RideFast May 2019

RobRidefast

South Africa's biggest and best motorcycle magazine.

MAY 2019

This SA EXCLUSIVE test is

brought to you by Pirelli

WING IT!

DUCATI PANIGALE V4R

E X C L U S I V E S A T E S T

APRILIA RSV4 1100 FACTORY

W O R L D L A U N C H T E S T

WORLD LAUNCH TEST

HUSQVARNA

SVARTPILEN 701

The latest edition to the street bike range.

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THE TEAM:

EDITOR & DESIGN:

Rob Portman

rob@ridefast.co.za

082 782 8240

ROB PORTMAN

PUBLISHER:

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CONTRIBUTORS:

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

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publication may be reproduced,

distributed, or transmitted in any

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methods, without the prior written

permission of the publisher.

People, where is the time going? We are in May 2019

already. This year is fl ying by faster than ever, its madness.

Speaking of madness and our roads are becoming just

that. They have been for a while but now things are just

out of control it seems. Even more mad is the price of fuel

these days and more than ever motorists are feeling the

crunch. Never has there been a better time to invest in a

cheaper, faster, more affordable way of

transportation - get a motorbike!!!

I have been zooming around on my

Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 and it has

turned out to be a mayor time and

money saver, which also means less

stress. Listen, I know how dangerous

bikes can be especially out on the road

but when I ride I do so with extreme

caution, respect and awareness. I

don’t pretend to be out on a track

and I most certainly don’t think I’m

Marquez racing through traffi c. If you

apply these aspects your journey will

be a lot less stressful and a lot safer I

can promise you that.

So, if you are in the market for a new

or used motorcycle check out the 60 new and used bikes

we have advertised in this magazine. Look out for all the

adverts in this issue displaying the amazing deals currently

available. It really is time for you to make the switch if you

haven’t already!

One machine that I would love to have parked in my

garage permanently is the one splashed nice and big all

over our cover and over the awesome 9-page feature we

have in this issue – yes, it’s the Ducati Panigale V4R.

While I was testing the Caterham Moto2 bikes at the

Track-Daze Kyalami event a few months back, I noticed

a new V4R parked in the pits. Myself and Michael Powell

stood by the bike drooling away until the owner came

and we started chatting. After complimenting him for the

thousandth time he said he would like us to test it once it

had been run in. This is the one, and only time I have had

the urge to French kiss a man!!!

As you can see the owner stuck to his word and we got

to test the bike out at Redstar Raceway – another SA

exclusive test!

This happened literally 2 days before we had to hand

this magazine into the printers and I was under massive

pressure to get it fi nished because as you can see, it’s

another jammed packed issue full of goodness. So, I

roped in my good mate Donovan Fourie to help me test

the new V4R.

The whole feature came out just the way I had imagined

it and I can honestly tell you that I spent a good 4 hours

on these pages as our world-class photographers, Gerrit

Erasmus and Daniella Kerby from Beam Productions,

supplied me with hundreds of the fi nest photographs I

have ever seen in my life. Trust me when I tell you I labelled

over 80 pics that I had narrowed down to use in the test

pages. After changing the pic selection for what seemed

like the hundredth time I eventually

settled on what we have printed here

for you to enjoy – so I really hope you

do as it took me hours upon hours

people!

The V4R truly is a work-of-art and

there is no wonder why Bautista is

doing what he is in the World SBK

championship. It really is just the perfect

combination of a top MotoGP rider

from just a couple of months ago on a

purpose-built track dominator.

Staying with track weapons and apart

from the winged Ducati V4R we also

have another new Italian superbike

sporting wings featured in this issue.

While over on world launches I get to

meet loads of journos from all over the world. This is a

great time to do some networking and I have met some

amazing people over the past couple of years. One of

those being Mr Ari Henning, the man who attended the

world launch of the new Aprilia RSV4 1100 and who

gladly supplied it to us for you for you all to enjoy. The

new Aprilia looks and sounds like an amazing machine

and I am so glad we managed to get the article and

feature it. It’s sad to think that we might not be seeing

any RSV4 1100 Factory models coming into SA, or any

other Aprilia’s for that matter as the new importer, Vespa

SA, don’t seem to fussed about bringing any in at the

moment. I hope I’m wrong and I pray that we get to see

some more gorgeous Italian Stallions grace our shores.

Another world launch test we feature in this issue is that

of the new Husqvarna Svartpilen 701, which I was lucky

enough to attend out in Portugal. A stunning motorcycle

to both look at and ride and I hope the SA public give it a

good chance as just like the rest of the Husqvarna street

bike range, once you open your mind up and let the

Svartpilen in, it will rock your socks off!

Let me not keep you any longer I now want you to go

fourth and enjoy another cracking issue of the magazine in

which I pour my heart and soul into.

Oh yes, one last thing make sure you check out the

Scorpion helmet comp we have on page 47.

Until next month, stay safe!

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 1


M A Y 2 0 1 9

PG26: SA

EXCLUSIVE TEST

We test the all-new winged World

Superbike dominator - The Ducati

Panigale V4R.

PG48:

TESTED

NEW BATT UHP SLICKS TYRES

PG50:

FIRST RIDE

NEW KAWASAKI Z400

PG42: WORLD LAUNCH TEST

THE HUSQVARNA SVARTPILEN 701

PG54:

FEATURE

HONDA CBR1000RR LONGTERMER

PG56:

SA RACING

BRIDGESTONE CHALLENGE

PG70:

SA RACING

SA SBK ROUND 2

PG74:

SA LAUNCH

TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER & SPEED TWIN

PG60: WORLD LAUNCH TEST

APRILIA’S NEW WINGED SUPERBIKE

2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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Aprilia RS

660 Concept

going into

production?

Aprilia thrilled audiences at EICMA 2018

with the RS 660 concept. Recently, it’s

been confirmed that the Italian brand is

planning to display the final production

version of the middleweight sport bike

later this year at EICMA 2019.

French journalists from Moto-Station recently attended

a couple of media events to test models from the

Piaggio Group. During one instance, they asked a

Piaggio spokesperson about the future of the Aprilia

RS 660. The representative reportedly replied, “We [are

continuing] the development of the RS660, it follows its path;

there are no special reasons that would prevent it from arriving in

2020. At the upcoming EICMA fair in Milan, it will be presented in

[its] fi nal version.”

Aprilia’s stunning RS 660 concept excited many last year at EICMA 2018. The prototype

is powered by a 660cc parallel twin, derived from the Italian brand’s signature V4s.

Aprilia developed the middleweight power plant as a stressed member for the RS 660’s

lightweight frame. A parallel twin layout was chosen for its compactness and effi ciency.

Motorcycle manufacturers all over the world are hopping onboard the global trend of

offering smaller-displacement options for riders demanding accessibility and affordability.

Needless to say, Aprilia will provide lightweight, fl ickable performance with its new sport

bike. Whether the brand will homologate a supersport version for competition has yet to

be seen. The production version of the RS 660 is expected to debut this November at

EICMA 2019, prior to its release into the wild next year as a 2020 model.

Vespa SA is now the offi cial importer of the Aprilia brand in SA and let’s hope that they

bring this model in if it does indeed go into production.

4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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Japan’s big four announce

consortium for electric

motorcycle battery tech.

The removeable batteries of

Honda’s PCX Electric scooter.

Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha have announced

a collaborative effort to introduce a replaceable battery

tech standard for electric motorcycles

A laconic statement co-signed by Honda,

Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha could well

be one of the most important news items

of the year for the motorcycling world. The

four biggest Japanese manufacturers have

agreed to work together towards standardizing

replaceable battery tech for electric motorcycles.

Personal mobility is on a course to abandon

fossil fuel, set to make a dramatic turn towards

electric drive. Several countries around

the world, including some of the biggest

European nations, have either announced

or are investigating plans to ban the sales of

new vehicles powered by internal combustion

engines at some point in the next decade.

The problem with electric bikes though is that

current range per charge can be disappointing,

even if you go for the most expensive battery

options, which would inevitably translate to

costs considerably higher than the average

gasoline-burning equivalent.

Charging networks can also pose problems,

with some countries offering extensive

coverage while the infrastructure in others

seems insuffi cient to cater for electric

personal vehicles.

All these underline an inconsistency between

owning an electric motorcycle and actually

being able to achieve a comparable level of

practicality as the petrol-engined motorcycle

it will replace.

One solution that has been suggested is

installing charging points where one can

simply leave the drained battery and pick up

a freshly-charged one, which could be even

faster that refueling a conventional engine. The

swappable battery scheme seems ideal on

paper, yet it poses one serious question: can

manufacturers agree on a common battery

and charger architecture, or are we looking

at a complex network with several types of

incompatible “battery vending machines”?

The fi rst company to announce an ambitious

replaceable battery strategy was Taiwan’s

Gogoro in 2015, followed by Taiwan’s

KYMCO with the Ionex electric scooter line

and battery tech.

The lattermost, enjoying the advantage of being

a well known brand name and having a wide

global sales network in place, seemed better

equipped to lead a replaceable battery future

and, sure enough, it issued an open invitation

for all manufacturers to join in and design Ionexcompatible

batteries. KYMCO started rolling out

Ionex-powered scooters in 2018, yet no other

manufacturer has joined its cause.

Up until now, the big Japanese manufacturers

have displayed endless electric prototypes,

but as far as production machines are

concerned all we have is a Honda PCX hybrid

scooter and some electric-assisted mountain

bikes from Yamaha.

Honda has also announced a PCX Electric

version (pictured here) that will become

available in late 2019, but it’s only for Asian

markets and will only be available for lease

sales to corporations and rental businesses.

Even the electric EV Cub, that was

so well received by the public, still

hasn’t been tied to specifi c production

dates. But, just as we were

thinking that the big factories are

turning a blind eye on electric

motorcycles, here comes

this latest announcement.

The main point of the

statement is that the

four biggest Japanese

factories are setting up

a common technical

base for replaceable

batteries and

charging stations.

The target is rather

obvious; it’s a

race to set global

standards and

obviously four of

the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers

working together makes for a force to be

reckoned with.

It’s one thing going up against Gogoro, or

even KYMCO, but who would dare compete

against the collective resources of Honda,

Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha? For most

smaller manufacturers, designing compatible

batteries should sound like the best idea,

taking advantage of the big boys’ networks.

According to Japanese press reports, the deal

will initially focus on small commuter electric

models, equivalent to engine capacities up to

125 cc. The same reports note that this is also

the fi rst ever attempt to set up a workgroup

outside the confi nes of the Japan Automobile

Manufacturers Association.

This would also constitute the fi rst time that

the Japanese manufacturers displayed clear

intent to work on mass-produced electric

two-wheelers, and this announcement could

well prove to be a game-changer.

Honda announced last

November that the PCX Electric

scooter will go into production

in the second half of 2019, but

it won’t be available for the

general public.

6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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BMW Motorrad S1000RR

gets Autonomous Race

Software for Foolish Noobs

Getting oneself on top of a 207 hp, 193.5

kg motorized metal monster the likes of

the BMW Motorrad S 1000 RR might be a

scary experience for beginners, and at times

possibly a dangerous one. Yet even noobs at

times need to feel the thrills of track racing.

To help out and solve the fears less experienced riders have with

handling a motorcycle on a track, BMW Motorrad announced

the fi rst implementation of a series of autonomous systems in its

bikes. Called iRace Kit, the suite of software upgrades will become

available on the new S1000RR in September.

The kit takes inspiration from the self-driving R 1200 GS

shown at the BMW Motorrad Techday in France in 2018.

iRace, a GPS-supported software unit, has a library of data

where it stores all current race tracks in the Superbike world

championships, but also the Nürburgring Nordschleife and the

Isle of Man circuits. So no matter where noobs what to go for a

ride, the bike has it all covered.

The inner workings of the system are pretty straightforward. The

rider mounts the bike, starts it, takes it on the track and begins

to race, alone or against similarly noob friends. If at one point

the rider does something foolish and loses control of the bike

or his wits, he can quickly engage the system and select the

Beginner riding mode.

From there, essentially, the S1000RR gets foolproof. Once the rider

gets scared, or just bored and in the mood to enjoy the scenery,

iRace takes over and does the work all by itself.

And it does it so well, that it “enables even those with little or no

experience to approach a lap time for the track in question up to

a maximum of eight seconds over the current record.”

So get ready for an avalanche of records at tracks across the

world being tricked into submission by the Jane and John Does

of our day.

BMW Motorrad presents

Highly-Customizable ProRace

Suit for Motorcycle Racers

Feeling the need to finally offer riders a new choice in terms of suits,

BMW Motorrad recently announced the availability of its new onepiece,

cowhide nappa leather outfit called ProRace.

The suit is, as all other such professional elements, Made-to-Measure, and has

been created by BMW’s customized racing outfi t partner of choice, Gimoto.

The confi gurator for the ProSuit is up and running and offers “an extensive

range of customization and fi ttings options” that include even the addition of

team or sponsor logos, and even inscriptions or nicknames.

As standard, the suit comes with protectors at the shoulders, hips, elbows and

knees, but most of these elements can be modifi ed in the confi gurator.

The leather of the racing suit is perforated on the sleeves, chest area and

thighs and features a 3D spacer fabric in the back area to ensure proper

ventilation. The standard layout of the perforations can be changed as well.

For back protection, BMW Motorrad will offer a choice of three solutions:

NP Pro back protector that uses the protector pouch os the suit, strap-on

protectors or back protector vest.

“It has a wide range of functional options which include key safety and

comfort features,” said in a statement American motorcycle racer Nate

Kern, one of the few people that have tested the suit before its launch.

“The Made-to-Measure version has more options than I have ever

seen before – including optional elbow sliders, kangaroo leather and

much more besides.”

BMW Motorrad did not announce pricing for the ProRace suit, as

there are to many variables to take into account. As soon as one

completes the confi guration though, an estimate of the price is

sent directly to the e-mail box. You can have a look at the many

customization options for the ProRace at the following link -

www.gimoto.com/suit-confi gurator/bmw

8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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Motorcyclists: Apple Watch

can help you in a crash.

Welcome to the future! We have machines

looking after us... If you’re a fan of Apple

products and have the Series 4 Apple watch,

it may interest you to know about its fall

detection feature. What’s that, you say, you are

young and fit and not prone to randomly falling

down in your house, so you have not enabled

that feature? Well, think again, young rider; you

might want to enable it, because this feature

might help you in a motorcycle accident.

That’s right, your fancy smart watch could save your life.

Consider that when any of us throws a leg over our motorcycle,

we do not plan to have a crash. We never say to ourselves, “today

is the day I’m going to go hit a minivan!” Nope, we all fi gure we’re

going to get to our destination and get on with our day. Many of

us know that sometimes that plan goes awry. That’s why many of

us wear all our protective motorcycle gear on every ride.

These days, because the smart devices we wear or have on our

persons often have accelerometers in them, they can tell when

we’ve had an “unplanned getoff,” if you will. The way our bodies

move (and stop moving) in a fall is apparently unique to anything

else we do. These watches have been programmed to detect

that movement and go into an alert mode. The phone will

ask you if you’ve had a fall, and if so, if you’d like it to alert the

authorities. You can decline the assistance, tell the watch it’s

mistaken and that you didn’t have a fall, or say “yes, OK, call an

ambulance for me.” If the watch detects a severe impact and you

do not reply to its prompts, it will assume you are unconscious and

call for medical help.

The alert in these watches is based on impact. If you are into things

like martial arts, you may want to take the watch off for those

activities so it’s not calling the ambulance to your dojo every week.

Otherwise, all the riders out there with Apple watches might want

to turn this particular function on, at least for the duration of your

riding season, and especially if you ride alone. It could get help to

you quickly in the event of a crash.

Android watches have several accelerometer-based fall detection

apps available as well, in case you’re an Android fan.

Yamaha May Redesign R1

Due To Emission Laws

Yamaha’s YZF-R1 has been one of most loved

world class litre bikes since its inception in

1998. The latest incarnation, however, may

be set for a complete redesign from top to

bottom, for the 2021 model year, according to

patent papers recently filed by the company.

Last month, Yamaha fi led a series of patent papers in Japan. These

papers suggest that the company is planning on completely redesigning

the current R1 model, using even more technology taken from their

MotoGP designs.

European emission laws have forced huge changes in the motorcycle

world over the past two decades, as bikes have been phased out of

production when they can’t meet the new requirements. The Hayabusa,

for example, was fazed out in Europe last year and there is talk of a

complete redesign in the works.

Although the next few years may see the loss of a few more loved

model’s across the biking spectrum, Yamaha, it would seem are

planning to use this opportunity to their advantage. The bike may be

getting a counter rotating crankshaft, used on the YZR-M1 prototype.

This rotates against the direction of the bike, and helps increase hard

acceleration whilst reducing the risk of wheelies, and the need for traction

and wheelie control.

The bike may also receive a seamless gearbox, making it the fi rst

superbike in mass production to do so. These gearboxes are at the limit

of current technology, as it allows clutchless changes without any loss

of power, deceleration or destabilization. However these boxes are very

diffi cult to maintain, as in the MotoGP world, they need to be stripped

down daily for maintenance, a routine which would not be possible on a

mass produced sportsbike. Yamaha might have found a solution to this.

We will have to wait until Yamaha offi cially announce the new bikes, but

more MotoGP tech on a superbike? Count us in!

10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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New face at KTM Durban.

This is really sad news for all Joburg KTM

riders who had the pleasure of meeting

and dealing with the bubbly Keryn Ehlers,

(ex RAD Moto).

Keryn has knocked the Joey’s dust off

of her shoes and made a Bee-line for

the coast and is now doing all sorts of

interesting things at the very busy KTM

Durban. We wish Keryn all the best in

her new ventures. KTM Durban is a huge

dealership just across the river, north of

Durban. It is well stocked with all the latest

and greatest that KTM has to offer, with

an extremely busy professional workshop

and a huge amount of accessories to

boot. They always have something on

the go, breakfast runs with the Dukes, off

road rides and even the occasional night

market. They also have a very cool KTM

coffee bar, so drop in at Shop 1A, Park

Boulevarde Centre, 11 Browns Drift Rd,

Durban North for a coffee and to meet

Keryn. Or get hold of them on 031 035

0090 or info@ktmdbn.co.za.

Perry Bikes - 30 Years Strong.

This is one bike shop with a long history

of bringing great bikes and service to KZN

bikers for 30 years odd.

They have changed with the times, given

up old brands, taken on new brands,

movied to bigger and better premises and

opened satellite shops.

They are agents for Kawasaki, SYM,

Husqvarna, Suzuki, Linhai and Polaris and

have an impressive array of good, clean

pre-owned bikes in stock.

On top of all that they possibly have

the largest stock holding and widest

range of accessories south of the Vaal

river. Their workshop is so large and so

busy that it has to be housed in its own

building on the same premises at 1 and

2 Sneezewood Lane, Glen Anil between

Durban north and Umhlanga, just off the

N2 North Coast highway.

Just in case that isn’t enough, they have

a satellite branch in Ballito on 13 Moffat

drive, Ballito Business Park which is equally

well stocked. Give them a call on 031 566

7411 or 031 110 0056 or drop them a line

on info@perrybikes.co.za.

Kawasaki

H2R handover

We were honoured to be invited to witness the handover

the only Kawasaki H2R to be imported to SA this year to

Gregory Parton of KZN.

Primrose Motorcycles laid on the handover at their

premises in Primrose Germiston. Gregory flew up for

this auspicious occasion, smiling from ear to ear as he

sat aboard the H2R, still half crated. He started the bike

up and man-oh-man, this bike sounds like 400kmh just

standing there.

Full titanium exhaust, carbon fibre everywhere and

substantially lighter than the road legal H2. We’re sure

Greg is going to have lots of fun on his R900K machine!

For 2019 the Kawasaki H2R got a few upgrades,

as if it needed any. Power has been pushed up to

a mind-boggling 300 hp at the crank! It also comes

with a self-healing paintjob, new brake calipers, TFT

instrumentation and a new Bluetooth connectivity app.

This bike is purchased via special order only with the

cut-off being last year November. Greg ordered his

through Primrose Motorcycles and will be the only new

2019 H2R riding around in SA.

Congratulations Greg, she sure is a beauty!

12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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2019/04/23 1:23 PM


All the NEWS produdly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

Supertech Motorrad

Pinetown new premises.

We have watched this dealership grow

from strength to strength over the last

5 or 6 years. They started in pokey little

premises in the basement of Oxford

Village Shopping Centre in Hillcrest KZN.

Then into bigger nicer premises in the

Knowles Centre in Pinetown where a

change of ownership happened. The

new owners, Supertech group, have just

built a new mega dealership right off the

M13 on Kirk street in Pinetown.

The dealership has a state of the art

workshop, fully stocked accessories

bar and all the latest and greatest

models on offer from BMW on their

sales fl oor. Steve Bailey is the man at the

helm and he has a gift for customising

motorcycles. So not only will you get

the best service but you can also have

your new pride and joy personalised to

your taste. Take a wander down to their

fantastic new building at 6 Kirk road,

New Germany, Pinetown or give them

a call on 031 702 0271 or drop Steve a

mail on steve.bailey@bmwdealer.co.za

Machineworx Carwash

& Detail Centre Ballito.

Jaw dropping …. That is possibly the

best way to describe this “car wash”

that is more of a lifestyle venue than an

actual car wash.

There is a really nice coffee shop with

a vast and exciting menu and some

real beauties on display of both the two

wheeled and four wheeled kind. The

décor and the atmosphere will keep

you entertained for hours and have you

coming back for more.

The Washworx is quite something to

behold with a menu that is even more

exciting than the menu in the coffee

shop, all true Petrolheads will really

appreciate what can be done for your

prized possession.

Incidentally, Steve Bailey of Supertech

Motorrad put us onto this place, one of

his custom creations is on permanent

display there.

Do yourself a really big favour and get

down to Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Main

Road, Ballito, KZN or surf their website

at www.machineworx.co.za, you can

also give boss man Brett a call on

032 648 0050 or mail him on info@

machineworx.co.za .

14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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

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

www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com

CHALLENGE THE

STATUS QUO

The SVARTPILEN 701 is simple, raw, authentic and thrilling to ride. Its design

captures some of the original spirit that originally made motorcycling great, and

that still fuels the imagination of riders today. Its flat track-inspired design exudes

a timeless appeal that will continue to stand the test of time. Riding this powerful

single-cylinder street explorer is an experience that recaptures the excitement

of those first sparks of inspiration, while its SIMPLE. PROGRESSIVE. design is a

paradox that challenges the status quo of motorcycling.


All the NEWS produdly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

Pocket Bikes SA

Cape Town based Pocket Bikes SA

are the offi cial Importers, retailers and

wholesalers of these 50cc 2 Stroke

Air-Cooled petrol driven mini pocket

bikes, mini bikes, pocket rockets, mini

quads (ATV), mini scramblers (dirt bikes),

performance parts and spares for the

past 10 years.

They have managed to keep their prices

relatively constant and competitive

throughout the years. They tell us that

they have a full range of parts in stock

at any given time and can quickly and

easily service their customers’ needs

and requirements.

They retail directly to the end user as well

as to many dealerships in and around

South Africa. Pocket bikes are a great

way to get the youngsters and even

the rest of the family an easy and cost

effective introduction to motorcycles.

Did you know that almost All the

Moto GP top riders like 9 times World

Champion #46 Valentino Rossi, #93

Marc Marquez, #26 Dani Pedrosa, #99

Jorge Lorenzo, #58 Marco Simoncelli to

just name a few all began their careers

on mini or pocket bike racing when they

were just knee high to grass hoppers?

Too much fun! Huge selection of model

bikes also in stock.

Give them a shout on (021) 202-7583 or

084 633 4048 or on Twitter or Instagram

using the handle PocketbikeSA or on

their Facebook Page or Facebook

group: PocketbikeSA. You can also mail

them at pocketbikesa@gmail.com.

Race Shop Fourways getting bigger.

We are told that big things are

happening at Race Shop in The

Buzz Centre, just off Witkoppen road

in Fourways. Ryan and Dion are

expanding the shop and their range

of clothing and accessories as well

as opening a fully-fl edged workshop

to service to better service the

motorcycling community in the area.

Ryan says expansion and renovation will

have absolutely minimal effect on clients

and they are still able to offer you their

usual great service and should be done

quite soon anyway. They also have an

agreement with Smokin’ Aces next door

to include something to munch on and

drink in the price of your bike service.

Drop in and take in the experience for

yourself. 011 658 0208.

16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


Hano, Anton, Calvin and Max all ready to get

you kitted out with the latest and greatest

C.I.T Accessories in

Hatfield Pretoria.

This busy dealership in Pretoria just

keeps metamorphosing to keep up

with the ever changing demands of

the motorcycling buying public. They

have extended their mezzanine fl oor to

be a full second fl oor and have moved

all the bikes and accessories upstairs.

Stocking a wide range of cruisers, dirt

bikes, superbikes and commuters

as well as fully stocked on all the top

brands of helmets, jackets, gloves, MX

kit, boots and every conceivable kind of

motorcycle accessory one can imagine.

Their friendly and professional staff are

very knowledgeable and willing to help

you spend your money.

Drop in at 1222 Pretorius street,

Hatfi eld, Pretoria or give them a call on

012 342 8571.

C.I.T. is also your well stocked

Husqvarna dealership in Pretoria

The new spec

MV’s are here!

The all-new Euro 4, refi ned and beautifully detailed MV

Agusta Dragster and Brutale models are arriving in

SA. Customers will be offered an exclusive experience

including riding skills, access to events etc. Each bike

is sold with a 3 year factory warranty and a 3 Year full

maintenance plan, which includes wear and tear items.

Where MV previously focused on selling over 15 000

motorcycles a year, their new strategy is to build beautifully

crafted limited motorcycles.

MV Agusta South Africa will only be importing exclusive

limited numbered bikes and will restrict the number of units

sold so that each motorcycle, although numbered, will be

sold in very limited numbers to retain their exclusivity.

The fi rst Models to arrive are the very popular MV Agusta

Dragster RR America, of which only 2 will come to South

Africa, and the all-new Brutale 800 RC, also restricted to 2

units. Pricing will be announced.

Call 011 465 4591 or Berto Santos on 079 494-2404 for

more information.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 17


All the NEWS produdly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

A faster, sharper and cleaner

GSXR-1000 coming?

It doesn’t feel like it’s been long since Suzuki launched its current

GSX-R1000 as the star of its 2017 model range but every

indication is that there’s not long to wait until the bike gets a

substantial mid-life revamp. A flurry of Japanese patent activity

shows details of changes to both the engine and the styling.

With Euro 5 emissions limits looming, even

some of the world’s most modern bikes

will need a tweak to ensure their continued

compliance, and Suzuki is working on a

much more advanced variable valve timing

system for the GSX-R1000 that will help it

compete with a host of new superbike rivals.

We’ve talked about VVT here before.

Investigating Euro 5, we discovered that it’s

the clearest answer to getting superbikes to

pass the new limits, and while BMW’s new

S1000RR has been the first four-cylinder

superbike to adopt a really sophisticated

variable valve timing and lift system, it

seems that variations on the same theme

will spread fast as rivals adopt the idea.

Honda has patented a VVT set up for a

future Fireblade and last year Suzuki started

to file patents suggesting it, too, is planning

to adopt a more sophisticated VVT for the

GSX-R1000, too.

Of course, the existing GSX-R1000 already has

VVT, albeit in a system that’s unlike any rival.

The firm created a unique cam-phasing design

for its GSX-RR MotoGP bike that advances or

retards the intake cam timing depending on

revs, and carried the same system across to the

GSX-R1000. Unlike any rival arrangement, the

current setup is purely mechanical, relying on

nothing more than centrifugal force to change

the valve timing as revs rise.

That’s because MotoGP rules specifically

ban electronic or hydraulic VVT systems,

so Suzuki’s current design is a clever workaround.

But there remains no doubt that

electronically-controlled cam-phasing systems,

using valves to divert oil flow to hydraulically

switch valve timing at the command of a

computer, are far more adaptable. As a result,

the next-generation GSX-R1000 will adopt just

such an electro-hydraulic system.

It’s not new technology; cars have had it for

years and bikes like Ducati’s Mulitstrada and

Diavel also use it, while Kawasaki’s GTR 1400

debuted a similar design more than a decade

ago. However, it’s not been applied to a fourcylinder,

1000cc superbike before.

Unlike the existing GSX-R1000’s system,

the new design operates on both the intake

and the exhaust camshafts. The firm’s latest

drawings show that it can be added to the

existing engine design without major changes

to the castings, simply bolting a hydraulic

valve unit to the right hand side of the cylinder

head and using external pipework to connect

it to the cam phasers.

The intention is to be able to reduce valve

overlap – the period where the intake valves

open before the exhaust valves close – at low

revs, so unburnt fuel can’t escape into the

exhaust before it’s ignited. But with electronic

control and the ability to alter the timing of

the exhaust camshaft as well as the intake

camshaft, the new Suzuki system will be

much more adaptable than its current design.

The result should be an improvement in

both performance and emissions, with gains

across the rev range.

Normally, technical patents like these don’t

give many clues to a new bike’s styling, but in

this case Suzuki might have given us a hint at

how the future GSX-R1000 will look as well.

The patents show images of the bike from

both sides, and while they initially look like

any current GSX-R1000, a closer look reveals

significant changes that would tie in neatly

with the sort of mid-life restyle that must be

due within the next year or so.

The most notable changes are to the side

panels, which feature a completely new

arrangement of air outlets when compared

to the current GSX-R1000 or any previous

generation.

We can also see that the nose is slightly

droopier and comes to a sharper point,

presumably with aerodynamic benefits, while

the lines separating the fuel tank from the seat

unit are quite different.

On laying the new side-on drawings above

a photo of the existing GSX-R1000, it’s also

notable that the exhaust protrudes further

below the bellypan. Once again that’s likely to

be the result of tougher emissions rules, forcing

the adoption of a bulkier catalytic converter.

It’s equally clear that the main chassis sections

of the bike aren’t changed. The frame and

swingarm appear to be identical to the existing

bike’s parts, as does the seat subframe.

Source: BikeSocial

18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


New Suzuki Katana

makes appearance in SA.

Suzuki SA show off the new Katana at the Rand

Easter Show. SA pricing, availability and “Samurai

Pack” details also released.

Slowly but surely, the Katana is coming to

SA. Suzuki SA showed off the new Iconic

model for the fi rst time here in SA with an

unveiling off the bike at the Rand Show

held at Nasrec over the Easter Weekend.

Taking the covers off the all-new Katana

was Mr Stuart Baker (Motorcycle Sales

manager) and Mr Naruhito Wada,

Assistant MD Suzuki Auto SA.

The Katana SA club were also present

for the unveiling and also brought along

an original Katana from way back when.

It was great seeing the old and new bike

side-by-side and Suzuki have done a great

job at re-creating the Katana look.

The Katana has been a well loved

motorcycle here in SA and many excited

eyes attended the Rand Show just to get a

glimpse of the new machine in the fl esh for

the fi rst time in SA.

Pricing has been announced at R184,999

and the lucky customers who booked

and paid in advance were also treated to a

special viewing the week before and will be

expecting their bikes to arrive in July.

There will be a few bikes available on

Suzuki dealers fl oors for those who didn’t order but

very limited stock so if you are keen on one we suggest

you get to a Suzuki dealer now and book yours. There

will be more bikes arriving later on in the year but again

stock will be limited as world-wide demand for the Iconic

machine is high.

Along with the Katana unveiling and pricing, Suzuki SA also

announced a cosmetic upgrade kit for the bike called the

Samurai Pack (because of course it is). No confi rmed price

yet but in the kit customers will get a smoked fl y screen, a

new seat with red accents, carbon-look front fender and

engine covers, a tank pad, red stripes on the wheels, and

some sexy new red graphics on the fairing and seat unit.

The bike that was unveiled is a homologation bike which

means it cannot be ridden so we will have to wait a bit

longer before we can test the new machine, which we are

hoping will be featured in our August issue.

The new Katana fully dressed in

the “Samurai Pack”.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 19


All the NEWS produdly brought

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Transformer in SA.

Wondering around the World of Yamaha the

other day we noticed something that looks like

a prop from the Transformer movies standing

in their showroom. A very futuristic and alien

looking machine that resembles the Yamaha

Tracer but has two front wheels, turns out it is

the new Yamaha NIKEN. The guys at Yamaha

are not quite ready to do a full press reveal right

now, so info on the bike is a little sparse.

Needless to say our interest was quite piqued

so we did a bit of rummaging around on the

web and found out that there is a lot more there

than just porn, (who knew?). Anyway, what

we have been able to glean from the web on

the Yamaha Niken is helluva interesting and

does look like it is going to be a very unique

riding sensation on winding roads and in

general. It has a fancy parallelogram style front

suspension with two 15 inch front wheels that

are said to inspire corner carving confi dence.

On the outside of each wheel are twin upside

fully adjustable forks stanchions, so the front

end rolls front left to right on its parallelogram

while the wheels rock up and down on a

seesaw type set up while having absolutely no

effect on the steering. This is said to give the

Niken unbelievable stability in the corners.

The rear suspension is also fully adjustable and

the weight distribution is as close as dammit

to 50:50 between the front and rear wheels,

giving the NIKEN a neutral feel to the handing

which will inspire confi dence in the rider, even

at its maximum 45 degrees of lean angle. Now

you might think the double front wheel set up

will make the new Yamaha quite wide and

awkward to ride, but by all accounts at only

410mm wide front wheel track it seems it rides

and handles just like any modern motorcycle.

The comments are that the double front wheels

give it an extraordinary amount of front end grip

and the traction control keeps the rear wheel

behaving itself as well, so a very stable and

predictable bike to

ride. Apparently

the bosses at the

Yamaha factory insisted

that the NIKEN had

to feel like a normal

motorcycle to ride

but with sporty riding

pleasure.

So the Yamaha NIKEN

is not only all about the

front end, it is also jam

packed with all sorts of

new technology. It has an all new hybrid chassis

and aluminium swingarm, YCC-T electronic

throttle, a freshened up 847cc CP3 triple engine

putting around 105bhp on the rear wheel,

traction and cruise control, quick shift system

for smoother up gear changes, slipper clutch, 3

riding modes and dual LED headlights and LED

taillight with integrated LED indicators.

The styling is aerodynamic, bold and muscular

giving it a powerful and aggressive look with

a high end fi t and fi nish, a real head turner

wherever it goes we are pretty sure. An

interesting point, even though it has two front

wheels the NIKEN does not self-balance. So

don’t expect it to hold itself upright while you are

learning to ride a motorcycle for the fi rst time,

(self-explanatory I suppose but some newbies

might actually try it).

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Tuning Fork SA

bosses can we have one to ride for a few days?!

Suzuki Richards

Bay gets ECSTAR

Suzuki Genuine

Oil and cool new

Suzuki gear.

Over the last several years, Suzuki

has been utilizing the state of the art

technology derived from MotoGP racing

in the development of new motorcycles.

The benefits now expand well beyond

engine and chassis refinements to the

development of a new high-performance

motorcycle oil line: ECSTAR Suzuki

Genuine Oil.

Feedback from both technicians and riders

at the MotoGP level was instrumental in

creating a high-performance premium

oil that not only exceeds all JASO MA2

standards, but more importantly, was

formulated by Suzuki engineers. When

using ECSTAR in their own motorcycles,

scooters and ATV’s, Suzuki owners can be

confident that their engine oil can stand

up to the extreme temperatures and high

RPM that the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP

race bike exhibits.

ECSTAR Suzuki Genuine Oil is available

now in three different formulations to

beat the needs of every owner from the

professional racer to the daily commuter or

recreational off-road rider.

Suzuki Richards Bay has just received

stock of the new ECSTAR Oil range, as

well as some genuine Suzuki shoes, caps

and socks. We really like the look of the

new shoes and no doubt these are a must

for any and all Suzuki fans. Available in red

or blue and priced at R850 each.

Call 035 789 4205.

20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought to you by

WorldSBK return for Ten

Kate and Baz aboard

Yamaha machinery

After 16 seasons competing on the

WorldSBK and WorldSSP grids with

Honda machinery, Ten Kate Racing has

announced the team will take part in the

2019 season with a Yamaha YZF-R1,

with a starting date to be announced in

the coming weeks.

Making the announcement at a TT

Circuit Assen press conference, Ten

Kate Racing also confi rmed Loris Baz

will pilot the premier class contender –

a WorldSBK race-winner and proven

competitor at the highest level.

The Frenchman returned to the series

last season after a three-year spell in

MotoGP, fi nishing 2018 11th in the

championship standings aboard a

BMW. Baz, 26, has already competed

on Yamaha machinery in the WorldSBK

paddock, winning the former STK600

championship in 2008 and taking part

in STK1000 in 2009 and 2010.

“I’m proud to meet this team, a big

name in Holland,” said Baz. “I joined

the paddock in 2008, so I know the

name, I even did two races with them

in the past. I’m also really happy to join

Yamaha, this is the brand of my heart,

the brand I started with, who I won the

Superstock 600 championship with. I’m

so happy for this.”

The WorldSBK championship resumes

this weekend at Aragon in Spain, which

sees rookie Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it

Racing – Ducati) lead the standings with

an undefeated record.

MotoGP Retires the

Number 69 in Honor

of Nicky Hayden

It was a somber occasion in Austin on the Friday, as members of

the grand prix paddock gathered in the press conference room to

witness the announcement that the number 69 was going to be

retired from use in the MotoGP Championship.

The event at the Hayden Hill later that day, just overlooking Turn 18

was a little bit more cheerful though, as friends, family, and wellwishers

gathered for a photo around the emblazoned logo of the

Kentucky Kid.

There was also the Repsol Honda RC211V race bike on display

in the paddock – the machine that Hayden used to win the 2006

MotoGP Championship – along with no shortage of fans sporting

Nicky’s apparel, number, and infectious smile.

Once FIM President Jorge Viegas and Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta

fi nished the ceremony to retire Hayden’s number, Nicky’s older

brother Tommy spoke for the family, with the following remarks:

“First of all I’d just like to thank everyone for joining us here, everyone

who’s showed up to celebrate this special occasion with us.”

“For sure we’d like to thank Carmelo and all of Dorna for this event

and for all their support pretty much since Nicky’s accident they’ve

gone way out of their way in every way you can imagine. Nicky loved

MotoGP and I think he loved it for a reason, because there are a lot

of good people there – starting at the top, and we want to thank

everyone for everything.”

“Nicky had a lot of success on track but I think we all agree he made

just as big an impact off track. In everyone’s lives; those of his friends

and family and all of his fans. That’s something that, as a family, we’re

most proud of.”

“The number 69 is a special number in our family. Before my brothers

and sisters were even born, my dad raced with that number and

there were other family members even before us my dad helped and

supported who always raced with the number 69.”

“My sister raced when she was younger, my brother Roger, myself,

always raced with the number 69 throughout our childhood years

and growing up racing. Nicky carried the number through his whole

career, it’s very special and like I said it has a lot of meaning so to

have it retired from MotoGP, the pinnacle of the sport, as you can

imagine…it means a lot to us.”

“So again I would just like to thank everyone for coming out, all your

support and for helping us to keep Nicky’s legacy alive.”

22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


more confidence, in wet

and dry conditions, even

after 5000 KM *

even after 5 000

KM, experience

braking in the

wet*

Even after 5 000 KM, a MICHELIN Road tyre

stops as short as a brand new MICHELIN

Pilot Road 4 tyre* thanks to the evolutionary

MICHELIN XST Evo sipes.

With its dry grip, stability and best handling versus

its main competitors, thanks to MICHELIN’s

patented ACT+ casing technology, it offers even

more riding pleasure.***

* According to internal studies at Ladoux, the Michelin centre of excellence, under the supervision of an independent

witness, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres used for 5 636 km with new and unworn MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres.

** According to internal studies at Fontange, a Michelin test track, under the supervision of an independent witness,

comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with METZELER Roadtec 01, DUNLOP Road Smart 3, CONTINENTAL Road

Attack 3, PIRELLI Angel GT and BRIDGESTONE T30 EVO tyres, in dimensions 120/70 ZR17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17

(rear) on Suzuki Bandit 1250

*** External tests conducted by the MTE Test Centre invoked by Michelin, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with MI

*** External tests conducted by the MTE Test Centre invoked by Michelin, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with MI-

CHELIN Pilot Road 4, METZELER Roadtec 01, DUNLOP Road Smart 3, CONTINENTAL Road Attack 3, PIRELLI

Angel GT and BRIDGESTONE T30 EVO tyres, in dimensions 120/70 ZR17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17 (rear) on a Kawasaki

Z900 giving best dry performance globally and #1 for Handling, #2 for Stability, #2 for Dry grip


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Available from most Dischem and

leading Nutrition stores Nation-Wide

for R350. For more product advise,

training tips, expert advice and

eating plans visit www.npl.za.com.

HJC CS-15 TONI

ELIAS REPLICA

The 2019 range of HJC helmets

is better than ever and the new

CS-15 Toni Elias Replica takes

value-for-money to the next level.

It’s a value-priced helmet with a

high level of comfort, quality and

performance. New key feature is

the “ACS” Advanced Channelling

Ventilation System: Full front to

back airflow flushes heat and

humidity up and out.

Available in SA soon through

selected AutoCycle Centre dealers

nation-Wide. Price TBA.

24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


SPRAYPAINTING &

AIRBRUSH WORK

BY SYNDICATE

CUSTOMS

Syndicate Customs is a very well

known, tried and trusted spray

painting and air brushing company

here in JHB. For years Kallie

Behnke, the man behind it all, has

created custom master-pieces for

customers and helped racers style

their race bikes and custom helmet

designs. We at RideFast have

put his work to the test and can

honestly give his work two very big

thumbs up.

Email kalliebehnke@gmail.com or

call 084 814 2363.

CUSTOM

MATS NOW

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FROM GFP

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Bedrooms, Bars, Showrooms, Race

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- Different Sizes available

- Enviro Friendly

Visit the GFP website to view sizes

and pricing - www.gfpinternational.

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///MASS CUSTOM

KANGAROO SUIT

All new MASS

Custom suits come

with a Hydration pack that

can be installed in the hump

at the back. We also love the

new, thicker elbow sliders.

Attention to details is brilliant and the

final product is amazing - stitching and

zips are solid. Pictures

just don’t do this

suit justice!

Our test rider Shaun Portman has just received his new custom

made-to-fit MASS Kangaroo leather suit and how amazing

does it look? We came up with the design and sent the brief to

MASS SA who managed to get it spot on and we are so happy

with the end product. This is Shaun’s second MASS Custom

suit and for this year he has upgraded from last years Cow

Hide suit to the all-new Kangaroo leather, which is stronger

and lighter.

It’s so easy ordering your own custom made suit - simply

discuss the design - go crazy with logos, colours and patterns -

send measurements using the chart MASS sends you and once

the design has been approved pay a 50% deposit and within 4-6

weeks you will have your own custom styled, made-to-measure suit.

All MASS suits come with a free carry bag, knee and elbow sliders

(which Shaun really needs) as well as a hydration pack, which is new for

2019. You can even order a set of custom made gloves to go with your

suit, but that is at an extra charge. We have done so for Shaun and will be

getting them soon so will feature them in next months issue.

As you can see MASS cater for riders with a bit more ‘MASS’ than usual, so you

bigger riders no longer have to try and squeeze into a off-the-rack generic suit.

The tailors at MASS did get a bit of a surprise when they read the measurements

we sent them for Shaun and did question them, but once all was finalized they

went ahead and made a perfect fitting suit that looks spectacular. They can also

cater for smaller riders, from as young as 5 years old.

The suits have all the protection you need, just ask SA’s top riders Michael

White, Clinton Seller and Bjorn Estment, who have all crash tested their suits.

MASS proved their quality when Mike Jones wore one of their custom suits in

last years MotoGP race at Philip Island where he deputized for Alvaro Bautista

in the Nieto Ducati squad. MotoGP has safety standards and does not just let

any suit manufacturer in so the fact that MASS made a suit that is MotoGP

approved really is a testament to how good their products are! A custom made

Cow Hide suit will cost you R11,000 while the new Kangaroo suit will set you

back R13,000. MASS SA also offer great race discount packages. For more

information contact Keaton from MASS SA on 060 549 2210.


This SA EXCLUSIVE test is brought to you by Pirelli

26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


E X C L U S I V E S A T E S T

NATURAL

BORN

WINNER

D U C A T I P A N I G A L E V 4 R

Ducati have been the master of building desirable, high-tech superbikes

for many years but the new Panigale V4R might just be their best work

yet. In fact, it might just be the best production superbike ever built.

Words Donovan Fourie / Pics by Gerrit Erasmus & Daniella Kerby

“HOLY MOTHER OF THE DEITY OF YOUR

CHOOSING! THIS FORNICATING THING IS

AS FAST AS COPULATING FAECES!

My mother taught me not to swear. It’s becoming increasingly diffi cult.

And it’s only the fi rst lap.

A little after the fi rst corner, to be more exact. But fi rst...

Here is a bike costing nearly R800,000 that was lent to us by a decidedly friendly

fellow named Chris, whose amiable face was watching from pitlane. It was an icy

morning at Red Star Raceway, and I wasn’t in the mood to crash on cold tyres and

return Chris’s new crowning glory in a bucket, so I charitably let Rob go fi rst.

He began by testing the launch control system from the startline in front of our

The Bike Show cameras. After a few seconds of fi ddling with the settings on the

TFT dash, he pulled in the clutch, clicked fi rst gear and opened the throttle.

The banshee wail from that Akrapovic exhaust sent a primordial shiver up the

onlookers’ spines as the bike held the revs at a certain point, ready to shoot itself

forward at the start. He held it for three worryingly long seconds before letting the

clutch out. The front wheel hopped momentarily and an instant later he was a mere

spec at the end of the main straight.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 2 7


“That’s more than the power

used by Casey Stoner to beat

Valentino Rossi in the 2007

MotoGP Championship.”

28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


He returned to the pits some minutes later, and

once I was convinced that the tyres were warm

enough to avoid embarrassing tragedy, I set off

down pitlane. At 40 km/h. I knew it was 40 km/h that

was what the pitlane limiter was set to, and there

is nothing in the world – nothing at all – that makes

you feel more like a MotoGP racer than nonchalantly

trundling down pitlane with a pitlane limiter.

After fumbling with the button for some seconds,

I eventually figured out how to turn it off, and my first

lap on the world’s most enviable public motorcycle

began, a short while before my swearing temptation.

The first corners at Red Star are three flick-flacks

of decreasing radius that end in a tight left-hander

before the long back straight. It was my first lap; I

wasn’t prepared to overcook it and become “that

guy” so I took it in third gear. The revs exiting onto the

straight were a little low, but it still managed to pull

admirably, right before all hell broke loose…

The Panigale V4R is famously Ducati’s World

Superbike contender after the regular V4 and V4S

were rudely released at 1100cc, not complying with

the World Superbike 1000cc limit. For this model,

they had to lower the capacity while maintaining the

V4’s mental power output. They did this by lightening

the crank, adding titanium conrods, upgrading the

electronics and shortening the stroke.

The results of these relatively modest

modifications were that the capacity was reduced

to the rule adhering 998c and the power went from

214hp on the normal V4 to 221hp on the V4R.

More so, the bike that Rob and I were defecating

ourselves on had the Akrapovic race exhaust fitted,

that increased the power to anywhere from 231hp

to 236hp, depending which contrasting report you

read. That’s more than the power used by Casey

Stoner to beat Valentino Rossi in the 2007 MotoGP

Championship.

More so, the kerb weight is just 193 kg, making

the power-to-weight ratio 1.222 kg/t. You will find

nothing with headlights that comes even close to

that. Nothing at all.

The other effect of shortening the stroke of the

cylinders is that it decreases the piston speed, and

this gives the engineers more leeway with revs, so

they added more them. A lot more. The redline, at the

end of the V4R’s digital rev counter, sits ominously at

16,500rpm. And, we remind our beloved readers, on

a road-legal, 1000cc motorcycle.

…as the revs climbed, that 236hp starting coming

into its own, and the scenery on either side of Red

Star’s back straight began blurring. To add to the

strain on my screaming shoulders from the MotoGP

power, the V4 howl began making my ears bleed,

and as I readied my foot for the imminent up-change,

I glanced down at the rev counter to find it climbing

past 14,000rpm. There were still 2,500rpm to go!

It wasn’t until a few metres before the brake

marker, as my eardrums went to full supernova, the

rev limiter kicked in. It had completed the entire Red

Star back straight at mental speeds in third gear.

Think about that for a second.

Braking is taken care of by Brembo, who thought

that their illustrious M50 callipers weren’t showing

Ducati have made such a user-friendly

operating system, the best one yet. It’s

easy to understand and operate all the aids

available, even activating the pit lane limiter

is as easy as just push the button labeled pit

on the right handlebar.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 29


off enough, so they released the Stylema

range that does everything the M50s did,

only better.

The suspension is all Öhlins, and

none of that electronics bollocks – it’s all

mechanical because racers would instead

save weight than push fancy buttons on

a screen. However, Rob did ask Leroy,

our resident V4R mechanic, to boost

the preload on the rear, that involved him

fiddling with a C-spanner. As I watched him

expertly twirl the preload, I was reminded

of my own mechanical ineptitude, and how

I would probably leave in an ambulance

were I to try it myself.

Mind you, if you can afford this

motorcycle, it’s likely you can afford a

Leroy, so the crises has been averted.

The upper sub-frame on the V4R’s

otherwise frameless chassis has had

big chunks of aluminium taken out of

it to reduce rigidity, make the bike turn

in faster and be more compliant in the

turns. This modification is hidden from

plain view by the bike’s fairings, but you

can feel the difference in the bends. While

it is a roaring tiger down the straight,

it turns into a little kitten in the curves,

turning in on a dime, holding the line like

a coke addict and then being weirdly

gentle when getting back on the gas.

Here we find a new Ducati

phenomenon, where they no longer

build bikes aimed solely at the racer but

give their gems a split personality that

appeases whomever they find aboard

them. The throttle is subtle at lower

degrees, giving the rider a load of control

without overwhelming anything.

It is also strangely roomy, ending

the old wives tale that all Ducatis are

uncomfortable. This quality ended at the

1198 that was comfortable only at full race

tilt and was a bastard to ride unless you

knew what you were doing.

The surreal comfort is aided further

by an incongruously larger fairing than

the standard V4. The following might

sound like an oxymoron, but the larger

fairing with added cooling gills and more

protection around the rider offers better

aerodynamics than the slimmer version,

something apparent when you stand next

to Dovizioso’s MotoGP machine that is

also oddly chunky.

The carbon winglets used on the V4R are

those from the Desmo MotoGP bike from

2016, which were banned from being used

in the MotoGP class due to safety reasons.

Apparently they stuck out too much and

could seriously harm another rider in a

collision or crash. Funny thing is, these

are the same wings attached to Alvaro

Bautista’s V4R race machine - so why are

they not banned there? Dorna, who run

MotoGP, also run WSBK, so why allow

them? Just an interesting note.

30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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Every top Italian supermodel

deserves only the latest and

greatest pair of Italian shoes, so

the new V4R comes fitted with

Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres,

offering the perfect grip for this

insanely gorgeous supermodel to

strut it’s stuff down the catwalk.

Accompanying the bulk are those unmistakable carbonfibre

wings, the same units that were found on Dovi’s bike

and were banned from MotoGP at the end of 2016. The

official reason for this banning was the small matter of other

riders being impaled, but we suspect it has more to do

with the other manufacturers throwing a hissy fit because

this small Italian factory was faster than their mega-plants.

Ducati say that at 270 km/h, these wings exert 30kg

of downforce on the front wheel, restricting accelerationstunting

wheelies.

We don’t know how well this works, or the effect it has

for us mere mortals, but I found that the V4S tended to

wheelie up to third gear in Joburg and fourth gear – at 240

km/h! – at the coast.

The V4R leaps up like an untethered Jack Russell

in first gear, as you would expect, and it lifts the front

slightly as the sublime quickshifter clicks second, but

from then on it remains strictly rooted to the ground as

warp speed commences.

It might be down to the way the V4R executes its

power over a broader rev range, but the V4R is certainly

less wheelie happy that its non-R kin.

I rode this bike for most of the morning before my The

Bike Show colleagues, Mat and Harry, demanded that I

join them to be ridiculed at another shoot, whereas Rob

spent the entire day on it.

What we both found is not a feeling of fatigue that is

often associated with a day around the track on a highpowered

superbike, but rather nothing more than a sense

of elation. It is fast, but not a handful. It is nothing but joyful;

the sort of a machine a person of means can acquire and

use to its full potential without a degree in advanced racing

techniques. It is everything to everyone.

Ducati typically builds sports bikes, but this is something

more. It is ruthless, vile vengeance. It is Ducati hitting back

at everyone that ever doubted them; everyone that said

Ducati have an advantage only because they are allowed

more capacity with their V-twins. Everyone that said Ducati

would not be competitive if they built a 1000cc fourcylinder

like the competition.

32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


“We said that the Ducati V4S

had moved the mark, and now

Ducati has moved it once more.

And they celebrate this with

wings and an added R.”

34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


They made it smugly expensive, a

point of contention among Ducati

doubters, but I’ll put my head

on the block and proclaim: it

is worth every cent.

Alvaro Bautista is

winning World Superbike

races because he is a

genius rider – he would win

on any top bike – but he is

winning by a mile with the

help of Bologna passion and

ingenuity.

We said that the Ducati V4S

had moved the mark, and now

Ducati has moved it once more.

And they celebrate this with wings

and an added R.

2nd opinion: Rob says:

The world superbike championship

had for years been Ducati’s biggest

bragging point, with the likes of Fogarty

and Bayliss dominating for so long.

The Italian company has gone through

a huge drought in recent years being

beaten by the likes of Kawasaki and more

agonizingly their counterparts, Aprilia.

So, it was time for them to strike back

and they have with a weapon that looks

set to dominate for years to come.

They have very cheekily created a

purpose-built track weapon and disguised

it by adding some mirrors, headlights and

a tail light on it to pass the homologation

rules allowing it to race in the WSBK

championship. The big plus side to this,

apart from dominating the track, is that

this stunner, packed with WSBK spec just

about everything, is made available to the

lucky public who can afford the R690k

price tag. Add another R90k and you get

the Akro pipes, which really open her up,

as Don explained earlier.

So, typically from Ducati it’s a lot of

money to fork out but I can tell you that I

would happily part with that kind of cash, if I

had it, after just looking at it being off-loaded

from the van. I mean this thing is truly

magical - for sure the best looking big red

Italian Stallion ever created in my eyes!!!

There’s no place like home and that’s

exactly where I felt when climbing on the

V4R for the first time. My stature, physique

and posture has been bias towards Ducati

superbikes over the years and it’s once

again with the new V4R. Everything is just

in the right place and I fit in perfectly just

like a baby in a mother’s arms.

Climb on it and you know you’re on

a track focused Iconic red superbike

machine. It immediately lets you know that

you are in for one hell of a ride, and that’s

exactly what it was!

No, that’s no Andrea

Dovizioso, that’s Rob

just looking like a factory

Ducati MotoGP star.

They’ve taken the main highlights

from their competitors and previous gen

models, combined them all into one

package and amplified them. The great

handling from the CBR1000, power from

the S1000RR, electronics from the R1

and bottom end grunt from the previous

1299 Panigale, all thrown into a typically

gorgeous Italian masterpiece design that is

a Ducati superbike.

Ridiculous amounts of power and

tech all wrapped into one of the bestlooking

motorcycles you are ever likely to

see. And when I say ridiculous, I mean

RIDICULOUS! The V4R thrusts out of

turns and down the straights faster than

ANC members to a free bucket of KFC

chicken. The way the V4 desmo motor

delivers the power, roaring V-Twin like at

the bottom and sexual screamer at the

top, is preposterously astronomical!

It’s an incredibly smooth motorcycle

with monstrous amounts of power

and torque yet it’s so manageable

with the assistance of the electronics,

which are some of the best I have ever

sampled. Powering out of the turns

and the combination of the electronics,

aerodynamics and weight distribution

means you get the power down to the

ground and keep it there. This thing was

as planted as a weed bush in the Marley

family garden! I had the wheelie and

traction control set on level 3 initially, purely

down to being shit scared of crashing the

thing, but with every passing lap the V4R

urged me to take more changes, more

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 3 5


isks, and it would assist in every way and be the perfect wing

man, no pun intended.

I soon changed to level 1 on both TC and WC and this freed

up the bike a lot more and made the experience even more

thrilling. I can’t say for sure, but Don did take you through the

facts, but the wings certainly did seem to work. I mean, they

have to right, otherwise why put them on? I could feel the front

was not as keen on thrusting itself skywards compared to other

sportbikes I have tested around RSR. When I did test the V4S

and Speciale 1100cc versions, all that power meant the front did

point up more often than not, all controllably of course. The V4R

just kept its nose down, bum up and power planted all around

the track. Wide open eyes, gig smile and excited lower region

body part was a standard feature during every lap.

Braking was just the way I like it and how it should

be on all sportbikes, sharp and responsive even with

ABS set on level 1 in race pro mode. I did over 60 laps

on the bike over the course of the day and not one bit of

brake fade. None, nada - something I have not been able

to say about any of its competitors I’ve tested, including

the new BMW S1000RR which could learn a thing or two

about proper braking from the V4R.

The overall lightness of the bike means a package that is

supremely agile in the handling department and Ducati have

also somehow made it very stable. The 1100 V4S and Speciale

for sure didn’t feel as stable as the V4R under braking or in

the turns. I think it’s also down to the Ohlins suspension fi tted

front and rear on the V4R, as appose to the Ohlins electronic

suspension fi tted to the other models. Although ES has its place

and is a good edition to bike for the masses to enjoy, you still

can’t beat good old fashion self-adjustable suspension. The

V4R’s setup was not too bad but did need a bit more weight

distributed to the front and taken off the rear to relieve some

pressure on the rear tyre. Leroy Rich was on hand to make a

few adjustments and they made a big difference immediately.

As with any sportbike fi tted with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa

tyres grip was available in abundance and even though we got

an early morning cold tear on the rear tyre it held up really well

over the 80plus laps myself and Don racked up.

Ducati’s brief on the V4R was to build a World SBK

dominator fi tted with the road parts needed for homologation

purposes for Bautista or Chaz Davies to bring back the

number one plate and for customers to enjoy. It looks pretty

certain that Bautista is going to take the number one plate

away from Mr Rea, while I can now confi rm that it is indeed

the best production superbike they have ever built! Please

don’t tell my wife, but I had a true real life love affair with

the Ducati Panigale V4R and I’m going to have serious

withdrawals while I wait until we meet again.

I’m extremely glad to report that this test is part one of

a 4 part series. Next up we will be testing the bike at the

Monocle Kyalami event on the 4th of June, followed by a

shoot-out against the new S1000RR. The owners plan is Engine type: 998cc Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4,

to put as much carbon on as possible and make it around

rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 Desmodromically actuated

158kilos dry. Our plan for part 4 is to then get it and test it

valves per cylinder, liquid cooled

against the mighty, carbon-clad BMW HP4 race. Now that’s

Power: 221 horsepower @ 15,250 rpm

Torque: 112Nm @ 11,500 rpm

going to be one hell of a test!

Front suspension: Fully adjustable 43 mm Öhlins NPX

Many people I have spoken to after testing this have

pressurized fork with TiN treatment

asked how it compares to the new BMW S1000RR I tested

Rear suspension: Fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 unit.

Aluminium single-sided swingarm. Adjustable pivot position

in March. It’s hard to do a direct comparison as the BM was

+/- 3 mm

tested at sea level in Portugal and the V4R up here in JHB, but

Front brake: 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially

I can positively say that the new Beemer is a seriously good

mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema (M4.30) 4-piston

package and will be right up there with the V4R. I can’t wait for

callipers with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO

Wheelbase: 1471 mm Seat height: 830 mm

that shootout later this year…

Weight: 172kg dry / 193 kg wet

PANIGALE V4R SPECS

36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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Pics by Gerrit Erasmus & Daniella Kerby

A

quick

catch

up with

Steven

While at Redstar Raceway testing the

new Ducati Panigale V4R we spotted

a very fast, factory looking Yamaha

bellowing around the track. The big

number 4 on the front and colourful

custom-designed Rev’It suit could only

be one man - Steven Odendaal.

One of SA’s top Moto2 riders was finally

back on a bike doing some laps after his

big injury at the end of last year. Steven

has not ridden a bike since November last

year, so it was great seeing him back in

action. We managed to sit down with him

for 5 minutes and have a quick chat.

Q: Tell us about your injury? How

and where did you get it and the

complications and surgeries you’ve had?

A: The incident happened in The Valley

of 1000 hills in Durban, while training on my

off-road bike. I wasn’t even on my bike when I

stood on a hug bolder that dislodge, crushing

my foot in the process. Luckily I had good

enduro boots on.

The fi rst operation was successful, but

being an open fracture, there was a high

risk of infection. Unfortunately the antibiotics

they put me on were not strong enough to

treat the strain of bacteria I had. I was then

re-admitted to hospital in Johannesburg after

one month where the doctor removed the K/

wire and treated me with more antibiotics for

this specifi c strain. The Doctor cleared me

to do the fi rst IRTA test of the season, where

the Clinica mobile decided to send me for

a check up in Barcelona. An MRI scan was

done and they told me that the bacteria had

hit the main bone. Immediate surgery was

necessary, which was a two step procedure

to remove the infected bone and replace it

with a concrete spacer. The second part of the

surgery, 4 weeks later, was to do a bone graft

from my hip and pin my toe back together.

It has just been an uphill battle with this

bacteria and one of the most diffi cult things to

overcome.

Q: It must have been so frustrating

sitting on the sidelines, but how is

recovery going?

A: Honestly, it has been very diffi cult to

watch my NTS machine going around for the

fi rst 3 rounds without me. Not only am I losing

out on valuable experience with these new

Triumph engines, which means I will have a lot

of important things to learn in a short period of

time. Recovery is going well and I am feeling

better and better each day. I have fi nally been

able to resume my training programme which

feels great.

Q: We see you’re back on a bike

testing at RSR on a Yamaha R1. How did

that go?

A: It has been fantastic to be back on a

bike, honestly I had a huge smile on my face

all day and this really shows me why I love

racing motorcycles as much as I do. This

week was also about fi nding out how I feel on

a bike after the injury before travelling to Jerez.

I was able to do a full day of testing which is a

positive step.

Q: You did manage to test the new

NTS Triumph Moto2 bike in November

last year, how did it feel?

A: The new NTS machine is much more

competitive than last year’s bike, the team

has put in a huge amount of effort to bring

me a much more competitive machine for the

2019 season.

They have been working a lot with the

frame and aerodynamics. I am sure that we

can achieve some great results this year.

Q: Which tracks are you most looking

forward to racing at this year?

A: I am really looking forward to riding

around the Philip Island circuit. This circuit

suits my riding style and I am very confi dent

that I can perform well there. I am also looking

forward to all the Spanish rounds too.

38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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Shoei helmets are imported and distributed by AMP.

To find your nearest Shoei dealer call 011 259 7750.


SUZUKI GSXRR


WORLD

LAUNCH

TEST

42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


DARK STREET

EXPLORER

Rob was sent over to Portugal to test the latest addition to the

Husqvarna Street Range - The very stylish and versatile Svartpilen 701.

Challenge the status quo – This is

Husqvarna’s marketing blurb for their new

raw, authentic, fl at track inspired street bike

the Svartpilen 701. Now, before I go any

further I’m going to end all jokes here and

now. Yes, Svartpilen translates to something

pretty funny and NO it does not mean

what you think it does. The actual Swedish

meaning is “Black Arrow” and only once

you’ve had a proper chance to sample this

machine does that meaning shine through.

Words Rob Portman / Pics by Husqvarna Press

Timeless Design

Very few manufacturers are able to create

production bikes that resemble fi rst concepts

designs. Back in 2013, at the famous EICMA

Show in Milan, Husqvarna raised eyebrows

by showing off their concept version of

what their new street bike would look like.

Displayed was the Vitplien 701 design, which

was eye catching and completely away from

the norm. One year on and they showed off

2 more street bikes models – the Vitpilen and

Svartpilen 401.

The designs were authentic and progressive,

yet simple and unique in a way that just drew

your eyes in. Never did we think they would

actually be able to make the production

versions look anything like their “wild”

concepts, but they did.

Last year the market saw the introduction

of the new Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen

401 models, along with a Vitpilen 701, which

I have been lucky enough to sample for the

past couple of months and have truly falling

in love with, so was really excited when I got

the call from Fred and Husqvarna SA asking

if I would like to attend the world launch of the

latest edition to the team – the Svartpilen 701.

Just like it’s stable mates the Svartpilen

701 is a stylishly shaped machine with all

unnecessary gimmicks stripped away to

create a simple, progressive mix of both

classic and modern design.

The approach, concept and design for the

new Svartpilen 701 was inspired by the raw and

timeless authenticity of the fl at track scene, but

with a premium, modern fl air and just like the

others Husqvarna managed to produce one

very eye-catching, fresh looking motorcycle.

Dark Street Explorer

This was one of the hashtags for the new

bike and after walking into the hotel lobby and

seeing the bike for the fi rst time I could

see how that fi t.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 43


Ride-by-wire means

direct access from the

throttle to the engine,

no flat spots or lag,

It’s a stunning bike to see in the flesh

and one that invites you in with its overall

design qualities. It’s more flat track inspired

design broaden the boundaries of urban

exploration compared to the Vitpilen 701,

said Husqvarna’s project manager, Mr Justin

Maxwell, who just happens to be a SAFFA

now living in Austria.

After sitting through what had to be one

of the shortest technical presentations ever,

simply because there really is not that much

tech to this bike, it was time to kit up and

head off on the days 180km plus ride.

Quite frankly I could not have taken my

normal sportbike riding gear for this launch

test, that would just not be fitting and

respectful to this bike, so I managed to get

myself some much more appropriate gear

to go with this Dark Street Explorer. How

fitting did my new Metalize riding shirt and

shoes look with this bike? And the Scorpion

EXO Combat, matt black lid? I have to say

I did look and feel the part and enjoyed all

the new gear which not only have the looks

but also all the protection and comfort one

could possibly want. I was impressed with

the Scorpion EXO Combat lid and have

had many enquiries about in on my social

media pages so I suggest you get down to

one of these three dealers that stock the lids

and see, feel one for yourself if you are keen

– C.I.T Hatfield, RaceShop Fourways and

MotoMate Edenvale.

After getting many compliments about

how cool I looked I finally picked one of the 15

bikes that were lined up just outside the hotel

entrance and set off with my riding group.

Straight away I could feel this bike has

a very comfortable, inviting riding position.

That flat track inspired up-right bars are

perfectly set while the rest of the bikes

ergonomics have you feeling nice and snug.

Seat height is reasonable although it does

lend itself to the taller rider. Shorties like

myself will find themselves tipping toeing

more often than not.

After seething through what I assume

was typical Wednesday morning traffic in

Lisbon’s busy town center we veered out to

nearby twisty roads.

Powering the Svartpilen 701 is the wellloved

KTM-inspired 690 single, 4-stroke

engine, the same one featured in the

Vitpilen 701, so I knew all about the charm

that was between my legs. With 75hp and

72Nm of torque available from the motor

and an overall lean weight of around 170kg

wet it’s easy to climb straight on this bike

and feel in control.

The single powerplant was the best

type of engine Husqvarna could have gone

with, due to its lightweight, compactness

which offers plenty of urban appeal and

good power-to-weight. The whole engine

weighs a mere 43.4 kilos so it was easy

for Husqvarna techs to build around this

Overall build quality is solid and inspiring as

expected and the bike top components like

WP suspension and Brembo brakes along

with little design elements that have been

splashed all over, which gives it a classy, yet

cool, retro café racer feel.

44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


knowing they did not have to stress too

much about trying to shed weight elsewhere.

The motor offers an effi cient and somewhat

smooth ride. Dual counter-balancers were

added to the engine to help calm vibration and

noise and do so, although there is still a bit of

both present when riding.

Like the perfect Twinkie the motor is fi lled

with a creamy centre. Plenty of squirt from low

down in the rpm perfect for urban riding and

when you need a bit more on the slightly more

open roads it’s there ready to enjoy.

Our days riding was fi lled with different

aspects, from congested town to open twisty

and the Svartpilen’s willingness to explore

made things exciting through it all.

What sets the Svartpilen 701 aside from

the sportier Vitpilen 701, apart from the more

fl at track inspired looks, is the upright bars, a

bigger 18inch front wheel, 15mm more travel

from the WP suspension and Pirelli knobbly

tyres. This means the Svartpilen is open to

a bit more exploring and we were able to go

through some beautiful single track slightly

tarred sections off the main roads and this

is where the “Black Arrow” really showed off

its qualities. It’s lightweight characteristics,

punchy motor and upright riding position

means you can ride it like a motard both on

the road and off the beaten track. It really was

excitement overload!

Handling is accurate and precise and I was

surprised with the amount of grip I was able to

get from the Pirelli knobblies out on the road.

Just like the Vitpilen 701 braking is taken care

of by Brembo, which means sublime, sharp,

responsive feel that installs massive amounts

of confi dence from the word go.

Traction control does come standard

along with ABS and while you can de-activate

the TC new European safety laws mean you

cannot switch off the ABS, which is a pity and

you can’t go motard style-sliding into turns.

Nevertheless, you can still throw the bike

around like a dinky toy and I even managed

to get a bit of airtime when thrashing it

through the woods.

Both the TC and ABS work really well and

you don’t even know it’s there but works when

needed without spoiling the fun too much.

The combination of the steel trellis

frame and top-notch components like WP

suspension and Brembo brakes means an

overall ride that is exciting and enjoyable.

Quickshift and autoblip are standard and so

smooth and easy to use which just adds to the

bikes excitement and also helps smoothen out

what would be a rough box without it.

That just about covers all the tech that is

available on the bike, so if you are looking for

a motorcycle with the latest and greatest in

terms of tech you won’t fi nd it here, but what

you will fi nd is a bike featuring solid foundations

that work. Single motor, trellis frame, WP

suspension and Brembo brakes all intertwined

into a fresh styling like no other.

Conclusion

After a full days riding, which comprised of

over 150km of urban and open road riding I

was left feeling fresh both in body and mind.

Husqvarna have once again kept it

simple with the new Svartpilen 701. It’s not

complicated, it’s simply a unique motorcycle

that is both stunning to look at and ride.

Sure, it has a few gripes like a slight vibration

and rattle from the motor and a dash that

resembles a 1980’s Casio watch, but overall

it’s a refreshing approach to urban mobility

and motorcycling.

Husqvarna respect and know the value

of adding some fi ner details in places. It’s the

small things that make a big difference and

the Svartpilen 701 is full of those small things.

In fact, the entire Husqvarna street bike range

feature those small things.

The biggest highlight of this bike is its

wiliness to fi t in and its versatility. It happily

plays along with whatever you want to do and

The Svartpilen 701 thrives on the

everyday city and urban commute

and is just as comfortable heading out

the city to nearby twisty sections.

The new Svartpilen 701 also comes with a new range of custom designed

power parts and wear, not only for the bike but also for the rider.

wherever you want to go. It’s a machine

that is adaptable, which opens

up more avenues and

allows you to explore all

while looking fresh and

unique.

The new Svartpilen,

along with the rest

of the street bikes

range, is no available

on all Husqvarna

dealers showroom

fl oors and will cost

you R149,699.

Make sure you pop

in and have a close

up look for yourself

as it really is a thing

of beauty. If you

would like to test

ride one Holeshot

Motorcycles in

Boksburg have

a demo model

available.

Price:

R149,699

Engine type: 697.2cc 1-cylinder, 4-stroke

Power & Torque: 73.75HP / 72Nm

Front suspension: WP upside-down Ø 43 mm

Front brake: 2 x Brembo four-piston

radial fixed calliper, brake discs, floating, 320 mm

Seat height: 830mm

Tank capacity: 12 Litres

Dry weight (claimed): 158.5kg

46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


It’s a bike that is not only versatile

out on the road, but also with

potential customers. Whether you

are a suit and tie business man

looking to get from home to work in

style and comfort, or a tattooed up

cafe racer lover, this bike fits right in.

THE RIGHT GEAR FOR THE IDEA

I’m the kind of rider that likes to look the part no matter what bike I am riding, so for this World

Launch test I needed to trade in my leathers and sportbike helmet for something a bit more fitting

to the Husqvarna Svartpilen’s more retro/dirt-tracker styling. I needed a helmet, jacket and shoes

that looked the part, had me standing out from the crowd and most importantly offered great

comfort and protection, because at the end of the day style is not going to keep me out of hospital

if I were to come off.

So, I went shopping at Henderson Racing Products - they have such a massive range of products to

cater for every kind of rider - from sportbike, retro, to dirt and adventure.

They are the official importers of Scorpion helmets and have created their own in-house protective

riding gear brand called Metalize, so I knew they would have something for me. I swopped out my

Scorpion EXO 2000 Air racing helmet for the new EXO Combat Jet styled lid. I was spoilt for choice

as they have a great range of colours and designs available. I opted for the plain Matt Black

lid, which comes standard with a clear visor as well as a dark. I quickly and effortlessly

changed lenses from clear to dark, just to help look a bit more bad-ass! I now had

the perfect lid to go with the retro/tracker styled Svartpilen 701, all I needed

now was a jacket and pair of shoes to go with it...

Mark Henderson, the man behind HRP, pulled out a brand new riding

shirt (as it’s called) which had just landed here in SA. It’s the new

Metalize Kevlar shirt and as you can see it was ideal for this test. It

offers all the protection one would need/want with a nice thick zip,

solid snap buttons and most importantly CE Approved armour that

can be easily removed from the arms and shoulders.

The new riding shirt is available in a variety of colours and really is

the ideal piece of protective kit for a bike like this.

From there I was handed a new pair of Metalize riding shoes, which

meant I didn’t have to lug my track boots around and squeak all

over the place. These shoes are perfect and I loved riding around

in them - they look great and feel so solid with all the protection in

the right places. Really great value for money at only R2200.

As you can see by the pics of me riding I was ideally kitted

out for this test and was left really impressed with the new

kit. I was surprised with how well the EXO Combat helmet

fit and comfort it offered over the days riding. The Scorpion

EXO Combat is one of the few Jet-Styled lids to come with

vents, which I kept closed in the slightly fresh conditions

in Portugal, but leave open when riding here on a typically

scorching SA summers day.

Love the Metalize riding shirt, it looks cool, offers great

amounts of protection and just has a real quality feel to it. At

only R2200 it’s a great investment and can happily be used

for everyday riding and is suited to retro/tracker and naked

sportbikes, as is the Scorpion EXO Combat lid (priced at R4500).

I will be doing a detailed review on all the gear on my new

YouTube Channel so make sure you go check it out.

WIN

A SCORPION EXO

COMBAT

W O R T H R 4 5 0 0

HOW TO ENTER:

Read the World Launch test on the new

Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 and find where

Rob mentions 3 Motorcycle Accessory

dealers that stock and sell the new

Scorpion EXO Combat helmet.

Email all 3 dealers names to rob@ridefast.

co.za to get your name in the draw.

Entries close on Friday the 31st May 2019.

Winner will be randomly selected and revealed in

our June issue. Prize will be sent via courier.

Henderson Racing Products - 011 708 5905

www.facebook.com/Hendersonracingproducts

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 47


LOOKING

SLICK

The biggest expense when going to a track to enjoy some

riding is tyres, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be anymore.

Words by Donovan Fourie / Pics by Meghan McCabe

The job of tyres is not to be noticed. Think

about this carefully – the only time tyres ever

present themselves in our conscious minds

is when something is going wrong with them.

They are required to get on with their job

without bickering and without bothering upper

management.

There was a fair chunk of conscious mind,

however, when Batt announced that they were

releasing a slick tyre. Hang on a minute…

Batt has done a phenomenally good job

until now with their successful ATV, off-road

and even road tyres that were all developed

under the watchful gaze of Bruce de Kock,

the mindful fellow behind the Bike Tyre

Warehouse superstore.

Tyres for ATVs, dirt bikes and even roadgoing

machines are tricky but also forgiving.

They are not subjected to the

mind-blowing forces exerted

by a 1000cc superbike with

more than 200hp shredding

its way through the back

tyre, 200kg plus the rider

crushing the sidewalls at full

lean and the blow of Brembo

Monoblocs on a front tyre.

And this has to happen 14

times a lap for maybe 100 laps.

Surely you need a brilliant

mind from somewhere like

Germany, Italy or Japan to create

something like this. Not a nice guy

from Midrand.

And yet, here they were – two smooth

bands of rubber, lounging in tyre warmers,

48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


adorning Suzuki’s majestic GSXR1000R in the

pits of Red Star Raceway.

They are called the Batt UHP Full Slicks, the

UHP part standing for Ultra High Performance,

a tyre designed for track enthusiasts to achieve

an entire track day (possibly more) with a single

set, beat their personal bests and not pay a

fortune for them.

All this sounds wonderfully warm and fuzzy,

but the proof is on the pudding, and hopefully,

that pudding won’t be Donovan jelly served on

a plate of tar mixed with chunks of bent GSXR.

The way to test tyres is to put them on, go like

hell and see if you are alive at the end of it.

With my fi nal will sorted out with my

solicitor, I helmeted up and headed out, not

sure what awaits me.

Unlike Aragorn, who lifted his sword and

charged Mordor’s armies, tyre testing need

not be as sudden as this. Thus the fi rst lap

of Red Star was done in a cautiously sedate

and timely 12 hours, 37 minutes and eight

seconds, all while waiting anxiously for

something to delaminate or explode.

After the fi rst lap was fi nished, vitals were

checked, and all seemed to be in order, and

the second lap was concluded in a far more

confi dent one hour and fi fty-seven minutes.

From there, things went haywire, with more

speed, harder braking and more lean angle,

until eventually the relieving feeling of plastic

making contact with the rough tar emanated

from my knee slider.

It’s a strange sensation for a rider; that

otherwise nondescript sensation of a knee

touching down because it tells you that

everything is okay, that the tar is still tar and

has not magically become custard, and that

the tyres are still indeed whole and still made

of rubber.

At this point, confi dence begins to swell.

You know that the tyres can handle the rigours

of knee sliding, now how much further can

they go? You start braking later, you start

leaning more aggressively, and you snatch the

throttle earlier and earlier.

Keep in mind that, as venerable as it is, the

GSXR1000R is a road bike and one we would

prefer to give back to Suzuki in much the same

state we found it in. Saying that it is one of those

motorcycles you sort-of forget about until you

ride it again, and then wonder how the oblivion

ever happened in the fi rst place. The Kawasaki

ZX-10R is roomy and powerful, but tends

to turn in slow motion, whereas the Honda

CBR1000RR is nimble, but also cramped and

without the same horsepower boom.

The GSXR1000R has the benefi ts of both.

We fi lmed on, riding in a strange fashion.

For The Bike Show shoots, we have the track

to ourselves, and if we have to complete a full

lap for every shot, it will take about a month to

complete one feature. So, instead, the camera

people set up on a corner, and the mobile

props (that’s us) go through that corner, make

a U-turn and do it again the other way.

We agree that this is somewhat better than

sitting in a cubicle, but it does tend to become

monotonous after a time, and the mind tends to

wonder – what should I have for dinner? Does

my dog miss me? Could I claim Antarctica as

my kingdom? And other random thoughts.

What I stopped thinking about were the

tyres. I was just doing my job, scraping my knee

and trying desperately to make the shots look

good. The tyres weren’t entering my conscious

mind. That means they were doing their job.

There is a reason for this because these

tyres are more than just the result of a man

tinkering in his shop in Midrand. They were

engineered in Germany, tested in Italy and

manufactured in an Asian plant that shares

production lines with such brands as Pirelli.

They have some technology to boast

about too – there is a hexagonal bead wire

with winding technology and superelastic

steel wires, all designed for stability at high

speeds, reduced deformation under load and

maximum heat retention.

I’m not sure what any of that means either,

but there must be some benefi ts. What Bruce

did say is that the compound is similar to that

of a Pirelli SC2 medium tyre. Come to think of

it; if I were to describe the feeling of the Batt

UHP Full Slicks, I would say that they have a

distinct Pirelli-ish sensation to them. They are

stable, grippy and don’t disconnect the rider

from the track, much like a Pirelli.

Some of the more attentive readers might

be asking about the wisdom of not just buying

Pirellis in the fi rst place, and the answer is cost.

A set of Pirelli 120/200 slicks will set you back

somewhere around R6,000, much like the

offerings of all the other top brands, whereas

the Batt UHP Full Slicks will cost you just

R3,400 per set.

I’m not going to put on a false face and

pretend I was breaking lap records, because

that would be a lie. What I was doing is going

as fast as I could while not risking having to

take Suzuki’s bike back to them in a skip.

The likes of Brad Binder, Sheridan Morais

and Clint Seller might scoff at my pace, but

I can confi dently say that average track day

riders, even those in the upper echelon of the

A-group, will not. I will even put my humility

aside for a second to admit that they will

probably have a hard time keeping up.

A top racer might fi nd faults with these tyres

that I could not, but it’s unlikely that anyone

else will fi nd their limit. Therefore track day

riders, or even casual racers, will be able to

achieve their personal bests. We have already

mentioned the ridiculously low price of a set,

but now we move on to how well they held up

over time.

The unique way in which we fi lm for The

Bike Show means we couldn’t keep an eye on

the number of laps, but we rode on the track,

for a solid hour equating to three track day

sessions, and the tyre looked nearly new. The

tell-tales were maybe a quarter worn, if that.

So, to conclude, a track enthusiast can

beat their personal best, they will most likely

manage a whole track day, or maybe more, on

a set and it won’t break the bank. That sounds

like a success for Batt.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 4 9


FIRST RIDE

Words by Brian Cheyne / Pics by Gerrit Erasmus

Juvenile

Delightfully

KAWASAKI’S LATEST EDITION TO THE Z RANGE IS SURE TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAILY COMMUTE.

The sub 500 cc category has been growing

over the last couple of years. Now even though

Kawasaki had a contender in the Z300 and

Ninja 300, these bikes were starting to run into

problems with the pesky Euro emission rules.

Since they had to change the engine to comply,

the decision was made to increase the engine

size to 400 cc while they were at it.

They released the Ninja 400 in time for the

SSP300 class in the Wold Superbike series

and that bike catapulted Ana Carusso into the

record books as the first female motorcycle

world champion in 2018. Now the naked sibling

has joined the fold. The Z shares the same

underpinnings as the Ninja which includes a new

trellis frame and an aluminium swing arm. Even

with the larger engine, the weight of the bike is

almost identical to that of the outgoing Z300.

With all the fairings removed, the naked

Kawasaki has a small cowl over the dashboard.

This little cowl is purely ornamental and was

probably introduced to hide the wiring sticking

out of the back of the dash. The dash has an

LCD display and was lifted from the Versys parts

bin. It. In this day and age of full colour TFTs and

white on black dashes, the Z400’s effort looks

decidedly dated.

The engine is a 399 cc parallel twin pushing

out 45 hp, and generating 38 Nm of torque.

The astonishing part is that maximum power is

delivered at a staggering 10 000 rpm. Torque

only peaks at 8000 rpm. It really is a buzzy little

engine. Attached to a trellis frame that improves

strength and minimizes weight, the Z400 has all

the ingredients of being every bit as much fun as

the Ninja 400.

Being a naked bike though, and its intended

target market being more of a commuter than

an all-out racer, Kawasaki opted to raise the

handlebars a bit and soften the suspension. This

results in a more relaxed, though sporty riding

position. The rear shock is adjustable should you

find the suspension on the soft side.

I was surprised at how much space this little

bike offers even for a taller rider like myself. The

tank is neatly sculptured giving you more than

enough space to tuck your legs under. The only

downside was that my right heel came to rest on

50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


the exhaust guard. That is hardly the fault of the

bike, but rather due to the size of my feet.

I cannot remember if I have ever seen such

a large front disk on any of the current crop

of sub 500 cc bikes. It is 310 mm in diameter

and works exceptionally well. The back has

a single disk and they are, of course, ABS

assisted. The clutch a feather light and it

makes the bike a joy to ride.

On the road the Z400 is a smile inducing

machine. Kawasaki has squeezed the two

wheels closer to each other while at the same

time stretching the rear swingarm. This results in

a delightfully nimble bike. Corners are dispatched

with juvenile delight and when the road

straightens out you can get yourself into serious

trouble with the law. I was even more surprised at

the mid-range grunt. Running at highway speeds

in top-gear the engine is already spinning near

the 7000 rpm mark. If you open the throttle from

52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019

“Everything about this

bike is friendly and

inviting, but when you

need/want it to be fierce

it gladly plays along.”

Rob Portman

there, the little Z has more in store. I kept looking

for more gears, but I suppose you just have to

get used to the effortless spinning of the engine.

The Kawasaki Z 400 scores very high in

the enjoyment stakes and it is not a bad looker

either. I found very little wrong with the bike as a

package and it will serve you well as a first bike

or daily commuter. On weekends it will not fail

to delight either if you want to go in search of

some twisties. The Z400 is an extremely capable

bike that can wear the Z badge with pride on its

diminutive frame.

Price: R79,995

Engine type: Engine4-stroke, 2-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled

Power: 45 horsepower @ 10,000 rpm

Torque: 35Nm @ 8,000 rpm

Front suspension: 41mm telescopic fork

Rear suspension: Bottom-Link Uni-Trak, gas-charged shock

with adjustable preload

Seat Height: 785mm

Tank capacity: 14 Litres

Kerb weight: 167kg


Merge with Nature.

www.Shoei.com

Shoei helmets are imported and distributed by AMP. To find your nearest Shoei dealer call 011 259 7750.


Pics by Gerrit Erasmus & Daniella Kerby

OUR BLADE IS GETTING

It’s too slow, it doesn’t have enough power,

the gearbox is crap… these are the groans

I get whenever talking to people about the

new Honda CBR1000RR and this is why

we have decided to get one for the rest of

the year as a long-term bike, to prove just

what a good machine the new Blade really

is. At R209,000 for the base model (which

now also includes quick shift and auto blip)

and R299,000 for the SP model it baffles

me that there are not more being enjoyed

at trackdays.

Yes, it’s true that the CBR1000RR does

not have the same amount of power as

many of its rivals, but that does not mean it

can’t go as fast. It’s a machine that is so easy

to enjoy and go fast on - it’s a superbike for

the masses. You don’t have to be a vastly

experienced track rider/racer to enjoy and

get the best out of this machine. It’s user

friendly chassis opens itself up for a wide

range of riders to enjoy. Less is sometimes

more and that is highlighted every time we

swing our legs over the CBR1000RR.

54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


The plan for our long-term Blade is to keep

it as many trackday riders would - so, road kit

will be staying, but as you can see we have

removed the mirrors and number plate.

There are a few simple rules to follow when

turning an off-the-showroom floor superbike

into a trackday weapon. First things first you

need to make the gearing shorter and fit a

top-quality chain. Standard gearing on all bikes

are very long to accommodate road riding so

before you go spending massive amounts of

money on engine mods etc. look at changing

the gearing first. You will be amazed at the

difference it makes. We have made the change

on our bike and have fitted a new D.I.D

520ERV3 race chain, which is a lightweight,

high performance and low friction chain, the

same as used in WSBK and Moto GP. We

also added Renthal 520 ultralight sprockets

front and rear, which are made from 7075

T6 aluminium then hard anodized in gold to

increase longevity. How awesome does that

big gold sprocket and chain look fitted? The

chain retails for R2100 and the sprockets from

R900 so really not a lot of money considering

the effect it has.

We also managed to fit an Arata by

Racetec decat 2:1 link exhaust system,

which not only looks great but is sure to

contribute to more power and growl. This cost

R8500 – unbelievable value for money and

the workmanship is world-class as always

from Racetec. We did not have time to put

the bike on the dyno so no confirmed figures

yet but the bike will be heading to top tech

Ricky Morais soon who will give us the full run

down and make a few adjustments needed to

improve the bike even more.

The simple addition of the gearing, chain

and pipe has made a huge difference already.

Both our test riders, Shaun Portman and

Michael Powell, were able to shave seconds

off their times previously managed on the

bike fitted with the same Bridgestone V02

slick tyre’s before the mods. Speaking of

the Bridgestone slicks, we can’t help but be

mightily impressed with them. Over 80 laps,

racing and trackday riding at RSR and still

loads of tread and grip available - Really good

value for money tyre’s!!! Oh, and how do you

like our number board and #98 on the front?

Looks amazing and big thanks to Hot Zebra

Signage for the amazing work.

As you read this we would have already

completed the next assignment for the bike,

which was racing it in round 3 of the Monocle

Series at Phakisa.

Up next we have a few Bridgestone

Challenge races to conquer as well as the odd

trackday thrown in, so we are really going to

put this bike to the test. Upgrades wise we will

still be fitting some GFP International parts (rear

sets, radiator guard, engine cover, lever guard),

a Powerbronze race screen and Domino

grips. Ricky will also be tinkering a bit with the

standard suspension as well as playing with

engine maps. Kallie from Syndicate Customs

will also be spraying the bike up in a really cool

HRC styled livery so plenty to look forward to

in the next month.

/// D.I.D Chain and Renthal Sprockets

from BikeWise - 011 566 0333.

/// Arata Exhaust system and conversion

from Racetec - 011 894 2111.

/// Number board decal from HotZebra

Signage, Designs and Print - 076 377 4334

“It’s a machine

that is so easy

to enjoy and

go fast on - it’s

a superbike for

the masses.”

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 55


Challenge

Accepted

Words by Keith Botha (Cath 22 Media)

B R I D G E S T O N E C H A L L E N G E

Pics by Eugene Digital Images

R A C I N G S E R I E S

When Catch22 Media started, “The Rookie

Project 2019”, a documentary filmed about a

street riders’ transformation from a weekend

rider into an amateur super-bike racer, they

quickly joined forces with Morphine racing and

title sponsor, Dead Rabibit Distillery, to create a

new rookie racing team called Catch22 Dead

Rabbit Racing.

The next step was to find the perfect

championship for an entry level social racing

team. After a few months of research we found

“The Bridgestone Challenge”. The BC is a

club championship that runs out of Zwartkops

raceway in Centurion and consists of three

classes in the field of riders from groups A,B and

C, as well as a Masters class and a ladies class.

These classes are determined on track times

around Zwartskops’ official club track.

The Bridgestone Challenge is aimed to

attract and invite street riders to participate in

the experience of what it feels like to race on a

Motorsport South Africa associated Grand Prix

track in SA. The entry level requirements allow

riders to take their street-legal 600cc to 1000cc

bikes on the track for racing. Minor adjustments,

like removing side stands and covering or

removing lights that are basically things that

make you race ready. All bikes need to be

running with Bridgestone tyres for the events,

due to this all racers will benefit from Bridgestone

subsidising and will reduce the cost of all tyre

purchases over the season.

The support from

Bridgestone doesn’t only

stop there, they have

recently announced that

they will also cover the

MSA racing licence for all

first time participants into

the series for their entire

first season.

The Bridgestone Challenge is the only club

championship in South Africa that takes their

championship riders to a range of local inland

and coastal tracks. The tracks for this year are

Zwarkops, Midvaal, Redstar, Phakisa, and PE.

56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


After three out of the nine rounds in their 3rd

year of the championship, its off to an exciting

and eventful start. Last year’s championship

winner, #52 Christopher Krentzen on his ZX10

Kawasaki, broke-out and got promoted to

the Bridgestone Superbikes, which is the

Bridgestone national series.

This leaves the championship open for the

taking, with riders like #17 Naasief Wadvalla,

#16 Michael Dixon, #36 Harry Van As, along

with #67 Francois De Villiers making up the top

5 riders in this years’ championship.

The Bridgestone Challenge transforms street

riders into track riders and as a result they build

up experience to move on to the Bridgestone

Superbikes. Some riders actually go on to

turn into professionals performing on multiple

platforms of the sport.

The racing and track-side adrenaline is

accompanied with a massive support structure

of racing teams and experienced riders who

are always there to help and support the

new and rookie riders with riding advice and

mechanical support.

To add to the dream of the experience, Ian

Harwood from Bridgestone, has also gone the

extra mile in making sure that all races get TV

coverage on multiple Sports channels on DSTV,

as well as social platforms. This enables riders

to not only see themselves on TV living their

racing dreams but it also assists all riders and

teams to attract sponsorships from brands that

are keen to be involved in the world of South

African Motorsport.

The Bridgestone Challenge is by far the most

sociable and cost effective way for new riders to

come and test their skills on world class tracks,

so next time you watch the MotoGP and feel

the urge to bring out your inner super-bike racer,

you know where to find us!

Keith Botha #122

“The Rookie 2019

Catch22Media

Catch22DeadRabbitRacing

Morphine Racing

58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


Pic by www.racepics.co.za

ARE YOU UP FOR

THE CHALLENGE?

COME FULFILL YOUR RACING DREAM IN AN

AFFORDABLE, SAFE AND COMFORTABLE ENVIROMENT.

MOTORSPORT SA

APPROVED!

CHALLENGE

ALL RIDERS ARE

WELCOME!

Catering for all trackday and street bike riders wanting to race around SA’s top

racetracks. Affordable entry plus great pricing on Bridgestone race tyres.

For more information or to join contact Johan Fourie on 083 375 6941 or email

brunchrun@gmail.com. You can also visit www.zwratkops.co.za.


WORLD

LAUNCH

TEST

60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


APRILIA

GIVES YOU

WINGS

It’s been a while since we last checked in with Aprilia’s flagship

superbike, the magnificent RSV4, but a fresh version has just dropped

that takes this absolute weapon of a thing to new heights.

Words Ari Henning (www.revzilla.com) / Pics by Milagro.

It’s early afternoon in Tuscany, which

means it’s the middle of the night back home

in Los Angeles. At this same time the day

before, jet lag was in full effect and the only

thing keeping me conscious was espresso.

Today however, I am wide awake and

functioning on a stimulant more potent than

caffeine: adrenaline.

The adrenaline is from holding the

throttle on the new Aprilia RSV4

1100 Factory wide freaking

open down Autodromo del

Mugello’s threequarter-

mile front straight, putting an indicated 309

kph on the dash before my bravery wavers

and I sit up to brake.

Twisting the throttle on the RSV4 has

been a thrill since Aprilia first introduced the

superbike back in 2009, but this time around

it’s even more exciting. For one, I’m at Mugello,

arguably the finest circuit in all of Europe, and

second I’m experiencing this technical 5.1km

track on Aprilia’s latest and greatest,

a bike that Fabio Ghilardenghi,

Aprilia’s press officer,

describes as

The RSV4 gives you wings!

Downforce wings are all the

rage in MotoGP right now, and

the new 1100 Factory boasts

carbon-fibre airfoils bolted to

the sides of the fairing.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 6 1


“the fastest, lightest, and most

powerful RSV4 ever.”

Fabio isn’t exaggerating. This new

machine is making a claimed 217

horsepower by way of a bigger, retuned

1,078 cc (up from 999 cc) V-4 engine,

and it weighs some 5 kilos less, thanks

in part to a lithium-ion battery, titaniumskinned

muffler, and a few carbon fiber

bodywork bits. Other updates for 2019

include cooler-running and lighter Brembo

Stylema front calipers with more aggressive

pads, updated damping schedules in the

fork, slightly revised front-end geometry

and a stiffer swingarm, a new black paint

scheme, and aerodynamic “winglets” to

mimic the RS-GP MotoGP machine. That’s

all on top of standard Factory features like

an Öhlins NIX fork and TTX shock, forgedaluminum

wheels, and the latest-generation

APRC rider aids. The specification of this

bike is impressive, which is what you’d

expect for a motorcycle wearing a R360k

plus price tag.

Climbing on the RSV4, you’re met with

the same compact ergonomics the bike

has always had. The clip-ons are low,

the seat is moderately high, and the tank

sides are concave in a way that makes

latching onto the chassis with your knees

especially easy. I’ve always considered the

RSV4 a perfect fit for my five-foot, 10-inch

frame and ergonomic preferences, so the

familiar arrangement is appreciated.

An Italian superbike at a classic Italian track.

That black paint scheme is called “Atomico

6,” a reference to the element carbon and

its use in the RSV4 1100’s front fender,

winglets, side covers, and muffler guard.

Riding the Aprilia RSV4

Factory at Mugello

Press the starter and the Euro-5-

compliant Akrapovic muffler emits a bark

as distinctive as Mugello’s red, white and

green curbing. Santo cielo this engine

sounds good! This latest 65-degree

V-4 motor gains 79 cc via larger 81

mm pistons similar to those used on

the Tuono 1100 naked bike. The RSV4

also utilizes the Tuono’s taller fifth and

sixth gear ratios, but that’s where the

similarities end. Everything from the

crankshaft to the machined piston

crowns and combustion chambers

is different on the RSV4, tailored to

optimize arm-stretching, pupil-dilating

performance. Compared to the 999 cc

RSV4 RR that accompanies the 1100 in

the 2019 lineup, the new motor boasts

a 10 percent advantage in terms of

horsepower and torque from idle on up

to the new, 600 rpm lower 13,600 rpm

rev limit.

Out on the track, the added grunt

equates to immediate thrust and

a relaxed, unstressed engine feel.

Floundering around during the first of

four 20-minute track sessions, it quickly

becomes evident that I’m shifting too

much, dropping a gear entering corners

because I anticipate needing revs to

pull me away from the apex. Wrong

assumption. Even though the bi-directional

62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


quickshifter works seamlessly, it’s better to

stay in a higher gear and let the V-4’s torque

catapult you out of corners. This engine is a

brute, and opening the throttle sends a fl ood

of smooth thrust to the ground no matter what

speed the crank is spinning. Power is linear,

instant and abundant, paired to soundtrack

that makes other superbike engines sound

bland or whiny.

Arcing onto Mugello’s front straight for the

fi rst time, I light the fuse. The RSV4 throws

triple digits onto the dash as effortlessly as

the Hulk throws a car, and by the time I reach

the start-fi nish line I’m in sixth gear with the

metric equivalent of 180 mph on the dash. At

that speed, the wings bolted to the Factory’s

fl anks are putting about 8 kilos of downforce

on the front of the bike, which is supposed to

improve stability and reduce wheelies. That

suggests that the small wheelie the bike did

over the rise at the end of the straight — at

about 190 mph! — would have been more

dramatic without wings. Do the winglets

make a noticeable difference? Heck if I know.

I wasn’t able to ride the 1100 back to back

with a 1000, so it’s impossible to tell. What

I can tell you is that while my Bell Pro Star

was being shaken like a bobblehead every

time I went into hyperspace, the bike sliced

cleanly through the air and ran straight and

true without a hint of wobble or wiggle.

For my second session out I’ve

absorbed a bit of the track and

have more confi dence regarding

Factoring in drivetrain losses (since

claimed power is usually measured at the

crank), the RSV4 1100’s 217 horsepower

works out to about 195 horsepower at

the rear tire. Aprilia says the bigger motor

makes 10 percent more of everything

everywhere in the rev range.


where to put the bike in each corner. Mugello’s curbs are painted with grippy

FIM-spec paint, and even if my lines don’t demand that I apex across a

curb or ride out onto the candy stripes at exit, I do it simply because I can. It

just feels like the right thing to do. As with many European tracks, Mugello’s

corners are named. Through sweeping third-gear bends like Arrabbiata 1

and Correntaio, the bike feels wonderfully stable at full lean and edge-of-thetire

power slides are smooth and controlled, but pouring on the gas at lesser

lean angles sets in motion a rear-end pump that can make corner exits more

exciting than they ought to be.

Likewise, the bike’s handling in situations that demand a rapid transition

— places where you want to slap the bike from one side of the tire to the

other, such as turning from Materassi into Borgo San Lorenzo, Scarperia

into Palagio, and especially Biondetti — leave something to be desired. The

steering is high effort, and while you can muscle the bike over with body

language, the chassis wants to be eased down to full lean or else it wallows.

Wider clip-ons and some rear ride height would likely quicken steering and

I’m confident more chassis composure can be found within the bike’s fully

adjustable suspension, but with limited time and limited communication

ability with my Italian bike handler, I wasn’t able to experiment much.

My only other gripe about the RSV4 pertains to the brake feel. They’re the

latest Brembos and they squeeze discs the size of dinner plates (and they’re

even fitted with R3k accessory air scoops to help keep them cool), but

This illustration helps visualize how the winglets work. Their angled horizontal

sections direct air upward, creating downforce on the bike’s front end. Aprilia

says the winglets provide a total of about 8 kilos of downforce at 300kph.

Forged aluminum rims are one of the

features that separates the Factory from

other RSV4s. The air ducts for cooling the

front brakes are options.

64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


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to extreme quality standards, Hiflofiltro is the complete range of

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the bite isn’t as strong and the feedback isn’t as abundant

as you’d expect from such high-end equipment. Like the

language barrier between me and my mechanic, an amount

of understanding is lost in translation between the brake lever

and the pads. There’s plenty of stopping power, no doubt

about that, but extracting it requires relying on faith rather

than acting in confi dence, and that limited my assertiveness

peeling toward apexes.

As the afternoon light begins to cast shadows across the

track, I’m fi nally feeling like I have the majority of Mugello’s

14 turns fi gured out. It’s a truly special and beautiful place to

ride a motorcycle, and the exhilaration of rolling the Aprilia’s

loud stick open never diminishes. It’s got so much power

and dishes it out so effortlessly. I just wish I had more time to

enjoy it, and maybe a bit more refi nement from the chassis

and brakes.

Every bike has its defi cits, and if I’m being nit-picky

about the new 1100 Factory it’s only because I hold the

RSV4 in such high regard. It’s been one of my top-three

superbikes since I fi rst rode the original in early 2010

(and the Tuono became my favorite naked bike when the

1100 came out in 2015), and every version has offered

appreciable improvements. For 2019 the update is all about

unprecedented amounts of tire-torturing power and some

sexy MotoGP tech. So if you’ve got 350 grand plus burning

a hole in your pocket and want to swing the biggest stick at

track days and bike nights, the RSV4 1100 Factory is for you.

Back in L.A., my adrenal glands squeezed dry, jet lag and

exhaustion have me in their grip. I’m looking forward to some

deep sleep, and I know that when I dream, I’ll hear the sound

of that incredible V-4 echoing off the garage doors and

grandstands of Mugello. I just hope the dreams aren’t so real

that they wake me up.

Sadly, it does not look like the new RSV4 1100 Factory will

be making its way into SA. Vespa SA are the new importers

of the Aprilia brand in SA but it doesn’t look like they will be

bringing many models in. Time will tell and we have had no

solid answer from them yet. If you seek more info on the

Aprilia brand call them on 011 465 0512.

RSV41100 FACTORY SPECS

Engine type: 65-degree, liquid-cooled V-4,

four valves per cylinder

Displacement: 1,078 cc

Power/torque: 217 horsepower @ 13,200

rpm / 122Nm @ 11,000 rpm

Front suspension: Fully adjustable 43 mm

inverted Öhlins NIX fork with TIN coating

Rear suspension: Fully adjustable Öhlins TTX

monoshock

Front brake: Twin 330 mm discs, Brembo

Stylema four-piston radially mounted

monoblock calipers

Wheelbase: 1439 mm

Seat height: 851 mm

Weight: 199 kg kerb weight with a full tank;

dry weight: 177 kg

For buyers with shallower pockets, there’s also an RSV4 RR

version that lacks the winglets, trades Ohlins for Sachs in the

suspension, has regular cast wheels, a heavier battery and a

slightly lower spec set of M50 Brembo brakes instead of the

Stylemas. It doesn’t get the funky Akra exhaust, but all those

wild electronics are the same and you can spec it back up with

options in most cases. Crucially, the RR version also runs a

regular old 1,000cc engine instead of the 1100, making it Aprilia’s

World Superbike homologation machine. So instead of those 214

screaming horsepower, the RR will make you a paltry 201 ponies,

giving you an excellent excuse if you’re late for work. “Sorry boss,

my bike was too slow.” Expect to pay R290k for the RSV4 RR.

66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


IT’S ALL

ABOUT

STYLE,

COMFORT,

LIGHTNESS

& SAFETY

For years, HJC was imported

into SA – and then, there was a

brief interlude when the original

importer decided to focus

on another brand. The guys

from Autocycle saw the brand

and about five years ago reintroduced

it to the SA market.

Our latest edition to the helmet

rack - The HJC RPHA 11 Vermo.

A top quality lid for only R5500 on

special at selected dealers.

HJC HELMETS

P.I.M. PLUS

Reinforcement materials, including Carbon and Carbon-

Glass Hybrid fabric, provide enhanced Shock-Resistant

performance, more comfort, and lightness of helmet.

WIND-TUNNEL TESTED

Superior in the HJC airfl wind ow tunnel

characteristics formed

48 YEARS OF HELMET MANUFACTURE.

It’s a great product, our lot has ridden its helmets under its own brand. HJC

with them for years, the quality and fi nish rejected the offer and proceeded to enter

GLASS FIBER

is great. The latest addition to our family the U.S. market on its own. Although

of helmets is the RPHA-11 – which HJC could easily ORGANIC produce NON-WOVEN and export FABRIC

we’ll be reviewing once we have a bit of helmets without CARBON its own FIBER logo, allowing

mileage on them.

importers to sell its products under their

CARBON-GLASS

HJC has roots that run deep in the own brands, HJC HYBRID refuses FIBER to do so and

motorcycle industry, with helmets that has stuck to its own name and logo.

ARAMID FIBER

are characterized by vibrant and colorful Many famous motorcycle racers wear

GLASS FIBER

patterns and the HJC logo.

HJC products. Guys like moto GP rider

HJC enjoys huge popularity among Cal Crutchlow, Ben Spies, the winner of

motorcycle riders worldwide.

the AMA Superbike Championship and

HJC holds 20% 2 THE of 2019 the European HJC COLLECTION the Superbike World Championship,

motorcycle helmet market and and Jorge Lorenzo, the winner of the

with distribution of various helmet MotoGP competition, have all raced with

categories to over 65 different HJC helmets. Other riders include names

countries worldwide, HJC stands like Andrea Iannone, Jonas Folger, Mika

with legacy of being #1 helmet Kallio, Danny Kent… just to name a few.

manufacturer in the world. In fact, In the dirt, Freestyle star Nate Adams

at last count, they have captured chooses HJC along with Matt Buyten,

a 15 percent share of the global Vicki Golden. Supercross stars like Kyle

market. Guys and girls, that is a big Chisholm, Matt Bisceglia, Brock Leitner

pile of lids…

all wear HJC.

When HJC entered the U.S.

market for the fi rst time in the 1980s, Here’s the skinny:

an American company placed an order Since 1971, HJC have been developing

worth USD 500,000 and wanted to sell and manufacturing helmets. HJC is

68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


ecognized for their long years of helmet making

with advanced material construction in strength and

lightweight performance.

HJC invests heavily on design and development of

helmets in variety of categories, having hand in hand

with Global Partners with advanced technologies.

Other than motorcycle helmets, HJC works with

Automotive, Government Projects, Construction,

Rescue, Community Service, Franchise, Recreations

and Sports, and much more.

HJC continues to explore to all forms, extending

endless possibilities to helmet technologies and

applications. For the Cycle and Snow helmets, HJC

is working with top partners who are supporting the

highest of brands in the world.

Sponsorship

HJC works with exciting events and sponsorship all

over the world. From ranging MotoGP motorsports

to ice thrashing bobsleigh events in the Winter

Olympics, HJC all about speed and protection. As a

dedicated participant in the most exhilarating events

in the world, HJC is also looking forward to taking

part in cycle sports sponsorship in the coming years.

Technology: Their own wind tunnel:

HJC continues to invest 10 percent of its sales

into research and development. It has fi led and

registered over 60 patents across the world.

Some 30 percent of the employees working

at the Korean headquarters are involved

in research and development, design

or quality management. HJC is one of

the few motorcycle helmet makers

in the world that have a wind tunnel

system in which the company tests

many factors that arise when riding

a motorcycle, including noise, airfl ow

and the aerodynamic quality of

helmets.

Quite a fi rm with an amazing array

of helmets in the SA Market.

The helmets are well priced and in

stock at most motorcycle dealerships.

HJC RPHA 11 CRUTCHLOW & IANNONE

REPLICA’S COMING SOON.

The RPHA 11 Pro is the top of the range helmet from HJC and

for 2019 they have two new replica lids hitting the market

- The Crutchlow and Iannone replicas, set to arrive in SA

this July.

The HJC RPHA 11 Pro builds upon the hugely

successful RPHA 10, creating an even more finely

tuned helmet for sport and track-day enthusiasts. A

more aerodynamically refined shell, improved rear

spoiler design, ACS “Advanced Channeling Ventilation

System”, an added forehead vent, greater field of

view, a redesigned face shield gasket system and

both clear and smoke tinted optically-superior

Pinlock-ready 2D flat-racing shields round out the

features of this helmet.

Features:

• Advanced P.I.M. Plus (Premium Integrated Matrix

Plus) Fiberglass aerodynamic shell structure for extreme

performance at maximum speeds

• Fiberglass composite shell made from a blend of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aramid to create a unique

woven blend that is both strong and noticeably lighter

• Wider eye port provides better peripheral vision for riders

• Optimized shell design for air flow ventilation system

• Max airflow top vent six-stage variable airflow is adjusted by glove-friendly dials on each intake vent

• ACS Advanced Channeling Ventilation System full front-to-back airflow flushes heat and humidity out

of the interior

• MultiCool Interior advanced anti-bacteria fabric provides enhanced moisture wicking and quicker

drying function than previous generation

• Crown and cheek pads are fully removable and washable

• Eye glasses and sun glasses friendly EPS shape

• Rapidfire II Shield Replacement System is a simple and secure shield ratchet system that provides

ultra-quick, tool-less removal and installation for efficient operation

• RPHA 11 Pro cheek pads are interchangeable throughout all shell sizes

• Pin-Prepared HJ-26 Shield is optically superior 2D face shield and provides 95% UV

protection

• Center one-touch open/close locking system is a superior automatic shield

locking system with spring-controlled lever

• Enhanced shield dual lock system for high speed racing conditions

• Emergency cheek pads for safe and quick rescue in and emergency

situation

• Built-in communication speaker pockets

• Breath guard and chin curtain included

• Includes both clear and dark smoke shields and anti-fog insert lens

• DOT and ECE approved

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 69


Words by Greg Moloney / Pics by Neil Phillipson & Tshepo Phiri

LANCELOT STEPS

UP TO THE KING.

After a dominant ride at Dezzi Raceway and an almost

perfect weekend at round 1, Clint Seller (Seller Racing King Price

Extreme Yamaha) was odds on favourite for the second round at

Zwartkops and with his old team mate Blaze Baker joining him to

ride as reserve for Dino Iozzo, who was on international duties,

the team was at full strength. However, at the arena of Motorsport

things always seem to have a way of turning championships

on their heads and this was no exception at Round 2 of the

SA Superbike Championship. It was also refreshing to see the

Metzeler brand back into top end Motorsport, as they took over

as headline tyre sponsors.

The Metzeler K track series were immediately put to the test as

Friday’s Qualifying sessions were in torrential down pours, which is

completely unheard of for this time of the year and riders were not

really pushing in the rain, but a few went out to try the old adage of

in order to learn to ride in the rain, you have to ride in the rain.

Saturday morning saw a twenty minute open combined 600 and

1000cc session to allow the riders a bit time on track to get some

set up. This defi nitely helped a few riders out and some, as seen in

the fi nal results, really battled to get their bikes set up. Sometimes the

little bit of tinkering actually causes more pain then expected.

The Extreme Festival always draws a partisan crowd and

particularly Zwartkops, the Arena of Motorsport and Extreme Fests

home, and the fans that were there were in for another epic battle

in the war for 2019s title. Seller was on pole position and lined up

next to Lance Isaacs (Superbets BMW S1000RR) and the unoffi cial

mayor of Witbank, Nicholas Grobler (Golden Mile Yamaha). Allann

Jon Venter (Lekka Racing Suzuki GSXR) and David Mcfl ash

McFadden (Stunt SA Formula Autos Yamaha) who were both on

the second step of the podium at the fi rst round, were lined up

along side Garrick Vlok (Core Drilling Yamaha) another front runner

at Dezzi Raceway.

Lance surrounded by Yamaha’s.

The ever improving Harry

Timmermann on his gorgeous

BMW HP4 Race.

Marius Koekemoer on his Ducati

Panigale 1299.


Hard day at the office for Team

Hi-Tech Yamaha’s Byron Bester.

A welcome return to National

racing and the podium for

Garrick Vlok (64).

Another solid performance with

more points in the bag for AJ

Venter on the Suzuki GSXR1000.

Seller got a phenomenal start and was followed into the battle for

race one by Isaacs and Venter with Grobler and Vlok fending off early

intentions from Morne Geldinhuys on his R1. Seller was attempting

to get away as he always does and control things from a comfortable

lead, but as we saw in the first round the other candidates are well

aware of his tactics and none more so the Isaacs. It only took a

few laps for Isaacs to show that he was very much up for the fight,

making his move with a late out braking manoeuvre going into turn

5. This caught Seller out and despite trying everything he knew he

could not return the favour on Isaacs and instead had to defend his

second place from the hard charging pack behind him. Going back

to my previous point about time on track and the need for it to sort

out the niggles - McFadden battled terribly to find pace and being on

the R1 for only the third time, that very important time on track that

never happened because of the weather was noticeable and the lap

record setter at round one was out the back.

Isaacs went on to take the first win comfortably and his first win

since 2015 at National championships level. He was so fired up

and on top of his victory, his team mate, Harry Timmerman, won as

well in the Masters class on his BMW HP4 Race machine.

In race 2 things started under the same amount of pressure for

all and staying on his high from the win Isaacs went into turn one

leading and with his head down to check out. Seller, not getting

the start he wanted, also had to literally elbow off attacks from Vlok

and Grobler. The three Yamaha R1 mounted riders were locked in

a massive race long battle to get the final steps of the podium as

Isaacs wasn’t to be seen.

RideFast’s partnership with team Hi-Tech Evolve Yamaha and

their top gun Byron Bester, had a much better outing than the

first one, where he high sided and injured his ankle. On his return

he was up to pace again and continued to have some mid pack


fun with Geldinhuys and Venter. The three of

them eventually closed up the three riders up

ahead of them and made the fi nal steps of

the podium fi ght between 6 riders. McFlash

found a bit more pace and had the races been

similar lengths to the old Super GP format he

too would have joined the fray.

The two wins sees Lance Isaacs move closer to

Seller and hence the reason for our headline, Sir Lancelot

stepping up to the King and he did so still on the old-gen S1000RR

so excited to see what he can do when he climbs on the new

machine which is set to only arrive around July. But as we have

seen in the past the 5 times SA Champ, Seller, has the tendency

to bounce back from adversity. Isaacs and McFadden are heading

home for Round 3 so they will also be up for the challenge at the

Killarney International Raceway on 11 May.

However, heading to the Mother City always brings a few wild

card riders out to play and riders like Brandon Haupt and Hayden

Jonas could be big spoilers for the top runners.

In the Supersport class, Baker’s return to his old team didn’t

change his winning ways from round one, but his good mate

Malcolm Rudman, had not made it out to round two due to budget

constraints, meaning that the battle would probably be for second

place amongst the young guns behind Baker.

This was exactly the case, except for one point on the day,

turn one race one where Capetonian, Brandon Staffen, got the

holeshot, other than that the day was basically Bakers. This bit

of fame for Staffen was short lived and he was passed by Baker

into turn two’s hairpin. Fellow Capetonian, Jared Schultz and PE’s

Kewyn Snyman also managed to pass the young Staffen and he

would have to watch the two of them take it to each other just

ahead of him as he defended from Luca Balona and Garett Gehlig.

Baker would end up taking both heats on the day pretty

untroubled and the same could be said for Snyman and Schultz

who followed suit to fi nish second and third respectively. Balona

and Gehlig had issues in the second heats and both had to retire.

So, heading into the third round, Schultz and Staffen are possibly

moving into the favourite spots for the punters, having already had

a few regional races at their home track in Cape Town, but with the

outright dominance of Baker and the fact that he will still be on-board

the King Price Seller Racing team again, he must be odds on.

The new format of qualifying and the long straight means that

riders, and not necessarily riders in the same teams, may need to work

with their rivals to get those hot laps and the slip stream needed to get

them in for the third edition of this incredible championship. We will be

there again, as we always are wherever bikes Ride Fast!

Don’t forget to catch some of the highlights on the Extreme

Festival TV package that goes out on Ignition Channel 189 on

DSTV and please support all the riders on their social media

platforms too. See you all in Killarney on 11 May.

Can anyone

stop Baker

this year?

All action Nicolas

Grobler back in

National racing.

The CPT boys going at it -

Snyman and Schultz.

It’s been a while since Lance

Isaacs stood on the top step

in National SBK racing and

he did it in style.

Taric van der Merwe with

Luca Balona on his tail.

Brandon Staffen battling

with Dian Nelson.


SA LAUNCH TEST

Words by Sean Hendley / Pics by Joe Fleming (Bonafide Moto Co)

REAL DEAL

2019 TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 1200 XE & SPEED TWIN

It’s print deadline day for our May 2019

issue and we are out riding the brand

new Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

and Speed twin, so any ‘hotter off the

press’ you will not get. Up first was the

Scrambler 1200 XE and this truly is a

very sexy looking retro styled machine

with oodles of character. Just having

a quick walk around the Scrambler

1200 XE the hi-rise twin pipes might

look the part, but could just warm up sections

of your inner thigh although that shouldn’t be a

problem if you are properly geared up when you

ride. Another small concern might be the front

brake lines that stick out quite a bit and might

get snagged up in tight techy off road situations.

Looking at how exposed the radiator is, there

could be concerns about it getting clogged

up and with mud or grass seeds causing the

bike to overheat. No windshield equals no wind

protection, wonder how that is going to be a

highway speeds?

The Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE is also quite

feature packed. They have also gone the route

of the TFT screen which can be tilted to suit the

length of the rider or adjusted to be read while

meerkat-ting. The TFT can be personalised

a bit, there is a new Triumph app for that and

can be downloaded like all apps onto your

smart phone. It also supports Google maps,

with turn by turn directions as well full GoPro

remote controls. There is also a full electronics

package on the bike ranging from rain, road

all the way through to off road and off road pro

which switches off all the electronic nannies.

Ergonomically the Scrambler seems quite

sorted, albeit a bit wide which could be a

challenge for the shorter riders especially with

lekker wide bars. Triumph has kitted it with fully

adjustable Ohlins twin rear shocks and nice

meaty Showa forks out front which should

keep the power from the 1200cc parallel twin

Thruxton R derived motor firmly planted on terra

firma and hopefully live up to its “Scrambler”

name over the jumps and bumps.

To test all these concerns and theories we

will need to ride the Scrambler properly for a

few days, hopefully we get to do a proper in

depth test soon. The other question is, “Is it truly

a proper scrambler or just a properly capable

naked adventure bike named a Scrambler?”,

only riding it will tell.

74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


First ride impressions

Swinging a leg over the Scrambler 1200

somehow just felt right, like it was made for me.

I am just on 2 meters tall and the seat height,

distance from foot peg to seat and the wide

handle bars were just such a natural fit me that

I felt right at home immediately. I did notice that

one or two of the shorter riders did struggle a bit,

but there is a low seat option available from

Triumph’s aftermarket division. I took a minute

or two to acquaint myself with the dash menu

and the various rider modes, once you’ve

ridden any of the other Triumph derivatives it

is all fairly simple. The new TFT screen is nice,

easy to understand and read with all the info

you might need at your finger tips. I did notice

the quite fancy MCS levers and the action on

both the clutch and brake levers was really soft

and smooth.

Getting the big Scrambler out on the road

also felt just as natural. The weight and balance

is quite neutral and with the huge amount of

torque from off the bottom makes it really fun to

ride through the twistys, but in the dirt is where

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 75


the Scrambler 1200 comes into its own. I am at

best an average rider, but the naked openness

of the big Scrambler inspired a confi dence in

my riding ability and I was soon 14 years old

again on my Dads old Honda XL 250 S, banging

through the bush and over jumps without a care

in the world. The Scrambler 1200 is really that

easy and confi dence inspiring to ride. We only

spent about one and a half hours in the saddle

and did around 90 odd kays of various grades

of tar and dirt roads, with a river crossing or two

and not once did I ever feel intimidated by the

big Scrambler. To answer my own question,

It is a really competent big Scrambler that will

inspire you to ride better in all situations and it is

a really good Adventure bike as well. The seat

might get a bit hard after a few hours and the

wind a bit tiresome, but toughen up Buttercup

and accept the Triumph Scrambler for what

it is, new technology in an old school styled

adventure bike. Aftermarket screens are available

from Triumph as are seat saints to protect your

delicate tush. Get down to Triumph and go ride

one of their demo’s, you will be happy you did.

Price: R205,000 / Engine type: Liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder, 270-degree crank angle parallel twin

Displacement: 1200 cc / Power (claimed): 90 horsepower @ 7,400 rpm / Torque (claimed): 110Nm @ 3,950 rpm

/ Transmission: Six-speed / Front suspension: Fully adjustable 47 mm Showa USD cartridge fork Rear

suspension: Fully adjustable Öhlins piggyback RSU’s with twin springs / Front brake: Twin 320mm discs,

Brembo M50 monoblock calipers, radial master cylinder / Rear brake: Single 255mm disc, Brembo two-piston

floating caliper / Tyres front/rear: 90/90-21; 150/70R17 Metzeler Tourance Tyres (as tested on street) Pirelli

Scorpion Rally tyres (as tested off-road) / Wheelbase: 157cm / Seat height: 87cm

Tank capacity: 16 Litres / Dry weight (claimed): 207kg

76 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


A real riders bike, you have to

work it a bit but it does respond

well to rider input.

A great Breakfast

Run Scratcher.

(check out Triumphs clothing catalogue or for

something else go to www.dmd.co.za), you can

look hip and fashionable and still be a properly

serious rider. I would go so far as to say that this

could be a fun track day bike or even reasonably

competitive endurance racer. So at R179,000.00

it does seem really decent value for money, get

down to Triumph and ride one for yourself, they

always have a decent demo fl eet on hand and

are always generous with their test rides.

For the

discerning

motorcyclist

The Speed Twin

Off the bat it is a good looking bike, elegantly

simple and stylish lines with a good nod to

the past. A true modern classic based on the

Thruxton R chassis and 1200cc engine, (see

full specs at the end of this review). What am

I talking about? Well a series name that fi rst

appeared in 1938, “Speed Twin” and all new

for 2019 and not to be confused with the

Speed Triple as I did, completely different bike.

Initially I thought it was another Hipster

poser bike that was all good looks and great

styling with not much else to it. It has three

riding or traction control settings namely

rain, road and sports and not a whole lot

of anything else which I really appreciate.

The dials are simple and easy enough to

understand and read, giving you all the

information you need. It is quite a small bike,

the foot rests are slightly more forward than the

Thruxton and the handle bars are somewhat

wider with zero wind protection. Now

being around 6 foot 5 inches tall I was a bit

concerned about the ergonomics of the bike

vs my length and justifi ably so. One particular

phrase that was being bandied around and

did seem quite apt was, “Looks like a pig

fu ..u.u…..humping … a rugby ball”. It took

me quite a while to fi nd a comfortable sitting

position on the bike that didn’t negatively affect

the handling, so this is defi nitely not a touring

bike or designed to eat up the kilometres.

As it turns out, it is a lot more than just

a poser’s bike. We all set the rider mode

to sport and headed out behind our guide

along the roads around Hennops River and

Hartebeestpoort dam. For anybody that has

ridden this area you will know the roads are quite

rough and very busy, so it was the ideal place to

test the Speed Twins handling, acceleration and

braking. We did fi nd one or two nice twisty bits

that weren’t too busy and reasonably smooth,

so we got to scratch a bit. The suspension was

set on its softest setting, but yet the Speed Twin

still felt very surefooted and well planted in the

corners even with my bulk on it and we were

soon trying to get our collective knees down

in the bends. We are told that the Speed Twin

has the lightest wheels on the market and that

this affects the gyroscopic weight of the bike in

corners making it handle better, seems to be true

from our short time on the Triumph. I can say

that the grip and stability from the tyres it is shod

with is brilliant, Pirelli Rosso Corsa 2’s. The torque

from the 1200cc engine is a lot better than what

its looks might suggest, yank on the throttle

and the little retro bike gets going quite quickly.

Unfortunately we did not have the space to test

the top end ‘speed’ of the Speed Twin, but I’m

sure Triumph will loan us a demo for a proper test

shortly with a smaller and more accomplished

rider than me. The one drawback I did notice is

that deceleration is equally as dynamic as the

acceleration and often had me lurching around

on the bike more than I would have liked to. The

Brembo brakes are really good, especially in

conjunction with the quite strong engine braking.

Yes, it is quite the fashionista’s bike … if

you’re into that sort of thing, but is also so much

more than that. It is a really good breakfast

run scratcher’s bike, so with the correct kit on,

Price: R179,000

Engine type: 1200cc Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270°

crank angle parallel twin

Power (claimed): 96 horsepower @ 6,750 rpm

Torque (claimed): 112Nm @ 4,950 rpm

Front suspension: 41mm cartridge forks, 120mm travel

Rear suspension: Twin shocks with adjustable preload,

120mm rear wheel travel

Front brake: Twin 305mm discs, Brembo 4-piston fixed

calipers, ABS

Seat height: 807mm

Tank capacity: 14.5 Litres

Dry weight (claimed): 196kg

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 77


CALIFORNIA SUPERBIKE SCHOOL

BACK IN SA!

Appanna Ganapathy is a top rider here in SA and races in the Red Square ZX10

Master Cup and is a qualified CSS coach offering track riders tried, tested and

approved private coaching right here in SA. Words and pics by Appanna Ganapathy

I have been a California Superbike School

Coach for about 12 years. I can truly say that

being a California Superbike School coach

certainly has its benefi ts, such as riding on

world famous tracks like Laguna Seca, Miller

Motorsports Park, Silverstone and Yas Marina

to name a few. Being a coach also takes a lot

of hard work and dedication, but to me this

is all worth it when I see the students I have

coached improve and smile! As coaches we

are always doing home-work and drilling to

keep our skills sharp (my current coaching

manual is over 300 pages long!).

A couple of months ago I planned a trip to

coach in USA and one of the main focus areas

was to get authorization for Private Coaching. At

the end of September I left for LA to start a road

trip that covered 4 tracks (Sonoma, Thunderhill,

Laguna Seca and Las Vegas). During this trip I

coached 42 students. I also had the opportunity

to get my coach training up to date with a

training offi cer. At the end of the trip I was given

the go ahead to provide California Superbike

School Private Coaching services! With this new

accolade under my belt I headed back to South

Africa, where I have had positive responses

to people wanting Private Coaching and have

already coached 3 students.

If you were to attend the school you would

start at level 1 no matter who you are. The

school has 4 levels. Levels 1 – 3 each have fi ve

precise technical riding skills and start with a

class room session which is followed by an on

track session. Level 4 is custom designed for

each rider and we ask you what needs to be

improved and start working with you from that

point on. Here you work with a consultant and

an on track coach:

• Your coach follows you to observe specifi c

aspects of your riding.

• For immediate feedback, pre arranged

hand signals are used by your coach while

on the track.

• Coaches pull off with you during a ride for

more detailed feedback.

• Coaches will lead you to demonstrate

specifi c techniques and lines.

• Your coach will debrief with you and help to

evaluate performance after every ride.

• Specifi c problems are identifi ed and exact

solutions, geared to your skill level, are provided.

The school has trained over 150 000 riders

globally, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie,

Christian Bale and Ralph Laurent have also

done the school. Apart from those big names,

65 World and National Championships have

been won by professionals trained by the

school or Keith Code personally. Some of

the professionals trained are Sandro Cortese,

Ben Spies, Thomas Luthi and our very own

Ronan Quarmby.

Coaching is very different from just being a

very fast rider or racer. As our Australian school

director, Steve Brouggy, likes to say: “Would

you rather have golf lessons from Tiger Woods

or Tiger Woods’ coach?”

You can get hold of Appanna via his

personal Facebook to fi nd out more or to book

a One-on-One session.

Appanna going down the

famous Cork Screw at

Laguna Seca.

78 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


NEW AT RSR

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OF EVERY MONTH

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2019


RACE COLUMN AIDAN LIEBENBERG

HERE WE GO AGAIN

The 2019 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

season has finally started after a long 6

months break. It got underway at the Jerez

circuit in Spain with a 3-day test in the

beginning of April.

Last year I was a bit unfortunate missing

3 of the races due to injury, but I am really

happy to have been given a 2nd year at the

Rookies Cup and it was really a great feeling

to get back on the KTM again. There were

all kinds of track conditions over the 3 days,

which made it a very interesting test, but

also important, because it allowed me to get

used to the bike in different conditions.

Day 1 the weather was really good,

except for a few wet patches in the morning.

We got some really good track time on

the first day, starting off by running in our

motorcycles the first session with 7 more

25min sessions following that. The first day

was all about saddle time for me, just trying

to get the hang of the bike again and getting

a good feeling with it, because it is important

to have a good feeling on the bike from the

start. I had a little crash in FP2, running a little

bit wide in turn 10 and hitting a wet patch.

I was quite happy with our progress at the

end of day 1.

Day 2 was one of the hardest days

I have had on a motorcycle. We had a

few normal practice sessions and a long

run, trying to get used to the bike over

a race distance. I just really battled to

make progress and felt like I hit a brick

wall. Luckily at the end of the day I had a

long discussion with our riding coaches,

going through the telemetry with them and

figuring out what I was doing wrong.

We had a nice rest day after day 2 and

we were back on the bikes the next day, but

the weather completely changed overnight

and it was raining on the final day. I would

have liked to get a little bit more dry practice,

but the wet practice was much needed,

because the last time I rode in the rain was

more than 2 years ago. I was amazed the

first session how good the grip was in the

rain. I went around the track carefully the

first lap, but quickly found out that the grip

was good when other riders came flying

past me like the track was dry. We at least

got 4 wet sessions before the team called

it a day. It was a really good experience

to ride the KTM in the wet and I enjoyed it

a lot. I improved a lot and I think this wet

practice will be very useful later on in the

year, especially at tracks like Assen and

Sachsenring where it usually rains.

We are riding with the Alpinestars tech air

leathers this year, which is really cool! The air

bag leathers will definitely make it a lot safer

for the riders.

The first race is at Jerez the 4th of May

and I am looking forward to the first race.

We will do our final preparation here in

South Africa and I will be aiming for points

at the first round.

Thanks to my sponsors Fercor

Construction, Fourways Air-conditioning,

Monteaga Steel, RideFast Magazine, JB

Levelling, and Cadence Silver Lakes.

80 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019


JAKE DIXON

BRITISH SUPERBIKE

CONTENDER

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