RideFast February 2019


South Africa's best motorcycle magazine

FEBRUARY 2019 RSA R35.00


9 772075 405004












Rob Portman


082 782 8240



Sean Hendley



071 684 4546





011 979 5035


Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

Greg Moloney

Daniella Kerby

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publication may be reproduced,

distributed, or transmitted in any

form or by any means, including

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methods, without the prior written

permission of the publisher.

Time waits for no man – how true that statement is as we

are already in February and things are moving along very

quickly. I remember laughing and moaning at my Mother

when I was younger and she used to say “there is just

not enough time in a day”. How could she possibly say

that? I used to think. Time went by a lot slower when I

was younger that’s for sure, as now I fi nd myself saying

that statement more often than not.

While it has been a very fast start to 2019, our cover

story this month is from a test I did at the end of 2018

out at Kyalami. Two very exclusive and seductive bikes

tested at the SA Biking Academy track day. Big thanks

to Clinton Pienaar for hosting us and what was a great

event. This was my third time testing the new R1.3m

BMW HP4 Race and it was again mind blowing. A bit

more than the previous outing as the new Kyalami layout

was the perfect playground for the 215hp plus beast.

Really got to stretch the legs of the Bavarian beast and it

thrilled me every second!

The other bike is another work-of-art - A Honda

CBR1000RR SP custom painted right here in SA in Ten

Kate Red Bull Honda WSBK colours. It’s a tribute bike to

the late, great Nicky Hayden and what a machine it is!

Staying with the famous #69 rider and it brought tears

to my eyes when I got the offi cial press release from

MotoGP media stating that the number 69 would

be retired from MotoGP in honour of the great 2006

MotoGP World Champion. Nice touch from Dorna and

one I think the world over would agree with.

Speaking of MotoGP and I’m sure just like you I am

itching for the new season to start. Ducati and Honda

have unveiled their teams and colours for the upcoming

season, with the likes of Yamaha and KTM to do so in

the coming weeks so keep a look out on our Facebook

page. We touch on the new Ducati and Honda teams

in our Paddock News section of this issue. Sad to see

that Lorenzo has injured his hand and won’t be able to

take part in the upcoming Sepang test. He had great

momentum after the last test where he really impressed

and looked good on the Honda. This will for sure set him

back a bit, but let’s hope that he will recover fully and can

be a big thorn in the side of his team-mate this season.

I think it’s going to be another cracking season with so

many questions that need answering; can Lorenzo beat

Marquez and challenge for the title? How will the pair get

along in the pits? Can Rossi fi nally get number 10? Does

Dovi have what it takes to win the title? All very exciting!

Over the past month I have spent some time with

Brad Binder and it has been great. He helped us test

KTM’s new 790 Duke in this issue and I managed to

hang out with him and some others while training on

MX bikes. Always great seeing and catching up with

Brad and Daz, who are both excited and keen to get

the new season going. Big challenges ahead for both

of them with Brad having to develop the new Triumph

powered Moto2 bike and Darryn fi tting into a new team.

No doubt both boys are going to shine and we will be

behind them all the way as usual!

The World SBK boys have been out on track and we

feature the fi rst test of the 2019 season in this issue.

Great to see BMW back with a full factory effort. Tom

Sykes is their leading man and it was the fi rst time the

world got to see the new bikes in action. No doubt they

have plenty of work to do but both riders seem to be

positive about the new bike. Sykes and the new BMW

S1000RR look to be really competitive already. I think

the new BMW is going to do well this year and it will be

great seeing the Bavarian brand up there once more

challenging the Kawasaki’s and Ducati’s. Sykes is going

to thrive being the main focus in the team. He was always

at his best when all the focus was on him and he was

the number 1 rider. He suffered once Rea came into the

Kawasaki team, but now with the BMW team he is very

much number 1 and needs to make that count..

Johnny Rea is still the man to beat but it does seem as if

the others have steeped things up a bit. The Yamaha boys

look to have solved some problems while Ducati, with their

new V4R machine, look ready to attack. While the times

seem very close from the test we can’t forget that Rea

does not beat the guys over one lap, but rather over the

entire 25 plus lap races. He is just able to set his bike up

perfectly to handle the long races compared to the others.

That’s his biggest advantage and the other riders and

teams have to work on that rather than out right pace.

The introduction of a 3rd heat over race weekends is

certainly going to be interesting. It will be a shorter sprint

race and I think that will bring plenty more riders into

the mix. Guys like Sykes and Lowes will have a much

better chance at beating Rea. These guys seem to have

great pace on new tyres and at the start of races, but

fade away due to tyre wear. This shorter sprint race will

eliminate that somewhat and I think will make things a

bit more interesting. Put it this way, things couldn’t get

any more boring so why not try something else. My only

complaint about the 3rd race and the races being split

over Saturday and Sunday is that me, as a race fan,

now has to try and explain to the family that I need an

entire weekend to watch the racing. I will rather miss the

racing than deal with an unhappy wife…

Apart from all the racing news and articles we have

some great other features packed into this issue. One

I really enjoyed is the how riding a bike is good for you.

We have a saying here at RF; “Ride more, Stress less”

and we prove that it’s actually scientifi cally proven that

riding more will not only help with stress but also with

fi tness. Great read and one I am sure you will all enjoy

along with all the other great stuff we have featured.

Now please, go and enjoy!


F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9



We test two very exclusive machines around Kyalami.



























Photo: Gerrit Erasmus




2016 Moto3 World Champion and SA Star, Brad Binder, gives his stamp of approval on

the new KTM 790 Duke - “The motor really surprised me with the amount of power on

hand. It was brutally beautiful and had me wanting more. I did not want to let it go...”

the Factory Ajo Red Bull Moto2 rider said after testing the bike at Redstar Raceway.

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.

New Honda Fireblade might feature V-TEC.

Variable Valve Timing is getting more and more popular

Honda is up to something very ingenious

for its next superbike. After squeezing

all the juice from the CBR1000RR

engine launched back in 2008 Honda is

considering the V-TEC technology for

their litre missiles to come. The company’s

latest patent features a complex solution

that uses VVT technology in a way that

we’ve haven’t seen before.

The patent combines a bit of everything

we’ve seen regarding the VVT technology

in the motorcycle world in an original Honda

way. Forget about the old V-TEC, this time

the system is a lot more complicated than the

simple valve that the Japanese manufacturer

came up with back in 1980. The patent

features a Da Vinci like engineering that uses

eight sets of cams for each cylinder.

It will be easier to understand if you check the

image above where the system is presented

for a single cylinder. The cam lobes are now

double for each valve and they are stacked

together on a grooved shaft. This way the set

of four valves can move left or right in order to

satisfy the VVT action.

We’ve already seen something similar from

BMW that developed the shift cam system

that is only related to the intake camshaft and

uses an electronically controlled actuator to

make things happen. The Honda VVT system

is a bit different because it uses the system for

both the intake and exhaust valves.

The stacks of valves feature a channel at the

very begging of each set of camshafts were

the actuator is positioned. We are not sure if

Honda will use eight actuators or if there will

be only two connected to every camshaft

through a set of rods but a thing is for sure

this is one of the most complex systems

we’ve seen so far.

The VVT system proved to be a very good

solution in the motorcycle world. Is not

something new but it defi nitely changes the

way the engine responds and it increases

the power delivery. Ducati used it for its

Multistrada, Suzuki patented a very original

and all-mechanical system that powers

their GSX-R1000 and now BMW uses it for

their superbike and for their famous boxer

as an upgrade.

The magic behind the system is that it will

help increase the mid-range power delivery

and help the engine reach higher rpm at the

same time. Every way you look at it this is the

answer for the in-line-four-cylinder superbikes

to produce more low and mid-range torque.

Honda kinda lost this battle so we keep our

fi ngers crossed and hope this system will

make to production.



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BMW sales still on the up.

BMW Motorrad sets eighth record year of motorcycle sales.

BMW Motorrad has released its yearly

figures for 2018, and the report is mostly

positive. Sales worldwide were up a very

modest 0.9% for the year (165,566 in total

unit sales), and this does mean that 2018

was the German company’s eighth year in

row of growth.

The GS continues to be king for BMW,

with 51,000 of the GS and GS Adventure

variants of the R1200 and R1250

motorcycles sold in 2018.

This is a new record for BMW Motorrad,

and the company saw an impressive 84,500

R-series motorcycles sold in 2018. BMW

says that the R nineT family played a strong

role in helping achieve such a large sales

figure of the R-series of its motorcycles.

The K-series showed strong growth for

2018, with the K1600 Grand America

helping push the six-cylinder lineup to a

25% sales increase, with 8,306 units sold.

The tourer did especially well in the US

market (for which it was designed), and

BMW plans to create more motorcycles

that have a particular focus on the needs for

the American rider.

For its sport bike lineup, BMW Motorrad

reports that 18,773 units of its S1000RR,

S1000R, and S1000XR models were sold


BMW Motorrad’s largest markets continue to

be in Europe, with Germany (-11% / 23,824

units), France (0% / 16,615 units), Italy (-2%

/ 14,110 units), and Spain (0% / 11,124

units) leading the charge. Also, the UK sold a

respectable 9,224 units.

The growth centers for the brand though

were China (+35% / 7,561 units) and Brazil

(+11% / 7,361 units), with India showing

strong sales as well with 2,187 units sold

in 2018.

SA still boasts a very positive market,

with total sales of 2,119 being recorded,

although it was down slightly from 2017’s

2,253 bikes sold.

Per segment in 2018:

Adventure – 1.439

Urban mobility – 11

Sport – 195

Roadster – 57

Tour – 319

Heritage – 98

Here in SA the entyre market in the above

500cc segment was down by 26% in 2018.

While BMW Motorrad’s sales declined by

29%, it retained 33.1% of the South African

market share, which was more than double

the share enjoyed by its closest rival.

Looking ahead to 2019, BMW Motorrad

expects strong results from its revamped

R-series lineup with their ShiftCam motors,

as well as its new S1000RR superbike,

which will race in WorldSBK this season

and is a fan favourite here in SA according

to previous generation sales.

The company hopes to sell 200,000 units

or more in the 2020 model year, though

that figure seems optimistic considering the

current sales growth pace, and the forecast

for the world economy, but time will tell.

MV Agusta back in SA!

The Fire It Up! Team are pleased to

announce that they have been appointed

as The Official Importer for MV Agusta

Motor​brand in South Africa! From

February 2019 Fire it Up! will be up and

running as far as parts and repairs are

concerned, which will be carried out at

their Performance Technic Kyalami Facility.

They will be appointing an approved

service agent and there is a possibility of a

retail store later this year in Cape Town and

KZN. JHB Sales will be headed up by MV

Agusta Specialist Berto Santos​.

All new MV bikes sold will come with a free

3 year warranty - now that’s impressive!

This is great news and there could be no

better establishment to run the MV brand.

Craig Langton and his team have been with

the MV brand before and no one is more

passionate and knowledgeable on the

brand. We look forward to seeing the Italian

master-pieces back in SA after almost a

year with nothing. Very exciting models like

the most powerful production naked bike

ever produced, the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro

and the ultra gorgeous Superveloce 800.

For more info, contact Berto on 011 467

0737 or visit their stunning dealership at

Shop No 3 , Showrooms on Leslie, Corner

of William Nicol and Leslie Drive Fourways.





Discover more: 011 437-4699

KTM 790 RC - Where are you?

Why, oh why has KTM not yet released a fully-faired version of their 790 Duke?

KTM’s 790 platform is a marvelous thing

and even a Moto3 world champion agrees

with that statment in an exclusive test later

in this issue. It brought us the potent KTM

790 Duke sport bike, and this year sees

the arrival of the hotly anticipated KTM 790

Adventure R dual-sport.

Compact, powerful, and affordable – those

are the three words that best describe what

the Austrian motorcycle house has created,

and we knew from the get-go that the 790

platform was destined to bring us several

motorcycle models.

Now, the time has come to ask where is our

KTM RC790?

The omission seems like an obvious one from

the “Ready to Race” brand, which has built its

street bike lineup on top of an uncompromising

performance-focused ideology.

It is curious then that KTM has nothing in

the supersport or superbike categories, and

now that the Austrians have an obvious

contender for the supertwin segment, we

are left wondering.

We aren’t the only ones asking this

question, however. The graphic at the top of

this story comes from Indian Autos Blog, as

they imagine what a fully faired KTM RC790

could look like.

That image has spurred an unofficial

response from KTM, with the company’s

Luke Brackenbury (PR Manager for Street)

tweeting the concept image, with the simple

question “Should we?”

The question isn’t as simple as it seems,

however. While middleweight sport bikes

like an RC790 could be the answer for a fun

canyon carving machine, the pedigree is a

little bit tougher.

First up, there is the awkward 799cc

displacement, which keeps the 790 platform

from slotting neatly into existing racing


We have seen supertwins finding a life

on the race track (most prominently at

the Isle of Man TT, but also most recently

in the MotoAmerica paddock), but that

displacement size has hovered around

650cc, not 800cc.

This is the same problem that plagues the

intriguing Kramer GP2 prototype, which also

uses KTM’s 790 motor.

A dedicated race bike, the new Kramer will

most likely have to compete with supersport

machines when it debuts next year, which is

a tall order from a machine that makes 103hp

in stock KTM form.

Now, we have heard much greater

performance figures coming from the

Kramer camp, with the KTM engine

showing great horsepower-making potential,

but when you consider the state of the

current supersport market, and the costs

that are associated with them, it is a tough

decision to ask a two-wheeled enthusiast.

KTM is surely keeping an eye on Kramer’s

progress, likely letting the German company

be the canary in the cage for what comes

out of Mattighofen, Austria.

If that sounds like doom and gloom, don’t

worry too much. There are plenty of reasons

why the KTM RC790 makes sense as well.

For one example, take a look at the Suzuki

GSX-R750, which has long been sold as

the perfect track bike for closed-course

enthusiasts. Barely heavier than the GSX-R600,

and with gobs more torque, the Suzuki

GSX-R750 has carved out a class all for itself.

The same can be said of the MV Agusta F3

800, Ducati 959 Panigale, and others. Look

at the fervor around the idea of a Triumph

Daytona 765, or more recently the Aprilia

RS660 concept, for instance.

There is the argument to be made that

the sport bike market is dead, but as we

have seen with the KTM 790 Duke, what

the market really needed was a rethink.

An affordable offering like the KTM RC790

could be what it takes to get riders excited

about these approachable performance


For bonus points, the Austrian brand has

proven that it can deliver a robust package

(cornering ABS, TFT dash, up/down

quickshifter, and IMU-powered traction

control) for the bargain basement price of

R149 999.

For R170 000 MSRP, we could see the

KTM RC790 doing well in the SA market,

especially since it offers so much more than

what the status quo has available.

To answer Mr. Brackenbury’s earlier

question of “should we?” on Twitter, we

would respond with a question of our own:

Why haven’t you already?


Reviving the Classic Car and

Bike Scene in Mauritius

The pleasure of riding a classic motorbike,

or driving a vintage car, is made even more

intense when you’re travelling through

beautiful scenery. Mauritian riders and drivers

get to enjoy both palm-fringed beaches and

the island’s mountainous interior, as well as

the gorgeous climate.

Whereas previously there were relatively

few classic vehicles on Mauritius, the

government’s recent decision to waive import

duty on vehicles over 40 years old has seen

a huge upsurge in interest among the island’s


One company that is riding the wave of this

passion is Revival Customs & Classics. In less

than a year, they have established themselves

as one of the foundations of the local

classic and vintage scene, and their custom

modifications, restorations and imported cars

and motorbikes are in great demand.

Revival Custom & Classics’ roots can be

traced back many years, to co-owner Paul

Wren’s global travels. At every place he

stopped, he’d involve himself in businesses

where quality, style and craftsmanship

featured heavily.

Paul’s sole criterion throughout his career was

that he must always do what he loved, and

his passion for motorcycles in particular lead

him to run a Harley Davidson dealership from

his Mauritian home. This was so successful

that by 2010 he was asked to establish

Harley-Davidson Mauritius, a business he ran

successfully until he sold his shares in 2016.

If you’ve ever ridden a Harley, then you’ll know

that it’s impossible to be anything other than a

Harley rider for life. It was in fact what turned

out to be a happy accident that got Paul into

the restorations business: in 2008, he was

knocked off his Harley Softail Fat Boy.

Fortunately, Paul escaped serious injuries,

although his bike was less lucky. It became

Paul’s first rebuild project, and laid the

foundation for his commitment to accuracy and

authenticity, plus customer service and safety.

The Fat Boy was sold to a local doctor, and will

be returning to Paul’s workshop in December

for an extensive set of custom modifications.

From his earliest days in the furniture trade,

Paul has always been a builder and a creator.

Since moving permanently to Mauritius, he’s

forged a firm friendship (and built a solid

business relationship) with Julien Schmitt,

now Technical Director and equal partner

in Revival Customs & Classics. Julien is

a master motorcycle technician, and his

technical skills perfectly complement Paul’s

flair for building things from scratch.

When it comes to two-wheelers, Mauritius’

biker community is still in its early days and

Paul is determined both to build a collective

of like-minded riders and to protect his riding

friends from the negative associations that

sometimes get attached to riders.

From ride-outs with friends to becoming

an official Harley Owners Group (HOG)

Chapter with over 80 members, the local

riding community has grown exponentially. In

keeping with his informal, no rules approach,

Paul regularly organises rides that – in case

any more incentive is needed – nearly always

end up at a beach BBQ set-up.


The next of these ride-outs will take

place on December 2nd, and will end

at the Parc de Mont Choisy Golf Club

where Revival Customs & Classics will

be showing some of their latest custom

builds and Classic Cars. Participants will

get the chance to vote for their favourite

machine, with prizes for the owners.

Revival Customs & Classics sees their

role as being to support and encourage

Mauritius’ nascent custom build and

Classic Car community. Owners have the

opportunity to participate in the servicing

and maintenance of their machines, and

customers can visit the workshops as freely

as they can the showroom. This helps add

to the knowledge base on the island, and is

part of Revival Customs’ inclusive approach

to business and community.

The company has also made itself

indispensable through the additional

services it offers, including their Car Finder

and American Muscle Car programmes.

Both of these involve close collaboration

with specialist dealers in Britain and the

USA, and Revival Customs & Classics

have built up considerable expertise in

permit applications, shipping and fi nal

clearance and registration.

While many of the custom builds that

Revival Customs & Classics have

completed to date have been based

on Harleys, they are much more than a

single-brand workshop. The team have

also done some great work on Honda,

KTM and Yamaha motorcycles, including

both cosmetic styling changes and

tuning work. Currently, Revival Customs

& Classics are actively looking to create

a Sixties-style Café Racer from an older

Japanese or British motorcycle.

In everything they do, Revival Customs

& Classics know they can rely on Motul

lubricants, cleaners and coolants. Motul’s

long history mean that they have an

instinctive understanding of the needs of

older engines and gearboxes (including

those that don’t do so well on modern,

synthetic lubricants).

Mauritius’s tropical, island climate presents

unusual challenges, not to mention

the differing needs of older cars and

motorbikes. Despite this, Paul and Julien

have nothing but praise for Motul products.

“Motul is a proud part of motoring heritage

in many countries, and we’re delighted

to help vintage car and bike owners in

Mauritius continue enjoying the roads

of their beautiful island,” stated Mercia

Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern

and Eastern Africa. “As a supplier of

quality oils and lubricants to Revival

Customs & Classics through our local

importer, CFAO Motors, Motul is proud to

contribute to the creation of a community

of motoring enthusiasts in Mauritius.”

“We’re happy for people to visit and see

what we’re working on, our garage is part

of our showroom and gives us the great

opportunity to engage with our clients

while we work on their bikes, they’re

also welcome to turn a wrench with us

if they want to know more about how

their bike works,” says Wren who shares

more information about a current project

they are busy with. “Currently we’re

busy with a 300mm rear tyre conversion

on a Harley-Davidson Rocker C. This

build will include specially commissioned

CNC machined wheels, cut from solid

billets of high-grade aluminium and the

perfect example of Revival Customs &

Classics’ commitment to innovation and

engineering excellence.”

To learn more about current Revival

Customs & Classics’ builds and projects,

and how Motul products are contributing

to this innovative company’s success,

please visit their Facebook page: https://







Cnr. Breed & Taaifontein Road,

Montana, Pretoria.

Tel. 012 548 0040/45

Grant Scott 082 706 0070


GPS - S25’ 40.724’

E 028’ 16.326’

Harley-Davidson Livewire.

More specs on the new Livewire electric bike and two wacky e-bike concepts.

Harley-Davidson has fronted up at CES in

Las Vegas with partial specifi cations and

a horrifi c pricetag to stick on its Livewire

electric motorcycle. But that’s not all. The

company has also fl oated a couple of weird,

funky two wheelers that live somewhere

between the motorcycle and e-bike worlds.

The specs are in for the bike Harley

hopes will open up a new market among

millennials. The fi rst electric Harley will go

0-98 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and

have a range around 177 km of urban

riding. It’ll have cornering ABS and lean

angle-sensitive traction control, as well as

fully-adjustable Showa suspension and

a 4.3-inch colour touchscreen with builtin

navigation. And it’ll cost a blistering

US$29,799 (around R470k).

We expect high prices on electrics at the

moment with batteries still a brutal up-front

cost. And we’re used to high prices from

Harley, too, but close on 500 grand is a

heck of an ask for any motorcycle – it’s

more than Ducati wants for its Panigale V4

S, for example. And while there’s little to

pay for fuel or servicing once you own it,

the Livewire will continue dipping into your

pocket with a yearly subscription fee to its

H-D Connect service.

H-D Connect is a cloud-based service that

hooks your bike up to the net via cellular

As cool as it is we don’t see

the new Livewire making

its way into the SA market.

With a massive price tag and

our useless power supplier

there is just no point. But we

are sure that if you ask your

HD dealer nicely and pay a

big deposit they might just

bring one in for you.

data services. It lets you check what the

charge status is like (the bike should charge

within about 35 minutes on a Level 3 DC

fast charge through CCS Combo/J1772

charging), plus locate it via GPS if it’s stolen,

and gives you service warnings. The fi rst


year is free, after that you need to pay

an unspecifi ed annual subscription.

This ain’t millennial-friendly pricing, folks.

This is Harley trying to be the Tesla of

motorcycles, offering a good-looking,

premium, high-performance electric

early in the game. Unfortunately, though,

while the Livewire rocks a very tasty

digital dash and what seems to be a fairly

torquey powertrain (no power or torque

fi gures are forthcoming), there’s little here

that pushes the game forward the way

Tesla has. People seem willing to throw

down to drive around in something truly

game-changing, and Tesla has arguably

made the most exciting and forwardthinking

vehicles of the last decade.

Whether the Livewire will carry such a

halo remains to be seen. It’s certainly a

great looking bike. But if you want your

all-American electric motorcycle to wear

a real trailblazer’s badge, you’re probably

already rocking a much cheaper, quicker

and longer-range Zero SR or Lighting

LS-218 – these two companies have

been fi ghting the zero-emissions fi ght for

many years now out on the West Coast.

Harley’s other CES concept: a mini

electric moped for urban riding

Harley also used CES to launch a couple

of concepts that point toward lighter,

smaller, cheaper urban and off-road

bikes. The fi rst is a mini-moped monkey

bike with a fl at bench seat, high bars

and a hollow LED ring headlight. It’s got

skateboard-style footboards, and a lowslung

battery/motor box with a belt drive

back to the slim rear tyre, and sports

that sleek, retro-futuristic look that’s so

rampant these days. It’s the kind of ultrasimple,

friendly, twist-and-go machine

that new riders and non-riders might just

fi nd hard to resist at the right price.

The other is a sharp looking electric

offroader that looks like a premium

version of something like the Sur-Ron

Light Bee. Its chunky dirtbike tyres are

no bigger than something you’d see on

a fat bike, it runs a compact mid drive

motor with a belt to the rear wheel, a

small battery pack, a lightweight dual

suspension frame and a razor-thin seat

unit that riffs on fl at track style. The Light

Bee gives a fun trail riding experience

with just 6 kW (8 hp) of power and

around 2 kWh of battery, and the Harley

concept looks around the same physical

size so we’d expect similar performance

fi gures. We certainly wouldn’t expect

the Harley to launch for less than US$3

grand though, which is the kind of price

you can get the Light Bee for if you go

direct from China.

Metzeler’s new Cruisetec tyre

The tyre for power cruisers, customs and tourers, delivers improved handling on both older

and modern machines, giving great grip also in wet conditions and class leading stability

Metzeler SA has launched the new

Cruisetec tyre, a higher-performance option

for V-twin riders than its Marathon rubber

currently available. The Cruisetec aims to

improve handling and road feel on new

and old machines, and is chock-full of new

design features to make that happen.

Designers started from the ground up,

developing a new dual compound for the

Cruisetec to specifi cally address the needs

of V-twin motorcycles. This compound

provides better cornering feel, improved

braking and stability, and better wetweather

performance. A revised tread

pattern also complements the Cruisetec’s

wet-weather chops.

Ultimately, this is Metzeler’s attempt to

make the riding experience more enjoyable

all around for V-twin riders. Lines will

be easier to hold through the corners,

transitions will be more smooth, and tyre

life is promised to be long and performance

to be consistent throughout the usable

life of the Cruisetec. Metzeler also asserts

it designed the rubber to optimize

performance in situations where electronic

rider aids will come into play, things like

ABS, traction control, and the like.

The Cruisetec sits at the top of Metzeler’s

cruiser and touring line now in terms of

performance. Metzeler will offer a broad

range of sizes for the Cruisetec when it

comes to market January 2019. That

includes sizes for 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21-

inch front wheels and 16, 17, and 18-inch

rear wheels.

The new rubber is set to arrive in SA late

Feb early March, with pricing also set to be

announced on arrival.


Rocket Power!

2019 Triumph Rocket TFC - The power

cruiser world is about to be rocked.

More than a month ago news broke of

Triumph’s plans for a revival of the Rocket

III and now the bike has been offi cially

confi rmed as a headliner for the fi rm’s new

‘Triumph Factory Customs’ range.

It was shown this evening alongside the

Thruxton TFC, a range-topping Bonneville

derivative dripping in carbon fi bre and

exotic components.

The Triumph Factory Custom range will

be a new line-up of limited-edition models

sitting right at the top of Triumph line. The

Thructon TFC and the new Rocket TFC will

be limited to just 750 examples of each,

with the Thruxton going on sale fi rst.

Triumph describes the idea of its TFC line as

‘ultra-premium’ and they’ll be priced to suit.

The Thruxton comes in at a hefty £17,500

(no word on SA pricing yet), with deposits

being taken now. Full details of the new

Rocket, likely to carry an even higher price,

are due to be revealed on 1st May.

Rocket 3 TFC

The Rocket may be the second machine

in the TFC range but it’s the much more

signifi cant new model.

The old Rocket III, launched back in 2004,

was the largest-capacity full-production

motorcycle ever made, with a purposedesigned

2294cc three-cylinder engine.

And while it slipped from the fi rm’s

European line-up a couple of years ago

in the wake of Euro4 emissions rules it

remains on sale in the all-important North

American market.

But this new Rocket TFC – Triumph is

baffl ingly calling it a ‘Concept’ despite

confi rming it for production – isn’t just a

prettifi ed version of the existing Rocket III.

It’s a completely new bike from nose to tail.

Although Triumph hasn’t revealed any

specifi cations or technical details yet,

the engine doesn’t appear to share any

of its castings with the existing Rocket.

The cylinder block, cylinder head and

crankcases are all new, and it’s hard to

imagine many of the internals are carried

over unaltered. The overall layout and size

appears similar, although for years there

have been rumours of the Rocket growing

to 2.5 or even 2.6 litres in capacity.

With Ducati’s Diavel moving the goalposts

in terms of performance for this sort of

muscle-cruiser, Triumph is sure to be

getting a lot more power from the engine.

The old model managed 147hp, but the

new one is likely to easily surpass that,

hitting 180bhp or more without breaking

a sweat. And its huge capacity means

unrivalled torque.

Of course, the Diavel also showed that

bikes like this don’t have to be excessively

heavy, and that’s another area Triumph has

looked at. The new bike appears to use an

alloy frame instead of a steel one, and the

design is far sportier than the cruiser-style


Rocket of the past, with massive upsidedown

forks, Brembo radial calipers and a

rear monoshock instead of the old twinshock

suspension. There’s a single-sided

swingarm, too, adding to the Diavel-baiting

appearance, while the exhaust is a

stubby affair with two exits on

the right and a third on the

left hand side – a layout that

was fi rst seen on the original

2004 Rocket III.

While the fi rst version

of the new Rocket will

be the limited-edition

Rocket TFC seen here,

it’s unimaginable that

Triumph will have put

so much development

work into a bike that will

be restricted to 750 sales

worldwide. As such, the

carbon-laden TFC is sure to

be followed by a lower-spec,

mass-made machine. Badges on

the sides of the bike suggest it will be

simply called ‘Rocket 3’ – with the Arabic

number replacing the Roman ‘III’ of the

previous model.

In fact, there will probably be multiple

versions of the bike; it’s easy to imagine

Triumph mimicking the way it’s turned the

Bonneville line into a multi-faceted model

range, and using the new Rocket 3 as the

basis for everything from bobbers to tourers

and feet-forward cruisers. Watch this space

for more information as it appears.

Thruxton TFC

The Rocket TFC might still be a way from

production but dealers are taking deposits

for the Thruxton TFC right now – so if

you’ve got £17,500 burning a hole in your

pocket, be quick.

It’s instantly clear that the bike is based on

the bullet-faired ‘Track Racer’ version of

the Thruxton R, but the improvements are

more than skin deep.

Carbon fi bre has been used wherever

possible in the fairing, side panels and

seat, helping cut 5kg from the bike’s

weight down to 198kg dry. Meanwhile, the

1200cc parallel twin gets an extra 10hp

from a titanium Vance and Hines exhaust,

new mapping and revised riding models

for rain, road and sport. Inside lies a new,

lighter crankshaft and balancer shafts,

high-compression pistons and revised

ports. The cam cover is magnesium and

even the engine covers are thinner-walled

to make them lighter.

The suspension is new, too. Ohlins NIX30

forks replace the Thructon R’s Showas,

matching the remote-reservoir Ohlins

shocks at the back, and there’s a Brembo

radial master cylinder to go with the radial

calipers from the same fi rm.

Elsewhere, changes from the normal

Thruxton include a machined billet top

yoke, black anodised wheel rims, a leather

seat, brushed nickel mirror centres, special

instrument faces and badges and a

brushed alloy ‘Monza’ fuel cap.

Each of the 750 examples gets the usual

‘limited edition’ treatment – a numbered

plaque on the headstock, a certifi cate

signed by Triumph CEO Nick Bloor, a

branded bike cover and even a book to

chart the bike’s build process.

Call Triumph SA on 011 444 4441 for

more info on pricing and availability.


All the Dukes come together.

The Dukes hold court on RADMoto’s 2nd Exclusive Duke Day.

There is nothing more impressive then

seeing a group comprising of a single

model of bike ride past you on mass. The

guttural roar of the 1290 engines, the

higher pitch growls of the 790 and the

buzzing of the 390’s all made up a group

like this for RADMoto’s second exclusive

Duke day. Dukes are notorious for being

the playful, even potentially naughty bikes

in the KTM line up. While the adventures

would turn their homework in on time

the Dukes would charm the teacher into

accepting the dog ate my homework

excuse. Their shorter wheel based naked

looks are expertly designed for the tight

and twisty roads. They turn on a dime

and change on a ticky and a simple wrist

twist across the cylinders would easily

put wind into that helmeted hair. KTM

designed them to look fierce, from the

smaller 390’s all the way to the Beast of

the 1290 and with 36 of them gathered at

RAD for the ride they made a striking and

intimidating bunch. RADMoto with Andy

Biram from The Adventure Academy

had plotted a route that goes straight

to the street fighters heritage, the tight,

windy and inner city style roads to show

just how good this bike in the suburban

setting. But Andy had found at least one

or two open roads for The Beasts to

stretch their legs.

Andy started the day with a safety talk

after RADMoto’s favourite man Nelson

had made sure everyone had coffee

in their hands and a smile to welcome

them. Andy’s safety talks are a mixture

of sensible riding advice to give everyone

an idea of what they are getting into and

to make sure everyone has the best

time, and an sense of humour that puts

everyone at ease. The previous Duke

day was a self navigating route but this

one with the tighter wanderings meant

we were to stick together as a group, the

1290’s leading the charge.

At 9:30 with the riders kitted and on

their bikes, the 36 bikes headed out of

RAD’s dealership in a flash of orange and

black with the rumbles of the engines

joining together to create music. As

they headed up the hill of Witkoppen

to the first section of the route through

Bryanston, one just needed to watch

the group to see how unique each

bike is. Duke’s seem to have their own

culture where modifying it is the way

forward. The looks range from menacing

to beautiful and everything in between.

These bikes come out with their own


personalities but the owners can stamp their

own identity on their rides. From stickers

to pipes, and one transformer, they each

are their own. The group headed through

the suburban landscape, the bikes in their

elements, coming out at Witkoppen by the

Buzz shopping center heading up towards

Malibongwe and turning to wind their way

into Harties. The mid stop goal was Wheelie

road, but they had a brief stopping point as

they turned onto Malibongwe to re-group

and check everyone was happy. Smiles

were already prevalent, and the bonding had

started amongst the riders. Once the group

was together again they headed towards

Avianto, taking a different route then the

fast open paced road to Harties that’s a

favourite of breakfast run riders. Andy had

found a road that spoke to the roots of

the Dukes, playful and mischief with tight

turns and sweeping corners, twisting and

dancing along. The scenery may have been

spectacular but the riders seemed to be

enthralled with the impishness of the road

and how it snaked along. They regrouped

at the T- Junction of Harties to head to

Wheelie road, laughter and jokes were the

order of the day and that cold water waiting

for them was needed. The Dukes roared

off to wheelie road, and on arrival RAD staff

were waiting to quench their thirst with

water and they all chatted about the ride so

far. Wheelie Road is a partitioned off area

in Harties and is aptly named as a place for

the guys to practice wheelies, endo’s and

burn outs. The 1290 Duke club had joined

and this meant the riders were treated to

a show of bikes on one wheel, some solo,

others testing their synchronized skill and

timing going on either side of the partition at

once. The growl of the engines reverberated

off the over pass and everyone was awe

struck. After an impressive burn out by one

of the riders, Andy pulled the group together

for another briefing. The end point was

Smokin Aces, and another fun but more

open, flowing route awaited the Dukes.

The photographer made sure that their was

a group photo before everybody heading

back into Fourways. The route back was

shorter, as growling stomachs could almost

be heard over the bikes and a cold juice

was greatly needed. The group arrived at

Smokin Aces, a new bikers Restaurant in

Fourways. Even at a place that is used to

bikes, the group caused quiet a stir riding

in on the Dukes, awe struck faces following

the rumbling train of bikes. Helmets came

off, coolies were served and as the music of

the one-man band drifted over the tables,

laughter, jokes and stories were shared.

Looking over the sea of orange Dukes, the

conclusion for the day was: when is the

next one, that was to much fun. Thank you

to everyone that joined and made it such

a success, to the 1290 Club, Andy at The

Adventure Academy, Patrick for being the

patient sweeper, Brad and Arnold with his

lovely other half at the refreshment point and

each and every Duke rider.


Dunlop and Suzuki SA “Day of

Champions” track day at RSR.

A selected few were joined by top SA’s top stars for a day at Redstar Raceway.

Pics by Daniella Kerby

For the 2nd year in a row, Dunlop SA

managed to round up some of SA’s best

talent and get them out on track for some

much needed saddle time. Last year it was

Phakisa and this year the event was held at

Redstar Raceway.

It was an exclusive event held by Dunlop SA

and supported by Suzuki SA. An invite only

day where the lucky few who cracked the nod

got to rub shoulders with the cream of the

crop in SA motorcycle racing.

The highlight was no doubt 2016 Moto3

Champion and current Moto 2 rider, Brad

Binder, who graced the track not only with his

presence but also his skills. Was a real treat for

all to see the Factory KTM rider in action and

he was getting all the grip he needed from his

Dunlop Moto2 tyres.

Filling out the star studded class was Moto

3 star Darryn Binder, UK based riders Bjorn

Estment and Brent Harran, TT star AJ Venter,

been there done that man Sheridan Morais,

5-time SA champ Clinton Seller, 2-time SA

champ David McFadden and current champ

Michael White. All the riders had the new Dunlop

D213 tyres fitted to their machines and nothing

but praise for the new rubber from them all.

Overall it was a great day had by all, getting

to meet and greet these top stars and spend

some time out on track. What could be better?

Big well done to Sean Powell and his team

from Dunlop SA as well as Suzuki SA for

putting on truly amazing event.

Even The Punisher made an appearance.

Of course these two dirty bastards (Jason Wessels and Andrew

Katay) would find the brolly dollies.

Brad Binder with the Monroe Racing Team.

Top SA rider Bjorn Estment spending some time on the Suzuki

GSXR1000 before heading back to the UK to race one.

AJ Venter

testing his new


Like mother like daughter - Zoe

Bosch chasing her mommy.


The man who put it all

together - Sean Powell

from Dunlop SA.

The very stylish

and fast Darryn


Rob doing some pillion rides.


EXCLUSIVE TEST Words by Rob Portman

Apart from holding the prestigious

honour of being the official media

partner for the Dunlop/Suzuki SA Day

of Champions, we were also handed

the exclusive first test of Dunlop’s allnew

D213 cut slick race tyres. Myself,

along with all the top SA stars who

were mentioned in the news on the left

hand page, got to sample the new tyres

for the first time in SA.

While I was over at the Isle of Man TT

race last year, I spotted some Dunlop

tyres fitted to most of the competitors

bikes of which I had never seen before.

I immediately messaged Sean Powell

from Dunlop SA asking him what tyres

these were. He replied “It’s the new

D213 race tyre, they are coming to

SA soon and they are going to be the

choice of track tyre”.

Needless to say the new D213 went on

to pretty much dominate the TT Stock

bike classes, winning with Superstock

1000 race with Peter Hickman.

The new D213 is the step above the

previous D212 tyre, which was a proven

fan favourite with many a racer and

trackday rider worldwide over the

past couple of years. The first obvious

difference is the tread pattern, which

Dunlop describe as “Radical Fin-shape

pattern with epitomised groove angles”.

The highly distinctive tread pattern

has been designed to optimise warm

up times and provide maximum tar

contact in dry conditions.

We fitted the tyres to Ricky Morais’

Yamaha R1 machine, which we

would be sharing with Shez Morais

throughout the day. Shez pounded in

the laps on the new tyres and was left

really impressed with the amount of

grip in-and-out of the turns and more

importantly at full lean angle. Nothing

but solid grip and stability from the front

tyre at maximum lean angle, and Shez

was getting plenty of it as you can see

by the pics.

I had the exact same feeling from the

tyres in my sessions. Planted all the way

around the tricky RSR circuit. I loved

the stability under hard braking and

even whilst trail braking deep into the

turn there was no hesitation from the

front end. Hats off must also go to Ricky

Morais who had his R1 setup perfectly.

After close on 40 laps completed

over the course of the day, with Shez

completing around 28 of those at

very competitive times, the tyre wear

looked sublime front and rear. Still

plenty of tread left as you can see by

the pics below. Dunlop have always

been renowned for the amount of grip

they offer as well as longevity over its

competitors and the new D213 has

proved that once again.

We ran the Pro2 compound, which is

the softest compound brought into

SA. The Pro4 is also available for those

guys looking for a harder compound

which will ultimately last longer but not

have the same grip level as the Pro2.

After speaking to the likes of David

Speaking to David McFadden and

Michael White afterwards they were

both seriously impressed with the new

rubber, sentiments shared by all who

ran them on the day.

A set will cost you just shy of R6k and

are available through AJ Venter at

Lekka Racing - 011 238 7666.

Big thanks to Ricky Morais for letting

us use his gorgeous R1, which just

happens to be up for sale so if you are

in the market for a factory, well setup

racebike with all the bells and whistles

then give him a call.

Brad Binder getting some

good saddle time in.


More exciting news from Fire It Up!

The progressive and very forward thinking folks at Fire It Up!

are always looking for ways to make motorcycling in SA so

much better and here are two more bits of great news.

Fire It Up! and Performance technic

appointed as Zero service agents:

Since the closing of the local importers,

Fire It Up have been working hard

to assist a number of customers left

stranded. One of the brands recently

fi nalised is Zero electric motorcycles. Fire

It Up and Performance Technic have just

invested in all the necessary training and

specialist tools to offer Zero Motorcycle

customers the service experience they

deserve and of course service with

confi dence.

The motorcycles will be serviced and

maintained at Fire It Up’s new facility in

Kyalami, Performance Technic, where

a team of technicians are available to

repair and service your motorcycle.

The facility opens in February 2019

and Zero Motorcycle customers can

look forward to the arrival of a new

range of motorcycles later in the year.

For service enquiries contact info@


Service plans for motorcycles

Well this is a fi rst to us, service plans for

motorcycles and at completely affordable


Selected pre-owned motorcycles will

be available with a 1 year/25,000km’s

comprehensive mechanical and

maintenance cover. This means for that

year of ownership everything mechanical

and electrical is covered including a full

maintenance plan. Sounds crazy? This is

valued at over 30k. If the customer keeps

the bike for another year the Motoplan

can be extended for another year.

These motorcycles will be advertised

accordingly, check our site or Facebook

as they arrive.

What’s the catch? Nothing, just ensure

that the motorcycle is maintained at

Fire It Up’s new facility in Kyalami,

Performance Technic, which we will do

a feature on soon. New motorcycles/

MV Agusta/Kawasaki/Zero and others to

be announced will be available with a 2

year/25,000km MotoPlan.

This means that you never have to worry

about service or repair costs again. A

Cape Town partner will be announced

shortly and then KZN.

All this is exclusive to Fire It Up. Visit their

dealership at Shop No 3, Showrooms on

Leslie, Corner of William Nicol and Leslie

Drive Fourways. Tel 011 467 0737.

Bridgestone’s new

Battlax Hypersport

S22 motorcycle tyre.

What is one of the most important things

a sport rider needs from a tyre? Reliable

grip. That goes for just about any rider, but if

you’re putting a knee down on surface roads

in the mountains it’s even more important.

Bridgestone promise to provide better grip than

ever in dry and wet conditions with its new

Battlax Hypersport S22 tyre, available end Feb

2019 here in SA.

The S22 takes the top spot in the Hypersport

line from the S21, and a new tread pattern and

compound refinements aim to give riders much

better performance than before.

Starting with the tread, Bridgestone aimed to

enhance wet-weather function with a more

rigid pattern and increased land-sea ratio on

the shoulder (number of grooves compared

to the surface). These two changes offer a

more reliable tyre in the wet, according to


The company then used it’s Ultimate Eye

technology to increase the contact patch of the

S22 over the S21. Bridgestone uses the same

methods when developing tyres for the FIM

Endurance World Championship, and for the

S22 it’s resulted in remarkably reduced slippage

areas for the front and rear tyres.

This is complemented by a better compound

too, with optimized resin geared to provide

better grip at lower temperatures, thereby

reducing warm-up time on dry surfaces. For

wet-condition performance, there’s finer silica

particles in the center of the rear tyre to provide

better grip in the rain.


New 2019 VersysX ABS

Best commuter available, very

economical, impressive road and

off road capabilities

R75 499


New 2019 Ninja 400

Special Edition/KRT ABS

World Supersport 300 dominator!

R79 900


Z300 ABS

Excellent commuter!

Save time and money.

R64 995



Modern day classic that

impresses in every way possible.

R168 900



Excellent commuter!

Save time and money.

R119 995


Z900 ABS

A naked sportsbike that will

leave you breathless!

R135 900



All the power with all the control

- a true hypersport machine!

R227 995



The Superbike to beat!

Includes autoblip downshift.

R229 900


KX65 R37 995 KX85 R45 900








R179 995

Official SYM and AEON dealers

SALES TEAM: Berto Santos 079 494-2404 / James Ridley 076 827-9676 / Kyle Frazenburg 074 617 7305 / Cam Franklin 073 408 0888

LANDLINES: 011 465 4591 / 011 465 4212 / 011 465 5351 / 011 467 0737

Shop 3 & 4, Showroom on Leslie, Corner William Nicol & Leslie, Fourways

Factory Racing now FAST

KTM & ROC Harley Davidson.

Massive new dual dealership out in the South of JHB.

The well known and super busy KTM

dealer on Michelle Ave in Meyersdal

relocated in October 2018 to just off the

Voortrekker rd off ramp from the N12

in Alberton into the huge premises that

used to be Alberante BMW Auto. The

shop is huge, beautifully laid out, very

well stocked and an absolute pleasure

to visit. Nathaniel Do Amaral, the man

putting it all on the line, says the name

change has been coming for a while

as they were being mistaken as just

part of KTM SA and not a dealership in

their own right and the relocation and

expansion was the perfect opportunity

to implement the name change. They

have reinvented themselves, Nathaniel

is reinvesting heavily in the motorcycle

industry because he believes all his

customers and bike owners in SA

deserve even better service, well trained,

friendly and effi cient staff, decently

stocked shelves and racks and excellent

after sales service. This shop has

always been renowned for its fantastic

customer service, but they are now

taking it to the next level with some out

the box thinking to make the customers

experience even more memorable and

get more people riding. With that in mind,

Nathaniel has taken a gigantic leap into

another motorcycle brand and opened

up a completely separate store at the

same premises named “ROC HARLEY

DAVIDSON”. What is “ROC” you may

ask, well it’s an abbreviation for “RIDE

OF CHOICE” and this is your shop

of choice for everything and anything

Harley Davidson. It is stocked with all the

latest and greatest Harley Davidson’s,

accessories, parts, customising bits ‘n

bobs, clothing, jackets, rider gear and

anything else you can imagine. Getting

there is as easy as heading down the

N12, taking the Voortrekker off ramp

towards Alberton and immediately left

into their entrance. While you’re getting

tyres fi tted or your bike serviced, or just

because you’re in the mood to hang out

at a very lekker bike shop, grab a toasted

sandwich or a snack from their canteen,

prices are fair and the food is good.

Give them a call or drop them a mail:

Tel: (011) 867 0092

(011) 867 5941

Email: Enquires: info@fastktm.co.za.

Services: service@fastktm.co.za.

Accessories: sales@fastktm.co.za



Brought to you by

#69 to be retired in

honour of Nicky Hayden

In tribute to the late, great Nicky Hayden,

who passed away in 2017, the number

69 will be retired from Grand Prix racing at

the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas

in Austin, Texas. The “Kentucky Kid” rode

69 to the crown and MotoGP Legend

status during an impressive career that

saw him leave an indelible mark on the

sport and the paddock.

Hayden’s fi rst successes came in 2003

when he took podiums as a rookie

and he went on to win his fi rst Grand

Prix in 2005. That created a perfect

springboard for the following season and

he put together an impressive campaign

to become 2006 MotoGP World

Champion, wrapping up the crown in

the season fi nale. Hayden rose from dirt

track beginnings to the absolute pinnacle

of his sport, taking his unique blend

of work ethic, humility and talent from

the domestic scene to the world stage

and putting his name to an astounding

number achievements both within racing

and beyond its limits – key amongst

which was his moniker as ‘the nicest

man in Grand Prix racing’.

Hayden remained a cornerstone of the

paddock until his departure at the end

of 2015, upon which he was named a

MotoGP Legend. The number 69 will

now forever remain the number of the

“Kentucky Kid”; the man who rode it into

the Hall of Fame.

“What a great honor it will be for Nicky’s

#69 to be retired at Austin,” says

Hayden’s father, Earl. “It is very fi tting that

it will be done at the US race as these

races meant so much to Nicky and he

looked forward to them so much every

year. For myself in particular this will be

very special event because the #69 was

my number when I raced and I was

very proud to see Nicky run the #69 on

his bikes for his entire career. On behalf

of my entire family I would like to say a

special thanks to Dorna for honoring

Nicky in this special way along with the

many other gestures they have done to

support us through the diffi cult times.”

“I’m proud to announce that the

number 69 will be retired from Grand

Prix racing,” says Carmelo Ezpeleta,

CEO of Dorna Sports. “Nicky Hayden

was one of the biggest assets to this

paddock and a fantastic example as

a rider both on track and off. It gives

me great pleasure to honour his legacy

once again and ensure the number 69

remains synonymous with a legend and

a Champion.”

Be sure to watch the Red Bull Grand Prix

of the Americas as MotoGP pays tribute

to Hayden from the 12th to 14th April.

Melandri encourages

riders to speak out

Marco Melandri believes fellow riders simply ‘don’t care’

when it comes to suggesting positive changes for the World

Superbike championship.

For the fi rst time, 2019 will feature three races per weekend

as the now usual Saturday and Sunday full-length events are

to be accompanied by a ten-lap sprint – offi cially dubbed

the Tissot Superpole Race – on Saturday mornings.

The top nine fi nishers of the new Sprint Race will start Race

3 in that same order, while tenth position downwards will be

determined by Saturday’s qualifying times.

The grid positions for Saturday’s fi rst race and the sprint

race itself will see the riders line up as they qualify in Tissot

Superpole, which is no longer made up of two sessions but

one single session for all riders.

While Melandri backs the Sprint Race, the GRT Yamaha

man feels riders’ opinions will only ever be taken seriously

when they club together with a collective opinion.

“I like to race, so a third race is okay,” Melandri told MCN at

the Jerez test on Wednesday evening. “If the sprint race can

increase the spectacle, I welcome it.

“What I don’t like is that we score points in what is a

qualifying race; for me that’s not correct. We will be taking

maybe even more risks than in a normal race because it is

shorter, so you have to start faster.

“You get points, so it is very important for the championship,

but there is no bonus of points. This is not correct in

my opinion. If you want to give points, give a bonus.

Otherwise…no bonus, no points.”

The sprint will award points to the top nine as follows:

12-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Asked whether the riders’ sentiments

are taken seriously, Melandri feels they are not. He believes

championship organisers Dorna can only fully consider

suggestions once riders get together and come up with a

solid and shared idea.

“The riders don’t care,” says the 36-year-old, the oldest rider

in the fi eld. “Twice I have tried to talk to all of them about

such ideas. Only Johnny (Rea) wanted to get involved.

“Other riders don’t care, so we can’t all approach Dorna

with ideas if the riders don’t get together. Some riders seem

interested when I explain ideas, but when you actually put

something together nobody answers to provide any input.”

Melandri has started 151 World Superbike races and has 22

race victories and 72 podium fi nishes to his credit. He was

also 250cc Grand Prix World Champion in 2002.


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Brought to you by

Petronas Yamaha came ‘very close’ with Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa kept his cards close to his

chest, but it was well known that the 31-time

MotoGP winner was in discussions with the

new Petronas-backed Sepang Yamaha team

after losing his Honda seat to Jorge Lorenzo.

Indeed, Pedrosa postponed a planned

retirement announcement at Catalunya as the

Yamaha talks intensifi ed.

But ultimately, the Spaniard decided it was

time to call an end to his racing career,

albeit thanking Sepang and Yamaha for their

patience while he made a fi nal decision.

“The Pedrosa [talks] were a reality. It was very,

very close,” Sepang CEO Razlan Razali told


“He spoke to Yamaha, Yamaha assured

him they would give him all the support he

needs. I sat down with him, together with

Carmelo [Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO] and the

same thing as well.

“But when a rider is not mentally sure about

continuing to race, there’s not much we can do.

“But we were in serious discussions. When

he decided to call it a day, he actually gave

me a call and thanked me for the opportunity.

He apologised for not responding quicker, but

I can understand that it was a big decision for

him and I respect his decision.

“He was very professional about it all.”

Prior to Pedrosa, Sepang had initially been

linked with another MotoGP ‘A-lister’ in

the form of triple premier-class champion

Lorenzo. However, Sepang did not yet have a

confi rmed place on the 2019 grid.

“At that time having a MotoGP team was still

just a concept,” Razali said.

“Nothing was set in stone, so we couldn’t even

talk to anybody at that stage, but somehow

paddock rumours started circulating and he

[Lorenzo] thought we were setting the team up

just for him. Which we weren’t.

“But of course, he surprised everyone

and joined Honda anyway - which is fi ne

because he would have been expensive for

our budget anyway!”

Lorenzo and Pedrosa moving out of the

picture also had a knock-on effect in terms of

the Sepang team’s choice of M1 machinery.

For the fi rst time, Yamaha offered Sepang the

chance to run factory ‘A Spec’ bikes, equal

to the offi cial team of Valentino Rossi and

Maverick Vinales at the start of the season,

rather than year-old ‘B Spec’ machinery

previously used by Tech3. Naturally, the A

Spec would cost more.

While Pedrosa would need an A Spec to

be interested in the deal, Razali revealed

Petronas had been willing to fund two such

entries, with Franco Morbidelli pencilled-in for

a factory bike from the very start.

“We want to be competitive. We don’t want

to just make up the numbers and hence we

made the decision and negotiated for one

factory machine. Initially it was two. But then

[Pedrosa] dropped off,” Razali said.

“But Frankie was always an automatic choice.

He was always in the equation whether

the top rider would have been Pedrosa or

Lorenzo. And we always planned for Frankie

to have a factory bike.”

When Pedrosa decided to retire - and with

no other proven MotoGP winners available

- Sepang, Petronas and Yamaha decided to

take a gamble on a rookie; Fabio Quartararo,

who will spend his debut season alongside

Morbidelli on a B Spec bike.

“When we ran out of riders for the second

bike of the calibre that would deserve a

factory ride, then we thought, ‘let’s look at a

young rider’. We didn’t make that decision

alone, we consulted Yamaha as well.

“A few names came in and we locked onto


“Everyone was quite excited because we

know where he’s comes from and how he’s

progressed. Yamaha liked it as well, Dorna

liked it, the French Grand Prix guys like it. I

think he has the potential and we’re happy to

give Fabio this chance.”

Petronas Yamaha, Malaysia’s fi rst MotoGP

team, will hold its offi cial team launch in Kuala

Lumpur on January 28.

Pedrosa - who recently revealed that HRC

president Yoshishige Nomura told him he was

too small to stay on as the factory’s MotoGP

test rider - has signed for test riding duties

with KTM.

The Spaniard is currently undergoing stem

cell treatment on a fractured collarbone.




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Words by Peter McLaren (Crash.net)

Tech3: ‘Some people are laughing at us’

Having celebrated sixth in the MotoGP

championship, three podiums and two pole

positions with Johann Zarco during its final

season with Yamaha, Tech3 dropped to the

tail of the timesheets during the start of its new

partnership with KTM.

Hafizh Syahrin and new rookie signing Miguel

Oliveira, arriving in place of Zarco after the

Frenchman’s move to the factory KTM team,

were slowest of the full-time competitors during

the post-season tests at Valencia and Jerez.

Leaving Yamaha - whose factory team has

won 107 500cc/MotoGP races since 2001,

when Tech3 joined the premier-class - for

MotoGP’s newest manufacturer (a wet debut

podium at Valencia, best of ninth in the dry)

combined with the departure of Zarco was

always going to force a reset in Tech3’s results.

That’s easy to say, but motor racing is not

known for patience and the Yamaha stickers

had barely been peeled from the Tech3 trucks

when some in the paddock were openly

asking if they regretted the decision.

“This is a big challenge for me and the whole

team,” team boss Herve Poncharal told Crash.

net. “You know, a lot of people are laughing,

thinking we made a big mistake.

“A lot of guys in the media but also those

that follow us generally were asking - even

in Valencia after just two days with limited

track time due to the weather - ‘Are you

disappointed? Do you regret your choice?’

“Some were smiling, laughing, saying ‘good

luck my friend’. Things like that.

“But it’s just the beginning. We have to

understand a lot of things. So we need to keep

calm, work hard, respect all our partners and

try to deliver what they are expecting from us.

“Of course, I’d like [my riders] to be five

positions up, but we need to control ourselves.

Right now, we can’t play the lap time game. It

might sound boring, but we need to work.”

That’s not to say that Poncharal himself didn’t

do a lot of soul-searching before deciding to

part ways with Yamaha.

“This was a decision I’d been thinking about

quite a lot. You don’t end a partnership like

the one we had with Yamaha, which lasted 20

years, without thinking, is it a mistake? Is it the

right decision?” he said.

“But what I found with our new partners was

very exciting and, after just the first few days

together, it’s exactly what I thought it would be.

“It’s one thing - as a rider, but even more as a

team - to join a project that is already winning

and another to feel you are going to be, with

all humility, helping a new project grow and


“We are happy. We have a lot of new faces in

our box. KTM also employed a lot of new staff

to set up this new satellite MotoGP operation.

There are people coming from various other

manufacturers. The guy in charge of the

support team is from Ducati, for example.

“So far it’s a really good feeling. For sure you

would like to be higher up the timesheet. But

also we found out - mainly through Johann

Zarco’s comments and also Hafizh Syahrin,

the two ex-Yamaha guys - that they almost

have to forget everything they knew about how

to ride a MotoGP bike because the [Yamaha

and KTM] are very different.

“It’s a process that I hope will not be too long,

but we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

Tech3 has taken MotoGP podiums with


Brought to you by

Zarco, Jonas Folger, Bradley Smith, Cal

Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso, Colin

Edwards, Ben Spies, Marco Melandri, Alex

Barros and Shinya Nakano since 2001.

But along the way they also had to weather

some barren years, including being absent

from the rostrum in 2005, 2006 and also 2007

- when its riders were just 16th and 18th in the

world championship on Dunlop tyres - and

Poncharal is fully aware of the task ahead.

“We always say Paris, Rome or London was

not built in a day. How many years have

Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, now Ducati, been in

this championship? It’s only been two years,

with two riders, for KTM,” he said.

“KTM has improved a lot, but also everyone

else keeps improving. So you have to improve

quicker than the top guys to reduce the gap.

“But I believe the riders they have now, not

simply growing from two to four, are also quite

complimentary. The most important thing is to

keep everybody calm, motivated and feeling

part of a project.”

Tech3 has certainly been made to feel part of

KTM, with Poncharal highlighting the efforts

made by the Austrian factory’s motorsport

director Pit Beirer.

“Our life is our work and when you spend this

amount of time together you need people

that are accessible, share your values, have

common points of view and targets. As we’ve

discussed many times before, I always try to

build a ‘family’ atmosphere because human

relationships are very important. The older I get

the more important they are.

“Pit is the head of motorsport at KTM. He is a

person I admire a lot. You can feel the passion,

the will, the desire - sometimes too much

because he wants everything now! Also he has

been a very successful [motocross grand prix]

racer. So racing is in his DNA. He is a rider, a


“The fi rst thing Pit did on Tuesday morning at

the Valencia test was to come to our garage.

He asked everyone in the team to be there and

made a speech,” Poncharal revealed.

“Pit said ‘there will be four full-factory KTM

bikes on the grid next year. There will not be

less engines, less RPM, or less this and that for

Tech3. All we want is for KTM to win. It doesn’t

matter if it’s a Tech3 or factory team bike. We

don’t care’.

“It was a really good speech and my guys

were really fi red up.”

After a year in which Yamaha’s Japanese

management was called into question due to a

record losing streak, Poncharal also found the

KTM structure much clearer.

“KTM sells a lot of motorcycles, but the

organisation is a lot easier to understand than

the big Japanese companies and you know

who is the boss,” he said.

“I’ve already met Mr Pierer [CEO] and Mr

Trunkenpolz [whose uncle helped establish the

company, the ‘T’ in KTM]. You feel the warmth

straight away when they hug you and say

‘we are proud to have you with us, it’s a big

honour, we’re going to do great things’.

“That is the feeling you are looking for and that

we never found [in the past].

“So what I can tell you is that we are happy

with our decision. We have a three-year

commitment from KTM, Red Bull and Elf. We

feel a big responsibility because of what these

guys have invested in us.

“We don’t want to disappoint anybody. We

have time, but I know that doesn’t mean a lot.

Because in the end, in the racing world, you

need to deliver.”

But what does delivering actually mean for

Tech3 in 2019?

Poncharal brushed off suggestions Tech3’s

focus will be on trying to challenge the factory

team of Zarco and Pol Espargaro. Instead,

top ten fi nishes while moving the RC16 closer

to the front are a ‘realistic’ for three of the four

KTM riders.

“I don’t want to see us in competition with the

factory team because we feel part of the same

family,” Poncharal said.

“Clearly Pol knows the bike better than

anybody else and we know Johann is a

guy that can make pole positions, front row,

podiums and can win races. So the two

factory KTM riders have got more experience

and right now are faster than us.

“But we are not too far. Syahrin and Zarco

are quite close to each other. Half-a-second.

But what we want is to reduce the gap to the

front guys.

“I don’t want to speak for Pit Beirer and Mr

Pierer, but the target is to be as regularly as

possible in the top ten. Which is not easy,

because you know how many full factory guys

there are now.

“I had a little bit of time to go watch around the

track [at the Jerez test] and nobody is slow! It’s

impressive and very close.

2019 will be a season where we will learn -

riders and team - how to exploit the maximum

of our package and together with KTM pass the

message about what we need for our riders to

feel more comfortable and more competitive.

“Sure, winter testing is going to be a good step

but by the fi rst races we will still be discovering


“That doesn’t mean we don’t have ambitious

targets, but we are realistic about the level

of MotoGP, the bikes and riders. So top ten

is realistic for three of the KTM riders - Pol,

Johann and Hafi zh. We want to give Miguel a

bit more time to understand everything.”

Having proven a match for the other MotoGP

rookies on his way to title runner-up in Moto2,

Poncharal has been impressed by Olivera’s

composure during a low-key Tech3 transition.

But he’s also aware that the Portuguese star’s

patience will not be endless.

“Miguel has been fi ghting with the other

rookies - Mir, Bagnaia, Quartararo - in Moto2

and now he’s behind them. Of course I’d like

him to be with the other rookies now, but at

the moment we need to control ourselves and

Miguel is very good at that,” he said.

“So far, Miguel has never even made a gesture

of frustration, ‘it’s okay, I have to learn’. But

we need to keep helping him because if it’s

the same after three or four races for sure the

morale will go down.”

The Jerez test, the fi nal track action of 2018,

fi nished with the top KTM of Espargaro in

17th (+1.2s) followed by Zarco in 19th (1.9s),

Syahrin 23rd (2.6s) and Oliveira 24th (2.6s).

“Both Johann and Hafi zh are very happy with

the engine and almost every run you could see

they were more at home with the bike,” said


“We had only one bike [per rider at Tech3] and

you lose track time, also because the team

is still discovering this bike, so every change

takes longer.

“But you don’t want to keep doing runs once

you’ve reached the limit of a setting. You need

to change the set-up to understand how it

feels for the rider.”

In December, Tech3 team members visited the

KTM headquarters for detailed instructions on

how to adjust and assemble the RC16 ahead

of 2019 testing, which begins at Sepang in

early February.



Brought to you by

New look Ducati MotoGP

Ducati became the fi rst MotoGP team to offi cially launch its 2019 campaign

when Andrea Dovizioso and new signing Danilo Petrucci unveiled the

Desmosedici GP19 livery during a ceremony at the Philip Morris R&D Cube

in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

The biggest talking point is the inclusion of ‘Mission Winnow’, both on the

redder-than-ever bike and offi cial team name, ‘Mission Winnow Ducati’.

‘Mission Winnow’ is a slogan used by Philip Morris to “discard old

approaches”, learn “from past mistakes and use them to shape our future”.

It fi rst appeared on the Ferrari F1 cars at last season’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Philip Morris has remained Ducati’s main MotoGP sponsor ever since the

Italian factory entered the sport in 2003, despite no longer being allowed to

run any Marlboro cigarette branding.

The company is now pushing for a smoke-free future through its IQOS

tobacco heating system, but Philip Morris emphasised that ‘Mission

Winnow’ does not advertise or promote any PMI-branded products: “This

is about passion.”

As such, Philip Morris is able to use ‘Mission Winnow’ in MotoGP and once

again have a visible presence at the Ducati Team.

Dovizioso has fi nished title runner-up to Honda’s Marc Marquez for the past

two seasons, winning six races in 2017 and four in 2018, when the addition of

three wins for Jorge Lorenzo made it Ducati’s most successful season since

Casey Stoner’s 2007 championship year.

New rider Danilo Petrucci acknowledged he and new team-mate Andrea

Dovizioso enter the 2019 season with different goals, stating “we need each

other to reach them” as he prepares for his fi rst season as a factory rider in

the MotoGP class. “I’m really looking forward about going to Sepang. Last

year wasn’t a good race. But Andrea and me can make good work together

and I can only learn from him and give back some help during the year.”

Andrea Dovizioso goes into 2019 with “more confi dence” than previous

campaigns, and “really” believes he and Ducati will be in the MotoGP

championship mix after a positive end to the last calendar year. “I’m really

excited because this season is a bit different for me,” said Dovizioso, runnerup

in both of the previous two campaigns. “I feel better than last year - [with]

more confi dence. For sure every year is a different story. But the feeling at

the end of the season in the last two tests was really good. We tried some

new parts on the bike and already our speed was good.”

“In Sepang we’ll have a full new bike. I’m confi dent and I think our level can

be really good from the beginning. From that we have to build something

more again. I think we will have a lot of material to try in the fi rst two tests

before the season starts. Overall I’m really excited for this season.”

2019 Repsol Honda MotoGP

A few days after the launch of Ducati’s MotoGP team, Repsol

Honda launched their team in Malaysia, as the factory-backed

MotoGP team debuted its 2019 team and livery. The bikes look

the same, the goal hasn’t changed, but the big news from Sepang

was seeing Jorge Lorenzo in Repsol orange.

Lorenzo was wrapped in bandages of course, still fresh from the

surgery on his left scaphoid, which he broke while MX training.

This meant his leathers had to be cut along the left arm so he

could get in and out of them, and it will also delay some of the

press photos of the 2019 Honda RC213V race bike and see him

miss the next offi cial test in Sepang.

As far as debuts go, that is not a great start, but it will have little

effect on perhaps the biggest shakeup in the MotoGP paddock

over the past few seasons.

This is because Repsol Honda is now home to the only two riders

who have won the MotoGP Championship in the last seven

seasons. If that doesn’t scare the rest of the paddock, then we are

not sure what will.

This fact promises good results for HRC in MotoGP, but the

real task will be managing two riders who are at the height

of their careers and have expectations of adding to their

championship tallies.

Will sparks fl y on and off the track? Only time will tell. Judging from

Lorenzo’s comments in the team’s press release, so far things are

going well. But let’s see what happens once championship points

are on the line.

“Repsol Honda are on a different level in every way,” said Jorge

Lorenzo at the launch. “I could see it at the Valencia test, when I

had many people around me listening to what I was saying. It is a

dream for any rider to be part of this team.”

“I am very demanding on myself and always try to get the best

out of each situation. I want to repay the team for all the trust they

have given me with good results. I am very proud to be on a team

with as many victories and as much history as Repsol Honda.”

“I like the bike a lot, it turns in very well and is very docile,” Lorenzo

added. “In addition, the team gave me a very warm welcome

from my fi rst day here. My main objective for 2019 is, fi rst of all, to

recover one hundred percent and be able to demonstrate on track

that we really are the Dream Team that people are talking about.”





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Featured here is the new Black Scale range from RK, which is

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T H E C R O S B Y T T 4 0 0

“What a cool little bike!”

That’s the comment passed

by everyone that rode it.

This is a classic example

of when price and appeal

cross paths. Words by Glenn Foley

In the not so old days, bikes were relatively

uncomplicated. If you are a child of the

80’s, you’ll remember the big single cylinder

thumpers, like XT’s, SR’s and XR’s – basic

motorcycles with big hearts and no fancy

electronic magic. Bikes that you simply

hopped onto, hit the starter – or kicked

yourself to death – and took off for some great

adventures. This is a bike that has been built in

this very spirit.

Never heard of Crosby? Well in Europe

these bikes are marketed under the brand

name Mash. But that wouldn’t really fit in

South Africa.

The name of the Crosby brand is derived

from the famous town in the Isle of Man, where

the first ever TT400 class was run starting

off down the Crosby straight. We thought it

was a play on the very laid back music from

American supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Both derivatives work on a bike like this.

In the garage

We had it for a whole week – we zipped to the

shops, called on dealers – and basically looked

for any excuse to ride it. The TT400 is the

epitome of simple, uncomplicated commuting.

There was plenty of speculation

everywhere we went. “Hey man – I had a

Triumph just like that” or sheez that’s cool –

and it ended in a conversation about iconic

bikes through the ages.

The guys are quite correct – this little retro

quietly transmits a lot of attitude. Plenty of

Chrome, laid back styling and clean lines.

It is the king of cool at a price that won’t

make your wallet groan. The Crosby guys

have deliberately given the bike a “Euro

Cool” look and feel – complete with a British

flag embossed into the logo just to confuse

matters. And a bike like this just lends itself to

further customizing.


Ride impressions

Hit the happy button – there is a kick start shaft

but no lever, snick her into gear – and off you go.

The TT400 is a plush, comfortable head

turner and it goes as good as it looks. The air

cooled 400cc mill delivers very user friendly

torque and acceleration right through the

rev range. They tell us that OHC 4-valve

Single Cylinder Engine Punches out 26 HP at


She’s no slouch – the dual chrome finished

pipes emit a genuine roar as you shift through

the gears up to the 140kph Mark.

Cruising on the freeways you never feel

as if you don’t have enough grunt to keep

up, or overtake the cages. The best fun is

shooting around the suburbs, zipping to the

roadhouse, hitting the back roads out to the

breakfast run stop.

She runs happily along at 120 all day –and

you won’t be buzzed to death. It’s a wellbalanced

thumper – a lot smoother than the

80’s versions of these 4 valve engines. And

history tells us that with the correct amount of

TLC, air-cooled singes are basically bulletproof.

The brakes are adequate for a bike like

this – a disc up front with a drum out back.

They bring things to a halt just fine – but we’d

probably fit braided brake lines up front for a bit

more bite. Economy is spot-on – we saw just

on 25kms to a litre.

Suspension is much the same – the twin

shocks out back look the part and deliver a

plush ride. The front forks are nothing fancy

but they do what they are supposed to.

Instrumentation is simple analogue speedo

and tacho with a fuel warning light. We love

the fact that there is an old school on and

reserve tap on the fuel tank. A small carrier is

thoughtfully mounted out back, so you can tie

on a bag and take off to visit your mates for

the weekend.

We have some of South Africa’s most

experienced motorcycle people in this here

office, and we all had a blast. This bike is really

good fun, with lots of personality.

But, there is a very wide, possibly

untapped market for this Crosby. A bike like

this is perfect for a lady or an entry level rider

thanks to its small size and unintimidating

power. It feels small, is not a heavy bike to

manoever – and – well, here it comes again, it

is beautifully crafted.


Here’s the best part - R48000.00. In our

opinion, this is probably the best value for

money bike that we have ridden in a very long

time. There are already in excess of 80 of these

bikes on South African roads right now. If the

quality is as good as it feels – then this bike

should sell all day long.

Go and ride one for yourself. You’ll see

what we mean.

Standard colours include Gloss Black & Gloss

White and Gloss Light Blue & Gloss White.


086 182 2835 for more info.








We are truly blessed to know some of the coolest men in SA, who also happen to have some

of the coolest and meanest bikes on the planet. Even better, they let us ride them.

Words by Rob Portman. Pics by Johan Engelbrecht & Gerrit Erasmus


Now, I know I’m going to sound

like a broken record here as I

have said this many times. In

this life, and especially in this

industry, it’s not what you know

but who you know and that

was highlighted once again for this test.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to

Kyalami by two of my good mates to test their

two very exclusive, mean, illustrious machines.

Since I started doing this magazine back in

2009, I have met some amazing people who I

have built very strong relationships with. Those

relationships have been built on trust and

respect and because of that I have been able

to test some of the most desirable production

motorcycles ever built.

The two owners of these bikes, Jacques

and Harry, have become very good friends

of mine and share one big passion –

motorcycles. Sportbikes to be precise. I met

both men through the racing channels and

both are just as passionate as I am when it

comes to motorcycles and motorcycle racing.

Hence why we get on so well.

Both men attended the final trackday of

2018 on their mean machines, held at the

world class Kyalami Grand prix circuit. The

day was hosted by Clinton Pienaar from SA

Biking Academy and Superbike Magazine,

who very kindly offered me a spot for the day.

I jump at any chance to ride the new Kyalami

circuit as it is one of the best I have ever ridden

on in the world, and I have been to the likes of

Valencia, Estoril, Portimao and Phillip Island. I

would have to say that out of all of those only

Phillip Island gets the heart racing more than

Kyalami. Really is an amazing place to ride a

motorcycle, especially brute beasts like the two

I had on test here.

Honda CBR1000RR SP – Nicky Hayden

Ten Kate WSBK tribute bike

This is a bike that has had plenty of time, effort

and money poured into it. But most of all,

emotion. Owner Jacques, like most of us, is

a big, passionate Nicky Hayden fan and like

the world was devastated when the legendary

American rider passed away back in 2017.

This put into motion this emotional,

sensational custom bike.

Jacques wanted to build a bike in tribute of

the former MotoGP world champion, his hero,

who had been racing for the Red Bull Ten Kate

Honda squad in the World SBK championship

at the time.

Now, one cannot just simply splash their

bike, helmet or car with the iconic, flashy Red

Bull racing colours. Red Bull have strict rules not

allowing just any person to use their branding.


“The attention to detail is second

to none and it’s hard to believe

that this bike was actually

brought to life right here in SA.”

They keep it very exclusive and

if one is caught having their

designs or logos displayed without

permission Red Bull can impound

the item until the branding has

been removed. They are extremely

strict with this kind of thing.

Jacques knew this and set about

contacting Ten Kate and the Nicky

Hayden foundation directly to see

what the possibility was of getting

permission to build this tribute bike.

Jacques was surprised at just how

accommodating both were and so

the project was a go.

Jacques managed to secure

the fi rst new Honda SP1 model

brought into SA back in 2017 and

now that he had permission from

the team and Nicky’s foundation, it

was time to get going.

Neil and his team from MotoArt

here in SA were tasked with

painting the bike up exact to that of

the Ten Kate Red Bull Racing bike.

Not an easy job, but the guys did

an amazing job. Up close the bikes

design and work is faultless and

even the team themselves would

be mighty impressed.

With the help of Langston

Racing, who are the offi cial importers

and distributors of the Akrapovic

brand here in SA, Jacques managed

to get himself one of the fi rst

production made full Akro pipes and

what made this even more special

was that it came directly from the

Ten Kate Racing Team.

As you can see the bike came

out a true master-piece and one

that even Nicky himself would be


Our Shaun managed to get his

hands on the bike at the Dunlop/

Suzuki SA Day of Champions at

Redstar and this happened. Getting

him off the thing was not so easy...

proud of. The attention to detail

is second to none and it’s hard to

believe that this bike was actually

brought to life right here in SA.

Just shows again just how much

talented we have here.

The bike has been dressed with

a few extra aftermarket parts to

fi nish off the racing look and feel.

Shorty levers, Arashi rearsets,

GB Racing engine covers, lever

protectors and an MWR Air

Filter, which Jacques is hoping

to replace with the offi cial factory

racing BMC fi lter soon.

Craig and the team from Fire It

Up! Sorted out the electronics with

the addition of a Rapid Bike System.

So, with a new set of Pirelli slicks

fi tted it was time for me to head out

on track and see if this bike is more

than just a looker.

The new Honda CBR Blade is

such an underrated bike here in SA.

Buyers are put off simply because it

doesn’t have the 200hp fi gures its

competitors have and that to me is

just so silly as if they had to swing

their leg over this machine they

would immediately forget about the

number and realize just what an

amazing machine it really is.

A good thing the custommade

Mass suits come

with elbow sliders.

On this test, the Blade once

again reminded me of this fact.

It sells you with it’s easy to use

chassis and motor. This bike still

had the standard gearing on so

it was a bit long for the Kyalami

track but the addition of the Rapid

bike system certainly did give it a

bit more kick out of the turns and

smoothness on instant throttle

response. Braking and handling

was simply sublime and got the job

done at every turn, although I am

still not a big fan of those shorty

levers, just don’t have a good

feeling with me.

Overall a really impressive

package to not only look at but

also ride. A great job done but all

“The new Honda CBR Blade

is such an underrated bike here

in SA. Buyers are put off simply

because it doesn’t have the 200hp

figures its competitors have and

that to me is just so silly as if they

had to swing their leg over this

machine they would immediately

forget about the number and

realize just what an amazing

machine it really is.”


involved and Jacques can be very

proud of his creation. He has had

plenty of interest from buyers in the

US wanting this exquisite tribute

bike and it looks like the bike could

be heading over to the states, but

Jacques is still in two minds.

Bavarian Beast part 3

This would be my third time testing

the exclusive BMW HP4 Race

machine and my second time here in

SA on the same machine. I had the

privilege of being the first and only

journo so far to test the carbon-clad

racer here in SA. Owner Harry invited

me along to Redstar Raceway last

year to test his new racing machine. It

was a great test and I was reminded

just how good the bike was having

tested it the year before at the world

launch in Portugal.

Even though I left the test

impressed, owner Harry was still not

100% satisfied with the performance

and setup of the bike and wanted to

get more out of it.

Four months on from that

test and Harry invited me along

to Kyalami to test the bike again,

around a track that would lend itself

a bit more to the Bavarian Beast’s

ultimate power.

I was really excited for this test

as like I said before, Kyalami is one

of my favourite tracks and one that

really suits my riding style so if I was

impressed with the bike at the tightand-twisty

Redstar track then I was

going to be completely mind-blown

with it here at Kyalami.

Just before heading out, Harry

told me to be wary of the grip from

the slightly worn Pirelli SC2 tyres,

especially the back. He went on to

tell me that I should short shift to

6th gear before hitting the flat-out

kink down the front straight as the

rear wheel spins up like crazy in 5th.

Sounded a bit too far-fetched to me,

so in typical “I am the man” fashion, I

did not listen, but would quickly have

my ego knocked out of me.


“Not much comes close to

that feeling of wheel-spinning

at 240kph in 6th gear through

the kink down the straight.”

The HP4 Race loved every second around

the Kyalami track - it proved to be the

perfect playground to help get the best out

of this sensational motorcycle.

On my fi rst fl ying lap, I hammered the HP4

Race as hard as I could down the straight,

revving the hell out of it in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th

before getting to the small kink. Before I could

even blink the rear tyre spun up and gave me

a gentle reminder of just how much power this

bike really has. I was fl ung out of the seat –

swallowing my ego in the process. Ok, so Harry

was right, short-shift to 6th from now on…

“FML, this thing is faster than I remember”,

that’s what was passing through my mind

shortly after the underpants destroying moment.

Again, not paying much attention to what

Harry was telling me in the pits as he did make

mention of the fact the bike has improved

power fi gures from the last time I tested it.

Harry has worked hard with top BMW tech,

Dean Ferreira from Creative Race Concepts, to

get the power delivery as smooth and useable

as possible and setup the exclusive top-grade

Ohlins suspension, something not just any

person can do. Luckily, as mentioned, Dean

is a guru when it comes to all things BMW so

the bike felt really good and I could feel the

improvements from the last time I rode the bike.

Sensational amounts of power in every gear

at every rpm. It’s hard to describe the amount

of power without using every curse word ever

created. What’s even more crazy is how easy

it actually is to use and handle the 250plus HP

power on hand. The electronics have been

designed to

help harness

that power and

help the rider use

it to its full potential

without kaking

one’s self. Harry

has the bike perfectly

setup with just the

right amount of

traction and wheelie

control set in 1st, 2nd and 3rd

gears. Powering out of the

tight and fast turns at Kyalami

is an absolute dream. Easy

to use and enjoy but that arm

ripping thrust is still there.

I’ve never been up the steep hill towards

Leeukop (formally knows as Wesbank corner)

so fast in my life. The bike also made short

work of the long front straight. Not much

comes close to that feeling of wheel-spinning at

240kph in 6th gear through the kink down the

straight. Thrilling, addictive, frightening, exciting

and so much more!!! That pretty much some’s

up the experience of riding this bike.

Nothing I have ever ridden before comes

close to the experience and feeling of this bike,

especially the way Harry has it setup. Everything

works perfectly and is built to tear up tracks

and destroy lap times. If I see what the bike

has done for Harry and how it has

improved his riding and lap times it just proves

even more what a machine this truly is.

Being fully kitted out with all the highest

quality components, some of which money

can’t even buy, you can’t help but be fi lled

with the confi dence and conviction to go

out and push the limits. That’s until the brain

reminds me that it’s a R1.3m bike and if I

crash it I will have to sell my house, car, kids

and wife to help pay for it.








Why motorcycling should be available on prescription.

It’s the start of a new year and instead of wasting time and money on a new gym contract

to help get yourself back in shape, why not just buy a motorcycle and get riding?

By Steve Rose (BikeSocial - www.bennetts.co.uk)

Having successfully completed my Xmas

‘Pre-Tox’ diet of chocolate, pies and booze

apparently, I now apparently have to work it

(whatever ‘it’ may be) and spank myself with

the thorny branches of regret. Or summat.

Thankfully I don’t have to worry about

dieting, detoxing or this year’s favourite

exercise DVD because riding a bike is a brilliant

way to lose weight, get fitter, be happier and

fight dementia. Seriously, motorcycling is so

flipping good for you it should be available free

on the NHS (National Health Service).

I know this because a few years back I

was the lab-rat in an experiment to measure

calories burned while riding, and the brain

chemistry of a 38-degrees lean angle on

the B1190 freeway. Boffins at Nottingham

University stuck sophisticated heart rate

monitors to my chest, put a tube in my mouth

and sat me on a static bicycle. The tube

went to a machine that measured Oxygen

in my breath and plotted a graph of Oxygen

consumption versus heart rate as I pedalled,

from which the boffins accurately calculated

calories burned.

Then I rode a motorcycle, still wearing the

heart monitors to record bpm alongside rpm.

The bike was a Honda Hornet 600 and the

December weather was dry, above freezing,

but not quite grippy enough to ride the bike

hard. So, the results were lower than they’d

be in summer when I’d be working harder and

sweating more.

Riding on country roads burned around

400 calories an hour. Which is the same as a

brisk walk. To add some context, most people

burn around 50-70 calories per hour when

resting, moderate cycling burns around 500

calories and jogging is around 650 per hour.

So, riding a motorcycle burns almost as

many calories as cycling and you don’t have

to wear lycra or be killed every time you meet

a truck turning left. Your motorcycle journey

Steve busy

burning calories

“Riding on country roads burned around 400 calories

an hour. Which is the same as a brisk walk. To add

some context, most people burn around 50-70 calories

per hour when resting, moderate cycling burns around

500 calories and jogging is around 650 per hour.”

is likely to be longer than a cycle ride too,

meaning you burn more calories per session.

The science here is that riding involves

thousands of subtle body movements;

keeping things upright, fighting the windblast,

steering, shifting weight and bracing when

braking. It might not match a spin class for

effort-per-minute, but in an hour (or four) on the

bike, you’ll burn more actual calories. Avoid the

‘Full English’ at the bike caff, you’ll be ready for

that bikini in no time.

Biking has many other benefits, which are

harder to measure, but recognisable to any

rider. The single-minded focus – that feeling

of being ‘in the zone’ and at one with your

bike – promotes a similar brain chemistry to

meditation, which helps reduce stress. And

again, it’s the length of time you do it while

riding that makes it so valuable.

At the other end of the scale there’s

endorphins – pleasure and reward chemicals

released when you exercise. Endorphins

have a similar effect to Morphine – generating

a feeling of ‘wellbeing’ without the needles,

dental challenges or new ‘friends’.

Finally, and perhaps most interesting, is

something called proprioception which is

how we subconsciously manage positional

changes in space and movements in our body.

Experts suggest standing on one leg or using

a balance ball to develop proprioception, but

motorcycling (and cycling and horse riding)

demand it naturally as we subtly adjust body

position, reacting to changing conditions.

Again though, the difference for us is we do it

for longer.


Burning up the miles means burning up

the calories as well.

Increasingly, scientists believe that better

proprioception helps prevent Alzheimer’s and

dementia. You might take this with a pinch of

salt because dementia is the disease-of-themoment

and everything seems to promote it,

prevent it or both. But proprioception is at the

core of our nervous system and has a direct

impact on the function of the cerebellum, a

part of the brain that collects neural impulses

from around the body and amplifies them as

they transfer to the other parts of the brain that

control movement, cognition and thought. Put

very simply, enhanced cerebellum function

means a person has fine control of their

movements, thoughts and speech. Patients

with Alzheimer’s and dementia often show

reduced cerebellum function. Cycling and

motorcycling are especially good at promoting

proprioception and therefore will enhance

cerebellum function and potentially reduce


Dementia, depression and obesity are

the currently the biggest problems facing

our healthcare system and motorcycling can

directly impact all three. Wouldn’t it be great

if giving everyone a motorcycle on the NHS

turned out to be the most cost-effective way

of making us all healthier and happier? If that’s

not a reason to put biking at the heart of

Government policy for health and transport,

we don’t know what is.

Even if they don’t, the more you ride the

more chance you have to stay mentally and

physically sharp enough to enjoy riding for

even longer.

Happy new year!

Want more proof?

New Study finds

Motorcycle Riding

decreases stress,

increases focus. By Andrew Cherney

You know why you ride. We all do, right? (Cue

violins.) It’s that feeling of release, the rush of

adrenaline, the social benefits of a group ride,

yadda yadda yadda. We all have known since

day one that just a couple of minutes on a

bike was a surefire way to relieve any pesky

stresses that might crop up in the daily grind.

Well, now there’s a study out of UCLA,

funded by Harley-Davidson, that officially

confirms all those messy thoughts and puts

it into bigger, more precise, and scientific

context. In short, it seems that riding a scoot

gives you some of the same benefits as a

workout and decreases cortisol, the nasty

hormone that signals stress.

The neurobiological study was produced

by a team of researchers from UCLA’s

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human

Behavior who studied a group of healthy

experienced riders piloting their own bikes on

a predetermined route for 35km under normal


The researchers recorded the riders’ brain

activity and hormone levels before, during, and

after motorcycling, driving a car, and resting.

The research team monitored participants’

electrical brain activity and heart rate, as well

as levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and

cortisol using mobile EEG technology. The

results found that when riding, the subjects

experienced increased sensory focus and

resilience to distraction. Riding also produced

an increase in adrenaline levels and heart rate,

and a decrease in cortisol levels—the kind

of results you often get after a light exercise

session, which also is a stress reducer.

The use of that tech was pretty groundbreaking

in itself: “Until recently, the technology

“The results found that when riding, the subjects

experienced increased sensory focus and resilience

to distraction. Riding also produced an increase in

adrenaline levels and heart rate, and a decrease in

cortisol levels—the kind of results you often get after a

light exercise session, which also is a stress reducer.”


to rigorously measure the impact of activities

like motorcycling on the brain didn’t exist,”

said Dr. Don Vaughn, the neuroscientist

who led the research team. “The brain is an

amazingly complex organ and it’s fascinating

to investigate the physical and mental effects

riders report.”

The study also emphasized these key points:

• Riding a motorcycle decreased hormonal

biomarkers of stress by 28 percent

• On average, riding a motorcycle for 20

minutes increased participants’ heart rates

by 11 percent and adrenaline levels by 27

percent—similar to light exercise

• Sensory focus was enhanced while riding

a motorcycle versus driving a car, an effect

also observed in experienced meditators

versus non-meditators

• Changes in study participants’ brain

activity while riding suggested an increase in

alertness similar to drinking a cup of coffee.

The full report, entitled “The Mental and

Physical Effects of Riding a Motorcycle,”

which measured the biological and

physiological responses of more than 50

experienced motorcyclists using mobile EEG

technology will be presented later this year,

according to Harley.

Of course, the Milwaukee folks had their own

spin on the paper: “We’re leveraging the latest

technologies as we shift focus from exclusively

motorcycles to growing ridership, so it only

made sense to tap technology to explore the

impact of riding itself,” said Heather Malenshek,

Harley-Davidson’s senior vice president of

marketing and brand. “The research findings Dr.

Vaughn and his team identified help explain what

riders have felt for the past 116 years—there’s a

vitality and heightened sensory experience that

comes from the freedom of riding a motorcycle.

We hope their findings inspire the next

generation of riders to experience these benefits

along with us.”

Harley also took the opportunity to gently

push its Riding Academy schools for “those

who wish to experience the heightened

sensory experience of riding first-hand.” H-D

Riding Academy introduces interested newbies

to motorcycle riding and builds their skills,

regardless of experience level. To see what’s

near you, search for classes at h-d.com.

It’s what Vaughn’s colleague, UCLA

Professor Dr. Mark Cohen, said that hit the nail

on the head for us though: “While scientists

have long-studied the relationship of brain and

hormone responses to attention and stress,

doing so in real-life conditions such as these

is rare. No lab experiment can duplicate the

feelings that a motorcyclist would have on the

open road.”

Amen to that.

No more excuses then. Get a

bike and go ride, it will make you

feel better, fact!


Bridgestone's latest hypersport tyre: a

thrilling new product that will allow you

to experience the full extent of your

bike's performance on the road!


The technical upgrades on the S22

show performance enhancements in all

Bridgestone’s new Battlax Hypersport S22 tyre is ready to

areas. So what we had created the

take your riding experience to the next level in 2019.

ultimate hypersport tyre for all

conditions ?


Increase the

shoulder are

for optimum

angle and al

working forc

is positive on

drainage, fee

B A T T L A X H Y P E R S P O R T S 2 2





B A T T L A X H Y P E R S P O R T S 2 2





An in-depth look into Bridgestone's

latest hypersport tyre development.

An in-depth look into Bridgestone's

latest hypersport tyre development.

The S22 has adopted a new pattern

design in line with the needs and

requirements of hypersport users. The

light handling brought by the tyre

combined with its feedback and

cornering performance for maximum

confidence are a perfect match for any

hypersport rider.

By adopting new compounding

technology, Bridgestone’s hypersport

flagship model is showing no

compromise in wet and dry

performance on top of increasing the

total handling package.

The Battlax Hypersport S22 will become

the tyre partner taking your excitement

and thrill of riding to the next level.

5LC Compo

Balance be

stability wit

traction and

New tractio

with optimiz

the initial co

to upgrade

New center

silica molec


ratio (+25%



The Battlax Hypersport S22 is

Bridgestone's latest hypersport tyre: a

thrilling new product that will allow you

to experience the full extent of your

bike's performance on the road!

The technical upgrades on the S22

show performance enhancements in all

areas. So what we had created the

ultimate hypersport tyre for all

conditions ?

The S22 has adopted a new pattern

design in line with the needs and

requirements of hypersport users. The

light handling brought by the tyre

The Battlax Hypersport S22 is

Bridgestone's latest hypersport tyre: a

thrilling new product that will allow you

to experience the full extent of your

bike's performance on the road!

combined with its feedback and

cornering performance for maximum

confidence are a perfect match for any

hypersport rider.

By adopting new compounding

technology, Bridgestone’s hypersport

flagship model is showing no

compromise in wet and dry

performance on top of increasing the

total handling package.

The technical upgrades on the S22

show performance enhancements in all

areas. So what we had created the

ultimate hypersport tyre for all

conditions ?

The Battlax Hypersport S22 will become

the tyre partner taking your excitement

and thrill of riding to the next level.



Increase the Sea/Land ratio in the

shoulder area Sharp 3D end groove

for Increasing optimum cornering speed rigidity. in the dry Optimize groove

by 15% giving 1.2% faster dry

angle laptime. Generating and alignment less spinning to redirect the

from lower speeds onwards in Wet


conditions giving


5% faster


wetthe tyre. the impact


is positive on handling lightness, water

drainage, feedback and limit control.

The S22 has adopted ratio a new (+25% vs. pattern S21) touching the


design in line with the needs and

*Test data : BMW S1000RR , Autopolis Track JPN, BS proving ground JPN , 120/70 , 190/55 sizes.

requirements of hypersport users. The

light handling brought by the tyre


L I Nsoon E Uat Pdealers Nation-Wide

combined with its feedback and


Increase the Sea/Land ratio in the

shoulder area Sharp 3D end groove

for optimum rigidity. Optimize groove

angle and alignment to redirect the

working forces on the tyre. the impact

is positive on handling lightness, water

drainage, feedback and limit control.

Pattern design and compound

changes are reducing the slippage

towards the end of the contact area,

this generates more grip.

5LC Compound structure (Rear) :

Balance between Grip and cornering

stability with a harder center, softer

traction and softest edge compound.

New traction area compound applied

with optimized resin components in

the initial compound mixture in order

to upgrade the grip characteristics.

New center compound adopting fine

silica molecular approach :

Generating a higher silica molecule

Pattern design and compound

changes are reducing the slippage

towards the end of the contact area,

this generates more grip.


A 100 odd kilometre funride on most of the Sym model lineup with a very unlikely bunch

of hardcore bikers… Don’t scoff – bikes under 500cc are best sellers in South Africa – so

we went to find out why… By Sean Hendley. Pics by Glenn Foley




Even a Yeti like

Sean can enjoy

riding a scooter...





Your Testers - Sean who usually rides a GS1150, Gavin who races a ZX10,

Kurt - KTM1290 adv, Brett - 1290 SuperDuke, Nemo - Triumph Explorer.




How the Iconic Ducati 916 Changed the Superbike Game Forever - We look back at the

two-wheel titan that turns 25 this year, yet seems to remain timeless. By Peter Jackson

This year marks a quarter century since the

1994 Ducati 916 arrived on the world scene

and promptly moved the superbike goalposts.

More than any other motorcycle, the 916 is the

one that created the modern powerhouse that

is Ducati Motor Holding. It is by no means an

understatement to say that the 916 is the most

important motorcycle Ducati has ever built.

Emanating from the pen of the late Massimo

Tamburini, the “Michelangelo of Motorcycles,”

and powered by Massimo Bordi’s four-valve

desmodromic V-twin (measuring 94 x 66 mm

for 916 cc), the 916 became an instant classic

and the face of 1990s superbike culture.

Tamburini deliberately designed the steel-trellisframed

916—loved for its swooping, curving

aesthetic—to have the form of a lady when

viewed from above. Svelte and light in the

tradition of Italian sports motorcycles, this was

a machine unlike anything you could buy at

the time from either Europe or Japan, the latter

of which favoUred boxy, flat edges for their

superbikes including the Yamaha YZF750 and

Honda RC45.

Carl Fogarty racing

the 916 in the 1990s.

Ducati’s former

designer, the late

Massimo Tamburini.

Under the direction of then Ducati owners,

brothers Claudio and Gianfranco Castiglioni,

this was the first Ducati to be designed as a

complete project. Tamburini and Bordi worked

together from the outset to create a machine

that flowed elegantly from mechanical brilliance

to eye-popping beauty.

Ducati and Tamburini skirted the legal

mineshaft of creating the 916’s iconic

single-sided swingarm, the patent of which

was owned by Honda, and the immediately

identifiable under-seat exhausts—the

inspiration for which Tamburini freely admitted

he took from Honda’s NR750.


“Svelte and light in the

tradition of Italian sports

motorcycles, this was a

machine unlike anything you

could buy at the time from

either Europe or Japan...”

The Italians still harboured ambitions to win

the Suzuka 8 Hours and Bol d’Or 24 Hour

endurance races, and the single-sided

swingarm helped facilitate fast wheel changes.

Ducati never achieved this long-held company

ambition of endurance-race glory, but when it

came to the World Superbike Championship,

the 916 was a revelation.

The machine took five WorldSBK titles

between 1994 and 1999—four to Briton Carl

Fogarty and one to Australian Troy Corser. In

2001, the machine, now with 996 cc, took

one more WorldSBK title with Australian Troy

Bayliss before it was retired from service after

the 2002 season. It also racked up countless

race and title wins in the United States,

Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Like a fine wine, the 916 is one of those

rare creations that gets better with age. The

Tamburini-and-Bordi breakthrough crossed

cultural bounds, becoming more than just

another red Ducati motorcycle. It is a timeless

symbol of mechanical art, and one that looks

and rides as good today as it did 25 years ago.








Brad Binder was at home relaxing after a hectic Moto2 season, until he got a call

from us telling him to meet us at Redstar Raceway to test KTM’s new 790 Duke.

Words by Rob Portman. Pics by Gerrit Erasmus

The Marketing Manager from KTM SA, Mr Riaan

Neveling, called me up and asked me if I could

organize a photoshoot with Brad on the new

KTM 790 Duke to help market their latest naked

middleweight master-piece. And who better than a

2016 Moto3 World Champion who also happened to

help launch the concept model for the Austrian brand

back in 2016 at the EICMA Show.

So, I made the call to Brad and asked him if he

could help us out and he immediately replied “yes,

of course uncle just let me know where and when”.

So, we setup a date and headed out to Redstar

Raceway with a KTM 790 Duke fully dressed with all

the offi cial Powerparts available. The 790 is a great

looking bike even in stock trim but with all the bling

parts fi tted it really does stand out. The Akro pipe

looks great nestled just under the rear seat and helps

release a bit more roar from the new V-Twin powered

motor as well as give the already responsive power

plant a bit more zest.

The bike is actually owned by Ash Griffi n, a KTM

nutter who bought the bike after it was used in last


year’s Pirelli Bike of the Year test. I was told by

Ash when collecting the bike that he owns a

fire arm and that if anything were to happen to

his pride and joy he would not be shy in using

it. Thankfully, we gave him no reason to pull it

out and we returned the bike back in one piece,

albeit with slightly more used Pirelli rubber and

destroyed from and rear brake pads. Sorry Ash!!!

I am a big fan of the new 790 Duke and think

it’s the perfect naked bike for the mass market to

enjoy. It lends itself to a wide variety of rider – from

newby to hooligan – it’s a machine that can be

enjoyed and appreciated by all.

This was Brad’s first time riding the

middleweight naked bike and he was

immediately impressed by the amount of power

available from low in the rev range. “I was

surprised by the amount of power it had” said

Brad. “I wasn’t expecting the response I got from

set off. It was very responsive and I loved the

growl from the engine.”

Watching Brad hammer the bike around the

track and I could see that he was really enjoying

it. I had to deactivate all the rider aids as they

were just getting in the way and hampering

Brad’s fun. Plenty of wheelies (as you can see)

and slides took place during the test, just what

the 790 really loves doing. Brad, and myself,

did have a slight complaint about the front end,

which felt a bit stubborn and stiff especially when

trying to get it into the turns. Not a 100% sure

what the problem was as I had not experienced

that feeling on the previous two occasions I had

tested the 790 Duke. We both narrowed it down

to possibly being an unbalanced front wheel,

or just buckled, which is possible could be as I

found out later on that Ash likes to ride his bike on

the back wheel so plenty of hard landings for the

poor front end.

Besides that, the bike was faultless and I loved

how Brad described the bike in general after the

test, calling it “Brutally Beautiful.” I was shocked

to hear such big words come out of his mouth…

Overall both myself and Brad were left

impressed by the bike, not the first time it has

done it for me but certainly left a good first

impression with the Factory Red Bull KTM Moto2

rider. The brakes are sublime, a riding position

that gets you excited whilst offering a decent

amount of comfort all wrapped up in a machine

that is very appealing to the eye. The motor

and its performance for sure is the stand out

of this bike and with a respectable price tag of

R149,999 it’s for sure one of the best buys on the

market today. All dressed up in the Powerparts

as this one is it costs around R40k more, which

is not bad considering the impact it has on the

overall look and feel of the bike.



Brad says the MX training has helped with body flexibility and mental

strength. After his big wrist injury in 2017 he battled to get back to 100%, but

the riding, although painful at times, did help loosen and strengthen his wrist.

Words and pics by Rob Portman.


While at the 790 Duke test, Brad asked me if I would like to join him and a

bunch of other guys at the Tera Topia MX track later that week for some MX

training. Not wanting to make a fool of myself I accepted, but only to come

hang out and not ride, as I am not exactly talented when it comes to MX riding.

Brad was joined by his brother Darryn Binder and other top SA stars

Dorren Lourerio, Dino Iozzo and Taric vd Merwe at the very neat MX track

based just outside Krugersdorp in Diepsloot. Brad and Darryn would be

sharing the 250 KTM machine which KTM SA had supplied Brad for him to

use for training while here in SA.

I had never seen Brad in action on an MX bike, but had heard from

some of SA’s best MX riders that he was not too shabby on the dirty stuff.

Brad uses MX as a form of training to help keep him mentally and physically

strong. “MX riding is hard and I don’t do it at all during the race season as

it is too risky, but it’s a great way of staying sharp, as it pushes you mentally

and physically. In road racing you can afford to make one or two small

mistakes and get away with slight lapses in concertation, but in MX you

cannot afford to do that as it could be very costly.”

Watching Brad out on track and I couldn’t help but be impressed. The

guy really can ride anything with two wheels and even without pushing

100% he was on it. “When I ride MX I only ride at around 70% of what I can.

I can’t afford to push too hard in case something happens and I get injured.”

Both Brad and Darryn take their training very seriously and that was

made very apparent here as well. They don’t just simply go out and ride,

they have a plan to go out and do no less that 25 minutes of hard MX riding.

Even if the track or bike doesn’t feel quite right they don’t back down. They

get the job done. Again, very impressive to see these guys in action.

After a hard day of riding where thankfully no crashes or injuries were had

by any of the guys, I asked Brad about the upcoming season and what his

goals were. “I want to win it, simple!” he said. “We have a lot of work to do

with the new bike but I am excited to get going. Last year’s performances

don’t mean much this season, as it’s an all-new challenge for us all. There is

some stiff competition as always, but I am ready for the challenge and want

to be champion.”

Confi dant words from Brad who really does look like he means business

this year. I want to thank him for letting me hang out with him while training

and wish him, Darryn and all the other guys the best of luck for the season

ahead – the whole of SA is right behind you!





Where Riders Become Racers....



GPS Co-ordinates

S26 04'30.9" E28 45'20.0"

082 757 3138











25 MAY







find us on facebook




Words & pics by Rob Portman



My 701 has taken me to many places over

the past couple of months and without

hassle. Not one problem to report so far.

Nothing but smiles for miles!

This “Super Single” has been the perfect

wingman for me to date and I have honestly

enjoyed everything about this bike since

taking delivery a couple of months ago. After

having my reservations about the bike, I

have grown to really enjoy this simpler form

of motorcycling – and that’s exactly what

Husqvarna wanted to portray with their new

street range – a simple, effective way of


Still so very impressed by the sublime

braking capabilities of this bike, which have got

me out of many a jam so far. The gearbox has

also surprised me somewhat, as while it does

feel a bit clunky at times, not one hiccup so far.

Since the last issue I have added another

480km to the clock and some more genuine

Husqvarna Powerparts to the bike. This

month we fi tted the billet aluminium pegs and

new styled seat.

The new seat has a sleek and elegant

design to it and adds to the bikes

uncompromising look. Doesn’t really feel that

much different to the standard seat to be

honest, it really just adds a bit more fl air. The

pegs round design does make for a more

comfortable ride and feel. The pegs will also

help my brother out on track in his attempt to

scrape his elbow.

Yes, I have to take full blame for dropping

the ball this month. I did make mention in last

month’s article that we would be putting my

brothers attempt to the test, but sadly we just

did not fi nd the time to do so. But, I will make

sure it happens before the next issue along

with fi tting the new Metzeler M7RR tyres,

which will also help him with his attempt as

they have plenty of grip.

So, I say it again, next month you will

either see pictures of my brother getting it

right, or getting it horribly wrong. Let’s hope

he gets it right….



• 23 February RSR

• 4 May Phakisa

• 4 June Kyalami

• 27 July East London

• 21 September Phakisa

• 19 October RSR

For more information email motorcycleracingseries@gmail.com

Dunlop SA & RideFast Magazine are proud supporters

2019 is set to see the launch of a brand new Motorcycle Racing Series in

South Africa comprising of 7 rounds across the country.

The Monocle Motorcycle Racing Series is aimed at bringing affordable, fun

racing to the masses - from eager track day rider to breakfast run warriors

- this Series is For the Riders, by the Riders!

The Series will cater for a range of bikes and riders, with classes such as:

• BOTTS Masters

• Ultimate Superbike 1000cc & Supersport 600cc

• Supersport 300

• Classic Racers

• StreetBike Racers - newcomers/road bikes welcome

Entry fee is capped at R1500 per rider - enter as many classes as you like

and only pay R1500.

You don’t have to belong to a racing association, no special racing license is

required - all you need is an active medical aid scheme.

Dunlop SA have come on board as a supporter of the Series and will offer

all riders discount on racing tyres but riders are welcome to use whatever

tyres they like - there is NO single tyre rule!

RideFast Magazine will publish all the races in the magazine over the year,

giving the Series massive amounts of coverage.

All bikes and riders welcome! The only rule is to have fun!



Making their final preparations ahead of the 2019 season opener, 16

WorldSBK and 12 WorldSSP riders were out on track around Circuito de

Jerez Ángel Nieto for the opening day of testing at the Andalusian circuit.

Despite the chilly temperature, the MOTUL FIM

Superbike World Championship riders were

able to take full advantage of the good weather,

putting in a considerable number of laps and

working all day through their testing programs.

With the track having been resurfaced over the

winter break they all had to wait for the tarmac

to warm up, before continuing with the work

they had planned for the day.

Completing a positive day one of testing,

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes

closed the day at the top of the timesheets,

impressing with a flying lap in 1’40.422. The

British rider was not really focusing in making

the lap times, but as the work on the bike was

proceeding well for the rider, the fast lap times

were achieved consistently, next steps are now

all focused towards Phillip Island.

Waiting for track condition to progress

reigning world champion Jonathan Rea sat out

the opening hours of the day and came out of

his garage around 2 pm. Working on testing

different components for his ZX-10RR, the

Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK rider has been


focusing in getting is the overall package ready

for Australia and he continued with the same

program on day two. After a few laps done in

the afternoon he was soon at the top of the

timesheet before Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha

WorldSBK Team) took the lead of the opening

day, pushing the WorldSBK champion back into

second position just 0.008 s behind him.

Sitting in third the new Kawasaki Racing

WorldSBK team recruit Leon Haslam, continued

the familiarization process with the WorldSBK

machine. The British rider focused in putting in

as many laps as possible, adapting to the new

bike and learning the electronics. Thanks to a

fastest lap in 1’40.885 he ended the day just

0.435 s off his teammate.

Impressing with his overall pace, Turkish rider

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)

finished the day in fourth position, after returning

in the saddle of his ZX-10RR for the first time for

2019. Leading during the first part of the day,

the Turkish rider put in another strong lap in the

afternoon closing in 1’41.001.



Testing a combination of chassis part,

settings and electronics Dutchman Michael

van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)

set the fifth fastest lap in 1’41.047, just 0.605 s

behind his teammate.

Working on their full factory configuration

for the first time, the brand new GRT Yamaha

WorldSBK team took their time to get

acquainted with the new package. Both Marco

Melandri and Sandro Cortese were able to

get used with their machine updates early on

and finished the day respectively in sixth and

seventh position.

Following just behind the Aruba.it Racing

– Ducati Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista had

a lot of things to work on as they continued to

improve their Ducati Panigale V4 R. Back at

his full strength, as he was riding injured last

time, Davies completed a positive first day,

despite suffering a small crash through turn

5 late in the afternoon, meaning he couldn’t

improve more. The Ducati rider ended the day

eighth with a best lap in 1’41.375. Spanish

star Alvaro Bautista took his time to get used

to the WorldSBK machine as he had only two

days on the V4 before returning to Jerez. The

Spaniard set a lap time of 1’41.857 after 44

laps ending the day in ninth position.

Davies and Bautista were not the only

Ducati riders on track as also Eugene Laverty

(Team Goeleven) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi

(BARNI Racing Team) were out taming

their Ducati Panigale V4 R. The Irishman,

who made the debut on the new Bologna

factory bike today, finished in 12th position,

while Rinaldi, who was working also on new

suspensions, finished the day thirteenth.

Closing the top ten Spaniard Jordi Torres

(Team Pedercini Racing) ended the day in tenth

position. The Spaniard put in 82 laps as he

was testing new components for his Kawasaki

ZX-10RR. Another Kawasaki rider, Leandro

Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) finished

eleventh as he was working with a different

crew from last season.

Completing the timesheet, WorldSBK

rookie Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie

Racing Team), who was the first SBK rider to

take to the track this morning, closed the day

in 14th position. It was strange not seeing the

full team out on track with riders Leon Camier

and Ryuichi Kiyonari. They missed out on

crucial track time and no word on why.

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team were

also out on track testing today. Both Markus

Reiterberger and Tom Sykes were working

on getting familiar with their bikes as well as

a trying different electronic strategy. With their

focus on these aspects and not on the times,

both the two riders had not been using a

transponder, meaning they didn’t have they

unofficial lap times recorded.

The WorldSBK riders were not the only one

testing, as there were also FIM Supersport

Marcus Rieterberger and

Tom Sykes on the new BMW

S1000RR machines.

Raffaele De Rosa

Lucas Mahias

World Championship top team taking to

the track around Jerez. Federico Caricasulo

(BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)

closed on top, followed by Raffaele De Rosa

(MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) and teammate

Randy Krummenacher. Frenchman Lucas

Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished

fourth with fellow Hikari Okubo close behind.

Davies getting to

grips with the new

Panigale V4R.

New GMT Yamaha rider

Marco Melandri.


Ominous signs for the rest of

the field as Rea looks hungrier

and faster than ever.

BSB champ

Leon Haslam

loving his return

to WSBK.

Rea back at the top of

the charts on day two.

Sun shone down on the final day of testing at

the Spanish circuit of Jerez, where the riders

were able to continue their final arrangements

ahead of the 2019 season opener that will be

held in less than a month in Australia.

With the temperature being warmer than the

first day, day two around Jerez saw many riders

improving their paces and the top ten riders of

day closing in less than a second at the front.

Facing some stiff competition from the

Yamaha and Ducati rivals, reigning world

champion Jonathan Rea took to the track

early this morning working on the small 2019

updates for his ZX-10RR. The four-time world

champion didn’t lose any time and, in the

end, he was able to return at the top of the

timesheets, thanks to a fastest lap time in

1’39.160, just a few seconds ahead of the

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes.

Stunning with his consistency and overall

pace during both the two days, the Yamaha

rider closed second in 1’39.372 and he

continued to make progress with his machine

as he completed 102 laps around the

Andalusian race track. Working on improving

the acceleration of his bike and testing new

parts for the YZF R1 machine, his teammate

Michael van der Mark closed in seventh

position with a fastest lap time of 1’40.145.

Focusing on getting more comfortable on

his new bike, Leon Haslam had a positive

two-day test, as he closed also just 0.342 s off

his teammate in third position. The British rider

was able to be fast on both days, building on

his confidence with the ZX-10RR.

Making an important step forward, Alvaro

Bautista brought his Ducati Panigale V4 R in

fourth position, closing 0.460 s off Rea’s lap

time. The Spaniard had a busy day gathering

as much information as possible to work on,

and design the best base set-up for their allnew

Ducati machine. On the other side of the

garage, Chaz Davies sat out on the opening

hours of the day and took to the track later

in the afternoon putting in only a few laps,

closing the day in tenth. As he was feeling

some pain in his back after the crash he had

the day before, Davies decided to take it easy

as he aims to be back at his full strength for

the next pre-season test that would be held a

few weeks later. Both independent team riders

Michael Rinaldi and Eugene Laverty, who

finished respectively ninth and twelfth, worked

alongside their new teams producing valuable

feedbacks that will be used also by the factory

team to improve their Ducati beast.

Toprak Razgatlioglu continued to impress,

stunning with his performance along the two

days. The Turkish rider finished in fifth position,

with a fastest lap time in 1’39.942.

Continuing to work with the new team

structure GRT Yamaha WorldSBK rider Marco

Melandri had a busy day as he put in a total of

87 laps onboard his Yamaha finishing eighth

overall, while his teammate Sandro Cortese

had his progression slowed down by a small

crash he suffered early in the morning. The

German walked away from the accident

on his feet but had to wait for his bike to be

recovered and repaired before returning to

the track in the afternoon and setting the sixth

fastest time.

Towards the end of the day, the BWM

Motorrad WorldSBK riders Tom Sykes

and Markus


had their

Laverty on the

Panigale V4R.

transponders finally recording a few of their

lap times. Happy with the progresses made

over the two day, they closed respectively in

fourteenth and fifteenth position.

Among the WorldSSP riders Federico

Caricasulo continued to lead the way also on

day two with Frenchman Lucas Mahias closing

second just 0.222 s behind him.

1. Jonathan Rea 1’39.160

2. Alex Lowes 1’39.372

3. Leon Haslam 1’39.502

4. Alvaro Bautista 1’39.620

5. Toprak Razgatlioglu 1’39.942

6. Sandro Cortese 1’40.075

7. Michael van der Mark 1’40.145

8. Marco Melandri 1’40.469 +1.309

9. Michael Ruben Rinaldi 1’40.540

10. Chaz Davies 1’40.621

11. Leandro Mercado 1’40.794

12. Eugene Laverty 1’40.879

13. Jordi Torres 1’41.066

14. Tom Sykes 1’41.206

15. Markus Reiterberger 1’41.231

16. Alessandro Delbianco 1’42.353

Bautista getting more

and more comfortable

on the new V4R.


RF Garage


Brought to you by

Adjusting your fuel injection system

From time to time, even maintenance-free fuel injection systems need a little attention

and resynchronising to ensure your engine runs smoothly.

Step by step: How to adjust your fuel injection system

Unlike carburettors, which often need re-adjustment, fuel injection systems require minimal maintenance as long as all the electronic components

are in working order and the system is kept clean. To prevent soiling, a fuel system cleaner should be used in the fuel tank when the motorcycle

is not in use to prevent resinous deposits. Also, you should always adhere to the air fi lter service intervals.

Vacuum connections/rubber plugs

Tank must be secured to prevent it slipping

Bypass screws: set same values on all gauges

Other fuel injection system installed without air filter

Connecting synchroniser vacuum tubes

Lift out tank and secure, e.g. with a piece of wood



• Specifi cally formulated to clean and ensure

optimum performance of all types of petrol

injectors and injection systems.

• Increases power, performance, fuel economy

and engine life while reducing exhaust

emission and corrosion.

• Add one bottle to fuel every 1 000 km.

Available at selected dealers nationwide.

Air filter housing must be removed


1: Just like multiple carburettor setups, the fuel injection

system in multi-cylinder engines has multiple throttle

valves, the synchronisation of which is crucial to smooth

engine running. The throttle valves are opened and

closed by the throttle twistgrip, thereby regulating the

quantity of air and fuel supplied to the engine at a given

moment. Due to mechanical stress, the basic setting of

the throttle valves changes slightly over time and, as a

result, the engine becomes noticeably out of sync when

idling. You can tell from the sound of the exhaust system,

and also from a fl uctuating engine idle speed – put

simply, the engine no longer runs smoothly. It’s time to

resynchronise the fuel injection system.

2: To adjust the fuel injection system, you need a

synchroniser, such as the ones from Rothewald for 2- or

4-cylinder engines. Also the adjustment tools are very

useful for some models. Before you start adjustment,

warm up the engine so that the cold-start device does

not falsify the readings. Then place the motorcycle

securely on the stand – ideally in the open air but, if

inside in a garage, always so that the exhaust fumes

can escape directly to the outside without you breathing

them in while you work.

3: Connect the tubes of the vacuum gauges to the

connection points on the fuel injection system after fi rst

removing the rubber plugs or tubes from the connections.

Gaining access to the fuel injection system

4: If the tank covers the fuel injection system, it must

be raised and supported on something, like a plank

of wood. Often the tank cannot be removed entirely

because it contains the integrated fuel pump. The pump

is actuated by the control electronics and is required for

the engine to run.

Adjust the pointer damping

5: When “propping up” the tank, make sure that it

cannot slip and cause injury or annoying damage to

your motorcycle!

6: In addition, on our demonstration bike, the airbox

must be removed to get at the fuel injection system.

Synchronising the throttle valves

7: Now you can start the engine and begin adjusting the

throttle valves by screwing the bypass screws in or out

until all gauges show the same readings.

8: The purpose of this is to adjust the small air gap

opened up by the throttle valves when idling so that

air is sucked into the combustion chambers on all

cylinders at exactly the same vacuum and at the same

rpm, which ensures the engine works evenly on all

cylinders. To enable you to correctly read the gauges,

they must fi rst be calibrated to each other according

to their instructions for use, and the damping must be

adjusted so that the pointers fl utter only slightly. When

adjusting the throttle valves, generally the aim is not to

set a specifi c vacuum – most motorcycle manufacturers

do not specify one – but to achieve the same value on

all the throttle valves. Then the system will work “in

sync” for all cylinders. If one gauge shows a completely

different reading from the others, this may indicate that

the basic setting of that throttle valve is completely

wrong, or it may mean there is a fault or damage such

as loss of compression on one cylinder or a leaking

intake manifold. If you cannot fi nd and rectify the fault

yourself, then you must go to a motorcycle workshop.

The throttle valves are adjusted using the so-called

bypass screws (see Fig. 7). Never touch other sealed

or colour-coded adjusting screws! All bypass screws

should be open at least half a revolution.


Trade Enquiries: (011) 672-6599

Email: mark@trickbitz.co.za

Enquire at your local dealer

Office Hours Mon-Fri 8am-5pm



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