RideFast JUNE 2021

foleyg

WWW.MOTOMEDIA.CO.ZA JUNE 2021

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Local Test

TRIUMPH’S 660 STUNNER

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

MOTO GP VS SBK


GSX-R750 ADVERT-Edited.pdf 1 2021/05/20 08:57:21

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Join the Suzuki GSX-R Family From Only R182 900 incl Vat.

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GSX-R1000R GSX-R1000A GSX-R750

For more information visit your Nearest

Authorized Suzuki Dealer!

T&C’S APPLY

www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za suzuki_za_motorcycles @MotorcycleSA

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Intro. Keeping the wheels turning...

JUNE Edition 2021

Danny sets up Andy to go on a blind date with

Shirley, a friend of his.

But Andy is a little worried about going out with

someone he has never seen before.

“What do I do if she’s ugly?” says Andy, “I’ll be

stuck with her all night.”

“Don’t worry,” Danny says. “Just go up to her

door and meet her first. If you like what you see,

then everything goes as planned. If you don’t,

just shout Aaauuuggghhh! and fake an asthma

attack.”

So that night, Andy rolls up to her house on his

‘Busa.

He climbs off, hangs his helmet on the bars and

knocks on the door.

When she opens, he is awe-struck at how

beautiful and sexy she is.

He’s about to speak when the girl suddenly

shouts, “Aaauuuggghhh!”

Have a great riding month!

PUBLISHER:

Glenn Foley

foleyg@mweb.co.za

ADVERTISING AND EDITORIAL:

Sean Hendley

sean@motomedia.co.za

071 684 4546

OFFICE &

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Anette

anette.acc@ mweb.co.za

011 979 5035

ONLINE &

DESIGN LAYOUT:

Kyle Lawrenson

kyle.lawrenson@icloud.com

011 979 5035

Pic of the month:

Cape Town

Lorna Darol

lorna@motomedia.co.za

PHOTOGRAPHY

Stefan van der Riet

CONTRIBUTORS

Shado Alston

Donovan Fourie

Kurt Beine

Videos and more

available online...

A

NC

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.

WWW.MOTOMEDIA.CO.ZA


ALL NEW

NC750x/xd

EVERYDAY

HAPPINESS

2021 NOW AVAILABLE

BOOK YOUR TEST RIDE

www.honda.co.za


TRAX MOTO NEWS

#

All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

Trax Moto now a Multi, Multi Franchise.

As you know, the KTM group is responsible for

3 Austrian Brands in South Africa - and you are

really spoiled for choice at the Trax dealership in

Silverlakes Pretoria. Riaan Koen and his team have

been mixing daaga, laying bricks and painting in

order to welcome the Husqvarna brand to their

KTM and GasGas fold.

It’s a great plan, a one stop shop if you like with

parts and accessories a big part of the operation.

The new showroom is due to open very shortly, so

by next months issue, we’ll have a full feature on

the busy store.

www.traxmoto.co.za

Left to right: Hardus, Jeff, Louis, Ruan, Werner,

Landi, Pottie, Leon, Estie, Michael, Rudi, Riaan

MOTORCYCLE HELMET IMPORT

DUTY REDUCES TO ZERO:

Some great news, the AMID lot have been working

on this for ages!

Motorcycle helmets, a major safety equipment for

motorcycle riders, have been allocated a new import

tariff code by passing of the recently published

Government Gazette (No. 44546 of 7 May 2021).

A process that was started by AMID almost exactly

four years ago, has led to the Department of Trade,

Industry and Competition reducing import duties for

helmets to zero from its previous rate of 25%.

The essence of AMID’s application was that there

is no local helmet manufacturing industry in South

Africa that requires protection. Additionally, unfavourable

exchange rates made the purchase of a

new helmet less affordable and riders were using

their helmets for longer periods than what was

deemed safe. A further concern was the noticeable

use of aged, unsafe and unsuitable helmets used by

the growing population of commercial riders which

had seen a major upswing since the start of the

COVID-19 pandemic.

Although it may take some time for helmet stock

presently in the country to find its way off the

shelves, Importers have already indicated that the

reduction in duties will positively affect the costs of

helmets and the benefit of such will be passed on

to consumers. AMID is confident that this will make

the purchase of a new helmet more affordable and

encourages riders, whether it be for commercial or

recreational purposes, to no longer use helmets that

are past their useful life span. .

It must however be noted that the import duty was

but one component of a helmet’s costing, so the

removal of duty will not result in a 25% reduction of

the retail price.

Issued by Arnold Olivier, National Director, AMID

Eds note:

Please note that it may take a while for savings to

be passed along to consumers because…

The dealers first need to sell existing stock. Those

helmets are already bought and paid for.

With the tax redustions, especially the high end

brands should see fairly significant reductions in

price…

And that’s great news for us consumers!

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6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


#GO

ADVENTURE

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

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

Photo: R. Schedl

KTM 790 ADVENTURE OR KTM 790 ADVENTURE R

TRADE IN ASSISTANCE

Now is the time to get yourself that KTM ADVENTURE bike

you have always wanted with our trade in assistance on the

2020 KTM 790 ADVENTURE models with

R10,000 (incl.15% VAT) trade in assistance + Cruise

control and Quick shifter included free! See KTM.COM for

your nearest dealer to help you structure the best deal now.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 7


All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

ACKNOWLEDGING GREAT

SERVICE: DURRELLS TOWING SERVICES.

In the October 2020 edition of Ridefast You would have read

about Justin Cox and his EVlyn, the Yamaha FZR250 that he

converted to a full electric bike. So! A few weeks ago, as has

happened to a lot of us, he had a small spill on his bike and

needed assistance getting his bike home and himself to a hospital

to sort out a dislocated shoulder and not having too many family

members and friends up here in Gauteng with a bakkie that he

could call on he telephoned a local bike towing service and this is

what he had to say:

“On the 05/05/21 I was on my way to a client on my motorcycle

when my bike slipped on a very smooth road surface sending

the bike and me sliding across the road. I was in extreme agony

from a dislocated shoulder. I had already (a year ago) saved DJ

Bike towing’s number on my phone for emergencies such as this.

I gave Durrell a call and within 5 minutes he was on the scene

loading my bike. He even took me to hospital and waited for me

for FOUR HOURS while they tended to my injury. He never once

complained about waiting and never once asked me about the

bill. I had to bring it up. I paid pennies for what should of cost

thousands of rands for all the care, concern and professionalism

that Durrell displayed. I highly recommend Durrell and DJ Bike

towing services, you just don’t get help like this these days. DJ

Bike Towing 083 3867303”

So, upon hearing about Durrell and his excellent service we

decided we just had to meet the man behind the brand and find

out what makes him tick. Durrell is a genuinely good guy with a

huge passion for people and their well-being. He started out with

the AA and was with them for many years but always longed to

run his own business. Picking up his personal bike from a service

one day he ended getting stuck on the side of the road for a very

long time, (even though he worked for the AA), he had left his cell

phone, wallet and etc in his wife’s car when she dropped him off.

All the recovery vehicles that did stop weren’t rigged to transport

his pride and joy safely. When he got back to the office he did a

bit of research and spoke to the powers that be and got a bunch

of the AA vehicles properly rigged to assist bikes.

A little while later the opportunity presented itself for Durrell to

realise his dream and start his own business. He has the same rig

on his vehicle as he had installed on the AA vehicles, he has also

qualified as a locksmith and has all the correct tools to open locks

and etc. So, if you’re at your favourite riding venue and hauled

your bike there and like a klutz that we can sometimes be, have

locked your keys in your vehicle you can give him a shout and he

will unlock your vehicle for you, he also helps with doors on buildings

and etc. Durrell also carries a battery booster pack with him,

along with puncture repair kits, a 10 litre jerry can for fuel. He is a

specialist motorcycle recovery agent but also does basic roadside

assistance for motor vehicles as well and is on standby 24/7/365

and his pricing is very reasonable. He is also contracted to the AA

as well as ‘First Road Assist’, so if you haven’t saved his number,

(which you really and truly should), you can contact either of them

and request Durrell’s assistance. He is on the East Rand but is

willing to travel for industry standard rate.

DJ Bike Towing 083 3867303

8 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

OXFORD Hotgrips EVO

Right! If you haven’t felt it yet then you’re tougher than us.

Winter isn’t coming … It has arrived early this and with a

bit of a serious bite to it. We don’t know about you, but we

don’t like getting cold and are always on the lookout for

something to keep the chills at bay… and as Old Brown

Sherry very definitely does not mix well with horsepower we

look to technology for assistance.

OXFORD HOT GRIPS are by no means new to the market,

but they do work exceptionally well and are easy to install

onto most motorcycles. Using the new THERMISTER

controlled heat setting technology they intelligently scan

and maintain temperature automatically. The innovative

intelligent heat setting memory function, stores the previous

heat setting and defaults to this at power-up, how lekker

is that, saving time when in regular use. Five heat settings

give increased control for the perfect operating temperature

with LED lights to indicate the temperature setting. The heat

controller uses a sealed-for-life welded case – making it

weatherproof, so you can put on rain suit and go ride in the

rain or you adventure and dirt bike riders can fall over in a

stream or a puddle and not worry about frying the electronics.

The battery saving mode protects against flat batteries.

If you forget to turn the switch off, it will do it for you. The

grips are 123mm but can be trimmed to 114mm if required

and has open ends so that bar end weights or hand guards

can be fitted. The kit includes all needed parts: set of grips;

heat controller; mounting bracket; wiring loom, cable ties

and grip glue. For more info or to check out more incredible

products or to find your nearest stockist go to

www.dmd.co.za

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 9


All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

SPECIALISED PLASTIC WELDING

We have all had it, that one bit of plastic that you either

can’t find or can’t afford to replace and have sat there

with a soldering iron, Q-bond and whatever else you can

lay your hands on to repair that faring part, plastic fender

or shroud or that hole in your plastic fuel tank with varying

degrees of frustration and little success. Well, we have

found the answer for you.

A few weeks ago our resident hooligan managed to

dislodge the rear shock on one of our fleet bikes almost

giving himself quite a shock-ing enema. Sadly the plastic

fuel tank, which extends under the rear seat got between

said dislodged shock absorber and said hooligan’s butt

cheeks creating a very nice square hole in the bottom of

the tank and emptying almost a full load of fuel all over the

trail. As this bike had a limited run in this country and is

no longer in production a replacement tank was going to

be very hard to come by and really expensive if we were

lucky enough to find one. So, after a bit of wailing and

gnashing of teeth the guys from Dirt Boyz Racing pointed

us in the direction of Ross Matthews and his Specialised

Plastic Welding company based around the corner from

us on the East Rand. Suddenly the sun started shining

again and the angels started singing … salvation had

arrived. We dropped the tank off with Ross who soon had

it welded up, pressure tested and returned to us for less

than the cost of a few cold ones over lunch with the boys.

Chatting to Ross, he tells us that he can weld up just

about anything plastic to almost better than new using

specialised plastic welding machines, (who knew such

glorious things existed) and specialised welding rods for

all the different types of plastic from HDPE, PTFE and

any other bit of the alphabet you can imagine. From long

range enduro fuel tanks, water harvesting tanks, superbike

fairings, car bumpers, helmet peaks, plastic fender

for old Red Rocket 3 wheelers, water harvesting tanks …

basically anything plastic.

However, sun damaged and brittle plastic does present

a bit of a challenge and would need to be assessed

before he will commit to it as does all the new generation

plastic dirt bike shrouds with the decal kit formed into the

plastic, apparently they have way too much oil in them

and the current range of welding rods do not adhere to

them. Clear plastics have their own set of challenges as

well, they can be welded but because of the heat they

go opaque or white. All other plastics can be welded

with colour matched welding rods. They also have a vast

collection of various bits and sizes of plastic sheeting that

they can cut to shape and weld into place to fill in large

holes and to date they have successfully repaired and

pressure tested some fuel tanks with holes larger than

most people’s hands. Ross and his guys also sand, flat

and prepare the repaired area for paint if you so wish.

And all of this from a couple of hundred bucks to the

most expensive repair job to date at just over a grand and

a half. And with 5 welding machines and 4 professional

plastic welders his turn around time is reasonably quick.

Based on the East Rand he can collect and deliver most

places in Gauteng for a small fee all other areas will have

to be couriered at your cost. Ross has also asked that

you not ask for a fixed quote based on a WhatsApp photo

because the condition of the plastic needs to be physically

assessed before a firm quote can be given.

You can get hold of Ross Matthews of Specialised Plastic

Welding on 065 803 3551 or mail him on rmatthews3.

rm@gmail.com or look them up on Facebook @specialisedplasticwelding

10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


EXO-R1 AIR

VICTORY

/// FREE DARK VISOR

/// FREE PINLOCK

/// 5-YEAR WARRANTY

ORBIS RED

ORBIS YELLOW

ALVAROII

VICTORY

Henderson Racing Products - 011 708 5905

www.facebook.com/Hendersonracingproducts

Available at selected dealers nationwide

/// FABIO replica arrives September 2021

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 11


All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

NOLAN’s N70-2X

This is Nolan’s top-of-the range road and off road crossover,

the first on/off road helmet fitted with a removable

protective chin guard on the market in years. It is characterized

by an off road-inspired design with many technical

features and the ample range of colours and graphics

available. Its compact size (thanks to the availability of

two outer shell sizes), double P/J homologation, ultrawide

visor, a particularly wide window compatible with mask

use (even with the visor fitted and open), VPS sunscreen

(adjustable to various positions and fitted with the automatic

repositioning system), AirBooster Technology upper

ventilation system, double lever Microlock2 retention

system with micrometric regulation, innovative Clima

Comfort inner padding (with micro-perforated fabric and

adjustable neck-roll) and set up for the N-Com communication

system makes the N70-2 X a serious contender

for the on- off crossover and for the most demanding of

motorbike tourists.

Shop online @ www.acesports.co.za or to find your

nearest local dealer.

Suzuki North West opens near Harties…

Opening their doors in the latter half of 2020 and being

the only bike shop of any significance in a 50 kay radius,

this bright and airy dealership is just growing from

strength to strength. They are a stones throw away from

Harties, based just outside Schoemansville on the R511.

Chris and Hazel are the friendly and efficient folk looking

after all your motorcycling needs. They are the official

Suzuki Motorcycles dealers in the area as well as the Big

Boy/Jonway agents with a good range of new Suzuki’s

and Big Boys in stock as well as a well-stocked parts

department, stocking both genuine and aftermarket parts

and accessories. With more than adequate accessories

section upstairs they can service all your motorcycling

needs on just about any brand of motorcycle. Out back

they have a workshop and fitment centre operated by

Peter catering for anything from a puncture repair to a

complete engine or accident rebuild. Then just to round

off their offerings they also buy and sell high quality preowned

bikes of all sizes and descriptions. Give them a

call on 012 880 4755 or 082 904 4441 or mail them on

salessuzukinorthwest@gmail.com.

Powasols aluminium

Cleaner:

Oh yes this stuff works – we’ve tried

it on all our bikes and all the alley bits

are shiny and new again. It’s simple.

Spray it on to any aluminium part on

your bike. Let the stuff start to fizz,

rub it or brush it in – and then rinse it

off Chop-Chop. It removes unsightly

stains and marks and leaves it all

shiny.

You can also use it on engine blocks

and the like – but make sure you spray

it on evenly and get it off properly.

And make sure that this stuff does

not splash anywhere on your bikes

anodized or other bits.

Available at dealers all over or

www.powasol-products.co.za

12 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 13


All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

NEW ROLES AT BMW MOTORRAD

HQ IN MIDRAND

On our rounds dropping off magazines and shaking hands

we often find out interesting little tit bits of information. Wandering

into BMW Motorrrad’s HQ in Midrand the other day we

were greeted by Werner Pretorius who is now the Product

Manager for Motorrad. Werner has been with the company

for a number of years looking after their parts department and

literally in the last few weeks moved into his new position. We

wish you all success and happiness in your new position and

look forward to a long, healthy and happy working relationship

with you.

TIM NICHOLSON JOINS HONDA WING WEST

We first met young Tim a few years ago at Honda Sandton, full of

enthusiasm for the brand and the industry. Unfortunately long came a

super deadly killer virus that put the entire planet on hold and Tim out of

a job as the industry scaled back and went into survival mode. Popping

in at Honda Wing West Rand the other day we bumped into a wiser,

older Tim but with no less enthusiasm for the brand and the industry.

He has joined Alec Roller and Priscilla Franckeiss on the sales floor and

is selling up a storm. Give him a call on 011 675 3222

World Leader Action Can AC-90 CO2

This multipurpose does it all, it lubricates, displaces moisture,

protects against rust, cleans, penetrates and releases. And

we love the multi directional spray nozzle…

AC-90’s key features are that it displaces moisture and

damp induced faults, it lubricates all moving parts to keep

them working smoothly and effectively. It rapidly penetrates

and releases seized parts and fasteners, it is an excellent

short term corrosion protection lubricant, it cleans surfaces

effectively, removing greases, heavy oils, waxes, and grime.

It is also available as NSF H1 registered version for use in the

food and beverage sector. AC-90’s formulation is based upon

decades of real-world performance experience becoming a

trusted and favoured product choice for engineers around the

world.

It will lubricate practically anything such as all fittings,

fixtures, locks, tools, sliding metal to metal parts, it is a winner

when it comes to rust as it releases rusted thread fasteners,

it cleans industrial equipment and tools. AC-90 contains

active ingredients which rapidly spread into microscopic

surface irregularities displacing moisture and eliminating

damp induced faults on ignition circuits. It has an excellent

corrosion protection of metal parts and components,

repelling atmospheric moisture and inhibiting flash-rusting.

It will effectively remove grime, grease residues, wax-based

corrosion coatings, and more. It does not contain silicone. To

view the entire Action Can range go to

www.vermontsales.co.za

14 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

Tim Nicholson joins Honda wing West

And the Cape just keeps rocking …

Our, (now famous), lady in the Cape, Lorna has been really busy meeting,

greeting and clicking, (with her camera), everybody she meets in

the motorcycle industry and sending us some great write ups on what

everybody is up to. Here is a little bit of what she has been up to.

BORN 2 RACE

Born 2 Race has moved to their new premises located at 235 Main

road Strand, offering you more services than before. The showroom is

bigger, the workshop is bigger, the online store is bigger. Drop in and

say ‘Hi’ to the team or catch them online at www.borntorace.co.za

For any queries contact Jean Lombard on 084 415 8033 or jean@

borntorace.co.za

BACK COUNTRY SOUTHERN AFRICA –

ROUTE BOOK SERIES

Craig Marshall and Kirsten Fugard are the personalities behind

the Back Country Southern Africa route book series. Craig is

the owner of MSA Travel Africa, an adventure motorcycle tour

operator based in Cape Town. MSA Travel Africa incorporates

multiple motorcycle rental brands, personal guided group

tours in Southern Africa and surrounding countries, as well as

4x4 rentals and tours. Craig has been guiding and designing

motorcycle and 4x4 back country routes professionally for

his international rental guests in Southern Africa, for over 12

years. Since the decline of tourism at the onset of the COV-

ID-19 pandemic, Craig found the time to collate all his routes

knowledge and data into book format, accompanied by GPS

tracks, Google Maps and high-definition digital Tracks4Africa

maps, all part of the route book supporting package.

The Adventure Bike Workshop

John has been an Adventure bike rider since he was 16 years old. Being

active in quite a few Whatsapp motorcycle groups over the last few

years, people started contacting him for motorcycle repairs and services.

With so much work that people wanted done in his spare time, that

he decided there must be a worthy business opportunity. The seed for

The Adventure Bike workshop was planted during the Covid Lockdown

and came to fruition in April 2021. The guys do anything from pre-adventure

trip checks to total bike rebuilds.

They work on all makes, models and styles of motorcycles and invite all

riders to visit and try them out. No work is done on any bike without the

consent of the owner. In other words they say, you will not get a price

surprise when you collect your bike.

adventurebikeworkshop@gmail.com 071 360 8408

The A5 soft cover books are user-friendly motorcycle travel

companions. The maps in the printed books are small and

provide an indication of the route position, and relevant travel

information for each day. This includes fuel stops, lunch

stops, places of interest and accommodation suggestions.

The books are best used with the accompanying GPS tracks

and high-definition map images, which can be loaded and

used on mobile devices, as can the Google Map links for

each route. The books feature the most popular adventure

motorcycle riding regions in the Cape Provinces and will

eventually cover most provinces in South Africa. In addition

to the books, Craig and Kirsten travel the routes showing the

route highlights and produce highly informative documentaries

for their YouTube channel (MSA Travel Africa) for each book

in the series. The Garden Route & Route 62 documentary,

Parts 1 & 2 are live on YouTube. The Cederberg & Karoo book

documentary is currently being edited (May 2021) and will be

live on YouTube in early June 2021.

www.msatravelafrica.com

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 15


All the NEWS proudly brought to

you by HJC HELMETS

World of Motorcycles Cape Town

World of Motorcycles Cape Town is not just a motorcycle

store, they call themselves a 180 sqm house of passion for

motorcycles.

Their glass doors open up to multifariousness of motorcycles

and apparel, stocking from full leather suits to the everyday

original Ducati t-shirts, shorts and jackets. World of

Motorcycles Cape Town stocks the Ducati motorcycle

brand, displaying brand new models available and pre-loved

Ducati motorcycles. They also offer other brands of used

motorcycles. They are also stockist of AGV, Stealth, Metalize,

Alpinestar and much more, if they don’t have it, they will find

it for you. For all your enquiries, please contact their team

with Percy Le Roux heading up the sales team at percy@

ducati.co.za or Wayne for all your Ducati parts at wayne@

ducati.co.za

BMW Motorrad Stellenbosch

Everything BMW under one roof…

Located on the R44 in the scenic Cape Winelands, it’s your

one-stop-shop whenever you go twisting through the Cape’s

famous mountain passes. Have a coffee and a chat then

explore the floor for new and used bikes. If you’d like to try

before you buy, test ride the fleet of demos. Or get kitted

out in BMW riding gear and accessories. Financial services

are on site and ready to help you strike a deal. There’s also

a workshop where the qualified technicians will ensure that

your ride is always properly maintained with original parts and

expert service. The staff offer expert guidance and support in

terms of what to ride, where to ride and how to ride. All that’s

left is for you to do is throw a leg over, flip up the kickstand

and twist the throttle.

Not in the Western Cape?

Not a problem. With BMW Motorrad Anywhere you can get

access to all the bikes, service, offers and finance options

from the comfort of your couch. No excuses then. Life is

short. Make Life A Ride.

Tel: 021 888 4285

HJC’s Marvel and DC

helmets…

C’Mon you know you want one!

he HJC Star Wars and Marvel

motorcycle helmets are genuine

licensed lids ready to protect your

noggin when being chased by Hydra

agents or attempting the Kessel Run in

under 12 parsecs.

All your favorite characters are here

from every corner of the multiverse or

a galaxy far, far away, rendered with

classic high quality manufacturing

and designs from HJC. Rep the

Dark Side with Darth Vader and

Stormtrooper helmet replicas or pilot

your bike off-road to save the day in

X-Wing graphics. You can also join

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a Captain

American motorcycle helmet, thrash

the streets with the Punisher design,

or go googly-eyed over the Mike

Wazowksi paint job…

Imported by Autocycle. Available at

dealers.

BMW F650

BMW G650

BMW F650

(800 twin)

BMW F700

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16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


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RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 17


18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


FEATURE

YAMAHA R7 ANNOUNCED

YAMAHA

UNVEILS NEW R7

Different, for sure!

Expected in SA end of the year

The last R7 was a strange paradox – it was released in 1999

as a 750cc. In-line, four-cylinder designed as a homologation

bike so that Noriyuki Haga could have a proper go at Carl

Fogarty and those blasted Ducati twins in World Superbikes.

Ultimately, the endeavour was a failure because Haga left

the championship with a series of bridesmaids awards and

no titles. However, while he never quite found the top step of

the championship podium, his flamboyant, do-or-die riding

style won over the hearts of the world. He was not always

people’s top choice, but absolutely no one could say they

were rooting against him.

Haga managed the rare feat of having no haters.

With this universal love for the rider came an associated

respect for the motorcycle he rode, so the R7 achieved a

legendary status and is looked upon fondly by all those who

were lucky enough to live through that era.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 19


Obviously, they didn’t look upon the bike in person because

Yamaha made only 500 of the things. It cost a bucket-load of

money and, for some odd reason, Yamaha chose a horsepower

output of just 107. This is in an era where its more hum-drum

peers were seeing close to 150hp. Owners could purchase a

performance pack for a second bucket of money, and only then

would it see power north of 160hp.

Nonetheless, the R7 has a legendary name, and that name is set

to be revived.

Yamaha had teased the idea of an R7 return, and of course,

the world imagined another majestic, Haga-style return, but the

resulting motorcycle is very different.

Unlike the previous four-cylinder WSBK racer, the new R7 will

essentially feature the 689cc parallel-twin motor from the naked

MT-07, pushing 74.8hp and 68Nm of torque. That’s quite a departure

from the tyre-smoking World Superbike brutality of old,

but it is also a damn good idea.

Yeah, we’d love another cool 750cc superbike, and we might

drool over the idea, but how many people are actually going to

buy one? On the other hand, the 300cc and 650cc classes are

positively booming right now. We’ve already seen the global

ascension of 300cc Supersport racing, so why not a 650/700

twin class also? Honda has the CBR650R, Kawasaki has the 650

Ninja, Suzuki has the SV650 and KTM has the 790. Perhaps the

R7 is the missing piece of the puzzle.

Beyond the motor, the rest of the motorcycle is frankly invigorating.

It uses a lightweight backbone style frame meaning the R7

is the narrowest of all the R-series motorcycles, narrower than

even the R3 and the R125. The suspension is made up of 41mm

KYB upside-down forks with adjustable preload and damping.

The rear is handled by a link-type Monocross system. Braking,

meanwhile, is dealt with by Brembo radial callipers.

The sporty package weighs just 188kg with all fluids on board

and should be good fun for both the rider and the rider’s wallet.

FEATURE

YAMAHA R7 ANNOUNCED

It’ll be cheaper than a four-cylinder superbike, although the exact

price and date of release are still to be confirmed.

20 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 21


Shock Therapy

Understanding your Motorcycle Suspension

With the constant evolving, advancing and progress in technology motorcycles are becoming

evermore complicated … ironically to make our easier and get more riding pleasure out of our

bikes. However, to actually understand and feel the benefits of all this progress we need to

understand how it all works. In this article we are going to look suspensions, which in reality

are the biggest influence on how a bike handles and affects our riding style and enjoyment.

Suspensions are generally more complicated than the average D.I.Y. mechanic and track day

enthusiast can maintain or set up themselves, yet it is that an important a factor in the motorcycle

industry that it has led to a very lucrative sub-industry within the motorcycle industry. We had our

Séan Hendley delve deeply into the murky depths of the motorcycle suspension mystery and try

make some sense of it.

Motorcycle Suspension Explained

The primary goal of motorcycle suspension is to keep vehicle tires in contact with the ground.

Without proper suspension, tires would lose traction when encountering bumps, dips or other ground

imperfections. We can’t forget about braking, acceleration or cornering forces either. Motorcycle

suspensions use a spring and damper combination to isolate the chassis and rider from road

imperfections. On-road motorcycle suspension systems work to minimize the effect of potholes, bumps,

cornering and acceleration/deceleration forces. Off-road motorcycle suspension systems handle roots,

rocks, jumps, ledges and more. Without suspension, any impact between a vehicle tire and a ground

imperfection is at best uncomfortable, and at worst, the cause of a dangerous crash. Most basic

motorcycle suspension lacks adjustability. It works fairly well in a wide variety of circumstances, whereas

more premium suspension is tuneable to rider weight and intended riding type. Cruisers or dual sport

motorcycles have vastly different needs than a dedicated sport bike. Adjustability can include ride height

(under load), fine tuning how quickly springs compress or rebound as well as preloading spring tension

to accommodate differing weight for different riding styles, such as riding with a passenger and/or

luggage. The most common suspension systems found on motorcycles use a coil spring and hydraulic

damper setup. (credit - Universal Technical Institute www.uit.edu)

What does the spring do?

Springs allow a motorcycle wheel to move independently from the

chassis, and dampers control and manage movement of the spring.

A motorcycle riding only on springs would bounce continuously

and dangerously after every road impact. Springs are coiled steel

wire that compress or stretch when acted upon by an external

force. Spring rate is the measurement of force required to compress

it a certain distance, which is typically measured in pounds per

inch. Spring rate varies with material thickness and number of

coils. Heavier duty springs will have relatively thicker coils spaced

further apart from one another. Linear rate springs offer consistent

resistance throughout the spring travel. If 10 pounds will compress

the spring one inch, 20 pounds would compress it two inches,

and so on. Progressive springs require more and more force to

achieve the same travel. Progressive springs are essentially two (or

more) springs in one, with both widely and narrowly spaced coils.

Initially, a lighter force will compress the first coils, and then greater

force compresses the remaining coils. (credit - Universal Technical

Institute www.uit.edu)

What does the damper (shock absorber) do?

In its most basic sense, a damper slows and controls spring action.

Dampers control spring action using hydraulic fluid, which travels

through a series of passages and restrictions. A piston with a

precisely measured passage (orifice) travels within the shock body

in a bath of hydraulic fluid. The weight of the fluid and the size of the

passage determines the piston’s travel speed. When a motorcycle

encounters a bump, dampers slow spring compression and rebound

as the fluid slowly travels through the passages within the shock

body. Kinetic energy from spring movement turns into heat energy

within the damper, and the hydraulic fluid dissipates the heat. Rear

motorcycle shocks generate much more heat than front forks, due

to the additional loads they support. (credit - Universal Technical

Institute www.uit.edu)

22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


What is compression and rebound

damping?

Compression damping is the

intentional slowing of spring

compression (hitting a bump)

travel. Rebound damping

is the intentional slowing

of the spring expansion as

it resumes to its natural

state. Some motorcycles

will have both high and

low-speed adjustments to

compression and rebound

damping. Sport bikes and

off-road motorcycles typically

offer greater adjustability than

entry level, or cruiser style

motorcycles. High and lowspeed

damping refers to the

speed of the suspension travel,

rather than the speed of the

motorcycle. High-speed damping

affects suspension behaviour when

hitting a sudden pothole on the street,

or an individual rock on a trail. Lowspeed

damping affects behaviour such as

braking related dive or cornering changes.

(credit - Universal Technical Institute www.

uit.edu)

TECH FEATURE

SUSPENSION

What are the primary difference between

damper rods and cartridge forks?

Damper rod: Fluid travels through a fixed orifice to control the

compression and rebound of the suspension. Damper rods are

inexpensive to produce, but are limited in their effectiveness. Low

speed damping is too soft and high-speed damping is too harsh.

Cartridge forks: Fluid travels through a set of stacked shims

to control suspension movement. Shims bend and flex as the

fluid travels past them. Cartridge forks are more tuneable, and

offer better damping from low to high speed. They are more

complicated and more expensive to produce. (credit - Universal

Technical Institute www.uit.edu)

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 23


TECH FEATURE

SUSPENSION

What is sag?

Motorcycle springs are always under tension, even when

stationary. Vehicle weight causes compression at all times.

Add a rider or two and luggage, and the suspension

compresses even further. Sag is the percentage of

suspension travel utilized while stationary. If the suspension

sags too much when at rest, the bike may bottom out

when encountering bumps once underway. Too little sag

can cause a stiff, harsh ride. The difference between the

fully extended length of the suspension and the length

compressed by the weight of the motorcycle and rider is

called “total sag” or “race sag”. (credit - Universal Technical

Institute www.uit.edu)

What is preload?

Some motorcycles offer suspension preload adjustability.

Preload is the amount of tension on the springs when the

bike is at rest. Increasing preload will decrease sag, and

vice versa. Since a single motorcycle is often used for

solo riding, riding with a passenger or riding with luggage,

preload adjustment allows a degree of adaptability for

multiple use cases. Although not recommended, adjusting

preload can increase ground clearance for off road travel

or decrease seat height for shorter riders. Some novice

riders use preload as a ‘band-aid’ for overcoming incorrect

spring stiffness relative to their height and weight. While

not ideal, this is a common practice, as changing springs

is expensive and labour intensive. By turning the bottom

adjuster collar, more or less preload force is applied to the

spring, while not changing the overall length of the spring.

Increasing preload will result in less suspension sag once

under rider load. (credit - Universal Technical Institute www.

uit.edu)

A little quick hack from Séan

I have found the quickest and most inexpensive way to

adjust, mostly lowering, the ride height of a bike is to

change the suspension linkages, (where possible), and to

drop the forks sliders through the triple clamps. This has no

effect on the preload and sag and if done correctly has very

little effect on the geometry of the bike. on the I lowered

my wife’s Yamaha XT660R by 20mm overall. Firstly, I stood

the bike upright and taped a water level to the seat and

marked where the bubble was.

24 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021

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RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 25


Then I had longer linkages made for the rear shock. Once installed I

loosened the triple clamps and gently eased the sliders through until the

bubble on the water level was on the same mark again to make sure the

geometry was correct. Where before my wife could barely get one foot

on the ground on tippy toes, she can now easily get the balls of both

feet securely on the deck which has increased her riding confidence

dramatically, especially off road.

What is ‘brake dive’?

Applying the brakes of a moving motorcycle increases the

load borne by the front wheel and decrease the load borne

by the rear wheel due to a phenomenon called load transfer.

If the motorcycle is equipped with telescopic forks, the

added load on the front wheel is transmitted through the

forks, which compress. This shortening of the forks causes

the front end of the bike to move lower, and this is called

brake dive. Telescopic forks are particularly prone to this,

unlike leading link designs. Brake dive can be disconcerting

to the rider, who may feel like he or she is about to be thrown over the

front of the motorcycle. If the bike dives so far as to bottom out the front

forks, it can also cause handling and braking problems. One of the purposes

of a suspension is to help maintain contact between the tire and road. If

the suspension has bottomed out, it is no longer moving as it should, and

is no longer helping to maintain contact. Whilst excessive brake dive is

disconcerting, and bottoming out can cause loss of traction, a certain amount

of brake dive reduces the rake and trail of the motorcycle, allowing it to turn

more easily. This is especially important to racers trail braking on entrance to

corners. Brake dive with telescopic forks can be reduced by either increasing

the spring rate of the fork springs, or increasing the compression damping of the

forks. However, all of these changes make the motorcycle less pleasant to ride on

rough roads, since the front end will feel stiffer. Go check out Wikipedia. You will be

amazed at the different techniques and various technologies various manufacturers

used to try eliminate brake dive, we can’t go into all of it here as it would be an

entire magazine in itself, but it is very interesting to have a read in your spare time

sitting on the crapper in the morning.

What tasks are usually best left to the experts and trained

professional suspension technicians?

• Change springs for rider weight or intended riding style

• Replace fork fluid, fork seals and fork bushings

• Valve and shim stack changes

• Suspension set up adjustments for rider

• Replace damaged or worn out components

• Repair or modify suspension components

With a little bit of understanding and knowledge you can do the

following yourself to suit your riding style and needs.

• Adjust the sag

• Adjust the preload

• Adjust the dampening and compression rate

• Adjust the rebound rate.

But before we get into the why’s and how’s and what for’s we also

need to know and understand that there are a multitude of different

suspension systems for different types and models of bikes, check

out your owner’s manual or google search your older bike if it no

longer has an owner’s manual to find to find out what suspension it

has. Here is a quick look at some of the suspension types out there,

(scratched off the net from Wikipedia and other informative sites as

well as some personal knowledge and asking some of the pro’s in the

industry):

• The most common form of front suspension for a modern

motorcycle is the telescopic fork.

• Upside-down” (USD) forks, also known as inverted forks,

are installed inverted compared to conventional telescopic forks.

The slider bodies are at the top, fixed in the triple clamps, and the

stanchion tubes are at the bottom, fixed to the axle.

26 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


This USD arrangement has two advantages: It decreases the unsprung

weight of the motorcycle; and it increases torsional stiffness, which can

improve handling. Two disadvantages of USD forks are they are more

expensive than conventional telescopic forks; and they are liable to lose

all their damping oil should an oil seal fail. USD forks are typically found

on sport bikes and dirt bikes, though the Honda Valkyrie featured USD

forks.

TECH FEATURE

SUSPENSION

• Gas-charged cartridge forks, which became available in

2007,consist of gas-charged cartridges fitted within standard forks.

This kit is suitable for super sport and dirt bike classes of racing, where

regulations prohibit a complete fork replacement but allow modification of

the original forks

• Other fork designs are girder forks, suspended on sprung

parallel links, (not common since the 1940s)

• and bottom leading link designs, not common since the 1960s.

• Vincent Black Lightning with Girdraulic front suspension was a

telescopic fork with a trailing linkage at the bottom attached to a form of

shock absorber behind the fork and then attached to the bottom of the

steering neck, early BMw’s used a similar system as well.

• Some manufacturers (e.g. Greeves) used a version of the

swinging arm for front suspension on their motocross designs. A singlesided

version of the idea is also used in motor scooters such as the

Vespa.

• The hub-center steering as developed by Ascanio Rodorigo, on

a concept associated to Massimo Tamburini is a complex front swingarm

alternative system that entails suspension and steering, as seen in

projects such as Bimota Tesi and Vyrus motorcycles.

• Scott produced a motorcycle with telescopic forks in 1908 and

would continue to use them until 1931

• In 1935 BMW became the first manufacturer to produce a

motorcycle with hydraulically damped telescopic forks

• Most motorcycles today use telescopic forks for the front

suspension.

• A lot of high end modern motorcycle these days have electronic,

reactive suspensions with factory pre set adjustments which are

accessed and set by scrolling and selecting through the menu on the

digital and/or TFT displays.

• A lot of the heavier BMW models use a tele-lever system upfront

• Dirt bikes use a range of either linkage or PDS systems, which

we will look at the difference a little bit later.

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SUSPENSION TECH

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The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S uses a 48 mm (200 mm of travel) WP APEX SAT fork that features a

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The rear end uses the WP APEX SAT shock absorber (200 mm of wheel travel) with a completely new hydrau

pre-load adjuster that is also manipulated electronically. The shock profits from a sensor delivering informat

the SCU for automatic preload adjustment of the spring to achieve the ideal balance (sag) of the bike, indep

weight. The preload can be adjusted by 20 mm on the 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S, which is a

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In addition, the spring preload of the rear suspension can be set via the menu in 10 steps according to the r

of the rider or in three automatic modes called auto leveling (optional TA) in low, standard high. The setting

performed on the fly or while riding.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 27


So! Why and how do I set up my suspension?

Firstly, let’s look at the why.

Most bikes suspension are set in the factory for the general populace and

with an assumed weight of somewhere between 70 kg’s and 90kg’s for a

single rider, and in the case of road and adventure bikes, with rudimentary

adjustments to compensate for a pillion and for luggage. However, we are

not all built the same, weigh the same or ride the same or even in the same

conditions. Correct suspension set improves traction and tyre life, (ask any

racer), improves handling over rough terrain and in corners as well as rider

confidence. And as any racer will tell you it can be the difference between

being on the winners rostrum or standing on the side lines congratulating

the winners. I mean, that is just common sense really … isn’t it? Suspension

is that important that a lot of racers are quite happy to ride a fleet or

local bike when racing around the world, but travel with their personal

suspension in a kit bag and fit it to the bike before each event, this is

particularly true of the hard enduro guys and the like.

Rear shock adjustment

Pre load and sag

Firstly you need to look at your pre load and sag settings, this will directly

correlate to the weight of the rider and how the bike transfers weight under

braking and acceleration

directly affecting how the bike handles under

braking and acceleration.

First determine what the optimal setting is for your bikes suspension.

Mark a common or reference point on the sub frame Then measure from

the centre of the axle bolt to your reference point, using a standard tape

measure, the extended or top out of the rear shock and spring by pulling

it up to full extension. Then settle the bike back down and measure again,

each time making a note of the measurement. Then get the rider in full

kit and gear to sit on the bike with both feet on the pegs and measure

again and make a note of the measurement. For better accuracy the rider

should be standing on the pegs … obviously you will need somebody to

hold the bike upright while you measure. Compare your measured range

to that of the optimal settings for your suspension and adjust accordingly.

On dirt bikes loosen the two aluminium lock nuts at the top of the rear

shock spring, lengthen or soften the spring for lighter riders and shorten or

stiffen the spring for heavier riders. On sport and road bikes you will find

an adjuster on the side of the rear shock absorber, some you can feel a

perceptible click and on other you just have to count the number of turns,

all you need to remember is that clockwise is stiffening the pre load and sag

and counter clockwise is loosening it.

Rear shock rebound

This is the speed and force at which the shock returns to full extension.

The adjuster can be found at the bottom of the shock and can be easily

adjusted with a flat head screw driver. Turning the adjuster anti-clockwise

will increase the rebound speed, go too far and the rear shock will feel very

nervous and even bouncy or springy. Turning the adjuster clockwise will

slow the rebound speed down. Once again, go too far and the rear shock

will feel heavy, unresponsive and very harsh over bumps. Ride the bike,

get a feel for what it is doing and make quite large adjustments in either

direction, very few pro rider can feel the difference made by one or two

clicks, try 7 to 10 clicks in either direction at a time and see what happens,

that will give you a clearer feel for which way to go, make the necessary

corrections in adjustment again if you find you are going the wrong way and

then use smaller increments to fine tune the adjustment.

Rear shock damping

Damping is the speed at which the shock will compress under acceleration

or over a bumpy surface or an obstacle. The adjuster is located at the top of

the shock and can also be adjusted with a flat head screw driver. The same

rule applies here anti clockwise adjustments make the damping softer,

go too far and the rear shock gets soft, spongy and springy. Clockwise

adjustments slow the shock down and increase the damping. Go too far

and the rear shock start to feel ineffective and heavy especially over very

bumpy surface as it is not using the full length of its travel and the same is

true of the rebound setting. Also, always remember that adjusting either the

rebound or damping will have an effect on the other. The trick is to find the

optimal balance between rebound and damping for your weight and riding

style.

28 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


If you have found that sweet spot, that perfect balance between

rebound, damping, pre load and sag and your shock is still

bottoming out then you may need to consider a heavier or sturdier

rear spring or you might need to have your rear shock refurbished by

a professional suspension technician, that or spend more time doing

cardio and less time in front of the telly chewing on hamburgers and

the like.

TECH FEATURE

SUSPENSION

Front suspension

Due to the large variety of different front suspension systems we are

going to focus on the cartridge type which most modern bikes seem

to be fitted with these days.

Firstly lets look at some terminology and understand what it refers

to:

Compression: This is the speed of the downward stroke of the fork

under braking or tilting into a corner

Rebound: Conversely this is the speed of the upward stroke of

the fork once released from the pressure of whatever caused the

compression.

The compression setting adjusters are located at the top of the

fork, on a dirt bike a flat head screw driver can be used and on a

road bike or super bike a socket or wrench needs to be used. On

dirt bikes you will also find an air bleed release above or below the

compression adjuster. The rebound adjuster is located at the bottom

of the fork.

Adjusting the fork compression and rebound ratio or speed

Turning the adjuster in or clockwise closes down the valve

and restricts the oil flow thus slowing down the speed of the

compression or downward stroke of the fork, essentially stiffening

it up. Counter clockwise open up the valve allowing the oil to flow

more freely and speeding up the stroke or making it softer. The same

applies to the rebound, the force and speed at which the fork return

to its natural position. Clockwise slows it down and anti-clockwise

speeds it up.

How to determine when, why and how you need adjust your forks.

Firstly, don’t be scared of large incremental adjustments. As long as

you stay within the working parameters of the adjusters you cannot

damage them. Do not try to force or over tighten or over loosen

them and you wont inflict any damage and going back to factory

settings or your start settings is as easy as referring to your notes or

your owner’s manual or even google.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 29


The easiest way to determine which way to set your suspension,

especially the damping is by putting a rubber band or zip tie

around the bottom of your fork leg then go out for a ride and give

it horns for about 10 to 15minutes. Stop, check where the zip tie

has been moved to, ideally you want to use around 90 percent of

your full suspension travel. If the zip tie is more than 25 percent

up from the bottom of the fork, your compression is possibly

set too hard and you can afford to soften it up a bit to use more

range of the stroke. Sometimes you can have your setting so

soft that it feels stiff using up too much of the stroke too quickly,

bottoming out the fork that it ramps up ands feels harsh. A quick

way to identify this problem is that your bike will feel very twitchy

under braking as the front end is loaded with too much weight.

(remember the weight transfer mention earlier?)

APRIL Issue 2021

Rebound is more of a feeling than a firm setting. Too slow and

hard will initially make your bike feel more planted in a corner,

over an obstacle or under braking, but will start to feel harsh,

hard and heavy as the bumps come more quickly without the

fork releasing far or quick enough to its full extension packing it

down hard and reducing its shock absorption abilities by keeping

it at the bottom of its stroke thus negating both the compression

and rebound. If the rebound is set too quickly or too softly the

bike will become nervous and unstable with a bouncy or springy

feel on the front end. Going into corner your bike will feel loose

and wobbly, not wanting to settle because the fork it releasing

or rebounding too quickly and with too much force and thus

you need to slow it down a bit. As mentioned, rebound is more

of a feeling so you need to get out and ride your bike and make

adjustments, always keep notes of what you did and what the

result was. Not only will it help you remember what you did and

the effect it had, but it will also help you understand your bike

better and improve your riding skills.

Finally, and mostly on dirt bikes you will find and air bleeder on

top of the fork above or below your comprehension adjuster.

Temperature change from friction of movement or atmospheric

conditions can increase the pressure in the outer cartridge by 1

or 2 PSI during the course of a ride. This may not sound like a lot

but as the fork is compressed it shrinks the volume of space and

increases the pressure. This will result in the forks feeling harder

during the course of a ride and will get harsher as the day wears

on. By turning the bleed screw counter clockwise with a flat

head screw driver until it is open which will reduce the pressure

back to zero PSI and return the forks back to normal operation.

This is so effective that some riders have replaced the screw

with quick release or easy bleeders for convenience sake during

a ride.

So! There you have the basics of how your bikes suspension

works and how it affects your riding. We have had to leave out

a bunch of finer details about suspension basically because of

space and most of it is just ‘nice to know’ stuff which can easily

be googled or found out with a little trip down to your local

dealer or chat to any one of our advertisers.

30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021

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RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 31


X MAN

1979 SUZUKI GSX1100E

Images: 2ft-Stu.

This beautiful example of Suzuki’s GSX1100E is, without

doubt, one of the best we’ve seen and, it’s totally original and

not restored, besides the exhaust. To the keen eye you’ll also

notice the ‘small tank’, which was allowed on the first ever

models for racing use. Later models all had the 24-litre ‘humpback’

tank, so this version is a very rare beast indeed.

But in 1979/80 this bike set new performance standards

across the world and instantly dominated production racing

and, of course, drag racing. In fact, this exact engine, obviously

in highly modified forms, still wins drag race titles today,

a tribute to the heavy engineering found inside this massive

air-cooled 16-valve motor.

But what aren’t massive are the bike’s dimensions. Sure,

in its day it was a big motorcycle, but compared to today’s

machines it’s actually quite small. It does weigh 243kg though,

most of which is the engine, but when I rode it the GSX doesn’t

really feel that heavy. In fact, it’s quite nimble and very easy to

live with, especially when you sink into the super soft saddle.

This was the first time the ‘X’ appeared on the side panels as

the previous model was a GS 750/1000, unless you live in the

USA where they called it a GS1100, for some reason known

only to them, but they do tend to omit vowels from the English

language so I’m not surprised.

32 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


This bike is also the ‘E’ variant,

which means it has cast wheels

whereas some early models had

heavier wire/spoke wheels and were

therefore just called the GSX1100.

FEATURE

1979 SUZUKI GSX1100

The GSX1100E was quite innovative

as well, according to Suzuki that is.

It was certainly the first big production

motorbike to have an aluminium

box-section swing-arm and fully adjustable

suspension. The forks have

some kind of damping adjustment

at the bottom of the fork leg; spring

preload adjustment and air can be

pumped in too. At the rear are twin

shocks with five preload setting and

four damping settings to match.

Even today the suspension feels

rather good being plush and well

damped, in fact the front forks felt

better than some of the modern stuff

I’ve ridden recently. Predictably the

single-piston calliper front brakes

aren’t brilliant but still work well if

applied with the huge rear disc at

the same time.

Another part, or parts, that feels

better than modern bikes is the

fantastic gearbox, which was always

one of Suzuki’s best attributes, and

still is. But the best piece is that

relentless 100hp engine, which I

ran on the dyno and it still makes

100hp at the wheel after 40 years

and 50,000km on the clocks. Suzuki

claimed they also had the first

‘check panel’, which did nothing

more than tell you if the bulbs/

globes are blown and the battery

needed topping up, still, it looked

pretty when illuminated.

Talking of claimed figures, I also

strapped a Racelogic device to

accurately record a top speed.

It recorded a very commendable

226km/h (141mph), which was also

what Suzuki claimed in 1979/80.

No wonder this engine was the

drag racers choice and even in the

mid-eighties 500hp turbo/nitrous

engines were quite common at the

drag strip, which makes Kawasaki’s

2018 H2R (320hp) sound a bit

feeble, doesn’t it?

So obviously this rare 1979 original

GSX1100E is worth quite a bit and

highly collectable, possibly worth as

much as a new GSX-R1000 and increasing

in value every year. Unfortunately,

the current owner does not

want to sell it and I can’t blame him.

But one thing is for sure, I bet this

bike will still be a daily rider in

another 40-years’ time where a vast

majority of modern superbikes will

certainly not, say no more.

www.billysbikes.co.za

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 33


34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


Jack “Thriller ” Miller

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 35


Moto GP roundup…

So much has happened since our last issue…

Where to start?

Can anyone stop Miller and Ducati? Two in a row and firmly on

the boil.

Arm pump for Quartararo in Portimao… A sad way to lose a

race… surgery the next day and back up front at Le Mans two

weeks later in some of the worst conditions to date… Expectations

for Marquez dashed as the wet weather specialist

crashed twice.

BB also crashed twice – man we feel for the Binder brothers

but watch this space – they are champions!

Le Mans was a mess: “Bikes in the three Grand Prix classes

hit the deck (and the gravel trap) 44 times on Friday, a colossal

number, even for Le Mans. To put that into perspective: at the

first race in Qatar, there were 37 crashes over all three days of

the first Grand Prix, and 27 over three days of the Doha round

at Qatar. In fact, six of the nineteen rounds held in 2019 had

fewer crashes over all three days than Le Mans did on Friday,

and another five rounds only had a handful more.”

“Some 19 of those 44 crashes happened at turn 3, the first left

hander of the Dunlop Chicane. Given how quickly the costs of

a crash can mount up – even a slow crash can cost north of

€20,000 to replace carbon fiber fairings, foot pegs, and levers.

And if fuel tanks, exhausts, wheels, brake discs, frames and

swing arms cost even more…”

Bikes swapped – penalty laps- just general Mayhem.

Quartararo held on to third place which means that as we

type, he reclaims the championship lead from Bagnaia by

one point, while Zarco climbs into third, 12 points behind his

compatriot and only four ahead of Miller.

In Moto 2, Gardner keeps the lead in the world championship

by only one point from teammate Fernandez, while Bezzecchi

climbs into third, 17 points down, dropping Lowes to fourth,

23 points behind the leader.

In Moto 3, Acosta’s recovery and his rivals misfortune extends

his lead in the world championship standings to 54 points,

with race winner Garcia becoming his main challenger, two

points ahead of Migno and with Fenati another point back. We

won’t even discuss the Oncu crash a few weeks back…

Finland is cancelled, an extra round in Austria added… Man

it’s exciting times – Sundays are simply spectacular!

36 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


GP machines vs the rest:

This is really interesting. Have a read.

It’s a good question and one that many people want to

ask but shiver at the thought of sounding less clued up

than their Moto GP-savvy cronies – what is the difference

between Moto GP and World Superbike? Actually, what is

the difference between Moto GP and everything else? Read

on and find out. If you already know the answer, read on

anyway. We are about to have some fun.

Story: Donovan Fourie

Put simply, the difference between World Superbike and Moto

GP is that the former is a production-based series while the

latter is pure prototype machines. It’s much like the difference

between World Touring Cars and Formula One, except bikes

are very different to cars, thankfully.

For one, the shape of motorcycles in their road-going, natural

form is about as good as motorcycles get, whereas cars are

bloody useless things, so a Formula One car looks like an alien

space pod compared to a

regular car. That’s

why there is no confusion

between the two,

yet a Moto GP machine

appears

confusingly similar

to the

Fireblade sitting in

Joe

Average’s garage,

so where’s the

fuss?

Believe me, there’s plenty.

Prototype entails that every bit of the motorcycle is built for

racing, whereas production-based means the bike is vaguely

similar to the road-going stuff. Although, World Superbikes is

less production-based than they appear.

The main rules for designing a Moto GP bike go thusly –

• The motor must have four cylinders,

• Its capacity may not exceed 1000cc

• The entire motorcycle may not weigh more than

158kg.

There are more rules regarding safety and electronics, but they

are boring. Let’s stick with those three for now. So the designers

of Moto GP machines have carte blanche to do as they

please…

On the other hand, World Superbike machines are required to

mostly be the same as homologated road-legal motorcycles.

They are allowed upgraded suspension, upgraded brakes, upgraded

electronics, some engine mods and a few more tidbits.

Otherwise, they need to be the same as the road machine.

Sounds like building a WSBK machine is pretty simple? The

only problem is that engineers see rules in a different light.

What “the same as the standard bike” means to them is that

the bike needs to be the same to the technical scrutineer

with his simple vernier. Make sure the little

vernier measures the same as the book, and

the bike will pass.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 37


So, basically, WSBK engineers have carte blanche provided it

fools a vernier, and therefore build special race bikes from the

ground up, just like in Moto GP, except that they need to look

like road bikes.

These restrictions are far less than the organisers intended.

However, they are restrictions nonetheless.

The difference in performance is mega – over a race distance, a

world Superbike averages more than two seconds a lap slower

than the equivalent Moto GP machine.

Mathematically, at the end of a race, world champ Johnny Rea

will be more than a main straight length behind the Moto GP

bike in last place.

The top speed differences are naturally profound too.

The speed record in WSBK was by Scott Redding on the

Ducati that looks like a Panigale V4R. He clocked 330km/h,

a glorious figure considering how short circuit straights are

compared to the road warriors that gear

their bikes tall and hold them flat out

for miles.

Moto GP, though, is in another league:

Depending on the circuit and the straight lengths, a Moto GP

bike clocks between 20 and 30 km/h more. The record at the

moment – that will probably have been broken at Mugello by

the time you read this – is 362 km/h with the acceleration from

zero to 300km/h takes less than eight seconds.

To put that into perspective, the top road-legal production

superbikes take around 15 seconds to do the same.

Obviously, the horsepower required to reach these speeds is

enormous. Both Moto GP and WSBK teams do not disclose

official dyno figures, but experts have hazarded guesses.

Whereas road bikes on dynamometers (keep in mind that the

claimed speed is usually based on crank output and are

therefore higher) show somewhere in the region of

200hp, experts predict that a top WSBK machine

is somewhere around the 230hp mark. That’s a

mighty amount, for sure, but it is dwarfed next

to that of Moto GP.

One publication actually recruited an engineer

to calculate the Ducati Moto GP horsepower

output – he took its weight,

38 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


its estimated drag coefficient and acceleration, and concluded

that it is chucking out as much as 300hp…

To put that into perspective, Moto GP throttle bodies can go to

full only in fifth gear. Let’s explain that – Moto GP bikes have

advanced wheelie control systems that keep the front wheel

on the ground by electronically closing the throttle bodies even

when the rider has the twist grip turned to the stop. From first

gear until fourth, the throttle bodies have to remain partially

closed, or the bike will simply flip. It’s only in fifth gear, beyond

300 km/h, that they open all the way for the first time…

Think about that – at 300km/h, the motor can still lift the front

wheel.

Then, the rider hits the brakes, the carbon brakes. Part of the

rules that distinguish WSKB from Moto GP is carbon brake

disks – they are not allowed in WSBK but are fair game in

Moto GP.

Not long ago, certain journalists were allowed a lap

on Moto GP bikes during private track sessions

after the season.

Since Moto GP teams prefer not to share

secrets anymore, these journalists

days no longer happen. The Journos

that did get a go on these mental

machines were blown away by

the power they make, but their

biggest awe-fest was about

the brakes. Or how they were

more like sudden stops

than a mechanism to slow

the bike down.

It’s more complicated

than that because carbon

brakes start working above

a specific temperature, thus

there’s a slight delay between

pulling the lever and hitting

the carbon wall, a delay

that needs to be

taken into account

when choosing

a brake

marker.

It gets even more complicated, because on most Moto GP

brake markers, the bike is still accelerating like hell, so the front

wheel is in a constant state of hover. If the rider pulls those

rib-smashing brakes when the front is anything but planted, the

front wheel will lock, and that’s not good.

Before pulling the front brakes, riders usually shut off the

throttle and simultaneously press the rear brake. Only when

the front tyre is firmly pressed into the tar may the rider go full

anchors with the front brake.

The rest of the chassis is different, too – the frame and suspension

might be completely different in WSBK, they still need

to look and measure the same as a road bike, a road bike that

needs to deal with potholes and gridlock traffic, so there are

limitations.

MotoGP chassis can do as they please. The difference is

certainly felt by the riders. Colin Edwards, who competed in

both WSBK and Moto GP, compared riding WSBK machines to

lounging on a couch, whereas Moto GP is more like sitting atop

a barstool – stiff and unforgiving.

And therein lies the nutshelled difference between the two –

World Superbikes may be built from the

ground up as race bikes, but they

are still based on road machines

designed for tackling tracks and

traffic.

Moto GP bikes are

no-compromise,

race-bred exotics.

Don’t let looks deceive

you.

Rins Moto GP bike

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 39


Cafe

Days

Café Days…

Pics by Black Rock.

Two cool R Nine T’s.

Want to be the king of cool? Looking for a bike

that turns heads on every corner?

Maybe, just maybe BMW’s R Nine T is a bike

to look at…

To find out, we borrowed two of them.

40 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


FEATURE

BMW R NINE T

We remember when we first saw one of these. It was a

complete break away from BMW’s traditional, conservative

market and one of the prettiest bikes out there. We couldn’t

wait to ride one BMW’s 90th birthday celebration model. A

design aimed at what BMW saw as a new market, a market

for the Hip new generation where making a statement and

looks are everything. An out-of-the-box custom bike and

a great baseline for anyone who would like to take it even

further. And they are not the only brand to embrace this.

Go and visit the Triumph store to see what we are talking

about.

We then saw the folks from BMW SA running all sorts of

custom competitions based on customizing these bikes

and some pretty flippin spectacular examples are still doing

the rounds. It’s been a long time since we got to swing our

legs over one of these. About three years back, RideFast

featured a bike that was customized by the good folks

at RACE! And that turned heads everywhere it went. Our

chief complaint on that marvelous creation was the fact

that it was so damn uncomfortable. Fine for shop hopping

or short bursts in and about town, but the ride from their

Midrand store to our offices left us quite grumpy.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 41


FEATURE

BMW R NINE T

Fast Forward to 2020 and the latest rendition is, thankfully far

more comfortable.

Since those early days on the market for the R nine T,

BMW has introduced different design options, including the

Scrambler, Racer, Urban G/S, and Pure. The Bavarians also

sweetened the deal on all versions by standardizing wheelspineliminating

Automatic Stability Control; previously, ASC was a

factory-installed option. The 1,170cc air-/oil-cooled boxer twin

retains all the hallmarks of the torquey, slightly buzzy at higherrpm

mill first we first encountered in 2014.

We thought it was time to have another look. Calls were made

that procured a Racer from Motorrad West and a beautifully

wrapped more upright R Nine T from Motorrad Fourways. Our

singing mate Garth Taylor is back from the UK and we figured

that bikes like these are right up his alley so we invited him

along to join the fun. We pointed them into the suburbs for

some urban cool and then we headed off down the freeway for

an early dinner at a little pub we know.

The Bones:

Both bikes we rode share the following.

Looks and details inspired by the R32 of 1923 (90 years before

it was released, hence its commemorative name) and their old

race bikes, but with performance, handling and manners that

are entirely modern.

The tubular steel frame uses the engine as a load-bearing

component and comes in two parts. The front part with an

integral steering-head and the back, which is a pillion subframe

mounted above the swingarm. This back piece is removable

and you can turn it into single-seater and make your partner

walk. The exhaust that exits on the left-hand-side of the bike

can be replaced with a full Akrapovic unit if the budget permits.

Oh and did we mention that BMW has a full catalogue of

custom goodies for each model.

“Just sign here please!”

With the invention of that gorgeous liquid cooled 1250 Boxer

a couple of years back, we thought that the old boxer engine

would be discontinued. We are so happy that BMW found a

home for it, it’s just got so much personality and is perfect for

bikes like these.

The bikes shake bit at idle, like a 1200cc twin should. Blipping

the throttle gives you that lekker torque reaction. It has great

punch off idle, and it revs very quickly for a big twin. The

shakes disappear around 2,000 rpm. The engine produces

110bhp and 87-foot-pounds of torque, and sounds meatier

than any old GS we’ve ridden, delivering power by the barrel. It

goes harder than you think it might, pulling through the speed

range quickly thanks to the flattened power and torque curves

between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm.

Ride Modes influence the fuel intake and throttle response of

your R nine T. “Dynamic” mode makes the engine response

more direct. The result is a surprisingly peppy package that

really good fun to ride. The combination of a 46mm fork and

Paralever rear suspension provide a composed ride while a

multifunction display, LED lighting, modular framework, and

antilock brakes give the retro machine additional currency

among its contemporary rivals.

Whatever iteration you choose, the R nine T is a fun ride that

feels like a blast from the past, in a very good way.

Thanks to the fact that BMW listened to the criticism levelled

about the first renditions, the stock R Nine T is a bike that you

can now use every day for all kind of riding.

R2

R

4

R

R1

42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


R255 000 R75 000

R319 000

R NINE T, 2020

4000km

R145 000

R299 000 R165 000

R185 000

R175 000

R185 000

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 43


The Racer? – Well that’s aimed at someone else.

The Racer is absolutely gorgeous to look at – and its best fun

on the long freeway, but trying to navigate the suburbs and

back roads is not what it’s designed to do. The long tank and

scrunched pegs are really not very comfortable. Pretty soon your

wrists are aching, and your hips stiffen up…

This is either built for a midget or for someone who really enjoys

pain.

But it is pretty, and is absolutely a conversation piece that

deserves a place in your pub – or in the garage for an occasional

trundle out for the crowds to admire. And admire it they will!

A few years ago we got to ride a Tiny Mariner Triumph race bike

– and this bikes riding position reminded us exactly how those

racers from a bygone era felt. They have our sympathy.

Both editions are pretty fast and rock steady and confidenceinspiring

when banked over. Smooth torque is on tap when

you open up and the bikes are so much fun dicing through the

twisties, just choose a gear and leave it there when you’re in the

bends…

The part of the BMW web site devoted to the R nine T speaks of

“great options for individualization” and “pure riding pleasure”

and “the classic enthusiast”. “Design your motorcycle, design

your life”, it proclaims. “One name, one purist lifestyle.”

It all kind of makes sense.

Garth says:

I really loved the look and style of the R9T Café Racer, it really

is just such a beautiful bike and with loads of power on tap.

Sadly as good as it looked, the riding position was extremely

uncomfortable for me, being of medium height and build and

also perhaps because I’m not used to the aggressive almost

superbike riding position, I am more of an upright rider having

grown up riding dirt bikes most of my life. I had a hard getting

comfortable with the torque ‘flex’ under acceleration and up

shifting and the same with deceleration and down shifting as I

am not used to such an organic feeling bike … but I guess that is

part of the character of this bike.

Swapping onto the R9T standard I immediately felt more at home

with the more relaxed and upright sitting position and to me the

‘flex’ felt less pronounced on this model. All the loves from Café

racer including the looks and the fun factor are applicable here

but being more comfortable on having more confidence on this

bike I was able to fling the bike around despite its size and the

1200 motor which didn’t notice me aboard this beautiful beast

of a machine … as I mentioned I felt very at home on it and

struggled to behave myself on it!

Sean says:

I do not go out of my way to be contradictory or the odd one

out, it just comes naturally. Nobody seemed to enjoy the ride

on the R nine T Racer version, saying it was uncomfortable and

cumbersome for the most part. I did notice that most of them

were on their tippy toes and really stretching to get to the handle

bars and to be honest, when first laying eyes on the Racer I was

somewhat concerned that I was going to look like a boil on pigs

arse riding it and that I too would be woefully uncomfortable with

it. When I finally got my turn at the controls I was more than a

little surprised at how quickly I gelled with the Racer. Maybe it is

because I am quite a bit taller than the other riders and maybe

because it is because I have owned and ridden many, many

thousands of miles on Suzuki Katana’s in the 80’s and 90’s which

does have a similar riding position. I had my feet flat on the

ground with my knees bent and I could easily reach the handle

bars in a fairly relaxed position with very little strain on my wrists,

shoulders and lower back. The Racer does seem to have quite a

tall seat height with a fairly long fuel and low tank and fairing with

quite low handle bars … right up my alley.

Heading out on the road the Café Racer really comes into its

own along the long, fast sweeping roads we were riding. It has

more than enough power to make you giggle when winding on

44 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


FEATURE

BMW R NINE T

the gas, maxing out at about 220kmh or maybe

just a little bit more. The suspension is great in the

bends but with the engine being part and parcel

of the chassis you do have to get used to the little

of torque flexing under hard acceleration and up

shifting, the same is true of down shifting and

engine braking. There is so much compression in

the motor that heavy engine braking does elicit

a small squeal from the rear tyre every now and

then. This is an old school racer with very little in

the way electronic nannies to interfere with the

riders feel. To me this is a true riders bike, the stuff

men are made of and not some tech nerds dream.

Riding back into town and the afternoon rush

hour traffic I soon left my riding companions

somewhere far back in the setting sun as I

was dodging through the cars and trucks. The

advantage of the low bars is that they can easily

pass under most side view mirrors and with the

rest of the bike being fairly narrow it is quite easy

to sneak through tight gaps with acceleration off

the line from that hugely torquey 1200cc boxer

motor blowing everything off with ease. I frikkin’

love this bike …

And the same is true of the standard R nine T for

a lot of the same reasons. Both have a gorgeous

and unmistakable deep and loud boxer twin growl

from the exhaust with very little mechanical noise

coming off the engine or induction noise, all of

which I really like. The standard version definitely

has the more comfortable sitting position with its

upright bars and slightly softer seat but that is

about where the difference s ended for me. Both

bikes have a huge amount of character and are

exceptionally fun to ride and they really make you

feel like a boss because of all the attention they

attract. I do think a day at the track with either or

both of these bikes is in order followed in short

order by a blast down to Clarens for overnight

stop before exploring other interesting roads back

home the next day … How about Rodney? …

Denis? …anybody?

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 45


R

10

R

Ve

13

R

B

In conclusion:

Honestly. The Racer is quite possibly one of the coolest retro

racers on the planet, but we have to comment that unless

you are charging along a freeway, its also one of the most

uncomfortable bikes you’ll ever ride.

The R Nine Tee, however – is one of those bikes that you can

ride every day…

Want something cool in your garage? Go and ride one.

FEATURE

BMW R NINE T

R

4,

R

BMW R Nine T Specs

Engine Four Stroke,two cylinder opposed Boxer,

two camshafts and four radially alined valves per

cylinder

Emission Euro-4

Max Power 110hp / 81kw @ 7550 rpm

Max Torque 116Nm @ 6000 rpm

Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically

operated

Frame Four-part concept with front frame and

three-part rear frame, load bearing engine-gearbox

unit, rear seat frame removeable for one up riding

Front Suspension Upside down telescopic forks,

46mm fixed fork tube diameter

Rear Suspension Cast aluminium single swing

arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever. Central spring

strut, spring preload fully adjustable by hook

wrench, adjustable rebound-stage damping

Wheelbase 1522mm

Seat Hight 820mm

Dry Weight 189kg

Fuel Capacity 18 litres

Draw

Draw

Draw

Draw

46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


R18, First Edition 2020

4,000km E X Demo

R280 000

S1000 RR, 2010

45,000km

R119 000

R1250 RS, 2021

2 300km Top Box

R199 000

R 1250 RS, 2019

100km

R215 000

R1250RT, 2019

18 000km

R230 000

C400 X 2020

1,300km

R109 000

Vespa 300 GTS, 2018

13,500km

R99 000

Vespa 250 GTS, 2011

13, 000km

R89 000

BMW Motorrad Fourways

R1250 GS Adventure 2013

34,000km

R245 000

Cnr Witkoppen and Cedar Road.

Fourways, Gauteng.

Tel: (011) 367-1600

Email: rodney.serfontein@cedarisle.co.za

Drawer 1

Trolley Size: 900 x 850 x 450mm

Drawers:

4x Standard Lockable Drawers

2x Deep Lockable Drawers

1x Lockable Side Door

Drawer 2

Drawer 3

1x Lockable Side Door

- Extra Storage

Space

Drawer 4

Wheels: 2x Fixed

2x Castors with 2x Brake

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 47


Triumphs

new Trident 660

We have restrained ourselves from bringing you overseas

reports on this bike because, well we like to see what the

bike is like on SA roads with everyday South Africans in

the saddle. We virtually bugged Triumph to death for a spin

– and when we got our mitts on to it, we invited adventure

instructor Morag Cambell along to join us for a full day of

fun...

Words by Glenn and Morag.

Pics by Stefan.

48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


TRIUMPH

Trident 660

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 49


Triumphs Bruce Allen was waiting for

us when we arrived to collect the bike.

He sat us down in the office and tried to

explain where he is aiming this bike. The

word urban came up, along with things

like retro and some other stuff.

We mentioned that we might hop on the

bike and take off to Kliprivier and so-on

and Bruce looked surprised.

All that way on a naked?

Well – yes. Most of us grew up on naked

bikes and at current bike prices, most

people will use bikes for everything and

not just to pop down to the shops. We

pointed the little (Yes it is really compact

and small) triple at the freeway and took

off for a full 300 odd kilometer ride.

And we loved every second.

Our route took us through the bustling

metropolis of Sandton, out onto the M1

freeway and then all around Egoli on the

double decker freeway. From there we

hit a sh’ot left along the Golden Highway

past Gold Reef city and meandered our

way through back roads all the way out

to the Daleside area. We found some

quiet roads where we could open up and

really see what the Trident is capable of.

Someone suggested that we hit the cooling

towers in Soweto for a nibble – sadly,

they were closed (They open

Thursday Through Sunday for a crazy

100m bungee jump and refreshments),

but that made for some cool photo’s.

We took the opportunity to have a walk

around the old ruined transformer station

and surrounds. It’s pretty interesting –

and every person we encountered gave

us a friendly wave and a warm greeting.

Truly hungry by then, we made our way

to Nando’s near Comaro – and then in

typical Foley fashion we got lost. He said

we weren’t, but for sure we were – and

we ended up wandering along some

pretty dodgy back roads all the way

around to Germiston where (thankfully)

we found a freeway that we (he)

recognized.

Our route took us into the financial hub

of Sandton followed by a refuel before

returning the bike to the Triumph store.

All in – about 300 KM’s for the day with a

lot of chopping and changing saddle so

that each rider could really get a feel for

this new player on the SA market.

Bustling streets, urban freeways, urban

back roads and freeways were all

gobbled up by the littlest Triumph of

them all.So what’s the bike about then?

This is a friendly little triple that you will

enjoy every day.

The Trident 660 is packed with the good

stuff. Full LED lighting, self-cancelling

indicators, an immobiliser, lightweight

five spoke alloy wheels, Michelin Road

5 tyres, an adjustable brake lever, Nissin

brakes and a neat underslung exhaust

that looks cool and makes that beautiful

Triumph noise for you to enjoy. Fuel tank

cut outs, complete with textured plastic

pads and aluminium badges place knees

closer together giving the Trident a narrow,

controllable feel. Cropped Triumph

logos appear on the more expensive

black/silver, silver/red paint schemes.

Detailing continues with neat little badges

and logos subtly contained within

the tank knee pads, fuel cap, headlight,

taillight, handlebar clamp and clocks.

The 660 motor isn’t the same as the

triple powering the current, shorter-stoke

660cc Street Triple S. It’s actually a heavily

reworked Daytona 675 engine with its

stroke reduced from 52.3mm to 51.1mm,

trimming capacity to 660cc.

Power and revs are also dialled down

from a racy 123bhp@13,500rpm to a

more road-friendly 80bhp@10,250rpm.

Unlike the old Daytona 675 the Trident

660 has a modern ride-by-wire system

to control everything from fuelling to rider

aids and modes (Road and Rain).

50 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


TRIUMPH

Trident 660

Climbing aboard, the first thing that everyone commented on

is the compact, yet comfortable feel. The bike is really quite

small –and this is accentuated by the tiny over the tyre rear

fender (some people comment this seems like an add-on,

and we reckon it could easily be modified if desired) – but in

terms of ergonomics, everyone complimented the newcomer.

Triumphs Rob Chandler Explains all the electronics

You are not squished up like a wannabe racer – it all feels

natural. The seat is wide, firm and comfy. Morag pointed out

how easy it is to get your feet to the ground – that’s cool!

Looking down you’ll see that Triumph has mounted a

beautiful round display. Easy to read and it displays all of

the relevant info on the ride. The design of the Triumph’s

system is pretty cool, with a two-part setup, a reverse LCD

rev-counter and speed at the top, and a multifunction TFT

below. The TFT element can display your gear, riding mode,

fuel, trips, consumption, and optional Bluetooth function.

After a bit of figuring out, changing modes and selecting the

info that’s shown in the TFT element is quite simple using the

directional buttons on the left-hand switch-cube. The two

riding modes cover Rain and Road mode, with each adjusting

the bike’s throttle map and traction control settings. Hit the

starter and she sounds a typical Triumph and even with that

stubby little exhaust is not overly loud or obnoxious.

Select a rider mode – and this is important. The bike only has

2 modes, rain and road – and – well, for the first bit we could

not understand why it did not go so well. Rain mode slows

things down for wet roads... Anyway.

Once we realized our blunder about 50 KM’s down the drag,

(It’s really all rather simple) and popped her into go faster

mode, the bike started to make sense.

We aimed her at the twistiest roads that we could find and

opened her up. This bike little triple engine revs its heart

out and eagerly climbs to the 180KPH mark through the

quickshifter.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 51


It’s fun getting there and you’ll never lack for any kind of

power to overtake. At the top the revs die off a bit and

you need a longer road to climb to the 200KPH plus mark.

But all the fun is literally from zero to the national speed

limit. Suspension is taken care of by Showa with 41mm

non-adjustable USD forks and a rear shock with pre-load

adjustment only. The result is a bike that feels quite taught

and firm.

Up front, the two-piston sliding Nissin calipers bite down

onto 310mm floating discs. They give the rider great lever

feel and feedback. The ABS on the bike is a two-channel

system that is non-switchable, meaning there is no

button or option to disable it all. The rear brake works just

perfectly.

On this bike, the most fun to be had is on those pokey

little back roads when you want to dice from robot to robot.

The bike is just so small and nimble – like a motard.

Carving through traffic is easy and fun with a little wheelie

just a handful away. This is like that naughty kid – a

“Dennis The Menace” that will put a grin on your

kisser every time.It’s not a mad ass superbike type bike –

everything is smooth, predictable – and so much fun.It has

more than enougfh oomph to do distance too. It’s certainly

not just an urban commuter - it will gladly haul your ass

from JHB down to Durban - it all depends on how much

you like the wind in your hair and bugs in your teeth!

In the right paws (We left our Kyle Lawrenson at home for

this one), we reckon that this bike would make for a great

tricker!

Morag says:

To be absolutely fair – I am an adventure rider and I have

not ridden that many street bikes so I was interested to

see what this bike would be like. The route we rode gave

me the opportunity to really get to know the bike.

Freeways, urban roads, small twisties, it was great!

This bike is very comfortable. Seat height, body posture,

arms, levers etc are all natural and really well laid out. The

engine is responsive- zero to sixty and up to the 120 mark

is really good fun.exciting to ride. Handling is easy and

light – I loved nipping through the traffic. I would

generally use the clutch in the slow speed traffic and the

quick shifter when going faster in the higher gear range,

where by the way, it is really smooth Coming from and

ADV background, I found the suspension to be very firm

– and I picked that up the most when I got around the

120kph mark.

52 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


I love the feel of the naked bike – I do like them very

much. Small, compact, comfortable and so easy to

ride.

TRIUMPH

Trident 660

Stefan says:

Glenn said I’d love it and he is quite correct. This bike

is, absolutely my boxing weight. The bike is nippy – and

so comfortable. Power is certainly not superbikey, but

it is more than ample for a bike in this class making it a

whole lot of fun. The one thing I would’ve liked to see

on this tech filled bike is a cruise control function, since

otherwise it seems like the perfect commuter. But as I

understand from a little bit of research, the 2022 model

will come standard with cruise control.

Please Mr editor. Could we shake up some other bikes

in this class and take them all for a ride? I would love to

compare this triple to the twins from Kawasaki (Z650)

and Yamaha (MT07).

I’ll even bring the camera along!

In the correct hands this bike can be a Hooligan machine.

TRIUMPH Trident 660 Specs

Engine Four Stroke, Transverse three cylinder,

DOHC, 4 Valves per cylinder

Capacity 660cc

Emission Euro-5

Max Power 80hp / 60kw @ 10250 rpm

Max Torque 64Nm @ 8750 rpm

Clutch Wet, Multi-plate, slip and assist

Frame Tubular steel perimeter frame, twin-sided,

fabricated steel swingarm

Front Suspension Showa upside down separate

function forks (SFF)

Rear Suspension Showa monoshock RSU, with

Pre load adjustment

Wheelbase 1401mm

Seat Hight 805mm

Wet weight 189kg

Fuel Capacity 14 litres

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 53


GO FASTER …

Much faster with ‘The Nose’

South Africa’s own Burt Munro … So, for those who

might not know who Burt Munro was, he was a mad

Kiwi living in his shed come workshop tirelessly toiling

away at being the fastest man on two wheels on the

planet. Casting his own pistons, machining his own

go faster bits and testing, testing, testing until he was

happy that he had built a proper contender to take on

a land speed record. Then it was onto raising funds to

get himself and his bike to the Salt Flats in the US of A,

working as a cook on the transport ship to help pay the

way for himself and his bike across the oceans. For the

Hollywood version of the Burt Munro’s story look up a

movie called ‘The Worlds Fastest Indian’, Sir Anthony

Hopkins portrayed the role of Burt and in one section it

is even a bit of a tear jerker, romcom in other place and

pure octane fuelled speed junkie during the rest.

Tucked away in the little hamlet of Pretoria North is

busy workshop owned and operated by Pierrie van der

Westhuizen who is a combination of a mad scientist,

brilliant mechanical engineer and a speed crazed drag

racer with a passion and a very dedicated focus on

going faster and faster. So much so that he is in the

planning stages of a World Land Speed Record event

here in good old South Africa in the first half of next year.

Pierrie is not a big fan of forced induction, nitrous and

the like. Other than the fact that he feels it to be taking

a short cut or taking the easy way, he doesn’t like the

negative effect they have on the bikes reliability and

longevity. And, so to this end along with his mate Adolf,

brother Korsten and son Korsten, he has researched,

designed and tested some simple and cost effective

bolt on parts that really and truly work. Foremost of

these is “The Nose”, a simple bolt front fender that

effectively turns any modern fully faired superbike into

a ‘Streamliner’. With said ‘Nose’ fitted and some subtle

fettling to his not so pretty gen 2 Hayabusa he derives

great glee out of kicking seven kinds of snot out of multi

hundred thousand ZA rands purpose built big bore,

turbo charged, super charged and nitrous snorting

contenders … “met ‘n f..ken grinder en duct tape” as

one rival so eloquently put it after ‘P.D.’ handed him his

backside.

Here is what Pierrie and his team of family and friends

from Bike Sense in Pretoria North have to say about their

handy work.

“The Nose” fully extended

turning the bike into a

sreamliner.

Standard front fender.

To qualify for an official land speed record the average

speed over one kilometre (1 mile in the USA) is recorded

and with in a period of approximately 2-3 hours a

second run, on the same track but in the opposite

direction (to compensate for wind strength and direction)

is attempted. All this is done under the strict supervision

of a registered governing body like Motorsport South

Africa (or FIA or FIM internationally).

54 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


To qualify for an official land speed record is worlds

apart from YouTube “records” that produce jaw dropping

outcomes with seemingly little or no effort or oversight.

The normal aspirated class (motorcycles without turbo’s

or superchargers) has two divisions namely Gas and Fuel

class. To qualify for Gas class the rider has to use normal

fuel pumped at a your normal friendly neighbourhood

filling station, in South Africa this is usually 95 octane.

To qualify for Fuel class acceptable fuels include

alcohol, methanol, ethanol, nitrous oxide, nitro-methane,

hydrogen, diesel and any gasoline not purchased from

the gasoline vendor.

To reach high speeds without using a turbo or

supercharger and on top of that only using everyday

pump fuel becomes a real challenge. To gain

horsepower, in this instance, one has to start looking at

things like airflow (Cd) to give you the advantage. And

for this reason the The Nose has been developed.

This aerodynamically designed nose replaces the front

mudguard on a motorcycle and drastically reduces drag

coefficient (Cd) when riding.

The nose has moving parts and when the rider attempt

a high speed, the side and front parts move up to

completely change the Cd. On a standard Suzuki

Hayabusa the Cd is 0.561 but when the Nose is in

full operation the Cd is minimized to 0.460. (at low

speeds, where air flow is critical to keep the engine

from overheating and blowing up the moving parts all

retract either manually or automatically – whatever your

preference is – and allow air back into the fairing and

over the radiators)

A standard Hayabusa, producing 152 horsepower on a

load dyno (250 Dyno Jet Dyno) can reach a top speed

of 297 km/h when racing on a flat road (no inclines or

declines). The same rider on the same motorcycle, road

and using the same fuel, reaches a top speed of 317

km/h by simply adding the Nose.

The 0.101 Cd difference that the Nose makes, translates

to a 20 km/h difference with the exact same motorcycle!

Some people might say that Gen1 Hayabusa standard

(no engine modifications) can make 180 – 200 horse

power, but keep in mind that this is not on a load dyno

(250 Dyno Jet Dyno). It is important with this type of

experiment to compare apples with apples.

.

On a Gen2 Hayabusa with +/- 168 horsepower on the

rear wheel there is a +/- 18km/h difference in top speed

when using the Nose. A Gen 2 Hayabusa can reach

329km/h with the Nose with 168 horse power on the rear

wheel. This does not sound like much, but the norm is

a Gen 2 Busa on a flat road (and no wind) needs 200

horse power on the rear wheel (load dyno) to reach

321.4 km/h per hour with a 100kg rider.

We tested different motorcycles like the ZX10, 750 GSXR

Suzuki and 1000 Suzuki; the difference in top speed with

the Nose average between 16-20km/h. Any modern

full fairing superbike you will add to the top acceleration

and well as down force on the front wheel by adding the

Nose.

The acceleration from 200km/h and higher is also better

since the Cd is lower on the motorcycle as well.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 55


The down force on the front wheel is increased as the gap

between the Nose and the fairing is smaller. This causes

faster flowing air to create a vacuum that sucks the front

fairing closer to the tar. The wind going past the front of

the motorcycle and not underneath the front head fearing,

that causes lift, also increase front down force that in turn

contribute to more stability at a higher speed.

Note: All the tests have been done on standard height

suspension

For a Motorcycle to go from 300 to 301 km/h (same

motorcycle in the exact same conditions), +/- 1.9

horsepower will need to be added; Thus for a standard

Hayabusa to go faster with +/- 18km/h on top speed = 1.9

horsepower x 18 = 34.2 horsepower by simply putting on

the Nose.

In theory you added +/- 34 horsepower by putting on the

Nose, because the Cd is lower of the motorcycle. That is

why it can reach a higher top speed.

This might not sound like much, but between the 2004

ZX10 and a 2021 ZX10 there is not even +/-35 horsepower

difference. Between the K5 Suzuki and a 2021 GSXR

Suzuki there is also not even a +/-35 horsepower

difference. This means that in 16 years of technology the

manufacturers seem not have been able to even add +/-

35 horsepower more on any of the new engines.

One has to understand that by simply adding the Nose

you get the extra top speed because the Cd is lower on

the motorcycle.

To add 30 horsepower to a day modern motorcycle engine

it will cost you a huge chunk of money and the lifespan

and reliability of the motorcycle is compromised.

Temperature of the motorcycle engine

No heating issues were encountered.

The Hayabusa tests were done over 20 kilometre runs at

12000 RPM (on the cluster) in 6TH Gear and no heating

issues arose.

On a different occasion runs were done of 160 km/h over

a 90 kilometre run uninterrupted also with no heating

issues.

Tests were done on private roads.

Price

The Nose without any pneumatics: R7000.00

The Nose with pneumatics (to push the sides up and

down automatically): R10500.00

Material used to make the Nose is Carbon Fibre

To try and understand how difficult it is to do a land

speed record we will look at the following two instances:

The fastest H2R Kawasaki supported by Japanese

team from Japan could only reach 206milers per hour

at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2016. The H2R was highly

modified for top speed. The SA land speed record with a

turbo Hayabusa with more than 400 horsepower was done

in 2005 at Mafikeng. Driver N. Geldenhuys reached only

347km/h. There is a big difference between to reaching a

high speed for a second on a highway and a land speed

attempt where you maintain the desired speed for more

than 60 seconds.

If you have any technical questions you need answered in

connection with this topic feel free to email me at

FEATURE

“THE NOSE”

Shorty, Korsten, Adolf, Pierrie, Korsten

KTM

YAM

0

40 G

VER

DEA

AL

56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


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RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 57


58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


FEATURE

CUSTOM SUZUKI BUSA

CUSTOM

SUZUKI GSX1300R

With the latest rendition of Suzuki’s mighty ‘Busa due to

hit our shores as you read this, we thought we’d revisit

the original bike that can be credited for starting the hyper

bike revolution. Just like every single ‘Busa from that

generation, this one’s not quite standard…

A brief history lesson:

Guys – the ‘Busa is the bike that firmly moved the goalposts

in the hyperbike stakes.

Back when it was first released, Honda’s Blackbird was king

of the hill. Suzuki gave that a square Karate chop – and as

good as the Blackbird was – and still is, Honda never came

back with a Reply.

The Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa has been around since

1999. It immediately won acclaim as the world’s fastest production

motorcycle, with a top speed of 303 to 312 km/h.

In 1999, fears of a European regulatory backlash or import

ban led to an informal agreement between the Japanese and

European manufacturers to govern the top speed of their

motorcycles at an arbitrary limit.

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 59


The media-reported value for the speed agreement in miles per

hour was consistently 186 mph, while in kilometers per hour it

varied from 299 to 303 km/h, which is typical given unit conversion

rounding errors. This figure may also be affected by a

number of external factors, as can the power and torque values.

Bike SA’s Simon Fourie flew the very first ‘Busa into SA and it

blew all of our collective minds. I still remember the heading for

that feature – “A quantum leap forward in big bike technology”.

And there was no better way to describe it. This guy got to take

it home and proceeded to take it as fast as it would go on the

Witbank freeway.

Absolutely breathtaking.

Fourie went on to modify his bike – TG fitted a 1600cc kit and

there followed another headline – in True SA magazine style:

“Bike SA’s 16000 (Sixteen thousand) Hayabusa” – That’s not a

dig, we do it all the time!

Man it was funny and readers were not surprised that we

enjoyed the bike so much.

In the standard bike class, Kawasaki, however was game.

Remember - they also knew what it was like to be king of the hill

with their mighty ZZR1100. A short time after Zuk dropped the

bomb, there followed the ZX 12.

Locally the race was on with tuning shops trying to get the bikes

faster and faster. At that time guys like TG services and KCR

were the ‘Busa Specialists, While Bear engineering, Clubhouse

Motorcycles and guys like Quinton focused on the Kawi.

And the competition was so fierce, all culminating in 2003 at

a drag meet at Tarlton when world champ drag racer Rickey

Gadson came out on his 12 and raced against a very young

Fransie Engelbrecht.

It was Kawasaki vs Suzuki and on the day and the Suzuki built

by KCR took the crown.

Man – it was incredible – after that race there was so much

controversy, accusations of cheating – you name it – all the good

stuff that brands need to get bikes selling.

And they sold like crazy every single South African wanted to

have bragging rights!

60 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


Since then, and the rivalry between any two brands

has really never been duplicated.

Fast Forward:

‘Busa’s are still enormously popular – and with bike

prices creeping up the way that they have and many

riders are paying attention to their older machines

rather than replacing.

It’s ladies month – or – it was international lady riders

day the other day – so we figured that we’d need to

get a lady rider involved in this feature. One of the

biggest Busa nuts out there is Tracy Van Der Linde

who has owned and ridden them for longer than

some of our readers have been around.

Trace is a graphic designer who spent time at Dirt

And Trail, Bike SA and Superbike Magazines, so

she has a wealth of knowledge about all things

motorcycle.

She went drag racing for two years on a 2005 Busa

in the Standard Superbike class and clocked an

impressive time of 10.26 over the quarter mile.

She is a proud owner of a Gen 1 ‘Busa that had

been” Slightly modified” by specialist tuner Quintin

Ackerman.

We met her one sunny Highveld morning for a look

and a chat and – of course a spin on her unique bike.

She bought the bike in 2010 from Dyno By Quint in

Edenvale. He built the bike from the ground up and

breathed on it a bit to make it just that little bit faster.

That is the beauty of a ‘Busa – they are strong, so

you can tune then and keep them reliable at the

same time.

When we say Gen 1 – we refer to chassis and

bodywork.

The engine is replaced with a Gen 2 mill which the

factory upgraded slightly from the first one. That has

had some cylinder head work done and the cams

have been reprofiled.

You can hear it the moment that the bike fires up and

it idles away. The standard BHP output was around

the 186 BHP mark up here on the Highveld. This one

pushes 207 on the Dyno.

The bike also pinched the Gen 2’s suspension

components.

FEATURE

CUSTOM SUZUKI BUSA

sorts of anodized goodies and detailing. It’s not a show bike. This bike is

used a lot as day to day wheels and Trace says she falls a little bit more in

love with it every time she rides it.

•A Power Commander was fitted

– with that, you can play with the

electronic tuning.

•At that time, quick shifters were quite

new tech – this was fitted with an

aftermarket one.

•The bike has a full Arata Exhaust

system.

•It drips with carbon Fibre covers.

•The original owner fitted Yamaha R1

wheels and they tell us that that was

for Aesthetic reasons. They do look

great.

•Standard calipers on Wavy rotors

take care of stopping duties.

•Custom seat.

Simoncelli Tribute:

We made the error of calling this a

replica. It’s not, it’s a tribute to the late

racer. Trace and her family are nuts

about the guy and they decided on

the sprayjob in memory of the man.

It looks absolutely fantastic.

Other than that- the bike drips with all

”Your number one SYM

dealer in the northern suburbs”.

Sales, service and fitment centre

Cnr Baxter/Strand Road, Bellville 021 9453250.

*large varitey of service parts in stock

*fully equipped workshop

http://sym.co.za/

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 61


Heroes of the

Yesteryear...

MV Agusta 750 F4 and Aprilia RSV1000R

Lady racer Zoé Bosch and professional lunch eater

Donovan Fourie spent a day with two Italian heroes

from a golden time.

Words: Donovan Fourie

Pics: Meghan McCabe

Kids, ask your parents – before the 1000cc/1200cc

monster phase clicked into gear, bringing with it a

time where IT technicians mean as much to a team as

a spanner swinger and the PR guy whispers into

rider’s more than their wives, the top-notch production

riders showcased their meat on 750 fours and

1000cc V-twins.

62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


FEATURE

ITALIAN HEROS

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 63


To the kids, we are starting this story with the mundane. Back

then, stuff wasn’t as fast or cool as it is now; less is less.

On that thought, look across at your parents and see the

dreamy look in their eyes.

Men were men, bikes tried to hurt you, and racing was war. It

was a brutal era, and that’s what made it special.

Of course, there were the four Japanese giants, each throwing

their primary colours into the ring, and if it’s not Japanese, then

it must be a Ducati, right?

Well, no.

Here are two bikes that you may have forgotten.

Aprilia RSV1000R Factory:

In 1998, Aprilia built its first superbike.

A simple sentence to say, but the drooling impact of this was

profound as it was massive. Aprilia, at that stage, was a major

player in racing circles. The black and red machines dominated

the 125cc and 250cc GP classes, and it had grown a reputation

as an elite racing marque.

And it had the RS125, a bike that had a bigger impact on

teenage emotions than unlimited access to nudie girls on the

internet, plus the RS250 that had surpassed mere emotions

and had achieved the status of a deity.

each lighting-strewn cylinder. Much of that feeling has to do

with the 60º V-twin, a bold move away from the more traditional

90º V-twin mostly seen even today, which gives it a faster

revving bark.

The chassis feels like Mama Bear – you sit deep within it, and

it engulfs you. From the outside, it is brutish and intimidating.

Sitting in the seat, it feels brutish and protective.

It’s not the easiest bike to tip in, with the extra muscle needed

to that lean, but once you are there, it stays put, railing the turn

like a rollercoaster and again protecting its precious cargo.

But that thunder, that barking thunder echoing in the hills every

time you open the throttle. A rumble that shunts out a heartfelt

139 hp, a rocket ship amount for the time.

It’s fast, it’s stable, but mostly it feels like the bear it is – brutish

and unwavering. It makes the rider feel like it can take on

anything, it can stare anything down, and nothing can stand in

its way.

You feel gleefully in charge.

And then they built a superbike, and the world stood still.

Reality changed.

Initially, it was called the Mille, Italian for “thousand”, a fitting

name for a V-twin 1000cc.

In 2003, it became the RSV1000R with the Factory version

sporting upgraded Öhlins suspension, and that’s what we have

here.

Unlike its sleek and slender Italian contemporaries, the RSV is a

brute, a behemoth with a golem face, bulging frame beams and

stiff swingarm support. There was no upbringing of poetry and

song to a Tuscan sunset here – it was raised on a diet of chilli

meatballs and lifting wine barrels.

And it barks thunder – it really does. It sounds like, instead of

pistons, it has two hammers of Thor thumping away within

64 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


FEATURE

ITALIAN HEROS

MV Agusta 750 F4

The RSV was a big deal when it was first launched in 1998.

Still, the announcement that Aprilia was building a superbike was

dwarfed somewhat by the announcement that the most renowned

racing brand ever was making a return – MV Agusta.

Unlike Ducati and Aprilia, MV Agusta went for a 750cc in-line

four-cylinder, something that was the territory of the Japanese at

the time. The development of the motor was assisted by Ferrari

engineers, and the design was by Tamburini, the legendary man

who conceived the Ducati 916. It appeared as though the 916 was

just a practice run.

If the Aprilia caused reality to change, the F4 made it stand still.

Journalists, ordinarily quick to jot down on their notepads, stood

quivering, magazines breaking the first pictures became drool

soaked, and teenage boys all over the world quickly forgot about

teenage girls.

It was produced from 1999 to 2005 when the motor was changed

to a 1000cc.

But then the 750 is the model that brings back those memories of

the first time we opened a page and saw its gleam. It was Italian

glory in every way.

More so when it was unveiled in the golden flesh here in South

Africa.

It was 1999, I was a shy teenager, and Zoé was still running

around in pink dresses playing with Barbies. In those days, Sunday

morning breakfast run converged on Cosmos, the village on

Hartbeespoort Dam banks. There was a café diner that served

terrible food, but, yet, that was where everyone was, so that’s

where everyone went (it’s now, shamefully, an ostentatious housing

complex with a silly name like “Tuscan Villa” or something).

Hundreds of people were there every Sunday, so this is where

the F4 was unveiled. On this occasion, the Sunday morning was

bright, and the crowds especially plentiful with the news of the F4

arrival.

The unveiling ceremony was a typical display of pulling off a cloth

covering, but when that covering came off, the sun shone slightly

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 65


ighter, the birds paused their cheeping and time-warped

itself around this physical splendour. There was applause

from the crowd, but not before a moment of silence, where

everyone gazed in contemplative wonder.

And now, hre we are 22 years later and riding one through

the Cradle Road.

FEATURE

ITALIAN HEROS

If you were alive and old enough to tie your shoelaces when

it was unveiled, then the riding impression should be of no

consequence, but Glenn says we have to give one, so here

we go.

The Aprilia was big and brutish, with demons thundering

from its exhausts. The MV Agusta was the Prince Charming

sent to slay this dragon.

Instead of sitting inside the bike, the rider is perched upon

it. Instead of having to muscle it into corners, the tips on

a dime. Zoé quite fittingly described it as “like sitting on a

ballerina” – a ballerina with a motor partially designed by

Ferrari.

In typical four-cylinder fashion, the bottom revs are somewhat

gutless, but once those revs climb, the motor starts to

sing and, heavens, does it sing.

There was scepticism about MV taking on the Japanese

at their own four-cylinder game, but none of the Big Four

produced an angelic harmony like the F4.

The max power output was 126hp, a sizeable 13 down on

the Aprilia, but as is often the way with Italians, the spec

sheet blurs into insignificance and is replaced with a charm

that leaves its rider blushing.

And no motorcycle has left the world with more blushing

than an MV Agusta 750 F4.

These two motorcycles couldn’t be more different – the

Aprilia is an Italian Thor while the MV is that Florence poet

that captures your heart.

Yet, both are soul-grabbers from an era where men were

men, IT people did spreadsheets for accounting firms and

model wives stood where PR men now tread.

These are good bikes from a good time.

Both of these are on the floor at Fire It Up in Randburg.

66 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021


RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 67


17D_Q3+_SalesBull_2pg_r2_Layout 1 4/13/17 3:08 PM Page 1

DURABILITY THAT MATCHES PERFORMANCE

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Sportmax Q4 Front 120/70ZR17 (58W) 45233176

Sportmax Q4 Rear 180/55ZR17 (73W) 45233177

180/60ZR17 (75W) 45233131

190/50ZR17 (73W) 45233060

190/55ZR17 (75W) 45233074

200/55ZR17 (78W) 45233092

S594/A

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DunlopMotorcycleTires.com

*As tested by Dunlop on a 2017 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 RR on a closed track at Barber Motorsports Park.

@RideDunlop DunlopMotorcycleTires.com. ©2017 DUNLOPTYRESSA

Dunlop Motorcycle Tires.

PERFORMANCE

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©2018 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires.

DUNLOPTYRESSA

68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021

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