FIU Magazine issue 1

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BY HERO 150<br />



OF FUEL<br />


THE GSX-R<br />

<strong>FIU</strong> PROFILE<br />



1994 KAWASAKI ZX9<br />





THE ART OF<br />





Welcome to the new <strong>FIU</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> which is now<br />

available in print! After the success of our first<br />

magazine which was digital only, I wanted to improve<br />

the content and make it applicable to all audiences.<br />

We also wanted a monthly magazine so that we<br />

could communicate with our customers and friends<br />

regularly. Harry Fisher is the Editor of the magazine<br />

(proudly) and has some great ideas on new content<br />

from Motorcycle reviews, Places to ride, Riding Tips,<br />

Technical Tips, customer reviews and Fire It Up<br />

events. Why printed? For me nothing feels better than<br />

paging through a magazine. The magazine will be<br />

available to all customers who purchase a motorcycle<br />

and will also be available monthly in a digital version<br />

to existing customers and friends. Let Harry and I<br />

know what you think and lets makes this magazine<br />

yours as much as ours.<br />

Craig Langton

Fire It Up<br />

Profile<br />

Dylan<br />

Young<br />

In some workplaces, you’ll see a supposedly<br />

funny sign saying, ‘you don’t have to be mad to<br />

work here, but it helps!’ At Fire It Up, you don’t have<br />

to be mad in the slightest, but you do have to have<br />

passion, integrity, skill and a dedication to service.<br />

When Dylan Young walked in to meet Craig<br />

Langton for his interview, Craig knew immediately<br />

that Dylan had all those qualities and, three short<br />

months later, he has already proven himself a<br />

valuable member of the <strong>FIU</strong> family.<br />

At the age of 26, Dylan might be young, but he’s<br />

been riding motorcycles since he was 10. Like so<br />

many youngsters, he started on a small dirt bike<br />

and progressed to a Kawasaki Ninja 250 at 16. An<br />

accident put paid to that bike and it was replaced by<br />

a Big Boy 200 that lasted a couple of years before<br />

he headed for the big time with a Yamaha R1,<br />

something of a dream bike for a long time.<br />

It’s no small thing to leap from a 200cc to a<br />

1000cc bike but it says a lot for Dylan’s skill behind<br />

the handlebars that he made the transition without<br />

trouble.<br />

The job at Fire It Up enabled Dylan to marry his<br />

experience in sales and his skill in dealing with<br />

people with his passion for motorcycles. If there’s<br />

one thing that unites all the employees at Fire It Up,<br />

it’s the passion for motorcycles first and foremost,<br />

with strongly held values of customer service and<br />

integrity coming in a very close second.<br />

Dylan is quick to see opportunities to grow<br />

and develop at Fire It Up and he clearly has his<br />

sights set on bigger things. There is always so<br />

much going on at <strong>FIU</strong>, be it getting involved with<br />

the opening of new branches or helping with<br />

getting the Hero brand up and running in South<br />

Africa. Owning a Big Boy might, at the time, have<br />

seemed like a downgrade from the Kawasaki<br />

but it is paying dividends now as he can directly<br />

compare it with the impressive Hero models now<br />

sharing floor space at <strong>FIU</strong> with some of the world’s<br />

best motorcycles. It is that insight that makes a<br />

salesman invaluable.<br />

Being open seven days a week is a challenge that<br />

could put some people off but Dylan is determined<br />

to repay the faith Craig has in him.<br />

‘The atmosphere at <strong>FIU</strong> is high energy and<br />

definitely customer-focussed.’ Dylan says. ‘No-one<br />

walks in here without being seen and approached,<br />

which might seem obvious, but it’s not always<br />

the case in many other dealerships; this is what<br />

sets us apart. We’re here not simply to sell you a<br />

motorcycle but to take you through every step of the<br />

advising and buying process so it is less daunting.<br />

‘And, at the end of that process, It’s not about<br />

handing over the key and waving goodbye. It’s about<br />

developing the relationship and staying connected<br />

with the customer so that they want to come back,<br />

allowing us to look after them and their bikes. The<br />

focus is on making sure the client has the support<br />

so that they feel confident in us. That’s why I really<br />

enjoy working here.’<br />

Of course, communication between salesman<br />

and customer is helped by the warranties and<br />

service plans that Craig and the team have worked<br />

hard to develop to protect the consumer as far<br />

as possible. With all this in place, the after-sales<br />

support can be of a very high level, which helps the<br />

staff at <strong>FIU</strong> perform to their highest level.<br />

Dylan is quick to acknowledge Craig’s influence<br />

over the whole of Fire It Up. He could have been<br />

overawed but Craig was quick to put him at ease;<br />

’He’s always got time for his staff;<br />

he’s as much of a mentor as a boss. We<br />

can go to him with anything at any<br />

time because he knows that his staff<br />

are the life of the business and if the<br />

staff aren’t happy, then the business<br />

won’t run smoothly.’<br />

Anyone who has been to Fire It Up can attest<br />

to Craig’s lead-from-the-front style - he’s always<br />

there, always looking at the details and he expects<br />

his staff to have the same attitude. In Dylan Young,<br />

he has exactly the type of team member he needs;<br />

passionate, ambitious, willing to learn, friendly; a<br />

people person. If Craig has given him the break, it is<br />

certain that Dylan will grab the opportunity with both<br />

hands and make a success of it. Because of that<br />

attitude, both Fire It Up and the clients will benefit.

Used Bike<br />

Profile<br />

1994 Kawasaki<br />

ZX9<br />

7,800km | R89,000<br />

One of the fun things about walking in to Fire<br />

It Up on any day is the chance that you might see<br />

something unexpected, rare or, at the very least,<br />

interesting. What makes it all the more special is<br />

that the bikes are usually in time-warp condition,<br />

with ridiculously low mileages and a reasonable<br />

price tag.<br />

One such bike that caught my eyes the other day<br />

was this beautiful Kawasaki ZX9R and it hails from<br />

a very interesting period in sports bike design.<br />

The ZX9R was developed in response to the<br />

new Honda CBR900RR Fireblade, which was a<br />

game changer in itself. Before the Fireblade, large<br />

capacity Japanese sports bikes stood in one of<br />

two camps; on one side were the 750cc sports<br />

models and on the other were the 1000cc+ sports<br />

touring models that were a direct development of<br />

performance bikes of the last 20 years. The 750s<br />

had the handling, the 1000s had the power.<br />

Kawasaki were top dogs in both categories.<br />

The ZXR750 gave performance and incorporated<br />

technology of the racing-homologation models<br />

from Honda and Yamaha at half the price, while the<br />

ZZ-R1100 was the fastest production motorcycle on<br />

the planet.<br />

Then came the Fireblade, with a 900cc engine<br />

in a 750-sized chassis. It offered an unbeatable<br />

mixture of power and handling; it was lighter than<br />

the 750s but with more power and a chassis that<br />

could handle it. Kawasaki had to respond - as<br />

did Yamaha and Suzuki - but you could say that<br />

Kawasaki, in developing the ZX-9R as a rival to the<br />

Honda, ignored the lessons the Fireblade<br />

was trying to teach.<br />

Kawasaki combined the 1100 and the 750 rather<br />

than developing a completely new motorcycle. The<br />

result was that it was heavy - almost 30kg more<br />

than the ‘Blade - although it produced 10-15bhp<br />

more. But the extra power couldn’t make up for the<br />

size, weight and reduced agility.<br />

Thus Kawasaki positioned the ZX-<br />

9R as a more stable, comfortable<br />

and quicker-in-a-straight-line<br />

alternative to the ‘Blade. History<br />

shows us that this was a bit of a copout<br />

for Kawasaki and they soon<br />

rectified their mistakes with the<br />

later generations of superbikes.<br />

All of the above doesn’t mean that the ZX-9R<br />

is not worth a very close look. In all reality, the<br />

qualities of the ‘Blade were beyond the average<br />

rider and the Kawasaki was no different.<br />

The ZX9R might have been designed as a sports<br />

bike but in actual fact was much better when<br />

viewed as a sporty sports tourer. It might have been<br />

too big and heavy as a track tool, especially when<br />

compared to the Fireblade, but as a road bike, it<br />

was superb; fast, roomy, comfy - even two up - and<br />

was possessed of solid and secure handling. Fast,<br />

good looking and useful; it’s a heady mix. Add in<br />

rare and sought after and it would be a surprise if<br />

the example sitting on the floor at Fire It Up sticks<br />

around for very long.

‘A Birds Eye View’<br />

For the love<br />

of motorcycling<br />

BY Mishka Moller<br />

Lady Riders. Why do we ride? Is it the freedom, adventure,<br />

adrenaline, spiritual experience, confidence, independence,<br />

or the biking community? Perhaps a bit of everything? It does<br />

not matter, because women are taking to motorcycles with an<br />

increased voracity and I love it!<br />

My motorcycling journey started 26 years ago with renowned,<br />

now late, Dirk Du Plooy at his training yard in downtown Jozi. I<br />

was so tense that my body ached two days after the weekend<br />

riding course. In spite of stressing about learning how to coordinate<br />

all this stuff: shifting gears, cornering, looking ahead<br />

and all those other terrifying simultaneous things you have to<br />

do when learning to ride – I passed my bike licence first time<br />

round – personal challenge accomplished! I had finally embraced<br />

my freedom, which also served as a catalyst for other incredible<br />

life changes. I knew that I could do anything I set my mind to.<br />

Actually, it was all about relinquishing the fear and embracing<br />

that cliché called freedom.<br />

To this day, when I get onto my motorcycle, I say a little prayer, I<br />

embrace the fear and within minutes in the saddle, my confidence<br />

is up and soon the magic soars within me – it’s an all embracing<br />

feeling, the feeling of being whole and that I can accomplish<br />

anything!<br />

When I’m riding – I’m in my happy place. It’s<br />

me-time in my helmet,

Personally, there’s no cell phone, no<br />

music or other distractions that interrupt<br />

this timeless magic on my motorcycle; just<br />

the smells and the excitement of the ride.<br />

No matter how long or how short the ride is,<br />

I look forward to ‘time in my helmet’. Mostly<br />

I’m riding with my besties, so a doublewhammy<br />

happy place!<br />

Whilst riding is often about independence,<br />

I appreciate the brotherhood and sisterhood<br />

of the biking community. When I first started<br />

riding with a club as a single women in my<br />

twenties, I was respected, treated equally<br />

and at the same time looked after so well<br />

– without feeling inferior. There was no<br />

intimidation, just a bunch of like-minded<br />

people with the same crazy desire to ride<br />

and have fun! I welcomed the support and<br />

still ride with that core group today. My club<br />

celebrates 30 years this year and the same<br />

people I met then, are still riding with the club<br />

– from strangers to friends; these people are<br />

now my family. I’m so proud to call them that!<br />

I realised that if you can master your<br />

motorcycle, you can master anything. It<br />

changed my entire way of thinking and my<br />

outlook on the world that I too encouraged<br />

more women to ride. Women on motorcycles<br />

are a beautiful and powerful thing!<br />

The last 26 years of riding, I have been<br />

involved with many riding communities<br />

including official dealership chapters,<br />

cruiser riding communities locally and<br />

internationally.<br />

In 2000, I started a riding academy with<br />

renowned Grant McCleery at Gerotek which<br />

we ran for 10 years. I sat on the board of<br />

AMID (Association of Motorcycle Importers &<br />

Distributors) representing Harley-Davidson<br />

SA. I was involved with Cancervive as Lead<br />

Rider for many years. Over the years I got<br />

involved with adventure riding & tours, and<br />

later on Enduro clubs and tours – locally<br />

and internationally. I’m deeply grateful for<br />

the privilege of being fully involved in the<br />

motorcycle fraternity.<br />

I have arranged and attended motorcycle<br />

launches over the years, it even took me to<br />

Sicily two years ago to test ride a new cruiser<br />

tyre for Metzler. There is so much that<br />

encompasses the moto-life that riding and<br />

being part of the riding fraternity becomes<br />

your life – could a girl get any luckier?<br />

So why all this banter? Well – we now<br />

have a dedicated column to share all things<br />

relevant for biking ladies embracing things<br />

like biker fashion, perceptions, where to go<br />

& what to do from a beginner to an advanced<br />

level with simple riding tips and anything<br />

that we find hip and happening!<br />

Oh and if there’s anything you a woman<br />

need to know – feel free to reach out, that’s<br />

what we are here for! See you on the road x

By<br />

Hero 150<br />

to<br />

Durban<br />

(On One Tank Of Fuel)<br />

Those who don’t know will say that anyone who<br />

rides a motorcycle must have a screw loose. To<br />

those of us who do know, we know there is no<br />

better way of tightening that screw than riding a<br />

motorcycle.<br />

Having said that, even experienced motorcyclists<br />

look at some feats of riding that make them wonder<br />

if there might not be a grain of truth in the ‘screwloose’<br />

theory.<br />

Many of us have undertaken a long motorcycle<br />

journey. Many of us have undertaken them on<br />

slightly unsuitable bikes. But there can’t be many<br />

of us who have done them not only on unsuitable<br />

bikes but also with one arm tied behind their<br />

backs, so to speak.<br />

But that is exactly what Prabhu Subramoney<br />

(you’ll know him better as Prabs, Operations<br />

Manager at Fire It Up) did one day in May. Not<br />

content with proving that the new Hero Eco<br />

150cc De Luxe could easily handle a trip from<br />

Johannesburg to Durban, he did it avoiding the N3<br />

highway in its entirety, taking only minor roads.<br />

Nothing surprising in that, you’d say. But what if we<br />

also told you he did it on one, 13-litre tank of petrol?<br />

That’s 651km on 13 litres of petrol. And he still had a<br />

litre of petrol left when he reached Ballito!<br />

But why do it in the first place? It might be best to<br />

let Prabs take up the story.<br />

“The challenge was to prove a few things. First<br />

and foremost was the economy of the motorcycle.<br />

It’s been proven that it can do 66km/litre in<br />

controlled conditions. But we wanted to prove what<br />

it could do in real-world conditions.<br />

“Secondly, we wanted to prove that you could<br />

spend 14-hours in the saddle of this small bike<br />

without needing an osteopath at the end of it! The<br />

comfort was amazing and, with the engine having<br />

a balancer shaft, it makes it so much smoother,<br />

making that long day in the saddle that much easier.<br />

I woke up the next day feeling as fit as when I set off.<br />

“Third - and certainly not least - was to<br />

demonstrate the quality of the bike. For example,<br />

being on non-highway roads, there were plenty of<br />

potholes, not all of which I could avoid. Add to that<br />

the fact that sometimes the GPS directed me onto<br />

dirt roads which could have shaken the bike to<br />

pieces but, when I stopped, nothing had come loose<br />

- not a nut or a bolt.”

Obviously, Prabs couldn’t go flat out all the way;<br />

it was a balancing act between speed and fuel<br />

consumption.<br />

“At first I was being over-cautious<br />

and sat at between 65-75km/h but<br />

once I got into a rhythm, I could<br />

sit at around 80km/h, which is<br />

a decent speed. In some places, I<br />

could go faster as I was on the right<br />

side of fuel consumption but the<br />

critical thing was to keep the revs<br />

between 5,500 and 6,000, which<br />

takes a lot of mental control and<br />

that’s where the comfort played its<br />

part as that didn’t distract me.”<br />

It is important to note that the Eco 150 was<br />

absolutely bog standard in every respect; nothing<br />

had been modified at all although extra LED lights<br />

were fitted at the front for safety, which was just as<br />

well as Prabs had to not only watch the fuel gauge<br />

but also the weather.<br />

“There was a lot of mist and fog as I climbed into<br />

the KZN mountains - I had zero visibility and that<br />

cut my speed to 20km/h as I couldn’t see a thing!<br />

Breaking down in such conditions wouldn’t have<br />

been ideal; my only objective was to keep going and<br />

the Hero removed all such worries.”<br />

The ride wasn’t just some publicity stunt; this<br />

was, in effect, a recce for a brand new event that<br />

Fire It Up is planning.<br />

“We would like to initiate an annual adventure<br />

challenge and my ride was essential for us to<br />

understand the terrain and challenges; we have a lot<br />

more information about how it can work,’ said Prabs.<br />

“It will run along exactly the same lines as what I<br />

have just achieved; get to Durban from Johannesburg<br />

on one tank of fuel but this time there will be a<br />

set time that it must be achieved in. Everyone will<br />

have to follow largely the same route and there will<br />

be checkpoints at various stages along the way,<br />

although between those checkpoints the competitors<br />

will be free to take whatever route they like, obviously<br />

without extending the mileage too much.<br />

“We know that the bikes won’t break down; the<br />

only reason you won’t reach the finish is because<br />

you’ve run out of fuel.”<br />

Is it a race, or is it a regularity run, along the lines<br />

of the economy runs so popular at one time?<br />

“We’re thinking of it as an adventure challenge,<br />

the adventure being exploring parts of the country<br />

that you miss when belting down the highway to<br />

Durban. We want people to experience this amazing<br />

country of ours and what better way than from the<br />

saddle of a motorcycle? It’s not about simply getting<br />

from point A to point B, it’s about the experiences<br />

along the way. It will be hard but it will also be fun.<br />

At each checkpoint there will be clues to where you<br />

need to head for on the next leg. Of course, safety is<br />

a big consideration but even taking that into account,<br />

we know it will be a lot of fun.<br />

“People were asking if it wasn’t dangerous, riding<br />

so far without any back-up or support vehicle and<br />

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers<br />

I have to tell them, ‘no, not at all.’ I had a tracking<br />

device on the bike so the guys back in Johannesburg<br />

could see exactly where I was and, let’s face it, if<br />

anything had gone wrong, there will always be<br />

someone who is willing to help, no matter how<br />

remote the location. This is one of the challenges; if<br />

something does go wrong (not that it will do - you’re<br />

riding a Hero!), how do you rectify it and get on your<br />

way again?”<br />

There is already a lot of interest in the event, the<br />

first of which should be in early spring of this year.<br />

People are realising that you don’t have to be riding<br />

a big motorcycle to have fun or to meet a challenge.<br />

If you are one of those adventurous types and fancy<br />

giving it a go, then get in touch with the good people<br />

at Fire It Up and register your interest and let’s see<br />

what happens in September!


1985 GSX-R750<br />


1986 GSX-R1100<br />

Given the fact that Fire It Up sell all makes and models of<br />

motorcycles, we thought that it might be useful to trace the history of<br />

various well-known and long-lived models. This month, we kick off<br />

with the Suzuki GSX-R.<br />

By the end of the 1970s, the first generation of so-called<br />

superbikes - Honda’s CB750, Kawasaki’s Z900, Suzuki’s GS range<br />

- were getting long in the tooth. A new generation of performance<br />

motorcycles was needed; Honda pointed the way in 1983 with its<br />

VFR750 and Kawasaki announced the GPz900R Ninja a year later.<br />

Suzuki looked closely at this new generation and wanted in on<br />

the act. The very first GSX-R was the GSX-R400 for the Japanese<br />

market. It’s trump card over other 400cc bikes on the market was its<br />

light weight. Suzuki decided it could do the same in the 750cc class.<br />

The engine of the new-for-1984 GSX-R750 was a DOHC, four<br />

cylinder, just like its contemporaries. But where it differed was in<br />

using oil to cool parts of the engine blocked off from cooling air,<br />

such as the top of the combustion chamber. This air/oil system was<br />

called Suzuki Advanced Cooling System, or SACS for short.<br />

The the flat nose and dual headlight styling had its origins in<br />

endurance racing; the regulations decreed that the headlight must<br />

be behind the axle line of the front wheel. Endurance racers used<br />

twin headlights for obvious reasons.<br />


OF THE<br />

SUZUKI<br />


Weight was carefully monitored. Parts would be tested, then<br />

lightened, then tested again, then lightened, until they finally<br />

broke. That’s how they found the limits. The rear suspension was<br />

also worked on to reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity.<br />

The GSX-R750 was released in 1985 and, a year later, the<br />

GSX-R1100, with its 1052cc engine, was released, remaining<br />

faithful to the mantra of the lightest weight possible, combined with<br />

extremely strong mechanicals.<br />

At the time, reviewers hailed the power, handling and weight of<br />

the new kid on the block. Of course, in comparison with what came<br />

later, especially in the form of the Fireblade, it retrospectively looked<br />

large, heavy and unstable, but that was all in the future. For now,<br />

Suzuki had a winner on its hands.<br />

In 1989, the ‘K’ model was introduced, using the new 1127cc<br />

engine. Weight had crept up thanks to a shorter, stiffer (and heavier)<br />

frame but handling was slightly suspect, possibly due to badly setup<br />

suspension. It gained a reputation for ill-handling that wasn’t<br />

helped by the death of Phil Mellor at the TT in 1989 on his ‘K’ model<br />

GSX-R1100. James Whitham also crashed his GSX-R out of the race.<br />

1989 GSX-R750<br />

1993 GSX-R1100<br />

In 1990, the ‘L’ model was released, with a longer wheelbase to<br />

address the problems with the handling. 1991 saw the ‘M’ model,<br />

which was changed cosmetically and then the ’N’ model which also<br />

had further cosmetic changes.<br />

The next big change came in 1993 with the adoption of water<br />

cooling, which brought an increase in power to 155bhp at the crank.<br />

As with all Suzukis the new engine was extremely strong and could<br />

be tuned to give another 30% power without the need for forced<br />

induction. These new models were designated WP and, several<br />

variations, named WR, WS, WT, WV and WW, followed. Most of the<br />

changes were cosmetic and the engine and suspension and other<br />

components were mildly tweaked.<br />

1998 saw the last of the 1100s and it would be a three year wait<br />

until it was properly replaced.

2001 GSX-R1000<br />

2001 GSX-R750<br />

“After 10 years of GSX-R production, both the 750<br />

and 1100 had evolved with the times. 1996 however<br />

introduced the first of a new type of GSX-R750. With<br />

the demands of faster racers and road riding, the<br />

future was bigger airboxes and stiffer chassis. Enter<br />

the GSX-R750 SRAD. It brought the relationship<br />

between race bikes and road bikes even closer than<br />

it had been before. The dimensions of the new 750<br />

were based on those of Kevin Schwantz’s 1993 World<br />

Championship winning RGV500.”<br />

The success of the Fireblade and the Yamaha<br />

R1 forced Suzuki to take action and, in 2001, it<br />

launched the GSX-R1000. The starting point was<br />

the GSX-R750, with suitably strengthened frame<br />

and the engine was a development of the 750cc<br />

engine, with power up to 160bhp at the crank.<br />

Crucially, the GSX-R1000 was lighter and more<br />

powerful than the R1.<br />

2003 saw the introduction of the K3 model,<br />

which was lighter, produced more power and<br />

handled better. The K4 (2004) model continued<br />

without any major changes.<br />

2005’s K5 had a redesigned engine and chassis<br />

to further aid performance and handling and<br />

further reduce weight. The changes were small<br />

and incremental but had positive effects on<br />

handling and performance. Negative effects of<br />

the weight saving on the chassis included some<br />

instances of cracks appearing in the frame.<br />

2007’s K7 saw yet more revisions, this time<br />

including an increase in weight, albeit by only<br />

a small margin due to the increasingly strict<br />

emissions regulations. To counter these, Suzuki<br />

paid attention to aerodynamics and equipped the<br />

bike with two power modes; A (unrestricted) and B<br />

(reduced power until half-throttle is applied).

2005 GSX-R1000<br />

2007 GSX-R1000 2012 GSX-R1000<br />

What can be gleaned from all the above is that<br />

the story of the GSX-R1100 and 1000 is a stream<br />

of steady development over the years, helping the<br />

‘Gixxer’ keep up with the competition and making<br />

it easier to ride.<br />

The K9 and L0 GSX-R1000s marked the turn<br />

of the decade and they moved the GSX-R1000 on<br />

in its development once again. Like the changes<br />

to the 600 the previous year, the 1000 found<br />

itself benefitting from an entirely new engine,<br />

chassis, suspension and brakes. Being a 1000cc<br />

sports bike, the changes were all developed on<br />

the race track. But what it still retained was its<br />

road bike manners. Bike magazine claimed, “It<br />

has the most legroom, the plushest seat and the<br />

most effective screen in its class.” Traits that the<br />

GSX-R1000 has carried with it since.<br />

In 2012 the GSX-R1000 received similar<br />

updates to those the 600 and 750 benefitted<br />

from the year before. It was launched in Miami<br />

at the Homestead Raceway. In the same year,<br />

worldwide production of GSX-R topped one<br />

million units. Thay year, GSX-R mounted riders<br />

took championship titles across the globe,<br />

including in Australia, Sweden, and Poland. Josh<br />

2017 GSX-R1000<br />

Brookes would have taken the British Superbike<br />

crown on the conventional point scoring system,<br />

finishing every race and notching 20 podiums<br />

along the way.<br />

The 2012 updates to the GSX-R1000 were<br />

made to offer heightened engine and chassis<br />

performance as well as weight-loss for overall<br />

performance. Two kilos were lost over the<br />

development process and new monobloc<br />

calipers from Brembo to offer improved braking<br />

and reduced fade on track. Newly developed<br />

pistons with MotoGP derived technology<br />

reduced the moving mass by 11%, improving<br />

acceleration and response.<br />

Over the next ten years, this programme<br />

continued until we get to the 2017 GSX-R1000.<br />

This L7 model introduced mechanical variable<br />

valve timing to the engine. It was also the first<br />

GSX-R to get traction control courtesy of the<br />

inertial measuring unit and ride-by-wire throttle.<br />

Not only that - and this is hard to believe - but it<br />

was also the first GSX-R to have a fuel gauge…!<br />

Also announced was the R version, with quick<br />

shifter and launch control and uprated Showa<br />

suspension.<br />

The Suzuki GSX-R1100 and 1000 models have<br />

always had a strong and loyal following and that<br />

looks set to continue into the third decade of the<br />

2000s.<br />

“For the first time in the company’s<br />

history the new bike featured all<br />

mechanical VVT technology - variable<br />

valve timing derived from the MotoGP<br />

GSX-RR machine, allowing for a<br />

more linear and manageable power<br />

band throughout the whole range. A<br />

quickshifter and auto-blipper were<br />

added for clutchless shifting up and<br />

down the box. Lean sensitive traction<br />

control, Showa Balance Free Forks,<br />

Brembo monobloc calipers, ABS, launch<br />

control, and multi-setting traction<br />

control were among the new features<br />

added. With 200hp and a weight of just<br />

over 200kg, it is the fastest, hardest<br />

accelerating, best performing GSX-R<br />

ever produced.”

Workshop Tip<br />

Fire It Up Tribe<br />

For the Fun Of It<br />

When you buy a motorcycle from Fire It Up, you are doing so much more than purchasing a<br />

mode of transport; you become part of a family and, like all families, we like to get together to<br />

have some fun.<br />

The Fire It Up Tribe was conceived to bring all motorcyclists together, no matter what they<br />

ride or how experienced they are. Motorcycling, by its very definition, is a solo pursuit but,<br />

having said that, we love doing nothing more than getting together to share the passion we<br />

all feel for it.<br />

Every month we organise events to which all Tribe members are invited. These range<br />

from Sunday morning breakfast rides, to MotoGP Sundays hosted at Fire It Up, with all<br />

three races being shown on big screens and themed meals being available from the<br />

Fire It Up Diner. We have new member evenings where you can meet Donovan Fourie<br />

and Harry Fisher, who organise the club events, and some of the team from Fire It<br />

Up, where we explain what the Tribe is all about and what you can expect.<br />

We’ll have technical evenings, movie nights and mid-week night rides.<br />

Once or twice a year, we’ll organise a weekend run to get us properly out of<br />

the city, with an overnight on Saturday where we can all let our hair down.<br />

The important thing to remember is that this is your club, so if you have any<br />

suggestions, we would love to hear them and will happily include them in<br />

the itineraries.<br />

Being a member of the club also brings benefits at Fire It Up, from<br />

free coffee at the Diner to discounts on some of the many services<br />

offered at Fire It Up. Talk to any of the lovely people at Fire It Up for<br />

more details. Or you can follow us on Facebook. Look up Fire It<br />

Up Tribe Group and you can ask to become a member and get<br />

all the notifications. Ask anyone at Fire It Up to be added to<br />

the WhatsApp group as well.<br />

Welcome to the Tribe.<br />

Oiling<br />

Your<br />

Chain<br />

If there’s one thing that you have do yourself,<br />

regularly, it is to lubricate your chain. The advent of<br />

the ‘O-ring’ chain has made this less essential than<br />

previously, or maybe it would be more accurate to<br />

say that intervals between lubrications has been<br />

extended, even if the need to has not.<br />

Lubrication will not only extend the life of the<br />

chain but also the gearbox and rear sprockets<br />

and help with quieter running. So often I hear<br />

the argument that, because it doesn’t rain at all<br />

in Gauteng during winter, then there is no need<br />

lubricate because water spray won’t wash away the<br />

film of oil on the chain.<br />

What these people fail to realise is that the lack<br />

of rain only serves to increase the amount of dust,<br />

which is fantastically abrasive. With no filter, such<br />

as you find cleaning air before it enters the engine<br />

or oil in the engine, a chain is extremely exposed<br />

and therefore needs all the help it can get to give<br />

long life.<br />

If your bike has a centre stand, then cleaning and<br />

oiling a chain is simplicity itself. Take a soft brush<br />

and scrub away any congealed oil and gunk (Bike<br />

Kings sell specialised chain brushes). Then, with<br />

the bike on its centre stand, spin the back wheel and<br />

aim the jet of lube from the can onto the inside of the<br />

chain, the part that actually touches the sprockets.<br />

Easy as that. Give it a few minutes to set and you’re<br />

good to go. Modern lubes have anti-fling properties<br />

so you shouldn’t find your back wheel rim covered in<br />

gunk after the first ride.<br />

If the chain is really dirty, as it can get on<br />

adventure or off-road bikes, you can buy spray chain<br />

cleaner which will loosen caked on muck making<br />

it easier to brush off. Never be tempted to use a<br />

pressure washer; water will penetrate the rollers<br />

and stuff them up and there is the danger that you<br />

could get a blast of water into the wheel or swing<br />

arm bearings, rinsing out any grease.<br />

But what happens when you don’t have a centre<br />

stand, only a side stand? Well, you can clean and<br />

lube the bit of chain you can see, then wheel the bike<br />

forward to expose the next bit of chain. That’s a bit of<br />

a faff, so try this;<br />

Put the bike on its side stand. Take your car’s jack<br />

and place it under the rear tip of the swing arm on<br />

the opposite side to the side stand. Slowly raise the<br />

jack until the rear wheel has just left the ground so it<br />

will spin freely as if the bike is on a centre stand. Hey<br />

presto, you can now clean and lube the chain. Make<br />

sure to do it on level ground and place a chock in<br />

front of the front wheel so the bike can’t roll forward<br />

and off the side stand.<br />

It may sound simple, lubricating your chain, but<br />

often it is the small things that will keep your bike<br />

running properly.


(NOT ’TUNING!’) By;<br />

It seems like a short while ago when Euro 4 was introduced<br />

the tuning industry was shaken as no longer could you simply<br />

fit an exhaust or a Fuel Module and disconnect lambda sensors.<br />

Many customers still fitted full system exhausts or removed their<br />

catalytic converters only to discover bikes were harder to ride and,<br />

as the ECU became more confused, the bikes became slower.<br />

Now that Euro 5 is the new standard in motorcycles, tuning has<br />

become more complex than ever and simply fitting a full system<br />

exhaust can destroy an engine without the proper supporting ECU<br />

Software or Euro 5 compliant fuel module. The latest motorcycles<br />

are expected to run extremely lean to comply with these<br />

restrictions, as a result creating high engine temperatures.<br />

Dean Michau<br />

Simply put the old tuning days are done<br />

forever. Today making a motorcycle perform<br />

better, smoother, more responsive and<br />

run cooler is managed in a number of<br />

different ways but to give you an idea, a Euro<br />

5 motorcycle has a complicated ECU Map<br />

structure which looks like this: (pictured right)<br />

Calibrating a motorcycle for best<br />

performance really comes down to removing<br />

the restrictions put in place to achieve Euro<br />

Emission regulation compliance from a C02<br />

and a noise perspective, using carefully studied<br />

methods to de-activate cold start and exhaust<br />

flaps when full system exhausts are used.<br />

This is carefully managed in a multiple of fuel<br />

maps, timing maps and throttle maps in all the<br />

different rider modes. If you view the attached<br />

MAP structure you will notice the complexity.<br />

These MAPs are modified in SA and sold all<br />

over the world.<br />

When talking to customers I don’t like using<br />

the word tuning as it is often synonymous with<br />

making an engine perform at beyond what<br />

it was designed for, revving the hell out of it<br />

on the Dyno searching for more power which<br />

ultimately causes premature wear or failures. I<br />

prefer the term ‘calibration’ which coincidently<br />

is also used by the technology manufacturer<br />

we represent, Dimsport, who are world leaders<br />

in Engine Calibration supplying equipment,<br />

Software and Rapid Bike Fuelling modules.<br />

Dimsport/Rapid Bike are the only company<br />

in the world capable of managing the Euro 5<br />

fuelling requirements every 10 milliseconds!<br />

Although the device is a plug and play (it still<br />

requires dealer fitment) it is supplied calibrated<br />

for the particular brand and obviously warranty<br />

friendly.<br />

Over the last year or so, Dimsport/Rapid<br />

Bike became official tuning partner for<br />

Akrapovic which has seen major developments<br />

in engine calibration and therefore the<br />

technology is used in our National Race Bikes<br />

and a large number of the WSBK bikes.<br />

Over the next <strong>issue</strong>s of the magazine, you<br />

can expect us to dive deeper into certain areas<br />

covered above!


The Right<br />

Gear<br />

Now, to most of you out there, the answer to<br />

what to wear when riding a motorcycle is pretty<br />

obvious and it can be summed up in one easy<br />

acronym; ATGATT - All the Gear, All the Time. It’s<br />

only a complete fool who ventures out on the roads<br />

without, at the very least, the whole of his or her<br />

body being completely covered, even if it is not all<br />

dedicated motorcycling gear. Protection against<br />

abrasion or impact will be limited but it’s better<br />

than nothing. The only problem in our chosen<br />

mode of transport is that, better than nothing is<br />

never good enough.<br />

But what about those of you new to riding and<br />

maybe on a budget? Are you properly protected?<br />

Can you afford not to be?<br />

When I lived in the UK, it was pretty difficult to<br />

venture out on a bike without wearing plenty of<br />

protective clothing and that can be summed up in<br />

one word; weather! I got so used to always having<br />

to wear protective gear - protective against the<br />

elements if nothing else - that when I came to SA<br />

I found it impossible to ride without at least a good<br />

jacket and jeans; it just felt wrong.<br />

Here in South Africa, we don’t have the problems<br />

of an English climate. At least, not in the same<br />

sense. What we do have here is extremes of<br />

weather, no matter in what province you ride.<br />

We all know what it is like riding in the heat of<br />

summer; sometimes unbearably hot, especially if we<br />

are riding a bike with huge acres of wind protection.<br />

Similarly, in winter, it might be freezing cold in the<br />

early mornings and late evenings but, in the middle of<br />

the day, it can still get warm - I hesitate to say hot! -<br />

leaving you stripping off layers like mad. And let’s not<br />

pretend that we don’t get rain!<br />

It’s expensive to have a range of gear in your<br />

cupboard that can cope with all weather conditions,<br />

let alone carrying it all with you; ventilated for<br />

heat, insulated for cold, waterproof for wet. There<br />

is nothing more uncomfortable than wearing the<br />

wrong gear for the conditions; too hot, too cold<br />

or simply wet through. Not only that, but it is<br />

also dangerous; concentration suffers if you are<br />

uncomfortable.<br />

There are many solutions out there. I own a jacket<br />

that is a ventilated jacket on the outside but has<br />

a thermal and a waterproof lining that are easily<br />

zipped out. Thats the best of all worlds but not all<br />

styles of jackets come in such practical forms. It’s all<br />

about compromise; buy the best and most versatile<br />

jacket you can afford. Also, look for one that has<br />

CE approved armour built in on elbows, shoulders<br />

and back; the bits that stick out and really need<br />

protecting. Take a look at this Next Ikaro jacket; full<br />

airflow with a zip-out waterproof lining for R2,600.<br />

Another option is to own a ventilated jacket for<br />

summer riding which, let’s face it, is when you<br />

will be doing most of your riding anyway, and then<br />

supplement that with a waterproof over-jacket for<br />

winter. You can wear several layers underneath for<br />

insulation. The waterproof blocks the wind perfectly<br />

with the added benefit of keeping rain out and folds<br />

up small enough to fit in a backpack when not<br />

needed. The Oxford Rainseal jacket and pants for<br />

R900 and R600 respectively do the job nicely whilst<br />

offering increased visibility in bad weather.<br />

What about the legs? There are a few brands<br />

out there that make Kevlar armoured jeans that<br />

look acceptable when off the bike, are comfortable<br />

on the bike and will protect the skin on your legs<br />

and backside when you are sliding along the road.<br />

Bike Kings at <strong>FIU</strong> stock Nexo, Tankwa and Oxford<br />

(for ladies), all for around R2,000. They might not<br />

have too much impact protection, but that is a<br />

compromise you have to decide to take.<br />

Feet and ankles have to be protected. Again, there<br />

are lots of boots out there that look like a casual boot<br />

but have hard protection built in, in addition to the<br />

more traditional riding boots. Make sure they are<br />

high enough to protect the ankle from impact and<br />

abrasion. Forma, Spirit and Alpinestars all do boots<br />

that don’t look too much like motorcycle boots, priced


Spirit Daredevil<br />

Alpinestars Faster 3<br />

from around R2,500 up to R4,000. If you want the full<br />

motorcycle boot look, then Bike Kings have boots<br />

from Alpinestars and Gaerne, but expect to shell out<br />

significantly - you’re looking at R5,000-plus.<br />

Gloves are essential. What is the first thing you<br />

do when you fall if you are walking? Put out your<br />

hands. It’s the same when you fall off a motorcycle.<br />

Some gloves come with hard plastic pucks on the<br />

palm to offer more abrasion resistance. The choice<br />

is enormous, ranging in price from around R600<br />

up to R2,000. Gloves are about the only piece of<br />

apparel where it makes sense to have a winter pair<br />

and a summer pair. If you get two years out of a<br />

pair of gloves - depending on how often you ride -<br />

you’re doing well.<br />

Of course, even the right and most expensive<br />

gear can only protect you so far but its about giving<br />

Alpinestars SMX-6<br />

Gaerne GP1<br />

yourself the best chance possible of walking away<br />

not only alive but intact.<br />

We’ve all heard the stories about someone who<br />

has come off a bike when not wearing protective<br />

gear. We’ve all seen the pictures. And yet, every day,<br />

certainly in summer, we see riders in slops and<br />

t-shirts and shorts riding around their neighbourhood.<br />

Scarily, we also see them on the highway.<br />

Now, I’m not about to get all preachy about this<br />

but the reality is that there can be no excuse for not<br />

wearing the best gear possible. To put not too fine<br />

a point on it; your life depends on it! It’s all very well<br />

investing in a good helmet, but why then ignore every<br />

other part of your body? Your head isn’t much good if<br />

there’s nothing to attach it to!<br />

Yes, it can be expensive, but so is a long stay in<br />

hospital, waiting for the skin on your legs, arms and<br />

back to grow back. Talk to one of the sales advisors<br />

at Fire It Up and Bike Kings about adding all your<br />

protective gear on to your bike finance; it’s a painless<br />

way of getting the gear you need without breaking<br />

the bank and will only add a few hundred rand a<br />

month to your repayments. Such gear can easily run<br />

to R20,000. Having said that, you could spend less<br />

than half of that and still be giving yourself sufficient<br />

protection.<br />

There isn’t a climatic condition, a style of riding or<br />

an aesthetic taste that isn’t catered for in motorcycle<br />

apparel; it’s all out there if you look hard enough. The<br />

bottom line is this; wear the right gear no matter<br />

where you are riding or how far it is. You might feel a<br />

bit silly dashing to the corner shop for a pint of milk<br />

with it all on, but not half as stupid as you will look<br />

with no skin on 50% of your body.<br />

Talk to the guys at Bike King on the first floor of<br />

Fire It Up; they’ll steer you in the right direction.<br />

Forma Creed<br />

Winter Glove<br />

Alpinestars Centre<br />

Summer Glove

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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