This SA EXCLUSIVE test is
brought to you by Pirelli
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
The latest edition to the street bike range.
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F U L L D E T A I L S I N S I D E
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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
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
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
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
We test the all-new winged World
Superbike dominator - The Ducati
NEW BATT UHP SLICKS TYRES
NEW KAWASAKI Z400
PG42: WORLD LAUNCH TEST
THE HUSQVARNA SVARTPILEN 701
HONDA CBR1000RR LONGTERMER
SA SBK ROUND 2
TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER & SPEED TWIN
PG60: WORLD LAUNCH TEST
APRILIA’S NEW WINGED SUPERBIKE
2 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019
WITH NO NAME
To call yourself a real adventurer, you need to lay claim to visiting places
that few others have been before. Designed to provide explorers with real-world
travel capabilities and deliver unrivalled offroad performance, the new
KTM 790 ADVENTURE is made for you to go find these roads less travelled.
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: F. Lackner
All the NEWS produdly brought
to you by HJC HELMETS
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
Charging networks can also pose problems,
with some countries offering extensive
coverage while the infrastructure in others
seems insuffi cient to cater for electric
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
The target is rather
obvious; it’s a
race to set global
obviously four of
the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers
working together makes for a force to be
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
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
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
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 -
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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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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 email@example.com
& 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
Incidentally, Steve Bailey of Supertech
Motorrad put us onto this place, one of
his custom creations is on permanent
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@
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 17
All the NEWS produdly brought
to you by HJC HELMETS
A faster, sharper and cleaner
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
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
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.
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
to you by HJC HELMETS
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
the bosses at the
Yamaha factory insisted
that the NIKEN had
to feel like a normal
motorcycle to ride
but with sporty riding
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?!
Bay gets ECSTAR
Oil and cool new
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
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
Brought to you by
WorldSBK return for Ten
Kate and Baz aboard
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
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
braking in the
Even after 5 000 KM, a MICHELIN Road tyre
stops as short as a brand new MICHELIN
Pilot Road 4 tyre* thanks to the evolutionary
MICHELIN XST Evo sipes.
With its dry grip, stability and best handling versus
its main competitors, thanks to MICHELIN’s
patented ACT+ casing technology, it offers even
more riding pleasure.***
* According to internal studies at Ladoux, the Michelin centre of excellence, under the supervision of an independent
witness, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres used for 5 636 km with new and unworn MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres.
** According to internal studies at Fontange, a Michelin test track, under the supervision of an independent witness,
comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with METZELER Roadtec 01, DUNLOP Road Smart 3, CONTINENTAL Road
Attack 3, PIRELLI Angel GT and BRIDGESTONE T30 EVO tyres, in dimensions 120/70 ZR17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17
(rear) on Suzuki Bandit 1250
*** External tests conducted by the MTE Test Centre invoked by Michelin, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with MI
*** External tests conducted by the MTE Test Centre invoked by Michelin, comparing MICHELIN Road 5 tyres with MI-
CHELIN Pilot Road 4, METZELER Roadtec 01, DUNLOP Road Smart 3, CONTINENTAL Road Attack 3, PIRELLI
Angel GT and BRIDGESTONE T30 EVO tyres, in dimensions 120/70 ZR17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17 (rear) on a Kawasaki
Z900 giving best dry performance globally and #1 for Handling, #2 for Stability, #2 for Dry grip
///SHOEI GT AIR 2
Taking Shoei’s premium sports touring helmet and revising the design, Shoei have improved an already amazing sports
touring helmet and given us the Shoei GT Air 2. The Shoei GT Air 2 features everything that we’ve come to know and love
about the GT Air 2 with additional improvements to make your life on the road easier.
The Shoei GT Air 2 is created in an AIM outer shell, a combination of organic and multi-composite fibres woven together
to form an incredibly strong matrix. Beneath this AIM outer shell lies a multi-density EPS lining, offering superior impact
protection and helping to cushion the effects of a high impact situation by reducing the energy that is transferred to your
head. The shell of the GT Air 2 is created in three shell sizes, allowing you to find the perfect fit to your helmet without
any unnecessary padding. The linings found within the Shoei GT Air 2 are plush and comfortable, making for a sublime
environment for your head and a helmet you’ll be very happy to wear, whether on short commutes or long distance rides.
The linings within the helmet are removable and washable, letting you keep that fresh feeling for longer.
This motorcycle helmet is developed for sports touring riders; the newly designed shell shape mimics that of the previous
Shoei GT Air but with more aggressive styling, putting the ‘sports’ back into ‘sports touring’. The new shell has been wind
tunnel tested and has improved aerodynamics over the previous model, including a newly designed chin bar, effectively
slicing through the air and channelled beneath the integrated spoiler, keeping the helmet firmly planted on your head,
even when riding at high speed.
The visor of this motorcycle helmet is anti-scratch, anti-mist and is PinLock ready, all set up to accept the PinLock anti-fog
insert that is supplied with the helmet. The PinLock insert acts as double glazing for your helmet, limiting the misting
up of the visor and leaving you with a clear field of view when riding in cooler weather. The visor features a ‘break-open’
option, allowing you open the visor ever so slightly and allowing a minimal amount of air into the visor, a useful feature for
increasing ventilation when riding in very hot weather. The sealing of the visor on the GT Air 2 has been improved, with
special beading around the visor providing the perfect seal, keeping out any unnecessary air and rain and leaving you to
concentrate on the road ahead.
The Shoei GT Air 2 features a QSV-2 retractable sun visor, operated by a familiar, durable lever system found at the left
side of the helmet. This sun visor features two settings, allowing you to choose how far you would like the sun visor to
be lowered. This is done with two locking pins found at the inner visor area, allowing you to lock and limit how far the sun
visor drops down. These locking pins can also be used to lock the sun visor in place, stopping the sun visor from moving
when trying to remove it or when cleaning the visor whilst it is still in the helmet.
With a large chin vent and upper crown vent, the Shoei GT Air 2 features brilliant ventilation, a welcomed feature when
riding in warmer weather and stopping you from becoming too warm within your helmet when riding. The helmet also
features rear extraction vents, effectively removing the warm and stale air from within your helmet, keeping you cool
and fresh within your helmet when on the road. The helmet is prepared to receive communication systems such as the
Sena SRL-2, designed by Sena specifically for the Shoei GT Air 2 and fitting seamlessly into the helmet, keeping the sleek,
slender appearance of the helmet with a bulky control unit at the side of the helmet that interferes with aerodynamics.
Finally, the helmet fastens using a stainless-steel micro-ratchet system for quick and easy fastening of the helmet. This
stainless-steel ratchet is hardwearing and far more durable than plastic ratchets, ensuring many years of continual use.
Available in sizes XS – XXL and in both plain colours and graphics, you’re sure to find the right Shoei GT Air 2 for you.
From: Bike Kings ZA - 012 271 0070 Price: From R8,800
Protect one of the most sensitive parts of your bike with Puig belly-pans.
Made of ABS, highly impact resistant material, they are carefully designed
and tested in the virtual wind tunnel to guarantee a better stability and
cohesion with the aesthetic line of the motorcycle. For some models,
keels with aluminum parts are also available. In addition to protecting the
motorcycle, Puig belly-pans are designed to give your bike an exclusive
character, therefore, the vast majority of models are accompanied by a kit
of stickers to customize them. You can find the fins in two finishes: black
and carbon simile. As for the assembly, it is an easy and fast procedure
that comes aided by the classic Puig assembly instructions. Featured here
is the KTM Superduke 1290 R and Duke 790 products.
From: Trickbitz - 011 672 6599. Wide Range available for most makes and models
Struggling to find and keep energy
when riding out on track in a race
or at a track day? Well, then this
product is just for you.
NPL’s AMINO PRE-LOAD has
been specifically formulated to
increase energy and mental focus,
enhance fat burning and allow for
lean muscle growth. This supports
a leaner physique as well as
promotes quicker recovery after
training. Each serving is loaded
with 15g of the most cutting
ingredients including BCAA’s,
L-Glutamine, L-Carnitine, Citrulline
Malate, Beta Alanine and so much
more. These key ingredients will
ignite your workout and enable you
to push yourself to the next level!
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
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
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
Email email@example.com or
call 084 814 2363.
Suitable for Garages, Workshops,
Bedrooms, Bars, Showrooms, Race
Tracks, Shows and many more, the
possibilities are endless:)
- Fully customizable
- Different Sizes available
- Enviro Friendly
Visit the GFP website to view sizes
and pricing - www.gfpinternational.
co.za or call 065 885 7932.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
Q: It must have been so frustrating
sitting on the sidelines, but how is
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
Q: We see you’re back on a bike
testing at RSR on a Yamaha R1. How did
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
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
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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42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
The new Svartpilen,
along with the rest
of the street bikes
range, is no available
on all Husqvarna
fl oors and will cost
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
a demo model
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.
A SCORPION EXO
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 47
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
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
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
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
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
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
Words by Brian Cheyne / Pics by Gerrit Erasmus
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
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.”
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
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.
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
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019 55
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
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
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
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
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”
58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019
Pic by www.racepics.co.za
ARE YOU UP FOR
COME FULFILL YOUR RACING DREAM IN AN
AFFORDABLE, SAFE AND COMFORTABLE ENVIROMENT.
ALL RIDERS ARE
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
email@example.com. You can also visit www.zwratkops.co.za.
60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019
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
The adrenaline is from holding the
throttle on the new Aprilia RSV4
1100 Factory wide freaking
open down Autodromo del
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,
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
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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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
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
Front brake: Twin 330 mm discs, Brembo
Stylema four-piston radially mounted
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
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.
Reinforcement materials, including Carbon and Carbon-
Glass Hybrid fabric, provide enhanced Shock-Resistant
performance, more comfort, and lightness of helmet.
Superior in the HJC airfl wind ow tunnel
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
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
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.
are characterized by vibrant and colorful Many famous motorcycle racers wear
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
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.
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
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
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.
• 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
• 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
• 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
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
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.
All action Nicolas
Grobler back in
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)
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
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
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
(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.
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,
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
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
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
78 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MAY 2019
NEW AT RSR
OF EVERY MONTH
CAR TRACK DAY
R A C E
BRING IT, LET’S
Club Race Dates
082 757 3138
S26 04'30.9" E28 45'20.0"
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
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