APRIL 2019 RSA R35.00
9 772075 405004
MOTO2 BIKE TEST
Two Johann Zarco Suter Moto2 race bikes
tested around Kyalami.
We put the new Orange
bikes through the ultimate
adventure test in Morocco.
Solo Ride Around SA: Road trip from East Coast to West Coast on a Ducati Panigale 899 | Kymco Scooters: Launched back in SA!
EDITOR & DESIGN:
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071 684 4546
011 979 5035
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methods, without the prior written
permission of the publisher.
“You had me at hello” – that was the fi rst thought that
went through my mind when gazing upon the all-new
BMW S1000RR at the world launch test held in Portugal.
When the fi rst offi cial pictures of the bike were released
at the end of last year I thought it was gorgeous and
much better looking than the previous model, but when
I saw it up close and personal in Portugal it truly was
love at fi rst sight. The styling was so much better, more
refreshing than ever. I was never
a big fan of the previous models
look with those funny shaped
eyes but this new one was spot
on and you can’t help but to
stare into those new LED’s.
BMW really do know how to
put on a launch and I went
from one business class seat
on the plane to another at the
track. Everything about the
new S1000RR is better and the
sportbike class have just got
another serious contender for top
honours. We feature the full world
launch test in this issue, which I
was lucky enough to attend.
Another world launch test we
feature in this issue is KTM’s new
middleweight adventure bikes – the 790 Adventure and
Adventure R. The launch was over the same period as
the S1000RR, so I could not attend but we did manage
to send my brother along. It was a gruelling adventure
and one my brother managed to survive, which means
the bike must be good. He sent us a really good article
on his exploits in Morocco and by the sounds of it
KTM have created machines that are going to fl y off
showroom fl oors.
March has come and gone and what a busy month
it was. From the world launch tests to MotoGP, every
second of every day was consumed by what I love
most – motorcycles!
MotoGP was back on track (thank the Lord) and once
again it did not disappoint. Make sure you check out and
subscribe to my new YouTube channel, where I not only
highlight and show off all the new bikes I get to test out,
but also sit down with fellow MotoGP nutter, Donovan
Fourie, and talk everything that is MotoGP. I have been
asked many times to do a YouTube channel and fi nally I
have got it up and running and for sure it will get bigger
and better as time goes on (search Robert Portman).
Last month I asked you all to email me your thoughts
on adding more lifestyle features into the magazine.
I received plenty of emails saying that we must not
change too much and rather stick to the winning formula
that we have, which is racing and all things sporty,
with the odd lifestyle feature and bike test thrown in.
So, that’s exactly what we will continue doing and I
thank you all for your emails as it’s the only way we can
improve and keep giving you want you want.
In this issue, we once again have the perfect blend of
sport and lifestyle. Apart from the BMW
and KTM world launch tests, we also
feature a World Exclusive test on two
actual Johan Zarco Moto2 Suter racing
machines. Myself and Shez Morais
were lucky enough to get the chance
to sample these amazing machines
at the recent event held at Kyalami
hosted by Arno and Dave from Track-
Daze. Another top-notch event made
even more special by the two Moto2
machines. Big thanks to owner Clint
Potgieter for letting us test his unique
beauties, it was very stressful but
Round two of the new Monocle
Motorcycle Racing series took place
at Redstar Raceway recently and
I am happy to announce that after
our cheeky, yet positive showing at round one, where
we took a stock Honda CBR1000RR demo bike and
raced it in the new Streetbike class, without informing
Honda SA, we have received that very same bike to
race in the ever-growing series for the remainder of the
year. We entered Shaun into the 1000cc superbike class
for round two, still in stock trim after not having time to
get it race prepped. Bike Kings SA kindly supplied us
with a set of grippy Bridgestone V02 slicks while AJ
Venter from Lekka racing helped us out with a bit of prep
before the race. We have the full feature in this issue and
look forward to adding some more race parts to the
bike and entering it not only in the remaining Moncole
races, but also selected track day events to help show
off just what an amazing machine the CBR1000RR is.
At R208,999, which now includes quick-shift and autoblip,
the CBR1000RR has to be one of the best valued
superbikes on the market today.
A Kymco scooter launch, an all Italian bike day in Cape
Town, a fantastic solo ride around SA by one of our
readers on his Ducati 899 along with an update on our
Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 long-termer makes for another
world-class issue this month, one that I really hope you
will sit back and enjoy! Until next month, please ride safe!
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 1
A P R I L 2 0 1 9
Rob tests the new BMW
S1000RR in Portugal.
ORIGINALE ITALIAN TRACK DAY
MONOCLE ROUND 2
WORLD LAUNCH TEST
KTM 790 ADVENTURE’S IN MOROCCO
KYMCO BACK IN SA
SOLO RIDE AROUND SA
JOHANN ZARCO MOTO2 RACERS
2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Aprilia RSV4 X: Magnificent!
Meet one of the most exclusive Aprilia RSV4s of all time.
Aprilia unveiled the RSV4 X - a ten units
limited edition superbike to celebrate the
birth of the first model, which was unveiled
in 2009. With its 225 horsepower and 165
kg, it’s one of the lightest and most powerful
sports bikes around.
And here’s an interesting thing - Aprilia
mounted a gearbox with neutral below first
gear - the first production bike in the world
of this kind. The system is called ANN (Aprilia
No Neutral) and speeds up-shifting from first
to second, while preventing any up-shifting
errors, claims Aprilia. Another highlight -
the Brembo GP4-MS calipers - these act
on a pair of steel brake discs with T-Drive
Each of the ten Aprilia RSV4 X bikes, offered
at a price of 39,900 Euro (around R700k),
can be reserved exclusively online from the
second half of April, by accessing the website
factoryworks.aprilia.com. The lucky buyers
will have the chance to collect their bike from
Aprilia Racing and enjoy an exclusive tour of
the Noale racing department. RSV4 X is part
of the Factory Works programme launched
by Aprilia Racing.
The RSV4 X is built around a 65 degrees V4
engine, and it’s derived from the RSV4 1100
Factory. The claimed dry weight sits at 165
kg due to the carbon fairing, and a lighter fuel
tank. Also, there’s racing push-button panel
for adjusting the main electronic controls.
There are numerous billet aluminum details,
such as the clutch lever, the front brake
lever guard, the engine sump guards, the
adjustable foot pegs and the upper steering
plate, important details that make for a further
weight saving. Aprilia RSV4 X also comes
with Marchesini forged magnesium wheels
and Pirelli slick tyres.
The 1100 cc V4 engine is prepared by Aprilia
Racing - this involves hand-assembly and
fine-tuning of all tolerances, just as it’s done
for competition engine. The distribution
system is also overhauled, with the adoption
of new intake camshafts, new valve return
springs, and caps, as well as brand-new
convex bucket tappets that, similarly
sized, allow for the use of shafts with more
aggressive cam profiles, deriving from SBK.
The Akrapovic exhaust system features
titanium manifolds and a carbon tailpipe,
while the air filter has been replaced with
a Sprintfilter element: the air filter with the
highest permeability available on the market
(as well as being waterproof), the same unit
used by Aprilia Racing in MotoGP. Electronic
tuning is guaranteed by a specific ECU
mapping, with dedicated track settings.
These components ensure an increase in
maximum power, from an already excellent
217 HP for the standard model to the
impressive 225 HP of the RSV4 X.
4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Raceworx KTM & Husqvarna West
Two Premium brands - One Premium destination
For the first time in SA, the KTM Group will
see two of their brands, KTM and Husqvarna,
being run from one premium dealership at
one premium destination. A massive new
premises has been build at the Corner of
Hendrik Potgieter Rd and Zandvliet Rd in
Roodepoort. This is where Racewrox KTM
and the new Husqvarna West dealerships will
be situated. Two separate dealerships at a
single convenient venue. It makes great sense
to us and this store is quite amazing to see.
One destination for all enthusiasts to come
see, feel and enjoy everything about these two
exciting, passionate brands.
Raceworx KTM was established back in
2010 and has grown into one of the top KTM
dealers in SA and will now be adding the
Husqvarna brand to its line-up, albeit separate
to Raceworx KTM.
The new premises is spectacular and is a
haven for any and all motorcycle enthusiasts,
especially those who are fans of the Austrian
and Swedish brands. The Raceworx KTM
side is fully stocked with all the latest KTM
models - MX, Enduro, Offroad and street -
and is also packed with all the official KTM
Powerparts and Powerwear.
Wonder next door to the Husqvarna
West section and you will be treated to a
fully stocked store with everything that is
Husqvarna - from Powerwear and Powerparts
to the full range of exciting new Husqvarna
models including the new street range. This
side is still not 100% complete but is trading.
There is a massive open-viewed workshop
kitted out with all the tools needed to service
both KTM and Husqvarna brands. They also
have the latest tech available and we were
shocked to see an iPad being used to scan a
motorcycle to help pic up and faults. More on
this coming soon…
Both floors feature a range of quality used
motorcycles, as well as an accessories
store upstairs loaded with all the top brands
catering for all your needs and wants,
including tyre and spares.
Be careful when visiting these stores, you
could easily walk out with a very worn credit
card as it really is a biking paradise.
While both stores are situated at the same
premises, both will be run completely
separate with each store having their own
identity and experienced, knowledgeable
staff at hand to assist. When we chatted to
Riaan Neveling (KTM SA Marketing Manager)
and Fred Fincham (Husqvarna SA Brand
manager), who were both very excited about
this new venture, they both stressed the fact
that while both brands are run under the same
KTM Group banner, they are still very much
opposition and rivals and will be run like that at
this new premises.
Lindsay and Francois Du Toit: The designers of the centre.
KTM Parts: Calvin and Garrick.
New and used motorcycle sales: Jannie, Leith, Dylan, Allan.
6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Front of Shop and accessory department:
Jacques, Brent and Josh.
Workshop: Johan, Frankie, Pritchard, Victor, Edgar, Tebogo.
It’s an exciting time for both the KTM and Husqvarna brands who have
really come out with very exciting models over the past couple of years and
who’s extensive range, not only of motorcycles, but also Powerwear and
Powerparts, will satisfy any and all motorcycle nutters.
We would like to wish the entire team at Raceworx KTM and Husqvarna
West nothing but the best going forward and congratulate them on this big
step. It’s refreshing to see a company like this showing some positivity in an
industry that doesn’t always reflect that attitude.
Amazing store, great people, your all in one motorcycle shopping destination!
Corner Hendrik Potgieter Rd &, Zandvliet Rd, Wilgespruit, Roodepoort.
Web: raceworxktm.co.za - Tel: 011 027 9922
Web: www.husqvarnawest.co.za - Tel: 010 443 3776
An all new service centre concept has been developed
by Performance Technic.
The new massive motorcycle centre, situated right
next door to the Kyalami track in Midrand, offers a
unique and a first in South Africa where you’ll get a
FREE 1 year comprehensive warranty with a combined
R100k cover; Including Engine, Gearbox, Drive
Train, Fuel System, Braking System, Electrical, when
servicing through their expert and mint workshop. It’s
an Incredible offer with no T&C’s, all they ask is that all
services and maintenance is carried out by them.
Performance Technic offers fixed service menus, so
there are no hidden surprises! Services start from
R699! Performance Technic are master tuners using
the latest technology available in the world from
Dimsport Italy. They currently tune Clinton Seller and
Blaze Baker’s championship leading R1 and R6
racebikes and have a full dyno facility in-house.
They also have a fully stocked accessories department
catering for all your road, adventure and offroad needs.
Plenty to gaze at including a range of Akrapovic pipes.
Call Callie on 0108822849 or email Callie@fireitup.
co.za. Visit their world class facility at Unit 1, 17
Indianapolis Street Kyalami Business Park.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 7
Another kind of street
Husqvarna’s new Svartpilen 701 Street
Explorer ready to hits the market.
Husqvarna has taken a further step towards
fulfilling their progressive vision of street
motorcycling by announcing the release
of the SVARTPILEN 701. This thrilling new
model, which was first introduced during
the 2018 EICMA International Motorcycle
show in Milan, will soon be available for sale
throughout the SA dealer network.
A flat-track inspired street explorer, the
SVARTPILEN 701 is the latest addition to
the pioneering VITPILEN and SVARTPILEN
motorcycle range. With the SVARTPILEN
701 offering an exciting riding experience
both within the city and beyond, Husqvarna
are poised to make this inspiring new model
the highlight among the brand’s 2019 ‘Real
Street’ model line-up.
The SVARTPILEN 701 - Black Arrow,
in Swedish - is designed to appeal to
style-conscious motorcycle enthusiasts
while offering outstanding performance
in all riding conditions. Featuring a sleek,
flat-track inspired design, the SVARTPILEN
701 is built around a powerful singlecylinder
engine that offers an outstanding
performance of 75 hp [power] and 72.0
Nm [torque]. With the SVARTPILEN 701
providing fully-adjustable WP suspension,
exceptional stopping power is guaranteed
thanks to the combination of Brembo
brakes and the latest Bosch ABS
SVARTIPILEN 701 HIGHLIGHTS
• Simple yet progressive design
• The most advanced single cylinder engine
on the market (75 hp, 72 Nm, 692.7 cc)
• High quality components & technology as
• Up/down Easy Shift
• Ride-by-wire throttle
• Cutting edge Bosch ABS & Brembo
• Fully-adjustable WP suspension
• Slipper clutch
• Premium LED lights
SVARTPILEN 701 riders have the
opportunity to personalise their motorcycle
with a dedicated additional range of original
parts. Husqvarna also offer an extensive lineup
of riding gear and accessories, designed
to suit the style and needs of modern-day
For further details on pricing and availability
of the SVARTPILEN 701, visit your local
Husqvarna Motorcycle dealer.
Our Editor Rob Portman will be jetting off to
the World Launch of the new SVARTPILEN
701 in Portugal and we will feature the full
launch test in next months magazine.
Honda Wing Menlyn
Albie Eagar and his team, over and above
selling plenty Honda’s into the market from their
dealership close to Menlyn Mall, have quietly
been getting bums in saddles and training new
riders for years on superbikes.
They run a monthly track day at Zwartkops
race track on the western side of Pretoria, with
highly qualified and passionate instructors giving
each student rider individual and personalised
attention and guidance within groups of riders at
the same skill level as themselves.
Novice rider groups first do a classroom session
for an hour or so before being taken out onto
track to put the theory into practice. Once out
on track, all the instructors and marshals are in
comms via two way radios and enforce strict
discipline on the track to keep everybody safe
and having fun. Nothing is more off putting to a
novice rider than being bullied on track by more
During the track sessions, students initially follow
their instructor while he/she demonstrates the
theory. The instructors then drop behind the
student riders to observe and then give them
feedback once in the pits on how to build up
their confidence, improve their riding skills and
enjoyment of riding.
Pricing for these track days is not expensive at
R550.00 per rider for the day, here are the dates
for the rest of 2019 – all at Zwartkops:
• 7 April
• 26 May
• 9 June
• 21 July
• 18 August
• 22 September
• 13 October
• 3 November
• 1 December
Give them a call on (012) 470 – 9200 or drop
them a mail at email@example.com and if you’re
in the area stop in for a cup of coffee at cnr.
January Masilela and Garsfontien rd’s Menlyn.
They have some really good specials (as
advertised in this magazine), are always well
stocked and ready with a friendly smile.
8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations!
The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost. Photo: R. Schedl
WHERE ART MEETS STREET. The VITPILEN 701 is an immaculately
designed street bike that offers a new perspective on urban motorcycling.
Driven by a powerful single-cylinder engine, this compact and agile
motorcycle is expertly crafted to deliver minimalist styling with exceptional
performance and reduced to the bare essence of what a motorcycle should
be. Created to suit the unique, progressive lifestyle of modern motorcycling,
it delivers a more thrilling, honest and real bike experience.
KTM to Build an 890cc Engine?
KTM has its new 790 parallel twin engine that it’s
putting in bikes. The company has also said it’s
working on a 500cc engine, but now it seems there
could be an 890cc engine joining the KTM ranks.
According to reports, KTM might use the
790 engine and bump up the displacement
thanks to a larger bore and longer stroke
inside the crankcase.
Having said that, it would more or less be
the same engine just with some additional
displacement, making room for more
power. What KTM will use that extra power
for is, at this point, still up in the air. Asphalt
and Rubber speculates it could be for an
SMT model to compete directly with the
Ducati Hypermotard 950.
Another option for the Austrian motorcycle
manufacturer is to just hit all areas of
the middleweight category by offering
the higher displacement engine in a
variety of models. The company has
expressed interest in really focusing on the
middleweight segment of the market, and
adding an engine with a bit more power
than the 790 currently makes would be a
way to cover all of its bases.
If it doesn’t cost too much to produce the
engine it could be sold as a performance
upgrade for bikes that people are already
considering. Because the engine is
essentially the same as the 790 this could
be possible. The only question then is how
much more would it cost and will people
justify spending the extra money. If the
pricing is too close to the 790 I’d think
people would just never buy the 790. If it’s
too high nobody will buy it and just stick
with the 790.
Suzuki SA’s 8th Annual Weekend Away will take
place between the 5th July to the 7th July 2019 at
Hotel Numbi and Garden Suites in Mpumalanga.
All Bike makes are welcome and bookings are
done directly with Hotel Numbi & Garden Suites.
When booking quote; Reservation number
Cost: R795 per person sharing per night
(R3180.00 per couple for the weekend),
R995.00 per single occupancy room per night
(R1990.00 per single room for the weekend).
Rate: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included
Contact: Michelle Conlon (Reservations) during
013 737 7301/2/3/4 or E-mail Reservations@
Once you have made your booking please E-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org with your Name, T-shirt
size and reservation number.
Bike Tyre Warehouse
Fun Day, 27th April
Having launched the Michelin Power RS and
Anakee Wild at the Kyalami Bike show over two
consecutive years, BTW will now be launching
the much anticipated new dual purpose Anakee
Adventure tyre OEM fi tment on the newly
launched BMW 1250 adventure.
Bike Tyre Warehouse always puts on great brand
events; with guaranteed crazy tyre deals on the
day; fun prizes; Michelin goodies; with qualifi ed
technical personnel on hand to answer any all
your technical queries; braai packs and cold beer;
live music and great company.
So if you into adventure riding or are a Michelin
loyalist or are just curious about the brand pop
into the BTW Fourways branch situated at the
Buzz Shopping Centre on Saturday the 27th of
April 2019 (public holiday). The day kicks off from
9am – 17pm.
Bike Tyre Warehouse will be fi tting tyres
throughout the day and a lucky draw could earn
you a set of the new Anakee Adventure tyres.
One TIP; don’t wash your dualie as the dirtiest
bike on the day gets a free Bikini Babe Bike Wash.
10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Zero unveils its next-generation SR/F electric
sportsbike, with a crazy 190 Nm of torque.
The new SR/F is here, and it’s the biggest thing
that’s happened at Zero Motorcycles since the
SR sent us into hysterics back in 2014. Built
from the ground up with significant leaps
in torque, horsepower, charge speed and
connected tech, this 120-mph monster will be
a wild ride.
Of all the electric motorcycle companies on
the market today, none have been fighting
it out in the trenches longer than California’s
Zero Motorcycles, which opened its doors way
back in 2006. Many brands – Brammo, Alta,
Mission and others – have come and gone as
the harsh reality of battery pricing has made
them a tough sell commercially. Zero, and its
financial backers, have stood fast, beloved of
early adopters and EV nerds and always ready
to give petrolheads their first mind-blowing
experience of electric riding.
It’s been five years since the barnstorming SR
hit the streets, and Zero has been working
away on a new flagship for some time now.
And here it is: the Zero SR/F.
Pity about the dry name – all Zero’s models
are simple letter denominations. But this thing
represents a ground-up build of a totally new
platform, and it looks like an absolute beast.
Where the SR dropped our jaws with its 70
horsepower and 144 Nm of torque, the SR/F’s
brand new ZF75-10 motor is ready to hurl you
into the future with 110 horsepower and 190
Nm of torque.
110-horsepower motorcycles are a dime a
dozen in the 600 supersport class and above.
But there’s nothing you can buy in the petrol
class that’ll give you the kind of torque the
SR/F puts out. If the SR’s acceleration felt
effortless at just about any speed, this one is
going to take off like a rocket.
The motor is air-cooled, so while this bike
will certainly hit 193 km/h in bursts, it’ll still
overheat if you flog it wide open for a long
time. Holding the throttle wide open past the
point of overheating will engage the thermal
limiter, cut the horsepower in half and give
you a top all-day speed of 177 kmh. There
are folks for whom this will be a deal breaker,
and that’s fine – nobody’s coming to take your
Hayabusas, guys. But in almost all situations
shy of light speed hypertouring, the SR/F is
going to be stompingly fast with a huge rush of
acceleration any time you ask for it.
Joining the new motor is a new ‘Cypher III’
operating system with Bosch’s lean anglesensitive
Motorcycle Stability Control built in.
The old SR had so much grunt that it really
needed traction control – as one moto-journo
found out on a launch back in 2015 – so it’s
wise of Zero to include it here.
Range is still a bugaboo for EV buyers. The
SR/F carries a 14.4-kWh Z-force battery pack
that gives the bike a range of around 260
km in low-speed urban riding. Put it on the
highway at 113 kmh and that range will drop
closer to 132 km, and your real world range
will be somewhere between those two figures
depending on how you ride it. I know how I’d
be planning to ride it.
Range can be boosted with an additional
Power Tank accessory that takes urban range
up as high as 320 km – or, you can use that
space to beef up your charging with a Charge
Tank accessory. Standard charging is an
integrated 3-kW system on the standard bike,
and 6-kW on the Premium model, equating
to 4.5-hour or 2.5-hour 0-100 percent charge
times respectively. The Charge Tank adds an
extra 6 kW of charging, bringing 0-100 percent
charge times down to 1.8 hours for the
standard bike and 1.5 hours for the Premium
- but the last 5 percent of the charge is slow
going. If you’re happy just to charge to 95
percent, you can top the Premium bike up in
an hour flat, and the standard in 1.3 hours.
12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
So in reality you’re now looking at a bike
you can jump on, go flat out in just about
any company for about an hour, then
charge for an hour, rinse and repeat.
The all-new chassis features a blackedout
trellis frame that leads the eye from
the headstock back to the swingarm
pivot, highlighting the fact that the
swingarm pivots right around the motor,
which has a direct belt drive to a large
sprocket on the rear wheel. The “tank”
bodywork pays homage to the look of
the S and SR, but it’s a decidedly more
grown-up looking design with broader
shoulders, a nice looking LED headlight/
driving light setup and a proper stacked
It’s the best looking Zero bike yet. It
weighs about as much as a fully fuelled
1000cc nakedbike at 220 kg, and Zero
has upped the ante significantly with
the suspension, opting for Big Piston,
separate function 43 mm forks and
a piggyback reservoir shock, all from
Showa and fully adjustable for preload,
rebound and compression damping.
That’s nice gear.
Brakes are still by Spanish company
J-Juan, who showed an early willingness
to work with Zero and develop tailored
braking systems when other OEM
manufacturers saw Zero as too small
a manufacturer. For the SR/F, though,
they’re chunky looking twin radial
4-piston calipers on 320 mm discs.
That’s a huge leap forward from the
meek but decently effective single-disc
setup on the SR. The brake system
integrates with the Bosch Motorcycle
Stability Control unit to give you full lean
angle-sensitive ABS, and naturally there’s
adjustable regen braking to keep the
battery topped up and make your brake
pads last a lot longer.
The SR/F gets a whole new dash
based around a full color 5-inch TFT
LCD display that looks terrific. There
are multiple ride modes to balance your
range needs with your hunger for power,
as well as the first cruise control system
we’ve seen on an electric motorcycle
and heated grips on the Premium model.
Furthermore, the bike has its own
connection to cellular networks. That
enables over-the-air system upgrades,
plus the ability to pinpoint the location
and status of the bike at any time. You
can dial in through the Zero app on your
phone to change the bike’s charging
parameters or check how much the
battery’s got in it as required, and there’s
a new Ride Data Sharing system that lets
you export maps of your ride along with
juicy information like speed, telemetry
and lean angle readouts that you can
put online if you like asking for trouble, or
share only among close friends if you’re
wise. This kind of thing also lets Zero
technicians perform remote diagnostics,
and potentially even fixes, should any
This looks to us like an awesome bike,
but it’s going to come at a price. R240k
and upwards looks to be the mark for
the bikes, but you can contact Fire It
Up! who are the official importers of the
ZERO brand into SA for more details and
pricing - 011 467 0737.
We’re excited for Zero. The SR/F looks
like a brilliant machine. If a first ride on
the SR was a shocking introduction to
electric acceleration, this thing is going
to blow people’s minds. It wouldn’t
surprise us to see Zero go the whole hog
on this one and release a version with
a full sports fairing, which would boost
both the top speed and the highway
efficiency significantly. But this company
has paid its dues and put together what
looks like a seriously fast and fun electric
nakedbike that we can’t wait to get our
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 13
Brought to you by
Whitham predicts no rev
drop for Ducati WSBK
Former World SBK star James Whitham
believes Ducati will not receive a drop in
revs when World Superbike organisers
fi rst have a chance to change things
Since the start of last year, WorldSBK
organisers have been able to adjust
engine revolutions on the bikes after the
third, sixth and ninth rounds of the season
according to performances up until then.
At these points, revs can be increased or
decreased by 250 for each manufacturer
in order to balance out the competition.
However, former race winner Whitham
reckons this will not happen for the thus
far dominant and all-new Ducati Panigale
V4 R ridden by pace-setter Alvaro
“Clearly Bautista and the Ducati V4
are dominating the championship, but
nobody else on a Ducati is,” Whitham
tells Eurosport co-commentator Greg
Haines in Wednesday’s #FullThrottle
podcast. “That means, come the end
of the Aragon meeting which is the fi rst
opportunity for the organisers to reset
the rev limits, it won’t happen because
nobody else is dominating.
“Only one bike (from a manufacturer)
dominating is not enough for the rules
to kick in. I don’t think we will see any
balancing. Taking revs away from them,
so they can’t rev the bike as much, would
be the easiest way of clipping its wings.”
MotoE season delayed
fire at Jerez test
A devastating fi re that hit the Spanish test at Jerez has
resulted in a delay to the inaugural FIM Enel MotoE
World Cup, the calendar to be revised due to the
damaging impact of the blaze.
Following day one of testing a couple of weeks ago,
a fi re in the newly-built E-paddock at the Circuito de
Jerez – Angel Nieto destroyed the majority of material
that was to be used throughout the 2019 campaign.
The damage from the fi re was purely material and
no injuries have been reported. An investigation is
underway to determine the exact cause of the fi re,
the results of which will be published as soon as it has
MotoE is a competition born from innovation,
powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and
this ambition to evolve and experiment with new
technologies brings with it an associated risk. It can
be confi rmed, however, that no motorcycles were
charging at the time of the incident in the box in
which the fi re started.
Dorna Sports and all of our partners in this new
venture are committed to getting the FIM Enel
MotoE World Cup back on track as soon as
possible, with work already underway to begin
rebuilding and replacing materials and motorcycles
lost in the fi re.
MotoE will race in 2019 and a revised calendar will
be announced in due course. It has been confi rmed
that the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will not race
at Jerez as part of the Gran Premio Red Bull de
Espana this season.
Ten Kate secures WSBK return
The 18-year partnership between Honda and Ten Kate came to what
the team describes as “an abrupt and unexpected end” after last
year’s WSBK campaign, as the Japanese manufacturer joined forces
with two other WSBK squads in Moriwaki and Althea.
Ten Kate subsequently declared bankruptcy, which it said was
a “direct result” of Honda’s decision, but the Dutch outfi t soon
recovered and began work on returning to competition.
It has now announced that it has “signed deals with a leading
manufacturer and fi rst-class rider” for its WSBK return.
The team says that the fi nal details of the deal are still being fi nalised,
and aims to be back on the grid “within a few rounds”.
It has scheduled a press conference to announce its rider and new
manufacturer partnership for April 2 at the Assen circuit - just under
two weeks prior to the Assen WSBK round.
Former MotoGP rider and WSBK race winner Loris Baz, who is
currently out of a ride, has been linked to the emerging Ten Kate
vacancy, and recently teased “good things coming soon” in a post on
14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
more confidence, in wet
and dry conditions, even
after 5000 KM *
even after 5 000
braking in the
Even after 5 000 KM, a MICHELIN Road tyre
stops as short as a brand new MICHELIN
Pilot Road 4 tyre* thanks to the evolutionary
MICHELIN XST Evo sipes.
With its dry grip, stability and best handling versus
its main competitors, thanks to MICHELIN’s
patented ACT+ casing technology, it offers even
more riding pleasure.***
* According to internal studies at Ladoux, the Michelin centre of excellence, under the supervision of an independent
witness, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres used for 5 636 km with new and unworn MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres.
** According to internal studies at Fontange, a Michelin test track, under the supervision of an independent witness,
comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with METZELER Roadtec 01, DUNLOP Road Smart 3, CONTINENTAL Road
Attack 3, PIRELLI Angel GT and BRIDGESTONE T30 EVO tyres, in dimensions 120/70 ZR17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17
(rear) on Suzuki Bandit 1250
*** External tests conducted by the MTE Test Centre invoked by Michelin, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with MI
*** External tests conducted by the MTE Test Centre invoked by Michelin, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with MI-
CHELIN Pilot Road 4, METZELER Roadtec 01, DUNLOP Road Smart 3, CONTINENTAL Road Attack 3, PIRELLI
Angel GT and BRIDGESTONE T30 EVO tyres, in dimensions 120/70 ZR17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17 (rear) on a Kawasaki
Z900 giving best dry performance globally and #1 for Handling, #2 for Stability, #2 for Dry grip
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GALFER G1375R COMPOUND
GALFER has launched their new Sport Racing G1375R brake pads
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After a long development process, GALFER R&D department and
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hand tool range
Added to Tork Craft’s extensive
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The new shifting spanners are
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Trade enquiries welcome.
16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
The long-awaited arrival of BMW’s all-new S1000RR superbike is
finally over. The new Bavarian Beast was launched out at the Estoril
Circuit in Portugal and we sent Rob along to find out if it indeed is that
much better than its predecessors. Words Rob Portman / Pics BMW press
It’s hard to believe that it was a decade
ago when BMW shocked the production
sportsbike world with the release of their
first superbike, the S1000RR. The so called
“rule book” had been put through a very big
Bavarian shedder. The S1000RR broke all
the rules - ridiculous amounts of power with
loads of electronic wizardry. It quickly became
a favourite with the masses, especially here
in SA where the bike has been loved from
day one. It took no prisoners and bragging
rights came standard. It made its competitors
seem like dinky toys! There was nothing
too much wrong with the previous model.
It was fast and had all the tech customers
wanted. It was a great bike for the trackday
and breakfast run masses. It handled well,
supplied great rider aids and was stinking
fast. But the experienced track rider had
some complaints, mainly on the handling and
electronics side. Rider aids were sometimes
to intrusive while the chassis did feel stubborn
when trying to set fast lap times.
Like anything, time does catch up
and change was/is needed to keep up
appearances. Over the years natural
evolution took it course, but for now it was
all about adding revolution to the evolution.
The all-new S1000RR has been radically
redesigned and revamped. The brief for
BMW’s top techs sounded easy enough
- Make it lighter, faster and stronger, oh yes
and easier to control.
Yes. Zie Germans put the new machine
on a strict diet, resulting in 11kgs saved
on the base model and a staggering 14.5
on the M sport model. 4 kilos alone was
found in the engine, which has been newly
developed with BMW’s New Shift Cam
technology. Short and sweet, it provides
18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Bridgestone S21 Sport/Touring & V02 Slick tyres used on this test.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 19
for variation of valve timings and valve
strokes on the intake side.
The new 4-cylinder screamer engine
produces 205hp at 13.500 rpm, which
means it certainly is faster.
113Nm of pure torque readily available
through the rev range, with 100NM
available from as low as 5,500rpm
thanks in main part to the new ShiftCam
tech. So yes, it’s stronger.
What else is new?
Newly developed suspension,
Marzocchi electronic forks at the front
and Showa adjustable at the rear, all
designed and developed in conjunction
with BMW, means improved handling,
increased traction and crystal clear
feedback in the threshold range. A New
Flex Frame means significantly improved
Further developed electronics,
featuring traction and wheelie control,
operate through a new 6-axis sensor
offering more assistance and control to
riders, all easily adjustable using the new
iride, or Wonder wheel as BMW call it,
situated on the left handlebar through
the very impressive new 6.5inch dash
and operating system.
Launch control and pitlane limiter
are there while heated grips and cruise
control make a welcome return.
Endless riding modes for all types
of riders and conditions are readily
available on the fly.
20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
BMW ShiftCam Technology with variation of valve
timing and valve stroke for increased torque and
BMW ShiftCam Technology is a completely new
technology for BMW Motorrad which is used to vary
the valve timing and valve stroke on the intake side. The
system comprises a triple-section intake shift camshaft
which has two cams per activated valve, mounted on a
shift segment: one partial-load cam and one full-load cam,
each exhibiting optimised cam geometry.
The shift speed of BMW ShiftCam is 9,000rpm.
The intake valves are activated via axial shift of the shift
cam segment in just 10 ms by either the partial-load or
the full-load cam, depending on engines speed. The axial
shift of the shift cam segment - and therefore the use of
the partial-load or full-load cam - is effected by means
of two shifting gates on the shift cam segment and two
electromechanical actuators. Variation of valve timing and
valve stroke is achieved due to the differing confi guration
of the cam geometry. While the full-load cam provides
maximum valve stroke, the
partial-load cam delivers
reduced valve stroke.
The benefits of BMW ShiftCam Technology:
• Increased torque and pulling power in the lower and
medium speed range while also increasing peak output.
• Optimum design of partial-load cam geometry for the
lower to medium load and engine speed range. The new
RR engine now offers the same high level of torque in
the lower and medium engine speed range as that of the
existing S 1000 R engine. This eliminates the sharp rise
in torque of the existing RR engine, which resulted in an
increased wheelie tendency.
• Reduction of load change loss in the partial load range.
• Reduction of exhaust emissions and optimised sound.
• Reduction of fuel consumption by approx. 4 % as
compared to the predecessor model.
Engine output and torque
Looking at the three performance
curves of the fi rst BMW S1000RR with
model year 2018 and model year 2019,
the following changes can be seen;
1) The new BMW S1000RR rotates
400rpm higher than the previous model
- new maximum of 14,600rpm.
2) Signifi cant increase in torque and
performance from 4,300 to 8,000rpm.
Huge advantage for country road riders
and pleasant, effi cient acceleration out
of corners for race track riders, with
extra punch from 12,000 - 14,600rpm.
M Package extras.
• Pro riding modes.
• Motorsport paint scheme.
• M Carbon fi bre wheels.
• M light weight lithium battery.
• M Sport seat.
• M chassis kit with rear side height
adjustment and swingarm pivot.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 21
BMW call it the
“Wonder Wheel” as
it helps you explore
the wonder that is
the new electronics
As you can see, the bike has gone through some serious plastic
surgery and come out looking better than ever. Gone are the
old beaten boxer eyes and instead replaced with slick, fresh,
mean looking LED’s. It’s Sharper, meaner, from every angle, it
just makes the previous gen look prehistoric.
So, does it all translate into a better package than before? I
was sent to the Estoril Circuit in Portugal to find out....
I tested the M Sport version, so two specs up from the base
model (which I don’t think will be making its way into SA) and
a spec up from the Sport model. The M Sport version features
the first ever street legal carbon fibre wheels, light weight lithium
battery, M Sport seat and paint scheme with Pro riding modes.
Our first session out was on the Bridgestone S21 Sport road
tyre’s, which will be OEM on most of the bikes we will get here in
SA. Great tyre’s that offer great durability and grip out on the road,
but I must be honest and say they did battle a bit out on track.
For the afternoon sessions, we switched to bikes fitted with
Bridgestone V02 full slick tyre’s, and these turned out to be the
perfect match for the new beast.
New, much lighter Flex Frame with the engine more closely
integrated in the frame as a load-bearing element.
The centrepiece of the suspension in the new RR is still an aluminium bridge
frame, though the layout of this has been drastically altered as compared to
the predecessor model. The main frame is still configured as a welded structure
made of four chill cast elements with the engine integrated at a 32- degree
forward tilt as before, but now with a much more extended function as
a load-bearing element.
It is due to the fact that a greater proportion of the engine is integrated in the
suspension structure that the weight of the frame is reduced by some 1.3 kg.
What is more, the requirement in designing the new main frame was to have
the force applied directly to the engine structure via the shortest possible
paths. Made of circular aluminium tubes, the delicate rear frame of the new
RR is now even lighter.
The entire composite structure of the main frame, rear frame and swinging
arm was also newly calculated to achieve an optimum combination of stiffness
and flexibility – hence the name Flex Frame. The new frame offers further
benefits due to its very narrow design. In the area relevant to achieving good
knee grip, it reduces the width of the motorcycle by 13 mm to 30 mm. As a
result, it was possible to make the new RR only approx. 20 mm wider than a
V4 Concept in this area. The rider now benefits from a much reduced spread
of the upper thighs, which makes for a more relaxed ride posture. Other
ergonomic benefits derive from the newly developed handlebars, now
configured as a single section with the fork bridge. The handlebars have been
optimised in terms of sweep and offset. It is possible to mount conventional
stub handlebars for racing use. Other changes in the area of the seat and rear
section likewise provide the rider with optimised ergonomics, in particular
greater freedom of movement when riding in sporty style.
22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
It now handles like a cheetah on the
attack - quick, sharp, precise, agile
and effective, rather than a heavy
Bull after a good shag. No more
sluggishness, no more hesitation, no
more stubbornness - just pure aim and
fire. Agility and traction in abundance.
24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Is it lighter? Oh yes!!! It now handles like a
cheetah on the attack - quick, sharp, precise, agile
and effective, rather than a heavy Bull after a good
shag. No more sluggishness, no more hesitation, no
more stubbornness - just pure aim and fi re. Agility
and traction in abundance.
The Estoril track offers a great combination of
fast sweeping turns with tight hairpins, as well as
massive undulation, making it the ideal setting to test
the new bikes handling capabilities and it passed
with fl ying colours. There is a real tricky 2nd gear
chicane towards the end of the lap. I had sampled
the previous gen S1000RR model and the highspecced
HP4 Race model back in 2017 at the same
track so had a good base to work from. The old bike
didn’t feel bad at all, but compared to the HP4 race
and now new S1000RR, it felt heavy like dragging
a dead horse around. The new S1000RR is on par
with it’s much more illustrious HP4 Race cousin and
that is saying a lot.
I was a little disappointed with the brakes, they
lacked a little bit of initial bite, especially compared
to the likes of the Ducati Panigale V4. Nothing major,
they still got the job done really well even in ABS
Race mode, I just wanted a bit more sharpness on
initial grab that’s all.
The question of is it saster and stronger was
answered after only a couple corners. Driving hard
onto the back straight for the fi rst time and I was
greeted with a massive surge of immense and joyful
power. Like Mike Tyson in his prime, not much
comes close to the punch this motor packs. It’s on
par, if not better than the Ducati Panigale V4 1100,
mainly thanks to the new ShiftCam tech, which offers
so much torque in all the places you want it and
need it. From 5,500 rpm it springs into life, harder
and stronger than ever before. It climbs the rev range
with no hiccups, just pure power in every gear.
More horsepower means more speed, and the new
bike has plenty of it! If you go check out the onboard
video I did on my YouTube channel you will see that
A screen shot from the onboard
video Rob did - 299kph!
it does not lack in the speed department. I managed
299kph down the 900m long front straight and that
was without getting sublime drive. The new RR just
keeps pulling and pulling, it just seemed to never end.
Carving my way around the Estoril track on the
new RR fi tted with the Bridgestone V02 slicks was
an absolute breeze and a pleasure. It gave me the
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 25
No more resisting at lean
angle in long sweeping
turns, it now holds its line
for as long as you want it to.
conviction to attack at will. There is an endless amount
of electronic aids that get the job done perfectly. The
more you ask for the more you get, and the less you
want means the less you’ll get, it’s that simple.
I found the bike set on traction control plus 3 was a
little intrusive. When I switched to level 0 it was much
better. It freed up the bikes power delivery a lot sooner
while at full lean. I would have liked to try dipping into
the minus (plus 7, zero and minus 7 available) but just
didn’t have time. There is so much adjustment that you
can do, especially on the M Sport model with Pro riding
modes available. After almost 5 minutes of BMW’s
techs explaining all the wizardry available on the dash
through the electronics I just stopped concentrating
and asked to setup it up in a good track setting and
let me go. Race power mode with little wheelie and
traction control and I was happy. I will delve more into
the options when we get the bike to test here, I just
didn’t want to waste valuable track time fooling around
with what seemed like the latest iPhone on roids.
What I really loved about the new bike compared to
the previous models was the new riding position. With
wider bars, a higher set triple clamp, clip-on bars and
seat means a racier feel while maintaining a fair amount
of comfort. If the riding position had a mode it would
be called ATTACK! I think taller, bigger riders will really
enjoy the new position.
Styling is so much better than before. It looks good
in pictures, but it real life it gets you more excited
than any porn mag you have ever read. At the dinner
table the night before the test I sat with Mr Matthias
Kottmann, the man behind designing the S1000RR
models. He told me that this is by far his personal best
It’s a lot more
responsive in-and-out of
the turns - A lot easier to
put it where you want it.
26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
B A T T L A X A D V E N T U R E C R O S S S C R A M B L E R A X 4 1 S
MORE THAN A TYRE,
An in-depth look into Bridgestone's newest
B A T T L A X A D V E N T U R E C R O S S S C R A M B L E R A X 4 1 S
MORE THAN A TYRE,
An in-depth look into Bridgestone's newest
P A T T E R N D E S I G N
The Battlax Adventurecross P A T T E R N D E S I G N
Mixing fluent line tracing and blocky
Scrambler AX41S is Bridgestone’s
robust pattern is the idea behind the
pattern design of AX41S. In order to
new concept. AX41S makes
match a wide range of café racer and
scrambler bikes, a tiny touch of
attitude, fashion, design and
Mixing fluent line tracing and blocky
adventure recognition was added to
the flowing grooves.
robust pattern is the idea behind the
pattern design of AX41S. In order to
The design takes also performance
into account avoiding high
A lot of research inside the
a wide range of café racer and
toe wear or other irregular wear.
AX41S has been developed in
scrambler and ‘café racer’ world
scrambler bikes, a tiny touch of
order to be used on the road. Not
only to match a nice custom build
has brought so many design ideas. adventure recognition was added to
motorcycle in a show-room.
The AX41S is the outcome of hours the flowing grooves.
AX41S adopts a single sport-touring
behind the drawing table.
The Battlax Adventurecross
Scrambler AX41S is Bridgestone’s
new concept. AX41S makes
attitude, fashion, design and
A lot of research inside the
scrambler and ‘café racer’ world
has brought so many design ideas.
The AX41S is the outcome of hours
behind the drawing table.
AX41S adopts the latest
technologies in terms of
compounding, a directly derivate
from Bridgestone’s Sport-Touring
category, to ensure the necessary
AX41S provides the perfect match
for both a custom build scrambler
thanks to its design, and for the
rider through its performance.
Adventurecross Scrambler AX41S
is the tyre that takes care of the
final look of your bike.
compound on the front and a sporttouring
compound in 3LC
configuration on the rear ensuring
this way the necessary wet and dry
a secure ride on any
café racer or scrambler bike.
technologies in terms of
compounding, a directly derivate
from Bridgestone’s Sport-Touring
category, to ensure L I N E the Unecessary
AX41S provides the perfect match Available soon at dealers Nation-Wide
The design takes also performance
into account avoiding high heel an
toe wear or other irregular wear.
AX41S has been developed in
order to be used on the road. Not
only to match a nice custom build
motorcycle in a show-room.
28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
This is our mad Polish
mate Simpson, who as you
can see really enjoyed the
Carbon wheels as standard
on the M Sport model, of
course it would be lighter
work to date. I asked him the big question of why they
deviated form the iconic aesthetic headlight design
and his simple answer was weight. They went with
that design in the beginning because they were able
to save weight, even if it was a mere 60grams, it all
counted. Now, with being able to save weight in other
areas, mainly the motor, they did not have to go with
odd shaped eyes and could now redesign the styling
completely. The new LED’s look so much better and
trust me when I say this you will get wobbly knees
when looking at this bike in the flesh!
It was so easy to enjoy and get the best out of the bike
after just a couple of laps. It excites and terrifies at the
same time. It’s a machine that demands your attention,
both on and off the track and road.
BMW have nailed the brief perfectly and made the
new bike not only lighter, faster and stronger, but also
much better looking and appealing to the eye.
Pricing is yet to be 100% confirmed but expect
around R310k for the Sport and R350k for the M
Sport. There is also loads of M Sport parts available
to make the beast even lighter and faster and meaner.
Figures of around 215hp have been muttered once the
M Sport Akro pipe has been fitted.
The new S1000RR is set to arrive in SA early June
and I look forward to putting it up against all its 1000cc
Sportbike rivals, including the new Ducati Panigale V4R.
The sportbike market is more competitive than
it has ever been but even after just the one day out
on the new RR I can tell it’s going to be a serious
contender for the overall sportbikes crown.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 29
The Originale Enthusiasts held their first ever all
Italian Bike Track Day at Killarney in Cape Town
and we as RideFast were proud to be the official
media partner and sent Rob down to cover the
event and ride some gorgeous Italian’s.
Words Rob Portman / Pics Devin Paisley
Our partnership with the Originale Ducati Enthusiasts
started a few years back after a simple phone call
from president and founder, Mr Jannie Krynauw, to
myself asking if RideFast Magazine would like to be
involved and help promote and expose the group. I
jumped at the opportunity and so far it has been a
The Originale Ducati Enthusiasts is a fast-growing
group of riders who all have once thing in common
- the love and passion for motorcycles – especially
those of the red kind. What started out as a few
Ducati owners and fans down in Cape Town has now
developed into a world-wide fraternity.
To date, Jannie has organized many a casual
out-ride, MotoGP watching ride and trackday at the
Killarney circuit, but for the latest event he wanted to
step it up a notch and take things to the next level. He
decided to put on something unique, something that
would cater not only for his adoring Ducati followers,
From top to bottom; Main shot - A group shot of all involved.
Pic 2 - Shaheen from QuickSure always happy to support the Originales.
Pic 3 and 4 - Ashlay from RACE! SA showing off their amazing brands.
Pic 5 - The team from Cape Bike Tyre displaying Pirelli tyres
Pic 6 - Dario’s Mobile Cafe keeping everyone refreshed.
Pic 7 - Gorgeous AGV helmets on display.
30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
A sea of
- the man
behind it all.
Craig Langton from Fire It Up! addressing the riders.
but all Italian bike lovers. With the help of some top
brands and companies here in SA, Jannie managed
to organize a first-of-its-kind all Italian Motorcycle
Advanced Track event at the Killarney circuit in Cape
Town, where all riders on any Italian made machines
could/would get the chance to ride around the historic
circuit and get some on track rider training.
Once again, RideFast Magazine was asked to
come onboard as the media partner for the event and
just as before we gladly accepted. I got an invite from
Jannie to attend the event and cover it for myself this
time around. Fly to Cape Town for the day to hang
out with Italian bike nutters and ride some gorgeous,
exclusive Italian machines? How could I resist, my
answer was a resounding YES!
Jannie is a forward-thinking man and wanted to put
on an event never seen before and he managed to do
just that. It was so much more than just a track day, it
was more like an Italian Bike Festival with top brands
and companies on display. Some of the world’s most
desirable brands were present; RACE! SA brought
along a variety of mouth-watering AGV helmets,
including a Rossi Winter Test lid that sparkles like no
other. They also had a range of Dainese protective
products and a host of trick parts on display.
Akrapovic had a wide range of their exhaust systems
on show, while other brands such as MotoBatt
Batteries, Noise Clippers hearing protection and Cape
Bike Tyre with Pirelli were all present. Jannie had also
managed to offer all Originale members and those
present on the day special pricing on all the products.
Also joining forces for the day was Fire It Up!, who
are the new importers of the MV Agusta and Aprilia
brands into SA. They also do DimSport and Rapid
Bike modules, so it tied in perfectly with this event.
As always, QuickSure, who have been a partner
with the Originale group for some time now, were
present. QuickSure is a motorcycle insurance company
and they have created custom-made policies for all
Originale members, offering personal structured policies
and premiums for all including track cover.
Before the track riding began, Jannie invited all
those involved up to introduce themselves and their
Top Cape Town tech Jacques Geldenhuys
helped prep the V4 Speciale and 1299
Anniversario that Rob tested.
32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
products to the over 60 entries for the days event.
A representative from each company came up and
addressed the riders highlighting their products. Even
I got a slot to talk, which was pretty cool and I was
blown away by the response and support myself and
the magazine got from all attending.
After a quick riders briefing from the ART team
(Advanced Rider Techniques), the company in charge
with running the track day and assisting riders with
on track training, it was time to head out on track. As
you can see by the pictures, the pits were lit up with
a sea of gorgeous red machines. Most of the bikes
were Ducati’s, but it was nice seeing a few Aprilia
machines present. The riders would be split up into
groups judged on track skill – Novice/Newcomers,
intermediate and fast groups. Led out by the highly
trained instructors, it was the novice group that hit the
track first. Cape Town was soon blasted by the sound
of roaring Italian machines, a truly orgasmic sound!
Jannie, being the professional organizer he is,
managed to round-up two very exclusive Italian
supermodels for me enjoy for the day, and yes, I did
tell my wife that I would be getting some leg over with
two fine Europeans…
First up was the Paniagle 1299 Anniversario,
followed by the all-new Panigale V4 Speciale. Now, I
have been lucky enough to test both these models up
in JHB before, but never at sea level with the extra 17%
power available, so was really keen and excited. I had
done plenty of laps around the Killarney circuit in my
20-year professional racing career, but had not been
there in over 5 years and had been told that it has got a
lot bumpier since I had last been around.
Heading out on track on the 1299 Anniversario
and just like any modern-day Ducati machine I felt
right at home behind the wide set bars. I love the
overall ergonomics of the bike, with the riding position
perfectly set to attack the track. Instantly I could feel
the extra power on hand thanks to being at sea level.
Powering down the long back straight for the first
time and I was quickly reminded of just how bumpy
the track is. The 1299 often threw its nose in the air
and the steering damper along with my arms were
on overload trying to keep the V-Twin powered beast
planted. Thank goodness this thing has sharp and
responsive brakes as they would come into play more
often than not around the tricky Killarney track.
I spent 6-laps on the 1299 and loved every
second wrestling it in-and-out of the turns. There is a
uniqueness that can’t really be explained when riding
an iconic Ducati V-Twin superbike around a track
and even though they have now been replaced by
the V4 motors they still offer one hell of a ride. The
lack of RPM was made apparent around Killarney
where those extra few revs do make a big difference.
Nevertheless, the 1299 powered out of every turn
like a bull charging a red flag – it was a case of hold
on and enjoy the ride, and that’s exactly what I did. I
still love the thumping, roaring nature that is a V-Twin
Ducati superbike, but it does now feel a bit dated
compared to newer bikes and this was highlighted
once I climbed on the all-round better V4 Speciale.
As the day went on the wind picked up and I
seemed to be the only one complaining about the
Gorgeous and fast - both the bike and rider.
Rob getting some much needed advice
from top local riders Andre’ Calvert and
Aran Van Niekerk
Stunning line-up of Akrapovic exhausts.
34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
windy conditions. The local riders called it a light
breeze while it felt like a full-blown hurricane at times
to me, especially when out on track. Again, climbing
behind the bars of the V4 Speciale was like climbing
into my bed - comfortable and inviting. Straight away
I was reminded just how much better the new V4
is compared to the previous V-Twin powered bike.
Every muscle in my body was put to the test whilst
out on the V4 Speciale. The combination of the
windy conditions, bumpy track and ridiculous 220
plus hp on hand meant I would be getting one of the
hardest workouts I have ever had. Good thing I had
consumed some NPL Nutrition Amino energy drink
The V4 Speciale I tested was fully kitted out from
head-to-toe with all the race parts available from Ducati,
including the full Akrapovic titanium race pipe which
bellowed a sound for all of CPT to hear. That V4 motor
is a perfect blend of V-Twin and screaming 4-cyclinder,
a unique MotoGP sound filled the Killarney track.
It was an absolute mind-blowing experience riding
the V4 Speciale around the track. Loads more power
and revs throughout compared to the 1299 and the
handling was that bit sharper and more responsive.
It did seem a bit unsettled and needed some setup
changes ahead of my second session out on track.
Lucky for me, top local tech, Mr Jacques Geldenhuys,
was on hand to help me go through the endless
amounts of tweaking that is available on the V4’s
electronic Ohlins suspension. Jacques did an amazing
job at making the bike more stable and firmer going into
and coming out of the turns, a big improvement from
the angry unsettled machine from the first session.
Overall it was an incredible day out and a world
class event to say the least. Nothing but smiles on dials
from all present and a big pat on the back must go to
the ART instructors for keeping all safe out on track.
Jannie managed to pull off yet another top-grade
event and we look forward to being a part of many
more in the near future. Talks of an event up here in
JHB are ongoing and I for one really hope that will
happen! Make sure you check out the Originale Ducati
Enthusiasts Facebook page for updates on all events
throughout the year and if you are an Italian bike lover
I suggest you join the ever-expanding group and get
yourself some of the quality merchandise that is on
offer (caps, tees, hoodies, sweaters).
Rob cheated on his wife with these
two gorgeous Italian supermodels...
on his beautiful
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 3 5
APRILIA RS-GP 2019
WORLD LAUNCH TEST KTM 790 ADVENTURE
KTM SA launched their new 790 Adventure models in Morocco and invited our “elbow
scrapping” track rider, Shaun Portman, along for the world launch test.
Lessons were learnt on what was an EPIC launch.
Words Shaun Portman. Pics ZC Marketing Consulting
38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Let’s go Adventure riding in Morocco ,it
will be fun they said. And it was indeed just
that, fun. We got an invite from KTM South
Africa’s marketing man Riaan Neveling to join
them on their launch of the all new KTM 790
Adventure and 790 Adventure R in Morocco.
This was an opportunity that we couldn’t
turn down as there was just so much hype
and interest regarding this new offering from
KTM. Rob was invited to another launch
so I was the lucky man given this once in a
So all excited I went home and started
packing only to come to the realization
that I don’t have any adventure riding kit.
This wasn’t a problem though and with
one phone call to the guys at DMD(Daniel
Mulder Distributors) I was kitted out with a
jacket, riding pants and gloves. Next up was
a helmet which was arranged by The guys
at Venture Sports, an Airoh S5 Adventure
helmet. Now I would defi nitely look the part
and be well protected which would come in
more handy than I could ever have imagined
as you will fi nd out later.
D-day and the excitement was setting
in. I met up with the other SA journos at OR
Tambo Airport and we began the long series
of three fl ights to get to our fi nal destination
Errachidia in Morocco. From JHB to Doha
with a long lay over in Doha then another
long fl ight to Casablanca where we once
again had a long stayover. We decided to
take a tour into Casablanca itself and caught
the train from the airport into town. After
indulging in the local scenery and cuisine it
was time to head back to the airport for our
fi nal fl ight to Errachidia. Little did we know
that we were in for a bit of a shock. After
waiting to board, we watched time fl y by.
Eventually we were told that they couldn’t
fi nd our plane! I mean really? How could you
misplace an airplane.? Frustrated we were
shuttled to a nearby hotel where we could
at least refresh and get a little shut eye. We
woke up early and caught the fl ight to our
fi nal destination in Morocco. Upon arrival we
were greeted by two chauffer’s arranged by
KTM to take us to the hotel where we would
be staying for the next 2 days. The Chergui
Kasbah Hotel. A very early morning arrival
saw us being greeted by Riaan and the KTM
790 Adventure which was proudly displayed
as we walked in along with KTM riding
apparel and branding. This gave us our fi rst
view of the new KTM and we couldn’t resist
sitting on it. We were like kids on Christmas!!
After a few snacks we were eventually
shown to our rooms. I must say that the
hotel and KTM SA had done a fi ne job and
we all felt right at home.
The next day we were given a tour by
Hein Engelbrecht around the hotel and
taken just across the road where the KTM
Factory teams were prepping all the 790s for
the soon to be held Morocco Desert race.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 3 9
Amongst the 790’s was a 790 Adventure
R being prepped for Chris Burch and Sam
Sunderland’s Dakar winning KTM 450 Rally
bike. This fully set up race station as I like
to call it was fully stocked with spare parts,
wash bay and all the latest tools and tyre
changing facilities. It was quite a shock as
if you see it from the outside it basically
looks like a glorifi ed mud hut. Back to the
hotel we went for the media briefi ng which
was held in one of the hotels conference
rooms. Greeting us as we walked in was a
beautiful KTM 790 and 790 Adventure R,
along with all the folks from KTM SA that
came on the trip. Briefed on the bikes, their
differences and features, we were getting
really excited to ride. Riaan explained to
us that the new 790 Adventure will be like
nothing else we have ever ridden. This bike
essentially creating its own segment in the
market. A light weight, strong Adventure
bike with capabilities that a mere mortal like
myself and the other journos could never
comprehend. We would be putting this to
the test over the next two days. After the
briefi ng it was time for a special Morocco
dinner, a couple of beers and bed.
KTM 790 Adventure
As we walked through reception the next
morning we were embraced by a line of
orange and white KTM 790’s. The colours
were defi nitely striking and very easy to
swap and replace panels should you need
to or want a colour change. With our eyes
all lit up, we were allocated
a bike each which was fi tted
with a transponder in case we
got lost. We saddled up and
followed Riaan out of the hotel. In
Morocco they drive on the
right hand side of the road
and I must be honest
I was a little worried
about this. But in
no time I was riding
amongst the locals
on their scooters
and donkey carts
like I had lived there
for years. The 790
was so easy to adjust
to and simply sublime to
ride. Riding position was
up straight and comfy with ample wind
protection from the screen and tank. KTM
have designed the tank with economy
in mind being a 20l tank. They have also
designed it to create a more comfortable
riding position, especially for more off-road
type riding when you use your knees to
clamp down on the tank. Weight distribution
is also amazing and the centre of gravity is
right where you want it, low down also a
lot to do with the fuel tanks position. The
twin seat is easily height adjustable with
the seat height being 830mm on its lowest
and 850mm its highest setting, the 790
Adventure is also user friendly for those
like myself who battle with height. I found
ENGINE: 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, parallel twin
DISPLACEMENT: 799 cm³
TORQUE: 88 Nm
COOLING: Liquid cooled
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 4.19 l/100 km
FRAME DESIGN: Chromium-Molybdenum-Steel frame
using the engine as stressed element, powder coated
FRONT SUSPENSION: WP upside-down Ø 43 mm
REAR SUSPENSION: WP monoshock
FRONT BRAKE: 2x radially mounted 4 piston caliper
REAR BRAKE: 2 piston floating caliper
ABS: Bosch 9.1 MP (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad
GROUND CLEARANCE: 233 mm
SEAT HEIGHT: 850 mm
TANK CAPACITY (APPROX.): 20 l
DRY WEIGHT: 189 kg
40 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
myself throwing the bike around as if
I was riding an Enduro bike and just
couldn’t resist the odd wheelie or two
(this is RideFast Magazine after all). I
was soon putting the 189kg beast to the
test when around 20km in to our 320km
ride Riaan took us on a slight detour up
a rocky mountain, what seemed to me
to be a Roof of Africa stage. The 790
handled this beautifully and with its 94hp
on tap we were soon at the top of the
rocky mountain without even breaking
a sweat. This gave me ample time
while we waited up-top to play with the
bikes electronics. Our particular launch
bikes were all fi tted with a few KTM
Powerparts available directly from KTM,
one of them being the cruise control
which came in handy later on the open
roads and the Rally mode which isn’t
standard on the 790 Adventure. Fitted
with a Bosch ABS system which you
can put into an off-road mode, which
disengages ABS on the rear wheel
only or turn it off all together . The bike
has a few more tricks up its sleeve
and comes with a few different riding
modes being Street, Off-road and Rally
(Optional extra on the 790 Adventure).
In Rally mode one can adjust the
amount of slip with 9 modes and throttle
response to better assist with traction
which came in handy on our decent
back down the rocky mountain. The
bike was and its electronics were so
good at fi nding traction even when
there want any. The front and rear WP
suspension was smooth and balanced
and complimented the 21 inch front and
18 inch rear tyre down to a tee. Yes you
heard me correctly, the standard 790
Adventure has the same wheel sizes as
the 790 Adventure R. This makes it the
perfect long distance Adventure bike
for those who still do mostly tar but also
want off-road capability. The bike turned
in well and was very responsive on both
tar and dirt surfaces.
Further down the road we came to
what looked like an abandoned building.
Perfect for photos! We watched in
awe as Riaan took the standard 790
Adventure and launched it up and
down and through this building and all
its obstacles. Before we knew it a few
of the local children appeared out of
nowhere to witness Riaan putting the
790 through its paces. Suddenly we
thought that we might have been riding
in someone’s house or burial site but
luckily we weren’t.
While on route Riaan rode two up
with KTM SA’s brave photographer for
the launch Zoon Cronje on the back for
not only this but also day two on the
790 Adventure R. He took photos while
Riaan was riding with us journos all
taking turns riding behind them. After a
few hundred km’s it was time for lunch.
We stopped in a small village under
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 41
a massive rock face. Lining the 790s up we headed inside a
small little restaurant for a lunch. We were greeted by Hein who
was driving the back-up vehicle in case it was needed. After
an amazing lunch consisting of cuss cuss, chicken and fruit we
climbed on the bikes and took a ride through a road leading
through the rock face taking the opportunity to take some action
and cornering shots.
Now I must say I rode like a hooligan wheeling and on the
way back even getting up to 210kph on the clock at one stage
and I was mighty impressed with fuel consumption although
it was more than what the other riders achieved thanks to my
exuberance. I averaged around 5.9l to 100km and with a 20 litre
fuel tank even the most avid adventurer will not be left stranded.
A ride which was supposed to be 320km turned into a 410km
ride with most journos doing it on a single tank of fuel! I was
blown away with the standard 790’s capabilities and found the
motor to be smooth and responsive. The 8 valve DOHC cylinder
head contains twin chain-driven camshafts and two spark
plugs (one per cylinder). The camshafts are assembled, making
them lighter than forged camshafts, while the cam profi le
has been developed to create an especially torquey engine.
Differing from the 790 Duke. Having ridden the 790 Duke
before I could feel the that the 790 Adventure had more torque
especially low down. Another thing that impressed me was the
15 000km service intervals once again KTM aiming the 790 at
the adventurer enthusiast who does long distances. Before we
knew it we were on route back to the hotel sliding and drifting
one last time on the slippery roads. I was pleasantly surprised
by the 790 Adventure and found it to be more bike than my skill
level would ever need or be able to handle. Having said this I
was all so excited to swing my leg over the 790 Adventure R the
following day. Some well-deserved beers and dinner and we all
got an early night in preparation for what was in store for us the
KTM marketing man
Riaan Neveling showing
off the capabilities of the
42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
ENGINE: 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, parallel twin
DISPLACEMENT: 799 cm³
TORQUE: 88 Nm
COOLING: Liquid cooled
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 4.19 l/100 km
FRAME DESIGN: Chromium-Molybdenum-Steel frame
using the engine as stressed element, powder coated
FRONT SUSPENSION: WP upside-down Ø 43 mm
REAR SUSPENSION: WP monoshock
FRONT BRAKE: 2x radially mounted 4 piston caliper
REAR BRAKE: 2 piston floating caliper
ABS: Bosch 9.1 MP (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad
GROUND CLEARANCE: 233 mm
SEAT HEIGHT: 850 mm
TANK CAPACITY (APPROX.): 20 l
DRY WEIGHT: 189 kg
Moroccan traffic jam...
KTM 790 Adventure R
Walking through reception we were once again greeted by
a line-up of the KTM 790 Adventure but this time it was the
790 Adventure R and all of them were fi tted with Akropovic
exhausts. Another pleasant surprise was that Ross Branch,
13th place fi nisher and fastest rookie in the recent Dakar Rally
was joining us. This would also be his fi rst time riding the new
KTM 790 Adventure R. After a short briefi ng by Riaan we were
once again on our way. A short tar road was in store for us but
most of today’s 245km’s would be done off-road to really teat
the 790 Adventure R’s capabilities. First thing I noticed was that
I was sitting allot higher thanks to the extra suspension travel
and fi rmer suspension fi tted to the R version. Front suspension
is basically what you would fi nd on KTMs enduro bikes being
the WP-USD Ø 48 mm altered to handle the extra weight and
different styles and conditions of riding. Rear suspension is
also WP, WP PDS shock absorber to be exact. Seat height
goes up to 880mm on the R (also adjustable) and ground
clearance is up by about 30mm over the standard 790.
As we stopped transitioning from tar to dirt I asked
Ross what he thought of the bike. He was blown away
and said that it feels very similar and not far off his Dakar
bike. If a guy like Ross praises the 790 Adventure R like
that you know that KTM are on to a winner! Back to
riding and what lay ahead of us was a mixture of rocky
hard packed dirt and soft dune type sand. On route, one
of the journos hit a rock and got a dinged rim and fl at
tyre. No worries as Hein was quickly on hand to do a bike
swap. We found ourselves riding through herds of Camels
and the most beautiful scenery. It’s almost impossible to take
a bad picture here in Morocco as you can clearly see.
Horsepower vs Camelpower...
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 43
Riaan and Ross showing off...
Riaan and Ross showed off the R’s
capabilities by jumping off rock faces and
basically being like teenage hooligans.
This was so amazing to watch! We were
soon joined by local salesmen, if we
can call them that who appeared out of
nowhere. I mean we were literally in the
middle of know where!
Back on route and on our way to the
dunes and our lunch stop I couldn’t help
but notice how the 790 Adventure R
inspires confi dence. KTM have really hit
the nail on the head with this bike. It’s so
tough as well. Donovan Fourie one of the
Journos had a massive 4th gear crash
in the thick sand and the bike basically
came away relatively un-harmed. As for
Donovan though, he was a little more
We arrived at the dunes and were
once again greeted by Hein who had
our lunch all set out as well as all the
KTM branding. We would need to eat
as the dunes were up next and we all
needed our strength and energy. Taking
an Adventure bike into the dunes.? Are
u crazy I thought to myself. Even fi tted
with the Continental TKC Adventure tyres.
This was going to be a mammoth task. I
turned to Ross for help and guidance and
he was so helpful with tips and tricks and
even took me out into the dunes for 1 on
one training. It was so amazing to ride
in the dunes with Ross on a bike I had
simply fallen in love with. The 790 tacked
the dunes effortlessly and even made me
look like I knew what I was doing. The
extra ground clearance and heavier duty
WP suspension came in handy as we
climbed over dune on dune. I had turned
the Traction control off and left the bike in
Rally mode and adjusted the slip to 0 as
per Rosses’ advice. Soon I was reminded
just how savage the dunes can be. In
my hastiness to follow Ross I hit a blind
sand mound on top of a dune in 3rd gear.
I held onto the 790 in the air for a few
good metres before crashing down hard
into the sand. Un-injured and now alone
I picked the 790 up, quite easily I might
add thanks to its lightweight, Reset the
Traction control to off and continued my
exploration of the dunes. I would defi nitely
recommend the dongle which is a KTM
Powerpart .This will leave the settings
of the ABS and Traction control to how
you set it. I found this to be quite irritating
while stopping and having to reset it all
the time. This was one of the reasons
I got stock in the dunes. As you can
see by the pictures I was deep in it and
battled hard to get out. Luckily with the
help of Clinton Pienaar we got the bike
out and made our way out of the dunes.
on the 790 R.
44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
loving life on
the 790 R.
Shaun survived the
trip, which means the
bikes must be good.
Back at base we heard that one of our
fellow journos Gavin Morton had a terrible
crash and was badly injured. Luckily after
being checked out by the medics he was
in pain but conscious. Once again his bike
was damaged but nowhere near what we
thought from the intensity of his crash.
This calmed us down a little and we set
off for the final leg of the trip. This again was
thick, fast flowing sand routes putting us
and the 790R to the test. I found that I could
clamp down onto the tank with my knees
quite well and also move around on the
one piece seat with ease. The 790R was so
easy to ride but at the same time deceiving,
most of the time leading you to believe
you are better than you actually are. It’s so
confidence inspiring and has the electronics
a newbie or experienced adventure rider
would need. I found myself playing with the
power modes and could definitely feel the
difference with power and throttle response
between the street, off-road and Rally mode.
After some fast long sweeping sections
Donovan was taking strain after his crash, so
myself, him and Dieter headed back to the
hotel on the tar road.
And that was it... I couldn’t help but feel
privileged to be the one of the first people to
ride the new 790 Adventure. Tired and stiff
from all the fall overs we headed to dinner
one last time where we all reminisced and
sang our praises for KTM’s new middle
weight adventure weapon. After a 51hr trip
to Morocco our trip back was much easier
and shorter at around 30hrs. A huge thank
you must go out to Riaan and the team at
KTM SA, Hein, Stephan, Zoon, Shondor,
Dieter and everyone else who I didn’t
mention. This was a once in a lifetime trip
on an amazing bike. I have no doubt that
the KTM 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure
R have created a new segment in the
market. There simply isn’t an Adventure bike
anywhere else quite like it!
The 790 Adventure is available at KTM
dealers now at R175,000, while the 790
Adventure R model will land on the 8th of
April and will cost R185,999.
Make sure you get to your local dealer
now as I have no doubt they will sell out fast.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 45
STREET BIKE RACER!
MONOCLE MOTORCYCLE RACING SERIES ROUND 2
Round 2 of the Monocle Racing Series headed
back to Redstar Raceway this time running
anti-clockwise. We entered our stock Honda
CBR1000RR long-term racer into the 1000cc
Superbike class fitted with brand new Bridgestone
V02 slicks. Words: Shaun Portman Pics: Gerrit Erasmus & Daniella Kerby
With over 140 entries it was looking to be a
great days racing and It didn’t disappoint!
We were kindly sponsored a Honda
CBR1000RR by Riaan Fourie and the guys
from Honda SA, which we would be using
for the rest of the year. AJ Venter and the
guys from Lekka Racing prepared the bike
first thing Saturday morning by removing
the mirrors and number plate bracket. We
then taped up the headlights, added a
number and fitted a brand new set of grippy
Bridgestone V02 slicks, which were kindly
sponsored by the Redstar Shop powered
by Bike Kings accessory store.
We would be competing in the
Streetbike Class and 600cc/1000cc race
class, so the CBR1000RR and Bridgestone
V02 slicks would be put to the test in a big
way. Qualifying was up first and the track
was cold and slightly damp in places. I
managed to just make qualifying in time
after having the tyre warmers on for only
about two minutes. I headed out and only
managed to do 3 laps putting in a beat
lap of a 2.08, which put me 15th out of 21
riders. I knew there was more to come so
Next up was the Streetbike class and
our rider managed to qualify on a 2.12
in P6. The atmosphere at the track was
amazing. Pits were full and things were
back to the way they were ages ago with
the Northern Regions racing - the fun factor
Race 1 for me and I managed to get a
decent start and after setting a best lap of
2.02.2 managed to finish the 10 lap race in
15th place overall and 10th in the 1000cc
class. The Bridgestone V02 slicks and
CBR1000RR performed well but I knew we
had more to give in race 2.
Race 1 of the Streetbikes went as we
could have hoped. Our rider managed to
win from P6 on the grid after an awesome
four way race up front. He set a PB lap time
of a 2.04.2.
The new Honda CBR1000RR
once again showed off it’s
versatility and just what an
amazing sportbike it is.
46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
With quickshifter & auto-blip
with added value.
The new CBR1000RR Fireblade provides the extraordinary pleasure of handling and controlling, allowing you to enjoy something out of
the ordinary and something that cannot be surpassed. Now you get even more added value when purchasing a new CBR1000RR at only
R208,999 with FREE a quickshifter and auto-blip fitted (Valued at R12,000). Find a dealer and book a test ride now!
Visit your nearest Honda Dealer for full range:
JHB: Honda Wing East Rand Mall: 011 826-4444 / Honda Wing Kyalami: 011 244-1900 / Honda Wing Sandton: 011 540-3000 / Honda Wing Westrand: 011 675-3222 PTA: Honda Wing Centurion: 012 663-8718
Honda Wing Menlyn: 012 470-9200 / Honda Wing Zambezi: 012 523-9500 VAAL: Honda Wing Riverside: 087 751-4023 KLERKSDORP: Honda Wing Klerksdorp: 018 468-1800
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www.honda.co.za / email@example.com / Toll Free: 0800 466 321 / Facebook - Honda SA / Twitter - Honda SA.
of the user-friendly
Honda chassis and
V02 slicks proved
to be a worthy
After a little break and refuelling the CBR1000RR it was time
for my last race of the day. Eager to improve from race 1 I had a
better start in race 2, but got squeezed in going into turn 2. I was
up to around 13th place and mixing it with some quick race bikes
when brake fade kicked in due to road racing fluid and low brake
pads. I settled back into the race and re-grouped and after having
a good dice and finished in 15th overall and 10th in the 1000cc
class again this time with a best time of a 2.03.2.
The last Streetbike race of the day saw our rider get a bad start
but managed to work his way through the pack to pick up the
double for the day!
After a hard days racing the Bridgestone V02 slicks still looked
new despite over 50 laps of abuse. The CBR1000RR performed
without any issues and raised a lot of eyebrows. It was so good
having Honda back at the track and we can’t wait for the next
round which is set to be held at Phakisa in Welkom on the 4th of
May. We hope to see you all there!
600cc class winner
Dian Nelson on his
AJ Venter took his
Lekka Racing Suzuki
GSXR1000 to victory
in the 1000cc class.
The racing in the 300cc class
was once again world class!
The sea of red in the BOTTS class.
class is getting
bigger and better!
The classics racers
were there in full force.
So much love to
The Dunlop and MASS brolly-dollies were once
again kept very busy by the horny old men...
Packed grandstand enjoying world-class racing!
48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Kymco officially launches in SA
Kymco has been floating around South Africa for quite a while now. In their early in SA they were quite a force to be reckoned with
in the scooter market. Then sadly the original importer passed away and the economy changed for the worse and his son fought
a losing battle with very little resources. Tuning Fork (Pty) Ltd has now stepped up to the plate to take over the brand and run
with and by all accounts look to have their ducks quite neatly in a row. They have appointed an entire fresh new team with a very
different and incredibly dynamic vision for the brand starting with the official launch of Kymco in South Africa.
Words by Sean Hendley / Pics by Beam Productions
Kymco has been floating around
South Africa for quite a while now.
In their early in SA they were quite
a force to be reckoned with in the
scooter market. Then sadly the
original importer passed away and
the economy changed for the worse
and his son fought a losing battle with
very little resources. Tuning Fork (Pty)
Ltd has now stepped up to the plate
to take over the brand and run with
and by all accounts look to have their
ducks quite neatly in a row. They have
appointed an entire fresh new team
with a very different and incredibly
dynamic vision for the brand starting
with the official launch of Kymco in
We were invited to the 5 star
Kloofzicht Lodge in the Cradle of
humankind with no expense spared.
This is an extremely beautiful part of
Gauteng with some really nice riding
in the area. The day started with a
quick press conference and then we
were split up into 2 groups, half to go
out on the scooters and the others
taken by shuttle to a local 4x4 trail to
ride the Side x Sides and quads. We
were in the group that went out on the
scooters first and decided to start at
the “bottom” of the range and work
our way to the top.
First a bit of insight into Kymco
The press conference was quite an
interesting eye opener, Kymco was
started in 1964 in partnership and
collaboration with Honda to do product
development and etc. and still have
affiliations to Honda to this day. They
also currently manufacture a lot of parts
for major brands like Kawasaki and
BMW as well as do a huge amount
of development on electric vehicles
and bikes and they have some very
progressive technology in this particular
field of expertise, in fact the BMW
i3 electric hybrid car is almost solely
manufactured by Kymco barring a few
odds and ends here and there, I can’t
comment on the BMW i8 electric sports
car though as nobody was prepared to
answer that particular question.
So why does any of this matter?
Well it speaks to the backing behind
the Kymco brand internationally and
the quality of the product, this is not
some ‘fly by night’ el cheapo brand,
here today and gone tomorrow. This
is a properly substantial and deeply
rooted brand and company with a
long history as is their South African
importer and distributor, Tuning Fork
(Pty) Ltd is owned by the Bidvest
group and that should say all that
needs to be said about that.
An interesting philosophy on pricing
I’ve been involved in the motorcycle
industry for 20 plus years in one way
or another. I used to manage a very
large and prosperous dealership back
in the early 2000’s and a pet peeve of
mine was the price of OE parts. We
would lose customers hand over fist
to aftermarket parts suppliers because
of pricing. One particular example
springs to mind; a customer did not
keep an eye on the oil levels in his
bike and ended up blowing the motor
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 51
properly. The quote just on parts to repair the engine
was almost the same as buying a new bike, that is
without the labour and all sundries like engineering
works, oils, coolants and etc. to rebuild the motor,
the entire quotes was about 15% more than the
price of purchasing a new replacement motorcycle,
we lost that customer to a bike breaker and a used
engine for less than a third of the quote price.
Peter Wilkin, he being one of the big Induna’s at
Tuning Fork, says that that kind of pricing structure is
more harmful to the OE guys than what profits they
might be making on the current OE pricing structure
can possibly compensate for. So they have put in
some serious thought into their OE parts pricing as
well as parts availability. This is good news for the
consumer and the dealer network alike. It means not
only will the Kymco product be competitively priced
on initial purchase but cost of ownership will be easy
on the pocket making it a very attractive option to
the commuting market and leisure market alike. The
seemingly high quality of the product just reinforces
that even more. To top it all they might look at
Kymco’s range of electric bikes sometime in the
future and believe you me, we want them to bring
them in, the videos we saw were of fast, gorgeous
bikes with quick change and fast charging battery
systems. We’re in lust.
The press lads trying to
understand the technology
..... note the blank stares
A group of happy people on two
wheels always gets the heart racing
More beffudled press
G-DINK 300i ABS
“Ek het Ge-DINK dit was ‘n baie mooi
Scooter”, …… apologies for that, I just had
to put that in there because that it what
immediately popped into my thick skull
when I saw the name. All joking aside, I
love scooters in any size, shape and form
but some of the fong kong imports from
recent history did put a damper on that.
Fortunately some of the bigger names in
the industry have seen the light and started
bringing in the really good stuff for us to
enjoy. A month or two ago in this magazine
you might have read about another
excellent brand scooter we did a multi test
ride on, so we had a good yard stick to
measure the Kymco product by. Pricing
and quality is favourably comparable,
comparing like for like. It is going to come
down to availability and service from the
selling dealer at the end of the day.
The G-DINK is a good looking scooter,
I really like blue as a colour and it really
looks good on this scoot. We had to
endure a bit of induction training on all the
Kymco scooters and thankfully we did as
they are quite jam packed with the latest
technology. Once that was over we were
handed the keys to our respective steed
and headed out into the Cradle of Human
kind. To be honest, the G-DINK is a bit
snug for my almost 2m’s of gorgeousness,
so I had to adjust my sitting position a few
times before I got comfy. Otherwise it is
reasonably powerful, it got my 115kg’s
off the line quick enough and figures
suggest that it will be reasonable on fuel
consumption as well. We were allowed
to play in the hills and corners a bit and
the handling on the 12 inch wheels is
surprisingly good, a couple of us got into
an impromptu dice through the twisty’s
and the G-DINK did very well, considering
that one of the other riders was a
thoroughbred racing snake weighing in at
less than my morning constitutional. The
brakes work really well. A couple of the
other riders had opportunity to test the
ABS to the limits without any ill effects. The
combination of telescopic fork and swing
arm suspension soaked up most of the
bumps quite comfortably. I achieved a top
speed of around two and a half cokes over
the legal highway speed limit out of the
single cylinder, four stroke 12.7kw engine
before my weight and wind resistance
got the better of it, so quite acceptable
performance on the engine front. A nice
feature I found quite thoughtful in today’s
electronic device carrying society was a
nifty USB chagrining port in the cubby on
the dash, very nice.
Displacement: 270.60 cc
Engine type: Single cylinder, four-stroke
Power: 17.43 HP @ 8000 RPM
Torque: 23.50 Nm @ 6250 RPM
Dry weight: 140.0 kg
Seat height: 760 mm If adjustable, lowest setting.
Fuel capacity: 9.00 litres
Front brakes: Single disc. Wavy with ABS
Rear brakes: Single disc with ABS
52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
It may only be 100cc’s up in engine size I could certainly
feel the difference, physically it is significantly bigger and
more comfortable for me than the G-DINK and if I were
in the market for this type of motorcycle this is where I
would start looking, purely based on my height and weight.
The XCITING S400i is quite exciting to ride with quite a
sporty feel to the acceleration and cornering abilities and
the brakes were really up to any task I threw at them, the
upgrades definitely feel worth the extra little bit on the
price tag. We got up to our usual antics of disobeying the
marshals and had a good squirt through what could have
been the best bike riding roads in Gauteng had it not been
for the flippin’ speed bumps. A couple of the sodding
things caught me out here and there and the XCITING
saved my ass very nicely albeit somewhat excitingly. I got
a little bit airborne and was quite expecting to see my arse
rather badly, but the suspension soaked up the landing
nicely and I went on my merry way, at this point I have to
admit the next few speed bumps were hit at speed on
purpose ….. just to confirm how good the suspension is.
Kymco’s official word is: “KYMCO has been dedicated
to seek any possibility to fulfill the requirements of
riders since its establishment. The last generation of
XCITING S 400i was built on the concept of Sports
Touring that combines performance and comfort in one
single product. This resulted in making the practical
scooter with an additional entertaining gene. As an
extension to its predecessor, the All New XCITING S
400i has set every design and function even further,
including the exterior edging design philosophy,
ground-breaking engine compartment in the body
frame, and the premiere of the state-of-the-art KYMCO
Noodoe with navigation function. All these has given
a new definition of the Sports Touring and made the
XCITING S 400i a unique choice in the market.”
So you might have noticed the “Noodoe” word in there,
this is an interesting new product/feature available on the
bigger Kymco Scooters, I’m too technologically challenged
and too old to do it any justice so I will include the official
explanation off the Kymco website at the end of this article,
but it is a very cool feature based on a cell phone app that
connects your phone to your scooter, making it a ‘smart
scooter – like a smart phone’, you can personalise the dash
pretty much the way you can personalise your smart phone
from what I understand, check whatsapp and sms’s, use
google maps, put your favourite photo as the background
and so n and so forth.
The Xciting is Noodoe ready,has a coupleof handy
cubby’s in the dash and is kitted with a handbrake. Here
are the official spec’s on the XCITING S400i are as follows:
Engine: SOHC 4-Stroke, 4-Valve, Single Cylinder w/EFI
Bore x Stroke: 84x72mm
Claimed Horsepower: 35hp @ 7500rpm
Claimed Torque: 35Nm @ 6000rpm
Claimed Dry Weight: 193kg
Seat height: 81 cm
Underseat Storage: 42.7 Litres, Lighted
Fuel capacity: 12.5 Litres
Transmission: CVT Automatic
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 5 3
AK 550 – (Maxi touring Scooter)
This is Kymco’s premium scooter in the range
in SA and you can feel it. The cockpit is plush,
spacious and luxurious with nice lower back
support from the small backrest on the riders
seat. This is the scooter we all needed very
intense induction training to get to grips with all
the technology and features packed into this
scooter. Control toggles have dual functions,
there is quite a specifi c starting sequence with
the keyless FOB, but reasonably easy to get
the hang of. The AK550 comes standard with
Noodoe, which is a very cool feature but will
take the older, slightly more technologically
challenged generation, to come to terms with.
Not a problem if you have kids or grand kids,
they’ll get it sorted for you.
The AK 550 is a really nice ride, a bit more
sedate than the sportier Xciting S400i, but
with a higher top end. This is that bike you
want when cruising down to Clarens for the
week end or to Harties with the Mrs on a
Sunday mornings curio shopping. It has a lot
of storage under the seat to pack a weekend
bag, shopping or even a laptop. Power
delivery, braking and handling are certainly
good enough to have a bit of fun in the bends
if you really want to, but this scooter is really for
long distance relaxing cruising. The windshield
and body design offer plenty of protection from
the elements, just adding to the relaxed feel of
the AK 550.
All the scooters are really pretty to look at,
with modern sweeping angular styling, LED
lights, up to date paint colours to choose from.
Anyone of them would be a perfect bike to
commute on during the week, a second bike
at a holiday home or for that special someone
intimidated by conventional bikes to ride with
you when they don’t feel like being a pillion. I
6 foot 5 inches and
some change and plenty
comfy on the AK 550
All may look innocent enough, but
it is filled with technology requiring
some guidance before using
have a couple of mates that do exactly that,
He rides a big tourer and his better half rides a
maxi scooter. Touring all over SA like this has
really cemented their relationship and now they
are even more in love than ever. Scooters are
just so cool like that.
Big comfy seat
with nice lower
back support for
the rider on those
Engine: L/C, In-Line, 2 Cylinders, DOHC, 8 Valves
Displacement: 550.4 cc
Max. Power: 52hp @ 7500 RPM
Max. Torque: 55.64 NM @ 5500 rpm
Fuel system: Electronic Fuel Injection
Transmission: Wet Clutch, CVT Automatic
Seat Height: 785 mm
Fuel capacity: 15 L
Dry weight: 226 kg
The suspension is really good
54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
EYES OF DARKNESS
The industry benchmark in hyper naked agile handling, triple
cylinder performance, and dark side inspired design.
www.yamaha.co.za · +27 11 259 7600 · Facebook: Yamaha Southern Africa · Instagram: @yamahasouthafrica
AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL YAMAHA DEALER. E&OE.
All about Noodoe
Never a Boring Red Light with Stop Mode
Noodoe puts the rider at the centre of
everything and makes every moment – from
when you approach your KYMCO, through
the journey, the parking, when you return,
even stopping at a red light – an amazing and
more-fun experience. It’s a brilliant interplay of
technologies and human needs that elevates
your every interaction with your scooter into a
Stop Mode makes red lights into a great
way to catch up on all the important things
happening in your life. It alerts you if you
missed an important call, lets you glance
through messages and social media.
FEATURES - EXPERIENCE THE RIDE OF
THE FUTURE… TODAY
CLOCK - Select preferred clock designs from
the Noodoe cloud.
WEATHER - Current weather conditions,
weather forecast for motorcyclists.
COMPASS - Exploring new routes, in a hurry
to get home, or on a fun trip with friends.
SPEED - Select preferred speedometer
designs from the Noodoe cloud.
FULL CONTROL AT YOUR FINGERTIP
The Noodoe control switch is seamlessly
integrated into the handlebar for easy access
when riding. Effortlessly switch from checking
the weather to viewing the smart compass
while on the move, or scroll through your
notifi cations when at a red light, updates from
your friends, and brings you breaking news
and other notifi cations in real time.
YOUR SCOOTER AND PHONE…
Magic happens the instant your phone
connects with your smart scooter. You can
create your one-of-a-kind smart scooter
experience right from the Noodoe app on your
phone. You can easily fi nd your scooter when
you park it in a crowded lot. And you can
connect, interact and bond with other riders
who’ve also entered the new era in personal
For more info, to fi nd your closest dealer or
book a teat ride check out www.kymco.co.za
or call them on 011 259 7615.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE SCOOTER RANGE
With classic styling, chrome highlights and loaded with
features, KYMCO Like 125 is the urban scooter to keep
you on style and on time. A twist and go CVT automatic
transmission makes riding easy while the 125cc four-stroke
provides useable power. Adjustable twin rear shocks, stable
forks, 12 inch wheels and disc brakes deliver a safe and
confi dent ride while a fl at fl oor and wide front fairing ensure
the rider remains comfortable. Fold out pillion pegs make
carrying a passenger easy while lockable under seat storage,
glove box compartment and luggage hook ensure you’ll
have room for your shopping and personal items. Classic
styling and a choice of bright colours ensures KYMCO Like
125 will match your inner city style.
With a responsive four-stroke engine and a load of features, KYMCO Agility RS
125 is a zippy and fun urban scooter. The low emission air-cooled engine delivers
reliable power while the twist and go CVT automatic transmission makes riding
straight forward. A front disc and rear drum brake will slow you to a sure stop
while the lockable under seat storage, rear rack, luggage hook and integrated
pillion foot rest will ensure you have plenty of space for storage and a passenger.
Practical and fun, KYMCO Agility RS 125 is a package that is safe, reliable, cheap
to run and lots of fun.
56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
082 757 3138
S26 04'30.9" E28 45'20.0"
CLUB RACE DATES
READERS RIDE SOLO RIDE AROUND SA
East Coast to
Panigale on a Ducati
Words and pics by Sfiso Tshabalala
A combination of the Makgobaskloof and
a recent Sabie trip ignited an old crazy idea:
A solo ride from Joburg, to Sabie, to Piet
Retief, to St.Lucia. Down the East Coast to
the West Coast with a stop in Cape Town
then up towards Springbok in the Northern
Cape. Then the painful N14 straight and long
road back to Joburg.
The plan was to do this over two weeks
in an 899 Panigale on any random day…
Assuming my back will survive such a
trip, some questions:
1. What critical preparation is required on the
bike for such a trip
2. Will fuel stops be a problem in sections of
3. Any recommendations on
4. How does one pack for what seems like a
lot of km’s on the road
5. Single leather piece vs. two piece vs
6. Tent options?
7. Will normal Rosso Corsa dual compound
tyres work? How long does the compound
last on long trip which include lots of
straights as well?
8. What extra maintenance kit do I take
along? Any strategic stops to plan for such
9. Other considerations?
This was ultimate relationship test with
the 899 whilst doing something completely
out of character, but so well worthwhile!
At this point it might help to refl ect a bit
on my relationship with the 899:
58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 5 9
• I Bought her July 2014 after recovery from
a big crash.
• I enjoyed her so much that I crashed with
her in the same year December.
• She was fixed sweet by Ducati JHB - they
really know their stuff!
• Been doing a mix of racetrack and public
roads ever since without a single issue - this
bike is like magic...I start her up to beautiful
sounds every time we ride.
• We also enjoy a few breakfast runs and
some long weekend trips and rallies. I
cannot fault her...bullet proof, she’s a keeper.
Riding the 899 has been enjoyable
considering I can ride with big bikes as
well without noticing any real hard work,
especially when she experiences curvey stuff
on the mountain passes, just never try to
keep up (joking...)
The trip: Day 1:
Fighting my battles: the long road
against me and the 899...
The day started early, well more like the
previous night when I started to slowly
prepare for the trip by packing what I think
will be my version of light packing into a tail
bag and a little tank bag.
I got a very interesting new mini tank bag
by OGIO -good deal on it on Black Friday.
It just sits easily on the tank using
magnetic strips. Initial view after 640km?
Best Buy ever!
Simply well worth it considering the ease
of access to stuff and how I didn’t even
notice it on the tank throughout the ride
except on a some humps when arriving in
St. Lucia (first stop on the trip).
I left Joburg at around 5:30am through
the N17, a very surprising road on the
number of tolls they have now installed
literally every 50km or so...I know we need
to build and maintain the roads but gees,
I thought really hard about riding through
without paying - but then again I’m on a long
road trip let’s not mess it up so early.
The N17 is mostly straight without any real
adventure but get on the N2 towards Pongola
and the fun really starts. This is when the
Ducati 899 Panigale woke up, confirming it’s
on normal territory now...the twisties!
Apart from the trucks, cows and sugar
cane all over the road- I really loved riding
down into St. Lucia and I even forgot that
I was on an a supposedly uncomfortable
Back to the road trip, it was amazing as
always fixing my head and warming up to
the trip through some of the most amazing
stretch of road and great weather, I could not
have asked for a better start to convince me to
continue riding along the N2. The stop at St.
Lucia is one of the best stops in a long time...
I was welcomed by hot weather and a
big clean pool! That first jump into the water
was just what the doctor ordered, no idea
how I came out as it was just too good after
This backpackers lodge (81 McKenzie)
is amazing and just on the main road into
St. Lucia with easy access to shops and
restaurants, safari trip organizers, etc. You
really get to feel the safari experience with
the various rooms made out of bush tents.
The usual me would have looked for
the first drink as an excuse to deal with the
heatwave - however I went straight into the
pool? Thereafter I signed up for a boat cruise
along the lake to learn about local nature
and experience a sunset.
I have never seen such a large population
of hippos in close proximity in their natural
habitat just lazing around and the little ones
being playful all the time. The St. Lucia
60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Lake is something special to experience over a sunset with hot
chocolate and fresh fruits in good supply in the safari boat.
I guess after such an eventful first day, an early night was well
worth it to reflect on the day...
Day2: Stomach bug, what’s that?
I woke up with a fever and a crazy stomach bug which made
the trip from St. Lucia to Durban a nightmare. The road was also
not too interesting except as you get closer to Durban. The only
positive is that the road is well maintained. Just imagine suffering
from a fever on a very hot day!
At least this was a short stretch of about 350km, Durban
quickly showed itself before I started hating the ride. At this point
I was really thinking hard about ending the trip…
Day 3: Super hot weather, nightmare wind, rain,
mist, cold...and more stomach bug issues.
The road from Durban to East London is about 650km, made
up of some really nice twisty stuff...the changing elevation also
makes it even more interesting...
Strangely though, the entire section after Margate leading into
Bizana, and rest of the small towns before merging back onto
N2 is not that enjoyable as it runs through a number of towns
which means unexpected speed bumps, sheep, cows and
people - a dangerous combination.
Not forgetting the trucks and cars that cut corners and
overtake straight into oncoming traffic without care. A few times
I had to escape through other side of yellow marker.
My misery on this bad section of the road was complicated
further by a crazy heatwave. At some points I was reading 37
degrees air temperature even though it was a windy day.
For the first time, I felt experiencing turbulence in a plane
seemed better than this. The disadvantage of a light bike is that
with strong winds it can really get thrown around, the poor bike
did well though (or maybe it was the rider).
But then again we live in South Africa, just when I thought
it couldn’t get any worse it started raining and suddenly the
temperature dropped to ‘really’ cold, but I could see the sun in
the distance...how crazy is this?
I love the different riding modes on the 899, at this point I
changed setting to WET mode and it worked like a charm.
I’m starting to feel like a true biker at this point...riding from
one town to the next, leaving chaos behind (this part is a joke).
All I’m missing now is a few tattoos…
The 899 has been running faultlessly so far and only chain
lube neede. Oil etc perfect!
Seeing the sign ‘Welcome to Mthatha’ put a big smile on my
face as the twisties got more and more interesting.
Cutting through these towns for the first time I can
understand why people complain about the heat generated
under the seat. At some point I stopped and checked the bike
as I thought it might be on fire. The disadvantage of wearing
touring pants, I miss my leathers!
Cutting through Butterworth almost ended in disaster. A
taxi turned in front of me and I had to apply some serious
I could feel the ABS kicking in and without the regular track
days and advanced road riding training I did I don’t think my
reaction would have been as natural and perfect with the brakes.
The road after Butterworth town is simply heavenly, beautiful
long twisties flowing up and down the mountain passes. I had
a big smile under my helmet until my exit to Beacon Bay for my
final stop for the day, ended on a high note.
So far, I could not have used a better bike for this trip...
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 6 1
Day 4: Blowing with the wind...
That moment you wake up and weather man simply shows
wind, wind, wind and more wind, and you think to yourself
“Damn I still need to ride to the Windy City, PE” (I also quickly
learnt that there’s Frontier Town along the way)...
The thought of being possibly blown of the road can’t
escape my mind, but then again this is an adventure trip, right?
After a lovely rest at Beacon Bay, East London, the Blue
Lagoon area is something special in this part of town. You
quickly forget the rest of East London. Shoo, my body feels like
it just came out of a boxing match...
A long distance ride will naturally start to tire your body
early which means you start to cover less distance a day. So,
at this time I am no longer riding more that 350km day. This is
critical for such a ride if your plan is to arrive at the destination
safely. Check out the link below for proper long-distance riding
experience and lessons, surprisingly everything he says is true!
The good news is that the ride from East London to PE will
start with dry and warm weather so I only need to navigate the
wind today. The ride will be about 360 or so km and based on
the map, we expect a lot of twisties!
I started up the 899 to a beautiful Desmo sound and I knew
right there she was ready, we were ready...still amazed I am
truly loving the trip with the 899, she’s a definite keeper. Still
faultless at this point except for skipping neutral now and again
but that issue seems to have disappeared.
As you get back into the N2 you are welcomed by a
beautiful set of twisties and you realize that that’s a standard
feature for the entire route! We loved every stretch of this road.
Grahamstown was a welcome sight for a quick refill for rider
From here you have about 160 km or so to PE and the road
just gets better and it’s exactly at this time I fell in love again
with long adventure trips, especially this one with such a bike.
This has been the perfect bike for the trip, slicing through these
twisties with the 899 is orgasmic! Now I understand why some
people train down their bikes from Joburg to East London then
ride all the way down to Cape Town!
62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Day 5: No more wind and the
garden route is magic!
A fresh and early jog around the city to
destress the body and suck in some of
that ocean air and do some of that Yoga...
A perfect day for riding, no drama
Beautiful stretch to George of about
340km for our rest before the real
adventure into Cape Town. Getting more
and more excited now!
I can honestly say I’ve never felt like
this in my life, experiencing the Garden
Route with the 899 simply gave me new
life! I found myself stopping everywhere
en route to Tsitsikama...The road is
beautiful and the mix of complex plant
life is art, especially in this weather at this
time of the year (looks like there’s been
some fires though).
This part of the country is something
special and it just gets better and better
passing through the towns of Plettenberg,
and Kynsna to beautiful George. The
mind says ride past George but the body
(even though I’m not feeling it) is sure
tired, so a stop for the day to explore this
beautiful town and get some early rest.
The road only gets better from here, I
Day 6 and 7: Sometimes words
are just not enough...
Staying within the mix of things on Long
Street has never felt this good!
We finally arrived in Cape Town,
welcomed by the majestic Table Mountain
and to ride her is something I cannot
capture in words... I know everyone loves
Table Mountain but try a sunset ride
through Signal Hill, you immediately fall in
love with nature, the city and all of your
senses come alive. This is why we ride!
The ride from George was simply
perfect and it confirmed that I chose
the right companion for the trip, a
combination of the Outeniqua pass,
Route 62 and R60 kept me smiling all the
way into the mother city. The 899? Well
she never missed a bit...keeping revs
nicely between 5-6k.
The roads so far have been super
impressive and clean!
I met up with a biker on the last
120km into Cape Town and we enjoyed
a beautiful ride on the last few passes
into the city however entering Long Street
made me realize just how beautiful the
Desmo sounds on standard pipes...
The 899 is a beautiful bike. I could
only park her on the street and she was
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 6 3
turning heads from my view up the balcony from where I stayed.
Now I need to think about pushing further North West but I find
myself in doubt with too many options as I have not yet done the
Franshoek and Clarens drive...
Day 8: Trekking up to Springbok
After two nights rest in the mother city it was time to get back on the
road. It was a difficult decision to leave considering there were two
specific routes we had not yet explored with the 899 but time waits
for no man so I quickly found ourselves on the N7 to Springbok.
Cape Town gave us a few lively twisties getting out. Then I was
trapped on the very long uneventful road to Springbok. I started seeing
bikes the opposite direction and couldn’t understand what could be
interesting them on this route, maybe some dirt roads I thought...
This is until a nice and long mountain pass showed up as we got
closer to Citrusdale. By this time, I had done so many twisties on this
trip that sometimes it felt like we were just flowing through everything
like it was a straight line - man and machine in a beautiful dance.
The scenery is amazing and a lot to absorb with the change from
very green to complete dry and harsh terrain. On a clear blue sky, it
was just inspiring riding this road and knowing that no matter how
harsh the environment, humans thrive when they collaborate with a
positive outlook on life!
This is the one part of the road where we moved th revs up a bit
to maintain a new average speed to make even the simplest of road
direction changes feel like a curve. After 550km I was welcomed by
the beautiful sight of Springbok. This is when I decided to call it a
day and enjoy a lovely rest in this quiet town, although they seem to
take quiet and slow to another level. Eskom did not help either with
load shedding. But this gave an opportunity to star gaze hopefully.
The 899 is an interesting machine considering its handling on
64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
oth the slow twisties, wide and gentle
curves and generally making up time and km
on the straights. Luggage bags have worked
wonders as well without any issues!
Tomorrow we start the N14 home, super
Day 9: The desert is amazing...
I left Springbok nice and early after a huge
breakfast at Kleinplasie, I really lovely place it
is a must stop.
Just a few kilometers out of Springbok
onto the N14, the desert greeted us with
blue skies and a sense of pureness in the
world...just me and the 899 doing our thing.
A land of contrasts, where at one point
you experience complete desert on one side
of the road and complete green on the other,
thanks to the Orange River. OMG this road is
Approaching Kakamas I started worrying
if the tyres would last the rest of the trip,
they had already done two Moto Giros
before this trip.
By the time I got to Uppington it was
clear I needed to change them.
The Fix It guys in Uppington gave the
bike new shoes but by the time they were
done, it was already late in the day and I had
already done about 360km so, decided to
retire for the day.
My first Dunlops, interesting to see how
they perform on the Panigale, the only option
No drama on the first leg of the N14 and
I loved the isolation and complete peace
provided by the desert.
Day 10 and 11: Home sweet home!
Leaving Uppington was defined by some
serial heatwave all the way to Joburg.
I only learned when reading the news
yesterday that in fact the whole country was
heating up. This is when I realised I was not
going crazy with the sweating and quick
The trip from Uppington included a
sleepover at Vryburg, an interesting farming
town although my stay was spoilt by a veld
fire and load shedding... the whole town was
covered in smoke. My host at Lockerbie
guesthouse made the stop worth it, I even
got free biltong from his farm...very tasty!
The idea of home just carried me through
the uneventful last section of the N14...
and when the famous biker SASOL garage
showed up at the base of Krugersdorp hill, I
just had to stop and reflect.
At this point I checked the trip counter
and we had done a 4700 km roundtrip
across the country without any problems
with the bike.
A lot to reflect on over the next few days
whilst I tick this one off the bucket list.
Thank you for reading my story...now
onto the next one!
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 65
MOTO 2 RACE MACHINES
The team from Track-Daze invited us along to their recent event held at Kyalami, we accepted and managed to round-up two
very EXCLUSIVE bikes to take along and test - Johann Zarco’s Suter Moto2 racers from 2014.
Words Rob Portman Pics Gerrit Erasmus
66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Yes, what you are seeing is two actual
Moto2 race bikes right here in SA. Both
bikes are from 2014 and were actually raced
by top MotoGP rider Johann Zarco. They are
Suter racing machines and were part of the
Caterham racing team, which raced in the
2013 and 2014 Moto2 seasons.
Clint Potgieter is the proud owner of both
bikes and I was thrilled/honoured when he
asked me if I would like to test both bikes.
They had been sitting in his garage for a few
years now and Clint wanted to dust them
down and get to ride them out on track.
Both bikes needed a bit of TLC before
that could happen, so they were sent to one
of the best in the country, if not the world
– Mr Ricky Morais from EmTek racing. The
tech and parts used on these pure-bred
racing machines are very exclusive and not
many know how to work and handle them.
Lucky for us, and Clint, Ricky is an expert
at all things racebikes and is one of the
few here in SA that has been exposed and
worked on bikes like these before. Ricky,
as he often does, waved his magic spanner
and gave life back to both machines.
Ricky’s fi rst job was to strip both bikes
suspension down and service them. Both
were not in the best of shape, with one of
the bikes not even having oil in the forks.
Ricky then climbed into both engines before
throwing both bikes on the dyno.
While both bikes look identical they are far
from it. Both bikes are from the 2014 Moto2
season and one features WP suspension
while the other Ohlins. The Ohlins bike also
features a 2M race dash, the same topgrade
one featured on the BMW HP4 Race
machine, while the WP bike features a much
smaller, less informative dash.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 67
Both bikes are powered by the same Honda CBR6000RR motor,
which had been part of the Moto2 rules since its introduction back
in 2010. These are slightly modified road engines and on Ricky’s
dyno pushed out a healthy 210hp, pretty much on par with what our
current 600cc National race-spec bikes push out.
The WP kitted out bike was raced by Zarco and his then teammate
Gino Rea in the 2014 Moto2 season. The Ohlins bike was also
raced by Zarco, but was later sent to the CEV Championship to be
raced and cost a fair bit less than the WP bike, according to Clint.
Apart from top-grade, can’t buy off the shelf Ohlins and WP
suspension, the bikes come with hand-made just for racing Suter race
chassis, the same used by Marc Marquez in his Moto2 championship
winning year. Well-made Graves exhaust systems are fitted to both
bikes along with a host of other exclusive race parts, from rearsets
to OZ Racing wheels. Proper Brembo brakes and a very neat head
stock, stickered out with Zarco’s famous Rising Sun logo give the bike
that oh-so-seductive racing look. Custom made fairings and seat look
great and I absolutely love the livery on the bike.
I was lucky enough to be offered two spots at the recent Track-Daze
event held at Kyalami, the perfect arena to test and show-off these
two exclusive machines.
I managed to rope in my best mate Shez Morais to help me test
both bikes and having raced a Kalex Moto2 machine in a couple of
races last year would be the perfect rider to give feedback.
First thing I noticed is that there is no electric start, instead one of
those rear wheel spinners has to be used to get them started up. It
was a bit of pain using that machine as it was harder to get started
than the actual bikes. So, we resorted to the old school way of
starting, push and bump it. Both bikes fired up very easily this way.
Climbing on the Ohlins bike for the first time and it felt like a 250 racer.
It was tiny and I was surprised at how narrow the bars were set. If I look
at current Moto2 racers, like Brad Binders KTM bike, the bars are set
Pictured above; Both bikes are kitted out with full race-spec parts that
cannot be bought over the counter. The Suter chassis is hand-made purely
for Moto2 racing. One bike features top-grade WP suspension front and
rear while the other is fitted with Ohlins. Both bikes have telemetry plug-ins
where tech guys can download braking, suspension and engine data.
68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Taric vd Merwe
took it for a spin...
we couldn’t get
him off the thing.
nice and side to help with riding position and
get more control over the front end. Had I been
able to make changes to the bike that would
have been the first thing changed.
It did feel a bit cramped but once out on
track I found there was actually plenty of
room available to move around the bike. It
was easy getting from one side to another,
shifting my weight on the pegs and getting
into position for the turns was effortless.
The power felt surprisingly good, more
than I had expected for the CBR600RR
engine. No flat spots at the bottom end and
plenty of mid-range and top speed. The
engine screams louder than a cheap actress
in cheesy horror film, just go check out the
on board I did on my YouTube channel and
you’ll hear for yourself.
There is no electronics on these bikes,
so no wheelie or traction control, but they
don’t need it. The power is easy to handle.
Grabbing a handful in the middle of the turn
and the Suter chassis and Dunlop Moto2
tyres work perfectly in sync offering nothing
but thrilling amounts of stability and grip.
The brakes are ultra-sharp and
responsive and on the WP kitted out bike I
was able to trail brake deep into the turns
and carry massive amounts of corner speed.
Fancy owning one of these
gorgeous Moto2 machines?
Well, you can if you have the
buks. Clint is selling one of
them, so if you are interested
get hold of Rob and he will
put you in touch with Clint.
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 69
“They needed to be
ridden hard to be
enjoyed. Slow riding felt
like an old wooden chair
that wants to fall over.”
The Ohlins bike was not so simple. There
was plenty of chatter from the front
end under hard braking, so I could not
attack the turns as much. Once off the
brakes and in the turn the bike handled
superbly, just that chatter was horrible
and needs major setup. No wonder
Zarco opted for the WP suspension.
Both bikes felt hard and ridged,
just like a pure-bred machine should
feel. They needed to be ridden hard
to be enjoyed. Slow riding felt like an
old wooden chair that wants to fall
over. Indecision is not allowed on these
bikes, you have to carry speed and
know where you want to put it. Hard,
fast and accurate, that’s how you have
to ride these bikes!
The gearing was a bit to tall for the
Kyalami track, so it did battle a bit in
2nd gear onto the front straight, but
once upright and going it was poetry
Chatting to Shez afterwards he
said he was surprised at how good
the bikes were. Just like me he didn’t
like the chatter from the Ohlins, but
said that pretty much comes with hard
race bikes like these. He did go onto
say that the WP bike felt better than
the Kalex bike he raced in Moto2 last
year at Brno and Misano, which is
something considering these are 2014
machines and things have developed
Currently in Moto2 there are hardly
any Suter bikes being raced, with
KTM and the Kalex mostly forming
We want more!
It was loads of fun testing these two
bikes and Clint has now asked us to
test some of his other treasures, which
includes Tito Rabat and Tom Luthi’s
Kalex Moto2 bikes as well as Brad
Binders 2015 Red Bull KTM Moto3
racer. Can’t wait for that and will be
interesting to see if the Kalex setup is
better than the Suter.
intakes on the
70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
Choosing the Right
The brake pads on my 2013 CBR600RR are ready to be replaced, but I’m confused by all the
options available. I can choose from organic or sintered, metallic or semi-metallic, HH or
HH+. What kind of pad do I need for street riding with one or two trackdays a year thrown in?
This was an email we recently received from Mr Ryan Hardy in JHB. So, we thought this
would be the perfect “Tech Tips” for this month. It’s not easy with so many options out there
these days, so we hope that this article helps you.
Brake pads broadly fall into one of two
categories: sintered or organic, which
refers to the materials and process used
to manufacture the pads. Sintered pads
are made from shards of metal—typically
a copper alloy—along with other materials
such as ceramics, graphite, or other metals
to modify the pad’s characteristics. Under
high pressure and heat, this mix is molded
into the shape of the pad and fused together,
as well as fused to the metal backing plate.
Most OEM pads on sportbikes are sintered,
as this type offers good performance in a
variety of conditions, along with good wear.
On the downside, sintered pads can be hard
on rotors; most OEM rotors are made from
stainless steel to mitigate this issue.
Organic pads are typically carbon-based
and might contain ceramic and/or fi brous
materials. These ingredients are mixed and
pressed into shape and bonded to the
backing plate. Organic pads are generally
cheaper and offer less initial bite in terms of
performance but with the right rotor (cast iron)
can offer better feel and overall performance.
Typically, organic pads generate a lot of brake
dust and sometimes have diffi culty in wet or
Sintered pads are also called metallic or
sintered metallic in reference to the copperalloy
base. But organic pads may contain
some metallic materials to improve friction
and initial bite or alter other properties of the
pad, making them semi-metallic pads.
The HH and HH+ designations refer to
the friction coeffi cient of the pad, based
on SAE Recommended Practice J866.
The fi rst letter indicates friction at low
temperatures, and the second indicates
friction at high temperatures. H signifi es a
coeffi cient of friction greater than 0.55, so
an HH pad offers that friction at both high
and low temperatures. Other pads may
Sintered pads (the single pad on the right) are made by
molding shards of metal together under high heat and
pressure. Organic pads (front and back of the same pad
shown on the left) use a mix of carbon-based materials and
fibres pressed into shape and bonded to the backing plate.
use a GG designation, denoting a friction
coeffi cient greater than 0.45 but not more
than 0.55, at high and low temperatures.
There is no “HH+” designation in the SAE
Recommended Practice, and it would appear
that some pad manufacturers have come
up with this designation on their own. In
terms of brake pad performance, we usually
look at three aspects: initial bite, outright
stopping power, and feel at the lever. While
the ultimate braking force depends largely on
the friction rating, it’s the pad’s other materials
and properties that determine initial bite and
overall feel. These characteristics can be just
as important as friction, whether it’s making a
sudden stop on the street or trail braking into
a corner at 100 mph on the track.
For a mix of street and track, sintered pads
are the best option, as they will work well with
your OEM rotors, require little break-in (refer
to the pad manufacturer’s directions for this),
and give good performance under a wide
range of conditions. Look for an HH-rated
pad so you know it’s got the stopping power,
and be sure the manufacturer lists both street
and track use in the pad’s description.
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RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019 7 1
TEST BIKE HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701
Our Husqvarna Vitpilen 701’s transformation
is just about complete and how awesome is
The Vitpilen 701 in stock trim is a real
looker, but with the genuine Husqvarna
Powerparts which we have fi tted it takes it
from eye-poping to mind blowing.
The new fuel tank fairings as they are
called have been fi tted and I love the new
white and black colour scheme. The yellow
pin stripe just looks so good while the new
701 tank pad set makes the bike stand out
even more. The new white mudguard helps
to fi nish off the bikes new glowing look.
The full range of offi cial Powerparts are
available at all Husqvarna dealers and the
range is massive and well worth looking into.
Last month we fi tted a new set of
Metzeler M7RR tyres to the bike and they
have proved to be a great addition. The bike
never really suffered with instability, but the
Metzeler’s have just helped sure up that solid
feel the bike gives off. Grip is sensational
with heat up time being very impressive.
From the word go I can trust in the tyres
abilities, which is priceless out on the road.
Overall I am happy to report not 1
problem from the Vitpilen 701 - no oils leaks,
no loose bolts, no engine problems - just
nothing but pure enjoyment and reliability.
But don’t just take my word for it, here is
what our Yetti do-it-all man had to say after I
let him ride my baby for a few days...
Initially I wasn’t sure what to make of the
Vitpilen, it is such a unique looking motorcycle
that you either love it or hate. Personally I
quite like the looks of the Vitpilen but wasn’t
too sure about wrapping my 115kg, 6 foot 5
inch chassis around its quite petite chassis.
So when Rob asked me to do my rounds on
it for a day I was more than a little sceptical,
especially considering it is only a little 700cc
and I was going to be cruising the hi-ways
and byways of Gauteng the whole day.
Swinging my leg over and dropping
onto the saddle I was quite impressed with
how substantial the Vitpilen felt under me,
despite its initial diminutive appearance.
Ergonomically the bike is…, well surprisingly
comfortable. The distance between the seat
and the foot pegs is more than adequate for
my lanky legs and the wide spar handle bars
are low, so as to get you into a sporty riding
position but not so low as to put undue strain
on your shoulders and lower back. I spent
an entire day in the saddle zooting around
Pretoria and Jo’burg without any discomfort,
on the contrary I quite look forward to a
weekend away ride down to Clarens on this
bike. The dials are an elegantly simple affair
as are the controls, everything is exactly
where you would expect to fi nd it and it
all works just like you’d expect it to, which
makes a refreshing change from all the
techno pop they fi t to bikes these days.
Riding the Vitpilen was quite a revelation,
I needn’t have worried about the engine
capacity. With a few quick barks from the
power shifter I was soon cruising at about
6 cokes over the speed limit, waltzing the
Vitpilens narrow hips through the traffi c on
the R21 on my way to my fi rst appointment
in Pretoria. Then, just after Rigel avenue she
suddenly died in the fast lane, fortunately it is
quite a serious downhill so with some quick
thinking I pulled the clutch in and managed
to coast to the left shoulder and onto
Garsfontien rd off ramp. Turns out the bike
didn’t have as much fuel in as Rob had told
me. Luckily I wasn’t too far a fuel station and
was shortly on my way again. The Vitpilen is
light and nimble and handles like it is on rails.
Kicking at the gear lever while stretching
the throttle cable gives a very satisfactory
bark out the Akrapovic pipe, I would like to
remove the DB killer though to get it a bit
louder. Acceleration is quick and smooth but
not arm wrenching, making the Vitpilen very
pleasant to ride. At around 4 cokes over the
speed limit, the air pressure (remember – no
windshield) on your chest starts to take any
pressure off your wrists and shoulder, and
only at around 7 to 8 cokes over the speed
limit does it start to become necessary to
tighten your grip on the bars.
I stopped in at a mates workshop and let
him take it for a burn, he came back asking
how much this demo would be when it came
up for sale, this from a strictly superbike
man. He was raving so much about the
power delivery, handling and comfort that his
mechanic got this pleading look in his eyes so
I let him go for a quick ride as well. Husqvarna
now has 2 new converts to the Vitpilen...
as well as me of course. Everywhere I went
people were pointing, craning their necks
and almost doing themselves an injury to
get a better look at the Vitpilen. I make the
bike look really tiny because of my freakishly
long overweight body. So Whipping away
from one or two bigger bikes at traffi c lights
did create a bit of confusion and caused
one or two serious drag races. One bloke
on his NC750X with loud pipe was mightily
disenchanted when he couldn’t chase me
down on the freeway as was the dude on
his fancy bike with weird ass blue lights…
strange decorations for a bike. This bike isn’t
called the “White Arrow” for nothing and this
long termer isn’t going back anytime soon
if I can help it. Do yourself a favour and call
Husqvarna South Africa on 011 462 7796 to
arrange a test ride.
72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2019
PUSHING BRAKES TO THE LIMIT!
Brake pads are fundamental elements in any brake system because they are directly responsible for transmitting the power of the
caliper to the brake disc so that it can overpower the brake pads without strain. Galfer has developed specifics compounds for each
use and motorcycle model looking to offer the top performances in all type of riding and for all the profiles and needs of users.
FEATURES: • Powerful, progressive & modular brake • Low wear rate and minimum noise • Maximum resistance to the fade effect
• Efficiency in wet conditions • No wear on brake disc
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Enquire at your local dealer
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