DECEMBER 2018 RSA R35.00 DECEMBER 2018
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behind the scenes look
at MotoGP with Michelin
Jorge Lorenzo swings his leg over new
Honda for the first time and rookies make their
debuts as 2019 MotoGP testing begins.
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
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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
BIKE MPUMALANGA CITY 013 244 2143
BIKE CITY 013 244 2143
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
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 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
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
NEVES MOTORCYCLE WORLD CC
021 930 5917
SALLEYS FREESTATE YAMAHA 051 430 3326
SALLEYS YAMAHA 051 430 3326
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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
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!
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 5
D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8
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
SMALL BIKES TEST
HUSQVARNA 401 & FBMONDIAL
BRIDGESTONE R11 TYRES
2019 TESTING AT VALENCIA
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
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
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
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
• Newly developed suspension featuring Flex
Frame, with the engine taking on more of a loadbearing
• Significantly improved ergonomics due to Flex
• 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Yamaha Tracer 900 GT
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
“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
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
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
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;
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@
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
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
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
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
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
Fenati to make
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
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
Buy any H+ Rated MICHELIN
Motorcycle tyre combo set and
receive a complimentary GPS
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.
Brought to you by
Scott Redding criticises MotoGP
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
“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
“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
for 2019 season
Both Moto2 and Moto3 will
use a MotoGP-style two-part
qualifi cation system from the
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
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
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
“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
Cortese in new
As expected, the GRT Yamaha squad
is moving out of the World Supersport
Championship, and into the World
Superbike Championship for the 2019
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
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
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
40 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018
THE KING OF SPORTBIKES
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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SO YOU THINK YOU CAN
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
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
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
S M T W T F S
1 January 2 3 4 5
13 14 15
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
: 6 : 14 : 21 : 27
S M T W T F S
February 1 2
10 11 12 13 14 15
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28
: 4 : 13 : 19 : 26
S M T W T F S
March 1 2
10 11 12 13 14 15
18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
: 6 : 14 : 21 : 28
: 6 : 14 : 21 : 27
S M T W T F S
1 2 April 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30
: 5 : 12 : 19 : 27
: 4 : 13 : 19 : 26
S M T W T F S
May 1 2 3 4
12 13 14 15
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
: 5 : 12 : 18 : 26
: 6 : 14 : 21 : 28
S M T W T F S
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
: 3 : 10 : 17 : 25
: 5 : 12 : 19 : 27
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
: 5 : 12 : 18 : 26
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
1 2 3
: 3 : 10 : 17 : 25
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
: 2 : 9 : 16 : 25
28 29 30 31
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
: 1 : 7 : 15 : 23 : 30
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
: 2 : 9 : 16 : 25
S M T W T F S
1 October 2 3 4 5
13 14 15
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
: 5 : 13 : 21 : 28
27 28 29 30 31
: 1 : 7 : 15 : 23 : 30
S M T W T F S
November 1 2
10 11 12 13 14 15
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
: 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
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
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
17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
: 6 : 14 : 22 : 28
: 6 : 14 : 22 : 28
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
18 19 20 21
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
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.
Price: Starts at R17 999 From: Compact Trailers - 082 552 6612
SERIES 200 SCREW DRIVER SET
Felo’s 7-piece shock proof screw driver set has the specially manufactured
ergonomically refined designed handle made from the shock-proof polypropylene.
They are GS tested for safety with superior torque which exceeds DIN and ISO
requirements by up to 100% and the EAN code which is on every Felo product.
The comfortable anti-roll handle design is unique to the Felo screw driver range, their
blades are manufactured from chrome-molybdenum-vanadium steel with the black
tip Felo trade mark for the precision fit.
All the screw drivers include the handy hanging hole for easy storage and inserting a
lever if required. The FEL20097398, 7-piece set comes with 4 flat end size units, 1 PZ
unit and 2 PH units.
Price: R650 From: Vermont Sales - 011 314 7711
LOW BED DOUBLE BIKE FOLD UP TRAILER
BY RAD MOTO
Ladies, no more soap on a rope and men, no more cheap, fake jewelry. RAD
Moto has the perfect gift for all you motorcycle lovers out there, especially
you die-hard orange brand lovers. They have the widest range of official KTM
Powerwear and Powerparts stock in the country, so now you have no excuse
for getting your loved one a crappy gift.
Look like a factory KTM rider with the official Team flat cap for only R660,
or ladies how about this, an official KTM purse for only R1665. And for you
men who like to get your hands dirty in the garage or out on a ride then the
official 38 and piece (R998.52) and 60 piece (R2299) Powerparts tool kits are
perfect for you. Visit RAD Moto for these and plenty of other great gift ideas
this festive season.
From: RAD Moto - 011 234 5007 / firstname.lastname@example.org
54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018
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 - email@example.com
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
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
MICHELIN MOTOGP TRIP
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
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...
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Groenfontein / Dryden Turn Off
N12 Zonderfout Farm
Portion 5 Delmas 2210
4 KM OF TYRE FRIENDLY TAR, 5 STRAIGHTS, 13 CORNERS, 100% EXCITEMENT!!!
R550 Wednesday & Friday
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BIKE, GEAR & LUNCH
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
WENLEY’S TRIUMPH ROCKET III CAFE RACER
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
But￼now￼Sydney-based￼builder Wenley￼Andrews has￼worked￼
his cafe￼racer magic￼on￼a￼2006￼Rocket￼III￼and￼given￼it￼the￼
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
FB Mondial 250 Hipster: R69999.00
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018 77
TESTING RUBBER: 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
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
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.
• Riders who mostly enjoy sports riding
• Riders of supersports motorcycles who want a
combination of performance in the wet and long life
• Riders who are thinking of starting riding on the
T31 Sport Touring
A significant improvements
in wet performance leads to a
feeling of safety.
The ideal sports touring radial, able to cope with a
wide variety of riding conditions.
Provides confidence in riding even in adverse
conditions such as rain or changing road surfaces.
The wet performance of the SPORT TOURING T31
has been greatly improved. In particular, shorter
braking distances on wet road surfaces and
enhanced cornering grip give the rider increased
confidence. Naturally, the tyre also offers handling
accuracy and high-speed stability on dry road
surfaces. The ideal sports radial, capable of coping
with the wide range of conditions that confront
riders over a variety of road surfaces.
• Riders who enjoy riding on winding road with a
• Riders who enjoy riding a super sports bike with
• Riders who want high performance in wet
• Riders who want to ride safely even when caught
in unexpected rainfall
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.
• 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
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
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
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
“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
“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 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 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
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
“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
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.”
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
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
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.”
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
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
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.
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
“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
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.
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
“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
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,”
“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
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
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
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
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.
on the new Tech
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Not the debut
Tom Luthi (12) makes his return to
the Moto2 class with the Dynavolt
Brad Binder was patient and knows
there is still lots of work to be done.
92 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2018
SA rider Steven
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
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
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
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.
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO2000
AIR WORTH R7550
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO2000
AIR WORTH R7550
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO1400
AIR carbon WORTH R7550
Thato Amiri Matoase
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO2000
AIR WORTH R7550
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO710
AIR WORTH R4450
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO510
AIR WORTH R4950
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO490
Willem Vd Merwe
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO490
WINS A BRAND NEW EXO390
AIR WORTH R2350
THIS COMPETITION WAS PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY
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
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