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Intro. Keeping the wheels turning...

September Issue 2020

September. Spring has sprung.

Lockdown is almost done away with.

Brad Binder made history for South Africa

and KTM.

How much better can it be?

Well - even better because we managed to get

RideFast and Dirt And Tail Magazines back into


How cool is that?

And there have been some changes with Rob

Portman moving along to start his own electronic

media stuff - we really do wish him well.

Meet the team:

Kyle Lawrenson rejoins the Motomedia fold - so

we welcome him back...He has been with our

group on and off since he was in high school - a

great rider and his design work has come along

in leaps and bounds.

Stefan van der Riet joins us fresh out of varsity

with his unique eye for Photographs - he is an

avid motorcyclist which always helps.

Sean Hendley is an old Ducktail who has been

around bikes since he was a tjoggertjie. You

cannot beat knowledge and experience - he

brings all of that in.

He is going to make sure that we don’t go too

awry with all of the editorial.

Glenn Foley is the handsome one - he is the

slowest out there, takes blurry photos, his

spelling is wobbly - good spelling but it wobbles.

He somehow manages to keep the ships sailing.

Then we are going to draw on the talents of

some very experienced riders out there.

Shado Alston goes fast, goes slow and

understands the mechanics that go into

motorcycles. And he writes really well. Check out

his thoughts on the new Blade this month.

We have worked with Donovan Fourie from The

Bike Show since he was in primary school. He

is one of the most knowledgeable motorcycle

people around and he brings his unique sense

of humour with him. Just read his Moto GP story

this month.

And we don’t forget the ladies - Mieke Oelofse

and Michelle Leppan both have much

experience on the road - they will be roped in for

rides and opinions often.

For the really fast stuff, AJ Venter and the Agliotti

Brothers and many others have agreed to give

us a racers input... so that’s going to be cool.

Exciting times - and this is going to be a real

team effort from all of us to deliver what you have

come to expect.

Please keep in touch - any queries,


The RideFast Team

Pic of the month:


Glenn Foley



Sean Hendley



071 684 4546




anette.acc@ mweb.co.za

011 979 5035



Kyle Lawrenson


011 979 5035


Stefan van der Riet


Shado Alston

Donovan Fourie

Michelle Leppan

Mieke Oelofse

Kurt Beine

Videos and more

available online...




Having shed its skin, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R is now a

leaner, meaner and an even more menacing hyper-naked bike

than ever before. Mounted into an all-new chassis, beats an updated

version of the renowned 75 degree, 1301 cc LC8, V-Twin

heart, taking THE BEAST to the next level.

Phone 011 462 7796 for your nearest KTM dealer.

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.

All the NEWS proudly brought to


All the NEWS proudly brought to



Harley Davidson News

Team Ash, Kayla, James, Gift.

Suzuki Mecca

moves to Gezina

Aaron, Neels, Suki, Symm and Pat.

The very well known, bubbly and friendly biker lady, Ashleigh

James has joined the team at R.O.C. Harley Davidson in

Alberton as the General Manager. Ash brings along with her

not only a strong following of customers from the industry but a

wealth of knowledge and experience with niché market heritage

brands which can only bode well for the Harley Davidson

brand, particularly considering her marketing background. We

at this fine publication have the privilege of being good friends

with Ash and really wish her all the success and happiness

at R.O.C. Harley Davidson. You can get in contact with Ash

on gm@roc-hd.co.za or 010 492 4300 or opo in for a cuppa

coffee at the corner of Voortrekker and Louis Trichardt streets in

Alberton, just off the N12 … if you miss them, we can refer you

to a great optometrist.

Italian Motorcycle


Your destination motorcycle

lifestyle centre

If you have been watching our social media pages you

might have noticed that we enjoy popping in at Italian

Motorcycle Importers, just off William Nicol in Bryanston

for a cup of coffee fairly regularly. And it is not just

because we are cheap skate free loaders, but because

it is a really chilled and comfortable place to be. The

coffee is great, they have plenty of Mazzati beer in stock

and they really are a great bunch of guys.

Even though it is the head quarters of Aprilia and Moto

Guzzi South Africa, it doesn’t really feel like a bike shop

per say. It is more like popping into your mates really

sorted man cave for a bit. There are big comfortable

leather couches placed strategically in front of a big

screen TV permanently tuned into bike racing. A bar

off to the side of that with tables to park off and have

a snack from their soon to be opened kitchen with free

Wi-Fi to boot.

The decor is really something to behold, hot and sexy

Italian motorcycles, beautiful Suomy helmets, gorgeous

leather jackets, stunning boots … anything and

everything motorcycling you can dream of … oh, and

there are a couple of friendly blokes skulking around in

the shadows that will accept any form of payment for

said decor … it is actually a bike shop after all and the

decor is actually their retail stock.

The guys often host MotoGP watch parties at the shop

on Sundays and put on a really lekker spread. So, if you

are not into the big noisy, boisterous crowds and just

want a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with great company

to watch the GP’s and SBK, head down to IMI, like we

said they are just next door to Maserati at Bryanston

Boulevard, William Nicol Drive, Bryanston , Sandton. Or

you could give them a call on 010 443 4596.

This well known and long established Suzuki and SYM

dealership headed up by sister and brother team Suki and

Symm Grobbelaar have moved from their shop on Paul Kruger

street to a prime location on the corner of Steve Bhiko and

Myburgh streets in Gezina Pretoria. If you are a Pretoria local

you will recall they moved from Pretorius st to Schubart st many

years ago. After many, many years at that address they were

offered a chunk of change for that building and moved to the

Paul Kruger st location some five plus years ago. After a while

they realised that that part of town was not ideally suited for the

motorcycle industry and found this pearler location in a part of

town that has become synonymous with horse power and the

smell of hi-octane fuel burning machines.

Pat Scott, formerly of Bike Crazy joins the team of Aaron

and Neels on the front line with great service and a friendly

smile. The shop is well stocked with bikes, scooters, parts,

accessories with a professional workshop to keep your dream

machine in tip top condition. Drop into at the corner of Myburgh

and Steve Bhiko in Gezina, They are on the left, you literally

can’t miss them. Or give them a call on 012 362 5572 or drop

them a mail on mcmecca@global.co.za . Tell them we sent you.

Moto Guzzi

MGX21 Flying Fortress

Recently, as in within the last few weeks, the Flying Fortress

landed in South Africa, this piece of art, a study in carbon fiber

and black wil have your jaw on the ground in a few seconds

flat. The fairing looks like it was nicked off a fighter jet and

everything is just so Italian in design, where form and function

meet in perfect harmony.

Yes it is a V-Twin bagger and there are plenty to choose from on

the market. However, this one is kitted to the hilt with just about

every conceivable bit of kit that would be an ‘extra’ on all them

other baggers and it is priced at the same price as an un-kitted

version. However, the really big plus here for us is the fact that

it really stands out from the crowd with its styling, its black and

carbon fiber picked out in elegant chrome and red accents …

but let us not ramble on, pictures tell the story better than our


All the NEWS proudly brought to



Lots of Bitz for your bike

The good guys at Trick Bitz bring in a bunch of really nice

stuff for your bike and do carry some very desirable bits for

older generation bikes as well, check out their website on

www.trickbitz.co.za to get your juices flowing. We asked for

a walk through their warehouse and had a bit of a scratch

around and found some very interesting magafters. Here

are a few of our favourites:

Chiaravalli Chain and sprocket kits

Not a new concept, but a handy one, sprocket and chain

kits by Chiarvalli, They come with the correct front and rear

sprocket, master link and chain in one blister pack kit, so

you can be sure that everything fits together nicely on your

bike and are the correct ratio’s and pitch. You can be certain

that the product is high quality made by power mad Italians

and wont let you down in a pinch, and they are reasonably

priced as well.

Rubber tech sprockets by Ognibene and JT

Yes, another ‘not so new concept’, but one we have

forgotten about as the sands of time leave us behind. Also

manufactured by some crazy Italians with a lust for speed

but with an ear for symphony and harmony. So, besides

being manufactured of the highest quality materials,

induction hardened process and attention to detail, they are

also designed with the new Silent Technology. One of our

biggest gripes, especially on road bikes is the rattle of the

chain on the sprockets. This rubber technology significantly

reduces that rackets as well as helps extend the life of

your chain and sprockets, but does not negate the need for

proper cleaning and maintenance.

Spare wheels for your paddock stands

Huh? We never knew that … and they come with new stub

axles and everything, even fancy pants colours. Now that

old paddock stand lying in the back of your garage can be

brought back to life, they even stock the bobbins to fit onto

your swing arm as well as the adjustable swivel adaptors

and pins to fir into the yolk of your bike.

Branded Key Rings

Clean, soft, elegant, sturdy and simple and branded with

your favourite bike brand. They wont damage your triple

clamp or paint work and they look good.

All the NEWS proudly brought to


F61 Performance

A Proudly south African

product range by Autocycle

Compression Stabiliser

A little can of head ache and aggravation relief,

sorely needed in every workshop. It removes

gum and varnish from carburettor throat and

combustion intake systems. We have all tried to

clean a gummed up carb before and understand

that you have to do it properly or you are just

going to have to do it again and again and again

… Well F61’s Compression Stabiliser is a bit of

a short cut and will spare your Missus your foul

temper. It also cleans dirty sparks plugs while

reducing emissions while improving acceleration,

performance and fuel economy. You know you

need it …

Brake and Parts Cleaner

How many times has your missus growled at you

for nicking your handy andy or nail polish remover

to clean your bike and brake parts? Yeah, so

Brake and Parts cleaner not only brings about

marital bliss but it also effectively removes grease,

brake fluid and other contaminants from brake disc

and pads while stopping that horrible squeaking

noise from the brakes and enhancing brake

performance. Also great for getting grit, grime

and dirt off engines and etc in those hard to reach

place that your wife’s tooth brush wont get into.

Visit www.autocyclecentre.co.za for your

nearest stockist.

Pocket Bikes

Pocketbike SA was founded in 2006 by Donovan Pearce›s

passion for motorcycles and MotoGP.

While on a trip to China he came across a great product in “Pocket Sized”

motorcycles and recognised the opportunity to introduce the youth of

South Africa to motorcycling and to get them passionate and driven into

the world of motorcycling from ages as young as 3 and 4 years old and

upwards in a safe, controlled and fun environment.

Donovan initially brought in a small quantity of 50cc 2 stroke air cooled

petrol driven 3HP Pocketbikes to test the market and was surprised by the

amount of interest it received and realized that this could go somewhere

so he started to Import 50cc Pocket-bikes, Quads, Dirt Bikes, Go-Karts,

Spares, Performance Parts and Kids Protection Kits, Helmets, Gloves

and Safety Gear which he started retailing and servicing from a small 6m

container in Circle Metals Scrap yard in Kenilworth which then over time

and after growing a large client base lead to Opening a Full Retail store

with Service and Repair Facilities at 163 Voortrekker Road Goodwood,

Cape Town 021 202 7583 as well as to the creation of a website which

then grew to a Online Store which has grown their client base nationally

via www.pocketbikesa.co.za

Their vision and drive from the very beginning was to become the largest

Importer and Retailer of 50cc Pocket-bike spares and kids 50cc entry

level bikes in the SA market and after 14 years of hard work, dedication

and with the support from all their valued customers, (who have become

friends as well), and all the motorcycle stores, service centres, mechanics

and race tracks, (who still continue to support them), they have become a

household name and they are still striving to grow, learn and become even

better over time…

‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their

continuous support over the years and the heart that is put into the

business by all the staff on a day to day basis as well as to Ride Fast and

Dirt & Trail for this opportunity. Stay Safe everyone” - from the Pocketbike

SA Team

All the NEWS proudly brought to












Triumph South Africa officially announces

the opening of Triumph Cape Town on 1

August 2020.

The dealership is situated in the Cape Town

city centre in the “premium motorcycle”

precinct and offers the full range of Triumph

products and services, including motorcycle

sales, apparel and accessory sales, parts

sales and motorcycle service.

“While Triumph has always offered

aftersales support in Cape Town, it is now

time to ensure that our motorcycle brand

is represented in the manner that we

had planned 2 years ago when Triumph

South Africa became the official distributor

of Triumph motorcycles. We need to

ensure that our dealerships represent the

Triumph brand in a way that ensures a

comprehensive and premium customer

experience, which Triumph Cape Town will

now be able to deliver” says Bruce Allen,

CEO of Triumph South Africa.

“Triumph Motorcycles is delighted with

the confidence shown by Triumph Cape

Town with the opening of a new Triumph

dealership in these challenging times.

The Western Cape is one of the largest

motorcycle markets in South Africa, and

we are pleased that customers will once

again have the opportunity to buy and

ride Triumph motorcycles locally. I want

to congratulate once again the Triumph

SA team for this achievement.” says Paul

Stroud, Chief Commercial Officer, Triumph

Motorcycles Ltd.

Triumph Cape Town will welcome its

customers with the highest level of service,

thanks to the factory trained sales and

technical personnel, and with a wide range

of demo motorcycles that covers all our

product families, customers will be able to

view and test the full Triumph range. The

dealership is already well stocked with

men’s and ladies’ quality Triumph apparel,

which includes boots, rider wear, and an

exceptional variety of casual wear.

Contact details for Triumph Cape Town are

as follows:

125 Buitengracht St. Cape Town

Tel: 021 300 5217



All the NEWS proudly brought to


All the NEWS proudly brought to



25Litre Rucksack

The guys and girls at DMD do bring in some really cool gear

and accessories, for instance the new GIVI GRT711 is a

practical off-road backpack with plenty of compartments. It

has been developed by the Givi R&D department to offer

the market a backpack actually designed for motorcyclists.

Dedicated mainly to off-roaders, with its -25litre capacity, it is

water resistant and anti-UV thanks to its high tenacity 1200D

polyester exterior.

Equipped with a thermoformed back panel in breathable EVA,

it offers greater comfort to the rider wearing it, avoiding heat

build-up and sweating by allowing the air to pass through.

The backpack is secured to the body using padded shoulder

straps and adjustable chest and waist straps to prevent

uncomfortable bouncing and ensure perfect adherence to the


This well organised backpack has several compartments;

it has a removable inner bag and is equipped with a handy,

easily accessible zip pocket for keys, small objects and a

smart phone. This is also waterproof thanks to the hot-taped

seams. At the bottom of the backpack there is also a special

separate compartment designed to store tools or clothes. An

additional compartment is available on the back, accessible

from the outside with a bellows opening and space has been

provided for an optional liquid bag. A removable boot bag is

also included and can be attached externally. It is made in

fluorescent yellow Nylon/PVC. The extraordinary modularity

offered by this Gravel-T backpack also makes it possible to

directly connect bags and small «additional loads», such as

the Givi GRT717 tool carrier.

Finally, there are side slots to attach small objects using a

set of 4 accessories for the M.O.L.L.E. System, provided as

standard: 2 D-rings and 2 universal hooks. The new GRT711

has everything it takes to be the ideal travel companion for

everyone, not just enduro bikers, because it not only meets

the needs of the most extreme riders but also of those who

use their bike every day and need a backpack that is strong

and technical.

For more info and to find your nearest stockist click on


Bent frame?

Wheel alignment?

AS Racing’s - Rapid Laser Alignment system:

Now, here is something that caught our attention, something

that we have wondered about from time to time. Do you need

to do wheel alignment or any kind of alignment on your bike

and if so - how?

As it turns out you do. You can do a quick and easy test

on your own bike... Find a flat, smooth paved surface like

a concrete slab or something. Grab some baby powder or

even a bit of very fine sand, anything that will make a print.

Spread it over the surface at about a metre wide and about 3

metres long. Then push your bike through it as straight as you

possibly can. If your bikes alignment is true then there should

only be one line made by the tyres, as the rear wheel should

track directly behind the front wheel. If there are two lines …

Well then you need to get your bike down to Alfie at AS

Racing out on Van der Hoff road on the western side of

Pretoria. Alfie has just procured the latest in motorcycle

alignment technology by HealTech Electronics. The RAPID

LASER ‘Professional frame and chassis check-up tool’ uses

some pretty fancy lasers, measuring tapes and a whole bunch

of other cool tech that we don’t quite understand to check the

whether your frame is twisted, (even if it is ever so slightly),

same with your swing arm, sub frame, head stock, triple

clamps and can even be used to make sure your chain is

running true between the sprockets. Sadly, those little marks

on your swingarm are not exactly micro-millimetre perfect. So

when every milli-second counts during a race so does every

micron that can rob you of that little bit of advantage over

your competitors. Thus a true and straight race bike will be

more stable and agile in the corners, more a focused under

acceleration and braking and more compliant and confidence

inspiring to the rider.

But how does this affect us mere mortals you may ask?

Well, for one, as in alignment with cars, your tyres should

last a bit longer, as would your chain and sprockets, wheel

bearing, swing arm and head stock bearings. And in today’s

day and age, anything that can save you a bit of money is

a good thing. But there is also the safety as well as the fun

factor. A proper handling bike is always more fun to ride, being

able to out manoeuver your mates in an impromptu dice and

whip their asses is even better fun and being able to do that

with a bike that won’t try kill you with a sudden wobble or try

to chuck you off … well … need we say more?

Give Alfie a shout on 084 523 9229, or drop

him a mail on asracing123@gmail.com

Triumph Trident


This is a design concept for a new Triumph Trident, which

the brand says will take on the class leading middleweights.

Currently the entry-level models into the Triumph brand are

the Street Twin and the Street Triple S. «This bike is going to

be aimed at people who have been riding a while but this is

their first, new large-capacity machine,» says Steve Sargent,

Chief Product Officer at Triumph. «It’s going to be very

competitively priced but we’re sticking with Triumph’s roots to

maintain a premium presence in that market.»

For now Triumph aren’t releasing any figures about the new

power plant.

The frame is new, designed just for this bike to deliver the sort

of ‘roadster’ handling Triumph has become famous for.

The styling is fresh, taking hints from Honda’s ‘neo-café’ retro

meets-modern approach where classic Triumph design cues,

such as the cut-outs in the tank, work alongside the modern

shapes of the subframe.

There’s even a dash of Italian flair with the work of Rodolfo

Frascoli, whose previous penmanship has brought us the

fantastic Tiger 900.

The new bike should be right up there technology-wise, with

all new switchgear clearly visible, alongside a brand new

dash and funky LED lights. There’s no indication what tech to

expect, but based on the Hinckley operation’s current models,

that switchgear and a desire to outdo the competition, don’t

be surprised to see riding modes, cornering ABS and leansensitive

traction control.

Triumph plans to reveal the full machine, along with all the

specs and price in just a few weeks, ahead of its arrival in

dealers early next year…



All the NEWS proudly brought to


BMW carbon-fibre

swingarm replacement concept…

Amongst the landmarks in motorcycle design, the swingarm

stands out as one of the greatest. But now BMW have come

up with a revised version of the idea that takes advantage

of their extensive experience with carbon fibre.

With the launch of the HP4 Race in 2017, BMW snuck in

before Ducati’s 1299 Superleggera to offer a full carbonframed



Petronas MotoGP

Replica R1

Yamaha Europe and YART team up for limited-run Petronas

MotoGP replica R1

Yamaha Europe has teamed up with Yamaha Austria Racing

Team (YART) to create a run of 46 individually numbered

Petronas Sepang Racing MotoGP team replica YZF-R1s.

The 46 machines have been commissioned to celebrate 46

years of Petronas – the satellite squad’s title sponsor – and

will cost a measly 46,000€ each, excluding VAT. The bikes are

available to European customers only.

With the team currently leading the championship, thanks to

two wins for Frenchman, Fabio Quartararo, at the beginning

on the season, each bike has been dusted with a number

of performances enhancing goodies to help the rider extract

more on circuit.

YART run one of three GYTR Pro Shops in Europe – specialist

outlets selling ‹Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing›

performance parts to everyone from track day riders, to World

Superbike teams.

Starting on the outside, the four-cylinder superbike gets

a carbon fibre fairing kit, complete with MotoGP-inspired

winglets and special livery supplied by the same company that

do the race bikes. Hidden beneath that is a racing ECU, which

will work in tandem with the quick action throttle for greater

acceleration. Helping further and unlocking more of that

yowling crossplane crank soundtrack is a full racing exhaust.

Away from straight line punch, each bike will also get Öhlins

FGRT series forks and a TTX rear shock, plus a new steering

damper. For faster rubber changes in pit lane, there is also

a quick release for the rear wheel. All bikes will be shod with

Michelin race slicks upon sale.

While the exotic track-only BMW wasn’t exactly a machine

for the masses, it demonstrated that they were serious

about transferring their knowledge of carbon fibre to

motorcycles. A next-gen version, based around the

ShiftCam engine from the latest S1000RR, is surely on the

way, and a new patent suggests the firm might have another

ace up their sleeve when it comes to weight reduction.

The HP4 Race had a conventional aluminium swingarm,

despite using carbon for its frame, bodywork and even

wheels, but the new design shows a chassis with mouldedin

rear suspension.

The term swingarm doesn’t really apply, since it doesn’t

have a pivot to swing on. Instead the design relies on the

fantastic properties of carbon-fibre, which can be made

incredibly flexible – think carbon fishing rods, pole vault

poles or archery bows – or immensely rigid, like the HP4

Race’s frame, simply by changing the layout of the fibres

within.The two properties can even be combined, orienting

the fibres in such a way that the component can bend in

one direction and remain rigid in others, and that’s what

BMW are doing here.

In the centre of the swingarm there’s a hollow carbon box

section but BMW have added four layers of carbon above

it and another four below, all with the fibres aligned so they

run from front to rear. These allow the arm to flex up and

down, providing rear suspension movement.

What’s more, the layered pattern of the fibres mean they act

like leaf springs – eliminating the need for a conventional

coil spring. Composite or carbon leaf springs are already a

known technology, pioneered by the Chevrolet Corvette in

the early 1980s. They’re far lighter than steel springs and

can be designed to have linear or rising spring rates.

BMW’s been messing around with carbon-fibre motorcycle

frames for years. Does that mean we’ll see a carbon-fibre

swingarm on an upcoming superbike? Don’t get your hopes

up. A patent application is no guarantee of production, even

if the problems and questions can be ironed out. No doubt

BMW’s finest boffins are slaving away on this question at

this very moment!

Aint Technology something?


K1600GTL 2013


R 139 900.00

R1200GS LC 2017


R149 900.00

F850GS 2019

4000 km

R145 900.00

R1200RT 2015


R124 900.00

R1200R 2018


R124 900.00

F750GS 2019


R144 900.00

F700GS 2015


R85 000.00

G310R 2020


R62 900.00

R1250GSA 2020


R289 900.00

R1250GS 2020


R259 900.00

F850GSA 2020


R199 900.00

R1250GSA 2019


R295 000.00

Stopping power is provided by Brembo, with GP-4RX calipers

biting onto chunky T-Drive discs. Brembo have also provided

the clutch lever and front remote brake adjuster. The bike will

also roll on seven-spoke aluminium Marchesini wheels.

It’s not all about the motorcycle though and alongside your

race-ready superbike, each buyer will also receive a KYT

helmet, Petronas Yamaha polo shirt and the opportunity to be

a VIP guest at a future MotoGP round of their choosing.

Cool Huh!


F850GS 2018


R142 900.00

R NineT Scrambler 2020


R194 900.00

BMW Motorrad Bloemfontein

R1200RT 2017


R139 900.00

8 CP Hoogenhout Street,

Langenhovenpark, Bloemfontein

Tel: 051 400 0000

Cell: 081 571 8420

Email: SMuller@SovereignBMW.co.za

All the NEWS proudly brought to


Yamaha Withdraws Request

To Unseal Moto GP Engines

Yamaha has withdrawn its request to

unseal the engines to replace internal

components which they believe caused

issues for Maverick Viñales, Valentino

Rossi, and Franco Morbidelli at Jerez.

Yamaha had made a formal request to

the MSMA, the MotoGP manufacturers’

association, to open the engines and

swap out defective parts.

Initially, the suspicion fell on sensors

inside the exhaust port, but it is now

believed that the problem was caused

by the valves. Yamaha had set out

its reasons to make the change in its

submission to the MSMA.

Under the technical regulations, the

manufacturers are allowed to unseal

the engines to replace parts only if they

can get unanimous permission from the

other MSMA members, and that such a

change does not confer a performance

advantage and is necessary on safety


That is where Yamaha’s case appears

to have fallen down. The other

manufacturers were not convinced by

Yamaha’s explanation, and asked for

more information to be able to make a

decision on approval.

This put Yamaha in a very delicate

situation. They would have liked

to change out the parts, but to get

permission to do so, they would have

had to reveal a level of technical detail

which could have given away too much

information to their rivals.

Instead, Yamaha has decided that they

can manage the rest of the season on

the engines they have.

The fact that the Red Bull Ring was

the toughest track for engines left on

the calendar may have influenced their

decision.After Spielberg, the factories

face the front straight at Barcelona once,

and a double header at Aragon, though

Aragon’s fast back straight is downhill.

Yamaha’s predicament is in part a result

of the dysfunction inside the MSMA. The

manufacturers’ association has long been

unable to agree on anything, with the

disagreement between Ducati and the

other manufacturers at Qatar 2019 over

their use of the rear swingarm spoiler

being the final breach.

With no goodwill between manufacturers,

they are not inclined to give each other

any leeway in situations such as this.

Naturally, this is likely to come back and

bite the other manufacturers in the future.

If another manufacturer suffers a similar

issue to Yamaha in the next few years,

and it is a factory which denied Yamaha’s

request, Yamaha are likely to treat them

in exactly the same way, and deny a

request to unseal engines.

Yamaha must now juggle their remaining

engines for the rest of the season.

Three engines have been withdrawn

for allocation: 1 each for Rossi, Viñales,

and Morbidelli, all three having suffered

issues at Jerez.

The engine in the bike which was

involved in the crash between Franco

Morbidelli and Johann Zarco has

not been withdrawn: the engines are

designed to withstand crashes, but the

extreme temperatures at Jerez may

have put the bikes outside their operating


That leaves Rossi, Viñales, and Morbidelli

with four engines for the remaining ten

races, and Fabio Quartararo with five…

The engine lists to be published by Dorna

on as we type may reveal a little more.

However, the engine lists only track

whether engines ARE used, not whether

they CAN be used.

Only in the next few weeks will we learn

whether Yamaha will use them for the

races, for practice, when there is least to

lose, or leave them crated as a backup

option in case one of their other engines


Interesting times for Moto GP fans!

More BMW News

Tom Sykes will spend a third season with the

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK racing team, signing a

one-year deal with the German outfit this week.

He will be joined in the garage by Michael van der

Mark, who will take his first season on the BMW

S1000RR next year.

The re-signing of Sykes is no surprise, though the

real news here might be the shifting of Michael

van der Mark from the Yamaha squad to the

BMW outfit.

A riding star in the World SBK paddock, Van der

Mark might be the added extra that could make

the BMW World SBK project a real contender in

the World Superbike Championship, though the

Sykes and the S1000RR have made marked

improvement with each outing.

“Tom has been part of our World SBK Team

from the very start and is an important pillar of

this project”, said Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad

Motorsport Director.

“We are pleased to be able to continue along the

common path in 2021, which we embarked upon

with the first tests back in December 2018. This

gives us continuity, which is very important for the

successful development of a project.”

“We have already achieved a lot together, and

the goal is now to definitively close the gap to the

front-runners. Tom’s extensive knowledge of the

BMW S 1000 RR and his input will play a key role

in achieving this.”

Source: BMW Motorrad; Photo: WorldSBK



for both South africa and ktm

MotoGP: The greatest show on Earth!

2020 Crazy Crazy Stuff

Story: Donovan Fourie@thebikeshow

At the beginning of 2020, the predictions for the season were

all the same – Marquez. Marc, to be more specific.

Obviously he was going to win; the man was unstoppable!

Last year, he finished every single race in the top two, apart

from COTA where he crashed from miles in the lead because of

a glitch in the Honda’s software.

Who would win the 2020 championship? Marquez.

Before every race, who will probably win? Marquez.

Conversely, we have KTMs where 2020

Hondas were.

A complete overall of their Moto GP

machine, with a new type of frame, has

seen Team Austria become the darling

of the paddock – two wins so far from

a manufacturer that, in four years, had

seen just one podium in the wet after

everyone else crashed.

It’s amazing what a slight dose of The

Plague can do.

With the season starting in July and being

compacted into a few months, it was

imperative that riders stay afloat without

injury because there would be no time

off. Every rider said precisely that, urging

caution as part of their season strategy.

And by caution, they seemingly meant

crashing constantly.

By Round Five at the second Red Bull

outing, we’ve seen Dovizioso break

a collarbone on an MX bike, Alex

Rins completely ruin his shoulder, Cal

Crutchlow snap his hand, Johann Zarco

snap his hand at a faster speed and

Pecco Bagnaia snap a leg off.

Then there’s the curious case of Marquez.

The humerus crash (please read that

correctly) at the beginning of the season

was damn silly. We realise people say

things like ''He rides hard no matter what''

and ''He's either full taps or nothing'', but

this is a load of bollocks, especially when

he was one of the riders that subscribed to

the Caution Strategy.

Also, at Jerez One, he was more than

half a second a lap faster than anyone on


Why the hell did he push so hard?

And now, because of The Plague, he

could be out for the rest of the year.

Maybe more.

If it weren't for The Plague, there would

have been a three-week gap between

the opening round and the next, with

bigger gaps between the rest. With such

pressure, Marquez took a gamble and

attempted to ride just four days after

major surgery on the second-largest bone

on his body, one that has a six-month


Naturally, it all went somewhat wrong,

and he was back under the knife for a

second round of titanium instalments.

And so, he is out for the rest of the

season—what a bummer!

Well, not such a bummer when we look

at how the season has turned out. By

round five, we have four different winners

including two first-timers, namely Miguel

Oliviera and of course the sensational Mr

Brad Binder.

And who is going to win the next round?

No one knows. Six weeks ago, we would

have said Marquez. It's sad that we don't

have his speed in the paddock but also

not that sad.

What has also created a new spectacle

is the double round system introduced to

help the paddock cater for The Plague.

At the time of print, we have had back-toback

races at Jerez and Red Bull Ring,

and both have presented interesting new


Every time a team goes to a different

circuit, they sort of start with a fresh

piece of paper. The bikes will have base

settings, but each track has a different set

of challenges with a different approach

to each. Often, they get it wrong, and

riders that were previously challenging

for podiums are suddenly struggling for a

top ten.

Where having a round at the same track

a week later helps, is that the teams get a

second chance without starting afresh.

Examples of this are Rossi’s podium

at Jerez Two after a dismal showing at

Jerez One, and the close racing during

Red Bull Two after each team managed

some form of catch up.

Except for Yamaha, who found

themselves putting on the brakes and

finding the lever planting the bar, causing

Vinales to abandon ship.

This is of course after their engine

debacle during the Jerez' where three of

their motors went pop!

These events are indicative of a simple

underlying issue – the motor. It's too


The problem is simple, but the solution

is less so. At Jerez, the heat and the

slow speeds of the circuit were most

likely the cause of their problems as they

attempted to more drag more revs than

those poor conrods could handle.

Until they overheated the system and

kinda stopped braking entirely, as

Quartararo found when running off the

track twice, and Vinales discovered with a

wall fast approaching.

It’s unsure what dilemmas Yamaha will

face during the rest of the season but,

thankfully, none of the other tracks offer

these unique challenges.

If Yamaha is being a bit reckless, Honda

seems to be overly cautious. For 2020,

they added weight to their motors to

increase rotating inertia. Put simply, too

little rotating inertia causes the rear wheel

to spin, and too much rotating inertia

causes the bike to push the front.

Seemingly, they added a little too much

weight, and so we have three 2020

Hondas circulating where the KTMs used

to be.

Where KTM is thriving, Ducati sees

its share of woes. Miller has been a

delight with his Australian charm mostly

outclassing the two factory machines.

Dovi and Petrucci have had difficulties

with the new Michelin rear tyre that has

too much grip meaning they cannot

slide the rear and use it to aid the

turning process.

The handling concerns might be a bane

in Ducati's existence, but then so is their

star rider. Dovi and the Bolognians have

been engaged in a contract war, one that

was reportedly about money but turned

out to stretch way further than that.

During Red Bull One, Dovi's manager

made the shock announcement that

the Italian would end his eight-year

relationship with Ducati at the end of

this year, citing more than just money

concerns. More so, there are no plans for

his future right now.

Boldness has a new meaning – the only

seat available for next year is with Aprilia

on a MotoGP famously not as good as

anything else. It may seem nutty, but his

decision has some merit – he is 34 years

old, he›s a multimillionaire, and has been

racing since before he could walk. Should

he continue where he isn't having fun?

Speaking of fun, Rossi said he would

continue racing until he stops enjoying it.

At the moment, the maximum age limit

is MotoGP is 50. They are thinking of

extending it.

At Red Bull, the problem was again -


With engine reliability already an issue,

they had to make up ground in other

areas, such as on the brakes. For this

reason, teams ignored the notice from

Brembo to use their updated calipers

and opted instead to use the standard

calipers that, presumably, offered better


Suzuki is another brand on the surprise

list, especially at the Red Bull Ring where

they have notoriously sucked in the past.

Rins was passing for the lead during Red

Bull One when he crashed, and Joan Mir

managed to nab a second place.

During Red Bull Two, Mir looked to have

the pace to take the win until the red

flag incident where he had no more front

tyres and had to restart on an old one, a

mistake that cost him the race.

Speaking of red flags, Rossi saw God

like never before during Red Bull One

after the collision between Morbidelli and

Zarco sent both bikes narrowly missing

him and Vinales at 200km/h. Actually,

Rossi didn't see God until he watched

the replay, because Morbidelli's bike flew

past so quickly and all he saw of Zarco's

bike was a shadow as it flew over him.

What was interesting, while watching

the onboards of both Rossi and Vinales,

is that both riders saw the near-death

moment, paused off the throttles for just

a few seconds and then immediately

resumed racing in case there was no red


These guys are proper heroes.

The world is also seeing the talents of

Miguel Oliviera shine through, plus a

certain Binder.

We South Africans all knew how good the

Krugersdorp Boytjie was. We know that

KTM made a mess of the 2019 Moto2

Championship by supplying their riders

with orange cement mixers (a mistake

they more than made up for with this

year›s MotoGP machines).

We know that Binder overcame those

hardships to lose the championship only

by a narrow margin. Perhaps it is no

surprise to us that he took a win in just

his third race.

He will win more – he has to! He›s come

too far not to.

It takes a particular sort of mind to travel

to Europe, a land of funny languages,

funny customs, funny places and funny

tracks, from the bottom of Africa to

overcome a severe lack of budget and

riding motorcycles made of cheese to

make it into a factory team, and move

with them to the premier class.

It takes a mind of nails and steampowered

determination to get there,

and nothing will stop him. KTM have a

winning bike and a rider that has been

through so much hell that nothing more

could compare.

Brad has single handedly re-ignited

passion for Moto GP in South Africa!

You go boytjie!


hon da's

n ew


This bike! Wow! Honda listened to what everyone

wanted, took notes and applied them for 2020…”

“So cool, she flies! Thank you Honda!”

Just a couple of the comments chucked around at the

New Fireblade introduction at Redstar Raceway earlier

this month.We roped in the skills of Shado Elston and

International lady racer Savanna Woodward to thrash

the bike around the track and give us some opinions.

The all-new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R has been

talked about so much and now it is here. It’s bold and

gorgeous. Honda fans, you need to go and ride one…

Honda South Africa invited a cross section of press

and friends to take the bike for a ride. Moseying around

the pits and listening to feedback from some pretty fast

riders, the comments were all incredibly complimentary

– the changes have put Honda back into the game by

all accounts.

Eye on the prize Savannah Woodward

Our lot felt that it would have been cool if

Honda had left the standard gearing on

the bike. They geared it really short for

Redstars collection of curves. We’ll have

to convince them to put the bike back to

standard so that we can go and play on

the road some time…

Our Shado waxes Lyrical on the bikes


Dear mortals,

The time has come to recount an

epiphany that Mr Honda is smiling down

upon, from the lofty heights of racing


I write today, regarding an encounter I

was privileged enough to savour, albeit

for only around 32km, around a closed

circuit, namely; Redstar Raceway, in

Delmas, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Allow me to bring your attention to

the 2020 Year Model SC88 Honda

CBR1000RR-R. I can’t outright begin by

bringing the feel and character of this

epic machine to words as yet, without

first delving into some of the changes that

have been made to the machine. In fact,

I would be spewing untruth if I told you

that there are ‘changes’ to the outgoing

CBR1000RR, the SC78.

Bluntly, there are no changes

made to the old machine, as the SC88

is a completely new design from the

inside of the tyres upwards. That is all.

It appears in two formats, the RR-R and

the RR-R SP. The SP has full Ohlins

electronic suspension and Brembo

clamps, while the RR-R employs the use

of the Nissin callipers and the more-thanadequate

Showa shocks, front and rear.

We all know and love the Blade, in any of

its generational guises. And I believe we

would be hard-pressed to fault the rich

racing and design heritage the machine

boasts since its inception in 1992.

The philosophy of the machine design

was always hinting at

superior control, rideability and

reliability. To push the Blade up a

notch, the design team headed by

Mr Yuzuru Ishikawa, (ultimately also

involved in the development and

production of ALL of the -4stroke

MOTOGP machinery) had a task of

taking the market to task and birthing

a motorcycle that would address the

need to provide a machine that would

satisfy the far greater market demand

for people to take their superbikes to

the race tracks and enjoy a machine

that spews racing heritage and

adherence to design excellence.

Noting also that the 2020YM CBR

1000RR-R SP has already attained the

highly coveted 2020 Red Dot Design

award, Ishikawa San and his team

has produced a unit that will no doubt

check most, if not all of the boxes, for

the track day enthusiast and extremist.

Hands down.

Attention to bring you over 214Hp of

pure, unadulterated Honda revolutions

has been made possible by more than

the following points I will attempt to list as


The piston bore has been increased

from 76mm to 81mm while the stroke

has been decreased from 55.1mm to

48.5mm. This brings the need for the

engine revolutions to be up in the top

third, in “angryville”, to pull your cheeks

off of your face.

My immediate translation of this lot,

through the bars is that it’s akin to the

CBR600RR, that makes its power above

the 9000RPM, all the way until almost

16000rpm, if you’ve got the kahoonies to

reach the limiter…

The materials used on the pistons and

rods are exactly the same types used

in the MOTOGP RC213V. Titanium

connecting rods, forged aluminium

pistons and nickel phosphorous coating

on the piston skirts to reduce friction.

This, people, is a REAL Honda. It revs

to kingdom come. Changes to the valve

train and lifting mechanisms, using

followers also reduce internal friction.

Camshafts have received the special

DLC coating to reduce friction too. There

is a new slip-assist clutch deployed with

ten slightly smaller in diameter plates for

less internal inertia. The starter motor

has even been moved to minimise

weight on the internal gears! Even a

complete redesign of the fuel injection

mechanisms, geometry and controls has

been optimised to provide peak power.

All the attention to the small details have

been addressed with the mind to give

maximum power at the top of the rev

range, like one would expect from any

thoroughbred racing machine.

We have seen the Akrapovic OEM

Euro5 homologated Silencer on

side of the machine, moving away

from the under-slung units on the

previous three generations. The

outgoing units had the under-slung

unit to improve on what Honda calls

‘mass centralisation’. The new unit is

completely crafted from Titanium, so

it weighs almost nothing. In the lower

rpm, there is a valve in the exhaust

that when closed, provides improved

back pressure and, under certain

conditions; it opens up to release the

muffled decibels we have all come

to love from an Akrapovic exhaust

system. It sings the song of both

fight and flight, easily one of the best

sounding Blades there has been.

The chassis, oh my…

Being a completely new design, it has

some marked features worth noting.

The total width from bar end to bar end

has increased by 25mm, bring it in to

745mm, and those extra few millimetres

of bar length assist in a silky smooth

steering experience. The total length

of the outgoing machine has been

increased by only 35mm, to 2100m. That

being said, the wheelbase of the new

unit is around 50mm longer than the

2019 model. Longer wheelbase makes

for more high speed stability and makes

your cornering experience a little more

confidence-inspiring than you’d expect

from a machine with a telephone-numbersequence

price tag.

The whole bike is now 15mm (read

115mm ground clearance) closer to the

ground, so I would expect that one would

need to be cautious of our speed-bumphappy

metros. To further assist with the

increased power and rev-happy motor,

the caster angle is now at 24 degrees

and the trail figure rests at a comfortable

102mm for added stability and not so

slap-happy front end. I’m only 65kg in

the shade and never did I once feel

intimidated by the characteristics of the

machine’s handling and responsiveness.

It’s too easy to ride, in fact.

One noticeable item on the list of

changes is that the turning circle has

increased, and you might find yourself

doing a few ‘point-turns’ if you park in

the wrong spot. Remembering that this

ride was at a closed circuit, there wasn’t

much time to move around the pits or

through traffic to really get a feel for tight

space maneuverability. It felt good on

the idle and quite easy to move around,

and I didn’t feel that it was in any way to

be a challenge. The rear shock now also

mounts to the back of the motor and has

been revised to save weight.

Now, the binary factor on the machine

is something else, the ride management

package is phenomenal and again,

the tech trickles down from the HRC

racing pedigree. The interface is simple

enough to use, and to my finding,

was even a little easier than the Africa

Twin interface. Having said that, I urge

everyone to RTFM (read the manual)

before you just jump on and ride because

there are so many different degrees of

settings and control to customise the

experience for the road or track you are

going to cut up… Colloquialisms such a

wheelie control, ABS, traction control and

quick shifter settings are all available.

There is even a launch control and

different degrees of steering damping are

available, as the new unit is fully focused

at being a racing machine, and, as such,

it wants to be ridden in a focussed and

controlled racing style for best results.

I would say that the best way to gain

the full experience from the IMU and

the hardware is to get your pen and

notebook, go to a track and play with

the track settings. Then, take it to Sabie

and make notes with the road settings,

find your happy place and save them for

future (ab)use.

It is my humble opinion that the

aesthetics receive special mention. They

are a world apart from where the Blades

in history have been. The thought behind

the class-leading drag coefficient of the

Blade has given rise to the employment

of MOTO GP-derived winglets

incorporated into the side fairings. This

might not look like much, but it is said to

improve down-force at speed and I just

think it looks like the mutt’s nuts. Styling

is on queue with the HID headlights, the

massive RAM-air duct that now goes

through the steering stock, much like

the CBR600RR, and the ability to carry

a pillion, which the outgoing SP model


Ergonomically, the bike wants you to sit

in the racing posture, and comfortably

seats my 65kg, and 1.76m. Doing a

back-to-back ride with the 2019 model

and then straight onto the 2020, I found

that the 2020 model feels more like

you’re sitting IN the bike as opposed to

on top of it. Having said that, maybe it

will be possible to do a fuel economy

test and a bit of a ‘street-test’ to offer

a better opinion than only doing a

speedy 40km on it. Also note that from

Mr Honda San’s mouth, the bike is

specifically NOT made for a comfortable

ride, it is a racing machine.

As for the ride, Redstar Raceway is the

one race track that will teach you how

to corner properly, many, if not all of the

corners, have decreasing radii and forces

you to square them off and apex as late

as possible. The CBR was an absolute

pleasure and never once got out of

sorts, noting that I’m not by any means

the fastest rider out there, and well, you

know, it’s not my bike either.

I have the 2009 derivative that has

served me well for one hundred

thousand kilometres, without any

rider aids or ABS or fancy trickery.

It has also served me as a fantastic

commuter, holiday bike, weekendblitz

and track machine. I can barely

articulate the world of difference

between ten years of development.

The machine is as civil as they come,

and will not put you in a place of fear

and loathing. Moreover, it makes you

want to go faster to enjoy the rev range.

As far as what I could see, the changes

made to the demo unit we were fortunate

enough to be invited to test, had some

minor changes to the final drive and was

also fitted with the optional quick shifter

device. The sensitivity on the quick

shifter, for my technique in ‘race-shift’

setup was probably not as sensitive as I

would like to have had it, but you know,

the settings are fully customizable, as

with the steering damper.

The stopping power on the machine also

has a noticeable change in the form of

an increased 330mm diameter disc, also

thickened to 5mm, from the previous

320mm 4.5mm thick discs.

Going around Redstar in the anticlockwise

direction allows you to get

the straight along the highway on the


The final drive ratios, for this test, were

adjusted to DRASTICALLY shorten the

gearing, to avoid the excessive use of first

and second gears in places where some

would prefer a shorter ratio, in a higher

gear. This unfortunately does not give a

good representation of the power delivery

and character as the gear ratios were

absolutely too short for the road and to

feel the delivery over a longer internal gear

ratio. According to the speedo on the bike,

I had managed to get around the 260km/h

mark, while my GPS registered only

207km/h. I can’t recall if there was a one

or two tooth smaller difference on the front

sprocket, but I know for sure that the rear

sprocket was increased by five teeth. This

works on the circuit, but unfortunately not in

every-day riding. It would be a completely

different animal on the street, say, cruising

up and down “the 22” or Franschoek pass.

The brakes are super and the ABS enjoys

different modes for street and track. The

Pirelli 55/200 rear tyre size increase also

gives a planted feel in the corners and

sucks up the traction control adjustments

like they weren’t even there.

It is not my point to compare apples with

oranges, but this machine, I believe, is

going to be tough to beat.

It has already shown promise in the BSB

and we would do well to watch the results

at the Suzuka 8hr, JSB and the WSBK

series. This is nothing short of an epic

machine and I have to make mention of

Riaan Fourie and Paul Jacobs from Honda

South Africa, Quintin Coetser from Redstar

Raceway and Glenn and Sean at Ridefast

for the amazing opportunity to review the


Thank you and watch the excellent

feedback pile in on what is nothing other

than the sharpest Blade as yet.

The long and short of it is; go sell a

kidney or re-mortgage your house and

buy the bigger box. It’s worth every cent!


for your closest dealer

Shado Alston

It’s not every day that you are invited to ride a brands premium

products for a full two days. When Suzuki SA made us the offer,

we jumped at the opportunity.

The guys were not keen to head to the track, because we had

them out at RedStar last year. Everyone wanted to go and play.

So that’s exactly what we did along some of the most famous

twisties that we know.



Suzuki has two versions of the


The GSXR 1000A and the GSXR1000R.


Although the two versions share the same

frame, the suspension systems are very

different. The base GSX-R A, uses Showa

Big Piston front forks, and a Showa rear

shock, while the GSX-R1000R is supported

by Showa’s top of the line Balance Free front

forks, and rear shock. Another difference

between the two bikes is the fact that the IMU

on the A model has a 3 point system – and the

R boasts 6. A visual giveaway between the

two models are the sexy LED riding lights on

the R.

The base model GSX-R1000 uses the

same 190bhp*, liquid cooled 999cc inline

four-cylinder engine as the more expensive

GSX-R1000R. It features VVT (Variable Valve

Timing), which gives a less peaky, wider

spread of power. It also has a six speed close

ratio gearbox. Both of these bikes came with

up and down quickshifters with two settings

– and a very subtle autoblip.*Dependant on

which Dyno you talk to.

Keeping all that power accessible and under

control are three throttle response modes,

a cassette-style, -6speed transmission, an

assist-and-slipper clutch and a six r three

(dependant on model, see above ) direction,

three-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)

that sends data to the new -10level traction

control system.

The brakes roll with dual 320 mm discs

and four-piston Brembo calipers up front

and a 240 mm disc and Nissin caliper

out back, and the anchors come with a

very special sort of ABS on board; the

Motion Track Brake System. It reads the

bike’s motion and attitude as recorded by

the Inertial Meaurement Unit, calculates

the available traction and tailors the

intervention levels to match. If you

overbrake up front and start to lift the rear

end, the system feathers the front brake

to maintain even traction and keep the

bike stable.

Some ride impressions:

Once again, we roped in a selection of

riders and took off on some of JHB’s best

loved breakfast run routes. The bikes are

just so much fun. So fast, and you always

feel in control. Open the throttle and the

world starts to pass you by in a blur. It

feels as if you have a swarm of bees

under the seat as that big Suzuki mill

starts to rev… man – such a cool feeling!

Mpumalanga twist: “Tight corner, slow

way down, lean over and take a wide line

to straighten out. Pick the bike up and

twist the throttle, the road bends slightly

to the right as it crests a small rise. Gear

up, up, up again, so quick! Accelerate

hard 220 ,210 ,200! WOW!!! Sit upright,

get hit in the chest with a great blast

of wind, squeeze the brake lever, a bit

harder, tense up, hold on tight. Everything

comes back into focus, slow down hard

and fast, downshift, downshift, downshift,

knee out, set up for the next corner,

breathe – and do it all over again…”

We found that the GSX-R1000 is seriously

potent with a wide spread of power that’s

perfectly suited to the stuff that breakfast

runners and twisty racers love.

Horsepower might be lower than some of

its rivals, but the bikes have an elephants

sufficiency of grunt for any road. In SA –

we all tend to be fixated on horsepower

figures, but the simple fact of the matter is

that in the real world, most normal people

will never use these bikes to anything near

their full potential. Your eyes are wiiiide

open long before you reach anything near

what these can do.

With its compact cast ali frame and longer

swingarm the Suzuki is recognized one of

the sweetest steering and neutral handling

superbikes you can buy. On the road, it’s

one of the most comfortable, too – far less

aggressive than many of its rivals.

Even Glenn who spends most of his time

in the dirt and on adventure machines

was totally happy to hit the long roads

on these.

“I fully expected to be bunched up like a

Pretzel, but, relative to some of the other

supes I have ridden recently, these gixxers

are actually pretty comfy. You do ride in

the typical crouched position but of the

hyper bikes, you sit more in the Gixxers

than on top of them. Not so much force on

those wrists for sure.”

All of our lot preferred the firmer stance

of the R model in the twisties and faster

stuff. It feels slightly a bit more positive

and you seem to crouch a bit less than

on the other one.

Some interesting things happened while

we were out and about, like the time we

stopped for Coffee and a muffin at one

of the stops – a little boy literally dropped

everything that he was up to, RAN across

and just gazed at the bikes in awe.

That has not happened for a while

– the kids of today seem to be more

into Playstations and cell phones than

The Master of Adventure - Now Available

- Hill Hold Control System

- Slope Dependent Control System

- Load Dependent Control System

- Cruise Control System

- 3 level Traction Control System

- Height Adjustable Rider Seat

www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za suzuki_motorcycle_s.a @MotorcycleSA


anything else. This little guy just stood

for a full ten minutes taking it all in. We

sure hope that his parents get him on to

a bike soon. Everywhere we stopped,

people did a second take. Suzuki has

always built pretty superbikes and this is

one of them.

Mieke, Kyle, Sean, Michelle and Glenn

took turns in twisting the bikes ears and

the Suzuki’s proved that even though

they have not had serious upgrades for

the latest models, they are still a mighty

force to be reckoned with.

There are thousands out there with

more power and more aggressive

personalities, the Gixxer 1000R tempers

the delivery for a user-friendly ride that is

easy to manage. And that’s exactly what

we all appreciated.

www.suzuki.co.za for your nearest Suzuki


Lady Rider Mieke says:

Run. Turn. Stop.

The three fundamental capabilities

required by a sportbike. Has Suzuki

mastered all of them in this 6th

Generation Gixxer?

A simple answer? Yes. But the R model

is the better buy, even with the slight

price difference.

The R model, with Showa BFF and BFCL,

has considerably better road manners than

its base-spec counterpart. Providing better

road feedback in terms of traction to allow

the rider more confident throttle use, it

also absorbs uneven road surface, almost

canceling it out as one would background

noise. To me, riding them back-to-back it

was like riding 2 different motorcycles.

As you get on you immediately notice

the slender frame and handlebars closer

together; a more compact riding position.

This is definitely a bonus if you have

a smaller physique; everything is at a

comfortable distance without making you

feel you’re reaching for it. The bike is

so well balanced that if you’re vertically

challenged it is not impossible to slide off

the seat to get a foot on the ground either.

The bike immediately instills a kind of

confidence in the rider, and I found myself

loosening up and moving freely in the twists

and turns.

Having ridden many previous GSX-R

models, I found it slightly lacking that

exhilarating Raw Suzuki aggression.

Maybe for me, Suzuki has made the bike a

bit too refined?

It won’t disappoint a newbie but might

make a die-hard fan scratch his chin. The

compact powerplant delivers power in a

more linear fashion, and the bi-directional

quick shifter contributes to a fuss-free ride.

What a cool day it was.

See you out there soon!

This Lightie rushed over to the bike and

gazed at it for a full 10 mins.


Get a grip in the twisties.

Trick Suspension on the R

If you’re looking for rubber you can trust, fit a set of

HP SERIES II’s, BATT’s super-affordable high

performance premium Super-Sport tyres.

The dual-compound, steel-belt radial construction

provides exceptional grip, durability and performance in wet or dry conditions,

inspiring confidence at the highest levels of Super-Sport riding.

HP Series II Combo Deal Sizes (incl. VAT):

• 120/70R-17 & 160/60R-17 Combo- R2,800.00

• 120/70R-17 & 180/55R-17 Combo- R2,900.00

• 120/70R-17 & 190/50R-17 Combo- R3,100.00

• 120/70R-17 & 190/55R-17 Combo- R3,200.00

* Available exclusively from

Bike Tyre Warehouse branches.

Midrand Branch: Call Bruce 073 777 9269 | Eddie 083 467 1349 or sales@biketyrewarehouse.com

Port Elizabeth Branch: Call Alan 083 267 2685 or alan@biketyrewarehouse.com

Facebook @BikeTyreWarehouse • Twitter @biketyrewhse • www.biketyrewarehouse.com





Fire It Up! Does it differently.

F.I.U. QUALITY PRE OWNED Kawasaki ZRX1200R 28,000kms - SOLD - you

have to be quick here - they move stock fast.

Selling a bike? Buying a bike? These

guys seem to know their stuff…

Fire It Up! Is one of the biggest pre

owned motorcycles dealers around. We

had a chat with them about their

business model:

is accurate? Has every service been

done correctly? Has every accident been

fixed back to OEM spec?

Have there been any factory recalls - and

were they done?

Thus, an extended warranty is a good

purchase but you need to do your

homework and find the one that gives you

the best cover, because some of them

are very limited in what they will pay for

based on age and mileage of the bike.


They do not give you an estimate over the

phone and then kick you in the nuts once

they have inspected your bike. They will first

inspect your motorcycle thoroughly and then

discuss their findings with you before they

make you an offer.

Once the offer is made and accepted they

do payment immediately, be it to settle your

outstanding finance agreement and give you

the balance or pay you directly. Naturally

you can opt to have them use it as a part

payment or deposit on your new dream

machine from them.

Fire it Up! has taken this very different

approach in terms of their TRUST

commitment and advertise all their

motorcycle stock accordingly, so that you as

the buyer can have absolute peace of mind

when buying your motorcycle from them.

Once they have inspected the bike they

categorize the bikes under the following 3


1. Premium Collection: This is basically

as close to a new bike you can get for preowned


• This is a One owner motorcycle

with a full and traceable service

history with the official agents

for that brand.

• The bike has its owner’s

manual, tool kit and

everything that came with the

bike originally.

• It has all of its Spare keys.

• The bike is completely accident

free including touch ups from

small tip overs.

• Premium bikes are sold with

a free 3yr/30 000km service

plan that covers all labour costs

and fluids and oil filter. Worth up

to R30 000.

2. Quality Pre-Owned

• This bike may have had one or

two owners.

• The bike has a full traceable

service history at agents and

other appointed dealers.

• The bike is accident free but

there may be a scratch on a

panel from a small tip over

or stone chip that has been


• The owner’s manual is

available as is the Service

history, (be it the service booklet

and/or invoices to as proof


• It has been given the full FIU!

Quality check.

Now listen to this:

The quality check includes having

an oil sample taken and tested at an

approved laboratory for aluminium

content, (excessive engine/bearing

wear indicator), carbons, fibres and a

whole host of other things which will

allude to the state of the valves, rings,

clutch and etc, so as to ensure

engine health.

We have never heard of this before.

Great idea! Once a quality check and

oil sample have been performed, a 2

year service and mechanical plan

is available.

F.I.U. PPREMIUM COLLECTION 2016 Triumph 1200 Thruxton R - 1

owner - 2,300km - R129,000.00.jpg

Peace of mind.

Basically what you are hoping for when

buying a pre-owned motorcycle, an

assurance that you are not buying a

lemon. Obviously things can still happen.

It is impossible to accurately predict the

life span of electronics and such - it is a

used bike after all. Then, we get to their

third category and the one we are most

interested in as Fire It Up!’s reputation

speaks for itself on the first two.

3. Fire It Up 2nd

• These bikes are traded in

and are often in perfect

condition but may have

an unknown service

history meaning the owner may

have done some of the servicing

himself or had a mechanic mate

do it after hours and a panel

may need repair here and there.

• These bikes are always offered

at a substantial discount, so

there is a plus for the cash


• They are aimed at customers

who love to fix, customise or

perfect the bike themselves to

their own taste.

• All of these bikes are in running

condition and more often than not

are indistinguishable from their

“Quality Pre-Owned” in a lot of


Donovan Fourie will do a semi regular feature

on some of the delectable used motorcycles

out there. This month, he bumped into a very

desirable bucket list motorcycle in Fire It Up’s

premium collection, the Ducati 996 SPS Pista.

By Sean Hendley.

As a general practice most used

motorcycle dealers put all there stock on

their showroom floor and are sometimes

a bit vague about disclosing the full

history or condition of their stock. So,

unless you as the customer or buyer are

really clued up about the finer ins and

outs of motorcycle maintenance, repairs

and engine condition you would need to

do a huge amount of research on that

motorcycle using the VIN number or

registration number.

But even then where do you begin?

Who do you go to find out all the details

of said motorcycle and even if you do by

some far off chance, how can you know it

And the list of questions goes on and on.

More often than not, as is the case with

any pre-owned vehicle a whole bunch of

latent and unforeseen defects can creep

in a few months down the line. Yes, you

do have recourse through the CPA, but

that is such a ball ache that you really do

not want to go that route as it very often

costs you more money in legal fees

and etcetera.

To cover themselves, many dealers insist

that you take out an extended warranty.

They only have the word of the seller to

go on as far as the pre-owned bike is

concerned and what their mechanics can

determine without stripping the whole

bike down to its bare nuts and bolts.

Craig and his team at FIU! tell us that

they have done the homework for you

and have some very nice packages on

offer that make a whole lot of sense when

buying a pre-owned motor cycle and in

some instances, will even include an

extended maintenance plan.

They have had a good, long and

hard think about this and have taken

a different approach right from the

beginning of the process and this is to

protect you as well as them, while still

giving you a great, clean deal.

And it all starts with the way they

purchase motorcycles.




Though, the crowning moment of the 996 was this, the SPS

Pista with an increase in horsepower from 112 to 123, lighter

five-spoke wheels, Öhlins suspension and a seat at the head of

every table.

The bike on Fire It Up’s! floor sits among a gaggle of legendary

Ducatis all awaiting a re-templement. Even among with the likes

of the Superveloce – MV Agusta’s latest soul-catcher – in its

company, it holds the throne like a battle-hardened king daring

his cowering subjects to try defying him.

Journalistic obligations dictate that the bike needs to be ridden

and this might be arrangeable – Fire It Up could chat to the

owner who might appreciate his bike being paraded for all to

see, but journalistic obligation can go to hell!

Peasants! Mere mortals! Do they not know what it is we are

dealing with? Would they lick their fingers while paging through

the Book of Kell? Would they wipe down the Mona Lisa with a

kitchen rag? Would they use the Holy Grail as a flower vase?

The insolence!

Besides, there's a personal reason for never swinging a leg

over the 998/996/916 range.

I was just 12 when the 916 was unveiled, and it was this point

that my undying love for superbikes was truly awakened. I

would stand outside the Ducati dealership in my school shorts

gazing with growing eyes through the window at the machine

that would grace my bedroom posters and my dreams for years

before any such insipid thing as girls would ever get a look-in.

Through my journalist years, I have ridden heavenly machines

of every shape and style but never a Ducati 998/996/916.

And I never will.

I'm told that even by today's enormous standards, these models

pull their weight admirably but, sadly, they will never live up to

the standards I have set for them in my overworked imagination.

No motorcycle, past or present, will ever be able to meet such

miraculous proportions. Let them stay gods in my mind.

This unit is both pristine and has just 14,400km on the clock,

and it has no price tag hanging from its mirror, and nor should

there be. If you, reading these words now, have a bank balance

with many many zeros on the end of it and you don't buy it for

whatever Fire It Up is asking, we can never be friends.


Blast From The Past

Ducati 996 SPS Pista – Motorcycle Religion.

Story: Donovan Fourie

Pics: Meghan McCabe

Bow, heathens! You are not worthy!

Gracing the hallowed floors of Fire It Up!

Motorcycles is a creature that transcended the

realms of mere motorcycling and assumed the role

of a deity. Spawned from fires within the temples

of Bologna, under the watchful gaze of the Prophet

Tamburini, the 996 SPS Pista grew millions of loyal

subject throughout the world, each gazing upon its

splendour and knowing in their hearts that they are

living in the time of greatness.

Of course, it began in 1994 with the Odin of all

motorcycling – the 916. For many, this momentous

occasion represents Year Zero in motorcycling and

everything since is nothing but a desperate attempt to

replicate this glory. That single-sided swing-arm freeing

that beautiful, three-spoke wheel, the monstrous twin

cans under the stinging tailpiece, the sultry waist and

the predator face with dual eyes sussing their next

victim. Growling life into it was a 916cc, 90º V-twin with

a divine desmodromic system negating the need for

such peasantry items as valve springs.

In 1998, the 996 inherited all the family traits, except

the cylinders were drilled further to increase the firebreathing

to 996cc. Accompanying the bigger pistons

were bigger valves and a stronger crank.

Pic by:Polarity Photo

Roun d 4 BRNO (CZE)



Words: Séan Hendley & Glenn Foley

Pics: Stefan van der Riet

When we tell people about bikes – it’s often quite difficult to get going

simply because – well - just about every modern motorcycle is so good and

competent. But sometimes you get a bike that is – well – perhaps a bit unique.

A bike that stands out from the crowd like your really naughty buddy from

school days, and that makes telling the story a lot easier…

We love Nakeds. Why? you might ask. Well

that’s quite simple really – most of our team

are no longer teenagers – so we appreciate the

more relaxed riding style offered by bikes like


And the fact that they are powered by

(Slightly) de- tuned superbike engines mated

to superbike-esque rolling chassis makes

them just that much more fun. Add to this the

inherently aggressive naked lines and looks –

and you have three good reasons.

When the guys from Kawasaki offered us a

day or so on their Z900, we thought that they

had alocated the retro model to us. Instead this

beasty was offloaded – and we are pretty glad

that it was.

Sometimes you get a riders motorcycle. A bike

that is simple, powerful and easy to ride.

The Z900 is one of these.


A Rich heritage:

Let’s chat briefly about the Z900’s

family history.

The Z800 claimed 113

horsepower, had a -32.5inch

seat height, and weighed more

than 225KG’s with a full tank.

The monster Z1000 boasts 142

ponies, very similar seat height,

and weighs in at just on 220, all

fueled up. Lighter, incredibly with

a whole lot more power.

The first-generation of Z900 was

already lighter than both of those

bikes, and made a claimed 125

horsepower. A great addition to

the family, slotting seamlessly

between her predecessors.

For 2020, the meaty 943 cc

four cylinder engine is largely

unchanged, except for an update

on the intake funnels in the air

box to meet emission control


The Chassis is pretty much the

same as the original. Kawasaki

updated the tubes of the frame

around the swingarm pivot

to be stronger, and made the

rear shock spring a bit stiffer.

Mechanically, it is a fairly

straightforward traditional inlinefour-cylinder

Kawasaki power

plant, bolted to a trellis-style

frame with flat handlebars and not

too much else.

Electronic features:

ABS, switchable traction control,

individual power-mode selection,

and four ride modes to choose

from. All controlled via a neat TFT

display behind the screen. This is

now standard-issue hardware for

Kawasaki in 2020, you’ll also find

it on the H2 and Ninja 1000SX.

The screen also offers Bluetooth

connectivity to Team Green’s

Rideology app, and changeable

night/day backgrounds. And then

there are the cool styling updates

— little bits around the LED

headlight, more compact shrouds,

and an updated fuel-tank cover.

Who Came Along?:

For this ride we roped in four

different riders to take The Zed

for a spin. Sean and Glenn are

effectively the older gen riders

here – they grew up riding the

early GPZ’s and Zeds and have

ridden pretty much every rendition

since then.

Did you know that Kawasaki once

built a GPZ750 Turbo? A KR250

Tandem Twin -2stroke? Well we

rode em too.

Then there are two newer models

who have grown up around

some of the latest and greatest

innovations in the motorcycle

world. Kyle lawrenson and Mieke

came along to give a younger

perspective on this big machine.

Where we went:

We all decided that a track day on

this would be completely lost. We

wanted to see what the bike was

like to live with every day – and

we undertook an urban adventure

of some note, from the Far East

Rand, through the winding passes

of Primrose, the suburban sprawl

of Bedfordview to some pretty

frikken dodgy Jo-Burg alleys that

we used to terrorise when we

were lighties in search of a cool

skyline pic.

Lots of time was spent carving

the back roads – and a bike like

this is built for blasting along the

freeways. We turned a full tank of

fuel into nearly 400 kilometres of

absolute fun.

What’s the bike like?

There is a sense i indestructability

that comes with any big, naked

Kawasaki. She is really comfortable

with wide bars and ergonomics that

will suit just about any rider. We did

not find her tall, which is a good

thing. The TFT dash is clear. For

a naked, the bikini screen offers

reasonable protection from the

elements. We can tell you all about

the amazing tech that goes into a

bike like this and very often, things

get lost in translation.

This is a compact, comfortable

smooth muscle bike. It has

impeccable manners when you

feel like doddering along, but

she loves to be opened wide and

pointed at the nearest corner.

Her road manners are impressive

– although we need to tell you

that at speeds above the speed

limit, the front end starts getting a

bit light. In the right hands, she’ll

point her front wheel at the sky,

or happily back into the corner all

with a great big howl from that ohso-smooth

inline four.

Short squirts on the throttle are

ridiculously good fun as she

steams her way well past legal

street limits – but, as with most

nakeds, wind buffeting will limit

any sustained top-end runs.

We are pretty sure that guys like

Trickbitz can hook you up with a

taller aftermarket screen for those

longer rides. We saw speeds

around the 200kph mark in a blink

and she was still accelerating.

Best of all, getting there is a simple

twist of the throttle away. The

clutch is light, the gearshifts, silky,

the brakes are fantastic with a firm,

planted chassis suspension to

match – even the nasty potholes

failed to ruffle her tail feathers.

But she loves to be ridden fast.

Not only from a sheer naked

acceleration perspective, but

listening to that brawny engine

howling away from robot to robot

is one of those very cool things

in life…She’s a bike that we

could happily live with. So much

sweet power in such a fun to

ride chassis…

Take note of the 'Z' Tail light

Sean says:

I am a huge, huge fan of the

naked bikes, they are real lookers

and proper riders bikes in my

humble opinion. Being an old

school rider I am more familiar

and comfortable with slightly more

upright sitting position.

I also lust after the power

and agility of a sports bike

and really enjoy all the new

technology being thrown at the

sports bikes in particular, so

bikes like the Kawasaki Z900

are right up my alley.

I don’t know why, but I have

always been a fan of green,

and paired with black it is just

completely irresistible to me,

especially the metallic green

and gloss black of the Z9. Then,

Kawasaki has really put some

special effort into the detail,

simple little things that make you

look twice and go, “Really, did

I really see that?”, like the LED

tail light configured into a ‘Z’,

might not be much but that really

appeals to me.

If they are putting that much

effort into something as utilitarian

as a tail light, then how much

more effort have they put into the

rest of the bike?

Settling into the saddle is

surprisingly comfortable for

the taller rider such as myself,

everything was where I

instinctively expected to find,

which is a really good feature,

often I climb onto bikes for

the first time and almost end

up crashing in the first 3 km’s

looking for the indicator switch

or the display and mode

navigation controls.

The relationship between the

seat, foot pegs and handle bars

were more than comfortable

for me at 2 metres tall even

with the relatively low seat

height. You sit in the bike as

opposed to on top of it inspiring

much more confidence for me.

Sometimes I feel a bit exposed

and awkward sitting on top as

opposed to in a bike.

We quickly found ‘sport mode’

which ups the power and makes

the Z900 even more fun to ride.

Getting used to the handling

dynamics is quick, even though

as with most bikes of this genre

the chassis is a bit shorter, it is

not twitchy on take-off or in the

corners nor under braking as

some might be. Even with my

115kg bulk on board. The power

from that howling 4 cylinder

motor does encourages you to

misbehave, mainly because that

948cc power plant pushes out so

much lekker power.

This particular model was not

fitted with a quick shifter, but the

gearbox is really smooth and the

clutch soft enough that you don’t

really miss it. All that stuff is

great, but how does a bike make

you feel?

Is it just a form of transport or a

tool to win trophies? Or, do you

look back at it when walking

away from it? Does it haunt your

dreams? Do you just sit and stare

at it, or does it make you want to

constantly want to ride, buy things

for it, redecorate your home for it?

Does it move your soul?

(Yes, I know that is a bit of a

cliché, but … Does It?).

If not, you’re on the wrong bike!

In my opinion, the Z900 is an

affair of the heart. When it was

dropped at the office the other

guys had picked up a couple of

other really gorgeous bikes and

were standing around admiring

them, until the Z900 pulled up.

The next morning there was a

bit of a bun fight about who was

going to ride the Z900 first on the

days testing. And it was like that

at just about every stop during the


Every single rider smiled from

ear to ear and always gave a

thumbs up while pointing at the

Z9. Not only because it is soul

stirringly beautiful, but is just

does everything so well, from

diving in and out of corners, to

hauling ass in a straight line and

to complete misbehavior. I’ve got

a few superfluous organs and

body parts for sale if anybody is

interested, I really think a Z900

needs to be in my garage.

www.kawasaki.co.za for your

closest dealer

Man! Wow! Flip! DAMN!.....

Just a few comments from every one

of our lot who rode this bike. The KTM

1290 Superduke GT is something quite

special. Read on…

It all started when we were sipping on a cuppa java at the RAD

KTM dealership the other day. Miguel asked one of his team

just to please bring the GT around for a client to view. Our ears

perked up because – the last time we rode one of these a few

years back. We honestly cannot remember what other bikes

were involved, but we do remember the GT very well. It’s one

of those bikes that makes a firm impression. “And that’s the old

one!” says Miguel. “The current model is even better!”

Read on...

You don’t need coffee to

appreciate this bike. Plans were

made (that included a bit of

begging) to collect and take her

for a proper spin… And a few

days later, we were grinning our

way along the freeway outside the

store towards the Far East Rand.

Technically Speaking:

The sales blurb.

“Meet the next generation of the


At first glance, the “GT” betrays

the distinct, extremely aggressive

base of the 1290 SUPER DUKE

R that became famous as the

“Beast”. Even though it was

drafted as a separate model, the

GT approaches touring from a

very sporty angle.”

This KTM is the cutting-edge

interpretation of a sport bike fit for

travel. “The 1290 SUPER DUKE

GT is not a slimmed-down super

tourer with racing stripes, it is

an extremely sporty real-world

champion, which for the first time

masters the seemingly impossible

split between mountainous

twisties, comfortable long-distance

highway travelling and breathtaking

track day use, thanks to

intelligent and innovative design

and technology.”


features a new LED Headlight,

Handguards, improved wind

protection, a full colour TFT

Dashboard, a whole new shape

of the front and many details

like storage compartments

and connectivity features. The

GT’s engine also sees updates

including titanium inlet valves,

resonator chamber technology and

new mapping, resulting in even

further refinement, speed and


Include every single electronic

innovation known to mankind and

you have a breathtaking package

that is actually rather practical

(And the folks at KTM will hate that

description but we will explain…

Is it all true? Here is what

we thought...


KTM is Brash, loud, innovative

and in your face with many of

their unique ideas. They can

never be accused of copying.

The styling on this bike is – well

unusual to say the least. The

cross section of people that we

spoke to had mixed reactions.

Certainly not classic looks – and

they take some getting used to.

But we will tell you – every time

we opened the garage… it looked

better and better.

Ergonomically we expected a

very racy feel, but the GT is so

well thought out and comfortable.

The relation of feet to seat to bars

is very natural and comfortable.

She is not tall either – your feet

are flat on the ground. We love

all of the nooks and crannies that

they have included for storage.

They did their homework and

listened to what people wanted

– from USB ports to power ports,

this is a very comprehensive

package. The adjustable screen

is simple and effective.

The Ride:

We spent 300KM’s (We would

gladly have done more) in the

saddle with everything from fast

freeways, suburban streets and

country lanes. The only place that

we didn’t really ride it was on the

track – but we can assure you that

on the track, this bike would have

been properly cool.

It all starts when you start the bike

and open the throttle. Few engines

transmit soul like a KTM V-Twin.

And 1290cc’s of it at that. Blip the

throttle a bit and the burble emitted

from that Akarapovic system

guarantees that the hairs at the

nape of your neck start to rise…

Snick her softly into gear and you

know that you are in for something

special. Let her loose onto the

freeway and you are, absolutely

the king of the road. The bike

points and squirts beautifully – no

hesitation just massive, controllable

horsepower for overtaking.

Combined with the rumble from

the pipe, the LED lights give the

bike a presence that cuts a swathe

through the traffic – anyone looking

in the rear view mirror knows that

you are coming for them… and that

was just the ride home.

We literally could not get the

different riders off the bike. Kyle

kept saying – but I want to try this

– and can we JUST do that. Sean

– stuff you guys – you can walk,

you can’t have it back. It’s that kind

of bike.

Big, Bold, Brash – but so

practical and comfortable…

And here is where the KTM lot

might raise their eyebrows…

If you have ever had the pleasure

of experiencing the SuperDuke.

You’ll understand what a totally

maniacal beasty that is. The GT

shares that engine. But KTM has

managed somehow to make it

work so damn well for touring

application. If you open the throttle

and play silly buggers, best you

hold tight because she will ride

you back – make no mistake – the

1290 Duke hosts one of the most

exciting engines on the planet –

but it all depends how you would

like to ride…

Séan says…

The Duke GT’s styling is very eye

catching. Not having come up

through the ranks of the superbike

and touring bike world over the

last few decades, KTM brings an

exciting and new take on these

types of machines. And like

Marmite, you either love it it or - not.

And this also translates to the

ergonomics, chassis, suspension

and handling as well as engine

design and power delivery. Once

you start understanding the

SuperDuke GT, you really start to

appreciate the forward thinking

styling and design behind it.

Ergonomically the GT, despite its

aggressive styling, does seem to

have made a bike for everyone.

My one constant problem is,

at 2 meters tall I dwarf most

motorcycles and have issues

trying to get comfortable, so I get

excited when I find a bike that I

fit on comfortably, but that then

generally makes it it too big and

cumbersome for anybody shorter

than 1,8m tall. The Duke GT is

very comfy for me and the tank

design does encourage a proper

sport touring sitting position with

your toes on the pegs as opposed

to the usual flat foot riding style a

lot of people seem to prefer. Diving

onto the freeway on-ramp at

Redstar, I overcooked it it a bit and

would generally be looking for the

brakes and begging the ‘The Good

Lord my soul to take …’ if if I don’t

get it it stopped in time and hit the

Armco barrier.

However, with the GT, I just

chucked my left shoulder deeper

into the bend and kept the gas

open and the GT happily obliged,

which possibly wasn’t a good thing

because then it it was game on.

Chassis and suspension on the

GT are unbelievably good. As

Glenn mentioned earlier on, (and

he is quite a bit shorter than me),

the relationship between foot

position, knee angle, seating

position and handle bar position

is natural and instinctive giving

you the confidence to ride harder

and challenge your riding abilities

a bit more. For riders north of

100kg’s in weight as we are, often

times the suspension becomes a

bit squirly with the rear sagging

away, lightening up the front wheel

and messing with your directional

stability and almost creating an

uncontrolled 2 wheel drift like feel.

Not so with the GT.

She is absolutely planted and

stable in a corner under an overenthusiastic

rider of questionable

riding skills overdoing it a bit on

the gas. Now, with that stability

you might think the Duke would

be quite a firm, if not bordering

on jarring over some of the less

than perfect road surface we are

finding more often than not these

days. Not so! I purposefully went

looking the rutted out lanes from

heavily loaded trucks to see if

I could get the wheels off the

deck and the traction control to

kick and mess with the power

delivery, and honestly…

Bright and breezy the next day,

we pointed her in the direction of

Redstar for a bike launch.

If every day started like this – life

would be hassle free. Rural back

roads were gobbled with glee.

Superbike mad ass performance

in a supple, comfortable forgiving

chassis. If you feel like cruising

along and looking at the daisies,

she is quite happy to join you. If

you feel that you need to get the

horizon closer in a big hurry… well

all you need to do is open that

throttle and the GT does the rest.

And don’t even talk about twisties,

the superbike ready to race

genes are always bubbling just

under the surface.

I barely felt any feedback through the

seat or the bars and she remained

perfectly planted, stable and

comfortable no matter what.

Engine and power delivery, another

point I was prepared to take the big

KTM tourer to task on. Previous

incarnations of the big 1290cc

V-twin power plant in the Super

Duke had me shying away from

them – just too much for an average

Joe like me. Until I came across

them in KTM’s legendary Super

Adventure R, where they really

made that horsepower friendlier.

The power delivery on the GT is as

explosive as a V-Twin of that size

should be but the new mapping

keeps it linear and predictable

and always useable. And if it does

happen to catch you sleeping, the

traction control quickly comes to your

rescue and gives you a brief moment

to gather yourself.

However, for the moderately insane,

(like our Kyle), you can mess with

the mapping, power delivery, traction

control, ABS and wheelie control

in the mode and various other

electronic settings. Kyle seemed to

enjoy the ‘SuperMoto’ mode quite a

lot as you will be able to tell from the


Sadly we only had the big DUKE GT

for a day or two, but we would really

like to borrow it over a weekend and

head down to Clarens or E.T. or

even further to test out its GT (Grand

Tourer) abilities.

We do think this is the ideal bike for

such a trip to such a destination,

comfortable kilometer eater couch on

the freeways and byways and then a

corner carving scalpel along the tight

and twisty mountain passes….

Key Features

• 1,301cc LC8 V-Twin thunderbox

with titanium valves and revised

intake resonator chambers.

• 6.5” Multifunctional TFT

Dashboard with KTM MY RIDE

Navigation displays all important

information in a clear and bright


• Windscreen and height adjuster

offers easy adjustment and better

wind and weather protection.

• Handguards provide excellent

rider comfort.

• LED Headlight.

• Cruise Control design features

switches on the left side of the

handlebar and a display in the TFT

dashboard to intuitively set and

change the requested speed.

• KTM MY RIDE comes as standard

and features a Bluetooth connection

to the rider’s smart phone to control

audio playback and to accept phone


• WP Semi-Active Suspension with

three settings: Comfort, Street and


• Pirelli Angel GTs.

• MSC (Motorcycle Stability

Control) with Cornering ABS

by Bosch incl. Supermoto

mode, Ride mode

technology and multistage,

lean angle

sensitive Motorcycle

Traction Control


• Standard




up and

down shifts. The

shift action is

fast and


• KTM keyless system. We

personally don’t like Keyless but it is

the way of the future.

• Optional dealer-installed

competition closed course only

Track Pack with ‘Track’ ride mode

which allows 3 Drive Modes, Antiwheelie

off, TC slip adjust and

Launch control.

• Heated grips for cold riding

weather comfort.

• Colour-matched panniers are

available with enough storage to fit

most full-faced helmets.

This one from

Rad Moto KTM:


(011) 234-5007









The bead is what holds your tyre on the rim. Dealers are cutting

the beads on used tyres that are deemed unsafe so that they are

not re-sold.

This is a “Must Read” it is for your own good:

It is not a debate about whether to buy a new or used tyre it is

about people who buy and sell used tyres making sure that the

tyres are SAFE.

Times are tough - we get that. We have also bought used tyres

and most times they have been OK.

Earlier this month we received a call about a gent who bought a

used tyre for his GS from a dealer on the East Rand. No problem -

we have all been there, it is a saving, not everyone can afford new

tyres, especially in our current economic climate.

The tyre looked OK, the tread was decent, no obvious cracks etc

- but the gent failed to notice that the bead had been cut - which

means that the tyre is KAPUT and not good for use. He had the

tyre fitted and headed out - and promptly got a huge tank slapper...

Luckily he controlled it and managed to get the bike through to the

Bike Tyre Warehouse outfit.

Upon closer inspection, the cut bead was discovered. Please guys,

be very careful.

Tyres are one of the most critical safety components on your bike.

New is always best - but if you do buy used do not only look at the

tread. It might look great but there is more to it:

Inspect the sidewalls for cuts, cracks, ballooning and structural


Inspect the beading to make sure it is not damaged, cut or

pulling out of the rubber.

Check the inside of the tyre for hidden patches, gators, cuts and

objects piercing through and the like as well as for something

that looks similar in texture to elephant skin, this is indicative of

the tyre having been run flat for extended periods.

Look for cracks between and in the treads, this can show

perishing from age as well as a further indicator of the tyre

having been abused or run flat.

Any used tyre has generally been replaced for a reason. What

is that reason? Did it run flat? Is there a hole?

Too many patches? Is it old? - look for the date of manufacture

on the side if the tyre wall.

As we said earlier, new is always better and there are always

some very affordable options and great specials from most of

the major tyre brands… ask your local dealer about them.

Dealers, We cannot tell you how to do your job, but - If you sell

a used tyre please inspect it properly...

We are very glad that there was no serious injury...

Panniers are available as a

optional extra.

Words: Séan Hendley & Glenn Foley

Pics: Stefan van der Riet

“I'm living on an endless road, Around the world for rock and roll,

Sometimes it feels so tough, But I still ain't had enough, I keep

saying that it's getting too much, But I know I'm a liar..”

Those were the words of the late, great Lemmy Kilmister blasting

through my head as we pulled outside the Sandton head office of

Triumph SA on a bright and sunny Highveld winters morning. We

were about to drop into the saddles of a couple of 2 and a half

litre beasts and hit the open road for the day.

How could this day get any

better? Well, our good mate and

well known SA musician Garth

Taylor just happened to be there

picking up another of our all

time favourite bikes, the Triumph

1200 Scrambler. As you will

have read about this time last

year when we rode the Husky

Pillens, Garth is an avid biker

and decided to join us.

Another good mate Lani, a

mad keen Triumph fan with his

previous gen Rocket 3 joined us

on our shenanigans for the day.

The plan was to head through

The Cradle and then on to Harties

for some lunch and then back

to Triumph. A combination of

good twisty roads and some nice

long sweeping roads to test the

touring capabilities of the all new


Two All New Rockets …

Same but different

There are two new Rocket 3

variants available, namely the GT

and the R. So, why and what are

the differences? We are not going

to bore you with all the technical

details, you find those all over the

net, we are going to give you

our experiences with these two

hot and sexy ladies that are so

different and yet - so much alike.

What is the same?

The chassis, the monster 2.5

litre motor, the suspension, the

electronics (both the models we

rode were fitted with the quickshifter

option), fuel tank, seats,

pillion foot pegs, (so neatly

sculpted into the chassis that

it took us a while to find them),

wheels and tyres are common

to both bikes which you might

imagine would make the two

Rockets pretty much identical

in just about every way. Same

Same? Why bother with two

models we hear you ask?

Well, thanks to bars and footpeg

positions, they are very different

in their application and riding style

and you will really either love one

or the other - or both.

We all had very mixed and

differing views after riding them.

The GT’s bars are slightly taller

and sweep back quite a bit. The

foot pegs are mounted with a

more mid to forward bias creating

an almost ‘easy rider’ or touring

sitting position.

The R’s handle bars are straighter

and lower with the pegs mounted

more under the rider and putting

the rider into a more sporty,

aggressive street fighter type

seating position.

These differences just make the

bikes feel worlds apart, especially

when riding and shifting through

the slick gearbox.

Because your legs are more

forward on the ‘GT’, you use your

legs, (quadriceps), more to stabilise

yourself under braking and the

laid back position of the handle

bars keep your shoulders in a very

natural and relaxed attitude, ideal

for for crossing continents. The ‘R’

however, with its more aggressive

seating position has you using your

core and your shoulder more when

braking and dipping into corners,

which is great fun in mountain

passes and the like but it gets a bit

trying on the long straight roads.

This is not to say that the GT

is averse to taking a bend

enthusiastically, it just feels a bit

insane diving into a bend laying

back with your feet leading the

way instead of your elbows

and shoulders which certainly

does add another dimension

of adrenalin pumping fun into

the mix. The foot pegs on both

bikes can be shifted forwards

or backwards by 3 positions

to obtain optimal rider comfort

and confidence and naturally

the bars and levers are all

adjustable. What we really like

is the fact that all the parts are

interchangeable between the two

models so you can retro fit your

bike to your personal aesthetic

and riding style.

Rocket 3 GT

The GT is definitely aimed more

at the touring market. This is a

muscle bike with a very relaxed

attitude. Swinging a leg over and

dropping onto the saddle is very

satisfying and natural, although

at just on 2 metres tall I would

look at a slightly taller and wider

handle bar option for myself if I

ever owned one, but for ‘normal’

sized people the ‘off the shelf set

up’ is perfect.

Hitting the starter button awakens

the beast of a motor with a

beatial rumble and the whole

bike becomes a living thing

underneath the rider, rolling

and shuddering in anticipation

with every twist of the throttle.

Unfortunately for our young new

photographer, who was only

encountering the Rocket for the

first time, he had to pillion with me

… Another unknown to him.

He was soon to experience a

baptism of fire, as early as the

first bend in the road heading

towards the Freeway from

Triumphs head office. Knowing all

of this and being the evil jerk that

I am, I hit the gas hard, banged

on the quick shifter into second

and chucked the big machine

into the reasonably tight double

apex, uphill left hander and tilted

over even further into the second

apex giggling with glee as I felt

the appy tense up and try to grab

onto anything and everything with

every part of his body and being.

I do believe that had it been any

other bike we might have been in

a lot of trouble. The Rocket 3 is a

very torquey and heavy bike and

its riders are literally passengers

on it. Where other bikes are

largely affected by the input of

the rider and pillion’s weight and

trajectory the GT maintains its

designated course

That been said, you do need

to plan ahead and be entirely

certain of what you want to do

or be really strong and assertive

with the handling if you are riding

enthusiastically. (On a side note,

at one stage later on in the day

I swapped with Garth Taylor

and climbed aboard the 1200

Scrambler, which suddenly felt

more like a little 250cc plastic dirt

bike as opposed to its 1200cc of

iron and metal).

Acceleration is as sublime as only

a 2,458cc triple with 220nm of

torque at just 4,000rpm can be,

but you are quite happy to call

on all those torques all the time

because the length and weight of

the Rocket keep both wheels on

the deck and the suspension and

chassis keep it all neat and tidy in

the corners. Twist its ear and the

BIG Triple growls in appreciation

and hurtles off towards the horizon

in a huge hurry. Grab the anchors

and she scrubs off speed and

comes to a stop elegantly and

perfectly stable with the gigantic

320mm front and 300 mm rear

rotors and 4 pot Brembo calipers

keeping all that weight and power

in check very nicely, inspiring the

rider to have a lot more fun with the

Grand Tourer.

The “GT’s” party piece though, is

it’s relaxed riding style and sitting

position with all of that huge power,

but still keeping your grin out in the

breeze with the little wind-deflecting

screen taking just enough pressure

off the rider to be comfortable,

ideally crossing the divide between

car like cocooning and joy and

freedom of pure ‘bugs in the teeth’

real spirit motorcycling. The pegs

pull your legs out just far enough

forward to be comfortable and

natural, the seat has enough lower

back support to take off the strain

and the handle bars hang your

shoulders comfortable low to ease

all tension off them easily keeping

you in the saddle all day long.Of the

two, the GT is most pillion friendly

with a roomy seat and plenty of bits

for the pillion to hold on to.

Rocket 3 ‘R’ Naked Musclebike...

So, why do you need the R

version then of the GT is so

capable and comfortable?

Well, because some of us still

want to try and chuck it into a

corner and scrape whatever we

can and will invariably end up

perpetrating some form of abuse

to the Rocket in an attempt to

customise it for said purpose. And

Triumph knows this, so they have

saved us the effort and the money

making the R slightly cheaper

than the GT.

When we went out on the first

ride just before we were robbed

of rights by the national lock

down, I came back loving the GT

and not really understanding or

appreciating the R. Even though

the pegs are further back than

on the GT and the bars more

forward and straighter, my 2m

long chassis and old school riding

style wants the pegs a good 5cm

further back to push me into a

more superbike riding style.

However, after attacking some

proper bendy roads I have a

deeper appreciation for the R and

would possibly say that it is now

my favorite of the two models

- and had I been riding in full

leathers, I might have had a bit

more of a go in the corners than I

did in my road riding gear. I would

love a go around a track on this

thing in the near future. it begs to

be ridden hard and is impressive

to ride in the twisties.

Muscling all that weight and

power through the corners does

require some definite and positive

input and planning from the rider

making it a proper riders bike,

but once you get used to the

handling dynamics of the R and

your low proximity to the tarmac

it is hilariously fun to ride and it

was all the other guys could do

to get me away from the curves

and head for the horizon on

straighter roads.

After the lunch stop Glenn had

to arm wrestle the keys, (FOB,

keyless - AAARGH!), away from

me so he could find out what I

was grinning about like

a Cheshire cat. I will however

concede that I would possibly

still opt for the GT on a long road

trip, but on a weekend burn down

to ET for the twisties, I would

definitely go with the R.

In parting … tyre saving traction

control and surprisingly good fuel


On our way back into town we

tried a few robot to robot drag

races and in all instances I had

forgotten to put the big beast

into ‘sports mode’ and ended up

bogging down and almost falling

over when the traction control

kicked in as the back tyre lit up,

great for saving tyre life on a

220nm bike, not so great when

dragging racing your mates off

the line. By the way, lani›s old gen

Rocket ended up sideways more

than once - no fancy electronic

nannies there.

Then we stopped to top up the

tanks. Both bikes were really

close in fuel usage - each used

just on 12 litres of fuel on a 250

km trip - riding with some vigour,

giving us about 25 kays per litre

… if our maffs is correct.

That›s not bad at all for such

large gals!

Glenn says …

I rode Triumphs first Rocket when it

was first released way back when.

A bike like this simply did /does not

make sense until you ride one. I

could not get my head around this

giant engine in a looong frame - but it

works. Astonishingly well.

Riding Lani›s older gen 3 is still

massive fun - even though it is now

what is considered old tech. We

understand completelly why guys who

own rockets are reluctant to sell them.

Fast forward a generation or so

and Triumph is still at it - but they

have kept the Rockets so fresh

and up to date with all of the latest

tech from brakes to electronics

and suspension. Just go and have

a look at one sometime - it is a

thouroughly modern machine with

some very cool features. Its certainly

not an old fuddy duddy›s bike or

your traditional tractor like cruiser.

These are performance muscle

bikes of some note.

For those of you (and there are a lot),

who have not ridden a Rocket - we

will use a cliche - You need to ride

one to understand. And by the end

of this ride - each of us understand

full well why this bike has so many

passionate fans.

A full day of riding and shooting the

breeze on this British muscle passed

in a blink. We live in a great country

with awesome biking roads - and so

many cool little spots to visit.

On the Rocket, you can take your

time and enjoy the scenery - or

you can twist the big girls ear and

really get your heart pumping

through the corners.

Given half a chance - one of them

would certainly be parked in our


But we all differ in opinion about

which model it would be.

What cool, innovative motorcycles.

Not everyones cup of tea for sure

- but go and pay them a visit JHB

side in Kramerville - or you can

kuier at the new CT branch (check

the news section for more info).

And do try to ride one.

You›ll understand.

Triumph South Africa -


The R makes you want to hooligan


The GT is just so chilled and


Pics by Beam Promotions

Urban exploring on the MT


Last month, we got a call

from the chaps at Linex

Yamaha. “Hey guys, we have

the full MT09 lineup on the

floor – and oh yes!

How about a ride on the new


Cool beans! We roped in a mate

or two (yes we have some)

and headed to the store in

Malibongwe drive…

Four gleaming MT’s were lined

up for our perusal, the naked,

the Tracer, the GT (touring

version), and then, of course the

latest addition to the MT family,

the MT03. If you read our last

issue, you would have caught

our impressions of the new

MT03. It really is a nippy, sporty

little package that compliments

Yamaha’s MT lineup so well.

As far as the 09’s go, aside from

the naked MT, which boasted a

full Yoshi exhaust system, and

the GT that had some touring

baggage mounted, the bikes

were standard.

Let’s chat a bit about the 900’s.

Yamaha has a bike for most


If you’re a typical street bike rider

and do most of your riding in the

real world, the Yamaha MT09-

engine is pretty spectacular for

all applications. In fact we have

often wondered why Yamaha has

not made an adventure machine

with this configuration. It just

makes sense.

The 900cc three-cylinder

Crossplane Crankshaft Concept

CP3 motor produces tons of

low-down torque and is a dream

to ride on the street. The motor

spins up quickly, and seamless

power is delivered all the way

to the limiter. It all happens so

efficiently that in the lower gears

it is easy to hit the rev-limiter

on a regular basis. There are no

flat-spots in the power delivery,

and low-down torque feels

exceptionally good. The MT09-’s

gearbox is generally very smooth,

clutch actuation is soft and gear

changes are smooth and precise.

The MT09- has three

riding modes. The default

STD (standard) mode is

complemented by A mode, for

increased throttle aggression.

B-mode has reduced power and

aggression, which is useful in

low-traction conditions such as

wet weather. Needless to say, this

lot stayed in A-mode for the day.

The MT09-’s electronics are

pretty simple and effective.

ABS is standard and cannot

be switched off or adjusted. In

contrast, the MT09-’s traction

control has two settings, plus off.

Level 1 has the least intrusion.

Level 2 is quite a bit more

intrusive and does come in at

even quite a modest pace.

The Brakes on these MT09-’s are

excellent. There is plenty of feel,

and even the slightly more porky

GT brakes in a hurry. Sometimes

you could feel the ABS pulsing a

little especially on loose surfaced

urban roads.

The KYB suspension offers a pretty

sporty, firm feel. No complaints in

that department! Let’s run through

the different derivatives:

Even though the bikes all have

the same engine and drivetrain,

they feel distinctly different. We’ll

try to explain it…


The naked MT09- is the hooligan

of the show – and quite frankly,

with that Yoshi pipe clearing the

roads ahead, is without a doubt the

most fun of the pack. Sadly, Sean

jumped on to this one first and we

literally needed to donner him with

a crowbar to give the other riders a

turn. It is just so quick, nimble and

fun to ride that you do not want to

climb off. Plenty fast too – and in

the right hands, you’ll be popping

wheelies all over the show at every


The chassis is very sporty, she

turns on a penny rails through the

corners like a GP bike and rockets

out with torque all the way from

the bottom until you can no longer

take the buffeting wind.

It’s an absolute head turner too.

At our stop for a lockdown burger,

we noticed more than a few peeps

sauntering over to leave drool

marks on the tank. If you are keen

on a sporty performer that is so

nippy and fun to ride, then this is

definitely one of the bikes that you

need to look at. It is, quite simply,


The MT09 Tracer:

The ‘C3’ triple is essentially

identical to that of the base

Yamaha MT09- but with slightly

revised and updated mapping to

the different mode settings. It has

a more upright seating position

and more fairings means better

wind protection. It also gets

a bigger tank which is a good

move. The fairing is comprised of

lots of different bits (rather than

a single unit) and incorporates a

variety of different, finishes. The

screen is manually adjustable

through 30mm via two tightening

knobs inside the fairing (plus

there are adventure bike-style

hand guards. It’s a well-specced,

well-finished machine.

You can never use the word

conservative – but compared

to the naked this bike is a bit

more chilled. It is enormous fun,

handles beautifully and looks

fantastic – but it lacks that

hooligan factor that the naked

delivers. Dare we say that the

Tracer is a more sensible bike?

Well yes, it definitely offers better

protection from the elements,

more rider comfort – and your

pillion will certainly be a lot


The Tracer 900GT:

We had this bike a few months

ago when we spent a full two

days touring about. It’s great

to ride a bike for its intended

purpose. But as an urban ride, we

also had a lot of fun on the GT.

Despite being essentially a halffaired

MT09- with a longer swingarm,

the Tracer GT is a built-forpurpose

all-rounder, designed to

be a perfect do-it-all bike. Fully

adjustable KYB suspension, with

130mm plus travel at both ends,

works well in a new frame with a

longer swingarm and a new subframe.

Once again, Yamaha has tamed

the engine somewhat making it

more suitable for long distance

touring – and everyday street use.

We appreciated the little touches

like the cruise control and heated


We do like the small display

a lot – it is easy to read and

informative – and switching

between riding modes is

pretty simple. Sports-oriented

performance and amenities

including advanced rider aids,

uprated suspension system,

a reshaped height-adjustable

windshield, newly refined

bodywork, an adjustable riding

position with new seats, 12v

electrical outlet, integrated

sidecase mounts, and a generous

18l fuel tank…This is a lot of bike

for your money.

Smooth, capable fast. Not huge

like some of the other tourers out

there, the GT is a very comfortable,

capable ride. Take the panniers

off and use her through the week

to get to and from the office. Pop

them back and hit the long roads

to carve the 22 on the weekends.

Fast, smooth, comfortable. The

MT09 Tracer GT.

Conclusions: The MT lineup has a

bike for everyone!

The MT09 is the hooligan of the

pack – especially with that SWEET

Yoshi pipe. It’s loud,

brash, in your face and sporty.

The Tracer is perhaps a bit more

conservative. Comfortable,

quick and a real world every

day motorcycle. The GT is

comfortable and user friendly

for day to day use – and on the

weekends you clip on those

panniers, pop your nearest and

dearest on the back and head for

the hills.

These ones came from Linex

Yamaha – (4000-251 )011

Or chat to your nearest Yamaha



Séan says …

As you wander through life you

have a friends that you just know

who is always just spoiling for a

fight. Not because they are

malicious or anything, it is just

the way they are wired or put

together. Then there is that buddy

who is up for the same, but

knows when to call it a day and

be sensible. And then you have

that mate who has the brawn,

but who uses tact and subtlety to

stay out of trouble…

The MT range has all of those

buddies lined up.

To be fair I spent most of this

test in the saddle of the MT09.

Because I liked it – and I did not

want to get off it.

The MT09 is the naughty buddy,

especially with a loud pipe,

performance filter and etc. It’s the

Oake who starts the fight and the

sees it through. The triple motor

revving into the stratosphere

issues all sorts of challenges

through a loud exhaust pipe and

induction system. The aggressive

styling, reminds me of that mate

in a vest with muscles bulging

and flexing while sparring with

someone. Just swinging a leg

over the saddle and twisting the

throttle gets your blood running

hot, rolling into the first corner

and feeling the nimbleness and

agility of the shorter chassis and

the mad acceleration from the

triple 900cc CP3 engine you just

know “Hier kom ‘n ding!” and

even though you are a little bit

nervous, you just know it is going

to be worth the fun.

I first rode the MT09 way back

when it was first launched at a

mates Yamaha dealership down

in Richards Bay. That particular

model had been fitted with an

Akarapovic exhaust and an

aftermarket air filter and that

at sea level. The performance

from that ‘little’ bike was mind

bending, the sound of her

snorting lungs full of air through

that performance filter and

bellowing out the loud pipe while

trying to point the front wheel at

the heavens and light up the back

wheel at the same time, quickly

had me in lust and fear all at the

same time, a very confusingly

satisfying feeling. I was terrified

that I might die, but I didn’t care

… I just wanted more and more

and more.

Fast forward to 2020 and I had

never forgotten that little fling

with the MT09 all those years

ago, so when we were told that

we would be testing the MT09

family from Linex Yamaha in

Randburg I was pretty interested.

The current rendition of the MT09

is a lot more refined, smoother

with all the latest technology

without losing any of its savage

mischief and sense of fun. The

MT09 is a very emotive bike, yes

it is technically excellent as a

corner carving, arm stretching,

butt clenching weapon of a

technical marvel, but for me

motorcycling has always been

about the emotion of riding, the

freedom from the daily bollocks

we have to deal with and about

standing out from the crowd.

And that is exactly what these

types of bikes do for me.

To me naked bikes and the MT09

in particular are proper riders

bikes. As a rider you get the

full freedom of your grin in the

wind, with a comfortable and

natural but still sporty sitting

position and all that with most

of the advantages of a proper

superbike. Like a powerful high

performance screamer engine, an

agile planted chassis, stable and

compliant suspension which is

always adjustable, quick shifter,

changeable and customiseable

fuel mapping, fat grippy wheels

and tyres, great electronic

packages and the whole works.

Danny Mulder founded Linex Yamaha

way back. He is still in the shop spreading

motorcycle joy.

But the most fun of all is trying

to knock your mates out of the

saddle with the loud barking

percussion emitted from that

Yoshi with a well-timed quick

shifter induced gear change.

Go and ride an MT09, you will

understand what I am getting at.

Even the Tracer and the Tracer

GT are great to ride, the

fairings keeps you cocooned

from the wind and the slightly

longer wheel base does make

them a bit more stable under

acceleration and in corners.

And, if you are into the whole

comfy tourer market but still

enjoy superbike like performance

and getting your knee down in ET

then the GT is the way to go.

Get down to your local Yamaha

dealership and work out which is

your favourite MT.


are the greatest peeps!

Aletta Theron received the devastating

diagnoses of cancer on the 24th of

January 2020.

She then underwent three sessions of what they

call the “Red Devil” treatment and thereafter,

twelve sessions of chemotherapy. After

completing six chemo treatments, the results

of Aletta’s scan indicated that the cancer was

gone! This was incredible news and Aletta then

completed her last 6 sessions of chemo.

As expected, the chemo took its toll on her health

and general well-being, yet she always remained

brave and never complained.

On Saturday, the 15th August, a group of

lady bike riders decided to celebrate and

acknowledge Aletta for her courage and strength

of character. The ladies came together from

various parts of our beautiful country – Boksburg,

Rivonia, Pretoria, Fourways and even all the way

from Middelburg, to surprise Aletta. The riders

met at Total Garage on Atlas road to start the

morning with a Mugg & Bean cappuccino and to

plan the surprise meeting. It was then that two

ER24 ambulances pulled into the petrol station

and began chatting to the ladies and admiring

the beautiful -2wheel machines.

Once they heard Aletta’s story and the reason

for our gathering, they did not think twice and

decided to join in our mission to show Aletta

that she is special and admired by all of us for

her bravery and courage. Stephan Schoeman

from Pick ‘n Pay Farrarmere, donated the most

beautiful bouquet of flowers and pot plants to

hand over to Aletta. And what a surprise she got!

The arrival of the bikers and two ambulances

ensured that there was not a dry eye in sight.

The heartfelt emotions that were shared that day

by one brave lady, seven lady bike riders and

four ER24 paramedics will be cherished forever.

It was a brief encounter yet it will stay with Aletta

everyday of her life going forward. One small,

random act of kindness showed Aletta that the

world is filled with love, care and support, at a

time when she least expected it.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act

of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no

logical end.” – Scott Adams

To Beestekraal

Stasie and beyond.

Words & Pics: Séan Hendley & Trevor Webb

On BMW’s 1250’s...

So, about a month back, after a

Not the most inspiring route, but it was out

seemingly endless, (and pointless in my on bikes with a good mate and that was

opinion), lock down with no apparent good enough for us.

end in sight we desperately needed to

shake off the cabin fever blues before

going postal on our local council offices

and thus decided it would be better to

test the limitations of our work travel

permits and headed out for a proper ride.

The Plan

We managed to scratch the last two bikes

on BMW’s demo fleet, a R1250R-HP and a

RT and decided to head out for a day in the

saddle and under the sun.

The vague plan was to head north through

Pretoria, follow the old road out past

Gerotek, turn right just before Harties

towards Brits and then on to Thabazimbi

with a stop off at Beestekraal Stasie for a

properly decent chow.

That’s pretty much how it all went, only

we did not have a return route planned.

We were just so excited to get out into the

countryside that going home was never

really thought about. So we decided to take

the road out to Warmbaths and then head

back down the 101 through Hammanskraal

and Pretoria North CBD onto the R21 back

to Kempton Park.

The Ride

The route was chosen for its climate,

road conditions, nominal traffic volumes,

choice of restaurant and the least

likelihood of interfering blue suited

bullies. The climate, because we left

the East Rand in just a little bit over

1℃ temperatures even with the sun

shining brightly overhead - and that side

of the map book is generally warm with

reasonably good quality road surfaces,

not a huge amount of traffic, lots of open

countryside and bushveld and the quaint

and really pleasant Beestekraal Stasie.

Beestekraal is nestled between all sorts

of game farms and holiday resorts and

is owned and operated by the bubbly


On the way to Pretoria we tried to ride

through the Fort Klapperkop reserve area

to get some really nice pics on the bikes,

but it wasn’t to be as the council had

deemed it necessary to shut the gates…

for who knows what bit of splendid

Government logic. The advantage of the

lock down was that there were a whole lot

fewer vehicles on the road.

The disadvantage was that those out and

about are possibly suffering from hypoxia

from breathing in their own CO2 driving

with their mass hysteria masks on and

driving like real carrots.

So, it was fairly quick getting through

Pretoria CBD and out onto the old road

north west to Harties and Brits where the

traffic was a bit more challenging for some

reason. I really enjoy the bit of road

out of Brits that runs in between all the

vegetable farms, with its green fields, fruit

trees and colourful Bouganvilla bushes

with the canals reflecting up the sunlight,

something just really serene and beautiful

riding through there. Then it was a right

turn at Die Blou Bul Slaghuis and onto the

open road to Thabazimbi.

Beestekraal Stasie

Possibly one of our favourite destinations

whether I am on any kind of bike, (there

are lekker dirt routes and tar routes there),

or in my 4x4 with my camping trailer in

tow. The atmosphere is always chilled

and relaxed, the restaurant is clean with

an old world nostalgia about it, the food is

always brilliant and very well priced with

man size portions - and Lynette is always

so accommodating, her staff super friendly

and efficient. It is always worth a stop in,

even if it is just for a softy and a chocolate.

Lynette says she can do functions there all

you need to do is give her a call on

072 288 2094.

We are thinking of hosting a bike

something there once this flippen lock

down is finally over.

The Bikes:


My mate Trevor is a bit of a

tourer fan and very much more

conservative than me and looked

lustfully at the RT when we picked

the bikes up from the office.

I, on the other hand am not and

quite happily let him take the old

man bike. The HP looks like a

small bike and handles like a small

bike for the most part, but man

does it kick off the line with sinus

wobbling torque, especially in

dynamic pro mode. My sinus’s were

quite congested that morning and I

wasn’t quite ready for that kind of

acceleration - problem solved pretty


The R1250R-HP has everything

BMW could throw at it on it except a

windshield and I loved that. Top end

might not be anywhere near 300kmh like

some of the fantastic plastic missiles

out the but the acceleration is mind

bendingly quick as mentioned earlier

and where that comes into play is in

the tight and twisty stuff, booming out

of turns in just about any gear while

still cranked over will bring a rush of

adrenalin and an evil giggle from the

rider, then banging through the gears

using the quick shifter while hanging on

the gas will just intensify that glee and

even the big standard silencer plays

along with a good healthy cough when

changing hard all the while remaining

true on course without any underpants

staining unexpected wobbles.

Sadly though, there were very f

ew of those types of riding opportunities

on this particular route and most of it

was fairly mundane, straight or slightly

curved roads. Nevertheless, this brought

about another sort of fun, especially

because the roads north of Brits were

fairly quiet and in surprisingly good

condition, and that was open wide in top


No, I’m not going to tell you at what speed

that happened as I am not a fan of “The

Blue Lantern Inn” or its innkeepers. A point

to note here is that, even though it has

no wind protection, the sitting position is

condusive to holding on more with you

knees than with your shoulders and arm

Lynette, the ever effervescent Boss Lady

at Beestekraal Stasie.

and thus your neck, shoulders and back

do not seem to take that much strain like

they would on a normal sports bike and

we did about 450km’s for the day with 1

refuelling stop in Warmbaths.

I really enjoyed riding the R1250R-HP…

possibly a bit too much. I understand

exactly why Glenn came back raving

about iot after the SA launch.


At the lunch stop at Beestekraal we

swapped bikes and I got to ride the

‘toppie’ bike, R1250RT.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity

to ride the RS down to Durban and

back solo on a business trip and

enjoyed it so much that I took the

very long way down through Petrus

Steyn, Lindley, Bethlehem, Clarens,

a couple of laps in the Golden Gate

National Park, Little Switzerland,

Bergville, Winterton and eventually

getting onto the N3 close to Mooirivier

and banging down the freeway into

Hillcrest and loved absolutely every

minute onboard the RS.

But true to my predictions the RT is

more civilised and although great for

long straight roads at reasonably high

speeds does take a bit more effort

and concentration to coax some fun

out of it.

Maybe when I am closer to 80 than to

50 will I appreciate this bike more.



It is big, it is comfortable, it is powerful, it is

fully kitted out and highly spec’d with all the

electronic gadgets you can imagine, it is

of a very high quality, it is convenient with

its boxes and panniers and it is very pretty

and I reckon with the Mrs. on the back it

would be the perfect bike for long distance

touring … but it is a very conservative bike.

I eventually dialed the cruise control in and

sat back taking in the scenery and to be

fair that was very pleasant in its own right,

but if I had to choose between the RS and

the RT right now, the RS would win hands


concerned about stability. This proved to

be unfounded – like everything else on this

bike the suspension is liquid smooth and

inspires confidence.

It took me a while to get used to the

position of the side mirrors as they are side

mounted in line with the handlebars. This

means that the rider looks more down and

to the side as opposed to up and to the

side when checking the mirrors.

This is more habit driven and once I had

adapted it felt easy and natural.

This is a big bike – make no doubt about

it, you don’t want to park it on its side and

have to lift it upright without the benefit of

a crane! It is however superbly balanced

and I was pleasantly surprised at how

responsive the engine is.

Power delivery is fantastic – the bike has

an insane ability to put a child-like grin

on the face inside the helmet – and keep

it firmly there – all the while looking at

how quickly other road users disappear

into the distance when playing with the

throttle and checking the mirrors!

We experienced some difficulty figuring out

how to open the panniers. This is on the wrong

side of intuitive logic, but a quick call to a friendly

BMW dealer had this sorted out fairly quickly.

The bike comes with power-shift, (shift

assist). This means that you actually don’t

need to use the clutch when changing

gear. I personally don’t like this, more

of an old school riser. This is possibly

something that would change with more

familiarity - I did use it but very quickly

resumed my normal riding behaviour.

Only much, much later did I realise that

my lack of experience and knowledge of

the new tech on bikes that I didn’t have

to roll off the throttle to change, once I

adapted to keeping the throttle open while

shifting did I realise the true benefit of the

shift assist system.

The bike comes with the usual

assortment of gadgets that you would

expect on a big brand (BMW) luxury

tourer such as this – electric windscreen,

heated grips, heated seat (that was

fun!), electronically set suspension etc.

Overall impressions in short.

Hells bells I want one!


If the transition from my previous bike to the R1250RT took a bit then

you can imagine what it was like going from the RT to the sporty


To start of with the seating position is very different and I felt almost as

if I was crouching over the front wheel. The lack of a fairing takes a bit

of getting used to as it feels as if there is no barrier between yourself

and the afore mentioned front wheel. This bike is a very different


Power delivery is incredible (HP does stand for High Performance..)

and those engineers have obviously spent some time figuring out how

to get huge dollops of power onto the road in a very short space of time.

This is a naked bike – however, the same engineers have also spent

time figuring what the important bits of information are and have

presented them adequately – there was not much that had to be

figured out with regards to where info was located.

I found that I couldn’t get comfortable on this bike. In hindsight this

would probably not be an issue as the bike would be setup relative to

height and riding style (my version of riding style with this bike was to

open the throttle and hang for dear life!)

I am not used to direct wind exposure and I found this a bit challenging

– I never realised that my front end could attract that much wind

resistance (I might need to go on a diet…) Oh, and put Velcro on the

handles …

This bike is an insane amount of fun for short hops – anything over

150kms I think would not be much fun for somebody of my biking


And for open road riding the RT would definitely be my choice.

Two vastly different bikes, powered by the same 1250 BMW mill, ridden

by two similarly aged riders but vastly different in their riding styles and

expectations from motorcycles.

Our advice is check out www.bmw-motorrad.co.za for your nearest

dealer and grab a test ride on any of these models yourself.

Rolling into the fuel station in Warmbaths

I fairly kicked Trevor off the HP because

I wanted to have a bit of fun on the

homeward leg of the trip, fortunately he

was only too happy to oblige.

Trevor says ….

What I experienced riding 2 very different

(and fantastic) bikes …


Of the 2 my definite preference is for the

luxurious, powerful R1250RT.

To start off with there was a definite

adjustment period to both bikes as they

are both different riding positions to my

previous bike (Triumph 1200 Adv). The

first bike I rode was the R1250RT. Once I

adapted to the different riding position it

took a short while to get comfortable. The

layout in front of the rider is great – all the

required info is adequately presented and it

wasn’t long before I was familiar with it all.

Seating is relaxed and almost qualifies as

being as comfortable as a Gomma Gomma

couch (I might be revealing my age with

that comment!)

For a long ride (+500kms) this would

definitely be a bike that I would

recommend. We experienced some

surfaces that were less than ideal during

the course of the ride. Initially, due to the

size and weight of the bike, I was a bit



by Bruce de Kock, owner of Bike Tyre Warehouse Group



Chances are good that you will need

to refer back to this feature every once

in a while. There is a lot of info, but it

is important – and relevant, no matter

what bike you ride.

The Basic’s of Reading a Tyre:

Wow! Provinces open & the sun is

shining. Rider’s are getting back onto

their bikes in full force to hit the countryside

and enjoy the open road.

If you have been off your bike for a

while, make sure that you give it a

good scrutineering when you are dusting

it off in the garage.

Critical is to check your tyres if your

bike has been standing for the last

6 months.

If you’re not sure about the condition

of your tyres, pop into a reputable

motorcycle tyre fitment centre and

have them checked out. The Bike Tyre

Warehouse Fitment Centre Group will

give them a free inspection and check

you have the correct specification

tyres for your bike as well as the correct

tyre pressures before you head off

into the sunrise or sunset.

If you need new rubber, here is a very

basic guide to reading a tyre.

It is important for you to take the time

to run through this content as it will

assist you in making the correct choice

by that I mean not the brand of tyre

but the type of tyre specific to your

bike and your bikes requirement which

could - essentially save your life.

We can’t tell you the number of times

that riders come in with issues concerning

road handling, road noise, tyre

life etc – and it is usually because they

have fitted the incorrect tyre/s to their

bikes, 90% of the time due to

ignorance about the basics of motorcycle



1.Tubeless: No tube is used, when

mounted on a tubeless rim; abbreviated


2.Rear: Direction of rotation for rear

tire, indicated by an arrow on the tire


3.Michelin: Tire manufacturer

4.73 Load index: For example, 73 corresponds

to a load of 805 pounds (365kg)

per tire


6.Pilot Power 3: The tire’s model name

7.190: Nominal section width of the tire,

expressed in millimeters

8.55: Aspect ratio, the sidewall height

as a proportion of the tire width

9.R: Radial construction

10.17: Bead-seat diameter of the wheel,

expressed in inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm)

Let’s kick off with the tyres LOAD INDEX

which is a numerical code associated with

the maximum load that a tyre can carry at

the speed indicated by its Speed Symbol

under service conditions specified by the

tyre manufacturer.

This is important, and more especially so if

you are carrying more than just the weight

of the bike and yourself. Loading your panniers,

the wife’s kitchen sink, pillion etc. all

has a dramatic effect on the tyres capability

to do what it needs to under load.

Again the amount of times bikes come

in with tyres that are totally incapable of

carrying a load, sport touring heavy weight

motorcycles especially.

The table to the right is self-explanatory

so have a look see and check that the

tyres you have on your bike are the

correct load index.

Just as important is the SPEED INDEX

which indicates the maximum speed at

which the tyre can carry a load corresponding

to its Load Index under

service conditions specified by the

tyre manufacturer.

Load index Load index Speed index

Every bike requires tyres with a specific

speed index. The table below defines the

maximum speed at which a tyre can carry

the maximum load indicated by its load

index under the conditions of use specified

by the manufacturer.

The maximum speed is clear when the

speed rating is defined e.g. J = 100, S =

180, H = 210 etc.

The (W) speed index is not restricted,

(known as unbounded, shown by the use

of brackets around the speed index letter,

the tyre manufacturer must be able to

supply the maximum speed capability of

the tyre.

It is important to know the maximum speed

capability of the bike before a (W) speed

rated tyre is fitted. If the bike is capable of

a higher speed than the tyre is, the rider

MUST be warned of this.

This is also a consideration for off road

biased DUAL SPORT TYRES such as the

Michelin Anakee Wild.

In some cases the speed index is lower on

the Anakee Wild than the speed capability

of the bike and the OE tyre fitment.

Riders MUST be warned of this fact yet

again ignorant tyre sellers do not do this,

so it all comes down to you as the rider

knowing the basics and servicing your

bikes tyre requirements by professionals

who specialize in motorcycle tyres and

have the knowledge to advise you on the

correct set up for your bike.

I have decided to tackle quite a few topics

concerning tyre technology related to

capability & safety in the future. There are

some specific subjects I have written about

over the years which now need revised

detail as the capability and technology of

motorcycles has increased substantially

and so does the tyre technology therefore

it’s about updating and increasing your

knowledge base.

So many times I read the write ups on the

new bikes hitting the market, most of the

time mention of the tyres is only made if it

is a well-known brand that is OEM fitment

or if a brand importer has sponsored tyres

for the bike test. Sometimes I have noticed

that even the test tyres sponsored have

not been the correct specification tyre type

for the bike.

Education is key and the Bike Tyre Warehouse

Group is driving motorcycle tyre

education in your interests; we are always

available to discuss your concerns, so pop

in at any of our branches and talk to the



A Big Thank you to Ryan Robertson –

Business Development Manager, Auto

Cycle Centre JHB for sponsoring this

September Tyre Tech Talk in the interests

of promoting rider safety.

More than most, bikers have felt the lock

down as we are so used to our freedom

and open roads so enjoy the sunshine &

ride safe.

Bruce de Kock – Managing Director - Bike

Tyre Warehouse Group Holdings Pty Ltd

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

Unit 9 Sable Park, 997 Richards Drive, Midrand

Facebook @BikeTyreWarehouse • Twitter @biketyrewhse



Schultz leads the charge 2nd

race Superbikes.

McFadden - a good 3rd place in both superbike races.

Nicole van Aswegen back

racing on her Ducati.

Michael White - always


It goes without say that the national lockdown has really

buggered everyone around when it comes to racing, but things

are starting to happen again.

The Zwartkops track hosted their Extreme Festival on the 8th of

last month. Our Neil Phillipson went along to capture the boys

and gals in action…


Jonty Collard, Appanna Ganapathy.

Jordan Agliotti on the charge.

Race 1 in the ZX10 Cup, Veteran Graeme Van Breda led from the


Jordan Agliotti held second from Michael Smit. Agliotti fell back

down the field with Smit taking second and holding on till the end.

The race was well spread out and it was a fairly emphatic win for

Van Breda.

In race 2, Gareth Bezuidenhout was on Van Breda’s heels for the

entire race. Smit put on a great show to fill the 3rd spot on the

podium. The second race was far tighter with some great dices.


In Race 1, Clint Sellar let from pull off, followed closely by Garrick

Vlok and David McFadden.

McFadden slowly fell back and kept his third. Mike white came in

in 4th place.

Race 2:

Saw McFaddon lead from the line with Sellar and Vlok close

behind. For the first few laps the lead changed constantly.At

about half way, Sellar got to the fronand managed to open a gap

between the other two. McFadden opened a gap for Vlok and

finished in 3rd.

The consistant White came in 4th.

Bike Days @ Zwartkops: e: admin@zwartkops.co.za w: www.


• 23rd August – BruchCruise Sunday

• 20th September – BrunchCruise Sunday

• 25th October - BrunchCruise Sunday

• 15th November - BrunchCruise Sunday

• 13th December - BrunchCruise Sunday

Hein McMahon on the Beemer.

Clint Sellar leads Garrick Vlok.

He took both races.

Mcfadden leads the start of the

2nd race - ZX10 Cup.

The start of Race 2.

Michael Smit, 2nd in first race.

3rd in the second.

Van Breda took the day in

absolute style.

Teddy Brooks consistant top

five finisher.








D213 PRO



GPR 300


Q3+ Q4




AT81 & AT81EX




Get a Grip on 2020! Email Nicole Swanepoel at

nicole.swanepoel@srigroup.co.za or contact our call centre on 011 418 3088.

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