RideFast Magazine April 2019


SA's best motorcycle magazine!

APRIL 2019 RSA R35.00


9 772075 405004

APRIL 2019

All-New BMW




Two Johann Zarco Suter Moto2 race bikes

tested around Kyalami.


Lighter. Faster.


KTM 790


We put the new Orange

middleweight adventure

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!





Rob Portman


082 782 8240



Sean Hendley



071 684 4546





011 979 5035


Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

GP Fever.de

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

Greg Moloney

Daniella Kerby

Michael Powell

Brian Cheyne

Copyright © RideFast Magazine

All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced,

distributed, or transmitted in any

form or by any means, including

photocopying, articles, or other

methods, without the prior written

permission of the publisher.

“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!


A P R I L 2 0 1 9





Rob tests the new BMW

S1000RR in Portugal.
























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.


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.


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

Performance Technic

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.


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



• 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

track experience

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

experienced riders.

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 albiee@cmh.co.za 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.


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 Weekend

Away 2019

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

business hours.

013 737 7301/2/3/4 or E-mail Reservations@


Once you have made your booking please E-mail

mbalin@suzukiauto.co.za with your Name, T-shirt

size and reservation number.

Bike Tyre Warehouse

Fourways Michelin

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.


Electric Power!

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.


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

two-seat tailpiece.

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

problems arise.

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

hands on.



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

this month.

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

following catastrophic

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

social media.


more confidence, in wet

and dry conditions, even

after 5000 KM *

even after 5 000

KM, experience

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


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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This is a replica of the model worn by Valentino Rossi that

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and sophisticated materials such as titanium, carbon fibre,

and jersey fabric made with KEVLAR to ensure the wearer

outstanding performance. The glove also offers technical

solutions derived from ergonomics studies of the parts most

subject to strain in case of fall.

Price: R9,999 From: Fire it Up! - Call (011) 467 0737




The new X-DRAK has arrived in SA! It’s a Jet styled Helmet from Shark

made of composite fibre and, thanks to its look, and its technical

characteristics represents the cross-over helmet par excellence.

Multifunctional and perfect for scrambler and trail users. It

has a series of technical details that make it extremely

convenient and practical and suitable to be used

in all daily outings by motorbike or scooter. The

ventilation system with air flow adjustable by

slider provides a perfect ventilation inside the

helmet, for a guide always fresh and dry. The “slim fit”

shell is extremely light and compact, and is characterized by

its particular neo-retro look. The peak can be removed, and is

easy to reinstall by simply pressing. The extractors are finally

designed to simplify the evacuation of the water in case of

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comfort. The retractable internal visor with anti-turbulence

deflector and the interior in micro-aerated 3D mesh fabric that

can be completely disassembled and washable, complete the

features of the helmet.

Price: R5,500 From: www.bikekings.co.za / (012) 271 0070


GALFER has launched their new Sport Racing G1375R brake pads

made for sports bikes, and for road or circuit use.

After a long development process, GALFER R&D department and

its partners, among them Moto2 rider Remy Gardner, defined a

new brake pad compound for sport bikes and for road or circuit

use. The new G1375R are made of sintered metal compound and

stand out for their braking power, their high coefficient of friction

and for being suitable for all conditions, especially with higher brake


As with its brother compound, the G1375, the new R brake pads

will have a special ceramic coating that serves as a heat shield and

reduces heat transmission to the braking system together with the

slots on the friction material. The new G1375R pads are available

for 17 different front brake calipers of the most new versions of

R bikes (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Ducati, BMW, KTM,

etc.) The new GALFER G1375R will be marketed with a brand

new packaging to offer a more exclusive image. The new range of

GALFER Racing pads will be available in SA soon.

From: Trickbitz - Call (011) 672-6599 for more info

New Tork

Craft Shifting


extend their

hand tool range

Added to Tork Craft’s extensive

range of new hand tools is seven

shifting spanners covering all the

required sizes from the smallest

very handy 100 mm to the largest

450 mm for heavy duty work. All

individually packed with their own

backing hanging cards

“We have introduced these new

Shifting Spanners at an excellent

very affordable price,” said Vermont

Sales Director Dale Englebrecht.

“They will also form part of the new

Tork Craft hand tool range that are

now available to our dealers.”

The new shifting spanners are

modelled, designed and made

from the top of the range shifting

spanners, with some added

Tork Craft features, made from

forged special CrV Steel, a full

body hardened steel for high

performance and durability. An

extra wide handle design offers a

comfortable grip, supported by the

heat hardened Jaw and screws

The new Tork Craft Shifting

Spanner range is available now to

customers from all leading retail

outlets countrywide.

For more information call Vermont

Sales on 011 314 7711 and visit

the web site www.torkcraft.com.

Trade enquiries welcome.






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.

So, Lighter?

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


Bridgestone S21 Sport/Touring & V02 Slick tyres used on this test.


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.


BMW ShiftCam Technology with variation of valve

timing and valve stroke for increased torque and

peak output.

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.


BMW call it the

“Wonder Wheel” as

it helps you explore

the wonder that is

the new electronics


New styling

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....

Track lover

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.


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.


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


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.


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



An in-depth look into Bridgestone's newest

segment development.

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



An in-depth look into Bridgestone's newest

segment development.


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.

performance complementary.

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


heel an

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

performance complementary.

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

road performances.

AX41S provides the perfect match

for both a custom build scrambler

thanks to its design, and for the

rider through its performance.

Bridgestone’s Battlax

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

AX41S adopts



levels for


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


road performances.

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.


This is our mad Polish

mate Simpson, who as you

can see really enjoyed the

new S1000RR.

Carbon wheels as standard

on the M Sport model, of

course it would be lighter

and faster.

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.




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

blossoming partnership.

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.


A sea of

gorgeous red




- 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.


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.


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

that morning…

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...

Sharief Reynolds

on his beautiful

1199 Panigale.






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


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

lifetime opportunity.

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.


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


POWER: 94hp



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


FRONT BRAKE: 2x radially mounted 4 piston caliper

REAR BRAKE: 2 piston floating caliper

ABS: Bosch 9.1 MP (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad

mode, disengageable)




DRY WEIGHT: 189 kg


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


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

next day.

KTM marketing man

Riaan Neveling showing

off the capabilities of the

790 Adventure.



ENGINE: 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, parallel twin


POWER: 94hp



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


FRONT BRAKE: 2x radially mounted 4 piston caliper

REAR BRAKE: 2 piston floating caliper

ABS: Bosch 9.1 MP (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad

mode, disengageable)




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...


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

worse off.

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.

Shaun getting

some airtime

on the 790 R.

Stuck in

the dunes...


Ross Branch

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.




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

wasn’t worried.

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

was back!

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.




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Honda Wing Bethlehem: 058 303-4864 NELSPRUIT: Honda Wing Nelspruit: 013 753-7324 RUSTENBURG: Honda Wing Rustenburg: 014 597-2550 KZN: Honda Wing Umhlanga: 031 580-7900

Honda Wing Pinetown: 031 714-3600 UPINTON: Honda Wing Upinton: 054 332-7759 RICHARDS BAY: Honda Wing Richards Bay: 035 789-6378 EAST LONDON: Honda Wing East London: 043 748-1017

GEORGE: Honda Wing George: 044 874-5435 CPT: Honda Wing CPT CBD: 021 487-5000 / Honda Wing Tygerberg: 021 910-8300 / Honda Wing East Cape: 041 581-0359 / Honda Wing Worcester: 023 347-2646

NAMIBIA: Honda Wing Windhoek: 00264 613-81600 SWAZILAND: Honda Wing Mmbabane: 00268 2505 2881 BOTSWANA: Honda Wing Gaborone: 00267 395 2652

www.honda.co.za / care@hondasa.co.za / Toll Free: 0800 466 321 / Facebook - Honda SA / Twitter - Honda SA.

The combination

of the user-friendly

Honda chassis and

grippy Bridgestone

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

TRD Motorcycles

Yamaha R6.

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.

The Streetbike

class is getting

bigger and better!

The classics racers

were there in full force.

So much love to

go around.

The Dunlop and MASS brolly-dollies were once

again kept very busy by the horny old men...

Packed grandstand enjoying world-class racing!





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

South Africa.

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


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


“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



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

Displacement: 399cc

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

Cooling: Liquid

Ignition: Electric

Transmission: CVT Automatic


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

long tours

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



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


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

heart-winning experience.

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.



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.


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.



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.


LIKE 125

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.

RS 125

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.


082 757 3138


GPS Co-ordinates

S26 04'30.9" E28 45'20.0"




25 MAY







GOINGtrip from


East Coast to

West Coast

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

the route?

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:



• 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

640km ride!

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.

Best decision!

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


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

emergency braking...

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...


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

and bike...

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!


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

cannot wait...

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


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


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

super straight!

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!






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


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.


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.

Track time

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.


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.


“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

in motion.

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

since then.

Currently in Moto2 there are hardly

any Suter bikes being raced, with

KTM and the Kalex mostly forming

the grid.

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.

Notice the


intakes on the

front fairings.


RF Garage


Choosing the Right

Brake Pads

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

cold conditions.

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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Our Husqvarna Vitpilen 701’s transformation

is just about complete and how awesome is

it looking?!

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...

Sean says:

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.



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






GALFER launches the new

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pads made for sports bikes,

and for road or circuit use.




Trade Enquiries: (011) 672-6599

Email: info@trickbitz.co.za

Enquire at your local dealer

Office Hours Mon-Fri 8am-5pm



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