74:

SMALL BIKES TEST

HUSQVARNA 401 & FBMONDIAL

PG78:

EXCLUSIVE TEST

BRIDGESTONE R11 TYRES

PG82:

RIDER FEATURE

EUGENE LAVERTY

PG86:

MOTOGP

2019 TESTING AT VALENCIA

PG92:

TESTING

MOTO 2 AND MOTO E

P94: EXCLUSIVE COMPETITION

Winners for the Scorpion helmets announced

6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


2018 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R

WITH FREE TRACK AND

PERFORMANCE PACK

Purchase a 2018 Super Duke R and receive both Track and

Performance Pack to the value of R 13,533.09 free of charge.

Limited stock available, promotion valid whilst stocks last.

Contact your nearest dealer or phone 011 462 7796 for more

info. T’s & C’s apply.


2019 BMW S1000RR

BETTER IN EVERY WAY.

The 2019 BMW S1000RR is significantly

lighter, significantly more powerful and

headed back to a WSBK race near you.

Putting one of the world’s most

competitive superbikes on a 5kg diet

is difficult, so dropping 11 kg from

the S1000RR is a pretty herculean

achievement for BMW. The Bavarians

have also ditched the RR’s pop-eyed

asymmetry, jacked up the power

and torque and added the option

of M-series upgrades in a complete

overhaul of the bike.

The original S1000RR blew the

superbike class right open on its

2010 debut. The revised edition we

first saw in 2015 got faster and a bit

lighter, and added cruise control, to

stay right at the top of most road- and

track-focused comparison tests. And

it seems with the 2019 model, BMW’s

gone all-out to put this barnstorming

literbike on a crash diet.

Working over pretty much the entire

design, the team managed to get

the fully fueled weight down to 197

kg, representing what the company

claims is a weight loss of 11 kg. We’re

not quite sure how that works, given

that the 2015 model launched with

a claimed weight of 204 kg as we

reported at the time, but what’s a few

kilos between friends anyway?

The impossibly compact 998cc inline

4-clyinder engine leaps from 199 to

207 hp, while shedding an impressive

4 kg. Some of that power increase

8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


will be due to the ShiftCam variable valve

lift system running on the intake cams, a

system we first saw on the new R1250

GS and RT a month and a half ago. This

kind of gear helps manufacturers optimize

power and torque both for low-rpm street

riding and flat-out racetrack work, so the

extra power will likely do nothing to detract

from the RR’s legendary road manners

and round-town rideability.

BMW speaks of “a substantially increased

torque across a wide engine speed range,”

with “at least 100 Nm of torque from 5,500

to 14,500 rpm” and that’s exactly what we

like to hear. The RR certainly wasn’t lacking

in power or torque last time we rode it. It

blew our minds, inspiring what we called

“a constant and infectious state of joyous

disbelief.” But in the ever-escalating war

that is the modern superbike class, more is

always better.

The frame and suspension, too, have been

fully overhauled. The engine now takes

even more weight through it as a structural

member, leaving the frame thinner as a

result, which lets it flex sideways more

easily to aid the suspension in dealing

with bumps when the bike’s leaned over.

A revised geometry puts more weight on

the front wheel for lightning-quick steering,

and the overall revisions are said to give

the 2019 S1000RR “significantly improved

ergonomics” compared to its predecessor

– although whether those ergos are

improved in the direction of sports riding

performance or all-day comfort, we’ll have

to wait and see. We certainly found the old

one far less punishing over a long day than

the average sportsbike.

Pretty much everything else has been

replaced or revised as well. The exhaust is

smaller and lighter, and actually looks pretty

good for a standard can; the dash is now

a full color 6-inch TFT instead of an LCD,

and offers you several different ways to

visualize your performance data; ABS Pro

with cornering sensitivity and DTC traction

control are standard – including adjustable

wheelie control as an option – and the

suspension is revised, as is the optional

dynamic damping semi-active system.

The standard bike comes with rain, road,

dynamic and race modes and you can

option this up with extra configurable

pro modes, launch control and a pit lane

speed limiter. Cruise control is still an

option, as well.

Perhaps the biggest shock with the new

S1000RR is that BMW has chosen to

ditch its trademark asymmetric design.

Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, as

the wacky cock-eyed look of the previous

bike’s headlights was the first thing a

lot of bikers would talk about. I reckon

I’d have heard half a dozen riders say

the headlights are the main reason they

wouldn’t buy one. There were a few that

liked it and think that BMW have gone

the wrong route by changing it, but the

market has spoken and the new RR

has a symmetrical, evil angel-eyed look

that presents a way better modern day

superbike look in our minds.

The new BMW S1000RR is set to be

available in SA early 2019. No price has

been mentioned yet, so we suggest you

get down to your nearest dealer to find out

more. www.bmw-motorrad.co.za

The highlights of the new BMW S 1000 RR:

• 4 kg lighter

• Increased output and torque: 207 hp at 13 500

rpm and 113 Nm at 11 000 rpm.

• At least 100 Nm of torque from 5 500 to 14 500

rpm.

• Newly developed suspension featuring Flex

Frame, with the engine taking on more of a loadbearing

function.

• Significantly improved ergonomics due to Flex

Frame.

• Refined suspension geometry for further

improved handling, increased traction and

crystal-clear feedback in the threshold range.

• New rear wheel suspension weighing 300g less

than before with Full Floater Pro kinematics.

• Weight reduction of 11 – 14.5 kg to 197 kg when

fully fuelled and 193.5 kg with M Package.

• New exhaust system weighing some 1.3 kg

less, with front silencer.

• New 6-axis sensor cluster.

• Engine brake function, adjustable.

• Launch Control for perfect starts comes with

“Pro Modes” option.

• Shift pattern can easily be reversed.

• Electronic cruise control as an ex works option.

• New instrument panel with 6.5-inch screen

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 9


BMW S1000RR M

OPTIONS AND M

PERFORMANCE

In the car world, BMW’s M subsidiary is

responsible for high-performance models

and motorsport-level parts programs. Now,

for the first time, BMW Motorrad is getting its

own M treatment.

Optioning the S1000RR up with its own M

package gives you a special race team paint

job, carbon wheels, a lightweight battery, rear

ride height adjustment, adjustable swingarm

pivot points, a sport seat, and all the Pro

mode options listed above.

What’s more, BMW is going racing again,

with Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger

preparing to take the new S1000RR back to

the Superbike World Championship (WSBK)

paddock, where it’ll face off against the very

scary new Ducati Panigale V4R and take

another stab at world production racing

superiority. Excited? YES!

M package for the new BMW S1000 RR:

• Motorsport paint finish

• M carbon fibre wheels

• M light weight battery

• M Chassis Kit with rear ride height

adjustment and swingarm pivot

• M sport seat

• Pro Mode

BMW UPDATES R 1250 RANGE FOR 2019

The most exciting of all BMW premiere

remains, of course, the new S 1000 RR

unveiled with more power and, for the first

time, with a wide range of M Performance

parts ready to go.

But the changes made to the R 1250

are not to be neglected either, especially

because they do essentially come down to

one important thing: more power.

All three models in the lineup - R 1250 R,

R 1250 RS, and R 1250 GS Adventure

– have been revised to provide more

power, while at the same time keeping all

the features that made the boxer-engined

machines a hit over the past decades.

All three versions now boast engines

capable of developing 136 hp and 143

Nm of torque, up from the 125 hp and

125 Nm of torque on the previous version.

The increase in power was made possible

thanks to the fact that capacity of the

engine grew as well, from 1,170 cc to

1,254 cc.

All bikes in the range come as standard

with two riding modes, Automatic Stability

Control, and Hill Start Control. As optional

equipment, BMW Motorrad will offer the

Riding Modes Pro suite of technologies.

Also as standard, the bike maker will give

customers a 6.5-inch full-color TFT screen

that works in conjunction with the BMW

Motorrad Multi-Controller. This allows the

rider access to vehicle and connectivity

functions.

As for colour choices, the 2019 models

will come with one basic finish and two

style variants each, with one optional color

also available. Prices for the revised range

have not yet been announced, but the new

models are set to be available in SA early

2019. www.bmw-motorrad.co.za

10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


DUCATI’S NEW PANIGALE V4R

The most powerful production bike in history.

Ducati debuteded the most extreme

petrol-powered supersport bike in history

on the eve of EICMA in Milan. The new

king of the Panigale range is a World

Superbike homologation special with a set

of specifi cations that should strike fear into

the heart of any mortal. Oh, and it’s got

wings, too.

The homologation special

World Superbike (WSBK) is a productionbased

race series, which pits hotted-up

versions of the actual streetbikes you

can go and buy against one another in

competition – as opposed to MotoGP,

which is more like Formula One, in that

each race bike is essentially a prototype

that was never built for road use.

In order to race a given bike in WSBK,

it needs to meet an exhaustive list of

homologation regulations to keep the

playing fi eld as level as possible. No

titanium frames are allowed, for example,

and ABS systems have to be removed from

the race bikes.

But you also need to prove that the bike

you’re entering for racing is actually a

genuine production bike that customers

can buy and ride on the road. They can’t

cost any more than €40,000 to buy, and

the manufacturer has to prove it has built

at least 500 units by the end of the year

following the homologation inspection date.

Thus, if you want to enter something really

special, you need to make it available to the

public as well as the race team, and this

occasionally leads to some absolute lunaticlevel

machinery being built for the road.

12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


The latest, and thus far, greatest example

of the homologation special is next

year’s Ducati Panigale V4R. The current

Ducati superbike is a 1198cc V-Twin,

taking advantage of the rules that allow

twins to run a higher engine capacity

than 4-cylinder engines. But the current

model Panigale V4 streetbike has an

1103cc V4 motor, which is 103cc too big

to race with as a 4-cylinder.

Hence the beast we see today.

The engine: 998cc, 90-degree V4

The new Panigale V4R runs a 998cc

version of the Desmosedici Stradale

90-degree V4, with the stroke shortened

from 53.5 mm to 48.4 mm, and the 81

mm bore untouched, essentially taking

an extremely oversquare and rev-focused

motor and making it signifi cantly more

oversquare and revvy.

The engine internals have also lost a fair bit

of weight: the pistons are forged, with just

two piston rings (one for compression, the

other an oil scraper) and the crankshaft,

high-lift valves and con rods are titanium.

The crank alone saves an astonishing 1.1

kg over the one in the 1103cc bikes, the

con rods save 100 grams each.

So as well as having less distance to travel

with each revolution thanks to the shorter

stroke, there’s signifi cantly less mass to

move as well. That means Ducati can rev

this thing much, much higher than the

1103cc version: the V4S revs to 13,000

rpm, and the R version keeps on pulling,

up to a crazy 15,250 rpm.

So the new R bike loses torque, which

drops from a peak of 124 Nm in the S bike

down to 114 Nm in the R. It’ll thus feel a

bit gutless on the road at low revs. But,

power being equal to torque multiplied

by revs, it gains signifi cant horsepower

when you spin it up to the top of its new

stratospheric rev range: while the S bike

makes 214 horses fl at out, the R boosts

this to a screaming 221, and that’s in fully

road-legal trim.

Bin the legal cans for the Performance

kit from Akrapovic (not Termignoni,

interestingly enough) and that horsepower

fi gure leaps to 234 ponies, and

presumably a soundtrack capable of

inspiring almost as much fear as the

acceleration, if and when you’re able to

hang onto full throttle.

If you’re new to the whole superbike thing,

that’s more power than we’ve ever seen

on such a lightweight sports machine. In

fact, it’s now the most powerful nonelectric,

production road bike on the

planet, since it’s got three horses worth of

wood on the 2019 Kawasaki H2, which

needs an aggressively chirpy supercharger

to get to its ludicrous 231-hp top end.

You’d have to assume it’s going to send

a rocket up the backsides of the entire

WSBK series next year – along with

national production-based race categories

the world over. It certainly becomes the

instant king of no-excuses track bikes.

Anyone who rolls one of these out of

a pit box will have the largest possible

target on their backside. Their scalps

will be priceless to better riders on

inferior machinery, which is pretty much

everything.

On the road? Well, it’ll probably be clattery

and cantankerous at any legal speed, but

will open the gates of Hades and unleash

an unprecedented degree of what the

young folks are calling “yeet” if you have

the insolence to rev it.

The chassis

The body of the bike hasn’t changed

an awful lot from the barnstorming V4S

model. It’s 2 kg lighter at 172kg dry, but

this is mainly due to the engine’s weight

loss program.

The bodywork is notably different –

partially for the huge gills on the side

fairings, as well as the silver rear of the

tank, the white highlight lines and the

overall larger and higher front fairing. But

mainly for the evil black carbon winglets

behind the headlights.

Ducati, of course, was the fi rst

manufacturer to push winglet

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 13


technology at the MotoGP level, where

an increasingly complex series of front

end aerodynamics packages helped keep

the front wheel down under acceleration,

and added some cornering downforce to

boot, while slightly muddying the airfl ow

behind a bike, potentially making it a little

more diffi cult to pass in the slipstream.

Much to Ducati’s disgust, they were

banned after the 2017 season, the Grand

Prix Commission citing safety concerns

raised by riders. But World Superbike has

explicitly allowed the technology, so it’s

game on for the homologation superbike.

Ordinarily, we’re against any technology

that helps prevent unintended

wheelstands, as unintended wheelstands

are among our favorite parts of

motorcycling. But this is unashamedly

a race bike with mirrors and indicators.

The focus is squarely on precision and

lap times, giggle factor be damned. They

make perfect sense here.

The brakes, as on the V4S, are top-shelf

Brembo Stylema units. The suspension,

on the other hand, takes a step down

from the road-focused S model. There’s

little use for electronic adaptive suspension

on a racetrack, so instead the R model

gets some fancy new, purely mechanical

suspension from Ohlins.

The 43 mm forks use a competitioninspired

pressurized system with

asymmetrical damping: the compression

damping piston in the left fork uses a 25

mm piston and the rebound damper in

the right uses a 30 mm piston. Hence the

system’s name: NPX 25/30.

It runs all the same electronic rider systems

as the V4S, from traction, slide and wheelie

control to Bosch’s Cornering ABS Evo, up/

down quickshifting, engine brake control

and an updated three riding modes, pit

lane limiter, lap timing, data analysis and

multimedia Bluetooth systems.

Make no mistake, this is a monumental

motorcycle. As well as setting a new,

ridiculously high horsepower benchmark,

it represents the absolute state of the art

when it comes to production track bikes.

We’re excited to see if its bite matches its

bark in Superbike competition around the

world in 2019, but when it comes to bench

racing, here’s your new King Dingaling of

the combustion world, as evil and powerful

as it gets at this very moment.

The new V4R is only available through

special order at Ducati SA, no surprise

there, and will come with a price tag of

around R800k.

Ducati also launched a new version of the 1100cc Panigale S model - the new Panigale V4 S Corse - an authentic celebration of Ducati’s

racing spirit, with an exclusive livery inspired to the official colours of the Ducati Team MotoGP.

14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


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MORE DUCATI

GOODNESS AT EICMA

Ducati also showed off their new Diavel

1260 and Hypermotard 950 at EICMA.

Another major development unveiled was

the new Diavel 1260. Unconventional, unique

and absolutely unmistakeable – as soon as

it was launched at EICMA 2010 the Diavel

stunned with its personality, design, sport

naked handling and thoroughbred engine.

The second-generation Diavel 1260

remains faithful to the original spirit of that

incredibly special bike, drawing on its key

styling elements and putting a decidedly

more contemporary slant on them: it now

offers more assertive outlines and higher

performance, is more fun on mixed-road

routes and offers greater comfort for rider and

passenger alike.

Its sport naked soul is evident in the

Testastretta DVT 1262 engine, capable of

delivering 159hp at 9,500rpm and 129Nm

at 7,500rpm. An immensely satisfying torque

curve ensures both breath-taking acceleration

and a low-rev smoothness that’s ideal for

everyday riding or touring.

An upgraded chassis set-up makes the

Diavel 1260 more responsive on mixed-road

routes while top-drawer technology and

electronics provide braking performance on a

par with that of a sport bike and user-friendly

engine performance control.

The excellent riding position and ‘power

cruiser’ ergonomics that helped make this

motorcycle so successful remain unaltered

– what has changed is the chassis set-up,

characterised by a new tubular steel trellis

frame that goes perfectly with another Diavel

hallmark, the 17-inch rear wheel with its

240mm wide tyre.

A sportier S version of the Diavel 1260 is also

available, featuring fully-adjustable Ohlins

suspension at both front and rear, dedicated

wheels and an even higher-performance

braking system. The S version mounts Ducati

Quick Shift up and down Evo (DQS) as

standard to allow clutchless shifting.

16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


HYPERMOTARD 950

The new Hypermotard 950 is now racier,

more adrenalin-packed and rider-friendly.

The Ducati ‘fun bike’ par excellence has

been given a full-blown makeover – the new

look takes its cue from the supermotard

race world, the completely overhauled

ergonomics ramps up the fun and riders

can now count on an ultra-advanced

chassis set-up and electronics package.\

A full 4kg lighter than the previous model,

the new Hypermotard 950 mounts a

renewed 937cc Testastretta 11-degree

engine with a more muscular 114hp,

combining greater pulling power with new

electronics to ensure smoother control.

The Hypermotard 950 electronics package

includes Bosch Cornering ABS with the

Slide by Brake function, Ducati Traction

Control EVO (DTC EVO), Ducati Wheelie

Control (DWC) EVO and Ducati Quick Shift

(DQS) Up and Down EVO (as standard

on the 950 SP version and available as an

accessory on the 950).

Now even higher-performing and with

racing overtones, the Hypermotard 950 SP

features a flat seat, increased-travel Ohlins

suspension to ensure an acuter lean angle,

Marchesini forged wheels and Ducati Quick

Shift (DQS) Up and Down EVO. Pricing and

availability for all three in SA are yet to be

determined.


APRILIA RSV4 1100 FACTORY

The most powerful RSV4 yet with wings.

The RSV4 1100 Factory is Aprilia’s new direct

rival to the Ducati Panigale V4. With the 1100,

Aprilia has upped the ante by increasing the

motorcycle’s power and torque. The track

weapon also features winglets derived from

the company’s race bikes.

Aprilia has taken its 65-degree V4 and

increased its capacity by 78cc, to 1,078cc,

similar to the capacity of the Tuono 1100.

The Italian bike maker did this by increasing

the bore from 78mm to 81mm; the stroke

remains unchanged, at 52.3mm. The motor

now has larger valves, a different cam profile,

and many other changes, all of which have

resulted in an engine that makes 217hp

at 13,200rpm and 122Nm of torque at

11,000rpm.

The Italian marque has also reworked the

electronics on the motorcycle. The APRC

or Aprilia Performance Ride Control now

features eight levels of traction control, along

with wheelie control, cruise control and

launch control. The motorcycle also features

cornering ABS and throttle response

adjustability that has three levels – Sport,

Track and Rain.

A titanium Akrapovic exhaust is now

standard fitment and, along with the use

of carbon fibre for the bodywork and the

new lithium-ion battery, has helped

bring down the kerb weight to

199kg. Other changes include

reworked gearing and revised

geometry; the fifth and sixth gears

have been made longer to help extract

more out of the larger capacity motor.

The fully-adjustable 43mm Öhlins

NIX front fork gets around 5mm

of additional travel in order to improve

cornering capabilities, the fully-adjustable

Öhlins TTX monoshock remains

unchanged. When it comes to the brakes,

the Brembo M50 calipers have now been

replaced by the Stylema units and will be

part of standard fitment. However, one can

equip them with optional carbon-fibre vents

to improve cooling, like on the company’s

RS-GP race bike.

Another new feature that is inspired by

the race bike is the winglets on both sides

of the bike, which are there for improved

downforce. The new colour scheme on the

RSV4 1100 Factory also exposes all of the

carbon-fibre components of the bodywork.

While nothing has been said about pricing

and availability, we don’t expect to see any

new April models coming into SA anytime

soon since there is no official importer at

present. Let’s hope that changes soon…

18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


APRILIA CONCEPT RS660

Aprilia tests the idea of active motorcycle

aerodynamics with Concept RS660

Powered by the front half of a Tuono 1100

V4, the Aprilia Concept RS660 unveiled

at EICMA is a lightweight parallel twin

supersport bike with comfy ergonomics for

the road and a frontal aerodynamic profile

that changes angle to adjust the balance

between drag and downforce.

Like most of the Italian company’s catalog,

the Aprilia Concept RS660 is a stylish

looking thing, and although it’s focused

on being a “fun bike” that’s “thrilling for

the road,” Aprilia is enjoying the chance

to experiment with aerodynamic ideas

“unrestricted by any regulations” that might

pop up in racing.

As such, it’s a bit of an odd combination

– the motor, a 660cc parallel twin that

basically removes the two rear cylinders

from Aprilia’s existing RSV4 and Tuono

1100, is firmly street focused, as are the

ergonomics, which feature a large seat, high

semi-handlebars and comfy riding position.

That collection of traits would make for a

neat little streetbike.

On the other hand, the carbon fairings and

wickedly racy tail give the impression of a

track machine with a lap-time focus. And the

idea of having active aerodynamics on board

to add downforce when cornering and reduce

drag on the straights isn’t something that’ll

make much difference at legal road speeds.

In all, the Concept RS660 is probably most

notable as our first look at a new platform.

That aluminum frame and swingarm, plus

the 660cc parallel twin, will form the basis

of a new range of streetbikes, presumably

including something sporty that doesn’t

look too dissimilar to this concept, and a

naked machine.

2019 HONDA CBR650R

For the 2019 model year, Honda says goodbye

to the Honda CBR650F, a fine enough

machine in its own right, but one that didn’t

exactly set the world on fire, and instead we

say hello to the Honda CBR650R, which gets a

more aggressive styling and a bevy of features,

to help it earn that “R” designation at the end

of its name.

Easy to sport is that the new bodywork, which

draws a direct line to the Honda CBR1000RR

superbike, the Honda CBR650R comes

also with a sportier riding position, and the

electronics and feature package to match.

The most notable addition is the revised engine,

which makes more torque and now goes 1,000

rpm higher into the rev range, for a redline of

12,000 rpm. This translates into a higher peak

power figure of 94hp, up from 86hp.

In addition to the power increase, the Honda

CBR650R gets a weight reduction of 6 kg,

thanks to a lighter chassis, tipping the scales

now at 456 lbs at the curb. This helps mark an

8% increase in the power-to-weight ratio for

the Honda CBR650R.

To control that power, Honda adds what it

calls Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC),

which is a fancy name for traction control. An

assist/slipper clutch has also been added to

the package, though it comes without a fancy

name like HSTC.

Honda has also included the well-regarded

41mm Showa Separate Function Forks (SFF)

to the suspension system, which now hold

radially mounted four-piston brake calipers

from Nissin. The dash has been upgraded to

an LCD unit.

No news yet if the new CBR650R will make

its way into the SA market, but we really

hope it does and if priced right will be a huge

hit no doubt.

20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


HONDA CBR1000RR FIREBLADE

AND SP UPDATED FOR 2019

There was some noise, as usual, about an

all-new mega-update for the CBR1000RR

Fireblade, but it’s not to be for 2019.

Instead, Honda’s sweet litre bike gets a

few neat tweaks to lift its performance and

usability for next year.

The main changes are in the electronics.

The traction control is now separate

from the wheelie control, so you can dial

in different amounts of intervention for

each. The ECU is smart enough to work

out the difference between wheelspin

and slides, and wheelies, so you can now

have quite high traction intervention, with

lower wheelie control, and vice versa. The

dash now has a three-position ‘W’ setting,

alongside the Power, Engine Braking and

HSTC traction settings.

Honda’s also tweaked the ABS settings,

giving much less intervention above

120kph, and giving 15 per cent more

deceleration. So when you hit the anchors

at 180mph on the back straight, the

world will go into reverse much more

aggressively…

Finally, the ride-by-wire throttle motor is

faster, so the throttle plates react more

quickly to your inputs, both on corner

entry and exit. Meaning the engine braking

comes on faster, and you get on the power

faster too.

The final mods are cosmetic – new paint

for all the Fireblades – stock and SP. The

stock comes in black with silver and red

with white, and the SP tricolour has darker

blue accents.

2019 KAWASAKI Z400

Building on the formidable reputation of the

outgoing Z300, the new 2019 Z400 is both lighter

and more powerful than its predecessor. Yes, it’s

the naked version of the highly rated Ninja 400

Supersport bike.

Wrapped in a hallmark Kawasaki trellis chassis

redolent of the mighty Ninja H2, the Z400 benefits

from light, predictable handling plus low weight,

the ideal combination for a machine focused on

targetig new riders.

2019 KAWASAKI

VERSYS 1000

Also present at Kawasaki’s stall were two variants

of the Kawasaki Versys 1000. It now features a

Ninja H2-esque design with a sharper fairing and

headlight cowl. Updates include a new IMU-linked

cornering management, radial front calipers,

Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System

(KIBS) among others. The SE variant additionally

features Kawasaki’s self-healing paint, cornering

LED headlamps, larger windscreen, knuckle guards

and heated grips. It also gets KECS (Kawasaki

Electronic Control Suspension), KQS (Kawasaki

Quick Shifter) and smartphone connectivity as

standard. The 2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 will be

available internationally, but won’t be making it to

India due to a lack of demand.

22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


MV AGUSTA BRUTALE 1000 SERIE ORO

208hp, 187mph: MV Agusta unleashes

the world’s fastest nakedbike.

“Stop detuning our naked

sportsbikes,” cried the hooligans.

“OK,” grinned MV Agusta, and let

this brutal Brutale off the leash and

created the world’s fastest naked bike

- the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro.

Like everything MV makes, it’s a

glass-case beauty to behold. Like

none of MV’s other current Brutale

naked models, it uses the 998cc

inline 4-cylinder motor from the

outgoing F4, which, you’ll remember,

has just been eulogized as one of

the great bike designs of all time with

the F4 Claudio fi nal edition, which we

featured last month.

Horsepower from this screaming

work of art: 208 at 13,450rpm, or

212 if you pop the right exhaust

on. Not just a little more than the

rampant KTM 1290 Super Duke and

aggressive Aprilia Tuono 1100,

around 30 horses more. Torque

peaks at 9,300 rpm with 115 Nm.

In terms of equipment, it’s all there:

electronic semi-active Ohlins

bouncy bits to stick you to the road,

Brembo’s fancy Stylema brakes to

pull you up, bidirectional quickshifter,

traction control, wheelie control,

torque control, ride-by-wire and a

fl ashy 5-inch color dash. The ABS

system isn’t lean angle-sensitive, but

it is clever enough to keep the rear

wheel down if you mash the front

lever and pray. Dry weight is a decent

186 kg.

MV claims it’s created a 302 km/h

nakedbike here. That is a prodigious

and laudable claim, and despite the

two small wings either side of the

radiator, it’s much nakeder than you

might expect for a bike designed to

achieve such goals.

What does it cost? What does it

matter? MV will only make 300 of

them, and they’re likely already sold.

It’s more important to know this beast

is out there, and hope that somebody

among us gets to test themselves

against the fury of the wind. Hopefully

whichever maniac manages to top

this thing out returns from the top

of the mountain with a tale to tell,

because we would love to know what

it’s like at the next level.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 23


MV AGUSTA SUPERVELOCE 800 PROTOTYPE

You’ve got to hand it to MV Agusta. They really

know how to make a good looking motorcycle.

Hot on the heels of the incredible MV

Agusta Brutale 1000 Serie Oro, MV

Agusta continued its EICMA Show

unveils with the announcement of the

beautiful Superveloce 800 Prototype.

Taking the F3 800 Supersport

machine as its base, the Superveloce

800 is a modern take on the threecylinder

MV Agusta racers that

dominated the racetracks of Europe

in the 1960s and 1970s in the hands

of riders like Giacomo Agostini and

Phil Read.

MV has employed the use of carbon

fi ber of the bodywork, with a huge,

round LED head and taillight giving a

retro doff of the cap to MV Agusta’s

previous 37 world title-winning

machines. The headlight includes a

Daytime Running Light, which is built

into the cover of the new TFT dash.

And you can make this thing a twoperson

ride thanks to the adaptable

seat and subframe unit, but hopefully,

you’ll want to keep this stunning MV

a single person ride.

The F3 800 motor is untouched

from its Supersport guise, with MV

remapping the fuel injection system

and fi tting a classically-styled SC-

Project three-into-one-into-three

exhaust. Two muffl ers exit on the right

side and one on the left in a tribute to

Agostini’s 350cc GP racer (although

his exhausts had two on the left and

one on the right…).

The Superveloce 800 utilizes the

same tubular steel/aluminum chassis

as the F3 800 with the same seat

height, handlebars and footpegs,

the same Marzocchi suspension

and Brembo brakes, although the

wheels are a different, classic sixspoke

design. And just to top off the

classic theme of the Superveloce

800, the gas tank gets a leather strap

that secures it front and back to the

frame.

The MV Agusta Superveloce 800

Prototype will become an offi cial

model in the MV line up in the second

half of 2019, at which time the fi nal

look and technical specifi cation will

be revealed.

24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


YAMAHA EXCITES WITH

TWO NEW MODELS

Yamaha paid tribute to the past with the new

XSR700 XTribute and the exotic YZF-R1 GYTR.

2019 XSR700 XTribute

The XSR700 XTribute is a machine that ticks

a lot of the right boxes to prove popular for

next year.

Designed to pay homage to the XT500,

the XTribute is based on the retro-inspired

XSR700 but gains scrambler-style looks to

cash in on two sections of the market that

are currently experiencing a boom. Don’t

expect serious off-road performance, since

the suspension is stock XSR700 kit, but

some block-tread Pirelli MT60RS rubber

promises at least the ability to tackle the

occasional dirt road.

Other tweaks include fork gaiters and a

fl at, scrambler-style seat, wider bars and

off-road-style footpegs, along with a paint

job that replicates the 1981 XT500 colour

scheme.

On board, you get black instruments with a

negative LCD display, while the frame guards

and radiator covers are also black. An LED

tail light fi nishes the bike off, but to complete

the look you really want to add the optional

high-level Akrapovic exhaust, too.

Underneath, everything is normal XSR700,

but that’s no bad thing, as it means a

74bhp, 689cc parallel twin borrowed from

the MT-07, along with a lightweight chassis

that helps keep the whole bike down to just

191kg ready-to-ride.

No word on price and availability yet but we

are sure it will be landing in SA soon and are

excited to ride it.

2019 Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR

Yamaha has had a remarkable run of

success in the Suzuka 8 Hours over recent

years and topped off its run of wins with

another victory in 2018, using a bike painted

to mark the 20th anniversary of the R1.

And now it’s offering a replica of that racewinning

machine for sale in the form of the

YZF-R1 GYTR.

Not that you’re likely to fi nd one at your local

dealer. Only 20 of the machines are being

made for the worldwide market, and like the

Suzuka winner ridden by Michael van der

Mark, Alex Lowes and Katsuyuki Nakasuga,

they’re all purely for use on the track.

Kit on the R1 GYTR includes a racing wiring

harness, ECU and throttle, plus Ohlins FGRT

219 forks and a TTX36 GP shock, a steering

damper and a titanium Akrapovic Evolution

2 exhaust system. Yamaha’s own racing

team will assemble each bike, complete with

carbon fi bre fairings in the Suzuka replica

colours. They’ll also set the chassis up and

break the engine in on the dyno before it’s

delivered to its new owner, who will also be

automatically admitted to the 2019 Yamaha

Racing Experience race school.

Full specs of the bike won’t be revealed

until late December, when Yamaha will also

announce the price. But it’s safe to suggest

that if you have to ask, you probably can’t

afford it. They will be an online buying

process before bikes are delivered to their

new owners’ local dealers.

26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


TURN

YOUR

STORY.

Tracer 700

Tomorrow’s memories are shaped by the

decisions we make today. So imagine you’re

writing the story of your life - and right now

the next page is open.

Panniers not included. E&OE.

Yamaha Tracer 700

R124 950

Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

COMING SOON

With outstanding performance and the ability to excite and inspire you wherever you go, the MT range

gives you an instant escape route from the daily routine. So choose freedom.

www.yamaha.co.za · +27 11 259 7600 · Facebook: Yamaha Southern Africa · Instagram: @yamahasouthafrica · YouTube: YamahaMoto_SA


NEW HUSQVARNA MODELS

RELEASED AT EICMA

Husqvarna Svartpilen 701, Vitpilen 701 Aero

Concept shown – tracker and cafe racer style.

More known for its prowess in off-roading

and supermoto, Swedish motorcycle

maker Husqvarna unveiled the Svartpilen

and Vitpilen naked sports bikes a couple

of years ago. At this year’s EICMA show in

Italy, Husqvarna brings two variants to the

table, the flat tracker styled Svartpilen 701

and the cafe racer inspired Vitpilen 701

Aero Concept.

While it is not known if these two new

iterations of the Svartpilen and Vitpilen will

make it to the market, the minimalist styling

of Husqvarna’s street bike offerings has

attracted the interest of many riders. The

701 Svartpilen’s styling is inspired by flat

track racers with taller handlebars and a

race number plate on the side.

The Svartpilen uses the same engine as the

Husqvarna 701 Supermoto, a single-cylinder

mill displacing 692.7 cc, with output claimed

to be 73.8 hp. Power gets to the rear wheel

via a six-speed gearbix equipped with a

slipper clutch.

Colouring for the Svartpilen is predominantly

black and grey with colour coordination in

that theme carried out throughout the bike.

This includes the 18-inch front and 17-inch

rear wheel, exhaust, 12-litre fuel tank, LED

headlight housing and engine guard.

A WP Suspension 43 mm diameter front

fork is used, complemented by a WP

monoshock in the rear with braking done

by four-piston Brembo calliper in front

clamping a single 320 mm disc and singlepiston

Brembo at the back with a 220 mm

disc. ABS is standard fitment and all up

weight is said to be 158.5 kg.

As for the Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept,

decked out in blue and white, this prototype

betrays a racing design style, looking very

much like a cafe racer. This is borne out by

the front fairing, lowered handlebars and

more aerodynamic styling such as the front

mudguard.

We look forward to seeing the new

Svartpilen 701 hit SA early 2019.

28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


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

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

www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com

STREET

SMART

WHERE ART MEETS STREET. The VITPILEN 701 is an immaculately

designed street bike that offers a new perspective on urban motorcycling.

Driven by a powerful single-cylinder engine, this compact and agile

motorcycle is expertly crafted to deliver minimalist styling with exceptional

performance and reduced to the bare essence of what a motorcycle should

be. Created to suit the unique, progressive lifestyle of modern motorcycling,

it delivers a more thrilling, honest and real bike experience.


KYMCO’S SUPERNEX

SUPERSPORT ELECTRIC

Kymco says that the 6-speed transmission will allow

riders to “make use of the most optimal power band of

the motor to extract the full potential of the vehicle”

Kymco is probably best known for its

scooters, most gas-powered but more

recently running on an electric powertrain.

Now the Taiwan company is breaking into

the emerging electric motorcycle market

with the impressive SuperNEX electric

supersport.

Kymco says that the lack of gear shifting

in electric motorcycles and the absence

of the “sustaining thrill of acceleration to

the top-end after the initial rush” can make

them seem at best utility-oriented, and

even toy-like. So a 6-speed transmission

with clutchless upshift/downshift has been

included in the supersport launched at

EICMA 2018, along with a slipper clutch to

help smooth out downshifts.

“Unfortunately, the gears disappear in many

electric motorcycles, and the sense of

achievement so enjoyed by sportbike riders

is lost as well,” said Kymco’s Chairman

Allen Ko. “We want to bring back the art of

motorcycle riding.”

“Most electric motorcycles today fall short

of what the sportbike riders demand from

a supersport bike,” Ko continued. “The

inherent characteristic of the electric motor

has a power curve that reaches maximum

horsepower at midrange and then declines

thereafter. As a result, on a single gear

electric motorcycle, once it reaches a certain

speed the surge of acceleration starts to

fade noticeably. Moreover, this lack of power

is most often felt at high-speed riding, which

supersport riders enjoy the most.”

The SuperNEX’s transmission has been

designed to allow riders to “make use

of the most optimal power band of the

motor to extract the full potential of

the vehicle.” That that translates to a

sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 2.9

seconds, going from zero to 200 km/h in

7.5 seconds, and 0 - 250 km/h in 10.9

seconds. Impressive stuff.

Kymco has also introduced a performance

management system dubbed Full

Engagement Performance (FEP) that helps

keep the front wheel on the tarmac during

hard acceleration and the rear wheel down

when braking hard. The FEP system will

provide maximum traction when riding

on uneven or wet surfaces too, and can

be adjusted by the rider for personal

preference.

Those who cringe at the whine of an

electric motor can look forward to a bit

more character from SuperNEX rides

thanks to something Kymco is calling the

Active Acoustic Motor, which generates

multi-frequency acoustics and can be finetuned

by the rider to personal taste. And

riders can also select one of four SuperNEX

“personalities” to change the character of

the electric supersport – allowing for quiet

cruising in quiet neighborhoods or riproaring

performance out on the open road.

Production schedules and pricing have not

been not revealed as yet, and we’ll have

to wait for more detailed specs (including

battery information and range).

30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


2019 ITALJET DRAGSTER

The streets of Italy are in for a rude

awakening. Unleashed at EICMA, witness

the fiendish power of the Italjet Dragster, a

powerhouse of a scooter that looks like it

can chase down the latest Kawasaki Ninja

H2, eat it for breakfast, and spit it out without

batting a futuristic eyelash.

Okay, maybe the Dragster can’t actually

follow up with the performance its radical

design promises, but it’ll certainly make

people look twice. With its sharp angles,

trellis frame, and aggressive appearance,

this is a complete redesign from the previous

version. Rather than living in the past like

Vespa, Italjet looks to the future, drawing

inspiration from the very best supersport

bikes for its own version that is perhaps

just a little bit slower. It may be named the

Dragster, but how many of these will actually

be setting quarter mile times?

Still, by scooter standards, the Dragster

won’t exactly be slow. It will be available

with 200 cc and 125 cc engine options.

The 200cc version makes 20 horsepower,

and the 125 still makes a respectable 15.

Both engines are liquid cooled and use

an automatic dry centrifugal clutch with a

continuously variable transmission. Both

versions of the scooter come with adjustable

springs, linked disc brakes (with anti-lock on

the 200), and 120-70-12 inch tires in front

with 150-70-13 inch tyres in the rear. The

whole package weighs 108 kilograms for the

125 and 112 kilograms for the 200.

Italjet is a little-known company, but its

designs have always been, shall we say,

unique. The new Dragster looks like

Ducati designed a scooter for the 22nd

century, probably powered by antimatter or

unobtainium or something. It remains to be

seen if people will like its sportbike-inspired

styling, or laugh at it.

For more information on pricing and

availability in SA, contact Italjet Sa on 011

894 2111 or visit their Facebook page.

THE BIKE PIT BOKSBURG

Situated in the heart of what is called

“The Golden Mile” on North Rand Road in

Boksburg, The Bike Pit caters for all your

motorcycle tyre, sprocket and chain needs.

They supply and fit all the top brands in their

very spacious and well equipped workshop.

All motorcycles are welcome.

We have put them to the test and can highly

rate their service and work!

Visit them at 122 North Rand Road,

Boksburg or call them on 011 026 0144.

ONEX CUSTOM SUITS

Looking for a fresh new customized look for

the 2019 racing season? Or just looking to

update your suit for trackdays and breakfast

runs? Then give the guys from OneX SA a

call. They a make you a fully customised suit

- from design to fit. You choose the design,

get measured up, it’s as easy as that.

There suits are world class as used by some

of the best riders locally and internationally.

Visit the OneX SA Facebook page for more

info or call Taric on 065 527 4207.

32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


LINEX LIFESTYLE CENTRE RE-OPENING

We recently attended the Linex Lifestyle Centre

re-opening, the biggest Yamaha dealer in

Gauteng. Linex has been in business for over

30 years, has been rated as the top Yamaha

Dealer for 16 years in a row. The entire shop, still

in the same place in Randburg, has been totally

overhauled, the new spread is very open with a

huge circular bar come customer hangout just off

centre, with all the amazing products on display,

superbikes, dual sport bikes, MX and Enduro

bikes, quads and cruisers, the entire range.

Linex also stock a wide variety of riding kit,

helmets, gloves, jackets, pants, boots of every

type.They stock Acerbis, Oxford and a variety of

other top brands.

Linex also had the very first bike they sold on the

floor, a brand new Yamaha RD 400, with ZERO

km on the clock still.

Linex has now partnered with Bidvest, making

the Yamaha brand even stronger. They have full

workshop facilities and staff to take care of your

every biking whim. Downstairs they have a huge

range of Yamaha marine products as before.

Pop in sometime and have a look around.

Cnr Malibongwe Drive & Tungsten Rd, Strydom

Commercial Park. Randburg.

011 251 4000

www.linexyamaha.co.za

MASS SPORTS SA

Mass Sports are manufacturers,

suppliers and exporters of Motorbike

apparel and Accessories. Mass Sports, a

Pakistan based company, has carved out

a niche for itself in the quality conscious

international market. The team at Mass

Sports, comprises of some of the best

designers and technicians. The company

has started its way since 1990.

They are based in Pakistan where all

manufacturing takes place.

Mass have agencies all around the

world - SA, USA, Sweden, Poland, Italy,

Germany, Australia, France.

Mass South Africa was started in

September 2016 by Daryn Upton and

has become SA’s most well known brand

of custom leather suits.

Riders in SA are using Mass sports

suits from local track days to club,

regional and national superbike racing

as well as the supermoto and short

circuit racing. Internationally the suits

are used in WSS300, WSS600, various

Moto 2 classes, BSB, Superstock, CIV

championship and was also recently

used in MotoGP.

MASS SA have cowhide suits as well as

the Kangaroo hide suits - pricing starts

from R 11 500.00. Racers will be provided

with discount on suits, while track day

guys will also benefit on specials run

throughout the year.

MASS can design and manufacture pretty

much anything, so any colour logos etc

you can think of, the sky is the limit.

HOW TO ORDER:

- Contact MASS SA

- You will receive a size measurement

chart to take your own sizes.

- Complete a design brief and send any

logos we might not have

- Designer will send back a design for

you to approve within 2-3 working days

- Once order is confirmed - it takes 3-6

weeks depending on when the order is

placed - orders take longer from Feb-May.

Contact Keaton on 060 549 2210 and

make sure to like their Facebook and

Instagram pages.

34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


NEW FACE AT BTW

Grant Burton-Durham has joined

the Bike Tyre Warehouse group. He

has been appointed Store Manager

at the new BTW Boutique fitment

centre at the Petrol Heads village;

Buzz Shopping Centre cnr Douglas

drive & Witkoppen; Douglasdale;

Fourways.

An experienced off road racer; Grant

is entering silver class at the Roof

of Africa as part of the Mechspec

Racing Team; so any advice on

tyres and mousses give him a

call 076 991 6602 or Fourways@

biketyrewarehouse.com.

VEHICLE BRANDING

BY TINKWIX

We’ve just had our vehicles branded

by the guys from Tinkwix signage

– great pricing and very happy with

the job. They do all sorts from cars

and race vans, to motorcycles and

ATV’s. It’s a great, affordable way

to help promote and advertise your

brand OR BUSINESS.

Tinkwix Signage 083-578-6098.

MADMACS MOTORCYCLES - NOW

ALSO OFFICIAL SUZUKI DEALERS

MadMacs Motorcycles is situated in Somerset

West on the outskirts of Cape Town and was

established in 2013 by Nick McFall. As of August

2018, they have been appointed as authorized

Suzuki Dealers.

They are proud distributers of world class

brands such as Suzuki, Kawasaki and Sym

motorcycles and scooters. They also sell good

quality used motorcycles.

MadMacs accessories division holds a wide

range of accessories and apparel for all riding

disiplines. Their fully equipped Fitment Center

and Workshop department works on most

brands of motorcycles.

As of January 2018, Rob Cragg has entered

into a partnership as Managing Director of

MadMacs Motorcycles Cape Town. Rob has

20 years experience in the motorcycle industry,

as well as a successful racing career, winning

the Western Province Championship 7 years

running up until 2008. He returned to the track

in 2018 and finished up the season 2nd overall

in the WP Championship and won the masters

on his ZX10 Kawasaki.

Dave Laing joined the company as Workshop

Manager in February 2018. He has over 20

years experience in his field and a very broad

knowledge of various brands of motorcycle and

their inner workings. He is on board to give you

sound advice and keep you on the road, as

well as assist with warranty or insurance claims.

MadMacs will also collect and deliver your

motorcycle in and around the Western Cape, for

servicing and spares required.

Hanno Prinsloo, the General Shop Manager and

in charge of the accessory department, has been

with MadMacs since 2015. He has an extensive

knowledge of the products and good relationships

with the suppliers to give you the best service on

good quality products. If we don’t have it in store,

they can order for you.

Brandon Storey joined the company in March

2018 as a motorcycle salesman. He will endeavor

to get you the best deal available, speak to him

regarding purchasing a new motorcycle, trading in,

or allow him to assist to sell your used motorcycle.

Trevor Westman joined Madmacs in early 2015

and started the successful Madmacs racing

team. He also looks after their online media

and marketing; as well as in-store sales. Trevor

races in the Western Province Championship at

Killarney on his Kawasaki ZX10; he placed 3rd

Overall in Class A of the 2018 championship.

The workshop team consists of Quintin Lesch,

a workshop technician for MadMacs since 2013

who has valuable knowledge, and Jean Jacobs,

a workshop technician for MadMacs since 2014.

Both technicians, under Dave Laing’s guidance,

have excellent knowledge of keeping your

motorcycle running smoothly.

Mad Macs Motorcycles endeavors to become the

first choice of motorcycle dealerships in the greater

Cape Town area. They hope to achieve great

things through continual employee education,

development and motivation and will strive to bring

enjoyment to the Motorcycling lifestyle by providing

the very best products and services.

They have a commitment to doing the right thing,

a commitment to sustainability, a commitment to

dependability and reliability, and most importantly

a commitment to honesty and integrity.

Address: 1 Bright St, Somerset West, Western

Cape. Tel: 021 852 4851.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 3 5


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought to you by

MotoGP closes electronic

loopholes, regulates helmet use

The Grand Prix Commission is to tighten

the noose on electronics a little further, in an

attempt to prevent cheating. The GPC today

issued a press release containing the minutes

of their meeting held at the Malaysian Grand

Prix in Sepang.

There, they agreed restrictions on the ECU,

agreed to limit riders in all classes to FIM

homologated helmets, and increased the

penalty for speeding in pit lane.

The two changes to the electronics are aimed

at restricting the ability of teams to alter the data

on the offi cial ECU.

The fi rst change allows the Technical Director to

use an offi cial approved laptop to download the

data directly from the datalogger on the bike,

connected to the ECU, rather than relying on

the team to provide the data.

By downloading the data directly, the idea is to

ensure that the data has not been altered for

whatever reason.

The issue for the teams is that their data is then

stored on a computer outside their control. To

ensure that such data does not leak to their

rivals, a safeguard has been put in place to

have the data deleted once it has been verifi ed

by Technical Control.

The second change to the regulations involves

forcing the use of an offi cial unifi ed CAN Bus

decoupler. This is basically the adapter used to

connect a laptop to the spec ECU, to allow the

data engineer to download the data from the

datalogger.

It is called a “decoupler”, because it isolated

the two ends of the connection, meaning there

is no direct electronic connection between the

ECU and the laptop, to avoid electrical surges

from causing damage.

As there is already some intelligence built into

the decoupler, it is conceivable that a team or

factory could program the decoupler to alter the

data in some way as it is being downloaded.

Enforcing the use of an offi cial item avoids this.

The other major change for next year is

that only FIM homologated helmets will be

allowed to be used in any FIM sanctioned

racing activity, which includes MotoGP.

The FIM homologation of helmets is stricter and

more thorough than the current test used by

national and international standards, such as

ECE, Snell, and JIS.

In general, this will have a positive effect on

safety, both for racers and for consumers, as

manufacturers move to incorporate the new

FIM standard in the design of their helmets.

But there has been some criticism as well: the

FIM homologation process features a hard-shell

philosophy. The idea behind this philosophy is

that injury from direct impact is best prevented

by having a hard helmet shell, which resists

puncture or damage as much as possible.

Critics say that although this protects against

direct impact, it does not absorb energy as well,

increasing the risk of brain damage because

the rider’s head is stopped more abruptly,

generating higher g forces, and allowing the

rider’s brain to move inside their skull.

The other school of helmet design favours

a softer shell, which has more fl exibility. The

idea behind this is to bend slightly and absorb

energy, allowing the rider’s head to decelerate

more slowly, and reducing the chance of brain

injury as the brain moves inside the skull.

The downside to this philosophy is a lower

resistance to impact, the critics claim.

Depending on which philosophy a particular

helmet manufacturer follows, it will be easier

or more diffi cult to obtain FIM homologation.

Some manufacturers may be forced to produce

special racing helmets to comply with the FIM

requirements.

Bad Boy

Fenati to make

Moto3 return

Controversial grand prix rider Romano

Fenati will be “starting from zero” when he

reunites with the Marinelli Snipers team for

a return to Moto3 in 2019.

Fenati, once a protege of MotoGP legend

Valentino Rossi, made headlines when

he attempted to grab a rival’s brake lever

during a Moto2 race in September in a

moment of anger.

He was swiftly cut from Marinelli Snipers’

Moto2 squad and his 2019 contract with

MV Agusta in the same series was also

terminated - before his FIM licence was

withdrawn for the remainder of the year.

While his career initially looked to be

damaged irreparably, the 22-year-old Italian

was soon linked to a return to the grand

prix paddock.

MV Agusta was thought to

have considered reinstating his deal - only

to hire Dominique Aegerter instead - before

Marinelli Snipers made the call to bring him

back into the fold alongside Toni Arbolino.

Quizzed on the logic of Fenati returning

to Moto3 rather than continuing in the

intermediate class, Marinelli Snipers tech

chief Mirko Cecchini said: “It’s like he

would like to start from zero. This is a new

life for him, and OK, he did a mistake, a

big mistake, but I think that the media

have made it bigger than what he was

deserving. “So, we push together, to begin

a new life, together.

“This is a good point for us, because we

have next year a young rider that is growing

up in Toni and an experienced rider”

The team had previously signed Makar

Yurchenko for 2019, but the Kazakh rider

has already made way for Fenati on next

season’s Moto3 entry list and will instead

link up with the RBA Boe Skull Rider outfi t.

36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


PROTECT YOUR

“LOVED ONE”

WITH MICHELIN

THIS SUMMER

Buy any H+ Rated MICHELIN

Motorcycle tyre combo set and

receive a complimentary GPS

Tracker Unit.

This Offer is valid on purchase of any H+ Rated MICHELIN

Motorcycle tyre combo set from the 1 st of November 2018

to the 31 st of January 2019 and/or while stocks last from

MICHELIN authorised dealers.

Please enquire in store for terms and conditions.


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought to you by

Scott Redding criticises MotoGP

‘atmosphere’, ‘attitudes’

Scott Redding says he won’t miss the “atmosphere”

and “the general attitude” of MotoGP after he

departs for a move into British Superbikes.

Redding has been part of the grand prix racing

paddock since 2008, and has spent the past fi ve

campaigns in MotoGP.

But he will lose his seat at Aprilia next year when

Andrea Iannone takes over his ride.

Ahead of his fi nal outing at Valencia, Redding insisted

he was not upset to be leaving, in part because he

was confi dent of a “brighter future ahead”.

He added: “There’s been a lot of good memories

[here] that I smile about, and the times I’ve had here,

they’ve been great.

“But it’s nothing that’s going to trouble me, I’m not

going to go ‘oh f@#king hell, I’m going to miss that’.

“You know, I don’t really like the whole atmosphere

of this place at the moment as it is. The fans have

been great, I can communicate with them so good,

that’s more important to me at this moment.”

Asked to elaborate on what made MotoGP’s

atmosphere unappealing to him, Redding said it was

“just the general attitude from a lot of people here”.

The 25-year-old, who is moving onto a Paul Bird

Motorsport-run Ducati in British Superbikes,

then criticised his MotoGP peers for “closing

themselves off”.

“It’s not my thing, it’s the thing that I lost the love for

here. Whereas in British Superbikes, it’s just so much

more raw. I was watching some races back and I’m

like ‘get me there’.

“You see them banging [handle]bars - yeah, they

have a little complaint rider to rider, fair enough, face

to face, ‘you’re a dickhead’ - ‘you’re a dickhead’,

sound, we go for the next race.

“Here, they [the riders] don’t even say anything to

each other, I don’t know if they’re scared of each

other or they don’t know what they should say. You

know what I mean? It’s not like racing.

“And that’s what I miss, and I feel they should think

to try and get that back a little bit.

“Like, so many of my fans are my fans for me, not for

my result. They don’t even comment about my result

because my result is s@#t.

“But they say ‘you bring so much more fun, feeling,

charisma, to the paddock - we like that. We would

like more people [like that]’.

“Marc [Marquez], he’s going a bit that way, which

is good, I like to see that. And it would be good for

the sport.

“Instead of people closing themselves off, not

wanting to see people, don’t want to do this, can’t

be seen, [it’s] ‘I’ve got to have a f@#king entourage

of 20 people around me’.

“You know, what is that? We’re humans. I came in

now on a Ryanair fl ight with normal people. I didn’t

see anyone else there, you know what I mean?”

Redding has endured a diffi cult campaign with

Aprilia, but hopes that the rain forecast for the

Valencia weekend - coupled with a new engine

being made available to him - could allow him to

leave MotoGP on a high.

“I would like to fi nish with a good result. If it rains all

weekend, I’ve already said to the guys - it’s all-in or

it’s all-out. Every session. I have nothing to lose.

“What’s the worst that can happen, I’m going to

crash? Well, big deal. My target - I want to just show

something here. It’s my chance.”

Moto2 and Moto3

adopt MotoGP

qualifying format

for 2019 season

Both Moto2 and Moto3 will

use a MotoGP-style two-part

qualifi cation system from the

2019 season.

Since 2013, the premier class

has divided qualifying into two

separate sessions - Q1 and

Q2 - and used practice times

to determine which rider takes

part in each group.

The fastest 10 riders on

combined times across

practice sessions one to three

earn a direct entry into the Q2

shootout, which determines the

top 12 spots on the grid, and

are joined by the two fastest

riders from Q1.

The Moto2 and Moto3 support

classes have continued to stick

to the traditional format of a

single session to determine

the whole grid, 45 minutes

in Moto2 and 40 minutes in

Moto3.

That will change for next

season, with qualifying in both

the minor classes to be divided

into two 15-minute sessions.

Because of the larger grids

in the lower series, the top

14 riders from practice will

advance directly to Q2 with four

slots available for the fastest

riders in Q1 to progress to an

18-rider pole shootout.

The four riders who participate

in both sessions will be granted

an extra soft rear tyre to use.

38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


PADDOCK NEWS

Honda Dumps Ten Kate for

Althea/Moriwaki in WorldSBK

Honda is making waves in the World Superbike

paddock for next season, as HRC has pulled its

support from the Ten Kate team, and is instead

creating a factory team inside the garage of

Althea and Moriwaki, who will jointly run the

Red Bull Honda WorldSBK racing effort.

Contracted to HRC, Leon Camier will remain

on the Honda CBR1000RR SP2 next season,

and he will be joined by Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Possessing the correct passport, this news

means that the 2019 season will mark nearly

a decade’s worth of time since Kiyonari last

started a World Superbike race.

As we understand it, Althea Racing will run

the logistics and hospitality of the new Honda

WorldSBK team, while Moriwaki will handle

what happens in the pit box and out on track.

Where this news leaves the Ten Kate

team remains to be seen, though the

championship is currently without

representation from Suzuki, Aprilia, and MV

Agusta – the latter making its plans to leave

WorldSBK racing clear, earlier this year.

“I am really excited, this is a massive

opportunity and it’s massively exciting. For

HRC to come back into World Superbike is

incredible, and I’m really looking forward to

getting started,” said team rider Leon Camier.

“The level of WorldSBK is really high, a lot

higher than people realize, Rea has set the

bar really high. Our plan is it improve and take

it to Kawasaki at some point, we need to be

competitive from the off. It’s a new team with

new things coming together and a lot of things

to work on. I feel the potential is there to be

knocking on the podium.”

Adding to Camier’s comments, Kiyonari-san

said in the HRC press release the following:

“First I am a bit surprised as are HRC coming

back to Superbike, and I am surprised HRC

called me.”

“It’s been 10 years since I have ridden in SBK,

I am very happy to join this big project. I have

two years of experience in WorldSBK – in 2008

and 2009 and it’s very competitive. It’s not easy

to fi nish in the top six, but we have a good bike

and a good team, if I can do a good job I hope I

can get good results.”

Brought to you by

Melandri and

Cortese in new

GRT Team

As expected, the GRT Yamaha squad

is moving out of the World Supersport

Championship, and into the World

Superbike Championship for the 2019

season.

Riding for the GRT Yamaha squad is not

who we expected however, though it will

be two big names in the sport: former

world champions Marco Melandri and

Sandro Cortese.

Melandri makes the defection from Ducati,

where he was reportedly paying for his

ride, to Yamaha. He hopes to best his fi fth

place in the 2018 championship standings.

Meanwhile, Cortese comes into the World

Superbike racing having just won the

World Supersport Championship title.

Factory-backed in World Supersport

last year, the GRT Yamaha team will

keeps its factory status next year

as well, which leaves Yamaha with

four factory-backed YZF-R1 racing

machines on the grid in 2019.

“To win the WorldSSP championship and

then step up to WorldSBK with the GRT

Yamaha Team is like a dream come true

for me,” said former Moto3 Champion

Sandro Cortese. “I’m super happy to be a

part of this new project and, although it’s a

big step, I am really looking forward to the

challenge.”

Both Cortese and Melandri will have to

ready themselves for the new three-race

format that is coming to the WorldSBK

race weekend, as the series continues

to look for a way to lure in two-wheeled

racing fans to the track, and on TV.

Of course, the benchmark for the GRT

Yamaha outfi t will be the other Yamahas in

the paddock, more specifi cally the PATA

Yamaha squad of Michael van der Mark

and Alex Lowes.

Many riders have been linked to the GRT

Yamaha for next year, perhaps giving a

nod to how highly regarded this team is

within the WorldSBK paddock. As such,

this news dashes the hopes of any who

wishing to see Cameron Beaubier or Jordi

Torres in the team’s livery.

With the blue bikes looking like they are

getting closer to the status of the green

and red ones, the 2019 WorldSBK

season could be an interesting one, full of

close battles.

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

40 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


THE KING OF SPORTBIKES

CASH BACK!

Visit your nearest Suzuki authorized dealer!

R23 000.00 incl VAT when purchasing the GSX-R1000A L7

R28 000.00 incl VAT when purchasing the GSX-R1000R L7

@MotorcycleSA

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www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought to you by

Complete 2019 MotoE entry list

announced with some big names

The nascent all-electric MotoE championship

has unveiled a complete 18-rider grid for its

inaugural campaign next year.

Participating teams had already individually

revealed 14 participants, and the offi cial series

announcement revealed the four remaining

riders for the fi ve-round schedule.

Former MotoGP rider and 2008 125cc

champion Mike di Meglio is the highest-profi le

of the fi nal additions.

The 30-year-old Frenchman will link up with

Marc VDS, which is departing MotoGP at the

end of the current campaign.

Aprilia World Superbike rider Lorenzo Savadori

has been picked up by Gresini - which runs the

Italian manufacturer’s MotoGP effort - to partner

the previously-confi rmed Matteo Ferrari in a

two-bike effort.

The third race of the MotoE season at

Sachsenring clashes with the Superbike round

at Donington Park, but Savadori looks unlikely

to have a ride in WSBK next year - as the

Shaun Muir Racing team that ran Aprilia’s team

in the series has opted for a BMW tie-up and

an all-new line-up instead.

Supersport race winner Niki Tuuli, who

contested a part-time Moto2 schedule this

year, will lead the line for Ajo Motorsport, while

19-year-old former Red Bull Rookies Cup

regular Mattia Casadei will enter with Paolo

Simoncelli’s SIC58 Squadra Corse team.

It has also been confi rmed that the inaugural

season’s fi nal round, set for Misano in

September, will be a double-header - making a

total of six races in the campaign.

The fi rst MotoE collective test will take place on

November 23-25 alongside Moto2, with three

30-minute sessions designated for the riders on

each day.

The MotoE fi eld is headlined by current KTM

MotoGP rider Bradley Smith and twice MotoGP

runner-up Sete Gibernau, who is coming out of

retirement to race in it.

Other riders with MotoGP experience on the grid

will include Alex de Angelis, Randy de Puniet,

Xavier Simeon and Niccolo Canepa, while 2011

125cc world champion Nico Terol returns to the

grand prix paddock for it with Nieto.

2019 MotoE field

Intact: Jesko Raffin

Tech3: Hector Garzo, Kenny Foray

Pramac: Alex de Angelis, Josh Hook

Nieto: Maria Herrera, Nico Terol

Gresini: Matteo Ferrari, Lorenzo Savadori

LCR: Randy de Puniet, Niccolo Canepa

Pons: Sete Gibernau

Avintia: Xavier Simeon, Eric Granado

SIC58: Mattia Casadei

SIC: Bradley Smith

Marc VDS: Mike di Meglio

Ajo: Niki Tuuli

Dani Pedrosa

becomes a

MotoGP legend

At Valencia, MotoGP bade farewell to Dani

Pedrosa, a rider once considered to be the only

one able to dethrone Valentino Rossi, and the

greatest to never win a premier class title.

Pedrosa made his world championship debut

in 2001 in the 125cc class after competing in

the Movistar Activa Cup, getting special consent

from Dorna as he did not turn 16 until that

September.

After Pedrosa became 125cc champion in

2003, and then took the 250cc title in both ‘04

and ‘05, Honda gave him the opportunity to

be the leader of its project to reclaim the world

championships.

That was a hard era for Honda, as it didn’t

manage to fi nd the formula to recover from the

trauma of losing Rossi - who had joined Yamaha

in 2004 after feeling undervalued by HRC.

Pedrosa’s team-mate Nicky Hayden was

paradoxically the man who clinched the title

the same year that Pedrosa was starting his

adventure in the premier category, benefi ting

when Dani suffered a knee injury in a crash at

Sepang.

The Spaniard was the spearhead of a new

generation of riders who arrived at the highest

level to put an end to the era of Rossi’s

unchallenged dominance.

Riders such as Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and

later Marc Marquez joined the ranks of MotoGP’s

‘aliens’ - the term given to a group that seemed

a class apart from their rivals - after Pedrosa. But

while the rest of that pack all won titles, Dani’s big

moment never quite arrived.

That hasn’t stopped his talent from being

recognised, and ahead of his MotoGP farewell

race at Valencia he was named a ‘MotoGP

Legend’ - becoming the 28th member of that

elite club.

Pedrosa’s statistics are the best evidence of his

talent: he sits eighth in the all-time race winners’

list in 500cc/MotoGP, tied with four-time

champion Eddie Lawson.

His 31 race victories is the highest tally for a rider

without a MotoGP title, ahead of such greats as

Kevin Schwantz (25), Wayne Rainey (22) and

Kenny Roberts Sr (22).

Pedrosa ended his career as a race rider last

Sunday at Valencia, his best track, the place

where he has got the most victories (seven

times across all categories).

Many people will miss his pure and clean

riding style, others won’t. But in any event,

the Spaniard will be remembered as the last

uncrowned king. There are few champions as

admired and respected as him.

42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


WISHING ALL OUR CUSTOMERS A

New Bike Sales

The full Range of KTM motorcycles available

Used Bikes Sales

Quality Pre-loved motorcycles available

Accessories:

For all your protective clothing requirementsements

Workshop

For all your professional KTM service and repair requirements

Corner Rivonia and Witkoppen Road, Witkoppen Rd, Sandton, 2157

Phone: 011 234 5007 Email: info@radmoto.co.za


SO YOU THINK YOU CAN

DRAG

Drag racing is still very much alive and kicking here in SA and Race SA

recently held a BikeFest day where any and all bikers were welcome

to put their skills and speed to the test. Words: Deon Venter Pics: Redlens Studios

The boosted bikes topped 330kmh in a

kilometre. No matter how you looked at the

bikes they were all fast enough. Lookout

on the RaceSA Facebook page for more

bike only days, bring your bike and use the

opportunity to see if you are willing to explore

its performance.

Bikers often talk about the speed of some

fast bilkes, many think these are urban

legends doing the rounds. During the 90s

guys would arrange top end runs on relatively

safe roads for anybody to use and measure

up. The idea sort of died away until recently

when the Fastest in the Land series came

around. The series, which is organised by

Nazeer Loonat, aka Nazzy, further saw the

need to have a day just for bikes. The fi rst

event just for bikes, known as the RaceSA

Bikefest, was recently held at ODI raceway, a

couple of minutes north of Pretoria.

We all know a day where only bikes are has

advantages. By nature, bikers get on with their

thing. We don’t need to worry about cars and

dropping fl uids or parts all over the tracks.

Bikes also recycle quickly through the runs.

Nazzy set out the day to allow the bikes to

run time and speed, whichever is of course

more important to the rider. This was done at

a quarter and half miles as well as a kilometre.

Modern bikes don’t really require more than a

kilometre to show off their speeds anymore.

For this very fi rst event just over 20 bikes

entered and it would allow Nazzy to have

good open communications with the entrants

on the day on how it was arranged and run.

This is very similar to a normal trackday,

scruteneering is required, correct kit and of

course a place where you can setup your pit

area, followed by riders briefi ng before the

day starts.

RaceSA brings along the most accurate

speed and timing equipment from the

Fastest in the Land series as well as great

photographers. Organisation is spot on and

bikes run in different classes as well. The very

fi rst day saw a couple of well known bikers

bring out their bikes for a couple of runs.

Loumarie Fivaz brought her Suzuki GSXR,

while from the boosted world Shaun Breedt

brought both his turbo charged Hayabusa’s

for a sprint. Even old drag racers like Richard

de Sousa, who used to race a very fast Uno

Turbo in Nationals, brought his social riding

squad out for a bit of fun.

Not everything was about times posted and

some guys were out to see how fast the

bikes really are, where the bikes were stock

or had some changes, nobody really cared.

Loumarie, of course, being a drag racer

wanted to see time over the quarter, which

later turned into half mile times and kilometre

speed. With a good spread of different bikers

out there was more than enough time to

mingle, talk bikes and of course race or ride

down the long strip.

The fi rst RaceSA Bikefest saw the naturally

aspirated superbikes run speeds between

270kmh and 303km/h on a kilometre.

44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


January

S M T W T F S

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13

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20 21 22 23 24 25 26

27 28 29 30 31

: 6 : 14 : 21 : 27

2019 CALENDAR

February

S M T W T F S

February 1 2

3

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T W

6 7

T

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10 11 12 13 14 15

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24 25 26 27 28

: 4 : 13 : 19 : 26

March

S M T W T F S

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8

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April

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28

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29

16

30

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21 22 23 24 25 26 27

28 29 30

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: 4 : 13 : 19 : 26

May

S M T W T F S

May 1 2 3 4

5

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T W

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9 10

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25

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26 27 28 29 30 31

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: 6 : 14 : 21 : 28

June

S M T W T F S

June 1

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30

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July

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: 5 : 12 : 18 : 26

August

S M T W T F S

August

1 2 3

4

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T W

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T

9

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1 2 3

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September

S M T W T F S

September

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14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21

7

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21 22 23 24 25 26 27

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28 29 30 31

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

18

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: 1 : 7 : 15 : 23 : 30

25 26 27 28 29 30 31

: 2 : 9 : 16 : 25

October

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1 October 2 3 4 5

6

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T W

9 10

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27 28 29 30 31

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November

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: 4 : 12 : 19 : 26

24 25 26 27 28 29 30

: 5 : 13 : 21 : 28

: 4 : 12 : 19 : 26

1 Jan New Year's Day

21 Mar Human Rights Day

19 Apr Good Friday

20 Apr Holy Saturday

21 Apr 1 Jan Easter Sunday

New Year's Day

21 Mar Human Rights Day

19 Apr Good Friday

20 Apr Holy Saturday

21 Apr Easter Sunday

22 Apr Family Day

27 Apr Freedom Day

1 May Workers' Day

12 May Mother's Day

16 Jun 22 Apr Youth Day

Family Day

27 Apr Freedom Day

1 May Workers' Day

12 May Mother's Day

16 Jun Youth Day

16 Jun Father's Day

17 Jun 'Youth Day' observed

18 Jul Nelson Mandela Day

9 Aug National Women's Day

24 Sep 16 Jun Heritage Day

Father's Day

17 Jun 'Youth Day' observed

18 Jul Nelson Mandela Day

9 Aug National Women's Day

24 Sep Heritage Day

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

22

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December

S M T W T F S

December

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22 23 24 25 26 27 28

: 4 : 12 : 19 : 26

29 30 31

: 4 : 12 : 19 : 26

16 Dec Day of Reconciliation

24 Dec Christmas Eve

25 Dec Christmas Day

26 Dec Day of Goodwill

31 Dec 16 Dec New Year's Eve

Day of Reconciliation

24 Dec Christmas Eve

25 Dec Christmas Day

26 Dec Day of Goodwill

31 Dec New Year's Eve

www.motosport.co.za


2019 BMW

S1000RR


LATEST PRODUCTS

COMPACT TRAILERS

FELO

This trailer is locally made and is designed to carry one motorcycle (in the middle) or

any two motorcycles, up to and including two adventure motorcycles. It can also carry

three mx/dirt bikes all facing forwards as the front wheel chocks are fully adjustable

forwards and backwards, so handle bars do not clash, the loading channels are also

adjustable left and right to create more space for the motorcycle in the middle.

Their low bed 2 bike trailer (as they call it) is ”much smaller”, “lighter” and compact

than all of the other big and heavy trailers on the market. The channels are low to the

ground; making loading easy with the wheel chocks keeping your motorcycle upright

once loaded onto the trailer. The lower center of gravity also gives you superior

handling while towing no matter the speed. It comes with a short lightweight ramp

and we guarantee that your motorcycle will not scrape its belly pan when loading, as

well as loading by yourself. The trailer has a full independent suspension, 13” wheels

and runs in the track of the tow vehicle. But don’t be fooled by its size as it can load

more, legally, because of its lightweight design. Go check out www.compacttrailers.

co.za for full specs and videos on how easy this trailer is to operate.

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Felo’s 7-piece shock proof screw driver set has the specially manufactured

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KTM PRODUCTS

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for getting your loved one a crappy gift.

Look like a factory KTM rider with the official Team flat cap for only R660,

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perfect for you. Visit RAD Moto for these and plenty of other great gift ideas

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From: RAD Moto - 011 234 5007 / info@radmoto.co.za

54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


MOTOGP

MERCHANDISE

Attention all you MotoGP nutters. If you are a fan of Marc Marquez,

Andrea Dovisiozo, Nicky Hayden, Marco Simoncelli and the

Ducati MotoGP team then this is for you. A new batch of shirts,

caps, sticker kits etc. has just been unpacked at Planes, Trains &

Automobiles Melrose Arch and Bedford Centre stores.

There is a wide range of awesome products available for men,

ladies and kids so don’t miss out!

From: Planes, Trains & Automobiles - sales@pt-a.co.za

HUSQVARNA

The perfect gift for your little ones. The Husqvarna training bike is perfect

to get your kid learning how to ride. It will teach them how to control and

balance a bike better. It features handguards, an adjustable seat and is

suitable for kids from ages 2 to 5 years old. Price - R1803.

Remember, always safety first, so if you are going to get your child this bike

for Christmas why not look at getting the matching helmet? This is a specially

designed helmet for kids. It’s adjustable, TUV approved and produced

exclusively for Husqvarna by top cycling helmet manufacturers UVEX. It even

features a light on the back, which is pretty cool. Price - R991.

Holeshot Motorcycles has both the training bike and helmet in stock now, so

pop into their store and grab one and while you are there why not pick up an

official team cap, shirt or jacket for your partner?

They have a great range of official Husqvarna Powerwear in store to choose

from, so we suggest you take a credit card because you will be swiping!

From: Holeshot Motorcycles - 011 823 5830

KIDS TRAINING BIKE

HJC

RPHA 11 HELMETS

Now this is a Christmas special not to be missed. The

RPHA 11 is the top of the range helmet in the HJC range

and featured here is the MC4 White Sand and MC5 Camo

designs. They landed in SA a few months ago retailing for

R12999. Autocycle Centre, who are the official importers

of the HJC brand in SA, have now slashed the prices by

almost 60% selling them for only R7990 each. That’s a

massive saving on these limited edition lids.

We suggest you get down to Randburg Motorcycles and

place your order now before it’s too late.

From: Randburg Motorcycles - 011 792 6829

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 55


COVER STORY

MICHELIN MOTOGP TRIP

THE GREATEST

SHOWMEN

Our Rob embarked on a trip with a few of Michelin SA’s top dealers to watch the Greatest

Showmen on the planet in action at the final round of the 2018 MotoGP championship at

a very wet Valencia track in Spain. Words: Rob Portman Pics: Rob & others

BMW’s all-new S1000RR on

display. Looks amazing!

No better feeling than just strolling down the paddock.

New MotoE electric bike.

Michelin’s very impressive

tyre changing centre.

For the past couple of years Michelin SA

has run a dealer incentive whereby dealers

who sell the most, show the most growth or

order x amount of stock qualify to for one of

the 4 lucky draw spots, get the opportunity of

a lifetime - to experience a MotoGP weekend

up-close and personal.

This year 16 dealers were selected and

along with Louis Enslin from Michelin SA,

Ryan Robertson and Nicky Coetzee from

Autocycle Centre, who are the distributors

for Michelin motorcycle tyres, and two SA

journos, one being myself, were sent along

to the fi nal MotoGP race held in Spain at the

famous Valencia circuit.

Those lucky dealers were:

Michael Puzey Biker`s Warehouse

Albertus Breedt PTA North Bike Tyre

Stefanus Dawid Roos Just Bike Tyre

Kevin Spratley Trac Mac Belville

Jean Des Fontaine Bike Tyre Warehouse

Keith Woolley Sharwoods

Zubair Bobat Wicked Cycles

Deon Louw Moto Tyres

Alec Salley Salley`s Yamaha

Nathaniel DO Amaral Fast KTM

Marthinus Stander Midlands Motorcycles

Willem Roux KR Motorcycles

Bruce Sutcliffe Will ASAP Racing

Gareth Jones RBS Yamaha

Garth Course Tazman Motorcycles

Jerome Erskine Speedyquip

56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


For many it was their first trip to watch

a MotoGP race live, so a real bucket list

moment. As for me, I was lucky enough to

attend the 2016 finale at the same circuit so

already knew what a great experience it was.

I was looking forward to getting some behind

the scenes knowledge on just how Michelin

are involved and how they make it all work. In

2016 I had gone in my own personal capacity

and this time with Michelin I would get an

added extra behind the scenes look.

We arrived in Valencia on the Friday and

checked into our fancy hotel situated right in

the middle of Valencia town. What a beautiful

place, the modern architecture is simply

breathtaking and the town boasts a perfect

blend of old and new when it comes to shops

and restaurants.

The whole of Valencia was packed with

MotoGP fans. Wherever you looked or went

bright yellow caps and shirts were being

sported by every second person. Rossi and

Marquez definitely are the most supported

riders with splashes of Lorenzo, Pedrosa and

Vinales all over.

Saturday morning bright and early we

climbed on the bus and headed off to the

track. On arrival, I was shocked to see

how many people there were lining up at

the entrance waiting to get in. It was only

Saturday for goodness sakes!

As we entered we were greeted by the

BMW stand, packed with all the latest M

model cars and most importantly their new

S1000RR superbike. This was mine and most

of the guys first time seeing the bike in the flesh

and it did not disappoint. A gorgeous piece of

kit and one I cannot wait to swing my leg over.

Think it’s going to be a big contender!

Just to the right of the BMW stand was the

MotoGP VIP Village where we would be based

for the weekend. We signed in and received all

our passes for the weekend, which included

a paddock pass, allowing us to go into the

paddock area and see all the riders, team

trucks etc. A MotoGP without a paddock pass

is still amazing but this pass just makes it so

much better and allows you to get up-close to

all the team trucks and riders motorhomes.

Once we settled into the Michelin hospitality

suite, where we were all spoilt with Michelin

goodie bags packed with some great items,

we headed off to the back section where all

the apparel stores are situated. This is where

Darryn Binder always

happy to have a chat.

Darryn Binder’s pit setup.

Hanging out with Brad in his pit box.

Some of the Michelin dealers with Brad.

Selfies with Brad.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 57


I turned into a kid in a candy store. Seeing all

the stores packed with the latest riders and

team gear really does get me excited and I

could feel my credit card already heating up in

my pocket. I managed to keep myself in check

somewhat and only walked away with 5 caps

and two shirts. That was on day one...

After a small shopping spree it was time to

head to the paddock and try catch up with

the Binder brothers and Steven Odendaal.

We immediately bumped into Darryn, who

as always was very accommodating and

happy to chat to all. He was not having the

best weekend and had a crash in the morning

session but despite that was still positive and

ready for the race. He welcomed us all into

his pits, took some pics and signed some

autographs before we continued our journey

down the paddock.

Seeing all the team trucks lined up in a

row in magnifi cent and never gets old. All the

hospitality suites are situated just behind the

trucks opposite the riders motorhomes. This

is where fans pack together to try and get a

glimpse of their heroes as they come out of

their very fancy and expensive motorhomes.

Only MotoGP riders are allowed to have

motorhomes at the track, the only exception

being Alex Marquez who stays with his brother

Marc. Rossi’s motorhome is the brightest

but the biggest has to be Maverick Vinales,

who pretty much has a double story house.

Awesome to see!

Zarco’s Michelin rain tyres.

Rossi’s motorhome at the track.

Iannone and the Marquez boys motorhomes.

The boys got to visit the Aprilia pit box.

Tazman really liked the girls...

Rob did try to setal Bautista’s helmet...

58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


One of the best parts of a MotoGP race, the shopping!

Nathaniel from FAST KTM got the ride of his life.

Can almost smell Nat craping himself...

Hanging

out with

Brad and

Miguel in

their truck.

Getting close to Vale!

Wet but happy!

The rest of Saturday was spent catching up

with Brad Binder, who just like Darryn is very

accommodating and happy to take some time

out to spend with his fans, and taking in all the

sights and sounds of the qualifying sessions.

The weather was miserable but at least the

track was dry for the quali sessions.

The big highlight for Saturday was watching

Nathaniel from FAST KTM get the ride of

a lifetime. Nat was the lucky winner of a

one-in-a-lifetime chance of riding pillion on

the Ducati MotoGP 2-seater bike. He looked

excited and nervous before heading off to the

pits to get suited up. Watching him out on

track was great and I could not believe how

fast those riders go with the pillions on the

back. A couple of hours after the one lap ride

I managed to chat to Nat who said it was outof-this-world

and that the experience was hard

to put into words. Lucky man!

For Sunday our plan was to sit on the VIP

grandstand, perfectly situated at turn one, and

just take in all the racing action. Sadly, the rain

in Spain would put a big halt on all our plans.

We were treated to a visit to the Michelin tyre

changing center and a pit tour of the Aprilia

MotoGP racing team. Amazing to see how

Michelin operate and I was shocked to hear

that they bring 1400 slick and wet tyres to

every race meeting. That’s just crazy and the

Michelin technicians and fi tters are really kept

busy throughout the weekend. What also

surprised me was the tyre pressures they run.

1.7 hot on the rear and 1.9 hot on the front.

While we were in the center we could see

some of the wet tyres that had been used.

Zarco’s set from warm-up was in front of

us and the grooves were so thick and wear

looked impressive.

The Aprilia pit tour was great to see the

bikes and team up close. Scott Redding was

in the pits chatting to his technicians and I

can’t believe how tall that yeti is. Pity we won’t

be seeing him in MotoGP next season.

From there I was off to do some more

shopping but not before catching up with Brad

and Darryn one last time before their races.

Sadly, they did not go to plan with both riders

crashing out. The rain came bucketing down

and while most of the guys decided to watch

the racing on the grandstand and withstand

the rain, I decided to watch the racing in the

hospitality, which turned out to be a good

decision as when the gang returned they were

Some great rear

ends always at

MotoGP.

all soaked. Nevertheless smiles were plasted

all over their faces as no matter the weather

there is still nothing better than watching a

MotoGP race live. Seeing the colours and

hearing the bikes live is like nothing on earth

and the TV just does not do it justice at all.

After the races we went to catch up with

Brad and I managed to hang out with him

and his team mate, Miguel Oliviera, in their

race truck for a bit. Obviously Brad was not

to happy after crashing out while Miguel was

delighted with his win.

Another highlight on Sunday for me was to go

and see the Scorpion helmet service centre and

get to see Alvaro Bautista’s EXO2000 Air lid up

close. Thoughts of stealing it did pass my mind...

A wise man once said “MotoGP is the

greatest show on earth” and that could not be

more true. That wise man was me and I still

fi rmly believe that there is no other sport that is

anywhere near as exciting as MotoGP at the

moment, especially when watching it live.

The smell of burning race fuel and the

scream from the engines is addictive and there

is no amount of rehab on this planet that can

cure the craving for more MOTOGP!

Big thanks to Michelin SA for the great trip!

60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


Track Day Fees

Office: 076 624 6972

Email info@redstarraceway.co.za .

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FEATURE: TWO-STROKES

BACK IN

THE DAY

A SMOKEY HAZE

Philip de Gruchy is an avid collector of classic two-stroke motorcycles. He’s also a dab

hand on a dirtbiker. He shares his thoughts on some of those bikes that changed the face

of motorcycling forever. Words: Uncle Phil Pics: Uncle Phil & Kyle Lawrenson

Nostalgia ….. The dictionary definition “A

sentimental longing for or wistful affection for

a period in the past.”

Cast your mind back 20 plus years ago.

The Springboks showed the world how

to play Rugby, the Rainbow Nation filled

everyone with enthusiasm for a bright new

dawn for South Africa, you thought that

Nirvana and songs like “Smells like teen spirit

“ were so cool back in the day.

But the best of the 90’s for us bikers were

the containers full of cheap grey imported

motorcycles arriving on our shores from

Japan - and a large percentage of these

were exotic race replica two strokes , like the

Honda NSR, Yamaha TZR and Suzuki VJ.

For 15k odd, you could be on board a

racebike and emulate your heroes from the

FIM world championship, riders like Kevin

Schwantz , Wayne Rainey and Wayne

Gardner to name a few, who you’d watch

trying to control those brutal 2 strokes of

yesteryear on the worlds racetracks.

So here we are 25 years later. Technology

has given us incredibly fast and sophisticated

4 stroke motorcycles that are so reliable,

and all we need to do is to take our bike to

the local dealer who will plug your bike into

a computer to find faults, and hit you lots of

shekels just for changing shims and an oil

change…

Back in the day, you could fix your NSR

with an M10 spanner and an allen key,

because the bikes and especially 2 strokes

were simple to fix.

The 2 strokes were SO fast, but fragile -

which in some ways is a good thing… which

is probably the main reason why so many

bikes are still being “discovered “ after having

being left to rot for years under a cover in

garages all around the country. Two stroke

motorcycles for road use are long gone

due to the engine types inability to comply

with exhaust emission controls enforced in

most countries, so most of todays young

riders have never experienced the unique

experience of riding a pocket rocket as they

were often referred to back in the day.

These bikes were detuned versions of

pukka race bikes and if you ever doubted

this pedigree of these bikes, 10 laps round

Redstar Raceway would quickly confirm the

racing heritage of these little screamers - and

it would put a smug grin on your face that

would last for days.

Back in the 90’s there was a National

Powersport Championship, which lasted for

nearly 10 years but diminished over time,

and eventually the supply of bikes and parts

dried up due to the restrictions that were

62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


FEATURE: TWO-STROKES

The Aprilia RS250 Model shown here is the last of a dead breed of racing

two strokes and hard to find in this condition. This particular bike has been

fully restored by “Mr Aprilia” at considerable expense to original condition, it

represents the requiem for meaningful two strokes and their sweet perfume!

Built to emulate and capitalise on the Italian factory’s GP successes, this

particular motorcycle featured a power valve Suzuki derived motor in a near

perfect chassis to produce one of the finest handling machines of all time Bella,

and the Aprilia RS250 is still the enemy of knee sliders everywhere. The chassis is

blessed with an almost supernatural ability and composure that remains unfazed

regardless of lean angle. The UD Marzochhi suspension , the crafted banana

swing arm with Sachs suspension and Brembo four piston brake calipers are not

just for show, they are the best combination of talent weve seen since Queen and

Freddie Mercury. The screaming V Twin motor puts out 72hp at 11900 rpm and

weighs in at 140kg. So play music on that gear lever and ride it like you stole it and

you wont be disappointed.

HONDA NSR -MC28 - The last and most desirable of the NSR model range was

this MC 28 especially with this Rothmans Honda paintwork to commemorate the

GP Victories with legends like Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan on board and the

500 cc V four race bikes to which this 250cc model pays tribute. It was way ahead

of its time with its ELF derived single sided swinging arm and Credit card ignition.

introduced at the behest of Motorcycle

importers to prevent the importation of

second hand bikes from the far East.

The last of the breed were actually

produced by the Italian company

APRILIA who continued to manufacture

the two stroke RS250 and RS125

models until 2004 and 2010 respectively

whereas the Japanese manufacturers

had already pulled the plug in 1996.

There is a well- known cliché in life which

says “we always want what we can’t

have, and now we have a generation of

guys in their 30 to 50 age group who

want to relive those memories of their

lost youth and want to ride something

different than a multi cylinder 4 stroke

motorcycle.

This worldwide phenomenon has seen

prices of 2 stroke bikes soar, even in Japan

these bikes are collectors items today.

The 2 stroke association of South

Africa was formed in 2010 by Philip de

Gruchy who has had a lifelong affair with

motor cycles and typically is the patriarch

Uncle Phil on board an NSR 250 MC21 giving the

superbikes a run for their money at a recent Zwartkops

Track day – the combined age of bike and rider 93 years.

of three generations of a motorcycle mad

family and still rides off-road and track

events at 65 years young.

The Facebook group now has 900

local members and is growing every day

and many of its members have restored

these bikes to their former glory at some

expense. If you are lucky you might still

find an NSR or TZR that has been lying

neglected under a cover in some garage

for 20 years and if you want to restore

this motorcycle then you need to join the

group which has active members who

are Marque specialists and can provide

the spares or technical advice you need

for restoration.

Uncle Phil also known as “Mr Aprilia is

then the man to speak to with regard to

APRILIA 2 strokes and keeps the Italian

flag flying, see www.mraprilia.co.za for

more details or join the ‘’ Aprilia 2 stroke

owners group on Facebook…

Take a look at the pics – just some of

his magnificent collection.

APRILIA RS250 – Mk 1 REGGIANI REPLICA - Back in the day Aprilia was a small

italian factory trying to make a name for itself on the world stage and to honour

their success of rider and their achievement they intoduced road going versions of

their world chamoionship winning RSW models. This 1996 model commemorates

Loris Reggiani who won Aprilia’s first world 250 cc title in 1995. The paintwork is

similar to the race bikes and probably started the notion of producing race replica

machines that resembled the race bikes, however the race bikes had Austrian

Rotaax engines, but the road bikes has modified Suzuki engines.

APRILIA RS125 – Mk2 Tetsuya Harada Replica - The RS125 was the bike that

launched the career of many of GP riders and took a young Valentino Rossi to

stardom and who can forget his off track antics after tasting the sweet success

of victory on board this Rotax powered race bike, the same detuned engine was

used in the road bikes until 2011.

64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


QUICK TEST

SYM CitiCom 300i

TO SCOOT, OR NOT TO SCOOT?

Ride a scooter, you must

THAT IS THE QUESTION...

be crazy! That’s pretty

much everyone’s answer

when the word Scooter

is mentioned. In this

feature, Brian Cheyne

not only shows off how

good the SYM 300 scooter

is, but also why it just

makes so much sense and

helps save plenty on cents.

Words & Pics: Brian Cheyne

I recently had the SYM CitiCom S 300i as

my daily commute. In Europe, just another

scooter. In South Africa, it is shunned as the

spawn of Satan. A girls’ bike, something real

men don’t ride and the butt-end of many

jokes. We don’t ride scooters, but using

grooming products for our beards is OK.

As a commuter though, the SYM makes

perfect sense. Our public transport system

is non-existent. We do, however have a

high-speed train that links Pretoria with

Johannesburg. Yet, our highways are still

jam-packed with cars every morning. All with

a single person in it. And the excuses are

well rehearsed. “I am too far from a station.”,

“I am close to a station, but what if I want to

run an errand and I have no transport”. Both

these problems have one simple solution: get

a scooter.

One of the main features of any scooter is

the practicality of storing large items under

your seat. In the case of the SYM, it has a

cavity large enough to hold a helmet. You

can also fit a substantial amount of groceries

under there, should you need to nip down

to the shop quickly. The SYM has a lockable

cubbyhole and a handy hook to hang even

more stuff on. In the cubbyhole, there is a 12V

socket to charge any device while on the go.

Another thing that a scooter has above

a normal motorcycle is protection from the

elements. When you hit a puddle of water

your pants and shoes will not be ruined,

as you are enclosed by the scooter. The

CitiCom, although comfortable, was a bit

cramped for my 6ft frame, but not overly so.

Switchgear on the SYM felt like good

quality, as does the rest of the bike. SYM

used to assemble Honda motorcycles in

Taiwan, so they know a thing or two about

quality. For routine services, there are 44

dealers dotted throughout the country as

SYM is imported and backed by Kawasaki

South Africa.

Scooters are ridiculously easy to ride. The

SYM is no different. It has a 278cc engine and

it is rather pokey. Twisting the throttle makes it

move and grabbing either of the brake levers

makes it stop. The most important test for me

was if I could keep up with highway traffic and

the CitiCom obliged. The manufacturer claims

a top speed of 137km/h, but I think they

might be a bit conservative. The engine felt

under no strain doing 120km/h and I am sure

the plucky little SYM will be able to go faster.

The braking on the SYM uses a Combined

Braking System and that shaves speed of the

SYM with minimal effort. The other feature

that makes this bike stand out is the 16”

wheels. Bigger than your standard scooter

wheels, it does smooth out the road quite

effectively. Sadly, the short wheelbase makes

the bike a bit skittish over uneven surfaces,

but nothing that made me feel uneasy.

A fact many people do not know is that,

thanks to the guys from AMID, motorcycles

park for free at all Gautrain stations. Consider

that for a while. You go to a station in your

car, get on a train and mount your scooter

at your destination. That will give you the

transport you need when you need to run an

errand, and working far from a station is no

longer an excuse. You also miss the morning

traffic on the highway, greatly reducing your

risk while you are on a bike. So why not just

commute all the way? Well consider that the

lifespan of a bike is substantially shorter than

that of a car, and depending on how far you

travel, the shelf-life of your scooter will reduce

dramatically. Plus the added risk on the road

makes the Gautrain a no-brainer.

So consider the SYM CitiCom 300i next time

you are contemplating buying your next car.

66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


TRIUMPH

JOHANNESBURG

LAUNCH


ADVENTURE

TRAINING

SESSIONS

X 2

LADIES

LEARN TO

RIDE

TOY

RUN


FEATURE

WENLEY’S TRIUMPH ROCKET III CAFE RACER

TRIUMPHANT

ROCKET

There’s an old saying. If you’re going to steal a car, steal a Ferrari. Well, if you’re gonna

build a mean café racer, build the meanest café racer. 2,294cc should do it.

In conjunction with Throttle Roll & CAFE RACER | Written by Marlon Slack. Pics: Pete Cagnacci

The morbidly obese and slightly long-in-thetooth

Triumph RocketIIIhasbeenafavourite

ofthemorbidlyobese,slightlylong-in-the-tooth

ridingsectforthelastthirteenyears.Whilea

cruiser,manyownersdon’treallybothergoing

downthecustomroutefortheirrides.Modifiedexamplesof

the2300ccbeastusuallyjustfeatureapallet’sworthofmatte

blackpaintandaroundfourhundredyardsofexhaustwrap.

ButnowSydney-basedbuilder WenleyAndrews hasworked

his caferacer magicona2006RocketIIIandgivenitthe

lookstomatchthegigantictorqueyengineunderneath.

NowIsaidtheRocketismorbidlyobese.MaybeI’m

exaggerating,butinstocktrimthebikeweighs770

pounds(350kg)ringingwet.Butallthatheftandroad

goingpresencewaspartoftheappealforheadworkshop

provocateur,Wenley.He’dhadhiseyeoutforonefora

while.“I’vealwayswantedtobuildaRocketIII,”hesays,“It

hasloadsofpowerandit’sjustreallybeefy.LittledidIknow

thepowerisoutrightridiculous!”

Havingriddenone,Icanconfirmhe’sright.Despitebeing

theabsoluteantithesisofwhatIfindappealinginmost

motorcyclesthereissomethingcharmingaboutthatfattriple

powerplant.Charminginamedieval,roaring,arm-ripping

kindofway.Butthere’snogettingaroundthesizeand

weightofthething.SothefirstthingthatMeanMachines

lookedtodowastoshavesomeofthatexcessphysicaland

visualweightoffthebike.

70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 7 1


 The culprit for the latter sat right on top of the frame.

“The main obstacle was the tank,” Wenley says, “It is just

so huge and doesn’t look right, so I had a custom tank

made to fit the purpose. It’s a full metal with the stock

fuel pump fitted underneath.” That one part goes a long

way to reducing the lines of the bulbous standard bike.

 Before the fresh tank was sent off for paint a new

air intake had to be fabbed up, to get the airbox sitting

neatly alongside it. The team wanted to get the fit nice

and tight. A twin intake was fabbed up in-house, sucking

in from two K&N pods. Off went the tank to be painted

and all eyes turned to the bike’s fat rear end.

 Wenley decided to use a spare seat from

a Triumph Thruxton on the rear but fitting it proved to be

a little bit tricky, so he and the team threw the baby out

with the bathwater and made up a whole new subframe

to fit. The seat itself was recovered by Andrew from

Beyond Trims with some threaded red highlights.

 With such a slab-sided hulking mass of an engine,

a kickass exhaust was needed. All went well, at first. “I

drew up an exhaust on a piece of paper and handed

it over to my mate Billy who welded the exhaust for

me,” Wenley says. “Then it was sent for black ceramic

coating.” And here’s where things went wrong. With

the bike already having more black on it than a Gothic

Christmas party, the exhaust didn’t stand out enough. “I

looked at the bike and it was too much black. So it went

back to be finished in silver.”

 Finishing touches come in the way of a slimmer alloy

radiator and chunkier front and rear rubber mounted to

blacked-out standard rims. The front of the Rocket was

tidied up with a 5.5 inch headlight, set of mini indicators,

custom mirrors and Biltwell grips. To make the stance

more aggressive, Ikon supplied some longer rear shocks,

giving the bike a slight nose down bias.

 In standard trim the Triumph Rocket III is a porky,

rounded middle-aged cruiser with pretty uninspiring

looks. Wenley Andrew’s cafe take on the English staple

has it’s gut tucked firmly into it’s pants and chest puffed

out into a heavyweight brawler of a custom that does

that monstrous engine justice.

“In standard trim the Triumph Rocket III

is a porky, rounded middle-aged cruiser

with pretty uninspiring looks. Wenley

Andrew’s cafe take on the English staple

has it’s gut tucked firmly into it’s pants

and chest puffed out into a heavyweight

brawler of a custom that does that

monstrous engine justice.”

72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 73


BIKE TEST: TWO COOL SMALL BIKES

SMALL

BIKES

RULE!

Our Publisher Glenn Foley

ropes in one of his favorite

girlfriends, race chick Michelle

Leppan, grabs two little

motorbikes and heads out

for a li’l ride taking in some of

Joburg’s scenery.

They share their thoughts

on Husqvarna’s 401 Vitpilen

(White Arrow) and a relative

newcomer to the SA market,

the 250 FB Mondial Hipster…

Words & Pics Glenn Foley

74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


This was actually a bit of an unplanned

feature- we happened to zip past

Husqvarna’s offices and were offered the

Vitpilen 401 for a week. “Take it”, said Fred,

Huskys’ Mkulu Baas. “Use it as much as you

want and bring it back when you are done.”

As it happened it was a good plan, lots of

peeps to be seen through the week, coffee to

be had and plenty of running around where

we could really get to know this little bike.

Coincidentally, our friends at The Traditional

Motorcycle Company in Edenvale also called

in and asked when we’d like to have a gander

at their new 250 Mondial – just arrived.

Hmm two bikes, both not really

performance oriented enough for our Ed to

try and get his elbow down at Redstar – who

would use them?

Answer: Urban adventurers.

Let’s have a little fun taking in the sights.

So the plan was hatched to enjoy a good old

fashioned Breakfast run type ride – poking

around the streets and ‘burbs near Edenvale

The Husqvarna

Climbing aboard this little head turner – it’s easy

to instantly understand where it is aimed at.

100 percent Café racer

If you need to have a bike that looks different

and stands out from the pack – then this

might just be it. It certainly does look different

– Star Wars meets urban sophistication. Most

striking about the bike’s silhouette is the big

gap over the back wheel, the floating leather

seat and the one-piece tank and side panels.

There is a lot to love in the detail: sturdy

aluminium triple clamps; LED lighting; classy

bronze paint accents on the wheel rims,

aluminium fuel cap and engine bottom-end

casing; and the clever way they have hidden

the massive catalytic converter in a gap

through the swing arm pivot.

Put aside the “Svelte” lines and the

futuristic styling – the ride experience on

this one is pure street racer. Surprisingly, the

saddle height is quite tall and you find yourself

perched on top of the little bike, gazing over

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 75


BIKE TEST: TWO COOL SMALL BIKES

the headlight while you open the throttle

that is attached to the old school style

clubman handlebars.

The Duke’s tried and tested 375cc

single has enough grunt for urban use

and its ride-by-wire throttle is spot on

in terms of feel and connection. The

gearbox is a little on the clunky side, but

it’s nothing untoward – in fact it gives the

bike a bit more personality really. Husky

has wisely decided not to alter it at all, so

there is nothing to complain about. It’s a

feisty little mill that runs easily to 180 odd

KPH and is totally happy in any urban

situation.

The Vitpilen comes with some neat

features like a slipper clutch, Bosch

ABS, WP suspension, radial brakes and

Metzeler M5 tyres. The WP suspension

delivers a nice balance between sports

and comfort and the brakes and ABS are

excellent.

Speaking of urban – a lot of our saddle

time – around 600KM’s, was spent on

the freeways round JHB. If you can live

with the race like seating – a little bike like

this is the perfect answer to beating the

traffic. It whizzes along quite happily – is

so easy to maneuver and turns heads at

every traffic light. And it runs on the sniff

of an oil rag too – so that’s cool – you

save time and money…

This one is all rounded off with a top

drawer Akrapovic silencer. You can

custom build these bikes from the parts

catalogue until the cows, literally come

home. Watch our feature on the 701

Vitpilen over the next few months.

On the opposite spectrum is the

FB Mondial 250 Hipster.

Over a cup of coffee at The Traditional

Motor Co’s new espresso bar,

surrounded by a bevy of beautiful

custom built bikes, we were introduced

to the Hipster.

FB Mondial is a motorcycle

manufacturer, founded in 1929, in

Milan, Italy. They are best known for

their domination of Motorcycle World

Championships between 1949 and

1957. The firm produced some of the

most advanced and successful Grand

Prix road racers of the time, winning

five rider and five manufacturer World

Championships in that short period. In

1960, the last all-Mondial motorcycle left

the factory. After this, Mondial continued

for a while, purchasing engines from

proprietary makers. In this hybrid form,

motorcycles with Mondial frames and

ancillary parts, but non-Mondial engines,

were produced by the factory for the next

19 years. However, Mondial stopped

production in their entirety in 1979, until

their rebirth nearly twenty years later.

In 2014, friends Count Pierluigi

Boselli, owner of the Mondial brand and

76 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


descendant of the original founders, and

Cesare Galli, holder of Pelpi international Italy,

started to lay the foundation of a project to

revive the company, sketching out the first

designs that would in time become the first

motorcycle. The firm currently offers four

variants to the market. The traditionally styled

‘café-racer’ HPS, available with a 125cc and

250cc engine, as well as the off-road, sportier

styled SMT and SMX models.

We got to meet the 250 Hipster

Everything about this gorgeous little bike is

chilled! Sheer European flare. Classic custom

meets the future – in such a cool way.

Old school leather seat melds with brushed

aluminium covers and an uber modern Brutale

style headlamp. Futuristic digital display meets

old school chrome front fender. Electronic fuel

injection powers a modern Aprilia 250cc liquid

cooled engine, mated to 60’s style chrome

shotgun exhausts.

It all works really well.

Swing your leg over – and once again,

you understand where the bike is aimed.

Lazy outrides to the goose’s house or to

your favorite roadhouse for a burger. Small,

comfortable, fun to ride and just lots of Lekker!

Get it into your head that it is only a 250 –

and you’ll appreciate the peppy power delivery.

Top speed is close on the 130KPH mark and

she is no slouch getting there. We never had

the feeling like you get on a 50 that something

is going to run you over because you are not

fast enough to escape. Gearing is good and

the power is spot on for urban commuting.

We thought that those pipes might

generate lots of uncomfortable heat while you

ride – but we noticed nothing untoward .

The brakes and handling are fine for a bike

like this. We did find that getting to the rear

brake pedal is a bit akward because of the

placement of the pipes. We mentioned this to

traditionals Nick – and he is already extending

the brake lever to make it more accessible.

The Hipster is not nearly as race sprung as

the’Pilen, but it handles everything with style.

We took a leisurely cruise up Van Riebeeck

Avenue, popped down to the dam in

Modderfontein to get a few snaps and took

a chilled ride around the historic dynamite

manufacturing town.

A quick stop at 36 On Main found them

shut for the day – so our trails took us via

some winding roads to the famous Ridgeway

Racebar for a great Burger and milkshake

to work off the effects of Joburgs heatwave.

Bearing in mind that the specific bike we rode

is in fact a homologation model – almost like a

pre - production model, we are impressed.

Do yourself a favour, pop down to

traditional and take a look at these machines.

The amount of thought that went into the

design is quite mind numbing.

This was a slightly different take – and a fun

way to kill a few hours.

Go and take a spin on a smaller bike some

time. Stop and smell the roses. Simple fun…

Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen: R89699.00

www.husqvarna-motorcycles.co.za

FB Mondial 250 Hipster: R69999.00

www.traditionaltriumph.co.za

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 77


TESTING RUBBER: BRIDGESTONE R11

BRIDGESTONE

R11

EXCLUSIVE SA TEST

Finally the long awaited

Bridgestone R11 cut-slick

race tyres have made their

way to SA and even though

they’re not for sale just yet, we

managed to get our hands on

a set and give them a try out at

Zwartkops Raceway.

Words Rob Portman Pics Gerrit Erasmus

Bridgestone’s R10 cut slick has stood the

test of time here in SA. Over the past couple

of years it has been the go-to track tyre for

many track day riders looking for a tyre with

good amounts of grip, stability and most of

all, good mileage. The R10 ticked all those

boxes perfectly making it the top choice for

your everyday track day rider.

The R10 has also been the offi cial tyre

to the Red Square ZX10R Master Cup for

decades it seems and riders have been

treated with all its great attributes, which also

include affordable pricing. But now, with bikes

and riders stepping it up a level, it’s time for

the new era of Bridgestone cut slick track tyre

to make its way into the SA market.

While the R10 has been praised by track

day riders, top, fast, experienced riders

did have one or two doubts over the tyres.

Good grip and stability, but not enough

when starting to push lap record pace. Signs

of stress started to show, especially when

pushing the front too hard under hard trail

braking into corners and lean angle grip.

Compared to its rivals it just did not have the

same out right fast pace, but it did still hold the

upperhand in the mileage and price department,

hence why to this day it’s been a top seller.

Now, Bridgestone has taken what it has learnt

over the past years from its various Motorsport

plans and has listened to customers demands

for a track tyre with more grip, more stability,

but with the same longevity. So, in essence, the

perfect track tyre.

The R11 has arrived!

Well, kind of. As I type this, the new R11 is

not yet for sale in SA. I was lucky enough to

get an exclusive test on the all-new tyre out at

Zwartkops on a Kawasaki ZX10R racebike.

78 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 79


TESTING RUBBER: BRIDGESTONE R11

Front end grip and stability felt

much improved, heading into the

corners and at full lean angel.

A bike currently being raced in the Red

Square ZX10 Cup on R10 tyres, so my plan

was to do a back-to-back test between

the two. I have read and heard great things

about the new R11 tyres from journos across

the world. All told, Bridgestone claims the

new R11 is 1.5 seconds per lap quicker than

the R10, using a Honda CBR600RR at the

Oschersleben circuit in Germany. That’s a

signifi cant chunk of time on a racetrack, so

naturally I was anxious to fi nd out just how

much of an improvement the R11 really is

over its predecessor.

My fi rst session out on track was on the

R10’s. The bike had been setup perfectly

for those tyres and I could feel the great

relationship between bike and tyres. I had no

complaints on the R10’s, which surprised me

somewhat out on track. No grip or stability

problems to report. That was until I hit the

track with the new R11’s.

Instantly I could feel a more solid

foundation. Bridgestone worked hard on

giving the tyre more solidity, especially on

the front. After a lap and a half to warm the

tyres up, they needed it as they did not feel to

great on the warm-up lap, I started to push.

The fi rst thing I felt was loads more stability

under hard braking entering the turns and

trail braking, lean-angle grip also felt much

better. Even with a bike that needed a bit of

setup to adapt to the new, stiffer, more grippy

tyres, the R11’s were proving their worth.

The R11 rear tyre is now available in size

200, where the R10 was never. That means

more tyre planted to the tar, which ultimately

means more grip and I could feel there was.

Although, in some cases, just too much. The

bike was setup for the 190 rear so a stiff rear

spring to help get as much grip as possible

out of the 190 rear R10. This translated into

too much grip on the 200 rear R11, which

meant the front wheel was being thrashed

sky high out of every turn.

For my second session out on the new

R11’s we preloaded the rear a bit and this

made a big difference. We could have

still gone more but the rear still had great

amounts of grip while the front end felt way

more planted driving out of the corners.

Overall, I managed to register around

38 laps on the new R11’s, so while I was

impressed initially, I would like to do another

test where I can really push the tyres and

complete at least 50 laps.

Ian Harwood, owner of the bike and ZX10

Cup racer, did complete another 20 or so

laps on the tyres at Zwartkops the following

weekend and also raved about the new

rubber. He also sent me these pictures of the

tyres, which had completed close on 70 laps

combined and as you can see, still plenty of

tread and tyre left. Very impressive!

Overall the new R11’s promise more grip,

stability and faster lap times and while I do

need to spend more time on them to 100%

confi rm they are, I can happily say that they

are a step forward over the R10’s and they

will be a big contender on track in the 2019

season and beyond.

The R11 features a slightly new tread pattern design that was developed

with the help of the Ultimat Eye technology. By analyzing the directional

forces on the tyres throughout every phase of cornering (the deformation

during braking and cornering, along with the abrasion angle during

acceleration), Bridgestone engineers were able to position the tread grooves

so that they enhance the tread rigidity during cornering while offering

enough deformation to cut warm-up time and provide an optimum contact

patch for grip off the corner. Interestingly, unlike most DOT race tyres that

have no tread grooves near the edge of the tyre’s profile (to theoretically

provide maximum tyre contact at full lean), both front and rear R11 tyres

have some tread grooves in that area.

The top left drawing shows how the new Variable Mono-Spiral Belt (V-MSB)

on the front R11 has the windings spaced closer together in the center of

the tread for greater stability during braking and then progressively widened

toward the shoulder for optimum flex, feel, and grip during corner entry.

The right drawing shows the rear and while initially similar to the front R11,

the Variable Mono-Spiral Belt on the rear R11 has the windings spaced close

together in the center of the tread to prevent expansion growth at speed,

then spaced farther apart on each face of the profile which allows more

deformation for more grip. The windings then are closer together on each

edge of the tread to provide a more stable contact patch at max lean angles.

No word yet on pricing and when the new R11 tyres will be

available to the public, but what we do know for sure is that

the new R11 is a DOT tyre and for track use only and will be

sold by selected retailers to make sure the tyres are only sold

to track riders. We will hopefully do a follow up test soon,

where we can really put the tyres to a full and proper test

and go for outright laptimes.

80 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


THE BEST JUST GOT BETTER.

THE NEW RANGE OF HYPERSPORT, SPORT

TOURING & ADVENTURE TYRES HAVE ARRIVED

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

racetrack

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

conditions.

• 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


FEATURE: EUGENE LAVERTY

82 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


Eugene

Laverty

and the Politics of Racing

“When the music stops you need

to grab a seat,” is a kids game, but

in the grown-up business of the

paddock, it is still just as relevant

By Steve English as if you were at a birthday party.

Unfortunately for Eugene Laverty, he

had been left as one of the last riders

chasing a seat for 2019, and with Loris

Baz and Jordi Torres all running in

circles, the clock was ticking until the

music stoped for good. That was until

he recently signed for Team GoEleven

on a new Ducati V4R.

Having thought that he’d be sticking

with Shaun Muir Racing for next

year, as the team switches to BMW

machinery, the Irishman found himself

on the outside looking in. From feeling

secure that he would have a good ride

for 2019, he found himself cast out

until the GoEleven ride came along.

It’s not the first time that Laverty has

found himself in a predicament like

this. In the autumn of 2013, he missed

out on staying with Aprilia, and had to

search for a ride, which led him from

being a WorldSBK title contender to

riding an uncompetitive Suzuki, and

from this he began a two-year stint in

MotoGP.

From that he made a return to

WorldSBK, which yielded solid

progress in his second year with the

Milwaukee Aprilia squad. But this was

not enough to keep his ride, with Tom

Sykes expected to be announced as

the rider to replace him.

“As a rider, all you want to do is

show your potential,” summed up

Laverty about the last five years. “There

are some riders that are dreamers and

talk about what they can achieve, but I

know my level and that’s what I wanted

to be able to demonstrate here.”

“I think from mid-season onward,

I’ve been able to show my level again. I

know that I’m a much better rider now

than I was compared to when I was

fighting for the WorldSBK title.”

 “It’s been so tough over the last

few years, but it’s made me stronger

as a person and a rider. I’ve really had

to dig in this year. But we’ve got a

fantastic little group of people working

here. It’s a small effort compared to

some of the other factory teams here

in World Superbikes, so what we did

together shouldn’t be underestimated.”

What they achieved was turning

around a dreadful 2017 season, into a

year where, despite missing two rounds

due to serious injuries from a crash in

Thailand, Laverty was able to get the

Aprilia back on the podium, claim a pole

position and finish a credible eighth in

the championship.

It’s not been enough to get Laverty

back on a front-running bike, and so

much of the last five years can be

attributed to losing his Aprilia seat

following the 2013 season. That year he

finished the season with ten podiums

in the eleven races, and looked to have

truly arrived on the world stage.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 83


FEATURE: EUGENE LAVERTY

At its conclusion however, all he did

was make way for Marco Melandri. Since

then, Laverty feels he’s become a much

more complete rider with experience

matched with raw speed.

“I’ve shown I can develop bikes, I’ve

shown that I can win on three different

makes of bikes, I’ve shown I can be a

title contender. I’m a lot better than I was

back then and that I’m a much more

complete rider.”

“When I look at my data from five

years ago, to me it looks like I was a

rookie and it’s crazy to think that’s when I

finished second in the championship and

won nine races. Back then I wasn’t half

the rider that I am now.”

“That’s what keeps me motivated. That’s

what keeps me wanting to push forward to

show that step that I’ve made in those five

years, because the results haven’t shown

it. I want to show my true potential.”

For the 32-year-old the goal is clear:

to get back into the position to challenge

for championships again. Having come

close to joining Kawasaki in the summer

of 2016, he knows how fine this knifeedge

is upon which decisions are made.

“I want to be on the WorldSBK grid

and I want to be on a competitive bike.

I want everything, but I also know that

there are a lot of riders on one-year

contracts; that’s why I want to stay here. I

want to stay here because I feel I deserve

a shot on one of those top bikes.”

“It’s going to be a tough few weeks,

but I’m not the only one. There’s a few

other riders that are deserving of rides

that haven’t yet been signed up. I’m not

alone in looking for a ride. At time like

this, you’ve got to take the rough with

the smooth and try to get myself sorted.”

“Unfortunately this is an expensive

game, and with the state of the world right

now money talks. It ain’t easy, but I felt I

did my job this year in terms of the results

that I achieved compared to last year. We

made a big step forward. Unfortunately it

wasn’t enough for me. You’ve got to do

your talking off the track as well. As we

know, it’s not just about results.

“I do think that over my career

that’s been a weakness of mine. I’ll be

honest in that, for me I like to just ride

motorbikes and get results on track.

I don’t talk about myself, and I think

four out of my last five contracts, I’ve

lost despite winning or beating my

teammate.”

“It’s pretty nuts. Politics and other

things have played a part, but if there’s

one thing I’ve learned in recent years

it’s that the old saying, ‘I’ll do my talking

on the track,’ isn’t not one to live by. It

doesn’t work. I think I’m proof of that.”

Laverty has pulled a rabbit out of

the hat and he’s determined to be a

contender on the world stage.

84 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 85


Vinales makes the switch from #25

to his childhood racing #12 for the

2019 season.

2019 STARTS NOW

2019 MotoGP testing got

underway straight after

the final race of the season

at Valencia. As always, it

was exciting times with

many riders and teams

changing colours. This year

was no exception...

Words by David Emmett

If you want to see the law of unintended

consequences in action, just take a look

at MotoGP testing. The nature of testing

has changed as manufacturers have

suffered the consequences of not fully

understanding the effects of the engine

development freeze during the season.

Honda suffered, Suzuki suffered, and

now Yamaha have suffered when they

made the wrong choice of engine in

preseason testing. They learned the hard

way they had to get it right.

This has meant that the Valencia

MotoGP test has become first and

foremost about getting the engine in

the right ballpark, giving the engineers

enough data to work out the fine details

over the winter. A tight track and cold air

temperatures sees engines at their most

aggressive, with plenty of horsepower

on hand and very little room on track to

actually use it.

The addition of Jerez as an official winter

test – to be held at the end of next week –

makes this even more explicitly an engine

test. If the factories bring an engine that is

manageable at both Valencia and Jerez,

they are in good shape for next season.

86 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


As an aside, going to Sepang rather than

Jerez to test in the past couple of seasons

may be one of the factors that led Yamaha

down a blind alley with their engine. Sepang

is hot, wide, and fast, sapping power and

allowing a MotoGP bike to stretch its legs.

It is the kind of track that can hide an overly

aggressive engine, which then can rear its

ugly head when the season is underway, the

engine spec is frozen, and it’s too late to fix

the problem.

The Right Engine

Getting the engine right is probably most

important for Yamaha. They have suffered

with an aggressive engine and excessive

tyre wear throughout 2018, some solutions

only coming at the end of the season. Both

Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi tested

one new engine spec on Tuesday, keeping a

second engine spec ready to be tested on the

Wednesday.

Both Rossi and Viñales were pleased with

the new engine, though Viñales was the more

enthusiastic of the pair. “For sure we made a

lot of progress,” Viñales told the MotoGP.com

live feed.

“I felt good with the bike. We tried one step

better engine, and I just felt really good going

out. Still we need to set up the acceleration,

because the engine is too different from the

one we had in the 2018 season. So we need

to keep going.”

Where was the new engine better?

“Especially on braking,” Viñales said.

“Suddenly I took the new engine, the new

version, and I felt much better going into the

corner. I just felt I stressed the front tyre much

less and I can keep the corner speed.”

“That is what I need through all the year,

to arrive faster to the apex. And yeah, I felt

quite good. So already on the first run out I

felt I could turn more, and that was the most

important thing. Still, the acceleration, we need

better drive, because it’s not set up in the

correct way.”

The Spaniard was so pleased with the engine

that he was almost afraid to test the second

engine spec Yamaha had brought to Valencia.

“For Yamaha, it’s very important to test the other

engine, because we have to feel if the engine

braking is the same.”

“So if the engine braking is the same, I will

keep running and trying both. But if already I feel

the engine brake is less, I will focus on the one I

had today, because today I felt really good.”

Caution Urged

Valentino Rossi was a little more cautious,

though he was also happy with the progress

made. “We always suffer about tyre

degradation so we try to make an engine that

is more smooth, more soft to try to stress less

the tyre. It was not so bad because my lap

time was quite good,” the Italian said.

“The engine change also in the engine

brake, in the entry. It’s a small help because

become more easy to ride and you can be

more constant. Also in acceleration it’s more

or less the same. We try to have a more soft

character to spin less and it’s already a help.

But for me it’s not enough.”

“We suffer too much with the rear tyre

degradation. It’s also true that today the

conditions were very bad and the tyre

normally suffer in these conditions. It looks like

already after some laps we slide too much.

So we need to continue to work, but it looks

like we take a good direction.”

Honda also have a new engine, though

it was hard extracting that information from

Marc Márquez when he spoke to us in the

pouring rain. “It’s different, I will not say how,

but of course it’s different,” Márquez said.

“We have a different specification on the

engine, also a few things on the chassis area

but still we have a lot of work to do because

it’s a different bike.”

“Still the bike balance we don’t know which

one is the best one but since I start with that

new bike, I felt a little bit better, so if the base/

start point is the same like the current one, this

is a good thing. So we were in the same point

and now it’s time to improve step by step.”

Márquez also has two development bikes

in his garage, along with the standard 2018

machine to serve as a benchmark. But he

was also clear where the focus lay. “Engine,”

was Márquez’s curt reply.

He also had a new evolution of Honda’s

electronic steering damper fitted, though he

was noncommittal over whether it helped or

not. Work was still needed, he said, and it

was hard to pinpoint exactly the difference.

What Can Jorge Do?

All eyes were on Márquez’s new teammate, of

course, but Jorge Lorenzo was prevented from

speaking to the media. The Spaniard’s times

would lead you to believe he was struggling

to adapt: Lorenzo ended the day eighteenth

fastest, over 1.5 seconds behind Viñales.

But there is some reason for optimism

too. Lorenzo improved his time almost every

lap on the Honda, cutting a huge amount

off his deficit. He is still recovering from wrist

surgery, and is both in pain and has signs of

weakness. He was slow over the weekend on

the Ducati, a sign that he is not operating at

full fitness.

Lorenzo had a thumb brake fitted to the

Honda RC213V, as well as a tank cover

allowing him to use his legs to help brace

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 8 7


Not a bad debut on the

Honda for Lorenzo.

himself for braking. Whether the thumb brake

helped is open to question. The Honda doesn’t

need the rear brake to be used to help turn the

bike, it turns quite well of its own accord.

Franco Morbidelli described the way the

Honda worked quite well, when he compared

it to his new bike, the Petronas Yamaha M1.

The Honda was not more physical than the

Yamaha, but the Yamaha did everything a lot

more smoothly, Morbidelli said. “Everything

that happens on the bike happens more

smoothly, because of the size of the bike,” the

Italian told us.

“The dimensions are completely different.

As I said my previous bike [the Marc VDS

Honda RC213V] was quite rough, it was quite

reactive. Not nervous, though you might see

it from the television as a bit nervous. But the

right word is reactive because everything that

happens, it happens fast.”

On the Pace

Morbidelli was impressive on the Yamaha.

On his first outing on the bike, he was just

a quarter of a second slower than Valentino

Rossi, and two thirds of a second behind

Maverick Viñales.

He was using a kind of ‘hybrid bike’ as he

described it, using a chassis previously used

by Johann Zarco and a 2018 engine from the

factory Movistar Yamaha team. We wondered

just how good Morbidelli might be on a bike

that is easier to ride. So far, we think the

answer is ‘quite good’.

Pecco Bagnaia is another rider who

impressed straight off the bat. The Italian

rookie jumps into the Pramac Ducati team,

where he is riding a GP18 under the tutelage of

Cristian Gabarrini, using a setup based roughly

on Jorge Lorenzo’s, modified based on the

Bagnaia’s own description of his riding style.

Bagnaia ended the first day as eleventh

fastest, just under a second slower

than Maverick Viñales. To put that in

perspective, Marc Márquez ended just over

a second slower than Dani Pedrosa on his

MotoGP debut at the Valencia test. The Italian

had mainly concerned himself with adapting

to the bike, rather than trying to figure out

how to change the bike to suit his needs.

New Petronas Yamaha

rider Franco Morbidelli

ended the test off in

6th place only 0.217 off

overall leader Vinales.

Bagnaia finished top

rookie in 11th place and

looked like a natural on

a MotoGP bike.

88 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


“I understand and learned that in MotoGP

you have to work more, so much more,”

Bagnaia commented. “There are a lot of

parameters to see. I understand how to brake

more and also to wait to open the gas. In

MotoGP if you open the gas too early you lose

a lot of time. It’s completely different to Moto2.”

Unbelievably Better

His Pramac Ducati teammate got his hands

on a GP19 for the first time, and was blown

away at just how good the new bike is.

“It’s hard to almost believe it’s only 2 years

more advanced than my bike, but man, the

changes are crazy,” Miller told us. What did it

do better? “Everything,” Miller said.

“Turn, brake, stop, accelerate. It’s smooth.

We haven’t even adjusted the settings, this

was my first time on the carbon forks, so just

trying to get used to everything. It’s a big thing

to try to take in. Really happy with the way it’s

unfolding at the moment.”

The way the bike turned mid-corner was

a big step forward, Miller said, as was the

buttery smooth gearbox. But overall, what

impressed was just how much easier the bike

was to ride fast. “It feels easier,” Miller told us.

“That was the biggest thing, when I came

in I said, it’s very light, very easy, especially

through the fast change of directions here,

through Turns 8, 9, 10, 11. Through there it

really picked the line.”

“Especially this morning, even though there

were still some wet patches out there and I

was trying to stay away from the white lines, I

found myself going onto the white lines on the

inside because of how well it was turning. So

I’m really excited for tomorrow and keen to

get back out there.”

In the factory team, there wasn’t much to

test, Andrea Dovizioso preferring to spend his

time getting a feeling for the old bike before

muddying his thoughts with some new parts

to test.

Day Two

It was a difficult test at Valencia. The weather

simply hasn’t played ball. Tuesday started

wet, took a few hours to dry out, then rain

started falling around 3pm, meaning the riders

effectively had around two and a half usable

hours on track.

Rain on Tuesday evening meant the track

was wet on Wednesday morning, and in the

chill of a November morning, it took a couple

of hours before the track dried out enough for

the riders to hit the track.

At least it stayed dry and sunny throughout

the day, and the last couple of hours saw the

best conditions of the test, times dropping

until falling temperatures put paid to any

thought of improvement. The teams may

have lost time, but at least they had a solid

four and a half hours of track time to work.

For half the factories, what they were

focusing on was engines. Yamaha, Honda,

and Suzuki all brought new engines to test,

and in the case of Yamaha and Honda, two

different specs.

Ducati was mainly working with a new

chassis, aimed at making the bike turn better.

Aprilia had a new engine and a new frame

to try. And as usual, KTM had a mountain of

parts and ideas to test.

Choices, Choices

After trying one different spec of engine on

Tuesday, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi

got a chance to try the second engine spec on

Wednesday. The feedback from both Yamaha

riders was inconclusive, neither Viñales nor

Rossi having a clear favorite. Indeed, both of

Yamaha’s riders had a great deal of difficulty

distinguishing between the two.

“Today, the main issue is to try the second

spec,” Rossi said. “We have a slightly different

engine to understand and we try backto-back,

but sincerely not a big difference

so I feel very similar. Yesterday was more

difference, compared to last year, I mean

in the race. But the engine of today is very

similar to the engine of yesterday.”

Maverick Viñales felt much the same

way, though a crash had complicated his

evaluation of the engines. “It’s very difficult,”

The Spaniard said. “Just a few laps. After the

crash I took a long time. I could not be let’s

say 100% sure which engine is better, so I

think it’s better to try in Jerez and try to be

more precise.”

“Here was difficult because the track

changed quite a lot. Especially in the last few

minutes it was very slippery. I’m just curious

to see. We didn’t try anything on the setup

and I felt there we can make a big step.”

Viñales did have a slight preference for

the engine tested on Tuesday. “I think there

is a very small difference but makes a lot in

one lap” he replied, when asked about the

differences between the two engines.

“So we need to be sure which one we

prefer. Most of the time I rode with the same

one, where I felt better on engine brake,

because I want to concentrate a lot on entry

to the corner. Because I think when we

lose grip that is where we lose. So it was

important. Today I felt strong going into the

corners.”

With the Jerez test just a week away, that

should give the factory Yamaha men another

chance to evaluate the engine a little better,

and work on the electronics to get the best

out of both specs. That should give them a

better idea of which direction to go before

testing resumes again at Sepang.

Hobson’s Choice

Suzuki also had a new engine, though as

this was Joan Mir’s first full test on a MotoGP

bike, it was left up to Alex Rins to evaluate it.

It was much more powerful, Rins said, and

significantly, more powerful throughout the rev

range. “More power everywhere,” is how Rins

described it.

“I think Suzuki did a very good job doing

this engine, because for sure today was the

first contact with the engine, but they did a

very good job, because I felt more power,

everywhere, exiting from the corner, on the

straight. Now we need to adjust this power

delivery, but for sure we are on the way.”

If there is any risk to the new, more

powerful engine, it is that the GSX-RR is a

little too aggressive for the tyres. “We need

to adjust all this power to the tyres, because

now the power delivery was too much, and it

was spinning a little bit,” Rins said.

“So if we can adjust this power to the

traction, if we can gain a little bit of traction and

everything, we will have a very competitive bike.”

New Suzuki recruit Joan

Mir ended up in 14th

place just under a second

off the fastest time.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 8 9


The danger here is that the extra power

makes the engine a little too aggressive,

leaving Suzuki with the same problem which

has plagued Yamaha all through 2018. Jerez

will be crucial for this.

Honda was more interesting still. Marc

Márquez is left to carry the brunt of the testing

work, with Cal Crutchlow absent through

injury and Jorge Lorenzo new to the bike.

The lessons of previous years, where HRC

started a year which was far too aggressive

and made the bike very difficult to ride,

means it is a burden which Márquez is happy

to bear.

Softer Front

Márquez spent time alternating between two

specs of machine, and two different specs

of engine, though the newer bike had some

chassis updates as well as a revised engine.

Márquez had a clear preference for the newer

spec machine, which was circulating without

even his number on the front.

That was better on both the engine and

chassis fronts. Márquez had been able to ride

all day using just the medium front, something

which had previously been just about

impossible with the previous RC213V.

“Looks like, step-by-step, today is the first

day that I was able to ride with the medium

front tyre that was the P compound,”

Márquez said.

“During all this season I was not able to ride

with that compound. Even if it’s true that it

was too soft for me, but to go to the hard was

too much risk and then I didn’t want to take

the risk today. But it’s positive because with

the other chassis it was impossible to ride

with this compound and today I was able to

ride all the day with the medium compound.”

Being able to use the medium front was

a relief, as it eliminated the risk of crashing,

something Márquez’s team had expressly

forbidden him from doing.

“I think we worked in a good way because

today straight away I felt really fast and really

strong, but then I stayed there on the times

because I was forbidden to crash for my

physical condition, if not, the team kill me.”

The new engine was a step forward

everywhere, proving a bit more power and

smoother delivery, Márquez said. “When you

are talking about engine is torque, but with

durability and also smoothness, all the things,

it’s not only torque, and it’s there where we

need to work because when you try a new

engine, sometimes you feel more torque but

then you need to adjust many things on the

electronics.”

Ducati continued their focus on the chassis,

and getting the bike to turn better. They met

with some success, as Andrea Dovizioso

explained. “We are focused on turning,

everybody knows,” the Italian told reporters.

“It looks like there was something

interesting. It was clear, because we put

some parts and removed, and we confirmed

the feeling. But we need to confirm this at

another track.”

Weak Front End

Aprilia faces something of an uphill struggle,

as they try to back out of the dead end that

they chased themselves into. Aleix Espargaro

had both a new chassis and a new engine,

and felt there was still much room for

improvement. “I tried a new frame and it was

not super good, it didn’t really convince me,

but I will try again in Jerez,” the Spaniard said.

“We will keep working with different

specification engine that I tried yesterday

Iannone did not look too pleased after his

debut ride for the Aprilia team. He did sport

the best livery in our view though...

Marquez on the new, new

Honda package.

and it was slightly better, so we will keep

working on this one. But, nothing else we

know exactly what areas we have to improve

on. I talked a little bit in the lunch break with

Andrea and he had similar problems to me so

this is positive.”

Iannone’s comments focused on the front

end of the bike, something where Espargaro

felt there was also room for improvement. The

Italian had also had two crashes, but he put

those down to not yet knowing the RS-GP well

enough to understand where the limit was.

Johann Zarco is also struggling with the

limit on the KTM RC16, the Frenchman clearly

pinpointing where the weakest point of his new

bike was. He had crashed twice as a result of

this shortcoming, leaving him slightly frustrated.

90 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


Not the start Zarco and KTM

would have wanted. Lots of

work to be done...

“The main problem for me is still the entry

of the corner,” Zarco said. “We are not able

to feel well the tyre when I lean the bike, and

when I’m braking. So we are working on it to

get a better feeling, to try to get some direction

and information to then maybe develop the

bike in some way. I’ve been sad today to have

two crashes, and really, this blocked me to be

faster. I would say at the moment, the easy

feeling to come into the corner.”

The problem for Zarco was that the

crashes came without warning, Zarco said.

“No, and that’s the thing. But in the position

I was, I could not have a warning and catch

it, so good thing that I just slide and it didn’t

touch my confidence. I said to the team I will

continue to attack, because I think it’s also the

right way to push to the limit at the moment.”

Brilliant Rookie Class

From the timesheets, things look pretty

close, with five different manufacturers in the

top ten, and all six inside the top thirteen,

separated by less than nine tenths. Joan

Mir was the last rider within a second of the

New Aprilia test rider

Bradley Smith.

fastest man Maverick Viñales, and Mir ended

the two day test in fourteenth.

Though outright times are not necessarily

a good guideline, there are a few preliminary

conclusions we can draw from the test, both

from looking at the times and from observing

at track side.

The Yamahas look competitive, especially

seeing Franco Morbidelli quick on his first outing

on the Petronas SRT Yamaha M1, finishing

ahead of Valentino Rossi on the factory bike. The

Ducati is really strong, and if the improvement

in turning is confirmed at Jerez, it will cement its

reputation as the best bike on the grid.

Ducati’s strength also lies in its rider line up:

Putting Jack Miller on the same bike as the

factory riders has seen the Australian make

a big step forward. But perhaps the most

impressive debut at Valencia came from Miller’s

Pramac Ducati teammate, Pecco Bagnaia

ending the test in eleventh, 0.648 behind

Maverick Viñales. Ducati snapped Bagnaia up

very early, before anyone else could get to him.

The times he set on the GP18 would appear

to justify their confidence in him.

Hafizh Syahrin

on the new Tech

3 KTM.

Joan Mir was the other revelation of the

test, the factory Suzuki rookie ending the test

in fourteenth and under a second behind

Viñales. What impressed most of all was the

speed at which Mir was adapting to riding a

MotoGP bike, his riding style visibly maturing

almost every lap. If he continues at this pace,

he could quickly compete with his teammate.

Alex Rins was also impressive in seventh

spot on the Suzuki GSX-RR, having set his

best time on the old engine. What impressed

most of all was not so much his outright lap

time, less than half a second behind Viñales.

It was above all the relative ease with which

Rins could post a string of laps in the low

1’31s. So far, the Suzuki Ecstar squad looks

like being a real threat in 2019.

An Uphill Battle

If Mir and Bagnaia had it easy, fellow rookie

Miguel Oliveira looked to have it much tougher.

Making the step up to MotoGP is tough

enough, but making it on a bike with less than

perfect front-end feel is very difficult indeed.

Oliveira will need some extra time to adapt,

and KTM will need more time to improve.

There is real room for optimism, though.

KTM now have four bikes on the grid, and

two test riders with Mika Kallio and Dani

Pedrosa. All that extra data is going to make

the task of actually making better choices for

development easier.

But KTM will have to address their biggest

weakness: throwing more and more new

parts at a problem, before fully understanding

what the strengths and weaknesses of the

stuff they already have are.

More data, more test riders, and a test rider

as fast as Dani Pedrosa should make a huge

difference. But that may take a while to filter

through.

What we do know is that 2019 looks like

it’s going to be another cracking season!

Oliviera ended the

test in 24th place

3 seconds off.

Fabio Quartararo’s first

taste of MotoGP on the new

Petronas Yamaha.

Impressive Factory Ducati

debut for Danillo Petrucci.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 9 1


A NEW ERA BEGINS

Moto 2 teams officially

rolled out on track with

the new triumph 765

engines for the first official

test held at Jerez. Joining

them was the new Moto E

electric class.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40) topped

the first day of Moto2 testing for 2019 at the

Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, but it’s reigning

Moto3 World Champion and Moto2 rookie

Jorge Martin who stole the headlines after

he crashed - and was left with a left humerus

fracture and a some broken bones in his

foot. That means he’ll be sidelined in order to

recover, with his first taste of the category cut

short for now. He did make a solid impression

before that and was inside the top 15,

however, but a 1:42.203 from Baldassarri in

the final session of the day then changed the

goalposts as the Italian beat compatriot Luca

Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) to the top.

The test signals the beginning of a new era

not only for the rookies like Martin, but also

of Triumph power - as well as some updates

in the technical regulations. And it’s off to a

good start, with Baldassarri getting within three

tenths of his 2018 pole lap at the track. Behind

him and Marini, the man in third was another

man with a good record at the track: Sam

Lowes, as he returns to the Federal Oil Gresini

Moto2 squad.

The Moto2 riders completed four sessions

throughout the day, with conditions improving

in the afternoon after overnight rain had seen

a damp start to proceedings. At the end of

Day 1, Pons HP40’s Augusto Fernandez was

fourth fastest, with Remy Gardner (SAG Team)

rounding out the top five – 0.533 off the top.

The fastest rookie was Nicolo Bulega (SKY

Racing Team VR46), the Italian setting the

seventh quickest time of the day to finish

0.566 from P1 – a great debut for the number

11 rider. Martin was next quickest rookie, in

P15, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Speed Up

Racing) P18 on the times. He was just ahead

of fellow rookie Enea Bastianini (Italtrans

Racing Team).

Elsewhere, the new MV Agusta project

by Forward Racing also made their debut

with riders Dominique Aegerter and Stefano

Manzi, who finished day 1 in 21st and 2nd

Aegerter on the new

Forward Racing MV

Agusta bike.

Not the debut

Jorge Martin

wanted.

Tom Luthi (12) makes his return to

the Moto2 class with the Dynavolt

Interact Team.

Brad Binder was patient and knows

there is still lots of work to be done.

92 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


SA rider Steven

Odendaal.

respectively. Jake Dixon’s (Angel Nieto

Team) Moto2 debut ended with the

British rider setting a quickest time

of 1:44.401, 2.198 off Baldassarri’s

benchmark, with Dixon finishing one

place ahead of Moto3 graduate

Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)

– P25 and P26 respectively for the pair

as they settle in.

SA rider Steven Odendaal finished up

in 24th place with fellow countryman Brad

Binder ending the first day in 8th place

overall and the fastest of the KTM riders

with a best time of 1;42.777 and had this

to say after the first day of testing; “Today

was a good day. It was our first time with

the new bike after the end of the season

and we rode on a completely different

track to last time. In general, I felt very

comfortable and better as the laps went

by. The team have worked very well; We

have taken steps forward over the course

of the day. I’m very happy with how

everything went overall. We have a lot of

work to do, but that’s the same for all of

the teams. There is a lot to improve, but

we have started in a positive way.”

Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46)

topped the second day of testing for

the new era of Moto2 in southern Spain

despite a crash, with the Malaysian GP

winner having just been beaten to the

honour late on Friday. His 1:41.524

put him just over two and a half tenths

clear of his nearest rival, Sam Lowes

(Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), with the

Brit once again a force to be reckoned

on his return to the Gresini squad. Alex

Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed

the top three, and was another

frontrunner who crashed.

Rain interrupted action mid-way

through the day, and in the final session

only Steven Odendaal (NTS RW

Racing), Lukas Tulovic (Kiefer Racing)

and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

went out - so the combined timings

were decided much earlier. In those

combined timings, fourth was Remy

Gardner (SAG Team) as the Australian

ended the day less than a tenth off

Marquez, with the top five completed

by Friday’s fastest, Lorenzo Baldassarri

(Pons HP 40). The Italian was close

though, just 0.044 off Gardner.

Jorge Navarro (Speed Up Racing)

began his Speed Up career in a solid

P6 in a tight top ten, with Marcel

Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and

Augusto Fernanández (Pons HP40) in

seventh and eighth respectively. Tetsuta

Nagashima (SAG Team) and Xavi Vierge

(EG 0,0 Marc VDS), changing team,

completed the top ten on Day 2.

Then came the first of the rookies:

Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46),

another who impressed despite a crash.

Bulega was also the quickest debutant

on Friday and ended Day 2 in P11 -

more solid form from the Italian as fellow

rookies Fabio Di Giannantonio (Speed

Up Racing) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans

Racing Team) took P16 and P17

respectively. Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull

KTM Tech 3) was P24, whereas reigning

Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin

(Red Bull KTM Ajo) sat on the sidelines

injured. His teammate, Brad Binder,

was P13 and fastest KTM, with Martin’s

replacement Iker Lecuona beginning his

stint just behind Bezzecchi.

Testing continued on Sunday but after

a damp start to the day, conditions then

worsened further in the middle of testing

after a midday downpour - putting paid

to any improved laptimes. That meant

Luca Marini remained quickest after his

Saturday best, followed by Sam Lowes

and Alex Marquez, but it was SA’s

Steven Odendaal (NTS RW Racing GP)

who mastered Sundays ricky conditions.

The South African put in a 1’46.704

to top the third day, getting ahead of

MV Agusta Forward Racing’s veteran

Dominique Aegerter by a couple of

tenths as the Italian marque had a good

showing in the wet on their return to

the Grand Prix paddock. It was EG 0,0

Marc VDS pairing of Alex Marquez and

Xavi Vierge who did the most laps in the

tougher conditions, however - a good

few more of the next most prolific at

the test, Xavier Cardelus (Angel Nieto

Team). Cardelus ended the day third

quickest, just ahead of rookie Fabio

Di Giannantonio (Speed Up Racing).

Dimas Ekky Pratama (Honda Team

Asia), Lukas Tulovic (Kiefer Racing) and

Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech3)

were next up, with Philipp Öttl (Red Bull

KTM Tech3), Vierge and Andrea Locatelli

(Italtrans Racing Team) completing the

top ten on Sunday.

Now it’s winter break time for the

intermediate class, with the new era

of Triumph power next firing up for an

Official Test on the 20th-22nd February

at Jerez.

Bradley Smith switches

from MotoGP to battery

power for 2019.

Preparations for the inaugural FIM Enel MotoE World Cup

have begun at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto and it was

former WorldSSP podium finisher and Moto2 rider Niki Tuuli

(Ajo Motorsport MotoE) who topped the times on Day 1 of

three, setting a quickest time of 1:51.721. Laptimes tumbled

dramatically after the first runs, and by the end of play the Finn’s

time was enough to beat 2017 European Moto2 Champion

Eric Granado (Esponsorama Racing) by 0.121, with former

Grand Prix rider Randy de Puniet (LCR E-Team) completing the

top three.

That made a pretty tight top trio after only a few sessions -

the test is shared with Moto2 - with only 0.185 splitting them.

And next up on the timesheets was Bradley Smith (One Energy

Racing), the British rider 0.618 off the top, with Alex De Angelis

(Alma Pramac Racing) then just 0.064 behind Smith in P5. The

much anticipated return of former MotoGP frontrunner Sete

Gibernau, meanwhile, saw him impressively hit the ground

running - only just over a second off the top.

Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) topped the timesheets

on day 2, with the Brit pulling over three tenths clear of second

place Niki Tuuli (Ajo Motorsport MotoE). The teams and riders

once again had three sessions of track time, although the rain

put paid to a full day out on track as it came down in the early

afternoon.

In third there was a bigger mover on Day 2 as Mike Di Meglio

(EG 0,0 Marc VDS) moved up to P3, just over a tenth off Tuuli,

with Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) another

tenth and a half in arrears in P4. Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini

MotoE) completed the top five, but a little further back.

Weather conditions didn’t make it easy on the final day, with

a damp track in the morning then getting a downpour mid-way

through the day. Given the conditions, no one was able to

better laptimes from the day before, so Bradley Smith retained

his best time in the combined standings, thanks to his 1’50.265

he put in on Saturday morning, when three-tenths separated

him from his closest rival Niki Tuuli. Mike Di Meglio and Mattia

Casadei were in third and fourth place, ahead of Matteo Ferrari.

On Sunday in the more difficult conditions, however, it was

Mike Di Meglio who took to the top. The Frenchman took

first late in the day with a 1’52.160, seeing him pull ahead of

another solid day for Smith by a little over a tenth. The Briton

therefore ended Day 2 second overall, ahead of Eric Granado

and Randy De Puniet. Josh Hook (Alma Pramac Racing) took,

ahead of fifth Lorenzo Savadori (Trentino Gresini MotoE) and

Kenny Foray (Tech3 E-Racing).

Marvin Fritz (Dynavolt Intact GP), who took over testing duty

for the team from Jesko Raffin on Saturday so that the Siss

rider could participate in the final round of FIM CEV Repsol

Moto2 European Championship, Sete Gibernau and Nico Terol

completed the top ten on Day 3.

The next MotoE Official Test will take place on the 13th, 14th

and 15th of March in Jerez - which also hosts the first ever

round of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup next season.

Nico Terol, one of

many former greats

racing in MotoE.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 93


AND THE WINNERS ARE...

Over the past three months we have run a competition where readers could win 1 of 9 Scorpion helmets, valued at R50k - by far the biggest

competition we have ever run. Well, we received thousands of entries and want to thank each and every one of you who entered.

We have selected the 9 lucky winners and feature them below. Congratulations to all! A big thanks to Henderson Racing Products for supplying

us with these amazing prizes! The new range of Scorpion helmets are now available nationwide so make sure you get down to your nearest

stockists and give one a try.

1st Place

Stein Steinhobel

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO2000

AIR WORTH R7550

2nd Place

Mogamad Abrahams

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO2000

AIR WORTH R7550

3rd Place

Johan Greyling

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO1400

AIR carbon WORTH R7550

4th Place

Thato Amiri Matoase

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO2000

AIR WORTH R7550

5th Place

Brent Gehlig

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO710

AIR WORTH R4450

6th Place

Jochen Heathcote

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO510

AIR WORTH R4950

7th Place

John Vinjevold

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO490

WORTH R3150

8th Place

Willem Vd Merwe

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO490

WORTH R3150

9th Place

Rayner Oliver

WINS A BRAND NEW EXO390

AIR WORTH R2350

THIS COMPETITION WAS PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY


LONG TERM

TEST BIKE HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701

Words by Rob Portman

ME & MY VITPILEN

Ok, that heading does sound strange but

what does not is Husqvarna SA giving me

a brand new Vitpilen 701 to use for the next

6 months. The plan is to not only show off

how good the bike is as a everyday urban

street rider, but also the fun you can have with

transforming the bike.

The new Vitpilen 701 is a seriously good

looking bike in my view. It’s artistic flair shines

through at every angle and the details are what

really help sell the bike. Wherever you look there

are splashes of creative and decorative touches

that blend in perfectly to the bikes modern

aesthetic look and feel.

So, what more can be done and why

would one want to change the look and feel

of this already imaginative creation? Well, only

once you’ve had a glance through the official

Husqvarna Powerparts catalogue do you feel the

need to upgrade and add some extra flair to the

701. Everything from bolt on retro mirrors to new

body panels are available and our plan is to order

one of everything that is available in the catalogue

and charge it to the Husqvarna SA marketing

account of course.

I collected the Vitpilen 701 from Husqvarna

SA’s head office in Kyalami with not 1km on the

clock, so my first duty is to put some mileage

on. I have managed to have a couple of rides on

the bike, nothing major though, just short sprints

from my house in Boksburg to the Family Fitness

Gym in Kempton Park. It’s around a 27km

complete trip and I can happily say that riding

their and back on the 701 is the most fun I’ve

had on that commute.

Really excited about spending some more

time on this bike and transforming it over the next

6 months - it’s going to be loads of fun!

96 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018


ANOTHER GLORIOUS SEASON

WORLD

CHAMPIONSHIPS

2018

HOLCOMBE x2

FONTANESI

MARTIN

CARRASCO

BRISTOW

BOU x2

REMES

ONCU

PUSHING BRAKES

TO THE LIMIT!

Brake pads are fundamental elements in any brake system because they are directly responsible

for transmitting the power of the caliper to the brake disc so that it can overpower the brake pads

without strain. Galfer has developed specifics compounds for each use and motorcycle model

looking to offer the top performances in all type of riding and for all the profiles and needs of users.

FEATURES: • Powerful, progressive & modular brake • Low wear rate and minimum noise

• Maximum resistance to the fade effect

• Efficiency in wet conditions • No wear on brake disc

WIDE RANGE OF WAVE

DISCS FOR ROAD & TRACK

SEMI METAL COMPOUND (G1054) G1370-71 SINTERED ROAD COMPOUND SINTERED SPORT COMPOUND (G1375)

This compound embodies the past, present and

future of semi-metallic production at GALFER.

It has been manufactured for years with minor

improvements, and it’s still used today in several

OE plants. The G1054 has an excellent coefficient

of friction and low wear, offering progressive and

effective braking. All these features make the

compound suitable for all kinds of motorcycle.

Designed for road bike customers,

G1370/71 is GALFER’s OE product

replacement. G1370/71 guarantees

safe braking and is able to stand high

temperatures without fade. Performance is

not effected by adverse weather conditions.

Combines safe and progressive braking

with a competitive price.

An upgrade of G1370 designed to satisfy

the most demanding customers who,

besides the usual urban use, have a taste

for sport riding. This compound has a

high coefficient of friction and ensures

excellent per-formance even at high

temperatures. G1375 offers adjustable

and safe braking under all conditions.

Trade Enquiries: (011) 672-6599

Email: mark@trickbitz.co.za

Enquire at your local dealer

Office Hours Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

www.trickbitz.co.za


K161747

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