FIU Magazine issue 2

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LESSON<br />



THE BMW GS<br />




• IS THERE A NEW<br />



Working with as many brands as we do<br />

it has been the biggest challenge of my life<br />

to find the perfect workshop team led by<br />

someone who shares my commitment to<br />

customers. I am proud to announce that<br />

Johan Liebenberg has joined our workshop<br />

team in Johannesburg and I am really enjoying<br />

working with him. You can read his story<br />

elsewhere in this <strong>issue</strong>.<br />

Our new offering is ‘The Price You See is<br />

The Price You Pay’. This includes licence and<br />

registration, full service plan, 2 year mechanical<br />

protection plan, finance rates; the list goes on.<br />

Simply put, why would you buy anywhere<br />

else? That has been my motivation to build the<br />

perfect experience.<br />

Out with the old, in with the new. You can<br />

expect great things now and in the future at<br />

Fire it Up.<br />




While every racer will agree with the<br />

statement it applies to business.<br />

In the small but highly competitive<br />

motorcycle industry all fighting over the<br />

same stock and customers the race<br />

has never been tighter.<br />

Since starting out in motorcycle sales<br />

in 2005, I have always tried to find a<br />

way to be innovative or add value to the<br />

purchasing experience. In 2005 it was<br />

free Nerf bars, Shock Covers, Trailers<br />

and exhausts; in 2010 it was parallel<br />

importing (also known as Grey Imports)<br />

making motorcycling more affordable<br />

and giving more access to immaculate<br />

motorcycles at great prices. In 2016 we<br />

launched our free warranties and other<br />

value-adds in an effort to stay ahead of<br />

our competition.<br />

As the industry becomes more<br />

competitive and our old strategies are<br />

copied we have had to become more<br />

innovative in order to stay on top. By<br />

sticking to our core value of TRUST we<br />

often have to re-evaluate staff, structures<br />

and offerings. In Spring Fire It Up will<br />

launch our all-new strategy and new look;<br />

I am quite excited to share it with our<br />

customers even if it means parting ways<br />

with old popular structures and staff.<br />

The new strategy is, in my opinion,<br />

unmatchable and when my team all<br />

agree that they would buy their bikes<br />

here - and have, on many occasions - I<br />

think we have it right. The new strategy<br />

focuses on making motorcycling more<br />

affordable and on the showroom and<br />

workshop experience.


Welcome to <strong>issue</strong> two of the Fire it Up!<br />

magazine. This is a very exciting new venture<br />

for Fire It Up, being another step in involving<br />

its customers and helping to foster the sense<br />

of community.<br />

Having watched the growth of Fire It Up<br />

over the past five years, it’s a challenge to<br />

‘join’ the team and be part of the innovation<br />

that has been such a defining element of the<br />

growth of Fire It Up. Craig has never been<br />

afraid to try new things and, more often<br />

than not, they work and make the customer<br />

experience ever better.<br />

Over the coming months, the magazine<br />

will grow and develop, with ever changing<br />

story contents, reflecting what is happening<br />

in motorcycling in general and at Fire It Up.<br />

We want the magazine to have something for<br />

everyone. At the beginning, the page count<br />

is small but that too, will grow as we develop<br />

the concept.<br />

As with everything at Fire It Up, it’s all about<br />

giving the best experience to the customers.<br />

More than any other dealership, the Fire It Up<br />

customer becomes part of a community of<br />

like-minded friends who enjoy motorcycling<br />

in all its forms. The magazine is part of this<br />

community and it is your magazine. Please feel<br />

free to let us know what you would like to see<br />

in the magazine; all suggestions welcome.<br />

One of the first things I did when we started<br />

the magazine, was to invite Mishka Möller to<br />

write for us. A very well-known personality<br />

in motorcycling in South Africa, she brings a<br />

female perspective to the content but, more<br />

than that, she brings a really positive outlook<br />

on what motorcycling can bring into our<br />

lives. I never finish one of her articles without<br />

thinking how lucky I am to be involved<br />

with such a fantastic bunch of like-minded<br />

enthusiasts.<br />

Elsewhere in this <strong>issue</strong>, you’ll meet the<br />

new workshop manager, Johan Liebenberg,<br />

who brings a wealth of experience to the role<br />

and who is another great example of Craig<br />

Langton appointing the very best to enhance<br />

the overall experience.<br />

With Fire It Up selling all makes of<br />

motorcycles, including those with long<br />

histories, I though it would be useful to<br />

include brief histories of some of the more<br />

popular models. This month it is the turn of<br />

the ubiquitous BMW GS.<br />

We’ll have technical articles, travel articles,<br />

buying and selling advice, products features<br />

and advice, new model reviews and some<br />

of the more interesting news stories from the<br />

world of motorcycling.<br />

One of the most startling pieces of news<br />

to come out in recent years, is the news that<br />

Triumph is about to enter the off-road market<br />

with a brand new range of Motocross and<br />

Enduro bikes. This is a typically ballsy move by<br />

the British manufacturer and some might think<br />

they’d be unwise to take on the established<br />

kings, KTM. But Triumph has succeeded in<br />

every category it has entered, so why should it<br />

be any different this time? Details are scarce at<br />

the moment, but it just goes to show that, even<br />

in the middle of the worst trading conditions<br />

for a generation, innovation and imagination is<br />

not dead by any means.<br />

The same could be said for Fire It Up. I look<br />

forward to the journey we’ll all be taking with<br />

this magazine over the coming months.<br />

Ride Happy,<br />

Harry Fisher


OF THE<br />

MONTH<br />



Ask any dealership and they’ll all tell you<br />

that the success or otherwise of the whole<br />

enterprise depends largely on aftermarket<br />

care, which means the workshop. The<br />

buying experience can be first class, but if<br />

the customer then encounters problem after<br />

problem when getting the bike serviced or<br />

fixed, then this will sour the whole experience<br />

and, in all likelihood you’ll have lost a customer.<br />

Which is why it is so important to have the<br />

right hand guiding the workshop and, in new<br />

appointee Johan Liebenberg, Fire It Up! now<br />

has that person.<br />

While his recent work history includes<br />

Workshop Manager at Bikers’ Warehouse,<br />

Raceworx KTM and Italian Motorcycle<br />

Importers, home to Aprilia and Moto Guzzi,<br />

Johan has spent the vast majority of his working<br />

career as a race mechanic on cars, with bikes<br />

always in the background as a passion.<br />

It’s been an illustrious career, with spells<br />

at Opel Motorsport and Nissan Motorsport,<br />

involving rally and touring cars, running A1 GP<br />

cars for Team South Africa, GP Masters with<br />

Derek Warwick, the Baja 1000 with Giniel De<br />

Villiers, working with Rob Green Motorsport;<br />

the list goes on.<br />

When the call came offering an opportunity<br />

at Fire It Up!, Johan found exactly what he was<br />

looking for; a position with the responsibility of<br />

setting up and running the workshop exactly<br />

as he knew it needed to be run.<br />

“When I first spoke to Craig, he was<br />

telling me how the workshop isn’t making<br />

money, In fact it was costing him money,<br />

so there was a lot of detail work to be<br />

done to turn that around. Simple things<br />

like looking closely at productivity, costs,<br />

correct invoicing, close attention to checking<br />

jobs both before and after, making sure the<br />

details are attended to properly.<br />

“It’s also about managing the staff;<br />

identifying the right person to do the job,<br />

whatever it is. Bikes were coming back two<br />

or three times to have the same fault rectified<br />

which the customer doesn’t appreciate so the<br />

important thing is to make sure the job is done<br />

right the first time and that all comes down to<br />

the proper checks before during and after the<br />

job is done by the right person for the job.”<br />

Another important factor is respect not only<br />

between Johan and the workshop staff but<br />

between Craig Langton and Johan. With a<br />

CV like his, Johan’s reputation precedes him<br />

but that doesn’t always guarantee a smooth<br />

working relationship. Johan insists that there<br />

is already a healthy respect between him and<br />

Craig and that will only grow as Johan pulls<br />

the workshop into line and turns it into a profitmaking<br />

part of the company.<br />

Not that it’s all about profit. As mentioned,<br />

a workshop that operates efficiently and with<br />

a very high hit-rate of success goes a long<br />

way to cementing the relationship between<br />

the customer and the dealership. Craig knows<br />

enough to trust Johan to get on with what<br />

needs to be done. Together, they will make a<br />

formidable team.<br />

With the closure of the Performance Technic<br />

centre at Kyalami and the moving of the<br />

operation to Fire it Up’s premises, it would be<br />

easy to think that space might be at a premium<br />

and things could get a bit tight but Johan is<br />

confident that, with the right processes in<br />

place, space need not be an <strong>issue</strong>.<br />

“I have everything I need to do the job<br />

properly here. Only specialist work, such as<br />

on Ohlins semi-active suspension units, for<br />

example, has to be farmed out but everything<br />

else we can do in-house. It all comes down<br />

to not overwhelming the workshop with too<br />

much work to do every day. When I first arrived<br />

here, there was far too much work booked<br />

in each day and there was no way the guys<br />

could get through all of it. If they tried to, then<br />

things would get missed or rushed and that’s<br />

where the problems start. I would rather do<br />

less work each day to a higher standard.”<br />

If his recent career has involved short spells<br />

at several locations, I asked Johan what would<br />

keep him at Fire It Up for the long term.<br />

“I would have to say, stability! I’m not a<br />

young man any more. In my youth, I would go<br />

for anything and everything that came along<br />

which led to me changing jobs all the time.<br />

Now, with the wisdom of age, I’m looking for<br />

stability and the chance to grow this part of<br />

the business. Ultimately, I’ll be responsible for<br />

not only the Bryanston workshop, but also<br />

the new workshops that will be opening in<br />

Pretoria and Cape Town. I’ll get Bryanston<br />

working properly and then make sure the other<br />

locations are working to the same set of values<br />

and productivity.”<br />

With all this to sort out, his priority is not<br />

to roll his sleeves up and work on the bikes<br />

himself, although he will do that if the need<br />

arises. His main goal is to get the right people<br />

in place, whom he can trust to do the job right.<br />

“I wouldn’t say I have a free hand to bring<br />

in all the people I want but there are a few I<br />

want to bring who have the knowledge and<br />

the expertise needed in a place like this. I can’t<br />

do everything myself - there are only so many<br />

hours in the day - but I need to trust the guys<br />

to do it the way I want it to be done, which is<br />

the right way. We might take on less work each<br />

day but I’d rather deliver quality than quantity.<br />

It might take a little longer but it will be done<br />

right first time and that is the key.<br />

“I’m just a cog in<br />

a big machine and<br />

I will make sure<br />

my part of the<br />

machine works<br />

correctly, as<br />

everyone else will<br />

do in their roles<br />

and together we<br />

will make Fire It<br />

Up what we all<br />

know it can be.”

A BIRDS<br />

EYE VIEW<br />

BY Mishka Moller<br />

Lockdown doesn’t mean you have to stay<br />

indoors to stay safe – especially when you<br />

ride a motorcycle! There are still such amazing<br />

rides to do and interesting venues to visit that<br />

are still open to the public. It’s also our duty<br />

to support establishments and adventure<br />

companies, don’t you think?<br />

I believe as motorcycle riders we are<br />

privileged indeed. Why? Because we<br />

can get out of the city or simply our<br />

neighbourhood when we want to. I simply<br />

love Sunday mornings bundled up warm,<br />

feeling a bit like a Michelin Man with all<br />

the right gear (all the time), but with the<br />

feeling of freedom in the air, and in search<br />

of a delicious cuppa coffee at a beautiful<br />

destination near or far - it’s your choice!<br />

COVID has certainly created additional fear<br />

and anxiety in our world and it’s not easy to<br />

always stay positive – and by that I mean in<br />

a happy way, not the covid way! We really<br />

have to dig deep to keep our heads above<br />

water to remain assertive and positive, yet I do<br />

believe the motorcycling aspect gives us the<br />

opportunity to ‘self-isolate’ with a helmet on,<br />

enjoy the fresh brisk winter air and get out on<br />

your motorcycle to feed and nourish your soul.<br />

I must admit, all this covid and quarantine<br />

stuff has me really missing the ‘Brotherhood’<br />

- I miss seeing the faces that automatically<br />

bring us together at biking day jols and<br />

motorcycle events and rallies. I miss the

crazy times and the stories shared. I miss the<br />

planning and the excitement of the events and<br />

most of all – I miss the human element!<br />

Although we might be friends on social<br />

media, the human element of interaction is<br />

missed most of all – it’s so evident in all our<br />

posts on social media and Whatsapp groups.<br />

Human beings crave the company of others<br />

and motorcycling enables us to get together in<br />

a safe way.<br />

The thing I love most about motorcycling?<br />

Camaraderie. As a people person, I am<br />

interested in you; if you ride a motorcycle I am<br />

even more interested in you and I enjoy the way<br />

motorcycling brings people together – whether<br />

it’s at a dealership or at your club rides.<br />

When you meet someone else who rides,<br />

there’s an instant bond, something you share<br />

no matter what other differences you have.<br />

Sure, we ride different kinds of motorcycles,<br />

but you know the saying: It’s not what you ride,<br />

it’s that you ride!<br />

For over 100 years, bikers have forged a<br />

family that is stronger than steel. This multigenerational<br />

legacy embraces a culture like<br />

no other.<br />

And even though it’s called a ‘brotherhood,’<br />

there are some serious women riders, too. Got<br />

to give them credit. Go Lady Riders!<br />

Women riders have grown in numbers over<br />

the years and yet it’s not called a ‘sisterhood’<br />

as the word ‘brotherhood’ is related to the<br />

biker code and most of us are pretty cool with<br />

that now. I quite like being called ‘a brother’.<br />

We all believe it’s important to help out a<br />

fellow brother on two wheels rather than<br />

worry about the brand of bike or type of bike<br />

they ride.<br />

Motorcycling is really part of my DNA, it’s<br />

part of who I am, it’s part of my belief system,<br />

it defines me as a person and it’s even part<br />

of my subconscious support system, in that,<br />

most the people I know, that are part of my<br />

world, are related to motorcycling one way<br />

or another. We share an unspoken bond of<br />

integrity and honesty and we relate to one<br />

another even though we might all come from<br />

different backgrounds or parts of the world.<br />

We can share stories of the road including<br />

detailed stories of breakdowns, accidents,<br />

races, rallies and dreams of that perfect<br />

motorcycle.<br />

I am sad to see how many biking adventure<br />

events, rallies and races that have been<br />

cancelled lately due to the delta strain but<br />

I’m also so happy to see that there are<br />

companies still offering riding adventures –<br />

and especially those that encourage the lady<br />

rider to participate.<br />

I am involved in an annual adventure<br />

ride called the Jozi 2 Kozi and this year we<br />

celebrate 6 years of annual adventure riding.<br />

Our strap line is #AfricaNotForSissies – quite<br />

relevant at the moment right? This ride, I feel,<br />

is perfect for the lady adventure or lady enduro<br />

rider. It’s five days of awesome riding from<br />

Oom Jan’s fabulous spot ‘Country Trax’ in<br />

Amersfoort – through Bivane Dam – Mkhuze –<br />

Sodwana – Kozi Bay and back to Jozi.<br />

The beauty about this ride is that our route<br />

directors - renowned ‘White Zulu’ GG Alcock and<br />

fellow journo and my life partner Gavin Morton -<br />

personally recce and prepare GPS routes for the<br />

adventure rider and the enduro rider.

You decide if you want to ride the Adventure<br />

green or red route OR the Enduro green or red<br />

route. At some points you can either change<br />

your routes - up or down! This allows you the<br />

freedom to ride at your pace and if you feel like<br />

it, you can challenge yourself to up your pace<br />

or chill out and enjoy the scenery. It’s perfect<br />

for pillion riders and we embrace the beauty of<br />

this magnificent country of ours.<br />

The Jozi 2 Kozi offers technical assistance,<br />

so should anything happen to your bike,<br />

people are on hand to assist you – never mind<br />

the camaraderie from the other riders that<br />

within a matter of hours become your mates!<br />

Obviously, all bikes should be serviced and<br />

tyres checked by an expert prior to attending<br />

any adventure event and you find many of the<br />

motorcycle dealerships offer a special service<br />

package prior to events such as these.<br />

J2K also offer full medical assistance with<br />

the well-known medical motorcyclist and<br />

Paramedic Bertus Prinsloo from Outdoor<br />

Medical. He is on a motorcycle and he has a<br />

paramedic in an ambulance that follows with<br />

the back-up vehicles.<br />

Aha, there is another element of biking;<br />

anybody who is part of the back-up crew also<br />

enjoys a fabulous scenic experience as we<br />

travel some of South Africa’s most beautiful<br />

landscapes and roads less travelled. We share<br />

in the stories of the day as we meet up for<br />

lunch and share stories over the fire at night.<br />

We ensure that every person on this event<br />

is properly taken care of and we create a big<br />

drive to encourage pillion riders and lady riders<br />

to join us on this annual event.<br />

The lure of the motorcycle brotherhood<br />

and sisterhood is a strong one. The Biker<br />

lifestyle offers a sense of belonging that lasts<br />

a lifetime. Bikers are truly brothers and sisters<br />

in arms, from the formal brotherhood found<br />

in motorcycle clubs, to two riders who just<br />

happen to meet on the road and decide to<br />

ride together for a while. Friendships found on<br />

the road, and in the dirt often last a lifetime.<br />

Motorcycles are all about fun and freedom.<br />

As the old biker T-shirt states: ‘If I have to<br />

explain, you wouldn’t understand.”<br />

Anyway, would love to stay and chat but<br />

have found a stunning coffee shop in Cullinan<br />

who bake a mean lemon cheesecake that I<br />

need to test…So, I guess I’ll see you on the<br />

road then x<br />

Keen on the Jozi 2 Kozi – drop me an email:<br />

mishka@personaltouchonline.com<br />

Winter Edition: Wednesday 04 - Sunday 08<br />

August 2021<br />

Summer Edition: Wednesday 29 Sept -<br />

Sunday 03 October 2021<br />

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jozi2kozi<br />

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jozi2kozi_<br />


NEWS<br />



IN TOWN?<br />

Triumph Enters<br />

the MX and<br />

Enduro Market<br />


Once we finally landed our Hero Motorcycles<br />

in South Africa, we had a clear plan that<br />

the bigger models (Xpulse200T) would be<br />

ideal for the leisure market and the Eco<br />

Deluxe and Eco 150 aimed squarely at the<br />

commercial segment.<br />

Recently we have sold several of our Eco<br />

Deluxe models to a younger generation<br />

motorcyclist ranging from 21 years up, that<br />

view motorcycling as transport rather than<br />

recreation.<br />

I chatted to a young gent (23), well<br />

educated, who had just purchased an Eco<br />

Deluxe and I asked him why he had chosen to<br />

purchase the motorcycle? It was interesting<br />

to hear his perspective when he mentioned<br />

that he wanted the most economical means<br />

of transport to work, was extremely mindful of<br />

the environment and wanted to create as little<br />

pollution as possible. He also believed the<br />

fuel price was going to continue to rise. When<br />

I offered him membership to our TRIBE Club<br />

and to join other customers on our Economy<br />

Adventure (JNB to DBN) he shared no interest<br />

whatsoever, he viewed motorcycling purely as<br />

a means of Transport! I was horrified at first<br />

but then wondered, are we starting to finally<br />

see the next generation of motorcyclists who<br />

choose motorcycles over cars?<br />

If so, that’s great news for the industry.<br />

Development of a brand new range<br />

of MX and Enduro models under way,<br />

with help from two of the greatest offroad<br />

racers of all time.<br />

Triumph has announced that it is part-way<br />

through development of MX and Enduro<br />

bikes, with a likely launch in 2022. Yes,<br />

there have been rumours that something<br />

like this was in the air and the recent<br />

appointment of Ricky Carmichael and<br />

Iván Cervantes, both legends of MX and<br />

Enduro racing, was a pretty big clue, but<br />

it has still come as a shock. A welcome<br />

shock, but still a shock.<br />

Details of the new bikes are virtually<br />

non-existent, but Triumph did say<br />

that “development is well underway<br />

on a comprehensive range of all-new<br />

motocross and enduro motorcycles.”<br />

Further details will be released in the<br />

coming months.<br />

The important phrase is ‘all-new’. This<br />

indicates that Triumph will develop the<br />

chassis and engine in-house and not buyin<br />

those components from outside. It’s<br />

worked for them in the past and, given the<br />

company’s track record in developing all<br />

of its own models this way, why should it<br />

be any different this time?<br />

Bud Ekins<br />

The company already has supply<br />

relationships with the likes of Bosch,<br />

Showa, Ohlins, as well as tyre companies,<br />

so there will be no problem there. There<br />

is also a relationship with KTM through<br />

the likes of WP suspension, which is<br />

ironic as it will undoubtedly be KTM for<br />

whom Triumph will be gunning on the<br />

competition stage.<br />

On a business front, it also makes a lot<br />

of sense. The off-road market in the US

is booming and, given the relative lack of<br />

legislation for off-road bikes, this would<br />

be a relatively cheap way for Triumph to<br />

boost its presence in that market.<br />

Then there is the fact that Triumph<br />

already has a distribution and dealer<br />

network in place around the world, which<br />

is often the major headache for start-up<br />

brands. Triumph also has the financial<br />

resources to do this properly, cutting no<br />

corners along the way.<br />

Triumph CEO Nick Bloor had this to say;<br />

“Today’s announcement marks the<br />

beginning of a new chapter for the<br />

Triumph brand, which everyone at Triumph<br />

is incredibly excited to be part of. We are<br />

100% committed to making a long-lasting<br />

impact in this highly competitive and<br />

demanding world, with a single-minded<br />

ambition to deliver a winning motorcycle<br />

line-up for a whole new generation of<br />

Triumph riders.”<br />

Bud Ekins<br />

It’s no good building such bikes if you’re<br />

not going to race them. That this will<br />

happen is pretty much a given, especially<br />

with the presence of Carmichael and<br />

Cervantes on the development team.<br />

In them, Triumph has two enormously<br />

experienced and successful team<br />

members; Carmichael won fifteen<br />

motocross titles and five Supercross<br />

titles, with 150 career wins, while<br />

Cervantes won the Spanish national MX<br />

championship five times before moving to<br />

the world stage in Enduro, taking titles and<br />

competing in the Dakar Rally.<br />

Triumph has a long history of off-road<br />

racing success, albeit a long, long time<br />

ago! Almost from the company’s inception,<br />

its bikes were being used for competition.<br />

With the appearance of the Triumph Twin<br />

engine in 1939, here was an engine that<br />

was light and powerful, perfect for trials<br />

and scrambling events. Not that everyone<br />

thought so at first; popular opinion at the<br />

time said that the low-down lugging power<br />

Bud Ekins<br />

of a single-cylinder engine was what was<br />

needed and the relatively high-revving twin<br />

would be unsuitable.<br />

The doubters were soon proved<br />

wrong and, into the 1950s and beyond,<br />

models such as the TR5 Trophy, TR6 SC,<br />

Bonneville T1200TT and T120C, in the<br />

hands of the likes of Bud Ekins, ruled the<br />

desert races in the U.S., at least until the<br />

light and powerful two-stroke Husqvarnas<br />

came along in the late 1960s.<br />

Far from being dedicated off-road<br />

machines, competition bikes of that era<br />

were modified road-going models. But, as<br />

Ekins found out, Triumph built strong, light<br />

and fast motorbikes with all the agility,<br />

responsiveness and power that made<br />

them perfect for the gruelling races, often<br />

of up to 1000 miles in length.<br />

Today’s MX and Enduro bikes are a far<br />

cry from those simple days of ‘modify and<br />

race’. Triumph will have to develop brand<br />

new bikes that bear no resemblance to<br />

Ricky Carmichael<br />

anything they currently build, including a<br />

brand new single-cylinder engine, most<br />

likely of 250 - 450cc.<br />

By coming into the class so late,<br />

Triumph can learn a lot from the mistakes<br />

- and successes - of its rivals. Of course,<br />

Triumph can’t use a crystal ball to see<br />

what these companies are working on<br />

for the next generation of their off-road<br />

models, but with the help of Carmichael<br />

and Cervantes, they will have a pretty<br />

good idea.<br />

This is a fantastically exciting<br />

announcement by Triumph. Critics might<br />

say the the company has no chance<br />

of de-throning KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki<br />

or Kawasaki but history shows us that<br />

Triumph has succeeded in every class<br />

they have chosen to enter. Just because<br />

this is a completely new class for the<br />

company has no bearing on the matter.<br />

Triumph will enter and they will win. It’s as<br />

simple as that!

While he raced cars on track, his<br />

motorcycle racing was done on dirt and<br />

while he raced Triumphs early on in his<br />

career, his favourite off-road bike was the<br />

Swedish Husqvarna. He owned several<br />

examples over the years but now, the very<br />

first Husky he owned is coming up for<br />

auction and is expected to fetch a sixfigure<br />

number.<br />

It was a Husqvarna that Steve rode in<br />

the film, ‘On Any Sunday’, in company<br />

with Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith. In<br />

1968, McQueen witnessed Swedish World<br />

Champion Bengt Åberg competing on<br />

his Husqvarna Viking 360 and bought it<br />

there and then, forcing Åberg to finish the<br />

season on a new bike.<br />

The Viking 360 was developed from the<br />

250cc 2-stroke version that had won the<br />

250cc World Championship in 1966 and<br />

1967. The 360 produced 37bhp which,<br />

with an overall bike weight of 215lbs, was<br />

making life very difficult for the heavy fourstroke<br />

bikes and pointed the way to the<br />

future for off-road bikes.<br />

Husqvarna was keen to penetrate the<br />

US market, which led to Åberg bringing<br />

his to the ‘States to race. This exposure<br />

and McQueen’s subsequent endorsement<br />

of the brand played a big role in the<br />

popularity of the Swedish brand.<br />

While much of McQueen’s collection<br />

comprised vintage machinery, his racing<br />

bikes were state of the art and the Viking<br />

360 was the first in a long line of Husqvarna<br />

machines to pass through his hands.<br />

After McQueen died in 1980, the Viking<br />

passed into private hands and it was fully<br />

restored in 2014. It’s now up for auction<br />

in California with RM Sotheby’s in mid-<br />

August. Theres no price guide at present<br />

but it’s not unreasonable to expect it to go<br />

for $100,000+.<br />

Steve McQueen’s<br />

First Husqvarna<br />

Could Make<br />

Six-Figures at<br />

Auction<br />

Steve McQueen is as famous for his<br />

motorcycling exploits as for his acting.<br />

While he may have been the highest-paid<br />

actor at one point in the 1970s, he was<br />

never happier than when on a motorcycle,<br />

among people who treated him as a fellow<br />

competitor and not a screen idol.




THE BMW GS<br />

BMW’s G/S (Gelände/Straße, German<br />

for ‘Off-Road/Road’) first appeared in<br />

1980 as the R80G/S. The first models<br />

had fully air-cooled engines, shaft drive<br />

and what BMW called Monolever rear<br />

suspension, which was basically a<br />

monoshock suspension system acting on<br />

a single-sided swing arm, as opposed to a<br />

twin shock set up and conventional twinfork<br />

swing arm that had been common<br />

up to that point. Front suspension was by<br />

conventional forks.<br />

The most distinctive version was the<br />

R80 G/S Paris-Dakar, which featured<br />

a larger tank painted white with red<br />

and blue stripes and was released to<br />

celebrate BMW’s victories in the famed<br />

Paris-Dakar rally in 1981, ’83, ’84 and ’85<br />

(when it really did travel between Paris<br />

and the city of Dakar in Senegal). By this<br />

time, the R100G/S was available, with a<br />

1000cc engine.<br />

By 1987, the name had changed<br />

slightly to GS, with the ’S’ meaning<br />

‘Sport’. Rear suspension was changed to<br />

BMW’s patented Paralever system, which<br />

incorporated a parallelogram singe-sided<br />

swing arm.

Introduced in 2001 and running alongside<br />

the ‘standard’ 1150GS was the GS<br />

Adventure. This model differed from the<br />

‘standard’ GS in having a much larger fuel<br />

tank (30 litres as opposed to 22), larger<br />

screen, taller suspension and a lower ratio<br />

first gear. The engine management system<br />

was revised to allow it to run on lower<br />

quality petrol as would be likely to be found<br />

off the beaten track, where this model was<br />

destined to be ridden.<br />

The Adventure models continued into<br />

the R1200 GS era, with crash bars fitted as<br />

standard and with the tank being enlarged<br />

to 33 litres which could give 500km of<br />

range; seriously impressive. They are<br />

imposingly large bikes but are so well<br />

balanced that they don’t seem that large<br />

when on the move.<br />

In 1995, a new engine was fitted,<br />

this featuring oil cooling to the cylinder<br />

heads. Capacity was 1100cc at first,<br />

rising to 1150cc and finally 1200cc.<br />

Front suspension was changed from<br />

conventional forks to the Telelever system,<br />

designed by British company Saxon<br />

Motodd, which features an A-arm and<br />

single spring/shock absorber unit to<br />

eliminate dive under braking.<br />

In 2004, BMW scored a huge PR coup<br />

when Ewan McGregor and Charley<br />

Boorman used two 1150 GS Adventure<br />

bikes for their Long Way Round trip, where<br />

they rode east from London, all the way<br />

round the world to New York. This really<br />

put the GS on the map and it has been the<br />

best-selling adventure bike ever since. The<br />

pair then reunited with BMW for the Long<br />

Way Down trip, on R1200GS Adventure<br />

models, riding from John O’Groats at the<br />

northernmost tip of Scotland to Cape<br />

Agulhas in South Africa, the southernmost<br />

point of the African continent.<br />

In 2013, the engine was upgraded<br />

again to feature liquid-cooling to the<br />

cylinder heads. These were known as the<br />

R1200GS LC. These bikes are identified<br />

by the position of the air/fuel inlet on top<br />

of the cylinder, as opposed to behind the<br />

cylinder on previous models. Similarly the<br />

exhaust outlet moved from in front of the<br />

cylinder to the bottom of the cylinder.

Talking of being on the move, the GS<br />

manages to combine incredible offroad<br />

ability with equally impressive road<br />

manners. They truly are the new breed of<br />

touring bike, as opposed to something like<br />

the BMW R1250RT, which is a dedicated<br />

touring bike. The GS simply offers the best<br />

of both worlds; long-distance comfort<br />

allied to a chassis that makes things fun<br />

when the going gets twisty, all wrapped<br />

in a package that can take you anywhere<br />

your off-road skill will allow.<br />

Naturally, electronics have advanced<br />

enormously since that first R80 G/S.<br />

The only thing that was electronic on the<br />

first G/S was the ignition. Since then,<br />

electronics have become as much an<br />

essential part of any motorcycle - not<br />

just adventure bikes - as an engine or<br />

wheels. Some may argue that electronics<br />

have become necessary due to the everincreasing<br />

size of the bikes but another<br />

argument states that more people can ride<br />

these bikes because of the electronics;<br />

in other words, they have made them<br />

accessible to more people.<br />

Whichever side of the fence you stand<br />

on, electronics are here to stay and those<br />

on the BMW GS have always been at the<br />

cutting edge. To go into them here would<br />

take up too much space but you can rest<br />

assured that they do exactly what they<br />

say on the tin, often to an extent that your<br />

mind might not be able to comprehend.<br />

Back to the development of the GS.<br />

In 2015, the engine was enlarged again<br />

to 1254cc to produce the R1250GS.<br />

While the previous 1200cc model made<br />

105bhp, the 1254cc unit produces 136bhp<br />

(although that translates to around 116bhp<br />

at the back wheel) which is more than<br />

enough to provide effortless performance<br />

in any situation. Don’t let those pesky KTM<br />

owners tell you that anything less than<br />

160bhp is not enough. It is!<br />

In 2019, the engine gained variable valve<br />

timing courtesy of the patented Shiftcam<br />

technology. This physically shifts the inlet<br />

camshaft lengthways to engage a different<br />

set of cam lobes which give alternative<br />

valve lift and duration properties. No more<br />

power is produced, but the torque curve<br />

(the really important number) is flattened<br />

so that there is urge when you need it, in<br />

any gear, at any revs.<br />

The BMW GS tends to be pretty<br />

bulletproof, as long as service and<br />

maintenance intervals are adhered to.<br />

The bottom line is that, no matter which<br />

generation you opt for - the original 800cc<br />

(although, these are more collectors<br />

items now and unlikely to be used<br />

for serious adventure riding), 1000cc,<br />

1100cc, 1150cc, 1200cc or 1250cc -<br />

you are buying yourself an incredible<br />

piece of engineering and ability that will<br />

generally always be beyond your personal<br />

ability. Given that it is the most common<br />

adventure bike out there, spares should<br />

not be a problem.<br />

The great news is that buying one<br />

second hand has all sorts of benefits.<br />

Generally, used bikes have low mileages<br />

and have rarely ventured off-road. Also,<br />

many have been fitted with full pannier<br />

and top-box sets, relieving you of that<br />

expense. Fire It Up always has a selection<br />

of these models on the floor, with price<br />

tags that you might not believe, given the<br />

ability that’s built into each and every one.

T E C H<br />

T A L K<br />

exhaust systems, ECU software and emission systems<br />

in order to achieve the lowest emissions particularly in<br />

city environments and at speed while still offering better<br />

performance, fuel efficiency and extended service<br />

intervals. Today’s sophisticated ECU’s can have up to<br />

1000 MAPS managing the motorcycle!<br />

While it is possible to fit an exhaust cannister or slipon<br />

to a modern motorcycle without performing revised<br />

software, the catalytic converter’s muffle the sound we<br />

used to get and on some models very little difference is<br />

heard. Unfortunately removing the catalytic converter<br />

or fitting a full system is impossible without revising the<br />

software.<br />

With the cost of a new aftermarket exhaust system<br />

costing tens of thousands, we set out to establish if<br />

performing an ECU software calibration which focused<br />

on keeping the stock exhaust system or Catalytic<br />

converter and removing restrictions in the ECU.<br />

The results are startling, not just from performance<br />

perspective but from a rideability point of view, even<br />

though the bikes are stock they were more economical<br />

and easier to ride with revised throttle maps offering<br />

great mid-range and roll-on performance. We tested<br />

everything from an NC750X to a BMW R1250GS<br />

FLASH<br />

‘N GO<br />


Remember the days when you could<br />

remove the rear Cannister/Exhaust<br />

from your motorcycle and the Catalytic<br />

Converter and feel an instant difference?<br />

Besides the sound, you could instantly feel<br />

the difference with the ‘CAT’ removed. It<br />

was great as no real fuelling adjustments<br />

were necessary; Lambda sensors were<br />

simply removed, if fitted. How things have<br />

changed! Today’s motorcycles won’t even<br />

run properly with the CAT and/or Lambda<br />

sensors removed.<br />

Manufacturers are forced to cleverly<br />

restrict emissions through complicated

with gains of up to 20% in the midrange without<br />

compromising safety or reliability!. With the cost of an<br />

ECU calibration starting from R2950, is a slip-on or new<br />

filter your first choice? On commuter and adventure<br />

bikes maybe not but the sound of a modern Superbike<br />

with a full exhaust is half the experience.<br />

As an example the new 2020/1 BMW S1000RR,<br />

S1000XR & R1250GS’s, we have many complex and<br />

complicated map structures.<br />

With hundreds of different map layouts, we have<br />

chosen a map set where we can access the important<br />

tuning areas of the ECU.<br />

These map structures are extremely unique and seen<br />

for the first time on these new EURO5 motorcycles.<br />

We have carefully developed and chosen which map<br />

sets are required for our tuning operations and these<br />

are split according to the shift Cam position and then<br />

further split according to the warm up phase, optimum<br />

operating temperature, optimum fuel grade, minimum<br />

fuel level, upper threshold operating temperature and<br />

full load conditions as just a few examples.<br />

With advanced features such as cold start deletion,<br />

exhaust valve deletion and specific RPM limiter to<br />

name a few, we are able to offer various stages of<br />

customised tuning for the end user whether we flash<br />

the bike in house or offer our handheld enduser<br />

flash tool that is recognised around the world!

Fire It Up Tribe<br />

This all started in 2019 as the Fire It Up Club, an initiative thought up by Craig<br />

Langton who has a knack for coming up with great initiatives.<br />

It’s one thing buying a motorcycle from Fire It Up, it’s even more fun when<br />

there are fun things to do with it. Or, fun stuff to do with other people who like<br />

motorcycles.<br />

And so the Fire It Up Club formed with rides, workshops and social gatherings.<br />

With the move to the new Bryanston store came a rebrand with the Club<br />

becoming the Fire It Up Tribe.<br />

The popular monthly rides remained, with outings to Parys, Heidelberg,<br />

Cullinan, Hartbeespoort and everywhere else. The rides entail a leader<br />

setting a faster pace out front with a sweeper behind. All riders of all<br />

experience are welcome, and everyone rides at their own pace.<br />

With the new restaurant, the Tribe is hosting MotoGP Sundays with big<br />

screens, food and drink showing all the MotoGP action.<br />

Coming soon will be technical workshops, riding workshops,<br />

motorcycle movie nights, quiz nights, a Member’s Only section<br />

upstairs and much more.<br />

A membership to the Tribe comes free with one of Fire It Up’s<br />

service and warranty products, or fans of Fire It Up can join for just<br />

R199 per month. The membership includes all of the above plus<br />

free coffee and meals from the restaurant worth R300.<br />

It’s worth joining just for the food.<br />

To join, contact Fire It Up and enquire about the Fire It Up<br />

Tribe. Tel: 011 467 0737

Hero Eco Deluxe<br />

Commercial Pack includes:<br />

• Crash Bars<br />

• Top Box & Brackets<br />

• Licence and Registration<br />

• First Service Free<br />

• 5years/100 000km Warranty<br />

R17 999<br />

Hero ECO 150<br />

Commercial Pack Includes:<br />

• Crash Bars<br />

• USB Charger<br />

• Top Box and Bracket<br />

• Licence and Registration<br />

• 5 year/ 100 000km warranty<br />

• First Service Free<br />

• 60km/l<br />

R22 999<br />

Hero Eco 150 Trail<br />

Commercial Pack Includes:<br />

• Spoked Wheels<br />

• Crash Bars<br />

• USB Charging Port<br />

• Trail/Off-road specific<br />

• Licence and registration<br />

• Top Box and Bracket<br />

• 5year/100 000km warranty<br />

• First service Free<br />

R24 999<br />

Hero XPulse200 – SA’s new<br />

favourite! Includes:<br />

• Navigation<br />

• USB charge port.<br />

• LED Headlight<br />

• Aluminium Bash Plate<br />

• 21”Front Wheel.<br />

• 45km/l<br />

• Licence and registration<br />

• Hand Guards<br />

• Screen<br />

• LED Display including caller ID<br />

• Hurry nearly sold out!<br />

R40 999<br />

Bryanston<br />

TEL: 011 467 0737<br />

EMAIL: info@fireitup.co.za

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