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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE
MOTO GP VS SBK
GSX-R750 ADVERT-Edited.pdf 1 2021/05/20 08:57:21
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GSX-R1000R GSX-R1000A GSX-R750
For more information visit your Nearest
Authorized Suzuki Dealer!
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
So that night, Andy rolls up to her house on his
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
Have a great riding month!
ADVERTISING AND EDITORIAL:
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011 979 5035
011 979 5035
Pic of the month:
Stefan van der Riet
Videos and more
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.
2021 NOW AVAILABLE
BOOK YOUR TEST RIDE
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.
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
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
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
And that’s great news for us consumers!
6 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
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
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
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.
email@example.com or look them up on Facebook @specialisedplasticwelding
10 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
/// FREE DARK VISOR
/// FREE PINLOCK
/// 5-YEAR WARRANTY
Henderson Racing Products - 011 708 5905
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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@
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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@
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
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
16 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
All the NEWS proudly brought to
you by HJC HELMETS
Scorpion Exo-R1 Air:
Amazing value track helmet with MotoGP pedigree…
The Scorpion Exo R1 Air is Scorpion’s top of the range
racing/sportsbike helmet. It’s actually the exact same helmet
that Fabio Quartararo wears in Mogo GP – well it is if you buy
a size small because that’s the size that’s been FIM tested/
homologated for racing.
It’s a composite fibre full face helmet that’s been designed to
work on the track and on sportsbikes. Which means it needs
to have great aero qualities and excellent all-round vision as
well as give amazing impact protection.
But Scorpion’s also tried to create a helmet that works on
the road too. So they’ve made it bluetooth headset friendly,
stuck a glasses groove in there so your specs will sit nice and
comfy. And they supply it with a Pinlock-ready race visor (with
Pinlock Max Vision in the box).
So maybe you can have the best of both worlds: A helmet to
go MotoGP racing on the weekend as well as commute to
work in the week…
• Composite fibre full face
• FIM homologated track helmet
• Air pump cheek pads
• Pinlock Max vision included
• 3 Shell sizes to fit XS-XXL
• Double-D ring fastener
• ACU Gold
• Lightweight (1.35Kg )
Imported by HRP and at dealers nationally.
OUR SERVICE CENTRE IS OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK - MONDAY TO SATURDAY!
GIVE US A CALL FOR ALL YOUR MOTORCYCLE NEEDS!
SPROCKETS / CHAINS / TYRES / FILTERS / FITMENT CENTRE
BMW F650GS 99-07 R1995.00
BMW G650GS 11-15 R1995.00
(800 twin) 08-12 R2195.00
(800 twin) 13-18 R2195.00
BMW F800GS incl.
BMW S1000R 13-18 R2695.00
BMW S1000RR 09-18
(Including HP4) R2695.00
CRF230F 03-19 R1695.00
CRF250R 02-17 R1695.00
CRF450R 02-18 R1695.00
TRX400EX ATV 99-09 R1695.00
TRX450R ATV 06-14 R1695.00
CBR600RR 03-16 R2095.00
CBR1000RR 04-16 R2195.00
NC700 12-13 R1995.00
NC750 14-20 R1895.00
VTR1000 SP1/SP2 R2195.00
includes fitment or shipping country wide
SERVICE KITS AVAILABLE!
DIRTBIKES - ATV’S - ADVENTURES - TOURERS - CRUISERS
W E S H I P C O U N T R Y W I D E
011 088 9240/9251
38 Plantation Road, Eastleigh, Edenvale.
Open on Saturdays.
5 minutes from Edenvale Central.
Just off Terrace road.
KAWASAKI KX250 99-08 R1695.00
KAWASAKI KX250F 04-18 R1695.00
KAWASAKI KFX400 03-06 R1650.00
KAWASAKI KX450F 06-18 R1695.00
KAWASAKI KX500 87-04 R1695.00
KAWASAKI ER6N/ER6F 06-16 R1695.00
KAWASAKI KLE650 07-18 R1695.00
KAWASAKI KLR650 90-10 R1895.00
KAWASAKI ZX6R 07-13 R2095.00
KAWASAKI ZX10R 04-19 R2495.00
KAWASAKI ZX10R 04-19 R2795.00
KAWASAKI ZX12R 01-05 R2995.00
KAWASAKI ZX14 06-19 R2995.00
KAWASAKI ZX14 06-19 R3595.00
Find us here
KTM 250 EXC-F 07-19 R1750.00
KTM 350 EXC-F 12-17 R1750.00
KTM 350 XCF-W 13-16 R1750.00
KTM 450 EXC-F 10-19 R1750.00
KTM 450 SX-F 07-19 R1750.00
KTM 450 XC-F 08-19 R1750.00
KTM 1050 Adventure 15-16 R2995.00
(with silver ZVMX chain)
KTM 1090 Adventure/R 17-18 R2995.00
(with silver ZVMX chain)
KTM 1190 Adventure/R 13-16 R2995.00
(99with silver ZVMX chain)
KTM 1290 Super Adventure/R/S/T 14-19
(with silver ZVMX chain) R2995.00
KTM 1290 Superduke/GT/R 14-19 R2995.00
(with silver ZVMX chain)
RMZ250 04-20 R1695.00
RMZ450 05-19 R1695.00
LTZ400 ATV 03-12 R1650.00
LTR450 ATV 06-09 R1695.00
GSXR600 01-19 R2195.00
DL650 V Strom 04-19 R2195.00
GSXR750 00-18 R2195.00
GSXR1000 01-08 R2295.00
GSXR1000 09-16 R2495.00
GSXR1300 Hyabusa 99-07 R3495.00
(with silver ZVMX chain)
GSXR1300 Hyabusa 08-16 R3795.00
(with silver ZVMX chain)
YZ125/YZ250 05-19 R1695.00
YZ250F 01-19 R1695.00
YZ450F 03-18 R1695.00
WR450F 03-09 R1695.00
YFZ450 ATV 04-13 R1695.00
YFZ450R ATV 09-19 R1695.00
YZFR6 06-19 R2395.00
YFM660 Raptor 01-05 R1695.00
YFM700 Raptor 06-19 R1695.00
YZFR1 98-14 R2395.00
CHAIN AND SPROCKET KITS
AVAILABLE FOR MOST SUPERBIKES,
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At WeSellParts.co.za we have a passion for motorcycling. We have worked tirelessly to source the best brands available at competitive market pricing. Our team of experts is
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RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 17
18 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
YAMAHA R7 ANNOUNCED
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.
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
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
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
22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
What is compression and rebound
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.
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
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
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.
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
WP PRO COMPONENTS
WP develops high-performance motorcycle suspension and components.
With a focus on innovation and precision, WP is committed to giving riders the technical edge to take their
riding to their personal pinnacle of performance. But to harness speed, one must be truly dynamic, so
adjustability is of top importance. This lets WP-equipped riders maximise their potential to meet the
unique demands on equipment, personal skills and fast-changing conditions in the powersports realm.
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
A NEW STANDARD OF
WP SEMI-ACTIVE SUSPENSION (SAT): KTM and WP Suspension again set the bar in the motorcycle mar
up-to-minute generation of the WP ‘SAT’. The result? More sensitivity, feedback and possibilities for persona
on-the-go. Reach a new standard of comfort and improve the overall riding experience thanks to the updated
Control Unit (SCU) that adjusts the damping rates with magnetic valves in real-time to react to surfaces and
Stroke sensors form the basis of this advanced kit that is fully tunable from the comfort of the TFT display a
switches where the rider can make adjustments for both the front and rear units individually (optional Techn
Accessory). There are three different damping modes: COMFORT, STREET and SPORT as well as OFFROAD
as optional extras; all using the copious data provided by the 6-axis lean angle sensor and the riding style.
The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S uses a 48 mm (200 mm of travel) WP APEX SAT fork that features a
engageable (optional) anti-dive function, thus keeping the front from diving under hard braking. One innovat
highlight of the SAT technology is the automatic damping mode, which adapts the damping according to the
style and conditions. The electronically controlled, automatic damping option is an innovative feature develo
by KTM and WP.
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
10 mm over its predecessor.
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
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
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
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
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
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
1979 SUZUKI GSX1100E
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.
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.
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
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
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
Fireblade sitting in
so where’s the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Moto GP bikes are
Don’t let looks deceive
Rins Moto GP bike
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 39
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
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
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
BMW R NINE T
Fast Forward to 2020 and the latest rendition is, thankfully far
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.
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.
42 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
R255 000 R75 000
R NINE T, 2020
R299 000 R165 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
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
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.
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!
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
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? …
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 45
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.
BMW R NINE T
BMW R Nine T Specs
Engine Four Stroke,two cylinder opposed Boxer,
two camshafts and four radially alined valves per
Max Power 110hp / 81kw @ 7550 rpm
Max Torque 116Nm @ 6000 rpm
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically
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
Seat Hight 820mm
Dry Weight 189kg
Fuel Capacity 18 litres
46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
R18, First Edition 2020
4,000km E X Demo
S1000 RR, 2010
R1250 RS, 2021
2 300km Top Box
R 1250 RS, 2019
C400 X 2020
Vespa 300 GTS, 2018
Vespa 250 GTS, 2011
BMW Motorrad Fourways
R1250 GS Adventure 2013
Cnr Witkoppen and Cedar Road.
Tel: (011) 367-1600
Trolley Size: 900 x 850 x 450mm
4x Standard Lockable Drawers
2x Deep Lockable Drawers
1x Lockable Side Door
1x Lockable Side Door
- Extra Storage
Wheels: 2x Fixed
2x Castors with 2x Brake
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 47
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
Words by Glenn and Morag.
Pics by Stefan.
48 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Here is what Pierrie and his team of family and friends
from Bike Sense in Pretoria North have to say about their
“The Nose” fully extended
turning the bike into a
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
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
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
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
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
On a different occasion runs were done of 160 km/h over
a 90 kilometre run uninterrupted also with no heating
Tests were done on private roads.
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
Shorty, Korsten, Adolf, Pierrie, Korsten
56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
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58 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
CUSTOM SUZUKI BUSA
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
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
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.
‘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
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
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
When we say Gen 1 – we refer to chassis and
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
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
•At that time, quick shifters were quite
new tech – this was fitted with an
•The bike has a full Arata Exhaust
•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
•Standard calipers on Wavy rotors
take care of stopping duties.
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
RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021 61
Heroes of the
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
62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021
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?
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
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
You feel gleefully in charge.
And then they built a superbike, and the world stood still.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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17D_Q3+_SalesBull_2pg_r2_Layout 1 4/13/17 3:08 PM Page 1
DURABILITY THAT MATCHES PERFORMANCE
More than 80% of the Q3+ Performance touring tyre Great Handling at an
has been redesigned
that not only lasts longer,
compared to the Q3
but performs at higher
LESS TIRE LIFE =
Offers a balance of
FEATURES & B ENEFITS
• This purpose-built track-day tire achieves lean angles up to 62 degrees*.
• The Sportmax Q4 is DOT-approved for street-legal use.
in the wet
• The user-friendly Q4 does not require tire warmers, and runs at street
pressures, eliminating the need for chassis or electronic adjustments.
• Rear tire compound contains carbon black like Dunlop’s racing slicks for
to optimize stability, flex, and grip across the rear tread profile.
• Carbon Fiber Technology (CFT) uses carbon fiber reinforcement in the
sidewalls for exceptional cornering performance, braking stability and feel.
62° LEAN ANGLE. STREET LEGAL. .
• Jointless Tread (JLT) technology uses a continuously wound strip compound
• Dunlop branding on the tread area.
• Made in the U.S.A.
• The Q4 is available through all Dunlop retailers, as well as race distributors.
Size Load/Speed Part Number
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
RADIAL SPORT TIRES RACE TRACK STREET SPORT
Sportmax Roadsmart III
*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.
©2018 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires.
68 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2021