RideFast December 2019

RobRidefast

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DECEMBER 2019

EXCLUSIVE

BINDER

BRAD

MOTOGP TEST

An Exclusive behind-thescenes

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GP & Brad Binder’s testing.

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ED’S NOTES: TALKING MOTOGP

“Rob, you lucky bastard – I hate you!”. That’s pretty

much everyone’s opinion of me after my recent

trip to the Valencia MotoGP. I really am a lucky

bastard and I’m going to rub it in even more with

the big spread of the trip I have put together in this

issue. Just remember, jealousy makes you nasty!

The trip was amazing – It was so good I was even

jealous of myself when going through all the pics

and videos on the flight home. I give a full run

down of the trip in this issue so won’t go on too

much more about that, but rather do my normal of

late and Talk MotoGP!

Goodbye #99

The biggest news out of the Valencia GP was that

of Jorge Lorenzo announcing his retirement from

motorcycle racing after a “beautiful” career as

he called it. My brother Shaun and I were lucky

enough to be present at the press conference,

which took place on the Thursday before the race

weekend and we managed to find a spot in the

packed media room. Every journo, MotoGP team

manager and rider was present for the “special”

conference, which Lorenzo called for that morning.

It was an emotional conference for all involved as

Lorenzo announced that he would be ending his

racing career after the Valencia race, cutting his

Repsol Honda contract by a year. “Hello everyone,

thank you very much to everyone who accepted

my invitation and attended this press conference,

it really means a lot to me and makes me very

happy,” began Lorenzo. “I always thought there are

four significant days in the career of a rider. Your

first race, your first win, your first championship

and then the day you retire. Well, as you may

imagine, I’m here to tell you this day has arrived for

me. I want to announce this will be my last race in

MotoGP, and that at the end of this race I will retire

from professional racing.

“I was 3-years-old when everything started.

Almost 30 years of complete dedication to this

sport, my sport. The ones who worked with me,

know how much of a perfectionist I am, how much

hard work and intensity I put into this. Being like

this requires a high level of auto motivation, that’s

why after nine unforgettable years with Yamaha,

without a doubt the most glorious of my career, I

felt I needed a change if I wanted to maintain this

high commitment with my sport. Moving to Ducati

gave me that big boost I needed and even though

the results were bad I used that extra motivation

as fuel to not give up and finally win that special

race at Mugello, in front of all the Ducati fans.

After that, when I signed for Honda I got a similar

feeling, achieving one of the dreams of every rider:

becoming an official HRC factory rider.”

The 32-year-old then began to explain why he

reached the decision to retire at the end of a

difficult 2019 campaign. “Unfortunately, injuries

soon came to play an important role in my season,

being unable to ride in normal physical conditions.

This, plus a bike that never felt natural to me,

made my races very difficult. Anyway, I never lost

the patience and I kept fighting, just thinking that

was a simple matter of time and that after all

things would get into the right place.

“But, as I started to see some light I had this bad

crash in Montmelo test, and some weeks later

that ugly one in Assen. At that point I had to admit,

that when I stopped rolling into the gravel, the first

thought that came into my mind was “what the hell

I’m doing here? Is this really worth it? I’m done with

it.” Some days later after reflecting a lot about my

life and career, I decided to give it a try. I wanted to

be sure I was not making an early decision.

“The truth is from that crash, the hill became

too high for me, and even if I tried I couldn’t find

the motivation and patience to be able to keep

climbing it. You know, I love this sport, I love to ride,

but above all things, I love to win. I understood,

that if I’m not able to fight for something big, to

fight for the title or at least to fight for victories, I

cannot find the motivation to keep going especially

at this stage of my career. I realised that my goal

with Honda, at least in a short time, was not

realistic. I have to say I feel very sorry for Honda,

especially for Alberto, who really was the one who

trusted me and gave me that opportunity.

“I remember that day in Montmelo when we meet

and I told him “Don’t make a mistake signing the

wrong rider Alberto, trust me and you will not

regret”. very sadly, I have to say that I disappointed

him, so I did to Takeo, Kuwata, Nomura San and all

my team, who I have to say they always treated

me in an exceptional way. However, I really feel

this is the best decision for me and for the team,

Jorge Lorenzo and Honda cannot be here just to

score some points!”

Lorenzo left the room to a massive applause by all

present - fitting for a man who gave and achieved

so much in the sport.

It was no real surprise when Lorenzo made the

announcement. He has had a torrid time of late

both on and off the bike. Injuries have taken their

toll on his body and mind and that was clear for all

to see this season where he has just not been at

the races, so to speak.

Where to from here? Only time will tell if Lorenzo

will come back to the sport in some form, but

judging by his “When I crossed the line I finally felt

free” comment after the race I don’t think we’ll be

seeing him for a very long time.

Still cruising after all of these years

Love him, or hate him, you just have to respect

Valentino Rossi. The man, at 40-years old is still

going strong and has outlasted many a top rider.

Stoner, Pedrosa and now Lorenzo all retired

from the sport not wanting any more part in the

circus that is MotoGP. I say the circus because

it really is just that. These guys are almost like

trained performers there to please the crowed.

Over the Valencia race weekend, I watched as

Rossi’s motorhome and pit garage was constantly

bombarded with adoring fans, patiently waiting for

their hero to come out for a pic and autograph. This

got me thinking… How, after almost 30 years’ in the

spotlight has this guy still managed to keep his cool

and carry on? How does he still find the hunger and

patience to still go through all of this at every single

race, never mind wherever else he goes.

I was at Valencia from Thursday ‘till the following

Tuesday and couldn’t help but think; does he

really just stay at the track in his motorhome

the entire weekend? Most people’s answer to

that question was “yes, but he has a motorhome

bigger and better than most of our houses”. While

I understand that, I have a beautiful house which

I love, but cabin fever sets in more often than not,

no matter how amazing the house is. One of my

mates here used the perfect words to describe

this, “it’s a prison”. That’s exactly what it is. Rossi

has no choice but to stay in the paddock the entire

time. He does not have the luxury of just popping

out to the mall for a quick bite to eat or a movie

over a race weekend and test. He literally goes

from his motorhome to his pit box and chats to

the same people 90% of the time. That must get

to him and that alone makes his presence and

competing in the MotoGP world championship

very impressive. Never mind the constant

bombardment from fans and media.

While on the plane home I got to thinking about

the whole thing and can see why riders such as

Stoner, Pedrosa and now Lorenzo walk away. If it

were just about riding your bike on track it would

be fine, but these guys are part of an ever-growing

circus where they have to perform and cater to all

sponsors and fan’s needs, no matter what or when,

and if they don’t then they are assholes. That’s the

price you pay I guess for “Living the Dream” of being

a MotoGP rider, and one that our Brad Binder is

going to have to get used to very quickly.

Hot property

I can tell you now that in terms of hot property

in the MotoGP paddock it goes like this; Marc

Marquez, Fabio Quatararo and then Brad Binder,

in that order.

I saw it first-hand. Brad is a superstar we all

know that and the respect he has earned inside

the paddock is phenomenal. Walking out of the

track with him and big names like Gigi Dall’igna

(Ducati MotoGP guru) and Davide Brivio (Suzuki

MotoGP Team Manger) all stop Brad to have a

conversation. Fans shout “Binder, Binder, Binder

every time they see him and crowd around to get a

snap shot and autograph.

He is KTM’s property now but come 2021 the

Austrians will do very well to hang onto the SA

superstar as the rest are lined-up at the door

ready to acquire his services.

It was an honour having been with Brad from day

one back in 2008, to see just how well respected

he is and I am so proud of the man/rider both he

and his brother Darryn have become. Spending

the race weekend not only with them but also

Trevor and Sharon Binder was awesome

and they made the experience that

much sweeter so to them I say a big

thank you and well done on all the

success and may there be plenty more

in the future!

So, go on and enjoy this amazing

bumper issue we have

put together for you and

please don’t send me

any more “I hate you”

messages after seeing

the Valencia spread.

Until next month/year, I

wish you all nothing but

the best and hope you

have a merry Christmas

and a happy and blessed

new year!

Thanks for all the support!!!

Rob Portman

EDITOR & DESIGNER:

Rob Portman

rob@ridefast.co.za

PUBLISHER:

Glenn Foley

foleyg@mweb.co.za

ADVERTISING:

Sean Hendley

bestbikemagazines

@yahoo.com

071 684 4546

OFFICE &

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Anette

anette.acc@

mweb.co.za

011 979 5035

CONTRIBUTORS:

Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

Greg Moloney

Daniella Kerby

Michael Powell

Brian Cheyne

Donovan Fourie

Shaun Portman

Mat Durrans

Copyright © RideFast Magazine: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed,

or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, articles, or other methods, without the

prior written permission of the publisher.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 1


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All the NEWS proudly brought

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A gorgeous Italian “Queen” wins

‘Most Beautiful Bike’ at EICMA 2019!

Last month we showed off

Ducati’s new Streetfighter V4

and now a month later we are

showing it to you again as it has

now already won its first accolade

after only a month.

The Streetfighter V4 was selected

as the “Most Beautiful Bike of the

Show” at EICMA 2019, the world’s

most important trade fair of the

sector. The verdict was decreed

by the general public, which

participated in large numbers,

crowding the pavilions of the

Milan-Rho International Fair in

its five days of opening, and who

voted at the Show or online.

The “Vote and win the most

beautiful bike of the Show”

competition, organized by the

Italian magazine Motociclismo

in collaboration with EICMA,

reached its fifteenth edition

this year, and for Ducati this

is the tenth victory. Over

14,500 enthusiasts expressed

their preference and the

Streetfighter V4 was the most

voted motorcycle by both

visitors to the Fair and users of

the Motociclismo site. The new

super-naked Ducati took first

place with 36.7% of voters and

a considerable advantage over

the second-placed bike.

The ballot of the votes received

took place on Sunday 10th

November, the final day of the

Show, and was followed by the

official ceremony outside on the

stage of MotoLive in the presence

of Giacomo Casartelli, Executive

Director of EICMA and the Editorin-Chief

of Motociclismo Federico

Aliverti, who presented the

prestigious award.

The award for the Borgo

Panigale Company was picked

up by Andrea Ferraresi, Ducati

Design Center Director: “We are

particularly proud to receive

this award in a competition

where all the manufacturers

participate with their flagship

models and the general public

of EICMA, the most important

motorcycle fair in the world, has

elected the Streetfighter V4 as

the most beautiful”.

The ceremony for the “Most

Beautiful Bike of the Show” was

the last act of an intense week

of exhibition and events that

saw over half a million visitors

at EICMA, an increase compared

to 2018, confirming the positive

signs of recovery coming from

the motorcycle sector.

Right from the first day of

opening the public crowded the

Ducati stand. First among the

three totally new bikes to be

presented is the Streetfighter

V4, the super-naked with high

and wide handlebars, 178 kg in

weight, Desmosedici Stradale

1,103 cc engine with 208 hp,

biplane wings and a latest

generation electronic package.

The result of this “The Fight

Formula” is an exaggerated,

modern and technological

Ducati naked with an aggressive

and exciting design. A bike that

does nothing to hide top-ofthe-segment

performance, but

which guarantees enjoyment

and fun even in daily use.

In addition to the “queen” of the

Show, the completely renewed

Panigale V2 and the 2020

version of the Panigale V4, the

most sold sports bike in the

world in the last two years.

Five new versions have also

been introduced for 2020,

which we showed off in last

months issue: the Multistrada

1260 S Grand Tour, the Diavel

1260 in the new “Dark Stealth”

colouring and the Diavel

1260 S in “Ducati Red”, the

Monster 1200 “Black on Black”

and finally the Scrambler

Icon Dark. Interest and great

acclaim also surrounded the

two Scrambler DesertX and

Scrambler Motard concepts,

which polarized the attention

of the public, as well as for the

three new Ebikes presented by

the Borgo Panigale company

in collaboration with Thok:

the exclusive MIG-RR Limited

Edition, the MIG-S and the

E-Scrambler.

4 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



All the NEWS proudly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

Kyalami Indoor

Karting track

now open.

If you’re an avid watcher of the “Talking

MotoGP” podcast featuring our own Rob

Portman and Donovan Fourie on the RideFast

YouTube channel you would have seen them

recording at a very interesting looking venue a

couple of episodes ago.

The venue was the all-new Kyalami Indoor

Karting circuit, based at the Mall of Africa

in Midrand at Entrance 16, Level C4. It’s an

awesome indoor karting facility offering not

only the enjoyment of racing karts around a

very technical circuit, but also refreshments

to enjoy while relaxing/recovering in the very

cool Brad Binder/KTM lounge.

Do yourself a favour, if you are a karting fan

or Brad fan and get down to the new Kyalami

Indoor Karting circuit and not only check out

the track and Binder wall, but also see if you

can post the fastest time and put yourself on

top of the time table.

Tel 010 109 0927

www.indoorkarting.co.za

Crusaders Show Heart.

Here is a heart-warming story of caring,

compassion, generosity and humanity

that really tugged at our heart strings so

much so that we just had to share it with

all of you.

Nowadays, bikers doing matric dance

escorts is a common sight so why take

note of this specific one?

Young Perrie Benadie has not had a great

start to life. His father passed on when he

was very young, and then a subsequent

step father beat and abused him which

sadly left him with permanent brain

damage. Sadly, a short while later his

mother also passed away. Fortunately his

Grandmother stepped in to raise and care

for him, however, only being able to earn

a bit of money as a car guard created its

own challenges. On weekends, Perrie also

works as a car guard at the Bike Shop Pub

& Grill in Boksburg, which is where the

story of his ultimate night begins.

The venue is frequented by many of the

local bike clubs, and the Crusaders MC

have made it their ‘Local’. When Perries

situation came to their attention a week

or so before his Matric Farewell Dance

all the Crusaders felt they had to step

up to make it a night to remember. Being

no strangers to community actions,

having supported numerous causes

from children’s homes, abandoned and

abused children and women in the past,

Prez Theo Kloppers started put out a call

to action through their vast network of

friends and contacts. Within days they

had a flash new suit for Pierre, shiny new

shoes and a slick haircut. Then it was

onto planning the route, arranging a date,

sorting out some sweet wheels to roll

in. The Crusaders MC arranged a Nissan

Skyline GTR for him and a BMW M4 for

his cousin who agreed at short notice to

be his date along with a full Crusader MC

Honour Guard to escort him to his special

night in style.

The love and support shown to this young

man, (who … and let’s be brutally honest

now…. Most of us would not have given

a second thought to), by Crusaders MC is

indicative of what the biking community

as a whole is truly all about in general.

Top left: A happy photo with Ouma, who has

raised Perrie since the demise of his Dad and

Mom on her meagre earnings as a car gaurd ...

Maybe think twice before fubbing off the next

car gaurd you meet.

Top Right: A very happy young man...

Bottom left: Come hell or high traffic the

Crusaders were determined to get young Perrie

to his Matric Farewell dance on time and in style.

6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



All the NEWS proudly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

The Efesto Ducati

hybrid Superbike.

French company Efesto has built a kit that can take your 205-odd horsepower

Ducati Panigale and turn it into a 300-horse hybrid widowmaker.

The performance hybrid is

becoming more and more

common in the automotive

world. And why not? Electric

motors can provide massive

torque and acceleration while

your gasoline engine is clearing

its throat and getting ready to

roar. At the expense of weight

and complexity, hybrids like the

BMW i8, Ferrari SF90 Stradale

and Aston Martin Valkyrie

gain explosive performance,

improved emissions profiles

and the ability to tootle around

short distances without

burning any gas at all. Some of

them can even nearly keep up

with a Tesla in a straight line.

The idea has understandably

not made it through to the

motorcycle world. Bikes are so

tightly packaged as is that their

mechanics can be identified

by their freshly and frequently

peeled knuckles. It’s no big

deal to lose some trunk space

in a car, but sportsbike riders

are already lucky if they can

squeeze their wallet under

the seat. Where would all that

bulky electric gear go?

Well, now we know. Parisian

company Efesto has leapt

into the unknown and built a

performance hybrid superbike,

the likes of which we’ve

never seen, beginning with

the achingly beautiful Ducati

Panigale as the donor platform.

The three big things you’ve

got to lump into your chassis

somewhere are a motor, an

inverter and a battery pack.

Efesto has hung the motor

underneath the rear of the

L-twin engine’s crankcase,

where it protrudes in a manner

that reminds us of the back

end of a bulldog. The output

shaft of the electric motor gets

a sprocket and small chain,

which connects to a double

sprocket on the countershaft

to co-pull the drive chain to the

rear wheel.

The inverter has been plonked

under the front cylinder, where

it can be fully hidden under

the fairings, although this has

necessitated the creation of

a thin, rectangular section

exhaust that... Well, let’s just

say that if Panigale designer

Gianandrea Fabbro ever saw it,

he’d go and take one of those

showers where you sit in the

corner hugging your knees and

rocking back and forth.

The battery pack, for its part,

lives in a specially crafted

subframe that makes the

razor-thin Ducati tailpiece look

like it’s had a bulky accident in

its tracksuit pants. We’ve all

been there.

Moving past the aesthetic

desecration of one of the

motorcycle world’s most

beautiful machines, we

can start to appraise the

genius behind this idea. One

doesn’t have to look at this

bike while riding it, after all,

that’s a problem for your

riding buddies, and the extra

performance it adds could well

make your own tailpiece look

like it’s carrying a battery pack.

The electric motor is a liquidcooled

axial flux unit making

some 108 horsepower and an

enormous peak torque of 150

Nm. Combine those figures

with the Panigale’s alreadyexcessive

205-horse, 1,285cc

L-twin, and you get yourself

a motorcycle that makes a

terrifying 300 horsepower, and

295 Nm.

Where the combustion motor

is massively oversquare,

sacrificing low-end shunt for a

flat-out top-end horsepower

rush, the electric is precisely

the opposite, pulling its

hardest from a standstill and

never having to pause as the

quickshifter bangs up through

the gears. The combination

must be profoundly insane.

We know what you’re thinking:

It’s a porker? Well, compared

to the original Panigale’s

ludicrous 163 kg dry weight,

it is a touch tubby at 194 kg.

But that’s still well within the

ballpark for a fast streetbike,

and the absolute whimpering

motherlode of toe-curling

power this system adds will

more than overcome the

additional poundage.

Efesto offers four riding modes

for the hybrid system; the

first is electric only, with a

round-town range of “up to

40 minutes in urban traffic.”

Then there’s gasoline only, in

which you still have access

to regenerative braking. Then

there’s a custom mode, which

lets you set whatever torque

and power you want from the

electric motor.

But the one you’re interested

in is boost mode, in which

you get the whole enchilada,

and every stupid thing you’ve

ever done flashes before your

eyes, up to and including the

moment you thought it’d be

a good idea to go full throttle

on a 300-horsepower hybrid

superbike. Sign us up.

There’s also a recharge mode;

Efesto will happily let you sip

power away from the petrol

engine to fill up the battery if

you don’t want to plug it in.

Colour us intrigued. There’s

very little wrong with the

experience of riding a latemodel

superbike as is; they’re

already wildly excessive and

ferociously overpowered for

street use. But more is always

welcome, and a hyper-hybrid

like this thing gives you

absolutely godlike torque

without ever having to plan

your rides around DC quick

chargers. You will, however,

want to avoid mirrors.

There’s no word on whether

Efesto plans to build and sell

these demonic machines, or

indeed how much they’d want

for one.

8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



All the NEWS proudly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

TRD Motorcycles - The new home

of Kawasaki in the East Rand.

Kawasaki, and by extension SYM and AEON, have found

a new home in the East Rand on the corner of Atlas and

Northrand road in Boksburg, just down from the N12 Freeway

with the pre-owned motorcycles giants TRD Motorcycles.

The pre-owned motorcycle specialists carry a huge amount

of quality stock - we stopped counting at about one hundred

and ten - of good, clean bikes of every description, brand,

size and colour. TRD are known for their straight talking, no

nonsense, professional, efficient and friendly service. Their

staff are incredibly helpful and always quick with a smile.

Chatting to Boss man Johan, he tells us of exciting future

plans to extend the showroom and accessories department,

as well as making the workshop bigger.

So when Kawasaki was looking for a new base of operations

on the East Rand it seemed only natural and logical to join

forces with them. They now stock a wide and comprehensive

range of new Kawasaki Motorcycles and parts as well as SYM

and AEON as an extension to their already thriving business

model. With more than ample parking and their close

proximity to the N12 and R21 freeways, as well as the East

Rand Mall, this makes them easily accessible from just about

anywhere Gauteng.

So, if you are in the market for a new Kawasaki, SYM or Aeon

motorcycle or service parts, or looking at buying a good

quality used bike pop into TRD Motorcycles. They also do

trade-ins and buy bikes outright as well as a park-and-sell

service. They are able to arrange finance and insurance and

as we mentioned they have a professional workshop on site

that can do everything from a puncture repair to a service.

Give them a call on 011 051 9104, alternatively check out www.

trdmotorcycles.co.za or visit them at the corner of Atlas road

and Northrand road in Boksburg.

10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



All the NEWS proudly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

Exhaust System

Innovator Luigi

Termignoni Dies At 75.

It was 50 years ago, in 1969, in the town of Predosa,

Alessandria, Italy, that Luigi Termignoni would begin to

change the history of the motorcycling world forever.

Today, Termignoni exhaust systems are most readily

associated with Ducati, and for good reason. However, the

company has produced top-notch exhaust systems for a

wide variety of manufacturers over the years.

Luigi Termignoni the man first opened a motorcycle

mechanic’s shop that focused on Ducati, Kawasaki, and

Honda bikes in 1969. From there, he began to do race prep

work on engines, and also began to build specialty parts

for four-stroke engines.

By 1971, Termignoni had zeroed in on exhaust systems as

the niche where he could innovate and make his mark. His

very first exhausts, according to company lore, were made

completely by hand.

Even if you don’t have a bike with a Termignoni exhaust

fitted, if you use anything with an aluminum exhaust

can, or a full titanium system, you have Luigi Termignoni

to thank—no matter what company actually made

your specific exhaust. The man and his company have

consistently forged new paths forward, exploring what’s

possible and making bikes around the world sound better

while doing it.

Termignoni exhausts are a vital and inextricable part of

motorcycle racing in many series. So far, they’ve won

10 MotoGP titles, 16 WSBK titles, 2 Paris-Dakar world

titles, and also the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World

Championship. Bikes in MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3, WSBK,

WSS, SSTK, MX, Enduro, Trials, and Cross-Country Rally

series regularly depend on Termignoni exhausts to

perform their best.

Luigi Termignoni remained president of his company until

2015. His daughter Anna told Radio Gold that in recent

years, he dedicated himself to horses of a different sort—

the four-legged kind—as well as agriculture.

Sadly, he died overnight, between November 17 and 18,

2019, at the age of 75..

Ridgeway Racebar

Yamaha R1 winner.

Once again the greatest race bar in Africa stepped up to the plate

and delivered on another incredible competition and give away. The

team at Ridgeway Racebar have been running another one of their

famous motorcycle give aways for the last 6 Months and this time

the magnificent Yamaha R1 was the first prize.

For a measly R350 spent on the day, anyone who came to Ridgeway

was allocated one entry into the draw for the litre beast and on

Sunday 17 November, the draw for the winner saw over 4500 entries

in the box and about 2000 people in attendance, because in order to

actually win the bike, the entrant had to physically be at the bar.

It couldn’t have been a better day, with our own Brad Binder firstly

sending the whole bar best wishes direct via a whatsapp video

captured by editor Rob Portman and then Brad going on to finish off

his Moto 2 career with the final race victory.

After each race finished two of the eventual top ten were drawn, and

then after the MotoGP podium the customers and fans present were

given a further 40 mins to get their daily bills sorted and some last

minute entries into the boxes before they drew the last 6 names.

The top ten then were asked to draw (in reverse order of how they

were initially drawn) a custom made Wink Promotions Ridgeway

Racebar keying with a world famous Yamaha racers number on

it. Ranging from #46 to one of his most famous rivals #15 Sete

Gibernau. The stanchions were then removed around the R1 and

each finalist now had a chance, once again in reverse order of the

key ring draw, to step up onto the stage, stick the key into the ignition

and turn the R1 on. First contestant stepped up and unfortunately

it was not meant to be. Greg Moloney, the MC for the event called

up number 2 and looked at his key rings number, #15, and jokingly

stated its highly unlikely Gibernau is going to win at the home of the

Valentino Rossi Fan Club, but his words had not even finished coming

out of his mouth and the dash lit up and the bike turned on. Daryl

Hancock, the lucky man who literally roared for about 30 seconds

and then climbed over the tank and kissed his new toy.

What an awesome feeling and certainly an early Christmas present.

Congratulations to our lucky winner and we at RideFast were proud

to be associated once more as the media partner. Next year, Grant

Bloomfield has said there is something even bigger coming so

make sure you get onto FaceBook and Like and Share the Ridgeway

Racebar Page and stay tuned for the next evolution of this incredible

run of give aways.

12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Ducati Family Day.

Ducati SA hosted a family day at Redstar Raceway on Sunday the

17th of November, where Ducati owners were invited to ride their

gorgeous Italian machines around the track free of charge. Riders

with other makes were also welcomed at the reduced rate of only

R550 for the days riding.Five groups were available on the day.

The main aim of the day was to support the Kideo Orphanage, which

Ducati SA have supported for over 9 years. Riders and spectators

alike were encouraged to bring not only gifts for their kids to put

under the tree, but also for the kids of the Kideo Orphanage.

Over 150 riders attended the event with even more family members,

friends and spectators packing RSR to the max - the fullest the track

has been in a long time according to those present.

The RSR track proved to be the perfect playground for all as the

riders got to enjoy the track action while Moms, Dads, Grandparents

and all the kids had a blast in the pool and play areas. Hundreds of

gifts were piled under the tree for all the kids to enjoy, this brought

massive smiles to all their faces and despite there being plenty of

beautiful motorcycles for all eyes to enjoy, it was the smiles on the

kids faces that stole the show!

Apart from the gifts for all the kids, they were also treated to a bit of

track action as pillions, many for the first time. The smiles got even

bigger and brighter making the entire day a huge success!

A big well done to all involved and to Ducati SA for hosting yet

another terrific event. They even had their mobile hospitality setup

for all to enjoy. The new team at Ducati SA really are working hard

and building up the SA motorcycle industry one smile at a time!

Pics by Beam Productions.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 13


All the NEWS proudly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS

Win a Bike with Fire It Up!

Fire It Up! are pleased to announce

that they are giving a motorcycle away

again this year. This year it’s a Ducati

Pannigale 959 especially prepared by

Performance Technic in Corse colours.

“It’s an opportunity to have some fun

and give back to the customers that

have supported us so loyally this year”

said Craig Langton. In order to qualify

for the giveaway, customers must have

purchased a motorcycle between 1/1/2019

and 30/12/2019. Additionally, If you

purchase accessories during the month of

November and December 2019 to the value

of R5000.00 or more, or if you sell your

motorcycle to Fire It Up! you also qualify

for the Bike Giveaway lucky draw. The

draw will be posted on Facebook on the

31st of December 2019 at 13H00. On behalf

of the Fire It Up! and Performance Technic

Team, we would like to wish our customers

good luck and a very Merry Christmas and

prosperous new year.

Entering the competition is easy by

following these simple steps:

1: Make sure that you ‘LIKE’ the Fire It Up!

Facebook page.

2: Take a selfie instore.

3: Post the picture on your timeline.

4: Use hashtags #fireitup

#bikegiveaway2019

5: Send us a screenshot using messenger.

Make sure that you enter by following the

steps above, customers who are new to

Facebook can send a mail to info@fireitup.

co.za.

Competition Rules

1: The judges’ decision is final.

2: Your selfie must be shared on your

timeline to qualify.

3: Competition closes on 30th December

at 17H00

4: Winner will be announced on Facebook

on the 31st of December 2019 at 13H00

5: Winner has 7 days to claim his/her prize

6: Motorcycle may not be exchanged for

cash

7: All entries will be verified.

8: No late entries will be considered.

14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Grand opening of Formula K Circuit.

On a very warm and sunny Friday morning

in Benoni on November 15th 2019 – The

state of the art Formula K Circuit at the

Formula K Business Park in Benoni was

ready to launch and will officially open to

the public on the 18th of November 2019.

Located in Benoni at Corner of Snake Road

and Golden Drive, just off the N12 highway

and has long been the source of much

curiosity for passers-by, the finish line

to a ten-year planning and development

cycle was finally in sight. The Formula K

project is set to rock the world of anyone

who wants to experience high-end short

circuit racing. The Formula K Circuit has

been designed and constructed to the

exact specifications required by the CIK/

FIA governing body to enable classification

as a “Grade A” short circuit. This makes

it the only circuit in South Africa

currently eligible to host a karting world

championship event, pending application

for and completion of certification.

The dream of two karting brothers:

The circuit is the culmination of the

vision in 2008 of two brothers, Phillip

and Marius Swanepoel of Formula K SA,

who’ve been involved in the karting world

since the 1990s. The Swanepoels secured

land in 2009, only to face an eight yearlong

battle to establish the property.

Construction began only after local and

national authorities’ requirements were

met. Circuits of this calibre are typically

reserved for hard-core racers with their

own machines – the owners of karts and

bikes who are serious about competing.

Herein lies the difference: The Formula

K track will be furnished with a fleet of

rental karts later this month when anyone

in search of having a blast on the track

will be able to take a spin. Further to that,

the track will be a full-service centre with

rental karts, kart sales, servicing as well

as a driving academy. There will be 2

daily rotations, mornings will be open to

members and those who own karts, and

afternoons will be geared towards group

rentals, birthday parties, corporate events,

and of course drop-in rentals.” Weather

permitting; the circuit will be open every

day of the year.

Track specs

In its standard karting configuration,

the Formula K Circuit is 1.51 kilometres

in length, but can quickly be modified.

Add in the two back straights, the

chicanes (essentially a tight series of

fast, alternate- direction turns) and it

grows to 2.1 kilometres. Subtract sections,

and it shrinks to less than a kilometre in

length – ideal for the baby karts as well

as rental karting. Drivers can experience

many aspects of the track: There are fast

sections, technical sections, a great variety

of corner types, elevation changes and

several turns which are noticeably banked

– a real test of driving acumen where

simply figuring out your ideal racing line

will take time, patience and skill.

The property development will

feature:

· CIK/FIA approved Kart Circuit – a first in

South Africa

· Short circuit Superbike & Motard racing

Supercar enthusiast facilities

· Skidpan for advanced driver training

· 4x4 training and obstacle course

· K53 training grounds

· Mountain bike & BMX course

· Warrior obstacle course

· 24/7 on-site security & access control

· Pit building with conference facilities,

restaurants and retail outlets

Formula K Business Park

The greater development in which the

circuit is contained will be developed into

a first-of-its-kind business and lifestyle

park. The Formula K Business Park is a

new commercial property development

which will overlook the track, featuring a

pit building with a clubhouse containing

conference facilities, a restaurant, gym,

restrooms, retail stores and more. This

upmarket sport and business complex

will house units designed to provide the

ideal space for entrepreneurs, business

owners and motorsport enthusiasts to

mix business with pleasure, whether it’s

providing a secure environment within

which to run a business, park a beloved

motor baby or entertain guests in style.

Please take note that although the circuit

is open to the public from Monday 18th

November 2019, to avoid disappointment,

those wishing to participate in racing

should contact the track directly in order

to ascertain the availability of karts as

well as the formalised timetable. A fleet of

rentable Formula K karts is expected in the

following week, where after more track

time will become available.

To contact the Formula K Circuit directly,

the public can email Marius Swanepoel:

marius@formula-k.co.za or call him on +27

83 289 9328.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 15


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought to you by

Why do Yamaha continue to

ignore Marc Marquez? By Peter MacKay

Marc Marquez’s dominant

crusade on the 2019 Moto

GP championship is arguably

the finest season ever seen

in motorcycle racing. 12 wins,

6 second place finishes and

only one crash in Texas. From

a commanding lead. Although

rookie sensation Fabio

Quartararo has proved the

sharpest thorn in Marc’s side,

Honda’s precious asset has

staved off each attack with ease.

No rider has been able to mount

a consistent challenge to the

superhuman Spaniard.

Since joining the premier

class, as a 125cc and Moto 2

champion in 2013, Marquez has

consistently stunned the field. A

world title in his rookie season

and 6 world championships

from 7 attempts is an

astounding strike rate.

Cervera’s most famous export

has been backed by Spanish

oil giant, Repsol, since his early

teens. Moto GP powerhouse,

Honda, have enjoyed the

backing of Repsol since the

1990’s. In hindsight, it’s hard to

imagine Marc Marquez riding

for anyone else.

Valencia 2017 was the last time

a team mate of Marc Marquez

won a race. When, the now

retired, Dani Pedrosa claimed

the top step of the podium. Over

the last 7 seasons, the other

Honda riders have scored just

12 victories. Marquez has won

56 races over the same period.

For further context, Ducati riders

have scored 17 victories. Yamaha

riders climbed to the top step of

the podium on 37 occasions.

If you want to win, Marquez is

your man. But, bizarrely, Yamaha

team boss Lin Jarvis recently

stated the Hamamatsu factory

will not make a bid for the

Spaniards services in 2021. Jarvis

revealed that Yamaha’s goal is

to beat Marquez and his beloved

Honda with their own rider. To

fulfill such an ambition, a special

rider will be required.

Fast Frenchman, Fabio

Quartararo, shocked the

Moto GP paddock in 2019 with

dazzling one lap pace and seven

podium finishes. Unsurprisingly,

Quartararo has risen to the

top of most Moto GP team’s

shopping list for 2021, when

most riders are out of contract.

Riding the Petronas Yamaha

machine, Quartararo has

punched well above both his and

his bikes weight on a number

of occasions. Inflicting constant

pressure on Marc Marquez in

the process. However, glaring

weakness in the M1’s power has

left Quartararo defenceless to

Marquez’s rapid Honda.

Yamaha will undoubtedly be

delighted with their 20 year old

protégé’s progress. However, the

Japanese factory may fall victim

of their own success with the

French youngster.

Italian factory, Ducati, look set

to bid to poach yet another

Yamaha superstar. Both Rossi

and Lorenzo were lured away

from the homely feel of the

Yamaha M1 saddle by Bologna

top brass. Since then, Ducati

have a far stronger pitch as far

as their motorcycle is concerned.

Dubbed “The Bologna Bullet”,

Ducati’s Desmosedici holds

an ace card in close combat.

Horsepower. During this year’s

contest at Aragon, this power

advantage was exhibited in

blatant fashion. On the never

ending back straight, Ducati’s

Andrea Dovisioso enjoyed a

14kph advantage over Fabio

Quartararo’s Yamaha. A lifetime

in modern day Moto GP.

Ducati reportedly wish to pursue

not only Quartararo but factory

Yamaha rider, Maverick Vinales.

This raid on Yamaha’s roster will

certainly unsettle the crusade to

dethrone Marc Marquez.

Jarvis and Yamaha’s stance of

shunning Marquez is certainly

puzzling when considering

the Japanese manufacturer’s

long and illustrious history

in grand prix racing. Back in

2003, Yamaha were in a similar

situation to where they currently

find themselves. Minimal

success and outpaced by rival

Honda and their star rider,

Valentino Rossi. Sound familiar?

After a long courting process,

Yamaha managed to pluck

Rossi from Honda for the 2004

season. At the very first race,

in South Africa, Rossi won on

the M1 after a titanic rival with

bitter rival Max Biaggi. Rossi

then romped to a world title

with Yamaha at the first time of

asking.

Making a move for the Italian

legend, spawned 4 world

titles in 6 seasons for Rossi

and Yamaha. Shortly followed

by 3 world titles from Jorge

Lorenzo. Given this history, I find

it baffling that Yamaha would

not at least bid to prize Marquez

away from the Honda nest.

Marc Marquez has clearly

proven that in Moto GP, the

standout rider makes the

difference. Rossi proved the

same at Yamaha. As did Casey

Stoner at Ducati.

If Quartararo is seduced by big

horsepower and big bucks at

Ducati, Yamaha’s all in strategy

with the Frenchman will backfire

spectacularly. Currently, no

other challenger to Marquez has

emerged. Therefore, the chances

of Yamaha knocking the 8 times

world champion from his perch

remain slim.

Peter MacKay is the host of

The Peter MacKay Motorsport

Podcast. Follow the show via

the link below and never miss an

episode: geqvgm.podbean.com/

16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 17


PADDOCK NEWS

In-depth with Jonathan Rea.

From being a World Champion

to a proud husband and dad,

Jonathan Rea reveals what he

took him to become the most

successful rider in WorldSBK!

Jonathan Rea doesn’t need an introduction.

His records speak for himself. With five

consecutive World Titles since 2015 and

88 wins, and after an incredible 2019 that

saw him scoring points in every single

race, he has become the most successful

rider in WorldSBK. Born in Northern Ireland

in 1987, Rea started racing on the tarmac

only in 2003 following an early career in

motocross, and since then he has become

a Motorsports legend. Besides being a

professional athlete and a star, Rea is

100% dedicated to his family and he still

manages to be a “normal” guy away from the

track! Meet the five-time WorldSBK World

Champion as never before!

Most of the riders find their ways to the

top quite fast, but I had to fight every

weekend for survival. Geographically, it

was difficult coming from Northern Ireland.

When I started road racing, my father

and I had to take a boat to England every

weekend and then drive all around to find

competitions. Dad perfectly managed me, he

understood me even in the most challenging

times, and I think he moulded me, and

whatever he did had a massive effect on

what I have achieved.

The biggest lesson in my life has come

from years of difficulties. My upbringing

in motocross also helped me achieve what I

have achieved. I had to face almost endingcareer

accidents, had to deal with hard

moments before becoming a champion.

Now I can look in the mirror and think

“I am doing the best I can”. Now that I

am 32 years old, I have started to learn to

like myself. When I was young, I used to

get angry when I had a bad day. Becoming

experienced, older and having a family

makes you rationalise things a lot better and

I think I have become wiser.

When I am at the track, the spotlight is

on me, while at home is all about the kids

and survival. When I am home, I try not to

think about bikes at all. I am a real foodie,

and I love preparing food. Sometimes Tatia

and I work hard to be like Master Chef! I like

normal things. I like sharing a bottle of wine

with my wife and putting the kids at bed.

Both are playing football, and so weekends I

am at the football ground with them.

The balance in WorldSBK is perfect

for me. You can get to retain a certain

level of normality at home. The biggest

difference between winning my first World

Championship and now, is that more people

are interested, and I am busier for marketing

reasons. But I can still be a dad, a husband

and a normal guy, whilst doing my training

and all the media activities.

Having a family is the most difficult

thing you can do in life, and it makes you

realise that there is more in life than

racing. I love this sport. Bikes is all I have

known, but I know that this is a very selfish

life. You are always travelling, and that is

not normal when you have two kids. I feel it

would be a shame to put my experience on

a shelf in the future, but I also think that it

depends on what the kids will do. If they’ll

continue in football, or whatever, and they

want to travel, then I should help them. I

feel like my family are putting their lives on

pause for me to live my dream.

“Surround yourself with good people”

is the first advice for those who are in

our environment from the family point

of view to the crew chief. The guys in the

KRT team are like my brothers to me, and it’s

easy to enjoy every weekend even if you are

struggling. If I had a bad performance then I

look forward to going to dinner, sit with the

guys and joke about normal stuff.

In WorldSBK, engineering is important,

but the human still makes the

difference. I won the World Titles because I

have a good package, but there is more. You

also have to manage the expectations and

most importantly enjoy riding.

I was thinking about retirement in

2016. My goal in the past was to win at

least a World Title. My grandfather always

used to tell me: “One day you will become

18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Brought to you by

a World Champion” and I have always kept

this with me. It was something for me to

hang to. I could have happily retired at the

end of 2015, but I am enjoying riding too

much that I can’t let go of this feeling. My

goal now is to keep trying to win because I

am having so much fun!

I still haven’t realised that I won the

championship again. It was so unexpected

to win in Magny Cours that when it

happened, I wasn’t prepared for it. I think

that when I’ll go to the FIM Awards, and I

will take the real trophy and my medal with

all the other champions in the room, that’s

when it will become real.

This year I have learned never to give

up and to believe in myself more. From

the outside I looked like the ice-man, but

it was hard. Especially when we realised

how strong the new Ducati was in areas we

couldn’t be strong. Alvaro brought a very

high level, and we had to do our maximum

all the time. We scored in every race this

year, and I am so proud of this.

I am not stupid enough to think that I am

going to win forever. I know that some

racer is going to come or maybe a new bike

or package, perhaps an injury, there is going

to be difficult moments, but I want to try and

keep what I am doing now. Let’s see!

There is a little part of me that wishes I

had the chance to go to MotoGP with a

competitive package. But I have never had

this opportunity so I can’t regret it. I made

lots of mistakes but anything I can regret.

Every season I treat myself to an end of

the season bonus. I have a collection of

watches, and I bought the first one in Qatar

when I came first to WorldSSP. It is a sort

of present that I do to myself at the end of

the year.

Something that nobody knows is that I

have quite a strong faith, and I feel like

someone is watching over me. When I am

confused about something, I always ask

for help, and I get some very good advice.

This year I remember in one race exiting

the pit box and asking for some help, and

something happened that I can’t tell, and it

changed the year entirely. That is why in the

slowing down lap I am always pointing to

the sky.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 19


PADDOCK NEWS

Karel Abraham gets the boot via

email - Zarco takes his place.

On Saturday night, Karel Abraham told a

meeting of his fans that he would not be

back in MotoGP. The Czech rider found out

on Friday that the Avintia team wanted to

end their relationship, when he received an

email from a notary representing the team

stating in Spanish that the team would be

terminating his contract.

The move can as a massive shock

to Abraham. It had been completely

unexpected, as he had been told at Valencia

that he would be back with the team in 2020,

and to turn up for the test at Jerez. Only on

Saturday was he told not to travel to Jerez.

Abraham had already made arrangements,

however. He also needed to recover his

leathers and various other belongings which

had been sitting in the Avintia truck when it

was driven to Jerez for the test.

While he was at the Jerez circuit picking

up his belongings, Israeli TV commentator

Tammy Gorali, present in Jerez to report on

the test, grabbed him and spoke to him for

on our behalf. That gave Abraham a chance

to give his side of the story.

Surprise

“As much as many people were surprised,

I was very surprised, because I absolutely

didn’t expect it,” the Czech rider told Tammy

Gorali. “Well, you could say I could have

expected it, the season was not great. Yes, I

agree, that’s true, but OK, we had a twoyears

deal.”

Abraham’s contract with Avintia ran through

2019 and 2020, and talks had already taken

place about improving the performance of

Abraham and the team next season, the Czech

rider said, and even prospects beyond that.

“In the middle of the season I came to the

team and said hey, look, we need to talk, do

you want me to stay? And they were ‘yeah

everything is going in line and everything

is perfect and great’. But since we had this

meeting, we also were talking about 2021,

because Tito also signed a two-year contract.”

Things in the team had taken a turn for the

worse after that, Abraham told Gorali. “Since

then things were not working really great,”

he said. “When we came to Malaysia the guy

from Ohlins was not in our team.

“Our Ohlins guy was in Malaysia, but he was

not allowed to work with us, because there

were some issues.” Abraham would not be

drawn on what those issues were, though

he hinted at what they might be. “If you try to

find out, it’s quite simple.”

Looking for Solutions

Those problems had been cause for

Abraham to sit down with the team to try to

work out a solution for next year.

“We said, OK, look, everything is more or less

alright, but there are a couple of things which

we are not happy about and want to talk

about. And we wanted to have a meeting in

Sepang, which we did, we wanted to have a

meeting again in Valencia, which we also did.”

When rumors that Avintia was looking at

putting Johann Zarco in the team in place of

Abraham, the Czech rider spoke to Ruben

Xaus, who handles team management

together with Raul Romero. Xaus told

Abraham he did not need to be concerned,

Abraham told Gorali.

“So we talked in Valencia again, and after the

rumors with Zarco, I went to Ruben again,

multiple times actually, and asked what is

going on, is it happening or not happening?

And on Tuesday – he missed the last day of

testing on Wednesday – he confirmed and

said don’t worry, you have your contract,

everything is as it should be. I asked if they

were talking to Zarco and he said ‘No, we are

absolutely not talking to Zarco, this is just

some rumors, it’s not true.’”

That reassured Abraham. “So I said OK,I did

one day of testing, which was not bad, then

I went back home. We texted a couple of

times with Ruben, but he did not answer, but

I did not take it seriously.”

Fired by Email

It was only on Friday that Abraham received

an email for the lawyers handling legal

affairs for the team. “Late Friday evening,

I opened my email and I received an email

Words by David Emmett

from a notary,” Abraham told Gorali.

“I opened it and it was in full Spanish, not

English or Czech, saying ‘Hello Mr Abraham,

I am the notary of Esponsorama [the

organization behind the Avintia team – DE],

these are the documents and paperwork

that this is the official notary’.”

Because everything was in Spanish,

Abraham could only get the broad lines of

what the email was saying.

Professional translation services were shut,

it being Friday night, so Abraham had to use

an online service to get a rough sense of the

contents of the email.

“When we put it into a translator, it was

quiet clear that it was the termination of our

contract. So we texted Ruben again, with

‘Hey, what is this?’ No answer.”

Abraham tried texting repeatedly, to no avail.

“We texted him multiple times, but we didn’t

receive any answer from him,” he said.

“But on the next day, Saturday, I texted him

again saying ‘Hey, Ruben look, you sent me

this Spanish email, I have no idea what is in

it and tomorrow I am leaving to Jerez, should

I go to Jerez or not?’ Only then I received a

message saying, ‘Correct, it’s the termination

of the contract, don’t come to Jerez, and stop

communication with me.’”

Poor Form

The way that Xaus had handled that had

come as a real blow to Abraham, he told

Gorali. “I am disappointed because he was

always this kind of friendly guy, he borrowed

a car from me, he went with me to the

hotel, or in Australia we spent a lot of time

together, very friendly.”

“And then he says ‘don’t talk to me anymore’.

20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Brought to you by

So I was like, “Are you serious? You are

basically kicking me in the ass after the

season is done and while we have a

contract, and not even talking to me?”

Abraham had expected someone in the team

to at least have the decency to phone him

to explain, he told Gorali. “OK, Raul doesn’t

speak English, but Ruben or somebody else, I

don’t care who, they could pick up the phone

and say ‘Hey Karel, this is the situation.’”

“But they said nothing. I am also here in Jerez

because as you can see I did not expect this,

because they assured me it’s not happening,

and I have all my stuff in the track, so I just

came to pick it up and then I am gone. But it

was a big surprise for me too.”

Abraham had been given the ride in the

Avintia team on the understanding that he

would bring sponsorship to the team. The

Czech rider insisted that he and his sponsors

had paid the agreed sum for 2019 in full, but

acknowledged that early payments for 2020

had been put on hold, because he wanted to

get assurances about changes in the team

for next season.

Leverage

“What you hear is halfway true,” Abraham

told Tammy Gorali. “This is what they used

to kick me out, but honestly, all of 2019

is paid for, there was no doubt. 2019 was

completely paid for.”

“There were some payments we were

supposed to make for the 2020 season,

but we did not pay them and postponed

them, not for months, we are talking days.

We postponed them because we had some

doubts about things happening in the team.”

The postponed payments were part of the

negotiations for 2020, especially in light

of losing an Öhlins technician in Malaysia,

Abraham explained.

“First of all, we postponed the payments

because we did not get what we agreed in

the contract, for example the Öhlins guy was

missing and many other things happening.

So we said hey, we want to talk about the

next season before we fully commit.”

“And they said, OK, we will talk in Malaysia,

which we did, but there were new issues

coming, so we said we will talk one more

time in Valencia, and then we will proceed.

In Valencia we agreed, we still wanted to

do some adjustments, so we sent some

proposals, but we received no answer, but

the termination of the contract.”

The postponed payments were used as the

reason to terminate the contract, according

to Abraham. “This is why they said they are

kicking us out. Because we didn’t pay in time,

because we broke the contract,” the Czech

rider said. “But really, it’s not true, because

we agreed to have those meetings, and

postponed the payments.”

Why Zarco?

Though Abraham repeatedly said he had

nothing against Johann Zarco, he was at

a loss to explain why the Frenchman had

been given his job. “I was talking to Ducati

at Valencia during the test, not to Gigi but

somebody else, and they told me they are not

supporting Zarco,” Abraham told Gorali.

“They are not against him, but they are not

supporting him, so they are not giving him

better material, they are not giving him a

discount on the bike. They told me that Avintia

has one contract, and it doesn’t matter which

rider is on the bike, this is the bike they get at

this price. This is what Ducati told me. If it’s

going to be like this, I don’t know.”

Abraham said that he had no knowledge

of the situation beyond Avintia wanting

to break the contract. “I know what is

happening on my side, but I don’t know what

is happening on Avintia and Zarco,” he said.

“Honestly, I’m not even 100% sure it’s Zarco.

It’s quite obvious, but not confirmed. So, I

think it will be Zarco who is replacing me,

but I didn’t see the contract, I didn’t see the

official announcement or anything. It’s just

one guy, and everybody is talking about him,

so it looks like it’s going to be him.”

He was surprised that Zarco was still being

linked to Avintia after the Frenchman’s

cutting comments about the team over the

Valencia race weekend. Zarco had said he

would rather not ride for Avintia, as Avintia

was not ‘a top team’. “I’m not the one to judge

Zarco’s moves,” Abraham said.

“It’s his choice. But he was in a factory team.

I know he didn’t like the bike that much, but

he was in a factory team. He got a very good

salary and everything was set. Next year,

the rumors say that quite a few riders will

leave factory teams, so good opportunities,

everything.”

“Anyway, Zarco left this team. He didn’t talk

very well about them,” Abraham said. “After

he didn’t even talk very well about Avintia.

Then he fights for it, for Ducati Avintia team.

He fights after going out of factory team,

after saying bad things about Avintia. This

is something that I don’t really understand,

but this is the business of Zarco, not mine

anymore.”

Uncertain Future

The whole situation was so fresh that

Abraham had not yet decided on a course of

action, he said. “Because it just happened on

Friday night, so it is one day and one night

away. We didn’t even make official translation

yet, which we will do during the week.

Then we will proceed to take the actions, but

what are the actions we are not sure yet. We

really don’t know. We don’t know what is in

the letters that we received. We have to take

the package together and think about it.”

The overriding feeling for Abraham was

anger mixed with disappointment, he told

Tammy Gorali. “I am sad that I’m not racing,

but mostly now I’m angry and disappointed,

especially disappointed because to do this is

really strange. They know that they received

all the money from us, so they knew that

they are going to receive all the money.”

“In the paddock you can ask. There is nobody

that we didn’t pay. In the past every time

when we were supposed to do something,

it happened. We don’t have a history of

something bad.”

The whole situation had left Abraham

uncertain of his next move. “For the moment,

it’s very fresh, but I’m not planning to stay in

a racing environment,” he said. “Apart from

the Brno circuit, obviously, which we are

running. But MotoGP, world championship,

I’m not planning for the moment to stay.”

Abraham was aware that he was only giving

his side of the story, but he also believed

that his history, and the history of the

Avintia team, would bear him out. “Obviously

everybody can say that there are two sides

that you have to look at. I think you should

look into my history.”

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 21


PADDOCK NEWS

Brought to you by

“Not professional riding, but professional

acting in the paddock, what I did, how

was our history, how was the history of

Avintia, how is the history of the people

involved. Listen to both stories and take

whatever you want out of it. I’m telling

you how I feel it. I think I’m telling you the

facts. That what it is,” he told Gorali.

Racing Life

Although he is a trained lawyer, racing

is the only life he has known since

he was very young, Abraham said.

“When I was fifteen, I started,” he said.

“So it’s been fifteen years that I was

around, living between the tracks in

motorhomes, traveling all the time in a

car and planes and everything. So it’s

kind of the life that I’m used to.”

“So we will see what will be happening.

Now, I honestly have no idea. The

speed, adrenaline… I need adrenaline.

So the speed and adrenaline, people

around, I’m sure I’m going to miss it.

Maybe not in the first week. That’s more

disappointment and anger, but you get

hungry. That’s the time you will see. I

don’t know yet.”

What made Abraham most angry was

the way the whole situation had been

handled. Having his contract torn up at

the end of the year, with no opportunity

to go anywhere else, had been a body

blow. “I understand that Johann Zarco

might be a good guy to ride a bike,” he

said. “I understand that. But this is not

how you treat a person.”

“This is not how you do business either.

If we have a contract and the contract

is there and everything is ready and the

season is over, and right now they know if

they kick me out, which they did, I have no

chance of finding a place now. Basically

no chance in Moto2. MotoGP, absolutely

not. Superbike also, not a good place, at

least. So basically what they did, they just

screwed me. It’s just, I’m done.”

If the Avintia team had told him earlier, he

might have been able to find something

else, Abraham said. “If they told me in the

middle of season, we could have done

something. Or, they could also approach

me in Valencia and say, ‘Karel, look. We’ve

got Zarco. This is the deal. He will bring a

lot more money than you,’ or whatever is

the deal. I don’t know. ‘What are we going

to do about it?’”

“Then I can say, okay, it’s bad, but

maybe I was not so happy this year.

Let’s talk about it and let’s do it the

normal way. That’s how you do it. But

you cannot have the contract and

basically after Valencia it’s called the

beginning of next season, right? So I

was already testing 2019 bikes, and

then they say, ‘Okay, stay home.’”

Fired Crew Chief

Abraham was not the only victim of

this approach, he told Tammy Gorali.

“Basically two weeks before they did it

to me, they did it to my crew chief. I didn’t

know about it. Ducati didn’t know about

it. Nobody knew about it.”

“He came to Malaysia and they told him,

‘Next year you’re not working here.’ He

said, ‘Are you serious? Because now all

the crew chiefs in Moto2, MotoGP, and

Moto3 are taken. So I need to stay home

next year.’ They cut him off. When you

leave for one year, it’s really difficult to

come back.”

Abraham could not see a future for

himself in any of the other classes,

he told Gorali. “Don’t take me wrong

– Moto2 and Superbikes are amazing

races. It’s great. But I have gone through

it. I went to MotoGP. I left MotoGP. I

desperately wanted to make some

good results. I already said it before. I

don’t want to make a step back.”

He did not want to disparage either

Moto2 or World Superbikes, Abraham

insisted. “I don’t say it’s a step back

like it’s bad. No. It’s great racing. But

I already was there, and I would be

coming back. This is something that I

don’t want to do.”

“It’s absolutely clear for me. I said there

is only one condition under which I will

do it, because I’m thirty-years-old. It’s

not old, but for racing it’s not young. So

going Moto2 or Superbikes, I would go

if they gave me a really fast bike, and if

they give me a good salary.”

So Karel Abraham is to sit along the

sidelines at Jerez, while the Reale Avintia

team tests. Tito Rabat will be on one

bike, while the Avintia squad’s MotoE

rider Eric Granado will be on the second

bike for the Jerez test, as a reward for

winning races in MotoE for the team.

MotoGP to limit

wing flex in 2020.

As part of the expanding wing regulations for the 2020

MotoGP season, a new ‘flex test’ will be introduced to

strengthen the ban on active aerodynamics.

The current technical regulations simply state ‘moving

aerodynamic devices are prohibited’.

This clearly prevents any obvious form of active

aerodynamics, such as mechanical wing movement

controlled by an external power supply. But nothing is

perfectly rigid and, like a tree blowing in the wind, every

part of a motorcycle moves or flexes to a certain degree

when out on track.

Such ‘aeroelasticity’ of the bodywork can be exploited

by crafting parts that deliberately flex more than

necessary, or change shape in an advantageous way,

depending on the speed of the motorcycle.

For example, since the main purpose of the wings is to

reduce wheelies, a clever design would hold the wings

at maximum downforce until the bike reaches a speed

where wheelies are no longer a factor.

From that point on, the downforce created by the wings

is not needed and they turn from being a benefit into

a disadvantage, due to the drag they create hurting

ultimate top speed.

Therefore if, when exposed to the greater load

generated at higher speeds, parts of the wing ‘pod’

sections that hang off the bike were designed to bend

into a slightly more streamlined position, drag would

be lowered and top speed increase. So it’s active but, if

there are no specific flex limits, passes as accidental.

Such minor gains would probably have been dismissed in

the past, but in an era where the top ten is often covered

by less than one-second a lap, any advantage must now

be considered.

The flex test forms part of a beefed-up range of 2020

aerodynamic rules, which also includes more precise

dimensions for the wing sections and introduction of

Aero Body restrictions (one update per season) for all

non-mechanical bodywork, including the infamous

swingarm ‘tyre cooler’.

Meanwhile, a recent announcement from the Grand

Prix Commission revealed that in future teams will be

able to remove wings from their bikes at Phillip Island,

something that would currently mean breaking the Aero

Body/Homologation rules (unless one of a rider’s two

fairings allowed for the season was already wingless).

The move implies that the wing sections are thought

to have had an adverse effect on safety in the

kind of extreme gusty crosswinds that forced the

postponement of qualifying at last month’s Australian

MotoGP, after Miguel Oliveira was blown off the circuit.

22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



2020 MotoGP Valencia Testing.

Quartararo heads

Yamaha trio after Day 1

With plenty of new riders

and motorcycles to keep an

eye on, this was the start

of the 2020 season and the

first opportunity to see new

parts featured across the

manufacturers. Ending the

day on top of the pile, Fabio

Quartararo was just ahead

of Maverick Viñales, whilst

Franco Morbidelli made it a

Yamaha 1-2-3.

After a phenomenal rookie

season, Fabio Quartararo set

76 laps on his way to the top

of the timesheets, but it wasn’t

without drama. Testing a new

carbon swingarm along with

chassis parts, Quartararo

crashed at speed at the

infamous Turn 10. Shaken but

not stirred and only suffering

from dull rib injuries, he was

back on track for the final hour

before ending the day on top.

Also testing new parts from

Yamaha was Franco Morbidelli,

who completed a Yamaha

1-2-3 and spent most of the day

inside the top five.

Splitting the two Petronas

Yamaha SRT machines was

Maverick Viñales, who spent

most of the day on the 2020

bike, after completing a first

run on the 2019 machine.

Viñales was frequenting

the top of the timesheets

throughout the opening day of

testing for 2020, finishing just

over a tenth-and-a-half behind

Quartararo. Valentino Rossi

completed a solid day of work

and was inside the top ten

throughout. The 40-year-old

Italian, along with Viñales, was

testing the 2020 bike which

featured a new air intake and a

third evolution of 2020 engine

and finished ninth overall.

Over at the Ducati Team, Danilo

Petrucci was testing a brandnew

chassis ahead of 2020,

before calling it a day early on

after a shoulder injury picked

up during the race weekend.

For Andrea Dovizioso, it was

a productive day as he led the

Maverick Vinales with

his new Aero fairing.

fight to Yamaha. Like Petrucci, he

was testing the new bike which

featured a new chassis, as well

as new parts for the engine and

electronics. Between them, the

pair racked up more than 70 laps

to garner valuable data to take

forward in their development

for the new season. At Pramac

Racing, Jack Miller was also

trying new parts and completed

43 laps on his way to completing

the top ten. Francesco Bagnaia

is absent from the test after his

broken wrist from Saturday, but

present was Michele Pirro, who

finished the day in 18th as he

leads the development for 2020.

After an eventful weekend for

the Repsol Honda Team, the

drama continued in the second

half of the day. With a little under

four hours to go, Marc Marquez

crashed his 2020 bike on the

out-lap at Turn 13. Setting his

fastest lap on his 33rd out of 56,

the eight-time World Champion

was fifth overall on the bike

that he had already tested on

at Misano. New teammate and

brother Alex Marquez finished

23rd on his full-time debut,

recovering well from his crash

in the first half of the day. Stefan

Bradl finished 22nd on another

chassis, different to that of

Marquez’. Cal Crutchlow was 11th

as he continued to test the new

2020-spec machine.

A new engine helped Suzuki

to climb the top speed charts

in the afternoon, although a

technical problem for Joan Mir

halted the Spaniard’s progress.

Mir was top Suzuki after day one

in sixth place, whilst teammate

Alex Rins was just a tenth-anda-half

behind in seventh. Both

Suzuki riders set a strong pace

throughout the day.

It was a positive first day of 2020

for KTM, who were sporting

a completely new chassis.

Constructed differently but

remaining tubular and steel,

Pol Espargaro made it five

manufacturers inside the top

eight. Espargaro set 58 laps

and achieved his fastest exactly

halfway through. His new

teammate Brad Binder was 21st

and continued his adaptation to

MotoGP. Test rider Dani Pedrosa

was 17th as he worked away

whilst Mika Kallio didn’t take

to the circuit. Iker Lecuona was

sensational at the end of day one

at the Valencia Test, up in 13th

place and less than a secondand-a-half

off the top slot.

Whilst there was no new bike

for Aprilia, Andrea Iannone was

14th and just over a secondand-a-half

from the best time.

Two places further back was

teammate Aleix Espargaro,

whilst test rider Bradley Smith

was up 20th and within two

seconds of Quartararo at the

top. Smith suffered a nasty

crash at Turn 9 earlier in the day,

bringing out the red flags but

the hard-working Brit was soon

back out on track and was the

last rider to return to the pits at

the end of the day.

Viñales fastest to turn

the tables on Day 2

Maverick Viñales topped Day 2

and it was once again a Yamaha

1-2-3, with the trio at the top

within three tenths. Viñales

was the only rider in the 1:29s –

true of Fabio Quartararo at the

weekend – and the number 12

narrowly beat the Frenchman’s

pole time on the Wednesday.

Quartararo was 0.164 in arrears,

with Franco Morbidelli within

0.265 of the top. Honda’s Cal

Crutchlow was the only other

man within half a second…

Viñales fastest was set on the

‘new’ bike – with a different

chassis and new engine – and

the Spaniard put in 67 laps on

the final day of testing, topping

the timesheets with his 56th.

Teammate Valentino Rossi

Pic by GP Fever.de


Marc Marquez with the new

‘Hammer Head’ aero package

ahead of his brother and new

team-mate Alex Marquez.

was once again ninth, and

‘The Doctor’ did 68 laps on the

Wednesday. He was within

0.968 of the top and suffered

a mechanical problem in the

afternoon, but got back out.

Quartararo and Morbidelli,

meanwhile, didn’t say much

about what they were working

on – “some small things” and

the Frenchman said it was more

a day of riding than testing as

yet. For a man only just starting

his second season, the 64

laps were doubtlessly useful,

however, and Morbidelli added

another 52 to the team’s count.

For Crutchlow it was a

mammoth day of work. The Brit

headed out on the ‘2020’ bike,

suffered a crash but managed

to prove Yamaha’s closest

competitor on the timesheets

and improve his laptime from

the weekend after 73 laps.

Speaking of the number 73,

Alex Marquez, on the other side

of the LCR Honda garage, was

the only man to do more laps.

The rookie did 79 on his second

day as an HRC MotoGP rider,

shaving six tenths off his time

from Tuesday.

Reigning Champion Marc

Marquez made some more

Honda headlines, however.

The number 93 premiered the

aero seen on Crutchlow the day

before, with the all-black Honda

breaking cover bearing a 93 in

the afternoon, and he ended the

day in seventh after 71 laps. He

also suffered a failed getaway

earlier in the day, and his

teammate for the test – in the

garage at least – also suffered

an issue on the Wednesday as

Stefan Bradl ground to a halt.

Nevertheless the German was

able to complete 53 laps by the

end of play.

Team Suzuki Ecstar were fifth

and sixth on Wednesday. The

new engine previously having

been put through its paces by

test rider Sylvain Guintoli was

a big focus for the Hamamatsu

factory as they look for a step

forward in terms of outright

speed, and Joan Mir was the

quickest Suzuki on Day 2. He

put in a 1:30.427 and did 61 laps,

teammate Alex Rins was just

0.076 off and did 47 laps. They

plan to continue testing the

The new 2020 KTM chassis

looking good with Pol...

engine at the Jerez test.

KTM stole a few headlines on

Day 2. For their speed – Pol

Espargaro’s impressive showing

and that of Red Bull KTM Tech

3’s Iker Lecuona – and they had

the new kids on the block, Brad

Binder and Lecuona, taking some

tips from the veterans. But there

were also a few crashes, with

each of the three racers all going

down. Espargaro first, Lecuona

later and Binder even later in

the day. Espargaro’s crash,

however, led to his fastest lap

as he was then forced to switch

bike to another new chassis –

and found immediate positives.

He was eighth and did 46 laps,

Pedrosa 14th after 48 laps and

Lecuona just 0.045 off the threetime

World Champion by the

end of play. Binder did 66 laps

on Day 2.

The Ducati Team’s Andrea

Dovizioso, meanwhile, was

focused on gathering more

information on what they

tested on Day 1, one big thing

of note being a new chassis.

Some sensors were spotted on

the rear of the Borgo Panigale

machine too on the Wednesday,

and the ‘salad box’ was back.

Danilo Petrucci, however, was

not back. The Italian remained

sidelined by his bothersome

shoulder, although Michele

Pirro was once again on track

to put the laps in – 40 of

them – and Jack Miller was all

action stations too. The Aussie

explained he’d been doing

back to back comparisons with

the first version of the 2020

machines because the number

09 was ruled out. Miller was

fastest Ducati in 10th, just

ahead of Dovizioso. Tito Rabat

was 12th, ahead of Pirro.

For Aprilia, it was another day

of track action working with

their 2019 machines. Aleix

Espargaro was 16th after 43

laps, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

teammate Andrea Iannone in

19th. Espargaro crashed at the

final corner, and Iannone ran on

at Turn 1 with the RS-GP then

catching alight – rider ok. Test

rider Bradley Smith was also

on track and did another 32

laps to add to the informationgathering

tally.


Jerez 2020 test: Vinales on top.

Yamaha lead Suzuki at

the Circuito de Jerez-

Angel Nieto as the

weather and red flags

disrupt action.

Monster Energy Yamaha

MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales

set a 1:37.131 on Day 1 of the

Jerez Test to head Fabio

Quartararo by 0.754, with Joan

Mir completing the top three

on the timing screens. Repsol

Honda Team’s Marc Marquez

suffered a crash at Turn 13 as

red flags and showers disrupt

the opening day of action in

Andalucia.

At Yamaha, Viñales seemed

content with using the

aluminium swingarm as he

immediately went quick in

the morning, dipping into

the 1:38s before getting his

time down to a 1:37 not long

after midday. Both he and

teammate Valentino Rossi had

one 2020 and one 2019 bike in

the garage, with the nine-time

Champion lapping on the new

bike with the carbon swingarm

for larger parts of the day.

Rossi had some positive

thoughts after Day 1, but also

admitted Yamaha have areas

to work on.

At Petronas Yamaha SRT,

neither Quartararo or

Morbidelli have the carbon

swingarm available on the

Monday, but Quartararo and

Morbidelli confirmed they’d

been trying a 2020 Yamaha

prototype engine on Day 1. The

Frenchman had on off-track

excursion in the morning, with

both riders sitting up the sharp

end of the times for most of

the day.

On paper, it was a solidlooking

day for Suzuki. Mir and

Alex Rins finished inside the

top four as work continued on

the 2020 GSX-RR engine. Test

rider Sylvain Guintoli was also

lapping around Jerez to help

Mir and Rins, the Frenchman

completing 63 laps on Day 1.

Team Manager Davide Brivio

confirmed to Simon Crafar

that there was more positive

feedback on the engine, with

Brivio also placing importance

on “back-to-back” testing with

old and new parts.x’ was back.

Danilo Petrucci, however, was

not back. The Italian remained

sidelined by his bothersome

shoulder, although Michele

Pirro was once again on track

to put the laps in – 40 of

them – and Jack Miller was all

action stations too. The Aussie

explained he’d been doing

back to back comparisons with

the first version of the 2020

machines because the number

09 was ruled out. Miller was

fastest Ducati in 10th, just

ahead of Dovizioso. Tito Rabat

was 12th, ahead of Pirro.

For Aprilia, it was another day

of track action working with

their 2019 machines. Aleix

Espargaro was 16th after 43

laps, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

teammate Andrea Iannone in

Joan Mir and the Suzuki getting

better and better.


19th. Espargaro crashed at the

final corner, and Iannone ran on

at Turn 1 with the RS-GP then

catching alight – rider ok. Test

rider Bradley Smith was also

on track and did another 32

laps to add to the informationgathering

tally.

Reigning World Champion

Marquez was thankfully ok after

a big crash, where he was later

diagnosed with a dislocated

shoulder but was given the all

clear to continue testing after a

trip to the medical centre. The

Spaniard had three bikes in the

box and on the other side, his

double World Champion brother

Alex Marquez had two bikes. The

Jerez Test gives the 2019 Moto2

World Champion a chance to

spend more time adjusting to

the premier class, with one of

Alex Marquez’ Hondas featuring

a carbon reinforcement around

the headstock. The MotoGP

rookie continued to work with

the 2019 RC213V, finishing P17

on the timesheets, with older

brother Marc Marquez taking

up the testing work on the 2020

bike to end the day P6. Also

testing 2020 parts for Honda

was LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal

Crutchlow, the British rider

ended the day P7.

Speaking in Valencia, Andrea

Dovizioso (Ducati Team) said

Jerez was important to confirm

New HRC livery for Alex

Marquez at this test.

what they’d been trying at the

Circuit Ricardo Tormo worked

at another circuit. One of the

Italian’s Desmosedici machines

featured the new, bigger ‘salad

box’ on the rear as Dovizioso

continued to work on Ducati’s

new chassis, comparing it to

the old. The feeling, according

to the man himself, was

good, but more analysis and

understatements are needed to

make a bigger step in the future.

Test rider Michele Pirro joined

Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci in

Jerez, just as he did in Valencia.

The Italian was riding with some

sort of sensor on top of the

tail unit, with Pirro suffering a

crash at Turn 6 – rider ok. The

Ducati guys were unable to test

everything planned, but it was

crucial for Petrucci to get 48

laps under his belt after having

to miss most of the Valencia

Test through injury.

At Pramac Racing, it is unsure

whether Jack Miller was testing

Ducati’s new chassis in Jerez.

The Australian said he would be

in Valencia as he finished just

behind Petrucci and Dovizioso

on the Day 1 timesheets as

Ducatis placed P9, P10 and P11

respectively. On the subject of

Ducati, Eric Granado was testing

for Reale Avinita Racing, the

FIM Enel MotoE World Cup race

winner had small off but quickly

returned to the garage, finishing

the day just under six seconds

off Viñales’ scorching pace.

Francesco Bagnaia remains

sidelined after his Valencia crash.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s

Pol Espargaro had three bikes

at his disposal, one old and two

new ones. The Spaniard was

very pleased after the Valencia

Test with KTM’s progress and

having finished P8 on the time

screens on Day 1 in Valencia,

it seems the 2020 RC16 is

working well. The Spaniard

did suffer a crash near the end

of the day, he was ok though

and Espargaro confirmed the

new bike was getting better

in the places where KTM had

weaknesses. Teammate Brad

Binder continued to get to grips

with his new machine, the South

African completed 67 laps and

finished P21, 2.8 seconds from

Viñales. Test rider Dani Pedrosa

had to sit out of the action due

to illness, while Iker Lecuona

completing 38 laps to finish

P20. The Spaniard crashed on

Day 1 at Turn 4, he was ok, with

Lecuona explaining how Jerez

has been more difficult on a

MotoGP bike than Valencia.

Over at Aprilia Racing Team

Gresini, there is nothing majorly

new to report. Aleix Espargaro

was the fastest RS-GP rider

on track in P12, with Andrea

Iannone sitting just behind his

teammate on the time screens

in P13. Bradley Smith continued

his testing duties in Jerez, the

British rider completing 67 laps

on Day 1.

Day two of the testing would

take place the day after we sent

this issue to the printers, so we

just managed to scrape this bit

of action in for you. For more

info on how day two of testing

went check out the MotoGP.com

page or our RideFast Magazine

Facebook page.

Brad enjoying the grip from the

Michelin MotoGP slick tyres.


TYRE TECH TALK

by Bruce de Kock, owner of Bike Tyre Warehouse Midrand

Holiday season already… I wish our bikes went

as fast as time does! Anyway, it’s December

and hopefully you’re all planning a lot of saddle

time over the period. Remember, it doesn’t

matter whether you’re going on a long tour or

just a quick weekend getaway, you must make

sure your tyres have enough tread for both

legs of the journey - especially as it’s the rainy

season and nobody wants to aquaplane on

the tar. It’s just not worth the risk of dropping

your bike or injuring yourself and ending up in

hospital on New Year’s Eve, or worse.

With these factors in mind, I’ve decided to

give you info on the latest offerings from

Pirelli - namely the Pirelli Angel GT II, as this

tyre is available for sport tourers, supers and

adventures. Also, the Pirelli Rosso Corsa 2,

which is great for anyone wanting rubber for

knee-down holiday action! I got quite intimate

with the Rossa Corsa 2 last year while running

full technical support at the international

launch at Kyalami. Pirelli’s R25 million budget

meant that the top international test pilots and

motorsport journos were present to talk to.

That, combined with 10 days at the track with

access to the V4s, MVs and 1000RRs etc, and I

can safely say I know a little about the handling

of this tyre…

The Pirelli Angel GT II is an upgrade on the

ever-popular Angel GT and the successor to the

Angel ST, making this tyre the 3rd generation of

the famous Gran Turismo sports touring Angel

range – which, in Pirelli’s words, has thousands

of hours of testing on road and track to reach a

new level for sports touring tyres.

The Angel GT II boasts a new tread pattern,

construction, EMS (Extended Mileage Sport)

technology and new compounds for increased

grip, confidence and mileage – all of which

makes it an aggressive, attractive tyre! The

new tread pattern provides improved water

evacuation for confident handling when the

weather turns. It was inspired by the trusted

Pirelli Diablo Wet tyres, which were produced

for intermediate wet weather track racing and

feature the now shared twin radial grooves.

Warm-up is fast and the tyres offer an excess of

front and rear grip. They steer with the accuracy

of a sports tyre and really shine in mixed

conditions, allowing confidence all the time.

What I find interesting – and this only applies

to bikes with ABS and traction control – is

Pirelli’s new tech which is designed to manage

a stuttering tyre on the edge of grip.

While the Angel II has not been given the

exposure here that it has enjoyed in Europe,

we’ve sold a surprisingly high number in the

short time that it’s been available. So if you’re

looking at new sport touring rubber for your

holiday trip, this is definitely a tyre to consider.

BIKETYRE WAREHOUSE MIDRAND’S

UNBEATABLE ‘ANGEL GT II’

Combo Tyre Deals:

• 120/70R-17 & 160/60R-17, R4060.00

• 120/70R-17 & 180/55R, R4170.00

• 120/70R-17 & 190/50R-17, R4300.00

• 120/70R-17 & 190/55R-17, R4370.00

• 120/70R-17 & 180/55R-17, R4350.00

• 120/70R-17 & 190/50R-17, R4465.00

• 120/70R-17 & & 170/60-17, R4000.00

Tel: 011 205 0216 • Cell: 073 777 9269 / 083 467 1349

Unit 9 Sable Park, 997 Richards Drive, Midrand


ALL THE PREMIUM BRANDS

THAT COUNT UNDER ONE ROOF

As I mentioned earlier, the Pirelli Diablo Rosso

Corsa II launched here last year in our own

backyard at Kyalami. This tyre transfers racetrack

performance into street versatility and was

definitely developed for fast riding (and more than

the odd track day!). The Rosso Corsa II replaces

the eight-year-old Rosso Corsa and sits nicely

between Pirelli’s Rosso III sports tyre and the

track-day focused Diablo Super Corsa SP.

Highlights of the Diablo Rosso Corsa II include:

• Pirelli technology developed within the World

Superbike Championship

• Bi-compound solution for the front tyre —

applying the two compounds in three different

zones

• Triple compound on the rear distributed in five

zones, which is a first for Pirelli

• New tread pattern design

The Rosso Corsa II particularly impresses on the

road with the improvements in agility, which

is thanks to the new front and rear profiles

developed from WSBK racing. These aim to

increase the contact patch on the side when

cornering gets aggressive, while simultaneously

featuring a narrower crown for easy steering,

just like a race tyre.

The massive amounts of rear grip stems from

the new triple compound construction.

At full lean you’re on the slick part of the tyre,

which is constructed from the same sticky

SC3 racing compound you’ll find in Pirelli’s

endurance and track-day slicks. The mid-section

is constructed with a blend of compounds

allowing confidence and grip even in wet

conditions. The hard compound middle is there

to increase mileage.

The dual compound front is soft on the edges,

harder in the middle and a new tread pattern

has just 2% more grooves than a Super Corsa.

They also feature slick derived wear indicator

dots, so you know when it’s time for a new one.

In Pirelli’s own tests at Mugello they achieved

lap times 2–3 seconds faster than the original

Rosso Corsa, generating leaner angle and faster

corner speeds. Away from the track, the new

tyres have a sporty, but plush ride and definitely

warm up quickly as experienced not only by the

test pilots, but also by local journos Donovan

Fourie and Rob Portman who have all written

their own spreads on this tyre.

Anyway guys and girls, that’s my contribution

for the year as far as writing goes. I wish you

all a fantastic holiday season; please be safe on

the roads and remember DON’T DRINK & RIDE!

If you do enjoy a couple, as we all do over the

festive period, rather get a lift.

We have great deals on these tyres for

December, so pop in anytime to BTW Midrand

A very simple break down of the tyre’s construction.

for the #bestadvice #bestservice #bestprice.

Even if you don’t buy, I’m happy to have my

team inspect your tyres pre-journey, with no

obligation. Let’s just make sure you are road

legal & safe.

Take care & enjoy the open road.

Bruce de Kock

Bike Tyre Warehouse Midrand

BIKETYRE WAREHOUSE MIDRAND’S

UNBEATABLE ‘DIABLO ROSSO CORSA II’

Combo Deals Tyre Deals:

• 120/70R-17 & 160/60-17, R4290.00

• 120/70R-17 & 180/55-17, R4415.00

• 120/70R-17 & 190/50-17, R4525.00

• 120/70R-17 & 190/55-17, R4630.00

• 120/70R-17 & 200/55-17, R4685.00

Facebook @BikeTyreWarehouse • Twitter @biketyrewhse

www.biketyrewarehouse.com


||| PRODUCTS FEATURE

X-LITE X-803 ULTRA CARBON HELMETS

The X-Lite helmet brand is now back in SA and their top-of-the-range

X-803 Ultra Carbon range of helmets are simply stunning and really

well priced. Featuring base graphics and replica lids from the likes

of top MotoGP and WSBK stars Danilio Petrucci and Chaz Davies, the

X-803 range has all the style and protection one could ask for.

This is X-lite’s exclusive high-carbon content version of the full face

racing helmet. Its reduced weight and compact size (thanks to the

carbon-rich construction and the availability of three outer shell sizes),

emergency cheek pad removal system (NERS - Nolan Emergency

Release System), reliable visor mechanism with a Double Action

system, efficient RAF (Racing Air Flow) ventilation system and Carbon

Fitting Racing Experience inner comfort padding (with an updated net

construction) make the X-803 ULTRA CARBON the most exclusive full

face racing helmet for the most demanding of motorcyclists.

Make sure you visit the X-Lite SA Facebook page for the full range

of graphics available in the X-803 range - www.facebook.com/

xlitehelmetsSA/

Available from X-Lite SA starting from R10,500.

xlitehelmets@gmail.com

STYLMARTIN RAPTOR EVO SHOES

Although more commonly identified with birds of prey or

their ancestral velociraptor, raptor literally means “that

which takes by force.” In the case of the Stylmartin Raptor

EVO Shoes, both connotations accurately capture the

temperament of these stealthy all-weather riding shoes.

Touting multi-season functionality via a full waterproof and

breathable membrane concealed beneath camouflage fabric,

micro-perforated footbed, and swanky oiled leather accents,

the Stylmartin Raptor Shoes have seized a position at the top

of the food chain- a true apex-predator in their class.

Features include:

• Camo fabric and greasy water repellent leather inserts

• Waterproof and breathable lining

• PU internal malleuolus protection on both sides of ankle

• Lace-up style

• Rear reflective yellow insert

• Anatomic, changeable and breathable micro-perforated

footbed

• Two-colored (grey and black) antislip rubber sole

Available from Aprilia SA at R3,600. (010) 443 4596

30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


PAUL JACOBS

2019 CSRA

Champion

Pic by Beam Productions

Thanks to my Sponsors

and Supporters for

making this possible!


THE PERFECT

CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Please people, soap-on-a-rope is so dark ages so why not spoil

your MotoGP nutter loved one with any one of these items.

VR46 BEACH TOWEL

R649

VR46 SUN AND

MOON SANDALS

R399

VR46 RIG9800 LIMITED

EDITION LUGGAGE BAG

R5,500

VR46 RENEGADE LIMITED

EDITION BACKPACK

R3,400

ROSSI MOVISTAR

YAMAHA 2017

MINICHAMPS

R2,200

MARQUEZ REPSOL

HONDA 2015

MINICHAMPS

R2,200

RED BULL KTM

TEAM CAP

R800

OFFICIAL VR46 SHIRTS

R699

MM93 AUSTIN

SPECIAL EDITION CAP

R849

MM93 CATALUNYA

SPECIAL EDITION CAP

R750

MM93 BIG ANT

ADULTS CAP

R750

MM93 LABYRINTH

BASEBALL CAP

R750

All the gifts featured here are available from Planes Trains Automobiles.

Vist one of their two stores now for these and other great offers. They stock a massive

range of MotoGP and F1 rider/driver merchandise, team gear and memrobillia.

Shop 9 High Street Melrose Arch Johannesburg (011) 684 1100

Shop UK2 Bedford Centre, Smith Rd, Bedford Gardens, Bedfordview (011) 615 4995



PANIGALE

ESSENCE

Following in the footsteps of it’s bigger, more illustrious brothers, the 959

Panigale get’s a fresh new upgrade to be “More Panigale” and is now so much

more than just the baby Panigale. Jensen Beeler from Asphalt & Rubber went

along to the world launch test of the new Ducati Panigale V2...

It has been four years since the Ducati

959 Panigale replaced the 899 as

the Italian brand’s “middleweight”

superbike, and 26 years since the

Ducati 748 Superbike first hit the

streets, and started this smaller Italian

v-twin adventure.

In that two-decades-plus, we

have seen this middleweight offering

from Ducati outgrow the Supersport

Championship rules, and it now

approaches near liter-bike capacities

– an inch-by-inch search for more

power and performance.

Updated once again for the 2020

model year, it will be the Ducati

Panigale V2 keeping those v-twin

hopes alive for Ducatisti around the

world, as the Italian brand continues to

offer this curious motorcycle.

Of course, better minds will know

that the Ducati Panigale V2 is not

a middleweight, as Ducati so often

calls it (though to be fair, the term

“super-mid” is starting to be used),

but the oddly displaced machine is

an excellent track bike, especially for

those who have grown tired of chasing

absolute horsepower, and instead

want to make their lap times with

actual on-bike talent.

Finding ourselves at the demanding

Jerez circuit in Spain, this tight and

technical track proved not only to be

a good testing ground for the Ducati

Panigale V2, but also a testament into

how much fun a superbike like this

v-twin can be for those who aren’t

swept up in the industry marketing and

who aren’t hand-bound by racing rules.

The Track Weapon Sales Pitch

Here is a secret I will share with you: I

don’t find myself enjoying superbikes

as much as I used to…and that is

an interesting statement from a

“superbike guy” like myself.

The trend is larger than my own

personal preferences though, and in

many ways, the Ducati Panigale V2 is

a reaction to what is happening in the

superbike category.

As the power on these one-liter

machines climbs beyond 200hp,

the segment increasingly relies on

electronics to make the bikes rideable,

which detracts from the experience.

These fire-breathers also demand

more from the riders themselves. Not

only are the physical demands larger

for wrestling around these machines,

but so are the mental demands that

require extracting the total potential of

a 200hp motorcycle.

While there is reward in mastering

the un-masterable, the fun factor drops

when you get too far beyond 150hp, and

the dropoff on that curve is quite steep.

This is where bikes like the Ducati

Panigale V2 come into play, and offer

riders a performance machine that

makes superbikes great again.

Built with a unique v-twin, that

helps play into the long history

that Ducati has with this engine

configuration, and shipped with true

superbike electronics, the Panigale V2

makes for an intriguing offer, and it is

designed to go after a more selecting

type of customer: the average track

day enthusiast.

This has been the pitch from the

Italian brand since the Ducati 899

Panigale first arrived, and while it has

remained the same through time to

where we are now with the Ducati

Panigale V2, the idea is now even

more relevant because of what has

developed in the liter-bike space.

Can We Call It a 959+ ???

In a way, it is the 200hp superbike

category that has carved the Panigale

V2 from the 959 Panigale.

The most important changes that

come with the Ducati Panigale V2 are

those that are tougher to see, and

the highlight of those has to be the

inclusion of a six-axis IMU.

34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


ENGINE POWER

TORQUE WEIGHT

999CC 155 104 176

Liquid cooled

4-stroke 16valve

DOHC, Inline 4

HP @ 10,750RPM

NM @ 9,000RPM

DRY WEIGHT

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 3 5


This simple device gives the

Panigale V2 state-of-the-art

electronics, which includes a

cornering ABS package that has

the rear-wheel slide feature. And

yes, you can disable ABS on the

rear wheel, and rear-wheel lift

mitigation for the front wheel…

as it should be.

The six-axis IMU also

enhances the traction control

feature, letting the rear wheel

slide when you are on the gas,

with confidence and control.

With that comes a separate and

distinct wheelie control system,

which is a welcomed addition

to the v-twin superbike. Sadly,

there is no separate slide

control feature.

But, other electronics include

Ducati’s engine braking control

feature, which is useful on

the Superquadro engine (we

prefer Level 3), and the up/

down quickshifter, which was

absolutely flawless during our

testing time.

Lastly on the electronics front

is the new 4.3” TFT dash, which

should be familiar to anyone who

has ridden one of Ducati’s bigger

bikes recently. Though not as big

as the 6” units that are coming

out now from other brands (see:

KTM and BMW), it still gets the

job done reasonably well.

Other enhancements for the

the 2020 model year include

a thicker seat (+5mm), which

keeps the seat height the same,

but narrows the leg gap when

your feet are on the ground.

As you might have noticed,

the single-sided swingarm has

been added for the first time

since the 848 to “middleweight”

machine from Ducati, and

of course the “double layer”

fairings are inspired by those on

the Panigale V4. Ducati says that

the front-wheel weight bias has

increase by 1%, to 52/48.

Our European readers will be

happy to hear that the exhaust

has been changed for 2020 as

well, with the underslung design

homologated for all markets,

not just the USA, which means

saying goodbye to the ugly

shotgun unit that came on the

Ducati 959 Panigale.

The biggest change though

is the one most overlooked one

by the common rider, and that is

the 955cc v-twin engine. Making

now 153hp this 5hp increase to

the peak power figure comes

in spite of Ducati shipping

the Panigale V2 as a Euro5

compliant motorcycle.

With the more stringent

emission standards that are

here and also coming down the

pipe, OEMs will be struggling

to maintain power numbers,

without adding displacement.

Ducati on the other hand has

found a way to make the “mini”

Superquadro engine quieter and

more powerful at the same time,

which isn’t easy to do.

To achieve this, Ducati used

a more efficient air intake into

the airbox, and employed new

injectors that have a higher

flow rate and different angle of

injection.

As you can see then, this is

really the Ducati 959 Panigale

evolved further to become the

Ducati Panigale V2…but the

Italian brand has made these

evolutions in very key areas of

the motorcycle, and they are

more than their sum when it

comes to real-world value.

How It Rides

After describing the the changes

for 2020, I could probably keep

this review quite short. The

Ducati Panigale V2 is exactly

what it is.

It is a Ducati 959 Panigale

with V4 clothing. It is the old

model, but with more and better

electronics. It is the “cheaper”

offering in the superbike line,

but now with a single-sided

swingarm.

36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


If you reduce the Panigale

V2 to those thoughts though,

you do a disservice to what

Ducati has achieved with this

motorcycle because at its

core, the Ducati Panigale V2 is

a track bike for the track day

connoisseur.

The 153hp Superquadro

v-twin engine has a meaty

powerband from 9,000 rpm to

11,000 rpm that gives you a big

window of operation when it

comes not only to track riding,

but also on the street.

The torque curve is so flat,

that you actually lose the

acceleration rush that comes

from a rumbling engine finally

waking up.

This can make it a little tough

to tell where you are on the rev

range from the butt dyno, but

makes the machine very smooth

to operate, and it doesn’t try to

wheelie when ever the throttle

rotates more than one degreee.

For a criticism, that

smoothness does venture into

the subdued at points, but I would

graciously take that over the

inverse, which is part of the ethos

surrounding the Panigale V2.

As you would expect with

the six-axis IMU and the

lower horsepower engine,

the electronics really work

in concert with the machine,

thanks to the work Ducati has

made in its development with

the Panigale V4.

Because the 955cc v-twin

engine doesn’t breath the same

fire as the 1,103 V4, you see the

interventions from the traction

control and wheelie control less

often, which gives you more of

the impression that you are riding

the machine, rather than the

computer making your lap time.

“The power delivery is enough to excite,

but not overwhelm; the handling is solid

though not sharp; and the components

are sufficient but not flashy. Is this the

latest a greatest? Not quite, but its very

close…and very approachable. Most

importantly though, the Ducati Panigale

V2 is fun to ride.”

This make the two-wheeled

experience more enjoyable, and

because of the power figures,

you don’t fatigue as much on the

bike. Despite the workout that is

the Jerez circuit, with its plethora

of heavy-braking zones, the

Ducati Panigale V2 feels like a

bike I could ride all day.

Ducati has left no stone

unturned on this mild update

to the machine (let’s call it

the third-generation of the

“middleweight” Superquadro

machines), but yet the chassis

remains unchanged.

The monocoque frame on

the 959 always worked a bit

better than it did on the 1299

version, again because of the

power differences between

the machines, so this obviously

remains true.

Coupled with fully adjustable

Showa BPF forks and a Sachs

rear shock, the chassis feels

good on the track, though it

isn’t as precise in its cornering

and turning as say some of the

600cc inline-four bikes on the

market. Road-going riders might

see this as a positive trade off,

however, with the Panigale V2

more supple for canyon riding.

Riders might scuff at the

“low-spec” Brembo M4.32

calipers on the front-end of the

Panigale V2, but the braking

system put together by the

Italian brand is more than

sufficient to get the job done.

Intriguing to our eye was

the fact that Ducati has put the

a 180/60 sized rear tire on the

Panigale V2, which provides

ample grip when leaned

over, though at the cost for a

slower roll speed. It would be

interesting to see what a 180/55

option feels like on the Ducati,

and if this would help improve

the slightly sluggish handling of

the v-twin superbike.

Slightly tighter in its

ergonomics than the Panigale

V4, the bike at times does feel a

little cramped, especially from

the torso up on this 6’2” rider, but

at the end of a long day at the

track one does clearly benefit

from the 5mm thicker seat.

All-in-all, the Ducati Panigale

V2 feels like a robust package

for track riders…and it should,

since Ducati has been perfecting

this motorcycle for several

generations now.

The power delivery is enough

to excite, but not overwhelm;

the handling is solid though not

sharp; and the components are

sufficient but not flashy. Is this

the latest a greatest? Not quite,

but its very close…and very

approachable. Most importantly

though, the Ducati Panigale V2 is

fun to ride.

We spent five sessions on the

Panigale V2 (which is more than

normal at a press launch), and

I still wish Ducati had given us

more, as I wasn’t done enjoying

this bike for the day…and that’s

the true test of any motorcycle.

Yeah, But Would You Buy It

When I look at the space for this

odd segment, four bikes come

to mind. There is the Ducati

Panigale V2, obviously. But, there

is also the stout MV Agusta F3

800, the newly released Triumph

Daytona Moto2 765, and the

venerable Suzuki GSX-R750.

Despite starting this segment

so many years ago, sadly Suzuki

has yet to bring a meaningful

update to the GSX-R750, though

there have been creditable

rumors. So while it is in the

space, it is not sensible to

throw its keys into the ring as a

reasonable competitor against

the Ducati Panigale V2. The other

two bikes, however…

For the Triumph, it will be a

game of wait-and-see, as the

British brand hasn’t released

figures on pricing just yet. Rumors

peg the limited edition machine

at close to R350,000 MSRP,

however, and if that its the case,

then the Moto2-inspired machine

will have some difficulties.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 37


Down in power in comparison

to the others, and decidedly

bland in what could have been

an intriguing approach, the

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765

feels like far too little, far too

late, from Hinckley. The potential

for a Moto2 bike with lights is

certainly intriguing, but instead

we go the old Daytona with a

massaged motor and expensive

graphics.

This really leaves the MV

Agusta F3 800 to give the

Ducati Panigale V2 a run for its

money, and that is a formidable

opponent.

We rate the F3 800 as one of

our favorite bikes on the market,

with the 800cc three-cylinder

engine providing good power

and torque from a unique engine

package.

It doesn’t hurt that the MV

Agusta F3 800 is perhaps one

of the best looking motorcycles

produced in the past 20 years

as well.

Despite the R10k premium

the MV Agusta has over the

Ducati though, the F3 800 feels

like a less-refined package than

its Italian counterpart. The MV

Agusta F3 800 is more raw of

bike from the handlebars back,

which can be a positive contrast

to how subdued the Panigale

V2 feels.

But from the handlebars

forward, you can see the age of

the F3 lineup. Ducati continues

to set the standard when it

comes to human interface

design, and it shows in its

approachable dash, easy to

navigate menus, and precise

finger controls.

To put it simply, Ducati has

put into the Panigale V2 the level

of refinement expected at this

price point, where perhaps the

others have not. The price point

is something of an issue though.

At R255,000, the Ducati

Panigale V2 is not a cheap

motorcycle by any standard, but

it is however cheaper than the

current 959 Corse model.

Do you get more for your

money? Absolutely, and frankly,

I would expect only top-shelf

electronics from Ducati on a

motorcycle like the Panigale

V2, which does get a benefit in

safety and ridability from its sixaxis

IMU.

Noticeably, Ducati has left

enough breathing room in the

pricing distance to the Panigale

V4 for an up-spec Panigale

V2 S to find a home, perhaps

in 2021, which could feature

Öhlins suspension pieces and

Stylema calipers from Brembo

(R280 to R300k MSRP would be

my suggestion) – not that the

bike really needs those items,

of course.

Ducati has also left space

south of the Panigale V2 price

tag, and this is what intrigues

me the most.

The complaint I have with

the Ducati Panigale V2 – the

point that keeps me from really

loving this motorcycle – is that

this near-superbike motorcycle

comes with a near-superbike

price tag…and superbikes have

gotten properly expensive in the

past few years.

As such, Ducati has priced

a meaningful portion of its

younger superbike-loving

owners out of this motorcycle

(not to mention the insurance

costs that increase as the

displacement does), and it offers

them no alternative but to find a

home in rival brand Aprilia, with

its recently debuted its twincylinder

RS 660 sport bike.

Faultless, the Panigale V2

only really makes sense when

you see the whole board from

Ducati’s perspective, and if a

true high-revving middleweight

is also in the Italian brand’s

quiver of two-wheeled offerings,

then the Panigale V2 fills an

important spot in the lineup.

As it remains, the Ducati

Panigale V2 remains the only

v-twin superbike on the market,

and it is a superbike that you can

actually enjoy riding.

When you outgrow the

spec-sheet racing that comes

with the superbike bike class,

and the marketing hype of 200+

horsepower, Ducati has the

Panigale V2 waiting for you, and

it is truly a bike built to reward

two-wheeled enthusiasts.

The new V2 Panigale should

arrive in SA early 2020. We

suggest you call Ducati SA to

book yours now - 012 765 0600.

38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Available at dealers Nation-Wide


3 3 - P A G E S P E C I A L

2020 &

3 3 - P A G E S P E C I A L

BEYOND

The best is yet to come!

Since we’ve been around in the bike

business 2020 will by far be the most

exciting, most advanced, most competitive

year of production based machines ever.

Limits have been pushed further than ever

before and off-the-showroom floor bikes

are now more advanced than ever. Naked

bikes seem to be the big theme for 2020

along with wings, which seem to now be a

standard feature on just about every machine.


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While you are in-store make sure you take your copy

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This competition is exclusive to RideFast and PTA.

Entries close 31st December 2019.

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HONDA’S

N E W H O N D A C B R 1 0 0 0 R R - R & S P

BACK IN THE GAME!

42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


“No mere sword could slice and dice like the

new Fireblade. Honda’s apparently been laying

low, honing its new weapon to the sharpest

of edges. Unlike some of its track-focused

competition, Honda claims the CBR1000RR-R

is not merely ready to race. Instead, it is born to

race. Consider that particular gauntlet thrown.”

ENGINE

999CC

Liquid cooled

4-stroke 16valve

DOHC, Inline 4

POWER

214

HP @ 14,500RPM

TORQUE

113

NM @ 12,500RPM

WEIGHT

201

WET WEIGHT

Just when it seemed like

everyone and their brother’s

mother’s cousin were all

over Honda to update

the CBR1000RR Fireblade

already, Honda delivered.

As we suspected, wew

CBR1000RR-R, the Fireblade

is, at last, unsheathed.

Probably the biggest and most

anticipated release at this year’s Eicma

Show in Milan was that of the new

Honda CBR1000RR - or CBR1000RR-R

as it is now know. Apart from the extra

R, the new Fireblade has a host of new

changes, which now makes it one of, if

not the most competitive production

superbike available to the public.

Honda completely redesigned the

CBR1000RR for 2020. It’s not the same

bike with different colours, it’s not a

facelift. The new Fireblade is a completey

different beast. The engine is still an

inline-four, but it’s heavily inspired by

the RC213V-S - combustion efficiency

and low-friction technlogies, while also

sharing the same bore and stroke. It

also features titanium con-rods and

forged aluminium pistons. The result: a

high-power, high-revving engine - 214

hp@14.500 rpm and 113Nm at 12,500.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 43


Bringing the Fireblade closer in line with

its legendary RC213V-S street-legal race bike

was Honda’s goal. If that’s not enough to get

excited about, the CBR1000RR-R also gets

a new aerodynamics package descended

directly from the RC213V race bike. In the

promotional video we featured on our Facebook

page, Marc Márquez described these winglet as

“unbelievable.” Of course, he’s probably going to

say something like that, but we can still take that

exclamation for whatever it’s worth.

Honda also reworked the electronics. The HSTC

(Honda’s Traction Control) is revised and it also

includes a start mode. Through the six-axes IMU

you got total control on the power, engine brake,

wheelie control and traction control. The ride-bywire

throttle was also updated for an improved

feeling. The info you need appears on a new fullcolor

TFT dash.

Honda once again offer a SP variant of the

CBR1000RR-R, which will come with some very

tasty upgrades: second-generation semi-active

Öhlins EC 43mm NPX front forks, an Öhlins TTX36

Smart-EC rear shock, Brembo Stylema four-piston

radial front calipers, and the Brembo monoblock

rear caliper previously seen on the RC213V-S.

The CBR1000RR-R SP is also equipped with

Start Mode (launch control) for race starts. It limits

The new CBR1000RR-R

is available in 2 colours

- Matte Pearl Morion

Black (above) and Grand

Prix Red (below)

SEAT

HEIGHT

WHEEL

BASE

831 1455

MM

MM

44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Straight out of MotoGP

Destined from the outset to compete

in the World Superbike Championship,

the CBR1000RR-R uses a chassis and

bodywork derived from the Honda

RC213V-S race replica with the inlinefour

engine producing 214 hp at 14,500

rpm and 113 Nm of torque at 12,500 rpm.

Race technology is liberally applied in the

CBR1000RR-R with the use of titanium

connecting rods, forged pistons and fingerfollower

rocker arms for valve actuation.

The frame looks like it has been taken off

the MotoGP grid, made from aluminium

alloy and increased rigidity in the vertical

plane as well as torsional resistance but

with more ‘give’ in the horizontal to boost

grip and feel. The swingarm of the 2020

Fireblade is also longer than before to

increase stability and is made from 18

individual pieces of welded alloy.

Electronic stuff

Naturally, a full suite of rider aids

accompanies the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade

with Honda Selectable Torque Control

(HTSC), power, engine braking and wheelie

control with the addition of start mode for

those holeshot starts. Also in the-fit out is

a three-level electronic steering damper

made by Showa for Honda, up-and-down

quickshifter and second generation Ohlins

electronic suspension.

The Blade’s bodywork clearly demonstrates the huge aerodynamic strides that

Honda has taken since its last major revamp. A trio of winglets hides behind the outer

fairing panel on each side, creating – it’s claimed – as much downforce as the 2018

RC213V MotoGP bike, so more stability under braking and out of the corners. Although

not movable, these are very much like the design revealed in Honda’s recent activeaerodynamics

patent, so don’t discount the idea of active versions in future.

Stoppers

Braking is done with Brembo Stylema

callipers on 330 mm diameter discs and

two-level ABS is standard. Aerodynamic

sensibility pervades the new Fireblade

with the rider position designed for pure

racetrack work, aided by winglets on the

sides of the fairing for downforce at speed.

The RR-R’s full-colour TFT dash includes a

lean angle display from the bike’s built-in

inertial measurement unit (IMU) and all the

other info you can dream of.

One will notice there is no place to insert a key - that’s

because the new Blade has a smart key system - not

sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing...


If there’s one thing that we as

motorcycle journalists know

to be a universal truth, it’s

that adding R to a machines

model name makes it faster.

Honda - in a decidedly

atypical “Hold my beer, watch

this” move - decided to take

that ideology to heart.

We’re not entirely sure what

kind of drugs the Honda

powersports design team

is on, but they’re clearly

working. This thing is a beast.

yet for the CBR1000RR-R

Fireblade or Fireblade SP for any

market, but we have heard that

the new bikes will only arrive

here in SA around May/June

2020. Hopefully, Honda SA will

provide more details soon.

Engine sum up:

• Finger-follower rocker arms,

titanium con-rods and forged ali

pistons reduce inertial weight

• Airbox fed by ram-air duct tunnel

through the steering stem

• Titanium end-can developed in

conjunction with Akrapovic

engine rpm at 6,000, 7,000,

8,000 and 9,000rpm set-points,

even with a wide-open throttle,

letting the rider focus on clutch

release (and lights) alone. A

quickshifter is also fitted as

standard, with performance

optimised for racetrack

performance and reliability.

We can’t tell from the images

if Honda has released it with

braided stainless brake lines

instead of rubber on either

version (especially the SP), but

here’s hoping that’s another

significant upgrade from the last

SP. The new brakes are fitted

with a track-mode ABS.

Both versions also get a

brand-new Bosch six-axis IMU,

as well as a titanium Akrapovič

exhaust. Additionally, both

versions will only be available

in your choice of two colour

schemes: Grand Prix Red (the

gorgeous HRC one), or Matte

Pearl Black.

Honda might have taken its

time with this upgrade—but if it

goes as well as it looks, it was

clearly time well spent. The HRC

one, in particular, looks like an

entire meal—and we are totally

dying for just a bite.

There’s no pricing or

availability information available

Chassis and equipment sum up:

• New ali frame and swingarm

• Bosch six-axis Inertial

Measurement Unit (IMU)

• Full colour TFT dash

• Three default riding modes plus

options to customise Power,

Engine Brake and Wheelie control

• Honda Selectable Torque Control

(HSTC) gains slip rate control

• Launch control standard fitment

Aero sum up:

• Aerodynamic fairing reduces

drag coefficient; lower fuel tank

also provides more compact riding

position

• Inner fairing winglets drawn from

the RC213V MotoGP machine

• Honda Smart Key adds

convenience and simplifies topyoke

design

46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019





50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


REAL DEAL

A year ago, Aprilia brought a concept to EICMA

N E W A P R I L I A R S 6 6 0

A year ago, Aprilia brought a concept to EICMA

– a neat looking 660cc sportsbike built around

half an RSV4 motor, with some weird active

aerodynamics. Concept bikes usually get most

of their fun bits filed down to nothing on the sad,

sensible road to production, but the new RS 660,

unveiled at this year’s EICMA show, is a rare beast

indeed – a concept that has made it through the

production process virtually unscathed.

Sure, it’s got mirrors and a

number plate hanger, slightly

higher clip-on handlebars and

a big, chunky, Euro-compliant

exhaust. Fine, the weird active

aerodynamics are gone. And

yes, its red/white/blue/black

colour scheme looks pretty

terrible next to the cleaner,

carbon-centric concept. But this

is basically exactly the bike we

were promised; the overall look

is almost identical.

And what a bike it’ll be for

the road: a featherweight 169

kg dry weight will make the

RS 660 super approachable

and a joy to fling around in the corners – it reminds us a little

of Yamaha’s wacky SZR660 of

the 1990s. The Yamaha was a

bit lighter still, and despite the

fact that its Ténéré-sourced

single cylinder motor was

hugely underpowered at about

40 horses, it was still jolly fun to

ride because it was so easy to

manhandle.

The new Aprilia 660 will

be similarly manhandlable,

but it won’t be even a little bit

underpowered. It flatly crushes

the rest of the middleweight

parallel twin market by pumping

out 100 horses – unless you

count the larger KTM Duke 790,

which makes 105. Combine that

with the lightweight chassis

and you’ve got a genuine road

weapon on your hands that will

likely take a lot of scalps on a

racetrack as well. This thing is

gonna rip.

What’s more, the RS 660 will

get all the electronic goodies

too: a ride-by-wire throttle

(pretty much mandatory for

high-performance bikes wishing

to comply with Euro emissions

standards), a six-axis IMU, and

the full suite of APRC riding

aids: lean angle-sensitive

traction control, wheelie control,

cornering ABS, five riding modes,

you name it.

Price and availability? We

don’t know yet. Looking at

the spec sheet and the brand

name, you can expect this to be

a pricey bike, particularly for a

middleweight, and even more

so for a parallel twin. But it’ll

be a joy to ride; a reasonably

comfy looking, sharp-handling

sportsbike with a throttle you

can genuinely whack wide open

on the regular. Spankability will

be off the charts.

The sexy ali

swingarm and

underslung,

hidden exhaust

looks great.

The RS 660’s full color dash gives access

to the APRC electronic rider aids suite.

Weird, but cool looking double side fairings “optimise stability at high

speeds, protecting both rider and passenger from the air pressure”.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 51


C O N C E P T : A P R I L I A T U O N O 6 6 0

NAKED

MASTERPIECE

One good motorcycle deserves another,

and Aprilia has shown its hand for the

next year or so by giving us a look at the

660 platform in “nakedbike” guise as

well. The Tuono 660 concept is about as

naked as the 1100cc Tuonos are these

days: ie. not that naked at all, with plenty

of plastic up front and a frame-mounted

headlight fairing. But that hasn’t stopped

the big Tuonos from being some of the

baddest and most desirable streetbikes

ever made.

The Tuono 660 concept offers flat

bars, a much lower screen, and side

fairings that have been chopped back to

give a better view of the engine. It looks

like an absolute weapon, and will likely

be lighter than the RS simply thanks to

less plastic. Aprilia says it’ll be slightly

detuned to 95 horsepower, which might

make for a tad more wheelie-happy

torque down lower. From the looks of

things, it’ll get all the electronic goodies

too, and interestingly Aprilia says it’ll

also make a 45-horsepower version,

which will meet learner-approved

motorcycle schemes in several markets

with graduated licensing.

There’s no word on when the mini-

Tuono (Tueenie?) will hit production, but

it seems reasonable to assume it’ll debut

at EICMA 2020 at the latest, and will look

pretty much exactly like this concept

when it does. Excellent!

52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


2020 RSV4 1100 Factory

gets electronic Öhlins

Thanks to new and highly sophisticated semi-active

suspension, the fastest, most powerful and lightweight RSV4

of all time becomes even more efficient on track and enjoyable

on the road. The control unit that governs the Öhlins Smart EC

2.0 suspension has access to all the bike’s electronic systems,

meaning it is able to recognise all riding phases and therefore

adapt calibration of the fork, shock absorber and steering

damper hydraulics thanks to the development of an algorithm,

the fruit of collaboration between Öhlins and Aprilia.

The new V4 1100 Factory will be arriving in SA soon, contact

Aprilia SA on 010 443 4596 for more info.

2020 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100

Factory gets more carbon

and new colours

Tuono V4 1100 Factory is the most exclusive version in the Tuono

range, dedicated to an extremely demanding public and equipped

with components that largely derive from the Aprilia RSV4 superbike.

The front mudguard, engine cover and side panels of the Factory

are now in carbon fibre, a prestigious material that, as well as being

lightweight and resistant, is able to boost the level of construction

quality, now at a peak. The Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory offers, as

standard, the most advanced and efficient electronic suspension

system currently available, the latest technological frontier proposed

by manufacturer Öhlins and developed in close collaboration with

Aprilia engineers. The particular technology of the Smart EC 2.0 semiactive

suspension system allows for simple and even customised

calibration of the fork and shock absorber with two operating modes

on the units: semi-active mode and manual mode, both of which can

be selected using the buttons on the handlebar. The wide range of

electronic equipment includes Cornering ABS as well as the advanced

package of APRC electronic controls. The wonderful Aprilia V4 engine

delivers maximum power of 175 HP and maximum torque of 121 Nm,

values at the top of the category: a real generator of excitement, on

both road and track.

The new Tuono V4 1100 Factory will be arriving in SA soon, contact

Aprilia SA on 010 443 4596 for more info.

Aprilia RS 250 SP

Aprilia is on a roll. Besides the RS 660, Tuono 660 and

updated V4 1100’s, they’ve added this Aprilia RS 250 SP.

It’s a purpose-built race bike which the manufacturer aims

to find the next grand prix superstar.

The bike is the result of a collaboration between Aprilia

and Ohvale.

It’s fitted with the right high performance bits such as 17-

inch wheels that will fit Pirelli race tyres, Brembo brakes,

Ohlins suspension, SC Project race exhaust, among others.

The engine is sourced from Aprilia, while Ohvale will be in

charge of production. As promised, the Aprilia RS 250 SP

will be the star of the Italian FMI Aprilia Sport Production

Championship. The single-make series will run through

six rounds in 2020, and Aprilia hopes to find the next

Capirossi, Biaggi or Rossi.

“The new championship takes up a tradition that makes

Aprilia unique, a brand that has taken generations of

young people onto the track and that has raised up great

champions,” said Massimo Rivola, CEO of Aprilia Racing.

“From 2020, thanks to the partnership with the Federation,

we will once again be providing fun for young people who,

in this championship, will find a way to make their dreams

come true and perhaps, this is our wish, the start of a path

in the world of competitive motorcycling.”

“This is why we have designed an easy bike and formula

that will attract the highest number of young people to

competitive motorcycling.”

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 5 3


“KTM’s original 1290 Super Duke R was dubbed The

Beast when it was released in 2014. After it’s last

comprehensive update in 2017 it became known

as Beast 2.0 but for 2020 KTM are unleashing an

essentially all-new Beast thanks to a new chassis

and electronics harnessing a heavily revised

version of the charismatic LC8 V-Twin.”

54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


N E W K T M 1 2 9 0 S U P E R D U K E R

MORE BEAUTY FOR THE

BEAST

They call it The Beast, and for good reason, because the KTM 1290 Super

Duke is a v-twin monster for the street, and now for the 2020 model year, it

is getting even more beastly as it just debuted at EICMA.

The 1290 Super Duke R was a game changer in the supernaked

segment, utilising brute power to blow everything else away and came

to be known as “The Beast.” Some came close for 5 years since its

launch in 2014, but it still ruled the roost as the King of Supernakeds.

It’s because the 1290 Super Duke R’s 1301cc, 75-degree V-Twin

made 177 bhp and it’s torque was the highest at 140 Nm at 7,000 rpm.

But as beastly as it is, that power is held in check by some really

smart electronics and chassis combination. KTM was the first

manufacturer to utilise the inertial measurement unit in the 1190

Adventure, and the component is in The Beast, as well. As such, there’s

all the cornering traction control, cornering ABS, cornering lights,

and so forth. But KTMs have one extra “supermoto” ride mode which

allows the rider to power slide the rear wheel.

For 2020 KTM knew that changes had to be made. They have new

rivals emerging in the form of Ducati’s new Streetfighter V4, MV’s

hyper naked’s and Kawasaki’s supercharged Z H2. These new bikes all

boast ridiculous power figures of 200hp and up, while in the case of

the Ducati still showoff slim weight figures.

So, has KTM matched those power figures? Have they managed to

shed some weight off the “Beast”? These were the big changes that

needed to be made in order to keep it at the top of the food chain.


What’s changed?

Well, not much as far as the engine goes. It’s still the strong, punchy

V-Twin pushing out slightly more horses (up 3 from 174 to 177) and

actually dropping 1Nm of torque (141 down to 140). While complying

with Euro5 has seen a very small increase in power, it’s at the expense

of torque – only by a fraction, but it’s 14% higher in the rev range too

(now at 8,000 rpm not 7,000).

The engine’s capacity is unchanged at 1,301cc, while compression has

dropped slightly from 13.6:1 to 13.5:1.

The main changes for the new 2020 bike come in the form of the

chassis and components. A new chassis has been thrown into the mix,

which is closely based off what was seen on the KTM RC8 superbike.

The Beast even loses weight in the process, with a claimed 189kg

when dry, 6 kilos off the previous model.

Gearing is the same as the previous model and the suspension is

now the APEX fork and shock from WP.

With all that brawn on tap, there is some brains as well. To that end,

a six-axis IMU has been thrown into the electronics package, which

helps power traction control, wheelie control, and cornering ABS (with

rear-wheel “supermoto” mode, as it should be).

Braking is handled by Brembo, with Stylema calipers featuring at

the front. Of course, suspension is done by WP, with 48mm APEX forks

at the front, and an APEX shock at the rear. There is even a big “fish

finder” TFT dash to keep you warm at night.

We will have to wait and see if we crack the nod to the world launch

test and figure out wether or not this new bike is better than the

previous gen. One big component missing from the new 2020 SD 1290

R is that of wings, which every other manufaturer has seen fit to add

and as a must to have featured on their bikes.

Either way it looks like KTM’s rein at the top of the naked bike pile

might come to and end with its competitors boasting more power

figures and wings to help in the stability department. Having said that,

the weight loss and updated electronics and suspension could help

keep them at the top as big power figures don’t always translate to the

overall best package. No doubt KTM will hope this is true...

TORQUE

140

NM @

8,000RPM

POWER

177

HP @

9,500RPM

WHEEL

BASE

1497

MM

SEAT

HEIGHT

835

MM

ENGINE

1301 CC

2-CYLINDER

V 75º

56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



SUPER

N E W K T M 8 9 0 D U K E

SCALPEL

Super Scalpel, huh? Well, the new 890 Duke R exists between

the 790 Duke, aka the Scalpel and the 1290 Super Duke,

so Super Scalpel it is. “Beast-Duke with a Scalpel” probably

wouldn’t fit on the tank, anyway.

You’re not remembering wrong, they

did just introduce the all-new 790

Duke a couple years ago. So why

produce an upgrade this soon? The

answer, we think, is that this isn’t a

replacement. The meaner 890 R will

be sold alongside the 790. They’re

just expanding their range, mainly

for coun tries like SA where there is

no replacment for displacment.

The 890 Duke R uses an

upgraded 790 parallel twin, now

making 121 horsepower! That’s 15

more than the 790, and yet the 890

weighs almost 3 kilos less at 166

kilos (dry). Making a very strong

58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


99Nm of torque @ 7,750rpm, the new 890 Duke R

gains 12Nm 250rpm earlier in the revs than the 790

Duke and 16bhp 250rpm later in the rev range.

Compression is increased in the 890cc motor from

the 12.7:1 of the 790 to 13.5:1. The 46mm DKK Dell-Orto

throttle body remains, and the motor still has four

valves per cylinder. Equally, the gear ratios remain

unchanged from the 790 Duke, and the slip/assist

clutch is still used.

Just like the Super Duke R, the 890 R gets WP

Apex suspension front and back, plus those Stylema

calipers and 320 mm brakes.

Other tweaks compared to the 790 Duke include a

steering head angle that drops from 66° to 65.7°, an

increase in trail from 98mm to 99.7mm, an increase

in wheelbase from 1,475mm to 1,482mm and a taller

seat – now 834mm, up from 825mm. Being an R

model, ground clearance is also 206mm, up from

186mm on the ‘standard’ 790 Duke.

No word on when the new 890 will arrive here in

SA but we are hoping to be sent to the world launch

test in early 2020 and should have all the info by then.

TORQUE

99

NM @

7,750RPM

SEAT

HEIGHT

834

MM

WHEEL

BASE

1482

MM

ENGINE

890CC

2-CYLINDER

TWIN

POWER

121

HP @

9,250RPM

New KTM 390

Adventure

The new KTM 390 Adventure has

harnessed the attributes and DNA from

the popular and highly rated KTM 790

Adventure as well as the development

information gleaned from nearly two

decades of Dakar Rally success.

A breezy, agile, and ideal entry model

for riders keen to discover the ‘adventure’

sensation, this motorcycle offers added

versatility for touring and light offroading.

Using elements of the KTM 390 Duke

as a base, the KTM 390 Adventure offers

proximity to the feeling and performance

found at the root of the all-conquering

KTM 450 Rally, but entry-level licence

compatibility and current Euro emissions

standards as part of the package.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 5 9


N E W M V A G U S T A B R U T A L E 1 0 0 0 R R

BRUTALLY

SEDUCTIVE

It’s fair to say that MV Agusta stole the show at this

It’s fair to say that MV Agusta stole the show at this

year’s Eicma revealing some of the finest works-of-art

the motorcycle industry has ever seen. The first being the

new V4-powered Brutale 1000 RR... with wings.

MV Agusta has unveiled the new 2020

MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR and this

time around it gets a new motor which

is marginally downsized, but packs in

more horses. It’s based on the MV Agusta

Brutale 1000 Serie Oro which is a street

bike with a new F4 engine. The 998 cc,

liquid and oil cooled , inline-4 cylinder

motor which is the key highlight of the

new model, churns out 205 bhp at 13,450

rpm and 117 Nm of peak torque at 11,000

rpm offering enough pull to clock a top

speed of 299 kmph. The engine is mated to

a 6-speed transmission and channelizes

power to the rear wheel through a chain

drive system. To ensure smooth running, it

gets a splitter lubricant system featuring a

semi dry sump for optimum oil flow when

bike is leaning at extreme angles.

The new Brutale 1000 RR is kitted up

fairly well to make the right sound and

enhance performance. It gets a 4-1-4

60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


ENGINE

998CC

4-CYLINDER

16-VALVE

POWER

208

HP @

13,000RPM

TORQUE

116

NM @

11,000RPM

WHEEL

BASE

1415

MM

SEAT

HEIGHT

845

MM

Arrow exhaust system with

a throttle valve to deliver

heavy torque at lower rpms

and the Italian brand has

partnered with Eldor for

Electronics. It features full

ride-by-wire technology

with four riding modes-

Sport, Race, Rain and Custom

where the latter allows the

rider to control the settings

to suit your riding style.

There is also an eight-level

traction control system

which can be deactivated

if required, wheelie control,

launch control, ABS with rear

wheel lift mitigation, and

quickshifter.

The Brutale 1000 RR

gets MV Agusta’s trellis

frame made of steel and

aluminium and incorporates

a signature single-sided

swingarm. It also gets semi

clip-on handle bars along

with improved ergonomics

to offer a comparatively

comfortable riding posture.

It has a dry weight of 186 kg

and suspension duties are

handled by Ohlins electronic

NIX EC fork upfront and TTX

rear shock absorber along

with EC electronic steering

damper. Braking duties are

handled by top-spec Brembo

Stylema front calipers biting

the 320 mm discs and at the

rear you get a 220 mm disc

with a dual piston caliper. It

also features a Bosch 9 Plus

anti-lock braking system

(ABS) as standard along

with a Race Mode. The 2020

MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR

is fairly loaded in terms of

features being equipped with

a 5-inch TFT screen, LED

lights along with cornering

lights, cruise control, forged

aluminium wheels and

MV ride navigation app

connectivity among others.

For more info on pricing

and availability call Fire It! Up

on 011 467 0737.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 6 1


N

RUSHING

E W M V A G U S T A R U S H 1 0 0 0

AHEAD

A spin-off from the Brutale 1000 RR the new MV

Agusta Rush 1000 has looked to the sport of drag

racing for inspiration to come up with the new look.

The only production bike

utilizing radial valves and

titanium connecting rods to

assist in developing 208 hp in

standard road homologation

form (over 212 hp with nonhomologated

exhaust and

updated ECU).

Born as an exercise in style,

celebrating the technical and

stylistic evolution that created

the new Brutale 1000 RR,

production of the Rush 1000 is

scheduled to begin in the next

few months.

The front headlight unit,

inspired by that of the exclusive

RVS #1, offers a specific design

and is distinguished with the

technology implemented: it

boasts is a Full LED unit with

cornering function, designed

to increase active safety and

improve driving pleasure.

The headlight support

and the circular frame are in

light CNC machined alloys,

to enhance the design and

functionality. The back cover

of the optical unit is made of

carbon fiber, a material also

chosen for the minimalist

passenger seat cover, as well

as for the side panels of the

tail. The tank cap is made of

aluminum and is also CNC

machined.

The rear wheel is enclosed,

a design sometimes found

on drag strips: the rear rim in

forged aluminum is concealed

by a carbon fiber cover,

designed to obtain the best

aerodynamic performance. The

fixing nut of the single sided

rear wheel is in CNC machined

aluminum alloy. To add contrast

the front wheel is spoked.

The rear tailpiece, passenger

seat area and integration of

the rear light unit have been

specially designed for this

vehicle. An exclusive specific

exhaust system, has been

hand-crafted from titanium

with a carbon fiber heat shield.

The mapping of the control

unit is specific for the exhaust

system, so as to make the

delivery linear and obtain

exemplary power values.

The Rush 1000 boasts

the technology and driving

dynamics of the Brutale 1000

RR. The four-cylinder in-line

engine with integrated MVICS

ignition-injection system (Motor

& Vehicle Integrated Control

ENGINE

998CC

4-CYLINDER

16-VALVE

POWER

208

HP @

13,000RPM

SEAT

HEIGHT

845

MM

WHEEL

BASE

1415

MM

62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


System) has 8 injectors, 4 lower

Mikuni and 4 upper Magneti

Marelli with increased flow rate.

The Eldor EM2.0 engine control

unit intervenes on the throttle

body full ride by wire Mikuni; the

pencil-coil coils are equipped

with “ion-sensing” technology,

detonation and mismatch

control. There are four engine

management maps (Sport,

Race, Rain, Custom), while the

disengageable traction control

has 8 intervention levels and

wheelie control with an inertial

platform. The MV EAS 2.1

(Electronically Assisted Shift Up

& Down) transmission system

without friction has been

further improved in terms of

ease of use and speed of action.

Technological features

of the four-cylinder in-line,

include the new crankshaft

and the redesigned and lighter

pistons. The completely

revised combustion chamber

has radial valves and was

designed using the technology

from Formula 1. The titanium

connecting rods, derived from

competition experience exploit

MotoGP technical parameters

and contribute decisively to

reducing masses, loads and

engine inertia. Again from

the World MotoGP comes the

choice of the central distribution

chain, which is also traditional

for MV Agusta: mitigating the

effects of the camshaft twist at

high rpm.

The suspension (fork, shock

absorber and steering damper)

utilize the Öhlins EC units with

electronic management of the

compression and extension

hydraulics; this system allows

you to choose between

predefined configurations

and manual settings, so as to

enhance the chassis based on

the rider’s preferences and the

course conditions.

The special kit combined

with the bike includes a rich

package of components that

make the Rush 1000 even more

precious and exclusive.

“The drag strip isn’t

the only racing venue

to influence the Rush

1000. Although based

on the Brutale 1000

RR, the engine has

a Formula 1-derived

technology in the

form of a revised

combustion chamber

complete with radial

valves. MotoGP was

the inspiration behind

the inertia-reducing

titanium connecting

rods and centrallylocated

cam chain that

minimizes the effects

of camshaft twist

when running the

engine to redline.”

TORQUE

116

NM @

11,000RPM

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 6 3


N E W M V A G U S T A S U P E R V E L O C E O T T O C E N T O

NOT SO LIMITED

ANYMORE

You might remember the Serie Oro MV Agusta

released earlier in 2019. If the name doesn’t ring

a bell, the racy teaser of the Superveloce Serie

Oro showing a naked lady giving the limitededition

model some sugar should resonate

like Liberty Bell the day of the reading of the

Declaration of Independence. The admittedly

incredibly sexy Superveloce model was initially

launched in this super-limited edition that was

the Serie Oro. The manufacturer has now made

the model part of its regular production lineup.

Meet the new 2020 Superveloce Ottocento.

Ever since MV Agusta showed

the Superveloce 800 concept

at EICMA last year, the design

has become one of the sexiest,

if not the sexiest bike of 2019.

Unless you had the R500K plus

to put on one of the handful of

Serie Oro the firm produced (it

made only 300 units of it), you

missed out on a chance to own

the gorgeous model. Rejoice,

plebians. The Superveloce has

now been added to MV Agusta’s

regulars. The bad news is that

the price tag remains kind of

steep (at least in Europe).

ENGINE

798 CC

3-CYLINDER

12-VALVE

Look-wise, the Ottocento

is just as gorgeous as the

Serie Oro. We’re looking at

the exact same bike with a

few modifications to make it

production-friendly. The new

Superveloce is clad in your

choice of a red and black or

a white, red, and black livery

instead of the limited-run

version’ red and silver with gold

accents scheme. The yellow

headlight and windscreen have

been replaced by standard

clear components. The triple

exhaust—with two pipes on

one side and one on the other—

has been replaced with MV

Agusta’s standard three-tip

unit. Ultimately, the Ottocento

tips the scales at 173kilos—

same as the limited edition.

The suspension set up

remains the same with a 43mm

Mazzocchi inverted fork at the

front and an adjustable Sachs

spring at the back teamed

with a single-sided aluminum

swingarm. The brakes are also

carried over with a four-piston

Brembo caliper up front with a

320-mm disc and a two-piston

Brembo block at the back with a

220mm disc.

As for the engine, the

Ottocento uses the same 798cc,

three-cylinder mill as the Serie

Oro, rated at 148 horsepower

that can reach a top speed

of 240 kph. Torque has been

increased, however, to reach

98Nm instead of 88.

In Europe, the new model

will go for 19,900€ (a 8,000€

drop from the Serie Oro’s price

tag). Availability in the SA

remains to be confirmed but we

have heard via the grape vines

on a few coming in.

We suggest you call Fire

It Up! on 011 467 0737 just to

make sure as it might be by

order and paid deposit only.

POWER

148

HP @

13,000RPM

TORQUE

88

NM @

10,600RPM

64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



N E W B M W F 9 0 0 R A N D F 9 0 0 X R

BMW’S NEW KIDS ON

THE BLOCK!

Not One But Two

New BMW Twins

Unveiled

If you thought BMW had an F in the works, you

weren’t wrong. There wasn’t one twin coming,

but two. BMW had three models to unveil, two

of which are underlined by a brand-new engine.

One is the update of a model the global market

is already familiar with and the other two the

all-new 2020 BMW F 900 R and the F 900 XR.

We expected an F 850, BMW surprised

us with a 900. The new F 900 XR joins

the new S 1000 XR in the adventuresport-touring

segment. It borrows

visual cues and the riding style of the S

1000 XR’s, adapted to a smaller, more

accessible format.

The XR is equipped with an

adjustable windshield and its fairing has

been designed with weather protection

in mind. The addition of this new

model gives BMW an additional edge

in the mid-range segment. The model

isn’t as adventure-oriented as the F

850 GS. Instead, if pushes the gauge

further on the sport-touring end of the

spectrum while still offering adventurelike

qualities and features such as

handguards, 6.68 and 6.77 inches

of suspension travel front and back

respectively, and a 15 litre gas tank.

In comparison, the F 900 R, the

evolution of the F 800 R, falls in the

roadster family with a naked silhouette

and a road-oriented setup.

The two new models use the same,

equally new 893cc, inline-twin mill

rated at 105 horsepower and 92Nm of

torque, cradled by a steel bridge frame

and topped with a plastic gas tank

meant to help keep the weight low.

The new frame uses the engine as a

stressed member for added rigidity.

The Twins also receives a pretty

comprehensive menu of techs and

systems that includes keyless ignition,

two standard Rain and Road riding

modes, ABS, and for the European

market, the intelligent emergency call

system.

Optional features are also

available for further enhance the

models’ convenience and on-road

performance including two additional

Pro riding modes, electronic suspension

adjustment, ABS Pro, and adaptive

cornering light.

Pricing and availability of the new

2020 BMW F 900 R and F 900 XR will be

announced at a later time.

66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


N E W Y A M A H A T R A C E R 7 0 0

EVERYDAY

HUSTLER

Designed to combine

sports performance with

the versatility of a tourer,

the Yamaha Tracer 700

has undergone an overhaul

from the outset to share

more styling cues with the

Yamaha MT range.

The new generation of the

Tracer contains a Euro 5 version

of Yamaha’s long-hailed 689cc,

parallel-twin CP2 engine.

In order to meet the new

European emissions standards,

the Japanese manufacturer

optimizes the air intake, ignition

settings, fuel injection, and

exhaust system. Though the

company revises the engine

for 2020, the CP2 retains the

uneven firing sequence and

linear torque band emblematic

of the cross-plane engine. By

keeping the 270-degree crank

and improving the fueling

systems, Team Blue creates a

standards-compliant engine

that still sounds amazing.

One of the first things people

will notice about the 2020 Tracer

700 is the new design and the

aggressive headlight cowl

resembling the YZF-R1 family.

Yamaha carries over what they

call the “slant-eye” LED from

the company’s sportbikes and

equips the new Tracer with a

half fairing. The combination of

additional wind protection and

refined styling distinguishes the

latest generation Tracer from its

predecessors while equipping

the sport-tourer for the long haul.

The 2020 Tracer is one

of the lightest bikes in the

sport-touring class with a

curb weight of 196 kilos. With

a wheelbase extension to 57

inches, Yamaha’s middleweight

adventurer enjoys new roadholding

attributes that allow

owners to crush even more

miles. To help in the areas of

comfort and control, the new

Tracer comes with preload and

damping adjustable 41mm front

forks and rear monoshock.

Team Blue prepares the

model to go the distance with

wider handlebars, improved

handguards, contoured seat,

and a windscreen with 60mm

of adjustability. The 4.5-gallon

tank also keeps the rig on

the road for long-intervals

without dragging it down with

additional weight.

To put the bow on the new

package, Yamaha provides a

new negative LCD instrument

panel and integrates the

LED urn signals into the

handguards. The streamlined

design suits the city perfectly

but doesn’t encumber the out of

town getaways.

Perfect for urban commuters

and weekend warriors, the

new Tracer will be available

at dealers around mid 2020,

hopefully, and is offered in Icon

Grey, Sonic Grey, and Phantom

Blue liveries.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 67


N E W K A W A S A K I N I N J A 1 0 0 0 S X , Z 9 0 0 & Z 6 5 0

LEANER, GREENER

& MEANER

After launching their new supercharged Z H2 Naked Hyper bike a few weeks before the

EICMA Show, Kawasaki released a few more updated models for the 2020 season.

NINJA 1000 SX

So what’s new for 2020? Quite

a number of things starting

with a new face. The Ninja

1000’s fairing was subtly

reworked, showcasing a few

minor line changes that only

really stand out when you

compare the previous and

current model-year side by

side. The two dual-tip exhaust

pipes have been swapped for

a single-sided, single exhaust

unit, the windscreen has been

redesigned for improved wind

protection, and the pillion

seat gives the bike’s tail-end

an upswept look. The slight

modifications made to the

2020 Ninja have allowed the

model to shed a few kilos, now

weighing in at 233kgs.

Behind the windscreen, the

Ninja 1000SX receives a new

TFT color screen that allows

the rider to easily navigate

through the four new riding

modes (sport, road, rain, and

rider (customizable))and the

traction control modes. The

system is also compatible

with the Kawasaki Rideology

smartphone app that not only

records riding data but also

allows the owner to change

certain settings from a distance.

Also new to the 2020 modelyear

is the electronic cruise

control, making the bike more

comfortable on longer rides.

The engine underlying the

Ninja remains the same 1,043cc,

inline-four we are familiar

with but inside the block, a

few changes were made. The

cam profile has been modified

to reduce running noise and

cylinders one and four’s intake

funnels are now shorter

which helps reduce the bike’s

emissions. At the back, the

new single muffler is the last

step of the new four-into-twointo-one

exhaust system. The

six-speed transmission mated

to the engine is now equipped

with Kawasaki’s proprietary up

and down quick shifter.

With these upgrades, the

new 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000

sheds a little more of its crotch

rocket image to become more

touring friendly. Prices and

availability of the new model

have yet to be announced.

Z900 & Z650

For 2020, the Z900 has a

new, strengthened frame

and new, revised front and

rear suspension settings. It

also boasts integrated Riding

Modes, including KTRC and

Power modes. A new TFT

full-color dash with Bluetooth

connectivity for your phone is

at rider fingertips. As everyone

expected, the new Z900 boasts

cleaner emissions, as well—and

LED lighting all around isn’t

surprising either, but is still

nice. It comes shod in Dunlop

Sportmax Roadsport 2 rubber.

Meanwhile, for 2020, the

second-generation Z650

features engine refinements

to deliver both increased

mid-range torque and cleaner

emissions. Like its big brother,

it features a full-color TFT

display in its dash, along with

the Bluetooth connectivity

most of us expect from most

bikes sold in 2020. LED lighting

and Kawasaki’s signature

aggressive styling all around

make this middleweight look

acceptably mean.

Also like its big brother,

the 2020 Z650 comes shod in

Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport

2 rubber. The pillion seat was

also redesigned to offer added

passenger comfort, so you

can load up your pillion with

confidence.

The styling on both the

2020 Z900 and Z650 is more

aggressive and insect-like

than ever. We definitely don’t

mean anything negative in that

assessment; Those otherworldly

metallic and neon colours,

and sharp angles not seen

elsewhere in nature are just

some of the reasons why—and

are also why that’s where these

Kawi designs fit, in our minds.

68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


BRIT ART

This curvy, flat-helmeted thing is the result of an all-British partnership between Aston Martin and the revived

N E W A S T O N M A R T I N A M B 0 0 1

Brough Superior brand. Built on a 180-horsepower turbo V-Twin, the AMB 001 is Aston’s vision of what a

cutting-edge motorcycle should be.

One of a flurry of new bikes

to be released at EICMA 2019

in Milan, this isn’t a concept

bike. It’s a limited-edition piece

of “automotive art” that Aston

and Brough plan to build just

100 examples of for the wellheeled.

It’s not, however, streetlegal,

lacking much of the

compliance gear you’d need to

get out on the road, but which

would also sully the purity of a

beautifully weird design.

Beyond the big 997cc V-Twin

motor, little remains to identify

it as a Brough build – and even

that takes a back seat to the big,

variable geometry, intercooled

turbo spools. Aston’s creative

fingerprints are all over this

thing, and its car-like curves

are not unintentional. Look at

that front fairing – you’ve never

seen anything like that on a bike

before. But that underhanging

carbon shape will be familiar

to car people, because it’s a

riff on a front splitter. Will it

do anything on a bike? Look,

probably not. But it’s cute, that

can’t be argued.

The chassis uses the motor

as a stressed member, and

includes a CNC-machined

“backbone” with a carbon

fibre rear subframe and

“titanium interfaces.” The CNC

machined swingarm has a

very pretty curve to it, and the

front suspension is built on a

double-wishbone aluminum

fork with a monoshock behind

the front fairing, separating

braking from suspension forces

and removing brake dive from

the riding equation as well as

looking deadly cool.

The carbon bodywork

features a unique ridge

down the centerline, which

terminates right in the

middle of the full-color dash,

splitting it in half and blocking

a sizeable portion out of the

middle. We’re not sure why

you’d put one of those there,

but perhaps that’s part of why

these guys are Aston Martin

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 69


and we’re not. The saddle

is a thin two-tone leather

pad, and there are leather

handlebar grips matching one

of those two tones, along with

very minimalist controls and

buttons. The brakes are racy

radial jiggers on non-vented

discs, and the rims are barelythere

forged aluminum jobbies.

As far as motorcycle designs

made by car companies go,

the AMB 001 would have

to rank as one of the better

examples going around. Aston’s

car designs are among our

favorites in the auto world, and

it seems the design aesthetic

works on two wheels as well

as four. Its looks are fresh,

strange and shocking, and yet

it still looks like it’d work as a

motorcycle if you can deal with

the seating position. That’s

hardly a worry, as it’s only ever

going to be ridden on racetracks

and up onto display stands at

events, anyway.

It’s got more than enough

special bits and street cred to

make it a collectible, and we

doubt Aston will have a problem

moving those 100 individually

numbered units – even at a

price of €108,000 including

tax. That would equate to

around R1.8m, but prices can do

weird things as they cross the

Atlantic, so who knows what it’ll

fetch on our soil.

70 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


TWINING

Harley-Davidson is not messing around. It’s on a moon-shot mission to save itself by metamorphosing into

a modern motorcycle company, while trying not to tread on its “badass” Boomer cruiser base in the process.

Step one: the all-electric Livewire, a next-to silent streetbike. And now, at EICMA, far from the stars, stripes

and apple pies of home, the company has released its next two efforts to find new relevance in a changing

age. One has to wonder how these things would’ve gone down at an American release full of die-hard Harley

fans who hold the brand’s old-school image very dearly.

N E W H A R L E Y - D A V I D S O N P A N A M E R I C A & B R O N X

The new bikes are an

adventure tourer and a

streetfighter, both powered

by a new Revolution engine

platform. These will be

60-degree V-Twins, naturally,

but liquid cooled and with dual

downdraft throttle bodies.

They’ll also make a lot more

power than Harley riders are

accustomed to, by revving

significantly higher than the

big cruiser donks. The engines

are narrow and compact,

they form part of the frame

for engineering purposes,

and they feature internal

counterbalancers to cut down

on vibrations.

The new bikes will have to

stop as well as they go, and

Harley has teamed up with

Brembo to create a special set

of radial, 4-piston monoblocs

that should set new braking

standards for the marque.

Harley’s key input seems to

have been minor and mainly

aesthetic, adding a few “softer

curves” to the caliper designs.

Hopefully that’s all; Brembo

knows a thing or two about the

actual braking part. Likewise,

H-D has teamed up with

Michelin to develop special

co-branded tyres for these

two bikes, presumably to drum

a few extra bucks out of its

consumer base when it’s time

for new hoops.

The 2021 Pan America

Adventure Tourer

First up, the adventure machine.

The Pan America 1250 is H-D’s

answer to the R1200GS, the

1290 Super Adventure, the

Super Ténéré, and the rest

of the colossal “big chook

chasers” that make up the ADV

segment. While late to the party

(everyone else seems to be

refocusing their efforts toward

middleweight adventure

tourers), the Pan America will

use a 1250cc “Revolution Max”

engine, with which Harley is

targeting an output over 145

horses and 122 Nm of torque.

The company calls this

its “two-wheel multi-tool,

built to endure, designed to

explore, and engineered for the

unknown.” It looks the part, with

its beefy bash-plate, touring

screen, barkbusters, massive

three-box pannier system,

spoked wheels, chunky off-road

tires, comfy looking dual seat

and an exposed subframe that

looks terrific to strap a tent to.

There’s no weight figure as yet,

or indeed a price, but Harley has

committed to getting this 2021

model into stores in late 2020.

The 2021 Bronx Streetfighter

Every bit as interesting is the

Bronx, which takes some of

the Livewire’s snub-nosed

proportions and marries them

with a 975cc version of the

Revolution motor and a few

licks of the kind of flair Erik Buell

brought to the Harley stable in

the late 1990s with bikes like

the White Lightning. This is no

Buell, though. H-D presumably

still owns the patents on some

of Buell’s outrageous ideas, but

the Bronx has no rim-mounted

disc brake, underslung exhaust,

fuel-in-the-frame or oil-in-theswingarm

business.

Indeed it’s a fairly

conservative effort at a

streetfighter, especially in

an era where things like the

Super Duper Duke and Tuono

V4 walk the Earth. Power and

torque figures are targeted to

be at least 115 horses at 95 Nm,

respectively, which should be

fun enough provided it’s not

much more than the 225-odd kg

it looks like it might be.

Harley calls it a

middleweight, but one with

an “unapologetic attitude.” We

feel it’d be a bit less apologetic

if it had access to the full-fat

1250cc motor, but it’s a nice

enough looker to sell well if it

rides well, and no doubt it’ll look

and sound much more Harleyworthy

and thunderous once

owners have bled their way

through the options catalog.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 7 1


WEIGHT

240

WET WEIGHT

ENGINE

998

Liquid-cooled,

16v, inline four,

supercharged

N E W B I M O T A ’ S T E S I H 2

SUPERCHARGED

ITALIAN

Born-again Bimota launches hub-steered Tesi based on the Kawasaki H2.

Born-again Bimota launches hub-steered Tesi based on the Kawasaki H2.

The rumours are true:

Kawasaki has taken a 49.9

percent stake in fancy-pants

Italian brand Bimota, and is

resurrecting it with a monster

motorcycle. The Tesi H2 adds

Bimota’s famous centerhub

steering and chassis

to the wild Kawasaki H2

supercharged motor.

The deal has been in

progress for nearly three

years, and the bike has just

been unveiled at EICMA

in Milan. Kawasaki Heavy

Industries’ Motorcycle

Planning Division Manager

Hiroshi Ito spoke like a

breathless fanboy at the

launch:

“A small investment bank

approached us inquiring if we

were interested in an Italian

motorcycle manufacturer.

The company name was

veiled, but when I checked

the documents I instantly

noticed. Oh it’s BIMOTA!!!. Yes,

that BIMOTA. For motorcycle

enthusiast at my age, BIMOTA

72 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


CC

POWER

227

TORQUE

129

was legendary

motorcycles that

we used to dream

of with its incredible

chassis, jewel-like parts and an

unaffordable price tag.”

Thus, Kawasaki decided to

invest, leaving Bimota based

in Italy but providing it with

engines and support.

“BIMOTA is a jewel of

Italy,” continued Ito. “So

It must be based in Rimini,

Italy. It must be designed by

Italian designers. And it must

be built by Italian craftsmen

otherwise it will lose it value.

So, our mission is clear, we will

support Sig. Marconi and his 200 and 300 horsepower eye away. Bimota ... didn’t solve

team will make new legendary

history of BIMOTA with

Kawasaki’s legendary engines!

We’d like declare now BIMOTA

is here as most premium

motorcycle in the world.”

Most premium motorcycle in

the world, eh? Let’s take a look

at it, then.

The Kawasaki part will

be familiar to anyone who’s

followed our motorcycle

coverage over the years. The

H2’s supercharged motor is one

of the motorcycle world’s most

iconic and crazed creations.

Producing somewhere between

depending on its state of tune,

it’s beautifully smooth down

low, but opens up into a topend

rush of furious acceleration

that has to be felt to be

believed. It left me foaming.

It is not, however, a

particularly attractive thing

to have at the center of your

premium coach-built Bimota

– either the engine itself, or

the colossal bulk of the big ol’

exhaust it swings behind it.

Kawasaki solved this problem

with a gorgeous green trellis

frame and jaw-dropping mirrorfinish

bodywork that stole the

it at all.

The proportions of the

Tesi H2 are a bit of a disaster.

Where the old Tesi 3D had an

interesting inverted cradle

frame to act as the central

design feature, and open trellistube

swingarms at either end

to reduce the bulky appearance

of Bimota’s famous center-hub

steering system, the new Tesi

H2 has neither. In our opinion its

middle is an industrial-looking

mess of engineering, and the

front end looks massive and

ungainly. From the side, it looks

like a sexy Italian sportsbike

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 73


Bimota’s famous hub-center

steering takes center stage

Two shocks are better than

one - Double Ohlins semi-active

suspension controlling the front

and rear.

that has begun to sprout

strange, fungal growths at

either end.

Move in closer, though, and

the Tesi H2 begins revealing

its continental charms. The

bodywork is all very nice, with

carbon accents aplenty and

a simple, sexy cockpit. Every

component is either pulled

off the top shelf or lovingly

machined.

The two fully-adjustable

shocks in front of the rear wheel

will raise eyebrows, and they

should. Each mounted on its

own eccentric adjuster, they

can be used to adjust the ride

height of the front and rear of

the bike independently, and

while one shock takes care of

suspension action at the rear

wheel, the other appears to

handle the front swingarm via

a long linkage down the lower

left hand side of the bike.

As for the steering system,

well, we do love a funny

front end here at New Atlas.

The Tesi H2 appears to run a

fairly standard hub-center

steering arrangement, with the

handlebars connected back

deep into the bike to rods that

push and pull a lever connected

to the front swingarm. This

lever steers the front wheel

around a static axle.

The advantages of such a

system are you get yourself a

braking system that pushes

braking force very efficiently

back into the frame of the bike

rather than putting a bending

force on a pair of forks; you

gain the ability to tune brake

dive in or out, or even set it up

such that the front end rises

under braking; and braking,

suspension and steering

forces are nicely separated,

giving riders the ability to

brake later and deeper into

corners without upsetting the

bike’s ability to deal with bumps.

The disadvantages are

equally well known; a centerhub

steered bike doesn’t

offer much steering lock,

so u-turns are a pain;

the steering systems

are complex, operating

through a series of

linkages that can remove

feel from the steering,

occasionally resulting in

some slop at the bars

when components

start to wear; and from

the looks of the Tesi H2,

the front suspension has to

go through a fair few complex

linkages itself, which might

cause suspension action to

suffer similarly.

Still, we’re delighted to

see Bimota back in the game,

with one of the world’s great

engines to play with. This is a

weird bike, and for our money

there aren’t enough weird bikes

on the road these days. Say

what you will about the Tesi H2,

it’ll be the center of attention at

any bike night, and every rider

that sees one, myself included,

will be utterly fascinated to

know what it’s like to ride. Few

will find out, because the price

will be astronomical, and that’s

probably the way it should be.

The front swingarm is

suspended via a long linkage

back to a rear-mounted shock

“Word is that the Tesi H2 will be a

very limited edition bike, and we

probably won’t see one here in the

Colonies unless it shows up in, like,

Jay Leno’s garage or something.”

74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



CONCEPTS

As always at EICMA Shows manufaturers like to show off some future

concepts and this years show once again had some beauties on display.

LOCALLY

ELECTRIFYING

BST’S WILD HYPERTEK: A NEW AESTHETIC STANDARD FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES

Remember motorcycle

designer Pierre Terblanche?

SA’s very own master

motorcycle designer.He came

out from under the wing of

probably the most famous

motorcycle designer in

history – Massimo Tamburini

– to design a successor to the

Ducati 916 series, which is still

remembered as one of the most

beautiful motorcycles ever

made. Terblanche followed that

curvaceous supermodel up with

the 749/999 series, which many

thought introduced a blocky,

angular look that sucked the

sexiness right out of the Ducati

brand for much of the 2000s.

Early, chunky, beakless

Multistradas? That was

Terblanche. The Sport 1000?

Those weren’t too bad, and

neither was the Hypermotard,

although neither could be

described as a style icon. In

more recent times, he’s penned

the surprisingly conservative

Confederate X132 Hellcat

Speedster and the Royal Enfield

Himalayan, which has a kind of

rugged Indiana Jonesiness to it.

All in all, it’s a varied portfolio

with an angular and technical

sort of theme running through

it that seemed like it was still

searching for its ultimate form

of expression.

Well, with this extraordinary

electric bike, we think we finally

understand what Terblanche

has been trying to get at all

these years, and we absolutely

love it. Designed and built in

partnership with SA’s very own

carbon wheel specialists BST,

meet the all-electric Hypertek.

There could be no better

name for this thing and its

unabashed, triumphant

futuristicism. Every component

and detail seems stripped back,

technical, modular, functional.

It’s like a Confederate jumped in

a teleportation machine without

realizing there was already a

Dyson vacuum in there.

The Hypertek is built around

the reasonably unglamorous

DHX Hawk water-cooled PMS

electric motor, presumably

chosen for its compact size and

high torque output of 120 Nm.

BST claims a peak power of 107

hp, but we can’t find any motor

on the DHX website capable of

such peaks – the company’s

largest advertised Hawk motor

makes 120 Nm but peaks at

74 hp and offers a continuous

power of 46.3 hp. So perhaps

it’s a custom build.

Battery size is unspecified,

but BST is claiming a 300-km

range, with 30-minute DC quick

charge capability. Liquid cooling

76 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


is implemented visually, with

a brass-colored, fan forced

radiator. There’s a second,

ducted fan at the back of the

battery pack, which presumably

draws heat out of the battery

and motor cooling systems and

deposits it right onto the rear

Supercorsa SP tyre, where it can

make itself useful in bringing

the rubber up to temperature.

The footpegs are adjustable

using circular locators, and there

doesn’t appear to be a rear brake

pedal. That’s odd, because BST

says the Hypertek is one of the

very few electric motorcycles

you’ll see that runs a traditional

clutch, so presumably that’s the

left handlebar’s lever accounted

for and we have no idea how

you’re expected to operate the

rear brake.

The addition of a clutch, even

though the bike is an electric

single-speed, allows you to rev

the motor at a standstill, but

also to clutch up bulk wheelies

and drop sick burnouts. And if

you have (correctly) identified

that as a bit of a personal point

of glee for me, it should also

be noted that BST itself says

“burnouts and wheelies [are]

standard features.”

For those less inclined

to antisocial shenanigans,

there will be wheelie and

traction control built in. Other

electronics include cruise

control and hill stop. ABS is not

mentioned, but can possibly

be assumed given that the

brakes look absolutely savage:

a single 330-mm, unvented

disc at the front made from

ceramic-infused aluminum and

gripped by what looks like a

Brembo monobloc caliper, with

a smaller copy at the rear.

The wheels, naturally, are

carbon fibre. As is the slim,

skeletal monocoque frame,

which is a beautiful piece of

design. The “tank” unit and

subframe/tailpiece are barely

there, they just hint at the

human shape that’ll press

against them. The tail and

transparent brake light take

an idea we first noticed in the

late-model Yamaha R1 to the

extreme, like some kind of

floating wing. It would perfectly

channel flatulence out into a

pocket of negative pressure in

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 77


the airstream,

if flatulence

hadn’t long ago

worked out that

the easiest path to freedom

was up through the

leathers, out the neck and

directly into the helmet.

But we digress. Weight

will be 205 kg which is

around the weight of

most decent nakedbikes

once they’ve got a full

tank. The seat will be

adjustable between

790 mm and 820 mm,

and BST says the bike

will feature a sound

generator designed to

let pedestrians know

you’re coming, provided

they’re not bopping along

to music in their Bluetooth

earphones, which, let’s face

it, approximately all of them are

these days.

You’ll notice there’s no dash. All

instrumentation is built into a headup

display in a custom helmet, which

has been built by Cross of Japan. This

is a highly futuristic choice, and by

that, we mean we’re not aware of

anyone who’s made a proper headsup

helmet really work the way you

want them to as yet. It feels like a

slightly dicey decision and we don’t

think the bike would suffer with the

addition of a colour display, even

if just as a backup for when your

helmet runs out of battery.

BST is promising to actually

manufacture the Hypertek, in limited

numbers. Make no mistake, it’ll be

horrifically expensive. But we think

this is the baddest-looking electric

motorcycle we’ve ever seen up to

this point. It’s like a Meccano set

come to life. If we don’t see it in a

sci-fi film within two years we’ll be

amazed, and we wholeheartedly

agree with Pierre Terblanche when

he says “this is the best work I’ve

ever done.” Outstanding. We hope

it’s the first of many like it.

78 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


EUROPANESE

THE HONDA CB4X CONCEPT - JAPANESE QUALITY MEETS EUROPEAN FLAIR

Every year at EICMA, we can

look forward to some intriguing

concepts from Honda’s design

team in Europe.

This is the fifth year the Rome

R&D Centre has produced a

concept, and the third year it

used the CBR650R‘s inline-Four

as the platform (the engine’s

aesthetically-pleasing cascading

header pipes definitely lends

itself well to concept designs).

Designer Valerio Aiello and his

team developed the CB4X under

the theme “fun seven days a

week,” describing it as a sport

tourer with a bit of a crossover

(Honda’s term for adventure-ish

styled bikes).

The CB4X concept features

a hunched half-fairing design

that would redirect air around

the rider but still leaves the

engine and the aforementioned

pipes exposed. The windscreen

is adjustable, and the seat

looks pretty comfortable, for

a concept, and we presume

that tail cover is removable for

pillion seating. The way the

aluminium subframe attaches

to the side plates is rather

elegant, making the two parts

look fully-integrated.

Other features include

handguards, a single-sided

swingarm, Öhlins suspension,

Brembo brakes and a dual

stacked silencers from SC

Project.

Like the Rome R&D Centre’s

other concepts, we don’t

expect the Honda CB4X to

develop into anything more

than a styling concept.

Please, oh please Honda

make this happen for all of us

to enjoy...

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 79


SWEDISH

ADVENTURE

HUSQVARNA NORDEN 901 ADVENTURE BIKE CONCEPT

Husqvarna revealed an

adventure bike concept called

the Norden 901. If that alone

wasn’t enough to get our juices

flowing, there’s the fact the

Norden is based around the

awesome KTM 790 Adventure R.

Husqvarna didn’t exactly

come right out and say that,

it’s clear from looking at the

engine, the frame and the 790

ADV’s distinct low-slung fuel

tank that the Norden shares

much of its DNA beneath the

rally bike styling.

For the Norden, Husqvarna

increased the KTM bike’s 799cc

engine 889.5cc, a change the

orange brand is already making

with its new 890 Duke R. For

the Norden, the engine has

been tuned specifically to suit

adventure touring needs.

The Norden being a

concept, Husqvarna hasn’t

released much detail about

specifications. Husqvarna says

the Norden strikes a perfect

balance between “off-road

performance and touring

ability,” while also claiming

class-leading lightness, which

would mean coming in lighter

than the 790 Adventure’s

claimed 152 kilos dry weight.

Husqvarna also reveals the

Norden 901 is equipped with WP

suspension and runs on a 21-

inch front wheel and a 19-inch

rear wheel.

From the photos, we see

what looks like dual TFT color

screens, with the top screen

showing a compass, and a

tachometer on the lower screen

completing the compass’

circular shape. Between the

display and the handlebars we

see a small panel bearing the

USB symbol, obviously hinting

at a USB port.

The concept is shown

carrying a pair of soft saddlebags

and a tail bag designed

specifically for the Norden.

At the moment, the Norden

901 is just a concept, but it’s

safe to assume that Husqvarna

has plans to put this adventure

bike into production and they

need to, especially here for the

SA market where Husqvarna

dealers are crying out for one.

80 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



#NEVER FORGET

VALENCIA 2019

As with every year the final

round of the 2019 MotoGP

championship took place at the

Valencia circuit in Spain.

Our editor Rob has been there

on a few occasions, but this time

he dragged along his brother

Shaun Portman and both had the

experience of a lifetime!

Where do I even begin? Do I start with the

one-on-one interviews I had with KTM

MotoGP riders Pol Espargaro and Miguel

Oliviera? Or do I go with watching Brad

Binder pick up another win in Moto2 and

celebrating it with him on track and at the

podium? Or, do I start with being there to

witness the man take part in his first official

test as a full factory MotoGP rider? I think

it’s best I just start from the beginning

and go through day by day. I hope you are

comfortable because this is going to be a

very long and very exciting story, of which I

have no doubt you will be mighty jealous of...

Thursday

This was my third time in four years attending

the final MotoGP race held at the Valencia

track, and my sixth time in total visiting

the iconic Spanish circuit. But, I had never

been there on a Thursday before a MotoGP

race weekend and had been told by many

that it’s a great day to go as it’s not as busy

and the riders are a bit more relaxed and

walking around more freely compared to the

overcrowded race weekend, so I was excited

to see for myself if this was indeed true.

Making it that bit more exciting was the

fact that my brother, Shaun Portman, had

never been to a MotoGP race outside of SA

(only been at the Phakisa MotoGP races), so

I was eager to see his excitement at seeing

just how amazing a European MotoGP race

weekend is, with all the race trucks, team

hospitalities and rider’s motorhomes filling

up the paddock. That’s something you don’t

get to see at away races such as Thailand

and Qatar etc.

After landing, we waited at a packed

Valencia airport for our car rental. The

airport was jammed with MotoGP fans all

sporting their favorite riders apparel – yes, it

was mainly plasted with a bright yellow #46.

We finally got hold of the keys to our

rent-a-racer and it was time to head straight

to the track. Shaun was the driver and it

was his first time driving on the other side

The riders motorhomes are amazing.

82 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Rob with the new Ducati V4 Streetfighter.

Rob has a chat with

Matt Dunn about MotoE.

A pic with Maverick. What a nice guy!

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 83


of the road, so tensions did flair a bit at the

beginning. With no GPS and relying solely

on my time in Spain, we made it to the track

safe and sound. We got our media passes at

the accreditation center before heading into

the track. This is when the hairs all over your

body stand at attention and your entire body

fills up with tiny bubbles of pure joy.

The paddock was not that busy, although

a few die-hard Rossi fans were already lined

up outside his motorhome – and it was only

11am on a Thursday morning…

Our first rider encounter was with a

Mr Maverick Vinales, who happily greeted

us with a big smile and as you can see

cheerfully grabbed a picture with a very

excited South African – my brother. What a

great guy! That moment kicked off one of

many we had throughout the weekend.

From there we walked through the rest

of the paddock, taking in all the sights of the

team hospitalities and race trucks in all their

splendid colours. A joy to the eye sockets

and one that TV just does not do justice to.

While walking around I was stopped by a

Mr Matt Dunn – one of the many voices of

the MotoGP paddock who you will mostly

hear commentating on the Moto3 and

Moto2 FP sessions. He asked if I would like

to have a chat with him, and me being a

very chatty person happily obliged. He went

on to ask about my thoughts on the MotoE

championship and how it could benefit

electric bikes for the future etc. I gave him

the politest answer I could, as I have no real

excitement when it comes to the MotoE

championship – although having said that

the two races this particular weekend did

excite me somewhat.

I went on to tell Mr Dunn that electric

bikes here in SA are not really on the radar

yet, as one needs electricity to power them

and we don’t have the luxury of a stable or

well-run power supply company, so sorry,

it’s combustion power all the way here in SA!

A few steps later we gazed upon the new

Ducati V4 Streetfighter parked outside the

Ducati hospitality. What a gorgeous machine

and I cannot wait to ride it at the world

launch test coming up in early 2020.

After taking in all the sights at the back of

the paddock, we made our way to the front

section where all the teams race trucks were

parked in single file and lined up perfectly.

This is where we met up with the Binder’s,

who are always very welcoming. After a

good chat and lots of laughs we were off to

the media center where we could log on to

the free Wi-Fi and catch up with what had

been scheduled for the weekend.

On arrival in the media center, we were

quickly told about a special press conference

called by Jorge Lorenzo, inviting all press and

fellow riders to attend and so we did. It didn’t

take long before the room was jammed

packed with press from all around the world

and all the MotoGP riders and team bosses.

Literally a year ago, Dani Pedrosa sent out

the exact same press release asking all to

join him for a special press conference, where

Rides for the weekend - Ducati Diavel 1260 S and Multistrada Enduro.

Shaun will never fit on Darryn’s Moto3 bike.

Signed Vinales and Rossi gear courtesy of

Monster Energy Yamaha.

The media room was packed for the Lorenzo retirement announcement.

84 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


he went on to announce his

retirement, so It was no surprise

when Lorenzo did the same. The

air in the room quickly filled up

with emotion as Lorenzo made

the announcement and while he

fought to hold back the tears, one

photographer yelled “Jorge” and

that got everyone applauding.

Say what you will, but the man

was ridiculously good on a

MotoGP bike and it’s a pity he has

retired at the age of 32.

Lorenzo is yet another victim

of the “Marc Marquez” Honda

RC MotoGP bike, which seems

to be a career ender for anyone

other than Marc himself. First

Dani and now Jorge, with Cal

Crutchlow set to follow suit

come the end of 2020.

Friday

It was an early start to the day

for us as we had to stop past the

Ducati distributor warehouse

40km away from the track to

collect our rides for the weekend

– the Ducati Diavel 1260 S and

Multistrada Enduro. A big thanks

to Gherado from Ducati Italy

for organizing these bikes for

us to use, they really did come

in handy as the traffic in-andout

of the track throughout the

weekend was manic.

With my headphones tucked

neatly under my Scorpion

Combat lid, and tracks location

set in Waze we headed off to

the track.

This time it was a lot busier,

thank goodness we had parking

tickets so we could get ahead of

the crowd. Thousands of fans

poured into the track ready to

witness the first bit of track

action for the weekend.

We headed straight to Darryn

Binder’s hospitality to catch up

with the Binder crew and grab a

quick bite and some drinks. This

was a huge blessing and saved

us big money so thanks Daz for

hooking us up. From there we

headed off to one of the best

parts of any GP – the shopping

area. Situated at the back on

the track around turn 1 and 2,

it’s every MotoGP fans dream –

nothing but MotoGP rider and

team apparel in abundance! So

much choice and for us South

Africans who can’t help but

do the maths and convert our

useless rands into euros, it’s not

easy. After a good hour and a bit

of shopping we headed back to

the paddock with a few shopping

bags in either hands. Being my

brothers first experience of

MotoGP apparel shopping at a

European race, he did go a bit

over board, luckily, we came with

literally just the clothes on our

backs so had plenty of space left

in our bags for the trip home.

Now, this is where the

weekend would really kick into

gear for us. I had been to a few

overseas MotoGP races with

my media pass and only hung

around the paddock area, as

that’s the only place I thought I

was allowed. For the FP1 Moto3

session, Trevor Binder told us to

go and watch with him on the

inside of turn 1. I said we did not

have access to the inside of the

track. He then went on to tell me

that we should as our passes

were blue, which meant paddock

and track access. Let’s give it a

try we said, and thankfully we

did as we got through and a

whole new MotoGP experience

opened up for the both of us.

I could not believe just how

close we could get to the action.

Hearing, seeing and smelling

those machines burning around

the track was breathtaking, and

this was only the Moto3’s.

Heading into the Valencia

round I had not yet heard the

new Triumph powered Moto2

bikes in real life and had been

told by many who had that it’s a

spine-tingling experience, and

that’s exactly what it was. Those

triple-cylinder 765cc motors belt

out a tune that your ears will

have wet dreams about for the

rest of your days.

After watching Darryn and

Brad do what they do best out on

track, it was time to watch and

hear the MotoGP bikes scream

around the circuit. I had seen

and heard it all before, but never

from this close so my eyes and

mouth could not help but water

when they came screaming out

of the pits. I looked over at my

brother who’s face looked like it

was watching a porn movie for

the first time – he was properly

excited! It’s hard to put into words

the experience of watching all the

categories up close and personal

like this. It’s an overwhelming

reality like no other!

After getting the feeling

back in our knees and face we

headed back to the paddock to

once again catch up with the

Binder’s. After a bite to eat it was

time to head off to the Monster

Energy Yamaha hospitality to

collect our package, which Ryan

Just had to get a pic with Brad.

The Factory Red Bull KTM MotoGP invited Rob and Shaun along for a

tour of their pits. No pics or videos are normally allowed but they were

lucky enough to be able to snap some shots as all the bikes in the pits

were fully assembled.

The bikes up-close are simply breathtaking and the amount of tech

is mind blowing. There is no wonder the MotoGP riders are able to do

what they do - these thing are built to go fast!

Pictured here are Mika Kallio’s bikes from the GP weekend. On the

Tuesday after the race weekend, these would late become Brad’s

bikes, with the #82 being pulled off and the new #33 being stuck on.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 85


Payne from Monster Energy

SA had kindly organized for us.

I was ecstatic when I received

the package from the team’s PR

lady – a team shirt, team cap

and water bottle all signed by

both riders Maverick Vinales and

Valentino Rossi. This was for our

auction on Saturday the 7th of

December at Ridgeway Racebar

and no doubt it would go for a

big amount of money.

Up next was another

once-in-a-lifetime experience,

organized by my good mate,

Mr Riaan Neveling who is

now the marketing manager

of KTM street motorcycles

worldwide. Riaan had chatted to

Stephanie Zehenter, who is the

Motorsports Project Manager

for KTM global about getting us

some exclusive interviews and

signed merch for our auction.

Stephanie really did treat us, first

off with a one-on-one interview

with factory Red Bull KTM rider

Pol Espargaró, followed by

another one-on-one with Tech

3 KTM rider Miguel Oliviera. It

didn’t end there. Stephanie also

surprised us with a Red Bull KTM

goodie bag, filled with a signed

screen from Pol’s MotoGP bike,

knee and elbow sliders as well

as a signed KTM racing shirt

and cap from both Brad Binder

and Pol. Yes, I know I am a lucky

bastard and you all hate me, and

I can say at this point I was even

jealous of myself…

So, Shaun and myself sat

down with Pol and had our

interview followed by a picture

together and getting our official

caps signed. The interview was

great, unfortunately I just did not

have the time or the space to get

it in here so look out for the full

interview in next month’s issue.

One question I did ask Pol

was about his new team-mate

and how he felt about Brad

joining the team. He had heaps

of praise for Brad and went on to

say that “he is the perfect rider

to join the team. His riding style

and character is exactly what

we need to help improve the

package. He will for sure make

the bike more competitive…”

Again, after getting the

feeling back in our knees and

faces we finished the day off

with a visit to Darryn’s pit box

and Brad’s race truck, chatting

about all things bikes of course.

While in Brad’s truck we spotted

a big bright trophy along with a

Dunlop cap. It was his winner’s

trophy from Sepang, which the

team had brought back for him

to take home. Another one for

the ever-growing cabinet. We

also spotted his race suit, boots

and gloves, as well as his Bell

race helmet. I won’t lie, this is

when my SA mentality kicked

in and thoughts of somehow

trying to steal all his gear

flooded my mind. Don’t worry,

I didn’t steal anything other

than a glance at his gorgeous

girlfriend Courtney’s chest.

Sorry Brad and Courts, and my

Amz if you are reading this, I am

a man after all…

We then set off on our 25km

ride back to our self-catering

room situated in Valencia town

center. Thank the Lord we

were on bikes, as the traffic

was horrendous! Trying to

negotiate the Spanish roads

was like trying to figure out

what women really want – it

was dam near impossible! If you

think SA drivers are bad, wait

until you drive in Spain – it’s a

real s@#t show!

Always a great shopping experience at the track.

86 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


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Saturday

Another bright and early start

to the day. We wanted to get

to the track early and not miss

out on anything. This time there

was drama on our way there.

Ten minutes into the ride on

the open A3 Madrid highway

I looked back in the darkness

to see that my brother was

missing. I parked up on the side

and waited 5 minutes, but there

was no sign of him. At this point

I was really stressing and went

a bit further up to see if there

was a gap to turn around and

go find him. As I was about to

turn around I spotted a bike

coming, it was my brother who

had one of the panniers from

the Multistrada Enduro I was

riding strapped to his backpack.

The back-left pannier had fallen

off whilst riding and my brother

somehow avoided crashing after

it smased into his front wheel.

After a huge sigh of relief, and

fitting the pannier on properly

this time, we set of once again

for the track.

6.30am was a bit too early as

nothing happened until around

8am only. We set off back to the

merch section to buy a few more

things before having a breakfast

with the crew at the hospitality.

8.30 and we were once again

spoilt by the KTM factory team,

this time with a tour of their

pits. We were instructed before

heading in that no pictures or

videos were allowed, but once

inside we were told that we

could take pics as all the bike

were fully assembled. It was

great seeing the orange workof-art

that is the KTM RC16 Red

Bull MotoGP bike up close and

personal. We were on Mika

Kallio’s side of the garage, the

bikes that would soon have the

#82 ripped off and replaced with

a 33, that of Brad Binder.

Straight from there we

headed back out on track to

watch the FP3 sessions as well

as Darryn and Brad’s qualifying.

We cheered as Daz managed to

make it through Q1 and into Q2,

where he would end up 9th on

the grid. We were all over the

moon as this would give him a

proper chance at the podium.

After dominating the day

before, smashing the existing

lap record, Brad’s team made

a few unnecessary changes to

the bike and he struggled in the

qualifying session and ended

up 7th on the grid. Naturally he

Our boys with Pol Espargaró

was upset, but we all knew he

is a Sunday man and would be

battling for the win.

Walking back, we headed

straight to Darryn’s pit box

to congratulate him, but the

thrill was short lived as Darryn

was called up to race direction

and handed a back of the grid

penalty for riding slowly in the

Q1 session. Now, this really

pissed me off as I saw the whole

‘so called incident’ happen.

Daz, along with several other

riders headed out of the pits all

together. They all were riding

slowly but did not impede any

fast riders coming through or

cause any danger, so why the

hell the penalty was given I

do not know. They really are

spoiling the Moto3 class with all

this nonsense, just let the guys

race, it’s always been the most

action-packed class to watch

and these rules are going to ruin

it. Having said that, these rules

certainly don’t seem to apply

to other riders. Aaron Canet

caused huge drama at the start

of Sunday’s race, dropping oil on

the circuit causing a 14-minute

delay to the race. He then went

on to start from his original

grid spot. Why no penalty for

him? Oh yes, he is Spanish

and his team owner is Max

Biaggi, so of course no penalty.

I saw first-hand just how the

paddock is against Darryn and

it’s wrong! Yes, there have been

times where he was wrong and

maybe deserved a penalty but

there has been more than one

Signatures from Rossi himself.

A pic with Miguel Oliviera after interviewing him.

occasion this year, including this

one, where he has been unfairly

treated. I hope this does not

happen again next year as you

can see it hits the poor guy hard.

After dealing with the

disappointment of both Darryn

and Brad’s sessions we went

88 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


K1600 Bagger, 2018

5 900km

R259 900

R 1250 GS Adventure, 2019

4700km, Loads of extras

R280 000

GS 1200

54 400km, choice of two

From R159 900

GS 1200, 2015

63 000km

From R133 999

HP 850 GS, 2019

8 000km, tall screen, bashplate, choice

of two

From R159 900

R 1250 GS HP, 2019 Demo

2 500km, Akro slipon, Navigator, top box

R269 000

GS ADVENTURE, 2014

47 000km

R159 000

C 400 X, 2019 Demo

3 500km

R109 000

R 1200 GS Adv, 2016

18 500km

R185 000

R 1250 GS Exclusive, 2019

7 000km, top box, rally seat, dark screen

R259 000

R nine T, 2017

5 500km, Loads of extras

R135 000

R 1250 RT Exclusive, 2020

Brand new and in stock

P.O.A

R 1250 RS, 2020

Brand new and in stock

P.O.A


on to watch the MotoGP qualifying session

in Brad’s pit box, after a quick tour of him

explaining to us just how all the gadgets on

his bike works. Another real treat!

And the treats just kept on coming as we

headed off to the Tech 3 KTM hospitality to

catch up with Miguel Oliviera, who was not

riding due to his shoulder injury. Again, just

like with Pol we had a great sit-down chat

and sadly no space in this month’s issue,

so that along with the Pol interview will be

published in next month’s issue.

That was it from the Saturday, it was time

again to battle the crazy, and very impolite

Spanish traffic…

Sunday

This time we left a bit later and only got to

the track at 7.00am. Our plan for the day

was to experience all the racing action

from trackside, walking to every turn to

witness it all.

We first started by watching the warm-up

sessions from outside the media room, so

literally just above the pits down the main

straight. Again, a great sight and sound seeing

and hearing the bikes enter and leave pits, as

well as scream down the long main stretch.

After a quick stop at the hospitality,

where we hooked up with Shaun and

Brendan Meredith, we suited up in our Binder

Brothers shirts, courtesy of Smashton

Industries, grabbed the SA flag and proudly

waved it around as we walked to turn 2

where we would watch all the action.

Our plan for both the Moto3 and Moto2

race was to go out on track and celebrate

with both Darryn and Brad after their races,

no matter their positions. Sadly, Darryn

would once again get the short end of the

stick. After being released what felt like 30

minutes after the rest from pit lane, the

race was red-flagged after only 1 lap due to

a massive crash. We cheered as this to us

meant that Daz would line up at the back

of the grid having served his pit lane start

penalty. But, again, the big, unjust hand of

the law smacked down on Daz who was

forced to start once again from pit lane.

This put him on the back foot big time and a

couple of laps in, after being released from

pit lane way too late again, Daz crashed out

at turn 4 and was unable to get going again.

Sad, as we really wanted to go out on track

and show him just how much we love him

and how proud we are of him. Oh well, there

is always a next time.

We stuck around at turn 2 for Brad’s race

as we had a perfect exit point on to the track

with no marshals in sight. We all know what

happened next don’t we? Brad went on to do

what Brad does best and win the race, the

perfect send off to his time in Moto2.

After doing a massive burn-out in turn

one, Brad head over to us on the side. The

rest was captured perfectly on live TV for

all to see. Myself, my brother, Shaun and

Brendan Meredith along with Clint Potgiter

raced out on track to celebrate with our hero.

A real proud moment for us all no doubt,

Emilio Alzamora, manager of both Marc

and Alex Marquez, taking some videos of

Brad in FP2 to show Alex how it’s done.

Rob enjoying some snacks trackside.

Right up close to all the track action.

Bromance! Rob and Darryn Binder.

90 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Top: Hanging out with Brad in his race

truck. The SA mentality came out of both

Rob and Shaun who both tried stealing

Brad’s Bell helmet, IXON leathers, TCX

boots and his first place trophy from

Sepang and the Dunlop cap. They never

managed to do so, instead they went

into Brad’s pit and watched the MotoGP

qualifying action.

but especially for me who has been on this

journey with Brad from day one and to say I

was proud is a massive understatement.

We then grabbed our gear and sprinted

the 1.5km to the podium to celebrate

with Brad. It was not easy and I’m pretty

sure I left a lung somewhere along the

way. Myself and Shaun Meredith made

it there first after racing through the Ajo

KTM pit, blasting past Brad’s team-mate

Jorge Martin in the process. I then went

on to sprint past a certain 8-times world

champion in pit lane, which I later found

out was also caught on live TV, before

eventually making it to the podium. A few

minutes later, a very red-faced Shaun

Portman made his way through the crowed

followed by a very tired, but happy 60

plus year old Brendan Meredith – knee

replacement and all. What a champ!

Celebrating at the podium with Brad

was another never forget moment. Being

sprayed with champagne never felt so

good, definitely not washing my Binder

Brothers shirt after that. It will be signed by

both boys and framed along with pictures

from the race.

After getting all of our emotions in check

we went on to enjoy the MotoGP race out

at various corners on the track. Watching

these guys in full flight is poetry in motion.

Marc Marquez is visibly faster than the rest.

That riding style of braking late, digging

the front tyre into the ground to scrub off

speed and then hammering the throttle

on harder and earlier than anyone else is

Bottom: Rob and Shaun were lucky enough

to get into Darryn Binder’s hospitality for

the weekend. Thanks Darryn!!!

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 9 1


Supporting Darryn and Brad from inside

turn 2, there was a massive big screen

to keep up with all the action.

Top pic: Rob and Shaun at the podium with Brad’s winning machine.

Left pic: Brad celebrates with the Motul SA crew.

Right pic: Brad’s KTM Moto2 bike stripped down 30min after race.

KTM will no longer be on the Moto2 grid from 2020 onwards and team

Ajo already had a Kalex prepped in the race truck.

Above two pics: A priceless picture - Our Rob and Shaun, along with

Shaun Meredith, Brendan Meredith and Clint Potgieter celebrate with

Brad and hand him the SA flag out on track after his final Moto2 win.

From there they had to sprint the 1.5km to get to the podium and

celebrate once again with Brad.

very apparent. In total contrast,

Jorge Lorenzo looked like a

trackschool rider. Ok, obviously

not that bad but the man just

looked horribly uncomfortable

on that bike. Gone are the nice

wide, fast flowing lines, and

replaced with ridged looking

stiffness. He literally looked like

he was just cruising around to

get to the line in one piece. A sad

sight in many ways from what

was once an unstoppable force.

Pictures just don’t do it

justice. I wish I could lend my

eyes and ears to you all for a

day to experience all that I saw

and heard. It’s something I truly

wish every MotoGP fan could

experience at least once in

their lifetime.

After the MotoGP race, we

went to the hospitality for a

much-needed foot up session.

Over 22,000 steps recorded on

race day, so after helping the

team pack up the hospitality,

we headed back to the room

for a quick rest before meeting

up with the gang for the official

year end MotoGP party. Only

the elite are invited to this, so

another lucky strike for us. Free

alcohol meant it was party time

and we somehow managed to

make it to the party that only

started at 1am. We partied

like rockstars and even Troy

Corser climbed onto the Brad

and Darryn Binder crew for the

evening. A great time for sure!

The videos will never see the

light of day, I hope…

Right: Good times at the official

MotoGP end of season party with

the Binders, their gorgeous gals,

Shaun Meridith and Troy Corser.

92 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019



IN THEBIG

Rob stayed over in Valencia for the

official MotoGP test to capture Brad’s

first official day as a MotoGP rider.

LEAGUES

Believe it or not, after reading all of

that, this trip got even more special

a few days after the chequred flag

came down for the final time in 2019

bringing and end to the racing season.

We stayed for the first official day

of testing, which was held on the

following Tuesday. This was my first

time attending an official MotoGP

test so even more excitement. To

top it off, it was Brad’s first official

test as a new Factory Red Bull KTM

MotoGP rider.

On arrival at the track, which was

like a ghost town compared to a few

days prior, I was greeted by a very

happy looking Brad with Courtney by

his side. On the Sunday after the race,

my brother helped Brad and Courts

move all Brad’s gear over into his

new race truck, which Mika Kallio had

been booted out of.

Brad would share the truck with

test rider Dani Pedrosa for the twoday

test, which he enjoyed as he

could sit and chat with the multiple

champ about riding a MotoGP bike.

Around 30-min after greeting Brad

he came walking down the paddock,

fully kitted and followed by a film

crew capturing the Rookies first

glance at his new MotoGP machine.

This would also be the big unveiling

of Brad’s new race number, 33, made

to look like his initials, BB. It looked

great and judging by the response

on social media everyone else also

approves of it.

After meeting his new team, sitting

on the bike and getting the ergonomics

right, it was finally time for Brad to

head out on track. My brother and

I went up to the media room and

watched his first laps from above pit

lane. Hearing and seeing him scream

down the front straight for the first

time sent goosebumps all over my

body – another very proud moment.

Brad completed a couple of laps

before heading back into the pits.

94 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


Brad’s plan heading into the

test was to not worry about

lap times, but rather focus on

understanding the bike and

data as much as possible. He

started off on the racebike used

by Mika Kallio over the race

weekend, after the team decided

to keep Pol’s bike, which Brad

was originally going to use, with

Pol’s race setup so he could test

it back-to-back against the new

“Dani Pedrosa” spec 2020 bike

as they called it.

For the rest of the day Brad

went in and out of pits, riding

on his own to try get as much

feeling as possible without

trying to follow someone else.

His times improved with every

passing lap early on with the

soft Michelin tyres, before

switching to the harder tyre to

help churn out as many laps as

possible. Brad spent a lot of time

in the pits, analyzing data and

comparing it to Pol’s and Dani’s

before heading out and trying

new things.

Towards the end of the day,

once he felt more comfortable

on the bike, Brad would try and

tag onto Pol and did so for a

lap and a bit before running off

heading into the tough turn 10,

which had already caught out

fellow rookie rider Alex Marquez,

Honda test rider Stefan Bradl

and fast Frenchman Fabio

Quatararo earlier on. Brad would

also land up crashing out there,

but on day two.

Brad posted his fastest

lap of the day earlier on when

he managed to get a tow

from another KTM rookie, Iker

Lacuona, on the Tech 3 KTM.

Iker had just completed the

race weekend as a rookie and

surprised all with his pace,

including Brad.

Brad ended the first day

in 21st place with a time of a

1,32.645, putting him 2.482

seconds behind the fastest time

set by Fabio. Brad completed

over 70 laps, spending over an

hour and twenty minutes in the

saddle of his new machine. That

is a lot of riding and big pressure

on the body. By the time Brad had

finished with his team de-brief,

satisfied all the media requests

it was 7pm and I finally got the

chance to sit down and have

a chat with him about his first

day. You can go watch the full

video interview on the RideFast

Magazine YouTube channel – it’s

well worth a watch.

Watching Brad out on track

and I could see him getting more

and more comfortable with

every passing lap. Getting to full

gas early looked like his main

problem, trusting the electronics

will take some getting used to

for sure. Corner speed and lean

angle looked really impressive, it

really was a case of not getting

out as fast, that’s where he

was losing all of his time. This

was made more evident with

his top speeds, which were

down compared to most. On the

brakes he was solid, although

he did run off a fair few times.

Watching him I think this was

more down to the fact that the

electronics would not let him

slide the rear into the turns

like he had done throughout

his Moto2 career. Brad likes

to attack the corners with the

rear hanging out, squaring up

the corner flat tack style. This

helps him scrub off speed while

keeping the front wheel as

upright as possible so it doesn’t

fold, while the rear pretty much

steers the bike into the turns.

Not being able to do this as

pronounced as before will take

some getting used to and he

knows that he has to adapt his

riding style to the MotoGP bike.

Brad knows he has a lot

of work to do and his aim for

testing is to do as much as

possible and learn with every

passing lap. For now, lap times

are not the main priority, but

rather getting to grips with the

bike and tyres. He has a very

mature head on his shoulders

and knows what is needed to

get the job done to the best

of his ability and with a great

team-mate like Pol, and with

Dani’s experience and expertise

plus all the funding and tech

available from KTM, I have no

doubt that Brad will put in some

great performances next year.

Yes, he is not going to be at the

front at every race, but I can see

some solid rides coming from

our champ and the main aim will

be that rookie of the year title

for sure.

Brad went on to improve

his time on day two, ending the

test in 23rd place overall with a

fastest time of 1,32.3, and if you

consider that’s what most of

the riders were racing at on the

Brad getting to grips with the KTM MotoGP bike.

Sunday, that’s good going after

only 150 plus laps in the saddle.

Speaking to Pol after the first

days test having sampled the

“Pedrosa” bike, he said there are

huge gains and the new spec

bike feels a lot more responsive

in the handling and electronics

department. For now, Brad

will spend most of his time on

the old spec bike until KTM are

happy with the new spec and

have enough parts to build

atleast 1 machine for each rider.

After the Valencia test Brad

set off to Jerez for another two

days of testing. We covered day

one of this test earlier on in this

issue and couldn’t get day two

in as we had to send the mag to

the printers.

Whatever happens, these

are exciting times for not only

Brad but for all SA fans and the

MotoGP class.

Pic by GP Fever.de

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 9 5


BSB Bike

Show

Business

Mat Durrans is a very well known name in the South African motorcycle

game and is one of the two ugly faces you will see on the weekly “The Bike

Show” program featured on Ignition TV. We have managed to convince Mat to

take time out of his busy schedule to supply us with a monthly column.

Eicma Promises Naked Glory

I am a naked sport bike fan.

Always have been, and I’ve

no doubt I always will be.

Essentially I’m a sport bike fan

who wants it all, and that means

I’ll always take a naked superbike

over a full-on race replica.

Sure, if you are actually racing,

or your ultimate enjoyment

boils down to going absolutely

as quickly as you possibly

can around a race track, then

a superbike with its clip-on

handlebar and full-fairing is the

way to go. But, if you want to use

the bike for anything other than

those occasional fast laps then

I reckon you’re better off with a

naked version of that superbike.

Even at a trackday I’d rather

ride the naked version of a

superbike than the actual

superbike. My lap times would

of course suffer, but not by

much, and not by enough that I

wouldn’t still be embarrassing a

few genuine superbikes. Getting

the better of someone on a

supposedly more focussed bike

will always raise your spirits, and

playing the underdog means less

pressure and more pleasure.

The first bike I owned on this

path to sporting enlightenment

is a bike I would love to have

in my garage once again. It’s a

modern classic, the first bike

to provide a naked version of

its superbike-self without any

dilution of power or chassis.

The Aprilia RSV Tuono Factory of

2003 was smothered in carbonfibre,

had the same brutal

engine (still one of the best ever

V-twins for low rpm grunt) as

the RSV Mille R and a chassis

that was every bit the equal of its

superbike stablemate’s.

I get a lump in my throat and

a tear in the corner of my eye

thinking about it now, it may be

the first bike I well and truly fell

in love with. If you ever stumble

across one (in black) that’s still

immaculate, let me know. I

want it.

Another model that tugged

at my heart strings in much the

same way was Triumph’s 675cc

Street Triple R. I’ve had two of

them, and I’ll gladly tell anyone

willing to listen that it’s probably

the best bike that the modern

incarnation of Triumph has made

to date.

I currently own another naked

sport bike in the shape of a 2016

BMW S 1000 R, and I love the

fact that it delivers superbike

levels of sophistication with its

extensive electronics and track

capable chassis. I respect this

bike, but I don’t love it. In-line

four-cylinder bikes inherently

have less character than

V-format engines, or even than

in-line units with less cylinders,

like the Street Triple.

And there’s the annoying

fact that the full performance

of the 198 horsepower engine

from the S 1000 RR has been

retuned (actually marketing

speak for ‘emasculated’) by a

whopping 40 ponies for the S

1000 R. Admittedly 158hp means

it’s still spectacularly rapid, but

I can’t help imagining – and all

too often – what it could feel like

with all that goodness restored

to an engine and chassis that are

already patently up to the job.

That’s why I’ll never truly love

this bike.

That and the fact that I’ve

already found a new love. This

love will unfortunately remain

unrequited for some time to

come, given the performance

gap between its price and the

width of my wallet. Having spent

a couple of days wandering

the halls of Milan’s EICMA expo

at the beginning of November

I find myself nothing short of

obsessed.

I’ve never wanted a new bike

so much before, and I haven’t

even ridden it yet. It surely won’t

be too long before that first ride

happens, but I can’t see it being

a disappointment. The Ducati

Streetfighter V4 represents

everything I look for in a bike.

Undiluted superbike engine

performance, circuit-ready

chassis, good looks and no

compromise to practicality other

than the higher handlebar.

Given the traditional

indifference of South African

bikers towards the naked

superbike I may be shouting into

the wind, but for the sake of a

few enlightened kindred spirits

let me say that there has never

been a better time to be into

bikes like these.

EICMA also witnessed the

unveiling of a naked H2, meaning

Kawasaki’s admirably bonkers

supercharged flagship now

becomes part of the naked Z

line-up. MV Agusta showcased

a new 1000cc Brutale RR that,

like the Ducati, pushes well past

the 200 horsepower mark (the

Kawasaki generates a puny

197hp) and features components

that would put many ‘ordinary’

superbikes to shame.

There’s an updated KTM 1290

Super Duke R and a completely

new 890 Duke if 119hp seems

more civilised than 180hp.

If you want power with the

sort of exclusivity even MV

Agusta and Ducati can’t offer

then there’s the tantalising

prospect of a revived Bimota

Tesi-inspired naked bike with

Kawasaki’s H2 engine providing

the power.

2020 is set to be the year

of the naked bike, and if that

thought doesn’t excite you,

you’re reading the wrong

magazine.

96 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019


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